AN ESSAY Tending to Issue the Controversie ABOUT Infant Baptism. From the Parity, at least, of Scripture-Light, concerning Infant-Baptim, With that of Womens being admitted to the Lords Supper.

SHEWING, That there is as good Grounds out of Scrip­ture, for the one as for the other:

Occasioned by a Tender made by H. D. in his late Book against Infant-Baptism;

Who is willing to put the whole Controversie concerning it, upon this Issue.

TOGETHER, With an Answer to the most material things in that Book.

By [...].

LONDON Printed for Rich. Chiswel, at the Rose and Crown in Pauls Church-Yard 1674.

TO HIS Unacquainted-Friend, H. D. Author of a late Treatise against Infants-Baptism.


HEaring of some things in the Preface of your Book, relating to a noted-Person, who not long before had printed some passages, the noise of which (by the coming abroad of your Book, and as represent­ed by you) filled the minds of many with admiration & astonish­ment; One of which, and a gross one, was from your, leaving out the word [no [...]] menti­oned in the Prin­ters Errata, with an Asterisk pre­fixed to it. I could not rest till I had gotten a sight of them. This occasioned me at first to read your Preface, and afterwards your Treatise. And not being satisfied with your Ar­guments [Page](having had some serious thoughts of that Point some Months before) I resolved to attempt a friendly Answer. And if I be not much mista­ken (to the praise of God be it spoken) I found his presence going along with me in that work. And because you were willing to be satisfied, if as good proof were brought for Infants-Bap­tism, as for Womens receiving the Lords Supper, I thought good to be­gin with that, and therefore could not follow you ( [...]) in the same method, you use in your Book. I much wondered, when I saw in your Preface (and afterwards in your Book more at large) the Ancient Waldenses produced as faithful impugners of Infant-Bap­tism, as a humane and Anti-Christian Tradition and Invention] which in the space of an hour or two, I found plainly, and expresly in four or five places contradicted, out of the History of the Waldenses and Albigenses; writ­ten by John Paul Perin, and transla­ted out of French by Sampson Leonard, [Page]Printed Anno 1624. A particular account of which you will after­wards see; which gives just cause to suspect, that you may have failed, in some others of your humane Au­thorities, aswell as in that. And a learned and judicious friend of mine (who hath examined your other Quo­tations) assured me, that he finds the Testimonies much abused. He having the opportunity of a Library which I wanted, and having alrea­dy taken-pains therein, (unknown to me, even as mine was to him) I suppose you will have it from him­self. But as you well say, it is the Holy Scripture must be our Rule, and that alone can satisfie Consci­ence; and to that I stick. He that knowes my Heart, knowes, that I desire only, that the Truth may ap­pear, and be received. Let the Truth stand, though we should fall. I hope you will find no unbrotherly Language, or Bitterness, though sometimes a little sharpness, in what [Page]I have written. I have done my Preface to you, and commend the whole I have done, to him alone, who is able to accept it in Christ, and to make it accepted by your self, and any others that shall reade it.

Your Friend, [...].


Courteous Reader,

THough many Judicious and Godly men have done worthily, in vindi­cating the Interest of the Infants of In­churched-Parents, in the External and Church-Dispensation of the Covenant of Grace, made with Abraham and his Seed, in their Generations; and conse­quently, their Title to Baptism, which is now under the Gospel, the Initiatory-Seal of that Covenant; So that it may be thought needless to write any more to clear that point: yet because our Brethren of the adverse party, do continue to set forth something in opposition thereunto, and in [Page]particular, a Book lately set forth by H. D. much admired by some, and cryed-up as un-answerable, (unto which no particu­lar Answer that I know hath as yet been returned) I have taken some pains to com­pose a brief and plain Answer to the most material things in it, which, I hope, will be understood by mean capacities. A thing (if I mis-judg not) rather to be desired, than found, in the writings of some able men, of profound learning and judgment: which renders their labours therein, not so useful, as otherwise they might be, to the weaker sort, who are most easily drawn into the contrary perswasion. I must con­fess, I have been forced to use divers Greek words and Phrases (especially near the beginning) because the force of my Argument lies in the Gender, and proper signification of them. But I hope, they are so plainly interpreted, that the mean­est Reader, whose information and good I aim at, will not be at a loss, as to the sence of them. Many mischiefs, Absur­dities and Contradictions, are charged by H. D. upon Infant-Baptism, and those [Page]that hold it; but with what Absurdity they are so charged, will appear to those that impartially read the ensuing Essay. Those mischiefs, and Absurdities, will not at all follow from the nature of the thing it self, as I have stated it; but are in­deed fathered upon it by the ignorance or corruption of Men, who are prepossest and prejudiced against it, and pre-inga­ged in the contrary-perswasion. Sure we are, that the Contrary-Opinion, hath had many mischiefs attending it; and many gross-Absurdities, do still attend it, naturally flowing out of the bowels of it. It lays a foundation of denying Women's partaking in the Lords Supper; and of the Christian-Sabbath; and I wonder, that such as deny Infant-Baptism (which hath as clear a foundation in the Holy Scripture) do not also deny the others. And whereas Infant-Baptism is also charged to be a bone of Contention, even among those that hold it, whose grounds and opinions concerning it, are different; and therefore should be utterly relin­quish't:] This is an Argument fitter to [Page]prevail with envassalled-Papists, than with those, that love the Truth, and make Conscience of Contending, for the least grain of that Faith, which was once delivered to the Saints. If this Ar­gument were valid, it might easily be shewn, That our opposite Brethren are not all of one mind, in all things pertaining to the case under debate. But it is not my design to stir the persons of Men, but to make the Truth of God, and the riches of his Grace appear; that the God of Truth and Grace may have the glory; and the Reader may have some real benefit.


These ensuing Positions you will find, asserted, and cleared in this Essay, dispersed here and there, as oppor­tunity served, to treat of them.

1. THat the Covenant, which God made with Abraham and his Seed, Gen. 17. was the Covenant of Grace.

2. That this Covenant comprehended, not on­ly Temporal Blessings, but Spiritual also.

3. That it was dispensed to Abraham and his Family, with respect to a visible-Church-Estate: and by that Covenant so dispensed by God, and received by them, they became the Church of God.

4. That the natural seed, and Children of Abraham, and the rest of the members of that Church in his House, were externally and eccle­siastically, within that Covenant of Grace. I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed, Gen. 17.7. which is meant, not only of his Spiritu­al Seed, but also of his Church-Seed, in their Generations, v. 9.

5. That Circumcision was then, by God's ap­pointment, the ordinary Initiatory-Seal of that Covenant, under that Ecclesiastical Dispensation.

6. That the Male-Infants of those inchurched Parents, were then signed, and sealed, with the [Page]Seal of Circumcision, as well as their Fathers.

7. That it is the same Covenant of Grace, that was made with Abraham, (as to the sub­stance of it) that is now come upon us Gentiles.

8. That there are Temporal Blessings included in the Covenant now, as well as Spiritual.

9. That now in these Gospel-days, there is an External, and Ecclesiastical Dispensation of this Covenant, as well as there was heretofore, to the Church in Abrahams Family; whereby visible Gospel-Churches are constituted.

10. That Children of an Inchurched-Parent, are now within the External and Ecclesiastical-Dispensation of this Covenant: mediate members by means of their Inchurched-Parents, as well as heretofore: the Church-Seed of Abraham.

11. That Baptism is now, by God's appoint­ment, the ordinary Initiatory Seal of the Cove­nant, under that External, and Ecclesiastical-Dispensation, instead of Circumcision of old.

12. That all the Legitimate-Infants of In­churched-Parents, (being Disciples, and mediate-Members) ought to be baptized, as well as In­fants of Old were Circumcised, God having now enlarged his Grace, and given such a Seal, as Females might partake of, as well as Males; and Infants as well as their Parents.

A friendly Answer to H. D. about Infant-Baptism.


IN Page 105. of your Book you say, we shall find, both Example and Command for Women's receiving the Lords Supper; and in Pag. 106. you say, Let but as good Proof ap­pear for Infants-Baptism, and it shall suffice. I shall now essay, by the Lord's help, to make as good Proof ap­pear, if not better, that is, clearer.

1. The Example you bring, is out of Act. 1.14. we read, say you, That Mary and other Women were gathered together, and that these Women with the rest of the Disciples, were all­together in one Place, and continued stedfastly in the Apostles-Doctrine and fellowship, and breaking of Bread, and Prayers, Acts 2.42, 44. It being expresly said, that all that Belie­ved were together.

You take this to be an evident Example, that Women received the Lords Supper; therefore that there is ground in Scripture to admit them, but that there is not the like Ex­ample, of any Infants that have been Baptized. In Answer to which, I shall first premise four Things in general; and then Answer more particularly.

1. I am not against inchurched-Wo­men's-receiving the Lords Supper, any more than against inchurched-Men; but do believe they have an equal right unto it, whil's they continue in a right estate in the Church. —But

2. This Example that you bring (and the Command also, as afterwards I shall shew) is not express, nor so clear, as you make it to be.

3. That there is as much room for Ob­jections against it, as there is for Objections a­gainst the Baptizing of Infants; (as I hope I shall make appear:) and that there is as much evidence and clearness for the latter, as you judge to be for the former.

4. All the evidence that your Example and Command will afford you, for Womens receiving the Lords Supper; you must de­duce, by way of consequence, and that very darkly too, from what you bring, And if so, I hope you will use the same candour, integri­ty, [Page 3]and right Reason, in allowing what will rationally follow from the Scriptures, that shall be produced for the Baptizing of in­churched-Infants: Veniam dabimus, petimus­que Vicissim.

Now more particularly, to your Example.

1. It is not here expresly-said, that these Women were Believers, Act. 1.14. but you must gather it by consequence, from this, and other Scriptures compared together.

2. That this Assembly was not the same, that is not mentioned, Acts 2.42.44. For this was to constitute a new Apostle in the room of Judas, and w [...] somewhat before; as appears Acts. 2.1. The other is spoken of the multitude of Jews and Gentiles converted afterwards, when the day of Pentecost was fully-come; and the Spirit given in that mi­raculous gift of Tongues.

3. Here is no express-mention, that those Women were in, and of, that great Assembly, Acts 2.42, 44. who continued stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of Bread and Prayers. How do you know, but that they might be dead, or sick, or upon some other occasion, absent (as Thomas was before, John 20.24.) As here is no­thing exprest to the contrary; so nor any thing expresly affirmed, that they were pre­sent.

[Page 4] 4. Nor is there any express-mention of any other Women in that great Assembly, Acts. 2.42, 44. though afterwards there is, Chap. 5.14. when the number was increased.

If it be objected, that Sapphyra is after­wards mentioned, Acts. 5.1, 2. I Answer, neither doth that expresly and directly prove your Assertion. For,

  • 1. It is not expresly said, that she was a Member of the Church, though by consequence we may ga­ther, she was.
  • 2. If she were, It is not said, that she received the Lords Supper; for she might be dead before she recei­ved it.
  • 3. You cannot say, she was one of those, that are spoken of Act 2.42, 44. for she might be one of those that were afterwards converted to the Christian Religion, Cap. 3. and Cap. 4. when the number was much increased, Chap. 4.4. to five thousand Men.

5. The words upon which you lay the stress of Womens receiving the Lords Sup­per here, are in express-terms against you; though you take them expresly for you: your words to prove, that those Women did re­ceive the Lord's Supper, Acts 1.14. with, [Page 5] Acts 2.42.44. are these. It being expresly said, say you, that all that believed [that all that believed were together.]

Let us now fairly-examine the Greek Phrase, and we shall find it expresly of Men, and not of Women. I doubt not, but you know the Gender of [...]. The Ar­ticle [...]] doth expresly limit it to men and not to Women. As if he had said, all the Men that believed, were together; continued in the Apostles Doctrine, &c. and in breaking of Bread. And if you examine the rest of the Chapter, Acts 2. You shall find it spoken expresly ( [...]) of, and to] men, and not women: yea, some of them, the same men that are said to believe, and to continue in the Apostles Doctrine and breaking of Bread. In v. 6. [...]. every Man] heard them speak; not woman. In v. 3. [...], saying one to another; that is, expresly men, not women. Again in v. 8. [...]: every man expresly; not woman, likewise v. 9. [...], &c. expresly said of men-dwellers as distinguisht from women: so v. 10. [...], &c. strange men of Rome: men-Jews, &c. likewise v. 12. [...]: saying one man to another — Again v. 14 [...], &c. ye men Jewes, and all ye (men) that dwell at Jeru­salem; so v. 22. [...]: ye men [Page 6]Israelites: and as ye (men) know, [...]. And v. 29. [...], Men-Brethren ex­presly; as distinguisht from women, who are called [...] Sisters. Again v. 38. [...] every (man) of you; not woman. Likewise v. 41. [...] (men) that gladly recei­ved his Word. And v. 47. [...]: those men expresly, that should be saved. Add to these what you find, Acts 4.4. when the Church was more increased, the number of the men were about 5000. of men, Diametri­cally opposed to women, and never used for women. [...]. And why not those 2000, Acts 2. be so too?

By these things you see, that this Instance and example; which you bring for womens receiving the Lord's Supper, is not so ex­press as you make it to be, nor so void of ex­ception, and yet you own their right there­unto. I shall now produce as probable exam­ples of the Baptism of Children; and leave it to consideration. Only, I shall first premise, that as there was no mention in express-terms, of any woman that received the Lord's Sup­per (as hath appeared); even so there is no mention in express terms of any Infant bap­tized. Yet nevertheless, there is good rea­son to conclude, both the one and the other, from the sacred Scripture; and if you deny Inferences in the one, you must by the same reasondeny them in the other.

In particular, 'tis said, that Lydia wa Baptized and her House, (or Houshold) [...]) Acts 16.15. It is not said that any of her House was converted besides her self. Al­so the House (or houshold) of Stephanus, 1 Cor. 1.16. And it is apparent in Scripture, that House] doth comprehend Children, in its signification, in sundry places; and it is often put to signifie Children and Posterity chiefly, if not only, 1 Sam. 20.15. Thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my House] saith Jonathan to David. And David minded it afterwards, 2 Sam. 9.1. Is there yet any left of the House of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake? yea, Jonathan hath yet a Mephibosheth, a Son, which is lame on his feet v. 3. It's clear there, that the House of Saul and Jonathan is put for the Children and Posterity of Saul and Jonathan.

See also, 1 Kings 17.12, 13. Her Son is called her House, v. 15. And it is apparent by the Context that he was a Child, Puer, [...] pue­rulus, natus re­cens proprie. Buxcorf. in the Mothers Bosom, not grown up to ripeness of years; see v. 19.21, 22, 23. See Ruth 4.11. Rachel and Leah built the house of Israel (to wit; by the Children, that they brought forth) and v. 12. Let thy House be like the House of Pharez, of the Seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young Woman.

To these add Exod. 1.21. God made the Midwives Houses; that is, gave them Children and Families, for the Mercy they shewed to the Children of Israel: Many other Scriptures might to this purpose be produced.

Now to sum up the whole; we find in the Scripture (which next the Holy Spirit, is the best Expositor of it self) that the word House] is often put for Children, yea, for young Children; and that Lydia and her House, and Stephanas his House, was Bapti­zed. Let impartial persons judge whether this doth not carry as much, if not more pro­bability and evidence in it, than what hath been brought for Women's receiving the Lord's Supper; and not liable to such excep­tions from the context, nor from any other Scripture.

I shall now come to examine that com­mand, that is brought, to warrant Women to receive the Lord's Supper, 1 Cor. 11.28. Let a Man, or Woman say you, Examine and so eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup.

You gather it from the Greek word Anthropos, [...]. which is of the Masculine & Feminine Gender, and so signifies Male and Fe­male: which I deny not. But I must crave leave to inform you, that when it is limited with [Page 9]words of the Masculine Gender, it hath re­ference expresly to Men, and not to Women. And that it is so here, I shall abundantly prove after these two things premised.

1. The Woman can be but implied in this word if it had been left unlimited; for, If it had been expresly spoken of the Woman the Article He) should have been exprest: [...]

2. It is not immedi­ate; but first Examine, then Eat.

Now that the word Anthropos here, is li­mited expresly with words of the Masculine Gender, and so expresly appropriated to the Man, will appear — 1. From the Con­text. And 2. From the Text it self.

1. From the Context, 1 Cor. 11.19. spea­king of the same persons, that came together into one place, (pretending at least) to eat the Lord's Supper, v. 20. he sets them forth ex­presly, in the Masculine Gender, which points at Males only, not at Females; [...], those Men that are approved, may be made manifest. And v. 21, [...], &c. Every one, that is, one Man, and another Man, and not Woman. Thus in the Greek, as you cannot deny.

Again, v. 27. Whosoever, that is, what Man soever, [...], likewise v. 29. [...]; He, that Man, that eateth and drinketh unwor­thily, [Page 10]eateth judgment to himself; not her self, 30. v. 30. [...]; many (Men) are sick, clearly (distinguished) in the Greek, from Women: And lastly, v. 33. [...]. Brethren, not Sisters; When the Brethren or Men come together — tarry ye one for another? all of them expresly respect­ing Men, as distinguished from Women. Thus much from the Context, where there is not one express-word of Women, but all of Men.

But — 2. That which most clearly, and strongly, weakens your assertion, is the Re­lative ( [...]) in the Text. Let a man exa­mine Himself] expresly, and so let him eat, &c. Though the word Anthropos be Mascu­line and Feminine in the general; yet here it is expresly limited to a word of the Mascu­line, and so to a Man only, and not to a Woman.

What Arguments do satisfie me, concern­ing the right of Women to the Lord's Sup­per; and how I can solve this Text to my own satisfaction, is not my work at present to declare. I must confess, it is not pleasing to me to raise Objections against any Truth of God, nor yet would I lose any grain of Truth, that will flow from a Scripture, nor would I have done this, but to shew, that there is as much, if not more shew, of Ob­jections, [Page 11]against Womens receiving the Lord's Supper from the Proofs you have brought, than is against Baptism of inchurched Infants.

But I have done it in Answer to what you have said, Page 106. Let but as good Proof appear for Infants-Baptism, and it shall suf­fice.

I shall now, by the Lord's help shew as clear, if a not clearer Command for the Bapti­zing of the Infants of Inchurched Parents, than hath been given us, for Womens receiving of the Lords Supper. And do hope, that others may receive some Scripture-Light thereby; even from that Text, from which you infer the contrary.

The Text is, Mat. 28.19. Christ's Com­mission to his Apostles, rendred in English, Go ye and teach all Nations, Baptizing them, &c. The word in the Greek is [...]; Disciple all Nations, not only the Nation of the Jews, but the Gentiles also. That is,

1. Go and Preach the Gospel to them, for their Conversion.

2. Put them into a Church-Estate, when converted.

3. Then Baptize them, when Inchurch­ed. This was the ordinary way.

4. Then teach them to observe all other [Page 12]things, which are after to be learned, in the Church or School of Christ.

That the word Disciple them] doth imply, not only preaching the Gospel to them for their Conversion, but also constituting them into a Church-Estate; and is more than [...], which is the word used for teaching, v. 20. will thus appear.

1. Christ undoubtedly gave his Apo­stles Commission, to constitute Gospel-Church­es, to put converted souls into Gospel-Con­gregations, that they might orderly enjoy all Gospel-Ordinances among themselves: else it would have been a meer humane invention, and not an Institution of Christ; and so they would not have been owned, and approved by him; as without Controversie they were: see, 1 Cor. 1.1. 2 Cor. 1.1. and sundry o­ther places. Every particular Gospel-Church, being the House of God, and of Christ, who is the Builder of it, Heb. 3.3, 4.6. 1 Tim. 3.15.

2. If Christ gave them such Commissi­on, then 'tis most likely to be here. For,

  • 1. They were now to go about this great work, and so needed Christ's Authority, to bear them out, and the presence and power of his Spirit to assist them in it.
  • [Page 13]2. This was therefore the fittest time; both in respect of the Apostles them­selves, and in respect of Christ, who was now risen from the dead; and actually invested with all power in Heaven and in Earth. Now in those 40 days, between his Resurrection and Ascension, he gave Commande­ments to his Apostles, whom he had chosen, Act 1.2. speaking of the things, pertaining to the Kingdom of God, v. 3. which necessarily must re­spect and comprehend in it a visible Gospel-Church, which is so called.

3. The Greek word [...], seem's clearly to imply a putting them into a Gospel-Church-Estate. I find it used but in four places in all the New-Testament, in every of which, I conceive it hath reference to a Gos­pel-Congregation.

The first is in Math. 13.52. rendred in our English, Every Scribe instructed unto the Kingdom of Heaven. Which I rather render, according to the proper signification of the word, which also well suits the sence of the place; [...] Every Scribe Discipled into the Kingdom of Heaven, brings forth out of his treasures, things new and old.] which I shall thus expound

[Page 14] 1. By Scribe] is some­times meant a Teacher, Scribae denique dicti sunt Juris Di­vini periti inter ce­teros (quo nomine laudatur Ezra. c. 7.11. quorum mu­nus fuit, cum in Synagogis, cum in Templo, legem do­cere. Beza in Mat. 2.4. Et rurfus, scribas illos dictos fuisse, ex eo, quod legi Scribendae & interpretandae va­carent, quasi sacra­rum tabularum custodes, constare potest ex Jerem. 8.8. Beza in eundem Loc. and so I take it here. Such a one was Ezra, Chap. 7.6.11, 12. with Nehem. 8.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9.13.

2. By Kingdom of Heaven here, and in some other pla­ces, is meant a Gospel Church and Congregation; see Mat. 13.24.47. Mat. 20.1. Mat. 25.1.

3. By Discipled into the Kingdom of Heaven] is meant, that he being con­verted to Christianity was now made a Member of a Gospel-Church; And he being a Teacher before, and fitted to teach the people, being now tran­slated into a Gospel-State, is called to be, and so was made a Minister and Teacher of a Gos­pel-Church.

4. He brings out of his Treasures things new and old.] Now he stirs up the gifts of God, that are in him, and teaches the people things New] concerning Jesus Christ already come, crucified, risen from the dead, ascend­ed into the Heavens, actually-invested with all power, the great High-Priest in the Heavens [Page 15]actually invested with all power, the great High-Priest in the Heavens making Interces­sion for his People; who shall come at length to judge the World. — And things old] to wit, the Prophecies that went before con­cerning Christ to come, & the signification of the Ceremonial Law, and the particulars thereof, leading to Christ, and now fulfilled and accomplished in him. This sence of the Text seems fair, and suitable to the Scrip­ture, and the practice of the Apostles; see Acts 17.2, 3, 17, 18. Acts 9.22. And this seems to be the scope of the whole Epistle to the Hebrews. I must confess, I have trodden an uncouth path, in the Exposition of this Text, without help from any Expositor; but I leave it to the impartial and judicious Rea­der to judge.

The second Scripture where the word [...] is used; is Math. 27.57. con­cerning Joseph of Arimathea; and I see no reason why it should be translated Intransi­tively in a Neutral-signification. The Greek is [...]. In En­glish; who also himself Discipled (or made Disciples) to Jesus. And not as it is rendred ordinarily; who also himself was Jesus Disciple. My Reasons of this Exposition are these.

[Page 16] 1. This is the proper signification of the Greek word, and why it should be changed here, I see no reason.

2. It is not here to be limited to that time when Joseph begg'd the body of Jesus; but to that time when the Gospel according to Matthew, was written, which was some time after the death and ascension of Jesus Christ: Some say nine years.

3. That Joseph of Arima­thea, Si Eusebio & Theophilacto cre­ditur, Matthens in Judaeâ p, imus E­vangelium Scripsit, Anno tertio Cali­gulae, qui erat post ascensum Domini nonus; Nativita­tis 41. Sic Pareus in praefat. ad Matth. was not only himself, Jesus Disciple, but did also make Disciples to Jesus, is commonly acknowledged; especially here in England, which had the benefit of his Labours, as is believed humana fide; his Tomb be­ing reported to be at Gla­ssenbury; which the Papists have superstitiously abused, & grosly-Idolized.

The third place where that word is used, is, in Acts 14.21. which gives no smal light, and confirmation to what we have said. Cum Evangeli­zassent Ʋrbi illi, & Discipulos non pau­cos adjunxissent. Beza. It's rendred in our Bibles; when they had Preacht the Gospel to that Ci­ty, and had taught many] In stead of which, I shall read according to the Greek; They having E­vangelized that City, and Discipled (not many, [Page 17]but) a sufficient and meet Company or number, both for Quantity and Quality: [...]. That is, laid the foundation of a Gospel-Congregation with a sufficient number of such persons, as were meet and fit for it. The word implies both. And for both which, sufficient reasons may be given. This sence of this Scripture, is;

1. Most Exactly suitable to the Greek words.

2. Most distinct and Rational, and avoids Tautologie, which the other doth not. They first Evangelized the City; i. e. preached the Gospel to the Citizens, so that divers were seasoned with it, and did savour of it, were leavened with it, and con­verted by it. Math. 13.33. Then they Discipled them; that is, di­rected and disposed, a meet and sufficient number of them, into a Church-Estate, who might be fit to receive others into Fellow­ship with them.

3. This sence is most suitable to the Con­text. The City Derbe, where these things were done, was the Period and non-ultra, of that Progress of Paul and Barnabas. From hence they returned back to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch in Pisidia, where they had been before, Acts 13.14. (This was not that An­tioch in Syria, from whence they were sent forth by the Church, Acts 13.1, 2, 3.) And [Page 18]it is said that in this their return, they by the vote and suffrage of the Churches in choosing, Ordained them Elders in e­very Church. see the Greek [...] Acts 14.23. per suffragia creassent. Whence it is manifest, that they not on­ly Preached the Gospel to them, in their Progress, for their Conversion; but also Inchurched them, when they were Convert­ed. Else, how could it be said, that they Ordained them Elders in every Church, if they had not constituted these Churches before? This is not intimated in any other Word, than that in v. 2 1. which we have rendred, Disci­pling them. And it being mentioned expres­ly at Derbe, which was the Period of their Progress, is to be understood to all the Rest; intimating, that what they did there, they did also before in those other places, wherein were those Churches to which in their Regress and Return, they ordained Elders; and from thence returned, and at last sayled to Antioch (viz. in Syria,) from whence by the Holy Ghost, they, by the Church there, had been separa­red and commended to the Grace of God for the work which now they had fulfilled, Acts 14.26.

All these being put together, do give in a considerable-evidence, to the truth of what I have asserted: Their Discipling of a meet and [Page 19]sufficient number, was the Inchurching them into a Gospel-Congregation; a building them together as living stones, into an Holy-Temple in the Lord, Eph. 2. ult. 1 Pet. 2.5. into an house of God to offer up spiritual Sacrifice, accep­table to God by Jesus Christ. All this work they fulfilled suitably to their Commission gi­ven by Jesus Christ, which is the thing we were to evidence, from Math. 28.19. which is the fourth place in the New-Testament, where that word is used. Go ye and Disciple all Nations, Baptizing them, &c.

This Text of Math. 28.19. which con­tains Christs Commission, being thus expound­ed and cleared; gives us light to expound the same commission laid down in other words, by the Evangelist Mark, Chapt. 16.15, 16.

1. Go ye forth into all the World (not in­to Canaan only) and Preach the Gospel to eve­ry Creature: that is, not only to the Jews and Israelites, but to the Gentiles also, that they may be converted and believe. And for this end, Christ promised them his Spirit to he present with them, in the work of their Ministry, to Convince the World, (that is the Elect of God among the Gentiles, aswel as the Jews) of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment, Joh. 16.8. This is the first thing implied in [Page 20]the word Discipling, Matth. 28.19. but is not all, that is implied in it, (as hath been alrea­dy shewed); for the word Disciple, hath some­what more in it, and is of a larger significa­tion than the word Believer. By this their preaching, Adult, and grown persons, be­longing to God's Election, should be brought to believe in Christ; which hath more in it, than meerly to be taught the Doctrine of Faith.

2. Being made Believers, it was their duty now, to look after Baptism.

3. But that they might regularly attain it; it was their duty to enter into a Gospel-Church-Estate; to be first Discipled, and then to be Baptized. Thus these two Scriptures do help to expound each other. Preaching the Gospel to every Creature, to bring them to believe] shew's, that there is more in the Word, Discipling] than constituting a visible Church. And the word Discipling] shew's that a visible-Church-Estate, should ordina­rily and orderly come between the believing of such Converted-Persons, and their being Baptized.

Obj. If it be objected, that Mark saith no­thing of a Gospel-Church-Estate to come be­tween Believing, and being Baptized; but of Believing only.

Sol. I Answer.

[Page 21] 1. Neither doth Mark speak any thing here, of teaching them to observe all things, that Christ hath commanded, as Matthew doth; yet, we may not thence infer, that they should not be taught to observe them, because he saith nothing of it.

2. Nor doth Matthew say as Mark doth, He that believeth and is Baptized shall he Saved he that believeth not shall be damned; which yet we may not deny to be true, because Mat­thew saith nothing of it.

3. It is sufficient, that the Evangelist Matthew doth speak of Discipling, before Baptizing. We should take it as a singular mercy of God, that hath so exprest himself in Scripture, that we (by the gracious help of his Spirit) comparing Scripture with Scrip­ture, may come to see his mind therein; and may find that in one Scripture, which is not mentioned in another.

Having thus explained these Texts, which contain Christ's Commission, and in parti­cular, concerning Baptizing, I thus Ar­gue.

Proposition.—Disciples are by Christ's Commission, to be Baptized;

Assumption—Children of Inchurched-Pa­rents, are Disciples:

Conclusion—Therefore, Children of In­churched Parents, are by Christ's Commission to be Baptized.

The Proposition is in the Text, Matth. 28.19. Disciple-Baptizing them.

The Assumption will be cleared out of Acts 15. thus.

Propos. These, on whom the false teachers laid the yoke of Circumcision after the man­ner of Moses, were Disciples, Acts 15.10. with v. 2;

Assump. But some of those, on whom they laid the yoke of Circumcision after the man­ner of Moses, were Children of Inchurched Parents:

Conclus. Therefore, Children of Inchurch­ed-Parents, are Disciples.

The Assumption which alone is questionable, I thus prove.

If Children of the Church of the Jews, were some of those, that were to be circum­cised, after the manner of Moses, then, some of those, on whom they laid the yoke of Circumcision after the manner of Moses, must be Children of Inchurched-Parents;

But Children of the Church of the Jews were some of those, that were to be Circum­cised after the manner of Moses, Gen. 17.12.

Therefore, some of those, on whom they laid that Yoke, must be Children of Inchurch­ed-Parents: to wit, Children of eight days old.

Hence it is plain (â primo ad ultimum), [Page 23]that Children of Inchurched-Parents (one of them at least) are Disciples, and by our Lord's Commission, should be Baptized. The true order then, is this;

1. That Gentile Parents should attend to the preaching of the Gospel, and be con­verted by it.

2. That then, they should enter into a Gospel-Church-Estate, that is; be Discipled. —3. And upon that should be Baptized themselves.

