CHAP. II. Of Christ's words, Mat. 28.19.
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.
Sect. 2. Making disciples all one with receiving into discipleship. Bap∣tizing the act of the Baptist. Instruction subsequent to disci∣pling. The pretended parallel between Mat. 28. and Mar. 16.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Johns discipling by preaching excludes not infants. No more the Apostles, Mat. 10.5. The notation of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Mat. 13.52. Act. 14.21. Infants both said to come and to believe. Instruction subsequent to baptisme.
[ 1] AFter this praelusorie〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, he next proceeds to consider, what shift (as he calls it) the Doctor makes to elude the force of Christs institution, Mat. 28.19. But I have already made it evident that that Commission for preaching to, or discipling all nations (as for the baptizing them, and the particularity of the forme to be used in baptisme, &c.) was not the institution of baptisme, nor any intimation on either side, whether infants should be baptized or not; and so tis manifest how little need I had to use any shift, or artifice to elude the force of it.
[ 2] However in his view of my discourse some exceptions he must find; And the first is, that though 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is well rendred, make disciples, yet 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is not well para∣phrased by, receiving into discipleship, baptizing them, making this forme of baptisme the ceremonie of receiving them. For by this, saith he, the making disciples is made the same with re∣ceiving them, and baptisme the ceremonie of receivers into di∣scipleship, which is as truely an act of the baptized professing, or avouching his discipleship.
[ 3] Here is another subtlety of a refined nature, making a diffe∣rence betwixt making disciples, and receiving into discipleship, or receiving disciples; As if these two were not perfectly syno∣nymous, and by me evidently used, as such. I shall not dispute of words, when the matter is clear, and when it is equally to my purpose which phrase is used, whether making or receiving di∣sciples.
Page 41 [ 4] 2dly. When he affirmes of baptisme, which I make the cere∣monie of the Apostles receiving them, that tis as truely the act of the baptized, this is no subtilty, but grosse and visible enough; For certainly baptisme in the active sense (as it is plain I under∣stand it in that place, where I paraphrase, goe and make disciples and baptize) is not the act of the baptized, but of the baptist; The coming to baptisme indeed, and the undertaking the vow, and making the profession, is the act of the baptized, either perso∣nally, or by his proxy, which in reputation of Law, and in accep∣tation of the Church, is his also, but still baptisme, or (to re∣move all possible mistake) baptizing, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Mat. 28.19. is an act of the baptizer onely, and so the ceremonie of receiving into discipleship, whomsoever they thus duely baptize. I hope I need say no more of this.
[ 5] His 2d branch of exception is to those words of mine wherein I say that the making or receiving disciples, supposeth not any precedent instruction, but lookes wholly on it as subsequent. This I there concluded not from the bare negative, because there was no precedent mention of such instruction, where discipling and baptizing, were both mention'd, but because in that place, on which the Antipaedobaptist so much relyes, Mat. 28.19. the [〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉teaching] is expressely mentioned after discipling and baptizing, and so is in reason to be deemed, and lookt on, as subsequent to both, and so the receiving ad discipulatum referre to that then future instruction.
[ 6] And to this sense I there made it manifest, that the definition of baptisme 1 Pet. 3.21. did referre that, baptisme is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, seeking to God, as to the oracle to inquire for the whole future life, no way prerequiring actual instruction, but coming to Christ and the Church to receive it, and obey it for the future (and that done in some sort by those that are brought, when they are not able to come, and by the charitie of the Church received there) And this farther illustrated as by the manner of children brought by parents to School, without either knowledge of letters, or choise, or so much as wish of instruction, so by the manner of Christ's disciples being received by him, particularly of Philip, Joh. 1.44. who was called, and received into discipleship, as soon as ever Christ met with him, i. e. before he was at all instructedPage 42 by him, and so also by the storie of the Jewes, Exo. 19.8. who undertook to obey all the Commandments of God, which he should give them, which yet were not then, but after given them, v. 20. and so lastly by the nature of proselytisme, which as it is all one with entring into God's covenant and (in the Christian sense) with coming to Christ and being received to discipleship, so tis that which children are known to be capable of, not onely by that text, Deut. 29.10. but by the custome of baptizing infant pro∣selytes among the Jewes, and by Christ's command to suffer them to come unto him, whensoever they were thus brought.
