A PLEA FOR Anti-Paedobaptists, Against the Vanity and Falshood of SCRIBLED PAPERS, ENTITULED, The Anabaptists Anatomiz'd and silenc'd in a Publique Dispute at Abergaveny in Mon∣mouth-shire Sept. 5. 1653. Betwixt John Tombes, John Cragg, and Henry Vaughan, touching INFANT-BAPTISM.
By John Tombes, B.D.
JOB II. 2, 3. Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified? Should thy lies (or devices) make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?
LONDON, Printed by Henry Hills, and are to be sold at his house at the sign of Sir John Old-Castle in Py-Corner, 1654.
A Plea for Anti-Paedobaptists against the Vanity and Falshood of SCRIBLED PAPERS.
The reason of this writing is rendred.
THere came newly to my hands a Pamphlet, wherein the Intitler speaks like a vain braggadochio, as if the book had ript up the Anabaptists (as he terms them) and like a Prelate had silenced them, though there was but one whom with any face it could be pretended that he was anatomi∣zed or silenced, who yet speaks and writes for the truth, which these Opponents do endeavour to disgrace, and rejoiceth that he lives to find that these men have no other thing to charge him with Page 2 than his contending for a reformation of that prophane abuse of infant-sprinkling, and that they have no other encouragement from him to persist in their Paedobaptism, but a fond hope of his retur∣ning to that sinful practice. The Libel hath a Frontispice, which pretends to shew the manner of the Anabaptists dipping, but most falsly, sith it represents it to the eyes of the Beholders as if they held persons by the heels when they baptize them, which is other∣wise than their practice. The pretended manner of Laying on of hands, and Washing of feet, is unknown to me, if they do use it, yet they have such likely proofs from Heb. 6. 2. and our Saviours practice and command John 13. as might have deterred the Author of this Frontispice from exposing the ordinance of Baptism, and those other rites, to contempt, had he any reverence to holy things, and regard to Chrisis appointment. But the Frontispice of Dr. Featlies book, and this, with the Epistles and other passages, do give occasion to intelligent persons to conceive that this sort of men do make but a sport of Christs Ordinance, and that they have little mind to search for, or receive truth, but to expose them that are for believers baptism, and against infant∣sprinkling, to the contempt of light and profane wits, and to the hatred of the ignorant and superstitious common people. And I conceive that this book is published by men of that spirit, who seek to make odious the endeavoured reformation of ignorance, superstition, profanenesse, and ungodliness, which abounds in those parts, and to uphold those either loose or formal pretended Ministers, who take upon them to teach, but do indeed, as Ely∣mas the Sorcerer Acts 13. pervert the right way of the Lord. Surely did they seek the truth in love, they would not so insult over tender consciences as they do, encourage the looser sort, and deter the enquiring souls from the wayes of Christ, For my self, as I have found from others, so I deprehend in these men the same unrighteous spirit, in their reporting my answers, and publishing them in print, without my revising of them, though it were pro∣posed, and as I remember yielded, by one, that in a private way, I should have his arguments sent to me in writing, & for the other af∣ter 2 Copies of his Sermon sent me, yet I wrote to know whether he would own them, nor did publish any thing though I had sent some animadversions on the notes I received, of which I was told Page 3 one copy was shewed to Mr. Cragg himself, and not disowned by him. And I do account it a shameful practice which these men, and another before have used towards me, that after I have been drawn to a verbal extemporary dispute, and no common notary agreed on, yet my answers are published by them without ever allowing me the sight of them, that I might either own them or amend them, afore the printing and publishing them. But I see, faction so prevails with them, that like as if they were of the Romanists minds, they allow themselves liberty to use any arts as pious frauds to bear down the truth of Antipaedobaptism. And this they do with so much insolency as may stir up the inconside∣rate to trample upon their Antagonist, and create prejudice a∣gainst the truth. Which hath necessitated me in this hast to write this.
A view of the Epistles is taken.
WHo the J. T. P. or J. W. is I know not. What the first Epistle saith of Austins rule, it is neither true, for then the observation of an Easter, and sundry other superstitious rites should be from the Apostles, nor if it were true, is it true of infant-sprinkling that the whole Church held it, sprinkling being not used in sundry ages instead of baptism, and infant-bap∣tism, as it is now used, opposed by Tertullian, and Gregory Nazianzen, and only the Popish doctrine (disclaimed by Mr. Cragg) of the necessity of baptizing infants to their inheriting heaven, taught by the writers called Fathers. As false it is that the baptizing believers (called by these Anabaptism) had its spring and rise from Nicolas Stork, and others there named, it being commanded by Christ, practiced by the Apostles, continued in the first ages without any infant-baptism, and when infants were baptized, it was very rarely, onely in case of danger of the neernesse of death to the infant, and when reformation of other Popish abuses was sought, the reformation of this was sought with Page 4 the first, some hundreds of years afore Luther. As vain is the assignation of the causes of Anabaptism (which is indeed true baptism) whereas the true cause is the shining forth of light from the Scriptures, and other Authors, not discerned formerly as now.
The true reason why our books and practice are permitted is, because they have at least so much appearance of truth as is suffici∣ent to make wise men to let them alone, lest they haply should fight against God. The Epistlers reasons are but his own ignorant sur∣mises.
Though disputes are useful, yet such unworthy artifices as I find in and after them are a just reason for me to wave them, espe∣cially with such men as I have met with. What the successe hath been of the disputes mentioned its not so proper to me to enquire. The publishing of that at Bewdley in so unbrotherly manner, hath, I imagine, diverted many from the truth, who if they had not been willing to be deluded, had never been caught with such a cheat as is the mock-titled book, Plain Scripture proof for infant-baptism.
The rest of the disputes have not gained (that I hear) any credit to Paedobaptism, but on the contrary, among the intelligent. It is true I was importuned to visit some friends at Abergaveny, and did preach there, and some of the things the letter mentions I spake, and do still avouch.
The two men mentioned were unknown to me, I slighted nei∣ther, though being wearied with preaching I did forbear to speak much, and was willing to get into a dry house from the rain. I was willing to have conference with Mr. Vaughan, who seemed modest and intelligent. The other Opponent I found before to be a man of talk, who could not blush.
That which the second Epistle writes of my being wounded, and vaunting, is meerly fabulous, and I think the like of the short time of conceiving the Dispute and Sermon. It displeaseth me not, that the business should be truly stated, which is the end of this writing, though it displease me that such unworthy tricks are used to deceive people, as those which appear in the publishing this Disputation and Sermon. I intend not to lengthen the businesse by insisting on the falsity of the reports of my Answer: Page 5 It is not improbable I might in five hours dispute with one who talked so fast as to give no time to consider of what he said, an∣swer not so cleerly as I would, had I had the arguments to view and examine deliberately. I presume it will be sufficient, for cleer∣ing truth, if either I shew how my Answers are misreported, or how they are to be amended.
Mr. Vaughans dispute is answered.
TO begin with Mr. Vaughans dispute. Had it been framed into a Syllogism it had been thus. They that were admit∣ted lawfully into the Covenant of grace by Circumcision, may be admitted into the Covenant of grace by Baptism; But infants were admitted lawfully into the covenant of grace by Circumci∣sion; Therefore they may be lawfully admited into the covenant of grace by Baptism.
To which had it been thus formed I should have said.
1. That it is false that either by circumcision or baptism in∣fants or other persons are admitted into the Covenant of Grace, yea Paedobaptists themselves suppose they are in the Covenant of Grace before, and therefore they are baptized: Nor doth Mr. Vaughan shew how persons may be in Congruous sense said to be admitted into the Covenant of Grace.
2. If it were true, yet it is certain that infants of unbelievers were admitted by circumcision as well as infants of believers, and so his medium proves as well the baptizing of unbelievers infants taken into a believers house, as believers. But in the manner he framed his reason I denied the consequence.
And when he urged, it must be either because the Covenant of grace made with Abraham and his seed, is not the same in substance, withthat which is now actually in force with believers & their children, or secondly because baptism succeedeth not in the room of circumcision, I did rightly say I could deny your division. For there is another reason, viz. because there is not the same Page 6 command of baptizing infants as there was of circumcising them, and yet that the disputation might proceed, I denyed the conse∣quence, for both those reasons.
And to what was replyed I answered rightly, that the Covenant now in force according to Gal. 3. 14. was not to the natural seed of Abraham, but the spiritual; nor is it true, That all the children of Abraham were circumcised, for the females were not, or that They that were circumcised were consequently admitted in∣to the Covenant. For even Mr. Vaughan presently tells us, That Ishmael though circumcised belonged not to the promise. Now what is it to be admitted into the Covenant, but to be admitted to the promise or participation of the Covenant? what he replyed further, That the Covenant Gen. 17. 7. was made alike, in the same extent and latitude, promiscuously with all the seed of A∣braham, even the natural, is most palpably false. For none but the spiritual seed of Abraham, by believing, as he did, have the promise of righteousness, which is the covenant of grace, and Ishmael is expiesly excluded Gen. 17. 19, 20, 21. and he grants himself, None but the children of Isaac were children of the promise, nor were the Jewes, who were broken off because of their own unbelief, Romans 11. 20. comprehended in the cove∣nant of Grace. Romans 9. 8. proves cleerly that the Covenant made to Abraham and his seed as it was a covenant of Evange∣lical grace was not made to all his natural seed, and so not to any of his natural seed, because they were by natural generation of him, but because elect of God.
And it is false which Mr. Vaughan saith, The children of Isaac (he should have said Isaac, and after him Jacob) are not called children of the promise in regard of any peremptory election, or aesignation to faith and salvation. For the contrary is manifest from verses 11, 12, 13. Nor is it any thing contrary to the abso∣lute decree of reprobation, that Paul lamented, desired and prayed for the Israelites, but his lamentation doth rather prove it that they were rejected, and desires and prayers may be even for that which may not be, as when Christ prayed to have the cup passe from him. His reasons why the children of Isaac are called children of the promise, are not to his purpose but against him.
For 1. He doth thereby tacitly imply that none but the chil∣dren Page 7 of Isaac were children of the promise, and therefore none but they in the Covenant of grace.
2. If the reasons of the children of Isaac their being called children of the promise were the inheritance of Canaan, and the descent of Christ, then only Jacob was a child of the promise, not Esau, and so it remains, the Covenant Gen. 17. 7. was not made to all the circumcised, nor they by circumcision admitted into the Covenant Gen. 17.
