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** determining the time and place.” This is the only restriction I attach to the challenge I now publish.” To conclude—I presume, my friends, you have evidence sufficient before your minds to enable you to decide on which side of this argument truth lies. You have seen that Mr. W. has not been able to maintain any one position that he assumed in this debate. If what you have already heard, does not open your eyes, and convince your judgment, you are under the tyrannical dominion of prejudices, the most obstinate and irrational.-IIuman power is too weak, with all its persuasive energies, to subdue the prejudiced mind, that is obstinately bent on maintaining its present views. . But will you ask yourselves what is the gain you acquire by a bigotted attachment to principles and practices which depend upon the will of man, and not upon any revelation of the will of Heaven. Wils you ask yourselves in relation to your practices, this question, which was once proposed from Heaven, to a rebellious and stiff-necked people—“Who hath required this at your hands P-6. Will worship” has ever been obnoxious to the wrath of Heaven. And what is will worship Hearken to the voice of him who speaketh from Heaven—“ In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” And every thing is a commandment of men, which is not comimanded in the Bible. You, who are convinced that the practice of infant sprinkling is unfounded in scripture, and have never yed the Divine commandment, and yet profess to be christians; let me ask you for a reason of your conduct. Does the fear of man, or the shame of being pointed at, revent you from obedience to the Divine will 2 If so; I have only to remind you of the words of him who will soon judge you. “If any man be ashamed of me, or of m
words, in the midst of a perverse generation, of him shall
* Since the debate at Mt. Pleasant, I was invited to attend to a debate at Mount Vernon, state of Ohio. The invitation came to me two days before the day appointed for the debate, with the space of 160 miles between.—Messrs. Scott and Cunningham, Presbyterian Ministers, gave the challenge to a Mr. Rigden of those parts. I have never heard the result of their debate, but would humbly inform. Messrs. Scott and Cunningham, that if they think they have done anything clever, they may have an oppor. tunity of doing it again with their humble servant, at a proper time and place. N
the son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in the glory of his father, with all the holy angels.” You who have believed and have been baptized, see that you walk worthy of your profession, and that the ;. cause be not dishonored by your impropriety of eportment—“Be zealous to maintain good works—do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly-live soberly, righeously, and godly—and add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness, o kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ—but he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, ahd hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins;”
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As the intention of this publication is to form a treatise on baptism, I consider, it necessary to add some things, further illustrative of this much disputed subject, which did not obviously present themselves in the course of the preceding debate. Being obliged to follow the eourse which Mr. Walker prescribed, I could not deviate so far as to introduce new topics of illustration, nor even to prosecute some things introduced, to such a length as I deemed expedient, to place them in the most advantagious light; I therefore design this Appendix to do something to supply those deficiencies. Being now disentangled from those trammels in which I have been so long fettered, I hope to enjoy the liberty of choosing my own course, and of pursuing it so far as may appear agreeable and entertaining. I shall, however, endeavor not to abuse , this liberty, but to use it in subordination to the edification and satisfaction of my readers. I was desirous that Mr. Walker should occupy a part of this Appendix, to atone for some deficiencies in his part of the debate, and therefore, I posted to him the following epistle, to which I obtained no reply. -
* Mr. WALRER: SIR-I desire to acquaint you with my plan and togress in publishing our debate. I have just got it in e press—24 pages of it are printed this week. I expect to be able to have 24 pages per week printed until finished. I give the arguments on both sides with all’ the fairness and impartiality possible. I design publishing a large Appendix on such topics as were not fully discussed. I conceive it to be necessary, on the footing: of common justice, that you should have the liberty of publishing in the Appendix, any additional light you may be able to throw on the subject. If you will, then, send on any article, not exceeding 24 pages in print, duodecimo size, it shall be published, literatim et punctuatim, as you forward it to me. I think this will be necessary on your part; for in transcribing the debate from all the notes I have, I discover that there is much repetition, and a considerable scarcity of matter and of argument, on some topics which you advanced. This, I presume, you may remedy by the article I have mentioned ; and , as it is my design, Sir, to do you and the subject all the justice in my power, I can assure you, I will with pleasure attend to any thing you may advance, if forwarded within three weeks. As it will require more paper than I.have ordered, should you furnish the article requested, • it will be necessary for me to know your intentions by return of mail, that I may make arrangements in that department for the admission of your article. You will lease, then, write immediately, and inform me of your
: shtentions. I am,
fi is now about eight weeks since the above letter way addressed to the care of Mr. Miller, teacher, Cadiz, for Mr. Walker, and yet no reply.
This Appendix shall contain a few separate articles in a detached form, yet all having an immediate bearing on the main subject of dispute.—From the small experience I have already had, I discover that it is not generally prudent to promise much in the preface; and as each article in the subsequent sheets shall speak for itself, the judicious reader, who patiently examines the work to the end, will be able to form a more correct idea of the whole; than-I can now present to his mind. Besides, I have often considered it unfair in the author of any work, to attempt to prepossess the minds of his readers by prefatory remarks which may, in the least degree, prevent the reader from an impartial investigation of the subject. In hopes that the reader may exercise the utmost impartiality in perusing the following pages, I proceed: requesting him to consider that there is but one true standard by which all religious tenets must be tried, to bring afi things to that test, and to hold fast that which is good.
September 29th, 1820,
ARTICLE No. 1.
THERE is no religious sect in Christendom, that has not a few texts of scripture, that, apparently, and in the estimation of the party, really, support the distinguishing tenets of the sect. These, alas! too often, constitute the rigid sectary's Bible. These few texts circumscribe, in many instances, the whole of his biblical knowledge. . It he can recite but one text of the Sacred Scriptures, that text is the hobby-horse of his party, and which, to him, is all in all. Perhaps there may be some, who consider this one of the advantages resulting from the existence of retigious sects; because, that were it not necessary to have a few texts, at all times ready, to support the Shibboleth of the party, the rigid sectarian would not commit a verse of the Bible to memory. This, however, in my opinion, is meagre commendation; for if party zeal produces this particular acquaintance with certain texts, and no higher motive leads to the acquisition of them, they cannot be again to the possessor. There are some who may excuse themselves thus : “They never hear their preachers insist, with any energy, on any texts, but such as particularly express the peculiar sentiments of the sect.” . This extenuation of culpable ignorance, is a plain acknowledgement, that the Bible is not studied, farther than the preagher pleases to explain it; and that the hearers are determined that the priest's lips shall keep knowledge, and circumscribe that of the people. The pedo-baptist texts which are usually resorted to, to support the practice implied in the word “pedo-baptist,” are somewhat remarkable, and distinguished from that class of texts which is usually employed in supporting the dioriminating lines and boundaries of the sects they are Supposed to favor. For, generally, there is some mention made of the tenet, or some remiote hint of the doctrine, or practice, to be supported, in the verses cited for that purpose. But in the texts cited, in support of infant sprinkling, there is not one, that mentions the thing, or makes the slightest allusion to the practice. Nor is there one word in the whole Bible, o explains the meaning or in2