[ 7] Now to this thus evidenced (and much more largely in that place, §. 26. &c.) he is pleased to annex some reasons of his dissent, For, 1. saith he, that which is exprest in Matthew by, Go ye therefore and make disciples all nations, is in Marke, Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, which shewes how they should disciple all nations; Now they who are made disciples by preaching the Gospel are made disciples by precedent instruction, Ergo, the making or receiving disciples Mat. 28.19. supposeth precedent instruction.
[ 8] But to this I answer, 1. That the words in Marke are no o∣therwise parallel to those in Matthew, then as an Epitome is pa∣rallel to a larger discourse, such we know S. Markes for the most part is, an abbreviation of S. Matthews Gospel, as in many others, so in this particular, some passages indeed there are in S. Mark in this place, which are not in S. Matthew, as shall a non be shewed, but in the particular now before us, S. Mark is, accor∣ding to wont, more concise; there is no mention in him of bapti∣zing in the name of the Father and of the Son & of the holy Ghost, nor consequently of discipling, of which that was the ceremonie, as in S. Matthew there is.
[ 9] 2dly. That Christs appointment 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to preach the Gospel, in S. Mark, doth no way inferre the precedent in∣struction of every single person that was received to baptisme: The phrase signifies to proclaime or promulgate the happy tidings brought into the world by Christ, grace, and mercy, and eternal felicitie to all that should come into him and take his yoke upon them, and learn of him; And upon the publishing of this to all the world, to every creature, i. e. to the Gentiles universally, as Page 43 well as the Jewes, I suppose tis very possible, that many of them should make all speed to come unto Christ, and come out at the Apostles preaching, they and their whole housholds together (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 as the oracle commanded in Homer) and to bring their infant children with them, as they used to do, that became prose∣lytes to the Jewes and then the Apostles, knowing their Ma∣sters mind for the receiving of Infants, and that (as from the in∣stitution I suppose them fore-instructed) to baptisme, receive them all, and (as many as interposed no voluntary hin∣drance) baptize them, and having taken them into the School of Christ make good provision for the future instruction of them, as soon as ever they should be capable of it.
[ 10] That thus it was I pretend not (still) to deduce from these words, Mat. 28. but to infer from another medium, the practice of the Apostles, otherwise notified to us: All that I am now to manifest, is, that this passage hath nothing contrary to our hypo∣thesis, but is perfectly reconcileable with it, and this is done by the scheme thus laid: And so tis most visible how no force there is in this first reason of exception.
[ 11] The 2d followes, that such as the making disciples was Jo. 4.1. such is the making disciples Mat. 28.19. For by the Doctors con∣fession they are all one. But that was by preaching, as is plain concerning John, Mat. 3.1, 2, 5, 6. and concerning the Apostles. Mat. 10.5, 6, 7. Ergo.
[ 12] To this I answer, that the account last given is fully satisfacto∣ry to this exception also; For supposing the Apostles to publish whithersoever they came, the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the good newes that was come into the world by Christ, and the hearers not only to come in themselves, but to bring their whole families, and so their infant children with them, there is no difficulty to imagine, that they that had thus made proclamation, received all, and made all disciples, yong and old, that either came or were brought, and so it being granted that they made disciples by preaching, preaching being the instrument to draw the parents themselves, and to move them to bring their children to discipleship, it is still very visible how chil∣dren should be discipled, and consequently baptized by them, ba∣ptisme being the constant ceremony of discipling. And though I am not able to affirm, how it was actually in Johns baptisme, yet Page 44 this I may say, that as far as can be discerned or inferred from the phrase in either place, (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) thus it very possibly might be both in Johns and in the Apostles baptizing.
