Sect. 5. Mr. Selden's notion of the Sea. The defence of my notion of it. Learned mens affirmations to be judged of by their testimonies. Christ's baptizing of Iewes as well as Gentiles, no argument. Christ's vouching Iohns baptisme to be from heaven, no argu∣ment. No more, the pretended no intimations of it. The no conformity. The proselytes children baptized, continually, not onely at the first conversion. The baptisme of a woman with child, serving for the child also, not argumentative. The Ca∣non of Neocaesarea about it.
[ 1] NExt he proceeds to consider the words of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 10.1. of our Fathers being baptized into Moses (as in the cloud, so) in the Sea. Where 1. He tells me that he doth not con∣ceive Mr. Seldens exposition, that the sea was some vessell of waters — but the red sea] And I that am as little of Mr. Seldens mind, but expressely interpreted it, of the Red sea, §. 7. and rejected Mr. Seldens interpretation §. 8. (although I omit∣ted to name the author of it) am not, he knows, concerned in that, but have from his rejecting Mr. Seldens authority, when tis not for his turn, his example for my not thinking my self bound up by it at other times, either in that newly past, where he vouched his name as his onely proof, that the Jewes did not baptize Jewes by nature, or in other particulars which I find afterwards vouched from him, the truth of which I as little con∣ceive, as Mr. T. doth this of the sea not signifying the Red sea, which I acknowledge to be unconceiveable.
[ 2] But then 2. he doth not think my exposition right neither (though I interpret it of the Israelites passing through the Red sea, as he acknowledges to do) But what is my interpretation? why, that their being baptized into Moses in the Red sea (as also in the cloud) signifieth their being initiated into God's covenant under the conduct of Moses, as since they are wont to be initiated by baptisme. And why doth he dislike this interpretation? why, because when it is said, our fathers were baptized, it is not meant Page 24 were baptized as since proselytes were baptized among the Jews, but as Christians were baptized.
[ 3] But certainly this is no reason of exception to my interpreta∣tion; For 1. I compare not this baptisme of out fathers in the sea with the baptisme of proselytes among the Jewes, but annex it im∣mediately to the baptizing of the native Jewes, §. 6. before I proceed §. 9. to the baptisme of proselytes. And 2. I do not lay the comparison of the Apostle betwixt the baptizing in the sea, and the Jewish custome of baptizing, but acknowledge it to be betwixt the baptisme of the Fathers under the Law, and the baptisme since Christ among Christians, All the use I make of the words of the Apostle, was to shew that baptisme among the Jewes was a ceremonie of initiating into the covenant, and that upon that supposall it was, that the Apostle used the phrase of the Israelites that came out of Aegypt, and entred into Covenant with him, under the conduct of Moses, God giving them an essay of his receiving them under his wings (the phrase to signifie reception into the covenant) by invironing them with the sea. This I thought had been before intelligibly enough set down, I hope now he will no longer misunderstand it.
[ 4] What he addes out of Mr. S. that after Exo. 19.10. the Jewes did not baptize Jewes but onely proselytes, hath already been evidenced at large to have no truth in it, the custome of bap∣tisme continuing to all their posterity, as well as that of circum∣cision. And whereas this is said to be set down thus out of Mai∣monides and other Jewish Rabbines, the Reader, if he will consult the place in Mr. Selden de Synedr: l. 1. c. 3. will find there is no such matter; That Mr. S. himself so affirmes p. 23▪ I wil∣lingly acknowledge, but in a matter of antient storie, such as this is, neither he nor any else must be believed farther then the testi∣monies produced by him out of their writers exact, especially a∣gainst express testimonies to the contrary. And such he there pro∣duceth more then one, p. 34. out of Gemara 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 What did our Fathers? truely they entred not into Covenant without cir∣cumcision and baptisme and sprinkling of blood, and again p. 35. our mothers were baptized and not circumcised, and p. 26. out of Victoria Porchetus, that our mothers (though not as he saith, Sara and Rebecca, referring the custome to a greater antiquityPage 25 then that of the time of giving the Law) were baptized and not cir∣cumcised, and p. 38. out of Maimonides, that the Israelites en∣tred into covenant by a threefold rite or ceremonie, by circumcision, baptisme, and oblation. And again, p. 39. What was done to you? ye entred into covenant by circumcision, baptisme, and he sprinkling of the sacrifice, and therefore the proselyte — the custome of baptizing the proselytes founded in that of baptizing the native Jewes. All these clear testimonies are by him pro∣duced directly to the proof of my position, that the native Jewes (indifferently) were baptized, and not a word in any other parts of the testimonies to give reason to suspect, that after that one time of Exo. 19. the Jewes did not baptize. What he hath done in his other book de Jure Nat. ac Gent. I need not apprehend (and have not commodity to inquire or examine) supposing that if there he had undertaken the proof of it, he would here, where he af∣firmes it without proofe, and against expresse testimonies produ∣ced by him, have referred (according to custome) to that place.
