Sect. 1. The interpretation of 1 Cor. 7.12. vindicated. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Sancti∣fication used to denote baptisme, the use of it in the Fathers and Scripture. Tertullians testimonie: designati Sanctitatis. Origen. Author Quaest: ad Antiochum. Cyprian. Chrysostome. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 there, infant children, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the Epistles. S. Augu∣stines words examined.
[ 1] IN his last Chapter he proceeds to the view of those §§. which set down the positive part of our basis, evidencing the opinion and sense, which the Apostles had of Christ's institution, and of his intention to include, and not to exclude infants from bap∣tisme.
[ 2] The Apostles sense must be judged by their own usage▪ and practice, and that is testified to us two waies, 1. by one con∣siderable remain and indication of it in S. Paul, 2. By the practice of the first and purest ages of the Church, receiving in∣fants to baptisme, and so testifying the Apostolical usage, and farther affirming that they received it by tradition from the Apo∣stles.
[ 3] The remain, and indication in S. Paul is in the known place of 1 Cor. 7.12. where speaking of the believers children he saith v. 14▪ 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. but now are they holy, i. e. it is the present practice of the Church (that Apostolical Church in S. Paul's time) to admit to baptisme the infant chldren of parents, of whom one is Christian though not of others.
[ 4] That this is the meaning of [holy] is there made evident, as by other arguments, so by this, that the antient Fathers who knew the sacred dialect, call baptisme Sanctification, Eum qui natus Page 59 est, baptizandum & sanctificandum, in Cyprian, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉to be sanctifyed when they have no feeling of it, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, let him be sanctified from the infancie, i. e. bap∣tized then, in Gregorie Nazianzen.
[ 5] To which testimonies, and the rest which is there produced out of the agreement of the Jewish style (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉sanctifications for baptismes, to which agrees Maecarius's saying of the Jewish bap∣tisme, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, it sanctifies the flesh, Hom. 47. p. 509.) because the main difficulty of the interpretation consists herein, I sh•ll now adde more, one very antient before any of these (within less then an 100. years after the death of S. John) Tertullian de Animâ, c. 39. where speaking of infants, and saying, ex sancti∣ficato alterutro sexu sanctos procreari, that when either the father or mother is sanctified (i. e. received as a believer by baptisme in∣to the Church, the children are holy &c. (clear evidences of the notion of the word) this he there proves by these very words of this Apostle, Caeterum, inquit, immundi nascuntur, else (so caeterum in Tertullian's style is known to be put for alioqui or the Greek 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) were your children unclean, adding in stead of these other words [but now are they holy] quasi designatos tamen sanctita∣tis & per hoc etiam salutis, intelligi volens fidelium filios, hereby willing that we should understand that the children of believers are the designed, or the sealed of holyness (in the sense, I conceive, wherein they that are baptized are by the antients frequently said 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 to be sealed) and thereby of salvation also: And all this, saith he, thus urged by the Apostle, ut hujus spei pignora ma∣trimoniis quae retinenda censuerat, patrocinarentur, that this hope might be a pledge to ingage the believing wife or husband not to part from the unbeliever, And he yet farther addes (still to the con∣firming of this interpretation) Alioqui meminerat Dominicae defi∣nitionis, Nisi quis nascatur ex aquâ & spiritu, non introibit in regnum Dei, i. e. non erit Sanctus. Otherwise (or if this argu∣ment of the Apostle had not been sufficient) he would have men∣tioned the definition of Christ, that unless one be born of water and the Spirit (i. e. baptized) he shall not enter into the kingdome of God, i. e. shall not be holy, shewing still of what holyness he under∣stands the Apostles speech, that which the child of the believer is made partaker of by baptisme, concluding, Ita omnis anima usque Page 60 eo in Adam censetur donec in Christo recenseatur, tamdiu im∣munda quamdiu recenseatur, Every soul is so long inrolled in Adam till it be inrolled anew in Christ, and is so long unclean till it be thus anew inrolled, which as it supposes every child of Adam to be impure, till he be thus by baptisme made a child of Gods, a member of Christ, so it gives a full account of that un∣cleanesse, and that holyness of which the Apostle speaks the former the state of a child of Adam unbaptized, the later of him that by baptisme is initiated and matriculated into Christ.
