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needful to have your children baptized in order to bring them into the Abrahamic covenant of grace, just ask the teacher to explain himself, and show you if he nieans that baptizing the infant brings it into the corenant of redemption, which is between the persons of the Godhead, and made with no man; or into the covenant of circumcision, (Gen. xvii. 9--14,) which had no promise of salvation, and belongs exclusively to the Jews; or into the covenant of grace made with Abraham, (Gen. xii. 1-4,) and with all other saints at the time of regeneration, and with no others. A few such questions would unravel the ambiguity of their teaching, and learn them to talk philosophically.
SECTION İv. The Covenant of Circumcision. I. This covenant is found recorded in the 17th chapter of Genesis. Some of our pedobaptist brethren esteem it the foundation of infant baptism. However, it is a well known fact that some whole churches have renounced infant baptism, other churches are awfully divided, others agree to let each member do as he feels inclined; thus acting on what is called the accommodation plan. But, if the rite is from God, and so vastly important, as they say it is, how can the church license her meinbers to neglect it? There is no middle ground; infant baptism is wrong, or it is right. Many contend that it is right, and say that it had its origin in this covenant. Therefore, we will review the argument. :
II. The Covenants of Grace and Circumcision not the same.-The Presbyterian Confession of Faith, after extolling the Abrahamic covenant, page 38, says, "There are not, therefore, two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under different dispensations." I cheerfully admit that the covenant of grace existed in Abraham's day. Hence the apostle says, “The Scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Gal. iii. 8. But I positively deny its being the same as the covenant of circumcision. A man may be under two or more sets of law at the same time. As a citizen of New Haven, I am under its corporation laws. At the same time I am under the laws of this State, of the United States, and the laws of God; but who will say, therefore, that these laws are one ? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Isaiah and Daniel were in the covenant of grace. They were also in the covenant of circumcision, but this does not prove these covenants one. Christ, the evangelists and apostles were in the covenant of circumcision, and at the same time in the gospel. This does not prove them both the same. The fact is that the covenants of grace and circumcision are as distinct as the gospel and the law of Mo-' ses. The Jews attempted to identify them, but Paul labored to keep a line of demarcation plain between them, while writing to the Hebrews, Romans, Galatians and others. See Gal. v. 2–6: 1 Cor. vii. 19: Rom. iv. 9, 10: iri. 1, 2: ii. 25 : Acts xvi, 1.-3: Col. iii. 11: 1 Cor. yii. 18.
Circumcision was a national mark; and a man might be in the covenant of grace and be circumcised, or he might be circumcised and not be in the covenant of grace; for they are not only separable, but in fact never were identified, although they might meet in the same subject.
Wm. F. Hamilton says: “Nor is this covenant the same as the covenant of grace; i. e. it does not convey a promise of salvation to Abraham and the specified seed, in this covenant, nor to either of them. Of
this covenant circumcision was the original seal. Now we all know that to whomsoever any covenant or contract is sealed, that seal actually secures to him the full benefit of all the stipulations contained in that covenant. If, then, this covenant be the same as the covenant of grace, since circumcision was God's seal, not man's, then every circumcised person must have been INFALLIBLY sure of salvation. The ancient Jews held this opinion, but the language of Christ and the apostles has taught us differently."--Anabaptisin Disproved, p. 19.
III. The Subjects of Circumcision.-"And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin." Gen. xvii. 11. This makes it binding on Abraham, and no other. Hence the law has to be enlarged: "Every man child in your generation." ver. 12. Here is authority to circumcise his children. “He that is born in thy house or bought with thy money."." This opens a larger door; for (Gen. xiv. 14,) Abraham had three hundred and eighteen soldiers, able to bear arms, all born in his house. And, from this time forward, he was to circumcise all others who were thus born or bought. This is the extent of the law; and, whether they were saints or infidels, if they sustained the above relations they must be circumcised. In the npostolic age there were some Judaizing teachers who fell into the same mistake which modern pedobaptists entertain; i. e. that being circumcised was making a profession of religion, and that the gentiles as well as the Jews were bound to attend to it. In the 15th chapter of Acts,we are informed that Paul and Barnabas brought tidings to Jerusalem that many of the gentiles were converted : verses 5, 6, 6 There arose up certain of the sect of the pharisees who believed, saying that it was needful to circumcise them and command them to keep the law of Moses; and the apostles came together to consider this matter." After der liberation upon the question, they came to this result; (verses 28, 29, “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you (gentile converts,) no greater burden than these necessary things: that ye abstain from meats offered to idols; from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication : From which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” They arrived at this conclusion because circumcision was never binding on the gentiles, and because to the Jews it was never abrogated. For Christ was circumcised; (Luke ii. 21,) and all the Jews, whether believers or infidels, continued the practice: “This, therefore, is what Herodotus saith, that the Syrians which are in Palestine are circumcised, but there are no inhabitants of Palestine circumcised excepting the Jews.-- Josephus against Apion, book 1, sec. 22.
IV. Is circumcision the same to all who receive it that it was to Abraham ?--| wish to consider this question, because pedobaptists say that " circumcision, and baptism its substitute, is the seal of the covenant of grace; it was so to Abraham, and is so to all who receive it;" and to sustain themselves quote Rom. iv. 11:.“And he received the sign of circumcision ; A seal of the righteousness of his faith which he had yet being uncircumcised.” But it is evident that circumcision or baptism could not be a seal of the righteousness of the faith of an infant eight days old. The gentile proselyte could not claim the promises made to Abraham, Gen. xvii. 6: “I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.” But he could claim, Gen. xvii. 8: "I will give unto thee and unto thy seed after thee, the land,” &c., which Abraham could not claim, Acts vii. 5: “And he gave him (Abraham) no inheritance in it; no, not so much as to set his foot on." See Gen. xxiii. 4-20.
MR. Cowles says, “That which St. Paul meant by calling circumcision the seal of the righteousness of his faith, is simply this: That the promptitude and cheerfulness with which he received and obeyed this self-denying duty was a seal, or token, or confirming evidence of the sincerity of his faith.”
"It appears to be conceded by pedobaptists, that there were peculiarities belonging to the covenant with Abraham, although it be considered as the covenant of grace, and that it is not made with other believers in the same form, or to the same extent. Indeed, this is too obvious to be denied. But these peculiar items are called appendages to the covenant of grace, i. e. something added or annexed to it.
“But this notion is manifestly without a foundation. They were not appendages to the Abrahamic covenant, but component and essential parts of it, as much so as any item of any covenant, or will, or deed, whatever, belongs to the instrument itself, and distinguishes it from all other covenants, wills or deeds.
.“ This covenant, therefore, when properly analyzed and defined, does not contain any premises from which the baptism of believers can be justly inferred, in as much as Abraham's case was peculiar, and the same covenant is not made with other believers, especially with gentile believers; and in as much as baptism, provided it be designed to answer any of the ends of circumcision, cannot be pretended to answer all of them; nor can it be considered as a seal of the same covenant.”—J. Chadwick's Essay on Baptism, page 110.
V. The Design of Circumcision.
1. Circumcision was designed for a bond of union, to keep the Jews separate from other nations, Gen. xxxiv. 14: “We can not do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised.” Deut. vii. 3: