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propriety in them? Really this ranatha ?" What worse doom could would appear to me downright non. he have denounced against them sense and absurdity, if I imagined. that love not God? that he had done no more for their . If the Epistles of Paul had been salvation than any other good man unknown till within these last few might have been commissioned to years, and had been newly found in do. But how is this mystery in- Abyssinia, and translated ;| would creased, if I should suppose that he the Socinian have rejoiced at the expressed bimself more incautious. discovery, and claimed him as a ly, or, at least, has been more mis. primitive Unitarian Christian; or, understood, than ever any messen. would they, more probably, have ger was, whom God sent to make charged them with being forged by known his will to mankind! No some rank Calvinist? I can have other prophet ever became the rival no doubt, in my own mind, which of God, the object of most exten- would have been their conclusion. sive and long continued idolatrous Bristol.
J. R. worship, but Jesus. Either, 'be is truly the only begotten Son of God, Mr. Cox's Reply to the Review of in such a sense as imports a partici
his Work on Baptism, in the Conpation of divinity, or he is an idol.
gregational Magazine for OctoIf he be the latter, how ill does he
ber last. deserve the appellation of a light to lighten the Gentiles, who has ac (Concluded from Page 16.) tually, even if it could be unintentionally, led almost all Christen. The Reviewer writes again “Tera dom astray, from the only living tullian, according to Mr. Cox's stateand true God?
ment, condemns infant baptism in If the Socinians are right, all that the third century: to complete this worship Christ are idolaters; all sentence, Mr. C. should add, in his that trust in him, trust only in an second edition, and, in doing so, bem. arm of flesh, and are exposed to the came an undeniable witness to its excurse for so doing. If he be only istence and prevalence." Triumphthe son of man, in him there is no ing in his brilliant amendment, he help. Was Paul of this mind, when proceeds, “This confession cannot he told the Corinthians, that he be recalled ; Tertullian condemns in“ determined not to know any thing fant baptism--not as a thing that among them, save Jesus Christ and was to be, but as a thing that was !" bim crucified ?" When he said, This is really, applying his own lan“ Other foundation can no man lay guage to me in another case, a "pithy than that is laid, which is Christ passage," and deserves serious attenJesus ?” When he said, “God for. tion. I feel obliged to my kind Rebid that I should glory, save in the viewer for suggesting any thing cross of our Lord Jesus Christ ?" which he deems a beneficial altera. When he said, “I am crucified with tion in my second edition, and I Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not have only one objection to adopt it; 1, but Christ liveth in me; and the namely, that, great logician as he is, life which I now live in the flesh, I. in this instance he is not quite logilive by the faith of the Son of God, cal. That Tertullian, in condemnwho loved me, and gave himself for ing infant baptism, was an evidence me?" Finally, when he said, “ If to its existence, and really meant to any one love not the Lord Jesus say it was “a thing that was!" is Christ, let him be Anathema Ma. sufficiently plain, and to my obtuse
ness it appears that the citation of son to rejoice if it could! Yes, I 1 Tertulliau's condemuation carried have really confessed, and do hereby with it an evidence that I also ab- confess again, that Tertullian con. solutely believed in its existence! dems infant baptism--he condems it I was not quite so absurd as to ima- in the third century, at a time when gine he condemned what he did not other errors had begun to shew suppose to exist! But, further, he themselves, which merited a similar alleges that his condemnation of it fate. This is, indeed, my confes. was a proof ofits prevalence! Indeed! sion, and my Pædobaptist antagoWhat, a proof of its prevalence all nist is extremely welcome to it? over the Christian church, and from But between John's death and the days of the apostles—for this is Tertulliau's conversion there was your Reviewer's argument! Whe- not quite an interval of a huvdred ther it is from an inferiority of logi. years; and therefore, argues our Recal genius to your Reviewer I cannot viewer, infant baptism being then tell, but to me it appears, that though found to exist and to be prevalent, his condemnation proved it existed, which is proved by its being conit equally proved that it was not demned, it must have been apostolic. prevalent! Is it probable that Ter. So, then, a practice is found to tullian would have condemned what exist, perbaps among some half was the settled and universal practice dozen innovators, about a hundred of the church, and supported by the years after the decease of the oldest most ancient examples, and, tradic of Christ's disciples, and a pres. tionally, by the apostles themselves? byter of the church condemns it, It is infinitely more probable, and therefore, it was practised by the tolerably certain, that he condemn- apostles! This is really pretty well ed a novel practice, introduced by for those who charge others with a few speculators in religion, or by being rash and illogical! If the those who were willing to practise Reviewer were not so profoundly clinical baptism for the sake of con- versed in ecclesiastical antiquity, I venience.
