A survey of the Survey of that summe of church-discipline penned by Mr. Thomas Hooker ... wherein the way of the churches of N. England is now re-examined ...
Rutherford, Samuel, 1600?-1661.
Page  45


Other arguments of Mr Hooker for the constitution of a Church of onely visible Saints.

MAster Hooker, par. 1. ch. 2. pag. 25, 26. * Q. What is required of a man of years to fit him in the judgment of the Church, for baptisme, that and so much is required to make him a member.

But visible holiness is required to fit a man of years to be ba∣ptized.

The consequence admitteth no denial, because to be baptized, and to be admitted a member, infer each other.

The assumption is proved by the constant practise of John Ba∣ptist, Matth. 3. 5, 6. where Jerusalem, Judea, Scribes, people and souldiers came to be baptized of him, they confessed their sins, it was a confession that amounted to repentance; so John verse 7. bring forth fruits worthy of repentance and amendment of life.

Luke 3. 6. What shall we do? the Apostle answers, Acts 2. 38. repent and be baptized; the works of repentance and the aime of baptisme do import as much; remission of sins calleth for such competent knowledge of Christ, as may make way for the sight of the need of a Saviour, and also of a going to him.

Answ. This argument may pass current with these that deny * Infant-baptisme, which Mr H. and his do not; but if to be baptized say that the baptized is a member of the Church, must not either the infants of Church-members be not baptized with them, and so no members of the Church, which is strange? or may I not argue thus with Anabaptists against Mr Hooker? What is required of a man of years to fit him for baptisme in the judg∣ment of the Church, is also required to make him one within the covenant of grace. But onely to be born of believing pa∣rents maketh a man of years in the judgment of the Church, to be within the covenant of grace.

Page  46Ergo, onely to be born of visible parents maketh a man of years fit to be baptized.

The assumption is clear, because that God be our God and the God of our seed, Gen. 17. maketh both parents and children within the covenant, yea also within the visible Church, as the Church of New England truly teacheth, and giveth them right * to baptisme; and when Egypt shall be the people of God, as is foretold, Isai. 19. 25. Egypt is the Church visible, and all their seed, when they so profess, except these two be different, to be professedly Gods people, and to be a visible Church, which cannot be said; and therefore the argument presupposeth a falshood, and beggeth the question: that there is one thing re∣quired of a man of years born within the visible Church, to fit him in the judgment of the Church for baptisme and Church-membership, and another to fit an infant for baptisme and Church-member-ship, when an infant born within the visible Church, by his birth is fitted both for Church-membership in the judgment of charity, and for baptisme; and so the argu∣ment proveth that the children of believing parents must have some new qualification before they can be received members of the Church visible; and yet it is granted their birth made them members of the Church visible; so they are members and not * members.

2. If to be baptized and to be admitteed members, infer each other, to Mr Hooker saith, ergo, all that are baptized are mem∣bers of the visible Church, and all members of the visible Church must be baptized. How then doth the Churches of New Eng∣land refuse multitudes whom they know to be baptized, and came from England to be Church-members? 3. See how Mr Hooker maketh out the assumption; to wit, from the con∣stant course and practise of Iohn Baptist, Math. 3. 5, 6. in which he laieth this as a ground, that in all Iudea and Ierusalem (for Iohn baptized them all, Mark 10. 5.) there was no visible Church, no visible Saints, no converts till Iohn made them such by baptisme. I hold that Christ was born in the visible Church, and that Simon, Anna, Zachariah, Elizabeth, and many others were visible Church-members before Iohn baptized them, and that the Church of the Jews and of baptized Christians were Page  47 both the same visible Church, the one believing professedly in him who was to come, the other in him who was already come.

2. He presumeth that by Iohns baptizing these were framed up in particular Independent congregations, by a Church∣covenant, for this is brought to prove the frame of visible Chur∣ches of New England by Mr Hooker: but how the text speaketh this, who can see, except Mr Hooker himself? for all Judea and Jerusalem were baptized, Mark 1. 5.

4: How proveth he that all the baptized were visible con∣verts that came to Iohn?

Those that confessed their sins, by such a confession as Iohn re∣quired, to wit, which amounted to repentance, and bringing forth fruits worthy of amendment, these were visible converts, before they were baptized.

Yea say I, if the confession amounted so high in the practice of all Iudea, as the precept and command of Iohn required, then all the land of Iudea, Ierusalem, and all the region round about Ierusalem, who were all baptized, Matth. 3. 5, 6. Mark 1. 4, 5. all the people, Luke 4. 21. were not only visible saints, but did all really repent and bring forth fruits worthy amendment of life: for Mr. Hooker his argument is not from the peoples practice, but from Iohns command. Bring forth fruits &c. so Mr. Hooker. They confessed their sinnes, v. 6. it was such a confession as amoun∣ted to repentance; that I confesse is a sea of Charity to all the vi∣sible saints. Now hear how M. Hooker exponeth their practised confession, The Baptist so interprets is, bring forth fruits worthy of repentance and amendment of life. Now sure Iohn commanded never such a confession, as Magus the witch made Act. 8. nor a visible repentance such as maketh a visible saint, but he comman∣ded a reall internall repentance, otherwise saith he, if ye bring not forth good fruit, Matth. 3. ver. 10. see your doome, every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewen down and cast into the fire.

