« AnteriorContinuar »
given not only apostles and pro-much information on the subject phets, but also pastors and teach- which we are illustrating. Na
These last, as well as the tions include old and young-rich first, are clothed with the Re- and poor-ignorant and learned deemer's commission. With these -rulers and subjects-parents prefatory remarks we proceed to and children—all classes and deunfold to the reader's attention : scriptions of persons. To all
these the apostles were 1. The persons to whom the manded to go. They were not apostles and their successors were to confine their mission to the sent,~" All nations."
rich and great, as pagan sophists II. The design of their mis- had done ; nor to the seed of sion,—“Teach all nations, lap- Abraham, as ancient prophets had tizing them in the name of the done. Heathens, as well as Jews, Father, and of the Son, and of were the objects of their labour; the Holy Ghost; teaching them and individuals of all descriptions to observe all things which I have and ranks among nations. Infants commanded you."
are not excluded from their comThe explanation of these two mission, unless a nation can exist particulars will afford a correct without infants. They are not knowledge of the general nature commanded to go only to the of Christian baptism.
adult members of nations,--but to
nations, including all their memI. The persons to whom the bers, head for head. All their apostles and their successors were members, head for head, are insent, are “all nations,” (FÁNTC cluded in the mediatorial empire Te Fyn.) Before this time, as and the Father's grant. Unless we have already stated, the disci- indeed we suppose that, when ples were sent only to the lost the Father, in the second Psalm sheep of the house of Israel. says to Christ,
" Ask of me, Now they are sent to the Gen- and I shall give thee the Heatiles also. All kindreds, and then for thine inheritance," he tongues, and peoples, without meant only adult Heathen, and exception, are included in the not their infants. commission. They had been this is to trifle with the Highest. given to Christ in bis mediatorial As far as the empire of Christ character, for bis inheritance and extends, so far the commission of possession. His beralds were the text extends. As many indisent forth to begin claiming these viduals as that empire contains, for himself. They were now, by so many are the persons to whom virtue of the completion of his the apostles and their successors work, his property. As such he were commanded to go. commissions his agents to go
forth in his name, and subdue them to II. The design of the mission the obedience of faith. They are is expressed in these words, spoken of by him in their collec- " Teach all nations, baptizing tive capacity, as nations, rather them in the name of the Father, than their individual capacity as of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, members of nations. From this teaching them to observe all mode of expression we derive things which I have commanded
But to suppose
you." The design then is three- Christ. The design of the mi: fold. The first, very incorrectly Distry, first, of the apostles, and translated, Teaching. The se- afterward of their successors, was, cond, Baptizing. The third cor- first of all, to make them subjects rectly rendered, Teaching. Each of the mediatorial empire, by will be explained in order. their obedience to his authority.
1. The first is very incorrectly Such subjects adults became by translated teaching. If the word their voluntary confession of that disciple could be used in our lan- faith which is inseparable from guage as a verb, it would convey conversion ; but infants through the idea ; for the original is equi- the medium of their parents, by valent to making disciples. Dr. virtue of their relation to their Doddridge translates it, to prose- parents. Perhaps this matter, lyte; but this, though it conveys as it respects infants, will be betthe meaning, is not a word of com- ter understood by the following
Dr. Campbell appears case in the history of nations. to have given the best translation, The king of Sweden has annexed which does not violate the purity Norway to his kingdom. The of our language, viz. “ to con- adult members of that nation have vert” all nations, viz. to the faith taken the oath of allegiance to the of the Gospel. This then is the monarch as his subjects : in what first and fundamental duty en- light are the children of these joined upon the heralds of Christ, adult members of that nation to without which the other two du- be viewed :-as subjects of the ties cannot be performed by them. king, or not? They are not subThis fundamental duty was ex-jects as their parents are ; but actly suited to the character and they are subjects, inasmuch as state of the nations to whom they they are children of adult subwere sent. They were with-jects. No one will dispute this out Christ; strangers to the the fact is obvious—it is inducovenants of promise; without bitable. And this fact explains God, and without hope. Their precisely the nature of that subhearts were alienated from the jection to Christ, as members of true