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Or an aid to reflection in the forming of a sound judgment respecting the purport and purpose of the Baptismal rite and a just appreciation of its value and importance.

A born and bred Baptist, and paternally descended from the old orthodox non-conformists, and both in his own and in his father's right a very dear friend of mine, had married a member of the National Church. In consequence of an anxious wish expressed by his lady for the Baptism of their first child, he solicited me to put him in possession of my views respecting this controversy: though principally as to the degree of importance which I attached to it. For as to the point itself, his natural prepossession in favor of the persuasion in which he was born, had been confirmed by a conscientious examination of the arguments on both sides. As the comment on the preceding Aphorism, or rather as an expansion of its subject-matter, I will give the substance of the conversation: and amply shall I have been remunerated, should it be read with the interest and satisfaction with which it was heard. More particularly, should any of my readers find themselves under the same or similar circumstances.

Our discussion is rendered shorter and more easy by our perfect agreement in certain preliminary points. We both disclaim alike every attempt to explain any thing into Scripture, and every attempt to explain any thing out of Scripture. Or if we regard either with a livelier aversion it is the latter, as being the more fashionable and prevalent. I mean the practice of both high and low Grotian divines to explain away positive 284 assertions of Scripture on the pretext, that the literal sense is not agreeable to reason, that is, their particular reason. And inasmuch as (in the only right sense of the word) there is no such thing as a particular reason, they must, and in fact they do, mean that the literal sense is not accordant to their understanding, that is, to the notions which their understandings have been taught and accustomed to form in their school of philosophy. Thus a Platonist who should become a Christian would at once, even in texts susceptible of a different interpretation, recognise, because he would expect to find, several doctrines which the disciple of the Epicurean or mechanic school will not receive on the most positive declarations of the divine word. And as we agree in the opinion that the Minimi-fidian party err grievously in the latter point, so I must concede to you, that too many Paedo-baptists (assertors of Infant Baptism) have erred, though less grossly, in the former. I have, I confess, no eye for these smoke-like wreaths of inference, this ever-widening spiral ergo from the narrow aperture of perhaps a single text; or rather an interpretation forced into it by construing an idiomatic phrase in an artless narrative with the same absoluteness, as if it had formed part of a mathematical problem. I start back from these inverted pyramids, where the apex is the base. If I should inform any one that I had called at a friend's house, but had found nobody at home, the family having all gone to the play; and if he on the strength of this information should take occasion to asperse my friend's wife for unmmotherly conduct in taking an infant six months old to a crowded theatre; would you allow him to press on the words "nobody" and "all the family," in justification of the slander? Would you not tell him, that the words were to be interpreted 285 by the nature of the subject, the purpose of the speaker, and their ordinary acceptation; and that he must or might have known, that infants of that age would not be admitted into the theatre? Exactly so, with regard to the words, he and all his household. Had Baptism of infants at that early period of the Gospel been a known practice, or had this been previously demonstrated,--then indeed the argument, that in all probability there were infants or young children in so large a family, would be no otherwise objectionable than as being superfluous, and a sort of anticlimax in logic. But if the words are cited as the proof, it would be a clear petitio principii, though there had been nothing else against it. But when we turn back to the Scriptures preceding the narrative, and find repentance and belief demanded as the terms and indispensable conditions of Baptism--then the case above imagined applies in its full force. Equally vain is the pretended analogy from Circumcision, which was no sacrament at all; but the means and mark of national distinction. In the first instance it was, doubtless, a privilege or mark of superior rank conferred on the descendants of Abraham. In the Patriarchal times this rite was confined (the first governments being theocracies) to the priesthood, who were set apart to that office from their birth. At a later period this token of the premier class was extended to kings. And thus, when it was re-ordained by Moses for the whole Jewish nation, it was at the time said--Ye are all priests and kings; ye are a consecrated people. In addition to this, or rather in aid of this, Circumcision was intended to distinguish the Jews by some indelible sign: and it was no less necessary that Jewish children should be recognisable as Jews than Jewish adults--not to mention the greater safety of the 286 rite in infancy. Nor was it ever pretended that any grace was conferred with it, or that the rite was significant of any inward or spiritual operation. In short, an unprejudiced and competent reader need only peruse the first thirty-three paragraphs of the eighteenth section of Taylor's Liberty of Prophesying; and then compare with these the remainder of the section added by him after the Restoration: those, namely, in which he attempts to overthrow his own arguments. I had almost said, affects; for such is the feebleness, and so palpable the sophistry, of his answers, that I find it difficult to imagine that Taylor himself could have been satisfied with them. The only plausible arguments apply with equal force to Baptist and Paedo-baptist; and would prove, if they proved any thing, that both were wrong, and the Quakers only in the right.

