The rector rectified and corrected, or, Infant-baptism unlawful being a sober answer to a late pamphlet entituled An argumentative and practical discourse of infant-baptism, published by Mr. William Burkit, rector of Mildin in Suffolk : wherein all his arguments for pedo-baptism are refuted and the necessity of immersion, i.e. dipping, is evidenced, and the people falsly called Anabaptists are cleared from those unjust reproaches and calumnies cast upon them : together with a reply to the Athenian gazette added to their 5th volume about infant-baptism : with some remarks upon Mr. John Flavel's last book in answer to Mr. Philip Cary
Keach, Benjamin, 1640-1704.
Page  75


Wherein Mr. Burkitt's other Arguments are answered, viz. (1.) Infants are capable of the Spiritual Benefits by Baptism. (2.) Also that they have habitual Faith. (3.) That Christ has Lambs in his Fold, therefore Infants. (4.) Infants are capable of Christ's Blessing; they were brought to Christ, and received by him. (5.) Infants are in Covenant with a federal Holi∣ness, therefore may be baptized.

YOur third Argument, to prove Infants ought to be baptized, is this,*viz.

If Infants are capable of Spiritual Benefit by Baptism, then Baptism may and ought to be administred to Infants; if they are capable of the inward visible Grace, sure they may par∣take of the outward and visible Sign; if the Word of the Promise doth belong to them, surely the Seal of the Promise ought not to be withheld from them.

But, say you, the former is true, viz. That Infants are capable of Benefits by Baptism; therefore the latter is true, they ought to be Baptized. There are, amongst others, two special Blessings, and spiritual Benefits which Infants are capable of by Baptism, namely, Remission of Sin, and Regeneration.

Page  761.

Remission of Sin; this being an Act of gracious Favour in God, discharging a Per∣son from his obnoxiousness to Wrath upon the score of Guilt contracted, an Infant is certain∣ly as capable of this Act of Favour, as a grown Person. To prove this, you bring in a Simile, That an Infant of a Traitor is as capable of the benefit of the King's gracious Favour, as the Father himself. Suppose the King should send for a Traitor's Child out of the Cradle, (say you) and before all his Courtiers declare, That whereas the Blood of that Child was at∣tainted by its Father's Treason, and therefore, according to Law, its whole Inheritance became forfeited to the Crown; yet, says the King, I will pardon this Infant freely, and restore him to all his forfeited Rights; and in token thereof, I command one of my Ministers to wash the In∣fant in pure Water, signifying thereby to all my Subjects, that he is cleansed from his ori∣ginal Attainder and Corruption of Blood, and that I am perfectly reconciled to him.

I demand, (say you now) whether any one can truly say, that this Action was insignificant to the Child, because he did not understand it? &c.

Answ. Were not the Male Infants of Belie∣vers before Abraham's days, as capable of the Pri∣viledges and Benefits of Circumcision, as Abra∣ham's Male Infants were? If so, why were not they Circumcised? If you say it was, Because God did not require them to be Circumcised, they were not commanded to do it: Even so say I, God hath not commanded Believers to bap∣tize their Infants; therefore whatsoever Benefit or Blessing they are capable of, it signifies no∣thing in the Case, unless there was a Command or Law given us to baptize them.

Page  772. Might you not as well argue, that Infants are capable of the Benefits or Spiritual Blessings signified by the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, therefore may partake of that also? Are not they capable of Redemption from Sin and Wrath, by the breaking of Christ's Body, and shedding of his Blood?

3. And are not Infants of Unbelievers, nay, Turks and Pagans, capable of the Spiritual Be∣nefits signified in Baptism? sure, as considered in themselves, they are: and why then may they not be baptized also?

4. Sir, 'Tis not such are capable of receiving a Favour or Priviledg from God, but rather who he hath in his Sovereign Wisdom granted that Privilege unto: And let me tell you, your Si∣mile quite overthrows your own Argument; for if God, because he is graciously pleased to acquit our Children who die in their Infancy, from the Original Guilt they brought into the World with them, through the Atonement made by Jesus Christ, and in token thereof had commanded us to baptize them, the Case was clear, and our Controversy was at an end: but since he has not required us to do any such thing, whatever Grace or Favour he is pleased to afford to any of our Infants, we have no Warrant to bap∣tize them; his Will and Law, and not our Fan∣cies, being that which gives us Authority to do all we do in his Name or Worship. If God had commanded us to baptize our Infants, we would no more say that Action would be insignificant to our Children, no more than Circumcision was to Children under the Law, whom God required to be Circumcised.

5. Besides, in the last place, Baptism doth not, by God's appointment, belong to them who are capable of the Benefits or Blessings signified thereby, as Remission of Sin and Regenerati∣on, Page  78&c. but only to such who are capable to re∣pent and profess Faith in Christ; these we say, and none else, ought to be baptized, if the Roy∣al Charter, or Grant of the Lord Jesus, be obser∣ved in the case of a regal Right to Baptism, Suppose the King should grant to you, and to all in your Parish, (who have been Traitors to him) who are skilled or learned in the Mathematicks, and understand the Law, to be Officers in some of his Courts, and will then also upon submission pardon you and them of all your horrid Crimes: will you upon this, carry up several ignorant un∣skilful Persons who are in your Parish, tho as guilty of Treason as your selves, and offer them to the King to be Officers and Clerks in his Courts? who indeed, as they are untaught in that Art, so see not their own Guilt, nor submit themselves to the Mercy of the King, and say yet they are capable of Pardon, and to receive the Sallary also. Sir, All that are to be baptized, are, by virtue of the great Commission of our Saviour, to be first taught and made Disciples by teaching; and take heed you add not to his Word, nor attempt to invert the Order of the Charter and gracious Grant of the King of Hea∣ven and Earth; nor go about, as you do, to make void his Commands by your own Tradi∣tions.

2. In pag. 15. you say,

Infants are not less capable of Regeneration of their Nature, than of Remission of Sins, it being certain that no unclean thing can enter into Heaven, that none can be saved whose Natures are not renewed; either the sanctifying Grace of God (say you) must be allowed Infants, or Salvation must be denied them. Regenerating Grace is called by St. John, the Seed of Grace, 1 John 3.9. No way hinders, but that the Soul of an Infant may be as capable of this Seed, as of a grown Page  79 Person: for, say you, I argue, thus, 'If the Image of God, consisting in Holiness, was re∣ceived by the Soul in the first Creation, with∣out the Soul's Contribution to the Production of it, Why may not the same Image of God be restored to the Soul in the second Creation, without the Soul's Concurrence and Co-opera∣tion to the Restitution of it? for why may not the Spirit of God produce in an Infant that imperfect egeneration whereof we are now speaking, as well as he did that per∣fect Holiness in which our first Parents were originally created?

1. I answer, Were there not a dangerous Sting in the Tail of some of your impertinent Interrogations, I might pass them all by with∣out any further Answer than I have before given you. Sir, who questions the Power of God, who is a free Agent, and may do what he pleases? He may, 'tis true, regenerate an Infant, or change the Nature of a Child in its Mother's Womb; and may be doth change, or regenerate the depraved Nature of those Infants who die in their Infancy: but who knows what Infants they are he thus works upon, and fits for Heaven? Secret things, I tell you again, belong to him.

2. But should God tell us which Infants Hearts and Natures he hath thus renewed, yet that can be no ground or warrant to us to give them the Sacrament of Baptism, no more than the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper; and you know well enough the first Fathers of the de∣clining Church brought in Infant-Baptism to wash away that Pollution of their Nature, or free them from the Guilt of Original Sin;* and also those Fathers gave the same Infants the Lord's Supper, and had indeed as good Autho∣rity from God's Word to do the one as the o∣ther. And assure your self they shamefully er∣red Page  80 in both, because both were done without any Warrant or Allowance from God.

But, Sir, how inconsistent are you with your self? even just now you tell us that the Infants of Believers are in Covenant with God, (as well as their Parents) and are therefore holy, and from that ground ought to be baptized: But now it seems as if that Argument was gone with you, and notwithstanding that federal Holiness, they are unclean; and unless they have actually sanctifying Grace, and their filthy Natures are changed, they cannot be saved: You just play the part of a Fencer, and resolve to try your Skill with every Weapon, one while you are a Presbyterian, another time a Church-of-England-Man. But, Sir, speak, doth Baptism change the Nature, or regenerate the Child, or doth it not? the Seed which St. John speaks of, he affirms remains in those Persons in whom it is wrought, sow'd or infused: see 1 Joh. 3.9.

And no doubt, was there indeed such a Di∣vine Habit,* or Seed of Grace infused into Infants in their Baptism, but it would appear in their Lives when grown up. Such as is the Cause, such is the Effect, or Product that is produced, i. e. if Regeneration was wrought in all the Infants you Rantize, Holiness would be the Effect of it, when they come to Age of Understanding; but all Men see the contrary, i. e. they shew their evil and unclean Natures as soon, nay, before they can speak plain; therefore you preach false Doctrine, if you affirm that Baptism renovates or changes their Nature. Nay, and were it so, all that are baptized would be saved; Shall one Soul who passes through Regeneration miss of Salvation?

