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cision. As they adinit, without hesitation, the validity of our baptism, the question whether the right administration of that ordinance be an essential requisite to communion, has no immediate relation to the economy of their churches; it interests them only in the case of those individuals who may be desirous of communing with Baptist societies. As far as it concerns the necessity of that particular rite by which we are characterized, it is a controversy in which we are the only parties; and however much we venerate the judgement of the religious public, we cannot forget that their motives to a rigorous examination of the question, bear no proportion to ours. To them it is a theoretical inquiry, to us a practical one of the most serious moment. If in appealing to them, however, he had constructed his reasoning on principles common to Baptists and Pædobaptists, there had been no room for complaint. "But instead of this, he enumerates and marshals with such anxiety, all the appendages of infant baptism, all it assumes, and all it infers, as so many irrefragable arguments for his hypothesis, that were we to judge of his sentiments from these passages alone, we should suppose him as tremblingly alive to the consistency of Pædobaptists, as Eli to the preservation of the ark. He adjures them by every thing which they deem sacred in their system, not to forsake him in the conflict, reminding them that if they do so, they must abandon a multitude of positions, which they have been accustomed to maintain against the Baptists, (that is, against himself,) and be compelled to relinquish the field. He therefore exhorts them to be faithful unto death, in the defence of error, and to take care that no arts, blandishments, or artifices, seduce them to concessions, which would embarrass them in their warfare, and render the cause of infant baptism less tenable. Thus he reminds them, that by admitting the principle for which we contend, they must relinquish their plea for baptizing infants, on the ground of its“ giving the seed of believers a partial membership, which is recognized and completed when they profess their faith in maturer years. Thus one leading popular representation of its utility is given up.” This infant membership, however, he elsewhere exclaims against, as the very precursor of Antichrist, the inlet to almost every abomination; and this popular representation he considers as a most dangerous fiction. (Baptism a Term of Communion, p. 17.) He tells them that were he a Pædobaptist, and disposed to adopt my theory, he should be afraid of being pressed with the question, of what use is infant baptism?' (Baptism a Term of Communion, p. 22.) It is unnecessary to remind the reader, that in the opinion of Mr. Kinghorn it is of none whatever, but a most pernicious abuse of a Christian ordinance. But, what is more lamentable still, he warns them that if “ they enter into the spirit of our representation, they will be in danger of neglecting it altogether, and consequently either abandon the whole institution, or be induced by the examination of Scripture to become Baptists ;" that they will be " guilty of a complete deviation from the principles of their predecessors; that they must find new arguments for their infant baptism ; and that without attempting to divine what they may be, their cause will be materially injured by the acknowledgement of the necessity of adopting new modes of defence.” All this appears very strange from the pen of a zealous Baptist, who contemplates every one of the doctrines which he appeals to, with unqualified abhorrence ; and who must be aware, that just in proportion to the degree of their repugnance to the practice of mixed communion, is the presumptive evidence in its favor. To attempt the recommendation of his theory, by insisting on the impossibility of reconciling it, with what is in his opinion a system of delusion, indicates something nearly resembling the unrestrained impetuosity of a mind so intent upon the end, as to be indifferent about the means, and savors more of the art and sophistry of a pleader, than of the simplicity which characterizes a sober inquirer after truth. My knowledge of the author forbids the slightest suspicion of any deliberate intention to mislead, but in my humble apprehension he has been betrayed by the warmth of debate, and the intemperate sallies of his zeal, into the use, to adopt the mildest expression, of unhallowed weapons; and by courting an alliance with error, degraded his cause.

It is probable he will attempt to justify his proceeding, by saying he has merely availed himself of an argumentum ad hominem. But he has greatly exceeded the limits assigned to that species of argument ; which may be very properly employed to repel a particular objection of an opponent, by shewing that it recoils upon himself, but should never be laid at the basis of a process of reasoning, because the utmost it can effect, is to evince the inconsistency of two opinions, without determining which, or whether either of them, is true.

But it is not merely to acknowledged errors that the author appeals, with a view to discourage our Pædobaptist brethren from uniting with us; he also endeavors to rouse into action a feeling, which, whatever name he may think fit to give it, is, in my apprehension, neither more nor less than pride. He remarks, that in joining with us, they must either “consider themselves as unbaptized, or satisfied with their own baptism, whatever we may think of it, or as agreeing with the maxim that baptism in any form is of no consequence to communion.” The first of these suppositions, he very properly puts aside as impossible. The second, he

reminds them, is “degrading, because they permit themselves to be considered as persons who have not fulfilled the will of the Lord, in the very point in which they believe they have fulfilled it. They consequently unite with us on terms of inferiority, and he who refuses to commune with us, because in so doing he tacitly allows himself to be considered as not so complete a disciple of Jesus as he thinks he is, acts a part which is justifiable and dignified.” (Baptism a Term of Communion, pp. 115, 116.) The amount of this reasoning is, that whenever a Christian perceives that his brother entertains a less favorable opinion of his conduct in any particular than he himself does, he is bound to renounce his communion; because in every such instance, he must be considered as not so complete a disciple as he thinks he is, and to allow himself to be so considered, is a meanness. And from hence another consequence infallibly results, that no two Christians ought to continue in communion, between whom there subsists the smallest diversity of judgement, respecting any point of practical religion; for since each of them, supposing them sincere, must believe his own practice more agreeable to the will of Christ than his brother's, that brother must be aware that he is considered as not so complete a disciple as he judges himself to be, to which it seems it is degrading to submit. The author may be fairly challenged to produce a single example of a disagreement amongst Christians, to which this reasoning will not apply; and therefore admitting it to be just, he has established a canon which prohibits communion, wherever there is not a perfect unanimity in interpreting the precepts of Christ; which he who reflects on the incurable diversity of human opinions, will acknowledge, is equivalent to rendering communion impossible.

