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1. Remarks on the Importance of Correct Views of the Sys
tem of Revealed Religion, p. 277.
1. Canons of the Synod of Dort. p. 298,
3. Sermon on the doctrine of Eternal Election. p. 319.
N. B.-No reasonable pains have been spared to have the typographical execution of this work correct. Notwithstanding this, a few errors of minor importance have escaped detection.—The reader is requested to bear in mind, that the word sacraments, p. 194, line 14, ought to be elements--and the words they do, p. 258, line 13, ought to be he does.
Introductory remarks~ Importance of the proposed
discussion—What may be asserted ought to be compared with Scripture—and the truth is to be received in the love of it.
More than six years ago, you were pleased to give me an invitation to labour among you word and doctrine; and in the faithful discharge of the duties of a gospel minister, to feed the flock, and edify the body of Christ. In the instrument, with which you then presented me, are these words: “We hereby solemnly, and in the fear of the Lord, do call you, to be our pastor and teacher, to preach the word in truth and faithfulness; to adıninister the holy sacraments, agreeably to the institution of Christ; to maintain Christian discipline; to edify the congregation, and especially the youth by catechetical instructions; and, as a faithful minister of Jesus Christ, to fulfil the whole work of the gospel ministry; agreeably to the word of God, and the excellent rules and constitution of our Reformed Dutch Church, established at the last national Synod held at Dordrecht, and ratified and explained by the ecclesiastical Judicatory under
.which we stand, and to which you, upon accepting this call, must with us remain subordinate."
The acceptance of such a call, and the assumption of such engagements, you will do me the justice to believe, filled my mind at the time with deep anxiety; and has to this day engaged my meditations, my exrtions, and my prayers, that I may approve myself both to you and iny Master, a faithful steward of the mysteries of God.
With my professional services, both in and out of the pulpit, you are generally acquainted ; and my family, and my closet can testify that I have not ceased to remember you in my prayers to God, day and night, that you may be established in the truth and order of the gospel-be built up in faith and holiness—and at last be saved, with exceeding joy and eternal glory.
Nothing but a continued regard for the welfare of your souls, and the prosperity of our Zion, has induced me to address to you these familiar and pastoral letters; in which, I do not expect to advance much, if any thing new, on the subjects to which they relate, but to put into your hands, in a cheap form, important and seasonable truths, which, perhaps, otherwise would not come under your observation. The character of these letters will satisfy you that I expect not to acquire celebrity as an author, by their publication. It is an humble attempt to do you good, and managed in a way which to me appeared best calculated to accomplish so desirable an object.
The particular subject on which I design to address you is the DOCTRINE of SACRAMENTS, especially those of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, as required to be observed by the church of Christ under the evangelical dispensation.
This is a subject at once. deeply interesting to me, and highly important to you. No act of worship in which the church on earth engages is more solemn in its nature, or connected with more high and sacred responsibilities, than the administration and reception of sealing ordinances. The dedication of our tender offspring to the living God in baptism, and the consecration of ourselves to Him at the Redeemer's table, are scenes which may well engage the attention, and interest the feelings of the angels of glory; and which nothing but the most consummate depravity can treat with irreverence, or even contemplate with indifference.
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are not human institutions—they are not customs of the church handed down by parents to their children,--they are holy ordinances of God's house, established by the authority of Jesus Christ, who will shortly be your Judge and my Judge: And as you have made it one of the stipulations of the call you have given me, that I shall “ administer the holy sacraments agreeably to the institution of Christ,” nothing can be more proper than that we should enquire what the will of Christ, in relation to these institutions, is? To me, moreover, there appears to be a peculiar uecessity for this. The state of things among us