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The author desires particularly to acknowledge his obligations to the Examination of Stuart, by Professor Ripley, and to the Christian Review, edited by Professor Sears. No one should read Professor Stuart's Essay without following it with the Examination – a work exhibiting a liberality of feeling, an acuteness of criticism, and a cogency of argument, which must inspire esteem and command respect, if they do not enforce conviction.

From the Review the opinions of the German critics have been mostly derived, and the examination of the ancient Fathers is to be referred to the same source. This periodical is published under the auspices of the Baptist denomination, and its pages furnish conclusive proof of the learning and ability of its conductors. It is destined to confer upon the denomination incalculable benefits, and should be possessed by all our members, both ministers and laity,

In stating the grounds on which the baptism of infants is supported, resort has usually been had to the Lectures of the Rev. Leonard Woods, D. D., the writer's venerated and beloved instructor in theology.

It would be a source of deep regret to the writer, should there be found in the spirit of these discourses any thing meriting condemnation. If he knows his own heart, he cherishes towards the brethren with whom he was formerly connected the warmest Christian affection. Having been uniformly happy in his church relations, and that happiness having suffered no interruption by his conscientious withdrawal from his Pedo-baptist associates, the writer has yet to learn that an honest difference of opinion among Christians is incompatible with the charity inculcated by the gospel.

With fervent prayers, that this humble effort may promote the cause of truth and piety, the author desires to commit it to the great Head of the church.

PREFACE

TO THE THIRD EDITION.

The kindness with which this humble tribute to the cause of truth has been received, demands a thankful acknowledgment to the great Head of the church, and an expression of gratitude to the Christian comm

amunity, through whose favor a third edition now appears.

Scarcely twelve months have elapsed since the work was first issued from the press. The first edition was immediately taken up, and a second was so soon called sor, that there was no opportunity for any alterations or additions, had any been deemed necessary.

Since the publishers have informed me that another edition is now required, I have been led to reconsider the arguments, facts, and considerations of the original work. The writer hopes he is by no means insensible to the defects of the volume. The discussion of various topics treated of might be greatly extended, and new topics of grave importance might be noticed; but the introduction of much new matter would not comport with the design of the work, would increase its cost as well as its size, and thereby diminish its usefulness as a popular treatise, intended for general circulation.

After carefully reviewing the whole subject, attentively considering the strictures of reviews, and of “ Answers to Jewett," and seriously reflecting upon the numerous kind suggestions of Pedo-baptist friends, I do not see that either truth or candor demand any important alterations. The study of the BIBLE more and more strongly convinces me that the reasonings are clearly drawn from the WORD or God, and the conclusions urged are agreeable to the

DIVINE WILL.

I have, therefore, made only one or two slight changes in the work, and have added such additional matter, only, as will increase its value, without materially increasing its bulk.

With humility and devout gratitude, the author desires once more to commend this effort to Him in whose hands are the hearts of all his saints.

M. P. J.

INTRODUCTION.

EXTRACTS OF A LETTER FROM THE AUTHOR, GIVING

AN ACCOUNT OF HIS CHANGE OF VIEWS, AND WRITTEN A FEW DAYS AFTER HIS BAPTISM.

“ MARIETTA COLLEGE, June 23, 1838. "Perhaps you

know I have preached for about two years past to a Presbyterian church in the country. Some eighteen months ago, an elder of that church became a Baptist. On the occasion of his baptism, a sermon was preached by Rev. Hiram Gear, the Baptist minister in Marietta. This sermon disturbed several members of my church, and the session requested me to preach on baptism, in reply. I declined, saying, the best way to manage the excitement was, totally to disregard it; pleading my duties in college, &c. Soon the session applied to me a second time, insisting that I must preach on the subject; sev-' eral members of the church were in trouble, and a discourse must be delivered. Finding that the interest in the subject was not likely to die by neglect on my part, I told the church I would

prepare a discourse as soon as practicable, and begged them to remain quiet till they should hear what I might have to say.

“ Thus compelled to write, I determined to go into an original investigation of the whole matter, proceeding just as if I had never heard or read any thing on either side, and endeavoring, with a spirit of candid and prayerful inquiry, to seek after the mind of Christ. I began my researches by reading Professor Stuart on Bantito, the ablest Pedo-baptist work on the philology of the subject. The inquiry was, What does Christ mean when he commands his ministers to baptize? I was soon astonished to find, in Stuart's investigation, proof so strong that the word, in its literal, ordinary sense, universally means to immerse, plunge, or dip. It looked as if, with this fact before him, the learned professor ought to have become a Baptist. I was alarmed, and would have given up the inquiry, but could not. I laid aside Stuart, and

an investigation of the original Scriptures relative to the language used respecting the ordinance. I also examined Josephus, and the classics, so far as I had the means. The further I prosecuted my inquiries, the stronger was the evidence in favor of Baptist views. Thus passed some months. The people had become tired of asking after my scrmon on Baptism, but

entered upon

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