[ 12] First for John, 'tis true indeed that his baptisme attended his preaching, yet doth it not thence necessarily follow that none were baptized by him but those who particularly heard and obeyed his preaching; For 1. Why might not those that heard it, divulge it to others, and bring them before they heard him, to desire to be baptized, and upon their confessing their sins, and professing amendment, he baptize them? 2. Why might not those that heard it, or heard of it, give that heed of it, as to bring all that were dear to them of what age soever, by that means to secure them from the wrath to come; when Noah preacht repen∣tance to the old world, and upon the decree of sending the flood upon the world of the ungodly, called all to come into the Ark to him to escape the deluge, suppose others besides Noahs family had hearkned to his preaching, or suppose he and his sons had had in∣fant children, can we imagine they would have left their infants to that certain ruine, and not have taken them into the ark with them?
[ 13] And Johns baptisme was answerable to that ark, in respect of that approaching ruine on the Jewes, styled the kingdome of hea∣ven v. 1. and that evidenced to be a bloody kingdome, explica∣ted by casting into the fire v. 10. And can we imagine the Jews that believed John and came to his baptisme, did not bring their children with them to save them from the praedicted evils, And then I professe not to see any reason to render it incredible that John Baptist should thus receive and baptize those infants (though the Scripture affirming nothing of it, and tradition, as far as I know, as little, I shall neither affirm nor believe any thing in it) This only is certain, that among the Jewes of that time in∣fant Children were known to be capable of entring into covenant with God after this manner, and of being partakers of the bene∣fit of the Covenant by that means.
[ 14] And one thing more I may adde, that Christ himself, who was by his sinlesness, as unqualified for the Repentance which John preacht, as the infants were by their incapacities, did yet come and was received to Johns baptisme, v. 13. and then in c•se Page 45infants were brought, why might not they be received also?
[ 15] Then 2. for as much as concerned the Apostles Mat. 10. First, Tis there evident that they were sent to the lost sheep indefinitely, and sure that phrase comprehends the Lambs also, the infant chil∣dren being lost in Adam as well as the grown men, by the additi∣on of their actual to original sin: And then why should we doubt but the Apostles mission extended to them also?
[ 16] An 2. for their preaching, it is just as Johns was, to warn them to beware of the imminent destruction, that vindicative act of Gods kingdome v. 7. that all that should give ear and heed to them might hasten to get out of that danger by reformation and new life; and the ruine being impendent to the young as well as old, even the whole nation, why should not the infant children be rescued from that by their parents care in bringing them to baptisme, and timely ingaging them to fly from the wrath to come, as soon as they should come to understanding, injoying in the mean time the benefit of others charity?
[ 17] Thirdly, After their preaching though there be no mention of baptizing (and so it was not so fit to be produced to our present business) yet other things there are appointed to be done, where∣in infants were concerned as well as others, as healing of diseases &c. and if being incapable of receiving benefit from preaching should be deemed an obstacle to their being baptized, why should it not to their receiving of cures? Nay I may adde, How should the dead in that place (who sure were as uncapable of hearing or understanding as the tenderest infant) be capable of being raised by those Apostles, which yet is there affirmed of them, v. 8.
[ 18] And so much for that reason also, and in like manner for the third, which is but repeating the last branch of this second, that the Apostles were to disciple all nations by the same way that they discipled the lost sheep of the house of Israel, which was, saith he, by preaching and therefore supposed precedent instruction.
[ 19] In what sense, I have now shewed, viz. by preaching, to the nations, and receiving all that came in to the discipleship, whether on their own leggs, or in others arms, whole families at once, the parents, and upon their undertaking their infant children also.
[ 20] His fourth proof is taken from the use and notation of the word, which is so to teach as that they learn, and so, saith he, is Page 46 used Mat. 13.52. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is rendred, [instructed] by our last translators, and can be no otherwise rendred than [made a disciple by teaching] so Act. 14.21. it is said, Having preached the Gos∣pel to that city, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and having taught or made many disciples.
[ 21] For the notation of the word we have formerly said sufficient, that it signifies to receive ad discipulatum, as into a school of Spiritual instruction,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 to make a disciple, and such he is made, who by any motive or means either comes or is brought into the school, this indeed in order to teaching in the Master, and to learning in the scholar, and the one so to teach, as that the other learn, but this subsequent to his being made a disciple, the youth we know enters into the school, is admitted into the College and Ʋniversity, before he learns a word there, the instruction or learning is still lookt upon as future, at his entring into disciple∣ship.
