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254 Sacraments divested of Madows, AppLs. Con, of shadows; the Devil no doubt, now sees clearly the Sacraments leading directly to Christ, honoring him, and calculated to excite and maintain in the mind, a rererend and grateful lense, and remem. brance of him ; teftifying and exhibiting that truth which he, the old Infidel, always disbelieved, and denied ; and which he has exerted himself so much 10 prevent and disprove. It cannot but engage him with all his malice to revenge, his faculty to deceive, and power lo molest, in perverting those Sacraments ; to insignificance or idolatry,
Accordingly we find that he soon perverted the Holy Supper, among the Corinthians ; running, them into such a rude manner of attending it, that
ä. 2. The ruler of the darkness of this world, Eph. vi, 12, sind would, by his emissaries, if it were possible, decaive the very Elelt, Mat. xxiv. 24. And no doubt he does deceive them into many things, and Gift them like wheat. : Though by divioe restraints, he is not suffered to lead them into fatal de ception, Yet many times so as to dishonor Christ and wound his cause. The sword of the spirit, to with and him, is the Word of God. If any therefore depart from the Scrip. tures, they fall within the Devil's reach, and will moft cere tainly be deceived by bim. lf persons adopt any opinion, and then endeavor to bend the Scriptures to their opinion å it may be depended op, that che Devil will focond them therein ; he can bring detached mutilated palages of Scripa ture, suited to the object, as he did to Chrift, adapted to his own object : And having power to operate on the mind, he can doubtless fill them with a transport of joy and delight, in their own fpeculations, and admiration of themselves ; as well as he filled the heart of Ananias, to lye about the price of his land. And thus the Devil by his art, and wiles, may bring them to believe any thing he pleases; however ani. fcriptual or absurd, And is being so generally the opio, ion, that the Devil can do nothing among mankind, gives him all the opportunity he can with, to all'ault perfous, and do what he pleafes, unfuspected. And no doubt he origin. ale; that opinion ; for while persons believe he cagnot mo. left them, they are necedarily ignorant.of his devices,
Appli. Cox. The Corinthians perverted the Holy Supper. 255 the Apostle said it was not to eat the Lord's Supper, to eat and drink as they did. I think we mull luppose this was of that old deceiver; for the Apostle fpeaks to them as real christians notwithstandin?, and solemnly admonishes them 10' reform that abuse, and perversion of the ordinance. Here we see that the Devil had very soon run christians into at least insignificancy, as to the Lord's Supper, making nought of it ; so that it had no Sacramental significancy. There can be no doubt that this was molt consummately gratifying ro the Devi,to have the obje&t of his inveterate hatred so contemned and openly dishonored. And he no doubt hoped the Apostle would tell them they had better not pic. tend to have the Lord's Supper at all.
But though Satan was at that time defeated of His design with the Corinthians ; yet he did not abandon his object ; nor forsake Christ's Churches ; for we find he soon had a synagogue in the Smyrnaan Church. And the Devil cast some of them into prison. Satan had also a feat and develt with the Church in Pergainos; and obtained there to have at least onc faithful-Martyr murdered.
It appears also that Satan was in Thyatira, and fet up a Jezebel prophetess, teaching; and seduc. ing many of the Church; and led them into forni. cation and idolatry, 3. Satan had also a Synagogue in Philadelphia who practised hypocrify and faisehood, to interrupt and injure what they could, ihe cause of Christ.
These are mentioned, to notice how indefatiga. ble and unremitting the Devil has been, in oppoging Christ, God manifest in the flesh ; and endeavor ing to injure his cause, though there does not ap. pear in these instances ; so direct an attack upon dae Sacraments. It is probable, that the Apostle's
.250 Papists pervert the Sacraments. APPLI. CON. admonition to che Corinthians was then so recent, that he could not prevail any thing, as lo them :Therefore, plyed bimself to those means or mei. Sures, 10 which the genius of the times was adapted : Which was chiefly persecution and seduction in their moral conduct.
But soon after the Church had rest from perse. cution, by her heathen enemies, the Devil prevailed to pervert the Sacraments, to infignisicancy, ly. perftition and idolatry.
