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  [unnumbered]

THE Rector Rectified and Corrected; OR, Infant-Baptism Unlawful: BEING A sober ANSWER to a late Pam∣phlet, 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 re∣futed, and the necessity of Immersion, i.e. Dipping, is evidenced; and the People falsly called Anabap∣tists, 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.


Bernard, Serm. 66. in contica.
Irrident nos quia Baptizamus Infantes, quòd oramus
Pro mortuis, quòd Sanctorum suffragiae postulamus.

London, Printed and sold by John Harris at the Har∣row in the Poultry; and at the Author's House near Horsly-down, Southwark, 1692.

Page  [unnumbered]Page  [unnumbered]

John Tredwell's EPISTLE to Mr. William Burkit.


I Am not a little concerned to see how I am necessitated to write this Epistle, in Vindication of my self from those Aspersions you have cast upon me, in your late Book, called, An argumentative and practical Discourse of Infant-Bap∣tism; though not so much for my own Reputation, as to clear up to the World Matter of Fact, and free the Truth of Christ, (I mean his despised Ordinance) from that Reproach and Contempt you have cast upon it. I know I meet with no worse usage from you, than my Lord and Master, (and many of his faithful Servants) did meet withal from others. The truth is, all impartial Men cannot but wonder when they hear and consider of your undue Behaviour towards me; First, in your strange and unreasonable Proceeding when you came in that unexpected and unseemly manne into our Meeting-Place, at Lavingham. I wrote a friendly Letter to you, being grieved to here how you had cast most odious Reflections in your Pulpit on the People falsly called Ana∣baptists. I thought, according to your Letter, you would have come in a Christian manner to me in private, and not to have made such an Uproar and Disturbance in our Mee∣ting-place, (which is entered according to the Law in that Case provided) and there to read your Notes, and take up an hour or two, and not suffer me to give you a sober Reply. Sir, what reason have you thus to quarrel with your Dis∣senting Brethren, and shew such a Spirit of Prejudice a∣gainst us, who have done you no wronWe are for Peace, but (it seems) you are for War. What eason had you to write against us at this time, and to write with a Pen dipt in Gall, as if you envy'd our present Liberty, and design'd to expose us to the Hate and Contempt of the People, (to say Page  [unnumbered] no worse) if you could: what else can any sober Person make of your Epistle and Book in general? for thus you begin;

Since the late general Liberty, the Anabaptists thinking themselves thereby let loose upon us, have disperst them∣selves into several Counties, endeavouring to draw away our People from us, by perswading them to renounce their first Dedication to God in Baptism, and to enter into their Communion after the way of Dipping, &c.

Sir, Our Design in our Preaching to Gospel, we can appeal to God and all the World, is to endeavour to draw Men from their Sins and ungodly Lives, and to believe in Christ to the Salvation of their Souls. They who have at∣tended upon my Ministry, can witness what the Scope and De∣sign of my Preaching hath all along been. Can any say, that I ever preach'd up that Ordinance, which is our present Controversy, till you preach'd it down, and cast Reproach upon it, and on us for the Practice thereof? not that I am a∣shamed to own that blessed Truth, or did not occasionally mention it; but I had rather see one Sinner converted, than a hundred Persons baptized who bring not forth Fruits meet for Repentance.

But you proceed in your Epistle and say.

One of their Teaching-Disciples (meaning my self) having set up in our Neighbourhood for making Proselytes, by Re-bapti∣zing them i a nasty Horse-pond, into which the Filth of the adjacent Stable occasionally flows, and out of which his de∣luded Converts come forth with so much Filthiness upon them, that they rather resembled Creatures arising out of the Bottomless-Pit, then Candidates of holy Baptism: and all this before a promiscuous Multitude, in the Face of the Sun.

Sir, I wonder how you come to publish such a notorious Untruth to the World: it seems to me you neither regard your own Rputation, nor keeping of a good Conscience to∣wards God: you ought to repent of this your great Rashness, in asserting such abominable Falshoods. You will find what you have affirme is contradicted by the Testimony of many sober Persons; nor indeed is there any ground for any body to believe wha you say was true, since you say I did it in the sight of such a promiscuous Multitude. Had it been such a Pond as you say, do you suppose we would have bapti∣zed Page  [unnumbered] People in it, in the open sight of such a mixt Multitude? But, Sir, when did you see any to come out of the bottomless-Pit, that you know so well how they look?

You say our deludd Proselytes. Are those deluded, whom God hath blessed the Preaching of the Gospel, to the Conver∣sion of their Souls, and to convince them of their Duty to o∣bey Christ's holy Ordinance of Baptism, according to the A∣postolical Institution? Sir, remember you and I must come to Judgment: these are hard Words, which you will be convin∣ced of sooner or later. And are not those hard Words (as well as notoriously false) you speak, as if our baptizing of be∣lieving Men and Women hath a tendency towards the Sin of Adultery and Murder? the Lord give you Repentance if it be his will. What you speak as to my Preaching for Bread, I will leave that to my Friend to answer for me.

I have got your whole Book answered: I sent it to one whom I knew could better do it than my self; not that I saw any thing in it, but that a Man of very mean Parts might have done it; but for some Reasons, I thought it would be better for another to answer you at this time, than my self. I hope you will read it, but I fear, not without Prejudice. As to my mentioning that Text in Isai. 43.2. When thou passest through the Water, I will be with thee, &c. I only alluded to it, not thinking it intends Baptism, but that it is to be taken me∣taphorically; yet 'tis true in the case of our Obedience to Christ in Duty, as well as in case of Affliction. But I will leave you to him that will judg between us in Righteousness.

I am unwilling to tell the World of those shameful and ob∣sene Expressions uttered by you when you came into our Meeting-place; partly, because of Modesty, and partly be∣cause I would not expose you. I shall forbear, being not willing to trouble my self with you any more, nor with a∣ny who are of your Spirit; but if you write again, let it be in Love, and not in Wrath; not hard Words, but hard Argu∣ments; and you will not offend your abused Friend and Ser∣vant, who wishes well to your Soul,

John Tredwel.

Preston-Place,April 30, 1692.

Page  [unnumbered]

A Certificate under the Hands of se∣veral sober and impartial Persons.

WHereas Mr. Burkit of Mildin, in the County of Suffolk, hath (in his late Book, called, An argumentative and practical Discourse of Infant-Baptism) very unjust∣ly reproached the People called Anabaptists, and particularly Mr. John Tredwell (Preacher of God's Word,) declaring that he the said Tredwell hath lately, at Kittle-Baston, in the said County of Suffolk, baptized several Persons in a nasty Horse-pond, into which the Filth of the adjacent Stable occasionally flows, and that the People baptized in the said Pond, came forth with much Mud and Filthiness upon them, &c. We whose Names are here∣unto subscribed, do solemnly certify and declare to the whole World, that those Reports and Assertions of the said Mr. Burkit, are ut∣trly and notoriously false: for we taking a strict View of the said Pond and Stable, find the Dung or Filth of the said Stable, runs the quite contrary way from the Pond into the Road.

Moreover, we solemnly certify and declare, that the Persons who were baptized in the said Pond, came forth without the least Speck or Spot of Dirt or Filth upon their Clothes, the Water being clean. In witness whereof, we have set our Hands this 3d Day of May, 1692.

John Tyril, sen.Gent.Baptists.William Brown.Not Bapt.
Samuel Denny.David Sare, jun.
Thomas Cable.Thomas Game.
William Steward.William Boram.
Thomas Wele.Thomas Boss.
 John Noble.

Page  [unnumbered]


Christian Reader,

IT grieves and afflicts my very Soul to see such Strifes, Animo∣sities and Bitterness of Spirit amongst Christians, because of that Difference there is amongst us in respect of some Truths of Jesus Christ, in a time when we are all threatned by the common Enemy. I am afraid it is the Fore-runner of a dismal Hour which is coming upon us: But indeed, of all who have of late come forth against us, called Anabaptists, none have shewed a worser Spirit than this Mr. Burkit, who writes himself Rector of Mildin in Suffolk: and that which troubles me the more, is what I have lately heard (by a worthy Gentleman) concerning him, i. e. That he is look'd upon as a sober Person, and one also well affected to the present Government: would all his Brethren in that respect were like-minded. But in this Attempt of his, I know not what he aims at. Should we not all unite together in Love and Af∣fection, and strive to promote Peace and Concord, and not tear one another in pieces after this manner? I am sure this cannot tend to the Honour of God which he has done, nor to the Service of the Church or State: but we have been provoked by him to vin∣dicate our selves, and therefore none who are unprejudiced can blame us. Should we suffer our selves to be loaded with Re∣proach and Infamy, and not endeavour (in a just way) to clear Page  [unnumbered] our selves, and that Truth of Christ we are so well established in, from the certain Testimony of the sacred Scripture? and must we be exposed (for making God's Word our only Rule herein) as a corrupt and erronious sort of People, because we affirm from thence, Believers only are the true Subjects of Baptism, and that Bapti∣zing is Dipping, and not Rantising; especially since ('tis well known) in all the Articles of Religion we are acknowledged to be sound and orthodox, and that by our Adversries themselves: only this is the out-cry, you deny Infant-Baptism. The reason of which, Reader, thou wilt see if thou dost but weigh well what is said in the ensuing Treatise.

And now to you my Brethren, who own this despised Truth of Christ, viz. The Baptism of Believers; let me give you one Cauti∣on, i. e. Take heed you are not ashamed of Christ, or to own his holy Appointment, or his Servants, because reproach∣ed by ill Men, or others through undue Prejudice; left Christ be ashamed of you, when he comes at the last Day in the Glory of the Father with all his holy Angels.

Reader, there are two things I would desire thee to note; First, That I have repeated some of my Answers to Mr. Burkit often; partly because he repeats the same Arguments, and partly because I would indeavour to make it clearly to appear, that many, or most of his Arguments he brings to prove Infants ought to be baptized, do as fully, and as apparently tend to prove Infants ought to receive the Lord's Supper; therefore I have drawn al∣most upon every like Occasion, the same Inferences for that, as he hath for the other; which I intreat you to consider well of.

Secondly; Whereas you will find both Hebrew, Greek, La∣tin, German, Dutch, (as well as English) made use of (o∣ther more or less,) in the insuing Answer. I would not have you think, I understand all those Languages; but I have had the As∣sitance of a Learned Person, (tho in that case only) who is my Friend and Acquaintance, that so the Work might the more fully and effectually be done. I'll say no more, but leave it to the Bles∣sing of God, and thy serious Examination; and remain yours in the Lord's Service, in the Work of the Gospel,

Benjamin Keach.

From my House near Horsly-down, Southwark, May 12, 1692.

Page  1

THE Rector Rectified, and Corrected: OR, Infant-Baptism Unlawful.


Disproving the Arguments for Infant-Baptism, taken from Circumcision. With several Arguments proving the Covenant of Circumcision no Gospel-Covenant. Confuting also the Argu∣ments for Infant-Baptism, from the pretended Jewish-Baptism.

AS to you Six Propositions, I shall begin with the first, and so speak to them in order.

Proposition I.

Your first is this, viz.

That Baptism by Wa∣ter is a Sacrament of the New Testament, in∣stituted by Jesus Christ, for the solemn admis∣sion of the Party baptized into the visible Church; and to be a Sign and Seal unto them of the Covenant of Grace.

Page  2Answ. You and I are thus far agreed; save on∣ly I deny that Baptism is any where in God's Word, called a Seal of the Covenant of Grace; for if it was, then all Persons baptized have all the Blessings of the Covenant of Grace made sure to them. I know no other Seal of the Co∣venant of Grace, but the Holy Spirit; I mean, that seals those Covenant-Blessings and Spiritual Priviledges to our Souls; see Ephes. 1. 13, 14. Chap. 4.30.

Whereas you say, the Quakers who disown any Baptism in Water, were once our Proselytes; is not true of the greatest part of them, tho some few of them might depart from that Faith and Profession we are of: Many others of them (you cannot be ignorant) come from you, and some from the Presbyterians, &c. Nor could our Practice of baptizing none but Believers, or such who make a Profession of Faith, midwive their evil and erroneous Principles into the World, as must be own'd 〈◊〉 acknowledged by all. There's more cause to eartis your practice of •••tizing of Infants might lead them to disown Water-Baptism, because they can find no mention of any such Practice in the Scripture. May not they be mi••ed to deny any Water-Baptism at all, since they see such a multitude to assert that to be Christ's Ordinance, which the Scripture is hol∣ly silent about?

But to proceed; in Pag. 2. you say, The great Controversy between you and us, li in your second Proposition, which is this, viz.

Prop. 2.

That not only those who do actually prosess Faith in Jesus Christ, but the Infants of such Professors, may, and ought to be baptized.

Answ. Reader, observe, that Mr. Burkitt does grant, that such who do actually profess Faith, may, nay ought to be baptized. It appears, he wns our practice of baptizing Adult Person, Page  3 who actually profess-Faith in Jesus Christ. But he says more, i. e. Not only such Persons may and ought to be baptized, but the Infants of such who profess Faith also. And to prove this hold Assertion, he lays down this Hypothtical Syllogis, viz.

If the Infants of the Jews were partakers of Cicumcision,* the Infants of Christians may and ought to partake of Baptism.

But the Jewish Infants were partakers of Cir∣cmcision, therefore Christian Infants may and ought to partake of Baptism.

Answ. Sir, must we believe it is so, because you speak and write it? You give no proof of your 〈◊〉 Proposition, which is utterly denied.

Might not I state another Argument as good as yours, nay, may be better, yet both prove no∣thing? I argue thus;

1. If the Jewish Infants had Right to the Pos∣session of the Land of Canaan, the Infants of Chri∣sti••s have a Right to the Possession of the Land of Canaan. But the former is true; Ergo. And if this were so, let us make another holy War, ad take possession of it for our Children.

2. Take a second Argument of the like nature with yours, viz. If all the Sons of the Priests of God under the Law, had an undeniable Right to the Priesthood, and many other external Pri∣viledges; then the Sons of the Ministers of Christ have a Right to the Ministry under the Gospel, and many other external Priviledges. But the for∣mer is true; Ergo.

Ob. Your Logick will do you no good, if you Argue no better. I must tell you, that which gave the Male Infants of the Jews a Right to Cir∣cumcision, was not their bare being the Infants of the Jews, not because their Infants we•• in that legl Coveant with their Parents, but ra∣ther the express and positive Command of God Page  4 to Abraham; for evident it is, no Godly Mar•• Children, before 〈◊〉 days, had any Right to be Circumcised: And had Abraham or the Jews Circumcised their 〈◊〉 Infants without such a Commission or Command from God, hey had no doubt been guilty of Will-worship 〈◊〉 and in like mnner, If God 〈…〉 re∣quired Christians to 〈…〉 Infants, 〈…〉 be no Precept nor Exampe 〈…〉 the Holy Bibl, it must 〈…〉 worship in them so to 〈◊〉. But God 〈…〉 or required Chri∣stians to Baptize their Infants, there is no 〈◊〉 nor Example for any such Practice 〈◊〉 all the Holy Bible: Ergo, it is Willworship in them so to do.

*I shall proceed to your second 〈◊〉, viz.

If Baptism suceeds in the room of Crcucisi∣on then as the Jewish Infants were Circum∣cised, so the Infants of Christians may and ought to be Baptized. But Baptism succeeds in the room of Circumcision; therefore 〈◊〉 their Children were Circumcised 〈◊〉, so may 〈◊〉 be Baptized now.

Answ. 1. I answer, There is no necessity that a Gospel Ordinance must succeed in the 〈◊〉 of a Legal or Jewish Ordinance; therefore I deny your M•••r. What if 〈◊〉 that no Ordinance succeeds in the room of Circumcision? Were there not many other Rites and Ordinances un∣der the Law, or Old Testament, besides Circum∣cision? And yet you cannot find, or once ima∣gine, any Gospel-Rite or Ordinance to come in the room of them respectively, for that then it would follow, there would be as many Christian Ries▪ Precepts and Ordinances, as there were Jewish Rites, Precepts and Ordinances, which as o•• observes, were more than three hundred.

2. Besides, as Dr., Taylor observes,

If Bap∣tism came in the room of Circumcision, you 〈◊〉 baptize your Children always on the eighth Page  5 day: and you must not baptize your Female Infants at all, because none but Male Infants were then circumcised.

3. And whereas you say, Baptism signifies the same things that Circumcision did: it is not true, as will appear to all understanding Men, if they consider these Particulars following, which are so many Disparities, viz.

(1.) Circumcision was a Shadow of Christ to come: Baptism is a Sign he is already come, was dead and buried.

(2.) Circumcision was a Sign of the Covenant made with Abraham and his natural Seed: Bap∣tism is a Sign of the peculiar spiritual Privi∣ledges made to Saints, as such, and no others.

(3.) Circumcision was a Domestick Action, i.e. to be done in the House: Baptism an Ecclesiastick, belonging to the Gospel-Church.

(4.) Circumcision was to be done by the Pa∣rents in that respect: Baptism is to be done only by Gospel-Ministers.

(5.) Circumcision was the cutting off the Fore-skin of the Flesh, which drew Blood: Bap∣tism is to be done by dipping the whole Body into the Water without drawing of any Blood.

(6.) Circumcision belonged to Male Children only: Baptism belongs to Males and Females also.

(7.) Circumcision was to be done precisely on the eighth day: Baptism is not limited to any precise day.

(8.) Circumcision made a visible Impression on the Body, which the Party might perceive when he came to Age of Understanding: Bap∣tism leaves no Impression on the Body.

(9.) Circumcision belonged to Abraham's House, to his Male Infants only, or suc who were bought with his Money, and not the Male Infants of any other godly Men in his days, unless they join themselves to his Family. Bap∣tism Page  6 belongs to Believers in all Nation.

(10.) Circumcision bound those who came under that Rite, to keep the whole Law of Moses: Baptism signifies we are delivered from that Yoke of Bondage.

(11.) If Circumcision signified the same things, and consequently, particularly the sealing the Covenant of Grace; then those 〈◊〉 were circumcised, needed not to be baptized, be∣cause sealed before with the same seal of that which signified the same thing: but Christ and all his Apostles, and many others who were circumcised, were nevertheless baptized.

(12.) Circumcision signified the taking away the Sins of the Flesh, or the Circumcision of the Heart: but Baptism signifies the Death, Bu∣rial, and Resurrection of Christ, which Circum∣cision did not.

(13.) Circumcision was to be a Partition-Wall betwixt Jew and Gentile; but Baptism testifieth that Jew and Gentile, Male and Fe∣male; Barbarian and Scythian, Bond and Fre, are all one in Christ Jesus. Therefore there are invers Disparities and different Significations be∣tween Circumcision and Baptism.

. And what tho we deny not but that Cir∣cumcision was then the in••lating Ordinance, and Baptism is so now in Gospel-times, i. e. an Or∣dinance of Initiation; yet Circumcision initiated none into the Jewish Church, but such who were by the express and positive Command of God to be circumcised, who were only Male Infants, (for the Females were initiated without it) even so Baptism, tho it be an initiating Or∣dinance, yet none are to be initiated thereby, not only those who by the express Command of God are required to be baptized; and they are only such who believe, or make a Profession of their Faith. Sir, Precepts that are merely posi∣tive, Page  7 greatly differ (you know well enough) from Precepts that are purely moral in their own nature. Laws that are of meer positive Right, wholly depend upon the absolute Will and Pleasure of the great Legislator; and in all Cases and Circumstances we must keep to the express words of the Institution; we must venture to do no more nor no less, nor do any thing in any other manner than God hath commanded, as appears in Nadab and Abhu, and Ʋzzah's case; the first for offering of strange Fire, which thing God commanded them not, (tho God in ex∣press words no where forbid them so to do) were cut off, Levit. 10. 1, 2.

When God commanded Abraham to circumcise on the eighth day, did he not virtually forbid him to do it on the seventh or ninth day? There∣fore this sort of reasoning of yours is meer so∣phistical, and you do but darken Counsel with words without Knowldg. You say in Pag. 4.

That God hath no where declared that In∣fants should be excluded.
You mean, he has no where forbid in express words the baptizing of Infants; no more, say I, has he forbid Hony, Wine, Oil, Salt and Spittle to be used in Bap∣tism; the former was used by some of the ancient Fathers, and the latter is still in the Romish Church. Where are we forbid to baptize Bells, and consecrate Water, as the Papists do to make it holy Water? Also where are Infants excluded from the Lord's-Table? If therefore any thing may be done in God's Worship, which you suppose is not forbid, and bears also some proportion in Signification with Jewish Rites; all Popish Rites and Ceremonies may be let in at the same Door: for the Pope, Miter, Popish Vestures, Candle and Candlesticks, &c. they no doubt will tell you are of like Signification with the High-Priest under the Law, with the Priest's Page  8 Vestures, and other Ceremonies among the Jews. Whither will this lead you? 'tis dangerous to be led by such a Guide.

But to proceed; we will come to that grand Proof of yours for Infant Baptism in Pag. 4. which you intimate will put the Matter out of all dispute; namely,

That Baptism doth come in the room of Circumcision, which is Col. 2. 11, 12. In whom also ye are circumcised, with the Circumcision made without Hands, by the Cir∣cumcision of Christ; buried with him in Baptism. You say, The Design of the Apostle here is to take the Colossians off from the old Sacrament of Circumcision. He informs them that there was no reason why they should be fond of it, because they were compleat without it, Christ having substituted new Circumcision in the room of it, namely, Baptism: and accordingly Christians may now be said, by Baptism, to be spiritually circumcised, as the Jews were said to be spiritually baptized.

Answ. Your Exposition of this Text, there is no ground to admit of; the Apostle speaks of the Power or Virtue of Christ's Circumcision. His design is to shew we are compleat in Christ without Circumcision, or Jewish Ordinances: and to shew how we are compleat in Christ, and have put him on, he mentions Faith as well as Baptism, or such a Faith that should always at∣tend Baptism; and therefore Infant-Baptism from hence cannot be proved or inferred, nor the least ground for your bold Conclusion from hence, viz. That Baptism came in the room of Cir∣cumcision.

1. For first, the Apostle 'tis true excludes Circumcision, but 'tis upon another account, viz. by shewing Circumcision was a Figure of the Circumcision of the Heart, as Rom. 2. 28, 29. Phil. 3.3. and since they had the thing signified Page  9 thereby, the Rite or Sign ceased. And as I have lately replied to some of your Brethren in answer to this Text, so I must say to you, all that can well be asserted from this Scripture, where the Apostle brings in Baptism, is no more than this, viz. That where Baptism is rightly admi∣nistred upon a proper Subject, it represents the spiritual and mystical Circumcision of the Heart, i. e. that the Soul is dead to Sin, or hath put off the Body of the Sins of the Flesh by the Circumcision of Christ; which may refer to the Power of his Death in the blessed Effects thereof, by the ef∣fectual Sin-killing Operations of the Spirit on the Heart. And as being dead to Sin, we are buried with Christ in Baptism, both in sign and token of Christ's Burial, i. e. covered all over in the Water, which is a clear Symbol of his Burial; also in Signification, i. e. that we being dead and buried with Christ in Baptism, so are to rise with him, by the Faith of the Ope∣ration of God; and both these are held forth in true Baptism. The Apostle doth not mention Baptism to come in the room of Circumcision, but to shew that these believing Colossians had through Christ by the Spirit obtained the Anti∣type thereof, or thing figured out in the Cir∣cumcision of the Flesh; which Baptism did clearly represent. But since this is so strenuously urged by you afresh, tho so often answered, I will be at the trouble to transcribe once more what Dr. Taylor, late Bishop of Down, hath said to this Argument of yours, and others before you, about Circumcision, viz. That Baptism is the Antitype of it, or that it came in the room thereof.

The Argument (saith he) from Circum∣cision is invalid upon infinite Considerations, Figures and Types prove nothing, unless a Command go along with them, or some Ex∣press Page  10 to signify such to be their purpose. For the Deluge of Waters and Ark of Noah were Figures of Baptism, saith Peter. If therefore the Circumstances of the one be drawn to the other, we shall make Baptism a Prodigy ra∣ther than a Rite; The Paschal Lamb was a Figure of the Eucharist, which succeeds the other, as Baptism doth Circumcision: But be∣cause there was in the Manduation of the Paschal Lamb o Prescription of Sacramental Drink, shall we conclude from hence, the Eu∣charist is to be administered in one kind? To which let me add, Because Children, Servants, and all in the House * might eat of the Passe∣over, must our Children and all in our Houses eat of the Eucharist, or Supper of the Lord? But, saith the Doctor, and in this very In∣stance of this Argument, suppose a Correspon∣dency of the Analogy between Circumcision and Baptism, yet there is no Correspondency of Identity; for though it be granted, that both of them did consign the Covenant of Faith, yet there is nothing in the Circum∣stances of Children being circumcised, that so concerns that Mystery, but that it might well be given to Men of Reason, because Circum∣cision left a Character in the Flesh, which being imprinted upon the Infant, did its work to them when they came to Age; and such a Character was necessary, because there was no word added to the Sign: But Baptism imprints nothing that remains on the Body; and if it leaves a Character at all, it is upon the Soul, to which the Word is added, which is as much a part of the Sacrament as the Sign it self: for both which Reasons it is requisite, that the Party baptized should be capable of Reason, that they may be capable both of the Word and of the Sacrament, and the impress upon the Page  11 Spirit. Since therefore the Reason of the Parity does wholly fail, there is nothing left to infer a necessity of complying in the Cir∣cumstance of Age, any more than in the other Annexes of Types. The Infant must also precisely be baptized upon the eighth day, and Females must not be baptized at all, be∣cause not circumcised. But it were more pro∣per, if we would understand it aright, to pro∣secute the Analogy from the Type to the Antitype, by the way of Letter, and Spirit, and Signification, and as Circumcision figures Baptism, so also the Adjuncts of the Circum∣cised shall signify something spiritual in the Adherents of Baptism: and therefore as In∣fants were circumcised, so spiritual Infants should be baptized, which is spiritual Cir∣cumcision; for therefore Babes had the Ministry of the Type, to signify that we must, when we give our Names to Christ, become Chil∣dren in Malice, and then the Type is made compleat.

Thus, as I have formerly said; the worthy Doctor hath given you a full Answer to all you have said concerning your Arguments for Baptism coming in the room of, or being a Figure of Circumcision. But to proceed.

5. If Baptism and Circumcision were both in full force together for some time; then Baptism is not the Type of, nor came in the room of Circumcision.

But Baptism and Circumcision were both in full force together for some time: Therefore Baptism is no Type of, nor came in the room of Circumcision.

The Minor is undeniable. Was not Baptism in full force from the time that John received it from Heaven, and administred it on the People? and did not Christ, by the hands of his Disciples, Page  12 baptize many Persons? nay, more Disciples than John? as it is said, Joh. 4.1, 2. And was not Circumcision them in full force too, and so abode till Christ took it away by nailing it, with all other Jewish Rites, to his Cross?

And as to the sequel of thMajor, that can∣not be denied; for if one thing cannot come in the room and, place of another, till the o∣ther is actually and legally removed and took out of the way, which is plain; then since these two Rites had a Being together, the Major is undeniable. A Type can abide no longer than till the Antitype is come; therefore Baptism is not the Antitype of Circumcision, or came not in the room and place thereof; the Anti∣type of which, or that which came in the room of the Circumcision of the Flesh, is the Cir∣cumcision of the Heart, not in the Flesh; but in the Spirit, whose Praise is not of Men, but of God.

6. And indeed how one thing that was a Figure or Shadow should come in the room, or be the Antitype of another thing, which is a Figure or Shadow, no wise Man can see reason to be∣lieve. And thus your great Text, Col. 2.11, 12. is plainly and honestly opened, ccording to the scope and main drift of the Spirit of God therein, and your great Pillar for your Scrip∣tureless Practice of Babes Baptism, razed and utterly overthrown.

Since I wrote this Answer to what you have said touching Circumcision,* I have met with an Answer given to the like pretended Proof for Pedo-Baptism, written by a most Learned and Reverend Author: The Argument and Answer I have been at the pains to transcribe, which tak as here followeth.

The Argument runs thus, viz.

Page  13

To them to whom Circumcision did agree,* to them Baptism doth agree: But Circumcision did agree to Infants, therefore also Baptism, &c.

The Major he endeavours thus to prove, i. e. If the Baptism of Christ succeeds into the place and room of Circumcision, then Baptism belongs to them that Circumcision belonged to: but the Antecedent is true, therefore the Con∣sequence. The Minor, he says, is proved from Col. 2.12. 'tis said, the Colossians were Circum∣cised, because Baptized.

Answ. This Argument supposeth Baptism to succeed in the place of Circumcision;* which may be understood many ways.

1. So as that the sense be, that those Persons may be Baptized, which heretofore, by God's Appointment, were to be Circumcised. And in this sense the Argument must proceed, if it con∣clude to the purpose: But in this sense it is false, for Females were not Circumcised, which yet were Baptized, as Act. 8.12, 13, 14. & 16.14, 15. and Believers out of Abraham's House, as Lot, Melchisedec, Joh, were not to be Circumcised: but believing Gentiles are universally to be Baptized.

2. It may be so understood as if the Rite of Baptism then began, when the Rite of Circum∣cision did or was to end. But this is not to be said; for John Baptist and Christ's Disciples bap∣tized, John 4.1, 2. before Circumcision of right ceased.

3. It may be understood, as if Baptism did succeed into the place of Circumcision, in re∣spect of its signification; which is true in some things, but not in others. First, both might sig∣nify the Sanctification of the Heart; and this is 〈◊〉 may be concluded out of that place alledged, Col. 2.11, 12. To which I think meet to add, that if that Text be looked into, the Apostle speaks not of any Circumcision, but of Christ, Page  14 because in him we are compleat, and by whose Circumcision we are said to put off the Body of the Sins of the Flesh: nor doth the Text say we are Circumcised, because we are Baptized; but that we are compleat in Christ, because we are Circumcised in him, and buried with him in Bap∣tism, (in which) or in whom ye and also risen toge∣ther, through the Faith of the Operation of God that raised him from the Dead.

In some things Baptism doth not succeed into the place of Circumcision, in respect of signifi∣cation.

For, 1. Circumcision did signify Christ to come of Isaac according to the Flesh, Gen. 17.10, 11. but Baptism doth not signify this, but points at his Incarnation, Death and Resurre∣ction.

2. Circumcision was a Sign, that the Israelites were a People separated from all Nations, Rom. 3.1. but Baptism signifies, that all that believe, whether Jews or Gentiles, are one in Christ, Gal. 3.28.

3. Circumcision signified, that Moses his Law was to be observed, Gal. 5.3. but Baptism doth signify, that Moses his Law is abolished, and the Doctrine of Christ established.

4. Circumcision signified the Promise of the Land of Canaan: but Baptism Eternal Life by Christ.

And indeed, saith he, if this Argument be not warily and restrainedly understood, an Egg is laid, out of which manifest Judaism may be hatched; but if it be taken restrainedly, 〈◊〉 no more follows thence, but that Baptism and Circumcision, in some things, hold forth the same; which is more plainly said of 〈◊〉 Ark, 1 Pet. 3.21. and of the Red Sea, and Cloud, 1 Cor. 10.2. And yet we say not that Baptism succeeded into their place, much less do Page  15 we infer any Rite to be instituted in their stead, respecting the same Persons; yea verily, it is to be seriously thought on,

1. That by such Arguments drawn from Ana∣logies, not conceived by the Holy Ghost, but drawn out of our Wit, a new kind of instituting Rites (to wit, from Analogies) is brought in, besides our Lord's Precepts, and the Apostles Examples.

2. This being once said, by a like parity of Reason and Arguing, it will be lawful to bring into the Christian Church, under other Names and Forms, the whole Burden of Jewish Rites; yea, almost out of what you will, to conclude what you will. For who shall put a Bound to Mens feigning Analogies, when they go beyond the Lord's Precepts, and the Apostles Examples? It is well known, that the Divine Appointment of Tythes to be paid, and many other things in the Writings of Divines, are asserted by this kind of Argument, besides the Rule of the Lord's Precept, and the Apostles Example.

3. Hereby will the Opinion of the Papists be confirmed; who affirm, from 1 Cor. 10.11. the Sacraments of the Jews, to be Types of the Sacraments of Christians; which is rejected by Divines that dispute against Bellarmine.

4. This manner of arguing, will countenance the Arguments of the Papists for an Ʋniversal Bishop, because the Jews had such; and justify a Linen Garment at Mass, because there was such among the Jews; and for Holy Water, Purification of Women, Easter, Pentecost, and many more such Ceremonies; for which the Papists do in like manner argue, as appears out of Durandus's Ra∣tionals, and other Interpreters of Rituals a∣mong the Papists. Yea, what hindereth, but we may give Children the Lord's Supper, if we ar∣gue this way, since Samuel, Jesus Christ under Page  16 Age, were partakers of the Passeover? And of right, all the Males were thrice in the Year to appear before the Lord, and therefore it is cer∣tain they did eat the Passeover: and it shall be afterwards shewed, that the place, 1 Cor. 11.28. will not avoid this Inconvenience, if the Text, Mat. 28.19. may be shifted off, as Pedo-Baptists use to do. Lest any Man take this for a light Suggestion, I will add, that grave, godly, and learned Men, have often warned, that we are to take heed, that we do not rashly frame Argu∣ments from Analogy; among others, in their late Writings in the English Tongue, John Paget, in his Defence of Church-Government, Part 1. Chap. 3. Pag. 8, and elsewhere. John Ball, in his Reply to the Answer of the New-England Elders unto the Nine Positions, Posit, 2. p. 14.

Lastly, It is to be considered, again and again, how by these Argumentations, the Consciences of Men may be freed from the danger of Will-Worship, and polluting so remarkable an Ordi∣nance of Christ as Baptism is; especially this Care lies on them, who by Prayer, Sermons, Writings, Covenants and Oaths, do deter Christians from Humane Inventions in God's Worship diligently, and it is to be hoped sincerely.

Thus far that Reverend Divine, who though I knew not what he had said till after I had wrote as before in answer to you; yet finding him so ful∣ly to strengthen what I have said, I thought good to add his Excellent Lines.