[ 22] And this is all the importance of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Mat. 13.5. only some accidental differences may be observed, 'tis in the passive, and in the Aorist in the preter tense, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 every Scribe which is or hath been entred as a disciple unto the kingdome of heaven, who since his entrance hath been instructed and (as real passives import) recei∣ved influence, been really affected and changed by discipleship, still no way supposing that he was instructed in the learning or myste∣ries of the kingdome of heaven, before he was thus admitted a disciple to it; After his admission, there is no doubt but he doth (or ought to) learn, nay being there 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a Scribe discipled, a grown man and learned among the Jews, be∣fore he came to Christ, I doubt not but some knowledge he had of it before he entred himself a disciple (see baptizing of infants, p. 199.) but this not by force of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for still a disciple he may be before he learns, and is therefore obliged to learn, because he hath assumed and undertaken to do so, either per∣sonally, or by others susception, by his coming, or being brought to be a disciple.
[ 23] So in the other place Act. 14.21. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉] signifies no more then having received, or initiated, i. e. (I suppose) by this rite of baptisme, made and baptized many disciples, which Page 47 though it be there set down as a consequent of the Apostles preach∣ing the Gospel in that City (for otherwise it were not imaginable that they should receive any disciples there, they must first pro∣claim admission to all that come, before any can be expected either to come, or be brought to them) yet may it very reasonably be ex∣tended to more persons then those that understood their preaching, viz. to the infant children of their proselytes, brought to them by their parents and dedicated to Christ.
[ 24] Thus invalid are his attempts from the notation of the word, and by consequence his inference from thence (which is set down as his fift proof) that thereby it may appear how the Apostles un∣derstood the precept of Christ to preach the Gospel to persons and thereby make them disciples. For although the practice of the Apostles be indeed the means by which we may discerne how they understood Christs precept (and those two places cited by Mr. T. from Mat. 13. and Act. 14. do no way belong to that, they tell us not, whether they received infants to baptisme, or not) yet I may very well ward my self from any inconvenience, which this use of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in other places can threaten, it being already vindicated from all necessity that it should be confined to grown men, and not communicated to infants also.
[ 25] His last proof is by returning to the first again, comparing the words in Matthew with the parallel place in Mark, Whereby, saith he, a disciple and believer will appear to be the same, the disciple to be baptized in Mat. being in Mark expressed by the be∣liever, which is put before baptism.
[ 26] To this I answer, 1. that that passage in S. Mark, He that be∣lieves and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned, and so on to the end of the Gospel, is (as even now I intimated) added by that Evangelist, to the words, as they are set down in Matthew and so being an addition, cannot be looked on, as exactly parallel to the words in Matthew, Go, and disciple all nations baptizing them— And this we also know is ordinary for one Evangelist to set down more fully, what is omit∣ted or more shortly set down in another, and S. Mark that in other things was willing to abbreviate S. Matthew, doth now vi∣sibly in large; And so the comparison cannot regularly be made be∣twixt these two Evangelists words, something being abbreviatedPage 48 in Mark which was more at large in Matthew, and something more concisely set down in Matthew, and more largely in Mark. And then what necessity is there, that Mark not mentioning dis∣cipling but believing: and Matthew mentioning discipling but not believing the discipled and believers should be deemed the same.
[ 27] Tis true indeed of grown men, none can in reason be admitted dis∣ciples, which are not also believers (the ground of which I have set down in the Resol. of the Quaere p. 199.) but of infant children this is not true, for those, though they cannot come, may yet be brought, and though not upon their own confession, yet by the susception of others, made capable of the Churches charity, and so may be disciples without actual or personal belief.
[ 28] Nay 2dly if Mr. T. his argument had power to infer it, twere that which I might safely avouch, that infants may be comprehen∣ded under the style 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, they that believe and are baptized; so even now we had it in the expresse words of Christ, the little ones (and S. Luke specifies them to be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉little infants) that believe on him: i. e. just as they are said elsewhere to come unto him, when they are as uncapable, for want of bodily strength, of personal coming, as for want of strength of minde or judgement, for personal believing, and yet in respect of others bringing them to Christ (and so to the Church in baptisme) they are by Christ himself said to do both of these, to come in one place, and to be∣lieve in the other.