[ 5] And now what force against any pretension of ours is there in Mr. T. his observation that Christ and his Apostles baptized Jewes as well as Gentiles?] For 1. so certainly they might, and yet derive their baptisme from the custome formerly in use among the Jewes, for they, we know, baptized native Iewes: nay 2. so they might, though the Iewes had baptized none but proselytes, for to that it would bear just proportion, that they should baptize both Iewes and Gentiles, in case both came in as proselytes to Christ. For it were a fallacie a little too grosse to deceive any man of common understanding, to argue thus, The custome was to bap∣tize proselytes, and not natives; therefore Christ, if he observed that custome, was not to baptize native Iewes; The answer be∣ing so obvious, by distinguishing of proselytes, that they are either such as come in to the Iewish religion, or such as came in to Christ, and that Christ was to baptize all that were proselytes to him, and that the native Iewes as many as believed on him, were such, and as believers, i. e. as proselytes to Christ, not as native Iewes were baptized by him.
[ 6] Other reasons he hath chosen to annex for confirmation of his negative, that Christ baptisme was not in imitation of, or in con∣formity with the Iewish custome; for 2. saith he, Christ would Page 26 not have avouched the baptisme of Iohn to be from heaven and not from men, if it had been in imitation of the Iewish custome. But I wonder what appearance of concludencie there is in that reason? May not any thing be from heaven or by God's appointment, which is derived from a Iewish custome? may not God in heaven give commission to Iohn Baptist to preach repentance, after the same manner that others before him, Noah and Ionah &c. had preached repentance, and to receive all that came in on his preach∣ing, by the ceremonie of baptizing ordinarily used, and known, to initiate men into covenant with God, among the Iewes? I see not the least incongruity in this, or that any obligation of reason can be pretended, why God may not appoint a ceremonie known among men to be used in his service: such sure was imposition of hands, usuall among the Iewes in benedictions, which now is made use of by the Apostles of Christ, in ordaining Bishops over the Church. And so it may well be in this matter of Iohn's or Christ's baptisme, which though it were unquestionably from heaven in respect of the Commission given to them by God, appoin∣ting them to do what they did, yet might the ceremonie of washing used by them be derived from the customes that were already fa∣miliar among them.
[ 7] Twere easy to instance in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, the power of the Keyes (and many the like) which though brought into the Church of Christians by Christ, and so from heaven, were yet derived and lightly changed from Jewish observances, and in that respect from men also.
[ 8] His 3d reason, that it is likely some where or other some inti∣mation would have been given of that custome, as the directorie for Christians in the use of baptisme] is too frivolous to require reply; for beside that the negative argument were of no force, if it were as is pretended, It already appears that there are in the Iewish wri∣ters, more then intimations of this custome, and some indications of it even in the Scripture itself, as John 3.5.10. and for any plainer affirmations, what need could there be of them, when both the matter it self speaketh it so plainly, that there was no need of words, to those that knew the Iewish customes, as the first writers and readers of the New Testament did, and when Christ's sole authority, and practice of his Apostles were sufficient DirectoriePage 27 for the Christians in the use of baptisme?
[ 9] Fourthly he addes, that the institution and practice would have been comformable to it; And so I say, and have made clear that it was, as far as to the controversie in hand we are or can be concer∣ned in it: But saith Mr. T. the contrarie appears, adding one main instance of the inconformity, and 14. lesser disparities, The main disparitie, saith he, is in their baptizing no infants of the Gentiles at their first conversions, whereas the Jewes baptized onely the Gentiles Infants at their first proselyting, not the infants of those who were baptized in infancie.
[ 10] For the former of these he offers no manner of proof beyond his own affirmation, and therefore it is sufficient to deny it, as he knows we do, and evidently beggs the question in assuming and not offering any proof for the contrary.
For the second, that of the Jewish practice, he pretends no more then what he had before cited by reference (but now sets down in words) viz. the affirmation of Mr. Selden.
