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are the privileges of those who be- ed his father: I should not have lieve in Jesus?
so much objection, my dear, to adAug. “As many as received him, minister to you this symbol of ento them gave he power to become trance into the church of Christ, the sons of God, even to them that for it has, I trust, been given to you believe on his name.”
to believe in him; but your views, F. Can you not finish the pas- my children, are so far from settled,
that it appears more desirable to Aug. “Which were born, not of wait till you arrive at an age which blood, nor of the will of the flesh, will more fully prove the reality of nor of the will of man, but of God.” your faith. In the mean time, you Jobn i. 12, 13.
are not deprived of any of the means F. You think then to be saved, of grace, by deferring your baptism. and that you are a child of God? Oh! Sir, I can no longer contain
Aug. Through the grace of God, myself, cried a female servant who I do, dear papa.
had heard me,
It is written, “Your F. And those who insult God, children are sanctified," and I will my child, and who talk of having never give up that. It is dreadful been baptized ; do you think if they to deprive these poor little dears of are habitually doing so, that they can the seal of Christianity as if they be children of God and Christians? were Jews or Turks.
Aug. They are not the children This servant had slipt into the of God; but I have been told that room at the beginning of the conone may be a Christian without be. versation, and had remained, under ing a child of God.
the pretence of arranging some of F. My dear child, we ought not the furniture, and wiping the dust to judge but by the sacred scrip-, from the rest. She was a faithful tures; there I see that the word child of God, of exemplary piety, Christian is applied only to disciples but who had not hitherto been able of Christ; men who had believed to restrain her emotions of imin him by the preaching of the patience, whenever this subject was apostles.
discussed. Here be opened the Bible at “ Vos enfans sont saints," (Your Acts xi. 26., and then at 1 Pet. iv. children are holy) she repeated with 16, remarking at the same time, that energy: Yes, the promise is made Peter spoke of Christians as of those to you and to your children;-in that partook of the sufferings of heaven their angels do always beChrist, and on whom the spirit of hold the face of my Father, which glory and of God rested, (ver.13, 14). is in heaven.” Matt. xviii, 10. It appears then, added he, that the “ ILS SONT SAINTS,“ (they are names of Christian, and child of God, holy) said she once more, with an are synonimous; and I believe they accent which I can only describe only should be baptized, who have by writing in great letters as you faith in Christ.
see it here. Yes, cried John; (a fine well.
Mary, said her master, you are a grown child seven years of age, child of God. Will
do a good frank and simple, who nevertheless, action? will you save a soul? was sometimes a little artful and
What made you think of that, mischievous,) but we who love so said she; would to God I could ! much the Saviour, why do you not But what do you mean? baptize us?
F. You know Henry, our neighThat is another question, answer. bour's servant.
Mary. Poor man! He despises believing husband, said she to her. the gospel, he blasphemes our Sa- self, but aloud, and weighing each viour!
word - the unbelieving husband F. Never mind that. You know sanctified (for the same word is that notwithstanding your attach- used both respecting the father and ment to the gospel, he is perpetually children) the unbelieving sanctified asking you to marry him.
only because he is married to a Mary. The Lord preserve me faithful wife ..., that is strange from it!
.... The unbelieving wife sanctiF. But would you not save a fied only because she is married to soul, I say, once more?
a faithful husband and sanctified Mary. Well, yes: What would though she remains nevertheless you have me do?
unbelieving, (ver. 13 and 16.) and F. Marry him,
the apostles expressing only a doubt. Mary. As if trying to discover ful hope (ver. 16.) that one of the her master's design.) Ah! “That parties might eventually be saved. if any obey not the word, they also · What knowest thou O wife, whemay without the word, be won by ther thou shalt save thy husband ? the conversation of the wives, 1 Pet. or how knowest thou O man wbether ji. 1.
thou shalt save thy wife !" .... F. No, no, not at all; that pas. Thus they are sanctified in a sense sage suits the case of those already that does not at all imply that they married; but I would never advise have any part or lot in salvation a Christian to marry an enemy to ... I acknowledge to you, Sir
, God with these hopes; probably that I had never seen the subject in she would be led astray herself. this point of view.
Mary. But what am I to under F. Well, what are we to say to stand then ?
