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4 who have established it, the method in which it has been 4 done, and the dignities and emoluments, with which 4 they have been settled upon this new foundation, have 4 much taken them off from attendance to those offices, 4 to which they were obliged upon the antient scriptural

* one. And as the plan of religion has been greatly al

* tered, the method of education has undergone a great

* change by it; since, instead of teaching the principles

* of reason and the holy scripture, it has hereby been 4 made to consist in teaching the manner and matter of

* such establishments, which in many things are evident

* ly contrary to both. And if parents of families, and 4 pastors of churches, instead of concurring in such a me

* thod of rational and scriptural education, which is cal

* culated to lead to true faith and right conduct in human

* lise, (hall agree in substituting a very different one in its 4 room, whereby men are led into false notions both of

* the faith and practice of true Christianity, unhappy

* must be the case of such as come under their care ; they 4 must necessarily come into lise under great difadvan4 tages, which their parents and pastors will be most 1 chargeable with the guilt of, tho' themselves must in

* consequence be considerable sufferers,... as, where re4 ligion is prescribed by human authority, and received on

* that ground, is really the case.' For says he% p. 78. ( They are the corruptions mingled with it, the false prin4 ciples upon which it is recommended, and the crying 4 ambition, avarice, cruelty, and every contrariety to 4 it in the character of its preachers, which render an 4 examination into it more intricate and difficult now,

* than it was at first; and are the great and standing ob

* stacks to men's coming, or being disposed to come, to

* the faith of it.'

All these passages, and many others, seem pointed against our established church; and therefore I was willing to let Mr. Mole see how justly they may be applied to Paedobaptist churches of other denominations. But waving further remarks in this view at present, I will now attend his answer to this alarming objection, which the author of Christianity not sounded on Argument has introduced after this manner, p. 9. that * Application was 4 not intended by the gospel to be made to the understand

* ing 1 (hall endeavour yet farther to evince, by

* looking a little into lise and practice upon the occasion, < by tracing this saith to its known original, and pointing

G 2 * directly 4 directly to the great root whence all our religious im* prcslions notoriously spring. By asking you farther, 4 Can a man be baptized into a rational religion?'

By lise and practice here, this author does not seem to intend the duties of morality, but only those religious acts, which some Christians perform, as the positive appointments of the gospel. And as those, who are straneers to the christian religion, are most likely to pass judgment of it by what they see and observe in the lise and practice of its proseslbrs, performed by them as the appointments of Christ, and essential parts of his religion, in order to their commencing Christians, or becoming members of his church ; and as the kirk of Scotland, and other Pædobaptists, as well as our established church, have changed or laid aside the rational subject of baptism, and substituted instead thereof an irrational one; and have also superseded baptism by an act which hath nothing of the nature of baptism in it, for where dipping is not practised, there can be no baptism; because baptism and dipping are the same thing, neither will the institution of Christ admit of two different modes: So Mr. Mole had from hence the justest reason to return the following answer to him, whereby he hath indeed represented, and set forth, in the strongest and most moving terms, that great apostasy or defection of Pædobaptists, from the purity of christian baptism, together with the absolute necessity they are under of a reformation herein; if they would for the future prevent such objections against Christianity, and take away occasion from those,who are perpetually seeking occasion to ridicule our most holy religion; and thereby expose it to scorn and contempt as a very irrational thing, which has extorted this strange answer from him.

8 4 And must we indeed be concluded by this manner of

* proof? Is the christian religion to be judged of, by what

* appears in the lise and practice of those, who make

* prosession of it? Is this a likely way to know, what 4 the christian religon is? And is it just, that it should 4 bare the blame of all the egregious follies and abfurdi4 ties, which pass in the world under its name? He may 4 look as much and as long as he pleases, and we may at

* tend him in his searches, without ever having this point

* evinced from any thing, that is to be discovered in lise

* and practice upon this occasion.' A most melancholy

account

* Grounds, fcff. p 53.

account indeed! But he ought to have excepted the Baptist churches, because they have kept this ordinance as it was atfirst delivered; tho*, with respect to the practice of his own and the kirk of Scotiand,he had too much occasion to add still further. * He may indeed be able to shew

* from thence, that men pretending a commission to 4 teach Christianity make no application by it to the un

* derstandings of men, but endeavour to extinguish and 4 put them out. Or he may be able to shew from thence,

* that many call themselves believers, and pretend to 4 faith, which neither their reason nor understanding have 4 ever brought them to.' And how indeed should it be otherwise, whilst they account infants believers, and holy Christians before baptism: and by their ceremonies pretend to cloath them withpureness and perfection, and make them members, or take them into the bosom os the visible church; before they have any reason or under/landing to be applied unto. And therefore, as Mr. Mole proceeds, 4 possibly he 4 may shew, that some very trivial matter [even infant4 sprinkling] is the known original, and great root, whence 4 all the idigious impressions of great numbers of proses4 sors [both in Scotland and England] notoriously spring. 4 But will this prove,that the commission such men claim, 4 is really from God, of like nature with that which 4 Christ and his apostles acted with, and exercised in the 4 manner, wherein they exercise theirs? Will this prove,