[ 6] *And to this agrees perfectly that of Origen (of the same age, a very few years after Tertullian) speaking of the Apostles (from whom, saith he, the Church received by tradition that in∣fants should be baptized) Sciebant enim illi quibus mysteriorum secreta commissa sunt divinorum, quia essent in omnibus genuinae sordes peccati, quae per aquam & spiritum ablui deberent, They to whom the secrets of the divine mysteries or Sacraments were com∣mitted, knew that there are in all the connatural pollutions of sin, which ought to be washt away by water and the spirit, giving us to understand what uncleanness and holyness it is, that children are capable of, the uncleanness of their birth from Adam, and the cleanness or sanctity of Christian baptisme.
[ 7] So Athanasius*Quaest. ad Antioch. 114. (or whosoever it is under the name of that antient Father) where the salvation of the baptized infants is concluded by him upon force of those two texts, Suffer little children to come unto me; and, now are your chil∣dren holy, whereto he there sets parallel, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the baptized infants of believers, as the plain paraphrase of the Apostles words.
[ 8] To these I farther adde another passage of *Cyprian, together with the 66. Bishops that were in Councel with him in their Epi∣stle to Fidus, where speaking of the baptisme of infants and ex∣pressely forbidding that any such should be hindred or kept from it, he brings for proof of it the words of S. Peter, that the Lord had said unto him that he should count none common or unclean, where it appears what was that Holy Fathers notion of common or unclean, such as might be refused baptisme, and consequently they which are not such, but on the contrary 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉clean or holy (and such saith Paul here are the believers children) are to be admitted thither.
Page 61 [ 9] Upon which words of S. Cyprian* S. Augustine speaking saith, he made no new decree, but kept most firme the faith of the Church, & mox natum rite baptizari posse cum suis coepiscopis censuit, and he and his fellow Bishops resolved that a child might duely be baptized as soon as born.
[ 10] So * S. Chrysostome in his 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 to them that were to be baptized, speaking of the several titles of baptisme, applies unto it that of the Apostle 1 Cor. 6.11. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified:* and again, of those that were baptized, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Scripture pronounces them not onely made clean but just and holy also.
[ 11] So *Gregorie Nyssene in like manner, Glaphyr: in Exod. l. 2. speaking of him that deferres baptisme to old age, saith, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 &c. he is sanctified indeed, i. e. baptized, but brings in no pro∣fit to God. And *Comm: in Is. l. 1. Or. 1. speaking of bap∣tisme again, and the sufficiency to wash away sin, he addes 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉— But they are once sancti∣fied, i. e. baptized— But I need no more such like suffra∣ges.
[ 12] This I have both there (§§. 34, 35, 36, 37.) and here thus large∣ly deduced, because in this one matter all the difficulty consists, and if it be once granted that this is the meaning of [Now are your chil∣dren holy] then here is an evidence undenyable of the Apostles practice of baptizing infants, and consequently an irrefragable testimonie of their sense of Christs institution, including, not ex∣cluding infants.
[ 13] And so this is a short and clear way of preventing all Mr. T. his indevours and pains (so largely taken) to invalidate my con∣clusion from this place of the Apostle, and I need not now be far∣ther sollicitous for my paraphrase on all those 3. verses, wherein he would fain find out some excesses and defects, some insertions and omissions; If such there were (as I doubt not to evidence there are none) it would be little for his advantage, as long as the interpretation of the last words [but now are they (i. e. your chil∣dren) holy] appears to be this, [but now are your infant children partakers of the priviledge of baptisme] for this one part of that verse concludes all that I pretend, or he oppugneth: And this I Page 72 hope is now cleared to be no singular interpretation of mine, but that which (beside the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the rational importance of the Con∣text concluding it) the style of Scripture and the uniforme attesta∣tion of the antientest writers assign to it, so that there can be no reason for doubting in it.