And therefore if the argument stand thus, such a confession 〈◊〉Iohn Baptist commandeth Matth. 3. 6, 7. such must be in all be∣fore Iohn Baptist and the Church can lawfully baptize them, or admit them to the visible Church, otherwise they sinne who bap∣tise Page  48 and receive into the visible Church visible hypocrites.

But Iohn Baptist requireth reall and internall repentance, with∣out which the baptized should be cast into hell fire, Mat. 3. 10.

But the conclusion is so grosse, that Mr. Hooker could not dreame of it.

But the truth is, the precept of Repentance is not given to the Jewes, so as obedience thereunto must be necessarily required before Iohn Baptist can lawfully and without sinne admit them to baptism, and into the Christian visible Church, but for their either more personall and fruitfull receiving of the Sacrament, or farre rather, that they may be saved from the wrath to come, Matth. 3. 10. Luk. 3. 7, 8.

5. And as to that Act. 2. 38. what shall we doe? if it conclude any thing it must have this meaning, men and Brethren what shall we doe, before ye can owne us as visible saints, and baptize us without your hazard of casting pearles before swine? This is to doe violence to the word of God.

But these words (what shall we doe?) must be all one with the like of Saul, Act. 9. 6. and of the Jaylor, Act. 16. 30. what shall we doe to be saved and to obtaine life everlasting, and a due roome in the visible Church of grace here, and at length of glory? and it is clear that repentance which the Apostles command is the course of repentance all their life to be performed, both before and af∣ter baptisme, ver. 40. and with many other words did he testifie and exhort, saying, save your selves from this untoward generation, which is, walk not in the way of this people: and doth Peter advise no repentance, but such visible repentance as was to goe before their baptism? certain he adviseth repentance, new obedience and perseverance therein to their lives end after they should be baptised.

6. As to the ayme of baptism, which is for remission of sinnes, it importeth a confession such as amounteth to repentance reall and true, yea constant and induring to the end, Ergo they were * justified and effectually redeemed in Christ, and persevered therein to the end, before Iohn could baptise them without sinne: how weak are these? and so these huge multitudes were never baptized untill they all died reall converts, and that was never at all; for the Baptist so requires, before they were bap∣tized.

Page  49 7. Who shall believe that when Iohn baptized, Mark 5. all the land of Iudea, and all Ierusalem and Matth. 3 5. all Iudea,*and all the region round about Iordan: and Luk. 4. 21. and all the people; that they were all in Iohn Baptist his judgment of charity, sound believers, and that all these brought forth fruits worthy of amendment of life? and that all these were pardoned and justified in Christ, and that they were the habitation of God through the spirit, as Ephes. 2. 22. when Iohn preacheth to them, even to the multitude that came forth to be baptized, Luk. 3. 7. and to many of the Pharisees and Sadduces as to a generation of vipers, Matth. 3. 7. 2. as to hypocrites that gloried they were A∣brahams sons, and would think they were more then Gods sons, when they were now washen by baptisme, the new seale of the New Testament? 3. as to fruitlesse trees ready to be burnt in hell fire, ver. 10. 4. as to these washen with water by a man, not inwardly baptised by Christ ver. 11. 5. to a visible company in which there were wheat and chaff? certainly Iohn should break the bruised reed, if he preached not to them as to reall sons of Abraham, inwardly baptised, fruitfull trees, and wheat into the Lords barn. 8. Nor is there any warrant to think that they all asked, what shall we doe? and did all bring forth fruit worthy amendment, and that the Pharisees and Sadduces who came to be baptized, Matth. 3. 7. did bring forth such fruits, before Iohn could baptise them, Act. 2. they were baptized the same day: neither must that passe, which our brethren say, that Iohn repelled not only the Scribes and Pharises, Matth. 3. 7. but al∣so the prophane people from baptism, as those who were a generation of vipers, and had not yet brought forth fruits meet for repentance, ver. 7, 8.