[ 29] But then 3dly, I willingly acknowledge that the word [believe] in Mark, belongs peculiarly to the grown men and women, who are called by the preaching of the Gospel, of whom though it be said, that believing and being baptized they shall be saved, and not believing they shall be damned, yet it no way follows, that none but such as thus personally believed, should be baptized, or that being baptized they should not be saved, but lose all the be∣nefit of their baptisme.
[ 30] The later part of the words is considerable; He that believeth not shall be damned, Infidelity is pitcht on, as the thing peculiar∣ly, that incurs the certain damnation, i. e. the voluntary resisting the Faith, when it is preacht convincingly to them, and of that none are capable, but those that are arrived to years of under∣standing. Which as it is an indication that that ver. and those that Page 49 follow in S. Mark of believers casting out devils, &c. v. 17, 18. belong to adulti peculiarly, so it no way hinders but S. Matthews words being different from them, and supposed to be precedent to them in Christs delivery, may comprehend infants also, as such who are capable of entring into discipleship, and of being brought and presented to the Apostles by believing parents, This being the way whereby the faith of the parents may be signally beneficial to the childe, in bringing him thus early into the School, and so to the benediction of Christ, the parents together with the infant children, as among the Jews so among Christians, entring together into covenant with God.
[ 31] In this matter Mr. T. is willing to finde a difference betwixt Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever Christ hath com∣manded them, Mat. 28.20. and the preaching of the Gospel in S. Mark: thinking by that means to avoid the importunity of that text in Matthew, which evidently sets baptisme before in∣structing. But this can avail him nothing, For if by the Gospel in Mark we understand the whole Gospel, as in reason we must, for that is it which must be preacht to every creature (the Gentile world) then is that directly all one with teaching them to observe whatsoever he hath commanded; But if by preaching the Gospel we mean no more then, as Mr. T. here saith, that Jesus is the Christ, i. e. the proposing him as a Master, and calling all to come to him as disciples, then this being supposed precedent to mens com∣ing to discipleship, or bringing their infants to it (for without this they cannot be expected to come themselves, or to bring their in∣fants) all the rest is left to follow baptisme, and so all particular Christian instruction is subsequent, not precedent to baptisme, an effect of their discipleship, attending it, no way necessary to pre∣pare for it, which is the utmost 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which from that circumstance of that text I undertook to demonstrate.
Sect. 3. Discipleship before instruction. What knowledge of the Master is required to discipleship. Two sorts of disciples, Some come, others are brought.
[ 1] HIS reasons for the disproving of my interpretation of Mat. 28. being thus evidenced to have no force or validity in them against our pretensions, and so indeed his whole fabrick demolished, (that place of S. Mat. being the one main (if not on∣ly) ground of Antipaedobaptists structure) I might well spare the advantages of the 26, 27, 28. §§. to which he makes some kinde of answer in the remainder of his 25 Chapter: But there is so little weight in his answers that they will be speedily dis∣patched.
[ 2] First then to my 26 §. he saith, that were it all granted me, yet it would no whit avail to prove that an infant may be a disciple appointed by Christ to be baptized. To this I reply, that the 26 §. being most of it spent for the explaining an hard place 1 Pet. 3.21. concerning baptisme, and for assigning the due notion to 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a question, or addresse as to an Oracle, for instruction for the future life, I pretended not to conclude in∣fant baptisme from thence, nor any more then this, that baptisme being the entring of a disciple, and not praerequiring actual in∣struction, but consisting in coming to Christ and his Church to re∣ceive it for the future, 'tis certain that by this account children are capable of baptisme, because they may by the care of their parents be thus brought early to Christ, and entred into his school by them, before they themselves have faculties either to desire, or know what is done to them, the proportion holding in this be∣twixt infants and other scholars that are entred by their parents in any school before they know one letter in the book, or have actual willingness to acquire any knowledge; And this is there il∣lustrated by the example Philip, Joh. 1.44. and of the Jews, Ex. 19.8. which have again been mentioned, and are clear eviden∣ces, Page 51 that those may be received into discipleship which have not yet had precedent instruction.