Now in the first place, it is obvious, that nothing conclusive can be drawn from the silence of the New Testament respecting a practice, which, if we suppose it already in use, must yet, from the character of the first converts, have been of comparatively rare occurrence; and which, from the predominant and more concerning objects and functions of the Apostolic writers (1 Cor. i, 17), was not likely to have been mentioned otherwise than incidentally, and very probably therefore might not have occurred to them to mention at all. But, secondly, admitting that the practice was introduced at a later period than that in which the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles were composed: I should yet be fully satisfied that the Church exercised herein a sound* discretion

*That every the least permissible form and ordinance, which at different times it might be expedient for the church to enact, are pre-enacted in the New Testament; and that whatever is not to be found there, ought to be allowed nowhere--this has been asserted. But that 287 On either supposition, therefore, it is never without regret that I see a divine of our Church attempting to erect forts on a position so evidently commanded by the strong-hold of his antagonists. I dread the use which the Socinians may make of their example, and the Papists of their failure. Let me not, however, deceive you. (The reader understands, that I suppose myself conversing with a Baptist). I am of opinion, that the divines on your side are chargeable with a far more grievous mistake, that of giving a carnal and Judaizing interpretation to the various Gospel texts in which the terms, baptism and baptize, occur, contrary to the express and earnest admonitions of the Apostle Paul. And this I say without in the least retracting my former concession, that the texts appealed to, as commanding or authorizing Infant Baptism, are all without exception made to bear a sense neither contained nor deducible: and likewise that (historically considered) there exists no sufficient positive evidence, that the Baptism of infants was instituted by the Apostles in the practice of the Apostolic age.*

It has been proved, or even rendered plausible; or that the tenet is not to be placed among the revulsionary results of the Scripture-slighting will-worship of the Romish Church; it will be more sincere to say I disbelieve, than that I doubt. It was chiefly, if not exclusively, in reference to the extravagances built on this tenet, that the great Selden ventured to declare, that the words, Scrutamini Scripturas, had set the world in an uproar.

Extremes appear to generate each other; but if we look steadily, there will most often be found some common error, that produces both as its positive and negative poles. Thus superstitions go by pairs, like the two Hungarian sisters, always quarrelling and inveterately averse, but yet joined at the trunk.

*More than this I do not consider as necessary for the argument. And as to Robinson's assertions in his History of Baptism, that Infant Baptism did not commence till the time of Cyprian, who, condemning it


Lastly, we both coincide in the full conviction, that it is neither the outward ceremony of Baptism, under any form or circumstances, nor any other ceremony, but such a faith in Christ as tends to produce a conformity to his holy doctrines and example in heart and life, and which faith is itself a declared mean and condition of our partaking of his spiritual body, and of being clothed upon with his righteousness,--that properly makes us Christians, and can alone be enjoined as an article of faith necessary to salvation, so that the denial thereof may be denounced as a damnable heresy. In the strictest sense of essential, this alone is the essential in Christianity, that the same spirit should be growing in us which was in the fulness of all perfection in Christ Jesus. Whatever else is named essential is such because, and only as far as, it is instrumental to this, or evidently implied herein. If the Baptists hold the visible rite to be indispensable to salvation, with what terror must they not regard every disease that befalls their children between youth and infancy! But if they are saved by the faith of the parent, then the outward rite is not essential to salvation, otherwise than as the omission should arise from a spirit of disobedience: and in this case it is the cause not the effect, the wilful and unbaptized heart, not

as a general practice, allowed it in particular cases by a dispensation of charity; and that it did not actually become the ordinary rule of the Church, till Augustine, in the fever of his Anti-Pelagian dispute had introduced the Calvinistic interpretation of Original Sin, and the dire state of infants dying unbaptized--I am so far from acceding to them, that I reject the whole statement as rash, and not only unwarranted by the authorities he cites, but unanswerably confuted by Baxter, Wall, and many other learned Paedo-baptists before and since the publication of his work. I confine myself to the assertion--not that Infant Baptism was not--but that there exist no sufficient proofs that it was--the practice of the Apostolic age. 289 the unbaptizing hand, that perils it. And surely it looks very like an inconsistency to admit the vicarious faith of the parents and the therein implied promise, that the child shall be Christianly bred up, and as much as in them lies prepared for the communion of saints--to admit this, as safe and sufficient in their own instance, and yet to denounce the same belief and practice as hazardous and unavailing in the Church--the same, I say, essentially, and only differing from their own by the presence of two or three Christian friends as additional securities, and by the promise being expressed!

