From the Preface: To those who consider the relation in which the Old and New Testaments stand to each other, who reflect on the comparative darkness of the one, and the plainness of speech used in the other, it may well appear surprising, that any disciple of Jesus should think of going back to the Old Testament to know his will on the subject of so important an ordinance as baptism. It deserves the serious consideration of all who do so, that most of the errors into which the first Christians fell, sprang from the same source, and that a considerable part of the apostolic epistles is intended to show the error of confounding the old and new dispensations. Acts 15; Galatians throughout; Phil. 1:15-18 and 3; Col. 2:10,20-23; 1 Tim. 1:4-9. Hebrews throughout.
They would also do well to consider, that almost all the corruptions of Christianity, and the reign of antichrist, have proceeded from the same cause. “While the Roman emperors continued heathens, the man of sin made slow progress; but no sooner was he who letted taken out of the way, 2 Thess. 2:7 and Christianity taken under the protection of the sovereign, than an unnatural connection was formed between church and state, which subsists to the present day in every country of Europe. Now, what is this but a recurrence to the weak and beggarly elements under which the church was placed in its minority? And by what arguments drawn from Scripture can it be vindicated, but the example of Israel of old? What is all the pomp and ceremony which have been introduced into religion, but an imitation of the sanctuary worship?What are the splendid edifices, but imitations of the Jewish temple?What are all the ecclesiastical dignities which are so highly prized, but an imitation of the institution of the Jewish priesthood?