Ans. Let the Text speak, Mark 1. 5. And there went out un∣to him all the land of Iudea, and they of Ierusalem, and they Page  50〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 were all baptized. Matthew saith chap. 3. v. 7. And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadduoes come to his baptism, he said, Ge∣neration of vipers, who hath forewarned you to flee from the wrath to come? which argueth rather that he admitted them; but as Calvin well sayeth, he citeth them before the inner tribunal of their consci nce, that they may severely examine themselves, Luk. 3. 7. he said the same to all the multitude that came to be baptized, but especially to he Pharisees, but that Iohn refused to baptize them, there is not one word in the Text, but the contrary, Mark 1. 5. Luk 3. 2. Matth. 3. 3. I deny not, but Beza, Pareus, Piscator, on Matth. 4. say that Iohn admitted none to baptism but such as they judged worthy; but that such worthinesse was reall regeneration in the judgement of Iohn, no Divine sayeth. But withall Piscator sayeth on Mark, That Bellarmine hath no ground for auricular confession. It is not probable that Iohn sought a publick confession of secret sinnes. Now it is known, Mr. Hooker the book of Discipline of N. England requires farre beyond auricular confession. The Rhemists speak just almost in the language of M. H. confessing their sinnes, not acknow∣ledging themselves in generall to be sinners, but also uttering every man his sinnes, M. H. They confessed their sinnes. ver. 6. it was such a confession as amounted to repentance. And their own words evidence as much. Luk. 3. 5, 6. What shall we doe? if it was such a repentance as Iohn commanded; and such it was (sayeth M. H.) Then it was reall and constant, enduring to the end. And this is more charity bestowed upon Iudea, then the Iesuites of Rhemes give them; for they are content to stay within a pre∣cept (M. H. sayeth all Iudea repented) He preacheth repentance (say they) by doing worthy fruits or works of penance. Now M. H. must make this confession, if it amounted to repentance, most particular of all and every one of them, which D. Fulke sayeth was impossible; and Cartwright, that it was common not full, and proveth it by many arguments: and sure, that multitude must have lived upon locusts and wild honey, that Iohn might have been satisfied with their spirituall good estate as lively stones, as our brethren speak, our brethrens confession must have as long a space, to wit, seven yeares, as D. Fulke sayeth anricular con∣fession would have taken.

Page  51 Some bring the place Luk. 7. 29. to prove that Iohn refused * to admit the Pharisees to baptism.

But that place sayeth it was their sinne who would not be baptized, and so despised the counsel of God, whereas the Publi∣cans glorified God, being baptized with the baptism of Iohn, ver. 29, 30. as Calvin well observeth, comparing the Publicans and Pharisees together. See Diodti and the English Divines; for it is not holden forth as their punishment, that Iohn debarred them as unworthy. Yea all that came to be baptized, Mat. 3. Mark 1. Luk. 3. were baptized. Nor is it of weight, that Philip sayeth, Act. 8. Thou mayest be, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, be baptized, if thou wilt, so the word noteth, Matth. 12. 24. ver. 10. 12. Matth. 14. 4. Matth. 19. Matth. 20. 15. Matth. 22. 17. Matth. 27. 6. Mark. 2. 24. ver. 26. Luk. 6. 2. Ioh. 6. 9. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Ioh. 5. 10. Ioh. 18 31. There is no shadow, in the Text, that the lawfulnesse is referred to Philip his act of baptizing, as if Philip might without sinne baptize; as if I should say, I Philip cannot lawfully baptize thee except them believe with all the heart; but it is clearly referred to the Eunuches believing. For 1. Philip had more ground of the soundnesse of the Eunuches profession so as he might lawfully have baptized him, then he had to baptize Magus; finding the holy Ghost had directed Philip to goe to him, Act. 8. 29, 30. 2. He found him reading Scripture, and desirous to know the mea∣ning of it, 36. and destrous to be baptized (3.) There is no shadow of reason in the Text, that it was a case of conscience to the Ennuch, whether it was Philips sinne to baptize him, except he knew he had true faith; but clearly he himself doubted whether he might be baptized, or not, 3. Philip requireth of the Eunuch reall believing with all the heart; but visible believing as Ma∣gus had, was sufficient for Philip to baptize without sinne in the baptizer.

Page  52 Quest. What ignorance exoludeth from Church membership?

M. H. That ignorance which maketh persons to be no Church,*that will hinder a person from being a member. But there is a simple ignorance of points fundamentall, that maketh Papists that never heard the Gospell, and so have not wilfully rejected it (sayeth M. R.) to be no members of the Church.

As, M. H. To be admitted a member and to be baptized (sayeth * he pag. 20.) inferreth each one another. But all the members of the Church of Rome (sayeth he par. 1. c. 5. pag. 59) have received true Baptisme. Let M. H. answer M. H. 2. That ignorance that hinde∣reth persons to be no Church visibly professing, will hinder persons to be true members of the visible professing Church. The proposition is denyed; for infants (sayth Calvin) baptized are so ignorant, and they are admitted members (say our brethren) in and with * their parents, 3. M. R. speaketh of the visible Church, of which Papists ignorant of fundamentalls, are not members.