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Full text of "An humble inquiry into the rules of the Word of God, concerning the qualifications requisite to a compleat [sic] standing and full communion in the visible Christian church"


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■ - »• 


i#- /«"V A- .r. ^s^ 


/ \j/'l A INTO THB ' ^' -* ( . 























Ir J 



Confitebatiir ^^Lutheras'] di|orcm fuuin, quod ab ipfis rcflorefcen- 
tis Evangelii Primordiis, quofTis abfqiie Difcriminc ad Coenatn. 
Dominicam admififlet, qtiodque Dilbiplinam, Fratrtim Dilci- 
plinx fimilem, apud fuos non conftituiflet. — Quia objiciebatur, 
Fraties non habere Eccl^iiam apertam ;=— Reiponfum fuit, 
Sandla.dare^non SanAis prohibuifle Cbriilum J — Erforem [in 
JPapatu] corrigi non po(Ie aliter qitam ut certa Probationer nee ilia 
fuhitaneay Cordium Arcana revelutiter, Novitiiqne diu et caute 
turn informentur, turn explorentuf. 

JRatio Dijcipl. Sratr, Boheni^ 



i ■ 

■MiMWrfmi n w I n j ^M M il* ■ ! ■■ _ ' ■ If " ■ J i m * ■■■ * ■; y n -.<->^— ^ 


I* • ' 

¥0 THIS^ 


A NARRATIVE' of tIictrahfa6brons to' which the fol- 
(owing Treatife refers, may be read iti the account of the 
Author's Life, which was' fainted Originally at Boflon, 
Kew England, in 1765,: and lately re-printed at Glaf^ 
gow. The workfi of the Author are now very well known 
in this country.' The world, it is apprehended, owe no 
fmall obligation to Df • John EHkine, one of the mini- 
^ fters of this city, who firft introduced them to their ac« 
« ^uaintance.' 

\^ ThSris arc very few pcrfons attentive ^o the fubjeAf 

qv on which Prefident Edwards has written, who will not 
acknowledge, that he has caft much light upon them* 
* And nothing will prevent Chriftians from coniidering 
the prefent Treatife as one of the moil able and interefl- 
ing parts of his works, but prejudice and indifference 
about the fubje6l of it* His own opinion of it may be 
fcen in his Preface. It will there appear, if pcrfons 
(hould even be inattentive to its internal evidence, that 

it called forth the complete extent of his abilities, and 




wa^ the fruit of dependence on the Father of Lights for 
inllrudion and prefervation from error. 

The whole of his works are now re-printed in Britaioy 
excepting only his Defence of this Treatifc, againft the 
Objed^iont of Mr. Solomon WilUams; If the prefent 
performance, whidi ia^ exceedingly fcarce, meets with, 
encouragement, the PoblUher intends to print it alfck 

Eniif BvxoB, Maj 15, zyyo. 


author's preface. 

IVIy appesfring in this public manner on that fide 
of the quedion, which is defended in the follow-* 
ing fheets, will probably be furprifing to many ; as 
it is well known, that Mr. Stoddard, fo great 
and eminent a divine, and my venerable predccef^ 
for in the paftoral office ovier the church in North- 
an^pton, as well as my pwn grandfather, publicly 
and ftrenuoufly appeared in oppofition to the doc- 
trine here ipaintained. 

HQweyer, I hope, it will not be taken amifs, that 
I think as I de, merely becaufe I herein differ front 
bim, though fo much my fi^perior, and one whofe 
name and n^emory I am under diftinguifliing obli- 
gations, on every account, to treat with great re- 
fpeft a«d honour. / Efpecially may 1 juftly exped, 
that it will not be chargied on me as a crime, that 
I do not think in every thing ju{l as he did, fince 
none more than he himfelf averted this fcriptural 
and PrQteilant maxim^ that we ought to call no man 
pn earfh Mq/ler^ or make t lie authority of the great* 
eft .9nui holieft of mere men the ground of our be- 
lief of any doi£irine in religion. Certainly we arc 
not obliged to think any man infallible, who him« 
felf utterly difclaims infallibility. Very juftly Mr. 
Stoddard obferves in his Appeal to the Learned^ P'97». 

a iij 


«< All Prateftants agree, that there is no infaF- 
" libility at Rome ; and I know no body elfe pre- 
« tends to any, fince the Apoftles days/* And he 
in (ids, in his preface to his fermon on the fame fub- 
jeft, That it argues no want of a due refpeft in 
us to our forefathers, for us> to examine their opi- 
nipns. Some of his words in that preface contaia 
a good apology for me, and are worthy to be re- 
peated on this occadon. They are as follows r 

« It may poffibJy be a fault (fay^ Mr. Stoddard)^ 
<* to depart from the ways of our fathers :. But it 
•* may^ifo be a virttde^ and an eminent a£l of obc- 
♦* dience, to depart from them in yo/«^ things. Men 
** are wont to make a great fioife, that we arc bring- 
« ing in innovations, and depart from the old wity : 
** But it is beyond me, to find out wherein the /«/- 
« quity does lie* We may fee caufe to alter fonu 
« pretBices of our fathers^ without defpifing of theniy 
•* without priding ourfelves in aur wifdom, with- 
<< out apoftacy, without abuGng the advantages God 
«* has given U5, without a fpirit of compliance with 
«< corrupt men, without inclinations to fupcrfti- 
«* tion, without making dtflurbance in the church 
«« of God : And there is no reafon, that it fhould 
•< be turned as a reproach upon us* Surely it ia 
« commendableior us to examine the praftices of our 
<< fathers; we have no fufficient reafon to take prac- 
<< tices upon irujl from them. Let them have as 
•• high a character as belongs to them; yet we may 
*' not look upon their principles as oracles, Na- 
*• THAN himfelf mifled it in his conjedure about 
«* building the houfe of God. He that believes prin- 
" ciples becaufe they affirm them, makes idols of 
«« them. And if would be no humility^ but hafemfs 
Jf of fpirit, for us to judge ourfelves incapable to 


^ examine the principles that have been handed 
•< down to ua. If we be by any means fit to open 
•* the mjfleries of the gojpel^ we are capable to judge 
•* of thefe matters i And it would iU becoroe us, fo 
•* to indulge ourfelvcs in eafe, as to /j^^/?^ the exam i- 
** nation of received principles* If the praftices of 
•' our fathers in any particulars were mifiakeny it fs 
«*jfe they fhould be rejeBed: if they be not, they 
•* will bear examination. If we be forbidden to er- 
•* amin« their praftice, that will cut off* all hopes 
•* of reformation^ 

Thus, in thefe very feafonable and appofijte fay- 
in gs, Mr. &TOl>DARD, though deady yet fpeaketh'z 
And here (to apply them to my own cafe) he telh 
mey that I am not at all blameable, for not taking^ 
bis principles on trujt; that notwithftandmg the high 
character juftly belonging to him, I ought not to look 
pp his principles as oraclesy as though he could not 
mifs ity as well as Nathan himfelf in his conjec» 
ture about building the hottfe of God ; nay, furely 
that I am even to be commendedy for examining his 
praificey and judging for myfelf; thzt it ivould Nl 
become mCy to do otherwife ; that this tvould be no 
manifejlation of humtlityy but rather fhew a bafenefs 
offpirit ; that if I be not capable to judge for mjfelfin 
thefe matters y I am by no means fit to open the my/fc" 
ries of the gofpeti that if \fkould believe his principles^ 
' becaufe he advanced themy I fhould be guilty of making 
him an idol, — Alfo he teUs his and my flock, with 
all others, that it /// becomes themy fo to indulge their 
eafey as to negleSl examining of received principles and 
f radices ,- and that it is fity mifiakes in any particu* 
lars be rejeBed : That if in fome things I differ fn 
my judgment from him, it would be very unrea« 
fonable^ on this accou&t to make a great noife^ as 

/ /■ * 


though I were bringing in innovationsy and departing 
from the old way / that I may fee caufe to alt^r form 
PraElices of my grandfather and predepeffor^ withotd 
defpifing him, without priding myfeif in my wifdom^ 
without apoftacy] without , defpifing the adv^f^tages God 
has given me^ without inclination to fuperjlition^ and 
without making diflurhance in the church ofX^od ; in 
fliort, that it is beyond him^ to find out wherein the- 
iniquity of my fo doing lies ; ^nd tli^t th^re is m reck'- 
fon why it fhould he turned as a reproach upon me*- 
Thus, I think, he fufficicntJy vin4icate& my con- 
duft in the prefent cafe, and warns all with whom 
1 am concerned, npt to be at all difpleafed with 
me, or to find the leaft fault with n)e, merely be- 
caufe I' examine for myfelf, have a judgment of 
my own, and am for pra^Slifing in £bme partipulq^rs 
different from him, how pofitive^foever he was 
that his judgn^ent ^nd praiflice were rig}it. It is 
reafonabJy hoped and e^psftedj that they who have 
a gr^at reg^ard to his judgment, will impfirtially re- 
gard his judgment, and hearken to his admonition 
in thcfe things. 

I c^n ferjoufly declare, that an afFe{3:ation of 
making a (hew as if I were fomething wifer than 
that excelknt p^rfon. isexeeedipg diftant from m/^i 
and very far from having the leaft influence in my 
appe^ing to opppfe, in t}n$ way of the prefs, an 
opinion whigh he fo earneftly n^;iintained and pr^- 
m^oted. 3ure I am I have not affi:£led to vary 
from his judgment, i^or in the leaft been governed 
by a fpirit of contr^didiion, fieither indvlgied a ca- 
villing humour^ in remairking pn any of hjis .^rgi^i- 
ments or exprc/Hons. 

1 have formerly bceq of his fipinion^ V.hich I in^- 
bibed from his JiopK^^ ^v^ from my^hildhpp^i 

♦ " 


ancf Have in my proceedmg&confoixned to its pracr 

tices though never without fo me difficulties in my 

view, which I could not folve :. Yet, however, a 

diflruft of my awn. undeiftaiiding, and defereiu:e 

to the authority o£ £d veaeraUi^. a noEon, the feen^ 

ing (Irength of fame of his arguments^ to^thqr 

with the fuccef» he had in hi» miniitryy and his 

great reputation and influence, prevailed fbr a long. 

time to bear down my icxupks.r^But the diiicuU 

ties and uneafincfs oa my mind increafing,. as E 

became more (ludied in divinity, and as I improv-^ 

cd in experience ; this brought me to clo&r dilv- 

jgence and care to fiarch ike firipturesy. ai^d more 

impartially to examine and weigh the argunaents of 

'^y grandfather^ and fuch other authors as I could 

get on his fide of the quedion^ By which means^ 

after )« ng fearching, pondering^ viewing^ . and ro* 

viewing;, I gained iatisfa£kion, became fuHy fettled 

in the opinion I now maintain, a& in the Difcourib 

here offered to public view ; and dared to proceed 

no farther in a practice and admihiftration incon* 

fiilent therewith: Which brought me into peculiar 

circumftances, laying me under an inevitable ne- 

ceflity publicly to declare and maintain the opinion 

I was thus eftabliihed in ; as alfo to do it from the 

prefs^ and to do it at this time without delay, (t 

is far from a pleafing circumftance of this publica« 

tion^ that it is againit what my honoured grundfa* 

ther ftrenuoufly maintained, both from the pulpit 

and prefs. I can truly fay, on account of this and 

feme other confiderations, it is what I engage in^ 

with the greateft relucSlance that ev^r I undertook -• 

any public fervice in my life. But the ftate of 

things with me is fo ordered, by the fovereign di£» 

pofel of the great Govempr of the world, that nyp 




doing this appeared to me very neceffary and altdw 
gether unavoi3abIe. I am cOnfcious, not only is 
the intercft of religion concerned in this affair, but 
my own reputation, future ufefuln'efs, and my very 
'fubfiftence, all feem to depend on my freely open- 
ing and defending myfclf, astb my principlesi and 
agreeable condtnfl in my paftoral charge ; and' oti 
my doing it from the prefs : In which way alone 
am I able toftate and juftify my opinion, to any 
purpofe, before the country (which is full of noife, 
•■mifreprefentations,' and many ccnfiircs concerrrtng 
'this affair), or even before my own people, as aft 

I would be fully fenfible, if they knew the exa£); 

^ ft ate of the cafe. 

I have been brought to this neceffity in divine 
providence, by fuch a fituation of affairs and coin- 
'cidence of chrcumftahces and events, as I chufe at 
•prefenf to' be filent about; and which it is not 
needfufi rror perhaps- expedient, for mc to publifh 
'to the world. 

' One thing among others that caufed me to ga 
about this btifinefs with fo-much backwardnefs, 
was the fear of a bad improvement fome ill-mind- 
'ed people might be ready, at this day, to. make of 
the doflrinie here defended; particularly that wild 
cnthufiaftical fort of people, who have of Me gone 
'into uhjnKiRzhlc feparationi^ even renouncing the 
minifters and churches of the land m general, un- 
der pretence of fetting up a pure church. It fs 
well' known, that I have heretofore publicly re- 
monftrated, both from the pulpit and prefs, againft 

■*very many of the notions and praftices of this kind 

•of people ; And fhall be very fbrry if what I now 

•offer to the public, fhould be any occafion of their 

encouraging or ftrcngthening themfelves inthofa 


notions an^ practices of theirs. To pt-eyent wKicIik 
I would now take occafion to declarip, I am flili of ^ 
the fame mind concerning them that I have for* i 
merly manifefled. I have the fame opinion con- / 
cerning the religion and inward experiences chiefs 
ly in vogue among them^ as 1 had when I wrote 
my Tr^atife on Religious AffeBionSf and when I 
wrote my Obfervations and KeJkSfiom on Mr. Brai^ 
nerd's Life. I have no better opinion of their no- 
tion of 2, pure church by means of ^ifpirit ofdifcern" 
ing^ xhtix cenforious outcries againft the {lauding mi- 
nifters and churches in general, their /ay-ordina-* 
tionSf their Jay-preachings ^ and p^iilic exhort ings^ and 
7L^mm\&,^r\Tk^facramentss their aiiuming, felf-con- 
fident, contentious, uncharitable feparating fpirit ; 
thpir going about the country, as fent by the Lord, 
to make profelytes j with their many other extra- 
vagant and wicked ways. ,My holding the doc- 
trine that is defended in this diicourfe, is no argu- 
ment of any change of my opinion concerning 
them; for when I wrote thofe two books before 
mentioned, I was of the fame mind concerning the 
ijualifications of communicants at the Lord's table 
that I am of now. 

However, it is not unlikely, that fome will ft ill 
exclaim againft my principles, as being of the fame 
pernicious tendency with thofe of the. Separatifis : 
To fuch I can only by a folemn proteftation aver 
the fincerity of my aims, and the great care I have 
cxcrcifed to avoid whatfoever is erroneous, or might 
be in any refpe^l mifchievpus. But as to my fuc- 
. ceCs in thefo my upright aims and endeavours, I 
muft leave it to every reader to judge for himfelf^ 
after he has carefully perufed, and impartially con- 
fidered.thc following Difcourfe; whiqh^ goofidenng 


Aura©*.** tfiEFACE: 

• * • _ _ * 

♦he natw Md importance of the fobjeS, Tliope* 
all feriods readeris will accompany with tLerr car- 
neft prayers to the Father of Lights y for his gra- 
cious direftion and iriffuence. An^yto Him he glorf 
i/j /& churches ly Chrtfl Jefui. AM E N. 



JL HOUGH the doBrine here mainfained by our deair 
and reverend brother y ivas brought over hither by tht 
pious and judicious fathers of this country from the 
Puritans in England^ and held hy tktm and their fuc» 
cejfhrs in our churches above three f 'ire years without 
dijfenjion ; yet fome good and learned men have fmce 
vone into another nvay of thinking in this matter. And 
us the Word of GOD is our only rule of judging^ 
and this only can bind the confcience in religion^ it 
mujl needs concern every man tofearch the ScriptureSf 
that he may come to as fatisfying a hnonvledge as may 
be, itrhether he has a right to the Lord^s fupper^ and 
whether it be his immediate duty to partake of it^ or 
admit of others • And for all that we had hithert§ 
read on thisfubjeHy it feemed to usy there wanted fur'^ 
ther fearchings and dif cover ies. 

And though ive have not all had opportunity to read 
the compofure following ; yet we apprehend the reve* 
rend Author fingularly qualified to manage this ini" 
portant argume/it^ from his great acquaintance with 
the Scriptures^ and diligent application to the fudy of 
them, with afpecial aim to find the mind ^Christ 
and fettle his judgment in this particular ; both to get 
more light himfelf^ and communicate the fame ta otherx. 
And *uie have this peculiar motive to, excite attention to 
nvhit he writes^ that he is fo far from arguing from 
the prejudice erinfiuence of education ^ that being brought 
Vp in the contrary way of thinkings and more inclined 
thereto from ajpecial veneration of his reverend grands 


father ; yet on careftd fearching thefacred volumes^ he 
ivas obliged to yield to thofe conviBions they produced 
in hinty and change his judgment. 

The follo*u>ing Treat if e contains the fuhjlance of thofe. 
convidiions^ or the particular reafons of this alteration. 
And if thofe who are now in his former way of 
thinkings would *iuith due fertoiifnefsy humtlity, calm^ 
hefsy diligence y and impartiality y fearch the Scriptures ^ 
and confider his arguments derived from thetHy looking 
up to GOD through Christ, and fuhjeEling their 
minds entirely to him^ they may eithvrfee and yield t& 
the fame convi5HonSy and find caufe to change their judg* 
ments alfoy or will at leafl continue their fraternal af* 

feEiion to the worthy Author^ and others in the fame fen-^ 
timents with him. 

We heartily pray that the reverend Author -and his 

flock may for a long time he happy together; that their 

cordial love and tender nefs to each other may continue 

and operate in mutual and all lawful condefcenftons and 

forbearances under different fentiments in thefe parti-- 

culars; that every one may he open to lights and guard 

^ againfl all prejudice^ precipitance y and, pafjion ; that , 
they may he very watchful againjl the devices of Satan 
to difunite or difaffeB them ; that they may fudy the 
things that make for peace and edification, — And the 
GOD of light y love^ and peace y will continue nvith 
them. , 

Thomas Prince, * 

Tj . . ^ a •% John Webb, 

'749» J Thomas FoKCROFlpy 

M. Byles* 

C XV 3 

G N r E N T S. 


The ^uejiionjiated and explained ; viz. Whether^ aC' 
cording to the rules o/" Christ, any ought to he ad' 
mitted to the communion and privileges of members of 
the vifihle church ^Christ in complete flandingy 
hut fuch as are in profeffian^ and in the eye of the 
churches Chrifiian juJ^ment, godly or gracious per" 
fons? page f 

pjnr II. 

Reafons for the Negative of the foregoing ^efiian, II 

OhjeSlom anfiveredi - - - - Ii6 


Being a Letter to the Author ^ in anfnver to his requefl 
of information concerning the opinion of Proteftant 
divines and churches in general^ of the P re/by terians 
in Scotland and Diffenters in England in particular ^ 
refpeSing Five ^ueftions that relate to this contro' 
"verfy^ •-:--- X99 

A N 




r o R 

Full Commumon in the VifibU Church o/ChrisT^ 


The ^ESriON fated and explained. 

jL he main queflion I would confider, and for the ne« 
gative of which, I would offer fome arguments in the 
following difcourfe, is this ; Whether^ according to the rules 
o/'CuRisTy any ought to be admitted to the communion and 
privileges of members of the vijible church of Christ in com" 
pleteftandingy hut fuch as are tnprofe/Jiony and in the eye of 
the church* s Chrtflian judgment f godly or gracious perfons ? 

When I fpeak of members of the viflble church of 
Chrifty in complete /landings I would be underllood of 
thofe who are received as the proper immediate fubje^ls 
of all the external privileges, Chrii^ has appointed fur 
the ordinary members of his church. I fay ordinary mem" 
hersy in diftindlion from any peculiar privileges and ho- 
nours of church-officers and rulers. All allow, there are 
fome that are in fome Tefpe6l in the church of God, 
who arc not members in complete flanding, in the fcnfe 
that has been explained : AU that acknowledge infant- 
baptifm, allow infants, who are the proper fubje£ls of 
baptifni, and are baptized, to be in fome fort member* 
of the Chriftian church ; yet none fuppofe them to be 
members in fuch (landing as to be the proper immediate 
fubje6ls of all eccleliaflic^ ordinances and privileges: But 
that fome further qualificatione are rcquifite in order to 



this, to be obtained, either in a courfe of nature, or by 
education, -or by divine grace. And fbme who -are bap- 
tized in infancy, even after they come to be adult, may 
yet remain for a feafon fhort of fuch a {landing as has 
4)een fpoken of; being deftitute of fufficient knowledge, 
and perhaps fome other qualifications, -through the ne- 
^lc€k df parents, <^ their own negligence, or otherwife ; 
or becaufe they carelefsly negleft to qualify themfelves 
for £ccleiiailical privileges by making a public profeflion 
of the Chridian faith, or owning the Chriflian covenant, 
or forbear to offer themfelves as candidates for thefe pri- 
vileges ; and yet not be cafl out of the church, or ceafe 
to be in any refpe£l its members : This, I fuppofe, will 
alfo be generally allowed. 

One thing mainly intended in the foregoing x^ueflion 
is, Whether any adult perfons but fuch as are in profef-. 
fipn aod appearance endued with Chriflian grace or 
piety, ought to be admitted to the Chriflian facraments : 
Particularly whether they ought to be admitted to the 
JLord*5 fupper; and, if they are fuch as were not bap- 
tized in infancy, ought to be admitted to baptifm. Adult 
perfons having thofe qualifications that oblige others to 
receive them as the proper immediate fubjedls of the 
ChrifHan facraments, is a main thing intended in the 
queflion, by being fuch as ought to be admitted to the com* 
rnunion and privileges of members of the vifible churchy in 
' complete flanding. There are many adult perfons that by 
the allowance of all are in fome refpedl within the church 
of God, who are not members in good flanding, in this 
refpeft. There are many, for inflance, that have not 
at prefent the qualifications proper to recommend them 
to admifTion to the Lord^sf upper: There are many fcan- 
clalous perfons, who are under fufpenfion. The late ve- 
nerable Mr. Stoddard, and many other great divines fup- 
pofe, that even excommunicated perfons are ftill mem- 
bers of the church of God ; and fome fuppofe, the wor- 
ihippers of Baal in Ifrael, even thofe who were bred up 
fuch from their infancy, remained flill members of the 
^^hurch of God; And very many Proteflant divines fup- 

comHiukion in the visible cfiuRCH. 'g 

pofe, that the members of the church of Rome, though 
they are brought up and live continually in grofs idola- 
try, and innumerable errors and fuptrllitions that tend 
utterly to make void the gofpel of Chrift, flill are in the 
vifible church of Chrift : Yet, I fupppfe, no orthodok 
divines would hold thefc to be properly and regularly 
qualified for the Lord's fupper. It was therefore requl- 
fite, in the queftion before usj that a diftinftion fhould 
be made between members of the vifible church In gene- 
ralj and member? in complete Jlanding. 

It was alfo requifite, that fuch a diilindlion fhould be 
made in the queftion, to avoid lengthening out this dif- 
courfe exceedingly, with needlefs queftions and debates 
concerning the Hate of baptized infants ; that is needlefs 
as to my prefent purpofe. Though I have* no doubts 
about the dodlrine of infant-baptifm; yet God's manner 
of dealing with fuch infants as are regularly dedicated to 
him in baptifm, is a matter liable to great difputes and 
many controverfies, and would require a large differta- 
tioo by itfclf to clear it up ;• whicb^ as it would extend 
this difcourfe beyond all bounds,, fo it appears not ne- 
^cefTary in order to a clear determination of the prefent 
queftion. The revelation of God's word is much plainer 
and more exprefs concerning aduk perfons, that aft 
for themfelves in religious matters, than concerning in- 
fants. The Scriptures were written for the fake of adult 
perfons, or thofe that are capable of knowing what is 
\7ritten : It is to fuch the Apoftles fpeak in their Epif- 
tles, and to fuch only does God fpeak throughout his 
word : And the Scriptures efpecially fpeak for the fake 
of thofe, and about thofe to whom they fpeak. And 
therefore if the word of God affords us light enough 
concerning thofe fpoken of in the queftion, as I have 
ftated it, clearly to determine the matter with rcfpedl to 
them, we need not wait till we fee all doubts and con- 
troverfies about baptized infants cleared and fettled, be- 
fore we pafs a judgment with refpeft to the point in 
hand. The denominations, charatlers, and defcriptions, 
which we find given in Scripture to vifible Chnftians, 



and to the viiible churchy are principally widi an eye to 
the church of Chriil in its adult ftate and proper (land* 
ing. If any one was about to defcribe that kind of birde 
called Doves, it would be moft proper to defcribe grown 
doves, and not young ones in the egg or neft, without 
wings or feathers : So if any one fhould defcribe a palm- 
tree or olive-tree by their vifibie form and appearance, it 
woidd be prefumed that they defcribed thofe of thefc 
kinds of trees in their mature and proper ftate; and not 
as juft peeping from the ground, or as thunder-ftrtick 
or blown down, i^nd therefore I would here give no* 
tice, once for all, that when in the enfuing difcoWe I 
ufe fuch-like phrafes ad vifihle faints^ members of the vifihle 
churchy &c. I, for the moft part, mean perfons that 
are adult and in good Jlanding. ' 

The queftion is not, whether Chrift has made con- 
verting grace or piety itfelfthe condition or rule of hi* 
people's admitting any to the privileges of members in 
full cpmmunion with them : There is no one qualifica- 
tion of mind whatfoever, that Chrift has properly made 
the term of this ; not fo much as a common belief that 
ye/us is the Meffiah^ or a belief of the being of a God. 
It is the credible profejjion and vtfth'tlity of th^fe things, 
that is the church's rule in this cafe. Chriftian piety or 
godlinefs may be a qualification requifite to communion 
in the Chriftian facraments, juft in the f^me manner as a 
belief that Jefus is the Meffiah, and the Scriptures the 
word of God, are requifite qualifications, and in the 
fame manner as fome kind of repentance is a qualifica- 
tion requifite in one that has been fufpended for being 
grofsly fcandalous, in order to his coming again to the 
Lord's fupper ; and yet godlinefs itfelf not be properly 
the rule of the church's proceeding, in like manner as 
fuch a belief and repentance, as I have mentioned^ are 
not their rule. It is a vifibility to the eye of a Chriftian 
judgment, that is the rule of the church's proceeding in 
each of thcfe cafes. 

There are two dtft'tn^tons muft be here obferved. As, 
I. We muft diftinguifii between fuch qualifications as 


are requifite to give a pcrfon a right to ccclefiaftical pri- 
vileges in foro ecclefs^ or a right to be admitted by the 
church to thofe privileges, and thofc qualifications that 
are a proper and good foundation for a man's own con- 
du6l in coming and offering himfelf as a candidate for 
immediate admifiion to thefe privileges : There is a dif- 
ference between thefe. Tlius, for inftance, a profejjlon 
of the belief of a future ftate and of revealed religion^ 
and fome other things that arc internal and out of fight, 
and a vifibility of thefe things to the eye of a Chriilian 
judgment, is all, relating to thefe things, that is requi- 
fite to give a man a right in foro ecckfia^ or before the 
chufch ; but it is the real exiftence of thefe things, that 
is what lays a proper and good foundation for his mak- 
ing this profeffion, and fo demanding thefe privileges* 
None will fuppofe; that he lias good and proper ground 
for fuch a condu(ft, who does not believe another world, 
nor believe the liible to be the word of God. And then, 
2. We muft diftinguifli between that vvliich nextly 
brings an obligation on a man's confcience to feck ad- 
mifiion to a Chrifl:ian ordinance, and that which is a 
good foundation for the diAate of an enlightened well-, 
informed confcience, and fo is properly a foiid founda- 
tion of a right in him to a<fl thus. Certainly this dl- 
ftin^ion does really take place among mankind in innu- 
merable cafes* The di<Sates of mens confcience s are 
what do bring them under a next or mofl immediate ob- 
ligation to aft : But it is that which is a good founda- 
tion for fuch a didlate of an enlightened confcience, that 
alone is a folid foundation of a right in him fo to aft. 
A believing the doftrine of the Trinity with all the hearty 
in fome fenfe (let us fuppofe a moral fenfe) is one thing 
requifite in order to a perfon's having a folid foundation 
of a right in him to go and demand baptifm in the name 
of the Tiinity : But his bell judgment or diftate of bis 
confcience, concerning his believing this doftrine with 
this fincerity, or with all his heart, may be fufficient to 
bring an obligation on his confcience. Again, when a 
delinquent has, been convifted of fcandal, it is repent- 



ance In fome refpeft (incere (fuppofe a moral fincerity) 
that is the proper foundation of a right in him to offer 
himfelf for forgivenefs and reftoration: But it is the dic- 
tate of his confcience or his beft judgment concerning 
his fincerity, that is the thing which immediately oblige* 
him to offer himfelf. It is repentance itfelf, that is the 
proper qualification fundamental of his right, and what 
he cannot have a proper right without ; for though he 
may be deceived, and think he has real repentance when 
he has not, yet he has not properly a right to be deceiv- 
ed ; and perhaps deceit in fuch cafes is always owing to 
fpmething blameablc, or the influence of fome corrupt 
principle : But yet his beft judgment brings him under 
obligation. In the fame manner, and no otHerwife, I 
fuppofe that Chriftian grace itfelf is a qualification re- 
qullite in order to a proper folid ground of a right in a 
pcrfon to come to the Chriftian facraments. But of 
this I may fay fomething n^iore when I come to anfwer 

When I fpeak, in the queftion, of a being godly or 
gracious in the eye of a Chriftian judgment, by Chrtftian 
judgment I intend fomething further than a kind of mere 
riegaiive charity, implying that we forbear to cenfure and 
condemn a man, becaufe we do not know but that he 
may be godly, and therefore forbear to proceed on the 
foot of fuch a cenfure .or judgment in our treatment of 
him ;. As we would kindly entertain a ftranger, not 
knowing but in fo doing we entertain an angel or |>re* 
cious faint of God. But I mean a pofifive judgmenty 
founded on fome pofitive appearance, or vifibility, fome 
outward manifeftations that ordinarily render the thing 
probable. There is a difference between fufpending our 
judgpaent, or forbearing to condemn, or having fome 
hope that poffibly the thing may be fo, and fo hoping 
the beft ; and a pofitive judgment in favour of a perfon. 
For an having fome hope, only implies that a man is 
not in utter defpair of a thing, though his prevailing 
opinion may be otherwife, or he may fufpend his opinion. 
Though we cannot know a man believes that Jefta is 


the MeJJiah^ yctrwc expe6t fome pofitive manifellatioii 
or vifibility of it, to be a ground of our charitable 
judgment : So I fuppofe the cafe is here. 

When I fpeak of Christian judgment^ I mean a 
judgment wherein men do properly exercife reafon^ and 
have their reafon under the due influence of love and 
other Chriflian principles ; which do not blind reafon, 
but regulate its exercifes ; being not contrary to reafon^ 
though they be very contrary to cenforioufnefs or un- 
reafonable niceiiefs and rigidnefs. 

I fay tn theeyeoftheQHVSLcn's Chrtfiian judgment ^ be- 
caufe it is properly a vifibility to the eye of the public 
charity, and not of a private judgment, that gives a 
perfon a right to be received as a vifible faint by the 
public. If any are known to be perfons of an honeft 
chara^er, and appear to be of good underfianding in 
the dod^rines of Chriftianity, and particularly thofe doc- 
trines that teach the grand condition of falvarion, and 
the nature of true faving religion, and publicly and fe- 
rioufly profefs the great and main things wherein the 
effence of true religion or godlinelfs confiils, and their 
converfation is agreeable ; this juflly recommends them 
to the good opinion of the public, whatever fufpicions 
and fears any particular perfon, either the miniiler, or 
fome other, may entertain, from what he in particular 
has obferved, perhaps from the manner of his exprefiling. 
himfelf in giving an account of his experiences, or an 
obfcurity in the order and method of his experiences, £9*f. 
The miniiler, in receiving him to the communion of the 
church, is to a6i as a public officer, and in behalf of 
the public fociety, and not merely for himfelf, and 
therefore is to be governed, in a^ng, by a proper vifi- 
bility of godlinefs in the eye of the pubHc. 

It is not my defign, in holding the negative of the 
foregoing queftion, to afRrm, that aH who are regularly 
admitted as members of the vifible chiMrch in complete 
flanding, ought to ie believed to be godly or gracious 
perfons, when taken colkshefyf or^ confidered 'm the 


groffty by the judgment of any perfon or fociety. Thi9 
may not be, and yet each perfon taken fingly may vifi- 
bly be a gracious perfon to the eye of the judgment of 
Chriftians in general. Thefe two are not the fame thing, 
but vaftly diverfe ; and the latter may be, and yet not 
the former. If we Ihould know fo much of a thoudaind 
perfong one after another, and from what we obferved 
in them (hould have a prevailing opinion concerning each 
one of them, fingly taken, that they were indeed pious, 
and. think the judgment we paffed, when we Conitder 
each judgment apart, to be right 5 it will not follow^ 
when we confider the whole company collectively, that 
we fhall have fo high an opinion of our own judgment, 
as to think it probable, there was not one erroneous 
judgment in the whole thoufand. We all have innume- 
rable judgments about one thing or other, concerning 
religious, moral, fecular, and'philofophical affairs, con* 
cerning pail, preCent, and future matters, reports, fa^ls, 
perfons, things, ^c. ^c. And concerning dl the many 
thoufand di6^ate8 of judgment that we have, we thi«k 
them every one right, taken fingly; for if th€;re was any 
one that we thought wrong, it would not be our judg* 
ment ; and yet there is no man, unlefs he is. ftupidly 
foolifhf who when he confiders all in the grofs, will fay 
he thinks that every opinion he is of, concerning all per- 
fons and things whatfoever, important and trifling, is 
right, without the leaH error. But the more clearly to 
illuflrate this matter, a« it relates to vifibility^ or pro- 
bable appearances of holinefs in profeflbrs.: Suppoiing it 
had been found by experience concerning precious flones, 
that fuch and fuch external marki were probable figns 
of a diamond, and it is made evident, by putting to- 
gether a great number of experiments, that the proba* 
bility is as ten to one, and no more nor lefs ; /. e. that, 
take one time with another, there is one in ten of the 
ftones that have thefe marks (ai^d no vifible figns to the 
contrary) proves not a true diamond, and no more; 
then it wiB follow, that when I fiad a particular fton« 
with thnk marks, and nothing to the contrary , there i% 


a probability of ten to entf coacerning that ftone, that 
it is a diamoad ; and fa concerning each, ftonc that I 
iind with thefe marks : But if we tak'e ten of thefe to- 
gether, it is as probable as not, that fome me of the ten 
is fpurions ; becaufe, i£ it were not as likely as not, that 
ene hi ten la falfe, or if taking cne ten with another^ there 
were not otw m ten that was faUe, then the probability 
of thoie, that haVe Uiefe marks, being true diamonds , 
wotild be more than ten to one, contrary to the fuppoii- 
ti^i } becaufe that is what we mean by a probability of 
ten to onef that they are not falfe, vix* tJ^at take one 
tea with another there w31 be one-fzHt ftoae amoi^ them, 
and no more. Hence i£ we take an htmdred fuch Honf s 
together, the probability wiH be jttft ten to one, that there 
is one falfe among them f and a^ likely as not that there 
are ten falfe ones in the whole hundred i^ And theproba* 
bility of the indtyidoals muft be much greater than ten td 
one^ even a probs^iUty of more than a hundred to <rDe» 
in order to its making it probable that every one is trutf. 
It is an eafy nuchematical demonftratton. Hence the 
negative cf the foregoing queftion by no means impUes 
a pretence of any fcheme» that ihall be efFe6lual to keep 
all hypocrites out of the churchy and for the eftablifh* 
ing in that fenfe a pure church. 

Whe^ it is faid, thofe who are admitted, ^c, ought 
to be by profelfion godly or gracious perfons, it is not 
meant, they ftiould merely profefs or fay that they are 
converted or are gracious perfons, that they kiwnv fo, 
or think fo ; but that they profefs ^the great things 
wherein Chriftian piety confifts, *ui%, sl fupreme refpedl 
to God, faith in Chritt, ^c. Indeed it is ncceffary, as 
men would keep a good confcience, that they fhould 
think that thefe things are in them, which they profefs 
to be in them ; otherwife they are guilty of the horrid 
wickednefs of wilfully making a lying profeffion.. Hence 
it is fuppofed to be neceflary, in order to mens regular- 
ly and with a good confcience coming into communion 
with the church of Chrift in the Chriftian facraments. 


that they themfelves fhould fuppofe the effential thingB, 
belonging to Chriftian piety, to be in them. 

It does not belong to the prefent queftion, to confider 
and determine what the nature of Chriftian piety is, or 
wherein it confifts : This queftion may be properly de- 

' termined, and the determination demonftrated, without 

c entering into any controverfies about the nature of con- 
verfion, Cff^. Nor does an aflferting the negative of the 

. queftion determine any thing how particular the profef- 
fion of godlinefs ought to be, but only that the more 

. effential things, which belong to it, ought to be profeffed. 
Nor is it determined, but that the public profeffions 
made on occaiion of perfons admiiflion to the Lord's fup- 
per, in fome of our churches, who yet go upon that 
principle, that perfons need not efteem themfelves truly 
gracious in order to a coming confcientioufly and pro- 

.perly to the Lord's fupper; I fay, it is not determined 
but that fome of thefe profeflions are fufficient, if thofe 
that made them were taught to ufe the words, and o- 
thers to underftand them, in no other than their proper 
meaning, and principle and cuftom had not eftablifhed 
a meaning very diverfe from it, or perhaps an ufe of 
the words without any diftinft and clear determinate 
meaning. « 




Reasons for the Negative of the foregoing 


IlAviNG thus explained what I mean, when I fa]r» 
That none ought to be admitted to the communion and pri* 
nMeges of members of the vifibk church of Chrtfi in com' 
plete fandingy but fuch as are in profeffion and in the- 
eye of the churches Chriftian judgment godly or gracious 
perfons : I now proceed to obferve ibme things w^hich 
may tend to evince the truth of this poiition. And 

I. I begin with obferving, I think it is both evident 

by the word of God, and ?l£p granted on all hands, that 

none ought to be . admitted as members of the vifiblc 

church of Chrift but vi/ibie faints and profefjing faints^ 

or vifible and profefling ChrilHans. — ^We find the word 

Jatnt^ when applied to men, ^ufed two ways in the Nev^r 

Tedament : The word in fome places is fo ufed as to,. 

mean thofe that are real faints, who are converted, and 

are truly gracious perfons ; as i Cor. vi, 2. " Do ye 

" not know that the faints' (hall judge the world ?'* 

Eph. i. 1^. ** The riches of the glory of his inheritance 

" in the faints." Chap. iii. 1 7, 18. « That Chriil may 

" dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye being rooted 

" and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend 

I* with all faints, what is the breadth," ^c. 2 Theft 

i. 10. " When he fhall come to be glorified in his faints, 

" and admired in all them- that believe." So Rev. v. 8. 

Chap. viii. 4. and xi. i8« and xiiL lo. and xiv. 12^ and 

xix. 8. In other places the word is ufed fo as to have 

refpeft not only to real faints, but to fuch as were 

faints in mfih'ility^ appearance^ 2Si^profeJfwn; and fo were 

outwardly, as to what concerns their acceptance among 

men and their outward treatment and privileges, of the 

company of faints : So the word is ufed in very many 


-places, which it is needlefs t;o meation, as every one ac- 
knowledges it. 

In like manner we fin4, the word Chrtfttan ufed two 
ways : The word is ufed to exprefs tht fame thing as 
** a nghteonsjnan that ftiall be favcd/* i Pet. iv. 1 6, 1 7, 1 8» 
Elfewhere it is fo u(ed as to take in all that were Chri- 
Hians by profefilon and outward appearance ; A£ls xi. 26. 
So there is a twofold ufe of the word difciples in the 
New Teflament. There were difciples in name, profef^ 
£vmy and appearance; and there were thofe whom Chriil: 
calls S/dples indeed, John, viii. 30, 31. The word is 
tckn^ek^y truh* The expreilion plainly fappofes this di" 
iHnftion of true or real difciples, and thofe who were 
the fame in pretence and appearance.* See alfo Luke xiv. 
25, 26, 27. and John, xv, 8. The fame diftin<Elion is 
iignified, in the New Tellanaent, by thofe that Hve^ 
being alive from the dead, and rifen with Chrift^ 
a Cor. iv. !!• Rom. vi* 11. and «lfewhere) and thofc 
who have a name to Aw, having only a pretence and ap- 
pearance of life. . And the diftin^on of the vifible church 
<jf Chriil into thefe two, isplainly fignified of the growth 
of the good ground, and that in the ftony and thorny 
ground, which had the fame appearance and (how with 
the other, till it eame to wither away ; and alfo by the 
two forts of virgins, Matth. xxv. who both had a fhcw, 
profefilon, and viUbility of the fame thing. *By thefc 
things and many others which might be obferved, it ap- 
pears that the diilin^on of real faints and vifible and 
profefiing faints is fci;iptural4 and that the vifible church 
was made up of thefe two, and that none are according 
%o Scripture admitted into the vifible church of Chrilt, 
but thofe who are viiible and profeJHing faints or Chri- 
itians.- And it is the more needlefs to infifl longer upon 
it, becaiife it is not a thing in controverfy ; fo far as 
my fmall reading will inform me, it is owned by all 
Pro^eftants. To be fure, the moft eminent divine in 
New England who has appeared to maintain the Lord's 
fupper tobe prc^erly a converting ordinancre, was very 
full in it. In his Appeal ta the Learned^ in the title-page, 


aoni through the Treatifc, he fuppofcs that all who come 
to the Lord's fupper, muft be v'tfibh JainUy and fome- 
times fpcaks of them z.% prfjfejjxng faints^ P^ige 85, 86: 
And fuppofes that it is requifite in order to their being 
admitted to the communion of the Lord's table, that 
they m^e a perfonal public profelfion of their faith and 
repentance to the juft fotisfaftion of the church, page 
95, 94. In thefe things the whole of the pofition that 
I would prove is in effeA granted. If it be allowed (a» 
it is sdlowed on all fides) that none ought to be admitted 
to the communion of the Chriftian vifible churchy but 
vifibk and profeffing faints or Chriftians, if thefe words 
are ufed in any propriety of fpecch, or in any agreement 
with Scripture rcprefentations, the whole of that which 
I have laid down is either implied or will' certainly fol- 

As real faints are the fame with real-converts, or real- 
ly gracious perfons, fo '^hle faints are tlie fame with 
vifible converts, or thofe that are vifibly converted and 
gracious perfons. Viftbiitty is the fame with mamfejlaiion 
or appearance to our view and apprehenfion. And -^there- 
fore to be vifibly a gracious perfon, is the fame thing as 
to be a truly gracious perfon to our view, apprehenfion, 
or efteem. The diftin£^ion of real and infihle docs not 
only tak^e place with regard to faintfliip or holinefs, but 
with regard to innumerable other things. There is vi- 
fible and real truth, vifible and real honefly, vifible and 
real Kioney, vifible and real gold, vifible atid real dia- 
monds, Gff. ^Cn Vifihle and real are words that flan(f 
related one to another, as the words real 2JcAfeemhigy or 
true and apparent. Some feem to fpeak of ^'tfthility with 
regard to &intfhip or holiness, as though it had no refer- 
ence to the rea&ty^ or as though it were a diftin^t reality 
by itfelf, as though by vifible faints were not m^nt thofe 
who to appearance are real faints or difciples indeed, but 
properly a diftinft fort of faihts, which is an abfurdity. 
There is a diftin6tion between real money and vifible 
money, becaufe all that is cfleemed money and pafTes for 
mpriey is not real money, biit fome is falfe and counter-' 



feit. But yet by vliible money, is not meant that wiiicb- 
is taken and paflcs for a diiferent fort of money from 
true money, but thereby is meant that which is efteemed 
and taken as real money, or which has that appearance 
that recommends it to mens judgment and acceptance as 
true money ; though men may be deceived, and fome of 
it may finally prove not to be fo. 

There arc not properly two forts of faints fpoken of 
in Scripture: Though the word faints may be faid indeed 
to be ufed two ways in Scripture, or ufcd fo as to reach 
two forts of perfons ; yet the word has jiot properly two 
fignifications in the New Teftament, any more than the 
word go/d has two iignifications among us : The word 
gold among us is fo ufed as to extend to feyeral forts of 
iabftances ; it is true, it extends to true gold, and alfo 
to that which only appears to be gold, and is reputed 
gold, and by that appearance or yifibility fome things 
that are not real gold obtain the name of gold ; but this 
i« not properly through a divcrfity in the iignification of 
the v/ord, but by a diverfity of the application of it, 
through the impcrfeftion of our difcerning. It does not 
follow that there arc properly two forts of faints, becaufc 
there are fome who are not real faints, that yet beipg 
Tiiible or feeming faints do by the fhew and appearance 
they make obtain the name of faints* and are reputed 
faints, and whom by the rules of Scripture (which arc 
accommodated to our imperfedi flate) we are diredied to 
receive and treat as faints ; any more than it follows that 
there are two forts of honeft men, becau/e fome who ar« 
not truly honeft men, yet being fo feemingly or vifibly, 
do obtain the name of jlioneft men, and ought to be 
treated by us as fuch. So there are not properly two 
diftinft churches of Chrift, one the real, and another 
the vifible ; though they that are vifibly or feemingly of 
the one only church of Chrift, are ^nany more than they 
who are really of his church ; and fo tlie vifible or feem- 
ing church is of larger extent than the re^L 

Vifibility is a relative thing, and has relation to aa 
fyc that views or beholds. Vifibility is the fame as ap^. 


pearancc or exhibition to the eye j and to' be & vifiblc 
faint is the fame as to appear to be a real faint in the eye 
that beholds ; not the eye of God» but the eye of man. 
Real faints or converts are thofe that are fo in the eye of 
God ; vifible faints or converts' are tbofe who are fo in 
the eye of man ; not his bodily cye^. for thus no yatai is 
a faint any more in the eye of a man than he is in the 
eye of a beaft ; but the eye of his mind, tvlnch is his 
judgment or efteera. There is no more vifibility of ho- 
linefs in the brightell profcffor to t^ie eye of our bodies, 
without the exercife of the reafon and judgment of our 
minds, than may be in a machine. But nothing (hort 
of an apparent probability, or a probable exhibftion, can 
amount to a vifibiHty to the eye of man's reafon or judg- 
ment. The eye \diich God has given to man is the eye of 
reafon ; and the eye of a Chri/Han is reafon fand^ified, re^ 
gulated, and enlightened, by a principle of Chriftian love. 
But it implies a contradi^ion to fay, that That is vi- 
iible to the eye of reafon, which does not appear probable 
to reafon. And if there be a man that is in this fenfe 
a vifible faint, he is in the eye of a ratioikaT jadgmtnt ji 
real faint.' To fay a man is viAbly a faint, "bat not vi<* 
fibly a real faijit, but only vilibly a vifible faint, is a very 
-abfurd way of fpeaking ; it is as much as to fay, he is to 
appearance an appearing faint ; which is in eiTei^t to fay 
nothing, and to ufe words without figoification. The 
thing which muft be vifible and probable, iii order to 
'vijible fa'tntjhipj muii b^ faintibip 'i{fi'lfy or real "grace 
and true holinefs ; not vilibility of i*airttil?ip, not unrc- 
generate morality, not mere moral fmcerit) ,. To pre- 
tend to or in any refpe<5l to exhibit moml Unccrity, makes 
nothing viiible beyond what is pretended to or exhibit- 
ed : For a man to have that vifibly, whicli if he liad it 
really, and have nothing more, would not make fiim a 
real faint, is not to b6 viiibly a faint. 

Mr. Stoddard, in his Apl'tal to the Learned^ fcems to 
exprefs the very fame notion of vilibility, and that vili*- 
bility of faintftiip which is requifite to perfons coming 
to the Lord's fupper, that 1 have here expreffcd. la 



page lo, he makes a dima^tioQ betv^een being *M/i^y cw- 
cumcifed in heart, and being rea/fy fo ; evidently mean-> 
ing by the latter faving convcrfion; and he allows the 
fonner, viz, a viftbility of heart'clrcumcifioa, to be ne- 
cefiary to a coming to the Lord's fupper. So that ac- 
♦-ording to him, it is not a vilibility of moral Jinceritfotiijt 
bttt a vifibility oi circumcifion of heart, or faving "convcr- 
fion, that is a nece£^ry: requifite to a perfonV oomiog 
,to the Lord's table, Axid in what manoer this muft be 
njifihUy he ^gni£es elfewhere, when he allows, that it 
SLuil be f o /S0 a judgment of charity ; a judgment of rational 
charity. This he exprcfaly allow* over and ov^r ; as in 
^ge 2, 3. 28. 33«.73. and 95: And an having rea^ 
fin plpok upon fhem as fuch, page 28. And towards 
jthe clofeof his book, he declares himself ftedfailly of 
Uie mi^d, that it i«requifite thofe be not admitted to the 
Lord's fupper, who diO not make a perfonpl and pubUc 
^ofeffton- (^ their faith and repentance, to the jufi fatiifae" 
tim of th^ cJjufch^ page 95^ 94, But how he recondf- 
^ ^€fe pafl^g^s with tlie rflfl: ^f his Treatife, I would 
;inpdeftly.fay,.,} maft confefs.myfelf at a lofs. And parti- 
cvl?dy> :1 cam^ot fee hdw they cofifift with what this ve- 
nerable, a jid ever-honoiured author fays, page 16, ia thefe 
words ; " Indeed by the rule that God has given ^or ad- 
** naiilioRS, if it be carefully att^nded> more unconverted 
** perfons will be admitted than converted." I would 
humbly inquire, how thofe vifible quabfications can be 
the ground of a rational judgment ^^ that a perfon is circum^ 
£lfed in hearty which ncyerthelefs at the fame time, we arc 
feafible are fo far from being any probable iigns of it, 
that they are mc?rif frequently without it, than with it« 
The appearance of that thing furely cannot imply an ap«» 
pearing probability of another thing, which at the fame 
time we are fenfible is moil frequently, and fo moft 
probably, without that other thing. 

Indeed I can eafily fee, how that may feem vifible, 
and appear probable to God's people by reafon of the 
imperfedl and dark ft ate they are in, and fo may oblige 
their charity, which yet is not real, a»d which would 


tidt appear at all probable to angels^ who iland in a clear- 
er light : And the difFereut degrees of h'ght, that God's 
church ilands in in different agesy may make a difference 
in this refpeft : The church under the New Tellament 
being favoured by God with a vaftly greater hght in di- 
vine thin^, than the church under the Old Teftament, 
that might make fome difference, as to the kind of pro- 
feflion of religion that is requifite, under thefe different 
^difpenfations, in order to a vifibility of holinefs ; alfo a 
proper vifibility may fail in the greater number in fome 
extraordinary cafe, and in exempt circumllances : But 
how thofe ligns can be a ground of a rational judgment 
that a thing is, which, at that very time, and under 
that degree of light we then have, we are fenfible do 
ofttner fail than not, and this ordinarily, I own myfcli 
much at a lofs. Surely nothing but appearing rtcfon 13 
the ground of a rational judgment , And indeed it is im- 
polEble in the nature of things, to form a judgment^ 
which at that very time we think to be net only with- 
out, but againft probability ^ 

If it be faid, that although perfons do not profefs 
that wherein fan&ifying grace conlills, yet feeing they 
profefs to believe the do^rines of the gofpsl, which God 
is wont to make ufe of in order to men!^ fandlification, 
and are called the do8rlne wklch Is according to godllnefs ; 
and fince we fee nothing in their lives to make us deter- 
mine, that they have not had a proper effeft on their 
hearts y we are obliged in charity to hope, that they are 
real faints y or gracious perfons, and to treat them accord- 
ingly, and fo to receive them into the Chritlian church, 
and to its fpecial ordinances. 

I anfwer, this obje£lion does in effe^^ fuppofe and grant 
the very thing mainly in difpute : For it fuppofes, that a 
gracious charaBer is the thing that ought to be looked at 
and aimed at in admitting perfons into the communion of 
the church ; and fo that it is needful to have this charity , 
for perfons, or fuch a favourable notion of them, in order 
to our receiving them as properly qualified members of 
the fociety, and properly qualified fubje6ls of the fpe- 

• B iij 


clal privileges they are admitted to. Wliereas, tKc 
d()6lrine taught is, that fand^Ifying grace is not a necef- 
fary qualification herefore, and that there is no need 
that the perfon himfelf, or any other, fhould have anj 
imagination, that he is a perfon fo qualified ; becauie 
we know, it is no qualification requifite in itfelf ; we 
know the ordinance of the Lord's fupper is as proper 
for them, that are not fo qualified as for thofe tliat are ; 
' it being according to the defign of the inllitution a con-- 
verting ordinance, and fo an ordinance as much intendeds 
for the good of the unconverted^ as of the converted ; evea 
as it is with the preaching of the gofpel. Now if the 
cafe be fo, why is there any talk about a charitable hop* 
ing they are converted, and fo admitting them I What 
need of any charitable hope of fuch a qualification, in. 
order to admitting them to an ordinance that is as pro- 
per for thofe who are without this qualification, ^^as for 
thofe that have it ? We need not have any charitable hope 
of any fuch qualification in order tp admit a perfon to 
hear the word preached. • \Vhat need have we to aim 
at any thing beyond the proper qualifications? And 
whjt manner of need of any charitable opinion or hope 
of any thing further ? Some fort of belief, that Jefus is 
the Me/Jlah^ is a qualification properly requifite to a 
coming to the Lord's fupper ; and therefore it is necef- 
iary that we ihould have a charitable hope, that thofe 
have fuch a belief whom wc admit ; though It be not 
neceiTary that we fhould know it, it being what none 
can know of another. But as to grace or Chriftian 
piety, it clearly follows, on the principles which I op- 
pofe, that if there be any vifibility of it, more or lefs, 
of any fort, yet no kind of vifibility or appearanccy 
whether more direft or indire6^, whether to a greater 
or lefs degree, no charity or hope of it, have any thing 
at all to do in the affair of admiffion to the Lord's fup- 
per ; for, according to them, it is properly a converting 
ordinance. What has any vifibility or hope of a perfon's 
being already \h health to do in admitting jjim into an 
hofpital for the ufe of thofe means that are the -proper' 


.appointed means for the healing of the fick, and bring- 
iHg them to health I And therefore it is needlefs here to 
difpute about the nature of vifibility ; and all arguing 
concerning a profeflion of ChriHian dodlrines^ and an 
orderly life being a fufficient ground of public charity, 
and an obligation on the church to treat them as. faints, 
are wholly impertinent and notliing to tlie purpofe. 
For on the principles which I oppofe, there is no need 
of any fort of ground for treating them as faints 9 in order 
to admitting them to the Lord's fupper, the very defign 
of which is to make them faints^ any more than there i% 
need of fome ground of treating a fick man as being a 
man in health, in order to admittijig him into an hofpitair 
Perfons, by the dodbine that I oppofe, are not taught 
to ofier themfelves as candidates for church communion 
under any fuch notion, or with any fuch pretence, as 
their being gracious perfons ; and therefore furely when 
thofe that teach them, receive them to the ordinance, 
they do not receive them under, any fuch notion, nor 
has any notion, appearance, hope, or thought of it, any 
thing to do in the cafe. 

The Apoille fpeaks of the members of the Chri- 
fliaiv church, as thofe that made a profeffion of ggdiinefs^ 
2 Cor. ix. 13. " They glorified God for your profejf" ' 
" ed fubjedhon to the gofpel of Chrift." i Tiip. iL 
9, 10. " In like noanner alfo that women adon\ thenv- 
*' felves in modeft; apparel— not with coftly array ; 
** but, which becometh women profejftng godhnefs, 
" with good works," The Apoftle is fpeaking of 
the women that were members of that great church 
of Ephefus, which Timothy for the prefent had the 
care of;- and he fpeaks of them as fuj^ofing that they 
all profeffed godlinefs. By the allowance of all, pro* 
feffion is one thing belonging to the vifibility of Chri* 
fUanity or holinefs, that there is in the members of the 
vifible church. Vifible holinefs is an appearance or ex- 
liibition of holijiefs, by thofe things which are external, 
and fo fall under our notice and obfervation. And thefe 
are two, viz. profejjion^ and an outward behaviour ^ agree- 


able to that profeflion* That profeffion which be- 
longs to vifible faintfliip, mnft be a profeffion of godrt* 
nefsy or real faintfhip ; for a profeffion makes nothing 
vifible, beyond what is profeffed. What is it, to be a 
famt by profeffion, but to be by profeffion a true faint ? 
For to be by profeffion a falfe faint, is to be by profef- 
fion no faint ; and only to profefs that, which if nevei* 
fo true, 18 tiothing peculiar to a faint, is not to be a 
prbfeffing faint. 

In order to a man's being properly a prof effing Chrt- 
, Jlian, he muft profefs the religion of y ejus Chrt/i /And 
he furely does not profefs the religion that was taught 
by Jefus *Chrift, if he leaves out of his profeffion the 
moft effential things that belong to that religion. That 
which is mod eflential in that religion itfelf, the profef- 
fion of that is eflential in a profeffion of that religion ; 
for (as I have obferved elfewher^) that which is mofl 
effential in a thing, in order to its being -truly denomiJ^ 
nated that thing, the fame is eflentially neceflafy to be 
^xjh^ffed or fignified in any exhibition or declaration of 
that thing, in order to its being truly denominated a 
declaration or exhibition of that thing. If we take a 
more inconfiderable part of Chrift's religion, and leave 
Out the main and tnoft effential, furely what we have 
cannot be properly called tlie religion of Jef^s Clirift : 
So if we profefs only a lefs important part, and are (ilent 
about the moft important and effential part, it cannot 
be properly faid that we profefs the religion of Jefus 
Chrift. And therefore we cannot in any propriety be 
faid to profefs the Chriftian or Chrift's religion, unlefs 
^e profefs thofe things wherein confifts piety of heart, 
which is vaftly the moft important and effential part of 
that religion that Chrift came to teach and eftabKlh in 
the world, and is in effeft all ; being that without which 
all the reft that belongs to it, is nothing, and wholly in 
vaiii. But they who are admitted to the Lord's fupper, 
proceeding on the principles of thofe who hold it to be 
a converting ordinance, do in no refpeft profefs Chriftian 
piety, neither in whole nor in part| neither explicitly 

C0M-9IVII10N U< THE ▼nniE CHURClT. "Xl 

Bor imlpiicitly, diredly nor iadire£tiy ; and tlKrefcme aie 
not profeiiiDg C^ifUaniB» or faints hj profcffixyo. I 
mean, though they ro«y he godly perfotnsy yet m they 
come to the ordinance without frofeffing g^tinrfs, they 
cannot prc^erly he taSkAfr^effmgfamts, 

Here it may be fsud, thak akhough no u^dt and 
formal profeflion of thofe things which beibiig to trae 
piety, he re(|iiired of them ; yet there are many tfain^ 
they do,, that «fe a virtuai and imfikk profeffion of thefe 
things : Such as their -ewnkig the OiriitiaB ooVenaat^ . 
their owning God the Father, Son, and HolyGhoft,.tD 
be their Gi^ ; and by their Tifibly joining. tn the public . 
prayers and finging God's praifes, there is a fiiew and 
implicit profe£oB dF &ipcemerefpe£l to God and love to 
him ; by joining in the pnblic oonfefiioas, they malce % 
ihew of repentance \ by kee^xng SaU>ath8 and hearing 
the word, they oaake a ihew of a i^irit of dbedieoce ; by 
offering to come to (acraments, they make a ihew of 
love to Chriii and a dependance on his facrifice. 

To this I anfwer ; & is a ^eat mifiiake, if any one 
imagines, that adl thefe external perfonnances are of the 
nature of a pyftffian of any thing at aU that belongs ta 
favmggrace^ as they are commoniy tifed -and undetitood; 
And to be fure none of them are fo, according to the 
d(y(^riaes that are taught and embraced^ and the cuftoms 
that are ellabliihed m fuch churches as proceed on the 
loot of the principles forementioned. For what is pro^ 
feffing^ but exhibiting, uttering, or declaring, either by 
intelligible words, or by other e&ibJi(hed iigns that are 
equivalent \ But in fuch churches, neither their public* 
Vf fayingn that they tfV(»irj& God the Father , Senj andffoiy 
Ghofiy to be their Gody and that they gi^ue themfilves up to 
Mnh 9tndpro?mfe to obey aU his eammandty nor their coix^ 
ing to the Lord's fupper, or to any other ordinances, 
are taken for expreifions or figns of any thing belonging 
to the effenge of Chriflian piety. But on the contra* 
ry, the public do^brine, principle, and cuilom in fuch 
churches eftabliihes a diverje ufe of thefe words and iigns. 
Feopk are taught, that they may ufe them all, and not 

22 QpALinCATtOttS rOR TVtV 

£0 much as make any pretence to the lead degree of 
fonS^fing grace; and tlm i% the eftabliihed cuftom : {>o 
they arc ufcd, and fo they arc underwood. And there- 
fore whatever feme of thde words and iigns may irnheni' 
feimes moft pr<»perlyand natnraQy import or iignify, they 
entirely ceafe to be fignifii;ations of any fuch thing a- 
mong people accuftomed to noderftand and tife them 
otherwife ; and fo ceafe to be of the nature of a profef- 
fion of Chriftian piety. There can be no fuch thing a- 
Hkong fuch a pe<^ley as either an explicit or implicit 
frofejjion of godBnefi by any thing which (by their efta- 
blifhed do^hine and cuflom) an imregtneriOe man may 
and ought to fay and perform, knowing himfelf to be fo. 
-For let the words and a6iions otherwife fignify what 
they will, yet that people have in efic£i agreed among 
themfelvesy that perfons who ufe them^ need not intend 
tliem fo, and that others need not underftand them fo. 
And hence they ceafe to be of the nature of any preten- 
fion to grace* And furely it is an abfurdity to fay, that 
men openly and folemnly profefs grace, and yet do not fo 
much as pretend to it. If a certain people fhould agree, 
«^id it ihould be an efiabliflted principle among them, that 
men- mi^ht and ought to ufe fuch and fuch words to 
their neighbours, which according to their proper fig- 
nitication. were a profeiiion of. entire lore and devoted 
friendfhip towards the man they fpeak to, and yet not 
think that he has any k>v« in his heart to him, yea, and 
know at the fame time that he had a reignmg enmity 
Againfl him ; and it was known that this was the efta* 
bliilied principle of the people ; 1«rould not thefe words, 
whatever their proper fignification was, entirely ceafe to 
be any profeffion or tellimony of friendfhip to his neigh- 
bour \ To be fure, there could be no vifibiHty of it to 
the eye of reafon. 

