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Observations on the nature
and importance of baptism.
to the judgment, or rite, of the Sanhedrin ; that is, íhat three 'i craments to be called seuls ! Not that they seal (or confirun) meu be present at the baptism, who are now instead of a father to the receiver liis righteousness; but that they seal ihe dirine to him. And the Gemara, a little after says, If with a pro- truth of the covenant and promise. Thus the Apostle calls selyte, his sons and his duuchters are made proselyzes also, that circumcision, the seal of the righteousness of faith; that is, it which is done by their futher, redounds to their good.
the seal of this truth and doctrine, that justification is by “ R Joseph saith, When they grow into years, they may re-' faith, which justice Abraham had, when he was yet uncirtract: where the glo-s writes thus, This is to be understood of cumcised. And this is the way wliereby sacraments confirm LITTLE CHILDREN, who are made proselytes together with their faith ; namely, because they doctrinally exhibit the invisible father. Bab. CHERUB. fol. 11.
things of the covenant; and like seals, so by divine appoint“ A heathen woman, if she is made a prose'ytess when she is ment, sign the doctrine and truth of the covenant. 3. Accordnow big with child, the child needs not baptism ; for the baptism' ing to the nature of a sacrament, it obliges the receivers to the of his mother, series him for baptisin. Otherwise he were to terms of the covenant; for as the covenant itself is of mutual be baptized. JEVAM. fol. 78.
obligation between God and man, so the sacraments, the seals If an Israelite take a Gentile child, or find a Gentile in- of the covenant, are of like obligation. 4. According to its FANT, and baptize him in the name of a proselyte, behold he is, nature, it is introductory to the visible church. 5. It is a disu proselyte. Maim. in Avadim, c. 8.
tinguishing sign between a Christian and no Christian, namely, “We cannot pass over that which is indeed worthy to be between those who acknowledge and profess Christ, and Jews, remembered. Any one's servant is to be circumcised, though Turks, and Pagans, who do not acknowledge him. Manhe be unwilling ; but any one's son is not to be circumcised, if cute TAYTA Tá afon BattILCNTES-Disciple all nations, baptizing, he be unwilling. R. Hezekiah saith, Behold, a man finds an &c. When they are under baptism, they are no longer under infant cast out, und he baptizeth him in the name of a serrant : ' heathenism; and this sacrament puts a diference between in the nume of a fieeman, do you also circumcise him in the those who are under the discipleship of Christ, and those who name of a freeman. Hieros. Jevam. fol. 8.
are not. And 6. Baptism also brings its privileges along with “ Our Lord says to his disciples, Matt. xxviii. 19. Go it; while it opens the way to a partaking of holy things in therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them, &c. ucray- the church, and places the baptized within the church, over CUTE--that is, Make disciples :--bring them in by baptisin, which God exercises a more singular providence, than over that they may be taught. They are very much out, who, those who are out of the church. from these words, cry down infunt-baptism ; and assert that “ And now, from what has been said, let us argue a little it is necessary for those that are to be baptized, to be taught farther in behalf of infant-baptism. before they are baptized. 1. Observe the words here: Man
“ To the objection, it is not commanded to baptize infants, TEUTUTE, make disciples ; and then after, DHT2017!s, teaching,
therefore they are not to be baptized :-I answer, It is not in the 20th verse. 2. Among the Jews, and also with us, and forbidden to buprize infants, therefore they are to be baptized. in all nations, those are made disciples that they may be And the reason is plain : for when pædo-baptism in the Jewish taught. A certain heathen came to the great Hillel and said,
church was so known, usual, and frequent in the admission Nuke me a proselyte that thou mayest teach me : Bab. Shab.
of proselytes, that nothing almost was more known, usual, fol. 31. He was first to be pro-elyted, and then taught and frequent; there was no need to strengthen it with any Thus, first make them disciples (Mac One evcute) by baptism; and precept, when baptism was now passed into an evangelical then, Teach them to observe all things, &c. Addutxete avta's sacrament. For Christ took baptism into his hands and into τηρειν παντα. κ. τ. λ.
