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Peter in the 27th, What shall we have for lraving forsaken all and followed thee? observed, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit in the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Christ had observed, in verse 23, that it is difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Campbell upon that passage observes, that, by the kingdom of heaven, is sometimes understood in this history, the christian church, then soon to be erected, and sometimes the state of the blessed in heaven after the resurrection; and, in regard to the above declaration of our Lord, that both states are understood. And, in his remarks on verse 28th, he observes, that what was said on verse 23, holds equally in regard to the promise we have here, relative to those who had followed him (Christ) in the regeneration. The principal completion will be at the general resurrection, when there will be, in the most important sense, a renovation (as he has interpreted it) or regeneration of the heavens, and the earth, when all things shall become new, embracing what Paul has said relative to the resurrection of the dead, 15 Corinth. that“Flesh, and blood, cannot inherit the kingdom of God—the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed—for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So, when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up of victory
—the sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law-but thanks be unto God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The scripture speaks consistently, when, in describing the state of the righteous aster the resurrection, it represents them as having their mortal bodies re-fashioned like to the glorious body of Christ; (by the Holy Ghost, as his was,) and that after their whole person is thus completed, they shall be carried to an heavenly country, where they shall live unspeakably happy to all eternity. By the belief of this, we are begotten again to a lively hope, or a hope of life, bottomed upon the fact, viz. the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead -through that fact we are thus begotten, and it is by the incorruptible seed, the word of God, that that fact is made known to us, and by that believed; and also that God through Jesus Christ giveth us the victory over death, the grave, and sin, and the curse of the law. But these things are no farther accoinplished until the grave is swalłowed up of victory, than by faith in their fulfilment, as promised, and as a consequence of the covenant in Jesus Christ: “whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God-whosoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? We live by faith, and riot by sight. The life” (said Paul) “that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me—this faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The heavenly coun try which was promised to Abraham, and to his spiritual seed, (those who believe in Jesus Christ) under the emblem of Canaan, and which is called, 2 Pet. 3. 13. a new heavens, and a new earth, is said to be incorruptile, because it shall neither be destroyed by the waters of a flood, nor by fire, as this earth hath been, and in the end will be. Correspondent with this incorruptible inheritance, we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will re-fashion our body, or change our vile body, in order that it may become of a like forin with his glorious body, who will there. by make us capable of the enjoyments of heaven. This transformation of our body he will accomplish according to the working or the exertion of power whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself: for Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God; being put to death indeed in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit, 1 Pet. 3. 18. Christ's resurrection be. ing an example as well as a proof of our resurrection, he was raised by the agency of the Spirit, to shew that we shall be raised by the same power, exerted agreeably to the will of God through Jesus Christ. By this Spirit, also, speaking in Noah, he preached to the Spirits in prison, who fornierlý were disobedient, when the patience of God, once waited
in the days of Noah, while an ark was preparing, in which few, that is eight souls were effectually saved by water; to which water, the antitype baptism (not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God,) now.serveth us also through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who, having gone into heaven, is at the right hand of God; angels, and authorities, and powers, being subjected to him. 1 Pet. 3. 18—22. The water of baptism, Macknight observes, is here called the antitype to the water of the flood, because the flood was a type or emblem of baptism, in the three following particulars: 1st. As by building the ark, and by entering into it, Noah shewed a strong faith in the promise of God concerning his preservation by the very water which was to destroy the antediluvians for their sins. So by giving ourselves to be buried in the water of baptism, we shew a like faith in God's promise that though we die and are buried, he will save us from death, the punishment of sin, by raising us from the dead at the last day. 2. As the preserving of Noah alive, during the nine months he was in the flood, is an emblem of the preservation of the souls of believers, while in the state of the dead, so the preserving of believers alive, while buried in the water of baptism, is a prefiguration of the same event. 3. As the water of the deluge destroyed the wicked antediluvians, but preserved Noah, by bearing op the ark in which he was shut up, till the waters were assuaged, and he went out of it to live again on the earth, so baptism may be said to destroy the wicked, and to save the righteous, as it prefigures both those events: the death of the sinner it prefigures by the burying of the baptized person in the water, and the salvation of the righteous, by the raising of the baptized person out of the water to live a new life. Noah gave the answer of a good conscience towards God, by entering into the ark in a firm belief that God, according to his promise, would preserve him, and family by that very water which he knew was to destroy all the rest of mankind. Baptism, understanding thereby the answer of a good conscience, Now sheweth us also through the resurrection of Jesus Christ; because if Christ had not risen, being an impostor, he could not have saved any; but, by his resurrection from the dead, being demonstrated the Son of God, (Rom. 1. 4. Acts 13. 33.) he is able to save all who believe on hinn; and in his resurrection he hath given an example, as well as a proof, of the resurrection of believers to eternal life. Baptism, as explained (being an ordinance by which persons are initiated into the church below, and a symbolical representation of the absolute, and literal regeneration or renovation of the whole person at the resurrection, as preparatory to entering into the kingdom of God above,) is, by a figure of speech, called metonomy, in which the sign is taken for the thing signified, often used for regeneration itself. Hence Irenæus, “Christ confiding to his disciples the authority of regenerating unto God, said unto them, Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the nume of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” About forty years before the time of Irenæus, we see Justin Martyr more than once use the word regenerate for baptize. Thus, “Then they are brought by us to some place where there is water; and they are regenerated according to this rite of regeneration, by which we ourselves were regenerated.”John P. Campbell's Review of Mr. Robinson's History of Baptism, pp. 100, 1. It is in consequence of the same substitution of the sign for the thing signified, that the Roman Catholic Church, and some others, consider baptism, and regeneration synonymous in fact.
When Christ came to John to be baptized, John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou unto me? And Jesus answered, and said unto him, Suffer it to be so no now, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him-And Jesus when he was baptized went up straightway out of the water. And lo! the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him; and lo! a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Matth. 3. 13-17. Correspondent with this declaration of the voice, “Thou art my beloved Son,” God is said to have begotten Jesus Christ by raising him from the dead; Acts 13. 33. and Paul says he was declared to be the Son of God with power accordmg to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Rom. 1. 4. The baptism of Christ was not John's baptism, but the baptism for the REMISSION of sins. Acts 2. 38. The fulfilment of all righteousness, which he said at his baptism it becometh us to fulfil, consisted in, not only the establishment of the initiatory ordinance in the new dispensation, by which members were to be inducted into the christian church in future, but also the suffering, and death which he was to endure by imputation; by which he was made sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God, in him. 2 Corinth. 5. 21. This righteousness is further shewn by the declaration of the Saviour:, “Sacrifice, and offering, and burnt offerings, and offering for sin, thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure in them; (which were offered by the law.) Then said he, lo! I come to do thy will, O God. By the which will, we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Heb. 10.8--10. The mother of Zebedees children with her sons came unto Christ worshipping him, and desired that her two sons should sit, one on his right hand, and one on his left in his kingdom. But Jesus answered, and said, ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They said, we are able. And he said unto them, ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left is not mine to give. The two sons of Zebedee had been previously baptized with water. “The Son of man came to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matth. 20. 20-23. 28. But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished.” Luke 12. 50. All these passages are quoted with a view of shewing what I formerly observed, that the death of Christ, and his resurrection; and the death, and the resurrection of believers, are shown forth in the ordinance of baptism. Accordingly Paul observes, according to Macknight's translation, and commentary, in Rom. 6. 3, &c. Know ye not, that su many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, have been baptized into the likeness of his death, (viz.) have been buried under the water, as persons