Thus it is evident, that thofe who are admitted into 

the church on the principles that I oppofe, are not pra* 

f effing faints f nor vlfible faints ; becaufe that thing which 

alone is truly faintfhip, is not what they profefs, or 

Ciake any pretence to, or have any vifibility of, to tbt 

• J 


«ye of a Chnitian judgment. Or if they in faA he vi- 
fible and profeifing faints, yet, they are not admitted ar 
Jucb ; no profei&on of truefaintftiip, nor any manner of 
vifibility of it, has any thing to do in the dfair. 

There is one way to evade thefe things, which has 
been taken by fome. They plead, Although it be^ 
true, that the Scripture reprefents the members of the 
vifible church of Clirift as profefibrs of godhnefs; and 
they are abundantly called by the name oi faints ia 
Scripture, undoubtedly becaufe they were faints ly pro* 
feffioa^ and in vifihilityy and the acceptance of others; yet 
. this is not with any reference to fannng holinefs, but to 
quite another fort oi fasntflnp^ viz« morai Jituerity ; and 
that this is the real faintihip, difcipkihip, and godlinefs, 
which is profefled, and viiible in them, and with regard 
to which, as having an appearance of it to the eye of 
reafon, they have the name o£ faints, (Bfcipies, &c. ia 

It mufl be noted, that in this obje^ion the vifibility 
13 fuppofed to be of real faintihip, difciplefliip, and god^ 
linefs, but only another fort of real godUnefs^ than that 
which belongs to thofe who fhall finally be owntd 'hf 
Chriil as his people, at the day of judgment. 

To which I anfwer. This is a mere etuifion; the only 
one, that ever I faw or heard of; and I think the only 
one -pofiiblc- For it is certain, they are not profeifors 
of fan^fying grace, or true faintfhip : The principle 
proceeded on, being, that they need make no pretence 
to that ; nor has any vifibility of faving holinefs any 
thing to do in the affair. If then they have any holinefs 
at aU, it muft be of another fort. And if tliis evafion 
fails, all fells, and the whole matter in debate muft be 
given up. Therefore I defire that this matter may be 
impartially confidered and examined to the very bottom ; 
and that it may be thoroughly inquired, whether this 
diftin£li6n of thefe two forts of real Chripianityf godlinefs^ 
and hoRneffy is a diftindUon, that Chnil in his word is 
the author of; or whether it be an human invention of 
fometbing which the New Teflament knows nothing o^ 

devifed to fervc and maintain an hypothefis. And here 
I dcfire that the following things may be obferved : 

I . Accord]]^ to this hypothefis, the words /airtfSf dif- 
€tples^ and Chri^ant^ are ufed^wr twiys in the NcwTef- 
tament^ as applied to lour forts of perfons. ( i • ) To 
thofe that in tnab and na^y are the hears cf e{emd lifry 
anft that (hall judge the' world, or have indeed that 
fatntfhip which is favii^. (2.) Tothofe who /ro/^ 
thisy and pretend to and make a iaxt (hew of a fupreme 
regard to Chrift^ and to renounce the world for hie fake, 
but have not real ground for thefe pretences and appear- 
ances. (5.) To thofe who, although they have not 
faving grace, yet have that other fort oi real goMnefi or 
Jmnijhip^ viz. ntand Jtnceriiy in religion ; and io are pro- 
perly a fort of reid faints^ true Chrifiiam^ Jineerely ^^fy 
ptrfonSf and difcsples indeedy though they have no faving 
grace. And (4.) to thofe who make z,profefion and 
have a nnftUluy of this latter fort of iincere Chriftianit7, 
and are nominally iiich kind, of founts, but are not fo in- 
deed.-— So that here are two forts of r^^i/ Chriilians, and 
two forts of «Ex^£&^''Chrifti3DS ; two forts of tn'otpble and- 
rfdi dmroiies of Ckrift, and>two forts of 'otfible churches. 
Now will any one that is well acquainted with the New 
Teftament fay, there is in that the leait appearance or 
ihadow of fuch a four-fold ufe of the words, faints^ dtf" 
ciplesy &c. ? It k ntanifeft by what was obferved before, 
t^t .thefe words ore these nfed but two ways; and th<kt 
thofe of mankind to whom thefe names are ^plied, are 
there difliagutfhed into but tvwf forts, *d%, Thofe who 
have, red/^ a faving interefl in Chriil, fptritual cooformi* . 
ty and union to him, and thofe who have a name for it^ 
as having a profefiion and appearance of it. And this 
19 further evident by various reprefentations, which we 
there i^^find of the viiible chuirch ; as in the company of 
Hfirgim that went forth to meet the bridegroom, we find 
a diftind^ion of them into but two forts, vi%. The wife 
that had both latnps and oil; and thofe who had lamps 
indeed like the wife virgins (therein having an external 
ihew of the' fame thing>, ivis. oil), but really had no oiii 


fignifymg that they had the fame profcffion and outward 
(hew of the fame fort of reh'gion, and entertained the 
fame hopes with the wife virgins. So when the vifible 
church is reprefented by the hufbandman's floor, we 
■find a diilin6lion but of two forts, ^oitz. the ^ivheai and 
the chaff. So again, when the church is compared to 
the hufbandman's field, we find a diflinftion but of two 
forts, the fwheat and the tares j wljich (naturalifts ob- 
ferve) (hoiV or appear exaAly like the wheat, till it 
t:ome8 to bring forth its fruit ; rcptefenting, that thofc 
who are only vifible Chriftians, have a vifibility or ap- 
pearance of the nature of that *wheaty which fhaU be ga- 
thered into Chrift's bam ; and that nature fs faving 

2. It is evident, that thofe who had the name of dif- 
djfles in the times of the New Teftament, bore that name 
with reference to a vifibility and pretence of the fame re* 
Jation to Chrift, which they had who ftiould be Jinally 
oivned as his. This is manifeft by John viii. ^o, 31. 
** As he fpake thefe words, -many believed on him* 
** Then laid Jefus to thofe Jews which believed on 
** him. If ye continue in my word, then are ye my 
" difc'tples tndtedJ* (Compare Luke xiv, 25, 26, 27. 
and John xv. 8.) The phrafe, diftiples indeed ^ is rela- 
tive ; and has reference to a vifibilhy, pretence^ or name^ 
only, wiiich it is fetin oppofition to, and had a refer- 
ence to that name and vifibiHty that thofe, who then 
bore the name of difdples^ had; which makes it evident, 
that thofe who then bore the name of difciplesy had a 
VifibiKty and pretence of the fame difclpltjhip Chrilh 
fpeaks of, which he calls true difc'tplefbipy or difciplejhip 
indeed: For true difcipleihip is not properly fet in oppo- 
fition to any thing elfe init a pretence to the fame things 
that is not true. The phrafe, gold indeed, is in reference 
and oppofition to fomething that has the appearance of 
that fame metaly and not to an appearance of brafs. If 
there were another fort of real difcipleftiip in thofe days, 
befides faving difciplefhip, perfons might be Chrift's dlf" 
ciples indeed^ or truly (as the word In the original is) 



ivitbout continuing in his word^ and without feHing aU 
that they had, and without hatiog father and mother 
and their own Kves, for his fake. By this it appears, 
that thofe wlio bore the name of difciples in thofe times 
were diflinguiftied into but two forts, difciples ia name or 
yifibility^ and difclpUs indeed; and that the vilibility and 
profeflion of the former w?is of the difciple£hip of the 

3. The fame thing is eYident by i John ii. 19* **They 
** went out from us, becaufe they were not of us : If 
*' they kid bei^n ^f us, they would no doubt have 
<* continued with us." The words naturally fuggeft 
,and imply, that thofe profefling Chriftians, who at laft 
proved falfe^ did, before they 'wetit out, feem to belong 
to the fociety of the true faints, or thofe endued with 
pejfevering grace and holinefs; they feemed to be of 
their number, /. e. They were fo in pre;teace and vili- 
bility, and fo were accepted in the judgment of charity^ 

4. The name and vifibility, that nominal or vifible 
Chriftians had in tht days of ^he New Teftament, was 
oifaving Chrifliaf^ly, and njot oi moral Jtncerity $ for they 
had a name to Jive, though many of them were dead. 
Rev. iii. i. Now it is very plain ivhat that is in reli-. 

^ion which is called by the name of life, all over the 
New Teftament, *vix. faving grace ; and I do not know 
that any thing elfe, x)f a jeligious nature, is ever fo 

5. The vifibijity, that vifible Chriflians had of faint- 
fhip in the Apofllcs days, was not ol moral fincerity, but 
gracious fmcerity, or faving faintfhip: For they ane 
fpoken of as being vifibly of the number of thofe faints 
3vho fhall judge the world, and judge angels* i Cor. vi^ 
I, 2, 3. " Dare any of you, having a matter againft an- 

^♦* other, go to law before the junjuft, and not before 
■*« Xh^ faints? Do ye not know, that the faints Jhall 
'* j^^g^ i^s 'world? And if the world Ihall be judged 
** BY YOU, are ye unworthy to judge the fmalleft 
** matters ? Know ye not that JVE jhall judge angels? 
Thefc things do roanifeftly imply', that i^ the Chriftia^ 


Corinthians were ,what tliiey fuppofed they were, and 
what they profefled to be, and what they were accepted 
to be, they were fome of thofe faints who at the day of 
judgement fhould judge angels and men. 

6. That the viiibility was not only of moral fi'ncepity, 
but faving grace, is manifeft, becaufe the Apoftle fpeaks 
of vifible Chriftians as viiible " members of Chrift'g 
** body, of his flcfli, and •f his bones, ami one fpirit 
** with him, and temples of the Holy Ghoft,'* Eph, 
Y. 30. and I Cor. vi. 16. 19. And the Apoftle Peter 
fpeaks of vifible Chrlflians as thofe who were vifibly fuch 
tighuous perfons as fhould hcfavedf and that arc diftin- 
guifhed from the tmgodly^ and fhem that obey not the go- 
j^/, ^vhoJbaUperifh, 1 Pet. iv. 16, 17, 18* " Yet if any 

** man fufFer as a Cbriftfany let him not be afjiamed, but 
** let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is 
** come that judgment rauft begin at the houfe of God ; 
** and if it firft begin at US," {us Chriftians, compre- 
hending himfelf, and thofe to whom He wrote, and all of 
that fort) ♦* what (hall the end of them be that obey 
" not the gofpel of God ? And if the righteous fcarcely 
*' htfaved^ where fhall the ungodly sxi^Jtnners appear?** 

7. That the viiibility was not merely of moral lince- 
rity, but of that fort of faintftiip which the faints in 
heaven have, is manifeft by this, that they are often 
fpoken of as vifibly belonging to heauen^ aiid as of the 
fociety of the faints in heaven. . So the Apoftle in his 

Epiftle to the Ephefians fpeaks of them as vifibly of thfi 
fame hovfehold or family of God^ 2l part' of which is m 
heaiten. Chap. ii. 19. ** Now therefore ye are no more 
** ftrangcrs and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with th€ 
** faints, and of the houfebold of God." Together with 
the next chapter, ven 15. ** Of whom the wholt fanuly 
** in heaven and earth is named.** Where the context 
and continuation of difcourfe demonftrates, that he is 
ftill fpeaking of the (amc family or honfehold he had fpo- 
ken of in the latter part of the preceding chapter. So 
ail vifible Chriftians are fpoken of as vifibly the children 
of the church which is in httewn. Gal. iv. £6« ^* Teru-' 

C ij 


** £alem which is above, is free, v^hich is the mother oi 
♦** us all." The fame Apollle fpeaks of vifible Chriftiana 
as being vlilbly come to the heavenly city, and having 
joined the glorious company of angels there, and as vifibly 
belonging to the ** general affembly and church of the 
** firft-born, tliat are written in heaven,, and to th.e fpi- 
** rits of juit men made pcrfe6l,'' Heb. :iiiL 22, 23. And 
eh'ewhere they are fpoken of as being vifibly of the nurn?-/ 
ber of thofe who have their " names written in the 
*^ book of life," Rev. iii. 5. and xxii* 19, They wha 
truly have their names written in the book o£ life^ 
are God's true faints, that have faving grace: As is evi- 
dent by Rev. xiii. 8. " And all that dwell on the eartlv 
" {hall worihip him, whofe names are not written in thd 
*.* hook of life of the Lamb flain from the foundation oT 
*' the world." And chap., xx. 12. " And another 
** book was opened, which w^s the book of Vd^,*^ Ver* 
15. " And whofoever was not found written in the 
♦* book of life, was caft into the lake of fire." We 
a^e told, in the conclufion of this chapter, how they 
were difpofed of . whofe names were not written in the 
book of life ; and then the prophet proceeds, in the next 
chapter, to tell u^, how they were difpofed whofe names 
were found there written, viz. that they were admitted 
into the New Jerufalem. Ver. 27. ** And there fliall 
** in no wife epter into it any thing that defikth, nei^ 
*f ther whatfoever worketh abomination, or maketh a, 
•f lie ; but they which are written in the Lamb's^ book 
"" of life." And yet in the next chapter it is implied,^ 
•tliat fome who were not truly gracious, perfonsy and. 
fome- that fhould finally perifti, were vifibly of the num- 
ber of thofe that had both ^part in the New Jerufalem, 
and alfo their names written in the hook of life* Ver. 1 9,. 
«* And if any man fhall take away from the words of 
<< the book of this prophecy, God ihall take away hia 
*' part out of the hook of life j and out c£ the holy eiiy^' 

B. That haptifm^ by which the primitive converts 
were admittfd into the church, was lifed as an exhibi- 
tioa a&d token of their being vifibly <* |egeneJ:at€da 

^ 'dead to fin, alnre to God> having the old man cru- 
•• ciiiedy being delivered from the reigning power of 
•* fin, being nvade free from fin, and become the fer- 
*• vantB of righteoufnefs, thofe fervatits of God that 
** have their fruit unto that holinefs whofe end is ever- 
** lailing life \** as is evident by Rom. vi. throughout. 
In the former part of the chapter, he fpeaks of the 
Chriflian Romans, as ** dead to fin, being buried with 
•• Chrift in baptifm, having their old man crucified 
** with Chrift," Ufc. He does not mean only, that 
^eir baptifm laid them under fpecial ohligations to thefe 
things, and was a mark and tc^en of their engagement 
to be thus hereafter; but was defigned as a mark, token, 
and exhibition, of their being 'o'tfilly thus already* As 
i* inoft manifeft by the Apoftk's profccution of his argu- 
ment in the following part of the chapter. Ver. 14. 
•• For fin (hall not have dominion over you, for yie are 
•* not under the law, but under grace.'^ • Ver. 17, 18. 
*■ God be thanked, ye were the Icrvants of ^tiy but ye 
** have obeyed from the heart that form of doftrine 
** which was delivered you. Being then made free 
** from fin, ye became the fervants of righteoufnefs.'* 
Ven 22. ** But now being made free from fin, and be-» 
•* came fervants to God, ye have your fruit ttnto holi- 
" nefs, and the end everlaftteg lile.** 

9. It is evident, that it is not only a vifibility of moral 
Aneerity in religion, which fs the Scripture-qualificatioii 
of admiflion into the Chriftian charch, but a vifibility 
of regeneration and renovation of heart, beeaufe ft was 
foretold that God's people and the minifters of his houfe 
in the days of the MefTiah, fiiould not admit into the 
Chrift ian ckorch aiiy that were not vifibly ctrcumcifed in 
heart. Ezek. x\vi. 6 — 9. " And thou (halt fay to the 
*' rebellious, even to the houfe of Ifrael, Thus faith the 
" Lord God, O ye houfe of Ifrael, let it iufBce you of 
*• all your abominations, in that ye have brought into 
** my fanftuary ft rangers uncircumctfed in hearty and un- 
** circttnK:ifed in flefh, to be ih my faniftuary to poDute 
** it, even my hmfcy when ye offer my bread, the fat, 



** • and the Uood ; and they have broken my corenant^ 

becaufe of all your abominations : And ye have not 

kept the charge of mine holy thingSi but ye have fet 

keepers of my charge in roy fand^uary for yourfelves* 

Thus faith the Lord, no ftranger uncircumdfed in heartf 

*^ nor uncircumcifed inJMhj jihali enter into my fandtuary, 

<^ of any ftranger that is among the children of Ifrael." 

The venerable au^or of the Appeal ta tht Learned^ fays, 

page lo, *^ That this Scripture has no particular refer* 

•* coce to the Lord's fupper/* I anfwer, though I do not 

ftippoCe it has merely a reference to that ordinance, yet I 

think it manifeft» that it has a reference to admitting per- 

Tons into the Chri/iian churchy and to external church-prt' 

^^ileges. It might be eafy to |ux>ve9 that th^e nine laft 

chapters of Ezekid muft be a vifion and prophecy of the 

ilate of things in the church of God in the MeiSah'a 

days : But I fuppofe it will not be demed, it being » 

thing wherein divines are fo generally agreed. And I 

fuppo^^A none will difpute but that by the hatt/e ef God 

and bis funSuaryy which it i& here foretold i^^ uncircum*' 

clfed in heart ihould not be admitted into in the days of 

the gofpely i» meant the fame houfe^ fanSuary^ or temple 

oi Oody that the prophet had juft before beei> fpeaking 

ofy in th« foregoing past of the fame chapter, and been' 

defcribiQg throughout the four preceding chapters- 

But we all know, that the New Tellamcnt houfe af God 

is his ch&rch. Heb. iii. 3* ** For this man was counted 

** worthy of more glory than Mofes, in as much as he 

*< who builded the houfe^ hath more honour than the 

^5 houfe^* Ver. 6. ** But Chriil as a Son over his own 

f* houfe t whofe houje are we,** i^c, 2 Tiro. «L /20* 

«< In a great houfe there are not only vefTels of gold and 

^* filver, but alfo of wood ajid of earth," ^c. 1 Tim^ 

iii. 15. " That thou mayeft know how thou otighteft 

•♦ to behave thyfelf in the houfe ef Gody which is the 

•* church <^ihi& living God." 'E^. ii. 20, 21. <* And 

^< are built upon the foundation of the prophets and 

'* apoftles, JefiisXl^hrift himfelf being the' chief corner* 

f ' fione \ in whom all the building £tly franked together^ 

coMMviiioif Iff r«% Tisimts chvrch. 31 

•* growcth into an holy tetr^e in the Lord." i Cor. 
iiL 9. " Ye are God's building.*' Ver. i6. ** Know 
*« yc not, that ye arc the temple of God ?'* i Pet. 
ii. 5* *^ Ye alfo as lively ftcmes are built 1^ a fpiritual 
•* houje.** Chap. iv. 1 7. ** For the time is x^me, that 
'* judgment muil begin at the boufe of God : And 
<* if it begin at «/, what ifaall the end be ?" ^c. Hcb. 
X. 21. *' And having an high priefl; over the boufi 
*< of God." Ezekiel's temple is doubtlefs the fame 
that it is foretold the Meffiah fhould build. Zech. vi. 
jiy 13. '* The Man wbofe name is the Branch — ^he 
{hall build the temple of the LiCHrd, even he fliall builfl 
the temple of the Lord." And what the temple that 
Chrid builds is^ the Apoftle telh us, Heb. iii. 3. 6» 
The temple that Ezekiel in his viiion was bid to ob» 
ferve the meafures of, as it was meafured with a reed^ 
(Ezek.^zl. 3, 4.) we have reafon to think, was the 
fame the Apoflle John in his viOon was bid to meajurt 
ntnib a reed^ Rev. xi. i . And when it is here foretold, 
that the uncsrcumci/ed in heart ihoidd not enter into the 
Chriilian JanStuary or church, nor have commniuon in 
the oiferings of God^s bread', of the fat and hhody that 
were made there, I think fo much is at leaii implied^ 
that they fhould not have communion in thofe ordinan- 
ces of the Chriilian fan6^uary, in whids that body and 
blood of Cbri/l were fymbolicaUy reprefented, which ufed 
of old to be fymboli6aUy reprefented by the fat aad the 
blood. For the admiilion into the Chnftian church 
here fpokcn of, is an admiilion into tbev^Zi^, and not 
the twiftical church ^ for fuch an admiilion is fpokeit of 
as is nuide by the ofiicers of the church. And I fup- 
pofe \t will not be doubted, but that by ctrcumcifioa of 
heart is meant the fpiritual renewing <^ the heart ; not 
any common virtues, wliich do not in the lead change 
the nature, and mortify the corruption of the heart ; as 
is held by aU orthodox divines, and as Mr. Stoddard in 
partictxlai abundantly inlifted. However, if any body 
dif^utes k, I def^re that the Scripture may be aUowed 
to fpeak foritfelf; for it very of ten fpeaks of arcwnd* 

J 2 (^ALnaxrATiOKs ton rvj.t* 

Jmt of ijfafif'jmd this every where, both in the Old Teftii'- 
mcnt and New, manifeftly iigniiies that great change q£ 
heart that was typified by the ttremoxky.oi^ireuifUifion of 
the jiejb : The lame which afterwards was* ^gnitied by 
taptifmy vix. regenetaUon^ or eHe the progrefs of that work 
in fan^ificatiois ; as we read of the mmflnng of regenera^- 
Um, &c. The Apoftle tells us what was fignified both by 
circumcifioii and baptifm, CoL iuitfiz. ^* In whom alfo 
•♦ ye are circumcifed with the cirsumdjion made without 
** handsy in putting olF the fms of the flefh by the circum* 
** r/^owofChrift, buried with him in ^tf^/j/5w; wherein alfo 
•* you are rifen with him, through the faith of the ope- 
*% ration of God." Where I would obferve by the way, 
he fpeaks of all the members of the church of Coloffe as 
yn£Mf circurmfed 'tvkh thu cirttpnvffion; agreeable iso E'ze- 
kiePB prophecy, thaVhe members of the Chriftian church 
fhall vifibly have this circnmcifwn. The Apoftk fpeaks> 
m like manner, of the members of the church of Phi- 
lippi as fpiritually Wrr Mmf y€</ [ue. in pfofeffion and vifi- 
bility), dnd telk wherein this cireumcifion aj^eared* 
JPhiiip. iii; 3. " For wc Jrfe tk» dfiVTnciJion, which wor- 
•* ikip God in the fpirit, and rejoice iii Chrift Jcfus, 
f* and ha^e no confidence in the flefii/' And in Rom. 
Mi. 28, 29. the Apoftle fpeaks of this Chriftiart eircum* 
cifion and Jewifh ctrcumeifion together, calling the for- 
iaer the circumctfion of the heart. " But he is not a Jew 
•* which is one outwardly, neither is that circUnjcifion 
«* whith is outward in the FLESM ; but he is a Jew^ 
•• which is one' inwardly, and ciretimcijion 'i&that of 
" TRE HEART, itt the fpirit, riot iii the letter ; whofe 
•* praife is not of men, but of Grdd;*- And whereas 
•in this prophecy of Ezekiel it is foretold, that none 
ihould enter into the Chriftian fan^uary or €h*ireh,but 
fuch aft are circumcifed in heart and circumcifed in fiejh ; 
thereby I fuppofe \% intended, that none nioi:^d be ad- 
mitted but fuch a6 were vilibly f-egenerattd, afld atlfo haf^ 
tifid with outward baptifm. 

' By the thiftgs which have been obfcrved,--! think it 
tbandantljr evident^ that ih€fahf^i/>y gedlinefif and ioli* 


ngfi^ of which, according to Scnptur^, profeffiog Chri« 
fUans and viiible {aints do make a profeffion and have a 
vifibility^ is not any religion and virtue that is the refiilt 
of common gracCy or moral fincerity (as it is called )« 
but faving grace* — Yet there are many other clear evi- 
dences of t;he fame thing, which may in fome mea-* 
fure appear m. all the following part of this difcourfe.-r--* 

II. I come now to another reafon, why I anfwer tlie 
qucftion at firft propofed, in the negative^ v/z. That 
It is a duty which ia an ordinary ftate of things is re- 
quired of all that are capable of it, to make an €xpUc{t 
^'P^ P'^f^f*^ of the true reltgldn^ by owning God^s covC'^ 
naat ; or, in other words, profcjfedly and verbally to uvittk 
themfilvet to God in bis covenant^ by their own public a&m. 

Here I would (firfi) prove this point; and thea 
(Jecondly) draw the confequence, and &ew how thi& 4c<^ 
monilrates the thing in debate. 

Flr^y I ihall endeavour to eUabliih this point, Wz*, 
That iti* the duty of God'a people thus publidy to owm 
the covenant; and that it waa not only a duty in Ifrael o£ 
old, but is fo in the Chriflian church, and to the end 
of the world;' and that it is a duty required of aduk per^ 
(bus before they come to facramcnts. And thk bein^ 
a point of great confequence in this, controverfy, but a 
matter feldom handled (thoaigh it feems to be generally 
'taken for granted), I fhaJl be the more particular in the- 
cpnfidcratioiv of it. * 

. This not only feems to be in itfelf moft confonant to. 
reafon, and is a duty generally allowed in New Englanda. 
but is evidently a great inftitution of the word of Grods; 
appointed as a very important part of that public reli-^ 
gion by which God's people fhould give honour to hi»% 
name.. This inftitution we have in Deut. yL i j. " Thoit; 
^< (halt fear the Lord thy God| and fervehim* and 
" flialt SWEAR Bv H\B NAME.'* It is repeated, chap.. 
X. 20. « Tliou (halt fear the Lord thy God, him flialt 
*' thou ferve, and to him fhalt thou cleave, and s we Ait 

<^ BY HIS HAM£." ia botU plajCQ& it might \ak^ beeiik 


rendered ; thou Jhalt fiuear in his name, or into bis ruime. 
In the original, ht/hmOf with the prefix beth which ikg- 
nifies in or infOf as well as by. And whereas, in the lat- 
ter place, in our tranflation, * it is faid> to himjhalt thou 
tleavf^ and /wear by his name. The words are thus in 
the Hebrew, ubbo thidhbak ubhi/hmo fijjfbabheang. The 
literal tranflation of which is, into him Jhalt thou clewoe 
\or unite"] J and into his name Jhalt thou fwear^ There is 
the fame prefix, beth^ before hvmy when it is faid, "Thou 
Jhalt cleave to him^ as before his name^ when it is faid. 
Thou Jhalt /wear by his name. Swearing into God*s name^ 
is a very emphatical and fignificant way of exprt^ffing a 
perfon's ta:kiag on himfelf, by his^owTi fokmn profeflion, 
the name of God, as one of his people ; or by fwearing 
to or covenanting with God, uniting himfelf by his 
own aft to the people that is called by his name. The 
figure of fpeech is fomething like that by which Chri- 
ftians in the New Teftament are faid to be baptized 
«f TO ovofiecy INTO THE NAME of the Father, the Sony and 
Hte Holy Ghofi* So Chriftians are faid to he bafUzed into 
Chrifl, Gal. iii. 17. This fwearing by the name, or 
into the name of the Lord, is fo often, and in fnch a 
manner fpoken of by the prophets as a great duty of 
God's folemn public worfhip, as much as praying or 
facrificing, that it would be unreafonable to underftand 
it only, or chiefly, of occafionally taking an oath be* 
fore a court of judicature, which, it may be, one tenth 
part of the people never had occafion to do once in their 
lives. If we well confider the matter, we (hall fee abun- 
dant reafon to be fatisfied, that the thing intended in 
this inflitution was publicly covenanting with God. Co- 
venanting in Scripture is very often called by the name 
oi fwearing, and a covenant is called an oath'^* And 
particularly God's covenant is called his oath^ Deut. 
jExix. X 2. *< That thou fhooldft enter into covenant with 

* As Gen. xxi. 03. to the end. xxvi^iS. to the end. zxxi. 44. 53, 
Jofh. ii. 1 2, &c, I Sam. sTx. 1 6, 1 7. 4a. % Kings zi. 4. £ccl. viij. %, 
IbEck. xvi.-59. zvai. X6. and many other pbccs. 


« the Lord thy God, ,and into his oath.** Ver. 14. 

** Neither with you only do I make this covenant and 

** this oath,'* i Chron. xvi. 15, 16. " Be ye mind- 

** ful always of his covenant: — Even of the covenant 

** which he ntade with Abraham, and his oath untQ 

** Ifaac." 2 Chron. xv. 12. "And they entered into 

" covenant to feek the Lord God of their fathert,** 

Ver. 14, 15. " An^xXv^Y /ware unto the Lord with a 

** loud voice: And all Judah rejoiced at the oathJ*^ 

Swearing to ihe Lord^ ox fwearing i«, or into the name of 

the Lord, are equipollent expreflions in the Bible : The 

prefixes heth and lamed are evidently ufed indifferently 

in this cafe to fignify the fame thing- Zeph. i. 5. " That 

** fwear |}y the Lord, and that fwear by Malcham." 

The word tranflated to the Lord^ is Laihovab^ with 

the prefix lamed ; but to Maicham is Bemakkam with 

the prefix heth^ into Maicham, In i Kings xviii. 32. 

it is faid, <^ Elijah built an ahar in the name of the 

•* Lord;'* be/hem, Jiere the prefix beth is manifeftly of 

the fame force with lamed^ in i Kings viii. 44. " The 

** houfe I have built ybr thj name or to thy name;** lefhenu 

God's people in fwearing to his name, or into his 

name, according to the inftitution, folemnly profefTed 

jtwo things, viz, their faith and obedience. The former 

part of this profeffion of religion was called. Sayings The 

Lord Uveth, Jer. v, 2. ** And though they fay. The 

" Lord liveth, yet furely they fwear falfly." Ver. 7. 

** They have fwom by them that are no gods ;" That 

is, they had openly profefTed idol-worfhip. Chap. iv. 2- 

** Thou fhalt fwear. The Lord liveth, in truth, in 

^ judgment, and in righteaufnefs^ and ^he nations fhaU 

*• blefs themfelves in mm, a^d in him fhail they glory." 

(Coippare this with Ifa. xlv. 23, 24, 25.) Jer. 2uiv. 26. 

*^ Behold I have fwom by my great oame, faith the 

** Lord, that my naixw ^all po inore be named in the 

*^ mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, 

** fayingy The Lord liveth .•" 1. e. They fhall nevtr any 

more make any profeffion of the true God, and of the 

;truc religion, but fl^ll be whoHy given up to Heatbenifm* 


Sec alfo Jen xii. 16. and xvi. 14, 15- and xxiii. 7, 8. 
Hof. iv. I J. Amos viii. 14. and ver. 5. 

Thefc words CHAI JEHOVAH, Jehovah liveth, 
lummarily comprehended a profeffion of faith in that 
aH-fufficicncy and immutability of God, which is im- 
plied in the name JEHOVAH, and which attributes 
are very often fignified in Scripture by God's being the 
LIVING GOD, as' is very manifeft from Jofh. iii. 10. 
1 Sam. xvii, 26. 36. 2 Kings xix. 4. 16. Dan, vi. 26. 
^fal. xviii. 46. and innumerable other places. 

The other thing profeflcd in {wearing into the Lord 
was obedience, called. Walking in the name of the LoriL - 
Micah iv. 5. •* All people will walk every one in the 
*' name of his God, and we will walk in the name of 
** the Lord our God for ever and ever." Still with the 
prefix bethj hejhem^ as they were faid to fwear hefhemy in 
the name, or into the name of tlie Lord. 

This inftitution, in Deuteronomy, of fwearing into 
the nSime of the Lord, or vifibly and explicitly uniting, 
themfelves to him in covenant, was not prefcribed as an 
tixtraordinary duty, or a duty to be performed on a re- 
turn from a general apoftacy, and fome other extraordi- 
nary occaiions : But is evidently mentioned in the in- 
ftitution, as a part of the public worfhip of God to be 
performed by all Gotf s people, properly belonging to 
the vifible worfhippers of Jehovah; and fo it. is very 
'often mentioned by the prophets, as I obferved before, 
and could largely dcmonftrate, if there was occafion for 
it, and would not too much lengthen out this difcgurfe* 

And this was not only an inHitution belonging to 
Ifrael under the Old Teftament, but alfo to Gentile 
converts, and Chriftitms • ui^der the New Teftament, 
Thus God detlares concerning the Gentile nations, Je^. 
xii. 16. " If they will dih'gcntlyleam the "ways of my 
** people, to SWEAR by my name^ the Lord liveth, 
•<* as they taught my people to fwear by Baal: Then 
'^ (hall they be built in the midft of my people," i. e^ . 
They (hall be added to my church ; or as the Apoftfc 
Paul cxpreffcs it, Eph, iif. 19—22.' ^ They fhall be 


•* no more ftrangers and foreigners,' but fellow-citizen* 
** with the faints, and of the houfehold of God, and be 
•< built upon the foundation of Chrill; in whom all the 
** BUILDING, fitly framed together, iffe. — In whom 
** they alfo fhall be builded for an habitation of God 
** through the Spirit.*' So it is foretold, that the way 
of public covenanting Ihould be the way of the Gentiles 
joining themfdves to the church in the days of the go- 
fpel, Ifa, xliv. 3, 4> 5. "I will pour water updn him 
** that is thirfty, and floods upon the dry ground 5 I 
** will pour my Spirit upon thy feed, and my blefling 
upon thine offspring, and they (hall fpring up as a- 
** mong the grafs, as willows by the water-courfes ; one 
** ihaU fay, I am the Lord's, and another fhall call 
** himfelf by the name of Jacob, and another fhall sub- 
" SCRIBE WITH HIS HAND unto the Lord" — ^As fub- 
fcribing an inftrumcnt whereby they bound themfdve 


to the Lord, This was fabfcribing and covenanting 
themfelves into the name of Ifrael, mid fivearinj Into the 
name of the Lordy in the language of thofe forcmention- 
ed texts in Deuteronomy. So taking hold of God*s co- 
venant^ is foretold as the way in which the fons of the 
ftranger in the days of the gofpel fhould be joined to 
God'« church, and brought into God's faiwSluar)', and 
to have communion in its worfhip and ordinances, in 
Ifa. Ivi. 3, 6, 7. So in Ifa. xix. iS, the future con- 
verfion of the Gentiles in the days of the gofpel, and 
their being brought to profefs the true religion, is expi elT- 
cd by That, that they fhould Swear to the Lord 
OF Hosts. ** In that day fhall five cities in the land of 
** Egypt fpeak the language of Canaan, and fwear to 
" the Lord of Hofls." So in Jer. xxiii. 5 — 8* it fcems- 
to be plainly foretold, that after Chrifl is come, and 
has wrought out his ereat redemption, the fame way of 
publicly profeffing faith in the all-fufficient and immu- 
table God, hjfwearingf The Lord Hnjeth^ fhould be conti- 
nued, which was inflituted of old ; but only with this 
difference, that whereas formerly they covenanted with 
God as their Redeemer out of Egypt, now they fhall as 


it were forget that work, and have a fl>ecial refpe£^ to 
a much greater redemption. " Behold, the days come, 
** faith the Lord, that I will raifc up unto David a 
** righteous Branch. — Therefore they fhall no more fay, 
" The Lord livethj which brought up the children of 
'.' Ifrael out of the land of Egypt; but, The Lord liv- 
** eth, which brouglit up, and which led the feed of 
<* the houfe o£ Ifrael out of the north country," ^c. 
Another remarkable place wherein it is plainly foretold, 
that the like method of profefling religion, fliould be 
continued in the days of the gofpel, which was inflituted 
in Ifrael, by fwearing or public covenanting, is that, 
Ifa. xlv. 22 — 2^ " Look unto me, and be ye faved, 
"^ all ye ends of the earth ; for I am God, and there is 
** none elfe : I have fwom by myfelf, the word is gone 
** out of my mouth in righteoufnefs, and (hall not re- 
** turn, that unto me every knee (hall bow, every 
** TONGUE SHALL SWEAR: Surely ftiall one fay. In the 
** Lord have I righteoufnefs and llrength : Even to him 
** fhall men come ; — In the Lord fhall all the feed o£ 
** Ifrael be juflified, and fhall glory." This prophecy 
will have its laft fulfilment at the day of judgment ; but 
it is plain, that the thing mofl diredlly intended is the 
converiion of the Gentile world to the Chiiflian reli- 
gion. What is here called yw^f^riag^, the Apoftle, in cl^ 
ting this place, once and again calls confijfing ; Rom. 
xiv. II. — ** Every tongue fhall confefs to God." Philip, 
ii. lb. — " That every tongue fhouJd confefs that Jefus 
^* Chrift is Lord," Which is the word commonly ufed 
in the New Teftament, to fignify making a public pro- 
fefiion of religion. So Rom* x* 9, 10. " If thou ftialt 
*' confefs with thy mouth the Lord Jefus, and fhalt be- 
** lieve in thine heart, that God hath raifed him fiom 
** the dead, thou fhalt be faved : For with the heart 
" man belie veth unto righteoufnefs, and with the mouth 
** confeflioi> is made unto falvation." Where a pub- 
lic profejfton of religion with the mouth is evidently fpo- 
ken of as a great duty of all Chrift'g people, as well as 
lelievlng m him; and ordinarily requifite to falvation j not 


that it is'neceffarv in the fame manner that faith is, but 
in like manner as bafptifm is. Faith and verbal profeffton 
are jointly fpoken of here as neceffaiy to falvation, in the 
fame manner zsfaitb and baptifm are, in Mark xvi. 16. 
** He that bclu'vetb and is baptised ^ Ihall be faved.'* 
And 1 know no good reafon why we (hould not look on 
oral profeffion and covenanting with Chrift, in thofe 
who are capable of it, as much of a ftated duty in the 
Chrilllan church, and an inftitution univerfally pertain-, 
ing to the followers of Chrift, as baptifm. 

. And if it be fo that explicit open covenanting with 
God be a great duty required of all, as has been repre- 
fented ; then it ought to be expefted of perfons before 
they are admitted to the privileges of the aduh in the 
church of Chrift. Surely it is proper, if this explicit 
covenanting takes place at all, thut it fhould take place 
before perfons come to thofe ordinances wherein they, 
by their own a6l, publicly confirm and. feal this cove- 
nant. This public tranfaftion of covenanting, which 
Ood has appointed, ought to be, or have an exiftence, 
before we publicly confirm- and feal this tranfaftion. It 
was that by which the Ifraclites of old were introduced 
into the communion of God's nominal or vifible church 
and holy city : As appears by Ifa. xlviii. i, 2. " Hear 
" ye this, O houfe of Jacob, which are called by 
" THE NAME OF IsRAEL, and are come forth out of 
" the waters of Judah, which swear by the name 
" OF THE Lord, and make mention of the God of If- 
** rael, but not in truth nor in righteoufnefs : For they 


and after what manner particularly the Ifraelites ordi- 
narily performed this explicit covenanting, I do not 
know that we can be certain ; but as it was firft done 
on occafion of God's firil promulgating liis law or cove- 
nant at mount Sinai, and \yas done again on occafion of 
a repetition or renewed promulgation of it on the plains 
of Moab, and was done on occafion of the public read- 
ing of the law in Jofiah's time (2 Kings xxiii. 3.), and 
was done after the return from tlie captivity, on occafion 



of the pablic reading of it at the feafl: of tabernacle* 
(Neh. viit. IX. and x.), fo it appears to me moft likely, 
ihaX it was done every feventh year, when the law or 
covenant of God was, by divine appointment, read ia 
the audience of all the people at the feail of tabernacles^; 
at leail done then by all who then heard the law read 
the firft time, and who never had heard, nor publicly 
owned the covenant of God before. There are good 
evidences that they never had communion in thofe ordi- 
nances which God had appointed as feal& of his cove- 
nant, wherein they themfelves were to be aftive, fuch 
as their facrifices, tffc. till they had done it: It is plainly 
implied in Pfal, 1. that it was the manner in Ifrael vo* 
cally to own God*t conenant^ or to take it into their mcuihs^ 
before they fealed that covenant in their facrifices. Sec 
Ter. 1 6. taken with the preceding part of the pfalm, 
from ver. 5. And that they did it before they partook 
of the pafTover (which indeed was one of their facrifices)> 
or catered into the fanftuary for communion in the 
temple -worfhip, is confirmed by the words of Hezekiah^ 
when he proclaimed a paflbver, 2 Chron, xxx, 8. " Now 
be ye not ftiff-necked, as your fathers were ; but yield 
yourfeI<ues unto the Lord (in the Hebrew, Groe the 
** hand to the Lord)y and enter into his fanSuary^ which 
** he hath fandiified for ever, and ferve the Lord your 
** G6d." To give the hand, feems to be a Hebrew 
phrafc for entering into covenant, or obliging themfelves 
by covenant, Ezra x. 19. " And they gave their handi 
•* that they would put away their wives." And, as 
has been already obferved, it was foretold that Chriftians 
ihoiild in fliis way be admitted to communion in the 
privilegjs of the church of Chrift. 

Having thus eftabliftied the premifes of the argument 
I intend, I now come, 

Secondly p To that which I think rauft be the confe-' 
qnaice^ viz. That none ought to he admitted to the privi' 
leges of adult perfons in the church of ChriJ}, but fuch as 
niahe aprofejlon of real piety. For the covenant, to bc 




owned or profelTed, i8 GoeTs covenant^ winch he has re- 
vealed as the method of our fpiritual union with him, 
and our acceptance as the obje(Els of his eternal favour ; 
which is no other than the covenant of grace ; at leaft it 
is fo, without difpute, in thefe days of the gofpel. To 
own this covenant, is to profefs the confent of our 
hearts to it ; and that is the fum and fubflance of true 
piety. It is not only a profefling the aflent of our un- 
derftandings, that we underftand there is fuch a cove- 
nant, or that we underftand we are obliged to comply 
with it 5 but it is to profefs the confent of our wills, it 
is to manifeft that 'we do comply tvith it. There is mutual 
profeflion in this affair, a profeflion on Chrift's part^ 
and a profeflion on our part ; as it is in marriage. And 
It is the fame fort of profelfion that is made on both 
(ides, in this refpeft, that eacli profeffes a confent of 
heart : Chrift in his word deckrei an entire confent of 
heart as to what he offers ; and the viable Chriftian, 
in the anfwer that he makes to it in hh Chnftian pro- 
feifion, declares a confent and compliance of heart to 
his propofal. Oivning the covenant is profefiing to make 
the tranfadlion of that covenant our own. The tranf- 
a6tion of that covenant is that of efpoufals to Chrift ; 
on our part, it is giving our fouls to Chrift as his fpoufe : 
There is no one thing that the covenant of grace is fo 
often compared to in Scripture, as the marriage-cove- 
nant ; and the vifible tranfa^lion, or mutual profeflion 
there is between Chrift and the vifible church, is abun- 
dantly compared to the mutual profefTiori there is. in 
marriage. In marriage the bride profeffes to yield to 
the bridegroom's fuit, and to take him for her hufband, 
renouncing all others, and to give up herfjelf to him to 
be entirely and for ever pofTelfed by him as his wife. 
But he that profeffes this towards Chrift, profeffes fav- 
ing faith. They that openly covenanted with God ac- 
cording to the tenor of the inftitution, Deut. x. 20. 
they vifibly united themfelves to God in the union of 
that covenant : they^profeffed on their parts the union 
of the covenant of Cod, which was the covenant -of 


grace. It is faid in the inftitution, " Thou (halt cleave 
" to the Lord, and fwear by his name :" or as the 
words more literally are, " Thou flialt unite unto th^ 
** Lord, and fwear into his name." So in Ifa. Ivi. 
it is called a ** joining themfelves to the Lord." But 
ibe union, cleaving, or joining of that covenant isfaving 
faith, the grand condition of the covenant of Chrift, by 
which we are IN Christ : This is what brings us infa 
the Lord. For a perfon explicitly or profeffedly to enter 
into the union or relation of the covenant of grace witli 
Chrift> is the fame as profeffedly to do that which oa 
our part is the uniting a6l, and that is the a6t of faiths 
To profefs the covenant of grace, is to profefs the cove- 
nant, not as a fpedlator, but as one immediately con- 
cerned in the affair, as a party in the covenant profeffed; 
and this is to pix)fefs that in the covenant which belongs 
to us as a party y or to profefs our part in the covenant ; 
and that is the fold's believing acceptance of the Sa- 
viour. Chrift's part is falvation> our part is a faving faith 
in him ; not a feigned, but unfeigned faith ; not a com- 
mon, but fpecial and faving faith j no other faith than 
this is the condition of the covenant of grace. 

I know the diilindlion that is made by fome, between 
the internal a^d external covenant ; but, I hope, the di- 
vines that make this diilin£^ion, would not be under- 
llood, that there are really and properly t<wo covenants 
of grace ; but only that thofe who profefs the one only 
covenant of grace, are of two forts ; there are thofe who 
comply vsrith it internally and really, and others who do 
fo only externally y that is, in profeffion and viiibility. 
But he that externally and vifibly complies with the co- 
venant of grace, appears and profeffes to do fo reaUy. — 
There is alfo this diftindiion takes place concerning the 
covenant of grace j the one only covenant of grace is 
exhibited two ways, the one externally by the preaching . 
of the word, the other internally and fpirituaUy by en- 
lightening the mind rightly to underftand the word. 
But it is with the covenant^ as it is with the call of the 
gofpel : He that really complies with the external caH, 


has the internal call ; fo he that truly complies with the 
external propofal of God's covenant, as vifible Chriflians 
profefs to do, does indeed perform the inward conditioa 
of iu But the New Teftament aiFords no more founda- 
tion for fuppoiing two real and properly diftin6l cove* 
nants of grace, than it does to fuppofe two forts of real 
Chriftians; the unfcripturalnefs of which latter hypo- 
thefis I obferved before, 

When thofe perfons who were baptized in infancy do 
propeiiy oivn their baptifmal covenant, the meaning of 
it is, that they now, being become capable to a6l for 
themfelves, do profeffedly and explicitly make their pa- 
Tents aft, in giving them up to God, their own, by ex- 
prefsly giving themfelves up to God» But this no per- 
fon can do, without either being deceived, or diffembling 
and profefiing what he himfelf fuppofes to be a falfie- 
hood,* unlefs he fuppofes that he in his heart confents to 
be God's. A child of Chriftian parents never does that 
for himfelf which^ his parents did for him in infancy, 
till he gives himfelf wholly to God. But furely he does 
not do it, who not only keeps back a part, but the chief 
part, his heart and foul. He that keeps back his heart, 
does in effeft. keep back all ; and therefore, if he be fefr- 
fible of it, is guilty of folemn wilful mockery, if he at 
the fame time folemnly and pubhcly profefles that he 
gives himfelf up to God. If there are any words ufed 
by fuch, which in their proper Cgnification imply that 
they giv^ themfelves up to God ; and if thefe words, as 
they intend them to be underftood, and as they are un- 
derftood by thofe that hear them, according to their 
eftablifhed ufe and cuilom among that people, do not 
imply, that they do it really, but^do truly referve or 
keep back the chief part ; it ceafes to be a profeffion of 
giving themfelves up to God, and fo ceafes to be a pro^ 
feffed covenanting with God, or owning God's cove- 
nant 5 for the thing which they profefs, belongs to no 
covenant of God, in being ; for God. has revealed no 
fuch* covenant, nor has any fuch covenant of God any 
exiftence^ in which our tranfa&ing of the CQvenant is a 


grvlng up ourfelves to him with referve, or holdlag baclc 
a part, efpecially holding' back our fouls, our chief part, 
and in eiFe6: our all. There Is no covenant of God at 
all, that has thefe for its terms ; to be fure, this is not 
the covenant of gracfe. And therefore although fuch 
public and folcmn profeffing may be a very unwarrant- 
able and great abufe of words, and taking God's name 
in vain, it is no profefled covenanting with God. 

One thing, as has been obferved, that belonged to 
X{r?itVs /'wearing into the name of the Lord y wzs faying, 7he 
Lordiiveth; whereby they profeflfed their faith in God's 
ali-fufficiency, imf mutability, and feithfulnefs. But if 
they really had fuch a faith, it was a faving grace. They 
who indeed truft in the all-fuffidency of God, he will 
furely be their all-fufficient portion ; and they who truft 
in God's immutability and faithfulnefs, he furciy will 
fiever leave nor.forfake them. There were two ways 
of fwearing Jehovah liveth, that we read of in Scrip- 
ture ; one We read of, Jer. ii. 2. ** Thou (halt fwear, 
** The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righ- 
** teoufnefs :" And the other way is fwoearing faJffyf 
which we read of in the next chapter, ver. 2,3. ** And 
<* though they fay. The Lord liveth, yet furely they 
*< fwear falfly." (And certainly none ought to do 
this.) It follows, " O Lord, are not thine eyes upon 
*< the truth ?" L e, God delires fmcerity of heart in 
thofe that profefs feligion. Here a gracious fincenty 
is oppofed to a falfe profeffion ; for when it is faid, " O 
" Lord, are not thine eyes upon the truth ?'* the ex- 
preffion is parallel with thofe,^ Pfal. li. 6. " Behold 
** thou defireft the truth in the inward parts." i Sam. 
xvi. 7. " Man lookcth on the outward appearance, but 
«« the Lord looketh on the hteart." Pfal. xi. 7. " His 
" countenance doth behold the upright." But thefe 
texts fpeak of a gracious fincerity. Thofe fpoken of, 
Jer. iv. 2. that " fware. The Lord liveth, in truth, in 
** judgment, and righteoufnefs," were gracious perfons, 
who had a thorough converfion to God, as appears by 
the preceding verfe,, " If thou wilt return, O Ifrael, 


** faith the. Lord; return unto me;" /. e» 1)6 not do as 
you or Judah was charged with doing in the foregoing 
chapter, ver. lO. *^ Judah hath not turned unto me 
*' with her whole heart, but feignedly." Do not do 
thus, ** but if thou wilt return, return unto me.'' And 
then it is added in the fecond verfe, <' And thou ihalt 
*• fwear. The Lord liveth, in tiuth,^' iffc, ; that is, then 
your profeffion of religion will be worth regarding, you 
will be indeed what you pretend to be, you will be 
Ifraelites indeed, in whofe profeffion is no guile. They 
who faid, " The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, 
** and in r^hteoufnefs ;" they faid, The Lord hveth, as 
David did, Pfal. xviii. 46, " The Lord liveth, and bleff- 
" ed be my Rock-" And did as the Apoftle fays he 
did, I Tim. iv. io» " We truft in the Living God^ 
** who is the Saviour of all men, fpecially of thofe that 
*• believe.'' And as he would have Timothy exhort 
rich men to do, chap. vi. 17. " That they truft not in 
" uncertain riches, but in the LfviKG God." When 
the ApoiUe fpeaks of a profeffion of our faith in Chrifty 
as one duty which all Chriftians ought to perform as 
they feek falvation, it is the profeffion of a fav'mg faith 
that he fpeaks of: His words plainly imply it : " If 
** thou (halt confefs with thy mouth the Lord Jefus, 
'< and (halt. believe in thine heart that God hath raifed 
" him from the dead,, thou (halt be faved." The faith 
which was to be profejfed <w'uh the mouthy was the 
fame wliich the^poflle fpeaks of as in the hearty but 
that is faving faith. The latter is yet plainer in the 
following words; ** for with the heart man believeth 
" unto righteoufnefs,. and with the mouth confeffion is 
** made unto falvation." Believing unto righteoufnefs» 
is faving faith ; but it is evidently the famre faith which 
is fpoken of, as profejfed with the mouthy in the next 
words in the fame fentence. And that the Gentiles, 
in profcffing the Chriflian religion, or fwearing to 
Chnft, ihould profefs faving faith, is implied, Ifa. xJv. 
23, 24. — " Every tongue (hall fwear; furely fhall one 
** fay, In the Lord have I righteoufaefs and ilrengthj" 


f. e, fhould profefs entirely to depend on Chrift's ngh- 
teoufnefs and ftrength. 

For perfons merely to promife, that they nvtll believe 
in Chrift, or that they ivill hereafter comply with the 
conditions and duties of the covenant of grace, is not 
to own that covenant. Such perfons do not profefs now 
to enter into the covenant of grac^ with Chrift, or into 
the relation of that covenant to Chrift. All that they 
do at prefenty is only a fpeaking • fair ; they fay, they 
will do it hereafter ; they prbfefs, that they will hereaf- 
ter obey that command of God, to helu'De on the name 
cf his Son Jefus Chrift. But what is fuch a profeflion 
good for, and what credit is to be given to fuch pro- 
mifes oi future obedience ; when at the fame time they pre- 
tend no other at prefent, than to live and continue in re^ 
bellion againft thofe great commands which give no al- 
lowance or licence for delay ? They who do thus, in- 
ftead of properly owning the covenant, do rather for the 
prefeilt vifibly reject it. It is not linufual, in fome 
churches, where the do^rine I oppofe has been eftablifti^ 
cd, for perfons at the fame time that they come into^ the 
church, and pretend to own the covenant, freely to de- 
clare to" their neighbours, they have no' imagination 
that they have any true faith in Chrift, or love to him. 
Such perfons, inftead of being profeffedly united to 
Chrift, in the union cf the covenant of grace, are ra- 
ther vifibly deftitute of the love of Chrift ; and fb, in- 
ftead of being qualified for admiffion to the Lord's fup- 
per, are rather expofed to that denunciation of the 
Apoftle, I Cor. xvi. 22. " If any man love, not the 
^^ Lord Jefus Chrift, let him be Anathema, Maran- 
« atha." 

That outward covenantingj which is agreeable to 
Scripture-inftitution, is not only a promising what is 
future (though that is not excluded), but a profefiing. 
what is prefent^ as it is in the marriage-covenant. 
(Though indeed it is true, that it was chiefly on ac^ 
count of the- promife or vow which there is in the co- 
venant, that it is called /wftirm^f^. For a woman to pro- 



tnifey that ihe will hereafter renpunce all other men for 
the fake of him who makes fuit to her, and will in fome 
future time accept of him for her hufband, is not for 
her now to enter into the marriage-covenant with him : v- 
She that does this with a man, profefles now to accept 
of him, renouncing all others ; though promifes of here-^ 
after behaving towards him as a wife, are alfo included 
in the tranfactlon. It feems as though the primitive 
converts to Chriilianity, in the profeflion they made of 
religion, in order to their admiflion into tlie Chriftian 
church, and in their vifibly entering into covenant, in 
order to the initiating feal of the covenant in baptifm, 
did not expUcltly make any promifes of any thing future, 
they only profefled the prefent fentiments and habit of 
their minds, they profefTed that they hdleved in Chrifl^ 
and fo were admitted into the church by baptifm ; and 
yet undoubtedly they were, according to forementioned 
prophecies, admitted in the way of public covenanting, 
and as the covenant-people of God they owned the co- 
venant, before the feal of the covenant was ^plied. 
Their profeffing faith in Chriil was vifibly owning the 
covenant of grace, 'becaufe faith in Chriil was the grand 
condition of that covenant. Indeed, if the faith which 
they profeffed in order to baptifm, was only an hiftorical 
or do6lrinal faith (as fome fuppofe), or any common 
faith, it would not have been any vifible entering into 
the covenant of grace ; for a common faith is not tlie 
condition of that covenant ; nor would there properly 
have been any covenanting in the cafe. If we fuppofe, 
the faith they profeffed was the grace by which the foul 
is united to Chrifl, their profeflion was a covenanting in 
this refpedl alfo, that it implied an engagement of fuf 
ture obedience ; for true faith in Chrifl includes in it9 
nature an acceptance of him as our Lord and King, and 
devoting ourfelves to his fervice : But a profeflion of hif- • 
toncal faith implies no profefTion of accepting Chrifl aa 
our King, nor engagement to fubmit to him as fuch. 

When the Ifraelites publicly covenanted with God^ 
according to the inflitution in DcutcxQuomy, they did 

jfl QpAIiiriCATlOlrS FOR. TVVlt 

not only promife fomething futiire, but profefled fotne- 
thing prefent y they avouched yebovah to he their God, 
and ^o promifed to keep his commands. Thus it was 
hi that folemn covenant •^ranfa^ion between God and 
the people on the plains of Moab ; which is fummarily 
defcribed, Deut. xxvi. 17, 1 8, " Tho\i haft avouched 
*^ the iLord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his 
*< ways, and to keep his flatutes, and his command* 
*' ments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his 
*' voice ; and the Lord hath avouched thee this day to 
*< be his peculiar people, as he hath promifed thee, and 
f* that thou fhouldit keep all his commandments/' The 
people in avouching God for their »God, profcffcd a 
compliance with the terms, of the covenant of grace; as 
the covenant of grace is fummarily exprefled in thoie 
words, ** I will be thy God> and thou fhalt -be my peo- 
•* pie." They that avouch the Lord to be their God, 
do profefs to accept of Jehovah as their God ; and that 
is to accept him as -the «bje6l of their fi^prcme refpe^ft 
and tr\>ft. For that which we chufe as the objetft of 
our higheft regard, that, and that only, do we take as 
cur God, None therefore that value and love the world 
inore than Jehovah, can, without lying, -or being de- 
ceived, avouch Jehovah to be their God-: And none 
that do not truft in Ghrift, but truft more in their own 
ftrength or righteoufnefs, can avouch Chrift to be their 
Saviour. . To avouch God to be our God, is to profefs 
that he is our God iy «ar own aH; A» e* That we chufe 
him to be our chief good and laft end, the fupreme ob- 
jedt of our efteem and regfard, that we devote ourf elves 
to, and depend upon. And if we are fenfible that we 
do not do this^wprr/y, we cannot profefs that we a€itt- 
ally do it ; for he that does not do it iincerely-, does not 
do it at all : There is no room for the diftindlioir of a 
moral fincerity and gracious fmcerity in this cafe : A fa" 
freme refpeft of heart to God, or ?i fupreme love to bim, 
which is real, is but of one fort: It would be abfurd, to 
talk of a morally fincere fupreme love to God in thofe who 
ceuUy love diit and dung more than him: Whoever doe( 

COMMllllKni IN THE TISFltLfi (^HURCH. ^f 

vtofe any r^lity at ?XL ma'ke God the objc£l of the fu' 
ftethe wgfaM of his heart, is certainly a gt^dchus perfon : 
And- whoever does not make God the fupreme objeft of 
his rijfpeA with a gracious (incerity, certainly does not 
do it with any fincerity. I fear, while leading people 
in many of our congregations, who have no tJi^ught o^ 
their having the leaft fparfcof true love to God in their 
hearts,' tfo fey, publicly and foleiftnly, that they avouch 
God the Father^ Sort, and Holy GhoJl\ to he their God^ and 
l3iat fhey give themfihes up to him^ we have led them \.o 
lay they know not what. To- be fure, they . are vtrf 
«bfcure exprefiions, if they mean any thing that a car- 
nal man does,- under the reigning power of fin and enmi- 
ty ^ainft.G<>d. 

Here poffibly it m^y be objeAed, that it is unreafon- 
able to foppofe any fnch thing fiiould be intended » i« 
Ae prdfcflion of the congfegiion in the wildernefs,- as 
a gtadou^ refpeB to God, that which is t\ie condition of 
Qrod*^ covenant, when we have reafon to think that £<j 
fci^ of them were tnily gracious. But I ftippofe, upon 
mature confideration this will not appear at all unrea- 
fenable. It is no more unreafonable to fiippofe this 
pet^le tb make a profeflion of that refpe<St to God, 
^hich they had riot in their hearts now, than at other 
times when we are informed they did fo, as in £zek* 
x^xiii» 5K ** They come unto thee as the people com- 
** ctb, and- they fit before thee as my people:" [/. e. as 
though they were my faints, as they profefs to be] ** For 
, ** witli their mouth they fhew much love, but their heart 
** goeth after their covetoufnefs,'* So in the Apoftle'a 
£ime, that people profefled that to be in their hearts to- 
wards God> which was- not there. The Apoflle is 
^je^king of them, when- he fays, Tit. i. i6. " They 
** pnrfcfs that tlicy know Gpd> but in works they de- 
*^ ny him." This was common among that people ; 
God declimes them to be an hypocritical naticjiy Ifa. x. 6. 
And it is certain, this was the cafe with them in the 
wilderiiefs ; they there prolefled that refpedl to God 
w^h they had- not J as-is-cyidentby Plkl, Ixxviii. j6, 37. 



" They did Hatter him with their mo^th, ^nd they Ked 
** unto him with their tongue ; for thejr heart was not 
** right with him, neither were they iledfaft in. his co- 
** venant." In owning the covenant with Gk}d) they 
profei&d their l^art *was right ivith him^ as appears, 
becaufe it is mentioned as an cyidence of their hav- 
idg lied or dealt falily ift their profeiHoD, that their 
heart was not right with hiniy audio proved not iled- 
fail in God's covenant, which they had owned* ' If 
their heart had been right with God^ they would have 
been truly pious perfons; which is a demonftration, that 
what they profcffed was true piety. It alfo appears 
that Jf they had "had fuch an heart in them as they pre- 
tended to have, they would have been truly pious per- 
fons, from Deut. v. where we have a rehearfal of their 
(covenanting at Mount Sinai : .Concerning this it is faid, 
ver. 28, 29» " And the Lord heard the voice of your 
*' words, when ye fpake unto me ; and the Lord faid 
** unto me. They have well faid all that they have 
*« fpoken. O that there were fuch an heart in theoi, 
*• that they would fear me, and keep all my command- 
** ments always, that it might be well with them and with 
** their children for ever." The people were miftaken 
about their difpofition and preparation of heart to go 
tlirough the bufinefs of God's fervice, as the man in the 
parable, that undertook to build a tower without count- 
ing the coil. Nor need it feem at all incredible, that 
that generation who covenanted at Mount Sinai, (hould^ 
the greater part of them, be deceived, and think their 
hearts thoroughly difpofed to give up themfelves forever 
to God, if we confider how much they had ilrongly to 
move their affcSions; the wonders wrought in Egypt and 
at the Red Sea, where they were led through on dry 
ground, and ,the Egyptians were fo miraculoufly de» 
ilroyed ; whereby the'ir affeftions were 'greatly raifedf 
and thtjfang God*s praifes: And particularly what they 
now faw at Mount Sinai, of the aftoniihing manifeda- 
tlons of God's majeily there. . Probably the greater part 
of the fmners amon^ them were deceived with falfe at 


feflions ; and if there were others that were Icfs afFedV- 
ed and who were not deceived, it is not incredible that 
they, in thofe circumflancesj fhould wilfully diflemble 
in their profeflion, and fo in a more g^ofs fenfe Jlatter 
God <zvith their lips, and iie to him luitb their tongues* And 
thefe things are more credible concerning that genera- 
tion, being a generation peculiarly left to hardnefs and 
blindnefs of mind in divine matters, and peculiarly noted 
in the Book of Pfalms for hypocrify. And as to the 
generation of their children that owned the covenant 
on the plains of Moab, they not only in like manner 
had very much to move their aflfeftions, the awful judg- 
ments of God they had feen oh their fathers, God 
- haying brought them through the wildcmefs, and fub- 
' dued Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og the king of 
Bafhan before them, Mofes's aiFedting rehearfal of the 
whole ferics of God's wonderful dealings with them, to- 
gether with his moft pathetical exhortations; but it was 
alio a time of great revival of religion and powerful iiL- 
fluencedf the Spirit of Gc^d, and that generation wa'a 
probably the moil excellent generation thvit ever was iti 
Ifrael ; to be'fure, there is more good and lefs hurt 
fppken of them, than of any other generation that wfe 
have any account of in Scripture *• A very great part 
of them ywor^ in truths in judgment^ and in righieoufnefi : 
And no wonder, that others at fuch a time fell in, ei- 
ther deceiving^ or heirig deceived^ with common affec- 
\ tions; as is iifual in times of great works of God for his 
church, and of the fiourifhing of religion. In fucceed- 
ing generations, as the people grew more corrupt, I 
fuppofe, their covenanting or fwearing into the name 
of the Lord degenerated into a matter of mere ibrm 
and ceremony ; even as fubfcribing religious articfen 
feema to have done with the Church of England ; and 
as^ it is to be feared, owning the covenant, as it is call- 

• See Numb. xiv. 31. Deut. i. 39. and viii. 15, l6, Joflu xxli. a. 
and ver. 11. to the end. and xxiii. 8. Deut. iv. 4. Jo(h. xxiv. 31. 
Jude ii. 17, 2i. Pfal. Ixviii. 14* Jer. ii. 4,3.21. and xxxi. *, 3. 
Hof. ix. 10. 



cd, has too much done in New KoglaQd; ,it heing- vi- 
jGbly a prevailing cuftom for perfoijis to n^gle^ this, till 
they come to be married, and then to do it for .their 
credit's fake, and that their children may be bjiptized* 
And I fuppofe, there was commonly a great laxnefs ^ 
Ifrael among the priefts who had the condudt of this af- 
fair : And there .were many things in the nature of that 
comparatively carnal difpenfation, which negatively gave 
occailon for fuch things ; that is, whereby it had by no 
•means fy .great a tendency to prevent fuch-like irregula'^ 
rities, though very wrong in themfelves, as the moi^ 
excellent difpenfation., int?:oduce4 Jby Chrifl^ and h^a 
Ap^^A^^' And th9ug;h thef^ thiijig^ i^^re tefiifie4 ^g^f^ 
by the Prophets, hefoi^ the Babylonifti cj^ptivity^j/y^t. 
God, who i^ 9nly wife;; (Ud dcfignqdly in a.^qat mesi* 
fure wink at thefe, .and ^any other grejat irregulajf • 
ties ixk the qhurcb, tiU t/f£ .time of refgrn^io^ /liouW 
comf?, which the MeQlah was to have the l^Miojur of ia* 
,troducing. JBi^t of thefe t^if^gs I jmay perhaps ha^ve p^- 
xaiion to fay fomcth^ginQ^r^i wh^ ;J 1^9^^ ■tf^.^^^^f^ 
thjS objeAian coRcernjb{ig,jhe jj^dTo^ .:.'' '• . i 

Now tp ri?t|jr^ ,to. the; ar^gu^epit fijop^.the iix3Lt^r^,Q£ 
cpvenanting w;ith,Gcyd;^or.aw|tyig (pfod'f ,a9rc9apt.: A)& 
to t}^e fromiji^i which ^e'heyein, .^it^er^xpiliiiit^y^r^- 
.plicitly, made; the n\aking the(e psqniifes impi^ies a pi^ 
lefllon of true piety^ f pr ;n the covenant of grace )iui- 
yerfal obedien<^e is engaged, f^bediqice to all the €,qvf^ 
mands k)£ <^(p.4 y ^d the peif^rgn^iif e -of inw^jd fpir^^vi^ 
duties is as mupb engaged in th^ covenp>|it o^f ;giiace9.^ 
external duties ;. and iufome refpe<^S;^muciv more. Thei^^ 
foT'C he that vifibly m^^es ikt coveurmt of gi^aoe jiiis o^^i^ 
promifes to perform thofe internal duties, and to per^ 
/prm ^11 duties Y^ith a gi;acious fmcerity. We h^ve -^ 
warrant, in o,ur pro&fliop of Qo4'^ covenant, tp fUrndp 
„the dpties -of it, %o ^ke fome, and leave o^ others ; 
Efpecially have we not warrant to leave out thofe 
great commands, 0/ hefieving *wtth tht hearty of loving 
the Lord Qur God 'with all our hearty and y/ith all ouf^ 
/out J and our neighbour as 'ourfehes: He that lea.vejf> 

coMutt^Ntcnr is the visib^c ciftJitCH. 5j 

-mit thefe, m cffc<Sb leaves out all ; for tWc aire the funji 
of our whoie dttty, and of all God's commands : If 
we leave thefc oat of our profefiion, furcly it is not the 
covenant of grace» which we profcfs. The Ifratlites 
when they covenanted with God at Mount Sinal» and 
faid, »vl>en God hsui declared to them the tea command- 
ments, " AH that the Lord hath fpokcn will we do, and 
«* be obedient ;" their proraife implied^ that as they 
profrjfed to ifumf Gcd^ they would m tvorh not deny^ but 
own and honour him, and would conform to thofe iwo 
gi'sat commandments t which are the fum of all the ten, 
and cotiiceming whidi God faid, '< Thefe words which 
^ I comfnaiLd thee this day, (hall be in thine heart," 
Deut. yi. 6* — So* .whien they covenanted on the plains 
of Moab, they promifcd to keiep and do God's comr 
maodSf ^^ with all tbeir heart, and with all theitfoul," an 
is 'VKry evident by Deut* xxvi. i6, 17. So it was.alfo 
when the people owned their covenant ia Afa's time, 
2 Chron. XV. 12. ^* They entered into a covenant to 
** kA tiie Lord God of their fathers, with all theii* 
" iieart, and with aU their foul/' We have alfo another 
temarkabk iaftaoce» 2 Klog^ xxiii« 3. and z Cbromcle5 
xxxiv, 31- 

• Now he who is wholly under the power of a carnal 
nmtdt which is notfuhjcS to the taw of Godf nor indeed can 
be, irannot promife thefe things without either great de- 
ceit, or the rootft; manifeft and palpable abfundity. Pro- 
mBifig fuppofes the perfon to be confcJous to himfelf, or 
perfoaded of himfelf, that be has fiteh an heart In him -^ 
for hi^ lips pretend to declare his heart. , The nature of 
a promife implies inteation or defign. And proper real 
inteotion implies will, difpofitiouy and compliance of 
heart. But no natural toan is properly willing to ^o 
thefe duties, nor docs his heart comply with them : tod 
to make natural men believe otberwife, tends greatly to 
their hurtu A natural man may be willing, from fclf- 
love, and from finifcr views, to ufe means and take-paina 
tkat he n>ay obtain a willingnefs or difpoiltion to thefc 
duties : But Uaat is a very diiferent thing from adua% 

E iij 


being willing, or truly having a difpofition to them* So 
he may promife, that he will, from fome conlideratiohs 
or other, take great pains to obtain fuch a heart : But 
if he does fo, this is not the promife of the covenant of 
grace. Men may make many religious promifes to God, 
and many promifes fome way relating to the covenant 
of grace, that are not themfelves the promifes of that 
covenant ; nor is there any thing of the nature of cove- 
nanting in the cafe, becaufe although they ftiould a6lu- 
ally ftdtil their promifes, God is not obliged by promife 
to them. If a natural man promifes to do all that it 
is poflible for a natural man to do in religion, and fulfils 
his promifes, God is not obliged, by any covenant that 
he has entered into with man, to perform any thing at 
all for him, refpeAing his faving benefits. And there- 
fore he that promifes thefe things only, enters into no 
covenant with God; becaufe the very notion of entering 
into covenant with any being, is entering into a mutual 
agreement, doing or engaging that which, if done, the 
other party becomes engaged on his part. The New 
Teflament informs us but of one covenant God enteils 
into vTith mankind through Chrifl, and that is the cove- 
nant of grace ; in which God obliges himfelf to nothing 
in us that is exclufive of unfeigned faith ^ and the fpiritual 
duties that attend it : Therefore n a natural man makes 
never fo many vows, that he will perform all external 
duties, and will pray for help to do fpiritual diities, and 
for an abih'ty and will to comply with the covenant of 
grace, &om fuch principles as he has, he does not h^ 
odd if Gtt^s ctyuenant^ nor properiy enter into any cove- 
nant with God : For we have no opportunity to covc- 
t^nX with God in any other covenant, than that whkh 
W has revealed ; he becomes a covenant-party in no 
6ther covenant. It is true, every nsTtural man that lives 
under the gofpel, is obliged to comply with the terms 
of the covenant of grace ; ai^ if he prbmifes to do it, 
his promife may increafe his obligation, though hcjiai" 
tered God nvkh his mouthy and lied tQ him with his tongue^ 
SB the children of Ifrad did in prgmifiag* But it will 


not thence follow, that they ought knowingly to make 
a lying pFomife, or that miniilers and churches (hould 
countenance them in fo doing. 

Indeed there is no natural man but what deceives 
himfelf, if he thinks he is truly willing to perform ex- 
ternal obedience to God, univerfally and pcrfeveringly 
through the various trials of life that he may expcft. 
And therefore in promifing it, he is either very deceit- 
ful, or is like the>fooIi(h deceived man that undertook 
to Bui/d when he had not wherewith to Jirfj/h. And if 
it be known by the church, before whom he promifes to 
huilJ and jintftj^ that at the fame time he does not pre- 
tend to have an heart to finilh, his promife is worthy of 
no credit or regard from them, and can nuike nothing 
nnjihle to them but' his prefumption. 

A great confirmation of what has been faid under thia 
head of covenanting, is that text, Pfal. 1. i6. ** But 
*^ onto the wicked God faith. What haft thou to do, 
** to declare my ftatutes, or that thou (houldeft take my 
•* covenant in thy mouth ?*' This term, the wicked^ m 
the more general ufe of it in Scripture, is ap|Jied in 
that extent as to include all ungodly or g^oelefs per- 
fons^ all that are under the reigning power of *fin, ai/d 
are the objefts of God's anger, or expofed to his etem^ 
vengeance ; as might eafily be made to appear by a pai*- 
ticnlar enumeration of texts all over the Bible. All 
fuch are in Scripture called, workers of iniquity^ the 
children of the wicked one, Matth. xiii. 38. All fuch 
are faid to be ^ the devil , i John m. 8. And to be 
the children of the devil, ver. 10. The righteous and 
the wicked are in a multitude of places in Scripture 
put in oppoiition ; and they are evidently oppofed one 
to the other, and diftinguifhed one firom another in 
Scripture, zs faints ^nd^nners, holy and unholy, thofe that 
fear God and thofe thzt fear him not, thofe that love him 
and thofe that hate him. All mankind are in Scripture 
divided by thefe diftind^ions, and the Bible knows of ilo 
neuters or third fort. Indeed thofe who are really wicked^ 
ta»f be wfihiy righteous f righteous in profeffion smd oiA« 


^ar4 .appearai^ce ; But a fort of *n^n w^ have no '/avHfg 
grace, thai yet are .nj>t r^a]iy wicied men, are a fort qf 
men of human invention, that the Scripture i* entirely 

-ignorant -of. It ii reasonable to fuppofe, that by w'tfked 
men hem, j^ thi^ pfsj^i* is meant all that J^afe inJtmSiofi, 
and r^eSG^d^i %i)^rd {PfsJ. 1. a 7.), «aBd oot merely fvch 
wicked ^li^en ^s are guilty pf t^oft particular crimes 
mentioned* ^^er, ; 7^--r£o. flealing, adujter)'^, fraud, ai\d 
backbiting. Though only forae particular ways of wic- 
k^d^fs ^ire mooMoned, yet we are not to underhand 
tjigt all others *re e^celud^ \ yea ^he words, iotfee coq- 
chiton of the p*r^r?ph, are CKprefsly a]X)lied to all that 

fprget Gfid in £\M^ a jii^nner a^ to expoie tbemfelves to 
be t9rn in faeces by God's wiath in' hell> ver. 22. " Now 
" confider this, ye that forget God, If ft I tear you ia 
** rpieces, and there te none to deliver." We can no 

•more juftly argue, tk^t htcavifie fome graf* fins arc here 
fpeci^jsd, that po tinkers are meant but fuch as live ki 
thofe o^ other gjrofs fins, than, we ca^ argue fro^ Rev. 
i^xji. 14, 1 5, That non^ (hall be {hut out of heaven but 
fpnly thofe wI>o have lived in the grxjfsifias there ^Bventio?- 

.^ ; " Blefed,afe they that do hi.d comma»dmesit$, that 

;*« :t]^j W^Y ^^'vight to the tfee.of life, and may ^- 

; *• tfr i^ •thr<?l%h the gates into the city ; Fpr without 
4< arje d|og6, and.forcerers, ^ad murderersa and idofetejis, 
** and wbofoeyer fevedi aqd jjpajfcetfc a lie^" Noting is 
ij>oj-<^ eiomm^in ia Scripture, thaa in ithe defcri|jtioBa it 

.gisies, both of the godly and iwigodly, together with 
Uim g/e9?nij cb^KM^er., jto iyfert .into the defcription 
fome pai^rticul^ excellent praftices of the one whi<ih 
gi^ie tJend^ tp, and fome certain g-rofa iin§ qf the oth^r 
whiqh rfi^ir-e h ^ feyadation ftr 'm the reigning oorrup- 
tiGUi'in thei^* hearts. 60, l^g ia mentioned fcs part pf 
ihf ^^Xfi^i^r of all natural men, P^l. Iviii, ?, 4. (Who 
jMpe V4?re eaUed ^i^lchd rnent as in PfaJ, 1.) *^ The wic- 
« ^kfi^ are «ftranged from the womb ; they go aftray 
<< as (bop <as th,ey be born, fp^aking lies ; Their poifon 
f* i^ lilfe the.poifoB of a fqrpeat/' ^e. S.OJi is (aid of 
ii^ fwielfisdf. ^fal. X, J, 3, ,^. 7, « Hie r^QUth i^ %U. pf 


.*5 curfing and bitternefs," This the Apoftk, Rom. 
ill. cites as a defcription of all natural men. ^o it is 
faid of the wicked f .Pfal. cxl. 3. " They have fharpened 
** their tongues as a ferpent ; adder's poifoji is under 
" their lips;:" which the fame Apoftle, in the feme place> 
alfo cites as what is faid of all natural men. The very 
famegrofs iins which are here mentioned in the fiftieth 
pfalm, are from time to time inferted in Solomon's de- 
fcriptions of the weked matt, as oppofed to the nghteinfft 
in the Book of Proverbs : Particularly the fins mentioned 
in the 1 9th verfe of that pfalm, " Thou giveft thy mouUi 
<* to evil, jand -thy tongue 'framed? diSjO^it;" are th^is 
mentioaedf ^s bj^longing :to the chara^fr of \kkt mn^t^ 
motif Prov. ;icii. ^* The thoughts of the rtgh^eQUf ate 
'* right j but the^ ^ou;ifel6 of the iplcked ^re rdeoei^. 
•* The word^ of the wicked are to He in wait for bloodr^ 
** "hut thp mpvitb of the u^i^ht ihaU deliver them..^* 
Nererthelefs it is phip> that the wife mad i{i this BooJf » 
in his diftin^ion of the rig^eouf jand ^c/wfcied, O^esiva 
the lame a^. ,g(?4fy and ufjgadfy' Oijly jrq^^g ^ ^\hq 
foregoing cjiatpters will be .enoqgh ,to ifs^fy mj «f tfeif • 
Ob&rve ^hap. X,. 3-7. 16.^0, aj- 2^» ^?y ?9» 3P» $1% 
32. an^.Xfi^. 3. Sf ^» 7> ^» 9^ *|. i8; ,1^9, ao* 2fv 23* 
30, 31. I)i0iide» .iiviwnjBi">kyfe • ojCher JiJce tiext^ ^J j)ver 
jtkie J^Qok.; ^Xn ph^p. i* 16, it is faid gf 'fiaipkfrs, «'Tfeir 
•* feet r^nip evil, a^id mak^ ]>afte to (Jied bjood." This 
the jA^joilie, in Roin^. w. 15^ iiites a^ [belonging ^o thie 
defcriptipp ^f ^ natui^ ifi^. So iii the drferiptign ^ 
the wi^r^.PpOjv., iv. 1.4*— ir9. it is fi^>d» th^t "they 
," (Jeep ^t-iw^efs ftlvey Mve do^e inifchwef ; that tfce|^ 
" 4raofc- |h.e, >vine of vic^lence,'! £5V., ^an4 yet by the «m- 
i^ ther^ is ^iveant the £ame with the grofcel^fs man ; n& 
ftj^ears by the rnitm^s, there made between him and the 
" juft, »r ri^te^fe whofe path is a^ the fhining lights 
'** wlvich ftiineth ,mojre a^d mpre toihe perfe^ day." * 
A» a further ev^ience that by the ^icied in this P-firf. 
J. 1 6. ip n;i<?ant tjhe fame a^ the ungodly or gracdcfr, it 
js t^ be observed, jhcee is a pretty manifeft anhthfif^^ SX 

9j^2^t}m .between th^ wifhJ^ j^d ^tfmts^ that jEh^ 

58 Salifications FOR FULL 

be gathered to Chrift at the day of judgment, fpoken 6f 
ver. 5. There God fpeaking of his coming to judgment, 
lays, " Gather my saints together, thofe that have 
•* made a covenant with me by facrifice j'* And then, 
after (hewing the infufficiency ot the facrifices of beads, 
implying that that is a greater facrifice by which thefe 
faints make a covenant with him, it is added, ** But 
** to the 'wicied" [that arc not in the number of my 
faints'} " God doth fay. What haft thou to do, to take 
** my covenant into thy mouth ?'f Approving of the 
£&venaniing of the former, but difapproving the covenant' 
ing of the latter. * As to the gathering of -God^s faints ^ 
there fpoken, if we confider the foregoing and foBowinj^ 
verfeft, it is e^dently the fame wkh that gathering vfhis 
//f 5, when Chrift comes in the clowds of heaven, whicli 
; is fpoken of, Matth. xxiv. 30, 31.5 and with that ^^J- 
^iber'mg of the righteous^ as his *wheat into his hantf at 
I the day of judgment, fpoken of Matth. xiii. And 
• therefore there is as miJKrh reafon to fuppofe, that by the 
'mcked^ which are oppofed to them, is meant all gractkfs 
pei€oDs, as there is fo to underftand the doers of iniquity ^ 
fpoken of in that Matth. sciii. as thpfe that are oppofed to 
'ihi^ righteous J which ftiall then **ftiine forth as thfe fuiv in 
** the kingdom of their Father, ver. 43. — ^And there is 
one thin? more which ftill further confirms me in'my 
conftru^bon of Pfal. 1. i6« which is, Tliat the plaiii 
reafon here given againft wicked mens taking God's co- 
venant into their mo\tths, holds good with refpe6^ to all 
gracelefs men^ ' t^'ft. Becanfc they do not comply with, 
'JhH: rejc^ the very covenant^ which they with their 
-mouths profofs to own and confentto. Ver. i*]i " Se*e- 
•* ing thou-hateft inftru£lion, and cafteft my words bc^ 
" hind thee :" As much as to fay, ** ThoU rejeft^ft 
•* and haft a reigning enmity againft my ftatutes, which 
ii* thou declareft and profeffeft a compliance with.'* 
And this is the fpirit and practice of all who live in the 
iin of unbelief and reje^lidn of Chrift; they live in a way 
that is altogether incorffiftenti with the covenant of 
yrac^i for die fum and fubftancc of the condition and 


engagement of that covcQaat is >^hat every natural maa 
16 under the reigning power of enmity againft, and lives 
in contradi6:ion to. Therefore, I think, it follows, that 
they who know it is thus with them, have nothing to do 
io take God's covenant into their mouths; or, in other words> 
have no warrant to do this, until it be otherwife with 
them. J 

III. The nature of things feems to afford no good rea- 
Ibn why the people of Chrift ihould liot OT^cnly frqfe/s a, 
proper refpecft to him in their hearts, as well as a true 
i)otiop of him in tlieir heads, 'or a right opinion of him 
in their judgments. • 

I can conceive of nothing reafonaWyto be fuppofed 
the defign or end of a public pJ-ofefllon of religion* tliat 
does not as much require a profeffion of honour, elleem, 
and friendship of heart towards Chrift, as an orthodox 
opinion about him j or why the former Ihould not be as 
much expelled and required in order to a being admit- 
ted into the company" of his friends and followers, as the 
latter : It cannot be becaufe the former in itfelf is not 
as important, and as much to be looked at, as the lat- 
ter ; feeing the very effence of religion itfelf confifts in 
the former, and v^ithout it the latter is wholly vain, and 
makes us never the better ; neither happier in ourfelves, 
nor more acceptable to God.— ^One end, of a public 
profeflion of religion is the giving public honour to 
God : But furely the profeflion of inward efteem and 
a fupreme refpeft of heart towards God is ias agreeable 
to this deilgn, and more dire£Uy tending to it, than the 
cleclaring of right fpeculative notions of him* We look 
upon it that our friends ' do the more efpecially and di- 
re6ily put honour upon us, when upon proper occafions 
they ftand ready not only to own the truth of fuch and 
fuch fadts concerping us, but alfo to tellify their high 
efteem and cordial and entire regard to us. When per- 
fqns only manifell their doArinal knowledge of things of 
rcligiLpjp, and e;tprefs the affeijt of their judgments, but 
^t the fame time make no pretence to any other than a 

(Sb< (i^MmflC Actons Pt^R- FULlS 

bein^ wlik>By d^ftitutt of all true loVe t6 God^ dnd- A he*] 
iftg under the dominion of crtmity againft him, tlicir 
pirofefiioa is, in fome refpeifts,- rcty greatly to God^s dif- 
honour: For they4eave reafon for the public greatly to* 
fufpe^ that they idid the truth In unrtghtedufnefs^ and that' 
they are fome of thofe that- ha^e both feen and hated 
Chrlfl and his Father^ John xv^ 24. Who of all perfons* 
have the greateft fin, and are moft to God's difhonoun 

I am at a lofe, how that 'oifibtUt^ of fdiiujhip^ which 
the honoured' author of ^he Afpeal t^- the Learned 
f^ippof^sto be all that is required in' order to admiffloa' 
to th& Lord's. fupper, caif fee muieh to God's hbttour,' 
viz. Such a vifibility as leaves reafon to- believe, that the 
greattr part of t^hofe^ who have iti are enemies to Gorf in 
their hearts, and inwardly the fervants of iin, Sufch ai 
vifibility of iteliglori as thisj feems rather to increafe a? 
vifibility of wickedhefe in the world, ^d fo of (io^9 
difiionour, 4:ha'n any thihg elfe; ue: it makes ntot« viae-' 
kednefs vifible to the eye of an human jiidgmerit, and 
give^ men reafon to think, there is more v^ckednefs irf 
the world, than otherwife would be vifible to thenar Bb.* 
eaufe we have rea&n to think, that thofe who live in ar 
rejeiStion of Chrift, Under the light of the go§)eli and 
the knowledge and common- belief of its- deSrihejhSye 
vaftly greater £ivi and gulk than <^t^f men. And that- 
venerable divine himfelf did abundantly teach iSiis. 

Chrift came into the world' to engage in a vrai* witK, 
Cod's enemies,^/! and fatan ; and a great war there kk 
maintained between them ; which v^^ar is eoiicefning us^ 
and the -conteft is, who ftiall have the jtoffeflion of QtJK 
HEARTS- Now it is reafonable;,' under tHefe cirtuniJ 
ftances> that we (houM declare on whofe fide vte are^ 
^whethei* on Chrift^s fide, or o» the .fidfe of his enettiiesi 
If we Would be admitt<id among Chrift^s* friends and fol* 
lowers, it is reafonable« that we fiiould profefs we are oh 
the Lord^s ftdey and that we yield 6UR HEARTS 
^('which the cont'eft is about) to kim, and not to' his- ri- 
vals. And this feems plainly to be the defign and na<^ 
nitt of apublic profefiion-of Chriftv IS shit profeJ£oa 


Is not made, no profeilion is made that is worth regard- 
ing, or worth the making, in fuch a cafe as this is, and 
to any fuch purpofc as a being admitted among his vi- 
iible friends. There is no other being on Chrift's fide, 
in this cafe, but a being fo with an undivided hearty pre* 
ferring him to all hh rivals, and renouncing them all 
for his fake. The cafe admits of no neutrality, or 
lukewarmnefs, or a middle fort of perfons with a moral 
Jincerityj or fuch a common faith as is confiftent with 
loving fin and the world better than Chrift, He that h 
not *ufkh me (fays Chrift) is againft me. And therefore 
none do profefs to be on Chrift' s fide, but they who 
profefs to renounce his rivals. For thofe who would be 
called Chriftians, to profefs no higher regird'to Chrift 
than what will admit of a fuperior regard to the ^world, 
is more abfurd than If a woman pretending to marry a 
man, and take him for her hufband, fhould profefs to 
take him in fome fort, but yet not pretend to take him 
in fuch a manner as is inconfiftent wnth her allowing 
other men-'a fuller poffefiion of her, and greater intimacy 
with her, than (lie allows him. The nature of the cafe, 
as it ftands between us and Jefus Chrift, is fuch, that an 
open folemn profeffion of being entirely foi; him, and 
giving him the poirefflon of our hearts, renouncing all 
^mpetitors, is more requifite in this cafe, than a like 
profeflioa in any other cafe. The profefiion of an in- 
termediate fort of ftate of our mind, is very difagreeabla 
to the nature of Chrift*s errand, work> and kingdom in 
the world, and all that belongs to the defigns and ends 
of his adminift rat ions ; and for minifters and churches 
openly to eftabliih fuch a kind of profefllon of Chrift as 
part of his public fervice, which does not imply a pre- 
tence of any more than lukewarmnefs, is, I fear, to 
make a mere fham of a folemn public profefllon of Chri- 
ft ianity, and feems to be wholly without warrant from 
the word of God, and greatly to God's difhonour. 

It cannot be jiiftly here pretended, as a reafon why 
the opinion concerning do3rines fhould .be profelTed, and 
not friend/hip qt rejpe& of hart^ that the former is more 



fo/ily (Rfcemed and known by U8 than the latter. For 
^though it be true, that men may be at a lofs concerning 
the latter, yet it is as true they may be fo concerning 
the former too. They may be at a lofs in many cafes 
concerning the fulnefs of the determination of their 
own inclination and choice ; and fo they may con- 
cerning the fulnefs of the determination of their judg- 
ment. I know of nothing in human nature that hin- 
ders the adls of mens wills being properly fubjeft to 
their own confcioufncfs, any more than the a6^8 of their 
judgment ; nor of any reafon to fuppofe that men may 
not difcem their own confenty as well as their afent. The 
Scripture plainly fuppofes gracious difpofitions and a6i8 
to be things properly under the eye of confciencc. 2 Cor. 
xiii. 5. " Know ye not your own felves ?" John xxi. 15, 
** Simon fon of Jonas, lovellthou mef" and many other 
places. Nor is the nature of godlinefs lefs made known, 
than the true do&incs of religion. Piety of heart, in 
the more eflential things belonging to it, is as clearly 
revealed, as the doftrines concerning the nature of God, 
the perfoQ of the Meffiah^ and the method of his rc^ . 

IV. We find in Scripture, that all thofe of God's 
profcfling people or vifible faints who are not truly pious ^ 
are rcprefentcd as counterfeits ^ as having gullet difguifet 
and a faife qppearance^ as making falfe pretences^ and as 
being deceitful and hypocrites* — Thus ChriH fays of Na^ 
thanael, John i. 47. " Behold an Ifraelite indeed, in 
** whom is no guile j" that is, a truly gracious perfoii | 
implying, tliat thofe of Gild's profeffing people, who 
are not gracious, are guileful^ ,and deceitful in their pro- 
felfion. So finners in Zion, or in God's vifible church, 
arc called hypocrites. Ifa. xxxiii. 14. " The finners in 
'* Zion are afraid, fearfulnefs hath furprifed the hyfo* 
jtiriles," Ifa. xi. 1 7. " Every one is an hypocrite and an 
^< eviWoer." So they are called lying children^ Ifa. 
^xx. 9. and chap. lix. 13. and are reprefented as lyings 
in pretending to he 9i.the temple or church of God. Jer, 


viu 2. 4. " Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah^ 
** that enter in at thefe gates to worfhip the I^ord.— 
** Trull ye not in lying words, faying, The temple of 
•* the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the 
** Lord are thefe." They are fpoken of as falfly calhng 
themfelves of the holy cityy Ifa. xlviii. 1,2. They ar* 
caXludJUver-iirq/sf and reprobate or refufi Jtlver. (£zek. 
xxii. id. Jer. vi. 30.), which gliflers and fhows like true 
filver, but has not its inward worth. So they arc com- 
pared to adulterated wine y Ifa. i. 22.; and to trees JuHHi of 
leaves f bidding fair for fruitfulnefs, Matth. xxi. 19. 
Clouds that look as if they were full of rain, yet bring 
nothing but w/W, Jude 12. IVel/s without water f that 
do but cheat the thirfty traveller, 2 Pet. ii. 13. A de- 
ceitful bow, that appears good, but fails the archer, 
Pfal. Ixxviii. 57. Hof. vii. 16. — Mr. Stoddard, in his 
Appeal to the Learned^ from time to time fuppofes all <!;#• 
JiblefaitaSy who are not truly pious, to be hypocrites^ as in 

page 15. i7> i3. 

Now what ground or reafon can there be thus to re- 
prefent thofe vifible faints^ or members of God's viflble 
churchy who are not truly pious, if the profeffion of fuch 
doc« not imply any pretence to true piety; and when they 
never made a pretence to, any thing more than common 
grace, or moral Jincerity, which many of them truly have, 
and therefore are not at all hypocritical or deceitful ia 
their pretences, and are as rtiuch without guile, in what 
they make a profefl^on of, as Nathanael was ? The Plalm- 
ik fpeaking of fincere piety, calls it the truth in the ifi' 
ward parts. Pfal. li. " Behold, thou defireft the truth ia 
** the inward parts.*' It is called truth with reference to 
fome declaration or profeffion made by God's vifible peo- 
ple : But on the nypothefis which I oppofe, common ' 
grace is as properly the truth in the inward parts, in this 
refpcd, as faving grace, God fays concerning Ifrael, 
Deut. xxxH. 5. «« Their fpot is not the fpot of his chil- 
** dren." God here fpeaks of himfelf as it were dif- 
appointed : The words have reference to fome profeffion 
they had made : For why ihould this remark be made 



after this manner, that there were fpoU appeared upoa 
them, fhrewd marks that they were not his chtldretiy if 
they never pretended to be his children^ and never were 
accepted under any fuch notion to any of the privileges, 
of his people ? 

God is pleafed to .reprefent himfelf in his word as 
though he trujled the profeffion of his vifible people^ and 
as difappotnted when they did not approve themfelves as 
his faithful, ftedfaft, and thorough friends* Ifa. Ixiii, 
.8, 9, 10. " For he faid> Surely they are my peo* 
•• pie, children . that will not lie. So he was their Sa- 
*' viour : In all their affliction he was afflifted. But 
f* they rebelled and vexed his Holy Spirit j therefore 
**- h^ was turned to be their enemy.'* The fame is re^ 
prefented in many other places. I fuppofe that God 
fpeaks after this manner, becaufe he in his prefent ex- 
ternal dealings with his vifible people, does not a6l In the 
capacity of the Searcher of Hearts, but accommodates 
himfelf to their nature, and the prefent ftate and cir*- 
^umilancee of his church, and fpeaks to them and treats 
•^em after the nxann^r of men, and deals with them in 
their- own way. But fuppoflng the cafe to be cve» 
thus, there would be no ground for fucii reprefcntation!^ 
if there were no profefli6n of true godlinefs. When God 
is reprefented as trufting that men will be his faithful 
friends, we muil underftand that he trufts to their pret- 
tences. But bow improperly would the matter be fe 
reprefented, if there were no pretences to trufl to, n» 
pretences of any real thorough friendfhip ? However there 
may be a profeffion of fome common affe6iion that is 
morally fincere, yet there is no pretence of loving him 
more than, yea not fo much as his enemies. "What rea- 
fon to truft that they will be faithful to God as their 
mafter, when the religion they profefs amounts to no 
more than ferving two matters I What reafon to truidb 
that they will be ftable in their ways, when they do not 
pretend to be of a fingle heart, and all know that the 
double-minded perfons ufed to be unliable in all their 
ways ? Thofe who onJy profefs nioraljincenty or commoa 

f OMMtnrTOir in the yjffBLE church. 6J 

^race, do hot pretend to love God above the worid^ 
And fuch grace h what God and man know is liable to 
fafi a*ufay as ihe early de*tv, and tke morning cloud. If 
what men profefs amounta to nothing beyond htkewarm" 
nefi^ it is not to be expe6iedy that they wiH be fduthfui 
to the death. If men do not pretend to have^any oil ia 
their vefTels, wliat caufe can there be to truft that their 
lamps will not go out ? If they do . not pretend to have 
any root in them, what caufe is therer for any difappoint^ 
ment when they either anvay ? " . . t 

When God, in the forementioned place, Ifa. Ixiii. rei 
prefents htmfelf as trufling Ifrael's profeilion, and fayt 
ing, Sur^y they are my people^ children that tvill not lie ; it 
cannot be uaderftood, as iiF he trufted that they wcri 
kis people in that fenfe, in which the ten tribes were caii>> 
ed God*s pecplt after they had given up themfslves to 
idolatry for two or three hundred years together with- 
out once repenting: But, furely they are my Jincern 
faints and children^ as they profefs to be, Ifraelites in" 
• deedf ^without guile ; for furely they would not ' do f6 
evil a thing as to make a lying profejion* Thij feeni^ 
to be the plain import of the words : It th^refof^ 
fhews thac the profefiion they made was of raal vital 
godhnefs. " 

V. The eight firft vcrfes of the fifty-fixth chapter of 
Ifaiah, I think, afford good evidence, ih2X fuch qualijt" 
tations are requifite in order to a due coming to the" prf- 
vileges of a vifible church-ftate, as I have infifted on.— 

« Ih the four preceding chapters we have a prophecy df 
gof pel-times, the bleffed ftate of things which the Mdf- 
Sal^ ihould introduce. The prophecy of the fame tknefe 

- is continued in the former part of this chapter. Heffe 
we have a prophcty of the abolishing of the ettammUl 
ia^9 which was a waU cffeparcOion^ that kept two fortS 
■of perfons, wsb; eunuchs and Gentiles, out from the or- 
dinances of the church or congregation of the Lord (foV 
the words congregation and church are tlie fame), the placfe 
•^f whofe iheeting waa in GodU houfe^ w^in God's 'walls y 


66 ^ QjTAlirrCATrOMSTORTtyL,! 

vcr- 5. and onlGocPjt holy mountttln^ ver. 7. That in tfcf 
ceremonial law, which efpecially kept out the Gentiles, 
jras the -law of circumcilicn ; and the law that the eu- 
nuch ftiall not enter into the congregation or church of 
the Lordi we have in Deut. xxiii. i. , Now here it i« 
foretoldi that jnAhe days when .** God*s fcjvation Jbail 
be come^ aAd : ihh * righteou/nefs revealed^ by the coming 
of the Mcfliah^ tJiw tvall of feparaUon Should be broken 
down^ this ceremonial law removed out of the way (but 
ilill taking care to note, that the ianv of the Sabbath 
Ihall be 'continued, is not being one of thofe ceremo- 
nial obfervances which fhall be aboliihed) ; and then h 19 
^declared, what is the great qualification which fhouljd 
be looked at in thofe blefTed days, when thefe external 
ceremonial qualifications of circumcifion and foundnefs 
of body fhould no niore be infilled on^ viz. piety of 
heart and pnddcef joining themfelves to the Lord ^ lov* 
ing the name of the JLordf to he hit fervanis^ chufing 
the thingi that pleafe iintj bfc, Ver. 3. ^c. /• Neither 
*' let the fon of the ftranger that hath joined himfelf 
** to the Lord, fpeak, faying, The Lord hath ut- 
<« tedy feparated me from his people 5 neither let the 
*^. eunuch fay^ Behold, I am a dry tree ; for thus faith 
•* , the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my Sabbaths^ 
^ and chufe the things that pleafe me, and take hold 
*• of my covenant, even unto them will I give in my 
** houfe, and within my walls, a place, and a name bet- 
** ter than of fons and of daughters ; I will give unto 
** them an evcrlafling name, that (hall not be cut off. 
•* Alfo the fons of the flranger that join themfelves to 
** the Lord, to ferve him» and to love the name of the 
•^ Lord, to be his fervants^ every one that keepeth the 
" ** SabbMh from polluting it, and taketh hold of my 
•** covenant:- Even them wilV I bring to- my- holy moupi* 
•* tain, and make them joyful in my houfe of prayer ; 
M their burnt-offerings and their facrifices fhall be accept* 
<< ed upon i^riine altar: For mine houfe fhall be called ati 
•* houfe of prayer for all people. The Lord God which 
<* gathered the outcafts pf Ifracl, feith, Yet will I g*^ 


** ther others to him befides thofe that are gathered un* 
« to him." 

VI* The re^efifttatiMf which Christ makes of his 
nnfihle churchy irom time to time, in his cRfcwrfet and 
parables f make the thing manifeft which I have laid 
down. * 

As particnlai4y the reprefentation which Chrift makel 
in the latter end of Matthew yii. of the final iffue of 
things with refpe6i to the different forts of members of 
his vifibie chmch: Thofe that only lay, Lord^ Lvrdy 
and thofe who do the will of his Father which is in 
heaven ; thofe who build their houfe upon a rod, and thofi 
who build upon the fond. They are all ^ of both kinds } 
evidently fuch as have pretended to an high honour and 
regard to Chrift, have claimed an* interefi in him^ and ac- 
cordingly hoped to be finaUy acknowledged and receiv* 
cd as fome of his. Thofe vifibie Chriflians who are not 
true Chriiiiansy for the prefent cry, Lord^ Lord ; that 
is, are forward to profefs refpedl, and claim relation to 
him ; and wiU be greatly difappointed hereafter in not 
being owned by him. They (hall then come and cry, 
JLordy Lord, This compeUation J^rdy is commonly 
given to Jefus Chrift in the New Teftament, as fignifying 
the fpecial relation which Chrifl flood in to his ^fctples^ 
rather than his imiverfal dominion. They ihafi thea 
come and eameftly claim relation, as it is reprefent- 
cd of Ifrael of old, in the day of their diilrefs, and God*i 
awful judgments upon them, Hof. viii. 2. ^* Ifrael ihatt 
*• cry unto me, My Gody we know thee/* To inoftu 
does not here intend fpeculative knowledge, but knoif^ 
ing as one knows his own^' has a peculiar refpedl to^ and 
owns, and has an interefl in. ' Thqfe falfe difciples (hall 
not only claim. intereft in Chrifl, but fhall plead and 
bring arguments to confirm their claim ; Lordy Lord^ 
have we not prophejied in thy namCy and in jhy name hanfe 
cafl out devils y and in thy name have done many wonderful 
works f It -is evidently the language orthofb'that vtt 
dreadfully difappointed. Then (fays Chrift) Lwllprefeft 

na^'jhem^ J ntiBtr hnt^.yiui depart Jr(^ tne yt that ^wofi 
iniquity, y. d, * Though they profefs a relation to me, I 

• will profefs none to them ; though they plead that they 

• know me, and hare afi intereft in me, X will dedare 

• to them that I never owned them as any of mine j 
! mi wiU bid them depart from me as thofe that I wtU 

• never own, nor have any thing to do with in fach a 

• relation as the^ t:Iaim.' Thus till the hopefr tbey had 
lived in, of being hereafter received and owned by Chrift 
as ia the number of his friends and favourites, are dafh« 
ed-in pieces,— **— -This is further illuftratcd by vsfhat fol- 
lows, in the comiparifoQ of the ^femdn *8iAo'iuik hb houfi 
^n a rock ; reprefenting thofe profeiied difcipks who 
buiU their hope of an intereft hii him an a fure foundav 
Iton, whole houfe Hudl ftand in the trying day, and ti)e 
faoi^ plan *ivho hmh hit houfe on the fond; reprefentinj^ 
thofe profefied diiiciples or hearers of his word, wh» 
build their opinion and hope of an intereft in him oh a 
falfe foundation, whofe houfe in the great time of trial 
ihall have a dreadful fall, their vain hope ihall ifBie in 
i2ilmal difappointment and tonfiiiion. 

On the whole, it is manifefl that all vifible Chriftianb 
«r faints, aU Chriil's profei&ng tliA;iple6 or ^hearers that 
profei« him to be their Lwdy acdordtng t6 the" Scaipture- 
.Jiotion of profeHing Chrift, .are itich a& pk*ofef3 a fcroing 
hiiereji in him and rehtton to him^ and live in the hdpe of be- 
ing bereafler onvned as thofe that are fo interefied and reia^ 
td. — By thcfe that hear Cbri/i's fayings^ in this place, are 
/not mean^ merely auditors of the word preached ; for 
thexv a»e mSray ftich who make no pretence to* an inttS 
.joeft in Chriil, and have* no ihcfh hope or opinion intik 
(Cm any fowndation at all : But thofe who fn-ofcfs to 
hearken to, believe, and yield fubmi£ion to the word 
.^ Qurift* . This is con&rmed by the manner in ' which 
the matter is- exprefied ia Luke ^i. ** Whofoever com- 
*' etfa to me, and heareth my fayings, and doth them, 
'•• I win (hew you to whom he is like:" i. e^ Whofo- 
ever viiiUy-comes to me, and is one of my {M>fe£(Bd dif* 


This matter is confirmed by that paralld reprefcnt^ 
ation that Chrift gives us in Luke xiii. 25 — '29. oT 
his ^al difpofal of the two difiFerent forts of p^ons 
that are m the klagdom or church of God ; viz.. thofe 
who ihall be allowed iir his church or kingdoon when it 
comes to its fbate of ^oxy^ and thofe who» though they 
have vidbly beoi in it> fhaU be thruft out of it. It is re^ 
prefented of the hitter^ that they ihall then come and 
claim relation and interefl, and cry, Loniy Lordy open 
io ut; and Chriji JJjall anfwer$ a$id fay^ I kno'W you not 
'^<wbence you are. As much as to fay, * Why do you 
' claim relation and acquaintance with me I You ere 
^ fbangers to me, I do not own you.' Then (it is faid^ 
iheyjhall begin taffityy IVe have eaten and drank in thy pre^ 
-fenccy and thou haJi taught in ourjireett. As much as to 
iay, * This is a urangc thing, that thou doft not^ owa. 

* us ! We are exceedingly lurprifed, that thou (houldft 

* account us as ftrangers thi^ have noypart in thee^ 

* when.wc hafc eaten aiid drank in thy prefence,' ^r» 
And when he^ fhall finally iniiiL i^n it, tJiat he doea 
not own theix^ and w^have aothln^ to do with them' as. 
Ills, then there JbaM he wSepin^akd gna/inng of teeth ;' thea 
they fhall be filled with difinal difaj^ointment, confu*> 
fion, and deipair, whealhey fhall. fee Abraham^ Ifaac» 
and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdoin of God^c 
with whom they expeAed to dwell for ever there, and 
they thezhfeUes X>&ru/? out. By this it is eiddent, that 
fchofe.yifible members of thjC kingdom of God, that 
hereafter ihaH be caft out of it, are fuch as- look upon 
diemfdves now interred in Chrift and the eternal bleff* 
ings of his kii^dom, and make ' that /r^/x^^^m ^ 

' The iam&is manifeft by the pairable of. the ten nytrgms^ 
Matth. XXV. In the firil ferfe it is faid, The kingdom of 
iseaven \i. e, the church of ChxiSf^ n likened unto ten vir" 
gins^ The two forts of virgins e^dently^reprefent the 
two forts of mejcnbers of the yifible churdt of Chrift;. 
the w^, thofe who are true Chrillian&i znd'^fMh^ 
thofe who are apparent, but sot tme Chriftiaite* Tht 
fooltfh vii^gins w^re to ail appearance the children of A^ 


hnJt*chamher ; they were fuch as to appearance ha<I ac* 
cepted of the invitation to the wedding, Which repre"- 
fents the invitations of the gofpe], wherein the bride- 
groom and bride fayy Come ; they herein had"^ teilified 
the fame refpe£l to the bridegroom and bride that the 
wife had : The parable naturally leads ns to fuppofe, 
that they were to appearance every way of the fame fo- 
cicty with the wife, pretended to be the fame fort of 
perfons, in like manner ..interefied in the bridegroonv* 
and that, they were received by the wife under fuch a 
notion ; they made a profellion of the very fame kind of 
honour and regard to the bridegroom, in going forth to 
meet him with their lamps, as his friends to fhew him 
refpejft, and. had. the fame hope of enjoying the privi^ 
leges and entertainments of the wedding : There was a 
^£Ference with refpe6l to oil in their veZ/elsf but there 
was no difference with refpe6i to their lamps. One 
thing intended by their Iantf>s^ as I fuppofe is agreed by 
all, is their profefion. This is the fame in both ; and 
in both it is a profefi^on o£ grace^ ^tsz^lanip (from ita 
known end and ufe ) is a anamfeftationr or ihew of oH. 
Another thing fignified by the bkze of their lamps 
feems to be the hght of hope .* Their lamps fignify in 
general the. appearance of grace or godlinefs, induding 
both the appearance of it to the view or judgment of 
others, and alfo to their own view, and the judgment 
they entertain of themfelVes: Their lamps mone, not 
only in the eyes of others, but alfo in their own eyes. 
This is confirihed, becaufe on the hearing the midnight* 
cry, they iind their lamps are gone out; which fcems moft 
naturally to reprefent this to us, that however hypo» 
crites may maintain,. their hopes while they live, and 
while their Judge is at a diftance, yet when they come 
to be alarmed by the found of the lafl trumpet, their 
hopes will immediatdy expire and vanifh away, and very 
pften fail, thent in the fenfible approaches of death. 
. Where is the hope of the iypocritcy imhen God takes atoay 
his foul P But till the midnight-cry the fooli/h virgins 
fcem to entertain the fame hopes with the wife ; when 


they firft went forth with the wife vlrgiiw, their lamps 
{hone in their own eyes^ and in the eyes of others, in 
kke manner with the lamps of the wife virgins.— So 
that hy this parable it alfo appears, that all vifible mem- 
bers of the Chriftian chm-ch, or kingdom of heaven, are 
thofe that profefs to be gracious perfons, as looking on 
themfelves, and feeming, or at leaft pretending to be 

And that true piety is what perfons ought to look at 
in themfelves as the qualification that is a proper ground 
for them to proceed upon, in coming into the vifible 
church of Chrift, and taking the privileges of its mem- 
bers, I think, is evident alfo from the parable of the 
marriagey which the king made for his fon, Matth. xxii. 
particularly the nth and I2thverfes, **^ And when the 
** king came in to fee the guefts, he faw there a man 
<< which had not on a wedding-garment : And he faith 
*' unto him, Friend ^ how cameft thou tn hither, not hav- 
*• ing a wedding-garment? And he was fpeechlefs.-**— 
Mr. Stoddard fays, (Appeal^ page 4> 5.) " Here it a 
" reprefentation of the day oi judgment ; and fuch per- 
<< fons as come for falvation without a nvedding-garment 
*« (hall be rejected in that day. So that here being no- 
** thing faid about the Lord^t fupper^ all arguing from 
** this Scripture fails to the ground." Upon which I 
take leave to obferve, that the hinges coming in to fee the 
guejisf means Chrift's vifiting his profeffing church at 
the day of judgment, I make iio doubt : But that the 
guefls coming into the lang*s houfe means perfons coming 
for falvation at the day of judgment, I am not convin- 
ced. If it may properly be reprefented, that any re- 
probates wiH come for falvation at the day of judgment, 
they will not do fo hefore the king appears ; but Chrift 
will appear^:^, and then they will cpme and cry to him 
" for falvation. Whereas, in this parable, the guefts are 
reprefented as gathered together in the king^s houfe he- 
fore the king appears, and the king as coming in and 
finding them there ; where they had entered while the 
day of grace lafted^ while the door was kept open, and 


InvitatiQnfi given forth ; and not like thofb who comia 
for falTatioq at the day oijudgment^ Luke xiii. 25. who 
•came after the door isjhuty and^and ivithauty knocking at 
the door, 1 think it is apparent beyond all contradic- 
tion,, that by the guefts coming into the king^s houfe a^t 
the invitation of the fervants, 13 intended Jews and Gen- 
tiles coining into the Chrijlian churchy at the preaching 
of Chrift's Apoftles and others, making profeflion of 
godlinefs, and expefting to partake of the eternal mar- 
riage-fupper. I (hewed before, that that which is called 
the houfe of God in the New Teftament, is his chmrch^ 
Here, in this parable, the kmg firft fends forth his fcr- 
mnts to call them that loere hidden^ and they would not 
come; and they having repeatedly reje^^ed the invitation 
and evil entreated the fervants, the king fent forth his 
armies and burnt up tharcity; reprefenting the Jews 
^eing firft invited, and reje6ling the invitations of the 
gofpel, and perfecuting Chrift's minifters, and fo pro- 
voking God to give up Jerufalem and the nation to de- 
ftrudUon. Then the kin^ fends forth his fervants into 
the high^tways^ to call in all forts ; upon which many 
flocked into the king's houfe; hereby moft plainly repre- 
fenting the preaching the go^el to the Gentiles, and 
their flocking into the Chriftian church. This gathering 
of the Gentiles inta the king'& houfe, is BEFORE the 
day of judgment, and the man without the noedSng-gar'^ 
ment among them. It fitly rcprefents the reforting that 
ihould be to the ChriiHaB church, during the day of 
grace, through all ages ; but by no means fignifies mens 
coming for falvation ^^r the day of grace is at an end, 
at Chrift's appearing in the clouds of heaven. Let this 
parable be compared with that parallel place, Luke xiv« 
16-7-24. The company gathered to the marriage in 
this parable, plainly reprcfents the jiame thing with the 
company of 'virgins gathered to the marriage in the 
other parable, Matth. xxv, W25. the company of vifible 
faints, or. the company belonging to the vifible kingdom 
of heaven ; and therefore both payables are introduced 
alike with thefe words^ The kingdom qf haven is lii^unto^ 


ftc. As to tke man's being cafi out of the king's houfe 
when the king comes m to fee his guefls^ it is agreeable to 
other reprefcntations made of felfe Chriftians being thrvji 
out of GocPs kingdom at the day of judgment ; the fer- 
vant*s ncit ahUing in the houfe for ever, though the fon abid- 
eth ever : God's taking away their part out of the holy 
eity^ and blotting their names out of the book of life ^ 5cc. 

Mr. Stoddard fays, " This perfon that had not a 
•* wedc£ng-garmentj was a reprobate ; but every one that 
** partakes of the LortTs fuppei^ without grace is not a 
** reprobate." I anfwer, aU that will be found in the 
king's houfe without grace when the king comes in to fee 
^^ S^J^^i are doubtlefs reprobates. 

If it be queftioned, whether by the ^medSng-garment 
be meant true piety, or whether hereby is not intended 
moral Jincerttyy let the Scripture interpret itfelf ; which 
clfewhere tells us plainly what the wedding-garment is 
at the marriage of the Son of God : Rev. xix. 7, 8. 
** The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife 
<« hath niade herfeif ready. And to her was granted 
*• that (he flioidd be arrayed in fine linen, clean and 
♦* white ; for the fine linen is the righteoufncfs of 
•« faints." None, I fuppofe, wifl fay, this righteoufncfs 
that is fo pure, is the common grace of lukewarm pro- 
fcfTors, and thofe that go about to ferve God and mam- 
mon. The fame wedding-garment we have accormt of 
in PfaL xlv. 13, 14. " The king's daughter is all glo- 
** nous within, her clothing is of wrought gold : She 
** (hall be brought unto the king in raiment of needle- 
" work." But we need go no where elfe but to the 
parable itfelf ; that alone determines the matter. The 
wedding-garment fpoken of as that without which pro- 
feffors will be excluded from among God's people at the 
4ay of judgment, is not moral fmcerity^ or common 
grace, but fpccial faving grace. If common grace were 
the wedding-garment intended, not only would the king 
cail out thofe that he found without a wedding-garment, 
but alfo many with a wedding-garment : For all fuch as 
' fixaU be found then n^ith ixg beUer garment than morai 



JSncerity^ will be bound hand and foot, and caft intd ovX^ 
darjcnefs ; fucji a wedding-garment as this will not favc 
them. So that tnie piety, unfeigned faith, or the righ- 
teoufnefs of Chrlft which is upon every one that believ- 
^th, is doubtkls the wcdding-garmexit intended. But if 
a perfon has good and proper ground to proceed on in 
coming Intd the king's houfe^ that knowrs he is without this 
vredding-garcient, why (hould .the king upbraid him, 
faying, How camejl thou in hither^ not having a wedding" 
garment? And why fhquld he be fpeechlt^s, when allied 
Tiich a queftion ? Would he not have bad a good anfwcr 
to make ? .awa;. * Thou thyfelf haft given me leave to 

* come in hither, without a wedding-garment,* Or this^ 

* Thy own word is my warrant ; which invited fuch as 
•* had only coinmon grace or moral Jincerity^ to qomc 

* in. 

VII. If we conlider what toot place^ infaSy in the 
manner and circumftances of the admilJion of members 
into the primitive Chriftian church, and the profe/Jitm 
tliey made iu order to their admifEon, as we have thefe 
things recorded , in the Afts.of tlie Apoftlesj^it will fur^ 
ther confirm the point ihave endeavoured to prove. 

We have an account from time to time, coi^cerning 
thefe, of their firft being awakened by the preaching of 
the ApofUes and other minifters, and earneftly inquiring 
what they Jhould do to he faved ; and of their being di- 
recled to repent and. believe ^n the Lord Jefus.^ as the way 
to have t^eir fins blotted out, and to be faved ; and 
then, upon their /ro/^/i^ that they did believe, of their 
being baptized and admitted into the Chriftiao church- 
Now cap any reafonably imagiije, that thefje primitive 
■ converts, when tliey made that profefllon in order to 
their admlifion, had any fuch dlJliiiBion in view as that 
whicjh fome now make, ol two forts of real Chriftianity, 
two forts of fincere £iith and repentance, one with a mo* 
ral and another witli a graci<ius fincerity ? Or that the 
Apoftles, who difcipled them and baptized them, had 
iiillrvjded thei^ in any fuch diftinftioa i "f he hiftory 


informs us of their teaching them but one faith and re* 
pentance; Believing in Chrift that they might he f weedy and 
repentance for the renttjfion of fins; and it would be unrca- 
fonable to fuppofe, that a thoHght of any lower or oth€r 
kind entered into the heads ofthcfe converts', when im- 
mediately upon their receiving Aich inilruftions they 
profeffedy^?//^ and repentance ; or that thofe lyho admit- 
ted them underftood them as meaning airy lower Qt 
other kind in what they profcffed. 

Let us particularly confider what \^e are informed 
concerning thofe multitudes, whofe admifHon we have 
an account of in A6i:s li. We are told concerning the 
f -ihree thoufand firft converts', how that they were greatly 
awakened by the preaching of the ApoftleS,-/77Vid'</ in 
their hearts J ma^e fcnfible of their guilt and mifery; and 
fmdto Petefy and the refl' of the Apofllesy Men' and hrt^ 
threriy <what fball we do ? i. e. What (h^ we do to be 
favedy and that our ftn:F may 'he rtmilted F Upon wLict 
they dircAed them what they ftio.njd do, vijt. Repent^ 
end he hapti%edf in the name of the Lord JefuSy for the re* 
thiffion ofjins. They are here dire£lcd into the way of 
falvatioRy vis. Faith- and i«peotan€e,-wi^ a proper pro- 
£ei!ion of thefe. Then^ we are told, that they which gladly 
received the wordy were hapth&ed; that is. They which ap- 
peared gladly to reeeivc the word, o^ manifcfted and 
profeffed a cordial and chearful compliance with the 
calls of the word> with the dire^lions whicl^the Apoftled 
had given them. The manifeftation was doubtlefs by 
fome profeiTion, and the profeffioD' was of that repent^ 
ance for' the remiffion <f finsy and thai faith in Chrifly 
which the Apofties had dired^ed tliem.to, in anfwer to 
their inquiry, what they fhould do to he faved : I can fee 
no ground to fuppofe they thought of any lower or 
other kind. And it is evident by what follows, that' 
tiiefc convert* now looked upon it that they had com- 
plied with thefe direftions, and fo were at peace with 
God : Their bufinefs now is to rejoice and praife God. 
fnom day to day ; They continued fledfaftly in the j^pq/llet 
doBrine and fellowfhip—m.^-^continuing daily with one accord 

Q ij 


in the tempiet and Breaking bread from houfe to houje^ thejf 
did eat their meat ivlth gladnefs and JingUnefs of hearty 
praiftng God, The account of tliem now is not as of 
perfons under awakeniags, weary and heavy-laden fia- 
ners, under an awful fenfe of guilt and wrath, f ricked im 
their hearts^ as before ; but of perfons w^hofe forrow was 
turned into joy, looking on themfelves as now in a good 
eftate. And in the laft verfe it is faid, ** The Lord 
** added to the church daily yL^^ as Jhould he faved i^^ in 
the original it is rorjz <rcilo/j.sv\t^j the faved^^oi trAtlof^svot was a 
common appellation given to all vifible Chriftians, or ta 
all members of the viuble Chriftian church. It is as much 
as to fay, the converted^ or the regenerate. Being converted 
is in Scripture called a hcing Javed^ becaufe it is fo in ef- 
{&&.; they were " paffed from death to life,'* John v, 24* 
Tit. i. 4. " According to his mercy he SAVED- us, by^ 
the wafiiing of REGENERATION, and renewing 
ofvthe Holy Ghoil." 2 Tim. i. 9. " Who hath SAV- 
ED us, and called us with an holy calling.*' Not that 
all who were added to "the vifible church were indeed re- 
generated, but they were fo in profeffion and repute^ 
and thcreftE)rfr were fo ia i»me, j Cut* u j8» " Tht 
** preaching of the crofs is to tl^em that periihi foolifh- 
** nefs; but unto us [/. e, us Chriftians^ which are 
♦< SAVED [rf:ifl■<y^^;wv<] it isth^powerof GK).d/' Sob 
thofe that from time to time were added to the primi- 
tive chm-ch^ were all called w tralPfuvoi, the faved. Be- 
fore, while under awakenings, they ufcd to inquire of 
their teachers, what they {hould do to he faved ; and 
the diredtions that ufed to .be given them, were to r^^ 
pent and believe In Chrlfl; and before they were admitted 
into the church, they profeffed that they. did fo ; and 
thenceforward, having viiibiy complied with the term% 
propofcd, they were called THE SAVED ; it being 
fuppofed, that they now had obtained what they in«> 
quired after when they aiked what they fliould do to be 
fived. Accordingly we find that after that, from time 
to time, Clu-ift's miniilers Ueated them no more as mi^ 
fcrable pcrifhing fiumers,. but as.tiu^ converts i not. Utr^ 


tfng' before them their fin and mifery to awaken them, 
and to convince them of the neceility of a Saviour, ex- 
horting them to fly from the wrath to come, and feek 
converiioa to God j but exhorting them to hold faji the 
profejfion of their falth^ to continue in tl>e grace of God^ and 
perfevere in holinefs ; endeavouring by all means to ^0;!- 
JSriff and Jlrengthen them in grace. Thus when a great 
number believed and tMrned to the Lord at Antioch, 
Barnabas was fent to them ; ' who, when he came, and 

♦ had fecn the grace of Grod, was glad, and exhorted 
« them afl, that with purpcfe of heart they fhould cleave 

• to the Lord.* A^s xi. 23. See alfo Acts xiii. 43. 
and xiv. 22, and xv. 32. 41. and xx. 32. And when the 
Apoftles heard of the converilon of the Gentiles tp the 
ChriiHan faith, vi£ble by their profeilion when they 
joined theiBfelves to the Chriflian church, they fuppofed 
and believed that God had given them faving repent- 
ance, and an heart-purifying faith, A6b xi. 1 8. ** When 
** they heard thefc things, they held their peace, and 
" -glorified God, faying. Then hath God alfo granted 
" un^o the Gentiles repentance unto life." Chap. 
»▼• 9, " Ajad put no difference between ui and them, 
•* PURIFYING their hearts by faith." 

