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of believers under the Jewish dispensation, received the seal of the covenant, which was circumcision. So the children of believers, under the Christian dispensation, should receive the seal of the covenant, which is baptism. This is a token of their covenant relation. The Christian Church is a continuation of the Jewish Church. Consequently, as baptism is founded on the same relation of parents and children, and as, in regard to the covenant, it answers the same purpose with circumcision, so it comes in the place of it. The covenant remains the same, though the seal of it is altered. (e)* 2. Another argument for the baptism of the children of believers, is derived from
(e) Gen. xvii. 7. 9, 10, 11, 12. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations, for an everlasting covenant; to be a God unto thee, and thy seed after thee. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant, therefore, thou and thy seed after thee, in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee; every man-child among you shall be circumcised. And yé shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin ; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixi me and you. And he that is eight days old, shall be circumcised among you, every manchild in your generations ; he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.Gen. xvii. 26, 27. In the self-same day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son, and all the men of his house, born the conduct of Christ towards them, and his declara. tion concerning them. He approved of their being brought to Him
* There never was any age, at least since Abraham,' says Dr. Wall,' in which the children, whether of Jews or proselytes, that were admitted into covenant, had not some badge or sign of such their admission. The male children of Abraham's race were entered by circumcision. The whole body of the Jews, men, women, and children, were in Moses' time baptized. After which the male children of proselytes, that were entered with their parents, were, as well as their parents, admitted by circumcision, baptism and a sacrifice; the female children by a baptism and a szerifice. Now, after that circumcision and sacrifice were to be abolished under the gospel dispensation, there was nothing left but baptism or washing, for a sign of the covenant and of professing religion This our Saviour took probably as being the easiest and the least operose of all the rest ; and as being common to both sexes, making no difference of male or female, and enjoined it to all that should enter into the kingdom of God. John jii 5. And St. Paul does plainly intimate to the Col. ii. 11, 12, that it served them instead of circumcision al ing it the circumcision of Christ, or Christian circumcision.' History of Infant Baptism, V. 1. p. 90.
for His blessing, when forbidden by His disciples. He spoke of them with the tenderest
in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.--Gen. xxi. 4. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac, being eight days old, as God had commanded bim.Rom. xv. 8. Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.--Gal. ii. 17.7. 29. And this I say, that the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law wnich was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. Know ye, toerefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the chiliren of Abraham. And if ye be Christ's, then ye are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.-Rom. iv. 11. 16. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith, which he had, yet being uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed unio them also. Therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.--Acts ïi. 38, 39. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shal} receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.-Rom. xi. 16–20. For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not against the branches; but if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off that I might be graffed in. Well, because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith.-Eph. iii. 6. That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel. -Jer. xxx. 20. Their children shall also be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.—1 Cor. vii. 14. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean; but now are they holy-Gal. iii. 28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
affection, took them in His arms and blessed them, and declared that of such was His kingdom, either in its state of grace on earth, or in its state of glory in heaven. Surely, then, they are within the pale of the covenant, and, consequently, have a right to the privileges of the covenant, and to baptism, the seal of the covenant. (f). 3. The next argument for the baptism of children is the fact, that the Apostles baptized households. Their practice should be considered a rule for us on this subject. The households of the Jailer, Lydia, and Stephanas, were baptized, and on the faith of these persons, so far as appears. And is it not reasonable to suppose that some individuals of these families were children, or persons in minority ? (g) 4. The practice of the baptism of infants from the days of the Apostles to the present time, is an argument in favor of infant baptism. There is no ancient writer of distinction, who does not refer its origin, as a matter of certainty, to the usage of the Apostles. It appears from the writings of the pious, learned and accurate Dr. Wall, that infant baptism was not even denied by any for 1100 years after Christ. The denial of infant baptism, therefore, is somewhat a late thing, and wholly unwarranted by Scripture.* 5. Another argument for infant baptism
(f) Luke xviii. 15, 16. And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch thein; but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.
