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the seal of circumcision was to last among the Jews as long as the law lasted, to which it obliged them. By plain parity of reason, baptism, which came in its room, must last among Christians as long as the gospel covenant into which it admits, and whereunto it obliges all nations.

3. This appears also from the original commission which our Lord gave to his apostles, "Go, disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them'—'And, lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world. Now as long as this commission lasted, as long as Christ promised to be with them in the execution of it, so long doubtless were they to execute it, and to baptize as well as to teach. But Christ hath promised to be with them, that is by his Spirit, in their successors, to the end of the world. So long therefore without dispute, it was his design, that baptism should remain in his church.

IV. 1. But the grand question is, Who are the proper subjects of baptism? Grown persons only, or infants also? In order to answer this fully, I shall, first, lay down the grounds of infant-baptism, taken from Scripture, reason, and primitive, universal practice ; and, secondly, answer the objections against it.

2. As to the grounds of it; if infants are guilty of original sin, then they are proper subjects of baptism : seeing in the ordinary way, they cannot be saved, unless this be washed away by baptism. It has been already proved, that this original stain cleaves to every child of man; and that hereby they are children of wrath, and liable to eternal damnation. It is true, the Second Adam has found a remedy for the disease which came upon all by the offence of the first. But the benefit of this is to be received through the means which he hath appointed: through baptism in particular, which is the ordinary means he hath appointed for that purpose: and to which God hath tied us, though he may not have tied himself. Indeed where it cannot be bad, the case is different: but extraordinary cases do not make void a standing rule. This, therefore, is our first ground : infants need to be wasbed from original sin : therefore they are proper subjects of baptism.

3. Secondly, If infants are capable of making a covenant, and were and still are under the evangelical covenant, then they have a right to baptism, which is the entering seal thereof. But infants are capable of making a covenant, and were and still are under the evangelical covenant.

The custom of nations and common reason of mankind, prove that infants may enter into a covenant, and may be obliged by compacts made by others in their names, and receive advantage by them But we have stronger proof than this, even God's own word, (Deut. xxix. 10, 11, 12, Ye stand this day all of you before the Lordyour captains, with all the men of Israel ; your little ones, your wives, and the stranger--that thou shouldst enter into covenant with the Lord thy God. Now God would never have made a covepant with little ones, if they had not been capable of it. It is not


said children only, but little children, the Hebrew word properly signifying infants. And these may be still, as they were of old, obliged to perform in after-time, what they are not capable of performing at the time of their entering into that obligation.

4. The infants of believers, the true children of faithful Abraham, always were under the gospel covenant. They were included in it, they had a right to it, and to the seal of it: as an infant heir has a right to his estate, though he cannot yet have actual possession. The covenant with Abraham was a gospel covenant, the condition the same, namely, faith : which the apostle observes was

imputed unto him for righteousness. The inseparable fruit of this faith was obedience; for by faith he left his country, and offered his

The benefits were the same ; for God promised, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed after thee :' and he can promise no more to any creature ; for this includes all blessings, temporal and eternal. The Mediator is the same ; for it was in his seed, that is, in Christ, (Gen. xxii. 18. Gal. iii. 16.) that all nations were to be blessed : on which very account the apostle says, “The gospel was preached unto Abraham.' (Gal. iii. 8.) Now the same promise that was made to him, the same covenant that was made with him, was made with his children after him.' (Gen. xvii. 7. Gal. iii. 7.) And upon that account it is called “an everlasting covenant.' In this covenant children were also obliged to what they knew not, to the same faith and obedience with Abraham.. And so they are still : as they are still equally entitled to all the benefits and promises of it.