Reverend Stephen Charnock, tho a Pedo-baptist, speaks more like a Divine and Logician than you do. See his Book on Regenerat. sol. p. 75. Page  81 saith he,

Many Men take Baptism for Regene∣ration; the Ancients usually give it this term; one calls our Saviour's Baptism, his Regenera∣tion *: this confers not Grace, but ingageth to it: outward Water cannot convey inward Life: How can Water, an external thing, work upon the Soul in a Physical manner? Neither can it be proved, that ever the Spirit o God is tied by any Promise, to apply himself to the Soul in a gracious Operation, when Water is applied to the Body. If it were so that all that were baptized were regenerated, then all that were baptized should be saved, or else the Doctrine of Perseverance falls to the ground.
And again he says,
That some indeed say that Regeneration is conferred in Baptism upon the Elect, and exerts it self afterwards in Conver∣sion: But how so active a Principle as a spiri∣tual Life, should lie dead and asleep so long, even many Years, which intervene between Baptism and Conversion, is not easily conceiva∣ble?
So far Mr. Charnock.

'Tis well you call it an imperfect Regenera∣tion, Abortive, or a Monster no doubt; for Baptism forms no Child of God: if it did, how come Simon Magus, who was baptized, to miss of Regeneration? Acts 8.13. And indeed this is an easy way to Heaven; I mean if there is no need of further Regeneration than that poor Babes have in Baptism. I know your Church saith, that an Infant is made thereby a Child of God, a Member of Christ, and an Inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven. Sad Doctrine!* God deliver England from such Guides as teach the common People: Nay, all who will be led or taught by them, that Baptism makes them Christians, and so never teach them to look after any other Re∣generation, tho such whom you baptize, as you call it, if they live, when they are grown up, Page  82 prove wicked and ungodly Persons, or carnal Worldlings. Sir, take heed what you do, lest the Blood of your deceived and miserable People be required at your hands. Is not this to heal the hurt of your People slightly, and to cry, Peace, Peace, when there is no Peace? This is the Sting I saw in the Tail of your Argument.

You ask many Questions, Why may not this be so: and, Why may not that be so? Who taught you thus to argue, what do you prove? But that which troubles me most is this, viz. That after you have put forth these unlearned and weak Questions, you draw Conclusions therefrom, with daring Boldness, after this manner, viz.

What an high Affront then do these Men give to the Omnipotency of the holy Spirit, who affirm, that it is as vain a thing to hope and pray, that Almighty God should regenerate an Infant with his holy Spirit, as to expect that he should illuminate a Stone or a Tree? *pag. 16.

But, say you, if Infants are found capable Subjects of regenerating Grace, and Remission of Sin, as, I hope, appears, then surely they are capable of Baptism; for the outward visible Sign ought not to be denied to such as are capable of the inward spiritual Grace.

Answ. 1. Sir, you are to be rectified, Do we deny the Omnipotency of the holy Spirit? none of us never doubted of the Power of the Spirit in regenerating an Infant, if he pleases so to do; but you are to prove God doth do it, and that by Baptism too; for that's the thing you seem to contend for, which we deny: we say, God can of Stones raise up Children to Abra∣ham, if he pleases.

2. We do affirm, you have as much ground of Faith from any Promise of God, to pray that God would illuminate a Stone or a Tree, as you Page  83 have to pray God by Baptism he would rege∣nerate one Infant. If you pray not in Faith, you sin; and if you have no Promise of God to ground your Faith upon, when you pray God by Baptism to regenerate an Infant, then you cannot pray in Faith. Two things you are to prove;

(1.) That God doth require you to baptize Infants.

(2.) Prove that Baptism is appointed of God to regenerate Children, or the Adult either, if you can.

3. I do say that Baptism doth not belong to them who may be said in a remote sense to be capable of Regeneration; for Unbelievers are ca∣pable of Regeneration (or else sad is their con∣dition) and are they therefore capable of Bap∣tism? Baptism is not an outward Sign of what a Person is capable of, or may have hereafter; but of that thing, or inward spiritual Grace the Person baptized hath at present (or gives some evidence of) before, or at the time when he is baptized; and for this I could cite you di∣vers of the Ancient Fathers, and Modern Divines.

You may be as capable to be a Justice of Peace (as far as I know) as you are to be a Preacher? may you therefore give forth War∣rants, and exercise that Office?

4. And lastly, I must tell you, Infants are not in an ordinary way capable of the Image of God, tho they may be capable of Grace and Salvation by Christ; because the Image of God consisteth in Knowledg, Col. 3.10. And have put on the new Man, which is renewed in Knowledg,*after the Image of him that created him. Hence our Annotators tell you, that in Regeneration, or in restoring the lost Image of God, the Under∣standing must be enlightned; and are Children capable of an enlightned Understanding, who Page  84 have no Understanding at all? or do you pray God would work Miracles? Would it not be a miraculous thing to see a Babe of two or ten days old, to have such Knowledg of God and of Jesus Christ?

Obj. But in Pag. 16. you argue upon us thus, viz.

Circumcision was instituted for the same end that Baptism is; and the Party circum∣cised, was under the same natural Incapacity with the Person baptized:
And from hence you charge us with Arrogancy, as if we would make our selves wiser than God.

1. I answer; We have proved Circumcision was not instituted for the same end that Baptism is, but for several other Grounds and Reasons; therefore what you say is not true. See our Answer.

2. And does it follow, because God command∣ed Abraham to circumcise his Male Infants, that you may command Parents to baptize their In∣fants, both Males and Females, who are not the Subjects Jesus Christ has commanded in the New Testament to be baptized? And do not you herein make your selves wiser than God? O how justly may this Arrogancy be retorted back upon your selves!

Your Brethren,* the Athenian Society, in two or three of their Mercuries, tell us, in some parts of the World they circumcise their Females; and no doubt of it, they have as good (or better) Authority so to do, as you have to baptize Children. See Vol. 7. Numb. 7. Where they say,

The Creophagians, Arabians, some of the Descendants of Ishmael, did judicially cir∣cumcise not only Males but Females. Also the Ethiopians, especially in the Dominions of Prester John, circumcise Females.
And for further Information, they direct to Bartho. de Antiquit. Puerperi, Bellonius, Caelius Rhodoginus, and several Page  85 other Histories and Authors. May be they argue as you do, the Females are capable as the Males, of the Benefits of Circumcision, and therefore may Circumcise them.

3. Our Argument, I must tell you again,* lies not so much in that Infants are uncapable of any Spiritual Benefit by Baptism, (had it pleased Al∣mighty God to have commanded them to be baptized, as he did the Circumcision of Infants) but in that first we cannot find, directly nor in∣directly, I mean either by Precept, Example, or good Consequences from all God's Word, 'tis his Mind or Will they should be admitted to Baptism.

Secondly, Because they have not those previous Qualifications, which according to the positive and express Law of Christ, is necessary in all that ought to be baptized; therefore in p. 16, 17. you set up a Man of Straw of your own making, and then fight with it. Had God re∣quired Infants to be baptized, who could argue against their being capable of it? However since actual Faith, and the profession of it, is required of all that are to be baptized; we say, Infants who are uncapable to act Faith, are not, cannot be proper or fit Subjects for that Sacrament.

2. Because none are to be baptized by virtue of Christ's Law and Commission, Matth. 28. but such who are made Disciples, by being first taught. Infants who are not capable so to be made Disciples, ought not to be baptized. And to these two Arguments, we will now see your Answer, pag. 18. of your Book, which is as followeth, viz.

That a Profession of Faith is necessarily re∣quired before Baptism in all Adult Persons, that is, Persons grown up to riper Years, who are (say you) the Persons whom our Saviour meant when he said, He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be Page  86 saved; as most evidently appears by the words following, He that believeth not, shall be damned, Mark 16.16.

What! must all that die in their Infancy go to Hell for an Impossibility? The Text only in∣tends such, as by hearing the Gospel preached, are capable of actual Faith: such as enjoy the Means of Faith, and yet live and die in neglect of Faith, and contempt of Baptism, shall cer∣tainly be damned; 2 Thess. 3.10. says the Apo∣stle, If any Man will not work, neither let him eat; that is, such as are capable to work, must not eat: But must Children be starved, because they cannot work? Thus say you here, Children lie under a natural Incapacity of professing actual Faith; therefore the first Text doth not con∣cern them any more than the latter.