would venture to inform him, ibat Besides, if infant baptism were we have substantial proof that infant generally practised, how came it to haptism was not universally prac. pass that Cyprian convened sixty- tised, notwithstanding Cyprian's six bishops to give it their solemn council, even in the fourth and synodical sanction in the middle of fifth centuries! “ Mr. Cox and the the third century? These must Baptists of the present times say, he have been wiseacres indeed, to have condemns infant baptism ; and so he met in general council to enforce in- does: but his opinion is of no va. fant baptism, when it already uni- lue." No, certainly; if he condemns versally prevailed! The questions infant baptism, his opinion can be agitated respecting the period of the of no value! As the Reviewer is administration of this rite must ne- kind enough to suggest an altercessarily have been precluded by an ation for my second edition, he will invariable, notorious, and apostolic perhaps allow me to hint that he practice. The canon runs thus :- should have added a word or two “ It is our pleasure, that whoever at the end of this “ pithy" passage; denies that new-born infants are to namely, me judice. That he con. be baptized, let him be anathema." siders the opinion of Tertullian of
Oh, but my confession cannot be no value, I do not question; and recalled! Certainly it cannot; but had he not laboured under a misevery Pædo baptist would have rea- take as to its purport, he would
have said the same of his testimony, being overlooked in the hurry of Upon all the ordinary and received your first paper, may advantage principles of reasoning, we should ously be introduced into your sebe led to conclude, that the fact of cond; it is this, and in so doing, Tertullian's recording, without dis- became an undeniable witness to its approbation, sundry rites and cere- existence and prevalence. This conmonies of the church, rendered it session cannot be recalled !!!” Now, much more probable that they were Gentlemen, let your critical shade prevalent and apostolic, than that a escape from this dilemma if he can! particular service which he did con- With reference to Irenæus, your demn was universal and of the critic observes the words “ infantes, highest antiquity. Tertullian has parvulos, pueros, juvenes et seniso recorded the consecration of bap. ores, as the omnes qui per eum tismal water, the imposition of hands, renascuntur in Deum, cannot posthe material unction used in confir- sibly be rendered of any thing else mation, prayers and oblations for but baptism. - _What could these in. the dead, the use of the white gar- fants and very little children know ment after baptism, and other cere- of regeneration in Mr. Cox's sense monies. Our opponent, if it suited of tbat term ?" Here it is obvious, his purpose, would say, “ and in so that, however justly I may be charge doing became an undeniable witness ed with that crime, my opponent to their existence and prevalence.” is not at all dogmatical, as it has Tertullian mentions these “ as before been shewn that his asserthings tbat were, not as things that tions are not rash nor his arguments were to be.” Nay, further, it miglit illogical! A few lines afterwards be alleged, he does not condemn proves, as he thinks, “ that renasthem, but intimates his approbation; cuntur means precisely baptism, a proof they were not only preva- and nothing else.” Now, in the first lent, but universally approved. Sup- place, every scholar knows that the pose, however, it were affirmed of terms infantes, &c. are not by any any one of them, as for instance of means restricted in their application the consecration of water, that Ter- to infants in the common accepta. tullian condemned it; would any tion of the word. In Greek and person in his senses deem it a con- Latin writers, infancy is generally clusive argument that the practice extended to fourteen years of age, not only existed, but was universally and all the terms in question are prevalent and apostolic ?
used with that signification. It is It happens, moreover, that Ter. common with the fathers to speak of Jullian expresses his disapprobation individuals performing the works of of another practice, namely, that of piety from their childhood ; and inoffering sponsors or sureties to deed it is not an unusual expression Christ, wbo engaged on behalf of among ourselves; but we do not innew-born infants that they should tend that they are penitents or be, not depart from the Christian faith lievers at eight days old. Thus it when adult. Now, were the rea- is said of Timothy, “ from a child soning of the Reviewer legitimate, thou hast known the Holy Scrip. it must be equally applicable in this tures.” Ifan expositor were to argue instance. Tertullian condemns spon- that this must mean that Timothy sorship; very true (mutatis mutan- knew the Scriptures when hanging dis), very true, Dir. Reviewer; but at the breast, he would be thought 10 complete this sentence, let us to reason very unscripturally, and propose “a trifling addition, which very foolishly; but he would be using precisely the kind of logic for that original birth-sin, the guilt which your Reviewer is distinguish, which is entailed on all, is removed ed. But “ renascuntur means pre- only by baptism; that, until the cisely baptism, and nothing else;" removal of this took place, none the addition of me judice is here could be admitted into Christ's again requisite. If it were worth kingdom or church, but that the the time, I think I could demon- ordinance of baptism was the actual strate the reverse; but it is sufficient removing of that sin, and conseto say that this assertion avails no. quently that the salvation of such thing; and were we to concede it, was secured. Now, from these the Reviewer's cause is not assisted, very notions, they must have prac. while he his unable to prove that in. tised infant baptism." fantes is exclusively applicable to Thus the Reviewer contends, that babes.