[ 3] Against this all that he hath to pretend is set down by him in these words, Let putting to school be as early as the Doctor will imagine, yet none is put to school till he doth know his teacher, and so none is Christ's disciple in the Scripture language till he know Jesus to be Christ, and take him for his Lord, which infants being not capable of, they are not disciples, nor to be baptized according to Christ's appointment.
[ 4] To this I answer, 1. That the example which I had used of chil∣dren being brought to School by the care of their parents, was designed to shew no more then this, that they may be delivered up to be scholars, who as yet know nothing of what they are to learn, nor have actual willingnesse to acquire knowledge, and consequently that entrance into discipleship referres onely to sub∣sequent, supposes not any precedent instruction.
[ 5] And this is competently evidenced by that example, though it were supposed of the child that goes to school, that he knowes his teacher, this bare knowledge of the person of his teacher, being none of the documents which he comes to school to learn, but the good letters that are profest and taught in the school, nor indeed is it imaginable why a blind child which is brought to school, or put to an instructer, and so cannot be deemed to know the Ma∣ster, before assuetude hath acquainted him with him, should not yet be said, with as full propriety of speech, to come to school, as he that useth his own eyes as well as feet to direct him thi∣ther.
[ 6] 2dly. It is as true, that children that are brought to School do not always know their Masters before their entrance, no not by the most superficiall knowledge; Many are brought to publick Schools, who never so much as saw their Masters, till they are by their parents delivered up into their power and discipline; If this be not plain enough, then change the similitude from the Schoolma∣ster to the parent or guardian, or the very nurse, every one of these are to feed and nourish, and, as he shall be capable, to in∣struct the child, and so doth Christ in a Spirituall sense, whoso∣ever is intrusted (by being brought) to him in baptisme. And we know God and Nature doth thus bring a child to the parent, to Page 52 the nourse or Guardian, when the child knows none of these, nor understands any more of all these transactions, then the infant doth at the font conceive what is done to it there. And so still this evidenceth the vanity of this answer concerning the childs knowing his teacher.
[ 7] But then 3dly. This so imperfect superficial knowledge of the teacher is in no wise worth considering in this matter; For I shall demand, doth such very imperfect knowledge of Christ, as a Schoolboy hath of his teacher, the first hour he comes into the School, qualifie him for discipleship to Christ, or no? If it do, then his countrymen and kinsmen, before he revealed himself to be the Messiah, and the Pharisees, which believed not his miracles, were sufficiently qualified, and then tis evident that those might be admitted to discipleship, which were not believers, and so all Mr. T. his hypotheses are destroyed, and then infants may be di∣scipled and baptized, though they be not believers.
[ 8] As for that which he here interposes [the knowing Jesus to be Christ, and taking him for his Lord] this bears no proportion with the childs bare knowing of his master, but is farre above it, equal to his making it his own choice to have this Master, ra∣ther then any other, and promising exact obedience to him, which is much more then is to be found in most young scholars, or in∣deed in any that are brought by their parents or guardians, who alone are the persons who bear proportion with the infants brought by others to baptisme.
[ 9] So that this reasoning of his is soon salved by distinguishing of disciples, that they are either such as come, or such as are brought to School, proselytes of their own choice, or children under the care of others, of the former sort there are none but such as have some rude imperfect knowledge of Christ, upon which they make this choice, and without it would not probably be expected to make it; But for children which as minors in their guardians hands, have no will of their own, there is no necessity they should have know∣ledge to move their will, they may very reasonably be acted by the will of others, and by their charity be made partakers of those priviledges which are communicated from Christ, in his Church to all true members thereof, and to that end be discipled and, baptized, entred by this ceremonie into the Page 53Church of God, where instruction is to be had, as soon as they are capable of it, and in the mean while partake of those other advantages, of which their condition is capable.
Sect. 4. The difference of a disciple and proselyte examined. Christian as well as Jewish proselytes, Priviledges of proselytisme, Di∣sciples of the Pharisees. The Holy Ghost's not using the word proselyte of Christians, concludes nothing. Jehovah. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Infants qualified for baptisme. As for entring into Covenant Deut. 29. Gods oath. Infants adjured, Creples capable of Christ's cures.
[ 1] TO my 27. and 28. §§. his answer is brief, that what I say is not right; And for proof, though he begins with a [For 1.] and so by his forme of branching, promises more reasons then one, yet that first hath never a [Secondly] to follow or back it, and so tis all resolved into that one, viz. that it is not true that a di∣sciple and a proselyte are perfectly all one.
[ 2] To this therefore I must advert, and consider what nice diffe∣rence he can spring betwixt a disciple and a proselyte, whereupon to found satisfaction for conscience why infants may be pro∣selytes, and as such, come unto Christ, and yet cannot be made disciples, or received in baptisme to discipleship.
[ 3] And his reason is, because a proselyte, saith he, notes one that is by birth an alien from the Commonwealth of Israel, and comes to the Israelites to own their God, and be part of their policie, and not to be taught, but enjoy priviledges with other Jewes, whether Civil or Ecclesiastical.
[ 4] But certainly this is no reason of difference, for besides that I, in that §. 27. acknowledged this accidental difference, that a proselyte denotes a coming from some other nation (as a disciple doth not) adding that this difference had no place in this matter, where the disciples are specified to be received from all nations; besides this, I say, it cannot be unknown to Mr. T. that I speak of Page 54proselytes in such a notion as is equally competible to all of what nation soever they are, that enter into Covenant with God.
[ 5] Thus do we find a proselyte defined, Heb. 11.6. by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, he that cometh to God, thus doth a Jew when he enters into Covenant of obedience to him, and thus did a Gentile when he undertook the whole law of the Jewes, and was therefore 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a proselyte of their covenant, and a prose∣lyte of their righteousnesse, and such is every one whether Jew or Gentile, that cometh to Christ; and as the two former of these were made partakers of priviledges by this means, particularly allowed freely to enter into the congregation, and infants as well as grown men, were thus among them admitted into Covenant; so it is not imaginable why it should not hold of the Christian prose∣lytes also, nor why the Christian infants thus received into Cove∣nant by Christ, after the same manner as Jewish and Gentile Infants were among the antient people of God, i. e. by baptisme, should not as properly be called proselytes of Christ, though they neither come from any other nation, nor ever associate themselves with Israelites according to the flesh.
[ 6] And whereas he saith of the proselytes coming to the Israelites, that they came not to be taught, but to enjoy priviledges, I cannot divine what motive he had to affirme it, for sure the infant child that was baptized, and so received into the congregation of Israel did come to learn the Jewish religion, into which he was thus early initiated, and that was one speciall priviledge (the rest of the hea∣then having not knowledge of these lawes,) the immediate end of his proselytisme, yet not excluding those other ends of injoying all other priviledges both Civil and Ecclesiastical thereby.
[ 7] And when he addes, but a disciple of Christ is one that ownes Christ for his teacher and Lord onely for spiritual benefits, I might well acknowledge it, and aske, why then an infant, who hath need of those spiritual benefits, assoon as he is born, should not be hastened to a participation of them? But it is farther evident, that spiritual benefits being first and principally designed, other even secular advantages may very lawfully be respected, and rea∣ped by them that are thus early brought in, whether as disciples, or proselytes to Christ.
[ 8] Two sage observations he here addeth, 1. That there is no Page 55 mention of the disciples of the priests, but of the Pharisees and Sadduces, and I can very well grant it, who speak not of any lower kinde of disciples, but either of God among the Jews, or of Christ, among us Christians, those being the only discipleships, to which they were admitted by the ceremony of baptisme, the di∣sciples of the Pharisees and Sadduces being but a subdivision, and notification of several sects among Jews, as there are different de∣nominations of Christians (the more the pity) which divide unity, but use not new baptismes, to discriminate them, I am sure contra∣dict the Apostle if they doe.
[ 9] His 2d observation is, that the holy Ghost doth not at any time call Christians Christs proselytes, but his disciples, that, saith he, we might not confound the notions of these terms; But I answer, 1. that those texts that expresse the Christians entring into di∣scipleship, by coming unto him (of which there are good store) do in effect call them proselytes, for a proselyte is a Greek noun de∣rived immediatly from the verb 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉to come unto.