4. And that their Infants also, being (by the Lord's appointment received in, with and by means of their Parents, or Parent at least, as mediate-Members; and by the Lord, called Disciples; they also, as well as their Parents, should by his Commission be Bapti­zed: they being as truly, and compleatly mediate-Members in their kind, as their Parents are immediate Members in their kind.

I shall give one Argument more for the Disciple-ship of the Infants of Inchurched-Parents.

If to be one of Christ's Externally and Ecclesiastically, as Matth. 26.73. Mar. 14.69, 70. Luke 22.58. And to be with Christ Externally, as Matth. 26.69, 71. Mar. 14.67. Luke 22.56.59. be the same thing, with being one of Christ's Disciples; as appears, John 18.17.25. Then, Children of Inchurch­ed-Parents, [Page 24]being Externally and Ecclesiasti­cally related to Christ, and Externally with Christ, and of his Kingdom, the Church, as Matth. 19.13, 14, 15.13, 14, 15.16. must of necessity be Disciples. Dr. Worth.

To clear this distinction of Church-Members take what followes.
Church-Members, (called by the name Disciples) are of two kinds or species.

1. Immediate: that do actually, in their own persons (having first approved themselves to the Church) receive and lay hold of the Covenant of Grace (held forth to them in a Church-way) for themselves, and their Seed; and giving up themselves and their Seed, to the Lord, and to his Church, Gen. 17.7. by the will of God. This they do for their Seed, as middle-persons by God's ap­pointment; and not as publick persons.

2. Mediate; by means of their Parent or Parents (one or both). And hence ariseth the Distinction of Immediate and mediate Church-Members; distinct from each other in kind, which may thus be proved.

Prop. Such as is the confederation of little Children, such is their Church-Membership;

Assump. But their confederation is Medi­ate:

Conclus. Therefore their Church-Member­ship is mediate also.

This is the Argument of that reverend, and accomplished servant of God, Mr. John Da­venport.

The Proposition is evident; because Church-Confederation is the proper, and formal-cause and reason of Church-Membership. Et cui forma tribuitur vol adimitur, eidem & for­matum.

The Assumption is also clear (for it is plain that all such Childrens confederation, is in, and by] their Parent, or Parent's confedera­ting for them; (Mediante Parente). And this makes their Membership Mediat. Were this distinction generally held, by them that hold Paedobaptism, our dissenting Brethren, that are against Infant-Membership, and Infant-Baptism, would be freed from a great Temp­tation. For they see, that if Children be Church-Members of the same kind and spe­cies, equally with their Parents: then, when they are grown up, they may by virtue of that Member-ship, Relata enim non suscipiunt magis & minus. challenge a right to all other Church-Ordinances, because they are Church-Members, as their Parents were, [Page 26]and stand in a right Estate in the Church, ha­ving never been cast out. I must confess, that by such a succession of Members, as this is, the Church would be sadly corrupted. But if this Distinction of Immediate, and Me­diate Members were held; then might our Brethren easily see, that the Membership of Children, which is mediate, would not en­title them to full Communion with the Church in all Ordinances proper to the A­dult; but they must become Immediate-Mem­bers, by their own credible profession of Faith and Repentance, to the satisfaction of the Church, and laying hold of the Covenant solemnly themselves, as their Parents have done before them. And this would be a way according to God, to maintain a succession of Infant-Members (to whom there are divers Priviledges belonging, tending to their Con­version) and yet to keep the Church pure. See Mr. Baxter's Book of Confirmation; where­in he hath solidly proved the substance of what I here assert.

And now it will be requisite, to recollect what hath been more largely discoursed, and to apply it to the scope intended. I have shewed, that there are as many, and as probable objections, against both the Exam­ple and command, that have been produ­ced by H. D. for Womens receiving the [Page 27]Lord's Supper; as are against the Baptism of Children of Inchurched-Parents. And that there are if not clearer, yet as clear Argu­ments out of Scripture for the latter, as for the former, and therefore as little reason to ob­ject against the latter as against the former. My intent is not to quarrel, but rather to com­pose this difference, if the Lord see it good.


AS to to the Baptism of Believers, I know none that are for Infant-Baptism do oppose it; provided—1. That they be Believers in a Gospel-Church-Estate— 2. That they be such Believers, as have not before been Baptized in their minority.

But the former part of your book tending to prove, that only Actual Believers should be Baptized; I cannot perceive, that your proofs do confirm it, either from Scripture, or humane Testimonies. The generality of them, if I apprehend them rightly, speak only of Adult persons, and therein we agree with you; that Adult persons ought to testifie their Faith and Repentance to the judgment of Ra­tional Charity of the Church, guided in judging, by the Rules of God's Word, before they are admitted to be Members; and to [Page 28]Baptism. And I believe, you cannot but judge, that the Testimonies you bring from Mr. Perkins, Mr. Baxter, Dr. Owen, and some others, were so intended, and not at all against Infants. I shall leave that, to them that are concerned and are yet alive, to explain and vindicate their own sence.

But as for some others, who (as you ren­der them) speak more punctually to your pur­pose; which I have neither time, nor Books to examine; I look upon the case of Infant-Baptism, as little concerned in them; the sa­cred Scripture alone, as you confess, being the only Rule that can satisfie Conscience. Yet were it not too tedious a task, I could shew you many mistakes in your apprehensions of divers of them. And you may see Answers to sundry of them, in Dr. Homes and some others, which yet you take no notice of.

I grant that all Adult Persons to be admitted to the Church and to Baptism, ought to Answer that Rule and Order, which you mention in Chap. 1. of your first part. But there is another Rule and Or­der for the Infants of Inchurched-Parents, which will also come under Christ's Commis­sion; as hath been already proved. Such In­fants being Disciples and mediate members of the visible Church, and so, to be Baptized; as well as their Parents are Disciples, and [Page 29]Immediate Members, and so to be Baptized, if they were not Baptized before; we there­fore need no other Commission, nor Instituti­on for them, than what Christ hath in gene­ral, already given, which I desire may be se­riously considered.

CHAP. III. To Chapter four, where you Treat of the Spiri­tual End and Ʋses of Baptism, which you say, Infants are not capable of; I Answer.

1. IN general; that divers of those you mention, are peculiar to grown per­sons, which I shall grant; but do not at pre­sent concern Infants and Children in minori­ty. Some others of them I wholly except against, as shall appear in the particulars.

2. In particular.

1. To your first End, That the Baptized might have that represented in a signe or figure, ☞ According to this; no Hypo­crite should ever be Baptized, any more than an Infant; which I have often occasion to mind you of. and preacht to his Eye—which had been preacht to his Ear, and heart, by the Word & Spirit of God — a sign of the whole Mistery of the Gospel; which Infants, wanting understanding and [Page 30]judgment, are no more capable of, than a Stock or a Stone. This is the sum of what you say.

To which I reply, That it is indeed requi­site, that grown-persons to be Baptized should first be instructed in the Mysteries of the Gos­pel; as the Eunuch was, Acts 8.34, 35.— But it is not so with Infants; but they are af­terwards to be instructed in them, and to be taught, when they grow up, Deut. 6.7. and be instructed in the meaning and signifi­cation of the Sacraments; as of old they were; and Children should when grown, ask, as they were to do, Exod. 12.26. What mean you by this service? See v. 27. and Exod 13.8. and should improve it as an Argument, to stir them up, to cry to God for Regenerating-Grace. Besides, it is of Use to the Parents, and to the Church also, (as shall be shewed) who have the use of Reason. The want of the use of Reason in an Infant, is no essential defect, as to the External susception of Bap­tism. The Child is meerly-Passive, in admit­ting it; and so is the Soul in Regeneration, which is in a special manner, signified in that Ordinance. And we should adore the won­derful Wisdom and Goodness of God, that hath so suited the sign to the thing signified, which the Child should afterwards labour for.

[Page 31] 2. To your second, that the party Baptized might thereby witness his Repentance] I con­ceive it a mistake. For those Scriptures, Mat. and Acts 2.38. do declare, that those Adult persons, were first to witness their Repentance (which is set forth, by con­fessing their sins), and then to be Baptized. Else John Baptist must have acted blindfold; and might have Baptized the Pharisees among the rest; which he did not, Luke 7.30. Be­cause they did not testifie their Repentance, though they came to his Baptism, Math. 21.31, 32.

And as for them, Acts 2.38. It's expresly said, Repent and be Baptized. Repentance must be manifested by them, yea, and also enter into the Gospel-Church (which they did by gladly receiving the Word, viz. of the Covenant held forth afresh unto them, v. 39.) before they were Baptized, v. 41. So that Baptism was not to witness the Re­pentance of the Adult person to be Baptized, but he was to witness it before, that he might be Baptized.

3. To the 3. I Answer; That the End of Baptism, is not to evidence present Regene­ration. If you mean it of Adult-persons, that was to be evidenced before, to the judg­ment of the Rational-Charity of the Church. And in reference to Infants, it is not requisite, [Page 32]that Regeneration should precede, or be at that present, when they are Baptized. Yet who can say peremptorily, of this, or that Infant, that it is not regenerated? Doubtless, God doth Regenerate Elect-Infants, that die in Infancy, though in a way and time unknown to us.—But more particularly.

1. I suppose you will not hold, that all that you Baptize, are certainly at present Re­generated. Sad experience shew's you the contrary. The most you can say, is; that to the best of your judgment, they are. And how then can your Position and Practice stand together?

2. There ought to be, and regularly is, in an orderly Gospel-Church, visible-present-Regeneration, in one of the Parents at least, to the Rational judgment of the Church, un­to which such a parent is a Member, and in a right estate. And this is enough to entitle the Child to Baptism; by virtue of that ever­lasting-Covenant under an Ecclesiastical dis­pensation, Gen. 17.7. I will be thy God, and the God of thy Seed. Thou shalt keep my Cove­nant therefore, v. 9. that is, Circumcise every Male, v. 10.

3. God's Covenant to in-churched-Pa­rents, in reference to their Seed, is, to Re­generate them, Deut. 30.6. The Lord thy God will Circumcise the heart of thy Seed. And [Page 33]for that end, to give them means of Grace. And this Promise, such Parents should im­prove for their Children, and so should the Children themselves, when they come to years of discretion.

4. Baptism now, as Circumcision of old, is a seal of God's Covenant, as Ecclesi­astically dispensed; that is, in a visible-Church way, and accordingly, so closed with, and accepted. It is not Immediately the Seal of Regeneration; but indefinitely of God's Co­venant of Grace, Externally and Ecclesiasti­cally-dispensed, and received; within which inchurched-Parents-Children are. I will be thy God and the God of thy Seed; therefore Circumcise all thy Males, Gen. 17.7.10, 11. from all which it follow's, that Baptism is not immediately to evidence present Regene­ration; but to be a Seal of God's Covenant, in which future Regeneration is conditionally implied, as no inconsiderable thing held forth by it. Your self have granted, that both Circumcision and Baptism do signify heart-Circumcision,

5. According to your Assertion, no In­sant should have been Circumcised; for your self do afterwards grant (which I heartily congratulate) that there is a parity between Baptism and Circumcision, both of them ser­ving to the same end. If so, then Circum­cision [Page 34]signified and sealed spiritual things in the Covenant, to Infants-circumcised. Not that they were at present Regenerated; but God was before-hand with them, leaving them a conditional-Promise under Seal, to Regenerate and Circumcise their hearts; which was no small encouragement to them, when grown, and to their Parents at present to pray for Regenerating-Grace for them. Yet according to what you hold, this they should have been deprived of; because Circumcision as well as Baptism, should be a sign and an e­vidence of present Regeneration, and not of future, by your Assertion.

6. A Parent entring into a Church-E­state, engages himself and his Seed to God, to walk according to his Covenant of Grace, to which the initiatory Seal of the Covenant is annexed. And God hath engaged himself in that Covenant to be his God and the God of his Seed, Deut. 17.7. And both the Parent and his Seed also when come to years of dis­cretion, should improve this Covenant and the Seal of it, not only for forgiveness of sins by Christ's Blood, but more immediately that God would be a God unto them, to give and continue means of Grace and Conversion, and give his Spirit along with those means, to convert, and bring them to Christ; and then by his Blood to wash them from their [Page 35]sins, and make them Heirs of Eternal Life. And thus, when one Baptized in Infancy, is afterwards truly Converted, he hath then the spiritual good, and virtue of his Baptism, and may, by the help of the Spirit of Grace, look back upon his Baptism with comfort, and have that Answer (or rather demand and Interogation) of a good Conscience, [...] plea­ding with God for forgiveness of sins, and Salvation, by the merit, of the Sufferings, Obedience, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who hath purchased them for him, and signi­fied and sealed them by his Baptism, when­soever he should truly believe in Christ. And this may serve for an Answer to your fourth and fifth End also, in part; you shall find more, when we come to speak of dipping up­on which your reasoning is built in your fourth End.

4. To the sixth End you mention; which is to represent the Ʋnion betwixt Christ and a Be­liever, &c. p. 25.

I would first ask you, whether all such grown-persons, as you Baptize, be true Be­lievers in Christ? and so, have indeed, a spiritual, and saving-Union with Christ? (for that's your scope, and to that purpose speaks your testimony out of Dr. Taylor). But this is so contrary to Truth, and to your own [Page 36]experience, that I think, you will not dare to maintain it.

2. I answer; Christ may be consi­dered, Personally or mystically, again, either Spiritually, or Ecclesiastically; Eph. 1.22, 23. 1 Cor. 12.12. So is Christ. Now, Um­on with Christ, is suitable to this distinction. All true Believers in Christ, are Spiritually united to him, 1 Cor. 6.17. and shall be cer­tainly saved by him. Others that make a pro­fession of true faith in Christ, but have not indeed a true faith, may be united to Christ, as Ecclesiastically-considered; that is, they may be visible Members of Christ's visible Church. See John 15.1.2, 3, 4, &c. Christ is the Vine, and Believers both Real and feign­ed, are the Branches in a different respect. True Believers are Living-Branches, and bring forth fruit in Christ, unto Eternal Sal­vation; false and feigned Believers, are dead Branches that are for the fire, even for ever­lasting fire. If then, these dead Branches be in Christ Ecclesiastically, to wit, Members of him as head of the Church visible; why then should the Infants of Inchurched-Parents be excluded from such an External Union with Christ, because they do not at present truely Believe, but are dead branches at pre­sent? Though it is more than you, or any man can peremptorily say, that this, or that, [Page 37]Infant, hath no work of Grace begun in him, nor is spiritually-united to Christ.

3. Suppose an Infant hath a secret work of Grace begun in him (which undoubt­edly God doth work in Elect-dying Infants); then according to your Doctrine, such an In­fant should be Baptized, because he hath Uni­on with Christ; and yet he can make no pro­fession of Faith; and so, you cannot know it.

5. To your seventh End I answer; that the End of Baptism I conceive is not, that the Baptized Person, may orderly thereby, have an entrance into the visible Church. Nor was Circumcision of old, the visible door of Entrance into the Old-Testament-Church. For, Baptism presupposeth the person to be a Mem­ber of the visible Church, and so did Cir­cumcision. And though some of those that are for Infant-Baptism, use such expressions; yet I suppose by their discourse in other pla­ces, they mean, that it was only a solemn e­stablishment and sealing of that Covenant in which they were before. In Gen. 17. God comes to Inchurch Abraham and his Family, whom Abraham had prepared by his instruct­ing them before, Gen. 18.19. (And so some expound, Gen. 14.14. [...] His Catechised servants.) And this he doth, by making his Covenant with him, in a Church-way▪ [Page 38]Intimated more generally, v. 2. repeated, and something expressed peculiarly belonging to Abraham, v. 4. Then more clearly and fully in v. 7. I will establish my Covenant between me and thee, and thy Seed after thee, in their Generations, for an everlasting Covenant; to be a God unto thee, and to thy Seed after thee. Then he presseth it again, v. 9. and verse 10. brings in Circumcision, the Seal of it; Rom. 4.11. the token of the Cove­nant between me and you, saith the Lord, v. 11. which he also calls the Covenant, because it was not only an Ad­junct to the Covenant; (as every Seal is) but also, being instituted of God to be annexed to the Covenant and required of them, it was a part of the Covenant it self, which they might not neglect. And hence, the careless omission, and neglect thereof, was a breaking of God's Covenant, v. 14. By what hath been said, appear's, that the End of Circum­cision was not to give entrance into the old Testament-Church, for they were entred by the Covenant; and that the End of Baptism, which answers to Circumcision, is not to give entrance into the New-Testament-Church, for they were entred before, by their interest in the Covenant, of which Baptism is a to­ken, and a Seal.

To put an end to this Chapter, we hold [Page 39]with you, that none ought to be admitted to the Lord's Supper, that have not been before baptized; from the Analogy between these, and the two Sacraments of old. No uncir­cumcised person shall eat thereof, Exod. 12.48. And hence I cannot see, how some that are against Infant-Baptism, and hold it a Nulli­ty, can admit them to the Lord's Supper, who in their judgments, have never been Bapti­zed. And here I cannot but take notice of your partiality; you make use of Analogy in this case, but will not allow of it, in the case of Baptizing of Infants from Infants be­ing Circumcised of old.

CHAP. IV. I shall here take the occasion, to shew distinctly, the Ends and Ʋse of the Baptism of Infants.

1. TO the Infants themselves, when grown up. God's Covenant and Baptism the seal of it, will be of use to the Child afterwards, to encourage him to seek the Lord for converting Grace. I will be thy God, and the God of thy Seed] hath no small argument in it. David knew it, when he said, Thou Solomon my Son, know thou the God of thy Father, 1 Chron. 28.9. — My [Page 40]God and my Fathers God, Exod. 15. Thus were the Jews to make use of their Circumci­sion, Deut. 30.4. with Jer. 4.4. The Lord thy God will Circumcise the heart of thy Seed. Circumcise your selves to the Lord, and take a­way the foreskins of your heart. They should seek to the Lord to do it for them. And you hold the End and Use of Baptism and Circum­cision the same in some of the main things they signifie.

2. To the Parents; Baptism now (as Circumcision of old) is a comfort, and en­couragement to the Parents, to stir them up, and encourage their Faith to pray and wrestle with God, for the Conversion of their Chil­dren; and to train them up in the way, that they should go. I bless God I have experien­ced this to be a Truth, and still do; and would not leave this Priviledge in the behalf of my Children, for all the World.

3. To the Church also. They have a present Use of the Baptism of Inchurched-Children; for thereby, they may reflect upon the rich Grace and Goodness of God, to them and their Seed, and be put in mind of their Duty to their Children, to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Hereby also they are minded of their duty of watchfulness over the Parents of such Children, to see, that they train them up in [Page 41]the ways of the Lord: (A duty too much neglected). And also to mind them of their engagement to such Children, in case their Parents should die, or be impoverished; they having been solemnly consecrated to God in the presence of the Church, and owned by them. Lastly, That it is the duty of the Church, as well as of the Ministers of it, to pray for converting Grace for such Children; whom they have seen solemnly consecrated to God, See the judgment and practice of the Waldenses after­wards. and under the Seal of the pro­mise of Regeneration.

CHAP. V. In your fifth Chapter, p. 35. you would prove Believers-Baptism to be the only Baptism, from the New-Testament-Dispensation, so differing from that of the Old. Testament-Church, which you say, was national, consisting of the natu­ral and fleshly Seed of Abraham.

TO which I Reply; If by Old-Testa­ment-Church in this place you mean the Church, as it was first constituted in Abraham's Family, Gen. 17. I must deny it to be National; for it became not National, till the Lord brought them out of Egypt, and set up a National-worship amongst them at Mount-Sinai. And this is expresly called, the [Page 42]Old-Covenant, in reference to the New-Co­venant under the Gospel, see Heb. 8.8, 9. I will make a New-Covenant—not according to the Covenant that I made with their Fathers, in the day, that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the Land of Egypt. And to this that of the Prophet Ezekiel hath relation, Chapter 16.8. I entred into a Covenant with thee, and thou becamest mine. Therefore, the Covenant made with Abraham, when God put him and his Family into a Church-Estate, is not that National-Covenant which the A­postle calls the Old-Covenant, Heb. 8.8, 9. and now gives way to the New; but is that bles­sing of Abraham, which, for the substance of it, still remains, and is come upon the Gen­tiles, Gal. 3.14. But by the Old Covenant, which is now out of doors is meant (as the Lord himself explains it, Heb. 8.9.) That National-Covenant, that he made with their Fathers when he led them out of Egypt unto Sinai: the Moral Law being then given with Terrour; and the Ceremonial Law annext unto it, (as their Schoolmaster to lead them to Christ then to come; who by his death ful­filled it, and put an end to it, nailing it to his Cross, Col. 2.14.) And this is called the Old Covenant in reference to the New one, made now in the Gospel-days; which is the Covenant made with Abraham [Page 43]revived, and freed from those loads of Cere­monies, wherewith it was once burdened. Now it is not new in respect of the main sub­stance and essence of the Covenant (for they are both the Covenant of Grace: see Haggai 2.5. Gods Spirit was among them then; see also, Isa. 6.3.11.) but in respect of the new manner of Dispensation of it, the Articles of Grace being now more express; promises instead of precepts; and the Seals of it more clear, easy significant and suitable to a Covenant of Grace. As the Commandment of Love is called an Old Commandment, and a New-Commandment, in a different respect only, 1 John 2.7, 8. so may one and the same Cove­nant of Grace, be called old and new, in a different respect. Hence follows;

1. That the Nationality of the Church of Israel, did not consist in this, that they were the natural and fleshly Seed of Abraham; but by virtue of the Covenant, dispensed in a natio­nal way, after they came out of Egypt. For God's promise to Abraham (to wit; I will esta­blish my Covenant between me and thee, and thy Seed after thee, in their Generations, for an everlasting Covenant, to be a God to thee and thy Seed after thee) was long before that Church became National.

2. That worldly Sanctuary, Carnal Or­dinances, a Temporary Levitical Priest-hood [Page 44]and multitude of Ceremonies, did not belong unto the Church in Abrahams Family, but were peculiar to the Church as National: which began near about 400 years after, Gal. 3.17. viz. when God brought them out of Egypt.

If by spiritual Seed of Abraham, p. 36. you mean those, that did truly and savingly Be­lieve; as you seem to take it (for you do not at all distinguish, between Spiritual and Ecclesi­astical) then it is apparently untrue. For, in the New-Testament-Church, there was an Ananias and Sapphyra, and a Simon Magus, who yet were regularly admitted to the Church, though they were not true Belie­vers. And here I must again return you to your own experience and practice.

Therefore, upon that change, John Baptist did not discharge that Priviledge of the Church-Seed of Abraham as you say he did; I mean of the Infants of Inchurched-Parents, from any such right in the New-Testament, as you affirm. But he speaks to the grown­persons, that rested in that Priviledge, and boa­sted of their being the natural Children of Abraham, though they continued impenitent, unregenerate, slighting and rejecting Christ, on whom John directed them to believe. compare Math. 3.7, 8, 9, 11. with Acts 4.19.) not at all persorming their Covenant-duty. In [Page 45]like manner we may now safely say to Chil­dren of Inchurched-Parents, (that are grown up, and please themselves, that they were the Children of such Parents, and harden themselves in impenitency and unbelief) as John did then; Think not to say, we are the Children of Godly-Inchurched-Parents. This will neither free you from unquenchable fire, nor bring you to Heaven, nor admit you as Adult-Members, into a Gospel-Church, and into full Communion with the Saints therein, in all Church-Ordinances; but you must bring forth fruits meet for Repentance (at least to the judgment of Rational-Charity) or else you cannot be admitted thereunto. This therefore, doth not exclude the Infant-seed of a Parent admitted into a Gospel-Church, and continuing in a right Estate therein.

If the Church-Priviledges of the natural Seed of Inchurched-Parents be now ceased, in these Gospel-days; what then mean's that Scripture, Rom. 11.28. spoken of the Israelites to be called in these latter days? That they are beloved for the Fathers sakes. It would be sad and lamentable, if believing-Parents, now under the Gospel, should have no such Priviledge left them, in reference to the eter­nal Estates of their poor Children. Hereto­fore Church-Members had a promise, that God would be the God of their Seed, and Cir­cumcise [Page 46]the hearts of their Seed to love the Lord, with all the Heart, and all the Soul, Gen. 17.7. Deut. 30.6. but now, by the coming of Christ, it is ceased. This is sad indeed. What visible grounds of hope, of any saving Grace or Mercy, have Inchurched-Christians now, in reference to their Children, more than Turks and Pagans have? Durus Sermo! yet, some have been so bold, as in plain terms to say so.

But are they ceased indeed? when and where hath God repealed them? Not by John the Baptist, as we have made appear. Nor could I yet ever see, that he hath done it by any other hand. Hence therefore they must be in force still. Hath God given his people promises of food and raiment, and other tem­poral things, for their encouragement and comfort, 1 Tim. 4.8. and left them no pro­mise at all, now in Gospel times, to help their faith, concerning their poor Childrens eternal Estate, whose souls they prize more than their own lives? The Apostle saw something in it, when he said, we that are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gen­tiles, Gal. 2.15. And why not also in a safe sence, Christians by nature, and not sinners of the Turks or Pagans, who are yet strangers from the Covenants of promise? Eph. 2.12. as the Gentiles generally then were.

You will say, we are all by nature, Chil­dren of wrath, Eph. 2.3. And was not Paul, and those Jews so too? and yet the A­postle makes that distinction between them. And whence was it, but from God's Cove­nants, in which they externally were, even be­fore their Coversion? And why there should not be the like Priviledge of Children of In­churched-Parents, I never yet could see. And hence such a child may go to God and plead; Lord, thou art my Fathers God, Exod. 15.2. and hast promised to be my God. And a Pa­rent may go and plead; Lord, thou hast pro­mised to be my God, and the God of my Seed, and to circumcise their hearts to Love thee, Deut. 30.6. with Gen. 17.7. O! let it be so, ac­cording to thy promise. Thou hast said, I will pour my Spirit upon thy Seed, and my bles­sing upon thine offspring, Isa. 44.3. and then one should say, I am the Lord's, &c. see v. 5. they should engage themselves to the Lord, and to his Church, by the strongest bonds. And this is a Gospel-promise, and belonging to Gospel-times; and a great part of that bles­sing of Abraham, that is come upon the Gen­tiles, Gal. 3.14. Why then should any con­tradict it? Is not the second Commandment still in force, to parents in Church-Covenant with God in reference to their Children, whom they have given over to God in his [Page 48]Covenant? Hath he not there said, He will have mercy on thousands of them that love him, and keep his Commandements? That is, on such Parents as give up themselves to God, in the Commands of his Instituted Worship, in reference to their Children, Psal. 112.1, 2. even to a thousand Generations, Deut. 7.9. But repayeth them that hate him; (to wit, in a sinful neglecting, or rejecting his instituted Worship) to their face, v. 10. And this is one way, whereby God doth testifie it, even by rejecting their Children, so, as not to vouchsafe them the External Priviledge of his Covenant, and means of Grace. See an emi­nent instance of it in Esau and his posterity, who sold his birth-right, Heb. 12.6. which was then a Church-Priviledge; and is there­fore called a profane person, and so lost the blessing, from himself, and his: see the like in Ishmael, and his Generations.

I conclude then, that John Baptist did not, upon that change, discharge the Church-Seed of Abraham; which I shall yet a little further explain; by opening the Children of the Flesh, and the Children of the Promise, which are accounted for the seed, Rom. 9.6, 7, 8.

—1. Negatively.

[Page 49] 1. By Children of the flesh, cannot be meant, the natural Children of believers, as their natural Children.—Nor

2. Their Children, that have only sin and corruption in them; for then, Isaac must have been a Child of the flesh. For he was the natural Son of Abraham, and by na­ture sinful.

3. By Children of the promise, can­not be meant, only such as are really-converted. For many that were of Isaac's Posterity and so Children of the Promise, were not so, and some in Gospel-Churches are not so now.

—2. Affirmatively. First by Chil­dren of the Flesh] are meant,

1. Of old Ishmael and his Posteri­ty, begotten by strength of nature; which was the Type.

2. Now in Gospel-times; all such as look for righteousness and life, by their own personal performances or abilities, whe­ther in whole or in part: and that not only invisibly, but visibly and Ecclesiastically also; as the Apostle said of Jerusalem in his time, Gal. 4.25. Jerusalem that now is (the Anti­type of the other) in bondage with her Chil­dren.

Secondly, by Children of the Pro­mise] are meant;

[Page 50] 1. Of old; Isaac and his Posterity, in the line of Jacob; which was the Type.

2. Now in Gospel-times; all such as look for righteousness and life, alone by faith in Christ, his righteousness only, ac­cording to the Covenant of Grace. And these again are either;

1. All such as are true believers indeed; who look by a true and lively-Faith, to Christ and his Righteousness only.

2. Or such as profess only, and pretend to do so, but indeed do not. These latter seem, and appear to be Believers, to Men, to the visible-Church; but are not really-such, before God. Yet, even these are Children of the Promise, in the genuine sence of the Scripture, and not Children of the Flesh, in the Apostles sence, Gal. 4.21, 22, 23, &c. God doth, and will indeed, distinguish be­tween the spiritual seed, and those that are meerly the Church-seed of Abraham; but Men cannot, unless by some miscarriages they discover themselves, and appear to be what they are; as Simon Magus did, Acts. 8.23.

And thus under one, we have an exposition of that, Eâdem fide­liâ duos parie­tes. Gal. 3.7. They which are of Faith, the same are the Children of Abraham.] they which are of Faith; [to wit, true Belie­vers [Page 51]indeed, as Abraham was] are Spiritual­ly and savingly the Children of Abraham. And they, which are of Faith, to wit, Be­lievers in appearance only, before the Church only; they are only Ecclesiastically the Children of Abraham. And this is sufficient to entitle them to Church-Ordinances, and their Children to Baptism, the initiatory Seal of the Covenant.

And this also helps us to expound, Gal. 3.29. If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abra­ham's Seed, &c. Men may be said to be Christ's, and also to be Abraham's seed—1. Spiritually and Invisibly.—2. Ecclesi­astically and visibly only.

1. Spiritually and Invisibly, as to Men; In foro Dei; before God alone, who is the only knower and searcher of the heart, and Tryer of the Reins. And so, none are Abraham's seed but such as do truly and savingly-believe as Abraham did. This is the Faith of God's Elect, and peculiar to such as shall be sa­ved.

2. Ecclesiastically and visibly: In foro Ecclesiae; before Men only; to the visible-Church. And in this sence, all such as make a rational and credible profession of Faith in Christ, to the judgment of Rational-Charity, in a Church-way; they are Christ's and Abraham's Seed. And then it amounts [Page 52]to this; to wit, If ye be Christ's spiritually; then are ye Abraham's Seed spiritually, and shall be Eternally-blessed, with faithful A­braham.

