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as are amply 'sufficient to ensure its reprobation; and merely because they have acted more consistently, they have acted much worse, than the greater part of the churches who practise strict communion. Let this principle be once established, and fairly acted upon, and there is no question but that divisions : will succeed to divisions, and separations to separations, until two persons possessed of freedom of thought will scarcely be found capable of walking together in fellowship; and an image of the infinite divisibility of matter will be exhibited, in the breaking down of churches into smaller and smaller portions. · An admirable expedient, truly, for keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!”. That there is no hyperbole in this representation will be obvious, if we do but consider the difficulty of procuring an entire unanimity in the interpretation of those parts of scripture, which are supposed to relate to the will of Christ, in the organization and constitution of his church. Livin ti '. 6. There is one important consideration to which the reader is requested to attend, before we dismiss this branch of the subject. My opponent asserts, that none besides our own denomination are comprehended within the clause in which the apostle affirms the reception of erring christians. He acknowledges, that if it can be proved that they are included under that description, the precept of toleration extends to their case, and that the only question at issue is, whether they are so or not, which he, in opposition to Mr. Booth, denies.* The reader is entreated seriously to consider the necessary result of this position, whether it does not amount to a repeal of the Scriptures, considered as the rule of faith and manners. It will not be denied that the promises and precepts of the New Testament are uniformly addressed to the same description of persons, with those particular injunctions under present discussion, and that under the terms strong and weak, by which are designated the two respective classes, who are commanded mutually to bear with each other. Nor can we hesitate whether the disputed phrase, God hath received him, ought to be interpreted in the same extent. As the inscriptions prefixed to the inspired epistles determine to whom they were addressed, so that which was written to the Romans is inscribed to “ all that be at Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints ;” and not a syllable is found in the precepts respecting mutual forbearance, comprised in the 14th and
* The author of Terms of Communion observes, “that the question at issue is not what were the individual errors we are commanded to tolerate, but what is the ground on which that measure is enforced, and whether it be sufficiently comprehensive to include the pædobaptists." In reply to which Mr. Kinghorn sets out with remarking, “ I admit that is the question, and the decision of this question will determine, whether the precepts of the gospel will sanction us in departing from apostolical precedent,” &c. ,
15th chapters, which limits them to any particular part of that church, in distinction from the whole. They were intended for the universal regulation of the conduct of the members of that community towards each other.
The epistles of the rest of the apostles also, though directed to the inhabitants of different places from that to the Romans, are uniformly ascribed to the same deseription of persons, as will be manifest on their inspection; or, in other words, the supposed genuine followers of Christ in that age, are the persons to whom the epistolary parts of the New Testament are directed ; and consequently, universal precepts enjoined on any one society, must have been considered as equally binding on all the faithful. On -any other supposition, each church would have possessed a distinct code, instead of the inspired writings at large being regarded as the universal rule of faith and practice. Hence it follows that the seven churches of Asia, as well as those who were scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, and Cappadocia, supposing them acquainted with the Epistle to the Romans, would have been under the same obligation of observing its injunctions, with the christians at Rome. But among the various precepts, intended to regulate the conduct, of christians, comprised in the code of inspiration, such as enjoin mutual forbearance with each other's imperfections and infirmities, hold a
conspicuous place, and the rule propounded on that occasion we perceive to have been'universally obligatory on believers of that generation.
When we propose to extend the same method of proceeding to our pædobaptist brethren, in the present day, we are repelled; and my opponent reminds us, that we are not authorized to assign, in the present case, the reason for forbearance which was urged by St. Paul, because they are not received, in the sense which he intended. The reason itself, he acknowledges, would be a sufficient justification, could the fact on which it proceeds be established, but he denies the fact.
Their error, it is asserted, is of such a nature, that it places them totally out of the question, and whatever is said on the subject of mutual forbearance in the New Testament is, in the present state of things, to be considered as applicable merely to the conduct of baptists toward each other; from which it necessarily follows, that no part of the precepts or promises of scripture, can be proved to apply to the great body of believers, at present, not even to such as appear preeminent in piety; for all these precepts and promises were originally addressed precisely to the same description of persons, with the injunctions in question ; and, as it is contended that these belong at present only to baptists, by parity of reason, the former must be restricted to the same limits. On this principle, there is not a syllable in the New
Testament from which : a pædobaptist can derive either consolation or direction, as a christian; not a single promise which he can claim, nor a single duty resulting from the christian calling, with which he is concerned; for the class of persons to whom these were originally addressed, was one and the same with those. on whom the duty of mutual forbearance was inculcated. .
The inscription of the Epistle to the Romans is of the same extent with the injunctions contained in the 14th and 15th chapters, and no greater ; the same description of persons are evidently addressed throughout. It was the saints, the beloved of God, mentioned in the beginning of the letter, who, on account of their common relation to the Lord, were commanded to bear with each other's infirmities. Now, if it be asserted, that infant baptism is an error so different from those which were contemplated by the Author, in that injunction, that its abettors stand excluded from its benefit, how will it be possible to prove that they are saints, that they are beloved of God, or that any of the attributes ascribed to christians in that epistle, belong to them & Mr. Kinghorn may affirm, if he pleases, that the characteristic descriptions are applicable, while the injunctions under discussion are not. He may affirm, but how will he prove it? since both are addressed to the same persons, and the injunction of forbearance enjoined alike on them all.