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and as placing themselves on terms of “inferior rity," he begs them to consider whether it is not a “ surrender of their principles in a manner altogether in consistent with their views of the law of Christ,“ This surrender, he proceeds to inform us, consists in their “ agreeing to be considered as unbaptized, which is contrary to the opinion which they entertain of themselves.” We certainly make no seruple of informing a pædobaptist candidate, that we consider him as unbaptized, and disdain all concealment upon the subject; but how bis consent to join us on these terms involves an unworthy.surrender of this: principles, is very mysterious. His. principle is, that infant' baptism, which we believe to be a human invention, is a part of the will of Christ. Now, how his allowing us to believe this, without breaking with us on that account, amounts to ia dereliction of it, is a riddle which it would require an (Edipus to solve. May he not retain his sentiments, and believe us in an error; and is not his continuing unbaptized a demonstrative proof that he does so? And while this is the case, and he manifests his opinion, both by words and actions, is he still guilty of this fearful surrender ?)',
Besides, what will it avail him to leave our communion, since our opinion still pursues him; and though he should retire to the ends of the earth, we shall still continue to think “ he has not fulfilled the law of Christ in the ́i very point
in which he believes himself to have fulfilled it." There is no conceivable remedy; he must digest the affront as he can; but why he should feel it so insupportable, only in the case of our proposing to “receive” him, is passing strange, except the author supposes him to be of so canine å temperas to be the most dangerous when most caressed. ii
It is amusing to see the happy versatility of the author, and with what dexterity he can adapt his viands to the taste and palate of every guest. When it was his object to load, with all possible odium, the conduct- of the baptists, in admitting the members of other denominations, he professes to discern an essential disparity betwixt their conduct and ours. We, he tells us, are " more to blame than the pædobaptists, that join with us: they surrender no principle; they do not unite with those whom they deem unbaptized."*} He was then all intention reproaching us; when he has to deal with the pædobaptists, he feels, no scruple in awarding them the same measure. : "The inquiry,” he says, “ will irresistibly arise, if they really and heartily believe that infant baptism is an institution of Christ, Why do they wish to unite with people by whom one of his institutions is, in their view, so manifestly opposed ? How can they, in justice to their families, unite with baptists?” “Let them,” he says on another occasion, “ consider whether they act wisely, or consistently, if they join with baptists, who receive them on these grounds. If, on their part, it is connected with a sacrifice of principle, they will confess that it is indefensible.” * By these grounds, he means, on the supposition that baptism is not an essential prerequisite to communion, which, he is aware, is the principle on which we rest our vindication, and which is certainly perfectly consistent with their conviction of our being baptized; the very circumstance he urged before as a proof that they sacrificed no principle.
song, , • Baptism a Term of Communion, p. 68.,
From a writer who so palpably contradicts himself, it were vain to expect any information on this branch of the subject; since it is impossible to conjecture whether the union of our pædobaptist brethren does, or does not, involve a surrender of principle, in the judgement of him who affirms both. On impartial inquiry, it will probably be found, that though no principle is violated on either side, as much candour is evinced on the part of pædobaptists, in consenting to a union, as on ours. If we join with those whom we are obliged to consider as unbaptized, they unite with persons who, in their judgement, repeat an ordinance which ought to be performed but once; nullify a christian institute, and deprive
Baptism a Term of Communion, p. 114.
their children of the benefit of a salutary rite. And since the subjects of baptism are far more numerous on their system than on ours, why should they be less offended at our neglect of these, than we are at their extending the ordinance too far? Whoever attaches importance to the covenant into which God is supposed to enter with the seed of believers, must highly disapprove the conduct of the parent who withholds from his offspring its instituted seal; nor is it possible for him to cherish the esteem due to him as a christian, but by imputing his conduct to involuntary error. The supposed cruelty, also, of refusing to insert an innocent babe into the Abrahamic stock; the impiety of profaning a christian sacrament by rebaptizing, might be made the subject of tragic declamation, with as much propriety as their want of “reverence to the authority of Christ, and disobedience to the laws of his house." If we must tolerate none who are guilty of omitting a divine law, (which is the doctrine of Mr. Kinghorn,) how is it possible for a pædobaptist to bear with us, who live in the perpetual neglect of what his principles compel him to consider in that light?
In the judgement of all other denominations, while we neglect to dedicate our offspring to God in the solemnization of a federal rite, however conscientious we may be, we can but very imperfectly imitate the example of Abraham, of whom
the Omniscient testified that he “ would command his children, and his household after him, to keep the way of the Lord;” or that of Zechariah and Elisabeth,“ who walked in
"s who walked in all the ordinances and commandments of the Lord blameless." On a fair comparison, it is difficult to determine which party is most entitled to the praise of candour; where both evince a noble oblivion of minor partialities and attachments, made to yield to the force of christian charity, and disappear before the grandeur of the common salvation.
Jis bis ;-!1
li!!!! Im 11.