In the close of your 4th Page, you recite an Objection brought by us, viz.

That there was an express Command in so many Words for Circumcision, but there is no such Command for Infant-Baptism. Gen. 17.9, requires Infants to be Circumcised; shew us but such a Text in all the New Testament, that says, 〈◊〉 Infants be Baptized. Thus you have stated Page  17 our Objection, to which you give a threefold Answer.

I acknowledg (say you) that in the New-Testament, though it be not wholly silent, yet it speaks very little touching the Case of Infant-Baptism; and that for two Reasons, 1. Because the Old-Testament speaks so much in their Case, therefore the New-Testament speaks so little—The Old-Testament plainly informs us, that Children in their Infancy were admit∣ted Members of the Visible Church. Now what need is there that the same thing be re∣peated over again in the New-Testament? for it is not the Old-Testament alone, nor the New-Testament alone, but both together, that con∣tain the Rule of Faith and Practice, &c.

Answ. 1. You speak an Untruth, for the New-Testament speaks nothing at all touching Infant-Baptism; if a Man read it over a thousand times, he shall not find one Word, or the least Hint given of it: therefore the New-Testament, con∣trary to what you boldly affirm, is wholly silent in the Case of Infant-Baptism and Church-Mem∣bership. 'Tis a shame for a Man, who calls him∣self a Minister, to speak falsly, but much more to publish Falshoods to the World. In this, Mr. Rector, you must be corrected. If you fly to your pretended Consequences, you shall find, by and by, God assisting, that that Refuge will fail you in the Case; for Consequences in many Cases, drawn naturally from the Premises to which they refer, we readily admit of, though not in the Case of meer positive Precepts.

2. As to your first Reason, why the New-Te∣stament speaks no more in the Case of Infants; which is, as you conceive, because the Old-Testament speaks so much, that the Infant-Seed of Believers should be owned as Covenant Ser∣vants, as Deut. 29.10, 12. and were admitted Page  18 Members of that Visible Church. I must tell you, Sir, by way of Answer, this will do you no good, for the Reasons following.

1. Because Baptism is (as I have told you al∣ready) a meer positive Precept; and the Rite thereof, as well as Circumcision, cannot be known but by the express Declaration or Manife∣station of the Will and Mind 〈◊〉 God in his written Word. Abraham knew not that it was his Duty, he ought to Circumcise his Chil∣dren, till God gave him his positive and express Command to do it; and then also it was none but his Male Children; and God gave Directions to him, when and wherefore he should Circumcise them: And therefore there is the same parity of Reason, why the Great God should give us under the Gospel the like positive Law for baptizing our Children under the Gospel; together with the Time when, and the Reason wherefore, as he did to them in the case of Circumcision, had it been his Pleasure we should Baptize our Children: but since he hath not required any thing of this Nature of us under the Gospel, his requiring them to Circumcise their Male Children, will not justify us, nor free us in so doing, from pal∣pable Will-Worship. Were there none among the Gentiles, think you, in the Old-Testament-time, that were Believers and Godly Persons? And if there were such, I ask you, whether they were to Circumcise their Children, notwith∣standing they abode without the Gate or Pale of the Jewish Church? Nay, I affirm, that it was not the Duty of Melchisedec, Lot, nor Job, (because not Abraham's natural Off-spring, nor bought with his Money, had they never so many Sons) to Circumcise one of them, because they had no Command so to do. Read Gen. 17.8, 9, 10, 11. and you will find the express Command of God was to him, and to every Male-Child of his; or Page  19 that was born in his House, or bought with Mo∣ney, ver. 11, 12.

2. Because the Church-State of the Jews, or that under the Old-Testament, quite differs from the Gospel-Church State; the Jewish-Church-Constitution was National, the whole Nation of the Jews; and every individual Person that pro∣ceeded from Abraham's Loins, were admitted as Members of that Church under the Law, or in Times of the Old-Testament, and therefore his Infant-Seed were and might be admitted Mem∣bers thereof. But in the Times of the Gospel, the Church is not National, but Congregational, Shew us what whole Nation or People, none ex∣cepted, were by Christ's Appointmen constitu∣ted as a Gospel-Church, as the People of Israel or Jewish Nation were, and you will gain a great Point. Is it not evident, all along in the Acts of the Apostles, which gives an Account of the Nature and Manner of the Gatherings and Constitutions of the Gospel-Churches, that they consisted of none but of such who professed Faith and Regeneration, and so were either ga∣thered out of the Jewish People, or else out of the Nations of the Gentiles, and consisted of no other but such who were called, or did pro∣fess Faith in Jesus Christ? Which if considered, utterly overthrows, not only what you speak here, but all you speak afterwards about Chil∣dren being once in Covenant under the Law.

3. Whereas you say,

It is not the Old-Testa∣ment alone, nor the New-Testament, but both together, that contains the Rule of our Faith and Practice.

I answer, That though in part what you say here is true, yet your Trumpet gives an uncer∣tain Sound: for in respect of Practice, were there not many Laws and Precepts given to the People of the Jews, which no ways in the least concern Page  20 us, or God's Spiritual Israel under the Gospel? If you explain your self no better, you may soon subvert the People, and carry them away to Judaism with a witness: nay, and instead of Bap∣tizing Children upon such a childish and errone∣ous Foot of Account, make them think they ought to Circumcise them, as some of late here in England were deluded to do. Therefore we say as to all Precepts of the Gospel that are meer positive Laws, the New-Testament is our only Rule without the help of the Old: Christ alone is our Law-giver, and him, and not Moses, we are only to hear and hearken unto; though as to matter of Faith, the Old-Testament may be useful 〈◊〉 us in many respects, and also all Pre∣cepts that are purely Moral in their own Nature. The Old-Testament is a Rule to us as well as the New, which I might shew in many respects, not only touching the Law of the Decalogue, but also of Prayer, singing God's Praises, Fasting Days, &c. But for you to intimate in the case of Circumci∣sion, that the Old-Testament is a Rule of Pra∣ctice, or in respect of Jewish Church-Member∣ship, you strangely betray your Ignorance, as will further appear hereafter. For that Circumcision was a meer Legal or Jewish Rite, I shall evident∣ly anon fully prove. But so much as to your first Reason, your Second shall be now exa∣mined.


So little is said (say you) in the New-Testament about Baptizing Infants, because the custom of Baptizing them was common, and the practice constant in the Jewish Church, at and before our Saviour's Time. Whilst Circum∣cision was the Covenanting Sign, Baptism was the Purifying Ceremony among the Jews; for when any of the Gentiles were admitted into the Jewish Church, both Parents and Children were first Circumcised, and then Wash'd, in token Page  21 of cleansing them from the filth of their Hea∣thenism: So that Baptism among the Jews con∣stantly went along with Circumcision till our Saviour's Time.

Answ. 1. 'Tis a sign of a bad Cause, when Men are forc'd to try their Wits after such a ridicu∣lous manner, to make out what they have to prove. Pray, was that Custom among the Jews, of Baptizing Infants, when any of the Gentiles were admitted into the Jewish Church, com∣manded of God? Had God given the Jews any such Law or Precept? or was it not one of their own Traditions, who in their own Wisdom, without any Warrant from their great Prophet and Law-giver, devised that Ceremony, possibly to wash away the Filth of Heathenism, as your Predecessors in like manner, without any Com∣mand or Warrant of Jesus Christ, devised the Baptizing of Infants, to wash away the Filth of Original Sin? Doth not our blessed Saviour say, that they had made void the Commandments of God through their Traditions? I do affirm, it was never given them as a Law or Precept by the Great God, nor do you attempt once to prove any such thing; for there is not the least shadow of any such thing in all the Old-Testament; there∣fore it was a meer humane Tradition.

2. Can any wise Man, who would do nothing in God's Service without a sufficient Rule or Warrant from the Word of God, think this a good Argument for Infant-Baptism? I must tell you, (as I have some of your Brethren, called, The Athenian Society) That a Popish Tradition is every way as good as a Jewish one. You were better plead thus, The Romish Church, without any Warrant from God's Word, received In∣fant-Baptism as an unwritten Apostolical Tradi∣tion, and in some Councils early.*Quicun{que} par∣vulos recentes ab uteris Matrum Baptizandos esse ne∣gat, Page  22 Anathema esto. Milev. Can. 2. and Anathematized or cursed all who should deny that new-born Infants were to be baptized; why do you fly to the fabulous and idle Traditions of the Jewish Rabbins for your Childish Baptism, since you have the Testimony of so many Romish Doctors, and General Councils, who positively affirm you ought to baptize your Children? Sure the Au∣thority of the latter is as good as the former.

3. But is it so indeed, did our Saviour say no∣thing of Infant-Baptism? or, as you hint, leave so little of it in the New Testament, because it was the constant Custom among the Jews to baptize the Children of Heathens before they ad∣mitted them into their Church? What Dr. Ham∣mond, Taylor and Lightfoot have said upon that account, is to their Shame and Reproach, rather than to their Honour; tho I know it was their last Refuge, when they saw your Scripture-Proofs would not prove it to be a Truth of Christ. O how are we beholden to the Jewish Talmud, and Jewish Rabbins for our Infant-Baptism! Nay, which is worst of all, how is Christ beholden to them for that rare Invention, that had said so much for it, and made it so common a Practice among them, that it saved him the Pains to give the least Directions about it? But is not this next to Blasphemy? Can any Man in his right Wits think our Lord Jesus should confirm a vile Tradition and Innovation of the Jews? or take His great Ordinance and Sacrament of Baptism from the superstitious, fabulous and er∣ronious Custom of their Doctors and Rabbins? Besides, was Baptism to be preached or practised by none but the Jewish People? doth it not be∣long to the Gentiles too? Did not our Saviour command his Disciples to go into all Nations, and make Disciples and baptize them? &c. Was it his Mind that Infants should be baptized, and Page  23 yet say nothing of it, because it was a common Custom and Practice among the Jews? But, Sir, what must the Gentiles do to know this to be their Duty? (I mean those Gentiles who re∣ceived the Christian Faith) viz. that they ought to baptize their Children, who did not know nor ever heard of that Jewish Custom? Or, dare you say, our New Testament is not authen∣tick, or sufficient to teach us the whole of Gospel-Duties and Obedience, without the Jewish Talmud? You should not ('tis plain) only have said the New Testament is not, without the Old, the Rule of our Practice; but also that the New Testament and the Old, without the Jewish Talmud, is not sufficient, and then you had done your business at once. Are you not ashamed thus to go about to blind and de∣ceive the poor People?

Is not the whole Mind of Jesus Christ, even all his Laws and Precepts, or his whole Counsel plainly contained in his blessed Word? But would you have People be wise above what is written, and teach Men to reflect upon the Care and Faithfulness of the blessed Jesus, in leaving out of the sacred Bible one great Truth of God, and leave us to find it out by going to search the Jewish Traditions?

4. If it was a Custom among the Jews, it must be a sacred Custom, I mean a Custom that God appointed and commanded them to ob∣serve, or else a human Tradition or vain Custom: If it had been a Mosaical Rite given by God himself to the Jews, Christ besure abolished it, and nailed it to his Cross, with all its fellows, and 'tis gone for ever since he hath not given it out a new.

Take this Argument.

That Custom among the Jews that God never commanded, nor is any where given by MosesPage  24 unto them, who was faithful in all his House, was no Ordinance of God, but a meer human Tradition. But the Custom among the Jews of baptizing the Heathen and their Children, who were admitted into their Church, was never commanded of God, nor any where given unto them by Moses, who was faithful in all his House. Ergo, That Custom was no Ordinance of God, but a meer human Tradition.

5. Lastly, take what a worthy and learned Author of your own Communion hath said in Confutation of this foolish and absurd Argument for Pedo-baptism, 'tis Sir Norton Knatchbull Knight and Baronet.

The thing, saith he, is uncer∣tain, that it cannot be said of the Rabbins, that there were not several among them who differ∣ed very much about this matter; for Rabbi Eliezar expresly contradicts Rabbi Joshua, who was the first that I know of who asserted this sort of Baptism among the Jews; for Rabbi Eliezar, who was contemporary with Rabbi Joshua, if he did not live before him, asserts that a Proselyte circumcised, and not baptized, was a true Proselyte; for so we read of the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that they were circumcised, but not baptized. But Rabbi Joshua affirms, that he who was baptized, not he that was circumcised, was a true Pro∣selyte. To whom shall I give Credit, to Eliezar, who asserts what the Scripture confirms; or to Joshua, who affirms what is no where to be found in Scripture? But the Rabbins upheld Joshuah's side, and what wonder was it? for it made for their business; that is, for the Ho∣nour of the Jewish Religion, that the Christi∣ans should borrow their Ceremonies from them. But when I see Men of great Learning in these times fetching the Foundations of Truth from the Rabbins, I cannot but hesitate a little: Page  25 For whence was the Talmud sent us, they are the words of Buxtorf in his Synagoga Ju∣daica, that we should give Credit thereto, that from thence we should believe that the Law of Moses either can or ought to be un∣derstood? much less the Gospel, to which they were profess'd Enemies. For the Talmud is called a Labyrinth of Errors, and the Foundation of Jewish Fables; it was brought to Perfection and held for authentick five hundred Years after Christ: therefore it is unreasonable to rest upon the Testimony of it. And that which moves me most, Josephus (to omit all the Fathers that lived before the Talmud was finished) who was a Jew, and contemporary with Rabbi Eliezar, who also wrote in particular of the Rites, Customs and Acts of the Jews, is altogether silent in this matter. So that it is an Argument to me next to a Demonstration, that two such eminent Persons, both Jews, and living at the same time, the one should posi∣tively deny, and the other makes mention of Baptism among the Jews. Besides, if Baptism in the modern sense were in use among the Jews in ancient Times, why did the Pharisees ask John Baptist, Why doest thou baptize, if thou art not Christ, nor Elias, nor that Prophet?* do they not plainly intimate that Baptism was not in use before, and that it was a received Opinion among them, that there should be no Baptism till either Christ, or Elias, or that Prophet came?
So far the renowned Sir Norton Knatchbull, in his Notes printed at Oxford, Anno Dom. 1677. with the License of the Vice-Chan∣cellor, a very learned Man, and a Son of the Church of England. Sir, what think you now of your Jewish Custom, of baptizing the Hea∣thens and their Children who were admitted to their Church? Do you think there is not need Page  26 that Infant-Baptism should be mentioned in the holy Scripture, had it been a Truth? Is this un∣certain Story of the Jewish Custom sufficient for you to build your Faith and Practice upon, when the Truth of the Story, as to matter of Fact, may justly be doubted? but if it was true, it is but a rotten Foundation to build one of the great Sacraments of Christ upon, viz. a vile, profane and human Tradition of the Jewish Rabbins.

I have been the larger on this matter, because the Men you mention, as Dr. Hammond, Taylor and Lightfoot, some People have in such Vene∣ration, who were the Persons (you need not doubt) the learned Sir Norton confuted; and also because your Brethren the Athenian Society*, notwithstanding I have lately so fully answered all they have urged upon this account, still in∣sist upon this ridiculous Argument, as appears by their 12 Numbers to their fifth Volume. And what I have now said, may serve for a fur∣ther Answer to them as well as to you; but if we hear any more of this, we shall further ex∣pose you and them than yet we have done.

In Pag. 6. you seem to answer a Question, viz. Why our Saviour did not particularly name Infants when he instituted Baptism in the room of Circumcision?

Your Answer is, because there was no occa∣sion for it;

What need, say you, our Saviour declare that Infants ought to have the Seal of the Covenant applied to them, when it was never denied them? it had been highly requi∣site that our Saviour should have particularly named them now: but being all ways inclu∣ded before, if our Saviour had intended their Exclusion now, he would most certainly have declared it, &c.

Page  27Answ. 1. I answer, you say the Seal of the Covenant was never denied Infants, and there∣fore what need our Saviour particularly name Infants when he instituted Baptism? Sir, but did not our Saviour know there would be just ground for us to deny Infant-Baptism, since he commanded none in the great Commission to be baptized, but such who were made Disciples by being first taught? And he being God as well as Man, did know from hence it would be denied, as it has been by some godly Christians from the first time it was, as an hu∣man Device, introduced into God's Worship (as hereafter we shall prove): sure this being so, there was all the reason imaginable that he should speak of their Baptism in his great Com∣mission, had it been his Will they should be baptized.

2. And why should the baptizing of Believers be so clearly and so often spoken of in the New Testament, if a being in the Covenant was a sufficient ground to baptize them, without a po∣sitive Precept, or express Command to baptize them? since they were always from the begin∣ning of the World look'd upon and known be∣yond doubt to be in Covenant: and so you can∣not say of Infants, (tho you say the Seal was ne∣ver denied them) for there is no mention of their being in Covenant, as to have any Sign or Rite assigned them of it till Abraham's days; and that that Covenant then, viz. of Circumcision, was not a Covenant of Grace, we shall here∣after, God assisting, clearly prove. Therefore, say you what you please, there was more need for our Saviour to have Infants Baptism, and Church-Membership particularly mentioned, than that of Believers, had it been the Mind of Christ they ought to be baptized and made Members of the Gospel-Church.

Page  283. Besides, the Dispensation of the Gospel requires it, since it differs in Nature, Rites and Priviledges from that of the Law, or under the Old Testament. The Church-State of the Jews being National, and that of the Gospel Congre∣gational, had Christ only confirmed old Cove∣nant-Rites and manner of Priviledges, Member∣ship and Initiations, &c. there might be some∣thing in what you say; but evident it is, that the Matter and Form, Rites and Priviledges of the Gospel-Church, according to the Constitution, Laws and Ordinances of Christ,* quite differ, and are of another sort to those of the Law. Think not to say within your selves, We have Abraham to our Father, &c. Now the Axe is laid to the Root of the Trees, Mat. 3.9, 10. [Now] as if he should say, the case is altered; your being the fleshly Seed of Abraham would do then, or give you a right to Circumcision; but this will not do now, this will give you no right to Gospel-Baptism, the Dispensation is changed; actual Faith, and Fruits meet for Repentance, are re∣quired of all who have a right to Baptism.

4. Moreover, 'tis evident that Christ in bring∣ing in and establishing of the second Covenant and Gospel-Church-State, dissolved, and for ever took away the old Covenant, and Church-State of the Jews, with all their Rites, initiating Or∣dinances and Priviledges whatsoever.

Suppose a Man should make his Will, and be∣queath such or such Legacies to such and such Persons; and yet afterwards he abrogates that Will, and makes another, which is his last Will and Testament, in which he leaves out the Names of those Persons, and doth not bequeath those Legacies to them; Can they recover those Legacies by virtue of the old abrogated Will? The case is the same here; If Infants have right to Baptism and visible Church-Membership, it Page  29 must be found in Christ's Gospel, which is his last Will and Testament, or they have no such Right you may be sure, nor ought to be baptized; He took away the first, that he might establish the second, Heb. 10.2.

Your second Answer to this Objection, viz. That Infants are no where commanded to be baptized, is this, viz.

Altho they are not, say you, par∣ticularly named, yet are they necessarily in∣cluded in the Commission, Mat. 28.19, 20. Infants being a very considerable part of all Nations; surely the universal (all Nations) does include the Individuals, tho our Saviour does not particularly name them.
To clear this, you make use of a Similitude.
Suppose, say you, the King should grant his Royal Charter to make this your Market-Town a Corporati∣on, and all the Inhabitants of it Free-Men, would any be so idle as to suppose that this Royal Grant doth not include your Children, because it doth not particularly name them? Is not the Son of a Free-man a Free-man as well as his Father? Thus in the Sacred Charter and Royal Patent of the Covenant of Grace, which is sealed by Baptism; all the Privi∣ledges and Promises of that Covenant granted to Believers, concern their Children as well as themselves, Acts 2.38. The Promise is to you and to your Children; the Promise of the Covenant belongs to you and to yours. The Infants then of Believers are included together with themselves, tho not particularly named.

Answ. 1. I reply, that you argue not only so∣phistically, but also very weakly; for are not Pagans, Turks and Infidels, with the profane and ungodly Men and Women, and their Children,* a very considerable part of all Nations? nay, the far greatest part of all Nations; for Christ's Flock comparatively is but a little Flock: And Page  30 are these included in the Commission, tho not named? You must say they be, or else confess there is nothing in what you say in the least upon this account.

2. If that Universal does include every Indivi∣dual in all Nations, all these are included as well as Infants of Believers. Sir, you must be corrected here for your bold and daring Abuse of the Sacred Commission of our Blessed Lord; for I appeal to your Conscience, or to the Con∣sciences of all impartial Men, whether, by vir∣tue of the Commission, any one Person ought to be Baptized, but such who is first Taught? 'tis not said, Go, Baptize all Nations; mark, but go ye therefore, teach all Nations,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; that is, disciple, make Disciples in all Nations, baptizing them, that is, such who are so taught or made Disciples. And this is according to Christ's own Practice, Jesus made and baptized more Disciples than John, &c. John 4.1. first he made them Disciples, and then Baptized them, and thus runs his Commission. Therefore since none are expressed, as required in all Nations to be Baptized, but such as are first taught and disci∣pled; Infants of Believers, as well as Pagans, and Unbelievers and their Children, are exclud∣ed. As when God commanded the Male Chil∣dren to be Circumcised, he thereby excluded all Female Children: Or when he commanded Abraham to Circumcise on the eighth Day, he virtually forbad him to Circumcise on the seventh or ninth day, as I said before; or as when he commanded the Ark to be carried on the Priests Shoulders, he forbad them to carry it on a Cart; and for their presumption so to do, it provoked God, and cost Ʋzzah his Life: So and in like manner, all that are not expressed, as injoined or required to be Baptized by the Authority of the Commission, are excluded.

Page  313. And as to your Simile, there's nothing in it; for you should first prove, that the Nature of the Sacred Charter of the Church about the Royal Grant of that Spiritual Corporation, runs Parallel-wise with the King's Charter of making a Civil Corporation: make that appear, and you do your Business. But, alas, Sir, you beg, and instead of arguing, take that for granted which is utterly denied. 'Tis not the first Birth that brings us into the Covenant of Grace, but the Second; not Generation, but Regeneration; not being born of Believers, but by our being born of God: See John 1.12, 13. To as many as received him, to them gave be Power (Gr. Priviledg) to become the Sons of God: Which were not born of Blood, nor of the Will of the Flesh, nor of the Will of Man, but of God. If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham 's Seed, and Heirs according to the Promise, Gal. 3.29. The Children of the Flesh, these are not the Children of God, Rom. 9.8. Thus the Royal Charter of the Gospel, or Spiritual Corporation of the Covenant and Gospel-Church-State runs; i. e. You must be a Believer, you must be born again, be a new Creature, and so must your Children, before you or they either can be free-Men and Women of this Corpora∣tion, or be Fellow-Citizens with the Saints and Houshold of God, Ephes. 2.19. And indeed the Covenant of Grace ran thus, as it was made with Abraham; though he was in it, yet all his Chil∣dren were not included, though Circumcised. Was the Royal Grant made so, that it included Ishmael and Esau? Were the Promises and Pri∣viledges of the Covenant of Grace belonging to them? doth not the Apostle positively deny it, in Rom. 9.7? Neither because they are the Seed of Abraham, are they all Children; but in Isaac shall thy Seed be called: that is, they which are the Chil∣dren of the Flesh, these are not the Children of God; Page  32 but the Children of the Promise are counted for the Seed, Ver. 9.

4. If all the Priviledges and Promises granted to Believers, so concern all their Children, they must all be saved, for that is the Promise and blessed Priviledg of all Believers; He that hear∣eth my Words, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting Life, and shall not come into Condemnation, John 5.24. If this were true Doctrine that you teach the deceived and blind World, the Pri∣viledges of Believers Seed were great indeed, and their State happy: but alas 'tis no such thing, they are, as born, and as they come into the World from the Loins of their Parents, in the same woful condition, and alike polluted as the Children of Unbelievers; and many of the best of God's People have now-adays, as well as for∣merly, wicked Children; and many die in Sin, and perish eternally, which they could not do, had they the same Promises and Priviledges their believing Parents have; therefore you teach false Doctrine, and ought to be rectified and sharply corrected.

5. If they have the same Priviledges their be∣lieving Parents have, and that by the Royal Grant and Charter of Christ given to his Church, Why do you not, as the ancient erroneous Fa∣thers did, give them the Eucharist? I affirm, they have as much right to that Sacrament, (as they have to the Sacrament of Baptism, as I shall prove in its place) by your Arguing and Argument.

6. And lastly, As to that Text cited by you, to prove what you say in Acts 2.38. For the Promise is to you and to your Children, doth not re∣fer to their Children quatenus as Children, but to such of their Children, or Off-spring, God by his Word and Spirit should call, (as the Sequel of the Verse clearly shews) for the Promise is to Page  33 you, and to your Children, and to all that are afar off, even to so many (mark) as the Lord our God shall call. To you Jews, and not only to you, but to the Gentiles also, which were said to be afar off, as the Apostle speaks, Ephes. 2.17. And came and preached Peace to you that were afar off. But then 'tis with this Restriction or Limitation, even to so many of you, and your Children, and them afar off, which the Lord our God shall call: and when Children are, by the Grace of God effe∣ctually called, we deny not but that you may Baptize them.

In pag. 7. upon the Popular Objection, as you call it, against Infant-Baptism, from the Silence of the Scripture in that Case, you argue thus, viz.

That which by a just and necessary Conse∣quence is deduced from Scripture, is as much the Mind of Christ, as what is contained in the express words of Scripture.
To confirm this, you bring in the Arians, who rejected Conse∣quential Proofs, &c.
And (say you) if you of the Anabaptist Perswasion do the same, know, that if you deny evident and necessary Conse∣quences from Scripture, then, first, you deny your Saviour's way of Arguing; and, secondly, you condemn your own Practice, &c.

Answ. 1. You basely misrepresent those you call Anabaptists; for we do not deny, nor never did, necessary Consequences deduced from the Scrip∣ture, or such Consequences which naturally and genuinely follow from those Texts they refer to, or are drawn therefrom.

Though, Sir, I must tell you, Consequences that are genuine, or are naturally deduced from the Scripture, to prove and demonstrate Matter of Faith, (as in the case of the Resurrection, or about the Deity of the Son of God, or any thing of like nature, are one thing) and Consequences Page  34 brought to prove a Positive Law or Institutions, are another thing. Pray, did God by Moses give forth any Law, or positive Rite or Precept so darkly, that it could not be proved but by Con∣sequences? for that is the case here between you and us. Moses delivered every Law, Statute and Ordinanance so plainly to the People of Israel, that he that ran might read it. And shall any Man think that our blessed Saviour, who declared all things plainly from his Father, and was faithful as a Son over his own House, would leave any positive Law or Precept of the Gospel so dark, that there is no way to understand it but by Consequences?

2. But secondly, our main Objection lies a∣gainst your pretended Consequences; for we positively deny that any of your Inferences or Consequences which you bring to prove Infant-Baptism, do naturally follow from the Scripture-Texts, to which you refer, or from whence you draw them: and blame us not, since your own Brethren (such too as Dr. Hammond, Dr. Taylor Bishop of Down, &c.) do affirm, that those Scriptures from whence▪ you draw your Conse∣quences for this Practice, are not naturally drawn therefrom, but are very uncertain and doubtful: if you know not this, it will appear you have read but little of them.

3. As touching Prayer, that is a Branch of Na∣tural Religion, or a Moral Duty, and therefore quite different from this the Controversy is about; yet that it is positively enjoined and commanded in the Gospel also,* we deny not; Pray always, pray without ceasing, and for every thing give Thanks. What can be more plain? Besides, we sin not if we pray thrice a day, or seven times a day; there∣fore Prayer is unadvisedly and improperly men∣tioned by you upon this account.

Page  354. As touching Womens receiving the Lord's-Supper, that is proved more than by Conse∣quences: Let a Man examine himself, i. e. Man or Woman, for so the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the Greek, and Adam in the Hebrew signify. There is one Mediator between God and Man. Is not the Woman comprehended as clearly as the Man? Are not Male and Female all one in Christ Jesus? Gal. 3.28. And, as we have lately told your caviling Brethren the Athenian Society, did you never read of the Figure Sylepsis or Conceptio, that compre∣hends the less worthy under the more worthy, indignioris sub digniore? As for Example, Quid tu & soror facitis; ego & mater miseri perimus; tu & uxor qui adfuistis testes estete; and is no less true in Divinity: See that full Text, 1 Cor. 6.16. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, they two shall be one Flesh. Mary the Mother of Jesus, and the other good Women who were Christ's Disciples, were of the number of the hundred and twenty Disciples who brake Bread with the three thousand that were added to them, Acts 2. 'Tis said Acts 8.12. They were baptized both Men and Women. Now such a Consequence as this we deny not, viz. Women were Disciples, Women were baptized, and therefore broke Bread: for all who were true Disciples of Christ and baptized, had an un∣doubted Right to the Lord's-Supper. Bring us such Grounds and Consequences for your Infant-Baptism and Church-Membership, and we will contend with you no more. But to satisfy the Reader more fully as to this, I desire him to see Mr. Danvers Answer to Mr. Blindman.

5. As to the first day of the Week, being the day appointed for Christians to observe under the Gospel in the Worship and Service of God, we have Proof enough without Consequences. Sir, we always affirm an Apostolical Practice, or a Gospel-Precedent, is of like nature and of Page  36 equal Authority with a Gospel Precept. Do we not read, Acts 2.1, 2. that when the day of Pen∣tecost was fully come, the Disciples were all gathered together with one accord in one place; which was the first Day of the Week? And was not this their assembling on that day, as the day of the Chri∣stian Sabbath, ratified and confirmed from Hea∣ven, by that wonderful Effusion of the Holy Ghost, or extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit? And is it not said, Acts 20.7. the Church came together on the first Day of the Week to break Bread? And doth not the Apostle exhort the Church at Corinth, 1 Cor. 16.1, 2. upon the first Day of the Week to make Collections, or to gather and lay in store for the Poor, as he had given Orders to the Churches of Galatia? this they could not do, if they met not on that Day. And what tho we cannot prove without Conse∣quences, that he who was the Lord of the Sab∣bath did change the Day, &c seeing we have such plain and express Examples or Precedents for the Observation of the first Day of Week, and none but that in the times of the Gospel? Therefore now we say,

6. Could you give us but one Example, one Precedent in all the New Testament, that any one Infant was baptized, we would give up the Cause: but as you can give us none, so you cannot give us any Consequences, that without the abuse of the Scripture naturally flow from the Texts to which you refer; therefore all this stir in mentioning these particular Cases, are remote to your Business, and prove nothing, they being not like parallel Cases to yours.

But to come to your Argument for Infant-Baptism, which you would have to run parallel with that, for Womens receiving the Lord's-Supper: I will repeat them both, and then re∣ply to the last.

Page  37

All Christ's Disciples ought to partake of his Supper: Women are Disciples, therefore to partake of his Supper.

You proceed;

All Christ's Disciples ought to be baptized; but some Children are his Disciples, therefore to be baptized.

1. I deny your Minor; you say some Children are Disciples, the Scripture you bring to prove it, is Acts 15.1, 8, 10. Answ. That Scripture proves no such thing: the Yoke that was laid on the Neck of those Disciples were Men, or Adult Persons, or Gentile Saints; they were such Disciples those false Brethten would have laid the Yoke of Circumcision upon.

2. A Disciple is one taught or instructed, as the genuine and proper Signification of that word holds forth; but Infants have no Understanding,* and therefore are not able to be made Disciples by teaching.

Your second Proof, is their Parents Dedication of them to Christ.

I answer; Parents have no Warrant from God's Word to dedicate their Children to Christ by Bap∣tism, nor doth that Dedication infuse any Divine Habits into them, or the least Light, Knowledg, or Understanding; therefore that Dedication cannot render them to be Disciples.

Your third Proof is Christ's gracious Accepta∣tion of them at their hands.

Answ. I answer, Christ only laid his Hands upon some Children who were brought to him, and blessed them; but this doth not prove they are Disciples, or that he baptized any Infant. But more of this hereafter. I proceed to your second grand Argument, Pag. 8.

Page  38


Wherein the grand Argument for In∣fant-Baptism taken from the Covenant made with Abraham, is fully confuted. Proving the Covenant of Circumcision was not a Covenant of Grace, wherein both Mr. Burkit and the Athenian Society are clearly answered. The Legal Covenant and Fleshly Seed being under the Gospel both cast out, the Plea for Pedo-baptism from the old Covenant-Right is vanquished.

I Come now to examine your second grand Argument for the Baptism of Infants, which you in Pag. 8. laid down thus, viz.

*If the Infants of believing Christians under the Gospel are in Covenant with God, as the Jewish Infants under the Law were; then the Seal of the Covenant, which is Baptism, may and ought to be administred to them.

But the Infants of Believers under the Gospel are in Covenant with God,* as well as the Jewish Infants under the Law were.

Therefore Baptism, the Seal of the Covenant, ought to be applied to these, as Circumcision was to them.

Answ. Tho this Syllogism is not perfect in Form, yet I will pass by that Oversight of yours, and consider it in each part, and finding it sophistical, must deny the whole Argument.

Page  391. For first, as to your Major, If the Infants of Christians were in Covenant with God, as the Jewish Infants were, yet Baptism cannot belong to them, unless God hath commanded them to be baptized, and made it also a Seal of the same Covenant: for as much as Baptism, (as I have told you before once or twice already) is a meer positive Law or Institution, 'tis not Man, but God himself must make it their Duty to be baptized, and a Seal of the Covenant, if it were so indeed: but God hath neither en∣joyned them, or made it their Duty to be bap∣tized, nor appointed it to be a Seal of the Cove∣nant of Grace to them; Ergo. Also you mistake, in calling Circumcision a Seal of the Covenant made with Abraham; for 'tis only called the Seal of the Righteousness of the Faith he had, (that is Abraham) and which he had, being yet uncircumcised. 'Tis not called a Seal of the Covenant, but of Faith, and that too of Abraham's Faith only, because none before they were circumcised had such a Faith but himself only. Nor can you prove Christ's true Baptism is a Seal of the Covenant of Grace under the Gospel, the holy Spirit is the only Seal of the Covenant of Grace mentioned in the Scripture, Ephes. 1.13, 14. chap. 4.30.