Answ. I. Sir, You have given away your Cause now for ever. If this Text, Mark 16.16. does no more concern Infants than that in 2 Thess 3.10. then be sure, as they having nothing to do with Faith, so have they nothing to do with Baptism; for all the Learned generally, as one Man, do and must confess, the Commission of our Saviour is our great Warrant and Rule for Baptizing; Therefore (saith Mr. Baxter) if we find it not here, where have we it? Now this in Mark contains the Commission of Christ, viz. who they be that he would have to be baptized, and they are such who believe, (Matthew says in repeating the words of the same Commission) such who are discipled, or made Disciples: And you say, Infants are no more concerned in this Text, than in that, where the Apostle only in∣tends Men, who will not work, which all know doth no ways refer to Children, so that the Di∣spute might well here end. By your own con∣cession, Infants are not concerned in the Com∣mission.

Page  872. You say, the Adult are here intended; we say so too: Whither then will you go for your Infants Right to Baptism? We can prove, from many Texts, Infants ought to eat, though they cannot work. But how will you prove Infants ought to be baptized by any other Scriptures, if not from the Commission, though they do not believe, or have not actual Faith?

3. May you not as well argue thus, viz. If Children have mortal Bodies, they must be fed at their Parents Table, and eat Bread, though they cannot work. So because they have im∣mortal Souls, therefore they must be fed at the Lord's Table, and eat the Lord's Supper, though they can't believe nor discern the Lord's Body by Faith. The Apostle saith, Let a Man examine himself, and so let him eat; but this is only re∣quired of Adult Persons, and 'tis such St. Paul means: But Infants who are capable to receive spiritual Benefit by Christ's Death, they must have the Medicine also; may you not argue thus as well? Pray, Reader, observe what a kind of Doctrine this Man asserts.

I demand, (say you) Whether according to the Mind of God, gathered from the words of the Commission, the Remedy prescribed should be administred only to grown Persons, because they only are capable of understanding and believing the Virtue and Efficacy of it? Sure every rational Man among you would conclude his Child capa∣ble of the Remedy as well as himself, altho ig∣norant of the Virtue that is in it, and only passive in the Administration of it; and that it would be Cruelty, yea Murder in the Parent, to deny the Application of it to all his Children.

Reply; I stand amazed at your Ignorance and Folly. Does it follow, because Children are ca∣pable to receive a Medicine against the Plague or bodily Distemper, are they therefore capa∣ble Page  88 of Baptism and the Lord's Supper? If capa∣ble of one, say I, of the other also; for as a Man is required to examine himself, and to dis∣cern the Lord's Body in the Lord's Supper, so he is required to repent and to believe in Christ▪ that comes to Baptism.

4. I would know how you prove Baptism to be the Medicine appointed to cure the Soul of the Plague of Sin? Is not this to blind the Eyes of poor People,* and make them think that an external Ordinance saves the Soul? If not thus, how can it be Cruelty, yea Murder, in Parents, to deny the Application of Baptism to their Children? The Ancient Fathers, from that in John 6.53. Ʋnless a Man eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his Blood, he hath no Life in him; gave Infants the Lord's Supper, thinking our Saviour (like as the Papists do) meant that Sacrament, when indeed he meant only of 〈◊〉 by Faith on Christ crucified. But however, their Argument for giving Infants one Sacrament, was as good as yours for giving them the other: But when they are as capable to repent and be∣lieve, and are helped so to do as they are, and do eat Bread, let them have both Baptism and the Lord's Supper; and till then, if God's Word be the Rule of our Faith and Practice, (and not our own Fancies) they ought to have neither; yet the Remedy or Medicine, which is Christ's Blood, we deny not, but dying Infants may be capable of.

5. Sir, You seem to be no true Son of the Church of England, for they it seems positively affirm, Repentance, whereby a Person forsakes Sin, and Faith, whereby he stedfastly believes the Promise of God made to him in that Sacrament, is required of those who are to be baptized; nay and of little Babes too, therefore the Sureties answer for them, that they do believe and repent, or forsake Page  89 the Devil and all his Works, &c. the Child answers by Proxy. Your Church baptizes no Child but as a Believer, and a true penitent Person. What is this your Argument good for? even nothing. How now, are you wiser than the Church? no doubt she believes as we do. All that are proper Subjects of Baptism, are comprehended in the Commission, and must be as such, whether A∣dult or Infants, who profess Faith and Repen∣tance: But you it may be foresaw the Snake in the Grass, viz. that God-fathers and God-mothers is a Tradition, and none of God's Appointment; nor are they able to perform those things for the Child, which they promise for him, and in his Name. And therefore make use of another Ar∣gument, and would have them baptized without Faith, or upon their Parents Faith, of which your Church speaks nothing.

As to your Comparison, 'tis not worth men∣tioning: Baptism (as I have told you) doth not cure the Soul of Sin, but 'tis the Blood of Christ applied by Faith: And now do we say, no Child can have the Benefit of that Sovereign Remedy, because not capable to believe, by rea∣son Men and Women must receive it by Faith, or perish. God (as Dr. Taylor observes) may have many ways to magnify his Grace, through Jesus Christ, to them, which we know not of, who die in their In∣fancy, yet have we no Authority to baptize them, any more than to give them the Lord's Supper.

6. Sir, You talk at a strange rate, as if you re∣garded not what you say or affirm, while you bring Similitudes to teach People to believe Bap∣tism is the Balm to cure the Contagion of Sin; and as if the application of it saved a little Babe from Hell, and they guilty of murdering the Souls of their Children, who deny to baptize them. I had thought you would not have lain greater Page  90 stress upon Childrens Baptism, than on Childrens Circumcision, since you would fain have them run parallel-wise.

Pray, what became of the Jews Female In∣fants, were they damned? And what became of their Male Infants, who died before eight days old? for they broke God's Law, if they Circum∣cumcised them, (though sick and like to die) if they were not full eight days old. Blush for the sake of your precious Soul, and take more care for time to come, to what you Preach and Write.

But to proceed: In pag. 19. you say,

Tho Children have not actual Faith, yet they have habitual Faith, Faith in Semine, and so are po∣tentially Believers. As for Instance, Infants have not Reason; yet because they have a Prin∣ciple, we call them reasonable Creatures. Thus Infants, whilst such, have not the Use and Ex∣ercise of Faith, but have it in the Root, and so may be called Believers initially.

Ans. 1. Dr. Taylor clearly confutes this Conceit of yours; Some there be (saith he) who argue stiffly for Infants having habitual Faith; but (saith he) is there any Precedent, Concomitant, or Conse∣quent to this pretended Habit? This strange Invention is absolutely without Art, without Scripture, Reason or Authority.

Answ. 2. Why may not the Infants of Unbe∣lievers have the same habitual Faith, as well as the Infants of Believers? Also may not Pagans, especially those who may come where the Go∣spel is preached, be potentially Believers, and be baptized, before they believe upon the same Ar∣gument?

3. If they had the Habit of true Faith, that Habit would appear afterwards, and they would need no other Sacred Habits to be infused into them; but we see in Infants baptized (as you Page  91 call it) when grown up, the Evil Habits of Sin, but no Sacred Habits of Grace, or Divine Faith, or Seed of Regeneration sown into them at all. What is in the Root, will shew it self in the Bran∣ches and Fruit; but we having fully answered this weak Assertion already, shall say no more to it now.

You add,

That Infants born within the Bo∣som of the Church, of believing Parents, tho Faith of the Parents is to them at present, in∣stead of an outward Profession in their own Persons; for (say you) though no Child is saveable by its Parents Faith, yet the Child is baptizable by virtue of its Parents Faith, be∣cause the Parent receives the Promise of God, both for himself and his Seed, Acts 2.39.

1. I answer; Let all Men judg of that Confu∣sion which attends your Arguing and Arguments for Infant-Baptism: One while the absolute Ground and Plea you bring to prove it, is the Covenant made with Abraham. Sir, If that will do, and be sufficient, stand by it: but alas you dare not trust the whole Structure on that crazy Foundation; therefore now you go to the im∣mediate Faith of the Parents, and thus without any Ground or Authority from God's Word, you build your childish Practice upon your own Dream: Why not, as your Church teaches, up∣on the Faith and Profession of the Sureties? why the Faith of the immediate Parents? Those Texts you mention, Acts 2.39. 1 Cor. 7.14. as we shall hereafter shew, prove not what you here affirm, nor any thing like it.

2. If the Parents Faith will serve for the Child,* why not the Parents Baptism serve for the Child as well?

Take again what the Bishop of Down hath wrote on this Argument of yours;

Some say (saith he) Infants have an Imputative Faith; Page  92 but then so let the Sacraments be too; that is, if they have the Parents Faith, or the Chur∣ches, then so let Baptism be imputed also by derivation from them; and as in their Mo∣ther's Breast, they live upon their Mother's Nourishment, so they may upon the Baptism of their Parents, or their Mother the Church: for since Faith is necessary to the susception of Baptism, (and they themselves confess it, by striving to find out new kinds of Faith to daub the Matter) such as is the Faith, such must be the Sacrament; for there is no proportion be∣tween an actual Sacrament, and an imputative Faith, this being immediate and necessary in or∣der to that.
'Thus far Dr. Taylor.

