Obrazy na stronie

tured, dispersed, is gone-gone into the combatants; and should any of long continued banishment.

them, at the beginning, found their From Jerusalem they are gone; argument on false principles, this and scarce a relict is left to mark will necessarily lead them to adopt the place where the temple and the other principles equally false, in de. city stood. Yet, wonderful to tell, fence of the original one; and thus they are a people yet preserved and the whole must end in worse than known as Jews, in all parts of the unprofitable and indecisive wrangworld : a nation scattered and peel- ling: ed among all nations, a hissing, and We have a striking example of a by-word; yet the remnant is not this in the debate now under review. destroyed. Once they were a cho Mr. Walker assumed as his fundasen people, they feared, worshipped mental principle, that the covenant and served the true and only Lord which God made with Abraham, reGod. And God chose Jerusalem corded in the 17th chapter of Geamong

all nations of the earth to nesis, and of which circumcision set his name there. But the fashion was a sign and seal, was the coveof their obedience and their faith nant of grace: whence he argued fulness passed away, and God gave the right of the infants of church them

up to their enemies, and made members to be introduced into the the fashion of their city to cease. church by baptism, as they had from

Such are the ideas which arise the establishment of that covenant and pass through my mind whilst I been introduced by circumcision: medítate, and whilst I write upon the former, under the present disthe words, The fashion of the world pensation, coming in the place of passeth away. Nor have the mo the latter. Now, as circumcision dern fashions of it been more stable was the seal .which God himself afthan the ancient. The experience of fixed to that covenant, and as a seal every generation, from the begin the moment it is affixed, gives the ning, and the history of the world person on whose behalf the covenant in all

ages, forces upon us the con was made, all the advantages thereviction that all things earthly are in contained; it follows by inevitchanging, and shall soon be gone


that if that covenant was the covenant of grace, then

ISAAC REED. every circumcised person must be Nicholasville, Ky. April 12, 1818. saved: and if baptism is come in the

room of circumcision, that every baptized person must be saved alsoa position, I am persuaded, which

no Pædobaptist will defend. Some Brief Review of a Debate on Chris Pædobaptist writers, who, with Mr.

tian Baptism, between Mr. John W. have assumed that the covenant Walker, a Minister of the Seces of circumcision, as the protomartyr sion, and Mr. Alexander Camp- Stephen emphatically calls it, was bell, a Minister of the Baptist the covenant of grace, have endeaChurch; in three Letters to a voured to free themselves from the Friend.

above consequence, by saying that

there is an external and internal LETTER I. relation to the covenant of

grace; You ask my opinion of such pub and that circumcision and baptism lic debates, and of this one in par form the external relation only. ticular. I have never had but one But what is an external relation to opinion of such exercises; as it is a covenant? Is it not, in other victory, and not searching after words, to be out of a covenant. If truth, that is usually the object of the word has any meaning at all, Vol. I.


for ever.


this it must be; but as circumcision As if he foresaw that in future days was the seal which Jehovah himself such bold and unscriptural asseraffixed to that covenant, then, what tions would be made for the purpose ever that covenant was, it follows of supporting a favourite system, he that the instant a proper subject was proposes their objection in almost circumcised, that moment he be their own words, and then gives it came interested in all its privileges an answer, which one would think and appurtenances.

would silence the objection for ever. You are now, no doubt, ready to “What advantage hath the Jew? ask, what was that covenant or dis and what profit is there of circumpensation, as it alters not the case, cision ? Much every way, but chiefnor affects the argument by which of ly because that unto them were these names it may be called; and committed the oracles of God." what were the advantages thereby And what he meant by the oracles secured to the circumcised? I an of God, he tells us in detail in the 9th swer, it may be called an ecclesiasti chapter of the same epistle. “To cal covenant; or a covenant whereby them pertained the adoption, and Jehovah was pleased to bind himself the glory, and the covenants, and by the Seal of circumcision, to send the giving of the law, and the service a Redeemer of the family of Abra of God, and the promises: whose ham into the world—to preserve in are the fathers, and of whom conhis family a visible church, until cerning the flesh Christ came, who that Redeemer should come; and, is God over all, blessed for ever.” as his infinite wisdom saw best, to And as if this was not sufficient to appoint, from time to time, and con prevent such bold and unscriptural tinue with them such ordinances as assertions, the same apostle, in the would be the best medium of ac 3d chapter of his epistle to the Gaceptable worship, and best calcu latians, quotes the principal provilated to interest them in the merits sion of that covenant, and styles it of this Redeemer; and when this the preaching of the gospel to AbraRedeemer would come to ingraft the bam. “ And the scripture foreseeGentile nations into this church, and ing that God would justify the heaconsequently to bestow upon them then through faith, preached before those means equally with the Jews. the gospel to Abraham, saying, in In a word, it was a covenant or dis thee shall all nations of the earth be pensation, graciously designed, and blessed.” From these quotations wisely calculated, as a mean to an then it appears, that besides the end, to interest them in the bless promise of a Redeemer, that coveings of the covenant of grace, con nant sealed or confirmed to all the sisting in pardon, sanctification, and circumcised, all those ordinances, eternal life.

