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all the privileges of the Jewish church; to be grafted into the same olive-tree; and to be joint-heirs with them of all their religious immunities or grants. -They, moreover knew it to be the constant, immemorial practice of the church, that when any gentile was taught (proselyted to the worship of the God of Israel) himself was baptized, and all his infants were baptized with him, and these infants were called proselytes. Further, they were men extremely jealous and tenacious of their antient rites. They had seen also, under their law, by God's express command, children of a month old, and upwards, enrolled in the temple register ; and entered, as ministers to Aaron, as doing the service of the tabernacle, and as keeping the charge of the sanctuary.* -They had been often, witnesses to the kind regard their master had shewn to little children ; and had been once severely rebuked by him for hindering their being brought to receive his benediction; and saw him laying his hands on them, and solemnly declaring them to be subjects of his kingdom.-Further, they knew that baptism was appointed as a tokea from God of the remission of sin, or of justification; and that infants were in the eye of the christian law treated as sinners, and under a sentence of condemnation. Finally: they knew that Christ came, not to lessen or abridge the privileges of God's church (of which this admission of infants was confessedly one) but to heighten and to enlarge them.--Let these several circumstances be impartially weighed, and then let any man say-whether, as the commission will admit of a favourable and a large sense, so as to include infants, the apostles would not naturally, and even neces

• Numr. iii. 6, 7, 8, 29. And claimed by God as his sersants. LEVIT. xxv, 41, 42.

suppose it had been said-go teach, .proselyte, all nations, CIRCUMCISING them :-Would not the apostles, without any farther warrant, have naturally and justly thought, that upon proselyting the gentile parent and circumcising him, his infants also were to be circumcised? Or, if a divine command had been given to the twelve patriarchs of old, to go into Egypt, Arabia, &c. and teach them the God of Abraham, circumcising them :-Would they not, must they not, have understood it as authorizing them to perform this ceremony, not upon the parent only, but also upon the infants of such as believed in the God of Abraham? Without all question they would.

Hence then it is plain, that the word, teach, (disciple or proselyte) concludes nothing, certainly, against infants being admitted, with their believing parents, into God's covenant by baptism. But, if the word, teach, does not necessarily exclude infants, let us see, whether there are not such circumstances attending this commission, as woựld naturally and even necessarily lead the apostles to apprehend infants to be actually included therein.

Now, here let it be considered--who the persons were, to whom the commission was given ? They were Jews; men, who had been educated in the knowledge of that covenant, which God had made with Abraham and their fathers; and who knew it to be still in force.—Men, who had seen, that in all covenant-transactions, betwixt God and his church, the infants of believers had always been admitted, together with their parents, and passed under the same initiating rite.--Men, who apprehended this their admission to be a great privilege or favour to them; and knew, or were to be soon informed, that the gentiles, (all nations) were now to be taken into a joint-participation of

all the privileges of the Jewish church; to be grafted into the same olive-tree; and to be joint-heirs with them of all their religious immunities or grants. -They, moreover knew it to be the constant, immemorial practice of the church, that when any gentile was taught (proselyted to the worship of the God of Israel) himself was baptized, and all his infants were baptized with him, and these infants were called proselytes. Further, they were men extremely jealous and tenacious of their antient rites. They had seen also, under their law, by God's express command, children of a month old, and upwards, enrolled in the temple register ; and entered, as ministers to Aaron, as doing the service of the tabernacle, and as keeping the charge of the sanctuary.*— They had been often, witnesses to the kind regard their master had shewn to little children ; and had been once severely rebuked by him for hindering their being brought to receive his benediction; and saw him laying his hands on them, and solemnly declaring them to be subjects of his kingdom.-Further, they knew that baptism was appointed as a token from God of the renission of sin, or of justification; and that infants were in the eye of the christian law treated as sinners, and under a sentence of condemnation. Finally: they knew that Christ came, not to lessen or abridge the privileges of God's church (of which this admission of infants was confessedly one) but to heighten and to enlarge them.-- Let these several circumstances be impartially weighed, and then let any man say-whether, as the commission will admit of a favourable and a large sense, so as to include infants, the apostles would not naturally, and even neces

* NUMB. iii. 6, 7, 8, 28. And claimed by God as his sersants. LEVIT. XXV. 41, 42.

sarily, suppose them comprehended therein? And whether, there was not a most strong, and most manifest necessity, if Christ intended that infants should not be included in it, that he should have expressly excepted them?

The commission viewed in this, which is its proper and true light, is so far from concluding any thing against the baptising infants, that it strongly favours and supports it. For since, it is delivered in such general terms as to be capable of admitting infants; and since, from the above circumstances, the apostles would naturally and unavoidably understand it as intending their admission ; it follows, that our Lord's silence, as to these, is a strong and most manifest presumption in their favour; and that his not excluding, or excepting them from the christian covenant, is, in all equitable construction, a permission or order that they should be admitted into it.

ARGUMENT IV.

Shall be drawn, from the EVIDENT AND CLEAR CONSEQUENCES of other passages of SCRIPTURE.

1. In Rom. xi. the Apostle, discoursing of the exclusion of a chief part of the Jews from the visible church of God, and the reception of the gentiles in their stead, speaks of it under this figure, ver. 17. And if some of the branches (the Jews) be broken off, and thou (a Gentile) being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in amongst them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; boast not fc. Here let it be noted. 1. The olive tree, is the Abrahamic covenant or church; from which, the unbelieving Jews are cast out; and into which, the believing Gentiles

are taken in their stead. 2. The root and fatness of this olive tree, of which the ingrafted branches partake, are the religious privileges or grants belonging to that covenant or church. Now 3. It was a very valuable and indisputable privilege of that covenant, that the faith of a parent grafted his children, together with himself into that olive tree, i. e, admitted them into the church, or into a covenant-relation to God. Therefore 4. The unbelieving Jew being cut off from this root, and the believing Gentile succeeding, and being grafted into his room, and partaking jointly with the natural branches of all their church privileges, immunities and grants, he must undoubtedly partake of this privilege too.

What part of this argument can possibly be denied? Will it be said that the faith of a parent did not graft his children, together with himself

, into the visible church, before the coming of Christ? No-or, that this was not a privilege? No.-Can it be urged then, that believing Gentiles are not now taken in to be Evyrovnavos ens potns JointPartakers of the root*, i. e. of the church privileges and grants which the unbelieving Jew hath lost ? This were highly absurd : for they are expressly declared by the Apostlet, to be Evyxanporo jace fellow-leirs; Evorwiece of the same body; and Evjuetoxos ons ewayyihas joint-partakers of the promise.

The argument, then, most clearly and strongly concludes for the visible admission of the infants of believing Gentiles, together with themselves, into the covenant and church of God. Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gen-, tiles ? A God, in the same manner, in the same latitude and extent to us, as he was to them? Yes; he is undoubtedly, thus a God to believing → Rom. si. 17.

+ Eph. iïj, 6.

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