Imatges de pàgina
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As for Antipædobaptism, whatever be judged of the proofs brought to shew that there have been sume societies of men that have owned it, as the Petrobrusians lately mentioned, &c. there is no pretence that it has been, or is now, the opinion of any national church in the world. Wherever there are at present any Christians of that persuasion, they are as Dissenters from the general body of Christians in that place. If this admit of any exception, it is in the country of Georgia or Circassia, of which I shall speak presently.

This, for all Europe, is notorious; the Papists do not only own infant baptism, but do generally still hold, that an infant dying unbaptizer, though by misadventure, cannot come to the kingdom of Heaven; but must go to the region of Hades, called Limbus Infantum ; and they have scarce aiiy Antipædobaptists mixed among them in the countries where they have the government.

In many of the Protestant or reformed countries, there are some of this persuasion ; in some more, in some fewer, in some none at all; but in none of them has it prevailed to be the established religion; and though the contrary be not at all pretended, yet Mr. Walker has taken pains to prove this by reciting their several confessions, wherein they own infant baptism, and, among the rest, that of the Waldenses (1435) or Vaudois, assembled at Angrogne.

The Church of England is taken notice of by some, to speak very moderately in this matter:-- T“ The baptism of young children is in anywise to be retained in the church, as most agreeable to the institution of Christ;" yet they own, as I shewed before $, the “necessity of this sacrament where it may be had ;" and they do not think fit to use the office of burial (in which the diseased is styled a brother) for infants that die without it.

The Greek Christians also of Constantinople, and other parts of Europe under the Turk’s dominion, are

* Modest Plea, c. 27,

+ Article 27.

Ch. 6,

known to baptize infants.

Sir Paul Ricaut, among others, has given a full * account of their manner of doing it, and wherein they differ from the ceremonies of the Latins.

The same may be said of the Muscovites, who were, from their first conversion a part of the Greek Church; but do of late choose a patriarch of their own. Of their practice in this matter for the last centuries, Mr. Walker has recited evidences in the chapter aforesaid; and for their present practice every one knows it. They are said formerly to have baptized none before the 40th day, except in case of necessity; but Dr. Crull, who has wrote latest of them, says, † That now they baptize their children as soon as they are born.”

In all the countries of Asia the government is either Mahometan or Pagan ; yet in many of them, and especially of those under the Turks, the greatest part of the people are still Christian. There are also many Christians in several of the countries that are under the Persian government, and some in those of the Mogul. These have all continued now a long time under persecution and daily hardships, and in great want of the means of instruction; yet have kept most of the main articles of the Christian religion. There are some of them Nestorians, as those who acknowledge the patriarch of Mosul; some Eutychians, -as the Jacobites, the Maronites (and the Armenians, as most say; but Sir Paul Ricaut judges otherwise of them). An account of their several tenets is given by Brerewood, in his Enquiries ; Heylin, in his Cosmography, &c. : they do all hold and practise infant baptism.

Col. Danvers says, I That the Armenians are confest by Heylin (Microc. page 573) “ to defer baptism of children till they be of grown years.” Heylin, in his youth, wrote a short tract of Geography, called Microcosm; and afterwards, living to a more mature age,

* Present State of Greek Church, c. 7.
f Present State of Muscovp, vol. 1, c. 11.

Treat. part. 1, c. cent. 16.

he wrote a large volume on the same subject, called Cosmography; wherein he added a great many particulars concerning each nation, that were not in the former piece; also several things he altered and amended upon better information, and he left out such things as he had not found to be confirmed. Now in that former place he had divided Armenia into three parts :--1,That which is properly so called ; 2, Georgia; 3, Mingrelia; and of the Christians of Armenia properly so called, had said, that one of the things in which they differ from the Western Christians, is " in receiving infants to the Lord's Table presently after their baptism;" which he also confirms in * the later book.

