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the Peril of your Salvation if you do not give ear to their Message. The Men may bc contemptible enough ;. but
the Errand they come upon is not contemptible. How untowardly, how ungraceful, how unacceptable soever they may be as to their other Circumstances, yet, if they preach nothing but the Gospel of Christ, you are bound to listen to it, nay, you are miserable if you do not.
do not. And as for those that do embrace it, it is no less a valuable Treasure to them, for being had from earthen Vessels. Let it not therefore be objected to us, when we preach Christ Jesus to you, that it is our Trade; we must talk at this rate, for we get our Living by it: Alas! it is but small Comfort to get a Livelihood by other People's Credulity ; I think an honest ferious Man would rather starve than live by Cheating. If there be any Atheists or Infidels among the Clergy, any that, whilft they preach Christ Jesus to the People, heSieve no better of him and his Religion than as a mere Fable (as they say Pope Leo the Tenth did not) they are certainly the worst of Men, and the greatest Impofters that the World can snew; and let them be treated as such; no Man will be sorry for it. But when we heartily believe in Jesus Chrift and his Religion, and are really persuaded that neither we nor you can be saved without it, and likewise are called by the Authority of God and Man to the publick
Preaching of it, we think it very hard we should be the less credited, because it is the Profession we live by. If our Saviour's Words be true, Whosoever believeth shall be saved; but whosoever believeth not, Shall be damned; it is certainly more your Interest
should all be such Believers as we would have you. But let that be as it will, we shall have a fad Account to make, if, being Ministers of the Gospel, we suffer you to perish for want of telling you of these Things ; or, if we cannot tell you any thing but what you knew before, at least for want of calling upon you, to put in practise what you know. Time was, when the preaching of the Gospel was so far from being encourag'd by the State, that to be a publick Minister was the ready way to Martyrdom; Yet in those Days there were as many Preachers, in Proportion to the Number of the Hearers, as there are now: Nay, and their Saying then was, Væ mihi fe non evangelizavero, Woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel! I hope such Times will never come again ; and I hope none among us wish for them : But if they ishould come, I doubt not but God would raise up those that would still preach the Gospel, and would declare, even at the Peril of their Lives, that Whosoever believeth shall be saved; but whofuever believeth not, Thalt be damned,
The Second Thing I observe from these Words is this, That our Saviour here so puts his Proposition, as to make Baptism as necessary a Condition of Salvation as Believing; for he doth not fiy, Whosoever believeth shall be saved, but thus, Whosoever believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved : He joins them both together. What are we to learn from hence ? that Jesus Christ has laid as great a Stress upon an outward Ceremony, as he hath done upon an inward Virtue ? No, by no means : But this; that the Belief of Christianity, without taking the Profession of it upon us, and obliging ourselves to live according to it, is not sufficient. A Man will perhaps tell you,
that he believes the History of our Saviour to be a true History, and that he hath a great Efteem for his Person, and looks upon
his Doctrine as the most excellent, and useful, and divine Morality that was ever deliver'd to the World. Why now this seems a pretty fair Account of the Man's Religion in Comparison of what we can have from others. The Gentleman that makes this Confession of his Faith, is civil to our Lord Jesus Chrift. But yet this extremely falls short of what one must do that means to have any Benefit by our Saviour. How great a Respect foever a Man pretends to have for the Gospel, yet if he do not take the Profeilion of it upon him, that is to say, if he do not
enter himself into the Number of Christ's Disciples by Baptism, vowing all Obedience to Christ Jesus as his Lord and Master, and owning his Religion upon all Occasions, and communicating in his Worship and Service, we cannot say that he is a Christian, tho' he may be a Well-wisher to Christianity.
Examine the Scriptures, and see what it was that made one to be a Jew, or an Ifraelite in the old Time; Was it enough to think honourably of the Law of Moses? No; but a Man must become circumcised, and oblige himself to live according to that Law. The Case is just the same as to our Christianity. I will speak the Thing as plainly as I can; and in what I shall say, you
will have a full Account of the Meaning of the Words of my Text. The Business of our Lord Jesus, as our Redeemer, was to mediate or procure a new Covenant between God and Man, and to feal it with his Blood. God's Part in this Covenant was this; He was to grant unto all those that enter'd into this Covenant the Forgiveness of their Sins, and the Grace and Allistance of his Holy Spirit, for the enabling them to live a holy Life; and lastly, an eternal Inheritance in the Kingdom of God. This was God's Part. The Condition of this Covenant on Man's Part was this, That all they who expect to partake of those Benefits, should believe in Jesus Christ, and own
him for their Saviour, and assent to all his Doctrines, and endeavour to frame their Lives according to those Rules he hath prescribed them. This is that gracious, that happy Covenant which God establish'd with Mankind thro' the Mediation of our Lord Jesus. Well, now here is a Covenant made, an everlasting Covenant between God and Man, sealed with the Blood of the Son of God. All Mankind that will be eternally happy, are to be enter'd into this Covenant; actually and particularly enter'd, not the Father for the Children, but cvery one for himself, as it was in the Covenant of Circumcision. But how is that to be done? Why, our Saviour himself hath taken Care to order and prescribe the Way of it; Go, faith he, disciple pll Nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Gbut. Baptism then is the way which he hath appointed for the entring into this Covenant; and great Reason there was for it. Our Saviour found, when he came into the World, that his Countrymen the Jews had used that Ceremony of Baptism many Ages, for the Admission of Proselytes into the true Religion. He, therefore, that came to take all Nations, and Peoples, and Languages into his Covenant, laid hold of that Ceremony, which he already found to his Hands used for that Purpose, and applies it to his owo Institution, ordering all Per