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be the duty of such to be baptized now, it was also the duty of such to be baptized heretofore, and no doubt they were. We have no certain account of the Apostles having received the Lord's Supper more than once; but it would be strange to argue from hence, that none were bound to receive it more than once. The command of Christ relative to baptism, both as to the subject and mode, and also with respect to the Lord's Supper, appear to me exceedingly plain, and ought undoubtedly to be complied with. Nor could there, in the Apostles' times, be any difference of sentiment with respect to them. If they did not know their Master's will concerning these plain agenda in religion, who can pretend to know them now? I look upon it, therefore, to be the duty of all believers to be baptized, of all that believe and are baptized to partake of The Lord's SUPPER, and of all that partake of the Lord's Supper, to mark them that walk disorderly, not to eat with such and such persons, &c.—in order to which it is plainly necessary they should be formed into such communities as we call churches, &c. And there is no doubt but members of churches not only ought to be baptized, but they ought to be every thing the Gospel requires. But we live in an imperfect state, and find it necessary to bear one another's burdens, and we shall never have a perfect church till we are ALL united to the Church of the first-born in Heaven! But it is pleaded, Baptism is essential to communion, and we have no right to dis. pense with that ordinance. I answer, we have na right to dispense with any command of Christ. And whilst I preach Baptism as an ordinance of Christ, and am actually baptizing all such as are made willing to give up themselves to the Lord in this ordinance, how do I dispense with it? We may have different sentiments about the commands of Christ, as well as about the doctrines of his word, but whilst we all adhere uprightly to what appears to us to be truth, and nevertheless whereunto we have attained endeavour to walk by the same rule, and to mind the same thing, labouring to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace—I cannot see that any dispensing power is exercised. Were 1, being in judgment a Baptist, to administer sprinkling instead of dipping, or to baptize infants instead of professed believers—this would be dispensing indeed! But union is the ground of communion, and with all real believers the true Christian has union, and may therefore, in my judgment, have communion. Were I to admit a Supralapsarian on the one hand, or a Baaterian on the other, I should admit them as mistaken persons, but should not think the word of God justified me in refusing to admit them to the Lord's table, if they appeared to have faith to discern the Lord's body In like manner I do not consider a Paedobaptist as having ever been baptized; but should freely tell him, upon every proper occasion, that it was his DUTY to be so—but if he judged he had been baptized, or if another conscientiously thought baptism was not a standing ordinance, which is the opinion of those
who embraced Mr. Emlyn's notion, I should never-
spiritual, unless they are exactly of our length and of our breadth As to the case of those who are
convinced of the ordinance, I suppose they are not convinced of its being their duty to submit to it—but I own, I think it indisputably is, and unless there was any real danger (for God will have mercy not sacrifice) they ought to submit to it before they were admitted to the Lord's table. Then shall I not be ashamed when I pay respect to All thy commands; and how we can but be ashamed when we see a command but pay not respect to it, I know not. I should fear such persons idolized THE LORD's SUPPER—else why should they wish to partake of that, whilst they can knowingly live in the neglect of the other! After all, if you cannot agree upon this matter, I much fear that intercourse will be cramped, bigotry gain the ascendancy of vital religion, and the common enemy triumph! Having thus freely given you my thoughts of the matter, I pray the Lord to guide you into his will, and assure you whatever your sentiments may be in the end, I shall have the same esteem for you, having no doubt of your integrity and uprightness before HIM who searches the heart and cannot be deceived.
My wife joins me in the most friendly salutation to yourself, and best wishes for your growing happipiness. am,
Your affectionate friend and brother,
P. S. Should you wish a further investigation of the point of MIxt communion, I refer you to Mr. Robinson of Cambridge, who has a head clear as crystal, and a heart right with God.
These Letters have a distinctive impress upon them. The first, by Mr. Hugh Evans, though short, contains some conjectures respecting the conduct of the Primitive Christians—which in the second letter, by the son, Mr. Caleb Evans, are made the subject of animadversion. The opinions of the parent, though treated with tenderness, are firmly controverted—whilst the temper of both letters is entitled to commendation. A due homage is paid to the sacred majesty of truth! In all cases it becomes us to cherish a spirit of moderation, for it is conducive to the detection of error, and assuredly most accordant with the genius of Christianity.
Good men, who conscientiously reject FREE CoMMUNIon, ought not to be censured—though we cannot avoid lamenting the narrowness of their views, and the contractedness of their charity. They themselves must, occasionally at least, regret that their creed should keep them from admitting to the Lord's table some of the brightest ornaments of the religious world, especially when they themselves firmly believe that they shall all meet together in heaven! To keep aloof such men as WATTs and DoDDRIDGE from sitting down with us at the Lord's table, must be a breach of the spirit of Christianity. As the celebration of the ordinance is a pledge of the exercise of mutual love, nothing should impede the progress of this most distinguishing grace of REVEALED RELIGION. And the end of the Gospel being peace and charity, its divine genius should be aided and promoted by every thing on our part,