Heory? F. What were you telling me of Mary. No, no, no; I never unthese children?
derstood it before, I own. Children Mary. “ Qu'ils sont saints" (that born of believing parents would not they are boly.)
be on that account more sanctified, F. Why?
nor otherwise sanctified than a hea. Mary. Because they are born of then would be in outward union Christian parents,
with the church of Christ. F. Where have you read that? F. “ Think not to say within
Mary. I do not exactly recollect; yourselves; we have Abraham to but I know that it is in the Bible. our Father: for I say unto you, F. Well: Augustus, look out the that God is able of these stoves 10
raise up children unto Abraham.” Augustus 'found 1 Cor. vii. 14. Matt. iii. 9. and read, “For the unbelieving Mary. Every thing does not, husband is sanctified by the wife; however, appear to me decided on and the unbelieving wife is sanctified the subject of baptism; for it may by the husband; else were your be said, that probably God, under cliildren unclean, but now are they the new dispensation, besides a boly."
spiritual, has an outward people to Mary wished that what preceded whom baptism belongs, as circumand followed these words should be cision to the people of Israel. read as far as verse 16;-asked F. That is a point we shall have leave to read them again herself, to examine; but, for the present, and becanie thoughtful. The un- would only ask, if you think the
passage and read it.
passage in question relates at all to F. I will then tell you my thoughts the subject of baptism? Do you upon the subject, and the more think in the time of the apostles readily, because, supposing it may when a wife became converted and not satisfy you, the difficulty will
was baptized, received at the Lord's still remaiu as great on your part as k'o
table and considered a child of on mine, at the same time proving, in God, her husband remaining an that the passage contains no autho.
enemy to the gospel, that he also rity, whatever, for the baptism of I should be baptized, received at the infants.
Lord's table, considered a child of Mary. It is agreed.
Mary. Evidently not-How very the chapter from which the passage 13 14. clear! what proof! I am convinced is taken, which now occupies our Logo I was in error,
attention, the subject is by no John. It is very certain that if I means the union of infants with the e could convert the wife of one of people of God. The new faith De FE these vile Turks who are so wicked, which the Corinthians had recenŲy
to the Turk would not, therefore, be a embraced, brought with it new 30 a child of God, and ought not to be duties, and destroyed old ones. ' baptized, at least till he was con. There existed then, as there does verted too.
indeed now, on the promulgation of Aug. And yet the Bible says, the gospel, a conflict of duties; but that he would be sanctified by his these were to them the more diffi. wife.
cult, as the whole was then entirely F. “ I thank thee O Father, Lord new to them. « There is to be no of heaven and earth, because thou communion between believers and hast hid these things from the wise unbelievers," said they to Christians: and prudent, and hast revealed them be that leaves not for my sake, wife unto babes.” Matt. xi. 25, 26. and children, and houses, and bis
You see, then, added the father, own life also, is not worthy of me." that the unbelieving husband (who These thoughts occupied the minds has not, according to other decla- of the faithful, and caused them to rations in scripture, either part, or apply to Paul (this is no supposition lot, or communion, or agreement, or on my part, see 1 Cor. vii. 1.) on the affinity with those that believe,) is subject of marriage. They ask him, sanctified by the believing wife, and if a believing husband ought to leave the unbelieving wife sanctified by his unbelieving wife, and vice versa : the believing husband.
that is clearly the subject : they Mary. Evidently this word has feared lest an union with one who not on all occasions the same mean was unbelieving, was wrong. The ing, but what does it here signify? great variety of duties that united
F. For the present, then, putiing man and wife, cemented as they aside that in which we are agreed, should be by love, produced so terand which is evident, before we rible a conflict with the walk prespeak upon the signification of the scribed to Christians, that a woman words, let us rather say what they obliged to obey her husband in a do not signify.
thousand sinful practices, might, at Mary. They certainly do not im. least, question these duties under ply a sanctification such as would this new order of things. And on give a right, either to baptism, or to the same ground, a believing hus. the Lord's Supper, or even to the band had the same feeling with rename of a child of God.
spect to his uubelieving wife,
Aug. Addressing Joho.---That is strongest props to my former just like you with your Turkish wife. opinion. I know, for my part, that if I were F. Having come to this conclu. a woman, and this Turk should sion, the application is very casy. come to pay bis addresses to me The apostle, speaking on two suband say, God is God, and Mahom. jects thus intimately connected, as med is his prophet. Oh! ob! oh! is the reciprocal relationship of pa
F. Imagine to yourself a Corin- rents and children, he could not thian returning from a midnight sa- make use of the same word in the crifice to Bacchus or to Venus, in- same sentence in two different toxicated, filthy....
senses, and as the word is here ap. Here Mary shruuk with horror.- plied to the moral purity of the F. Or wisbing to take his wife to union of the married couple
, it must the Gladiators, in the temple of also apply to the moral purity of false gods, &c.