evangelical use, as he found it; this only added, that he might “ Burtoutes, baptizing - There are various ends of bap- promote it to a worthier end and a larger use. The whole tism: 1. According to the nature of a sacrament, it visibly nation knew well enough that little children used to be bapteaches invisible things; that is, the washing us from all our | tized; there was no need of a precept for that, which had pollutions by the blood of Christ, and by the cleansiug of ever by common use prevailed. If a royal proclamation should grace: Ezek. xxxvi. 25. 2. According to the nature of a now issue forth in these words, Let every one resort on the sacrament, it is a seal of divine truth. So circumcision is Lord's day to the public assembly in the church; certainly he called, Rom. iv. 11. And he received the sign of circumcision, would be mad, who in times to come should argue hence, the seal of the righteousness of faith, &c. So the Jews, when that prayers, sermons, and singing of psulms, were not to be they circumcised their children, gave this very title to cir- celebrated on the Lord's day in the public assemblies, because cumcision. The words used when a child was circuncised, there is no mention of them in the proclamation. For the you have in their Talmud. Among other things, he who is proclamation provided for the celebration of the Lord's day to bless the action, says thus : • Blessed be be, who sanctified in the public assemblies in general; but there was no need to him that was beloved from the womb, and set a sign in his,' make mention of the particular kinds of the divine worship flesh, and sealed his children with the sign of the Holy Cove to be celebrated there, when they were always and every nant,' &c. Hieros. Berac. fol. 13. But in what sense are sa- where well known, and in daily use, before the publishing or Observations on the nature
ani importance of baptism.
the proclamation, and when it was published. The case is the “ III. An infunt is capable of privileges, as well as an old very same in baptism. On the other hand therefore, there man, (and baptism is privilegial.) An infant has been crownwas need of a plain and open prohibition that infants anded king in his cradle--an infunt inay be made free, who is little children should not be baptized, if our Lord would not born a slave. The Gemurists speak very well in this matter. have had them baptized. For since it was most common in Rab. Honna says, They baptize an infant proselyte by the comall preceding ages, that little children should be baptized; if mand of the bench. l'pon what is this grounded? On this, Christ had been minded to have that custom abolished, he that baptisin becomes a privilege to him. And they may endow would have openly forbidden it. Therefore his silence, and an absent person with a privilege : or they may bestow a prithe silence of the Scripture in this matter, confirms pædo-bap-vilege upon one, though he be ignorant of it. Bab. Chetub. tism, and continues it to all ages.
fol. 11. Tell me then, why an infant is not capable of being I. BAPTISM, as a sacrament, is a seal of the covenant. brought into the visible church, and receiving the distinguishAnd why, I pray, may not this seal be set on infants ? The ing sign between a Christian and a heathen, as well as a grown seal of divine truth bas sometimes been set upon inanimate person?” See Lightfoot's Horæ Hebraicæ, in Matt. iii. and things, and that by God's appointment. The bow in the xxviii. cloud, is a seal of the covenant. The law engraven on the
While this sheet was at press, I received the following obseraltar, Josh. viii. was a seal of the covenant. The blood sprin- | vations on the subject, from a highly intelligent and learned friend, kled on the twelve pillars, which were set up to represent the whose name would do my work honour, were I permitted to make twelve tribes, was a seal and bond of the corenant, Exod.
it public. Ile says: xxiv. And now tell me, Why are not infunts capable in like “ I presume the substance of the argument respecting inmanner of such a sealing? They were capable heretofore of fant baptism, pro and con, is fairly epitomized by Doddridge circumcision, and our infants have an equal capacity. The in his Lectures, cliii. iv. v. Doubtless, much can be said for it sacrament does not lose this its end, through the indisposition on the principles he has laid down : and he has of course of the receiver : Peter and Paul, apostles, were baptized. \ given all, which hal been adduced on the subject. Yet after Their baptism, according to its nature, sealed to them the all, he himself seems scarcely satisfied. His corollary is retruth of God in his promises, concerning the washing away of markable: "Since there is so great an obscurity on the quessins, &c and they from this doctrinal virtue of the sacrament, tion, and so many considerable things may be advanced on received confirmation of their faith. So al:o Judas and Simon both sides, it is certainly very reasonable that Christians, whose Magus, hypocrites, wicked men, were baptized. Did not persuasions relating to