Sect. 6. Lesser inconformities no prejudice. Yet they do not all hold. Prayer the Christian sacrifice. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. The rule of judging in this matter. Baptizing in the name of the Father &c. pre∣scribed by Christ. So dipping or sprinkling. The Pract▪ Cat. misreported. Mr. Marshals covenanting.
[ 1] THis grand disparity then being cleared to be Mr. T. his mis∣take, I shall not need to attend his other instances of dispari∣ty, this accord which hath been already mentioned and vindica∣ted, being sufficient to my pretensions, and no concernment of mine obliging me to believe or affirm, that the parallel holds any far∣ther then Christ was pleased it should hold, and of that we are to judge by what the Scriptures, or ancient Church tells us was the practice of him, or his Apostles; For 1. the Jewes I doubt not, brought in many things of their own devising into this, as into other institutions of God's, and the latter Jewes more, as of the proselytes being so born again in baptisme, that lying with his na∣tural sister was no incest, and the like: And 2. Christ, I doubt not, changed the Jewish oeconomy in many things, as in laying aside circumcision, in commissionating his disciples to baptize (and they leaving it in the hands of the Bishop, and those to whom he should commit it,*〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, it is not lawful to baptize without the Bishop, saith Ignatius) whereas it was not among the Jewes any part of the Priests office, any more then cir∣cumcision was; And so in many other particulars.
[ 2] But what prejudice is that to my pretentions, who affirm no more of the accordance betwixt the Jewish and Christian practice, then eiher by some indications in the Scripture it self, or by the Christian Fathers deductions from the Apostles times, appears to be meant by Christ, and practised by the Apostles; and then by the Jewish writers is as evident to have been in use among them.
[ 3] And this is all the return I need make to his 14 lesser disparities,Page 31 and all that he hath at large endevoured to infer from them, sup∣posing and granting them all to be such.
[ 4] But yet it is evident that some of them are not such, As when 1. he saith, the baptisme of males must be with circumcision and an offering, tis clear that, though 1. circumcision be laid aside by Christ, and 2. when it was used it had nothing to do with baptisme, yet as to the adjoyning of offering, or sacrifice, the parallel still holds, the prayers of the Church being the Christian sacrifice, and those in the Christian Church solemnly attendant on the admini∣stration of baptisme.
[ 5] So parallel to the court of three Israelites, by the confession or profession of whom (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, saith Maimonides) the in∣fant was baptized, we have now not only the whole Church, in the presence of whom tis publickly administred, and when more pri∣vately, yet in the presence of some Christians, who are afterwards, if there be any doubt, to testifie their knowledge to the Church, but more particularly the Godfathers, and Godmothers, being them∣selves formerly baptized, do represent the Church of which they are members, meaning thereby the people of the Church, and the Minister commissionated thereto by the Bishop, represents the Church also, meaning the Governors thereof.
[ 6] But I shall not proceed to such superfluous considerations, and so I have no need of adding one word more of reply to his 24 Chap. (as far as I am concerned in it) unlesse it be to tell him that the Bishops Canons are not the rule by which I undertake to de∣fine, wherein the Jewish custome must be the pattern, wherein not; but (as he cannot but know, if he had read the resolution of the 4th Quaere) the practice of the Apostles of Christ, by the testifica∣tions of the Fathers of the Church made known unto us, to which as I have reason to yield all authority, so I find the Canons and rituals as of this, so of all other Churches in the world (no one excepted) to bear perfect accoordance therewith, in this particu∣lar of infant baptisme (though in other lesser particulars they dif∣fer many among themselves, and all from the Jewish pattern) And this I hope is a competent ground of my action, and such as may justifie it to any Christian artist to be according to rules of right reason, of meekness, and sound doctrine, and no work of passion or prejudice or singularity, or (as Mr. T. suggests) Page 32 of the Doctors own pleasure, as if that were the mutable principle of all these variations from the Jewish pattern.
[ 6] Of this score tis somewhat strange, which he thinks fit to adde concerning the forme of baptisme, In the name of the Father and the Sonne and the Holy Ghost, In this one thing, saith he, which Christ did not prescribe, nor did the Apostles, that we find, so con∣ceive it, yet, saith the Doctor Christs prescription must be indis∣spensably used.
[ 7] In reply to this I shall not spend much time to evidence this forme to be Christ's prescription; If the expresse words at his parting from the world, Mat. 28. Go ye therefore, and teach, or receive to discipleship, all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be not a prescription of Christs, and if the universall doctrine and continuall practice of the whole Church through all times, be not testimonie sufficient of the Apo∣stles conceiving it thus, and a competent ground of the indispensable tinuing the use of it, I shall not hope to perswade with him, onely I shall mind him of the words of S. Athanasius in his Epistle to Serapion Tom. 1. p. 204. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. He that is not baptized in the name of all three, receives nothing, remains empty and imperfect, For perfection is in the Trinity, no baptisme perfect, it seems, but that. And if this will not yet suffice, I shall then onely demand, whether he can produce so expresse grounds from Christ, or the Apostles, or the Ʋniversal Church of God through all ages, or from any one ancient Father, for his denying baptisme to infants.
[ 8] What in this place he addes farther from me, out of the Pra∣cticall Catechisme, that I confesse that by Christs appointment the baptized was to be dipt in water, i. e. according to the Primitive antient custome to be put under water, is a strange misreporting of my words,* I wonder Mr. T. would be guilty of it. The words in the Pract. Cat. are visibly these, By Christ's appoint∣ment whosoever should be thus received into his familie should be received with this ceremonie of water, therein to be dipt (i. e. ac∣cording to the Primitive anetint custome to be put under water) three times, or in stead of that to be sprinkled with it — where Page 33 1. All that Christ's appointment is affixt to, is, the receiving all that should be received into Christ's familie, with this ceremonie of Water; 2. For the manner of that reception by water, tis set down disjunctively, therein to be dipt three times, or in stead of that to be sprinkled with it. These are evidently my words; no way affirming either the dipping or sprinkling (one exclusively to the other, to be appointed by Christ, but onely the ceremonie of water, whether it be by dipping in it or sprinkling with it, either of which may be signified by the word used from Christ by S. Matthew, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, baptize yee.
[ 9] What ground the Church of Christ hath had to disuse immer∣sion, and in stead of putting the whole body under water, only to dip the face, or sprinkle it with water, I shall not now discourse, all that I have to do in this place being to vindicate my self, that I have no way affirmed the putting under water (used by the Primitive Church) to be appointed by Christ, exclusively to sprinkling, and that I hope I have already done by the exact re∣citing of my words, which had been so much misreported by him.
[ 10] And so I have done with his 24th Chapter. For as to the ob∣jection against Mr. M. drawn from his covenanting to performe the worship of God, according to Gods word, and admiring that ever mortal man should dare in Gods worship to meddle any jot farther then the Lord hath commanded, and yet in point of infant baptisme following the Talmud, I that am farre from Mr. M. his perswasions, as well as practices, am not sure bound to give answer for him, Aetatem habet, let him answer for himself; and when he doth so, 'twere not amiss he would consider, whether Episco∣pal government stand not on as firme a basis in the Church of God, as Infant baptisme is by him vouched to do.