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THE NEW YORK
1899. SOME perfon, acquainted with miy defigita announced in a publick News-Paper, in the beginning of the last summer, my intention to publish a Treatise on the Subjects and Modes of Baptifm. The work was then commenced, but its completion and publication have been greatly retarded by the prevalence of Sickness and Mor. tality, within the limits of the Parish with which I ane connected.
Distrid of Massachusetts, to wit : BE E it remembered, that on the Twenty-sixth day of Marck
in the thirtieth Year of the Independence of the United States of America, John Reed, of the said District, hath deposited in this Office the Title of a Book the Right whereof he claims as Author in the words following, to wit ; " An Apol
ogy for the Rite of Infant Baptism and for the usual modes " of Baptising-in which an attempt is made to state fairly “ and clearly the arguments in proof of these do&rines ; and “ also to'refute the objections and reasonings alleged against “ them by the Rev. Daniel Merrill and by the Baptists in gen. “ eral. By John REED, D. D. Paftor of a Church and Con“gregation in Bridgewater."
În conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “ An AA for the encouragement of Learning,
by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the * Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during the times " therein mentioned ;” and also to an Ad entitled, “ An Aut I « supplementary to an Ad, entitled an Ad for the encourage
ment of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts " and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies 1 “ during the times therein mentioned ; and extending the ben“ efits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching “ historical and other prints.” N. GOODALE, Clerk of the District of Massachusetts. A true copy of Record.
Attest, N GOODALE, Clenko
respectable Friends and Acquaintance, I now present the Publick with an Apology for the Rite of infaut Baptism, and for the ufual modes of baprizing. My intention is to show, that these Do&rines, which have been so strenuously opposed, or wholiy neg. lected by some, are of great importance, and clearly authorised in the sacred scriprures.
Although the understanding ought always to control and regulate the pafbons, yet in common experience, we often see the reverse. We see reason dethroned and enfaved. The passions predominate and draw alide rational creatures into such opinions and practices as are unreafonable and immoral.
Many persons, who prosess a regard for moral obligation, and the great duties of morality, are ready to imagine that they may with the utmost safety and propriety, treat with indifference or contempt, those institutions of Heaven, which are of a positive and facrainental nature.
We readily admit that a competent degree of evidence is requisite, in order to convince us rationally, that an external Rite or Sacrament is of divine appoint
ment; but voluntary ignorance or unbelief, through inattention, prejudice, pride, or any other criminal defeat or cause, will never excuse us from guilt.
A sincere and prevailing disposition to know the will of God, and to obey his requirements, whether of a positive or moral nature, is effential to true holiness. That person, therefore, who considers and treats positive institutions, in a contemptuous or negligent manner, commits a crime of the most heinous and daring nature.
He impiously arraigns the Wisdom, Goodness, and Authority, of Almighty God.
“ Sacraments are positive Rites, and in " themselves different from moral virtues ; " but a difpofition to obey God and Chrift,
is a moral virtue, and there can be no mo. Có rality without it. To obey the divine s6 Commands, is a moral excellency, al" though that obedience may consist in a “ conformity to positive Rites.”
Abraham was commanded to facrifice his Son. This was an unnatural and positive order; but his obedience to that hard command, was a moral virtue of a most exalted and excellent nature. The Ifraelites were commanded to sprinkle the blood of the paschal Lamb, upon the posts of their doors. This was a positive order, and not in itself necessary to their preservation; but it was made the indispensable condition of being spared. They who neglected to comply, were exposed to the fatal and inevita.. ble stroke of the destroying Angel.
Institutes of a positive nature are evidently important; and to observe them, is our incumbent duty. The Christian Baptison is an ordinance of great importance ; instituted by Christ himself, and constituted the discriminating Token of regular admisfion into his visible Kingdom.
Christians of every denomination, will allow that our Saviour expressly commanded his Apostles to baptize ; and that baptism was administered by them, and by their successors, in the times of primitive Chris. tianity.
The Quakers are the only see who pretend that the ordinances of Water Baptism and of the Lord's Supper, ought to be dis; continued. Their principles and practice in these respects are fingular and strange, but not unaccountable; for they hold that the Spirit of God is of higher authority than his Word, and a superior rule of faith and pracice.
I have not, however, in the following Apology, undertaken to confute the Quaker system. My sole object has been, to vindicate the doctrine of infant baptism, and the usual modes of baptizing, by endeavouring to state in a fair and conspicuous manner, the arguments in favour of these practices;
and by attempting to answer and confute the objections and reasonings alleged against them, by Mr. Merrill, and the principal Baptist writers.
The work is divided into four principal parts.
The 1st Part has reference to the subjects of Baptism.
The 2d Part has reference to the Modes of Baptizing
The 3d Part is a brief account of the evidence resulting from history, and especially in proof of the right, of the infant children of believing parents, to baptisın.
The 4th Part is an Appendix, confifting of familiar questions and answers, adapted to persons of different prejudices and capaci. ries, and suited to the present state and circumstances of the controversy.
In executing this plan, I have expressed my thoughts with respect to three of the former parts, in a series of letters addressed to the Rev. DANIEL MERRILL, now the Paltor of a Baptist Church in Sedgwick.
I have preferred the epistolary method of writing, supposing it would be the most interesting and intelligible. I have addressed there letters to Mr. Merrill, because that gentleman, having been a Congregational Minister for several years, has of late alter. ed his principles and practice, and has pub. lished a number of fernions, &c. against the