Sivut kuvina

Chrysostom, born of Christian parents in the year three hundred and forty-seven, was not baptized till near twenty-one years of age. Grotius, in Dupin's Eccles. History.


Augustine, the son of the virtuous Monica, being instructed in of his age. the faith, was not baptized till about the thirtieth Ambrose, born of Christian parents, remained instructed in Christian principles, and was unbaptized till he was chosen bishop of Milan. Jerome, born of Christian parents, was baptized when about thirty years old. Nectarius was made bishop of Constantinople before he was baptized. It seems the doctrine of Fidus, concerning dipping, or sprinkling of children, was new, and seemed strange to Cyprian; seeing he could not ratify, nor confirm the same, the sentence and advice of sixty-six bishops. Had it been commanded by Christ, practised by the Apostles, and continued in matter and manner to Cyprian's days, there had not been a necessity for the concourse of so many bishops concerning the same. Lawson's Baptismalogia.


I conclude, therefore, that Pædo-baptism cannnot be certainly proved to have been practised before the times of Tertullian: and that there were persons in his age who desired their infants might be baptized, especially when they were afraid of their dying without baptism: which opinion Tertullian opposed, and by so doing he intimates that Pædo-baptism began to prevail. These are the things that may be affirmed with apparent certainty, concerning the antiquity of infant baptism, after the times of the apostles; but more

are maintained without solid foundation.

Venema, Hist. Eccles.

The Sacrament of baptism was administered in this (the second) century, without the public assemblies, in places appointed, and prepared for that purpose, and was performed by immersion of the

whole body in the baptismal font.

There were, doubtless, several circumstantial rites and ceremonies observed in the administration of this sacrament, for the sake of order and decency. Of these, however, it is not easy, nor perhaps possible, to give a certain or satisfactory account; since, upon t


subject, we are too much exposed to the illusion which arises from confounding the customs of the primitive times with those of succeeding ages. Mosheim's Eccles. Hist.

It was well observed by Dr. Mayo, that all great errors and evils in the Christian Church had but small beginnings." And in no one instance, perhaps, was it ever more verified than in this.

That some humble individual, perhaps some bishop, presbyter, or pastor of a church, in the dark and persecuted age of the second century, should erroneously interpret a passage of scripture, according to his own views: and that this little spark of error should be blown into a flame by the spirit of Antichrist, and become a standing article in half the churches of the Christian world, is a matter of no small astonishment.

For thus we find it stated by the following churches in their creeds and formulas, that baptism and the Lord's supper are absolutely necessary to salvation.

Thus, then, the Church of Rome, when speaking by the council of Trent: "If any one shall say that baptism is not necessary to salvation, let him be accursed. Sin, whether contracted by birth, from our first parents, or committed of ourselves, by the admirable virtue of this sacrament is remitted and pardoned. In baptism, not only sins are remitted, but also all the punishments of sins and wickedness are graciously pardoned of God. By virtue of this sacrament, we are not only delivered from those evils which are truly said to be the greatest of all; but also we are enriched with the best and most excellent endowments. For our souls are filled with divine grace, whereby being made just and the children of God, we are trained up to be heirs of eternal salvation also. To this is added a most noble train of all virtues, which, together with grace, is poured of God into the soul. By baptism we are joined and knit to Christ, as members to the head. By baptism we are signed with a character which can never be blotted out of our soul. Besides the other things which we obtain by baptism, it opens to every one of us the gate of heaven, which before through sin was shut." Church of Rome.


We believe that baptism is a sacrament appointed by the Lord, which except a person receive, he has no communion with Christ; from whose death, burial, and resurrection, proceed all the virtue and efficacy of baptism. We are certain, therefore, that both original and actual sin is forgiven to those who are baptized in the manner which our Lord requires in the gospel; so that whoever is washed" in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the "Holy Ghost," is regenerated, cleansed, and justified.

Greek Church.

To be baptized in the name of Christ, is to be enrolled, entered, and received into the covenant and family, and so into the inherit ance of the sons of God: yea, and in this life to be called after the `name of God; that is to say, to be called the sons of God, to be purged also from the filthiness of sins, and to be endued with the manifold grace of God, for to lead a new and innocent life.

Confession of Helvetia.

We believe that whatsoever by baptism is in the outward ceremony signified and witnessed, all that doth the Lord God perform inwardly. That is, that he washeth away sin, begetteth a man again, and bestoweth salvation upon him. For the bestowing of these excellent fruits was holy baptism given and granted to the


of God is offered.

