Christianismus Redivivus, CHRISTNDOM Both un-christ'ned and new-christ'ned: OR, That good old way of Dipping and In-churching of Men and Women after Faith and Repentance professed, commonly (but not properly) called Anabaptism, vindicated by that two-edged Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) from all kinde of Calumnies that are cast upon it, and Cavils that are made against it by the Rantizers on the one hand, and the Ranters on the other, and proved to be the onely true Baptism, and way of CHRIST.

In five or six several Systems containing a General Answer, directed to No-body in particular.

In which, Not onely A Publick Disputation for Infant-Baptism managed by many Ministers before thousands of People against this Author, who was then Respondent (A False Account (extant under the name of A True Ac­count) whereof, and their express Challenge to him to answer, or give the cause, gave good cause to him to undertake this Work) is (after a discovery of their True Account to be A true Counterfeit) abundantly disproved, and their own Review of their own Arguments over again Reviewed and refuted, and their Talk about Toleration of Hereticks so Talk't with, that Toleration of them (though not by Ministers in true Churches, yet) by Magistrates in Civil States is manifested to be the minde of God;

But also Mr. Baxters Scripture proofs are proved Scriptureless, and the chief Arguments of Dr. Holmes, Dr. Featley, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Blake, Mr. Cook, Mr. Cotton, and many more that plead it in print or private Letters are Enervated, and indeed scarce Any-body that stands up for non-Baptizing and non-Churching, or for that Parish-Practice of Sprink­ling and In-churching Infants is left unanswered.

By Samuel Fisher M. A. and Pastor (once) of the Parish-Church (but since) of the true-Church of CHRIST, which is at Lydde in the County of Kent.

Acts 2.38. & 8.12.

LONDON, Printed by Henry Hills, and are to be sold by Francis Smith at his Shop in Flying Horse Court in Fleetstreet. 1655.



SInce the first Impression of this Book, there is a Butter-fly flown abroad, that makes a fearfull fluttering among its own favorites for Infant-sprink­ling from the hands of one Mr. Reading, with whom I once held a publick Dispute against it at Folston (as is hinted to thee above in p. 231. & p. 308.) in my reading of which Work of Mr. Reading had I attained to satisfacti­on, that our present way of Dipping Believers is the error, and their way of Infant-sprinkling the truth, thou shouldst have had my Recantation; or had I seen it sending in any new supply of evidence (not availing to my conviction) in proof of theirs, and disproof of ours, thou might'st likely have seen from me some new supply of Relief, or new Reply to such new Repulses: but find­ing his to be but a new Book, for the most part furtively collected out of ma­ny old ones already routed, and that both in the Argumentative and Re­sponsive part thereof (as well that which relates more immediately to my self, as that which relates to the cause I stand up in, as managed by others) there is Nil ferè dictum, quod non fuit tam contradictum, quàm dictum priùs; wel nigh nothing spoken that was not both spoken, and spoken to before, by my self in this very Volume, in so much that had he perused it (as he had en­gagement and advantage enough to do, it being extant in those parts where he lives almost a year before his own) he might have seen his Book here answer­ed before ere it appeared at the Press, and have sav'd himself the charges of the Impression, I resolved to supersede from any further medling with it, as judging it frivolous to fight afresh with every old Argument and Answer, that thrusts it self out onely in a new Harness.

Howbeit among other of his misrepresentations of my Arguments, few or none of which are by him rightly represented▪ I cannot but advertise thee of this as most notorious, in that p. 154. of his Book, (whether in simplicity or subtilty I know not) he suggests it unto thee for a truth that from this Pro­position (viz.) the Parents to whom Peter spake, Acts 2.39. were unbelie­vers then when he spake so to them, I inferred this conclusion, (viz.) that therefore the Gospel promise is not to believers and their children, and so bu­sies himself in beating the air, and making good what none opposeth, for our opinion is this, which then also was my conclusion, (viz.) that therefore the Gospel promise is made not onely to believers and their children, but to un­believers, and their children also, to whom it shall be made good too, as in time to come they shall believe, repent, and be baptized. Ex pede Herculem, by this little thou mayst see the whole lump, and how apt the man is to an­swer matters before he hath well heard them, which for any man to do (saith Solomon) is follie and shame unto him.

And now since some know not what the meaning is of those three capital Letters, (viz.) PPP, CCC, SSS, &c. with which the title [...] given to the Clergy, whether true or surreptitious, are very often signed by me, but especial­ly in this later part of the Book above, when I speak of the three kindes of Clergy-men altogether, (viz.) Papal, Prelatick and Presbyterian; I signifie that this is to intimate unto thee how these three are the three PPParts of that great Citie BBBabylon, which reigneth over the Kings and Kingdoms [Page] of the earth, into which it stands divided before its fall, Rev. 16.19. & 17.18.

Moreover I do thee to wit that what thou findest in the last part of this Book distinguished by the old English Character is word for word the last part of that Paedobaptistical Piece, which was put out about the Ashford Disputation, which Reading abstract from the rest, thou readest all that to a tittle, on which this last part is but a Paraphrase, to shew how the Ministers own good matter (unmaskt) is but a glass, wherein (if they be not blinde) they may easily see their own ill manners, and themselves who talk so much against Toleration of Hereticks and Schismaticks, to be more Heretical and Schismatical than those they call so.

Finally, desiring thee to help thy own understanding in the Reading of this Book, in such places wherein the sense is clouded, by reason of such defects as fell out in the Printing, through male-correction of it at the Press, by this en­suing Rule of Direction; I commend thee to the Lord and Rest

Thine in Him SAM: FISHER.


Epistle to the Reader p 4 l 15 r pugnandum. Praescript p 2 l 24 r quid verbis. p 3 l 21 dele if not. p 6 l 10 dele as. p 17 l 49 r when. p 21 l 46 r possible they might ly. p 23 l 30 r when he had. p 41 l 4 after sprinkling r which it rather mai [...]s and suppress the true Bap­tism which premi &c p 46 l 28 r the odd half. p 49 l 17 d and. p 54 l 10 r Vzziah to med­dle. p 76 l 30 r inane l 37 r do no more. p 77 l 9 r more than. p 86 l 1 r ever. p 104 l 22 r Babist. p 110 l 24 r Baptist. p 116 l 5 for but it r that. p 134 l 44 r healing of bodily. p 135 l 39 d and. p 136 l 1 r more than of. p 140 l 35 r not at all. p 152 l 4 r requires. p 155 l 16 for which r when. p 162 l 46 r baptize. p 165 l 18 r as not. p 166 l 46 r deed. p 186 l 45 r and Grandchildren. p 194 l 32 dele to. p 206 l 54 for be can discip [...]ed r can possibly know when such children are first discipled except it be in their first Infancy, yet I tell him we know such children as well as others to be first discipled. p 207 l 5 r Impossible. p 215 l 31 r Judg of. p 219 little r tittle. p 220 l 30 were r we. p 224 l 53 r at a venture. p 233 l 19 r whose seed he is. p 237 l 15 r object you, l 24 r what through furniture your cause hath. p 246 l 6 is as r as is. p 269 l 27 seed r seal. p 276 l 5, 6 r who never yet actually displeased him, l 19 r therefore, l 31 r doing good to any. p 306 l 3 r with d for. p 310 l 38 r Mar. 19. p 311 l 46 r opere operato [...] p 320 l 47 r scarce. p 325 l 23 might not excuse them. p 344 l 12 r not so plainly as you must. p 357 l 39, 40 r our worthy Divines and especially M [...]. Baxter. p 362 l 40 r dexterity. p 379 l 47, 48 r putting on no others. p 359 l 50 r bread for neither r not, l 51 r chearing. p 396 l 25 r with such niggardly. p 410 l 46 r expe [...]us p 422 l 2 for had r and. p 423 l 32 r much mistaken. p 427 l 13 for though r as. p 445 l 18 d that with freedom on both sides. p 454 l 17 for as or r or as, l 26 r children were. p 459 l 16 r as to a l 33 r as well as he. p 462 l 40 r onely in the seed. p 473 l 14 r Acts 9.6 p 475 r Rom 6 3 4. Acts 19 p 47 [...] l 39 r Iohn 1.33. l 46 r Prov. 1.22. p 478 l 1 d which, l 36 r my self to be. p 479 l 24 r Iohn 3.22. p 485 for (a) r (all) p 499 for viz. r were not. p 518 l 40 r should not have been. p 524 l 34 r examen. p 526 l 24 r then from thence, l 3 r Rite of Baptism. p 527 l 36 r mouths. p 529 l 4 r any right. p 536 mar r u [...]riusqu [...] ▪ p 547 l 54 r Synagogues i. e. their own Countreys (or. p 556 l 54 for might r night. p 562 l 24 r whose remove would pluck. p 578 l 51 r came at all. p 582 l 4 r such onely are, l 36 r if we ask. p 586 l 5 for yea r yet. p 590 l 28 r po [...]ui [...]. p 603 l 46 r you run. p 605 l 19 for by r but. p 612 l 15 r founded. p 616 l 46 r Satan. p 622 l 6 r cosu. in the Table p 4 l 18 for by r be. p 577 l 6 r is not to be obtained.

TO THE HONEST HEARTED, unprejudiced Reader of these ensuing Systems, More especially to you my loving Country men of the County of Kent, Greeting,

BELOVED Friends, and Brethren you have been earnest, and are now wellnigh hopelesse, and therefore by this time may possibly be (for ought I know) half angry Expectants of some­thing or other from me in answer to that True Counterfeit (so I call it) of the Ashford Disputation; A Pamphlet, so injurious (not so much to me as the truth) that twas provocation enough to the presse of itself, to one so clearly concerned in it as my self, but as if it were not, was a while after seconded by another: Ne­verthelesse, what evill surmises soever you have of my so long si­lence, as I dare not say I am altogether blamelesse,Witnes the Letter sent to me, in the name of more, from from one of the oppo­nents; which, in fuller sa­tisfaction concerning my call to this work, is extant at the end of this Epistle. so I dare say I am not altogether excuselesse in the businesse, for veri­ly as twas little lesse then half a year after the Disputation before that Hasty Birth of theirs came to light, in which time it threat­ned the Country to come out upon it, and at last came (out upon't) indeed, so was it little lesse then a quarter after the nativity of that trifle before I received, from the Publishers thereof, the co­py of it, together with this ensuing Summons to let somewhat be seen in my own right, in which since its declared that they would needs interpret my total silence as a giving of the cause, I stood, as strictly engaged so from thenceforth Irrevocably resolved (be­ing elsewise indifferent) as the Lord should lend me strength, life, and leasure (not in my own, but the Gospels Right, which now I saw must suffer, if I were silent) to set upon this wearisom work, notwithstanding which resolution of mine, what by Part­ly my often avocations from home in way of service to the truth, [Page] there being (if I may become a [...]ool [...]o far without offence, in sa­tisfaction to such Churches as compel me to it by their unjust of­fences at my just absence from them as here to utter it) no lesse then ten publique (not to speak of Private) Disputations, in which I have been actually interessed since that of Ashford, be sides publique preachings, other occasional meetings, and writings, Church visitings, and visitations of sick members, to whom I have been moved several times to move many miles in such junctures, when (saving the pressingnesse of that case) no other should have importund me to have stired an inch out of my own dores. Partly my own necessary occasions and outward affaires at home, which I am (though but little) yet to this day too much intangled in for a Souldier of Christ: Partly one long and tedious sicknesse which my God was pleased to exercise me with toward the dead of one winter In which sad winter visitation I may not but take notice here, in satisfaction to the deluded world, how miserably I was misreported to have met the Divel in a field, to have been out of my wits, and senses, stark mad, bound down in my bed, to have renounced, and that with raging, that way of the Gospel, which, throw Gods goodnesse, I stand fast in to this hour, of all which not the least Jota is true, and this too not onely by much people, but in part also by such of the Priesthood, as lived neer enough to me to have given truer intelligence, had they, or their Earwigs been ei­ther of them any better then they should be. for almost a quarter together, so that I was in all that time, and somewhat more, neither capable to stir much without dores, nor do much within. Partly (if not principally) an ear­nest desire I had (as deeming it not worth while to trouble the world, and travel throw the Presse with no more profitable a birth, then a bare contradiction to that Bawble of theirs, which doth more then sufficiently contradict it self, and a meer Nuga­tory Negation of a few false Affirmatives, that are made in that Account concerning my silly self and one poor particular dispu­tation) to stop more gaps with one bush, and to hand forth som­thing more for publique use together with it, as I here have done, namely, not onely two entire Treatises, viz. Anti-rantism, and Anti-ranterism, both which bear little or no particular reference to the Ashford Disputation, but also very many usefull Anim­adversions of a number of lame Arguments, Empty Answers, absolue Absurdities, Babish Baflings, Sophistical shuffles, and clear Contradictions, sometimes to themselves. and often to each other in their carrying on of the same cause (which are therefore the more remarkable) that are in the books of their best Champions, Dr. Featley, Dr. Holmes▪ Mr Marshall. Mr Bayly. Mr Blake. Mr Cotton. M Cobbet. Mr Cooke. all which as it askt me no small time to tumble ore, to summon together, and enter in a new Treaty with, to see if I could yet possibly find cause to agree with, and fall back to them in the point of Infant baptism, before I struck a stroke a­gainst them with my pen, so when I could come to no accomo­dation by that last parly, but saw them all at odds among them­selves, [Page] and consequently saw more occasion then ever to fall out with them afresh, it took me up much more time to encounter with them all, for so I was fain to do more or lesse occasionally, as I found them in their several works falling in to the help of the Ash­ford Disputants by the way:

Finally partly the starting of fresh Hares Mr, Symson of Smardens soveraign preservative a­gainst Ana­baptism. Mr. Baxters Plain Scrip­ture proofs. (I had almost said Fox­es) upon me whilest I was working to wearinesse in descrying the starting holes of the old ones, which occasioned, yea even neces­sitated me to take up and follow those new sents, unlesse I would rather suffer them to range up and down, and do mischief without putting on in the least measure to prevent them: more especially that Hasty birth of Mr. Baxters, which as well for the sake of some Friends, that commended it to my consideration, as for the sake of that deep delusion I saw the whole Country to be under by do­ting on it, I was constrained to speak (as I have done at the end of Anti-rantism) though succinctly, yet more distinctly to, then to any other.

VVhat (I say) with these obstructions Partly, and some other also of another nature, I have been forced inevitably to presse your patience (Dear Friends) almost to death: wherupon I chal­lenge you notwithstanding to forbear Murmurring and acting in such sullennesse, as, because the book came out no sooner, therupon to neglect it altogether: if my paines may not abate his displeasure, and ballance his patience, who is offended without a cause, for not hasting it out by the halves, as some (for ought I see) had ra­ther I should have done, then tarried till I had done the tenth of what I intended. I desire that man, who ever he is, either to fry still in the fire of his own fretfull humour, or else to please him­self, when he sees Good, without amends from me, who having disposed of this, thats out, to the publique service as soon as I could well do it acceptably to God, whose providence hath hitherto pre­vented me, dare not disparage his acceptance of me so much, as, in what I have it, to ask forgivenesse from men:

Its never long that comes at last, if withall it effect that in order to which it comes, and if you say, Bis, qui cito, he does in­deed, that dispatches, I say Sat cito, si sat bene, soon enough, if well enough, or else too soon even yet: whether this present Bulk doth performe its errand so well or no, as to be worth your waiting so long for it, Its not for me to determine; I leave it to your strictest examination, regardlesse utterly of any censure, whether yours, or theirs, to whom it beares strictest Relation, my business in it lying morewith God, then either them, or you; wel knowing that he, who spends himself in thoughts of what others think of him & his, hath more pride then wit, and more time then grace and wisdome to improve it, let the work therefore stand or fall to its own Master, Ile neither beg any mans good word for [Page] it, nor put it under any patronage, but Christs, from whom it came to me, and to whom together with all honour, thanks and praise for his assistance of me most unworthy creature in it I de­dicate it back again. If any quarrel with the length of it now it is come, as some do in that it was so long ere it came, and ask why I have laid such a large and voluminous siege to so small and tri­vial a fort, such poor paper works, as might have been battered and taken in much lesse time, and with a far lesse train of Artillary then is here brought against the Ashford Disputation? I desire them to understand, that howbeit the daring defiance thereof engaged me to make my first on set upon that petty Garrison, so that there is as it were a vein of dispute therewith continuing, and running (for the most part) throwout the whole Volume; yet the battle is also with the main body of their worthies (as I said be­fore) according as (inter p [...]ignandum) they have occasionally bin cessary to their relief.

Secondly, Possession is eleven points of the twelve, in which respect, they being but defendants, and we now indeed (as they say page the [...]irst) invading, or rather re-invading (for they at first by their own invention brought innovation, and invasion upon the truth) both them and the practise of their Church in the point of infant sprinkling, which are both prae­possed already of all Christendome, and have now of a long time planted, seated, and settled themselves so firmly in the dark Cells of mens inmost consciences and affections, that it hath been and is not onely hatefull, but hazardous for any to storm them out, we go upon no small disadvantages, and so had need be more free of our shot then else we should be; Intus existens facile prohibet alienum, a few within the walls may be a match to many that are yet without, how much more when the stormed are ma­ny to one of those that storm them, even four hundred and fifty of the rest to few of the Lords Elijahs.

Thirdly, An ell too long is better than an inch too short: he that likes not the length hath enough of the same to make it shor­ter to himself when he pleases, and liberty from the Authour to look into as little of it as he lists.

Fourthly if you find it not greater in quantity then in quality advantagious to the truth, it may welcome it self into reasonable mens affections, when such a short shuffle as that it relates to, may, without injury, be shut out of doors.

If the title of it chance to trouble Any body, that shall not at all trouble me: for though the Ashford disputatation, which it main­ly answers to, was assuredly penned by Some Body, yet No Body is pleased to own it, and therefore to him, even to No body, it was most meet to superscribe the answer.

In a word, and to conclude (for it were an unreasonable [Page] thing, & no less then to set my self upon a new score by wiping out the old one, if while I am excusing my self for detaining the book so long from you, I should detain you long from the book it self, now it is out, by a long Epistle) what ere tis, heretis, if Every Body be free from the guilt of those errors and Heresies, those fop­peries, and falsities, those dissembling shifts, and con­tradictions, ignorances and other evils that are here condemned, then No body shall have need to com­plain of it, for then it complains of No Body at all, but if Any Body suspects shrewdly that it speaks to him, it speaks to him indeed.

Yours, and the Truths, SAMUEL FISHER.

For Mr. Fisher.


THESE short Collections of the Ashford Disputation had slept long enough, if your private letters had not a­wakned them by a too much slighting your opponents and their arguments. I know you have seen the thing long since, and heard the other day you intended a Vindicati­tion. The last Thursday there was a conference at Wadhurst in Sus­sex upon the like subject, where were more then one of your opponents at Ashford. This relation was objected to them among other things, as a Pamphlet injurious to your self, as neither setting down your an­swers truly, nor fully. This puts the Publisher upon a further work. Not an new thing upon the subject, but a desire of you (if you give not the cause by your silence upon this Provocation) to let something be seen in your own right, by which he may take occasion to clear himself about the publishing of this. To that purpose I was intreated to send you this Copy; that you may not take advantage of those many faults, which through the negligence of the Printer are found in your former. Sir, I pray deal clearly and ingenuously, for you deal with such as your self in this, that their aim is onely Gods glory, and the discharge of their own consciences in vindication of the truth, suppressing heresie, reducing those who are gone, confirming those who are doubtful, and praying that God would give the assistance of his spirit to these ends. So rest­eth

Your Friend R. M.

An Epistolary praescript to Mr. R. M. and the rest of the Clergy that were present, and (at their own choice) president at the Disputation, whether Accountants, or Associates in answer to their expostulato­ry Provocation


HAd your sleeping Disputation been some Lion, it had been better for me to have been asleep then to have Awakned it (as it seemes I did) by but two or three touches with my pen, but sith it is but a Fox spoiling (as far as they are within its reach) the Vine and her tender grapes, I am (notwithstanding its majestical craft) neither sorry, nor ashamed, nor afraid that I reacht it a rap, and rouz'd it into such a resolution towards the vindication of it self; for I doubt not but hee, with whom it falls out afresh, even Truths Champion Christ Iesus, that true David, who wearied it once before, may possibly Master it again (though by the same silly instrument, that he used then (even a stone and sling in his hand) so as thereby to awaken, if none of your selves (as O Si, O Si) yet many others (as the first encounter did) to come into the Vineyard, and cluster together with the Saints, who else happily would sleep still, so as to remain in that wast For­rest of Parish posture, wherein you Gentiles dwell: specially when they shall find that though we are a people small and despised, yet we keep Christs statutes, and cleave close to that primitive simplicity of the Gospel, from which all the CCCler­gy in the world, and their co-acted more then either truly collected, or (for ought yet appears) elected people, are most miserably stragled, and the best reformed Nations in all Christ'ndome, which yet passe with you (qua tales) for curant Churches, are to this very day estranged.

Now Sirs, as to your Book, of which together with your Provocation to answer or yield you sent me a perfect copy, whether I had seen it before or no, I kindly thank you for it however, and have accordingly put forth this following Answer, in vindication not of my right (for twere better for me to die, then not be under injury in the midst of innocency for the truth; yea your book hath righted me more by wronging me in such wise as was obejected to you at Wadhurst, then if it had righted me indeed) but of that truth from which by Heresie both you and the whole world, save a few that return, are departed, which let it live, as it must now, maugre malice it self, and then though I die for it, as I am unworthy to do, yet I trust to be no loser by the bargain,

2. As to those letters you speak of, which awakened your disputation into this Thing called the Account.

1. I must tell you that I know but one (that is my self) who did, and but one letter wherein I did at all make mention of your doings: If that be it (as no doubt it is) you were so exceptious at, as thereupon to betake your selves to vindication in so publike a way as the press, one would think you should have excepted, and acted principally in print against such matters in that my letter, as are of more generall and publique concernment, as lay the Ax to the root of your [Page] tree, as strike at the very standing of your Kingdome, and fight at the Ministe­rial Function of the whole Fraternity of you as false and fained, and not against such onely, as onely seem to savour of some sleightings of your single persons, and some (not undue) disrespects toward your disputings: but though there is so much in that letter of mine, as clears the whole CCClergy to be corrupt in the constituti­on of their Ministry, and congregations, and even so much truth, as youl never understand, whilst you go on to bark against the Moon, as you do, nor stand under the trial of within a while before either God or man; yea though the Gentleman also, to whom I wrote, being one of quality then Partizing and Patronizing in your cause, did turn me over to your selves for satisfaction to the contrary Whose [...] words in his return to mine are these viz. as for that most reve­rend Clergy, whom in ge­neral you spatter with so much dirt, with what fin­gers a blind man may discern, I shall leave them to vindicate themselves, and their profession from such immerited obloquiest, whence it might very well be expected, when it was rumbled about that you were at the press, that you would have returned [...]omething to that, rather then turn me off with no more then a few fragments of your old disputation, yet, all this notwithstan­ding, you touch not the main tenor of that my letter with the least of your fingers, save that you say in the preface of your book, you are disgraced by it, but shew it not.

2. Whereas you judge that you my Opponents, and your Arguments were too much sleighted in that my letter, I judge to this hour, that neither the one nor the other are sleighted below that weakness which was then, and is now much more discovered in your Account it self, insomuch that a man may well save him­self the labour of making good what ere he saies in disparagement of your dispu­tation, any otherwise then by sending him thither, where they may see by your own testimony of it, how meanly it was managed, though you have made the best side of your Arguments to stand outward, and the worst of your Antago­nists Answers, yea Qui verbis opus est quum facta loquuntur? if any believe not me affirming how poorly infant baptism was proved at Ashford, let him believe the work it self now extant, proclaiming it self weak, its argument's weak, for so the Thing called the True Account thereof doth, in word in its preface, and indeed in the residue,

Litera scripta manet non ita verba diu.
Litera sculpta manet not ita scripta diu.

3. As to the privacy of that my Rescription and Recrimination to the Gentle­man you wot of, which you complain of, not onely in this your monitory missive to my self, but in your Preface also to the Reader, where you say your Aversaries in Private loaded your disputation with disgraces, as if you had been bob'd behind in some base way, and so secretly supplanted, that he who spake so diminutively of you and yours, must needs be ashamed that his words should ever see the light; you know Sirs that my letter was not so private, but that it might have been made publique (if you had pleased) by your selves, who as you had a quarrel a­gainst it, so both had it amongst you, and free leave also from me (of whom if you had had a mind to it, or any advantage by it. I am sure you would not have askt it) to have prest it out in your service, with your own defence against it, the presse being also as open to your excusation, as my accusation.

4. If you ask me why, I reply not to the sole publisher of the Account, but ad­dresse my self in way of blame to you all, even such as were no more then present at the disputation. I answer,

1. How to personate the chief publisher of your collections I kn [...]w not, for I know him not: or if I know him well enough for my self, yet I know not how to know him so well, as on my knowledge to notifie him to others: he hath chosen to be namelesse, whether to this end that he might be the more securely shame­less in setting down or no, I will not say at any hand, but many a one will think so for all that: for my part since I saw it pleased him to hide himself, I was not disposed much to enquire after him, much lesse shall he be discovered for me, who can tell, from the time I first saw his work, whose finger it is not, more safely then I can yet, whose it is: for in such sense as some Scripture is, its doubtlesse no finger of God, and though I am sure tis the fin­ger [Page] of meer man, assisted by Satan, yet of what man in special, (I confesse I have good ground to pay it with thinking) I may not speak positively in print, unlesse Ile speak upon bare hearsay, which I heed not.

Secondly, if it were mainly the employment of one to gather things together, & compose them into one bulk, yet it seems plainly to be the joint issue of several mens brains, and to have been rak't out of more memories then one, and therefore well may you call them Collections, yea that not meerly one, but more then one had a hand in it, I am informed sufficiently to belief by the voice of the Baby-book it self, which speaking in some places plurally, but not any where singularly of its Pa­rentage, little lesse then assures me of this, that howbeit there might be one prime penman of the Pamphlet, or whoere it was that thrust it through the presse, yet the minds of more men, yea more Ministers then one is sounded forth in it, yea of such as were but Auditors at the Disputation, whose sense both of it, and of its efficacy upon the people is said in your Account to be so unanimous, that they resolved together with the rest to declare their sense of it in their several congre­gations, and oppose the growth of Anabaptism, as tis cal'd, in their respective flocks, which since it hath been done by them too, accordingly as was then agreed, and whether if not all, or at lest a pluralty of those Priests, who before laid their heads together to betray the truth of God, did not since compare their notes to­gether to bely it, whether birds of a Feather did not flock together to give their several influences toward this hotch-potch relation, tis more [...] (if any of you can clear your selves of it do) then I can clear any of you of at all, save the Scotchman of Kenington [...] who at Folston disclaimed his having any hand in it: But should that be more then I have warrand to be sure of, yet however I am certain of this, that either it is the sense of you all, or else some of you have the more wrong, whilst the book is so curiously composed, that it may seem to be the Ministers book, and the Arguments that are set down in it, be they never so silly and inconsequent, are fathered upon you all in grosse, recorded as the Ministers arguments, though proceeding but from one Ministers mouth, and not few follies and absurd things, whilst the Penman dances in the clouds himself, are related as spoken, and done by the Ministers, which the Ministers may very well, and will once find time to be ashamed of: yet you seem to take all thats put upon you to your selves, not any of you entring your dissent: whilst therefore you seem so jointly to justifie him, that puts you all upon the score in the Report, you cannot justly condemn him, who Arrests you all for it, in the Reply.

5. As to these present Returnes of mine to that threefold thing you have thrust forth, I am experienced by your wonted Demeanor toward such as trouble you too much with truth, how much more Odium then ever I must come under thereby among both your selves and your Admirers; but hic murus ahaeneus esto nil conscire sibi, nulla pallescere culpa. This verily is no lesse then a Brazen fence to me against all your censures and exceptions, that even herein, as well as in in other things for which you condemn me, I have exercised my self so, as to keep a conscience void of offence, and that toward both God and man. Yea if I have not dealt clearly, as you wish me to do, i. e. according as the truth is indeed, then in the very way of waiting upon God onely, singly, seriously, and with many tears for the understanding of it, in which way he, that cannot lie, hath assured me he will be found, my conscience is most wonderfully clouded; therefore see that you see, if you see.

But if I have not dealt ingenuously i. e. as candidly as so crooked a generation as the CCClergy is, that do alwayes erre in their hearts, and have not known Christs wayes, can justly claim from any, but some Cowardly Clawback, that cares not to be unfaithful in his carriage both toward God and them, then the Lord deal so graciously with us all, as to humble both you under a sanctified sight of such sins as you are as truly guilty of, as here reproved for, and me under my miscarriage in reproving.

[Page] 6. Finally Sirs, having briefly premised these things, and praying earnestly that our Lord Iesus Christ would vouchsafe you all that holy spirit of his, even the spirit of promise, which (I fear) you are more strangers to then you are aware of, and, in order there­unto, adjuring you to repent from your dead works, to arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord, so resteth, as to this Epistle,

Your truly loving, though as little Beloved, as Believed Friend SAMUEL FISHER.

SOME FEW GENERALL Hints given out (as time would give leave) where to hit upon some few of those particulars, that are handled in the Book above.

  • BElieving Abrahams own children, born of his body, not his own in Gospel account, nor in right to stand in his Family, the visible Church now under the Gospell, nor heires with him of Gospel promises, much l [...]sse the meer fleshly seed of any be­lieving Gentiles without faith, and doing the workes of Abraham, prov­ed at large p. 95. to 105.
  • The Ashford Disputers prov'd throw­out their whole Disputation to have brought not one inch of Argument, or dram of reason to evince the right of believers infants to baptism, more then what, were it of any force that way, would as fully evince the right of unbelievers infants to it also, to whom themselves deny it. p.
  • The Triple Tower of BBBabell, i. e. the threefold kingdome of Priests, or great City BBBabylon, standing now divided in three parts, viz. Papall, Prelatical and Presbyteriall, now comming down to ruine by the divi­sion of languages p. 34.531.532.
  • Two parts of the great City BBBaby­lon, that's to fall first here in England before it falls in other nations, viz. Papacy, Prelacy, fully fallen here already, the third, viz. Presbytery now falling dayly, together with all its Accountrements, as the other did before it p. 605.606.
  • Baptism Gods sign, not Gods seal, but the spirit onely his Seal of the Gos­spel-covenant, and though a sign, and resemblance of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ to persons at years, yet not so much as a sign to infants, but destroyed utterly in its nature, use and office as a sign, and outward representation, if dispensed in infancy p. 154. to 159.
  • Mr. Baxters Baby-Book as occasio­nally toucht upon throwout this whole volume, So, so far as it pleads infant baptism from its three Me­diums, Infant discipleship, Church Membership, and right to be dedica­ted to God, summarily, plainly, and entirely by it self answered p. 414. to 464.
  • The Babish Disputing of the Ashford Disputers for believers infants bap­tism above other infants from the Rule of Christian Charity, which, say they, is to presume every person to be good, till he appear to be evil, discove­red and disproved p. 146. to 151.
  • Circumcision set as a seal to Abra­hams person onely, but as a sign on­ly and no seal to his posterity, in what sense tis said to be a seal to him Ro. 4.11. the sense of that Script▪ which is [Page] perverted by the Priesthood, is plain­ly discovered p. 18.19. also p. 24.154 also 269.
  • The Argument from the Analogy, that the Priests say is between Cir­cumcision and baptism, called by Dr Featly, Pons Asinorum, a bridge which the Asses, i. e. the Anabap­tists could never passe over, exami­ned, and such Dialogy and discrepa­tion discovered to be between those two services, not onely as we use, but as themselves abuse baptism, that two administrations cannot be said, nor shew'd to differ more then they do p. 159. to 189.
  • No Command for infant-baptism (as there was for infant-circumcision) neither syllabical nor consequential. Mat. 28.19. where Dr. Featley, Mr. Marshal, Mr. Blake, posi­tively say its commanded in the word [all Nations] they being a part thereof, and where, not these three onely, but Mr. Bayly, Mr. Baxter, Mr. Cook, Mr. Cotton, and even all, intimate it to us as commanded in the clause [make disciples] cleared to be no Command, but a plain pro­hibition of infant baptism, p. 162. to 169.
  • The Command for circumcision of in­fants Gen. 17. not so much as a con­sequential or vertual Command to baptize them, as Mr. Marshal would prove it to be, unlesse the Priesthood will yield themselvs to be transgressors of that Command, who baptize females on any day, when on­ly males were bid to be circumcisied on the eight: or if the Command for circumcising children Gen. 17. were a consequential Command to baptize them, then the Contramand to circum­cise children Act. 21.21. must be a Con­tramand to baptize them p. 178. to 184 Mr. Cotton confesses that the infants that were brought to Christ Mark 10.14. were not baptized, and that no infants were baptized with the rest in that place, where its recorded that 3000 were bapti­zed Act, 2.38, 39, 40. p. 138.
  • The Babish disputings of the Ashford Disputers for infant baptism from a necessity of making the Gospel Covenant worse then that under the law, contrary to Heb. 8, 6. if believers infants may not now be baptized as well as the Iews infants were then circumcised, discovered and dispro­ved at large p. 151. to 189.
  • The law and Gospel, though one a type of the other, yet are two really, speci­fically distinct Covenants, and not two different administrations only (though so also) of that one Covenant of grace; nor one Covenant only for substance, as the Priests make it: a diversity in them discovered contray to that i­dentity they plead, p. 251. to 254.
  • The great and mighty Argument for infant-baptism from the practise of the universal Church, which the Ash­ford Disputers complain much that we would not hear of, ventilated, and the little verity, great vanity, and ut­ter invalidity therof discovered p. 238. to 247.
  • Clergy no proper name to the National Ministry, but to Christs peo­ple. p. 553
  • No Damnation to any dying infants p. 105.106. to 462.
  • Infants not possibly capable to be Disci­ples of Christ, and
  • The dribling disputings which the Priests make for infant Discipleship from Act, 15.10. and from infant Discipleship in proof of their right to baptism discovered p. 169. to 178. also 207.208. p. 410. to 423.
  • Total Dipping proved at large to be the onely true way and form of bapti­zing, 1 from the prime signification of the word [...], 2 from the exam­ple and practise of the primitive times, 3 from the proper end and use of baptism, which is to be not on­ly a sign, but resemblance of the thing signifyed, and from divers other con­siderations, and the frivolous fend­ings and provings of the Priests a­gainst Dipping, and for sprinkling [Page] discovered, and their Obulary Obje­ctions answered p. 308. to 397.
  • Mr. Cook, and Mr. Baxters baw­bling, false and refusely charges of the Totall Dippers, as Dipping naked, as no lesse then Murderers and Adulte­rers, refelled and refuted p. 397. to 412.
  • No Example of infant baptism in all the Scripture, the pedling proof of the Priesthood for infant baptism from the several Housholds that are said to be baptized, discovered and disproved p. 185. to 188.
  • Old England, Scotland, New Eng­land concurring together by the ears about their infant-rantism 227. to 237.
  • All those Eulogies or high commen­dations that are given to little in­fants in those Scriptures, Mark. 10.14. Mat. 19.14. Luke 18.16. can­not possibly prove them to have any right to baptism, and the childish disputings of the Ashford disputers therefrom disproved, also Dr. Holms's weak Arguings from Mark 10. for infant baptism; and that Scripture opened, and urg'd as a strong Argu­ment against the Priests in that point p. 132. to 142.
  • Faith, their apparent having of which is the first way, whereby the Ash­ford Disputants would prove belie­vers infants to have the Spirit, not possible to be in any infants, much lesse to be manifested to be in belie­vers infants, more then in those of unbelievers: the childish disputings of the Ashford Disputers in proof of infants Believing from Matth. 18.6. from Faiths being, and witnessed by their circumcision to be in the Jewes infants, from their uncapable­nesse to be justifyed and saved with­out it, and from all other considera­tions whatsoever, abundantly dis­proved p. 69. to 75.195. to 201.271 to 279. and their unreasonable re­pulses to such objections, as them­selves confesse, Reason makes against infants faith, on Reasons behalf reply­ed to, p. 279. to 299.
  • Not onely the primitive Fathers, viz. F. Peter, F. Paul, F. Jude, F. James, F. John, are all for us; but the sub-primitive Fathers, which the Ashford Disputers pretend they would fain have pleaded it from, & perhaps are more versed in, then in the other, discovered to be more against, then for Infant baptism p. 214. to 226.
  • Imposition of Hands asserted unani­mously by Paraeus, Calvin, Hoph­man, Marlorat, Bullinger, Cotton, and Dr. Holmes, who cites these, to be dispensed in antient time to bap­tized persons, when at yeares, in order to their admittance into church-fellowship p. 139.
  • One undeniable Argument for the present use and practise of that doctrine of laying on of Hands on baptized believers before their ad­mission into fellowship in the Church, p. 492. in prosecution of which, A Paper newly extant, stiled Questi­ons about laying on of Hands, with the grounds thereof, is answered p. 493. to 510.
  • What Heresie and Schism is; who is a Schismatical Here [...]ick p. 524.525. the PPPriests proved to be the chief Hereticks and Schismaticks p. 526. to 528. the Churches of the Baptists clearing themselves from the crime of Heresie and Schism out of Calvins own mouth p. 529.530.531.
  • Heresies, Idolatry, false worship [...] to be tolerated in civil States: the parable of the tares and Wheat Mat. 13. opened, liberty of conscience in matters meerly of Religion, proved and pleaded therefrom, and by ma­ny other Arguments, as the mind of Christ, and the Higher Powers of the earth strictly summoned in the name of Christ, as they will answer the contrary at their peril, to cease [Page] acting according to the PPPriest­hoods bloody Tenet of persecution for cause of conscience p. 532. sundry cau­ses why God suffers Hereticks to be; four great causes of the CCClergyes so great Heresie, and erring from the truth, viz. 1 Amor sui, self con­ceit, 2 dislike of their own places, 3 Gloriae secularis Aucupium, a desire to be Some body, 4 Covetousnesse p. 590. to 608.
  • Holinesse threefold, 1 Morall, none of this in infants p. 75. to 78. 2 Matrimoniall, this in all infants as well as some (save onely Bastards) but proves not the holy Spirit to be in its subject, nor gives any right to baptism, yet this proved to by the Holiness onely meant in 1 Cor. 7.14. p. 78. to 85▪ 3. Ceremoniall, viz. that of the Jewes by nature that entitled them to circumcision, commonly called Faederall by the Priests, the common Topick, whence they Analogically plead a Birth-Holi­nes in believers infants, & consequently their right to baptism, proved abun­dantly to be abolished, and the ex­tream contradiction, follies, absur­dities of Mr. Blakes Baby book▪ sti­led the Birth-privi [...]edge discovered, p. 85 ▪ to 132.
  • The Holinesse of the Iews seed confest by both Mr. Blake, and Mr. Baxter to be the same, whereby the Land, City, Temple were holy, which be­ing ceremonial and abolished, the o­ther must needs be so also▪ p 114.115.
  • The Babish disputings of the Ash [...]ord Disputers, and of Mr. Baxter for in­fant baptism from the Hope or Hope­lessnesse of their salvation according as we dispense or deny baptism to them, discovered and disproved, and grounds to hope the salvation, of all dying infants, whether baptized or no, exhibited: p. 189. to 193. also 442. to 462.
  • Innocency of infants no argument for their baptism, but much rather for the contrary p. 77.78.
  • As Ishmael and his seed was cast out of Abrahams house before Isaac, so Isaac and his seed before Christ. Gal. 4.22. to the end, and many other Scriptures illustrating that truth, o­pened.
  • Johns Baptism, why called Johns, how differing from Christs, and how it was Christs p. 478.479.480.401.
  • The National Ministry, whether we consider their ordination or man­ners, and many more matters, no Ministry of Christs making but of the Popes, p. 558. to 588.
  • The reasons ordinarily rendred a­gainst the use of baptism, or any Ordinances at all refelled. p. 476. to 491 509. to 522.
  • The Gospel Promise not made to belie­vers seed, as such, nor to the meer fleshly seed of any man in the world. Act. 2.39 ▪ which is made so much of by the Priests, as of force to prove infant baptism, opened, and cleared to make against them, p. 89. to 95.261. to 266.
  • Scripture up in armes against infant baptism, as coted in proof of it out of Mr. Baxters own mouth.
  • Of Sprinkling, when and how it came instead of baptism, p. 311.

P. 311. line 27. for Fidus read Magnus.

Caetera tam nil sunt, ut vix funt digna notatu,
Crimina Typographi parva remitte precor.


ANd now Sirs (to say nothing of your pretty Preface till a­non, for even that also must then be forth coming to give Account of its dawbery, and incongruity, as well as your Account it self) I will begin with your book, which (as diminutive as it is) you have for all that stitcht up in no less than three Treatises.

  • First, A Report of your Disputation.
  • Secondly, A Review of your Arguments.
  • Thirdly, A Ratiocination about Hereticks.

In all which, how far forth you quit your selves like men of truth, and reason, comes now before the world to be examined.

The first I say, is a Story of the long Disputation that was held at Ashford, Iuly 27▪ 1649. from noon, till neer seven at night, and it's contained in the five first leaves, whereof two whole ones at least (but say so they had need) are spent in your exact setting down of the Arguments and Answers, and the rest in praevious and posteriour passages.

So that in this first part of your Pamphlet, there are two things in generall which you profess to give A true Account of.

First, The Propositions agreed on between your selves, and your Respondent, his Position, and what else was precedent, and preparative to the Disputation.

Secondly, The Disputation it self, and such things as were subsequent to it, in each of which, if I shew not that you have recorded more flat falsities, and down-right untruths than one (and that were too much to fall from your pens, were you Ministers of Christ indeed) then let my own pen record me for a lyar, and my own self bear the blame of over-charging you, and that for ever.

In order to a trial of the Truth in this case between you and me, though I suppose I shall not be more critical in considering, nor volumnous in dilating on them, than your selves are numerous in bewraying of your own negligences, ignorances, contradictions, fictions, nakednesses, and abusive shifts, throughout this your [Page 2] three-fold thing, yet I shall make little less than a totall transcription of your Pa­pers, before I have done, and therin take notice of such absurdities at least where­by you most notoriously delude the world, most grosly oppose the truth; most unworthily wrong your Respondent, and most palpably proclaim your selves to be rather true Dissemblers, than true Discoverers of the Ashford Disputation, and Smotherers, rather than Publishers of that Gospel-truth in the point of Baptism, which you pretend also to give as true an Account of to the world, as of the other.


You talk first of Propositions agreed upon between your Respondent, and your selves, the Ministers at the Communion-Table, in the Church of Ash­ford in Kent, before the Disputation began.


Give me leave (Sirs, sith silence with you may be taken else for Assent) to say a word or two to this; you stile your selves the Ministers both here, and else-where, throughout your book; But if you mean Ministers of Christ, and the Gospel, I am yet to learn that from you (which I never found you very forward to teach me) viz. that you came truly, and honestly by that Title; you have hitherto wanted no provocation from me to prove the lawfulness of your calling: I made bold to denominate you Antichristian Ministers, in my Position, upon the very day of the Disputation, before those Thousands, which (you say) were Auditors thereof; And I have asserted the same more abundantly since in that let­ter to Mr. G. C. which it seems you know so well, as even thence to take occasi­on in a Pet, to publish so much as you have done of your Disputation, all which is enough to give you to understand that I own you not at all in that capacity, yet did you never, no neither then at the Disputation, nor since in your so true a Re­lation of it, so much as once open your mouth, or strike one stroke with your pen, whereby to evince it, that you are Christs Ministers, which gives me to believe, that howbeit you have a habit of calling your selves so, yet you had rather men believed you, on your bare words, than put you to prove your selves to be so, and that you are as utterly uncapable to clear it, as 'tis clear you are unwilling to be urged to it.

You speak of the Church of Ashford, and a Communion-Table in it: 'Twere strange if I should not know what you mean thereby, yet had you told this peece of your tale in other Terms, it had been so much the less lyable to correction: I know but one Church of Ashford, that hath a Communion-Table in't, and that is those few persons, who since they have gladly received the Word of Truth, have been according to Christs will in that kind, baptized in his name for remission of sinnes, and do now continue in the Apostles doctrine, and fellowship, and in brea­king o [...] bread, and prayers, to which the Lord I hope will add dayly such in those parts as shall be saved: in this Church there is a Communion-Table indeed, e­ven the Table of the Lord, at which they meet, blessing, and drinking that Cup of blessing, which is the Commemoration, and Communion also of the blood of Christ, breaking, and eating that bread, which is the Commemoration, and Communion of the body of Christ, at which you, and your Respondent never yet met, but may do yet in due time, if the Lord please to grant you, (for till then surely it never will be) repentance to the acknowledgement of his truth: But for other Communion-Table, I wot not Sirs that there is any at all at Ash­ford. As for that common Table, which stands in the great stone house, where the Bells hang, where the people meet once a week, but never do that they should do, if they were disciples of Christ indeed, which house you call the Church of Ashford, (and I cannot but allow you so to do (sith you disclaim the true one) the very Steeple being well nigh as much a truly constituted Church of Christ, as a parish people, the one whereof is but a compacted number of dead stones in a literal sense, and (for the most part) no less in a spiritual sense is the other, be­sides [Page 3] stone Churches, and wooden Priests (such as if you are not, yet most of the Popes children are) suit well enough each with other) as for that Table (I say) where you, and your Respondent agreed better about the Articles of the Dispu­tation, then they do (for ought I see) to this day about that Article of faith they disputed on, you had need to find some fitter phrase for it, than Communion-Ta­ble, for it hath long since ceased to be of any such use as for people to communi­cate at it; The Gentleman, my beloved friend that is now Resident there, and President too (in pretence at least) as a Pastor over that flock, having never admi­nistred it at all since his abode among them, nor since the Classis possest him of that Relation, and gave him orders to feed them with that ordinance: why he doth not meddle with that service in his parish, would be farre more wonderful to me then 'tis had not mine own conscience been of the same constitution with his when I was with him in the same condition, for as my own feet stuck once in the, same stocks when I stood in Pastorall relation to parochiall people, so I believe him to be further inlightned, then to be free for a promiscuous admittance to the Supper of such Societies, among whom he discerns (not a few) more goats than sheep, or to hold Communion there, with them whom in the Pulpit he cries out on as unbe­lievers, as knowing well enough, there's no fellowship to be held between light, and darkness, believers and unbelievers in that holy ordinance: yet he sprinkles the Infants of all (as you also do, and my self blindly did) or else that parish will prove happily to hot to hold him: upon what account he doth so I know not, for sure it cannot be upon this, because onely believers Infants are to be sprinkled. The Lord open all your eyes to see those sorry shifts wherein you shroud your selves for a time from your own sight, so that ye see not when ye interfeer, nor feel when you hack your own shins, for who so blind as those that cannot see how you act quite contrary to that you argue for, and overthrow your own principles by your practise?


These Propositions say you were as followeth. First, that both parties should publiquely protest that they sought for verity, not victory.


I acknowledge this is very true, and it was protested on both sides, accordingly as was agreed, nevertheless whether it be the Proud Priest-hood, that seeks to tuck all men under their girdles, and by force to tye high, and low, rich, and poor, Prince, and people, male, and female, bond, and free, to serve God in no other way than the Pope, or their Arch-bishops or Arch-presbyteries appoint, and to tread all under them, that with never such evidence of Scripture, and de­monstration of the Spirit, and power do gainsay them, or that poor party of peo­ple, who meerly in order to the promotion of truth rejoicingly subject themselves to scorn, shame, hatred of all, revilings from friends, foes, neighbors, old ac­quaintance, &c. whether (I say) it be those, or these, aliàs you or we that pre­tend verity, and intend onely victory will appear more at large in the examination of the 23. page of your book, in the first line whereof you charge us therewith, as an evil most specially incident unto us, mean while I let it pass, and go on.


Secondly, that the question to be disputed was Paedo-baptism, namely, whe­ther the baptizing of little Children, born of believing parents, practised by the Church of God, were lawfull?


I remember indeed that when 'twas questioned what the question should be, Paedo-baptism was agreed upon to be it, i. e. whether children ought to be bapti­zed? but had I been as wise as a Wood-Cock, or minded the matter so well as I should have done, I had spoken in a language more consonant to your practice, for Paedo-rantism was the question I intended i. e. whether children ought to be [Page 4] sprinkled? for though Baptism, or Dipping of Infants is that the lawfullness of which you will never be able to demonstrate, an error lying still in the Subject, in case you did (as [...]n truth you do not) dispense it, yet you are gone further from the truth then so, no more (at best) than Rantizing that false Subject, which to do is indeed no Baptism at all: I excep [...]ed against this in my Position as well as the [...]ther, but your prudence was pleased to leave it out in your accurate Account thereof, least it should do you more harm than good, and asserted your errour to be double, in your dispensation of that you call Baptism viz. first in that you plead to have Infants be baptized when they ought not, Secondly, in that you pretend to bap [...]ize them, and yet do not; of both which I demanded an ac­count at that time, and in all reason you should have given it, but not caring how little your sprinkling is spoken of, because you have little, or nothing to speak for it, you so took me at my word at the Table when I yielded to dispute Paedo-baptism, that Paedo-ran [...]ism (your only practise) might not be medled with in discourse at all.

Secondly, I observe when ever you come to dispute for your Childish-christen­ings you plead only for the Infants of Believers: but is not your plea by far too narrow for your practise, whilest you commonly christen the Infants of all? you know your people are not all in the faith, why else do you preach to them as pro­phane to the end you may convert them thereunto? yet the wickedest wretches you so keep from the Supper, that you often keep all from it for their sakes; have ac­cess with their seed to be christened, as freely for the most part as the other: doth not that same faith that denominates men believers, saints, godly, and gives them, and (as you say) theirs too a true title to Baptism, intitle their persons to the Supper? or must a man bring you another, and that a better kind of faith to the one, than he had need care for toward the other? this some of your Tribe do not blush to say, because (as the case is) there is nought else to be said: but know ye Sirs and they too, that though you have your several sorts of Saints for your severall services viz. your grosser sort of believers to admit (not in their own persons neither when at years, but) in their posterity only to your Rantism, and a finer sort for the Supper, yet Christ requires but one sort of faith and saint­ship to both these ordinances, viz. no more than a true one to the one, and no less than a true one to the other. Again you had much need (had you not think you?) to set children of believing parents as the only subjects of Baptism in the sta [...]e of the question between us, when throughout your whole Dispute (as I shall shew when I come to consider it) there is not a tittle, nor grain of argument brought by you to prove the right of Believers Infants to Baptism, but it serves as much every whit to prove the like for the Infants of Vnbelievers also: yea Sirs take this from me, you do your cause a world of wrong in stating your question so streightly, for besides that you give the ly therein to your own action, which is the admission of all that are brought to you, and are born within the precincts of your parishes, you drive your selves to such a Dilemma by your own disputes, that you will not know how to open your Church-doors for Believers Infants to come in thereat, but Vnbelievers Infants will with ease creep in at them too.

Thirdly, one word more to this yet: Did your Respondent assent to you in it (as you seem to say) that the Baptism of children is practised by the Church of God? how pretily have you put these terms [practised by the Church of God] into the very question, and that too as it stands stated beeween us? Did I give, and grant so much? or have you not rather taken it for granted from me whether I will, or no? Sirs I had thought I had given you sufficient evidence of my de­nial that the Baptism of Infants is practised by the Church of God; yea though the Church of the Pope, and such as you call the Church of God, as the Church of the Prelate, the Church of the Presbyter, and some others too, do dispense Rantism to Infants under the name of Baptism, yet I did then, as also I do still, [Page 5] deny it to be, or have been practised by any true Church of God primitive, or mo­dern, that then was, or now is visibly constituted according to his will in the word: As for what you call the Church of God whether you mean all Christen­dome, or the Protestant part of it only, it is even therefore no true visible Church of God because it Rantizes Infants: for that being undoubtedly a strag­ling from the truth, and an undue administration of that ordinance, not only as to the form of it, but the subject also, the name of the true visible Church of God is (ipso facto) destroyed from it, were there no more error in it but barely that, if Doctor Featly (to whom you send us in your Review) define the true Church of God aright; for while he saies that (meaning that only) is a true Church where the word is truly taught, and the Sacraments duly administred, consequently that is no true Church where baptism is unduely administ [...]ed; and so it is, (or rather Rantism instead of it] not only at Rome, but in England also, whilst to In­fants; therefore as the Church of Rome is but a false Church, so the Church of England is no true one. I utterly do therefore, yea and did then, deny that Infant-Baptism is at all practised by the Church of God: and yet (O full of all fallacy) as if your Respondent were agreed with you in't that the true Church of God did baptize Infants, how finely have you foisted in this Epithite to the baptism of little children viz. [practised by the Church of God] and that in this very Ac­count you give of our agreement about the very form, and terms of the question, that was yet to be disputed between us?


Thirdly, That the Arguments used in the disputation should be only express Scriptures, or arguments of necessary consequence from them, All Authorities of Fathers and Churches laid aside; though the practise of the Church was plea­ded for, yet would not be yielded to.


1. I agree with you that the Arguments should indeed have been such only by agreement, but that one of those you then used, or any of these few material ones (for the immateriall being of no account with your selves you Account not for) which you here expose to be perused is grounded upon express Scripture, or any good consequence therefrom I deny, as will I hope be manifested in my ensuing Re-review of them, and Review of your Review it self.

Secondly, if by Fathers, whose authority you hang so much on, you mean those that were some hundreds of years after Christ, and were canonized more lately for such, as Father Origen, Father Chrysostome, Father Ierom, Father Cyprian, Father Austin, and the other objects of the Clergies Dotage; and if by Churches you mean those that were in the ages when, and places where these Fathers lived, or any other since the primitive times, which were the purest, it is but a follie to stand arguing from them, whose words and waies are no more the rule of truth to us then ours are to be to them that succeed us: for verily they might and did speak sometimes not according to the word, and then they were as He­terodox as others, and our selves are in as good possibilities as they to speak ac­cording to the word, and then we are as Orthodox, and Authentick to the full as themselves. I did therefore utterly disown all authority of these Fathers, and Churches, for I knew none they had to be a Standard to after ages: yet though I counterpleaded your Plea from their practise, it was not least your cause should be advantaged thereby, for even the Testimonie of those Fathers is against you; but because as they were subjected to the word, so were they as subject to error as our selves: but if by Fathers you mean the Primitive Prophets, and Apostles to whom all your Fore-fathers are but Children, viz. Father Peter, Father Paul, Father Iames, Father Iude, Father Iohn, whose Doctrine was the foundati­on to the Churches, and by Churches those that were then built upon their do­ctrine, as that of Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, Rome, &c. before the falling off [Page 6] from the truth, the Authority of these Fathers, and practise of these Churches is pleaded for as seriously by us, as the other superstitiously by your selves.


Fourthly, Here you tell us twas propounded, That the form of the Disputa­tion should be Syllogisticall, which I, after many reasons alledged by you the Mi­nisters to inforce the same, at last yielded to.


A very fit phrase for it: for 'twas inforced by you indeed, yet more by strength of resolution than reason, that 'twas yielded to by my self is as true; yet I must profess it was because the Disposition of your wills did put me [...] (as we say) to Hobsons Choise, for I saw you so desirous to draw your necks out of the coller, and to make any thing an excuse to break off the Discourse, that I must choose either that way, or none, and therefore rather than the work of that day should [...]all (as it must have done altogether else for you) to the total failing of the expectation, and hindering the edification of the people, I could not but give way to your desires: Nevertheless your many reasons (which were but two, and those as reasonless too as if you had said nothing) were counter-mand with as many more, and those also of so much weight, that because you began to feel them sit heavy upon your Scholastick skirts, you would have obstructed my delivery of them to the people: for what great matters did you alledge whereby at that time and place to prove the expediency of such a form? First, that 'twas given out (as my desire to them is it never may be again) by them of our party, that I was a Scholar, and durst meet with Scholars in discourse, and therefore seeing I now was before Scholars, it was expected that I should dispute in the way that's most usual among them. Se­condly, That the way of Dispute by Syllogisms (for which some of you had little need to dispute, considering their illogicall, and un-syllogisticall doings that day, wherein they were all-to-be-puzzled in their matter by fumbling so much about that form) was the clearest, and most compendious to the proving of things, and the preventing of extrravagancies, and disorder; much what in such a manner did you utter your selves, in order to inforcing your Proposition, to which the re­ply was to this purpose, Namely, First, that though I had been in the Vniversi­ty, and a Graduate there, yet I pretended to no great Scholarship, yea, that I was a Dunce, and a fool, which very terms, and no other, I repeated again in my Position, and was contented to be counted for no other, as to that kind of learning of much of which I was willingly forgetful, that I might know more of Christ, and the plainness of his Gospel. Secondly, that I came not thither to dispute, (nor did I (the Lord is my witness) in that formal way you stood upon) but in plainness to give an account before all, to as many as should ask it, accor­ding to my ability, and what liberty you should allot me thereunto, (which yet was well nigh none at all) of the way you call Heresie, after which I, and many o­thers did worship. Thirdly, that these Syllogisticall wayes of arguing, and the foolish feigned forms of the Scribes and Disputers of this world, which men might dispute in about the things of Nature, and the world, were utterly unsuita­ble to the seriousness of the things of Christ, and the Gospel, which were most effectually delievered, for so Paul chose to hold them out, in all plainness of speech, and most commonly hid from people by the Logicall terms, and Me­thods of mans invention; and that the wise and prudent men after the flesh, Do­ctors, Schoolmen and Casuists had clouded the truth from the world, for ages and generations toge [...]her, by these their artificiall composures, Fourthly, that Christ and his Apostles, the most of which were unlearned, and ignorant men, though they were scarce ever out of disputes about the Gospell, did yet never dispute by the way of Syllogisms.

Fifthly, That this way was fitter for the Schooles, and very unfit for that Au­ditory, where the people, for whose sake we were chiefly come together to dis­course, [Page 7] knew not what belonged to mood and figure. Sixthly, that we our selves were now countrified by our long non-residence in the Vniversity, and so might very well be to seek on a sudden, and so I found some of you were, to Syl­logize so handsomely as we should do: these were the heads, though 'tis like not the very words and order of that, which with mighty much a do, I had leave to return to your proposall: Notwithstanding, all which you standing still so stifly, to have either your own way, or none, I said I would not decline it, and so it was agreed to proceed in't. Howbeit, give me leave to tell you now, as then I did not, sith you deem it such a wise way of Disputation to keep to the Rules of the Aca­demies, that for men of gravity, in conference of matters of such eternall con­cernment, it's a most Pedantick, toyish and boyish peece of business to stand fa­bling about moods and figures, which are but the A. B. C. or first rudiments to a Scholar, and as inferiour to judicious discourse indeed, as spelling with the finger is to reading in full perfection, and that which is as fit for a wise man to forget, as it is for a fresh man to remember: besides, it's the next way round about to the discerning the whole of any matter; for all you then said for your way in Syllo­gisms, which in substance was no more than this, viz. That infants have the Spirit, faith, holiness, many commendations in Scripture, are such of whom to doubt their having the spirit is a breach of Christian charity, whom to deny baptism to, makes the Covenant of the Gospel worse than that under the law; de­stroyes all the hope that parents can have of their salvation, crosses the practise of the universall Church, which one would think you should be ashamed to make a book of; might have been expos'd to the consideration of your Respondent, in much less than half the half quarter, and given out plainly enough in a few positi­ons for him to have replied to with your leave and silence: but time was so spin'd out by your long productions, and his Repetitions of your Syllogisms, that there was but a very long-little, in comparison of what else might have been delivered; and Sirs, I assure you of this one thing, I beseech you to lay it to heart in time, the generation of you Disputers is rejected by the Lord, and a sort of plain Eng­lish men raised up, who notwithstanding the curiosity of your cudgel-play, and those fine forms of your Fencing-schools, whereby you shield your selves from the truth, will by their upright down-right dealings with you, and the word, be im­powered to beat your cudgels to your heads; and though you seek to lap up the nakednes of your waies, from the sight of the people for a time, in a pair of Lo­gick breeches, yet these are wearing out a pace, so that you shall see within a while, what now you will not, that all your Syllogisticall forms, will not secure your Sylli-popicall matters.


Fifthly, you tell us 'twas agreed that I should be respondent, which though there was little reason for, in regard I invaded the practise of the Church, where­of you the Ministers were Defendants, and ought to have shewed upon what grounds I did it, the confuting of which would havt tended more to the satisfa­ction of the Auditory, was by you the Ministers yielded to at my importu­nity.


O yes! all manner of persons that were at the Disputation at Ashford give at­tendance, here's as pretty a prank as you shall likely see plaid by any, save a Classis of Clergy-men, and among them you may likely see the like again, viz. a tale told transversim, a thing storied out Archipodialitèr, or with heels up­wards: and you of the Clergy that were there, you specially that fingred out this Article, heed what I say: That I who invaded the practise of the Church, for so I did, not of God but of Rome, England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, &c. in the point of Infant-sprinkling wherein they are all Romishly devoted, should come before 1000s of people, before you Mis-ministers also, professing my desires, [Page 8] and the very end of my being there to be no other then (because I was counted an Heretick for denying Infant-sprinkling) to give account, or (to speak in y [...]ur own Terms) to shew upon what grounds I did it, moving, urging, earnestly clai­ming by the very University orders, which your selves stood strictly to tye me to, that I might have two hours, or (if not so) but one, or (if not so) but half a one, wherein to lay down upon what grounds I denied Infant-spri [...]kling, that you the Ministers, Defendants of that way of yours might confute those grounds of mine (if you could) as that which would have tended more in my mind (as well as yours) to the satisfaction of the Auditors, then any thing else (for even all this I did that day at Ashford) and that you the Ministers should be utterly against my giving this account, and shewing my grounds, which I would so fain have shewen, rather then heard yours (for no less then this do you confess your selves, saying page 2. that before the Dispute I moved to make a position, and page 10. that after the Dispute I made a motion that you would hear me preach, that is, give account, or sh [...]w the grounds of my dissent (for so I spake, leaving you a li­berty to take your exceptions when I had done) and that your selves onely conclu­ded it un-necessary, yea, oppos'd it, and made three or four [frivilous] pretences a­gainst it, for even this also you confess your selves, page 2. page 10. That you (I say) the same Ministers that did thus ponere obicem by your own confession, should yet in the same paper write thus, Namely, that I ought to have shew'd upon what grounds I denied your practise, that you might have confuted them to the satisfaction of the people, as if your selves had been very forward that I should give account, or shew my Arguments and Reasons, onely my selfe was against it, and opposed it, and that with importunity, as if I had urg'd, that at any hand I might not give account of what I did, 'tis such a cunning contradiction to your selves as I never saw penn'd by the hands of prudent men since I was born to this day; Sirs, if I should have said so much as this of my self, that I ought to have shew'd my grounds upon which I denied Infants-sprinkling, but was at that time im­portunate with you that I might not, my own conscience, which is Mille testes, and a thousand witnesses besides, would condemn me as no ordinary self-belyar, for I profess before the Lord, and those many people that then heard me, many of which (unless willingly) cannot be ignorant hereof, I was most forward that day to give out the grounds of the way I walk in, but that your selves (not the people) were most froward against it: but the people have believ'd you so long at a ven­ture in other cases, that though both you, and they know the truth to be contra­ry to what you say, yet you hope they will believe you so still, but the Lord grant them to find out your forgery for the future, and to be no more guld by your ghost­ly glosses.


Sixthly, That there should be no tumults, no interruption of the Disputants that no provoking terms, whereby offence might be justly given or taken, should be used, that if any such were, warning should be given and satisfaction made, or the Disputation to break up, and the blame to ly upon that side which did trans­gresse.


You might as well have given Account who they were that did violate this a­greement, as of the Article it self, but then you had brought no little blame up­on your selves, and thereupon very likely you forbore it: for as when you propounded this Article (little considering that your selves were most likely to grow regardless of it) you made a R [...]d for your own tails, so you had assuredly slashed your selves soundly therewith had you told all the truth indeed, for though this (as all the rest) was your own by-Proposall, your Antagonists only by assent, yet verily even you the Law-givers were the the men that did most grosly trans­gress [Page 9] it, yea some of you seem'd to sit there for nothing else but to blur, and blun­der the proceedings by some impertinent interposals, or other, so that after que­stions askt me three or four times over, by your selves, and leave as often askt you by me to answer, yet the anticipations of some or other of you either for­bad me to begin, or at least cut me off before the end: This Article therefore being broken by you in the other parts of it must be kept in the last clause thereof at least viz. the blame of the breach ly upon you.


Seventhly, That after the Disputation ended it might be lawful for any one of the Congregation, leave first obtained of the Ministers, to ask questions, and to propound his arguments not being tyed to any Syllogistical forms and to receive satisfaction.


'Twas the facultie of the Pharisees of old to affect the chief seats in the Syna­gogues, and tis the fashion of you Masters in Israel now, to take upon you to be the Chai [...]-men still, and to bear such sway in the publick places, that the people may not meddle there to speak a word, or urge an argument, or ask a question, or without leave from you Masters of the Synagogues so much as once to quack in you [...] presence: but Sirs the best on't is you have now in this year of Iubilee 1650. (for so doth your book beare date) given not only toleration, but advice and invitation too to all people to Ask the Priest p. 27. and therefore though for­merly they might not do it at all, and even now they do it oft to little purpose, yet I hope you will have them excused (for do it they will, by your leave, now, and then) when they ask you questions in your Cathedralls without asking you any more leave so to do.


Next you tell us, That it was also moved by the Ministers, that two Mode­rators might be nominated, and also Clerks appointed for the writing down both of the Arguments and Answers, the Originalls to be left in the hands of the Moderators, that so no mis-reports might be raised concerning them; or if any were, the truth might be made appear to any that should desire satisfaction, by repairing to them, which I utterly refusing, the Ministers superseded from further urging of it.


