AN APOLOGIE OF INFANTS IN A SERMON: Prouing, by the reueal [...] will of God, that children preuen [...]d by death of their Baptisme, by Gods elec­tion, may be saued.

By W. H. Preacher in the Tower of London.

Seene and allowed by Authoritie.


AT LONDON, Printed by the Widowe Orwin for Thomas Man. 1595.

TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE LORD ROBERT DEVOROX, EARLE of Essex, and one of her Maiesties most Honorable priuie Councel: all gra­ces fit for so worthie place and trust be multiplied.

THE great Messias, the Lord Iesus (right Ho­norable) being on the Crosse readie to dye, cast his eye aside, and sawe his mother and the disciple stan­ding by, whom hee loued, on whose breast he leaned: and sayd to his mo­ther, Woman behold thy sonne: Iohn 19.26. and to the disciple, Behold thy mother. This voyce then spake from the altar of the crosse on earth: The same voyce see­meth to speake still from the arch of heauen, the Church being grauen on [Page] the palme of his hands,Esay. 49.16. and her walles euer in his sight on the one side, & see­ing the Nobles of the world on the o­therside, especially such Nobles whō hee loueth, on whose shoulders his truth leaneth, in whose breast the loue of the trueth dwelleth: He seemeth to say to the Church, as to a faint & weak woman of them: O woman behold thy sonnes the Nobles of the earth: Psal. 45.16. Thou shalt haue children the Potētates thorow the whole earth. And to them: O ye sonnes of the No­bles,Galath. 4.26. behold your mother also. This mother, the true Church, maketh you the sonnes of God. That voyce then wrought obedience: he to whom it was spoken, tooke it to heart, and took her home: So ought the Peeres and States of the world, especially whom Iesus hath loued by education in the trueth, to take this mother the church, her sonnes and daughters, the trueth and her defence home to them, to sur­round it with their power and coun­tenance, euen as in two circles Israel [Page] with all their tribes and gouernours did hemme in the Tabernacle of God, Numb. 3.38. In the inmost circle Mo­ses and Aaron on the forefront of the Tabernacle Eastward stood next to it: vers 24. On the other side three fami­lies of Leui: The Gersonites pitched their tents behinde the Tabernacle Westward: vers 29. The Kohathites had their standing on the South side: vers. 35. The Merarites on the North side. These were the inward lists of it. In the outward wall of it (so to speak) Eastward did Iuda claspe it in, and his associates Issachar and Zabulon: Num. 2.5. On the South side, vers. 10. Re [...]ben fastned his standard with Gad and Si­meon: On the West, vers. 18. ioyned Ephraim with Manasses and Benia­min: On the North, vers. 24. as closing vp all, came Dan with Asher and Nap­tali. So strongly and politically was Gods Tabernacle and Church then mannaged and conducted: in so sight­ly manner did it march on with this alarme: Num. 10.35. Arise O Lord, [Page] and let thine enemies be scatrered. In so puissant and stable manner did it take vp his standing with this solem­nitie: Returne O Lorde to the many thousands of Israel. The Nobles who thus stand about Gods Church at this time, and lend their shoulders for his trueth to leane vpon, haue a greater place thē Naamans: 2. King. 5.18. the King to leane on their hands: then Atlas, the arch of heauen to rest vpon their shoulders: they haue the honour to be the noble disciples whō Iesus loueth, on whose breasts he leaneth, in whose hearts he dwelleth: to whom he hauing sayd, Behold your mother, the Church, the trueth: they doe not onely take her home to them vnder their roofe, dwel with it, conuerse with it: but enter in­to a strict vow and solemne protesta­tion, (for this is the heroicall prote­stant) as Ruth the Moabitish did to Naomi: concerning her cleauing to the trueth and Gods people, though discouraged by contrarie example of one that lay in the same wōbe, though [Page] aboured with by the womb that bare her: she sayd,Ruth. 1.16.17. Intreate me not to leaue thee, nor to depart from thee: whither thou goest, I will goe: where thou dwel­lest, I will dwell: thy people shall be my people: thy God, my God: where thou dyest, I will dye: and there will I be bu­ried. The Lord doe so vnto me, and more also if ought but death part thee and me. The obedience to this voyce of God, to take the loue of the trueth home to you, seeing it hath dwelt in your familie and progenie long, and now hereditarily resteth in your Ho­nour: and the experience of your care, by whose meanes not onely the stan­dard of the preaching of the word is lift vp in this place, (tanquam in arce Minerua Phidiae) in the midst of cap­tiued enemies (which was not before) but by whose fruites of faith also it is cherished: emboldened me to present this firstling of my labors in this kind, in the cause of many speechles infants, to your Honour: remembring what Salomons mother sayd to him: Open [Page] thy mouth for the dumme in the cause of all the children of destruction Open thy mouth, Pouer. 31.8. &c. The argument, though diminutiue and low, yet parents loue to heare of the state of their childrē in this life: much more of life to come, specially the godly. Euen graue fathers after serious matters dispatched, for­beare not to vse modificatiō of speech, to lispe with the little ones: saying, Chesippus, not Chrysippus: as he in Tul­lie: Coniah, Iere. 22. not Ieconiah: as in the scripture. But why do I seeke further? Haue not these little ones the Dukes and Pecres of heauen for their Pa­trones?Matth. 18.10. Their Angels (sayth Christ) alwaies behold the face of God the fa­ther in heauen. And he that set a child in the midst of his Apostles, striuing for honour,Matth. 18.3 with this charge: Verely, except ye be conuerted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdome of heauen: and he that humbleth himselfe as this child, is the greatest in the kingdome of heauen: knew that the case of little children, [Page] their harmlesnes, innocencie, mildnes, are matters for all sorts to meditate vpon, to schoole them to GOD. In which argument Dauid so profited, Psalm. 131.2. that he professeth euen before the Lorde, that he demeaned himself as a weaned, euen as a weaned child, though the court and field had been his nurse. But I may not exceede the measure of a Preface: The Lord ripen the good worke he hath begun in your Honour, and increase it with the mightie increa­sings of God.

Your Honors in the Lord to be commanded: William Hubbocke.

To the Reader.

AS the blessing of peace is great, Zach. 8.8. streets full of children playing, so among them to come sodainely the stroke of God,Exod. 12.29. as at midnight in Aegypt,Virgil. Aeneid. lib 4. Si quis mihi paruulus aula Luderet AEneas. Act. 20.9. 1. King. 17.18. Ionas 4.7. 2 Sam. 12.17. in euery house a dead childe, to fall dead from a windowe as Eutichus, to sicken in the field, and die at home presently, as the woman of Sareptaes childe: especially if it enioy not the next morning sunne, as Ionas shade, especially if it dye as Dauids child did before circūcisiō: so it before baptisme: & the former ioy doubleth the grief, sillie leauened people lift vp their voice as Agar did for hers,Gen. 21.19. in a gentiles distrust as a people without hope,1. Thess. 4.13. (as though their babe were Ismael & of Aegypt, & not of the Isra­ell of God: as though they were Agar of Sina engendring vnto bondage, & not of Sion, bea­ring childrē vnto God) moning there is no wa­ter: they blame not thēselues that they keep not [Page] houres with God and his Church, in regarde of gossips and outward complement, breaking out as the Sareptane:1. King. 17.18. O thou man of God, what haue I to doe with thee? Would to God they would thinke also with that good woman: God in my childe brings my sinnes to remembrance, that departure of children might cause departure from iniquitie. For many take on piteously with God and man if their children misse Baptisme: but take no care if they miscarie their owne Baptisme,Math. 28.19. forgetting the fellowship of the blessed Trini­tie, into which they were baptized: so that the water of Baptisme is not the sweet water of life vnto life,Act. 8.23. but Marah, as in Simon Ma­gus: A gall of bitternes still in him. Christ should dissolue the workes of the diuell,1. Ioh. 3.8. but a bond of iniquitie in him still. To such it should bee fearefull in their eares which is written: The children which yee sayd should bee a praye, Deut. 1.19 and your sonnes & daughters, which haue no knowledge between good and e­uill, they shall possesse mine inheritance: but as for you, Numb. 14.32. Your carkeises shall fall in the desart. Where is he that hath Dauids hart, a man after Gods owne hart? he moned for feare of death,2. Sam. [...]. but neuer moued to haue respite of life for circumcision, which no [Page] doubt he would if it had beene so daungerous to haue dyed without it: at least where is the mouth of Iob? Blessed be the Lord that gaue mee children: blessed bee the Lord that tooke away my children: blessed is he in giuing, bles­sed in taking away, and blessed in the manner though strange: of him it is sayd,Iob. 1.21.22. Hee sinned not with his mouth, nor charged God foo­lishly. But thy child is thine Image, and thy shadow: and behold as Ionas shade, it vanish­ed from thee in a night, it vanished before thou well lookedst vpon the face of it: & howe pitifull a thing?Ionas 4 11. But the pitifull God telleth him and thee also: that hee pitieth little ones that cannot discerne betweene right hands and left, euen to the number of six score thou­sand in one citie: and that in Ashur, and Ni­niueh; and is his compassion shut vp from the seede of Christians? Yea but if it had beene sprinkled with water of Baptisme, Iohn 5.7. When the bedridden man for 38. yeares had none to helpe him into the souereigne wa­ter, Christ healed him without water saying, vers. 17. Though the Angell moue not al­waies the water, vers. 4. but at times, yet saith he, My Father still worketh and I also work. And though the spring of Baptisme should sometime be dammed vp: it followeth not in­fants [Page] to bee damned: for as Christ said to his Disciples,Gen. 21.19. Ioh. 4.32. I haue meate that you know not of: so the Angell telleth Agar, and all mothers of water that she seeth not: and Christ here telleth of saluation, which the Angell and the water wrought not. Thou missest thy children in thine armes: beholde they are in the hand of God, they are pluckt from thy brests, but are in Abrahams bosome: not in thy cradle below, but in the throne of immortalitie aboue. How oft is it seene amōg men that friendes take a babe from a weake mother, a daughter, a nurse, and bring it vp for their owne:Exod. 2.10. as Pharaos daughter did Moses, so that the parents peraduenture ne­uer see it: or not till long after. What else doth God when he taketh the childe from the wombe, or breast, to haue it nursed in heauen lost it should haue ill bringing vp here? A con­flict with such dispositions vpon a like sodaine accident, made mee gather against the next Lords day, these remembrances touching this argument, which nowe I haue more perfectly recognized. Then it bred such alteration in their apprehensions and opiniōs that heard it: that as once they who sayd of Paul, Act. 28.4. hee was a murderer, (as if some should say, infancieida,) when they sawe the reuealed glorie of God: [Page] they changed their mindes. These also are a holy seede, Luk. 15.31. The childe that was dead to mee, is aliue: he that was lost is found: blaming themselues as Dauid, Psal. 73.23. so foolish were wee euen as beastes, vntill wee wēt into the sāctuary of God, where we vnder­stood the end euē of these little ones.Math. 9. The Lord of the haruest giue blessing to this, according to the riches of his glorious wisedome, and teach vs to abound not with captious know­ledge, which by scanninges, descantings, comparings puffeth vp, 1. Cor 8.1. But to abounde with loue which buildeth vs vp to one heade ouer all, euen the Lord Jesus, to whom be as­cribed saluation for euer.

