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ON THE SUBJECT OF

CHRISTIAN BAPTISM,

PRESENTED IN THREE PARTS, VIZ.

1. Believers proved to be the only proper subjects of Chris-
tian Baptism.

II. The different modes of administering this ordinance in use
among the Churches shown to be valid.

III. Open Communion with all Evangelical Christians illus-
trated and defended.

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26524 C34

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INTRODUCTION..

THE question, who are to be baptized, has received, and continues to receive, different answers. Some affirm that believers in Jesus are the only proper subjects of this ordinance; others insist that not only believers, but their infant children, or households, are proper subjects.

It is obvious, that the one or the other of these opinions, and of the respective practices founded thereon, must be wrong. Either the former class fail, in part, to do what Christ has solemnly required to be done; or the latter go beyond his order, and baptize multitudes who do not come within the compass of their commission.

Taking unauthorized ground, whether it be done by the one, or the other, materially alters the course prescribed by our Lord, and deranges the order which belongs to his kingdom.

Not that I would represent the errour, in either case, as fatal. There are doubtless Christians among both Baptists and Pedobaptists. Nevertheless, the errour of the one, or of the other, is extremely hurtful, and ought to be relinquished.

The subject of Christian baptism is one of great practical importance. This is evinced by many considerations: some of which are the following, viz: its being a positive institution, and one of the two Christian sacraments, or New Testament ordinances; its being a badge of discipleship, and a door of entrance into the visible church; its forming, of course, a dividing line between the visible kingdom of Christ and the world; its being a bond of union among Christian professors; and its laying the baptized under peculiar obligations to a holy life. There is, al-so, a peculiar prominence given to this ordinance in all the New Testament records.

It is therefore, as above stated, a subject of great practical importance. The authority and glory of Christ, and the good of Zion, are seriously affected by the manner in which this subject is viewed and treated.

The duty and proper employment of Christians is to obey the precepts of Christ, their Lord and Master. "Ye are my

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