If therefore I should grant, that the Infants of Believers under the Gospel, as such, were in Cove∣nant with God, which I must deny, yet it would not follow in the least that they ought to be baptized, from that ground: for, were not, think you, all the Children of the Godly before Abraham's time, or before he received that ex∣press Command to circumcise them in your sense, in Covenant with God? If you do not say this, why do you affirm, that the Children of Believers were always, or ever in Covenant as well as their Parents? but if it were so, Do you Page  40 think it was their Duty to circumcise them? If you should say, no, because they did not know to circumcise them was the Will of God. But you might say more, viz. it was not the Will of God they should do it; 'tis God's Command only, and not their being in Covenant, made it their Duty to circumcise their Children: and had God given us such a Command, or any Au∣thority to baptize our Children, we ought and would baptize them; but must not, dare not, without such positive Command or Authority.

2. We utterly also deny your Minor, and say that the Infants of Believers (as such) under the Gospel, are not in Covenant with God.

We will therefore examine your Grounds to prove that which you affirm upon this account, Pag. 8, 9. and thus you argue, viz.

They who by Circumcision were once solemn∣ly taken into Covenant with God, and never since were solemnly cast out, do undoubtedly continue in a Covenant-State.

But Infants under the Law were solemnly by God's Appointment taken into Covenant with himself, and were never since by any Command of God cast out; therefore they do still conti∣nue in Covenant.

Answ. 1. I answer first of all, that your Argu∣ment is not true in form; Is Circumcision in your Minor? Sir, if you are a Logician, speak like one;* your Minor should run thus, viz. But Infants were once by Circumcision, solemnly by God's Appoint∣ment, taken into Covenant, &c. But I'll pass by that, and must tell you your Argument in another re∣spect is lame also; You do not tell us what Co∣venant 'tis you here intend; ought you not to have added, They who were once solemnly taken into the Covenant of Grace by Circumcision, &c. but Infants were once solemnly taken into the Covenant of Grace by Circumcision? If you do Page  41 not affirm that, you say nothing that concerns our Controversy. If the Covenant of Circumci∣sion was not the Covenant of Grace, you will and must give up your Cause: and if you say that, you ought to have put it into your Syllo∣gism. 3. There is yet another fault in your Argument. If you would include the Controversy, ought you not to have said, All they who? &c. Can your Conclusion be good, when your Pro∣positions are bad and defective?

But to the business; If you say Infants, as such, were solemnly taken into the Convenant of Grace by Circumcision; then I deny your Minor: Infants, as such, were never by Circum∣cision, nor any other ways under the Law, taken into the Covenant of Grace. Moreover, I affirm, that tho they were once solemnly taken into Covenant with God by Circumcision, yet that Covenant, and that Covenant Seed, viz. the natural Seed of Abraham, are both solemnly cast out; and this I shall, God assisting, prove, and afterwards take off all those pretended Absur∣dities you in the 9th and 10th Pages of your Book mention, and give a full Answer to your Reasons and Arguments you bring to prove the Covenant of Circumcision was a Covenant of Grace.

1. And now to proceed, to raze and quite overthrow this main Foundation and Pillar of Pedo-baptism; I shall argue as Mr. Tombs hath done, whose Arguments could never be yet answered.

We are first of all to consider, whether the Gospel-Covenant, and the Covenant of Circum∣cision made with Abraham be the same. Second∣ly, Inquire what Seed of Abraham it is, of which 'tis said, I will be a God to thee, and to thy Seed, Gen. 17.7. Thirdly, Whether there be the same Reason of Circumcision and of Baptism in Page  42 signifying the Gospel-Covenant. Fourthly, Whe∣ther there is the same Parity of Reason for the one, as for the other.

First,* The Covenant made with Abraham we affirm is not a pure Gospel-Covenant, but a mix'd Covenant, partly made with his Natural or Fleshly Seed, and partly made with him and his Spiritual Seed; and therefore we thus argue.

Arg. 1. If the Covenant takes its Denomination from the Promises, and the Promises are mix'd, some Evange∣lical, belonging to those to whom the Gospel belongeth; some Domestick, or Civil Promises, specially and ab∣solutely respectin the House and Natural Seed of Abraham, and Policy of Israel; then 'tis a mix'd Covenant.

But the Covenant takes its Denomination from the Promises, and the Promises are mix'd, some Evan∣gelical, belonging to those to whom the Gospel be∣longeth; some Domestick, or Civil Promises, specially and absolutely respecting the House and Natural Seed of Abraham, and Policy of Israel. Ergo, 'Tis a mix'd Covenant.

To make this clear, 'tis evident that that Pro∣mise was Evangelical, belonging to those the Go∣spel belongeth to, Gen. 17.5. I have made thee a Father of many Nations: And so is that Gen. 15.5. So shall thy Seed be. In which it is promised, that there shall be of the Nations many, or a great Number, that shall be Abraham's Spiritual Chil∣dren by believing, Rom. 4.17, 18. Also it was Evangelical, which we find in Gen. 12.3. And in thy Seed shall all the Kindreds of the Earth be blessed. These, 'tis evident, respect all Gospel-Believers, who are the Spiritual Seed of Abraham; see Gal. 3.8. And the Scripture foreseeing that God would ju∣stify the Heathen through Faith, preached the Gospel un∣to Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the Nations of the Earth be blessed. And more directly to Christ, who is the Seed of Abraham, as Gal. 3.16. Now Page  43 to Abraham and his Seed were the Promises made. He saith not, And to Seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ; that is, to Christ as the Head and Surety of the Covenant of Grace, and so primarily and directly to him, and then in him to all who are his; according to that in Gal. 3.29. And if ye be Christ's, then are you Abraham's Seed, and Heirs according to the Pro∣mise. See also Acts 3.25.

2. Moreover, that the Domestick and Civil Pro∣mises were many, is plain: As,* 1. Of multiply∣ing the Seed of Abraham. 2. The Birth of Isa∣ac. 3. Of the continuation of the Covenant with Isaac. 4. Of the coming of Christ out of Isaac. 5. The Bondage of the Israelites in Egypt, and their deliverance out from thence, and of their possessing the Land of Canaan; Gen. 15.18. Gen. 17.8. And I will give unto thee, and to thy Seed after thee, the Land wherein thou art a Stranger, all the Land of Canaan for an everlasting Possession; and I will be their God. So Gen. 15.18. In that same day God made a Covenant with Abram, saying, Ʋnto thy Seed have I given this Land, from the Ri∣ver of Egypt, unto the great River Euphrates. Can you be so ignorant as to affirm this Covenant and Contract made with Abraham, was made with the Natural Seed of believing Gentiles? Nay, or that it was made to Abraham's Spiritual Seed? Compare these Scriptures with Acts 7.4, 5, 6, 7, 8. And thus it appears, the Covenant made with Abraham, is a mixt Covenant, or a two-fold Covenant, one made with ••s Natural Seed, the other with his Spiritual Seed: And this is fully signified by Sarah and Hagar, the Free-Woman and the Bond-Woman; and their Sons, Isaac and Ishmael, Gal. 4.22.

Secondly, The Seed of Abraham i many ways so called.

Page  441. Christ is called the Seed of Abraham, as I said before, Gal. 3.16. by way of Eminency, as he is the Head and Surety of the Gospel-Cove∣nant.

2. All the Elect, Rom. 9.7. all Believers, Rom. 4.11, 12, 16, 17, 18. Gal. 3.29. If ye be in Christ, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and Heirs ac∣cording to the Promise.

3. There was a Natural Seed of Abraham, to whom the Inheritance did accrue, this was Isaac, Gen. 21.22.

4. We read of another Natural Seed of Abra∣ham, to whom the Inheritance, it is positively said, did not belong, as Ishmael and the Sons of Keturah, Gen. 15.5.

But now can the Infant-Seed of Believers, as such, be said to be the Seed of Abraham in any of these four respects? add, if you can, a fifth.

1. As the Promise refers to Christ, (so they cannot be included) who is Abraham's Seed in a special manner, to whom God promised he would be a God to, and impart all Blessings of the Co∣venant unto, according to that glorious Compact or Covenant of Redemption made between him and the Father before the World began, upon the account of his blessed Undertakings, as our Mediator and Surety, that so he might impart all those purchased Blessings and Priviledges to all who believe in him, or where given to him by the Father.

2. As ••e Promise refers to the Elect Seed, or such who have the Faith of Abraham, and walk in his steps, it cannot include the Infant-Seed of Believing Gentiles as such.

3. As the Promise refers to Isaac, who was Abraham's own natural Son according to the Flesh, as well as according to the Promise, they are not the Seed of Abraham.

Page  454. As Ishmael and the Sons of Keturah were the Seed of Abraham, so the Infant-Seed of belie∣ving Gentiles, are not the Seed of Abraham. If you can add a fifth sort of Abraham's Seed (I mean, such who are so called) from the Scrip∣ture, pray do when you write again.

And from hence I thus argue;

If the Children of believing Gentiles, as such,* are not the Natural Seed, nor the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, then they can have no right to Bap∣tism or Church-Membership, by virtue of any Covenant-Transaction God made with Abra∣ham.

But the Children of believing Gentiles, as such, are not the Natural nor Spiritual Seed of Abraham: Ergo, they can have no right to Bap∣tism, nor Church-Membership, by virtue of any Covenant-Transaction God made with Abra∣ham.

Your Brethren, called the Athenian Society, in p. 2. of their Athenian Gazette, affirm, The Chil∣dren of Believers are the Spiritual Seed of Abra∣ham, till they by Actual Sin, unrepented of, are otherwise.

1. To which I answer,* Then some of the true Spiritual Seed of Abraham may perish eternally, and the Promise is not sure to all his Spiritual Seed; which is directly contrary to what St. Paul affirms in Rom. 4.16. Therefore it is of Faith, that it might be by Grace; to the end the Promise might be sure to all the Seed; not to that only which is of the Law, but to that also which is of the Faith of Abra∣ham, who is the Father of us all.

From whence I argue:

All they that are in that Gospel-Covenant which God made with Abraham,* or who are his true Spiritual Seed, have the Promise of ever∣lasting Life made sure to them.

But all the Infant-Seed of Believers, as such, Page  46 have not the Promise of everlasting Life made sure to them: Ergo, The Infant-Seed of Belie∣vers, as such, are not in that Gospel-Covenant God made with Abraham, nor his true Spiritual Seed. Take another;

*If all the true Spiritual-Seed of Abraham have the Faith of Abraham, and walk in the Steps of A∣braham, even that Faith Abraham had before he was Circumcised; then the Infant-Seed of Be∣lievers, as such, are not the Spiritual Seed of A∣braham.

But the true Spiritual Seed of Abraham have the Faith of Abraham, and walk in the Steps of Abraham, even that Faith Abraham had before he was Circumcised: Ergo, The Infant-Seed of Be∣lievers, as such, are not the true Spiritual Seed of Abraham.

As to the Major, see Rom. 4.11, 12.

The Minor cannot be denied; no Man in his right Wits will affirm, the Infants of Believers, as such, have the Faith Abraham had before he was yet Circumcised, nor do many of them; nor can they walk in the Steps of Abraham, having not his Faith.

If any object and say, If Infants of Believers are not included in that Covenant made with Abraham, How can any of them, who died in Infancy, be sa∣ved?

I answer; 1. Cannot God save dying Infants, unless they were included in that Covenant made with Abraham? How then could the dying Infants of the Godly, who lived before that Covenant was made with Abraham, be saved?

God has a thousand Ways, through Christ's Undertakings, to save dying Infants, as Dr. Taylor notes, which we know not of: Secret things belong to God, and revealed things to us.

2. Were they in any sense included in that Covenant made with Abraham, though not ac∣counted Page  47 counted for his Natural or Spiritual Seed, yet it would not follow from thence that they ought to be Baptized, because the Females, who were truly Abraham's Natural Seed, and some of them might be his Spiritual Seed too, yet were not Circumcised, no more than the Male Chil∣dren of the Godly were before Abraham's Time. And,

3. Were they in Covenant, as they are the Natural-Seed of Believers? then Baptism how∣ever does not bring them into the Covenant: and if so, their State is good, whether Baptized or no. And if Baptism brings them into the Covenant of Grace, then they have not right thereto, because they are in the Covenant: And if Baptism brings them into the Covenant of Grace, and makes the Covenant sure to them, then it would follow, that 'tis in the Power of Men, either to bring their Children into the Covenant of Grace, or keep them out; and that it is in effect to say, Parents have Power to save or destroy their Children: and how absurd that is, I will leave to all impartial Men to judg.

I shall, in the next place, prove,* that the Co∣venant of Circumcision was not a Covenant of Grace, or Faith, and therefore doth not con∣cern the Infant-Seed of believing Gentiles.

1. I argue thus:* That Covenant that was made to separate the Natural Seed of Abraham from all other Nations of the World, and made sure unto them the Earthly Promise of the Possession of the Land of Canaan, could not be a Covenant of Grace, which concerns the In∣fant-Seed of Believers under the Gospel.

But the Covenant of Circumcision was made to separate the Natural Seed of Abraham from all other Nations of the World, and made sure Page  48 unto them the Earthly Promise of the Possessi∣on of the Land of Canaan. Ergo, The Cove∣nant of Circumcision could not be a Covenant of Grace, which concerns the Infants of Be∣lievers under the Gospel.

The Major cannot be denied, because the Gospel, or second Covenant, is established upon no such earthly Promises as the Covenant of Circumcision was, not that we should have an Earthly Kingdom, or possess the Land of Canaan, but it is established on better Promises than these, as Heb. 8.6.

Also if that Covenant concerned us, or our Children, who are Gentiles, then the Gentiles had equal Right to that Earthly Inheritance; and then were not the Natural Seed of Abraham separated from all other People upon the account of that Earthly Blessing as their Possession only.

As to the Minor, see Gen. 17. I will establish my Covenant between me and thee, v.7. And I will give unto thee, and to thy Seed after thee, the Land wherein thou art a Stranger, all the Land of Canaan, for an everlasting Possession; and I will be their God, v. 8.

This is my Covenant which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy Seed after thee; Every Man-Child among you shall be cirumcised, v. 10.

1. There were some who were circumcised, to whom the Promise of the Gospel-Covenant God made with Abraham did not belong, as Ishmael, Esau, &c. God expresly said that his Cove∣nant, (i. e. the Covenant of Grace) was not established with Ishmael, but with Isaac, and yet the Covenant of Circumcision belonged to Ishmael as well as to Isaac.

See Gen. 17.20, 21. As for Ishmael, I have heard thee, behold, I have blessed him, &c. But my Covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee. Compare this with Page  49Rom. 9.7, 8, 9. Not because they are the Seed of Abraham, are they all Children; that is, Children of the Covenant of Grace, or the Children of God; but the Children of the Promise are counted for thy Seed; see Gal. 4.29, 30. Nay, all that were in Abraham's House, whether born there or Strangers, or such who were bought with his Money, were circumcised; but will you say, all these were in that Gospel-Covenant God made with him?

Moreover, there were other Persons in Abra∣ham's House, who, no doubt, might some of them be in the Covenant of Grace, and had the Pro∣mises belonging to them, who were neverthe∣less not circumcised, namely, the Females; also Male Infants dying before the eighth day coming from Abraham. Moreover, other godly Men who were not of Abraham's Family, yet lived in his time, as Melchisedec, Lot, Job, &c. none of these had right to be circumcised. But if any object and say, the Females were circumcised in the Males; I answer with Mr. Tombs, it is without Proof; and by like perhaps greater Reason it may be said, that the Children of Believers are baptized in the Persons of their Parents, and therefore are not to be baptized in their own Persons.

Also 'tis apparent that the Jews comprehended in that Covenant made with Abraham,* and cir∣cumcised accordingly, were nevertheless not ad∣mitted to Baptism upon that foot of account; which had the Covenant of Circumcision been a Gospel-Covenant, i. e. of the same nature, I see no reason why John Baptist should deny their Argument, i. e. We are Abraham's Seed, &c. Hence it plainly appears, that the right Evange∣lical Promises were not the adequate Reason of Circumcision: But as I have before said, the Precept, or express Command of God to Abra∣ham.Page  50 And from hence I shall infer this third Ar∣gument.

*That Covenant that was made with, or did belong unto the fleshly Seed of Abraham, and un∣godly ones as well as the godly, was not a Co∣venant of Grace, or Gospel-Covenant. But the Covenant of Circumcision was made with, or did belong to the fleshly Seed of Abraham, as Ishmael, Esau, and all the lineal Seed of Abraham, who were ungodly, as well as to the godly.

Ergo, The Covenant of Circumcision was not a Covenant of Grace, or Gospel-Covenant.

*If all who are in the Covenant of Grace, or Gospel-Covenant, do know the Lord from the greatest to the least of them;* then the Cove∣nant of Circumcision could not be the Cove∣nant of Grace, or Gospel-Covenant. But all who are in the Covenant of Grace, or Gospel-Covenant, do know the Lord from the greatest to the least of them.

Ergo, The Covenant of Circumcision was not the Covenant of Grace.

This Argument is fully proved by that in Jer. 31.32, 33, 34. Speaking of the new Cove∣nant which God would make with the House of Israel, which should not be according to the old, he goes on and tells us what God would do in that Covenant-day; that he would put his Law into their inward parts, and write it in their Hearts. And they shall teach no more every Man his Neighbour, and every Man his Brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know-me, from the least▪ of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord, &c.

And indeed in this very respect the Gospel-Covenant is not according to the old, as the Lord said it should not be, as well as in divers other cases; for many of those who were in the old Covenant (to which Circumcision did ap∣pertain) were Infants, tho all of them were Page  51 not taken in by Circumcision: for Female In∣fants were received into that old Covenant without it. Now these Children who were taken into that Covenant, did not know the Lord. Infants having no Understanding, know not their right Hand from their left, it is therefore im∣possible they should know the Lord;* and there∣fore also there was a necessity after they were in that Covenant, that they should be taught to know the Lord: First, that God is, and what a God he is, and so to know him, as to fear him and serve him in Sincerity.

But in the Gospel-Covenant God promised it should be otherwise; all who were received into that Covenant, should be Adult Persons, or such who did know the Lord, which plainly implies no ignorant Infant should be taken into that Covenant, and be a Member of that Church-State; for if so, then it would follow, such would have the like need to be taught to know the Lord, as they had in the old Covenant Church-State. And remakable it is, that this Text doth clearly intimate, that all who should be taken into the Gospel-Covenant, or Gospel-Church, should be discipled or taught, first to know God: for to be taught or discipled, is all one and the same thing, which agrees with Christ's great Commission, Matth. 28.19, 20. where he gave Directions who, or what kind of Persons they were to be, that he would have his Apostles receive into his Gospel-Church: and that they should be all of them first taught or made Disciples, and as such be baptized, is clearly declared. Now that this Text in Jer. 31. refers to the Gospel-Covenant, is evident; see Heb. 8.7, 8, 9, 10.

That Covenant that was a part or branch of the old Covenant, or Covenant of Works,* was not a Covenant of Grace, or Gospel-Covenant.

Page  52*But the Covenant of Circumcision was a part or branch of the old Covenant, or Covenant of Works. Ergo, The Covenant of Circumci∣sion was not a Covenant of Grace, or Gospel-Covenant.

The Major cannot be denied.

The Minor is easily proved. That which bound or obliged all those who were under it, or did it, to keep the whole Law, and was also abro∣gated▪ or taken away by Christ, with all the other Rites and Shadows of the old Covenant, was a part or branch of the said old Covenant. But Circumcision bound or obliged all who were circumcised to keep the whole Law,* and also the same Rite of Circumcision was abro∣gated, with all other Rites and Shadows of the old Covenant by Christ, Ergo, Circumcision was a part or branch of the old Covenant. See Gal. 5▪ 〈◊〉testify to every Man that is circumcised, that he is a Debtor to keep the whole Law.

*That Covenant which was in its nature and quality as much a Covenant of Works as the Covenant made with Adam, or the Sinai-Cove∣nant,* was not a Covenant of Grace, or Gospel-Covenant, whereof Christ is the Mediator. But the Covenant of Circumcision was in its nature and quality as much a Covenant of Works as that Covenant made with Adam, or the Sinai-Covenant, Ergo, The Covenant of Circumcision wa not a Covenant of Grace, or Gospel-Cove∣nant, Read Reverend Mr. Philip Cary's De∣sence and Proof of the substance of this Argu∣ment, in his just Reply to Mr. John Flavel, p. 59, 60.

Thus he says (and doubeless speaks the truth) viz.

That Adam's Covenant was a Covenant of Works, cannot rationally be denied; for as much as Life was implicitly promised unto him upon his Obedience, and Death was explicitly Page  53 threatn'd in case of his Disobedience; upon these terms he was to stand or fall.
And that the Sinai-Covenant was of the same nature, he hath in the said Treatise clearly proved, both of them requiring perfect Obedience, and nei∣ther of them admitting of Faith in a Redeemer; the Sinai-Covenant commanded perfect Obedi∣ence, under the pain of a Curse; Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that is written in the Book of the Law to do them, Gal. 3. 10.

It accepted (as he shews) of no short En∣deavours, nor gave any Strength, and is called a Ministration of Death and of Condemnation, 2 Cor. 3. And moreover, 'tis called in express terms, the old Covenant which God made with the Children of Israel when he brought them up out of the Land of Egypt, Heb. 8.9. Also the new Covenant is said to be directly contrary unto it, or not according to it, but opposed thereto, and that there was no Righte∣ousness by it, nor Life: for, as the Apostle shews, if there had, Christ is dead in vain; and besides, the Apostle says 'tis done away. Now all these things being considered, Mr. Fla∣vel, 'tis evident, doth but beat the Air, and darken Counsel; and all that he hath said in his last Book in answer to that worthy Gentle∣man Mr. Cary, deserves no further Answer.

Now, saith he, that the Covenant of Circum∣cision is of the same stamp, is evident; for tho God promised to be a God to Abraham and to his Seed, Gen. 17. 7, 8. as he did also in the Sinai-Covenant to the same People in the Wilderness; yet still it was upon condition of Obedience, with an answerable threatning in case of Disobedince, ver. 9, 10. Thou shalt keep my Covenant therefore, thou, and thy Seed after thee in their Generations. This is my Covenant which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy Page  54 Seed after thee; Every Man-Child shall be circumcised. And, ver. 14. The uncircumcised Male-Child, whose Flesh of his sore-Skin is not circumcised, that Soul shall be cut off from his People; he hath broken my Covenant. The same terms, saith he, with the former. Besides, 'tis evident that Circumci∣sion indipensibly obliged all that were under it, to a perfect universal Obedience to the whole revealed Will of God, as I hinted before, Gal. 5.3.

And as the Terms were the same, so were the Promises; that which was the great Promise of the Covenant of Circumcision, was the Land of Canaan, and God to be their God, in fulfilling that earthly Promise to Abraham's Natural Seed, upon the Condition of the keeping that Cove∣nant on their parts.

That which Mr. Flavel hath said in his last Reply,* (in his Book called, A succinct and seasona∣ble Discourse) to Mr. Cary, is mainly to prove that there is but one Covenant of Works, pag. 217, 218, &c.

To which I answer, by way of Concession, yet must say, that Covenant had several Ministrati∣ons and Additions, as had also the Covenant of Grace; because the Covenant of Works was made with Adam, by which he stood in the time of his Innocency, justified and accepted by vir∣tue thereof.

Could not God give forth a second Ministration or Transcript of his Righteous and Holy Law; though not to Justification, yet to aggravate his Sin, and so to his just Condemnation▪ And doth not St. Paul assert the same thing, Rom. 3.19, 20. compared with Rom. 7.13. That Sin by the Com∣mandment (or Law) might become exceeding sin∣ful? So Gal. 3.19.

Nay, I will affirm always generally, when the Scriptures of the New-Testament speak of the Page  55 Old Covenant, or first Covenant,* or Covenant of Works, it passes by in silence the Covenant made with Adam; and more immediately and directly applies it to the Sinai-Covenant, and to the Co∣venant of Cirrumcision, as all careful Readers, who read the Epistles to the Romans, Galathians, and to the Hebrews, may clearly find. But to proceed, Though we say there is but one Cove∣nant of Grace, yet it is evident there were seve∣ral distinct Ministrations or Additions of it; yet we say, the Promise of the Gospel, or Gospel-Covenant, was the same in all Ages, in respect of things promised, with the Nature and Qua∣lity thereof, which is a free and absolute Cove∣nant, without Works, or any Conditions or fore∣seen Acts of Righteousness, or any thing to be done by the Creature, Rom. 4. 5.

The Substance and essential Part of this Cove∣nant, is Christ, Faith, a new Heart,* Regenera∣tion, Remission of Sins, Sanctification, Perseve∣rance, and everlasting Life. Yet this Evangeli∣cal Covenant had divers Forms or Transcripts of it, which signified those things, and various Sanctions by which it was given forth and confir∣med. To Adam the Promise was made, under the name of the Seed of the Woman bruising the Head of the Serpent; to Enoch, Noah, &c. In other Forms to Abraham, under the name of his Seed, in whom all the Nations of the Earth should be bles∣sed. To Moses, by the name of a great Prophet of his Brethren like unto him; and it was also signifi∣ed to him under dark Shadows and Sacrifices. Unto David, under the name of a Successor in his Kingdom. In the New-Testament, in plain words, We all with open Face, beholding as in a Glass the Glo∣ry of the Lord, &c. 2 Cor. 3.18.

But now, because there were so many Addi∣tions of the Gospel Promise and New-Covenant; are there so many New Covenants? this being so, Page  56 Mr. Flavel hath done nothing to remove Mr. Ca∣ry's Arguments, but they stand as a Rock. Take another of them.

*That Covenant in which Faith was not rec∣koned to Abraham for Righteousness, could not be a Gospel-Cov•••n, or a Covenant of Grace. But the Scripture is express, that Faith was not reckoned to Abraham for Righteousness when he was Circumcised, but in Uncircumcision, Rom. 4▪ 9, 10. Ergo, The Covenant of Circumcision was not a Gospel-Covenant, or a Covenant of Grace.

* That Law or Covenant which is contradistin∣guished, or opposed unto the Righteousness of Faith, could not be a Covenant of Faith, or a Gospel-Covenant.* But the Law or Covenant of Circumcision is, by the Apostle plainly opposed to, or contradistinguished unto the Righteousness of Faith, Rom.. 1. Ergo, The Law, or Cove∣nant of Circu••ision was not a Gospel-Cove∣nant. And from hence, Mr. Cary argues thus,

By the way (saith he) let it be observed, in reference to the two foregoing Arguments, which I have already proved that that Cove∣nant that is not of Faith, must needs be a Co∣venant of Works, there bing no Medium be∣twixt them, and consequently must be the same for substance with that made with Adam, and that on Mount Sinai with the Children of Israel.

*That Covenant that is plainly represented▪ to us in Scripture as a 〈◊〉-Covenant, in and by which there was imposed such a Yoke upon the Necks of the Jews,* which neither those in the Apostles ••me, nor their Fathers were able to bear, could be no other than a Covenant of Works, and not of Grace.

But the Scriptures do plainly represent, such was the Nature of the Covenant of Circumcisi∣on, Page  57Acts 15.10. Gal. 5.1, 2, 3. Ergo, The Co∣venant of Circumcision was not a Gospel-Cove∣nant, but a Covenant of Works. Thus Mr. Ca∣ry argues also. And thus we have proved from God's Word, and sound Arguments, that the Covenant of Circumcision was not a Gospel-Covenant.

Object. But lest any should think, that we shut out all dying Infants from having any Benefit by Christ.

I answer;* I doubt not but God might com∣prehend them in that glorious Covenant or Compact made between him and our Surety in the Covenant of Redemption; but as I said be∣fore, Secret things belong to God.

But let me here add one word or two further, i. e. Circumcision, you say, was a Priviledg; so we say too; but not such a Priviledg as you do imagine.

1. It doth profit as a Priviledg, because it was given as a Token or Sign to Abraham's natural Seed, that they should have the Land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.

2. As a Token or Sign to them of the giving forth of the Law on Mount Sinai. He dealt his Laws and Statutes to Israel, he did not do so to any other Nation. This Rite therefore could not be a Gospel-Rite, nor the Covenant it was a sign of a Gospel-Covenant, in which the Gentile Chri∣stians are concerned: And thus the Apostle ar∣gues, Rom. 3. 1. What Advantage then hath th Jew? or what Profit is there in Circumcision? ver. 2. Much every way; chiefly, because unto them were committed the Oracles of God. You may soon know the Nature of that Covenant made with Abraham's natural Seed; and of Circumcision, which was a Sign of it: The chiefest Priviledg which attended it, was the giving to them, i. e.Page  58 the People of Israel, the Law of the Ten Com∣mandements.

*3. Circumcision by the Doctrine of St. Paul, was a Priviledg if they kept the Law 〈◊〉 for, Cir∣cumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the Law; but if thou break the Law, thy Circumision is made Ʋn∣circumcision, or a Nullity, and profiteth thee no∣thing, that is, if thou keep not the Law perfectly. And thus speak our late Annotators on the place;

If thou [Jew] keep the Law per∣fectly, to which Circumcision obligeth, Gal. 5.3. If otherwise thou transgressest the Law, thy Circumcision avails thee nothing, it gives thee no Priviledg above the Uncircumcised.
What is now become (this being so) of that mighty Priviledg Abraham's Infant 〈◊〉 (as such) had by Circumcision, if the chief Profit or Privi∣ledg was, because unto them the Law should be given, which could not give Life, but was a Co∣venant of Works? then the chiefest Profit lay not in it, as it was an Ordinance of Initiation into the Church: Sure, had Paul been of your Judg∣ment, he would have rather past by that Privi∣ledg, when he spoke of Circumcision, which he calls the chief, and have said, chiefly in that it was a Seal of Infant Church-Membership. But since he speaks the quite contrary, who shall we believe, you, or the great Apostle of the Gentiles? And evident it is, he confirms the same Doctrine, Gal. 5.3. For I ••stify to 〈◊〉 Man that is Circum∣cised, that he is a D••tor to keep the whole Law. And,

Hence 'tis said to be a Yoke of Bondage, which neither they nor their Fathers could bear, Acts 15. because it obliged them to univer••l O∣bedience, or to keep the Law perfectly, and brought them under a Curse if they did not, Gal. 3.10.

Page  59These things considered, fully shew of what stamp and nature Circumcision was, together with that Covenant to which it did apper∣tain.

I come now to what you further assert in the 9th Page of your Book, viz.

That Infants were in Covenant under the Law, and by special appointment of God, Gen. 17.7. but are not now cast out by Christ under the Gospel.
This differs but little from the old Argument of Mr. Baxter, Sidenham, &c. the latter speaks thus, Infants of Believers were never cast out of the visible Church of which they were once.

Answ. 1. Infants being once Members of the Jewish Church,* doth not prove they were ever Members of the Gospel-Church: the Male In∣fants of God's Priests under the old Covenant, when grown up, had other Priviledges: If we must call Circumcision a Priviledg, which the Sons of Christ's Ministers have no right to under the Gospel, and yet no where in express words in the New-Testament excluded from that Pri∣viledg.

2. But I have proved the Covenant for Infants, in Covenanting under the Law, was no Gospel Covenant, and so concerns not our Infants.

3. According to that Maxim, Ownis privatio intimat habitum; you know that every Dispossessi∣on implieth a Possession. Infants therefore cannot be cast out of the Gospel-Church, before it can be proved they were ever admitted. If Mr. Bur∣kitt, or the Athenian Society, or any Men living, can tell us in what visible Administration Children were admitted visible Church-Members before Abraham's days, which was above 2000 Years; and you say somewhat, you affirm they were always in Covenant.

Mr. Sidenham makes mention of a two-fold be∣ing in Covenant; 1. In relation to Election. Page  60 2. To be in Covenant, In faci visibilis Ecclesiae.

To this I answer; The Covenant of Circum∣cision belonged to the Children of the Flesh, to Ishmael and Esau, as well as Jacob, who were not in the Election of Grace: therefore those who were Circumcised, were not so in Covenant. Children of Unbelievers may be in that sense in Covenant, as well as the Children of Believers; as many of them afterwards prove to be, nay, may be more of them than of the Children of Believers.

2. As touching Infants being in Covenant, In facie visibilis Ecclesiae, in the face of a visible Church. I answer, Though they were so in the Jewish Church under the Old Covenant, some with Circumcision were brought in, and some without it; yet that Covenant, and Covenant-Seed are (as I have and shall yet prove) cast out, which will be a final Answer.

Thus I argue;

*If the Covenant for incovenanting of Infants was the Old Covenant signified by Hagar, and that Covenant-Seed signified by Ishmael, are cast out, then the natural or fleshly Seed of Believers are cast out, or not to be admitted into the Go∣spel-Church.

But the Covenant for Incoven•••ing of Infants, was the Old Covenant signified by Hagar, and that Covenant-Seed signified by Ishmael, are cast out.

Ergo, The 〈◊〉 or fleshly Seed of Believers are cast out, or not to be admitted into the Go∣spel Church see Gal. 4.22, 23, 24, 25, 26. For it is written, that Abraham had two Sons, the one by a Bnd woman, the other by a 〈◊〉 woman. Ver. 24. Which things are 〈◊〉 Allegry; for these are the two Co∣venants, the one from the Mount Sinai, which gn∣dereth to Bondage, which is Hagar, &c. Ver. 30. Nevertheless, which saith the Scripture? Cast out the Page  61 Bond-woman and her Son; for the Son of the Bond-woman shall not be Heir with the Son of the Free-woman.

By Hagar is meant, all agree, the Old Cove∣nant; and by casting her out, is held forth the abolishing or taking away of the Old Covenant; He took away the First, that he might establish the Second.*

2. By Ishmael is meant the natural Seed of Abraham; and so the natural Seed of all Godly Men of his Race that succeeded him, who were Members of that Church; and as the late An∣notators note by this place is signified, The total Destruction of the Jewish Church, which consisted of Parents and their Children, or the whole Nation of Israel, this Church and Church-Seed, and manner of Church-Membership, is cast out and gone for ever.

