“Listening to the Past – Lessons from Andrew Fuller” 11

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It is generally a wonderful occasion in the life of a church to have men and women turn from sin and embrace their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. When they share their testimonies and show their allegiance to Christ through believer’s baptism, it can be an incredible motivating event in the life of the church. We had a baptism service today at my home church of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Windsor, ON. Two gentlemen and one women shared their travels from Roman Catholicism to embracing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and His offer of free grace. I am always moved and motivated when this kind of wonderful event occurs. In light of this, I wanted to quote from one of Fuller’s circular letters regarding baptism. It is titled, “Practical Uses of Christian Baptism” and it can be found in the Works, III:343-344.

“The baptism of a number of serious Christians is an interesting and impressive spectacle! Often on such solemn occasions have we witnessed the falling tear; not only from the parties baptized, and others immediately connected with them, but from indifferent spectators. We could appeal to the consciences of many serious Christians, whether they did not receive their first convictions of the reality of religion at such opportunities. We could appeal to all of you, who have been in the habit of attending the administration of this ordinance, whether it has not frequently furnished you with the most solemn and tender reflections. Has not the sight of a number of young Christians, offering themselves willingly to the Lord, touched the secret springs of holy sensibility? Yes; you have been reminded by it of your own solemn engagements, and led to inquire in what manner they have been fulfilled. You have remembered the days of your espousals, when you first went after your Saviour as in the wilderness, and have been sweetly impelled to renew the solemn surrender. Nor have your reflections been confined to yourselves; you have considered these new accessions to the church of God as supplying the place of others that were taken away and as fulfilling the promise, ‘Instead of thy fathers, shall be thy children.’ When a number of dear friends and useful characters have, one after another, been removed by death, you have been ready to ask, Who shall fill up their place; and by whom shall Jacob arise? But when others of promising gifts and graces have come forward and yielded up themselves to the Lord in baptism, they have seemed in a manner to be ‘baptized for the dead.’ Thus, when the ranks of an army in a besieged city are thinned by repeated engagements, and the hearts of survivors are ready to faint, a reinforcement arrives: a body of new companions throw themselves in to its relief, and inspire them with new vigour.”

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