which infinite wisdom saw best calMr. Campbell, on the other hand, culated to interest them in the foraffirms again and again, “ that its giveness of sins, to be purchased by promised blessings were temporal his blood, together with the sanctievery one temporal—that circum fication of their natures, or what is cision conveyed no spiritual bless emphatically styled “the circumciings to the Jews. It guaranteed sion of the heart;" in allusion to that they should be a numerous and which circumcision is called “a powerful nation—that God would

sign,as well as “a seal.be their king, and that they would I am aware that it will now be individually inherit the land of Ca asked, was not the possession of the naan."

land of Canaan promised to AbraThe apostle Paul, however, teaches ham in that covenant? and is it not otherwise in the third chapter of his expressly mentioned as one of its epistle to the Romans, first verse. provisions? It is, indeed, recog

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nised in that covenant, as what was that the Jewish nation was a visible secured to him and his seed in an church of God; and as it was undeother and distinct covenant, record niable that infants were introduced ed in the 15th chapter; but which into that church by circumcision; Mr. C., for very prudential reasons, and as their right was not repealed as respects his system, has entirely by Christ or his apostles, but recogoverlooked in that catalogue of the nised by both; and as baptism was scripture covenants which he has

now the right of initiation, he drew given us in the appendix to his this fair and irresistible consebook. “ And God said unto Abra quence, that infants ought to be ham, I am the Lord which brought baptized. It required no great dethee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to gree of penetration to see that this give thee this land to inherit it. And simple and plain argument overAbraham said, Lord God where turned the whole Baptist system reby shall I know that I shall inherit specting infants. Something must it. And God said unto him, take be done to prop the tottering fabric, me a heifer of three years old, and and as nothing else could avail, the a she goat of three years old, and late David Jones, a Baptist minister, a ram of three years old, and a ventured on the bold expedient of turtle-dove, and a young pigeon. denying that there was a church of And Abraham took unto hiin all God on earth, until the days of John these, and he divided them in the the Baptist, which has been remidst; and laid each one against echoed by Mr. C. with this differanother, but the birds divided he ence, that Mr. C. dates his church not. And it came to pass when the from the day.of Pentecost, or the sun was down, and it was dark, be first church at Jerusalem. The reahold a smoking furnace and a burn son why Mr. Jones commenced his ing lamp that passed between these church with John the Baptist, propieces. In the same day the Lord bably was, to maintain the propriety made a covenant with Abraham, of the name which Baptists have assaying, unto thy seed have I given sumed: and perhaps the reason why this land, from the river of Egypt Mr. C. differed from him was, that unto the great river Euphrates." he saw the absurdity of dating the

I am aware also, that Mr. C. may Christian church from a man who reply, all this affects not his system, died before the Christian dispensafor he denies that there was a visi tion commenced. ble church in the world until the When Mr. W.adduced the words day of Pentecost.

of Stephen as a proof that there was It is no doubt a matter of surprise a church in the wilderness, what is to you, and to others who read

your Mr.C.'s reply? That the Greek word Bibles, that he should have the ef- ecclesia, which is translated church, frontery to contradict Stephen, who signifies any kind of an assembly'; told the Jews « that Moses was in and that it is used by the writers the church in the wilderness with of the New Testament to signify the angel that spake unto him in a lawful and unlawful assembly, Mount Sinai, and with their fathers, as well as the church of Christ: who received the lively oracles to That it is by some accompanying give unto them.” Acts vii. 28. The epithet, or other circumstance, that secret is this-Peter Edwards, of we are to ascertain in which of these England, had proved beyond all senses we are to understand the contradiction, by a plain and simple word; and that there is nothing in logical process, the right of infants the passage adduced that can lead to be admitted into the church by us to understand it in


other the ordinance of baptism; and as it sense, than merely the multitude of had not been denied when he wrote, the Jews assembled in the wilder



At any rate, he tells us, translated church, signifies a num“That it was an assembly or church ber of persons assembled for the of Jews, and not an assembly of purpose of worshipping God, and Christians, or a church of Jesus this implies in it their being posChrist.” p. 41, 42.

sessed of ordinances of divine

apThis last part of the reply which pointment, as the medium of accepI have stated in his own words, is table worship, and means of grace; not only a quibble, but a sorry quib but I object, when he says that all ble; and similar to an objection that these persons must be saints, he brings against infant baptism called from darkness to God's marthat baptism is not mentioned in the vellous light.” Saints, or persons 17th chapter of Genesis. For, was regenerated in the church, are init to be expected that the church of deed a component part of it; but it God would assume, or be called by was designed to embrace others, the name of the church of Christ, whose duty and privilege it is to atuntil he should come into the world: tend on the ordinances of divine or that an ordinance would be call appointment, that by the blessing of ed by its name two thousand years God on his own ordinances they before the dispensation of which it may be regenerated. For this de was a part, commenced, and when finition of the church I have the another ordinance that prefigured authority of Christ, who compares it, was just appointed ?