I did indeed refuse to chuse any Moderator my self save the whole Auditory) as knowing how basely the truth hath been captivated, and kept under for Here­sy by the Clawes of the Clergy, when subjected to their determination; yet did I not deny to have any chosen, for I left you the liberty to chuse whom you would, who very goodly (but how justly let all men judge) made choise of one to deter­mine as judge in his own cause, who was the only opponent almost (altogether if the True Account were not false, which sets down no Arguments but his) but however the prime Plantiff in the Disputation, and as finely he fitted your fan­cies, that are affected so much with falsity, and foppery; of both which there was great store in his Re [...]pitulation. As for me, could I easily have suspected there would have been such immoderation amongst you as was, striking up so many of you together sometimes, that neither I could be heard by any of you at all, nor your selves very well by one another, it had not been amiss to have admit­ted of Moderators to have kept you in some better order; for [...]lerks also for the setting down of things truly, had I thought you would have taken such advantage for want thereof, as to raise (and that in print too) so many mis-reports as your selves have done, I had probably closed with you in that motion, and though I refused to do it then, (as being better opinion'd of you then you have since deserved for) yet it's more than I am like to do again, if e're I meet you in another Disputation for that slippery tricks sake you have serv'd me concerning this: Ictus [Page 10] Piscator sapit. But as to this there's no remedy now, save my N [...], to your Yea, and the memories of the people that heard us, my Supreme appeal for moderation is to Christ, the Supreme Moderator of Heaven and Earth, before whom (as I told you then I hoped I should speak nothing of which I should have cause to be ashamed) so I tell you now, I hope I shall pen nothing of which I maie be af­fraid to give account when he appears, and we appear before his Tribunall: the same Lord come quickly, and judge between us, even so Amen.


After these Propositions were agreed upon, you say, I moved to have liberty to make my Position; which after debate of the unnecessariness of it, the questi­on being already stated, and the terms known, and understood by every one, was yielded to, so I exceeded not a quarter of an hour, which was accepted by me.


Though the question were stated, and terms known never so well, (as I deny they are to every one in the question of Infants Baptism, for such as are used only to sprinkling, take that to be Baptism which is not) yet the grounds were not known upon which I held the Negative, and therefore 'twas not unnecessary for me to make a Position: Moreover, I invading the practise of your Church, in tha [...] point, wherof you profess your selves to be Defendants, I ought to have shew­ed upon what grounds I did it, that you might have confuted them, this would have tended more to the satisfaction of the Auditory, than the omission of it could do; if you will not believe me in this, yet at least believe your selves, for these are no other words then your own, yet I confess you have no great reason to give heed to your selves neither, considering how many offs, and ons you are found in; for one while you assert it needfull that I should lay down my grounds (as above) another while (as here) that I moved (and had you said with importunity too you, had spoken now no more than the truth) to make a Position, or, which is all one, to lay down my grounds, onely you saw the unnecessariness of it: O pure stuff! at last through much importuning to have an hour or two wherein to do it, and promising much more then you would accept of, viz. That if that day were too short to dispute in, I would give you the next day, and the next, and lastly pleading the equity of the thing from the order of the Schools, where there's no Disputation without Position, to which order you had by Article oblig'd us, such high condescension was acted by you Presidents of the place, that I was allowed the large liberty of a quarter.


Next you go on to declare the sum of my Position, and that being come into the body of the Church, you the Ministers entred into the Desk, and I stand­ing a little distance off upon one of the seats, leaning to a pillar, and the multi­tude being silent, I made my Position.


For your relation of my leaning to a Pillar, it being neither true, nor materi­al, what doth it here I wonder in this your short, and true relation, as you call it, of the most material things that passed? yet sith 'tis acknowledged by you to be a mistake in the margent of the coppy that you sent me. I'le not onlie excuse it for once, though an error, but lend you a little toward the making of it truth, for I did lean indeed that day to a Pillar, even the true Church of God, which is the Pillar and ground of truth, which would you all lean as much to, as you do from it in these tottering times, you would stand a little faster than you are like to do, and secure your selves from that fall that is threatned in these words Babylon is fallen, is fallen, which though your Tower reach as high as heaven, as that old Tower of Babell seem'd to do, the Division of language that is in these daies wil e're long unavoidably bring upon you.


The heads of my Position you say are four, to which sith you subject four An­swers of your own, I'le reduce each of them to the severall head it relates to, and so reply to both of them together. First, That I need not spend time about sta­ting the question it being done before at the Communion Table: to this first you saie, answer was made that herein I confirmed the Ministers reasons against my making of a position.


Though there was no need to spend time in acquainting them with the question over again because that was done before at the Table, yet there was need, and so I expressed my self often enough, to spend time, yea four or five times more than I could get of you, in stating the question, i. e. of making a Position, for even with your selves these two are Synonima's, for what you stile stating the question in the first head the very same you call making a Position in your answer, yet such is your subtilty that you here represent it as if I, who was so earnest before to have liberty to state the question in a Position, and moved it as a matter most needfull, were already so altered in my judgement, as in the front of my Position to profess it needless to spend time about it: Sirs, what a sight of ins, and outs, are here? do you not remember, or if you will not, yet some people will, that my chief complaint of you to them in my Position was this, That though I so much desired it, though it was very requisite, and the manner of the Schools, to which you tied me, and therefore I ought of right to have had an hours time, yet you had crowded me into the corner of a quarter? which shewes that though you deem'd it wast of time for me to say anie thing almost about the question, yet I judg'd it very needfull to speak more to it than your patience was pleased to permit me, and yet it's not enough for you, in your Account of the Position, to leave well-nigh all that little out which in that little time was declared as to the falsness of your administration by the way of sprinkling, and other matters of your Ministery, but you also falter and feign, and forge so fowlie in your sum of the Position as to set down more in't than was ever thought on.


Secondly, That I came thither to defend the unlawfullness of Childrens bap­tism. which an evill and adulterous generation did maintain against me: to which you saie it was answered, that I transgressed the Propositions, in giving reviling and opprobrious terms, callng you a wicked and adulterous generation: to which, saie you, I replyed that my intent was not to fasten those words upon any there present, that I desired they might be so taken, which by you was admit­ted of.


I came not thither, i. e. to Ashford so much to defend as to prove, could I have been licensed thereunto by your spiritual Court, the unlawfulness of Childrens Baptism, yet not of Childrens Baptism so much, which though it is easie, yet is needless to be disproved, because no where dispensed that I know of, but rather of Childrens sprinkling, which as it is doublie unlawful, so is universallie practised: of this end of my comming I gave evidence enough in debating the fourth Proposition, professing that I came to give account of my dissent, and de­nial of the truth of your waie, but when you denied me to give my desired Ac­count, wherein I would have been a Plantiff and a prover, I must then defend, or do nothing, neither did I saie of this evil and adulterous generation that they maintained it against me, but themselves, for whether they do, or do it not they cannot hurt me thereby, but if they do it the worst will be their own, for as they of old that rejected the true Baptism for none Luke 7.30. did reject the councel of God against themselves, so do they that reject it for a false one: as to the terms of evil and adulterous generation, concerning which you first charge me, and then [Page 12] acquitted me as not intending them to you, I meant them then in verie deed of this Age wherein we live, yet so long as you go a whoring from God after waies of mens tradition, and teach people to do so, as you do, I see not how I could have been truly said to revile, had I used them directly to your selves.


Thirdly, that though I had once been of that opinion, and a Minister of the Church, and received orders from it, yet now I was of another, and did renounce both the Church and her orders; to which say you, 'twas answered, that it was no marvell that I, that had forsaken the Church, should afterwards revile and de­spise her, and that God having suffered me to fall into so gross an error, as to de­ny and renounce my first baptism, did in his just judgement suffer me to fall fur­ther and further, Heresie being like a Precipice, where after a man hath begun his run, he cannot stay till he come to the bottom.


I was once of that opinion indeed, and practise too, together with your selves, and had not a little zeal thereof (though not according to knowledge) when I a­cted in your false function, by implicit faith, and made the Directories, Canons, Catechisms, Creeds of the Clergies compiling my Rule (as many more did be­sides my self) not comparing them so singly as I should have done with that true Directory of the word; but I have since seen good occasion to recant it, as you will undoubtedly do also first or last, (and O that it may be yet in time to your peace!) notwithstanding, your now forwardness to uphold it: I was also (in your sence) once a Minister of the Church, but since, going about to look for that Mini­stry of the Church, and for that Church whereof I thought my selfe a Minister, from thenceforth I could never find either t'one or t'other: As for your Church of England, I confess I received twice her holy orders, viz. once from the Bi­shops, in the daies of their Dominion, by whom I was ordained a Deacon, i. e. in Scripture-sence, to look toth'poor, but in their sence, half a Priest, for in that capa­city, we might sprinkle, if allow'd, and give the wine to people also in the Supper, but not by any means the bread, unless very specially licensed thereunto, till we should come into the full order of Priest-hood, for so ran the phrase in the old English horn-book, which as to that part, was stiled, The book of the Ordination of Bishops, Priests and Deacons, once also by the Presbyters (so called) since the time of their Parricid, or cutting the throats of their fathers the Bishops, that gave the being of Priesthood to them, and inducting themselves to reign in their stead, as the Bishops themselves had dealt not long before with their old father the Pope, who gave the being of Priesthood to them both, from whom not as a Priest-hood, but a true Presbytery, as they say, I was in orders to practise their refined Pope­ry more perfectly, which I might do before but by the halves: but now I know not where this Church of England is, if you speak of a true Church of Christ, un­less you can prove things to have their true being, without either their true matter or true form: for as the subject matter whereof it consists is false, being not bap­tized believers, so the form into which the Pope cast it some 600 years since, in to which also the Prelate and Presbyter have new cast it, being and that subpae­na too, National, Provinciall, Parochiall, is utterly false, and her fellowship as good as none at all, because not free, but forced: and as for the true Ministry thereof, I know not where it is neither, if that onely be a true one, as you were wont to say it is, that can derive it self by a line from the very Apostles; neither can you make good your interrupted succession from them, unless the Pope, from whom your Series comes, was even then a true Minister of Christ, when he was also an Antichristian Deceiver; and unless Apostacy and Apostolicy, can so stand together, as that Rome was even then an Apostolick Church when 'twas palpably apparent to be an Harlot; neither if I could tell where, can I tell very well which is the Ministry of your Church of England, there are so many Mi­nistries [Page 13] in it now, namely, Prelaticall, High-Presbyterian, Presbyterian-In­dependent, each of which lay claim to that title, but being both themselves, and their adherents for such different forms of government, cannot all three be the Mi­nistry of one Church, unless your Church of England, that was of old so full of uniformity, is now become capable of tri-formety in its discipline and Ministry; and yet to be intirely but one Ministry and Church of England still; which if it be, its a tr-iform monster then indeed.

As to your answer to this third head, I wish you to weigh how rawly you utter your selves, whilst just after your selves had clear'd me from the guilt of Re­viling, and before I had us'd any new terms, that could have the least savor of reviling, you return to charge me of it again; but no marvel when every round reprover, and renouncer of your Romishness, is as much a reviler with you, as your selves are at Rome, for renouncing that grosser Popery thats there. Howbeit, in truth he reviles your Church no more, that calls it a very Harlot, if it be so, then your selves revile Rome in calling her a Harlot because she is so: you hint at my renouncing my first baptism: can a man renounce that he never had? for what was dispenc't when I was a child, as tis no signe to me now, for I remember not that I ever saw it, so I learn by the hear-say of it, that it was not baptism at all: as for this last, which is also the first baptism that ever was administred to me; I see no cause to renounce it as yet, nor yet I am well assured ever shall. As for heresie, or believing and doing besides the word, tis a Precipice indeed, where after men have begun their run, unless the Lord mercifully prevent them, as he hath done me, and many more of late, and I desire may your selves in due time, who are all gone astray from primitive truth, after the doctrines and commandements of men, they cannot well stay till they come to the bottom, even the bottomless pit it self, into which that Arch-Heretitk the Pope who open'd it, and that number­less crue of corrupt Clergy-men, which by the advantage of that smoak of errors, with which he darkened the Sun, and the Air ascended from it, will fall again; for out of the bottomless pit those Locusts came, and into the bottomless pit they must return.


Fourthly. That I was a fool and an Ass, and the weakest of many, to defend the doctrine of Iesus Christ, yet doubted not but to make it clear against every opponent: to which your answer was, that that which I said of my self out of a voluntary humility, you the Ministers did acknowledge out of the sense of your wants.


As to secular literature, I did indeed acknowlege my self to be a Dunce and a Fool, but as to your bringing me in here, as branding my self with the name of Ass, I must protest against it as one of those scandalous and false aspersions, with many more of which this story of yours is stored; in trial of which, I appeal to a letter sent to me, some few dayes after the Disputation, from an eminent gentleman then of your party; my answer whereunto you cavill at, but care not for answer­ing at all your selves: wherein he writes thus to me as concerning this present pas­sage, viz. If any man should ask my opinion now, notwithstanding your seeming modesty to term your self Dunce and fool, I should be apt to conclude with the pro­verb, that to me you did appear by much more knave than fool: either therefore this gentlemans memory was better than yours, or else your faculty of forging is greater than his, and this is most likely of the two; for though he reviles me through ignorance of what I am, yet I think he spake plainly what he thought, and repea­ted no more than what I spake of my self, but you (oportet mendacem esse me­morem) whether wittingly or no, it concerns you to examine, have most grosly falsified my words, that you may fasten the fouler blemish upon my person; this language you learn'd be like from Dr. Featly, who very often, al-to-be-asses the [Page 14] Anabaptists calling his argument from circumcision to Infant-baptism in respect of the Anabaptists Pontem Asinorum a bridge which these Asses could never pass over, p. 40. also in his preface to the Reader, wherein rating the russet Rab­bies for preaching against the errors of the Priest-hood, what (quoth he) are all the Prophets become mad, that the Asses mouth must needs be open by miracle to reprove them? nor doth he say so altogether without some reason: for verily we were all once Ass-assinated so farre (as most Christ'n creatures are still) as to yield our selves up to be rid by Balaam the false Prophet i. e. Assemblies and Classes of the Clergy, who love Ty [...]hes, the wages of their unrighteousness, and take toll of all people for deluding them; till upon a time we saw the Angel of the Lord, with his sword ready drawn in his hand to destroy him, as he was ri­ding us to defie Israel, since when, refusing to go with him any further though he smites us, of Dumb Asses (as we were before) we are become (the Lord opening our mouths) a people speaking with mans voice, and forbidding the madness of the Prophet. Moreover, I may well excuse your calling me Asse by craft, whilst you condescend to call your selves unawares by the same name of Fools and Asses, for do but mark what you here say of me, and how you make it agree with your selves; he said (say you) that he was a fool and an asse, and that which he said of himself out of a voluntary humility, the Ministers did acknowledge i. e. of themselves, out of a sense of their wants: fallere fallentem non est fraus.


You tell us furrher, that you prayd the Congregation that sinee you were not the men appointed for the Disputation, but onely undertook it, that the truth might not be wholly deserted, and the current of slanders, which was likely to rush in against it, might be somewhat interrupted by the seasonable interposing of your selves, they would not suffer any defects of yours to prejudice the cause, that it was the truth on your side did animate you to undertake it, which you were ready to evince by the Arguments following, leaving the success to God, to whom onely it belonged to convince the understanding.


Here's much talk of the truth, and the truth, but the truth is, your underta­kings have been ever a deserting of the truth, as it is in Iesus; and causes of a cur­rent of slanders that rush in against it in every parish, from the mouthes of your Priest-rid people, who living under your constant out-cries of Heresie, Schism, and such like upon all that suits not with your covetous interest, have learnt exact­ly to speak in your tongue, as if they had been spit out of your mouthes: as for your seasonable interposure, it is by so much unseasonable, as t'will prove suc­cesless to your ends; for though, while the Clergies will was the worlds law, their interposings did interrupt all arisings of truth, yet now tis the time of the end wherein men wil run to and fro, and you labor in the fire, and weary your selves for very vanity, to uphold your thred-bare traditions, for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.


The sum of the Disputation held at Ashford in Kent, Iuly 27.


Had these two brief businesses which you stile above [the sum of my position] and here [the sum of the Disputation] been stilled [some of the position] [some of the Disputation,] or a little of one, and a little of t'other you had bin in the right on't, for there's scarce so much as some of either: As for the Position you have dispos'd on't out of the way, and diminisht the Disputation into nothing almost, in com­parison of the true proportion of both. Now as to this piece of business which you stile the sum of the Disputation, I must talk with it two wayes, and deal with it under this double notion, First, as tis a Relation of the then Disputation.

[Page 15]Secondly, as tis your Disputation for Infant-baptism: I shall shew the falsness of the one, and the foolishness of the other; and then come to review your Review, your relation (so you term it) is most manifestly false, if not as false a one as was ever pend, or printed concerning such a matter; since the Pope and his Priests, perceiving their kingdom to decline by the breakings forth of truth from under their smothers, began to be-lye its witnesses to this day: I shall take notice of a few more of your figments, and two or three passages in the Disputation, which passed by the memories of you Accountants, least by telling the whole truth you should shame the devil and your selves, which may suffice to prove a disproportion between your Tattale, and its Title of true Account, and so leave it to the unprejudic'd auditors of our Discourse, and impartiall per-users of our Relations.


First, you assert page 3. and that point blank, that I confessed that at three or four years old many began to be instructed in Principles of Religion, and that at that age they might be baptized, but afterwards that proof being offered that infants of a day old were as capable of baptism, I would have recalled it.


Sirs, why hath Satan filled your hearts to ly thus against the truth, and by filching out of the waie (purposelie as may be supposed) what was of most mo­ment to the making out of my true meaning, to wrest, and represent my expressions and intentions in them as croslie and contradictorily to what they were intended, as yea, and nay are one unto the other? that children at three or four years old (as your selves then affirmed) may be instructed, I granted, and do still acknow­ledge with you, but that I said at that age they might be baptized, upon that account of bare instruction unless apparently effectual to their true conversi [...] [...] the faith, so that by Profession they give good ground to our consciences to be­lieve that they believe, I here disclaim it, as either a mis-conception, or rather a meer conception, and birth of your own brains; and profess it in the sight of God, and all men to be that which (in the sence you here insert it in) came not so much as into my mind, much less out of my mouth at that time; and though I find you so un-ingenuous in your dealing, that I wonder how you can wish me to deal ingenouusly with you as you do, yet can I not conceive you to be so unju­dicious as to conceive I confest as you have here accounted; since my speech, to all that were not dull of understanding, was most plain to a very contrary purpose and tended to shew the utter unwarrantableness of baptizing, at any age at all, whether in Non-age, Middle-age, or Old-age, unless it be found in the way of Faith, and therefore of baptizing anie Infants, in respect not only of their inca­pacitie to believe, but much more to make profession of belief: I shall there­fore give you, and the world too, wherebie yours must needs appear to be a jug­gle, a more true Account of the Dilation that was then between us: on this wise it was: I confess I granted (for 'tis the verie truth, though not of a straws weight to your purpose) that by [...] Mat. 18.3. was meant children in Non-age, to which Christ saies his Disciples must be like, although bie the phrase v. 6. viz. [...]. I asserted then, and see no occasion of saying otherwise to this hour, that he means his Disciples, whom he likens to the other, and not little ones in age, and bodily Stature; in proof of which I referr'd you to Mat. 10.42. where under the self same greek phraise viz. [...]; he expresses no other than his Disciples, there being no lit­tle child then among them of which he could be imagined to speak: moreover I shewing how that [...] [whence [...]] did properly signifie not such an In­fant as you sprinkle, which cannot speak (called infans, quasi non fans) but a child capable at least to be instructed (and so you are to seek still for Infant-bap­tism) 'twas bolted out bie you that at three or four years old many began to be in­structed even in principles of Religion, and that then at least they might be bap­tized; [Page 16] whereupon I replyed, that 'twas neither this nor that age, old or young, gave right, yea that no age could make a fit subject for Baptism, but that where­in a person is apparently instructed to conversion, and that when so instructed they were to be baptized, whether old or young, so that if you could so effectually in­struct children at three or four years of age as to bring them to make such profession of faith, as I could not but judge to proceed from the reality thereof within, I could then for my part baptize them; yet I thought it was a thing very seldome if ever at all visibly effected; to this effect, and much what in iisdem terminis did I then deliver my self, yet so willingly were you mistaken in my meaning, as down­rightly to set me out for such a Childish Novice, as met you before thousands to main­tain the unlawfulnes of Childrens Baptism, and held a Discourse of 6 hours to that end, and yet confest the lawfulness of it so soon as ever we had well begun: but Sirs, suppose I had confessed (as I did not) that children of three or four years old, because capable at that age to be instructed, might without re­spect to the begetting of faith in them, by that instruction, even then, and there­upon only be baptized; yet will you not at last be ashamed think you of that ig­norant assertion of yours, namely, that infants of a day old are as capable of bap­tism as they? for grant it should be granted you (as it is not) that bare instruction without any success thereof to conversion is a good ground to baptize persons on at three or four years of age, yet is it a ground whereupon to baptize Infants of a day old, that are not capable of so much as that bare instruction? a man may in much wisedom, and some hopes (if not of present yet) of future conversion thereby begin to indoctrinate his children at three or four years old, and instill the principles of truth into them, as preparative to their obeying it hereafter, and also to baptism it self in due time; yet I judge him as very a Child as his Child, that goes about to instruct, and baptize it so soon as tis born; yet after your own as­sertion, by which you would make men believe I asserted that children of three or four years old are capable of instruction, and consequently of baptism so young, you second it with another more absurd, and false than the former, namely, that children of a day old are [as] capable of it as they: Say you so Sirs? are infants of a day old capable of Baptism, that cannot so much as be instructed in principles much less be begotten to the true Religion? or if you say you hold not their right to baptism from a capableness of instruction from which you plead the other, but upon other grounds, upon what grounds? I beseech you Sirs, upon what grounds? as you offered to shew them then so shew them now if you can, for none of the Arguments in your Account can possibly prove such a thing. What Infants of a day old? I'le saie it again that you may consider it, for sure you did not consi­der what you said when you said it, what children of day old? fie for shame, Sirs had you said infants of eight daies old it might have held some proportion with that grand ground you go upon, viz. the Analogy between Baptism and Cir­cumcision, but this opinion doth not cotten at all with that, for the subject of Circumcision, which you all say, though falsely, is one and the same with that of Baptism, was one of at least eight daies old, and an Infant of one day only was not a warrantable subject thereof, nor an infant of seven daies neither, though likely to die before the eighth; but as for you, though your chief plea for your timely untimely rantizing Infants be grounded upon that timely dispensation of Circumcision, yet, as if you had a mind to proclaim your selves be-blinded, so that you cannot walk by Christs Right rules, nor your own wrong ones neither, you take the liberty to out-stand, or anticipate the eighth day at your pleasure: hence the birth day is as warrantable with you, as the eight, yea, in case of im­minent danger of death (in which case circumcision might not alter) ti's a learned question among some Infant-sprinklers, whether the mid-wife may not sprinkle it before its born, i. e. while is hangs yet between the womb, and the world; but [Page 17] too soon is too soon in all conscience) and again when it fits better with your plum-cake occasions, the tenth, twelfth, or eight and twentyth day must be as acceptable to God as the eighth, yea, when it seems good to the wisdom of the Church, i. e. the Clergy, it may be deferred for no less than two or three hun­dred daies together, witness the old Rubrik, which saith, that in old time bap­tism was not ministered but at two times in the year, viz. at Easter and Whit­sontide, but that custome being grown out of use for many considerations (I know not any but the Clergies good will, and pleasure) cannot now well be restored: Thus you ride people to and fro as you lift, and run manie miles from your own rules as well as Christs, for if Circumcision be your Rule for the time of Baptisms administration, keep punctually to the particular time of the eighth day, as well as to the generall time of Infancy, or else (you may tell me the eighth day is a cir­cumstance not to be regarded, whilst I tell you 'tis such a substance that Moses was like to be slain for overslipping it, yet) by your favour, Sirs, and by the same reason that you take an inch, i'le take an ell, yea if you can acceptably go a fin­gers bredth besides the rule of Circumcision, I may go an hundred furlongs, and by the same Authoritie that you delay the Dispensation beyond the eighth, to the tenth, twelft, or the hundreth day, I may delay it (unless belief withall the heart do ingage to it before) to the ten thousandth day or more, nor can you question me why do you thus?

Secondly, whereas for my undertaking to rectifie you in your gross misappre­hension, and reduce you from the misconstruction I saw you make of my speech (which leaves you without excuse in this rude recording) you record me as recalling what I said, I protest against that as another of your figments, which you had need both to recant, and repent of: there was but one thing recalled all that day that I know of, viz. that Iohn Baptist spake so soon as he came out of the womb; that being rashly uttered by one in a Black coat was indeed as readily re­called: as for my self what I said then, I was so far from recalling, that i'le give you the advantage of saying the same over again: hear therefore you deaf that you may understand, bring me the children of three or four years old not instruct­ed only (for so the wickedst heathen may be) but instructed to conversion, and profession of faith (not verbal onely (for a Parret may be taught to prate) but real (as may seem at least) and to desire baptism in Christs name) yea more,Expedias per­s [...]ta co suum [...] picas­que doce as ver­ba nestra cana­ri. bring me the Infants of three or four daies old thus truly discipled, and blame me for ever if I be not as forward to baptize them, as your selves are to rantize them undiscipled. This is the sense I then spake in, the Lord knows my heart to whom I appeal ultimately to judge between us. I have spoken it thus over again, you have now my mind more fully among you, mistake it not, but take it dexterously and make your best on't,


Next you relate (and that most fictitiously) that I having asserted circumcision to be a seal of the righteousness of saith to Abraham only, and not to his poste­rity, and being urged to shew any Scripture that did import a change in the sig­nification, and told that such a change must needs intimate that the same co­venant was not made with Abrahams seed, that was made with himself, I was so foundered, that though you ingaged to become Anabaptists if I did it, yet I an­swered nothing that carried any sense or reason to the purpose.


This I say is another of your your figments: for first to let pass the Sophisticall terms you used whilst you askt how or when Circumcision ceased to be a seal of the right­eousness of faith even to Abrahams posterity? as if I had granted that Circumcision was once a seal of the righteousness of faith even to Abrahams posterity as well as himself, and then was changed, ceased, & left off to be so, wheras I told you then, that though 'twas so to Abraham himself, yet it never was so to them at all, & do also tel you now, that when a man saies of a thing that it never was so, it is but an illiter­ate [Page 18] kind of quere to ask him again, when it ceased to be so? Secondly, confes­sing that I then affirmed, and also still affirming the same, viz. that Circumcision was a seal of the righteousness of faith to Abraham only, and not to his posteri­tie; I profess thirdly, before the world, appealing to your own consciences to witness, that as it is most plain in the Scripture, so I then made a most plain dis­coverie of it from the Scripture, that there were other ends, uses, and significa­tions of Circumcision to Abrahams own person (though in some respects there were also the same) then those for which it was dispensed to his seed, and that not­withstanding many things, which were promised to Abraham, were promised to all his seed together with him, yet there were somethings also promised to Abraham in the Covenant of Circumcision, which his seed had no promise of at all, as namely, First, That he should be the Father of all Believers. This I am most certain I then instanc'd in, and according to your then demand cleared by Scripture, even that very Scripture which was then quoted by your selves, Rom. 4.11. and re­peating the whole verse, whereof you, for your own ends, mentioned but a part. I told you twas evident even thence that Abraham had one preheminence, and priviledge that none of his posteritie had ever after him, which he obtained of God by his preheminence in believing, viz. the Fatherhood of the faithful; of which eminent faith of his, which was imputed to him for righteousness, as well as of that eminent prerogative, the Fatherhood of the faithful, which God gave him upon that great faith, Circumcision was given him as a seal, in such a sence, as twas never given to his seed, a Seal I said, for it was a sign only but no seal to his posteritie, to honor the greatness, not to strengthen the weakness of his faith, i. e. to confirm him, that was so great a believer, even beyond hope, n that honorable title, which God put upon him; therfore I told you it runs thus, viz. he received the sign circumcision, i. e. circumcision, (which in its ordinary use was a sign) a seal to him in this special sense, i. e. as a seal of the righteousness of that eminent faith which he had, that he might be, i. e. to that very end and purpose as to ratifie him in that royal title, The father of all that believe; to this purpose I then spake, shewing withall that in the same sense in which the father is said to seal the sonne, Iohn 6.27. to be the giver of that meat that endures to eternall life, [...] him hath the father sealed, i. e. autho­rized to that business, honoured with that office, and as Pharoah honoured Io­seph, with the sole Dispensation of all the Corn, and Government of his King­dome, and as Kings under the Broad seal do seal men to, i. e. honour them with, and settle them in great Places, Trusts and Titles, &c. in such a sense is God in that place said to give Circumcision to Abraham, whereby to seal him up, and settle him for ever in that glorious title, viz. the father of all that believe; in which sense Circumcision (though a sign of some things in common to him with his posterity) was never given to any one of Abrahams posterity at all: this as it is clearly held forth in that place, so was so clearly held forth to you from that place of your own naming at that very time, that as I wondered you could be ignorant of it then, so I much more admire, that you are not ashamed to bewray such dis­sembling in the recording of it as you do, and such wretched ignorance of it still; besides, I know not whether I instanc'd then in any other, but I am sure (as shy as you seem to be of it) there were divers more promises made, and privi­ledges made over to Abraham under the great Seal Circumcision, which were neither made nor given, much less confirmed by Circumcision as a seal thereof to all his posterity, viz. that his seed should inherit Canaan, this though it was made. and made good to Abraham, and that seed of his to whom it was promised, yet not to the seed of all his seed, for many of his posterity (as Ishmael, who was cir­cumcised, and his children by Keturah also, and their whole race) had none of all this seal'd to them by Circumcision: Again, that Christ should come out of his loyns, that in his seed all Nations should be blessed, these were made to A­braham, [Page 19] and were (as the rest also) great Priviledges to the honour of which he was sealed, yet though 'twas signified to all his seed by Circumcision, that Christ should come of him after the flesh, all of them had not that previledge by promise that Christ should come of them after the flesh: by all which it unde­niably appears that the same Covenant of Circumcision, in every of those respects in which Circumcision was given him as a seal of it, was not given to all the Iews, and their children, and that fore-named place speaks of Circumcision onely in reference to Abrahams person, and in that sense, and respect in which it was gi­ven to him only as a Seal of his faith. i. e. that strong faith he acted, and gave glory to God by, Rom. 4.20. for which God also gave that great glory and dig­nity to him, viz. the father-hood of the faithfull: All which notwithstanding, and much to the same effect that was uttered then, to shew that Circumcision had more ends, and relations to Abrahams Person, then to the Persons of his seed; yea, and though your own paper, which lastly I appeal to, doth testifie that I I multiplied words, that is to say, spake much about other ends of Circumcision to Abraham then to his seed, yet you both be-lie me, and give the lie to your selves so far as to say, I was extreamly foundered, which to say, and yet to say in the very same line, that I multiplied words about other ends of Circumcision, the very point your selves had urg'd me to speak to, if it be not at once to say, and unsay, then verily I know not what is; for these two are contradictory to each other: but perhaps you think to salve all with this, that being call'd to speak punctu­ally to that end, viz. whether Circumcision were a seal of the righteousness of faith to Abrahams posterity at all or not, or if not to shew it, I answered nothing to that particular, that carried any sense or reason in it: but really Sirs, I said no less to that very end, but rather much more then I have said a little above, which whether it have any sense or reason in't or no, yet was it both sensless and reasonless in you however to leave it wholly out, and you had dealt far more in­genuously and judiciously in your own Account, and in every rationall mans also, had you set down what I answered, and so put your Reader into a capacity of discerning, whether it were to the purpose yea or no: but that its like you were ve­ry loath to do, least (as nothing as it was to your purpose) it should have been more serviceable then you desire it to be to ours. As for that ingagement whereby (how wisely a fool may see) you bound your selves to become Anabaptists, in case I made discovery of what I did abundantly discover, I freely dis-engage you from that double performance,Thats the dreadfull phrase where­by you also term your selves ghostly fathers (to awe poor ig­norants into the greater observation of you and yours) express the holy spi­rit, else the word [...] might be Englisht by the word spirit at all times, as well as some, both in trans­lations, trea­tises, and dis­courses. and shall accept much more of your single submission to that ordinance, it being no matter of rejoicing to to me to see any man translated from A-no-baptist to be an Anabaptist for that is from one extream to another.


Next you relate p. 5. that I said I did not deny but that little children might have the holy Ghost and these texts of Scripture, viz. Mar. 10.14. Mat. 19.14. Luke 18.16, 2. Cor. 13.5. did seem to intimate as much, but that it could not be made appear that they had it to the making of them subjects of bap­tism.


To this which is another flat falsity, and counterfeit resemblrnce, I reply thus, first that little children might have the holy spirit, if God please extraordinarily to infuse it, I might then possibly not deny, nor dare I yet deny but that possibly they may, but it's more then God hath manifested if they have, to either us, or you: nor will this grant either prove the propriety of your Position, who down-rightly declare they have it, or warrant your baptizing them thereupon, so long as still 'tis unapparent to you that they have it: for first, à posse ad esse non valet consequentia; it follows not because it may be, therefore 'tis: yet such Country-clearing of things is seen now and then among you Countrey Clergy-men, that if from may-be to must-be, may not pass for good reason, there must be no more given at all; wit­ness [Page 20] the yery last Argument us'd by the first opponent at this Ashford Disputation, whereby to prove infants to have the spirit, who having urg'd the example of Iohn Baptist, (whose example is also hinted in your Review p. 16. of your Pamphlet) just before to this effect. viz. Iohn had the holy spirit from the womb, therefore children have it, and being answered to that thus, viz. Ex puris negativis, et parti­cularibus nihil sequitur universale, claps in this consequence to close up his dis­course with, viz. It doth not appear to you that children have not the spirit (as much as to say they may for ought you know have the holy spirit) therefore they have it. To whom 'twas repli'd, that it would not follow that I was at Canterbury such a day, because it did not appear to him that I was not: and this as I re­member (though your Account doth very freely forget all this, but I hope you will remember to be asham'd on't) was the very period of that mans Disputation with me, saving what he added after in his recapitulatory moderation, and after that in other emergent conferences with me and others, to whose non-sequiturs, as I have in faithfulness set down what I returned then, so (pace vestrâ) I say thus much more now, viz. that if I should go about to prove from the Possibility of things to be so or so, or from their non-appearance to be not so, though not yet appearing to be so, that therefore they are so, viz. more worlds then one, or another world of men in the moon, or, as he from the particular case of Iohn Bap­tist to other infants, so I should syllogize from the particular and extraordinary case of Balaams Ass to other creatures of that kind, viz. Balaams Ass, by a special power of God upon him, did speak and reprove the madness of the Prophet, therefore very Asses can speak plain enough to reprove the madness of the Priests, though I have learn'd Christ better then to record him as such a one for the like deduction, yet I know who have so well learn'd the Featlaean language, that in their Account I should have been an Ass for my labor. Secondly, and this I told you then too, but your Account had no mind to mention what makes against you, Tum demum i. e. proprìe et quoàd nos dicuntur res fieri cum incipiunt patefieri, then things as to us are when they appear and not before, and to talk de non entibus, et non apparentibus, is one as frivolous as the other: yet such lazy learning and lowzy logick is at Rome with the infatuated Pope, and such of his Creatures, as trouble themselves so much about Tyth, that they have no time to study Truth, nor understand either sense or reason, that whilst wise men indeed, whose wisdome is not as theirs is already turn'd into foolishnese, do argue from the Appearings of things to be to their being; from the evidence that they are to their existence, they magisterially impose things to be received as truth, because Ipse Dixit, and both assert them to be, and make men believe they appear plain enough so to be, when their say so shews them, though no inquisitive sincere self-denying Christian can in the word find either how or where: of but a very lit­tle better stamp is your way of arguing here, who being hous'd by custom under a cloudy confidence that infants have the holy spirit, will needs have it appear whe­ther it doth or no: but for my part it appears not yet to me; yea, I reply Se­condly, to this part of your Report, that I did indeed then say as you have here truly related, that it could not be made appear that Infants have the holy spirit to the making of them subjects of baptism; yea, I testifie the same still that it can­not, notwithstanding all your undertakings, which of what little force they are to such a purpose I shall try more at large when I handle your Account over a­gain, not as an Account, but as your Argumentation for Infants having the holy spirit, and so right to baptism. Nevertheless, Thirdly, that I acknowledged any such thing as this in the least, that the Scriptures above named, did seem so much as to intimate such a matter as that infants might have the holy spirit, as it had been most contradictory to that which here you say I said immediately after it, and is most contrary to my Judgement to this present, so I deny it, disclaim it, and testifie again it, as another of your abominable abuses of your selves, my self [Page 21] and the world, into which you have feigned forth this Account, and as an opinion that neither then, or ever since, nor ever before (since I found the way of truth) hath had the least entertainment within my bosom. And so I pass on to your other juggles, among which Nigro Carbone notandum est, this would not be let slip without a Selah in that some few lines below this you relate thus.


That my Answer was that in Scripture children were indefinitely taken, but concerning this or that particular child no proof could be made.


Which thing I confess I said, yet take notice, I must, how you let slip (your memories being willfully weak, as I find them very often to be) something more of my then speech, which had you not declined to set down, would have shewed a little more plainly, and yet its prety plain as tis, but hardly quite so plain as the nose on a mans face, how you strike quite besides the iron, stear to a wrong point, and in your following undertaking upon that my Answer, stickle clearly to another purpose then that proposed by me, for my speech was not concern­ [...]ng this or that particular child only, but of this or that particular child above a­nother, viz. proof could not be made of this child in its infancy, suppose a belie­vers, more than of a Heathens, if one of these, and one of those be lookt on together; whereupon also I then added, but you have absented it in your Ac­count, that if two Infants, viz. a believers, and an unbelievers, as yet un­known which is which, should be presented to you whereof but one secundum te, (o Sacerdos) may be baptized, It would put you very shrewdly to it to discern of your selves which of the two is the believers Infant, by any more manifestation of the spirit in it than in the other; yea I now tell you over again, that such a pre­sentment would fumble, and puzzle both the Priest and his whole Parish, to find the Spirit more in one infant then in all; but you have omitted all this lea [...]t it should do you too much right, and too much lay open the rottenness of your Prin­ciples, and yet you have set down enough to shew to any clear capacitie how you syllogiz'd besides the business I ingaged you in my speech to speak to, as well as meerly bawbled in the very business you found your selves, yea how odly did you shuffle over the thing you undertook to make Appear, shewing not an inch more of ground to prove it in one or two or three little Infants, then your own Argument affords to prove that tis in all Infants in the world? but this being more proper to be discovered when I meddle with your Argument, therefore I shall let it pass in this place, where my drift is only to take notice how you have either counterfeited, or curtail'd most of that you pretend truly to Account for.


Another, and that no small abuse both of me, and your Reader too, is a lit­tle further onward in your Account, pag. 6. where after your relating of your selves asking, and of me answering you to three questions thus, viz.

1. Quest. how those men and women whom I had baptized did make it ap­pear that they had faith, and the holy spirit?

Resp. By their profession.

2. Quest. Whether their Profession, since it is possible mightly, could make it appear infallibly.

Resp. No.

3. Quest. What judgement then, I could pass upon them to be the subjects of baptism, as I called them, whether any other than that of Charity.

Resp. That of Charitie.

At last you leave me in the lurch, and bringing in your selves replying thus, viz. that you would have me pass the same judgement upon these little Infants of whom in general the Scripture hath given so good a report, and against whom in parti­cular [Page 22] no exception can be raised, and the controversie between us was at an end. You shut me out from any share with you, at the end of this discourse, saying, (but not at all shewing what I answered) that to this I answered nothing in the least measure satisfactory, as the most judicious Auditors, being afterwards inquired of, did affirm.


You speak right as to my answer to the three questions, for so I then replied as you say; and have somewhat more to reply to those questions, when I shall con­sider them over again, as your Argumentative Conference, for now I deal with them only as Accountative: but Sirs, what a piece of Legerdemain is here, in that you record, that my answer to your last reply was not in the least measure sa­tisfactorie, in the judgement of the most judicious Auditors, with whom it seems you consulted whether it were so or no, and yet shew not so much as a tittle of it? you intimate sufficiently to our understandings, first, that there was an an­swer given, secondly, that you, who pretend to nothing more in your book then to give A true Account of what was argued and answered, were so well ac­qua [...]nted with that Answer, that you could have told what it was if you would, else how could you, and they, of whom you inquired, so sentence and censure it as not satisfactorie, unless you are, as I believe you are not, those natural bruit beasts Iude speaks of that speak evil of that they know not? yet you give us not in the least measure to know, no not so much as the sum of what it was. Now as for my self, I must profess in the sight of the Lord I do not well remember my self, nor con I yet clearly recall it to mind what Answer I then gave to that passage, which if I did, I durst not but express it here, were it weak or strong, but be­cause I do not, I therefore dare not meddle so much as to mention any, being resolved to repeat no more of either yours or mine, then my memorie assures me of the truth of: however I shall give answer to it anon, when I come to note it un­der a second notion: but as for your selves, who mind it so well that you pronounce it weak, I may well charge and challenge you implicit Accountants to give Account more expresly what it was that men may judge of it together with you, or else to acknowledge your selves, to be evill speakers of what you know not, or else witting concealers of what you both know, and pretend to be re­vealers and True Accountants of to all men; or else that you here drive on your old design, which is to crie out Heresie, Schism, Error, Weakness, Vnsatis­factorine [...]s, &c. leaving men without the least leave, libertie, opportunitie, or advantage of trying whether things are yea or nay, as you call them; or else that you would fain have men to be still stunn'd into that wonted blind belief of what you say at all adventures, or else that you cause men what in you lies to be unjust in determining of matters before they here them, for Qui statuit aliquid parte inau­dita altera aequum licet statuerit haud aequus fuerit, He that judges a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame unto him, Pro. 18.13. or else that you have shamed your selves, injured me, mock't and mop'd all men, in giving an Ac­count to them of things which yet you refuse to give an Account of; or else lastly, that you have dealt, and I appeal to every ingenuous rational man whether you have not so done indeed, most unreasonably, most perfideously, most simulato­rily, as else where, and well-nigh every where else you do, pretending plainly in your Preface, that you have rendred my Answers to my best advantage, whilest you both falsifie them for the most part where you mention them, and also mention the major part of them not at all,


Another and that a most manifest misrepresentatoin of things in this your true Account is this, in that immediately after your third main Argument, for all the rest are but appendicular to the first, drawn from the hopelesness of the salva­tion of Infants if their baptism be denied, I say immediately after that, without [Page 23] the least mention of any more, or hinting so much as in the [...] that there was any more, as if you would make all men know by these presents, that there was no more, you report thus, that there was no other Answer given by me to that Ar­gument, nor yet to be expected, whereupon then one of the Ministers, being de­sired by the rest▪ to put an end to the Disputation, spake as followeth: and so after the Relation of a certain recapitulation of the Arguments that had been urg'd, and the scribling ore of something more in a something more methodicall manner, and quaint composure then it was then spoken in, to which also, as it is a further pleading of Infants baptism i'le speak more anon, in short you shut up the busines, and record the Disputation with me as then ended.


But Sirs, will this be taken for A true Account think you, or A true Coun [...]terfeit rather, by wise men that were there present, when they shall see how you huddle over the matter in such hast, as to leave no less then half of it behind you? what dispatching and patching up of things to an end you make, before your heads are half heated in the handling of them; for verily as Hanun shamefully intreated Davids servants shaving o [...] the one half of their beards, cutting off their clothes in the midst, and sending them away, 2 Sam. 10.4. so have you dealt by the Disputation, cutting off the business by the buttocks, and so sending it out naked into the wide world: your [THEN] Sirs is a word out of joint: 'twas not [then] but a pretty while after [then] before the Disputation came to this full point, which you have already brought us too in your Account, after which you say there was no other Answer given by me, nor to be expected, for as I often offer­ed fuller Answer to all you urg'd in one intire Discourse, but that 'twas an un­seasonable motion in your Account p. 10. and in no wise so pleasing to your Priestly patience, as 'twas to the peoples, to expect so long as to hear it, so there was much more then this uttered by some of your selves, though you give us not not so much as the sum of it in this your sum: Here's but one particular mans influence toward the maintenance of Infant-baptism inserted here in your Account, viz. onely Mr. Willcocks; this was he, who when had been the prime pleader in your cause, was afterward (and good reason too, for he was the fittest for your turn, though not the truths) very gravely desired by you (how justly judge you) to be judge in it, and to determine his own Disputation, and be the main moderator of what came out of his own mouth, and mine too; a thing never heard of in Accademicall Disputations, the Rules of which you were so stiff to have us steer by, this was he, who (if he were (as not I but Report saies he was) your special Pen-man in the Account, as he was your special spoks-man at the Disputation) sets so light it seems by every mans else as to set down no mans Arguments, but his own: it's like they were not very much to the matter, and indeed they were not, nor his neither, though his own are exprest for the most material: but better or worse there were more Arguments urg'd then these, one by a Scotchman, who then liv'd at Kenington, what he is call'd I know not, so well as whether, for he had a call to Dover since that, from whence whether he is now call'd I know not: he laid down his Argument in this form, viz. to whom the Covenant belongs to them the initiall seal of it belongs, but the Covenant belongs to infants, &c. but seeing me startle at his Anti-scripturall term, of Initial seal, by which he denoted baptism, whether he urg'd more, or what more he urg'd I remember not well, but I'm sure he was at Ne plus ultrâ in that, for I durst not admit of that improper term, which made his Syllogism Sophisticall, and his Disputation ex falso suppositis, for he took it for granted by all men, that baptism (as he call'd it) is an initiall seal, about which yet sub judice lis est, it being doubted by many whether baptism be a seal at all, and deny'd by some, of whom I profess my self one so opinion'd, who in its due place shall (I doubt not) give good account on't: there was likewise another [Page 24] Argument urg'd by Mr. Vahan, who from Acts 2. would have drawn the right of baptism to believers infants, and being askt whether those Peter then spake to were believers or unbelievers when he spake to them, and replying that they were believers, heard the contrary both clear'd by my self, and confessed by his Part­ner Mr. Prigg, my quondam friend unless I became his enemy that day because I told him the truth) who convening with me in that, though not in the true Con­sequence of it, did however so contradict Mr. Vahan, that he came in to his help ore the shoulders, There were also two more Arguments (besides these in the Account) urg'd by Mr. Willcock, viz. one ex particulari, the other ex nega­tivo (as I took occasion to give a hint thereof above) which he, or whoever was the p [...]n [...]man of these passages was (it seems) as little willing to own, as his own name, or his handy work it self: sundry more Arguings there were, and some Arglings also made by some who would have now and then a snatch and away, which me thinks you might have given a transient glance at, at least in A true Account, for your utter silence concerning which, you might justly be blamed, yet I blame you not much, when I consider how sensible you might easily be of li­ableness to more blame for the matters themselves, had you shewn them (such un­tempered morter were they) then can well be conjectured by you, you are now under, for letting them alone altogether.


Another flat falsification and abuse, of me and the world is this: you misreport me, and that in two places, viz. at the bottom of both your sixth and seventh pages, which makes you doubly guilty of that single fiction, as having confessed [...]hat circumcision was the seal of the Gospel Covenant, and that Ishmael who was that carnall seed of Abraham onely because born in Abrahams house had right to it and received it.


That this is A true Account of what you then said I said, I dare not deny, but do deny it to be A true Account of what I said: whether you understood, or un­derstood not my words I know not, but I utter'd not a word to such a purpose; and were you not men minded to mis-understand, when to understand seems ne­ver so little to make against you, I make no doubt but to make your own true Account make you eat some of that you have here uttered: that Ishmael, who was Abrahams carnal seed, even meerly because born in Abrahams house had right to Circumcision, and received it, as every male so born also did, I confess I con­fessed, but denied all along that Circumcision was a seal (as to Ishmael) of the Gospel-Covenant, or that he had it under such a notion as a Seal at all; I said it was a Seal to none save to Abraham, and that even to him 'twas a Seal of not any thing at all save of the righteousness of the faith he had, which words (in the sense I then expounded them) are not meant of the Gospel-Covenant, but of that particular personal Covenant God made with him concerning his father-hood of the faihful, a peculiar privildege which God gave to him, and to none in all the world besides him; as for Ishmael, yea, and Isaac himself they neither of them had it in this sense, as neither had they that Covenant, or promise of a fa­ther-hood which it was a Seal of; though even Ishmael himself, and the lowest males in Abrahams house were all to be circumcised upon this account only, if if there had been no other, as he was commanded to circumcise all his males. As to a fuller account of my grounds for this opinion, I shall suspend it till I take my other Account of these passages in yours, and take notice only here first of your sacred Sophistication, in giving that out for granted which was so abundantly denied, Secondly, that close contradiction you here give, not onely to the truth but your selves also, for you give out in the next page but one before, that I denied Cir­cumcision to be a seal of the Righteousness of faith, (which in your own sense is as much as of the Gospel-Covenant) to any of Abrahams posterity, and that I multipli'd words in proof of the contrary, and yet here in relation to that very Relation of your own, in the weak wilfulness of your memories, you give out that I had [Page 25] confessed Circumcision to be (even to Ishmael) the seal of the Gospel-Covenant, that is, with you still, of the righteousness of faith; thus for your own ends fathering your own false-tenet upon me, ye have not lost all by the shift, for you have fastn'd the fault of sorgery upon your selves; and this puts me in mind of another of your mis-reports, which because tis so suitable to this i'le give you some little sense of it here, though I find it farre off hence in your Review p. 13. l. 1.2. where looking, or rather licking over all your arguments again, as somewhat rude and deform'd in their first delivery, and among the rest, this from Circumcision of infants to their baptism, you positively affirm thus, that the Adversaries confess baptism to be the seal of the Gospel-Covenant; whereas, if by Adversaries you mean your friend my self, among others, besides what else shall elsewhere be produced in proof of my dissent from you in this point, your selves can bear me witness, or (if you will not) a thousand others will, that on the very day of Dis­putation, when the Clergy-man of Kenington stiled baptism an initial seal, I de­ni'd it to be a seal at all, and am sure it would have found you all more work, then you are aware of, to have made good that un-gospel like expression of it, though I grant it to be a sign of the Gospel-Covenant.


Another as flat a falsi [...]y as ever fell from the mouths or pens of men, who pretend to truth, is that clause which lies in the last line of the seventh page, and first line of the eighth, wherein consider it with the words before, you say I confessed that the spiritual seed of Abraham and their children, had under the Gospel as good right to the seal thereof, which is baptism, as Ishmael who was that carnal seed of Abraham, had right to the seal of the Gospel-Covenant, Circumcision.


Whereas, besides my constant denial of Circumcision to be a seal to any but Abraham (as I said immediately above, and as your selves testifie of me) and besides my denial of baptism to be a seal at all, I either did deny the children of the spiritual seed, i. e. of believers to have right to baptism, or else to what pur­pose did you oppose me? for this was the very question between u [...]; which as you affirm'd so I from the beginning to the end of the Disputation all along most inalterably deny'd. Indeed I confessed ore and ore again, that Abrahams spiritual seed, i. e. believers have right to baptism, but that the natural seed of this spiritual seed of Abraham, are Abrahams spiritual seed (as so born) or that believers children (qu [...] tales) are semen fidei, as well as their parents, is a most silly saying of your own, page 14. but that which all the day long I most strenuously stood against, much more that they were the subject of baptism, yet you say here in the Preter-plu-perfect tense, that I had confessed their right to baptism, as good as Ishmaels to Circumcision, which me thinks (if I had done so) would have been exprest some where or other in the foregoing part of your true Account, or else it is not so true as't would be taken for; but sith it is not to be found that I confest such a thing in all your Relation of the most materiall things that past, among which this (had it been confest as you here say) had been the most materiall of all, for it had been the full giving you the cause, and saving you the labor of more Disputing) we'l take it for granted (if you please) rather then charge your true Re­lation of the most materiall things, as not relating the most materiall of all, that this your Testimony of my confession of this matter, is most prodigiously false and abusive: Sirs, I wonder you are not ashamed so palpably to speak contrary to what you have here recorded: I know not well what you mean by so many foul mis-reports, unless as a certain great Benefactor to the Romish religion, perceiving it unable to stand by the Scriptures, bestowed a Legend of lyes towards its sup­port, which is call'd Legenda aurea, so you supposing your Infant-baptism un­capable to be maintain'd any longer by principles of truth and reason, have there­upon been so bountiful to the cause, as to give in this golden-leaden-legend.

[Page 26]Another sorry tale, and strange story you tell is not of me, but of one of my side (as you are pleased to speak) and this (me thinks) if I be not mistaken, with a kind of Emphasis of the Featlean strain, as if it were some presumption for a Russet Rabby, or secular Artizan to climb so high, and flutter, and sile so neer the pulpits, and pompous Belconies of the Priests, and as if he were a man Sacer­dotalis ambitionis, loving the uppermost Room, and chief place in the Synagogue, more to be taken notice of himself, then that the truth should be taken notice of by the people, in which things if you muse as you use, yet know Sirs that we have no such custome, nor the Churches of God, of whom you say thus.


That having plac'd himself on the highest of the pulpit stairs, to be seen of all and craved the liberty granted by the propositions to ask questions, and receive satisfaction, he profest himself a stranger, and to come thither by accident, though both afterwards appeared contrary.


Though both will yet appear to be contrary to what you would have them ap­pear to be if you could tell how, viz. a couple of untruths, for verily he was a stranger, and so I then told Mr. Prigg, who askt me of him, that had not been long in the Countrey, and was unknown both by face and name, not to my self and some others, yet however to most of that Auditory, in which I believe not one of many could say who, or whence he was; as to his coming thither by ac­cident, so he did too, i. e. unappointed and unsent for, in which sense I'm sure some of you came not by accident, but as specially bespoke in the name of a great Patron of your Party, both to be there, and undertake the business, and appoin­ted, if not primarily, yet secondarily, or upon their refusal, for whom some too confidently undertook they should undertake it, who yet say of your selves page 3. you were not the men appointed to undertake it; if by accident you mean thus, as well you may, for a man may come by accident enough to a place though he doth not drop out oth' clouds, or slide down thither from the moon, that worthy friend and beloved Brother, under which name I the rather own him here, because I had a letter from a prime one of your Party that speaks somewhat scoffingly of that compellation, and besides though with Dr. Featly, and his faction he is one of the Clergy of Laicks, and an Apron Levite, yet as his name is Temple-man, so I take him to be a better Church-man then many a one, who for not troubling his people with too much truth goes under the Denomination of a good one; this man I dare say as far as he said he came by accident so farre he came by accident as he said, and this proves your hearsay, for its like so you had what you here say, to be Heresie if an erring from the truth may, as I know not why not, be so stiled in civill matters, as well as spirituall: And this conducts me to another figment wherein you father as false a thing upon my self, as any of those you seigned of me before, which is at the bottom of that discourse, which you record as passing be­tween your selves and him, concerning justification of Dying infants, whether it be by faith or without it, in which discourse, though the folly of your opinion in that point, and truth of his, which is also mine, namely, that dying Infants are justified without faith, I shall shew in due time and place, yet I cannot but take notice by the way, before I speak of that which more concerns my self, of some Legerdemain and illogicall dealings of yours with him.


Reporting him asserting thus, viz that there may be justification which is not by faith, you report your selves replying thus, page 9, that it is the gros­sest piece of Popery to hold justification by works, and not by faith onely, and the greatest controversie between them and Protestants.


What shameful Sophistry have you shewn here in foisting in a foolish phrase [Page 27] and term that was neither used, nor touched on by him in any of his fore-going speeches, nor yet in that which your reply most immediately relates to, viz. Iusti­fication by works; whereas you know well enough even as well as he, and I, and the rest that were there (for your wits could not be so far gone a wool-gathering as to need Hellebor here) that he neither spake nor meant of Iustification by works, whether without faith or with it, but of the Iustification of Infants without ei­ther faith or works, neither of which, as your selves confess, they are in infancy capable to act, although you say, but if a man will not believe you he may chuse for theres neither Scripture, sense, nor reason for it, they have the habit; this, I say again, you know to be the sence of such as you call Anabaptists, witness your selves in two places, viz. p. 8. where you give account of our opinion thus, viz, That way of the presentment of the righteousness of Christ without faith is a figment of the Anabaptists, also p. 15. thus, the adversaries are put to their shifts to find out a new way for the salvation of infants dying in their minority viz. the presentment of the satisfaction of Christ without faith: in both which places you give the world to understand, that you know our opinion to be that in­fants are justified by neither works, nor faith, which is a work, but, if at all, by that which your selves hold is the material cause of the justification of men that act faith, and of whom, they being capable to act faith, it is required as instru­mentall, viz. the righteousness of Christ: secondly, you know that this opini­on is farther off, and more flatly contradictory to that Popery, that holds Iusti­fication by works then yours can possibly be found to be, for the very Iesuits may have some colour for saying that you say the same with them whilst their Tenet is justification by works, yours by faith, which say they, and truely too, is a work, theirs by faith, and works concurrent, yours by faith that hath works concomi­tant, and necessarily consequent thereunto: between which two doctrines, (nei­ther of which need be so much condemned each by other (for ought I find) as they are (provided that all merit on our part be cashiered (for there Rome errs be­sides us all) for you will find them both true in the end, viz. that both are instru­mentally subservient, and not either of them alone to the justification of (not Infants but) men, and women of whom both as well as one are required in or­der unto life) be [...]ween which two, I say, there's not so vast a difference as you deem there is, much less so great as is between these, viz. Iustification by works and faith both, which is that of the Papists, and Iustification without either faith or works, which is that of ours, when we speak of justification with reference to infants only, for between these there's not the least colour of coinci­dence, yet this was that justification that Inquirer spake of, viz. of Infants by Christ without faith, or any other work either, which you know is no part of Popery, yet first you reply besides the business, which he spake to, and define, it gross Popery to hold justification by works, as if he had held it, yea secondly which is worse, and down-rightly injurious, you are not ashamed to tell-tale him to the world in the words below that he fell into this popery, and that for asserting of a Iustification of Infants, so farr as they need any, neither by faith nor works, but Christ without either, so much as instrumentall on their part, then which you see nothing more fully contradicts it: if ye were blind indeed you had not sin'd so much in this, but sure you cannot but see how you shuffle, therefore without re­pentance your sin remaineth.

Another thing I take notice of by the way as I travel toward that fiction I mention above, as referring to my self, is this.


That when the quere was put to you by the inquirer (as you call him) what need infants have of being justifyed at all since they have no original sin (which whether it were put for satisfaction in the thing, or meerly to hear how readily you would resolve it I cannot say) you bring in one of the Ministers in the name [Page 28] of the rest crying out, as before of Popery, so now of Pelagianism, and that he had not heard so much Heresie in so few words, that the inquirer should take heed how he vented himself in publique hereafter, for it became him to suspect himself least God had given him over to the Spirit of error, and to another that out of the body of the Congregation replyed, That that way which you the Mi­nisters called Heresie so wershipt they God: you: go on still in the old tone thus, that you were sorry to hear him profess himself a Papist and a Pelagian in saying he worshipt God that way, and that you appealed to me, praying me to declare my mind concerning these things, whether they were Heresie or no, which you charged the inquirer with.


But not a word all this while was uttered either to prove the things to be as you call them, or towards the satisfaction of the Auditory, or Inquirer himself in the question: Sirs, is not this the clutter you commonly keep? is not this the Cler­gies constant custome of confuting, and their wonted way of with-holding men from all audience of what ever comes cross to your conceits when on the sudden you have not what to say against it, viz. to break out into hydeous out-cries of He­resie, Schism, a Spirit of Error, an Anabaptist, an Arminian, an Antinomi­an, a Papist, a Iesuit, Popery, Pelagianism, Socianism, Arminianism, and such like? when happily not five of fifty among you ever read Pelagius, Fau­stus Socinus, or Arminius so as to know what they hold, and why, any more then by tradition one from another: mistake me not, for I am now neither justi­fying, nor condemning these men, with whom, they being dead, I have no great matter to do, nor you neither, but that you love to find your selves more business then you need, for my part my business lieth mainly in the Word, which is the Rule, and being only attended to may (for ought I know) sooner set us to rights then either Austin, or Pelagius, the Remonstrants, or Arminius: for Regula est mensura sui et obliqui, but I here take notice of, and take occasion to con­demn the Popish practise of most Priests in Dam [...]ing down for heresie in gross what they neither disprove, not prove to be Heresie when called to't; by their own calling it so before the people.


You relate upon your praying me to declare my mind concerning those things, whither they were Heresie or no, which you the Ministers charged the inquirer with, that I said I knew that what ere he said, yet he did not hold those things, and that your reply was that the inquirer was a stranger, and th [...]rfore you wondered his mind should be so well known to me, that whatever his opinion was, the question being whether his saying that one may be justified without faith, and that chil­dren are not born in originall sin were heresie or no? you desired me to answer po­sitively to that but received no Answer.


As to this Politick piece of your report, wherein I perceive how fallaciously you represent me as rendering the inquirer as to my knowledge, speaking contrary to his own mind, I have many things to say, and it matters not much which I be­begin with first. First, me thinks I see (as you have set things down, a certain Sophism of Amphiboly ly lurking iustar anguis in herbâ, in these words [Those things] as you express them the second time in this parcel; by reason of which if they be not understood by the Reader in a right sence, I am set forth by you as guilty of a double crime, from censure of which I see a call to clear my self, and my friend, whom you strive to stain together with in that case, that truth may suffer dammage by us in nothing: for if by [those things] be meant in that second place those two opinions of Iustification of infants without faith, and their not having original sin, which were indeed the things that he said, then I am falsly reported (not to say fowly belied) by you in that passage, wherein [Page 29] you relate me saying thus, viz. that I knew that, whatsoever the inquirer had said, ye [...] he did not hold those things, and am made also to speak falsly against my conscience (as my conscience tells me not that I did in all that day) for verily, as great a stranger as that inquirer was to your selves, and the major part then pre­sent, yet he was not such a stranger (saving all your wonder) to my self, but that his mind was so well known to me in that, that I knew he held those things, viz. that infants have all the justification they have need of without faith, and have no originall sin, for I hold them my self, in what sence, since you ask me, you shall see by and by, and if I should have said thus, viz. that I knew, what e're he said, ye [...] he did not hold those things, I should have been both a b [...]lyar of that my friend, and also as very a lyar as your selves, Sirs, would herein fain make me seem to be, but I was both well a ware what he held, and confident that he did not say those things, and not hold them; But if by those things in that place be understood not those two opinions, but those things which the Minister charg [...]d the Inquirer with, viz. Heresie, Popery, the tenet of justification of Infants by works, which were those things the Ministers so cried out upon him for, in which sence it is in my speech to be understood, then tis no other then the plain truth, which I spake, and to give you all the advantage that is possible to have by them, I here say it again, that I knew that whatsoever was then said by that our brother, yet he held not those things, i. e. that Heresie and Popery you then falsly accused him of.

And now sith you complain that you received no answer when you desired me to answer positively to that question whether Infants are justified without faith, and have any originall sin, yea or no, and whether the things, as we hold them in contradistinction to your selves, be heresie yea or no, as you call them; I must complain of your selves as the sole persons then in fault that you received not as full an answer as you desired, for I appeal not only to the whole people but to the same page of your own p [...]pers also, wherein, in the very next line but one or two below this, in which you charge me, with the fault of giving you no answer, your own selves are witnesses to me that I offered to answer you to all exceptions you had against us in an Entire Exercise, which if you had heard, and not lik't you should have had libertie enough to have replied to as long as you pleased, but your selves only opposed it with all your might: but to wave any further recriminati­on as concerning that at present, and that you may have no occasion in future to feig [...], as if we feared to answer you so positively whether those things, viz. Infants Iustification without faith, and their freedome from that, which, not so much in Scripture language, as by an Epithite of mens own coining is called originall sin, be heresie or no, I answer no: as to the first though, Iustification of Infants by works is the Heresie of a Romish Clergy, whether by works we mean the work of faith Ioh. 6.29. or any other, yet Iustification of Infants without that work of faith or any other work, either of their parents or their own, is the truth as it is in Iesus, and such sound Doctrine as, notwithstanding your out­cries of gross popery, and I know not what upon it, you will never with right reason refute while you breath: as for the other of those things, viz. infants not having originall sin, two questions may be askt concerning this, viz. whether they have it? secondly, whether they ever had it if you ask whether they ever had any? I answer, that, as to hold dying infants to be damned unless they believe, which is your doctrine, is as to the poor little ones at least that cannot believe somewhat too damnable a Heresie, so to say that infants never had the sin of Adam so much as imputed to them (how farr forth it may possibly be to a per­son, in whom yet is no inherent corruption, is seen in Christ, who had the im­putation of sin to him though none in him) is for ought I have ever found, yet to the contrarie nor a truth: but if your quere be whether infants have any guilt as from Adams sin abiding on them after birth? I reply, that as in order of na­ture [Page 30] Infants must stand guilty by the first Adams sin, before they can be said to be justified by the righteousness of the second, so in order of time I believe them u­niversally to be no sooner guilty, as from Adam, then clear'd by Christ, which Tenet, he that tryes it, will find it (I perswade my self) so farre from meriting to be cried out on for Heresie, (as it is at random by the Clergy) that it rather comes as nigh to truth, as 4 pence to a groat: but such a Bug-bear makes the Priest, of what ere suits not with his wonted imagination, that almost all is damnable that differs from him, and what ere he meets out of the Kings high-way, or sees Secta­rizing from the common Rode of his own Cloudy conception, and Clericall, Cas­sicall, Convocationall, Canonicall constitution, he draws at it presently, as a thief that comes to Rob him, commits it to prison, and condemns it all to be hang'd for Heresie before he hears it.


You relate that after that none did propound any more questions.


As if all men had been so astonished at your understanding and answers, as they were at Christs, that none durst open their mouthes before you any more that day; yet some would with the help of Christ have ventured to have told the truth in your presence, but (to your praise be it spoken) as you speak below of your selves, you would not let them.


So (say you) the Congregation was again dismist.


An argument of your itching after an end, and being well nigh betwatled to be gone, if the people had not been more forward to quere after truth, then the Priest was willing to Answer, for all his liberty granted in the seventh Article, and his pretended forwardness to resolve page 27. where disswading men from going to seducers, you advise them (as from God) to ask the Priest: and if others had not been more free to both, then the Preachers were either to Preach or hear.

As for what follows, 'tis not so much a model of mis-reports, and mis-repre­sentations (as thus farre of your Account is, for the most part) as of true reports and representations of some few more of the Ministers mis-apprehensions, mis-affections and mis-actions, under a colour of acting for the truth.


You say that your Respondent hindred their departure by making an unsea­sonable motion, viz. that they would hear him preach.