But you, my filial friend! have studied Christ under a better teacher--the spirit of adoption, even the spirit that was in Paul, and which still speaks to us out of his writings. You remember and admire the saying of an old divine, that a ceremony duly instituted is a chain of gold around the neck of faith; but if in the wish to make it co-essential and consubstantial, you draw it closer and closer, it may strangle the faith it was meant to deck and designate. You are not so unretentive a scholar as to have forgotten the pateris et auro of your Virgil: or if you were, you are not so inconsistent a reasoner, as to translate the Hebraism, spirit and fire in one place by spiritual fire, and yet refuse to translate water and spirit by spiritual water in another place: or if, as I myself think, the different position marks a different sense, yet that the former must be ejusdem generis with the latter--the water of repentance, reformation in conduct; and the spirit that which purifies the inmost principle of action, as fire purges the metal substantially and not cleansing the surface only!

But in this instance, it will be said, the ceremony, the outward and visible sign, is a Scripture ordinance. I will not reply that the Romish Priest says the same of 290 the anointing of the sick with oil and the imposition of hands. No, my answer is: that this is a very sufficient reason for the continued observance of a ceremonial rite so derived and sanctioned, even though its own beauty, simplicity, and natural significancy had pleaded less strongly in its behalf. But it is no reason why the Church should forget that the perpetuation of a thing does not alter the nature of the thing, and that a ceremony to be perpetuated is to be perpetuated as a ceremony. It is no reason why, knowing and experiencing even in the majority of her own members the proneness of the human mind to** superstition, the Church might not rightfully and piously adopt the measures best calculated to check this tendency, and to correct the abuse to which it had led in any particular rite. But of superstitious notions respecting the Baptismal ceremony, and of abuse resulting, the instances were flagrant and notorious. Such, for instance, was the frequent deferring of the Baptismal rite to a late period of life, and even to the deathbed, in the belief that the mystic water would cleanse the baptized person from all sin and (if he died immediately after the performance of the ceremony,) send him pure and spotless into the other world.

Nor is this all. The preventive remedy applied by the Church is legitimated as well as additionally recommended by the following consideration. Where a ceremony answered and was intended to answer several purposes, which purposes at its first institution were blended in respect of the time, but which afterwards by change of circumstances (as when, for instance, a large

**Let me be permitted to repeat and apply the note in a former page. Superstition may be defined as superstantium (cujusmodi sunt ceremoniae et signa externa quae, nisi in significando nihili sunt paene nihil) substantiatio. 291 and ever-increasing proportion of the members of the Church, or those who at least bore the Christian name, were of Christian parents) were necessarily disunited--then either the Church has no power or authority delegated to her (which is shifting the ground of controversy) or she must be authorized to choose and determine, to which of the several purposes the ceremony should be attached. Now one of the purposes of Baptism was--the making it publicly manifest, first, what individuals were to be regarded by the World (Phil. ii, 15), as belonging to the visible communion of Christians: inasmuch as by their demeanour and apparent condition, the general estimation of the city set on a hill and not to be hid (Matt. v, 14,) could not but be affected--the city that even in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation was bound not only to give no cause, but by all innocent means to prevent every occasion, of rebuke. Secondly, to mark out, for the Church itself, those that were entitled to that especial dearness, that watchful and disciplinary love and loving-kindness, which over and above the affections and duties of philanthropy and universal charity, Christ himself had enjoined, and with an emphasis and in a form significant of its great and especial importance,--A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another. By a charity wide as sunshine, and comprehending the whole human race, the body of Christians was to be placed in contrast with the proverbial misanthropy and bigotry of the Jewish Church and people: while yet they were to be distinguished and known to all men, by the peculiar love and affection displayed by them towards the members of their own community; thus exhibiting the intensity of sectarian attachment, yet by the no less notorious and exemplary practice of the duties of universal benevolence, 292 secured from the charge so commonly brought against it, of being narrow and exclusive. "How kind these Christians are to the poor and afflicted, without distinction of religion or country: but how they love each other!

