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But to whom is the seal, or token of the covenant, to be applied? Did the Saviour leave his disciples in darkness or in doubt on this important subject? Surely he did not-but he knew well the instruction they needed, and gave them none that was unnecessary. He well knew their advantages for understanding him, when he gave them their commission to baptize. And no thought is suggested, that they were at any loss to know whom to baptize. They were in no doubt, it appears, to whom the token of the covenant belonged, or to whom it should be applied-whether to adults only, or to infants also. And, if there was no room for doubt, it must have been a very plain case.

It must have been very plain, that all the disciples of Christ-all who gave credible evidence of religion, or were proselyted to his religion, should be baptized. Even so my beloved Baptist brethren will say. In this we are happily united, and can go hand in hand, and heart with heart, as the disciples of Christ always should. But one step farther and we must part a little; but we will part as brethren, offering no abuse, but loving each other with a pure heart fervently-praying for the peace of Jerusalem, and preferring it to our chief joy, till the watchmen of Zion shall lift up the voice and sing together, when they "shall see eye to eye."

The parting point is this-From my text and the circumstances in which it was spoken, I find occasion to


This doctrine, namely

It clearly appears, that it must have been very plain to the apostles, and may be very plain to us, that baptism, the token of God's gracious covenant, should be applied to the infants of believing covenanting parents.

As this doctrine appears very plain and important to me, it will be my object in this discourse to make it appear so to others. But I will be careful to speak the words of truth and soberness, and to speak them in lovein love to Christ and his cause, and all who love him, and with a tender concern for those who do not.

If you would see how this appears plain, consider candidly and prayerfully, the passages of Holy Scripture

quoted and referred to in this discourse. Consider, also, the following arguments.

1. The text does not exclude infants from baptism. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.'


To shew that this passage does not exclude infants from baptism by the use of the word teach, I remark,—

The form of expression, used in the text, is agreeable to language in scripture use, and common use, which does not exclude infants.

It is agreeable to the use of scripture language.

The apostle Paul says; "This we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." By this passage, the apostle did not intend to exclude infants from food. Neither did he mean to exclude the sick, or the aged, or the infirm, from food, and confine the privilege of eating to those who are capable of working. So the text does not exclude infants from baptism, and confine it to those who are capable of being taught.

2 Thes. iii. 10.


Take another passage,-" He that believeth not shall be damned." Does this exclude infants from salvation, and confine it to those who are able to exercise faith? Can no infants be saved? This passage, certainly, excludes infants from salvation, as much as the text does from baptism. For infants are as capable of being taught, as they are of exercising that faith which comes by teaching. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Persons must hear and be taught before they can believe. What shall we say then to the passage, "He that believeth not shall be damned." Shall we say that it excludes all infants from salvation? or shall we not rather say, it fers to those who are capable of being taught; and exercising faith, and excludes no others from salvation. So the text does not exclude infants from baptism. See other passages also.

x. 17.


The form of expression, used in the text, is also agreeable to common use.

Mark xvi. 16.


xiii. 3, 5. Acts xvii. 30.

Ministers often preach the Gospel in the house of God, and in private houses, and teach their hearers the way of

salvation. And if there is one, or if there are even ten children present, who are not able to understand the Gospel, and learn the way to heaven, by human instruction; still, they say, that they preached the Gospel to all the assembly, and to all that were in the house-and they speak properly, and others think they do. Such a method of speaking is common, and considered proper. But they do not mean by this, that there were no infants in the assembly.

We see then that the form of expression used in the text, is scriptural, common, and proper; even when such a form is not directed against infants, or designed to set them aside. Neither is the text directed against infants, nor designed to set them aside from baptism. But let us pursue this point a little farther, and look at the order of the words. Some contend that children must be taught, because the word teach, in the text, comes before the word baptizing. And they argue in the same way from the passage, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Because the word believeth, here, comes before baptized, therefore, they say, children must believe before they are baptized. But I answer, there are passages in which baptism is spoken of before being born of the Spirit, and having a new heart. This is the case in John iii. 5; “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Ezekiel xxxvi. 25, 26; "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean-a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." But these passages do not prove that persons must be baptized before they are born of the Spirit, or before they have a new heart.

