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What a fine thing learning is! I should have read the Bible all my days, before I could have thought that so much was comprehended in a few plain words! I should never have found that out had not my Pastor told me so ! How little good would the Bible have done, had it not been for this best of gifts—the clergy!!!*
When a Baptist calls the attention of his hearers to this subject, he begins 2000 years nearer the commencement of Christian baptism : he begins, in his most remote introduction, with the ministry and baptism of John the Baptist, the harbinger of Christianity. You will some. times hear him telling of all Judea and Jerusalem turning out to Jordan, to John, to be baptised of bin. Perhaps he may ask such questions as the following: Did John require any thing of the candidates that appeared on the banks of the Jordan, but connection with Abraham ? Did he look no farther that carnal descent? To these questions he will answer, yes. He will read you two or three passages of scripture, in which Joho calls upon them to repent, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, in order to baptism. He will detain you a little while at Enon, and at your departure he will ask you one easy question, viz. Why did John baptise at Enon ? And you must answer, saying, “ Because there was much water there.” He will probably take you next to the Mount where the Redeemer gave to bis apostles that commission to preach the Gospel, to make disciples, and to plant and water churches, under which they always acted. He will, in order to illustrate the Apostolic views of this commission, read you a considerable part of the actions and ministerial deeds of the Apostles. From all which he will exhibit their constant practice, viz. First, preaching the Gospel-secondly, baptising the converts or the believers only-next, adding them to a church, or forming one, if so many could be found in one place and finally, exhorting them to continue constantly in the Apostle's doctrine, in breaking bread, in fellowship and in prayers. After he has espatiated more largely upon these topics, he will request you to attend to the doctrinal import of baptism, as expounded by those great and excellent men,
• It is far from my design to pronounce one sentence to under. value true learning, or to underrate the truly learned teacher of Christianity ;- it is those pedants and quacks in theology, (which, alas, have crowded into the pulpit) that I have in view.
and infallible expositors of the will of Heaven, viz. the venerable apostles Paul and Peter. Perhaps he may, the end, entertain you with a statement of the advantages enjoyed by those who walk in the plain path of the Divine commandments; and conclude by exhibiting the unhappy end of those who wander after their own imaginations, and walk in the light of those sparks which they have kindled. So labors the Pedo-baptist, and so labörs the Anti-pedo-baptist, or the Baptist, in their respective vineyards. As I presume I have, for this tine, nearly occupied the time allotted me, I will give place to my opponent.
Mr. Walker then proceeded
You see Mr. C. wants to be off to the dipping work, but I'll keep to the subject; he has broken through the rules; he was to keep to the subject, but he has got to his favorite topic, the mode. Well, he'll not draw me after bim-nor will I give up with my arguments. He may use his forty minutes as he pleases; he wants to draw me from the covenants--I see his design--but that. everlasting covenant which Jeremiah speaks of, and Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews, is of too much importance to be given up with so easily. Why is it called an everlasting covenant, if it was to be done away? No, it is confirmed by an oath-by the oath of Him that cannot lie by two immutable things, the promise and oath of the eternal God. Under this covenant the Jews lived ; hence they were said to be married to the Lord; I am married unto you, saith the Lord. Heb. 6, 13, “ For when God made promise unto Abraham, because he could swear by no greater he sware by himself, saying surely, blessing, I will bless thee, and multiplying, I will multiply thee, and so after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise." For men verily swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife ; wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath. That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge, to lay hold upon the hope set before us.
