Imágenes de páginas

pies, or types, and are written for our admonition. The Jewish writers say, 'The people were baptized in the desart and admitted into covenant with God before the law was given. ' Now if the Apostle has any respect to christian baptism, as it is plain he has, here is an undeniable proof of the right of infants to baptism. For he says, They all, the whole congregation, of which infants then in their parents arms, were a great part, they all were baptized into Moses. Ail were under the cloud. All passed through the sea, &c. He repeats the universal term all because it is emphatical here. Now if this baptism into Moses, was a type and written for 011 F admonition, it typically admonishes us, that we all should be baptized into Christ, not believers only, but their children also.

As the whole congregation were baptized and admitted into covenant at the sea, when Moses took the command of them, so this covenant was again renewed with all, both men, women and Utile ones, just before h« left them. Deut. xxix. IS. Ye stand, all of you before the Lord your God, your elders, your little ones, your wives, that thou shotddest enter into covenant with the Lord, that he may establish thee for a people unto himself, and may be unto thee a (Sod, as he hath sworn to thy Father, to Abraham, &c. This covenant with Abraham, which is so expressly renewed with little ones, is descended to us and our children.

1 shall now briefly recapitulate the arguments that have been offered, and present them in one view.

The covenant, which God made with Abraham and his seed, expressly included infants; and the seal thereof was, by God's command, applied to them. We, believing Gentiles, are the seed for whom the covenant with Abraham was made; and therefore our infants as well as his, are entitled to the privileges of the covenant, and subjects of the seal of it, by virtue of the original grant to Abraham, in as much as that grant has never been recalled. This covenant was renewed at the red sea—and a^atn in the plains of Mnab, and still infants are expressly included—All along under the Old Testament, children are comprehended with parents in all covenant transactions bell *


tween God and his people, and the token of the covenant is still applied to them. The Prophets often foretell, that the case would be the same in the gospel time; that Christ should gather the lambs with his arms—that God would pour his Spirit upon the offspring of his people, who should be the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. In the Jewish church, it was a custom, long before our Saviour's appearance, to receive Gentile proselytes with their children, by baptism as well as circumcision. Christ also himself took infants into his arms and blessed them, and directed that they should be brought to him, because of such was his kingdom, that kingdom, into which persons were to be admitted by being born of water. He ordered his Apostles to receive them in his name, and treat them as his disciples. When he gave the baptismal commission, he expressed it in such universal terms, as must naturally include infants: And the Apostles, knowing what had been the constant usage concerning infants, and how Christ had ever treated them, must understand the commission as extending to

auch. Accordingly, so^n after, when they invited the convicted Jews to baptism, they placed their right to it upon the foot of a promise, which equally belonged to them and their children. When they baptized the head of any family in his own house, they baptized his fami-ly with him. They constantly taught, that the covenant with Abraham, of which circumcision was the seal, is the same which we are now under, and that the blessings of it are come upon us Gentiles—that the Gentiles are grafted into the same stock, from which the Jews were broken off—that children are holy by virtue of their parents faith—that baptism is the christian circumcision, and therefore they who are baptized into Christ, are freed-from the literal circumcision, and ail other ancient rites—that circumcision, as a seal of the Abrahamic covenant, was a great privilege; but the gospel dispensation confers greater.— They illustrate the gospel covenant by ancient examples of covenant transactions, in which infants were included ; by the case of Isaac, who was born after the promise, by Noah's ark, in which his whUe family were

saved in consequence of his faith, the like figure whereunto even baptism now saves us; and by the baptism of the whole congregation, infants and all, at the red sea, which was a type, and written for our admonition. When we consider these things, we think the evidence abundantly clear, that the infants of believers are entitled to baptism.

• -e-> 0<=xD1scourse Iv. HAVING laid before you the arguments by which the right of infants to baptism is vindicated, I shall now as I proposed, III. Shew you the rational ends and moral uses of infant baptism. If baptism be a divine institution for the infants of believers, it ought to be applied to them, whether we can see the uses of it or " not : But still it may give us some satisfaction to understand what good ends it can answer. ** * * We are often asked, “What good can baptism do to infants.” It might suffice to re

« AnteriorContinuar »