Now combine with this the consideration before urged--the duty, I mean, and necessity of checking the superstitious abuse of the Baptismal rite: and I then ask, with confidence, in what way could the Church have exercised a sound discretion more wisely, piously, or effectively, than by fixing, from among the several ends and purposes of Baptism, the outward ceremony to the purposes here mentioned? How could the great body of Christians be more plainly instructed as to the true nature of all outward ordinances? What can be conceived better calculated to prevent the ceremony from being regarded as other and more than a ceremony, if not the administration of the same on an object (yea, a dear and precious object) of spiritual duties, though the conscious subject of spiritual operations and graces only by anticipation! and in hope;--a subject unconscious as a flower of the dew falling on it, or the early rain, and thus emblematic of the myriads who (as in our Indian empire, and henceforward, I trust, in Africa) are temporally and even morally benefitted by the outward existence of Christianity, though as yet ignorant of its saving truth! And yet, on the other hand, what more reverential than the application of this the common initiatory rite of the East sanctioned and appropriated by Christ--its application, I say, to the very subjects, whom he himself commanded to be brought to him--the children in arms, respecting whom Jesus was much displeased with his disciples, who had rebuked those that brought them! What more expressive of the true character 293 of that originant yet generic stain, from which the Son of God, by his mysterious incarnation and agony and death and resurrection, and by the Baptism of the Spirit, came to cleanse the children of Adam, than the exhibition of the outward element to infants, free from and incapable of crime, in whom the evil principle was present only as potential being, and whose outward semblance represented the kingdom of Heaven? And can it--to a man, who would hold himself deserving of anathema maranatha (I Cor. xvi. 22), if he did not love the Lord Jesus Christ--can it be nothing to such a man, that the introduction and commendation of a new inmate, a new spiritual ward, to the assembled brethren in Christ--(and this, as I have shown above, was one purpose of the Baptismal ceremony) does in the Baptism of an infant recall our Lord's own presentation in the Temple on the eighth day after his birth? Add to all these considerations the known fact of the frequent exposure and the general light regard of infants, at the time when Infant Baptism is by the Baptists supposed to have been first ruled by the Catholic Church, not overlooking the humane and charitable motives that influenced Cyprian's decision in its favour. And then make present to your imagination, and meditatively contemplate the still continuing tendency, the profitable, the beautiful effects, of this ordinance now and for so many centuries back, on the great mass of the population throughout Christendom--the softening, elevating exercise of faith and the conquest over the senses, while in the form of a helpless crying babe the presence, and the unutterable worth and value, of an immortal being made capable of everlasting bliss are solemnly proclaimed and carried home to the mind and heart of the hearers and beholders! Nor will you forget the probable 294 influence on the future education of the child, the opportunity of instructing and impressing the friends, relatives and parents in their best and most docile mood. These are, indeed, the mollia tempora fandi.

It is true, that by an unforeseen accident, and through the propensity of all zealots to caricature partial truth into total falsehood--it is too true, that a tree the very contrary in quality of that shown to Moses (Exod. xv, 25), was afterwards cast into the sweet waters from this fountain, and made them like the water of Marah, too bitter to be drunk. I allude to the Pelagian controversy, the perversion of the article of Original Sin by Augustine, and the frightful conclusions which this durus pater infantum drew from the article thus perverted. It is not, however, to the predecessors of this African, whoever they were that authorized Paedo-Baptism, and at whatever period it first became general--it is not to the Church at the time being, that these consequences are justly imputable. She had done her best to preclude every superstition, by allowing, in urgent cases, any and every adult, man, and woman, to administer the ceremonial part, the outward rite, of Baptism: but reserving to the highest functionary of the Church (even to the exclusion of the co-presbyters) the more proper and spiritual purpose, namely, the declaration of repentance and belief, the free choice of Christ as his Lord, and the open profession of the Christian title by an individual in his own name and by his own deliberate act. This office of religion, the essentially moral and spiritual nature of which could not be mistaken, this most solemn office the Bishop alone was to perform.