[ 10] And 2dly that if this word, whether in it self, or in the verb from whence it comes, had never been used in the New Testament, yet would it not thence follow, that we might not confound the no∣tions of proselytes and disciples: The word Jehovah is never used by the Holy Ghost in the New Testament, yet may we not thence conclude, that the notion of Jehovah and God are divers: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the known style of the Nicene Fathers, is never found used by the writers of the Bible, yet sure it no way follows thence, that the notion of that word, and of this phrase [I and my Father are one] are different and may not be confounded. Tis pity to lose time on such fictions of scruple, and difficulty as these.
[ 11] What now is further said by him in this chapter, both concern∣ing little ones coming unto Christ, and of their entring into covenant, Deut. 29.10. is on both sides but a bare denyal of that which is competently proved in that 28 §. For tis there evident that infant children are and always were accounted capable of proselytisme and so of being entred disciples, and par∣ticularly of being entred into covenant with God, and so of being baptized, and there is no reason imaginable, why the infants which were capable of coming to Christ, were blessed by him were affirmed by him to be qualified for the kingdome of heaven, should Page 56 be denyed water to be baptized: The holy Ghost being fallen on the Gentiles that came with Cornelius, Peter durst not deny them baptisme; And with what equity can the Christian Church do it to those, who are qualified for the receiving pardon of sin, for be∣ing blest by Christ, for being received into Covenant with him, and may afterward be instructed in all things which are needful to be learnt, For that still they are unqualified, till by hearing they own Christ as their Master, this is a begging of the question, without any the least tender of proof.
[ 12] As for entring into covenant, when by the force of Deut. 29.10. he is forced to yield it competible to infants, yet he will do his best to escape the conviction which it offers him, 1. by modifying the sense, then by invalidating my inference from it.
[ 13] First, though he yield that they may enter into Covenant, yet this, saith he, but in some sense, by their fathers act ingaging them under a curse or oath to own God as theirs, in which sense the po∣sterity then unborn did enter into covenant, Deut. 29.15.
[ 14] But if we examine the place, it will be most clear, 1. that the Covenant is entred into by the infants, just as by the rest of them, the wives and the strangers or proselytes: On their part, Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord, that thou shouldst enter into Co∣venant with the Lord; and on Gods part, that he may establish thee this day for a people.
[ 15] 2dly Here is in the text no mention of any act of the fathers ingaging them under a curse or oath, but only of Gods oath which he maketh to them. v. 12.
[ 16] 3dly If they had thus adjured, or laid oath or curse upon their children, yet would this make no difference betwixt their and our entring into Covenant; we by the oath of baptisme which is laid on the childe (by him to be performed when he comes to ability, unlesse he will forfeit all the benefits of his baptisme) do in like manner adjure our infants, though whilest they remain such, they hear it as little as the Jewish infants did.
[ 17] 4thly Whereas from v. 15. he cites that the posterity then unborn thus entred into Covenant, there is no such word in the text▪ no mention of [posterity] or of [unborn] but of them only, who were not that day with them, i. e. (I suppose) were at that time of assmbling absent from the Congregation. I wonder why Page 57 Mr. T. should attempt thus to impose upon the reader.
[ 18] As for our inference (which is this, that by parity of reason, in∣fants may be entred into discipleship, and accordingly baptized, as well as they then might be entred into the covenant of God) he simply rejects it, without any farther notice of his reason again, save onely this, that in baptisme such a discipleship is injoyn'd as is by preaching the Gospel, and they onely are disciples that are believers, and the onely are appointed to be baptized, who in their own persons do enter into Covenant and ingage themselves to be Christs followers, and this is again but a pitifull petitio principii, a denying our conclusion when the premises cannot be denyed, and so invincibly inferre the conclusion, viz. that those may be brought to and received into discipleship, covenant, baptisme, which in their own persons are not yet able to come to Christ, as those Criples may be born by others to Christ, who wanted strength to addresse themselves, and be as really partakers of his healing mi∣racles, as those who came to him on their own legges. And so much also for the 25th Chapter.