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Where does he live!-We want to spy him:
If you have children, please to tell,
When your whole household were baptized."
Then, as regards the jailor. It does say, “he and all his were baptized." But mind; it also says, they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house; and he rejoiced, believing in God, with all his house." So that, his household were such as were capable of having the word of the Lord 'preached unto them, and to whose souls God made it a blessing, insomuch that they rejoiced in the Lord together. And if a whole household hear the word of God, feel its power, believe in it, and rejoice in God, then let them all be baptized, I say; and who, that does not deny the word of God, will say, Nay. And as it respects the household of Stephanus, they were the first fruits of Achaia, and had addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints, and the apostle exhorts the saints at Corinth to submit unto them. (I Cor. xvi. 15, 16.) Therefore, there could not be any untaught infants there.
And now, in my turn, let me direct you to Acts x. 47, where Peter sends forth a solemn challenge: "Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" And then, no man, as it were, daring to forbid it, "he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord." For what were they baptized? because it had been omitted in their infancy? No; but because they had received the Holy Ghost. "Then prayed they him to tarry certain days."
Does this need any further comment? What do you think of it, Messrs. Editors? Have you any infants that you can call brethren, or that can be comforted with the ministry of the word, or that can believe and rejoice in God, or entreat his ministers to tarry with them, or addict themselves to the ministry of the saints, and to whose ministry the saints are called upon to submit? I trow not.
The limits of your magazine will not allow me to enlarge upon this part; therefore, I will just add two or three more testimonies, and then proceed: John preached the baptism of repentance" (Acts xiii. 24); "John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus; and when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts xix. 4);
"He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved" (Mark xvi. 16); "Repent and be baptized" (Acts ii. 38); "They that gladly received his word were baptized, and they continued steadfastly in the apostle's doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayer" (41, 42); "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter iii. 21); "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women (Acts viii. 12). Now, how easy it would have been to have said, "And infants also," if such a thing had entered into the mind or ministry of the inspired penman!
Permit me now to address myself to those who, from necessity, have been really made to believe the discriminating truths of God. My dear brethren! Is Religion, or is it not, a personal matter? To wit: Is profitably attending the ministry of the word personal? Is prayer personal, or faith, love to God, zeal, joy, &c.? Is partaking of the Lord's Supper personal? Then why destroy the order of God's house, and make Baptism anything but personal? Why cast aside the ordinance of God, and substitute the tradition of man? Can you, as in the sight of a heart-searching God, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, answer for your children, that they do, or shall, believe in the Lord Jesus, and "put on Christ" (Gal. iii. 27), and "walk in newness of life?" (Rom. vi. 4.) If not, ask your conscience, as in the sight of God, what Scriptural authority you have to baptize them, or sprinkle them and call it baptism. It will avail you nothing to say, there is no passage in Scripture which forbids them; because, there are none which forbid the brute creation. Any why? Because it never was put into the hearts of the inspired writers to think of including them; consequently, to do so, in reference to either (i. e., infants or brutes), is to say, that you are more enlightened than they (the inspired writers) were; and may the Lord, in mercy, ever keep me from such childish absurdity! and may it be our concern to search the word of God, and see who were by divine appointment baptized.
Having thus shown that believers, and believers only, as being alone able to give "the answer of a good conscience towards God," or to believe and rejoice in God, are the right subjects of baptism, I proceed to the mode. And first of all observe, that there is no writer upon the subject, of any note,
of whom I have ever heard, whether Baptist, Pædobaptist, or Neitherist, but who agrees that immersion was the only ancient practice. Amongst these I will mention, Chrysostom (who lived about the year 370); Laurentius (500); Tertullian; Calvin (1550); Bishop Nicholson (1680); Baxter (1650); Gill; Archbishop Sharp (1692); L'Enfant (1700); Whitefield (1740); Bishop Newton (1750); John Wesley (1750).— These, and a vast number more (even the Penny Cyclopædia now publishing), all admit that immersion was the ancient mode; but the Pædobaptist part of them say that sprinkling does as well, being more congenial to the various constitutions of human beings, and more suitable for all climates. So much for their reverence of Scripture!
But, passing by what man says, let us examine what God says, for that I hope to make my standard:
"And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch.'