And if ye be Christs Ecclesiastically-only, and in the judgment of Men, of the Church-only; then are ye also Abraham's Seed Eccle­siastically only, and in the judgment of Men only; and may expect only an External and Temporal blessing, and so we have the Ex­position also of Gal. 3.9. And that this is the Apostles sence, is plain in this chapter, and in other places of this Epistle. Ye are all (saith he) the Children of God, by Faith in Christ Jesus, Gal. 3.26. Were they indeed all of them True Believers? and so, all of them Children of God spiritually and saving­ly? Doth not the Apostle tell them, He was afraid of them (some of them at least, that would be under the Law) lest he had bestow­ed upon them labour in vain? And that he travelled with them in Birth again, till Christ was formed in them? Gal. 4.11.19. They made a better shew once, Chap. 3.1.3, 4. and Chap. 4.15. but now he was in doubt of them; & yet these he calls, the Children of God by Faith in Christ Jesus. They were yet so Externally, being yet a Church of God, though at present troubled and seduced by false Teachers, from whose errors he hoped [Page 53]and laboured to recover them.

Take another Text like unto this, Gal. 3.2.7. As many of you as have been bapti­zed into Christ, have put on Christ. And v. 28. Ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Undoubted­ly, if they had put on Christ Spiritually and savingly, they would never have put him off again. And had they been once in Jesus Christ Spiritually and savingly, they would never have gone out of him again. It's ma­nifest therefore, that some of them put him on, and were in him, Externally only, and in outward profession only, before Men. For such branches there are found in Christ the true Vine, considered as head of the visible Church, John 15.2.6. And our Brethren must experimentally acknowledge, that it is so in their Congregations too often.

What you say, pag. 37. That nothing short of the Spirits-Birth, can orderly-admit to Water-Birth (i. e. Baptism, I suppose, you mean) and Spiritual Ordinances;] is fully an­swered to before, as to the substance of it. Persons making a credible profession of the Spirits birth, to the judgment of Rational-Charity, guided in judging by the Rules of of the Word, may orderly be admitted to Water-Birth (as you phrase it) and spiritual-Ordinances; as appears by Simon Magus and others, who yet had but a shew of the Spi­rits-Birth, [Page 54]& not the truth, and reality of it. Acts 8.8. with v. 22.23. The reason is, because Men, who cannot see directly, imme­diately and infallibly into the heart, are to judge of them. The same answer will serve to that of Christ to Nicodemus, and to that which is cited out of Dr. Owen. And as to that of Dr. Taylor, it is suitable to his bold­ness and design, & gratis dictum, and there may rest, till he give us some Scripture­proof.


YOur assertion and proofs in your sixth Chapter have respect only to immediate and grown-Members, who alone we acknow­ledge, are capable of the Directions and pri­viledges you mention.

Children of such are but Mediate-Members (as hath been shewn) and are such, as to whom those things do not belong. The Apo­stle therefore mentions the duties & priviledg­es of Immediate & Adult-Members only.

I do not hold, that a Gospel-Church is constituted of Infants, but of grown-Per­sons, professing visible Saints; and to such the Apostle speaks; yet, the Infants of such, are also Members, though of another kind. [Page 55]The Church may be a Church, though there be at present never an Infant in it; but I question whether it be so, if there be no men, grown-persons in it.

I would ask, whether Women were capa­ble of all those directions given by the Apo­stle to those Churches? you may as well say, they were not Members of the Church, be­cause they were not subjects capacitated for those directions: Women were not capable of Church-judging and some other Church-Acts; therefore are not members of the Church; I suppose you will not like such ar­guing. If Infants are not Members because they are not capable of the Apostles directi­ons to the Churches; then Women must not be Members because they also are uncapable of them.

If it were granted to be true, that those first inventers of Infant-Baptism (as you stile them) did so miserably miss it in the Subjects; applying the Spiritual Ordinance to ignorant Babes, yet, Childishly ridiculous] is too slight an expression, for so miserable a mistake. But you have not yet proved, that there were such Inventers of Infant-Baptism. The Scripture gives us ground to conclude that it was on foot long before those Inventers you intimate, and that God in Christ was the In­venter of it. The ground of which, we [Page 56]have shewed in Christ's Commission alrea­dy.

As for some, that hold Paedo-Baptism, let them maintain their own Principles and Practices, if they can. I think some can never justify them by Gospel-Rules; and I be­lieve it hath been an occasi­on to many, Beza in 1 Cor. 7.14. to turn against Paedo-Baptism: for my own part I am of Beza's: mind, that they are to be confuted, that admit all Infants to Baptism; a thing, saith he, unheard of, in all the Ancient Church. Yea, I shall add, nor any, but such, one of whose Pa­rents at least, is of a Gospel-Church, and so the Child a Mediate-Member thereof, who afterwards must not be admitted as an Im­mediate-Member, and partake of all Church-Ordinances, without his own credible pro­fession of Faith and Repentance, and entring into Covenant in his own Person. This would remove many scruples and objections, which they cannot well free themselves from, that practise otherwise.

CHAP. VII. To your seventh Chapter: Testimonies of Coun­cils and learned Men.

YOu say, you produce not humane Autho­rities for any proof, but by way of Il­lustration, &c. To make manifest, that not only Scripture-Authority, but even Antiqui­ty it self, is altogether for Believers, and not for Infant's-Baptism.

In Answer to which, I shall at present, return these things that follow.

1. That we build not Infants-Baptism, on humane Authority.

2. I have not all the Authors at hand, whose Testimonies you produce to examine them: you may possibly misapprehend and mistake them.

3. Some of the Authors you produce, which you say, are faithful impugners of In­fants-Baptism, as a humane and Antichristian Tradition and Invention, whom you say, we shall find by plentiful Evidence to be none of the least, are expresly-contrary to what you affirm. In particular the Waldenses, whom you so highly extol, for what they have said and practised against Infant-Baptism. Which [Page 58]thing, gives just cause of suspicion, that you may have mist it in others, as well as in them. Take their own words out of John Paul Perrins History translated out of French by Sampson Leonard, Printed Anno 1624.

In Book 1. Chap. 4. He brings in objecti­ons and false Accusations laid upon that people. And pag. 15. The 4th. Calumny, saith he, was touching Baptism, which it is said, they denyed to little Infants; but from this imputa­tion, saith he, they quit themselves as follow­eth.

The Time and Place of those, that are to be Baptized is not ordained, but the Charity and Edification of the Church, and Congregation, must serve for a Rule therein, &c.

And therefore they to whom the Children were nearest allied, brought their Infants to be Baptized, &c. And then he renders the oc­csiaon of that Calumny.

True it is, saith he, that being constrained for some certain hundred years (he tell's us not how many) to suffer their Children to be Bapti­zed by the Priests of the Church of Rome, they deferred the doing thereof, as long as they could possibly, because they had in detestation those humane inventions, which were added to that Holy Sacrament, which they held to be but pollutions thereof. And for as much as their Pastors (which they called Barbes) were many [Page 59]times abroad, in the service of their Churches, they could not have the Sacrament of Baptism administred to their Infants, by their own Mi­nisters: which the Priests perceiving, charged them thereupon with this Imposture, which not only their Adversaries have believed, but divers others, who have well approved of their life and Faith, in all other points. What can be more plain?

Again in Chapter 5. pag. 30.31. King Lewis the 12th. being informed by the Ene­mies of the Waldenses dwelling in Provence of many grievious Crimes, imposed upon them, sent to make Inquisition in those places, the Lord Adam Fume, Mr. of Requests, and a Doctor of Sorbon, called Parvi, who was his Confessor. They visited all their Parishes and Temples, and found neither Images; nor so much as the least shew of any Ornaments be­longing to their Masses, and Ceremonies of the Church of Rome; much less any such Crimes as were imposed upon them; but rather, that they kept their Sabbaths duly, causing their Children to be Baptized, according to the order of the Primitive Church, teaching them the Ar­ticles of the Christian Faith, and the Com­mandements of God. To which the King re­plied, they were better Men, than he or his People.

[Page 60]

Again Book 2. Chap. 4. pag. 60, 61. We have but two Sacramental Signes, the which Christ hath left unto us: the one is Baptism, the other the Eucharist, which we receive, to shew what our perseverance in the Faith is, as we have promised, when we were Baptized, being little Infants.

See more Doctrine of the Waldenses and Albingenses. Book 1. Chapter 3. pag. 43. implied line 6. and plainly asserted towards the end of the page. Whereas Baptism is ad­ministred in a full Congregation of the Faithful it is to the End, that he that is received into the Church, should be reputed and held of all, for a Christian-Brother, and that all the Con­gregation might pray for him, that he may be a Christian in heart, as he is outwardly esteemed to be a Christian. And for this Cause it is, that we present our Children in Baptism.

It is also necessarily-implied, Book 3. Chap. 4. pag. 99. Where they deny the Popish ad­ditions to Infant-Baptism, but not the Bap­tism it self.

Hence I cannot but wonder, that you should so peremptorily assert, that the Wal­denses were such faithful impugners of Infant Baptism, as an Antichristian Tradition, and Invention, when these Testimonies are so ex­presly, and Diametrically to the contrary. Thus much of the third thing premised.

[Page 61] 4. The humane Authorities you produce (though some of them were Godly Men, yet) it is manifest, that the Authors admitted ma­ny other absurd things concerning Baptism; and some of them (as you confess) deferred it a long time, after they were converted, out of a superstitious apprehension, as Constantine himself did, and others that you Enumerate, p. 69. and their Baptizing Catechumens only at Easter and Pentecost. And why might they not defer their Infants Baptism, out of the like superstition? It seems most probable, that they did so; and therefore their practice and Testimony is of little worth.

5. That their silence in the first Centuries after Christ, concerning the Baptizing of In­fants, is no considerable argument against it. A non dici, ad non esse, non valet consequentia. But indeed it seems rather an Argument for it. It may rather be interpreted, that there was no question concerning it, nor opposition made against it in those Centuries, & therefore no mention made of it. But afterwards, when it came to be questioned and opposed in Cen­tury 4. and 5. then there stood up those that maintained it, and much trouble there was a­bout it.

It is not much, that I shall say to par­ticulars, though I shall not be altogether si­lent.

To Century 1.

I except against Baptizing by Lay-Men (and Women) as not regular. Though some judicious persons, who look upon it as irre­gular, do not count it a Nullity, if it be dis­pensed in the way of an Ordinance, In the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Ho­ly Ghost; and not ludicrously; fieri non debuit factum valet. It should not have been so done, but now it is done, it is valid, & not a Nullity.

As for the manner of it by dipping, I shall speak to that afterwards.

To Century 2.

I see nothing in it, but what is proper to grown persons, which we do not deny. Your Argument hence must be; Here's no mention of Infants-Baptized; therefore none were Bapti­zed; which is answered a little before.

To Century 3. p. 63.

The latter of the Testimonies you quote out of Mr. Baxter, is plainly against you, and not contrary to what is in the former, but rather explains it. You say, Mr. Baxter saith, that Tertullian affirms that in the Primitive-times, [Page 63]none were Baptized without an express Covenanting, which shew's, that he speaks of Adult-persons in reference to other Adult­persons, and not in reference to Infants. As if he had said, those Adult-persons, were Baptized, that did expresly-Covenant; other Adult-persons, that did not so, were not Baptized. What doth this make against In­fants, with whose parents God doth Cove­nant in reference to them? Or if you will; God Covenanteth with them; and they with him, mediately by their Parents.

Again; that in the days of Tertullian, Men had liberty to be Baptized, or to bring their Children, when, & at what age they pleased. Is not this against you? It seem's by this that in Tertullians time; Men brought their Chil­dren to be Baptized; and yet, you bring this of Tertullian against the Baptism of Chil­dren.

What you bring out of Eusebius, makes nothing to your purpose. Dionysius (say you) taught in the School of Alexandria, those that were to be Instructed in the Faith before Baptism; What Argument is in this against Infants-Baptism? Were there not many brought in to be Christians, that at their Conversion, had Children grown up, so that they could not regularly be admitted as medi­ate-Members, by their Parents as middle per­sons [Page 64]Covenanting for them; and so could not regularly be Baptized, by vertue of their Pa­rents Covenanting? yet notwithstanding, these Children were instructed, and Catechi­sed, that so, they might be converted and fitted to make a profession of Faith and Repen­tance to the Church themselves, and so be Baptized. Doth not this rather shew the care that then was of Instructing and Catechizing Children, which is a thing that hath been too much neglected?

To Century 4. Decrees of Councils.

I must return my general Answer; the Te­stimonies you bring, all except two, respect only Adult-persons; between whom and Children in Minority, you know, the Paedo-Baptists make a difference; and if I greatly mistake not, the most of your Testimonies in your Book, are of that sort, which I con­fess may exceedingly prevail, with those, who are byassed already; and such, as are willing to receive them rather by number, than by weight.

Your Testimony out of Basil. p. 65. was partly answered to, in Cent. 3. None were to be Baptized but Catechumens (that is, such as were Catechised); but he doth not say, that all, that were Catechumens, were to be [Page 65]Baptized; for some of them might be Bap­tized before in their Infancy; and yet they were Catechised as well as those whose Pa­rents were lately Converted from Heathenism.

But suppose it were granted, that Basil, As for these and St. Augustin, whom you afterwards mention; you may see an Answer long since in Dr. Homes; which you take no notice of. Grego­ry and the rest you mention pag. 69. were Children of Believing-Parents (i. e. such as were Believers when those Children were born which your Testimo­nies do not prove) and yet were not Bapti­zed till aged,] can you indeed approve of their superstition therein? you tell us, that some were made Bishops, before they were Bapti­zed; and some deferred it till they were Old; and ready to die. Is such superstition to be approved? how could they regularly com­municate in the Lord's Supper till then? or omit it all that while? I believe, your Con­science cannot approve of it; for my part, it is rather an Argument to me, that if any of their Parents were Christians, when those Children were born, they out of the same superstitious conceit, would not Baptize them in Infancy, when they should have been Baptized; and they being trained up in a superstitions Tradition, put it off till age; it being just with God to visit such Inventions [Page 66]by leaving Men to greater degrees of them. This then, doth not hinder the derivation of Infant-Baptism from the Apostles, we having grounds from Christs-Commission, and other Scriptures also, to conclude the right of the Infants of Inchurched-Parents to Baptism.

To Century 5. and 6.

The Testimonies in both have respect to Adult-persons, to whom there is now also preaching, and Instruction, in the Churches of Christ, before the administration of Bap­tism, even to their Infants, and it is of Use, not only to the Parents, but also to the Church. And if we were to Baptize Adult­persons, we would Preach to them first.

To Century 7.

The first of your Testimonies, doth ex­presly, and signally, speak of Adult-per­sons. No Adult-person, but such, who had been well-instructed and Catechised, and duly examined, should be Baptized.] If it had ex­cluded Infants, it should have been said, No person whatsoever] and not, No Adult-per­son.—The second also, rationally implies it; and the other two tend rather to prove dip­ping, than to exclude the Baptizing of In­fants.

To Century 8.

All the Testimonies intend Adult-persons, without excluding Infants. The rest is An­swered in Century 6.

To Century 9.

The same general Answer serves to this al­so. And Rabonus in your pag. 81. Empha­tically saith (as you quote him), The Adult were first to be instructed in the Faith, &c. which we deny not.

But how could Strabo tell, what was done in the first times, that lived 800. years after, unless he had it from the Scripture; or from some other Authentick writer, who lived in those times? And if he had so, he should have named the Author.

To Century 10. 11.

Still of Adult-persons you have taken much pains to prove, what we never deny; to wit, that Believers not yet Baptized should be Baptized. The most of your Testimonies do not (in my small judgment,) so much as hint, that Infants should not be Baptized, or that Believers Baptism, is the only Baptism, [Page 68]which is the thing you undertake to prove.

And what is that word, which if taken away causeth Baptism to cease? pag. 82. It must be either the Word (or Words) used in Bap­tism; to wit, I Baptize thee in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy-Ghost, or else, it must be the Word of the Covenant, to which Baptism as a Seal is annexed. And this is usually opened to Adult-persons, when they are to be Baptized, and to the Parents and the Congregation, when an Infant is to be Baptized, and is afterwards to be opened to the Child, when it is capable of understand­ing it.

I cannot but observe many uncouth and Hyperbolical expressions and Similitudes of the Ancients concerning Baptism, that accord not with the Scriptures, which I believe, you would be as loth to own, as we are; though you use them as Rods to beat your Brethren.

To Century 12.

Some of your Testimonies here (as in ma­ny other places) as I conceive, speak not to the point at all. And others of them speak against Baptizing such, as have not really a true saving Faith, as well as against Infants. Some others are truly Popish.

To your second Paragraph there; I sup­pose, you will not find, that it was the Cu­stom of the Churches, that were worthy of the name of Primitive] to Minister Baptism, only at the Feast of Easter, and Pentecost, but some ages after the true Primitive Churchs, when men's-Inventions bare more sway. And though some, perhaps Godly and Learned, Baptized-Children, out of a conceit of the absolute necessity of Baptism unto Salvation, and washing away Original Sin; yet that doth not prove that then Infants began to be Baptized. It is fallacia Accidentis, vel â dicto secundum quid, ad dictum simpliciter.

To Century 14, 15, 16.

This Chapter labour's with the same di­sease, that the former ones did; to wit; so speaking of Adult-persons, as not to deny Infants.

And as for Bellarmin's Testimony against the Lutherans; who is it, that is acquainted with the Papist's writings, that is ignorant of the false accusations they have laid upon the Protestants. See the History of the Wal­denses, before mentioned, Book 1. Chap. 4.

But suppose he saith true; Have not the Lutheran's mist it, in sundry other things? And what if great multitudes of Catechumens [Page 71]be yearly Baptized at Rome? Is it such a Re­lict, and footstep of Truth, as you would have it, to overthrow Infants-Baptism; which I have proved, to have grounds from the sacred Scripture? And why is not Infant-Baptism rather, a Relict of Truth; for they use that also, yea and constantly use it. There­fore those Catechumens you mention, must either be such, whose Parents (or Parent at least) were not of the Church of Rome; or else they must be such, as were Baptized in Infancy, and afterwards Rebaptized. And what if the Greeks defer the Baptizing of In­fants? will that prove they ought not to be Baptized? 'Tis known how grosly they were in other matters of weight.

As to Beza's words, 1 Cor. 7.14. what do they make to your purpose? Doth he say, No Children should be Baptized, when he saith, All Children should not be Baptized? I can­not but wonder at this Logick. Nor can I guess, why such Impertinencies should be brought in, unless it be to prevail with some more injudicious, who take things by Tale. Your candour might have seen, by the lines immediately foregoing, that Beza is cross to your design; and it would have been your candour to have exprest them, with the other. ‘Nec alia causa est (saith he) cur Sanctorum liberos, ad Baptismum admittamus, &c. In [Page 70]English thus; Nor is there any other (saith he) why we admit the Children of the Saints to Baptism, then because they are Holy; that is, (saith he) comprehended in the Covenant from the very Womb.— And hence not only the (An­tipaedo-Baptists) are to be confuted, who reject Infants as impure from Baptism; but also those that make Baptism the first or chief entrance or threshold of Salvation, & therefore exclude all that are not Baptized even where no contempt of Baptism hath intervened. Also (saith he) those (are to be confuted) that admit all Infants to Baptism: thing unheard-of, in all the ancient Church; even this at least sheweth, that all Adult-ones, born of those that were without, ought to be Catechumens before they were Baptized. Thus far Beza. But how far any thing here is, from opposing the Baptism of Infants, let the impar­tial judg.

As for Bucer, you mention not the page (which you also omit in divers others, that renders your Testimonies uncapable of any easy examen). It may be you have misappre­hended him, as you have some others.

As to that of Chamier; it makes against you, for, it implies, that some were Bapti­zed before they came to age. Probably, the reason why others were not, might be be­cause their Parents were without, (to use Be­za's words,) and were not Church-Members, [Page 72]till after their Children were grown; as the Case was, at the first promulgation of the Gospel among the Gentiles. Then perhaps scarce the 1000th. person might be Baptized, before he came to age. Or, there might hap­ly be some other reason, as we have before shewed among the Waldenses.

As for that of Dr. Field, it lies upon you to prove, that their putting off their Baptism so long, was lawful, and according to God. Else you say nothing; or rather worse than nothing; for it is but to bring an errour to overthrow a Truth, and to establish an er­rour. Did Constantine do well, to put off his Baptism, till a little before he died? How doth this prove, that Infants of Inchurched-Parents should not be Baptized?

As to that in pag. 90, 91. I shall give a better reason, for the Baptizing of Inchurch­ed-Parents Infants, than from their Sureties, which were an Invention of Men; and that is, the Faith and Repentance of one Parent at least, so far manifested, as that they are received and owned of the Church; which regularly should go before the Baptism of the Child.

As for the Baptism of Churches and Bells, p. 92. we leave it with superstitious and Ido­latrous Papists, it makes not against us. I should be sorry, that any should look upon [Page 73]the Baptism of Infants as they look upon them.

To the use you make of all, pag. 93. I shall only commend it to your second thoughts whether it would not better agree with Chri­stian Charity, and been more suitable to a Ra­tionaldisputant, and lover of the Truth, to have interpreted the speeches of divers God­ly and Learned-Men, in the plain sence they intended them; which was only of Adult­persons; and then to have brought your Ar­guments directly against the Interest of In­fants, wherein the Controversie lies; and not to make them speak, what they never intend­ed? Then what they have said, would not be found a clear evidence against themselves nor against the Truth. But if any of them have said, or granted any thing, which may ex­clude Infants of Inchurched-Parents out of Christ's Commission, I cannot be of their mind, for the reasons before given. And so I shall end this with a Conclusion Diametri­cally and flatly contradictory to yours; That Believers Baptism is not only to be esteemed Christ's Ordinance of Baptism; or rather, to mend your phrase, and speak more Logically and Rationally; Believers Baptism is not to be esteemed, Christ's only Ordinance of Bap­tism.

To your latter part Infants-Bap­tism disproved.


IN p. 97. Whereas you say, ther's no Example or command in the Scripture, to warrant the Baptism of Infants, but the Scripture is whol­ly silent therein, not one syllable, you say, to be found in all the New-Testament, of any such practice; and therefore, it is no Ordi­nance of Jesus Christ:] besides what hath been already said, I shall first distinguish, and then deny your assertion; and lay down the contrary.

I might first deny your Enumeration of particulars, as an insufficient Induction (for a promise in Scripture, would be a sufficient Warrant; as well as a Command, or Exam­ple; which you have left out:) But I shall hasten.

Things may be truly said to be, and to be commanded, in Scripture two ways;

1. Expresly, in so many words. As Mat. 28.19. Go ye teach (or Disciple) all Nations.

[Page 75] 2. Implicitely, as Acts 13.46, 47. Lo! saith the Apostle, we turn to the Gentiles, for so hath the Lord commanded us. And then he brings in Authority to prove it, from a Pro­mise of God the Father to Jesus Christ; I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, Isa. 49.6. and 42.6, &c. Which the Apostle renders, I have set thee to be a light to the Gentiles, that thou shouldst be for Salvation unto the Ends of the Earth.

The Apostles preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, was a matter of greater import than the Baptizing of Infants, and part of the great mystery of Godliness, 1 Tim. 3.16. a Mysterious thing; and yet, he counted this Inference sufficient Authority for him. Let this be the more carefully marked, because Inferences and deductions from Scripture, concerning Infants-Baptism, are denyed.

So for Examples; some are more expresly and explicitly laid down: others more impli­citly and covertly. You have given instan­ces of the former; and I have given instan­ces of the latter. Lydia and her House. The Houshold of Stephanas Baptized.

Again, Go ye and Disciple all Nations, Bap­tizing them. Here is an express-command to Baptize such as are Discipled, but what this Discipling is, and who are these Disciples, is not expresly laid down here; but we must [Page 76]look what may be gathered from other Scrip­tures, to give us light therein; which I have spoken to before.

This distinction thus cleared, I must deny your Assertion, and positively affirm the con­trary; That there is a precept implied in the New-Testament, for the Baptizing of In­churched-Parents-Infants; and as clear, if not more clear, than that you produce, for Wo­mens receiving the Lord's Supper. You own the one, though the Command and Exam­ple you produce be very implicite, and en­tangled with many things that occasion doubting; and yet, you own not the o­ther.

I suppose you may easily discern, that the Testimonies you bring out of Luther, Calvin, and some others, have respect only to an ex­press Command, and Example, and not to an implicit one. And therefore, if you had dealt like a candid, and punctual Antagonist, you would either have owned what they held and thought as they did, concerning an Im­plicit Command, or else you would have contravened and opposed that only. As for Calvins judgment see his Institutions. lib. 4. Chap. 16. Artic. 5, 6, 7. He gives divers ar­guments to prove, that the Baptism of Infants was instituted by God.

[Page 77] 1. saith he, We have the same Promise, that Israel had heretofore in Circumcision, for In­fants. Therefore, they are not to be driven away from the sign of Baptism, when they are partakers of the thing-signified. And then in the Article, he tells you, the Cove­nant is the thing-signified to them.’ Diserte namque pronunciat Deus, Circumcisionem in­fantuli, loco sigilli futuram, ad obsignandain foederis promissionem. That is, God expresly saith, that the Circumcision of a little Infant, should be instead of a Seal to confirm the Pro­mise of the Covenant.

2. His second Argument to prove it to be instituted of God, is taken from the Co­venant of Abraham, which is common to us Christians.

3. His third Argument is taken from the Act of Christ, so courteously embracing the Infants, that were brought unto him. See there more at large. By all which it appear's that though Calvin might deny, that there was any express Command for Baptizing of Infants; yet he held an Implicite Command; which is the thing, I was to evidence.

CHAP. II. To your Chapter second, of Infants-Baptism disproved.

AS for your humane Authorities against Infant-Baptism, they are of little force to overthrow it, when we have so much rea­son out of the Holy-Scripture (as hath been shewn) to establish it. But whereas you assert that there was no authentick practice of it, for 300. years (to wit, next after Christ and his Apostles) I shall in opposition thereunto, give you what Mr. Philpot, that honoured Martyr of Christ, hath left us, in the Book of Martyrs. vol. 3. pag. 607. 608. in a Let­ter to a friend of his, Prisoner in Newgate, at the same time, concerning Infant-Baptism; who out of divers ancient Authors, produ­ceth the contrary to what you affirm.

The Baptism of Infants (saith he) was not denyed, till above 300 years after Christ. (And you say, that the Baptism of Infants, came not into the Church, till above 300 or 400 years after Christ.)

‘His words are these, Auxentius, one of the Arrian-Sect, was one of the first that de­nied the Baptism of Children; and next after [Page 79]him Pelagius the Heretick: and some others there were, in St. Bernards time, as appear by his writings. And in our days (saith he) the Anabaptists (an inordinate kind of Men, stirred up by the Devil, to the destruction of the Gospel, see pag. 607.’ (They are his words and not mine; for I Believe and hope better things, of many in our days, what-ever they might be then.)

And afterwards, pag. 608. finally (saith he) I can declare out of Ancient-Writers, that the Baptism of Infants, hath continued from the Apostles times unto ours. Neither that it was instituted by any Councils; neither of the Pope; nor of other Men, but Commen­ded from the Scripture by the Apostles them­selves.

Origen (saith he) who lived 200 years after Christ) upon the declaration of the Epistle to the Romans, expounding the sixth Chapter 8. v. That the Church of Christ received the Baptism of Infants, from the very Apostles.

Hierom (about 400 years after Christ) ma­keth mention of the Baptism of Infants; in the third Book against the Pelagians; and in his Epistle to Leta.

Augustine about 400. years after Christ) re­citeth for this purpose, a place out of John, Bishop of Constantinople, in his first Book against Julian, Chap. 2. [...], [Page 80] &c. For this cause we Baptize Children, &c. And he again to Hie­rom. Epist. 28.8. That Cyprian (who lived about 250 years after Christ) not making any new decree, but firmly observing the Faith of the Church, judged with his fellow-Bishops, that as soon as one was born, he might be law­fully-Baptized. The place of Cyprian (saith he) is to be seen, in his Epistle to Fidus.

Augustine, in writing against the Donatists lib. 4. Chap. 23, 24. saith, That the Baptism of Infants was not derived from the Authority of Man, neither of Councils, but from the By Tradition] he means not an unwritten Traditi­on, but a Scriptural one; such as the A­postle mentions 2 Thes. 3.6. 2 Thes. 2.15. Tradition, or Doctrine of the Apostles.

Cyril (who lived in Julian's time) upon Levitic. cap. 8. approves the Baptism of Children, and condemns the iteration of Baptism. These Authorities of Men (saith he) I do alledge, not to tie the Baptism of Children, to the Testimonies of Men; but to shew, how Men's Testimonies, do agree with God's Word; and that the veri­ty of Antiquity is on our side; and that the Anabaptists have nothing but lies for them; and new imaginations, which feign the Bap­tism of Children, to be the Popes Command­ment. Thus far Mr. Philpot.

To which let me add, out of Calvin's In­stitutions. Lib. 4. Chap. 16. Art. 8. ‘In English thus, Quod autem a­pud simplicem vul­gum disseminant—longam annorum seriem post Christi resurrectionem prae­teriisse, quibus in­cognitus erat Pae­d obaptismus, in eo faedissime mentiun­tur. Siquidem, nul­lus est scriptor tam vetustus, qui non ejus originem ad Apostolorum secu­lum pro certo refe­rat. That which they scatter among the simple Common-people (saith Calvin,) that a long tract of years passed, after the Resurrection of Christ, wherein Paedo-Baptism was unknown: in that (saith he) they most shamefully lye; for there is no Writer so Ancient, which doth not refer it's Original to the age of the Apostles, as an un­doubted-Truth.

If you would see more, how Ancient Authors, brought by some against In­fant-Baptism, do indeed, either not speak against it, or else do speak for it; read Mr. Cobbet's vindication of the Covenant, and Church-Estate of Children, &c. From pag. 213. to the end of the Book, by which you will discern, how Men have at least misap­prehended, and mistaken them; and brought them to witness, what was never in their thoughts, nor the import of their words. See the like in Doctor Homes; to whose answers you should have replied, and not have brought in the same things, as if nothing had ever been said against them.

CHAP. III. In Answer to your Chapter third.

AS for the Arguments, drawn from hu­mane Tradition, for Baptizing Infants; I leave them to those, that are willing to build their Faith upon humane Tradition. But as for consequential Arguments, deduced from Scriptures, to justifie the Baptizing of Infants, those I must stick unto; as know­ing that nothing can naturally, and (per se) of it self flow out of the Scriptures of Truth but Truth. And every grain of Truth is to be prized above the World. And you have no more but Consequences, to prove that Wo­men should partake of the Lord's Supper; and those also much entangled, and obscured with difficulties.

I must profess, if consequences be not valid, that naturally flow from Scriptures rightly understood, I know not what to make of much of the Holy Scripture; neither will you.

