Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

THE NEW YORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY

163168
ASTOR, LENOX AND

TILDEN FOUNDATIONS. DISTRICT MASSAAMSETTs, tolwit: DE IT REMEMBERED, Thai on the tenth day of Sertember, in D ihe ihiriy-first year of the independence of the Uniied States of America, Manning & LORING, of the said district, have deporired in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof they claim as Proprietors, in the words following, to wit:-“The Baptism of Believers only, and the Particular Communijn of the Baptist Churches, explained and vindicated. In Three Paris. The firli--published originally in 1789; the second-in 1794 ; the third-an Appendix, confaining Additional Observations and Arguments, with Strictures on several late Publications. By THOMAS BALDWIN."

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entiled, “ An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the "copies of maps, charts, and books, to the Authors and Proprietors of

fuch copies, during the times therein mentioned ;” and also to an Act, entitled, “ An Ad supplementary to an Act, entitled, “An Act for che encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned ;' and extending the benefits thereof to the aris of designing, engraving, and etching hiftorical and oiher prints."

WILLIAM S. SHAW, Clerk of the Difrict of Massachusetts. I

P R E F A CE...

THE firit of these Trads was written while the author resided in the State of New Hampshire, by the particular request of the Woodstock Asociation* Without designing to enter the wide field of controversy, a few thoughts were hastily collected, rather as an apology for the particular communion of the Baptists, than an intended attack upon the sentiments and practice of others. The substance of that was then written, was presented to the above Affoci. ation, at their meeting at Marlow, in the autumn of 1788, and published the spring following.

In 1791 the Rev. Noah Worcester, pastor of the Congregational church in Thornton, published a reply, entitled, "A Friendly Letter,&c. addressed to the author. This Letter, though written with a considerable degree of Chriftan candour, contained some misrepresentations and errors, which it was thought desirable to have corrected. Accordingly, in 1794 the second Tra& was presented to the public, in the form of a “ Reply" to the foregoing Letter. A fecond edition was called for in a few weeks, and a third was some time after published in Connecticut. The repeated calls for this work, rendered its republication necerfary.

The controversy had considerably subsided, particularly on the side of the Baptifts, as very few things had been published by them for the space of ten years; till at length Mr. Edwards's “Candid Reasons (as he is pleased to call them) for renouncing the principles of the Antipædobaptists,” reached this country. They were immediately reprinted, and distributed in all directions. This book acquired peculiar celebrity, on the account of its coming from one who had been a professed Baptist. It was fupposed, that he understood the secret, wherein our great flrengih kay, and would consequently be more likely to embarrafsour arguments than any other man.

What is now offered to the public in the following pages, as an Appendix, was at first deligned only to contain remarks on this author. But finding the controversy renewed

Composed of Baptist churches in New Hampshire and Vernioitt.

by our Pædobaptist brethren with uncommon zeal, and is fome instances with an acrimony which but little becomes those who profefs to contend for the truth, it was thought proper to extend our observations to those articles which form the ground work” of infant baptism. The membership of infants, as founded in the covenant of circumcifion, and the fameness of the Jewish and Christian churches, are the principal data from which Pædobaptism is argued ; these have therefore received particular confideration,

The reader will perceive, that our strictures on Mr. Edwards have been directed to those arguments only, which he confidered as principal in this dispute. Our limits would not allow us to attend to any thing more. It has not been our design to speak disrespectfully of the man : to his own Mafter he must stand or fall,

Two Discourses of the Rev. Samuel Worcester, have. also received cur animadversions. His arguments being in substance the fome with those of Mr. Edwards, it was deemed unnecessary to go over the ground again. As. these discourses were designed not only to strengthen and support Pædobaptism, but to pull down and bring into dif. repute the sentiments of his Baptist neighbours, who dwell peaceably by him, we make no apology for attempting to prove his misstatements and misrepresentations. We must be permitted, however, to fay, we have aimed to be candid, ind to treat his person with due re!pect, whilst we have: freely censured his errors.

Two Discourses by the Rev. Dr. Ofgood have also been briefly noticed. 'i hese are written in the Doctors usual. style of elegance and perspicuity, and contain several very candid observations. A few inconsistencies have however been noticed; and there are some other things which we think highly reprehenfible, fuch as his comparing the Baptilt minifters to the devil! and charging them with creeping into men's houses ! &c. (page 33.). It is conceived that a man never creeps into another's house, when he is honour.. ably invited.

'I'he whole is with great deference submitted to a candid public. The author would sincerely unite with the pious, of all denominations, in fervent prayer to Almighty God, for an increase of fpiritual light, love, and knowledge, until error and prejudice shall be exterminated, and all Christians be of one heart and one mind to serve the Lord in the beanty of holiness.

Boston, December 23, 1806. . nis i ini.

If they would acquit us from blame in the .
foregoing instance, why should they fault us
for refusing communion with those that we
verily believe have never been baptized according
to Christ's institution : for, agreeably to an an.
cient writer, “ They who are not rightly bapti.
zed, are, doubtless, not baptized at all.”*
Wherefore we conclude, that communion does
not belong to Christians merely as such, but to
them as baptized members of some gospel
church.

Neither yet should we be quite safe to open
our doors for communion, to all who are in a
church state, and profess to be baptized.

Therefore, it will be necessary in the next
place, to attend to the scripture account of the

Faith and Order of a Gospel Church.
A gospel church must be built upon a gospel
plan. If we candidly look into the scriptures,
we shall easily perceive, that the church is a fo-
ciety of saints, of faithful men and women in
Christ Jesus, that are joined together in holy
fellowship, that are incorporated into a visible
church state, and by agreement meet together
to carry on the worship of God, to glorify him,
and edify one another.

The church does not appear to be national,
provincial, or parochial ; but truly congrega-
tional. It is not built of dead materials, but of
lively stones it each of them fitted before they
are laid in the building, “ so that there is nei.
ther hammer nor axe heard in all the house
while it is in building :"1 how wonderful! how

• Baptismum quumrite non habeant line dubio non habent. Ter-
tull. de Baptifm!o, cap xi. page 230

ti be: ii. 5. 1 Kings vi. 7.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »