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Holy Ghost. Amen."* Whence I draw this argument : from this formula it follows, that, when infants are baptized, they are delivered from sins, but they are not freed from actual sins, into which, for the want of the use of reason, they cannot fall; they, therefore, are freed from original sin, or else the church would tell a lie, when she baptizes infants unto the remission of sins, which is as impossible for her to do, in matters of faith and morals, as it is that the solemn pro: mises made to her by Christ of his perpetual assistance, should fail. To preclude all Pelagian cavils against this proof, the celebrated council of Carthage, held in the year 418, made its second Canon, which is as follows : “ It has pleased (the Council) that, whoever denies that the infants newly born ought to be baptized, or says, that they are, indeed, baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they do by no means draw froin Adam original sin, which should stand in need of being effaced by the water of regeneration; from which it would follow, that, in regard to them, the form of Baptism unto the remission of sins, would not be true, but false, let him be anathema."f
Secondly. The existence of original sin is irrefragably inferred from the necessity of Baptism. All infants, as well as adults, stand in need of Baptism, in order to enter into the kingdom of Heaven, and to arrive at life everlasting; as manifestly appears from the words of Christ, in St. John, 3rd chap."Amen, Amen. I say to thee, unless a man be born again, of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”+ That these words were always understood by the church to imply the absolute necessity of Bap
* « Ego te Baptizo in remissionem peccatorum, in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen."
† " Placuit, ut, quicunque parvulos recentes ab uteris matrum Baptizandos negat, aut dicat, in remissionem quidem peccatorum eos baptizari, sed nihil ex Adam trahere originalis peccati, quod lavacro regenerationis expietur; unde fit consequens, ut in eis forma baptismatis in remissionem peccatorum, non vera, sed falsa intelligatur, anathema sit.”
I “Amen, Amen, Dico tibi: nisi quis renatus fuerit ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, non potest introire in Regnum Dei."
tism, undeniably appears from the very practice, which St. Augustine mentions, of both the parents, and the ministers of the church hastening with all possible speed, to the baptismal font, when children were in danger of death. Children, therefore, prior to their baptism, are subject to a sin, which excludes them from eternal life; but they are not subject to any personal sin, therefore, to original sin. That they must be subject to sin, cannot be denied, or else they could not be excluded from eternal life; for in the present state of things, no one is excluded from eternal life and the kingdom of God, but for sin alone; whose“ wages, (as the apostle Paul speaks,) is the death" of both body and soul. Ås, therefore, infants dying without baptism are excluded from the kingdom of God, we must necessarily infer that they are defiled by sin.
Thirdly. The very ceremonies of Baptism necessarily suppose original sin in those that are baptized. The universal church of God, made use, since the very age of the Apostles, of exorcisms and of the ceremony of expelling the devil by breathing (exsufflationes,] at the baptism of adults and infants ; by which, the unclean spirit is driven out from those that are baptized; as St. Cælestine, in Epist. i. ad Episcopos Galli. arum, cap. 12–St. Augustine, lib. 6, Contra Julian, cap. 2, et lib. 2, de peccato orig. cap. 40, teach. The church, therefare, believed that children, before their baptism, are stained by sin, and placed under the power of the devil; for we are not made the slaves of devils, but by sin. Hence, St. Augustine, lib. 2, operis imperf. numb. 171, writes thus:-“Wherefore, children too, when they are baptized, are rescued from the power of darkness, or else, as we have already said, and as it must often be repeated, the image of God cannot, without a signal insult to God, be exorcised and expelled, since it is the prince of the world who is there exorcised and driven out, in order that the presence of the Holy Ghost may take its place."* Therefore, according to the perpetual and
* 66 Propter hoc et infantes cum baptizantur, eruuntur de potestate tenebrarum; alioquin cum magna injuria Dei, sicut jam diximus et sape dicendum est, exorcizatur et exsufflatur imago Dei, si non ibi ille exorcizatur et exsufflatur princeps mundi, qui mittitur foras, ut sit illic habitatio Spiritus Sancti." No. III.
constant belief of the universal church, children are born, infected with original sin. There consequently exists Original
SECTION VII. LIX. Unitarian objections answered... After having, as we imagine, solidly established the dogma of original Sin, and entrenched it with impregnable bulwarks, it is now time to reconnoitre the position of our polemical, foes, and to see by what engines they mean to break through and overturn our batteries.
