Imatges de pÓgina

church, this might be obtained ; but he also recanted (chap. 20); yet they all grant that infants so dying have little or (as some say) no punishment.

But they hold, nemine contradicente, that all baptized infants, dying in infancy, are glorified (part 1, chap. 6, 11, 15; and part 2, chap. 6).

15. They do accordingly speak of it as a great sin in parents, or others that have opportunity, to suffer any child under their care, or any other person, to die unbaptized (part 1, chap.4,6, 15, 17; and part 2, chap, 3) And they represent it as great piety and compassion in those that procure an infant that has been exposed in the streets by an unnatural mother,' to be baptized (part 2, chap. 6). And when for the more orderly administration of baptism, they enact that none shall be baptized but at certain times of the year, they always except infants and sickly persons (part 1, chap. 17); for which reason also, many of them allow a layman to baptize, in case of necessity (part 1, chap. 4).

16. They shew [100] that they have considered those reasons which the Antipædobaptists do now make use of, as objections against the baptizing of infants ; as that they have no sense, no faith, no actual sin, &c. and yet do not count them sufficient reasons to forbear the baptizing them (part 1, chap. 14, 15, 19).

17. The use of Godfathers [100] in infant baptism is proved to have been the custom of the Jews in baptizing the infants of proselytes (Introduction) and of Christians afterwards, by qnotations from the year after the Apostles 100, and all along this period (part 1, chap. 4, 15, 19, 22, 23; and part 2, chap. 9).

18. This also makes one evidence; that the proofs which some of the Antipædobaptists have, after their best search, pretended to bring of any church or any sect of Christians in these elder times, that did not baptize infants, are found to be falsely recited, or mistaken, or not to the purpose (part 1, chap. 15; and part 2, chap. 1, 2, 4).

And even the instances of particular men, whom they would prove to have been born of Christian parents,

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and yet not baptized in infancy, do all (or at least all but one) fail of any tolerable proof (part 2, ch. 2, per totum).

19. The sense of all modern learned me that do read these ancient books, except those few specified, is, That these books do give clear proof that infant baptism was customary in the times of those authors, and from the Apostles' time (part 2, ch. 2). There are but three or four that think otherwise ; and Menno himself, the father of the present Antipædobaptists, granted this to be true (part 2, ch. 8).

20. Lastly, As these evidences are for the first 400 years, in which there appears only one man, Tertullian, [100] that advised the delay of infant bapłism in some cases; and one Gregory, (230) that did perhaps practisę such delay in the case of his children, but no society of men so thiuking, or so practising; nor no one man saying it was unlawful to baptize infants, - so in the next 700 years [19 1000) there is not so much as one man to be found, that either spoke for or practised any such delay, but all the contrary (part 1, ch. 22, per tot.; part , ch. 7).

And when, about the year 1130, [1030] one sect among the Albigenses declared against the baptizing of infants, as being incapable of salvation, the main body of that people rejected that opinion of theirs; and they of them that held that opinion quickly dwindled away and disappeared; there being no more heard of holding that tenet till the rising of the German Antipædobaptists, anno 1529 (1422] (part 2, ch. 7); and that all the national churches now in the world do profess and practise infant baptism (part 2, ch. 8).

The reasons and evidences for the other side ought to be divided into two sorts; for there are some of them which really have all the force that they seem to bavę; but some others of them must indeed pass for reasons, or for good evidence, to one that understands only the vulgar translation of the Scriptures, and only the present state of the nations of the world and of religiou; but do lose their force when one searches into the originals of the Scripture, or when one comprehends

the history of the state of religion in the world, at that time when the books of the New Testament, or the books of the ancient Christians were written.

I will first sum up that evidence which I take to be of the first sort.

1. It does not appear that the Jewish baptism of infants in our Saviour's tiine (according to which the Pædobaptists suppose the apostles were to regulate theirs, in all things not otherwise directed by our Savour) was in all respects like to that which the Christian Pædobaptists do practise ; for the Jens seem to have baptized the infants of such only as were proselyted, or made disciples, out of the Heathen nations, and infants taken in war, found, bought, &c. but not their own infants; they thought their own infants to be clean without it, clean by their birth, being of a nation which had been once universally sanctified by baptism. (Introduction).

