Imatges de pàgina
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will, at the same time, find much fuller proofs of the other, as attested by much ancienter authors, and practised more universally; and that when one was left off by the churches that began it, the other has been still continued in all the national churches in the world.

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A SUMMING UP OF THE EVIDENCE THAT HAS HERE

BEEN GIVEN ON BOTH SIDES.

Though I pretend to manage the part of a relater of the passages for and against infant baptism, rather than of a judge of the force and consequence of them, yet it may

be

proper, now that I have produced all that I know concerning that matter in the oldest times, to sum up in short, for the use of the reader, the evidence that has been given on both sides.

IT APPEARS ON ONE SIDE,

That, as Abraham was taken into covenant by circumcision, an ordinance was appointed for him and all the male infants of his race, to enter them into covenant, so when God did, 430 years after, establish anew that covenant with that nation under the conduct of Moses, be appointed washing (Exod. xix. 10) which is in the Greek tongue called Baptism, to be another ordinance of entering into it; and that the Jews, as they reckoned it one of the ceremonies whereby their whole nation, infants as well as grown persons, was then entered into covenant, --So when they proselyted or discipled any person of the nations, they did use to wash or baptize him; because the law had said (Numb. xv. 16) One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger (or proselyte) that sojourns among you, And if that proselyte had any infant children, male or female, they baptized them as well as the parents, and they counted and called them proselytes or discipled

persons, as well as they did the parents; also, that if they bought, or found, or took in war, any infants whom they intended to make proselytes or disciples in their religion, they did it by baptizing them. For this see Introduction.

This gives light for the understanding of our Saviour's commission (Matt. xxviii. 19) Go, and disciple all the nations, baptizing them. Whereas before, only now and then, one out of the neighbouring nations had been made a disciple or proselyte, they were now all to be discipled; and (since nothing is said to the contrary) in the same manner as those before had been.

2. That the Jews did use to call that their baptism, by the name of Regeneration, or a New Birth. They told the proselyte, that how unclean, sinful, or accursed soever, he or his children were before, they were now, by this baptism, dedicated to the true God, entered into a new covenant with him, put into a new state, and were in all respects as if they had been new born. Also, that the Heathens before Christ's time had a custom of baptizing, and that they also called it Regeneration. See Introduction, part 1, ch. 4.

This gives light to our Saviour's expression, where he, after the Christian baptism now brought into use by John the Baptist and himself, tells Nicodemus (John-iii. 3, 5) that to be regenerated, or born ayain of water and the Spirit, was absolutely necessary for any one's coming to the kingdom of God; and to St. Paul's styling baptism the washing of regeneration. Tit. iii. 5.

3. That accordingly all the ancient Christians, not one man excepted, do take the word regeneration, or new birth, to signify baptism; and regenerate, bapa tized. And that our Saviour's said words to Nicodemus do so stand in the original, and are so understood by all the antients, as to include all persons, men, wo men, or children (Part 1, chap. 2, 3, 4, 6,9, 12, 13, and all the other chapters, and Part 2, chap. 6) and that by the kingdom of God there, is meant the kingdom of glory,

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is proved from the plain words of the context, and from the sense of all ancient interpreters, Part 2, chap. 6.

4. The necessity of baptism, 'to entrance into God's kingdom, was a declared Christian doctrine before 'St. John had recorded those words of our Saviour, part 11, chap. 1.

5. Clement, in the Apostles' time, and Justin Martyr about forty years after, do speak of original sin as affecting infants, part 1, chap. 1, 2; and Justin Martyr [40] does speak of baptism as being to us instead of circumcision, part 1, chap. 2. So also does St. Cyprian, [150] part 1, chap. 6, and Nazianzen, [260] part 1, chap. 11, and St. Basil, (290) chap. 12, and St. Chrysostom, chap. 14, and St. Austin, ibid. the three last expressly calling it, in St. Paul's phrase, the circumcision done without hands, and St. Cyprian, [110] the "spiritual circumcision.” Origen also says that Christ“gives us circumcision by baptism.” Hom. 5, in Jos. 1.6. Irenæaus, [67] born about the time of St. John's death, and probably of Christian parents, is proved particularly to use the word " regenerating” for “ baptixing ;" and he mentions infants as being ordinarily

regenerated,” chap. 3; and Justin Martyr [40] before, speaks of children as being made disciples of Christ, part 1, chap. 2.