3. After his explication, it is cleer that the Covenant of grace made with Abraham and his seed is not the same in substance with that which is now actually in force with believers and their children, contrary to what he said before.
4. After this doctrine none are now children of the promise, sith there are none that inherit Canaan according to that promise, nor from whom Christ descends, and then if the promise be the same with the covenant of grace, none are now admitted in∣to the same Covenant, and consequently none to be baptized, according to Mr. Vaughans reasoning.
What he saith he might have added, That if none but the elect and faithful can be admitted into the Covenant, there is no subject left for the ordinance of baptism.
I deny it. It goes upon this mistake, that none are to be admitted but those that are admitted into the Covenant of grace, and known to be so: Whereas persons that are disciples and believers by profession at least, are to be admitted to baptism, and no other ordinarily, whether they be admitted into the Covenant of Grace, or not. Nor are we to baptize upon A judgement of Charity, of thinking no evil, for then we must baptize Turks infants as well as Christians, nor upon a faith in the seed, or the parents actual faith, but their own pro∣fession.
It is not true, no not according to Mr. Vaughan's own grant, that they were admitted into the same Covenant by Circumcision, into which we are now admitted by Baptism, For we are not ad∣mitted into that Covenant which hath the Promise of the inheriitng the Land of Canaan, and descent of Christ from us, which he be∣fore acknowledged to be promised in the Covenant, Gen. 17.
Neither need we say, that the circumcised had the righteous∣ness Page 8 of faith inherently in themselves, or that of their Parents imputed to them, or that Circumcision was a false seal. For nei∣ther is it said Rom. 4. 11. of any mans Circumcision but Abra∣hams in his own person, nor of his, that it was the seal of the righ∣teousness of faith to any but a believer. This was my answer, not as Mr. Vaughan mistook me, that Circumcision was a seal onely of Abrahams own faith in particular. Nor is there a word Rom. 4. 13. Gen. 177. Acts 2. 39. to prove that the Covenant or Promise was the same, and alike, to Abraham and his seed, and to us belie∣vers, and to our children. Nor is it true that 1 Cor. 7. 14. is meant of covenant holiness of children, nor doth he bring any proof that it is so. For that which he dictates, that there is certainly some special privilege set forth to the children of believers, accruing to them from believing Parents, is false, the Text ascribing nothing to the faith of the one Parent, but to the conjugal relation. And for that which he saith, it was no news to tell them that they might have the lawfull use one of another, I say, though they might not doubt whether they might lawfully use one another when both were un∣believers, yet it is manifest the believer doubted whether it might be so still, and therefore the Apostles telling them it might, was an apposite resolution of their doubt, whether it be to be called news or no: and their not doubting of the legitimation of their issue is the very Reason from whence the Apostle by an Argument ad homi∣nem infers, the continuance of their lawfull copulation. And what I said of the use of the words sanctified and holy, 1 Tim. 4. 5. 1 Thess 4 3 4 7. was right; nor do I think Mr. Vaughan would have urged that Text, as he doth, if he had read what I have written in the first part of my Antipaedobaptism, in which is an ample disquisition of the meaning of that Text, to which I refer Mr. Vaughan, and other Readers, who shall be willing to search out the truth.
What I said, that if Baptism succeeded Circumcision, and thence infant-baptism be deduced, female infant-baptism could not be thence inferred, for they were not circumcised, is manifest, nor is it pertinent which Mr. Vaughan brings to infringe it. For though Females be granted to be in the Covenant of Circumcision, yet they were not circumcised, and if in the eys of all Laws whatsoever women are but as ignoble creatures, and so not circumcised, this Page 9 confirms what I allege, that by virtue of Baptisms succession to Circumcision their Baptism cannot be inferred. What he thought to have told me about the Proselites of Righteousness, and the baptizing of their Infants, I conceive I have considered and an∣swered in the second part of my Antipaedobaptism or Full Review, now in the Press, in which the feebleness of Dr. Hammonds Proof is shewed.
It is neither true that Col. 2. 11, 12. is an explanation of what is meant by the circumcision of Christ, in these words, being bu∣ried with him in baptism nor any thing said of the analogy be∣tween circumcision and baptism, which Mr. Vaughan saith is so evident in this place, nor if it were doth it prove that our bap∣tism succeeds the Jewish circumcision. And what he grants, that Col. 2. 12. Rom. 6. 4, 5. Immersion and emersion in Baptism are alluded to, as the custom then of baptizing; and that which he saith, that indeed it seemed to him that for some centuries of years, that Baptism was practiced by plunging; for sprinkling was brought first in use by occasion of the Chinicks, taking what fur∣ther is manifest, and not denied, that sprinkling is not baptizing but rantizing, it is manifest that in infant-sprinkling now in use there is a mockery, when the Minister saith, I baptize thee, and yet doth not baptize but sprinkle or rantize. And it was truly said by me that it is a nullity, it being done neither on persons, nor in the man∣ner Christ appointed to be baptized, as the Spaniards baptizing the Americans was a meer nullity and mockery. Not do I know why Mr. Vaughan should say, [This concludes our selves and all our Ancestours, even all in the Western Churches for fifteen hun∣dred years, under damnation] unless he imagine with the Papists infant-baptism necessary to salvation.
That which Mr. Vaughan saith, p. 13. of the Churches power to alter any thing from the Form of Christs institution to be con∣fessed by all Divines, and that he is none that denies it, is not true, except he account none Divines but the Papists. For I know none but Papists that do acknowledg that the Church hath power to alter Christs institution. Nor in my practice do I acknowledg it. I plainly tell Mr. Vaughan I do use to administer the Lords Supper in the evening, and though. I do not say it was instituted by Christ to be in the evening, yet because it is called the Lords Page 10 Supper, and the Apostle takes notice of the time, 1 Cor. 11. 23, &c. and the administring of it in the morning occasions many to think they must take it fasting, and not a few that they are first to receive Christs body in the popish sense, I think it very requisite the Lords Supper be administred in the evening. The Love-feasts I finde not appointed by Christ, and therefore might be altered. But in requi∣tal of Mr. Vaughans advice to me, I advise him to take heed of that erroneous and dangerous Tenet which avoucheth a power in the Church to alter Christs institution, which serves to justifie Po∣pish corruptions, and to condemn the practice of all the Reformed Churches. I fear to embroil the Church of God: they do it who oppose the truth. I am willing to submit to the judgment of the Church when they agree with Christ, but to none but Christ, in what he hath appointed. It is neither true that the practise of infant-baptism, much lese of infant-sprinkling, hath been fifteen hundred years: nor, if it were, is it so strange a thing, that God suffered such an error as that is. I thank Mr. Vaughan for his ingenuous grant, and his modest carriage, and with expressions of my pity of his being misled by the conceit of the Churches power (by which, what is meant is hard to say) conceiving I have answered him sufficiently, I take my leave of him and pass on to Mr. Cragg. Concerning whom the Reader is to be premonished, that by reason of his fast speaking, and many words, I was often uncertain what to apply an answer to at the dispute.
Mr. Cragg's Dispute is examined.
AS for his Preface I let it pass. His first Euthymene; pag.16: Some infants may not be baptized, therefore some infants may be baptized, is so frivolous, that I neither did then, nor do now think it worth any thing but contempt. For if the reasoning were good, it must be resolved into this Syllogism, All that may not be baptized may be baptized, Some Infants may not be baptized, Ergo, Some infants may be baptized, there being no other way ac∣cording to Logick Rules to make it good. Any man of common Page 5 sense might see the foolery of that Argument. For if it be good he might in like manner say, Some infants may not have the Lords Supper, therefore some infants may; some boys are not to be or∣dained Bishops, therefore some are. I denied the consequence, and Mr. Cragg not sensible of his folly prints a Syllogism, which shews he proved not what was to be proved, which when I would have rectified by shewing what he should have concluded, he run on so fast in his vain prattle, that the Reader may easily perceive I had reason to say, What would the man say?
The next Argument is concerning the essence of Baptism, which he saith, belonged to infants; therefore they may be baptized, and then insinuates me to have been driven to absurdities in denying that Baptism is a relation, and Austins definition of a Sacra∣ment.
To which I answer, 1. This proposition the essence of baptism belongs to infants, may have two senses, 1. That the Baptism of infants is true Baptism, that is, is according to transcendental verity such as hath the nature of Baptism, and in this sense I grant the Proposition is true, and so it is true that an infants eating bread and drinking wine is true eating and drinking the Lords Supper, it hath the essence of it; but this I did not imagine he meant, and therefore denied his minor, till his next Syllogism shewed he meant it, and then I perceived I should have denied the major. But his quick∣ness and multiplying words would not permit me to recall my self. 2. The other sense is this, the essence of Baptism, that is, that which is of the essence to right Administration of Baptism belongs to infants, in which sense I denied it, nor doth his Argument from the definition prove it, for it is all one as to argue, infant-baptism is Baptism, therefore it is right Baptism. As for the absurdities he imputes to me, I deny them to be absurdities. For I take Baptism to be either an action or passion, though Christian Baptism have a relation superadded, and so in the use is a sign, and the genus of it, which is of the essence, I should make an action. As for the other absurdity, I do confess that the term Sacrament being but a term in∣vented by Latine Fathers may be laid aside, nor is there any com∣mon nature of Sacraments expressed in Scripture. And I confess I take Austins definition, if it be his, that a Sacrament is a vi∣sible sign of invisible grace, to be but imperfect, sith it may be Page 12 applied to the descent of the Holy Ghost as a Dove, Christs washing of his Disciples feet, a persons kneeling and holding up his hands to pray, the kissing of the Bible, and many other actions which are not Sacraments, I confess I was weary of these quirks, and ima∣gining that he used them onely to weary me, and blunt my atten∣tion, and to make some oftentation of himself, I replied not to his vain talk, but called for Scripture-proof.
As for that which he saith, I denyed all that were Church-members were to be baptized, and yet affirmed it in my Sermon: in both I said true, the former being understood of invisible, the latter of visible Church-members.
In the Argument pag. 24. Those whom God did promise before the Law, foretell under the Law, actually receive into Covenant under the Gospel, those God did appoint Church-members under the Gospel. But, &c. Ergo. Had not Mr. Craggs quickness hin∣dered me, I had shewed the vanity of the major, as well as denied the minor. For if he mean by [Church-members] visible Church-members, and by [actually receiving into Covenant] understand such an actual receiving as is without any act of faith or Profession of the persons received into Covenant, as I conceive he doth, I de∣ny the major. But I also denied the minor. In the next Proof he changeth the term [of actually receiving] into [being in Covenant] Now there is a manifest difference between them, sith a person may be in Covenant, that is, have a Covenant made to him, who is not yet born, as Isaak, Gen. 17. 21. But he is not actually re∣ceived into Covenant till he be born, and by some acts of his own engageth himself to be Gods: receiving importing an offering, which is to be done by Profession. As for his Proof from Gen. 17. 7. I had many Exceptions against it. First, that if it be understood of the natural seed of Abraham the everlastingness of it was but for a time, and that time afore the Gospel, as in the next Verse, the possession of Canaan is promised to be everlasting, and yet the Jews dispossessed now of it. Which Mr. Cragg grants, and therefore must needs grant that the Promise Verse 7. though it be termed everlasting, yet it is to be understood onely of a limited time, as in other passages, Exod. 21. 6. & 12. 24 &c. if meant of the natu∣ral seed of Abraham. Nor is he resieved by saying, They shall have Canaan again, for however the Possession was not everlasting, Page 13 that is, at all times, particularly not in Gospel-times. As for his Proof of the continuance of the Gospel Covenant unto the end of the world, to Abraham and his seed, the very Text he allegeth, Gal. 3. 8. doth manifestly express the thing promised to be justifi∣cation, and that of the Heathen, and that through faith, that had not the man a face which could not blush, he would have been ashamed to have urged it to prove, that Abrahams natural seed were promised to be in Covenant under the Gospel. And his next allegation is as vain, that because Deut. 29. 10, 11. The whole congregation of Israel are said to stand before the Lord with their little ones, to enter into Covenant, therefore the Covenant Gen. 17. 7. is to continue to infant natural seed of Abraham to the end of the worlds whereas the speech is onely of a transient fact, not of a command, much less of a promise of something perpetually future, and what is said of the little ones is as well said of wives, hewers of wood, and drawers of water, and therefore if thence be concluded a continuance of covenant to infants, a continuance of covenant to wives and servants will be concluded.
His allegation of Heb. 8. 6. is as vain, For he brings it to prove, That if infants were in covenant under the Law, they are in Covenant under the Gospel, whereas the meliority of the Co∣venant is not placed in the extent to the sort of persons, for then it should be extended to more sorts than the Covenant of the Law was, but to the meliority of the promises, which were of better things, or better terms, then the promises of the Law, but not to any other than elect and true believers, and so not to infants as the natural seed of believers.
And for that which he saith, This unchurcheth the one half of Christendome, and leaves them no ordinary means of salvati∣on, if he mean by Christendome all that are commonly called Christians, I grant it, if the infants be the one half of them, and their unchurching be in respect of visible Church-membership, but count it no absurdity. nor do know what ordinary means of salvation he conceives they are left without except baptism, which I take not to be an ordinary means of salvation without faith, and therefore think it no inconvenience to say that infants are with∣out ordinary means of salvation, which are the preaching the Page 14 word, &c. yet are saved by the election of God, redemption of Christ, and work of his Spirit.
What I said, that the Covenant under the Gospel was made onely with the spiritual seed of Abraham, was right, and deter∣mined so Rom. 4. 11, 12, 16. Rom. 9. 7, 8. Gal. 3. 29. John 8. 39. &c. Nor is it true because the partition wall is broken down, therefore there is the same Covenant national to the natural seed of believers as was to Abraham, but that therefore as the Apostle speaks Ephes. 3. 6. The Gentiles (to wit believing Gentiles, Rom. 1. 16.) should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and parta∣kers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel. Nor is it ture, That the Gospel Covenant is made with the whole visible Church, as the Gospel Covenant is expressed, Heb. 8. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. And if I denied the Major pag. 29. in the first argument, I confess I was mistaken through inadvertency, whether by reason of Mr. Craggs fast speaking, or some humane infirmity, or some other occuirence now not remembred, I cannot tell. But I deny the Minor understood of the Gospel Covenant, Heb. 8. 10. and the whole visible Church being taken without any Synecdoche for every visible Churchmember.
But I perceive by Mr. Craggs words page 30. If the Church in regard of outward administration of Ordinances (which is the question) were only the elect, &c. that the terms Church and Covenant were so ambiguously used by him, that I knew not how to conceive of his meaning, and his fast speaking would not permit me deliberately to consider his words, and therefore no marvel I desired liberty to explain my self, and to enquire into Mr. Craggs meaning, it being impossible for me otherwise to answer appositely, and to make the disputation profitable for finding out truth.
As for that which Mr. Cragg saith, That it was the question whether the Church in regard of outward administration of Ordinances were onely the elect, it doth untruly suggest as if I so conceived, who, though I hold the Church invisible are the elect onely, and that the Gospel Covenant of grace, Heb. 8. 10, 11, 12. is made to them only, yet have still granted that the Church visible consists of others than elect persons, and that out∣ward ordinances may lawfully be administred to them upon their Page 7 profession of faith in Christ. But Mr. Cragg by confounding these terms [to be in Covenant, to be subjects of baptism, &c.] misleads unwary hearers and readers.
The next text Mr. Cragg brought was Isaiah 49. 22. whence he would prove that Infants should be Churchmembers under the Gospel.
To which my answer was at first (though it was otherwise ta∣ken) that it is a prophecy that the Gentiles should bring back the Jewes, not only infants but others, from captivity, which the words before verse 19, 20, 21. and after verse 24, 25. do plainly evince; and this is given as the meaning by the New Annotations made by Mr. Gataker, who doth on verse 23. say, it was fulfil∣led in those Persian Potentates, Cyrus, Artaxerxes, Darius, Ahasuerus. Nor is there in the Contents of the Chapter (which Mr. Cragg without ground makes the judgement of the Church of England) any thing to the contrary, but the words, which are [18. The ample restauration of the Church, 24. The powerfull deliverance out of the Captivity] do rather confirm this. If any people laughed at this, they shewed their ignorance, and Mr. Cragg shewed his heedlessness when he said, That it was an addition to the text that the Gentiles should bring the lewes, when the very distinction of [thy children] from [the Gentiles] shews it meant of the Jewes, otherwise it should have been [their children] in the third person, not [thine] in the second; nor can it be meant of Gods children as his, for then it should be [mine] in the first per∣son, for God speaks those words. Though I deny not but the words may be accommodated to the times of the Gospel, but not to Mr. Craggs purpose of bringing infants to baptism, which hath no colour from the text. Which appears by considering Mr. Craggs answer to my questions put forth needfully to cleer the text.
For 1. if by [standard] be meant [baptism] which the Scrip∣ture never calls Gods standard, and the bringing should be to bap∣tism, then the sense should be that Supreme Magistrates as Kings & and Queens should bringinfants in their arms, and carrythem on shoulders to baptism, which no story ever mentions to have been done, and is too srivolous to be made the matter of that pro∣phecy.
Page 162. The terms [nursing Fathers, and nursing Mothers] shew it to be a Metaphor, wch Mr. Cragg granting, though it follow not, that nothing could be gathered from it, yet it follows, that Mr. Craggs application, which is according to the proper sense of the words, is not right. What I said, that it was fulfilled in Hesters time, I said rightly, and Mr. Gataker before me in those Annotations of his which are taken for the most incomparably learned, and Hester as a Queen among the Gentiles, might well be stiled a nursing mother to the Jewes. I will not trouble my self to examine Mr. Craggs dictates, but refer the Reader to the notes of Mr. Ga∣taker.
As for what I said, that though it should be understood of the times of the Gospel, yet it might be meant of grown men perswa∣ded by the preaching of the Gospel, as Junius in his Annot. was true. Nor doth the bringing in the bosome being a Metaphor prove they were infants. And if so, the Church is spoken to, and the children were both the Gentiles children, and yet [thy chil∣dren] that is the Churches. And so theres no interfering in my words.
The next text was Isaiah 65. 20. in reading which Mr. Cragg left out those words, nor an old man that hath not filled his daies, nor would read them, nor the words following, ver. 21, 22. I perceived he meant nothing but fallacy, and yet he added impu∣dence to it in accusing me as urging it to deceive the people, when his own course, in concealing what would have cleered the text, had a manifest shew of deceit, and mine of plain dealing.
As for his interpretation, There shall be no more an infant of daies, that is, infants shall not be uncapable of the seal, it hath no proof but his dictate, and it is without all shew of probability, there being not a word of any such thing as ou•ward ordinances, but of peace, increase, possession, and long life, as the verses before and after shew.
The like is to be said of his interpretation of the other part of the verse, The child shall dy an hundred years old, that is, as an hundred years old, or as well a Churchmember as if he were a hundred years old, when the term [as] is added to the text.
Page 17To which he replyed that I do put in [as] 1 Cor. 10. 2. and Rom. 11. 19. But this latter is false. I grant I do so interpret [baptized 1 Cor. 10. 2] because otherwise the proposition were not true, and the sense is plain according to this sense, were bap∣tized, that is, their passage through the Sea and under the cloud was to them as if they had been baptized, and so did Grotius expound it, which is the same with that which others mean when they say, they were Analogically baptized. But in Isaiah 65. 20. there is no need of such an interpretation, and that I may use the words of Mr. Gataker Annot. on Isaiah 65. 20. The Syntax is familiar, and as cleer as the day-light or Sunshine: the child or youth (that now is) shall dy the son of an hundred years; that is, shall be an hundred years old when he dyeth. Nor is this contrary to the Contents, which though they be intitu∣led to the Church of England, yet there is no Canon or Act of any Synod which did ever make them so, and who ever framed them, yet I think it no disparagement to say that Mr. Gataker understood the text as well or better than he: and this text was rightly made by me answerable to Zach. 8. 4. nor is there either absurdity or •ntruth, or blasphomy in my interpretation: which might be shewed by transcribing Mr. Gatakers forementioned notes on Isaiah 65. 17, 19, 25. were it not I am forced to be brief. What I said about Dr. Prideaux his use was true, that he would require the respondent afore he answered to read the text, and consider it, which is necessary in Divinity disputes, however Respondents be restrained in other disputes.
And for my Explosion at Oxford it is a meer figment, and that neither Dr. Savage, nor the Doctor of the Chair, did avoid my argument by their answer is manifest enough from Dr. Savage his own recital of his answer in his printed book, and this had been shewed in print ere this but that the Printer failed to print my answer in the fit time. The frivolous conceit of my fear of Mr. Craggs gunshot is foolish; I do not count Mr. Craggs arguments to be of so much force as a Squib.