This, supposing it to have some weight against infant baptism, as the Christians do practise it, yet does not make for the Antipædobaptists practice neither ; for they (as well as the Pædobaptists) do hold that all persons are now to be baptized at some age or other persons born of Christian parents as well as those that are born of Heathens); which being granted, the example of the Jewish baptism directs it to be done in "infancy; for all whom the Jews baptized at all, they baptized in infancy, if they had then the power of them. And besides, the exception of Jews or Jews children from the obligation to baptism, was understood by themselves to be a thing that was to continue only till the coming of Christ, or of the Elias; since which time the Jews

are, as to maiter of baptism, brought to the same state as Gentiles; which does take off all the force of this reason or evidence.

2. As to the argument taken from the practice of the ancient Christians, considered in general, it is some weakening of the force of it, that some of those antients who baptized infants, did also give them the communion; some I say, but not very mapy; and those none


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of the most ancient (part 2, ch. 9). Now though a man's error in one thing does not necessarily prove that he errs in another, yet when it is in relation to the same subject, it gives some abatement to his authority; and though it be to this day controverted between the Eastern and Western Christians wheiher this be an error or not, yet the Pædobaptists of these parts of the world must, in their plea against the Antipædobaptists, yield it to be an error, because they themselves do not use it; and so it is (for as far as its force reaches) argumentum ad hominem at least.

3. As to particular men among the antients, Tertullian (100] advises the delay of infant baptism (in ordinary cases where there is no apparent danger of death) till they come to the age of understanding; and then farther, till they are married, or else by their age, are past the danger of lust (part 1, ch. 4).

As for any value that is to be put upon Tertullian's judgment or opinion, as a single man, I ought to have put this among the second sort of evidence, which is of little or no force with such as do understand the history of that time; because all that do so, do know that he was accounted (both in his own time, and also by those who after his death spoke of him or his works) a man of odd, rash, singular, and 'heterodox tenets in many other things ; and that in the latter part of his life he turned (as men of that temper commonly do) a downright heretic in somne fundamental points of the faith (part 1, ch. 4); so that his opinion or judgment was never esteemed of any value. And for his testimony as a witness of the then practice, his speaking against infant baptism is as good evidence that it was then customary, as theirs that mention it with


But this, I think, has some weight:- That if Tertullian had known of any such tradition or order left by the apostles, [110] as Origen who lived at the same time speaks of, to baptize infants, he, as heady as he was, would not have spoken against the doing of it; especially if the book where he does this was written

(as Dr. Allix judges it was) while he continued in the Catholic Church.

This therefore may be concluded, that either there was no good account of such a tradition, or else that Tertulliau had never heard of it; which last is not at all improbable; for Origen, [86] living most of his time in Palestine, whcre the Apostles had much and long conversed, and being born of Christian ancestors in Egypt, not far off, might very well have good proof of an order left by the Apostles, and sure footsteps of their practice; of which Tertullian, born of Heathen parents, and living at Carthage (a place where no Apostle ever came, nor nigh it by a great distance) might at that time have heard nothing.

However it be, the Antipædobaptists must make much of this man; for he is the only one of all the antients that had this opinion. So says Mr. Du Pin*, who has with the greatest accuracy searched their works, and with the greatest fidelity reported them. He, in reciting this passage of Tertullian, observes, — “ One finds no other writer in all antiquity that speaks at this rate." And so the Magdeburgenses , " Tertullian, by a strange opinion holds," &c.

4. But though there be never another that advises such a delay of baptism, yet there is a probability that one that lived about 150 [225] years after that time, in another part of the world, practised such delay, viz. Gregory, the father of Gregory Nazianzen. He seems to have suffered all his children, even those that were born to him after his baptism, to grow up to a full age without baptizing them: This matter of fact is discussed with the evidence pro and contra (part 2, chap. 5).

As Tertullian's character was, that he was learned and ingenious, but hot and heady, so this man seems, on the other side, to have been ignorant, and of

* Bibl. Nouv. vol. 1, de Tertulliano.
+ Cent. 3, c. 4, Inclinatio Doctrinæ de Baptisimo.

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