If any ihould here objcdl, that when fuch multitudes 
were converted from Judaifm and Heathenifm, a^d re- 
ceiyed into the Chriftian church in fo fhort a feafon, it 
was impoilible there fhould be time for each one to fay 
fo much in his public profeffion, as to be any credible 
exhibition of true godlinefs to the church r I anfwer* 
This obje£iioa will foon vanifh, if we particularly con- 
fider how the cafe was with thofe primitive convertSt 
and how they were dealt with by their teachers. It 
was apparently the manner of the firft preachers of the 
gofpel, when their hearers were awakened and brought ^ 
in good eamefl to inquire what they fhould do to be 
iaved, then particiilarly to inflru^l them in the way of 
falvation, and explain to them what qualifications mufl 
be in them, or what they muft do in order to their be* 
IBff favcd; agreeabk to Chnft's direction, Mark xyi« 

G lij 

78 Qtf ALtfffGitflOKi f6TL ttJlt 

15, 16. This we find was the mctliod tbey took Witt tli^ 
three thoufandy in the fecond chapter of A6^, ver. ^^ — 40^ 
And It feems, ,they were particular and full Bi it: They 
faid much more to them than the words recorded. It ia- 
faid, ver. 40. " With many other words did Peter teftify 
" and exhort." And this we find to be the courfe Paul 
and Silas took with the jailor, chap. xvi. Who alfo gave 
^ more large and full inftru^lions than are rehearfed in the 
hiftory. And when they had thus inftrufted them, they 
doubtlefs faw to it, either by themfelves or fome others 
who aflifted them, that their inftru6tion8 were underwood 
by them, before they proceeded to baptize them (for I 
fuppofe, none with whom I have to do in this contro- 
verfy, will maintain, from the Apollles example, that 
we ought not to infift on a good degree of doctrinal 
knowledge in the way and terms of falvation, as rcqiri- 
fite to the admifiion of members into the church). And 
after they were fatisfied that they well underftood thcfe 
things, it took up no great titne to make a profefljon of 
them, or to declare that they did or found in themfelves 
thofe things they had been told of as neceflary to their 
falvation. To be fure, after they had been well informed 
, ivhat faving faith and repentance werc^ it took up no 
more time to profefs that faith and repentance, than any 
other. In this cafe not only the converts words, but 
the words of the preacher, which they confented to, 
and in effe6t made their own, arc to be taken into thdr 
profeflion. For perfons that are known to be of an ho- 
neft chara6ler, and manifeftly qualified with good doc- 
trinal knowledge of the nature of true godlinefs, in the 
more eflential things which belong to it, Iblemnly to 
profefs they have or do thofe things, is to make as cre- 
dible a profeflion of godlinefs as I infift upon. And w* 
may alfo well fuppofe, that more words were uttered by 
the profeflbrs, and with other circumftances to render 
them credible, than are recorded in that veiy brief fum- 
mary hiftoiy, which we have of the primitive church in 
the Ads of the Apoftles ; and alfo we may yet fuppofe 
oae thing further^ vt%. that in that extraordinary ftate 

coMMVinofiiR THE visrBLE cmjRCH; 7^ 

i>f things fo particular a profeflion "\vas not rcquifite id 
order to the church-s fatisfeftion, either of do^^rines aj^ 
fmtitd XOf of of the cnnfent and difpofition of the hearty 
as may be expedient in a more ordinary ilate of things; 
for various reafons that might be given, would it not too 
much lengthen out> this- difcourfe. 

One thing' which makes it very e'vident, tiiat ^e in- 
^ired minifters of the primitive Chriftian church look- 
ed upon faving faith as the proper matter of iht-prvfep- 
Jion requifite in order to adnulfion into the church, is 
the ftory of Philip and the eunuch^ in A6ts viii; Foi* 
when the eunuch defires to be baptized, Philip makes 
anfwer, ver. 37. *< If thou believeft with all thine heart, 
•* thou mayft." Which words certainly imply, that 
keRevittg <mth ail his heart was requilke in order to hid 
coming to this- ordinance properly and in a due manned.' 
I cannot conceive what (hould move Philip to utter thefd 
words, or what he (houTd aim at in them, if he at the 
fame time fuppofed, that the eunuch had no manner of 
ffecd to look at any fuch qualification in himfelf, or at all 
to inquire whether he had fuch a faith, or no, in order 
to determine whether he might prefent himfelf a8< the 
fubje6k of 'bapttfin; many that are without it, being iA 
properly qualified for thia, as they that have it. 

It is faid by fome, that Philip intended nothing more 
by believing with aU his hearty than that he believed that 
do6^rine, that^^j^j Chrift was the Son ofGod^ with a morhl 
Jincerity of perfuafion. But here again I defire, the Scrip- 
ture may be allowed, to be its own interpreter. 1^ 
Scripture very much abounds with fuch phrafes as this, 
tvith all the hearty or 'ivith the tvhole hearty in fpeaking of 
religious matters. And the manifeft intent of them ift 
to fignify a gracious Jtmphcity and godly Jinceriip Thus, 
I Sam. xii. 20. " Turn not afide from following the 
** Lord, but fcrve the Lord with all your heart.'* So 
ver. 24. **' Only fear the Lord, and ferve him in truth, 
•* with aU your heart." i Kings viii. 23. ** Who 
•• keepeft covenant and mercy with thy fervants, that 
f< walk before thee with all thdr heart*'' Chap. xiv. S: 


<* My fervant Davijy wha kept my commandmenti^ 
'* and who followed me with all hts heart." 2 Kingf 
¥•31. '^ But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of 
** the Lord God of Ifrael with all his heart," 2 Chron* 
XX ii. 9« ** Jehoihaphat fought the Lord with all hii- 
«• heart." Chap. xxxi. 20^ 21. " Hezekiah wrought 
*< that which was good and right and truth before the 
** Lord his G^ ; and in every work that he- began i» 
•• the fervice of the houfe of God, and in the law, and 
*' in the . commandments, to feek his God, he did 1% 
<« with all his heart," Pfal. ix. i. "I will praife thee,. 
<* O Lord, with my whole heart," Plal. Ixxxvi. 1 2. 
*< I will praife thee, O Lord my Gody with all my 
♦' heart, and will glorify thy name." Pfal, exi. i, *' I 
f * will praife thee, O Lord, with my whok heart, iiv 
«* the aflembly of the upright." And cxix. 2, " Bleffr 
♦* ed are they that keep his teftimonies, and, that feek 
** him with the , whole -heart." Ver. io» "-With my 
•* whole heart have I fought thee." Ver. 34. " Give 
** me underftanding, and I fhall keep thy law, yea, X 
«< fliall obferve it with my whole heart." Ver, 69. 
** The proud have forged a lie againi^ me, but I will 
**■ keep; thy precepts with ray. wliole heart." Jer. . 
xxiv. 7, *< And I ^11 give them an heart to know me— ^ 
M for they ft^aU return, unto, me wjth ^heir whole heart." 
<* Joel ii. 19, 13. " Turn ye even unto me with all yout , 
•* heart — and rent your heart, and not your garments." 
And ,we . hayj? the like phjt^afes^ in , ipmim^rable othey . 
places. And I fuppofe that not fo much aa one place 
cai> be produced, wherein ther^ is the leai^ evidence or 
'fippearaj^ce of their being, ufed to iignify any thing but 
^ gracious fi^er'tiy. And^ indeed it muft be a very imr 
proper ufe of language, to {peak of thofe as pef fovQiiag 
afts of religion wi/2 all thek kearfiy wliofe, heart the 
Scripturea do abundantly reprefent aa under the reign- 
ing power of fifi and unbelief, and as thofe that do w>t 
give God their hearts, but give them to otl^er things; 
as thofe.who go about to firue t*ivo mft/hrs^ and as thofe 
w\9 iudeed firavi tic0r tg. G^d ^uh thfk lij^r tat have 




at the fame time their hc^^xts Jar from him^ and running 
more after other things ; and who have npt a Jingle eye^ 
nor ^ngU heart. The word BelUve, in the New Tefta* 
ment, anfwers to the word trufi in the Old ; and there- 
fore the phrafe. ufed by Philip^ of beUeving with all tkf 
heartf is parallel to that in Prov. iii. *^ Truft in the Lord 
*' with sJl thine heart." And believing with the heart i» 
a phrafemied in the New Te{lament» to iignify^/^m^ 
faith. Rom. x. 9> lo. *^ If thou (halt believe. in thine 
'< hearty that Godliath raifed him from. the dead, thou 
" (halt be faved ; for with the heart men belicveth untp 
*^ righteoufnefs.'^ The fame is fignified by obeying the 
fwrm of dodrime from the hearty Rom. vi« 17, 1 8. '* Bi^ 
^' God be thankedy that ye were the Cervants of iiR, \^ 
'^ ye have obeyed from the heart that form of do^rine 
which was delivered you 1 being then made free from 
i^y ye became the fervants of rightebufnefs." Here 
it is ipanifefty that fawng faith i^ intended by obeying 
the form of do6irine frwi the heart* Ami the f?ime. i» 
figqified as if it had been faid,. ji^ have h^eve4. vtithtbt 
heart the fonn of doctrine. But PbiJipufea a yet lbraing«- 
cf expreffion, he does not only fay, if thtm believ^ mfith 
ibe heart f or from the heart,. iul mfh avi« thine heart* 
And befides, for any to fuppofe, that thofe fame per* 
food which the Scriptures reprdent in fome places aa 
under the power of an evil heart of unbelief; and an 
double-minded with regard to their faith ( Jame» i* 6, 7 , t^. )^ 
and as thofe wha though they believe ft^ a wlnht^ yet 
have tbdr hearts Ijlke a rock^ in which £iitb has ii« roH 
(Luke viii,-) $ and yet that this £aane fort of perfont. 
are in other Scriptures fpoken of as, beHeving' with oM 
their heart s I fay, for any to fuppo£e this, would be ta 
make the found or voice of God's word not very har- 
inonioua and confonant to itfelf.c — And one thing mora: 
I would obferve on thia head, there is good reafon ta 
fuppofe, that Philip, while he fat in the chanot with 
the eunuch, and (as we are told) preached finto himjefw^ 
had ihewed to him the way .of Salvation, had. opened ta 
him. the way of getting aiLiAtfii«ft,.ia Chri&r .<v ol^taiav 


ing faltation by him, viz. believing in hinty agreeable to 
Chrift's own direAion, Mark xvi. 15, 16.'; and agrec-^ 
able to what we find to bie the manner of the firft 
preachers of the gofpel : And therefore now when after 
this difcourfe he puts it to the eunuch, whether he bt' 
lieved with all his heart; it is natural to fuppofe, that he 
meant whether he foimd his heart acquiefcing in the 
gofpel- way of Salvation, or whether he lincerely exercifed 
that belief in Ghrifl which he had been inculcating ; and 
it would be natural for the eunuch £0 to underftand 
him. ^ 

Here if it be objef^ed, that the eunuch's anfwer, and 
'the profeffidji he hereupon made (wherein hefpeaks no'* 
■thing of his hearty but barely fays), I believ^ that Jefur 
Chrifi is the Son of Gad^ (hows that he underftood n^^ 
more by the inquiry, than whether he gave his affent t'o^ 
fhat doSrine: To thi& I anfwer; we nmfl take this con* 
feiHon of the. eunuch's together with Philip's words*, 
which they were a reply to, and expound the one by 
the other. Nor i^ there any reafon but to underftand it 
«n the fame fenfe in which we find the words of the like 
€opfeifion elfewhere in the New Teflament» and as the 
words of fuch a confefiion were wont to be uCed in thofe 
days ; as< particularly the worda of Peter's confelliony 
Matth. xvi. 16. **^ And Simon Peter anfwered and faidi 
** Thou art Chrift the Son of the Living God:" Which 
was a profeffion of faving faith, a» appears by what 
ChriA fays upon it. And^ we read, i Cor. xii. 5.^' Nd 
*^ man can fay, that Jefus is the Lord, but by the Holj 
^< OhofL" Not but that a man might make a pro** 
feffion- in the£e words* without the Holy Ghoil, but 
lie could not do it heartily; or WITH ALL HIS 
HEARfT. So I Johniv. 15. « Whofoever (hall con. 
^ fef*3 that Jefus is the Son of God, God dwelleth ia 
faim, and he in God." i. t. Whoever makes this Chri- 
ftian confeifion (this profelHon- which all Chriftians wert 
wont to^ mafce)^f cordially, or with his whole hearty God. 
dwells in him, C*f^' But it was thus that the eunuch 
\. put upon making this -cDiifci&on..- 


VIII. It is apparent by the Epiftlcs of the ApolUes 
to the primitive Ghriftian churches ^^ their manner of ad* 
drejjing and treating them throughout all thofe EpiiUes, 
and what they fay /« them and of them, that all *thofe 
churches were conftUuted of members fo qualified as has 
been reprefented, having fuch a viftbtlity of goeWmeft as 
has been miifled on ; thofe who were reputed to be reai 
JdintSy were taken into the church under a notion of their 
being truly pious perfons, made that profejfion^ and had 
this hope of themfelves ; and that natural and gracelefi 
men were liot admitted deiignedly, but unawares^ and 
Befide the aim of the primitive churches and minifters ; 
and that fuch as remained in good ^banding, and free 
from an offeniive behaviour^ continued to hav% the re- 
putation and efteem of real faints, with the ApoiUeSi 
and one with another. 

There were numbers indeed in thefe churchee, who 
' after their admiifion fell into an olFeniive behaviour ; 
fome of which the ApoHles in their Eptftles fpeak 
doubtfully of ; others that had behaved themfelves very 
{candalouily, they fpeak of in language that feems to 
fuppofe them to be wicked men. The Apoftle Paul, 
in his Epiilles to the Corinthians, oftentimes {peaks of 
fome among them ithat had embraced heretical opinions, 
and had behaved thenifelves in a very diforderly and 
(chifmatical manner, whom he reprefests as expofcd to 
cenfure, and to whom he threatens excommunication ; 
and u|>oo occafion of fo many offences of this kind ap- 
pearing among them that for a while had been thought 
well of, he puts them aU upon examining themfelves, 
wliether they Were indeed in the faithf and whether 
Chrifi was truly in them, as they and others had fup- 
pofed, 2 Con %va. — And the fame Apoftle fpeaks of 
great numbers among the Galatians, whoT had made a 
high profeffion, and were fuch as he had thought well 
t>f when they were firft admitted into the church> but 
fince had given him caufe to doubt of their flate, by giv- 
ing heed to feducers, that denied the great gofpd-doc- 
%xvBi& oi ju/lific<itiQn Jby fa^b .alone ; Yet aotwSWUodi^f « 


the Apoftk fpeaks of them in fuch language as (hews 
fiirprife -and dijfappointmeiit, and implies that he had 
looked upon them as true Chriftianss and hoped that 
his labours anning them had had a fkving elFe^ upon 
them. Gal. i. 6. ** I marvel that ye are fo foon re- 
** moved from him tiiat called you into the grace of 
<* Chnft, unto another* gofpel." Chap. iv. ii. *< I am 
"•< afraid of you, left I have beftowed upon you labour 
** in vain." And vcr. 20. " I defire to he prefent 
^* with you now, and change my voice ; for I ftand in 
*« doubt of you," As much as to fay, * I have hereto^ 

* fore addreffed you with the voice of love and charity, 

♦ as fuppofing you the 'dear children of God ; but now^ 
^ I begin to ^ink of fpeaking to yoa in other language,* 
In the fame tchapter, to (hew them what little reafon he 
"had had to expeft that they would come to this, he puts 
them in mind Df the gttat profejjion they had made, and 
the cflttraofdinary appearances there had formerly been 
in them of fervent piiety. Vef. 15. ** Where is the 
'•* Meifednefs you fpake of? For I bear you record, that 
<* if it had been poffible, ye would have plucked out 

-<* your own ey«s, and have given them unto me." 

The A'pofHe James, in his EpifHe, fpeaks of fcandalous 
peribns among the twehe tribes that tvere fcattered abroad^ 
tome that were men of unhridfed tongues; fome that feem 
to have been a kind of Antinoraians in their. principles, 
and of a very bitter and violent fpirit, that reproached, 
condemned, and ^«;^// their brethren, and raifed *wars and 

_fightings among prcdeffing Chriftians, and were alfo very 
unclean in their praftice, adulterers and adultereffes] chap, 
W. 4. And in the fifth diapter of his Epiftle, he feems 
to fpeak to the unbelieving' Jews, who perfecuted the 
Chriftians, ver. 6. — -And the Apoftles are alfo often 
fpeaking of fome that had once been admitted into the 
church, crept in unawares y who had apoftatized from Chri- 

ftianity, and finally proved notoriouily v^ricked men. 

But otherwife, and as to fuch menibers of the vifiblc 
church as continued in the fame good ftanding and vifi- 
yikj of C^riftianity^ wherein they wiere ^fcdmitted, it is 


t^dcnt by the Epiilles of the ApoiUes, they were all in 
the eye a£ a Chriftian judgment truly pious or gradcuf 
persons. And here I deflrc the following things may 
be ^particularly obferved. 

The Apoilles continually, in their EpiMes, fpeak to 
them and of themy as fuppoiing and judging them to be 
gracious peribns. Thus the Apoftle Paul, in his Epiille 
to the church of the Romans, chap. i. 7. fpeaks of the 
members of that church as beloved of God^ In chap. yi. 
17, 18, l^c^' he ^ thanks God, that they had obeyed 
^ from the heart tha4: form of do^lrine wliichhad been 
»* delivered them, and were made free from fin, and be- 
** come the fervants of righteoufnefe,'* (5*^, The Apof- 
tle in giving thanks to God for this, mufi not only have 
a kind of negative charity for them, as not knowing but 
that they were gracious perfons, and fo charitably hofmg 
(as we fay) that it was fo ; but he feems to have form- 
ed a pojitive judgment that they were fuch ; His thankf- 
^iving muH at leaft be founded on rational probability ; 
iince it would be but mocking of God, to give him 
thanks for bellowing a mercy which at the fame time he 
did not fee reafon poiitively to believe was bellowed. 
In chap« vii. 4, 5, 6. the Apodle ^aks of them as 
thofe tliat once were in thejlejhy and ^were under the lanv^ 
but now delivered from the hvuj^ and dead to it. In chap. 
viiL 15. and following verfes, he tells them, they had re-' 
ceinfed the Spirit of adoption y and fpeaks of them as having 
the nmtnefs of the Spirit that they nvere the children of God^ 
heirs of God^ and joint heirs *with Chrifi, And the whole 
of his difcourfe, to the end of the chsqiter, implies, that 
he cileemed them truly gracious perfons. In chap. ix. 
23, 24. he fpeaks of the. ChriHian Romans, together 
•^th all other Chrifli^ans, both Jews and Gentiles, as 
^^effels of mercy^ In chap, xlv, 6, 7, 8. fpeaking of the 
difference that then was among profefilng ChriAians, 
in point of regard to the ceremonial inilitutions of the 
law, he fpeaks of both parties as ailing from a gracious 
principle, and as thofe that lived to the Lord, and fhould 
die unto the Lord \ ^^ He tliat legardeth the day, re- 

' H 


** gardetk it unto tlie Lord, £3fc For none of us" litfetli 
<* to bimfelf, and no man [i. e. none. of us^ dieth to him- 
<* felf. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord, or 
*' whether we die, we die unto the Lord : Whether we 
** live therefore or diej we are the Lord's/* Inxhap. 
XV. 14. he fays, " I myfelf alfo am pcrfuaded of you, 
** my brethren, that ye are full of goodnefa." His being 
thus perfuaded implies a pofridve judgment of charity. 
4 — And'.the fame Apoflle in his Firil EpiiUe to the Cot 
RiNTHiANs, directs it to " the church at Coiinth, that 
^* are fan6lified in Chrift Jefus, called to be faints, with 
•** all that in every place call on the.>name of the Lord 
-** Jefus ;" /. e, to aU vifible Chriftians through the 
Avorld, or all the members of Chriil's vilible church every 
;where : And continuing his fpeech of thefc, chap. i. 8- 
he fpeaks of them as thofe " that Gbd would confimi 
•** to the end, that they n^ay be blamelefd in the .day of 
** our Lord Jefus Chrift :" Plainly fpeaking of them all 
as perfons, in Chriftian efteem, favingly converted. Iq 
fthe next verfe, he fpeaks o£ the fahhfulnefs. of God bs erif- 
gaged thus to preferve them to falvation, having called 
ihem to the fillo^wjhip of his Son, . And ia the 30th verfe, 
he fpeaks of them as having a facing intereft in Chrifl:.; 
<* Of him are ye in Chrift Jefus ; who of God is made 
•* unto us wifdom, righeteoufnefs^ fan6i:iiication, and re- 
-<* demption.^' in chap. iii. 2i# 22^ 23. he fays to 
the members of the church of Corinth, " All things 
** are yours, whether Paul, or ApoUos, or Cephas, or 
/** the world, or. life, or death, or things prefent, or 
/** things to come ; all are yours, and ye are Chrift's." 
In chap. iv. . 15. he tells them, he had begotten them 
through the gofpeL ' In chap, vi. i, 2, 3. he .fpeak? of 
them as '<' thofe whq fliall judge the world, and fhall 
** judge angels:''* And in ver. ir- he fay« to them, 
** Ye are waflied, ye are fandlified, ye are juflilied, m 
*^ the name of the Lord Jefus, and by the Spirit of 
*< God.'* And in chap. xv. 49. to the end, he fpeaks 
,of them as having an intereft, with him and other Chri- 
Asians, in the happinefa and glory^ of the rejum^ion of 


thejujl. And in his Second Epiftle, chap. i. 7. he fayS 
to them, " Our hope of you is ftedfaft ; knowing that 
" as you are partaK<*rs of the ftiffeiings, fo fhall ye lie 
>* alfo of the confolation." • This lledfall hope implied 
a poiitive judgment. We mufl here underftand the A- 
poftle to'fpeai of fuch mennbers of the church of Co* 
rinth, as ha<i not vifibly baokfliden-, as they whom hd 
dfewhere fpeaks doubtfully of.- Again, in the 14th and 
I jth verfes, he fpeaks of a corjidence which he had, that 
th^y jhould be his rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jefus* 
In all reafon we muft conclude, there was a vifibility of 
^race, carrying with it an apparent probability in th6 
eyes of the Apoftle, which was the ground of this hiA 
confidence* Such .ail apparent prdbabihty, and his con-* 
fidence as built upon it,* ar6 both cx^fefied in chap. iii» 
5, 4. " Ye are manifeftly declared to be the EpKtle of 
Chrift, miniftered by us j written not with ink, but with 
** the Spirit of the Living God; not in tables of ftone, 
<* but in the flefhly tables of the heart ; and fuch trull 
*' have we through Chrift to God-ward." And in ver. 
18. the Apoftle fpeak» of them, with himfelf and othef 
ChHftiarts, as w// nmth open face, beholding as in a glafs, the 
glory ofthe^Lordy and ieing changed into the fame image^ 
from glory to glory, — ^And m the Epiftle to the churches 
of Gal ATI A, chap. iv. 26. the Apoftle fpeaks of vifible 
Ghriftians, as vifibly belonging to heaven, the Jerufalem 
'uAichis above. And' ver* 28, 29. reprefents them to be 
the children of the promife, as- Ifdac ivas ; and born after 
the Spirit. In the 6th verfe of the fame chapter ,^ he fay^ 
to the Chriftian Galatians, Becaufe ye arefonsy God hath 
feni forth the Spirit of Ms Son into your hearts^ crying ^ j^bba^ 
Father. And in chap. vi. i. he fpeaks of thofe of them 
that had not 'fallen into fcandal, 7i% fpiritual perfons . — In 
his Epiftle to that great church of Ephesus, at the be- 
ginning,' he blejfts God on behalf of the members of that 
church, as being, together with himfelf and all the faith*- 
ful in Chrijl Jefus^ " Chofen in him before the founda- 
** tion of the world, to be holy and without blame be- 
»* fore him in love, being predeftinated to the adoption 



** of children by Jefus Chrift to himfelf, according to 
** the good pleafure of his will, to the praife of the 
** glory of his grace, wherein Crod had made them ac* 
•* cepted in the beloved; in whom they had redemption 
** through his blood, t§ic forgrvcnefs of finB.'* In chap« 
1.13, 14. he thus writes to them,. •* In whom ye alfe 
trufted-^In whom after ye believed, ye tvere feakd 
with that Holy Spirit of promife, which is the ear- 
ned of our inhentance, until the redemption of the 
*' purchafed poffeffion.*' And in chap. ii. at the begin* 
ning ; ** You hath he quickened, who were dead in 
** treifpaffes and fms." With nwuch naorc, (hewing that 
they were, in a charitable efteem, regenerated perfonsi 
and heirs o£ falvation.— >So in the ^piiUeto the mem« 
bers of the chnrch of Phi lip pi, the Apoftle faluting 
them in the beginning of it, tells them, that he ** thankg 
** God upon every remembrance of them, for their feU 
** lowfhip in the gofpel ; being cokfii>ent of this very 
*' thing, that he which had begun a good work in 
f* them, would perform it until the day of ChrIA: Eyea 
*' ffiys he J as it is meet for me to think this of you 
** aQ.'^ If it wa« meet for him to think tlus of thern^ ' 
and to be confident of it, he had at leaft fome appearing 
rational probability to found his judgment and confi- 
dence upon ; for furelyit is not met^ for reafonable crea- 
tures to thini at random, and be confident without reafon. 
In ver. 25, 26. he fpeaks.of his ** confi^nce that he 
** ihould come to them for their furtherance and joy of 
** faith, that their rejoicing might bq more abiwdant 
*« in Chrift Jefus." Which words certainly fuppofe 
that they were perfons who had already received thrift, 
and comfort in him ; had already obtained faith and joy 
in Chrift, and oiJy needed to have it increafed. — In 
the Epiftle to the members of the church ofCoLOssE» 
the Apoftle faluting them in the beginning of the Epif- 
tle, " .gives thanks for their faith in Chrift Jefus^ and 
•* love to all faints, and the hope laid up for them in 
•* heaven ;" and fpeaks of " the gofpel's bringing forth 
5* fruit in them, fince the day they knew the ^race of 



" God in truth;" /• e^ fincc the day of their laving 
converflon. In chap. i. 8. he fpeaks of ** their love in 
** the Spirit/' Ver. iz^ 13, 14. he fpeaks of them as 
** mad^ meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the 
" faints in light j as being delivered from the power of 
<< darknefsy a^d tranflated into the kingdom of God's 
** dear Son j as having redemption through Chriil's 
" blood, and the forgivenefs of fins." In chap. iii. at 
the beginning, he fpeaks of them as " rifen with Chritt ; 
** as being dead [i. e. to the law^ tofin^ and the worlcT] ; 
" as having their life hid with Chriil in God;" and 
being fuch as ** when Chriil their life (hould appear, 
** ihould appear with him in glory." In ver. 7, he 
fpeaks of them as " having once walked and lived in 
" lufts,but having now put off the old man with his deeds, 
*^ and put on th€ new man, which is renewed in know- 
" ledge, after the tmage of him that created him." — In 
the Firil EpilUe to the members of the church of The s- 
sALONiCik, in words annexed to his falutation, chap. i. 
he declares what kind of vifibility there was of their 
tk3ion of God J in the appearance there had been of true 
and faving converfion^ and their confequent holy life, 
ver. 3 — 7. And in the beginning of the Second Epiftle, 
he fpeaks of their faith and loite greatly increajing ; and 
in ver. 7. expreffes his confidetice of meeting them in 
eternal refiy when the Lord Jefus Chrift JJoould he revealed 
from heaven with his mighty asigels. And in chap. ii. J 3. 
He gives thanks to Gody that from the beginning he had 
d)ofen them to Jalvation-'^ln the Epiille to the Chriftian 
Hebrews, though the Apoftle fpeaks of fome that once 
belonged to their churches, but had apoilatized and 
proved themfelves hypocrites ; yet concerning the reft 
that remained in good {landing, he fays, chap. vi. 9. / 
am perfuaded better things ofyoUf and things that accompany 
falvation, (Where we may again note, his being thus 
/fr/I/fl^^ evidently implies a pofitive judgment.) And 
in chap. xii. 22, ^c» he fpeaks of them as vifibly be» 
longing to the glorious fociety of heaven. And in chap. 
xiiL 5, 6. he fpeaks of them as thofe who may boldly 

H iij 


fayy The Lord is my helper, — The Apoftle James, wrif- 
ing to the Chriftians of the tivehe tr'^es which ivere 

fcattered abroad^ fpeaks of them as regenerated perfons 
{ meaning, as I obferved before, thofe which were in 
good {landing ), chap. i. i8. " Of his ov^n will begat he 
**/ us by the word of truth, that we fhould be a kind of 
** firft-fruits of his creatures. — ^The Apoftle Peter writ- 
ing to the Jewifli Chriftians, fcattered throughout Pon- 
tus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Afia, and Bithynia (large 
countries, and therefore they muft in the whole be fup- 
pofed to be a great multitude of people), to all thefe the 
Apoftle in the infcription or direftion of his Firft Epif- 
tlc, gives the title of ele&^ according to the foreknoivledge 
of God the Father^ through fanSiJication of the Spirit unto 
obedience J and J}irinkUng of the blood of yefus Chrtfl* And 
in the verfes next following, fpeaks of them as regenerat- 
ed, ** or begotten again to a lively hope, to an ihheritance 
*' incorruptible," &c. And as ** kept by the power of 
** God through faith unto falvation." And fays to 
them in ver. 8, 9. " Whom [namely Chri/l) having not 
•* feen, ye love ; in vrhom though now ye fee him not, 
** yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unf^eakable and 
** full of glory ; receiving the end of your faith, even 
** the falvation of your fouls." And in ver. 18. to the 
end, the Apoftle (peaks of them as ** redeemed from 
** their vain converfatiou, by the precious blood of 
** Chrift. — ^-^n^ as having purified their fouls in obeying 

** the truth through the Spirit— Being born again 

** of incorruptible feed," &c. And in the former part 
of chap. ii. he fpeaks of them as <' living ftones, coming 
•* to Chrift, and on him built up a fpiritual houfe, an 
** holy priefthood, to offer up fp'iritual facrifices, accept-* 
** able to God through Jefus Chrift. — ^nd as j:hofe 

** that believe, to whom Chrift is pirecious. -^s a 

** chofen generation, a royal priefthood, an holy nation,. 
** a pecuh'ar people, called out of darknefs into marvel- 
*' lous light." The church at Babylon, occafionally 
mentioned in chap. v. 13. is faid to be elected together 
^vitb them. And in his Second Epiftle (which appears 


by chap. lii. i. to be written to the fame perfons) the 

infcription is, To tfjem which have obtained like preciwt 

faith nvith usy i. e. with the Apoftles and fervants of 

Chrift. And in the third chapter, he tefls them, both 

his Epiflles were d^figned to JHr up their pure minds. 

In the Firil Epillle of John, written (for ought appears) 

to profeffing Chriftians in general, chap. ii. 1 2, &c. the 

Apoftle tells them, " He writes to them, becaufe their 

** fms were forgiven, becaufe they had known him tHat 

" was from the beginning. — Becaufe they had overcome 

" the wicked one," &c. In ver. 20, 21. he tells them, 

** they have an unftion from the Holy One, and know 

all things ; and that he did not write to them becaufe 

they had not known the truth, but becaufe they had 

** known it," &c.: And in ver. 27. he fays, " The 

anointing which ye have received of him, abidethin 

you, and ye need not that any man Ihould teach you ; 

but a& the fame anointing teacheth you of all things, 

and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it hath taught 

*' you, ye (hall abide in him." And in the beginning 

of chap. iii. he addreffes them as thofe who were the 

** fons of God, who when he fhould appear fhould 

** be like him, becaufe they fhould fee him as he is.'* 

In chap. iv. 4., he fays, ** Ye are of God, little chiF- 

** dren, and have overcome," &c. — ^The Apoftle Jude, 

in his general Epiftle, (peaks much of apoftates and their 

wictedncfs j but to other profeffing Chriftlans, that had 

not fallen away, he fays, ver. 20, 21. " But ye, be- 

** loved, building up yourfelves on your moft holy faith, 

** praying in the Holy Ghoft, keep yourfelves in the 

** love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jefus 

•* Chrift unto eternal life :" Plainly fuppofing, that 

they had profeffed faith with love to God our Saviour. 

and were by the Apoftle conftdered as his friends ana 

lovers. Many other pafTages to the like purpofe 

might be obferved in the Epiftles, but thefe may fuffice. 

Now bow unaccountable would thefe things be, if 

the cafe was, that the members of the primitive Chri* 

ftian churches were not admitted into them under any 


foch notion as their being really godly perfois anJ heir» 
of eternal life, nor with any refpedl to fuch a character 
lippearing on them ; and that they therafelves joined to 
thefc churches without any fuch pretence, as having na 
fuch opinion of themftlves \ 

But it is particularly evident that they had fuch 
an opinion of themfelves, as well as the Apoftles of 
them, by many things the ApofUes fay in their Epiftlesr 
Thus, in Rom. viii, 15, 1 6. the Apo&le fpeaks of them^ 
as " having received the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of 
•« God bearing witnefs with their fpints, that they 
** were the children of God.'* And chap, v. 2. Of 

•* their rejoicing in hope of the glory of God." 1» 

1 Cor. i. 7. He fpeaks of them as ** waiting for the 
•* coming of the Lord Jefus." In chap. xv. 17.* the 
Apollle fays to the members of the church of Corinth, 
** If Chrift be not raifed, your faith is vain, yc are yet 
** in your fins:" Plainly fuppofing, that they hoped their 
fins were forgiven." — In Philip, i, 25, 26^ the Apoftle 
fpeaks of his coming to Philippi, to " increafe their joy 
** of faith, and tliat their rejoicing in Chrift might be 
** more abundant:" Implying (as was obferved before),, 
that they had received comfort already, in fome degree as- 
fuppofing themfclves to have a faving intercft in Chrift. 
I In I TlieflT. i. 10. he fpeaks of the members of 
the church of Theflalonica as " waiting for Chrift from 
** heaven, as one who had delivered them from the wrath 
•< to come>" ■ ■ ■ In Heb. vi. 9, 19, he fpeaks of th^e 
Chrift ian Hebrews as having that " hope which was an 
«* anchor to their fouls."— The Apoftle Peter^ 1 Epift. 
i. 3—6. 8, 9. fpeaks of the vifible Chriftians he wTote 
to, as being " begotten to a living hope, of an inherit- 
** ance incorruptible, ^c. Wherein they greatly re- 
** joiced." Ssi'r. — And even the members of the church 
pf Laodicea, the very worft of all the feven cliurches of 
Afia, yet looked upon themfelv'es as truly gracious per- 
fons, and made that profeifion Kthey " faid, they were 
** rich, and increafed in goods, and knew not that they 
^< were wretched and miferable," l^c. Rev. iii, 1 7, 



_ 1 

It is ^fo evident^ that the members of thefe primitive 
churches had this judgment one of another^ and of the 
members of tlic vifible church of Chrift in general. — In 
1 Theff. iv- 13, 55ff. the Apoftle. exhorts the Chrift iaft 
TheflaloBiansy in mourning for their deceaiied friends 
who were vifible Chrift ians, noi tefinimf as the hopeleft 
Heathea were wont to do for their departed friends ; 
and that upon this confideration» that they had reafon 
to exped): to meet them again in glor'unts circumftanceir 
at the day of judgment, never to part more. The 
ground of corafort concerning their dead friends, Vhick 
the Apoftk here /peaks of, is evidently fomething tnar^ 
than fuch an hope as it may be fuppofed we ought t» 
hav& of aS that profefs ChrMian doSrmes^ and are^ not 
fcandaiow in life, whom we muft forbear tQ cenfure^ be^ 
caufe we do not know but they are tree faints. — ^The 
members of the church of Sardis, next to I^aodicea, the 
worft of the feven churches of A£a, yet bad a name that 
they lived; though Chrift, who fpeaks to thefe feven 
cluirches from heaven, in the cfaamfter of the Searcher 
of HeaHs (fee RW lu 23. ), explicitly tells them, that 
they were deiid; peiiiaps all io a deaid frame, and tht 
moft in a dead ftate. 

The£e things evidently (hew, how all the Chriftjait 
diurches through the world were emfikukedm thofe 
days $ and ni^at fort of hoKnefs or faintfblp it was, that 
all viliUx^ Ovriftians in good ftanding had a ^^ifibiUty and 
profefftw of» in that ap^ftolic age ;' and alfo what fort 
of viability of this they had^ ^. not only that which 
gave than right to a kin4 of He^roe charity % or freedom 
j^om cenfure, but that which nsiight juftly induce a/^« 
tive judgment in their favour. The churches that thefe 
Epiftles were written to, were all the principal churchet 
in the world ; fome of them very large, as the churchet 
of Corinth and Ephefus, Some of the Epiftles were di^ 
refted to all the churches through large (Countries where, 
the gofpel had had great fuccefs, as the Epiftlc to the 
Galatians. The Epiftle to the Hebrews was written to 
all the Jewifti ChriiUans m the land of Canaan^ ia dl^ 


ftinAibn from the Jews that lived in other countfies, 
%^-ho were called tiellenills or Grecians, becaufe tliey 
generally fpakfc the Greek tongAie. The Epiftles c^ 
Peter were wi^itten to all the Chnltiaa Je^e through 
many countries, '-Pontusv Galatia, Cappadocia,' Alia, 
and Bithynia ; whe*e Wefe great maafcers ibf Je^*s, be^ 
•yo'nd any other > Gentfllec countries, t- ^rheEpiftle dSf 
James was dirie^ed to ail Chriitten Jew«, fcatrered ai 
broad through the whole wojld. The Epiftles of John 
and Jude, for ought appears in thofe Epililes, were di- 
refted to all vifible Chnftians through the whole" wovldl 
And the Apoftle Paul direde lh€ Firft Epiftle.to thfc 
Corinthians, not poly to the mimbers of that-churc&i 
bat to all profeffihg Chritf ianaf through the face- of th« 
earth: i CorJi; 2. and cbapi. xiir. 33. fpeaking of the 
churches in general)- he calls them all churxlyes of tht 
faihu* 'And by what Chrift fays to the churches of 
Sardis and Laodrcea in the Apocaiypfe, of whom more 
evil" is faid than of any ChHiHan chufches fpoken of, lA 
the New Teftament," it iappears that even the membter* 
of thofe churches looked on thfemfelves as m a ftati 6f 
falvation,; aiid'liacl' fucll a tian»e v^ith others. 

Here poilibly fome may objeft, and fayi It. will not 
follow from the Apoftles fpeaking to' and of the mem- 
bers of the j)rimitive church after the manner whic*h has 
been ohferved, as though they fuppofed them to be gra^ 
«o«j perfbnsj that therefore a prffejffion zn^appeai^nce 
of this was- looked; upon- jn ' thj(!Kfe days as a reqiiifitc 
qualification for^ admiilion into the ' vifilble church ; be* 
caufe ^another reafon may be give» for it*, •wa.Such wa$ 
th^ extraordinary ftate of things kt " that day, that it fd 
came to pafs, that the greater part of thofe converted 
from Heathenifm and Judaifm to Chriftianity,: were hops>- 
fully gracious perfons, by reafon of its being a day of fuch 
large communiciations of- divine grace, and- fuch great 
and unavoidable fufferings of profeffors, &c^ And ih€ 
ApoMes knowing thofe fadis, Might properly fpeak to,- 
and of the churches, as if they were focieties of truly 
gracious perfon^) becaufe there was juft ground on fuch 



accounts^ to think the greater part of th'era to, be fo ; 
although no profeflion or vifibility of- this was requifite 
in their members by the con/Iltut'ton of thofe churchesi 
and the door of admiilion was as open for others as for 

But it will appear, this cannot be a fatisfaftory nor 
true account of the matter, if we x:onfider the following 
things, r 

( I.) The Apoftles in the very fuperjcr'ipthn or direc- 
tion of their letters to thefe churches, and in their falu* 
tntions at the beginning of their Epiftlcs, fpeak of therh 
as gracious perfons. For inftance, the Apoftle Peter, 
in the diredlion of his Firft Letter to all profefling Jewifh 
^hriilians through many countries, fays thus, " To the 
ftrarigers fcattered through Pontus, 'k^c, eleft, accord- 
ing to. the foreknowledge of God the Father, through 
•^* fandlification of the Spirit unto obedience, and fprink- 
■** ling of the blood of Jefus Chrid.'* And in directing 
iiis Second Epiille to the fame perfons, he fays thue, 
Simon Peter, a fervant and an Apollle of Jefus Chrift, 
to them that have obtained like precious faith with 
us," ^c. And the Apoftle Paul dire6ls his EpiiUe 
to the Romans tlius, " To them that be at Rome, be»- 
/** loved of God»^' So he dire£is his Firft Epiftle to the 
Corinthians thus, " Unto the .church of God which is 
'* at Corinth, to them that are fandlified in Chrift Je- 
-*' fus." In what fenfe he means JanQifiecU his follow- 
ing words (hew, ver. 4. 7, 8, 9.. f he fame was before 
obferved of words annexed to the Apoftle's falutations, in 
the beginning of feveral of the Epiftles. This fhews, 
'that the Apoftles extend this charadier. as far as they do 
the Epiftles thcmfelves. Which furely would be very im- 
proper, and not agreeable to truth, if the Apoftles at the 
iame tinpe . knew very well that fuch a chara^er did not 
belong to members of churches, as fuch, and that they 
were not received into thofe churches with any regard 
to fuch a charafter, or upon the account of any right 
-they bad to be efteenieU fuch maimer of perfons. In the 
Juperfcription of letters \o focieJties of men, we are wo.ut 


to give them, tlisit iltk or Jmomination wliich proptrlyJIie- 
longs to them as members of fuck a body. Thus, if 
one fbould write to the Royal Society in London, or 
the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris, it would be 
proper and natural to give them the title of Learned ; 
for whether every one of the members truly deferve the 
fpkhet, or not, yet the title is agreeable ta theur pro* 
Jejjton^ and what is known to be aimed at, and is ^rofeiT- 
cdly iniiiled on, ia the admifllon of members. But if 
one fhoiild write to the Houfe of Commons, or te the 
iEaft-India Company, and in his fuperfcriptioo give them 
the title of Learned, this would be very imprc^r and 
iH-judged ; becaufe that chara6ker does not belong to 
their profeiHoa iu members of that body, and learmng 
IS not a qualification looked ait or infilled on in dieir ad- 
xnifilon of members : Nor wouH it excufc the impropn- 
<ty, though the writer might, from his fpecial acquaant- 
ance, know it to be fa6i, that the greater part of them 
cWere men of learning. If one man fhau}d once happea 
thus to infcribe a letter to them, it would be fomething 
ilrange ; but more flrange, if he fhould do it from time 
to time, or if it fhould appear, by various inflances, to be 
a cuftom fo to dire^ letters to fuch focieties; as it feems 
to be the manner of the Apoftles, in thek EpiMes to 
<^hriftian churches, to addrefs them under titles which 
imply a profeiEoa and vifibility of true hoUnefs. 

( 2. ) The ApofUe John, in his general EpifUe, does 
Tery plainly manifeft, that all whom he wrote to wene 
fuppofid to have true grace, in as much as he declares 
this the qualificatiou he has refpe^ to in writing to 
them, and lets them know he writes to them for that 
-rcafon, becaufe they are fuppofed to be perfoos of the 
<:hara£ter of fuch as have knewn God^ overcome the wic^ 
ied QMy and have had their ^ns forgiven them, i John iu 
^2, 13, 14. 21. 

(3.; The Apoftles, when fpeaking of fuch as they 
write to, viz, vifibk Chriftians, as a fociety^ and rq>re- 
fenting what belongs to fuch a kind or fort of fociety 
as the viiible church is, they fpeak of it as vifibly (i. e. in 




profeffion and rqwitation) zfoctety of gracious perfons* 
1S0 the Apoftle Peter fpeaks of them as a fpiritual houfe^ 
an holy and royal priejlhocd^ an holy nation, a peculiar 
people^ a chofen or ele^ generation, called out of dark- 

nefs into marvellous light, i Pet. ii The Apoftle 

Paul alfo fpeaks of them as the family of God. Eph. 
ii. 19;. And in the next chapter he explains himfelf tO" 
mean that family a part of which is in heaven; i. e, they 
were by profeffion and in vifibility a part of that hea- 
venly and divine family. 

(4.) The "Apoftle Paul fpeaks exprefsly, and from 
time to time, of the membei-s of the churches he wrote 
to, as a/i of them in eileem and vifibility truly gracious 
perfons. Philip, i. 6. ** Being confident of this very 
** thing, that he which has begun a good work in you 
** will perform it until the day of the Lord Jefu« 
«* Chrift : Even as it is meet for me to think this of 
" you all" (that is, all lingly taken, not coUeAively, 
according to the diftin6Hon before obferved). So Gal* 
IV. 26. " Jerufalem which is above, which is the mother 
*< of us ALL." Rom. Vi. " As MANY OF US as havc 
** been baptized into Chnft, have been baptized into 
** his death*" Here he fpeaks of all that have been 
baptized ; and in the continuation of the difcourfe, ex- 
plaining what is here faid, he fpeaks of their being 
*' dead to fin ; no longer under the law, but under 
** grace ; having obeyed the form of doftrine from the 
** heart, being made free from fin, and become the fer- 
<* vants of righteoufnefs," &c. Rom. xiv. 7, 8. None 
OF us liveth to himfelf, and no man " dicth to him- 
" felf" (taken together with the context) ; 2 Cor. iii. 18. 
<* We ALL with open face, beholding as in a glafs," &c. ; 
and Gal. iii. " Ye are all the children of God by 
« faith." _ 

( J.) It is evident, that even in thofe churches where 
the greater part of the members were not true faints, 
?.» in thofe degenerate churches of Sardis and Laodicea, 
which we may fuppofe were become very lax in tlieir 
admiifioas and difcipline j yet tkey looked upoti tbctnfches 



as truly gracious perfons, and had with others the rejm* 
iation of fuch. 

(6.) If we (hould fupppfe, that by reafon of the ex- 
^i-aordinary (late of things in that day, the ApofUes had 
Tcafon to think the greater part of the members of 
xAurches to be true Chriflians, yet unlefs profeffion and 
•appearance of true Chriilianity was their proper quali- 
fication and the ground of their admiflion, arid unlefs it 
■was fuppoled that all of them efteemed themfeives true 
Chriilians, it is altogether unaccountable that the Apoi^ 
•ties in their Epiftles to them never make any exprefs 
particular difimSion between thofe different forts of mem- 
;bers. If the churches were m^de up of perfons who 
the Apbftles knew looked on themfeives in fo exceeding 
/different a flate, fome the children of God, and others 
the children -of the devil, fome the high favourites of 
heaven and heirs of eternal glory, others the children 
.of wrath, being upder condemnation to eternal death, 
.and every moment ia danger of dropping into hell : I 
fay, if this was the cafe, why do the Apoftles make no 
.d[ftin3ion in what they fay to them or of them, in their 
•manner of addreffing them, in the things they fet before 
■them, and in the counfelsj reproofs, and warnings they 
gave them ? Why do the Apoftles in their Epiftles never 
apply themfeives or dire(9t their fpeech to the unconvert- 
ed members of the churches, in particular, in a manner 
•tending to awaken them, and make them fenfible of the 
rniferable condition they were in j and prefs them to feek 
•the converting grace of God. It is to be confidered* 
4 hat the Apoftle Paul was very particularly acquainted 
\s\t\\ the cir<:umftances of mofl of thofe churches he 
wrote to ; for he had been among them, was their fpi- 
ritual father, h»d been iiie inftrumcnt of gathering and 
founding thofe churches, and they had received all thek* 
inllrudlions and directions relating to Ghriftianity and 
.their foul-concerns from him ; nor can it be queilioned 
.bnt that many of them had opened the cafe of th^ir 
/ouls to him. And if he was fenfible, that there was a 
number among them that made no pretentions to being 


in a regenerate ftate, a«d that he and othcra had no rea* 
fon to judge them to be in fuch a flate, he knew that 
thejin of fuch who lived in the rejection of a Savioui'y 
even in the very li^ufe of God, in the midft of gofpel- 
Kght, and in violation of the moft facrcd vows, was pe-* 
cSiarljr aggravated, and their guilt and ftate peculiaHy 
dreadful. Why fliould he therefore never particularly 
and diftindlly point his addrefles to fuch, applying hira- 
felf to them in much compaffion to their fouls, and put- 
ting them in mind of their awful circumflances ? But 
inftead of this, continually lumping all together, jtnd in- 
differently addrelling the whole body, as if they were all 
in happy circumftances, exprefling his charity for them 
all, and congratulating them all in their glorious and 
eternal privileges ; and inftead of fpeaking to them in 
fuch a manner as fliould have a tendency to alarm them 
with a fenfe of danger, on the contrary, calling on all 
without diftinftion, from time to time, to rejoice? Philip. 
m. I. " Finally, miy brethren, rejoice in the Lord.'* 
So, 2 Cor. xiii. 11. " Finally, brethren, be of good 
** comfort," Philip, iv. 4, ** Rejoice in the Lord alway, 
** and again 1 fay. Rejoice." The matter is infifted 
npon, as though rejoicing were a duty efpecially proper 
for them, and what they had the higheft reafon for* 
The Apoftle not only did hot preach terror to thofe 
whom he wrote to, but is careful to guarxi them againft 
fears of God's wrath ; as in i Theff. v. at the beginning, 
when the Apoftle there obferves how that Chrift will 
come on ungodly men "as a thief in the night ; and 
** when they fhail fay. Peace and fafety, then fudden de- 
♦< ftru^^ion fhall come upon them, as travel on a woman 
*' with child, and they fhall not efcape;" he immediately 
ufes caution, that the members of the church of Thef- 
falonica fliould not take this to themfelves, and be terri- 
fied, as though they were in danger ; and fays> in the 
next words, " But ye, brethren, are not in darkncfs, that 
** that day' fliould overtake you as a thief; ye are all 
" the children of light, and the children of the day.'* 
And fays, in the oth, 10th, and nth verfes, " For God 


** hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain falva- 
** tion by our Lord Jefus. Chrift 5 who died for us, that 
♦* whether we wake or fleep, we ilxould live together 
*< with him* Wherefore comfort yourfelves together^ 
** and edify one another ; even as alfo ye do." And 
yer. 16* he fays, •* Rejoice evermore," How diverfe 
is this way of treating churches, from the method in 
which faithful minifters are wont to deal with their con- 
gregations, wherein are many that make no pretence to 
true piety, and from tlie way in which Mr. Stoddard 
was wont to deal with his congregation. And how 
would he have undoubtedly judged fuch a way of treat- 
ing them the moft dire6l courfe in the world eternally 
to undo them? And fhall we determine that the Apoftle 
Paul was one of thpfe jwophets, who dawbedwiih vfttem- 
pered mortar^ and fewed piUo'ivs undir all arm^holesy and 
healed the hurt of inuQortal [ouhjlightly, crying^ Peace f 
peaccy 'when there loas no peace. — Thefe things make \i 
moft evident, that the primitive churches were not con- 
ftituted as thofe modern churches, where perfons know- 
ing and owning th^mfelves unregenerate^ are admitted^ 
on principle* 

If it be here objected, that the Apoftle fometimes 
exhorts thofe that he writes to, to put off" the old maitf 
and put on the new man^ and to he reneived in the /pint of 
their minds y &c. as exhorting them -to feek converfion; 
I aafwer, that the meaning is manifeftly but this, That 
they ftiould mortify the remains of corruption, or the 
old man, and turn more and more from fin to God- 
Thus he exhorts the Ephefians to be renewed^ 6cc. Eph. 
iv. 22^ 23, whom yet he had before in the fame Epiftfe 
abundantly reprefented as favingly renewed already; a» 
has beeij before obferved. And the like might be fhcwn 
of other inftances. 

{7.) It is a clear .evidence, not only that it happened 
the greater part of the members of the primitive churchea 
were to appearance true Chriftians ; but that they were 
taken in under that notion^ and becaufe there appeared in 
them grounds of fuch an eJUmation of them j and whea 


any happened to be admitted that were otherwife, it was 
he/tde their aim ; in as much as when others were admit- 
ted, they are reprefented as brought or crept in unawares* 
Thus the matter is reprefented by the Apoftles. Jude, 
▼er. 4. *' There are certain men crept in unaVares— 
** ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lafci- 
•* vioufnefs." Gal. ii. 4. " Falfe brethren, unawares 
" brought in.*' If it be faid, Thefe here fpoken of 
were openly fcandalous perfons and heretics : I anfwert 
they were not openly fcandalous when they were brought 
in J nor is there any reafon to think they tvere heretics 
when admitted, though after\vards they turned apoftates# 
Mr. Stoddard fays, It does not follow that all hypocrites 
crept in unawares becaufe fome did. {^Appealy p. 17.) 
To wJiich I would humbjy fay, It muft be certainly true 
with rcfpe6l to all hypocrites who were admitted, either 
that the church which admitted them w^s aware they 
were fuch, or elfe was not. If there were fome of whom 
the -chuFch was aware that they were hypocrites, at the 
time when they were taken in, then the church, in ad- 
mitting them, did not follow the rule that Mr. Stoddard 
often declares himfelf to fuppofc ought to be followed 
in admitting members, 1)1%. to admit none but what in a 
judgment of rational charity are true Cbriflians* {^Appeal y 
p. 2, 3. 10. 28. 33. 67. 73. 93, 94.) But that not only 
heretics and designing diffemblers crept in unanvdresj but 
that 2^ falfe brethren y all church-members not truly gra- 
cious, did fo, appears by fuch being reprefented as 3^- 
flards in a family, who are falfe children and falfe heirs, 
brought into it unawares^ and impofed upon the dif- 
pofers of t'hofe privileges byflealth. Heb. xii. 8. " If ye 
** are without chaftifement, whereof all are partakers^ 
** then are ye biiftardsy and not fons." 

Thus it is abundantly manifeft, from the apoftolical 
writings, how the vifible church of Chrift, through the 
•whole world, was at firft conftituted and ordered, under 
the direction of the Apoftles themfclves, who regulated 
it according to the infallible guidance of the Spirit of 
their great Lord and Mafter. And doubtlefs, as the 



Chnftian church was conftituted then^ fo it ought to be 
conftituted now. What better rule haf e wc for our ec- 
clefiaftical regulations in other refpedls, than what was 
done in the pnmifhe churches, under the jlfoftles own 
direftion ;. as particularly the ftanding officers of the 
church, prcfbyters and deaconsj the method of introdu- 
cing minifters in their ordination, £s*r» ? In this matter 
that I have infifted on, 1 think the Scripture is abui> 
dantly more full, than jn thofe other things. 

IX. Another evidence, that fuch a« are takea into 
the church, ought to be in the eye of a Chriftian judg- 
ment truly grfk:tous or pious perfon^, is this, that the 
Scripture reprefents the vtftble church of Chrift, as a fo- 
ciety having its feveral members united by the bond of 
Chriftian brotherly love^ 

Befides that general benevolence or charity which the 
faints have to mankind, and which they exercife towards 
both the' evil and the good in common, there is a peculiar 
and very difilngui/hing kind of affedlion, that every true 
Chriftian experiences towards thofe whom he looks upon 
as truly gracious perfons ; whereby the foul, at leaft at 
times, is very fenfibly and fweetly knit to fuch perfons, 
and there is an ineffable onenefs oi heart with them ; where- 
by, to ufe the Scripture-phrafe ( A£ls iv. 32.), " They 
«* are of one heart and one foul:^ Which holy aife6iion 
is exercifed towards others on account of the fpiritual 
^ image of God in them, their fuppofed relation to God as 
his children, and to Chrift as his members^ and to them 
as their fpiritual brethren in Chrift. This facred aff€6lion 
IS a very good and diftinguiihing note of true grace, 
much fpoken of as fuch in Scripture, under the name 
of f<\aJfXf<a, the love of the brethren, or brotherly love ; 
and is called by Chrift, The receiving a righteous man in 
tl^ name of a righteous man; and receiving one of Chrift s 
little ones in the name of a difiipky or becaufe he belongs to 
Chri/i (Matth. x. 41, 42. Mark ix. 41.); and a loving 
one another as Chrift has loved them (John xiii. 34. and 
XV, 13, 14, 15.) J having a peculiar image of that onenefs 


which IS between Chrlil himfelf and his faints. Compare 
John xvji. 20. to the end. 

This love the Apoftles are often direiling Chriflians to 
cxercifc towards fellow-members of the viiible church;, as 
in Rom. xii. 10. ** Be yc kindly affe£tioned one to ano- 
" ther with brotherly love." The words are much more 
cmphatical in the original, and do more livelily reprefent 
that -p^cxAxzx endearment that there is between gracious per- 
fons» or thofe that look on one another as fuch ; rvt pxot^^ 
hxfix tic ixA.xwx»f (ptxos-opyoi. The expreffions properly fig- 
Bify, cleaving one to another with brotherly ^ ncUural^Jlrong en^ 
dearment. With the like emphafis and energy does the A- 
poftle Peter exprefs himfelf, i Epift. i. 22. •* Seeing yc 
** have purified your fouls in obeying the truth through 
** the Spirit^ unto unfeigned love of the brethreni («if 
pixaSixpxv avv-aroxptTov) ** See that yc love one another 
** with a pure heart fervently*" Again, chap, iii, 8. 
** Finally^ be ye all of one mind, having compaffion one 
" of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous." 
The words in the Greek are much more fignificant,. ele- 
gant » and forcible ; xavn^ o/^ofpovt^j a-VfiLra^it^, ^ihaSiKfoi^ 

frjrKctfxyoh fi\ofpovt^. The fame peculiar endearment the 
Apoftle has doubtlefs refpe£t to in chap..iv. " Above all 
«* things have fervent charity among yourfelves." The 
Apoftle Paul in his Epiftles, from time to time, fpeaks of 
the vifible faints whom he writes to^ as being united one 
to another with this affection, and confiders it as a note 
of their piety. Col. i. 4. " We heard of your faith in 
*« Chrift Jefus, ami of the love which ye have to all 
** faints." I Theff. iv. 9. " As touching brotherly 
** LOVE, yc need not that I write untp you ; for yc 
** yourfelves are taught of God to love one another." 
SoPhilem.5. ** Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou 
** haft towards the Lord Jefus Chrift, and towards all 
*^ faints." And this is what he exhorts to, Heb. xiii. i. 
** Let BROTHERLY LOVE continue." I Their, v. 26. 
." Greet all the brethren with an, holy kifs." Compare 
I Cor. XYU 20. 2 Cor. xiii. 12. and i Pet. v. 14. 


This pi\ah\ftay or love to the hrethreriy is that virtne 
which the Apoftle John fo much infifts on in his Firft 
Epiftle, as one of the moft diftinguifhing 'r^tfr/75^r£/?/^j of 
true grace, and a peculiar evidence that God dwelleth in 
us J and we in God, By which mull needs be underftood 
a love to faints as faints, or on account of the fpiritual 
image of God fuppofed to be in them, and their fpi* 
ritual relation to God ; according as it has always beeti 
underftood by orthodox divines. There is no reafonable 
doubt can be made, but that the Apoftle John, in this 
Epiftle, has refpe^l to the fame fort of iove^ which Chrift 
prefcribed to his difciples, in that which he called by 
way of eminency his commandment, and his new 
COMMANDMENT, which hc gavc as a great w^zri of their 
being truly his difciples^ as this fame Apoftle gives an ac- 
count in his gofpel ; and to which be plainly refers, 
when fpeaking cf the love of the brethren in his Epiftle, 
chap. ii. 7, 8. and iii. 23. But that love^ which Chrift 
fpeaks of in his neiv commandment^ is fpoken of as between 
thofe that Christ lovesy or is fuppofed to Ion)e ; and 
which has his love to them for its ground and pattern. 
And if this (t>t\ah\(j>ta.y this love of the brethren, fo much 
fpoken by Chrift, and by the Apoftles Paul and John, 
be not that peculiar aife^ion which gracious perfons or 
true faints have one to another, which is fo great a part, 
and fo remarkable an exercife of true grace, <where is it 
fpoken of, at all, in the New Teftament ? 