Emphatically even to a scoff, that they would hear him preach, aliàs Sirs, give Account in an intire discourse, and this too after his offer to hear any of you first if you would, but you would not, of what he held, and why; which was the ve­ry business he profest to come thither for, more then to dispute, aliâs to shew upon what grounds he invaded the practise of the Church of England, Scotland, Rome, &c. in her infant sprinkling, which say you (in words) in the fifth Article he ought to have done, but here in your deeds and denial of it, that he ought not: Do you think that all (save such as have eyes and see not) discern not your daw­bing, your double-dealing, and your Egypt-like requiring men to make brick allowing no straw, dela [...]ing that 'tis our Duty to shew our grounds, yet prohibiting our discharge of it, pressing people to prove all things, yet not abiding they should hear all th [...]ngs, tes [...]ing your Respondent that in reason he should have been oppo­nent, yet yielding him no opportunity on that day to urge so much as one argu­ment, though he offere'd it, much less yielding to be responsible to him on the next; magnifying preaching as much as any, yet withstanding it more then all, and making it an unseasonable motion almost at any time, (save when time comes [Page 31] by course) to make mention of it; as if any time were unseasonable for that which is strictly to be attended at all times by Christs Ministers, both in season, and out of season also 2 Tim. 4.1, 2.


This required some time to debate.


As well it might, being a matter of weighty concernment on both hands, viz. of consequence too advantagious to truth, as well as dangerous to your falshoods; besides, the more time was taken up in debating against it, so much the less time, if it fortuned to be cast that way, that it must be done, would be left to do it in.


The Ministers opposing it.


And lying in the manger, having no mind to hear themselves, nor yet that those should who had a mind to it, having the key of knowledge, the keys and power of that place, yet neither abiding there, nor abiding that others should a­bide there to so precious a purpose; which is so much to their commendation, that men must needs see them to be not like Christs Ministers, for if they had, they would have rejoiced in Christs being preached, whether in pretence, or in truth, of envy or good will, well knowing all should have tended to the furtherance of the Gospel, Phil. 1.15, 16, 17, 18

Ob. And if they object that preaching of error will hinder it.

Ans. I say that publishing whether of error or truth, gives that advantage of trying all things, which as it is that duty men cannot do, unless they hear all, so that which they might not do by any means in ages above, when the Arch-Here­ticks the Pope, and the Priest-hood stopt the mouths of all Hereticks, save their own: besides, it puts people into a fairer capacity of right cariage towards all things, viz. if they appear truth (though cri'd out on as error) of imbracing them, if error indeed (as much of the Priestly doctrine is under a name of truth) of de­clining it, and all this upon none of that implicit, but that explicit faith, which onely becomes him that will be a Christian, not in name onely, but in very deed: and all this the Ministers know as well as I, page 24. affirming preaching to be a better way to oppose the approach of Heresies, then that of disputing; wher­upon, though they stirre up one another to oppose in preaching the growth, and propagation of what they call Anabaptism, to prevent peoples departure to the truth, yet are they (and I cannot blame them, they knowing no better way, and seeing how fast their old friends fall from them, by the late light that is risen up from under their dark night of traditions) as carefull to keep all from their pulpits, save such as sing to the same tune with themselves, though we never speak, but we give them leave, which is more then they give us in the like case, to take their exceptions.


Saying, that the end of their meeting was to dispute.


Which if it were, yet the foolishness of preaching might possibly have done the Disputer more good then his Dispute; besides, the end of my coming was to give Account of the way you call Heresie wherein we worship, and why I call yours Heresie, and that truth: and sith I freely granted the Ministers their end, 'twas but unreasonable in them▪ (their own turn being once serv'd) to frustrate mine.


That the Disputation was now determined.


By its own opponent, and therefore that exercise being (as fully as fouly) ended 'twas (I told you) the more lawful, fair, fit, and seasonable to begin ano­ther.


That it was neer 7 of the clock.


Yet not mid-night, much less break of Day, as 'twas when Paul continued preaching, and discoursing at a place, where he knew not whether he should ever preach again, Act. 20.7.11.


That the Dispute had lasted above six hours.


Whether there was so much as six hours dispute or no I doubt, however, i'le not cal you to Account for this, but excuse you, for sith you counted every hour seven till you were gone, it might well seem to you no less then 16. yet Sirs give me leave, was there indeed six hours, and more past all in Disputation? I pray Sirs, what's become of the odd five and a half? did you press them to death ith' Press, or lose them ith' Ashes, whetein you had a design to have smothered it all? for as clean as you would seem to have rak't it out, here's no more return'd to give Account of it self then this small parcell, which is scarce the tenth: See there­fore that the rest be forth coming, for here is but meer Pigmee semi-demi doings: and besides gentlemen, me thinks your tale hangs not handsomely together with the thing told, for, if there were six hours work indeed, how is it you repeat no more? or if there were no more then this half an hours reading, how is it you give so large an Account of it here? or must we conceive you to have two true Ac­counts, one in this clause, which stories the length of the Dispute to be six hours, the other in your book it self, which disputes ore all that long dispute a­gain before the world, that it might have the true cognizance of it, in little more then the sixth part of one? of which two true Acounts (for so you would have us account them to be both) if the one be a true Account then for certain (sith they come not neer one another, by five hours, and an half) the other is a false true one, or a true false one which you please, for howbeit, a man may of a six hours discourse say in the [...] in less then six minits that it was six hours long, and that there were many Arguments, and Answers in it, yet if he take on him to relate ore the Discourse it self, and the Arguments and Answers them­selves, and account (as you pretend to do) pro toto integrali, at least for the most materiall parts thereof, he must either afford it more then six times six mi­nits space to play in, and that's more then you have allow'd your Account, or else 'twas a long nothing indeed. Some creepholes I see you make for your selves, whereat to get out from the shame of that disproportion between your words here, which are S [...]squi-pedalia, shewing the work to be six hours long, and the work it self, which is like a Span; for you tell us in your Preface, tis but a short Relation you pretend to; yet know Sirs that too little is too little in all consci­ence: neither can you lick your selves whole of all absurdity; whilst in two seve­veral sententious Descriptions you speak of no less then six hours, so hoysing up your Reader into an Expect [...]aion of something worth looking after, and then shut him off with this Skeleton, or short shew of not half the sum, but some of one half, some scraps, and broken bits of the business, whereof the fag-end of all, viz. how the bells began to play their parts against our preaching, when you had done, by the appointment of who knows not whom? a matter as well worth hearing as much of yours, is left out altogether: so then Sirs, here's two Accounts of your Dispute, a long-short one, and a short-long one, for tis Epitomiz'd well nigh to nothing: sith tis as tis, you might do well, unless you can help's to [Page 33] that odd remnant of five hours and a half, which is either shrunk away for shame, or else snipt off from the whole piece, whilst you were cutting out of it this short-close-coat wherewith to cover your nakedness, to summon it back to the press, and thence sign it out again for a true Counterfeit: but supposing you'l save your selves so much labor, as to take shame to your selves for your Demi-dealings, I have here done it to your hands, to save your Reader the labor of being cozen'd.


And many (say you) were wearied.


And will be more, as well as more then your selves will be before this dis­putation and the effects thereof have done working in their hearts that heard it, or that conjunction which was Iuly 27th 1649. which began its operation most to'th'purpose, when you prest it out, wil cease to be ominous, and of ill influ­ence in the Clergies climate.


And many had far to go.


And some so farre that night, as was pretended, that in order there unto I hear they took horse the next day in the afternoon.


One of the Congregation reply'd, say you, that he hoped you the Ministers would not hinder the preaching of the word, or call any time unseasonable for that, the Ministers answered, that they magnified preaching as much as any, yet must needs tell them the Apostle makes it inferior to charity, and that when charity was in danger to be violated by it, it were but Christian prudence to o­mit it.


Antichristian priestly-popely-pollicy (if ye will) but neither Christian pru­dence, nor Pastor-like pitty, nor Peter-like piety, nor Pauls charge to Timothy 2 Tim. 4.1.2. which was to preach the Word, and be instant in season and out too, to reprove, rebuke, exhort, &c. with all long suffering and doctrine.

Ob. But some there would have been griev'd at it, in which case better to have omitted it in charity, then hazzard hatreds by performance.

A [...]sw. Some there (its like) would not have indur'd it, yet is that no plea whereupon to omit it, for then we must preach no more Gospel to the world, which sets two against three, and three against two, and occasions (not causes) by means of mens lusts opposing it, more sword then peace at present, Luke 12.51, 52, 53.

Yea, the time will come (and now is) when men, (yea Ministers) will not indure sound Doctrine, but after their own lusts, heap to themselves teachers, (and what heaps upon heaps of false teachers are there in all Christendom? for the Clergy have made themselves many as the locusts, many more then to every parish one, tickling men up still with an omnia benè in a bad condition, even when for their sakes Isa. 24. omnia penè penitus peritura sunt) and will turn a­way their ears from the truth, and be turned unto fables of mens feigning, but watch thou in all things, indure afflictions, do the work of an Evangelist, fulfill thy ministry, 2 Tim. 4.3, 4, 5.


That the Congregation consisted of two sorts of men and women, whose opini­ons were different, that there was a danger of a breach between them, that as they came together, and had behav'd themselves quietly all the time, so they might be permitted to depart, that the mischie [...]s which follow Division, are ea­sier prevented then heal'd, &c.


Great indeed are the mischiefs that follow Divisions, they are more easily pre­vented then heal'd, but as sure as the Lord lives, and his word hath any truth in't the Divisions of these dayes, the mischiefs of which (and that's the best ont') will light most upon the tripple Tower of BBBabel, even the Tripple CCCrown and Kingdome of the CCClergy, out of whose clutches God is going to redeem his Captive Clergy, the height of which Tower he will bring down to the Earth, even to the dust, these Divisions (I say) will neither be prevented nor healed, not­withstanding all indeavours to that purpose, till that be fully accomplisht, which this Division of Languages truly tends to in the Councels of God, viz. the utter shattering and disabling of these great Babel-builders, so that their Ambitious projects shall come to a Perpetual end; till then, breach upon breach cannot be avoided: while the Earth was, as in old time of Priestly pomp it was, of one lan­guage, and of one speech all saying, nemine contradicente, as the Pope said, all worshipping as the Priest-hood appointed, all believing as the Church believed, there was so much Charity to the Churches peace, that all truth was choakt un­der the name of Schism for the sake on't; the builders, by whom the corner-stone is still refused, saying one to another, go to, let us build us a City, and a Tower, whose top may reach to heaven, let us make us a name, and nothing was restrai­ned from them, which they imagined to do by advantage of this their unity and uni­formity of speech, and Religion; but now God is coming down to view the great Tower, this Pompous Kingdom of Priests; and finding it swell up to heaven, above the stars of God, over all, on earth at least, that's called God, he sayes go to, let us go down, and confound their language, that they may not understand one anothers speech [...] whereupon, as the great City is split in three parts, so each of these will be subdivided more and more, into Sectaries of all sorts, so that men understand not now the language of the Pope and Priest-hood, nor will Christs sheep hear the voice of those strangers, by which Division of tongues, if that Great City cease to reign, and that montanous Babell come down, and be­come a plain before Zerubabel, as it must, tis not so devillish as Divine a Divi­sion, which all are not so sorry for as some, whose Alas is lamented back again with Hallelujah: yea, let the day break more and more, and the shadows flie a­way, and my beloved be like a Ro [...] or young hart, hasting ore these mountains of B [...]ther, i. e. Division, Cant. 2.17. And now as to the peoples being permit­ed to depart, I know none were held there against their wills, besides your selves, yea, both you and they too that would, might have gon in peace, and those that would, might have staid in peace, had you not troubled all with your oppositions: if such as had a mind to stay, had been as peaceably permitted to abide, as you who had such a mind to be out, were peaceably permitted to depart, for any hin­derance you had from us, all might have been full as well (for ought I know) as now it is.


Next you relate, I not hearkning to the Reasons of the Ministers, it was at last referred to the Minister of the place being there present, and he desired to declare whether he would give way to my preaching, which he refusing to do, up­on the reasons before said, one of the Congregation began to utter some words ten­ding to a Commotion, viz. that he had nothing to do with them, that they would do it without his leave, and the like, whereupon the Ministers conjured me, whose interest they observed to be so great in the people, by the bonds of Charity, the candor, and Sobriety of a Christian, and ingenuity of a Scholar, that I would dissolve the Congregation, that they might part without professed hostility, that there would great disgrace light upon their meeting, besides dangers which they did foresee, if I did not, that if I persevered in my motion, they did protest o­penly before the Congregation against it, and did charge upon me whatsoever in­conveniency [Page 35] should follow, so being perswaded, I went out of the Church with the Ministers, and the Congregation followed.


I saw not so much as a grain of reason in all you spake, in prevention of so innocent, and in it self inoffensive a purpose as that was, to render a reason of my faith to a people that expected it from me, and were (as your selves were not) then and there so willing to hear it: whereupon I neither did nor durst decline the doing of it upon any such account as convicted that by right I ought not to have done it; nevertheless I must confess when I saw such conjuring, such sensles scar-crows, such reasonles referrings, such rigid refusings, such crooked constructions ready to be made by the Ministers of mens words, as Commotions, when very parishioners, who pay Peter-pence both to the Presbyter, and the place, onely pleaded their Priviledge to be there, without his leave, such Emulous observations of the Ministers how great or little my interest was in the people, such desires of me to dissolve the Con­gration, rather then resolve them by an exercise about the truth of baptism, by the bonds of Charity, as if they were to bind us from other duty, by the candor and sobriety of a Christian, as if this lay chiefly, in forbearing to publish the Gospel of Gods grace to the sons of men for fear of displeasing, by the ingenuity of a Scholar, which makes many a one forget his integrity as a Minister, such a sense as profest hostility to them likely to be put upon it by the Ministers, if I refused to go out with them, or taried there to do service to God, such fearful foresights of great disgrace likely to light upon their meeting, and dangers of I know not what, unless of the downfal of their way, which the Ministers had more then all others, if the Auditory were not dismist without a Sermon, such hydeous apprehensions as they had, and direful representations as they made to the people of Chymaera's, non entities, things that neither were, nor were like to be, and of they knew not what inconveniency would follow, such chargings of all, lastly, upon my self if I offered to preach there to the people, when I saw (I say) such horrible affrightments at it, and such abominable deal of do made by Ministers against so harmless a motion, as a Ministers preaching in one of their publick places, to hundreds that were then ready to hear him, who also would have spoken nothing but the truth, or else have given them all or as many of them as would have staid free liberty to rectifie him if he had not, I was so ashamed to see it, that for very shame I was perswaded to express that love which I truly bear to their persons, though I contest with their corruptions, so farre as in a loving manner to walk out with them, and rather, then offend them further then needs must, to perform that service to the truth without dores, which with their leave might as well have been done within.


You relate that one of you then spake to me as followeth, that I would seriously consider into what a dangerous Error I was fallen.


Aliàs a Dangerous truth, that will danger the undoing of you one way or other, and that whether you imbrace it or no: for if you do, it will spoil you here, and strip you stark naked of much of your earthly excellencies and enjoyments, and expose you to such ridiculosity, as to be owls and fooles among the rest of your Cloth, that imbrace it not, for though if you deny your selves, follow Christ, and suffer with him here, you shall reign with him hereafter, and yours shall be that Kingdom of heaven, yet you will lose your Kingdom here on earth: but if you imbrace it not, specially when spoken to your consciences, it will judge you at the last day, and be your condemnation for ever.


And not onely so, but that I was the cause of the fall of many others.


And of the fall of many more may I be if it be the will of God, if they fall no further then from the Scribes to the Scriptures, but if they fall away from that truth we walk in, after they have known, and own'd it, as twas foretold many should do, and too many accordingly now do, separating themselves from the true Congregations of Christ, since their separation from the false, sen­suall having not the spirit, that fall will be on their own score, and not on mine.


That I would saddly remember what Saint Austen saith of Arrius, that his pains are multiplyed in Hell, as often as any one departs into his Here­sie.


A sadd thing indeed, and seriously to be laid to heart by you, and me, as not onely Professors but Promotors also to our power of different waies, whereof one only can be the truth, for the danger will ly on their side that hold the Heresie, and hold it up, and not at all on the others.


That I would consider what arguments had been used, and how unsatisfactory my Answers were.


So I have done o're, and o're again already since you urg'd them, and, upon occasion of your impression of them, am concerned to consider them more closely yet then ever, and having now well-nigh finisht this animadversion of your Ac­count 'tis the very thing I am to go upon by and by; and what ere my answers were then, it matters not, if they were too short then for want of time, and liber­ty from you to utter them, I shall take liberty to speak the more home to your matter now.


That I would not resist the spirit of God.


But I am to try the Spirits whether they be of God or no, a thing which you are not yet too much guilty of, unless it be of neglecting it, or else I may resist him unawares: if after-triall, and experience of him, I with stiff neck resist his strivings with me to own the truth he manifests to me, and leads me to, as I know when I was ready to do, even when he began to enlighten me first in that part of Christs will he here holds out to your selves, and as they did who stoned Stephen in malice, when they could not resist with clearer light the spirit by which he spake to them, it is hazzardable whether I shall have forgiveness or no, in this world or that to come, or you either if this, as God forbid it should, ever prove to be your case.


That I would remember that though in this unsettled and distracted Church I did not fear being called to any Account for my doctrines, yet I must appear before the dreadful judgement seat of Christ, who is the patron of Paedo-bap­tism, praying God to give me a right understanding, you took your leave and de­parted.


Though your Church cannot call me to an Account at all, if it be a Church of Christ indeed, I being none of it, the Church judging such only as are within her, and not those without, yet I shall be willing to give it to the utmost in the strick­test way wherein your Church could, as a Church, expect it of me, or bring me [Page 37] to it if I were a member of it, which way is not haling to prison hanging, and burning, the wonted way of your Churches dealing with falsly supposed He­reticks, and should that be the way I should I trust in God submit to give Account in't rather then deny the truth, but it is demanding a reason of mens different faith, and as they find it unsound admonishing, reproving, and in case of non-amend­ment rejecting, disowning, but if your Church, and its Ministery be like each other, I find not your Church so forward to call us to this Account of our faith, for you her Ministery do utterly refuse to accept when we offer it: how often have we been an hundred times more ready to give reasons of our way; then you Church-men whom she trusts are to receive them? but if we durst not give Ac­count to Christ for what we do, we durst not give Account for it to your selves: Assure him to our consciences to be what you here assert him to be, viz. the Pa­tron of Paedo-baptism, (but this from Mar. 10. nor act. 2. nor 1. Cor. 10. nor from any other portion of his Testament, nor from his patronizing Paedo-cir­cumcision you cannot, much less can you of Paedo-rantism which is your way) and then we are so sensible of our future appearance before his Iudgement Seat, and have gain'd so much self denial for his sake, since we practised Pisto-baptism, that we shall as readily lay it down I hope as we took it up.


After the Ministers were retired, diverse Gentlemen and others, who had been present at the Disputation, thanked the Ministers, expressed the satisfa­ction they had received, assuring them that many were confirmed by their means and the resolution of the Ministers, who were Auditors, was, that they would faithfully in their several congregations, declare their sence of it, and oppose the growth of Anabaptism in their respective flocks.


Here followes the Story of what event, and success your meeting had among your selves, and you great friends after you were hous'd, of its powerfull influence upon you Ministers, and your Maecenasses, when you met together at your Randezvous, which was on this wise, you had their gratulatorie expressions of their own satisfactions, and assurances of many ones confirmation by your means, and this reciprocally raised you Ministers into joint incouragements, ingagements, and resolutions to declare your sense of this happy efficacy, and acceptation your in­deavors had among them, and to stickle more stifly then ever against Anabaptism in your respective flocks, where you usually winne all because you plaie with none there but your selves, and that you do with such earnestness and zeal, that for fear men should come to Anabaptism, i. e. a second Baptism, you stave them off at a distance, and what in you lies forbid them to own a first: thus while they doted on your Doo-little Disputation, and plaistered it ore with their applause, you in requital agreed to new White-lime, and daub ore their Babylonish Idol baby-sprinkling with your untempered Morter.

Sirs, I half wonder at one thing, for which (whether more happ [...]ly or unhap­pily it befalls you I wot not) yet I however rather more pitty then envy you, viz. that who ere carries the thing, yet you still carry the thank, and who e're is at loss in your holy warres against us Hereticks, yet your selves take upon you still to be Triumphant; you give the satisfactions, the confirmations, for which you have gratulations from the great ones, as if the good issue of things did run on­ly, and alway on your side, I find it so in all verball Accounts, and also in those printed Accounts that are extant of your doings, and disputations with them of this way called Anabaptism, viz. Dr Featly's Account of his Disputation with them in South-wark, and this of your own also with us at Ashford, and another of Mr Baxters with Mr Tombes at Bewdley, pend all as is supposed by [Page 38] the Opponents themselves, who whip them if they have not more wit, and less grace then to disgrace themselves too much, whilst they continue Clergy-men. And now I name Dr. Featly, the man whom in the next page you turn us over to for more furniture in this point, I cannot but note by the way how finely you Featlifie throughout your whole Account, as well as here, as if there were a certain Transmigration of Dr. Featly's spirit into that person that was the inditer of your Account: for as most of the Arguments are found in (not to say fetcht and filcht out of) Featly's fardell, so how many things in yours are after the very Image of his Account, as if one had been the plat-form of the other? Dr. Feat­ly pens and prints forth his disputation under the title of a True Relation of what passed, and (how properly I appeal to all men) so do you: Dr. Featly saies it was the clamors of the Adversaries awakn'd his, or else it had slept securely by him in a whole skin, so say you, the disgraces the Adversaries loaded your dis­putation with rakt it out of those ashes, in which else it was designed to be smoth­red: Dr. Featly be-Asses us Anabaptists, and so do you both us▪ and your selves too, (as is shew'd above) Dr. Featly makes as if none of that sect ever troubl'd him any more after that, so ye that after your handling of the enquirer, none did propound any more questions, as if you had stopt the mouths of all: Dr. Featly relates that the dippers were dipt, and plung'd ore head and ears in disputation with him, so you that your Respondent was extremely foundred, answer'd nothing in the least measure satisfactory, or that ca [...]ried any shew of sense or reason to the pur­pose: Dr. Featly relates the issue of his, as to himself, to be great thanks, so ye how you were thank'd, and as you from divers Gentlemen, so he from the Knights, Ladies and Gentlemen, of which rank few stoop so low, as to the plainness of the Gospel, but neither of you from the poor of this World that are rich in faith, and heirs of that Kingdome which God hath promised to them that love him, into which few, Knights, Ladies, and Gentlemen (except more of them repent, be­lieve, and obey the Gospel then mostly do) shall ever enter: thus you flaunt it o­ver the little flock, over this sect which is every where spoken against, as baffled, non plust, worsted by you still: but Sirs, we can give loosers leave to talk, you tell of gratulations, satisfactions, confirmations of people in your wayes by your means, but how comes it to pass that there are so many Churches? the true Church, i. [...]. those you call Anabaptists, may say in her heart after her long wi­dow-hood, as Isa. 49.21. who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children? and who hath brought up these? behold I was left alone, these where have they been? thy people crumble from thee apace (O PPPriest) for all thy satisfactions, and are captivated some more to Christ, and some more to the Devill then ever before, while they served thee: thy Divinity, (O Divine) is as the blood of a dead man, it hath no life in't, thy Common stock, and store of Religion, thou hast treasur'd up to thy self out of this Author and that, out of Harmonies of Confessions, Councels, &c. grows stale, and begins to stink before the Scriptures, in a word gray-hairs are here, and there upon thee, and thou knowst it not.


And this opposition of Anabaptism hath been since done (say you) accor­dingly.


And 'twere enough to make a man think (though I say it not) that 'twas done even immediately; considering what a Tom-boyes trick was serv'd us so soon after, whilst we were preaching besides the steeple, upon a Tombstone, (which that it grieve you not, know Christ preacht in a ship, on the shore on a moun­tain, in the Synagogues, in houses, even any where where people were willing to stay and hear, and so may his Ministers too for ought I know) for while you were scratching, and clawing one another at your Inr, we teaching and convincing [Page 39] each other in the Outer Court, (for there was no room for Christ in the Inner Tem­ple,) we were curst most bitterly with bell, though neither with book nor candle; yea there a rose (who knows not whence? for sure 'twas either from you and your par­ty, or you in your party, or you without your party, or (at least) your party with­out you) such a hot dispute of bim-bom-bell, which put us to such a non-plus that (least we should perdere in contentione vocem) we were fain to give over, and be gone, and were utterly Routed in the skirmish, tell we could well Raylly to­gether in another place. So here's the upshot of the business of that Disputation, of which somewhat more might yet be written, had my business been to give Account, and not rather to take Account of your Account on't: but this is writ­ten, that people may believe your true Account, to be a true Counterfeit, and believing it, may know the better how to trust you another time.



THere was never any Intent this Disputation following should have appeared in publick, &c.


Like enough so Sirs, for the first appearance, or deliverie of it self in publique by word of mouth was with so little credit to your cause, that it might very easily be as ashamed to shew its face in print, as the Scribes that penn'd it seem'd to be to shew their names; And doubt­less so it would have been, but that it came disguis'd; And yet even this false face, whereby you have made it shew fairer by farr on one side (I mean your own) then at first it did, is so black, so blind, so full of blurres and blemishes, that it cannot chuse, when it comes to review it self the second time, but color red, and blush at its own blindnesses, if it be not Brazen.


But that like Jonas's Gourd it should have died as suddenly, as it grew, &c.


Like Ionas's Gourd indeed; for Ionas-like (O that you were as like him in his best, as you are too like him in the basest of his behavior!) you run away from God O ye Priests, and refuse to preach the preaching that he bids you; whereup­on a mighty tempest is upon you, and upon the waters whereon you ride, i. e. the tongues, nations, multitudes, and peoples, so that they are troubled for your sakes; and upon the Earth it self, which is as it were the Ship, in the bowells of which you have imbarqued your selves, ever since your fall from heaven thither in the loins of your Father Abaddon, Revel. 9.1. So that it reels to and fro like a Drunkard, is moved exceedingly, like to be split in pieces, clean dissolved, utterly devoured with a curse, for your sinns principally, O yee Priests, who have trangressed the Laws of Christ the only Lord, and Law-giver, changed his Ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant: neither will the sea of the whole world cease to roar about you, and be outragious till the lot fall upon you, as it did on Ionas, to be cast forth, though the Ship-Masters row never so hard to have you spared; nor till the Tempestuous waves, on which you seek still to swim [Page 41] aloft, have over-whelm'd you so on every side, that you be fain to cry Alas out of the belly of hell. But Alas though the ship rock, and is ready to suffer ship-wrack, yet as if they had made a Covenant with death, and with hell were at at an agreement, So rockt asleep is Ionas, so sluggish are our Renegado Pro­phets, that they yet discern not the mystery of the things that are upon them, but are stark sensless of the stirs that are about them, and of the storms which them­selves are most concern'd in.

And what the Gourd was to Ionas in his heat, even such is this Disputation also to your cause of Infant-baptism, viz. as short, as sleight a shelter, a sha­dow (for there's no substance in't) under which you have rejoyced a while, and recei­v'd some thin refreshment, and defence against the heat of that truth with which you were a while tormented: But God hath prepared a silly worm to smite the Gourd, so that though it blossom like a Rose, and flourisheth as a chief flower among your followers for a time, yet it will die, even as suddenly as it grew, so that, lea­ving you to your Evensong, to the Tune of [or like the Gourd that Jonas had] men will begin to sing mattens ere-long, saying:

  • Their Rose withers,
  • Their Blossom blasteth,
  • Their Flower fades,
  • The mor­ning hasteth.
  • Their mour­ning hasteth.
  • Their Sun Sets,
  • Their shadow flies,
  • Their Gourd consumes,
  • The Dar­ling dyes.
  • Their sprink­ling dyes.


The truth is the disgraces that the Adversaries in private have loaded it withall, have rak't it out of those ashes, &c.


For your Respondent, whom you mainly mean here, (witness these words of yours to me, viz. Sir, These short Collections of the Ashford disputation had slept long enough, if your own private letters had not awakned them by a too much sleighting your opponents, and their Arguments) not without a just occasion from a friend of yours presented in a letter called a spade a spade, and represented your Doo back again in no worse wise then it deserved, Asserting that your plea­ding of Infant-sprinkling from that non-entity of Infant-believing was shamefull and childish pedling, and that the miserable rawness and rudeness of some, then and there ingag'd in Syllogisticall dispute did [...]avor as little of the Scholar, as that of the Christian; all which and what more is there related was no other then the Truth when I pen'd it, and I find nothing to the contrary yet in your Account: Howbeit 'twas so disgracefull and loadsome, that you Disputers immediately became Scribes, and posted out a piece of Print on a sleeveles errand, i. e. the Recovery of your Retrograde Repute, being afraid (not more [...]hen hurt) that if this man of war do not (what is not to be done) maintain your Infant-sprinkling (which premi haud suprimi potest, the more you tread the more you spread) your credit may grow so crazy upon't as to die indeed, as indeed it doth, and that daily, for as zealous as you are to unlade your selves in your Romish wayes of disgraces, yet what grace (unless you have the Grace to Repent) in this juncture, wherein the Lord is about to fill the earth with the knowledge of himself, and that glorious truth which you have darkned, and to bring shamefull spuing upon all your Ghostly glory?


In which it was designed to be smothered, &c.


Scarce any Infant ever past alive (I think) under so many murtherous, and Smotherous designs as this one poor Insant-disputation that was born at Ashford: It hath had two or three births or appearances in publick, one at Ashford the place where it was first held before many, two at the press whence its forth-held before all, from every of which it should have been with-held, so as never to [Page 42] have appear'd at all to the view of any, if any of those whose own, more then mine, it was could handsomely have smothered, and broke the neck ont.

The True father, Dr. Ble­chenden. who first begate it by venting to a certain Gentlewoman, Mrs. Chute (as she was then cal'd) now M [...]s. Dean (fur­ther then he would have done (as it seems to some since had he thought she would have prov'd with child by his dallying with her) his pretended desire of some discourse with her seducer, so he was then pleas'd to stile me by Anticipation, having neither before nor since so much as said one word toward the shewing of me to be in error, when he saw his offer thrive so fast in the womb of her desires, that there was like to be an Issue, i. e. a Disputation father'd on him to provide for, would for ought ever I could discern, whether to avoid the shame on't, or why else I know not, have smothered the very Embryon in the womb: but sith that could not be done very cleanly it being nois'd that there was a conception, he was minded I suppose, to have it smother of itself at the birth, for want of help to bring it forth, for he would have nought to do with it himself when the hour came, but threw it as Iu­das did his busines among the Priests with [see ye to it] not vouch-safing so much as to see it himselfe or to send in so much as one Rag, or Ragged Argu­ment to hide its shame withall in the day of its nativity, wherein notwithstan­ding all the help and hand it had from such of you as were sent for far and neer to the labor, who I dare say did the best for it you could, it was not so well or­dered but that it pittied many a ones heart to see how wretched it was, and poor, and miserably blind, and naked.

Howbeit I say to give you your due, you had bowels toward it far beyond him, who was neerer kin to it then your selves, for whereas he should have bin by right at all the pains and charges too that day, as being most concern'd in the business of it, yet he withdrew himself from both; but you, who, as you say were not the men appointed for the disputa [...]ion, drew neer and undertook it, and were at such pains about it, that how far forth you gnawd your tongues for pain I cannot say, but I may safely say you blasp [...]emed the God of heaven both then and since, so farre forth as to call his truth Heresie is to blaspheme him, because of your pains and your sores, not do I hear that you yet Repent of your deeds: in a word, though lit­tle to th' purpose, yet your cares concerning this Infant-disputation were very great, when his, whose it was, were none at all save how to keep far enough from it, that it might be strangled before ever it came to light.

Thus it outliv'd one or two smothers, to which it was designed by its first father, viz. both in and coming out of the womb, much land therefore which you love more then a little, to you the kind uncles for it, who so seasonably interposing your selves, swadled it up as fairly as you could in such foul shifts as you had then a­bout you in such wise at least as to save the life on't, or else it had surely miscarried, and come well nigh to nothing, before it was well any thing at all:

Now in small process of time, perceiving perhaps that you had over-charged your selves unawares in Adopting this Ashford-disputation, the fruit of another mans loins, into your own future Tuition, by taking the Patronage thereof upon you, so publiquely as you had done that day before many people; and possibly not more asham'd of its former poor appearance, then afraid that a further appearance of it in publique might put you to more charge and shame, even you the foster fathers also, who had been so kind as to keep it from killing, and to perform the mid-wivery und nursery thereof before, had a design now to smother it your selves, in order whereunto you had buried it alive it seems, and rak' [...] it up in the ashes of oblivion, that it might live no longer in mens minds, but rather return dust to dust, Ashes to Ashes as it was, hoping the Sepulchre of your si­lence was so sure, that the Ghost would never walk about to the cost, shame, and affrightment of its guilty Guardians any more.

But all this avails not yet, the Baby-disputation was not fully smothered for all that; for people of all sorts were in a kind of Hue-and cry after it, Adversaries [Page 43] talkt how ill you handled it, friends were importunate to see a copy of its coun­tenance, so that there's no remedy, but it must be rak't out of those Ashes, in which it was then designed to be smothered, and appear again in publique at the Press, and so by chance it came to escape a third smother, by which else in your intent it should have perisht both out of mind, and sight:

per varios casus per tot discrim [...]na rerum

Hath this poor Infant-disputation had the fortune to escape those many smo­thers, which in the fearful wrath of its own parents, that begat and brought it out, it was ore and ore designed to, so that it rubs out still, and remains in re­rum naturâ, in vivis characteribus to this very day.


And given life to it, &c.


And g [...]ven death to it you might more truly have said, for verily under a co­lour of setting it free from the old intended smother you have subtily smother'd it ore a new (as it were) in another: yea, your very Impression is a very suppression of it rather then otherwise, for you have Prest it almost to nothing in the Press, and made such a Thin-gut thing of it, that howbeit it stands bulk't out with an Appendix, and other bumbles, yet it looks no more like the disputation it once was (in respect of the Respondents Answers, which you have rob'd it of, as well as of your own weakest Arguments) then the seven lean kine like the fat: you would have sneap't it all out of sight if you could, but necessity urging to set forth somewhat, and shame forbidding the sight of all things as they were, after some picking and stealing, and mincing and making, &c. such Relikes of your Rakings as you saw most fit for your turns you Trick't together on a bundle, threw them into the press, and so there came out this

Monstrum, Horrendum, Informe, Ingens, cui lumen Ademptum.

Nevertheless it lighted on a friend at last, that was well acquainted with it from the beginning, who seeing it so lame, so decrepit, so mis-figured, recovered it out of those Sophistical Glosses, wherein it was designed to have been smothered in your Account, and gave life to it indeed, onely to vindicate the truth of it from your mis-reports.


Onely to vindicate its innocency from their injuries, &c.


Its innocency is a matter which It was never too much guilty of in one sense, though it had enough of it in another, for howbeit (Deo prohibente) it nei­their could, nor did ever do any, yet it wanted no will to have done a mischief to the truth, and in that respect (as very an Innocent as it was) most honest men do hold it guilty.


Besides the importunities of many friends desiring copies of it, not without much reluctancy for a good while, prov'd the mid-wives to this hasty birth, &c.


This hasty birth: me thinks indeed it looks like some untimely issue, that brake forth in h [...]st into the world, as one born out of due time, order and proportion; that slipt out at the rash request of some few friends, whilst those whose work it was, and care it should have been to have look't better to it were asleep, and therefore who ere were the mid-wives may I be one of the Gossips I shall freely al­low it among others, that are answerable to its nature, this name of hasty birth, and had you signed it in the forehead with capital letters, instead of A True Ac­count, by the name of THIS HASTY BIRTH, you had done the world more right by th'half then now you have, for then your frontispice had been [Page 44] at least A true Account of your Book, though your Book no True Account of the Disputation.

Canis festinans caecos parit catulos, hasty Bearers seldome bring forth other then such blind businesses as this, which may not be seen for shame without much Reluctancy, nor when they must, without much Apology. This hast Sirs, makes you make wast in your Papers, as well as wast sometimes in your practi­ses, as Saul, who in hast made havock of the Church: you came in hast to the Disputation, and that made you leave Innumerable Arguments behind you, for there might be innummerable Arguments brought but the hast of the Dis­putation for [...]ad the Ministers to be so throwly provided, &c. say you p. 11, 12. you ran in hast to give Account on't, and for hast left it all out but a little. THIS HASTY BIRTH of yours was born about six moneths after it was in semine at the Disputation, had you forborn three moneths longer, and spent more time in recalling, raking, reviewing, there had not been such a mis­carriage, your birth would have had some substance more then now it hath, some more suitableness to sense and Reason, you would have accounted for some An­swers, as well as but some Arguments, and sav'd your selves that acknow­ledgement, which upon the after sight of your hast, defect, and oversight you are fain to make in most parts of this Epistle,

But Insipientis est dicere non putâram, Sapientis discere per non putâram, though it be no wise mans part to fall unawares in to folly, yet is it a wise mans part to learn wisdome by his own folly, and so I hope you will shew your selves wisemen at least, viz. in learning by the more hast then good speed of this hasty birth festinare lentè for the time to come, and never to bring forth so hastily any more.


It had nothing to boast of but the sober and silent demeanour of the Congre­gation while it lasted, it being a thing scarce credible, that so many (some have guessed them about 3000) and so qualified, should attend with so much devotion without any interruption by the space of six hours, &c.


Tis a thing scarce credible indeed, to him that hath either seen or heard how much commotion the Testimony of the true Baptism hath been elsewhere entertain­ed, and attended with, that it should here among so many, and those so quali­fyed too, i. e. with great prejudice against it as Heresie, and that so long too be attended with so much devotion: and therefore it hath much more to boast of, then such disputations as have been held in some parts of England, which I am loath to shame so as to name, even of old England it self in this juncture of its growing new, but specially of New-England, that is now growing old again apace (as old England did in the Bishops times) in order I hope to its growing new­er then ever, where (horesco Referens I tremble to relate it) after many incivili­ties, and much barbarous behavior not long since used toward them, this was ad­ded above all that three witnesses to this truth were shut up in prison, and not only so, but (according to M▪ Cottons Bloody tenet of persecution for conscience, which even he himself abhorred in the Bishops) meerly for no other fault then that of the Apostles at Phillippi, Act. 16. instead of a disputation with them which was pretended to be desired, but never intended to be performed by the Anti-Baptists, the Baptists had a dispensation granted them by the Court at Boston, either to pay one five, one twenty, another thirty pound, or to be well whipt, which they pleased, upon refusing of which fine to be paid, or by him­self, or by others for him, who would as well have set him free at their own charge (if he had accepted it) as they did the others, one of the three sub­mitting patiently to their cruelty in order to his being restored in the spirit of meek­ness (aliês Romish mercilessness towards that Romish childishness of Infant ran­tism) [Page 45] received thirty stripes at the whipping post in such wise as may well make the ears of every on that hears it to tingle, and the hearts of Christs Disciples to stand amazed, and bleed within them that ever such a thing should be heard out of New-England, as is to be seen at large in a book lately extant, stiled Ill News from New England: Lord where shall thy Servants live at peace salvâ conscien­tià, if thou lend them not a full liberty to declare against Tythes, and all other truth-voiding traditions in Old England, when they are so bloodily handled in New? where (Father forgive them) they know not what they do.

Nevertheless had the demeanour of you the Priests at Ashford been as sober and silent as that of the people (as it seldome is when a Classis of you get together, much less was it at Ashford, where you grew into a Chaos of conference and a confused croud of disputation) it had had much more to boast of then it hath.


The Scandals that have since been cast upon it were expected &c.


And well they might (unless you reckoned without your Host) if you scand the Scantines of the provision you made both for your credit, and the proof of your practise: but what Scandalls I trow were cast upon your Disputation? heres a great talk of Disgraces, Scandals, Injuries that its under as from us, but (un­less summum jus be summa injuria) we righted it rather a little too much in reck­oning on it as more then it is worth, or at least not setting so slightly by it as well we might: But tis as usual a fashion among you Clergy men to count your selves scandaliz'd, disparaged, disgrac'd, vilified, undervalued, &c▪ when you are but either found out in your falsehoods, or slandered of a matter of truth as tis for you, under one vile name or other, to scandalize the Saints most falsly, and slander the truth it self: yet if your repute be at reparations, more then justly, through our occasion, when we know it we shall make you satisfaction by sub­mission, and amends by amendment, mean while have patience with us, and in due time, and Christs strength I trust we shall pay you all.


The men which were our Adversaries, and their driving was known before, &c.


Were it in respect only to your Infant sprinkling that you did so frequently stile us thus, we are no less then many hundreds of its old acquaintance, who thinking once (as you do) that we did God service to be friends to it, could now freely an­swer to the name of Adversaries, but we are the best friends in the world to the Truth, and your Persons, could you once see wood for trees, and no further Adversaries to your cause, then as we are well assured you can never make it good while the world stands, by all the shifts you can devise, from the law of Christ, whose cause you call it. As for our Driving, were it like that of Iesu the son of Nimshi, it would excuse it self the better, sith tis only against the house of the Woman Iezebell, that hath sate as Queen over the Nations, and stirred up Ahab the Kings and Powers of the Earth to commit fornication with her, and to do abominably, and to shed the blood of Saints: if you be not she, then our driving is not towards you, but if you be (as I dare not be sworn that you the CCClergy throughout all Christendome are not) then wo to your house indeed, not as from us, but from the Lord, who yet a little while, wherein space is giv­en you to repent, and if he cast not you and your lovers into a bed together, and into great tribulation, except ye repent, so that all the Churches of Christ shall know that tis even he that searcheth the heart, and tryeth the reins, and giveth to every one of you according to your works, then the Lord hath not yet spoken at all by me.


It is no new thing with them to bespatter those Arguments with their tongue which they cannot unty with their teeth, &c.


It is an old new thing with your selves, for it hath been of old the custome of the new Clergie, though never of the true, by common councel to cry down (as Heresie) what truth soever was too hard for them: as for us it is no new thing with us indeed, for it is one of those old things which were in use among us while we were all one with you, but since we sincerely sought the truth are past away: so that I cannot but clear those men that say it is no new thing with us, as speak­ing no other then the truth, and must needs condemn those who condemn us of it now, as men condemning us of a meer new nothing.


Thou hast here a true, though short, Relation of the most materiall things that passed, &c.


I was musing a while what of the Ashford-Disputation this True Account could be truly counted a True Account of; for I found that it mentioned neither the number, nor the names of the Scribes that scrap't it, nor the Disputers that disputed it, nor the Arguments of more then one of those disputers, nor all his Arguments, nor half the Respondents Answers, nor many more things that should be in it by right, nor many of those things rightly, that are in it by wrong; at last I had resolution here that 'twas A True, though short, Relation of the most materiall things that passed.

Yea Sirs? I assure you a good whipping is fitter for that disputation, then a printed Account of it to the world, unless on purpose to be laugh't at, that lasted no less then six hours, whereof five and an half past away mostly in Immaterials, and the odd half too in such Immaterials as these you have here accounted for: and if these are the most material things that passed, how Immaterial (may the world well think) were the most Immaterial that passed in the Dispu­tation, they surely were not worth one quarter of the while they past in.

Moreover that your Relation is Short, yea far short of the Disputation Rela­ted I dare not deny, but dare you say it ore and o [...]e again that 'tis a true one? how true it is, is so apparent by the preceding Ezamen of your Account, that I need not here so much as assert it to be false; I shall therefore say no more but thus, viz. Had you said [false] where you say [true] both here, and in your title page, where your—&c. is stiled A True Account, A True Relation, you had then said true without all question, but your saying [true] in these two places, where you should have said [false] hath made you speak falsly in both indeed.


The adversaries answers being rendred to his best advantage, &c.


As for example; sometimes his answers are altered, and translated into a clear con­trary form, sense, & meaning then he ever spake in; somtimes added to, somtimes de­frauded of such clauses as would have given every body to understand his intent to be directly opposite to what its here represented, sometimes invented as it were de novo; somtimes rendred not at all, but only related to be nothing in the least measure satis­factory, nothing that carried the least shew of sense or reason to the purpose, &c. and all this if men would believe you, and if they do not, I dare say 'tis because they have neither sense nor reason whereupon to believe it, to your Respondents best advantage; but tis utterly against your wills surely Sirs, besides your intentions, and in some such way as you never meant it, if it be, for 'twere a wonder if you should mind my ad­vantage so much, as to render my answers the best way in order thereunto, and 'tis a chance had you intended my best advantage, but that you might have helpt [Page 47] me one lee-tle dram more then you have done; what not one syllable? not one scruple? not one minits matter more of all that store that lies a smothering, where­with to mend the case of your Adversary, whom you seem so to pitty too, that if 'twere possible, even for old emnities sake, for old truths sake, which he strives to tell you, you would do all to his best aduantage? facile est invenire baculum ad caedendum canem; you can easily pick a hole in his coat; and could you not (resolving to render things too to his best advantage) find some few shreds and old ends, or other out of all those cast clouts, you made in the cutting out of your Ac­count, wherewith to stop a hole, and hide the shame of at least some of that sil­ly silence you sometimes father on him, and some of that foppicall non-sense, that you fain him, and would fain have him at other times be thought to have utter'd? was there not one grain more in all his six hours answering to put in his end of the scales, whereby to have rendred his answers a lee-tle more weighty then you have rendred them, and somewhat more answerable to sense and reason? but in truth you may well be afforded a pardon, for when hundreds of wise men, that were ear witnesses of the disputation, shall see how grossly you have falsified what you pretend to give a true Account of, the truth will be no looser, but yours the dis­advantage rather in the end: by Accident therefore, indirectly and in such sense as the truth of God the more abounds through mens lies against it to his glory, it may possibly prove true, that things are here rendred more to my best advantage, then if they had been more truly rendred; but I suppose there would need no more to make Democritus weep, and his dog laugh too, if he had one, then to hear you say in sober sadness, that in this Ragged, and Rude Rendition you directly in­tended any such matter, as to render your Adversaries Answers to his best advan­tage, or that you intended any other then the very contrary.


And the Ministers Arguments as they were delivered without any additi­on, &c.


Alack good men, you minded so much the mending the case of your Adver­sary, and so singly designed by alteration, ablation, addition, &c. the rendring of his Answers to his best advantage, that you durst not trangress so much as a fingers breadth by adding any thing to what you delivered your selves, towards your own advantage in your Account of the disputation; but what ever Addi­taments, figments, amendments, &c. are used for his aliâs your own best ad­vantage sake in the rendring of the Adversaries Answers, yet the Ministers Arguments are set down even nakedly as they were delivered, without any Ad­dition for advantage, as if either the Ministers needed nothing to be done in such a way in their case, but might well spare all the advantage to go on the other side, and yet be on the surer side too, or else were such self-denying men, that they would rather represent the cause of the Adversary at the very best, then their own in the least measure any better then it was.

And truly Sirs I must needs say that for you, that you have not advantag'd your own matter much by Addition to your Arguments, but what benefit ac­crues to them as you manage the matter in your Account, is rather by way of Ab­dition then Addition; for you have hid the most Immateriall of them from being seen at all, and rendred them clean out of the way; the advantage they have, lies more in their being rendred by the ablative case, then by the dative.


Thou art desired to read them without prejudice, to let thy charity cover the weakness of them, &c.


For my own part Sirs, as I heard your Arguments for Infant-baptism without prejudice, i. e. not passing sentence on them till I had heard them, when you urg'd [Page 48] them at first at the Disputation by word of mouth, so God is my witness how of­ten I have read them ore and ore again without prejudice, seriously setting my self to weigh them most impartially, in the ballance of both Scripture and reason, since you urg'd them ore again in print: nevertheless I cannot possibly (unless I speak against the light of my conscience) judge them to be any other then what I said before, and what your selves are pleased here to acknowledge them to be before all the world, begging of people in charity to couer the weakness of them, viz. but weak Arguments; which ingenuous confession of yours if it be not a gi­ving of the cause, I appeal not only to all rational men that shall happen to read this, who know that the truth or falshood of all causes respectively lies in the strength or weakness of the Arguments, that are brought in defence thereof, so that they either stand or fall according as the Arguments to uphold them (be they few or ma­ny) are either weak or weighty, but also to your selves, who tell us truly and plain­ly, that tis the weight of Arguments onely (and he is a weak man that saies weak ones are weighty ones) that carries the cause: your own words if they may be of any weight with you are these p, 12. viz. besides that opinion of Ovid, Et si non prosunt singula, multa juvant, what ever it may carry of credit in other causes ought to have but little in this, where we trust not in multitude, nor measure by number; but substance and weight of Arguments are the foundation of our faith; the other are for pomp and victory, these onely for satisfaction and veri­ty: so that if a man might hope you would stick to this candid concession of yours and not start from it, there need not be much said in discovery of the weakness, or non-weightiness of your Arguments, and consequently of the Rottenness of your cause, for the world it self may hear what you say out of your own mouths in this very vindicatory Account of yours, wherein you not onely publish some of your Arguments in that same weakness and nakedness wherein at first they ap­peared, so that every eye may discern it, having leave now to examine them at leasure, but also after not a few vain glorious vauntings, and ventings of your selves concerning them, as of worth and weighry, in way of defence of them from those sleightings, those disgraces, those injuries and censures of them as weak and wanting, which they are under as from us, at last being sensible of their weakness you sing a new song to the tune of cry you mercy, and fall a beseeching the Reader in his charity to cover the weakness of them: by which weak petition you may work upon some weak ignorants, that are not book learn'd, or (if they be) stand bent to believe all things as you desire them, but on none that are truly disciples, though onely A. b. c. darians in the School of Christ, but Sirs, what need so much peccavi and precari? if your ware were currant it would go off with ac­ceptance without such a deal of cap and congee, and pittiful intreaty to the Rea­der to cover the weakness of your Arguments, the strength of which onely should cause him to gather the goodness of your cause, and not strong intreaty to take it for good, though the Arguments you plead it by are but weak: Vino vendi­bili non opus est haedera: if your Arguments and reasons for baby-baptism be strong and solid, your Reader (if rational) will receive them; if weak (as you say they are) he is a Reader scarce worth writing reason to, who will be prevail­ed with by your desire so to cover their weakness as in charity to suffer himself to be overcome, and carried away by them (notwithstanding that their weakness) to close with you in your cause, and to be beaten into a belief of your baptism as good, though it hath but broken reeds and bulrushes to maintain it, by the force of bare beggings and beseechings Habent arti­ficium quo prius persua­dent, quam do­cent, veritas autem docendo suadet, non sua­dendo docet. Tertull. as ci­ted by your quondam friend Mr. G. C. in his se­cond letter to me.: or if in this request of yours to us, to co­ver the weakness of your Arguments your meaning is, not that we should be so silly as to build our belief and practice upon them, though weak by your own confessi­on, whose they are; but onely that we should not publish, discover and divulge their weakness to the world, but in charity be content to think our think, or to see and say nothing; truly Sirs, what others will do at your request in this kind I know not, [Page 49] but I assure you I cannot possibly for my part grant your desire in this case, foras­much as your selves have engaged me several waies not to be silent, on pain of giving away the cause; which if it were onely my own too, the matter were so much the less, you should have it with all my heart; yea verily and my own life too to do your souls good, for I know I could freely part with it to be a means of effecting your salvation; but since it is the cause of God, which he hath intrusted me with the pleading of against you, who presume to enter the lists against it, with such silly tools, and weak weapons, on behalf of a Babish-baptism which is not from heaven, but of men, I dare not give place so far as in foolish pitty to spare the Cittie Babylon, or in Charity not to bewray a Breach or weakness in her walls of defence, when I spie it, for that were in Charity to betray the truth of of God, and such Charity is more Antichristian, by far then Christian, what ere you call it, and such as could have small hope of acceptance before God, how­ever esteemed of among men: wherefore I desire you to have me excused, if I cannot in charity cover the weakness of your Arguments, for in Charity to poor souls, that are led aside from the way of truth by your piteous pious pretences, and weak reasonings for your way, [...] I am concerned in the very next place, after I have done with this of yours to the Reader, to discover to the world the weakness of them: besides sith you have made so bold with your selves, as to proclaime the weakness of your own Arguments for Infant-baptism (I hope the Counties of Kent and Sussex will consider this, that their choise Ministry that stood up to maintain Infant-Baptism at Ashford, did after in their own Account theerof give out of their own accord, that there was weakness in the Arguments they brought for that purpose) men mutire nefas? I hope it shall be no offence to you for me to second you in your own saying; 'tis you who have publisht your arguments to be weak, my business shall be only publickly to prove them so to be as you assert them: yet if it be offensive to you, it shall be no wonder to me, for I know already that you can bear it better to have your Disputation ly under disgrace and disparagement, under shame and censure of weakness from your selves in print, then from your sup­posed Adversary, and true Friend my self so much as in a private Letter only; and that some men (as the Proverb is) may more safely steal the horse, then some so much as peep o're the hedge.


Not to suffer the cause to be wronged thorow the desects of those, who had more zeal to maintain it, then abilities, &c.


Tis both usual, and lawfull for us to judge of causes by the effects, that natu­rally and necessarily flow from them, for qualis causa, i. e. naturalis, & per se, talis effectus, & Retró; e. g. Infant-sprinkling hath been a cause efficient and per se, from whence much evil hath necessarily crept into the world, for it hath been a means of confounding the Church and the World together, of letting the Gentiles or Nations by whole sale into the outter Court, of filling the world with meer nominal Christians, and carnal Christianity, whereby they have got advantage ever since to tread down the holy City, and true worship and worship­pers, as Heresie, Hereticks, of bringing the nations into one Catholick Church whereof the Pope was universall Bishop, or overseer for ages together, thorow the eyes of his creatures the Clergy, the very Stirrup whereby he and his Ministers, who have blended themselves into a blind and beastly uniformity, have become Masters of the Kingdomes, and have got up to ride them; a plea and president for traditions, (it being one it self) which ever make Gods commands void, and mens worship of God in vain; an inlet of these and innumerable more mischiefs and absurdities, for posito hoc uno absurdo sequuntur mille, therefore it is un­doubtedly an ill cause: also tis lawfull to judge of a cause by the common Con­sequents which come from it, not as caused properly, but meerly occasioned by it, and in respect of which it is called only causa sine quâ non, i. e. that without which [Page 50] the other would not be, and yet no other then the bare accidentall occasions of those effects, which flow from something else as the cause thereof perse; and most especially when those consequents are declared by the word of God to be such, as will upon that occasion universally and unavoidably come to pass; and thus we may give a shrew'd guess that our cause is good, viz. that our Gospel, Ministery, Church-way and Baptism is the true one, because we see it is secon­ded now, and ever hath been with what it was of old seconded, and foretold also that it should ever be even every where to the worlds end, viz. divisions in fami­lies, two against three, and three against two, the Father against the Son, the Daughter against the Mother &c. offences of friends, and fleshly relations, the account of Heresie and baseness, hatred of men, persecution, cavils, stirs, tumults about it, by which things Christs people, Gospel, Ministers, and Mi­nistrations are ever proved to be his Luke. 12.52.53. Math. 24.9.2. Tim. 3.12. 1 Cor. 1.27. 2 Cor. 6.4, 5. So that where theres none of this I avouch the Gospell in its purity is not there though where these are the Gospel is not the cause for that is men lusts and flesh fighting against the light, but the only the occasion, whereupon they arise; when Satan the strong man holds the house the goods are all in peace, but when Christ the stronger man comes to storm him out, there's contention, in hearts, houses, Towns and Countries, as when Christ came to Ierusalem all was in an uproar, and when Paul came with his Gospel to Ephesus, Athens, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe lewd fellows of the baser sort were set on by others to raise tumults, for truth tormented them into rage; thus we often judge of Causes as good or bad, right or wrong, by the effects that flow from them, but to reason upon a cause as good, or ill, true, or false, right or wrong according to the might or moaness, the abilities or defects of the persons that stand up for it is the right way to wrong it indeed, sith the Antichristian cause hath the mighty, wise, and prudent Priests, and Potentates of the world for its Patrons, when the poor only, for the most part, receive Christs Gospell and the strength that God ordains in defence thereof against the persecutor is the mouths of Babes and Sucklings. Causes are to be rejected as wrong and false ac­cording to the defects and weakness that is discovered to be in the Arguments that are brought to maintain, and not by the weakness and defects that may seem to be in those that are more zealous then able to mannage them, if there appear to be weight in the Arguments: these if strong however weakly and babishly pro­pounded will carry the cause in the conscience of any, but such Priest-be-charmed Christians, as in Charity to their Churchmen, are resolved to yield themselves up to be carried away with every wind of doctrine that passes from them, and, covering the weakness of them, to be whifled any way by such arguments as the men themselves, that make them are fain to grant to be weak to prove what they are brought for; for no Argument is weak that is sufficient to evince the thing its used in proof of, though it fall from the mouth of never so weak a man; if a weak feeble hand letfall an heavy Axe upon it, or a sharp sword, even the sword of the Spirit the word of God, that is quick and powerfull it may serve to cut off the Popes head, Tripple Crown and all, but if the Pope himself, and all his chil­dren, which are the ablest Humanists in the world, come out to warre against Christ and his cause with reeds and rushes, blind non sequiturs, weak and bro­ken Consequences, they must ride back to Rome for stronger swords, or else they may force fools into conformity to their follies, but never guide wise men after the spirit to believe their cause to be good: as therefore tis not good that an ill cause, that hath but weak Arguments to uphold it, should be owned for good, either in Charity, or upon pretence of ability in the persons that patronize it, as the Clergies crooked cause of Infant-sprinkling is, for what saies the Parish to those poor ones in it, that entertain the Gospel, are you wiser than a whole Sy­nod of able Orthodox Divines? so it is a thousand pitties that a good cause, that [Page 51] hath strong Arguments enough from Scripture, and reason to prove it right, should be wronged so, as to be rejected as rotten (yet so Christs true baptism is) through the defects of the persons called Anabaptists, who are supposed at least to have more zeal then ability to prove it; of which sin of wronging a right cause upon account of such defects, even the cause of Christs true baptism, which in his strength those Babes that are baptized with it are not only zealous, but able to make good against the Ablest Baby-Baptist that is among you, I know no men under the Sun more guilty, then you Clergy men, who take your advantages to cry out the lowder against it as error, by the defects of Christs Disciples that plead and practise it, of whom you say commonly, as you say complementally of your selves here, they have more zeal, then abilities to maintain it; yea verily you, who seem here, whether more simply or more simulatorily who knows not? so to implore the charitable benevolence of well disposed people to cover the weakness of your Arguments, and not to suffer your cause of Infant-sprinkling to suffer throw your defects, and inabilities to maintain it, are men so far from teaching facienda faciendo, from doing to others as you would be done to, that you ra­ther disclaim and proclaim those Arguments of ours as weak, which as feeble a folk as we are, are strong enough to storm you out of your strongest holds, and cause that cause to be despised, under pretence of our defects, which though weak in our selves, and pretending to little of that outward accomplishment, which you call ability, yet throw Christs word assertaining it to be his, and his spirit assisting us thereunto, we have both zeal and ability to maintain: who is it I trow that trumpets about the eminency and learnedness of their party and illitera­cy of the Anabaptists, whereby to render the way the more contemptible, more then the Priesthood, who charm their people against the receipt of the Gospel, in such sort as the Pharisees of old when they said, are you also deceived? have any of the Rulers of the Pharisees believed on him? but this people that know not the law are cursed Ioh. 7.47, 48, 49. So brags Dr Featly and his fellows, despising the way of dipping viz. joint suffrages of so many Bishops in such a Synod: as for the Anabaptists, they are a few, mean, sylly men and women, an illiter­ate and sottish sect, the father and head of whom, quoth he, was Nicholas Stock, and a very blockhead was he: p. 164. Simple rude Mechani [...]ks, Rus­set Rabbies, Apron Levites, whom we own not, quoth he, but detest and a­bominate p. 113, who know not how to dispute for truth, because they know not the original, and cannot conclude syllogistically in mood and figure p. 1.2. Thus Featly defeats them in their cause by dilating on their defects, and which of you almost do not confirm your people against their cause by their infirmities of one kind or other? like flies you feast your selves upon their sores, and let go their sounder parts; you make much of their little to your purpose, you make your best out of their worst, and out of their personal weaknesses strengthen your selves, and others against the truth, which wise men know is nevertheless truth for the poors receiving it; you root in their very excrements, whereby to find matter to make their good cause bad; and yet here, oh how mendicant of other mens mercy, not only to spare sentencing your cause as wrong, by your personall defects, and want of abilities, but also in charity to couer the weakness of your Arguments? which is such an unreasonable request, as was scarce ever put forth before by any Disputants, who if they find their Arguments to be weak, ought rather to recant them, specially after such publique acknowledgement of the weakness of them, and to desire people that they would not suffer themselves to be swayed by them then otherwise.

But Sirs, do you think in your consciences that there is such weakness in your Arguments, as is here intimated to us in your own book; and likewise that your cause, which is so far from a good one, that it deserves to bear the name of Abaddon, is in danger of suffering so much through your defects in disputing it, [Page 52] unless men be so charitable as to wink at the weaknesses of both? I speak serious­ly in my mind you had then better by far have conceal'd then reveal'd your dispu­tation in an Account, and had provided much better for the honor of it, for now you have vindicated it from the disgraces, with which it was loaded in private like him that fetches a frisk out of the frying pan into the fire, whilst you publish it in the same weakness, (onely robbing your Respondent of the strength of his Answers) in which it discover'd it self at first, and hang it out against the Sun, so that all men may see clean through it (so thin and thread-bare it is) and that without spectacles, and not onely so but make proclamation of the weakness of your Arguments, with a petition to pardon the weakness of them: that's an ill bird, which in hast bewraies his own nest, and leaves it to others to make all clean, and such are they that uncover their own nakedness so far, when they need not, that they are fain to be beholding to the benevolence of others to cover it, and yet are so inexorable as to hold the cause of others inexcusable in the self same case, wherein they are earnest to be excused by them; for our cause is at a loss among you for the sake of what ere defects you spie in any persons that profess it.

But I believe you are not cordiall in your a [...]knowledgements here, for if you were, you would surely have endured your Respondents private representations of the weakness of your Arguments, and your pedling in your proof of Infant-bap­tism with more patience then you did; but its evident by your impatience towards him in that kind, that, what ere you say here of your selves in a voluntary humi­lity, yet▪ you have so good an opinion of your selves, and your work too that day, that (Tam nil as nothing as it here seems to be in your Account as well as ours) you take it ill that any should esteem so poorly, and speak so plainly, though but pri­vately, of your trifling doings, as you dispense with your selves to do here in pub­lick before all the world; and howbeit here's weakness, and defects, and de­fects, p. 3. overtly worded over by you in a general way, yet it's an hundred to one, if a man take you at your word, and yield to what you say as truth, and say it ore after you, that there's much weakness in your Arguments, and that there were many defects in your Disputation, and your zeal of Infant-baptism is great, and your abilities but mean to maintain it, you will be half angry with him, and think he casts scandals upon your disputation, and be ready to gainsay all this, and to stand up in vindication of your Arguments as strong and sufficient, and lay all the defects that were in the disputation at your Respondents door; and if you be askt, what one individual particular Syllogism; Term, Argument or Scri­pture you were out in the framing, uttering, urging or underctanding of through­out the whole day of the disputation? I am perswaded you will sooner bite your nayles then assign any, or if it be specified by others that in this, and that you were out, you misunderstood such or such a Scripture, such a speech or passage you faultred in, I am afraid your pretended self-deniall will be found so little, that you'l justifie your selves in every bit and scrap of that which past from you during the whole discourse, which makes your confessions deserve but little of that favour, you so much implore, by how much they savor of juggle and complement, more then of a real true sense of what is wanting to you indeed, which verily is a right-baptism to maintain, rather then abilities to maintain that right-none that you stood up for: nevertheless I must needs grant it to be true that you say here, that your abilities were far short of your zeal, yea so short, that howbeit you had a good mind to do it, yet you neither did nor could maintain it at all; but wherefore was it, but because you had a bad cause in hand? yea, had your zeal been as big as your cause was bad, there had been no standing before you indeed: the defects of your cause was the cause of your defects, and not your own defects the cause of your causes: had not the fault been more in your faith, which was a false one, then in your faculty to maintain things; and had that and your baptism been as [Page 53] good, as your parts are great, and both these as probable, as you capable to prove, the meanest among you might have done more at the disputation, then (as it hap­pend) all of you did per vim unitam, because though you fought with one, who was no more then a flea in your ears, yet you hapned to be fog'd so that you faced the wrong way, and fell in unawares against the truth, which in these daies of its re­turn falls upon inquisitive consciences with more force from the mouth of fooles and babes, then meer tradition doth from the wisest Babists in the world: The deepest defect is in the cause you defend, in the way you warrand, tis a crooked cause, an unwarrantable way, and therefore those that will warrand mens walking in it, can never do it without faultring and fumbling in the work, and such after occasions of fawning on men for their charitable excusation.

Gentlemen (that I may neither seem to defie, nor yet to deifie your persons, but put things upon a true Account) you are men that have some worth and ex­cellency, and yet some weakness and exigency too, but I impute your miscarri­age in the disputation not half so much to your own, as to your causes indigency; your business was well man'd, but ill manag'd, because there was but an ill mat­ter to be maintain'd; you were at the wrong end of the staff, and therefore well might you be defective in the strife: this makes the least of the flock draw you great Leviathans out now adayes, and the feeble to be as David before Goliahs, that have been Polemically exercised from their youth, in that truth on their side doth animate and assist them: you meet them with staff and spear, and humane accomplishments, and they stand before you in the name of God, and strength of that truth,, and true Israel of his whom you yet defie; this makes Schoolmen like Schoolboyes under the rod, when they are taken tardy in their exercise, and see they are like to be whipt for it, cry spare us, in that their School-masters the Pope, and Councels have overtaskt them, and set them a Theam, which Scrip­ture, whence onely they must fetch all their proofs, saies just nothing of at all: This makes the Disputers, the Divines to come abroad a begging in print among the vulgar (as you here do) saying cover, pass by, bewayling the weakness of their Arguments, their defects in disputing, their presumption in entring the lists, their non-preparation for the disputation, because its not the true Gospel they dis­puted for, a very stripling may make a Gyant give back, if he have hold on the hilt of his sword, and the other thrust hard against the blade; 'tis hard for thee O Saul to kick against the pricks: a learned lawyer may be at loss in a lame suit; Asinus ad lyram may play his part better, and make sweeter musick then the most accurate musitian, that hath nothing to beat upon but a board: it may well put any, but the meer Sophister to his shifts, to prove the moons made of green cheese, and so 'twill any, save the meer self-seeker, that is set to serve it out of a sight that he can serve himself of it, and therefore is resolv'd to make any Argument serve turn (even libet ergo licet) rather then leave it, to prove Infant-baptism, much more Infant-rantism to be a good cause: and yet (the more's the pitty) this is the cause you have to make good, and have been so bold as to stand up for, which though your wishes are here, that it may not suffer wrong through your defects, yet mine are much rather that you may not suffer your selves to be wrong'd any more, or to be wrong'd for ever through its defects, for howbeit it flatters you into an opinion of its ability to be maintain'd by you, by its appearing ability to main­tain you, yet you'l find ith'end, that by its fair flourishes it hath flusht you into more zeal, then furnisht you with ability to maintain it, when it shall have brought you to your choice of one of these two, (ex quibus minimum est eligen­gendum) viz. either of Repentance from it, and all other your Parochiall dead works, tithes and other traditions that depend upon it, upon a sight and ac­knowledgement that you have been mistaken about these, as well as other Romish Remnants, that you have seen cause through the Parliaments eyes to renounce since that long since Lutheran reformation, which after longer standing out will [Page 54] be so much the harder Chapter for you Clergy men to run throw, or else which is worse then nought, of perseverance in your evil waies, and dead works, against light, to prevent the other, which last the Lord prevent from befalling any of you if it be his will.