As for his argument from Mat. 28. 19. I answered, that all nations or whole nations did not include every part, all nations being taken synecdochically for the disciples of all nations.
As for his division I gave the genuine reason why infants are Page 10 excepted from the precept of baptizing, because they are no disciples. Nor was there any defect in Logick when I did not reduce it to one of his members. For [capable of baptism] and [disciples] are not terms subordinate, but distinct, though with∣out opposition. And though to be disciples made them capable, yet there is a difference between the terms. I presume Mr. Cragg thinks baptized persons already disciples, yet not capable of bap∣tism.
What he saith of me, That I found fault with him at Rosse for translating 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 make disciples of all nations, I am as sure is his fiction, as that I spake any thing there to him. Nor will, I think, any man believe I should do so, except he found me now crazed in my brain, that hath either read my Examen par. 3. s. 12. or 13. or shall read that part of my Review now in Press, in which I often assert that translation, and largely answer objections to the contrary in the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, &c. of that book. In which book I shall at large answer all that Mr. Baxter hath said to prove infants disciples from Acts 15. 10. As for what Mr. Cragg saith here, it is frivolous. For though v. 1. 5. there is mention of circumcision, yet not of circumcision as acted on infants, but as taught brethren, and when the Apostles v. 6. did consider of the matter, they did not consider of circumci∣sion as acted but as taught, and not only of circumcision, but al∣so of imposing the whole Law of Moses as necessary, which was the putting the yoke v. 10. and it is ridiculous to conceive that those teachers mentioned verse 1. did attempt to do any thing to infants, and therefore it is a meer wrangling to contend that the disciples on whom they would have put the yoke, verse 10. were infants, contrary to the constant use of the term throughout all the New Te••ament some hundreds of time.
As so: Mr. Craggs Arguments from Acts 2. 38, 39. it is false that the Apostles inference is as Mr. Cragg insinuated, unless his argument have four terms, that they may be baptized to whom is the promise. For the Apostle expresseth a duty in the imperative mood, not a •ight in the indicative or potential, it is [be bap∣tized] not [may be baptized] as in Mr. Craggs Conclusion.
I excepted that those parents were not then believers, which Mr. Cragg co••••ied in saying, They were believers in fieri, though Page 5 not perhaps in facto, which is all one as to say they were not yet believers, but in the way to it. As for his saying, They were believers by outward assent and disposition, though perhaps not by inward assent and habit.
I reply 1. if they were by disposition, how were they not by in∣ward assent?
2. How doth he know they were believers by outward assent and not by inward? Doth he know they were hypocrites?
3. What act did they shew which expressed outward assent to the acknowledgement of Christ as their Lord? what Mr. Cragg saith he knows of me, and tells of a ministers rule, is a fault he chargeth me with as not pertaining to the dispute.
What he saith, that Acts 2. 38. Repentance is not made a condition of being baptized, is in my apprehension manifestly false. For the requiring Repentance as first to be done, and then Baptism to be annexed doth make it a condition of baptism, as when it is said, Believe and thou shalt be saved, belief is made a condition of salvation. His talk about incompleat repentance, because they were pricked in their hearts, as a sufficient qualifi∣cation for baptism, doth make the Apostles speech as idle, which requires that which they had already, if Mr. Cragg say true; But who will believe Mr. Cragg that the Apostle required no more to baptism but an incompleat repentance or pricking the heart, v. 38. Which it is said they had before? or that he took that as a sufficient qualification for baptism, and yet required more as previ∣ous to it? Or who will believe him that the 3000. Jewes were baptized upon an incompleat repentance, when the text expressely saith, Then they that gladly received the word were baptized? or that there was no new act of Peter, but a recapitulation of the heads of his Sermon that he preached to them before they were pricked in conscience, or were exhorted to be baptized, when the text saith, with many other words he testified and ex∣horted? Or that there was any, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, putting that as done after, which was done before, when the text doth so ex∣presly note the order of time, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which our Translatours render [then] and if it be rendred [therefore] it proves that which was done v. 41. to be consequent on that which was done before ver. 40.
Page 20To the Argument, To whom the promise of grace belonged, to them baptism belongs also: But the promise of grace belongs to believers and their children. Ergo.
To this I answered out of the text, when they are called, or are believers, not before, it neither belongs to fathers nor children without calling.
To this Mr. Cragg replyed, 1. That the verb is in the Indi∣cative present tense,which implies, it is to them for the present, as well to your children as to you. 2. The opposition is between them and their children as near, to distinguish them as to whom the promise was at present from them to whom it was afar of, that is in the future,
But all this is frivolous. For 1. the verb is in the Indicative Mood when it is said, The promise is to those that are afar off, as well as when it is said, The promise is to you and your chil∣dren.
2. Their being afar off is not in respect of time, but of place or dwelling, and the meaning is, they that are in the dispersion as it is called James 1. 1. or if it were meant in the sense that it is used Ephe. 2. 15. (not Romans 2. 15. as Mr. Cragg miscites) yet they are said to be afar off in respect of Gods favour, or their affection to him, not in respect of time.
Lastly, it is frequent, even in speeches like this, to put the Indica∣tive mood present tense, by an enallage of tense, for the future, as Matth. 5. 10; 12.
I added, that by [children] is no necessity to understand infants, yet Mr. Cragg contrary to the common use, as Ephe. 6. 4. Col. 3. 20. would have [children] restrained to infants.
1. Because of the notation of the word, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 to bring forth, which I think he saith falsly is given sometimes to children in the womb, but if it be, then it overthrowes his notati∣on, for then 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is not from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 to bring forth, for a child in the womb is not yet brought forth. But how doth it appear that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉signifies properly a young child? or that child is ana∣logum to old and young? I had hitherto thought child and parent had been Relatives, and that child signifies as well an elder as a younger. To that of the verb of the present tense answer is before
Page 21How doth Mr. Cragg prove that their children they had were young children? It is vainly supposed that the Promise is to them & their children, as the Jews children were in covenant with their Parents. The Text makes it to belong neither to parents nor chil∣dren, but those that God cals? Does Mr. Cragg think that the un∣believing Jews had the promise? And yet they were in covenant in his sense before, even the whole Nation? Or doth he think that Christs bloud was not avenged on them? If it were, How was the Remedy as large as the Disease?
Next Mr. Cragg argues thus, They that are holy with a Cove∣nant-holiness are capable of the outward visible part of blessing: But infants of believers are holy with a covenant-holiness; There∣fore they are capable of the outward and visible part.
Of which Syllogism I might have denied the major, there be∣ing a Covenant-holiness according to election, which doth not al∣ways instate the person in that which he calls the outward visible part of the blessing, by which he means title to Baptism. But I de∣nied the minor, understanding it of the outward Covenant-holi∣ness as they call it, which I truly said, is gibberish, and however Vossius, Bullinger (for Grotius I think means otherwise) conceive of it, or the Assembly, yet it is a meer mistake, and that holiness of children which is mentioned 1 Cor. 7. 14. is truly said by me to be onely matrimonial holiness, or legitimation. And his argument out of Mr. Baxter I justly retorted, that in six hundred times in which Holy is used in Scripture, in none of them it is found for out∣ward Covenant-holiness intituling to Baptism: which is a right way of answering, though it be called indirect by the Logicians. And as for that he replies that Rom. 11. 16. I confessed at Ross co∣venant-holiness is meant, I grant it, but not outward Covenant-ho∣liness intituling to Baptism, but that real saving holiness which is according to the election of grace, according to which Iews ele∣cted shall hereafter be graffed in again.
I said, Ezra 9. 2. Holy seed is all one with a legitimate seed ac∣cording to the law of Moses. Against this it is objected, that then the meaning should be, The holy seed, that is the lawfully begotten Iews, have mingled themselves with the seed of these Lands, that is the bastards of those Lands But I deny this consequence. The sense is this, the holy seed, that is, those who were descended Page 22 by lawfull generation of allowed women, these have taken to themselves of the daughters of the nations whom God forbad them to marry, which is plain out of the vers 1, 2. so that the people of the Land with whom they mingled themselves, are not considered as illegitimate in there birth, but as not allowed to the Israelites, and yet the holy seed is that seed which by a right generation ac∣cording to Moses law was legitimate. As for what he saith, that Iepthe was a Saint and yet a bastard, it is true, he was holy in one respect as borne from above, yet unholy by naturall birth. And whereas he saith, Moses had childeren by an Ethiopian woman, and yet not unholy, I grant it: for the Ethiopian woman was not forbidden: nor were Rahab though a Canaanitess, nor Ruth a Moabitess when they joyned themselves to the God of Israel pro∣hibited, or there children illegitimate: yet this is not the same with Covenant-holiness, intituling to Church-ordinances, but legi∣timation intituling to be reckoned in the genealogy and inheritance of Israel.
The last argument Mr Cragg used was this, They that Christ took up in his arms, blessed, said, the Kingdom of God belonged unto them, pronounced a curse upon those that despised, and would not receive them, are holy with a covenant-holiness; But Christ lock up little children into his arms, blessed them, said, the Kingdom of God belonged unto them, pronounced a curse upon those that de∣spised, and would not receive them: therefore little children are holy with a covenant-holiness.
In this Argument I denied the minor, after some debate about the way of forming of it, in which I imagined that fallacy I do not now upon fight deprehend, & particularly I denied, that Christ pronoun∣ced a curse upon those that despised and would not receive them. Then he alleged Mat. 18. 2. whence he argued, They to whom be∣longs the Kingdom of Heaven are holy & in covenant: But to little children belongs the Kingdom of Heaven; therefore little chil∣dren are holy and in covenant. In which Argument any Reader may perceive he proved not what I denied, that Christ pronounced a curse upon those that despised, and would not receive little chil∣dren or infants, and yet that Text he alleged did not say of little children, that to them belongs the Kingdom of Heaven, but those that were not to be offended, v. 6. despised, v. 10. were to be Page 23received in Christs name, v. 5. were not little children in age, but little ones in spirit, which appeared in that they are said to be believers, v. 6. and to be converted, and become as little chil∣dren. To which, as the Relator himself sets it down, Mr. Cragg said, The meaning is not, that the little children are converted, which is a grant of what I alleged, that the little ones not to be of∣fended, despised, but received, were not little children in age, but affection of humility. Mr. Cragg added, But it hath relation to the Desciples in the first Verse, who must be converted from their actual sins, and become as little children which have no actual sin.