We fee how often the Apoftles exhort vifible Chriftians 
to exercife this affe£^ion to all other members of the vi- 
fible church of Chrift, and how often they fpeak of the 
members of the viiible church as aftually thus united, in 
places already mentioned. In 2 Cor. ix. 14. the Apoftle 
fpeaks of the members of other churches loving the mem- 
- bers of the "church of Corinth, with this peculiar endear- 
ment and onenefs of heart, for the grace of God in them; 
** And by then* prayer for yon, which long after you, for 
.«* the exceeding grace of God in you." The word tranf- 
hxtdilong after ^ is !5r<:ro9yyT«v; which properly fignifies to love 


With an exceeding and liear love. And this is reprefent- 
ed as the bonJj that unites all the members of the vifible 
church : A6ls iv. 32. " And the multitude of them 
** that believed were of one heart and one fouL" Thi» 
18 the fame thing which elfewherc is called being of on^ 
mind : 1 Pet. iii. 8. " Finally, be ye all of one mind." 
And being of thg fame mind : i Cor. i. 10. ** That yc 
** be pcrfeClly joined together in tlie fame mind." And 
being of the fame mindf Philip, iv. 2» "I bcfeech Euodias^ 
•* and befecch Syntyche, that they be of the same 
** MIND in the Lord." And being like-minded (the 
word is the fame in the Greek), Rom. xv. 5, 6. " Now 
** the God of patience and confolation grant you to be 
" LIKE-MINDED one towards another; that ye may with 
** one mindf and one mouth glorify God, even the Fa- 
" ther of our Lord Jcfus Chrift." There is reafon to 
think, that it is this onenefi ofmtndy or being of one heart 
andfoulf is meant by that charity which the Apoftle calls 
the bond of perfeSnefi^ Col. iii. 14. : And reprefents at 
the bond of union between all the members of the hody^ 
in £ph. iv. 15, 16. '' But fpeaking the truth in love^ 
♦* may grow up into him in all things, which is the 
** Head, even Chrift; from whom the whole body fitv 
♦* ly joined together, and compacted by that 
** which every joint fupplieth, according to the effectual 
** working in the meafure of every part, maketh in- 
** creafe of the body, unto the edifying itfelf in love.'* 

Herein feems much to confifl the nature oifcandal in 
the members of a church, n)i%^ fuch an offence as is a 
wound and inteiruption to this kind of affeSiony being a 
ituml^g-block to a Chriftian judgment, in regard o£ 
its efleem of the ofifender as a real Chrifliany and what 
much lefTena the vifibiiity of his Chriftian chara6ter<» 
And therefore when fcandal is removed by vilible r^-* 
pentance^ the church is directed to confirm their love to 
the offender, 2 Cor. ii. 8. 

Now this intimate aiTeiStion towards others as brethren 
in Chrifl z^A fellow -memhers of him, muft have fome ap* 
prehenfioQ of the underftanding, fome judgment of the 


mind, for its foundation. To fay, that we mufl thu« 
love others as vifible members of Chrift, if any thing elfe 
be meant, than that we muft love them hecaufe they are 
viflbly, or as they appear to our judgment, real mem- 
bers of Chrifl, is in effeft to fiiy, that we mufl thus 
love them without any foundation at all. In order to 
a real and fervent affedlion to- another, on account of 
fome amiablenefs of quahficatron or relation, the mind 
muft firft judge there is that amiablenefs in the obje6l. 
The affedlions of the mind are not fo at command that 
we can make them ftrongly to go forth to an obje6i as 
having fuch lovelinefs, when at the fame time we do not 
pofitivcly ^'«^tf any fuch thfng concerning them, but 
only hope it may be fo, becaufe we fee no fufficient rea- 
fon to determine the contrary. There muft be ^pofiti've 
di^late of the underftanding, and fome degree of fatif- 
fadlion of the judgment, to be a ground of that onenefs 
ef heart and foulj which is agreeable to Scripture-repre** 
Mentations of <f>i\xhK<f,tcc, or brotherly love. And a fuppo- 
iition only of that moral JtncerUy and virtue y or common 
j^r^r^, which fome infift upon, though tt may be a fuffi- 
cient ground of neighbourly and civil affe6iion, Cannot be 
a fufficient ground of this intimate afiedlion to them as 
brethren in the family of a heavenly Father, this fervent 
love to them in the bowels o/yefus Chrift ; that implying 
nothing in it incpnfiftent with being gofpel-f\nners and 
domeftic enemies in the houfe of God ; which Chriftians 
know are the moft hateful enemies to Chrift,. of all the 
enemies that he has. 

It is a thing weU agreeing with the wifdom of Chrift, 
and that peculiar favour he has manifefted to his faints, 
and with his dealings with them in many other refpe<fts, 
to fuppofe,. he has. made provifion in his inftitutions, 
that they might have the comfort of uniting, with fuch 
as their hearts are united with in that holy intimate af- 
fedlion which has been fpokea of, in fome fpecial reli- 
^ioiis exercifes and duties of worfhip, and vifible inter- 
courfe with their Redeemer, joining with thofe concern- 
ix\g whom they can have fome fatisfat^lion of mind,, that 


they are cordially united with them in adoring and ex« 
prefilng their love to their common Lord and Saviour, 
,that they may *with one mind^ *with one hearty and onefoul^ 
as well as with one mouth, S^<>f{fy ^^^ >* ^8 in the fore- 
mentioned Rom. XV. 5, 6. compared with Afts iv, 32. 
This feems to be what this heavenly afFe£lion naturally 
inclines to. And how eminently fit and proper for this 
purpofe is the facrament of the Lord's /upper 9 the Chri- 
ilian church's great feaft of love ; wherein Chrifl's. peo- 
ple fit together as brethren in the family of God, at their 
Father's table, to feaft on the love of their Redeemer, 
commemorating his fufFerings for them, and his dying 
love to them, and fealing their love to him and one an- 
other ? — It is hardly credible, that Chrift has fo order- 
tA things as that there are no inftituted focial a£ls of 
worftiip, wherein his faints are to manifefl their refpedl 
to him, but fuch as wherein they ordinarily are obliged 
(if the rule for adnu/Jions be carefully attended) to join with 
a fociety of fellow-worfhippers, concerning whom they 
iiave no reafon to think but that the greater part of them 
are unconverted (and are more provoking enemies to that 
Xiord they love and adore, than moft of the very Hea- 
then), which Mr. Stoddard fuppofes to be the cafe with 
^e members of the ^iiible church. AppeaU p. 16. 

X. It is neceffary, that thofe who partake of the 
Lord's fuppery ^ov^ judge themf elves truly and cordially 
to accept of Christ, as their only Saviour and chief 
■good ; for this is what the anions 9 which communicants 
perform at the Lord's table, are a folemn profejfton of. 

There is in the Lord's fupper a mutual folemn pro^ 
fejfion of the two parties tranfa<^ing the covenant of 
grace, and vifibly united in that covenant ; the Lord 
Chriil by his minifter, on the one hand, and the com- 
jnunicants (who are profefling believers) on the other. 
The adminiftrator of the ordinance ad:s in the quality 
' pf Chrift's minifter, adls in his name, as reprefenting 
him ; and ftands in the place where Chrift himfelf ftood 
at the firi} adminiftratiqn of this facrament^ and in th< 


original inftitution of the ordinance. Chrift, by the 
' fpeeches and a6lions of tlie miniiler^ makes a fokma 
profeffibn of his part in the covenant of grace : He ex- 
hibits the facrilice of his body broken and -his blood 
ihed;. and in the minifter's offering the facramental 
bread and wine to the communicants, Chrifl prefents 
himfelf to the believing communicants, as their propitia» 
tion and bread of life ; and by thefe outward figns con- 
firms and feals his fincere engagements to be their Sa- 
viour and food, and to impart to them all the benefits of 
his propitiation and falvation. And they in receiving 
what is offered, and eating and drinking the fymbok of 
Chrifl's body and blood, alfo profefs their part in the 
covenant of grace : Tliey profefs to embrace the pro* 
mifes and lay hold of the hope fet before them, to re- 
ceive the atonement, to receive Chrifl as their fpiritual 
food, and to feed upon him in their hearts by faith. 
Indeed what is profefTed on both fides is the heart : For 
Chrifl, in offering himfelf, profeffes the willingnefs of 
i>Lf heart to be theirs who truly receive him ; and the 
communicants, on their part, profefs the willingnefs of 
the\r hearts to receive him, which they declare by figni- 
Hcant adiions. They profefs to take Chrifl as their fpi- 
ritual food, and bread of life.^ To accept of Chriil as 
our bread of Ufe^ is to accept of him as our Saviour and 
portion; as food is both the means of preferving life, and 
is alfo the refrefhment and comfort of life. The fignifi* 
cation of the word manna^ that great type of this bread 
of life, is a portion. That which God offers to us as our 
food, he offers as our portion ; and that which we ac- 
cept as our food, we accept as our portion. Thus the 
Lord's fupper is plainly a mutual renovation, confirma-. 
tion, and fcal of the covenant of grace: Both the cove- , 
nanting parties profefs their confent to their refpe<5live- 
parts in the covenant, and each affixes his fial to his 
profeffion. And there is in this ordinance the very fame ' 
thing adled over in profeffion and fenfible figns, which 
is fpiritually tranfadled between Chrifl and his fpoufe in 
the covenant that unites thenu Here we have from 


tunc to time the glorious hriJegroom exhibiting himfclf 
with his great love that is ftronger than death, appearing 
clothed in robes of grace, and engaging himfelf, with all 
his glory and love, and its infinite benefits, to be theirs, 
who receive him : And here we have his fpouje accept- 
ing this bridegroom, chuflng him for her friend, her 
only Saviour and portion, and relying on him for all his 
benefits. And thus the covenant-tranfa6lion of this 
fpiritual marriage \& confirmed and fealed, from time to 
time. The aQ'tons of the communicants at the Lqrd'a 
table have as expreflive and fignificant a language, as the 
mofi; folemn word«. When a perfon in this ordinance 
takes and eats and drinks thofe things which reprefent 
Chrift, the plain meaning and implicit profeflion *of 
thefe his anions, is this, « I take this crucified Jefus as 

* my Saviour, my fweetefl food, my chief portion, and 

* the life of my foul, confenting to acquiefce in him as 

* fuch, and to hunger and thirfl after him only, re- 
^ nouncing all other faviours, and all other portions, 

* for his fake.' The anions, thus interpreted^ are a pro- 
per renovation and ratification of the covenant of grace ; 
and no otherwife. And thofe that take, and eat and 
drink the facramental elements at the Lord's table with 
any other meaning, I fear, know not *what they do. 

The aSions at thei LordV fupper thus implying in 
their nature and fignification, a renewing and confirm- 
ing of the covenant, there is a declarative explicit co- 
venanting fuppofed to precede it ; which is the profeffiom. 
of religion, before fpoken of, that qualifies a perfon for 
admiiiion to the Lord's fupper. And there doubtlefs 
is, or ought to be, as much explicitly profeffed in words^ 
as is implicitly, profeffed in thefe anions; for by thefe 
fignificant actions, the communicant fcts his fcal but to 
Im-pro/^fon, The eilablifhed figns in the Lord's fup- 
per are rally equivalent to words ; they are a renewing 
and reiterating the fame thing which was done lefore ; 
only with this difference, that now it is done hyfpeak» 
ingjigns^ whereas before it was hy /peaking founds. Our 


"'taking the bread and wine is as much a profejjing to ao- 
(Cept of Chrill, at leaft as a wqman's taking a ring of 
.<lie bridegroom in her marriage is a profelEon and feal 
,of her taking him for her hufband. The faeramental 
-elements in the Lord's fupj^er do reprefent Chriil as a 
party in covenant, as truly as a proxy reprefent s a prince 
to a foreign lady in her marriage ; and our taking thofe 
elements is as truly a profefling to accept of Clirift, as 
jn the other cafe the lady's taking the proxy is her pro- 
ieffing to accept the prince as her hufbaad. Or the 
HTiatter may more fitly be reprefented by this fimilitudei 
It is as if -a prince (hould fend an ambaifador to a wo- 
,«ian in a foreign land, propofing marriage, and by his 
fambaffador (hould fend her his /it?i/r^', and fliould deiise 
iher to manifeft her acceptance of hie fult, not only by 
profefling her acceptance in" words to his ambafladory 
Ibut in token of her fincerity openly to take or accept 
.that picture, and fo feacl hci* 5)rofeffion, by thus repre- 
fent Ing the matter oyer again by a fymbolical adlion. 

To fuppofe, perfons ought thus folemnly to profefs 
that which at the fame time they do not at all imagine 
they experience in themfelves, and do not really pre- 
tend to, is a very great abfurdity. For a man facra- 
tnen tally to tmk& fuch aprofeffion if religion^ proceeding 
avowedly on the foot oi fitch do^ritUy is to profefs that 
. which he dees not profefe ; his aSions being no eitabli(hed 
Jigns of the thing fuppofed to be profefled, nor carrying 
' in them the Jeaft pretenfion to it. And therefore doing 
thus can be no inau'.s 4uty ; wnlcfs it be meas duty tp 
jnake a folemn profeQloa of that which in truth they 
make no profeflion o£ The Xiord's fupper is moil evi- 
dently a /ro^^w^ ordinance; and the coinmunicants ^r©- 
feffton muft t)e fi^ch as is adjufted to the nature and de» 
iign of the ordinance ; which nothing fliort of faiih in 
ihe blood of Chrijl will anfwer, ^tu faith unfeigned^ which 
ivorheth by love* A pi*ofefiion therefore excluiive of thi$, 
- is eflentially dcfe(5live, and quite unfui table to the ch> 
^adter of a eommunicaat. 


XI. ^Vhen the Apoftle fays, i Cor. xi. 28. " Let a' 
•* man examine himfelf, and fo let him eat." — It.feemS" 
to be much the moft reafonable to undcrftand it of iry- 
ing kimfelf vi'iih. regard to- the truth of his Chrlftlanity^ or 
reality of his grace ; the fame which th€ fame Apoftle-* 
direiSls the fame Corinthians to, in his other Epiftle, 
2 Cor. x-iii. 5. where the fame word is iifed in the on-- 
ginM. The Greek word (.Toxi^ta Jf ra ). will not allow cf 
t(rhat fom€ have fuppofed to be the Apoftle'e meaning,. 
vi%, that a man fliould confidcr and inquire into his ctr^ 
ctttnflancesj and the neceflities of his cife, that he may 
know what are the wants he fhould go to the Lord's- 
table for a fupply of.- The word> properly fignifies/roT*-' 
ktg or trying a thing with refpe6l to its qaaiity and good- 
kefs , or in. order to determine whether it- be true and of 
the right fart. And fo the word is always ufed in the 
New Teilament ; unkfs that fometimes it is ufed ^» 
k were metonymicafiy, and in fuch places is varioufly 
tranflated,. either difcerningy, or allcwing, approving^ likings 
&c. thefe being the effedls of trial,^ Nor is the word 
ttfed more frequently in the New Teftament for any fort 
of trial whatever, than for the trial of profcflbrs with re-' 
gard to their grace or' piety. The word (as Dr. Ames« 
in his Catechefeos Sciagraphia, and Mr. Willard in his 
Body of Divinity^ obferve): is borfowtd from gold- 
imiths, properly fignifying the trial they make of their 
£l^r and gold, whether it be genuine or counterfeit: And 
with a manifeft allufion to this original application of 
the word, is often ufed in the New Teftament for a try-^ 
ing the piety of profefibrs. It is- ufed with this view in 
all the following texts i 1 Pet. i. 7. " That the trial 
*^ of your faith, being much more precious than of gold 
** that periftieth, though it be tried by fire, might be 
« found unto praife," l^c. 1 Cor. iii. 13. " The fire 
** iiiall TRY every man's work of what fort it is*" Jamea 
i. 3. " The TRYING of your faith worketh patience.'* 
I Theff. ii. 4. " God who trieth our hearts." The 
fame word is ufed in 2 Cor. viii. 8. " To prove tlie 
♦* fincerity of your love." So, Gal. vi. 3, 4. " If any 



** man thinketh bimfelf to be fomctbing, wbcn he is 
*« nothing, he deceivcth' himfelf : But let every man 
** PROYE his own work." In all thefe places there is 
the fame word in^ the Greek witli that in the text now. 
vnder confideration» 

When the Apoftle direAs profef&ng Chriftians to try 
them/elves J ufing this word indefmitely, as properly fig- . 
nifying the examining or proving a thing whether it be 
genuine or counterfeit^ the mod natural conilru^ion of his 
advice is, that they fhould try thmfelvcs with rcfpe£t to 
their fpiritual Hate and religious proieffion, whether they 
are difciples indeed^ real and genuine Chriilians, or whe- 
ther they Are not falfe and hypocritical profeflbrs. Aa 
if a man fhould bring a piece of metal that had the co- 
lour of gold, with the imprefs of the king's coin, to a 
goldfmith, and delire him to try that money, without 
adding any words to limit his meaning, would not the 
goldfmith naturally underftand, that he was to try whe- 
ther it was true gold, or true money, yea or no? 

But here it is fald by fome, that the context of the 
pafiage under debate ( i Cor. xi. 28.) docs plainly hmi 
the meaning of the word in that place ; the ApofUe 
there fpeaking of thofe things that had appeaicgd among 
the communicants at Corinth, which were oi z.fcandalDtu 
nature, fo doubtlefs unfitting them for the Lord's fup- 
per; and therefore when the Apoftle dircfts them to eX" 
amine or prove themfelves, it is but juft, to fuppofe his 
meaning to be, that they (hould try whether they bt not 
difqualified hyfcandaL — To this I anfwer, though the A- 
poflle's putting the Corinthians upon trying themfelves, 
was on occafion of the mentioning fome fcandalous prac- 
tices found among them, yet this \% by no means any 
argument of its being only his meaning, that they fhould 
try themfehes wliether they were fcandaioui perfons ; and 
not, tliat they fhould try whether they were true genuine 
Chriflians. The very nature oi fcandal (as was obferved 
before) is, that which tends to obfcure the vifibility of 
the piety of profefTors, and wOund others charity to- 
wards them, by bringing the reality of their grace int« 


doubt 5 and therefore what coidd be more natural, than 
for the Apoftle, when mentioning fuch fcandals among 
the Corinthians, to put them upon trying the (late of 
their fouls, and^proving their fincerity? This is certainly 
the cafe in this Apoftle's direfting the fame perfons to 
prf3ive them/elves^ 2 Cor. xiii. 5. ufing the fame word 
tbere^ which he ufes here, and giving his dirediion on 
the like occafion. For in the Second Epiille (as well as 
in tiie Firft) his putting them on examining and proving' 
ihemfelvesy was on Occafion of his mentioning (ome /can" 
dais found among them ; as is plain from the foregoing 
context. And ytt there it is exprefsly faid, That the 
thing concerning which he dire£ls them to prove them- 
felves, is, whether they be in the /aithy and whether 
Chrift is in them* Nor is there any thing more in the 
preceding context of one place, than in that of the other, 
obliging or leading us to underftand the Apoltle to in- 
tend only a trying whether they were /candalovsy and 
not -whetKer they were fincere Chriftiana. 

And as to the words following ita the next verfe; 
•* For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth 
** and drinketh judgment to himfelf, not difcerning the 
** Lord's body :*' Thefe words by no means make it 
evident, (as fome hold) that what the Apoftle woidd 
have them examine themfelves about» is, whether they 
hare doSrinal . knowledgey fufKcient to underftand, that 
the bread and wine in the facrament fignify the body 
and blood of Chrift : But on the contrary, to interpret 
the Apoftle in this fenfe only^ is imreafonable, upon 
feveral accounts. ( i . ) None can fo much as go about 
fuch an examination^ without Jirjl inojiving, that the 
L.ord*8 body and blood is Jignijied by thefe elementa. 
For merely a man's putting this queftion to himfelf, Do 
I under/land that this bread and this wine Jigni/y the body 
and blood 0/ Ohrijl f fuppofes him already to know it 
from a previous information; and therefore to exhort 
perfons to go about fuch an examination, woidd be ab^ 
furd. And then (2,) it is incredible, that there fliould 
be any fuch gro/s ignorance appearing in a number of the 



communicants in the Corinthian church, if we confidcr 
what the Scripture informs us conCeming^ that church : 
As particularly, if we confider what an able and thorough 
inflrui^or and fplritual father. they had had, even the 
Apoille Paul, who foimded that church, brought them 
out of their Heathenifh darknefs, and initiated »them in 
the Chriftian religion, and had inftrn6led them in the, 
nature and ends of gofpel-ordinances, and continued at 
Corinth, conftantly labouring in the word knd do6lrine 
for a long while together, no lefs than a f^ar and fist 
months ; and, as we may welt fuppcffe, adminillering the 
I^ord's fupper among them every JLord's day ; for the 
Apoftle fpeaks of it as the manner of that church to 
communicate at the Lord's table with fuch frequency, 
I Cor. xvi. 2. And the Corinthian church at that day 
when the Apoftle wrote this Epiftle, was a church noted 
for excelling in doflrtnal knowledge; as is evident by 
chap. i. 5, 6, 7. and feveral other pafTages in the Epiftle. 
JBeildes, the communicants were exprefsly told at every 
communion, every week, when the bread and wine were 
delivered to them in the adminiftration, that that bread 
fignified the body, and that wine fignified the blood of 
Chrift. And then befides, (3.) The Apoftle by his ar* 
gument in thap. x. 16. fuppofes the Corinthians doc* 
trinally acquainted with this fubje<ft already. It there- 
fore appears to me much more reafonable, to apprehend 
the cafe to be thus ; The offenfive behaviour of the 
communicants at Corinth gave the Apoftle reafon to 
fufpe6t, that fome of them came to the Lord's tabic 
vjrithout a proper impreflion and true fenfe of the great 
and glorious things there figniiied; having no habitual 
hunger or relifti for the fpiritual fo'od there reprefented, 
no inward vital and experimental tafte of thatj^^ of the 
Son of Many which is meat indeed. The word tranflated 
difcernjngy iigniBes to d^criminate or dj/iingut/h. The tq/ie 
js the proper" fenfe whereby to difcern or diftinguifh 
food. Job xxxiv. 3 k And it is a fpiritual y^iv/^ or tafie 
which is that whereby we difcern or diftinguifh fpintual 
4bod. Hcb. V. 14.-—** Thofe who by reafon of uf^ 


** hare their fenfcs cxerclfed to difcern both good and 
" evil:" -erpo^ iixKpia-tv^ CS'V. ; a word of the fame root 
with that rendered difcern'mgi in i Cor. xi. 29. He that 
has no habitual appetite to and relifh of that fpiritual 
foody which 18 reprefented and offered at the Lord's 
table ; he that has no fpiritual tafte, wherewith to per- 
ceive any thing mqre.at the LoikI's fupper, than in 
common food ; or that has no higher view, than with a 
little fecining devotion to eat bread, as it were in the way 
of an ordinance, but without regarding in his heart the 
fpiritual meaning and end of it, and without being at 
«^1 fuitably affe6ied with the dying love of Chrift there* 
in commemorated ; fuch a one may moll truly and pro- 
perly be faid not to difcern tJ.f Lord's body. When there-^ 
fore the ApolUe exhorts to /elf-examination as a prepara- 
tive for .the facramental fupper, he may well be under- 
ftood to put profcflbrs upon inquiring whether they hav« 
fuch a principle oifaithy by means whereof they are ha* 
-bituaUy in a capacity and difpoiition of mind to difcern 
the Lord^s body pra^ically'and fpiritually (as well as fpe- 
culatively and notionally) in their communicating at the 
lord's table : Which is what none can do who have 
but common grace, or a faith (hort of that which is 
juftifying and faving. It is only a living faith that ca- 
pacitates men to difcern tie Lord's body in the facrament 
with that fpiritual fenfation or fpiritual gufl, which is 
fuitable to the nature and dcfign of the ordinance, and 
iwhich the Apoftlc feems principidly to intei^» 




Objections Answsrei>. . 

objection i. 

A HE Scripture calls the members of the vifihlc churclr 
by the name of difclplcs^ fcholars^ or learners; and that 
fiiggefts to us this notion of the vifible church, that it is 
the fchool of Chrift, into which perfons are admitted in 
order to thfeir learning of Chrijl^ and coming to fpiritual 
attainments, in the ufe of ^he means of teaching, dif** 
cipline, and training up, eftablifhed in the fchooU Now 
if this be a right notion of the vifible church, then rea- 
foh fhews that no other qualifications are neceiTary in 
order to a being members of this^z&W, than fuch stjaitk 
and difpojition of mind as are requifke to peribns putting 
themfelves under Chrift as their Mqfter and Teadyer^ and 
(ubje^ing themfelves to the orders of the fchool. But 
a common faith and moral JincerUy are fufEcient for this* 
Therefore the Scripture leads us to fuppofe the vifible 
church to be properly conflttuted of thofe who have thefe 
qualifications, though they have not fa'mng faith and iruff 

Answer. I own, the Scripture calk th£ members of 
the vifible church by the name of t^fciples. But I deny. 
It therefore follows that the church which they are mem- 
bers of, is duly and properly conftituted of thofe who 
have not true piety. Becaufe, if this confequence was 
good, then it would equally foDow, that not only the 
Vifible^ but alfo the invifible or myfiical church is properly 
conftituted of thofe who have hot unfeigned faith and 
true piety. For the members of the m}H[lical church, 
at fuchy and to denote the. fpecial chara6ler of fuch, are 
called difctples ; in Luke xiv. 26, 27. 33. and in John 
fiii« 31. and xiii. 35. andxv. 8. This ihews^ that in 


the argument I am anfwering, there i» no connedlion 
between the premifes and the conclufion. For the force 
of the objeAion confifts in this, that the members of 
the yifible church are called iUfcipIes in Scripture : This 
is the fum total of the premifes : And if there be any 
conn€6lion between the premifes and the concluixon» it 
mutt lie in the truth of this proportion ; The cburcb 
tvhofe members are called by the name of difciples, as JignU 
fying their Jlate and quality as members of that focietyy that 
church is properly and fitly conflitutedy not only of perfont 
truly pious y hut of others that have merely a common faith 
and virtue* But this propofition, we have feen^ is not 
true ; and fo there is no conne£^ion between the former 
and latt£r part of it, which are the fame with the pre* 
mifes and concluiion of this argument. 

2. Though I do not deny, that the viiible church of 
Chritt may fitly be reprefented as a fchool of Chrifty 
where perfons are trained up in the ufe of means, in or« 
der to fome fpirltual attainments : Yet it will not hence 
neceffarily follow, that this is in order to all good attains 
ments; for it will not follow but that certain good attain^ 
ments may ht pre^requifitey in order to ^ place in the fchool. 
The church 6f Chritt is a fchool appointed for the .train- 
ing up Chrift's little childreny to greater degrees of know-; 
ledge, higher privileges, and greater ferviceablenefs in 
this world, and more of a meetnefs for the pofiefiion of 
their eternal inheritance. But there is no neceflity of 
fuppofing, that it is in order to fit them to become 
Chritt's children, or to be' introduced into his fan^ily ; 
any more than there is a neceility of .fuppofing, becaufe 
a prince puts his children under tutors, that therefore it 
muft be in order to their attaining to be of the royal 
family. If it be neceffary, that there fhould be a churcb 
of Chrifl appointed as a fchool of inflru6lion and dif- 
cipline, to bring perfons to all good attainments i^hat« 
foever, then it will follow, that there mufl be a vifible 
church conflituted oi fcandalous 2^6, prof one perfons and 
heretics, and all in common that aflume the Chrifliaa 
name, that fo means may be ufed with them in order t% 

Ii8 Q^ALiFicATiaKs roR ra-Lt ', 

bring them to moral Jtncentyy and an acknowledgment oSf 
the Chriilian faith. 

3. I grant, that no other quallficationd are neceflary^ 
m order to being members of that fchool of Chrift which* 
is his vifible churchy than fuch as are requifite in order 
to their fubjeSlng themfthoes to Chrtft as- their Majler and" 
bencher ^ ?Ln^ fubjefiing themfehes to the Jaw^ and orders of 
his fchool : Nevertheiefs I deny, that a common fahh^nd' 
moral Jtncerity Bre fufficient for this; becaufe none do^. 
truly fubje<El themCelves to Chrift as their Mq/ler, but 
fuch as. having their hearts purified by faith ^ are delivered- 
from the reigning power of ^« .• For we cannot fubjeft' 
ourfelves to obey two contrary mqflers at the f^me time^ 
None do fubmit to Chrift as their Teacher^ but thofe* 
who truly receive him as their Prophet, to teach then* 
by his ^PTord and Spirit j giving up themfelves to. his 
teachings, fitting with Mary^ as little children, at yeftu* 
feet to hear his tuord ; and hearkening more to his dic- 
tates, than thofe of their blind and deceitful- lufts, and* 
relying on his wifdom mote than their own. The 
Scripture knowa nothing of an eccleflaftical fchool con- 
fiiituted of enemies of the crofs of Chrtft ^ and appointed ta 
bring fuch to be reconciled to him and fubmit to hira 
as their Mafter. ' Neither have they who are pot truly 
pious perfons, any true difpofition of heart to fubmit to 
tlie laws and orders of Chrift's fchool, the rules which 
bis word prefcribes to all his fcholars ; fuch as, to love 
th/tr Majhr fuprcmely ;. to love one another as brethren ;■ 
and to love their book^ i, e. their Bible, more than vainr 
triEes and amufements, yea, above gold and filvcr ; to- 
be faithful to the iniere/l of the M-afler and of the fchool ; toi 
depend on his teachings; to cry to him for knowledge; above, 
all their gettings, to get undetjlandingy &c. 

4.^ Whatever ways of conftituting the church may to» 
us feem fit, proper, and reafonable, the quefticm is, nob 
what conftitution of Chrift's church feems convenient to 
human wifdom, but what conftitution is a(^ually efta-* 
blifhed by C h ri st' s infinite wifdom. Doubtlefs, , if men. 
^uld ^t their wits to work, and proceed according t« 


^hat Teems good in their fight, they would greatly alter 
Chrill's conftitution of his diurch, to make it more con- 
venieat and beautiful, and -woidd adorn it with a vaft 
▼ariety of ingenious inventions ; as the church of Rome 
-has done. The queilion is, whether this fc/jool of Chriil 
which they talk of, made up very much of tho(e who 
pretend to no experiences or attainments but what cou- 
.^lifl with their being emmcs of Chrift in their hearts, 
and who in reality love the vilefl luil better than him, 
i)e that church of Chrift which in the New Teftament 
is denominated his city, hh timpky his family ^ his hody^ &c. 
by which names the vifible church of Chrift is there frc- 
.quently called. 

I acknowledge, that means j of Chrift's appointment, 
are to be ufed with thofe who are Chrift's enemies, and 
<do not profefs themfelves any other, to change their 
heartSy and bring them to be Chrift'syri^ff^j and difcipksm 
nSuch means are to be ufed with sill forts of perfons, 
with Jews, Mahometans, Heathens, with nominal Chri- 
ilians that are heretical or vicious, tlie profane, the in- 
Itemperate, the unclean, and all other enemies of Chrift ; 
^nd thefe means to be ufed conftantly, and laboriouily. 
.Scandalous perfons need to go to fchool, to learn to be 
-Chriftians, as much as other men. And there are many 
^erfons that aae not morally Jtncere^ who from felfifh and 
ilnifter views do confent ordinarily to go to churchy and 
fo be in the way of the ufe of means. And none ought 
,to forbid them thus going to Chrift's fchool^ that they 
jnay be taught -by him, m the miniftry of the gofpel. 
But yet it will not follow, that fuch a^Jr^Qo/is the church 
of Christ. Human la\ys can put perfons, even thofe 
who are very vicious, into the fchool of Chrift, in that 
fenfe ; they can oblige them conftantly to be prefent at 
public teaching, and attend on the means of grace ap- 
pointed by Chrift, and difpenfed inliis name : But bu- 
sman laws cannot join men to the church of Chriftj and 
"jnake them members of his body. 




V IBJBLE faintjhtp in the Scripture-fenfc cannot be the 
lame with that which has been fuppofed and iniiiled 
on, v/a. a being in the eye of a rational charity tnily 
pious; becaufe Ifrael of old were from time to time call- 
ed God^s people^ when it is certain the greater part of 
them were far from hairing any fuch vilible holinefs as 
this. Thus the ten tribes were caUed God's people, Hof. 
iv. 6. after they had revolted from the true worfhip of 
God, and had obilinately continued in their idolatrous 
worlhip at Bethel and Dan for about two hundred and 
fifty years, and were at that time, a little before their 
captivity efpecially, in the height of their wickednefs. 
So the Jews are called God^s people^ in Ezek. xxxvi. 20« 
and other places, at the time of their captivity in Baby- 
lon ; a time wheiw moil of them were abandoned to all 
kinds of the moft horrid and open impieties, as the pro- 
phets frequently reprefent. Now it is certain, that the 
people at that time were not called God^s people becaufe 
of any vifibility of true piety to the eye of reafon or of 
a rational charity, becaufe mod of them were grofsly 
wicked, and declared their fin as Sodom. And in the 
fame manner wherein the Jews of old were God's peo- 
ple, are the members of the vilible Chrillian Gentile > 
church God's people; for they are fpoken of as graffed 
into the fame oUve tree, from whence the fbnner were 
broken ojfhy unbeliefm 


Answ. The argument proves too much, and there- 
fore nothing at alL If thofe whom I oppofe in this 
controverfy, bring this obje£lion, they will in effe£l as 
much oppofe themfelves in it, as me. The obje^Uqn, if 
it has any force, equally militates againft their and my^ 
notion of vifible faintfliip. , For thofe Jews, which it is 
alledged were palled God's people, and yet were fo no- 


torioufly, openly, and obflinately wicked^ had neither an^f 
viiibility of true piety, nor yet of that moral Jincertty in 
the prpfeffion and duties of the true religion, which the 
opponents themfelves fuppofe to be requifite in order to 
a proper vifible holinefs, and a due admifiion to the pri- 
vileges and ordinances of the church of God. None 
will pretend, that thefe obflinate idolaters and unpious 
wretches had thofe qualifications which are now requi- 
fite in order to an admiflion to the Chriflian facraments. 
And therefore to what purpofe can they bring this ob- 
jc6lion ? which, if it proves any thing, overthrows my 
fcheme and their own both together, and both in an 
equally efFe6hial manner ; and not only fo, but will 
thoroughly deftroy the fchemes of all Proteftants through 
the world, concerning the qualifications of the fubjedls 
of Chriflian ordinances. And therefore the fupport of 
what I have laid down againfl thofe whom^ I oppofe in 
this controverfy, requires no further anfwer to tliis ob- 
jeftion. ^^cverthelef8, for the greater fatisfa£lion, I 
would here obferve further : 

That fuch appellations as God's people^ God's Ifrael^ 
and fome other like phrafes, are ufed and applied in 
Scripture with confiderable dtverfity of intention. Thus, 
we have a plain diflindlion between the houfe of Ifrael, 
and the houfe of Ifrael^ in Ezek. xx. 38, 59, 40, By 
the houfe of Ifrael in the a 9th verfe is meant literal- 
ly the nation or- family of Ifrael: But by the houfe 
of Ifrael in the 40th verfe feems to be intended the 
fpiritual houfej the body of God's vifible faints, that 
(hould attend the ordinances of his public worfhip in 
gofpel-times. So likewlfe there is a diflintliion made 
between the houfe of Ifraely and God^s dlfciples w^ho flioiild 
profefs and vifibly adhere to his law and teflimony^ in Ifa. 
viii. 14 — 17. And though the whole nation of the 
Jews are often called God^s people in thofe degenerate 
times wherein the prophets were fent to reprove them, 
yet at the fame time they are charged as falfly calUng 
themfelves of the holy city, Ifa. xlviii, 2. And God often 
tells them> they are rather to be reckoned among aliens. 


and to he looked upon 51s children of the Ethiopians, or , 
pofterity of the ancient Canaanites, on account' of their . 
^rofsly wicked and fcandalous behaviour. See Amos 
ix, 7, 8. ^c, Ezek, xvi. 2^ 3. vi7V. vcr. 45, 46. i^c^ 
Ifa. i. iQ. 

It 18 evident that God fometimes, according to the 
inethocls of his marvellous mercy and long-fufl'cring to- 
wards mankind, has a merciful refpe6l to a degenerate 
church, that is become ejcceeding corrupt in regard that 
it is conftituted of menibers who have not thofe qualifi- 
cations which ought to be infifted on : God continues 
iHU to have refpefl to them fo far as not utterly to for- 
ffike them, or wholly to deny his confirmation of and 
bl-jfling on their adminiflrations. And not being utterly 
venounced of. God, their adminiftrations are to be look- 
ed upon as in* Tome refpe^l yalid^ and the fociety as in 
fome fort a people or church of God ; Which was the 
cafe wtith the church of Rome, at leall till the Reforma- 
4.:on and Council of Trent ; for till then wt muft own 
their baptifms and ordinations to be valid. — The church 
that the pope fits in, is called, T/>e Temple of God, 
2 Their, ii. 4. 

And with regard to the people of Ifrael, it is very 
-manifefl, that fomethiug diverfe is oftentimes intended 
by that nation's being God*s people^ from their being 
vifible faints, or vifibly holy, or having thofe qualifica^ 
tions which are requifite in order to a due admiffion to 
the eccleiiadical privileges of fuch. That nation y that 
family of Ifrael according to the flejhy and ivith regard tQ 
that external and earned qualification ^ were in fome fenfe 
adopted by God to be hi^ peculiar people ^ and his covenant 
people. 'This is not only evident by what has been al- 
ready obferved, but alfo indifputably manifeft from Rom. 
ix. 3, 4, 5, " I have great heavinefs and continual for^ 
*' row of heart; for I could wi(h that myfelf were ac- 
'*' curfed from Chrill for my brethren, my kinfmen, 
^' raelites, to whom pertaineth the ADOPTION, and 
>* the glory, and the COVENANTS, and the giving 


<*' of the law, and the ferviGe of God, and the PRO- 
** MISES ; whofe are the fathers ; and of whom, con- 
** cerning the flefli, Chriil came." It is' to be noted, 
that the privileges here mentioned are fpokeq of as be- 
longing to the Jews, not now as vifible faints, not as 
profeiTors of the true religion, not as members of the 
viiible church of Chrifl ; but only as people of fuc.b a 
nailcTiy fuch a blood, fuch an external and carnal relation 
to the patriarchs their anceftors, Ifraelltes ACCORD* 
ING TO THE FLESH. For -the Apoftle is {peak- 
ing here of the unhelte^nng %wx, profefTed unbelievers, 
that w^ere out of the Chrillian church, and open vifible 
enemies to it, and fuch as had no right to the external 
privileges of Chrift's people. So, in Rom. xi. 28, 29. 
this Apoftle fpeaks of the fame unbertevihg ^e'zvsy as in 
fome refpe6l an ele6l p€oph\ and interefted in the callings 
promifesy and covenants God formerly gave to their fore- 
fathers, and as ftill beloved for their fakes. " As concern- 
** ing the gofpel, they are enemies for your fake ; but 
•* as touching the eled^ion, they arfc^^ beloved for the 
*^ fathers fakes : For the gifts arid calling of GoA 
** are without repentance.'* Thefe things are in thefe 
places fpoken o^ not as privileges belonging to the 
Jews now as a people of the right religion, or in the 
true church of vifible worfhippers of God ; but as a 
people of fuch a pedigree or ^ blood; and that even 
after the ceafing of the Mofaic adminiftration. But 
thefe were privileges more efpeeially belonging to them 
under the Old Teftament : They were a family that 
God had chofen in diftin^tion from all others, to (hew 
fpecial favour to above all other nattotis. It was ma- 
nifeftly agreeable to God's defign to conftitute things 
fo under the Old Teftament, that the means of grace 
and fpiritual privileges and bleffings fhould fee, thougli 
not wholly, yet in a great meafure confined to a partial^ 
larfamilyy much more than thofe privileges and bleflings 
arc confined to any pofterity or blood now under the 
gofpel. God did purpofely fo order things that that na^ 
thn (hould by thefe favours b& diftinguiftied, not only 

L ij 


from thofe who were not profeflbrs of the worihip of 
the true God, but alfo in a great mesL[uTcfrom other nor 
tionSf by a wall of feparaticn that he made. This was 
not merely a wall of feparation between profeiTors and 
non-profeffors (fuch a wall of feparation as this remains 
Hill m the days of the gofpel), but between NATION 
and NATIONS. God, if he pleafes, may by his fove- 
reignty annex his blefling, and in fome meafure tix it, 
for his own reafons, to a particular blood, as well as to 
a particular place or fpot of ground, to a certain build»» 
Jng, to a particular heap of ftones, or altar of brafs, to 
particular garments, and other external things. And it 
is evident, that he adlually did aSix his bleffing to that 
particular external family of Jacob, very much as he did 
.to the city Jerufalem, that he chofe to place his name 
there, and to Mount Zion lu/jere he commanded the hhjf" 
ing* God did not fo affix his bleffing to Jerufalem or 
Mount Zion, as to limft himfelf, either by confining the 
bleffing wholly to that place, never to beilow it elfcf 
where ; nor by obliging himfelf always to beflow it oa 
thofe that fought him there ; nor yet obliging himfelf 
never to withdraw his bleffing from thence, by Torfaking 
his dwelling-place there, and leaving it to be a common 
or profane place : But he was pleafed fo to annex his 
bleffing to that place, as to make it the feat of his bleff- 
ing in a peculiar manner, in great dillindllon from other 
places. In like manner did he fix his bleffing to that 
blood or pix)geny of Jacob. It was a family which he 
delighted in, and which he bleffed in a peculiar manner, 
and to which be in a great meafure confined the bleff- 
ing ; but not fo as to limit himfelf, or fo as to oblige 
himfelf to bellow it on all of that blood, or not to be- 
llow it on others that were not of tliat blood. He af- 
fixed his bleffing to both thefe, both to the place and 
nation, by fovercign elcdlion. Pfal. cxxxii. 13, 14, 15. 
He annexed and fixed his bleffing to both by covenant. 
To that nation he fixed his bleffing by his covenant with 
the patriarchs. Indeed the main thing, the fubftance 
and marrow of that coYcnant which God made with 

COM!«\7>llOH fW TttE tlSlBtS C*lfltCII« 17 f 

Abraham and the other patriarchs, was the covenant of 
grace^ which is continued m thcfc days of the gofpel, 
and extends to all his fpiritual feed, of the trentiles as 
well as Jews^ But yet that covenant with the patriarchs 
contained other things that were as it were appendages 
to that great everlafting covenant of grace, promifes of 
lefler matters, fubfervient to the grand promife of \S\t 
future feed, and typical of things appertaining to him^ 
Such were thofe promifes, that annexed the blefilng to 
a particular country, v/«. the land of Canaan, and a 
particitlar hhod,^ viz. the progeny of Ifaac and Jacob. 
Juft fo it was alfo as to the covenant God made with 
David that we have an account of, 2 Sam. vii. and 
Pfal. cxxxii. If we confider that covenant with regard 
to what the foul and marrow of it was, it was tlie cove- 
nant of grace : But there were other promifes whicli 
were as it wer^jppendages of things fubfervient to the 
grand covenant^ and typical of its benefits ; fuch were 
promiles of the blefling to the nation of the literal f f- 
rael, and of continuing the temporal crown of Ifrael to 
David*8 pofterity, and of fixing the blefling to Jerufa- 
lem or Mount Zion, as the place that he chdfe to fet 
bis name th^re« And in this fenfe it was that the very 
fatrnhf of Jacob were God*s people by covenanty or his cove" 
nant fedple^ and his chofen people ; yea and this even whea 
they were no vifible faints, when they were educated 
and Itved in idolatry, and made noprofeffion of the true 

On the whole, it is evident that the very natwn of 
Ifrael, not as vifible* faints, hi\t as the progeny of Jacob 
according to theflejbf were in fome refpedl a ehofen people y 
a people of God^ a covenant people^ an holy nation ; even as 
Jerufalem was a chofen cityy the city y God^ a holy crty^ 
and a city that God had engaged ky covenant to dwell in. 

Thus a fovereign and all-wife God was pleafed to or- 
dain things with refpedl to the nation of Ifrael. Per- 
haps we may not be able to give all theje^fons of fuch 
a conftitution j but fome of them fcem to be pretty mani- 
•feft; as, 

L iij 

I • The great aad main ead of feparating one particular 
nation from all others, as God did the nation of IlraeU was 
to prepare f he way for the coming of the Mejftahy who 
was to proceed of ilmt bloods God's covenant with Abra- 
ham and the other patriarchs implied that the Meffiah 
ihould be of their bloody or their feed according to thejlejh^ 
And therefore it was requifitc that their progeny according 
to the fiejh fhould be fenced in by a wall of feparation» 
. and made God^s people. If the Meiliah had been bora 
of fome of the profeffors of Abraham^ s religion^ but of 
fome other nation, tliat religion being propagated from 
nation to nation, as it is now under the gofpel, it would 
not have anfwered the covenant with Abraham, for the 
MeiHali to have been bom of Abraham's feed. only in 
this fenfe. The Mejfiah being by covenant fo related 
to Jacob's progeny according- to thejlefb^ God was pleafed^ 
agreeable to the nature of fuch a covenant, tofhew great 
refpe^l to that people on account of that external carnal 
relation. Therefore the Apoftle mentions it as one 
great privilege, that of them according to the fiejh Chrift 
came, Rom. ix. 5. As^ the introducing the Mejfiah and 
)iis falvation and kingdom was the fpecial defign of aH 
God's dealings and peculiar difpenfations tow^ards that 
people, the natural refuit of this was, that great account 
ihould be made of their being of that nation^ in God's 
covenant dealings with them, 

:}. That nation was a typical nation. There was then 
literally a /^7«</, that was the dwelling-place of God; which 
was a type of heaven the true dwelfing-place of God, and 
an external city of God^ which was a type of the fpiritual 
city of God; an external temple ofGod^ which was a type of 
his fpiritual temple : So there was an external people and 
family of God^ by carnal generation, which was a type 
of his fpiritual progeny : And the covenant by whict 
they were made a people of God, was a type of the co- 
venant of grace ; and fo is fometimes represented as a 
marriage-covenant, God, agreeable to the nature of 
that difpenfation, (hewed a great regard to external and 
carnal things in thofe days, as types of fpiritual things^ 


What a great regard God did (hew then to external 
carn^ qualifications for privileges and fervices, appears 
in thisy that there is ten times fo much faid in the Books 
of Mofes about fuch qualifications- in the inftitutions of 
the pailbver and tabernacle fervices, as about any moral 
qualifications whatfoever. And fo much were fUch 
typical qualifications infifted on, that even by the law of 
Mofes the ^congregation of the Lord, or pubhc congfre- 
gation or church (for the word is the fame) of vifible 
worfhippers of God, and the number of public profef- 
fors of tlie true religion, who were vifibk fjiints, wenc 
not the fame : For fome were of the latter, that were 
not of the former; as particularly the eunuchs, who 
were excluded the congregation, though never fo exter- 
nally religious, yea truly pious; and fo alfo baftards, iftc, 

3. It was the fovcreign pleafure of God to chufc t/jM 
family J the pofterity ol Jacob according to theJUJh^ to re- 
ferve them for fpecial favours to the end of time. Arrd 
therefore they are Hill kept a diAindl nation, being ftiM 
referved for diftinguifliing mercy in the latter day, when 
they (hall be reftored to the church of God, God is 
pleafed in this way to teftify his regard to their holy an^ 
ceilors, and his regard to their external relation to 
Chrifl. Therefore the Apoftl^ ftill fpeaks of them as an 
elcQ tfoHon, and beloved for the fathers fakesy even after 
they were broken off from the good oHve by unbelief, 
God's covenant with Abraham is in fome fenfe in force 
with refpcdlto that people, and reaches them even to 
this day ; and yet furely they are not God's covenant 
peo{>le, in the fenfe that vifible Chriftians are. See Lev. 
xxvi. 42. 

. If it be here faid, It was often foretold by the pro- 
phets, that in the days- of the gofpel other nations (^o\Ad 
,be the people of God, as well as the nation of the Jews : 
And when Chrift fent forth his Apoftles, he bid them 
go and difciple all nations. 

I anfwer ; By a conunon figure of fpeech the prevail- 

.ing part of a nation are called the nation^ and what is 

done to them is faid to ]^ done to the nation, and what 


18 done By them is faid to be done liy that nation : And 
it 18 to be hoped^ that the time is coming when the 
prevailing part of many nations, yea of evexy nation un* 
der heaveii, vnll be regularly brought into the vifiblc 
thurch of ChriiL And if we by nations in thefc pro- 
phecies underftand any other than the prerailing part, 
and it be iniifted on that we muil underfland it of all 
the peojde belonging ta thofe nations ; there never yet 
has been any nation in this fenfe regularly brought into 
the vifible church of Chrift, even according to the 
fcheme of thofe whom I oppofe : For there never yet 
has been an .whole nation that were outwardly moral 
And befides, what Mr. Bkke fays in his Treatife of the 
Covenant i page 238, may be applied here^ and ferve as 
an anfwer to this objpftion : ** The prophecies of the 
^ Old Teftament (fays he) of the glory of the New 
*• Teftament times, are in Old Teftament phrafes, by 
•* way of allufion to the worfhip of thofe times, flet forth 
•* to US." In Rev. xxL 24. nations are fpoken of, as 
having an intereft in the New yeruJaUm^ which yet is 
reprefcnted as perfeftly pure, without the leaft degree 
«f pollation and defilement, vef. 17. And ais for the 
command to the Apoftles^ to difeifie all nathhs, it was 
a dirediion to them as to what they ftiould siltempt, cA* 
do as much towards as they could ; not a predid^ion of 
what they (hould bring to pafs in their * day : For they 
never brought one-half of any one nation into the vifibfe 
Chriftian church, nor any at all in one-liaif of the na- 
tions in the world, it is very probable. 

If it fhould here be further objedted, that it is an evi- 
dence that Gentile Chnftians are vifible faints, accct^- 
Mig to the New Teftament notion- of viftWe' faintftiip, in 
' the very fame manner as the whole Jewiih riation- w«re 
dii they were broken off by their obftinate rqe<ftian 
of the Meflicdi ; that the Gentik Chnftians are repi'c- 
fented as being grafted into the fame oli^tey from whence 
the Jews were 6rohn off by wd>eiiefy Rom. jci. 1 7, ^c, 

I would inquire. What any o«e can intend by this 
4>bjedion ? Whether it be this* h^vu That we ought to 


iniift on no higher or better qualifications^ in admitting' 
perfons as members of the Chriftian churchy and to aU 
its privileges, than the whole nation of the Jews, of 
that generation which lived in Chrifl's time, were pof- 
fefled of, till they had obilinately perfifted in their re- 
jection of him ? If this is not intended, the objection is 
nothing to the purpofe : Or, if this be intended, neither 
then is it to the purpofe of thofe with whom I have ef- 
pecially to do in this controverfy, who hold orthodoxy^ 
kfuywUdge of the fundamental doctrines of religion, mO" 
raljincerltyf and a good converfaiion^ to be qualifications^ 
which ought to be infilled on, in order to a vilible 
church-flate : For a very great part of thofe Jews were 
deilitute of thefe qualifications ; many of them were 
Sadducees, who denied a future ilate ; others of them 
Herodians, who were occaiional conformiils with the 
Romans in their idolatries ; the prevailing fe£t ampng 
them were Pharifees, who openly profeiTed the falie 
do^riae of juilification by the works of the law and ex* 
ternal privileges, that kavm of the Pharifee^i which 
Chrift warns his difciples to beware of : Many of theia 
were fcandaloujQy ignorant^ for their teachers had takeft. 
away the key of knowledge : Multitudes were grofsly 
'uiciouSi for it was a generation in which all manner of 
fin and wickedncls prevailed. 

I think that text ia Rom. si. can be underllood no 
otherwife, in any cohfiflence v/ith plain fadl, than that 
the Gentile Chriflians fucceeded the Jews, who haa 
been, either in themfelves or anceflors, the chijdren of 
Abraham, with refpeft to a viiible intereft in the cove- 
nant of grace (which, as has been obferved» was tliQ 
fubflance and nuurrow of the covenant made> with Abra- 
ham), until they were broken off from the church, and 
ceafed any longer to be viiible faints, by their open and 
obftinate unbelief j (as indeed either they or their an- 
ceflors had all been thus broken off from the church of 
vifible faints ; for every branch or" family of the ftock of 
Jacob had been ia the church of viiible £wts, and eac^ 

130 ^'ALiriCATIOXS ror FULL 

branch withered and failed through unbelief). Thrs 
was the higheft and moft important fenfe, in- which any of 
the Jews were externally the children of Abraham, and 
implied the greateft privileges. But there was another 
lenfe, in which the whole nation, including even thofe 
of them who were no vifible faints, were his children, 
which (as has been (hewn) implied great privileges, 
wherein Chrillian Gentiles do not fucceed them, though 
they have additional ecdefiaftical' privileges, vaftly be- 
yond the Jews. 

Whether J have fucceeded, in rightly explaining thefc 
matters, or no, yet my failing in it is of no great im- 
portance with regard to the ftrength of the objection, 
that occafioned my attempting it; which was, that fcan- 
daloufly wichd men among the Jews are called God^s 
ftcpkj &c. The objeftion, as 1 obferved, is as much 
agsinil the fchem^ of thofe whom I oppofe, as againft 
my fcheme ; and therefore it as much concerns themy to 
£nd out fome explanation of the matter, that (hall fhew 
fomething elfe is intended by it, than their having the 
qualifications of vifible faints, as it does me ; and a fail- 
ing in fuch an attempt as much afiefta and hurts. their 
caufe, as it does mine. 


A HOSE in Ifrael, who made no profeffion of piety of 
heart, did according to divine inflitution partake of the 
paffhver; a JtvfOh facramentf reprefenting the fame things, 
and a feal of the very fame covenant oJF grace with the 
hordes fupper ; and particularly, it would be unreafon- 
able to fuppofe, that all made a profeffion of godlinefs 
whom God commanded to keep that firfl pqffbver in* 
Egypt, which the whole congregation were required to 
keep, and there is no fhadow of any fuch thing as 
their all firfl making a folcmn public profeffion of thofe 
things wherein true piety conAfts: And fe the people ia 


general partook of the pqffover^ from generation to ge- 
neration; but it would be hard to fuppofe, that they all 
profefled a fupreme regard to God in their hearts. 

Answ. 1. The affair of the Ifraelites participation 
of the pa/fovery and particularly tliat firft paffover in 
Egypt, is attended with altogether as much difficul- 
ty in regard to the quiilifications which the objedors 
themfelves fuppofe requifite in communicants at the 
Lord's table, as with regard to thofe which I infiil 
upon ; and if there be any argument in the cafe, it is 
fully as flrong an argument againft their fcheme, as 
mine. One thing they infill upon as a requifite qualifi- 
cation for the Lord's fupper, is a public profeffion of 
religion as to the eflential doSlrines of it : But there is 
no more fhadow of a public profeffion of this kind, pre- 
ceding that paffover in Egypt, than of a profeffion of 
godlinefs. Here not to infill on the great doi^rines of 
the Jail of man f of our undone ^ate by nature t, of the Tri- 
nity^ of our dependance on the free grace of God for juftlfi' 
catton^ &c. let us take only thofe two dodlrines of aJO/- 
turejlate of rewards and pun'tfhtnenisy and the do^rine of 
the Meffiah to come^ that Meffiah w^ho was reprefented in 
the pajfover : Is there any more appearance, in facred 
dory, of the people's making a public profeffion in 
Egypt of thefe do6lrines before they partook of the 
paffover, than of their making profeffion of the love of 
God ? And is there any more probability of the form- 
er, than of the latter l Another thing wliich they on 
the other fide fuppofe neccffary. to a due attendance on 
the Lord's fupper, is, that when any have openly been- 
guilty of grofs fins, they fhould before they come to 
this facrament, openly conftfs and humble themfelves for 
their faults. Now it is evident by many Scriptures, 
that a great part of the children of Ifrael in Egypt had 
been guilty of joining with the Egyptians in worfhip- 
ping their falfe gods, and had lived in idolatry: But 
th^ hiflory in Exodus gives us no account of any pub- 
lic folemn confeffion of, or humiliation for this great fin. 


before tliey tame to the paffover. Mr. Stoddard ob- 
fcrvea (Appeal^ p. 58, 59.) that there was in the church 
of Ifracl a way appointed by God for the removal of 
fcandals ; men being required in that cafe to offer up 
Xhcir facrtfices^ attended with confe/fion and vifibk figns 
c»f repentance. But where do we read of the people's 
offering up facrifices in Egypt, attended with confef- 
fion, for removing the fcandal of that moft heinous iin 
of idolatry they had lived in ? Or is there any more pro- 
bability of their publicly profefling their repentance and 
humiliation for their fin, before their celebrating the 
i>airover, than of their pubKcly profefling to love God a- 
bove all ? Another thing which they fnppofe to be requi- 
fite in order to admiflion to the Lbrd*s table, and about 
which they would have a particular care be taken, is, 
that every perfon admitted give evidence of a competent 
inowle^lge in the doftrine« of religionj and none be al- 
lowed to partake wh» are grofsly ignorant. Now there 
is no mor< appearance of this with regard to the con- 
gregation in Egypt, than ofzprofe^ono/god/ine/s; and 
it is as difficult to fuppofe it. There is abundant rea- 
fon to fuppofe, that vaft numbers in that nation, con- 
ilfling of more than a million of adult perfons, had been 
brought up in a great degree of ignorance, amidll: their 
flavery in Egypt, where the people feem to have almoft 
forgotten the true God and the true religion ; And 
though pains had been taken by Mofes, now for a fhort 
ffeafon, to inftrudl the people better; yet it muft be 
confidered, it is a very great work, to take a whole na- 
tion under fuch degrees of ignorance and prejudice, and 
bring every one of them to a competent degree of know- 
ledge in religion ; and a greater work ftill for Mofes 
both thus to inftruft them, and alfo by examination or 
otherwife, to come to a jufl fatisfa£bion, that all had 
indeed attained to foch knowledge. 

Mr. Stoddard infifts, that if grace be requifite in the 
Lord's fupper, it would have ^een as much fo in the 
paffover, in as much as the chief thing the paffover (-as 
well as the Lord's fuj)per) hasrefped^ to and rq>refent8, 


is Chiift's fufferings. But if on this account the fame 
qu^liiications are requifite in both ordinances, then it 
would be as requifite that the partakers fhould have 
knowledge to difcem the Lord*^ body (in Mr. Stoddard's 
fenfe of i Cor. xi. 29.) in xht paffovery as in the Lord's 
fupper. But this certainly is as difficult to fuppofe, a« 
that they profeffed godlinefs : For how does it Appear, 
that the people in general who partook of the pajfover^ 
knew that it fignified the death of the Mefftah^ and the 
way in which he fhould make atonement for fin by his 
blood ? Does it look very likely that they fhould know 
this, when Chrift's own difciples had not knowledge 
thus to difcem the Lords My in the paffover^ of which 
they partook from year to year with their Mafler? Caa 
it be fuppofed, they adually knew Chrifl's death and 
the defign of it to be thereby fignified, when they did 
not fo much as realize the fa^ itfelf, that Chriil was to 
die, at Icafl not till the year before the lafl pafTover? 
And befides how unreafonable would it be, to fuppofe^ 
that the Jews underflood what was fignified^ pertaining 
to Chrifl and falvation by him, in all thofe many kinds 
of facrifices, which they attended and partook of, and 
all the vafi variety of ceremonies belonging to them ; all 
which facrifices were facramental reprefentations of 
Chrifl's death, as well as the facrifice of the palfover ? 
The ApofUe tells us, that all thefe things had a Jhadotu 
of good thingt to conuy the things concerning Cbri/f; and 
yet there are many of them, which the church of Chrift 
to this day does not underfland; though we are under a 
tboufand times greater advantage to underfland them, 
than they were ; having the New Tejlament^ wherein 
God ufcs great pldmnefs offpeech^ to guide us, and living 
in days wherein the *octtl which Mofes put over his face 
is taken away in Chrifl, and the vail of the temple rent, 
and have the fubflance and antitype plainly exhibited, 
and fo. have opportunity to compare thefe with thofe 

If it be obje6^ed, as a difficulty that lies againfl our 
fuppofing a profeffioQ of godlinefs requifite to a partici« 



pation of the pa/fovery that they who were ^rtclrcumcffeJp 
were exprefsly forbidden to partake, and if conveiiioa 
was a3 importciHt and a more important qualification 
than circurnciilon, why were not the unregenerate as ex- 
prefjly forbidden ? I anfwer; Why wcr£ not fcandahus 
iinntrs as exprefsly forbidden ? And why was noX. .moral 
Jlaceniy as exprefsly required as circurnciilon ? 

If it be objecled, that they wefe ^z// exprefsly cind ilrI6l- 
ly required to keep the paffover; but if grace wasrequi- 
iite, and Qod knew that many of t^e .partakers would 
have no grace, why would he give fuch univerfal orders? 