Who would not have presumed to have entered the lists, &c.


It had been no presumption in you, had you been true Ministers of Christ, and the cause you stood up in Christs cause indeed: for grant it to be presumption in Vzziah to meddle in the publique service of the Temple, and in Vzziah to put forth his hand to uphold the Ark and consequently (for so you argue, not we) for men to meddle, so as to minister to the Gospel publiquely in your Chur­ches, that are not in holy orders; yet it is none (vos Apello) for the Priests, or ordained Ministers of Christ to stand up any where in defence of Christs truth where its traduced, but rather duty, which in speciall they stand bound to; in that therefore you accounting your selves Christs Ministers, do grant it to be presumption in you, to put forth so publiquely when you saw it tottering, you do no less thou give the cause you stood up in to be none of his; as indeed it was not but your own, and that was it only which made it presumption, and very high presumption in you too, in that you durst enter the lists against the Lord Iesus in in his own ordinance; and that with such weak Arguments, such flags as flam'd like swords, but alas such as could not bear the brunt when it came to blows here, how much less will they in that battel of the great day of God Almighty, which is now marching apace upon you.

'Tis true therefore (as you here confess) you have been presumptuous, and pre­sumption, is one of the most desperate sins that can be against Christ, yet for all that in his name, and as an Embassador from him (though otherwise an unwor­thy, and ever a contemptible creature in your eyes) as though himself did beseech you by me, I am bold to beg of you that you would not despair, but come in, and be reconciled to him, presuming no more to stand up against him with such weak weapons as before, least he tear you in pieces, fall upon you, and grind you to powder; but sit down and humble your selves, that you have stood so long in the way of Sinners, so that they could not come to Christ through your Blurres; lay down your arms, and yield your selves prisoners to him, stoop to that golden Scep­ter he yet holds out unto you; own him as your King, Priest and Prophet; list no more against him, but list your selves under him, for he is gracious and will yet receive you, and baptize you with his spirit, if you turn at his reproof, and repent, and be baptized in water in his name for remission of sins, Pro. 1.23. Act. 2.38. become little children in such a sense as you should be, that you may be baptized, and then be baptized in truth, and in token (for your me­mory hath lost your traditionary token sprinkling) that hereafter you will not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, but manfully fight under his ban­ner against sin, the world and the devill, and continue Christs faithful souldiers to your lives end. How happy had it been for you if you had took quarter from Christ before this time, for he would have given it, and forgiven all your enmity against him in his truth, but you are stiff-blades, and your words have been stout against him; you Clergy men are Lords, you will not come neer; but I beseech you become Lord beggars at the throne of grace (as Brightman said truly the Bi­shops were for earthly honor at the thrones of Kings and Princes) that you may have more of that grace and holiness to worship God with reverence according to his own will, which God gives to all humble Suppliants; then had you less lear­ning and living then you have, and more disgrace in this world, then ever any Synods of you had reverence, or Arch-Bishops grace, or Popes holiness, you would never find occasion to bewail your losses, or repent of your change, or reject [Page 55] the councel of God against your selves, out of his mouth, who is a serious Sollici­tor, both from God to you that you would be, and to God for you that you may be in the acknowledgement o [...] his truth no less then happy for ever.


Where there was so great expectation, &c.


There was great expectation indeed, though not greater then little satisfaction: for first some were earnestly expected, (and one also evidently engaged to be there, so that some durst have laid any money he would not fail them) who what ere the matter was, were not there.

The two Doctors Dr. Austin and Dr. Ble­chenden. A. B. were both Absent, yet to my knowledge both Ad­sent, and good reason too, [...]or they were then not onely as immediate neighbours to each other, in respect of the vicinity of their houses, as A. B. in the Cris-cross row, but also lookt upon for ability as two foremen in that whole Classis of Cler­gy-men.

As for A, whom for his Age I truly reverence, and some other excellencies, in respect of which many are inferior to him, if his prudence forbad his presence he may the more easily be excused, by how much the less he was ingaged; but as for B. the very beginner of all that business (ut supra) though I both lov'd and honour'd his person, more then he did that truth of Christ I pleaded against him, yet I must needs say, for him to beget this Infant-Disputation, and then on its birth day father it per alios, and not per se, 'twas too like them, to whom in that, and many more matters (if he were not) many more of that leaven are like, who bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne on other mens shoulders, and touch them not themselves with one of their fingers.

Secondly, as some were expected to be there who were not, so something was expected by the people from those that were there, which yet could not be per­formed; first (and last too sith it might not be at first) from the Respondent, that since he was declaim'd against as an Heretick and Seducer, that he should have given Account (that being the professed end of his coming) of the way he walkt in, that 'twas the way of truth; but he could not, because it was not permitted by the Priests, who pretended to be most strict upon him for it, neither afore, nor at, not after, nor within, nor without (till he got far enough from the Ring-lea­ders) peaceably, publiquely, perfectly, and plainly to give it to them.

Secondly, from the opponents, that since they cried out error, error, heresie, schism, sedu [...]ement, they would prove (for preach they would not neither) by way of Argument, and by Arguments that had weight in them, that their Infant-baptism was the way of Christ, but they could not neither, for whereas strong Arguments were expected, they brought none but such weak ones, that they were fain to wish good people to let their charity cover the weakness of them.


Without better preparation, &c.


Indeed your preparation was bad enough in all reason, and it will be expected, that if ever you enter the lists again your preparation be far better then it was; but yet (as it fell out) it was better then worse, and by so much the better, by how much it was less then ordinary; for take this for truth Sirs that your preparation may easily be bigger, but never better, if your cause be the same: preparation to any bad matter is ever (if the bigger the better) then the better the worse, for vis est improba quae valet ad nocendum, a power that hurts is best when least: and a little of that which is good is better, then a great deal of that which is nought.

First, then make your cause good. Secondly, your cell: Thirdly, your conscience, as far as it needs mending, then all will be well enough ith'end; and though men [Page 56] will fume and frown on you, yet shall you be backt so well from heaven, as to need no mans patronage here on earth, nor yet so much time for preparation, as you now lack, who are ever to seek when summond to sudden service: for the preparation of the heart, and the answer of the tongue are both from the Lord, Prov. 16.1. on whom were you so intimately and immediately dependent as his disciples are bid to be, Mat. 10.29, 20. Mar. 13.1. Luke 12.11. you would not be so sollicious what to say before the proudest Princes, as for want of that and somewhat else you commonly are before the plainest people; nor when you stand up in his name, shall you need to excuse your presumption, if you stood be­fore as many Kings as there were people to plead for truth: but alas deest aliquid intus (as one said who went about to make a dead man stand) the Spirit of the fa­ther speaks not in you, you stick to a certain stock of divinity, which you have stored up in your studies, and common-place books, which when you are but 40. foot off from, you are so far off from your harbor and harness, that meer mecha­nick Scripturists may make you strike sail to them; but you want that inward treasury, and through instruction for the Kingdome of God, Mat. 13.52. Luk. 6.45. by which the good Scribe is furnisht (as occasion is) to bring forth things new and old; this is one thing, which more then the hast of Disputations, forbids you to be so throughly provided as you should be: besides deest aliquid ad extra too, for the truth is that small preparation you make is more against then for the truth, as it is in Iesus, which who ever implead, though with never so much a­curateness, and acuteness of dispute (whether it be you or we) can be but homi­nes obtuse acuti (as a man famous in your Account said well of such) i. e. Acute Block-heads at the best.


But that they feared the triumphings of the Adversary, &c.


As far as the Adversary is minded to triumph, he hath much more occasion ministred by your undertakings, then if you had never entered the lists at all; for then it might have been thought, that you could have said something in proof of Infant-baptism but would not; but now 'tis known you would have said some­thing to that purpose, but could not: But Alas Sirs, as Adverse to you, and de­sirous to triumph over you as we are Accounted by you to be, we had much ra­ther have occasion of rejoicing and triumphing in your sincere submission thereto, then in either your dastardly disposition, or your weak opposition of the truth, yet thanks be to God, whether you own or decline, or spurn against the truth, he alwayes causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his love by us in every place, for we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; and as for our great turn of tri­umphing truly over them, who have trodden down the truth, we are in serious ex­pectation of that at the Return of our Captain Christ Iesus, till then we must be no otherwise triumphant, then as I said above, but with the whole state of Christs Church militant here on earth.


And the unanswerable crime of deserting the truth to be charg'd upon them, if they had not stood up to maintain it, especially when the not doing of it had start­led the strong, offended the weak, and confirmed those in their error, which were fallen before.


To desert the truth is an unanswerable crime indeed, the sense of which I be­lieve may be the reason not onely why some Priests are so loath to answer any thing at all (as Dr. Gouge was to Dr. Chamberlain, and others, that shall here be nameless, unto my self) but also why both they and their people have so little to answer when they come seriously to be reckon'd with about it, for verily [Page 57] as for the people, now the Lord comes by the spirit and power of Elijah, to restore things in the latter daies, to that primitive purity, which hath been of old deserted, and to expostulate with them for that Baalitish worship, which Iezebell the Queen hath stirred up the Kings of the earth to set up among them, they are either shiftless and speechless before his messengers, so that we may say of them as of that be-Baalited people that stood before the old Elijah; viz. the people answered him not a word, or else nothing is answered that hath any shew of sense or reason to the purpose; and sometimes such a miserable mess, and goodly Galli­maufrey of reasons is rendred in defence of that one

  • Babish
  • Babilonish

way of sprinkling

  • Infants
  • Infonts

(to instance in no other) the very naming of which (to name no more then hath been nam'd, in way of Account thereof in my own hearing) is evidence e­nough, that some men) for some are not so gropably blinded as some, though all too grosly that go off from truth) are more then half minded, because they know not well what to say, therefore to say they well know not what: viz▪ are we wi­ser then our forefathers? shall we think that so many learned Orthodox divines would practise it if it were not the truth? I am sure it was a custome before we were born; how shall our children come to have names, if they be not Christned? how can they be saved if they die unchristned? they are not Christ'n creatures till they have their Christ'ndome, and such like: As for the Priests, they have been so rubd up of late, that they have been forc't to find more witnesses, indeed more then the Scripture affords to stand by them at rheir Bason-Business, and how eagerly they agree altogether in one Clashis is shew'd hereafter: but the antient standard of all, which is at hand to serve every ones turn, as a Text in the pulpit, and as a Testimony to the truth of their false way at every turn, is that which e­very one hath by Roat, and by Root of heart, and at fingers ends, more then the Root, heart, Right end, and sense of those texts they take it out of, viz. They brought little children to Christ, by his permission, that he should touch them, and to such belongs the Kingdom of heaven, Ergo, Infants in infancy must be baptized, the consequence of which, as tis no less then this, they brought sick folks unto Christ, by his permission, that he should touch them, and to such be­longs the Kingdome of heaven, Ergo, sick folks must be baptized in the time of their sickness, so it swayes not me, if it be somewhat more then that of the Papists, viz. they brought an Ass for Christ to ride on, Ergo, Asses are blessed creatures, that have a cross upon their crests ever since, and as for that in special that bore him, happy are hundreds of people that can every one get a leg of him.

And now whereas you say you feared it; Oh that you did indeed fear the un­answerable crime of deserting the truth to be charg'd upon you, then would you return from whence in the uniuersal deluge you are departed, and stand up to maintain that faith, Gospel, baptism, Church, Order which was once delivered to the Saints; but now you stand up for error and mans invention, and though you seem to salve all ore so surely, and to answer so handsomely that all men cannot discry you, yet doth not he see all your wayes, and count all your steps? if therefore you are stept aside out of the way, and walk in vanity upon fetches and far fecht consequences, despising the cause of God, when in plainness he contend­eth it with you, out of the mouth of babes, what will you do when he riseth up? when he visiteth what will you answer? yea, when he asks who hath required this at your hands? you will be as blank before him about your Baby-sprinkling, as they about their Bawble Bell-sprinkling, both being but limbs of the Idol Bell that serves the bellies of the Priest-hood; your non prohibition excuses one no more then the other. Though therefore you still strive to startle men into a joint perseverance with you in that way, which you are so disjointed about among your [Page 58] selves, yet when Christ speaks to you in his wrath, for changing his laws, he will silence you, yea, he will startle the strongest of you, who by your superstiti­ons offend his weak little ones, and instead of pulling them out (as you ought to do in all your preaching places) confirm those whole parishes in their errors, who were fallen before you came to them,




So you say indeed, but your Reader may fare ill enough for ought you have set before him in your ensuing Tractate; you feed him with a first, second and third course, yet all such course fare, that his soul may starve, that takes no o­ther course then you here put him upon, in order to the salvation of it, which is no other then under a pious pretence, and seeming notion of avoiding Anabap­tism, Heresie and Schism to keep off from ever owning Christ in his own baptism, and to bid Farewel for ever to the onely way of Truth and Peace.

These few faults that have escaped the Press in this foregoing part, the Reader is desired in order to his better understanding of the Authors meaning to correct as followeth.

PAge 1. line 27. read volumninous, p. 15. l. 21. read indeed, p. 16. l. 54. r. it p. 17. in the marginal note, r. psittaco, also r. [...], also r. conari, p. 19. in the marginal note r. you, who also term your selves, p. 23. l. 27, 28. r. not, p. 21. l. 45. r. they mightly, also l. 30. r. when he had been.


AND now Sirs, having dispatcht my Disproof of your first piece of Patch, viz. your True Ac-count-erfeit of the Disputation, I address my self to a Disproof of your Disputation it self, which I take all men to witness, is such a cloudy, crooked, confused, self confuting, indefinite Mingle-mangle, and mud­dy mess of Argumentation, as was seldome or never (I per­swade my self) set forth to be viewed, and reviewed from the pens of professed Disputers. I shall first say a word to it in generall, and then to each Argument in it's order.

The General [...] praecognitum, which I would have you and all men take notice of is this, first either that you do not dispute, but rather most miserably mis-pute be­sides the Question, as stated between us, and the Position you took upon you to prove, which was only that Infants of believers are to be baptized (as is laid down in the second Proposition pa. 1.) for you run on all along in such generall terms, viz. Children, Infants, little ones, little infants, little children, sel­dome or never naming the term of believing parents, which ought of right to have been exprest in every Argument that past you, in order to distinction of those Infants, whose cause onely you plead, whose peculiar right to Baptism you pro­fess to prove, from all other Infants, viz. of Infidels, or unbelievers; and this I observe is your manner in all your discourses, for when ever you come to dis­pute this point, you state your question still in terms too narrow, and such as are no more adaequate to your proofs, then to your practise; for in your question you dare affirm no further, then that such children only as are born of believing pa­rents, are to be baptized, but as your practice over reaches this by far, while you dispense your

  • Baptism
  • Rantism

to all infants, even those of such parents, who in your preachings are noted for no believers, so in your proofes you overlash as much, and shoot far more wide from your Principle, and profess'd opinion, which is that no infants, but those of believers, have right to Baptism, when yet you huddle over all in such indefinite language as pleads the baptism of all infants as well as some.

[Page 60]Or else secondly, if yee will needs have us to understand you all along as mea­ning believers infants only, in contradistinction to all other infants, to whom your selves say baptism at all belongs not, then you and all may see how curiously you come off, how egregiously you [...] genius hath gull'd you all along, for verily if mine own Minerva may be credited by me, there's not one inch of Argu­ment dictated to you, nor tittle of consequence brought by you for the evincing the right of the one to baptism, viz, the Infants of believers; but if it tended truely to such a purpose, it would tend as truely, and undeniably to evince the other, viz. the right of baptism to unbelievers Infants also, to whom (in pre­tence) you deny it as well as we: yea I appeal to all rational men in the world to judge, whether you have brought one argument in either your Account, or Re­view, which may not as well be used (though thats ill enough too) on behalf of one of these sorts of Infants, as to the clearing their right to baptism, as of the o­ther?

There is but four general heads (for all the rest of your proofs are but subordi­nate to one or other of these) from whence you inferr not only that it is law­full to baptize believers Infants; but also that it is wickedness to deny it, viz.

First, The being, and appearing of the Holy Spirit to be in Believers In­fants.

Secondly, The Deteriorty of the Gospel-Covenant Comparatively to that of the Law, if when little infants of the Iews were all circumcised, little infants of believing parents may not now be baptized.

Thirdly, the Desperateness or Cruelty that is in the denyall of Baptism to in­fants of believing parents, or the destructiveness thereof to all hope of their salva­tion in the hearts of their parents, and down-right endangering their Damnation (so dying) if baptism be denyed them.

Fourthly, The practise of the Vniversall Church, which having for many hundred years together administred baptism to infants, may not without damna­ble blasphemy be once thought to have erred so long a time, in so necessary a matter as baptism.

All which four considerations (not to speak as yet of their utter invalidity to prove the baptism of any infants at all, for so I must do by and by) I am now to shew how they do not a jot more prove the warrantableness of baptizing of belie­vers infants, to whom we deny that Ordinance, then of the infants of very Infidells, and unbelievers, to whom your selves Doctrinally deny it also.

As for the last, which ile begin with first, and so go back to that which is first indeed, viz. the practise of the universal or Catholique Church; I confess indeed that what you, and the Pope too do call the universal Church, viz. Chri­stendome, or to use your own phrase, the Christian world, which with me ra­ther is, and hath been for many ages Antichristian, that vast voluminous Church body, and Ecclesiasticall Empire, or seven headed, ten horned universall beast, that the Whore, or CCClergy hath so universally bejaded, this hath universally baptizid, or rather but rantized infants, universally I say, not only in respect of time, and place, i. e. in every nation, province, and parish within her Verg, in every age of her Reign, but also in respect, of the subject, viz. all infants that are born in those several nations of what parents soever, whe­ther believers or unbelievers, without exception, and by so much more to infants of very unbelievers then of believers, by how much (as your selves witness in your pulpits) Christs flock in respect of the rest, that are none of his, even in Christendome it self, is but a little flock, yea and the number of unbelievers, in the very Protestant, and most reformed nations of it, which dispense baptism to infants as universally as the other, is even many to one surpassing the number of believers: But Sirs, what is all this to you purpose, I say to your purpose, which [Page 61] is to prove by example of the universall Church, the practise of baptism to in­fants of believers onely? Suppose this, which you mistake so to be, were the true Church of God ▪ indeed, and that her practise were set for our example, and such a true Topick, as Priests and Papists make it, from whence to fetch good warrant to do the like, yet I pray Sirs, doth it not as well warrant the baptism of unbelievers infants, against which you plead, together with us, as of such infants as are born of believing parents only, the baptism of which infants on­ly you plead against us? will you argue from the universality of the Christian worlds doings to the particularity of your own sayings, as if the universal baptizing of all unbelievers infants, as well as others in all Christendome were an Argument ab exemplo, and a plain; As for Example, that the in­fants of believers only are to be baptized? Sirs, what if a man were minded in jest to become a fool so far, in order to the convicting you of folly, as to maintain against you, who deny it, that not believers infants onely, but those of unbelievers also must be baptized, and should argue this ab exemplo, might he not (as Dr. Featly saies to us in another case) kill you with your own Dudgen dagger? for seriously Sirs, as far as that example is of force, it overturns your turn, who use it, in the thing in order to which you alledge it, and overthrows you clearly in your question, as you state it, and in your tenet of a right to bap­tism, for only believers infants; exemplifying rather, if the example were to be heeded, the baptizing, not of such infants only as are born of believing pa­rents, which we are against, but such as are born of unbelieving parents also, whose baptism your selves are against, as well as we.

Ad hominem therefore I conclude, and ab exemplo on behalf of unbelievers infants, as your selves do from the same head on behalf of believers infants on­ly, thus, viz.

To hold that the universal Church, or Christian world hath erred in so neces­sary a matter as baptism, for so many hundred years, is little less than damnable blasphemy.

But to hold it an error to baptize the infants, that are born of unbelieving pa­rents, is to hold that the universal Church, or Christian world, which hath baptized in suo genere such as well as others, hath so long erred, in so necessary a matter as baptism.

Ergo to hold it an error to baptise the infants that are born of unbelieving pa­rents, is little less then damnable blasphemy.

Another Argument whereby you strive to evince your opinion, viz. the bap­tism of believers infants above other infants, and to evade ours, viz. the deni­al of baptism to them both alike, as desperate and ungodly, is drawn from the danger of their damnation if it be denied them, and the destructiveness of that denyal to all that hope, that else may be had of their salvation, which if it be of force, doth it not cry out as loud against your desperate, and ungodly cruelty on behalf of those millions of innocents of infidells, dying infants, to whom in o­pinion, and doctrinally you deny baptism as well as we, as it doth on behalf of believers infants, who are no more innocent then the other, to whom we deny it also? for if it be such a business, as not we, but you, and the rest of the right Ro­mish Priests seem to make it, the denial of which, de jure & facta, damnes so down-rightly the infants dying without it, that there's no hope to be had of their salvation, so you say, or else my shallow noddle cannot reach the profoundity of your purpose, in pettering out that pure pious piece of sense which with this Ar­gument of yours is stuffed pag. 13. then its high time, as high a degree of charity as you would be thought to have towards a few infants, viz. one of a hundred, for scarely so many are true believers infants to the rest, to plead for the baptism of unbelievers infants too, and stand up in the cause of those innumerable poor babes, that cannot speak a word for themselves against your Cruelties, who de­ny [Page 62] baptism to them, and deny all hope of their salvation to whom (they so dying) it is deni'd: yea verily Sirs perswade us to that once, and make us believe that popish trumpery, that the deniall of baptism to any infants doth so much as doctri­nally damn them, and then I'le plead for baptizing of infants in a larger way then you who confine it to believers infants onely, viz. for the baptism of all babes and sucklings in the world, and that least they die, and so be damn'd before it be dispensed to them so soon as they are well out of the womb: so far are we from that cruelty to infants, which you (commonly, though not properly) charge up­on us, tha if we thought as you think (but Sirs mistake us not, for we have good ground to act more charity then your selves do to all dying infants) could we think I say that their salvation did so depend upon their baptism, that their damnation would be the issue of denying it, we durst not be so desperate­ly cruell as your selves, nor limit it to some one infant of an hundred, know Sirs we are tender in our construction of the condition of all that die in such minority as you sprinkle in, before they have known or done ei­ther good or evil, and are well assured there's no damnation to such, of what pa­rents soever descended, and as little need of your Rantism to their salvation; but for you who are so seemingly compassionate and charitable to a few, how churlish are you to a hundred to one, whilst your cruel doctrine (excepting such as are born of believers onely) curses all the rest unavoidably to hell? you talk much of your own charity to infants, and our cruelty; but truly Sirs I dare tell you that your tender mercies to that age of infancy are meer cruelty, so long as in your chil­dish dotage on some, you send so many packing to perdition; and as unchristian as our cruelty is, it hath more tender mercy in it to the whole infancy of the world, then all your Christian charity doth yet amount to; for as you prescribe it p. 5. 'tis our rule indeed, but not your own, presumere unumquem (que), bonum, nisi constet de malo, to presume and hope well, even the best things, and things that accompany salvation of all infants, as well as some, specially since it cannot ap­pear that any of them have yet by any actual sin bard themselves, or deserv'd to be exempted from the general state of little children declared in Scripture, which is a right to the Kingdome of heaven: but your Christian charity hath not car­ried you out so farre yet, as to hope and presume well of infidels infants, unbelie­vers infants, or any unrantized infants, though it cannot appear that any of these have by any actuall sinne more barr'd themselves, then the other, or more deserved to be exempted from that general state of little children declar'd in Scri­pture then the infants of the best believers in the world. Whether therefore we, who though we baptize no infants at all, nor see warrant in the word so to do, yet believe, and that not ungroundedly, nor as being more merciful then God shews himself to be to them, the salvation of all that die in infancy, or one who imagi­ning as sillily as your selves, that no baptism, no salvation, should thereupon for pitty dispute against you limiters of Gods grace, for the baptizing of all infants in the world, or your selves, who supposing the same, i. e. no hope to be had of their salvation to whom baptism is denied, have yet no more pitty in you, then to dispute for the baptism of believers infants onely, excluding all other infants from it (in doctrine though not all in practise) which are no less then an hundred to one, whereby not a moity onely but all, save a small moity of infants in the world, yea, in the very Christian world, in which the most by far are unbelievers, are cut off at once from not the Church on earth onely, but all share in the Kingdom of heaven also, which of all these I say, viz: we, he, or you, are most cruel and desperate, and do most justly deserve the censure which you Priests put upon us, p. 15. of your pamphlet of damning infants dying, contrary to evident testimony of Scrip­tures; and of damning innumerable innocents, such as infants of infidels are, whose right to the Kingdome of heaven our Saviour declared; I propound it to be considered by your selves, and all other men at leasure; at present, seeing this [Page 63] Argument of yours makes also more against then for you, whose plea is for some infants against other, if your Minor in it, viz. that denial of baptism to in­fants destroyes all hope of their salvation were true, as it is not, and speaks for a necessity of baptizing all infants, and not a few onely, I'le Syllogize it back upon you in much what your own terms, and so pass hence to the other.

That opinion which destroyes all hopes of the salvation of many dying infants to one in the world, yea, in the very Christian world too, is a most desperate, ungod­ly, uncharitable opinion.

But the opinion of you Priests, who deny all hopes of salvation to those to whom baptism is deni'd, and yet deny it doctrinally your selves to all unbelievers infants, which are many to one in the Christian world, and dispute for its dispen­sation to believers infants onely, is such as destroyes all hope of the salvation of many dying infants to one, as well in the Christian world as elsewhere, Ergo, the opinion of you Priests is a most cruel, desperate, ungodly, uncharitable opi­nion.

Another fine fancie, whereby you would fain juggle men into a belief that believers infants and these onely are to be baptized, runs thus, else (say you) the Gospel Covenant is worse then that under the law, forasmuch as then litle infants were circumcised: Now Sirs, when I come to meddle with this Argument ore again I shall shew you plainly the imbecillity of it to prove the baptism of any in­fants at all, and the mel [...]ority of the Gospel-Covenant above that of the law, though infants be not now baptized as Circumcised then; at present I am to shew how, if it would prove any thing, it would prove the right of baptism to unbelievers infants, to whom you deny it, as well as to believers infants, whose baptism onely you seem to plead by it: I say suppositively that this is to make the Gospel-Cove­nant worse then that of the law, to deny baptism to infants now, sith they then admitted infants to Circumcision, then the denial of it to believers infants, which is your own opinion, makes it worse then it was under the law, as well as the denial of it to infants of believers, for under the law the infants of unbelievers, which were many to one believer among the Iews, Is. 53.1. were both de jure and de facto circumcised, as well as those of the believing Iews, and so by your own rule ought the one to be baptized now as well as the other: Again by the de­nial of baptism to the infants of unbelievers, not onely a moity but the most of Christendome, as in which are by far more unbelievers infants then others, are cut off at once from baptism and membership, I conclude therefore thus.

If that opinion which denies baptism to little children, makes the Gospel-co­venant worse then that under the law, then the opinion of those Priests, who de­ny baptism to all unbelievers infants, whereby not a moity onely, but most of the Christian world, in which the most are unbelievers, are cut off from being members of the Church, makes the Gospel-Covenant worse then the law.

But (though not veraciter, yet secundum te O Presbiter) that opinion which denies baptism to little children, whereby a moity of the Christian world is so cut off, makes the Gospel-Covenant worse then that under the law.

Ergo, thy opinion which denieth baptism to all unbelievers infants whereby more then a moity of infants is so cut off, makes it worse under the Gospel then under the law.

Another curious conceit, whereby you undertake to clear the right of baptizing the infants of believing parents above others, is the being, and plain, yea more plain appearing of the holy spirit to be in these children then in others, or then in men, whom we baptize that make profession, which plain and sufficient appea­rance (so you stile it p. 5) of the spirits being in these children, is made (say you) ma­ny waies, First by these infants faith, Secondly, by these infants holiness, Thirdly by those Eulogies that are given to these children in Scriptures, not inferiour to those [Page 64] of the best Saints. Fourthly, by that Scripture in special 2 Cor. 13. know you not that the Spirit (that Christ you should have said) is in you except ye be reprobates, lastly and mainly by these childrens non-ap­pearing not to have the spirit, by these childrens not appearing to be evil; by these infants not appearing by any actuall sin, to have barr'd them­selves, or deserved to be exempted from the general state of little infants de­clared in Scripture, by all which on pain and guilt of the breach of Christian charity, whose rule is praesumere unumquen (que) bonum, nisi constet de malo, we are bound to believe that these infants of believing parents (not of others) have e­vidently enough the holy spirit: Now Sirs the Lord help you to your eye-sight, if it be his wlll; for ile be bold to say these Seers are as blind as a beetle, what ever they seem to themselves to see, who by any thing at all that is here brought do discern the holy spirit to be in any infants, but this which is to the present pur­pose may be more safely asserted, that all this proves it not one jot more to be in the infants of believers, then it proves it to be in unbelievers infants, to whom you deny baptism as well as we, in plea, pretence, and prate at least, but not altogether in practise, for verily these have as much promise of the spirit as the o­ther, those parents Acts 2. being yet unbelievers while Peter spake to them, say­ing, the promise is to you and your children, yea these have as much capacity for the spirit, as much manifestation of the spirit, as much capacity to believe, as much holyness, as much Eulogie in Scripture, for Christ commends not the infants of some parents above the infants of others, but indefinitly the whole age of in­fancy alike, as little appearance yet of being reprobates, and so consequently as much appearance that Christ is in them as in the other, as little appearance of evill, of actual sin, whereby to bar themselves, or deserve exemption from the gener­all state of little children declared in Scripture, as is in the infants of believers, all which shall plainly appear out of hand, and much of it out of your own handy work, in my handling of your first Argument in particular, which now I am return'd to again, I shall begin with, and so pass through it to all the rest, with which I must deal once over again as they ly in order, in your Relation, and Review: which first argument of yours is laid down in this form, viz.


No man may forbid water to those that have received the holy Ghost, Acts 10.47.

But little children have the holy Ghost.


In which Syllogism of yours howbeit I then did, and do still deny your Minor as the main matter that is amiss, the falsity of which I shall discover, yet there is much fault to be found with your Major, in that you repeat the words of Pe­ter but lamely, and by the halves out of that Scripture whence you quote it, which you adulterate and abuse, unless you had inserted the whole sentence, the chief clause of which, viz [as well as we] which is most needfull to be exprest to the true proof of any ones right to baptism therfrom you whether more forget­fully or fearfully least the falsity of your Minor should be the more discried by it I say not, do yet leave out alltogether: In the absence of which clause the fal­sity of your Minor lies undiscerned, which upon the putting in thereof would ap­pear (if it be possible for it so to do) more palpably false then now it doth, speci­ally to every common capacity, whereupon very probably you left it out, for if your Major had been thus, viz. no man may forbid water to those that have received the holy spirit, as Peter and other adult Disciples had, i. e. visibly and apparently unto others, by the acts, fruits, and effects of it, as the words [as well as we] do import, your Minor then must have ran thus, viz. but little children have the holy spirit as well as Peter and those adult Disciples Act. 10.47. i. e. visibly, undoubtedly, apparently to others, and then it had been more [Page 65] apparently false in the eyes of all, for verily how perspicuous soever it is to you Clergy men, who for your own ends, seemingly see what you see not, as well as sometimes see not what you see, and to your implicit criditors, that will seem to see that you see, whether it be to be seen or no, yet to such as are resolved to see with their own eies, and not yours, it is so far from being so visible, and ap­parent that infants have the holy spirit, as twas that Peter and the rest had re­ceived it, that it is a thing invisible to you, and more then ever did or yet doth or ever will appear to any, but the blind, and the blind leaders of the blind, while the world stands, by all you have here stitcht up together to make it appear by; the inefficacy of all which to any such purpose as you use it for, having thus hinted the crafty quoting, and cunning coining of your Major, besides the sence of the Scripture you fetch it out on, I shall (God willing) make sufficiently to ap­pear in my Examination of your Minor; the proof of which I now come to consider.

As therefore to your Minor, which is this, viz. little children have the holy Ghost, I lay two evils to the charge of it, first a faultering in the terms, secondly, a falsity in the thing testified in it.

First its delivered in tam dubiis terminis, such a dubious and indefinite form of speech, viz. little children, not at all expressing what children, nor belie­vers children distinctly from others, but all alike, which muddling expression of the subject, of whom you praedicate this that they have the holy spirit, is made well nigh every where else throughout your book, and possibly on purpose to shel­ter that absurdity from being too apparent, which unless you dream'd out this Disputation, a more determinate delivery of your s [...]lves all along in these terms, viz. infants of believers, you foresaw would light upon it; Nevertheless, as in­definitely and implicitly as you set down your subject, you cannot hide the naked­ness thereof let your meaning be what it will, for you must take it in some or other of these senses, viz. all little children have the spirit, or unbelievers little ones onely have the spirit, or believers little ones have the spirit, or some children have the spirit but we cannot tell which; nor whether these more then those, or those more then these, the spirit being neither bound to all the children of believing parents, nor barred from any of the children of infidels: you cannot understand it of unbelievers children only, nor yet of all children, nor yet of unbelievers and believers children promiscuously, so as to say some of these and some of those, but in particular it cannot certainly be presumed which, though he that reads your eighteenth page, where you confess there can be no conclusion made, which have it, and which not, can hardly tell how to take you handsomely in a better sense, for then all men will say fie upon it, how miserably do these Logicians labor all along besides their question, they propound the baptism of believers in­fants only, but proceed to prove the baptism of all children, or of unbelievers children onely, or at least of unbelievers children equally with the other; they plead to have none but believers infants baptiz [...]d, yet affirm the holy spirit, the supposed being of which in these infants is the main ground on which they would have these only baptized, to be in all infants, at least in other infants (for ought they know) as well as these; ye [...] even in those infants, even Infidels infants, whom yet they would not have baptiz'd, so partial and cruel are they to these, though the denial of baptism to poor infants (in their own opinion) destroies all hope of their salvation: but if you take it for little infants of believers only, con­cerning which only the question was stated, then every wise man will wound you as much on the other hand, and say thus how miserably do these men fumble about their business, both proving and practising more then themselves believe to be the truth; they assert infants of believers only have the holy spirit, and undertake to prove it in contradistinction to other infants, yet produce nothing more towards the proof of it, then what tends, if it do tend indeed to such a purpose, to prove it [Page 66] to be in all infants as well as those, how egregiously do these Priests gull and cheat their people, they profess the holy spirit to be in no infants, save those onely that are born of believing parents, and that these onely are thereupon to be baptized, and yet practise (another thing under the name of) baptism to unbelievers infants in their parishes, whom they truly judge not to have the spirit, in common with those whom as blindly they judge to have it, i. e. not the seed of true believers only, but the seed of true and apparent unbelievers also.

The second fault I charge upon your Minor Proposition is an utter falseness in the matter affirm'd in't, for take the term little children for what little ones you please, these or those, tis utter untruth to utter any such thing as that infancy have the holy spirit, much more that believers infants have it more then others, nei­ther is there any strength in any one thing you have presented the world with to prove either one of these, or yet the other: and howbeit I say suppositively, that all appear to have it, if any at all, by what you have here produc'd in proof on't, yet I'le positively prove, and partly by way of answer to your own argument, that neither [...]ll infants have the holy spirit, nor any at all, in such non-age as you falsly supposing they have it, do thereupon baptize in: to this end I would I wist what you mean by the holy Ghost (as you call him, but I all along the holy spirit) I am in doubt you scarcely well know your selves, or else you would not predicate him to be in infants, in such wise as here you do; I'le indeavour therefore to search out what your meaning may be, by a serious survey of the senses which the holy spirit seems to be taken in in the word, of which I am confident, if you know what you mean, you must mean one.

The spirit which is but one and the self same in substance where ere he is, is yet spoken of in Scripture in two, and but two different senses in general, so far as I find, and that answerably to two different offices, which he exercises towards two different kinds of men in the world, viz. godly and wicked, believers and unbelievers, Saints and sinners; these two several offices, which that one holy spi­rit is found in towards these severall sorts of men, are either more common or more special, general or peculiar; the common or general office of the spirit is to con­vince and inlighten, draw, move, perswade, strive with men to bring them into the way of obedience to God, and of their own good, and this he executes univer­sally to all men, and in this sense is in all men and women, good and bad, godly and wicked, Saints and sinners, Jews and Gentiles, Christians and heathens, but not in the one day old infants of any of all these (that I know of.) The will of man, even every man, so soon as he comes to such capacity as to be able to discern be­tween good and evill, stands ever after, even all the daies of his life, between two wooers that sollicit him, and seek to win him to their service, and which ere wins him (finally) to its service will everlastingly and accordingly reward him with life or death Rom. 6.17. to v. 23. Gal. 6.7, 8. And these two are mans flesh, and Gods spirit, which are evermore lusting in him one against the other, and between them perswading him (each in their kind) in this sense he is in the blindest heathens that breath on earth (natural fools and infants onely excepted, of whom as far as nothing is required, because nothing revealed, so far they have nothing to answer for) yea the very Gentiles which have not any law in an outward letter, as we have, are said Rom. 2.14, 15. to be a law unto themselves, and to shew the work of the law written in their hearts ▪ and to have their conscience and thoughts witnessing within, accusing and excusing one another, which can be no other (though commonly call'd the light of nature) then a light from God and Christ, who is said to enlighten every man that cometh into the world, and so doth more or less, even such as never yet knew his person (as the Sun sends some light in some corners of the earth, where the body of it is not at all discerned) yea the very spirit of God shining and striving in them, answerably to which Gods spirit is said Gen. 6. to strive with man, even those evill men of the old world that [Page 67] rebell'd against it, by which spirit Christ himself is said to have preacht to those disobedient persons, while the long suffering of God waited on them, in the da [...]es of Noah, whose outward ministry he also used, while the Ark was preparing 1 Pet. 3.19, 20, the same spirit is said Ioh. 16. to be sent to convince the very world of sin, righteousness and judgement, yea the stift-necked and uncircumci­sed Iews both in heart and ears are said Act. 7. alwayes to have resisted the ho­ly spirit, which they could not have done had he not wrestled with them, yea within them, thus farre all men have him, even ill men, the worst in the world, at some time or other, by which spirit the Son of righteousness is the light of the Microcosme, or inward world of mans heart, as the Sun, by the beams that stream from the body of it, is the light of the Megacosme, or outward uni­verse.

In this sense I cannot conceive you take the holy spirit here, or if you do, you mistake not a little, if you say infants have him thus, for howbeit, in these ordi­nary wayes of his acting all persons male and female may be said to have him at the years of capacity to distinguish, yet infants of one day old have him not in this sense, or if they had 'twill make no more for the baptism of them then of all men and women in the world, much less have they him in those special waies of acting, in which he acts in the Saints, till at least they come to be so far past that mino­rity as to be sensible of his acting towards them.

Which speciall and more eminent acts and offices of the spirit are on this wise, viz. special assisting in doing good, when by common strivings with them men are perswaded, and prevaild with to set about it, and when in his first motions he is obey'd; also comforting, supporting in and under troubles, trials, suffer­ings, temptations, persecutions, which will assuredly light on those that do obey him, assuring souls more and more clearly of Gods love and favour, witnessing to their spirits that they are the children of God, enabling them with boldness to cry Abba father, sealing them up to the day of Redemption, confirming them as an earnest in their present confidence of a future inheritance, kingdom, glory, re­vealing to them more plainly the things freely given of God, so that they rejoice mainly therein, whilst others to whom these things are foolishness, rejoice in the things of the world, lusts of the flesh, and of the eye, and of the pride of life; lusting strongly against the flesh, delivering from the law of sin and death, war­ring against the law of the members effectually, which else would carry captive to the law of sin; mortifying the deeds of the body, teaching all things, leading into all truth, guiding and gifting persons for the Churches service severally as he will, bringing all things to remembrance which Christ spake, which are subject to be forgotten, manifesting the Father, the Son, and many more things to them that love Christ and keep his commandements, which he will not manifest to the world, nor to any of those in it that do not, and other such like precious perfor­mances, in all which he officiates peculiarly towards the Saints onely that sub­mit to him, not wicked resisters of him; to which Saints, or true Disciples of the Lord Jesus, he was promised to be given under the Gospel in a fuller measure then in former daies, and sent to be their comforter (whilst to such as entertain him not, but a bare convincer) in which respect he is call'd the spirit of promise, as being promised in this sense to all those that obey Christ, that believe, repent, and are baptized into his name for remission of sins, and ask the father for him; and to be set as by office to minister in way of succor to the mournful spouse in the bride-grooms absence, to help poor soules that give up themselves to be lead by him, and accordingly was, is and ever shall be given to those that do not grieve, resist and quench him, and that are found observing all things that ever Christ commanded, non-observation of which disingages Christ of his promise, so that it failes not, though he be not with men that name themselves his Church, for ages and genera­tions together: In which senses he is not at▪ all in infants in their infancy, neither [Page 68] doth he at all, guid, or provoke them, how far forth soever he may guard and pro­tect them, till they come to such capacity as to have good or evil fasten'd on them by perswasion, nor doth he any of the aforenamed good offices for infants, in whom there's yet no need they should be done, nor doth he delight ordinarily to be where either he must be idle (as he must in infants of one, two or three daies old) or (unless he work miraculously) imployed altogether to no purpose.

As to that of Iohn concerning whom 'twas promised he should be filled with the holy spirit from the womb, besides the singularness and extraordinariness of the case, which renders it unfit for you to argue from, who deny that such exam­ples are to be drawn in as an ordinary rule to judge by, and confess that ex particu­lari non est Syllogizari; I add moreover, that there's no necessity for such an im [...]mediate acceptation of that word [from the womb] as to make the sense of it thus, viz. [in the very moment of his birth] for it may well be taken, as elswhere the same phrase must be, viz, [so soon as ever he should be capable to receive it, and be assisted and guided by it] which might be in his tender years, but was not I believe in such meer non-age as you wot off, thus the wicked are said, Psal. 58. 3. ab alinare se ab utero, to estrange themselves from God from the womb, to go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies, stopping their ears, not hark-ring to the voice of the Charmer, which terms do all denote actuall sinne, by which your selves confess infants cannot bar themselves p. 5. or deserve exemption; it must therefore be understood thus, viz. so soon as ever they are capable to do this or that, to take the right away or the wrong, or to know and act either good or evil.

I assert therefore once again, that the spirit in this second sense is not in infants in their infancy, nor know I in what sense they can be said to have him, as to have right thereby to baptism, unless you can assign me some more senses out of Scripture, which if you can do, I shall tell you what to say to them, and as I cannot find they have the holy spirit in them, so neither find I any promise of the holy spirit in such non-age as you wot of, if by the spirit you mean the spirit of promise, as you must if you plead a right to baptism there from; and if you should refer me to Act. 2. I find there no more made to any then to all; indeed its said the pro­mise is to you and your children, but I advise you to consider, first, that tis not said to you and your infants, neither are children and infants all one in significa­tion, the one expressing the age or rather non-age, the other the Relation to the parents, of whom they are born: Infans of non fans [...] of [...].all infants are children of some parents or other, but all children are not infants: Infants are at least such younglings as cannot speak, but children may be children, in respect of their parents, though the pa­rents be eighty years old and the children sixty, so that the promise of the spirit might be to them and their children too, i. e. their posterity, as well as to the Gentiles that were yet far off, in both time and place, and their posterity to all succeeding generations, and be made good too on the same terms, upon which, and the same time in which its made good to the parents themselves, viz. the terms of faith, and the time of their believing, and yet all this while not be made to them and their infants, as in their infancy: moreover it appears most evidently that these parents were yet in unbelief, and bare inquiry after what they should do, having acted neither faith nor repentance as yet, when Peter said thus to them, repent and be baptized, and ye shall receive the holy spirit; for the promise is to you and your children; therefore it may seem rather to be to unbeleevers children by that place, then unto belieuers children; but in very deed tis to all men and their children throughout the world, as they and their children should believe, re­pent, receive the word gladly, come to God at his call, and that in all ages and places to the worlds end; and as children of unbelievers have as much promise of the holy spirit, so as much manifestation of it as the other, and that is just none at all.

[Page 69]But say you these appear to have it first by their faith, i. e. as other mens infants do not, by their faith: Sirs this is no demonstrative Argument I am sure, that they have the Spirit, for demonstratio est ex notioribus conclusione, but this is Ignotum per ignotius, or at least per ae (que) ignotum for now you have much more ado by something else (& hoc aliquid nihil est) to demonstrate to us that they have faith, then before you had to demonstrate them to have the spirits; yea this will puzzle you the more, by how much the last error is worse than the first, and more confuted in other places by your selves, however we will consider your Argument and supposing still that you speak of the right subject, viz. infants of believing pa­rents; we will cast this your Enthusiasm into this Enthememe.


Little children of believing parents have faith.

Ergo little children of believing parents have the holy spirit.


First I deny your Consequence, secondly your Antecedent, as both stark false, and that is as much as can well be false in an Enthememe.

First, I shall be bold to tell you Sirs, that your Argumentation from present faith, to a present having the holy Spirit is most invalid, and unconsonant to the Scripture, for if by the holy Spirit you mean (as you must else it serves not your turn at all to the proof of baptism) the spirit in that special sense, viz. the holy spirit of promise; the consequen [...]e from faith to the having of it will not universal­ly hold true, for as much as faith not only must be in time before it (unless God be better than his word, and that he may be when he pleases, and so he was Act. 10, 44. where the spirit by Anticipation was given out before obedience at least in baptism, which yet by promise cannot be expected till after it Ast. 2. 38.) I say not only must be before it, but also may be a pretty while without it; this will be counted the mad mans mad Divinity with you (I doubt not) but ile clear it to the Dimmest Divine of you all, yea see if the whole body of the Testament of Christ doth not tell you plainly, that as faith must be before it in an ordinary way, before we have warrant to expect it, so it may for some while be without it, and therefore cannot prove the holy spirit to be alwaies where it is; for the spirit of promise is given after faith, if given according to the promise, and so long after it too now and then, as is enough to make it undeniably appear, that the having of faith, is no proof of ones present having the holy spirit: among sun­dry others let those Scriptures be seriously searcht into, Ephes. 1.13. In whom after ye believed ye were sealed with the holy spirit of promise, Act. 19.2. have ye received the holy spirit since ye believed? they answered no, also Act. 8.12. when they believed, &c. they were baptized, &c. but verse 16. the holy spirit was fallen upon none of them, only they were baptized, Act. 5.32. The ho­ly spirit which God hath given to them that obey him: yea the gift of the spirit though Gods ordinary way so limits not himself but that he may give it extraordi­narily before Act. 10. yet is it neither promised nor (as by promise) to be expect­ed but upon obedience in faith, repentance, turning to God, baptism and pray­er Pro. 1.23. Act. 2.38. Luke 11.15. Iohn 7.38.39. the places are so plain to the purpose, that i'le not disparage your judgement so much, as like a fresh man to stand to frame formal Syllogisms to you out of them: to conclude then as to your Consequence, had you argued from the holy spirit, in the special sence, in which you take it to faith, it might have past for me without correction, but [...]ith you began at the wrong end of your business, I beseech you take it for a war­ning Sirs and begin again.

Secondly, I deny your Antecedent, which if your Consequence were never so true, is most false, for infants of believers have not faith; if they have unbeliev­ers infants (for ought you make appear to the contrary) have as much, and so (though that grieve and go against you, and cannot be owned so kindly by you in o­pinion [Page 70] as it is in practise) must (de jure) be baptized, i. e. humano (for Divino neither may) as well as they; but in truth as it will not appear by what you here bring to evince it by, that faith is in either, so I trust it will appear by what shall be said in disproof of your proofs, that faith can possibly he in neither.


You prove infants of believing parents to have faith two waies (as you say) first by express texts of Scripture, secondly Arguments of consequence.

Your express Scripture is Mat. 18.6. Whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me; [...]: in the third verse (say you) they are called [...], whence upon my confession and concession that in ver. 2. and 4. is meant one in respect of age, because it is said there he called to him a little child and who so humbleth himself as this little child, you therfore argue that little ones in respect of age are meant in that 6 verse also.


Sirs, let me ask you two questions, first are you sure these are infants indeed? Secondly, are you sure they were infants of believers of whom Christ saies, who­ever offends one of these little ones that believe in me? for my part if there were any probability that he spake of little ones literally taken at all, as I know none there is, yet I am sure there is none that they were the little ones of believers he then spake of, in contradistinction to the infants of unbelievers; for tis not specified either one way or other, and is most probable that the child he occasionally called to him might be some unbelievers child, or other, the number of believers, where e're he came, being few, and not comparable to them that believed not, but what e're that child was yet this is much more then probable, that by the term these lit [...]le ones in v. 6. he means not infants but his Disciples, whom, having first perswaded them to become such as that little one, or as little children in such things as are gener­ally found in them, viz. plainness of spirit, humbleness, innocency, freedome from malice, in which respects David saies Psal. 131.2. my soul is as a weaned child, from that Analogy that was and ought to be between little ones and them, he here bespeaks (as it was very ordinary for him to do) under the title of [these lit­tle ones] besides the plurall number he speaks in implies he spake of such of whom there was a plurallity then present, for saith he these little ones, pointing as it were to more then one, but there was but one little one then in the midst of them of whom when Christ speaks, he speaks, in the singular, saying this little child: as to the term [...] which is used in the third verse, whence you argue that they were children in age spoken of by our Savior, by which you seem much to strengh­then your selves in your Dabling of Infants foreheads, I must tell you that of the two you more marre than make your matter, by so much as mentioning of it in this case, for first [...] though by some philosophicall or poeticall license it may possibly be used to signify [Infantem] some youngling of three or four years old, as (though beginning to prattle) can scarcely speak plain, yet cannot so much as poetically, much less properly signifie Infantissimum, such a one day old infant as you talk of, nor such a six dayes old suckling as you sprinkle, but properly it ex­presses at least one capable of erudition, and how beit it hath not its derivation from [...], as setting the cart before the horse, I say not ungraciously, for many a gracious man is no good Grecian, but ungraecianly you greek it out, yet [...] hath its derivation from it, for to say the truth, [...] is the primitive of the two, and though [...] be the diminutive of [...], puer, which is the primitive to them both, yet this is enough to shew that [...] may be used, and yet not infancy meant by it neither, but childhood, which is a distinct age from the other, for there's difference between Infantiam and pueritiam, as inter ado­lescentiam & inventutem, all which have their severall and proper periods, yea in truth it signifies child-ship, at least capable to be taught, not such meer babe­ship as you baptize.

[Page 71]Secondly if it did, yet whats that to your present purpose, which is to prove by the word [...] in the third, [...] in the fourth verse, that Christ means the ve­ry same viz. little ones literally taken in the sixth? as much as if you had said nothing at all, for verily as it follows not that he doth, so its evident enough that he doth not mean the very same in this phrase, verse six, viz. [...] whom he means in the third by [...]: for who doubts on't but that by [...] in the third verse, natural little children are to be understood, the intent of Christ there, being to shew how his disciples must be like them, if ever they enter into heaven? but in verse six owning his disciples, to whom he tells that they must be such, as already such in some measure as they should be, he speaks of them under that very same name and notion; and this was no unusual term for Christ to denominate disciples, nor yet for them to denominate one another by; for be­sides that [...] it self is the title by which, though not here, yet elsewhere all believers and new converts to the truth are often stiled by, yea and your word [...], i. e. sucklings too, which you make so much of a little below, yea and the word [...] which is the very diminutive of [...] a child, which word you make such a matter of when you find it Acts 2.36. in proof of all which consult Iohn 21.35. Gal. 19. 1 Iohn 2.1.12, 4. also 1 Pet. 2.2. even this very phrase that is here used viz. [...] is also used by Christ himself to his disciples Mat. 18.42. and a place where­in as no little infant (as here) was apparently present, so compare it with the two foregoing verses, in which the same, who are call'd little ones and disciples, ver. 42. are stiled Prophets, Righteous men, and I'le say you sell your selves to stark so [...]tishness, if you expound it of any other then of such, as are (from Disco their having learn'd the truth, as infants yet have not) stiled Christs Scholars or Disciples.

But above all, the most undoubted reason of all the rest, which to me doth, and may to any one most plainly clear it, that he means not infants is even this ve­ry expression, viz. [which believe in me] whereby he denotes and denominates his disciples distinctly enough from all little infants, who are in no wise capable to do that he here ascribes to the other, i. e. to believe in Christ, for this infants being utterly uncapable to do, it shews plainly that he means not them: whereas Mr. Willcock, whose argument this was, and whose urging it ore again in print if this be, it shall not trouble my conscience, if it do not his own, whereas he I say argues thus, viz. [These little ones which believe in me] therefore infants do believe, I argue quite contrary from the same Scripture thus, viz. these of whom Christ speaks Mat. 18.6. did believe, therefore they could not be infants, who cannot possibly believe.

And if you ask me how I prove it that infants cannot believe, I might answer out of the mouth of Paul, Rom. 18.14. how can they believe on him of whom they have not heard? but sith you have a reply to this, p. 18 Ile onely hint that here, and handle it further, as I have occasion given me to do by your answe­ring it, as our objection, when I come to review your review, and at present prove the matter out of Mr. Willcocks own mouth, that infants cannot believe, for to believe is to act faith, and [...] credere (as [...] Docere [...] legere, &c,) are speeches that point at the act and not the Habit or faculty, denoting actum secun­dum, non primum: This Mr. Willcock knows as well as I, yet the same Mr. Willcock, page 8. asserts as plainly and truely, so clearly to the contra­diction of himself in this place, that infants have not the exercise and fruit of faith, have it not in actu secundo &c. but I spare him, in hope that he will con­sider it of himself, verbum sat sapienti: but suppose it were meant of infants li­terally; yet however it could be but a Prosopopeia, i. e. a figure whereby that is attributed to certain creatures, as done by them, which yet is neither really done, nor so much as capable to be done by them at all, by which figure that is some­times attributed not only to infants, but even to but sensible and bruit, and some­times [Page 72] to insensible things, which can properly be done by none possibly but men at years, as not onely David is said to be made to hope in God while he hung upon the breasts, because God indeed was, even then the God that did defend him, yea as well in as from his mothers womb, though he was never sensible of, nor acquainted with it, so as to hope it in the womb, but the whole creation also figuratively, Rom. 8.19, 20, 21, 22. is said to groan, wait, hope, desire, expect deliverance, because it stands in need of it, from the bondage of corruption, and God also hath determined the time wherein by Christ to redeem it, though many creatures under the curse are no more sensible of it, or capable to groan, then the fruitless fig tree Christ cursed, and the Ox, Ass, Horse, Sheep, and sensible creatures that may groan are capable to hope for, and expect such a glorious day as shall once come to the creation: thus figuratively indeed infants may be said to believe on Christ because they have need of his protection, and all the help they then have comes from him also, though in infancy they knew it not, nor him, so as actually to hope and trust in him for it, or properly to believe in his name, even more then in­animate creatures in the other case, this is the first way, whereby you profess to prove infants of believing parent onely (if you speak to your proposed purpose) to have faith, which how weak it is the weakest eye may discern it, that is not disposed to be blind, and the second is like unto it, which is as followeth, by two arguments of inconsequence.


Children of the Iews had faith,

Ergo, children of believing parents now.

The Antecedent is proved thus, viz. God himself did witness that the chil­dren of the Jews had faith, by setting to his seal, which was circumcision, called by the Apostle the seal of righteousness of faith.


There's but two things to be own'd or disow'd at all in this piece of proof, as also in the former, viz. the Argument and the Antecedent, and I'le deny him to be a Seer that sees not good ground whereon to deny them both,

O fine! O fine! O fy: these you call your Arguments of Consequence, but (saying that you say so) I am verily perswaded the verieft implicit Simpleton that ever saluted the University, or sware Allegeance to your Crown and dignity, or was ever implicitly canonized into the obedience of your faith, will never see them so to be, when ceasing to see through your eyes, he shall come once to behold things with his own, for really they are the most false, absurd and inconsequent, that ever I saw with mine.

Sirs, give me leave to make an answer by these ensuing Interrogatories, and I'le expect your Answer to them again; had the children of the Iews faith? and did God himself witness that they had it, by setting Circumcision to them as his seal of it, i. e. (for thats the sense in which you take the word seal) to assure men that they had it? and is it the consequent that the children of believing pa­rents have it now? let me then ask you.

First do you conclude that all the children of believing parents have it now? that I think for shame you will not say, sith every experience witnesses the con­trary; or that some believers children have it now, therefore all believers children are to be baptized? and if so, that is as silly an inference, as if you had argued thus, viz. some people believe therefore all must be baptized,

Secondly, had the Jews children faith? first I wonder how they came by it, sith the word saies faith comes by hearing, and how can there be believing on him of whom they have not heard? and how can they hear without a preacher? and how can they preach except they be sent? and how can they be sent to preach to infants that understand not what is said? except you say (as you are fain to do, not for want of blindness p. 18.) that infants have an hearing, and the [Page 73] spirit works upon them miraculously, and yet not extraordinarily neither, but in that ordinary way as he doth on men, in the conversion of whom you say the spirits working is but ordinary, and yet miraculous too, which Popish Bull de­serves well to be baited, but ile fotbear to fall upon it, till I meet it in its proper place in the Review.

Secondly, when had they it begotten in them? in the womb? or if after birth, on what day on the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th? for on some of these they received it, if on the 8th day they were (as you say they were) circumcis­ed in token that they had it; but I muse, and am yet to learn on which, and so are your selves too I believe, for all your confidence in asserting it.

Thirdly, was Circumcision Gods witness, yea Gods seal to assure men of thus much, that those children to whom it was set had faith?

First, Risum teneatis amici? did you ever read or hear that circumcision was set to infants to this end, viz. to testifie to the world that they had faith? was it set to Ishmael as Gods witness that Ishmael had faith? was it set to Esau as Gods witness that Esau had faith, when God who would not witness a ly, knew that neither the one of these had it, nor yet the other? unless they lost it again, which sure you will not say; for shame leave such sorry Shuffles, are your Masters in Israel and know not this that Circumcision was set to the Iews children, not to shew others that they did believe, but as a permanent sign thereof to shew them when they should be at years to take notice of it by sight (as of that transient, un­seen sign of sprinkling in infancy they cannot do) what things they then should be­lieve, viz. Christ to come of Abraham after the flesh, and circumcision of their hearts by him, &c. was it ever set under this notion as a seal of faith to any person in the world save to Abrahams proper person only, to whom too twas a seal not so much to witness, or assure men that he had faith, as to honor that faith, that more evidently, and eminently then ordinary he had before, with that famous title i. e. the Father of the faithful? therefore circumcision as given to Abraham in Rom. 4.11. is not said to be the seal of the righteousness of faith (as you cor­ruptly rehearse the words leaving out the residue of the verse, which makes them relate to Abraham only, as if it had stood as a seal in such a sense to all Abra­hams posterity) but a seal of the righteousness of the faith, i. e. that famous faith which he himself had, and to this end that he might be (as none of his meer flesh­ly seed ever were) the Father of all them that believe. Secondly, if circumcisi­on were Gods witness that these infants, to whom it was dispensed, had faith, then certainly baptism, which with you at least is of such Analogy and Identity with Circumcision, that it hath the same subjects and significations, must also with you be Gods witness to others that those infants to whom it is dispensed have faith also, and if so then I must make bold to ask you two things:

First, Is not this round about our coal fire, to prove two things no otherwise then one by another? for when you prove that children are to be circumcised, or baptized (which with you is all one, who falsly call baptism (as Paul doth not in Col. 2.12 for he means another thing by that phrase, viz. that of the heart) the circumcision without hands) I say when you prove, that children are to be circumcised either one way or other in answer to our why? you say because they have faith and thereby right to the Covenant, and the seals of it; but when you come to prove that children have faith, which we deny, you say tis clear because they have circumcision, and baptism, which are Gods witnesses, seals or evi­dences to us that they have it: this is not Idem per Idem, the same by the same, that is too effeminate a probation, but tis eadem inter se, or per se invicem, the same things reciprocally by each other, and well nigh as womanish as that; for whether is it better to say they have it because they have it, or to say it is ap­parent they have this because they have that, and that being as much doubted to clear it thus, viz. it is apparent they have that because they have this; and if [Page 74] these two viz. faith and baptism, faith and Circumcision, did ponere se invi­cem, so that one could not possibly be without the other, they might the better pro­bare se invicem, but 'tis not so, for as faith may possibly be where neither Cir­cumcision nor baptism are dispensed, witness the thief on the Cross, so ther's nei­ther of them but may be, and is too too much dispensed where faith is not.

Secondly, let me ask you, is Gods witness, Gods testimony true, or is it false? for say you God himself did witness it, that the children of the Iews, i. e. in infancy had faith: false you dare not say it is, nay you do not, but rather p. 5. that his testimony as to the truth of it, is to be preferred before mans, yea I say let God be true, and every man a liar, but if it be true, how then appears it to be so, if your testimony be not false? how then came it to pass that the most of the Iews and their children sucessively in all generations had not faith when they came to years? for it's most evident that most of them were unbelievers, and ther­fore they could not enter into their rest; but their carcasses fell in the wilderness; I know but two shifts you can make, and 'tis much at a pass which you take, for you will contradict your selves in either of them both, for surely, either they fell from that grace (as those infants do also whom you sprinkle from that faith which (as you say and seem to see) once they had) and this flatly contradicts your own doctrine of impossibility of falling from faith, or else they never had any such faith as you say they had in infancy, and then either Gods witness of such a thing must be a lye, which what horrid heresie were it to think, and abomina­ble blasphemy once to utter? or else God by Circumcision never witnessed such a thing, and that flatly contradicts your Antecedent, and so your selves will be found false witnesses of God, because you have testified of him that he himself did witness by Circumcision, that the children of the Iews had faith, when he never wit­nessed it at all.

Fourthly, the fourrh grand Interrrgatory is this.

Sirs, what children of the Jews had faith in their infancy witnessed by Cir­cumcision, were they the children of the believing or unbelieving Jews? for you are shy me thinks of expressing too often which you mean, and proceeed as in­definitely, that you may deceive as indiscernably as you can, if of the unbelievers then is not this goodly disputing, viz.

Children of the unbelieving Iews had faith and circumcision.

Ergo, children of believing Gentiles onely have faith, and must have bap­tism.

Secondly, Is not this goodly doing (if 'twere your practise as strictly as 'tis your plea) to baptize onely believers children now upon their own faith, because un­believers children of old were circumcised upon their own faith? this straitens the grace of God under the Gospel, in comparison of the largness of it under the law, for then all children of unbeliving Iewes were circumcised by his appointment, as well as the infants of believers; Answerably to which, if you go by that rule, you should conclude thus, uiz. all the Gentiles children should be baptized now, as well those of unbelievers as believers', but you turn out unbelievers children from the priviledge, that unbelievers children had before, but if you say children of believing Jews onely had faith then, therefore of believing parents now, then first how doth your Argument and proof drawn from Gods witnessing by Circum­cision that there was faith in the Infants, hold any more to the proof of it in be­lievers infants, then in unbelievers, for he set Circumcision to the infants of the wicked and unbelievers among the Jews as well as of the godly and belie­vers.

Secondly, how doth it appear at all that godly and believing parents children then had faith more usually then children of ungodly parents? when good E­ly had two vile sonnes Hophni and Phineas, good David, wicked Absolom, good Solomon, wicked Rehoboam, good Iehosaphat, wicked Ioram, good [Page 75] Iosiah, wicked Iechoniah and his brethren, &c. when contrariwise wicked A­haz begat good Hezekiah, wicked Abia, good Asa, wicked Amon, good Iosia,, which shews that faith is not entail'd from parents to posterity as you would make it.

Thus I have spoken to your first way, wherby you prove Infants of believers to have the spirit, and thereupon right to baptism, viz. their faith, and to a first and second of those whereby you seem to prove them to believe, there is yet a third way whereby you would make men believe that Infants of believers do be­lieve, viz. their Iustification, without which there is no salvation, but because that's not inserted here at all, but toward the end of the disputation, and is pro­secuted most vigorously in your Review, I will suspend the prosecution of that head, till I come thither, and proceed next to a consideration of the second, third, fourth and fifth ways, as they lie in order, whereby you would prove believers in­fants to have the spirit, above the infants of unbelievers.


The next thing whereby you offer proof of it that infants of believing parents onely (remember these still are the subject on which you pretend to proceed, and predicate that these denominants, viz. the spirit, faith, holiness &c.) that these I say have the holy spirit, is their holiness from whence you confess here that there was no Argument taken, that is to say, 'twas not proved, and yet a little above p. 3. in the fourth and fifth line of this sum, aliâs some of your disputation, you as blindly as boldly bolt it out, that it was proved by their holiness: the Apocali­ptical beast that was and yet was not, scarcely seems more Apocriphal to you, then this was and was not of yours seems Apoplexical, or brainsick to me: This True-ly might have been rankt among the rest in your true Account, but to let it pass thus, this cannot but be granted for a truth, that you made as if you would have proved it by their holiness, that infants of believers have the spirit, but did not, because I wisht you (but (fool that I was) I have been sorry since that I did at all wish you) to forbear it, for as I was not affraid to give way to your proof then (save onely that I was well aware you would but trifle) so since I marvelled a lit­tle more upon the matter, I have found it of more facillity to prove infants-sprinkling by the popes holiness, whose mandamus it is, then by any holiness of their own.


Ile muse a little if you will, now I am upon it, by what kind of holiness of theirs you would have prov'd it: I deny not but there may be in infants of believers a kind of holiness, yet there's neither that kind by which you commonly conceive you can, nor any kind by which you possibly can evince the verity of such a pra­ctise.

