תמונות בעמוד

Him; for to Him, thus glorified, they pointed and bore testimony. And as they still appeared, that active disciple, though a little bewildered in his ideas, wished to continue that state of things, and perpetuate it by building three tabernacles, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elias. But while he yet spake, the error was corrected—for "a bright cloud overshadowed them: and a voice said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when they had lifted up


eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.Moses and Elias were gone. They had done their office, and Jesus alone remained. Moses and Elias, who represented the Law and the baptism of John, had done their office, when the Son of Man was risen again from the dead and they passed away. How vain would it then be, to attempt to go back to a state in which God was not all, and build tabernacles for those that must disappear !

And thus it is with many pious minds since that day. They wish to tabernacle with Jesus—but they want also the company of Moses and John the Baptist. They see that these have been honoured with the presence of the Master in great glory, and that access to Him has been obtained through them; but that instructive voice remains to be heard : “ This is


beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ; hear ye Him.And He is to remain alone.

Here Moses and Elias appeared together, talking with Jesus ; which was verified in the continuance of the Law, and the introduction of John's ministration, and both in their full force at the same time, after our Lord made his appearance. And as Moses (or the Law) disappeared, so did John (or Water Baptism)-and Jesus and his Spiritual Dispensation remain alone.

That others as well as Peter should be unwilling to let Moses and Elias go, is not strange. The strong attachment that had been formed for the Law and the baptism of John, while they were in force, was not to be shaken off immediately by those whose zeal was ardent. Hence, many of the rituals of that. Dispensation were still practised by the disciples, and even the apostles themselves, after the ascension of our Lord. Nor were they without strong prejudices also, as already observed.-There was much disputing in the council of the apostles and elders, before they could come to the conclusion that circumcision and the other rituals of the Law were not necessary.

But as the Power, Life, and Light of Christ became fully introduced, not only did the types and shadows of the Law, which pointed to Him cease, but those prejudices also gave way“ before the brightness of His coming." 2 Thess. ii. 8. First the intimation of those things was mild. The apostles and elders at Jerusalem sent to the brethren in distant parts, this gentle intimation of their views ; “ It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.” Acts xv. 28. And in the enumeration of particulars, they included no part of the ceremonial law, except abstinence from meats offered to idols, from things strangled, and from blood. The question immediately brought before them, is not mentioned in this address to the churches; which shows clearly that they designed to apply this instruction and decision, to the ceremonial law generally.


After this the apostles began to speak more pointedly on the subject. Paul brings into view the weakness of the Law; and not only that the divers washings (of which John's baptism was one) and carnal ordinances could not effect that important change, which constituted the new creature ; but that they were imposed only till “ the time of reformation," or full introduction of the Gospel Dispensation. Heb. vii. 19, and ix. 9, 10. He also informed the believers, that as there is but

one Lord,” and one faith," so there is but « baptism.” Eph. iv. 5. And John clearly acknowledged that his was not the baptism of Christ. Matt. iii. 11.

The apostle Peter, as already observed, took occasion, in speaking of saving baptism, to let the believers know, that it was “not the putting away of the filth of the flesh." 1 Pet. iii. 21.

But the apostle Paul went further, in relation to ceremonies. When he found the professors of Christianity not easily weaned from these things, he told them in strong terms, that if they observed these, “ Christ would profit them nothing”-and he thanked God that he had baptized only a small number, whom he mentioned ; 1 Cor. i. 14; thus giving them to understand, that their attachment to this ceremony was not chargeable to him. Gal. v. 2.

Not only did he thus represent forms and ceremonies in their own littleness and insignificancy, but he inculcated those important truths that were of indispensable necessity.

Those who experience Christ brought into dominion over all in them, must be brought into a likeness of his death. We cannot be made partakers of his

resurrection, without first partaking also of his death. “For if,” said the apostle, "we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” Rom. vi. 5. “ That I may know Him, and the Power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death.” Phil. iii. 10.

When the mother of Zebedee's children requested of our Lord, that her sons might sit, one on his right hand, and the other on his left, in his kingdom, He enquired if they were able to drink of the cup that He should drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that He was baptized with. Matt. xx. 20-22. And as the period of his crucifixion drew near, He said ; “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished .!” Luke xii. 50. Widely different was this baptism from immersion in water, or sprinkling. And thus also it is found by his true followers. Conformable to this is the language of the apostle: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with Him, by baptism, into death.Rom. vi. 3, 4. He does not say into water, which is not even implied in the text. And to the Galatians, chap. iii. 27, he says; For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.” And this is very clearly to be distinguished from water baptism. In the administration of the latter, all that can be positively stated is, that they are baptized into the water, and have put on a name of religion. Not so of the baptism of Christthat which He Himself was baptized with. All who experience it, are baptized into Christ-and put on his

Divine nature, “that, like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Rom. vi. 4.

The commission given by our Lord to his disciples, after his resurrection, has been considered as the authority for water baptism: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in (or into] the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I håve commanded you.” To this charge He annexed the promise of his

presence ; “Lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matt. xxviii. 19, 20.

Here it is specially to be noticed, that water is not mentioned in the text. And I consider it assuming too much, to introduce into it what our Lord Himself did not. In the next place, baptizing being the present participle, refers to the same time with teaching. They are thus brought to occupy the same space of time, as a simultaneous act: Teach, baptizing. This was completely fulfilled, as Peter bore testimony: “As I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water ; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” Acts xi. 15, 16. Here then was a case, in the household of Cornelius, of a baptism of the Holy Ghost-and in the fulfilment of the commission of our Lord: teachine baptizing

In regard to this important commission, it has been remarked by some writers, that the common translation has given countenance to a mistake of no ordinary magnitude; “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son,

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