I anfwcr; When God gav.e thofe commands, he ^new 
that the commands, in all their llriclnefe, would reach, 
riany perfons who in the time of the paifon)er would he 
vyithout fo much as moral Jiucerlly. in religion. Zyery 
uian in the. nation, of every generation, ^nd which fhould 
\>z m being each year, from the liril inftitution till thp 
death of Chrill, were all (excepting fuch as were. cere- 
monially unclean, or in a journey.) ftric]tly required to 
kcop |:he feaft oi pq/fover ; raxi^ yet God knew that mul- 
titudes would be without the qualification ,cf moral fe^ 
rioufnefs in religion. It would be very unreafocable to 
fuppofe, that, every fingle perfon .in the natipa was mo-^ 
iully ferious, even .in the very beft time that ever pafled 
over the Ut^tlon ; or that ever there was fuch a liappy 
ilay with th^t nation, or any other nation under heaven, • 
wlic rein all were morally fincere in religion. How much 
then was it otherwjfe many times with that nation, 
which was .fo prone to corruption, and fo often gene- 
rally involved in grofs wiokednefs ? But the ftrl<3: com-, 
mand of God to keep the pajfover reached the mprally 
infmcere^ as well as others; they ^re no .wher.^ e^cqepted, 
any more than the unconverted, A.nd as to .aivy general 
commands of God's woi-d, tliefe no more required. men 
to turn from a flate of moral infincerity before they 
-carne to the paffover, than they required tbem tq .turn 
from a g'racelefs flate. ., 

But further, I reply, that God. required' ^hem alMo 
..-keep tYitpq/Toverf no more, ftridly than he required them- 

tdMmvfiio^ IN tiTe visible cf^uRCH* 135 

all to /^t the Lord their God with their whole heart :• 
And if God might ftridly command this, he might alfa 
ftri6^1y oommand them to keep that ordinance wherein 
they were efpecially to profefs it, and feal" their profef^ 
iion of it. That evil gcrteraticn' v^ere not.exprefsiy for-" 
bidden to keep the paffo'ver in fucceeding yeai's^ for the 
whole y^/y years during which they went on provokiiig 
God, very often by grofs finning and open rebelling ;- 
but flill the'cxprefs and llriiEl commands for the \Vhole 
congregation to keep the pajfover reached them, nor 
were they rdeafed from their obligation* * 

If it be faid, that we mufl fuppofc multitudes in It' 
rael' attended X^t paffover; from age to age,' without fuch 
a *olfiMRty of piety as I have infilled on ; and yet we do 
not find their attending this ordinance ch'arged on them 
as zjin, in Scripture: I anfwer y We muft alfo fitppofe 
that multitudes rn Ifrael, from age to age, attended the 
paffover, who lived in moral 'tnfmcerity, yea Tind fcamlalcuj 
fivickednefs. For th6 people in general very often no- 
torioufly corrupted themfclves, and declined to ways oi" 
open and great tranfgreffion ; and yet there 13 reafon to 
think, that in thefe times* of corruption, for the molt 
part, they upheld circumcifion and Xkit. pajover ; and we 
do not find their attending on thefe ordinances under 
•fiich circumilances, any more exprefsly charged on them 
as a fin, than their coming without piety of heart. The 
ten triies continued conftantly in idolatry for about 250 
years, and there is ground to fuppofe, that in the mean 
time they ordinarily kept up circumcifion and the paff- 
over := For though they worlhipped God by images, yet 
they maintained moft of the ceremonial obfervances of 
the law of Mofcsy called the manner of the God of the 
load, which their priefts taught the Samaritans, who 
were fettled iri their ftead, 2 Kings xvii. 26, 27. Ne- 
verthekfs we do not find Elijah, Elifha, or other pro- 
phets tha^w^re fent among them, reproving them for 
attending thefe ordinances without the required moral 
qualifications. Indeed there are fome things in the writ- 
ing* of the prophets, which may be interpreted a^ a re- 



proof of this ; but no more as a reproof of this, than of 
attending God's ordinances, without a graciotis fincerity 
and true piety of heart and life. 

How many feafona were there, wherein the people in 
general fell into and lived in idolatry^ that fcandal of 
fcandals, in the times of the judges, and in the times of 
the kings both in Judah and Ifrael ? But ft ill amidft all 
this wickednefs, they continued to attend the facrament 
of clrcumcl/ion: We have every whit as much evidence/of 
it, as that they attended the paffover without a profeflion 
of godlinefs : We have no account of their ever leaving 
it off at fuch feafons, nor any ,hint of its being renewed 
(as a thing which had ceafed) when they came to re- 
form. Though we have fo full an account of the par- 
ticulars of Jofiah's reformation, after that long fcanda- 
lous reign of Manaffeh, there is no hint of any reviving 
of circumcifwnj or returning to it after a ceflation. And 
where have we an account of the people's being once 
reproved for attending this holy facrament while thua 
involved mfcandalous fin, in all the Old Teftament? And 
where is this once charged on them as a iin, any morp 
than in the cafe of unconverted perfons attending tl^: 
facrament of the pqffbver *•• 

Answ. II. Whatever was the cafe wfth refpedl to 
the qualifications for the facraments of the Old Teft^ 
ment difpenfation, I humbly conceive it is nothing to 
the purpofe in the prefent argument, nor needful to de- 
termine us with refpeft to the qualifications for the fa,- 
craments of the Cbrifiian difpenfation, which is a matter 
of fuch plain fadl in the New Teftament. Far am I 
from thinking the Old Teftament to be like an old al- 
manack out of ufe ; nay, I think it is evident from the 
New Teftament, that fome things which had their firft 
inftitution under the Old Teftament, are continued under 
the New ; for inftance, particularly, the acceptance of 

• Let the Reader here take notice of what is obferved in th^ 
conclufion of zny anfwer to the obje^ion from the inftance of 
Juds^s. ^ , ■ 


the infant-feed of believers as children of the covenant 
with their parents; and probably fomc tilings belonging 
to the order and difcipline of Chriftian churches, had 
their firft beginning in the Jewiih fynagogue. But yet 
all allow that the Old Teftament difpenfat'ton i% out of 
date, with its ordinances : And I think, in a matter 
pertaining to the conftitution and order of the Ne*iv 
*Teftameni churchy that is a matter of fa£l wherein the 
Netv Teftament itfelf is exprefs, full, and abundant, in 
fuch a cafe to have recourfe to the Mofaic difpenfation 
for rules or precedents to determine our judgment, is 
quite needlefs, and out of rcafon. There is perhaps no 
part of divinity attended with fo much intricacy, and 
wherein orthodox divines do fo much differ, as the ftat* 
ing the precife agreement and difference between the 
two difpenfations of Mofes and of Chrift. And pro- 
bably the reafon why God has left it fo intricate, is, bc- 
caufe our underflanding the ancient difpenfation, and 
God's defign in it, is not of fo great importance, nor 
does fo nearly concern us. Since God ufes great plain- 
nefs of fpeech in the New Teftament, which is as it 
were the charter and municipal law of the Chriftian 
church, what need we run back to the ceremonial and 
typical inftitutions of an antiquated difpenfation, where- 
in God's declared deiign was, to deliver divine tilings in 
comparative obfcurity, hid under a vail, and involved in 
clouds ? 

We have no more occafion for going to fearch among 
cbe types, dark revelations, and csirnal ordinances of the 
Old Teftament, to find out whether this matter of fadl 
concerning the conftitution and order of the New Tef- 
tament church be true, than we have occafion for going 
there to find out whether any other matter of fa£l, we 
have an account of in the New Teftament, be true ; as - 
particularly whether there were fuchr officers in the pri- 
mitive ch^^rch as hi/h^s and deacons^ whether miracuious 
gifts of the Spirit were common in the Apoftles days, 
whether the believing Gentiles vvere received into the 
primitive Chriftian church> and the like. 


Answ. III. 1 think, fionhing caii be all^^dged from 
the Holy Scripture, that is fufficient to prove a profef" 

Jlon ofgodllntfs to "be not a qualification irequifite in order 
to a due gind regular participation of the paffo'ver. 

Although none of the requifite moral ^qualificat ions 
for this Jewlih facrament, either of one kind or other, 
are near fo clearly made known in the Old Tcftament, 
as the qualifications for the Chrt/Oan facraments are in 
the New; and although the fuppofing a vifibility., cither 
of moral (incerity, or fanAifying grace, to be requifite, 

. is (both refpedling the one cafe and the other) involved 
in fome obfcurity and difficulty ; yet I would humbly 

•offer what appears to me to be the truth concemii^. 

.that matter, in the things that follow. 

(i.) Although the pec^le in Egypt, before the Jirfi 

paffo'very probably made no explicit public profeffion at 
all, either of their humillatton for their former idolatry^ or 
o£ prefent (levotednefi of heart to Gud; it being before any 
particular inflitution of an exprefa public profellion, ei- 
ther of godlinefs, or repentance in cafe pf fcandal : Yet 
I thiijk, there was fome fort of public mantfeftatiotty or 
implicit profeffion of both* Probably in Egypt they im- 
plicitly profefTed the fame things, which tliey afterwards 
profeffed more exprefsly and folemnly in the *tutldernefi^ 
The Ifraelitcs in Egypt had very much to afFe6i their 
hearts, before the lafl plague, in the great things that 
God had done for them ; efpecially in fome of the latter 
plagues, wherein they were fo remarkably diflingui/hed 
from the Egyptians : They feem now to be brought 'to 
a tender frame, and a difpofition to ibew much refpeft 
to God (fee Exod. xii. 27.); and were probably now 
v^ry forward to profefe themfelves devoted to him, -and 
tjrue penitents. 

(2.) After the inftitution of an explicit public profsffian 
of devotednefs to God, or (which is the fame thing) of 
true piety of heart, this was wont to be req^irejd in or- 
der to, a partaking of the paffover and other facrifices 
a^d^^facramenta that adult perfons were admitted t«. 
Accorjdingly all the adi|lt.,p^rfons that were circumdfed 


at Gilgal, had made this profeffion a little before on tht 
plains of Mo^b ; ?as has been already obfervcd. Not 
that all of them were- truly gracious; but feeing they all 
had a profeffion and yifibility, Chrill in his dealings with 
his church as -to external things, adled not as the Searcher 
of Hearts, but as' the Head of th^ vifible church, acconl- 
.modating himfelfto the prefent ftate of mankiiid-; and 
therefore" he reppefents himfclf in Striptitre as irufting 
-his;people'8 profeffion ; as I formerly obferved. * 

(3.) In degeneraie times in Ifrael, both priefts and 

people were very lax with refpetSl to covenanting wi^k 

God, and profefcng dewotednefs to him ; and thefe pro^ 

feffions were ufed, as public profeffions commonly are 

'ftill in corrupt times, merely as matters oi.form and cer^- 

.many, at leaft by great multitudes. ' * r . 

(4.) Such was the nature of the Levitical difpenfii- 
ition, that it had >jn no meafure fp great tendency to 
• preclude and prevent hypocritical profijfionti as the Ne^w 
Teflament difpenfation ; particularly, on account of th^ 
vailly greater darknefs of it. For the covenant of grace 
was not then fo fuUy revealed, and confcquently the na- 
ture of the conditions of that covenant not then fo well 
.known : There was then a far more*obfcure revelatio^i 
of thofe' great duties of repentance towards God and 
faith in. the Mediator, and of thofe things wheVein tnup 
liolineis confifts, and whtrein it is difUnguffhed from 
other things : Perfons then had not equal advari^agp tb 
.know their own hearts, while viewing themfelves in thhs 
•comparatively dim light. of Mofes* law, as nttw they 
have in the dear fun-fhine of the gofpeh In thsrt fta^ 
-of the minority of the churchy the nature of tnie^piet^'*, 
'^8 coniifting in the Spirk^ of adoptibh^ or ingenuous £1^ 
•love to God, -and as ^iftinguifhed flrom a fpirit of botti- 
agey fcrviic, fear, and felf-love, was not fo clearly made 
known « . The Ifraeli tea were therefore the mor^" ready 
to miftakcy. for true piety, that moral ferfoufnefs and 
thofe 'warrrt afifedlions'and refbli|ti6i1s tfiat rcfulted from 
thatj^V// of bondage, which' ftle^Ved itfelf in' ifrael. re- 
markably' at Mount Sinai J 'anti:.'wlu<;h throughout, afi 


♦he Old Teftameht- times, they wercf efpecially incident 

(5.) God was plcafed in a'' great meafure to wlnh at 
^n^ftifer (though he did not properly allow) that laic^ 
nefs there was among the people, with regard to the vifi- 
-bility of holincfs, and the moral qualifications requifitc 
to an attendance on their facram^nts ; ad aHb he did in 
many other cafes of great irregularity, under that dark, 
imperfe^, and comparatively carnal difpcnfation ; fuch 
as polygamy, putting away their wives at pleafure, the 
xevenger of blood killing the man-flayer, ^c. ; and as he 
winked at the woHhipping in high-places in Solomon^s 
time ( I Kings iii* 4> 5 . ) ; and at the negledl of keeping 
the feaft of tabernacles according to the law, from Jo- 
ihua's time till after the captivity (Neh. viii. 17.); and 
as he winked at the negle6^ of the fynagogue-worfhip, 
or the public fervice of God in particular congregations, 
till after the captivity*, though the light of nature, to- 
gether with the general rules of the law of Mofes, did 
fufEciently teach and require it. 

(6. ) It feems to be from time to time foretold in the 
prophecies of the Old Teftament, tliat there would be a 
great alteration in this refpdd^, in the days of the gofpeU 
that under the new difpcnfation there fhould be far 
greater puHty in the church* Thus, in the foremention- 
cd place in Ezekiel it is foretold, that ** thofe who are 
•• tyifi^h^ uncircumcifcd in heart, ftiould no more enter 
** intoGod'sfanftuary." Again,Ezek.xx.37,38. "And 
*< I will caufe you to pafs under the rod, and will bring 
♦* you into the' bond of the covenant ; and I will purge 
** out from among you the rebels^ and them that tranP 
i" grefs againft me." It feems to be a prophecy of the 
greater purity of tho£e who are vifibly m covenant ^tnth 
God^ Ifa. iv. 3. f* And it fliall come to pafs that he 
'«* that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jertrfa- 

♦ Frid:Conne9' Part I. p. 354 — ^536. aad^55, $$6, 9th Edit. 
,Thc word tpanflatcd/y«<2yjij«/«, P&l. Ix&iv. 8, fxgnifies.(j^wW/«/ 
jind is fuppofed by the generality of learned flien to relate to 
^unother&rt df ane'mblies,' 


^ lem, fhall be called holy, even every one that Is writ- 
** ten among the living [i. e. has a name to livey or is 
*' enrolled among the faintsj in Jerufalem/' Ifa. lii. i. 
** Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerufalem, the holy 
*' city; from henceforth there fhall mo more come to 
** thee the uncircumcifed and the unclean*'' Zeclw 
xiv. 21. '^ And in that day, there fhall be no morb 
** the Canaanite in the houfe of the Lord." 

(7.) This is juil fuch an alteration as mii^bt reafon* 
ably be expedled from what we are taught of the whole 
nature of the two dlfpenfations. As the one had canuj 
ordinances (fo they are called, Heb. ix, lb.}* the other a 
fplrttual fervice (John iv. 24.); the one an earthly Ca- 
naan, the other an heavenly j the one an external J&rvSs^ 
lem, the other Vifpiritual; the one an earthly high-prief^, 
the other an heavenly ; the one a *u>Qrldly fan6^uary, the 
•Other a fpiriiual $ th& one a bodily and temporal redemp* 
tion (which is all that they generally difcerned or undeiv 
flood in the pqffover)^ the other a fpiritual :and. eternoL 
And agreeably to thefc things, it was io ordered in prc^ 
vidence, that Ifrael, the congregation |hat fhpuld enter 
this 'ivorldly , fanduary^ and attend thefe car'nal ordi* 
nances, fhould be much more a worldly^ carnal congr^ 
gation, than the New Tcilarocnt congregation. One 
reafon why it was ordered in providence diat there 
fhould be fuch a difference, feems to be this, vi%. That 
the Mejfiah might have the honour of introducing ft 
JJate of greater purity and fpiritual glory. H<nce Goi 
is {aid to ^n^ fault with that ancient difpenfatipn of the 
covenant, Heb. viii. 7, 8. And the tiine of introducing 
the new difpenfation is called the time of re/ormatsartf 
' Heb. ix. I o. And one thing, wherein the amendment 
of what God found fault with in the former difpcniatioa 
fhould coniifl, the Apofile intimates, is the greater /«- 
rity ^nd Jpirituality of the churchy Heb, viii. 7, 8* i u . 

*4'^ ^ .. • : Qpi.^trrd;ATr6ks for fvll 


It 18 not reafbnable t<y -fuppofe, that the miiltitudes 
•whicli JohlvtlieB^^ ft- baptized, msAc ^ profrffion of 
^avirig^a<re, W hatdktiy fUch vjjihility bf triie piety, as 
has been infirted <^n-. " '' 

< - 

' - ANSw.•^^lbfe whom John baptized, eaim to htm con- 
^ftffirig tMrJiffiy -ni^feing a'pV-ofeffioa of fonie kmJ of re^ 
y>entahh$ and 'W 'i^^iiotJ^reafonable* to fuppofe,/the rtrpehP- 
-ance they proft?fl^d waa ' fpecifically or m \lvc\^' diverft 
•from that which He hkd-inftru£led them in, arid called 
•them 16, 'which is Q.iS^^Ytpi^ntanc.e for the remlffton &fjim ; 
•an^tthat i« feving repentance. John^s baptitm is called 
-the bapiifm of repete^mite for -I he: remiffion of fins : I know 
•not how fuch a-phrafe cart be reafdnably under flood any- 
^therwife, thaiffo as to imply, that his bapttfm was fome 
txliibitibn of that repenlanc^i and afealof the pVofefiion 
"4if it. Ba^lfifm is a feal of fonte fort of religious pro- 
•leffion, in adult perfons-c But the very name of John '^ 
•feaptifm fhew's, 'that ifwas a feal of a profeffion of n> 
'pBntance for the remiffion of Jtns*. It is faid,. Luke iii. 51^ 
^" Jolrtl PREACHED the baptifm of repentance for 
:•* tlie- remiffion of fins." What can be underftood by 
this, but hh preaching that^men (hould now fpeedily tarn 
ite God^ by* true repentance ?in^ faith An tlie promifed Sa» 
iri^ui'i and cdme. and ccnfefi their fins^ and openly declare 
fjA^ repentance iriw^rds God, and faith in the Lamb of 
Crbd, and that they fhould confiirm and feal this then- 
^jrofeflion by baptifniy as well as therein receive the feal 
of God's willingnefs to remit the fins of fuch as had this 
iaith and- . repenta n ce* Accordingly » - we are told, the 
people^ camt and nvere-^aptiz.'ed- -of' him^ egnf effing /ifeiV^^/i>, 
manifefting and profeffing that fort of repentance ^^ti^ faith 
which \it preached. They had no notion of any other fort 
of repentance put into their heads, that they could fup- 
pofe John called them to profefs in baptifm^ but this ag- 


eompznicd' with fasth in th^ Lamb whom he caUed l;hcm. 
\p behold^ {or M^ preached v.o otlier to tliem. The peo* 
pie. that John baptized, iMToTclTcd botJi repentance for the. 
rem'ijjJiGn qJ Jinsy and alfo faith la the Mejfiah; as is cvi* 
deiit by Ads xix. 4, 5. ** John verily baptized with the 
** baptifm of repentance, faying unto the people, that 
^^* they, fhould believe on him that fhould come after 
** him;" /. e, on Christ Jesus.: ** When they beard. 
** this [John's preacliingj they wqre . baptiicd in thc^ 
" name^of the Lord Jesus." 

If it be objeAed here, tliat we are told, Matth. iii. 5, 6. 
**• There went out to him Jerufalem, and all Jiidea, and 
'* all the region ix)mid about Jordan, and were baptized 
** of him in- jQrdan, conf^fling their fins ;" and that it. 
15 not torbe imagined, all thefe made any credible profef- 
iiojj jof faving rcyentaiice and faith; I anfwer; No more 
is to t^e. underflgod by thefe exprefGons, according to 
t'Ke phra^feology of the Scripture, than. tliat there, was a 
ver)^ gr^^ refort of people from thefe places to John- 
Nor is any more to be underflood by the like term of 
nniverf^lity in Jqhn ill. 26.; ** ,They came to John, and 
■*^*. fai^ V^^ ' .^^ RabHi, he th^t was with thee beyond. 
" Ji^r^ai;, ;to w.^Qm tKoUf .btta^'cw: witnefs, behold, the 
" .^ine'bzTplT^eth, aud^ ALL .MEN come to him;*' 
that .13^ there was a great jeforit to j him from all quar^. 
ters- It is in nowife unreaXonable to fuppo£e, there was", 
ifideed a very great number of people that came to John 
from the places mentioned, who being exceedingly mov- 
ed by his. preaching, in that tin}e of extraordinary out-, 
pouring .of tlh! Spirit^ m^e profcfllon of the faith, -anti 
repentaiij^e which John preached. Doubtlefs there were, 
mapy n\oi;-c.piofeirors than real qqu verts: But ftilTin the 
great refort to John, there were .many of the lattei' cha- 
ratler ; as we may infer from the prophecy ; as ap- 
pears by Luke. i. 16, 17. " And many of the children 
" of Ifrael fhall he turn to the Lord their God. And 
** he (hall go before him in the fpirit and power of 
** Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to. the chil- 
** dren> and of the difobcdicnt to the wifdom of the 


** juft, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." 
And from that account of fa£k ia Matth. xi. 1 2. ** From 
** the days of John the Baptift until now, the kingdom 
" of heaven fuffereth violence, and the. violent take it 
** by force." And in Luke xvi, i6. " The law and 
•* the prophets were until John : Since that time the 
<* kingdom of God is preached, and every man preiT- 
«* eth into it.'* Here the expreflion is no lefs univerfal, 
than that which is obje^^ed in Matth. iii. ^9 ^' -^^ ^^, 
thofe wicked Pharifees, that fo much oppofed Chrift, 
fome of them I fuppofe had been baptized by John, and 
then had a great (hew of repentance and faith; but they 
afterwards apoflatized, and were much worfe than ever 
before : Therefore Chrift fpeaks of them as being like a 
i^oufe from w/Ach ih ujickan fpirit is vifibly turned out for 
a whtkj and is left empty ^ fwepty and garni/bed^ but af- 
terward is repqffeffedy and has many devils inftead of one, 
•Luke xL 24, &c» Yet as to the greater part of thefe 
Pharifees, they were not baptized by John ; as appears 
by Luke vii. 29, 30. 

If it be further obje6^ed, that John in baptizing fuch 
multitudes could not have time to be fufiiciently inform* 
cd of thofe he baptized, whether their profeffion of god- 
Lnefs was ^creiEbk^ or no : I anfwer ; That we are not 
particularly informed of the circumftances of his teach- 
/ing, and of the ailiilance he was favoured with, and the 
means he had of information concerning thofe whom he 
baptized : But we may be fure of one thing, v/2. He 
had as much opportunity to inquire into the credibility 
of their profefiion, as "he had to inquire into their doC" 
trsnal knowledge and moral charaAer ; which my oppo- 
nents fuppofe to be neceffary, as well as I; And this is 
itnough to filence the prcfcnt objedloni 



V/HRiST ra3rs, Matth. xx. i6* and again, chap. xxii. 14* 
that mamy are called^ but few -are chofen. By which it '\% 
evident, that there are many^ who belong to the njifihk 
churchy and yet hatfetv resJ and tmt faints $ Bad that it 
is ordinarily thus, even under the Netv Teftamenty and 
in days of gofpeHight : And therefore that vijibiliiy of 
/aint/h^9 whereby perfona arc vifible faints in a Scripture- 
fenle, cannot imply an apparent probability of their be- 
ing real faints, or truly gracious perfons. 

Answ. In thcfc texts, by thofe that are calMy arc 
not meant thofe who are vjflble faints^ and have the re* 
quifitc qualifications for Chriftian facraments; but all 
fuch as' have tke external call of the word of God, and 
have its offers and invitations made to them. And it is 
undoubtedly true, and has been matter of fa£^, for the 
moft pait, that of thofe caHed in this fenfe, many have 
been but only called, and never truly obedient to the 
cajl^few have been true faints. So it was in the Jewifli 
nation, which the parable in the twentieth "of Matthew has 
a fpecial refpeA to ; they in geheral had the external call 
ai God's word^ and in general attended many religious 
duties, in hope^ of God's favour and reward, which is 
called labouring In God's vineyard ; and yet but fe<uf of 
•them eventually obtained falvation ; nay, great multi- 
tudeB of thofe who were called in this fenfe, were fcandal" 
'9US perfons, and grofs hypocrites. The Pharifees and 
il>adducees were called^ and they laboured in the vineyard^ 
in the fenfe of the parabk ; for which they expelled 
great rewards, above the Gentile converts or profelytes; 
wherefore their eye tuas evil towards them, and they 
could not bear that they (hould be made equal to them ; 
But ftlU thefe Pharifees and Sadducees had not general- 
ly the intellediual and moral qualifications, that my op- 
ponents fuppofe requifitC iov Chriftian facraments; be- 


ing generally fcandalous perfons, denying fomc funda- 
•niehtal principles of religion, and explaining away fomc 
of its moil important precepts. I^hus, many in Chri- 
ftendom are called, by the outward call of God's word, 
and ytXfe'tv of them are in a ftate of faivation : But not 
all 4hcfe that (it under the found of the gofpel, and hear 
its invitations, are fit to come Xa fiurameiUs* 

That by thofe who ure calledy in this faying of our 
GaviouK* is njeant thofe that hare Abe g^Jpei-ofer^ and 
fiot thofe who :belong to the fociety of n^yible faints^ ts 
evident beyond all difpute, in Matth. xxii. 14. By the 
many that are caltedj are iplainly intended the many that 
are invited to the weddings In jthe foregoing paiable, we 
liave an account of thofe that from time to time were 
hidden^ or CALLED (for the word is the fame in the 
original-), ver, 5. «" And fent forth hisfervants te CALL 
** them that were GALLED [Kax6a*xi rui? niitXM/tawMf ]^ 
" and they would not come." This ha8'refpe£): to the 
Jews, who refufed not only fawngly to come to Chriil:, 
^ut refufed fo much as to come into the .vifible church 
of Chrift. Ver- 4- ^ .Again he fent forth other fer-" 
-*' vants, faying, Tell them which are 43idden for CALL- 
'* ED], Behold 1 have prepared my dinner,'^ ^c Ver. 8, 
** They which were bidden [or.CAI-LEDJ w^reinot 
*< worthy." Ver. 9. ** ,Go ye tbo'efore to ithe high- 
^* ways, and as many as ye fhall find,; bid [or GALL, 
xa\£(TcrTf]j to the marriage," or jau{^ial banquet ; -repre- 
fentiag Jthe preaching 'of the gofpel .to the Gentiles ^ 
who upon it i:ame :i^o ihe hinges houfe^ 1. e^ the vifible 
church, and aniong them wxe that had not a ^iued^Gsigf 
'garmenty *who was hound hand and foot^ and cajl but wjhtn 
ihz king came: And then, -at the conclufion, Chrid adds 
.this remark, ver. 14. " For many are GALLED or 
•*' bidden [xXhTor], but few are chofea;" wjiichmuftiiave 
reference, not only-to the man laft mentioned, who caove 
into the vvedding-houfe, the Chriilian vifible church, 
.nvithout a wedding-garmeat; but to thofe alfo mentioned 
Ijefore, who were called^ hnt would not fo mucli as come 
•ifiio the king's houfe^ or join ;to the vifible Chriftian xrhurcb. 


To fuppofe this faying to have reference only to that 
mie man who came without a *ufeddlng'gcrment (reprefent'' 
ing one that cometinto the vifihle church, but is not a 
true faint), would be to make the introdu^ionof tht^ 
aphoriim, and its confied^ion with wha^ went before, 
very ibrange and unintelligible,, becaufe then it would 
be as much as to fay thus, }^ Mub'ttudei came into the 
** king's houfe, who were called^ and the houfe was full 
'^ of guefls ; but among them was found one man who 
** was not chofen; for many are calledy but feiv ars 
♦* chofen.'* 


W HEN the ferrants of the houfeholder, in the pamble 
of the wheat and tares (Matth. xiii.), unexpectedly found 
Jkaret among the wheat, they faid to their mailer, *< Wilt 
^ thou that we go and gather them up ? But he fail), 
^. Nay^ led while ye gath^ up the tares, ye root up 
" alfo the wheat with them ; kt Both groW together 
« until the liarveft." Which {hews the mind of Chrift, 
lihat we ought not to go about to make a dyiin&tcn be- 
tween true faints and others in this world, or aim at 
any fuch thing as admitting true f^nts only into the 
i^hlt church, but ought to let^ b(^b be together in the 
ehurch till the day oi judgment*^ 

: yAN»w*. L Thefe things iii thi» parable Hare no man^ 
cer of reference to introduBion into the field, or admiffion 
into the vifible churchy as though no care- nor meafures 
Should be taken to prevent tares being finvn ; or as 
though the fervanla* who had the charge of the field, 
would have done well to have taken taret^ appearing to 
be fuchr and planted them in the field amongft the wheat; 
Nq» inftcad of this, the parable plainly implies the con« 
trary. But the words cited, have wholly refpeft to a 
CASTING OUT and purging the field, after the tares 
bad been introduced una^ivares, and contrary, to- de/ign* 



through mens infirmity and Satan's procurement. Con- 
cerning purging tares out of the field, or calling men 
out of the church, there is no difference between me and 
thofe whom I oppofe in the prefent eontrovetfy : And 
therefore it is impoffible there fliould be any obje<5iion 
from that which Chrift fays here concerning this mattery 
againft mey but what is as much of an objo^lion againii 
them ; for we both hold the fame thing. It is agreed 
on all hands, that adult perfons, a^uaHy admitted ta 
communion of the vifible church, however they may/ be- 
have themfelves fo as to bnng their fpiritual ilate into 
fiifpicion, yet ought not to be cqfl outy unlcfo they are 
obftinate in herefy ox fcanclal; left, while we go about to 
root out the tares^ we ftwiuld root out the ivheat alfo. 
And it is alfo agreed on all hands^ that when thof« re<« 
prcfented under the name of tares bring forth fach evil 
fruit, fuch fcandalous . and obftinate wickednefs, a& i» 
plainly and vifibly inconfiftent with the being of tni« 
grace, they ought to be a^t cut^ . And therefoi« it it 
impoflible that this obje^ion ihould be any thing to 
the purpofe. 

» ... 

A NSW. II, I think this parabfe, itrftead of bemg 91 
juft, objection aga'tnfi the doctrine I maintain, i» on tbtf 
contrary a cleaf evidence y^r it. 

For ( I . ) the parable ihews plainly, that if any arc 
introduced into the field of the houieholdeiv or church ol 
Chrift, who prove to be not ivheat (/. e. not true faints) 
they are brought in ttna<tt}ares^ or contrary to deiign ; 
and that they are what do not p;x>periy' belong there. 
If tares are as properly to hefo^n in the field, as is the 
fpheaty which muft be the cafe'if^thcJjord'* fupper-bc a 
converting ordinance ; then furely no care ought to be 
talien to introduce ivheat only^ and no refpe6^ oiightta 
be had more to the qualities of wheat in foxing the field, 
than the qualities of tares ; ' nor is there anynnore ira« 
propriety in the tares having a place there, than the 
<ivheat : But this furely is altogether inconfiftent witk 
the foope of the parable* ^ 


( 2. ) This parable plainly fhew-», that thofe who arc 
in the vilible church, have all of them at firft a vifihiiityy 
or appearance to human Aght of true grace^ or of the 
nature of true faints. For it is obferved, tara have 
this property, that when they firtt appear, and till the 
produ£^8 of the field arrive to fome maturity, they have 
fuch a refcmblance of wheats that it is next to impoilible 
to dt^inguifh them. 


V^HRisT himfclf adminiftered the Lord's fupper to Ju. 
das, whom he knew at the fame time to be graceleft; 
which {% a full evidence, that grace is not in itfeif a r^- 
quiiite qualification in order to coming to the I^ord's 
fupper; and if it he not oequifite in itftlf; ^projrffion of 
it cannot be.requifite. 

Answ. I. It is to me apparent, that Judas was not 
^refent at the adminiflration of the Load's fupper. It 
is triae, he was prefcnt at the paiTover, and dipped with 
-Chrijl in the pafchal dijb* The three former Evangcliils* 
do differ in the order of the account they give of this 
^ping in the dtfh, Luke gives an account of it after his 
account of the Lord's fupper, Luke x.\ii. 21. But 
Matthew and Mark both give an account of it before, 
(Matth. xxvi. 23. Mark xiv. 20.) And the like might 
be (hown in abundance of inflances of thefe three £van- 
g^eliil« differing one from another in the order of their 
narratives ; one places thofe things in ht« hiftory after 
others, which another places firft; thefe facred hiiloriaofi 
not undertaking to declare precifely the date of every 
incident, but regarding more the truth of fafis, than 
the order of time. However, in the prefent cafe, the 
nature of the thing fpeaks for iifelf, and ihews, that 
Judas* s Sppmg with Chrift in the dyh, or his hand being 
with Chrift on the table j or receiving a fop dipped in the t&flff 
jnuft be in that order wherein Matthew and Mark place 



it in their hiftory, vi«. at the fqffover^ aDtecedent to the 
Lord's flipper: For there is no fnch thing in the Lord's 
flipper as ilipping of fops, and dipping together in the di/h; 
but there was fuch a thing in the paflbvery where all had 
their hand together in the difb, and dipt their fops ia 
the hitter fauce. . None of thefe three Evangelifts give 
us. any account of the time when Judas went out : But 
John, who is vailly more particular as to what pafied 
that nighty and is every wheve more exa6i as to the or- 
der of time than the other Evangelifts, gives as an ac- 
count, and is very prccife as to the tkae, via. that ^efur 
tvhen he gave him the fop, at the fame time fent him 
ftway, bidding htm do quitkh^ what he intended to do; and 
accordingly *when he had received the fop, he ^uetU smme*- 
diately out, John xiiiv 27—30. Now this fop being at 
tlie paffdveTy it is evident he was not prefent at the Lard^t 
f upper which followed. Many of the beil expofitors ar€ 
of this opinion^ fuch as Van Mafincht^ Dr^- Doddridge^ 
and others^ 

Answ. II. If Judas was there,** I deny the confer 
quence, — As I have obferved once and again concerning 
the Lord's dealings- with his people under the Old Te& 
tament, fo under the New the fame obfervation takes 
place : Chrift did not come to judge the fecrets of mew, 
jior did orditiarily a6t in his external dealings with his 
difciples, and ia admin iflration of ordinances, as the 
Searcher of Hearts; but rather as the Head of the vifible 
church, proceeding according to what was exhibited ia 
profefiion and viability ; hereio^ fetting an example to 
Lisoniniilers, who fhould ftand in his place when he was 
gone, and a£k in his name in^he adminiftrationr of ordi» 
nances. Judas had made the fame profeilion of regard 
to his mafter, and of forfaking all for him, as the other 
difciples: And therefore Chrift did not openly renounce 
him till he himfelf had deftroyed his profefiion and vifi<- 
bility of faintfhip, by pubEc fcandalous apoilacy» Sup- 
pofing then the prefence of Judas at th« Lord's fupper, 
lihi* affords ao cpnfequence in favour of what I oppofesi 


Ansv. III. If they with whom I have to do in thi» 
tontroverfyy are not contented with the anfwers ahready 
given, and think there is a remaining difficulty in. thia 
matter lying againil myfcbemey I will, venture to tell 
them, that the difHculty lies full as hard againil their 
otvn feheme ; ^nd . if there be any fbcngth at all in the 
argument^ it i» to aU intents of the fame ilrength againft 
the need of thofe qualifications which they themfelvei 
fuppofe to be necefiary in order to an approach to the 
Lord^s tablcy as againil thofe which f think fo» Fov 
although they do not think renewing faving grace ne-r 
ceffary, yet thej&fuppofe moral ferionfnefs or (as tbey va- 
rioufly fpeak) moraLfimenty iiL reHgion to be necef&vy ? 
They fuppofe it to be reqni^iey that perfons fhould have 
ibme kind of ferious principle and 'View in coming to 
the Lord's table; fome fort of intention ef fobjeiSlingr 
themfelyes to Chrift, and of feeking and fierviiig jiirn^ 
in general ; and in particular fome reHgijpttff end in com-» 
ing to the facramental fupper^ fbme religiOLiis refpe^.ta 
Chrill in it. But now did not Chrift at that time per<> 
£e&ty ^nowy that Judas had none of tkefe thing»f He 
knew he had nothii^ of jSnrerity m the Chiiilian reti-* 
ffien, or of regard to Cirrifi in that ordinance^ of^any 
K>rt whatfoever ; he knew, that Satan hkd entered inia 
hm and filled his hearty and that he was then* ehenfhin^ 
in himfelf a malignant malicious fpirit againil hie roa» 
fter^ excited by the reproof Chriil had lately gfiven him 
(compare John xii. 8. with Matth. xxvL 8^-*i6. and 
Mark xiv. 4 — 1 1.);, and that he had already formed a 
traiterous murderous defign againft him^ and was now 
in the profecution of that bloody defign, having a6iually 
jafl before been to the chief priefts,. and agreed with 
them to betray him for thirty pieces of filver. (See 
Matth. xxvi. 14, 15^ 16. Mark xiv. 10, ii. Luke xxii. 
— 6. and John xiii. 2.) Chriil knew thefe things, and 
new that Judas was utterly unqualified for the holy fa- 
crament of the Lord's fupper ; though it -had not yet 
been made known to the church, or the difciples—^ 
Therefore it concerns thofe on the contrary part in thi$ 


controverfy, to find out fome folutibn of this difiScuIty, 
as much as it does itie ; and they will find they have ai 
much need to take refuge in the folution already given^ 
in one or other of the two preceding anfwers to this 

By the way I would obfervc, that' Chrift's not ex- 
cluding Jttdas from the paffover, under thefe circum- 
ftancesy knonv'mg him to be thus unqualjfiedy without fo 
much as moral Jinceritj^ flee, is another thing that effec- 
tually enervates all the ftrength of the objeSioxv againfl 
me, from the paffoFoer:. For Judas did not only in com** 
nion with others fall under God's ihi^ command, in 
the* law of Mo£S?s,_ to keep this feaft, without any excep- 
tion of his cafe there to be found ; but Cbrtji himfelf, 
with his own hand, gave him xkitfop^ a part of the paf* 
chal feaft ; eren although at the fame inflant he>had in 
yiew the mlm's fecret widtcdnefs and hypocrify, the 
traiterous deiign which was then in his heart, ^nd the 
horrid ronfpiracy with the" chief priefts, which he had 
already entered into, and was now in profeoutioit of: 
This .was then in Chrift's mind, and he intimatieS it to 
him, at the iame moment when >he gave ' him the fop, 
ikying^ What ibmi doft^ da ^ickiy, Tiiis demonftrates^ 
that the objedion from the pajfomer is no ftronger argu<< 
tnent againft my^ fcheme, than the fcheme of thofe whom 
I oppofe ; becaufe it is no ilnHiger againft the necefiity 
a^ JcmSifytng grace^ the qualification for Chriilian facra* 
meats, which I infill upon, than it is againft the necef« 
fit)r <^ morai fenmjntfs wjinceriiv^ the qaalificattOB Which 
they infidi upon. 

^omm<;nion m T^iE tisiBLr CHURCH. 15J 


1 F fanStfying grace be a requifite qualification in order 
to perfons due accefs to Chriftian facraments, God would 
have given fome certain htle^ whereby thofe who arc to 
admit them, might know whether they have fuch grace^ 
or not. 

Answ. This objeid^ion was obviated in my ftating^ 
the queftion. However, I will fay ^mething further 
to it in this place; and would here obferve, that if there 
be any ftrcngth iti thit objed^ion^ it lies in the trutb of 
this propofitton, v». 7'hai <ivhati*oer qwaij/katicns are re*^ 
qw/k& in order to perfons due accefs to Chriftian faeramcnts^ 
God has grben fome certain mle> laherehy thofe 'who admit 
them^ may kno*tv nvhether they have thofe quoRficathnsy^ or 
not. If this proportion is not ^rue, then there is no 
force at all fn the ar^^iimeiiti Btit I dtre fat^y ^:iere is 
not a divine, nopChiiilian of common fetife, on ttie face 
of the earth, that will afTert and lland'to it, that thta 
proportion is true : For th«re la * none will deny, that 
fome fort, of belief of the being of a God, fome (etl^of 
belief that the Scripture^ are the word of Gdd; tha^ 
there is a future ilate of rewards aYid punifhinents, and 
that Jefns is the .M^fiali, • are qualifiGatiotis i^quifite ia 
Older to>p^fons due accefs to Chriftian facraments-;- 
and yet God has given thofe who. are to^ admit perfons* 
no certain rule, ' wherefcy they may know whether they* 
berteve any one of thefe things. Neither has he given hisf 
miniilers or churches sMY-certam ruk^ whereby they may 
know whether any perfon that offers himfelf for admit- 
^n to the facrament, has any degree of moral Jmc erity^- 
moral ferioufnefs of fpirit, or any inward moral qualifica-'. 
tton wh'atfoever, Thefe things have all their exiftenc^ 
in the foul» which is out of our neighbour's Wew. Not 
therefore a certainty ^ but a prof^on aiid nf'tfibiliiy of tdeffi' 
(faingsr-muft be the r^Ie of the chvuxh's proceeding ^ an4 

154 QFAt'I^'<^A''IOV ^^^ FVX.L- • 

it IS as good and as reafonable a rule -of jadgment eoB' 
ccming Javing grace f as it is concerning any otiicr inter- 
nal inviiible quali&catioBi^ which cannot be certaioif 
known, by anj but the fubje<^ himfelL 


XT /an3t/yi/tg grace be reqniiite to a^due approach. to tlie « 
Lord's table, then no man may come but he that knows 
he has fuch grace. A man mitiil not only think he has 
a right to the Lord's fupper* io^ order to his laW' 
ful partaking of it ^ but he mull, knono he has alright. 
If nothing but faaSification gives him Z/rtal right to- the 
Lord's fupper, then^ nothing (hort. of the kno^vledge of 
fan£tification gives him a knovm right to it : Only aa 
Qpimon and probabL hopes, of a right wHl not warrant hii 

. AN8fW, L. I deiire thofe who infiil oh this as anih^ 
vincible iurgument^ to consider calmly whether thejf 
th^mfelves ever iSdf, or ever wiii fbind to it. For here 
thefe two things are to be ob&rved : 
'. ( i.) If no man may warrantably come to the Lord'» 
fupper, but fuch as kmmf they hare a r^hty then no trn^ 
4ionverte0i perfons may come unleis. they not only thiakp 
but ino*uf it is the mind of Gee/,, that unconverted perfons 
fhould come, and Ino^ tiiat hedoeft not require grace ia> 
order jto xheic- coming*. '. For unlefs they know that, men 
may come without grace^ they cannot know that, they 
themfelves have a rights to. come, bAr^g loithout grace^ 
And will any one alTertand ftand to it» that of neceflity 
all adult perfons, of every age^ rank, and condition of 
life, mull be fo verfed in this contro verify,, asjto have, a; 
(Certainty in. this matter, in order to .their ^«ming to Jthe 
Lord's fupper ? .It would be mofl: abfurd for aayi to.aC- 
ftrt.it a. point of cafy. proof, the evidence .-jof which) is" 
ii^ clear and obvious to every one of every capacity, as 
ti0 fuperfede all jcxccafiQn fpr th^ir b^iag ftudied iu divin 


nrty, in order to a Tccrtainty -of its truth, that'pcrfoni 
may come to the facred table of- the Lord, notwith- 
ftanding th^fjr know themfefves to be uncon'verteli'i Efpe- 
ciaJly confidertng, it feems a matter of plain faft, that 
the contrary to this opini<*n has been in general the 
judgment of Proteftanl divines and churches, from thd 
Reformation to this day; and that the moft part of 
the greateft divines that have ever appeared in the worlds 
who bave (pent their lives inthe diligent prayerful ftudy 
of divinity, have been fixed in the reverfe of that opi* 
nion. This is fufficient at leaft to fhcw, that this opi- 
nion is not fo plain as not to be a difputable point ; and 
that the evidence of it is not fo obvious to perfons of 
the loweil -capacity and little inquiry, as that all may 
come to a certainty in the matter, without 'difficulty and 
'Without ftudy, — ^i would him\bly aik here^ What ha» 
been the 'Cafe ki fa£l: in our churches, who have pra^li^ 
ed for fo many years ©n tins principle ? Can it be pre- 
tended, or was it ever fuppofed, that the communicants 
in general, even perfons of- mean intelledhials and low 
education, not excepting the very boys and girls of fix- 
teen yeans old, -that have been taken into the church, 
iiad fo fludied diviifity, as not only to thinks but kno^a^^ 
that our pious forefathers^ and almoii alP the Prot-eflant 
•Skid Chriftian divines in the world have been in an efrer 
in thi^ matter? And have people erer been taught the 
mecejjity of this previous knawledge ? Has it ever been 
I inftlted upon, that before perfons come lo the Ldrd'n 
tapper, they muil: loekfo far into the cafe of a right to 
the Lord's fupper, as to come not only to a full fettled 
^opinion, but even cert&mty in this point ? And has any 
Ofle minifter or chureh in their admiffions ever proceeded 
.on the fiippofition, that all whom they took into com- 
munion-were fo verfed in this controverfy, as this c6mes 
-to ? Has i»*t'ver been the manner in examining them as 
-to the fufficiency of their knowledge y to examine them as 
to their thorough- acquaintance with this- particular con- 
troverfy? Has it been the manner to put by thofe who 
Jiad only an opinion and not a <:e]1;aittty ; -even as the 

frb^ who could not 'find their reglfiety were put by» 
till the HiJit^er could be determined by Urim;and Thmn- 
xnim ? And I dare appeal to every minifter, and every 
member of a church that has been concerned in admits 
ting communicants, whether they ever imagined^ or it 
€ver entered into their thought, conftcemiag each one 
whofe admifiion they have confented to, (hat they had 
}ooked fo much into this matter^ as not only to have 
fettled their optn'ton^ but to be arrived to a proper cer* 
ia'mty f 

(2i.) I defire it maybe iiemeHibered, the.venerabk 
author of the Appeal to the Learnedy did in his minillry 
ever teach fuch doctrine from whence it will unavoid- 
ably follow, that no one unsmverted man in the world 
can knoiu he, has warrant to come to,thei Lord's fupper. 
For if any unconverted man has warrant to worihip his 
Maker in this w^ty, it n^ud be. b^caule (l>od has. ^''^^ 
Jiim vsrarrant by the revelation of his mind i^ the. Holy 
."Scriptures. And thereforjc if any unconverted man> 
not only thinks^ but iaows, he has warrant fropi God, 
he muft of confequencq^ .not only thinif but ifKxio^ that 
the Scriptures are the word of .Qpd. B}it I beli^v^ all 
that furvive of the ftated hearers of that eminent divine, 
apd all who were acquait^ted yirith him, w.ell remember 
it ,to be ^: dqdirin^. whipli.he often taught »nd mtioh in- 
ffi(ied on, that no natural m^n inoi^s the Scripture to be 
jthe word of God ; that although fuch may think fo, yet 
.they do not know It ; and that at beil they have but a 
Aouhtful '{fpinhn -: -And lie often, wquld «xprefs himjelf 
thus; No natural man is th^ro^gkly cgnyinced^ that the 
Scrlpturis are the' ^mord of God; if they *were coavincedf 
they would he g^med, , Now. if ib, it^is impoiBble aoy na- 
,tural Hian in ; the woiid (H^uld eseT.kmvj^ it is his lights 
,in his prefent condition, to come to the Lord'sffupper. 
TruCs he may think it is hU light, he may have Ihat opp- 
nion : But he cannot knosu it ; and (b muil not come, ac- 
cording to this argument. For it is only the word of 
God in the Hply Scriptures, that gives a man a right to 
woHhip the Supreme Biding i;i this facramental maimtar^ 


and to come to htm in this way, or any other, as one 
iTL covenant with him. The Lord's fupper being no 
branch of natural worfhq), rea£[>n without inilitution is 
no grdimd of duty or right in this aiiair. And hence it 
is plainly impoflible for thofe that do not fo much a» 
know x\ic Scriptures are the word of God, to inoiu they 
have any- good ground of duty or right in this matter. 
Therefore, fuppoiing unconverted «ieo have a real right, 
yet fince they have no inown right, they hai^C no- war- 
rant (according to the argument before us)^nt^t^e and 
nfe their right ; and what good then can their right do 
them ? Or how can they excufc themfelves from pre- 
fumption, in claiming a right, which they do not inoW 
belongs t^ them ? — It is faid, a probable hope that per- 
fbnstare regenerate, will not warrant them to come-; if 
* ^y come, they take a liberty to do th^ whicli they 
do not kna<u) God gives them leave to do, which is hor- 
rible prefumption in them. But if this be good argu- 
ing,. I may as well fay, a probable opinion that nnregene- 
rate men may communicate, will not warrant fuch to do 
it. They muft have certain knowledge of this; elfe, their 
fight^ being uncertain, they run a dreadful venture in 

Answ. II. Men are liable to 'doubt concerning tlieir 
moruljincerity, as well as faving grace. If an unconverted 
man, feniible of his b^ng under the reigning power of* 
fin, was^ about to appear Solemnly to thvn the covenant 
(as it- is commonly called) and to prolefs to give up 
himfelf to the fervice of God in an univerfal and perfe- 
<pering obedience ; atid ^t the fame time knew, that if 
he did this, and fcaled this profeffioil at the Lord's fup- 
per, without moral Jincerity (fuppoling him to underftand 
the meaning of that phrafe), he fhould eat and drink judg^ 
fnemt to himfelf ; ahd if accordingly, his confcicnce !5cing 
awakened, he was afraid of G od^ J judgment ; in this cafe, 
i believe, the man would be every whit as liable to 
doubts about his morcdjlncerity^ as godly men are about 
their gracious fmccrity. And if it be not matter of fa6^, 




that natural men are Jo often exercifed and troubled 
with doubts about their m^raljincfirity^ as godly men arc 
about their regeneration, I fuppofe it to be owing only 
to this caufe, vi%, that godly men being jof more tender 
confciences than thofe under the dominion of^ fin, are 
more afraid of God'^ judgments^ apd more ready to 
tremble at his word. The. divines on the other fide, of 
the queflion^ fuppofe it to be requifite, that icommuni- 
•cant^ ihi»id<| believe the fundamental do6):rines of religioA 
nvith'i^ibi^r, heart (in the fenfeof A(Sts viii. 37.)] Jthe 
do<ftrine of Three Perfons and One Gody in particular: But 
I think there can be no reafonable doubt, that natural 
men, who have fo weak and poor a kind ^i faith in thefe 
myfteries, if they were indeed as much afraid of terrible 
cpnfequences of their being deceived in this matter, or 
being not morattyfincere in their profe^Kon of the truth* 
as truly gracious men are wont to be of delufion con* 
cerning their experience of a work oi grace, or whether 
they are evangelica^y fmcer^ in phufing Gipd .for their 
portion ; the former would be as frequ^Iy. e^cercifed 
with doubts in the one cafe, as th^ latter in the other- 
And I very much qufiflion^ whether apy divine qvl th£ 
other fide of the controverfy would think it j^eceiTa* 
-ry, that natural men in proft^ffing thofe things fhould 
mean that they ^now they are mortdlyjincerey or intend 
any more than that they t-ruft they ha.ve that liiicerity, 
•lb far ^ they know their own hearts. If a man fKould 
come to them, propoilng to join with the church, and 
tell them, though indeed he was fpmething afraid whe* 
ther he believed the doSrine of the Trinity w«^^ ail hi4 
heart (meaniBg -in a moral fei^fe), yet that he had ofteo 
examined himfelf as to that matter >^ith the :utmoj[t im«- 
partiality and flri^^nefs he was capable of, and on the; 
fvhole he found reafons of probable hope, and his pre^ 
ponderating thought of himfelf .was, th^lt he was Jincerj^ 
m it ; would they think fuch an one ought to be rejedi.^ 
ed, or wojifild .they Mvife Jiiim not to come to the facra^ 
ment, becaufe he did not certainly know he ;ha4 this fi^. 
t?erity, bvit only thought he Md it 1 

Ak^x^^ III^ If we fuppofe fanftifying grace to b^ 
rcqaifiie in ordet to a being properly qualified, accord- 
ing to God's Wowl^ for ai» attendance on the Lord'* 
fuppcr^ yet it will not follow, that a man muft know he 
has this qualification, in order to his beitig capable of 
tokfcientiovjly attending it/ If he judges that he has it^ 
according to' the beft light he can obtain, on the moft 
careful exaliiitnation, wifli tbe improvement of fuch helps 
as he can get, the advice of his paftor, l^c» he iiiay be 
bound in confcUnce %b attends- And the reafon is this ; 
Chrlilians pavtaking of the Lord's fupper is not a mat- 
ter of mere clatrffy or right and pfhnhger but a matter of 
duty' Bild thkgation; being an afFatr wherein another 
(even Ood) has a clmm and demand oH us, AikI as we 
ought to be carefuly on the one hand, that we proceed 
on good grounds in- taiking to ourfelves a privilege, left 
we take what we have no good claim to ; fo we fhould 
be equally careful, on- the other hatid, to proceed on 
good grounds in what We with-hold' from- another, left 
we A& not with*hold that froj:)[i him which is- his due^ 
and whicii he juftiy cballengetf from us;^ Therefore in a 
eafe of this complex natiu-e, v^^ere a things is both a 
matter oF right or privilege to us, andalfo a in setter of 
oMigation to another, or a right of his froAf tks, the dan<^ 
ger of {proceeding vnthmti nght and truth is equal both' 
waysf and confequently, if we cannot be abfolutely fure' 
either way, here the beft judgment we can form, afteif 
sdl proper endeavours to know the truth, mull govemr 
and determine us $ ethtfrwife Ive fhall defignedly do that 
whereby X according to our own judgment, we run the 
greateft riik; which is Certainly contrary to reafon. 
If the queilion were only what a man has a right tOy he 
might forbear till he were fure : But the queftion is* 
not only whether he has right to attend the fupper, l>ut 
whether GW alfo has not a right to hig attendance thene? 
Suppofing it were merely a privilege, which I am al- 
lowed in a certain fpecffied cafe, and there were no 
eommand to take the Lord's fupper even in that cafe^ 
but yet at the fame time there was a command not to 

l6o ^'AltlFlCATlONS FOR FlftL 

take unleft that be the cafe m fa€l, then^ fuppoling T aift 
uncertam nvhfther that he the cafe *with me or noj it witt 
be fafeft to abftain : But fwppoiing I am not only for- 
bidden to take it, unlefs. that be the cafe with rae, but 
pofitively commanded and required to take it, tf that be 
the cafe in fa<5l, then it is equally dangerous to negh& 
on uncertainties, as to take on uncertainties. ^, lu-ftichta 
critical fituation, a man itiuft aft according to the beft 
of his judgment on his cafe ; otherwife he wilfully run* 
into that which he thinks the greateft danger of .the twoi 

Thus it is in innumerable cafes in human. Jife. I ftiiili 
give one plain inftance: A man Ought not totaJccupiG^ 
him the work of the nmtijhr^^ linUk'^ealkd to it ia.thc 
providence of. God ; for A man has -no rig'ht(jbo /k?ifc tUf 
hoH9ur to himjelfy uidefi cedyd.'afQod. Now letHi»..fupt 
pofe a young man, of a liberal education^ and well acv 
complifhed, to be at a lofs whether it is the, will of God 
that he ftiould follow the wofk of^he minHtry ; and ht 
examines himfelf, and exaniiineA hia circunaftancesi iWtth 
l^reat ferioufnefs and folemnj p-aycfk'- and welhcDBAdcw 
and weighs the appearances in diviner ^H^e^^iiibiiicie- 1 - Aii4 
yet when; he has done aU» hci ?& not. coino tofa profjcf 
certainty, that God c^ls him to this work^ feut' howrt 
ever, it looks fo to hSm, according to the ©eft light lift 
can obtain, and the molt carefy^jiidgmeRtJje jcaii Jbrnr;;^ 
Now fuch a one appears obliged in confcience to gt^^ him^ 
fclf to .this work. ' He mnii by «6 -jnean® fiegk!6^ tt/te^ 
4er a- notion thjathe tnuA not t^e tbk honowr toihivif^ 
till he i/wwi he has a right to k'j becaufe, tho«gii'itrbft 
indeed a pr4vilepe.^ yet it is.not a matter <A merje prinki|f<]^ 
but a matter of duty too ;, and \i he neg}e<Ss ft -anwR 
thefe circumflcfncesy he neglefts what^ according to his own. 
bell jttdgntentj he tiinh< Gjod-requirtslof htm^-and ta& 
him to ; wWch is to iin againft his confdekcel - i 

As .to the cafe of thtfiriefls^y thai cduld; not' find thdw 
ugtjier ( Ezra ii . )* aBedged, in ' ife Apfed to* 'the- Learmdi 
p. 64*. it a{^)ears to nje of no force in titEi argument; fori 
if thofe/>*'2£/?j had had neverfo great tf^frf«jif ifBthemfehrce* 
<^f tlieir pedigree beii^g goodito? ofahctr being! de&eiuLi 


td from priefij^ and fhould have profejfed fuch aflurance, 
yet it would not have a^led; nor did they abftaln from 
thcpri^hood^ becaufe they wanted fatisfaAion themfelves, 
but they were fubjedl to the judgment of the Sanhedrim; 
whofe rule to judge of the qualification fpoken of, God 
had never made any profeffion of the parties themfelvesy 
but the vifibility of the thing, and evidence of the fa£t 
to their own eyes : This matter oi pedigree being an ex^ 
ternal obje6l9 ordinarily within the view of man ; and 
not any qualification' of heart. But this is not the cafe 
with regard to requifite qualifications for the Lord^s fup* 
per^ wliich being many of them internal invifible things, 
feated in the mind and heart, fuch as the belief oi a Su* 
prem^ ^Being, ^^, God lias made a credible profeffion. 
of th'efe things tlie rule to dirc£^ in admifilon of perfons 
to. the ordi^nce : Who in making this profeflion arc 
detemnned add governed by their own judgment of 
themfelve&» amd not by any thing within the view of tbe 


HE natnral: confec^iience of the do6lrine which ha9 
been 'maintained, ts the bringing multitudes of perfons 
of a tender confctence and true pietjr into great perfiexities; 
who being at a lofs about the flate of their fouls, muft 
needs be as much in fufpence about their duty : And it 
18' not> neafooable to fuppofe, that God would orde» 
things fo in the . revelations of his will, as to bang hu 
9Wttpe9pk mUi fuch ptrplexftiei^ 

•' Answ. I. It is for <aumt of the like tendemefs of con- 
Icience which the godly have, that the other do6irine 
which infifts on moral fincerity, does not naturally bring 
thofc who are received to communion on thofe prin- 
ciples, into, the* itB^^ perplemkety through their doubting 
of their merat fmcerity^ of their believing myftcrics with 
sll Aar biorh Uc. as has been already obferved. And % 


being- free from perplexity^ only through: fiupiSiy awl 
hardnefs of heart, 13 nvorfe than behig in the greiateft 
perplexity through tendemefs of eoafcience, 

Answ. II. Suppofing the doctrine which I have 
maintained, be indeed the do6bine of Ood's wtmdy yeft 
k will not foQow,- that the perplesfaiet tru£ &iihts are iat 
through doubting of their 'ftate, are effe^owing^ to the 
revelations of God's word* Perplexity and*! ^i^b-efs. of 
mind, not only on occaiion of the Lord^ fuppery bc^ 
innumerable other occafions, is' the natur^ and unaToid' 
able confequence of true Chrtftians doubting of their jioie^ 
But {hall we therefore fay, that all thefe* perplexities axe 
owing tb the tuord of God? No, it is not owing to God^ 
nor to any of his revdations, that true faints ever diDitibd 
of their flate ; his revelations are plain and clear, and 
his rules fufficient for men to determine thfiii* oww con-* 
dkion by : But,. foJ? the moft part, it is owing to theif 
own flothy and giving way to their Jinful difpofition&» 
Muft God's inftitutions and revelations be anfwerable 
for all the perplexities men bring on themfelves, through 
their own negligence and itnwatehTulnefs?' It Is wifely 
ordered it fhould be fo, that the faints ihould efcjw^S 
perplexity in no other way than tha^ of' greats ihi^eSr> 
diligence, and maintaining the fively,^ laboniiKiS} andfel^ 
denying exercifes of religion. ' . 

• It might as well be faid, that it is unreafbnable to 
fuppofe, God fhould order things fo as to brifvg his owfi 
people into fuch perplexities, as doubting faki^are^ wont 
to be exercifed with in the fenfible aporosu^hes oi death} 
when their doubts tend tovaftly greater /i»^4?wflrf,^ than 
in their approaches to the Lord's table. If Chriftian$ 
would more thorou^^y exereife themfelves unto- goMi^fsy 
labouring always to ke^ a confcience void of offence both 
towards God and towards tnan^ it would be the way to 
have the comfort, and tafte the fweetnefs of reKgion. If 
they Would y© run^ not las wtcertMniy ; fi[fighty' not as 'they 
that beat thr air; it wbuld be the way for them to efcape 
{lerplexity^ both in ovidMianees and providenset^' and t# 

n^oiice and enjoy God in both. — Not but that doubt- 
ing of their Hate fometimes arife»from other caufes, be- 
fides want of watchfulk^s ; it jnay arife from melan- 
choly, and fome other pecidiar difadvantages. But how<«> 
erer^ it i» nqt owing to Godf ft jnenEelaticmsr nor 'inlHtii- 
tsony ; . which^^ wtiatfoevec we may ixtppofp them to be^ 
^toSl -not pTtsvenb the petpk&itKs cifuth perfons. > 

AmTsw^ ML^ It oppsarsF to nae^reaibnabk to fuppofe^' 
that the do^rine 1 maintain, if unvoerfally embraced by 
God^s people, however it might be an. accidental occa- 
fioQ 6f-/inr^iSr««ry in'many inftaaces, through their owiv 
kifirmity; snd fin ; yet^ on the whole, would be » happ^ 
accafit>ivof mush more>f^ii^n^tQ the faints than> trouble/ 
aa at -would 'have a tendency^, on every return of the- 
\jov^^ ft^cTyX to put them oa the ilriSeil examination 
and trial .of theftate o£i their tfoufs, agreeable to thatf 
nde of the Apoftle, i Cor. xi. 5$.j The »<y^<S of which 
gieat diity of frequent' and thorough /df-examnation^ 
£eems to be one nunn caofe of the darknefs and perplexi'<^ 
ty dF the faiate,. and Jthe reofon why they have fo iittle> 
oomfiort w ondinauicesy and fo little comfort in genend^-^^ 
Mcv'Stod(laixl''6ften ^ught hi& people, that a/fur anc& 
i^attdmtbh^ rsiVL^ that* thoie who are true laitits mtght^ 
know it) if they would ^ i.e. if they> wt>i}ld ufe' proper 
mean! and endeavours in order to it.---«And if fp, then^ 
certainly it is not jail, to charge thdfe- perplexities -on 
6m/V infiitutionii^ which arife through taem neg&gmce ^ 
Bor would it bejnil oh the fuppbfitlon of God's ii]^tu«» 
tkms being ftiph as I fuppofc them to be. 