The holiness you mean certainly is either

  • Matrimonial,
  • Ceremonial,
  • or Morall

Morall holiness, I cal that which is opposed to sin, moral wickedness and pro­faness of heart and life, but sure you do not mean this holiness, or if you do, what do you mean by it? do you mean some inward quality, inherent habit or prin­ciple of grace and spiritualness, as whereby these infants of believers may be de­nominated as the true Saints or holy ones of God are viz. Partakers of his holiness as Heb. 12, 10. and holy i. e. qualitative, though not quantitative, in the same manner, though not the same measure? and if you do, is this habit innat [...]s, acquisitus or infusus, by birth, or begotten in them by frequent acts of ho­liness, or infused from above? for one of these three it must be, if it be an Ha­bit.

But 'tis not the first, for secundum te at least (O Priest-hood) they are born in sin, and are by birth this way as unholy as any others.

[Page 76]Not the second, for secundum te again, by your own confession these are not capable in infancy to act either good or evill, yea instruction of the understanding must go before any actings be, yea weigh but your own expressions a little p. 18. of your Pamphlet where you tell us thus much in plain terms, that instruction of the understanding in matter of faith in some sort, must go before any act of faith can be discovered; to which I fully assent, and add, that instruction of the un­derstanding in matter of holiness, (and this infants are not capable of) must go before any act of holyness can be discovered.

If you say the third, then pray tell me three things.

First, How its discovered to you, or how you know that theirs such a habit of holyness infused into believers infants in that non-age whereupon you build your boldness to baptize them? for by the fruits only it is that we can know persons Mat. 7.6. to be good or evil, and you confess pag. 8. that infants have not the exercise and fruit of faith, and commonly in your pulpits that holiness is the fruit of faith, and Iames challenges any one if he can to shew him his faith with­out his works, Iam. 2.18. yea you say plainly that the seed of faith sown after di­scovers it self when the season comes p. 8. and that no judgement of science can be passed, till the acts themselves be seen, and examined for a posteriore only (mark that word only) the discovery of habits is made, these are your own sayings in your Review p. 18. whereby you plainly unsay all that here you say of believers infants faith, and holiness, for if it be so that the discovery of these habits is only a po­steriore, i. e. by the fruits, exercises, and acts, and that Infants have not these, then how I trow have you the discovery of it at all, before the season, that these habits are in them? yet such is your shameless inconsiderateness, and custome of contradicting your selves, that you pretend to a discovery of it so farr as to at­tempt here the discovery of it to the world: will you allwaies feed the world thus with your own groundless fancies, and fashion it in religion according to your own careless conception? will you alwaies affirm things so to be, and venture to make them known, and yet confess they cannot be known too? O curas hominum o quantum est in rebus mane!

Secondly, pray tell me how this holiness, which you assert to be in believers infants whereby you would make it appear that they have the spirit, doth appear any more to be in them then the spirit it self; are they not both a like dark to us, and unapparent? yet you profess to prove the one of these by the other thus, they have holyness therefore the spirit, and if to one querying, how you know they have holiness? you should say thus they have the spirit, therefore holyness, 'twere a proof no more impregnant then the other, for you could do more then leave the people, whose blind guides you are, as much in the dark as before, by this, and by that I am sure you do no less: when men fall to proving (as you have done hitherto all along in your Disputation) things undiscernable by things as undis­cernable as the other, and things that appear not at all, by things that appear no more at all then those they would make to appear by them,

Nescio an anticyram ratio illis destinet omnem.

Thirdly, I pray tell me how this holiness appears to be in believers infants whom thereupon you would have to be baptized, more then in unbelievers infants whom (though in your practise you promiscuously admit them with the other yet) in your proofs you except from your baptism? is there any more Specimen or shew of holiness in them then in these? the best spectacles that ever I beheld with, could never behold it; Is there any more capableness of such an Infusion of ho­liness, or of having such an habit infused? Is there any experience of it when they come to years that the infants of believers had this holiness in their infancy and unbelievers infants had not? if so, how is it that when they are grown, the children of unbelievers have holiness very often, when as oft the other prove wic­ked, and have not? (have a care of your shinnes (good now) by all means) [Page 77] do the children of believers fall from it? is there any promise of God, whereby he stands ingaged to infuse holiness into these infants in infancy, when he will not infuse it into the other? and if so, how it is it that we must necessarily hold (for so you say your own selves in your Review p. 18.) that God is not bound (for if he hath promised it as you say he hath Acts 2. then he is bound) to work it in all the children of Christian parents, nor barred from working it in any of the chil­dren of infidels? Is there any promptness to acts of holiness, whence only you can clearly argue ad positionem habitus, in that infancy in which you sprinkle them, in believers infants than in the other? all your skill in Physiogmony can never find it: or can you argue ad negationem habitus, to no holiness in an infidels infant more then in anothers? your very selves acknowledge you cannot: if not, why more I wonder ad negationem spiritus? why more ad negationem baptismi? why more ad negationem nugationis istius vestrae, viz. your trivial new way, or rather no way of baptism? to which if it were baptism indeed, you must admit, if not all, then not at all in time of infancy, or else your absurdities are unsuffrable, Sirs suffer me to come cross to you, and hit you home with your own cross interrogatory p. 18. are those infants of infidels, between whom, and those of believers, you objectors will admit no comparison, inclinable to acts of holiness? or not? if the former, it presupposes then that infidels infants have the habit also as much as the other, and so the working in them, and those born of believing parents may be one, and so their holiness, and faith, and spiritualness, and baptism be one too, which all your Dispu­tation doth deny; if the latter, I freely confess these are not inclinable, nor yet the other neither.

These premised the Answer is in your own very words pag. 18. That unless it could be certainly presumed what children have the habit, i. e. of faith, holiness, what have not, the working of the spirit is not known to us, he is nei­ther bound nor barr'd there can be no conclusion made, and therefore Quis nisi mentis inops &c. how justly may they be concluded by themselves, as well as by others, to have hand plus cerebri quam cimax sanguinis, and no more under­standing then those whose right eye is utterly darkned, who premising these sen­tences themselves, do for all that make this conclusion, viz. that these infants have faith, Holiness, the Spirit, and thereby right to baptism above all o­thers.

Or secondly Sirs do ye mean by it some Negative holiness, consisting in their being without sin, and having yet no wickedness, and prophanness, the thing, which (and more properly by farr) you stile innocency in the next words? though yet o curious criss-cross you will not hold them guiltless neither: if so, for my part I give you in my assent to it, that infants are innocent, but I cannot help it if it do you no good in your cause, for first are infants of believers any more innocent in time of infancie then the rest? how so? not by birth, for they are all alike born in sin, secundum [...]e, not in life, for it cannot appear that the one have more blurr'd them­selves, or barr'd themselves by any actual sin from baptism (if innocency be that which intitles to it) then the other

But secondly to say the truth Sirs so far is baptism from being intailed to in­nocents, and holy ones only, as their only right, that it belongs rather only unto sinners, for though Christ for examples sake, and for other ends, submitted to it, who yet had no sin of his own, but he had ours by imputation, yet the most proper use of it to all else that submit is to signifie the remission of their sins Mat. 3.6. Luk. 3.3 Act. 2.38. Act. 22.16.

If believers infants therefore be so righteous, holy, i. e. innocent, &c. as you make them, and I dare not deny but that they are, nor dare I saie otherwise for the world of other infants in infancie, having more charity than your selves, even so much as to presume unumquem (que) bonum nisi constet de malo, they are so little inrighted to baptism thereupon, that till they sin they are much rather exemp­ted [Page 78] from it: for if baptism be a sign to signifie to him who submits to it, the re­mission of his sinnes in plurali, (as Acts 2.38. and in all other places it seems to be) then its utterly usless to such (and therefore to infants) as, being yet under no Commission of sinnes, need yet no sign of Remission of them.

Secondly. Matrimonial holiness I call that, which arises from the conjugati­on of two viz, one man and one woman only into one flesh, according to Gods ho­ly ordinance and institution; the subject of which holiness is not onely marriage it self, and the marriage bed, which is said to be honourable among all men, and undefiled, or which is all one, to be holy, Heb. 13.4. but also the married persons of what rank, quality, religion soever, when once come into that conju­gall relation, whether both or either or neither of them be believers; and the seed or infants that are born of them in that condition, which are called by God him­self, Mal. 2.15. a seed of his own seeking, a godly seed, or seed of God, which he owns as truly, lawfully, honestly, holily begotten, according to his own ho­ly appointment, and not basely, beastly, trecherously, adulterously, nor corrupt­ly, as those are which are not begotten in the bed.

Opposite to this holiness, these holy ones (I mean the married couples, and their holy seed) are all the lusts of concupisence, objected on strange flesh; un­cleanness, 1 Thess. 4.7. adultery, fornication, and unclean agents, i. e. adul­terers; and the unclean issues of the adulterous bed, viz, the adulterous brood, or the seed of the adulterer and the whore Isa. 57.3.

This kind of holiness I dare say you do not mean, yea the most of you will hard­ly be perswaded that there's any such kind of holiness at all, or if you be it makes nothing for your purpose, for what if infants of believing parents be (as infants of unbelieving parents also are, when begotten in lawfull wedlock) holy in such a sense, doth this tend at all to prove them to have the holy spirit, which is the thing in hand? yet this even this, and no other is all the holiness meant by Paul 1 Cor. 7.14. where he saith, else were your children unclean, but now are they ho­ly, that very place which your selves so often send us to, for proof thereof, when we deny your Antecedent in this consequence, viz. Infants of believers are ho­ly, therefore to be baptized: This that I say as 'tis not deni'd (to my knowledge) by some that are for infants baptism, so is it most undeniable to any that will but plainly and impartially consider the direct drift of the Apostle in the verse, which is not any such matter as to shew that there's such a sanctity in the unbelieving hus­band, or wife of believing yoke-fellows (for these are there said to be holy as well as the children, with the same holiness) and in their children also, as in­rolles them all, viz. the unbelieving parties, and the children, as well as the be­lieving parties in the Covenant of grace, or in any such outward Church cove­nant, as inrights them to baptism, membership and fellowship in the Congrega­tion, but to shew such a sanctity or holiness, as clears both their conjunctions, and conceptions to be pure and guiltless, such as frees their bed from the account of baseness, and their brood from the account of bastardy, both which in the sight of God and men would else be unholy, i. e. utterly unlawful and unclean: his scope is (I say) to convince them of the lawfulness of that state, i. e. of a believer and unbelievers being man and wife together, by the lawfulness of the seed that proceeds from them, and by both these not onely of the liberty and legality, but the duty also of their continuance together in that civil marriage relation, not­withstanding their different religion, as well as if they were in Religion one and the same: The Corinthians had written to him (it seems verse 1) about many cases; wherein they were scrupled, and among the rest about this, viz. whether a hus­band or wife comming into the faith, and leaving their yoke-fellows still in unbe­lief; might lawfully own and cleave to them still, as their true and lawful yoke-fellows, as before they did, when they were both in unbelief, or as they may one to another that are both in the faith, or whether they must not rather leave them [Page 79] now, and disown them as to that old capacity, because of this spiritual difference that now was between them, in answer to which he tells them, that by all means if the unbelieving parties will be pleased still to abide with them, as before, the be­lieving parties must not depart, nor put away; and to satisfie them further in so doing, he renders them this good reason, viz. for the unbelieving wife is sancti­fied in, or to the husband, and the unbelieving husband to the wife, which is as much as if he had said, you are as true man and wife in the account of God as before, your marriage is an honourable, your bed as undefiled as before, your unbelieving husband or wife sanctified as a lawful companion to you as well as before, your living and lying together is as holy, and unblameable in the eyes of God as before, and to put this more out of doubt yet, least any should remain un­resolved, he minds them further by another argument (ab absurdo) the absurdity which they it seems were too inconsiderate of, that would follow upon it, if this were not so, for else (saith he) your children are unclean; else (that is) if you de­ny your selves in this case of different Religion to be lawful man and wife together, you heed not (for wise men do not at all times see the ill consequences of things at present, as Mr. Tombes well observes, and as stark m [...]d as Mr. Baxter saies page 87. of his Baby-book the Corinthians were, if they did not mind this) you heed not what mad work you will make by so doing, hereby you will deny your children to be a lawfull issue; you will bring the blame of baseness upon your begettings, and the blot of bastardy upon your off-spring; for all men know (though at all times it may not come into their minds, nor then possibly when ther's most need it should) that by the same reason that the parents are not holy in their coming together, nor sanctified one to another by the ordinance of God, viz. true and lawful matrimony, the babes begotten and born of them, cannot be that godly seed, Mal. 2.15: but must be base born and unclean, and this the Apostle here hints unto them in this clause, else were you children unclean, thereby evin­cing or evidencing to them, who doubted of it, the warrantableness of their a­bode in their marriage contract: but now saith he, i. e. though you are one in the faith, and the other in unbelief, yet your children are holy; and honestly born for all that (as else they could not) and you consequently holy pure, and ho­nest in your communion.

And here I cannot but note by the way how egregiously Mr. Baxter pedles in a long prate to Mr, Tombes page 86, 87. about an impossibility of the Corinthi­ans knowing their seed to be legitimate, and yet doubting their marriage to be unlawful, whereas they might in general know it, and yet in special at this time not be so serious in considering it; and how impossible it was for Paul rationally to argue from the effect to the cause, so as to go about to convince them of the law­fulness of their marriage, by a consideration of the lawfulness of their seed, which flowes from lawful marriage, and is a consequent, of which that is the cause: whereas in cognitione (praesertim confusà) effectus sunt priores causis: in order to such knowledge as the Apostle seeks here to beget them to, which was but as it were a certain remembrance of what they might have easily gathered of themselves, had they not been so forgetfull as to need a memorandum, 'tis not irrational to clear the cause by the effect, as to say there's smoak, therefore there's fire, yet the fire is the cause of the smoak, these infants are no bastards, but legitimate, ther­fore their parents were married is the very same.

This therefore I say again is all the holiness here intended. As for that federall holiness you fiddle men in the ear with as the only holiness here aim'd at, I confess I once rawly uttered it in discourse my self, when being a sprinkler of infants (as you are) and as stiff a stickler for that practise as the blindest [...]mong you, I was made choise of to defend it against the Baptists, who not by force of Armes (as the Priest-hood once did) but by force of Arguments at last overcame me to-their way, but as I was then pretty well faulted for fastening such false constructi­ons [Page 80] as of a faederal holiness on that place, so upon a more serious search into its sense, I have found it my self so faulty, that if I had said a fiddlestick holiness, it had been but somewhat more ridiculous, so far is Paul from dilating on any such kind of holiness in that Scripture, where to convince them of a meer civil san­ctity, and to shew that different Religion destroies not any civil relation is verily the very utmost of his errand.

To inculcate this yet a little more upon you, let me press you to lay to heart these few considerations.

First that, as here in this fourteenth verse he shews that the civill relation, or in­st [...]utive holiness of the state between man and wife is not nullified by a difference about the faith, so but that they may abide together therein, though one be a believer, and the other an infidel, without any sin or guilt contracted to the belie­ver by such continuance in their contract, so in the following verses he shews that the civil relation, or civil sanctity of the State between Master and Servant is not nullified thereby, so but that they may lawfully live together in that state, though the Servant should be a believer, and the Master an infidel; or the Master a be­liever and the Servant an Infidel ve. 21. art thou called being a Servant, i. e. to an unbelieving master, care not for it, i. e. distract not thy self about it, scruple it not solicitously, as if it were an unholy, unclean, unlawfull, or sinfull state for thee to remain in, for v. 22. he that is called in the Lord, i. e. to the faith being a Servant, i. e. in bondage to a Master not yet called, is Christs free man, i. e. acceptable to Christ, even in that state and relation to such a Master as before; and in the favour of Christ, as also he that is called being free, or a Master himself is Christs servant, i. e. one whom he owns for his, accepts and justifies, though happily he may be by covenant in relation still to unbelieving servants, he is holy, honorable, and undefiled in his state as a Master, and that by virtue of the Ordinance of Christ, who hath sanctified that condition and relation of Master, and Servant to each other, as holy for them to abide in together, though in Morall respects the person of one of them may be holy, and the other wick­ed.

The very like to which Pauls hints in his exhortation to servants, even of unbelie­ving masters, 1 Tim. 6.1. where he bids believing servants that are under the yoke, though to unbeliving Masters (for in that he saies & they that have believing Ma­sters in v. 2▪ it argues that he means such as have non-believing Masters in the first) That they should count them worthy of all honor because they are their ma­sters still, by the ordinance of God that hath set and sanctified them in their place and station as honorable and holy, though in their persons and practise they may be contemptible, vile, and ungodly; the like he saies to Christians concerning civil Magistrates, though infidels, Rom. 13. that being ordained of God and sanctified, or set apart as his Ministers for civil good, they are to have a reverend, honorable, and even holy estimation of them in their hearts, and to a­bide in their subjection to them in matters civilly righteous, even for conscience sake.

The like he saies to children that are in the faith (I mean not infants, for the Scripture was not penn'd to such) concerning their parents, whom, as they are their parents, they are to honor as those, who are by right of Divine institution under a stamp of holiness, and civil sanction towards them as Superiors to be re­spected in that Relation, whether they be believing parents yea or no: for belie­ving children such as are written to in Pauls Epistles Ephes. 6.1. 2 Col. 3.20. may and oft have ungodly parents, as well as believing parents ungodly children, or believing husbands and wives ungodly yoak fellowes, yet alwaies to be own­ed in the Relations, as husbands, wives, parents, children still; thus we see that persons may be vile, and so far to be contemned Psal. 15.4. yet holy, pure and honorable in their capacities, and so far to be so accounted on, they may be [Page 81] unsanctified in their hearts, and lives, and yet be invested with such a civil san­ctity by a dint of Divine imposition, and institution as may denominate them severally sanctified in their stations, and naturall or civill places of Relation, thus Magistracy and Subjection, Mastership, and Servitude, Mariage, and Pro­pagation of mankind in that way being all holy Ordinances of God, all sanctified by his word and stamp upon them as honorable, and undefiled States and waies, to be and abide in, persons may be unworthy, unclean, unsanctified in their man­ners, and yet be holy, honorable, sanctified, true legitimate Magistrates, sanctified subjects, sanctified Masters, sanctified servants, sanctified wives, sanctified parents, sanctified children, so as to be according to their several capa­cities reverenced, submitted to, served, protected, provided for, used, own'd, law­ful to be continued with each by other (fide & infidelitate non obstante) without respect to religion, yea though the Relata, Pura Masters, and husbands, &c. be unbelievers, and the Corr [...]lata, viz. servants, wives, be believers in the height. This to resolve the Corinthians in, who might possibly, and very easily be gravell'd herein, specially considering how that under the law, where the di­spensations indeed were different from the Gospels, they were commanded to put away their wives, is the down-right, and onely business, and design of the Apostle in the fourteenth and following verses, where besides his direction in particular, in this difference of faith and unbelief, when it falls out between man and wife, Master and servant, which two he instanceth in only in this chapter, he gives a general direction to all sorts of persons in every condition, quality, capacity, rank, or relation, to abide therein, if they please, as sanctified and holy, i. e. by civil sanction to abide in, in these words verse 17. viz. But as God hath distri­buted to every man, as the Lord hath called every one so let him walk, and so ordain I in all Churches, and also in these v. 20. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

The Sanctification therefore or holiness here talkt on is only civil sanction, as to men, wives, and their children, a holiness only Matrimonial, and not a faederal or Covenant holiness (as you dream) unless instead of the holiness of Gods Covenant, you mean the faederall holiness, or holiness of the mariage Covenant, or any civil covenant, or tie between superiours in relation, and their subjects, which all indeed, when once solemnly contracted, and entred are also Gods ordinance, Gods Covenant, which he owns, and will most se­verely punish the pollution of, therefore as the Harlot that deals treacherously with her husband is said Prov. 2.17. to forget the Covenant of her God, i. e. the marriage contract; and the Covenant where by the man and wife are one is said to be of Gods making Mal. 3.14.15. so God threatning Iudah for her whoredomes most terribly, Ezek. 16.38. saies he will judge her, as women that break wedlock and shed bloud are judged; so likewise did he plague Zedekiah when in the capacity of a Prince, he covenanted to give liberty to his Servants, but did not Ier. 34.18. so when in the capacity of a Servant to Nabuchadnez­zar that set him up, he covenanted and sware allegiance to him, but sleighted his covenant and brake it, which God calls his own oath and covenant, the breach of which he would recompence on his head, Ezechiel chap. 17. verse 16. 17, 18, 19.

Secondly, let it be considered that the holiness and sanctification here meant, and mentioned what ere it is, is said to be in the unbelieving parent, whether husband or wife, as well as in the children, and therefore it cannot be your faeder­all or outward Church-covenant holiness, i. e. such a holines; as intitles to baptism, and intailes Church-membership, Church priviledges, and Ordinances, to the subjects to whom it is predicated, sith the unbelieving husband and wife are denominated by it too, for as of the children it is said they are holy, so of the non-believing yoke-fellows it is said they are sanctified, between which there is [Page 80] no more difference then between [...] and [...], which seem to me but a Hendiadis, or double expression of the same thing, and not more unlike then two 6 pences, and a shilling; and will not this absurdity ensue, which I dare say you will evade if you can, if the holiness be such as you say, viz. that the unbe­lieving husbands and wives must be baptized and inchurched also upon their yoke-fellowes faith, being sanctified thereby as well as the In [...]ants? therefore is it not rather think you a Civil and Matrimonial then an Ecclesiastical, & faeder­all sanctity? Your usual evasion is this.


The Parents are sanctified by the faith one of the other, not so as to be in co­venant themselves by their sanctification, nor yet so as to be baptized thereup­on, but they are sanctified as a holy root, so as to bring forth a holy issue, that hath, by vertue of its holiness, a right to the Church Covenant and Bap­tism.


Then it seems the unbeliever is with you a holy root as well as the other, and gives holiness to the child, and makes it holy as well as the other parent, yea so holy, that by that concurrence the child is in covenant and to be bap­tized.

First, do you not say somtimes that the child hath its holiness from the believing party onely, as if there were no influence passing from the unbeliever towards its holiness? why then do you say sometimes again, that from a holiness which is in both they are co-contributers of holiness to the Infant? which of the two is most undoubtedly true, for the holiness what ever tis is such (and such it could not be if it were any but Matrimonial) as is in, and equally flowes from the unbelieving parent, as much as the believing to the infant.

Secondly, if the Root be holy are not the branches so; and if the branches be holy is not the root at least as, if not more so, in the same sence, with the holiness of the same kind, which it conveyeth to the branches? and if so, then must not this unbelieving parent being a Root, have the same kind of holiness the child hath? is he not as holy as the child is, and so as capable of being baptized, and in co­venant thereby? sith you all agree that Nil dat quod in se non ha [...], and Quod­cun (que) efficit tale (id est) propriè, est magis tale, whatever is a proper efficient to make another so, or so, must be more so it self, so that if the unbelivnig parent be as holy, with your very covenant holiness it self, as his child, must he not as well by vertue thereof be admitted to the same priviledges? having though no more faith then his child, yet somewhat else, viz. That holiness that with you intitles to baptism, yea it is more eminently in him than the other: either therefore deny those old received Axiomes, and that I think you need not do, for they are truths, or else deny that which is so commonly asserted by you, viz. that the un­believing parents are sanctified, so as to be holy Roots to their children by the faith of their believing yoke-fellows, as well as the believing yoke-fellows are by their own, and this you will be very loath to do, for you will hardly coin such a handsome shift as that is in hast again, if you let it go, or else deny that the un­believing husband and wife is sanctified or holy at all, but that you cannot do for the text saith they are hallowed as well, and in the same sense as their children and believing companions are, in being married to them, what sense soever that is, or else grant us they are holy with the holiness we stand for, as that onely which is meant in this place, viz. Legitimacy, freedome from the least tincture of un­cleanness, and baseness in their cohabitations, generations, and issue, and this I believe you must do when all is done; but then you lose such a supporter of your practise, that let go one more, viz. Act. 2.38.39. which must be handled al­so hereafter; and Iachin and Boaz, the two prime pillars that stand by the entry into your Temple, i. e. Infants sprinkling, which is your entring ordinance, [Page 83] will be removed, a matter of no small tendency to its ruin, or else lets see in you rejoinder, for I put these things upon you by way of quaere, expecting to see (if by silence you give not the cause) how well you will distinguish your selves out of the briars, which your opinion upon the place brings you into, and how well you will wind your selves out of those many absurdities which you are led aside in­to from the way of truth, by the extravagancies and cunning concavities of your crooked logick lane.

Thirdly, let it be considered that the holiness here predicated of the unbelieving parent and the children, is not such as is the result of the faith, and faederal holi­ness of the believing parent, (as is so frequently asserted among you) but of the marriage Covenant, which being holy by institution, and honourable among all, and undefiled, gives the denomination of civil sanctity to the unbelieving couple and their seed, as to a couple of believers, and their seed, as also the denomina­tion of honourable in an unbelieving magistrate and master arises, not from any praise worthy qualification in their persons, much less in the persons of the Correl­latives, as you say the holinesse of the unbeliever doth from the faith of the be­liever, but from Divine ordination which constitutes them as holy in their places, this will be evident,

First, if you consider the manner of speech here used by the Apostle, who saies, not the unbeliever is sanctified in the believing wife, and believing husband but in the wife, and in the husband, i. e. in her being his wife, and his being her husband, and howbeit its true, which is commonly return'd to this, viz. that 'tis the believing wife of the unbelieving husband, and the believing husband of the unbelieving wife, when the marriage is between believers and unbelievers, yet the believing party is not here preferred before the unbelieving parent, as to the conferring of this holinesse upon the issue, but they are said to be both, and that by your selves, who confesse they jointly make one holy root, equall in this in­fluence, and are sanctified, not one by the faith of the other, as you suppose the unbeliever to be by the faith of the believer, but both by the ordinance of God, viz. their marriage each of other, so that they both alike do sanctifie the issue.

Secondly, if you consider the true genuine proper direct tendency and weight of this Relative particle [else] which if you allow it a right reference, relates not to the faith or believing of either, but to their being true man and wife, to the lawful wedlock of them both; for that which is the ground of your error about this place is the forcing of this particle [else] the wrong way, for Else, i. e. (say you) if one of the parents be not a believer, then the children are unclean, wher­as the sense of it runs thus, vix. else i. e. if you be not holy in your copulations, if you be not sanctified one in, to, and by the other as lawful man and wife, by your union formerly contracted, notwithstanding your now disunion in Religion, then your children are unclean, and this is truth, for so the children are in this ci­vil sense, if begotten, and born out of matrimony, whether the parents be belie­vers or no, bu [...] the other is not truth, for whether both or but one or none of the parents believe, the infants for that cause alone, and without respect to matrimo­ny, are in no sense ere the more holy or unclean.

Thirdly, and this will yet appear more plainly, if you consider that faith alone in either one, or both the parents begetting out of wedlock cannot sanctifie the seed so begotten with this civil holiness here meant, no nor with that faederall holiness you plead for, nor could it do so even then, when that holinesse or birth privi­ledge you talk of was in force (as now it is not) viz. in the daies of the law; for if two believers came together then, out of marriage their seed were not onely base born See Mr. Blake in birth priviledge p. 5.11. and so unclean, in this our sense, but also to the tenth generation un­capable to be admitted into the congregation, and so consequently unclean even in your own, Deut. 32.2. whereupon (how Pharez and Zarah were dealt with it matters not, sith they were born before the law was given) Ieptha was exemp­ted [Page 84] from any inheritance with his brethren, because he was the son of a strange woman, Iudg. 11.2. and Davids unclean issue by Bathsheba, that in the wisdome of God was taken away by death on the seventh day, might not surely, without breach of the law, have been accounted holy, and of the congregation, if he had lived beyond the eighth, whereupon your selves also are much fumbled a­bout the holinesse of bastards, and the baptism of base-begotten babies, so that you scarcely know how to behave your selves about it, though the parents sinning be believers, at least en-churched in your Churches, yea its generally known (saith Mr Cotton P. 87, 88. of the way of the Church in N. England.) that our best Divines do not allow the baptism of bastards and though he is pleased to say they allow it not sine sponsoribus, without Sure­ties, yet I wonder, sith Deut. 32.2. Gods denial of such of old is made the ground of their denial of such now, to enter into the Congregation as unholy, that our Divines dare take on them to admit cum sponsoribus, and so to go be­sides their own Rule, viz. the order of things under the law, wherein God gave no such allowance, but to let that tolleration pass, which they take to themselves, you may learn thus much of your selves if you will, that though wedlock without faith make a holy seed in our sense, yet faith without wedlock in the parents can make a holy seed neither in our sense, nor in your own, nor any at all, for the in­fants of the married are holy; but believers bastards are both civilly, and fede­rally unclean; inso much that your selves see cause to refuse as federally holy, the spurious seed euen of those, whose lawfull issue you unlawfully sprinkle.

Fourthly, if you more seriously consider, that the holinesse in the Infant here must needs be the fruit and result of that, and that must needs be the cause of the holiness here spoken of in the infant, quo posito ponitur sanctitas, sublato tol­litur, which being in the parents, a holinesse must necessarily be thereupon, which not being in the parents, a holinesse cannot be in the seed: for positâ causà poni­tur effectus sublata tollitur: abstract the cause and the effect cannot be: suppose the cause and the effect cannot but be: now that which if it be not in the parents the holiness is not, but being in them the holinesse is consequently in the infants, 'tis not the faith, but the conjugal or marriage Relation of the parents, for as for the first of these, viz. faith, it may be in one, yea in both of the parents, and yet no federal holinesse at all be in the infants, witness Ishmael the seed of Abraham the father of the faithful, and his Sons by Keturah also, born of him after Covenant made with him, and his seed in Isaac and Iacob, and yet neither of them in that Covenant, witnesse the base born children of true believers among the Jews, suppose David and Ba [...]sheba, which for all the parents faith could not by the law be admitted in th [...] Congregation, nor have that birth-priviledge to be repu­ted holy, which from the parents faith you universally intail to the infants: more­over this birth-priviledge and Covenant-holiness by generation, which did in­right to Church ordinances, which once was, but now is a non-entity, and out of date, might be then, when it was in being, in children, in whose parents faith was not found at all, for most of the Iews were unbeiievers, yet all their legitimate children were holy federally, therefore faith in the parent cannot be the cause of such a thing: yea if you will believe Mr, Blake himself, the strictest pleader for a birth-priviledge of federal holiness in Infants that ever I met with, and that from this very place, he condescends so far as to contribute one contradiction to him­self toward the helping of the truth in this case, viz. That faith in the par [...]nt is not the cause of this holinesse, whilst making the holinesse in this text to be a birth priviledge, or Church-Covenant holinesse, and to be the fruit and result of the faith of the believing parents, and consequently their faith to be the sole and pro­per cause of the same, he confesses flatly elsewhere page 4. that a loose life in the parent and mis-belief, which is as bad, in some cases worse, then unbelief, (for which is worse to believe false things, or not to believe true?) yea Apostacy from the faith, (which all if they be not inconsistent with faith I know not what [Page 85] is) do not divest, nor debar the issue from having that holiness which (himself saies) is meant in this text.


Perhaps he means not by faith strictly the parents true believing, but in ge­nerall his being in the covenant, and faederally holy himself, and so a cause of this federal holiness in the issue.


First, Paul means true believing here, in 1 Cor. 7.14. whether Mr Blake do or no.

Secondly, what will he get as to the point in hand by his Synonamizing faith and faederall holiness, for still neither the one nor the other is made here the cause of the holiness of the seed, for the holiness here spoken of may be where neither of them is, and may not be in the seed, even where they are both in the parent, as for example in Ezras time, Ezra 10, 3. we find abundance of the Jews, both Priests, and people, that were in the faith, or at least in faederall holiness, yet the children were put away as unholy, as well faederally as otherwise, because their marriage was unlawfull, and that bed adulterous wherein they lay with strange wives, Ezra 10.3. and that both parents possibly may be faithful, and faeder­ally holy, and yet their seed be in all senses utterly unclean is evident, for the child of two believing Jews begotten besides the marriage bed, was both a Bastard, and also barr'd from the Congregation, Deut. 32.2. again this faederal holiness as well as faith may be in neither parent, and yet the issue not be unclean, but holy still, and so are all (Matrimonially, and civilly at least) that among Pa­gans are the issue of the marriage bed; and with the holiness of the Covenant of Grace too, when they come to years, and believe themselves, as not a few children of unbelievers do, and sometimes the seed of Turks and Tartars, this therefore i. e. the faith, or faederal sanctity of the one parent, nor of both cannot be the cause of this sanctity, is here denominated of the seed, for holiness in the infants is not alwaies, when this is, and sometimes it is in the infant, when this is not in the parent, which being of each without other, cannot be between a true cause, and its effect; but as for the second viz. the marriage sanctity in the parents, it is that which being in the parents, holiness is naturally and necessarily in the seed that is born of them, whether they be both or either, or either in faith or unbelief, but being not in the parents, there can be no holiness, no birth holi­ness in their infants, nor Matrimonial, nor Congregationall neither: therefore this is that which is the cause of the holiness of the issue in this Scripture, the result of which, and not of faith in the parents, is this non-uncleanness in their posteri­ty, and so I have done with this kind of holiness, and with this Scripture which speaks of this Matrimonial holiness and no other.

Thirdly, Ceremonial holiness, I call that same holiness which properly, pecu­liarly, and pro tempore only pertained to the whole nation, and congregation of Israel, denominating them all holy every one of them, and distinguishing them from all other people, and nations; which during the time of the Iews pedagogy, according to Gods own imposition were then accounted sinners, common, and un­clean by a certain [...]s-rationis, an extrinsecall, meerly notional, and nominal rather then either real, moral or substantiall sort of sin, and uncleanness to which the others holiness was directly opposite, and answerable. The subjects of which Accountative holiness were not only the people of the Jews themselves, which were a holy people Deut. 7. ver. 8. Exod. 22.31. but also and more specially the Priests, and more specially yet, or in a higher degree, but in the same kind of holiness (for degrees do not vary nature) the High Priests, which were holi­ness to the Lord, Exod. 39.30. also their parents, which were not matrimo­nially only, nor often morally, yet (to allow your own phrase here, because they were outwardly in Covenant with God, concerning outward promises and privi­ledges, [Page 86] on performance of outward ordinances) ever [...] faederally a holy parentage a holy root, Rom. 11. also their natural (if withall matrimonial) issue, which were not at all in their infancy, and but seldome when at years spiritually, all­waies faederally holy branches, a holy seed, also their land of Canaan, which was the holy Land, their Metropolitan City Ierusalem, which was the holy City, their Temple, which was a holy Temple, the Utensills, vessels, vestments, and other accomplishments, which were all holy, a holy Lavar, a holy Altar, a holy Ark, holy Candlesticks, holy Cherubims, most holy place, &c. and in a manner all things belonging to the Law of Moses, and that first Covenant made with Abraham, and his fleshly seed, whether hollowed or consecrated by God himself, or dedicated to him by men at his appointment, viz. the first born, the first fruits, tithes, offerings, sacrifices, daies, feasts, which were al! holy, and had relation (as shadowes and types for a while) unto things Evangelically, Spi­ritually, and substantially holy; that were to be there after: yea with this same kind of holiness some meats were holy; some flesh Hag. 2.12, 13. was holy, some birds, and beasts were sanctified as holy, and lawfull to be used, and eat­en, when others were prohibited as prophane, common and unclean, not so much as to be touched without sin, without contracting such an outward fleshly kind of guilt, and impurity, as made their souls in that ceremonial sense abominable; yea with an uncleanness oppositely answerable to this carnall holiness, those fleshly purities, and purifyings, that then were, some actions, as the touch of a dead bo­dy; some issues of men and women, some diseases as the Leprosie, some bodily blemishes as crookedness, dwarfishness, blindness, lameness, yea the very ease­ments, and excrements that passed from them in the camp, without covering, did defile and render them sinners, prophane, unclean, unholy and guilty before the Lord, Levit.—11.43. to 46. also Chapters 14.15.22. also Le­vit. 20.25.26—21.18. to the 24. Deut. which defilements did then reach to pollute the flesh only, which the bloud of Bulls and Goats, that could not cleanse the conscience morally, did sanctifie to the purifying of Hebr. chap. 9. ver. 13. neither do these things defile any man now in any such sense at all.

This is the holiness, which when you say infants of believers are holy; I have ground to perswade my self you Ashford Disputants mean not, but rather some inherent morall holiness, when I consider how you talk of infused habits in the hearts of infants in your Disputation and Review; and yet again I have ground to believe you mean this holiness, which was in the Jewish infants and their im­plements, if I may imagine your meaning, by what is extant in the writings of your brethren upon the subject, specially if I may measure your meaning by Mr Blakes in his Birth-priviledge, or covenant-holiness of believers and their is­sue, wherein he laies himself out at large, and yet is too short when all is done in proving from the like under the law, among the people of the Iews and their is­sue, that even now in the times of the Gospel also, a people that enjoy Gods ordi­nances, convey to their issue a priviledge to be reputed by birth, not unclean, but holy persons, and thereupon to be baptized; the absurditie and inconsequence of which doctrine (and so I hope to make it appear, now I am upon it) is little less then if he had argued thus, as the Pope doth from that time to this, viz. there was an Hierarchy or holy principallity among the Priests under the law, there­fore there must be such another under the Gospel, and as then the high-Priests, Aaron and his Sons who were holiness to the Lord, wore holy garments in their ministration for glory and for beauty, viz. Coats, and robes embroydered with gold and blew, and purple and scarlet, and fine linnen, and curious girdles of needle work, nnd miters, and holy Crowns upon the miters, so his Holiness to the Lord, the High-Priest of Christendome Appollyon, and his sons must thus swagger in their service, and be set out in such a holy manner for glory, and for [Page 73] beauty, with his Pontificalib [...], and most holy sumptuous, superstitious at­tire: this holinesse of the holy Priest-hood that then was, and its holy perti­nances, that holy people, and holy seed you stile very fitly, and I agree with you in the term (for 'twas indeed the holiness of that Covenant that then was, while the first tabernacle, and its worldly Sanctuary was yet standing) a federall holiness, nevertheless though you call it by no name but what I freely allow of, yet I call it by one or two names, which though they be as true and properly due to it as the other, and Epithites given ordinarily by your selves to the holinesse of almost every thing else under that Covenant, yet least it pluck you up by the roots as touching your opinion in this point of infant-holinesse and baptism, I much fear you will hardly allow of them as to the parents and the seed, if you can hand­somely evade them by secundum quid, or some such like cleanly distinction: these are first, a ceremoniall holiness, the rise of which denomination, and reason why given, are [...] quasi ad tempus durans, for a time onely, its non-continuance to the end, or its non-conveyance down-wards from the Church of the Jews, to the times and Churches of the Gospel: Secondly, a typical holi­nesse, as being but a shew, shadow or figure of some more excellent holinesse to come, for the law and first Covenant had but the shadow of things to come, and not the very image of the things, Heb. 10.1. I say a typicall, and therefore but a temporall holiness, which stood and was seated onely in divers outward bodily rites, sacrifices, actions, observations, ordinances, offices, officers, places, ge­stures, vestures, ornaments, meats, drinks, and a certain fleshly birth-right, and title to certain earthly preheminences, dignities, priviledge [...], liberties, inheri­tances, a kingdome: and all this for the time then being onely, and to point out a true, more speciall, [...]eall, spiritual and eternal excellency and glory under the Gospell in order to the manifestation of which all the other was but a pageant, for as the Map of that Ierusalem that then was, delineates to our capacities the beau­ty of that earthly fabrick, yet is far inferious to the City it self therein deciphered, so the old Ierusalem with all her holy things, were but a shadowy representati­on, and patern of the New Ierusalem, and the true heavenly things themselves, which the other is as far inferiour to in worth and real felicity, as any Mapp of it upon the wall is to the City that is set out, and darkly described by it.

Thus did their High-priests in all their holiness, yea and kings too (King Solo­mon specially in all his glory) and their prophets also, in all their materially holy unctions to those severall holy functions, type out that one spiritually anointed one of the father, our Lord Iesus, though a single person, to his tripple office of King, Priest, and Prophet over his Church, so their carnally holy meats, drinks and abstinencies, our spiritual meat and drink, which they are said to eat of in a figure,1 Cor, 10.1, 2. And our abstinencies from fleshly lusts, and morall pollutions; so their holy washings the washing of Regeneration, and renewings by the spirit; their holy sacrifices, blood of sprinkling, which (as all the rest) could not make perfect as pertaining to the conscience, but sanctified onely to the purifying of the flesh, i. e. the delivery of them from that outward imputation of impurity, and uncleanness that would else have lain upon them, the blood of Christ purging the conscience from iniquities, and dead works wherewith its defiled, to serve the living God in true holiness and righteousnesse all the daies of our life: so Circumcision of their fleshly seed, which was outward, and in the flesh, tipified, not Baptism (as is simply supposed from Col. 2.) but the Circumcision of the spiritual seed, i. e. be­lievers, new-born babes, begotten to Christ by the word, with the Circumcision made without hands, i. e. sanctification, and cutting of the filthy lusts of the flesh; so their outwardly royall Priest-hood, the spiritual royal Priest-hood, i. e. the true Saints, who are truly (as the other ceremonially and tipically) a kindome of Priests, made Kings and Priests to the Lamb, and shall once reign on the earth, 1 Pet. 2.9. Rev. 5.10.

[Page 88]So the outward holiness of their nation tipified, not the same kind of outward ho [...]inesse of any one Nation taken collectively in the lump, as the whole Nation of England, Scotland, &c. and all their seed (as you ignorantly imagine) but the inward holinesse of the holy Nation of true believers themselves, whether parents to wicked children, or children of wicked parents, scattered through all Nations under heaven, these Peter writes to, and calls the chosen generation now, i. e. the Regenaration themselves, not the natural generation of these; also a Royall Priest-hood, an holy Nation, a peculiar people to God in a spiritual sense, as Israel was in a certain carnal and outward sense before, 1 Pet. 1.1, 2.9. so their holy land our inheritance incorruptible reserved in heaven the heavenly coun­try, which we look for with Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, with whom we are heirs by faith of the same promise; their holy City, our holy City, which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, Heb. 11. Rev. 12. Heb. 13. their holy Temple, Gods Evangelically holy Temple, where he will dwell, which Temple ye are, saith Paul to the Church, 1 Cor. 3. Their carnal freedome, our spiritual freedom from sin, which who ere commits is but a servant, for all the other: though born of Abraham, Iohn 8. Their passeover, Christ our passeover that was sacrificed for us, 1 Cor. 5. Their Rock, our Rock of refreshment Christ; their cloud, Christ overshadowing by day, and enlightning by night his people, 1 Cor. 10.

Their Manna, Christ, our bread that came down from heaven Iohn 6. their delivery out of Egypt the worlds Redemption by Christ; and as sundry other things, of which I cannot now speake particularly, so lastly (to draw yet a little neerer to the point in hand) their holy seed, issue, infancy tipified, not (as both corruptly and carnally you conceive) the fleshly seed of believing, or in-churched Gentiles, for these are in no wise the Antitype to the circumcised infancy of Isra­el, but as I hinted before, the truly and spiritual holy seed it self, i. e. believers themselves; or if the seed of believers, not their natural seed, but their seed in a spirituall sense, i. e. that are begotten by them, by their words unto the faith; for believers as men beget men onely, and no more in that way of bodily propaga­gation, but as believers they may beget believers, by way of spiritual influx, by comunication of the gospel to their consciences, thus Paul was the father of the Corinthians, in Christ Iesus begetting them all by the gospel, 1 Cor. 4 15. thus he travelled with the Galathians till Christ was form'd in them, whom also he bespeaks, as Iohn also doth his converts, 1 Iohn 2.1. by the name of my little ch [...]ldr [...]n, Gal 4.19. thus far if you will I agree with you, but your cause will be no gainer by this agreement, that as ceremonially holy ones begat ceremonially holy ones under the law, as a tipe in a way of carnall copulation, so spiritually ho­ly ones beget spiritually holy ones, in a Gospel sense, by their spiritual commu­nion and communication: for as Christ himself, who supremely begets, so true Christians as agents, and instruments under him may be said to multiply, and see their seed when in their endeavours to beget others to the faith, the work, will, way and pleasure of the Lord doth succeed and prosper in their hands; that holy seed therefore that answers under the Gospel to that holy seed, the Jews infants under the law, as the substance of that shadow, that with all the rest is now fled away, is Christ, and his truely, morally and spiritually holy ones onely, for the holy seed of the law, or that seed which was holy in the old Covenants account, were but as the leaves of an oak, which though they flourish and make a shew for a time, yet at last are cast off and fall to the ground, but the holy seed in the Gospel sense, i. e. the Saints and true believers, not their natural seed with them, for they are onely Semen carnis, and that not of Abraham neither, (as the Iew is who yet hath thereupon onely no part, nor portion in this matter) but of the Gen­tiles, these Saints I say are the true Semen fidei, children of the faith, and sp [...]ri­tual seed of Abraham, and also the very substance thereof, as Isa. 6.13. as the [Page 89] Prophet there speaks of the truly Godly, so I say the substance of the Church of the Iews, now it hath cast it leaves, i. e. all its former figurative holinesse, holy Priests, and holy seed, the substance thereof is still in them. For all things under the law and old Testament, even the whole Covenant and Testament it self, as well as every part and parcel of the same, did but serve unto the example and shadow of the New Testament, will and Covenant that stands ratified by the blood of the Testator, (as neither was the first dedicated without blood) and the more holy and true heavenly things thereof, yea as well the holy promises that were made to that holy seed, as the holy precepts upon performance of which they were made, and the holy seed it self also to whom the promises were made, and of whom these precepts were required, did exemplifie a better Testament, and those better pro­mises upon which it is established, and the better and more spiritual ordinances, which in order thereunto are to be observed, and that better and far more holy seed that observing these ordinances shall at last inherit, which all were to come in under Christ, and before which all the other were to vanish viz.

First, a heavenly Canaan, Country, Kingdom, inheritance, substance, peace, prosperity, plenty, advancement, rest, immunity; glory answering to all that of Israels which was but earthly.

Secondly, the life of faith, and obedience to Christs law, which is more in­ward and spiritual Mat. 5. answering that law of commandements, conteined in ordinances given by Moses, which was more ad extra and carnal.

Thirdly, that holy seed which is not of the law of Moses nor of the flesh of A­braham by generation, but of Christ by regeneration the seed or successors of the faith of Abraham, and so heirs with him by that faith of all Gospel-promises, answering Antipically to the other; for though the promise of being heirs of the old Canaan, which was but a spot of the world and pickt out as a pattern for the time, was made to Abraham and his seed through the law i. e. the children of Isaac and Iacob, which were counted for his seed under the law viz. the natu­ral branches of his body (for these onely were the heirs of that old earthly legall and tipical land of promise, in token of which all the males were circumcised in their flesh) yet the promise that Abraham should be heir of the world; which is the Gospel pointed at, couched and exhibted tipically in the delivery of the other was not made to Abraham and that seed of his through the law (quâ tales) only, unless they were (as some few were) by faith his seed in the other sense also, but through the righteousness of faith i. e. to the branches grafted in by personal believing in Christ Rom. 4.13, 14. where the Apostle saies plainly, that if they which are of the law and circumcision only (meaning the fleshly seed of Abraham) as such, unless they also walk in the steps of that faith which Abraham had, be heirs with him of the world, which is the thing promised in the Gospel then faith, which is made the onely term intitling to Gospel-promises is made void, and the promise of just no effect at all: much more may we say if the fleshly se [...]d of your Gentile believers, most of which are no believers neither, be heirs of this Gospel-promise, and Gospel-inheritance (as so born) so that they may be signed for heirs by the Gospel-ordinance of baptism, upon that meer and simple account of their parents being believers, without respect to faith in their own persons, then the Gospell requires faith to be acted by us in order to salvation altogether in vain, and to no purpose; yea if go [...]pel-promises and priviledges be intailed to me upon my fa­thers being a believer, I need no faith of mine own, as to the making of me an heir thereof, and if it were so as you commonly say, but most horrible in consi­derately from Acts 2.39. that the promise of the Gospel is not onely to the believers but also to their bodily issue, as barely descending from them, qua sic simpliciter, and without their own personal faith, which in infancy appears no more to be in them then infants of unbelievers, and which if it appears (as oft it doth in unbe­lievers children when they come to years and not in the other) declares them to be [Page 90] heirs apparent thereof, when the other are not) then I say plainly that all be­lievers children must unavoidably be saved, if God be true in his promise, though when they come to years they never believe, and live never so prophanely, the terms being still fulfilled upon which you say the promise is made to them, which is this being born of believing parents, for the prophanness of their lives, and non-believing themselves, Non est causae quo minus, &c. is no cause whereupon they are a whit less the seed of believers after the flesh, and if so (and also that that only gives a title to the promise) then he that made that promise on those terms, viz. being the fleshly seed of believers, the terms of being so born being fulfilled by all the natural seed of believers, be they never so ungodly in their own persons, must be faithful to fulfil his own part, and (their ungodliness non obstante) make it good to them concerning their salvation, which drives you oft to such a Dilem­ma in discourses, that for your ears almost you dare not answer distinctly to us, when we ask you what that Gospell promise is, which is made (as you say) to believers infants, and upon what terms it is made to them, beyond the infants of unbelievers?


We do not say that being born of believing parents only, intitles persons to the Gospell promises, but they are heirs thereof, and of all the glory, and priviled­ges, and salvation held forth therein as they shall hereafter believe themselves also, and live godly, when they come to years, and not otherwise.


Yea say you so? then pray how doth the promise of the Gospel appear to be­long one jot more to believers children, then to unbelievers? for the believers child (it seems by you now) cannot by promise be saved upon his parents faith, un­less he believe also himself, and then he may, and what is this more then I can say to the full of all unbelievers children, yea and as well of all unbelievers in the world? for even the children of Turks and Pagans, and all the children of all the men upon the face of the Earth shall be saved, upon these terms, viz. believing and obeying the Gospel themselves, when they come to years, whether their pa­rents ever obeyed it, yea or no; where then is the preheminence of your believers seed above unbelievers, if you go this way to work? either therefore grant the one, or else the other, viz. either that believers children are heirs of salvation upon their fathers faith onely without their own, or if you say, not so but by their own faith tis that they must be saved, then that the Gospel promise belongs not to believers children beyond other mens, and that one mans seed hath no such birth-priviledge and preheminence as you dote of about anothers, for unbelievers children may as well as they by promise be saved upon their own faith, when they come to age without their Fathers.


We can easily answer you to all this by distinguishing upon the promise, thus, The promise of the Gospel is either of salvation, life remission of sins, the holy spirit, as the earnest, and the inheritace it self to come, or else of external pri­viledges only, and participations of Ordinances, as Baptism, Churchmember­ship &c. the promise of the eternal inheritance, life, and salvation we grant is not made, much less made good to any upon terms of the parents faith, but up­on our own personal belief, and obedience, but the promise of outward priviled­ges, and of right to participation of ordinances, as to be baptized, and inchurcht, this belongs to children upon their fathers faith, so that believers children are children of the promise in this sense, when others are not, and in this last sense it is that Peter saies the promise is to you, and to your Children &c. i. e. you and yours have the priviledge of right to baptism.


Then it seems you quit the former sense, I pray therefore let us here no more of that till next time however, but let me tell you one thing by the way concern­ing that first sense, before I say ought to your second; viz, that if the promise of salvation belong to persons upon their own personal belief and obedience (as undoubtedly it doth, according to the whole tenor of the Scripture as to men at years) and such onely, then as very a figment of ours as you feign it to be, twill put you to your shifts, to find out what way dying infants are saved in, unless you own another way then that which the Scripture tenders it to men in, for the justi­fication and salvation of infants, viz. the presentment of the righteousness of Christ for them without belief in them, or any other kind of obedience; And sith in such sense as this only you own the Gospel promise to be made by Peter Act. 2. to believers infants, viz. that they shall by right be admitted to outward privi­ledges, as baptism and membership, when others shall not, I beseech you con­sider what a poor piece of promise is made by him, and what a miserable com­forter the Apostle is made by you, in making as if this were all his meaning, and all that he intends by that precious word of promise; I suppose his drift was to support the Jewes, now smitten down under sense of sin, and the guilt of Christs blood which then lay upon them, by propounding to them some ground of con­solation, but here is cold comfort in what he saith, if that be all, which you saie is, the sense he speaks in, he had spoke little to their purpose, and as good he had said never a whit, as never the better; for this promise (as you take it) hath more matter of mourning in it then otherwise to say you shall be brought nearer to the Church, but never the nearer to salvation thereby, further then you do that which others doing, that are further off the Church, shall be saved so doing as well as you: Sirs you had as good cut off the entail of that piece of promise, which you intitle believers infants to, us cut of the best part of the promise from them, which yet you seem to entail as from their parents to them, for this is not worth a rush without the other, for abstract this great priviledge you seem to invest them with, from that which you divest them of by this distinction, and its worth little or no­thing, if not plainly worse than nothing, without the other: what better to be under a promise of being priviledged with, and what priviledge at all to be admit­ted to this, and yet to be no more, nor upon any other terms under the promise of the inheritance it self, then others, such as were yet never at all signed to it: Is it not rather a burden and a bondage? for outward ordinances verily are part of the preceptory part of the Gospel, and the precept in point of ordinances, as well as in point of manners, is part of the yoke and burden of Christ, and of the hard sayings of his, which flesh and blood brooks not to hear off, for though the way of Christ is light and easie, and not grievous where it is lessened by thoughts of the recompence of reward, yet is it in it self a burden, and a yoke, and such a one too as considering the sufferings of all such as submit to own it, well nigh wear­ies them that walk under it, though under clearest title to the Kingdome, for which they suffer, much more may it be a misery, and not a mercy to such, who have a promise of being barely admitted to it, but no more of life and salvation, or at least upon no other terms, then such as have not the priviledge to be admitted to it yet at all; if the promise to believers and their children run only thus, viz. you shall stand under the title of the holy people of God, under right to outward or­dinances, when others shall not, not only you, but also your children shall be bap­tized and inchurched, but neither you nor they ever the sooner saved, as born of you, further then together with you they shall believe and obey me in all things, in which case of faith and obedience all unbelievers in the world, and their children shall be saved, as soon as either you or they, it is as much as to say, the promise of a liberty and freedome to partake of the ordinance, is to you and your children above others, but the promise to partake of the inheritance is as much to all others [Page 92] and their children as to you, and yours; what most comfortless comfort is this, to men cast down under sense of sin, and guilt? what a pittious plaister is here applied to men wounded in conscience, and smarting under the direfull apprehen­sions of Gods wrath? besides what exquisite non-sense do you make the Apostle speak, if his words be taken in your sense, for they must run thus, viz. first, by way of precept, repent and be baptized you and your children, in the name of Christ for remission of sinnes, and then by way of incouragement thus, viz. so this great priviledge of being baptized shall belong to you and your seed, which im­penitent unbaptized ones, and their seed shall not enjoy, but the promise of sal­vation and remission of sins is made no more to you then unto them: this is to re­store them from their contrite and weather beaten condition, and to invest them cum privilegio with a witness, yet this is all the priviledge, if the promise here made to these parents, and their children be of no more then being outwardly incovenanted, i. e. inchurched by baptism (as you say it is.) But undoubtedly it must be otherwise then thus for all your saying and the promise, take it which of these two waies you will, viz. for the meer tender or proser of the thing (as the word promise is sometimes used) or for the thing it self profered or promised (in which last sense its mostly taken) it must needs be of some more excellent matter, then meer outward membership in the Church on [...]arth, abstract from all true and immediate title to remission of sinnes and salvation: yea verily its most evident that the thing here promised is no less then remission of sinnes and salvation itself, for as no less is exprest in the very text wherein he names remission of sinnes and the holy spirit, which elsewhere is called the earnest of the inheritance, so unless you will divide the children from sharing alike with their parents in that promise which in the self same sentence, terms and sense is propounded alike to them both, so as to say the word promise is to be understood of remission of sinnes, and salvation as in relation to the parents, but of an inferior thing viz. a right to ordinances onely as in relation to the in­fants which were intollerable absurdity to utter, it must necessarily be meant of one and the same kind of mercy to the children, as is exhibited therein to the pa­rents; yea and upon the same terms too, and no other then those upon which its tendred to the parents viz. personall repentance and obedience, and so conse­quently of remission of sinnes and salvation, and not of such a triviall title to exter­nal participation onely as you talk on, which if it be, then unless you assert that God hath promised salvation absolutely to all the natural seed of believers, upon those very terms onely as they are their seed, which you are ashamed to stand to, the promise, mean which you will by that word promise in this text, whether the bare proposall, or the salvation propounded, or both, upon these terms belongs of right not onely to believers and their posterity, but also to all men and their po­sterity to, without difference, when at years of capacity to neglect or perform them throughout all ages and places of the world; for as the gospel or glad tidings of salvation are commanded by Christ Mark 16.15, 16. to be preached or profered to every creature at years to hear and understand, though not to infants on terms of belief and baptism, so assuredly those terms being performed, the salvation so promised shall be injoyed accordingly, if he hath any truth in him, who said [...]e that believeth (i. e. lives and dies in the faith of Christ) and is baptized, shall be saved; and Paul likewise Rom. 3.22. intimates no lesse, saying that the righte­ousness of God which is by faith of Iesus Christ is unto all, and upon all them that believe, and there is no difference; so that if they that are now unbelievers and unbelievers children also shall hereafter believe, with such faith as shews it self by obedience, which kind of faith onely the Scripture means, the promise of salvation and remission of sinnes is as well unto them, as unto those that do now both believe themselves, and were also born of believing parents, yea and the promise of the holy spirit also Prov. 1.22.23. for indeed God so loved the world [Page 93] (not mundum electorum onely ex mundo electum) that he gave his onely begotten Son, not to condemn one person more then another, but as they should personally reject him, but that the world through him might be saved, that whosoever in it i. e. in all the world, not in the world of Elect (for that sounds as if some of the elect may believe, and some not) do [...]h believe might not perish, but have everlasting life Iohn All which things well and wisely weighed, he is blind that sees any more birth-priviledge or right by birth to salvation, or the promise of it in believers seed, then in unbelievers; neither is there now any more privi­ledge at all in any one mans naturall seed above anothers, save the meer hopeful­ness of education and advantage of instruction in the way and means of salvation, which may possibly befal believers children more then others, though in case it happen (as it may possibly also do) that believers children have their breeding a­mong Turks, and the children of very Indians among believers, in that case these last have not onely no lesse priviledge, as to the promise of salvation by bare birth, but a priviledge also by that breeding beyond the other.

That therefore the promise of the Gospel-Covenant in any sense in the world is made to believers seed (as barely such) more then to the natural seed of unbelievers▪ can never be proved by the word, while the world stands, yea the very contrary is most evidently proved in this place Act. 2.38.39. if we consult no other Scrip­ture besides it. For

First, neither were these parents believers as yet when Peter said the promise is to you and to your children, but onely were pricked at the heart upon some measure of conviction, that the person whom they had crucified was the Lord of life, which thing the very Devils believe and tremble at; for in order unto the be­getting of that saving faith, which yet they had not, he spake these words of in­couragement, and exhortation to them, and this to the contradiction of Mr. Vahan whod ag'd in an Argument by the head and shoulders from this place at the Ash­ford disputation, was ingenuously acknowledged by Mr. Prig. Nor

Secondly, doth Peter make the promise any otherwise to them and their chil­dren then he doth to all others in the world i. e. on condition of their comming in at Gods call, tis saies he to you and to your children, and to them that are far off, i. e. all manner of persons, even so many in all nations and generations as the Lord our God shall call, i. e. as are prevailed with to come when God calls them, which to be the sense of this place is further illustrated by that pararel place of Paul, Heb. 9.15. where he saies thus, viz. they that are called received the pro­mise of eternall inheritance. Nor

Thirdly, when the parents did believe and were baptized, were any of their infants baptized with them (as they must have been had that promise been to their infants as well as to themselves, on that single account of being their seed) for re­cording how many were baptized at that time, he concludes them under such a term, as excludes the infants from that daies work, while he saies thus, as many, meaning no more then those (for else he deceives us utterly in his Relation) as glad­ly received the word (this infants could not do) were then baptized, which num­ber, as they are recorded to be about 3000 might in likelihood have amounted to three times 3000, if all the infants of all those had been dipped also.

Fourthly, nor were there any more inchurched that day among the rest, but such as gladly receiving the word, were then and thereupon baptized, for of these onely it is said, and not of infants, they continued together in the Apostles do­ctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and prayers; but all their in­fants must have bin inchurched also as well as they, if equally with their parents, and by vertue of the same promise, the right of Church-membership had be­longed to them. Besides

Fiftly, It crosseth the current of all other Scripture to put such male-constructi­on upon this, for that the promise of old, I mean the old promise of the Law; which [Page 94] was of the earthly Canaan, and but a type of this did appertain unto a fleshly ho­ly seed I grant, but that the new covenant, or Gospel promise is made to any mans fleshly seed (as such so that thereupon we may baptize them in token of it, before they are called to profess faith in Christ) is a thing, which I confess I found in the common high way, when I look'd not after it, but since I searched nar­rowly for it I could never see it; Sure I am the Scripture holds forth no other seed of Abraham himself to be heirs with him of the heavenly Canaan but his spiri­tual sead, i. e. believers, that do his works, nor doth it own any but these to the right of membership, and fellowship in his family, i. e. the now visible Church, for the visible Church is Abrahams family in all ages, as well under the Gospel as under the Law, & Abrahams house i. e. the visible church as tis under the Gospel is much altered from that it was under the law, yea so differently is it constituted, and totally translated from its Mosaical form, that it is even turned up side down, and in a manner nothing remains the same it then was, as the co­venant is not the same with that of that of the law, so neither is any thing else, that appertains to it, but every thing at it were divers from the other, and no way an­swerable save as the Antitype is answerable to the Type; for neither is there the the same Mediator, nor the same Priest-hood, nor the same Law, (for the Priesthood being changed, there must of necessity be also a change of the Law, Heb. 7.12. That being the Law of a Carnal Commandment only, in the ob­servation of which perfection was not to the conscience, for it sanctified only to purifying of the flesh, i. e. from those outward fleshly, not morall uncleannesses, and therefore with the ordinances thereof called carnall, Heb. 9.9. this the pow­er of an endless life, i. e. available, not to that temporal typical cleansing, puri­fying, and pardon only, for the procuring of a Temporal life, or well being in Canaan, but to the obtaining of an eternal life, by procuring remission of moral pollution Heb. 9.13, 24. nor is there now the same Lawgiver under God that then was, that being Moses the Servant, who yet was faithful to him that ap­pointed him in all his house the fleshly Israel, for a Testimony of those things which were to be spoken after, this Christ the son, who was worthy of more glory than Moses, and is now over his own house, whose house we are that be­lieve to the end, Heb. Nor yet the same Promises, that being of of an earthly, this of an heavenly inheritance; nor yet the same holy Nation, ho­ly people, holy seed, to which the promises are made, that being the typical pro­mised seed Isaac and his posterity, this the true promised seed, i. e. Christ, and his seed, i. e. all the Saints, that are born of God by faith in him Gal. 3.16. to Abraham and his seed were the promises made, he saith not unto Seeds as of many, but as of one, and unto thy seed, which is Christ; nor the same ordi­nances, and administrations signing the inheritance, those being circumcision, the Passeover; these baptism in water, and the Supper; nor lastly the same subjects for those ordinances, those being by nature Iewes or at least by profession, and their Male seed only (as to the one) Male and Female as to the other, and that whether believing yea or no, these nor Iewes nor Gentiles by nature only (but all persons whether Iews or Gentiles, Males or Females, yet only as believing; for verily so far are the natural posterity of believing Gentiles (as such, and as yet not professing to believe themselves) from being heirs apparent with Abraham of Gospel promises, and priviledges, and from title to the Gospel ordinances, that sign them, and from being holy ones by birth, as the Iew once was, and as Mr. Blake contends for it that these are, and from the repute of Abrahams seed in the sense of the Gospel, that even Abrahams own natural seed (as such only) are not at all his seed in this sence at this day, nor at all holy with that kind of birth holiness they once had (for that is ended and abolished in Christ crucified) nor entailed as heirs of that Canaan, without faith and repentance in their own per­sons, which and no other, are the terms inrighting therunto, to any of these Gos­pel [Page 95] ordinances at all, and all this will be seen most undoubtedly to be true, by him that searches the Scripture, which testifie no lesse, and because this is the ve­ry Root, and Knot in the state of this controversie, the unfolding and laying open of which will discover the whole mystery of your mistakes in this point, all which arise originally from your erring in it (for Error minimus in principio fit major in medio, maximus in sine) pray have me excused both in that I have been hi­therto so long, and in case I be yet a little longer on this matter.

