Alexander Young

A Discourse Delivered at the Ordination of the Rev. George Edward Ellis

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Alexander Young
   - A Discourse Delivered at the Ordination of the Rev. George Edward Ellis

Excerpt from A Discourse Delivered at the Ordination of the Rev. George Edward Ellis: As Pastor of the Harvard Church, in Charlestown, March 11, 1840

Now, judging from these considerations, we can have no hesitation, I think, in pronouncing that he is here speaking not absolutely, but relatively. He would not denounce or depreciate the ritual, but he would eulogize and extol the spiritual functions of his apostleship. He would not disparage baptism, but he would magnify the preaching of the word. He would give to each of these offices its place, recognize in each its use, and ascribe to each its importance. It is apparent, moreover, from his own statement in the verses immediately preceding the text, that he had not neglected the administration of this ordinance, since he mentions the names of several whom he had personally baptized; but it is no less evident that he regarded preaching as his appropriate and paramount vocation. He himself, we know, was baptized after his miraculous conversion; and there can be no doubt, I think, from the statement and allusions scattered through the book of Acts and his Epistle, that all who were converted by his preaching, were admitted to the privileges of discipleship by this initiatory rite of our religion, although Paul did not baptize them with his own hands, (as Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) but employed others to perform this material office; for Christ sent this eminent and gifted Apostle, this "chosen vessel," as he called, not so much to baptize, as to preach the Gospel.

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