At which words it is true, I said, and that justly, O how un∣happy are the People that are seduced with these Toys, Are you not ashamed? To which he replied, and it seems is not ashamed that it is printed, I see nothing worthy of shame: whereas if this speech of his were true, then this is a truth, Except men be con∣verted from their actual sins, and become as little children, which have no actual sin, they shall not enter into the Kingdom of Hea∣ven: for this is the meaning of Christs words, Matth. 18. 3. ac∣cording to Mr. Craggs interpretation, which whosoever believes must of necessity despair of Heaven, sith as James saith, Chap. 3. 2. In many things we offend all: and John 1. Epist. chap. 1. ver. 8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us.
That which Mr. Cragg added, that the Disciples were belie∣vers which are meant Matth. 18. 6. and not the children, and yet saith, his argument remains unanswered, hath more of im∣pudence in it. For his argument being that Christ pronounced a curse on them that despised and received not little ones in age, and yet confessing that this was meant not of little ones in age, but Disciples, believers in him, it is the heighth of impudency to say his argument is unanswered, when his own confession answerd it. Justly here, after five hours time, having promised but one, did I breakoff, and having had experience of Mr. Craggs meet cavil∣ling at Rosse and Abergaveny, dwelling many miles from that Town, and finding nothing in him, and those other Paedobaptists I have answered, but a spirit of wrangling, I yielded not to any other Dispute, nor shall for time to come, being now sufficiently taught Page 24 by experience what dealing I am like to have, yield to such dis∣putes.
As for that which Mr. Cragg saith, He was hurried to that extemporal discourse through importunity, I do not believe it, being advertised before, that if I came to Abergaveny he would oppose me. That the speech of him that said I answered nothing, was the speech of an impudent, brazen-faced fellow, I think any will judge who reads this my writing.
For Mr. Baxter, whatever his worth be, yet how justly I might say (though the words set down were not used as the Relator ex∣presseth them) that I have answered all he saith against me, will appear in the Review of the Dispute between him and me, and others, of which part of it is printed, part in the Press, and the rest (if the Lord permit) shall not be slackned.
Mr. Craggs arguments from John 3. 5. Romans 11. and other places, if they be not in his Sermon (to the examining of which I now hasten) yet are they in other books answered by me: I shall take some view of his Sermon on which I had made some Ani∣madversions before, according to the imperfect Copy I had then, and sent them to A ergaveny, but have them not now by me in London, yet however in this straight of time I think it necessary to write thus much.
Mr. Craggs Sermon is examined.
FIrst he saith [and is baptized] pag. 72. to be a conditional qualification, and yet in the dispute he denyed that repen∣tance is a condition of baptism Acts 2. 38. His observation out of Dr. Buckeridge p. 73. is frivolous, for the Apostle 1 Cor. 12. 28. saith as well of Apostles as of ordinary Pastors and Teach∣ers, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 he for them, or, if he will, fixed them. But it seems Mr. Cragg hath a special tooth at Itinerants, though his Relator claw Mr. Cr. and Mr.W. But what he saith, that it is too strict an interpretation to expound Mark 16. 15. of men of age and un∣derstanding, Page 25 excluding children, shews he little considers what he saith. For if it be so, then Christ, commandeth the Apostles to preach the Gospel to infants, and sith Mr. Cragg is bound to do so, he sheweth that he sins against his own light, if he do not so. But how foolish it would be for him to attempt it, his own words shew, when he saith, Infants are not capable to be taught of men. And when he saith, That infants only in actu primo are ca∣pable of the first seeds of understanding, of profession of faith, I would know, in what sense they are sensible of the benefit they have by Christ. And whereas he grants, That baptism is necessa∣ry by necessi•y of precept if conveniently it may be had, it is all I assested in my Sermen, when I said all that would be saved must be baptized after profession. If Austin were a hard Father to infants for holding they must be baptized or not see the Kingdom of God, then Mr. Cragg cannot gather from John 3. 5. infants baptism. From Mark 16. 16. is rightly gathered that believing is to be before baptism, and yet from Mark 1. 4. it is not right∣ly gathered that we must be baptized, before we can hear the word preached or repent; For the text doth not express that John baptized afore he preached, but recites these two as connexed, yet the latter is put first, not because first done, but because he was to set down more amply what he preached.
Though we cannot know that the person to be baptized hath a saving faith, yet a saving faith is the rule of baptism to the person baptized, he should not undertake that ordinance without a sa∣ving faith; and in respect of the baptizer, so far as he can discern, he should require a saving faith of those he baptizeth.
Dipping over head, or baptizing over head, after profession of faith, is no invention of man, but the Command of Christ, pra∣ctice of the Apostles, and their Successors for many ages, and in∣fant-baptism was opposed many ages afore John of Leyden, who though he were otherwise not to be justified, yet I do not remem∣ber that any hath written he ever confessed that he had that do∣ctrine from Satan.
But Mr. Cragg saith, Baptizing is in Greek any washing whe∣ther by dipping or sprinkling. And he cites Ravanel who hath made a Dictionary according to the present use of terms. But he shews not out of any of the Pillars, as he calls them, of the Page 26Greek tongue, that baptizing in Greek ever signifies to sprin∣kle.
He confesses that Casaubon in his notes on Matth. 3. 6. distin∣guisheth between baptizing and rantizing or sprinkling, But saith, The whole state of the question is determined against me, be∣cause he addes, that their judgement is deservedly long since exploded, and trampled down, that would have baptizing to be by dipping, seeing the force and efficacy of this mystery consists not in that.
But 1. by Mr. Craggs leave the question is plainly determined for me by Casaubon, when he distinguisheth between baptizing and sprinkling, for that is the question, not wherein the efficacy and force of the mystery consists.
2. Though Casaubon were a very learned man, yet this speech of his is not right. For we are to observe what Christ appoints, though the efficacy and force of the mystery of Sacrament consist not in it, as we are to break bread, not take a wafer-cake down whole, drink wine in the Lords Supper, because of the instituti∣on, though the force and efficacy of the mystery consist not in it. Mr. Craggs speeches out of Aquinas and Dominicus à Sato, are of no weight with them who know who those Doctors were, to wit, Papists, and very unskilful in the Greek language.
It is as vain which Mr. Cragg saith the Israelites were bapti∣zed when their feet did but touch the water, for the text saith Exo. 14. 29. they walked upon dry land in the middest of the Sea, and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand and on their left, and therefore their feet did not so much as touch the water, much less were they sprinkled with it. And if the Israelites were baptized in the cloud, and yet no water upon them, then the text 1Cor. 10. 2. doth not prove baptizing to be by sprinkling, but proves plainly that as Hugo Grotius said they were baptized, that is, they were as if they had been baptized, or as other, they were analogically baptized, that is in proportion, or likeness, not for∣mally, that is according to what is meant by that term.
It is without proof, yea false which Mr. Cragg saith, Where is mention•••••• in the Gospel of washing themselves, of Cups, of Vessels, of Tables, this cannot be meant of plunging in wa∣ter, so often, but rinsing. For water was not so scarce but that Page 27 they might do it by dipping as well as sprinkling. He might have seen Ainsworth on Levit. 11. 32. who out of the Hebrew Ca∣nons tells us, All that are unclean, whether Men or Vessels, are not cleansed, but by dipping (or baptizing) in water: And wheresoever the Law speaketh of washing a mans flesh, or wash∣ing of clothes for uncleanness, it is not but by dipping the whole body therein.
Me thinks Mr. Cragg should allow Anabaptists to make conse∣quences though they allow not his. And that John Baptists and Philips going down into the water, proves something me thinks Mr. Cragg should not deny, sith it cannot reasonably be imagined they should go down, not to the water, as Mr. Cragg would have it, but into the water, whereas for baptizing a person a man might easily have fetched or taken water out of any spring to baptize with, if it had been so to be done by sprinkling, and not by dipping. But if he please to see a book intituled Of Baptism, written by an eminent man in the State, he might see many of the prime writers, even leading Protestants, gathering dipping thence, as used then in baptizing.
The like they do from John 3. 23. Of which whatever Geo∣grapher or Traveller saith, Enon (where John baptized) was a lit∣tle brook that one may stride over scarce knee deep, and therefore not capable of dipping (which doth not follow) deserves not to be believed in this.
Out of Rom. 64, we do not press a necessity of dipping, because of the resemblance, but from the resemblance alluded to shew the use then, ingenuously confessed by Mr. Vaugban, and therefore should be the use still. Nor doth it follow, we must ly• three daies and nights in water, the resemblance of Christs burial is to be continued though not the duration.
Whatever other resemblance there may be of our burial with Christ, yet we are to follow the institution and practice set down in Scripture, from which he that swerves (as Sprinkless do) do sin against Christs command, whatever any Divines or Assemblies of men say to the contrary.
It is well Mr. Cragg confesseth, That if he were to baptize converted Turks or Pagans of ripe age he might baptize them by dipping: it shews that it is only for infants sake that the instituti∣on Page 28 of Christ is altered, and so one corruption hath brought in a∣nother.
What he addes, Provided their garments were not first bap∣tized or washed, intimates he would have them naked, which Mr. Baxter would conclude to be against the sixth and seventh Command, and he may do well to school Mr. Cragg for it. His reason is as foolish, though the Garments be baptized in water, yet are not baptized with that use that the person is, but by acci∣dent, nor baptized as Bells to drive away Devils, Nor is by bap∣tizing the garment any worship done to it, as the Church of Rome doth to the image: For then the baptizing the body should be worshipping it, the Garments and body are not worshipped at all by baptizing, and therefore foolishly is it compared to Romish Superstition and Idolatry. He that affirms that baptizing without dipping is not lawful, that it is will-worship, that the sprinkling used is a nullity, that notwithstanding such pretended baptism, yet baptism remains a duty, speaks but truth. The decree of the Senate of Zurick was an unrighteous decree, which, whatever state follows, it will draw the guilt of murdering innocent persons on it, and Mr. Cragg by reciting it with seeming approbation, doth make it probable that he is a bloody-minded man, who would rejoice to see innocent men, who out of tenderresse of conscience follow the plain rule of Christ, so put to death: which its not unlikely to be the aim of his, or his Complices printing this book against those he calls Anabaptists, that he might stir up either Magistrates or furious common people against them.
Mr. Cragg saith, He hath resolved the former doubt, that baptizing is not dipping, and yet page 81. the Authors he cites, and by citing approves, do all make dipping or dying one of the first of its significations. Now he undertakes to prove that infants may, nay ought to be baptized. And he begins as an Advocate for infants with this childish preface, that those poor souls cannot speak for themselves, as if in speaking for their baptism he spake for them, when he doth thereby rather speak for that which is to their hurt, and calls them poor souls, whom before he called Saints.
There is more in his pittyfull preface, He supposeth, if the A∣postles had been asked, why they did not put down Infant-bap∣tism Page 29 in plainer terms, they would have answered, that they thought none would have denyed it. And I suppose they would have answered, that they thought none would have affirmed it, being quite against Christs appointment, and their practice, who had then no such custome, nor the Churches of God.
The rest, as it is taken from Mr. Baxter, so it is answered in the answer to him now in the Press sect. 3. Lets view Mr. Craggs Arguments.
His first is, Those that are in Covenant with God ought to have the seal of the Covenant which is baptism; But infants of believing parents are in Covenant with God; Ergo.
He saith, The former Proposition is firm by the confession of all Diviues, even our adversaries, and cites five, but not where they say it, nor is any one his Adversary in this point. It is true Ferus was a Popish Frier, though more ingenuous than most of them. But doth Mr. Cragg think we must take that for true, which Protestants and Papists do avow without any proof from Scripture? If so, then let us lay aside the Scripture, and read their books. But he might know, and tis likely did know, that I (though I will not take on me the name of a Divine) yet have denyed, yea and proved his former proposition to be false Exam. par. 3. sect. 1. Letter to Mr. Bayly sect. 3. Anti-pae lob. Or Full Review first part sect. 5. which shall be fully vindicated (God assisting) in the third part. Yea were his arguing good, it would prove infants were wronged because they had not the communion. For I can as well from his own medium prove that they are to have it, as he Baptism.
The Minor he takes on him to prove from Genesis 17. 7. But there is not a word of infants of believing parents. But to prove it he ci es Cornelius à Lapide, a Jesuit, for him, and yet had he not falsly translated his words, the words would have appeared to be against him. For whereas he renders them in, The spiri∣tual seed to the faithful (which mars his sense) it is, In the spiri∣tual seed the faithful. So likewise Gal. 3. 8. though there be not the term Abrahams seed, yet it is directly against him, for it as∣serts justification to the believing Gentiles onely from Abrahams promise, not a promise to them and their seed. I deny not but that Isaac was in Covenant with God, that is, a child of the promise, Page 30 not onely when he was but eight days old, but also afore the se∣venth, yea afore he was born; but when he saith, he had the seal (meaning Circumcision) by virtue of the Lamb to be slain, it is strange Divinity to me, who never heard or read that any person was circumcised by virtue of Christs death, but by reason of Gods command. And that which he saith, Much more the Children of believing Parents by virtue of the Lamb that is already slain, which seems to intimate, that Circumcision is due to them much more, and that by virtue of Christs death, is a foppery like to the Authors ingeny. He saith, Deut. 29. 11. When all the People stood in covenant before the Lord, their little ones are mentioned amongst the rest. And are not their wives, and servants, hewers of wood, and drawers of water? Are all these in covenant with God? How doth he prove they were believers infants? The words v. 4. seem to make to the contrary. It is no shift but a manifest truth, that those, Acts 2. 38, 39. to whom Peter said, The Pro∣mise is to you and your childdren, were not then believers in Christ, when the words were spoken to them. For, 1. the Apo∣stle exhorts to repentance, therefore they had not yet repented, and so were not believers. Mr. Cragg himself, pag. 78. in this Sermon saith, Repentance is a fruit and effect of faith, therefore according to him, not before it. And in the Dispute, pag. 52. he made them believers in fieri, with an incompleat repentance, though perhaps not believers in facto, 2.v. 40. he exhorted them with more words, and then v. 41. some of them gladly received the Word, and were believers. Yet Peter said to them before they were be∣lievers, The Promise is to you and your children, nor is there a word in the Text that makes it clear, that as soon as they were be∣lievers their children were in covenant with them, and to be baptized.
His second argument is, Such as were circumcised under the Law may be baptized under the Gospels: But infants of belie∣vers were circumcised under the Law; Therefore they may be baptized under the Gospel. He cites Whitaker saying, all the Anabaptists shall not be able to resist this argument.
I answer, notwithstanding so learned a mans conceit, it hath not the force of a feather so as to need resistance. To it I answer, 1. Indirectly by retortion. Such as were circumcised under the Page 31 Law may be baptized under the Gospel: But infants of unbelie∣vers, as the males bought with Abrahams money of the stranger, not of his seed, Gen. 17, 12, 13, 23, 27. persons out of Covenant as Ishmael, Gen. 17, 19, 21, 25. were circumcised under the Law: Ergo. If the one be irresistible so is other. 2. Directly, by denying the Major if it be universal; if not, the syllogism is naught, con∣cluding from particulars. His proofs are vain. That from Austin is of no force, unless it be supposed, 1. That by circumcising under the Law, and baptizing under the Gospel, the grace of God is con∣ferred, which is a popish conccit. Circumcision did binde to the keeping of the Law, but never that I finde is the grace of God said to be either physically or morally conferred by the Circumcision of each person rightly circumcised. 2. It supposeth, if infants be not baptized, the grace of God is straiter in the New Testament than in the old. But that is false. For the grace of God is as much without Sacraments as with it. Above two thousand years be∣fore Abrham was circumcised there was neither Circnmcision nor Baptism of infants, nor any other Sacrament instead thereof; Shall we say that Gods grace was straiter before Abrahams time than since? As bad as the Schoolmen were, who gave too much to Sacraments, yet they held, that the grace of God is not tied to Sa∣craments.
That question from Heb. 8. 6. How were it a better Cove∣nant, if all poor infants that were in Covenant under the Law were out of Covenant under the Gospel, runs upon these common mistakes, that to be circumcised or baptized is all one as to be in covenant; all that were in covenant were to be circnmcised or baptized; all that were not, were out of covenant; that the reason of the circumcising or baptizing a person is his being in covenant, which are all false, as I have proved Exam. Part. 3. Sect. 1. Let∣ter to Mr. Baily, Sect. 3. Antipaed. Part. 1. Sect. 5. and shall Part. 3. in many Sections, if God permit. And to the question I answer from the next words, Heb. 8. 6. the new Covenant is a better Covenant because it is established on better promises, though it were imagined never a poor infant (as he childishly speaks) which yet I do dot conceive, were in Covenant.
The next from Tit. 2. 11. supposeth, If infants be not to be bap∣tized, the grace of God appears not to them, which is of no force, Page 32 unless that popish conceit obtain, that by it, and not without it, Gods grace appears to all. But this is false, and not in the Text. Irenaeus words are not that Christ was a little one, that little ones might be baptized from his example, for then he would have been baptized in infancy, whereas he was not baptized till about thirty years of age. We need not deny Christs Redemption of infants, because we deny their Baptism, there's no such connexion between them. His saying of little ones that they were the first Martyrs that suffered for Christ, is false. For how were they Martyrs who testified nothing concerning Christ? That of the Collect in the Common Prayer book on Innocents day, that they witnessed onely by dying is vain; For dying without some other expression doth not witness: nor did they suffer for Christ whom they knew not, but be∣cause of Herods beastly rage. This speech of Mr. Cragg smels rank of the Common Prayer Book superstition in keeping Innocents day, which it seems Mr. Cragg yet retains; But is nothing to the proof of his major, nor any thing hitherto alleged. That which he saith last, hath most shew of proof, that Baptism came in place of Circumcision, the Apostle clears it, Col. 2. 11, 12. Ye are cir∣cumcised with Circumcision made without hands, How is that? buried with him in Baptism: but it is not true that he saith, ye are circumcised with Circumcision made without hands, in that ye are buried with him in Baptism: these are predicated of the same persons, and so were conjoyned, but yet not so as to express how that the former was done by the latter, no more than by that which follows, that therein they were raised by the faith of the operation of God who raised Christ from the dead: yea it had been false, so expounded: for how could it be true that they were circumcised without hands, in that they were buried in Baptism with hands? Nor if this were granted, were it true, that it is clear∣ed by the Apostle that Baptism comes in the room of Circumci∣sion: For there is not a word to that end, yea the scope is to prove that we have all in Christ without Circumcision, as v. 10. &c. shew, and that Christ came in the place of Circumcision, and the rest of the Jewish Ceremonies, as v. 17. is expressed. And there∣fore the Apostle asserts the contrary, that no Rite but Christ came in the room of Circumcision. If any ask why is v. 12. added, I have answered formerly, and the answer is not gainsaid by M. Mar∣shall,Page 33 that it is to shew how persons come to be in Christ, and so to be compleat in him, which he usually ascribeth to Faith and Bap∣tism, Gal. 3. 26, 27. Rom. 6. 3, 4, 5. and they are put together, Col. 2. 12. so that if Baptism be conceived thence to succeed Circum∣cision, Faith also is said to succeed it: which is more agreeable to the expressions, Gal. 3. 23, 25. I add the Circumcision mentioned Col. 2. 11. is either Circumcision made without hands, or Christs personal Circumcision, therefore if the placing of Baptism after v. 12. prove its succession to Circumcision, it proves onely its suc∣cession to that made without hands, which was not the Ceremony commanded, Gen. 17. or to Christs Circumcision, not to the com∣mon Circumcision of others. Yet were a succession granted, this proves not, it must be in Baptism as in Circumcision, without a like command, as I prove Antipaed: Part. 2. Sect. 2, 3. No more than because the Ministers of the Gospel succeed the Priests of the Law, doth it follow, the Ministers children must be Ministers, anointed, &c. as it was in the Law. So that Mr. Craggs irresistible argu∣ment is as easily blown away as a feather. And I hardly imagine any Anabaptist so called to be so weak but that he is able to an∣swer it, by telling Mr. Cragg that his first Proposition is false, unless there were the like command to baptize infants as there was to cir∣cumcise them.
If the third argument arise thence, it hath its answer thence, that it is frivolous talk in Mr. Cragg to speak as if denying in∣fants Baptism were putting out of the Covenant, disfranchizing, and circumcising, supposed being in Covenant, was a seal of the covenant of grace. His proof that the Gospel puts not in∣fants out of the Covenant is true of the elect infants, and the co∣venant of grace expressed in the Gospel. And yet his proofs are silly. New born babes desire milk, little childeren are humble, and are proposed herein as paterns to us, therefore they are in Covenant; whereas this is as true of infidels children as of Christi∣ans, and therefore proves the one in Covenant as well the other, and both these acts of little childeren are onely natural, not virtu∣ous, and so give not evidence of their being in covenant; nor doth the Gospel give them large commendations beyond them of riper years, making them the Rule of our perfection: For there is nei∣ther commendation of them, 1 Pet. 2. 2. nor Matth. 18. 3. nor Page 34 making them the rule of our perfection, any more than Sheep and Doves, Matth. 10. 16. but onely those virtuous qualities, which are resembled by their natural qualities are propounded to us as our rule. His testimony out of Bellarmine intimates that Bellarmine said, There is no impediment to infants baptism, because the case is clear, as if Bellarmine would not have said it, had the case not been clear, whereas it is more likely to be false than true, because Bellarmine a Jesuit saith it; yea it is manifestly false; for the insti∣tution being onely to baptize Disciples, prohibits baptizing of in∣fants, which are not such, but for want of being Disciples unca∣pable of Baptism.
But Mr. Cragg in his fourth Argument will prove infant-baptism commanded, Matth. 28. 19. because Nations are commanded to be baptized. To this I answered before in the Dispute, and my answer is, and was, Nations are not commanded to be baptized without any other circumscription, but Disciples of the Nations, Mr. Cragg confessed, pag. 48. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉is, Ye shall make Disciples, and then baptizing is of Disciples. His speech, Infants are not uncapable of Baptism, because they have not faith and repentance, because Christ was baptized without repentance, is frivolous, for there is not the same end of Christs Baptism and ours, and therefore though repentance were not required of him, yet it is of us, and the want of it makes infants uncapable of Baptism. It is false, that God re∣quires no more of persons in Covenant, and born of believing Pa∣rents, to their Baptism, but a meer objective power or receptabi∣lity, as he cals it, as was in the world at its creation, or in the re∣generation, which he new makes us. And it is meerly false, that upon any such account as he speaks of, many whole families were baptized, or that any infants were included. The very Texts which speak of the baptizing of the housholds either there or elsewhere speak of their fearing God, Acts 2. 2. that all the houseshould be sa∣ved by Peters words, Acts 11. 14. had repentance and the like gift with the Apostles, v. 17, 18. had the word spoken to them, Acts 16. 32. believed, v. 34, Acts 18. 8. addicted themselves to the Ministery of the Saints, 1 Cor. 16, 15. Which shew no infants were meant under the houshold, for they did none of these things.
Mr. Cragg goes on Argument 5. They that are capable of the Kingdom and the blessing which is the greater, are capable of Page 35 Baptism which is the lesser: But infants are capable of the King∣dom and the blessing which is the greater: Therefore they are ca∣pable of Baptism which is the lesser.
To which I answer, The major is false: if it were true, it would follow infants are capable of the Kingdom and the blessing, which is the greater, therefore they are capable of the Lords Supper, Ordi∣nation to the Ministery, Church-discipline, which are the less. Though into the Kingdom of Heaven infants be admitted by God who knows who are his without any visible expression, yet into the visible Church persons are not admitted without visible testimony of their faith, of which sort were all added to the Church Acts 2. 47. Not one of those Texts Mark 10. 13. to 17. Mark 9. 14, 36, 37. Mat. 18. 2, 3, 4. Matth. 19. 13, 14, 15. Luke 9. 14 15.Luke 18. 15, 16. seve∣rall, nor all joyntly prove, infants visible Church-members. The kingdom of God, Mark 10. 14. is not the visible Church, for into it such as are not humble, as little children may enter, which our Saviour denies, v. 15. but the same with the Kingdom, v. 23, 24, 25. into which it is so hard and impossible for a rich man or one that trusts in riches to enter, which is called v. 17, 30 eternal life. It is false, that Christ saith, The Angels of little ones in age see the face of his Father which is in Heaven; But of little ones in spirit, who are converted and believe in Christ, Matth, 18. 3, 6, 10. for whose sake they are sent, Heb. 1. 14. They are but Paede∣baptists dreams, that the three Evangelists recorded Christs blessing little ones to check Antipaedobaptists, or to declare that which Mr. Cragg cals a precious truth, though it be a very ly, and may be gathered to be so even from the story. For sure if infants had been to be baptized, Christ would have then appointed them to be baptized, and blamed his Apostles for not doing it. And therefore Mr. Craggs questions are answered by questions. 1. Doth Christ take children in his arms. and would be have all put out of his visible Church? Answ. Doth Christ no more but take them up in his arms, lay his hands on them, and bless them? And shall we presume to do more without any warrant of his, even to admit them into his visible Church by Baptism? 2. Would he have us receive them in his Name, and yet not receive them into his visible Church, &c? Answ: Where doth Christ ever bid us receive little children in age? Where did he ever send them, that Page 36 they might be received in his name? must we make Christs words to import that which we would in another censure as a spice of madnesse, when he hath told us plainly they are his Apostles, and other Preachers he hath sent whom we are to receive in his name Mark 9. 41. Luke 9. 48. though they are as mean and contemptible as a little child? How should children be received but by providing Nurses? would Christ have us provide Nurses for little children? our Lord Christ expresseth a cup of cold wa∣ter to drink, as some part of the reception in his name Mark 9. 41. Is this a thing fit to entertain an infant with? This is e∣nough to answer Mr. Craggs frivolous questions. And in answer to the words of Mr. Baxter, who is the godly and reverend Divine he means, I say for my part, seeing the will of Christ is that I must walk by, and his word that I must be judged by, and he hath given so full a discovery of his will in this point, I will boldly adventure to follow his rule to baptize disciples pro∣fessing faith, and had rather answer him upon his own incou∣ragement for not admitting by baptism those he never appointed to be baptized, than to adventure upon the doing like Uzzah upon mine own head that which doth prophane the ordinance of bap∣tism, and corrupt the Church of Christ.
Mr. Craggs sixt argument is; Infants are disciples; therefore they may be baptized.
The antecedent he would prove from Acts 15. 10. in that it was circumcision which was the yoke, which he proves from ver. 5. But he confesseth it was not circumcision only, but the attendants, and that it is no shift, but a cleer truth, that it is not circumcision as acted on infants, but as taught, imposed on the consciences of believing Gentiles, with the rest of Moses his Law, as necessary to salvation by some teachers (which cannot be said of infants) is so manifest from the text, that I dare boldly say, they that assert that by disciples Acts 15. 10. are meant, do but wrangle against cleer light, and spit against the Sun. That the text Isai. 54. 13. is not meant of infants of believing parents, as such, but of such as having heard and learned of the Father come to Christ, is plain from those words of our Saviour John 6. 45. alleged here by Mr. Cragg himself, as expounding the Pro∣phet.
Page 37The seventh argument is,All that have faith may be bapti∣zed; But some infants have faith; Therefore some infants may be baptized.
But 1. the major is not true of faith onely in seed, or act secret, and not made known.
2. Mr. Cragg alters the Conclusion, which should have been That all infants of believers may be baptized; But then he durst not avouch the minor, that they all have saith, at least in semine the contrary being manifest from Scripture and experience, He proves his minor.
1. From Matth. 18. where he saith, Christ expresly calls them believers. But Christ calls not little children in age belie∣vers, ver. 6. it had been ridiculous to threaten so heavy a doom to the offending of little children in age, who are offended with none so much as Nurses for dressing, or chiding them when they cry: but the Apostles and other Christian disciples are there meant.
2. They are said to receive the Kingdome of God Mark 10. that is, the grace of God, remission of sins, and life eternal; now the Kingdome is not received, but by faith in Christ. But onely elect infants dying do receive the Kingdom, either by faith in the seed, not in the act, or by faith in the act secret only, and yet are not to be baptized till they make profession, not are all or any children of believers, as theirs, elect.
3. Saith Mr. Cragg, They please God, therefore Christ blesseth them; but without faith it is impossible to please God. Answ. The like argument is urged by the Remonstrants at the Synod at Dort, It is impossible to please God without faith, therefore election which supposeth pleasing of God presupposeth faith; The answer is, that Heb. 11. 6. the pleasing of God is meant of the works, as Enoch pleased God walking with him, and so infants please not God, and therefore may be without faith, not of the persons, in which sense infants may please God, that is be beloved with a love of benevolence, though not of delight, without faith.
4. Faith must be allowed them, or not salvation, for faith pu∣rifyeth the heart Acts 15. 9. and no unclean thing shall enter in∣to heaven. Answ. Faith in the seed is sufficient to make them clean, which is not denyed may be in infants, though neither Isai.Page 38 65. 20. sayes any such thing, and Austins words express nothing but his own conceit according to the language of his time, but faith in seed or act unknown doth not intitle to baptism.
The eighth Argument was answered before by denying the major and minor, and his calling those that expound 1 Cor. 7. 14. of legitimation gross Anabaptists doth but involve Melancthon, Camerarius, Musculus, &c. in the same censure, and that it is no bastard, as Dr. Featley called it, but a genuine exposition is demonstrated at large in my Anti-paedobaptism first part, and tis granted, That Pagans children are holy in the Apostles sense if lawfully begotten; for the sanctifiedness of the yoke-fellow, and holiness of the children is not ascribed to the faith of the one parent, but to the conjugal relation between them. Rom. 11. 16. The first fruits and root, are Abraham, not every believer, The lump and branches are Abrahams children by election and faith, not every believers, nor all Abrahams natural children: and the holiness is meant of saving holiness, not meer outward visible holiness.
The breaking off and grassing in Rom. 11. 17. are meant of the invisible Church, in which sense Parents and children are not broken off or graffed in together. See my Anti. paedobap. first part.
Nineth Argument tells us Of dangerous absurdities if infants should be out of Covenant under the Gospel. But this is not all one as to be baptized; we may grant them to be in the Covenant of grace, and yet not to be baptized, and to be baptized, and yet not in the Covenant of grace. But let us view the absurdi∣ties.
First, Infants (saith he) would be losers by Christs comming, and in a worse condition than the jewish infants were, they with the parents were admitted to the Seal of the Covenant, which was Circumcision, and not Parents with Children to bap∣tism.
Answ. 1. I rather think that by being not admitted to Cir∣cumcision the condition of Parents and Children is the better by Christs comming, sith as Mr. Cragg teacheth here page 100. Cir∣cumcision is the yoke Acts 15. 10. of which the Apostle saith, Neither we nor our Fathers were able to bear it, and is so farr Page 39 from being the seal of the Covenant of Grace, that (they are Mr. Craggs own words) Circumcision was the seal or ordinance by which the Jews were bound to observe the doctrine and the Law, meaning of Moses.
2. But were it imagined a pure Evangelical privilege, yet sure it is not such a privilege, but Parents and Children did well with∣out it, afore Abrahams time, and all the females from Abra∣hams daies till Christs. I suppose what ever privilege it were, it was abundantly recompensed by Christs comming without infant-baptism, except a meer empty title of visible Church-member∣ship, which yet will not stand them so much in stead, as to admit them to the Lords Supper, be such an inestimable treasure as is not recompensed with the glory of the Gospel now exhibited to spiritual persons, in spiritual benefits by the Spirit, instead of the carnall Promises, Ordinances, and Church-state of the Law.
The second is answered already, though infants be not bap∣tized, Grace is larger under the Gospel being extended to belie∣vers in all nations, then under the Law to the Israelites and some few Proselytes.
The third is a speech that hath neither truth, nor sobriety of expression, nor proof, it is but a bugbear to affright the ignorant people to make use of such as he is, and to make odious them that will not baptize infants, as counting them as vile as the children of Turks, Tartars, or Canniballs, even as they make them odi∣ous that will not burie their dead, as not affording them Christian burial (though they are buried as Christ was without a Priest,) but burying as dogs. But we know how to put a difference between Believers and Pagans children in regard of the love God bears to us, some promises he hath made to us concerning them, the hopefullnesse of them by reason of prayers, education, exam∣ple, society, confirmed by many experiences that are comforta∣ble, all which things we should be contented with and not com∣plain for want of an imaginary privilege, which is indeed no pri∣vilege, but a dammage to our children.
I for my part look upon the children of believers unsprinkled, as precious, and rather more hopeful than those that are. And Page 40 I think Mr. Cragg, as hard a conceit as he hath of the Anabaptists and their children, yet would he be ashamed to say as he doth here of them, That they are as vile as the children of Turks, Tar∣tars, or Cannibals.
But that which he closeth with, sheweth he was minded to affright the poor ignorant people, as the Popish Priests did of old.
Fourthly (saith he) They would be without God, without Christ, without hope in the world; not the children of God, but would all be damned, for out of covenant and visible Church (ordinarily) there is no salvation.
Answ. By Covenant, he means doubtless no other than the outward covenant, which is not shewed to be any other than baptism, and indeed we do no otherwise put them out of the Co∣venant than by denying them baptism; which being presupposed, Mr. Craggs speech must needs imply, that denying baptism inferrs all this. Which cannot be true without conceiving, That all that are unbaptized are without God, without Christ, without hope in the world, not the children of God, but of the Devil, will be all damned, have no salvation. Which is not only more than what the Epistler makes hainous in me, all that would be sa∣ved must be baptized after profession (though it were understood by me onely of necessity of precept, which Mr. Cragg himself asserts to be imported Mark 16. 16.) but worse than Austin sayes, whom Mr. Cragg himself called the hard Father of in∣fants, and saies went too far, worse than the Papists themselves speak of the dying unbaptized. Which shews that he preached this Sermon with a bitter and furious spirit.
His closing speech [out of Covenant and visible Church (ordi∣narily) there is no salvation.] if understood of the Covenant of saving according to election, I grant, that neither ordinarily, nor extraordinarily is there salvation: if of the outward Covenant (as they call it) that is, the outward administration of Seals, it is certain there may be salvation, unless profane contempt or will∣full neglect against conscience do hinder salvation.
The speech, out of the Church is no salvation, hath been in∣terpreted by Protestants of the invisible Church. A person of Page 41 years that believes, though he be joined to no particular visible Church, if there be not prophane contempt, or wilful neglect a∣gainst conscience, may be saved. But they that are only negative∣ly or privatively out of the Church visible, meerly for want of age to understand the faith, and ability to make profession, may ordina∣rily, if by it be meant frequently, constantly be saved, though they be not ordinarily saved as [ordinarily] notes ordinary means, preaching the word and profession of faith.
His last argument is, That which hath continued since the A∣postles times with blessed success, must needs be lawful; But in∣fant-baptism hath continued with blessed success since the Apo∣stles times; Ergo.
The minor is denyed. The blessed success he proves not. In my Exercitation I shew many errours and corruptions which have come from it, not by accident in respect of some persons that imbraced it only, but even from the tendency of the practice it self. I may ruly say that Paedobaptism hath been as cursed a root of corrupting the Churches, and losing the gifts of the Spi∣rit conferred at first commonly at baptism by laying on of hands, as I think (except some few) any other corruption in the rites of Christian Religion. But Mr. Cragg thinks to draw it down from the Apostles daies.
He begins with words of Dionysius Areopagita, holy men have received a tradition of the Fathers, which very words shew it was not Dionysius Areopagita mentioned Acts 17. he would doubtless have said, I have received it from blessed Paul, not have told what other holy men have received from the Fathers, whom Mr. Cragg vainly conceives to be meant of the Apostles. But the books that go under his name have been so often by so many lear∣ned men, Papists and Protestants proved to be meer counterfeits, that either it is much ignorance, or much impudence that this is produced as his.
Salmasius sundry times speaketh of them as certain, that the Author of them was not till the fifth age. The Apostolical con∣stitutions appear by many observations of Scultetus, and others, not to have been written by Clement, but of much later time. Irenaeus his words make nothing for Mr. Cragg, as he cites them, Page 42 nor as they stand in his own works. Origens speeches are in the Latin books translated by Ruffinus, into which many things were foisted by him, and these its probable were so as being so expresse against the Pelagians, nor do I find he was ever alleged by Au∣stin, who gathered the most Ancient testimonies he could for O∣riginal sin and infant-baptism. Therefore saith Vossius in his Theses of infant-baptism, We less care for Origen, because they are not in Greek. Cyprians testimony is granted to be in the third Century, and Ambroses and Austins, and the Milevitan Councils and innumerable more, but all upon the Popish errours of giving grace, and the necessity to save a child from damna∣tion.
Gregory Nazianzen and Tertullian before him disswade from it, except in case of danger of death in appearance near: out of which case the Ancients did not baptize infants, and in that case the communion was given them: But otherwise they baptized not infants, no not of believing parents, till they came to years, and then they were first catechized in Lent, and then solemnly baptized at Easter and Whitsuntide, as may be gathered even from the Common Prayer Book in the Rubrick before baptism.
It is most false that all ages, all Churches agree in infant-baptism. Some Churches never had it, some Churches five hun∣dred years ago of the most godly and learned that then were, did oppose it, and practice the baptism of believers only. If Mr. Fox, and others did account Anabaptists hereticks, it was for other tenents than this. Mr. Baxter himself saith no sober Divine did ever reckon the Anabaptists as hereticks meerly for the errour of rebaptizing, Plain Scripture proof, &c. part 1. chap. 1. Yet Mr. Cragg bespatters Anti-paedobaptism thus, it robs the Scripture of its truth, infants of their right, parents of their comforts, the Church of its members, Christ of his me∣rits, God of his glory. Sure he hath learned the art of him in the Comaedian to calumniate boldly, imagining somewhat will be believed, though there be not a word true. But there is more of this venome behind; That it is the mother of many other er∣rours; Hence sprung the Ranters, Socinians, Antitrinitarians, Shakers, Levellers, they that are above Ordinances, Anti∣scripturians.Page 43 Will any believe that from the tenet which doth so stifly maintain an Ordinance should spring the errour of being above Ordinances? Or that the errour of Antiscripturians should spring from that tenet which doth so strictly insist on the Scripture? Let Mr. Cragg shew any the least connexion between Antipaedo∣baptism and the errours he names, and he saith something, else if only the persons, and not the tenet be guilty of these errours he doth but calumniate. He might with like reason say, The Christi∣an religion is the mother of many other errours; hence sprung Ebionites, Cerinthians, Nicolaitans, Gnosticks, &c. Such kind of criminations are most stinking and base slanders; unwor∣thy a sober minded man, much more a Divine in a pulpit, speak∣ing to many people who examine not but take all for true, which such Rabbins talk with confidence. The like may I say of the judgements of God. Those in Germany were by war, the events that have happened in our daies should teach us to be sparing in our judging. Mr. Cottons speech was according to his prejudice. Solomon Eccles. 9. 1, 2. Christ Luke 13. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. teach us more sobriety than so easily to pronounce of Gods judgements. If we should judge of men and tenents by outward judgements, Job had been condemned justly. One man had his house burned that did not sprinkle his child, thousands have had their houses burn∣ed who did, and perhaps upon occasion of that abuse, by means of provision for the feast. May not we as well say. God thereby judged against infant-sprinkling? Thousands have prospered after their refusing to baptize infants, thousands have fain into calami∣ties after they have baptized them. May not we this way as well decide for Antipaedobaptists as against them? Divines that main∣tain the Scriptures to be their rule should not thus judge of what is true or false by Gods dealing with mens persons, which is of∣ten upon secret reason, not discemable by us, but by his word which is our rule, and wherein he hath revealed his mind. The rest of Mr. Craggs speech is as vain. Doth this benefit come to parents, and children by infant baptism, that God is not asha∣med to be called their God, and the God of their seed after them,Heb. 11. 16. what a ridiculous conceit is this? The text saith, that through the faith of the persons it is, that God is not ashamed to Page 44 be called their God, not their God, and the God of their seed, much less a word of infant-baptism, as if such a benefit came by it. All the benefit he talks of that comes to infants is either a meer empty title, or else it comes to infants as well without baptism as with it. The Devils dealing if it be, as Mr. Cragg saith, makes it appear the faith is good into which the pretended baptism is, but not that the Baptism is right.
Enough of this frothy, unconcocted Sermon, calculated for the ignorant and superstitious common people, and the profane loose Gentry, who mind not godliness in earnest, and for the blind Teachers of those parts, who know not the Gospel, but mind their own profits more than the understanding of the truth. From whom the Lord deliver the dark parts of this Land, and pro∣vide teachers for the people after his own heart, that it be not as now it is in too many parts, The blind lead the blind, and both fall into the ditch.