« السابقةمتابعة »
might in their prefent circumstances be SER M. ignorant: But, whether there be any Holy Ghoft, This is what they could not poffibly make a Question of. For, not to say that even the Gentiles themselves were not without Some Notion of a divine Afflatus, 'tis well known that the Jews had in the Writings of the Prophets perpetual mention of the Spirit of God: And therefore the Perfons in the Text, who were of all other Jews or Profelytes the best inftructed, as having been baptized with John's Baptifm, 'tis plain could not poffibly be ignorant of That, however they might not yet have heard of the extraordinary and miraculous Effufion of it fince the Afcenfion of Christ.
4thly, FROM the manner of the Apostles putting the Question, Unto What then were ye baptized? unto what, if not unto the expectation of the Gift of the Holy Ghoft? from This manner of the Apoftle's putting the Queftion, it appears, that the following words, ver. 5; when they heard This, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jefus ; and the like Expreffions in other parts of this Book, VOL. VI.
SER M.ch. viii. 16, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jefus: and ch. ii. 38; be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jefus Chrift; and ch. x. 48; he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord; it appears (I fay) that thefe Expreffions do by no means fignify, as if any one was ever baptized barely into the Name of Chrift; but on the contrary, that they are an abbreviate way of speaking, (fuch is every where very ufual in matters fuppofed to be already perfectly well known,) to put the part for the whole. Baptizing into Jefus Chrift, was well known by all Chriftians, to fignify baptizing in That Form, which our Lord Jefus Chrift had appointed; that is, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: And where-ever part of this Form is expreft, the whole is always understood to be implied. Had it been usual, according to the Letter of thefe expreffions, to baptize men into the Name of Christ only; the Apostle could not properly have asked thofe who had not yet heard of the Gift of the Holy Ghoft, unto what then were ye Baptized
but his question fhould have been, after SER M. what manner have ye been inftructed? But putting the Question in the manner he does; if ye are ignorant of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, unto what then were ye Baptized? fhows plainly, that not only in the doctrinal instruction of a Christian, but also in the Baptifm itself, there must have been mention of the Holy Ghost, notwithstanding that abbreviate manner of speaking, wherein they are faid only to have been in the Name of the Lord Jefus, in contra-distinction to John's Baptifm. And from hence alfo it appears further, what was then understood by those words in the form of Baptism, And of the Holy Ghoft, or in the Name of the Holy Ghost: Namely, that the perfon, as he was baptized into the Knowledge of God, and into the Death of Christ, fo he was baptized alfo into the Expectation of the Gifts of the Holy Ghoft; whether those Gifts were extraordinary, as the miraculous Powers conferred at that particular Time; or ordinary, as the Sanctification of mens Hearts for ever.
Laftly, FROM the Hiftory in the Text,
SERM. we may learn the difference between the Baptifm of John and that of Christ, how they were Both really but One thing, the former being imperfect without the latter, and the latter perfecting only what the former had begun, and therefore not being called a Rebaptizing. When the Difciples, to the queftion, Unto what then were ye baptized? made this Answer, Unto John's Baptifm; The Apostle replies, ver. 4; John verily baptized with the Baptifm of Repentance, faying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which fhould come after him, that is, on Chrift Jefus: And when they heard This, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Fefus; And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them. John baptized into the Expectation only, of Him that was to come after ; And therefore This his Baptifm was imperfect, till the intention of it was fulfilled by the fame Perfons being afterwards baptized into the Name of Chrift when he was come, and receiving actually his Gifts, of which the Former Baptifm was but declaring a preparatory Expectation. And
This is what is fet forth in thofe Texts, SER M. where John the Baptift expreffly acknowledges and declares, I indeed (faith he) baptize you with Water unto Repentance; but he that cometh after me, is mightier than I, whofe fhoes I am not worthy to bear; he fhall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire; Matt. iii. 11. Mar. i. 7, 8. Luk.iii. 16, 17. Acts i. 5, and xi. 16; With the Holy Ghoft, and with Fire; that is, with the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, both ordinary and extraordinary: Which was literally fulfilled upon the Apofiles at Pentecoft; and, in the virtual Effect, upon all the other Disciples who were baptized afterwards. And again John bare record, faying, Joh. i. 31, 32; that He [viz. that Chrift should be made manifeft to Ifrael, therefore am I come baptizing [only] with Water: According to the Account the Angel prophetically gave before of his Office, Luk. i. 16; Many of the children of Ifrael fhall he turn to the Lord their God; and he shall go before him in the Spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the Fathers to the children, and the difobedient to the wisdom of the just, to