3. I wonder (as I have formerly said) what Faith 'tis you suppose to be in Infants: When will your Trumpet give a certain Sound? Is it the Faith of the Church, as Thomas Aquinas asserts, which is intailed upon all who are within the Pale thereof, or in her Bosom, to use your words? Or is it an imputative Faith from the Parents, as Musculus, you, and others maintain? Or is it the Faith of the Gossips or Sureties, as your Church says,*i. e. others believe for them? [Wonder, O Heavens, and be astonished, O Earth ! are these thy Teachers, O England?]; Have they a justifying Faith, as Mr. Baxter intimates? Or a dogmatical Faith only, as in Mr. Blake's sense? Some say 'tis a Physical Faith, some a Metaphysical, and some a Hyperphysical Faith. Some say they are born Believers,* others say they are made Be∣lievers by Baptism.

See what Confusion you Pedo-Baptists are in. An actual Faith you dare not say they have, because they have no Act of Understanding: Besides, how can any Man know they have Faith, since he never saw any sign of it? nei∣ther Page  93 was he told it, by any that could tell.

Object. But then, Pag. 19. you bring in our Objection: Infants are not capable of Ministerial Teaching, therefore not of Baptismal Washing; because Teaching must go before Baptizing, according to the order of the words in our Saviour's Commission, Mat. 28.19. Go, teach all Nations, baptizing them, &c.

Your Answer is,

That it is a mighty Weak∣ness to infer from the order of the words, the necessary order of things. St. Matthew sets Teaching before Baptizing; but St. Mark sets Baptizing before Teaching, Mark 1.4. so that no conclusive Argument can be drawn from hence either way.

Answ. I answer, you discover a great Abuse of the sacred Scripture. Sir, doth St. Mark, Chap. 1.4. set Baptizing before Teaching? Pray, good Reader, observe the Text, John did baptize in the Wilderness, and teach the Baptism of Repen∣tance for the Remission of Sins.

1. Doth this Text, in the order of words, say, John taught Persons to be baptized, and then to re∣pent? if what you say were true, so the order of words must have been; and then he had in∣deed taught contrary to our Saviour's Doctrine in the Commission in order of words, as recorded by St. Mat. 28.19. 'Tis called, saith our Annotators, the Baptism of Repentance, because Repentance was the great thing he taught: nay, and taught Repen∣tance absolutely necessary in all who came to be baptized by him. The order of words are very conclusive here, and must not be inverted without palpable danger of God's Displeasure. John called upon all who came to his Baptism to bring forth Fruits meet for Repentance, and the order of words here do not contradict this; for because Repentance was pre-requisite to Bap∣tism, it is called the Baptism of Repentance; and Page  94 so the order of the words, if understood, shews, 〈◊〉 that Repentance went before baptizing, which directly agrees with St. Mat. 28.19. Go, teach all Nations, baptizing them; that is, such who have been taught or discipled; and this was according to Christ's own Practice, Joh. 4.1, 2. Jesus made and baptized more Disciples than John, (mark Reader!) they were all Disciples which John and our Saviour baptized; Jesus made them first Disciples, and so did John, and then baptized them.

Had John Baptist, our Saviour, or his Apo∣stles baptized one Infant, or one Adult Person, who made no Profession of Faith, the order of words were not so conclusive and demonstra∣tive, but that they never did (as we read of.)

Where therefore the order of Words, and order of Practice go together, and exactly a∣gree, they ought not to be inverted; and he that doth it, is greatly culpable before God, as I might shew in the Administration of the Sacra∣ment of the Lord's Supper; the order of words are, Christ first took the Bread, and brake it, and then the Cup: Would any dare to invert this order of words, and first take the Cup, &c. they may as well attempt so to do, as to put Baptizing before Teaching.

*Take what Mr. Perkins hath said concerning the order of words in the Commission: saith he, I explain the former thus.

First, teach them; that is, make them my Disciples by teaching them to believe and re∣pent. Here we are to consider the order which God observes in making with Men a Covenant in Baptism. First of all, he calls them by his Word and Spirit to believe and repent: then, in the second place, he makes a Promise of Mercy and Forgiveness; and then, thirdly, he seals his Promise by Baptism. They (saith Page  95 he) that know not, nor consider this Order which God used in covenanting with them in Baptism, deal preposterously, over-slipping the Commandment of repenting and believing, and is the cause of so much Prophaneness in the World. This Divine Order Christ signifieth, when he saith, make them Disciples, and was always observed of God.

Mr. Perkins as he was a very learned Man, so you know he was a Member of the Church of England, and how fully does he confirm what we say, and teach, and how does he confute your Notion and Practice? Moreover, Mr. Richard Baxter, speaking of the Order of the Commissi∣on Christ gave to his Disciples, saith,*viz.

Their first Task is to make Disciples, which are by St. Mark called Believers. The se∣cond work is to baptize them, whereunto is annexed the Promise of Salvation. The third work is to teach them all other things which are after to be learned in the School of Christ. To contemn this Order, is to contemn the Rules of all Order; for where can we find it, if not here? I profess my Conscience is fully satis∣fied from this Text, that there is one sort of Faith—that must go before Baptism, the Profession whereof the Minister must expect.

2. You say,*

The true reason why Christ bid his Disciples first teach and then baptize, was, because he was sending his Apostles forth among the Heathen to convert them to Chri∣stianity, in which work we all know, that preaching of the Word must go before the Administration of the Sacraments, Pag. 20. Should, say you, the King of England send his Ministers into Foreign Plantations to con∣vert the Indians to Christianity, they ought not to be baptized before they are taught, and instructed; but when the Parents are Page  96proselyted, and make a visible Profession of their Faith, their Children may be baptized, and afterwards instructed; as the Children of the Jewish Proselytes were first circumcised, and then taught: for tho Abraham was first taught and then circumcised, yet Isaac was first cir∣cumcised and then taught: so that the sense of our Saviour is this, teach such as are capable of teaching, and baptize such as are capable of Baptism.

Answ. I answer, first, how inconsistent is this with what just before you asserted? Do you not plead for Faith in some sense to be in all such, who by virtue of the Commission ought to be baptized, and therefore pretend that Infants have Habitual Faith, Faith in semine, &c. but now plead they may be capable of Baptism with∣out Faith; you also contradict what you before said about the order of words. Do you not positively now confess by the order of the words in the Commission, Teaching ought to go before Baptizing? Sir, 'tis a sign of a very bad Cause that puts you thus to try your Wit, and after all confound your self.

2. I ask you how Abraham (who God com∣manded to be Circumcised, as a Seal of the Righte∣ousness of that Faith HE had before circumcised) could know he ought to circumcise his Son Isaac, &c. who had no such Faith, had not God given him an express Command to do it? Had it not been in the words of his Commission, durst he, think you, have done it? Be sure if he had, he had sinned in doing that which God commanded him not: So, and in like manner, since our Lord Jesus expresly in his Com∣mission, commanded none to be baptized but such who are first taught, unless he had added, as in Abraham's Case, viz. when an Heathen is converted to the Faith, and baptized, you may bap∣tize Page  97 his Infants also; how dare you add such Additions to Christ's Commission without his Authority, and so make the World believe, if you could, our blessed Saviour gave forth an imperfect Commission to his Disciples, which all Men must confess is the only Warrant and Rule of all Ministers to act by in the case of baptizing to the end of the World? And doth he not say, Add thou not to his Word, lest he re∣prove thee, and thou art found to be a Liar; by fathering that on Christ which he never said nor intended?

Suppose the King should send you with a Commission into a remote Plantation, and com∣mand you to act and do exactly according to the express words of the Commission, not to add to it, nor diminish from it, upon pain of be∣ing cast out of his Favour, and incur his Wrath and Curse; durst you to do otherwise in any thing, under pretence it was his meaning, where∣as he plainly and fully in his Commission ex∣pressed in the Affirmative, how and what you should do in all Matters and things, and forbad you to add thereto? Read Rev. 22.18. For I testify unto every Man that heareth the words of the Prophecy of this Book, If any Man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him all the Plagues that are written in this Book, &c. Who told you what you say is the sense of our Saviour? Can any Man once think, since the Commission of Christ is a pure Gospel-Commission, and contains meer positive Laws and Rules, no ways referring to, nor depending on the Law or Command God gave to Abraham, that what you say can be true, and the Conclusions safe, certain, and warrantable? May not another say, with as good Authority, that our Saviour commands his Disciples to baptize all Nations, both Parents and Children too, whether they will or not, whether Page  98 they believe or not, whether Jews or Gentiles, Turks or Pagans? I wonder you are not afraid, who take liberty after this sort to sport (as it were) and play with, invert, alter and add unto the sacred Commission of the jealous God, and great King of Heaven and Earth.