* that the faith such men boast of, is the true faith, 4 which is required by God in order to salvation; 4 and that reason cannot lead to true faith, nor be 4 the principle, which God intended should do it? 4 And will it hence be evinced, that the known original 4 and great root, whence all the religious impressions of 4 such persons notoriously spring, is the real original and 4 true root of that faith in Christ, which God requires, 4 and sincere Christians exercise in him? If not, what is 4 this conduct of our author,' [of looking into life and practice, either under the English, or Scotish establishments, for Christ's institution of baptism] 4 but running away from 4 faith [or the ordinance of baptism] in order to meet it; and

* turning his back upon it, in order to take a view of it? 4 He should have looked a little into the scriptures, from

* whence alone it can be known,what Christianity [Chrif4 tian baptism] and the true faith of it is. Looking into 4 lise and practice among many, both teachers and pro4 seflbrs, is the way indeed to know what they are not,

* and may serve the purposes of misrepresenting their true

4 nature; 4 nature; but can be no likely way to do them justice. It

* is like looking into the church of Antichrist to find 4 that of Christ, or into Popery for the doctrine of the 4 scriptures, where they are hid, and to be found only by

* looking on the reverse.' And hence Mr. Mole proceeds. * It is queried: Can, a man be baptized into a rational re

* ligion ? An/i answers, Can there be any inconvenience in

* answering in the affirmative? Were not men ordered to 4 be baptized into the christian religion? [yes, but babes and 'infants were not] And must it not be either a rational

* or an irrational one? And surely a man can as well be

* baptized into the former, as into the latter, [but a bate

* er in/ant cannot} The nature of Christianity, as a ra4 tional religion, is, I think, as well delineated in the 4 practice of baptism, as it is possible (or reason to be re4 presented in any rite. For considering it as carrying in

* its nature the promise of full forgiveness of sins, that

* are past, and the obligation to complete holiness for the 4 future 5 how could any external rite of initiation, or ♦ manner of taking the prosession upon them, bettef 4 serve to express and represent them both, than the wash

* ing of the bodies of such, as did so, with water? This

* was a proper symbol of that remission, or cleansing of

* them from guilt, which they enjoyed by the tenor of 4 the gospel covenant; and of that future purity of lisa 4 and manners, to which they were obliged, and freely

* consented, by it. In both these views Christianity ap4 pears to be a rational religion: and why might not a

* man be thus baptizedinto it? Why might not the com4 mission to preach it be executed, and such baptism re4 quired in an application to the understanding? Or how 4 can any religion, that is worthy of God, and fit for 4 mankind, be propagated without such application?'

What Mr. Mole can think, when he compares all this with his own unscriptural practice of infant-sprinkling, I know not; but surely his own conscience must tell him, that he has here given a most exact description of our practice, and of that os the primitive church; and that every tittle of it is absolutely incompatible with the practice of his own, and every other Pædobaptist church whatsoever.

4 But, says Mr. Mole, it is further queried:' "Where 44 is reason concerned, when babes accept the terms of "salvation by deputy, and areintitled to all the privileges "of the most extensive faith by another's act? By the

44 baptismal 41 baptismal ceremony they commence true believers at •* once, and are made heirs of heaven, you know, by "the faith of their bondsmen j whilst as yet they have *4 not the least (hare or symptom of Understanding them"selves, and may in all possibility never live to attain *4 one ; and which, if they had at the time, I know not "yet, how they could well give a rational assent by "proxy. Yet such is the pleasure and ordinance of God "himself in this point." To all this Mr. Mole replies,

* I do not wonder, that our author was for looking into 4 lise and practice on this occasion, when what he wanted 4 to find, was not to be met with in the scriptures. It is 4 the principle of protestants, and rational believers, to

* look into the scriptures, as the sole rule of their faith 4 and practice, and not into the lise and practice of any

* men living for their religion; as well knowing the very

* great difference of that, which is contained in the one,

* from what passes for such in the other.'

This is plainly giving up infant-baptism, as an unfcriptural thing, and declaring that, tho'it pastes so generally among Christians for a religious rite j yet it is not contained in the Bible, but is greatly different from that, which is there prescribed. And hence it is very easy to discern, what conduct ought to be expected from Mr. Mole, and others under such convictions, if they would make the scriptures the sole rule of their faith and practice, as he fays, it is the principle of protestants and rational believers to do. Besides, as Infidels and others are most ready to form their conceptions of Christianity from what they observe in the lise and practice of its prosessors, hence also arises an additional motive for their reformation in the case of baptism, which is very evident from what he adds in these words. * And as our author, who

* usually picks up some shreds and broken pieces of scrip4 ture, which either of themselves, or with a little art,

* are made to carry some sound, tho' that be all, in his

* favour,' [a prafiiee too much like what our Peedobaptijls themselves in their controversies with us are guilty of] * has 4 not practised that method upon this occasion; I do not

* see, what the christian religion, or the rational believers 4 of it, have further to do with these absurdities, which

* he has ventured to charge them with, than to disown

* and disavow them, as they very well may.' How Mr. Mole can think so, I know net; for I am sure it must appear with a very ill grace till they are reformed, and

have

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