infant baptism are different, should their baptismn, according to the nature of it, seal this doctrine | maintain mutual candour towards each other; and avoid all and truth, that there was a washing away of sins ? It did not severe and unkind censures on account of such difference.' indeed seal the thing itself to them, nor was it at all a sign to This was, at all events, good advice; and worthy of the them of the washing away of their sins : but baptism does of amiable man who gave it. Bat it would be most desirable, itself seal this doctrine. You will grant that this axiom is that this long agitated question could be brought to a more most true. Abraham received the sign of circumcision, the certain issue. Constituted as man is, dissonance of mind will seal of the righteousness of faith. And is not this equally ever more or less obstruct coalescence of affection. To investitrue--Esuu, Ahab, Ahaz, received the sign of circumcision, gate truth therefore, even in its most speculative forms, prothe seal of the righteousness of faith? Is not circumcision vided it be done soberly and dispassionately, is at least to subthe same to all ? Did not circumcision, to whomsoever it was
serve the cause of charity. administered, sign and seal this truth, that there was a right- “ In addition to the arguments which Dorldridge has enuCousness of faith? The sacrament has a sealing virtue in itself, merated on the side of jofant baptism, I would put this queswhich does not depend on the disposition of the receiver. tion : If infant baptism had not been in use in those churches
“ II. BAPTISM, as a sacrament, is an obligation. But now in- over which Timothy and Titus presided; must there not have fants are capable of being obliged. Heirs are sometimes ob- existed, by the time at which the epistles to those two pastors liged by their parents, though they are not yet born : see were written, a considerable class of persons, neither wholly Deut. xxix. 11, 15. For that to which any one is obliged, out of, por yet properly in the church-a class, whose very obtains a right to oblige: er equitate rei, from the equity of peculiar and very important circumstances and characters the thing, and not er capłu obligati, from the apprehension would have demanded distinct recognition? They would of the person obliged. The law is imposed upon all; under have been eminently the epes gregis, and by necessary consethis penalty, ' Cursed be every one that doth not continne in quence, would have needed to be watched over with special all,' &c. It is ill arguing from hence, that a man has power superintendence. to perform the law; but the equity of the thing itself is very " When, therefore, amid the recognitions of old men, old well argued hence. Our duty obliges us to do every thing women, young women, young men, children, parents, serrants, which the law commands, but we cannot (without divine masters ; the rich, the friendly, the unfriendly, the heretical ; help) perform the least tittle of it
there is not the inost shadowy intimation of such a class, as
Observations on the nalure
and importance of baptism.
deferred baptism necessarily supposes, (that is, of young as
“ There is another point relative to this long agitated ques. pirants, already bound to the church in affection, and intitled tion, which al:o I think the Scripture has anticipated and setto more tender care than even the actually initiated) what tled-I mean, IMMERSION. Some think baptism by speINKstronger evidence could we have, that no such class existed ? LING a contradiction. St. Paul, however, I Cor. x. 1, 2. did If it had existed, sell-evidently it must have been adverted to: not think so. After telling us, that οι πατερες-παντες υπο την it is not adverted to; therefore, it did not exist.
νεφελην ησαν, και παντες δια της θαλασσης διηλθον, all our fathers “ But this is not all. They who must have composed this were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; he adds, class, had it existed, are expressly and repeatedly mentioned. with equal reference to the former as to the latter, xmı 525But where? In the actual surrey of the church. As the vigi- τες εις τον Μωσης εβαπτισαντο εν τη νεφελη και εν τη θαλασση, απά lant eye of the Apostle of the Gentiles passes along the line were ull baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. "The of the faithful, both at Ephesus and Colosse, he finds and ad- question then is, How were they baptized in the cloud ? Not, dresses the infant members of the body. There is no shade surely, by immersion ; for they were TTIO THY 7:9-400, UNDER of difference indicated. They come in as complete compeers, il the cloud. It could therefore be only by aspersion ; this
, and with the classes which precede and follow. Included thus in this alone, being the natural action of a cloud. All clouds are the church, without the slightest note of distinction, what can condensations of vapour ; and that the mysterious cloud here be more evident, than that they made a part of the church referred to, had the natural properties of a common cloud, apin the mind of the includer?
