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fpecting the admiffion of infants into the Gospel covenant by circumcifion, applies with equal force to the admiffion of infants into it by baptifm; circumcifion and baptifm being feals or tokens of the fame covenant, appointed by GOD to be made ufe of for the fame purpose, at different periods. Hence it comes to pass, that the Church Chriftian is called in the New Testament, the new and supernal Jerufalem; to let us know that, Christianity is nothing but fpiritual Judaism; the fame city new reformed, conftituted upon a new charter, bleffed 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 Jerufalem, 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 Jerufalem defcended from above. And fo, c. xxi. 2, "I faw the holy city (New Jerufalem) coming down from Gon, down out of heavens prepared as a bride adorned for her husband," meaning JESUS CHRIST. So, in Gal. iv. "Jerufalem,

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 fubject which has been fo frequently and fully handled) that our SAVIOUR found the Jews in the practice of infant baptifm; as has, I think, upon the ground of the ftrongest 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 loft sheep of the houfe of Ifrael;" in baptizing them into the church of CHRIST, or rather into the new difpenfation of it, would obferve the general practice to which they had been accustomed, if they had received no express precept from CHRIST to direct them otherwife.

But the commiffion delivered to them by CHRIST was of a moft general and comprehenfive nature:"Go ye, and baptize all nations." In confequence of which commiffion, we read of their baptizing

* See "Cafe of Infant Baptism, by the Dean of Worcefter.” London Cafes.

whole houses, without any exception being made to any perfons contained in them. If our SAVIOUR had not defigned that baptifm fhould be adminiftered to infants, the commiffion to his Apostles would certainly have been accompanied with an exprefs prohibition to that effect, to prevent their falling into fo obvious a mistake. No fuch prohibition appearing, is a circumstance that, in reasonable construction, amounts to a confirmation of the practice then in ufe. For a rule that has once regularly obtained, if unrepealed, ftill remains in force. This is the argument made use of upon this fubject by one of the most learned writers* of our church, and it appears to be unanfwerable: "If baptifin and the baptizing of infants had been a new thing, and unheard of until JOHN Baptift came, as circumcifion was, until GoD appointed it to ABRAHAM; there would have been, no doubt, an exprefs com-mand for baptizing infants, as there was for circumcifing them." But, "fince 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 fcriptures' filence in this matter does confirm and establish infant baptifm for ever."

* LIGHTFOOT.

To the fecond part of the plea refpecting the baptifm of CHRIST in the river Jordan, confidered as establishing a precedent for the practice of a fimilar form of admiffion into the Chriftian church, we have the following anfwer to make; though the subject itself is almoft too ridiculous to be entitled to ferious difcuffion.

Our SAVIOUR, we read, was baptized by JOHN in the river Jordan. But the conclufion drawn from thence, respecting the form of administering Christian baptifm, does not appear by any means warranted by the premises.

The baptifm of JOHN was a peculiar ministration, preparatory to the establishment of CHRIST's church; but did not actually admit into it, or convey the privileges of it. For which reafon, we find ST. PAUL baptizing fome disciples of JOHN, whom he found at Ephefus, a fecond time, in the name of the LORD JESUS: Acts xix. The baptifm of JOHN, then, and the baptifm appointed by JESUS CHRIST, being two different ordinances, in ufe at different times, and for different purposes; it does not appear that the one, as to the exact form of its adminiftra

conftitute a precedent for

tion, should neceffarily the other.

The difciples of CHRIST and JOHN lived under a different œconomy, and were fubjected to different rules; a circumstance which occafionally gave offence to those who understood not the nature of our SAVIOUR'S miffion. In this temper of mind, the dif ciples of JOHN cane to JESUS to know the reafon, why the difciples of JOHN and of the Phar:fees fasted oft, whilst hs difciples fafted not.” But what was a rule in the one cafe, did not become obligatory in the other; the parties to whom it was applied being differently cicumstanced.

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CHRIST, it mustbe confidered then, baptized men to be his own difcples, not to be the difciples of JOHN: and his baptfm was the baptifm of admiffion into the Christian church; whilft that of JOHN was only a baptifm of dicipleship into his own peculiar ministry. Allowing,therefore, that all JOHN's dif ciples were baptized i a river, (which is more than can be proved, and from the nature of JHN'S min.stry, as the preacher of the wilderness, it is probable that he made up of water in any place where it was convenient for his purpose;) it does not follow from this circumftance, that the difciples of CHRIST fhould be baptized in river alfo; CHRIST having no where ordained that they should be: and reafon

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