Pray read Mr. Cary's Solemn Call, and what I have formerly said in that Book intituled, Gold Restn'd; or, Baptism in its Primitive Purity, p. 113.

Mr. Cary and we all say, That Children were once admitted Members of the Jewish Church:* But evident it is, that God hath now quite pul∣led down and razed that House to the Foundati∣on thereof, I mean that National Church of the Jews, and broke up House-keeping, and turned the Bond-woman and her Son (i. e. the fleshly Seed, or natural Off-spring of Abraham) out of Doors; the natural Branches are broken off, and God hath now built him a new and more glori∣ous and spiritual House under the Gospel, into which he admitted none as his Houshold-Servants, to dwell in this his Spiritual Family, or Gospel-Church, but Believers only, or such as profess themselves so to be: Yea,* (saith St. Peter) as lively Stones are built up a spiritual House, &c. And that the Old House, the Jewish Church-State, with all the Appurtenances, Rites and Priviledges Page  62 of it, are abolished, or pulled down, and a new one built and set up, into which Infants are not to be admitted; is very evident; Heb. 7.12. For the Priesthood being changed, there is made of ne∣cessity a change also of the whole Law; which must needs include Circumcision, with all the Appur∣tenances and Priviledges belonging to it.* And therefore as Infant Church-Membership came in with the Law of Circumcision, and as a direct Part of the Old Covenant, or Old Law, so like∣wise plain it is, that it went out and was disan∣nulled with it.

Take again my former Simily, viz.

What Priviledges soever are given to any Per∣son by an Act of Parliament, which said Law was to continue in Force so long and no longer; then when that time is expired, and another Parlia∣ment makes a new Law, where many things are contained that were in the first Law: But those divers Priviledg•• given to those Persons in the former Law, are left out in this latter Act; would it not be a piece of Folly for any of them to plead those Priviledges, by virtue of a Law that is gone, and now not in any force? But to come a little nearer the case, in a more apt Si∣mile;* Suppose a Man should have a Legacy be∣queathed to him, by the Will and Testament of his Friend, and yet afterwards his Friend sees good to make another Will, which is his last Will and Testament; and in this last Will and Testament he leaves him quite out, not men∣tioning his Name, bequeathing no such Legacy to him; would it not be folly in him to sue for that Legacy left him in the first Will and Te∣stament:

Sir, the Case is thus in hand, we read of two Covenants or Testaments, an Old and a New, a First and a Second: Now in the Old Will, or Old-Testament, Infants were admitted to the Page  63 Priviledg of Church-Membership, in that Legal or National Church of the Jews; And Na∣tional Church-Priviledges are now made null and void by the Gospel-Covenant, which is Christ's last Will and Testament, in which Infant Church-Membership is quite left out, their Names not being mentioned, as having right to any Gospel-Ordinance, as Baptism, the Lord's Supper, &c. If we would know the Mind of God herein, we must of necessity have reourse to Christ's last Will and Testament, since the Gospel is so called, and that the first, or old is taken away, and there is no Man can prove any one old Rite that did appertain to the natural Off-spring of Abraham, or Believers, remains to them, which is not mentioned in the new or last Will and Testament of Jesus Christ; 'tis plain they had (or least wise) some of them other external Priviledges besides that of Circumcision; and yet I see no Man contend for any one Rite but only this they call the Seal of the Covenant. Why might not Ministers plead for all their Sons to have right to the Ministry,* since that Priviledg was given them in the Old-Testament? And for all Male-Children that open the Womb, to be holy to the Lord? which Blessing belonged to them under the Law, and also plead for the Tenths and First-fruits? &c.

I desire you and the Athenian Society carefully to consider this, and weigh what we have said; we have shewed you and them how Infants who were once in Covenant, that is, in the Jewish or old Covenant, are cast out, or left out; for indeed they were never admitted into the New-Testament-Church; but since they are not put in, and the old Covenant and old Church-Member∣ship being cast out and gone, in vain is it for any to plead their Right by an abrogated Law.

Page  64Besides, you say Circumcision was the Seal of that Covenant, by virtue of which Infants had a Right to Church-Membership; if so, 'tis evident that Covenant is gone, because 'tis can∣celled; for the tearing off; or breaking off the Seal, we all look pon the cancelling the Cove∣nant: That Circumcision (the Seal, as you call it) is broken off, I am sure you cannot deny: Sir, what is then become of your Cove∣nant for incovenanting Children?

Object. But may be you will object, and say, that you do not contend for that particular Rite or Insti∣tution, but of a visible Church-Membership of Infants perpetual in all Ages, and an indefinite Seal.

1. Reply; How doth it appear the Infants of the Godly before Abraham's time, had any right to visible Church-Membership? or what Seal had they?

2. Such a Right is a meer Figment, like Idea 〈◊〉; all Institutions merely positives, are of such a Rite in particular; and an initial Seal is meerly positive, as Signs that are not natural, but by the Will of the Appointer; and therefore there is no initial Seal indefinite.

Sir, now you have no way left, but to see, since the old Covenant is cancelled, whether you can find the Baptism of Infants in the New Testament, and there taught, laid down and prefix'd to it, as Circumcision was to the old? Do that, and you do all; do not that, and all you do is just nothing.

But you in Pag. 9. raise up many Absurdities that follow this, that Infants are cast out, or not taken into the Gospel-Church.

Then Infants, say you, are in a worse condi∣tion since the coming of Christ than they were before, and are Losers by him instead of Gainers, altho the number more, &.

Page  65Answ. You should, before you brought this pretended Absurdity upon us, have shewed what Advantage did accrue to Infants by Cir∣cumcision, and how that added to the goodness of their Condition; it put them, 'tis plain, to a great deal of Pain; and the Apostle says, it was a Yoke of Bondage, which neither they nor their Fathers could bear.

Being Members of that Church, did not save them, nor purge away Original Sin, &c. tho I doubt not it served for the end God appointed it; yet I say, how did it add to the goodness of Infants Condition?

2. Then, say you, the Privileges of the Gospel are straiter and narrower than those of the Law.

Answ. If you once imagine, that the outward or external Privileges of the Gospel are larger,* or so large as those were under the Law, you are greatly mistaken. The Jews and Jewish Teachers or Priests had many external Privileges which Christians and Ministers under the Gospel have not; they had a lovely Country promised to them, a Land that flowed with Milk and Hony: out∣ward Peace, Riches, and gathering of Wealth, were Privileges belonging to them; but we under the Gospel have no such Privileges, but are to expect Persecution, and what not.

Yet our Privileges are better and greater, tho more spiritual, 'tis a Covenant established upon better Promises: our Children, when grown up, sit under the clear and glorious Light of the Gospel which they and theirs then had held forth but in dark Shadows.

Moreover, Then the Church-State was confin'd to the natural Seed of Abraham, &c. But now all in all Nations who repent and believe the Gospel, the poor Gentiles are now become Fellow-Heirs indeed: our spiritual Priviledges do infinitely excel theirs, but not in Externals, Page  66 now greater Infusions of the holy Spirit.

O Sir, what Priviledges had the Gentiles or their Children then? is not the case mended with us?

3. You say,

If it were the Will of God Infants under the Gospel should be reckoned as out of his Covenant, who were in Cove∣nant, then it follows, say you, that our Saviour was unfaithful, or forgetful to his Church, in that he never acquainted her with this Altera∣tion; but not one word by way of Prohibi∣tion do we find in all the New Testament, from whence we may conclude, that Christ's not repealing the Practice of initiating Infants, nor forbidding their Admission into the Church by Baptism, &c.

Answ. 1. I answer, had it been the Will of God, that Infants should under the Gospel be admitted into the Church by Baptism, Christ you might rather say, had been forgetful or un∣faithful in not giving the least intimation of his Mind and Pleasure therein, who declared all things plainly from the Father, and was faithful as a Son over his own House.

2. That which is not contained in his last Will and Testament in this and other matters, is sufficient to declare his Mind and Will in the Negative. And so you know 'tis in all last Wills and Testaments among Men, if it be not expressed in the Affirmative, it needs not be expressed in the Negative; and if not because 'tis not forbidden it may be done, so may a hundred things more; nay, many Jewish Rites and Popish Innovations too, for where are they forbid? The sum therefore of our Answer to all you say upon this account, is this; The Privi∣leges which are Rites, Ordinances or Sacraments, are not so many as you would have, or so many as the Jews of old had, nor are they to be Page  67 administred according as you fancy or approve of, or according to your Reasonings, but ac∣cording to God's express Appointment. Rightly doth Mr. Ball in his forementioned Book speak, Posit. 3, 4. p. 38.

But in whatsoever Circumci∣sion and Baptism do agree or differ,* we must look to the Institution, and neither stretch it wider, nor draw it narrower than the Lord had made it; for he is the Instituter of the Sacraments according to his good Pleasure; and it is our part to learn of him, both to whom, how, and to what end the Sacra∣ments are to be administered, how they agree, and wherein they differ: in all which we must affirm nothing, but what God hath taught us, and as he hath taught us.

Were it not thus, how could we deny or oppose the Papists seven Sacraments? or con∣demn Salt, Oil Spittle to be used in Baptism, which they use in it, seeing these are not for∣bid? But well saith Tertullian,

Is it lawful, be∣cause it is not forbidden? 'tis therefore not lawful, because 'tis not commanded.

You say, Pag. 10. before you end this Ar∣gument,

Let me suggest one thing more to your Considerations, namely, What a mighty Stum∣bling-Block this Doctrine of the Anabaptists lays in the way of the Jews Conversion to Christianity? Will this, say you, encourage a Jew's Conversion to embrace the Religion of Jesus, to tell him of the high and glorious Privileges that he shall be interested in him∣self upon his believing on him, but for his Children they are cast out?

Answ. Did this stumble them in the Apostoli∣cal Days, who were told, that Circumcision a∣vailed nothing, nor Ʋncircumcision? the truth is, if Circumcision availed nothing, but was a Yoke of Bondage, then why should that stumble them? Page  68 It might be a greater Stumbling-block in their way, to tell them their Church-State, and all their Privileges are now gone, and now they must not look upon themselves better than the Gentiles; no more Scepter in Judah, no Land of Canaan, no Temple, no High-Priest, the Levites Sons, as such, now no more Ministers, no Suc∣cession of Priest-hood: What of all this, when they hear of better Privileges for them? And that their Infants who die, may go to Heaven, tho not circumcised nor baptized? and if they live to be Men and Women, and do believe, (or God doth please to call them) the Pro∣mise of Pardon of Sin, and of the holy Spirit is to them, and that they shall be saved, Acts 2. 39. Are not they and all others told, that old things are passed away, and all things are become new?* &c. 2 Cor. 5.16. Wherefore henceforth we know no Man after the Flesh: it seems then that heretofore there had been a knowledg of Per∣sons after the Flesh; and 'tis plain there was, that because the Jews were of the natural or fleshly Seed of Abraham, and were therefore all of them admitted to the Privilege of external Church-Membership, while others were ex∣empted: But we see the Apostle resolves hence∣forth to disclaim any such Value, Esteem, Preference or Knowledg of them, or any others, upon the ac∣count of meer fleshly Descent. And to this very pur∣pose immediately subjoins in the following Verse, Therefore if any Man be in Christ,*he is a new Crea∣ture; old things now are past away, and all things are become new: the old Church and old Church-membership, Privileges, Rites and Ordinances, and a new Church-State, new Ordinances, new Rites, a new Seed, and a new way of Intro∣duction unto the participation of Gospel-Privi∣ledges and Church-membership; and if this should stumble them, who can help it? We know Page  69 they have stumbled upon as bad Rocks as this. Moreover, denying Infants any right to Gospel-Ordinances, cannot fill the Mouths of Jewish Chil∣dren with clamorours and passionate Complaints against Christianity, because they could not see Jewish Children had such benefit by Circumcision as you intimate: no, no, they must yield to the Soveraign Will of the great Lord, and plead for no more Privileges, nor any otherwise than he sees good to ordain and appoint.

I am sure, if what you say was true,* it is enough to fill the Mouths of poor Unbelievers Children among us who are Gentiles, with cla∣morous Complaints against their Parents, if they did regard what you say: and doubtless there are more of them, I mean more Chil∣dren born of Ungodly Parents, than such born of Godly Parents: And what may they say, and how may they expostulate their own Condition? Alas! alas! sad is our State, our Parents were wicked and ungodly People, and we are by that means left of God; to us belongs no Covenant, no Sacraments, nor hopes of Mercy; God hath taken none but the Children of Godly Persons into Covenant! We were baptized, alas, but had no right to it; our Condition is as bad as the State of the Children of Pagans and Turks! Sir, if People did consider well the Purport of your Doctrine, they must needs have their Hearts rise against you: Nay all or most Chil∣dren may be in a doubt, whether their Parents were truly godly, and so in Covenant or not; for if not, you must fly to some other Argu∣ment to prove their Baptism and Church-Pri∣vileges, than that of their Parents being in Covenant. True, the case under the Law was another thing; for if their Parents were Jews, or the natural Seed of Abraham, whether godly or not, yet they knew they had right to those Page  70 external Privileges. And so much to your Ab∣surdities, and they are returned on your own Head.

In pag. 11. you lay down your Arguments to prove the Covenant made with Abraham was a Covenant of Grace.

1. From the Language and Expression of it. 2. From the Duration of it. 3. From the Blessings by it.

*1. Your first Note is this;

The Language and Expression of it, Gen. 17. 7. I will be a God unto thee, and to thy Seed after thee. Now (say you) is not this a pure Gospel-Phrase, and shews it to be a Covenant with Abraham in Christ? I pray, how comes the Almighty God (who upon the Breach of the Covenant of Works made with us in Adam, became our enraged Enemy) to be a God unto fallen Man, any other ways than by a Mediator? &c.

Answ. 1. I have proved that Covenant made with Abraham, was a mixt Covenant; and I de∣ny not but the Covenant of Grace made in Christ was promised to Abraham, which takes in only the true Spiritual Seed, and to all those God is in a special manner become a God un∣to.

*2. Evident it is, all manner of God's Cove∣nanting Transactions since the Fall, of what na∣ture soever, have been no other ways, than through the interposition of a Mediator; as that with Noah about the Flood, &c. Gen. 9.8, 9. in that God shewed himself to be the God of the Old World; and so he is by Creation and Providence, &c. Yet it doth not follow, that Covenant was the Covenant of Grace, or that God hath received them into special favour with himself. So when God gave out that fiery Law on Mount Sinai, he told them, Exod. 20.2. I am the Lord your God, &c. This was the very Introduction to that part of the Law which was Page  71 written in Stone; which nevertheless the Apostle expressly calls it, A Ministration of Death and Con∣demnation, 2 Cor. 3.7, 8. and that it killed,* and could not give Life. Now must this be a Cove∣nant of Faith or Grace? How is it then that the Apostle Paul says, The Law is not of Faith; also the Covenant of Grace giveth Life?

But I argue thus, The Law could not give Life; Ergo, The Law was not a Covenant of Grace.

And so much to your first Note, or Observa∣tion.

2. Your second Observation is,*

The Durati∣on and Continuance of this Covenant made with Abraham, the Lord calls it an Everlasting Co∣venant, &c.

Answ. You might have left out this, only it helps to add to the number; you have answer∣ed this your self, in saying, The Hebrew word for Everlasting, sometimes signifies no more than a long continuance of Time. Sir, We know it very well; and those Mosaical Rites that ended in Christ, are said to be for Everlasting. But when the Lord saith, he will be a Person's God, for ever and ever, or everlastingly, it denotes his being so to all Eternity: But God never said he would be the God everlastingly, or to all Eternity, to all who were concern'd in the Cove∣nant of Circumcision: Nor was he Ishmael's God so, though Circumcised; and has he not cast off that whole Nation of the Jews, with whom he made that Covenant? and is not so their God now, though he is, I confess, to all Eterni∣ty, or everlastingly, the God of all Abraham's Spiritual Seed, viz. all true Believers in Christ.

3. Your third and last Argument or Note,* to prove the Covenant of Circumcision a Covenant of Grace, is taken from the Benefits and

Bles∣sings conveyed by it; To be a God unto him, and to his Seed, and that everlastingly, is a most com∣prehensive Page  72 Gospel-Blessing; for hereby God gives a Person an Interest in all that he is, and in all that he has, so far as can be communica∣ted to a Creature. This Blessing promised to Abraham, comprehends Christ, Grace, Holiness here, and Glory and Happiness hereafter. And accordingly we find the Apostle, Heb. 8. uses the same Expression with this of God's to Abra∣ham; I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a People.

Answ. This is idem, & bis idem, culpandum est, the same again which is already answered. Sir, Is God everlastingly a God to Abraham, and to all his fleshly Seed; and to Believers, who are the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, and to all their fleshly Seed; I say, is this so? Does God give himself, all he is, and all he has, to every Be∣liever, and to all his fleshly Seed? Have all their Children, or every one of them, Christ, Grace, Holiness here, and Glory and eternal Happiness hereafter? Or are you not to be justly blamed thus to jumble things confusedly together? 'Tis true,* the Covenant of Grace made with Abra∣ham, and all his true Spiritual Seed, (who are the Elect) have Interest in all God is; and has so far as it can be communicated to Creatures; and we know they have Christ, (as well as are Christ's, as Paul notes, Gal. 4.) and Grace here, and shall have Glory hereafter: But a multitude of Abraham's natural Off-spring, and the natural Off-spring of Believers, have neither Christ, nor Grace, nor shall be saved, but perish eternally. Therefore this may serve for an Answer, with what I have proved before, touching the Nature of that two-fold Covenant made with Abra∣ham.

To what you speak in the second place, pag. 12, 13. as also in your third Reply, viz.

If the Covenant which God made with Abra∣ham, be Page  73 one and the same with the Covenant of Grace; then our Infant-Seed have right to Baptism.

Answ. You had this before, and I have already answered it, only I shall add a Passage or two of Martin Luther.

Paul therefore concludeth with this Sen∣tence, (saith he) They which are of Faith,* are the Children of Abraham: That corporal Birth, or carnal Seed, make not the Children of Abraham before God: As if he would say, There is none before God accounted as the Child of this Abraham (who is the Servant of God, whom God hath chosen and made Righteous by Faith) thrô carnal Generation, but such Children must be given before God, as he was a Father, but he was a Father of Faith, was justified, and pleased God; not because he could beget Children af∣ter the Flesh, not because he had Circumcision under the Law, but because he believed in God, He therefore that will be a Child of the believing Abraham, must also himself believe, or else he is not a Child of the Elect, the be∣lieving and the justified Abraham; but only the begetting Abraham, which is nothing else but a Man conceived, born and wrap'd in Sin, with∣out the forgiveness of Sins, without Faith, without the Holy Ghost, as another Man is, and therefore condemned: Such also are the Children carnally begotten of him, having no∣thing in them like unto their Father, but Flesh and Blood, Sin and Death, therefore these are also damned. This glorious boasting then, we are the Seed of Abraham, is to no purpose.
Thus far, and much more to the same purpose he excellently dilates upon.

Mr.Perkins on the Galatians,* concerning the Covenant made with Abraham;

The Seed of A∣braham (saith he) is the Seed, not of the Flesh, but of the Promise: And this Seed is, Page  74 first, Christ, and then all that believe in Christ; for all these are given to Abraham by Promise and Election of God. Moreover, this Seed is not many, (as Paul observeth) but one. It is objected, That the word Seed is a Name col∣lective, and signifies the whole Posterity of A∣braham Answ. It doth sometimes, (saith he) but not always: for Eve saith of Sth, God hath given me another Seed. Again, (he saith) this one particular Seed of Abraham, is Christ Jesus; here by the name Christ, first and prin∣cipally the Mediator; and then, secondly, all Jews and Gentiles believing, that are fit and graf∣ted into Christ by Faith. St. Paul saith, The Children of the Flesh, these are not the Children of God; but the Children of the Promise are the Seed of Abraham, Rom. 9.8.

Now this Covenant we grant thus made with Abraham, is one and the same with the Covenant of Grace; but what does this signify to the In∣fants, or fleshly Seed of Believers, as such? And thus I shall pass to your next Argument, pag. 14.

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?

Page  121


Wherein the Argument for Infant-Bap∣tism, taken from the constant and universal Practice of the Church in all Ages, which is Mr. Burkit's last Ar∣gument, is fully answered, and Anti∣quity proved on our side.

YOur sixth and last Argument for Infant-Bap∣tism, is this, viz.

That which has been the constant and im∣memorial Practice of the Church of God in all Ages of the World, is unquestionably an Ordi∣nance of God, and agreeable to his Will. But Infants Initiation, or the Admission of Infants into the Jewish Church by Circumcision, and into the Christian Church by Baptism, has been the immemorial Practice of the Universal Church from the Days of Abraham to this day. Therefore it is undeniably an Ordinance of God, and agreeable to his Will.

Answ. 1. Though this Syllogism is not good,* I mean true in Form, yet I shall pass that by, and give you a full Answer. But why do you confound things together, I mean, Initiation and Baptism? as if no Children were initiated into the Jewish Church without Circumcision; for 'tis not so, the Females were initiated without Circumcision, or Baptism, or any other exter∣nal Rite so far as we read of.

But as to Infants being admitted Members of the Jewish Church we deny nor, and all your Page  122 Arguments from thence I have already answered; your Business is to prove they were admitted into the Gospel-Church, and that by Baptism. The Church of Christ under the Gospel, is more Spiritual than that under the Law, I tell you a∣gain, 'tis not National, not Members by Genera∣tion, but by Regeneration; not those born of the Flesh, but those born of the Spirit.

And pray read what Reverend Dr. Owen hath said in his Catechism about Government, p. 106.

Our Lord Jesus Christ (saith he) hath laid down as an Everlasting Rule,* That unless a Man be born again, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God, John 3.3. requiring Regeneration as an indispensable Condition in a Member of his Church, a Subject of his Kingdom; for his Temple is now built of living Stones, 1 Pet. 2.5. Men spiritual, and savingly quickned from their Death in Sin, and by the Holy Ghost, (whereof they are Partakers) made a meet Habitation for God, Ephes. 2.21, 22. 1 Cor. 3.16, 2 Cor. 6.16. which vital Supplies from Christ its Head, encreaseth in Faith and Holi∣ness, edifying it self in Love.


And (saith Dr. Taylor) they that baptize Children, make Baptism to be wholly an out∣ward Duty, a Work of the Law, a carnal Or∣dinance; it makes us adhere to the Letter, with∣out regard of the Spirit, to be satisfied with Shadows, to return to Bondage, to relinquish the Mysteriousness, the Substance and Spiritua∣lity of the Gospel; which Argument is of so much the more consideration, because under the Spiritual Covenant or Gospel of Grace, if the Mystery goes not before the Symbol, (which it does, when the Symbols are signa∣tions of Grace, as the Sacraments are) yet it always accompanies it, but never follows in or∣der of Time. And this is clear in the perpe∣tual Page  123 Analogy of Holy Scripture.
—The Lord open your Eyes, Sir, I am perswaded you speak as you believe.

But to proceed;

You come, in pag. 26. to the Gospel-Church. (1.) From the Command of Christ. (2.) From the Practice of the Apostles. (3.) From the constant usage of the Primitive Church after the Apostles.

1. That Infants were to be admitted into the Christian Church, you say, appears from our Saviour's express Command in the words of the Commission, Mat. 28.19. Go, disciple all Nations, baptizing them; that is, go and proselyte all the Gentile Nations, without distinction of Country, Sex, or Age whatsoever, make the Gospel-Church as large as you can.

Answ. 1. Who is so blind as he who is not willing to see? It is evident to all Men who un∣derstand what they read, that none are to be bap∣tized by the virtue and plain meaning of our Sa∣viour's Commission, but such only who are first made Disciples, (as I have proved) or as St. Mark renders it, such who believed. And that 'tis so, I have already proved;

(1.) From the Practice of Christ, John 4.1. he first made Disciples, and then baptized them.

(2.) From the Practice of the Apostles, who always required Faith and Repentance of such, they by virtue of their Commission, did baptize, as Acts 2.37. & 8.27. & 10.47.

(3.) From the Nature of the Ordinance it self, it being a sign of that inward Grace the Person baptized ought to have.

(4.) From the Nature of the Gospel-Church, it being only built up of living Stones, and to be no larger than Christ appointed it.

Page  124

But (say you, pag. 27.) doubtless had our Saviour here intended the exclusion of Infants out of the Visible Church, he would have ac∣quainted her with this Alteration, Christ being faithful to him that appointed him, as was Moses in all his House, Heb. 3.2.

Answ. I must retort it back upon you with much better Reason: Doubtless, say I, had our Saviour intended the admission of Infants, he would at this time have acquainted his Disciples, (and so us) that it was his Will they should be received, since, as you well say, he was so faithful, and the rather, because he commanded his Dis∣ciples to receive into his Church such who were taught or made Disciples. When he commanded Abraham to circumcise his Male-In∣fants, Abraham knew well enough he was not to circumcise his Females, though he received no Negative Law in the case. What is not com∣manded, I say again, is forbid, especially in all Instituted Worship, or else whither shall we run?

Thus your first Proof is gone, having nothing in it..


Baptizing Infants appears in the Christian Church (you say) from the Practice of the Apostles, who baptized whole Families, i. e. Lydia and her Houshold, Acts 16.15. the Jay∣lor and all his, &c.

Answ. 1. If there were no Families or Hous∣holds but in which there are some Infants, you might have some pretence for what you infer from hence; but how palpable is it that there are every where many whole Families in which there is no Infant or Child in Non-age;* and this being so, what certain Conclusion or Consequence can be drawn from hence?

2. Besides, you know by a certain Figure cal∣led a Synecdoche, a part is put for the whole, as Page  125Isa. 7.2, 5, 8, 9. the Tribe of Ephraim is put for all Israel: 'Tis said, All Jerusalem and Judea went out to be baptized by John in Jordan. In 1 Sam. 1.21, 22. the Text saith expresly, The Man El∣kanah, and all his House, went up to offer unto the Lord; yet in the next Verse 'tis as expresly said, That Hannah and her Child Samuel went not up; and yet 'tis said, all his House went up.

3. As touching the Jaylor's House, 'tis posi∣tively said, Paul preached to him, and to all that were in his House, (do you think he prea∣ched to his Infants, if he had any)? And to put the Matter out of doubt, 'tis said, He rejoiced, believing in God with all his House; as well as 'tis said, He was baptized, and all his.

4. And as touching Lydia, we still say 'tis uncertain whether she was a Maid, Widow, or Wife; but if she was married, and had Chil∣dren, 'tis very unlikely (if Babes) that they were at that time with her, because she was far from her proper Dwelling, nay many Miles from it, for she was of the City Thyatira,* vers. 14. but when Paul preached to her, she was at Phi∣lippi, where she was merchandizing, being a sel∣ler of Purple; Can we suppose she carried her little Babes so far to Market? Besides, those of her House were called Brethren, who were baptized with her, therefore sure Children cannot be here meant, vers. 40. Will you, Sir, build your pra∣ctice of baptizing of little Babes from such un∣certain Conclusions, when 'tis uncertain whe∣ther she had Children or no? or if she had, whe∣ther they were with her at that time or not? Our denying of it, is as good as your affirming it; yet 'tis plain she had Servants, or some who are called her Houshold, therefore that is imper∣tinent you mention in p. 28.

And thus it appears to all impartial Persons, that there is nothing in your second Proof touch∣ing Page  126 the Practice of the Gospel-Church; here's no mention made of one Infant baptized, nor the least Colour of Reason to conclude there were in those Families.

*But you in the next place put us upon searching the Scripture to prove a Negative, i. e. that there were none baptized in Infancy; you might as well bid us search and see if we can find there were not one Infant who broke Bread, or were not ordained an El∣der or Pastor of a Church. How can we prove they did not make use of Honey or Oil in Baptism, which some of the Ancient Fathers used, as Mr. Perkins notes; or Salt and Spittle, which Practice is still (as I said before) in the Romish Church? Where is the extream Ʋnction forbid,* or Auricular Confession, or to use Beads in Prayer, and a hun∣dred more such Romish Popperies? may these things be therefore done? Because we read not they are forbid, I thought adding to God's Word was forbidden, Rev. 22. But we will repeat your Words to see the Strength of your Argument.

Search the Scripture, and produce me, say you, one Instance if you can, from the time St. John the Baptist, to the Death of St. John the Evangelist, which was more than threescore Years, during which time many thousands of Infants were grown up to Maturity, and make it appear they were not baptized in their Infancy, or that their Baptism was deferred till riper Years; or that there is any Divine Command for the delaying the Baptism of Children of Christian Parents until they are grown up, and I will frankly yield the Cause.
Bravely spoken!

Answ. I must retort this Argument back again upon you also, and shew 'tis a great Argument against Infant-Baptism, and not for it. For, say I, let it be considered that since there was such a long Space of time as 60 Years, and much lon∣ger, between John Baptist and the Death of John the Page  127 beloved Disciple, or John the Evangelist,* during which time many thousands of Infants were born of baptized Believers, both Jews and Gentiles. Now Reader, pray observe Mr. Burkit says in the Gospel-Day, and when our Saviour sent his Dis∣ciples first to preach, they were to teach or make Disciples of those they baptized; but up∣on the Parents believing and being baptized, he says, their Children were admitted to Baptism also. Now say I, since many Parents thus taught and baptized, had Multitudes of Infants born to them; How comes it about that we read not of one of their Infants were baptized? no not from the time of John Baptist, to the Death of John the Evangelist? Can any Man think had any In∣fants been baptized, that God would not have left some account of it, to put the matter out of doubt, especially since it was never taught do∣ctrinally, or commanded? certainly, it could not stand consistent with the Care, Wisdom and Faithfulness of Jesus Christ, to have hid and con∣cealed such a Practice, had there been one Infant by his Authority or Allowance baptized. But since the Scripture is silent in it, we may assure our selves 'tis not the Will of God Infants should be baptized. Also if those who were to be bap∣tized, were first to be taught, were first to repent and believe; then it follows clearly that Baptism must be deferred till Children were of ripe Years, and able so to do.

We come to what you say in pag. 28. where you tell us of a cloud of Witnesses for Infant-Baptism in the Churches after the Apostles time.

Answ. And so you may if you pass the first 2 or 3 hundred Years after Christ; and many Errors be∣sides which crept amain into the Churches. But pray remember, Sir, now you are without Book, you are forced to quit the Holy▪Bible, that sacred History, and great Charter of the Church: and there∣fore Page  128 all your Proof out of humane History, which may be true, or may not be true, signifies just nothing. But you had best take heed lest we car∣ry the Cause against you here too, i. e. for the first Centuries; we will examine your Authors and humane Testimonies.

The first is Vossius, a later Writer, I know not but you may have Ireneus and St. Cyprian, out of him: I do confess Ireneus lived not above 200 Years after Christ, or in the second Century. Thus you and others cite him, viz. Omnes venit Christus per semetipsum salvare, omnes qui per eum renascuntur ad Deum Infantes & parvulos juniores & seniores. In English thus,

Jesus Christ came to save all by himself, all who by him are born again unto God, Infants and little ones, Young and Old.

*Answ. Reader, pray observe here is not a word of one Infant baptized, but Mr. Burkit infers it from his Words; so that we have nothing but Consequence yet, neither from God's Word, nor the Words of Man. Christ no doubt came to save some of all sorts of Men; and who doubts but he came to save Infants and little ones, young and old? But why must those Words, who are born again, be applied to Infant-Baptism.

The Scope of Ireneus in that Chapter is to re∣fute the Grosticks, who said that Christ did not ex∣ceed one and thirty Years of Age; against whom Ireneus alledged that Christ lived in every Age, of Infancy, Youth, Old and Age; that by his Age and Example, he might sanctify every Age. So that here Ireneus speaks not of being born again by Baptism: for he saith, Omnes inquam qui per eum renascuntur in Deum; i. e. I say all which are born again by him to God, i. e. by Christ; not as if he had baptized Infants, but because he, (i. e. Christ) was an Infant, that by the Example or Vertue of his Age, he might sanctify Infants, as Page  129 the whole Discourse in Latin plainly shews, viz. Magister ergo existens, Magistri quoque habebat aeta∣tem, non reprobans nec supergrediens hominem, neque solvens suam legem in se humani generis, sed omnem aetatem sanctificans per illam, &c.

2. As to Cyprian, he lived, as I find it in History, about 248, or 300 Years after Christ: and should I tell the Reader what Corruptions and Errors were let in about that time, he would not won∣der to hear Infants were allowed Baptism: yet we have Cyprian against Cyprian. It is true, as far as I can gather, in his time Infant-Baptism was first introduced, without any Ground or Warrant from Christ, and it was as strongly opposed, which appears by the Debates and Doubts about it.

3. The third humane Authority you bring is that cursed Decree of the Milevetan Council,* that all who denied Infant-Baptism, should be Ana∣thema, accursed. If you come but a little lower, you have Proof enough in the Popish Councils, De∣crees and Canons. But 'tis to be observed, that those Fathers pleaded for Infant-Baptism, as that which took away Original Sin, and gave Children the Eucharist too; in the first Sacrament abusing that Text, John 3.5. and in the other, that in John 6.53. These are all your humane Proofs from the Churches after the Primitive Apostolical Days, which you bring; and I doubt not but to give you better and more Authentick Authority from some of the ancient Fathers against Infant-Bap∣tism, than you have brought for it, and some of them nearer the Apostles Days too. The first is Justin Martyr, though I have him not,* yet take his Words as they are cited by Mr. Richard Bax∣ter's Saints Rest, Cap. 8. Sect. 5.

I will declare unto you how we offer up our selves to God, af∣ter that we are renewed through Christ; those Page  130 amongst us that are instructed in the Faith,* and believe that which we teach them is true, being willing to live according to the same, we do ad∣monish to fast and pray for Forgiveness of Sins, and we also pray with them: And when they are brought by us into the Water, and there, as we were new born, are they also by new Birth renewed; and then in calling upon God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Ho∣ly Spirit, they are washed in Water, &c.

