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On the contrary, the persons they mention are so CHAP. II. many, and such noted persons; that, (if they be all year after allowed.) it is an argument that leaving children un-the ape baptized was no unusual, but a frequent and ordinary thing. For it is obvious to conclude, that if we ean in so remote an age trace the practice of so maar that did this; it is probable that a great maar more, of whose birth and baptism we do not real, did the like. This I will own, that it seems to me the argument of greatest weight of any that is brought on the antipædobaptists' side in this dispute about antiquity. And I believe the reader has observed in the places I have last quoted, that it is that which has most prevailed, both with Strabo and Vives, to think it was once the general practice to leare infants unbaptized; and with Grotius, bishop Taylor, and the others, to think it was once counted indifferent. It deserves therefore not to be s slightly passed over; but if one had time and opportunity, to be thoroughly examined.
The worst is, it is a business of a great deal of dust and tediousness, to search after the birth and parentage of so many men, (who, though they were eenspieuous persons yet many of them sprang from obscure originals) and not to be well done by any sbo has not a good library at hand. I have in my realing taken some observations of this matter, which I shall communicate in the next chapter.
Of those who are said to have been born of Christian Parent:
and yet not baptized till of Man's Age. Sect. I. An account of the Persons, and state of
their Case. CHAPUIT. I. THE instances of this that are common! Year after given, are the five emperors mentioned before by
Mr. Daillé, viz. Constantine, Constantius, Gratiai: Valentinian the Second, and Theodosius the First and also four noted persons of the Greek church, viz. St. Basil, St. Gregory Nazianzen, Nectarius, and St. Chrysostom; and three of the Latin, St. Ambrose. St. Hierome, and St. Austin. Mr. Tombes mention also Alypius and Adeodatus; one the friend, and the other the base son, of St. Austin : and both baptized at the same time with him.
Many of the pædobaptists make but weak answers to the argument that is drawn from the example of these men. They content themselves to say, that it was from some erroneous or corrupt principles, that many in those times thought fit to defer baptism a great while; and some till just before death : either that they might gain a longer time for their lusts, or because they thought that wilful sins committed after baptism could not be forgiven.
That many new converts did do this, is too plain ; and is a thing grievously complained of by the preachers of those times : and the granting of it to be true does not at all affect the question in hand; which is not, whether adult persons did defer their own baptism : but whether such adult persons as were come to a full resolution of being Christians,
and were accordingly baptized themselves, did use CHAPJU. to baptize their children in infancy or not.
And to grant this latter, that ther who were once baptized, the apodid frequently use to let their children grow up without baptism, is to weaken, in great measure, the argument for infant-baptism that is drawn from the pretice of these ancients. For if many did omit it, though upon erroneous grounds, the argument from the general practice is lost.
But some others have attempted a better answer, br shewing these instances, or some of them, to be mistakes: and that not all the persons mentioned were born of Christian parents; particularly Constantine and Austin have been excepted; as it was indeed easy to shew that those two ought to be. I shall make some particular search concerning each of them.
And the thing to be inquired concerning each of then, is;
Ist, Whether his baptism were delayed till years of age. And if so, then,
Quy, Whether his parents were baptized Christians at the time of his birth. I say, baptized : because it was, as I said before, a very common thing for men in those times to be Christians in their intention, and in their conscience, i. e. they were convinced that that was the truth, and did resolve some time or other to be baptized into it; and yet did put this off from time to time, (as lukewarm men do nowadays their repentance, or their receiving the other sacrament,) knowing that baptism would engage them to a very strict course of life. And in this state many lived for a long time after their conversion : being in some sense Christians,
FALL, VOL. II.
(HAPI i. e. they declared for that religion as the truth, Vem uftova they faroured it, they spoke for it, and in many
things lived according to the rules of it; but for all nila
that, were not as yet baptized, and so not accounted, in the phrase of those times, fideles, faithful, or her thren ,
These men, while they were in this state, bad ostacima cren born to them: and for such, it
me he excted that they should bring their elsluiten to ha; WISI. before they could find in their Das to be haptized themselves.
Ane marr such children, (being not baptized in wwwal infancy, because their parents, tbxngh believers, Welle not yet baptizel,) when they grew up, delayed their baptism, as their fathers bad done: and so the muischief was continued. To these it often happened that they were instructed from their youth in the Christian religion, and yet not baptized. Of such St. Basil speaks in the place cited, part i. ch. 12.
6. 3, 4.
Therefore you see I had reason to say that our inquiry is of infants born of parents that were at that time baptized Christians. And that is all that any pædobaptist would have to be done now, viz. that when any man is baptized himself, he should baptize his infant children.
Mr. Walker, endeavouring to shew that the instances brought by the antipædobaptists do them no service, because the ancients that delayed their children's baptism, did it not on the same principles ' at they do now, viz. of the unlawfulness of it;
ns up several reasons which moved some forto delay the baptism of their children: where• first is doubtless a plain and true one, viz.
That some were as yet heathens themselves, when CHAP 11. • their children were born; and no marvel if they Year after * would not make their children Christians,' &c. the apo* And the same is the case of such as, though in • heart and purpose Christians when their children * were born, yet kept off from being baptized". But he gives three reasons more, for which some that were baptized themselves might delay the baptizing of their children.
Any reader would, from what he says, conclude or suspect that many did this; at least that for these three reasons there were an account of three perons that had done it. But upon search, I beliere, it will appear that there is no proof of so many as three; and that there is but one, viz. the father of Gregory Nazianzen, that makes an instance for this: and he not a plain one; for it depends on an obscure point in chronology, whether the son were born before his father's Christianity, or after? In making this inquiry, I shall begin with empe
Of whom it is proper to note, that whereas Mr. Daillé having, as I cited before, spoke of the frequent deferring the baptism of children and of other people, names the emperors; I suppose he nieans them among the other people, not among the children whose baptism was deferred. For all take bim to be a man of another pitch of reading, than that he should think Constantine's father, for example, to have been a Christian. But the antipedobaptists take this from him; and they understand it so, and do very tenaciously maintain that it was so. « Preface to Modest Plea for Infants' Raptisn.