This covenant was confirmed in the above manner to the heirs of promise, which are believers, and their chil
dren, “For the promise is unto you and your child
Now the new covenant is, as I have before said, the same in substance with the old one; there may
be few new things, and yet the covenants be the same. (Here there was a repetition of the bond, and the 4th to the Romans was again brought forward, with the 11th, without the addition of one new idea, so that, unless I should transcribe the whole of what I bave already recorded on these topics, I have nothing more to bring forward spoken at this time on these subjects.] That the Jewish nation, said Mr. Walker, was the church of Christ, appears obvious from what Stephen says in the 7th of the Acts, 38. 66 This is he that was in the church in the wil. derness, with the angel that spoke to him in Mount Sinai, and with our fathers who received the lively oracles to give unto us." Here, then, the Jewish nation are called the church, and as they are so often called the
congregation of the Lord in the Old Testament, there is no reason why we should refuse to call then the church of Christ, equally with any in the New Testament times--Besides, in the Song of Solomon, the Jews and their offspring are figuratively represented as the bride or church of Christ. Song 1, 8, “ If thou knowest not, O thou fairest amongst women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherd's tents"-here the church is called the fairest among women; and the shepherd's tents, may denote the congregations of the church in which we see the little kids or infants are to be feda the Bridegroom says of his church, "My love, my undefiled is one,” thereby shewing that the church of Christ was ever one and the same. Is
I suppose, according to my opponent, there was no church in the world until the days of the Apostles. So that according to him the church of Christ never existed until about 1800 years ago. The Lord had no people in the world since the beginning till the Apostolic age, on his hypothesis. What then shallwe make of the Apostle's account of the church, in the 11th chapter of his epistle to the Hebrews, where he summonses a cloud of witnesses to show that from Abet to the present day, the faithful have ever been the same church, and possessed of the same faith? According to Mr. C. Moses, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were not members of the church; they had not any part in the church of Christ-Neither had David, Samuel, or the prophete,
any place amongst Christians. Strange views! Strange doctrine! That the world should pass on 4000 years without a church in it !-You see, my friends, rather than admit infant baptism, Mr, C. would destroy the church of Christ, or banish it from the Bible, till the time that he thought best suited his scheme. So far were the prophets from countenancing these views, that when Jeremialı speaks of Gospel times, he intimates that all these extensive blessings would be confirmed and secured to the house of Judah and to the house of Israel-66 Behold the day is come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Ju. dah.” Taking into view what I have said on the 11th to the Romans, with these additional remarks, I am of opin. ion that no unprejudiced person can doubt but that the Christian church is the same as the Jewish.
Mr. C. has called this everlasting covenant "an old musty covenant;" this is a handsome way of speaking of the Divine covenant-of that precious cuvenant of grace, which the saints in all ages have venerated-to such extremes must they be driven who would deny infant Baptism. I see my opponent wants to proceed, "I'll let him loose again."
I replied as follows:
To assert a proposition and to declaim upon it is easy ; but to prove a proposition that is not intuitively evident, requires close reasoning, and not pompous, loose declamation. I am sorry that Mr. W. should abound so much in assertion and declamation. To prove that the old covenant and the new are the same, he has quoted an epistle which he should never have mentioned for this purpose, that is, the epistle to the Hebrews: The Apostle, in the 8th chapter of this epistle, gives us what he calls “the sum” of all he had written in it. He begins by saying, 66 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum." [Here I read the whole chapter and commented on it. I shall not now transcribe the whole chapter nor the whole coinmerit upon it, but such parts of it as are inseparably connected with the controversy. I would request the reader to refer to the whole chapter.] The “ sum" of the Apostle's arguments was to prove, that the Aaronic Priesthood was an example or type of the Priesthood of Christ, and that Christ is the mediator of a better cove
nant, established upon better promises than that which Moses mediatell, than that given to the Jews--verses 6th & 7th, he says, “ But now he bath obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant which was established upon better promises; for if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second:” On these words observe, the Apostle declares that the reason why a new and better covenant was given, was, because of some imperfection in the old one-If that first covevant had been faultless-Yet Mr. W. will tell you the new is just the same-if so, then it is faulty. Paul saith the new covenant is better than the old- Mr. W. says it is just the same; Paul says the new is established upon better promises than the old-Mr. W. says they are the same. When Mr. W. and the Apostle Paul, in their respective systems, are thus at variance, each of you may judge which of the two is the safest guide. Rather than give up with his infant sprinkling, Mr. W. will run into these awful extremes !!!
Let us hear the Apostle further-verses 8th and 9th, “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold the day is come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord." Here the Apostle affirms that the Jews broke his covenant, and therefore the Lord proposed in future, that is in Gospel times, to make another--Mr. W. says to make the same -the Lord saith “Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers”-Mr. W. says, just according to the covenant he made with their fathers. Mr. W. some tiine ago said, the Lord regarded them as his people according to the covenant-The Lord saith," I regarded them not."
Now let us attend to the items of the new covenantan Verses 10th, 11th, & 12th, " For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, (after the Jewish state passed away) saith the Lord.' i will put my laws into their minds, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach every man his