(g) Acts xvi. 33. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.-Acts xvi. 15. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come inio my house and abide there.—1 Cor. i. 16. And I baptized also the household of Stephis derived from the consequences of a denial of it. There is not the least ground for pretending to a regular succession of adult baptisms from the days of Christ to the present time, that is, the baptisms of adults by persons who had been baptized when adults. And as none are qualified to administer baptism, but such as have been properly baptized, so by nullifying infant baptisın, all baptism is nullified. Consequently, on this principle, none are now baptized, and none can be baptized till a new dispensation from heaven.*-May it not be fairly and fully
* Origen, who possessed more information than any man of his day, and who lived near the time of the apostles, says, ' Tho Church received a tradition, or order, from the apostles, to give baptism to little children also.' A little after the period in which Origen lived, a Council of 66 bishops unanimously decided, that .The baptism of infants was not to be delayed to the eighth day after the birth, as circumcision had been ; but might be given them at any time before.' The question they decided was not whether infants should be baptized, (there was no doubt on this point,) but whether they might be baptized before they were eight days old. Augustine, who was born in the middle of the fourth century, affirms, 'The whole Church practises infant baptism. It was not instituted by Councils, but was always in use.' Pelagius, who lived at the same time, and who had visited the most noted Churches in Europe, Asia, and Africa, declares that he never heard of any one, even the most impious heretic, who asserted that infants are not to be baptized.' For the first 400 years,' (after Christ,) says Dr. Wall, in his History of Infant Baptism, there appears only one man, Tertullian, that advised the delay of infant baptism, in some cases; and one Gregory, who did perhaps practise such delay, in the case of his own children ; but no society, so thinking, or so practising, nor one man so saying, that it was unlawful to baptize infants. In the next 700 years, there is not so much as one man to be found, that either spoke or practised such delay, but all the contrary. And when about the year 1130, one sect among the Waldenses declared against the baptizing of infants as being incapable of salvation, the main body of that people rejected their opinion. And the sect that still held to it quickly dwindled away and disappeared. And there was nothing more heard of holding that tenet till the year 1522.' Dr. Gill himself, one of the most learned of the Baptist writers, acknowledges, that infant baptism was the practice of the Church universally, from the third to the eleventh century.'
* The Rev. Roger Williams, who was the founder of the first Baptist church in Providence, R. I., in the year 1639, which was the first Baptist church established in this country, came to this same just conclusion. Secretary Morton, in his Memorial of New England, published in 1669, says, “They (Mr. Williams and others, who first settled Providence) had not been long there together, but from rigid separation they fell to Anabaptistry, renouncing the baptism which they had received in their infancy, and taking up another baptism, and so began a church in that way ; but Mr. Williams stopped not there long, for after some time he told the people that followed him, and joined with him in a new baptism, that he was out of the way himself, and had misled them, for he did not find that there was any upon earth that could administer baptism, and, therefore, their last baptism was a nullity, as well as their first; and, therefore, they must lay down all, and wait for the coming of the
concluded from the above arguments, that the infants of believers in covenant are proper subjects of baptism?
Q.8. Is it right and a duty for heads of families, who are Church members, to dedicate in baptism those children which are committed to them as their own, or which are under their special care and government?
A. It is. Under the Jewish dispensation, children holding this relation received the seal of the covenant, which was circumcision, and such children should now receive the seal of the covenant, which is baptism. It is also a reasonable service, and should not be neglected, as it is in the present day. (h)
(h) Gen. xvii. 12, 13. 26, 27. And he that is eight days old, shall be circumcised among you, every man-child
in your generations; he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. In the self-same day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son; and all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were cir cumcised with him.
Apostles.'--Mr. Williams had been a settled Pedobaptist minister in Salem, Mass., but on account of his having embraced some pe culiar views, especially in relation to civil government, he was banished from the Province of Massachusetts. He fled to Providence, R. I., and took with him eleven of his people. There they became Anabaptists, and formed, professed , a Baptist church. But how did they do it.' One Ezekiel Holyman, who was a layman, and who had been baptized in infancy, and by sprinkling, and con: sequently had never been baptized according to the views of the Baptists, took Mr. Williams and baptized him by immersion, or rather went through the ceremony of baptizing him; and then Mr. Williams, who, upon the principles of the Baptists, had never been baptized, rebaptized Mr. Holyman, the very individual who but just before went through the ceremony of baptizing him, and also the ten others, who fled from Massachusetts Bay. Now, upon Baptist principles, none of them were baptized, and, consequently, no Baptist church was established. And as all or nearly all the professed Baptist churches in this country sprang, it is presumed, directly or indirectly, from the church in Providence, so, upon Baptist principles, there are now none or but few Baptist churches in the sand. By unchurching us they unchurch themselves.-See Gov. ernor Winthrop's Journal, and Rev. Mr. Backus's Church History of New England.