Of the Georgians, he had indeed said in that former piece, That" they baptize not their children till eight years old;" but in the latter and larger tract says no such thing; but, on the contrary, says, “ They are agreeable in doctrinal points to the Church of Greece, whose rituals also the people do to this day follow; not subject for all that to the patriarch of Constantinople (though of his comunion) but to their own metropolitan only

For what he had said of them in his former piece, “ that they baptize not till the eighth year," he had quoted in the margin Brerewood; but Brerewood, in the edition that I have (1622) does not say this of the Georgians; but making one chapter (chap. 17) of the Georgians, Circassians, and Mingrelians (whom he makes three several people all bordering together) of the Georgians says the same that 'Heylin does in his later book, viz. that they are conformable to the Greeks; but says "That the Circassians baptize not their children till the eighth year, and enter not into the church (the gentlemen especially) till the 60th year, or as others say, the 40th year, but hear divine service standing without the temple; that is to say, till through age they grow unable to continue their rapines and robberies, to which sin that nation is exceedingly addicted; so dividing their life betwixt sin and devotion, dedicating their youth to rapine, and their old age to repentance."

* Lib. in Turcomania.

Concerning these Georgians and Mingrelians (or Circassians,] I shall speak more particularly presently. But for the Armenians; both Brerewood in his enquiries, * and Hcylin, as I quoted before, and all others, do agree that they constantly baptized infants. And if the reader need any larger satisfaction, he may have it from Sir Paul Ricaut, who writes distinctly of them, not from remote report, but from the converse he had with them : for many of this people do frequent Smyrna, Constantinople, &c. He gives ta full account of their baptism of infants; and that they esteem it necessary, as being that which washes away original sin. And also that (as Heylin and Brerewood had said) they administer to the child after it the holy eucharist; which they do only by rubbing the lips with it.

The Maronites give baptism to infants with this particularity, I that they baptize not a male-child till he be 40 days old, nor a female till 80 days ; which is the time limited, Lev. xii, for the purification of the mother. Also, they as well as the Armenians, give the eucharist to infants presently after their baptism.

Of all these sorts of Christians, the western part of the world has all along had some knowledge and account; but it is otherwise of those in India, called the Christians of St. Thomas, inhabiting about Cochin, Cranganore, and all the vast tract of promontory lying between the coast of Malabar and the coast of Coromandel. These were utterly unknown, and not heard of by us of the west for a thousand years and more, viz. till about the year 1500, when those parts were discovered by the Portugueze. There were then estimated to be fifteen or sixteen thousand families of them living among the Heathens, to whom they were subject. They were found in the practice of infant baptism, but did not administer it till the child was forty days old, except in

* Cap. 4.

of Present State of the Armenian Church. c. 8. Heylin, Cosmograph, Syria.

the case of danger of death. An account of the state of religion in which they were found, and of this among the rest, is given by Hieron. Osorius de rebus gestis Emanuelis * ; and of the methods by which they were 100 years after brought over to a communion with the Church of Rome, (1500] by Mr. Geddes, in his account of the Synod of Diamper. The practice of these Indian Christians

may convince our Antipædobaptists of their mistake, in thinking that infant baptism began in the known parts of the world but of late years; for how then should it have been communicated to these men, who had never heard of such a part of the world as Europe?

In short, there can be no question made of the practice of any Christians in Asia as to this matter, uvless it be of those I mentioned before, that inhabit the countries of Georgia and Mingrelia (or Circassia]; and therefore I will be a little more particular about them.

Georgia was formerly called Iberia : and Mingrelia, or Circassia, was called Colchis. They border together, lying in the remote part of Asia, between the Euxine and Caspian Sea; and are in religion 'much

the same.

It is to be noted that these people were converted to the Christian faith in the time of Constantine, [250] by the means of a Christian servant-iaid : much after the same manner as Naaman the Syrian was to the knowledge of God. The maid, by prayer to Christ, cured the queen of Iberia of a sickness: this and some other evidences converted the king; and he sent messengers to Constantine, to desire some preachers to be sent to instruct the people; which was readily granted; and the nation became Christians. This is related by authors that lived about that time; such as Rufinus, T Socrates, I &c.

As they received the faith from that church under Constantine, [300] so they are recorded in the succeed

#H. E. Lib. 10, c. 11.

* Lib. 8. prope ficere.

H. E. Lib. 1. c. 21.

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