3. We will examine your Similitude, of which you seem very full,

Suppose, say you, a Person, Owner of a great Flock of Sheep, should command his Shepherd to shear all his Sheep, and give them an Ear∣mark to know them, and he leaves out all the Lambs (which perhaps made up half the Fold) unmark'd; Can the Shepherd be sup∣pos'd to have done his Duty? Suppose he says the Lambs were very young, and uncapable of shearing: True, says the Owner, but were they not capable of marking.

Infants, say you, are not capable of teach∣ing, but are they not capable of Christ's Ear∣mark [Baptism] by which Christ's Sheep are distinguished from the Devils Goats? But ac∣cording to your Principles, Christ's Fold has no Lambs in it, but all Sheep, such a Fold as the World never yet heard of. See Isa. 40.11.

Answ. 1. I answer; this is as weak an Allu∣sion or Similitude as ever was brought to il∣lustrate a matter:

For, first, it supposes that Christ gave a very obscure, dark and doubtful Commission; for if all were to be sheared that the Shepherd was to mark, the Shepherd could not err in refusing to mark the Lambs, because not capable of shear∣ing; for so it is here, all are by Christ's Com∣mission to be first taught who are to be bap∣tized.

2. You suppose in Christ's Fold there are no Lambs, if no Infants are admitted to be of his Page  99 Church or Flock; which is absurd: Were they Infants that Christ commanded St. Peter to feed, when he bad him feed his Lambs? Joh. 21.15. Or, were they Infants that Christ is said to carry in his Bosom? Isa. 40.11. The Scripture you cite, He shall feed his Flock like a Shepherd; he shall gather his Lambs with his Arms, and carry them in his Bosom. Do not all Expositors tell you, by Lambs in these places are meant young Con∣verts, who are by St. Peter called new-born Babes? 1 Pet. 2.1, 2. and who denies but many such are in Christ's Fold; and these Lambs we say may and ought to be baptized.

3. Who told you Baptism is Christ's Ear-mark, by which Christ's Sheep are distinguished from the Devils Goats? I affirm this is no certain and distinguishing Mark to know the Sheep and Lambs of Christ from the Devil's Goats. Was not Simon Magus baptized? was that a Mark to know he was a Sheep of Christ? Thousands may be baptized, have that Ear-mark, and yet be in the Gall of Bitterness, and in the Bond of Iniquity, and be the Goats of the Devil. Christ himself in John 10. lays down divers distinguishing Marks of his Sheep, but makes not the least mention of this. True, when a Believer is baptized, and doth all other things Christ had commanded, that is no doubt one mark that he is one of Christ's Sheep, but the distinguishing Mark is Re∣generation, and that of having his Spirit in our Hearts, and leading a godly Life. Now if any Man have not the Spirit of Christ, the same is none of his. Nom. 8.9.

As to Infants who die in their Infancy, who doubts but they may be happy, since Christ says, of such are the Kingdom of Heaven, i. e. Kingdom of Glory? but this is no more ground for you to baptize them, than (as I have often said) to give them the Lord's Supper. Does it Page  100 follow because some Infants may belong to the Kingdom of Glory, they are Members therefore of the visible Church, and so Lambs of Christ's Fold on Earth?

And this brings me to your next, which is your fourth Argument, viz.

If Infants be ca∣pable of Christ's Blessing on Earth, and of his Presence in Heaven; if they be Subjects of his Kingdom of Grace, and Heirs of his Kingdom of Glory; then they have an undoubted right to the Priviledg of Subjects, amongst which the Seal of the Covenant is not the least.

Answ. 1. We answer, and argue thus to the first part of your Proposition, viz. If many of the Jews, and others who were ungodly Persons, were capable of Christ's Blessing, i. e. of being healed of their bodily Diseases, they were Subjects of Baptism: Is this sound arguing? What further Blessing Christ did vouchsafe to Infants when he laid his Hands upon them, we know not, for that was the way Christ took oft-times in the healing the Sick; and so he blessed many Persons that never were baptized as we read of.

2. We (as I just now told you) do deny In∣fants are Subjects of the visible Church; there∣fore if by the Kingdom of Grace you intend not that, you beat the Air; you beg, and prove not; be∣sides it doth not follow. I say again, tho Infants may be Heirs of the Kingdom of Glory, there∣fore they have an undoubted right to the Privi∣leges of the Subjects of God's Church; for then it would follow they have right to one Privilege as well as another, and are to have Fellowship with the Saints and Houshold of God, as well as Baptism.

But, say you, or take the Argument thus, viz.

Those whom Christ invites to him, and are received by him, his Ministers may not refuse, nor put from them. But Infants are by Christ Page  101 invited to him, and were received by him; therefore the Ministers of Christ may not, ought not, durst not refuse them into Com∣munion with them, p. 21.

Answ. Christ invited Multitudes to come unto him, and he received them so far as to feed them with Barley-Loaves and Fishes, and to the Blessing of healing them of their bodily Distempers: May his Ministers therefore receive all such into their Commu∣nion?

2. In the days of Christ when he was on Earth, there were many who are said to come unto him, whom he might receive into his Pre∣sence and Company, yet his Ministers might not baptize them, nor receive them into their spiri∣tual Communion:* nor indeed so you dare not receive Infants, I mean into your Communion of the Eucharist, &c. We read of some Pha∣risees and Lawyers that came to Christ, and he received them into his Company, who, it ap∣pears, came to tempt him. Also the Sadduces are said to come unto him, who said there was no Resurrection; may Christ's Ministers baptize such and receive them into their Communion?

Therefore in opposition to what you say in Pag. 21. of your Book, I affirm there was then other ordinary ways of coming to Christ than by Admission into his Church; Christ invited the worst of Sinners to him, who nevertheless did not receive him, therefore there are some who must be excluded whom Jesus Christ graciously invited.

Your Appeal for Proof of this Argument to St. Mark 10.13. Suffer little Children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven, doth not your business; they do not belong to the King∣dom of Grace, i. e. the Church; for if they did belong to, or were of the visible Church, as such; then you need not by Baptism make them Page  102 belong unto it: If Christ owns them Subjects or Members of his Visible Church, you by Baptism have no need, I say, to add them to it; for if as they are the Seed of Believers, they are al∣ready (fidem soederis) not only in Covenant with God, but also belong to his Kingdom or Church upon Earth; All the World may see you go about but to give them that very Right or Privilege which they had before, and without Baptism.

Doth Christ (say you) take Children into his Arms, and shall his Church cast them out of her Imbraces?

Answ. May I not argue thus, i. e. Doth Christ receive all sorts of Persons into his Arms of Mer∣cy, to heal their bodily Distempers, of which some were wicked and ungodly? and shall the Church refuse to receive all such into her Imbra∣ces? Besides, all those pretended Consequences make no more for Infants to be baptized, than for their receiving the Lord's Supper, and all other Privileges that belong, as well as Baptism, to Adult Persons who believe or are Disci∣ples.

Does Christ (say you) own them for Sub∣jects of his Kingdom, and shall we allow them no better standing than in the Devil's King∣dom.

Answ. Does Christ own Infants to be Subjects of his Kingdom, and yet did not baptize them? (for that he did not) and shall we attempt to Baptize them,* as if we were wiser than he? I must again turn the Eg of the Sword against you; If little Children were brought to Christ, and he did not Baptize them, then we must not. But lit∣tle Children were brought to Christ, and he did not Baptize them, therefore we must not: Here is both Truth and Reason in this Argument, as Dr. Tay∣lor confesses, but none of both in yours. You Page  103 your self confess Christ did not Baptize those In∣fants that came to him, and whom he took in his Arms, and blessed; because with his own Hands he baptized none at all, Joh. 4.1, 2.

Therefore since Christ, who was God, fore∣saw what Contention would arise about the Bapti∣zing of Infants, had it been his Will they should be Baptized, would he not at this time put the Matter out of doubt, have Baptized them, or have given Command to his Disciples so to have done?

If therefore Infants be in so good a Condition as you say, i. e. Subjects of Christ's Kingdom of Grace, let us let them alone, for we cannot, by baptizing them, put them in a better state than they are, without any Warrant from Christ; and by baptizing them not, we cannot put them into any worser state or standing than they are in without it.

Well, you are angry with us, because we know not but that the Children of Turks and Infidels may be in a good condition, as well as Children of Believers, though we deny not, but that the Children of Believers have greater Advantages than the Children of Infidels; namely, by the Prayers, good Education, and the good Exam∣ples of their Parents, &c.

In pag. 22. you say,

Can any wise or good Man believe, that our Saviour would speak such favourable Words of Infants, and his outward Gesture manifest so much good-will towards them, only with an intent to ensnare and de∣ceive us? doubtless it was to encourage his Mi∣nisters to perform all charitable Offices towards them.