pears from the specified purpose to which it was applied: He “ Once more. Let the address of St. Paul to the Epliesian spread a cloud for a covering,'-ab æstu sive ardore solis, says children be specially noted. Children, says he, obey your pa- Pool. St. Paul therefore clearly spoke of being baptized in rents s Kugsw. How could they obey sy Kuqw, if they them- the cloud,' with a direct eye to the moisture which it contain: selves were not » Kuşou? In every instance, this expression ed. In this view, the thought is strictly just : in any other marks incorporation into the Christian body. For example, view, it would be unintelligible. It follows then, that, St. Paul when St. Paul distinguishes those of the family of Narcissus, being the judge, to be sprinkled is to be baptized, no less than who were Christians, his language is : touş ortaş EN KYPIN. to be immersed is to be baptized. In like manner, Onesimus, the reconciled servant of Phile- Why should we doubt, that this was said by St. Paul, mon, was, in consequence of his conversion, to be doubly for the express purpose of providing means for terminating dear to his master, sv ozqzs xx1 EN KYPIN: sv caçxe, from having in its proper time, a vexatious dispute ? I am persuaded that been formerly domesticated with Philemon ; sy Kugow, as being when the Apostle was taken to the third heaven, he saw from now his fellow Christian. The equivalent expression, sy Xpos- that elevation, the whole series of the church's progress, from Tw, occurs in the same sense, in St. Paul's salutation of Andro- his own time until the glorious avox padaiwois, of which he nicus and Ireneus, (Rom. xvi. 7.) O. xv zgo eusu yeyovcovy En himself speaks, (Ephes. i. 10.) and that unless we take this XPIETN, who also were in CHRIST before me.
extension of view into the account, we cannot fully, perhaps " Respecting the age of the persons designated (Ephes. not at all, fathom the depth of his writings.” vi. 1.) by the term Ta terra, there can be no question ; as a
Nov. 1812. .subsequent verse distincty states them to be such children, It is easy to carry things into extremes on the right liand as were subjects of discipline and mental institution-aduce and on the left. In the controversy, to which there is a very **u vou teorie. But it must not escape attention, how exactly gentle reference in the preceding observations, there has been the sequel of the Apostle's address accords with the com- much asperity on all sides. It is high time this were ended. mencement; the injunction being given as to those in express to say that water baptism is nothing, because a baptism of the covenant. * Honour thy father and thy mother-for this is Spirit is promised, 'is not correct. Baptism, howsoever adthe first commandment with promise.' Had those addressed : ministered, is a most important rite in the church of Christ. been out of the Christian pale, this language would have been to say that sprinkling or aspersion, is no gospel baprisın, is as inapplicable. In that case, they would have been annanotesw-incorrect
, as to say immer sion is none. Such assertions are μενοι της πολιτείας του Ισραελ-therefore not within the range as unchristian as they are uncharitable; and should be careof the divine commandment; and Živou twy dla Inzwy ons suzy- | fully avoided, by all those who wish to promote the great syshvas-consequently not warranted to assume an interest in design of the gospel-glory to God, and peace and good will the promise. As then, even the pressing of the sacred in- among men. Lastly, to assert that infant baptism is unscripjunction, supposes the persons on whom it is urged to be ovu- tural, is as rash and reprehensible as any of the rest Myriads FONTAL TWw-arylay, fellow citizens with the saints, their acknow- of conscientious people choose to dedicate their infunis 10 ledged interest in the promise, proves them Oxou teu sou, of God, by public baptism. They are in the right! and by actthe houshold of God. I cannot therefore but conclude, that ing thus, follow the general practice both of the Jewish and this single passage, if even it stood alone, ought to set the Christian church-a practice, from which it is as needless as tedious and troublesome controversy, respecting infant bap- | it is dangerous to depart. tism, for ever at rest,
LONDON, Nov. 22, 1819.
PREFACE TO THE GOSPEL
JY ITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF HIS LIFE.
THERE is little certain known of this Evangelist: from what is spoken in the scriptures, and by the best informed of the Primitive Fathers, the following probable account is collected.
Luke was, according to Dr. Lardner, a Jew by birth, and an early convert to Christianity, but Michaelis thinks he was a Gentile, and brings Colos. iv. 10, 11, 14. in proof, where St. Paul distinguished Aristarchus, Marcus and Jesus, who was called Justus, from Epaphras, Lucas, and Demas, who were of the circumcision, i. e. Jews. Some think he was one of our Lord's seventy disciples. It is worthy of remark that he is the only Evangelist who mentions the commission given by Christ to the seventy, chap. X. 1--20. It is likely he is the Lucius mentioned Rom. xvi. 21. and if so, he was related to the Apostle Paul, and that it is the same Lucius of Cyrene who is mentioned Acts xiii. 1. and in general with others, Acts xi. 20. Some of the ancients, and some of the most learned and judicious among the moderns think he was one of the two whom our Lord met on the way to Emmaus' on the day of his resurrection, as related Luke xxiv. 1335. one of these was called Cleopas, ver. 18. the other is not mentioned, the Evangelist himself being the Person and the relator, .
