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SERM. tained: Not that the Apostles were in IV. trufted with any Power, to pardon or condemn any man according to their own Pleafure: For This even our Saviour himfelf, does only according to the Will of the Father which fent him: But the meaning is, that they were intrusted to preach That Doctrine of Repentance, by the Terms of which it was to be determined, whofe Sins fhould be pardoned and whose retained. A like Expreffion is ufed by our Saviour to St Peter, Mat. xvi. 19; I will give unto thee the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatfoever thou fhalt bind on Earth, fhall be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on Earth, fhall be loofed in Heaven: Not that St Peter, or Any, or All the Apoftles, had Power to let whom they pleased into Heaven but that they were appointed and commiffioned to preach That Doctrine, by the Terms of which, Men were to be admitted into, or excluded out of Heaven.
Go ye, and Teach all Nations: The
Acts xiv. 21; When they had preached the SER M.
TEACH, All Nations: The words, All Nations, fignify primarily, the Nations of the Roman Empire; and then, in a larger Senfe, all the Kingdoms of the World. Rom. x. In St Mark it is, Preach the Gospel to every Mar. xvi. Creature. And, in the 1 chapter to the 15. Coloffians, what in the 6th verfe is expreffed, the Gospel came into All the World, is at the 23d verse faid to have been preached to every Creature under Heaven. The meaning of which is fo obvious, that it would hardly need to be mentioned, but that it helps to illuftrate a more difficult paffage in the viiith to the Romans; where, when the Apostle had faid at the 21st verfe, The creature itself alfo fhall be delivered from the bondage of Corruption, into the glorious Liberty of the children of God: He adds, ver. 23; And not only they, but ourselves alfo which have the Firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the Adoption, to wit, the Redemption of our
SERM. Body. So that the words, Creature or IV. whole Creation, feem to fignify those ma
ny Nations, or the Bulk of Mankind, to whom the Gospel was afterwards to be preached; in contradiftinction to the Firstfruits, who received it in the Apostle's
4thly, HERE is the Doctrine, which all Nations were to be taught, and into which they were to be Baptized; Baptizing them, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. This is that brief Summary of Christian Faith, which in the Apostle's Time, Men were taught, and profeffed, and had explained to them at their Baptism; and the Explication of it was afterwards well expreffed in that Form of Sound Words, which is now ufually called the Apostles Creed. To be Baptized in the Name of the Father, is to profefs our Belief (as St Paul words it) in the One God and Father of all, who is Above All, and Through All, and In All, even the Father Almighty, the Maker, and Lord, and Supreme Governour of all things. To be Baptized in the Name of the Son, is to profefs our
Belief likewife in the One Lord, Jefus SER M. Chrift, the only-begotten Son of God, the IV. Meffiah that was to come, the Redeemer and Saviour of Mankind, the Author and Purchaser of Forgiveness to Sinners, or of the Acceptation of Repentance through his Blood; our great High Priest or Interceffor with God, and by the Appointment of the Father, our Judge, at the last day. To be baptized in the Name of the Son, fignifies alfo further, to be Baptized into his Death: Know ye not, faith Col. ii, 1 2. St Paul, that fo many of us as were baptized into Jefus Chrift, were baptized into his Death? Rom. vi 3. And what That means, he tells us in the following verfe; We are buried with him by Baptism into Death, (that the Body of Sin might be destroyed, ver. 6;) that like as Christ was raised up from the Dead by the Glory of the Father, even fo We also should walk in newnefs of Life. Laftly, To be baptized in the Name of the Holy Ghoft, fignifies our Acknowledging the Holy Spirit of God, to be the Infpirer of the Apoftles and Prophets; the Comforter, and the Director of Chriftians; that we fubmit ourselves VOL. VI. H
Joh. iii. 3,
1 Cor. vi.
SERM. to his Holy Guidance, receive the Doc trine infpired by him into the Apostles and Prophets, expect to be juftified from our past Sins by the renewing of the Holy Ghoft, and to be preserved from Sin for Tit. iii. 5. the future by his Sanctification and Af fistance; that we obey his good motions, take great care not to grieve or quench and drive him from us; and, forafmuch
1 Cor. xii. as by one Spirit we are all baptized into
and have been all made to
Spirit, that therefore we
endeavour by mutual Charity and For
bearance, to keep the
the Bond of Peace.
Unity of the Spirit in This is the Meaning, of being baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft, with refpect to the feveral Offices of these three Divine Perfons, in which Regard it is that the Scripture always fpeaks of them: As to their Metaphyfical Nature; the Vanity of Men, fpeculating about That beyond what is written, has been the Occafion of many foolish Errors: Some have imagined three co-ordinate Beings, which is the Impiety of Polytheism, and directly contrary to that Fundamental Ar