the birth of their children. "If Paul, bowever, settles the point- your union was unsanctified, your Let not the wife depart from her children would be unsanctified, but husband - let not the husband put now are they sanctified;" they are away his wife, (ver. 10, and 11.) born of a union which the holiness for the unbelieving husband is sanc- of God does not reprove. tified by the wife, and the unbeliev I have already told you the rest; ing wife is sanctified by the husband. though some may dispute this ex(ver. 14.) Therefore I would ask, planation, and advance another, yet (I say not every one, for some are I think a more satisfactory one canunjust judges,) but I would ask en- not be given, or one more just and lightened and unprejudiced judges: natural; that which remains for us Does the subject here discussed, now is, to sum up the whole (at least refer, in any measure, to the union according to the above statement,) of either of the married couple as in these words. Children born of such, with the kingdom of God? or believing parents are not more, nor is it not rather a question solely re- otherwise sanctified, and have no lative, whether considered in itself, more right to baptism, than a hea
. or the context, to the union of the then who is placed in a connexion husband with the wife? Is not the with the church of Christ, as outquestion one between husbands and wardly favourable"; that is to say, wives? In other words, is not this then, they have no right at all to it
. evidently the question?- Is theunion This does not imply, that Chrissanctified or unsanctified ?
tian children have not many adranI readily grant that it is not here tages above those of the heathen. I a question in law, on the legitimacy am well convinced they have, and of marriage, as is often said, for that they are immense ; but I say want of spirituality of mind, but that these advantages consist in the rather a moral question on that sub- favorable circumstances in which
they are placed, and that they are Mary. I understand you again, by no means inward and directly Sir, and I am ashamed of the impa- applied to the soul. They hear of tience and ignorance which I have the Saviour of mankind, they have hitherto shewn, in things I did not the Bible, they receive, when their understand. I shall be very glad to parents are faithful, continual di hear you again on oiber parts of rections in the way of truth and this question; but I acknowledge life.
And how shall the that you have already removed the poor heatheu believe who never hear
the gospel? These are evidently in the support of a bad cause, per
the advantages connected with haps, one or two examples mighi be el'di Christianity ; tbey are so completely adduced of the remarkable consist# ID their own as to be an inheritance. ency and steady co-operation of le o! But I am convinced that if Provi- many individuals, though a series of scam dence had sent me, from its birth, a ages, like the company of tbe Jesuits,
little Indian, to make bim a member or the supporters of the papal diga les of my family, he would be as sus- nity. But the unanimity of the 18! W ceptible of the gospel as a baptized sacred writers has been produced i mi child. The milk of a Christian and sustained by the purest princionder mother is no more christianized ples, and in the furtherance of a I perint than that of a heathen.
cause which secures the present Mary. Sir, no doubt remains with rights, and tends to the final bappimari pe me on the point. These explana- ness of mankind. Deceit and false
tions even give me the key to some hood, error and absurdity, superstianch other difficulties that I have met tion and fanaticism, vice and imaan with in the Acts of the Apostles on piety, selfishness and oppression, ited's the same subject.
with all the bad passions and corAug. I will be bound it is the rupt practices of a fallen world, inbaptism of the households of which stead of being sanctioned or allowed you are 80 often talking.
in the records of the gospel, are Mary. Just so,
severely censured, and unequivoJohn. Yes, but we hear of no cally forbidden. The doctrines children among them.
which the sacred volume inculcates, Mary. Very true, but I must say, ne- respecting the nature and governvertheless, it appears that these con- ment of God, the state and destina. versions by wliole families, in which tion of man, the means provided by all believed, did not continue long; divine wisdom for our redemption,
we find in the Epistles that there and the person and offices of the were believing husbands with unbe Redeemer, all recommend themRifles lieving wives, and vice versa. Thus, selves to our belief by their own rea
when one of the wedded pair was sonableness, or by the competent decidedly an unbeliever, it appears testimony of their divinely authothat he was regarded as sucli, even rized teachers. The duties it enjoins in the case when the head of a in all the branches of piety and vir. house became converted; and that tue, are in the highest degree proper wheu a whole house was baptized, and unexceptionable. Its ritual init was because the whole house had stitutions are at once simple, and believed in God. (Acts xvi. 31.) yet dignified; rational, and yet im
pressive; solemn in their nature,
and salutary in their influence. Its Letters on the Evidences of Chris. motives likewise are eleyaled and
tianity, addressed to a young powerful, derived not from human Person of sceptical Opinions. authority, or the cold calculations of
a narrow selfishness, but from the LETTER III.
command of God, the native dignity
and usefulness of doing right, MY DEAR SIR,
mingled with the sanctions of a suIo my last letter I requested you ture judgment. In short, it conto notice the unity of design so re- demns and opposes sin under every markable from the commencement form, directs the mind to universal to the close of the sacred volume. holiness, and in language the nuost