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ate not with defiled bodies or garments, they baptized themselves, or bathed in every part.

In my feven Sermons, I have fhewed that the washings, baptifms, of pots and cups, brazen veffels and tables, are directly in favour of the Baptifts. It is alfo there proved, that the fprinklings mentioned in the 9th of Hebrews, fay nothing in favour of your denomination. My dear Sir, the truth is, you have no text, inference, or juft implication, in any part of the Bible, to fupport the practice of your de nomination. But while I condemn your unfcriptural, anti-evangelical and traditionary practice of fprinkling, you will do me the juf tice to believe, that I do not condemn you in every thing, or fet you at naught as men, or as Chriftians. I feel a willingness to allow you every good thing which your denomination can justly claim, as you may the more fully discover by perufing fome of the following letters.

Wishing you every needed bleffing, through the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jefus Chrift, I am your's.

DEAR SIR,

LETTER IV.

THE fubject of this letter is an invef

tigation of the ground on which you make fuch heavy demands upon the Baptifts, for almoft unbounded conceffions in favour of your denomination.

We wish to treat you and your denomination with all the candour which you can wish; yet candour itself will not require that we give you more than is your due: and as you have not quite fufficiently defined matters, we must be a little careful to do it, that we give you not too much.

In your letters you have plead the caufe of the Pædobaptifts almoft equally with that of your own denomination, or rather you have confidered their's and your's to be one, and have plead the caufe generally; whereas there is a difference as diftinguishing, if not one of equal importance, between your denomination and the Pædobaptifts, as between them and the Baptifts. In my Sermons this diftinction was not mentioned, it did not appear neceffary for the object then in view; but now a clear dif tinction is not only neceffary to be made, but to be kept in fight. For by your combining the two denominations together, and claiming from the Baptists, and for yourselves, full credit for all the numbers, talents, character and piety of both, and at the fame time, by charging the practice of the Baptifts towards your denomi

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nation, as being equally againft that of the Pædobaptifts, you take too much credit for yourselves, and allow them not quite enough.

We shall now state the matter as the hiftory of the church gives it, and as you cannot con

tradict it.

During the first century, the Christians were all regular Baptists.

During the whole, or the greater part, of the fecond century, they were, for aught appears, the fame.*

In the third century the Baptifts were largely divided into regular and irregular Baptifts, or into Baptifts and Pædobaptifts. In this century the Pædobaptifts became very numerous, efpecially in Africa, if not in every Christian country. Origen came forward in this century, with a tradition, which he faid was from the apoftles, "to give baptifm to infants." This tradition probably had its full effect upon the church, already greatly deviating from the fimplicity of the gofpel, and laying an undue influence upon externals, and alfo believing that baptifm was effential to falvation.

From this period, and onwards for twelve hundred years, the Baptifts were a little despised flock. The Pædobaptists were very numerous, both in the Greek and Roman churches.

When the conteft between the Romanifts and Luther and his affociates firft drew the

* In my Sermons I quoted from Prefident Dickenfon, where he introduced Irenæus, fpeaking thus, "The church received a tradition from the apoftles, to adminifter baptifm to little children, or infants." From recent information, I understand this quotation is fpurious, not being found in any of the writings of Irenæus. Dr. Gill's anfwer. Hemmenway on Infant Baptifm.

attention of the world, the Baptifts came out of their hiding places; perhaps their twelve hundred and fixty years, in which God promifed to nourish them in the wilderness, began then to expire: but as their perfecution came on by degrees, fo their liberty muft come forward gradually, and certainly it is not yet completed.

During this long period, and through all thefe commotions, we find all, or nearly all, fentimentally united as to the administration of baptifm. On the fit fubjects, the Baptifts and Pædobaptifts greatly difagreed.

As to your denomination, we find scarcely a fentimental trace. Sprinkling, or pouring on water, was, under particular circumftances, permitted.

In the year 1539, John Calvin, the famous Genevan reformer, undertook, and, if I mistake not, for the first time it was ever undertaken, to fupport the practice of your denomination, as being not contrary from Scripture, though contrary from the practice of the apoftles, and the plain determinate meaning of the command, as given by the Saviour in the inftitution."

*

How Calvin could juftify himself to himself, or to the command of Chrift, and to the correfponding practice of the apoftles, is not the point at prefent to be difcuffed. What we wish for, is to find your denomination.

You probably suppose, that from this period all believed in fprinkling, pouring, or partial wafhing, for baptifm; but facts prove it otherwife.

* Calvin's Inf. Book IV. Chap. xv. Sec. 19.

The Greek Church, which, perhaps, comprises nearly or quite one-third of all profeffing Chriftians, and they are fuppofed to understand the import of the Greek language as well as any other portion of Chriftians, do not come into your denomination.

The Church of England do not fentimentally or profeffedly, however they may in practice. In their Rubrick on baptifm, after pointing out feveral particulars, which are to attend the adminiftration of baptifm to infants, it fays thus,

"Then the priest shall take the child in his hands, and afk the name, naming the child, fhall dip it in the water, fo it be discreetly and warily done, faying,-N. I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft. And if the child be weak, it Thall fuffice to pour water upon it, faying the aforefaid words,-I baptize thee in the name of the Father, &c."*

How many of the Lutherans of Norway, Denmark, Sweden, ancient Poland, Prussia, or of the petty States of Germany, you will claim, I will not prefume to fay; but from the fentiments of Luther and Melanthon, I queftion whether you can juftly lay claim to a large portion of them, as fentimental Pædorantifts.

The Baptifts of every country are confeffedly not of your denomination.

One point we will readily grant, that in our own nation are found a large number of pious, learned and able men, whom you may juftly challenge, as being fentimentally Padorantifts.

* Latin Bible, printed in London 1639.

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