This Food we call the Eucharist, to which no Man is admitted but only he that believeth the Truth of the Doctrine, being washed in the Laver of Regeneration for Remission of Sins, and so liveth as Christ hath taught; and this (saith Mr. Baxter) is, you see, no new way. 'Tis said Justin Martyr was converted about 30 Years after the Apostle John: and by the Order then used in the Church, it appears there was no In∣fant-Baptism thought of.

*Walafrid Strabo, as I find him cited by a great Historian, says,

That there was no Children, but aged understanding Persons, baptized in this Age; that is to say, in the 2 d Century.
Walafrid Stra∣bo, Eccl. Hist. c. 26. Vicecom. l. 1. c. 30.

Tertullian in his Book of Baptism, speak∣ing of that Text,*Suffer little Children to come unto me, saith, Indeed the Lord said, do not hinder them to come unto me: Let them come therefore while they grow to Years, and while come let them be taught, let them become Christians when they are able to know Christ; why doth innocent Age hasten to the Remission of Sins? Men will deal more warily in worldly Affairs: So that they who are not trusted with an earthly Inheritance, are trusted with an hea∣venly one: Let them ask for Salvation, that thou mayst appear to have given it to him.

Page  131Dr. Taylor saith thus,*

The Truth of the Busi∣ness is, as there was no Command of Scripture to oblige Children to the Susception of it; so the necessity of Pedo-Baptism was not deter∣mined in the Church, till the Canon that was made in the Milevetan Council, a Provincial in A∣frica, never till then. I grant, saith he, it was practised in Africa before that time, and they or some of them thought well of it: And tho that is no Argument for us to think so; yet none of them ever pretend it to be necessary, nor to have been a Precept of the Gospel. St. Austin was the first that ever preached it to be necessa∣ry, and it was in his Heat and Anger against Pe∣lagius.
Thus Dr. Taylor.

Ignatius in his Discourse about Baptism, asserts,*

That it ought to be accompanied with Faith, Love and Patience, after preaching. H. Monta∣nus, p. 45. and Jacob Dubois, p. 16, to 22. and Dutch Martyrology, where Ignatius's Letters are mentioned to Polycarp Tralensis, to them of Philadelphia.

Dr. Taylor saith,* in his Disswasive against Pope∣ry, pag. 118. printed 1667. one of his last Pieces, thus, viz.

That there is a Tradition to baptize Infants, relies but upon two Witnesses, Origen and Austin; and the latter having it from the former, it lies upon a single Testimony, which, saith he, is a pitiful Argument to prove a Tradition Apostolical: He is the first that spoke of it, but Tertullian that was before him, seems to speak against it, which he would not have done, if it had been an Apostolical Tradi∣tion; and that it was not so, is but too certain, if there be any Truth in the Words of Ludovicus Vives, who says,* That anciently none were bap∣tized but Persons of riper Age.

And as touching Origen's Works, and many more of the Ancient Fathers, there is great cause Page  132 to doubt about them, because, as Mr. Perkins notes,* no Greek Copies thereof are extant; and many other Books said to be written by such and such Fathers, are spurious, and never wrote by them. See Perkins.

*Great Basil in his Book of the Holy Spirit, Chap. 12. saith,

Faith and Baptism are the two Means of Salvation inseparably cleaving toge∣ther; for Faith is perfected by Baptism, but Baptism is founded by Faith; and by the same Names both things are fulfilled: for as we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spi∣rit, so also we are Baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and indeed there goeth before, a Confession leading us unto Sal∣vation; but Baptism followeth, sealing our Confession and Covenant.

The same Churches Teacher, (saith the Learned Dr. Du-Veil) in his third Book against Eunomius, speaketh thus, viz.

Baptism is the Seal of Faith, Faith is the Confession of the Godhead; it is necessary we should first be∣lieve, and then be sealed in Baptism.
Du-Veil on Act. cap. 8. p. 278.

*Zonaras saith,

The Babe will then need Bap∣tism, when it can chuse it.

*Gregory Nazianzen, in his 4th Oration, saith Dr. Du Veil,

Of those who die without Bap∣tism, gives us an Instance in those to whom Baptism was not admitted by reason of Infancy. And the same Nazianzen, though he was a Bi∣shop's Son, being a long time bred up under his Father's Care, was not (saith the said Doctor) baptized till he came to Man's Age. In like manner (saith he) Basil the Great, that was born of devout Parents, and instructed from his Childhood, was not baptized until a Man, p. 280. Also saith John of Antioch, called after∣wards Chrysostom, was born of Christian Parents, Page  133 as the truer Opinion is, tutored by the famous Bishop Meletius, was not yet baptized till he was one and twenty Years of Age.

Hierom, also Ambrose and Austin, who were born of Christian Parents, and consecrated to Christian Discipline, even from their Child∣hood, were not baptized before thirty Years of Age, as Dr. Taylor Bishop of Down asserts, in his 12th Section of the Life of Christ.

Now, Sir, here are Examples enough that do prove, in the Primitive Times, Children of Baptized Believers were not baptized, but had their Baptism delayed till they themselves believed, and gave an account of their Faith. Had it been the constant Custom of the Godly to baptize Infants, would not these, think you, have been in their Infancy baptized?

Grotius (as I find him quoted by Dr. Duveil') saith,*

The Primitive Churches did not Baptize Infants.
See Grotius his Notes on the Gospel.

Nay (saith the same great and Learned Wri∣ter) it doth most plainly appear, by the right of baptizing used in the Romish Church, for Bap∣tism is to be asked before the Person to be bap∣tized do enter into the Church; which the Surety does in the Infant's Name; a clear distinct Confession of Faith is required, which the same Surety rehearseth in the Infant's Name, i. e. A renouncing of the World, its Pomps, the Flesh and the Devil.
We may by this perceive from whence the Original of our old Church-Catechism came. But this is a clear Argument, saith the Doctor, to prove of old the Persons who were to be baptized, asked themselves Baptism in their own Names, of their own choice, and profess their own Faith.

In the Neocesarean Council it was framed thus;*

As to those who are big with Child, they ought to be baptized when they will; for in this Sa∣crament Page  134 there is nothing common to her that brings forth, and that which shall be brought forth from her Womb, because in that Confes∣sion, the Liberty of every one's Choice is de∣clared.

Whence we may infer, 1. That in that Age there seemed to be that aversness from baptizing Children, that they were not willing to admit Women great with Child to Baptism, lest it should be thought that the Child was baptized with them.

2. That in those Times, in the Confession of Faith, in the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ, which was done in a publick and solemn manner in their Baptism, a liberty of Choice and Consent was required as preparatory to it: for the incapacity of the Infant in the Womb, to declare this Choice and Consent, is the reason why they conclude that the Infant was not bap∣tized with the Mother.

3. That it was then judged necessary to have the Consent and Choice of those who were to be baptized.

Dr. Du-Veil citing the same Synod on this Pas∣sage,* (viz. That concerning the Baptism of a Woman with Child, that her Baptism concerns not her Child, for every one is to give a demonstration of his own Faith and Confession) saith, —

However the Interpreters draw it to another purpose, it does appear, that the Question was made of a Woman big with Child, because it did seem that the Child was baptized together with the Mother; which notwithstanding ought not be used, nor to be baptized, except of its own pro∣per Election and Profession.

Dr. Barlow late Bishop of Lincoln, in his Letter to Mr. T. saith,

I believe and know that there is neither Precept nor Example in the Scripture for Pedo-baptism, nor any just Evidence for it Page  135 for above 200 Years after Christ. Tertullian con∣demns it as an unwarrantable Custom; and Na∣zianzen a good while after dislikes it: Sure I am (saith he) that in the Primitive Times they were Catechumeni, then Illuminati or Baptizati, and that not only Pagans, and Children of Pa∣gans converted, but Children of Christian Pa∣rents. The truth is, I do believe Pedo-Baptism, how or by whom I know not, came into the World in the second Century; and in the Third and Fourth began to be practised, though not generally, and defended as lawful from the Text, John 3.5. Grosly misunderstanding upon the like mistake, John 6.53. they did, for ma∣ny Centuries, both in the Greek and Latin Church, communicate Infants, and give them the Lord's Supper; and I confess they might do both, as well as either, &c.
Thus Bishop Bar∣low.

Curcaeleus saith,*

Poedobaptismus duobus primis à Christo nato saeculis suit in cognitus, &c. Pedo-baptism was unknown in the two first Ages after Christ, but in the Third and Fourth it was ap∣proved of by a few, in the Fifth and following Ages it began to be generally received. And therefore (as afterwards he saith) this Rite is indeed observed by us as an ancient Custom, but not as an Apostolical Tradition.

The same Learned Author, De peccato Origi∣nis, Numb. 50. saith, Morem Infantes baptizandi non coepisse ante tertium à Christo nato saeculum, &c. That the custom of baptizing Infants did not begin till the third Age after Christ, but in the two former no foot-steps of it appear. And af∣terwards saith, Sine ipsius [Christi] mandato in∣troducta est; It was introduced without the Command of Christ.*

Athanasius in Sermone 3. contra Arianos, saith,

Our Saviour did not slightly command to bap∣tize, Page  136 but first of all said, Teach, and then Bap∣tize, that true Faith might come by Teaching, and Baptism be perfected by Faith.

*Haimo in Postilla upon the Text, Go teach all Nations, Fol. 278.

In this place (saith he) is set down a Rule rightly how to baptize; that is, that Teaching should go before Baptism; for he saith, Teach all Nations; and then he saith, and baptize them; for he that is to be baptized, must be before instructed, that he first learn to believe that which in Baptism he shall receive: for as Faith without Works is dead, so Works when they are not of Faith, are nothing worth.


••dem in Annotationibus in Mar. The Apostles were commanded, first to teach, and then to baptize: The Jews were brought by Ceremo∣nies to the Knowledg of the Truth, but Christi∣ans must learn to know them first.


All those that came to the Apostles to be baptized, were instructed and taught, con∣cerning the Sacrament of Baptism, then they received the holy Administration thereof.


The Catechism, which is the Do∣ctrine of Faith, must go before Baptism, to the intent that he that is to be baptized, (i. e. Ca∣tech•••nus) may first learn the Mysteries of Faith.


Thou art not first (saith he) bap∣tized,* and then beginnest to effect and embrace the Faith; but when thou art to be baptized, thou signifiest unto the Priest what thy Desire is, and makest thy Confession with thy Mouth.

*Jerom upon Matth. saith,

The Lord com∣manded his Apostles, that they should first in∣struct and teach all Nations, and afterwards should baptize those that were instructed into the Mysteries of the Faith; for it cannot be, (saith he) that the Body should receive the Sacrament of Bap∣tism, Page  137 till the Soul have received the true Faith.

Sir, What think you now of the Testimony of the Ancient Fathers, and of the Practice of the Churches after the Apostles days? Sure the Reader must needs conclude we have it here too, and you must yield whether you will or no, and give up the Controversy.

But to proceed;

Your first Demonstration to prove Infant-Baptism in the days after the Apostles (in pag. 30, 31.) is this,*viz.

Because that Children had Hands laid upon them in their Minority.

Answ. This signifies nothing, for as the Fa∣thers changed the Ordinance of Baptism from believing Men and Women to ignorant Babes, so they changed Imposition of Hands (which I own to be a Principle of Christ's Doctrine, Heb. 6.12.) to such young People who in their Mi∣nority had learned the Articles of the Christian Faith: But clear it is, in the Primitive Apostolical Times, none but baptized Believers were admit∣ted to that Ordinance of Laying on of Hands, as Acts 8.14. & 19.6. witnesses.

You do well to acknowledg, in the same 29th Page, That anciently there were such called Cate∣chumeni, Persons taught or instructed, and after∣wards baptized.

You say indeed that there were two sorts, the last you bring for your purpose; but I know not where you have your Testimony, and therefore shall pass it by.

So much to your first Demonstration from the 〈◊〉 Fathers.

Your Second to prove Infant-Baptism is this,*viz.

Because (say you) Infants in the Primi∣tive Times were admitted to the Lord's Sup∣per, therefore you conclude they were admit∣ted to Baptism.

Page  138Answ. And they had, say I, as much ground, as Dr. Taylor says, for the one as for the other; and there is the same Parity of Reason to con∣clude, as they err'd in the one, so they did in the other.

Why do you not from hence give Infants the Lord's Supper? the reason you give I have be∣fore proved insignificant.

*As to your third Demonstration, it is not de∣nied her that Infant-Baptism was received in the Church in the third and fourth Century; with many other Fopperies, but that does you no Kind∣ness; the Church was adulterated from the true Apostolical Faith and Practice in many respects in those and after Times downward.

*Your fourth Demonstration is this, viz. Pag. 33.

If it was a gross Error in the Primitive Fa∣thers to admit Infants to Baptism, then they in suffering such an Error to pass uncensured and uncondemned, were guilty of the greatest Impiety, &c.

Answ. What then? I ask you, whether you do not believe for several Centuries those Fa∣thers who admitted Infants to the Lord's Supper without censuring or condemning it, were not guilty also of as great Impurity? Besides, did not the same Fathers hold other Errors? see Mr. Per∣kin's Demonst. of the Problem, pag. 488. these are his words, viz.

And whereas some Fathers, viz. Ireneus, Justin, Clement, Tertullian, held that the Law of Nature had Power to save the Gentiles without Christ.
And again he saith,
The Fathers have Errors, yea, and that sometimes gross ones.
Doth not History tell us the Fathers used other Rites also, and that in Baptism? See Perkins, p. 549.
The Fathers, saith he, used some other Rites and Ceremo∣nies which are now omitted, as kissing of the Child which was baptized, in Cyprian, l. 3. ep. 8. Page  139 use of Milk and Hony, use of Milk and Wine. Hierom. in Isa. cap. 55.
It was an use for the Baptizer to blow in the Face of the baptized, and the Party baptized used to exufflate the Devil, whom he renounced. What Credit is to be given to such Fathers? They gave the Eucharist to Children likewise.

You say the Church of England is for Infant-Baptism, Article 27. also the French, Dutch, Bo∣hemian, Helvetian Churches: What of all this? why did you not put in the Church of Rome with them? 'tis clear the Church of the Hebrews,* a Church at Rome in the Apostles days, the Church of the Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, Sardis, Smyrna, Pergamus, Philadelphia and Laodicea, owned it not. We must go to the Fountain, and not to the muddy Stream, to drink pure Water. From the begin∣ning it was not so.

But, say you,* if now the Anabaptists can be∣lieve that Almighty God has suffered all his Churches Ancient and Modern, and that in all parts of the World to fall into one and the same destroying Practice.
They have a Power which I shall never envy, namely, of believing what they please, pag. 34.

Answ. 1. You take that for granted which you prove not, viz. That all these Churches who hold Infant-Baptism are true Churches of Christ. Sir, I must tell you, we have not such a Power of Faith as to believe that.

2. Doth not the Apostle declare,* that a gene∣ral Apostacy from the true Apostolical Faith and Doctrine would after his days ensue? And hath not the Church of Rome, that Mother of Harlots, made all the Earth drunk with her Cup for near 1200 Years, or more, and corrupted all those Churches, more or less, with her poisonous Errors and false Doctrines, Rites and Ceremo∣nies; Page  140 and yet Almighty God hath suffered her for so long a time? and many other Errors a∣mong Protestants.

*3. See Mr. Tombs his Answer to this.

For if the whole Church might err (saith he) in one Age, it may also in all Ages, collectively considered, the Promises being no more to the Church in all Ages, collectively considered, than in each Age distributively considered, nor any means given to them after the Apo∣stles, collectively considered, to keep them from Error, than to each distributively: yea the Churches nearer the Apostles had more means to keep them from Error than o∣ther Ages, yet they err'd in Doctrine and Disci∣pline, as many Writers shew. As for the Pro∣mise, Mat. 16.18. it is not true of the whole Church visible, the Gates of Hell have and do prevail against her so; but of the invisible; and yet the Promise is not to the invisible, that they shall not err, but they shall not err finally to Damnation, which if they did, then the Gates of Hell should indeed prevail against them.

4. Your Church, and all those other Churches mentioned by you,* have other Errors besides this, and yet God suffers you and them to con∣tinue at present in those Errors, for Reasons best known to himself; nor do we say we are with∣out any Errors, or any Church on Earth, we pretend to no Infallibility: But in the Point of Baptism we are right by your own Concession, I mean, as to the baptizing of Believers.

* 5. And lastly, We do not say this Error of yours about Infant-Baptism, is a Soul-damning Error, God forbid; tho it doth tend to de∣stroy too far the nature of the holy Sacrament of Baptism, and so also a right Gospel-Church according to the Apostolical Constitution, ma∣king Page  141 your Church National, when the Gospel-Churches planted by Christ and his Apostles were Congregational.

So much in Answer to all your Arguments for the lawfulness of Infants-Baptism.


Shewing Infant-Baptism is of no use at all, in opposition to what Mr. Burkit affirms, but contrariwise sinful, i. e. it being an Error, hath also many evil and bad Consequences attending it. With some Reflections on Infants Baptismal Covenant, as asserted by Mr. Dan. Williams, as well as this Author Mr. Burkit.

YOU say, the Anabaptists assert Infant-Baptism is unlawful, because 'tis unuseful, Children understanding no more than Brute Beasts what is done to them; therefore you may as warrantably baptize a Beast as a Child, Pag. 34. And then say, pag. 35. That Infant-Baptism is greatly advantagious as an Act of Initiation into the visible Church.

Answ. 1. You have no Warrant to baptize a Child; but who of the Anabaptists ever said such words as you here mention? dare you accuse your Neighbours falsly? 'tis a bad and unseemly Comparison. But 'tis no marvel we meet with it from such as you who are preju∣diced against us: some of your Brethren for∣merly Page  142 charged us with baptizing naked. God will judg between us and you in his due time.

Answ. 2. You should have proved it an In∣stitution, or an Appointment of Christ; but that you have not yet done, nor never will. True, were Infant-Baptism ordained by Christ to be an initiating Rite into the Gospel-Church, doubt∣less it had been useful.

3. But what good doth your baptizing them do them? what Priviledge of the Church do you allow them? I know not one; if indeed it did adopt the Child to be a Son or Daughter of God, you say something; or if God had ap∣pointed it to be a Sign or Token of it; but this he hath not done, and 'tis not in your Power to do it.


But you say they have hereby Interest in all the Prayers put up in and by the Church.

Answ. If you so pray for them, viz. as Mem∣bers of the visible Church, what ground have you to believe God will hear you, since he ne∣ver made them Members thereof? Besides, the Church prays for all her Members, and for the Children of them who are Members, that they in due time may become Members, and have equal Right in all the Blessings of God's Church, if it be his Will to bring them in. But what ground have you to deny any who are true Members of the Church, the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper, or any other Priviledge whatsoerver?


You say, by virtue of this Admission they have an Interest in that special Provi∣dential Care which Christ exercises over his Church.

Answ. No doubt but Christ exercises his Care over poor Infants, but not the more, assure your self, for your baptizing them without his Au∣thority.

Page  1433.

You say, hereby the Church stands nearer to them than to the rest of Mankind, &c. mentioning that Text in Isa. 54.13. Thy Chil∣dren shall be all taught of God, &c.

Answ. You cannot bring Infants to stand nearer to God, nor his People by any Act done by you, without a Rule left by Christ. Besides, that Text in Isa. 54.13. does not refer to In∣fants, not to our Children as such, but to those godly Christians who being born in Sion, are indeed truly her Children.

4. 'You say it is an Act of Dedication, &c.

Answ. Who commanded you this way to dedicate your Children to the Lord? Will you teach him Wisdom? or, are you wiser than he? doth he require you so to do?


You say, 'tis greatly advantagious to them, as 'tis an Act of Restipulation; that is, say you, a Child at Baptism enters into Cove∣nant with God.

Answ. Poor Babes! 'tis without their Know∣ledg or Consent, or God's Appointment, which is worst of all, or being able to perform it then, nor many of them ever after, God ne∣ver giving them his Grace so to do.

But wo to them, if they do not perform this Covenant, if you and Mr. Daniel Williams say true;* he says in his Catechism as followeth,

That those Children who perform not their Bap∣tismal Covenant do,
  • 1. Reject Christ.
  • 2. They renounce the Blessings of Gospel.
  • 3. That 'tis Rebellion against their Maker.
  • 4. That 'tis Ingratitude and Perjury to their Redeemer.
  • 5. Gross Injustice to their Parents.
  • 6. That 'tis self-killing Cruelty to their own Souls.
  • Page  1447. He saith, 'tis a damning Sin, nay, it's the damning Sin, and Heart of all Sin.

Is this indeed the Love you Pedo-baptists have to your poor Infants? What, bring them into such a Covenant, without their Knowledg or Con∣sent, or God's Appointment, and then threaten them, if they break it, with Hell and Damnation, and what not!

Do you know they are all Elect Persons, and so such that God will in time call, give Grace to, and so change their evil and depraved Natures? If not, do you not heap up a Multitude of Evils up∣on them, and hereby make their Condition worse, or aggravate their Sin and Misery for ever?

I know not whether you be of this Pedo-Bap∣tist's Mind, or not; but I think this Doctrine does not fit a Christian Catechism: if God had re∣quired Infants to enter into such a Covenant, some reason he might have thus to speak:* But since he nor you either can prove it, this to me seems a daring boldness in a Minister of the Go∣spel to assert, (who I hope is a good Man). God I grant expects, that all true Believers should per∣form their Baptismal Covenant, but then know they are required of God actually to enter into it; they freely of their own choice enter into it, they are such God hath given habitual Grace to perform it. And he hath promised them also a fur∣ther supply of Grace to enable them so to do; but nothing of this you can prove, in Infants cove∣nanting in their Baptism, (but more of this by and by); nor will their Sureties help the matter, for if they cannot perform those things they pro∣mise for themselves, how should they be able to do it for others? besides 'tis an humane Inven∣tion, and not appointed of God, as Mr. Perkins himself confesseth.

But truly Mr. Williams's Doctrin afflicts my Mind: Strange! is this Sin the damning Sin? I thought Page  145 the damning Sin (by way of eminency) had been the Sin of Unbelief: Suppose your own Child should not believe he is bound by virtue of that baptismal Covenant you brought him into, but when grown up, disowns that (you call) Bap∣tism, &c. not believing it is a Truth of Christ, must he be damned?

But to proceed;

You having shewed the Advantages of Infant-Baptism, without giving one Scripture-Text to prove what you say is true; you, in pag. 38. come to shew, that Baptism is more useful and beneficial to a Child in Infancy, than to omit it till riper Age; Because no Infant-membership is capa∣ble of Hypocrisy, which Persons grown up are.

Answ. 1. Then give them the Lord's Supper also, for doubtless if they receive it, they will not eat and drink their own Damnation, as may be some, that have it given to them, do. I tremble at what you dare to say and write, in which you seem to arraign the Wisdom of the ever-blessed Jesus; Hath he appointed Believers, or Adult Per∣sons, who are gracious, to be baptized, and none else? and do you say, the Ordinance better suits with ignorant Babes? Should you dictate to your earthly Prince, would he allow it? much less to contradict and correct him, as if your Wisdom was more than his.

2. You say,

'Tis more advantagious to In∣fants, than those of riper Years; as it is a pre-engagement upon them to resist Temptati∣ons.

Answ. You may after this rate bring them un∣der an hundred Engagements and Covenants, nay, may be more plausible ones too, may you not? When they know what they do, make them take a solemn Oath, or enter into Bonds, up∣on pain of severe Punishment, that they shall not yield to Temptations, and pretend 'tis God's Page  146 Law they should do so; and if you can deceive their Judgments, they will dread as much (nay, may be more) the breaking those Oaths and Co∣venants, than this you bring them into, without any Authority from Jesus Christ.

3. You say,

Baptism in Infancy is more advantagious than at riper Years, as it is an early Remedy against the Malady of Original Sin.

Answ. Speak; Doth Baptism take away Origi∣nal Sin, or free them of that Malady, or not? You know, some of the Ancient Fathers were car∣ried away with such a Dream; how comes it to pass then, that that Contagion appears so soon, and to be as strong in your Children as in ours, who never were baptized at all? But does not St. Peter tell you, (1. Pet. 3.20.) Baptism washes not away the Filth of the Flesh? Or is not Original Pollution a Filth of the Flesh? what Stuff is this you would force upon us, and the World! We affirm Infants are no more capable of this Ordinance than any other. Why do you say of no Rite but this? We challenge all the World, by God's Word, to prove they are capable of Baptism, any more than of the Lord's Supper.

4. You say,

Baptism administred to In∣fants, has this Advantage, That it puts the Chri∣stian upon more bitter mourning for actual Sin, from the consideration of that shameful Per∣jury and wilful Apostacy that is found in such Persons Sin.

Answ. 1. I find you are one of Mr. Williams his Brethren, i.e. you are of his Belief it seems: but tremble at the thoughts of the Consequences of your Doctrine.* Have not your Children, when grown up, enough Sins to mourn for and bewail before Almighty God, but you must bring them into a Covenant which you knew they would break when they come to riper Age? and Page  147 such is the pravity of human Nature, there is no avoiding of it without a supernatural Work of Grace; their Burden is heavy enough, you need not add to it.

2. Is it not sad, that you should give cause to your Children to think they are guilty of Per∣jury? when in truth they never were, nor of A∣postacy from God upon that account: our first Apostacy was bad enough, you need not go about to make them guilty of another. Alas, their pre∣tended Baptism never brought them one step nearer to God, than those Children are who never were baptized in their Infancy at all: where then is the Apostacy you speak of?

3. You hereby bring them under a necessity of committing of the Sin of Perjury, and of A∣postacy, at leastwise in your own conceit, and in theirs too, if they can believe what you say, and so to cause them to mourn for that, or those Sins most, which may be (if all things were rightly considered) are no Sins at all. I do not mean that any of their actual Transgressions may not be Sin; but that they are not guilty of Perjury and Apostacy by breaking that you call their Bap∣tismal Covenant: for if God brought them not into that Covenant, nor into any Covenant-rela∣tion with himself thereby, I cannot see how there should be such a Sting in the Tail of it, as you affirm and imagine; and indeed, had they them∣selves, of their one accord and consent, entred into an unlawful or an unwarrantable Covenant, which they were no ways able to perform, it may be doubted whether it would be Perjury in them if they kept it not: besides, I hope they have not forsworn themselves, how then is it Perjury?

4. Moreover,* I desire all those Parents who baptize their Children; and you also, to consider, in the fear of God, the natural Tendency and Page  148 Consequences of your bringing poor Babes into such a Covenant.

1. That you force them to enter into this Co∣venant without any Authority or Command from God: for I challenge you, and all Pedo-Baptists in the World, to prove God hath any-where, directly or indirectly, required any such thing at your Hands.

*2. Consider that 'tis not only a Reformation of Life, or a bare refraining from the gross Acts of Sin, that you assert is comprehended in this Bap∣tismal Covenant you cause Infants to enter into, but it is Regeneration it self, i. e. a change of Heart, and savingly to believe in Christ; this you oblige your poor Babes to perform. Now what Arminianism is here fomented, if once you say or think they are capable to perform this Obligati∣on? but if they do not do it, woe be to them?

Moreover, what guilt do you bring the poor Sureties under, unless they stand obliged no longer then the Child abides in Infancy; and if so, what need of their Obligation at all, if you intend no more?

3. Consider, you brought them into this Cove∣nant without their Knowledg or Consent, they never subscribed to it, nor knew any thing of it, nor were they capable so to do.

4. Consider, whatever you think, that such is the pravity of their Natures, by means of our first Apostacy from God, or Original Sin, that they do and must of necessity break it, as I said before, unless God should by supernatural Grace change their Hearts and Natures, and remove the vici∣ous Habits thereof, which you had not the least ground to believe he would do, or leastwise to all or the greatest part of them, God having made no such promise; and by woful experience we daily see many or most of those Children, are never converted, but from the Womb go astray,Page  149 and are guilty of almost of all manner of abo∣minable Sins, and so live and die.

As to the Adult.

1. Consider, as I said before;

(1.) That all Believers God himself doth re∣quire or command in his Word to enter into this Baptismal Covenant.

(2.) And they, before they enter into it, have a Principle of Divine Life infused into their Souls, or Grace implanted in their Hearts, having passed un∣der the Work of Regeneration, being dead to Sin, (of which Baptism is a lively Symbol) or is, as your Church says, an outward Sign of an in∣ward spiritual Grace. Not as Mr. Baxter observes, a Sign or Symbol of future, but of present Regene∣ration; which is confirmed by what St. Paul teaches, Rom. 6.2. How shall we that are dead to Sin, live any longer therein? not, may be dead, but are dead, and so are buried with Christ in Baptism, vers. 3, 4. If you say, all Adult Persons baptized are not converted, &c. I answer, They appear so to be, and as such, voluntarily enter into this Covenant: besides, God does not require them without Faith to do it. Baptism doth not only represent the Death and Burial of Christ, but also signifies our Death to Sin, or that blessed Work of Mortification of the Body of Sin and Death; by which means Believers who enter in∣to this Baptismal Covenant, are put into a gra∣cious and meet capacity to perform that sacred Obligation; but so are not Infants.

(3.) That every true Believer baptized, con∣siders, ponders upon, and weighs with all seri∣ousness and deliberation imaginable, the Nature of this Covenant before he signs it. And,

(4.) That he doth it freely, voluntarily, and with his full liking, approbation and consent: neither of which do, nor can do those poor In∣fants you force to enter into this Covenant. Page  150 These things considered, it appears, as it is a sin∣ful Act in you to bring them into this Covenant (since 'tis done without Command or Authority from God) so 'tis cruelty also towards your own Babes, by making them to be come guilty of Perjury, and thereby damning (as Mr. Williams says) their own Souls.

(5.) Consider, every true Believer that is listed under Christ's Banner, by entring into this Bap∣tismal Covenant, is by Christ compleatly armed, i. e. he hath the Christian Armor put upon him, Ephes. 6. he has the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shield of Faith, and for an Helmet, the Hope of Sal∣vation; and the Word of God, like a Sword in his Hand, to cut down all his Enemies. Thus by the help of these Sacred Graces of the Spirit, he is enabled to fight against Sin, the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. But alas, you list your poor Babes into this War, and make them cove∣nant and vow to forsake the Devil and all his Works, the Pomps and Vanities of this Wicked World, and all the sinful Lusts of the Flesh—but arm them not. Did Baptism confer Grace, and arm their Souls, it was something; but who dares assert that? or if he does, who will or can believe him?

(6.) God hath also promised to assist, stand by, help and enable all Believers baptized, with further supplies of Grace; nay, they being actu∣ally united to Christ, have his blessed Influences flowing to them, besides the Promises of God, the Death, Resurrection, and Intercession of Christ; and the everlasting Covenant of Grace, which is ordered in all things, and sure, firmly secures all their Souls: But thus it is not with those poor Babes you bring into this Covenant; you are like Pharaoh's Task-masters, command the making of Brick, but allow them no Straw.

Page  1514. Again, consider how hereby great part of the Nations are perjured: I will appeal to the Consciences of all thinking and understanding People, whether, according to your Principle and Practice, it is not so; Mourn O England and lament, sad is thy Case! If these Men speak right or truly, what a Multitude in thee have been made to en∣ter into this Covenant, who never performed it? O Perjured Nation! Perjured People! and Perju∣red Pastors! for so are all thy debauched, drun∣ken, swearing and unclean Teachers. Are not these perjured also? Have they kept their Vow and Covenant? Alas, Sir, instead of mourning for this Sin, we may conclude they never thought of it. But let them break off their Sins by Righ∣teousness; I mean, repent and leave those gross Acts of Wickedness, of which many, both Priest and People, are guilty, and get renewing Grace, and never let them fear this new devised Sin of Perjury. For if God's Word convinces of all Sins, and doth not convince of this sort of Perjury, this is no Perjury; (I mean the simple breaking of that Covenant, though those Sins by which they are said to break it, are horrid Treason and Rebellion against the God of Heaven, and pro∣voke him to Wrath every Day.) But God's Word doth convince of all Sins, and doth not convince of this sort of Perjury; therefore it cannot be Perjury, as is affirmed. 'Tis not this which is the Self-killing-Murder, the damning Sin: No, no; but 'tis their Unbelief and Contempt of God's Grace, or neglecting the great Salvation offered by Christ in the Gospel.

5. Baptism administred in Infancy hath (you say) this singular Advantage above that which is administred at viper Age, in that it gives the pious Parent a good ground of hope that his Children dying in Infancy, are certainly saved, it makes (say you) that Ordinance a Channel of Grace, &c.

Page  152Answ. 1. This is like the rest: But, Sir, by what Authority do you assert all these things? You know what wonderful Vertue the Papists say is in many of their Popish Rites, Ceremonies and Re∣licks, i. e. in their crossing themselves, and in their Holy Water, especially in their Agnus Dei: but how do they prove it? even as well as you do what you speak here upon this Account. And we have the same reason to believe them, as to believe you in what you speak without Proof or Authority from God's Word.

2. Pious Parent! But alas, how few are there of that sort? what hopes hath the impious pro∣phane and ungodly Parent of the Salvation of his dying Children?* But, Sir, I thought all the pi∣ous and believing or godly Parents Children, were born in Covenant with God; and that the Pa∣rents Faith would have secured them, whether baptized or not. Were not the Jews Female Children saved? they were not circumcised; and were not their Male Infants saved, who died be∣fore the eighth Day?

3. From what Scripture is it these pious, though ignorant and deceived Parents, may have hope that their Children that die in their Infancy shall be saved, and none but theirs, who are bap∣tized or rather rantized?

4. Will you make Baptism their Saviour? can Baptism save them? And is it so indeed? is it then in the Power of Parents to save or damn their Children? And how came Baptism to have such Power in it? or who made that a Channel of Grace to dying Infants? Do you not place that Ver∣tue in an external Rite, that only belongs to the Blood of Christ, and sanctifying Grace of God's Spirit?* Mr. Perkins saith,

That Baptism indeed saveth; but saith he, that is not the Baptism of Water, but the Stipulation of a good Consci∣ence by the Resurrection.
Again he saith,
The Page  153 outward Baptism without the inward is no Mark of God's Child, but the Mark of the Fool that makes a Vow, and afterwards breaks it.