Although the instance under immediate consideration respects a point of practice, the conclusion will hold equally strong, in relation to doctrinal subjects. For not to remind the reader that different opinions on practical points, are in effect different do nes, and that the whole disagreement with our Pædobaptist brethren originates in these, it is undoubtedly true of points of simple belief, as well as of Christian duties, that whoever adopts a sentiment different from that of his fellow-Christians, must, by the latter, be regarded as in an error ; and since Revelation claims faith, as well as obedience, “not so complete a disciple as he thinks he is,” to which, if it is degrading for him to submit, his only remedy is to depart, and quit the communion. A fine engine truly, for dissolving every Christian society into atoms, and for rendering the church of Christ the most proud, turbulent, and contentious of all human associations. If it be alleged that Mr. Kinghorn's reasoning was not designed to apply to the smaller differences which may arise, but only to grave and weighty matters, such as the nature of a Christian ordinance, the obvious answer is, that it is of no consequence to us, for what it was designed ; but whether it be sound and valid ; in other words, whether it be a sufficient reason for a Pædobaptist's refusing to join with us, that in “so doing be allows himself to be considered as not so complete a disciple as he thinks he is.” If it be, the consequences we have deduced, will inevitably follow.

Not satisfied, however, with denouncing the union of Pædobaptists with us as “undignified," and as placing themselves on terms of “inferiority,” he begs them to consider whether it is not a “surrender of their principles in a manner altogether inconsistent with their views of the law of Christ." This surrender, he proceeds to inform us, consists in their “agreeing to be considered as unbaptized, which is contrary to the opinion which they entertain of themselves.” We certainly make no scruple of informing a Pædobaptist candidate, that we consider him as unbaptized, and disdain all concealment upon the subject; but how his consent to join us on these terms, involves an unworthy surrender of his principles, is very mysterious. His principle is, that infant baptism is a part of the will of Christ ; which we believe to be a human invention. Now how his allowing us to believe this, without breaking with us on that account, amounts to a dereliction of it, is a riddle, which it would require an Edipus to solve. May he not retain his sentiments, and believe us in an error; and is not his continuing unbaptized, a demonstrative proof that he does so? And while this is the case, and he manifests his opinion, both by words and actions, is he still guilty of this fearful surrender?

Besides, what will it avail him to leave our communion ; since our opinion still pursues him, and though he should retire to the ends of the earth, we shall still continue to think she has not fulfilled the law of Christ in the very point, in which he believes himself to have fulfilled it." There is no conceivable remedy ; he must digest the affront as he can; but why he should feel it so insupportable, only in the case of our proposing to "receive” him, is passing strange, except the author supposes him to be of so canine a temper, as to be the most dangerous, when most caressed.

It is amusing to see the happy versatility of the author, and with what dexterity he can adapt his viands to the taste and palate of every guest. When it was his object to load with all possible odium the conduct of the Baptists, in admitting the members of other denominations, he professes to discern an essential disparity betwixt their conduct and ours. We, he tells us, are “ more to blame than the Pædobaptists that join with us; they surrender no principle; they do not unite with those whom they deem un

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baptized .” (Baptism a Term of Communion, p. 68.) He was then all intent on reproaching us; when he has to deal with the Pædobaptists, he feels no scruple in awarding them the same measure. The inquiry, he says, will irresistibly arise, if they really and heartily believe that infant baptism is an institution of Christ, why do they wish to unite with people by whom one of his institutions is in their view so manifestly opposed. How can they, in justice to their families, unite with Baptists? Let them, he says on another occasion, consider whether they act wisely, or consistently, if they join with Baptists, who receive them on these grounds. If on their part it is connected with a sacrifice of principle, they will confess that it is indesensible. (Baptism a Term of Communion, p. 114.) By these grounds, he means, on the supposition that baptism is not an essential prerequisite to communion, which he is aware is the principle on which we rest our vindication, and which is certainly perfectly consistent with their conviction of our being baptized; the very circumstance he urged before as a proof that they sacrificed no principle.

From the writer who so palpably contradicts himself, it were vain to expect any information on this branch of the subject; since it is impossible to conjecture whether the union of our Pædobaptist brethren does, or does not, involve a surrender of principle, in the judgement of him who affirms both. On impartial inquiry, it will probably be found that though no principle is violated on either side, as much candor is evinced on the part of Pædobaptists, in consenting to a union, as on ours. If we join with those whom we are obliged to consider as unbaptized, they unite with persons who in their judgement repeat an ordinance which ought to be performed but once ; nullify a Christian institute, and deprive their children of the benefit of a salutary rite. And since the subjects of baptism are far more numerous on their system than on ours, why should they be less offended at our neglect of these, than we at their extending the ordinance too far? Whoever attaches importance to the covenant into which God is supposed to enter with the seed of believers, must highly disapprove the conduct of the parent who withholds from his offspring its instituted seal ; nor is it possible for him to cherish the esteem due to him as a Christian, but by imputing his conduct to involuntary error. The supposed cruelty also of refusing to insert an innocent babe into the Abrahamic stock ; the impiety of profaning a Christian sacrament by rebaptizing, might be made the subject of tragic declamation, with as much propriety as their want of “reverence to the authority of Christ, and disobedience to the laws of his house." If we must tolerate none who are guilty of omitting a divine law, (which is the doctrine of Mr. Kinghorn) how is it possible for a

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