A SERMON PROOVING, THAT THE VNBAPTIZED, PREVENTED BY DEATH, may be Gods children: and by his election may be saued.

1. Pet. 3.21.

To this Arke of Noah, the fi­gure also that now saueth vs, euen Bap­tisme agreeth, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the questioning of a good conscience to God, by the resurrecti­on of Iesus Christ.


Who is at the right hand of God, gone into Heauen, to whome the Angels and powers, and principalities are subiect.

THis Scripture, as touching my purpose at this time, o­peneth the meanes of our saluation, and that two waies, touching GOD in Christ, & touching vs. Touching god in Christ: who is the cause of it, the su­preme [Page 2] and soueraigne cause of it, the cause of causes, euen Christ the alone cause of our saluation. The meanes of performing and purchasing it, are set downe by foure actions: the first, his rising from the dead: the second, his sitting at the right hand of God: third­ly, his ascending into heauen: fourth­ly, his subiecting of Angels vnto him. The conditiō on our part is two-fold: outward, the element of water in Bap­tisme: inwarde, the questioning of a good conscience to God. Of the type Noahs Arke and the complement of it, in the correspondence of Baptisme vnto it: elsewhere hath been at large handled.

Now further, I obserue affirma­tiuely, what saueth: Namely, Christ apprehended by faith, from a good conscience: as being risen, ascended, sitting at Gods right hand, subduing Angels and all for thy good. Secondly, I obserue negatiuely what saueth not: namely, the outward washing of Bap­tisme: water of it selfe, being readier [Page 3] to drowne, then to saue: seeing of old they baptized with their bodies vnder the water, Act. 8.38. Matth. 3.16. and not sprinkled alone, which yet was in­different, as appeareth Act. 9.17.18. Act. 16.33. Cyp. lib. 4. epist. 7. Third­ly, that it is necessarie and fit to bee had, if it may bee had after Christs in­stitution. So that the Prince, Minister, or parent, or whosoeuer he bee, sore offendeth, by whose negligence, or meanes it is omitted, or cannot be had. For the first, all scripture aimeth onely at this poynt, Iesus to be the Christ: all the sacrifices of the old Testament did foresignifie it: Iohn did poynt at him, This lambe takes away the sinnes of the worlde: GOD proclaimed it from heauen by an apparition of a Doue, with a celestiall oracle, when he was crowned with the holie Ghost: This is my welbeloued sinne in whom I am well pleased: that is,Matth. 3.17. I am not pleased in the Prophets, in any holie men or women, not in thee, nor in thy people, [Page 4] O my seruant Iohn Baptist, nor in this water of Iorden, but in him I am well pleased, euen for all other that beleeue in his name:1. Iohn 2.1.2 of him (saith Iohn) If any sinne we haue an aduocate with the fa­ther, and he is the propitiation for our sinnes. Act. 4.12. There is no saluation in any o­ther, no name vnder heauen, by which we may be saued: no name neither of person, as Angels or Saints: nor yet of other creature, as Water, Bread, or Wine.

This I neede not to stande vpon a­mong Christians: the meanes of ap­plication to vs must bee thought vpon rather, which is by faith vnfained, which maketh the questioning of a good conscience towards God: here a good conscience well examined is mentioned. But to Timothie and to the Hebrues, it is thus expressed: vnto Ti­mothie thus:1. Tim. 1.5.* The end of the comman­dement is loue out of a pure hart, from a good conscience, and faith vnfained. Againe to the Hebrues thus:Heb. 10.22. * Let vs draw neere with a true heart in assu­rance [Page 5] of faith, sprinkled in our hearts from an euill conscience. Then what sanctifieth the conscience? faith. Now a good conscience is here described, to bee such an one that maketh such an enquirie into it selfe, by straight exa­mination, as in Gods presence: exami­nation of a good conscience to God­ward, tho men mislike: So that that is not an ill conscience that sinneth: for then who is free? but that which suf­fereth sinne to lie vpon it selfe vnexa­mined, that flattereth it selfe, that bol­stereth sinne in it selfe and others. Paul would bee one among them that sto­ned Steuen, Act. 7.58. Act. 22.20. at least he would keepe their garments: if it should come to voyces, he would giue a voyce,Act. yea he put himselfe to paine to molest men & women that loued the trueth,Act. 23.1. Act. 24.16. and yet when he had beleeued in Iesus Christ, he professed before the Councell, that he had serued GOD in a good con­science.

Therefore that is not an euill con­science, alwaies that hath been defiled, [Page 6] but that which lyes in the defilement. For if thou risest from sinne, this ri­sing, sitting at the right hand of God, this ascension, this subduing of hea­uenly powers, are for seruiceablenes vnto thee: they bee as a bunch tyed to­gether to besprinkle thine heart. Thou art cleane: euen as Dauid professeth of himselfe, after he had been bathed in pleasure, and been dyed red as scarlet in the bloud of Vrias, that if God wash him,Psalm. 51.7. bloud it selfe, and adulterie shall bee as cleane washt off, as though they had neuer been. A man so scoured shal be as white as snowe in his cleanenes from the clowdes: a man so spotted shall bee as cleare as the picked, the smooth and cleare transparent glasse, when the sunne beames do shine vpon it. Yea but some wil say: though with God it bee so, that my sinnes bee taken away,Psalm. 51.3. yet my sinne is alwaies before me, it runnes in my mind, I can haue no rest for it. Yet againe remember, as the scripture sayth,1. Ioh. 3.20. Though thy heart condemne thee, yet this Christ so ri­sing, [Page 7] so ascending, so sitting in glorie, that Angels that do homage vnto him, euen as he is man: is greater then thy condemning heart to saue thee. And therefore beloued, to the man or wo­man, whom sinne or sathan hath decei­ued, his owne flesh, or the world, I say, let not sinne lye vnexamined, vnque­stioned with neuer examining the hart and raines: but rather still as sinne stea­leth vpon thee, search it out, as with tents wee search the bottome of our sores, lance the wound,1. Cor. 11.31. sit in commis­sion vpon thy selfe, cast thy selfe, and damne thy selfe, and thou shalt bee sa­ued: if thou doest thus, thou hast the right vse of Baptisme, of the Supper, of the Word, of Prayer, and all the good that can come to a man by Christes death, resurrection, ascension, sitting in glorie, and power ouer Angels: thou shalt stop the mouth of Sathan: Apoc. 12.10. He is an accuser of the brethren. Doe thou therfore step to God before him: when sathan seeth, that thou hast done so much against thy selfe, by ac­cusing [Page 8] thy selfe, as he desired to doe, he will depart confounded. Lastly, it ap­peareth that a man that beareth with his own soule in sinne, or with others, that winketh at it, that lends thē coun­tenance of letter, cloth, good, word, ex­cuses, colours, shifts, that neuer calleth himselfe to question, whether he stand in state of grace, in what case hee is with God, being frosen in his dregges: this man hath no part with Iesus in the holie citie, his Baptisme washeth him not, his bodie sprinkled towards men, but not his conscience to God: Christ rose from death, he lyes still in sinne: Christ sits at Gods right hand, he sits vpon the seate of wickednesse: Christ ascended, & he descendeth downward to hell: Christ hath Angels vnder him, he diuels aboue him.

