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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3
			
               BAPTISM-AN EXCURSUS.                271

and our hurt. The Declaration of the country says: "All
men are created equal." But this was pronounced a "glitter-
ing generality," and the construction put upon the statement
was: "All white men are created equal." It was precisely so
with the subjects of Baptisim  Christ had spoken, and as broadly
as language will permit; and yet, there were those among
the Apostles ready to follow Peter in giving it a construction
that would have confined the Christian Church to the Jews.
Nor could the idea and purpose be knocked out of Peter's head
until, in vision thrice repeated, it was said: "What God hath
cleansed, call not thou common."  Then and only then, it oc-
curred to him that "God is no respecter of persons" (Acts, x).
Nor was he confirmed in this belief until the vigorous blows
of Paul brought him to his senses.
  The blessings then consequent upon Baptism, with the rite
itself, are open to the human race. Blood, intellect, the social
standing all go for naught. Whosoever will, let him come.
  The incidental statement with which Article xvii concludes,
happily presents to us a most important phase of the matter
under consideration, to wit: the baptism of young children
The mere fact that it was deemed necessary to make the state-
ment that the baptism of children should be retained in the
Church is worthy of notice. Whence came the heresy that
children are not proper subjects of Baptism? Did not Christ
receive little children as readily, and in precisely the same
way, that he received adults? In precisely the same way, we
say--a fact too generally overlooked.  And did he not com-
mand the Apostles to do the same; that is, receive little child-
ren? "Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come unto
me." Is it asked: How were they to receive them? Just as
He received them; just as they received others.  If not so,
that is, if they were not to receive children as He received
them, and just as they received others who were adults, then
we have another instance presented of the lack of fullness of
the inspired record; for if any other than the common method
of receiving those who came to Christ were to be practiced
in after years, information of the fact would doubtless have
been given. But such information is not given; therefore, the
burden of proof is with those who deny it. Such proof, however,
is impossible, inasmuch as the canon of Scripture is closed.
Again, if children are not proper subjects of Baptism, the most
unwarrantable limitation is to be put upon the command au-
thorizing the ceremony. According to Matthew, Christ's word
was to evangelize and(baptize all nations. It is well known
that children constitute a majority in all nations; and as well
say these are not to be evangelized as say they are not to be
baptized. Evangelization and Baptism go hand in hand.  The
two are joined of God; let no man separate them. The sturdiest
of our Baptist brethren have infant classes in their Sunday-
schools; and yet, they so shorten the arm of the Lord as to
make it impossible for them to be enlightened, at least to the




			
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OHS/National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center Serial Collection

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 6, Num. 3

Volume:  06
Issue Number:  03
Date:  01/1890


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