First then let it be considered that Abrahams own seed, even that seed that were heirs with him by promise of the Earthly Canaan, though born of his body now by Isaac and Iacob as truely, though more remotely then of old, of his body (I say) that was the greatest believer that ever was (Christ only excepted) and there­fore must much more then any other believer (if any believer at all could) by his faith confer a right to Gospel priviledges upon his seed, even these are not his seed in the Gospel account, not his heirs according to this Gospel promise, nor as barely born of his body to be baptized and enchurched, and this I shall make plain unto you from many Scriptures the first whereof is Romans In which I beseech you to observe how the Apostle there denies Abrahams own na­turall children the name of Abrahams seed in the sence of the Gospel; first mark how he magnifies them exceedingly, and sets forth their dignity and preheminence above all other people, under the name of Israelites, as to whom pertained the adoption, and the glory, and the Covenants; i. e. both Testaments the type and the antitype, unto whom then pertained not only the giving of the law, but also the promises (for verily the several excellencies of both law and Gospel, upon the several terms upon which both were established, did in more special sence belong unto that people at that time, then to any people under the Sun, yea the first co­venant, and the promise thereof the Earthly Canaan and all the priviledges and ordinances signing it did pertain to them, as the proper heirs therof, by bare fleshly descent from Abraham, Isaac and Iacob; yea all that was theirs ipso facto (as so born) without more ado, whether they were believers or not believers, as to the Gospel; and as for the Gospel covenant, which is now belonging to them in common only with all other men, in one respect it did principally pertain to them above all others, till they lost their preheminence, viz. not in respect of any right to it they had by birth whether they received it, yea or no, but in respect of the first tender therof, which, when it came in fuller force to be ratified to the world in the preaching of the Gospel, was by special order and appointment from God, in the first place to be tendered unto them, nor was it carried at all to the Gentiles, till these Jews had both slighted and rejected it, when brought to them in the Ministery of Christ and Iohn; in proof of which see in Mat. where the Disciples sent forth to preach are forbidden to go in any waie of the Gentiles, or to any save the lost sheep of the house of Israel; yea they were the Children whose bred this was at that time; and which till they loathed it, was not to be given to the Doggs, excepting a few Crummes of it, I mean to the Gen­tiles, who till the Partition Wall was broken down between them, and the Iews by Christ crucified, were accounted Doggs, Common, unclean, sinners by nature, in a certain ceremonial sense in reference to the Jewes, who then by birth were holy in a ceremonial sence, now vanisht, then answering as opposite to that birth uncleanness of the Gentiles, Mat. see also Mat. 22.3. where the Iews are said to be first bidden to the wedding, so Luke 24.46.47. where Christ commands that in their preaching the Gospel to all Nations, they should first begin at Ierusalem; and so we see they did, after his ascension Act. 2. see also Act. 3.25.26. where the Jews are said to be [...] THE Children of the Gospell Covenant, in respect that un­to them first God sent his son to bless them, in which respect they are said Mat. 8.12. to be THE Children of the Kingdome, i. e. the heavenly Kingdom [Page 96] which yet they were cast out into utter darkness from any enjoyment of, for their non-acceptance of it; so Act. 13.46. where Paul saies to the Jews that 'twas necessary that the word of the gospel should be first spoken to them; so Acts 28.28. 'tis said, the salvation of God, which the Iew rejected, was from hence­forth sent to the Gentiles: Notwithstanding all which glory, and prehe­minence of this people Israel, whose were the fathers also, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, Paul, after he had shewed their high prerogatives above others, comes with Alas, and great sorrow of heart, and much bewailing for their infidelity to exclude them, even all of them, save those few with whom the word of the Gospel took effect, so as to gain them to believe, notwithstanding the antient and legall title, from the very name of Israelites, and from standing Abrahams children now any longer, for saith he (as who should say the more is the pitty) They are not all Israell, that are of I­srael, i. e. all that are Israelites after the flesh, are not the Gospel Israelites, or Israelites in the Gospels account, because few of them did receive it; all that were Abrahams seed after the flesh, and stood in his family, i. e. the vis [...]ble Church of old, as being his seed cannot stand so now, for belivers onely, and such as are Christs by faith are counted for the seed: that this is the mean­ing of those words is most evident by them that follows for (saith he) neither because they are the seed of Abraham, i. e. his fleshly seed, are they called children, i. e, his children thereupon, as to his Gospel Co­venant, but in Isaac i. e. Christ in the Antitype shall thy seed be called, that is (saith he) expounding himself, and alluding to what was done Allegorically, as in a figure, as concerning Ishmael and Isaac in Abrahams family of old, the children of the flesh these are not the children of God, but the children of the pro­mise are counted for the seed; the children of the flesh, by which he means those that were born of Abrahams body by Isaac, who now stands in reference to Christ, as Ishmael did in the house of old in reference unto him, these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise, (such was Isaac in the legal, typicall, ceremonial and carnal account in relation to Ishmael, for not Ishmael but he and his posterity were the promised seed, which should inherit the old Canaan, and such is Christ in the reall, spiritual, Evangelical and everlasting account in relation unto Isaac himself, for not Isaac and his seed as they were Abrahams seed by Sa­rah, though they were the children of the promise of the earthly Canaan, and a promised seed in respect of Ishmael, but Christ who is the true Isaac, and those that believe in him, among whom sith Isaac was one he will inherit here also, as else he could not, these are the promised seed that must inherit heaven, Rom. 4.13, Gal. 3.16. these children of the promise, i. e. these that are of Christ by faith, and so his seed after the faith, are accounted Abrahams seed, his sons and heirs of the world with him, and of the eternal inheritance.

A cleerer illustration of this to be the true sense and meaning of the spirit in Rom. 9. you have in Gal. 3.7.9. where the Apostle uses this term, viz. [they which are of the faith] to express no other then the very same persons, whom he here stiles the children of the promise, know ye (saith he there) that they which are of the faith, i. e. which believe (for none else are of faith that I know of) the same are the children of Abraham, and blessed with faithfull Abraham, he saith not they which be of Abrahams flesh, for such neither are accounted his children, as to the gospel promise, nor simply as such are heirs thereof with him, muchless doth he say or mean, that those which are born of the bodies of them that be of faith, are Abrahams children, and such as must be signed as his sonnes, and heirs by baptism, in such wise as his own fleshly seed were signed by Circumcision as heirs with him of the old Canaan: yet these are your common sayings, who raise such a sort of seed to Abraham at second hand, or third remove, as will never be able to prove their pedegree, or descent from him, either after the flesh, or after [Page 97] the faith either, till they believe themselves, whilest they breath on earth, as if because Abraham is the spiritual father of all that believe and walk in his steps, and they his seed, and sons and heirs with him by promise of eternal life, there­fore he must patrizare to all their natural posterity too, and be the spiritual fa­ther not of their persons onely, but of their off-spring also: But Sirs, let me tell you he is not so much as a father to his own seed in the Gospel sense, neither can they stand his children; or the children of God, and heirs of the heavenly bles­sing and kindome, because they come out of his loines, unless they do as he did, for though his fleshly seed as a type for the time then being, stood denominated the children of God, and holy in an outward sense, and heirs according to the earthly promise, yet that account is gone now, and there's no other way whereby the Iews themselves, much less any generations among the Gentiles, can be stiled the chil­dren of God or Abraham, so as to expect the gospel portion, but believing in Christ Iesus in their own persons, Gal. 3.26.29. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Iesus Christ: if ye be Christs then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Another place which cleers it that Abrahams own seed in the old Covenants account are not his own in the account of the gospel, so as barely thereupon to stand in any title to either the priviledges or ordinances thereof, or to fellowship now in his family, is Iohn 8. where Christ being cavill'd at by the Iews for promising them the priviledge of the Gospel-freedom from sin,, to which they were slaves, servants and bondmen (for all that legal freedom they did so boast of) upon faith and con­tinuance in his words, discovers so plainly that a man may run and read it, the discarding of the Jews from all these three things which I am now proving, that for want of faith, they are perished from them since the gospel.

First, from the repute and denomination of Abrahams children any lon­ger.

Secondly, from any share in the glorious, or spirituall blessing of the Gos­pel.

Thirdly, from any right of abiding longer in the Church, which they were the children of before, which Church (as visible) now as well as then, and to the end of the world, since Gods conferring the fatherhood of the faithful upon him, is called the house or family of Abraham.

First, they say in a snuff two or three times ore, that they are Abrahams seed v. 33. that Abraham is their father v. 39. that they are not born of fornication (meaning as Ishmael the Son of the bond-woman, or servant to their mother Sa­rah was) but they had one father, even God v. 41. to which Christ replies, not by denial of any of all this, for 'twas true every tittle in that sense, in which they meant it, i. e. the typical sense and meaning of the old Covenant, yea they were Abrahams children, and this Christ confesses in plain terms verse 37. I know you are Abrahams seed; yea they were also the children of God by an outward and typicall adoption of them unto himself, as his peculiar ones, and heirs of that typi­cal inheritance, Ezek. 16.8. &c. but by telling them that Abrahams children are accounted of otherwise now then formerly, viz. not as comming out of his Ioines, but as doing his works, as being like him, and allied to him, not so much after the flesh as after the faith: whereupon they not yet believing, he denies them to be, and goes about to prove them not to be Abrahams children in the true and substan­tial sense, in this Hypothesis verse 39. if ye were Abrahams children, ye would do the works of Abraham, to which do but add the minor, viz. but ye do not the works of Abraham, and the conclusion follows thus, viz. therefore ye are not the children of Abraham: you see Christ asserts them to be Abrahams children in the old account, so as to stand members of the old house, but denieth them to be Abrahams children in the sense of the new.

Secondly, they say they are free men, and were never in bondage to any man, [Page 98] to which Christ replies by granting it was so indeed, in the outward typical sense that they were free men, and true heirs of that earthly glory, that was promis­ed to Abraham in that old Canaan, but denies them to be freemen as to the gos­spel, with that heavenly fredom of the Ierusalem, which is above the mother of all true believers Gal. 4.26. yea in those spiritual respects, in which the Son makes free indeed those that know and receive the truth and gospel, they were but ser­vants verse 34. and in bondage to sin, which is the greatest slavery of all, as also Paul sayes Gal. 3.25. that Ierusalem was, which was of old, and was in bon­dage with her children, so he saies for all their Sonship, yet in truth they are but servants and not sonnes, he grants their Sonship, freedom, and title to the old in­heritance, but denies their son and heirship as to the new.

Thirdly, they boast and bless themselves in their standing in the house or fami­ly of Abraham, i. e. the Church, as to the ordinances, rights and priviledges whereof who but themselves had the title? for this indeed was their advantage of old, that to them were committed all the oracles of God, to which Christ replies, true they did stand in the house for a time, yet but for a time, and though sons and heirs in the laws typical sense, yet they were were but servants in the Gospels, because they believe not in him, and being but servants (as Moses and all his house or church the old Israel were, in comparison of Christ the Son, and his house or Church, i. e, the Saints) they must anon be packing out of the house, and abide in the Church i. e. Abrahams family no longer, that the true Sons and heirs may come in, i. e. believers, who are the blessed seed to whom onely the Gospel-promises and priviledges do belong, ver. 35. And the servant (saith he) abideth not in the house for ever, but the son abideth ever, if therefore the son make you free, and that he doth not for all your former freedome, unless you believe in him, and continue in his words, then shall ye be free indeed, even to the glory, oracles and blessings of the spiritual house the Gospel-church, which else you must be cut off from for ever: thus Christ tells them, and so indeed it came to passe within a while, for not believing and repenting, which are the only terms that give right and admittance to the ordinances and fellowship of the Gos­pel, these Iews though natural branches of Abraham still as much as ever, if be­ing the fleshly seed of a believer could have steaded them at all, as to a standing here, were yet clean broken off from the Root Abraham, as he st [...]nds a Root to all the faithful, because onely of unbelief, Rom. 11.20. when such as were wild olives, and no kin at all to Abraham after the flesh, were in their own per­sons, but not their natural seed with them (save as they believed with them) own'd as his children by believing, and as members of the true Church under the Gos­pel. And this was also most directly declared by Iohn the Baptist, and the rest of the first ministers of the Gospel, who would not admit of the Jews as Jews, though Abrahams own seed, and holy by birth, and members thereupon of that Church under the law to baptism, and membership in the Gospel-church, when they offered themselves upon the aforenamed terms, without faith, repentance, and amend­ment; for howbeit the Pharisees and Saduces and the whole multitude of people came forth to be baptized of Iohn, Mat, 3.7. &c. Luke 3.7. &c. pretending and pleading that if baptism were a Church-priviledge, it must needs belong to them, as who were the children of Abraham, yet see how he rounds them up as having no part nor portion in that matter: O generation of vipers saith he) who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? as if he had said, what have you to do with that remission of sinnes, righteousness and redemption from wrath to come, which I preach and baptize in token of, being though invested with circumcision, Church-membership and other legal rites and priviledges, yet corrupt and crooked in conversations? bring forth therefore, i. e. to the end that you may be admitted, baptized, and inchurched here, fruits answerable to amend­ment of life, and begin not, (its like that plea was in their thoughts and mouths too, [Page 99] whereupon he puts them off from it) think not to say that we have Abraham to our father, we are the seed of such an eminent believer, for God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham, i. e. God will, without being behol­ding to you, raise a seed to Abraham, rather then want them, from among these stones, which whether he meanes stones litterally, or the Gentiles which were yet as stocks and stones in their eies, I leave you further to ex­amine, but thus much we may gather hence however, that even in that very time wherein the birth-priviledge and holiness of a fleshly seed stood in full force and power unrepealed (as then it did) so far as to give right to all ordinances of the law, yet, even then I say before, how much more since the Abrogation thereof by faith, Abrahams own seed could not, much less then may the seed of believing Gentiles, now its repealed, (as such) be admitted to baptism without repentance: the Jews as impenitent and unbelieving as they were, stood uncast out of the Jew­ish Church, while that Jewish Church it self was yet standing, but they could not passe per saltum out of that Church into the Gospel Church, nor immediate­ly from their right to circumcision, which meer fleshly birth gave them, prove their right, without somewhat more, to baptism; yet thus they might have done, if what gave right of old to one of these ordinances, doth in like manner inright persons to the other,

And this that Abrahams own naturall seed do not now stand his seed, so as thereupon onely, or at all to stand in this house of Abraham, i. e. the visible Church of the Gospel, and in title to the promises and priviledges thereof, is fur­ther and more lively figured out to our understandings in that admirable allusion of Paul to the things transacted of old, as a type hereof in the family of Abraham, between the two mothers and their children, viz. Hagar and Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac, Gal. 4.21. to the end, where (to give you but a hint of the thing, that you may follow it in your own thoughts at leasure) having first related what is written of Abrahams having two sonnes, one by his bond-maid Hagar, viz. Ish­mael, that was born after the flesh, the other by the free woman, or his true wife Sarah, viz. Isaac, who though born of Abrahams flesh as well as the other, yet be­cause he was promised to come of Abrahams true spouse Sarah, long before he did, was said to be born by promise, he asserts these things to be an Allegory, i. e. things which though really and truly done, yet were done also in a figure, and as a shadow of some other things to come viz. the two Covenants and two seeds of Abraham thereunto belonging, or the two several Jerusalems or Churches of the law and the Gospel, with their several children viz. the fleshly seed of Abraham and the spiritual, each answering respectively, not only as anti-types to their several types, that point [...]d at them, whether the maid and her son, or the mistriss and hers, but also inter se invicem, as the two mothers and their children did, each of them unto the other, for these (saith he) i. e. these two mothers and children, the bondwo­man and her son, and the freewoman and her son, are the two Covenants or testa­ments, meaning in signification, or in way of resemblance of them, the one from mount Sinai, the other from mount Sion, both spoken of, and to the life also poin­ted out one ore against the other in Heb. 12.18. to the end, that from mount Si­nai, or that Testament, which was given in the hand of the Media [...]or Moses, that gendreth to bondage, or enthrawles her children, this is Hagar, for this Hagar who brought out her son to bondage is (saith he) mount Sinai in Arabia, or that law of Moses given on mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to, i. e. as a type points out, and signifies the Ierusalem that now is, i. e. the Church of the Iews before Christ, which notwithstanding her childrens abode i [...] the house of Abr [...]ham, and her Hagarlike flaunting, and vaunting her self over the other for a time, as if she were the onely mistriss, whose seed must inherit all, yet in comparison of the true mother, and her seed, viz. the gospel Ierusa­lem, which was yet to come, was but in bondage with her children, and must when [Page 100] that seed once should come in, be chashiered and cast quite and clean out of doors as a seed to be no more accounted on, so far as to abide with the other: for ne­vertheless; i, e. all her present liberty, and immunity notwithstanding, what saith the Scripture? (saies he) cast out the bond woman and her son, for the son of the bond woman shall not be heir with the Son of the free woman, i. e. the seed of the old Covenant of the Earthly Ierusalem, viz. the natural seed of A­braham, shall not share in priviledges, nor the inheritance promised in the Gos­spel together with the spiritual seed, viz. the believers or children of the Church under the Gospel.

Thus as Hagar, and her son Ishmael, that stood in Abrahams house a while, and were proud and insolent, as if they should have dwelt there for ever, were at last packt out before Isaac the true son and heir by promise of the old inheritance, and ordinance, when he was born, and before Sarah, who would not indure to have Ishmael have any portion in Canaan, or any room in the house with her son Isaac, so also Sarah her self, and her son Isaac, I mean the fleshly Ierusa­lem, and Jew that dwelt as Mistris, and heir for a time in the house, inheriting only some outward excellencies, and enjoyments, were at last, being found moc­king thereat, cast out of the house, i. e. the Church, the Son-ship, the glory, and all before the true Mother and her children, viz, the Gospel Church or true Sa­rah, and the true Isaac, Christ and his Saints, or seed of Believers, who will not bear nor brook it to have a meer fleshly seed, though of Abraham himself, much less of any Gentile believers, to dwell with them in the family: Isaac and the fleshly Israelites were by promise to inherit the old Testament priviledges, and the Ishmaelites were not suffered (as such) to partake with them therein; Christ and believers are by promise to receive the eternal inheritance, nor is any mans fleshly posterity, no not Abrahams own by Isaac, I mean the Israelites them­selves (as such) permitted or promised to participate therein: Ishmael though as Abrahams seed after the flesh he had a portion, yet had nothing to do with that of Isaac the child of promise in the type; Isaac though Abrahams son, not only after the flesh, but by promise too (as in reference to Ishmael) and so in true title to a better portion then Ishmaels, viz. the Earthly Canaan, and that as a type for a time, yet being but his fleshly seed in comparison to Christ, and believers, and by his bare fleshly birth (save only that he was a spirituall child also by believing) as inferior to them, as Ishmael was to himself, hath nought at all to do (as the fleshly seed of Abraham) with that heavenly portion that be­longs to these.

Now then if it be so (and so it will appear to him that doth not trifle, but truely understand the Scriptures, and this last especially which with many more viz, Heb. 8. Heb. 9. speak expresly of two distinct covenants or Testaments, made with two sorts of seeds of Abraham concerning two Canaans, viz. an Earthly and a Heavenly, whereof one all along was a type of the other, for a time only, and now ended, contrary to all our blind Seers, that confound, and blindly blend both of them into one) if so I say that Abrahams own sons by bo­dily birth are not now his own in Gospel account, nor heirs (as so born only) of the Gospel promise and inheritance, nor house dwellers in the Gospel Church, for want of personal faith, though Abrahams children after the flesh still as much as ever, then I cannot but stand amazed at the perverseness of you the Priesthood in three things.

First in that meerly because you and your people do believe (and I would to God you did believe, for so but few, for all your flourish of either you or your people do indeed) therefore you count your natural seed the seed of Abraham, this you express in plain terms in your Review p. 14.

Secondly in that, even Eâtenùs, as your children only, you hold them heirs of the promise of the Gospel covenant made with Abraham.

[Page 101]Thirdly in that you sign them as visibly such by Baptism (as you call it) and thereby admit them into membership in the Gospel Church (as you call it) and having yet no evidence of their belief, conclude them under a true title to all outward ordinances, save such as upon your own heads only you keep from them, if by the word they have such title to Church-fellowship, as you say they have, viz. the Supper, of which you make them snap short, as much, and as groundlessly to the full (if baptism at all belong to them) as we in baptism.

Sirs, let me reason with you a little, and begg some cool consideration, and ingenuous answer from you concerning these particulars.

First which way come your natural seed, you being but Gentiles in the flesh, to be the seed of Abraham?

Secondly why do you, or how can you sign them as heirs of the Gospel promise so simply upon that account only? there are but two seeds of Abraham that I know of in all the world, viz.

1. His seed after the flesh, and such are all those that are born of his body, viz. Ishmael, and his Children by Keturah, to whom he gave portions, and those that came of him by Isaac and Jacob, which only (for Esau sold his birth-right) were heirs with him of the Land of Canaan.

2. His seed after the faith, and such are those only that walk in his steps Rom. 4.12. that do his works John 8. Who are also by that same faith which denominates them his children, said to be Christs also, and the children of God, and heirs with him of the world according to the Gospell Promise, Rom. 4.12, 13. Gal. 3.16. 1 Cor.

Non datur tertium semen Abrahae: two seeds of Abraham the Scripture mentions, but a third sort cannot be assigned, all and only those that descend from his loines as the Midianites and others by Keturah, the Ishmaelites by Ha­gar, the Edomites and Israelites by Sarah, which last only were the holy seed, and children of promise in reference to the Hagarens in a type and sole heirs of the typical Canaan, all these I say were the first sort, all believers, of what nation soever, are the second sort, but the natural seed of believers are neither of the one nor of the other.

As for the children of the Proselites, i. e. Iews not by birth, but profession, which by way of exception against this may possibly pop into some of your minds, I utterly deny them (as so born) to be any seed of Abraham at all, or heirs of either inheritance, unless they believed also, though their parents (believing) might be his spiritual seed, and heirs of the heavenly inheritance; and if you ask why then was every male among the infants of Proselites circumcised? I an­swer not upon any such account as their being Abrahams seed, or heirs with him of either this or that, but meerly as they were Males in the house of one that was a Jew, at least by devotion, though a stranger as to fleshly relation, that being the express command of God, for the time then being, and during the standing of that Covenant of circumcision (the like to which if you had for infant-baptism, the controversie were at an end between us) that every man child in every family throughout all generations, whether born in the house or bought with money of any stranger, that was no [...] of Abrahams flesh should be circumcised, Gen. 17. 12. for there was but one Law and ordinance for the stranger, or Proselite Iew, and him that was a Iew by birth concerning circumcision and the Passeover, Numb. 9.14. upon this same and no other account very many, viz. for­reign man-servants, in every family of any Iew, were by appointment to be cir­cumcised, meerly as being males of the family, though neither born of Abra­ham, nor believing with him, nor any way at all his seed, nor yet heirs with him of either Canaan, which injunction and order of God concerning that old co­venant ordinance of circumcision, or the Passeover either, to which the Supper answers, more lively than baptism to the other, if we might at all regard [Page 102] what was done then, as a Rule for us now, who so shall produce as the Pattern or infer any thing from as the instution of God, according to which we are to act in the New Testament ordinances of Baptism, and the Supper; and yet not act ac­cording to them neither, but abominably besides them both (as the Priest-hood doth, baptizing (as not at all but rantizing so) not at all after the manner of cir­cumcision, viz. not males only, not on the eighth day only, but any other, when they may as well upon that, not servants also upon the Masters, faith as well as the Children upon the parents, and as for the Supper denying it utterly to infants that might then eat the Passeover) I avouch them to be not a little besides their natural, but much more besides their spiritual intellectualls.

Let this then satisfy as to any conceit, that any may have, as that the Proselites seed were the children of Abraham, and heirs with him because circumcised, viz. that though all Abrahams seed that were heirs with him were circumcised, yet all that were circumcised were not thereby proved to be Abrahams seed, nor heirs with him of either promise, and though his fleshly seed, Israel the heir especi­ally, and his spirituall seed also, i. e. believing Jewes, and Proselites were both thereupon to come under that dispensation, and that as heirs too severally of the two severall promises, viz. the typifying, and typified Canaan, yet many past under circumcision upon that forenamed account only, of being males in the house, that were neither Abrahams seed after the flesh nor after the faith, as Servants, and the seed of Proselite Masters, Fathers, not appearing yet to believe with them; for even such were to be circumcised under the law, though (by your leave) not such to be by the like reason baptized under the Gospell, for as there is no command for such a matter, so if there had, the Servants of the Eu­nuch (himself only turning Christian) must have been (as tis known they were not) baptized together with him: besides if baptism must be like to circumcision in its subject, then not only he that is not yet apparently an heir, but he also that is ap­parently not an heir by faith must be baptized, aswell as Abrahams sonne Ishmael, and his servant Eleazer, and all the other males of his house were cir­cumcised, who were all well enough known to Abraham, to be none of the heirs of that land of Canaan, whereof circumcision was given to him, and his seed in Isaac, in token of their inheriting of it, at that very time when he circumcised them.

I demand therefore yet once again, what seed of Abraham your infants are, in that thereupon you undertake (as so) to baptize them? you tell us in your Re­view, pag. 14. They are Semen fidei, the children of his faith, his spiritual seed; I am ashamed to hear you say so, which way do they come to be, in that minority, his spiritual seed, sith believers only are so? you seem to tell us they are so by believing themselves, for so Zachaeus, say you, by believing was made the Son of Abraham, as who should say Zachaeus became, as infants do, the spiritual seed of Abraham by believing, which word believing is as much as not having only, but acting faith, which to act not others only but your selves, who sillyly assert them to have faith, do somewhat more sensibly p. 8. confess them to be uncapable.

Others tell us, and even your selves too sometimes, and in effect in that very same page, that they are semen fidei, or the seed of Abrahams faith, upon ano­ther account, viz. as their parents are believers, for the promise is (say you, though that is no Scripture phrase at all in that place whence you quote it, viz. Act 2.39.) to believers and their seed, and if the adversaries say that the Iewes were Semen carnis, and had right by the promise so these say you concerning the seed of believers, are semen fidei, and the promise is to them; which words, The Promise, The Promise, The Promise, you will scrible down twenty times in one Treatise before you will sit down once and search out seriously what it is, or once shew distinctly what it is you mean by it.

[Page 103]So then howbeit with Iohn baptist, Mat. 3. with Christ, Iohn 8. Luke 19.8, 9. with Paul Rom. 4.13.9, 6, 8. Gal. 3.7.9. there is but one way of be­coming Abrahams spiritual seed, or the children of his faith, so as thereupon to be signed by baptism as heirs with him of the Gospel-promise, and this is not by being the fleshly posterity of a believer, though it should be of believing Abra­ham himself, for even his own fleshly were not his spiritual seed, but onely as they believed with him, but by bringing forth fruits of repentance, doing his works, treading in the steps of his faith, you belike have found more wayes to the wood then one, whereof when ones failes you in the fight, you commonly take your flight by the other, and with you there's two wayes whereby persons, nay, which is a greater mystery, whereby the same persons, even believers infants in their very infancy, may and do become Abrahams spiritual sons and heirs, viz. first by their own walking in the steps of Abrahams faith, i. e. believing themselves, which though it be the true way of becoming Abrahams spirituall seed, yet in­fants are not capable to walk in it. Secondly, by being the natural progeny of believing parents; which though infants are capable of it, yet is none of the way whereby to be canonized, according to the sense of Scripture, the Spirituall seed of Abraham.

But it seems the terms upon which persons become heirs with Abraham of Gos­pel-promises, and stand in true title to Gospel-ordinances, are not uniform, but multiform in your imagination, for those on which persons in the capacity of pa­rents are priviledged with the title of Abrahams spiritual seed, and title to Gos­pel-ordinances and enjoyments, are their own believings not anothers; but those on which others, i. e. all that are in the capacity of children to those parents are thus highly priviledged, are the believing of their parents, whether they have any faith of their own yea or no, and yet some count that the childs own faith which the parent professes for him.

But Genus, et pro avos, et quae non fecimus ipsi vix ea nostra voco.

Sirs, what pretty intricate blind bo-beep Divinity is this of yours? do the same priviledges and promises belong to the believing parents and their children, and yet though exhibited to them both alike in one and the self same phrase and form of speech (for saith Peter the promise is to you and your children, and to them that are farre off yea even as many (meaning of you and your children and of them that are far off) as the Lord shall call) do they belong upon such various and different grounds, viz. to the parents upon their own faith, to the children upon the parents faith? my father then it seems, what ere his fathers were, must prove his pedegree from Abraham by his doing as Abraham did, or else he can be no gospel-son, nor share at all in any gospel-priviledges and immunities, but if he were a believer, I his son may prove mine at easier rates by farr, viz. by go­ing no further then the faith and faederation of my father.

But Sirs, will this hold a triall think you by the word? is there any such man­glements as these to be found there? is it to be found there that now under the gospel-Covenant since that outing of the old Covenant, and that fleshly seed, that were heirs of it, and all the tipical pertinencies thereof the faith and faederation of fathers inrights and enrouls all their fleshly seed as Heirs with them of salvation, without any evidence of their believing themselves? then tell me why the fleshly seed of those great believers, Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob stand excommunicated from all Gospel-priviledges, participations of ordinances, promises, &c. even from the beginnings of the Gospel Church and first administring of baptism to this very day? will you plead your own right above theirs to stand his children in the Gospel-Church by saying, we had holy men and believers to our fathers, but their fathers believed not the Gospel, therefore worthily are they cut off with them? I reply thus, were not Abraham, Isaac and Iacob their fleshly fathers? [Page 104] and though remote ones, yet were they not their true fathers after the flesh still as much as ever? did Iohn Mat. 3. and Christ Iohn 8. and Peter Acts 2. deny them a standing in the Gospel house and admission unto baptism and member­ship without repentance and belief in their own persons, and doing the works of Abraham? did they I say put such off from all Gospel-expectations and priviledges who offered themselves thereto with this plea, viz. we have Abraham to our fa­ther? and dare you admit such without faith or repentance, for whom you can make no higher pretence then this, viz. they are the children of believers? me thinks if meer birth-priviledges and fleshly descent, must carry it still without faith in the seed themselves, are not the Iews infants to this day higher born then any Gentiles infants in the world, whose parents are believers? for they verily can say no less then this, we are the natural issue of the father of all the faithfull, yet may they not be own'd barely upon that account to gospel-ordinances, and if the na­tural seed, and that by Isaac and Iacob of Abraham himself the grand believer, which seed could of old claim a room by right of birth from Abraham in the house of Moses, cannot possibly carry it so high under Christ, as by the same de­scent, onely without faith in themselves, to gain a standing in his house, or so much as right to be stiled their own natural fathers children (as to the Gospel) I am a­mazed to see you Gentile believers to conferre upon your meer natural seed the name of Abrahams spiritual seed, and denominate your semen carnis his semen fidei.


The Iews, though the natural seed of Abraham, yet cannot have the account of the spiritual seed, nor any right to Gospel priviledges because they believe not themselves, which if they did they should have right to the Gospel as well as we who believe, but sith they abide in unbelief they are cut off from all share in these things.


Then learn once I beseech you this lessen from your selves, which you will not learn from Iohn, Christ and Paul, viz. that the ground of standing Abrahams spiritual seed, sons and heirs; and Church-members under the Gospel is not the the faith and faederation of the parents, by vertue of which you plead your chil­drens right to baptism, saying they have believers, as the Jews once to Iohn plea­ded theirs, saying, we have Abraham to our father, but faith it self in the parti­cular persons so standing, for so many Jews, heathens, infidels children as are of the faith of Abraham, i. e. not born of faithful parents, but faithful themseves (as he was) are incorporated; incovenanted, inchurched as Abrahams seed, and E­vangelically blessed with faithful Abraham; but till even believers children, yea Abrahams own believe themselves, the parents faith cannot now possibly ingraft them, the time of faith or standing by faith alone in the house, or visible Church of God being now come in, the standing by any fleshly generation what soever is done away, yea Abrahams own children, the naturall branches that grow out of his loynes are cut off from standing (as till Chirist they did) now any longer upon their own Root Abraham, because of unbelief.

I say then that no infant in infancy, of what believing parent soever, is either Abrahams spiritual seed, or dying in infancy is saved upon any such account as a believers seed, or Abrahams seed, nor whilst living an infant onely, may be signed by baptism as an heir apparent of salvation: for if Abraham stand not a spiritual father to his own meer fleshly seed, he stands not so sure to the meer flesh­ly seed of any believing Gentile, for that were to priviledge every ordinary belie­ver, and his natural seed above either himself or his own.

Nor doth this hinder, or deny the salvation of the dying infants of believers, or dispose them ere the sooner (muchless necessarily) to damnation, to say they are not Abrahams spirituall seed (quâ believers infants) nor heirs to salvation [Page 105] upon any such account as that, for though neither upon that, nor any other ac­count at all they may warrantably be baptized, yet its more then possible, or pro­bable either (because infallible) that there's other Scripture account enough, upon which when we see them die in infancy we may assert them undoubtedly not to be damned; for as it is most sure and true, that all that are apparently (if really) A­brahams spiritual seed by faith must so living, so dying be saved, in token and farther evidence of which to themselves more then others they are by the good wil of Christ to be baptized, yet is it neither true, nor necessary that all that are saved must be Abrahams spiritual seed by faith, but most certain that some shall be saved, that never were Abrahams seed in any sense at all, witnesse not onely the faithful fore-fathers of Abraham, for he was their seed, and not they his, but also all dying infants of what parents soever both before Abrahams time, and since, of whom to salvation notwithstanding those are the onely termes on which it belongs to adult ones, to whom its preacht, Mark 16.15, 16. these being truly capable of neither, 'tis not required that they should either repent, believe or be baptized. I know this Iustification of dying infants without faith is uncouth, and little less, for all it holds forth so much salvation, then damnable doctrine a­mong you Divines, that plead the contrary, but I shall by the help of God make it good to the faces of you all, when I come to consider the baldness of your conse­quence in this point, as you give me good occasion to do in some places, where me thinks you meddle with it somewhat clumsily, as it were in mittins, as if be­cause there's no other way revealed for the salvation of such by Christ, to whom the gospel is preached, who are capable to hear, and do what's required, for such onely the word universally speaks of, when it speaks of salvation in that way, but the way of belief and actuall obedience onely, therefore there's no other way for the salvation of dying infants by Christ, who can possibly neither believe in him, nor obey him, which as it is such shameful stuff, that I cannot bear it with out inward blushing at your blindness, so whether you have not as much cause to be ashamed on't within your selves is well worth your inmost inquiry.

I say therefore again, so far is this from excluding dying infants of believers from entrance into the kingdome of heaven, to say they are neither Abrahams spiritual seed by faith, nor heirs thereof upon that ground onely of being so, that it rather concludes and supposes there's some other ground that is common with them to the innocent infants of even infidels, and all the world, upon which these, whom, though they are hundreds to one, yet your selves in your fierce wrath, and merci­less cruelty devote universally to damnation, may dying in infancy universally be saved also; which ground if you will yet know it, is the righteousness of Christ, the free imputation of which universally from the father saves not onely all that be­lieve from both that, and their actuall transgressions too, but even the whole world, whether they believe it or no from the the imputation of Adams transgres­sion; so that none at all ever perish upon that account, in which respect he is said to be the Saviour of all men, but especially of them that believe: much more doth it, and that without faith, save all dying infants, who as they believe not, so have not as yet by any actual sin bard themselves, or deserved exemption, or be­come liable at all to the second death, i. e. the damnation of hell, which be­falls not any but upon personal neglect of the light and grace of life, brought in by the second Adam, as the first death onely overtakes mankind for onely that sin of the first Adam.


If all dying infants are saved then not few but many, if not the maior part must be saved, contrary to that of Christ, Mat. 7.13.14. Luke 13.23.24. where he saith few there are that are saved.


There are indeed but few inter adultos among persons that come to years, of [Page 106] whom alone, and not of Infants at all Christ there speaks, and even every where else, where he speaks to us of the way of life, and this is plain by the reason he there gives why so few are saved, which is the straitness of the gate, and narrow­ness of the way that leads to life, viz. of self-denial, and suffering for Christ, which men mostly being very loath to walk in, it comes to pass that few of them come to life by it; but infants being altogether uncapable to walk in it, are are altogether dis-ingaged from walking in it till they come to capacity so to do, and yet are not damn'd for not walking in it: when we come to years of under­standing, and to apprehend the good will of God to us, in providing a Saviour for us, his good will concerning us in order to salvation by him is, that we be­lieve in him and obey him, and apply his righteousness unto our selves, Gal. 3.27. but whilst we are yet in such minority, as neither to know what God hath done for us, nor to be capable of putting on the Lord Iesus our selves, he himself is pleased to impute his righteousness to salvation to us so dying, even as we our selves, whilst our infants are new born, do not onely provide, but also put on what clothes we have provided in our pitty towards them, for the covering of their nakedness, but when they come to years of such discretion as to discern, and be sensible of their own shame, and capable to dress themselves with their own hands, we expect when in our love we have once provided raiment for them, they should put it on themselves, or go without it: thus candid are we towards the dy­ing infants of all sorts: nevertheless, though we tell you of our charity towards them, and of your own cruelty in sending all heathen infants to hell, and this no less then twenty times over, yet we must expect to hear it from ore the pulpit cloth twenty times ore again, before the devil be dead, how blessed and charitable your doctrine is, and what most bloody and cruel opinionists the Anabaptists are concerning infants.

Infants then I say of what parents soever are either such as die in the personall innocency of their own infancy, and so are universally saved, and yet in token, or as a sign thereof to themselves there's neither need, nor sense, nor reason to bap­tize them; or else such as live to understanding, and then they appear, either not to do Abrahams works, and then we own them not yet as Abrahams seed, though born of believing parents, yea though of believing Abraham himself, not as heirs according to the Gospel-promise, or else to belieue in Christ, and walk in the steps of Abraham, and then of what parents soever, though of infidels, we are to own them as Abrahams spiritual seed, and such as (so abiding) are heirs apparent by promise of the heavenly Canaan: this we can never discern by them in their infancy, not knowing yet whether they shall die infants, or live to years, nor whether when they come to years they will reject Christ or receive him. To con­clude this then, that any mans fleshly seed in the world is upon the meer account of their natural descent of such or such parents, or further then as dying in infancy they have no actual sin to condemn them, or living to act sin they believe in Christ (in both which cases the seed of unbelievers are as capable of salvation as the seed of believers themselves) are by promise heirs of salvation, and in token thereof are to be baptized, and in baptism visibly sign'd (more then other chil­dren) as children o [...] God, members of Christ, and inheritors of the Kingdom of heaven, tis a lesson which I learn'd once by roat, and had by root of heart, when in the minority of my standing in the false ministry with you, I was verst in the Priests Primmer of Common-prayer, and (as to Gospel-administrations) was skild but little further then the Psalter, but when I once turn'd over a new leaf, and began [...]o advance a little further, even into the Scripture, which in some volumes was in those dayes annexed as some certain appendix at the end of it, I could never read that lesson perfectly since, neither can I learn now that any mans fleshly seed, that lives and yet believes not, can make any clearer claim of kin­dred to Abraham as their father, or to the Gospel inheritance by a meer bodily [Page 107] birth of believers only, then I can make of my kindred to the Great Turk, and of my tight to succeed him (as his heir) in his dominion, by pleading that between them both his Grandmother and mine had four elbowes.

Now therefore Sirs, let it be seriously considered by you, that that outward meer denominative birth holiness, which was once in the seed of the Iews, and is now supposed, and asserted by you to be in the seed of believing Gentiles, as it was then peculiar to that people only; that were Iews by either nature or Religion, so it is now universally and utterly ended in Christ crucified, and no more to have a being among them, or any other people under heaven. It was not by Christ comming communicated, or (as Mr. Blake cloudily contends, throughout his Mistaken Treatise of birth-priviledge, and covenant holiness) conveyed from the Iews to believing Gentiles, and their seed, but clearly ca­shiered, and confiscated, so that thers now no such thing to be found at all. 'Tis not devolved downwards but rather resolved into that Gospel truth, and substance which it shadowed out, yea and totally dissolved, ecclipsed, annihilated, swal­lowed up (as the light of the Moon before the Sun) being clothed upon with a far greater, and more glorious holiness than it self; for as the type was in time to give way, and be gone when the thing typified thereby should once come into existence, so all that old covenant holiness even the holiness of that seed Isaac, and his po­sterity as well as other things that were predicated by it, was, as but a type of a more perfect hol [...]nes, and holy seed to come, to flee away, as Ishmael before himself, when once Christ should come, and that holy seed to stand in the house to whom the promises of the Gospel do belong.


This seed you speak of, viz. believers was come before Christ, and in being under the law as well as now, therefore they sure cannot be the holy seed shadow­ed out by that holy seed that came of Isaac.


True the Gospel holy seed was under the law, but not the Laws holy seed un­der the Gospel, the substance being ever when and where the shadow is, but the shadow not alwaies when and where the substance: Novum Testamentum semper & ubi (que) fuit in vetere velatum, vetus non in novo, nisi revelatum: the law, and its holy things are not in being, but only revealed what they were, under the Gospel, but the Gospel, and its holy things were in being (though veiled over) under the law, and yet for all that the Gospel is said truly to come then, because it came not into its full force till Christ came, so faith is said to come in with Christ, Gal. 3.23.25. not as if there were no faith in the world before, but because both the fulness of the things before believed came in then, and things before believed came then into full force and act, and also because the way of standing in the Church, which before was chiefly by a fleshly birth, comes now to be no otherwise then by a spirituall birth from above, by faith in Christ Iesus, Rom. 11. thou standest by faith (faith Paul, speaking of the manner of the Gospel standing in the visible Church) so that the holy seed, and heirs of the Gospel covenant i. e. believers, which are the seed of Christ, Esay, 53. He shall see his seed, are said to come then, though there was such a seed in the world from the beginning thereof, because they then came to dwell alone as it were in the house, where Ishmael the sonne of the Bondwoman (to speak after the Allegory) I mean the fleshly Israelites, a meer fleshly seed dwelt toge­ther with them (as Ishmael did with Isaac, till he was cast out) in former time; for even as Ishmael the servant dwelt as it were the Son and heir in the house till Isaac was born, and then after a while was cast out, that Isaac the true heir might dwell alone, and such as should successively come from him, so Israel after the flesh, though a servant in reference to the Gospel Israel, dwelt, and do­mineered, as the only child of the Church till Christ the true Isaac was born, and [Page 108] then after a while was cast out of the Church, that his seed might dwell there alone forever after.


If it be so that believers only a [...]e that holy seed which is now to stand in the visible Church; how is it that you baptize, and [...]nchurch such among you some­times as are no true believers?


We receive all that we receive by baptism into the Church under the notion of true believers only; and such they are so far as we are capable to conceive by that outward profession of faith, upon which only we admit them; but if our charity be so mistaken (as that of the Apostles themselves was in the like case) that persons after either appear to be Hypocrites, or prove Apostates, we have warrant from the word, according to which we also act, to cast them out again, as those that have no right at all to stand there, whilest by their works they seem to be unbelievers, till by some future and clearer fruits thereof we can guess them groundedly to be converted truly to the faith.

All then that we can say of the holiness, and holy things that were under the first covenant, which had then ordinances of divine service, but carnal ones, and a worldly sanctuary, an humane, infirm, and imperfect High-priest-hood, an earthly inheritance, a fleshly seed, which yet were all holy for the time then be­ing, all (I say) that can be now said of them, is this, they were Typical, Cere­monial, and abiding only till the time of Gospell reformation, Heb. 9.9. and are now all abrogated, and out of date, so that we may say (as he fuit Ilium) so fuit Canaan, fuit urbs, fuit lex, fuit Templum, fuit sanctum Sanctorum, fuit sacerdotium, fuit sacrosanctum semen: there was indeed a holy land, a holy City, a holy Law, a holy Temple, a holy Priest-hood, a holy seed, but all these belonging to a first Covenant, which was faulty, and so gave place in time to a second; all ornaments, furniture, and accomplishments of a covenant, that decayed, waxed old, was ready to vanish, and is now long since vanished before a better, there were priviledges, there was a freedome, there was a rest, there was a holiness; there was a glory, there was a Mosaical ministration, but as it was less glorious by far then the Gospel ministration of Christ, so, as the shine of a Star when the Sun rises, it past away, and perished from before it, when the other came in, so that they were at a loss that then did, as those are that still do dote, though but in part, upon it, not looking stedfastly to the end of that which is now abolished, and not considering that all that glory is done away and hath something remaining in its stead that is more glorious than it, nor that all that which was made glorious and holy, as a type, for a while, viz. the holy City, the glorious holy mountain, the holy Priesthood, holy Temple, ho­ly root, holy branches, and what ever else was so denominated, hath now no glory, nor holiness at all upon it by reason of a glory that excelleth, 2 Cor. 3.9.10, 11.13.


Abraham is still an holy root, and his children holy branches, even now un­der the Gospel, as well as of old under the law, and so are believing parents to their seed, as the Iews of old were to their children, for saith Paul Rom. 11.16. if the first fruit be holy, so is the lump; and if the root be holy, so are the bran­ches, at Mr. Blake also well observeth in his Birth-priviledge p. 7.


That the Root here is Abraham for my part I freely grant you, since tis suppo­sed you have so much advantage by it, although tis sub judice among some, whe­ther by the root in that place be not meant Christ, because the standing upon it is said to be by faith only, which is that only that ingrafts persons into Christ, and (as some say) ingrafts them into Christ only, and not any other: and that by the [Page 109] olive-tree is meant the house or family of Abraham i. e. the visible Church, and that the branches, and lump that are here said to be holy, are Abrahams children al [...]o, but I beseech you let it be considered that Abraham was a root two wayes, or a double holy root, standing respectively so to a two-fold lump, or two sorts of holy branches, viz, natural and spiritual, his children after the flesh, and after the faith, his typically and ceremonially holy seed, and his morally and really holy seed, his sons by generation and heirs by promise of the the earthly Canaan, i. e. the carnal Israelites, and his sonnes by regeneration i. e. the Saints and believers, who are heirs by promise of the heavenly Canaan, and the true Israelites in whom is no guile; under the [...]irst Covenant, or old Testa­ment Abraham stood a holy root to his natural branches born of his body by I­saac and Iacob, which also in a figure and pro tempore, to shadow out the holy seed to come, that should inherit heaven, were (by bare denomination more then inward qualification) a holy seed, inheriting a figurative holy land; but under t [...]e Gospel, the substance being come in place, that shadow is fled, and howbeit Abraham is a holy root now unto the end of the world, as well as before, yet not now any longer to his own fleshly seed by Isaac, much less the meer carnal seed of believing Gentiles, but to the other sort of seed, viz. the children of his faith, that walk in his steps, and do his works, for the natural branches of his own body are now broken off, and can stand no more a holy seed, and branches in reference to that holy root Abraham for the want of faith, but the other i. e. all, and onely such as believe, of what nation or parents soever, Jews or Gentiles, are now counted for his seed, and stand holy branches to that holy root Abraham, and the holy lump to him, who was (as it were) a certain first fruits unto God of the whole body of believers, and chosen of God to be a father of the faithful, and a holy root for ever to all persons that in after ages should believe, to which honor he was also sealed by circumcision.

The true visible Church then, of olive-tree, in which there's fatness and ful­ness (as David saith I shall be filled with the fatness of thy house) is counted his fa­mily to the end, in which there's now no right of admittance, or continuance (as of old) for his own fleshly seed, the very Iews, that were an holy seed before the time of faith came, much less for any other mans natural seed without faith, but for those onely even those individual persons that do believe. There's no room by right for any else in the house of Abraham the Gospel-church, whose members are born unto it not of flesh, but of faith, not by being of Abraham himself, but as Abraham himself was, not by being of believers after the flesh, but by being believers with them. In the Allegory, while Isaac the typical promised seed was on­ly in the word of promise, and not in actual being Ishmael dwelt in the house, but soon after he came into the world Ishmael must abide in the house no longer, so while Christ the true Isaac, typified by the other, to whom the Gospel promises were made, was but barely in the promise, the fleshly Israel vaunted it in the Church, but when the fulnesse of time was come for him to be incarnate, and in esse reali, that fleshly holy seed, much more the fleshly seed of believing Gentiles could have no right of residence in the family of Abraham, nor are any (saving believers) allowed members thereof to this very day.


But it seems to be the Iews themselves, even the naturall seed of Abraham, to which in that Rom. 11.19. Abraham is said by Paul to stand a holy root, if it be considered with reference to the verse before, where he speaks plainly of them, as in contradistinction to believieng Gentiles, therefore Abrahams own fleshly seed, are holy branches still of that holy root.


In no wise as they are his natural seed onely, but as they may hereafter be ho­ped to become his seed by faith also, and be grafted again upon their root A­braham, [Page 110] and their own olive tree, i. e. the visible Church, their fathers family, by believing and imbracing the Gospel, from which they were broken off through unbelief; in which if they abide not still they shall (saith he verse 23.) be grafted in again; but never simply as they are his natural seed onely.

Abraham may be said to stand a holy root to his own bodily issue two wayes, first onely as they were born of his body by Isaac and Iacob, with whom▪ and whose seed that typically holy Covenant was established, which being now vanisht away, he is no longer such a holy root to those natural branches of his body as that they have any birth holiness now therefrom.

Secondly, as the same persons that were his natural seed might also be his spiri-seed by faith in Christ, and so he is here said to be a holy root, and the Jews in reference to him holy branches, viz. in respect not to their fleshly birth of him (for as they are his natural branches onely, and no more they are broken off) but in respect to their future calling to the faith, and receiving in again in time to come, upon account of their owning of the Gospel: the spiritual branches onely are now grafted into the olive-tree, and growing up upon the root, the natural branches are broken off, and the root as a holy root to them withered, that holi­ness of it faded, it is alive as a holy root now to none but the believer, not its own natural branches, muchlesse to the natural branches of believing Gentiles.


When the Iews were broken off their naturall children were broken off with them, therefore when the believing Gentiles were graf [...]ed in their stead their naturall children must in like manner be grafted in with them.


No such matter Sirs, there's either no good Antecedent or else no good Con­sequence in this: for first, if you mean as to the Gospel, Church and Covenant, the children of the unbelieving Jews are not so broken off, and excluded with their parents, in such a sence as you imagine, i. e. upon the Account of their parents unbelief onely, but for want of faith in their own persons, and as succeeding their fathers in unbelief, for if any children of the unbelieving Jews, when they come to years (and children when at years are the naturall seed of their parents, I hope as well as in infancy it self, if being the children of such or such parents alone would either ingraft or exclude) if I say unbelieving Iews children do believe, the pro­mise is so made to them, that their parents unbelief cannot exclude them, but if the children at years do not believe, the promise is so little made to believers, and their seed as that the parents belief availes no further then to the engrafting of him­self, and he cannot at all entitle all his natural seed by his single faith, nor as heirs of the same heavenly inheritance with him, inright them to the ordinance in token of it: but if you mean as to the old Church and Covenant then

Secondly, it follows no more then if you should go about to make a way for the needle by the thred, that because the Iews and their seed under the law were ta­ken in, and thrown out of Covenant altogether, so the Gentiles under the Gospel and their seed must be owned, and disowned thus collectiv [...]ly; for as to that old Covenant of the law, made with the fleshly Israel concerning the earthly Canaan, the very promise of that was made to the whole body of that nation and people, that came of Abraham Isaac and Iacobs loins, in such a manner as that their infants were by very naturall descent according to the promise, as t [...]u [...]y and fully heirs of it as themselves, from which consequently, when once God took his advantage, by the breach first made on their part, to break it on his part also, he must necessarily turn them all out together, and so he did, discovenanting the whole nation at once, and as it is said in Zach. 11.10. breaking the Cove­nant, which he had made with all the people, discarding and disinheriting them from all that glory in the lump; but the Gospel-Covenant, and promise concerning the heavenly inheritance is not at all on this wise, but of a different nature, taking [Page 111] in no whole nation in the world, nor any one or more mens meer natural seed, no not Abrahams, Isaacs, and Iacobs (as the other did) to all generations of its continuance, but rather Sigillatim) such several persons out of every nation, tongue, kindred and people that fear God, and work righteousness Rev. 5.9. Act. 10.34, 35. even all, and onely such as obey him: Singulos generum credentes, not genera singulorum credentium, vel non.

If therefore you speak of the Jews standing upon the Root Abraham, and in the Church before Christ, upon the old Covenant account, then I confess that the whole body of them were broken off altogether, and that as they, and their fleshly seed were all incovenanted, so they were all discovenanted at once, when that covenant of circumcision, which God gave to Abraham, and his fleshly seed Gen. 17. concerning the land of Canaan was it self abolished in Christ cru­cified; but then the consequence will not hold from that covenant to this of the Gospel; these being two distinct and different covenants, the terms of standing in which are in no wise the same. But if you speak of the covenant of the Gospel, then your Antecedent is false, for I deny utterly that the Jews and their seed were altogether alienated from that, further then every individual of them did cut them­selves off from a right of standing therein by want of faith in their own persons, for as this covenant was never made with any men, and their meer fleshly seed, no not with Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, and their natural posterity, so that a bare birth of their bodies doth ipso facto make them heirs of the heavenly inheri­tance promised therein; nor give them a right (as such only) to be signed as true heirs thereof, but only with Abraham and his spiritual seed, i. e. Christ and all believers in him; so no men and all their naturall posterity are outed from it together, but as both they, and their posterity do stand together in unbelief upon which account faith being the only way of standing heirs under the Gospel, and the Iews Children proving unbelievers in all ages as well as their parents, I confess they are broken off together, and not otherwise, for if the Children of the Iews did appear to have faith (as in infancy they cannot, and when they are grown up unversally they do not) their parents infidelity could in no wise prohi­bit their standing; and since neither in infancy, nor at age they appear to be in the faith, their parents in case they were never so faithful can in no wise intitle them to a standing, for then the natural seed of those thousands of Iews which did believe in the Primitive times, have a birth-priviledge, and holiness to this day, whereupon they may claim admittance unto baptism, as well as any, spe­cially if those words Rom. 11.16. if the Root be holy so are the branches, were to be taken in such a sense as you put upon them, but we know that though they are branches growing naturally upon that holy Root as you call it, of believing parents, yet they are counted unholy by your selves, because they believe not in their own persons, yea if we should ask how the children of those Iews, that at first believed, did come to be such strangers to the Gospel Church, your selves would answer vs because they believed not, as their parents did, by which you do no less than grant what we contend for, viz. that the faith of Ancestors gives no right to their posterity to stand at all in the Gospel Church, and Covenant, but faith in the particular persons only so standing.

Well then they were broken off: but why? not because they had not believ­ing parents, for Abraham was the fleshly Father of all of them, and the primi­tive believing Iews were the fleshly fathers of many of them, and are to this day as much as ever, if bare birth priviledge could ingraft them as it did of old in the family of the Iewish Church: Nor was it because they wanted title upon which they might have stood still in the Iewish Church, if that Church it self had stood to this day, for they were Abrahams seed, and that gave them capacity e­nough to dwell in the house before, their own unbelief notwithstanding; but be­cause [Page 112] they do not believe themselves, because the terms of standing in the Church which before Christ were these, viz. We have Abraham to our Father, we are the Children of such, and such parents, are now quite changed, so that it boots not to say such a thing as Abraham is our father, Mat. 3. unless we can also say we repent, and believe the Gospel.

The Jews were broken off by unbelief, and thou and thine (o believing Gen­tile) must stand by faith, yet not thine by thy faith, but thou thy self by thine, and they by their own; faith is that in which thou standing, and not thy seed, thou hast right to stand in the Church, and not they, in which they standing, and not thy self, they have right to stand in the Church, and thou hast none. Per­petuity in personall faith gives perpetual personal right to baptism, and to Church-membership, but not a perpetuity of the same right to any mans whole posterity; there's now no difference made at all as to Gospel interest, by being either this or that by nature, but in all the world any person Jew or Gentile, male or Female seed of believer or of unbeliever, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free, is capa­ble both to be saved, and signed as an heir of salvation by baptism upon personal faith, but in no wise the progeny upon the faith of the parentage.

And yet to put it more out of doubt, that the Covenant holiness, and church-right of mens fleshly seed, which was of old, is not continuing under the Gospel, but Ceremonial and so ended in Christ, in whom your selves say Iudicialia sunt Mortua, Ceremonialia Mortifera, I will leave two or three consequences upon the file, which either answer and that not invitâ Minervâ, nor stretching your Genius beyond sense and reason, rather than want somewhat whereby to prove your Iudaizing to be judicious, or else by silence say you cannot: I leave you to consult with them as you see occasion.

1. Argum. That holiness which sanctified the Iewes Land, City, Temple, Altar, all its untensils, Priest-hood, and the whole body of that people, and all the per­tinences of the first tabernacle, and old Covenant was Ceremonial only, and is now abolished, and not abiding among believing Gentiles.

But that holiness, that sanctified the Iewish seed, was the same, and no other then that, which sanctified their Land, City, Temple, Altar, and its Utensils, Priest-hood, and whole people and all the appertenances of that first Tabernacle, and old Covenant.

Ergo, That holiness, which sanctified the Iewish seed, is now abolished, and not abiding at all among believing Gentiles.

As for the Major I would wish you not to subject your selves so much to suspici­on of superstition (as you will do in these daies of light by putting me to prove it) as to require proof on't, since no intelligent man, or religious Christian (save the Pope and Dr. Featley, and the rest of their several fryes, and fraternities) will deny it Featleys dip. dipt p. 178. or did ever in the daies of the Gospel attribute the same holiness to out­ward, and inanimate things viz. places, Lands, profits, Emolluments, first fruits, Tithes, Oblations, and other obventions, Temples, Altars, Tables, Lavers, Chalices, Vestiments, nor yet to Priests, and people that all these were denominated holy by under the Law, for to me by the same reason that first fruits, tythes, and such like are now to be called holy, the first born of every creature both of man and beast is still to be called holy also, for even these were sanctifyed and holy Denominativè, and Dedicativè, as much as any of the rest Ezod. 13.2. yea as Paul did in another case viz. appeal to the Pharisees to judge between him and the Sadduces, so may I to you of the Presbyterian Priest­hood to decide this matter between me and the Seducers of the Popish and Pre­latick strain, whose holy sandalls, copes, surplices, and other superfluities, viz. railes, high Altars, holy Tapers, and Candlesticks, holy Fonts, holy Win­dows you your selves pulld down, and prophaned, before that part of the wheele where the Baptists dwell, did at all appear so plainly (as now it doth) in the [Page 113] Horizon, of this English Nation, for which sort of sacriledge D [...] Featley (much mistaking you, and being half afraid that you had been Anabaptists, when (God wot) you are so far from Rebaptization, that you neither do baptize, nor ever were so much as once truly baptized your selves) cries out against you, who were in truth the men, that first began to digrade, and divest all those holy trin­kets of that denomination of holiness, wherewith they had invested them, and that with a most hideous out-cry, saying pa. 181. of his book thus, What evil their disciples, mingled with the Brownists, have done in the Sanctuaries of God in England, and Ireland, though I should hold my peace, the timber out of the beams, and the Chalices out of the vestry, and the Marble, and brass out of the Monuments of the dead, would proclaim it to the Everlasting infa­my of this prophane sect.

You then being together by the ears so much among your selves about this que­stion, viz. whether Temples, Vestments, Altars, Fonts, and Monuments, and other Steeple house stuff, and Temple trumpery, which was in the Bishops times, be holy yea or no with that Relative holiness (as D Featley calls it) wher­with the holy places, and Temple furniture of the Jewes was holy, I might safe­ly slink away here, and leave you Presbyters to tugg it out with your Fathers the Bishops, who have indeed already drawn that controversy so neer to an end, as to determine all the holy things, and well nigh all the holiness they had out of doors. Yet that you may know I own and honor you so far, as freely to side with you, so far as you are willing to reform indeed, and renounce Rome, and her Religion (but Alas Sirs that is not fully yet, for notwithstanding the cove­nants whereby you have sworn both me, and your selves to extirpate to your pow­er all popery, superstition, Idolatry, and meer mens inventions, yet Oh what Remnants of Romish rubbish, viz. national Churches, popish parochial po­stures, popish payments, and profits, old tricks of trotting after tythes, more then truth, and seeking to benefice your selves well, rather then to benefit the people, do yet abide unabolished among you) yet so far (I say) as you do re­form, I am willing to go along with you, and therefore will lend you my hand so farr as to sling one stone after all that Canaanitish holiness, wherewith the Pope and his Clergy hath consecrated and christened not only all the babes born in Christendome, but also the very bells, and other bawbles belonging to the several sanctuaries, with the name of HOLINES to the Lord, as far as tis possible to keep it out from creeping into England any more, and that shall be an Argument from the meer typicallness of all that Dedicative holiness, that was once resident in the Iewish Church, and every thing almost that pertain­ed thereunto, the like to which D [...] Featley feigns to be now in the Christian na­tions; and thus I frame it.

All that holiness, which was but typical, was but temporal or ceremoniall and so to be abolished under the Gospel. 2. Argum.

But all that holiness whereby the Iewes land, City, Temple, Altar, Priest­hood, people, first fruits, profits, and all the appertenance; of that first Ta­bernacle, were denominated holy, was but meerly typicall, and figurative of a future holiness, that was to come in more fully under the new Covenant, second tabernacle or Church under the Gospel.

Ergo, all that holyness, wherewith the Iewes land, City, Temple, &i. was holy, was but temporal, or ceremonial, and so to be abolished under the Gos­pel.

The first Proposition needs no proof, for your selves deny not but that all things under the law that were but types of things to come, were terminated and ta­ken clean away, when the truth, or things typified thereby did come in under Christ.

The Minor is no less cleer then the other, for the Law had but the shadow of [Page 114] things to come, not the very Image of the things Heb, 10.1. it had but the pat­terns of holy things in the heavens, not the holy or heavenly things themselves, those holy places made with hands, and all the holy furniture thereunto pertaining, were but figures of the true holy place, i. e. heaven it self, into which our high-priest is gone, there to appear in the presence God for us, Heb. 9.23.24. yea read through the 8th. 9th. 10th. chapters to the Hebrews and you shall find that all things under the law did but serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, and were but as it it were a figure for the time then being, imposed on the Iewes untill the time of Reformation i. e. till Christ came.

Now as to the Minor in the Prosyllogism, which is this viz. that the holinesse which fanctified the Jews seed, was the same, and no other then that which san­ctified all the other appertenances of that Covenant, tis but a folly for me to offer to prove it, sith Mr. Blake himself (the man that most earnestly pleads the present being of that same holinesse in believers seed as in the Iews seed of old) doth little less then clearly confess it, in the 3 and 4 page of his birth-priviledge, where he writes thus, viz. common things dedicated for holy service, and use are holy, a people by nature sinners, dedicated to the Lord, are for holy use and service of the Lord, when others are for the service of Idols, therefore Ierusalem a City, none of the holiest for any transcendent holiness of the Inhabitants thereof, is yet cal­led by the Evangelist the holy City, by reason of the Temple, and worship there that were holy and from thence (saith he) this observation follows, A people that enjoy Gods ordinances convey to their issue a priviledge to be reputed of a society that is holy, to be numbered amongst, not unclean, but holy persons, in proof of which observation among other things he saies thus, viz. The land of their ha­bitation where they dwelt and injoyed this peculiar priviledge is ordinarily stiled the Holy Land, being the land of Emanuel, and the language there spoke the holy language, being a mark to discern the people of God, the distinguishing and dis­crimminating Epithite given to them was still holy, even all of this root who were branches of Abraham, Isaac, Iacob, all of this lump whereof Abraham, Isaac, Iacob were the first fruits, they peculiarly had this honor to receive, &c. and that in infancy, &c. distinction from all others.

All which words of his (collectively considered) must needs bear such a sense as this, viz. That as the things that were else wise common, were holy things, and in such sort as the City Ierusalem was a holy City, their Temple a holy place, their service, which we know stood mainly in offering of gifts and sacrifices, meats drinks, divers washings and carnal ordinances for that time onely, a holy service, their land of Canaan, it self a holy land, their language a holy language, and in a manner every thing of theirs was discriminated by the term holy, from what ever was then counted common and unclean among the Gentiles, in such sort that people were a holy people, and their issue reputed, not an unclean but a holy seed.

If this be his sense, then me thinks its a very sensless thing for him to affirm that same holinesse to be removed from all other things, that were the subjects then denominated by it, and to remain onely in people and their seed; but if he deny this to be his sense in those recited words of his, I think he must either crack his conscience to evade the disadvantage that accrues to his cause by owning it, or else grant that he was not sensible of what he wrote, for I see not how he can shuf­fle those sentences into any other sense: And as he, so Mr. Baxter that backs him in his opinion of birth-priviledge sayes the same, and confesses p. 81. of his book that the common nature of holiness is one and the same in all these, viz. Priests and Levites, Temple, Altar, Sacrifices under the law, and in the children of believers and their unbelieving yoke-fellows spoken of 1 Cor 7.14. i. e. a sepa­ration to God, for so saith he there, i. e. in such sense as the Priests, Levites, Temple, Altar, Sacrifice, &c. were sanctified, both children of believers, and [Page 115] also unbelieving yoke-fellows are here said to be holy and sanctified.

