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the Judaizing teachers, arnong the churches of Galatia, even in Paul's day. But nothing is farther from the truth, than this fentiment, that the great body of the church of Christ hath adhered to infant baptifm. Instead of this, not fo much as any fingle branch of this church, in any place or age of the world, hath ever adhered to it. Infant baptifm is peculiar to Antichrift's kingdom; and it is expedient, that fuch as fear God, and are not, through prejudice, both blind and deaf to truth, should have here explained to them, what hath, perhaps more than any other thing, darkened the minds of many good men, in this matter. It is this,-Those who have written the history of the church, have given us the history of Antichrift's church, rather than that of Chrift's. Whenever they have given us any hints of Chrift's church, they have taken their documents, or information, from the polluted pens of Antichrift's friends, who have, uniformly, reprefented Christ's church as fome deformed fect of heretics. Mr. Worcester appears to have derived his information from the fame fource, and to have poffeffed too much of the fame judg

ment.

Mr. Worcester is not fo blamable for not poffeffing the history of the church of Chrift, as he is for not knowing her, when he fees her. For the church of Chrift hath been hidden, in the place which God appointed for her, for twelve hundred and fixty years; and it is not many years, or at most, not many ages, fince fhe left her wilderness ftation, and hath been fhowing herself in the world; and her history hath not yet been written, or not collected into regular form. But Mr. Worcester, and his brethren too, are very much to be blamed, that they do not know the vifible church of Chrift, wherever fhe difcovers herfelf; for though her hiftory be not written, yet a defcription of her is given, and that plainly too, by Mofes and the prophets, by Chrift and the apoftles. See Deut. xviii. 15, 19. Pfa. xxii. 22. Ifa. viii. 18. liv. 13. Jer. xxxi. 31-34. John vi. 45. Acts iii. 22, ult. Rom. i 6, 7. 1 Cor. i. 2. 2 Cor. i. 1. Eph. i. 1 Thef. i. 1—4. Heb. ii. 11, 12, 13. viii. 8-11. i Pet. ii. 9. In thefe texts, and in many others, is the Chriftian church defignated, and plainly too; hence it is a fin of ignorance, not to know her. But it may be a fin of another kind to oppofe her, as he and many fhis brethren have dared very boldly to do.

If many of thofe, who oppose the gofpel church, be, as we hope they are, the people of God, fpiritually, they ought

r

to hear his word, Rev. xviii. 4. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of ber (Antichrift's) fins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. Because that

many good people are found within the limits of Antichrift, this is no argument that Antichrift and Chrift are one: but this is exactly what was to be, just before the deftruction of fpiritual Babylon, or the church of Antichrift; fome of God's people were to be in her, and now the command is, that they come out.

His other groundless affertion, That the faithful, in all former ages, have adhered to the practice of infant baptifm,' is refuted by what has been just now said. If more be thought needful, it will be found in what is foon to be faid upon Mr. Worcester's note, which is now to come under confideration.

The public are earnestly defired to grant me a careful attention, for I am endeavouring to plead the cause of Chrift's rifing church, against the laft ftruggles of Anti

chrift.

In the note, pages 60, 61, 62, the fpirit of Antichrift appears to have done its utmoft, in fpreading, perhaps, the laft blind over the minds of God's people, in our land of free inquiry. A greater ftretch of mifreprefentation and groundless affertion, perhaps never efcaped the pen of man, than Mr. Worcester hath given, in the long note to which we shall foon attend. The principal part of this note will be inserted, by paragraphs and fentences, that the public may have a full view of Mr. Worcester's fuppofed strength, and may the more fully discover his weaknefs, deception, falfehood, and abfurdity. These are hard accufations; but if they be literally and abundantly just, as applied to Mr. Worcester's writings, and if he have made ufe of fuch kind of management, in oppofition to the church of Chrift Jefus, and to prevent her friends from beholding and em bracing her, ought he not to be exposed, and truth vindicated, though it bring upon his writings juft contempt and infamy?

This note begins thus:- As there was no difpute about baptifm, in the firft ages of Christianity, it thould not be expected, that much would be found particularly on the fubject, in the writings of thofe ages.'

Anfwer. There is much found on the fubject of baptism, in the writings of the first ages of Chriftianity; but not a word for infant baptifm, in the two firft centuries, as is fhown at large by Dr. Gale, in his Reflections.

But (fays Mr. Worcester) because there is nothing directly on the fubject, either for or against infant baptism, in the fragments which have come down to us, of the writ ings of the firft century, the Antipædobaptifts, with an affurance peculiar to themselves, have undertaken to affert, not to prove, that during the first century, infant baptifm was not practised in the church. With equal propriety we might affert, even had we no proof to fupport our affertion, that it was practifed univerfally: but we are not reduced to this extremity. The facred truth is, there is as much evidence, as, from the state of the cafe, could reasonably be expected, that during the first century, and for feveral fucceeding ages, infant baptifm was practifed in the church, univerfally, and without contradiction or question.'