the most eminent Christians, after After all, I beg leave to intimate the apostles, must have practised that we have not the words of Ire. infant baptism, on account of the næus himself, but only a paltry opinion they uniformly entertained translation of them; of which Sca. of its being necessary to salvation. liger affirme, “ The translator was This is an important concession, as an ass, and had even less learning it gives a most satisfactory account than Ruffinus." Your Reviewer is of the early introduction of the confident that he has found a testi- practice, and its rapid prevalence, mony from the second century, in apart from any consideration of its the language of Justin, who speaks apostolic authority. The church of persons discipled to Christ from early and universally fell into an infancy; and then lauds himself for error, which presented an irrehaving shown how incompetent my sistible temptation to practise in. brief and rash statement is to satisfy fant baptism. How unnecessary is a calm inquirer.” Every tyro will it then for us to look any further for perceive that the preceding remarks its origin, and how absurd to infer are again applicable to the expres- from its early prevalence, that it sion of Justin, and that discipling must have originated in a divine involves in it a sense which is point prescription, when it is ascertained blank against Pædobaptism! We and acknowledged that an error are informed that Dr. Wardlaw in- existed all along, which not only tends to reply to my objections, and might have given birth to the usage those of others; be it so; I shall be in question, but was of such a na: happy to listen to the dispassionate ture, that it could not possibly fail and respectful statement of one who to produce it. The whole arguwill try at least at hard arguments ment, from its pretended antiquity, and soft words; and who, I verily is completely destroyed by this believe, if he reads the review in the statement. Whoever asserts that a Congregational Magazine, will ex- principle confessedly erroneous was claim, “ Non tali auxilio, nec defen. sufficient to account for the adop. soribus istis. Gentlemen, do not tion of a certain practice, nay, that let us bounce, and wince, and call it could not fail to produce it; surnames, and seem as if we felt our renders at once all inferences in its selves in the wrong !"
favour from its early rise, prevalence, “ There is one argument,” ob. &c. on this plain ground, that it is serves the Reviewer, “ applicable unphilosophical to assign more to all the early fathers, which has causes for a phenomenon, ihan are irresistible weight. They all held sufficient to produce it." . . . My s preliminary observations” thod of relative religion--any more are " offensively invidious."-"Mr. than you perceive the beauty of a Cox and his brethren mistake the churchman's or a Papist's relative very nature of baptism"-" the religion, when he encumbers the Baptists do not perceive the beauty religion of Jesus with his sponof relative religion, otherwise they sors, and signing with the sign of would see the importance of family the cross! " Otherwise we should piety.” These are singular charges. “ see the importance of family My preliminary observations are piety." And this from a liberal, unsolely intended to prove, that as assuming, and kind-hearted PædoChristianity, as a whole, requires baptist? Is it then necessary to the exercise of the intellectual and sprinkle unconscious babes, in order moral faculties, it is unlikely that to see the beauty of family piety? its divine author should have an- Cannot we dedicate them to God. nexed to it any thing which did not pray for their salvation, conduct require their exercise; since it would them at a rational age to the family be to suppose Christianity con- altar, and teach them “the way structed upon two essentially differ- they should go!" I ask what family ent principles; if, however, every religion there is in the Pædobaptist, other observance of Christianity that is not to be found in the Bapdemand the affections, and this tist family? May not every one, in (Pædobaptism) admits of its being either case, practise religion, expractised without any personal re- cepting the unconscious babe; and ligion, any interest in the transaction, does the unconscious babe, in either or any knowledge of it, there exists case, practise religion at all? . an obvious disparity, and so far an The whole of the remaining deargument is educed in favour of fence of Mr. Ewing, or ratber attack, our practice, and against that of upon my critical statement, is really our opposing brethren. Here I so flimsy and feeble, and so conhave, indeed, stated my persuasion; trary to the acknowledged opinion of but I have not represented any many, even 'of their distinguished Pædobaptist advocate as rash, dog. men, (as I can aver from their own matical, illogical! Is there any admissions,) and so little calculated thing“ offensively invidious" in to produce any impression uport any such a mode of argument? Is it person on either side of the quesnot fair for a controversialist 10 tion, that I am happy to be relieved pursue such an inquiry? Let my from the necessity of any particular opponent attempt to demonstrate exposure. If Mr. Ewing chooses any similar disagreement in the to attempt his own defence, I have. principle of our practice, from that no objection, since I venture to of the Christian system in general; predict he can produce something and I promise not to use it “ offen. at least more plausible; or if not, sively invidious," but, if he succeed I can defer my reply to another "remarkably clever;" he shall be opportunity. The insufficiency of treated with all the honours of a the criticism on my reference to the discoverer! But we “ do not un- paludamentum, I may safely leave, derstand the very nature of baptism." even to a prejudiced opponent, to This is really very good from one detect; it proceeds from utter inwho is by no means rash, illiberal, attention to the usual language of or dogmatical! We do not per- prophecy. My quotations from ceive “the beauty of relative re- the Greek fathers, it is affirmed, ligion"- certainly not of your me. " instead of weakening, confirm