Answ. 1. You mistake, our Saviour speaks ve∣ry little concerning Infants, and that which is said of them was accidentally spoken, being oc∣casioned by those who brought little Children Page  104 to him, which the Disciples forbad; and from hence he spake what he did. Moreover, the Cause why our Saviour spoke those words, might be more for the sake of Parents, that they might not be afraid touching the Condition of their dy∣ing Babes, than to shew any Ordinance belonged to them: for had it been so, doubtless the Dis∣ciples would not have forbad those People to bring little Children to Christ. 'Tis therefore an Argument against Infant-Baptism, and not for it, because the Disciples were appointed by their Master to be the Administrators of that Ordi∣nance, on such to whom it did of right belong; and had Infants been the Subjects, would they have forbid People to bring Infants to him?

2. You therefore may rather conclude, had they been the Subjects of Baptism, Christ, by not hinting any such thing in the least on this Occasion, might rather have left us in a Snare, in speaking nothing of it, neither here, nor at any other time.

3. Therefore Christ speaking so favourably of Infants, and yet baptized them not, may teach us to judg favourably of them, and do any cha∣ritable Office towards them, but not to presume to give them holy Baptism without Christ's War∣rant, no more than any other Gospel-Ordinance. 'Tis no matter what Calvin spoke, 'tis no Sin to keep such out of Christ's Fold, which he has gi∣ven no Authority to take in: nor have any Peo∣ple a more charitable Opinion of the state of dying Infants, than those you call Anabaptists.

4. Those who are capable of some kind of Blessings of Christ, we have shewed, are not∣withstanding not capable of Baptism.

We read not, the Disciples baptized these lit∣tle Children, nor none else.

Object. To this you answer;

Perhaps they were Baptized before: But (say you) it doth Page  105 not follow that the Apostles did not baptize these Children, because no mention of it: the Scripture no where tells us, that the Apostles themselves were baptized; shall we conclude therefore that they were never baptized?

Answ. 'Tis no matter whether we read, or read not, that the Apostles were baptized, since we find it was his Precept and Practice to baptize Disciples, or such who did believe in him. We read of multitudes of Disciples that were bap∣tized, and we know the way of Christ was one and the same; that which was the Duty of one Disciple, as a Disciple, was the Duty of every Disciple. We read but of two or three Chur∣ches who broke Bread, and celebrated the Lord's Supper; could you shew us but a Precept for Infant-Baptism, or but one Example or Prece∣dent where one Infant was baptized, we would not doubt but those little Children might be also; but this you cannot do.

And whereas in pag. 23. you say,

That there is not the same Reason why Infants should be admitted to eat the Lord's Supper, as there is for them to be admitted to Baptism.

Answ. We deny it utterly. What though the one be a Sacrament of Initiation, and the other of Confirmation? Yet pray observe,* that Repen∣tance and Faith is required of them that are to be bap∣tized, even actual Faith and Repentance, as well as actual Grace and Examination, &c. to discern the Lord's Body in those who are to receive the Lord's Sup∣per. If all that were to be Circumcised, had been required to repent and believe, as in the Case of admission to Baptism, you had said some∣thing; but the contrary appears, Male Infants, as such, had a Right to that, but have no Right to this. And thus I pass to your fifth Argu∣ment.

Page  106

If the Infants of Christian Parents are sdo∣rally Holy, then (you say) they are Subjects qualified for Baptism: but the Scripture pro∣nounces such Children federally Holy; there∣fore they are qualified for Baptism, and may be admitted. You cite Rom. 11.16. If the Root be Holy, the Branches are also Holy: where, by the Root (you say) we are to understand A∣braham, Isaac and Jacob; and by the Branches, their Posterity, the People of the Jews. Now forasmuch (say you) as the Jews, the natural Branches, are for Unbelief broken off, and the believing Gentiles are grafted in their stead, and succeed in their Privileges, in the sense that they were Holy, not with an internal and inhe∣rent Holiness, passing by natural Generation from Parent to Child, but with an external relative Covenant-Holiness, grounded on the Promise made to the Faithful and their Seed.

Answ. 1. I deny your Major, and say, If Chil∣dren of Believers were federally Holy under the Gospel, yet they are not qualified for Baptism, because 'tis not what you imagine gives them right thereto,* or qualifies them for it; but what Christ hath ordained and appointed, as the alone proper and meet qualification, which is not that external relative Covenant-Holiness you talk of, which the New-Testament speaks nothing of, as I shall shew by and by, but actual Faith, Regene∣ration, or Inherent-Holiness, which is the thing sig∣nified by Baptism; therefore a thousand such Arguments will do you no good, since Baptism is of meer positive Right. 'Tis Christ's own Law must decide the Controversy, viz What Quali∣fications are required of such who by his Au∣thority and Law ought to be baptized: prove if you can such an external Federal-Holiness, qua∣lifies any Persons for Gospel-Baptism; for if such federal or external Holiness, qualifies Persons for Page  107 Baptism; then the Jews, before cast off, might have been admitted to Baptism, since they had then such a kind of federal Holiness; which kind of Holiness you cannot prove Believers Children are said to have under the Gospel; but if it qualified them not for Baptism, it cannot qualify our Children for Baptism. And that is did not qualify them, is evident, see Mat. 3.9. where some of the Branches of this Root came to▪ John Baptist to be baptized; and he refused to admit them with these words, i. e. Think not to say within your selves, we have Abraham to our Fa∣ther; for I say, God is able of these Stones to raise up Children to Abraham. Ver. 10. And now also is the Ax laid to the Root of the Trees. From whence it plainly appears, that that external relative Co∣venant-Holiness, which qualified under the Old-Testament, Persons for Circumcision, and Jew∣ish Church-membership, will not qualify Old nor Young under the New-Testament for Bap∣tism, and Gospel Church-membership.

2. I also deny your Minor, and say, the Scrip∣ture of the New-Testament doth not pronounce the Children of believing Parents federally Holy: The Text Rom. 11.16. speaks not one word of Infants, nor one word of such a kind of federal Holiness. Mr. Tho. Goodwin,* who was a very Learned Man, urging that Text 1 Cor. 7.14. tho a Pedo Baptist saith, in the New-Testament there is no other Holiness spoken of, but Perso∣nal or Real by Regeneration; about which he challenged all the World to shew to the con∣trary.

And, Sir, with your Favour, if you cannot from any place of the New-Testament prove there is any such Holiness spoken of, you are to be blamed for bringing in a private and an un∣warrantable Interpretation of that Holy Text. I find there are various Interpretations of what Page  108 is meant by the Root in that place.

  • (1.) Some understand it of the Covenant.
  • (2.) Some of Christ.
  • (3.) Some of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  • (4.) Some of Abraham only.

What if I agree with the last, and say, Abra∣ham is the Root? but what Root? Why the Root of all his true spiritual Seed: And if so, the Holiness of the Branches was real, in word, and spiritual; for such Holiness as is in the Root, is in the Branches. And indeed, for want of Faith, or of that real and spiritual Holiness in many of his natural Branches, (for he was a two-fold Root, or Father, as I before have proved) they were rejected, or broken off for their Ʋnbelief; and the Gentiles by Faith were grafted in, they having obtained the Fatness of the Root, or the Faith and Righteousness of their Father A∣braham, who was the Root or Father of all that believe. The Truth is, as Mr. Tombs observes,

the Holiness here meant, is first in respect of God's Election, Holiness, personal and inherent in God's Intention, Ephes. 1.4. Secondly, It is also Holiness derivative, not from any Ancestors, but Abraham; not as a natural Father, but as a spiritual Father, or Father of the Faithful; and so derived from the Covenant of Grace made with Abraham.

And thus it appears you have darkened this illustrious Scripture, thinking to prove a Holiness that the New-Testament knows nothing of; ap∣plying the Holiness and Insection to outward Di∣spensations only in the visible Church, which is meant of saving Grace, into the invisible, and make every believing Parent a like Root to his Po∣sterity with Abraham to his Seed, which we deny.

But let the Jews Covenant and standing be∣fore they were broken off be what it would, I Page  109 am sure no Gentile is grafted into Christ, but by actual Faith; nor can any be grafted into the Gospel-Church, without the profession of such Faith, therefore you do but beat the Air.

The Jews, 'tis true, were broken off by their Unbelief, and were also no more a Church; nor is there any such kind of Church constituted under the Gospel as theirs was, viz. a National Church; for they amongst the Jews, who were the true Spiritual Seed of Abraham, receiving Christ by Faith, were plan∣ted into the Gospel-Church, and between them and Gentile Believers: Now there is no diffe∣rence, Jew and Gentile stand in the Church now by Faith, not by external Covenant, Pri∣vilege-Right, or Holiness. Thou standest by Faith, O Believer; mark, not by Birth-Privilege,* but by Faith. Thy standing is by Faith, (saith one) yet not thy Seed by thy Faith, but thou thy self by thine, and they by their own: Faith is that by which (thou standing, and not thy Seed) hast right to stand in the Church, and not they: but if thy Seed have Faith, and thou hast none, then they have right in the Church, and thou shalt be excluded. And though under the Law we deny not, but that the natural Seed or Progeny or Abraham, were all Holy, with an external Ceremonial or Typi∣cal Holiness; and consequently they were then admitted to an external Participation of Church-Privileges: Yet now 'tis otherwise, Old things are past away; now we know no Man after the Flesh, 2 Cor. 5.16. That Church-State is dissolved, and man∣ner of admission into it, by external Birth-Privi∣lege, &c. so that this Text doth not help you. I shall further open this place of Scripture.

