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capable subjects of instruction ?-A. Yes; by the merite and atonement of Christ.
Q. 89. Can we say how many, or whether all those who die in infancy, are saved ?-A. There is no revelation of the Divine will on this subject; they are in the hands of one who feels more tenderly for them than we can, and we should cheerfully resign them to him, as unto a faithful creator."
Q. 90. As our greatest concern is with them that live, how should we manage them during childhood, with remard to their spiritual concerns ?-A. We should bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”-that is, we should make them well acquainted with the scriptures of truth ; make them commit to memory the most plain and striking parts of it, respecting their present state and condition, the character of God, and of his son Jesus Christ our Lord, and the Doctrine of Christ : above all we should exhibit a good example before them, both in word and deed, and in their presence, as Christian parents, pray for them --for their illumination, rénovation, and salvation-without endeavoring to force a profession of religion upon them, or the views of any particular party or sect. In every part of ourinstructions, & in relation to their whole deportment, we should deeply impress their minds with the view of a future state of retribution, and their accountability to God for all things committed to them, and by them thought, said or done. But let us leave it to God to make Christians of them, for if we attempt it, we shall spoil it. Q. 91. Should we ever urge them to profess christianity?
No. We should teach tbem what it is to be a Chriswian, and the awful consequences of rejecting the Gospel, and dying in infidelity, but leave it to their own conscience, when, and how, to profess Christianity.
Q. 92. Would the sprinkling of them in infancy, tend to accelerate their conversion-would it secure, that they ever would be Christians, or confer upon them any Christian benefit ? A. Not in the least.
Q. 93. Have not many good Christians had their infants sprinkled or baptized in infancy IA. I make no doubt but there were, and there are still some good Christians in this practice. Q. 94. But would you make this a reason, why you,
who are convinced that the thing is a mere tradition of men, should practice'it ?- No; for then might you pray to the Virgin Mary, believe in purgatory, make the sign of the cross in baptizing, believe in the divine right of kings, swear to the "golemn league,"believe the doctrine of consubstana
tiation and transubstantiation, go into a monastery, take the vow of celibacy, or have more wives than one. For some good men have done some of these things.
Q. 95. Is not the same action alike good or bad to alt who practice it?--A. No--for there is a great moral difference betwixt a person performing an action, thinking it right, and one performing the same action, doubting of its propriety, or knowing it to be wrong. The former is a simple mistake, the latter a wilful transgression. James says" to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin;" and Paul," he that doubteth is condemned if he eat," or act. Even civil law discriminates between the different degrees of demerit in the same action, arising from the knowledge and determination of the agent. Hence we have different kinds of murder, and different punishments an. nexed to each, according to the circumstances of it.
Q. 96. Are there not two kinds of sins of ignorance ?--1. Yes : there is an unavoidable ignorance, and a wilful igno
The former exists where the subject has no possible. means of information, such as the Indian's ignorance of the Savior; the latter exists where the subject might know, if he would avail himself of the means of knowledge, which he possesses, such as the pedo-baptist's ignorance of the true subject and action of baptism. Whatever excuse can be plead for the former, there is no extenuation of the latter.
Q. 97. If infant baptism be so evil a thing as is often represented by the baptists; it apears strange that the Almighty should have tolerated its continuance so long and suffered it to extend so far with impunity: how do you account for this ?--A. The Almighty has suffered many errors to exist for so long a time, yea for a much longer time. The whole system of Antichrist is now more than 1200 years old, and paganism is several thousand years old. The fature state only will exhibit the causes of this.
Q. 98. Do the baptists believe that all they receive are born from above R--A. Yes: in the judgment of charity they consider them as professing what they possess : hence they are justifiable in baptizing them. But a pedo-baptist cannot say, that, in the judgment of charity, he thinks all those he baptizes or sprinkles are christians.
R. 99. How do you view all pedo-baptists with regard to this ordinance of baptism, can you, according to the scriptures consider them baptized persons, or do you consider them as unbaptized ?--A. There is but one baptism, and all who have not been immersed in the name of the Father, Son and holy Spirit, after having professed the faith of the Gospel, have never been baptized, and are now in an unbaptized state,
Q. 100. Why are all good people so much divided in their views of the scripture, seeing they have but one Bible, and alt read it in the same language :- A. Because they belong to different sects, and have different systems, and they rather wake the Bible bow to their own system, received by tradition from their fathers, than make their system bow to the Bible; or in other words, each man, too generally, views the Bible through the medium of his system, and of course it will appear to him to favor it Just as if A, B & C should each put on different colored glasses, A puts on green spectacles, B yellow, and C blue : each one of them looks through his own glasses at a piece of white paper, and each concludes that he is right, not remembering that he has his spectacles on. Thus, to.A it appears green, to B yellow, and to C blue. They begin to argue on the subject, and it is impossible for any one of them to convince another that he is wrong, each one feels a conviction next to absolute certainty that his opinion is right. But D, who has no spectacles on, and who is standing looking on, during the contest, very well knows that they are all. wrong, he sees the spectacles. un each man's nose and easily accounts for the difference.. Thus one professor reads the Bible withi John Calvin on his Mose, another with John Wesley on his nose, a third with John Gill on his, and a fourth with good old Thomas Boston or the good old lights of Scotland. Thrice happy is the man who lifts the Bible as if it had dropt from heaven into his hand alone, and whose eyes are anointed with the true eye: palve that he may see.
