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Gentiles also. Accordingly Isaiah, speaking of the christian dispensation, or the state of the church under the Messiah, says, that not only believers should be esteemed the seed of the blessed of the Lord, (or the blessed seed of the Lord) but also, their offspring together with them.*

IÍ. From our Saviour's own words, Mark, x. 14. Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God. And John iii. 5. Except any one (Ts) is born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. From these two passages,

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say, put together, the right of infants to baptism may be also clearly inferred. For in one, they are declared actually to have a place in God's kingdom or church; and yet into this kingdom or church, the other, as expressly says, none can be admitted without being baptised.

The kingdom of God, in the gospel denotes either the visible church on earth; or the invisible one in heaven. Answerable to these, there is a twofold regeneration, namely a being born again of water (1. e. baptism, which is therefore called the washing of regeneration, Tit. iii. 5.) which adınits into the visible church; and a being born again of the spirit (called the renewing of the Holy Ghost,) which admits into the invisible. Now, in which soever of these senses the expression is here taken, it strongly concludes for the baptism of infants. For

1. If, by the kingdom of God, be meant the visible church on earth, our Lord, by saying of such is the kingdom, declares that infants are to be considered as having a place in this kingdom, i. e. as being members of that body, society, or church, which he, as Messiah came to rule and to save. But, if they are to be considered as a part of this kingdom, or visible church, they are then to be baptised, or born again of water, for this is the only appointed rite of entering into it. Or

* Isa. Ixv. 23..

2. If, by the kingdom of God, we understand the invisible church in heaven; into that infants cannot enter, except they are born again of the spirit, i. e. regenerated, quickened and raised from the dead.* But, if they are capable and proper subjects of a regeneration by the spirit, they must be also of baptism; for the baptismal water is nothing else but the appointed token or emblem of this regenerating spirit

Seeing then, that God grants them the thing signified, viz. the renewing of the Holy Ghost, it can never be thought his will, that the sign or token be denied them, viz.. the washing of regeneration, or baptism.

The argument then is conclusive in whatever sense we take, the kingdom of God. For our Lord having, in one place, declared that the little children should be brought to him, because of such is the kingdom: and in another, that except any one is born of water, baptised, he cannot enter into this kingdom-it most evidently followsthat infants are capable of being born again of water, or baptised ; because, elşe, they could not enter into this kingdom, into which our Lord. here expressly declares, they do enter, and are admitted.t

• A resurrection from the dead is frequently spoken of in scriplure as a being born again, or a regenerution. Vide. Rom. i. 4. Luke xx. 36. Mat. xix. 28. Acts xiii. 33. Rom. viii. 29. Col. i. 18.

+ The words, John iii, 5. thus interpreted, are a very pertinent and just rebuke of Nicodemus's cowardice. It is as though our Lord had said—“ Except you have the courage to profess " openly my religion, signified by your submission to the cere.

mony of Baptism, you cannot be a member of my visible "church on earth : and, notwithstanding your descent frura

It cannot be here said that the words of such are to be understood, not of infants in years, but of persons of a childlike and humble disposition. Because, this would represent our Lord's conduct as extremely absurd. For, why should he be very angry with his disciples, for forbidding infants in years to be brought to him, because of grown persons of an humble disposition his kingdom consisted? There is no just connection betwixt his great displeasure at them for keeping infants from him, and his giving, as the reason of it, that to quite different subjects, meek and humnble persons, his kingdom belonged. According to this interpretation, our Lord" might rationally have done the same, had lambs or doves been going to be presented to him; he might have been very angry with those who should have forbid them, and have said-suffer them to be brought, for of such, i. e. of persons of a meek and harmless tèmper, is the kingdom of God.*

Finally: let it be added that as our Lord took these infants into his arms, laid his hands upon and blessed them; hence it appears—that infants are capable of the divine influence, benediction, and the operations of the holy spirit. Now what are these, but the very things principally intended to be represented by the baptismal water? Though our Lord did not pour water on them, putting up a prayer for them, he performed a religious ceremony on them equally soleinn, and of much, (per. haps, exactly the same púrport; he laid his hands upon them, and prayed; which was an act of re“ Abraham, if you are not born of an higher principle, even " of the spirit, or Holy Ghost, your mind will be never raised

to that state of purity and moral rectitude, nor your body to “it that incorruptibility, spiritualy and life, which is necessary to your admission into my invisible kingdom in heaven.”

* Dr. Gale, therefore, ingenuously owns, that this passage is to be understood of infants in years. Reflections &c. pag. 421. * Here then we see a most clear and evident distinction made betwixt the children of believers and the children of infidels : the one are unclean, i. e. do not stand in any visible covenant relation to Jehovah, and the other are holy, i. e, in the same sense holy, as the Jews were an holy nation, taken into a peculiar relation to God.t

his name.

ligious worship hardly at all different from baptising them with water. Yea, it was a far greater thing for the Saviour of the world to take up infaots in his arıns and solemnly to bless them, thani for any minister now to baptise them with water in

Further III. It is also very worthy to be observed that the Christian dispensation, as well as the Jewish, makes an evident distinction betwixt the children of believers and the children of infidels.

Several of the Corinthian converts having unbelieving yoke-fellows, doubted of the lawfulness of cohabiting with them; and seemed to think themselves obliged to separate; lest the offspring of such unequal marriages should be deemed impure and unineet to be taken into covenant with God. This their doubt seemed to be just, and to carry in it great weight; being grounded on the known conduct of Ezra, and the Jewish elders, in a parellel case. See Ezra X. 1, 2, 3. But the Apostle resolves it, by telling them--that the unbelieving yoke-fellow was so far sanctified by (or to, or because of) the believing, as that their children which would otherwise be unclean, are now holy.*

1 Cor. vii. 14. + This sentiment of an infant's holiness, and of the pro. priety.and duty of its being brought into the church of God, and there solemnly devoted to him, was quite scriptural atid rational; as well as perfectly agreeable to the appointed cugó toms and forms, and language of those times. For, Luke ija 22, 23, 'tis said they brought the infant Jesus to the tota of the spirit, or Holy Ghost, your mind will be never raised " to that state of purity and moral rectitude, nor your body to “it that incorruptibility, spiritualy and life, which is necessary to your admission into my invisible kingdom in heaven.”

It cannot be here said that the words of such -are to be understood, not of infants in years, but of persons of a childlike and humble disposition. Because, this would represent our Lord's conduct as extremely absurd. For, why should he be very angry with his disciples, for forbidding infants in years to be brought to him, because of grown persons of an humble disposition his kingdom consisted? There is no just connection betwixt his great displeasure at them for keeping infants from him, and his giving, as the reason of it, that to quite different subjects, meek and humble persons, his kingdom belonged. According to this interpretation, our Lord" might rationally have done the same, had lambs or doves been going to be presented to him; he might have been very angry with those who should have forbid them, and have said-suffer them to be brought, for of such, i. e. of persons of a meek and harmless temper, is the kingdom of God.*

Finally: let it be added that as our Lord took these infants into his arms, taid his hands upon and blessed them; hence it appears—that infants are capable of the divine influence; benediction, and the operations of the holy spirit

. Now what are these, but the very things principally intended to be represented by the baptismal water? Though our Lord did not pour water on them, putting up a prayer for them, he performed a religious ceremony on them equally soleinn, and of much, (per. haps, exactly) the same púrport; he laid his hands upon them, and prayed; which was an act of re“ Abraham, if you are not born of an higher principle, even

* Dr. Gale, therefore, ingenuously owns, that this passage is to be understood of infants in years. Reflections &c. pag. 421.

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