'. > I 

i I 

•i)' • : • .' • • » ;. u Is, ^ '. '., t • 

|64 QyAI^IFICATfONS^FOtl Ftrtz. 


Y ou may as well fay^ that unfan^^tfied perfons uiay 
not attend iiny duty of divine worfhip whatfoever^ as 
that they naay not. 'attend the. Lord's £upperj for all 
duties of worfhip are holy^ and require holinefs^ in order to 
an acceptable performance of thenr, as well 'as that; / 

• • ' .■ . . • ' t . • i / ■ ; r . • 

Answ. If this argtiment has any foundation at'all, 
it has its foundation in the fuppofcd truth of the follow-- 
,ing propojitiofis^ .viz. IVhofoever is quaftfied for adr^jton to 
one duty ofdltine ivorJUp^ is\^aitfied'foK adrmffl»n' to aU$ 
and he tJyat is unfualffied'/orceme^ and ma^ bef<kUdden oni^\ 
is unfiudlijted for ally and^ ought to be tdiowed.ta aUendtumim 
But certainly tJiefeJuOTpofitioris are. not true, '•■. IThere 
are many who are quailed for fome duties of worfhip^ 
and may be alloixxd^ and are by no meant to h^ forbidden 
to attend, them, who yet ire not qualified for fome others* 
nor by any means* to be admitted tothem^ As every 
body graii^Sif the unbapti^ed^ the excomtmunieated^'he- 
retica^. XcamMojiis live^Sy. '-^a may be admitted to heai^ 
Ijhe imrd pr;eached ; neverthelefs they are not .^o bcaU 
l^wed to cohie to the Lord's fupipcF- ELven exconunu* 
nicated. perfons remain ftiU under the law of the Sabbath; 
and are not to be forbidden .to c^ferve the Lord's. day« 
Ignorant perfons,. fuch as have not knowle<%e fuHtcient 
for an approach to the I^ord's table, yet are not excuf- 
cd from the duty of :prayer : Tkey may pray to i God. to 
inftrudl them, and affift them in obtaining knowledge* 
They who have been educated in Arianifm and Socini* 
anifm, and are not yet brought off from thefe fundamen- 
tal errors, and fo are by no means to be admitted to the 
Lord's f upper, yet may pray to God to affifl them in 
their fludies, and guide them into the truth, and for all 
other mercies which they need. Socrates, that great 
Gentile philofopher, who woHhipped the true God, as 
he was led by the light of nature^ might pray to Cod» 


atid he attended, his duty 'when he did fb. ;* although h^ 
knew not the rerclation- which God had made xrf • himt 
£elf in his word» . That great philufopher that \ra& con» 
temporary -with, the A|ioiiUe Pani, I mcsin« Sebeoay who 
held* one Stipreme 'Being,, and Iradin-inxDyirefyd^ right 
Botiona of the diviiietperfe£li0iis ahd^onden^ey. tfaougSl 
he did not enabrace the gcifpe}^ .whfcfi at: 'that* dsiy wii 
preached in the wbiM; yet might piayto t^iat SifjflrenW 
Being whom he acknowledged. And- if his brdther 
palHb at Cbriilkth, when^Paifi preached there, had pray^ 
ed to this Supreme lEriing to gnit^e hinr into tiie truth».. 
that he mig&t karaw whether 1^ do^binc EauL preach- 
ed ytas triseA-he therein would^haVe ai£Hdd!very becoming 
rreafonal^ecxeatiire^and anyioine iwanldiiawefadbed tviK 
seafonabiy in' ibfbidding him •;: ' hup yet I&iveiy' leither of 
thefel inen'> wSas qualified for tbe/ChH^ianiaci^fflenfsi. 
80 that' it is apparent » there* is and oUgfat: tit be. a Sjtinc^ 
Hon made between duties of <worihip,.widkrefpe& td 
qualifications for them ; knd:that whkh'^iff a. fofficient 
fualifieationi for.adniifiiQai ' tb jodpo doty, I is' noS {lufoy;^ aUI 
And therefere th&-i>dfiti&n is:<nod tnicv; wfaick is^rthff 
fooadaitiop Mioredn the Iwholid vixelght ' of ' Jliis> sh^itnieii^ 
reiBs. To fay^* that' *akhoughr it be tror^'tdidrs'oi^t.to 
be a dxftin^b'an mide, in admiifion^io dixtiesr<DFw9Drfhip|i. 
«dth:rcgarditoJx33iie iqusdifications^ yetfkofiBfyiRg graoff 
is iK>t one of thofei qualifications that ^ make the dilFer-> 
tf noe f woidd be hot a giving np - the arguihenit^ pid » 
per&r6il9eg^fxig^the'q«ieftxon. ■ ' r .. ■•' i 

It hhadf tliere.xaa be aa freajhn t^&gne^ "K^hytim*! 
(an^fied per^Dns nsay -attend: ol&r dudes, of worfhipyl 
and sot the I.jordit fuppetf. But I hundbly conceit llits^ 
mtift be an inadvertence. For there is a reaioncvery^ 
ebyious fcOinr that neceffary and '^trf notable S/HtiSwtti 
among dutiei of >wor{hip^ • which follaws : > • 
'. - 1 • 'Elv^re ■ kre ^fune £btties, '. of wcwihip, that 'hnply W 
prtif0otp c^ Qod^>s C99mata; who^e \£ry nabil^^d de>i' 
fign* is an. ethibitimr of' thdfe vital; a^ive p#ineiple&iand» 
ixrtvard ^ercffes^wdieteia. con^ftst the i»iuiitidrt of the €4^ 
^tmmi 'cf >grace^' ov^hat union of (end ta Ood^ whichtii 

l66 : qUALIFICATE0J9S'r01lVVI>& '^ 

the union between Chifift and his fpoufe, entereif into 
by an inward hearty coVifentingto that covenant. Such 
are the Chndinn.ja^ranientsy wht^e very defign is to 
make : and confirm a preftfioM o£ coniplianee with that 
COYenatity and v\iiofe 'very hatmc^ is^to exhibit or ex^relt 
jdie umttng Atlas' of' the foul: Thple ifacramental duties 
there&ore caonot, by any whofe hearts'do »ot really con- 
fent.to that covenant, and .whofe ;fouls do not truly clofe 
with Chrift, ibe .aftendied, withoiEt either their being 
felf-de'ceiVed^ or elfe wilfufly making a felfe prolei&oi^ 
and lying in a very aggravated imiilnec. < 
. 2» There' 9xe.Qti>eridutus, which arc ab/:iii their own 
nature an exiailiitioa of a dofoenatU'Union with God» or ai 
any compliance with : the condition of the . covenant .of 
grace; "b^t.^rcithje expreffion bi genera! ^'trtues^or sir* 
tues in their largeft extent, inciudiiig botlv fpecial and 
common, lihuifrayerf. or ^tBdng: mercyi of God,, is in 
its own natuxc no profei&on^of a compliance with the co^ 
venaat of grace:. It is an icKjnreilion.of fonie .belief of the 
b^ing ;of a God, , an . ex^cfiion of flcmieifenfeF of.oou 
wants* fomerfesfe of/ our hoed di fael^^i and fonie fenfe 
of a need of God's help^ fbme fenfe of. our depemlauicey 
Csfc, but not.oniy fucH a £(^nfe of thcfe things' as is fpi-^ 
ritual and faving. Indeed there are fome {nrayeri pro* 
per to be made, by Jmntif and many .things proper. to.faie 
exprefled by them in prayer, which imply the profef&on 
of a iipiritual union o£ heart to God through Chriil; .but 
fuch as np Heathen, no heretic,, nor natural man what*' 
ever, can or ought to make. Prayer ia general, and 
ailing mercy and help from God, is no more a profe£- 
fiot^ of confent to. the covenant of gxuce,'than readiirg* 
the Scriptures, or meditation, or performing any duty 
of nxorality and natural religion. A MahDnsetan may aa 
well aik mercy,, as hear iDibru^ion: And any natural 
man .may as well exprefs his defines to God^ as hear 
when God declares, his will Xcc. him.. > It is: true, when, 
an unconverted man prays^ ther nt^z/zA^- of his domg it i& 
iinfid : But whest- a natural man, knowingihtmfel£ to be 
tOf comes to the Lbrd^s fupper^ the very inaitir of what 


ke does^ in reiptBi of the profeifiqn he there xndkes, and 
^s pretcc^fion Jto lay hold of God^ covenant, is a ^f 
and a lie told io the mofi; (blemn manner. 

In a woFdf the venerable Mr» Stoddard himfelf^ in hia 
jDa^rm£ of In/iituied Churches., has taught us to diftio- 
guiOi between mftituied and natural a<5b of religuxn : The 
viard and praygr he places under t3ie head of mora} duty^. 
ajidvcopfidets aft common to aU ; but the facrammts^ ac->- 
cording to. what he iays there» bfeing tn/TUuted^. are of 
J^edal adminiftration, and muH be limited agreeable to 
£he iniititution. 

OBJECTION xn.. : , 


TV • . ' • - , J • • • • . 

H E Lord's fupper has a proper tendency to promote 
mens converfion^ being an affecting reprefentatioa of the 
grcateii and mpfi important things of God's word z It 
has. a proper tendency to awaken and humble fmners ; 
here 'being a difcovery of the terrible anger of God for 
En, by the inili6iion. of the curfe juppp Cbrift, when fia 
was imp\ited to -him i and the reprcfentat ion, here made 
of the dyi^g loye of; Chri( has a tendency Xo draw the 
hesMts of finnexs/rofld fin to.Gpd, ^c, : .: ': 

f • 

» I ■ • ^ 

Aksw. Unlefs it be an evident truth, ^9t,^ufhat the 
Lord's /upper may have tendency to promote yjh^,fgffifi i^ *wfls 
appointed to promotcy nothing follows from thi)s argument* 
If the argument affoxds any canfcqueinje, ! the , coefc- 
qu^nce, is, built on tli^ . ten^iency of the L4)d^4^( fupper* 
And if .the iconfequence. be goo4 and fkong on this 
founjiation, as .drawn^fxppi fuchpreinifee, then wherJe- 
evcr the premifes hoid^ the conjequfificp holds ; olherwifc 
it mud appear^ that the premifes and eonfequence are not 
connected. And now let us fee how it is in fa3. Do 
not feandaJous perfons need to haye thef(p very efFefls 
wrought in their hearts,; w:hich haye been mentioned ? 
Vcs, furelyi they n^eed thjen^ in a fpecial nianner i They 


need: to be acrakeDed; they need to have an fajFeiSing 
4i^overy of that terrible wrath o£ God agaktft fuci, 
which was manifefted in a peculiar manner by the ter- 
rible, e&dls of God'U wrath in thetfulfenngsofhis own 
incarnate Son ; Grofs Tinners need this in £bme refpe^ 
more than others : They need to have their hearts bror 
ken 'by an af{e6king iniew'ofthe great and importasC 
things of God-s-word^ They need efpeoiaUyto fly to 
Chpift for refuge, and therefore need to have their hearts 
4rawnL And feeing^ ;the LonPs fiippef has fo great a 
•tendency to promote thefe things, if the confequence fron> 
the tendency of the Lord's -fupper, as inferring the end 
-of its appointment be good« then rt muii be at:onfequence 
alfo well inferred, th^ the LbrdWut^per was appointed 
for the reclaiming and bringing to repentance^aff</^i/M» 
ptrfon'^' .:.••' ■ f- - ' »: "-•*••'•..'■'»'>. 

' Her«^^ for any to- go tb tiirn 'this off,- by feying, • S€{Uh 
dAloui perfons are exprefoly forhidj is but a giving up the 
argument, and a begging the queftion. It is a; giving* 
up the argnment ; iihce it allows the confequence not to 
begoodi 'For-it fdloWfi, that notwithttandirig the- pro^ 
peri^«^feA?y iof'fhe 'Lord's fupper t6 promote a defign,' 
yei it tfeiy be ^f6» that the L^rd^s fupper was riot 'ap- 
pointed with a view to 'prc^itote 4hat end—^And it is a 
begging the queftion ; fince it fuppofes, that unconverted 
men are not hn^lder^ly forbidden^ as WeM as fcandalous per- 
fons ; whiqh is the thing in coittroverfy. If they be 
£vldently, ferbid^ ^tkat is as much to reafonable creatures 
(who need nothing but good evidence)' a^ if they were 
exprefsh^ forbidden. — ^To.fay hcre> that thfe Lord's Juppe f 
is a c&wvi^fi^ ordinance only to d/*derJy memheri arid that 
there Is 'another ordinance appointed^' for- i/rhigmg fcdndakus 
ferfons -h repenttukey this is na fblution of the dififieulty ; 
but is only another inftance of yielding up the argument, 
ftnd begging the- qii^ion: For it plainly 'Concedes, that 
the tendency of an ordinance does not prove it appotnt- 
edto all the ^^ds*, ^hich it fecM^s to have a tendency to 
jjf^romote ; and alfo fisppof(^8> timt ther<f k not any other 


ordinance, appointed for the converting of fihners that 
are moral and orderly in their lives, exclufi*ve of this, 
which is the thing in queftion. 

It is at beft hat very precarioufi arguihg. Front the fecm- 
ing tendency of thing8,«to the olivine appointment^ or God's 
will and difpofition with refpcft to the vfe of thofe 
things. It looks as though it would have had a great 
tendency to convince the Scribes and Pharifecs, and to 
promote their converficn, if they had been admitted intp 
the Mount when Chrift was transfigured: But yet it waa 
not the will of Chrift, that they fhould be admitted 
there, or any other but Peter, Jaiiies, and John, It 
feems as though it would have had a very great tendency 
to convince and bring to repentance the mibclieving 
Jews, if they had been allowed to fee and converfe free- 
ly with Chrift after his refurrcBion, and fee him afcend 
into heaven : But yet it was the will of God, that none 
but difciples ftiould be admitted to thefe privileges. So' 
it feems as though it might have had a good tendency ^ if 
all that were fincere followers of Chrift, women as well 
as men, had been allowed to be prefent at the inftitntion 
of the Lord's /upper: But yet it is commonly thought, 
none were admitted befide the Apojiles, 

Indeed the ever honoured author of \k\^. Appeal to the 
Learned has fupplied me with the true and proper an« 
fwer to this objedion, in the following words, p. 27, 28. 
** The efficacy of the Lord's fupper does depend upon 
** the bleffing of God. Whatever tendency ordinances 
** ha'oe in their own nature /o he ferviceabU to men, 
*' yet they will not prevail any further than God doth 
** blefs them. The <voeapons of our warfare are mighty 
" through Gody 2 Cor. x. 4. It is God that teaches men 
** to profit, ahd makes them profitable and ferviceable 
'* to mens fouls. There is reafon to hope for a divine 
** bleffing on the Lord's /upper j when it is adminiftered 
*^ to thofe that it ought -to be adminiftered to ; God's 

hlejfing is to be expelled in God's ivay. If rtien a6t 

according to their own humoure and failcies, and do 
**' not keep in the way oi-ohediencei. it is prefumptiofi t« 




** dipe£i God's blefling, Matth. xv. 9. In vain do they 
** vjorjhip wif, teaching for doSrines tJje commandments of 
** men. But when they arc admitted to the Lord's fiip- 
'* per that God <would ha^e to he admitted, there k 
*^ ground to hope that he will make it profitable." 


xVjll tliat aiie members of the vijihie church and in the 
^xterrial (covenant ^ and neither ignorant nor fcandalous, 
are commanded to perform all external covenant duties; 
and particularly they are commanded to attend the Lord^s 
flipper J iu thpfe words of Chrift^ This do in remembrance 
of mcp ' , 

An&w* This argument is of no force, without iirft 
taking for granted the very thing i« quellion. For this 
is plainly fupppfed in it, that hojs^ever thefe commands 
are givt?a to fuch as are in the extenial covenant^ yet they 
are .not given Indefinitely^ but with exceptions and re- 
fcFves, and does not immediately reach all fuch ; they do 
not reach thofe who are unqualified^ though tliey be in 
the extcmd ayiyenant* Now the queftion is, Who are 
thefe that; are unqualified ? The ^jedlion fuppofes, that 
<>nly ignorant and fcandalous perfons are fo. But *ivhy 
ap« 'they only fuppofed unqualified ; and not unconverted 
perfons too ? Becaufe it is taken for granted, that thefe 
yre not unqualified^ And thus the grand point in que- 
i;lion is fuppofed, infliead of being proved. Why are thefe 
limitatioj^s only fmgled out^ neither ignorant nor fcandaU 
tius ; aiiid not other-s as well ? The anfwer mull be, be- 
cai'ife ihefe are all the limitations wjiich the Scripture 
makes : But this now is the very thing in quellion. 
Whereas, the bufinefs of an argument is to prove^ and 
ij(>t .tp fuppofe, or take for granted^ the very thing 
ijivhicH is to be proved- 
M . M ii be h«re faid, It is with .good reafon that thofe- 
wlm ^xc ignorant or fcandalous alpnc are fuppofed to be 


excepted in God's command, and pbligations df th'e 
eovenant; for rfie covenant fpoken of in th^- ebje^ioii, 
18 the external covenant, and this requires only external 
duties; vt\ii<^ alone are what lie within the r^ch of 
man's natural po*wer,znd^ fo in the reach of his legal ponver: 
God does not command or require what men have lio 
natural power to perform, and which cannot be per- 
formed before fomething elfe, fome antecedent duty, is 
performed, which antecedent duty is not in their natural 

I reply, Still thinga are h\}t fuppofedy which fhould be 
proved, and which want confirmation. 

( I . ) It hfuffxfidf that thofe who have extertially (u a, 
by oral profeffion andpromife) entered into God*8 cove- 
nant, are thereby obhged to bo more thatt the external 
duties of that covenant : Which i* not proved, andy I 
humbly conceive, is certainly not the true ftate of the 
cafe. They who have externally entered into God's 
covenant^ are by external profeffion and engagement* 
entered into that one only covenant of grace'^ which 'the 
Scripture infoims us of ^ and therefore are obliged tb' 
fulfil the duties of thai covenant,? which are chiefty Inter' 
fUtL The children of Ifrael, when they externally enter- 
ed into covenant with God at Mount Sinai, promifed to 
perform all the duties of the covenant, -to obey all the 
ten commandments fpoken by God in their hearing, and 
written in tables of ftone,, which were therefore called 
ne "Tables of the Covenant ^ the fum of which ten com- 
mands was, to LOVE the Lord their God with all their 
HEART, and with all their soul, and to love their neigh- 
hour as themf elves; which principally at leail are internal 
duties. In particular, they pron>ifcd not to covet; which 
is an internal duty. They promifed to have nomther God 
before the Lord; which implied, that tliey would in their 
hearts regard no other being or obje<ft whatever above 
God, or in equality with him, but wotijd give him their 
fupreme refpe^t. 

(2.) It \%fuppofedy that God does not require impqffi': 
Wities of men, in this fenfe, that he does not require 


thofe things of them which are out of their naftird 
power, and particularly that he does not require them 
to be con'oertecL But this is not proved j nor can I re- 
concile it with the tenor of the Scripture revelation : 
And the <ihief advocates for the do^rine I oppofe> have 
themfclves abundantly aflerted the contrary. 'I'he vene- 
rable 2|uthor jforementioned, as every body knows,' that 
knew hin», always taught, that GodjulUy requires men 
to be convertedy to repent of their fins, and turn to the 
Lord, to clofe with Chrift, and favingly to believe in 
liim ; . a:i?d that in refullng to accept of Chrift and turn 
to God, they diibbeyed the divine c^mmtincb, and were 
guilty of. the moll heinous fin ; and that their moral /«- 
abiUty was no excufe. 

(3,) lXi9 fuppofedi that God does not .command men 
to do tjiofe things which are not to be done tiMfometbing 
el/e is done, that is not within the reach of mens natural 
ability. Thip alfo is not proved ; nor do I fee how it 
cao be true, even according to the principle^ of. thofe 
who infiA on this objection. The forementioned memo- 
rable divine ever taught, that God commandeth natm'at 
men without delay to believe in Ghriil : And yet he al- 
ways l^eld, that it was irapolHble for them to beKeve til! 
they had by a preceding aft fubmittcd to the foixretgnty 
of God I which yet he, held, men never could do of 
themfelves^ nor till humbled and bowed by powerful con- 
viidions of God^s Spirit. Again, he taught» that God 
commandeth natural men to love him with all their 
heart : And yet. he held, that this could not be till men 
had firil Z'^Z/Vi;^^ in Chrill ; the exercife of love being a 
fruit of faith ; and believing in Chrift, he fuppofed not 
to be within the reach of man^s natural ability. Fur- 
ther, he^eld, that God requireth of all men holyj fpi- 
ritual, and acceptable vbedience; and yet that fuch obe- 
dience is not w^ithin the reach of their natural ability; 
and not only fo, but that there muft firft be love to God^ 
before there could be new obedience, and that this love 
to God is not within the reach of mens natural ability ^ 
Nor yet, only fo, but that before this love there muft be 


feitth^ xvhich faith is not withih the reach of man's na*" 
furcd power : And il ill not only fo, but that before faith 
there mull be the knowledge of God, which knowledge ift 
not in natural mens reach : And once more, not only fc, 
but that even before the knowledge of God there mufl be 
a thorough humUiatiorty^^Yiich. humiliation men could not 
work in themfelves by any natural power of their own. 
Now, mull it needs be thought, notwithftanding all thefc 
things, unreafinalle to fuppofe, that God fhould command 
thofe whom he has nourifhed and brought up, to honour 
him by giving an open tcftimony of lo've to him ; only 
bccaufe wicked men cannot teflify love till they have 
love, and love is not in their natural power ! And is It 
any good excufe in the fight of God, for one v*ho is 
under the htghcd obligations to him, and yet riFuics him 
fiiitable honour by openly tejlifymg his love oi him, to 
plead that he has no love to teltify ; but on the contrary', 
has an infinitely unreafonable hatred ? God may molb 
reafonably require a proper teilimony andj^rofelfion of 
love to him ; and yet it may alfo be reafonable to fup- 
pofe, at the fame time, he forbids men to lie ; or to de^ 
clare that they have love, when they have none : Bc- 
caufe, though it be fuppofed, that God requires men 
to teftify love to him, yet he requires them to do it in a 
right way, and in the ttrie order, •y/s. firll loijing him, 
'and then tfjl'tfy'tng their love. 

(4.) I do not fee how it can be true, that a man, as 
he is naturally, has not a legal power to be converted, 
accept of Chrift; I0V6 God, ^c. By a legal power to do 
«"thingj - is plainly meant fuch power afl^V^gs a perfoit 
properly within the reach of a legal o^//j|H, or the ob- 
ligation of a' law 'or 'Command to do tViatlkiiTg : But he 
rtat has fuch natural faculties, as render him^ proper 
fubje6l of moral goveniment, and as fpeakfit a fit and 
proper thing for him to love God, l^c^ and as ^vj^ hrm 
a iftitural capacity her^ore; fuch a one may properly be 
commandedy and put under the obligation of a law to dci 
thing* -fo reafonable ; notwithftanding any native aver* 

fion and moral inability in him to do his duty, aridn? 

P... • 

174 QUALirtCATliWIS F©.R,FtW4U. 

from the power of fin. This alfo, I muft obfervc, wa» 
a known do<5irine of Mr. Stoddard's, and what he ever 


JliiTHER unfanS'tfied perfons may lawfully come to the 
Lord's fupper, or it is unlawful for them to carry tbem" 
f elves as faints; but it is not unlawful for them to carry 
themfelves as faints. 

Answ. It is the duty of unconverted men both to 
become faints, and to behave as faints. The Scripture 
rule is, Make tk& tree good^ that the fruit may he gttod. Mr. 
Stoddard himfelf never fuppofed, that the fruit oi faints 
was to be expedled from men, or could poflibly be 
brought forth by them in truth, till they were faints. 

And I fee not how it is true, that unconverted men 
ought, in every refpeft, to do. thofe external things, 
which it is the duty of a godly man to do. It is the duty 
of a godly man, confcious of his having given his heart 
unto the Lord, to profefs his love to God and his e- 
fteem of him above all, his unfeigned faith in Chrift, ^c, 
and in his clofet-devotions to thank God for thefe graces 
as the fruit of the Spirit in him : But it^is not the duty 
of another that really has no faith, nor love to God, to 
do thus. Neither any more is it a natural man's duty 
to profefs thefe things in the Lord*sfupper. — Mr. Stod- 
dard taught it to be the duty of converts, oi) ix^any oc- 
cafions, to ^g^s their faith and love and other graces 
before men, J^HIating their experiences in converfation : 
But it wofl^^e great wickednefs, fx>r i^h sis know 
themfel%s ,^be not faints^ thus to do : Becaufe they 
would fpcA falfely, and utter lies in fo doing. Now, 
for the like feafon, it would be very finful, for men to 
profefs and feal their confent tp the covenant of grace la 
the Lord's fupper^ when they know at the fame time 
that they do mt confent to it> nor have their, hearts at 
fdl in the affair. 



. Jl H I s fcheme will J^eep out of the church fome true 
faints ; for there ar« fome fuchrwho determine againU 
themfelvea, and their prevailing judgment is, that they 
are not faints : And we had better let in feveral hypO" 
crite^ than exclude one true child of God» 


Answ* I think, it is much better to infiil on fome 
nstfibiiity to reafon, of tfue faintjhip^ m admitting mem- 
bers, even although this through mens infirmity and 
darknefsy and Satan's temptations, be an occafion , of 
fome true faints abftaining ; than by exprefs liberty ^» 
Ven, to open the door to as many as pleafe, of thofe 
who have no v'tfibilUy of real faintdiip, and make no pro- 
feilion of it, nor pretention to it ; and that becaufe thi» 
method tends to the ruin and great reproach of the 
Cbriilian church, and alfo to the ruin of the perfons 

I. It tends to the reproach and ruin of the Chriftian 
church. For by the rule which God hath given for admif 
fions^ if it be carefully attended (it is faid), more unconvert* 
tdj thoff converted perfons^ will be admitted. It is then 
eonfeffedly the way to have the greater part of the mem- 
bers of the Chriilian church ungodly men ; yea, fo much 
greater, that the godly fhall be but few iu comparifoo 
of the ungodly; agreeable to their interpretation of thai 
laying of Chrift, many are called^ hut^^ are chofen, 
Kow» if this be an exa£i flate of the^^^ it wiU de- 
monftrably follow, on Scripture princip^^^^t the o- 

pening the door fo wide has a dire^ tendencyigp bring 
thinffs to that pafs, that the far greater part of the 
members of Chriftian churches fhall not be perfons of fo 
much as a ferious confcientious character, but fuch as are 
without even moral ftncerity^ and do not make religion 
at all their buiinefs, neglecting and cafting off fecret 
prayer and other duties^ and living a life of carnality 

and vanity, fo far as they can, confiftently with avoid- 
ing church'Cenfures ; which poflibly may be fometimes to 
a great degree. Ungodly men may be morally fober, 
ferious, and confcientious, and may have what is called 
inoral ftncertty^ for a while "; may have thefe things in a 
confiderable meafure, when they firft coche into the 
church : But if their hearts are not changed, there is 
no probability at all of thefe things continuing long. 
The Scripture has told us, that this their goodnefs is apt 
lo vanifh /f/^^ tie momlng-cloud and early dew. How can 
it be expe<E^ed but that the religion fhould in a little 
time ^wither a<way^ which has no root? How. can it be 
expcfted, that the lamp (hould burn long, without otl in 
the vejfcl to feed it \ If luji be unmortified, and left in 
reigning power in the heart, it will fooner or later pre- 
vail ; and at length fweep away contmoh grace and moral 
Jincerityy however excited and maintained for a whik by 
ionvi^tion and temporary affe^lions. It will happen to 
them according to the true proverb ^ The dog is returned 
to bis vomit J and the fwine that tvas *umfhed^ to his wal" 
lowing in the mire* It is faid of the hypocrite, W^l hd 
delight himfelf in the Almighty? W'dl hh always call i^on 
Gpd ?-^^And thus our churches will be 'likely to be futb 
congregations as the Pfalmift faid he hatedy and would, 
hot Jit with. • Pfal. xXvi. 4, 5. « I have not ftit with 
** vain perfons, nor will I go in with diffemblers ; 1 
•* have hated the congregation of evil-dofcrs, nor will I 
*• fit with the wicked." This will be the way to ha^ 
the Lord's table ordinarily furnifhed with fuch'gUefts a« 
afio.w themfk^^tq live in known fin;, and fci fuch a» 
nfeet togetH^Hotn time to time only to crucify Chrtft 
afrefh, inflfa^of commemdratihg his ' crodifixion with 
the rejfctance, faith, gratitude, and ^love of'friehds. 
And this is the way to have the governing part of the 
church fuch as are not even confcientious men, and are 
carelefe about the honour and intereft of religion. And 
the'dired^ tendency of that is, in procefs of time, to in- 
troduce a prevailing negligence in- difcipline> and carie* 
kffnefs in f^eking "niioiftera of a pious and worthy char 


radfer. And the next ftep will be the church's being 
filled with perfons openly vicious" in manners, or elfe 
fcandaloufly erroneous in opinions : It is well if this be 
not already the cafe in fadl with, fome churches that 
have long profefled and pra^ifed on the principles I op- 
pofe. And if thefe principles (hould be prpfcffed and 
proceeded on by Chriilian churches every where, the 
natural tendency of it would be, to have the greater 
part of what is caHed the church of Chrift, through the 
world, made up of vicious and erroneous perfons. And 
bow greatly would this be to the reproach of the Chri- 
ilian church, and of the holy name and religion of Jefus 
Chrill in the fight of all nations * ? . 

' Aj)d now is it not better^ to have a few real living Chri- 
ft ians kept back through darknefs and fcruples^.than to 
open a door for the letting in fuch univerfal ruin as this? 
To illuftrate it by a familiar comparifon ; Is it not bet- 
ter, when England is at war with France, to keep out 
of the jBritifli realm a few loyal Engiifhmen, than to 
-givic.'le^ve'fox: as nciany treacherous Frenchmen to. come 
HJ as.pieafe? 

<2t This- w^y tends to the etemid ruia of .tke partw 
admkted^ .For it let^ in fuch, yea, it perfuadej» fuck Uy 
coiiie in» as kno*tv themfdves to be impemfent and unbelievr 
.iit^i in 3 dreadful manner to taie God^s name in vain; to 
vain to 'worjbip hiniy and abufe facred things, by folemn* 
ly performmg thofe exftrual a^s and rites in the name 
of God, which are inilituted for- declarative figns arid 
profeffiong of repentance toward God,, faith in Chrift^ 
i^nd.love to him, at tlie fame time that they hno^ them» 
felves deii;itute of thofe things which they profeis to^ 

^ Aad this by the way anTwers another objcBhfiy whkh ibme 
have made, r/z. That the way I plead for, tends to Keep the 
church of Chrift Jniall, and hinder the growth of it. Whereas, 
I think, 'the c6ntrai*y tends to keep it fmall, as it is the wicked- 
xiefs of its members, that above aH things in tlie world prejudices. 
XBankind againii it; ;ind is the ehief ilumbling4>lock, that hin^ 
ders the propagation of Chri^Banity, and fo the growth of tlie 
Chriftiau church. But holinefs would caufe the light of the 
church to fhine Co as to iiiducc others to r'eibrt to it. 


have. And is it not better, that fome true faints^ through 
their own weaknefs and mifimdei-ftanding, (hould be kept 
away from the Lord's taWe, which wifi not keep fuch 
out of heaven, than voluntarily to bring in miiltitiKles 
oifalfe profeffors to partake unworthily, and ia eflfeA t& 
fe^ their own condemnation ? 


Y ou Cannot keep out hypocrites^ when all is faid^ ane[ 
done; but at many gracclefs perfons will be likely to get 
into the church in thcf way of ^prqfeffion of^gadlinefs^ as 
-if nothing were infifted on, biit a freedom from public * 

Answ, It may poflibly be fo m fome places, through 
the mifcondu^ of minifters and people, by remiffnefs in 
their inquiries, careleffnels as ta the proper matter of t 
profelfifin, or fetting up fome miiiaken mjXts of judg- 
ment ; negle6Hng thofe things which the Scripture in- 11 
fifts upon: as the moft dfential articles in the charadlerof I 
"TCreaifmt'y and fubftitoting others in the room of them^; 
fuch 9B imprefiions on the imagination, inilead bi re- 
newing influences on the heart ; pangs of aflFe(£tionj iu- 
ftead of the habitual temper of the mind ; a certairr me- 
thod and order of impreilions and fuggeflions^ inftead of 
the nature of things experienced^ ^c. But to fay, that 
itt churches where the nature, the notes, and evidences 
of true Chriflianity^ as defcribed in the Scriptures, are 
well undcrftood, taught, and obferved, there as many 
hypocrites are likely to get in ; or to fuppofe,. that ther& 
as many of thofe perfons of an honeft chara£toj who 
arc well inftrucftcd in thefe rules, and well condudled by 
them, and judging of themfelves by thefe rules, do think 
themfelves .true faints, and accordingly make profeffiofi 
of godlinei^, and are admitted as faints in. a judgment of ^ 
rational charity ; (to fuppofe, I fay) as many of thejh 
are likely to be carnal,, unconverted men, as of thofe 


-who make no fuch pretence and have no fuch hope, nor 
exhibit any fuch evidences to the eye of a judicious cha- 
rity, is not fo much an objediion againft the do£lrine I 
am defending, as a refledlion upon the Scripture itfelf, 
with regard to the rules it gives, either for perfons to 
judge of their own Hate, or for others to form a chari- 
table judgment b}', as if they were of little or no iervice 
at all- We are in mifer^hle circumllances indeed, if 
the rules of God's holy word in things' of fuch infinite 
importance, are £b ambiguous and uncertain, like the 
Heathen oracles. And it would be very flrange, if iu 
thefe days of the gofpel, when God's mind is revealed 
with fuch great plainnefs of fpcech, and the canon of 
Scripture is completed, it (hould ordinarily be the cafe 
in fa£l, that* thofe w^ho having a right do6irinal under- 
ilanding of the Scripture, and judging themfelves by its 
rules, do prjobably conclude or ferioufly hope of them- 
felves, that they are real faints, are as many of them ia 
a ilate of fin and condemnation^ as others who have no 
fuch rational hope concerning .their good eftate, nor 
pretend to iiny fpecial experiences in religion. 


If 2ipKofeJjlon of godlinefs be a thing required in order to' 
admiflion into the church, there being fome true faintt 
who douht of ^their ftate, and from a Under conjcience will 
not dare to make fuch a profeflion ; and there being o- 
thers^ that have no gracc^^ nor much tcndernefs of con- 
fcience, but ffcezX, frefumptlon zx\6.foriuardnefsj who will 
boldly make the higheft profeflion x>£ religion, and fo 
will get admittance : It will hence come to pafs, that 
the very thing, which will in efFe£l procure for fhe loiter 
an admifficy, rather than the former, will be their pre* 
fumption and wickednejj. 

Answ. !• It is no fuflicient objedlion againfl the 
^holefomenefs of a rule eftablifhed for the regulating the 


civil (late of mankind, that in/ome inftances mens Hoick' 
ednefs may take advantage by that ruU^ fo that even their 
<wickednefs fhall be the very thing, which, by an abufe 
of that rule, procures them temporal' honours and privi" 
leges. For fuch is the prefent ftate of man in this evil 
world, that good rules, in many inftances, are liable to 
be thus abufed and perverted. As for inilance, there 
are many human laws or rules, accounted. wholefome 
and neccflary, by which an accufed or fufpe6led peribn's 
own folemn profeflion of innocencyy his aflerting it upon 
^athy fhall be the condition of acquittance and impuni- 
ty ; and the want of fuch a proteftation or profeflion 
fhall expofe him to the punlfhment : And yet by an a- 
bufe of.thcfe rules, in fome inftances, nothing but the 
horrid fin of perjury ^ or that mofl prefumptuous wick- 
ednefs of falfe fwearing, ftiall be the very thing that ac- 
quits a man : While another of a more tender coiifcicnee, 
-wYiO fears an oaih^ muft fufFerthe penalty of the law. 

2. Thpfe rules, by all wife lawgivers, are accounted 
•wholefome, w^ich prove of ^^a^r^z/ good tendency, not- 
withftanding any bad confequenccs arifing. in fome par- 
ticular inftances. And as to the ecclefiaftical rule now 
In queftion, of admiflion to facraments on a profeffion of 
godlinefs^ when attended with requifite circumftances; al- 
. .though this rule in particular inftances may be an occ** 
fion of fame tender-hearted Chriftians abjltuning^ and fome 
prefumptuous iinners being admitted^ yet that does not 
hinder but that a proper vifihiHty of holinefs to the eye 
of reafon,, or t^ probahiUty of it in a judgment of rational 
Chriftian charity, may this waj-be maintained, as the 
proper qualification of candidates for admiflion : Nor 
does it hinder but that it may be reafonable and whple- 
f6me for mankind, in their outward condu(Jt, to regu- 
late themfeFves by IVich probability ; and that this fliotild 
be a reafonaWe and good rule for the church to regulate 
themfelves by in their admiflions; notwithftanding its fo 
happening in partiQular inftances, that things are really 
diverfe from, yea the very reverfe' of, what they arc vi- 
Ahlyi Such v^profeffion as has been infifted on, when at- 


tedded with fequt/ite tircr^ffancts^ carries in it a rational 
credibility in the judgment of Chriftian charity : For it 
ought to be attended with an honeft and fober charac-^ 
ter, and with evidences of good doftrinal knowledge* 
and with all proper, careful, and diligent inftrudlions of 
a prudent paflgr : And though the paftor is not to aft 
as ^ifearcher of the hearty or a lord of conjcienct in this af- 
fair, yet that hinders not but that he may and ought to 
inquire particularly into the experiences of the fouls 
committed to his care and charge, ^hat he may be un- 
der the beft advantages to inftruA andadvife them, to 
"apply the teachings and rules of Ood's word unto them, 
ior their feif-examination, to be helpers of their joy j and 
promoters of their falvatton. However, finally, not any 
pretended extraordinary fkill of hts in difccruing the 
heart, but the perfon's own ferious profeflion concerning 
what he finds in his owu foul, after he has been well" 
inftrufted, muft regulate the public condu6l with refpedl 
to him, where there i« no other external vifible thing to 
contradict and over-rule it : And a ferigus profeflion of 
godlinefs, under thefc circumftances, carries in it a vifi- 
bility to tlie eye of the church's rational and Chriflian 
judgment. 4 

3. If it be flill infilled on, that a rule of a<iniflion in- 
to the church cannot be goody which is liabli to fuch ft 
kind of ahufe as that forementioned, I mufl: obferve, 
This will overthrow the rules that the ohjeSort them-* 
fclves go by in their admiflions. For they infift'upon il, 
that a man muft not only have knowledge and be free 
of fcandal, but muft appear orthodox and profefs the 
common faith. Now prefumptuous lyings for the fake of 
the honour of being in the church, having children bap- 
tized, and voting in ecclefiaftical afiairs, may poffibiy 
be the very thing that brings fome men into the church 
by this rule ; while greater tendemefs of confcience may be 
the very thing that keeps others out. For inllance, a 
man who fecretly in his mind gives no credit' Ic- the 
commonly received doftrine of the Tnnityy yet may, by 
pretending an affcnt to it, and in hypocrify making a 


public profeflioQ of it, get into the church; when at the 
fame time another that equally difhelieves it, but has a 
more tender co^fcience than to allow himfelf io folemn- 
ly telling a lie, may by that very mean? be kept off from 
the communion, and lie out of the church. 


It feems hardly Veafonable to fuppofe^ that the only 

Kvnfe God has made mens opinion of themfehiesy and zfror 

fejjion of it, the term of their admiiHon to church-privi- 

Jeges ; when we know, that very often the nvotji men 

-'have the highefi opinion of themfelves* 

An s w. I* It muft bre granted me, that in fa6t this i« 
the cafe, if any proper profefjion at all i* eyped^ed and 
required, whether it be ol fanQifyin^ jgrace^ or of moral 
Jincerity^ or anything elfe that h good : And to bfi fure, 
nothing 1% required to be profelTe^, oj is nvorfb^ to be 
profefTed, any Further tlian it ijs good, 

Answ. If. \{ fonu things, tjy the cofifeffion of all, 
mull be profejfed for that very reafoo, iecaufe they are 
^oody and of great importance; then certainly it muft 
be owned yery unreafonable, to fay, that thofe things 
wherein true boUnefs confiils are not to be profefled, or 
Vhat a profeffion of them fhould not be required, for that 
fame reafoi?, becaufe they are good^ even in the higheft 
.degree, and infinitely the moft important and moft ne- 
ctflary things of any in the world : And it is unreafon- 
able to fay, that it is the lefs tp be e^^pedled we Ihould 
profefs fmcere friendihip to Chrift, hecaufe fri^ndfhlp to 
Chrift is the moll excellent qualification of any whatfo^ 
jcver, and the contrary the moll odipus. How abfurd 
is it to fay this, merely iinder a notion that for a man 
io profefs what is fo good and fo reafonaJ>le, is io pro* 
fefs a high opinion of himfelf! 


Answ* III. Though fome of the worfi men arc apt 
to entertain the h'tghi^ opinion of themfelves^ yet theii' 
felF-conccit is no rttie to the church : But the apparent 
credihility of mens frof^^on is to be the ground of ecek* 
fiafiical proceediDgs^ 


1 r It be neceffary that aMi pcrfond- fhould make a prO"* 
fefiion of godlinefs, in order to their own admiflion to 
haptifm^ then undoubtedly it id necclTary in order to their 
childrem being baptized on their account.^ For parents 
cannot convey- to their children a inght to this faci*ZK 
ment> by virtue of any qualifications lower than thofe 
requifite in order to their own right : Children being 
admitted to baptifm, only as being as tt were parts and 
members of their parentsw And befides, the a6l of pa- 
rents iXk offering up their children in a facrament, which 
18 a feal of the covenant ofgface, is m them a folemn at-«. 
tending that facrament as perfons interejled in the cove- 
nant, and a public manifeftatioA of their approving and 
confenting to it, as truly as if they then offered up them" 
felves to God in that ordinance. Indeed it implies a 
renewed offering up themfclves with their children, 
and devoting both jointly to God in covenant j them* 
fehes^ with their children, as parts of themfehes. But 
BOW what fearful work will fuch do6lrine make amongft 
us ! We (hall have fnultitiides unhaptixed^ who will go 
about vritbout the external badge of Chrlflianity, and fo 
in that refpedi will be like Heathen. And this is the 
way to have the land full of perfons who are deflitute of 
that which is fpoken of in Scripture as ordinarily requi* 
fite to mens Jalvaiion; and it will bring a reproach on 
vaft multitodts, with the families they belong to : And 
not' only fo, but will tend to make them profane and 
Heathenifh ; for by thus treating oar children, as though' 
they had no part in the Lord^ Vft (hall caufe them to ceafe 
from fearing the Lord; agreeable to Jofh. xxii. 24, 25* 


An sw. I. As to cbildrens being defihute of tbat which 
is fpoken of in Scripture as one thing ordinarily requi- 
Jlte tofulvatlon; I would obferve, that hapt'tfm can do their 
fouls no good any otherwife than ^through God*« blejf* 
ing attending it : But we have no reafon . to expc^ his 
blefllng with baptifm, if adminiilered to thofe that it 
does not belong to by his in/lUution, 

Answ. II. As to the reproach f which will be brought 
on parents and children, by childrens going without 
baptifm, through the parents negledling a profcllion of 
godlinefs> and fo vifibly remaining among the unconvert- 
ed ; i£ any infill on this obje£lion, I think it wiU favour 
of much unreajonalknejs and tv^iijiupidity. 

It will favour of an unreiifonable fpirit. Is it not 
enough^ if God freely offers men to own tlieir children 
and to give tliem the honour of baptifm, in cafe the pa- 
rents will turn from fin and relinquiih their enmity a- 
gainfl him^ heartily give up thcmfelvea and their chil- 
dren to him, and take upon them the profellion of god- 
linefs ?: — If men are truly excufahie^ in not turning to 
God through Chrift, in not be\ieving with the heart* 
and in not confeiling with the mouthy why do not we 
openly plead that they are fo ? And why do not wc 
tsach finners, that they are not fo blame for continuing 
among the enemies of Chrift, and neglefting and defpif- 
ing his great falvation ? If they are not at all excufable 
in this, and it be wholly owing to their own indulged 
lulls, that tliey refufe lincerely to give up themfelvea 
and their children to God, then how unreafonable is it 
for them to complain that their children are denied the 
honour of having God's mark fet upon them as fome of. 
' his ? If parents are angry at this, fuch a temper fnews 
them to be very fenfelefs of their own vile treatment of 
the Blefled God. Should a prince fend to a traitor in 
prifon, and upon opening the prifon-doors, make hi?n 
the offer, that if he would come forth and fubmit him- 
felf to him, he fhould not only be pardoned himfelf, but 
both he and his children raodd have fuch. and £uch 


badges of honovir conferred upon them : Yet if the rebel's 
enmity and ^uinefs of fpirit aga^fl his prince is fuch, 
that he could not find in his heart to comply with the 
gracious offer, will he have any caufe to be angry, that 
his children hare not thofe badges of honour given 
them ? And bef^les it is very much owing to parents^ 
that there are fo many young people who can make no 
profeffion of godliitefs : They have theoifclves therefore 
to blame, if the cafe be fo, that proceeding on the prin- 
ciples which have been maintained, there is like to rife 
a generation of unbaptized perfons. If anceflors had 
thoroughly done their duty to their pofterity in- mftru^l- 
ing, praying for,, and governing their children, and fet. 
4ing them, good ejaamples, there is reafon to think, the 
cafe would have been far otherwife; 

The infixing on this obj^ion would favour of muclr 
^upidity. For the objection feems to fuppofe the coun* 
try to be full of thofe that are unconvertedy and fo ex* 
pofed every moment to eternal damnation ; yet it feems- 
We do not hear fuch great and general complaints and 
lamentable ootcries concerning this* Now why is it 
looked i^on fe dreadful^ to have great numbers going 
without the name and honourable badge o£ Chriftianity,. 
that there fhould be loud and general exclamations con* 
ceming fuch a calamity ;• when at the fame time it is no» 
more refcnted and laid to heart, that fuch multitudes go 
without the things which* is infinitely more dreadful? 
Why arc we fo filent about this ? What is the name 
good f6r, without the thhgP Can patentf'bearto have 
th^r children go about the world in the moft odious and 
dangerous flate of foul^ in reaEty the children of the 
devil, and cosdemned to eternal burnings ; when at the 
fame time they cannot bear to have them difgraced by 
going, without the hooi^ur of being bapti%edl An high 
honour and privilege this^ is ; yet how can parents be 
contented wilii the^«, erclufive of the thing fignified ! 
Why (hould they cov^t the external honoiu- for their 
chiloren, while they are fo carelefs about the fpirit ual 
bleiing i Does not this ai|pe a fenfeleifnefs of thefi; 

l86 QUALiriiCATIONS POt: rULL ' * 

own mifery, as well as of their childrensy in being m al 
Chrifilefs ftate ? Jf a man and his child were, both to- 
gether bitten by a viper> dreadfolly fwolkn, and like ta 
die, would k not argue ^tf//Vi/j in .the parent, to be 
anxioufly concerned only about, hk child's havhig on a 
dirty garment in fuch circtmailances, and fengry at others 
for not putting fome outward ornament upon it ? But 
the difference in this prefeot cafe is infinitely greater, 
and more important, l^tt parents pity their poor chil- 
dren^ becaufe they are without baptifm;. and pity them- 
felves, who are in danger of everlafting mifery, while 
they have no intereft in the covenant of grace, and fo 
hare no right to covenant favours or honours, for thera- 
felves nor children •. No religious honors, to be ob* 
tained in any other way than by real religion, are much 
worth contending for. And in truths it is no honour 
at all to a man, to have merely the outward badges of a* 
Chriftian^ without being a Chriftian indeed ; any more^ 
than it would be aa honour to a man that ha» no learn- 
ing, but is a mere dunce, to have a degree at college; of 
than it ia for a man who has no valour, but is a grand 
coward, to have an honourable commillion m an jarmy ^ 
which only ferves, by the lifting him up^ to expofe hi«» 
>o the deeper reproach, and fcts him forth as the more 
notable dbje£i of contempts 

Answ. III. Concerning the tendency of this way of 
confining baptifm to- proreflbra of godlinefs and thcif 
children, to promote <Vnf//fW« ioid prdfatienej} ; 1 would 
obferve, J%?> That Chri&t is beft able to judge of th^ 
tendency of hi&own inftltutionsJ Secondly j, I am bold to 
fay, that the fuppoit ng this principle and pra^ice to 
have fuch a tendency, is a great mtjlahe^ contrary to 
•Scripture and plain reafon and experience*. Indeed fuch 
a tendency it would have, to ihut n>en out from having 
any part in the Lord (in the fenfc of the two tribes and 
half, Jo(h, xxii. 25.), or to fence them out by fuch a 
partition-wall as formerly was between Jewa and Gen- 
tiles ^ and (jp to fliut them out as to tell thcm^ if they 


were never fo much difpofed to fervc God, he was not 
ready to accept them ; according to that notion the 
Jews feem to have had of the uncircumcifed Gentiles.—* 
But only to forbear giving men honouFS they have no 
titk tOy and not to compliment them with the name 
and badge of GodV people and childrei^^ while they 
pretend to npthing but what is confiilent w^ith their be*^ 
ing his enemies, this has no fuch tendency : But rather 
the contrary has very much this tendency. For is it not 
found by conftant experience through all ages, that blinds 
corrupt mankind, in matters of religion, are ftrongly 
difpofed to reft in a nam^y inilead of the tlxng; in the 
ihadow, inilead of the fubilance ; and to make them'* 
felvfis eafy with the former, in the negled^.of the latter? 
This over- valuing of common grace, and moral Jincerlty^ 
as it is called y this building fo much upan then^ mak* 
ing them the conditions of enjoying the feals of God^s 
covenant, and the ^pointed privileges, and honourable 
and facred badges* of God's children; this, I cannot but 
thinks naturally tends to footh and flatter the pride o£ 
vain man, while; it tends to aggrandize thojfe things, ia 
mens eyes, which they, of themfelyes, are ftrongly dif- 
pofed to magnify and truft in, w:ithout fuch encourage- 
ments to prompt th^ to it, yea, againft all difcourage*- 
ments and difiuadves that can poiHbly be ufed with. 

This way of proceeding greatly tends to eftablifh the 
Degltgence oi parents^ and to confirm the (lupidity and fe- 
cvirity of wicked children^-^f hapt'tfm were denied to all 
children, \^hofe parents did notprofefi godlinefiy and in a 
judgment of rational charity appear reedfaints^ it would 
tend to excite' pious heads of families to more thorough 
care and pains in the religious education of their children, 
and to more fervent prayer for them, that they might be 
converted myouthy before they enter into a nwrried ftate ; 
and fo if they have children, the entail of the covenant 
be fecured. — ^And it would tend to awaken young people 
themA^lves, as yet unconverted, efpecially when about to 
fettle ^ d^c worlds Their having no right to Chriitian 


privileges for their children, in cafe they fhould becomes 
parents, would tend to lead them at fnch a time ferioufly 
to refledl on their own awful ftate ; which, if they do 
not get out of it, muft lay a fouwdation for {o much ca- 
lamity and reproach to their famiKes. Ai^ if after their 
becoming ^/YJ7/j, theyftiH remain unconverted, the me-- 
lancholy thought of their childrens going about with-; 
out fo much as the external mark of Ghrfftians, wmildi 
have a continual tendency to put them in mind of, an<t 
afFefl them with their own fin and folly in negfcd^ing.' 
to turn to God, by v^hich they bnng fuch vifible cala-- 
mity and difgrace on themrfelves and families : They^ 
would have this additional mbthr^ centinually to Hir 
them up to feek grace for themfe4ves and their children r 
Whereas, tlie contrary pradiice has af natural tendency 
to quiet the minds of perfons, hoth* in their own and 
.their childrens unregeneracy. Yea, may it uot be fuf^ 
peeked, that the way of baptizing the children? of fucb 
as never make any proper profeffion of godlinefs,. is an 
expedient originally inveirted for that very end, t© give* 
>ca(e to anceftors with refpeA to their pofterity, in- time*' 
of general declenfion and degeneracy? 

This way of proceeding greatly tends to^^ eflablilli the 
ftupidity and irrcligion of children^, as well as negligence 
of parents. It is certain, that unconverted parents do ne- 
ter truly give up their children to God ; iince they do 
not truly give up thenif elves' tb hi^i^r And if neither of 
the parents appear tridy pioos, in the judgment of ra*' 
tiona! charity, there is not in th Js- cafe any groimd to ex- 
pe6l that the children will be Brought' up -'mthe nurture 
and admonition of the Lord^ or that they wiM have any 
thing worthy the name of a ChrifUan education, hovv 
foleranly foever the parents may promife it. The faith-* 
fulnefs of Abraham was fuch as might be trufted in this 
matter. See Gen. xviii. 19. But men that are not fo 
much as vifibly godly, upon what grounds are they to 
be trufted ? How can it be reafonably expe6ledj| that 
they fhould faithfully bring up their children for GODJ 
iwrho were never fmcerely willing that- their cfiilAren <Jy 


thcmfelves fhould be his ? And it will be but prefump- 
txon, to expcA that thofc children who are never given 
tip to God, nor brought up for him, ihould prove reli- 
giousy and be God's children. There is no manner of 
reafon to expe£l any other than that fuch children ordi« 
Darily will grow up in irreligion, whether they are bap- 
tized or not. And for perfons to go about with the 
name and vifible feal of God, and the facred badge of 
Chrifltanity upon them, having had their bodies, by a. 
holy ordinance, confecrated to God as his temples, yet 
living in irreligion and ways of wickednefs, this fervea- 
to tend exceedingly to harden them, and eftablifh iar 
them an habitual contempt of facred things. Such per- 
fonsy above all men, are like to be the moft hardened 
and abandoned, and moil difficultly reclaimed i As it 
was with the wicked Jews, ^ho were much more con- 
iirmed in their wickednefs, than thofe Heathen ^cities of 
Tyre and Sidon. To give that which is holy to thofe 
who are profane, or that we. have no manner of reafon 
from the circumilances of parentage and education, to- 
expe£t will be otherwife^ is not the way to make them 
better, but worfe: It is the way to have them habitually 
trample h(^y things under their feetf and increafe in con-^ 
tempt of them, yea, even to turn again and rent us, and 
be taotc niifchievous and hurtful enemies of that which 
k good» than otherwife they would be.. 


OoME mimflers have been greatly hlejfcd in the other 
way of proceeding,, and fome men have been converted, 
at the Lord^s fuppcr^ 

An s w. Thoup^ we are to eye the provfdence of God,. 
and not difregard his works^ yet to interpret them to .a. 
fenfe, or apply them to a ufe inconfiftent with the fcope 
of the word of God, is a mifconflruAion and mifappli* 
cation of them. God ha& not given ua his providence^ 

190 f^lALlFlCATlOKS rOR FtTLt 

but his word to be our govmring' rule. God is fofercigflf 
in his dlfpe Illations of providence; he beftowed the blefT' 
ing on Jacob, even when he had & He in his mouth ; he 
was pleafed to meet with Solomon, and make known 
himfelF to him,- and blefs him in an extraordinary man* 
qer, while he was worfhipping in an high place; he met 
with Saul, when in a courfe of violent oppofitioti to him, 
and out of the way of his duty to the. highcft degree^ 
going to Damafcus to perfecute Chriil ; and even then 
bellowed the greatett bleifing upon him, that perhap* 
<?ver was bellowed on a mere man. The condu<^ of .di-' 
vine providence, with its reafods, is too little underflood 
by us, to be improved as our rule. '* God has his way iir 
*< the fea, his path in the mighty waters, and his foetilep9 
*< are not known : And he gives none account of any of 
*< his matters." But God has given us his word^ ta this 
very end, that it might be our rtde; and therefore has fit^ 
ted it to be fo; has fo ordered it that it may be under- 
flood by us. And ftridlly fpeaking, this is our only riik«> 
If wc join any thiag elfe to it, as making it our rule^ wc 
do that which we have no. warrant for, yea, that which 
God himfelf has forbidden. See Deut. iv. 2, Proy. xxx« 6- 
And with regard to God's blefiing and fucceedmg of mi<« 
niflers, have not fome had' remarkable experience of it 
in the way which I plead for, as well as fome who have 
been for the way I oppofe? However, we cannot con-^ 
elude, that God fees nothing at all amljt in miniilers, 
becaufe he hlejjes them. In general, he may fee thofe 
things in them which are very nght and excellent ; thefc 
he approves and regards, while he overlooks and par-- 
dons their mtHakes in opinion or pra6lice, and notwith- 
ftandiug theiJe is.pleafed to crown tlieir labours with his 

As to the two lafl arguments in the Jlppeal tn the 
hearnedy concerning the fubje6ls of the Chriiliaii facra* 
ments, their being members of the- mfible churchy and* 
not the invlfible; the force of thofe arguments dependsr 
^tirely on the refolution of that queHion, Who arc vf* 



fitefmntt?' or what adult perfons are regalaily admitted 
to the privileges of members of the •ojfibli church? Which 
queftion has already been hugely coniidered : And, I 
^hinky it has been demonftrated that they are thofe who 
exhibit a credible profeilion and vifibility of gofpeUhoU' 
•nefi or vital. piety^ and not merely of moral Jinceriiy* So 
that there is no need of further debating the point in 
this place. 

I might here mention many things not yet taken no* 
lice of, which fome db]tEi2i» inconveniences attending the 
fcheme I have maintained { And if men (hould fet up 
their own wit and wifdom in oppofition to God's re<r 
vealed will, there is no end of the objei^ons of- this 
kind) which might be raifed againft any of God's in*^ 
ftitutions. Some have found great fault even with the 
creation of the .world, as being very inconveniently done, 
and have imagined that they could tell how it might be 
mended in a great many refpe^s. Bat however God's 
altrr may appear homely to us» yet if we lifif up our 
tool ui)on it to mend it, we Hiall pollute it. 'l^ws and 
tnflitutions are given for the general good, and not to 
avoid every particular inconvenience. And however it 
may fo bappeuy that fometimes inconveniences (real or 
imaginaiy) may attend the fcheme 1 have maintained ; 
yety I think, they are in no meafure equal to the mani-> 
fefl conveniences and happy tendencies of it, or to the 
palpable inconveniences and pernicious confequences of 
■the othen-w^I have already mentioned fome things of 
this afpe£k, and would here briefly obferve fome other. 

Thus, the way of making fuch a difference between 
DUtward duties of morality and wor/hify and thofe great 
inward duties of the love of God and acceptance of Chri^y 
that the former muft be vifiBlcy but that there need to 
be no exhibition Vior pretence of the latter, in order to per* 
fons being admitted into the viiible family of God ; and 
that under a notion of the latter being impqffibiUtiesy but 
the other- being within mens power ; this, I think, has a 
dire£l tendency to confirm m men an infen^iVtty of the 
heixK>ufnefs.of thofe bciurh/tm oi unbelief and enmity 

I9'2 Q^rALIFlCATIONS fX>ti WVth 

;«ffainft God oih- ^StWour, which are th« foarce and Turn 
«f all wickednefs $ and tends to prevent their coming 
under a humbling conviHion of the greatnefs and utter 
inexcufableneCiB of -thefe fius, which.fnen muil be brought 
to if ever they obtain falvation. Indeed it is^ a way that 
jtot only has this tendency^ but has st&ually and appa- 
rently this eSedtf and that to a great degree. 

* The ciFe6t of this method of proceeding in the churches 
>u New Englandy which have CaHexi into it, is adually 
this. There are fome that are received into thefe 
churches under the notion of their being in the judg- 
.jnent of rational charity vi/iiJe Joints or prof effing faints^ 
who'yet at the fame time are a^uaUy open ^profejfors of 
.heinous wkkedaefsi I mean, the wickednefs of living iii 
Jknown impenitence and imbelief, the wickednefs of liv- 
ing in. enmity againil God, and in the r^jed^ion of Chrift 
under the gofpel^ Or, which is thd fame .thing, they 
^re fuch as freely and frequently acknowledge, that they 
.do not profefs to be as yet horn again f but look on tl «. i- 
felves as really unconverted^ as having never unfcignedly 
accepted of Chrift 4 and they do either explicitly or im- 
plicitly number themfelves among thofe th^f Jove not the 
Lord jfefus Chrift; of whom the Apoftlc fays, let fudi 
be Anathema^ Maran-atha! And accordingly it is known> 
all over the town where they live^ th^it they make no 
pretenHons to dinj /atiQifying grace already obtained; nor 
of confequence are they commonly looked upon as any 
other than unconverted perfons. Now, can this be judg- 
ed the comely order of the gofpel 1 or fhall God be fup- 
pofed the author of fuch confujion! 