As to that, Math. 19.13, 14. Calvin will tell you how Baptism comes to be concerned in it. Institut. lib. 4. Chap. 16. Artic. 7. This is not lightly, (saith he) to be passed by, [Page 83]that Christ commandeth Infants to be brought unto him; adding a reason; to wit, because of such is the Kingdom of Heaven; and after­wards he declareth his will by his deed; when having embraced them, he commends them to his Father, by his praying, (for them, and bles­sing of them. If it be meet, that Infants should be brought to Christ; why not also, that they should be received to Baptism? which is the badge of our Communion & fellowship with Christ? If theirs be the Kingdom of Heaven, why should the sign be denyed them? &c. See more there.’

As to that of John, 3.5. Let them plead for the Baptism of Infants from that Text, that see more than I do in it. I shall not side with them, nor conclude as they do, that there is no other way to Regenerate and save In­fants; though I dare not exclude Baptism, if God please then to work.

Nor shall I deduce the Baptism of Infants from Mark, 16.16. upon this ground, that they are Believers; or upon any other inspi­red habit of Grace within them (which is wholly hidden from man) having a clearer, surer, more solid, and visible ground, to build upon, not only from Christ's Commission, (as hath been proved;) but also from the Cove­nant made with Abraham and his Seed, ex­ternally, in a Church-way, Gen. 17.7. and [Page 84]repeated, Acts 2.39. together with the Ana­logie of Baptism, with Circumcision, than the initiatory Seal of Gods Covenant, and dispensed to Infants; and also, from that fede­ral holiness mentioned, 1 Cor. 7.14. which you deny, and make it to be only a Legitima­cy of such Children.

What if others saw it not in ages past, that Holiness there is taken for federal Holiness: Neither did you your self see formerly many Truths, that now you do; and yet they were in the Scriptures then, as well as now. We have cause therefore to bless God, that hath given to any of his Servants to discern the Truths, that lay hid from the former Ages; and in particular, this among others, of the federal Holiness of Children of Inchurched-Parents. I confess my self, not so much an Antiquary, as to say, who was the first founder of this Interpretation; nor have I ancient Commentators at hand to examine; but if Zuinglius were the first (as you affirm) we have cause to honour him, and to bless God that revealed it to him. And now I come to answer to your reasons given against it.

1. It doth not contradict the Gospel-Dis­pensation; but well suits with it; the Lord not having straitned, but enlarged his Grace, now in Gospel-times, and the visible tokens of it.

[Page 85] 2. This federal Holiness of Infants of In­churched-Parents, is not an entayling Grace to Nature; nor Regeneration to Generation; but is an entayling of God's Covenant in it's External and Ecclesiastical dispensation, to the natural-Seed of Inchurched-Parents, which they should improve also, for their Regeneration. It is therefore your mistake, to take Grace] absolutely, and only for Re­generating Grace; as if we held this Holi­ness, to consist in Regeneration, and Inhe­rent Sanctification: For we acknowledge, that we and our Children, are all by Nature Children of wrath, as well as others, Eph. 2.3. But we and our Seed, being, at least Ex­ternally, in God's-Covenant, have an ad­vantage left us by our Gracious God, to press him for regenerating Grace for our Children, which he hath indefinitely and conditionally promised; And our Children when they come to discretion, for themselves. This priviledge and advantage they want, who are strangers from the Covenants of promise, as being without Christ, without hope, and without God in the World, Eph. 2.12. but being under the Covenant, they have a visi­ble ground for their hope; which they should improve, for converting-Grace, leaving se­cret things to God.

If then you ask, what Holiness this federal Holiness is; It is a Relative Holiness by way of separation and Consecration. God hath Externally-Consecrated Inchurched-Parents and their Seed, to be his people, compre­hending them within the External and Eccle­siastical-dispensation of his Covenant; and thereby hath entitled them to the Initiatory Seal thereof, the susception of which, even infants are capable of.

And here again I must mind you, that your Assertion doth necessarily imply, that whosoe­ver is Baptized must be truly-regenerated, and sanctified; which hath been often confuted before.

3. Hence this federal Holiness of Infants, doth not at all contradict the experience of former and latter times; as you say it doth.

Had not Abraham an Ishmael, and Isaac an Esau? And yet both of them, when Children were federally Holy. What I pray did Esau sell, when he sold his Birth-right, for which he is called a profane person? Heb. 12.14. And what if Parent's now Inchurched neglect their Duty, and have Children, that when grown up, do slight their Priviledge, and walk wickedly, neglecting their Duty re­quired of God, as indispensably-necessary to the establishment of Covenant-Relation; and transgressing those Commands they were ob­liged [Page 87]to observe? Is it not an aggravation of their Sin, that they were once Children, that were devoted and consecrated to God? You will easily grant, that it was a great Sin to turn any consecrated thing to a common and profane Use. And is it not so here? for Chil­dren that were externally consecrated and related to God in his Covenant, to turn from him, in stead of seeking him; and to give up themselves to Sin and Satan and the World? Doth not God tax the Israelites, Ezek. 16.20. Thou hast taken thy Sons and thy Daughters, whom thou hast born unto me, (saith the Lord) and these hast thou Sacrificed, &c. And thou hast slain my Children, v. 21. And how were they the Lord's, but by virtue of his Covenanting with them in their Parents, v. 8. and not only in common, by Creation? Here was something, that was not common to Heathen-Children. And this will agree with our Interpretation of that Text, 1 Cor. 7.14. of federal Holiness, but not with your Inference which you would fasten upon us, as an absurdity.

4. Hence again, this federal Holiness of Infants of Inchurched-Parents, doth not ne­cessitate an owning of the Doctrine, of falling from Grace, as you infer; for when we say, They are federally Holy, we do not take it for Inherent-Holiness, and sanctifying Grace; [Page 88]Therefore, they cannot fall, from what they never had. But we grant they may fall from federal-Holiness, by their sinful slighting, re­jecting or mocking at the Covenant, and Heirs of the Promise, as Ishmael and Esau did. I shall therefore return your Argument upon you; when you, in your way, Baptize Adult­persons, upon certainty of Regeneration, and infallible Inherent-Holiness (which you pretend to, and your Argument against us implies so much) and then afterwards they fall away (as your own experience will tell you; then, it is your opinion, and interpre­tation, that holds the Doctrine of falling from Inherent Grace, and not ours. For ma­ny who are Baptized in your way, do fall a­way, and are never renewed again unto Re­pentance.

I cannot therefore concur, with your read­ing, nor Interpretation of that Scripture, 1 Cor. 7.14. You say it should be read thus, The unbelieving Husband is sanctified to the Wife: and the unbelieving Wife is sanctisted to the Husband. And you say the Preposition [...], doth sometimes signify so; and give an instance in Acts 4.12. where it is translated among Men] you say, it should be to Men. But by your favour; you must give us a clearer Proof, before we can receive it. That the Preposition [...], signifies among] is apparent in [Page 89]sundry Scriptures. Take one for all, Col. 1.27. [...]. To whom God would make known, what is the Riches of the glo­ry of this mystery among the Gentiles: viz. more generally; and more particularly among you Colossians; which is Christ among you, the hope of Glory. So I rather read the words than Christ in you. The word is the same in both. And this will give us light to the o­ther, Acts 4.12. No other name given a­mong men] Jesus Christ is the only Saviour, and God hath appointed, that he alone should be preached among Men, that those, that should be saved, might believe on him, and others left without excuse. This is English proper enough and suitable to other Scriptures; and there­fore not to be translated, and tied up, to the Word To] to maintain your opinion, and o­verthrow the genuine sence of the Text un­der debate.

Nor is there any reason why [...] should be rendred To], Gal. 1.16. It's very proper, and Emphatical, and I scarce ever heard, or read that Text applied, and opened by our En­glish Divines, but they insist upon the proprie­ty of it. It pleased God, not only to reveal his Son To me, but In me.

That we may find out the true and genuine sence of the Text, 1 Cor. 7.14. I shall con­sider the Apostles scope, and his manner of [Page 90]arguing, which I find elaborately opened by Mr. Cobbet, the sum of which I shall give you, with some little Addition thereun­to.

Amongst other questions propounded to the Apostle, by the Church of Corinth, this was one. Whether persons being unequally yoked, the believing party might abide with the Infidel; and with a good Conscience might continue cohabitation, and conjugal-Communion?

This he begins to Answer, v. 12. forbidding the believing-party, to reject, or depart from the Infidel, if the Infidel were willing to continue; and that for four reasons.

1. Because Inward and outward Peace, is furthered by such cohabitation, v. 15.

2. Because thereby, an opportunity might be had, of gaining the Infidel-Party to the faith, v. 16.

3. Because Christians are bound to be con­tent with their calling, v. 17, &c.

4. (Which is first in the Text, but I put it last, to avoid repetition) Because, from such cohabitation, and conjugal-Communion, no pollution of Conscience, ariseth to the belie­ving-party; but on the contrary, a Sanctifi­cation of the Infidel, not only To, but also In] the believing Party, v. 12, 13, 14. In this lay the great weight of their scruple; [Page 91]and therefore the Apostle backeth, and con­firmeth this reason with another; which the Church of Corinth, (that sent to be resolved in the Case) could not deny, but did own. The reason lies in these words; Else were your Children unclean, but now they are holy. That is, if the unbelieving party were not sanctified in the believing one; your Chil­dren would be unclean; but now they are holy, as you cannot deny; therefore it must needs follow, that the unbelieving party is sanctified in the believing one. I shall open the words, by answering.

—1. Negatively.

1. By Sanctified] here, is not meant, made Holy, by inherent Grace. That might possibly be the issue of it afterwards, but it was not so at present; for if it had, then the Question would have been needless.

2. Nor by Sanctified] here is meant, a being made a lawful Husband, or a lawful Wife; for that they were before; and there was no scruple concerning that. They were lawful Man and Wife, when they were both Infidels as your self do acknowledge, Marri­age-fellowship was honourable, and the Bed undefiled, yea even among Indians and Pa­gans, Heb. 13.4. They had a lawful civil use of each other, when they were both of them Infidels; and that could not be denied, [Page 92]when one of them was a Believer. If there­fore, a lawful use only were intended by the word Sanctified, then one of these two ab­surdities would follow:

1. That either there is nothing in this Text peculiar to the Believing party, which is directly cross to what the Apostle affirms. The Ʋnbelieving Husband is sanctified in the be­lieving Wife, &c. — Or,

2. That Infidel-couples are sanctified each in other; for, they were lawful man & wife, when both of them were Infidels. How cross are these to the holy spirit, speakingin & by the Apostle? — 2. Positively. By Sanctified in the Believing Husband, and in the Believing Wife] are these two things meant.

1. That the believing-party had, and might have a sanctified enjoyment, and use of the unbelieving. The civil enjoyment, and use of each other in a conjugal way, was law­ful, when they were both Infidels; but now one of them is a Believer, that believing party hath a Sanctified enjoyment, and use of the unbelieving One. The Infidelity of the one, doth not make that conjugal use, which be­fore was lawful, to become defiled, to the other that believes. Believers, as to all lawful things, have a lawful use of them, as they are Men; but they have also this more, than any Unbelievers have; to wit, a [Page 93]Sanctified Use of them as they are Be­lievers. To the pure all things are pure Tit. 1.15. that is, not only lawful; for so, Meat Drink, Physick, Plowing, Marriage, &c. are even to Heathens; but they are al­so holy, in and for the use of Believers. But to the impure, and Unbelieving, Meat, Drink, Apparel, Marriage, Plowing, &c. though in themselves lawful, yet nothing is pure, and Sanctified to them, but even their Mind and Conscience is defiled. The Plowing of the wicked is Sin, Prov. 21.4.

2. Though this Sanctified Use and En­joyment, is necessarily implied, in that phrase, Sanctified in the Believing Husband, and in the believing Wife] yet, that is not all; but there is somewhat more intimated, which is more to our purpose, and to the scope of the place; and why we should lose a grain of it, I see no reason. Mr. T. For both the Parents being (as it were) the common root of the Child, if both are unholy and unbelieving, the Child is unclean, in the Apostl's sence. But saith the Apostle, If either the Father or the Mo­ther be a Believer, the Child is not unclean but holy, notwithstanding one of the Parents be an Unbeliever. For that Parent, which is an Unbeliever, is sanctified in that Parent, which is a Believer. I say, sanctified in him, [Page 94]so, that by vertue of that Parent, who is a Believer, the other that is an Unbeliever, becomes with the Believing Parent, the root of an holy Child, as if he, or she, were a Believer too; the Blessing following the Be­lieving party. The Ʋnbelieving Parent is Sanctified In] the Believing one, and so, with the Believing one, is the root of an holy Seed. Hence we see, that there is no reason, why we should change the signification of In into To]; but great reason, why we should give it, it's proper signification.

As to that of Ezra, 10. It was an Obli­gation peculiar to the Nation of the Jews, before Christ came in the flesh, and before the Partition-Wall was broken down be­tween Jews and Gentiles. And that it re­spected the Jews only, and also, for that space of time, is apparent; thus. An Infi­del-Husband turning Proselite, was not bound to put away his Wife, though she still conti­nued an Infidel. And thus much to that phrase, Sanctified in the Believing-Husband, and Sanctified in the Believing-Wife.

Now, of the Childrens being Unclean, and Holy; I assert,

1. Negatively, By Ʋnclean] here is not meant Illegitimate, or Bastards, nor such on­ly as have Sin in them; for so those Children the Apostles calls Holy have.

Nor by Holy] is meant Legitimate. Nor do the Scriptures you alledge make it good, From what I pray was the Bastard, who was Illegitimate excluded? Deut. 23.2. not from Legitimacy only, but from the Congregation of the Lord. He was accounted unclean, and unholy, in reference to that, and might not partake of the priviledges of the Covenant, as other Children might. He was not to be accounted federally-Holy, as other Children of the Jewish Church were which your self doth grant p. 190.

And as to that of 1 Thes. 4.3, 4, 5. It doth not prove Legitimacy to be Holiness, but there is something more in it. For the Apo­stle speaks not here to the Gentiles, that knew not God; v. 6. but to visible Saints-Inchurch­ed, who were (visibly at least, and in the judgment of Charity) in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ, Chap. 1.1. And it was the Will of God, that they should walk, not on­ly in a Civil and sober manner (for so, many Gentiles did, that knew not God) but also in a Sanctified manner, that every one of them should possess his Vessel in Sanctification and Honour, even in their married-estate, and not in the lust of Concupiscence. God ex­pects that his people even in a married-estate, should not only be honest, but also Holy. That they should consecrate themselves [Page 96]whole to God. And again; that by honesty, and purity the Saints might be discerned from them that know not God. Beza in loc.

And as to that of Malachy 2.15. it doth not at all oppose what we hold. The words are not, a Holy Seed] as you render them, pag. 199. but a Seed of God] that is, God instituted Marriage between but one Man, [...] and one Woman; he created and joined but one Woman to one Man, (though he might have made many more; but one, I say) that their Children might be a Seed of God. And Legitimate Children, may be called a Seed of God, because born in Marriage, which was instituted of God, for all Mankind. But this Seed of God (common to all Children, born of Parents in lawful Marriage) is not equivalent, unto those Children, which the Apostle calls Holy] 1 Cor. 7.14. for, their Holiness depends, not only upon that lawful-Marriage of the Parents; but principally and properly upon one of them as a Believer; Denominatio sumi [...]ur â potio­ri. in whom, as a joint-root of the Child, the Unbeliever is said to be Sanctified, ut supra.

Again; neither by Holy] is meant such as they might make a holy use of. For so, a repent­ing and Believing Parent, might of a Bastard; or of other Children of Infidels. Nor is it meant the same, with the Infidels being Sanctified in the Believer.

2. Affirmatively and Positively;

1. By Ʋnclean] is meant, such Children, one of whose Parents was not at least a visi­ble-Believer, who never consecrated himself, and his Children to God in his Covenant.

2. By Holy; is meant, such Children, one of whose Parents at least, was a visible-Belie­ver, and Member of the Church of Christ; who had given up himself and his Children to God in his Covenant. Such were Holy, with a Covenant and Church-ho­liness. Mr. Cobbet. Antiochus destroyed the holy people, or people of the Holy ones, Dan. 8.24. among which were Children destroyed, as well as Parents. And how were they Holy? Even by vertue of the Holy-Covenant, Dan. 11.28.30, 32. in which all the Jews Externally and Ecclesi­astically were, together with their little Ones. Deut. 29.11, 12. Against which Holy Cove­nant the Enemies had indignation, Dan. 11.30. The Children were a part of that body of people redeemed from Egypt, which were called Ho­ly, [Page 98] Deut 14.2. and Deut. 26.18, 19. and cap. 28.9.

Take the sum of the words in this ensuing Paraphrase.

Unless your Interest in the Covenant of Grace, and your Faith therein, which in a Church-way ye profess, have so much influ­ence on your Infidel Yoke-fellows, as to Sanctifie them, not only to your Conjugal Use, but also to Sanctifie them in you, (both of you being together, one Common-root of your Children) it cannot be of force to your Children, to render and denominate them Holy; but they must be unclean, as if ye had been both Infidels. But this latter ye do not question, to wit, whether your Chil­dren are Holy? And therefore, why should ye question the other? to wit, whether you may conscionably abide, and have Conjugal Communion with your Unbelieving-Yoke­fellow? This sence of the Text is plain and clear and suitable to the Apostles scope.

And hence; as long as this Covenant-In­terest holds in force; neither rejected by the Parents, (as Rom. 11.20) nor they suspend­ed, nor cut off by a just Church-Censure (as 1 Cor. 5.4, 5.) nor by God's just hand (as Rom. 11.15, 17.) even so long, as the Covenant is Ecclesiastically of force, to the Childrens federal and Church-Estate; see Ezek., 23. And thus I hope, [Page 99]I have cleared this much controverted Text of Scripture; wherein I suppose are answer­ed, the main things that are brought against it; but yet I shall answer as briefly as I can to some particulars, that such as are not so well able to discern them under other heads might see them here.

To pag. 194. Argument second. It seem's to me an unweighed and inconsiderate Assertion; to say, that the Holiness of the Children, 2 Cor. 7.14. is of no other nature, than that spoken of the unbelieving Parent in the Text; and therefore, that if one will enti­tle to the Ordinance, so will the other— This is neither consistent with the Truth (as may be seen before) nor with your self; for you tell us pag. 192. that the unbelieving-Husband's being Sanctified to his Believing Wife, is, that she might freely-converse with him in the Conjugal-Estate, &c. and the Ho­liness of the Child, was his Legitimacy. Judge impartially whether these are the same.

To your third Arg. p. 194, 195. That this Text is not to be limited to Infants, &c. I Answer; it is to be limited to Infants, and Children in minority. For if they be 30, 40, or 50. years old, as you speak, they are to profess personally their Faith and Repentance, and to lay hold of the Covenant themselves, before they can regularly be Baptized.

To your fourth Argument, p. 195. Why this federal Holiness of Children (that we speak of) cannot be a New-Covenant-Holiness that must qualifie and entitle to Baptism; first, because it cannot be known, say you, for the Parent professing may be a Hypocrite—and then you Baptize a wrong Subject.—In An­swer to which,—1. Though I am heartily sorry in some respect, yet in another I am glad, to hear you speak so plainly. In other places you are more dark and silent, but here you plainly express your mind. It seem's then, you Baptize no Hypocrites; and I heartily wish you did not. Do you certainly and infallibly know, that all that are Bapti­zed in your way, are true real Christians, and not Hypocrites? Surely that cannot be known by you. And why then are they Baptized? It's too apparent, that divers such persons are Baptized in your way. I pray consider, how this your principle, and practice can consist, and stand together. As for us, we know that such Parents are Church-Members, whose In­fants we Baptize: but when you Baptize a Hypocrite, you Baptize a wrong Subject. Ex ore tuo, &c.—2. We do not Baptize a wrong Subject, when we Baptize the Infant of an Inchurched-Parent that is an Hypocrite. He appears a Saint to the Church, and as such they received him; his Hypocrisie is hid from [Page 101]them, as Judas's was from his fellow-Disciples. A Member of the Church he is, and hath as good a right (in foro Ecclesiae) before the Church to all Church-Ordinances, as the most sincere Christian in the Church hath, both for himself and his Child.—3. That this fe­deral-Holiness, is a New-Covenant-Holiness, and sufficient to entitle the Child to Baptism. Is there not an External and Ecclesiastical Dis­pensation of the New-Covenant now, as well as an Internal and Spiritual? And is there not an Ecclesiastical and Church-Holiness, (which Hypocrites may have as well as true Saints) which is also a New-Covenant-Holi­ness? Whereby they have an external-right to New-Covenant-Ordinances? Hath not the Hypocrite Baptized in your way, a New-Co­venant-Holiness? Is he not Externally in the New-Covenant, and therefore you admit him to be Baptized? you think also, that he is spiritually and savingly in the New-Cove­nant; but afterwards it appears you were mistaken. And so, it is your Opinion, that tends to Baptize a wrong Subject, and not ours. We go upon more sure, and certain grounds, and such as may be known, and through Grace we know. Consider good Sir, of these things, which in Love to the Truth, I present to your self, and to others.

You add a second Reason; thus, If this federal-Holiness be a New-Covenant-Holiness, that must qualifie, and entitle to Baptism, then no Unbelievers Child is in Covenant, or E­lect.

I must profess, this is strange Arguing; and wants a deal of Rational Glue to joyn the Consequent to the Antecedent. When we speak of federal-Holiness; we speak of what is Visible, External, and Ecclesiastical, and if you have not taken notice of it formerly, I beseech you observe it now; for I perceive, and have long observed, that the want of a right apprehension of this, is one great cause of difference, about Infant-Membership and Baptism. But to your Argument. If you repeat the whole Syllogism, you will find four terms in it. The Antecedent of the Proposition, speaks of an External Right to Baptism; and the Consequent is of a saving-Interest in the Covenant; and of Election, which is yet higher. We easily grant, that an Unbelievers or Pagans Child, may be Ele­cted from Eternity, and may be (if God please) savingly in the Covenant of Grace, and a true work of Grace in his Soul, in a way and time unknown to Man; and yet we can truly say, that such an Infant, his Parents being Infidels, hath not that federal-Holiness, which the Children of Inchurched-Parents [Page 103]have, and so, hath not an Immediate Right to Baptism. For—1. He hath no Right by means of of his Parents; for they are both Infidels. —Secondly nor by his own profession, for he is not capable of making any; and so the Church can have no knowledge of it. I grant he hath fundamentally a Right, but not for­mally. Jus ad rem, but not jus in re. A re­mote Right, not an Immediate.

It seem's to me by your expression, and what I have heard from some others of your perswasion; That you make on's being in the Covenant, and Election, to run parallel, without distinguishing of the one, or the o­ther; which I have observed, to be a cause of great mistakes, especially to many honest, and simple-hearted-Christians, who are not able to see their way through it. I shall there­fore speak something to it.

Election falls under a two-fold consideration in respect of the Object unto which persons may be said to be Elected.

1. To Eternal Life and happiness, and the Graces of the Spirit, preceding it as means certainly tending thereunto, 2 Thes. 2.13. 1 Pet. 1.1, 2, 3, 4. Eph. 1.3, 4.

2. To External Church-Ordinances and Priviledges, Deut. 7.6, 7. Psal. 65.4. like­wise the Covenant is considered, as Internal­ly and savingly Dispensed; or as Externally [Page 104]and Ecclesiastically Dispensed. Now if you take both of these together, in sensu composito, in a compound sence, then I grant, that the Covenant is no larger than the Vein of Electi­on, but they run parallel: But if they be ta­ken in sensu diviso, in a divided sence, for Election only unto Eternal Life and Salvati­on, and Saving-Graces; then I deny them to be equal. For there is also an Election of some unto External Church-Covenant-Ordi­nances, and Priviledges, who are not Elect­ed unto Salvation. A Church-Member li­ving and dying in Hypocrisie, was within the Covenant Externally and Ecclesiastically dispensed. Else, how came he to be a Mem­ber of the Church, which consists by the Co­venant, which is as the Cement that joyn's them together. Yet such a One was never in the Vein of Election unto Eternal-Life; which is absolute and not conditional, as some Blasphemously hold.

Hence, when it is said, the Covenant is no larger than Believing] that is, It belongs to none but true Believers; It is thus to be understood, to wit, as to the enjoyment of the saving benefits of it, it belongs as Imme­diately to none but true Believers; but as to the External proposal and tender of them, and Ecclesiastical and Temporary Priviledges of the Covenant, so, it may and doth belong, [Page 105]not only to true Believers, but also to such as make a credible profession of true Faith, in a visible congregation, though they be not true Believers indeed; & to their Children also.

To conclude this; If the Covenant be no larger than the Vein of Election unto Salva­tion, and no larger than true Believing, then some of these absurdities must needs follow;

1. Either there must be no Hypocrite in any visible Church (for he is not in the Vein of Election to Eternal Sal­vation, and therefore, Matth. 13.37, 38, 39, &c. 47, 48, 49, 50. not within the Covenant:) and this is flatly-contrary to the Scripture, and to known ex­perience: see also, Rom. 9.1, 2, 3, 4.

2. Or if there be any Hypocrites in the visible-Church, they must be certinaly-Elect­ed to Salvation. For, Being in the Vi­sible Church they are within the Cove­nant as hath been proved; and the Covenant being no larger than Election, they must of necessity be Elected.

3. Hypocrites in the visible-Church, must be Damned or Saved. Damned they cannot be, because they are within the Covenant, as I have proved. And the Covenant being of the same Latitude with Election, they are Elected to Salvation, and must not be Damn­ed; or if they be, God must change his De­cree; [Page 106]which is Blasphemy even to think. —Again; Saved they cannot be; for God never Elected any unto Salvation, that lived and died Hypocrites, and he will not change his mind. And hence, according to that Tenet, Hypocrites can neither be Damn­ed, nor Saved.

4. If the Covenant be no larger than Election unto Eternal Life and Salvation, and no Infants are in the Covenant, then all Infants-dying must be damned. For accord­ing to this Opinion, they being not in the Covenant, are not Elected; and not being Elected, cannot be saved, unless the unchange­able God change his Decree; that is change himself. Hence we see, that what we hold, is free from that absurdity; which you would fasten upon it, and the absurdity lies at your own Door.

But it seem's all my labour is in vain, that I have spent in proving this Holiness of Chil­dren, 1 Cor. 7.14. to be a federal-Holiness; because, say you, Be the Holinese here what it will, it is neither here, nor else-where, as­signed to be a ground of Baptizing Children upon, &c.

To which I Answer, 1. That if this Holi­ness be federal (which you acknowledge all Children under the Law had); yea, I shall also add, as the Children Inchurched in Abra­ham's [Page 107]Family had, which was long before the Law) then if those Children were by God's appointment, sealed with the Initiato­ry Seal, Circumcision; the same Covenant, that God made with Abraham and his Seed, being come upon us Gentiles, Gal. 3.14. with Acts 2.39. Our Inchurched Children also, are to be Sealed with the Initiatory Seal of the Covenant, now under the Gospel. Espe­cially considering this, that God hath never revoked it, but hath brought Baptism into the place of Circumcision, Col. 2.11, 12. And you your self grant so much implicitely, in saying that Circumcision and Baptism serve to the same end; and that there is an A­nalogy in some things betwixt the one and the other, Pag. 223.

But 2. I have already proved out of Christs Commission, that Inchurched-Parents Chil­dren are Disciples, and so federally Holy, and by the same Commission, to be Baptized. And the reason why Women and Females under the Law were not Circumcised, nor commanded to be Circumcised, was, because of an Incapacity in Nature; they having no Praeputium or Foreskin, as the Males had; and what other Reason there might be, is hid from us. With Reverence I may say, It could not suit with the Wisdom and goodness of God, dealing with his people in the way [Page 108]of a Covenant of Grace, to command a thing impossible. I pray, what was there in the first Institution of Baptism, in John the Baptists time, concerning the Baptizing of Women? We hear nothing of them expres­ly till a long while after, Acts 8.12.—And as for their right to, and receiving of the Lord's Supper, I suppose we have shewn you as much obscurity in it, as you can object to us, concerning the Baptism of Inchurched Infants.

CHAP. IV. Answer to your Arguments of Circumcision examined, p. 204. and to the Questions you make, and Answers, seven in all.

Quest. 1. WHether Circumcision called the Gospel-Seal, did belong of old, to all in Gospel-Covenant?

—First; you deny Circumcision to be the Seal of the Gospel-Covenant to all Believers, and so do I; there were many Believers be­fore Circumcision was instituted; and so, they could not be Sealed by it.

Be it so, that Circumcision was tied to the Church in Abraham's Family; and af­terwards to Jacob and his posterity. Might [Page 109]not God do with his own what he would? What if God denyed it to others out of the Church in Abraham's Family, and afterwards in Jacob's posterity, that people might joyn themselves to them as Proselytes; which is most probable? Are not many Believers with­out the Seals of the Covenant now, because they do not, or cannot joyn themselves to a Gospel-Congregation? Will you therefore deny Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, to be the Seals of the Gospel-Covenant, to all Be­lievers? Are they not instituted of God, to be Seals unto them, if they come in a right way to enjoy them?

Again you say, there were some to whom the Covenant, did not belong, who received that, called the Seal of Circumcision; as Ish­mael. You indeed Answer this your self in the next words, when you say, This Cove­nant was not to be Established] with him, but with Isaac, Gen. 17.20, 21, 25. It was not to be Established with him] to be made to stand and abide with him. He doth not say, that the Covenant, in that External-Dispensation, did not belong to Ishmael, or that he was not in the Covenant, in that Ecclesiastical admi­nistration of it, when he was Circumcised: from what was he cast out? was it not from the Covenant, (against which he mocked in Isaac, Gen. 21.9, 10.) and from the Church [Page 110]and the External Priviledges of it, in which he was Externally before? Here you again miss it, because you do not distinguish be­tween the Covenant in its several administra­tions. Some of those you mention, that you say, were not Sealed with Circumcision, were within the Covenant Spiritually and Sa­vingly; others that were Sealed, were in the Covenant Ecclesiastically and External­ly, to which latter sort alone Circumcision was annexed. Some were only Ecclesiasti­cally in it, and some others, were both. And some only Spiritually and not Externally and Ecclesiastically. — Your Argument therefore, makes not against us at all; for you speak not ad idem; and so, there can be no oppo­sition. If you had dealt as an artificial and candid Disputant, you would have singled out that, wherein the difference lay, and have opposed that only; and not have fallen into the Paralogism of (Ignoratio Elenchi) of the mistake of the state of the Question.

This Answer concerning Ishmael, will serve to the rest; and I see no cause to doubt, whether the New-Covenant-Promises, under this Ecclesiastical-Dispensation, did belong to all the strangers in Abraham's House, that were Circumcised, according to God's appointment. They were part of Abraham's Church-Seed.