7. Origen, Ambrose, and Austin, do each of them expressly affirm that baptizing infants was ordered by the 'apostles and practised in their time; and Clen. Alexandrinus [92] plainly intimates the same, part 1, chap. 3, 5, 13, 15; sect. 4, item sect. 6. Of these, Origen [110] had both his father and grandfather Christians; and he himself was born [274] but eightysix years [296] after the apostles; so that probably bis grandfather was born within the apostles' time, or at Jeast very nigh it, part 1, chap. 5; and Clem. Alexandrinus flourished himself within 'ninety-two years of the apostles.

8. Tertullian, [100] though he give his opinion-in

constantly, and does at one place advise the delay of infants' baptism, yet at the same place speaks of it as a thing custoinarily received (part 1, chap. 4) where he also makes baptism absolutely necessary to salvation.

9. That place of Scripture, 1 Cor. vii. 14, Else were your children unclean, but now they are holý, (or sanctified) is interpreted of their baptism as then given, or to be given before they can be actually reckoned holy; by Tertullian, [100] part 1, chap. 4, St. Hierom, [278] part 1, chap. 18, Paulinus, ibid. St. Auştin, [293] part 1, chap. 15. Pelagius, [296] chap. 19. And ihat "Ayol, holy, [or saints, or sanctified, or Christians] [305] is as much as to say, baptized, part 1, chap. 11, and chap.6. Origen also appears so to have understood it, part 1, chap. 19.

10, In St, Cyprian's time, [150] a question being put among sixty-six bishops, Wheiher an infant must be kept till eight days old before he be baptized? not one was of that opinion, part 1, chap. 6.

And to put the rest together, the words of the Council of Eliberis, [205] part 1, chap. 7, of Optatus, chap. 9, of Greyory Nazianzen, [260] chap. 11, of St. Ambrose, [274] chap. 13, of St. Chrysostom, [280] chap. 14, of St, Hierom, [293] chap. 15, 19, of St. Austin, [296] chap: 15, per totum, of Bonifacius, ibid. more of St. Austin, chap. 19, 20, per totum, of a Council of Carthage, [297] chap. 16, of a Council of Hippo, ibid. of Siri. cius, [284] chap. 17, of Innocentius, [302] chap. 17, 19, of Paulinus, [233] chap. 18, of another Paulinus, ibid. of Celestius, (305) chap. 19, of Pelagius, chap. 19, of Zosimus, ibid. of the Council of Milevis, ibid. of ano ther Council of Carthage, [311] ibid. and of another, chap. 19, of Vincentius Victor, [316] chap. 20), of Julian, [317] chap. 19, of Theodorus, (318) ibid. of Pseudo-Clement, chap. 23, of Pseudo-Dionysius, [320] ibid. of the author of the Questions ad Orthodoros, ibid, of the author of the Questions ad Antiochum, ibid. The words of these, and of all the rest here cited, do shew that infants were baptized in their times, and that without controversy. There is not one

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man of them that pleads for it, or goes about to prove it, as a thing denied by any one, save that the PseudoDionysius answers the objections that the Heathens made against it, which are much the same that the Antipædobaptists have made since.

11. St. Austin mentions it among the things that “ have not been instituted by any council

, but have been ever in use;" and says, “ The whole church of Christ has constantly held that infants are baptized for forgiveness of sin ; (and that) he never read or heard of any Christian, Catholic, or Sectary, that held otherwise;" and expressly says, " That no Christian man of any sort [nullus Christianorum] ever denied it to be useful or necessary:" meaning of those who allow any baptism at all, Part 1, chap. 15 and 19.

12. The Pelagians, who denied that infants have any need of forgiveness of sin; and were most of all pressed with that argument (3151 “Why are they then baptized ?" did never offer to deny that they are to be baptized, but do expressly grant that they have ever been wont to be baptized, and that no Christian, no not even any sectary, did ever deny it, part 1, chap. 19; part 2, chap. 6.

13. And for the other heretics of these times, there appears not (by examining the many varieties of opinions that they held) (from 60 to 300] any sign that any of them that used any baptism at all, denied it to wynfants, part 1, chap. 15, 16, 21.

14. It is held by all these ancient Christians, That no children dying unbaptized can come to the kingdom of Heaven, part 1, chap. 4, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20), 23; part 2, chap. 6. St. Austin, in the last of these places, says, there was in this matter Christianorum populorum concordissima fidei conspiratio. “The • most uniform consent of all Christian people,' [or nations]: and that the Pelagians themselves were overswayed by it, and owned it to be true.

Vincentius Victor was the only man that is known to affirm the contrary. [318] He maintained once, That by God's extraordinary mercy and the prayers of the

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