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all the people shall hear and fear, and do no more presumptuously. This was the sin of Corah, Dathan, and Abiram. It was for this, God said to Samuel, they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me.' If Paul said, let no man despise thy youth,' how much more may we say, let no man despise thine old age. This is the spring of all heresies and schisms. Deacons ought to recollect that the Lord Jesus himself elected Apostles, that is bishops; but as for deacons, they were instituted after the death of Jesus only by his Apostles. This deacon ought, therefore, to repent, and give the bishop full satisfaction, and if not, he ought to be excommunicated. If others encourage and imitate him, they should be treated in the same manner. Farewell, brother." The second cause tried before the court was this: a Christian man, it should seem - a bishop, named Geminius Victor, had departed this life, and by will, duly executed, had appointed his brother Geminias Faustinus, a preaching elder, executor of his will, and guardian of his children. This was an heinous crime in the eyes of the fathers. For a man to presume to employ the clergy in secular affairs, when God had appointed them as the tribe of Levi, to exercise themselves in divine things, and had commanded all other men to cultivate the earth and follow businesses, and to support the Lord's priests with the tenth of their labors, was a great crime and a dangerous precedent. It was ordered that the dead man's name should be struck out of the diptychs: and that such as in future should imitate his example, and employ the clergy to do any secular business, should be excommunicated.
Lastly comes the question about infant baptism. The letter written by Fidus was read, but as it is lost, a judgment of it can only be formed by what Cyprian has said of it. It is not known who Fidus was. The precise question before the association was, At what age may infants be baptized ? Fidus thought at eight days, because the law of circumcision prescribed this time. “ No," replied the council, “God denies lis grace to none; Jesus Christ came not to destroy men's lives but to save them--and we ought to do all we can to save our fellow creatures;" 6 besides,” added they, 66 God would be a respecter of persons, if he denied to infants what he grants to aduits. Did not the prophet Elisha lay upon a child, and put his mouth upon his inouth, and his eyes
upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands ? Now the spiritual sense of this is, that infants are equal to men: but if you refuse to baptise them, you destroy this equal. ity, and are partial.”
Fidus had a second difficulty stronger than the first. It was the custom to kiss the person newly baptised; but he informed the council in his letter, that children were reputed unclean the first seven days, and therefore people did not choose to kiss them. This was an article of great consequence. The Fathers answered-6 You are mistaken, Fidus, children in this case are not unclean, for the Apostles saith, to the pure all things are pure.' No man ought to be shocked at kissing what God condescends to create. Circumcision was a carnal rite, this is spiritual circumcision, and Peter saith we ought not to call any man common or unclean."
Such was the council of Carthage, that decreed the baptising of new born infants. To comment on the wisdom or folly of this council, exhibited in the three articles on which they decided, would be as needless as to begin to describe darkness to a man confined in the darkest cells. This council of Carthage, in its grand characteristics, may be compared to the first councils held under bishop Victor, to adjust the celebrated controversy about keeping Easter. The bishops of Asia, according to their ancient custom, always celebrated Easter on the 14th of the moon of March, on whatever day it happened: whereas, the western churches waited for the Lord's day before they observed it. This controversy had well nigh rent the Catholic church; and was finally decided in the councils under Victor, A. D. 192, that they should forbear with one another. Thus have we explored the merits of infant bapa tsim as to its claims on early apostolical institutions... And now we inay say, as an eminent Presbyterian minister said in Scotland, in respect of his brethren, the clergy- If," said he," you would see the nakedness of the clergy, you must frequent their presbyteries and synods"
-So we say~ If you would see the nakedness of infant baptism, you must read the history of the second and third centuries of the church.'
