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Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

"For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." -ACTS ii., 38, 39.


AVING considered the form and signification of Baptism, let us inquire who are its proper subjects, and what are the uses to which it may be applied.

Adults must first profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him. On this part of the subject we have no controversy with immersionists. And when they have proved the necessity of faith and repentance in order to the baptism of an adult, they have proved nothing against us, for this is our doctrine.

If a materialist proves ever so clearly that man as to his body is material, he has proved nothing against the immateriality of the soul.

If a Unitarian proves that Jesus the Messiah was a man, he proves nothing against those who believe that "He is both God and Man in two distinct natures and one person forever." The grand question remains-Are the infant seed of believing mem

bers of the visible church proper subjects of baptism? We take the affirmative-anti-pædobaptists the negative side of this question.

The propriety of infant baptism appears:

I. From the renewal of the promise to believers and their seed on the introduction of the new covenant dispensation. The promise is to you and to your children; baptism is the seal of the promise; therefore baptism belongs to you and your children.

This is according to the uniform teaching of the Word of God. From the beginning of the world the family shares in the relations of its head. When God made a covenant with Adam he made a covenant with his family.

And when, after the fall, God receives back his apostate children to himself through the promised seed of the woman, who should bruise the serpent's head, he takes back to his family the believer and his seed.

When he makes a covenant with Noah, and seals it with a rainbow, he makes a covenant with his seed, the human family, that he will not again send a flood to drown the world.

2. When he takes Abraham into a covenant with himself, he takes also his infant offspring. He seals the promise-"I will be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee," by requiring the seed to be circumcised at eight days old.-Gen. xvii., 7, 10, 12.

This circumcision was a seal of the righteousness of faith. The principle of the church membership

of the infants of God's people, and the right and duty of confirming it by a seal upon their persons, was thus distinctly recognized in the constitution of the Church of God. This principle, until the introduction of the New Dispensation, for a period of eighteen hundred years, was never called in question. Any objections, then, against the reasonableness or propriety of administering to infants ordinances which they can not understand, and laying on them obligations to which they can not consent, is an implied charge against God, who beyond all controversy did require these very things.

3. The Church of God is one under both dispensations. "For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree, which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree."-Rom. xi. 24. The tree is the church, and it is the same while the Jews were the church, since they were cut off for their unbelief, and the Gentiles were grafted in, and will be still the same when the Jews shall be restored to their own olive tree.

This is further proved by the language of Peter: "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you," and whosoever "will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people."-Acts iii., 22, 23. The

people in this place is the visible church of God, from which the body of the Jewish nation were cut off for their unbelief. It can not mean the church invisible, for its members are never lost; nor the nation of the Jews, for they are the persons cut off.

A constitutional privilege, then, which had existed in the church from the days of Abraham, and even of Adam, must continue in the one church until it is taken away by Jehovah himself. There is not a shadow of evidence that the membership of the infants of God's children has been revoked and its seal forbidden. These privileges therefore remain.

4. The silence of the Scriptures in relation to any such withdrawing of the privileges of the children of God's people, is itself demonstration against any such withdrawal. It is inconceivable that not a word of complaint should be uttered, not a word of consolation given, under so sore a bereavement. Instead of the increase of privileges which they are authorized by the prophets to expect in the last and most perfect dispensation of the covenant of grace on earth, without a moment's warning, without a word of alleviation to the sore trouble, believers find their children, dear to them as their own soul, cast out among the uncircumcised and the unclean, and not a tear of sorrow is seen, not a sigh or moan is heard. Are these Christians stocks or stones, or the inspired historians incompetent or faithless, that they pass unnoticed the

most affecting and important events in the history of that Church of the Redeemer which he purchased with his own blood?

When the old form of the seal, circumcision, is superseded, and another, better adapted to the church of all nations, and countries, and climes, is substituted, so great is the reluctance to give it up that a council of apostles and elders must convene at Jerusalem to settle the question-and yet we are asked to believe that the entire seal, in every form, and the relations, and privileges, and obligations which it illustrates and confirms, are withdrawn, and silence like that of the grave rests upon the whole subject.

5. The silence of Holy Scripture in relation to the repeal of one of the Church's dearest privileges can only be accounted for by the simple fact that no such repeal was ever made, nor ever came it into the heart of Him who took up the little children in his arms and blessed them for the reason that of such is the kingdom of God. "And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them; and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them."Mark x., 13, 14, 16; Luke xviii., 16.

If they belong to the kingdom they are in his

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