Quest. 2. Whether the New-Covenant, and that mentioned, in Gen. 17. be the same? To which the sum of your Answer, is, that the Covenant in Gen. 17. was a mixt-Covenant, as the Seed was; which you thus explain; to wit, as Abraham by Promise, stood in a dou­ble Capacity; to wit, The Father of a Nation to wit, the natural Israelites: So to be also a a Father of many Nations, comprehending the Spiritual Israel, whether Jews, or Gentiles: And so accordingly the Promises (say you) were of two sorts; sometimes respecting his natural Seed, whether Domestick or National, who were (say you) Typical of the Spiritual, &c. and others again, respecting in a peculiar-manner, the spiritual Seed, the Family of the Faith­ful; viz. the Elect of whom, through Christ he was Father, and which are Evangelical, and in special manner, belonging to the New-Covenant — And hence you infer, that much of the mistake and errour lies in this, by ap­plying that to the one, which belongs to the other, for want of distinguishing the promises, that are often so mixed, that the one may be taken for the other.

I shall first gather up the sum of this, into di­vers positions, and then give in my Answer.

1. You say, The Covenant in Gen. 17. was a mixt Covenant, to wit, because the promises of it were partly of Temporal, part­ly [Page 112]of Spiritual things. I suppose this to be your meaning.

2. As the Seed was; and so you make the Covenant to depend upon the Seed, which you say, were Natural-Israelites, or Spiri­tual-Israel, the Elect.

3. You say, the Natural Seed, was Ty­pical of the Spiritual.

4. That the Temporal Promises respected his natural Seed, and the Spiritual and Eter­nal ones, his Spiritual Seed, viz. Elect and true Believers.

5. And that these Spiritual and Eternal (or Promises of Eternal and Spiritual Blessings) do in special manner belong to the New-Covenant now in these Gospel-days. I judge this to be the sum, of what you assert.

To which I reply.

1. That the Covenant in Gen. 17. was no more a mixt Covenant, than the Cove­nant is now, in these Gospel-days. The New-Covenant doth not now exclude Tem­poral Blessings. Godliness hath the Promise of this Life, and of that which is to come, 1 Tim. 4.8. The Lord indeed then, made them an express Promise of Temporals, the Land of Canaan, which was also a Type of Heaven: and Promises of Spiritual and Heavenly things more covertly and sparingly. And now he makes Promises of Spiritual and Heaven­ly [Page 113]things more clearly; expresly, and fre­quently; and of Temporals more implicitely and sparingly. May not you as well call this a mixt-Covenant?

2. The Covenant doth not depend upon the Seed, (as you intimate) but the Seed up­on the Covenant. The natural Seed then, were the natural Children of Abraham run­ning in the posterity of Isaac, through Ja­cob and his posterity. And these Natural-Seed of Abraham, were also his Church-Seed; and to these the Covenant Externally-belonged, as also to the Proselyts and their Children. The Spiritual Seed of Abraham, that were Elect­ed to Eternal Salvation, were also a part of that Natural and Church-Seed. God promi­sed to be a God to both in a diverse respect. And so he is now in these Gospel-days, if rightly-understood. Gospel-Churches are the Church-Seed of Abraham, and God is their God Externally in Covenant, as he was to the Church of old. And he is the God of the Spiritual-Seed, that are now those that are Elected unto Salvation: to both in a diverse respect, as before. And your not own­ing of this, is the fundamental cause of this Controversie; which yet is so plain, that I know not how you can deny it. For are not Hypocrites in Gospel-Churches, the Church-Seed of Abraham, who profess such a Faith [Page 114]as Abraham did, though they have not the Truth and reality of it? Hypocrites they are; and yet you look upon them as within the Covenant of Abraham, and therefore you Baptize them; and yet, they prove not to be so at last. I have spoken largely to the substance of this before.

3. You say, The natural Seed, was Ty­pical of the Spiritual. As the Birth of Isaac (to wit; not by strength of Nature, but by Promise; which did prefigure those, that are born of the Spirit, and that look for Righte­ousness and Life alone by Faith in Christ; I suppose this is your meaning, according to Gal. 4.23, 24, 25, 26.)—To which I An­swer.

That this Spiritual Seed (which you say, is typified by the natural) as it respects Gospel-times, is to be considered, either as such in­deed; or as such in shew, and appearance only, in the judgment of the Church, (who are to judg after the sight of their eyes, and the hearing of their Ears, and cannot look directly into the heart, and know (â priori) as Christ doth by the pow­er of his Godhead.) Isa 11.3. And thus it makes not against us but for us, and against you. For, do not Gospel-Churches consist of the one, as well as of the other? Nay, when Christ the Bride­groom [Page 115]shall come again, will not the King­dom of Heaven (to wit some Gospel-Church­es) consist all of them of foolish Virgins; which shall have Oyle in their Lamps, to wit, a profession and outward appearance of true Faith and Grace; but no Oyl in their Vessels; none of the Spirit and true Faith, and Grace, in their Hearts? Matth. 25.1, 2, 3, &c. What can be more plain?

4. The Temporal Promises, say you, re­spected his Natural Seed, and the Spiritual and Eternal-ones, his Spiritual-Seed; viz. the Elect and true Believers.

For Answer to which,

The Temporal-Promises included in that Covenant of Grace, which was dispensed to Abraham in a Church-way, respected his Natural Seed, no otherwise (as I conceive) than as they were, and should continue, his Church-Seed. For though Ishmael, the Son of Abraham by Hagar, were at present with­in the Covenant in a Church-way dispensed, and also Circumcised; yet God would not establish his Covenant with him, but with Isaac, Gen. 17.19, 21. Nevertheless God gives this as an overplus, and by the By, in Answer to Abraham's request; I have blessed him (viz. with outward things which are of­ten called Blessings, and they are materially so) and will make him fruitful, and will mul­tiply [Page 116]him exceedingly, &c. v. 20. So like­wise to Esau, the blessing that God gave him, was not the Blessing of that Covenant (for Jacob had all that before, Gen. 27.27, 28, 29.) in allusion to which, seems that Speech of Jacob to Esau, I have all. So the Hebrew. Gen. 33.11. [...] But another by-the By] v. 39.40. The Temporal Promises of the Covenant therefore, respected not the Na­tural-Seed of Abraham, any further than they were, and continued to be his Church-Seed.

Nor did they respect his Natural Seed only, in oppo­sition to his Spiritual (to use your terms) for the Spiritual. Seed were Abra­ham's Church-Seed also, & had those Promises of Temporal things, as well as the others had. See both proved, Psal. 111.5. He hath given Meat unto them, that fear him, he will ever be mindful of his Covenant: Spoken of the Bo­dy of the Israelites, who did not all of them savingly fear him as some of them did; but they did at least Externally serve him, and worship him in his own Institutions, which is usually called fearing him. Both to the one, and the other of them, he gave Meat out of Covenant; as he also did give them Canaan, the Heritage of the Heathen, v. 6. And hence, when they fell to Idolatry or neglected God's pure worship. And Externally brake God's [Page 117]Covenant, he brought Temporal-Judgments upon them, 2. Chron. 15.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Dan. 9.10. to 15. with Deut. 28.15. to the end: and Levit. 26. See also Judg. Chap. 3, 4, &c.

Again, though it be true, that only the Spiritual Seed, true Believers, had the saving good of those Spiritual and Heavenly Pro­mises of the Covenant; Yet in the Tender and outward Proposal of them, they were held forth to the whole Church; and their Sins were the more aggra­vated, Ezek. 20.16.24. that they despised them. Even as they are now also in Gospel-days, and their Damnation the greater, John 3.18, 19, 20.

The sum then is briefly this. Both the Tempo­ral & Spiritual Promises of the Covenant, be­long unto the Church Indefinitely; but none of them do savingly-partake of the Spiritual and Heavenly ones, but those that truly-Believe, as Abraham did. Promises are either tending to Conversion and Union, or there are Pro­mises of Communion. The former belong to the Unconverted, the latter to the Con­verted only, as to the enjoyment of the Spi­ritual and Heavenly Benefits held forth in them.

5. That these Spiritual and Eternal Pro­mises, (or rather Promises of Spiritual and [Page 118]Eternal Blessings) do in special manner belong to the New-Covenant, to wit, now in these Gospel-days. I judge this to be your meaning. And I can grant the Words in a safe sence, if I may be my own Exposi­tor. But your scope is, to prove the Promi­ses of the New-Covenant now, to be only Spiritual and Heavenly, belonging only to true Believers, and not to others, thereby to thrust out Infants out of the Gospel-Cove­nant, and from Baptism the Seal of it.— Now, though I have already said, what I hope may satisfie impartial-persons, and such as are not prepossest; yet doth not this your scope, really cut off Hypocrites, as well as Infants.

To conclude this, I shall add a word to your Inference and Conclusion, That much of the mistake and error, lies not in this (as you affirm) by applying that to the one, which belongs to the other; for want of distin­guishing the Promises as you would have them distinguished; but for want of distin­guishing, between the Spiritual-Saving Dis­pensation of the Covenant of Grace, and the Ecclesiastical only: Or, as some others word it; Between the Covenant of Grace conside­red absolutely in it self, or cloathed with Church-Covenant, that is, considered in refe­rence to a Visible-Church-Estate. And thus [Page 119]besides what hath been said to it before, you have also an Answer to your third Question, to wit, Whether the Seed mentioned, Gen. 17.7. were Abraham's Natural or Spiritual Seed? only, I shall add a word to your evil and dis­mal Consequences as you term them, pag. 211, 212, 213.

If God made his Covenant of Grace, with the Posterity of Believers, (as this Do­ctrine, say you, asserts) then, all the Poste­rity of Believers, should have Grace bestow­ed upon them; that is, as your after-words and the scope of your discourse implies; Spi­ritual Saving-Grace, opposite to Children of wrath by Nature. To which I reply;

It doth not follow, that hence, all the po­steity of Believers, should have Inward Spi­ritual Saving-Grace, bestowed upon them; but External Covenant-Grace. See Malachy 1.2. I have loved you, saith the Lord to the body of the people of Israel, the posterity of Jacob. Yet, ye say, wherein hast thou loved us? was not Esau Jacobs Brother, saith the Lord? yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his Mountains and his Heritage wast, for the Dra­gons of the Wilderness, v. 3. What was this Love, as to the Body of the people of Israel (many of which had no Saving-Grace within them) but External Covenant-Grace? He shewed his words unto Jacob, and his Judg­ments [Page 120]unto Israel, he hath not dealt so with any Nation, &c. Psal. 147.19, 20. with Deut. 4.5, 6, 7, 8. And doth not Jacob thankfully acknowledge this great favour of God to his Posterity, in saying to Joseph, The blessings of thy Father, have prevailed, above the blessings of my Progenitors, Gen. 49.26. For, this Cove­nant-Grace was bestowed on all Jacob's Sons, and to run along in their Posterity, and none of them rejected, as Ishmael and Esau, and their Posterities were, even from this Exter­nal-Covenant-Grace; until by their neglect of performing their Duty, they deprived them­selves, and their Children of it. You cannot but know this to be the sence of those, that plead for Infant-Baptism, that have searched so much into their Writings; and I cannot but wonder, that you harp still upon the wrong String. Nor do those words you men­tion, out of Mr. Blake (to wit, that the Child of a Christian is a Christian) if taken in a right sence, and as he intends it, at all contra­dict, either the Scripture, that saith, We are Children of wrath by Nature; or former and latter experience. Paul was a Child of wrath by Nature; and yet Paul being a Jew by Nature, and not a Sinner of the Gentiles and Heathens, Gal. 2.15. was under this Exter­nal-Covenant-Grace which the Gentiles then were not, who were Strangers from the Cove­nants [Page 121]of Promise, and Aliens from the Common­wealth of Israel, in the 12th. verse of the very same Chapter. Overthrow this Truth if you can.

Again, another of your Inferences, is, If God made his Covenant of Grace, with the Posterity of Believers, then, say you, would Grace be a Birth-priviledge, and Re­generation tied to Generation, contrary to John 3.3. and John 1.12, 13.

This hath been fully Answered to before. This External-Covenant-Grace we hold, is a Birth-priviledge of the Children of In­churched-Parents; and is an advantage, to Parents to cry to God for Converting-Grace for their Children; and a strong engagement to them, to train them up in the way of the Lord: and to Children when grown to cry to God for Converting-Grace for themselves. The Lord thy God, will circumcise the heart of thy Seed, to love the Lord thy God, &c. Deut. 30.6.

Again you infer; Then must all the Poste­rity of Believers be saved, unless you will hold falling from Grace.] To which I reply; that what hath been already said, will easily An­swer this. It doth not at all, yield such an Inference. But this we may safely say, and hold, that the Posterity of Inchurched-Belie­vers, have an advantage tending to Con­version [Page 122]and Salvation, that other Children have not; & it will be their great sin, & great­er Condemnation, if they improve it not. Nor do we hereby, necessitate the Doctrine to be true, that Men may fall from Grace; that is, from inward sanctifying Grace. They may indeed fall from that outward Covenant-Grace; as Ishmael and Esau did; But as we do not hold this, to be Inward Sanctifying Grace; so we cannot necessitate the Doctrine to be true, that Men may fall from it; for then they must fall from what they never had.

Another of your Inferences is; Then must we tie up, and confine the Grace of God's Covenant, to the Children of Believers only; and then, what hope, say you, for the Chil­dren of Unbelievers? Contrary to the Expe­rience of all Ages, &c. To which I return, which also hath been mentioned before;

1. Grace is — either External Cove­nant-Grace: or Internal, Spiritual and Sa­ving Grace. We do not tie up (by our Te­net) the Internal, Spiritual and Saving-Grace, to the Children of Believers only, but leave unto the Soveraign Lord his Preroga­tive-Royal, to bestow his Grace upon whom he will, Rom. 9.15, 18.

2. But this I must affirm; that Infidel-Parents, and their Children, want that pri­viledge, [Page 123]that Christian Inchurched-Parents, and their Children have. I pray, what Visible help have you that deny this, to encou­rage your Faith to Believe, and put you on to pray, for the Conversion and Salvation of your Children. What? no Promise from God concerning them, in which you may wrestle with him in their behalf? and no Promise left for them, to further them in it, any more than Children of Heathens? This were sad indeed. I bless the God of all Grace I have experienced the contrary; and do dai­ly. I knew a Godly Parent of your perswa­sion, who was sadly perplext about the Eter­nal Estate of a dying-Infant. What visible ground of hope have we for dying Infants, if there be nothing left us in Gods-Cove­nant.

Your last Inference is; Then is the Cove­nant of Grace overthrown, concluding an Interest without Faith, Rom. 4.14. derivng a Title by natural Generation. To which I reply, that hath been Answered already. The Co­venant of Grace is not thereby overthrown, but established. For — 1. The Faith of one Inchurched-Parent at least, hath been visibly professed, and the Covenant visiby-accepted; which hath given an Interest to the Child. — And 2. Hence, the Natural Legitimate Child of such a Parent, hath thereby a visible [Page 124]Title; which is that we plead for.

Then you come, pag. 213. to that Scrip­ture, Acts 2.38, 39. which you grant, if rightly-understood, to be Parallel with that, Gen. 17.7. But I cannot agree with you in your sence of it. For, first, what you say, agrees not with the Truth.—Secondly, nor with your self.

1. Not with the Truth. For, the Promise there seems not the Promise of the Spirit, in those extraordinary gifts of it, wherewith God adorned the Church then; mentioned out of Joel, 2.28. For first, that Promise of Extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, doth not belong to all Believers and Inchurched-Parents in all Ages, as that other doth, Acts 2.38, 39.—Secondly, nor is effectual-Calling the only condition of obtaining those Extraordinary Gifts. For many that were and are effectually-called, had them not, and some might then have them, that were not effectually called; as is apparent in Matth. 7.22, 23.—Thirdly, Remission of sins is here Promised to all these Jews, and is here held forth to them as Externally belonging to them, to urge them to Repent and Believe; which is not so much as named, in Joel 2. —Fourthly, it is apparent, that the Guilt of that cursed wish, Matth. 27.25. His Blood be upon us, and our Children] did stag­ger [Page 125]them; and occasioned the Apostle, in ex­press-Terms to mention that promise to them & to their Children, which the Promise of those Extraordinary Gifts, could not cure. They were prict in their heart v. 37. For that great Sin especially, and needed remission of sins; and wounded for that curse, they had wished upon their Children; and the holding forth of this Promise, was, to oure them both; which thing the other of Extraordinary Gifts, could not do. — Fifthly, though Sons and Daughters might fall under the notion of their Children; yet Old men mentioned as distinct from them could not so, which yet are mentioned in Joel 2. These two Scriptures then, speak not to the same thing and so are not the same Promise.

Yet, if any do still suppose them to be the same; let them read what Mr. Sydenham hath said upon that Text, in his Book for Infant-Baptism. Thus I have shewn, why I con­ceive, that your interpretation of that place in Joel, doth not agree with the Truth, in making it the same with Acts 2.

2. I shall now shew, that it doth not a­gree with your self. In pag. 213. You say, that that Promise Acts 2.39. is the giving of the Spirit, Joel 2.28. and doth follow [Page 126]the Receiving of Christ in the Gospel, and the obeying his Commands, Ephes. 1.13. Gal: 3.14. Acts 5.32. Therefore (say you) Acts 2.38. Peter exhorts them to Repentance and Faith, in order to the receiving of it.— And afterwards you say, therefore the Promise (to wit, in Acts 2.39.) is not made but upon condition of Calling, and Faith and Baptism. And in pag. 214. The Promise, is given as a Motive, why they should Repent, and be Baptized. I must confess my weak under­standing cannot reconcile them. Review them more distinctly and judg of them.

The Promise, Acts 2.39. is the giving of the Spirit, prophesied, Joel 2.28.

The same Promise follows the receiving of Christ.

Peter Exhorts them to Repentance and Faith in order to the receiving of it.

The (same) Promise is not made but upon condition of Calling, Faith and Baptism, and yet, the (same) Promise given as a Motive, why they should repent and be Baptized; I must acknowledge I cannot apprehend, how they can consist. Let him reconcile them, that hath a larger reach than I have.

Hitherto I have been shewing, what that Promise, (held forth to those prick't-hearted Jews) was not; rather than what it was. I now come to give you, by the assistance of [Page 127]Christ, what I conceive, to be the mind of God in it.

By Promise] in Gal. 3 17. is clearly meant, the Covenant of Grace. And that it is so to be taken here, is evident by this; because it hath Baptism, the Seal of the Covenant now in Gospel-days, annext unto it; and also, holds forth Remission of Sins. Repent, and be Baptized for the Remission of Sins; for the Promise is to you, and to your Chil­dren.

This Promise or Covenant of Grace, unto which they had External and visible Right, is here urged upon these Jews, to move them to Repent, and in that I agree with you; and not as a Condition if they did Repent. It's urged as a Motive, not as a Condition. Re­pent, for the Promise is to you. See the like Acts 3.25. Ye are the Children of the Cove­nant God made with our Fathers; Repent therefore and be Converted, v. 19. For to you first, God hath raised up his Son Jesus, to bless you in turning you a way from your ini­quities, v. ult. And why first, but because they were the Children of the Covenant that God made with their Fathers? This sence and scope of the Text is plain, and rational, and suitable to the scope of the Apostle.

And whereas you say, that by Children there, is meant Posterity; my Child is my [Page 128]Child say you, though he be forty or fifty years old.] Yet, let me tell you, that such Adult-Children, are by Gods Ordinance, if not Baptized already, to be Baptized upon their own profession, and not upon the ac­count of their Parents; as you your self do grant; and therefore it must be meant of Children in Minority. However, I hope, you will not exclude little Children, from be­ing a part of Posterity, and so, will grant them their share in it at least.

By these afar-off] is plainly-meant the Gentiles, Eph. 2.11, 12. (And perhaps also the ten Tribes, who were long before divorced, and as to their present Condition, not then actually in External-Covenant with God.)

The Promise to them afar-off; doth not presuppose them to be already-called; but it is to them at present, as by the Lord, they might be called afterwards. Here was now a way opened by Christ, to preach, and ten­der the Gospel to them, which before was not, though as yet, it was not actually-ten­dred to them, unless to some few; untill the Jews should actually reject it, and God reject them for rejecting it, Acts 13.46, 47. Rom. 11.12, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22.

Here therefore we may observe a difference between these Jews and their Children, and those, that were yet afar-off, and their [Page 129]Children; for though the Promise were then to them all (as the Word Is] doth intimate; yet not them all] in every respect, alike. It was now at present, to those Jews, and their Children, Actually, Visibly, and External­ly, before Men. But to them afar off, Inten­tionally and before God; and should be Actu­ally to them, and to their Children, (as now it was to the Jews, and their Children) when God should Actually call them.

These Jews and their Children, were not yet discovenanted, and Unchurched, though they had deserved it. See Acts 2.22, 23, 23, 36.

And this was after Christ's Death, Resur­rection, and Ascension into Heaven, that these words are spoken to them, and that by the Holy Ghost, in the mouth of the Apostle. They were not afar-off, as the Gentiles (and probably the ten Tribes were at that time; who were then Strangers from Actual-External Interest in the Covenants of Promise; until such time as God should Actually-call them. But these Jews were nigh, as to their Exter­nal-Covenant-Station, the External-Adop­tion, the Covenants, and Promises, Rom. 9.4. though Really in themselves Children of wrath, and bad enough, v. 1, 2, 3.

But how can it be said, that it is] now, to them that are afar-off, when it had not yet reach ed them?

Answ. It was then so,—1. In God's Intention and purpose. It was then so, in foro Dei; before God.—2. It was so then, because Christ had opened the way, bro­ken down the partition wall, Eph. 2.14, 15. which before stood between Jews and Gentiles. The way was shut before; but now opened, that Christ might be made known unto them.—And Thirdly. It should not be long, before Christ would send out his Ambassadors to call them in; and then they should Actually-enjoy this priviledge, both for themselves, and their Children, as those Jews then did. For what reason is there, that their Children should be left out, any more than the Children of these Jews, when they were brought into the fellowship of the same Covenant for the Substance, where there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, Scythian, Barbarian, Bond and Free? This Call then, hath Reference to the Gen­tiles, who were yet Actually afar-off, Stran­gers from the Covenants of Promise, and not to these Jews, who were Externally within it, and their Children also.—To prove this yet a little more, take notice, that in the Scripture, God makes over External Cove­nant-Grace, as in the present, to them that are not yet in Being, Deut. 29.14, 15. Nei­ther with you, saith the Lord, do I make this [Page 131]Covenant, but with him, that standeth here this day; that is, the Jew and Proselyte, and the little ones (see the Text) that were present: and also with him, that is not here with us this day; to wit, those that are yet unborn, as well as those that might be absent. With both, saith the Lord, do I at present make my Covenant. In the Parents of such un­born-Children it was done at present Actually before Men; Vide Mr. Cob­bet. but as to those unborn Children them­selves, Intentially before God.

The Sum of all is briefly comprized in this Paraphrase.

The Promise, or Covenant of Grace, Ex­ternally-administred, is [now] Actually to the Jews, & to your Children on whom you wish­ed the Curse of the Blood of Christ: and it is also at present (Intentionally & before God, & also preparatively before men, Christ having now opened the way; it is I say at present) to them that are afar off, (to wit, the Gentiles, (and probably also the ten Tribes); even as many (who are yet Externally Strangers from the Covenant) as the Lord our God shall call. When God's time is come to call them, the Gospel shall be then sent among them, to call them in; and to all such, as obey that call, the Covenant shall at least Externally, [Page 132]Actually be unto them and their Children as it is now unto these Jews and their Chil­dren.

And here let me also shew you the Inconsi­stency of your Conditional sence of this Pro­mise, which you mention before; thus, the Promise is to you Jews, if you Repent and Believe: and to your Children, if they Re­pent and Believe; and to those that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call; to wit, if they Repent and Believe. For, those words, As many as the Lord our God shall call] being according to this Interpreta­tion, the exegesis, exposition and limitation of all that went before, and in your sence, ta­ken for effectual Calling only, it must necessa­rily be added. And then this must needs fol­low, that one may be effectually called, and yet not Repent and Believe; whereas Re­pentance and Faith, are infallible fruits of effectual Calling. Besides, here is ano­ther absurdity will also follow, that the Pro­mise, and Covenant of Grace (as we have shewed, it is) doth not belong unto them, until they were also Baptized; for that also is mentioned, together with Repent. And then it will follow, that one must be Baptized before he hath any Way, Right, and Interest in the Covenant of Grace; which indeed is, according to the Proverb, to put the Cart be­fore the Horse.

Having thus opened, and cleared that Scrip­ture, Acts 2.38, 39. I shall now argue from it.

Prop. That part of Mankind, which was once by God's appointment Externally in the Covenant of Abraham, and sealed with the ordinary Initiatory Seal of that Covenant, and were not cast out by Christ at his coming, but on the contrary confirmed therein; have still by God's appointment an External-Inte­rest, both in the Covenant of Abraham and in the ordinary Initiatory-Seal thereof, now in these Gospel-days.

Assump. But Children of Inchurched-Pa­rents are a part of Mankind, which was once by God's appointment Externally in the Co­venant of Abraham, and sealed with the or­dinary Initiatory Seal of that Covenant, and were not east out by Christ at his coming, but on the contrary confirmed therein.

Conclusion. Therefore, Children of In­churched-Parents, have still by God's ap­pointment an External Interest both in the Covenant of Abraham, and in the ordinary Initiatory Seal thereof, now in these Gospel­days.

The Assumption is apparent; as hath been already shewed. And if you deny it, we re­quire of you, in the name of the Lord, to shew us out of the Holy Scripture, when, or [Page 134]where, Christ by his coming cast them out; either by himself in person, or by any other­imployed by him. I have already shewed, that he did it not by John Baptist; nor by his A­postles; For, by them in Acts 2.39. he hath confirmed it. And that he did it not in his own person, appears by his courteous Recep­tion of Infants brought unto him, and rebu­king his Disciples for hindering them to be brought. That they were once Externally in Abraham's Covenant by God's appointment, is plain. I will be thy God, and the God of thy Seed, Gen. 17.7. That they were Sealed you your self instance in Esau, pag. 206. who, you say, was not in the Covenant, and yet Sealed, viz. with Circumcision. See your Margin there, with that in the line. We shall add more, in replying to the fourth Que­stion.

The Proposition is plain and clear; If they were once interessed Externally, by God's ap­pointment in Abraham's Covenant, & the Seal of it, & not cast out by Christ but by him Con­firmed therein; they must still have an Interest in them. Thus much to your third Question, and your Answers to it.

Now to your fourth Question, and your sence of it.

Quest. 4. Whether Circumcision was a Seal of the New Covenant to the Children [Page 135]under the Law? so pag. 205. But in pag. 216 you use other terms; viz. To the Believers and their Seed? You roundly deny it, to be a Seal to the Children; and much less a Seal to them of the New-Covenant. It was only say you, a sign put into the flesh of the In­fant; but a Sign and Seal only to Abraham, &c. And in p. 218. Your humane Testi­mony, which you approve of, saith, It was a sign to the rest of the Jews, that they were Abraham's Seed. That is, only that they were Abraham's Seed must be your meaning, or else you speak fallaciously.

To which I Reply.

1. Of what was it a sign to Abraham's Seed? was it indeed only that they were A­braham's natural Seed? was it not a sign unto them of the Circumcision of their heart, to love their Covenant-God, with all the heart and all the Soul? which God promised, Deut. 30.6. and called for from them, Jer. 4.4. that they might improve it by seeking to God to do it for them? And were not their Parents to make the same use of it, in reference to their Children? How can you evade this? Nay, do not you your self afterwards grant, p. 223. that Circumcision signified Heart-Circumcision.

2. And why not a Seal unto them also? Not that they did already Actually-Believe, [Page 136]as Abraham did, before he was Circumcised; But,

1. That God was their God Externally in that Covenant, Gen. 17.7. and would continue to be so, if they did not after­wards reject him, 2 Chron. 15.2.

2. And that in particular, God would be found of them; if they sought him, 2 Chron. 15.2. and would not only Commu­nicate the outward and Temporary Blessings of the Covenant to them, but also means of Grace; and not only so, but Converting-Grace by those means, 1 Chron. 28.9. Thou Solomon my Son, know thou the God of thy Fa­ther, and serve him with a perfect heart, and a willing mind.—If thou seek him, he will be found of thee, but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

You grant, pag. 217. that Circumcision was a Seal, or Confirmation of that Faith, which (Abraham) had before; and to assure him, of those special Promises, made to him, and his Seed, both Carnal and Spiritual.] It seem's then, you made not a full enumerati­on of all the particulars of which Circumci­sion was a Seal to Abraham, in pag. 216. I would here ask you; Were not those Spiritu­al Seed Carnal, before they were Spiritual? If so, (as you cannot deny) was not Con­verting-Grace for them promised and Sealed [Page 137]to Abraham, in his Circumcision accord­ing to this your Assertion? And seeing Abra­ham could not know the particular persons, that should be so made his Spiritual-Seed (nor any Man; else) in after-Ages, did not God therefore make the Promise of their Conver­sion Externally in general and Indefinitely; Deut. 30.6. and Sealed it to Abraham and his Seed: that so, those that were in Gods Eternal pur­pose to be converted and saved, might through Grace, lay hold of it; and others, that wick­edly slighted it, might be left without Ex­cuse? If this were Sealed to Abraham, and the same Promise came along to his Seed, and they also had the same Seal, that Abraham had; how then comes it to pass, that it should not be a Seal to them also (who were so deep­ly-concerned in it) to assure them, that God would Circumcise their hearts, if they sought him in his own way? for, he saith, He will yet be inquired of, by the House of Israel, to do it for them, Ezek. 36.37. with v. 26, 27. Blessed be God, I have heard a Child, upon his dying-Bed, plead this Covenant with God, for his Grace, to the great satisfaction of my Soul.

To come now to the Second part of your Answer; that as Circumcision was not a Seal to Children under the Law; so much less a Seal [Page 138]to them of the New-Covenant; say you, pag. 216. In stead of which, in pag. 218. you say, New-Testament.

Answ. I like not the changing of your Phrases, as you have done, in this Question, and your Answer to it. You cannot but know, that there lies a fallacy in this Phrase, as you have applied it here, and changed it. Pardon my boldness. I have before distin­guished, of the New-Covenant; It may ei­ther be taken for the Covenant of Grace, in opposition to the Covenant of Works; or for the Covenant of Grace under the New-Testament-Dispensation, as opposed to that same Covenant under a more legal-Dispen­sation. So it is called New, Heb. 8.7, 8, 13. It being the Covenant made with Abraham revived, Gen. 17. freed from all those legal Ceremonies, wherewith it was burdened be­fore, which have had their accomplishment in Christ; and having only a few plain and sim­ple Ordinances annexed to it, 2 Cor. 11.3. suiting with a pure Go­spel administration; even as that Covenant made with Abraham had, suita­ble to that Dispensation, before the Law was given.

