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bounds of our own uncharitable prejudices? If Christ was pleased to leave the door of his church, which was open to children under the Jewish dispensation, still open to them under the Christian; as he gave his disciples to understand, by telling them to 6. suffer little children to come to him, for of such was the kingdom of God;" (or, as the meaning may be better expressed, for theirs is the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of God belongs to them;) it feems an unaccountable infatuation, that parents,

who in all other cases fail not to manifest a zeal for the maintenance of their children's privileges, should in this be so ready to give them up.

I would ask such parents a question-Do they think that their children, dying unbaptized, are capable of admission into the kingdom of heaven? Relying on the mercy of God, (though uncovenanted mercy

is all upon which they can, in this instance, place any just dependence) they will doubtless answer, res.

But persons who are capable of the greater, are certainly capable of the less, which is contained within it. If through Divine mercy, then, unbaptized children are capable of admission into the kingdom of God in heaven, they are surely capable, through the fame mercy, of admission into the church, which is the kingdom of God on earth. If they are capable of receiving the fulness of Divine mercy in the possession of everlasting blessedness in heaven; where Christ has told us, “ their angels continually behold his Father's face,” (Matth. xviii.) they are surely capable of being admitted into that church membership, which was designed only as preparatory to it.

Although infants, therefore, should not suffer for the negligence, obstinacy, or self-opinion, of their parents; yet parents would do well to consider what may be the consequence to themselves, for shewing less attention to the spiritual condition of their children, than God has done;. by straitening that covenant, which, in the original delivery of it, was expressly extended to them; and, in the Jewish church, fcrupulously continued to them. At the same time they may remember, that though the child of Moses suffered no punishment for the delay of his circumcision, yet the father (as we read Exodus iv. 24) very narrowly escaped it on a memorable occasion.

But it may be observed further, in answer to those who object to the admission of infants to baptism on account of incapacity, that the Jewish infants were admitted into the covenant by circumcifion at eight

nant.

days old, by God's express command. That there is the same reason for infants of Christian parents to be admitted to baptism, is to be thus proved.

The covenant entered into by Gop with ABRAHAM (an account of which we have in the seventeenth chapter of Genesis) was, as St. Paul plainly tells us in the third chapter of Galatians, the Gospel cove

“ The scripture, (says the Apostle) foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel to Abraham,delivered beforehand the glad-tidings of that event to ABRAHAM in the following words: “ In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." « Now to ABRAHAM and his feed were the promises made. He faith not, And to feeds, as of many; but as of one: And to thy feed, which is Christ. This I say, that the covenant that was confirmed before of God in CHRIST; the law which was four hundred and thirty years after cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.” " From these words, which distinguish so plainly between the covenant which God made with ABRAHAM, or the promise which he made unto him, and the law; it is evident, that the beginning of the Jewith church, purely considered as a church, is to be dated from

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 fame with that which is since made betwixt God and us, thro? CHRIST. This will appear upon a review of those scriptures which teach us, That faith was the condition of this Abrahamical covenant; that it:'wasi 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.”'l!

*“ Fide autem ftare justitiam, et illic effe vitam predi&tum eft apud HABAKKUC. Justus autem ex fide vivet. Inde ABRAHÁM Pater Gentium credidit. In Genes. credidit ABRAHAM Deo, et. deputatum eft ei ad juftitiam. Cognofcitis ergo qui ex fide funt, h; sunt filii ABRAHÆ, providens scriptura quia ex fide, &c.

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

Cyprian ad Quirin. Testim. I. iii. 1!“ Case of Infant Baptism by the Dean of Worcester.” See London Cafes, No. 15.

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. Ci cumcifion, 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 feal of the covenant; our Saviour having exchanged the fevere and painful one of circumcision, for the more mild and practicable one of baptism. The seal, then, is altered, but the covenant remains the same.

The covenant, therefore, into which Christians are admitted by baptism, being the fame Gospel covenant, which was confirmed before to ABRAHAM in CHRIST; the mere change in the ritual can make no difference with respect to the capability of the parties to be admitted into it. Confequently the precept delivered to ABRAHAM, (Gen. X. 17) re

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