Sect. 1. The Doctors pretended concessions examined. Christ's institution of baptisme not set down Mat. 28. but necessarily before that time.
[ 1] HIS 25. Chapter is a view of my interpretation of Mat. 28.19. which lyes thus, Goe and disciple (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 make disciples, receive into discipleship) all nations, baptizing them in the name &c. teaching them &c. thereby evidencing that the making or receiving disciples, not supposing any precedent in∣struction, but looking wholly on it as subsequent, can no way ex∣clude the Christians infants from baptisme, when they are thus brought to the Church to be entred into the School of Christ, and undertaken for that they shall learn when they come to years.
[ 2] And to this a long proemial answer he hath of many lines, which begins thus, Though I conceive Dr. H. to ascribe more power to the Canons of the Prelates about the Sacraments, then is meet, being one who hath written in defence of the Common prayer Book, yet by this allegation of Mat. 28.19. he seems ta∣citely to yield, that if the words there include not infants under the discipled, then there is something in the New Testament which excludes infants from baptisme, although he say § 96. I do not believe or pretend that that precept of Christ doth necessarily in∣ferre (though it do as little deny) that infants are to be baptized.
[ 3] Before I proceed to that which followes, 'tis not amiss to view in passing, how many incongruities are here amass't together in these few words.
[ 4] For whereas my having written in defence of the Common Pray∣er Book is made use of as an evidence to inferre that I ascribe Page 35 more to the Canons of Prelates, then is meet, it is certain 1. that the Common Prayer book stands not by the Canons of the Prelates, but by Act of Parliament, and consequently if I had been guil∣ty of a confest partiality to the Common Prayer book, yet were this no evidence of my ascribing any thing (therefore sure not more then is meet or too much) to the Canons of Prelates.
[ 5] 2dly. It never yet appeared, that by writing in defence of the Common Prayer book, I offended at all (therefore surely not about either, much less against both the Sacraments.)
[ 6] 3ly. The making my defence of the Common Prayer book, written long ago, a proof that I oftend now in somewhat else; viz. in attributing too much to the Canons of the Bishop, is 1 the con∣necting together things that are most disparate, concluding quid∣libet ex quolibet; and 2dly a plain begging of the question, for such certainly it is in respect of him, with whom he disputes, and so must be, till he shall offer proof that I have erred in that defence, The same, as if he should conclude, that he who hath once written the truth, were obliged the next time to swerve from it.
[ 7] So when he mentions my allegation of Mat. 28.19. the word allegation must signifie that I produce and so allege that text as a proof of my position: But this he knows I do not; But only sup∣pose the Antipaedobaptist to found his plea in it, and all that I have to do, is to shew how useless it is like to prove to him; con∣fessing also that to me it is as uselesse, and so never attempting to draw any argument from it.
[ 8] So again, when upon a supposition by him specified he assumes me to grant that which he acknowledgeth me expressely to deny, this sure is very incongruous: Tis visible from the words by me produced §. 96. that I deny that that text of Mat. 28.19. can prejudice the baptisme of infants, and the only design I had in considering this text at all in this place, was to evidence the se∣cond branch of the negative part of my undertaking, that there appeared nothing in Christs institution of baptisme, or commission to his Apostles, which was exclusive of infants: How then can it be suggested with any shew of truth, that I seem tacitely to yield, that if the words include not infants under the discipled, there is then something in the New Testament which excludes infants from baptisme.
Page 36 [ 9] Tis evident from whence it is that I infer, and positively define Christs Commission for baptisme to belong to infants, not from these words of Christ (which as I said, I never proposed to that end to prove my position from them, but only to answer the Anti∣paedobaptists objection founded in them) but from the practice of the Apostles signifying their sense and perswasion of Christs mean∣ing in his institution of baptisme, which institution we know from John 4.1. had long preceded the delivering of these words Matth: 28.
[ 10] So that whatsoever were the notion of discipling there, yet could not I deem infants thereby excluded from baptisme, whom by another medium, viz. the Apostolical practice, I supposed to be admitted to it by Christs institution.
[ 11] The short is, Infants I suppose may be received into disciple∣ship when their parents bring them, and if so, then they are or may be included in the words Mat. 28. but if they might not, and so were supposed not to be comprehended in these words of Christ, Mat. 28. yet that which is not included, is not presently excluded, he that saith a man is a living creature, doth not thereby deny an angel to be so also: when Christ gives his disciples power to heal diseases, Mat. 10.1. he cannot be deemed to withhold from them power of raising the dead, for that we see comprehended in their commission v. 8. and so I could no way be inforced to yield that they were excluded from baptisme, as long as from any other me∣dium I were assured they were admitted to it.
[ 12] And so still 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, here is not the least appearance of truth in this discourse.
[ 13] He proceeds then to some other attempts of proving it necessary for me if I will stand to my words elsewhere, to acknowledge in∣fants excluded by that text, To which end he hath been very diligent in putting together several scattered passages in my wri∣tings, in hope to finde some 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and to raise some shew of argument out of my own words, and so from my temerity or inconstancy (for want of solid proofs) to conclude that if this precept of Christ doth not necessarily infer infant baptisme, then by manifest consequence it doth deny it.