This being premised, I Answer; That Circumcision, Gen. 17. was a Seal of the New-Covenant, to wit; the Covenant of [Page 139]Grace, as it was opposed to the Covenant of Works, made with Adam before his fall: and also, as it was opposed to the same Cove­nant for the substance of it, under that Legal Administration at Sinai, and afterwards. And though there be a difference between the Ad­ministration of it in Abraham's Family, and the Administration of it now, under the New-Testament, in some few circumstances of New Ordinances; yet, the Ordinances then were but few, and suitable to that Ad­ministration, of the Covenant of Grace then made with Abraham and his Family; Cir­cumcision then being one of the ordinary Seals of that Covenant in a Church-way dis­pensed; and the Passeover the other. For, it's useful for us to observe that Circumcision began not with the Ceremonial Law at Sinai but was long before a Sign and Seal to Abra­ham, and the Church in his Family: (which was more correspondent to a New-Testament Church in Gospel-times, than the national Church of the Jews was.) And hence saith Christ, Moses gave unto you Circumcision, not because it is of Moses, but of the Fathers; John 7.22. that is, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that were long before Moses. To con­clude this, Circumcision, we see, was both a Seal to Children under the Law; and a Seal of the Covenant of Grace, Externally and [Page 140]Ecclesiastically dispensed, beginning in the Church in Abraham's Family, and continued all along in the Church of the Jews, until Christ put an End unto it, by his death.

I had almost slipt-over that Expression of yours, pag. 218. That nothing is a Seal of the New-Testament, but the Holy Spirit. Eph. 1.13. and 4.30.] I confess, it's a strange Pa­radox to me. Is Believers Baptism no Seal with you? Nor the Lord's Supper no Seal? Alas! poor Believers! How have you been deluded? Have you so often come to have the pardon of your sins sealed, and God's love in Christ fealed unto you in the Lord's Supper and now you are told it is no Seal. Ther's none else (if you will believe it) but the Ho­ly Spirit? I thought it had been an External-Seal appointed by our Lord himself? Surely such Assertions as these are, do tend to destroy all outward Ordinances of Christ; though I hope, you never intended it.

This is like to that of some others, there is no word of God but Christ; and so do de­stroy the Authority of the Holy Scripture. And like that, 1 Cor. 1.12. I am of Christ and care not for Paul nor Apollos, nor any Ministers whatsoever.

Again; you say, neither is Baptism more than Circumcision, called a Seal; it is called a Figure say you, 1 Pet. 3.21, and a Sign [Page 141]—proper only to Men of understanding, &c. And not as Circumcision, which was a Sign not improper for Infants; because it left a sig­nal impression in their flesh, to be remembred all their days; but so cannot Baptism be to any Infants, say you, p. 218— For Answer;

That Circumcision was a Seal, and that al­so to Infants, hath been proved; and your self have acknowledged it, to be a Seal of the Righteousness of Faith to Abraham, though you deny it to be so, to all others.

And though Baptism be no more a Seal, than Circumcision was, yet I hope, you will al­low it to be as much a Seal, as that was.

The Gracious Lord hath made a Covenant of Grace; and is willing his people should be confirmed of the Truth of it. And hath he put no Seals to it, to confirm it? Cer­tainly, this is a new and strange Doctrine, which the Faithful knew not in former Ages.

You say Baptism is called a Figure, and a Sign, &c. 1 Pet. 3.21. I Answer; The Apostle there speaking of the Souls saved by water, in Noah's Ark, tells us, that Baptism was a Figure or Type ( [...]) like to that Type. Cui nunc respondens, exemplar vel Ty­pus Baptismi, saith Beza. The Ark born up by the Water, wherein Noah and his Family were; was first a Physical and Instrumental-cause and means of their Temporal preserva­tion; [Page 142]of the saving of their lives. Secondly, God appointed it to be a Type and Sacrament to them to signify and Seal Eternal Salvation, to them through Believing in Christ; without whom no Salvation is to be had. Now, saith the Apostle, Baptism is a Type Answering that Type; signifying and sealing External­ly, Salvation to all those, and only those, that are, or shall be, in Christ by Faith.

But, say you, it is a Sign and Figure, pro­per only to Men of Understanding, represent­ing Spiritual things, and not as Circumcision, &c. I Answer, first, The want of the Use of Reason and Understanding, in an Infant, is no Essential Defect, or Impediment, as to the External Susception of Baptism; no more than it was heretofore of Circumcision; which was a Seal of God's Covenant (as hath been proved) and signified the same things (as to the main, and substance of them), that Bap­tism now doth. By your Argument there­fore, no Infant should ever have been Cir­cumcised. 2. The God of Grace, in the Exter­nal administration of the Covenant of Grace, to the Infants of Inchurched-Parents, is before hand with them. I will be the God, of thy Seed Gen. 17.7. and will Circumcise the heart of thy Seed, Deut. 30.6. & put's his Seal to it, for their assurance, and encouragement to seek God for Converting-Grace. And they are to be instru­cted [Page 143]in it when they come to understanding. 3. Hence, the Infants of Inchurched-Parents are engaged to the Lord; and Circumcision of old, and Baptism now, doth Seal that en­gagement; and is of use to Children, when come to Understanding, to mind them of their Duty. We are Children of the Cove­nant that God made with our Fathers, Acts 3.25. And Sealed it unto us in our Infancy; and shall we turn our backs upon God? far be it from us. 4. Circumcision of old, and Bap­tism of Infants now, is for the use of the Parents as well as the Children, and they are supposed to have the use of Reason. You grant, that Abrahams Circumcision was to assure him of the Promises made to him, and his Seed, p. 217. It seems then, that Godly Parents have need of something to help their Faith, concerning their Seed, their poor Children; and the Initiatory Seal of the Co­venant to their Child is such a help to them. Besides, the Church have an use of it, as hath been shewn before; and they are supposed to understand. 5. The present ability to make use of Baptism, is not the Ground upon which it is to be dispensed to an Infant; but the Gracious Covenant of God, under which the Infant of an Inchurched-Parent, External­ly and Visibly is: together wiih his command in the like case of old; which as to the sub­stance, [Page 144]was never yet reversed.

You say, Baptism, is not as Circumcision which was a Sign, not improper for Infants; and you add the reason, to wit, because it left a Signal impression in their flesh, to be re­membred all their days; but so cannot Bap­tism (say you) be to any Infants.

And why (I pray) is not Baptism, also, a Sign not improper, yea, very proper, for In­fants? It seems it is, because it leaves no signal impression in their flesh, to be remembred all their days. I shall examine your reason, and then you will see the weakness of it.

1. How could circumcised-Infants tell when they came to Age whether they were not born, without a praeputium, or foreskin. Experience shew's, that there are often very strange defects and obliquities in Generation. Some are born Eunuchs, Math. 19.12.

2. Or if it were cut off when they were Infants, how could they tell by what means: Some Children, (as Paracelsus that famous Chymist and Physician) have had their privi­ties, or some part of them, bitten off by a Swine, or some other Creature. And what could assure them, that they were not so?

3. Suppose it were cut off by Men; yet how could they tell, that it was done, in way of an Ordinance of God? They could have no assurance of all, or of any, of these things [Page 145]but from humane Testimony only (unless you will say, They had it from Divine Revelati­on, for which you have no ground). Hence then, an Infant Baptized in Infancy, hath as good ground of assurance, from a humane Testimony, and may as well remember all his days, that he was Baptized, though he hath no signal-impression in his flesh, as an Infant-Circumcised might have, that had that signal-Impression in his flesh, that he was Circumcised in his Infancy. The one hath a humane Testimony or Tradition to assure him, and the other in conclusion, hath no more; which is sufficient in this, which is on­ly a matter of fact.

4. Even an Adult-person when he is dipped, hath no more than a humane Testi­mony, that he was Baptized; for he can­not hear the words of the Baptizer, when he is under the water. Yet he takes it for grant­ed, that he was Baptized into the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and remembers it all his days. By these, I hope, you will see the weakness of your Reason. And so I come to your fift Question and Answer.

Quest. 5. Whether Circumcision was ad­ministred to Believers, as Believers, and to their Seed only? p. 205. which you alter p. 218. and say, to their Seed after them, and [Page 146]add; as such to which Baptism was to corre­spond. Your Answer is, By no means. And your Reason is, because Circumcision was an Ordinance, which by the Institution, belong­ed to all the natural Lineage of Abraham, good or bad, &c.

I Reply;

1. Circumcision was by God's appointment administred to those Males, that were of the Church in Abraham's Family, and afterwards; that were of the Church of the Jews, and so continued, and to their Male Children also, Gen. 17. And Baptism now in these Gospel­days, is by the appointment of the same Gra­cious God, to be administred to such persons as are of a Gospel-Church, and so continue, and to their Infants also. Go ye and Disciple all Nations, Baptizing them, &c. Matth. 28.19. As Children of Inchurched-Parents were Discipled into the Church of the Jews, and were Circumcised; so now Children among all Nations, that are Discipled, by means of their Discipled-Parents, should be Baptized, by Christ's Commission, as hath been proved. And were not those Inchurched-Parents, to Believe in Christ to come; as now Inchurched Parents are to Believe in Christ already come? Was not their attendance upon the Sacrifices, and Ceremonial-Worship, a profession of their Faith in Christ to come; at least in the [Page 147]judgment of Charity? What if many of them did not savingly Believe? Is it not so now also? Are all, that are Baptized in your way, true Believers? do all of them Believe with all their heart? I Believe you dare not say so.

You grant, Abraham was a Believing-Pa­rent, and a Father to them all, but you say, He was a publick Common-Father, which reacheth not the Case in hand. To which I Reply, Abraham may be considered in a two­fold capacity. 1. As an Inchurched-Belie­ver, and the natural Father of Children. 2. As the Father of the Faithful then and also in all after-Ages, and as Heir of the World. In this latter sence, no Believer ever was, or shall be such a Father as Abraham was. But in the former sence, Every Inchurched Belie­ver, that hath an Infant, or Infants, is to be such a Father as Abraham was. Abraham as an Inchurched-Believer, was such a Father to his natural Children as by God's appoint­ment, did Externally interess his natural Children in God's Covenant, and the Visible Initiatory-Seal thereof. I will be thy God first, and then the God of thy Seed; there­fore Circumcise them. And this Priviledge the Children of Inchurched-Parents have now under the Gospel.

But you say, if that were granted, that Priviledge would not stand the natural Chil­dren of Abraham in any stead, to admit them to Baptism, Matth. 3.7, 9. John rejects them, calling them a Generation of Vipers, who said, they had Abraham for their Father. For Answer;

1. These were not Infants, to whom John spake but gross notorious Hypocrites, who carried their Hypocrisie in their fore­heads, so as that John could perceive it? and continued obstinate and Impenitent.

2. The Baptism of John was an Ordi­nance now newly-instituted, and belonged to the New-Testament-Dispensation, Mark 1.1, 2. &c. And those Pharisees being Adult­persons, and notoriously corrupt, standing in opposition to Christ and to the purity of the Gospel, and power of Godliness; there was good Reason why John should require them to repent, before they were Baptized. For though the Church of the Jews, were then the Church of God (of which those Pha­risees were Members) yet it was sadly corrupt­ed. Suppose a Member of a Corrupt-Church should desire to Communicate with another purer Church; should they not require his Repentance, before they received him? I sup­pose you will easily grant it.

[Page 149] 3. But what is this to the Infants we are speaking-of? to wit; Infants of Inchurch­ed-Parents, who walk regularly in a Gospel-Church? Here's a vast difference between them. More hath been said to this before.

I shall conclude this fifth question with this; That Circumcision was administred to In­churched-Parents and their Male-Seed (who alone were capable of it); yea, such Inchurch­ed-Parents, as made a Visible-profession of Faith in Christ to come; though many of them did not truly Believe.

Quest. 6. Whether Baptism did succeed, in the Room, Place, and Use of Circumcisi­on? Your Answer is, by no means, which I shall examine.

First, you say, not in the Room and stead. And your Reasons are,

1. Because then, only Males, not Fe­males would be Baptized. This Reason I conceive, will not hold; because it springs Ex falso supposito, from a falshood taken for granted, to wit, That whatever succeeds in­to the place of another thing, must not be larger than it, in any Circumstances; which you will see to be a great mistake, if you consider the Enlargement of Grace, now in these Gospel-days; in which, if the Lord hath by changing his Ordinances, given us those that are more large and extensive, how [Page 150]should we praise his Grace, and not pick quar­rels with it?

2. Because then say you, some, not all Believers should be Baptized; for all Belie­vers out of Abrahams Family, were with­out Circumcision, &c. I Answer, it follow's not. But rather the Grace of God is the more to be admired, now in those Gospel­days, for enlarging the extent of these Ordi­nances, that his Goodness hath given in stead of those that were narrower.

3. Because, say you, then, the Circumci­sed, needed not, to have been Baptized, if they had been already Sealed with the New-Covenant-Seal. Neither will this Reason hold; for, 1. If God appoint, whether Men need it or no, it is their duty to submit to what he appoints. Hence, saith Christ, when John stuck at Baptizing him; Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfil all Righteousness, Math. 3.15. that Reason satisfied John. And it be it be to fulfil Righ­teousness, in obeying any command of God, it should satisfie us also. But—2. The New-Covenant falling now under a New-Testa­ment dispensation, by God's appointment, and a New-Seal being added to it, it could not but be of great Use to the people of God, Circumcised before, who were still imperfect and needed to have their Faith strengthened.

So much to your Reasons, why you judge Baptism did not succeed in the Room, and Place of Circumcision. And now, let me give you my Reason, why I judg it did suc­ceed it in the Room and Place of it; out of Colossians 2.

The Colossians were not only Believers in Christ, but Believers in Church-Order, Chap. 2.5. Hence the Apostle exhorts them, as they had received Christ Jesus the Lord, so, they would walk in him; to wit, both in Believing more in him, and in their Church-Order also. v. 6. Rooted and built up in him, and established and abounding therein. v. 7. Then he gives them a Caveat, to take heed of those Persons and things that might hinder them, and lead them away from Christ, v. 8. and then gives them a Reason v. 2. Because in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodilly; which he am­plifieth by an Argument in reference to them, v. 10. And ye are compleat in him, which is the head of all principality and Power. Eph. 1.3. 1 Cor. 1.30. Compleat in him] not only in Respect of all saving-Benefits, and spiri­tual Graces; But also, in respect of all out­ward Ordinances.

But they might object; we want Circum­cision, which the Jews had. Why, saith the Apostle v. 11. Ye are also Circumcised in him, [Page 152]with the Circumcision of Christ: which he expounds, v. 12. Buried with him by Baptism. Baptism there, I conceive, is called the Cir­cumcision of Christ; even as Christ in the Lord's Supper, is called our Passeover, 1 Cor. 5.7. which plainly shew's, that both the Lord's Supper succeeds in the Room and place of the Passeover; and Baptism in the Room and place of Circumcision.

Secondly, you come to shew, that Baptism did not succeed Circumcision, as to the Ends and Uses of it. Your Reasons are these.

1. Because Circumcision was a sign of Christ to come in the flesh; and Baptism, that he was already come in the flesh.] To which I Answer, that the End and Use of both of them, by your own Confession, respected Christ; So that they differed not in the main substantials; but in some circumstances only. They differed not in their End and Use as to the Essence of the thing, but in the Ad­junct of Time only; the one pointing at Christ to come; the other to him already come.

2. Circumcision, say you, was to be a par­tition-Wall, betwixt Jew and Gentile; but Baptism testified the contrary, to wit; that Barbarian, Scythian, Bond and Free, Jew and Gentile — were all on in Christ, &c.

To which I reply; 1. That Circumcision was not that Partition-Wall, but the whole Ceremonial Law, and Legal-worship; as Beza well expounds it, Eph. 2.14. Circumcision was long before the Ceremonial Law, given to Abraham; as we intimated before, John 7.22. And was one of the two ordinary and standing-Seals of the Covenant, Externally and Ecclesiastically dispensed, at first, to Abra­ham, and the Church in his Family; and di­stinguished those of the Church, then and afterwards, from all others whatsoever. Even as also Baptism now doth; or should do at least, Legitimately dispensed. It's true, that while Circumcision lasted as God's Ordinance it signified, that Christ had not yet broken down that Partition-Wall between Jew and Gentile, and so the difference still remained: the Commission as yet, was not given, to go forth into all the World, and Preach the Gos­pel to every Creature; but his Words, Statutes and Judgments, formerly given, still remain­ed with Israel, and no other Nation yet had them, Psal. 147.19, 20. The Gentiles were yet afar off, Strangers from the Covenants of Promise, Eph. 2.12. which priviledge be­longed alone to the Church of the Jews, Rom. 9.4, 5.—Rom. 3.1, 2. So that this doth not reach your purpose, nor prove, that Circumcision was the Partition-Wall. 2. You [Page 154]say, Baptism testified the Contrary. I Answer —First, if your opposition had been Lo­gical and Legitimate; you should have said; Circumcision testified that there was a Parti­tion-Wall betwixt Jew and Gentile: but Baptism testified the contrary. But there's no opposition, as you frame it, Opposita enim eidem attribuuntur secundum idem, ad idem, &c. And if you had made the opposition aright, it would not have been against us at all. For I shall ac­knowledge that Circumcision, whiles it last­ed as Gods Ordinance, did testifie; that the partition-Wall still stood between Jew and Gentile; and Baptism after the Death and Re­surrection of Jesus Christ, testified that it was broken down; but not so, when it was first instituted, and Administred by John Baptist, nor by Christs Apostles before his Death. For, the Partition-Wall stood then, Math. 10.5, 6. They might not go into the way of the Gentiles, &c. Secondly, But how do you prove, that Baptism testified, that Barbarian, Scythian, Jew and Gentile were all one in Christ?] Baptism indeed after the death of Christ was a Seal of the New-Covenant, un­der the New-Testament-Dispensation, where­in the God of Grace extended it not only to the Jews, but the Gentiles also; giving a free offer of it to the unconverted-Gentiles, to bring them in; and an assurance of the en­joyment [Page 155]of the blessings of the Covenant, to those that were brought in; as well as to the Jews. But this is accidental to Baptism, to signifie or testifie that they were all one in Christ; it was Christs Commission enlarged, to which, Baptism was annexed, which pro­perly and immediately testified, that the dif­ference between Jew and Gentile, was re­moved. And by this Dispensation of the Covenant they were all one in Christ, though Baptism had never been annexed to it.

—Thirdly, But suppose it were as you assert; must not Baptism succeed into the place of Circumcision, because it hath more Ends and Uses, than Circumcision had? Or because it hath some Ends and Uses, that Circumcision had not? Will you deny the Soveraign Lord God the Liberty to enlarge his Grace in these Gospel-days? Both Circumcision and Baptism are Seals of God's Covenant, and each of them suitable to that manner of Dispensati­on of it, unto which they are appropriated. Your reasoning therefore is, ex falso supposito, to wit, That, that cannot succeed into the Room and Place, of another thing, whose Ends and Uses differ in some circumstances; though for the main substance, they signifie the same. When you have proved it solidly, you may expect it may be Embraced, and not before. This general Answer, will [Page 156]reach the rest of your Ends and Uses, wherein you say they differ. Now to the third.

This is, as if one should say, the Ammonites did not succeed the Zanzummims, and dwell in their stead, be­cause they were not Gyants as they were: Contrary to Deur. 2.20, 21.

3. Circumcision, say you, Initiated the Carnal Seed into the Carnal Church, and gave them right to the Carnal Ordinances; but Baptism was to give the Spiritual Seed an orderly entrance into the Spiritual-Church, and a right to partake of spiritual-Ordinan­ces.] To which I Answer,

1. They were initiated Externally by the Covenant into the Church, before they were Circumcised; and thereby they had a right to Circumcision, (as hath been proved before) which was the Sign & Seal of their Initiation.

2. It seems to be a carnal Expression, to call the Church in Abraham's Family, a carnal Church. The Church of the Jews indeed, when they became National, had a worldly Sanctuary, Heb. 9.1. and carnal Ordinances, v, 10. but that it was a Carnal Church, is an Expression that I find not in the Holy Scrip­ture, and I dare not call it so. By Worldly Sanctuary] he means the Tabernacle, and all the External glory of the Levitical Service, only as it was the Earthly-Representation of Hea­venly [Page 157]things, by which Earthly shadows they were by Faith to look at Heavenly things which were the substance. And Carnal Ordi­nances]; Either because the Levitical Cere­monies were severed from the things they sig­nified, as the Carnal Jews took them, and rested in them: Or; because carnal things were used in those Ordinances to represent Spiritual. But as they were joyned with their significa­tions, so, See Mr. Dick. son, on Heb. 9. there were Pro­mises of Atonement made, and annexed to them, which True Belie­vers did enjoy. If it were a Carnal Church, and no Spirituality in it, how then could any be saved in it? The faithful then, no doubt, did look at Christ, in those Carnal Ordinan­ces; to wit, the Bulls and Goats and other things that were offered in Sacrifice; and Christs Spirit was among them, Hag. 2.5. Isa. 63.11.

3. Baptism was not to give the Spiritual Seed an orderly entrance into the Spiritual Church; as hath been proved before; but was to signifie and Seal the Entrance they had by God's Covenant, before they were Bapti­zed; even as Circumcision was, by your own Confession, p. 223.

4. You do not here plainly tell us, who those Spiritual Seed are; but by the Current [Page 158]of your discourse, it appear's you mean on­ly True Believers in Christ; and then, what makes an Hypocrite in any of your Congre­gations? Why was he Baptized?

5, Nor do you here tell us, what you mean by Spiritual Church, and Spiritual Or­dinances. I conceive you mean, a visible Go­spel-Church, and Gospel-Ordinances; which if opposed to Carnal-Ordinances; must signi­fie the plain, and simple Ordinances of the Gos­pel, representing Christ as in a Looking-Glass, 2. Cor. 3. ult. and not under the Veil of Ce­remonies, where the Blood of Bulls, and Goats, and other Carnal things, were used by God's appointment, to signifie and set forth Christ unto them.—

Let us now gather up the sum of your Argument.

If Circumcision Initiated the Carnal Seed into the Carnal Church, and gave them right to the Carnal-Ordinances; But Baptism, the Spiritual Seed into the Spiritual Church, and gave them a right to Spiritual Ordinances; then the End and Use of both, is not the same and so, Baptism doth not succeed into the Room of Circumcision. At;—Ergo — Besides the flaws in the Antecedent, I deny the con­sequence of the Proposition; For,

3. By your own arguing, the End and Use of Both, is to enter them (as you say) [Page 159]into the Church: and the Church in Abra­ham's Family where Circumcision began, was the Church of God, a Spiritual and not a Car­nal Church (as you term it) and their Ordi­nances then were few, and fit to represent Spiritual things unto them; suitable to that time. And as for Circumcision, it was not one of those Legal Ceremonies, but a Seal annexed to God's Covenant, in Abraham's Family, long before the Ceremonial Law, consisting of Carnal Ordinances, was gi­ven.

Yea afterwards, when the Ceremonial Law was brought in (whose Ordinances in some sence are called Carnal; yet it appears they had a Spiritual signification, & led to Christ, Gal. 3.24 & therefore in a right sence, Spiritual Or­nances, as to their signification and tenden­cy.—

Hence, the End and Use of both, as to the main substance, is the same; and there­fore, Baptism may well succeed into the Room of Circumcision, by your own Argument. And so I come to your fourth Use.

4. Circumcision, say you, was to be a Bond and Obligation, to keep the whole Law of Moses; but Baptism witnessed, that Moses Law was made void, and that only Christ's Law was to be kept, I Answer.

Your Assertion is doubtful for want of ex­plaining [Page 160]your self. Your words seem to re­late to Gal. 5.2, 3. when Circumcision was abolished by the death of Christ, and no Or­dinance of God; the Apostle tells them then, that if they were Circumcised, Christ would profit them nothing; for it would be as if they had said, and held, that Christ had not died and satisfied for sin; and so, such a one would be a debtor to do the whole Law; Circumcision being one of the Ordinary Seals of God's Covenant, under that Legal Dispensation, until Christ should come to fulfil the Law, would now, by their abuse, and perverting of it, engage them to perform perfect obedi­ence to the whole Law in their own persons; under penalty of Eternal damnati­on. He speaks to such, as it seems, would joyn their own performances, and legal Ce­remonies, and Christ's Righteousness toge­ther. So that this doth not reach your pur­pose; for you speak of Circumcision as it was a blessed Ordinance of God in force, en­gaging the Jews to keep the whole Law of Moses in an Evangelical manner, looking to Christ alone for Righteousness to justifie them; and the Apostle speaks of it, as now abolished by Christ, and perverted by some of these Galatians, who would make a mixture of their own personal Righteousness, the Legal Ceremonies and Christ's Righteousness toge­ther, [Page 161]in the business of their Justificati­on.—

As for the rest of the phrases, had you told us, what you mean by the Law of Moses; and what by the Law of Christ? We should then have been able to judge of your Argument; but now it must remain with your self. If in Moses Law, you include the Moral-Law, I must assert, that, that also is the Law of Christ, and brought under Christ, for Gospel-Ends, which I suppose, you will not deny. Thus much to the fourth.

5. Circumcision, say you, was admini­stred to all Abraham's natural Seed, without any profession of Faith, Repentance, or Re­generation; whereas Baptism—to the Spi­ritual Seed was only upon profession of Faith, &c. which more fully appears by three In­stances, &c. For Answer;

1. It was by God's command to be done upon Infants of Inchurched-Parents, who were not capable then of making any such profession, and we know no absurdity, that Baptism should now be administred to Infants of Inchurched-Parents, though they can make no such profession of Faith, &c.

2. Circumcision was administred not only to all Abraham's natural Seed, but to his Church-Seed; to wit, Proselites and their Male-Children; and the Children of [Page 162]his Servants who were themselves Circumcised, Exod. 12.48. when Abraham was, Gen. 17.

3. As for Adult-Persons to be circum­cised, why was not the same, or like profes­sion of Faith and Repentance required of them, as of Abraham himself? God requires of him, the Fruits and effects of both, and that before he was circumcised, Gen. 17.1. I am God Almighty, walk before me and be upright. And how could he do so, either In­visibly to men, or Visibly, without Believing and Regeneration, suitable to those? Your self grant, that Abraham received the sign of Circumcision, the Seal of the Righteousness of the Faith, which he had before. And it is an impregnable Truth, that Circumcision did mediately signifie and Seal Regeneration, Jer. 4.4 with Deut. 30.6. and Heart-Cir­cumcision; as your self have granted p. 223.

How therefore can you prove, that those of years, that were to be Circumcised, were to make no profession of Faith and Regenerati­on? It's probable, that it was not, indeed, so manifest and express, as what is required now in Gospel-times; but that there was not any at all, suitable to the Church under that. Dispensation, is gratis dictum, and without proof. Did Proselytes make no kind of profession of Faith, before Circum­cision? [Page 163]How then could the Church of Israel know, what difference there was between them, and their Heathen Neighbours? Did they no more, but offer themselves to be Cir­cumcised only? And did the Church admit them upon that offer, without any further transaction? certainly, that would have been the way to make bad Church-work. When you give better proof, we shall either Embrace, or else Answer your Argument. I now come to examine your three Instances.

First, what you mean by a Spiritual-parent I cannot understand; only I guess, you mean the Holy Ghost; and then, that Instance (as to the substance of it) hath been Answered be­fore. An Inchurched Parent, both then, and now, gives right to the Initiatory Seal to the Child.

Secondly, because say you, a Legal, p. 222. Ecclesiasti­cal, Typical Holiness (when Land—Houses—and Trees were holy) qua­lified for Circumcision; whereas only Evan­gelical, and personal Holiness, was a meet qualification for Baptism. I Answer,

As Ecclesiastical and Federal Holiness qua­lified for Circumcision of old, so Ecclesiasti­cal and Federal Holiness doth now for Bap­tism, (as hath been proved). What you mean by Typical Holiness here, and of what [Page 164]was Typical, I understand not, because you have not here declared it, But you seem to make the Holiness of Children then, the same with Land and Trees. Was the federal Holiness of Children then, the same with that of Land and Trees?

If there be not now an Evangelical-Eccle­siastical-Holiness, what Holiness is that, which a Hypocrite hath, whom you Baptize? A legal-Ecclesiastical Holiness, it is not; for that, say you is past and gone; Typical Holiness it is not; for that, be it what you please to call it, is also vanished. Real Spiritual-Ho­liness it is not; for he is an Hypocrite. What then will you call it? If it be not an Evangelical-Ecclesiastical, and Federal Holi­ness, it is none at all; and why then is he Baptized?

Thirdly, say you, because strangers, and Servants bought with mony, and all igno­rant Children of eight days old; yea Trees, were capable of Circumcision; whereas only Men of understanding capable to Believe with all their heart, and give an account with their mouths, were to be esteemed ca­pable subjects of Baptism. I Answer,

1. Were not those strangers and Ser­vants bought with mony, Men capable of understanding?

[Page 165] 2. Were they not instructed by Abra­ham, before they were Circumcised? Abra­ham was a long time a Believer, before God put him and his Family into that Church-Estate, and commanded them to be Circum­cised; as you will easily grant. And God speaks of him as one that had experience, of Abraham's Care, Industry and Faithfulness, that way, Gen. 18.19. And how do you know, that God gave not a Blessing to his Endeavours, at least so far, as that they outwardly made some profession of Faith and Regeneration, suitable to the State of the Church in those days? Is it probable or ra­tional to think, that Abraham ran upon the Men of his Family, as upon a Company of Bruit Beasts, to Circumcise them, without instructing them, what the mind of God was in it? Surely, that had been to deal with Beasts and not with Men.

3. Children of inchurched-Parents, of eight days old, were capable of Circumcision then; and so they are of Baptism now; though they cannot give an account with their mouths, which I hold their Parents ought to do.

4. But that Trees also were capable of Circumcision, I suppose, you will not be able to prove. If you diligently examine the Text, and consult judicious Commentators upon it, [Page 166]you will find no such sence as you and some others put upon it. Levit. 19.23. Hear what the Learned Buxtorfius, that great Hebraician and Antiquary in the Jewish writings saith upon the Hebrew word [...]. First, it signifies to hold or account one uncircum­cised, [...] Praeputiatum vel obthuratū habuit, vel censuit, Levit. 19.23. Et ob thurabitis obthurationem ejus, juxta Rab. Solomonem. i. e. ar­borem impuram, & fructus ejus pollutos, & abominabiles cenfe­sebitis, sicut praeputium, seu cutis obthurans membrum virile. In­terdum significat, praeputium ab­sculit; quasi Depraeputiare dicas: Depraeputiabitis; i. e. auferetis praeputium ejus i. e. fructus ceu impuros decutietis; ut Chaldaice [...] &c. removendo remo­vebitis fructus ejus; i. e. abjicie­tis, tanquam immundos. Bux­torf. or closed up. Hence Rab­bi Solomon upon Levit. 19.23. Ye shall close up the closing thereof; that is; ye shall account the tree unclean; and the fruits of it pol­luted, and abo­minable, even as the foreskin, or skin that closes (or stops up) the member of a Man. Secondly, It signifies to take away the foreskin; or Un­circumcision of any thing; and then it is as much as if he said; Ye shall shake down the fruits of it, as unclean.—Or as the Chal­dee, by removing, ye shall remove the fruits thereof; that is, ye shall cast them away as unclean. For the first three years, they might [Page 167]not eat any of the Fruits, not put them to a­ny profitable Use, nor sell them to Infidels; and if any did eat, but so much as an Olive, he was to be beaten by the Law, saith Ainsw. out of Maimony, upon that Scripture.