God, and they were walking his mediatorial empire, which beaccording to the course of the longs to the children of such as world. The Apostle, in the first have professed with the mouth, chapter of the Romans, gives an and do prove the reality of the affecting account of their state. profession by their conduct, Not much better were the Jews that they are disciples of the at this time. But few understood Lord Jesus-converts of his the nature of their own religion ; grace--subjects of his empire. the majority were enemies of in the mediatorial kingdom, as in God; and the nation had rejected all civil communities, children and crucified Christ. “ All na- are accounted with their parents; tions,” therefore, were to be con- they are subject to the same auverted to the faith of the Gospel. thority to which their parents For this purpose the Gospel must are subject ; partake, as children, be preached to them as the great of the privileges which belong to mean by which they should be their parents, and in all respects, converted, or made disciples ofl are identified with them as their children. Thus, when by the tarily engaging themselves to a preaching of the Gospel nations teacher for purposes of instrucare converted, or made disciples, tion. But the same thing is done the infant members of these na-by parents and guardians for chiltions partake, in their place, of dren or minors who are incapathe character and privileges of ble of acting for themselves. converts are infant_disciples 'Thus in preaching the Gospel, of the Lord Jesus. To consti- when adults are converted, they, tute them such disciples it is not enter themselves voluntarily as necessary for them to be really disciples in the school of Christ,” regenerated, or to profess such or voluntarily vow allegiance to regeneration. And yet they are Christ as their Lord. But they as capable of being thus regene- solemnly enter their children ag rated. Jeremiah, and John the disciples in Christ's school, and Baptist, were sanctified from the subject them to the authority of womb. Thus, for aught we know, Christ. Such then is the nature multitudes of them in their child- of converting, or discipling, or hood may be truly converted, proselyting nations--including in j.e. made actual, real, living sub- the term nations, children as well jects of Christ's empire, because as adults. This was the first dupartakers of his Spirit and grace. ty which the Redeemer directs This remark is made merely to the apostles and their successors show that the positive language to perform. which is used by some, that in- 2. The second is baptizing fants ought not to be baptized, them in the name of the Father, because they cannot profess faith and of the Son, and of the Holy and repentance, is unwarranted Ghost. The subjects of this bapby the nature of the case. To tism are, by all the rules of just return to the subject : we have construction, “ the nations conjust said, that when nations were verted, or discipled, or proselyconverted or made disciples, in- ted." In the original, the words fants were included in such con- all nations, in the first clausė, are version or discipleship. The neuter, and the word them, in common objection,” I use the this clause, is masculine. From words of another, “ that as dis- this Doctor Gill, and his friends, ciples can only be made by teach- who reject infant baptism, have ing, and as infants are incapable drawn an argument against such of being taught, they cannot be baptism. They say that the perdisciples, has really no founda- sons to be baptized are not the tion in fact. For in the common nations, but those among the napractice of men, we find directly tions who are disciples, i. e. acthe reverse. The disciple is cording to their view, who promade for the express purpose of fess faith in Christ. But a similar being taught. The word ex- connexion between the neuter presses very distinctly the rela- and masculine gender occurs in tion sybich is formed between a Acts xv. 17. where mention is master and his pupil, and that be made of “the Gentiles," upon fore a single lesson is given. This whom my name is called, to ston relation is formed by persons of $ 85 Eixexantai,
with nations in the text, of the The reader will recollect that same gender; and " whom” is it is Christian baptism of which masculine. Thus, also, in Rom. we now speak; of course we ii. 14. “The Gentiles which have have nothing to do with any pasnot the law”—these having not sages but those which speak of the law, ta egon 8T06 yoror ren this. Those passages which reE TOUTES. And Rev. xvii. 16." And late to John's baptism, or to that the ten horns--these shall hate of the disciples of Christ, previthe whore,” ra xepata—8T01 Mo-lous to bis ascension, will not be 670801. The same