The 2 part.Now by the way of passage of speech, to the next part, euen out of this place, I reason thus: He that saueth vs, must haue risen from death, ascended into heauen, sit at Gods right hande, Angels also to adore him: but no An­gel, [Page 9] nor holie man, or woman euer did rise for vs, or ascēded for vs: Baptisme hath no such power to raise frō death, nor hath it selfe mounted to heauen, nor hath any place at Gods right hand, nor do the Angels worship it. There­fore no saluatiō of necessitie depēdeth vpon Baptisme, though it should bee most holilie ministred. The Popish Church hath two errors in it: the one,Concil. Trid. censur. Colon. in dial. 7. de Sac. that sacraments by the work wrought by the receiuing of them, bring grace to the receiuer, vnles some enormous sinne be vpon him, which they tearme mortall. Another, that children, in­fants, innocents, if they dye without Baptisme, they are damned.

O cruell sentence, and bloudie de­cree. The first is refuted by that wee haue sayd alreadie, that in them that haue yeares, no grace commeth by the sacrament, but a disgrace rather, no good but euill, if there bee not a good conscience towards GOD examined, and washed with the fruites of Christs death and passion. For here are vnder­stood [Page 10] the workes of his humiliation, as his incarnatiō, dwelling in the shape of a seruant, his crucifying, and such like, though there are touched onely foure workes of his exaltation. And our Apostle sayth plainly, though No­ahs Arke saued, yet saying that the washing of the flesh saueth not, he see­meth to say, gather not that outward washing saueth. How then say our ad­uersaries, that all are damned that haue not Baptisme?Test. Rhemis. Ioh. 3. vers. 5. or doe they say so? No not all, say they. Who then? and who not? All infants (say they) that dye without Baptisme. O pitifull & cruell sentence, whose eares will not tingle at it? infants who cannot speak, think, or do ill, the child whose flesh is scarce curded in the wombe: whose bones are scarce gristled out of the wombe: from the darknes of the wombe passe to the vtter darknesse for euer. Thus speaketh the dragon all gored with bloud.Apoc. 12.3.

But doth the lambe of God say so also? no doubt this lambes bloud ex­tendeth [Page 11] it self euen to these little lābes and sucklings. Is there no pardon from this general dānatorie sentence & cru­ell definitiue? are none excepted? Yes, God doth accept thē as baptized, who are martyred before they could be bap­tized,Rhe. in Ioh. 5. vers. 2. and they that depart this life with desire and vow of Baptisme. Onely they? Yea onely they, who earnestly intend, desire and seeke for the same: that is a fewe, very fewe O happie & rare case, of them aboue all others to be singled out vnto life. What is their proofe that the vnbaptized must needs be dāned? Ioh. 3. Vnles a man be borne of water and the holy Ghost: This is generall, euen against all whosoeuer haue not outward water: and if gene­rall, why not to martyrs and the other that dye with desire of Baptisme? But they can make general whē they will,Pighius Hie­rar. eccl. l. 1. c. 4. and speciall when they will: euen as blasphemously they haue sayd of the Word, it is a nose of waxe:Linda. in praef. so they make the sacrament a scale of waxe. But suppose a Martyr, or a Christian [Page 12] conuerted, not yet instructed in the doctrine of Baptisme, as they that led the Martyrs to death, seeing their pa­tience, faith, zeale, were suddenly con­uerted, and cried out, Christianus sum, I am a Christian, and thereupon suffe­red with them: how could they desire that, they knowe not of? were they damned? for this Popish diuinitie ma­keth all damned, who in their owne persons doe not earnestly intend, de­sire, and seeke for Baptisme of water, euen as earnestly as the proportion of the speech carrieth it: as the man desi­red to bee in the water,Iohn 5.6.7. when it was troubled, and had none to helpe him. What then became of Iohn Baptist, for who baptized him? He indeede sayd to Christ,Math. 3 14. I haue neede to be bap­tized of thee, and commest thou to me? He desired it: but that is not enough, seeing hee liued in a time when hee might haue had it:Iohn. 3.22. & 4.2. for Christs Dis­ciples then baptized. Or what shall wee say of the Apostles, who seeme (Act. 1.5.) to be borne indeede of the [Page 13] spirit, but not of the outward water, except Paul, or Andrewe, Iohn 1.36.40. and some that were Iohns disciples, to haue been baptized with the holie Ghost, but not with water? What dare they say of the theefe, who was neither Martyr,Acts 9.18. nor yet was so farre instructed to de­sire baptisme of water, but by speciall influence of Gods sudden touch of his heart, and lightening of his minde,Luk. 23.42. de­sired to bee with Christ in his king­dome, and obtained that princely para­dise? Last of all, seeing themselues cō ­fesse that the desire of parents, or god­fathers,Catech. Tri­dent. as they tearme them, serueth for to procure grace to children bap­tized, who haue not the wit nor grace yet to aske it: why should not the de­sire of parents, or friends, who hunger and thirst for the righteousnes of God in Baptisme, for the infants to bee borne, or alreadie borne, and yet dying without baptisme, be accepted in Gods sight? Themselues, for the innocents, and Martyrs whom Herod tragicallie murdered in the massacre of Bethlem, [Page 14] and yet they not baptized, nor bap­tisme desired for them, least of all this baptisme of blood, which al lamented, al fathers and mothers cryed out vpon: themselues I say confesse these not on­ly saued,Rhe Test. in Math. 2.16. but gloriously saued, to bee Martyrs, and solemnize their feast.

And thus the ground and founda­tion is weake: their building also vp­on it, paūcheth. In the primitiue church of the world, no doubt many children dyed before the eight day vncircumci­sed, as Dauids childe begotten in adul­terie,2. Sam. 12.18. which dyed euen the seuenth day: the greater griefe, if it bee as they would haue it in baptisme, that it came so neere the iust time, and missed the seale of the couenant: as it were a man escaping all shipwracke to die in the port & hauen. Likewise the Israelites remained vncircumcised without all desire to haue it, counting it a rebuke, because they learned heathenishnes of Aegypt,Iosh. 5.8. or kept themselues vncircum­cised, as meaning to returne into Ae­gypt, Num. 14.4. Yet who dare be so [Page 15] peremptorie,Baptisme the great Circum­cision, so called by Epiphanius as to pronounce damna­tion vpon them? for looke howe bap­tisme answereth circumcision, so the deceasing without baptisme should be by suite and proportion, no worse thing then dying without circumcisi­on. Vnles a man will say, that the state of the Gospell hath lesse mercy and pi­tie then the lawe, and that it went har­der with infants vnder Christ, then in­fants vnder Moses, seeing Christ also became an infant, to saue and redeeme infants: seeing also on them by Herod was laide the first testimonie, that the world should hate the Lord Iesus, euen yet, as it were a babe and suckling,Math. 3.16. and that vnto death. Adde hereunto that seeing the Lorde appointed a set time to circumcision,Gen. 17.12. which was hard and dangerous, somwhat for life, Ge. 34.25. in the Sichemites who were soare for the cutting three daies and not able to defend themselues. I meane the eight day, and designed no certaine time to baptize, that seeing it is freer for disposing of, that least of all necessi­tie dependeth vpon it: whereas if the 2 or 3. As some in Cyp. time. l. 3. cp. 8. ep. the 7. or 8. day had beene ap­pointed or such like, then the defer­ring [Page 16] of baptisme beyond that time, had beene great offence: but the depar­ting of the childe before that time no disparagement to saluation.

Lombard l. 4. sent. dist. 2. ca. si vero.Indeed Lombard the maister of the sentēces, that is of the sentētious & po­sitiue diuinitie, (out of whom they ga­ther their tenents & cōclusions) giueth dānatory sentence vpō infants that die without circumcision, as vpon thē that dye without baptisme. But here he is noted with a blacke coa [...]e of dislike. None commonly holde with master Lombard in this:Magister hic non tenetur. onely our countrie­man Beda thinking that verie hard, doth labour to salue & qualifie it thus: that in time of necessitie of death, they circumcised peraduenture before the 8. day without offence. But who dare pluck vp the stakes of the time appoin­ted by God,Quaest. 3, de Baptismo. or remoue them? It is but a fancie. The Iesuites in their contro­uersies, yeeld the infants of the Iewes that were preuented by death before the 8. day, to bee saued: because they say, God set downe this time. Where­as [Page 17] the libertie that it is arbitrary to the church, when to administer baptisme, so no neglect bee of that holy seale, ar­gueth rather, that the preuention of it should bee no more preiudiciall to the sauing of thy child vnbaptized, then of it vncircumcised. And the other rea­son which the Iesuits giue, why Iew­ish infants might bee saued without circumcision: namely, that the parents prayers and offeringes might bee a re­medie to succour them, will serue for the infants vnbaptized, if they meane of prayers before death: namely, that the deuotion of the godly, of godly parents, who many times pray, exer­cise deuotion in their hearts for their babe vnseene, (as Iob for his aliue,Iob. 1.5. Gen. 25.22. as Rebecca went to the Lorde for the babes in the wombe) that it may haue life, the mother a good howre: that it may proue the seruāt of God: shal be as auailable for their children, as the of­fringes of the Iewes for their vncir­cumcised. But see the force of trueth, howe great it is, that it maketh stiffe [Page 18] aduersaries to yeeld somewhat, name­ly that by priuiledge and dispensation infants vnbaptized may bee saued, for so at last they say.

Gen. 15.6.But wee proue more then a speci­all priuiledge: Abraham before the lawe was iustified by faith:Rom. 4 3. euen while hee was yet vncircumcised. Iohn the baptist,Luke 1.15. Iere. 1.5. in the wombe was filled with the holy Ghost: Ieremie vncircumcised was sanctified from his mothers wombe: so Paul vnbapti­zed was sanctified also frō the womb:Gal. 1.15. if Moses and Ieremie had dyed with­out circumcision, had they been dam­ned? if Iohn Baptist and Paul had dy­ed in the wombe, had they perished? God forbid: where then is absolute necessitie? Therefore indeede saluati­on dependeth vpon Gods election of olde,Ephes. 1.4.5. Rom. 9.21.22. when in his euerlasting counsell, seeing a ruine like to come vpon all, he sorted the soules of men and wo­men, some to mercie, some to wrath: and this election remaineth sure and vnmoueable in his church hauing this [Page 19] seale, not that man knoweth by bap­tisme, or not baptisme,2. Tim. 2.19, who are his absolutely: but * this the Lord know­eth who are his: so that indeede the holding of the necessitie of baptisme to saluation ouerthroweth Gods ele­ction, destroyeth his omnipotencie, and the freenes of his purpose from e­uerlasting. Of Iacob God sayth, Him I haue loued: Rom. 9.13. in him is vnderstood the corps of the faithfull, the communaltie of the saintes.

Gods loue is no fancie that want of baptisme may breake off▪ for then it were a heauie case, that the negligēce or contempt of the parent or minister should debarre the helpeles child from the societie of saluation. Esau hated of God: in him is vnderstood the brood and spawne of the wicked: therefore saluation dependeth vpon Gods accep­tance, and receiuing into fauour, and not vpon the outwarde elemente of water, euen ritually and formally ad­ministred: for to say that water hath this power, it is to deifie it, to make it [Page 20] God, to make it an Idoll, to sacrifice to it, and to bring vp again a Neptune, a God of the water with the gentiles.

Therfore neither had Iacob perished if hee had died in the wombe, seeing GOD spred his banner of loue ouer him: neither Esau was saued, because hee liued till his foreskin was done a­way, seeing the Lord had no liking to him. The scripture is rich in exam­ples of Gods fauour before any touch of Sacraments, besides these alreadie touched, the children of the Hebrues, (also as it is charitable and probable to thinke, Dauids childe,) Abraham, Ia­cob, Ieremie, Iohn Baptist, the Apo­stles, Paul, the theefe vpon the crosse, whom all the scripture commendeth; to leaue the vncertain, as Nicodemus, Ioseph of Arimathia, Gamaleel, &c, Before any sacrament receiued: Luk. 19.9. of Zacheus it is sayd, This day is saluati­on come into thy house, O Zache: this day, not the day of his baptisme: so the Act. 8.37. Eunuch accepted to God by faith be­fore his baptisme: so Cornelius a man [Page 21] that feared God before his baptisme: so Lydias hart opened, by the Lord,Act. 10.2. by the key of the word,Act. 16.14. as it were turned about by the preaching of it before baptisme: so the iaylour in the same place: so Mary Magdelene that was caried to sinne as if 7. diuels draue the tide, with wind and saile:Luk. 17.50. Her faith sa­ued her, as Christ sayth, not her bap­tisme, vnles you say shee baptized her­selfe with her teares: which though they were holy and precious water, fit to be preserued in Gods bottle,Psalm. 56.8. falling from her humbled cheekes, and a con­trite heart which God wiped with his mercie: which had many sinnes for­giuen, because shee loued much: yet they are not this actuall baptisme of water which wee speake of. So sayth Hierome of Asella, sanctified from the wombe.

And in deede the very vse of the Sacramentes which wee giue and af­forde the elect onely as wee hope, proueth a non necessitie of saluation in them and by them. For why are [Page 22] children baptized,1. Cor. 7.11.14. because they are ho­ly, though onely one parent should be­leeue: howe holy? and who holy? how holy, Quaest. 3 de bapt. necess. not as the Iesuits imagine holy, that is legitimate, no bastarde: but holy, because of the glorious pro­fession of Iesus Christ, because of the couenant of grace:Gen. 17 7. Act 2.39. I will be thy GOD and the God of thy seede. Who holy? only the baptized children of the chri­stians: no, it is generally and vniuer­sally sayd your children: as likewise of the whole Iewish race it is spoken, the roote being holy,Rom 11.16. so are the bran­ches. And why are the growen and them of discretion baptized? is it not that wee see some reason to seale vnto them Gods mercie? for baptisme is a s [...]e as was circumcision.Rom. 4.11. Now as a­mong men the conditions are agreed vpon, then the seale annexed: so God receiueth into couenant, and then sea­leth. Men possesse their cattel and in­struments, and then marke them: they chuse and leuie souldiers, & then giue them prest money: And yet as with [Page 23] a good landlord, the right of my tene­ment ceaseth not, hauing the promise of a faithfull man, though the father should die, without sealing vnto mee, seeing an honest sonne commeth in place, who will be a seale vnto his fa­thers words: so though GOD the fa­ther should preuent vs of baptisme, yet in that he hath promised a state of life to me and mine in his sonne hee will seale it to vs, for him hath the father Ioh. 6.27. sealed. An honest souldier will ven­ture his life in the battailes of the lord, though hee had not his prest money. The clayme of the owner is good, though no actuall marke should bee vpon his good. This is the marke of Gods children,Beza confes. c. 4. s. 48. de bapt. infant. Chy­treus Bern. ser. 66. in Cant. Au l. 1. de peccat. meritis. Pet Martyr. lo. com. clas. 4. c. 8. sect 7. Zuing­lius. de Baptis­mo. pag. 68. tom. 2. The Lorde knoweth who are his.

Nowe if children in the wombe as Iohn Baptist, or before baptisme, and in their infancie haue faith, as diuers think, or haue the spirit of God as others, seeing they are partes of the Church as woe all professe, and mem­bers of the body of Christ, as wee all [Page 24] say, howe can they perish? none can take his sheepe, nay not the least lambe of a day olde, Iohn 10.29. nay not yet eaned nor brought into the world, out of his hande, though Sathan should stande by to deuoure it vpon the verie birth,Apoc. 12.4.5. as he did once, for the child the verie sonne of God, which was taken vp to Gods throne. And why may it not be, that as in earthly paradise, so in the heauenly Church?Gen. 1.11.12. As there are some trees and hearbes seeding, some budding, some bearing fruite: so in the heauenly paradise on earth, the Church, some of Gods seruants in the wombe, some budding out, some new washt, as it were from the pooles. If the first Adam could bring an euerla­sting taint vpon them, shal not the bap­tisme and death of the second Adam wipe it out? The infant cannot reason, yet it hath the seed of reason, as it hath a soule, though it know not so much of it selfe. Thus some argue: May it not haue faith shed in the heart of it?Ephe. 3.17. for who can tell how God dwelleth [Page 25] in the heart of the elect?Rom. 8.9. He that hath not the spirit of God, is none of his. Is not this the glorious impression and stampe of that heauenly seale, that the child is assumpted into the association and fellowship of the blessed Trinitie,Matth. 28.19. into whose name it is baptized? Chil­drē must come to Christ.Mark. 10.13. [...]: or as Luk. 18.15. [...]. What chil­dren? Little ones: they that are come to little reason, but that they abuse in trifling, yet theirs is the kingdome of God. If theirs be the kingdom of God, then are they cleane:Apoc. 21.27. for no vncleane thing maye come in his pure sight. Now what maketh cleane, but faith and Gods spirite? their hearts being purified alike by faith.Act. 15.9. The working of Gods spirite, is like the insensible pearcing of the winde,Ioh. 5.8. which getteth in no man knoweth how. And may it not get in into the hearts of little chil­dren? if their children bee holie, who can sanctifie them, but the sanctifier?1. Cor. 6 11. why may not Gods spirite his winde get into them? and if they bee sancti­fied, then not damned.

[Page 26]Wherefore these speeches of the childe vnbaptized: It is an heathen, an infidell, it is damned, I would not haue my child in the like case, for millions: are speeches indeede heathenish, full of infidelitie, of rash iudgement, & vn­charitablenes; not onely by damnato­rie speeches against the dead: but a­gainst the liuing God, that hath taken them away as he would. Doth not the spirit speake better things?Luk. 6.37. Iudge not, and thou shalt not be iudged: condemne not, and thou shalt not be condemned: nay acquite, assoyle, deliuer, and thou shalt haue a measure of such mercifull construction measured vnto thee: not as thou vsest to doe, sparingly, streight by the brimmes of the measure: but with a measure pressed downe, shaken together, and running ouer. And yet Protestants speake so. So naturall a thing is Poperie, so quickly doe wee drinke in error before wee bee taught it.

Ephe. 4.20.Haue we so learned Christ? are his lawes so ful of ruefulnes? Of Draco the [Page 27] lawgiuer it is written, that al his lawes were death: death if thou doe this, death if thou doe not that, still the fa­tall noyse of death ended the lawe. Therefore they note the pen to drop crueltie, the inke and writing to bee bloud. But Christ is no Draco, a Dra­gon:Ioh. 1.29. He is a lambe that takes away the sinnes of the whole world, a world of sinnes: much more this lambe of God to heale these little lābes of his flocke. His lawes are not lawes of Draco, they speake peace:Heb. 12.24. his bloud crieth better things then the bloud of Abel: for that crieth vengeance vpon Cayne his brother.Gen. 4.10. But Christs bloud crieth with a strong voyce as of a mightie Angel: my bloud for all bloud:Rom. 5.10. my bodie for all sinne, euen of mine enemies. This were to make Christ an Herode: for Herode sent out his men of warre to sley and murder most butcherly, in­fants from two yeares old downward,Matth 2.16. among whom were some vncircum­cised: then Rachel in Rama lifts vp bit­ter voyces of lamentation; no cōfort: [Page 28] they are not. Indeede if Christ were not a Herauld of peace rather, then a Herod, and that hee sent out his mes­sengers of warre, as death and graue to deuoure, the diuell and hell to damne the vnbaptized: then indeede might Rachel lift vp her voyce, & put on her mourning weede: then euery mother and father, sister and brother, might howle and weepe, and answere one an other with dolefull ecchoes and reme­diles complaints, no comfort, no con­solation, because they are not: nay, be­cause they are, that is, they are in endles sorowe: for better it were not to bee at all. But blessed bee God who hath sealed a better couenant:Gen. 17.7. With thee and thy seede I make my couenant: blessed bee God who hath cleared our comfort:1. Cor. 7.11.14 Esay. 9.6. Your children are holy: Bles­sed be God that concerning the childe borne in Esai, hath caused heauen and earth to heare a better melodie from an armie of heauenly souldiers:Luk. 2.14. Glorie to God on high, peace on earth belowe, good will towards men. Doe I speake [Page 29] this alone? doe not likewise the gene­rall voyce and language of Canaan,Nehe. 13.24. Esay. 19.18. I meane the Israel of God, speake so?

Doth our Church alone thinke so? and doth not other Churches make vp the harmonie?Rogers in the English Creed set out by au­thoritie, pag. 33. par. 2 art. 25 The Creede of our Church confesseth this among the er­rors of the Papists: that so many as are not incorporated into the visible Church, by the Sacraments, at the least of Baptisme, are assuredly damned: So doth two cōfessions of Switzerland, the confession of the Church of Bohe­mia, the Protestant Church of France, so of Flanders, so of Auspurge, so of Saxonie, and Sweueland, which may be seene more at large in the booke of the Harmonie of confessions. Alanus Cope reckoneth this vp as one of our errors in England: Dial 6. cap. 9. Infants before they are baptized, to belong to the people of GOD And to this agreeth most soundly euen he which hath now, by the disposition of God, the chief place in this Church,In his replie in the great vo­lume pag. 516. and professeth that he misliketh the opinion of these, who [Page 30] thinke out of Ioh. 3. infants to be con­demned, being not baptized as much as any. It shall bee ambition to muster the names of them who haue borne the standard in their places, and are on our side: so doth Aret. proble. theol. par. 2 de [...] sacr. Aretius at Barnes, Caluin instit. l. 4. c. 16. sec. 26. Caluin and Confess. c. 4. sect. 49. Zuingl. de pro­uid. Dei. c. 6. tom. 1. pa. 369. Beza at Geneua: certain­ly Zuinglius at Zurich, calleth them sa­cramentaries who attribute so much grace to the sacramēt, so much vertue to Baptisme of it selfe. Such a cloud of witnesses hath this trueth, and this is not only the consent of the later Chur­ches, but euen a long hath testimonie from this Apostle, Baptisme saueth, but I meane not sayeth hee, the wash­ing of the water, but the examinati­on of a good conscience towardes God.

Ephe. 5.26.The Apostle Paul saith, Christ gaue himselfe for the Church to sanctifie it by the lauer of water: but how? through the word.Psalm. 8.2. In Dauids time the Church professeth GODS praise, out of the mouth of sucklings: In the primitiue Church the Cathecumen the not bap­tized [Page 31] not onely saued, but glorifi­ed as Martyrs: such an one was He­raclides Origens scholler, beheaded vnder Seuerus: and Rhais a woman, whō Origen saith, to haue obtained Baptisme by fire.Cyp epist. ad lubia. Cyprian about the 260. yeare after Christ, professeth that not only suffering for Christ,De conse. di­stinc. 4. ca. Bap­tismi. but faith and conuersion of the heart supplieth the want of Baptisme. The councell of Nice sayth, our Baptisme is not to bee considered with sensible eyes, but with the eyes of the mind.Ambros. in si­ne Ora. sunes. de obitu Valē. Ambrose about 380. yeare after Christ sayth of Valentinian the Emperour, who dyed without Baptisme: Christ baptized him when mens offices failed: againe, his faith washed him. Saint Austen, Aug. in l. de si­de ad Petrum. though he is alone almost except them that suruiued in his owne age in the necessitie of Sacraments, making out of the sixt of Iohn a necessitie of the supper euen for infants:Ioh. 6.53. because it is sayd, Vnlesse you eate the fleshe of the Sonne of man and drinke his bloud, you haue no life in you: contrary to the rule [Page 32] of the Apostle, that none should eate but they who can examine thēselues:1. Cor. 11.23. yet in diuers places where God assis­ted him more, and hee remembred himselfe,Aug. l. 13. de ciuit. Dei. ca 7. he yeelded also to this truth, making faith and a contrite spirit to be in stead of Baptisme, for thus hee saith, he that sayd: Vnles a man be borne of water and the spirite hee cannot enter into the kingdome of God, Ioh. 3. sayd as generally: Hee that confesseth mee before men, Luk. 12.8. I will confesse him before my Father and the holy Angels: And againe,Luk. 9.24. Hee that leeseth his life, shall saue it: and againe, Psal. 116.15. Pre­cious is the death of the Saints in the sight of God. Nay hee rather commen­deth them that dye sometimes with­out Baptisme, for others for feare of death defer not their baptisme further: but these for loue to God deferre to liue longer, he exemplifieth also in the theefe: and Aug. lib. 4. de baptis. in don. cap. 24. againe, then is Baptisme fulfilled, when not the contempt of re­ligion, but when the instant or momēt of necessitie excludeth from visible [Page 33] Baptisme. Serm ad in­fantes. Againe, none is depriued of the benefit of the sacrament, so long as hee findeth in himselfe the thing which the sacrament signifieth: again, among whom do you reckon children vnbaptized? verely among beleeuers.Aug de verbis Apostoli. ser. 14. So. l. 3. de quaest. vet. test. The inuisible sanctification may bee without the vi­sible signe, as the visible signe without the true sanctification.In serm. de 40. Martyribus Basile sayth of the iaylour or keeper of the 40. Mar­tyrs, who became a Martyr: hee was baptized by his owne faith, [...]. not by the hand of another: not in water, but in his owne blood. Hieromes iudgement of Asella we heard aboue.