It's plain hence, that the Uncircumcision and Circumcision here, was in reference to the impurity of the Fruits of the Trees, and not to the cutting, or gashing of the Tree: the Fruits were to be unclean, and as uncircum­cised unto them.

It will be time now, to gather up your Argument, that we may see the Validity of it.

If Strangers, Servants, &c. all ignorant Children of eight days old; yea and Trees al­so were capable of Circumcision; then Cir­cumcision was administred to all Abraham's natural Seed without any profession of Faith, Repentance and Regeneration. At—Ergo.— Let reasonable Men judge of the inconsequence of this Proposition, having before read, what I have Answered to the particulars in it. I now come to your sixth proof.

6. Circumcision was to be a Sign of Tem­poral Blessings and Benefits, to be enjoyed in the Land of Canaan: whereas Baptism was to be a Sign of many Spiritual Benefits, viz. Remission of sins, Justification, Sanctification— and Eternal Salvation.] To which I reply;

[Page 168] 1. And why was it not a Seal, rather than a Sign; or at least, as well as a Sign, to assure them of the Promise of that Land unto them? was it not a Seal of God's Covenant to them (as hath been shewed before?) And is not Baptism now the like? Doth it not Seal outward Temporal Blessings and Benefits promised though implicitly in the Covenant, as well as Circumcision did?

2. And was Circumcision a Sign and a Seal only of Canaan unto them? You by and by after grant, that there are in some things an Analogy betwixt Circumcision and Bap­tism, to wit; both of them signifying Heart-Circumcision, and an Initiating into the Church, p. 223. And why did you not ex­press them also, when you said, Circumcisi­on was to be a Sign of Temporal Blessings and Benefits, to be enjoyed in the Land of Canaan? As if it had signified only those Temporal Benefits to them? This Seem's not fair dealing, but rather an imposing upon your inadvertent Reader. And had you fair­ly granted this sooner, it would have spared you a great deal of needless Labour. Cir­cumcision then, by your own grant, signifies Heart-Circumcision and Initiating into the (Visible) Church, even as Baptism also doth, which is that we plead for. And if it did signifie so; then both the Parents and Chil­dren-Circumcised, [Page 169]had an advantage hereby, to seek unto God, to Circumcise their hearts who had signified and Sealed it to them in that Holy Ordinance.

3. If Circumcision signified Heart-Cir­cumcision, to those that were Circumcised, then it must also signifie Remission of sins, and Justification by the Blood of Christ; and Sanctification also; and consequently Eter­nal Salvation following those Benefits, which they were in that Order to look after, of which Canaan was a Type unto them. And then, what substantial difference, is there between Baptism and Circumcision? This were to Seek a knot in a Bulrush, as the Proverb is.

4. To wave the force of your own grant you tell us, though it were a Sign of Initia­ting into the Church, yet it was a different-Church, different Subjects, and Church-Members, upon different Grounds, and to different Ends, &c. To which I return; what if it were a different Church in some Circumstances? Was it not a Church of God? a Church of God's instituting and constitu­ting? Did it not consist of the Covenant of Grace made with Abraham, and afterwards continued unto his Posterity; into which the Christian Gentiles were ingrafted, and into [Page 170]which, the Jews and Israelites shall be again ingrafted, in these latter days of the Gospel? see Rom. 11.17, 23, 24, 26, 27, 31. Were not their Children then, Externally and Ecclesia­stically in Covenant, and Members of the Church, as the Children of Inchurched Pa­rents, and did then partake of the Initiatory Sign and Seal of the Covenant? and shall their Children then be left out, when God shall again ingraft their Parents in? Weigh the Promises made to these Gospel-times, when God shall bring them in. Their Chil­dren shall be as afore-time, and their Congrega­tion shall be established before me, Jer. 30.20. with Deut. 29.10, 11. to v. 16. They are the Seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their off­spring with them, Isa. 65.23. The Children of thy Servants shall continue, and their Seed shall be established before thee, Psal. 102. last. See more, Ezek. 37.25, 26. The Promise is to you and to your Children, Acts 2.39.

The Grounds and Ends also, that are of God's appointing, are for the substance the same; (as hath been proved) though in some Circumstances, they may differ; God having enlarged his Grace towards poor wretches, now in these Gospel-days. And that Analo­gy and proportion which you your self do grant, in the main substantial things signified by Circumcision and Baptism, together with [Page 171]what I have evidenced out of Coloss. 2. do give us sufficient ground to conclude, that Baptism is come into the room, stead, & Use of Circumcision, notwithstanding all that you have brought to the contrary; which I hope doth appear, by what hath been replyed to you before.

And whereas, you say, by the same Ar­gument, we may as well conclude, that it cometh in the Room and stead of the Ark, Manna, Rock, &c. It is a grand mistake; for Circumcision was one of the two Ordina­ry Sacraments and Seals of God's Covenant, given to Abraham, and the Church in his Fa­mily, about four hundred years before the Ark, Manna, or that Rock you speak of, Gal. 3.17. There were many extraordina­ry Sacraments, that God appointed to that Nonage-people, or Heirs under Age (to use the Apostles phrase, Gal. 4.1, 2, 3.) which God in mercy gave, to help their Faith upon special occasions, and emergencies, besides some that you mention; to wit, the Brazen-Serpent for one, which was but occasional, Jo. 3.14, 15. But Circumcision was one of the standing Sacraments and Seals annexed to the Covenant under a Church-dispensation, all along; into the place of which, Baptism by the Lord's-appointment is come; which holds proportion with it, in all the main [Page 172]things it signified and Sealed. And hence;

5. You will easily have an Answer, to those Popish absurdities and abominations, you would fasten upon our Tenent. We do not affirm, meerly from the Analogy, that Baptism is come in the room of Circumcisi­on; for, if we had not something out of Scripture to warrant it, we durst not pin it upon a meer Analogy. If therefore Papists, or other superstitious wits, by arguments drawn from Analogies, bring-in Jewish Rites as High-Priesthood, National Churches, Or­ders of Priesthood, and other innumerable Rites and Ceremonies, without any Instituti­on of Christ, or New-Testament Authority; we have as good ground left us in Scripture to convince them, as you have, and I hope, should be as ready to do it, as occasion shall be offerred. And thus I have done with your sixth Question, propounded long before, and your Answers to it; & now come to the seventh.

Quest. 7. Whether the not-Baptizing In­fants, makes the Priviledges under the Go­spel, less than the Circumcising them under the Law? p. 205. which you somewhat al­ter p. 228. saying, less than under the Law, who had then Circumcision? Your Answer is, not at all.] and give your reasons; why Not-Baptizing of Infants, makes not Go­spel-priviledges, less than legal. First, they [Page 173]were not say you, Circumcised, because Chil­dren of Believers, or sealed with a New-Co­venant-Seal, as being in the New-Covenant, —but upon the account of a Birth-Privi­ledge, as of the natural lineage and Seed of Abraham; as a Typical Shadowy thing, &c. —I Reply,

1. Were not their Parents professing-Believers, at least, under such a profession, as suited that Dispensation? Did they not at­tend upon the Sacrifices, which pointed their Faith at Christ to come? And were not they, as they grew up to come before the Lord, and say, A Syrian ready to perish was my Fa­ther, &c. See Deut. 26.5. to v. 12. and there they were to worship before the Lord: And af­terwards, v. 27. to avouch the Lord to be their God, as he also avouched them to be his Peo­ple, v. 26. Was there no profession of Faith in all this?

2. Were they not Sealed with the Seal of the Covenant of Grace under an ex­ternal and Ecclesiastical Dispensation? I sup­pose you will not say, it was the Covenant of Works, though when it became National it was given in somewhat a legal manner.

3. What was that Birth-priviledge? Did it not depend upon the Covenant Ecclesi­astically dispensed, and submitted to? I will be thy God, and the God of thy Seed; Gen. 17.7. [Page 174]And did it not run in the natural Lineage and Seed of Abraham, as they were his Church-Seed? (as hath been shewn). I pray consider, what were the Proselytes and their Children, who were also Circumcised? they were not at all the Natural Seed of Abraham, but they were his Visible-Church Seed.

4. You say, Circumcision was to distinguish them from the Nations, and to keep that line clear, from whence Christ ac­cording to the flesh should come. Suppose this last to be true of Abraham's natural Seed, what was this to the Proselytes, and their Seed, from whom Christ was not to come? yet they were to be Circumcised.

5. You say, there is no such thing in the Gospel, the Body and Substance being come, the shadow was to vanish and pass a­way:—no Birth-priviledge but the new Birth, &c. I Answer;

1. There is no such thing as Bodily Cir­cumcision in the Gospel, that is indeed aboli­shed. But,

2. That there is no Birth-priviledge of the Children of Inchurched-Parents under the Gospel, but the new-Birth, that I must de­ny, and have already proved, that there is. And that that Birth-priviledge is a means and help, tending to the New-Birth, if it be right­ly improved. Christ is the common Father [Page 175]of Inchurched-Parents and their Seed, now in these Gospel-days; and they are Externally and Ecclesiastically Christ's and Abraham's Seed, and in the same sence, Heirs of Pro­mise, as hath been already proved. And this Priviledge is not a Bondage, and a returning to the Type, and Shadow, (as you term it) but a blessed Fruit of the Covenant made with Abraham, who hath a Church-Seed now, as well as heretofore. What else is the Hypo­crite, that you admit, if he be not one of Abra­ham's Church-Seed? He is not one of Abra­ham's Seed Spiritually and Savingly, nor hath the New-Birth indeed; yet you judge him to have it Ecclesiastically, and hence you Bap­tize him. So much to your first.

Secondly, neither ought such a thing (say you) to be any more esteemed, the loss of a priviledge, than our not enjoying literally, a Holy-Land, City, Temple, Succession of a High-Priest, &c. I Answer;

1. The loss of Baptizing the Infants of Inchurched-Parents under the Gospel, would be the loss of a great priviledge both to Pa­rents and Children, which under the Law, they did enjoy. For it would be a loss of that, which signified and Sealed God to be their God, and the God of their Seed; and to Circumcise their hearts to love the Lord, and to signifie their initiating into the Church; by [Page 176]your own concession; and this would be the loss of no small Priviledge; and therefore, we cannot easily bear this loss.

2. It is the loss of a Priviledge also, in reference to Temporal Blessings, and External Ordinances and means of Conversion. As Canaan was an External Blessing signified and Sealed to them by Circumcision; so Temporal Blessings are to us, and our Infants by Baptism. Psal. 111. For it is a Sign and Seal of God's Covenant wherein Temporal Blessings are also implied, and in the Explanation of it by other Scriptures, expresly promised. So also for External means of Grace.

3. It is the loss of a Priviledge also, in reference to Heaven and Eternal Happiness there, of which Canaan was a Type unto them; that if they did truly Believe in the Messiah then to come, and walk in the ways of God, Eternal Salvation was Sealed unto them thereby. All those we must lose, and yet esteem the loss of them, the loss of no Priviledge.

4. There is not the like Reason of the loss of Baptism, and our not-enjoying a Holy Land, City, Temple and succession of a High-Priest, &c. For, Circumcision was a Sign and Seal of the Covenant, and so were not those things; the high-Priest was a Type of Christ, [Page 177]and that Type was fulfilled in him; and we need no succession therein; as there was be­fore in the Priesthood; which was appoint­ed successively until the Time of Reformation, Heb. 9.10. But as for the succession of In­fant-Members of the Church, (I say, Infant and Mediate Members) that was long before the High-Priesthood, in Abraham's Family, and the Church there; and is not of the same nature with the Priest-hood. And whereas you make this succession Typical, as that of the Priest-hood was; I must crave leave to tell you, that it is a Type of your own ma­king, and not of the Lord's; and a Shadow of your own substance; and therefore I must leave it to follow you. I never yet could un­derstand by any thing that I have read and heard, nor have you as yet proved, that the Infant-Membership, and Circumcision of Chil­dren heretofore, was a Type of the Member­ship and Baptizing only of Adult-Believers under the Gospel: and that, that priviledge which Infants of Inchurched-Parents had then by Generation from their natural-In­churched-Parents, was a Type of all Church-Members under the Gospel, only by Regene­ration. When you have solidly, and out of the Holy Scripture proved this, I shall then consider of your Therefore] towards the latter end of that Paragraph, p. 229. But till then [Page 178]I shall conclude, that we should, to use your words, be great losers by the bargain. But perhaps, your third, with the Reasons there­unto, will prove it. I shall therefore fairly examine them.

Thirdly, say you, if it should be granted, that Circumcision was a Seal of the New-Covenant, belonging to all the Children of Israel, yet would not the Baptizing of the Children of Believers answer it; nor amount to so great a Priviledge, nor be equivalent to it, for these Reasons.

1. Say you, Because all the Families and Tribes of Israel (and all Proselyted-strangers) with their Children, without distinction of good or bad, were to be Circumcised, but now (in the time of the Gospel) one of a Ci­ty and two of a Tribe; Believers are but thin sown, &c.

I Answer, first more generally; That the Baptizing of the Children of Inchurched-Be­lievers would fitly Answer it, and would a­mount to so great a priviledge, and be equi­valent to it, notwithstanding your Reasons. More particularly to your first Reason; were not all those Families and Tribes of Israel, and all those proselyted-strangers, with their Chil­dren, of the Church of Israel? Can you deny that? If they were, (as indeed they were) there was good Reason why they should be Circum­cised. [Page 179]And so we say, Gen. 17. of Inchurched-Believers-Chil­dren, now under the Gos­pel, in reference to Baptism; as long as their Parent continues in a right estate in the Church And this doth most fitly, and rationally An­swer to the other, and is in the main substan­tials equivalent to it. What you say, of the Children of wicked Men, if they be mani­festly wicked, they should not be admitted into the Church; and if they afterwards appear to be wicked, (as Simon Magus did) to continue impenitent, they are to be cast out of the Church, and so to be looked on as Heathens and Publicans, Matth. 18.17.

‘2. Say you, You would be very short in another respect, at an utter uncertainty, when you had a right Subject; for the Parent might be a Hypocrite, or no Elect-person, which is out of your reach to understand; you cannot know whether the Child be fit for Baptism; for, the Seed of a wicked Man you must not meddle with by any means, whereas there was not the least doubt or scruple in Israel as to the sub­ject; for the Father being Circumcised, it was an infallible work, they were right.

For Answer;

1. I greatly suspect, that for all you have written so much against Paedo-Baptists, you are yet to seek of the right hinge of the [Page 180]Controversy. I would rather suspect it is so, than that you do it maliciously; hoping, that when you see the true state of it, you will not be unwilling to let in the Truth; and to see how strongly your grounds of arguing here against us, will make against the way you plead for, and practice. I here assert, that though the Inchurched-Parent should be a Hypocrite not discovered, and no Elect-person to Eternal Salvation, yet our Principle is; His Child ought to be Baptized, and we know his Child to be fit for Baptism. We are not at an uncertainty, much less, at an utter uncertainty, when we have a right subject; but we are as certain as they could be in the Church of the Jews. They knew the repu­ted Father of such a Child, was a Member of the Church of the Jews; and was Circumci­sed; and we do as infallibly know, that such a Parent now is a Member of a Gospel-Church and that he was Baptized. They had those, that knew the one, and we have those that know the other, as infallibly as they could know.

Obj. If it be replied, that they could bet­ter prove, their Parents were Jews, than we that ours are Believers. I Answer;

1. They could not prove it while they were Infants, any more than our's can, that their Parents are Believers; and yet the Infants [Page 181]were Circumcised at eight days old.

2. There's no necessity, that a Child should prove himself to be the Child of a Jew, be­fore he was Circumcised. It was the Chur­ches Duty, and the Ministers of it, to look to that; and not the Child's. The like I say now of Children to be Baptized.

3. Infants now when grown up, can as well prove to the satisfaction of their Consci­ences (if there be any scruple about it) that their Parents were Inchurched-professing Be­lievers, as the others, that their Parents were Jews. They had the Testimony of the Church, and Children now have as much. Christ commends the Church of Philadelphia for their care, in distinguishing between the true Members of the Church, and those of the Synagogue of Satan, Rev. 3.9.

4. But suppose the Mother did secretly play the Harlot with a Gentile, could the Child when grown prove his Father to be a Jew? He could no better prove it, than we, that ours were Believers: Unless you will say, that wives now-a-days, that have Belie­vers to their Husbands, are more to be suspect­ed of secret uncleanness and unfaithfulness, than the Wives of the Jews were. The Mother can best assure the Child in this Case, if the Churches testimony will not suffice him.

[Page 182] 2. My Second Answer to your second Reason, will return the force of your Reason against your self. I shall peremptorily assert, that this absurdity which you would fasten upon us, and our Tenent, doth strongly re­flect upon your self and yours. We know our Subject; we hold the Baptism of no In­fants, but of Inchurched-Parents one at least, who are of the Visible-Church: But you are at an utter uncertainty when to meet with a right Subject; for you do not hold an Hy­pocrite to be in the Covenant of Grace at all. Spiritually and Savingly he is not in the Co­venant of Grace; for he is an Hypocrite: Externally and Ecclesiastically he is not (as you hold) for you will not own an External, and Ecclesiastical Dispensation of the Cove­nant of Grace, now in the days of the Gos­pel. Yet, Baptize him you do, upon this conjecture, that he is a true-Believer; but af­terwards he appears to be otherwise. Now I beseech you, deal ingenuously, and see, who is at an utter uncertainty, when to have a right Subject of Baptism, if you be not? But as for our Subject we know where to find him. We can know whether he be Ex­ternally and Ecclesiastically within the Cove­nant or no; but cannot say infallibly he is a a true Believer, or Elect unto Salvation, which is out of our reach to understand; and [Page 183]shall leave it to those that are resolved to go upon such uncertain Grounds. So much to your second Reason.

3. You say, neither can the Child, (when grown up) have any certain knowledg that such a Ceremony (viz. as Baptism) hath past upon him in Infancy; he having no In­fallible mark thereof, as the Circumcised-In­fant had.]—This hath been punctually an­swered to before. I shall therefore conclude, against all your Demonstrations, (as you call them) that Inchurched-Parents would lose a great and inestimable Priviledge under the Gospel, if their Infants were not External­ly and Ecclesiastically interessed in the Cove­nant, and in Baptism the Seal of it; and so would the Infants too: and in this respect, their Priviledges under the Gospel, would be less, than theirs under the Law.

I shall add further, to what hath been ob­jected.

1. That our Ministry is not successive, as theirs of old was, to the first-born, and af­terwards in the Family of Levi, and more par­ticularly, of Aaron. We own no such thing in owning the Birth-Priviledge of Infants.

2. A Gospel-Church-Estate, in reference to Adult and Immediate Members, is not suc­cessive. For,

[Page 184] 1. It's requisit, that such persons should make a personal credible profession of Faith and Repentance, and lay hold of the Cove­nant themselves, Isa. 56.4, 5, 6. as the Eu­nuch which might be the Child of a Jew must do now in these Gospel-times.

2. It's apparent, that many Children of Inchurched-Parents, who in their Infancy were Mediate-Members, do never, when grown, make such a profession, and lay hold of the Covenant themselves, and so, do ne­ver become regularly Immediate Members; but some do draw back, and of such, God hath said, His Soul shall have no pleasure in them, Heb. 10.38. And thus, in respect of Adult-Children of Inchurched-Parents, the Church now is not successive:—But,

3. A Gospel-Church-Estate, in reference to the Infants of Inchurched-Parents is suc­cessive, as it was in the Church in Abrahams Family, and afterwards among the Jews, as to the substance of it. The Infants of In­churched-Parents were then Mediate Mem­bers. I will be thy God, and the God of thy Seed, Gen. 17.7. And so they are now in these Gospel-days. The Promise is to you and your Children, Acts 2.39.

4. Hence it will clearly follow, that the Church under the Gospel, would be less pri­viledged and blssed, than that in the Family [Page 185]of Abraham, and afterwards among the Jews, if it were not thus successive in reference to the Children of Inchurched-Pa­rents. For both Parents in reference to their Children, and Children in respect of them­selves, would be deprived of a Church-privi­ledge and Blessing, which both Parents, and Children of old, did enjoy. Which is most un­suitable and contrary to the Grace of the Go­spel, which is enlarged and not straitned; and contrary to the whole current of Gospel-Pro­phecies, to Inchurched-Parents and their Children. For, Inchurched-Believers could not in the due latitude and extent of it, be Heirs according to the Promise (as Gal. 3.29. If their Children should be Externally exclu­ded from the Promise. For, the Childrens-right to the Promise in it's External and Ec­clesiastical Dispensation, is a part of the Fa­thers Inheritance; I will be (first) thy God; and (then) the God of thy Seed.

And it is worth our notice; that those ve­ry Gospel-Promises concerning the Seed and Children, do run first to the Parents; and are made Immediately to them, in reference to their Children. Their Children shall be as afore-time; and their Congregation shall be established before me. Jer. 30.20. They are the Seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their off-spring with them, Isa. 65.23. All thy [Page 186]Children shall be taught of God, Isa. 54.13. eminently to be fulfilled when Gods time shall come, that all Israel shall be saved, Rom. 11.26. more Psal. 102. last. Ezek. 37.25, 26. And hence it must needs stick with us, and be a Cordolium and heart-breaking to us, to lose so great a part of our inheritance from our selves and our Children. If Inchurched-Parents should not be a means to convey unto their Infants an External Interest in the Covenant of Grace; and a Right to Baptism (now the I­nitiatory Seal of it) then surely, there must be a breach and a Rupture in the Covenant of Grace to God's people, and their Seed; which we can by no means admit of: For we and our Gospel-Church-Estate, and our Children, would exceedingly suffer by it; we having lost a priviledge, which they of old enjoyed, and nothing in the stead of it.

CHAP. V. The Ceremony of Baptism, whether it be by dip­ping or Sprinkling.

THe Ceremony of Baptism, say you, is by Dipping, p. 232. not by sprinkling.

You would prove it first by the proper and genuine signification of the Word, &c. For [Page 187]which End you produce divers Learned Au­thors, that Baptizo properly signifies, to Dip, Plunge, Overwhelm, put Under, Cover-o­ver, to die Colour, which is done by plung­ing. Yet p. 248. you grant it signifies wash­ing] Acts 22.16. Tit. 3. and Heb. 10.— But, say you, it is such washing as is by Dip­ing. To which I Answer,

That the Use of the Word in Scripture, (which is the authentick expositour of it self) gives us ground to interpret it washing, by way of Sprinkling or pouring on of Water, and not by Dipping. What the Apostle terms divers Washings or Baptisms (so the Greek) Heb. 9.10. he afterwards calls sprink­ling; sprinkling the unclean, v. 13. and v. 19. He sprinkled both the Book and the People, and v. 21. He sprinkled both the Tabernacle, and the Vessels of the Ministry. And this is more than all humane Authorities. Add to this, 1 Cor. 10.1, 2. Our Fathers were all Baptized in the Cloud and in the Sea. I wonder you should bring this place to prove Dipping. How were they Baptized in the Cloud, but by the bedewings of it? They were aspersed with the Atoms of the moisture, that was in it. And how were they Baptized in the Sea? Were they plunged in it, as Pharach and his Egyptians were? I cannot think you will say so. But they were sprinkled by the Waters [Page 188]as they passed by. Where (by the way) ob­serve, that some of those, which the Apostle calls Fathers, were then Infants, and young Children, who were Baptized then, as well as grown persons.

But to make your Interpretation hold, you tell us p. 237. That they were encompassed with the Cloud over their head, and the di­vided Sea on both sides; and this you make to be a dipping. This is a fallacy a male con­junctis ad bene divisa. You joyn both these to­gether, that were then at that very time sun­dred, as to the Body of the Camp of the Is­raelites; for, it is expresly said, Exod. 14.19. The Pillar of the Cloud went from before their Face, and stood behind them. Mark the words behind them, not over them, as you affirm. And v. 20. It came between the Camp of the Egyptians and the Camp of Israel. How can you evade this? I cannot but admire the Wisdom of God, in expressing this Circum­stance.

Again; That Baptizing] signifies washing; and that, not by dipping seems plain, Mar. 7.4. The Pharisees return­ing from the Market, [...]. Eat not except they wash; except they were Baptized or did Baptize themselves: so the Greek. Did they every time dip and plunge themselves over­head [Page 189]head and ears? So Luk. 11.38. The Pharisee marvelled at Christ that he had not first washed (in Greek, been Baptized). Did the Phari­see wonder, that Christ did not first dip him­self all over? It's plain, he meant no more than washing his hands. And this washing used by the Pharisees, is described (saith Dr. Worth) in the Jewish antiquities, to have been, by holding up their hands, and pouring water on them (as often as we do). The like they did on their beds, whereon they lay at their Meat, which is called a Baptizing them. And if I might give my thoughts without of­fence, I conceive the reason why [...] or [...] is not used in those, and such other places, was because the Pharisees, did not account it a meer civil thing, but a Religious thing; and that Baptizo] is there used, not to shew, that it was a washing by Dipping, but that it was accounted by them a piece of Holiness, as o­ther purifications among the Jews were, that were appointed by God and set forth by that word, Such was their Superstition.

And as for the Hebrew word [...], which you say is used for Dipping or Baptizing in the Old-Testament; and [...] for washing persons or things, by swilling, rinsing or rubbing; you shall find it used, for the wash­ing of the hands as clean as may be; which your self say, was by dipping of them under [Page 190]water. See both the words used, Job. 9.30, 31. And as for [...] which you say doth al­ways signifie to dip (wholly under) or else it will make nothing for you) I shall recom­mend some of the Scriptures to your second thoughts, which you have quoted; and some others, where the same word is used, which it seems, you could not find. In Gen. 37.31. They killed a kid, & dipped the Coat in the Blood. Is it probable, that the Coat was so little, or the blood of a small kid so much, as that they could dip the whole Coat under the Blood? let reasonable Men judge. Again, Levit. 14.6. He shall take the Living-Bird, and the Ce­dar-wood, and the skarlet and the Hysop, and dip them in the Blood of the Bird, that was kil­led. Is it credible that the Bird, that was killed, did yield so much Blood, that all those things could be dipped under it, and covered with it? certainly, you must at least run to a Synecdoche here; or else you will make no­thing of it. And if you do so, and say, a part of each of them only was dipped, why will you not, at least, allow the same in Bap­tism? see the like, in v. 51. Also Ruth. 2.14. Dip thy Morsel in the Vinegar. So she might do, though she did not plunge it over, and over; mannerly people use not to do so; nor is there so much usually brought in a dish at once; for one so to do.

Hence also I collect, that according to the signification of that word in the Holy Scrip­ture, a thing may be said to be dipped, that is wetted or strained with some other liquid thing; or, that hath only some part dipped though the whole be not plunged under it.

Besides the use of the words in Scripture both Hebrew and Greek, I mind a Greek verse of the Athenian Ora­cle, cited by Mr. Sydenham, It's also in Pasor p. 133. of his Book, which I wonder you did not confute (for I perceive you have read him) wherein he gives you the signification of [...] in opposition to [...]; That is, Baptize or wash him, as a bottle in water; but do not drown him, or utterly plunge him. It would have brought this debate into a less compass, if you had answered what he, and other able men have elaborately penned a­gainst dipping in Baptism; which I cannot perceive you have done; nor to other things in this controversie already extant: your Ar­guments most of them being already answer­ed, over and over.

2. You would prove dipping to be the on­ly mode of Baptizing, from the practice we find in Scripture; and then you Instance in many Examples; which I find abundantly [Page 192]replied unto already; by sundry Learned and Holy Men; and had you confuted their Ar­guments and Reasons, you had done some­thing.

Christ say you, being Baptized, he went straight way out of the water, Matth. 3.16. Therefore he was dipped. I Answer,

1. The Word is [...] not [...], that is, from the water; and it's said, he went up, because there was an ascent up to the Bank; as usual­ly we see in Rivers. He went up from the water; therefore he was dipped; is such a Consequence, as you will not allow us to make concerning Infants-Baptism; yea though we bring those that are far more clear and ra­tional.

2. Christ was Baptized naked, or in his Clothes: not naked doubtless; He that was a pattern of Holiness, would not have endu­red that before all the people, Luk. 3.21. Not in his Clothes; for immediately the spi­rit drove him into the Wilderness, Mark 1.10, 11, 12. not in that wet condition doubt­less: Therefore he was not dipped.

Again, John Baptized in Aenon near Sa­lim, because there was much water there: Therefore he used dipping.

I Answer.

1. The word is many waters; [...], which might not so much signifie the [Page 193]depth of the water; as—1. Vde ntur significa­riplures rivs, non autem unu m flu­men magnum. Piscat. That there were many streams of water there— 2. That the water was ve­ry broad there. Aenon sig­nifies a little Fountain, from the Hebrew [...]. (so Pasor.) And Geo­graphers, saith Dr. Worth, in their description of Canaan describe it thus. Nigh unto Salim (since that, called Scythopolis) Jordan branch­eth forth into another small River; which at first, spreading it self, on that plain in breadth is very shallow.—And where it is thus spread, and thereby broad, is (the Town) Aenon scituated, where John Baptized; and there (saith he) the River is so shallow, that it is not possible to dip, or douse over head and ears, a little Child therein. See his Book called Scripture-evidence for Baptizing-In­fants, pag. 37.

And then, pag. 39. He gives you his Rea­son, why John Baptized at Aenon because of those many waters there; which may proba­bly be this, (saith he). John having Baptized at Bethabara, John 1.28. (which was the most frequent passage over Jordan, Judg. 7.24.) in regard of the great concourse usually there, that his Doctrine and Baptism might be promulgated; and having Initiated ma­ny Disciples; and other multitudes still daily [Page 194]flocking to him, he chose rather to perform this duty at Aenon, than any longer at Betha­bara; because at Aenon (the water spreading in a larger Plain) the Multitude of his Disci­ples, might better hear his Sermons, and see his administration of Baptism, than if performed under the shading-banks of Jordan. This Reason seems clear, but the other, from the depth of the water, doth not; for, it seems the water was deeper at Bethabara where he Baptized before. It's therefore a very uncer­tain ground, to bottom dipping upon, from a supposition of the depth of the waters there.

A third Scripture you mention, is Acts 8.36, 38, 39. Philip and the Eunuch went both down into the water; and Philip Baptized him: and again, they both came up (or ascended) out of the water; therefore dipping was used. — I Answer;

1 Their going down unto, or into the wa­ter, and going up out of, or from the water, seems to respect the way from the Bank to the River; (as before), and not, that the Eu­nuch was dipped, and came up out of the wa­ter which covered him before.

2. If their going down into the water, were an Argument for dipping; then Philip must be dipped as well as the Eunuch; for both of them went down, and both of them came up out of the water.

[Page 195] 3. What great matter was it for them in those hot Countries, and who were san­dals (and usually washt their feet, when they came into a House from their journies) to go into the water; though it were up to their Ancles or Knees? This cannot prove dipping in Baptism. Their feet indeed (like the Feet of the Priests, that bare the Ark) might be dipped in the Brim of the water, Josh. 3.15. but that's nothing to dipping the whole Body.

