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the covenant which God made with ABRAHAM ; and therefore, in the second place, the way to find out the nature of the Abrahamical or pure Jewish church, is to consider the nature of the covenant or promise upon which it was founded; and if we examine the scriptures, we shall find, that it was an Evangelical covenant, for substance the same with that which is since made betwixt God and us, thro' Christ. This will appear upon a review of those fcriptures which teach us, That faith was the condition of this Abrahamical covenant; that it was made with ABRAHAM,* as the father of the faithful, and in him with all believers, with his spiritual as well as carnal seed, proceeding from him by Spiritual as well as carnal generation ; and that the blessings or promises of this covenant belonged unto them upon the same account of their faith.”||

* “ Fide autem ftare justitiam, et illic esse vitam predictum eft apud HABAKKUC. Justus autem ex fide vivet. Inde ABRAHAM Pater Gentium credidit. In Genes. credidit ABRAHAM Deo, et deputatum eft ei ad justitiam. Cognoscitis ergo qui ex fide sunt, hi funt filii ABRAHÆ, providens fcriptura quia ex fide, &c."

CYPRIAN advers. Judæos. “ Successisse verò in eorum locum Christianos fide Dominum promerentes, et de omnibus gentibus, ac toto orbe venientes.

CYPRIAN ad Quirin. Testim. l. iii. Il “ Case of Infant Baptism by the Dean of Worcester.” See London Cases, No. 15,

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The covenant, then, that was made by God with ABRAHAM, was the Gospel covenant, containing the promise of blessing to all nations in Christ. Of admission into this covenant circumcision was, at that time, the appointed seal. Circumcision, therefore, was not a legal institution, but the seal of the Gospel covenant, administered to ABRAHAM four hundred and thirty years before the introduction of the law. Agreeably to which our Saviour told the Jews, that “ Moses gave unto them circumcision, not because it was of Moses, but of the fathers.”

All the alteration that took place in this business, upon our Saviour's establishment of his church, was in the nature of the seal of the covenant; our Saviour having exchanged the severe and painful one of circumcision, for the more mild and practicable one of baptism. The seal, then, is altered, but the covenant remains the fame.

The covenant, therefore, into which Christians are admitted by baptism, being the same Gospel covenant,

which was confirmed before to ABRAHAM in CHRIST; the mere change in the ritual can make no di Ference with respect to the capability of the parties to be admitted into it. Consequently the precept delivered to ABRAHAM, (Gen. X. 17) re. fpecting the admission of infants into the Gospel covenant by circumcision, applies with equal force to the admission of infants into it by baptism; circumcision and baptism being seals or tokens of the fame covenant, appointed by God to be made use of for the fame purpose, at different periods. Hence it comes to pass, that the Church Christian is called in the New Testament, the new and supernal Jerusalem; to let us know that Christianity is nothing but spis ritual Judaism; the fame city new reformed, constituted upon a new charter, blessed with more noble and ample privileges than formerly, and every way better built, and more august than it was. Thus in Rev. iii. 12, “ Unto him that overcometh (faith the Son of Man) I will write the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which is come out of heaven from my God;" that is, I will acknowledge him that holds out to the end for a person truly godly, and for a true member of the pure Catholic-Christian church, which is the spiritual Jerusalem descended from above, And so, c. xxi. 2," I saw the holy city (New Jerusalem) coming down from God, down out of heavens, prcpared as a bride adorned for her husband,” meaning JESUS CHRIST. So, in Gal. iv. “ Jerusalem,

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which is from above, is a free city, which is the mother of us all."*

To what has been said, it need only be added, (for I avoid entering at large into a subject which has been so frequently and fully handled) that our SAVIOUR found the Jews in the practice of infant baptism; as has, I think, upon the ground of the strongest probability, been maintained by learned men. He, therefore, only transferred this ceremony from the Jewish church to his own, by making it the facrament of initiation into it. It is to be concluded therefore, that the Apostles, who were Jews themselves, and who were directed to address the first offer of the Gospel to “ the last sheep of the house of Israel;" in baptizing them into the church of Christ, or rather into the new dispensation of it, would observe the general practice to which they had been accustomed, if they had received no express precept from Christ to direct them otherwise.

But the commission delivered to them by Christ was of a most general and comprehensive nature:“ Go ye, and baptize all nations." In consequence of which commission, we read of their baptizing whole houses, without any exception being made to any persons contained in them. If our Saviour had not designed that baptism should be administered to infánts, the commission to his Apostles would certainly have been accompanied with an express prohibition to that effect, to prevent their falling into so obvious a mistake. No such prohibition appearing, is a circumstance that, in reasonable construction, amounts to a confirmation of the practice then in use. For a rule that has once regularly obtained, if unrepealed, still remains in force. This is the argument made use of upon this subject by one of the most learned writers* of our church, and it appears to be unanswerable: “ If baptism and the baptizing of infants had been a new thing, and unheard of until John Baptist came, as circumcision was, until God appointed it to ABRAHAM; there would have been, no doubt, an express command for baptizing infants, as there was for circumçising them.” But, “ since it was ordinary in all ages to have infants baptized, if Christ would have had that custom abolished, he would have expressly forbidden it. So that his and the scriptures' silence in this matter does confirm and establish infant bapa tism for ever."

* See “ Case of Infant Baptifm, by the Dean of Worcester," London Cases.

LIGHTFOOT.

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