Images de page
PDF
ePub

been circumcised? A. Being Jews, they must have been circumcised; for the Jews were called “THE CIRCUMCISION."

Q. 25. And what would you infer from this? A. That baptism was not a substitute for circumcision, as some vainly imagine; for then how could the Apostles have baptized those who had been cir. cumcised!

Q. 26. What accommodations were there for baptism in Jerusalem? A. There were pools of water, public and private baths, in Jerusalem, as well as the brook Kedron, near the public garden where Jesus oft resorted with his disciples.

Q. 27. Where did the second great baptism occur? A. In Samaria.

Q. 28. How is it reported? A. Philip, an evangelist, went down from Jerusalem after many thousands had been baptized there, to the city of Samaria, and preached to them the same gospel. Many of the Samaritans, we are informed, “hearing, believed and were baptized, both men and women."

Q. 29. Why did not the history say, 'Men, women, and children?' A. Because, I presume, there were no children; for in being so particular in detailing who heard, believed, and were baptized, so far as to respect the sex of the parties, the same particularity would have induced him to have added children, had children been amongst them. Thus it is that silence by force of circumstances is sometimes equivalent to a negative.

Q. 30. But is not this already indicated in the context? A. Yes. In the qualifications of those baptized there are enumerated those which exclude the conception of speechless babes. We are informed that they believed Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he performed, before they were baptized. They were capable of seeing or contemplating a miracle, of perceiving the meaning of it, and of believing the preacher before they were baptized.

Q. 31. Were the Samaritans circumcised persons? A. Yes: they were the circumcised children of the covenant that God made with Abraham; for though at this time a mongrel people, they practised circumcision.

Q. 32: Having, then, found neither amongst the Jews at Jerusalem, nor amongst the mongrel Jews of Samària, a single instance of baptism without a previous hearing and believing, or professing of faith in the Messiah, we have all scriptural evidence against infant sprinkling or infant baptism; to whom shall we next look? A. To the next case reported.

Q.-33. And what is the next case reported? A. It is that of the Ethiopian officer, Treasurer of an Ethiopian Queen, who heard Philip preach the same gospel, and was, on profession of that faith, baptized in a certain water to which they came on their journey.

Q. 34. And what was the next baptism reported in the Acts of the Apostles? A. It is that of Saul of Tarsus.

Doubtless he was a believing subject.

Q. 35. And how was he baptized? A. Neither while sitting nor standing. We are not informed in what place, but that he was commanded to arise, and of course to accompany Ananias somewhere. “Arise,” said he, "why tarriest thou, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling upon the name of the Lord.” He accordingly arose and accompanied him to a suitable place, and was baptized.

Q. 36. Having now seen from an induction of the first converts in Jerusalem, Samaria, Damascus, and Ethiopia, that all baptized persons were first taught and instructed in the way of the Lord before their baptism, and not one indication of a different practice, what is wanting to complete this chapter of evidences? A. We must look from the Jews—whether in Jerusalem, Samaria, Damascus, or Ethiopia,—to the Gentiles. Perhaps, there was a different dispensation of baptism to the Gentiles.

Q. 37. And what were the circumstances of the baptism or conversion of the aliens? A. The Gentiles were, indeed, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise. But admission to the new dispensation was proposed to Jews and Gentiles on the same premises, because God is not a God of the Jews, but of the Gentiles also; and he made no difference, says an Apostle, between them, “purifying their hearts by faith.”

Q. 38. But give us a case. Where was the first baptism of Gentiles? A. At Cesarea. Cornelius, an Italian Captain, an intelligent, pious, and prayerful soldier, with his family and personal friends, were the first fruits of the nations to Jesus Christ. All the converts of that day heard, believed, and received the Holy Spirit before they were baptized. It was in reference to these that Peter challenged the Jews, his companions, from Joppa, asking if any of them dare refuse baptism to these enlightened and sanctified Pagans. He then commanded them so distinguished with knowledge, faith, and the Holy Spiait, to be baptized in the name, or by the authority, of the Lord. Such Gentiles, then, as believed and were enlightened were to be baptized by the authority of the Lord.

Q. 39. Have we any other public baptisms reported among the

TRACTS FOR THE PEOPLE.

125 Gentiles? A. We have the baptism of the Corinthians under the ministry of the Apostle Paul.

Q. 40. What are the details of their baptism? A. We are solemnly teld that many of the Corinthians,hearing, believed,and were baptized.

Q. 41. Had infant baptism been preached in those days, how would it have read? A. ·Many infants, being baptized, believed and heard.'

Q. 42. Would it not be incongruous to say that they first believed and then heard? A. Not in the least more unprecedented or more unreasonable than to say they were first baptized and then believed. According to the Acts of the Apostles and the tenor of the New Testament, it is as good sense, as good style, and as fully authorized to say many infants first believed and then heard the gospel, as to say many infants were baptized and then believed the gospel.

Q. 43. But is it generally true in fact that baptized infants do afterwards believe the gospel? A. It may sometimes happen, but experience or accurate observation would prove, according to our observation, that, taking Pedobaptist Christendom into the account, not a tithe of baptized infants do really ever believe the gospel.