It being then in both Mr. Blakes and Mr. Baxters own account one and the same holinesse, whereby as well the seed as the land, people, Priests, sanctuary and service were all denominated and distinguished as holy, which surely was no other then a meer ceremoniall holiness, its but folly for me to say more in proof of this, that it was the same: nevertheless forasmuch as here is the very foundation of all your falsity and confusion, in that you either do not, or else will not di­scern a difference between the time of the law, and the Gospel (for distingue tempora, et reconciliabis scripturas) and for that also I am jealous over you with a godly jealously, that I may espouse you, who are yet a treacherous and adulte­rous, as a chast ministry unto Christ, would to God you could bear with me in my folly, and indeed bear with me if I yet insist a little further to shew the same­ness of that holinesse, that was then in the Iews land, sanctuary, service, &c. and in their fleshly seed, which that it may yet more plainly appear, I beseech you let it be considered, that (as your selves grant that the holiness whereby the seed was then said to be holy was, not real and inherent, but meerly dedicative, relative, denominative, i. e. titular, See Mr. Baxter p. 109 297.298.and discriminative, See Mr. Blake p. 4. so indeed it was but typi­cal, and consequently but temporal as all th [...] rest was, for in such wise as their Temple was but tipical of the Gospel Churches (I mean not steeple houses, but congregated and truly constituted Assemblies of people, 1 Cor. 3.17. Eph. 2.21, 22. 1. Pet. 2.5.) And as that nation and people in their holiness, and all other particulars was tipicall of the Saints, where ever locally scattered, yet mistically imbodied, and no [...] of Christian nations collectively taken, and as their holy land and king­dom flowing with milk and hony was typicall of the heavenly Canaan, and king­dome flowing with rivers of pleasures, and their holy City of that holy City new Ierusalem that is to come down from God, Rev. 21. and their holy high priest-hood of our holy, harmless, undefiled high-priest Christ Iesus, and their holy priest-hood of all the elect of God, sanctified and anointed, not with material ho­ly oyle, but the holy spirit it self, or holy unction to be a holy priest-hood, to offer spiritual sacrifice, 1. Pet. 2.5. and as their holy Altar and Sacrifices was a type pointing out our Altar Christ, that immacculate lamb offered without spot to God, where of Paul saies they have no right to eat that serve the tabernacle, Heb. 13.10, (by which saying of Paul in that place you may by the way if you be not stocks and stones take notice thus far of your selves, that the same holy persons that by that holiness had a real right to be, not onely in the neerest service, but highest office also in that Church of the Jews cannot possibly upon the meer account of that holinesse, plead a right to participate of Gospel-priviledges, and if the holiness of the priests, which was superiour in degree, though the same in kind with that of the people, and seed, by which they were priviledged with so high a standing in that Church, could not inright them of it self, unless they were obedient to the faith also, to membership and communion with gospel-fellowships, in gospel injoyments, shall we suppose the bare birth-holiness that was in the Jews seed (if it were now as tru­ly in the fleshly seed of believing Gentiles, as tis certain there's no such matter) can entitle, and give right to enter and partake of Gospel-priviledges, without more ado? be asham'd Sirs to assert it) and lastly as all that holinesse of the old Testament and tabernacle, and things thereunto belonging was no more then a type for the time then being, of the New Testament and Tabernacle and holy things thereof, so even that fleshly seed of Abraham, and that birth-priviledge and Covenant-holinesse, which they then had, yea that law of infants Church-membership and Circumcision, which Mr. Baxter p. 59. of his book will at no hand yield to be but typical and ceremonial, or to have any anti-type that suc­ceeds it, was as meerly typical and ceremonial as all the holinesse, that was in the other subjects, viz. the holy persons and things above named; and sith he [Page 116] there challenges us to shew what it was a type of, and prove it to be so if we can, as simple as he seems to make himself in this matter, I dare be bold to tell him that there was not any one thing under the Law, or in that whole Church of the Jews, which (though this will not down with him) was all but a Cere­mony, but [...] was a more lively type in reference to its Anti-type, that this Infant-birth-priviledge, birth-holiness, and that Law of Infant-Church-membership and circumcision were; for verily as that fleshly seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob were reputatively holy, and were by Covenant and special promise from God, heirs by that bare fleshly birth with Abraham, Isaac and Iacob of that Earthly Canaan, together with all the glory, priviledges, immunities, rest, riches and bodily blessings of that earthly inheritance, and in token of their true title thereunto (as so born) were circumcised in the flesh; so Anti-typically all the faithful seed of Abraham, i. e. true believers in Christ, and these only, ate that truly holy seed, which by the Gospel-covenant and promise, are and shall be heirs with Abraham of the heavenly Kingdome or Canaan, together with all the priviledges, liberties, dignities, and blessings of that eternal, glorious and incorruptible inheritance reserved for him and them, and to be revealed and brought to them at the next comming of Iesus Christ, in token whereof they are not on­ly outwardly baptized in water, immediately after they are thus born, and become the Children of Abraham by faith, but also circumcised in the heart with the circumcision made without hands; i. e. inwardly sanctified by the spirit of God, mortyfying, crucifying, cutting off, and casting out the fleshlie superflu­ities thereof, Col. 2.11. All which as its proved abundantly in each particular thereof in several other Scriptures (as Rom. 4.13.14. Heb. 8.6. Rom. 9.7.8. Gal. so is it verie plainly and summarily shewed in Heb. where the Law of the old Covenant is said to be, with all the holy things thereof but onely patterns of things in the heavens, figures of the true, and to have only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the verie substance of the things themselves, the Covenant-holiness therefore and birth-pri­viledge which was then in the Jewes fleshly seed, with whom that Covenant was made, was (as all other things then were) but typicall, and consequently but ce­remonial and temporal, I mean abiding onely till the time of the Gospel: And since your selves acknowledge that what was but typicall of old is now vanished, I marvel that you should so much forget your selves, as to renounce the same holiness that was then in all other things, and retain it still as standing in the seed, and you hold it to be removed from Abrahams own fleshly seed too, and subjected onely in the fleshly seed of believing Gentiles, you fight against the owning of any of that kind of holinesse that of old was (I mean you Priests of the Presbyterian party, for the Bishops and D [...]. Featley fight against it in the Pope, and yet hold it them­selves to be where you own it not) in Temple, Copes, Surplices, Altars, Fonts, Chalices, and such holy Church-geer, as Christs Church in London, in Oxford, in Cambridge, in Canterbury did once supera bound with, but neither Christs Church in Rome till corrupted, nor Christs Church in Corinth, nor Ephesus, nor Philippi, nor any of the rest of the Churches in the primitive times ever did, nor any of Christs true Churches in these latter times ever will place holiness in any more; I say you are against all that relative Jewish, ceremonial holiness, and abide not to hear of its abiding in any thing else, & yet abide not to hear any otherwise but that it abides still in that onely subject, i. e. the fleshly seed of enchurched parents.

But Sirs, although in most things I must needs preferre the worst of you two P Priest-hoods of the Prelatick and Presbyterian posture, yet (to give the Devil his due) in this one thing I cannot but commend the Pope and his Priesthood beyond you both, in that since you will all needs Iudaize more or lesse, and regulate your Gospel service by that of the Law, they Judaize more judiciously and more in­genuously than either of you, two PP that pluck him to pieces for it, for thou

Angel are neither hot nor cold, neither gospel, nor law, neither wholy Romish, nor rightly reformed, but retaining a little of one, and a little of the o­ther, and lying in a Lukewarm temper, between them both, for which God will spue you out of his mouth as well as them: but as for the other they are not lukewarm, but I bear them record they have (as the Jewes also had since the Gospel came in) a zeal of the Law, but not according to knowledge, yea they are zealous of the holyness of that Covenant more, and more compleatly, then either of you: for they plead not only for the holiness of their fleshly seed, as P. nor only a holiness in Temples, Altars, Fonts, Vestmen [...]s, Vessels, &c. as P. but for a holiness well-nigh in all those things, and more too, than ever were denominated holy under the Law, in which supererrogating, I must needs uncommend them a­gain as far worse then you, yea they say downrightly to the people, that except it be after the manner of Moses in all things almost, Iudicial and Ceremoniall (only Moralls they are a litle more moderate in observing, and can better bear an absolute abrogation of) viz. one Holy High-Priest to procure attonement, aliâs, sell indulgencies and pardons, whose supremacy must be owned, and he answerably adorned with holy Mitre and Crown, Purple, Scarlet, fine Lin­nen, Chaines of Gold; also if there be [...]ot holy Altars, Tapers, Lavers, holy Water, Offerings, first fruits, fine flower, Wine and Oile, Salt, Cream, Spit­tle, &c. holy Fasts, as Lent, Wednesdaies, Fridaies, holy Feast-daies, in me­morial of such Saints as the Pope eanonizeth (which are more by far then there are daies in the year) holy Pictures and Images, holy Warrs, holy Pilgrimages, holy Clouts, holy Rags, holy Reliques, holy Bells, holy Chanteries, holy Churchyards, of which they say Pueri s [...]cer est Locus extra Mejete, holy persons devoted to service, viz. holy Votaries, holy Monks, holy Friers, holy Nunns & sic de ceteris, from the Vniversal Vicar to the holy singing men and pipers, and the rest of that rabble, which are the very vermine of Christendome; yea if they observe not all the holy Statutes, and ordinances which his Holiness their Lord God the Pope commands them, especially if they seperate from the holy Ca­tholike Church of his constituting they cannot be saved; Thus they clean outstrip you, if pleading for relative, dedicative holiness, and consecration of per­sons, places, and times, be as proper under the Gospel as under the Law, and are so zealous of that kind of holiness, that in zeal thereof they will have all to be Holiness to the Lord, till they come to be as wicked, and prophane as the very devil himself can well desire they should be.

Si aliquando quare non nunc? (saies the Pope) when you question him for his Dedicative holiness, if so once why not now? If under the Law, why not under the Gospel? the same phrase you commonly bespeak us in when we demand a reason why you fancy such a birth-holiness in your fleshly seed; in return to which against such time as you shall satisfy us so slenderly in this case, so as to say Si aliquando quare non nunc? arguing from the manner of things under Moses, that thus or thus they ought to be under Christ, and deriving a holiness from that of the Jews fleshly seed, to the fleshly seed of believing Gentiles under the Gospel, I leave this double question upon record.

First, Si aliquid quare non quicquid? If you will have any thing holy with that Ceremonial holiness now, why not every thing that then was so?

Secondly, Si aliqualitèr, quarè non aequalitèr? if you will needs Iudaize at all, why not in all as well as the Pope? though where he doth all, and more too he shall at last have no thanks for his labor.

The next and last argument whereby I shall prove that typical holiness of A­brahams fleshly seed, as well as of all the other subjects denominated, and di­stinguished by it under the Law to be but Ceremonial, and now nullified under the Gospel, is this.

[Page 118] Argum. That holiness whose contrarily opposite commonness, sin, and uncleanness wa [...] but meerly ceremonial, and is now utterly ended, and abolished, must necessa­rily be but ceremoniall, and now abolished also.

But that holiness, which successively through all generations (for the time then being) did denominate, and distinguish the Iewes, and their prog [...]y from all people, and their seed as holy, is a holiness whose con [...]rarily oppo­site, commonnesse, sin, and uncleanness was but Ceremonial, and is now abolished.

Ergo, That holiness which did distinguish the Iews and their natural proge­ny (as holy) from all other people and their seed was but ceremoniall and is now utterly abolished also.

The Major cannot possibly be denyed, for contrariorum eadem est ratio, con­trariorum uno sublato tollitur alterum: of contraries take away one, and the other cannot remain in its opposition to it, any longer: as for example, the com­monness, sinfulness, prophanness, uncleanness of some meats, flesh, birds, beasts, places, persons, and their natural seed above others being ended, the clean­ness of some meats, flesh, birds, places, persons, and their natural seed above others m [...]st without controversie be at an end also: under the law, whilest there was more uncleanness, commonness, and prophanness in such and such meats, places, people, then in others, there must necessarily be by the Rule of contraries more holiness in these meats, places, people, then in those: but under the Gos­spel there being no more uncleanness, commonness, or prophanness in these things, places, or persons above those, there must be consequently no more holi­ness in those than these: and so if there be no such bir [...]h holiness as was under the Law, there can be no such birth uncleanness as was under the Law: and if no one man in all the world is more sinfull, common and unclean then another by nature, no man can be more holy then another by nature, with the holiness direct­ly opposite to that uncleanness, but all men must now be all alike by nature or fleshly birth.

And now as to the Minor, viz. that the commonness, sinfulness, prophan­ness, or uncleanness of some mens fleshly seed above others, oppositely answering to the holiness with which the Iewes seed was then holy above others, is totally destroyed, as well as all that uncleanness, and the holiness contrary thereunto, that was then in some meats, and flesh of birds and beasts above others is evident­ly proved to be a truth to any which will impartially consult and compare these three scriptures each with other (viz. Act. 10. v. Act. also Gal. in all which if you be not either so blind that you cannot, or so obstinate that you will not see, you cannot avoid the sight of this very thing, viz. that not on­ly the Commonness, and uncleanness that was once in some meats, and flesh of birds and beasts forbidden as abominable to be eaten, under the Law, but also the commonness and uncleanness that was in some people, and their seed more then in others, even that sin and uncleannesse of the Gentiles by nature in respect of the Jews, who were then forbidden to eat with them, as a thing for them unlaw­ful and abominable, is not at all in being now under the Gospel, but quite abolished and consequently the birth holiness directly opposite to it abolisht also; which holi­ness yet, that was as then in the Iews by birth, and nature M Blake is not ashamed to scrue his wits to prove a translation of from the Iews seed now, to the seed of believ­ing Gentiles under the Gospel, and that from the last of these Scriptures, viz. Gall. 2. verse 15. then which, I testifie, no Scripture doth more clearely confute him.

As to those Scriptures cited out of Act. 10. and Act. 11. these things are well worthy your observation in them first that Peter (though under the Gospel) stood yet opinioned (God having not till now discovered the contrary to him) ac­cording [Page 119] to the Law that such meats as were then forbidden to be eaten, and such people as were not Jewes by nature, but by nature sinners of the Gentiles, were unholy, unlawfull, unclean and abominable for him that was a Jew, so much as to eat, or eat with still.

Secondly, that God did not shew unto Peter in that vision any such thing as Mr. Blake dreams and seems to himself to have the vision of viz. that he had now translated that old commonness and uncleannesse that was once in the Gentiles by nature, and stated it now upon such as are Iews by nature, and such as are by na­ture descended from unbelieving parents, and contrary wise translated and stated the birth-holiness that was once among the Iews by nature, because they now believe not, upon such Gentiles by nature, as are born of belie­ving parents; for no more then Gentiles by nature can I call them still, for all their parents faith, not Christians or Saints by nature (as Mr, Blake frivolously fancies them to be) that are descended from Christian parents after the flesh onely; for howbeit the fleshly seed of the Iews are Iews still, both naturâ, nomine et natio­ne, yet the meer fleshly seed of Christians and Saints, are not Christians and Saints at the same rates in Gods-account (how ever they are in the Popes and his) any more then the meer fleshly seed of believers are by birth, nature, name and nati­on believers as much as their parents, which that they are Mr. Blake himself, will not surely be so shameless as to assert: and though he tells us a trifling tale, that the name of Christian would not long hold in any family, or among any people if it be not so, that as Iews are Iews by birth, so Christians are Chri­stians, p. 6. yet I tell him again 'tis no great matter whether it do or no, yea 'tis not onely worth nothing, but worse then nothing to have the meer name and title of Christian, communicated and derived from parents to children, from generati­on to generation without the nature, for thats the main mischief that hath over­spread all Christendom, and fill'd it with a thousand Antichristians to one true Christian indeed. Secondly, as simply as he saith God provideth for a continu­ance in succession of that name from age to age, yet I know no such provision that God hath made in his word for any such thing, as the continuance of the meer name of Christian in one family or nation, by any such birth-priviledge or propa­gation thereof from Christians to their meer natural posterity, but all the provision that hath been made in this behalf hath been made by the Pope and his priest­hood. Yea if God himself had took order for any such matter, then me thinks the name Christian should have been continued to this day among the posterity of that Gospel Church of the Hebrews, i. e. those many thousands of Iews, which in the primitive times turned Christians, yea then so many thousands of the Iews, which then believed, and became Christians Act. 21.20 might have multipli­ed as easily by this time into one Christian nation at least, by the pastoral power, improvement, and sanctity of Saint Simon Peter, as the Church of Rome, i. e. those few Gentiles, which at first believed there, did at last by the pollitick power, improvement and subtilty of Sir Simon the Pope, his supposed successour increase and multiply into so many.

And as God did not shew unto Peter in the forenamed place, that he had now removed that birth priuiledge, and old Covenant holinesse from the Iews by na­ture, to the natural seed of believing Gentiles, so

Thirdly, he shewed him point blank that he had now quite abolished, and put an end to that old outward carnal, legal, ceremonial account of things, and persons as holy and unclean, so that now as no meats, nor flesh of birds and beasts should be counted common or unclean, in relation to other, as aforetime, so no men now or flesh of men however born, should by meer fleshly birth of such pa­rents, though unbelieving Gentiles, be counted common or unclean in relation to others, whether Iews by nature, or believing Christians natural seed, as more holy by birth then they, for being cavill'd with by them of the circumcision i. e. the birth [Page 120] priviledged Iews, for eating things common and unclean, and for associating him­self with men uncircumcised, common or unclean (for so both the Gentiles or un­circumcision in the flesh, and many meats eaten by them, and prohibited to be eaten by the Iews are call'd and accounted under the law) he tells them chap. 11. that he was at first as scrupulous of the thing as themselves, till a voice from God declared to him that he must not now call any thing common or unclean, that was so before, in respect to other, as more holy then it in the sense of the law, be­cause whatever was then common or unclean in such a sense, God had now clean­sed i. e. destroyed that denomination and distinction that was between it, and what answerably to it was wont to be called holy: And that these discriminat­ing terms of holinesse and uncleannesse are as much abolished in all people and their fleshly seed as in all other flesh of birds and beasts appears undeniably chap­ter 10.28. where he tells Cornelius the very same as concerning men, who afore­time were by birth common or unclean, that he tells them of the circumcision as concerning other creatures which aforetime were called common or unclean. Ye know (saith he) that tis an unlawful thing (meaning according to the will of God under the law) for a man that is a Iew to keep company, or come unto one of ano­ther nation (for then indeed Iews by nature might not eat with such as were by nature sinners of the Gentiles) but now God hath shewed me that I should not, (meaning in these dayes of the Gospel) call any man common or unclean: observe the words I beseech you, and consider them with reference to the vision it self, and that further exposition of it, which Peter himself makes in the 11. chapter, and the result thereof is no less then this, viz. That as there is now nothing, i. e. no meats, or flesh of birds or beasts, or other creatures more unclean, unholy, un­lawful or abominable to be eaten then other, as some was under the law, so there is not now any man by birth, nature or nation unclean, in such sense as the Gentiles were of old in reference to the Iews, but that all men are alike now by birth, and none by nature more holy or unclean then other, in such wise as be­fore, none by meer nature neerer to God or further off, more or less the people of God or accepted with him, further then by holinesse or unholinesse of life they are distinguisht. In further consideration of which v. 34.35. Peter opened his mouth again and said thus, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, i. e. now he accepts not men of one nation above another, no not Iews by nature, more then those which heretofore, in relation to that birth-holiness the Iew had, were counted sinners of the Gentiles, nor any one man above another, as meerly descended of such a parent, but in every Nation he that feareth him, and work­eth righteousness is accepted with him.

Though therefore time was, when the natural seed of Jewish parents (as meer­ly so born, though proving never so morally wicked, profane and unbelieving in their own persons) were still accepted of God (I mean in that outward ceremo­nial sense onely) as his people, his peculiar chosen generation, his holy nation, above all nations of the earth, though (as Mr. Blake saies truly) none of the holi­est for any transcendent manners of the inhabitants: yet when Christ came the hour came, and now is, wherein no fleshly birth or being of this or that nation or parentage or natural descent and condition doth invest one person or people with this birth-priviledge of acceptation before God as his people, or denomination of a holy people or seed more then others, the hour now is, wherein in meer infan­cy there's no more distinction at all between persons as holy and unclean, wherein faith and not typical but true holiness, or holinesse of truth onely, Eph. 4 17, 18.24. makes the distinction between the Church of the Genliles, and other Gen­tiles; wherein there's no difference between Iews and Gentiles, and the children of both save according as they are called, and have hearts purified by faith, Act. wherein the righteousness and grace of God is unto all, and upon all alike without difference in time of infancy, and upon all alike that believe a [Page 121] like when they come to years, for theres no difference, Rom. 3.22. wherein there is neither Iew nor Greek, circumcision or uncircumcision, more unclean or holy by nature either then the other (as of old) but all alike accounted sinners or holy according as they live sinfully or holily, and not other wise. If then we may not call any man, of what blood, nation or parentage soever under the Gospel common or unclean, (as God shewed Peter that he should not) no not those who (sa­ving the abolishing of that unclaanness) are as abominable by birth as the Gentiles were in the time of the law, then may we not call any man, however naturally descen­ded, holy upon the same account of that his natural birth, in comparison of others.

Whereupon though Christ called the Canaanites by nature, dogs in reference to the Iews, and their seed the children, while that birth-uncleanness or holinesse stood yet unabolished, Mat. 15.12.26. after which example Mr. Blake takes such blind boldness to himself, as to imagine the new born infants of belie­vers and unbelievers may respectively be so denominated still, yet he takes upon him much more then God ever gave Peter leave to do, or any man else in those dayes of the Gospel, if he now call any person by meer naturall birth more holy, common or unclean then other.

Tis not now fleshly birth, nor circumcision, nor uncircumcision in the flesh that discriminates men as Saints or sinners, children or dogs, holy or unclean, in Covenant with God or out, fit or unfit (further then non-age unfits all alike for such a thing) now to be of the visible Church, which is not now nationall neither as heretofore it was, for under the law this only made men communicable or incommunicable one with another, this was the cause why those of the circum­cision cavilled with Peter till he satisfied them to the contrary, because he being a Iew by nature, and circumcised in the flesh went in to men uncircumcised, and did eat with them, Act. 11. from eating with whom he dissemblingly withdrew himself at another time, fearing them of the circumcision, Gal. 2. which way of discrimination of persons each from other as holy and unclean, fit or unfit for Church-communion each with other by meer fleshly birth and circumcision in the flesh, was but a type, the Antitype whereof is not this, viz that believers fleshly seed are holy, Saints, Gods people, Church-members by birth, and contrariwise unbelievers fleshly seed by nature dogs, swine, sinners, un­clean in such sort as the seed of Iews and Gentiles were under the law; but this rather and indeed viz. that believers themselves spiritually born by faith in Iesus Christ, circumcised in heart, doing Abrahams works, are now the children of Abraham, a peculiar people, a holy nation, neer and deer unto him, that must dwell in his house, and be fed and refresht with that bread, of which there's a­bundance, and vnbelievers themselves, unholy ones in heart and life, never new born, nor become children to God and Abraham by faith in Christ, but re­maining uncircumcised within, under the unclean lusts of the flesh, are those un­clean ones, and sinners with whom communion is not to be held by the other in Church bodies, those dogs and swine to whom the childrens bread is not to be di­vided, nor holy things given even the holy ordinances of the Gospel, nor pearls cast i. e. the precious particularities of professed believers, viz. baptism and the supper thrown away upon them.

Moreover as God shewed Peter by that vision Act. 10. that not any man now, no not a Gentile by nature may be called common or unclean any more then one that is a Jew by nature, so he shews him the same ore again, in a round reproof by the mouth of Paul Gal. 2.11. to 19. where tis recorded how shamefully he separated from eating with the Gentiles for fear of offending the Jews, of whose cavils with him in this kind he had had some experience before, Act. 11. as if he had been opinion'd still according to the law, that such meats as were then unclean, and such people as were then sinners by nature, in reference to the then holy seed of the Iews had been no lesse then abomination still for him, or [Page 122] any Iew by nature to eat of, or eat with, and likewise how roundly he was dealt with by Paul, who minded him of that, which he knew well enough but was too willingly ignorant of at this time, viz. That these who were but a while since by nature holy, were now no holier by nature then Gentiles, that were then also called sinners of the Gentiles, but that as to that old account of ceremoniall un­cleanness and holinesse, whereby they were distinguisht from the very womb be­fore, they were now all alike by nature, viz. Iews no more holy then other men, and other men even Gentiles no more sinners by birth then they, all that partition wall of birth holinesse and uncleanness, propinquity and alienation that did once difference some men from other ab incunabilis being broken down, and them­selves such as must look upon themselves as dead to that law, whereby they stood the children of God and Saints, and all other men sinners by fleshly birth, and under another law now even that of the Gospel, by which there is no other way of being holy and becoming so much as relatively onely, much lesse really the children of God, then that of faith in the Lord Iesus for the Iews themselves more then for any other: and therefore in case they now go about to build again the things that they had destroied (meaning that fleshly birth holinesse which they had before disownd) they should make themselves transgressors in so doing: this verily is the very sum, sense, and scope of that Scripture viz. to cry down all the old ceremo­nial distinctions of men by nature and Nation, to beat down all that old birth priviledge and preheminence of one person however descended above another, as to Gospel participation and communion: out of which yet Mr. Blake blindly takes his text, where upon to build again a certain birth holinesse in one mans fleshly seed above another, the very thing that Paul there declares rather to be abolished, most perversly propagating to the meer carnall s [...]ed of Christians that antient tipical and now ended holinesse of Iews by nature, who though the seed of believing Abraham himself, yet have none of it at all now themselves, nor yet whilst they had it could be admitted by Iohn to baptism, and gospel priviledges upon that onely account, and yet if it still remain as the thing intitling to ordi­nances both must have it, and a right also to baptism by it, specially if Mr. Blakes own tenet be true, that the ground of a childs admission to baptism is not the faith of his immediate parent onely, as he saies it is not p. 24. of his birth priviledge, but the promise made to believing Ancestors at a great distance; for as he saith there that if Iosia have no right from his father Ammon, yet he is not to be shut out having right from his father Abraham, so say I Abraham being not onely the remote parent of Iosia, but of all the Iews that are born at this day also, if the Iews have no right now from their own immediate parents that in the primitive times, or more lately believed not the Gospel, yet may they have right, if right at all be to be had to Gospel priviledges from the parents faith at a distance; from their remote fathers Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, whose believing of the Gospel, is as well worthy to intitle all their seed to this day to the Gospel promises, as the faith of any believing Gentiles onely.

I cannot therefore but stand amazed in my mind to consider how miserably Mr. Blake mistakes himself in taking that text, from which to prove a present birth holinesse in the infants of believing Gentiles, which if there were no other to compare it with, doth sufficiently clear it of it self alone; how much more if compared with those forecited out of Act. 10. Act. 11 that there is now no such holinesse and uncleannesse as was once between Iews by nature, and such as were then called sinners of the Gentiles: yea if that distinction of Iews by nature, and sinners of the Gentiles spoken of Gal. 2.15. were now in being, & remaining unabolished, it would be so farre from establishing that indeed it would utterly overthrow what Mr. Blake pleads for from it, and instead of advancing the naturall seed of believing Gentiles so high in holinesse as he would have them to be by birth, debase [Page 123] them rather into a worse condition then I dare say any unbelieving Gentiles seed is in by birth (as to such a kind of uncleanness as they once were denominated by) in all the world; specially if it be so as he him­self saies p. 10. of his birth priviledge, viz. That the seed of believing Gentiles are now under one of those two heads in the text: For if that distinction be not now destroyed, and all men by birth come under one of those two denominations now; under which of them I trow will Mr. Blake rank the infants of believing Gentiles? he will not render himself so ridiculous sure as to say they are Iewes by nature, and therefore (unless the distinction be totally taken away) he must say they are by nature sinners of the Gentiles, which in the sense of the Law, is as if he should say Doggs, unholy, common, and unclean, and more then we our selves dare say of any now new-born infants under heaven, as in contra-di­stinction to other.

If he say they are neither sinners of the Gentiles, nor Iews by nature neither, then either he must say they are some third thing, which if he do Mr. Blake himself will contradict Mr. Blake in that, for he asserts pag. 10. of his Birth priviledge that the seed of believing parents under the Gospel must be lookt upon under one member of this division in this text, and that the Apostles distinction and distribution is so full and compleat that a third cannot be assign­ed, or else he must grant that this distinction is now wholly ceased under the Gos­pel, which because tis the giving up of his whole cause he will be very loath to do, and therefore rather than do so (then which yet, if he well understood what is best for him he could not do a better thing) of the two he choses, to the ut­ter contradiction of himself, to rank them under a third head, to assert them to be some third thing, namely a sort of carnal holy seed of his own, and the Clergies coining, a Relative holy seed of their own consecrating, a faederall holy seed of their own feigning, a holy seed hatcht in their own heads, which are neither fish, nor flesh, nor good red herring, nor sinners of the Gentiles, nor Iews by na­ture, nor Iews besides nature neither, i. e. by personal faith as all true Christi­ans are, but quartum quoddam, a certain fourth thing, called Christians from their mothers womb, or ever they are so much as christen'd into the name, or di­scipled into the nature, and yet for all this a seed set forth in such a transcendent manner, as if all other were in comparison of them by very descent, p. 13. un­clean, sinners, unholy, dogs, and filthy swine.

'Twere enough to make a wise man wonder to see how superlatively Mr. Blake magnifies this seed of believing Gentiles, above the seed of all other men in the world, even above the fleshly seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob themselves, who only, at least mainly; had the promise of this priviledge of transmitting a Covenant holiness to their issue, and this but typically, and for a time neither, even till that seed should come, i. e. Christ and believers in him, to whom all, and only the Gospel promises were made.

He calls them Children of God, and Saints by very nature, Little ones of Si­on in reference to infants of Infidells, which with him are little ones of Babylon: and yet (to go round again) this Babilon (in his own opinion) is not the Infidells but Rome, a Church of Christians (in name at least, as well as the Protestant na­tions) and consequently (to go round again) in his own opinion such (see pag. 26.) as transmit a covenant-holiness into their seed, so far as (in his own sense) to make them little ones of Sion as well as the other: and yet for all this too (to go round again) though it be execration with him to hurt the little ones of Sion, i. e. in his sense the infants of such as are not infidels, but Christians in name, yet (to go round again) it is an happy thing to dash the little ones of Babylon i. e. in his sense infants of Papists who yet are Christians nomine tenus and not infidels, and consequently (secundum se) the Lords heritage and such as have Christs name u­pon them, and such as for a Turk to persecute were to be guilty with Saul of perse­cuting [Page 124] the Lord Jesus p. 30.) against the walls p. 29. which little ones of both Sy­on and Babylon he is yet much mistaken in when all is done, in taking either of them for fleshly babes of what parents soever, Syons little ones in the true spiritual or gospel sense, being the Saints themselves onely, and not their fleshly babes as such, even the little ones Christ, Paul, Peter and Iohn speak of Mat. 10.42. Gal. 4.19. 1 Pet. 2.2. 1 Iohn 2.1.12, 13. And Babylons babes being no other then the C C Clergies adult disciples, or A A Antichristian C C Christian creatures.

And (to take notice a little more yet of Mr. Blakes high expressions of the birth holinesse, birth happinesse, birth mercy, birth dignity of meer nominal Christi­ans fleshly seed, as they lie scattered up and down in p. and other pages of his book) he calls them a seed in relation to God as well as their parents, [and so indeed they may soon be, if he mean of such meer outside Chri­stians as he doth] the inheritance of God, the Saints and Servants of God, a holy seed, having a royall transcendency above all others, as onely worthy the name of a people, injoying the light, nigh unto God, a people of hope and expectation, children that have blisse, [as if they were actually and inalterably already stated in it, and possest of it, and all other infants and people as inalterably designd and devoted universally to cursing and damnation, as having no Gospel at all belonging to them, no not that Gospel which is to be preached to every creature] a seed by birth priviledge to be baptized, p. 27. [which yet is more birth-priviledged then Abrahams [own seed could have Mat. 3. even before their birth priviledge did perish from them] such as have a large and full right to all the ordinances of God, and priviledges of the Church, appertaining to members, as they shall be capable of their use, by personall faith and good demeanor when at years, and grown up, [and I wonder who hath not the like upon those terms? even infants of infidels surely as well as they when at age, and whilst infants, they are no more capable of the use of any ordinance then the other.]

He tells us, these by birth are of the houshold of God, of the Citizens of the Saints [tis much he said not fellow Citizens in Pauls phrase, Eph. 2. sure twas because he bethought himself of their uncapableness of fellowship, for all their membership] He tells us that these are orderly admitted, i. e. by baptism then which Scripture knows no other admission, for no sooner do we read of a convert (saith he) but we presently hear of his baptism [whereas of all the converts in Christendom that sit under the ministry of the Pope, Prelate and Pres­byter, I never knew one in all my daies baptized after their coversion of him by preaching, till being converted from them to the Truth as it is in Iesus they con­vert and come to us, and then we immediately baptize them indeed; but as for them, tis impossible for them so much as to preach the Gospel in all Christendome, in the way and words in which Peter, Ananias, Philip, Paul, and all the first and purest preachers did, while they suppose all they preach to to have been baptiz­ed in infancy (for what Priest in Christendom can say to his parish repent and be baptized for remission of sinnes, arise and be baptized and wash away thy sinnes; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved (as they of old said, Mark 16.16. Act. 22: without gross absurdity having christn'd them all long before he ever preacht to them?) neither do they baptize any at all after conversion, and the best baptism they dispense in token of remission of sins (so long before either sins commission, or the sinners conversion) is at best but meer rantism neither.]

He tells us that those have right to all the immunities of this house, to all the priviledges of this City of God (meaning the Church here below) and have title to all Christs visible ordinances, that they belong to Christ, and therefore must par [...]ake of that which is of Christ, and being of the houshold they must therefore have of the food of the houshold, yea the stewards of the mysteries of God must be accountable in case they deny it them.

[And yet till they are at years not any one of them may participate (as them­selves [Page 125] say) of any one of those visible ordinances, viz. neither praying, preaching, hearing, not the supper, nor any thing else which is the food of the houshold after baptism, by which they are barely entred in infancy, and onely thrown ore the threshold into the house, and then ly starving for many years together, without bit or crumb of any other food at all, being utterly denied to be communicants at the supper, the use of which their folly will once be manifest, who say they are lesse capable of in infancy then of the use of baptism, for (as shall appear more hereafter) howbeit they are truly capable of neither they are as truly capable of both as of either, yet are they deni'd a share in that service of the supper by these stewards of the mysteries of God, the ministry themselves, and that for no less then 16 years together at least, according to the rule of the old stewards the episco­pacy, that have almost given up all their earthly account, and I know not for how long by the will of the new stewards i. e. the Presbytery, for if their rule be to practise it no oftner, then they practise it indeed, some of them have had no sup­per at all in their parishes, neither for young nor old for about seven or eight years together last past, and when they will no body knows, and how they can with a good conscience I cannot tell, nor never could while I stood among them, they standing all, and their people all universally unbaptized to this day, for which neglect of theirs to give persons their meat in due season, order and manner, feed­ing them with a break-fast in baptism, before they are fit to be fed, so much as with that milk, and then denying them any supper at all when they come to years, though they then both pay for it, and are at least as fit to feed thereon, as they were in infancy to feed on baptism, the Lord of that supper, and of all the other ho­ly ordinances of his which they have dispenst more after their own minds and mens tradition, will, and Testament, then his own, will call them ere long to give ac­count of their stewardship too, and let them be no longer stewards.]

And yet a little more to trace Mr. Blake to and fro as he daunceth the hay up and down in that t [...]ifling treatise, he tells us that these are a holy seed, of the noblest birth, yea though they be the children of loose living parents, of misbelieving parents, p. of apostatized parents of excommunicate parents of fornicating parents [and consequently a very bastard brood, which under the law that Mr. Blake himself professes to be tried by were unclean, and not admitted in­to the congregation unto the tenth generation] of papistical parents [for even these are but misbelievers and Christians in name still, and as himself sayes no infidels, though (to go round again) holding such damnable errors in the faith p. 30. as shut them out from the happiness, and therefore I think from the holiness too, of Christians] yet all this notwithstanning (to go round again) if the children but of believing parents that are of the Church, and (to go round again) not true believers neither as believer is opposed to unbeliever, misbeliever or Christian in name onely, with all which he confesses the Church may abound, but as believer is opposed onely to infidel p. 25. [between which terms unbeliever, and infidel which are not synonimaes it seems with him, yet the Scripture makes no more difference then is between [...] and [...] the same greek word that expresses both, and is translated into latin by infidelis, and Englisht by either unbeliever or infidel, notwithstanding all this I say if born in England, or any where else in any nations, or of any parents that are but Christian in name onely, or of but one such Christi­an parent, the other being an Indian, that is with him an infidel indeed, they are with him a holy seed still, that God ownes and challenges for his, yea frrom the womb Gods heritage, a seed so nobly born as noble Nehemiah himself was not, yea p. 28. the least of whom is greater then Nehemiahs better. These high and He­roick Eulogies Mr. Blake bestowes upon not true believers and real Saints one­ly to whom yet they peculiarly belong; but on meer carnall Gospellers, the natu­rall lukewarm formalists of the Antichristian more then Christian nations, upon pretensive verbal professors, and that not of truth neither as tis in the word, but as [Page 126] in the word of an erroneous Priest-hood, who preach truth for tith, and yet not the tith of that truth they should preach neither, but mostly the traditions of men, upon real professors of prophanness, for so many to one of them that are Christians in name onely, and yet not on these only but on the meer fleshly seed of these doth he bestow such expressions as these, even no less then can be said of the chiefest Saints, he saies of the fleshly holy seed of all the sinners in Christendome, viz. a chosen generatien, a royall priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, page 8, people of God that suck in much of God whilest they suck the breast page 32.

And yet for all this their so timely acquaintance with, and knowledge of God, as it were from the womb his heritage, having the knowledge of the Scriptures, if not with John Baptist full of the holy Ghost from the womb, never in that condition of enstrangement from God as the Ephesians were said to be in Ephes. 2.11. for thus extraordinarily also doth he [...]xtol that fleshly seed that is born within the precincts of the Christian nations p. 32, for all this (I say) to go round again, and to use his own phrases and expressions of them in the quite contrary way page 28. breeding and education not answering birth and descent, by which they are Gods by Covenant; A people ignorant to perdition, and destruction, such as though dedicated to God so soon as born, yet have nothing appears in their lives, but that they might have been given as well to Moloch, such who (as holy seed and people as they are) are no better but somewhat worse than the Mongrel seed, that spake half in the Language of Canaan, and half of Ashdod, out of whose mouth scarce a word can be heard, for to argue that they are Chri­stians, lisping out oathes as soon as words, put to learn trades, and little regard had that they may learn to know Christ Iesus; for even thus and no less doth Mr Blake disparage this honorable holy seed that is born in Christendome, soon af­ter he had listed them up as it were to heaven, and set them above the seed of all other people in the world, in respect of this birth-holinesse and happinesse: inso­much that if you read how this royal race, and fleshly birth holy seed of all that are Christians but in name, do sometimes ride and float upon the high waves of his win­dy applause, and by and by are debased and denominated in no higher and better, but somewhat worse and inferiour terms then the mongrel seed, which God was so far from owning as his, that he enjoyned their own fathers not to own them Neh, 13. Ezek. 13.

I am jam tacturos sidera summa putes.
I am jam tacturos tartara nigra putes.

Me thinks tis very much, and not a little to be mused on, that a seed of such holiness, mercies, glory, honor, royalty, bliss, promises, priviledges, carried up so high into the aire which words, born up above all mens seed with pompous titles of, high born heirs, intimately interessed in God, in Christ, in Abraham, allied to them all as their own, upon no other then that bare account of being the meer fleshly seed of Christians, and that in name only, should yet when all is done have neither any earthly kindome, inheritance or Canaan (as the Jewes had while they enjoyed this birth-priviledge) whereby to prove them real heirs of something more then bare ordinance (which is but bondage without the inheri­tance) not a dram more of any outward earthly felicity, power, glory, peace, plen­ty, &c. then what may befal the seed of Turks and Tartars as well as they; nor yet the least measure of reall right, or true and immediate title to the heavenly Canaan, kindome, and inheritance by any promise thereof made to them as such, i, e. upon the meer account of being such mens seed, unless at years they become believers, and obedient to the Gospel themselves, upon which terms of belief and obedience when they come to age, the seed of the vilest wretch under heaven may be an heir of it aswel as they: for in infancy the seed of believers have not bard themselves from heaven, or deserveed exemption, by any actuall transgression, [Page 172] from the generall state of little infants declared in Scripture, any more then the Infants of believers, so but that dying in infancy they may be saved equally with the other, and when they grow to years the seed of the best believers in the world have no promise without faith to be saved ere the sooner because they are such mens seed, but in the way of faith or believing themselves, the seed of the worst ene­mies to Christ that ever breath'd have as much promise and assurance from God that they shall be saved as the other. Sirs where is the blessedness you speak of? where the great preheminence of believers seed under the Gospel doth nowly, in respect of which they are stiled by Mr. Blake, and others such great and high born heirs, nor yet what inheritance it is, which by that bare fleshly birth onely they are heirs to, I could never yet find of my self, nor learn from any of you. As for the Iews by nature though they were not heirs of heaven it self, upon the meer fleshly birth of Abraham without faith Rom. 4.13. yet they were not called heirs meerly as born after the flesh in vain, for there was an earthly Canaan which they were heirs of, and God gave to them by promise as they were meerly the fleshly seed of Abraham, which also they actually enjoy'd according to the promise, whether they had any faith or moral holinesse yea or no, during that time of the law, but as for the fleshly seed of believing Gentiles, to which Mr. Blake translates the same birth priviledge of being holy and high born heirs by nature, they stand heirs (by that natural birth onely) of neither the earthly nor yet the heavenly Canaan: Mr. Blake feeds us with an empty title of holiness by birth, heirs by birth, but can't possibly say we are heirs of heaven by birth of believers, unless we believe our selves, and believing themselves those that by fleshly birth are of unbelieving pa­rents are by promise heirs to it as much as any: nor can he say that the seed of be­lieving Gentiles are heirs by birth (as the Jews were) of the land of Canaan, and yet if the same birth priviledge, birth holiness, birth happiness they had, be now (as he saies it is) made over to such in the same way as twas once standing among the Jews, me thinks as they were disinherited from their land through unbelief, when once the time of standing by faith onely came, as well as from their title to the names of Church, people of God, a holy seed, heirs by birth and such like, so those that succeed them in their whole birth priviledge, should have their inhe­ritance as well as the name of heirs by birth, or else how is there such an equaliz­ing of the body of Christians with the Nation of the Jews, as Mr. Blake pleads there is p. 8. how can we be said to be as largely and in as full and ample manner invested with, and installed into the glorious fleshly birth-rights, which the Jews of old were dignified withal if we have not a plenary con­veyance of the outward benefits and blessings of the land of Canaan, and the pos­session of that inheritance, which God then gave to those Iews by nature, to us and our fleshly seed, as well as of the outward oracles and ordinances? besides what a poor pitteous piece of birth priviledge is it, to be adopted instead of the Jews into the meer name of holy sons and heirs, and yet to have not a foot of that land which was the Iews inheritance, in respect to their fruition of which by right of a promise to Abraham and them, they were then honoured with that name of heirs? but if it be said that we are now by a birth of believing parents heirs (as they were then) of the heavenly inheritance, and the true eternal Canaan and kingdom whereof that was but a type, though we have not to do with that typical land it self as they once had; I still strongly deny it that either any Iews by nature then were, or any of the fleshly seed of believing Gentiles now are, by the faith of their fathers onely heirs by any promise at all of the kingdome of heaven, or any further at all then as dying in infancy they never deserved exemption by actuall trangressi­on, or living to age they believe themselves, and so viz. dying in infancy before they have bard themselves by actual sin, or believing themselves when grown to age, I say still the fleshly seed, even of such fathers as never had any faith, are by that faith of their own heirs of the kingdom, which God hath prepared for all per­sons [Page 128] that love him of what parents soever, and shall (so dying) assuredly inherit it once, and that by promise as well as they.

And so I leave Mr. Blake unlesse he like rather to return to the truth, to loose himself least I also loose my self with him from the work in hand, in that maean­drou [...] laborinth of self contradictions, Romish confusions, Iewish conceits and ceremonies, pithles priviledges, absurd asseverations, of a present continuance of that old legal typical, and (by God himself) long since in Christ crucified, profa­ned and cashiered holiness, which his Baby-book entitled The birth priviledge abounds with, which if they have so much truth in them as he confidence in aver­ring then his eyes are not so dim as I now deem they are, but my own rather, with which I seriously and sincerely [...]e [...]k after truth, are, Christs promise in that case to the contrary notwithstanding Prov. 2.3.4. Iohn 7.17. totally and terribly darkned.

Much more might easily be said in discovery of the foppicalnesse of that book, but I spare to spend any more time or paper upon it then its worth; besides having by the last argument above urg'd stockt him up by the stumps, and by the following considerations and returns to sundry of his self confuting sentences blasted some of his broadest shews, and chopt off not a few of his most flourishing branches, I shall not weary my self further in fighting with any more of his figleaves, for they consequently will die of themselves, and so till the Lord have mercy upon him which is the best good I can, and the worst hurt I do desire should befall him, and take him up into nearer acquaintance with the truth of his Gospel, he must lie where he is for me, onely because there seems to be one scruple more behind, which though it be but a g [...]at, I see many strain at I shall onely blow it out of the way, and so hasten from further handling of this head of infant holinesse, to the rest of those mediums, whereby you the Ashford Disputants undertake to prove believers infants to have the holy spirit.


The holinesse of that fleshly seed which was circumcised under the law was not ceremoniall and typicall onely; nor onely appertaining to Moses Tabernacle, Te­stament and law as the holinesse of the Priests, Altar, sacrifices, and other le­gall services was: for that indeed as it began with Moses, so ended in Christ cru­cified, but this holiness in the seed and the matter of infant Church-membership and circumcision upon this birth priviledge, and Covenant holinesse was before the law of Moses, for that people were a holy seed and children of the promise made to Abraham Gen. 17. and thereupon circumcised 400 years before Mo­ses, and the law, end therefore as it began not with it, so neither is it to be a­b [...]ogated together with Moses law.


Though the Covenant of circumcision, i. e the promise of the land of Canaan to Abrahams fleshly seed, who by birth were a holy seed that were to inherit that holy land, and circumcision it self also the token of it were long before Mo­ses, yet did they belong to Moses law, that is now abolisht, and thereto are they by Christ himself accounted to appertain and plainly call'd the law of Moses, Ioh. 7.22, 23. And as circumcision and the birth priviledge of Abrahams fleshly seed, so many mo things were many years before Moses was born; as offerings and sacrifices, and distinctions of cleanness and uncleanness of beasts, and yet all were but pieces of the ceremoniall law of Moses, and were to cease utterly under Christ, neither is it any good consequence at all to argue thus concerning any thing, viz. It was before Moses was born, and before Moses gave the law, and therefore no part of the ceremonial law, for many parts of that law of Moses were in being before Moses himself had any being, and yet are reputed to no other then Moses Testament, as well as many things that were done no less then 1000 years before Christ came in person, are reputed as apperatining to his Testa­ment, and to tell you the truth both the Gospel and the Law, both the old Testa­ment [Page 129] and the new, though neither of them perfectly, yet in part and secundum quid (as you use to say) i. e. in some respects, and remote beginnings were both in being as high as Adam and Abell; even thousands of years before either Moses or Christ were born, after whose names the two Testaments are called: for as what was of the Gospel was called after Christ, though a thousand years before Christ came, or the Gospel began in its last and most clear and perfect promulgation, for in Heb. 11.24. Moses is said to esteem the reproach of Christ as great riches &c. So that we see the crosse of Christ was before Christ was born, even so what was a part of the typical law, or old Covenant was stiled Mosaical though some parcels of it were given out, and in use before Moses was born; yea circumcision it self which was four hundered year elder then Moses, is said to be given by Moses, and called the Law of Moses: Moses gave you circumcision &c. and ye on the Sabbath circumcise a man, that the Law of Moses may not be broken Ioh. 7.22.23. And not only circumcision and sacri­fices but even the whole Law is said to come by Moses, though circumcision and sacrifices, which were parts of it, came long before him, and grace and truth to come by Christ, i. e. the very things themselves of which Moses Testament was but typical, and a shadow, Though grace and truth were both in the world in part long before Christ came personally into it, Iohn 1.17. yea something of both Law and Gospel came into the world before either Moses or Christ, yet they are denominated after them Moses Law, Christs Gospel, and said respectively to begin in them, to come with them, to be given by them, as if they had been altogether unheard of before these times; because when they came they gave the things a new that were before, and also the fullness of the things respectively per­teining to each Testament, which in part were, but not in their ample perfection till their times; and thus the Law was said to begin at Moses, Gal. 3.17. and the Gospel to begin at Christ birth, Mark 1.1 the one 400 years the other at least two thousand years after both Covenants, viz. the Law and the Gospel too be­gan in the word of Promise to Abraham, and his two seeds, Isaac and Christ, to whom respectively the two promises were made of two several Canaans, the Earthly and the Heavenly, whereof the one, together with the promise it self that was made of it, and the Promised seed to which it was made, viz. the fleshly seed of Abraham by Isaac, was a clear type of the other, i. e. of the pro­mise and promised seed that by that promise were to be heirs thereof, viz. a spi­ritual seed of Abraham by faith in Jesus Christ Gen. 17.

For there the Inheritances of both Covenants were both given in the word of promise, the one, viz. the Heavenly Canaan more darkly, through the other typing it out, the other i. e. the Earthly Canaan more clearly, plainly and in ter­minis ver. 7.8. I will give to thee and thy seed after thee (meaning Isaac the onely seed, and heir of that promise, for Ishmael and his had not that typical cove­nant established on them p. 20.21. but Isaac and his fleshly seed, as also A [...] ­titypically Isaac and his fleshly seed, who were sons of the bondwoman, and a meer fleshly seed in reference to Christ, though children of the free-woman and a promised seed (in a type) in reference to Ishmael, had not the true, or Gospell Covenant established on them, meerly as born of Abrahams body, but as be­lieving, and so it is established on all men, but Christ and Believers) I will give thee and thy seed (saith he) the Land of Canaan: even then and there God gave out both the Covenants in the promise, viz. the Gospel more implicitly, and in a shadow, the other i. e. the legal Covenant concerning Canaan in express terms together with a present grant of one of the grand Ordinances of it, as a sign and to­ken, viz. Circumcision, typing out the spiritual Iews or seed of Abrahams circumcision in heart, that must be heirs only under the Gospel, Rom. 2. Phil. 3. to which Ordinative▪ or beginning, or cardinal ordinance circumcision, many more Statutes, Laws, Judgements, and ordinances were to be added in af­ter [Page 130] ages, when the time of their entring their Possession should draw nigh, to the observation of all which (as in time God should give them out more clearly by his Servant Moses (the Deliverer, Minister and Mediator of that Covenant) cir­cumcision was an obligation, and in these Respects that Covenant is called the Covenant of Circumcision Act. 7.8. and Circumcision it self called an Engage­ment to keep the whole law, i. e. binding to the performance of all things required to be done on mans part, i. e. the Jewes in order to their enjoyment of Canaan un­der that old Testament or Covenant, Gal. 5.3. For though Circumcision, as well as that promised Land, whereof it was a token, and that fleshly seed that were signed heirs by it, and all other the Ordinances of Divine Service, which the first Covenant then had, and in a manner every thing else under the Law re­lated thus far to the Gospel Covenant, as that they were types and shadowes of something answerable under the Gospel, i. e. Circumcision of the heart, and that other seed, i. e. Iews inwardly, both answering to that Circumcision and those Iews which were outward only and in the flesh, Rom. 2.27.28, 29. Phillip. 3.2, 3. and of the Heavenly Inheritance, which these inward Iews, i. e. believers or circumcised ones in heart are heirs to by promise; yet both that sign Circumcision, and the promise signified by it, were all alike relating imme­diately to that Old Testament of Moses, as parts thereof, and were not parts, but paterns only of the new; nor was Circumcision any other then an ordinance of the Law of Moses, and not a direct rule for us to square or steer by in our dis­pensing any ordinance of the Gospel, for that were to disparage the Law-giver, we are under even that other great Prophet Christ, whom Moses pointed at, saying Deut. 18. A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, him shall ye hear in all things, &c. as if he were not as faithful and punctual to the full in fit­ting lawes for his house, the Gospel Church, as Moses was for that old Israel or Church under the Law, which was his, Heb.

Though therefore both Covenants were in being, i. e. the Law and the Gospell, before either Moses or Christ, the one concerning the Earthly Canaan to a fleshly seed in a Type; the other a Heavenly Canaan to a spiritual seed as the Antitype; yet are they said to begin the one in Moses, the other in Christ, because these two were respectively the two Mediatours of these two Covenants, and as it were the two several Masters and Law givers to the two seeds, or the two several families of Abraham, viz. the two Churches under the Law; and the Gospel, the fleshly Israel, and the spiritual, the personal comming of which two Media­tors and abiding for a time in their several houses, did perfect what was lacking in them before in point of outward Ordinances, and institutions, and from thenceforth, i. e. from the several periods of their presence with them, establish them in a more compleat posture then before, and each Church severally in its own proper order. Moses then was the Mediator of the Old Testament, established upon Earthly promises: and so gave precepts accordingly; but Christ the Media­tor of the new, which is called a better Testament established upon better promi­ses, Heb. 8.6. and so gives his precepts not by the mouth of Moses but as he pleases.

Besides all this, though the Covenant of Circumcision made with that fleshly holy seed, began before Moses, yet whether that denomination of a holy seed, a holy Nation, and people did begin so high as Abraham, or before such time as Moses and Aaron had according to Gods command to them, ceremonially sanctified by the bloud of sprinkling and dedicated both the Book of the Covenant and all the people, and all the vessells of the Ministery, and all other things per­taining to that Tabernacle (for both that holy people and all their ceremonially holy things whereby you need not be ignorant unless you will that the holiness of that seed and their sanctuary was the same, and began and were to end both to­gether, were first consecrated, didicated, purified, sanctified all at one time un­der Moses Heb. &c.) whether I say the holiness of the [Page 131] seed began so high as Abraham is a thing so out af doubt to me, that I dare say that as the holy land was not relatively holy till they came into it, so the holy seed, as well as the other holy things of that Covenant, were not ceremonially consecrated, nor formally sanctified, nor vouchsafed that title of a holy seed, though vertually they were a choise seed before, till a little before they were to en­ter it, and howbeit I challenge no man, yet I intreat any man in the world to shew me if he can where they were denominated and distinguished from all other people as unclean by that term of a holy people till God intituled them so by Moses, Exod 22.31. ye shall be holy men unto me neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts, ye shall cast it to doggs: which place compared with Levit. 22.8.9. Deut. 7.6. chap. 14.2. chap. 26.19. doth so plainly shew these two things.

First, That the holiness there spoken of began but thenceforth.

Secondly, that it was but a certain ceremonial distinction, and a holinese op­posite to that kind of defilement, which might be contracted by eating of unclean beasts, and so fully ceased in Christ, that I even blush to read Mr. Blake, and have been ashamed in my mind to hear some Independents also bring those Scrip­tures, wherein God called Israel a holy people to himself, to prove, that an in­churched believers meer fleshly seed is now by nature holy in the same sense.

Now then let us hear the conclusion of this whole matter: of the things that have been spoken this is the summe, viz. that there are three kinds of holiness, of which when you say children of believing parents have holiness, and consequenrly the spirit, you undoubtedly mean one, viz.

  • Matrimonial,
  • Ceremonial,
  • Moral.

The Middlemost of which, because your fellow laborers against the Gospel in­tend that chiefly in their books, I have treated on last, and most largely, and I now say three things of it in special.

First, That it is a Holinesse which once was, but now is not in be­ing.

Secondly, That it is a Holiness which of it self, when it was in being, as it was at the beginning of the Gospel before Christ crucified, could not without faith and moral holiness interest the persons in whom it was seated in any of these three things, viz. Gospel Promises, Gospel Priviledges, or Gospel Ordi­nances.

1. Not the promises, for they were made to Abraham in Christ and his spiri­tual seed; not his own fleshly seed upon such terms, as bare birth of his body, or such holiness and righteousness as was under the Law intituling to Canaan Rom. 4.13.14. Gal. 3.16.29.

2. Not the priviledges, viz. Gospel immunities, and Church-membership, for those that could plead they were under the typical freedomes of the old house, or Church under the Law, as Abrahams seed only were, are denyed by Christ to be that holy seed that should stand in the Gospel house, that was now to be built, or share in that spiritual freedome which the sonne gives, which is the only freedome indeed, unlesse they did Abrahams works, Iohn 8.32. to the 40th.

3. Nor yet the Ordinances, no not so much as Baptism the initiating ordi­nance it self, for when that old holy seed remaining yet under their relative and denominative holiness unabolished, did plead it as to baptism, they were put back by Iohn, and not permitted, barely upon that account upon which they stood in the old house, without faith, unless they now believed and amended their lives whose repulse of them when they came to his baptism was this viz. begin not to say we have Abraham to our Father &c. Mat. 3.7, 8, 9. Luke 3.7.8.

[Page 132]Thirdly, suppose baptism were entailed so to that holinesse and a meer fleshly seed of believers, or of believing Abraham himself as truly as tis true it is not, yet how grossely were you overseen Gentlemen in undertaking to prove the holy spirit by it to be in infants, for thats the probandum, the very thing which by the holinesse of infants you went about to make good, for the minor of your first sy­logism which was this, but little children have the holy spirit, being denied was proved (say you) first by their faith, secondly by their holinesse, thirdly by those Eulogies given them in Scripture: if then by holinesse you mean this kind of holiness, I mean ceremonial, which once was in the Iews by nature, you have a wet eele by the tail then indeed, for ask but Mr. Blake and he'le tell you, that that holinesse was in thousands who yet had not the holy spirit, yea in truth all the Iews had that holinesse, of whom not a Tenth, even then when they had it, were ei­ther in infancy, or at years morally sanctified, or indued with the holy spirit: and as I have said these three things in special, concerning that one kind of holinesse, so I have three things in general to say in short concerning al these three sorts of ho­linesse viz.

First, one of them was in infants of old, and now is not but is vanisht, and when it was it proved not the spirit viz. ceremonial.

Secondly, another is, but nothing to your purpose, I mean the proof of the spirit, though it be in most infants viz. matrimonial.

Thirdly, the other is not yet come for ought yet appears to infants viz. morall, which if it did appear to be in them positive, qualitativè, as an inherent quali­ty, not negative onely so as to be without sin, or absolutely innocent (for abso­lute innocency hath no need of baptism) then I should say something more to you, but you see it doth not, therefore though you said nothing then (as I wish since I had suffered you to do) from infants holinesse, to the proof of their having the spirit and right to baptism, yet I have searcht, but cannot possibly find what holinesse you could possibly have proved it by.

I have been the larger here, though you gave me but a bare hint, by the nomi­nation onely of infants holinesse: first, because here lies indeed the very principal knot and basis of this controversie, which you erring in are consequently erroneous in all your wayes, for Error minimus in principio fit major in medio, Maximus in fine. And as for all o [...]her arguments pro and con they are but as Auxilliarie hereunto.

Secondly, because I am willing also sith you call so much for it, to give out my own grounds for the truth, by the way as I go along in disproving of your false ones, that you may either yield to them if sound, or answer and disprove them, if unsound and rotten: in the residue I shall be so much the briefer.

The next argument whereby you undertake to prove infants of believing parents to have the holy spirit, is drawn from those Eulogies given them in Scripture, not inferior to those of the best Saints, from whence you thus argue.


Those who are invited to come to Christ Mark 10.14. Mat. 19.14. Luk. 18 16. [...] verse 15. babes such as are new come from the womb, blessed by Christ, declared to have right to the kingdome of heaven, set forth for ex­amples of innocency, not to be offended guarded from heaven by Angels &c. have the holy Ghost.

But such are little children,


You say they have Eulogies i. e. good language and commendations given to them, not inferiour to those of the best Saints. Nay Sirs, they are superiour in some sense to the best of Saints, for the best here have sin, but these have yet none, Christ taking away Adams sin, and they adding none of their own, and yet it will not follow that they are to be baptized, for they have yet no need of it, [Page 133] muchlesse that they have the holy spirit, which is the thing you would prove by it.

As for these particular Eulogies, which you instance in, if the most special a­mong them do clearly prove the subject thereby denominated, to have that holy spirit that entitles to baptism, then Ile agree that mine are, but if it do not, then I hope you will agree to it that your wits are little better then sodden; In order to the fuller finding out of the full weight of each Eulogy to such a purpose, Ile consider some of them asunder, that being the best way, and not as you (Babilo­nicae brevitatis gratiâ) have wrapt and swadled them all up together into one Syllogism, and if you think it too tedious so to do, I would have you to know my pains in writing will be Tantamount to your patience in reading.

The first Eulogy, which you say Scripture gives to little children, is their invitation to come to Christ, from whence your Argument in form must runne thus.


Those who are invited to come to Christ have the holy spirit, and are thereup­on to be baptized.

But little infants of believing parents are invited to come to Christ, Ergo they have the holy spirit and are to be baptized.


To which I retort, stating onely another Minor in room of yours, as the sub­ject to answer to your middle term, and then judge your selves how false your foundation i. e. your Major is, and consequently your building or conclusion. Thus

Those that are invited to come to Christ have the holy spirit, and are there­upon to be baptized.

But all men and women in the world are invited to come to Christ, Mark. 16.15. Mat. 22.9. 2 Cor. Isa. 55.1. Mar. 11.28. Rev. 22.17

Ergo all men and women in the world have the the holy spirit, and are there­vpon to be baptized.

I need say no more to wise men.

The 2 Eulogy given from Scripture to little children is this viz. they are blessed by Christ whence your argument must run thus.


Those that are blessed by Christ have the holy spirit, and so present right to baptism.

But little children of believing parents are blessed by Christ,

Ergo they have the holy spirit, and present right to baptism.


I answer first by denying your Major, which is not universally true, for persons may be blessed by Christ, and yet not have the holy spirit, for better un­derstanding of which let it be considered that persons may be blest various wayes, from which yet to their having the holy spirit theres no consequence viz. outward­ly and inwardly, temporally and spiritually, with blessings of the body and of the soul, of this life and that to come: first with outward temporal bodily blessings (abstract from the other) they may be and often are blessed, when yet at present at least (for so they must have as to your present purpose) they have not the holy spi­rit, who possibly also never have it in all their lives, I mean in that sense from which Peter argues thus to their baptism Act. 10. for that some of you say when you can make advantage on't another way, was the spirit in the extraordinary gifts of it onely, as tongues, prophecy, utterance &c. by which sense how ever your infancy is clear cut off from all capacity of having it, and so you are confu­ted by your own party in the very corner stone of this your babish building; but Ile [Page 134] give you the advantage of your own personal Tenet let it be what it will (save only that forenamed common sense of the spirit, wherein I have told you, tis in all men, who yet are not therefore to be baptized) I say again, both men and wo­men, and children may be blessed by Christ outwardly only, as with health, peace, plenty, fruitful seasons, Mat. 5.45. God is good to all, and sends sun and rain i. e. all temporal blessings on the good and evil, just and unjust. The blessings of bodily protections, as to be guarded with Angells from heaven from dangers, and mischiefs; which is another of the Eulogies you here instance in, which to save your selves and me some labor, Ile take in hear, it being but a tem­poral blessing, from which it follows not that such as are blessed with it must consequently have the holy spirit; also bodily salvation from and sanation of dis­ [...]ases, distempers, by Christ, who is a Saviour of the body; these blessings of the body, the barn, the basket, and the store, health, and external happinesse persons may be, and often are blessed with from God, who fills their bellies with hid treasure, so that they prosper and are not plagued, when yet they are wicked in their lives, and far from the holy spirit.

Secondly; If you take Christs blessing (as in this place you must, for its so ex­pounded and plainly expressed in one of the three Evangelists you quote, which write all the same thing in some difference of prase) for his praying for the persons whom he blessed, I say that even spiritually persons may be blessed by Christ in prayer for them, yea blessed with the blessing of the spirit it self, as de futuro, and and yet not, pro presenti, have the spirit: for Christ blessed his disciples, Luke 24.50. i. e. prayed for them that they might be endued with the spirit, and yet that he then prayed for, or by lifting up his hands, to the father then blessed them with, did not come on them till some while after: in this sense Isaac blessed Ia­cob Gen. 27.28.29. Iacob Ioseph, Gen. 40.15.16. the High-Priest all the People, Num. 6.23. Moses all Israel before his departure also, Deut. 33.1. &c, and yet they were not actually possessed of the blessings just then, when they blessed them, but along time after. There is a blessing by promise, as God blessed Abraham with a Son, and the Land of Canaan; a blessing by Prophesy as Iacob blessed all his Sonnes fortelling, as I may say, their several fortunes Gen.' 41. a blessing by Prayer, as in the forenamed places, and in this of Mat. 19.13. Mark 10.16. And there's a blessing by putting into actual possession, and fruiti­on of a mercy, so God blessed Israel with the real enjoyment of the Land of Cana­an, and all temporal blessings in that earthly place, & so Antitypically will once bless all the spiritual seed of Abraham with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places by Christ Iesus Eph. 1.4. Now the three first waies of blessing persons are all concern­ing things to come, and sometimes a long while after; yea in prayer Christ blest all that ever should believe on him through the word to the worlds end, Ioh. 17. so long before the thing befell them, that it was even before most of them were born.

As to your Minor then, wherein you say, little children were blessed by Christ, I grant it to be true, but not in any such sence as truely argues at all that in their in­fancy they had the holy spirit. For

First, it of the two most plainly appears that his blessing was no other then bodily infirmities, which are as incident to infants as men, and the end for which they brought them shews the utmost he did to them, which was not that he should baptize them (as I shall more clearly shew by and by) but that he should touch them, and put his hands on them, and pray: no question twas in order to heal­ing, for twas at a time when he healed many others, if you compare this passage as tis in Mat. 19. with the first and second verses of the Chapter: yea v. 15. tis plainly expressed what he did, i. e. he laid his hands upon them, and departed thence; besides Luke saies they brought little children unto him also that he should touch them: which [ALSO] shews that others were brought too, as sick folks commonly were, because vertue went out of him, so that as many as touched him were made perfectly whole.

[Page 135]Secondly, if he did blesse them spiritually in his prayers, twas doubtless (yet all whom he healed were not so blessed neither, witness the nine Leapers) concern­ing things to come, and if he prayd for their particular salvation, yet they might not immediately have the spirit. But

Thirdly, What ever twas he did to those particular infants (which whether they were believers infants or no too no man can tell) for many sought him for loaves, and outward mercies, and many for healing of themselves, and children, meerly that they might be rid of their burdens, on whom yet he had compassion for all that) yet first what is this to other infants, or to ours that cannot now be brought to his person? besides what more to believers than unbelievers infants? what more to any then to all? away therefore for shame with such dry Divinity as this: he touched those children and blest them, that were then presented to him, that he might touch them, therefore all believers infants have the holy spirit, and must be baptized: away with such dribling dispute also, it is not fit for Christs School, nor mans neither.

The next Eulogie you mention is this, viz. Their being declared to have right to the Kindome of heaven, whence your Argument must run thus.


Those who are declared to have right to the King dome of heaven have the ho­ly spirit.

But little children of believing parents are declared to have right to the king­dome of heaven.

Ergo they have the holy spirit.


In answer to which I must distinguish upon your middle term.

Theres a twofold right to the Kingdome of heaven, viz. a remote right, and an immediate right, conditional or absolute, a right in potentiâ, and a right in Actu.

The remote, Conditional, potential, right, ad regnum, to the Kingdome, upon future Contingencies, and Events; this all persons that ever were born in­to the world have. i. e. conditionally, or in case they dying in infancy, do no evil, or living to years shall believe, and obey the Gospel: but what is this right to your purpose? for verily

First, It proves not the holy spirit, which you speak of to be in those that have it.

Secondly, if it did it proves it to be in unbelievers as well as believers seed, as unto whom, when they come to years, Christ is a common salvation, and the Gospel of the kingdome is to be tendered, and that not in mo [...]kage but truly, and really as theirs, till they reject, or put it from them, [...] as the [...]ews to all ge­nerations since Christ have done; that they may believe, and believing have life through his name, i. e. immediate right to it here, and possession hereafter: or if they happen to dy in the innocency of their infancie before they have (to speak in your own phrase p. 5.) by any actual sin barred themselves or deserved to be ex­empted from that generall st [...]te of littl children declared in Scripture viz. se­cundum te O Accountant, right to the Kingdome of Heaven, then have they all such apitudinem regnandi, as will cost the Priest-hood of England for all his Christian charity in declaring the right of belivers seed to the Kingdome, more rea­son than they ever did, or yet have to bestow that way, to clear themselves from the just censure of Antichristian cruelty, for their excluding, and damning all the dying infants of others, which are rari quippe boni, numero vix sunt toti­dem quot &c. counting the little corner believers will stand in, at least no less then twentie to one.