Anfwer. In the writings of the first century, we have the beft evidence which the circumftances of the cafe admit, that infant baptifm was then unknown. It was not spoken against explicitly, to be sure, and for this plain reafon-the scheme of infant baptifm was not then invented. But what is faid by Barnabas, in his Epiftle to the Corinthians, and by Hermas, in his Vifions, prove this-that infants were neceffarily excluded. The firft fpeaks of the persons who were baptized, as living upon the belief of the promifes and of the word. The other speaks of the baptized, as having been taught in the word. In short, they both give us an account of believers' baptism, and of that only.* This is altogether inconfiftent with the fuppofition, that they practifed infant unbelievers' baptifm. Yes, it is wholly inconfiftent with the idea, that when heathen parents or masters were converted, their unconverted children and servants were admitted to baptifm.

*

Thefe fathers faid all which their circumftances permitted, to put infant baptifm out of countenance in our day. It is abfurd to require that they fhould have faid more, and equally abfurd to infer, as Mr. Worcester does, that because they did not fay more than their circumstances permitted, they implicitly favoured it.

But (fays Mr. Worcester) the Antipædobaptifts, with an affurance peculiar to themselves, have undertaken to affert, not to prove, that during the first century, infant baptifm was not practifed in the church.'

* Gale's Reflections, Let. II.

Reply. We have appealed to the Bible, to ftubborn facts, and to common sense. If all or any of these may be admitted as witnefs, and their evidence taken as proof, then we have undertaken to prove, and not merely to affert, that infant baptifm was not practifed during the first century of the church. The Bible is not only filent as to the practice of infant baptifm, but enjoins pre-requifites to baptifm, which are incompatible with the capacity of infants. One Bible pre-requifite, and it is, in the prefent cafe, equally conclufive with a thousand, is this-the fubjects of baptifm mult be firft taught, and fo taught as to be visible believers, Matt. xxviii. Mark xvi. This is the Bible testimony, as to the first century, and indeed, for every other, as to infant baptism and the practice of it.

Stubborn facts fay, that the fathers, the bishops and elders of the church, in the first century, practised as the Bible enjoins, and baptized those who were previously taught and brought to believe; and we have not one line of the contrary practice, that is, of unbelievers' baptifm, the first error of Antichrift.*

Common fenfe teftifies, that if the fathers of the first century baptized, as they tell us they did, upon a profession of faith by the candidates, and fay not a word of baptizing any without fuch a profeffion, then Mr. Worcester has no claim upon our belief, when he, without a fhadow of evidence, tells us, that the facred truth is, there is as much evidence, as, from the state of the cafe, could reasonably be expected, that during the first century, and for several succeeding ages, infant baptifm was practifed in the church, univerfally, and without contradiction or question.'

We shall now examine his argument, or rather what he hath told us, and meant we should take upon his mere teftimony.

In the writings of Clemens Romanus and Hermes Paftor, both cotemporaries with the apoftles, (fays he) paffages are extant, which, by fair implication, prove the practice of infant baptism in their day.' Mr. Worcester gives us not a line from the writings of either; nor does he direct us where we may find fo much as a fcrap, which implies any fuch thing. If the reader will take the trouble to look int Dr. Gale's Reflections on Dr. Wall's hiftory of infant baptifm, or into Hermes Paftor's Vifions, Lib. I. Vif. iii. chap. 2, 5, 6, 7. he may discover the reason why Mr. Wor

* See Gale's Reflections

efter made no quotations. It is evident, none would have been to his purpose: for they fay not a word about infant baptifm, or any thing which looks like it, or implies it, (if we may credit either Dr. Wall or Dr. Gale) unless we confider these fathers as being Papifts, and then, because they held to the corruption of nature, conclude that they must to infant baptism, as an antidote. But this argument is equally good, to prove that all the Calvinistic Baptifts hold to infant baptism.

We may hence fee, with fufficient clearness, why Mr. Worcester ventured no quotations from the fathers of the. first century: and for the fame reafon, probably, he ventured none from the fathers of the fecond. He only tells us, that Juftin Martyr and Irenæus are more particular and clear, to the fame purpose.' Yes, fays he, more particular and clear,' yet not fo much as mention the subject.

As Mr. Worcester hath not feen fit to give us a line from the writings of the ancient fathers of the two first centuries, I will fet before the public a fhort quotation out of the apology which Justin Martyr made before the Roman eroperor; it may be taken as a fample of the fentiment of the church in his time, as to baptifm and the fubjects of baptifm. The paffage, as Mr. Reeves translates it, is, “ I fhall now lay before you (fays Justin to the emperor) the manner of dedicating ourselves to God through Chrift, upon our converfion; for, fhould I omit this, I might feem not to deal fincerely, in this account of the Chriflian religion. As many, therefore, as are perfuaded and believe, that the things taught and faid by us are true, and moreover take upon them to live accordingly, are taught to pray and ask of God, with fafting, the forgiveness of their former fins ;-and then, and not till then, they are brought to a place of water, and are WASHED in the name of God the Father and Lord of all, and of our Saviour Jefus Chrift.-The reason of this (says Juftin) we have from the apoftles; for having nothing to do in our firft birth, but being begotten by neceffity, or without our own confent.-The penitent, who now makes his fecond birth (or his public putting on the Lord Jefus) an act of his own choice, has called over him the name of God the Father and Lord of all things,-And, moreover, the perfon baptized and illuminated, is baptized in the name of the Lord Jefus,—and in the name of the Holy Ghoft." *

Booth's Pædobaptism, Vol. II. p. 110, 111.

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