« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
line 3 for Baptismsl read Baptismal.
after 66 of" insert " the."
possessions 7 note antient
deprecates depreciates. 4
"eleven first" * first eleven." 27 violation
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
I CANNOT send this second edition into the world without blessing God for the quick circulation with which it has pleased him to favour the first edition of a work which is devoted to recommend to general acceptance the excellence of the great principle of the gospel-salvation by promise. May the same blessing rest also on this, and on every effort to commend his grace.
By one description of Readers the argument of the book is plainly mistaken, and indeed necessarily so; for no man can rise above his principles. An unspiritual mind can discern nothing in the water of the one Sacrament, and in the bread and wine of the other, but the natural elements presented to his outward eye. These act no faith on the word which gives spiritual effect to the Sacrament, because they know not what faith is. And hence they cannot ascend above the opus operatum, or the mere external observance. I have no hope that
such can understand the argument of the book, or behold it in any other light than as firmation of their own imperfect view of the Sacraments. For however acute the natural talents of man may be, however cultivated his mind by learning, or however extensive his acquirements, he is still a natural man with all his mental advantages; and therefore “ receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God.” And as well may a man who has been blind from his birth, with all his acquired exquisiteness of touch, conceive the appearance of a fall of snow, natural man with every accumulated talent and acquirement conceive the nature of that divine faith which applies the promise of a covenant God to the soul.
There are many excellent persons, and these men of decided piety, who oppose the argument of the Book, on the ground that “the spirituality of religion is inconsistent with Infant-baptism ; or, in fact, that because grace is not discoverable in infants, therefore they have no grace. But this objection seems to me to strike at the very essence of the Gospel-salvation by promise. If salvation be of promise, as it is throughout, then only let a promise be given, and it is both the duty and privilege of the Believer to live by faith in that promise. Now it seems to me to be undeniably clear, that God has made promises of spiritual blessings to Believers and their children. And on this account, when the