1. 'Tis evident the Apostle is in the 9th and 10th Chapters to the Romans,* a treating of the Election of Grace, and of that Covenant of Page  110 Grace and Election God made with Abraham: these were his People which he had not cast away, chap. 10.1. and of this sort God had 7000 in E∣lias's Days,*ver. 4. Even so saith he at this present time also there is a Remnant according to the Election of Grace, ver. 5. Hence he says, What then Israel hath not obtained, &c.—But the Election hath, &c. ver. 7. He further shews that abundance of the natural Seed of Abraham were broken off. How were they broken off? Why, by their Unbelief, they not receiving Christ, but rejecting the Go∣spel and New-Church-State, were broken off: but that the Gentiles might not boast over them, the Apostle shews there is ground left to believe all those that belong to the Election of Grace, shall in God's due time be brought in, and so partake of the Blessings of the Gospel-Covenant, or Co∣venant of Grace made with Abraham. And to prove this,* in ver. 16. he lays down an Argu∣ment, For if the first Fruit be Holy, the Lump is al∣so Holy; and if the Root be Holy, so are the Branches, ver. 16. By the Root I understand is meant A∣braham, Root and Father, signifying here the same thing, Abraham being the Root or Father, as God represents him, of all the Elect, or of such who believe, or the Root of all his true spiritual Seed.

2. By the first Fruits may be meant, Isaac, Ja∣cob, and the holy and elect Patriarchs, for they were given as the first Fruits to Abraham, of that Covenant and free Promise of God; and these were holy, with a true spiritual and internal New-Covenant-Holiness.

3. By the Lump he may mean the whole Body of the Elect, or the spiritual Seed of Abraham, from the time the first Fruits were given him, until the Gospel-Days, or whole Body of the true Israel of God, who were holy, as the Root and first Fruits were holy.

Page  1114. By the Branches may be meant the true elect Seed that were living then in that present time, as ver. 5. and these were holy too,* even as all the rest, both as the Root, First-Fruits, and whole Lump or Body, were holy; that is, all the true spiritual Seed of Abraham were like himself, viz. holy in a spiritual Sense. And now observe, he speaks of some Branches that were broken off; these seemed to be Branches, or the Children of Abraham; and so they were according to the Flesh, but were like those Branches, in Christ who bear no Fruit, and therefore taken away, John 15.2, 3, 4. He alludes to the natural Seed of Abraham, to whom he stood not as a spiritual Father or Root, but as a natural and legal Fa∣ther, as they were a National Church, and sprung from him, and these Branches were all broken off, viz. for rejecting Christ; (1.) Not broken off from the Election of Grace, for to that they did not belong, (2.) Nor were they broken off of the Gospel-Church, for they were never grafted into that. But, (3.) broken off from being any more a Church or People in Covenant with God, the whole old State and Constitution be∣ing gone, and they not closing in with Christ in the Gospel-Dispensation, Grace, and Church-State, are said to be broken off as a lost People; because not replanted or implanted into Christ, and the true Gospel-Covenant; the old being gone, quite removed and taken away, they have now no Root to stand upon, having lost their legal Priviledges, as Abraham was their Father upon that foot of Account; and they not appearing to be the true Branches or Seed of Abraham, as he was the Father of all the elect Seed, or of all that believe in Jesus Christ, they must of necessity from hence be broken off from being the People of God, or belonging to any Head or Root in a Covenant-Relation to God at all, the Dispensation being Page  112 changed;*old things being gone, and all things being now become new. But this new State, Blessings, Rites, Church, and Church-Priviledges they re∣jected; and thus were some of the natural Branches broken off, and the Gentiles, who were wild by Nature, that is, never were in any visible Cove∣nant-State with God, nor in any Sense related to Abraham as a Root, were grafted into the true Olive Jesus Christ, and into the true Gospel-Church, and so Partakers of the Sap and Fatness of the Root, and of the Olive, that is, of the spiritual Bles∣sings and Priviledges of Abraham, and of the Co∣venant of Grace made with him, and of the sweet Blessings and Priviledges of the Gospel-Church, and this they receive and partake of, as being first grafted by saving Faith in Christ, and so united to his mystical Body. But since there are a great Number of the old natural Branches that are beloved for their Father's sake, that is, for the sake of Abra∣ham, as the Root and Father of all the Elect Seed; they shall in due time be grafted in again, and so become a People visibly owned of God, and in Covenant with him, as all the true Seed now are, and formerly were. And if this be considered, what doth this Text do to prove the natural Seed of Believers are in the Gospel-Covenant; for if the natural Seed of Abraham can lay no claim, nor have any Right to Gospel-Priviledges, but are gone or broken off, what ground is there for us to think that our natural Offspring (as such) should be taken in? The Apostle speaks not of such Branches, or of being Holy with an external federal Holiness, but of such a Holiness as was in the Root, viz. Abraham, who believed in God; and thus all his true spiritual Seed (who are actually Branches and in Covenant, being grafted into Christ by Faith) are holy: and also all the elect Seed of Abraham, not yet called, are decretively holy, or in God's Sight so, who calls things that Page  113 are not, as if they were, they are all holy,*and be∣loved for their Father Abraham's sake, with whom the Covenant of Grace was made for himself and all his true spiritual Seed; and 'tis from this Ar∣gument the Apostle argues for the calling of the Jews, and the grafting of them in again, who be∣long to the Election of Grace.

They therefore who would make every be∣lieving Parent to be the Root to his natural Off∣spring, as Abraham was to his true spiritual Seed or Offspring; or a common Head or Root of their natural Offspring, as he was to his, know not what they say or affirm;* for then there would be so many common Roots and Fathers, like as A∣braham was called a Root and Father; and then also there would be a Knowledg still of Men after the Flesh, which the Apostle Paul disclaims, 2 Cor. 5.17. Moreover, the Jews who were broken off, are still the natural Seed of Abraham; and if therefore this Holiness was an external relative fede∣ral Holiness, they are still in that Sense holy as far forth as any Children of a believing Gentile can be said to be; but this 'tis evident is not that Holi∣ness of which the Apostle speaks, nor is there any such Holiness under the Gospel-Dispensation spoken of.

We shall come now to consider your other Proof for federal Holiness, which is 1 Cor. 7.14. The unbelieving Wife is sanctified by the believing Hus∣band, &c. else were your Children unclean, but now are they holy.

Which Words (say you) are St. Paul's An∣swer to the Corinthians Scruple: Whether such as had Heathen and Infidel Wives, ought to put them away with their Children, as in the Days of Ezra? The Apostle resolves them, that they ought not; for, saith he, The unbelieving Wife is sanctified to the believing Husband: how sanctifi∣ed? not in her Nature, but in her Use, say you; Page  114 so as that they might lawfully cohabit and con∣verse together. And for your Children they are holy, not with an inherent internal personal Holiness; for the holiest Man-child is born in Sin, and by Nature a Child of Wrath; but with an external relative federal Holiness; they are not common and unclean, like the Children of Infidels, but fit to be Partakers of the Privi∣ledges of the Church, which the Children of In∣fidels are not.

1. I answer, you can't be ignorant but▪ that you know well enough this Text hath been fully opened by divers Learned Men, as well Pedo-Baptists as Anti-Pedobaptists, who prove the Holi∣ness here spoken of, is no such external relative federal Holiness you dream of. In the first Place you speak right, it was about that very matter that the Corinthians wrote to St. Paul, viz. whe∣ther the believing Husband might live or cohabit with the unbelieving Wife, &c. So that the Scope and Coherence of the Text opens the matter,* and shews what Holiness 'tis the Apostle intends, viz. only a matrimonial Holiness; for should he make their Marriage void, their Children would be unclean or illegitimate, i. e. Bastards: for though 'tis true the Case was not as you say concerning Men and Whores, but about Husbands and Wives; yet you honestly say, It was about the Lawful∣ness of their Marriage, as in Ezra's time, when some were commanded to put their Wives away, because the Marriage was unlawful: such, say we, as is the Sanctification or Holiness of the unbelieving Wife or Husband, is the Sanctification or Holiness of the Child; and that you grant to be a matrimonial Sanctification; so as they might lawfully cohabit together as Man and Wife. And indeed if the Children had from hence an external relative fe∣deral ••liness, it would follow also that the un∣believing Husband and Wife had such an external Page  115 relative federal Holiness likewise, and that would open the same Door to baptize the unbelieving Husband or Wife: for may not another Person argue thus, The unbelieving Husband is holy, or sanctified by the believing Wife, and therefore by virtue of her Faith may and ought to be baptized? you read [to] the believing Husband, and indeed I find the Greek word else-where so renders it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.