5. May not this Doctrine of yours clearly tend to scare and afright poor Parents with fear that all their Babes that die in their Mother's Wombs, or before baptized, are damned? And O in what a sad Condition are all the Children of ungodly and impious Persons, whose little Babes you dare not, cannot baptize, if you are true to your own Principles? But that Text may give us a better ground of hope a thousand times concerning the well-being of our dying Infants, where our Saviour saith, of such are the Kingdom of Heaven. And that which you mention, I shall go to him, he shall not return to me; together with the infinite Mercy of God, through the Virtue of Christ's Blood, who can convey Help and Healing to dying Infants and Idiots in ways we know not of; nor are we to trouble our selves about such secret things that are not revealed.

6. You say, The Practice of Infant-Baptism ap∣pears most beneficial; because it prevents such shame∣ful and scandalous Neglects of Baptism, to the Blemish of Christianity.

Answ. Is it then a shameful Scandal to neglect a Tradition of Man? (for so I have proved In∣fant-Baptism to be) Where is the Shame that ought to be in Christians,*that Christ's Laws and Precepts are neglected, and his precious Ordinance of Baptism exposed to Contempt and Shame, as it is by you and thousands more, whilst the Statutes of Omri are zealously kept and observed, as the Prophet of old complained; I mean, humane Rites and Traditions, or Statutes (like those of Omri, in∣stituted by him and Jeroboam) which the Wis∣dom of your Church, and many corrupt Churches have been zealous for to this Day.

Page  154And thus I have ran through and examined your fix Particulars, which you bring to prove the Usefulness of Infant-Baptism above the Bap∣tism of Believers, which our blessed Saviour in∣stituted: And now shall shew you further that In∣fant-Baptism is so far from being more useful than that of the Adult, that it is a dangerous Error, and therefore of no Use at all, but the contrary, viz. a very sinful thing.

*1. Reader, can that be useful, or any ways be∣neficial, which Christ never commanded or re∣quired to be done in his Name, but is unrighte∣ously fathered upon him, to the utter making void his own Ordinance of baptizing Believers?

2. Can that have any Usefulness in it, that brings Guilt upon the Parents in doing it, making them guilty of Will-Worship, or of a humane Tradition?

3. Can that be useful that brings poor Babes into such a Covenant, which Christ never ordain∣ed for them to enter into; and to which they ne∣ver directly nor indirectly consented nor appro∣ved of; and which they are utterly unable to keep; and which giveth them no Strength to perform; nor is there one promise of God made to assist or help them to do it; and yet for not keeping of it they are charged with Perjury, with Self-murder, nay, with Hell and Damna∣tion?

4. Can that be of use to Infants, that basely be∣guiles and deceives them, causing them when grown up to think they were thereby made Chri∣stians, and become the Children of God, Members of Christ, and Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven, nay, regenerated; and from hence never look after any other Work of Grace nor Regeneration, but conclude all is well with them?

5. Can that be a useful thing, which the doing of is a palpable Alteration of the Words of Page  155 Christ's Commission, and so inverts that holy Or∣der left by him for baptizing, who requires none to be baptized before they are first taught and made Disciples?

6. Can that be of any Use to an Infant, which you, nor no Man else can prove from God's Word to have any Use and Blessing in it to them?

7. Can an humane Rite or Tradition, think you, save poor Children, or a little Water sprinkled on the Face, wash away Original Sin?

8. Can Water beget Children to Christ, or can that be useful to them, which they have on∣ly the bare Sign of, and not the thing signified, viz. the Sign of Regeneration, but not Regenera∣tion it self; a Sign of Grace, but not Grace it self; you give them the Shell, but no Kernel; the Name of Christian, but no Nature of a Chri∣stian; making that you call Christ's Baptism, as Dr. Taylor saith, á Sign without Effect, and like the Figtree in the Gospel, full of Leaves, but no Fruit?

9. Can that be useful that tends to make the Gospel-Church National, (and confounds the Church and the World together) which ought to be Congregational, a holy and separate People, like a Garden inclosed?

10. Can Baptism be more useful to Infants than to adult Believers, notwithstanding the Scripture saith, that the Person baptized doth not only believe, but call upon the Name of the Lord, Acts 22.16. can Infants do that?

11. Can Infant-Baptism be more useful than that of Believers, and yet Baptism an Ordinance of the Soul's Marriage with Christ? And is not that, as Mr. Baxter saith, a strange Marriage, where there is nothing signified of Consent? And are Infants able so to do?

12. Can Infant-Baptism be more useful than that of Believers, and yet Baptism called the An∣swer of a good Conscience? Can a little Babe Page  156 answer a good Conscience by being baptized in Obedience to Christ, and to shew forth his Death and Resurrection?

13. Can Infant-Baptism be more useful than that of Believers? Whereas the first has no Pro∣mise of God made unto it, and yet the other hath many, as Acts 2.36.37, 38. Mark 16.16.

14. Can that be a useful thing that frustrates the sacred and spiritual Ends of Baptism? which we have shewed are many, but as administred to poor Babes, 'tis rendred wholly of none Ef∣fect, and an insignificant thing.

* Lastly; Mr. Perkins hints that Baptism signifies two things: (1.) Our Union with Christ: (2.) Our Communion with him. Now how doth this appear in Infants as such, as it does in Believers?

Page  157


Shewing that the Baptists are falsly called Anabaptists, they being as much against rebaptizing as Mr. Burkit, (or any other Men or People whatsoever) shew∣ing that Infants who have only had a little Water sprinkled or poured on their Faces, &c. are not baptized, but ran∣tized: Proving Baptism is Immersion, (and without the Person's Body is dipped or covered all over in the Water, he is not baptized) from the literal genuine and proper Signification of the Greek Word Baptizo.

1. IN Page 42, you say,

That you will endea∣vour to satisfy such who were baptized (as you call it) in their Infancy, that they were rightly baptized.


And that such who have been once duly and rightly baptized, ought not to be rebap∣tized, or baptized again.

Answ. That which you say in the first Place we do utterly deny, though we readily grant you what you say against rebaptizing, for we are as much against it as you can be.

But to prove your first Proposition, you

pro∣ceed to shew the several Requisites necessary to :denominate a Person rightly baptized.

Page  158

1. The Person baptizing ought to be a law∣ful Minister, authorized and commissioned by Christ, and the Governors of his Church.

2. The Party baptized, you say, must be a Subject qualified for Baptism, &c.

3. That the Element made use of, must be Water.

4. It ought to be done before credible Wit∣nesses.

5. Lastly, Baptism ought to be administred in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Answ. 1. I grant all you say here, though how you can prove there were Witnesses by when A∣nanias baptized Saul, or when Philip baptized the Eunuch, I know not; yet I believe 'tis necessa∣ry there should be in all ordinary Cases credible Witnesses by.

2. But, Sir, how doth this comport with the Rantism of Infants?

For, 1st. That they are not Subjects fitly qua∣lified for Baptism, I have fully proved, and have detected your Argument concerning Baptism coming in the room of, or succeeding Circumci∣sion.

2dly. I shall now prove your sprinkling or pouring Water on the Subject, either on the Face, or any part of the Body, is not baptizing but rantizing: Then answer you Allegations, Ob∣jections, base Reflections, and false Calumnies cast upon Mr. Tredwell, and indeed on the Bap∣tists in general.

And in order to the effectual doing of this, take a Passage or two out of the ancient Fathers, &c. St. Gregory saith,*

That that is not said to be reite∣rated, which is not certainly demonstrated to have been rightly and duly done.
And in ano∣ther Place saith he,
If there be an Offence taken at the Truth, it is much better that Offence Page  159 be taken, than that the Truth should be de∣serted. The Custom of the Churches ought to submit to the Words of Christ,* not the Words of Christ to be wrested to the Custom of the Church; in regard the Words of Christ are the Foundation upon which all Customs are to be built.
See the famous Dr. Du-Veil on the Acts.

Tertullian says,

Whatsoever savours contrary to Truth is Heresy,* though it be an ancient Custom.

These Maxims, saith Du-Veil,* so agreeable to Reason, whosoever intends to follow, will ne∣ver question but that they ought to be baptized, if they have not received that Baptism ordained by Christ, but only Rantism, that is, Sprinkling, substituted in its room by a vulgar Use, or ra∣ther Abuse.

Mr.Perkins saith,* if the external Form of Admi∣nistration be observed, a Person baptized by an Heretick, must not be baptized again.

Nor is it to be doubted, saith that famous

Di∣vine, John Forbes,* but that they are again to be baptized, who before have only received a vain Washing, and not the true Sacrament of Baptism.

Sir, To baptize a Person, a Believer, again, who was baptized before, we say is sinful and unlawful. But since yours is no Baptism, but meer Rantism, I need say no more to this; and that 'tis so, I shall first prove from the proper genuine and literal Signification of the Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, baptiso; that comes from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,*to dip, signifies mergo, immergo, submergo, obruo, item tingo quod fit immergendo; that is, to immerge, plunge under, over-whelm, as also to dip, which is done by plunging. We grant in a less proper or more remote Sense, because things that are said to be washed, are commonly dipped or plunged all over in Water, it is put for washing, Page  160Luke 11.38. Heb. 9.10. Mark 7.4. You say, pag. 52, as for the Derivative word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, sometimes it signifies to dip or plunge; some∣times to wash or cleanse, citing ver. 9, 10. Yet we say it no where signifies to sprinkle. You know the Greeks have another Word to express Sprink∣ling, viz.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, rantizo, as Heb. 9.19. and sprinkled, (〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) both the Book and the People; 'tis 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉▪ So Heb. 9.13. Sprinkling the Ʋnclean,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. 1▪ Pet. 1.2. And sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ, 'tis 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. The like in many other Places: And so that we dare modestly assert that no Greek Author of any Credit, whether Heathenish or Christian, has ever put Baptizing for Sprinkling, or used those Words promiscuously: for as in these Scriptures we have cited Heb. 9.13, 19, 21, &c. 'tis always translated Sprinkling: So there is not one Place in Scripture, wherein the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, rantizo, is rendred to baptize; nor is there one Scripture wherein the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, baptizo, is rendred Sprinkling. And whereas you say, the word sometimes signifies Washing: We say, notwithstanding it does, yet 'tis such a Washing as is by Dipping or Plunging, as I said before:* Thus Mr. Wilson in his Dictionary renders baptizo, derived from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, bapto, ringo, to dip or plunge into the Water: and sig∣nifies, saith he, primarily such a kind of wash∣ing as is used in Bucks where Linen is plunged or dip'd; though in a remote Sense he hints it signi∣fies other kind of Washing.

You say, Pag. 49.

That we ought to distin∣guish betwixt that which is of the Essence of Baptism, and that which only is accidental in Bap∣tism; the Word and Element say you, are of the Essence of Baptism.

Page  161Answ. We say with you, that if Accidents, or meer Accessories be wanting in Baptism, yet there may be true Baptism notwithstanding; but we assert that Dipping or Plunging belongs to the Thing, Act, or Essence of Baptism; not an Accident, but so essential, that 'tis no true Bap∣tism if the Body is not dipped, or plung'd into the Water: therefore the Word and Element are not so the Essence of Baptism, unless there be so much Water used as to cover the Body all over in it; Rantizing is Rantizing, and Bapti∣zing is Baptizing, they are two different things, and the one will never be the other while the World stands. And tho you dare affirm, that the Child that is only Rantized, i. e. Sprinkled, is Baptized, yet you cannot prove it; and al∣tho you do assert it, and attempt to make it out, yet a multitude of learned Writers and Criticks in the Greek Tongue do fully contra∣dict you.

Scapula and Stephens,* two as great Masters of the Greek Tongue as most we have, do tell you in their Lexicons, that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, signifies mergo, immergo, item tingo quod fit immergendo, inficere imbuere, viz. to dip, plunge, overwhelm, put under, cover over, to die in colour, which is done by plunging.

Grotius says it signifies to dip over Head and Ears.*

Pasor, an Immersion, Dipping or Submersion.*

Vossius says it implieth a washing the whole Body.*

Mincaeus in his Dictionary saith,* that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, is in the Latin Baptismus, in Dutch Doopsit or Doopen, Baptismus, or Baptism, to dive or duck in Water, and the same with the Hebrew, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Tabal, which the Septuagint, or seventy Interpreters, render 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Bap∣tiso, to dip.* This Casaubon saith was the Rite of Page  162 baptizing, that Persons were plunged into the Water, which the very word baptizo sufficiently demonstrates; which as it does not extend so far as to sink down to the bottom to the hurt of the Person, so it is not to swim upon the Superficies—. Baptism ought to be administred by plunging the whole Body into the Water.

The late famous and most learned in all the Oriental Tongues, Dr. Du-Veil, in his literal Explanation of the Acts, Chap. 1.5. saith, the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is to dip, as if it were to dye Colour; and any Dyer will tell you, if there is any small bit of Cloth not dipped, it is not dyed.

*Leigh in his Critica Sacra saith, the native and proper Signification of the word is to dip into the Water, or plunge under Water, Mat. 3.6. Acts 8.38. for which also he quotes Casaubon, Bullinger, Zanchy, Spanhemius: he saith withal, that some would have it signify washing, which sense Erasmus, he saith, opposed, affirming that it was not otherwise so than by Consequence; for the proper Signification was such a dipping, or plunging as Dyers use for dying of Clothes.

Salmasius saith,

That is not Baptism which they give to Children, but Rantism.

*Beza on Mat. 3.11. saith,

The word Bap∣tizo signifies to dye by dipping, or washing.

Selden saith,

That the Jews took that Bap∣tism wherein the whole Body was not baptized; to be void.

Ainsworth speaks to the same purpose.

*Mr. Daniel Rogers says, That a Minister is to dip in Water (the Party baptized) as the meetest Act, the word baptize notes it;

For, saith he, the Greeks wanted not words to ex∣press any other Act besides Dipping, if the Institution could bear it: what Resemblance of the Burial and Resurrection of Christ is Page  163 in Sprinkling? [mark that!] all Antiquity and Scripture, saith he, confirm that it was Dipping.

If you would, saith Dr. Du-Veil,* attend to the proper Signification of the word, in the Sy∣nod of Celichyth,*Anno 816. where Wolfred Arch∣bishop of Canterbury presided.

Let, saith he, the Presbyters beware, that when they admi∣nister the Sacrament of Baptism, they do not pour Water upon the Heads of the Infants, but let them be always plunged in the Font, according to the Example of the Son of God himself, who was plunged in the Waters of Jordan: thus must the Ceremony be perfor∣med according to order.
See Dr. Du-Veil on Acts Chap. 2. p. 76.

The said learned Doctor saith in the same place,* the constant Practice of the universal Church, till the time of Clem. 5. who was crown∣ed Pope An. 1305. under whom first of all the second Synod of Ravenna, approved the Abuse introduced into some Churches about an hun∣dred Years before, that Baptism without any necessity should be administred by Aspersion. Hence it came to pass, that contrary to the Analogy, or intended mystical Signification of this Sacrament, all the West for the most part has in this Age the use of Rantism, that is, Sprinkling, instead of Baptism, as Zepper speaks,* to the great Scandal of the Greeks and Russians, who to this day plunge into the Water those they baptize, and deny [mark] any one to be rightly baptized, who is not plunged into the Water, according to the Precept of Christ, as we find in Sylvester Sguropulus.

Dr. Taylor saith,

The Custom of the Ancient Church was not Sprinkling, but Immersion,* in pursuance of the sense of the word Bap∣tizing, Page  164 in the Commandment and Example of our blessed Saviour.

Salmasius in his Notes of divers upon Sulpitius Severus* saith, That the word Baptizein signi∣fies Immersion, not Sprinkling. Nor did the An∣cients otherwise baptize than by single or treble Immersion in the Greek Church to this day; (saith he) the Person to be baptized is plunged over Head and Ears. The same thing does Pe∣ter Avitabolis testify of the Asian Christians in∣habiting Iburia and Colchi.

St. Ambrose saith,*

Water is that wherein the Body is plunged, to wash all Sin away, there all Vice is buried.

In a Book inscribed, Reformation of Ecclesiasti∣cal Laws, printed at London 1641. 'tis expressed in these words, viz.

While we are plunged in the Water, the Death and Burial of Christ is recommended to us, that we openly testify that Sin lies dead and buried in us.

The Roman Order published by the Writers concerning Ecclesiastical Ceremonies, say the Pres∣byters, enter into the Fountain within, unto the Water, and the Males are first baptized, and then the Females.

*Luther saith,

The Name of Baptism is a Greek word, it may be turned a Dipping, when we dip something in Water that it may be wholly covered with Water. And although (saith he) that Custom is now altogether abolished among the most part, for neither do they dip the whole Children, but only sprinkle them with a little Water, they ought nevertheless to be dipt, and presently drawn out again.

*The Germans also call Baptism T••ff, from deep∣ness, which they call Tieff in their Tongue, as if it were meer (saith my Author) that those be dipt deeply who are baptized.

Page  165John Bugenhagius Pomeranus (both a Fellow and Successor in the Ministry of Luther at Witten∣burgh,* whom Thuanus and Zanchius witness to have been a very moderate, godly and learned Man) affirms, That he was desired to be a Wit∣ness at Hamburgh, in the Year 1529. That when he had seen the Minister only sprinkle the Infant wrapped in Swathling-Cloaths on the top of the Head, he was amazed, because he neither had heard nor saw any such thing, nor yet read in any History except in case of Necessity in Bed∣rid Persons.

Hence in a General Assembly therefore,* of all the Ministers that were convened, he did ask of a certain Minister, (John Frize by Name, who was sometime Minister of Lubec) how the Sacrament of Baptism was administred at Lubec? who for his Piety and Candor, did answer, That Infants were baptized naked at Lubec, after the same fashion altogether as in Germany, but from whence and how that peculiar manner of Baptizing hath crept into Hamburgh he was ignorant. At length they did agree among themselves, that the Judg∣ment of Luther, and of the Divines of Wittenburgh, should be demanded about this Point. Which thing being done, Luther wrote back to Hamburgh, That this Sprinkling was an Abuse, which they ought to remove. Thus Plunging was restored at Hamburgh, yet is that Climate cooler than ours.*

Mr. Joseph Mede saith, That there was no such thing as Sprinkling, or Rantism [mark] used in Bap∣tism in the Apostles days, nor many Ages after. He had spoke more proper if he had said, there was no Rantism used in the Apostles days, but Baptism, (than to say no Rantism used in Bap∣tism) since he well knew they are two distinct, and different Acts: It cannot be Baptism at all, if it be only Rantism or Sprinkling, Immersion or Dipping being the very thing, not an Acci∣dent Page  166 (as I hinted) but an Essential so absolutely necessary; that it cannot be the Act or Ordinance without it.

If I command my Maid to dip my Handkerchief into the Water, and she only takes a little Wa∣ter in her Hand, and sprinkles a few Drops up∣on it, doth she do what I commanded her? was that the thing, or is it not another Act? Even so 'tis here, you do not the thing, you Rantize, and Baptize none, unless you dip them into the Water.

*Chamier also saith, The ancient use of Baptism, was to dip the whole Body into the Element; therefore did John baptize in a River.

Dr. Hammond in his Annotations upon John 13.10. saith, That 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifies an Immer∣sion, or washing the whole Body; and which answereth to the Hebrew word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 used for Dipping in the Old-Testament; and there∣fore tells us, upon Mat. 3.1. that John baptized in a River, viz. in Jordan, Mark 1.5. in a Con∣fluence of Water, John 3.23. because 'tis said there was much Water, which the Greeks called the Lakes where they used to wash: Also, saith he, the Ancients called their Baptisterions, or the Vessels containing their Baptismal-Water, Colum∣bethras, viz. a Swimming or Diving-place, being very large, with Partitions for Men and Wo∣men.

*The Learned Mr. Pool, (or those Learned and Reverend Divines concerned in perfecting his most excellent Annotations on the Holy Bible,) says, A great part of those who went out to hear John, were baptized, that is, dipped in Jordan. On John 3.6. and on Matth. 28.20. say they. It is true, the first Baptism of which we read in Holy Writ, was by dipping the Person Bapti∣zed.

Page  167The Dutch Translation,* according to their Language, reads it Dipping.

Mat. 3.16. Ende Jesus gedoopt zijn de, is ter∣stont opgeklomen vit hit wter. And when Jesus was dipp'd, he came out of the Water. And, vers. 6. Ende wierden van hemge doopt in de Jordan; And were dipped of him in Jordan. Hence they call John the Baptist, John the Dipper. In vers. 1. Ende in die dayen quam Jonnes de Dooper predikenn in de woeffijue van Judea: In English thus, In those days came John the Dipper, preaching in the Wilderness of Judea. Had our Translators translated the Greek word into our English Tongue, as the Dutch have done it into theirs, it would have been read in our Bible, John the Dipper; and for Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, &c. it would have been read, Dipping them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and then the People would not have been deceived: but they have not translated the Greek word at all, but left it in its Original Language: What difference is there between Baptism, and the Greek Baptis∣ma?

Ball in his Catechism, doth not only say, Faith was required of such who did desire Baptism: but also, that the Party baptized, was washed by Dipping, &c. Your Church also, in the Com∣mon-Prayer, saith, Dipping into the Water, is the proper, (as I conceive,) signification of the Word. To close with this, I argue thus, viz.

Since our Saviour sent his Disciples (to Teach, and Baptize, or Dip, in the Name, &c.) into all Nations, viz. into Cold Countries as well as Hot; and seeing Infants tender Bodies cannot bear Dipping without palpable danger of their Lives, it follows clearly that they were none of the Subjects Christ commanded to be dipt, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Page  168To conclude with this, take one Argument, viz. If the proper, literal and genuine significa∣tion of the Greek word Baptizo, is Dipping, or to dip; then Sprinkling is not Baptizing: But the proper, literal, and genuine signification of the Greek word Baptizo, is Dipping, or to dip: Ergo Sprinkling is not Baptizing.


Proving, that to baptize, is to dip, or plunge the Body all over into the Wa∣ter, from the Practice of the Primitive Gospel-Days.

I Have shewed, that John Baptist baptized in the River Jordan, who was the first that re∣ceived Commission to baptize.

And Diodate, on Mat. 3. says, He plunged them in Water.

Piscator also saith, The ancient manner of Bap∣tizing, was, that the whole Body was dipp'd in∣to the Water.*

So saith the Assembly in their Annotations.

Nay, say I, it had been a vain and needless thing for them to go to Rivers to baptize, if it had been only to sprinkle a little Water on the Face, for a quart of Water might have ser∣ved to have rantized a great number.

And had Sprinkling or Rantizing been the Or∣dinance, there is no reason left to conceive why they should go to Rivers; nor would the Spirit of God have given that as the Reason why John baptized in Aenon near Salim,*viz. because there was much Water, John 3.23.

Page  169But you strive to contradict the Holy Ghost, by making People believe, there was not much Water in that place, p. 59.

Because the Original reads not 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, much Water, but 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, many Waters; that is, (say you) many Streams or Rivo∣lets.

Answ. What difference is there between much Water, and many Waters? If they were Streams and Rivolets, though not deep, yet if they were but a little while stopp'd with a Dam, they would soon rise to be deep enough to swin in, as Ex∣perience shews; but 'tis enough, there he bap∣tized, saith the Holy Spirit, for there was much Water, or many Waters; there, [for or be∣because] intimating plainly, that the Ordinance could no be administred with a little Water, but that it required many Waters, or much Wa∣ter, a great deal more than a Bason could hold, or you hold in your Hand.


But (say you) Sandy's Travels tells us, that they were so shallow, as not to reach a∣bove the ••kles.

Answ. 1. Must we believe God's Word, or a lying Traveller? the Scripture saith, there was much, or many Waters; and he says, there was but a little.

2. In some shallow Rivolets, we daily see, that in some Places the Water is deep: and might it not be so in that? and your Traveller might not so curiously search or examine the Mat∣ter.

3. Or might there not be a great Conflu∣ence of Water then, (as Dr. Hammond words it) and yet but little or shallow Water now, or when Sandys was there? Time alters Rivers as well as other Things. But for your seek∣ing after this manner to contradict the Sa∣cred Text, to defend your childish Practice Page  170 of Rantism, you deserve greatly to be bla∣med.

Take this Argument;

If the Holy Ghost gives it as the Reason why John baptized in Enon near Salim, viz. because there was much Water; Then a little Water will not serve to baptize in.

But the Holy Ghost gives this as the Reason why John baptized in Enon near Salim, viz. because there was much Water; therefore a lit∣tle Water will not serve to baptize in.

2. But to proceed; Mark 1.9. 'tis said, Je∣sus was baptized of John in Jordan. Now saith a Learned Man on the Place,* it had been nonsense for St. Mark to say, that Jesus was baptized in Jordan, if it had been sprinkled, because the Greek reads it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, into Jordan. Could Jesus be said to be sprinkled into the River Jor∣dan? 'tis proper to say, he was dipp'd into Jor∣dan, and that is and was the Act, and nothing else be sure.

3. They went down both into the 〈◊〉 both Phi∣lip and the Eunuch, Acts 8. What 〈◊〉 had there been for them so to have done, had Baptism been Sprinkling? Sure Phil•• would not have put that Noble Person (who was a Man of great Au∣thority under Candace Queen of the Ethiopians) to that great trouble to come out of his Chari∣ot, (if to sprinkle a little Water on his Face might have done) and to go down into the Wa∣ter and dip him; sure Philip would on this oc∣casion have dispensed with Immersion, and let Aspersion or Rantism have served, considering he was a great Person, and on a Journey; he might have fetch'd a little Water in his Hand, or other∣wise, and have sprinkled him in his Chariot, as some Ministers do now in their publick Places of Worship. And thus you and they make void the Command of Christ by your Traditions, to Page  171 the abuse of Christian-Baptism, and reproach of us that keep to his Sacred Institution.

Mr. Daniel Rogers, a most worthy Writer, says,* in a Treatise of his,

It ought to be the Churches part to cleave to the Institution, which is Dipping, especially it being not left Arbitrary by our Church, to the Discretion of the Mini∣ster; but required to Dip or Dive.
And fur∣ther saith,
That he betrays the Church, whose Minister he is, to a disorder'd Error, if he cleave not to the Institution.

O what abundance of the Betrayers of the Truth, and of Churches too, have we in these, as well as in former Days! How little is the Institution of Christ, or Practice of the Primitive Churches, minded by many good Men? Where is the Spirit of Reformation? And doubtless that famous Author, and learned Critick in the Greek Tongue, Casaubon, was in the Right; take his words.

I doubt not (saith he) but contrary to our Church's Intention,* this Error having once crept in, is maintained still, by the car∣nal Ease of such, as looking more at them∣selves than at God, stretch the Liberty of the Church in this case, deeper and further than either the Church her self would, or the so∣lemness of this Sacrament may well and safely admit.
Afterwards he saith,
I confess my self unconvinced, by Demonstrations of Scripture, for Infants Sprinkling.

The truth is, the Church gave too great Li∣berty; she had no Power to alter in the least Matter, but to have kept exactly to the Insti∣tution. She says, Dipping [or Sprinkling] that spoils all, that Addition gives encourage∣ment; Who will Dip the Person, that can believe the Church that Sprinkling may serve? And O how hard is it to retract an Error which hath Page  172 been so long, and so generally received, especially when carnal Ease and Profit attends the keeping of it up, and also when the true way of Bap∣tizing is reproached, and look'd upon to be so contemptible a Practice, and those who own it, and dare not act otherwise, vilified and re∣proached by such as you, with the scutillous Name of Anabaptist, &c. although we are as much against Rebaptizing as any People in the World can be.

The Learned Cajetan, upon Matth. 3.5. saith, Christ ascended out of the Water;* therefore Christ was baptized by John, not by sprinkling or pouring Water upon him, but by Immer∣sion, that is, by Dipping or Plunging into the Water.*

Moreover, Musculus on Matth. 3. calls Baptism Dipping, and saith, the Parties baptized were dipp'd, not sprinkled.

To close with this, take one Argument.

If the Baptizer, and the Baptized, in the Days of Christ and his Apostles, wen both down into the Water, and the Person baptized was dipp'd; then is Baptism not Sprinkling, but Dipping: But the Baptizer, and the Baptized, in the Days of Christ and his Apostles, went both down into the Water, and the Person baptized was dipp'd. Ergo, Baptism is not Sprinkling, but Dipping.

Page  173


〈◊〉 Baptism is Dipping, Plunging, or Burying of the whole Body in Water, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, from the Spiritual signification of Baptism.

AS touching your last five Arguments, against Rebaptizing, I see no ground to except a∣gainst what you say there; only I shall take a brief view here of your six General Propositi∣ons, p. 49.

And as to you first, I have,* and shall yet fur∣ther make it appear, that Dipping is not an Ac∣cident, but an essential part of Baptism, viz. 'tis no Baptism at all, if not done by Immersion, or Dipping.

2ly, Whereas you say,* the way or

man∣ner of applying Water is not positively deter∣mined in the Holy Scripture, cannot be ga∣thered either from the signification of the Word, or from the significancy of the Cere∣mony.

Answ. This, as to the first part, viz. as to the signification of the Greek word, we have fully confuted; and as to the significancy of the Ordi∣nance, we shall forthwith in this Chapter make most evidently appear.

3ly, You say,*

There is a probability that Baptism was administred in the Apostles Times by Immersion or Dipping, so there is likewise a probability that it was done by Aspersion or Sprinkling.

Page  174Answ. We have, and shall yet further prove, that there is not the least probability, that in the Apostles time Baptism was ever admini∣stred by Aspersion, but by Immersion. You con∣fess in hot Countries it was done by dipping; and that that Country where they baptized, 〈◊〉 which we read, was a hot Country; so that 〈◊〉hat Reason, by your own Argument, they 〈◊〉 by Immersion and not by Aspersion.


You say you do not oppose the Law∣fulness of Dipping in some cases, but the Ne∣cessity of Dipping in all cases.

Answ. We have and shall prove the necessity of Dipping in all cases, and that 'tis no baptism at all if not so done, let your Church say what she pleases.


You say, that none ought to put a Divine Institution upon any Rite at their own ••easure, when it is in its own nature indiffe∣rent; and consequently lay such stress upon dipping, as to pronounce the Baptism of all the Reformed Churches throughout the World null and void, ought to prove it an unchangable Rite.

Answ. This makes against your self, and all Pedo-baptists in the World. How dare you change a Divine Institution of Jesus Christ? change his Law and holy Ordinance, and substitute another thing in its stead and room? And if the Laws and Institutions of Christ in their own nature are not unchangeable, what may not Men do and yet be blameless? this opens a door to make all Christ's Institutions null and void. But, Sir, we have shewed in this Treatise, that for 1300 Years, in most parts of the World, Immersion was only used; and some learned Pedo-Baptists have shewed that Rantism is utterly to be re∣jected, as an Innovation, and an insignificant Ce∣remony.

Page  175

6thly,* That in the Sacraments it is not the Quantity of Elements, but the Significancy of them that ought to be attended; in Circum∣cision it was not the Quantity of Flesh cut off so much as the Signification of it, &c.

Answ. In the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper we grant 'tis not the Quantity of Bread and Wine is to be observed, if so be it be admini∣stred in that order and manner Christ hath or∣dained, viz. to represent his Body broken, and his Blood poured forth. The like we will say also in Baptism, we need not go where there is more Water than what will serve to baptize, or dip the Person all over, so that it may repre∣sent the Burial and Resurection of Christ, which was the very thing it was appointed to hold forth, or represent when administred.

2. Should the People of Israel (as I have shewed) in Circumcision only have cut a little bit of the fore-skin of the Flesh, and not round, or quite off, or only have paired off the Nails of the Childrens Fingers with a little Skin with it, would that have answered the Mind of God in that Rite? or they have been born with, in pleading, it might as well answer Circumcision in Signification? The Vanity and Sinfulness of this Assertion you will see fully in this Chapter laid open and detected. But I shall now proceed to your first Argument against Dipping.

Say you,* such an Application of Water in the Administration of Baptism, as the Spirit of God in Scripture expresly calls baptizing, is lawful and sufficient to the use in Baptism.

But sprinkling or pouring Water upon the Party baptized without Dipping, is by the Spirit of God in divers Scriptures expresly called baptizing.

Therefore it is lawful and sufficient, and Dipping is not necessary.

Page  176Answ. That the primary literal, proper and genuine Signification of the Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is to dip, we have abundantly proved by a great Cloud of learned Witnesses; and this indeed I see you dare not deny, saying in Pag. 51. that the Primitive Word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, from whence comes 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, signifies to dye, or give a new Colour. All know that which is dyed in the Dyers Fat is dipped all over; but whereas you say it signi∣fies also sometimes to wash, we have shewed 'tis no other washing than is by a total dipping or plunging the Thing or Person all over in Water. And therefore now, to proceed, I shall further prove Baptism is no other Act but Dipping, or burying the Body under the Water.

You say, Pag. 52.

We read of divers Wash∣ings under the Law, in the Original it is divers Baptisms: Now, say you, what were those Washings but Sprinklings, no Persons were dipp'd in Blood, &c.

Answ. We deny those Washings which are called Baptisms, were either sprinkling or pour∣ing of Water on them, but total dipping of their whole Body;* and so the Reverend Mr. Ainsworth, (a Man very learned in all Jewish Rites and Ceremonies) positively affirms on Levit. 11.31. these are his words, viz.

All that are unclean, whether Men or Vessels, are not cleansed but by dipping, or baptizing in Water; and where∣soever the Law speaketh of washing a Man's Flesh,* or washing of Cloaths for Uncleanness, it is not but by dipping the whole Body therein: And whether they be Men or Vessels, there may not be any thing between them and the Water to keep them asunder, as Clay, Pitch, or the like, that cleaveth to the Body or Vessel;* if there be, then they are (saith he) unclean, and their washing profiteth them not.
Maim. in Mikvaoth.

Page  177What can be a more full Confutation of what you affirm? But, Sir, where we read of sprink∣ling of Blood, the word is not there baptizing. And now I shall proceed further to prove, that Baptism, or baptizing, is not Sprinkling, but Dipping, or plunging into the Water, in the Name of the Father, &c. and besides all we have already said, clearly make this appearrom the spiritual Signification thereof, or what in a lively Figure or Symbol is held forth thereby.

And first, to proceed; let it be in the fear of God considered, that as the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper doth in a lively Figure represent the breaking of Christ's Body, and the pouring forth of his precious Blood; so and in like manner the Sacrament of Baptism doth signify and hold forth the Death, Burial and Resur∣rection of the same Lord Jesus Christ: and the holding forth and confirming of these two great Gospel-Truths, was doubtless the end of our Saviour in ordaining both these Gospel-Ordi∣nances, that so Christ crucified, with his Burial and Resurrection, might not only in the Mini∣stry of the Word be preach'd to the hearing of our Ears, but by these two Institutions be also preach'd (as it were) to the seeing of our Eyes. And that Baptism doth hold forth this, to∣gether with our Death unto Sin, and rising again to walk in newness of Life, I shall prove in the next place; and that,

First, From express places of Scripture.

Secondly, By the Consent, Agreement and Ar∣guments of a Cloud of Witnesses, both Ancient Fathers, and Modern Divines, and worthy Protestant Writers.

1. The first Scripture is, Rom. 6.3, 4, 5, 6. Therefore we are buried with him in Baptism, &c. The Saints or whole Church of the Romans were to reckon themselves dead to Sin, and Page  178 bound to live no longer therein, and that be∣cause by Baptism, as in a lively Figure, they held forth the same thing.

So that it appears Baptism hath a twofold Signification.

(1.) There is in it, when truly and rightly administred, not only a Representation of Christ's Buri•• and Resurrection. But,

(2.) Also it signifies our Death unto Sin, and our rising again to walk in newness of Life. And indeed the Apostle makes use of this as an Ar∣gument to press newness of Life (the thing signified in Baptism) upon them all—As if he should say, As many of us as are baptized, must know this, that we were baptized into Christ's Death, and therefore must die to Sin, and live a ne Life: But we have all been baptized, or buried with him in Baptism; therefore must all of us die to Sin, and live a new Life.

Our late Annotators on the place say thus,* He seems to allude to the manner of baptizing in those warm Countries, which was, say they, to dip or plunge the Party baptized, and as it were to bury him for a while under Water.

Cajetan upon the same Text says,*

We are buried with Christ by Baptism into Death; by our burying he declares our Death by the Ceremony of Baptism: because he (that is, the Party baptized) is put under Water, and by this carries a Similitude of him that was buried, who was put under the Earth.
Now because none are buried but dead Men— from this very thing, that we are buried in Baptism, we are assimilated to Christ buried, or when he was buried.

The Assembly in their Annotations on this Text of Scripture,* say likewise thus, viz.

In this Phrase the Apostle seems to allude to the ancient manner of baptizing, which was to dip Page  179 the Party baptized, and as it were to bury them under Water for a while, and then raise them up again out of it; to represent the Bu∣rial of the Old Man, and the Resurrection to Newness of Life.
The same saith Diodate.

Tilenus, a great Protestant Writer,* speaks fully in this Case; Baptism, saith he, is the first Sa∣crament of the New Testament, instituted by Christ, in which there is an exact Analogy be∣tween the Sign and the thing signified. The out∣ward Rite in Baptism is three-fold:

  • 1. Immersion into the Water.
  • 2. Abiding under the Water.
  • 3. A Resurrection out of the Water.

The Form of Baptism, viz. external and es∣sential, is no other than the Analogical Proporti∣on, which the Signs keep with the things signified thereby: for the Properties of the Water wash∣ing away the Defilements of the Body, does in a most suitable Similitude set forth the Efficacy of Christ's Blood, in blotting out of Sin; so dip∣ing into the Water, in a most lively Similitude, sets forth the Mortification of the Old Man; and rising out of the Water, the Vivification of the New Man. The same plunging into the Water, saith he, holds forth to us that horrible Gulph of Divine Justice, in which Christ for our sakes, for a while, was in a manner swallowed up; abiding under the Water, (how little time soever) de∣notes his Descent into Hell *, even the very deep∣est of Lifelesness, which lying in the sealed or guarded Sepulchre, he was accounted as one dead. Rising out of the Water, holds forth to us a lively Similitude of that Conquest which this dead Man got over Death. In like manner, saith he, 'tis therefore meet that we being baptized into his Death, and buried with him, should rise also with him, and to go on in a new Life. Thus far Tilenus.

Page  180And let all thinking and serious Christians care∣fully consider, since this sacred Ordinance was appointed to be thus significant, as this and other learned Men observe; what a sad and lamentable thing it is that the true Baptism should be changed from Dipping into Sprinkling, which neither doth nor can hold forth these great My∣steries, for which Purpose our Saviour ordain∣ed it: for 'tis evident Rantism or Sprinkling doth not bear any proportion to those Mysteries, nor can they be signified thereby. What Figure of a Burial of Christ, or of the Old Man, is there in sprinkling a few Drops of Water on a Person's Face? or what Representation is there in that Act of a Resurrection? O how is Christ's Holy Baptism abused by this devised Rantism, and the Signification thereof destroyed! the Lord open your Eyes, or the Eyes of my godly and impar∣tial Reader. This shews you clearly what Christ's true Baptism is, as also the true Subject. But to proceed.

*St. Ambrose saith, Water is that wherein the Body is plunged, to wash away all Sin; there all Sin, saith he, is buried. We suppose he means 'tis a Sign of this, i. e. that all Sin is buried.

*Moreover Chrysostom saith, That the Old Man is buried and drowned in the Immersion under Water; and when the baptized Person is after∣wards raised up out of the Water, it represents the Resurrection of the New Man to Newness of Life; and therefore concludes the contrary Custom, being not only against Ecclesiastical Law, but against the Analogy and mystical Signification of the Sacrament, is not to be complied with.

It has been too long, as I have formerly noted, God grant Men more Light to see their Error, and abhor to do so any more.

*Kecker says,

That Immersion, not Aspersion, was the first Institution of Baptism, as it doth, Page  181 saith he, plainly appear from Rom. 6. 3.
And say I, where hath Christ, since the first Instituti∣on, instituted Aspersion or Sprinkling in the stead or room of Immersion or Dipping, or given Or∣ders to change that significant Sign into the insig∣nificant Foppery of Sprinkling? Ought not we to keep the Ordinances as they were first insti∣tuted and given to the Saints? Is not God's Word to be our Rule in all Points of Faith and Practice, to the End of the World? Has Christ given to any Men or Church a Dispensation to change his Laws and Ordinances, or make them void by their Traditions, or to set up their Post by his Post?

How doth God complain by the Prophet against his People of Old, for presuming to change his Laws, in Deut. 12.13? God gave particular Command to make an Altar of Gold to offer In∣cense, Exod. 40.5. And he commanded, Exod. 20.24, 25. that his Altars should be made of Earth or rough Stone. But in Isa. 65.3. he re∣proves their horrid Transgression and Disobedi∣ence, in acting contrary to his express Institution: A People (saith God) that provoke me to Anger con∣tinually to my Face, that sacrificeth in Gardens, and burn Incense upon Altars of Brick. You may think that was no great Error, instead of Gold or Stone, to make Altars of Brick: But what saith God, They for this, &c. provoke me continually to my Face. O tremble ye who adventure to transgress God's Precept in as bad or worse a manner! who commanded you to baptize or dip Believers in the Name of the Father, &c. and you rantize or sprinkle Infants: Alas you know not how you hereby provoke God; although he is yet silent, and doth not manifest his Displeasure, yet know he is a jealous God, and hath the like Zeal for his Gospel-Institutions as ever he had of those un∣der the Law, and may manifest it too in his own time. But to proceed and call in further Wit∣nesses against your Practice.

Page  182*Daille on the Fathers saith, That it was a Cus∣tom heretofore in the ancient Church to plunge those they baptized over Head and Ears in the Water, as saith he, Tertullian in his third Book, De Cor. Mil. Cyprian in his seventh Ep. p. 211. &c. and others testify.

*Dr. Cave saith, That the Party baptized was wholly immerged, or put under the Water; which was the almost-constant and universal Custom of those times, whereby they did most notably and significantly express the great Ends and Effects of Baptism: For as in immerging, there are in a manner three several Acts; the putting the Person into the Water, his abiding un∣der the Water, and his rising up again, thereby representing Christ's Death, Burial, and Re∣surrection. And in our Conformity thereunto, our dying to Sin, the Destruction of its Power, and our Resurrection to a new Course of Life. So by the Person's being put into the Water, was lively represented the puting off the Body of the Sins of the Flesh, &c. by his being under it (which is a kind of Burial into the Water) his entring into a State of Death or Mortification, like as Christ remained for some time under the State or Power of Death: therefore it is said, as many as are baptized into Christ, are baptized into his Death, &c. And then by Emersion, or rising up out of the Water, is signified his entring upon a new Course of Life, that like as Christ was raised up by the Glory of the Father, so we should walk in Newness of Life.

*We are said (saith Paraeus) to die, and to be buried with Christ in Baptism.—And further shews, that the external Act of being buried in Water, is a lively Emblem of the internal Work of Regeneration.

*St. Bernard saith, Immersion is a Representati∣on of Death and Burial.

Page  183Against all these Testimonies, and multitudes more of the best and most learned Writers, and plain Scriptures, you in pag. 52. bring in your second Argument against Dipping.*

Arg. 2.

If Baptism administred by pouring Water on the Face (represents the whole Per∣son) doth answer the Use and End of Baptism, as well as when administred by Dipping or Plunging; then Dipping is not essentially and absolutely necessary in the Act of baptizing: But the one answers the Use and End of Bap∣tism as well as the other; therefore the one cannot be more necessary than the other.

What is the Use and End of Baptism but to represent to our Minds the Effusion of Christ's Blood, for to take away the Guilt of Sin; and the pouring forth of the Holy Spirit, for the purging away the Filth of it? Now (say you) the sprinkling of the Blood of Christ, and the pouring forth of the Holy Spirit upon the In∣fant, are more fully and plainly represented by Baptism, ad administred by Sprinkling, than by Dipping.

If, say you, the inward and spiritual Grace signified by Baptism, be more lively represented by Sprinkling than by Dipping; then surely Sprinkling is not only as lawful, but more expe∣dient than Dipping: but the inward and spiri∣tual Grace signified by Baptism, to wit, the cleansing of the Soul by the Grace and Spirit of Christ, is more lively represented by Sprinkling than by Dipping: therefore more expedient. And accordingly we find Almighty God himself often expressing that Mercy of Sanctification by this Action; Ezek. 36.25. Then will I sprink•• clean Water upon you, and ye shall be clean, &c.

Answ. 1. By denying your minor Proposition: Sprinkling doth not answer the Use and End of Baptism, as what I have said and produced by Page  184 the Testimony of the Scripture, and almost all learned Men, both ancient Fathers and modern Di∣vines, fully shews the contrary.

2. I thought the Sacrament of the Lord's Sup∣per had been instituted by Christ, to signify the Effusion or pouring forth his precious Blood, and not Baptism: Will you confound the Use and End of one Sacrament with the other, to maintain your own Innovation and Abuse of Christ's Holy Baptism?

3. Might not the Jews, who instead of making Altars of Gold of Stone, made them Altars of Brick, say, that Altars of Brick might serve as well to answer the Ʋse and end of burning Incense? Nay, may be they might say they had not the o∣ther to do it, and therefore built their Altars of Brick: but would this Pretence do? No, no. What saith Almighty God? They provoke me conti∣nually to my Face. Also might not others argue thus, about the Sacrament of the Supper, viz. What need we have Wine? If we use Mum, or some other red Liqour, instead of the Fruit of the Grape, it will answer the Use and End of that Sacrament, as well as Wine. O! whither would this lead us?

4. We utterly deny that Baptism was ordained or instituted by Christ to signify either the pour∣ing forth of his Blood, or the pouring forth of the Holy Spirit; and must tell you, that you af∣firm what you please, without any Proof from God's Word. But by the way let the Reader observe how you go from Sprinkling to plead for pouring Water on the Face of Infants: I question whether you ever do so or not? but if you should, that would be no more Christ's Baptism than Sprinkling.

You are not to devise new Signs or Symbols of spiritual Mysteries, of which God speaks nothing in his Word, nor ever instituted to such Ends. Page  185 I affirm he has appointed no Rite or Ordinance in the Gospel to represent the Sprinkling or pouring forth of the Holy Spirit. The Papists have (you know) seven Sacraments, and they tell us of the Use and End of them, and how wonderful signi∣ficant they are; and yet all their Use and Expe∣diency of them were the Contrivances of their own wicked Hearts. And I must tell you that they prove what they do and say of those Sacra∣ments, as well as you do what you speak of Pour∣ing or Sprinkling. Take what Tho. Aquinas most excellently hath said on this Account.*It belongs to the Signifier (says he) to determine what Sign is to be used for the Signification: but God it is, who by things sensible, signifies spiritual things in the Sacra∣ment. Christ hath ordained Baptism to be a Sign, Symbol or lively Representation of his own Death, Burial and Resurrection, as I have proved and con∣firmed by a Cloud of Witnesses. Will God en∣dure or suffer men (think you) to invent out of their own Brains new Signs and Symbols of Di∣vine Gospel-Mysteries, and then father them up∣on him, and call them his Ordinances? Nay, more, be so bold as to say, these are more useful, and answer better the End of God, than those which he himself instituted? For thus you speak of Sprinkling, viz. 'tis not only lawful, but more ex∣pedient than Dipping, p. 55. And hereby you seem to teach God Wisdom, or to magnify yours above his. Be astonished, O Heavens and be thou horribly amazed, O Earth! Was ever any Man thus bold before? First you contrive a new Rite, and new Significations of it, which God never ap∣pointed to represent such things, and then say, 'tis more expedient than Christ's Ordinance of Dip∣ping, which was instituted by him for other Ends and Significations; whereas the whole Bo∣dy of all learned Men, and Christians, witness to, and testify the contrary.

Page  186*Pray take what Sir Norton Knatchbul hath wrote, in direct opposition to what you affirm.

Saith he,

Baptism, which now saves us by Water, (speaking of the Text in 1 Pet. 3.20.) that is, by the assistance of Water, and is An∣titypical of the Ark of Noah, does not signify the laying down the Filth of the Flesh, but the Covenant of a good Conscience towards God, while we are plunged in the Water, which is to testify our Belief of the Resurrection of Je∣sus Christ; so that there is a manifest Antithesis between these words, by Water, and by the Re∣surrection. Nor is (saith he) the Elegancy of it displeasing. As if he should say, the Ark of Noah, not the Flood, was a Type of Baptism, and Baptism was an Antitype of the Ark; not as if Baptism is a washing away of the Filth of the Flesh by Water, wherein it answers not at all to the Ark; but as it is the Covenant of a good Conscience towards God by the Resur∣rection of Christ, in the belief of which Resur∣rection we are saved, as they were saved by the Ark of Noah: for the Ark and Baptism were both a Type and Figure of the Resur∣rection. So that the proper End [mark] of Baptism ought not to be understood as if it were a Sign of the washing away of Sin, (al∣though it be thus often-times taken metony∣mically in the New-Testament) and by the Fathers, but a particular Signal of the Resur∣rection by Faith, in the Resurrection of Christ, of which Baptism is a lively and emphatical Figure; as also was the Ark, out of which No∣ah returned, as from the Sepulcher to a new Life; and therefore not unaptly called by Philo, the Captain of the New Creation. And the Whales Belly, out of which Jonas, after a bu∣rial of three days, was set at liberty: and the Cloud, and the Red Sea, in which the People Page  187 of Israel are said to have been Baptized, is not washed, [mark] but buried, for they were all Types of the same thing, as Baptism, viz. not the washing away of Sin, but of the Death and Resurrection of Christ, and our own: to which the Apostles, the Fathers, the Scholasticks, [mark] and all Interpreters agree. The thing (saith he) is so apparent, as not to need any Testimonies; but because there are not a few who do not vulgarly teach this Doctrine, it will not be superfluous to produce some of these in∣numerable Testimonies, that I may (saith he) not seem to speak without book.

First, Let us begin with St. Paul, Rom. 6.3. Know ye not that so many of you that have been bapti∣zed into Christ, were baptized into his Death? There∣fore we are buried with him in Baptism, into his Death,* &c. Else what shall they do,*that are baptized for the Dead, if the Dead rise not?

As if he had said, If there be no Resurrecti∣on, why are we baptized? In vain does the Church use the Symbol of Baptism, if there be no Resurrection.

The like Testimonies frequently occur among the Fathers, saith he

Ignatius saith, that believing in his Death,* we may be made partakers of his Resurrection by Baptism. Baptism was given in memory of the Death of our Lord; we perform the Symbols of his Death.
(Mark) not of pouring forth his Blood or Holy Spirit, or sprinkling the Spirit on us, or the Blood of Christ: No, no; this that Author says, is not signified in Baptism, but the Burial and Resurrection of Christ; which Sprin∣kling no manner of ways can represent.

Justin Martyr saith,* We know but one saving Baptism, in regard there is but one Resurrection from the Dead, of which Baptism is an Image.

And from hence, say I, we know not Infants Page  188 Rantism or Sprinkling; for this is none of Christ's true Baptism. Christ's Baptism in Water is but one, and 'tis that of Believers; and 'tis not Sprin∣kling, but Dipping, to signify Christ's Burial and Resurrection. He goes on, and cites other Authors.


Hear Paul exclaiming, they past through the Sea, and were all baptized in the Cloud, and in the Sea.


He calls Baptism the Passage of the Sea, for it was a flight of Death caused by Water.

To be baptized, and so plunged, and to re∣turn up, and rise out of the Water, is a Symbol of the descent into the Grave, and returning from thence.


Baptism is a Pledg and Representation of the Resurrection: Baptism is an Earnest of the Re∣surrection: Immersion is a Representation of Death and Burial. Innumerable are the Testi∣monies (saith Sir Norton) which might be ad∣ded; but these I think sufficient to prove that Baptism is an Image of the Death and Resurre∣ction of Christ, (from whence we acknowledg the Mystery of our Religion, saith he, Christ's Deity and Humanity) and of all the Faithful, who are baptized in his Faith, from death in Sin to newness of Life, which if they lead in this World, they have a most assured Hope, that being dead, they shall hereafter rise to Glory with Christ.—Thus Sir Norton Knatchbul, a worthy Knight, and of your Church too.

* Mr. Perkins saith, The dipping of the Body sig∣nifies Mortification, or Fellowship with Christ in his Death; the staying under the Water, signifies the burial of Sin; and coming out of the Water, the resurrection from Sin to newness of Life. In another Treatise of his, he saith, The ancient Cu∣stom of Baptizing,* was to dip, as it were to dive, all the Body of the Baptized in Water; Rom. 6. Council of Laodicea and Neocesarea.

Page  189And here let me add what Reverend Dr. Sharp (the present Arch-Bishop of York) hath lately de∣livered in a Sermon preached before the Queen's Majesty, on Easter-day, March 27, 1692.

And this in antient times was taught every Christian (saith he) in and by his Baptism:* When ever a Person was baptized, he was not only to profess his Faith in Christ's Death and Resurrection, but he was also to look upon him∣self as obliged, in correspondence therewith, to mortify his former carnal Affections, and to en∣ter upon a new state of Life.

And the very Form of Baptism (saith he) did lively represent this Obligation to them: For what did their being plunged under Water signify, but their undertaking, in imitation of Christ's Death and Burial, to forsake all their former evil Courses? as their ascending out of the Water, did their engagement to lead a holy, spiritual Life. This our Apostle doth more than once declare to us: thus Rom. 6. 3, 4. We are bu∣ried (saith he) with Christ by Baptism unto Death, that like as Christ was raised up by the Glory of the Father, so we should walk in newness of Life.
Thus far Dr. Sharp.

Dr. Fowler (now Lord-Bishop of Glocester) on Rom. 6. 3, 4. saith,*

Christians being plunged into the Water, signifies their undertaking, and obliging themselves in a spiritual sense to die, and to be buried with Jesus Christ, in an utter renouncing and forsaking all their Sins; that so answering to his Resurrection, they may live a holy and godly Life.

Also Dr. Sherlock (Dean of St. Pauls) on Rom. 6. 3, 4. saith,*

Our conformity to the Death and Resurrection of our Saviour, consists in dying to Sin, and walking in newness of Life: Which, saith he, St. Paul tells us, is represented by the external Ceremony of Baptism, and rising out Page  190 of his warry Grave a new-born Creature.

And unto these let me add what the Reverend Dr. Tillotson (the present Arch-Bishop of Canterbu∣ry) hath wrote:* speaking of the same Text, Rom. 6.3, 4.

Anciently (saith he) those who were baptized, put off their Garments, which signi∣fied the putting off the Body of Sin; and were immers'd and buried in the Water, to represent the Death of Sin; and then did rise up again out of the Water, to signify their entrance up∣on a new Life. And to these Customs the Apo∣stle alludes, when he says, How shall we that are dead to Sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us that were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his Death, &c.

1. 'Tis a hard case, you neither will believe the holy Scripture, the Antient Fathers, and modern Divines, no nor those learned Prelates and Doctors of your own Church, who 〈…〉 living; but con∣trary to the nature and tende••y of holy Baptism, plead for Sprinkling, and condemn Dipping, and cast reproach upon it, and say also, that the thing signified thereby, is the pouring forth of Christ's Blood, or the sprinkling or pouring out of the Holy Spi∣rit, notwithstanding we prove from the Scripture, and with the Testimony of all these great Men, that Baptism signifies the Death, Burial, and Re∣sorrection of Jesus Christ, and not any of those things you affirm, as your own Concein, without the Testimony of any learned or approved Author.

Therefore, Sir, that Baptism is any thing else than dipping, plunging, or washing which is done by dipping, we do utterly deny: For as the cut∣ting off a little bit of the Foreskin of the Flesh, or not the twentieth part round, is not Circum∣cision; so sprinkling a little Water on the Face, is not Baptism.

True, you call it Baptism, and will do so, tho 'tis nothing less nor more than Rantism; 'tis not Page  191 the thing, nor does it answer in signification. I may tell you again, that the Jews, instead of circumci∣sing the Foreskin of their Childrens Flesh, might have as well presumed to dispense with that, and only have paired off the Nails of the Finger of their Male Infants▪ and have called that Circumci∣sion, as you may call sprinkling or pouring a little Water, Baptism. But may be you will say, in Circumcision they were to draw Blood; so say I, they might in cutting the Nails of their Childrens Fingers; nay, and they might better plead, that the things signified in Circumcision, might be as well answered in that new Device, (the Nails be∣ing a sort of Excrement, they might say signified the taking away the Filth of Sin, or Corruption of Nature) better than the great Mysteries signi∣fied by Baptism or Dipping, can be represented by Sprinkling or Pouring.

Furthermore, they might possibly plead the same Pretences you do, viz. the cutting off the Foreskin of the Flesh, put the Infants to great Pain; nay, may be they might fancy it would cost them their Lives; nay, call it Murder, and therefore let pairing off their Nails serve; as you, it seems, fear Dipping would endanger the Lives of In∣fants, and therefore make Sprinkling to serve in∣stead thereof. But to proceed:

2. I am in a-maze to see these Men speak so fully and clearly to this glorious Truth, (i. e. that the great thing Christ ordained Baptism to repre∣sent, is his Death, Burial and Resurrection, together with the baptized Person's Death to Sin, and his rising again to walk in newness of Life;) that both those shameful Abuses in your Church, and among other Churches also, are not rectified, viz.

1st. That Sprinkling, which doth not, cannot answer or represent those Gospel-Mysteries, should not be rejected.

2dly. That Infants should be once deemed the Page  192 proper Subjects of Baptism, sith nothing of a Death to Sin, nor rising again to walk in newness of Life, can appear in them. For as the Learned observe, Baptism is a Symbol of present, not of future Regeneration; 'tis an outward Sign of that inward Death unto Sin, which the Party baptized passed under then, or ought to have done, when (or before) he is baptized. They then professed themselves to be dead to Sin, i. e. even when they were buried with Christ in their Baptism: for the Argument of the Apostle lies in that respect, How shall we that are dead to Sin, live any longer therein?*knowing that so many of us who have been bap∣tized into Christ, were baptized into his Death, both in Sign and Signification: And therefore, as Dr. Sherlock says, rising out of that watry Grave a new∣born Creature, denotes not only what they should be hereafter, but what they were actually at that time. So that as this Text, and Arguments drawn therefrom, utterly condemn Sprinkling, as not being Christ's Baptism; so it excludes Infants from being the Subjects thereof, because in them appears no such Death to Sin, nor can they be said to come out of that watry Grave as new-born Creatures.

To these Testimonies I shall only add one or two more, and pass to your Obiections.

See that most learned Anonymous French Pro∣testant Writer,* in his Answer to the famous Bi∣shop of Meaux;

'Tis most certain (saith he) that Baptism hath not hitherto been administred otherwise than by Sprinkling, by the most of Protestants: But truly this Sprinkling is an Abuse. This Custom which, without an accurate Examination▪ they have retained from the Romish Church, in like manner as many o∣ther things, makes their Baptism very defective. It corrupteth its Institution, and ancient Use, and that nearness of Similitude, which is needful Page  193 should be betwixt it, and Faith, Repentance and Regeneration. This Reflection of Mr. Bossuet de∣serveth to be seriously considered, to wit, (saith he) that this Use of Plunging hath continued for the space of a whole thousand and three hun∣dred Years; hence we may understand that we did not carefully, as it was meet, examine things which we have received from the Roman Church.

Calvin saith,*

That Baptism is a form or way of Burial;and none but such as are already dead to Sin, or have repented from dead Works, are to be buried.

1. From whose words I note, that Sprinkling is not the Form of Baptism, because not the Form of a Burial.

2. That Infants are not the true Subjects of Baptism, because not such as are already dead to Sin, or have repented from dead Works; and indeed, as they are not able, they are not requi∣red so to do by Christ.

The last Author I shall quote,* is Learned Zan∣chy,

There are two parts (saith he) in Regene∣ration, Mortification and Vivification; that is called a Burial with Christ, this a Resurrection with Christ. The Sacrament of both these is Baptism, in which we are overwhelmed or buried, and after that do come forth and rise a∣gain: It may not be said Truly, but Sacra∣mentally of all that are baptized, that they are buried with Christ, and raised with him, but only of such as have true Faith.

Now we may appeal to all the World, whether Zanchy and all the rest do not clearly and evidently testify the same thing that we assert, viz. That Bap∣tism is, and can be no other Act, than Immersion or Dipping, since Sprinkling, all must confess, doth not represent in a lively Figure the Burial and Resurrection of Christ, nor our dying or being dead to Sin, and vivification to newness of Life, saith Page  194 he, Sacramentally, i. e. Analogically, in respect of the near resemblance between Baptism, and a Death and Resurrection. And this I say cannot be said of them that are sprinkled only; for if in respect of Mortification and Vivification, they may be denominated buried and raised with Christ, (which cannot be said of Infants) yet that outward Rite or Sign cannot denominate them so much as Sacramentally buried and raised with Christ, for there is not so much as any likeness of such things in it but in true Baptism, viz. total dipping the Body in Water, and rai∣sing it again, it is in a lively Figure held forth to our very sight: And as Zanchy saith,

It can∣not be said of all, nor indeed of any, that they are 〈◊〉sacramentally dead, buried and risen with Christ, but only of such as have true Faith.
Therefore Infants are excluded by his own Ar∣gument.

And thus your first and second Arguments a∣gainst ipping are fully answered, in the 52d and 53d pages of your Book.

*Your third Argument, or Objection, against Dipping, is this, viz.

If Dipping were essentially and absolutely necessary in Baptism; then in all the Baptism recorded in Scripture, we should meet with full Proof, or at least with fair Probability, that the Parties Baptized were all Dipped.

But (say you) in several Instances of Bap∣tized Persons recorded in Scripture, we meet with no such Proof, but the contrary, Ergo, &c.

The Text you cite, are first, Acts 9.18, 19. That Paul was baptized in his Lodgings, being sick and weak, &c.

Answ. 1. Both these things you affirm without any Ground or Authority from the Text.

For, first, the Text does not say, he was bap∣tized in his Lodgings, therefore you strive to Page  195 make the Scripture speak what it doth not. See, Reader, the 18th Verse, and you may find Mr. Burkit speaks an Untruth, or that which the Text says not.

2. 'Tis false also, in that you say he was sick or weak, tho he might be somewhat weakened and amazed by the good Hand of God upon him. But if he had been weak, yet when God commanded him to be baptized, or dipp'd in Water, In the Name of the Father, &c. he had no cause to fear or doubt of any Harm.

3. I have known sickly and weak Persons bap∣tized in this colClimate, and yet received not the least hurt thereby.

Your second Text is Acts 16.33. where 'tis said,

The Jaylor was baptized the same Hour of the Night; and Paul newly washed of his Sores by his Stripes.

Answ. This is such silly reasoning, that 'tis not worth naming. He was not so sore, but he might go into the Water to baptize the Jaylor and those in his House. And though in the same Hour of the Night it was done also: What of that, might there not be a River or Pond near his House? Sir, this must be believed, since Bap∣tism is Immersion; and you are filled with Pre∣judice and Incredulity if you believe it not.

3. The other Text is that of 3000 baptized in the same day, Acts 2.41.

Can any Body believe (in or near Jerusalem, that great City) there was not Water enough to baptize so many Persons? And could not the twelve Apostles, and the seventy Disciples, dip more than 3000 Persons in one day? Sir, 'tis enough, the Holy Ghost says they were bap∣tized, that is, Dipped, not Rantized: there∣fore you do but go about to contradict the Ho∣ly Spirit, and fight with your own Shadow.

Page  196*Your fourth Argument, against the Necessity Dipping, is taken from the difficulty of the thing in some Countries, in regard they have not (you say) scarce Water enough to drink, not a River or Brook in many miles.


In regard of the danger of the thing, doubtless (say you) our Saviour, who prefers Mercy before Sacrifice, allows the Administra∣tion of the Ordinance, in such a way as is con∣sistent with his Peoples Lives; which must in some Countries, especially at some Seasons of the Year, be in extream danger, &c. Mentioning an Act made by the Senate at 〈◊〉 in Switzerland, That if any Anabaptist dipp'd any of their Peo∣ple, he should be punish'd with drowning.

Answ. 1. You should have told us what Coun∣tries they are, who have not Water enough to baptize People in. I know generally 'tis said by Writers, that those Countries that are without Water, are unhabitable.

2. But if they have Rivers or Ponds, though not in a 〈…〉, no doubt, such who are con∣vinced 'tis their Duty to be baptized by Christ's Commission,* would never stick at their labour to go forty or fifty Miles to have it done; for 'tis said by some Writers, our Saviour went above forty Miles to be baptized of John in the River Jordan.

3. As to the Danger, we say, what you affirm is ••lse, 〈◊〉 thousands in this Nation, by their own Experience and Knowledg, can justify there is no Danger at all attending the Dipping or Bap∣tizing the Adult, who profess▪ Faith in Jesus Christ, 〈◊〉, although it be done in the shar∣pest or coldest Season of the Year, many thou∣sands of Persons, of both Sexes, and some ancient, others weak and sickly, have been baptized in very cold Weather; and yet we do challenge all the World to bring an Instance of any Harm any Page  197 one Person ever received thereby: And since the Bodies of Infants cannot bear it, 'tis a good Argument they were not the Subjects Christ in∣tended, &c.

4. Might not the Jews have pleaded for such a kind of Circumcision as I mentioned before, as the pairing the Nails of their Childrens Fin∣gers, and not to cut the Foreskin of their Flesh, with the same Argument you speak of, viz. God will have Mercy, and not Sacrifice? for you know who said, A bloody Husband thou art to me, because of this Circumcision.

5. May be there were such wicked Men at Zurick in Switzerland, who might make such an Act, That such who baptized People should be drown'd.

Answ. What then? we have had as bad Acts here also in England, or worse, who made an Act, That those who held such Doctrine which they call'd Heresy, should be burn'd. And others of later Date, That such who assembled together, above the number of Five, to Preach or Pray, should be Fined, Imprisoned, or their Goods ta∣ken away: 'Tis no marvel to hear of such a Law, wicked Men always hated Christ's Truth and People.

Your fifth Argument against Dipping is a ter∣rible one indeed, if true, viz.

Because it has a tendency towards the breach of the 6th and 7th Commandment, Thou shalt not Kill: Thou shalt not commit Adultery.

You positively assert, That Baptism by Dip∣ping of some Persons, and in some Places, may expose to all those Hazards, and infallibly de∣stroy and make an end of thousands.

Answ. As to the Sin of Murder, what I have now said, it appears it has no tendency to that, and therefore you shew a most unjust and mali∣cious Spirit against Christ's Sacred Institution, by Page  198 what you speak here: not one Soul was ever de∣stroyed thereby that ever you heard of, or I either. True, should you baptize Infants, who are not the Subjects, you may fear it might de∣stroy them indeed; and it would be a pre∣sumptuous Act so to do, because not commanded, but you may be sure God will own his own Ordinance. And us to what you speak concer∣ning Adultery, that shews the like envious, bitter and vile Temper; who do you charge? can't you take a Woman by the Hand without having unclean Thoughts in your Heart? Those whom we baptize, have decent Clothes upon them. Therefore this Practice of ours, according to our Saviour's Institution, cannot endanger our own nor our Neighbour's Chastity, as your slan∣derous Pen says, Pag. 56. we performing the Ordinance with all Gravity and Modesty ima∣ginable before many Witnesses.

But then, say you, the Clothes are baptized.

What then, were not Grave-Clothes always buried with the Person that was laid in the Grave? Or, doth it follow, because the Clothes were buried, the Body of the Man or Woman was not buried also?

If you pour Water on the Face of a Child, the good Women will tell you, you will baptize the Child's fine Clothes also: nay, have you never sprinkled, or rantized the Childrens fine Clothes or Dresses, when you, as you call it, have baptized them?

