Much in a little, or, An abstract of Mr. Baxters plain Scripture-proof for infants church-membership or baptism with a few notes upon the anti-queries of T.G.
Barret, John, 1631-1713., Baxter, Richard, 1615-1691. Plain Scripture-proof of infants church-membership and baptism., Grantham, Thomas, 1634-1692. Quaeries examined.
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WHat Artifices and assaults the Devil hath made and used to supplant the weightiest Principles, to darken the most clear and comfortable Truths, and to break the Peace and Concord of the Church, is grown too evi∣dent to require proof. And how he hath per∣plexed this present Doctrine of the Church-Membership, and Baptism of Infants, with Controversies, we need not now insist upon. But surely, were not our little ones as well concern∣ed and interested in the Covenant of Grace, as their Parents are, your strange and deep com∣passions towards them (so rooted in Nature, and cultivated and enlarged by Grace) would become their dreadful torment and distress. And why Infants should feel the smart 〈◊〉 dreadful pu∣nishments of the violated Law 〈◊〉 Covenant of innocent nature, (as is evident in their early di∣seases, pains and death) and not be capable of redress and pardon by a gracious Covenant, I am yet to learn. And what their capacity should be for, if not to be answerably treated and re∣garded, (supposing what God by his Son and in his Gospel hath prepared and tendred to us) I cannot understand. All Laws consider Infants at in their Parents, until maturity make them Page  [unnumbered] capable of chusing and acting for themselves. And why we should exclude them from Covenant redresses, seeing God once took them in by an Act or Law of Grace not yet repealed, I am not able to conjecture▪ Were they excluded from Gospel-Grace, their Parents would want, 1. That Co∣gent Argument which now they have to be de∣voted unto God themselves, and to be true to such a Dedication, as ever they regard the pre∣sent and eternal welfare of their Infant-Seed. And 2. A Soveraign Antidote against their griefs and fears, when their children are remo∣ved in their Infancy. For if God hath no-where promised to save our little ones by his Son, to pardon them, and to adopt them into his Family, what can perswade us, that they belong not to the Devil, and that they are not gone to dwell with him when they are dead? And then with what dejected hearts and looks must mournful Parents follow their deceased Infants to their Graves! But I shall (and need) not say any more, seeing this Abstract of Mr. Baxters larger and elaborate Treatise, comes on this Errand to its Reader, who is desired to take notice, that it was ready many Months agone, soon after the publication of the Anti-Queries, though its own publication hath been obstructed until now. Peruse, and judge impartially.