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dren,” it is clearly intimated that the child was about to SECT. become one.

III. With respect to Wesleyan methodist baptism, while Methodists its forms resemble in some measure those of the episco- cient forms pal church, the doctrinal ideas associated with it by its with Cal.

vinistic readefenders, in that numerous and respectable body, are sons. generally borrowed from the writings of Calvinistic divines. An instance of this has recently occurred, in which a methodist minister has (it is to be hoped through want of more correct information) palmed upon his brethren the very worst of Dr. Miller's misrepresentations. It is not necessary therefore to enter more minutely into the investigation of this ordinance as found in the methodist church, since the authorized statements respecting it are exceedingly loose and indefinite; and the divines of that church who have favoured the world with their views, generally concur with their Calvinistic brethren on this point. I may however be permitted to observe, that when the The “ Dis

cipline” upDiscipline” distinctly affirms that “ the baptism of thy holds well beloved Son Jesus Christ in the river Jordan, did Christ's

baptism as sanctify water for this holy sacrament," it would be well an example. for the ministers of that church to avoid exhorting their people “ not to follow Christ in baptism ;” and as the “ Discipline” maintains that Christ was baptized in Jordan, they will do well to be careful at least not to print any insinuations as to the indelicacy of immersion.

k

Did the limits of the work permit, I might insert some

k I am aware, however, that in some instances, the authority of great names in the methodist church may be found sanctioning some of the wildest fancies of the Fathers respecting infant baptism; but wherever fidelity will permit, it is pleasing to exercise forbearance.

CHAP. extracts from other confessions of the Reformed churches
X.

in Europe ;' but it is unnecessary, as they all proceed
on the principle that children are to be baptized, because
they are “ingrafted into Christ;" and rest their proof
on circumcision, and on Christ's saying, “Suffer little
children to come unto me and forbid them not."

Comparison of the different Baptisms. Baptism of The reader has now ample proof before him, that till the ancient church.

the time of Calvin, the church, true or apostate, never entertained the idea of baptism without renunciation of the devil, a profession of faith, and a desire for baptism, on the part of the individual to be baptized. It is true that in the time of Gregory, little children at three years old were admitted to renounce the devil (poor little dears, they knew but little how faithfully many of them would live to serve him) and say the creed, that they might be baptized; and in some cases infants were brought to the baptistery" to be regenerated (as Gregory says) without their knowing it ;” but then some one stood up for them, and declared they did renounce, and believe, and desire to be baptized. The importance of faith to baptism is nowhere shown more clearly than in the baptism of infants in the ancient church; for as there could be no baptism without faith, and the babes could not speak themselves, the church provided a friend to come and declare for the child that he did renounce and did be. lieve! What can be greater proof of the essentiality of faith to baptism in the view of the ancient church than that her priests should patronize so absurd a fiction rather than appear to dispense with it? In fact, we have

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1 From a valuable work, “Corpus et Syntagma Confessionum Fidei, quæ in diversis Regnis, &c., Genevæ, 1654.”

seen that Augustine regards faith and baptism so in. SECT. separable, that the child may be regarded as having faith when baptized, because it has had the sacrament of faith!

III.

John Cal

Let us now turn our attention to the baptism of Cal- Baptism of vin, followed as he has been by congregationalists, and vin. even methodists, as well as presbyterians and others, in his views of baptism. Is there any renunciation of sin, any expression of faith, any promise of future obedience, made by the child ?-Any remission of sin ?--No! this was too gross for Calvin to copy; but in doing away with these fictitious professions, he instituted a rite of baptism, more entirely free from any resemblance to that instituted by Jesus Christ, than the most corrupt form baptism had assumed in the Roman church : and the baptism practised by the ecclesiastical bodies who have received their forms from Geneva, is an institution of John Calvin, with no more right to claim the baptism of the Fathers as its authority than it has the baptism of the New Testament. When pædobaptists return to infant baptism as in the days of Augustine, and even of Cyprian, and immerse their infants on a profession of their faith, for the remission of sin, and regard them truly as members of the church of Christ, and give them the Lord's Supper, that they may have eternal life as well as a title to the kingdom of heaven; then, and not till then, will they be in a position to recommend that practice to others as doing what the ancient church affirmed to be of apostolic tradition. Certain it is, that neither Augustine, nor Origen, nor any other Father, ever has affirmed, that sprinkling infants without any renunciation or profession being made by them, through their sponsor, was an apostolic tradition. However Dr. Woods and Dr. Miller may prove the practice of the

CHAP. episcopal church to be ancient, and reputed to be of X.

apostolical origin, they never can exhibit any other origin for their infant baptism but the form approved by that famous, godly, learned man, John Calvin-a baptism, without faith, without remission of sin, without regeneration ; but with an advantage which as no one has ever been sensible of experiencing, so no one has ever been able intelligibly to describe. When our friends however set out on their return from the paths of modern innovation, to the good old paths of the early ages, I would suggest to them not to stop short till they arrive at the apostolic age; and then, according to the most learned pædobap

tists, there will be an end of the controversy. The three Reader, the baptism of the Apostles, the baptism of the baptisms.

Fathers, the baptism of Calvin, are all plainly before you.

I will not suffer myself to suppose, that on the one hand, you will find any difficulty in discerning the marked distinctions, nor on the other, that you will hesitate as to your choice and the discharge of your duty.

CHAPTER XI.

PHILOSOPHY OF BAPTISM; OR THE MORAL TEN

DENCY OF BELIEVERS' AND INFANT BAPTISM
COMPARED.

SECTION I.

MORAL INFLUENCE OF BAPTISM ON THE EVIDENCE AND

CHARACTER OF CHRISTIANITY, AS A SYSTEM OF DIVINE

ORIGIN.

GREAT is the contrast, not only between the light of SECT.

I. the “ glorious gospel” and the gross darkness of heathen systems of superstition, but also between that full de- Spirituality

the genius velopement of divine truth and the partial glimmerings of the

Christian of the Mosaic economy. The characteristic feature of

dispensathat economy (established indeed for most wise and tion. important purposes,) is that it was ceremonial ; the distinguishing feature of the Christian dispensation is that of its spirituality. The very first element of Christianity is, that all its truths are addressed to the understanding, and that its services require the exercise of the intellect and of the heart of the individual benefited by them. To this great principle the more corrupt churches altogether demur, and fill their religious services with forms and words of the meaning of which the participator and rehearser has no conception. Against this, however, the reformed churches protest upon the general principle of

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