I answer again. The Scriptures do not always mention things just in the order in which they are to take place, or in which they have taken place. Moses, in speaking of the children of Israel passing through the sea, Exodus says, "The Lord made the sea dry land and xiv. 21. the waters were divided." Here he speaks of the sea being made dry land, before he mentions that the waters were divided.

I answer once more. The practice of infant baptism is perfectly consistent with the passage, "He that believ

eth and is baptized shall be saved."-I will illustrate this point.

Here is a man who believes in infant baptism. A child is born to him and he has it baptized. The child grows up, and experiences religion-that is, he believes. He is about to be received into the church, and this question is asked,-Is he baptized? Yes, is the answer. He believes, then, and is baptized. And no one can prove that this is not agreeable to the text, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." For the text does not say he that believeth, and is afterwards baptized; or, he that believeth and shall be baptized. Neither can any one prove, from this passage, that baptism after believing is not agreeable to it; for it does not say, he that believeth and has been baptized; but, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.

The object for which the passage is presented, is thisto shew what qualifies for the kingdom of God—to shew what saves men, namely; that faith which leads a man to obey-which leads him to submit to the ordinances of God, baptism among the rest. This is the great object of the passage. The stress is laid on believing, in order to be saved. This is evident from the following words, "He that believeth not shall be damned."

But here let it be observed particularly, that teaching, and faith, and repentance, must go before baptism, on our principles, as well as on the principles of our Baptist brethren.

According to our principles, no adult is to be baptized before he has been taught, and given evidence of faith and repentance. No parent has a right to baptism, for himself, or his children, before he believes; but then, he may be baptized, and all his straightway. We baptize no household, till the head of the household has been taught, and given evidence of being a Christian.

Were we in the circumstances of the apostles, preaching the Gospel to those who had never before heard it, we certainly should not baptize them before they had been taught the way of salvation, and given evidence that they had cordially embraced it. But having this evidence, should one say, "What doth hinder me to be baptized?" we should answer, "If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest." And should many,

Acts viii. 36, 37.

in anxiety, ask, what shall we do to be saved, we should not think of giving baptism any earlier place in our anActs ii. swer than the Apostle did, Repent and be 37, 38. baptized." To give baptism any earlier place than the Apostle, in the same circumstances, would be contrary to our principles and practice.

As to the evidence necessary to attend this doctrine, if we had none better than Moses presented in favor of the resurrection, in one verse, it would be our duty to Luke xx. believe it. "Now that the dead are raised, 37, 38. even Moses shewed at the bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Here the doctrine of the resurrection is not taught explicitly, but implicitly. It is implied. For the Lord is not a God of the dead, but of the living. But the resurrection is not taught more plainly, in this passage, than infant baptism is in very many. Take the covenant of God with his people, (Heb. viii. 10,)" I will be to them a God." The token of this covenant he commanded them to put upon their children, and they did it for thousands of years; and he did not tell them to withhold it when he changed the token. Here infant baptism is as really implied, and as plainly taught, as the resurrection was when the Lord declared himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The want of explicit warrant would no more justify us in disbelieving infant baptism, than it would the Sadducees in disbelieving the resurrection of the dead.

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It has been shewn, that the word rendered teach in the text, means to proselyte or disciple. And in order to illustrate the doctrine of this discourse, I remark,

2. Infants may be the disciples of Christ.

I know that some of our brethren consider it altogether inconsistent with the situation of children to call them disciples of Christ. But let us think on this a little. A disciple is a scholar-this is the meaning of the word. And a child is a scholar before he learns his lesson, as well as afterwards. He is reckoned a scholar, when he is committed to the care of the instructer, or has his name put down with others who belong to the school, whether he puts his name down himself, or his parents put it down for him. The church is the school

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