Confession of Bohemia. Concerning baptism they teach, that it is necessary to salvation, as a ceremony ordained of Christ: also, that by baptism the grace Confession of Augsburg. I baptize thee; that is, I do witness that by this dipping thy sins are washed away, and that thou art now received of the true God, Confession of Saxony,

We believe and confess, that baptism is that sea, into the bottom

whereof, as the prophet saith, God doth cast all our sins. Confession of Wittemburg. As touching baptism, we confess that it is the font of regeneration, washeth away sins, and saveth us. But all these things we do so understand, as St. Peter doth interpret them, 1 Pet, iii, 21.

Confession of Sueveland.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Before baptism, the minister is to use some words of instruction, showing that it is instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ; that it is a seal of the covenant of grace, of our ingrafting into Christ, and of our union with him; of remission of sins, regeneration, adoption, and life eternal. Westminster Assembly.

Baptism, wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven. How many sacraments bath Christ ordained in bis Church? Two only, as generally necessary to salvation; that is to say, baptism and the supper of the Lord. ·Church of England.

Thus we find it stated by our Protestant Church, in 1827, that every one who is baptized is made "a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." If this be true, then what a strange scene must the kingdom of Christ present! Look at our streets, our lanes and alleys! Contemplate the midnight scenes of this metropolis! Look at our prisons, &c. &c. Yet all these persons have been baptized, and (according to the above statement) made members of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven!

We have already stated that this error had its origin in the church at Carthage, in the latter end of the second century, and with it came also many others; such as infant communion, the arian heresy, &c. But "the mystery of iniquity," which had been secretly working since the days of the apostles, had nevertheless been subject to considerable controul, so long as Paganism remained the religion of the state. But no sooner was this impediment removed by the establishment of Christianity under Constantine the Great, than "the man of sin" began to be manifest. Men were now found professing themselves followers of Christ, yet walking after the course of this world, lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. 2 Tim. iii. 3, 4,

And when the influence of the secular power became an engine of the priests, and to be exercised by them, it need not be a matter of 3 U


much surprise that the progress of errror became exceeding rapid, in converting the religion of Christ into a system of spiritual tyranny, superstition, and hypocrisy; and it progressively increased, until it ultimately brought forth that sink of iniquity, denominated Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of harlots and abominations of the earth;" (Rev. xvii. 5.) “ the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit ;-the cage of every unclean and hateful bird." Rev. xviii. 2.

The error now under consideration also increased and kept pace with other enormities and superstitions of the church. Immersion continued until about the year 600, when in the reign of Gregory the Great it became more fashionable to sprinkle; and so fond were the priests of this practice, that they sprinkled almost every thing; they sprinkled their children before they were born, and after they were dead; they sprinkled all the utensils in their temples, the bells, &c.; they also sprinkled their horses, mules, and asses, once every year.†

The present form of baptizing infants in the Catholic church is

as follows:

When a child is to be baptized, the persons who bring it wait for the priest at the door of the church, who comes thither in his sur

* The Romish Church allows midwives, in cases of danger, to baptize a child before it comes entirely out of its mother's womb: where it is to be observed, that some part of the body of the child must appear before it can be baptized, and that it is baptized on the part which first appears. If it be the head, it is not necessary to rebaptize the child; but if only a foot or hand appears, it is necessary to repeat baptism. A still-born child, thus

baptized, may be buried in consecrated ground.

Encyc. Britan.-Art. Baptism.

"The benediction of horses, says Middleton, is always celebrated with much solemnity in the month of January, when all the inhabitants of the city and neighbourhood send up their horses, asses, &c. to the Convent of St. Anthony, near St. Mary the Great; where a priest in his surplice at the church door sprinkles with his brush all the animals singly, as they are presented to him, and receives from each owner a gratuity proportionable to his zeal and ability. Amongst the rest, I had my own horses blest at the expence of about eighteen-pence of our money; as well to satisfy my own curiosity, as to humour the Dr. Middleton's Conformity of Ancient and Modern Ceremonies. I have been informed, by a person lately returned from Rome, that the same practice is continued to the present day; and so blinded are the inhabitants by priestcraft, that they believe the animals would die, or be subject to some accident, if they were not baptized


with holy water once every year.

« EdellinenJatka »