Yet the diuersitie of customes and practise of olde is strange herein with the multitude of humane inuentions crept in euen in the primitiue church, that wee may blesse God for this puri­tie of Baptisme which we enioy.De consecr. dist 4. cap. non ratione & in seq Terrul de Bap­tis dutiusculè loquitur. For they vsed only solemne times for bap­tizing, as Easter at Rome, by Victors constitution, at Easter and Pentecost in Tertullians time: or the time of [Page 34] mariage, or at their dying day, or on the feast of the Epiphany, as in Asia insomuch that as Christ at 30. yeares of age was baptized:Baptisme more syncere­ly performed now then of olde. so Gregorie at 30. yeares olde, though his father were a Bishop. So Austen about the same time, so Ambrose a Bishop elect before hee was baptized, and in a Synode of Rome 40 yeares are appointed, except for the sicke,In 4. Orat. de. Lauac. sanct. and great with childe, who might at all other times bee bap­tized And Nazianzene appointed the 4. yeare, when they could giue a rea­son of their faith: so that when a man once departeth from this, that any thing saueth, speedy Baptisme, or Bap­tisme deferred: Baptisme or no Bap­tisme, nay prayer or no prayer, word or no word, whē any thing saueth, but this onely Sauiour Christ, who rose, ascended, raigneth ouer men and An­gels, one error increaseth vpon ano­ther, one inuention accrueth vpon his former: hence came the crosse:Origen. ho. 2. in Psal. 38. Tertul. de re­sur. Cyp. de haer. bapt. hence a kisse in Baptisme, l. 3. ep. 8. Cyp. hence a ring. Tertul. l. de pudicitia. hence to [Page 35] haue oyle, Tertul. de Cor. mil. & l. x. contr. Mar. Hiero. ad Lu­cifer. and milke, and hony in Baptisme, not to wash all the weake after Baptisme: as nyce men wash not after the trimming a while from the barber. Euen Constantine the good Emperour superstitiously desired to be baptized in Iordan, as Naaman would carie some earth from thence (where­as he should haue caried water rather,2. King. 5. [...]7. but that superstition is foolish) which yet Constantine obtained not, but was baptized at Nicomedia feared by death to deferre it further. Hence it came that they deferred Baptisme till death, that al sins might be forgiuen at once, and grewe to baptizing by De consec. dist. 4. ca con­stat. & in seq. lay people, & women, & sometime to ap­proue Baptisme with sand: and yet the story of a Iew Baptized with sād,Niceph. l. 3. c. 37. who after had water added to him auow­eth their feare to depart from the in­stitution.

So good a thing is it to sticke to the pure & vnmedled beginning of word and sacraments, to looke to the origi­nals and cleere fountaines. God ordai­ned [Page 36] it pure and in simplicitie, without mixture of additaments,Eccle [...].31. but men foūd out many inuentions, as the scripture speaketh in another case, howe good then is it to giue that vnto God which is due vnto God, that vnto the creature which is due vnto it, that vnto Bap­tisme which appertaineth vnto it? The Synod of Neocaesaraea noteth these er­rors by the consent of 17. Bishops: he that is baptized in sicknesse not to bee admitted to the office of any Ad Presbyte­rium. Euseb. l. 6 c. 43 mi­nistration in the Church. Epist. 77. ad Hugo. Bernard in a long Epistle, proueth in his time that this trueth continued vntill his time, prouing that not the absence but contempt of Baptisme condemneth. And this is not onely the voyce in Si­on, Babilon heard of it, & the strength of the truth hath made diuers of them to yeelde, and hath prouoked one a­gainst another.Tho. Par. [...]. q. [...]8 art. 3. Their Thomas who sayde more for Popery then them all, though as pitch hee defile holy Bap­tisme, and many other holy thinges wherewith he medled: yet sayth hee, [Page 37] a man expecting the set time of the Church for Baptisme, though he bee preuented by death, he is saued. Bellar­mine (Reader of Rome)Quaest. de Baptis. in his Dictates is greatly troubled not with answe­ring vs, but with Caietane, the flowre of their Cardinals, with Gerson Chan­cellor of Paris, with Titleman a de­uout Papist: that as Christ wroong out testimonie from Sathan, so hath the trueth in this poynt set falsehood vpon the racke, and made it confesse.

Nay, these Papists being vrged but by their owne consideration of the matter, they leaue a sound testimonie. So doth Biell a great schooleman: So doth Alzimoney discourse,Tract. de Bap­tis. a diligent & learned writer on their side, saying: Necessary is two-fold, either absolute, as meate for life, or as conuenient, and fit to atchieue our purpose, as the horse for the end of our iourney. Baptisme is necessarie this last way. So that the aduersarie giues iudgemēt on our side: so great a consent hath this truth: such a peale of voyces God hath raised to [Page 38] repeale the bloudie Herodian decree of Rome: so strong a crye of Chur­ches neere and farre off, at home and abroade, of later and more ancient, of Scriptures, Councels and Fathers, friends and enemies, crying out vpon them that menace hell and death and wrath to the babes vnwashed, who measure so hard a measure to poore infants, as because they enioy little of this life, they must leese al the next life, not heauen, but a hell, no honour of buriall, but to bee buried separatly, as though they should infect the rest.

And yet see pitifull hearts in the middest of crueltie some drop of mer­cie,Limbus in­fantum. an easie hell, a brimme of hell, not so bad as the damned is the hell for these forlorne innocents, a hell not so bad as for the actuall sinners. Who sayth so?Bellar de purg. lib. 2. ca. 6. col. 790. A. in ma­ior. [...]olum. Bellarmine, Florence Coun­cell, Innocentius the 3. the Schoole­men: but no more: and these be their proofes: As if one should say, a corrupt vpstart Iudge, his court, bench, and a packe of false Notaries: but none of [Page 39] them hauing any gray haire of anti­quitic. This admiration of the effect of Baptisme, and thus to be enamored vpon the element, made the heretikes Marcion and his,Tertul. lib. 1. & 4. in Marcion. Philastr. and the Cataphry­gians and theirs, to baptize euen the dead: euen as the Papists baptize euen bels, and that not by meane Ministers, but euen by Bishops. O foolish & mad generation: But haue they no reason for it?

Yes, they make a shewe of miracle, of Scripture, of Fathers. That they may seeme to bee mad with reason, Scripture, Fathers, miracles: Miracles out of Euodius: Scriptures especially 2: Iohn 3. Mark 16.16. Fathers among the ancient, especially Austin. I my selfe haue in this argument alleadged Fathers, contrarie to my ordinary vse, seeing indeed Gods voyce alone shuld bee heard.2. Cor. 10 13. But to let you see the line of exposition, that I goe not alone in a singularitie, but haue the cōsent of the Pastors of other ages and Churches. Alanus Cope telleth a fabulous mi­racle [Page 40] to prooue it: A woman whose sonne dyed vnbaptized, brings him dead before the memorie of S. Steuen, moaning that she had lost her child in this life and in the life to come: Sud­denly life enters into him, a Priest is sent for, the childe was baptized, and presently dyed againe. O spirite of witchery which maketh them to trust lying fables: for first of al himselfe let­teth fall somewhat that staineth his witnesse: he saith in Austins sermons of late imprinted at Iouaine, The booke not written by Eudius [...]ut to him. two clau­ses to too vnindifferent to condemne millions of infants: The miracle a night witnesse:Alanus Copus Dal. 3. cap 25. the testimonie vpstart. Why of late printed? Why at Lo­uaine? Secondly, herein they bewray that the voyce of God hath nothing a­gainst these babes: seeing as Christ sayd to the woman, when none durst condemne her, Iohn 8. Neither doe I condemne thee: So when Christ con­demnes them not, that they must set testimonies from vauts & sepulchers, and from the withered bones of the [Page 41] dead men. But yet these little ones, their bones are not brused:Mark. 10.14. theirs also is the kingdome of God. For thirdly, why did not the mother carrie it to his owne graue, and not to S. Steuens tombe? or rather, why did she at all bring a damned carkasse within hal­lowed ground, against their custome? and good reason if for euer, it be Gods enemie, a damned miscreant, why should it haue the honour of buriall? Fourthly, if it were damned before, & the soule gone to hell: is there redemp­tion from hell, against all trueth, and their owne iudgement? Fiftly, why presently a Priest sent for? might she not thinke the same power that resto­red life to her childe, able to preserue him in life? or was not the life quite gone at al, and this deuise taken vp by cōpact to nourish superstitious minds, or if it must needes bee presently bap­tized, because this their false Saint Ste­uen gaue it such a weake deadly life, that would not hold out, why might not her selfe, or some woman present [Page 42] (for it is not improbable others also to haue gone with her in neighborhood or superstition) according to their do­ctrine, haue baptized it: but they must tarie the time till a Priest come, who hold in their good diuinitie in such a case of necessitie, that euen women may doe it: or lastly, why did she not goe to Saint Steuen for a second life?

But lyers and inuentors haue no ab­solute good memories: let vs come to their scriptures, they are two: the first, Ioh. 3 5. Except a mā be borne of water & the spirit, he cānnot see the kingdom of God. This place necessarily infer­reth say they, the necessity of baptisme. Why? the words; are plaine, and yet if so, it is as plaine for them that vse a hot [...]. Iron in Baptisme, not to go from this matter, for example, because it is sayd, Christ shall baptize with the holy Ghost & with fire: and not to goe from this place, it is as plaine for an olde man to be borne againe: so plaine that [...]enus once mistook it, though a master in Israell. But to come to the [Page 43] meaning: doth water signifie here of necessitie, the element of water vsed in Baptisme: howe knowe they that? for in the former chapter no occasion 1 is giuen to speake of Baptisme, nor in the beginning of this. And secondly,2 Christ seemeth rather to tell what is necessary for men in yeares, who can make profession as Nicodemus who dissembled, then for infants: neither is any mention made of Baptisme all the time of his abode in Galile, where he was at the marriage, or whilst he was 3 at Ierusalem, where this speech see­meth to bee vntill hee came into Iury, vers. 22. As though Christ sayd: thou wouldest learne the way to heauen, & thou knowest it in part alreadie, that I am a teacher come from God, vers. 1. And yet thou haltest in the day be­tweene two, and goest vpright in the night onely: but I tell thee, I being a true teacher tell thee that thou must walke as a child of the day, thou must be borne againe, that is, bee renued in the spirit of thy minde to bee of ano­ther [Page 44] iudgement, euen to professe the name of God opēly, els thou canst not see the kingdome of God: Vnles thou 4 shewe thy selfe to be in my kingdome of the Gospell by open profession on earth, thou canst not see my kingdome aboue:vers. 3. Except a man, that is, of such a iudgement as thou alreadie art, and all naturall men be,vers. 4. be borne againe and altered in the spirit, they cannot see the kingdome of God. When he maruei­led what it was to bee borne againe, 5 Christ expoundeth it thus: I say, vnles he bee borne againe of water and the spirit: making it all one to be borne a­gaine of the spirit and of water: and the spirit, making it all one to be borne a­gaine of one of them and of thē both: and which is the more exclusiue? for that which he had sayd in one word, Except a man be borne of the spirit, he after expoundeth the manner how the spirit must work, as water in washing vs, in sanctifying vs, in renuing vs. For he sayth, Vnles a man be borne of wa­ter and the spirit: which to bee the [Page 45] meaning, the tenour and passage of all the speech had with Nicodemus, she­weth, as first the opposing of earthlie birth, and spiritual, vers 6. That which 6 is borne of flesh, is flesh: which sentence proueth rather, that water saueth not: as though fleshly, earthly, and carnall things can goe no further then flesh, earth, nor haue no further effects: A mans soule is a spirite: water an ele­mentarie bodie: an earthly thing can not purge a spirituall substance: no proportion betweene the agent & pa­tient, the doer and sufferer: euen as of old the bloud of beasts could not take away sinnes, Heb. so not now the washing of water can take away sinne. Secondly, the ascribing of the meanes to Gods free-will, vers. 8. and his loue, vers. 16. by the worke of the 7 spirite, and incarnation of the sonne, vers. 13. telling the hardnes of it, vers. 8.11.12. whereas outward washing is easie: finally, in that verse 18. Christ maketh faith the meanes of saluation, and not faith damnation: He that be­leeueth [Page 46] is saued: he that beleeueth not is damned. So that vnles a man will say that infants haue faith, this toucheth infants nothing at all: and if they haue faith, then those only saued, who haue this faith by the gift of God. So that this general rule, Except, proueth this: that without conuersion of heart, and renuing of the spirit of our minde in­wardly, there is no saluation. And that 8 by water is mēt Gods spirit; the fruits, the graces of it, many scriptures de­clare, especially in the stile and phrase of Christ himselfe in this Euangelist: in the next chapter, vers. 14. He that drinketh of the water which I giue, shal neuer thirst: for Baptisme is not gene­rally a wel of water to euerlasting life, therefore it is ment of Gods spirit: & the miracle of Christ healing without water,Iohn 5. declareth that the elemēt ought not to be in that credite. So Iohn 7.39. 9 He that beleeueth, riuers of water of life shall flow out of his bellie. But if any man aske: how will you proue water to signifie the spirit here? I answere, [Page 47] euen hence, vers. 39. This he sayd of the spirit: It also hath the accord of the old Testament, so Iere. 2.3.10. Ezech. 36.25. Esai. 4.4. The Lorde shall wash 10 the filthines of Sion, with the spirit of iudgement and burning. Lastly, I aske whether if this proposition, vers. 5 bee generall exclusiue, Except a man be borne of water and the spirit, &c. why the former proposition, vers 3. which is first by nature, consisting of as gene­rall tearmes in arte: Except a man bee borne of the spirit, &c. be not as gene­rall: which if it bee, and what reason can be shewed to the contrarie, then it being also general and exclusiue, why should it not shut out the necessitie of materiall water?

Here also if absolutely materiall 11 water be vnderstood, then no Martyr saued without it, not the theefe on the crosse, not the Apostles vnbaptized, not the good Emperour Valentinian, and many other who in prison, or warre desire it. The other place, Mark. 16.16. answereth it selfe, ascribing all [Page 48] to faith, for hauing sayd, He that be­leeueth and is baptized shall bee saued: addeth straight way to preuent error, but he that beleeueth not, and not hee that is not baptized, shall bee damned. Now as for Austen, it is true that hee in the matter of the sacraments neces­sitie, yea in both of them made it an exigence of necessitie, both to be per­formed: so that as vpon this place, he groundeth though falsly as vpon a foundation of water, the necessitie of Baptisme, so vpon the next place, Ioh. 6.53. Vnles ye eate the flesh of the Son of man, and drinke his blood, yee haue no life in you. Not only hee but In­nocentius & al that age almost ground a necessitie of the Supper, insomuch that they gaue it to infants contrary to the rule of Paul, Let a mā examine him selfe, &c. & the meaning of this place, which is of the spirituall receiuing of Christ and incorporating into him by the spirite in generall, and in particu­lar by the meanes of the spirite wor­king in the worde, in Baptisme, or in [Page 49] the Supper, or in whatsoeuer. Fitly is it sayd to this purpose by Saint Hie­rome in Psalm. 147. When we heare the worde of the Lorde, the flesh of Christ and his bloud is powred in at our eares.

Let vs now come to the vse,The third and last part. com­fort, ende, and necessitie of Baptisme: which though it be not absolutely, & simply necessarie, yet in his due place and time, if it may bee had according to Christs institution, cannot bee neg­lected, without great sinne. For herein of diuers men there are diuers extre­mities: as of the most of the Papists, who make it absolutely necessarie: so of the Manichees on the other side, who generally cut off al signes,Aug. in Fau­stum. lib. 19. because they making God not to be the author of these sensible and earthly things, thereupon inferred, that the worship by these earthly things could not bee gratefull to him. So the Cathatists, who because God is a spirit, and men must worship him in spirit, reiected all [Page 50] helpe of earthly meanes. And last of all,Aug. haer. 88. the Pelagians who because they exempt men from originall sinne, doe thinke Baptisme needles, to purge that which is not: wherein you may first see the notable, wilfull, and spitefull malice of the Rhemists, who in Iohn 3.5. ioyne the Caluinists and Pelagi­ans together, as both promising alike life eternall to children dying without Baptisme: when as they differ as hell and heauen in the causes of saluation. For Caluin acknowledgeth children to bee vnder originall sinne: Pelagius did not: yet Caluin thinketh not the elect of God to perish, if in some case they bee preuented of outward Bap­tisme. Lastly of Anabaptists, who would not haue infants baptized, but them of yeares: against whom at this time, beside that which is sayd aboue, this may be sufficient: that seeing chil­drē haue sin, they ought to be washed: and seeing they belong vnto GOD, they ought to bee sealed. As for the [Page 51] Manichees, seeing wee acknowledge the same Lord Creator of heauen and earth, one God maker of both, the same almightie and most holie spirite to haue made the greatest Angell and most despised worme: and that hee made al things good, and to a most ex­cellent end, that therefore both against them and the Catharists,1. Tim. 4.8. though it be true that bodily exercise profiteth lit­tle; as washing by water, taking of bread and wine, much reading, much repeating of prayer, much hearing and sitting by it to heare, much preaching also, vnles the spirit also concurre and our inwarde desire: yet as God made bodie and spirit, and therefore must be glorified in both: so seeing he made both visible and inuisible things, both spirituall and corporall things, both serue for his glorie, both are helpers of our faith; if first wee remember, that we vse them, when wee haue the ex­presse word of God for them. As be­cause the Lorde biddeth vs baptize [Page 52] with water: therefore in doing so we build vpon the rocke: and we thinke wee should tempt GOD, if when he should teach vs the washing away of our sinnes in Christ, by the powring on of water, wee should refuse such a comfortable and liuely representation, and deserue to heare the check that K. Achaz had, Esai. 7.11.12. who being in weaknesse of faith when Ierusalem was besieged, would not aske a signe, when the offer was made in Christ, but was reproued as one not that de­spised the minister and bringer of the signe, but had grieued the God of the minister, and author of that signe. Is it a small thing to grieue men, Esay. 7.11. but you must also grieue my God? sayth Esay.

The defeating of Baptisme seemeth to come three waies: one by open contempt and despising of Gods wis­dome in it: Heathenish and prophane men cannot tell what to make of the sprinkling of water, nor of the bles­sing of it in the name of the blessed tri­nitie, [Page 53] as the Infidels, and Atheists, and Paynims doe vnto this day, being ig­norant that Christ Matth. 28. when he ordained Baptisme, sayd: Al power in heauen and earth is giuen vnto me, goe and baptize, I am with you for e­uer: So that here is not naked water, or the bare clemēt, or a few words re­peated: but here is the power of God with it, his wisedome to establish it, his constancie to auowe it, his holines to sanctifie it, his mercie to blesse it: so that as an odde thing, or new thing they which despise it, despise not mās aduise, but Gods counsel against them selues, Luk. 7.30. as did the Pharisies. And hee that will not followe Gods counsell, how shall he thriue, though all the heads in the world should de­uise for him? Another disappoyntmēt of Baptisme commeth by negligence, as in the people of Israel intermitting circumcision for 40. yeares,Exod. 4.24. as in Mo­ses, who no doubt acknowledged Gods ordinance for circumcision, and [Page 54] yet either hauing learned Aegyptian or Midianitish manners, or to please his wife, deferred to do it, so that God had like to destroyed him in the Inne for it. Which I would haue parents consider, that defer their childrens baptisme from Lords day to Lords day, and from one time of assemblie to another, for no end but to get such and such witnesses, such and such furniture of their houses, and such other com­plement, and outward circumstances, till death strike their children: which sinne though the Lord may remit thē, yet their comfort cannot be so great, as if they had taken the due time which the Lord offered them: seeing by their meanes it commeth to passe, whē Mi­nister and place and time and all did concurre, they only were wanting, by the sinne of omission: which thing gouernours Ecclesiastical are to looke vnto, lest that if euery man by this ex­ample should defer if death should in­tercept, Anabaptistrie might creepe in [Page 55] and scarse any child be baptized. The Primitiue Church suffered them to want an honourable buriall,Concil. 1. Braccar. who de­ferred their baptisme. Of the third de­featement of Baptisme, by vnauoy­dable necessitie, wee haue spoken at large, when either the child is preuen­ted by death in the wombe, or out of the wombe: either by negligence or contempt in parents and friends, as in these two last cases: or when parents and minister, and all are willing, death creepeth in and preuenteth both.

Such occurrents may bee matter of meditation to parents, and Ministers, and the whole people, of the sudden­nes of death, of the vncertaine ioy and stay of posteritie, that he suffereth vs to beget, but not to possesse; to haue a sight of our babes, and then suddenly taketh them to himselfe; of Gods al­mightines, that he doth what he will, and that sometimes hee saueth with meanes, sometimes without meanes, as sometimes damneth with meanes, [Page 56] sometimes without meanes: but yet not so that any of these accidents o­uerthrow the election of God. What then establisheth the substance of Bap­tisme? what ouerthroweth it? Here wee must consider the institution: Matth. 28. Goe: Who? The Mini­ster: Do what? baptize, that is, powre on the water, or dippe it in water: Whom? all nations, that is men, not bels, &c. How? not in the name of the water, or power of it, or any other name in heauen or earth: but of the blessed Trinitie. So that a Midwife to baptize, or a priuate man, to whom it was neuer sayd, Goe, and baptize: like­wise to vse sande, as sometime hath bin, or some other licour: As oyle and water, by Hae­ret. I [...]n. ib. 1. cap. 18. also to ap­plie it to bels, & then forsooth Bishops alone must do it, as the Papists vse: and lastly not to doe it in the name & po­wer and vertue of the Trinitie, I take it to bee the violating of the Lords in­stitution: in which kinds wee ought to refuse it. But if other circumstances [Page 57] onely be annexed or not accompanie it,Eccle. 7.31. as it may be truly sayd of this sacra­ment: (God made it simple and righ­teous, and vncompounde, but man founde out many inuentions) these things may a little exercise our zeale and faith and patience: but they can­not abridge the counsel of God in thee and thine: and therefore if thou maist haue it without the additamentes of men, the better it is: if not, yet the seale of God remaineth sure, they shall beare their iniquitie of stubble, so meane a matter built vpon so good a foundation that haue brought it vp, or maintaine it: vntil God purge them by his triall of fire, as in the worde, so in the sacrament, 1. Cor. 3.15. when as the stubble shall vanish, but the good foundation shall saue them. Doe thou as much as thou canst communicate with God in his institution: for as we are to desire not onely the milke of the worde,1. Peter 2.2. but the syncere milke of it: so in the Lords seale, wee ought rather to take his en­grauing [Page 56] [...] [Page 57] [...] [Page 58] alone then any characters of man.

And to drawe to an ende, I would not onely haue men peremptorie for the Sacrament, but for the word also, which is the life of the Sacrament: what is water without the worde, but water? therefore if the neglect or the contempt of the Sacrament bee a sinne, is not the despising of the word, and neglect of it a sinne also? because many are wonderfull passionate,The necessitie of the word to be thought on, as of Baptisme if God himselfe preuent of Baptisme, but themselues for themselues and o­thers, are nothing compassionate: ma­king no care nor conscience of their assiduitie and diligence to heare the word. Surely the worde hath saued without Baptisme, but baptisme with­out the worde neuer: Ioh. 15.3. You are cleane because of the word: and that you may knowe the words despising hath power to damne also, consider what the scripture saith, Ioh. 12.48. The word shall iudge you: and againe, [Page 59] Hee that despiseth the worde his prayer is abominable: Prou. 28.9. and againe,Math. 10.40. He that re­iecteth the Preacher, reiecteth him that sent him, which is the Lord: and againe, Faith commeth by hearing, Rom. 10.14. Rom. 14.23. which faith alone pleaseth GOD. Christ Math. 23.16. calles the Phari­sees blind guides, fooles and blind: be­cause they counted it sinne to sweare by the gold of the Temple, but by the Temple to sweare was nothing: so to sweare by the Aultar, nothing, but by the offering vpon the Aultar a sinne. Now fooles and blind, which is grea­ter, gold or Temple, Altar or offering? For the Temple conteineth God that dwelleth in it: the Altar, that is God worshipped at it. So let the despisers of the word either vanish & wonder, Act. 13.31. for Gods work vpon their blindnes that can see a mote of con­tempt in Baptisme, and not the beame of contempt in the worde, or else ac­knowledge their blindnes: Baptisme is as gold, it is as a holy offering: but [Page 60] yet the word sanctifieth it, and if it be not offered as it were vpon the holy Altar of the word, this golde becom­meth drosse, because there wanteth Gods word, as fire to trie it: & though it bee the offering of the fruite of thy body, thine owne flesh to the Lorde, yet vnles thou doe it as the Lord hath commanded, there is a sauour of death in it, and not of life: The propo [...]tion must be kept, Leuit. 17.4 In sacrifices disobedience is as murder: and why not in sacraments?

Wherefore beloued, let vs not de­spise Baptisme, let vs not despise the word: Baptisme is good, and holy, and comfortable with the word, the word is wholsome, and comfortable in his place, with Baptisme and without it, let vs get a spirite of discerning spirits, to distinguish betweene outward wa­shing and inwarde, betweene the lea­uen of poperie, who sowre the sweete water of baptisme & make it Marah, let vs rather season it with casting in [Page 61] some part of the tree of life,2. King. 2.21. as Eliza did to the waters of Iericho, and hea­led the land from vntimely birth. Let vs preserue a good consciēce by com­muning with our hearts dayly exami­ned, so shal neither we, nor our church haue vntimely birth for saluation, as they had in Iericho: so shall not Bap­tisme be vnfruitfull to vs, but be laden with all the benefites of Christs resur­rection, ascension, glorie at Gods right hand, and dominions ouer Angels, and then neither death nor life. Bap­tisme, nor not Baptisme, neither things past, present, nor to come, shall separate vs from the loue of Iesus Christ:Rom. 8.38. which shal bring vs vnto God.


In the epistle to the reader, page 4. line 27. for, insancicida, reade infanticida. p. 45. l. 18. for, Se­condly, r. Seuenthly. p. 59. l. 17. for, that is God, r. God that [...]s.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.