First Objection. “We look with suspicion, (say the Unitarians,) * on the decisions of councils, synods, and church dignitaries, because all men are subject to error and prejudice; and the history of eighteen centuries has abundantly taught us that few have been less free from these imperfections than the rulers of the church." '
Answer. This is, indeed, a commodious way of evading difficulties, and of ensuring to oneself the palm of victory, whatever may be his cause, or with whatever strength it may be opposed. Should you ever be attached in a court of justice, be your case as desperate as it may, yet in order to come off victorious, you have nothing else to do but to imitate the Unitarians in their manner of proceeding, with regard to the important affair that is agitating between them and the rest of the christian world. We demonstratively prove, from the divine scriptures, the various dogmas which they deny: they admit the titles, The Scriptures,—“Unitarians believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament contain authentic records of the dispensations of God, and of his revelations to men.”t But what then? They deny that we take them in their true sense. Thus the scriptures are the authentic records of the řevelations of God to men; but, observe, only when taken in the Unitarian sense. Then next, Unitarian-like, ac, knowledge the authenticity of the title which is produced against you in the court, and which you cannot deny,
* The Unitarian Miscellany and Christian Monitor, No. 1, page 9. + Ibidem, page 11.
but be sure to deny the meaning which the adverse party affixes to it. If we again tell the Unitarians, that the whole christian world, the primitive fathers, and the councils of the church, for the space of eighteen hundred years, have uniformly understood the scriptures in the sense in which we christians understand them, they calmly and modestly reply, that they “ look with suspicion on the decisions of councils, and synods, and church dignitaries;” and that, of course, you are to understand that they conceive their own importance (although but a handful of men—although but of yesterday,) amply sufficient to outweigh the authority of all ages, and of all christendom. In the same manner, if you are told by your judges, that the titles produced against you, have uniformly been understood by other tribunals and other judges, in a meaning that is contrary to your cause, the way of ending the difficulty is, gravely to tell your judges, that you do not take them in that sense, and that you think your judgment is as good as that of all the courts in the world; or rather, to gain your cause at once, that it is vastly better.-If, in fine, we press the Unitarian, and clearly demonstrate, that reason it. self, the reason of all former ages and christians, decides in our favour, they again, with their wonted reservedness, answer~And what is that to us? Have we not reason too? Why should we not deem ourselves wiser, and understand matters better than the universal church, during the lapse of numerous ages ? Thus, if you happen to see all your former exceptions overruled by your judges, on the ground that reason itself declares in favour of your adversary, you may cut the matter short, by plainly telling the court, that their reason, indeed, and that of other men, may judge so, but not your's; and that you think your own reason is as sound, nay sounder, than that of all the courts or inhabitants in the country. And, if our Unitarian friend be correct in his mode of attack or defence against the christian dogmas, you must, believe me, be also right in your process against the adverse party, and must undoubtedly gain your cause. But if, on the contrary, you should be looked upon as a madman, (as you most deservedly
would,) by such a mode of defending your cause, in what light must the world view the Unitarian system, which pursues exactly the same line of conduct, in attacking the christian mysteries?
LX. After this short digression, let us endeavour philosophically to investigate the weight which we are to give to the above objection. Is it then enough, in order to invalidate a dog. ma of religion, to reject indiscriminately the accumulated authority of all preceding ages, of the holy fathers, and councils of the church, of the universal christian world? Is it enough, in order to enervate the most decisive scripture evidences in support of christian tenets-tenets sanctioned by the constant practice and belief of all the faithful all over the globe, barefacedly to declare that they do not understand the scriptures like the rest of the world, and that, of course, their own reason, as contradistinguished from the reason of all other men, either of former ages, or of the present, must be considered as the only ultimate standard by which the world is to determine what is right, and what is wrong; what is to be admitted or rejected, in matters of religion? This grand trial pending between the christian world and the Unitarians, is of the deepest importance; for the fate of both parties must needs depend on its final issue. If the Unitarian mode of proceeding against the christian truths, be sanctioned by reason, then adieu to christianity; if, on the contrary, reason and plain good sense give in their verdict against the Unitarian system, then Unitarianism is undone. Whilst, therefore, we are discussing the merits of both parties, let mankind be the judge ; let good sense, severe criticism, and inflexible justice preside over the momentous decision.
Suppose, therefore, you have a most important suit with a few individuals, who, on a sudden, begin to call in question some of your rights, or who, for example, dispute your claim to the tenure of a certain tract of land; the primary object of the court will be to examine the titles of both parties; then, to examine the witnesses, for and against; afterwards, to listen to the reason's alleged on either side; and lastly, to give their decision. Let us next suppose, that the case stands thus