[ 14] Yet because this is one of the exuberancies objected to my pa∣raphrase (and the onely one which I can without impertinence take notice of) that the term [young children of Christians—] is more then is in the text, which hath onely [your children] which saith he, is not restrained to infancie, I shall briefely remove this exception, 1. By the authority of Tertullian just now produced, who interpreted it of their infant children, as appeared both by the express words [sanctos procreari] and the [caeterum immundi nascerentur] and by the occasion of that discourse in that place, which was the immunda nativitas ethnicorum, the unclean birth of heathens children, and the unlawfulnesse of baptizing them, un∣lesse one of the parents were Christian. To which may be added also Nazianzens phrase forementioned, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, being sanctified from infancie (for so sure 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifies, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a child before or soon after birth, saith Hesychius, and Aristophanes the Grammarian cited by *Eustathius, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a child new born) which in all probability referres to this place of the Apostle, and so renders, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, their chil∣dren by their infant children.
[ 15] 2dly. Tis as manifest by the general doctrine of the Fathers, when they speak of the faith of parents profiting their children, meaning alwaies their infant children, brought to baptisme by the faith of their parents, before they are personally capable of having faith themselves.
[ 16] 3dly. By the inconveniences which must follow in case it be in∣terpreted of any other but infant children. For suposing them come to years of understanding, and capacity, they shall then either be supposed to have received the faith or to remain in infide∣lity: If they have received the faith & then be baptized, tis evident that this benefit comes not to them upon any consideration of the faith of the parent, but upon their own personal profession, and consequently that these cannot be spoken of by the Apostle in that place, where he makes the sanctification or baptisme of the Page 63children a benefit of the believing parents cohabiting with the unbeliever, and as Tertullian saith, patropinium, a plea to move the beleever not to depart. But if they have lived to years and not received the faith, tis then certain that they may not be baptized at all; And so tis manifest it must be understood of the infant (un∣capable) children, and none else.
[ 17] Tis true that Mr. T. also excepteth against the paraphrasing of [holy] by [admitted to baptisme] affirming this to be a sense of the word, no where else found. But this I hope I have cleared already, both from the usage of the word among the Jewish and first Christian writers, and might farther do it even by this Apostles dialect, who in his inscriptions of most of his Epistles to the Churches, calls all those to whom he writes, i. e. the baptized Christians of those Churches, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 holy, Rom. 1.17. and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉sanctified, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉holy, 1 Cor. 1.2. and again 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉holy, 2 Cor. 1.1. and Eph. 1.1. Phil. 1.1: Col. 1.1. among whom no doubt there were many who were no otherwise holy or sanctified, then as all baptized Christians are capable of that style. But I shall need adde no more of that to what hath been already so largely said.
[ 18] And the parts of my interpretation being thus cleared, that their children] were their babes or infants, and their being holy] their being baptized, tis sure I cannot be concerned in his conclusi∣on, that he never read or heard any exposition antient or modern so expounding as this Doctor or Dictator doth, nor do I think he can shew any] I hope now he will alter his mind, and acknow∣ledge that it was his own fault, that this interpretation seemed so new and strange to him.
[ 19] As for the one place of S. Augustine produced by him (it should be, l. 2. de Pecc. Mer. & remiss. c. 26.) to the seeming prejudice of this interpretation, Ac per hoc & illa sanctificatio cujuscunque modi sit quam in filiis fidelium esse dixit Apostolus, ad istam de baptismo & peccati origine vel remissione quaestionem omnino non pertinet] it will easily be reconciled to it, if we but mark what question it is, that there he speaks of, even that which he had then in hand, viz. whether baptisme were necessa∣ry to remission of sinnes, and entring the kingdome of hea∣ven.
