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WILLIAM CLAYTON WALTERS, M.A.,

LATE FELLOW OF JESUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,

AND BARRISTER AT LAW.

I entered into a Covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and
thou becamest mine.-EZEK. xvi. 8.

LONDON:

JOHN W. PARKER, WEST STRAND.

M.DCCC.XXXVIII.

311.

ΤΟ

EDWARD CHAPMAN WALTERS,

MY FIRST-BORN,

I DEDICATE THIS:

BECAUSE to him I am indebted, under God, for the motive for pursuing the very interesting inquiry contained in the following pages; and in humble trust that this slight token of the anxious care which a gracious God hath put into my heart for the sanctification of the soul of his own precious Gift, even from the first moment of his existence, may in after life, when I am gathered to my fathers, contribute to interest him. in the blessings of the Everlasting Covenant.

ADVERTISEMENT.

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THE ordinance of Baptism has long been a matter of controversy in the Church of Christ, and probably will ever be so. I recently had occasion to consider the subject, and seeing the formidable array of authorities, I first applied for advice to one who is deservedly eminent in the Church for his piety and learning. The answer was in all kindness, but it was not satisfactory; it merely referred to the doubts which had been raised, and to the leading writers on both sides, and then left me to form my own judgment. I looked into some of the modern authors, but I soon found that no honest opinion could be formed without going much further. I found that both parties contend for the authority of the fathers, and that Hooker (venerabile nomen!) is "judicious" enough to please both. I saw if I relied upon human authority, it would be necessary to trace the subject from the earliest antiquity; and that, not merely by verifying the extracts produced by the disputants, but by considering the context of the writers, ancient as well as modern. For this task so appalling, I have neither strength nor leisure. What was to be done? I thought, surely if this be God's ordinance, as I know it is, he cannot have involved it in so much learning and difficulty, as utterly to prevent the wayfaring man having intelligent communion

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