5. Circumcision was then the seal of the covenant; which is itself therefore figuratively termed, The Covenant. (Acts vii. 8.) Hereby the children of those who professed the true religion, were then admitted into it, and obliged to the conditions of it, and when the law was added,' to the observance of that also. And when the old seal of circumcision was taken off, this of baptism was added in its room: our Lord appointing one positive institution to succeed another. A new seal was set to Abraham's covenant: the seals differed, but the deed was the same ; only that part was struck off which was political or ceremonial. That baptism came in the room of circumcision, appears as well from the clear reason of the thing, as from the apostle's argument, where, after circumcision, he mentions baptism, as that wherein God had forgiven us our trespasses :' to which he adds, the blotting out the handwriting of ordinances, plainly relating to circumcision and other Jewish rites; which as fairly implies, that baptism came in the room of circumcision, as our Saviour's styling the other sacrament, the passover, (Col. ii

. 11, 12, 13. Luke xxii: 15.) shows that it was instituted in the place of it. Nor is it any proof that baptism did not succeed circumcision, because it differs in some circumstances, any more than it proves the Lord's supper did not succeed the passover, because in several circumstances it differs from it. This then is a second ground. Infants are capable of entering into covenant with God. As they al

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ways were, so they still are under the evangelical covenant. . Therefore they have a right to baptism, which is now the entering seal thereof.

6. Thirdly, If infants ought to come to Christ, if they are capable of admission into the church of God, and consequently of solemn, sacramental dedication to him, then they are proper subjects of baptism. But infants are capable of coming to Christ, of admission. into the church, and solemn dedication to God.

That infants ought to come to Christ appears from his own words. • They brought little children to Christ, and the disciples rebuked. them. And Jesus said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.' (Matt. xix. 13, 14.) St. Luke expresses it still more strongly, (chap. xviii. 15.) • They brought unto him even infants, that he might touch them." These children were so little, that they were brought to him. Yet he says,

• Suffer them to come unto me:' so little that he took them up in his arms;' yet he rebukes those who would have hindered their coming to him. And his command respected the future as well as the present. Therefore his disciples or ministers are still to. suffer infants to come, that is to be brought unto Christ. But they. cannot now come to him, unless by being brought into the church : which cannot be but by baptism. Yea, and..of such, says our Lord, is the kingdom of heaven;' not of such only, as were like these infants. For if they themselves were not fit to be subjects of that kingdom, how could others be so, because they were like them ? Infants, therefore, are capable of being admitted into the church,. and have a right thereto. Even under the Old Testament they were admitted into it by circumcision. And can we suppose they are in a worse condition under the gospel, than they were under the law ? And that our Lord would take away any privileges which they then enjoyed ? Would he not rather make additions to them ? This then is a third ground. Infants ought to come to Christ, and no man ought to forbid them. They are capable of admission into the church of God. Therefore they are proper subjects of baptism.

7. Fourthly, If the apostles baptized infants, then are they proper subjects of baptism. But the apostles baptized infants, as is plain. from the following consideration. The Jews constantly baptized as well as circumcised all infant-proselytes. Our Lord therefore com-manded his apostles, to proselyte or disciple all nations by baptizing them, and not forbidding them to receive infants as well as others, they must needs baptize children also.

That the Jews admitted proselytes by baptism as well as by circumcision, even whole families together, parents and children, we have the unanimous testimony of their most ancient, learned, and. authentic writers. The males they received by baptism and circumcision; the women by baptism only. Consequently the apostles, unless our Lord had expressly forbidden it, would of course do the. „same thing. Indeed the consequence would hold from circumcision only. Fox.

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if it was the custom of the Jews, when they gathered proselytes out of all nations, to admit children into the church by circumcision, though they could not actually believe the law or obey it ; then the apostles, making proselytes to Christianity by baptism, could never think of excluding children, whom the Jews always admitted (the reason for their admission being the same) unless our Lord had expressly forbidden it. It follows, the apostles baptized infants. Therefore they are proper subjects of baptism.