the kingdom of heaven, or the gosWith respect to the first part of pel church, to “a net cast into the the reply, there is that in the passage sea, which gathered of every kind, which in my opinion, fixes the mean and to “ten virgins, five of which ing of the word “ church” as the were wise, and five foolish :" and church of God. Stephen tells us that farther proofs of the justness of in this church in the wilderness, this definition will be adduced in



the angel who spake unto Mo. Now, that there was a Church of

ses in Mount Sinai, and delivered to him what he calls “the lively oracles," to be delivered to their fathers, or the ordinances respecting the worship of Jehovah. I expect that it will be admitted that this angel was none other than the Son of God; and the circumstance of his delivering to the Jews, by the hand of Moses, the lively oracles, is a proof that they were a church in the proper sense of the word : for what is à church of God, but a number of persons set apart for worshipping him agreeably to his own institutions ?

That the principle I wish to establish may be the more clearly seen, and the merits of the debate now under review clearly seen also'; it is necessary to make a few observations respecting the commencement, nature and design of the church of God. I agree with Mr. C, that the Greek ecclesia, which is

this character from Adam to Abraham, is clearly intimated from what is said in the 5th chapter of Genesis, concerning Seth; "that to him was a son born, and he called his name Enos; then began men to call upon the name of the Lord,” or as it is in the margin, “ then men began to call themselves by the name of the Lord,” probably in contradistinction to Cain, who is said to have gone out “from the presence of the Lord,” or separated himself and descendants from his true worshippers. And hence, no doubt, the distinction between “the sons of God, and the daughters of men,” the intermarriage of which was the cause of the universal deluge; the latter seducing the former into idolatry. The church at this period was indeed patriarchal, or confined to the families of the faithful; every head of a family being king and priest of the family,

who offered up sacrifice, the only promised land, every male was remode of initiation, medium of wor quired to appear thrice annually beship and mean of grace, that we fore the Lord in the temple of Jeread of at that time, both in his own rusalem, for the purpose of offering behalf, and on behalf of his family. those sacrifices which the law reThis did Abel—this did Noah, when quired. Here then we have all the he came out of the ark-and - this characteristics of a church of God did Job continually.” In the days of a people separated from the world, Abraham, polytheism and idolatry and furnished with ordinances for so far prevailed as to threaten the his service; and ordinances too, as I very existence of the church; where shall show in the proper place, that upon

God revealed himself to that prefigured the positive institutions distinguished personage, made the under the present dispensation. covenant with hiin already alluded Hence, then, we find that people deto, and bound himself by the seal of signated as a chosen nation”circumcision “to be a God to him, a kingdom of priests, and a holy and to his seed after him,” to main- | nation"_"and a peculiar treasure”, tain a visible church in his family, to God, above all people-epithets or the means of grace, which he had ascribed by the apostle Peter to the appointed for the salvation of sin Christian church.

“ But ye are a ners. The privileges of the church chosen generation, a royal priestwere also enlarged at this time, by hood, an holy nation, and a pecuthe appointment of circumcision as liar people, that ye should show a mode of initiation for the males, forth the praises of him who hath infinite wisdom seeing that the an called you out of darkness into cient mode of sacrifice answered his marvellous light." 1 Eph. ii. 9. all the purpose to the females ; fe Hence we read of “the congremales as well as males, being permit-gation of Israel—the congregation ted to eat of the sacrifices. And as of the Lord—the congregation of an intimation that in due time the saints"--and “the assembly of the Gentiles would be taken into the saints," words of the same import church, Ishmael, and the servants “CHURCH;” and which might of Abraham, “born in his house, or be read, the church of Israel-the bought with his money from any church of the Lord—and the church stranger," were allowed to be cir of the saints : and hence, saith the cumcised, together with proselytes Psalmist in the 3d psalm, “I will from the surrounding nations. In praise the Lord with


whole Egypt another ordinance was added heart, in the assembly of the up--the ordinance of the passover, right, and in the congregation." designed not only as a commemo

From all which the reader is left to ration of the deliverance of the judge, whether Stephen meant by children of Israel from Egyptian the church in the wilderness," the bondage, but of a far greater de church of God, or the mere multiliverance—the deliverance of guilty tude of the Israelites, or an unlawsinners by the sacrifice of the Son

ful mob. of God; for an inspired penman, But not only is it evident from says, “Even Christ, our passover, the foregoing passages, and numis sacrificed for us." In the wilder berless others that might be adducness various sacrifices and ablutions ed, that the Jewish nation, in conwere added: the former indicating sequence of the covenant of cirthe necessity of a vicarious sacri cumcision, was a visible church of fice for sin, and the latter, like cir God; but the view I have given of cumcision, signifying the necessity it, exactly accords with what Jehoof purity of heart in order to sal vah himself says of it in 5th chapyation. When they entered the ter of Isaiah, under the metaphor of


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