Thus--as soon as the purposes of the ceremonial rite were by change of circumstances divided, that is, took place at different periods of the believer's life--to the 295 outward purposes, where the effect was to be produced on the consciousness of others, the Church continued to affix the outward rite; while to the substantial and spiritual purpose, where the effect was to be produced on the individual's own mind, she gave it beseeming dignity by an ordinance not figurative, but standing in the direct cause and relation of means to the end.

In fine, there are two great purposes to be answered, each having its own subordinate purposes, and desirable consequences. The Church answers both, the Baptists one only. If, nevertheless, you would still prefer the union of the Baptismal rite with the Confirmation, and that the presentation of infants to the assembled Church had formed a separate institution, avowedly prospective--I answer: first, that such for a long time and to a late period was my own judgment. But even then it seemed to me a point, as to which an indifference would be less inconsistent in a lover of truth, than a zeal to the separation in a professed lover of peace. And secondly, I would revert to the history of the Reformation, and the calamitous accident of the Peasants' War: when the poor ignorant multitude, driven frantic by the intolerable oppressions of their feudal lords, rehearsed all the outrages that were acted in our own times by the Parisian populace headed by Danton, Marat, Robespierre; and on the same outrageous principles, and in assertion of the same rights of brutes to the subversion of all the duties of men. In our times, most fortunately for the interests of religion and morality, or of their prudential substitutes at least, the name of Jacobin was everywhere associated with that of Atheist and Infidel. Or rather, Jacobinism and Infidelity were the two heads of the revolutionary Geryon--connatural mis-growths of the same monster-truck. In the German convulsion, on the 296 contrary, by a mere but most unfortunate accident, the same code of Caliban jurisprudence, the same sensual and murderous excesses, were connected with the name of Anabaptist. The abolition of magistracy, community of goods, the right of plunder, polygamy, and whatever else was fanatical, were comprised in the word Anabaptism. It is not to be imagined that the Fathers of the Reformation could, without a miraculous influence, have taken up the question of Infant baptism with the requisite calmness and freedom of spirit. It is not to be wished, that they should have entered on the discussion. Nay, I will go farther. Unless the abolition of Infant Baptism can be shown to be involved in some fundamental article of faith, unless the practice could be proved fatal or imminently perilous to salvation, the Reformers would not have been justified in exposing the yet tender and struggling cause of Protestantism to such certain and violent prejudices as this innovation would have excited. Nothing less than the whole substance and efficacy of the Gospel Faith was the prize, which they had wrestled for and won; but won from enemies still in the field, and on the watch to retake, at all costs, the sacred treasure, and consign it once again to darkness and oblivion. If there be a time for all things, this was not the time for an innovation, that would and must have been followed by the triumph of the enemies of Scriptural Christianity, and the alienation of the governments that had espoused and protected it.

Remember, I say this on the supposition of the question's not being what you do not pretend it to be, an essential of the Faith by which we are saved. But should it likewise be conceded that it is a disputable point--and that in point of fact it is and has been disputed by divines, whom no pious Christian of any denomination 297 will deny to have been faithful and eminent servants of Christ; should it, I say, be likewise conceded that the question of Infant Baptism is a point, on which two Christians, who perhaps differ on this point only, may differ without giving just ground for impeaching the piety or competence of either; in this case I am obliged to infer that the person who at any time can regard this difference as singly warranting a separation from a religious community, must think of schism under another point of view than that in which I have been taught to contemplate it by St. Paul in his Epistles to the Corinthians.

Let me add a few words on a diversity of doctrine closely connected with this;--the opinions of Doctors Mant and D'Oyly as opposed to those of the (so called) Evangelical clergy. "The Church of England (says Wall*) does not require assent and consent" to either

*Conference between two men that had doubts about Infant Baptism. By W. Wall, Author of the History of Infant Baptism, and Vicar of Shoreham in Kent. A very sensible little tract, and written in an excellent spirit; but it failed, I confess, in satisfying my mind as to the existence of any decisive proofs or documents of Infant Baptism haying been an Apostolic usage, or specially intended in any part of the New Testament: though deducible generally from many passages, and imperfect accordance with the spirit of the whole.