For long since the Papists have reckoned seven Sacraments. In this they take in the True Sacra menis among the rest ; yet it makes such a confufion of Ideas, that the meaning of ibe true Şacra. mens, is so absorbed in the chaos ; tbaithe mean. ing can hardly if possibly be found ; and thus they become infignificant.
Again, as to baptism ; they have devised such a nasty composition of oil, wax, balsam, spiule, and Sometimes some other things to apply inftead of water, that it cannot give the Idea of cleanling. and thus wholly obliterates one essential Idea, of the ordinance and is at least superficien, and total perversion of the Sacrament: Then applying it in: form of the Cross, is a species of idolairy.
As to the supper, they have a sort of wafers made; and pretend it is the real body of Christ, and likewile chat the wine is the real blood of Christ. And then deny the wine to the common people. All this, can be nothing short of real idolatry; and 4: gruss perversion of that holy ordinance.
Having touched upon the ancient and foreign conduct, of that old ferpent called the Devil and Sa. tall, which deceiveth the whole world ; we may perhaps, be better prepared to detect him at home. He deceiveth the whole world. We cannot sup.
Arrli. Cox. Temptation does not exculpate perfors. 257. spose he has neglected us. It concerns us then, to search him out, and not be ignorant of his disces: · Wherein I have no doub! we shall find, that he has been as bufy here, as ever he was any where.; and has deceived people into many things to disonor Christ, and pervert his Sacraments. .. But here let every one be cautious, and not flatfer himself with impunity for his errors, or misdo. ings; because he is tempted or deceived into them ; for although they may extenuate faults in a person, yet they cannot exculpate him. For our first parents were tempted and deceived ; yet their vie olation of God's Sacrament, was of awful confe. quences. Therefore it infinitely concerns every one, duly to appreciate ; and properly to attend all God's ordinances. : It is well known there are many who hold in opinion, there are no Sacraments. I cannot suppose that those persons mean lo oppose God, or dishonor Christ. But I must suppose they are deceived, by that old deceiver, who was always opposed to Sai craments ; who deceived our first parents, and who deceiveth the whole world, ever fince. • But there are many who in opinion, and pro. fefsion hold to Sacraments"; and speak of them with great veneration, and I have no doubt they think so; yet chrough misapprehension, being as I have no doubt deceived, by that old deceiver ; they do in: effect pervert or make nought of them - Thus as to baptifm, fonie fay it is a dedication; that when an infant is baptized, it fignifies that she' parent who is active in the dedication, does keep. covenant ; or is a token of the parent's good cov. cnant standing.
I can discern no Sacramental Ideas in this of any kind ; there is nothing in this, decoring a.
Impreper meanings of Baptifm, Arrli, COM cleansing or transplanting from Adam to Chrift, in: order to salvation. Indeed it is not pretended to be a Sacrament; but a dedication. This then is an entire, and tolat subversion of the ordinance ; it is facing the meaning of it to be something whol. ly diverse from what God inflituied it. And not only diverse; but direaly contrary to God's word; for the child is not ihe parent's to give or dedicate 10 God, in covenant relation : It is the Lord's. 10. is born his, in covenant relation ; and what the pa. rent has to do, is in obedience to God, publicly to recognize God's right to the child, baving his name: put upon it according to his inftirution. And shere is the same impropriery in considering baptism a dedication ; that there is in considering conuing to : the Lord's Supper a gift or a vow.
Again fome will say the meaning and design of hapiilm is, It is an initiating ordinance into the christian Church..
Another fatement I have heard, is, It is a prero quisite for admission, into the Church.
Others will say, It is following Chrift into the Water.
0:bers, not much diffimilar to the last, will say, Bautism is an example, to follow the example of Christ, because he was baprized.
The same perhaps will say, baprism is a burial ; as we read, buried with him by baptifm.
I cannot discern one Sacramental Idea, in all these statements, of the meaning of Baprifon, if Sa. cramene is defined and cxplained right, in the foregoing Treatise ; to be an outward sign or 10den, of fame spiritual or invisible thing. And if bap:ism is defined and explained rigbt, io be a sign orioken of Salvation by cleanling and transplanting, from the kingdom of Satan, to the kingdom of Code