[ 14] The passages he gathers up are these, The Doctor saith, §. 55. that Christs institution makes dipping or sprinkling with water a Page 37 Sacrament, which institution is Mat. 28.19. and therefore the Doctor will have the words there indispensably used in baptisme, and §. 92. he saith baptisme is a Sacrament, that Sacrament an institution of Christs, that institution not founded in any reason of immutable truth, but only in the positive will of Christ, and so that there is nothing considerable in this question (or any of this nature) but how it was delivered by Christ, And §. 94. that which was done by the Apostles, if it were not a rule for ever, yet was an effect of such a rule formerly given by Christ, and inter∣pretable by this practise to be so. And Pract. Cat. l. 6. §. 2. he expounding Christs institution, saith that the words import that the person baptized acknowledgeth, maketh profession of believing in three, delivers him to three as authors of his faith, and to be ruled by the directions of his Master, and this he will have to be meant by baptizing into the name of the Father, Son, and holy Ghost.
[ 15] These are the passages, whence, saith he, I infer that if ba∣ptisme be a Sacrament, and made so by Christs institution, and that institution founded only in his positive will, and the will of Christ be, that baptisme be in the name of the Trinity, and this is when the baptized makes profession of believing in three, to be ru∣led by them, and the Apostles practice interprets Christs rule, no infant that doth not profess faith, is baptized into the name of the Trinity, nor was appointed to be baptized by Christ, nor did the Apostles baptize them, and therefore they are not baptized accord∣ing to Christs institution, and so no Sacrament to them.
[ 16] Here is a very subtile fabrick▪ and great pains taken to pro• me to affirm tacitely what I expressely deny: But herein though his pains be great, he hath much failed of the successe, it were too long to shew it at large, yet the reader that will be at pains to sur∣vey his processe, will certainly acknowledge it, if he shall but re∣member these two things.
[ 17] 1. That Christs institution of baptisme was not (nor is ever affirmed by me to be) set down in those words of Mat. 28. that having been long before instituted and practised, as appears by plain words Joh. 4.1, 2. Secondly, That though Christs will and institution for baptizing infants be not so manifestly exprest in those words Mat. 28.19. as shall be able by the bare force of the Page 38 words to convince any gainsayer, without any other way of evi∣dence or proof added to it, yet by the Apostles practice of ba∣ptizing infants (appearing to us by other means) it is most evi∣dent that they who certainly did not mistake Christs meaning, did thus understand and extend his institution and commission. The truth of this is there made evident §. 30. &c. I shall not here re∣peat it.
[ 18] 2dly. That the infant when he is to be baptized, doth, though not by his own voice personally, yet by his lawful proxies, which the Church accepteth in his stead, professe the believing in three, the Father, Son, and holy Ghost, deliver himself up to three, &c.
[ 19] By this clue the reader will easily extricate himself out of the Labyrinth there provided for him, if such it appear to be, and discern a perfect accordance in all the passages, which with such hope of advantage were so diligently collected by him.
[ 20] But this is not all, he will yet drive the businesse somewhat higher in these words, Yea, if the positive will of Christ, be the reason of baptisme, they usurp upon Christs prerogative who ba∣ptize otherwise then Christ hath appointed, and then if the precept of Christ doth not necessarily infer infant baptisme (which the Doctor ingenuously acknowledgeth) it doth by manifest conse∣quence deny it, sith he forbids that to be done otherwise then he hath appointed when he hath determined how it should be done. The Doctor when he saith above, the words, [I baptize into the name of the Father &c.] must be indispensably used, me thinks by the same reason should conceive Christs institution should be unalter∣ably used in baptizing those only whom he hath appointed to be ba∣ptized.
[ 21] To this the grounds of answer have been already laid also, viz. that they that baptize infants, baptize no otherwise then Christ appointed, and the Apostles appear to have understood his appoint∣ment. By Christs appointment, not meaning particularly his words Mat. 28 but his will otherwise made known to his di∣sciples, when and in what words soever it was that he instituted baptisme, which must be long before this, even before his Apostles took upon them to baptize any, which yet they did in great abun∣dance Joh. 4.1. And of this appointment or institution of ba∣tismePage 39 by Christ, it is most true, that if that precept of Christ, whereby he first instituted baptisme, did not in∣deed comprehend and so necessarily inferre infant baptisme, and was so understood to do by the Apostles, it shall consequently be deemed to deny it. But then herein lyes a great fallacie, when from another appointment of Christs, viz. that Mat. 28. which I ac∣knowledge not to inferre infant baptisme necessarily, he assumes in universum, and reports it as my confession, that Christs precept (indefinitely taken, and so extending to all Christs precepts at any time) doth not necessarily inferre infant baptisme. Which is that grand illogical fault in discourse, of inferring an indefinite or uni∣versal conclusion from particular premisses.
[ 22] As for the comparison which he makes betwixt the indispensa∣ble use of the words of baptisme Mat. 28. and the as unaltera∣ble observation of Christ's institution, in respect of the persons to be baptized, I willingly grant it, on the condition praemised, that he mistake not the text, Mat. 28. to be the words of that in∣stitution, wherein Christ defined, who are the persons to be bap∣tized.
[ 23] Those words are a commission to the Apostles to go preach to, or disciple all nations, and thus farre extends to point out the persons, viz. that they should (as disciple so) baptize Gentiles as well as Jewes, and again, they are express for the forme of baptisme, that it should be in the Name of the Father, the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost, but they are not any kind of direction to that other matter of receiving, and admitting infants or not infants.
[ 24] That I suppose sufficiently notified to them before both by the common practice of their ancestors in the Jewish religion, by the vulgar notion of baptisme, whilest it was familiarly used among the Jewes, both to their own and their proselytes children, and al∣so by Christs speciall direction (though the Gospels, which ex∣press not at all the words of the first institution of baptisme, do not set that down) in the time of his preaching among them, some while before that passage of storie related, Joh. 4.1. &c.
[ 25] From both of these, I suppose, the Apostles learnt it (and not from Mat. 28.) and we learn it only from the Apostles, as shall hereafter appear. And so much for his prooemial reasoning.