St. Paul stiles him his fellow-labourer, Philem. ver. 24. It is barely probable that he is the person mentioned, Col. iv. 14. Luke, the beloved Physician. All the ancients of repute, such as Eusebius, Gregory Nyssen, Jerom, Paulinus, Euthalius, Euthymius, and others, agree that he was a physician, but where he was born, and where he exercised the duties of his profession are not known. Many moderns have attributed to him the most profound skill in the science of painting, and that he made some pictures of the Virgin Mary. This is justly esteemed fabulous; nor is this science attributed to him by any writer, previously to Nicephorus Callisti, in the fourteenth century, an author who scarcely deserves any credit, especially in relations not confirmed by others.
He accompanied St. Paul when he first went into Macedonia, Acts xvi. Sin 40. xx, xxvii, and xxviii. Whether he went with him constantly afterwards is not certain ; but it is evident he accompanied him from Greece throngh Macedonia and Asia to Jerusalem, where he is supposed to have collected many particulars of the evangelic history: from Jerusalem he went with Paul to Rome, where he staid with him the two years of his imprisonment in that city. This alone makes out the
PREFACE TO ST. LUKE.
space of five
years, and upwards. It is probable that he left St. Paul when he was set at liberty, and that he then went into Greece, where he finished and published this Gospel, and the book of the Acts, which he dedicated to Theophilus, an honourable Christian friend of his in that country. It is supposed that he died in peace about the eightieth or eighty-fourth year of his age. Some sup. pose be published this Gospel fifteen, others twenty-two years, after the ascension of Christ.
See much on this subject in Lardner, Works, vol. vi. p. 104, &c. and in Michaelis's Introduction to the New Testament.
Some learned men think that Luke has borrowed considerably from St. Matthew: collate chap. iii. 7, 8, 9, 16, 17. with Matt. iii. 7–12. also chap. v. 20—38. with Matt. ix. 2~17. also chap. vi. 1-5. with Matt. xii. 1–5. Luke vii. 22—28. with Matt. xi. 4—11. also chap. xii. 22—31. with Matt. vi. 25-33. It is allowed that there is considerable diversity in the order of time, between St. Matthew and St. Luke, which is accounted for thus : Matthew deduces the facts related in his listory in chronological order. Luke, on the contrary, appears to have paid little attention to this order, because he proposed to make a classification of events, referring each to its proper class, without paying any attention to chronological arrangement. Some critics divide this history into five distinct classes or sections, in the following manner.
CLASS 1. Comprehends all the details relative to the birth of Christ; with the preceding, concomitant, and immediately succeeding circumstances, from chap. i. and ii. 1–40.
CLASS II. Contains a description of our Lord's infancy and bringing up ; his visit to the temple when twelve years of age; and his going down to Nazareth and continuing under the government of his parents. Chap. ii. 41-52.
CLASS III. Contains the account of the preaching of John Baptist, and his success; the baptism of Christ, and his genealogy. Chap. iii.
CLASS IV. Comprehends the account of all our Lord's transactions in Galilee, for the whole three years of his ministry, from chap. iv. to chap. ix. 1–50. This seems evident: for as soon as Luke had given the account of our Lord's temptation in the desart, chap. iv. 1–13. he represents him as immediately returning in the power of the spirit into Galilee, ver. 14; mentions Nazareth, ver. 16; Capernaum, ver. 31 ; and the lake of Galilee, chap. v. ver. 1; and thus to chap. ix. 50. goes on to describe the preaching, miracles, &c. of our Lord in Galilee.
CLASS V. and last, commences at chap. ix. ver. 51. where the Evangelist gives an account of our Lord's last journey to Jerusalem : therefore this class contains not only all the transactions of our Lord from that time to his crucifixion, but also, the account of his resurrection, his commission to his Apostles, and his ascension to heaven. Chap. ix. 51. to chap. xxiv. 53. inclusive.
A plan similar to this has been followed by Suetonius, in his life of Augustus : he does not produce his facts in chronological order, but classifies them, as he himself professes, cap. 12. giving an account of all his wars, honours, legislative acts, discipline, domestic life, &c. &c. MATTHEW therefore is to be consulted for the correct arrangement of facts in chronological order : Luke, for a classification of facts and events, without any attention to the order of time in which they occurred. Many eminent historians have conducted their narratives in the same way. See Rosenmuller. It must not, however, be forgotten, that this Evangelist gives us some very valuable chronological data in several parts of the three first chapters. These shall be noticed in their proper places.