[ 11] But I have already shewed how groundlesse that affirmation of Mr. S. was, as to the native Jewes children, who were still baptized after the giving of the Law. And the same I now adde for the children of those proselytes who had been baptized in in∣fancie, there appears not the least proof of this from the Jewish writers, who are the onely competent witnesses in it, but for the contrary I propose these two testimonies taken notice of by Mr. S. himself de Synedr. c. 3. out of Gemara Babylon: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 He wants the rite of a proselyte for ever, un∣less he be baptized and circumcised. Here baptisme and circumci∣sion are joyned together, as aequally necessary to a proselyte, and that for ever. And circumcision there is no doubt was to be re∣ceived by every male, not onely at their first coming to the Church of the Jewes, at their first proselytisme, but through all posterities, every child of a proselyte that was not circumcised〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 became straightways no proselyte: And then sure this conjunction of baptisme with circumcision on these termes of equality, both of perpetual necessity to all proselytes, must needs extend the baptisme as well as the circumcision beyond the first proselytes and their immediate children, to all their posteritie that shall come from them afterwards, for to all those belonged circumcision.
Page 28 [ 12] So again in the same place, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and if he be not baptized, he remains a Pagan or Gentile; Here I shall ask, whether the child of a proselyte who had been baptized in his in∣fancie, were to be a Pagan for ever? I suppose it will be answered, no; And then by the force of that testimonie of Gemara I conclude, therefore it must be supposed that he was baptized, for else he would be a pagan for ever.
[ 13] Besides this, two things I farther adde, to remove all possible force of this suggestion; 1. That if it were granted in the full la∣titude wherein it is proposed, that the Iewes baptized no other infants of proselytes, but those whom they had at their first con∣version; yet this would nothing profit Mr. T. For it were then obvious to affirme, that Christ who imitated the Iewes in that, and so baptized the children of Christian proselytes, did make some light change in this, and farther then the pattern before him afforded, baptized all the posteritie that should succeed them, and were born in the Church in their infancie also, the reason though not the pat∣tern belonging equally to them as to the children of the first prose∣lytes, and the Iewish custome of baptizing their natives infants, being fully home to it.
[ 14] 2dly. That it being by all parts granted, that the children which the proselytes had at their first proselytisme were baptized among the Iewes, this is as evident a confutation of the Antipaedobaptist, and so of Mr. T. as it would if all their infants to all posteritie were baptized: For by that very baptizing of the infants at their first proselytisme, it appears that infants may be baptized, for I hope those proselytes infants are infants; And if any in∣fants may, and ought to be baptized, then are all their preten∣sions destroyed, whose onely interest it is to evince, that no infants must or may be baptized. And I hope this will be of some use to Mr. T. when he shall have considered it.
[ 15] The onely way M. T. hath to confirme this of the Iewes not baptizing any infants of proselytes born after their first conversion and baptisme, is the resolution of the Jewes, that if a woman great with child became a proselyte and were baptized, her child needs not baptisme when tis born. And this I had cited, §. 109. out of the Rabbines, and so indeed I find it in Maimonides, tit. Isuri bia. c. 13. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Page 29 But I cannot think that (whether true or false) a sufficient proof to inferre the conclusion; For the Iewish Doctors might probably thus resolve upon this other ground, because the mother and the child in her wombe being esteemed as one person, the woman great with child being baptized, they might deem the child baptized as well as the woman, and not account it needfull to repeat it after the birth, which yet (by the way) it seems they would have done, if they had not deemed the childe all one with the mother, and consequently they must be supposed to baptize those children which were begot∣ten to the proselyte after the time of his or her first conversion and baptisme. And accordingly the Christian Doctors in the Coun∣cel of Neocaesarea Can. 6. having resolved the contrary to that Jew∣ish hypothesis, viz. that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the mo∣ther that bears the childe differs from the childe, or is not all one with it, and her confession in baptisme is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉proper or particular to her self, and belongs not to the childe in her womb, give the (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) the woman that is with childe, and is then converted to the faith, leave to be baptized, when she pleases, supposing that the childe which then she carries, shall, notwithstanding her baptisme then, be it self baptized after its birth.
[ 16] Which as it is a cleer answer to the argument deduced from the resolution of the Jewes in that point, so tis moreover an evi∣dence how little of proof Mr. T. had either from his own obser∣vation or Mr. Seldens testimonies, from all which he can produce no other but this, which in the sound is so far from affirming what he would have, and upon examination is found to conclude the contrary.