4. To dip this Eunuch naked, had been unsuitable to Christian-modesty; and to dip him in his Clothes, had been unsuitable to his Travelling-condition; who, it seems, made no stop, nor stay, but went on his way rejoy­cing. It's most probable therefore, that Philip Baptized him, by pouring-water on him. What-ever hath been the judgment of Godly-Men, about dipping; our Rule is the Scrip­ture; our of which we are with all Humili­ty, to seek the mind of God, and to settle our Consciences and Practice.

A fourth Scripture you mention, is Rom. 6.4. Buried with him in Baptism; where (say you) the Apostle elegantly alludes to the Ceremony of Baptizing, in our Death and Resurrection with Christ. To which I An­swer,

[Page 196] 1. In Mr. Cobbets words; we use not to bury Men, by throwing them down with their Faces downward (as when persons are dived with their Faces under water) but by laying them in, with their Faces upwards; nor do we plunge them into the dust and Earth, but pour and sprinkle dust and broken Earth up­on them. If therefore, the similitude of bu­rying be signified in the manner of Baptizing then pouring on water, or sprinkling, will better express it than dipping.

2. If dipping under the water, doth signi­fie our being-buried with Christ; and rising out of the water, doth Sacramentally and Ceremonially signifie our rising with Christ; then there must be proportionably, something also in the outward Ceremony, that must sig­nifie our dying to sin with Christ; for a Man should be dead, before he is buried. And the Apostle is express in it, v. 3. Know ye not, that as many as are Baptized into Christ, are Baptized into his Death? And yet you shew no outward part of the Ceremony, that sig­nifies that.

3. I shall endeavour to clear the Text, by giving my thoughts upon it; yet still ready to receive further light from any. The Apo­stle v. 1. Labours to prevent the abuse of that precious Doctrine of abounding Grace, treated of Immediately before, and with an Holy [Page 197]abhorrency rejects that abuse. As if he should say; I have told you, O Believing Romans! That such is the Riches of God's Grace in Christ, and the reigning Glory of it, that where sin abounded, there pardon­ing Grace more abounded. Let none of us hence resolve to commit the more sin, that Grace may more abound; for we that have Believed in Christ for the pardon of our sins, and for Justification by his imputed-Righte­ousness, are dead to sin; and therefore should live no longer in it. Do ye not know, that as many of us, as were Baptized into Jesus Christ, were Baptized into his Death. There­fore, We are Buried with him by Baptism into Death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead, by the Glory of the Father, even so, we also (to wit, that are in Christ visi­bly at least, and have been Baptized into him) should walk in newness of Life, v. 4. This latter he amplifies by a Simile to the former; For, if we have been planted together in the likeness of his Death; we shall be also, in the likeness of his Resurrection, v. 5. from whence it seems clear; That their Baptism was a Sign and Seal more generally of their Implantation into Christ, Externally at least, and thereupon more particularly, and conse­quently of their Communion with Christ in his death, for the mortification of sin in the [Page 198]beginnings of it; and in his Burial, for the further mortification of sin, in the progress of it; also, in his Resurrection, for quick­ning-power, and spiritual Life, not only at first, but all along, that they might lead a new and a Holy Life, and abound therein more and more. See John 14.19. Gal. 2.20. Phil. 3.9, 10. We see then, the scope of the Apo­stle in urging them with their being Buried with Christ by Baptism] was not at all, to make the Ceremony of Baptism to resemble that of Burial, or of Resurrection; but to signifie and Seal their implantation into Christ and so their Union with Christ; and also consequently their Communion with him, in his Death and Resurrection, the vertue of both which, they were to labour for, by Be­lieving, all their days.

Whereas you say p. 249. That it is a very unusal thing so to deal with unclean hands, to wit, to sprinkle or pour water upon them; I think it is very usual. What mean those little Cisterns in many Houses, with Cocks in them, to let the water run upon the hands to wash them? I Believe, I could wash my hands as clean that way, as you could wash yours by dipping them into the water; and I should not count her a Slut, that would so wash her hands when they were foul. Our experience there­fore, you see, tells us, that there is as effe­ctual [Page 199]a way to wash our dirty-hands, by pouring water upon them, as by dipping them.

Besides, unless you rinse or rub, as well as dip, you will not easily make clean work of it; and if this your similitude hold you must not only dip the person you Baptize, but you must rinse or rub him too, to signifie his cleansing.

You take away the cavils of unseemliness from dipping, by saying, It is the fruit of [...]rnal Wisdom, Unbelief, and shunning the the Cross, and so, no other than to reproach the Wisdom of Christ, &c. I Answer.

Were it apparent from Scripture, that Christ had ordained Dipping, and himself so practised it, as you affirm, I hope, through the Grace of Christ, many of his people, would not count it undecent, as now they do. And there must be clearer light to con­vince them that are considerate of it, than a­ny you have yet held forth. And I much wonder, that you, who will not admit of Consequences concerning Infants-Baptism (which are far more rational and certain) should content your self with such uncertain ones, as you have brought for dipping. I would only recite, out of Mr. Cobbet, p. 212. what he saith ‘out of Nicephorus. lib. 13. cap. 19. of the flying of the Women naked, be­ing [Page 200]beset with armed-Men, as they were to be Baptized; and that sad story of a Priest, defiling of a Woman,’ when to be Bapti­zed.

Then, as to the hazard of health; you say known experience doth amply refute that vain Imagination. You will not be of­fended, I hope, if the experience of some others, be set against yours. It is more than probable that some have presently upon it, fallen into a Fever, which cost them their lives. And I could tell you of some Eye­witnesses credible-persons, who saw both the Baptizer and the Baptized in danger of drowning; and had very probably been both drowned, if one had not leapt in from the bank in his Clothes and relieved them both. I would not have mentioned these things, had not your words required an answer; for it is Truth, and Peace, that I aim at, and not Contention and bitterness.

To your Chapter V. pag. 253. I Answer.

Having (as I trust) given satisfactory An­swers to what you have said, and in some measure evidenced, and confirmed the con­trary-truth; those several mischiefs, absurdi­ties, and contradictions cannot justly be char­ged upon our practice. I shall mention them [Page 201]very briefly, having spoken to most of them amply before. Only, I must tell you, that the Errours you charge our Doctrine and Practice with, do not naturally (and perse) follow from them, but they are accidental to them, as far as they are Errours. They are the Errours of Persons only, not of our Doctrine, nor of our Practice, according to our Doctrine. And therefore you injuriously charge them upon our Doctrine & Practice. It is fallacia ac­cidentis. As for what is Truth in any of them, we own, and have proved it before; but the most of them, you falsly charge upon us. Let those that own what is Erroneous in their Expressions, make them good if they can; or rather repent of them. Our Asserti­on of Infant-Interest and Baptism, will stand without them.

1. Baptizing of the Infants of Inchurched-Parents, is not an altering of the Order of Christs Commission, as hath been proved; but it is acting according to his Commission. Disciples we have proved them to be, and so by Christ's Commission to be Baptized. Repentance and Faith visibly-professed, at least, should precede in grown-persons; not so in Infants; but their Baptism and being Externally in the Cove­nant of Grace, is to engage and stir them up to seek to God for Repentance and Faith. And this Answer will undermine all the rest of your [Page 222]absurdities, mischiefs, and contradictions. It's no changing of the subjects that Christ hath appointed. Nor a frustrating of the holy and Spiritual Ends of Baptism, but a means to at­tain them, if it be rightly-improved. Nor doth it invert the Order, by sprinkling or pouring water upon the face. Nor doth it naturally, and of it self, introduce any Errour or false Doctrine. We do not hold, that it is to take away Original Sin. Nor that it doth of it self, work Grace and Regeneration; yet, we dare not limit the Lord, that he should not work it then, or at any other time, when he pleaseth. And that it was an Apostolical Tradition, we own it no otherwise than from their writings and practice recorded in the Scripture. If any make it an unwritten Tra­dition; let them please themselves with their own fancy. Nor doth it maintain, that Children have Faith; though it is beyond your reach to say, this, or that Child hath no Faith, secret things belong to God. But that they are Disciples of Christ, and in Christ's School, we have proved, though they have not yet learnt one Letter. That all the Infants of In­churched-Believers are Externally in the Co­venant of Grace, and federally-Holy; I have proved, and you cannot prove it to be an Er­rour, or false Doctrine. Nor doth it defile and pollute the Church; either by bringing [Page 203]false matter therein, who are no Saints by calling; neither capable to perform Duties, nor enjoy priviledges. Those words, Saints by calling (if you mean, such as have Actually answered the call of Christ in his word, at least in the judgment of Charity) respect on­ly-Adult-persons, who are immediate-Mem­bers and not Children, who are Mediate Mem­bers, by means of their Inchurched-Parents, as middle persons appointed of God, to con­vey them into that Estate, and Relation. This distinction will free the Church from pollution; of which more hath been said be­fore. We do not hold, that a Church is ga­thered, or made up, only of Infants; but of grown persons, who alone are able to perform Duties. But Infants are capable of enjoying Priviledges. Is it not a Priviledge for God to be their God Externally in Cove­nant? To be under a promise of God's Circum­cising the heart; and to provide them outward means for that End. Some of your perswasion, have held that they have great priviledges. They are then true matter of the Church as visible, in their kind, and do not pollute and defile it. By your Argument, the Children of the Jews must be false matter; for they were no Saints by calling, nor could they perform duties; yet they were mediate mem­bers of the Church, and a part of that holy-people; [Page 204]as hath been shewed.—Nor doth it lay a Foundation of Ignorance and pro­phaneness; but the Contrary; as I have a­bundantly proved. Nor is it a confounding World and Church together; nor bringing the World into the Church, and turning the Church into the World. You will see the contrary, if you impartially-weigh what I have said before. This reasoning of yours, is as much against Children of the Jews here­tofore, as against ours now. Was the World and the Church confounded in the Church in Abraham's Family and afterwards? Their In­fants were of the Church then. You may easily see a way to solve this doubt, if you consider, that their Infant-Membership gives them not a Title to the Membership and Pri­viledges of Adult-Members; but they must attain to those, by a credible profession of Re­pentance and Faith, and laying hold of the Covenant themselves.—Nor do we hereby introduce and establish, any, (much less many) humane Traditions and Inventions of Anti­christ, nor take God's name in vain; but San­ctifie his name, in giving to our Children, what his Gracious Majesty hath bequeathed to them. Nor is it of it self a bone of con­tention among them that own it, or oppose it; but by accident only, to wit, through their ignorance or perversness. Nor is it of [Page 205]it self any just occasion of hatred, wrath and persecution, &c. Nor doth it confirm the whole Antichristian Interest, as you say, you have made good in your Preface. Nor doth it maintain, that persons may have Regene­ration and Grace (if you mean spiritual and sanctifying Grace) before calling; but only External-Covenant-Grace. Nor, that Adult persons may be visible-Church-Members re­gularly, before Conversion credibly profes­sed. Nor that persons may Repent, Believe and be Saved by the Faith of another; yet, that the Children of Inchurched Believers may be Baptized, we do hold. Nor that those Types and shadows that are in Christ fulfilled and abolished, are at all pro­fitable now to be practised; though we hold the Doctrine of them, of profitable use still. But we cannot comply with you, that the le­gal Birth-priviledge (as you call it) was a Type or Shadow of the Regenerate seed, now in Gospel-days; and so must cease; which I have spoken to before. Nor doth it revive Judaism, and out Christianity, but main­tains that Gracious Covenant made with A­braham and his Church-Seed, Gen. 17.7. It is that Ancient Covenant of Grace dispensed in a Church-way to Abraham, and his Fami­ly, that is solemnly laid hold of to enter Christi­ans & their Seed, into the Visible-Church, & no [Page 206]new humane Invention instead thereof. Is it not by this Covenant laid hold of and professed, that your Churches consist? See Isa 56.3, 4, 5, 6, 7 a prophecy of Gospel-times. If not, they cannot be said, to be the Church-Seed of A­braham. Nor doth this tend at all to Exclude Believers Baptism, that have not been Bap­tized before; but to establish it. And there is good reason (as hath been shewed) to deny those that were only Mediate Members and Baptized in Infancy, the right of the Church-Membership of Immediate Members, and the Priviledges peculiar to them; until by their own credible profession, and laying hold of the Covenant themselves, they become Im­mediate Members, see Isa. 56.4.6, 7. Isa. 62.5. Isa. 44.3, 4, 5. As for those, that hold the Children of Inchurched-Parents to be Mem­bers of the same species and kind with them, and hold not the distinction of Mediate and Immediate Members; I think your Assertion, will reflect upon their Principle and Practice; for I could never yet see, how they could free themselves rationally, from the plea, of such Children, when grown up, (owned still by them as Members of the same kind with their Parents) and having no gross-Crimes to lay against them; and yet deny them the Priviledges of Adult-Members. I must leave it to them, to make it out; for I [Page 207]shall not undertake it. See Mr. Davenport's second Essay, in Answer to the Synod at Boston. I have often thought that this, and some other like things, have been an occasion of stumbling to some of your perswa­sion; who have not been able to see how such should be rationally satisfied; and the Church kept free from pollution, and therefore they have opposed the Membership and Baptism of Children.

As to your first contradiction, I must crave pardon, if I tell you, it wants Charity and Candour. You may easily see, that Dr. Owen speaks of Adult-persons only, though perhaps he hath not exprest it. And indeed Sir, I find, you have been often guilty of that fault in your Book. I suppose you would count it a piece of dis-ingenuity, and want of Charity, if one should construe some speech­es of yours, in ‘that manner. As for In­stance; speaking of Abraham, say you, All whose posterity were to be marked there­with, that is, with Circumcision, p. 228. and p. 230. You say, There were all the Families and Tribes of Israel (and all proselyted strangers) with their Children, without distinction of good or bad, to be Circumcised.] Now, if one should charge this upon you,’ that you meant the Woman and Female-Children should be [Page 208]Circumcised (for, they were part of the Tribes and Families of Israel) or that all the posterity of Abraham by Keturah, in their Generations, were to be marked with Cir­cumcision; which also you have denied] I doubt you would not think your self well dealt withal. Yet, thus you have done, with many others; and I hope you will see it, and Repent of it. Baptism is a Symbol of pre­sent Regeneration, in the judgment of Charity to Adult-Persons; but of future Regenera­tion to Infants. The Lord thy God will Cir­cumcise the heart of thy Seed, Deut. 30.6.

To your Second pag. 257. Baptism truly figures Implantation into Christ; and conse­quently Communion with him in the vertue of his Death, Burial and Resurrection; but the outward manner and Ceremony doth not particularly represent all those things; as I have before proved.—To your third, is An­swered in the first. To your fourth I An­swer, that the similitude of Marriage, of which Baptism may be a Declaration, is not to be extended to every thing that belongs to Mar­riage; Similitudo non currit quatuor. but to be applied on­ly to that particular, that it is brought to illustrate. You know I suppose that similitudes do not run upon all four. Christ is compared to a Thief; if any should [Page 209]extend that similitude beyond what Christ in tended it, he would make Thievish-work of it. The scope of that place Eph. 5.25, 26, 27. is not to shew how the soul was married to Christ, and what consent was required; but to set forth the great love of Christ to his Church in Justifying, Sanctifying and Saving them; from whence he draws an Argument, to press Husbands to love their Wives; as is plain there. And he being the head of the Church as Visible, as well as Invisible; his Love to her is great in affording means to those Spiritual and Saving Ends; And so Infants will come under it; but not Stones and Bells, &c. But, I pray further consider, whether according to your arguing, any In­fant can be Spiritually and Savingly Married to Christ? and so be saved? He is not capa­ble of giving consent, not to restipulate; no more than Stones, or Bells, or Church-Walls: I Believe God saves some Infants, but not Bells and Stones.—To the fifth, hath been An­swered before.—To your sixth, I Answer; That Godly Men do not judg the Baptism a Nullity, dispensed by the Papists, notwith­standing it were clogged with divers humane Inventions; and therefore they require not a Renouncing their Baptism as Null; but Re­pentance for what hath been amiss therein. To your seventh, They Baptize the Children [Page 210]of Inchurched-Believers, because they are Externally and Ecclesiastically in the Cove­nant of Grace; and not because they have true sanctifying Grace in them; from which alone, they hold that a man cannot fall; from the other, he may fall and be rejected; and yet their Doctrine of not falling from Grace, stand firm. This Argument I must again return upon you; for you Baptize a profes­sing Believer, because you count him Savingly in the Covenant of Grace, but afterwards he appears not to be so, and you reject him. It is you therefore that hold a falling from Grace and not we. For we Baptize, because they are Externally in the Covenant, and that we can know; but you Baptize, because they are Spiritually and Savingly in the Covenant else you would not Baptize them; and after­wards you come to see they are not so. There­fore you Baptize upon uncertainties, and your Tenet holds falling from Grace.

Nor doth the Baptizing of Inchurched-In­fants, make the Traditions of Men, of equal Authority with the Law of God. In this we are accounted down-right Pharisees. Nor doth it overthrow the Covenant, deriving a Title by Natural-Generation; but on the Contrary, it is according to the Covenant made with Abraham, Gen. 17.7, 9. Thee and thy Seed after Thee; in their Generations; that [Page 211]is, Abraham and his Church-Seed, as well as his Spiritual-Seed, now in these Gospel-days; The blessing of Abraham being come upon us Gentiles, Gal. 3.14. And that Blessing of Abraham must of necessity, be a Covenant-Blessing. — Nor doth it make Religion to lie in the deed done. This is for Formalists and Papists, who rest in opere operato; and doth not of it self, follow from Paedo-Bap­tism. Did Circumcision of Infants of old, of its own Nature, and per se, make Religi­on to lie in the deed done? It is the perso­nal sin of formal Parents, and Children when grown, to abuse their Baptism, and take oc­casion thence, to place their Religion in the deed done. Suppose some that are Baptized in your way, take occasion thence, to place their Religion in the deed done (as some have Reason to suspect, too many do) you will not I presume, lay the blame upon the Ordi­nance it self, but upon them for abusing it. You will say, It is accidental to the Ordinance and would no doubt, blame them, that would destroy the Baptizing of professing-Believers, upon that Ground. And why then, should the Baptizing of Infants, be cried down, upon the same Ground?

I suppose you have seen, that people seri­ously-Godly, do not (through Grace) rest in the deed done, what-ever Hypocrites may do; [Page 212]but do ply the Throne of Grace with Prayers and Tears, that God would Baptize their Children with the Holy-Ghost; and are care­ful to train them up, in the Nurture and Ad­monition of the Lord. And do not Chil­dren themselves, to whom God begins to bless instructions, seek him for the Grace of the Covenant, and of the Seal of it? I have known it, I bless the Lord. And how then must it needs be a placing Religion in the deed done?

Again, it doth not revive Judaism, and Ceremonial Typical-Holiness, of the natu­ral Seed, (which you have so much spoken­of) which did end at Christ's coming. No, but it keeps alive, that Ancient-Covenant-In­terest of the Inchurched Seed of Abraham, promised to him, Gen. 17.—and such Judaism, we shall not be ashamed to own. It's said Gal. 3.9. They that are of Faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham. And the great Blessing of Abraham was, that God would be his God, and the God of his Seed; to wit; not only of his Spiritual Seed Savingly, but of his Church-Seed Ecclesiastically. Those then that are of Faith, are thus blessed with faith­ful Abraham; God is the God of them and of their Seed, in both senses respectively, as he was to Abraham and his Seed then. Again, in v. 16. when he saith, To Abraham and his Seed were [Page 213]the Promises made; ‘by Seed there is meant Christ; as considered, not personally, but Mystically, Christ with his Body the Church; Beza in Loc. The name Christ being the pro­per name of that whole collected-Body, whose head and Life,’ Christ is; and the Members of it are the faithful, gathered to­gether, ‘partly of the Jews, and partly of the Gentiles.’ And Christ being the bond of the Members of that Body; it's no won­der ‘that he calls it Christ himself,’ by which name he denoteth, not only the Head, but also the Members conjoined with the Head. Now, Christ being the Head, not only of his Church considered as Invisible, but also as Visible, in which there be some only Exter­nally, and that are not true Believers indeed; Hence Hypocrites, and also the Children of Inchurched-Parents, are Abraham's Church-Seed, to whom there are Promises made. So that here is not one word to prove, that the Natural-Seed of Inchurched-Believers (which indeed are the Church-Seed of Abraham) were excluded at Christ's coming or after­wards; or that the Holiness of the Natural-Church-Seed of Abraham, was Typical; or that Paedo-Baptism revives Judaism.

If it be said, that Christ is there taken for the Church of Jews and Gentiles, consi­dered [Page 214]only as Invisible; consider then, where you will rank your Inchurched-Hypocrite, who made a new External performance of the consent? and was Married to Christ in his Visible-Church, for base Ends. I sup­pose you held his Marriage good, or else you would not have Baptized him. Yet, he failed both in the Manner; for he profes­sed the consent of his Will, to Marry Christ, but did lie: and in the End also; for he had no Sanctifying and saving Grace, neither be­fore, nor in that Ordinance of Baptism.

And as for Acts 10.28. and Eph. 2.14, 15. They indeed shew that the Ceremonial Law was now abolished, and way made for the Gospel, and Salvation thereby to come among the Gentiles; which plainly proves an enlargement of the Grace of God, and not a straitning; and therefore, that the na­tural Seed of Inchurched-Parents, are not ex­cluded by Christs coming.

Neither doth the Baptism of Infants de­stroy separation, keep us upon the Old bot­tom, or make us symbolize with the Church of Rome. Let the experience we have, of reformed Congregational Churches that keep close to their Rule, speak for us; whether Infant-Baptism destroys such a separation, as the Gospel requires. Children are Mediate Members of a distinct kind and species, from [Page 215]their Inchurched-Parents. And this Mem­bership (though it intitle them to Baptism, which is the Seal of their ingrafting into the Visible Body and Church of Christ, yet it) cannot entitle them to those Church-Or­dinances and Priviledges, which are peculiar to Adult and Immediat Mem­bers. If therefore, they would en­joy them, they must profess their Faith and Repentance to the Church; and come and Marry the Church, by their Solemn en­tring personally into Covenant with her, Isa. 62.5. Isa. 56.4, 6, 7. and engage them­selves by the strongest bonds, to the Lord and his Church. See this plainly, Isa. 44.3, 4, 5. One shall say I am the Lords, &c.

I shall readily confess, that Infant-Baptism of Inchurched-Parents, keeps us upon the old bottom of that Ancient Covenant of Grace, made with Abraham, and his Church-Seed, as well as his spiritual Seed; and that is no dishonour nor damage to us. But it keeps us not upon the old Romish Antichristian bot­tom; nor doth it make us symbolize with the Church of Rome, as it is now Antichri­stian; but with the Church of Rome, as it was once Apostolique, planted and watered by the Apostles. It's known, that Baptizing of Infants, was in Use long before the Whore of Rome was in being. And if she yet re­tain [Page 216]an Ordinance of God, and we symbo­lize with her in that, as far as it is God's Or­dinance, the Lord will not blame us for it, though Men do. 'Hear what Mr. Philpot saith; Book of Martyrs Vol. 3. p. 607. ‘In­deed, saith he, if you look upon the Papisti­cal Synagogue only, which hath corrupted God's word by false interpretations, and perverted the true Use of Christ's Sacra­ments, you might seem to have good hand­fast of your opinion, against the Baptism of Infants. But for as much as it is of more Antiquity, and hath its beginning from God's word, and from the use of the primi­tive Church, it must not, in respect of the abuse in the Popish Church, be neglected, or thought not expedient to be used in Christ's Church.’ If this Argument be valid, why do you use Baptism at all? and Dipping? Which thing the Papists use.

I hope it now appears, that the mischiefs, absurdities and contradictions, that you have loaded Paedo-Baptism and Paedo-Baptists with, are false, mischievous and absurd, and contradictory to the Truth, and therefore not to be defended and charged up­on us by you, but to be repented of.

To your Chapter VI. Pag. 261.

Wherein you say, The Nullity and utter Insignificancy of Infants-Baptism, is made appear; in that it wants the Essentials, to wit, Matter and Form. And coming to shew, that it hath not a right matter, in stead there­of, you bring in the Subject and say, The right Subject of Baptism is wanting.

Here I must crave leave to tell you, that you miss it, in your Logick. For, Matter] is one of the two Essential Causes, that gives being to the effect; but the Subject is not so, but in order of Nature at least, it follows the Effect. It is Argumentum modo quodam con­sentaneum, and not Absolute consentaneum, as Cause and effect are. Here then, is a Tran­sition a genere ad Genus. The matter of Bap­tism, is Water; and the External form of it, is the due application of it unto the person, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; which I have shewed, to be a pouring of water upon the face, and not a dipping of the whole person, under water, & raising him up again, to figure our Burial & Resurrection with Christ; as you affirm it doth, in the outward Ceremony of it. I have spoken largely to that before; evidencing it to to be a Sign and Seal of our Implantation [Page 218]into Christ Externally at least; and so, of our Union, and consequently Communion with him in his Death, Burial and Resurrection; but not that the outward form of Baptism, doth expresly and particularly represent those things unto us; which is the thing you would have, to introduce Dipping.

Here then, we see, are the Essentials of Baptism; to wit, Matter and Form; the Subject is no part of the Essence of Bap­tism: that belongs to the third Command­ment; But Baptism it self, to the second. The one is a piece of Instituted-Worship: the other, the Subject to whom it is applied; and the Application as to Infants of Inchurch­ed-Parents, determined long before, and ne­ver reversed, but confirmed, now in Gospel-times; which cannot be said of Bells and Churches, and such like things as Papists wickedly-Baptize. An Infant of Inchurch­ed-Parents is not of the Essence of Baptism it self; as neither was heretofore, an Infant of the Essence of Circumcision. Baptism is one thing, and the Infant is another. The In­fant is but one sort of the Subject of Baptism, and is not of the Essence of the Ordinance; as neither is a professing-Believer, but he is one sort of the Subject Recipient, to whom the Ordinance is dispensed. The Infant Sub­ject was determined in the Covenant long be­fore, [Page 219]and was never cast out, and therefore should still enjoy that Priviledge; it being the same Gracious Covenant for the substance, that God made with Abraham, and the Church in his Family, that is come upon us Gentiles, Gal. 3.13. and not another; which being continued, and extended to In-Churched-Parents and their Children, in Go­spel-days, there needed not an Express Com­mand for their Infants, that they should be Baptized. And this kind of Arguing, is not from one Covenant to another, (as some would have it) but from one and the same Covenant, and the Initiatory Seal of it, to another Initiatory Seal of it, which, by God's appointment, is come into the place of the for­mer long since abolished.

As for what you say, pag. 263. There is no Covenant, where there is no consent; and therefore there can be no Covenant with In­fants; for they cannot give consent.] It is very untrue. For,

1. It is contrary to Scripture, Deut. 29.10, 11, 12. How did the Infants of the Jews consent? And yet God made his Covenant with them; for they are expresly mentioned, and were some of that Body of People, that entred into a Covenant with God that day; Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God; Your Captains — with all the Men of [Page 220]Israel, your little ones] that thou (to wit, Collective Israel, of which the little ones were a part) shouldst enter into a Covenant, with the Lord thy God, and into his Oath, which he maketh with thee this day. Here we have God making his Covenant not only with them but with their little ones expresly; who were not capable of giving their consent; but their Parents in whose Power they were, did restipulate for them. How contrary is your assertion unto this?

2. It is also contrary to reason, and com­mon experience. Do not Fathers often Co­venant for their Children, in Leases, and Deeds of Land and also bind them to several Cnodi­tions; and others Covenant to them, and their Children? Do they not often settle an Estate upon a Child, that knows nothing of it, and engage their Child to such and such Tearms, though he be not capable of giving his consent? yea sometimes a Child in the womb? If therefore, God, that gave me my Child, and also a Fatherly-power o­ver him, condescend to enter into a Cove­nant of Grace with me, and with my Child, Externally at least, promising to be my God and the God of my Child; Have I not pow­er to enter my self, and my Child into Cove­nant with him though my Child know no­thing of it, nor is at present capable of gi­ving [Page 221]his consent? And should not I and my Child also, when he comes to Age, acknow­ledge the rich Grace of God therein? Surely, there's all reason for it. And if the Lord be also pleased to Seal this Covenant to me and to my Child, though at present he is not capable of giving his consent; Is it there­fore a nullity, a meer nothing? Is he not bound to make use of it, when he is grown up, and to seek unto this Covenant-God for Regenerating Grace?

What other Men of larger Principles hold, will not concern those, that consent not with them. It is therefore a little unbrotherlike, to beat us with their Cudgels.

Whom you account a right Minister, I know not; but I have often thought, that every Brother, whom those of your perswasion call forth to dispense that Ordinance, is not a right Minister; and therefore to return the words of Chamier upon you in the sence he meant them; It is not a Sacrament, but a rash mockery, or deceiving, by no means to be endured in the Church, and so that speech will fall with more equity upon you, than upon us about the Baptizing of Infants. Yet some Godly, and judicious, do judge a little more charitably; that when it is done in the way of an Ordinance, it is not a meer Nul­lity, though it hath been defective in some [Page 222]things Circumstantial: fieri non debuit, factum valet.

Thus, I suppose I have Answered to the main of your Arguments, though I have not traced you in all places in the Order, that they lie in your Book. Also some of your humane Testimonies I have examined, and find them faulty. As to the rest, not having the Authors by me, nor time to examine them, I shall leave that task to another hand, that hath diligently Examined and scanned them, and (as he told me) finds them not a little abused, from whom, I suppose, you you will shortly hear. If those debates be blessed, to discover the truth to your self, or any other, and add any thing to the making up of the breach, that the Lord may be one, and his Name one amongst us, in these points, wherein we yet differ; I shall have what I aimed at, and the God of Truth and Peace shall have all the Glory. Amen.



HAving had an opportunity, to make fur­ther Inspection into Dr. Homes his Vindi­cation; I find, that he hath Answered, to the ve­ry same Testimonies you produce, long since produced by Mr. Tombes; whose large Piece, it seems to me, you have epitomized? But take not the least notice (that I can perceive) of the overthrow the Doctor hath given, to those a­bused-humane Authorities; but bring them in as new things of your own, as if nothing had ever been replied to them. You needed not have spent so much Paper, had you but read what hath been replied by him and many o­thers to your Arguments, which you pass o­ver in silence, as if nothing had been said a­gainst them. My prayer to God is and shall be, that God would deliver his people, from be­ing deluded by dark and covert dealing, which tends to the obscuring of the Truth, and to a specious promoting of errour. It is matter of grief, to see many honest and simple-hearted Christians, suck up your mistakes, as infallible undoubted, and unanswerable Truths. The God of Truth make the Truth to appear with such evidence, as that they that are misled, may embrace and receive it in the love of it; and may be reduced into the way of Truth and e­stablished therein.

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