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and you, and thy seed after thee ; every man child among you shall be circumcised ; and ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin ; and it shall be a token of the covenant between me and you.' Rom. iv. 11, 12.
he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of faith which he had yet being uncircumcised ; that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised, that righteousness might be imputed unto them also ; and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.' Deut. x. 16. 'circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.' xxx. 6. Jehovah thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love Jehovah thy God.' Jer. iv. 4. circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, and take away the foreskins of your heart.' Sometimes, by a similar figure, it signifies sanctification even under the gospel. Col. ii. 11, in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.'
Subsequently, however, to the giving of the law circumcision seems to have typified the covenant of works. Rom. iv. 12. the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only.' ïi. 25. 'for circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law; but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.' Gal. v. 3. * I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.' Hence it is said to have been given by Moses, John vii. 22, 23. VOL. II.
Respecting the passover, compare Exod. xii. 3, &c. • in the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house,' &c. v. 13. the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are, and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.' v. 15. seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses.
The passover typified the sacrifice of Christ, and the efficacy of the sprinkling of his blood for the salvation of such as celebrated the feast with purity of heart. John i. 29. John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' xix. 36. these things were done that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.' 1 Cor. v. 7.
purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened: for even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.'
Under the gospel, the first of the sacraments commonly so called is baptism, wherein the bodies of believers who engage themselves to pureness of life are immersed in running water,* to signify their re
* In profluentem aquam. By the admission of this word into the delipition, it is evident that Milton attributed some importance to this circumstance, probably considering that the superior purity of running water was peculiarly typical of the thing signified. Hence it appears that the same epithet employed in Paradise Lost, in a passage very similar to the present, is not merely a poetical ornament.
.............. Them who shall believe
generation by the Holy Spirit, and their union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection.
Of believers. Matt. xxviii. 19. teach all nations, baptizing them'— Mark xvi. 15, 16. “ preach the gospel..... he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved.' Acts viii. 36, 37. what doth hinder me to be baptized ?....if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.' Eph. v. 26. that he might cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.' 1 Pet. iii. 21. • the like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. .
Hence it follows that infants are not to be baptized, inasmuch as they are incompetent to receive instruction, or to believe, or to enter into a covenant, or to promise or answer for themselves, or even to hear the word. For how can infants, who understand not the word, be purified thereby; any more than adults can receive edification by hearing an unknown language ? For it is not that outward baptism, which purifies only the filth of the flesh, that saves us, but the answer of a good conscience,' as Peter testifies ; of which infants are incapable.* Besides, baptism is not merely a covenant, containing a certain stipula
Pure, and in mind prepar'd, if so hesal,
For death, like that which the Recleemer died. XII. 441. Tertullian concludes differently, arguing that any water which can be conveniently procured, is sufficient for the spirit of the ordinance. Nulla distinctio est inari quis an stagno, Alumine an fonte, lacu an alveo diluatur; nec quidquam refert inter eos quos Joannes in Jordana, et quos Petrus in Tiberi tinxit ; nisi et ille spado quem Philippus inter vias fortuita aqua tinxit, plus salutis aut minus retulit.' De Baptismo, IV.
* For an answer to this see Wall's Defence of his History of Infant Baplism, p. 243. and Whithy on Matt. iii. 16.
tion on one side, with a corresponding engagement on the other, which in the case of an infant is impossible ; but it is also a vow, and as such can neither be pronounced by infants, por required of them. See Book II. Chap. iv, under the head of vows.
It is remarkable to what futile arguments those divines have recourse, who maintain the contrary opinion. They allege, Matt. xix. 14. suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.* It appears however that they were not brought to him for the purpose of being baptized ; v. 13. “then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them and pray ;' neither did Christ baptize them, but only put his hands on them, y. 15. Mark x. 16. he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. Seeing then that they were neither brought to Christ to be baptized, nor, when received, were actually baptized by him, it is impossible to admit the sophistical inference, that they were properly qualified for baptism ; or, which is still more difficult to conceive, that not little children merely, but infants, are so qualified. For if competent to be baptized, they are competent on the same grounds to be partakers of the Lord's Supper. Let the church therefore receive infants which come unto her, after the example of Christ, with imposition of hands and benediction, but not with baptism. Again, they remind us, that of such is the kingdom of heaven. Is this to be understood of all without distinction, or only of such as shall subsequently believe? How per
† See Beveridge on the Twenty-serenth Article.
fectly soever God may know them that are his, the church does not know them ; what they are in the sight of God is one thing, and what they are by church privilege is another. It must mean, therefore, of such in respect of simplicity and innocence; whereas neither simplicity nor innocence, although they may be predicated of little children, can properly be attributed to infants, who have not as yet the faculty of reason: neither does it follow, that because any one is an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven, he is therefore admissible to every religious sacrament; or that, because he is included in the covenant, he has therefore the right of participating in such signs and seals of that covenant as demand the exercise of mature faith and reason. For the thing signified in the Supper of the Lord appertains no less to infants than the thing signified in baptism; and yet infants are not admitted to the former rite, although they were admitted to the passover, which held the same place in the former dispensation as the Lord's Supper in the present. Hence, by the way, we may perceive how weak it is to reason as follows: baptism has succeeded to circumcision; but infants were circumcised, therefore infants are to be baptized : seeing that it is equally certain that the Lord's Supper has succeeded to the passover, notwithstanding which, infants, who were admitted to the latter rite, are not admitted to the former.
They argue, again, that as it is said we were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea,' 1 Cor. x. 2. infants must be included in the general expression. I answer, that all did eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual