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God, who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and live, has, in his providence, appointed means and ways to accomplish his wise purposes, in the redemption of fallen and sinful man. It is therefore the duty of all the members of his mystical body, the church, as branches of the true vine, to' apply, according to their several abilities, those means and ways which are appointed to be used for the spread of the glorious Gospel, the extension of his kingdom, the diffusion of light and knowledge, and the promotion of his church.
And, as our pious ancestors and brethren in the Lord, who, since the days of Christ and the Apostles, and at the time of the Reformation, maintained the doctrine, That the kingdom of Jesus Christ is to be a kingdom of peace, and his church to be composed of true believers and holy members, where all manner of wars, and shedding of blood, is to be abolished; where, according to an ancient prediction, They shall beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; where nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shah they learn war any more. Isa. 2: 4.—Moreover,
That those who become members of his church must believe in him, and acknowledge him to be the Son of God and the Saviour of the world; that such believers shall be baptized, according to the words of Christ and his Apostles: He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. Mark 16: 16.—Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins-Then they that gladly received his word were baptized. Acts 2: 38, 41.
-But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Acts 8: 12.–And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house: and many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized. Acts 18: 8.-And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. Acts 5: 14.--And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to* all that were in his
*Some contend that, as the Apostles baptized whole houses, or households, of course there must have been young children among them, which also were baptized. But this inference cannot justly be drawn from either of the above quolations : for it is expressly said of Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, that he believed on the Lord with all his house;—and of the household of the keeper of the prison, it is said that the word of the Lord was spoken to him and te all that were in his house. Infants, or little children, as they are not capable to understand and receive the word, not knowing their right hand from their left, it would be useless
house. And he took them the same hour of 1 the night, and washed their stripes; and was
baptized, he and all his, straightway. Acts 16:
31, 32, 33.-That such believers only are fit Husubjects to receive the administration of Chrised tian baptism; that little children or infants, not er being capable of believing, and being freely the saved from the transgression and sin of our
first parents, by the atoning merit and blood of 41. Jesus Christ, the immaculate Lamb of God, the which taketh away the sins of the world, have
no need of baptism in their infancy, neither are
they capable of receiving it, until i hey arrive to u maturer years, and be capable of thinking for
themselves, and of believing on the Son of God, thel and by faith to behold that Saviour who bled pti and died on Calvary to redeem them from sin ore and death, and in whose name they are to be und baptized. Also, that we have no commandOD! ment or intimation from Christ, or his Apostles, ed for infant baptism, but rather the reverse. For, htt when they brought young children to Jesus that La he should touch them, and his disciples rebuked
those that brought them, he showed great regard for them, and said to his disciples, to suffer the little children to come unto him and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands
upon them, and blessed them. Mark 10: 13, 114, 16.—But neither did he baptize them hin
to speak it to them. Hence it is inferred that there were do infants ibere.