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The principal Things relating to this INSTI-
TUTION are briefly considered, and shewn
to arise out of one single notion of it, viz.
First printed in the Year 1732.
To which are added,
communicate, and an Answer to the usual
Pleas for neglecting it.
lating to the Lord's Supper.
E D IN BURGH:
D IS COURS E
HE Christian religion, contained in the scriptures of the New Testament, is so called, because it is the religion of Jesus Christ,
which he taught partly in his own person while he was upon earth, and more fully by his apostles after his ascension into heaven; from whence he sent down his Holy Spirit upon them, to lead them into the knowledge of all truth; and, by the gifts of languages, and a power of working miracles, to enable them to propagate and eftablish it. in all the earth. Among many things which shew the great excellency of this religion, not only above the false religions of the world, but even that of Moses himself, (though that also was from God), we are to regard this as none of the least considerable, that it is a most reasonable and spiritual service; having but two duties belonging to it that are of a positive nature; that is, such as might never have A 2
been duties, and would never have been fo, without a particular and express command of God for them. And these are, baptism, and the Lord's fupper. The outward action in both these is of itself indifferent, and obliges only by virtue of its being injoined by one whose authority we have no room to dispute.
By baptism, they who had embraced the doctrine of salvation by Christ, took upon them the public profession of it, and were received into the number of his disciples; as all those in like manner are, to whom bap-. tism is now administered. By communicating in the Lord's fupper, we endeavour to keep alive in ourselves, and to preserve in the world, the memory of the divine author of that religion into which baptism first enters
This is a plain account of these two gospel-ordinances, with regard to the first and most general design of each. The former hath a more immediate respect to the religion itself which we profess; the latter, to the author of it, in remembrance of whom this in. ftitution of his is to be observed throughout all generations.
That men having fufficient evidence of the truth of the gospel, should readily believe and entertain it; and believing it to be true, should openly profess it, is a dictate of natural reason; in other words, a moral duty. But the obligation they are under to declare and profels their faith by the particular ceremony of baptizing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Hori
ly Ghost, doth not arise out of the nature of
, who hath proved himself the greatest