No. THREE ADDITIONAT ARGUMENTS.." 1. THAT infant baptism did not originate until' a very great defection took place in the Christian religion, appears further obvious from the fact, that schools were formed in churches as early as the close of the second century, for preparing minors for baptism. The menibers of these schools were called 6 Catechumens," and were the children of believers or of those who were friendly to Christianity. These catechumens were divided into four classes, according to their rank and attainments. The first class was iostructer at home; the second was called "Audientes," because they were permitted to hear sermons; the third was called "Genuflectentes," because they were received by the imposition of hands kneeling; the fourth was called "Comm petentes it electi," denoting the immediate candidates fos
baptism, at the next festival. Minors were admitted into this state by the imposition of hands, and the sigu of the cross. After examination, they were exercised for twenty days together, and were obliged to fasting and confession. Some days before baptism they went veiled, and it was customary to touch their ears, saying, Ephatha, i. e. be. opened ; as also to anoint their eyes with clay. (See Buck's Theological Dictionary, on the article Catechumens.) They were called Catechumens, from their being tauglit in the way of questions and answers to prepare them for baptism.
The argument that I draw from the existence of the Catechumens, is this-That, as the Catechumens were the children of believers, and of those favorable to Christian principles, and the intention of their being so classed was to prepare them for baptism ; it is abundantly evident that infant baptism was not practised from the beginning of Christianity ; for, then, this preparative state, in order to bantism: 0!!! hare been impossible and unmeaning. As a fact still further corroborative of this argument, i bild observe, that as soon as infant baptism becaine generai, the Catechumen state expired, as no longer of use. Those who wish to become more fully acquainted with these Catechu. mens, I would refer to Eusebius and Du Pin.
2. A second argument against the pedo-baptists may be strongly urged from 1 Cor. 15, 29; with regard to the import and inode of administering the ordinance. The words are, « else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all ?” “Why are they then baptized for the dead ?" This verse bas often puzzled pedobaptist commentators. It is, however, very plain, when we consider the Apostle's design, which, in the whole of this chapter, was to prove and illustrate the doctrine of the res. urrection of the dead. The Apostle's argument stands thus mit How absurd must they appear who are baptized as an 'emblem of their resurrection from the dead, if there be no resurrection, seeing this ordinance is designed to set forth a resurrection, it must of course be an unmeaning sign, and those who submit to it must be sailly disappointed if the dead rise not.” But is there any thing like a resurrection in infant sprinkling?
3. A third argument against the pedo-pabtist system, may be derived from the fact, that " A LIMITED COMMISSION IMPLIES A PROHIBITION OF SUCH THINGS AS ARE NOT CONTAINED IN IT; AND POSITIVE LAWS IMPLY THEIR NEGATIVE.” The commission under which the AStles acted was limited, as every Christian will confesso
The duties of those who act uuder it are pointed out, and indeed every creature must act under a limited commission, for the very terin itself imports something committed from 4 superior, or from the supreme.
The items contained in any commission, are all the things which the commissioned are authorized to perform. If these were not the case, a formal commission is quite ad unineaning thing. Hence, the commission of a magistrate points out, and circumscribes the duties of his office; if this were not the case, he might attend to the duties of the Sheriff, the Alderman, or the Legislator. Now his commission prohibits him from practising as a Legislator, and aus thorises him to act as a Justice of the Peace. In like wau. per the commission to baptize believers or disciples, proliib: its the baptism of others--yea, it forbids infant baptism as plainly ag" thou shalt not steal," implies thou must be honest, or as, “ I have appointed the sons of Levi to minister in the service of the tabernacle" prohibits the sons of Beniamin or any other tribe, from ministering in those things, Unless Pedo-baptists can shew a new commission from Heaven, and confirm it by miracles, authorizing them to baptize infants, they should candidly give up their cause, for this last argument completely overthrows it; and if there was not a second argument in the world against their cause, in this respect, all their genius, learning and talents combi med, are unable to remove it.
No. 8. THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE MATTER. TIIUS have I at length arrived at the close of my essay, havinig experienced very many interruptions, from the variety of my ave. cations, and unexpected occurrences. I presume few books have appeared under more inauspicious circumstances, tban the present ; written bastily, an hour now, and an hour then, at the inter. vals of other unavoidable engagements ; not so much as once transcribed, appearing in the plain garb of my first thoughts ; and, ow. ing to my distance from the press, the proof sheets not corrected by myself. To think that, under these circumstances, it does not possess“many defects in style and arrangement, would be arrogating to myself more than the oldest authors and most experienced writers, could, in justice, claim. Conscious, however, of the justo ness of its contents, the plainess and evidence of the arguments exhibited in it, and the goodness of the cause which it espouses, I was induced to usher it into the public with all its imperfections on its head Some typographical errors, in orthngraphy and punctuation, in it, are to the generality of readers unimportant, other errors will be noticed in an arrata.
With regard to the spirit and temper of mind in which it was written, 1 can conscientiously say, it was that of beaçvolence and