Q. 44. Of sixty millions of Russian baptized infants-of one hundred millions of Roman sprinkled infants--and of fifty millions of Lutheran, and Episcopal, and Presbyterian, and Methodistic sprinkled or poured infants, can any one reasonably conclude from all published data that, in the aggregate, ten or eleven millions of them really and truly believe the gospel to the salvation of their souls? A. If so, surely the millennium must be at the door.

Q. 45. Waving all matters of doubtful disputation on the premises, what is laid down in the Acts of the Apostles as the indispensable qualifications necessary to baptism? A. “If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest.”

Q. 46. Did you ever read of the baptism of any infants in the scriptures? A. No.

Q. 47. Did you ever read of the sprinkling of any infants in the scriptures? A. No.

Q. 43. Whose commandment, then, do we obey in having our infants baptized or sprinkled? A. The commandment of the clergy.

Q. 49. Do we transgress any divine command in neg'ecting to have our infants baptized? A. No: I never read of any one being accused of this sin in the Bible, nor of any commandment that was thereby transgressed. Q. 50. Did you ever read of any sponsors in the Bible? A. No. SERIES 11.-Vol. VI.

11*

Q. 51. What do you mean by a sponsor? A. I mean one that promises and engages for another in baptism.

Q. 52. Did you ever read in the scriptures of any one promising any thing for another in baptism? A. No: no promises of parent nor of child, at baptism, is ever mentioned in the Bible.

Q. 53. Whence originated the custom of promising and vowing in baptism? A. From the Clergy.

Q. 54. Did you ever read in the scriptures of any vows that minors or adults were under in consequence of baptism? A. None.

Q. 55. What are the promises given to baptized infants or minors in the New Testament? A. None.

Q. 56. What are the threats denounced against them that neglect to have their infants baptized? A. Many from the Clergy, but none from the Bible.

Q. 57. Is baptism a command? A. Yes: “Be baptized every one of you."

Q. 58. Should not every divine command be obeyed? A. Yes.

Q. 59. In what does religious obedience consist? A. In a voluntary act of an intelligent agent.

Q. 60. Is a person active or passive in obeying a command? A. Active.

Q. 61. Is an infant active or passive, conscious or unconscious, in receiving baptism? A. It is passive and unconscious.

Q. 62. Can a being that is passive and unconscious in suffering an action, be said to be obeying a command in that same action! A. By no means.

Q. 63. Can those persons who have been baptized in infancy be said, on the foregoing principles, to have obeyed the divine command, “Be baptized.” A. No: impossible.

Q. 64. Is baptism an act of religious worship? A. Yes: all divine ordinances were appointed for us to worship God thereby.

Q. 65. How must acceptable worship be performed? A. "In spirit and in truth.” “God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Q. 66. Can unthinking and unconscious infants worship God in spirit and in truth? A. No.

Q. 67. Can they, then, in conformity with these principles, be baptized as an act of religious worship? A. No.

Q. 68. Is baptism appointed for the benefit of the subject. A.

Yes.

Q. 69. Are there any benefits resulting from baptism in this life? A. Many.

TRACTS FOR THE PEOPLE.

127 Q. 70. What are the benefits resulting from baptism in this life? A. They are briefly comprehended in one sentence-viz. "The answer of a good conscience towards God.” 1 Pet. iii. 21.

Q. 71. In what does the answer of a good conscience consist? In three things:-1st. The knowledge of the meaning of baptism. 2d. A belief of the fact and import of the death and resurrection of Christ, to which baptism refers. 3d. In the consciousness of our own minds that we have voluntarily and intelligently obeyed the divine command. See Rom. vi. 1-6: 1 Pet. iii. 20-22.

Q. 72. Can any infant be conscious of these things in baptism; or can it afterwards reflect that it intelligently, voluntarily, and cheerfully obeyed the divine command! A. It is utterly impossible.

Q. 73. Is there, then, no way in which an infant can obtain by reflection or otherwise, the answer of a good conscience from bap. tism? A. None.

Q. 74. Can an adult, when instructed in the import of baptism, receive any consolation from reflecting that his parents had him baptized when an infant? A. No, unless it be a delusive consolation; for the answer of a good conscience can only be enjoyed through an inward consciousness that the subject has intelligently and voluntarily obeyed a divine commandment.

Q. 75. How does any adult know that he was baptized in infancy? A. By the report of others.

Q. 76. Is there any duty inculcated in the New Testament that requires us only to have the testimony of others for our having per. formed it? A. Not one.

Q. 77. Is there any promise accompanying our obedience to the commands of God? A. Yes: “In keeping of them there is a great reward.” Ps. xix. 11; Prov. iii. 16-18, xi. 18, xxix. 18; Heb. xi. 6–26; James i. 25.

Q. 78. Is there any reward accompanying infant baptism?A. None, except “the praise of men.”

Q. 79. Is there any peculiar promise accompanying baptism? A. Yes; the promise of the Divine Spirit as a “comforter.” Acts ii. 38, xix. 2-7.

Q. 80. What was the immediate duties of those baptized? A. Union with the church and obedience to all the commandments and ordinances.

Q 81. How soon were the baptized added to the church? A. That same day;" "and they continued steadfastly in the Apostles' doctrine, in breaking of bread, in fellowship, and in prayers.” Acts ji. 41, 42,

« PrécédentContinuer »