Page 64 [ 20] That this was the question in hand appeareth by the words immediately precedent, which are these sanctificatio, Catechu∣men• si non fuerit baptizat••, non ei valet ad in•randum regnum coelorum aut ad peccatorum remissionem, The sanctification of a Catechumenus (what that is he had mentioned before, Catechu∣menos secundum quendam modum suum per signum Christi & orationem impositionis manuum puto sanctificari, that some kind of sanctification which the unbaptized might have by prayer and imposition of hands, of which we sometimes read in the antients, as hath elsewhere been shewed) profits him not for the entring the kingdome of heaven, or obteining remission of sins, unless he be baptized. And therefore that sanctification of what∣soever kind it is, viz. if it be without baptisme, belongs not, saith he, to the question then in hand concerning baptisme and the original and pardon of sin.
[ 21] Here then I suppose is Saint Augustines meaning. The ad∣versaries with whom he disputes (the Pelagians) to maintain the no necessity of baptizing infants for the remission of sinnes, made use of that text, and concluded from it the sanctitie of the Christian infant birth, before, and without baptisme: To this he answers, without any strict examination of the importance of that text, that whatsoever sanctification it can be imagined to be, that the Apostle speakes of, except it be that of baptisme, it cannot avail to the remission of sinnes, &c. Some improper kind of sanctification, saith he, he may confesse, secundum quendam modum, in him that is not yet baptized, but that without baptisme non valet ad intrandum, is not of force for entring into the king∣dome of heaven, and therefore whatsoever sanctification that is (viz. Whatsoever without baptisme) it belongs not to his question then before him, and so the Apostles words can have no force a∣gainst him.
[ 22] This I suppose then to be in brief S. Augustines meaning in that place, that tis not the holinesse of the Christian infants birth, but of their baptisme, which stands them in stead toward the kingdome of heaven: And then that, as it is no evidence on my side, that he interpreted that place to the Cor. as I interpret it, so it affirmes nothing to the contrary, but leaves it in medio, having his advantages other wayes against the disputers.
Page 65 [ 23] However for the substance, his accord with us is evident and his conclusion firme both in that place, and l. 3. de Pecc. mer. & Remiss. c. 12. Illud sine dubitatione tenendum, quaecunque illa sanctificatio sit, non valere ad Christianos faciendos, atque ad dimittenda peccata, nisi Christiana atque Ecclesiasticâ insti∣tutione & Sacramentis •ffici 〈◊〉 fidele•. It is to be held without doubting, that whatsoever that sanctification be▪ it availes not to the making them Christians and to the obteining remission of sins, unlesse by Christian and Ecclesiastical institution, and by the Sa∣craments they be made faithfull.
[ 24] This is all that I can seasonably return for the vindicating of my paraphrase, It would be too immoderate an excursion to take notice of all his pretended objections to the former part of it, which concerns the cohabiting of the believer with the unbeliever, which I assure Mr. T. were easy fully to answer, and shew his mistakes in each particular, if the matter of our present dispute did require, or would well bear a 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of that length, or if I thought it in the least degree usefull to the reader, that I should farther explain the grounds of my paraphrase, then as they are already laid be∣fore him, Sect. 31. &c.
[ 25] Yet because the reasons which I there tendred for the paraphrase taken from the notations of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, hath been sanctified] and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (not to, but) by the wife] and by the plain conse∣quents, what knowest thou ô wife, whether thou shalt save thy hus∣band — are by Mr. T. examined with an endeavour to confute them, and so to overthrow the whole paraphrase, it may perhaps be thought usefull that I should take a view of those his indeavors, and therefore that I shall now proceed to do, and shall there meet with by the way what was most material in his former exceptions against my paraphrase.