8. If it be objected, there is no express mention in Scripture of any infants whom the apostles baptized : I would ask, Suppose no mention had been made in the Acts of those two women baptized by the apostles, yet might we not fairly conclude, that when so many thousands, so many entire households were baptized, women were not excluded ? Especially since it was the known custom of the Jews to baptize them? The same holds of children: Nay more strongly, on the account of circumcision. Three thousand were baptized by the apostles in one day, and five thousand in another. And can it be reasonably supposed, that there were no children among such vast numbers ? Again, the apostles baptized many families : nay, we hardly read of one master of a family, who was converted and baptized, but his whole family, (as was before the custom among the Jews,) were baptized with him. Thus the jailer's household," he and all his the household of Caius,' of Stephanus,' of «Crispus.' And can we suppose, that in all these households, which, we read, were without exception baptized, there should not be so much as one child, or infant ? But, to go one step further. St. Peter says to the multitude, Acts ii. 38, Repent and be baptized every one of you, for the remission of sins. For the promise is to you and to your children.' Indeed the answer is made directly, to those who asked, "What shall we do ? But it reaches farther than to those who asked the question. And though children could not actually repent, yet they might be baptized. And that they are included appears, 1. Because the apostle addresses himself to every one of them, and in every one, children must be contained ; 2. They are expressly mentioned, «The promise is to you and to your children.'

9. Lastly, If to baptize infants has been the general practice of the Christian church in all places and in all ages, then this must have been the practice of the apostles, and consequently the mind of Christ. But to baptize infants has been the general

practice of the Christian church, in all places and in all ages. Of this we have unexceptionable witnesses. St. Austin for the Latin church, (who flourished before the year 400,) and Origen for the Greek, (born in the second century,) both declaring, not only that the whole church of Christ did then baptize infants, but likewise that they received this practice from the apostles themselves. (August. de Genesi, Lib. 10. c. 23. Orig. in Rom. 6.) St. Cyprian likewise is express for it, and a whole council with bim (Epis. ad Fidum.) If need were we might cite likewise Athanasius, Chrysostom, and a cloud of

witnesses. Nor is there one instance to be found in all antiquity, of any orthodox Christian, who denied baptism to children when brought to be baptized: nor any one of the fathers, or ancient wri. ters, for the first eight hundred years at least, who held it unlawful. And that it has been the practice of all regular churches ever since, is clear and manifest. Not only our own ancestors when first converted to Christianity, not only all the European churches, but the African too and the Asiatic, even those of St. Thomas in the Indies, do and ever did baptize their children. The fact being thus cleared, that infant-baptism has been the general practice of the Christian church in all places and in all ages, that it has continued without interruption in the church of God, for above seventeen hundred years, we may safely conclude, it was handed down from the apostles, who best knew the mind of Christ.

10. To sum up the evidence; if outward baptism be generally, in an ordinary way, necessary to salvation, and infants may be saved as well as adults, nor ought we to neglect any means of saving them : if our Lord commands such to come, to be brought unto him, and declares, 'of such is the kingdom of heaven:' if infants are capable of making a covenant, or having a covenant made for them by others, being included in Abraham's covenant, (which was a covenant of faith, an evangelical covenant) and never excluded by Christ: if they have a right to be members of the church, and were accordingly members of the Jewish: if, suppose our Lord had designed to exclude them from baptism, he must have expressly forbidden his apostles to baptize them, (whích none dares to affirm he did,) since otherwise they would do it of course, according to the universal practice of their nation: if it is highly probable they did so, even from the letter of Scripture, because they frequently baptized whole households, and it would be strange, if there were no children among them: if the whole church of Christ, for seventeen hundred years together baptized infants, and were never opposed till the last century but one, by some not very holy men in Germany : Lastly, if there are such inestimable benefits conferred in baptism, the washing away the guilt of original sin, the ingrafting us into Christ, by making us members of his church, and thereby giving us a right to all the blessings of the gospel : it follows, that infants may, yea, ought to be baptized, and that none ought to hinder them.

I am, in the last place, to answer those objections, which are commonly brought against infant-baptism.

1. The chief of these is: “Our Lord said to his apostles, (Matt. xxviii. 19,) “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.' Here Christ himself put teaching before baptizing. Therefore infants being incapable of being taught, are incapable of being baptized.

I answer, 1. The order of words in Scripture, is no certain rule for the order of things. We read in St. Mark i. 4, John baptized in the wilderness, and preached the baptism of repentance.' And, ver. 5, .They were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

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