Some have considered it very strange and unprecedented, that men could so soon depart from the genuine institutes of christianity, as that in an 150, or two hundred years, to have admitted of infant baptism. This is
by no means so surprising as at first sight it may appear, when we consider how soon even political institutions, to which men are much more alive, are infringed, metamore phosed, and set aside, in the lapse of even 50 years. Do we not, in the public prints of every day, read complaints of the departure of our fellow citizens from the spirit and letter of our great Magna Charta ? Whence has arisen the schismatic discriminations of Washingtonians, Fed. eral and Democratic Republicans, Old school and New school, in the lapse of 40 years ; even while the blood yet circulates through the heads, and hearts, of some of those men, who framed the political institutes of our country? When we consider the multiplicity of public prints, the endless variety of articles every day exhibited on these. topics; and reflect, that in the first centuries there was only a few manuscript copies of any works then published, and these in the hands of a very few, we will not consider it at all a marvellous thing that Pelagius and others in the 4th century, should say they never heard that baptism was denied to infants. . The infant baptism of the first centuries that practiced it, was essentially different from the infant baptism of modern times. The infant baptism of those who introdus. ced and first taught it, was, a baptism that washed away all previous guilt: it was in fact a purgatorial rite. This every one of the authors quoted from antiquity by the paido-baptists abundantly prove, as I have already shewn. The care of those who instructed the Catechumens to prevent them from licentiousness, was predicated on this presumption. They feared that the Catechumens, under the impression of receiving absolution in baptism, would indulge in sins to an excess that otherwise they would not have done, had they not expected pardon in paptism. Even the baptism of believers they had so far perverted, as to make it purgative of all sins before committed. It is a sophism in reasoning, of the most dangerous tendency, to change the terins, or to use them in different senses, so as to quote them in one sense, and apply them in another. For instance, suppose a man should tell a fellow citizen whom he had employed to work in his vineyard, that he would pay him the same amount per day, that was paid to those labourers, in the vineyard of the parable, in the New Testament, viz. a penny. Suppose, then, in the evening of the day, he should pay him a penny, and
that the receiver should object, saying, you promised me the same amount as the Jewish labourers in the parable obtained-I have done it, says the employer, I gave you a penny, and they got no more-Aye, replies the labourer, but a penny in England is only the seventh part of a Roman penny, and a penny in America, is but the 10th part of a Roman penny. I have paid you a penny, replies the employer-Nay but, replies the labourer, I have received but the tenth part of what you promised. So might any baptised infant, after baptism, say to the priest, (if it could talk) you have not given me the tenth part of what you promised me, according to the meaning of those who first taught and practised infant baptism, and whom you profess to follow. The views of those who now practice this rite are, we trust, essentially distinct from the views of the ancient paido-baptists. It is, then, doing their own cause an irreparable injury, to quote any authority from the first fifteen centuries in support of their practice. Such quotations are either irrelevant, or their views of baptism are the same. They should know that the church of Rome declares, no baptism no salvation; and refuses burial, in consecrated grave yards, to unbaptised persons. Hence they commissioned mid · wives to baptise or sprinkle such infants as they supposed would die immediately after birth. Now the Roman church quotes Tertullian, Origen, Augustine, &c. &c. in support of their practice; and as the protestant part of Christendom quotes the same authorities, they must ei ther act the most inconsistent part, or they must agree with the church of Roine, in their views of infant bape tisın.
The church of Scotland refuses to admit tradition as a. ground of faith and practice; how any of her members, then, can plead for a rite altogetlier founded on tradition, never once mentioned in the Bible, appears to me at least a gross dereliction of principle. My CONVICTION IS, THAT NOTHING IS TO BE ADMITTED INTO THE FAITH, DOCTRINE, OR DISCIPLINE, OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURON, THAT IS NOT AS OLD AS THE NEW TESTAMENT; NAY THAT IS NOT EXPRESSLY REVEALED IN THE BIBLE : 1 SHALL EVER BE GRATEFUL TO THE MAN THAT POINTS OUT ANY DAN GEROUS TENDENCY IN THIS PRINCIPLE,
So stood the debate at 2 o'clock on Tuesday. We ad journed for half an hour, and on commencement, the ac: tion of baptism commonly called the mode, became the theme of discussion. Mr. Findley, at the instance of Mr. Walker, wished to limit us to once speaking on each side. At this motion I felt surprized, coming from those who, in the morning of that day, proposed adjourning from day to day until every thing should be fully discussed. I consented to speaking twice on each side, on the ground that if it was sufficient for them it was quite sufficient for me.
Mr. W. then began :
I contend that pouring or sprinkling are scriptural modes of baptism; as much so as immersion or dipping. But the baptists maintain that nothing is baptism but dipping, and that if a person is not completely plunged in water, he is not baptised; nay, if one hair of his head is out of the water, he is not baptised. We have, at least, more charity than they, for we admit that their baptism by immersion is right, but it is not the only mode; but they have no charity for us, for they declare that sprink. ling or pouring is no baptism. Mr. C. has brought a whole bundle of Greek" with him; I suppose he intends to use it to prove immerson to be the only mode. lle may require all this Greek to prove his point; but I will stick to iny Bible I find in it that evidence which is suf. ficient to justify my conduct. The scriptures teach me that baptism has a respect to the blood of sprinkling that justifies us, and it is very suitable to administer baptism in such a way as that this reference may be seen. Again, were not almost all the uses of blood under the law by means of sprinkling? Moses sprinkled all the people with blood, the book of the law, and almost all the vessels of the sanctuary. In view of this, the ancient prophet said, 6 so shall be sprinkle many nations," thereby intiinating, that the Gentiles, converted by the Gospel, would be sprinkled, not dipped. Again, we profess to believe that a few drops of Christ's blood, nay that one drop of it, is sufficient to justify us. Why, then, should we act in any way contrary to our faith, in baptizing, so as to indicate that it was the quantity, not the quality, that reliev. ed our souls, or affected our state ? It must also be admitted, that a sow drops of water sprinkled upon the face, are