In this way of church-proceeding, God's own ch3- 
;dren and the true difciples of Chrill are obliged to re- 
ceive thofe as their hrethreny admit them to the conanu' 
nion offaintsj and embrace them in the higheft a£is of 
Chriftian fociety, even in their ^cdXfecifl oflove^ where 
they feed together on the body and blood of Chrift, 
whom yet they hav6 no reafon to look upon otherwife 
than as enemies of the crofs of Chrift ^ and haters, of their 
heavenly Father and dear Redeemer^ they making no 



preUn^im to any thing at all inconfiftent with thofe 
charafkers ; yea^ in many places, as I faid before, freely 
profeiling this to be a<5iually the cafe with them. 

Chlift often fori>id8 the meniters of his church, judg»- 
ing one anoihir: But in this way of ecclefiailical proceed- 
ingy it is done continually, and looked upon as no hurt; 
a great part of thofe admitted into the church are by 
others of the fame communion judged unconvertedj grace' 
i^s. perfotts ; and it is impoffible to. avoid it, while we 
ftretch not beyond the bounds of a rahmal charity. 

This method of proceeding muft inevitably have one 
of thefe two confequences ^ Either there muft be no pub* 
Jic notice at all given of it, when fo fignal a work of 
grace is wrought, as a finner's being brought to repent 
and turn to God, and hopefully become the fubje<^ of 
feving converfion 5 or elfe this notice muft be given in 
the way of converfaUoUf by the perfons. themfehes^ fre- 
quently, freely^ and in all companies, declaring their 
own experiences. But furely, either of thefe confe- 
<}uence8 muft be very unhappy. — ^The former is fo, wz,- 
the forbidding and preventing any public notice being 
given on earth of the repentance ofafinntr^ an event fo much 
to the konow of God, and fo much taken notice of in 
hea'oenf cauiingj^ojr in the prefence of the av^els of Gody and 
tending fo moch to the advancement of rekgion in the 
world. For it \& found by experience, that fcarce any 
one thing haa ^ great an influence to awaken iinners, 
and engage them to feek falvation, and to quicken and 
anmate faints, as the tidings of a finner's repentance, 
or hqpeful converfion : God evidently makes ufe of it as 
an eminent' means cf advancing religion in a time of re- 
markable revival of itligion. And to take a courfr ef- 
fectually to prevent fuch an event's being noticed on 
earth* appears to me a countera^ing of God, in that 
whic^ he jever makes ufe of as a chief means of the pro- 
pagation of true paety, and which we have reafon to 
think 4e wHl make ufe of as one principal means of the 
convediOA of the world in the glorious latter day.— >But 
now as 4o the o^b$r way, the way of giving notice to 



the public of this event, by particular pcr&ns themfdves 
publiihing their own experiences from time to time and 
from place to place, on all occaiioiis and before all com- 
panies, I muil confefs, this is a pra6iice tiiat appears to 
me attended with many inconveniences, yea, big with 
inifchiefs. The abundant trial of thi& m^hc^i lately 
madcy and the large experience We have had of the evil 
confequences of it, is enough to put all fobcr and judi- 
cious people for ever out of conceit of it. I /hall not 
' pretend to enumerate all the mifchiefs attending it, which 
would be very tedious ; but (hall now ooly mention two 
things. One is, the bad elFedl it has upon the perfons 
themfelves that praftife it, in the great tendency it has 
to fpiritual pride; infenfibly begetting and ciiabli/hing 
an evil habit of mind in that refpe£i, by the fiequent 
return of the temptation., and tliis many times when 
they are not guarded againft: it, and haye no t4me, by 
confideration and prayer, to fortify their mindsy. And 
then it has a verj bad effed .on the minds of -others that 
hear their communication, and (b on the ilate of religion 
in general, in this way: It being thus the cu^om for 
perfons of all forts, young and old^ wife and unwife^ fu- 
periors and infenors, freely tx> tell their owo experiences 
Jiefore all companies, it is commonly <done veryiVyiwiSF- 
cloujly, often very raftily and fooliflUy^ out of feafon, .and 
in circumfiances. tending to defeat any good tnd. . £yefi 
lincere Chriftians too frequ^niitly in. thjbir • converfation 
infift naainly on thofe things that are no pait of their 
true fpiritual experience i fuch as imprefiions on their 
fancy or imagination, fuggeillions of &6U by pafT^gi^ of 
Scripture,' ^c»; .in which cafe children *nd wesk.peifofl^ 
that hear,^ are apt to form .their" notipni. of, religioji.and 
true piety by fuch experimental commuaication$,. land 
mbch more than they do by the moft iolid and judibioivs 
inftruftions out of the- word, th^y hear from the pwlpiu 
Which is found to be one of the devices whertity i^atan 
has an ines^pneinble advantage to ruin the fouls of meny 
^nd utterly to confound the intereft of reiigipuv'— This 
matter of making 9 publif: prpfefilou 9f )g^dUae£» . i^r 


piety of heart, is certainly a very important affair, and 
ought to be under fome public regulation^ and under the 
direction oi Jkilful guides y and not left to the manage- 
ment of every man, woman> and child, according to 
their humour or fancy : And when it is done, it fhould 
be done with great ferioufnefs, preparation, and prayer, 
as a folemn aft of public refpeft and honour to God, in 
his houfe and in the prefence of his people. Not that 
I condemn, but greatly approve of perfons fpeaking 
fometimcs of their religious experiences in private con- 
verfation, to proper perfons and on proper oceafions, 
with modcfty and difcretion^ when the glory of God 
and the benefit or j«ft fatisfadtion of others require it o£ 
them. ' ■ 4 

In a word, |he pradlice of promifcuous adniiflion, or 
that way of taking aU ipto the church indifferently, as 
^ifihle f(Uf!ts, who art not either ignorant or fcandalous, 
and at the fame time that cuftom*s taking place of per- 
fons publifliing their own cdmxrfwn in common cowocrfa-' 
tion; where thcfe two things meet together, they un- 
avoidably make two diflinck kinds of "oifible churches^ or 
different bodies of profcfling faints, one within another, 
openly diftinguilhed one from another, as it were by a 
vifible dividing line. One company confiding of thofe 
who are 'vijihly gracious Chriflians, and open profejfors of 
godlinefs ; another confiding of thofe who are vifilly mo- 
ral livers, and only pro'fefs common virtues, without 
pretending to any fpecial and fpintual experiences in 
their hearts, and who therefore are not reputed to be 
converts. I may appeal to thofe acquainted with the 
date of the churches, whether this be not aftually the 
cafe in fome, where this method of proceeding has been 
long edabliihed. But I leave the judicious reader to 
make his own remarks on this cafe, and to determine, 
whiether there be a jud foundation in Scripture or rea- 
fon for any fuch date of things ; which to me, 1 con* 
fefs, carries the face of glaring abfurdity. 

And hoiv I commit this whole difcourfe (under God's 
blelfing) to ,the Reader's candid refle<^ion and impartial 



judgment. I am fenfible, it will be very difficult for 
many to be truly impartial in this affair ; their preju- 
dices being very great againil the dodrine which I have 
maintained. And, I believei I myfclf am the perfon, 
who, above all other upon the face of the earth, havc 
had moil in my circumftances to prejudice me againft 
this do^lf-ine, and to make me unwilling to receive con- 
vidtion of the truth of it. However, the clear evidence 
of God's mind in his word, as things appear to me, ha» 
conftrained me to think and a6i as I have now done. I 
dare not go contrary to fuch texts as thofe, Levi z. lo. 
Jer. XV. 19. £zek. xxii. 26. and xliv. 6, 7, 8. And 
having been fuUy perfuaded in my own mind, what is the 
Scripture rule in this matter., after a moft careful, pain- 
ful, and long fearch, I am willing, in the faithful pro- 
fecution of what appears to me of fuch importance and 
fo plainly the mind and will of God, to rcfign to hi§ 
providence, and leave the event in his hand. 

It may not.bc improper to add here, 1^ I have oftea 
Iiad fuggcfted to me the probability of my being anfiver*' 
ed from the prefs: If any one ftiallfee cauie to undertake 
this, I have thefe reafonable requefts to make to him, 
17Z. That he would avoid the ungenerous and unmanly- 
artifices ufed by too many polemick writers, while they 
ium afide to 'vain jangling^ in carping at incidental paff- 
ages, and difplaying their wit upon fome minute parti- 
culars^ or lefs muterial things, in the author they oppofe, 
with much exclamationy if pofiiye, to excite the igno- 
rant and unwary reader's difrelifli of the author, and^ to 
make him appear contemptible, and fo to get the vifto- 
ry that way ; perhaps dwelling upon, and glorying in 
iome pretended inconjiflencies in fome parts of the dif-* 
ccurfe, without ever entering thoroughly into the meritt 
cjthe caufgy or clofely encountering any of the main ar- 
guments. If any one oppofes me from the prefs, I de- 
sire he would attend to the true ftate of the queftion, 
and endeavour fairly to take off the force of .each argu- 
ment^ by anfwering the fame dire6t:ly, and diftin£lly, 
with calm and dole reafoning ; avoiding (as much a» 


may be) both dogmatical aiTestion and paffionate reflec- 
tion. Sure I am, I (hall n«ll envy him the applaufe of 
a vi6l6ry over me, however fignal and complete, if only 
gained by fuperior light and convincing evidence.— I 
would alio requeft him to fet hi« name to his perform- 
ance, that I may in that rcfpeft ftand on even ground 
with him before the world, in a debate wherein the 
public is to judge between us. Thk will be the more 
reafonable, in cafe he fhould mingle any thing of accu- 
fation with his arguing : It was the manner even of the 
Heathen Romans, and reputed by them but juft and 
equal) to have accufers face to face* 

May the GOD of all grace and peace unite us more 
in judgment, affeftion, and pra6lice, that with one hearty 
and one mouthy we may glorify his name through Jesus 
Christ. AMEN. 



Beiftg a Letter u the Author, in anfwer to his- 

requeji cf information concerning the opinion of Pro^ 
teflant divines and churches in general y of the Pre^. 
fbyterians in Scotland' and D^enters in England in 
particular^ refpeffing TiyEr Qv EST 10}i$ that re* 
late to this controverfy. • 

• • 


If yoQ look into Mr. B^xts^r's controTerfial writings 
againft Mr. Blake,^ you will meet with fuch accounts 
of principles and fs^Sf as I think noay reafonably give 
an inquirer much fatisfadlion as to the common judg-i 
ment of Proteilant churches and diyines in the poin1;s 
you mention. I particularly refey you to his Fivi Dis- 
putations of Right to Sacraments f and the true Na^re 
of ViftbU Chrifliatutyj where all or the moft of yomr 
queries are confidered and anfwered» with a midtitude of 
teftimomes produced in favour of fentiments contrary tQ 
thofe of your excellent prcdeceflbr,, the kte Mr. Stod? 
DARD«-»-I have not {aid this, from any difpofition to ex? 
cufe myfelf from the labour of making iomc further in- 
quiry, if it be thought needfuL And as it may (hew 
my willingnefs to gratify your defire, I ivill now fay 
Something on your quejlions diflii)6dy, but with as oiuca 
brevity as I can. 

Quest. I. What is the general ostium refpe^ng that 
Self-examination required in i Cor. jfi. J28. Whether 
fommutdc^mts are not here ,dire8ed to.examne themf elves cohi' 
terning the tj^ikoigncQy. (fr their. real godSn^^ .; - , , 

fo folemnly wanting all that art truly cunvtnced of thefi- 
remaining yet in a natural ftat€, to refrain coming to 
the Lord's table in their unbelief and impenitence ; as 
if they judged it zjinful and dangerous thing for them to 
come under fuch circumftances ? I know Mr. Stod- 
dard, in his Appealy difputes iht faS: But it has oc- 
curred to me in abundance of iniiances, while reviewing 
my authors on this occafion. 

Amb^g the foreign Proteftants in Germany, France, 
t^c. I (hall name but two out of many inftances be«- 
forc me. The Ileidelburg or Palatine Catech'tfm^ w^hich 
had the folemn approbation of the Synod- of Doii, And 
^as cfpecially'praifed by the diirines of Great Britain ; 
which has been in' a manlier univerfally received and 
taught, formerly in Scotland, Jtnd ftill all over Holland^ 
and by reafonof its excellency has been tranfln'ted into 
no lefs than thirteen feveral languages; this is moil ex- 
prefs in. claiming the Lories fupper for a fpecial privilege 
of fuch as have true faith alfid repentance ; and forbidding 
it to hypocjrites^ as well as fcandalous perfons, de^elaring 
that none fuch ought to come. See thteight^y-jirft^w^ 
other queftions and anfwers, with Ur sin's Latin Ex' 
plications y and De Witte's Englifh Catechtzings there- 
on. Here, Sir, indeed you havae the judgment of a muU 
titude in one. — ^Another celebrated book is Claude's 
Hijiortcal Defence of the Reformation / in which I meet 
Vvith» repeatedvdcdarations of the fame fentiments, per- 
fectly on the negative fide of the queftion in hand ; but, 
I think, too many a»d too long to be here trainfcribed. 
The langiiage of fome of them I have juft now had oc* 
cafion to make ufe of. 
• As for the Church of Scotland, I find they have a- 
dopted the Wcftminfter Confeflion, Catechifms, and Di- 
reffcory, which debar all ignorant and ungodly perfons 
from the Lord's table, and require every one to examine 
hirafelf, not .only as to his knowledge, but alfo 'his^//^ 
repentance^ Isve^ new. ohediemey- Scc-^^ln theit>BcoJ^s hf 
Difcipliney I obferve fundry paffages that apprOJ>riate the 
laciament to the truly penitent aad faithful^ aft the odty 

proper fubje6l$. Their nathmd covenant^ renewed from 
tim^ to tim^ has this claufe; To the-^hich [true re- 
formed kirk] we join ourfelves willingly, in do^riney 
faith, religion, discipline, and ufe of the holy facra- 
ments, cu linxly members of the fanw in Chri/l pur Head, 
l^c. . And among the dhines. of Scotland, I find many in 
their fermons, facramental fpeeches, and other difcourfes, 
4e€laring themfelves ftrongly on the negative part in the 
queftion before us, adviAng to ftni^nefs in admiilions to 
the Lord's fupper, renouncing the opinion of its being 
a converting ordinance f inviting only the fmcere friends of 
Chrift to it, and /rcqujently ^warning profcffors confdou9 
of reignijig fin and hypocrify to forbear approaching 
jthe Lord^» table. I might bring itmch to this purpofe 
.{rom Mr. Andrew Qrav's book of fermons, publiflied 
anno 17 16; and his fennons^ printed antto 1746; with a 
jweface by Mr. Willi«on.— So from Mr, Ebenezer 
Ersk IN e's fy nodical fermon, anno 1 73 2 -—And from 
Mr. Ralph Erskine's fermon on Ifa. xlii. 6.; and his 
difcourfe at fencing the; tables,. annexed to his fermon on 
John xvi. 15. — ;So from Mr. Willison's fynodical fer- 
mon, anno 1 733 ; whei>e he fets down a variety of fearch- 
ing queftions^no lefs than twenty-feven) which he adyifes 
.to be put to proppnants, and their anfwers to be waited 
for, before they ar^ admitted.— r-The anonymous author 
jof a Defence of National Churches againfl the Independents 
(who is reputed to be Mr. Willi son) afTerts it as a 
Prefbytcrian principle, that none have right befort GodtQ 
ihe complete communion of the church, but fuch at 
h^tgr/tce^ and. that npne are to be admitted but thof^^ 
w>o 9X^/aintSf at leaft in profeflion ; fuch as profefs to 
aogjsjJt of the. offers of Ghrift's'girace,^^. and confefi 
thenafelves to he^^cere-rr^Mr^ A v tone, in his Review 
againfl. Mr. Glas, owns that the lord's fupper is not 
a. formal me^n of converfion,. but of further growth and 
nourifhment to thof^ already, gon verted— In the dame 
iir^lp isj^ferf Na smith's Treati/e of the Enimi fifihe Co* 
^v^^^^-.— And .Mr. jWarpe^'^j. E/fay on Ba/ftifm^^^In a 
'Vrprdi I find, M^'^^.^uliRiE (in his fynodical fermon, anno 


1732) teftifying of the minifters in Scotland, that they 
' are Under (L e* circumfpe^^ and cautious) in admi^mg 
fcople to the holy table of the Lord; knowing the defign of 
the ordinance 18 iM^ ^MfVffySiofi, but conformaUoni and he 
obferves* that all who approve themfeives to God herey 
will a thoufand times rather chufe to have, was it but 
fsne table or i&a^a table of honeft cGmmunicastSf true be'- 
ftroerj and realfamtSf than jiftve a imndred talble«, by ad-» 
mitting any that are tmworthyr(or Chri/tlefs fouls, as he 
anon characterizes i^em), of whom there are not moral 
evidences of their /£/i2^ for this 'holy or<£nance. And 
for the commendable pradice of the Church of Scotland^ 
» in being pointed and partieularm debarring die unworthy 
from this ordinance (fays he), God foibid ever it turn 
into defuetude.— I think I may here not unfitly fubjoia 
thofe nsmafkaUe paifages in Mr. AttDtKsos's exee&eat 
Defence of the Pre/byterianSf again ft Mr. Rhind; where 
he informs us, they look Hfion this Jfoly ordinance as the com" 
won prisfilege of the faithful ; arid therefore they ufually 
fence the Lord'stable, in/the words of Scripture, i Cor. 
vi. 9. or fome fucK-likti— To exclude the impenitent 
from . the privilege x)f gofpel-myfteries ; to debar thofe 
from the Lord*j table ^ whom the Lord has, by the.CK- 
jprefs fentcnce of hk wodi, debarred out of .the kingdom 
4fheavef$9 i&«rhat every one, who is not quite loft in im- 
jpiety> mutft own to he not only lawful, but a duty,^-^ 
.'Upon which I beg leave to obfervei accoisding to this 
.principle I ^o not fee but that a man who with appa- 
. rent figns of cFedibility confeffes himfelf habitually in^e- 
ynkeot, ought to be debarred from. the Lord's tables 
And furdy, by parity of reafon, he that knofsxs himlelf 
to be unregencwite, ought to r^r^m. coming, fince there 
xan be no true repentasce without regeneration. I 
think we have no }uft grounds. to fuppoie,. Mr. Stod- 
dard's principle in this matter has hitherto - any genenil 
•prevalence in the Chujnch of Scotland. 
* And now to pafs ov^r to England, neither do I iind 
veafon to think the Diffenters there in general areibr Mr* 
^todd^rd's latitude^ The jfffembly^DhiwtfrojioxaiOc 

APPEKOrt. 505 

ril Ae * ungoJly^ as well as ignoranf, mvwitffy of the 
Lord's table; direft to f reparation for it, by examining 
ourfelves of our Mng in Chrifty &c. And though they 
declare this facrament appointed for the relief even of 
the weak and doubting Chriftian, who unfeigned^ deiires 
to ht found in tJhri/i ; and hating direcled yi/rA ^ one 
to bewail \^n mibelief and labour to have his doubts re* 
iblvcd, they affert that^ doing he may and ought to 
come to the Lord's fupp^r, to ht Jurfher ^rengihened : 
yet I do not find any appearance of a hint, as if others 
who kno'w themfelve'8 to be in a natural Hate, or are con- 
fcious of their being certainly gracelefs, may and ought to 
come to this ordinance, that they may be converted. Nay, 
they cxprefflly declare of all 4tngedly perfbns, that while 
they rennain luc1i« they cannot without great fin againft 
Chrift partake of thofe holy myfterks. — As to particu- 
lar divined, I find multitudes of them among the Dii- 

•fenters, in later as well as former times, exprclTing the 
famefentiments: Diftingnifhing between natural and in- 

^flttuted duties, between initial and confirming meaKs, 
betw^een fpccial ordinances and common : And dechr- 

' »ng the Lord's fupper a difiiple^privikgey peculiar to fuch 
as have difciple-prGperties^ and admonifhing as well the 
clofe hypocrite y as the more grofs, of the Jin ami dangtr 
of coming to it in hie unregenerate (late, impenitent and 
tmbelieving* Thus Mr. Bolton, in his difcourfe on 
ike JVedding Supper" and' the Wedding Garment ^ warns the 
gracelefs not to come to the Lord's fupper 5 affirming, 
that an unfanBified prefence v*rill be found as bad as a pro- 

Jane alfence^^'—M.r, Baxter, in his FiveJDifputaticnsi has 
mucK that runs in the fam« flrain ; fo in his Reform- 
ed Liturgy^ and in his Chrifiian Concord, where we have 
his brethren joining their tefjtimony with his, — Likewife 

•Mr. Char NOCK, in his difcourfe of the SubjeHs of the 
hordes Supper — Mr. Palmer, in his Scripture' Rail to the, 
hordes Table — Mr. Saunders, in his yinti- Diatribe — 
Mr. Langley, in his Sufpm/ion Revte^wed—^r. Doo- 
little, Mr. Henry, Dr. EarlEj and others, in their 

' books on Xht-Lard'^ Supper — Mr. Shower, in his Sa^ 


2o6 AfTtvnix. 

iramenta! Dtjevurfet — ^Mr. FlAvel, iii his fermdn on 
GofpeUUmty^ and other pieces— Mr. Philip Henrt, 
and Mr. TiiossF-» in the accounts of their Llves-^ 
Dr. Calamy, is hie difcourfe on Vows^ and his Defence 
of Nonconformity'-^'yiT. SiMON^ROWNE, in the Conti- 
nuation of Henry* s ExpqfiHon^ on 1* Cor. xi. 28 — Dr. 

•^Harilis, in his difcourfe on Self- Dedication — :Dr. Jen- 
vinos, in his fermons to Ift^ng People,---^! could^ from 
all thefe authors, cite paflagcs much to the purpofe : 
But it would be too tedious. Yet I will give you a few 
hints from fomcothcrs.—^Dr. Williams, in \\i^ Go/pel' 
"Truth Stated^ fays. Though a man had it revealed to 
him that he is one of the eltS^ yet £d long as he remains 
unregeneratey be h^s no right to partake of the Ijora's 
f upper.— *-Dr. OuirsE, in hjs late fermon at Mr. Gib- 
boas's ordination obferves^ that mens being church" 

■ members fuppofes thtm. already to h^ve zgood luarh hegm 
in them, an4 ^o be p^rtafcers of Chri|tian love^ even fiich 
as proceeds koxn/aith^ in a prevailing degree ; and per- 
fgns (fays he) that have nothing of this, ought not %o be 
church-m€mbei:s.-^r'Mr. Hall, in his Exhortation on the 
iame occaiipn, remarks, that .the feals of the covenant 
are to be .ufed as difcrimmatitig iigns of the real fcpar^- 
tion of true believer^ from the world ; and urges to 
have the fence kept up, which Chrili has fet about his 
church, that it may appear to be a body wholly difiinS 
from the jvorld ; Qod's houfe being erefted for the en- 
tertainment, not of hypocrites and dead Tmners^ but of 
the living in Jerufalem.— ^But, fays Dr. Watts, in Ws 
Humble Attempty it is true, this pannot be pradifed uni- 
verfally and perfeftly hew on earthy fo as tp prevent 
I'ome fecret tinners making their way in|;p our f^para^e 
congregations, and joining w^h us in the mo$t loienin 
ordinances ; yet he declares fuch naf really worthy of any 
room or place in the houfe of God.---AQd in his HoUnefs 
of Times y Places ^ andPeople^ the Doftor obferves, The v/V 
^^/^Chriftian church i.$ foimdedpn ^ fuppofttion^ diatthe 

' members of it are, or fhould appear to be, members. of 
^he invifthle: And noiur.(fays he) ^re tobe admitted iq^9 


tliis vt/tiie cKurch, or eftecmed complete members of iU 
but thofe who make fuch a declaration iand profefiion of 
their faith in Chrift and their avowed fubjeAion to him, 
As may be fuppofed in a judgment of charity to manifeit 
them to be real believers, true fubjefts of his fpiritual 
kingdom, 'and member^ of the invtfibh church. — I find 
Dr. Doj)DRiD6E in the fame fentiments, by what he 
fays in his FamUyExpdfttor* Thus, on the cafe of Ana- 
Jiias and Sappbira, he has this note. The church is never 
happier ^ than when Xki^foru of falfchood arc deterred {toxn 
mtruding into it : If its members arc hfi numerous^ it is a 
fufficient balance, that it is more pure. And on Simon's 
cafe, he pronounces it to be tn vain for men to profefs 
themfdves" Cbrtflians^ in vain to fubmit to baptifmy &c. 
if their heart be not right with God, And fuch perfons 
being admitted to eft/Hnguifhing ordinances, he calls an 
iviL, in the prefent date of things unavoidable ; wiih- 
ing for the happy medtum, hctvrtcn prqfiituting divine ordi* 
nances by a fooliih credulity,- and defrasaSng the children 
of the houfehold of their breads by a rigorous fcverity aud 
miilaken cautioil. He every where reprefents the Lord's 
fupper as the facrament of nutritionf a reviving and 
nouri/hing ordinance; but never that I can find, as a rr- 
generating or converting one. Upon the cafe of Judas, the 
DoAor obfervcs, that if he had truly ftated the order -of 
the ftory, then Judas certainly went out before the Eu^ 
>/&»2r^ wasinftituted: And indeed one cannot reaTonably 
fuppofe, Chrift would have commanded him to drini of 
this cup as the blood Jhed for him for the remiffion of fins ^ 
when he had juft before been declaring in efFe6l, that 
his fins (hould never be forgiven. — By which obferva- 
tion, I think, Dr. Doddridge has quite demolifh^d 
one of the moft pjaufible pleas ia favour of the fecret 
and confcious hypocrites claim to the Lord's fupper. 

In fine^ even thofe who appear advocates for a la- 
titude in admiflions to the communion, I obfetve, ge- 
nerally in the courfe of the argument offer fuch diflinc' 
tions, or make fuch concejjionsy as feem by fair confe- 
quence a giving up the point, at leaft as ftated io 

^ Sij 


the prefent queilicm. For they ufualty diftmgirifh be- 
tween a right in forQ D/t iivid. jn ford ecclefise.; accord- 
ingly treat thefe as two different queilions^ Who ought to 
^tJt£ ? and, IVho oughts to be admitted ? confidering the 
latter as an ecclJiaj^^lcsx^^ and here they aflert a lati^ 
tude; but the fgrmer, as a cafe of mj/ri^rt^^,*of private 
reference only> and here they grant a rtmiiation* How 
large foever their principles, while taking the cafe in ita 
ccclefiofiical yiit^^^ yet I ha^e met with very few divines^ 
that -taking it as a private cafe of confcietpce^ have gone 
Mr. Stoddard's length, in aflerting, thatyojw^ imfanSi" 
fied men have right before God t9 the Lord's fupper^ and 
jnay come *with a good ccnfctsncey yea, ottght to comcy not- 
withilanding they knotv themfclves at the fame time ta 
l>€ in a natural condition. This he declares in hi& DoC'- 
trine of drtftituted Churches^ and coiifh ms in his Sermon a$td. 
AppeaL But then he has made fome coticefftonsy which 
feem ^ be fubverfive of his opinioi^. FoV he exprefsly 
uilows, that the facratnent by inilitution fuppofes com* 
miinicants to be vi/ihle faints; and this title of' vifibU 
faints he a/Sgns to " fuch as have a vifible union to* 
" Chrift, fuch as aa'ein the judg;^nie.nt of ratif>nal charity 
** believers, fuch a« carry Uiemfelves fo that there i* 
" reafon to look upon thpm to be faints.*' Now, tak- 
ing the cafe as b. private cafeofccmfcience (in which light 
only Mr. Stoddard profefTes to have defigned to coiw 
iid^r it in his fermon, and not at all as an ecclefiaflica^ 
cafe), I think, this vifibility <fjalntfhip immediately re* 
fpedts the pf<^onant for the JLord's table, and muit be 
refeiTcd to his ovivi private jud^nent of hiraielf. But then, 
bow can there be a vjfiliUty offainfhip in the eye of the 
man's own coafcience, when at the fame time h€ kno*ius 
himfelf to be in a natural condition! Or how can a.raaix 
come to the Lord's table with a good confcience^ as hav* 
ing right before God^ while he cannot form fo much -as a 
judgment of rational charity for himfelf; feeing he carne» 
fo, in the view of his own confdence, that he has no rea* 
fan to look on himfelf to be ?l faint, nay, twtn.knoii's hai 
i$ flill in a natural Uate^t and t^hercfore ia the eye of hi| 

0!Virn J»ptr&l jkid^cnt knot'iuch a one dS'the facra* 
menthj inllitution fuppofes the communicant to be !— . 
Moreover, Mr. Stoddard in defcribing vifible faints, 
iol^rts va/to their chara^ra-Jhrimf^profeffton of the true re* 
/f^>»,..wiiicbiheAawNimlwjcaHi. a:/kr<3>^^ cffatih and r^* 
pfntttnce^mpiipi^\fin^e^ And in« his \Do&rine qf Infitit^ed 
Churches: (l>j I pi^i ht ^WfR -iio^rn • at rcmatkable poftiiou>, ia 
fhrfe:\»crffa,iSUCB[cik EROFBS^IO'NjaS BEING 
^AN A VX&i;&L'£ ^SAiNT. .tNowaccorxiing to 
tbfa»/it fee«Bi9 ta-naie^. the pr^ftfion itMh vehethcr evan^ 
gJdtitaUyjdiMaarafiy fnKere» » ah^aja dE a umform Unor; 
havrog /^(atvdctW ffimeithing.f6rthrjba//fr of it ; and 
liot i;Q^^ulg!^io-^bdtfferent'jca%s^ KT^igmri fpecyically 
^kxm% :dQ/a!fdth.2imiiei>ci^noero(f a-Jiigber and a 
lower ^iW. — But then it is qukfi bcyDwJ me to compre*- 
fe^d, bbw^' maa'who*. iffltfWJ Hirifclftobe in a natural 
/conditio R5 cln beriorm^h as morally fiacere in his pro" 
fcfj^on^ .vrWle it fe-itiiU -matter ^n^ tes^ox fuch aprcfej^ion 
kff. Ac'V^i(i«vart>geJwaU5) jfi/^^/TP makn a* man a real faint* 
JF^p-iC Jie.i?Mat>j,hin^r«U to -be in a ii^f/tf W condition, he 
fchen las certahUf •>J^^irJ' b« hath not (ia the priniaple or 
f«fet^ii58);&atywAfc.flii^r>^/^«^<iarf>.wbidi. h thejuft mat- 
ter of fuck \d. p9eftjj^n .*. lAnd ■ how* therefore can he . be 
rtiafoijably,fuppof3, jwida amy degree of moraijncerkyit 
to rAdk.€ ftiick aprifejioiii when for tke,j»attcr of it, it is 
jtberveryyiiwr pnoKtSion jhc iicoTil4'i»ake,Jf \y^inghib hinsa' 
lclfcl?>bit»« rml>fmmh.QAii'JsL\^rixiVi iniajiiy-ifoundgofp^ 
fen&jprf^fs Jlihilfe^a^/i/jforoftr behtvang >te»«^^«!,.aiid herE^ 
in^/^Aiit^/"«^^-w^b.a confmdn tm>rai\homflys itbUe yet 
M':l^o«^w/ himieif .^bc'dcftAtntc ^f idl fudi Vyans^rt i« 
ibc fi^t.tjf God; and csonfcienccheing ftiii in a ncturS 
<xia4^4o'n, .jiQ^'Mader the- dominion • of iw»i«r//V/'» anii mpeni- 
Hncel For .m,y.oa!ra pajrt, I mvft confefe this a- difiiculty 
in Mr.' Stoddard's fcbeme, tl^t I am not* capable of 
^Iv^flgv^His fevwritchypolheiis, rl think, muiifeU, if 
lMSr^j/ftj|frft$indvand'iii3;<:(>«rr^a»f be abode by 5 which 
Xexve.tclenifly to;ditmia»cjtbe pi-efcut mejim ;in the 


nfgatlvfy sfgrecable to the general fcafc of Proteftan^ 

churches and divines. 


Que ST. III. Whetkr k he not the general epkdbnf ^taf 
ferJoM admitted to the Lord*s tahie ot^ht to Vhofess fav* 
ing faith and rtpeatance ; meaning- thmt fiuA and refenU- 
ancey whkb are the termsfi^ theco'^ctiiAaVof gtiixi 
. Answ* I b|ltevey after what has 'Been already offered; 
vrc need Be at no lo& to know tk& tnh^ of the gene-^ 
ralityrefpeding the fubje^ of thit ini^uiry. Were there 
occafionr for it, I could cafUyproSuce ^ c&ttd of <witneffes^ 
tO' evidence that the general opmion is on the afirmativf 
iide^ in this queftion. Repeated fearcherhave been made^ 
by diligent and impartial inquirers^ who tbotigii of va- 
rying judgment and pradice* in chiirch-di£cipfioe> yet 
agree in thenr reports : And from thetn B wffl ^'ve yoii 
the following atteftationsrt 

Mr, Lob (ia his True Dt^ter) tells us^ It is th«; 
judgment of all the Nonconfonk^^ xkat nothing lefs thaxk 
the prtfejjjum oi favin^ fiuth^ credibly figni£cant of the 
thing profWiedi. gives rTghtto chQreh<<:oinmtimon. And 
this he declares to be the rulie of aH Protefiants. in generaL 
He brings even Mr..HuMprrREr (though opposite in 
judgment) for lib voudiee : Wha acknowledges. That 
the viJiUe church is defined by aprofej^on oftroe regene^ 
rate mthy and of no lefs. than that, according to the 
moil general opiaiofi of Protefiant e&vinej. He fpeaks of 
■it as the eommoTLofmionf that a profefSon^ of .no lefs than 
tme gi^ce or jol&ying §Bdi^' h- the rufe of admffion to 
the dUnrch-facrftmcnts. .And though Mr*^ Hitm^rey 
went off &om the received opiaibn,- yet eould' he not 
come into Mr. Blake^s notions in th^ niiatter, -v^o alfo 
bad gone off from st, nor hope for their vindication :: 
Hence he makes that challenge, Whoft man is. there, that^ 
dares revii?e Mr, Biake^t taufe^ find defend it agam^ Mr, 
Baxtjr'j KiGHT to facramente J ' 

Mr. Baxter in this hisr book very copiotlly arguei 
for ^Lprofejjion oi favingfaith^ as the rule of admi£&dn to 
facramentSf , ^nd much^ ii^fifts on its b«ing fgl l)y the' ua>- ~ 

w -* 

antmous confent bf judicious divines* • He tells us, Mr^ 
Gataker in his books has largely proved thi« by a mul* 
fitude of quotation» from Plx>teflant writers. And he 
^ds his own'teftimofiy, repeatedly faying. It is indeee^ 
their mo^ common do6trine— -It is the common Proteftanf 
db^^ne» — ^And again, certain: I am>, this is the commote 
4to6tHne 6f reformed divinea*— -He fubjoinsv I mtift pro* 
fefs; that I do not know o€any one Ptotefiam divine, re- 
|>uted oithedox, of the' contrary judgment, before Dr, 
Ward and Vb, Blake,, though Come Papifts and Ar-^ 
miniansr I knew of that mind. — ^And again (befide Sir 
Henry Vane)*, he fays* All that I know of, fince Dr; 
Ward, is Mr. Blake,^ Mr. Humphrey, and one Johir 
Timfon ; and! John Timfon, Mr. Humphrey, and Mr.- 
Blake.-^He alleges Mr.' ViMfis, as thu* witnefiing in 
the cafe on his fide. To this purpofe all our learned dl^ 
Vines have given their fuffrage : I need not number 
authors or churches. It is fo plain a cafe, that 1 won* 
der thofe [of the contrary opinion} have not takea^ no- 
tice of itf there h an army to a man agatfi/i them. 
■ Mr. Lang ley; in his- Svfpen^on Reviewed, obferves j 
The concurrent Jud^ent of -divines, Engiifh and Foreign,' 
EpifcopaTand Prefbyterian,' thiat man of vaft and digeft- 
kd readings the lesbned Mr. Baxtsk hath demonilrated 
at large in sixty te/f monies; fundry of -which hzre many 
in th^m, being^the ju%m«nt of many Vi^rr^^ and many 
karhed men tdiere^nr itnd more might eaiily be brought; 
In fliort, he cafls it the old Prot^ant doctrine aflfcrted 
againft the Pafi^r; and wonders- at the confidence of 
the me^, who tett'u^i againft out own eyes, that it is a 

lib tbefeatteftatibns I fuWbnr that^of oiir Mr. Mrr- 
cwEt (in his^ IntroduSlfOn before the'j^^ence of the Synod; 
1662)9 who while aflerting a different latitude of the two 
i^cramehts, yet pleads for ilri^nefs in adnnffions to the 
Lord^ij. table ; aiwl tcftifies,- It is moft evident, thzt^ly 
reforming Svinefhkve. ifitl^ird^f^ineunanimi^t^ taught, 
and In tlidr' pA^ic* (m^y. of them) endeavoured, a 
Jfi& /Affkn of 't^ioft wliQ-ihouI^ be. addiittcd to^ tlit 

lord's fi^per*'-^^ thipk. ifc o>ay b« i¥>t iitfprop^ijf ot^ 
Cerved here; that iiv a alanufcrip^> 4ravfnti|) by this ^mH 
njent perfon for hie oWn fatisfa^jtiofiy and inferted in the 
^oount -of his \\ity he haS'kfjt t^is folenin ieftiinoiiy 
againil sihtiL MM^qf-fr^ej^Qii (e^uffive pf ajl^an^sH 
MojAs an4 .qoitfieflUi\8i.pf a/,{>Fa£^ic^^d qxperimcDtfil na^ 
tuwj 1* a* . l^ayifig b«f i> fou^d Isy pknri^ ^ i^i^ce X 
nur/q (of fornu^ aiui irrffigl/m^ : Ajt.^he- Jq^:,tiilwJ 
declaring Jlivi'^^grti^^tf WfdbL,:a p^ftici^ar ^yc t(^j^tb« 
chUrch^^ of A^Hw. JSaj^/^i that, th^ /oii^ tf-g^^linffi 
will be /g^y if only dtfdrbial knou^Jedge ^d4. 40i)[Zc^A^^be« 
l^aviouf. Goi^q U> be. ajpGoUQted fufi^ientifQf a tifle 4o4lt 
ghurfch?^\ilf ge^ ; 2ifkir\^\\x^j^^ prfl^cal^i^ltlf sod 

(feys ^) that whicfei pe^pl^^ ft$ ta be pii^lklt xe^ijred 
apd held in i;epHtation> tl^^.M^ji^ th^ylg^lf: f^t^li-^apd 
ijJwaUy'«<? i?ipr^,— :Ii\ aijotbpr p\acj^;i(^ qbfi^l-.w%,il|his..will 
not only Idfe the ppwtr' ^tj^li^efs^.bttt in a littl^jtiine: 

brifig in pn<^9ev^ivMkr^i9J^\<W^^e^v^^^ 
ways. ( 1 . ) EleSum of mkiifi^r^ will jc^n he caffied b^ 
^ foi^nial Iqofer fort. (2.) 'The. ^qypif<^ ^f <^(i^''?«fN<^ill 
i[>y this jrnea^a. b^ impplfible,.;.' i(Vn4 '4i(cipii^'« - ^^^S5 
pfiofainefvefe rif«th ^k«,.a:fl/*p4•«:f^i%^I|^S^lJ:ii?:l^?^^J^^ 
jyhe^ 5 Certain- in y^f> |hat:ivp,{^i|^4)» |:^«/»r%f<^i:tU 
^Ji^^heB,. Y?hiBn. we.iUM'frVi^^k*$¥^i^4rf«':4sjW^ do, 
in ihofjg whom W^ would admit t^,juil famthubionj^ an4 
dsQ-withi^and t))pfe !>0Uons.atKi re^foiutig&thsU wohL4 in*, 
fer a /t^fl^ there»% which M<^th (ip^refit ffrii ia ie.-r-t 
'I9 iiMn (fay* he) ^e. w)t?,a<Ki^jM\t,il:ka^ti wejf}|^l.b^ 

ficarj^bpm^ t^^ nfiMtrVfiiy ftfi fjhi*nji^,rgfi3;rRi|gtio^»je if ^ 
keep ^a/Zr/wf within the compafe of the non-excs^muni^ 
ct^flviTii^r\kt:/j^rd*sJiij^il^iiti'^ of thofe 

iinjefs, or g:fap€ ifi'*wr/i/|,.,-*F<>r.I^* M[^XCl?•J^L^a^ h^ 
tboqght f^^^, jffl |ik [fj^^ arid'Ii^aly^ £X&RC|f^ iitere^ 
peiieflaryrto a.ft^ fnd-ceJfn^rtaWf.j^arii^ipatU^tj ^jjf tj(i^ 

fationa} charity, ju^i?9tby'i«/f/^*)j^|iS^<({ f^^a^i^ e;si. 

^I»c§^ juftly ?r^49irc4.j.y»:br<J^, -JO.>ia^Q>>irift)i\V{*?to./i^ 

• •• 


comrnunton. Whereas, he thought haptifm annexed ti> /«/• 
ttal faithy or faith in the bang of it ; the chavitablc; judg*. 
raent whereof (fays he) runs upon a great latitufiej and 
he conceived the ianx^JiriSnefsj as to outward figpSx not, 
necefiary unto, a charitable probable judgmfcntj or.^pe; 
of the Iting of faith, which intitks to b^ptifm, :as of that 
gronvth and fp^cial exerctfe of faith, wliidfi is^f requisite to 
the Lord's fupper. Thefe are the niani difiin^ions.i on 
which he grounded his opinion of a ^^^ri?«f latitude oif 
the two facraitnents. — For I muft obferve, as flf enuoufly 
as he pleads for a various eiaent, as to the f^bje^ pF 
them^ he never fuppofes any adult regularly adi^nittable^. 
to either faCrament^ but fuch as in ecclefiailical repuita* 
tion fuftain the chara<^er of believers} fuch as in the aq-t 
count- of a rational charity (judging by probable figfis) 
have the being oi regenetaiion; or as he vjfcriouily espref- 
fes it> have true faiiby in' the judgment of charity ; and 
do in fime meafure perform tlie duties of. faith and obe-^' 
dienccy as to church-vyihiiity and charkahle hopes, andT 
therefore are fuch as the church ought to receive and. 
hold as heirs of the grace ofltfey according to the rules of 
Chriiiian chanty. — Though it feemS) as Mr. Sh^pard 
before him fpeaks of his church-charity and, cicperimentalt 
charity s^lsi Mr. MircHEL had his pifitive charity and 
his wgative^ and conducted his judgmeiit and adn)ipi-: 
flrattons accordingly^ Iq admitting pcrfons to the onfii 
facrament or the other.— I fhould not have been fo pro- 
lij^ and particular .here, but that I thought it; might 
ferve to prepare the way for a. more eafy, Ihort, and ija-; 
telligibte aaxfwer to your remai^tiag <jiierie«. . 

Quest. IV. Whither it be the general opinion of PrC'* 
tefiant churches and divines y in the cafe of adult perfins^ thati 
the ter^ns ofadmt/pon to both facraments are the fame^ 

Answ. Iprehime, Sir, the qucflion does not refpc^l-j^t 
famej^efs in the ^^^r^^ of qualiEcations,. expeneoc^s, and 
evidences ; but only a famenefs in hind^ or lor the fub«« 
ilance and general nature of things. I fupppfe,, you ha^ 
no view here to any fuch critical dtf^n^or\ as. th^t. bf forjE) 

2IA ,A>1>ENDir. 

mentionedy between an initial faith and a grown faith ; i 
or between the fimple ^f«^ of faith, which intitleth to 
baptifm, and the fpecial exercife of faith, which fits for 
the Lord's fuppcr 5 nor aim at a nice adjoftmcnt of the 
feveral d>araSert of ijijibtlbyf or motives of credHnlity^ in 
the one cafe and the other ; bint only intend in general 
to inquire, whether pcrfons admittable to one or other 
facrament, ought to profefs true juJUfjing faith^ and not 
be admitted on the |»rofeflion of any faith of a kind in- 
• ferior and fpecificaify different. Now, taking this to be 
the fcopc of your queftion, I have good rcafon to appre- 
hend, that the generatity of Protellant churches and di- 
vines, of the Calvintftic perfuafion cfpeciaHy, have de» 
dared themfelves for the affirmative. 

I think all that hold the vifible Chriftian church 
ought to confift of fuch as make a vt/ible and cretShh 
frofef^n of faith and hoRnefsy and appear to rational charity 
tealftnenAers of the church invi/ible (which is the common 
language of Proteftants), are to be underflood as in prin- 
ciple exploding the conceit of a confcious unbeliever's 
right before God to fpecial church^^ordinances, and as 
denying the apparent unbeliever's right before the church 
to admiffion, whether to one facrament or the other. I 
obferve, Eadem efi ratio uhiufque facramenti^ is a maxim 
(in its general notion) efpoufed by the feveral contend- 
ing parties in this controvetfy about a right to facra- 

- That a eredible profeilion of faving faith and repent- 
ance is neceffary to haptifm^ in the cafe of the adult, I 
can (hew, by the authority of Claude's approved De- 
fence of the Reformation y to be the general opinion of 

French Proteftants j and by the Palatine Catechifm, 
by the Leyden prpfeflbrs Synopflsy &c. to be the pre- 
vailing judgment of the reformed in Germany, liolland, 
and foreign parts. 

- And for the Diffenters in England^ that they are in 
general of the fame judgment, I might prove from the 
jiffembiy of Divines Confeffion, CatecKifms, and Direc- 
KN7I and fn>m the Heads gf Agreement afTented to by 

API>EN]SlX. 21$ 

€he Umted Minyiert^ formerly dillinguiihed by the names 
of Prejhyterian and Congregational; as alfo by a large in- 
dudllon of particular inilances among divines of every 
denomination, would it not carry me to too great a 
length. I find Mr. Lob (in his True Diffenter) affuring 
us in general, '< It is held by the DiHenters, that oo» 
thing lefs than the profejjfton of a faving fmth gives a 
right to baptifmJ^ Nor do I fee, by their writings of 
a later date and moft in vogue, any juil grounds to fup- 
pofe a general change of fentiments among them. I 
will mention two or three modems of diftinguifiied name. 
Dr. Harris (in his Self -Dedication) tells us, The nature 
of the Lord's fupper plainly [\i]^po{c9 faitA ; and that 
none but reaJ ChriiUans have right in the fight of God; 
though a credible profejfion intitles to it in the fight of 
the church, who cannot kqow the heart. And he de- 
clares it the fame faith^ which qualifies the adult^ both 
for baptifm and for the Lord*s fupper; there being the 
fame conunon nature to both fecraments» and the latter 
only A recognizing the former. — ^Tlie late Dr, Watts (in 
his Holinefs pf Tim^Sy Places^ and People J lays. The Chri- 
ilian church receives none. but upon profeilion oitrue faith 
in Chxi^y ^vAJtncere repentance; none but thofe who 
profefs to be members of the tnvifibk church, and in a 
Judgment of cliarity are to be fo cfteem^d. Our entrance 
into it IS appointed to be by a vifible profej^on of our 
being horn of Gody of real faith in Chrifi, of true repent- 
ance^ and inward hoUnefs.—- Jn fine, to name no more, 
Dr. DoDpRiDGE (in his Fanuly Mxpofitor^ on A6is viii. 
37.) fuppofes a credible profeffion of x\it\t faith in Chrifl 
required of the adult in apoflohc times, in order to 
■their being admitted to baptifm; even fuch .(fay« he) as 
implied their cordially fubje<^ng their fouls to the go- 
fpd, and their being come to a point, fo as to give up 
ihemfelves to Chrifb nvith all their heart. 

And for the Chur<;h of Scotland, Mr. Anderson, 

who well underflood their principles and practice, aflures 

us (in his Z)£/^/i«^of them), tji'at Prefbytertans wilj not 

. j:>aptize witho^it ^ previous profefi^on or fponfioiu l^o 


the adult (fays he) it is not only neceiTary (as it is alio 
in infants) that they be intemaliy fanStftdy but alfo that 
they make an outward prdfeffiony of which baptifm is the 
^adge tirid tok^n. To jiilHfy this, he obferv^es concern- 
ing the Catechumens in primitive times, that durii^ all 
that ft ate they were probationer, not only as to their 
knoTRtledge, but piety ; and were obliged, before they 
could be admitted to baptifm^ to give moral evidences of 
thQ' grace of God in their hearts. And he advances it as 
a Prejhyterian prijnciple, that^^V^-and repentance 2xt. pre-' 
required to baptifm, in adult perfons at leaft. By this 
he points out the true matter of baptifmal profeflion : 
-And then in oppolition to fuch as pretend baptifm to 
ibe a converting ordinance^ he obferves, If they can have 
faith and repentance without the Spirit and fpiritual regene-' 
-ration, which they fay is not obtained but in and hy hap^ 
tifm^ I do «ot fee why they may not go to hea'oen with- 
out the Spirit and fpiritual regeneration : For I am fure, 
-repentmue toward God Tca^ faith toward our Lord Jefus 
Chrift, is the fum of the gofpel.— Mr. Warden, ano- 
ther of their noted writers (in his.^^^ on Baptifm)^ fays 
in the name of Pr^yterians^ We thi&k that baptifm 
fuppofeth men Chriflidns; dUfc they have no right to bap- 
tifm, the feal of Chriftianit^ ; all feals, in their nature, 
fuppofmg the thing that is fealed. He that is of adult 
age, is to profefs his faith in* Chrift and bis compliance 
-4vith the Vv^hole device of falvation, before he can have the 
» feal of the covenant adminiftered to him. — The author 
of the Defence of National Churches (thought to be Mr. 
WiLLisoN).fay8, I know nothing more requiflte to ad- 
mldion to the Lord's fupper, in faro ecclefiqflicOf than 
imto baptifm in an adult perfon ; they being both feals 
- of the fame covenant. And ,he thinks the objedis of 
* chtirch-fellowihip are "all who profefs to accept the of- 
*« fers of Chrift's grace, with fubjedlion to his ordi- 
^< nances, and a fuitable walk, and who confefs them- 
•< felves fmcere.*' 

1 have referved Mr. Baxter- for my laft witnefs^ 
liecaufe his atteftation is compreheniive and of a gene- 

ral afpeA. In his D'^puiations of RigJjt to Sacraments^ 
aaid other his writings, he repeatedly declares, " It 
•* hath been the cenflant principle and pradlice of the 
** umverfal church of Chrift, to require a profejjton of 
" SAVING faith and repentance^ as neceflary before they 
^ would haptlms; and not to baptize any upon the pi-ofef- 
** fion of any ioiwer kind of faith. He muil fluit his 
** eyes againfl the fullefk evidence of hiflory and church- 
*^ pra^kice, who will deny this. I defire thofe otherwife* 
** minded t-o help me to an inliance of any one ap- 
** proved baptifm, lince Chrift's time or his Apoftles, 
" upon the account of 9. faith that wsis Jhort oi jiifiifylng^ 
** and not upon the profefiion of a juftifj-ing faith. Hi- 
" therto this is not done by them, but the contrary is 
** fully done .by others, and yet they confidently pcept 
•* agaiail ray opinion as a novelty, Mr. Gat.v.ker's 
" books have multitudes of fentences recited out of oui^ 
^ Protfflant divines, that affirm this which they call 
*.' ne^iv^ It is. indeed the common Protejlant dodrinc, 
•< that the facraments do prefuppofe remiflion of fins, and 
^ our faith ; that they are inftituted to fignify thefe as 
■^ in ieing; and do iblemnizc and publicly own and .con- 
** firm the mutual covenant already entered in heart. The 
*> Jefuits themfelves do witnefs this to be the ordinary 
♦• Proi^^wZ-do^iTine;— -It feems not ncccffary to mention. 
" the judgment of our reformed divines, as exprefled ia 
•* any^of their particular fayings, when their public con- 
•* feiiions and practices are fo iktisfaftory herein.^' — JMr. 
Baxter, however, recites a multitude of their tellimo- 
nies; producing the judgment of Luther, Calvin, Krcza,' 
Pet. Martyr, Pifcator, Mclan£thon, Altingius, Junius, 
Polanus, Zanchins, UriinUs, Parous, Bucanus, Mufculiis, 
profeflbres Leyd. et Salm. WoUebius, Vofiius, Wende- 
linc, Keckcrman, Bullinger, Allied, Deodate, Dr. Ames, 
I>^. Moulin: The Catcchifm of the Church of England, 
and Englifti divines; Bp. Ufher, Dr. Willet, Dr. Fulk, 
Dr. Prideaux, Dr. Whitaker, Mr. Yates, Perkins, Cart- 
wright, ^c. : The Scottifh Church in their Heads of 
Church^policy^ and divines of Scotland J Mr. Gillefpic^Mr. 


Rutherford, and Mr. Wood : The Weftminfter AScmbly 
of Divines; their Confeflion, Catechifms, and Directory: 
The Annot. of foxne of thofe divines, ^c. And for the 
r^rm;?^ churches in general ,(Mri Baxter obfervea), it is 
pad all qucilion, by.theirxonftant/ra^rf, that they re- 
fjuire the profefiion oizfaiang Chriilian faith, and take 
»ot up with any lower. — ^And refpeAing the .then prac- 
tice in England, he fays. This is manifeft by our daily 
adminiftration of baptifm. I jiever heard ^ays he) any 
man baptize an infant but upon the parent '«, or f ufcep- 
tor's, or offeT€T\ profeffton of ^LJufttfyingfmih* 
This leads to your laft inquiry. 

Quest. V. Whether it he the genfrai opinion ^ that the 
fame qualifications are required in a parent bringing his 
Mid to baptifm, as in an zAvXt per/on for his own admiffum 
4p this ordinance? 

Answ. Here, Sir, I liippofe you intend only the 
fame qualifications in kind; or a profefiion and viability, 
in fome degree, of tht fame fort of faith and repentance ^ 
meaning that >vhich is truly evangelical and &ving. And 
linderftanding you in this fenfe, I am pcrfuadjed, by aH 
I can obferve, that the generality of Frotefiants are ia 
the affirmative ; jiot afTenting to a fpecific and effential 
difference, whatever circumftantial and gradual difparlty 
they may allow, between the two cafes you mentioi). 

Mr. Baxter fpeaking of the judgment and pradlice 
of the Chriftian fathers^ tells us, that faith ,( juflifying 
faith, jand not another kind of faith) was fuppofed to 
be in the parent^ for himfelf and his feed : Becaufe.the 
condition or qualification of the infant is.but this^ that 
he be the feed of a believer, — ^And he thinks the gene- 
rality of the reformed are in thefe fentiments. He .de- 
clares his own judgment in full concurrence herewith, 
and backs the fame with a variety of arguments, in. his 
Five Dijputationsy and other writings. He obferves, it 
i^ems ftrange to him that any fhould imagine, a lower 
J^elief in the parent will help his child to a title to bap- 
sltaf than that which is Jieceflary to bif o^n, if he were 


l|nl>aptized ; becaufc mutual confent is rieceflary to mu* 
ttfal covenant, and the covenant mufi be mutual: No 
man hath right to Grid's part, that rcfufeth his own i 
They that have no right to remiffion of ftns* have no 
right given them by God to baptifm. — If God be not 
at all adlually obliged in covenant to any ungodly man> 
then he is- not obliged to give him baptifm: But God is 
iiot obliged fo to him. Mqfl of our dvv'mes make the 
contrary doftrine Pelagianifm, that God" ihould be o- 
bliged to man in a ftate of nature in fuch a covenant.— 
If the parent's title be queftionable (fays he), the in- 
fant's is fo too ; becaufe the ground is the fame : And 
it is from the parent, that the child muft derive it ; nor 
can any man give that which he hath not; — We ought 
not (fays he) to baptize thofe perfons, or their cniU 
dren, as theirs, who are viiible members of the kingdom 
of the devil, or that do not fo much as profefs the^ 
foHaking the devil-s kingdom r But fuch are all that 
profefs not a faving faith. If fuch arc not vifibly in the 
kingdom of the devxl^ at leaft they arc net vifibly out of 
of it. — ^All that* are duly baptized', are baptized i«/« 
Christ; therefore they are fuppofed to poffefs that 

Jiaith. by which mea are united or ingraffcd into Chrift : 
But th^ is- only juftifying faith, ^wil «nw (fajo K«) 

where any man was ever faid in Scripture to be unit- 
ed* to* Chrift^- without faving faith, or profeflion of 
it.— In a' word, Mr. Baxter takes occafion to declare 
himfelf in- this manner : If Mr. Blake exa^ls not a 
profeilion oi faving faith and repentance, I fay he makes 
foul *afork in the church. And when fuch foul ivork 
ihall be voluntarily maintained^ and the word of God 
abufed for the defilement of the church and ordinance» 
of God, it is a greater fcandal to the weai^ and to the 
fcbifmatics^ and a greater reproach to the church, and a 
iadder cafe to confiderate men, than the too common 
pollutions of others, which are merely through negligence^ 
but not juftified and defended. 

We are told by other impartial inquirers, that all the 
r^onaed da ia their diye^lories and pra<5lice8 require /r^**^ 



fe/JiofUy as well as promifes, of parents bringing thctr 
children to baptifm ; even- profefiions of' prefent faith 
and repentance, as well as promifes of future obedience; 
and thefe not merely of the moral, but the evangelical 
kind. — The judgment of the Church of Scotland may 
he known .by their adopting thcConf^on, Catecbifms^ 
and Diredlory of the jljfemhly df Divines; who, whca 
they require a farentai.frofe^n (as in their Cateehifmry 
&c.), intend it not of any lotver kind, than a true go- 
fpcl faith' and obedience. — ^The mind of the Diffenters 
tnay be very much judged of by the reformed litttrgyy 
^refcnted in their name upon King Charles's rellaration^ 
where parents credible profefflon of their faith, repentance^ 
and obedience^ is required in order to the baptifm of 
their children. — ^I might bring fiirtbcr evidence from 
the writings of particular divines among them, ancient 
and modern : But I rauft for brevity omit this. Only 
I will give you a fpecimen in two or three hints. Mr.^ 
Chariiock, that great divine,. obferves, " Baptifm ^^ 
** pofes faith in the adult, and the profeffion of fadth in 
♦' the parent for his child."— The late emin€»t Dn 
Watts, in his Holinefs of Times , Places y and People y thu* 
declares bimfelfj with rclbe6l to tlK» infantt qf tru* h^ 
Severs l^^xn myopiftion, fo far aa they are any way 
*< members of the vi/iSle Chriftian church, it is upon 
** fuppofition of their being (with their /ar^«/ir^ members 
" of the invtfihle church of God." 

On the whole, as to our fathers here in New England^ 
It is true, they afTerted a hapiifm-right in parents for 
themf elves and children, whom yet they excluded from 
full communion ; the ground of whicK difference wa& 
hinted before : And they denied a purity of reafon be- 
tween the two cafes nOw in view, on fome account34 
Their chief ground was, that advlt baptifm requires ^ 
meafurc of vifible moral fitnefs or inhe*:ent holtnefe in the 
recipient; whereas, /«/a«/-3»////m requires nothing viiibkr 
in its fubjefk, but 2^ relative fitmfs or federal holinefs, th« 
formalis ratio of infant-memberihip, accruing from God'a. 
chapter of grace to his church, taking -ia ti^ iafaflt-fe^ 


wfth the believing parent. Baptifm they fuppofed to 
run parallel with regular memberftiip ; and the child of 
fuch a parent intitled to this covenant-feal in its own 
righty on the foot of a diftindt perfonal memberfhip, de- 
rivative in point of being, but independent for its dura'^ 
tiony and for the privileges annexed to it by divine infti- 
tutidn. — However, they certainly owned parental profej^ 
Jion, as belonging to the due order and juft manner of 
adminiftration, both meet and needful, — Accordingly they 
' provided, that parents claiming covenant-privileges for 
their children, fHould own their coycnant-ftate, have a 
meafure of covenant-qualifications, and do covenant- 
duties, in fome degree, to the fatisfadlion of a rational 
chanty. — And it ought to be remembered, they have 
left it a§ their folemn judgment, that even taking baptifm" 
right for a right of fitness in foro ecclefxafiico, ftill 
the parents whofe children they claimed baptifm for,- 
were fuch as muft be allowed to have a title to it for 
themfehesy in cafe they had remained unbaptized: Look* 
ing upon them, although not duly fitted for the facra- 
ment of communion and confirmation, yet fufficiently fo 
for the facrament of union and initiation ; profeffors fir 
their ini^incy parental/y, and now perfonallyy in an initial. 
way ; appearing Abrahafh's children, in fome meafure 
of truth y to a judicious charity ; juftly therefore baptiz-^ 
able, in their perfons and offspring, by all the rules of 
the gofpel. — I am not here to argue upon the juftnefa 
of this fcheme of thought on the cafe ; but only to re* 
prefent the fa<Sl in a genuine light. 
^ I have no room. Sir, for any further remarks. But 
Hiuft conclude, with Chriftian falutes, and the tendet o£ 
every brotherly office, from 

Tour very affeSionate Friend 

Boston, June %(>X and humble Servant^ 

1749. * 


\^ '