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is calculated to inspire us with christian orthy communicants at the Lord's table, vine as the visible pledge of their personal efits of the atonement, particularly the pardon itth. 26: 28, for the remission of sins. See $ 24, αιμα περι πολλων (υπερ υμων) εκχυνομενον, many (for you). Luke 22: 19. 1 Cor. 11: 24, ιων διδομενον (κλωμενον) body given for you (bro
Thus Irenaeus in speaking of this subject, uses the following language : “Omnes venit (Christus) per semetipsum salvare, omnes, qui per eum renascuntur in Deum, infantes, et parvulos, et pueros, et juvenes, et seniores," i. e. “Christ came to bestow salvation upon all men, upon all who are dedicated to God in baptism, who are regenerated unto God, whether they be infants, or youths, or aged persons.” Schroeckh, in his “history of the christian church,” (Pt. III. ed. 2. p. 203 &c.) remarks, that the word renasci commonly signifies baptism in the writings of Irenaeus and Justin, and adduces other proof of the early existence of pedobaptism. Wall's History of infant baptism, which was translated into Latin by Schlosser, with notes, deserves particular attention on this subject, Pt. I. ch. III. See also Suicer's Thesaurus (Tom. I. p. 647); Bingham's Origines ecclesiasticae (L. XI. c. 4), and Seiler's Theolog. dogm. polem. (p. 609).
V. Baptism was instituted in place of circumcision.We find that baptism was compared to circumcision, even as early as the days of the apostles, as is evident from Col. 2: 11 &c. περιετμηθητε εν τη περιτομη του Χριστου-συνταφεντες αυτο εν τω βαπτισματι in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision of Christ-being buried with him in baptism &c. In the Dialogue of Justin with Trypho the Jew (edit. Colon. p. 261), we find the following passage : “ We have not received bodily circumcision, but spiritual circumcision through baptism; and all are equally at liberty to receive this ordinance, traow οφελον ομοιως λαμβανειν.” It is evident from another passage (p. 241), which treats of the fact that females were not circumcised, that the meaning of this sentence is, that baptism is of
1 Contra Haereses, L. II. c. 22. 8 4.
2 For a clear and satisfactory proof of this point, the reader may consult the learned Dr. Mosheim's Sittenlehre, Tom. II. p. 89. III. p. 275. and Wall's Hist. of Baptism, Tom. I. p. 38.
much more extended application than corporeal circumcision, which was performed only on males; that this ordinance is to be performed, not only on the male part of the race (which includes children), but also on all, without exception, even on females (as to children there is not even any question). It is, moreover, evident, from the nature of the case, that in the institution of baptism, Christ had a reference to circumcision, just as he had to the Passover, in the institution of the Holy Supper (s 109. Ill. 4). Just as instead of the Paschal supper, which was a new ordinance under the old covenant, and was instituted in commemoration of the cardinal 1 blessing bestowed by God on his people, at the time when the Passover was celebrated the first time 2-just as instead of this Paschal supper the Lord introduced the Holy Supper, as a new ordinance under the new covenant, in commemoration of that chief blessing which was given to his new people at the time when it was first celebrated ;3 so also did he introduce a rite, which had been known before, and by which persons were to be admitted to the new people of God, and set apart for christian instruction, instead of the more ancient ceremony, which had existed previously to the time of Moses, 4 and by which, according to the command of Moses, the members of God's ancient people were to be set apart for instruction in the doctrine and precepts of Moses. 6
VI. The testimony of Origen on this subject, is found in his Comment. in Epist. ad Rom. 6:5--7. Tom. III. fol. 178,
1 Ex. 20: 2, “ I am Jehovah, thy God, who brought thee out of Egypt;"> with these words the publication of the Law begins. 2 Ex. 12: 17, 14, 24–27.
3 1 Cor. 11: 23. Luke 22: 20-22. 4 John 1: 25-28. 3: 22. Comp. ( 109. Ill. 4. 5 John 7: 22, 23. Lev. 12: 3.
6 Gal. 5: 3, " Every one that is circumcised, is bound to fulfil the law." Rom. 2: 25. John 9: 28.
Paris. 1512. (Compare Melancthon's Loci Theolog. p. 447, Leips. 1556.) “ Hence there was a tradition derived from the apostles, that children also ought to be baptized. For those to whom the divine mysteries were entrusted, well knew that the contaminations of sin were really found in all, which ought to be removed by water and the Spirit.”l Wall justly remarks, that this testimony of Origen derives double weight from the circumstance that he was descended from christian parents, as well as from the fact that he possessed the most extensive acquaintance with the christian church in all the different countries.
VII. No ancient author ever charged infant baptism with being an innovation.--It can by no means be inferred from the celebrated passage of Tertullian on infant baptism (De Baptismo, c. 18), that the custom took its rise at that time. The remark of Teller (sup. cit. p. 258), “ that Tertullian, who lived so near the age of the apostles, would scarcely have spoken against the practice, if it had been of apostolic origin," is not conclusive. Otherwise, we should likewise have to infer from the same passage, that the baptism of unmarried persons, had also been deferred previously to the days of Tertullian, and had not been hastened until his time. For, he dissuades them from administering baptism, not only to children, but also (non minore de causa) to all persons in single life. He admits that it is customary in the christian church to baptize infants, when he laments that “the age of innocence (infancy) hastens to obtain pardon of sins," (Quid festinat innocens aetas ad remissionem peccatorum ?) And he does not allege that infant baptism was a recent custom, but supports his advice by arguments drawn from his particular ideas of the importance of the ordinance of baptism, and of the situation of the subjects on whom it is administered. Schlosser, in a note appended to his transla-tion of the passage of Wall (sup. cit. c. IV. ♡ VIII, IX) referring to this subject, remarks, that as Tertullian attributed so high an importance to apostolical tradition, he would undoubtedly have referred to it in support of his opinion in this case, if he had not known that pedobaptism was customary in the earlier ages. The position above maintained, also derives additional confirmation from the fact, that the authority of Tertullian, and the arguments which he addueed against infant baptism, which would easily have produced a change in the custom, if it had been of recent origin, produced not the least effect on this ancient rite; and that, at the time when the question was agitated, “Whether the custom of baptizing children on the second or third day after their birth, should be preserved; or whether, in allusion to circumcision, they ougḥt not to be baptized before the eighth day ?" not a single bishop in Africa, not even Cyprian (Epist. LXIV), who was so partial to Tertullian's views, even mentioned the opinion of Tertullian, or hinted that a minister had lately lived at Carthage, who not only entertained different views as to the proper time for the baptism of children, but who rejected infant baptism altogether. Finally, our position derives additional proof also from the case of the Pelagians (in the fifth century). They found it very difficult to reconcile infant baptism with their doctrines; and, if they had been able to assail the custom, would undoubtedly have done so.
1 “ Itaque et ecclesia ab apostolis traditionem accepit, etiam parvulis dare baptismum. Sciebant enim illi, quibus secreta divinorum mysteriorum commendata fuerunt, quod inessent in omnibus genuiņae sordes peo cati, quae per aquam et Spiritum aboleri deberent."
But they defended themselves with the utmost zeal against the charge of slighting infant baptism, pronounced it false with the greatest displeasure ; but never thought of alleging that the custom was not of apostolical authority.
1 See the view of the history of infant baptism during the first three centuries, given in Münscher's Dogmengeschichte, Vol. 2, p. 341-353.