Let us consider how the Apostle speaks, viz. with respect to a thing present, or past, there∣fore he useth the Preterperfect Tense, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, hath been sanctified: yea,* in probability he speaks of a Sanctification even when both were Unbelievers or Infidels; for he saith, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 twice in the Preterperfect Tense, and he men∣tions the Unbeliever distinctly; but the Believer without the Expression of his Faith, under the Title of Husband or Wife, and saith, your Chil∣dren in Discrimination, without Difference, as well those they had before, one was a Believer, as since; and if so, then the Children born to them, whilst both were Unbelievers, were as holy as such born after one became a Believer; and what Holiness was in the Children then think you? even no other than that which is in all Children born in lawful Wedlock, whether their Parents are Believers or Unbelievers.

And this sense is the more confirmed in that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Sanctification is the same with Chastity, 1 Thess. 4.7. so that the sense is, the unbelieving Husband is sanctified to his Wife, that is, lawfully or chastly used as a Husband, without Fornication in respect of his own Wife, whe∣ther Believer or Unbeliever, and therefore not to be refused. And this sense only serves for the Apostle's purpose. The words are a reason why they might lawfully live together; the reason must be taken from that which was Page  116 not contingent, but certain. Therefore let them live together; for though one be an Unbeliever the other a Believer, yet Marriage continues still, they are Husband and Wife, and sanctified to each others use in respect of their chast Ejoyment of each other, and it is no Sin in them so to company together notwithstanding the Unbelief of one Party; for Marriage is honourable among all, even Un∣believers, and the Bed undefiled, Heb. 13.4. and Holiness and Honour are terms (as one observes) of like sense in this matter, 1 Thess. 4.7.

Now this being granted, which inddeed must of necessity, then the Uncleanness must be un∣derstood of Bastardy, and the Holiness of Le∣gitimation, as Mat. 2.15. for no other Holiness necessarily follows to their Children in that their Parents Marriage is lawful: See the Apo∣stle's Conclusion, Else were your Children unclean: you leave out [Else] for you mention Chil∣dren as another Doubt which was in the Corin∣thians about them, which cannot be gathered from the Text nor Scope of it, but [Else] were your Children unclean, is brought in as an Argument to prove that which he saith last; as the Particle 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 shews; for the terms 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 else were, are argumentative as much as quoniam tum, becaus then used. So 1 Cor. 15.14, 29. Rom. 11.16. to prove that which went before.

That here the Argument is ab absurdo, from an Absurdity which would follow if the thing to be proved were not granted, and the Speech must needs be Elliptick, and somewhat is to be repeated to make the Speech full, as when its said, Rom. 11.6. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; and to make the sense you must add, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, be∣cause Page  117 of work; and so here 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; for if the unbelieving Husband hath not been sancti∣fied to the Wife, your Children, &c. so that this Argument of the Apostle is entire, viz. If the unbelieving Husband were not sanctified by the Wife, then were your Children unclean; but they are not unclean, but holy; Ergo, the unbelieving Husband is sanctified to the Wife. Now the Major of the Syllogism is a Contradicti∣on, the Sequel of it were not true if this Pro∣position were not true: All the Children of those Parents, whereof the one is not sanctified to the other, are unclean. Now if the Sanctifi∣cation be here meant of Matrimonial Sanctifica∣tion, as I have proved it must; and the Unclean∣ness be meant of federal Uncleanness, so as to exclude them out of the Covenant, whether of saving Grace, or Church-Priviledges, the Pro∣position were most false, sith the Children of Parents, whereof one was not matrimonially sanctified to the other, but came together un∣chastly, as Pharez and Zarah of Judah and Tamar, Jepthah of Gillead, and many others, were within the Covenant of saving Grace and Church-Privi∣ledges: therefore to make the Proposition true, (without which the Apostle speaks that which is most false) it must be understood of Uncleanness by Bastardy; for it's true of no other Un∣cleanness, that all Children of those Parents, whereof the one is not sanctified to the other, are unclean, but now are they holy: the Par∣ticle 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but now, is not an Adverb of time here, as Beza rightly speaks, but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, else were. So 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, but [now] is a Particle of reasoning used in the assumption of Arguments, which shews it is the assumption of the Apostle's Argument, and therefore it must be understood of Holiness opposite to the Uncleanness men∣tioned; Page  118 but that being no other than Bastardy, the Holiness can be meant of no other than Le∣gitimation. Nor is this any more an unlikely sense, sith Barstards were reckoned among un∣clean Persons, Deut. 23.2. and the Apostle's Expression is allusive to the Jewish speaking and Estimation, and why it should be thought strange that Holy should signify Legitimation, I know not, when as Mal. 2.51. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a Seed of God, is rendred by some Pedo-baptists a holy Seed, we read it a godly Seed, which were such Children (you cannot deny) born in law∣ful Marriage. And that we are not alone touch∣ing this sense of the Words and Matter, pray take the Testimony of divers Learned Men, who yet held Infant-Baptism, but found this Text remote to the business of proving it.

Jerom, as I find him quoted by a Learned Man,* saith,

Because of God's Appointment Marriage is holy.

See Chameri, §. 50. Sic Ambrosium, Thomam An∣selmum exposuisse, & tunc Suarez appellat literalem sensum. That Ambrose, Thomas, Anselm so expound∣ed it, and this Suarez calls the literal sense.

Melancthon in his Commentary upon this place, saith thus,

Therefore Paul answers, that the Marriages are not to be pulled asunder for their unlike Opinions of God, if the impious Per∣son do not cast away the other. And for Comfort he adds, as a reason, the unbelieving Husband is sanctified by the believing Wife. Meat is sanctified: for that which is holy in use that is granted to Believers of God, things pro∣hibited under the Law, as Swines Flesh, and a Woman in her Pollution were called unclean. The Connexion of the Argument is this, If the use of Marriage should not please God, your Children would be Bastards, and so unclean: but your Children are not Bastards; therefore Page  119 the use of Marriage pleaseth God: and how Bastards were unclean in a peculiar matter, the Law shews, Deut. Thus far Melancthon. Came∣rarius gives the same sense, as Chamier observes.

Musculus in his Comment on the place, con∣fesseth, that he had formerly abused this place against the Anabaptists.

Camera on the place saith

[For the unbelie∣ving Husband hath been sanctified] an unusual change of the Tense; that is, sanctified in the lawful use of Marriage: for without this, saith he, it would be that their Children should be unclean, that is, infamous, and not legiti∣mate; who so are holy, (that is, during the Marriage) are without all blot of Ignominy.

Erasmus upon the place saith thus,

Infants born of such Parents, as one being a Christian, the other not, are legitimately holy; for the Conversion of either Husband or Wife, doth not dissolve the Marriage which was made when both were in Unbelief.

Nay, I find a very learned Divine to affirm the Ancients expounded this place no otherwise.

None, saith he, that ever I met with, ex∣pound it of federal Holiness, till the Contro∣versy of the Anabaptists in Germany arose.

And, Sir, since you are so ingenuous, as to confess in Pag. 25. that the unbelieving Husband is sanctified in respect of Conjugal Relation to the Wife in a way of Marriage, in which, so far you agree with these learned Men; and this being so, how come you to assert 'tis federal Holiness, that is said to be in the Children?

What we say, it appears, is not a racking of the Scripture to maintain a private Opinion, therefore what you speak is not true; and tho the word [holy] refers here to what we affirm with others, yet the Apostle speaks truly. Tho 'tis granted the Children of Heathens born in Page  120lawful Wedlock, are no more Bastards than the Children of Christians: for if the Marriage were made void it would render their Children to be unclean, or base born. And what tho the Greek word doth signify in so many places you mention, spiritual Sanctification and Separation to God? shew us where it signifies external relative federal Holiness in the New Testament. Yet,* as one observes, the word is not bound up to that sense, as you seem to intimate; for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is used for Castimoniam servo, as Stephanus in his Thesaurus observes out of Demosthenes; 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, where a Priest of Bacchus speaks thus, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; I am holy and pure from the Comp••• of Man: and the words 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, chaste, to be chaste, to make chaste, Chastity, coming from the same Root with 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 holy; whether 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to reverence, or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 to ad∣mire, as Grammarians conceive, are used for Holiness very frequently, both in Scripture and in all sorts of Greek Writers: So that what you say as to the Signification of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, holy, that it cannot be taken for [legitimate] is fully cleared, and we justified from your unjust Accu∣sation, viz. that we wrested the word to favour our private Opinion: neither are we out in our Logick, as you infer; but now the Inference may be, that you are weak in your Greek. And to conclude; But if it doth signify holy, as you say, why might not the Children of such as the Apo∣stle speaks of, be said to be holy, as well as the Infidel of unbelieving Wife is said to be sancti∣fied? what is the difference between Holy and sanctified?