connexion noticed, because they do not relearned men have met with and late to our subject. The followquoted in profane writers. So ing are the principal passages rethat to adopt the words of a sound, ferring to Christian baptism :an acute, and laborious critic, The apostolic commission, Acts ii. “the Anabaptists illiterately deny 38, 41. “Repent, and be bapthat them who are to be bap- tized,” said Peter, “every one tized are the all nations who of you, in the name of Jesus were to be converted, on account Christ, for the remission of sins, of their different gender.'” This and ye shall receive the gift of criticism would not have been no- the Holy Ghost; for the promise ticed if some of the most learned is to you, and to your children, and powerful opposers of infant and to all that are afar off, even as baptism, had not considered the many as the Lord our God shall argument arising from the differ- call.” Then they that gladly reence in gender as solid and pow-ceived his words were baptized. erful. From the remarks made, Acts viii. 12. “ But when they it must be obvious that they who (i. e. the Samaritans,) believed are commanded to be baptized Philip preaching the things conare they who have been previ- cerning the kingdom of God, and ously converted, or discipled, the name of Jesus Christ, they or proselyted. Hence, as in the were baptized;" ver. 16. "They conversion of nations, infants are were baptized in the name of included with their parents, so the Lord Jesus ;' ver. 37, 38. also with their parents are they “ And Philip said, If thou becommanded to be baptized-un- lievest with all thine heart thou less it be supposed there can mayest (be baptized.) And he be a nation without infants in it, answered and said, I believe that constituting a part of the same. Jesus Christ is the Son of God; What then is this baptism, which and he baptized him." Acts ix. must be administered to nations 46–48.“ Then answered Peter, subsequent to their conversion ? Can any man forbid water, It is a washing with water, as has that these should not be baptized been said : but what is its design? which have received the Holy To answer this it will be neces. Ghost as well as we? And he sary to examine the passages of commanded them to be baptized Scripture in which there is a re- in the name of the Lord.” The ference to this rite, and from same circumstance Peter narrates them learn what doctrines it in his defence, Acts xi. 16, 17. teaches, and what obligations it lo Acts xvi. 14, 15. we have enforces.
Lydia's baptism mentioned, after
we are told that the Lord opened conscience towards God,) by the her heart, and she attended unto resurrection of Jesus Christ.”. the things which were spoken of Besides these passages, which Paul. The jailer's baptism, in have now been quoted, there are ver. 33. of the same chapter, was more; but they are either repepreceded by his conviction, and titions of some one or more of Paul's direction, that he should these, or convey precisely the believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. same meaning. The doctrines In Acts xviii. 8. we are inform- which, according to these pased, “ many of the Corinthians sages, baptism teaches, and the hearing, believed.” In Acts xix. obligations it enforces, are the 5. “ The disciples of John were following: baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” In xxii. 14, 16. Paul 1. The doctrines which bapgives an account of his baptism, tism teaches, are which was subsequent to his First. That of the Trinity : conversion. Rom. vi. 3, 4. for each of the persons named in
“ Know ye not,” says the apos- the apostolic commission are of 9 tle, “ that so many of us as were equal authority.
baptized into Jesus Christ, were Second. The remission of sins baptized into his death? There-is taught by this rite, Acts ii. 28. fore we are buried with him, by Third. Salvation through Christ baptism, into death ; that like as is taught. 1 Peter iii. 21. Christ was raised up from the Fourth. Union and communion dead by the glory of the Father, with Christ and his body the even so we also should walk in Church is taught. 1 Cor. xii. 13. newness of life.” In 1 Cor. xii. Rom. vi. 3. 4. 13. “ For by one spirit are we Fifth. Baptism teaches us that all baptized into one body;” 1 Christ is our spiritual covering. Cor.xv. 29.“ Else what shall they Gal. iii. 27. do who are baptized for the dead," i. e. in the faith of the resurrec- II. The obligations which baption of the dead. Gal. iii. 27. tism enforces, are “ For as many as have been bap- First. The destruction of the tized into Christ have put on body of sin. Rom. vi. 3, 4. Cbrist.” Coloss. ii. 11, 12. “ In Second. Newness of life, and whom also ye are circumcised heavenly-mindedness. Rom. vi. with the circumcision made with- 4, 8, 11, 13, 19. out hands, in putting off the body Third. The answer of a good of the sins of the flesh by the cir- conscience towards God. 1 Peter cumcision of Christ. Buried with iii. 21. him in baptism, wherein also Fourth. Boldness in the faith, ye are risen with him through in time of persecution, or in exthe faith of the operation of God, pectation of death. 1 Cor. xv. who hath raised him from the 29. baptism for the dead. dead." 1 Peter iii. 21. " The Fifth. Absolute devotedness to like figure whereunto even bap- the grace and sovereign will of tism doth also now save us (not Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. the putting away the filth of the Baptism, in the name of these, flesh, but the answer of a good implies an obligation, 1. To re