« السابقةمتابعة »
thought impossible the church should so early be igno. rant of, or vary from the practice of the apostles in so notorious an affair, as that of baptism, I will for once grant him that too; so that now the whole question is reduced to this, whether it can be proved from authentic pieces of the primitive fathers, that the church used infant baptism in those earliest times ?” Here the question, so far as relates to historic evidence, is fairly brought before us. Let witnesses decide it. That there may be no debate respecting authentic pieces, we, on our part, will yield so far as to dispense with the testimony of Origen; because it is objected that it comes to us only by a bad translation of Ruff.
Let equally explicit testimony be produced against infant baptism, as our other witnesses offer for it; and let traditionary practice from age to age, to the present day, be shewn to declare as fully against, as we have shewn that it does for it, and we will give up the argument from history,
A friend who has obliged me by reviewing the fore. going sheets, has suggested the probability that some of the persons mentioned in page 167, as native Jews, were Proselytes. The probability I do not refuse to admit. But the reader will perceive, that even if this could be proved, it would not in the least enfee. ble the argument.
The same friend has suggested, that I shall be liable to be misapprehended in what is said at the top of page 174. An objection here, however, I think can result from nothing but a disposition to cavil. To preclude cavilling, I observe, that I do not mean that the vine and the olive tree are parallel figures, as representing precisely the same thing ; but in regard to unity of object, and the principle upon which they are to be explained. I had rejected Dr. Baldwin's construction, that the olive tree was designed to represent Christ, personally and separately considered. The reader will not understand me, as here conceding what had been before rejected.
Another friend, after going over the work, has made the following remark in a letter. “ That Christ will appear on the earth at the commencement of the Mil. lennium, is what I very much doubt.” This observation leads me to suspect that my readers will, from . some passage, take that to be my belief. This is not cxactly the idea I have meant to convey. That Christ will, according to the opinion of the ancient Millenarians, hold a personal reign on earth, I do not as yet discover any decisive proof. But that what the scripture intends by his appearing, or second coming will take place about the time that the Millennium shall com. mence, is I think plainly a doctrine of scripture. Perhaps such evidence might be produced in favor of this hypothesis, as a candid mind would deem conclusive,