Now, in any other book than the Bible, the repetition of the word both, might be considered somewhat totological, and, consequently, ungrammatical; but here it is indispensably necessary, the Holy Ghost being determined (if you will allow me so to express myself) that there should be no mistake, no misunderstanding, only what, by the aid of Satan, and man's deceitful, inventive heart, should be wilful. For, if sprinkling had been the mode, why need either have gone into the water, seeing that a thimbleful would have done? True, some drowning straw-catchers say, this should be rendered "to," instead of "into." But such a translation would keep the righteous out of heaven, and the wicked out of hell. (Matt. xxv. 21, 30, 41.) Yea, and what is, if possible, still more awful, it would keep our glorious Redeemer out of heaven too. (Luke xxiv. 51; Heb. ix. 12.) Then is the believer's hope for ever blasted; for the glorious Head is not entered into heaven, now to appear in the presence of God for him. Awful thought! But what is it men will not say to maintain a bad cause! Indeed, according to such a translation, that glorious host of angels which witnessed the birth of Christ are not gone into heaven, only to. (Luke ii. 15.) But even admitting that it should be so rendered (which I by no means do), what should the next verse be, they came "up out of the water?" or Matt. iii. 16, and Mark i. 10," Straightway coming up out of the water?" or Matt. iii. 6, “And were baptized of him (John) in Jordan, confessing their sins ?" or Mark i. 9, Jesus was baptized of John in Jordan ?" or Mark iii. 23, "John was baptizing in Enon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and
they came and were baptized?" &c. &c. Are they all wrong translations? What will the Socinian say to you, if you answer, Yes? Will he not say, "And so is every passage that proves the Deity of Christ?" And will not the Atheist say, "It's a fable altogether?" Therefore, meditate upon this, before your proud hearts tempt you to longer harbour such a thought, or to again practice such a mockery as infant-sprinkling, and neglect the only apostolic mode!
But, friends, Editors, I must proceed, for I fear I have already exceeded your four-pages-restriction.
"And he baptized him."
The very meaning of the word baptize, according to the nost learned, such as, Bishop Bossuet; Witsius; Pool (an eminent critic and casuist); Diodati (professor of theology at Geneva); Homer (the Greek poet); Porson (professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge); and (as I observed in a former part) everybody else that I have ever heard of; is, to dip, to plunge, to immerse. Therefore, as I expect no dissentient, I will not trouble you with any remarks thereon.
"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
It is allowed by many, that this might be rendered into the name of the Father, &c., corresponding with what is said in other parts of the Sacred Word: " Baptized into Christ" (Gal. iii. 27); "So many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death" (Rom. vi. 3); that is to say, emblematically. But as our translation says no more than in the name, &c., I am fully content to have it as it is, being sufficient to set forth the solemnity and grandeur attached to it as originally instituted by the divine Master himself.
Where is there a passage in the whole New Testament that more puzzles the Socinian, in his attempt to disprove the Trinity, than those giving the account of Christ being baptized by John in Jordan? Here is one blessed Person, veiled in humanity, being solemnly plunged in the river; and, coming up out of it, here is another taking to himself a bodily shape like a dove, and resting upon him; and a third speaking from heaven, and saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." And was all this at the sprinkling of an infant ? O, no! but at the solemn baptism of Immanuel, as an emblem of the overwhelming sufferings he had to undergo. (Luke xii. 50.) Shall we then trifle with an ordinance instituted by the Lord himself, and so visibly sanctioned by the eternal Trinity? "Shall my pride disdain the deed,
That's worthy of my God?"
Finally. What is baptism meant to set forth? If it be, as (Saint) Isidore says it is, that "without it children are in a state of damnation;" or as Dodwell, that “it is by baptism the soul is rendered immortal;" or as (Dr.) Waterland, that "it is alone sufficient to make one a Christian, yea, and to keep him such, even to his life's end;" or as Gee, that "it doth confer on the persons baptized the grace of remission, of adoption, and sanctification;" or as Henry, that "it is designed for our cleansing from the spots and defilements of the flesh;" or as (Bishop) Beveridge, that " if we die without it, we shall be damned for ever;" or as Burkitt, that “it is Christ's ear-mark, by which Christ's sheep are distinguished from the devil's goats;" or as Lewelyn, that "Christ has nothing to do with any man, nor any man with Christ, till he is baptized with water, that all power in heaven and earth is in baptism,—that it unites to God,-cleanses from sin,-yea, makes the person as white and clean from sin as God can make him" (!!!); or as (Saint) Augustin, that "not only persons who are come to the use of reason, but also little children, and infants newlyborn, if they die without baptism, do go into everlasting fire" (poor little dears!!!!); or as was decreed by the Council of Trent, "If any one shall say that baptism is not necessary to salvation, let him be accursed" (!!!!!); or as John Wesley, that "if infants are guilty of original sin, in the ordinary way, they cannot be saved unless this be washed away by baptism" (pious soul!!!!!!); or as the Church of Rome, that "it is an admirable virtue, by which sin, whether contracted by birth from our first parents, or committed of ourselves, is remitted and pardoned" (!!!!!!!); or as the Established Church of England, "Wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven" (!!!!!!!); or as many other such like blasphemous assertions, then I can understand why infants should be considered proper subjects, and why sprinkling should answer the purpose. But if it be as my Bible says it is, an emblem of a death, a burial, a resurrection-of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ-of the believer's death unto sin, and his resurrection unto newness of life, and an open giving up, or surrendering, himself to the Lord, to be under his supreme government, and at his solemn, sovereign control, as his only Lord and Lawgiver, having been brought to repentance, confessed his sins, and made to believe and trust in the Lord Jesus for, and as, his salvation; then, I say, away with your infant sprinkling to the mother of harlots, to whom it belongs, and let me at