A mighty wrestler in the cause of spiritual religion and Gospel morality, in whom more than in any other contemporary I seem to see the spirit of Luther revived, expressed to me his doubts whether we have a right to deny that an infant is capable of a spiritual influence. To such a man I could not feel justified in returning an answer ex tempore, or without having first submitted my convictions to a fresh revisal. I owe him, however, a deliberate answer; and take this opportunity of discharging the debt.

The objection supposes and assumes the very point which is denied, or at least disputed--namely, that Infant Baptism is specially enjoined in the Scriptures. If an express passage to this purport had existed in the New Testament--the other passages, which evidently imply a spiritual 298 opinion "in order to lay communion." But I will suppose the person a minister: but minister of a Church which has expressly disclaimed all pretence to infallibity; a Church which in the construction of its Liturgy and Articles is known to have worded certain passages for the purpose of rendering them subscribable by both A and Z--that is, the opposite parties as to the points in controversy. I suppose this person's convictions those of Z, and that out of five passages there are three, the more natural and obvious sense of which is in his favour; and two of which, though not absolutely precluding a different sense, yet the more probable interpretation is in favour of A, that is, of those who do not consider the Baptism of an infant as prospective, but hold

operation under the condition of a preceding spiritual act on the part of the person baptized, remaining as now--then indeed, as the only way of removing the apparent contradiction, it might be allowable to call on the Anti-paedobaptist to prove the negative--namely, that an infant a week old is not a subject capable or susceptible of spiritual agency. And, vice versa, should it be made known to us, that infants are not without reflection and self-consciousness; then, doubtless, we should be entitled to infer that they were capable of a spiritual operation, and consequently of that which is signified in the Baptismal rite administered to adults. But what does this prove for those, who (as D. D. Mant and D'Oyly) not only cannot show, but who do not themselves profess to believe, the self-consciousness of a new-born babe, but who rest the defence of Infant Baptism on the assertion, that God was pleased to affix the performance of this rite to his offer of salvation, as the indispensable, though arbitrary, condition of the infant's salvability? As kings in former ages, when they conferred lands in perpetuity, would sometimes, as the condition of the tenure, exact from the beneficiary a hawk, or some trifling ceremony, as the putting on or off of their sandals, or whatever else royal caprice or the whim of the moment might suggest. But you, honored Irving, are as little disposed, as myself, to favor such doctrine!

Friend pure of heart and fervent! we have learnt

A different love. We may not thus profane

The idea and name of Him whose absolute will

Is reason, truth supreme, essential order!


it to be an opus operans et in praesenti. Then I say, that if such a person regards these two sentences or single passages as obliging or warranting him to abandon the flock entrusted to his charge, and either to join such as are the avowed enemies of the Church on the double ground of its particular constitution and of its being an establishment, or to set up a separate church for himself--I cannot avoid the conclusion, that either his conscience is morbidly sensitive in one speck to the exhaustion of the sensibility in a far larger portion; or that he must have discovered some mode, beyond the reach of my conjectural powers, of interpreting the Scriptures enumerated in the following excerpt from the popular tract before cited, in which the writer expresses an opinion, to which I assent with my whole heart: namely,

"That all Christians in the world that hold the same fundamentals ought to make one Church, though differing in lesser opinions; and that the sin, the mischief, and danger to the souls of men, that divide into those many sects and parties among us, does (for the most of them) consist not so much in the opinions themselves, as in their dividing and separating for them. And in support of this tenet, I will refer you to some plain places of Scripture, which if you please now to peruse, I will be silent the while. See what our Saviour himself says, John x, 16; John xvi, 11. And what the primitive Christians practised, Acts ii, 46, and iv, 32. And what St. Paul says, I Cor. i, 10, 11, 12, and 2, 3, 4, also the whole twelfth chapter: Eph. ii, 17, &c, to the end. Where the Jewish and Gentile Christians are showed to be one body, one household, one temple fitly framed together: and yet these were of different opinions in several matters. Likewise chap. iii 6, iv, 1-13. Phil. 300 ii, 1, 2, where he uses the most solemn adjurations to this purpose. But I would more especially recommend to you the reading of Gal. v, 20, 21. Phil. iii, 15, 15. The fourteenth chapter to the Romans, and part of the fifteenth, to verse 7, and also Rom. xv, 17.

Are not these passages plain, full, and earnest? Do you find any of the controverted points to be determined by Scripture in words nigh so plain or pathetic?"

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