But who do you (by arguing thus) reflect up∣on and reproach? is it not the holy and ever blessed Jesus who gave forth the Law, i. e. to dip Believers, or to plunge them in Water, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost? and do you not acknowledg in the Pri∣mitive Times, and in hot Countries, Baptism was done by Dipping? Why then, pray consider, do Page  199 you think they were in those times baptized naked; if so, may you not charge them with the Sin of Adultery, as you do in a wicked and un∣godly manner charge us? We read of Women in the Scriptur who were baptized (that is, as we have proved▪) dipped.

Therefore, Sir, there is no need to endeavour further to prove they were dipped; for if the Word had been truly translated according to the literal, genuine and proper Signification thereof, we should have read it, they were dip∣ped both Men and Women, Acts 8.12. and so the Dutch have translated it in their Language.

Maer do sy Philippo getrofden die Euangeliam van het koninckrycke Godts ende [van] don name Jesus Christi verkondigh de wier den sy de doopt begde ma∣nan endevrouwen. In English thus;

When they heard Philip preaching the things concern∣ing the Kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ, they were dipped both Men and Women.

But you say, that which may be lawful and modest in one Country, may be sinful and im∣modest in another, &c.

Answ. Did not our Lord Jesus Christ send his Disciples to Teach and Baptize in all Coun∣tries, not to Rantize in cool Countries and bap∣tize in hot? And dare you, without blushing,* say or intimate, 'tis immodest and a sinful thing to do what he hath commanded in any one Coun∣try in the World, because it may be possibly censured, condemned or accounted so by the Sons of Belial, wicked and ungodly Men and Women?

Besides, have you not granted the Case so far, that in hot Countries they did dip? pray, was not that a hot Country? was it not in Judea, the same Country our Saviour lived when on Earth? By what you say here, it may appear that you say and unsay the same thing, and seem Page  200 to deny any were baptized in and about the Land of Canaan by dipping,* or any where else, tho you contradict all the Learned, both the Greek and Latin Fathers, and all th eminent Di∣vines, Bishops and Doctors, I have quoted out of their Writings. I even am sick of such an impertinent Antagonist.

*As to your sixth and last Argument,

That God hath blessed and highly honoured the Ad∣ministration of your way (of Babes Rantism) to the Comfort and Advantage of Multitudes.

Answ. 'Tis wholly without Proof or Demon∣stration, and nothing but a bold, presumptive and rash Assertion of your own: God has suffer∣ed it long 'tis true, (as he hath some other human Rites and Traditions) but you cannot prove he has blessed either it or them, to any one Soul's profit—. And when did God ever honour Infant-Baptism? (for formerly they were baptized, i. e. dipped) God did honour the Baptism of the Adult highly, when our Saviour being 'about thirty Years old was baptized by John;*for the Heavens were opened, and a Voice heard, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;*and the Holy Ghost came down upon him.

And so in Acts 8.12, 14. those Men and Wo∣men who believed and were baptized, the holy Spirit was given unto: nay, and so highly hath God honoured the baptizing of Believers, that there is a Promise of Forgiveness of S•• and of the receiving the holy Spirit; nay, of Salva∣tion made to them that believe and are bap∣tized, Acts 2.37, 38. Mark 16.16.

But there is no Promise made to Infants that are Baptized, much less to such who are but only Rantized.

1. As to your Objection (in Pag. 57.) about the Dutch rendering baptizing dipping, 'tis not their Annotators, but 'tis their Translators, and that Page  201 too from the literal and proper Signification of the Greek Word;* therefore you say nothing to weaken what we have said upon that account.

2. And as touching what you speak, i. e. that in Pag. 57. (viz. That Baptism signifies the Death and Burial of Christ, we, and a Cloud of Wit∣nesses therefore say, that 'tis Dipping, because that is a most lively Representation of his Death, Burial and Resurrection)

But you say, Baptism may signify the Death of Christ, and be so ad∣ministred, as lively to represent the Death of our Saviour, without the exposing those who are baptized to the danger of Death; and may signify Christ's Burial too without sending the Person baptized to his Grave: even in Sprinkling, there is a plain Representation of Christ's Death; for the pouring forth of the Water not unfitly represents the pouring forth the Earth upon the dead Body.

Answ. If you did pour Water upon the Child indeed until it was quite buried, or covered all over in Water, you had said something; tho that is not the way of baptizing neither, but dipping, or plunging; yet that would, I must confess, represent a Burial: But is the dead Body buried so soon as a handful of Earth is poured upon him? if you should say it, no body would believe you, the Body must be covered under the Earth before it can be said to be buri∣ed, and so must the Person baptized be covered under the Water, or 'tis not baptized; for as otherwise there is no actual Burial in the first, so there is no Representation of a Burial in the second.

But, say you, if you will closely follow the Metaphor of a Burial in all Particulars; then as the Person buried is altogether passive, and laid in the Grave only by others, in like manner the Party baptized, say you, ought to Page  202 put neither Foot, nor Leg, nor Thigh into the Water, but the Dipper ought to take him up in his Arms, and lay his entire Body into the Water, &c.

Answ. Are you not blame-worthy to write after this sort? O that you were more wise, and dreaded the holy Majesty of God! Is it not said, They went both down into the Water, both Philip and the Eunuch, and he (that is, Philip) bap∣tized or dipped him? this is the Rule, not to take the Person up into our Arms; yet 'tis the Admini∣strator notwithstanding that buries the Person in the VVater: his going into it himself doth not baptize him, tho he should go in as high as his VVaste, but the Administrator does it. You know Metaphors do not go (as we use to say) on all four, nor must they be strained further than the design and purport of the holy Spirit; but you by sprinkling destroy and utter∣ly make void that sacred Allusion of the Holy Ghost, which is not to be born with: Baptism is no Representation of a Burial at all, if Sprink∣ling be it. And if you have heard that some have been kept so long under the VVater till (as you say) almost choaked, or buried alive; I suppose 'tis not the first Untruth you have heard.

In Pag. 58, and 59. about Christ's not being baptized till thirty Years of Age, you say,

Christ was circumcised at eight days old; and altho he was not baptized in his Infancy, yet he was baptized in the Infancy of Baptism: also you in∣timate, that some expound the words for his coming up out of the Water, that the Situa∣tion of the River Jordan was beneath the place where John was teaching.

Answ. Circumcision was then in force, now 'tis gone, therefore in that Christ could not be an Example for us, but in Baptism (which is Page  203 an Ordinance of the New Testament) he is our Example and Pattern, as his Precept is our Rule, in that we should follow his Steps.

2. And let me tell you, if it was in the In∣fancy of Baptism, (you mean the beginning of the Practice of it) you hereby contradict what you have said about those Jewish Baptisms, which you say were long in use before our Saviour's time, and from hence he spoke so little of Infant-Baptism; if it were so, how was this in the In∣fancy of Baptism?

3. Then was the Ordinance in its Beauty and Primitive Purity, indeed in its Virgin Glory and it was soon after the Apostles time corrupted, as well as other Truths were. We ought to go to the Original Copy, to the Primitive, or first Institution and Practice; Is not Christ's Precept our only Rule? and his own Practice our sure and certain Pattern?* VVere not the Saints to keep the Ordinances (and commanded so to do) as they were first delivered to them? As to the Situation of the River Jordan, is a Figment; 'tis not said he came up from the VVater, but that he came up out of the Water, therefore had been in it.

4. As to what you say, that John baptized in Aenon, because there was much Water; that the word signifies many Waters, I have answered that already, but take one word or two more here. True, the Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifies many Waters, but not little Rivolets, but ra∣ther the tumultuousness and raging of the Seas, which fully signifies the abundance and conflu∣ence of Waters, contrary to what you affirm. See Rev. 14.2. where you have the same origi∣nal words, so Rev. 19.6.

5. And lastly, as to your Arguments against re-baptizing, I pass them over, you might have saved your self that Pains, for we (as I told you before) are as much against re-baptizing as you Page  204 can be, or for any to renounce their true Bap∣tism; your Arguments therefore in that are good. And now from the whole take two Arguments.

Arg. 1. If Baptism was ordained to represent the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Christ in a lively Figure; then Sprinkling cannot be Christ's true Baptism: But Baptism was ordained to re∣present the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Christ in a lively Figure; therefore Sprinkling cannot be Christ's true Baptism.

This Argument we have proved to be true in every part of it.

Arg. 2. If Baptism was appointed to hold forth or represent in a lively Figure the Person's Death to Sin, who is baptized, or his present Regene∣ration, not future, and his rising again to walk in Newness of Life; then Infants cannot be the Sub∣iects thereof. But Baptism was appointed to hold forth or represent in a lively Figure the Person's Death to Sin, who is baptized, or his present Regeneration, not future, and his rising again to walk in ••wness of Life: therefore Infants are not the Subjects thereof.

*4.There is yet one Proof further to make it yet clearer, that Baptism is Immersion, Dipping, or Plunging, and nothing else, and that is taken from those typical Baptisms spoken of in the Holy Scripture. 1. That of the red Sin, wherein the Fa∣thers were bu••ed as it were unto Moses in the Sea, and under the Cloud. See Pool's Annotations on the Place.

Others, says he (more properly) think the Apostle uses this term in regard of the great Analogy Betwixt Baptism (as it was used) the Persons going down into the Waters, and being dipped in them; and the Israelites going down into the Sea, the great Receptable of Wa∣ter, though the Water at that time was gather∣ed on Heaps on either side of them; yet they seemed buried in the Water, as Persons seemed Page  205 buried in the Water were in that Age, when they were baptized.

2. The second typical Baptism was that of No∣ah's Ark: See Sir Norton Knatchbul, whom I quoted before, saith he,

Noah's Ark and Bap∣tism were both a Type and Figure of the Resur∣rection, not a Sign of the washing away of Sin, though so taken metonymically, but a particular Signal of the Resurrection of Christ; of this a∣gain, saith he, is Baptism a lively and emphatical Figure, as also was the Ark of Noah, out of which he returned as from a Sepulchre.
From hence I infer this Argument following.

Arg. 3. If those typical Baptisms spoken of in the Scriptures, signified Immersion, or an over∣whelming, or a Burial; then is Sprinkling no true Baptism: But those typical Baptisms, &c. did signify Immersion, or an Overwhelming, or a Burial; therefore Sprinkling is no true Baptism.*

5. And lastly, That Baptism is Dipping or Plunging, or a being buried in the Water, ap∣pears by those metaphorical Baptisms we read of, which are two-fold.

  • 1st. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  • 2dly. The Baptism of Afflictions.

1. Saith John Baptist, I indeed baptize you with Water; but he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and Fire. Now 'tis not the sanctifying Gifts of the Spirit which every godly Person receives, that is the Baptism of the Spirit; but as the Learned observe, the miraculous Effusion of the Holy Spirit, like that at Pentecost, Acts 1.4, 5. shall be baptized.

The Greek word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, saith Casaubon, is to dip or plunge,*&c. in which Sense, saith he, the Apostles might be truly said to have been baptized, for the House in which this was done was filled with the Holy Ghost. So that the Apostles might seem to have been plunged into it, as in a large Fish-Pond.
Page  206 'Tis not a Sprinkling of the Spirit that is the Baptism of the Spirit, for so doubtless the Apostles had the Spirit before they were said to be baptized with it.

Oecumenius on Acts 2. saith,

A Wind filled the whole House, that it seemed like a Fish-Pond,* because it was promised to the Apostles, that they should be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

2. We read of the Baptism of Afflictions: I have a Baptism to be baptized with,*and how am I straitned till it be accomplished! From the literal Significa∣tion of the word baptizo, immergo, plunge under, overwhelm, great Afflictions come to be called Baptism, and signifies, as Vossius shews, not every light Affliction, but like that of David, Psal. 32.6. he drew me out of deep Waters: Hence great Afflictions are called Waves; Thy Waves and thy Billows are gone over me, Psal. 42.7. 'Tis spoken of Christ's Sufferings, who was as it were drowned, drenched or overwhelmed in Afflicti∣ons and Sufferings: every small Affliction is not the Baptism of Afflictions, but great and deep Afflictions, suffering even unto Blood and Death.

*Pool's Annotations say, to be baptized is to be dipped in Water, metaphorically to be plunged in Affli∣ctions.

I shall close this also with another Argument.

Arg. 4. If those metaphorical Baptisms which we read of in God's Word (as the Baptism of the Spirit, and of Afflictions and Sufferings) are ta∣ken from the literal Signification of the Greek word baptiz, which signifies to dip▪ then Sprink∣ling is not baptizing, but th former is true. Er∣go, Sprinkling is not baptizing.

Page  207


Containing some brief practical Ʋse of the whole; with seasonable Counsel to Parents, &c.

1. FRom hence I infer that those who have only been sprinkled or rantized, who are bap∣tized afterwards when they believe, are not re∣baptized, as you affirm; nor do they renounce their Baptism, though they do renounce the Practice and humane Tradition of Sprinkling.

2. All you pious Parents, bless God for Christ and the Gospel, and for all those Priviledges he hath bestowed upon you; and be sure make God's Word your Rule, and tremble to do any thing in his Worship, without lawful Authority from him, I mean Precept or Example from his Word; and do not adventure to baptize, much less to rantize your Children, whatever Mr. Burkit or any Man on Earth says, unless you can find it written in your Bibles; God hath not command∣ed you to bring them into a Baptismal Covenant, not made any Promise of Blessing to assist them to perform it: If you do so, consider what I have said in this Treatise about that devised and unwarrantable Covenant by which you may heap up Guilt upon your selves, and lay such a Load and Burden on your Children, that you are not aware of, and frighten them with the Thoughts of Per∣jury, &c. sufficient to drive them into Despair, when indeed God never will charge them with Perjury, since he never commanded them to en∣ter into any such Covenant.

Page  208Can any Body think when your Children are grown up, and they by Light received from God's Word, should be convinced they were never bap∣tized at all, and so renounce their Infants Rantism, that they thereby become guilty of Perjury, and must be damned? Do not these Men teach such a kind of Doctrine as that is?

2dly. Train up your Children in the Fear of God, and set them a good Example, and pray for them, and over them, and give them good In∣struction, or godly Counsel and Admonitions; but dread to sprinkle them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, because 'tis not done by his Authority nor Appointment. Know 'tis not in the Power of Man by any exter∣nal Rite to make your Children Members of Christ, or visible Members of his Body. Bap∣tism is not Bread for Infants, but for Christ's new∣born Babes; not for your Children as such, but such who are the Children of God, who are born of his Spirit.

3dly. Don't deceive your poor Children, and make them believe they are in a good Condition, by reason they are the Seed of believing Parents, and baptized (as these Men call it) and so look out for no further Work of Grace nor Regenera∣tion▪ but think they by that pretended Baptism were made Christians, even Children of God, Mem∣bers of Christ, and Inheritors of the Kingdom of Hea∣ven, when in Truth 'tis no such thing.

Nor have you any Cause to doubt but that your Infants who die (though not baptized) are hap∣py, as it appears from what we have said. Nei∣ther be ye so ignorant to believe Baptism can save your Infants or the Adult either! nor let poor Children cry out against their ungodly Pa∣rents, as Mr. Burkit intimates they may do in pag. 62. Take a Taste of his strange Doctrine, thus he says.

Before your Children are born, Page  209 (1.) Make sure, as much as in you lieth, that they may be born within the Covenant, and un∣der the Promise, by your being in Covenant with God your selves; See that the Lord be your God, God in Covenant with you, and then you may comfortably hope he will be the God of your Seed in their Generations.

Answ. This is a way to bring poor Souls into Covenant, that God speaks nothing of in his Word. You may be in Covenant, and your Children never in it whilst they live, nay die out of the Covenant, as doubtless many godly Peo∣ple Children do. Nor hath God made such a Covenant with every Christian Man and their Seed, as he made with Abraham, who was the Father of all that Believe; but so are not you, nor I, though we are in Covenant with God, and walk in Abraham's steps.

Those who are in the Election of Grace of your Seed, never fear, God will interest in his due time with all Covenant-Blessings and Privileges; but if any of them are not comprehended in that Election of Grace, they being born of your Loins, will not, cannot bring them into Cove∣nant with God.

Your Business and your Childrens too, is to make your (and their) Election sure, by spe∣cial and effectual Calling.

'Tis not the first Birth, but the Second, that brings either you or your Children into the Go∣spel▪Covenant, that God may be your God, and their God.

But mark Mr. Burkit's next words, p. 62.

O! were but Infants capable of Knowledg, how much would they dread being born of wicked Parents? Make it your Endeavour, be∣fore your Children are born, to sanctify your Children; this is done by Prayer, &c.

Page  210Answ.: 1. This is enough to set Children a∣gainst their ungodly Parents, nay, to 〈◊〉 them in their Hearts. Alas, the Children of wicked Parents▪ I see not but they may be i as good a Condition as the Children of Believers▪ for doubtless God will not destroy poor children for the F•••t and Sins of their Parents. 〈◊〉 by your begetting them, (though gracious) you cannot live them, so you by begetting them, (though wicked) cannot damn or destroy them.

*There is no reason (saith Mr. Perkins) that the wickedness of the Parents should prejudice the Child, in things pertaining to Eternal Life.

2. But if it be a you say, that when you are in Covenant, your Children are in Covenant, doubtless they are in a safe Condition; and Bap∣tism to them is 〈…〉 cannot bring them into the Covenant beca••• they were in it be∣•••e, and therefore 〈◊〉 enough.

3. But may not th•• Doctrine pu just Rebuke••on Unbelievers, or Ungodly Persons, for once attempting to Marry; and beget Children, that are in such a sad Condition, by reason their Pa∣re••s were not n Covenant w••• God! Ought 〈◊〉, nay, may they lawfully Mrry, this being considered, and such drea••ul 〈◊〉 following? •••sider how far doth th Covenant▪ Blessing ex∣end▪ If my Grand▪father in Cov•••nt, ho my Fathe〈…〉 b very wiced and ungodly Persons, am I not still in Coven••t, and are not my Children i Covenant too? Nay, if 〈◊〉 was by my Great-Grandfather, will not that do, as well as if my mo••〈◊〉 Father was▪ in Covenant with God?

Sir, The Opposers of Pedo-••ptism do not creep out of Darkness and 〈…〉, as you scandalously affirm; but God hath graciously Page  211 brought us out of the Darkness you are in, and hath given us (blessed be his Name) the Know∣ledg and Light of his Word, and what his Good∣will and Pleasure is in this Matter, and mercifully vouchsafed to us a gracious Freedom and Liberty to worship him ••cording to our Light and Con∣sciences, which ou seem troubled at▪ and we are not ashamed to shew our Heads on the House-top; nor do we scandalously dip our deluded Prose∣lytes, as you with Envy and Prejudice enough say, but do at Noon-day, to the Honour of God, a•• in justification of his Wisdom and Holy In∣stitution▪ Baptize or Dip such who believe and are discipled by the Word; which is a joyful Spectacle, no doubt, to the Holy Angels, and all enlightned good Men, who see this reproached and contemned Ordinance in its Primitive Pu∣rity.

And as touching your Reflections,* in p. 66. on ••y Faithful and worthy Brother Mr. Tredwell, whom you pretend to pity, as one misled by pre∣judice of Education, undertaking an Office to get Bread; and as if he was no ways qualified to preach the Gospel, because he understands not the Original Tongues.

I answer; On my Knowledg, he had a good and warrantable Call to go and preach the Go∣spel where he is; and was sent down also, as be∣ing approved as one able to teach, to the Profit and Edification of the People. And truly you, and those of your Brethren, have the least rea∣son of any Men to talk as you do, about Preaching for Bread, for that will not serve your turn, you must have Fat Benefices. God hath ordained, that they that preach the Gospel, should live of the Gospel; and the Workman is worthy of his Meat; and would you not have him have Bread to eat? I doubt not, 'tis the Honour of God, and the bringing of Souls to Christ, my Brother Tredwill〈◊〉 a; Page  212 and had you no more for Preaching than he has, you might be the more justified in something (I am informed) you have done, or are about to do. And as for the Knowledg of the Tongues, I hope you do not make that an Essential Qualifi∣cation of a true Minister; I am sure God's Word doth it not▪ the Spirit's •••aching is above all H••ane Learning.

And now, Sir, by this time I hope you will see more cause of blushing (than he hath) at your Attempt, and rash Censuring and Condemning, and in a bad manner reproaching of Christ's 〈◊〉 Ordinance, and Sacred Institution, and his poor and despised People, who wish you and all Men well, and did not, nor do intend any Evil against you, nor had troubled our selves with you, had not you begun with us. The Lord give you Repentance to the acknowledgment of the Truth, and grant more Love and Charity one to another; For who art thou that judgest •••∣ther Man's Servant?

Page  213

AN APPENDIX, Containing several Queries and Ar∣guments for Mr. Burkit to an∣swer, since the Athenian Society have not done it.


I Having wrote a few Queries and Arguments lately about Infant-Baptism, for your Bre∣thren the Athenian Society to answer upon their bold Challenge; and since they are too hard for them to do it, having said nothing at all to the purpose; I shall expect to see them answered by you, when you answer this Reply to your Book. I shall not trouble you with all, but only with a few of them.

Query 1. Whether the being the male Children of Abraham, as such, gave them a right to Cir∣cumcision, or not rather the mere positive Com∣mand of God to Abraham?

To this they give no Answer.

Query 2. Whether Circumcision could be said to be a Seal of any Man's Faith, save Abraham's only, seeing it is only called the Seal of the Righ∣teousness of his Faith, and also of that Faith which he had, being yet uncircumcised?

Page  214*To this they say,

Amongst the ancient Here∣ticks they never met with such a strange Position as this, viz. That the Seal of the Righteousness of Faith was the Privilege of Abraham only.
Is this an Answer?* Besides, they mistake, 'tis no a Position, but a Question. Furthermore, 'tis said, ••braham rec••ved the Sign of Circumcision; not only as a Seal of the Righteousness of that Faith he had, being yet uncircumcised, but also (mark) that he might be the Father of all that believe. Was this the Privilege of any save Abraham only?

Query 3. What do you conceive Circumcisi•• did, or Baptism doth seal or make sure to ••¦fants, since a Seal usually makes firm all the Bles∣sings and Privileges contained in that Covenant 'tis affix'd to?

*They answer,

It seals, and did seal to all that belong to Christ, Life and Salvation; but to such as do not, it seals nothing at all.

To which I reply▪ How dare any Man to seal the Covenant of Salvation to such, who have not that Faith Abraham had before he received that Seal? It was not a Seal of that Faith he might have o might not have afterwards, but of that Faith he had before he received it. 3. I affirm Baptism is no Seal at all of Salvation; for if it was▪ and of God's Appointment, all so sealed, would be saved▪ but many who are baptized, may perish eternally, and do no doubt.

Query 4. I demand to know what those exter∣nal Privileges are, Infants partake of by Baptism, seeing they are denied the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and all other external Rites whatsoever? If you say, When they believe, they shall par∣take of those Privileges and Blessings; so say I shall the Children of Unbelievers, Turks and Pa∣gans, as well as they.

Page  215They answer;*

We insist not upon external Privileges; 'tis foreign to the Matter: if you say when they believe; so say I shall the Children of Unbelievers.

Reply. If you insist not on internal Privileges, nor on external Privileges that are sealed to In∣fants that are baptized, what does their Baptism signify? just nothing;—but which is worse, 'tis a Prophanation of Christ's holy significant Ordi∣nance of Baptism, and that is worst of all.

Query 5. If the fleshly Seed or Children of be∣lieving Gentiles, as such, are to be accounted the Seed of Abraham; I query, Whether they are his Spiritual Seed, or his Natural Seed? If not his Spiritual Seed, nor his Natural Seed, what right can they have to Baptism or Church-membership, from any Covenant-Transaction God made with Abraham?

They answer;*

They are his Spiritual Seed visible, for so far only belongs to us to judg; and therefore they have a right to the Seal of that Covenant.

Reply. What they say cannot be true; because the Scripture positively saith, that such who are the spiritual Seed of Abraham, have the Faith of Abraham, and walk in the steps of Abraham, and are Christ's, Gal. 3. ult. But Infants of Belie∣vers, as such, cannot be said to have the Faith of Abraham, nor to walk in Abraham's steps, &c.

2. Such who are Abraham's spiritual Seed, are in the Election of Grace, and are always his Seed, not for so long, &c. but for ever.

3. We can judg none to be Abraham's spiritual Seed, but such only in whom these Signs appear before-mentioned: but none of those Signs ap∣pear; nor can appear in Infants; therefore we cannot judg they are his spiritual Seed, to whom the Seal of the Covenant of Grace of right does belong.

Page  216Query 6. Whether the Children of Belie••rs are in the Covenant of Grace absolutely, or but conditionally? If only conditionally, 〈◊〉••∣ther Privilege have they then 〈◊〉 the Children of Unbelievers?

Query 7. Whether those different 〈…〉 up∣on which the Right of Infant-baptism i pre•••t∣ed by the ancient Fathers of old, and the 〈◊〉 Divines, doth well agree with an Institution that is a mere positive Right, wholly depending on the sovereign Will of the Legislation, doth not give just cause to all o question its Authority▪

1. Some Pedo-Baptists asserted, it took away Original Sin; and such who denied it, were Anathematized.

2. Some affirm, That Children are in Cove∣nant, and being the Seed of Believers, are fede∣rally oly, therefore to be baptized.

3. Another sort of Pedo-Baptists say, They ought to be baptized, by virtue of their Pa∣rents Faith.

4. Another sort baptize them upon the Faith of their Sureties.

5. Others say, By the Faith of the Church, as Au••i, Bernard, &c.

6. Others say, they have Faith themselves, and therefore must be baptized.

7. Some say, it is a 〈◊〉 Apostolical 〈◊〉 Tradition; but others deny that, and say, it may be proved from the Scripture.

8. Others say, it is a regenerating Ordinance, and Infants thereby are put into a savable Some: Others say, the Infants of Believers are safe be∣fore, because in Covenant with their Parents.

To this Query they say nothing, pretending they had answered it before.

Page  217Query 8. Whether that can be an Ordinance of Christ,* for which there is neither Precept nor Example, nor plain and undeniable Consequences for it in all God's Word, nor Promise made to such who do it, nor Threat denounced on such who neglect it?

This they say they answered in one of our Ar∣guments.*

Their Answer is there about Womens recei∣ving the Sacrament, &c.

Query 9. Whether in matter of mere positive Right, such as Bapism is, we ought not to keep expresly and punctually to the Revelation of the Will of the Law▪ giver?

They answer, Yes.

Reply. Then your Cause is lost, for God's Word expresly directs us to baptize only such who are first taught, or made Disciples by teaching, or who make a Profession of their Faith: And Dipping is the express and direct Act of Baptizing, as pra∣ctised in the New Testament, and a great Cloud of Witnesses testify.

Query 10. Wh••her the Baptism of Infants be not a dangerous Error, since it tends to deceive poor ignorant People, who think they were there∣by made Christians, and regenerated, and so ne∣ver look after any other Regeneration nor Bap∣tism, that represents or holds forth that inwar Work of God's Grace?

They answer,

They never tell them they are made Christians throughly, &c.

Reply. Then I appeal to all Men who have read the old Church-Catechism—In my Baptism, where∣in I was made a Child of God, a Member of Christ, and an Inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Page  21811. Since we read but of one Baptism in Wa∣ter, and that one Baptism is that of the Adult, i. e. such who profess Faith, &c. how can Infant-Bap∣tism, or rather Rantism, be an Ordinance of Christ?

12. Whether God hath any where commanded or injoined Parents to bring their little Babes of two or ten days old; into a Covenant with him∣self by Baptism, since 'tis not to be found in all the Scripture▪

If not, how can that Covenant oblige their Child when he comes to Age, if it be so great a Sin not to perform that Covenant, or to renounce the thing it self?

Whether there is any Covenant appointed by Christ for Infants to enter into, unto, which no Promise is made of Assistance to perform it, nor of Blessing if it be kept, nor one Threatning, if cast off and disowned?

13. What should be the reason that our Tran∣slators of the holy Bible should leave the Greek word Baptism or Baptisma,•••ranslated, seeing the Dutch have not done so, but contrariwise translate for John Baptist, John the Dipper, and for he baptized them, he dipped them?

The Athenian Society answ••,

They are the best Judges themselves; if we can understand them, 'tis enough.

Reply. No▪ tho the Learned in the Greek do know what the word Baptizo and Baptisma is, yet the Unlearned in that Tongue, do not know that 'tis to dip, or Immersion, therefore 'tis not enough.

14. Whether such who have only been sprin∣kled, ought not to be deemed unbaptized Persons, since Aspersion is not Immersion, or Rantizing not Baptizing, seeing the Greek word signifies to dip; and tho sometimes to wash, yet such a wash∣ing as is by dipping, as the Learned confess?

To this they say, Those that doubt, may be of the sure side.

Page  219

Ten ARGUMENTS against Pedo-Baptism.

Arg. I. Those that our Saviour commanded in his Commission to be baptized, were such who were first discipled by the Word.

Infants are not discipled by the Word: Ergo, Infants, according to Christ's Command in the Commission, ought not to be baptized.

Arg. II. To believe, and repent, are required of all that ought to be baptized.

Infants are not required to believe and re∣pent: Ergo, They ought not to be baptized.

Arg. III. The Church of England saith, Faith and Repentance is required of such who are to be baptized, and she speaks the Truth in so saying: and if Infants cannot perform Faith and Repentance, then Infants ought not to be baptized.

But the Church of England says, Faith and Repentance is required of such who are to be baptized, and she speaks the Truth in so saying, and Infants cannot perform Faith and Repen∣tance: Ergo, Infants ought not to be baptized.

The Athenians in Answer to this Argument say, The Church of England means only the Adult who are capable, &c.

Reply. They mean Infants also, why else do they add, Yes verily they (that is, Infants) do per∣form it by their Sureties, &c. And how true that is, I leave to all Men to judg.

Arg. IV. If there is not one Precedent in all the Scripture (as there is no Precept) that one Page  220 Infant was baptized, then Infant-Baptism is un∣lawful.

But there is not one Precedent in all the Scripture (as there is not one Precept) that one Infant was baptized: Ergo, Infant-Baptism is unlawful.

The Athenians answer, Shew us a Precedent for our Wives communicating, (they mean to receive the Lord's Supper) which we have answered already.

Arg. V. St. Paul declared, or made known the whole Counsel of God.

St. Paul did not declare or make known Infant-Baptism: Ergo, Infant-Baptism is none of God's Counsel.

Arg. VI. The holy Scripture being a perfect Rule of Faith and Practice, either by Precept or Example, makes known every positive Law and Institution of Christ.

But the holy Scripture doth not make known, neither by Precept for Example, Infant-Baptism: Ergo, Infant-Baptism is no Institution of Christ.

Arg. VII. That Doctrine and Practice that reflects on the Honour and Faithfulness of Jesus Christ, who was not less faithful than Moses, can be no Ordinance of Christ.

But the Doctrine and Practice of Infant-Bap∣tism reflects on the Honour and Faithfulness of Jesus Christ, who was not less faithful than Moses; Ergo, Infant-Baptism is no Ordinance of Christ.

The Athenian Society answer, The Obscurity of the Ordinance of Infant-Baptism does not at all reflect on the Honour and Faithfulness of Christ, since the Apostles to whom he delivered his Commission were Jews; and since at the same time it was a continual Page  221 and setled Custom among the Jews to baptize Men, Women and Children of proselyted Heathens, and Infants being not exempted out of the Commission. To which I have in this Treatise given a full Answer.

Arg. VIII. If there be but one Baptism in Wa∣ter left by Christ in the New Testament, and but one way or manner of Right for all, both Parents and Children, to be admitted into the Church, and that one Baptism in Water is that of the Adult, who upon their Profession of Faith ought to be baptized, and so admitted into the Church. Then none, either Parents or Children, must be admitted either to Baptism, or into the Church, without such a Profession of Faith. But the former is true.*

There is no need the Scripture should particularly mention the Ends of Pedo-Baptism, since there is but one Baptism for all, though more Subjects to that one Baptism.—You run, say they, too fast, and take it for granted that Baptism is only of the Adult.

Answ. Since there is but one Baptism mention∣ed in Scripture, and that is of the Adult, and the End nd Design of Christ in it is expresly laid down as to that: We say therefore there is Rea∣son why the End of Infant-Baptism should be cer∣tain, and we run not too fast. We say the Sub∣jects are but one, since the Baptism is but one, and manner of Right thereto being but one also.

Arg. IX. If no Parents at any time or times have been by God the Father, Jesus Christ, or his Apostles, either commended for baptizing their Children, or reproved for not baptizing them; then Infant-Baptism is no Ordinance of God: but the former is true. Ergo.

Your Answer saith,*The Athenian Society is an∣swered, unless you will destroy Laying on of Hands, one of the Principles of the Christian Religion; none were Page  222 ever commended 〈◊〉 reproved for ever being or not being subject to that, &c.

Answ. Do we ••t read in Acts 8.17. Acts 19.6. that those Men and Women who were baptized, did subject to Laying on of Hands, being Belie∣vers, as such? Sure what is said of their coming under it, or submitting to it, is spoken to their Commendation▪ However as 'tis called a Princi∣ple of Christ's Doctrine, Heb. 6.1, 2. so here are two Precedents of Persons that subjected to it: Shew us the like as to Infant-Baptism.

Arg. X. Baptism is Dipping: Infants are not dipped. Ergo, Infants are not baptized.

As to the other Arguments sent to the Athenian Society, with their Answers, I have spoken to se∣veral of them in this Treatise, and I shall add no more new; but eve all I have said to the Bles∣sing of God, hoping the time is near when this Truth I contend for will be cleared up to all, which is now to enrich despised; that Wisdom may be justified of her Children, and God may be honoured, to whom be Glory now and for ever-more. Amen.


Faults escap'd the Press.

Page 10. line 13, 14, 15. blot out the double Comma's. Page 25. line 22. for makes mention, read, makes no mention. There are other Errata's and dispointing, which the Reader is desired to correct.

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