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Of Baptism. .
ry child, to be baptized, have the choice either of immersion, sprinkling, or pouring.
2. We will on no account whatever receive a prefent for adminiftering baptism, or for burying of the dead.
N O T E S.
1. In respect to the facrament of baptism, we must refer our reader to our scripture references on the 16th and 17th articles of reigion. We need only observe here, that we are conscious that į nkling, pouring, and immersing have been practised by different c. vrches, in each of which the pure gospel was preached, and the life of God, more or less, experienced ; and that all these modes are, more or less, acceptable to God, when administered with sincerity. At the same time, we know well, that as much or more may be said in favour of sprinkling than of immersion, from the account given us in Scripture of the baptism of John himself: and the primitive churches in general, we believe, favoured the practice of sprinkling. However, we would meet the tender mind, and in matters unesential condescend as far as we conscientiCously can, to the feelings and sentiments of all. Rom. xiv. 1-5. “ Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful. disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things : another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not, judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.- One man esteemeth one day above another : another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully perfuaded in his own mind. Rom. xv. 2, 3. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification : for even Christ pleafed not himself.” 1 Cor. ix. 22, 23. “ To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means fave fome. And this I do for the gospel's fake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.” X. 33. “Even as I please all men in all things, not feeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”
2. As we have before observed, our aim is to save fouls, and not to earich ourselves, therefore, Mr. Wesley and our general.
conference placed our whole economy as far distant as possible front that of a lucrative ministry. We are determined not to sell the ordinances of God: in this no man shall make our glorying void. Matt. x. 8. “ Freely ye have received,” says our Lord, “ freely give.” 1 Cor. ix. II--18. “ If we have sown nnto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things ? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless, we have not used this power; but suffer all things, leit we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
- I have used none of these things; neither have I written these things that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die than that any man should make my glorying void. What is my reward then? Verily, that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.” 2 Cor. xi. 7. “ Have I committed an offence, in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preach. ed to you the gospel of God freely ?” I Pet. v. 2. “ Feed the flock of God which is among you, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.". 3 John 7. “ For his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the gentiles.”
Of the Lords's Supper. Queft. R E there any directions to be given con
cerning the administration of the Lord's supper?
Answ. 1. Let thofe who have fcruples concerning the receiving of it kneeling, be permitted to receive it either standing or sitting.
2. Let no person that is not a member of our society, be admitted to the communion, without examination, and some token given by an elder or deacon.
3. No person shall be admitted to the Lord's fupper among 118, who is guilty of any practice for which we would exclude a member of our society.
N O T E S.
Our readers must here be referred to the scripture-references. on the ióth, 18th, and 19th articles of religion, and our obfervations on the preceding section. As the Scripture is filent
about the posture of the communicants, we prefer the mofi bumble, whatever our Saviour might have permitted when he instituted the sacred ordinance. Besides, as we always receive the elements in prayer, we for that reason also prefer the kneeling posture. We must also observe, that our elders should be very cautious how they admit to the communion persons who are not in our society. It would be highly injurious to our brethren, if we suffered any to partake of the Lord's supper with them, whom we would not readily admit into our society on application made to
Those whom we judge unfit to partake of our profitable, prudential means of grace, we should most certainly think improper to be partakers of an ordinance which has been expressly inftituted by Christ himself,
1 Cor. v. 11. “ Now I have written unto you not to keep come pany,
if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortie oner; with such an one, no, not to eat.” 2 Theff. iii, 6-15. “ Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye zvithdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of
For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us; for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you. For we hear that there are fome which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busy-bodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and bave no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” I Tim. iv. 8.
Bodily exercise profiteth little : but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.'
Of Public Worship. Quej. W
HAT directions shall be given for the
establishment of uniformity in public worfhip amongst us, on the Lord's-day.
Answ. 1. Let the morning-service consist of finging, prayer, the reading of a chapter out of the Old Testament, and another out of the New, and preaching.
2. Let the afternoon-service consist of singing, prayer, the reading of one chapter out of the bible, and preaching
3. Let the evening-service confit of singing, prayer, and preaching
4. But on the days of adminiftering the Lord's fupper, the two chapters in the morning-service may be omitted.
5. Let the fociety be met, wherever it is practicable, on the fabbath-day.
N O T E S.
This fe&ion needs little more than some pointed texts of fatred writ for its confirmation to all christian perfons. Our church insists on the reading of the Scriptures in the congregation, and gives directions accordingly. This is of the utmost consequence, and we trust will be most sacredly observed by all our ministers and preachers. A peculiar blessing accompanies the public rea ing as well as preaching the word of God to attentive, believing fouls. And in these days of infidelity, nothing should be omitted, which may lead the people to the love of the holy bible.
The meeting of the society also, wherever practicable, is of considerable moment. There are various weighty subjects, peculiarly suitable to religious focieties, which cannot be fo well en larged upon to a mixed congregation. Brotherly union and fellowship, christian discipline in all its branches, and various other particulars may be enlarged upon and enforced with great propriety and success on such occafions. At these times also we may enter more minutely into the different parts of the relative duties, than we can to unawakened fouls, whose whole life is fin, and who are at the best only “ like unto whited fepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.”
(1) Exod. xx. 24. In all places where I record my name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. Ifai. Ix. 13. And I will make the place of my feet glorious. Mal. i. 11. For from the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the fame, my name thall be great among the gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering. Pfalm xxii. 25. My praise fhall be of thee in the great congregation : I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
XXXV. 18. I will give thee thanks in the great congregation ; I will praise thee among
much people. xl. 9. I have preached righteousness in the great congregation. lxviii. 26. Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel. Matt. xviii. 20. Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Luke iv. 16, 17. He (Chrift] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, AS HIS CUSTOM WAS, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath-day, and stood up FOR TO READ... And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Efaias. Ads xiii. 14–16. When they departed from Perga they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the fynagogue on the falbath-day, and 'at down. And, after the reading of the law and the proplets, the rulers of the fynagogue fent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, fay on. Then Paul ftood. up, &c. Ver. 27. They knew him not, nor yet the voices of the propbets which are read every sabbatbedoy. I Cor. xi. 20. When ge crne together-into one place, &c. See also the 14th chapter on public prayer, thanksgiving, and prophecy or preaching. Col. iv. 16. When this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans. I Thefl. v. 27. I charge you, by the Lord, that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. Rev. i. 3. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the evords of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.
(2) Atts xi. 26. It came to pass, that a whole year they alsembled themselves with the church, &c. xiv. 27. When they were come, and had gathered the church together, &c.
Of the Spirit and Truth of Singing.
Qucf. TTOW shall we guard against formality in
Answ. i. By choosing such hymns as are proper for the congregation ?
2. By not singing too much at once; seldom more than five or fix verses.
3. By suiting the tune to the words.
4. By often ftopping short, and asking the people, 46 Now! Do
said last? Did you speak no more than