To my Beloved Friends and Neighbours of the BLACK-FRYERS.

Beloved Friends and Neighbours,

BEing my self converted, I thought it was my duty to strengthen my Brethren, Luke 22. 32. And to this pur­pose, I have had a most strong impulsion of the Spirit, to come and publickly declare amongst you, what the Lord hath done for my soul, and this not once, but many times; But being doubtfull whether it were a Message from the Lord, or the meere strength of Naturall affection to my Neighbours of the Place of my Birth, my Education and Aboad: and having alwayes had a very reverend respect of Dr. Gouge from my Infancy; I contended with that Motion, till at last it broke out into Letters, to desire his Resolution, Whether the sprinkling of Infants were of God or Man? All the Answers I could obtain under his hand was, that the Matter was very weigh­ty, and of Publick Concernment, and that he desired to advise about it with others. This was the 28. January 1649.

Since which time. I have solicited him with three other Letters, Declaring that it being his constant Practise, I knew he could not be unprovided of an Answer; And it being held by all Divines, is one of the Distinguishing Marks of the true Church of Christ from the false; It ought not to be practised doubtingly. And although it were required, that every one should be ready to give an account of the Hope that was in him, and that we have all a most sure Word of Prophecy, 2 Pet. 2. 19. Gal. 1. 16. to which we do well if we take heed, without consulting with Flesh and Blood; yet I had given him time to conider of it, and to consult about it, and desir'd that he would be pleased to let Mr. Case, Mr. Calamy, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Good­win, or the whole Synod assist him in it, to give me an Answer, to give me Answer if he pleased: or Publickly to dispute it, or to let me declare what I had learnt con­cerning it, and for him or them to take their Exceptions against any thing, which I should speak contrary to the true meaning of the Scriptures.

And that, whether he respected me or himself, his people or God; I thought it his duty in some way, to resolve or convince me; with severall other Arguments to the like purpose; But after all delayes his last answer by my Son 12. Februa­ry, delivered by word of mouth (so far as I may credit my Sonne) was, that he would give no other Answer than what was given by him at the first.

Now, Beloved friends and Neighbours, I have written you the Question and his Answer, wherein he confesseth it a matter of vveight and Publick concerne­ment: Wherein he implieth himself ignorant, in that he must advise with others; yet seemes unwilling to [...] to Declare amongst you what I finde manifested by the Word of God. What could I have done more in faith­fullnesse and respect to him, or mine own soul? Wherefore I beseech you in the Lord, consider your Case. For if the Blind lead the Blind must not both fall into Mat. 15 14. the Ditch? The Lord give you Eyes to see?

Yours in the Lord, PETER CHAMBERLEN.

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