And as for that other more immediate, actual, absolute right to the Kingdom, when it shal come, this Mediante Morte in infantiâ, all dying infants have as [Page 136] well as some, and not in infantiâ) all dying infants of believers th [...]n of unbelie­vers, for even of such (I mean all dying infants, for infants living to years are no more infants; though it be questionable too whether Christ speaks of the same in the place in hand, or of such as are like them in innocency &c. of the two most likely to be the truth) of such I say I grant the kingdom of heaven to be (for ought I know) but of no persons living to years, whether believers seed or unbelievers, Nisi mediante fide, et obedientiâ, and then they have actual and present right to it, all which notwithstanding (mark what I say, for it cuts in two the sinews of your consequence) twill not universally follow neither that those that have right have (pro presenti) the holy spirit, for though nothing can come between such as finally believe, and the kingdome, and that fulnesse of the spirit that comes in with it, of which the spirit here is an earnest, and the spirit it self as the earnest, so as to cut them off from the future possession of both (God who cannot ly having promised the kingdom, as conditionally to all people at years, if they be­lieve, so absolutely to all that finally do believe) yet many of those that believ­ing the things spoken pertaining to the kingdom, and so having more immediate right then before (unlesse they loose it again) may (pro presenti) be without not onely the kingdom and fulnesse of the promise, which they stand actually heirs to by faith, till the purchased possession come to be actually possessed by all the Saints at once, but for a time too without the spirit (as but an earnest) for this, in the common way of Gods dispensation of old, was neither promised nor bestow­ed on any by promise (unlesse at any time God was better then his word as he was Act. 10. nor on good ground to be expected till after faith, repentance, obedi­ence in baptism and prayer, witnesse the forecited places, Iohn 7.38 39. Act. Luk. 11.13. Prov. 1.23.

The next Eulogy given to little infants, whereby you argue the holy spirit to be in them, is their being set forth for examples of innocency, whence your ar­gument must be thus.


Those that are set forth for examples of innocency have the holy spirit.

But little children of believing parents are set forth for examples of inno­cency.

Ergo they have the holy spirit.


Bare simple innocency, harmlessnesse and freedom from hurt proves neither holinesse, nor holy spirit to be where it is, it being capable to be not onely in infants, who in respect of age and stature, though not of kind and nature, are in an or­dinary way at least an uncapable subject of the other, but also in creatures by kind uncapable at any time of the spirit, viz. doves, sheep, lambs, every of which (as well as infants) are set forth also as examples of meeknesse, patience, innocency, silence, under suffering, as the Ant is also for diligence and forecast, the vine for fruitfulnesse, the Serpent for wisdom to the Saints, and yet have not thereupon the holy spirit, yea Eulogies for some one particular natural excellency, qualification and indowment, and those not inferiour to those of the best Saints may be given, and that as an example for the Saints, not onely to other creatures and innocent infants, but also to such as are elsewise injurious, and no way ex­emplary to others at all, e. g. the unjust steward Luke 16. who though a meer child of the world, yet is commended by Christ as having done wisely, yea more wisely (in suo genere) then the children of light, and given as a pattern of pru­dence and forecast to them, and yet I should be in doubt whether that man were well in his wits or no, that should argue from those Eulogies to those holy spirit.

Secondly from which innocency yet, if it would follow that the spirit is in in­fants, it must be in all as well as some: for is one Infant more free from actual sin, and in point of innocency propounded as our pattern by Christ more then another? is [Page 137] not innocency in the whole state of infants, even in unbelievers infants as much to the full as in the other?

The next Eulogy is this, that they are not to be offended; from whence your argument must run thus.


Those that are not to be offended have the holy spirit.

But little children of believing parents are not to be offended.

Ergo they have the holy spirit.


To which by way of answer Ile onely compose another Syllogism, and so leave you to see (as you may do without a candle) and to search out the sillinesse of your own.

Those who are not to be offended have the holy spirit.

But little children of unbelieving parents, and also the very Iews and Gentiles, as well as the Church of God, are not to be offended.

Ergo little children of unbelieving parents, yea even the Iews and the Gen­tiles, as well as the Church of God, have the holy spirit.

And so Sirs having weighed all your Eulogies one after another in the bal­lance of right reason, and found them too light, Ile onely add one argument of mine own from the very places you quote, from which if either men did not dote on them, because they are found in the old Liturgy, and the new Directory, or were not resolved to take tag, rag and long tail, to scrape together even all the impertinencies that ere they can meet with, in proof of infant baptism, rather then to forgo it now they are ingaged in't, there is no clearer consequence in the world then that infants are not to be baptized, and then Ile pass on to your other proofs.

If those very numericall infants spoken of in those very places Mat. 18. Mar. 10. Luke 18. from whence, and from the carriage and practise of Christ there towards them, the priest-hood pleads the baptism of other infants, of whom Christ did never so individually declare (as he did of these, that they should be brought to him, and that of such is the kingdome of heaven) were not baptized by Christ, nor his disciples in the primitive times of the Gospel, which are our pattern, then it follows not from the example of these infants that other infants are, but rather that they are not to be baptized.

But those very infants spoken of in those very places from whence &c. were not baptized either by Christ or by his disciples &c.

Ergo it follows not from the example of those infants that other infants are, but rather that they are not to be baptized.

The Major is most undeniably clear, for by what warrant may we take upon us to baptize other infants, when those infants were not baptized that were brought to Christs own person, and whose particular personal right to the kingdom (as you your selves say) Christ there declares? for tis contended by you that the word [ [...] i. e. of such] must be meant [of these] not [of such] as are like to these [whereby you utterly overthrow your selves too] for if that speech [of such] be in sense and signification [ [...]] i. e. not [talium] but [horum] then it can reach no more to other infant [...] of the same kind, then to the other kind of infants i. e. the Saints, these being both viz. the one in specie, the other in qualificatione at most but such, and not the same, for the term [...] expresses all that are alike to these, whether in kind or qualification onely, or both, but [...] is Individuum In­digitativum (as it were that points out these Individuals that were then present and no more: so that, to allow you your own fained sense (I say) if those were not baptized whom Christ so Individually demonstrates, and indigitates as heirs of the kingdome of heaven, much lesse may any other infants of whom (if you ren­der [...] by [...] and give the sense to be [horum] not talium] Christ can't be understood as speaking there at all.

[Page 138]For the clearing therefore of the Minor, which onely will need proof in this Syllogism (unlesse you will say let Christ and his disciples do what they will, weel do what we list) consider this; that tis well nigh universally confessed by your selves that these infants were not baptized.

Mr. Cottons words upon this very place p. 9. of his grounds and ends of bapti­zing children. are these viz. neither do I alledge this place for to prove that Christ baptized these infants, for it doth not appear that their fathers who brought them were baptized themselves, and therefore neither might their children be baptized according to rule; and as he speaks thus of this place Mark 10. so much after the same sort he speaks concerning another place viz, Act. from whence you also ground the baptism of believers infants, from whence also as we do from this, we thus argue the con­trary viz. If the infants of those parents Act. 2. that were obedient to the faith and baptized, were not baptized with the rest, then its evident that infants even of baptized believers were not wont to be baptized then.

But those infants then were not &c. Ergo &c.

The Minor of this Syllogism also Mr. Mr. Cotton proves to my hands, who saies thus, p. 35.36. of his grounds and ends &c. But to deal ingenuously and faithfully with you the text viz. Acts 2.41. might hold forth a just colour of an objection, if you had so applied it against the Argument gathered out of v. 38.39. for the baptizing of infants, for if they who were baptized were such as gladly received his word verse 41. then it doth not appear out of this place that infants were at that time baptized with the rest, because they could not receive the word, much lesse gladly, least of all expresse their gladnesse by any visible profession. This objection I confesse would have pre­vailed with me to have forborne any proof of the baptism of Infants out of this this place, were i [...] not partly for the reasons which have been alledged above from v. 39. partly also for that I find the Lord Iesus is wont to accept the acts of parents in the duties of the second commandement as done for themselves and their children; these are Mr. Cottons own confessions about these two places, in the last of which he seems to say (if I aim right) that those children Act. 2. were not baptized in their own persons, but accounted as baptized by God, accepting their parents baptism on their behalf as well as though they had been baptized in their own persons, which if it be so, is of it self a clear argument against infant baptism; as for the other place Mark 10. I never could meet with the man yet that was so shamelesse as to assert that the infants there spoken of were baptized, excepting Dr. Holmes, and he indeed helps this lame businesse ore the stile, and lends a left handed lift towards the proof of it, that these infants that were brought to Christ were baptized, and that thus. p. 58. of his animad. on Mr. Tombes Exercit.

If Christ speaks of and doth such after higher things to such little children, whilst little children, how much more may that which in nature antecedes, and goes before these (namely baptism) be administred to them, whilst little chil­dren?

But there is Mark. 10. mention of, and doing of an higher thing then Bap­tism, namely confirmation of them by prayer and imposition of hands,

Ergo how much more may they be baptized?

The same he both argues and asserts p. 63. of the same book. in these words viz, they were brought to him for an outward ordinance, imposition of hands, that ordinance given to them did suppose a former, namely baptism (as we have shewd (saith he)) a­bove) and therefore if a little child be brought for the first ordinance, that he (as such) is capable of, as children were of circumision, it must be to baptism, and a little below he addes this viz. Christ did not onely cherish their faith that brought them, but also cherished that baptism the children had received. In which expressions he is so unexpresse, or at least so whi [...]ling to and fro, that he must have more brains then I, that can pick out of them what he means distinct­ly by them: for in some of them one would think he meant as if those infants were [Page 139] baptized before they came to Christ, and were brought onely now for imposition of hands, in some again as if they had bin then baptized, and brought then to both that and to the other, but which of the two he means it matters not, so long as I shall prove by and by, that twas neither this nor that.

But by the way I desire all men to take notice of Dr. Holmes his proofs, where­by he strives to clear it that the infants brought to Christ had then the ordinance of imposition of hands, and so had been baptized before, and how they are not onely nothing cogent, but so clearly cogent and consequential to the very contra­ry, that he that reads them with reason must needs conclude the Doctors right eye of reason was not a little bleared (not to say absolutely blinded) by one thing or other when he wrote them: yea all he saies for the clearing of that, doth clearly contradict and overthrow it.

In proof of what he saies in this particular viz. that the ordinance of laying on of hands was dispensed to these infants that were brought to Christ, he alledges the practise of the Antient times, at it is mentioned by Pareus, Caluin, Hoph­man, Marlorat, Bullinger, and Cotton too, which all according as Dr. Holmes himself hath recorded their words, first severally in chap. seventh of his animad-versions p. 58.59.60. and summarily ore again as it were to set his folly on high that all might see it, in the 10th chapter p. 85.86. do testifie uno ore with one con­sent that in antient time infants were not admitted to imposition of hands, nor confirmed in the fruition of Church estate thereby, that being indeed as himself asserts, from them too, one prime intent of that ordinance which is one of the foun­dation doctrines to Church fellowship, till to use the very same phrase he quotes out of them, being past their childhood, past innocency grown up to years, youths at least, that made profession of faith, they were received not to that onely, but to the supper, and all other Church liberties also.

By which term Antient times tis not easie to discern neither from him so indi­stinctly doth he utter himself in this, as also in most of his other matter, whether he mean the true and pure primitive times of the most antient fathers the Apostles, which is our rule, or the new and post-primitive times of the fathers since them, which though declining daily into corruption, the priest-hood hath ever for ought I find, in more account then the other, yet by one clause he seems more to al­lude to the Apostles dayes, viz. in p. 85. the last line, where after he had cited the fore-named Authors, and their joint opinion concerning the dispensing impo­sition of hands in foretimes to grown persons onely, he adds this viz. so that the original of imposition of hands came down from the Apostles; thus far these lear­ned men (saith he) but which ere he means it makes much what one for him, there being no times, primitive, or posteren wherein the ordinance of laying on of hands was given to infants, unlesse in that midnight of popery wherein they gave the sup­per to them also: for is it not equally absurd, and (if worse can be) worse then senseless, for a man to gather so undoubtedly (as he doth) that Christ at that time dispensed the ordinance of laying on of hands to those infants in Mark 10. in their infancy, because the Apostles and Churches in after times, whose pattern he was, did dispense it to persons ever, when they were past childhood, and grown to years? doth not this rather most evidently evince one of these two things viz. either that the imposition of hands Christ gave to these infants was not that ordinance the Apostles in antient Churches practised to men at years onely (and that it was not I shall shew by and by) or else that the Apostles did dispense the Gospell ordinances to other subjects then Christ himself did, whom they were to follow, viz. he to infants, and they onely to persons past infancy? Moreover if the Apostles did lay on hands at years, though Christ in infancy▪ what if Christ had baptized those infants in infancy also? are we more tied to follow his exam­ple in that, then in the dispensation of laying on of hands? you see therefore how the Doctor though he borrows his friend Mr. Cottins reading, and reasons out of [Page 140] antiquity (as himself saies p. 86. of his animadversions) to make good a shame­ful assertion, and argumentation of his own viz. that those infants which were then brought to Christ had both baptism and imposition of hands, and even there­fore baptism before, because imposition of hands then, yet makes so bold with it for all that, as flatly to contradict not himself onely, but Mr. Cotton also, whose judgement is far sounder then his in this case, by inferring two things from Mr. Cot [...]ons words, clean contrary both to Mr. Cottons own opinion (for he professed­ly denies that these infants had so much as baptism) and to the true consequence of his words also (for Mr. Cottons words directly argue that both re v [...]ra, and in his judgement of old there was no dispensing the ordinance of imposition of hands at all on infants, till they were grown up to years. How little therefore the Doctor de­se [...]ves to be credited in his consequences a fool may see. Neverthelesse least any should more credit and cleave to Doctor Holmes his odd conceits, weo saies these infants had both baptism and imposition of hands, then to Mr. Cottons candid concessions, and plain confessions that they had neither; Ile add a little to evince it, that they had neither baptism nor imposition of hands in any such sense as the Doctor dreams on from Christ at that time at all.

First, that they were not baptized I argue thus.

If they were baptized, then twas either before they were brought to Christ, or else by Christ or his disciples then when brought to him.

But neither before nor then.

Ergo as yet not at all.

If you say they had baptism before they were brought to Christ, I wonder how they came by it, or where they had it, or who administred it, sith this surely was their first appearance before Christ and his disciples, and how any else but they could do it ask your selves, who make more ado then needs about the bare admini­strators of baptism as if they must needs be none but Ministers in orders: if you say Iohn Baptist might do it▪ my no is better then your yea if I say he might not, for as you have nothing but thought to ground your thoughts on that he did bap­tiz [...] any infants, so I have Iohns one deed declaring that he did not, by whom no [...] [...]ou nor I neuer find that any were baptized but in doing of that, which infants cannot do viz. confessing their sins. Yet of the two this seems rather to be Dr. Holmes's fancy, that they had been baptized before they were brought thither, for p. 61, they are supposed here saith he, to have been before baptized, because they were brought to this higher addition, of imposition of hands, and blessing.

If you say they were then baptized when brought, it must be either by Christ or his disciples, but neither by him nor them,

Ergo not at all at that time.

First not by Christ, for he baptized not all with his own hands, onely he is said to baptize because his disciples did it by order and commission from him Iohn 3.22.23. with Iohn 4.12.

Secondly, nor were they brought to him for any such end as that he should baptize them, but that he should touch them and pray, which so soon as he had done, he went his way.

Secondly not by his discipl [...]s, for they were not brought to them, but to him, and if you say it seems they came to them first, because they blam'd those that brought them, I say that argues plainly that they were not brought to be baptized, for if they had, and had bin also the true, lawful, wonted, and known subjects of baptism to the disciples (as they must have been ere this time, if either Iohn or themselves had used to baptize infants among the rest) they could not have been so ignorant and forgetful of, or carnally contradictory to their own and Iohns or­ders, and wonted fashion, as so frowardly to find fault with, and forbid their coming to be baptized now, but would have rejoiced in, rather then reproved their forwardness [...] in it, for tis most certain that they had been not onely spectators [Page 141] of Iohns Baptism, but dispensers of baptism themselves also long enough before this time, to have been instructed in the true subject of it, for the bringing of those infants was after Iohn was beheaded, but Christ by his disciples had baptized in Iudea before Iohn was in prison, and whilest Iohn was yet himself baptizing in Euon; yea and had made, and baptized more disciples than Iohn.

Besides the ground of their rebuke of those that came with little children was no doubt their care, and loathness to have Christ too much prest, in which case they sometimes rebuked others, when they throngd upon him so fast for healing, that they had no leasure so much as to eat bread.

Secondly, that they came not now under Imposition of hands in that sense the Dr treats on, is most evident.

First, by the Drs own quotations of Mr Calvins, and Mr Cottons readings concerning the practise of the first times; for so far are they from clearing such a thing, as he alledges them for, that they clear the clean contrary, the subjects of that imposition of hands, they speak of, being only professors of the faith, and not infants; yea how doth D Holmes belabor himself to prove it, that those to whom the primitive Churches dispeased Imposition of hands were persons grown to years, more then doth his cause good, and more then any wise man puts him to by the denial of it, but those that were brought to Christ for it here spoken of none other then very infants in their nonage.

Secondly in that this ordinance of laying on of hands was not likely yet in use and being in this prae-primitive-period, wherein Christ laid his hands on these infants; the ends in order whereunto it was enjoined, and practised when it was, being such as in this juncture, not only infants, but also the very disciples them­selves were uncapable of viz. (as the Doctors own quotations truly shew) per­fect and full fruition of, confirmation in Church state, Gospel Church liberties, Church-fellowships in all Church ordinances, viz. the Supper, and suppicati­ons, and also the receiving of the holy spirit, none of all which were yet given to any, in such wise as afterwards they were, no not to the Disciples till either just before (as the Supper) or else after Christ was crucified: for howbeit matter for the Gospel Church, and fellowship was fitting, preparing and gathering in by preaching and baptizing even from Iohn, who began the Gospel two or three years before that, and the Gospel Church was as it were in a certain Chaos, or Congeries of matter not yet digested into its perfect form, somewhile before the Jews Church was ended in Christ death, yet it came not to have its own formall constitution, in point of visible order, posture, fellowship, government, offi­cers, discipline, endowments with the spirit, whereby they might be built up an habitation of God, and ordinance of laying on of hands in prayer, specially relating thereunto, till after Christ crucified, and ascended, the holy spirit being not yet come, because Jesus not yet glorified.

Thirdly they came not for this but for another kind of Imposition of hand [...], which is otherwise called touching, which who ever had from him were (in case of diseases) made whole. They came surely for that laying on of hands which Dr Holmes himself speaks of p. 57. out of Hophman; viz. a laying on in order to healing, for which healing, by a touch of him, many men, women and chil­dren came, or else were brought to Christ, while others that were well came to hear him Mark Luke Mat.

This Imposition of hands therefore that these infants had was not that which persons, when past infancy only, had in the Churches after, and for Dr Holmes to say the Apostles and ancient Churches confirmed persons by prayer, and laying on of hands, when they were past infancy, and not in it, therefore surely Christ to the same intent and purpose laid hands on these in infancy, is equally absurd as to argue thus, viz. the Apostles and primitive times practised baptism to men and [Page 142] women onely confessing sin, and professing faith, therefore it is most fitting, and likely now to be the will of Christ, that persons should be sprinkled in their non­age: so brittle are all the bottoms you yet build on, but to proceed.


Know ye not that the spirit of God is in you except ye be reprobates, and they dare not say that little children are all reprobates.

Also Review page 16. They are not Reprobates, Therefore Christ is in them.


Nor do we say that little children are all reprobates, nor durst you say that a­ny of them are reprobates, if meer blindness did not embolden you thereunto: for the truth is consider them yet living in the capacity of infants, and so though in fo­ro Dei, & in esse intentionali, & conditionali, i. e. with God, who calleth things that yet are not as though they were, and foresees both what they will do, and what he accordingly will do with them hereafter, they are already known to be either of one sort or the other, yet in foro hominum, and in esse actuali, i. e. actually, and in the sight of men they are (finally) neither reprobated nor elected till they finally receive Christ, or reject him. yea I wish you were all but as sure to be saved, as it is sure that none are (quoad nos) rejected, or devoted in the word, which is the coppy of Gods decree, to eternal damnation, but upon account of their own actual transgression, and as tis sure that none at all of them that dy in infancy, and no more of those that live to years also are damned, [...] such as fi­nally put salvation away from them, and so judge themselves most worthy of the other; for though of Iacob and Esau they being yet unborn, neither having done any good or evil, it was foretold by God, who foresaw what good and evil they would do in time; and what he thereupon would do unto them, that the Elder should serve the younger, yet this was foretold of, and fulfilled in their posterity, and not their persons, for though Edom served Israel, yet Esau in person served not Iacob, but Iacob rather bowed before him, and as for that viz. Iacob have I loved, Esau have I hated, which you wot was spoken of them as from the womb, you shall find if you look again, that it was not spoken of their per­sons, but their posterity; nor yet secondly of those without respect to Edoms wickedness above the other; much less thirdly before Iacob and Esau was born, and had acted good or evil, but so long after Iacob and Esau were born, and had done good and evil, that they were also ere that time, when this was spoken, Mal. 1. many years since dead and rotten, but this would lead me into a­nother controversie, of as large extent and consequence as this in hand, and ther­fore I will wave it here, yet not so as to decline the discourse of it with you, up­on occasion, any more then of the other; well then that they are not all Reprobat [...]s it is asserted by you and us too, but what is this at all to your pur­pose? For

First, is there no Medium between being a reprobate, and a present having the holy spirit? there were twelve Disciples at Ephesus, which had not so much as heard of the holy spirit, so far were they from having it yet, yet dare you say they were all reprobates? there were many men and women that believed the things spoken by Philip pertaining to the Kingdome, upon which the holy spirit had not yet fallen, were they all reprobates, because they had not yet received it? or those thousands Peter promised the holy spirit to, were they all reprobates, because they yet had it not, when he spake to them? yea millions of men ly yet in wick­edness, and so far from having, that at present they rather scoff at the holy spirit, yet dare you not say they are all reprobates; for some of them may turn at Christs reproof (for ought you know) therefore what consequence is there from not be­ing reprobates, to a present possession of the holy spirit?

Secondly, do you know so precisely which infants are Elect, and which Re­probate, [Page 143] as to take upon you to distinguish them by baptism? or are all infants of unbelievers reprobate, so that you may accordingly denominate them for such by whole sale as you do? Do not the infants of unbelievers very often prove be­lievers, and so elect, and precious? and as ordinarily believers infants (when they come to years I mean) prove reprobates? were not Asa the son of wicked Abia, and Iosias of wicked Ammon elected both, when Ishmael and Esau the sons of Abraham and Isaac themselves were in Scripture (secundum te o Ac­countant p. 13.) both branded for reprobates?

Lastly, to the plain perverture of the words of the the text, you quote to your own ends, instead of Iesus Christ, between whose and the spirits being in men there is no small difference (for Christ may be in us by faith (I mean we may be in the faith) when yet he is not in us by his spirit, I mean before the spirit is yet given, witness all the disciples that believed, and were baptized with water, some while before Christ gave them the holy spirit, Act. 8. Act. 19.) instead of Christ I say you insert the spirit of God: you also wholly pervert the sence of the Apostle in that place 2 Cor. 13.5. who speaks it not to infants, nor of them neither, but of persons that could both know and prove, and examine their own selves, of all which infants, were uncapable by your own confession; he wrote it of them to whom he wrote it, and so indeed, though you are slow of heart to consider it, the who [...] Gospel was written, viz. de adultis, & adul [...]orum officiis, of grown person whether parents or children, and their duties, but not for the use of infants in [...]fancie at all.

In the next place upon occasion of my denial that it can be made appear that in­fants have the holy spirit to the making of them subjects of baptism you argue it on thus.


The report of Scripture concerning them, and the necessary consequences of the former Arguments, do make it more plainly appear to any one that will not deny Scripture and reason, then the Profession of any particular person, who perhaps may be an hypocrite (as Symon Magus) can make it appear of himself Gods testimony being to be preferred before mans.


Here is one of the most prodigious pieces of absurditie, and contradiction of your selves, as you speak in other places, that was ever discerned to pass from men that cried out so loud (as you do) for libertie to reason logically since the art of Logick was found out.

In that you here call the consequences of all your former Arguments necessa­ry consequences, which is as much as to say such as conclude the thing in hand, i. e. that infants have the holy spirit necessarily, universally, and inf [...]llibly, for that, and no other (were you so well skilled in Logick as you would seem to be) is a necessary consequence, which proves the matter concluded certainly so to be yea certo ità esse, nec alitèr se habere posse: a necessary consequence is when there is tam necessarius nexus, & indissolubilis dependentia &c. such infallible dependence between the subject, and the praedicate, that the conclusion must be universally and perpetually true, whereas your conclusion, which is this, viz. That little Children have the holy spirit, as it followes not so much as probably nor possibly from all that you have here premised toward the proof on it, witness all the Disproof made of your Disputation hitherto, so much less doth it follow from them necessarily to be true, for then it must be at least truly denominated de omni, i. e. universally true concerning all little children, that they have the ho-spirit, de omni being the very lowest degree of necessity: but this for shame you cannot say, that all little children of every sort have holy spirit, no nor yet so much as all of that sort of whom you so peculiarly assert it, viz. the little children of believers, among whom, when they are at years, there are as many destitute of the holy spirit as are indued with it

[Page 144]And in further evidence hereof that it follows not necessarily from any thing you have said that those little infants you sprinkle have the holy spirit, I appeal from your selves to your very selves, for howbeit you here affirm (as also p. 16.) inch a necessity in the consequences whence you conclude that infants of believers have faith and the holy spirit, yet to the utter confutation of your selves herein, you elsewhere confesse that at the best your proof can be no more then probable viz. p. 18▪ where you write concerning the infants of Christian parents having faith and the spirit, as if notwithstanding all that was said before to prove the certainty of it, you could not now tell well what to say to it, for as in p. 16. you acknow­ledged that all infants have it not, so these are your own words p. 18. viz. the spirit is not bound to work it in all the children of Christian parents, nor barr'd from working it in any of the children of infidels, so that no judgement of science can be passed till the acts themselves be seen and examined for a posteriori onely (and yet by the way be it known unto you that every necessary consequence de­monstrates a priori) Demonstra­tio est ex pri­oribus, notio­ribus, et causis. the discovery of habits it made: that unlesse it could be cer­tainly presumed what children have the habit, what have not, for the working of the spirit is not known to us, he is not bound nor yet bard, there can be no conclusion made.

In which words see how plainly you acknowledge that no conclusion can be made of it, that infants of Christians have the habit of faith, i. e. it is a thing that doth not necessarily follow, and cannot appear in infancy at all, nor be certainly presumed, whether they have or have it not, till they come to years, and be seen to act, so that then it may be known by your own confession, and yet in this place I am now in hand with you say no more nor lesse, but in effect the clean contrary, as also p. 16. where you seem to wonder almost, and fault the difficulty in mens understandings that there are at all any doubts in them about their having it, avouching that the Scriptures by necessary consequences confirme the thing viz. that they have it, That the report of Scripture concerning little children, and the necessary consequences of the former arguments do make it ap­pear, yea plainly, yea more plainly then the profession of any particular person at years can make it appear of himself.

O Earth, Earth, hear the reasonlesse round abouts of these Logicians, they tell us in one place, that it is to be concluded by no lesse then necessary consequen­ces, that believers infants (for of such onely they assert it) have faith and the ho­ly spirit: by and by (to go round again) they tell us that it cannot be certainly pre­sumed what children have it, what have not, that the working of the spirit is not known to us, he is not bound to work it in all the children of Christian parents, nor barr'd from working it, in any of the children of Infidels, so that there can be no conclusion made: in one place they tell us that no judgement of science, concerning these or those infants having the holy spirit and faith, can be passed in their infancy, till the acts themselves be seen and examined i. e. till they come to years, and shew forth some fruits, and it appear by some acts and professions of it, for a posteriore onely the discovery or habits is made: but elsewhere (to go round again) they tell us that it doth more plainly appear concerning believers infants in their infancy, that they have faith and the holy spirit to any one, that will not deny Scripture and reason, then the profession of any particular person at years ad­mitted to baptism, can make it appear of himself, as if it could not half so well appear a posteriore when we are at years and capable to profess and act faith, and shew forth the fruits of the spirit, whether we have faith and the spirit yea or no; as it may do a priori i. e. in infancy, before any act of faith or fruit of the spirit can be discovered, seen or examined.

Moreover (to animadvert this present passage of yours yet a little further) wher­as you say here, that the report of Scripture concerning little infants, which is Gods testimony, and to be preferred before mans, doth more plainly prove it that infants [Page 145] have faith and the holy spirit then any particular mans testimony doth prove it con­cerning himself,

I answer, first by denying that God in Scripture gives any such testimony at all concerning little infants litterally taken, that they have faith and the holy spi­rit.

Secondly, if that phrase Mat. 18.6. viz. these little ones which believe in me could have any such construction as of little infants litterally, yet I deny that he speaks of them any otherwise then by a Prosopeiâ as I said before.

Thirdly, if it were to be proved (as it never can be) that he speaks there of in­fants, and not figuratively neither, but plainly and properly, yet tis most plain that he speaks but indifinitely, not particularly of one infant more then another, or of Christians infants more then of infidels, so as that you can thereupon take on you (as you daily do) to distinguish which have the spirit which have not, and accordingly to admit these to baptism, and debar those, yea you your selves do ore and ore express it p. 5.6. that what the Scripture declares Infants to be, it declares them so to be in generall, specially while any particulars of them have not yet barrd themselves by actual sin, or deserv'd to be exempted from what the Scripture hath in general declared them to be: so that all this that you have brought thus far hath not the weight of a feather, to warrant your good opinion of one infant above another, and your practise of baptism to this or that particular infant (sup­pose a believers) rather then an unbelievers.

It would be no plain but a muddy, totter'd confus'd implicit shufling kind of argumentation for me, if I were to give account why I baptize this or that par­ticular man or woman, and not others to argue thus indifinitly (as you do all along) viz.

No man may forbid them to be baptized that believe and have the spi­rit.

But the Scripture declares that men and women may believe, and have the spirit.

Ergo men and women must be baptized.

If I should (I say) go on thus in generals onely not making it appear, that thers any faith at all in these individuals whom I baptize, more then in others, I should take him for little better then a fool, who should take me for a wise man in so ar­guing, yet so and no otherwise do you argue, whilst when we put you to prove that those infants whom you baptize have title to it, in contradistinction to heathens infants, whose right to baptism you deny, you give us your account in these inde­terminate terms viz.

Those that have faith and the holy spirit may be baptized.

But the Scripture testifies that little children have faith &c.

Ergo little children may be baptized.

I say what a bald way of arguing is this? wherein you conclude no more con­cerning the particular infants, whose right to baptism we put you to plead, while you shut out other, then concerning those very infants also whom you so shut out.

This is just as silly as if you being put to prove your own particular salvation be­fore Iudas's should do it thus viz.

Such as believe shall be saved; But men believe.

Ergo men shall be saved.

Without making any proof of your own faith in particular, whose salvation you would so prove above his, whereas you should of right argue onward from the Major thus viz.

We believe, and Iudas did not.

Ergo we shall be saved and not he.

And so had you dealt down rightly, and plaid above board in your Disputation, [Page 146] sith believers infants in particular is the subject in hand between us, you should have spoken plainly thus, viz.

All and only those infants that believe are to be baptized.

But all the infants of believing parents, and those infants onely believe.

Ergo all and onely those infants are to be baptized.

But you know of your own selves this would be too broad a discoverie, the Minor being so apparently false, that you cannot hide your halting by it from the view of the very vulgar, if you should so express it: for he that hath but half an eie may see, that as there is no more faith to be seen, so the Scripture declares no more faith to be in believers infants, than in the infants of unbelievers; or if you will needs have the Minor in such general and indefinite terms, yet at least grant us a fair Conclusion concerning those particular infants you dispute aboue, no less than that can amount to so much as ingenuity, and then it must run thus, viz.

Those that believe and have the holy spirit and so right to the Kingdom of hea­ven are to be baptized.

But the Scripture doth in general declare little children to be such as believe, have the spirit and right to the Kingdome.

Ergo, the infants of Believers, and these infants onely are to be bap­tized.

But then you cannot so well shrowd your shuffling from any observant eie, it being equally absurd to argue to universals from meer particulars, and to some particulars only from universals, or to these individuals from indefinite decla­rations, and verily take your Minor term little children, which you so frequent­ly Syllogize by indiscrimination not expressing what little children, or else indefi­nitely and more restrictively for some only, not naming which, its equally ridicu­lous to argue thus, viz.

The Scripture gives good report of little infants in general.

Therefore believers infants only have faith and the holy spirit, and thereby right to baptism, and not any other infants▪ Or thus,

The Scripture speaks well of little infants indefinitely, i. e. of some at least (though not all, and we know not which) as having faith, the spirit and right to baptism.

Therefore undoubtedly these little infants whom we baptize are well spoken of in that kind and must be baptized.

As tis to argue thus, The Scripture declares that John Baptist had the holy spirit.

Eego all the infants of believing parents must be supposed to have it in infancy and may thereupon be baptized.

Yet these are but as it were the several streins which you dispute in, which put all together into a bag, and shuffle as much as you will that which comes out first wil be a sensless non sequitur, do what you can. But you offer concerning this & that particular infant, viz. a believers, of whom I denied that if it were brought unto you together with a heathens, the spirit could more appear to you to be in it than in the o­ther, you offer I say to make it appear that that infant should appear to have the holy spirit above the other; for that was indeed the business I then put you to prove, and this you do as well as those may be said to do, who by mending make their ma­ter worse than twas before, whisest there is not a tittle to be found in your Argu­ment, which doth not as fully prove the holy spirit to be in all infants, as in any at all: on this wise it runs.


Da That which to doubt of is breach of Christian charity doth sufficiently ap­pear.

ri But to doubt these little children have the holy Ghost is a breach of Christi­an charity

[Page 147] i Ergo that these little children have the Holy Ghost, doth sufficiently ap­pear.

The Minor is proved thus.

To doubt that these little children are such as the Scripture in generall hath declared them to be, and that they have right to the kingdome of heaven &c. is a breach of Christian charity, whose rule is, Praesumere unumquenque bonum, nisi constet de malo; the Apostle saying 1 Cor. 13.3.5. it thinketh no evil, cha­rity believeth all things; especially since it cannot appear that those have by any actuall sin bard themselves or deserved to be exempted from the general state of litle infants declared in Scriptur [...]s.

Ergo, To doubt that they have the Holy Ghost is a breach of Christian charity.


Besides the falsity of both the premises, there's no more at all concluded from them concerning any one infant, then might (if they were true indeed) be as truly concluded from them concerning all.

First O the rottenness and infirmitie of the Major! it is most manifestly fals, for there are many things, which to doub [...] of may be a breach of Christian charity, which yet do not at present sufficiently appear.

To doubt that this or that particular infant will hereafter live holily, and im­brace the Gospel, may be a breach of Christian Charity, whose rule is ever to hope the best, till it sees the contrary, and yet that this or that particular infant will live holily and imbrace the Gospel when he comes to age, doth not yet so sufficiently appear, but that (as more plainly as things appear with you in infancie then at age by particular profession) it may more sufficiently appear when they are grown up, yea till then it appeareth not at all.

The Minor also is false, for to doubt that this or that infant hath at present the holy spirit is no breach of Christian charity at all; sith (what hopes soever we may have of them as to the future) yet at present there is no evidence that they have it, nor yet any promise at all that it shall be given to them in infancy, nor at years neither till they believe and obey the Gospel: and as there is no promise of it to them in infancie, so in meer infancy there is no such use of it to them, as tis promised to be of unto believers; neither doth it either quicken, inlighten, convince, convert, comfort, or any other way officiate as a seal of redemption, and remission of sins to such as have no sins as yet to be remitted.

Secondly, if both these premises were as true as you suppose them, yet would it follow no more from them, nor from all you say toward the proof of either of them that believers infants have the holy spirit, then it would that unbel [...]evers infants have it: in the evincing of which I shall only transcribe your Syllogism, and proof of the Minor, and instead of your term these little children, write little children of infidels, and so leave you, and all the world to judge, whether your own Argument doth not as clearly conclude unbelievers infants to have the holy spirit, as the infants of believers, and so consequently that all have it if any at all as well as some.

That which to doubt of is a breach of Christian charity doth sufficiently ap­pear.

But to doubt that little children of infidels have the holy Ghost is a breach of christian charity.

Ergo that little children of infidels have the holy Ghost doth sufficiently ap­pear.

The Minor is thus proved.

To doubt that little children of infidels are such as che Scripture in generall hath declared them to be, and that they have right to the kingdome of hea­ven, &c. is a breach of Christian Charity, whose rule is presumere unum­quemque [Page 148] bonum, nisi constet de malo, The Apostle saying in 1 Cor. 13.3.5. it thinketh no evil, Charity believeth all things, it hopeth all things; especially since it cannot appear, that the little children of infidels have by any actual sin bard themselves, or deserved any more then others to be exempted from the General state of little children declared in Scripture.

Ergo to doubt that little children of infidels have the holy Ghost, is a breach of Christian Charity.

In which though both propositions be flatly false, yet I call heaven and earth to witness whether all that you bring in proof of the Minor do not prove it as much breach of Christian charity to doubt that any infants, as tis to doubt that believers infants have the holy spirit, one infant having no more deserved ill by actual sin then another.

Thus all that ever you have done hitherto is utterly undone, for the Argument you began upon, and the basis of your building is, that believers infants (for their baptism only you plead, denying the baptism of other infants, as well as we) have the holy spirit, this upon denial of any sufficience in all your former proofs to make it appear, is at last undertaken by you to be made sufficiently appear in this last Syllogism; which if it do not make it as sufficiently appear concerning unbelievers infants (considering your own matter used to prove the Minor) as con­cerning the other, then my candle is quite gone out, but if it do then surely the ve­ry light that is in you is utter darkness.

In the next place, you dispute upon us by way of Question and Interogation, thus,


1. How do those men and women that are baptized at years make it appear to those that baptize them, that they have faith and the holy spirit?

If it be answered by their profession.

3. Whether their profession, since it is possible they may lie, can make it appear infallibly?

If it be answered no.

3. What judgement then can they that baptize them passe upon them to be the subjects of baptism (as they call them) whether any other than that of charity?

If it be answered that of charity.

Tis replyed, then let them passe the same judgement upon those little infants of whom in general the Scripture hath given so good a report, and against whom in particular no exception can be raised, and the controversie between us is at an end.


First whereas you quere how those we baptize make it appear that they have the holy spirit before we baptize them.

I answer I know no necessity of making ir appear that persons have the holy spi­rit before their admission to baptism, for though we find once that God Antici­pated his promise, and gave the holy spirit before baptism, Act. 10. yet I know not, nor yet do you, any promise there is, whereupon in an ordinary way we can expect it, of receiving the holy spirit of promise till after faith, repentance obedience, turning to God, baptism, and asking of it, Prov. 1.23. Iohn 7.38.39. Act. 2.38. chap. 5.32. chap. 8.16.19. Luke 11.13. Ephes. 1.13.

Secondly, as for the holy spirits appearing infallibly.

I answer first it may possibly appear infallibly to be in some, in whom it is, as Act. by sundry fruits, and manifestations of it, which may warrant us to say God is in them of a truth: Mat. 1 Cor. 12.7. 1 Cor. 14.25.

[Page 149]It may I say undoubtedly appear to be in men and women, but cannot and way at all so appear to be in infants, if we may believe your selves, who tell us p, 8. that infants have not the exercise and fruit of faith, and p. 18. that instruction of the understanding in matter of faith in some sort must go before any act of faith can be discovered, and that no judgement of science can be past upon infants, till the acts themselves be seen and examined, for a posteriore onely the discovery of habits is made, and that unlesse it could be certainly presumd what children have it, what have not there can be no conclusion made.

And howbeit I am not of the seekers mind, that an appearance of the holy spi­rit in any person before baptism in water doth exempt him from it, but am well assured that it strictly rather ingages him to it, or else Peter could not have com­manded them in name of the Lord to be baptiz'd in water, upon whom the holy spirit fell Act. 10. but must rather have forbid it, as frustraneous, and altoge­ther superfluous; yet that the spirit should appear at all to be in men, in order to their baptism, much more that it should appear infallibly to be in them, is a mat­ter of no necessity that I know of, sith in the word its not required that persons be baptized with the holy spirit first in order to their baptism with water, but that they be first baptized in water, in order to their receiving the holy spirit Act. 2.38. for the baptism of the spirit as tis promised onely to believers; so we believ­ing, obeying the Gospel, and asking the holy spirit, tis signified to us as one thing that shall be given among the rest, in that very way of water baptism: so that its enough for us (as to the baptism of persons) to take cognizance of it that they believe and repent, which things though they cannot do without the spirit performing its common office of striving, drawing, mo­ving, inlightning, convicting of good and evil, sin and righteousness &c. in all which it acts to the whole world, Gen. 6. Rom. 1.20. Iohn 16.8. Act. 7.51. yet they not only may do them without, but must do them before they can by promise expect the spirit, in those special respects, wherein he is promised to believers, and calld that holy spirit of promise.

And now because you ask how we know they have faith whom we baptize? I answer by their profession, which gives though not infallibility; yet by your leave, for all your preferring the Eulogies given in general to all infants above any mans personal profession for himself in this case a far clearer and better grounded judgement of charity concerning them, that they have faith, then that you have con­cerning infants, which at best is but charity mistaken for cruelty, whilst it takes that to be in infants, and that on pain of their damnation too they dying without it, viz. believing see p. 8. which infants are utterly uncapable of; and whilst it takes even that too, without which it holds no infants are saved, to be in but very few infants viz. believers infants onely, and so damns all other dying infants, which are far more innumerable, and as capable of faith, and as little barring them­by actual sin from salvation, and as little deserving damnation, as the other, so that whether we or you plead the cause of innocent infants let the world judge.

And whereas you suppose that because in charity onely we judge men and wo­men to believe, therefore we passe no other judgement then that of charity onely on them to be the subjects of baptism: herein you grossely mistake our grounds of baptizing, for thought that of charity onely is the judgement whereby we judge them to be believers, yet that is not the onely judgement whereby we judge them to be the subjects of baptism, but as to that we go upon a judgement of certainty and infallibility also, for though it be not infallible to us that every one that pro­fesses to believe, doth as truly believe as he professes, yet this is infallible to us concerning him that professes viz. both that he professes, and also that professing to believe with all his heart, so that we in charity may judge him so to do, whe­ther he lie or no, he is by the rule of the word quoad nos a warrantable, undoubt­ed, and (as no infant is) infallible subject of baptism, for the word requires us to [Page 150] baptize such, as after our preaching the faith to them, do truly professe to believe whether they believe as truly as they profest or no, for that indeed is not so in­fallible to us, but it warrants us not to baptize any infants, who can neither be­lieve not professe.

Moreover sith you say let us pass the same judgement upon little infants as you do, of whom in generall say you the Scripture gives so good a report, and against whom in particular no exception can be raised, and so the controversie shall be at an end.

I tell you we do passe not the same, but a far surer judgement then that of charity upon infants dying in infancy; and have an hundred fold more clear, and more ten­der opinion of them then yourselves, whilst we have from the word well grounded hopes and assurance that no dying infant is damned, but you with over pleading the bare outward priviledges of some, most ignorantly damn 20 dying infants to one. But as to your judgement of charity concerning infants believing, and be­ing thereby inrighted to baptism, or that same judgement of charity which we act toward professors of faith; you may dream as long as you will on such erroneous Enthusiasm, but those that are awake to righteousnesse, and resolved to sin no more by popish superstition, know well enough that infants (though nere the worse for want ont yet) cannot believe in Christ of whom they are not capable to hear, much less can they professe so to do, and thereby give that good ground, which right charity must have, whereupon to build her faith of this, i. e, to believe that they do believe, and believing are certainly to be baptized, so that we have chari­ty well grounded concerning infants, and such as comparatively to which your tender mercy to millions of them is meer cruelty, and yet the controversie is not ended, nor is likely to come to an end in such a way.

Give me leave therefore a little to play upon you here with your own weapons, and to call for an answer from you to your own queres, and so it may be in a fair way towards an end in time, whereas then you plead the baptism of believers infants and no others, upon such a sufficient appearance that they have faith and the holy spirit. I ask

First how do these make it appear that they have faith and the holy spirit since they cannot do it by profession.

Secondly, how far forth do they make it appear to you? infallibly? or but pro­bably? your selves say not infallibly, for the spirit is not bound to all the chil­dren of Christian parents, nor barrd from any of the children of infidels.

Thirdly, what judgement do you passe upon believers infants to be the sub­jects of baptism, rather then other infants? that of charity? or that of certain­ty? that of certainty you disclaim p. 18. in these words, no judgement of science can be passed, till the Acts of faith themselves be seen and examined, and in these also viz. unlesse it could be certainly presumed what children have the habit, what have not, for the working of the spirit is not known to us, he is not bound nor barrd, there can be no conclusion made.

That of charity then is the onely judgement you passe on these, and whereby you judge believers infants and no other, to have faith, the spirit and right to baptism, which charity teacheth us praesumere &c. to believe and hope all things, & hope the best concerning all till ye see the worst, especially since litt [...]e children of believers have not by any actuall sin barrd themselves, or deserved to be exempted from the generall state of little children declared in Scriptures.

Well then to close up all, let me but desire you to passe the same judgement of charity on all little infants, as you do on some, even upon the little ones of unbe­lievers, Infidels, Turks and Pagans (whilst infants) of whom in general, and in­discrimmatim the Scripture gives a good report, not commending believers in­fants above them, and against whom in particular no exception can be raised, more then against the other, saving that one fault (of theirs) onely that they were not born of believings parents, which I hope you have so much charity as to pardon.

[Page 151]Hope, I say as well of the infants of unbelieving parents, that they have faith and the holy spirit, specially since it cannot appear that these have by any actual sin barred themselves, or deserved any more then the other to be exempted from the general state of little infants declared in Scripture, and then the controver­sie between you and me, which is whether little children born of believing parents only, may be lawfully baptized, is like to be at an end, for then certainly you will either agree to it that all infants in the world, even of infidels, Turks, and Pagans (these being in the judgement of Charity as undeserving damnation as o­thers) may be and are (dying in infancy, though this with you is as heinous a thing as to [...]ay the Divels may be saved p. 7.) in as much possibility to be saved, and so at least in as much right as the others to be baptized, or else that no infants at all (it being not possible to be presumed certainly which have the spirit, and which not, and charity judging a like of all, till it see a difference) are at all to be baptized, both which being the very truth, I am content for my part to agree with you therein with all my heart.

To which Dilemma I am well enough assured you can answer nothing in the least measure satisfactory, as the most judicious readers (if you Ministers inquire of them) will undoubtedly affirm also. and so I proceed to your other Argu­ments.


That opinion which makes the Covenant of the Gospell worser then that under the Law, contrary to the Apostle in Heb. 8.6. is a wicked and false opinion.

But the opinion of the Anabaptists, which denieth baptism to little chil­dren, whereby a mo [...]ty of the Christian world is cut off at once from being mem­bers of the Church, maketh the covenant of the Gospel worser, then that under the Law,

Ergo that opinion is a wicked and false opinion.


The Major here is most undeniably true for what opinion soever doth make the Gospel covenant worse then that under the Law contrary to Heb. 8.6. is in­deed both false, and wicked.

But the Minor wherein you say that the denial of baptism to little infants makes the Gospel covenant worse then that under the Law, contrary to Heb. 8.6. where the Gospel is said to be a better covenant then that of the Law, in this respect as it is established upon better promises, this is most palpably false; yea I appeal to every man, who doth not wilfully shut his eies against the truth, to judge between us, whether our opinion or your own rather doth most clearly con­tradict that Scripture of your own alledging Heb. 8.6. in order to the true dis­cerning of which,

First, Mark well what it is that is there asserted concerning the meliority of the Gospel covenant above that of law, and you shall find it to be this, viz. That the Gospel covenant whereof Christ is the Mediator is a covenant that pro­mises better things, better injoyments, or a better inheritance then that of the Law did, whereupon it there bears the name of a better Covenant, then that of which Moses was the Mediator.

Secondly, Mark whether our denial of infant baptism do at all contradict that; for what if infants be not baptized, doth that make that the promises of the gos­pel are worse than the promises of the Law? nay verily who ever is or is not bap­tized, the promises of the Gospel are both in our opinion, and our constant ma­nifestation of it too in this particular, better and as far beyond the promises of the Law, as the substance is beyond the shadow, the City ir self beyond the map of it that is on the wall; for the promises of the Gospel are of the whole world Rom. 4.13. of a heavenly inheritance, incorruptible Canaan, Crown, Kingdome, [Page 152] 1 Pet. 1.5. Iam. 2.5. Rev. 2.10. of eternal salvation Heb. 5.9. and this not to the Jewes only, upon obedience to Moses voice, but to all men in case of obedience to the voice of Christ the Mediator of it, in point of faith bap­tism, and other things which he requites in order thereunto, of those onely which are capable to perform them; but the promises of the Law were but of a spot of the world, of an earthly Canaan, inheritance, kingdome &c. to the posterity of one man only viz. Abraham and not to all his fleshly posterity neither (for his posterity by Hagar and Keturah were excluded, and that covenant established with Isaac and his seed only, and that in case of obedience to the voice of Moses the Mediator of that Testament, when God should give out his mind to them by him in that covenant more perfectly then he did in the daies of Abraham, and in case of observance of the Law, whereof circumcision was a part, though given before, and an Ingagement to them to keep the whole, when it should be given, and all this but as a Map, and type for a time of the Gospel Covenant, which was made and established on better promises with a better seed, i. e. not a carnal, but spiritual seed, not such as are of Abrahams own much less of any inferiour mens flesh, but such as are of Abrahams faith, and do his works, i. e. believers themselves this is our opinion, which if it do not rather confirm then contradict that meliori­ty of the Gospel-covenant, and its promises above that of the Law, which meli­ority is spoken of Heb. 8.6. (your very selves being Judges of it) then surely Sa­tan hath shut up your eyes from seeing that you see.

But now as for your selves, who stand so much in vindication of the Gospel co­venant, as a better Covenant then that under the Law, and that in that very respect, in which it is said to be a better Covenant Heb. 8.6. viz. established upon better promises, ile shew you plainly how you are so far from making it better then the Law, as that you make that of the Law at least equal to it, for whereas that Scripture which you quote saies plainly that the Gospel is a better Covenant than that of the law; forasmuch as it stands on better promises, yet that is never the better for you in your cause whose tenet utterly denies, & flatly con­tradicts that, for you say that the things promised in the word of the Law, which were signed, and (as your phrase is, not ours) sealed by circumcision, were the very same things that are promised in the word of the Gospel, and signed and (as you say) sealed in baptism, viz. the kingdome of heaven; and howbeit this is most manifestly false, for in reality, though you jumble them together into one when it seems to se [...]ve your turn so to do, in such a confused way as preaches to the world your present ignorance in both the Law and the Gospel, the Law and Gospel are two distinct Covenants, established on two distinct kinds of promises whereof the one was typical of, and so inferiour to the other, the one an old one, and a first that vanished before the second and new one, Gal. 4. Heb. 8.6. 13-9. 1—12.18. and though all that was then promised in the Law, and signed in circumcision, as well as circumcision it self were types of things under the Gospel yet the things then promised upon keeping the Law, and immediately signed to Abraham and all his fleshly seed by Isaac (save Esau and his seed that sleighted it) in that covenant of circumcision, which God gave him, were no other then that literal Canaan, that earthly land of promise flowing with milk and honey, and not the heavenly inheritance, Gen. 17.8. &c. for they that were heirs of the other according to the Law, are not thereupon heirs of this also according to the Gospel Rom. 4.13.

Now howbeit I say that be very false, yet you asserting it that the promise un­der the Law, and under the Gospel is the very same, do therein deny the one to be a covenant of better promises then the other: for to say the promise of the law is the very same that the promise of the Gospel is; is to say that the one is as good as the other, and so to contradict that of Heb. 8.6. which saies the Gospell Testament, and the promises thereof are better then the promises under the Law.

[Page 153]And secondly if you say the Meliority that you hold to be in the Gospel co­venant consists not in the Meliority of the promises of it above the other, but in the Meliority of the administration of it, the Gospel ordinances belonging not to the same only, but to more subjects, then the ordinances of the Law, in which respect we denying Gospel ordinances to infants, which were admitted to the ordi­nances under the Law, and so cutting of a Moity of the Christian world from the Church, which stood members of it before do streiten the Gospel, and make it worse and of less extent the Law.

I answer first, That the Meliority of the Gospel covenant spoken of in Heb. 8.6. lies in the Meliority of the promises of it above the others, which Meliority we affirm but you deny, in saying the promises of both Covenants are one and the same, therefore it is your selves however, and not we that by your tenets make the Gospel Covenant at least no better than the Law, contrarily to that of the Apo­stle, Heb. 8.6. and so your opinions and not ours are false and wicked by your own Argument.

Bvt secondly if it be in very deed to make the Gospell covenant worse than the Laws (as you say it is) to hold infants no capable subjects of Gospel ordinances, some of which were capable subjects of the ordinances of the law,

I shall first disprove your charge of us toge [...]her with your proof of it in that par­ticular.

Secondly prove that if notwithstanding all that I shall say toward the clearing of our selves, we must needs be held guilty of lessening the grace of God under the Gospel, in comparison of what it was under the law, because we deny the ordinances thereof to infants, to whom the ordinances of the law were dispensed, then you that judge us, condemn your selves also as being in the same kind guil­ty of the same, to this purpose lets see what you bring in proof of your Minor, in the last Syllogism; and how punctually it concludes to your present purpose, thus you argue.


Vnder the Law the seal of the Gospel Covenant was by Gods appointment set to little infants, viz. circumcision, which was the seal of the righteousnesse of faith, which is the Gospell covenant, and therefore is called by God an ever­lasting covenant, and that I my self confesse it to be the seal of the Gospell Cove­nant, and that even Ishmael onely because born in Abrahams house had right to it, and received it.

Ergo this opinion denying the seal of the Gospell Covenant, which the defen­ders acknowledge baptism to be to little infants, makes the covenant of the Gospel worser to the spiritual seed of Abraham, then it was to the carnall seed under the Law.


How often shall I adjure you the next time you write to write no more then truth at least in matter of fact? if you will needs utter falsehood in matter of Doctrine? do not your selves bear me witness before all the world not above two pages be­hind that I denyed circumcision to be a seal of the righteousness of faith, to any but Abrahams person only, and avouched it to be no such thing to his posterity and yet how quickly have you forgotten your selves so far as to the contradicting of your selves, as well as the truth, to represent it here as if I had confessed it? and having began to faulter, and falsifie things for your own ends, how easily do you multiply misreport, and run from ore shooes, as the Proverb is, to ore boots too, for no less than a pair of pretty ones are here recorded; for how be it my declared judgement then was, now is and I believe ever will be, for ought you can say to clear the contrary, that circumcision (though a seal to Abraham to honor the greatness of that faith he had, and to notify him to be the father of the faithful, as it is plainly exprest Rom. 4.11.) was not set as a seal in any sense at [Page 154] all to any other, but as a bare sign and token in their flesh to mind them upon sight thereof, immediately of the Covenant that then was, remotely as a type (as every other thing under the law did) of something in the Gospel Covenant viz. circumcision of the heart, and that baptism it self is no seal at all, but a bare sign of the Gospel Covenant, and is not so much as a sign, or any thing else, but a meer nullity to little infants, yet the world is here belied into the belief of it, that I confesse both that circumcision was a seal of the Gospel Covenant, and that under such a notion as a seal of that Covenant Ishmael himself had right to it, and received it, for so you expresse it p. 7. and that baptism is the seal of the Gospel Covenant, even to little infants themselves as well as others.

I do therefore in answer to this last piece of yours, and in order to your better understanding of me for the future, and of the truth too, as it is in Jesus, at pre­sent professe against two things herein,

First your forgeries and misrepresentations of my opinion to the world, which was not so darkly declared at that time as that you must needs mistake it.

Secondly, against the falsities and mistakes that are in your own opinion in this point viz. in stiling both circumcision, as dispensd to Abrahams fleshly posterity and baptism also as dispensed not to others onely, but even to infants by the name of seals of the Covenant of grace. As for circumcision that it was not so, though I might adde much more to what hath been before spoken in proof hereof in my animadversion of your account, yet Ile save my self that labor, and refer you for fuller understanding, what circumcision was, and was not, to a certain book, that is extant of one Mr. Iackson, once of Bi­denden in Kent, stiled 19. Arguments, proving circumcision to be no seal of the Covenant of grace, whereunto is annexed the unlawfulnesse of Infant bap­tism upon that ground, of which book I must needs give testimony thus far to the world, that it being brought to me, whilst it was but a manuscript, and my self a Presbyter of your high places, in some confidence that I could answer it, how easily I might have shufled it off, had I set my self so to do I will not say, but I could not answer it solidly, nor salva consciencia, and therefore I let it alone for a time, till considering further of it, and of other things I was stirrd up to the stu­dy of by it, I was at last converted to the truth, whereupon as the best answer I was capable to give, I signed it in such wise (as I find Luther once signed ano­ther book in the like case) viz. memorandum that taking this book in hand at first to confute it, I was at last convinced by it.

Which 19. proofs of circumcision to be no seal of the Covenant of Grace, if they be weak, and invalid, such a multitude as you are have time enough among you to disprove them, but if you yield to them, be silent and say no­thing.

As for baptism I confesse it to be truly and properly a sign, and that of the Covenant of Grace, remission of sins by Christ his death and resurrection, which are both not onely signified, but also lively represented, and resembled in the true dispensation of it to believers, yet that it is so much as a sign at all to infants in infancy, or when grown to years either (if dispensed in infancy) I absolutely deny, and affirm that the very nature, use and office of it (as a sign to its subject) is totally destroyed by such immature administration: for a sign (specially proprie dictum) that is properly, and not improperly so called in reference to that person, whose sign it is, is some outward thing appearing to the senses, through which some other thing, some inward thing is at the same time apprehended by the un­derstanding, This is the most true and proper difinition that your Divines give of a sign in general, but in special of these signes, viz. baptism, and the supper, so Pareus and Kekermaen both do define a sign out of Austin See Pareus p. 357. and Kekerman Sy­stem. log. p. 12. tignum est quod sei [...]lum sensui, et pre­ter se aliquid animo osten­dit. or R [...]s [...] preter speci­em, quam i [...] ­ger [...] sensibus, ali [...]d asiquid saciens incog­nitionem ve­nire. and so do you all define these signs viz. in oculis incurrentia signa, but such a thing baptism cannot be to infants in their infancy, nor after their infancy neither, if dispensed while [Page 155] they are infants, the sign and thing signified being not possible in that way to be ever apprehended both together as they must be viz. the sign by the senses, the thing signified by the understanding, and that at the same time when the sign appears to the senses, or else the sign is a meer Nullity, and of no use and benefit as a sign at all, for though infants may have the sense of the thing so as to see and feel if they were dipt in infancy, yet have they then no understanding of its meaning, and though when they come to years they are capable to gather the meaning of things, or from an appearing sign to conceive what is signified thereby, yet then the sign it self is fled out of sight, and so far out of the reach of their remembrance, that as thers nothing now presented, so neither ever was there any thing (for ought they can conjecture any more then by meer human hearsay) objected to their sen­ses at all: when the Jewes required a sign of Christ, they required something that might be seen, what sign shewest thou that we may see and believe?

A sign then must be some memorandum, some object obvious to the senses, of that person to whom tis a sign properly taken, either continually, or at some­time or other, even then which the understanding drinks in the thing signified, else if there neither is, nor ever was any such sight or sense of the sign, as from the then, or now present appearance of it, while the understanding of the party, whose sign it is, is lively acted on the thing, then to that person the sign (unlesse improperly, and improper signes the sacraments are not) can possibly be no sign at all, this Pare­us teacheth us to the life, p. 35.7. where de [...]ining baptism and the supper to be signa in oculos incurrentia, hoc est visibilia, signs that are, or once were to be seen by him whose signes they are, even at that time while he is to learn something by them, he further backs it, as I have set down in his own words in the mar­gent,Taia enim debent esse, [...]t res invisi­bile [...] signifi­cent, [...]i enim debent esse adminicula fi­dei, oportet percipi exter­no sensu▪ quo movetur sen­sus internus, quod enim non vides non est tibi signum, qui facit signum invisibile, implicat contradictionem et facit signum non signum: res sunt invisibiles non signa, alioqui signa non possent significare res, multo minus confirmare, quia incertum confirmaretur per aeque ince [...]tum, hinc veteres sacramentum ita definiunt sacra­mentum est signum visibile invisibilis gratiae. and for the use of the unlearned Englished thus viz. for they ought to be such that they may signifie things invisible, for if they ought to be helps to our faith, they must be perceived by the external sense, whereby the internal sense is mov­ed, for what thouseest not is no sign to thee, he that makes an invisible signimplies a contradiction, and makes the sign not a sign at all; they are invisible things, not signes, otherwise also the signes could not so much as signifie the things, much lesse confirm them, because an uncertain thing would be confirmed by a thing as uncertain as it self hence the antients define a Sacrament thus, a sacrament is a visible sign of some invisible grace.

So then we see that according to your selves a sign is no sign at all to him, that is never seen all by him, who is to observe it, and that too at sometim [...] or other af­ter he comes to observe what is meant by it, whereupon I testifie that what was done to us in infancy had it been the true sign of Christs own institution viz. bap­tism as twas rather a sign of meer mans institution viz. the sign Rantism, and the sign of the crosse, neither was nor is, nor ever will be any sign at all to you or me, if at any time it be a sign to vs it must be either while we are infants, or when grown to years, but not while infants, for then we apprehend not the thing signed, nor when at years, for then we apprehend not the sign. How mighty your memo­ries, and how exquisite your apprehensive powers are to bring these two, I mean the sign and thing signified together in your thoughts I know not, but I plainly acknowledge (notwithstanding Dr Channels councel to the Auditory at the Dispute at Petworth Ian. 5. 1651 to remember, and call to mind what was signified to them in their infant baptism) that as in infancy I perceived not to what purpose I was signed, so now (save what I have by hearsay) I perceive not, nor ever did of my self to my best remembrance that I was then so signed at all. As for that true baptism, which I have since submitted to some 4 or 5 years ago, as it then [Page 156] preached (so far as a sign may be said to preach) most precious things to my un­derstanding, so it lively appeared to my senses, and left such impression upon them and such an Idea thereof in my mind, that me thinks I both see and remember it still, and so shall I hope have good cause to do whilest I live. I conclude then that to signifie things to infants by baptism in infancy is a meer blank, and ut­ter nullity, a silly cypher, that stands for nothing and is of no use to them at all.

Yea as it would be thought no better then meer mockery, or witless wisdom, for any Priest to stand talking, and making signs over one a sleep, while he is un­derstandingly sensible of nothing, and then after he is awake, and as little a ware of any thing as before, begin to make the application, and will him to di­vine both what was done to him, by whom, and why, and to take cognizance and clearer evidence of such, and such things, by the same token that they were told him, and signified to him by what was done while he was asleep, by certain signs, which he never saw yet, nor never shall: so is it to me to baptize meer infants: or as it were no better than flat folly for any father (in a serious and not lusory way) to shew the form of the City Ierusalem to his infant [...] infan­cy by the figure, and draught of it in a Map, saying look here child, this stands for the Temple, this signifies, and sets forth the manner of Mount Sion, and and all this is shewed thee now, that thou maiest remember it another time, that Ierusalem is thus and thus scituated, and then when he comes to age (without any more resemblance of it to him in the map) to indoctrinate him in what was done in his i [...]fancy, and bid him reflect back, and call to mind what was shewn him in that map, in which it was manifested to him what manner of ci­ty Ierusalem was, and other such like ridiculous stuff and prate of the things so long since done, that they are now flown both out of sight and mind; even such and no better is it, yea such piteous poor, and meer painted piety is it, for per­sons, whether Priests or parents to stand prating to and ore poor ignorant infants, and signing them at a Font or Bason, whilest (if they be not a sleep, as my own silly experience teaches me they have been many a time, while I have been sprin­kling them in the midwives, or the mothers armes yet) they are at best no better then asleep, because as heedless of whats done, saying to them very seriously by name, as if they would have them mind what is said, Thomas— Anne— &c. I baptize thee in the name of the Father, &c. in token of remission of sins, and then to sign them with the sign of the Cross, in token to them still that hereafter (when it is impossible) they must by what is now so clearly manifested to their senses, un­derstand, and remember that they must not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified &c. and then when they are grown up, to set them to School to the Font again, and wish them to learn by what was once done to them there, that this and that is signified, saying, you must understand that Christ was crucified, dead and raised for the remission of your sins, and that you are now to leave your sins, to dy to them, live a holy life, take up your cross and follow him, and all these things I now inform you in by word of mouth, you must call to mind how they were most plainly manifested to you, and lively evi­denced to your very external senses, and thereby to your internal senses in your baptism, which is a visible sign to you, and a most sensible demonstration ther­of, a most lively preaching and resembling of them before your eies; these things you must remember by the same token, that you had once such a most notable, remarkable, memorable matter done unto you (so long since that you cannot pos­sibly observe, perceive, discover, remember, that ever it was done at all, but as we tell you)


This reflects with no small disparagement on the wisdome of God in appoint­ing the sign circumcision to be set to infants even in their infancy.


No such matter; for God did not appoint it to be set to infants for any such end, or use as to be a sign of any thing to infants themselues in their infancy, but when at age.


Nor do we set baptism to infants for any such end as to signifie any thing to them in their infancy, but when they come to years.


Circumcision being a permanent mark in the flesh remained Gen. 17.13. and though set in infancie, yet was a sign visible to the persons to whom it was set, and to be seen by them as long as they lived, but to baptism being a transient thing, which vanishes soon after the dispensation, without making or leaving any mark or impression upon the body, whereby any one that notes it not while dispensed to him, can possibly be capable to note it another time it is gone and lost, and can be no sign to him any more for ever.

A permanent sign may be set at any time without prejudice to their use of it as a sign, to whom it is set, but the use of a transient sign must be made when it is set, and it must be set at such times when its subject is capable to catch the meaning of it whilest it passes before the sences, and upon occasion to recollect an Idea of what was done, or else it perishes from being a sign to those persons from thenceforth even for ever.


Then Circumcision might have been as well forborn till the persons were of years, the use being not made till then, yet God who doth nothing in vain, and out of season, did for all that enjoin it long before, why therefore may not bap­tism by the like reason.


Besides that baptism is transient and that permanent, which is enough to sa­tisfie in this particular, there was much other use and end for which circumcision was rightly dispensed to the infants of the Jews, for which theres not the like reason in baptism, as namely to distinguish and sign them out to be what they were, viz. heirs of the kingdome by birth.


That is the very end on which we baptize infants and no other, viz. to sign and distinguish the seed of believers from the seed of unbelievers, and sign them out to be what they are by birth, and what when they come to years they learne that they were made in Baptism, viz. heires of the Kingdome of Hea­ven.


When you have the same evidence of believers seed in infancy (that the Jewes had of theirs, viz. that they are heirs of the kingdom, then I will allow you to do as they did, viz. to sign and distinguish them as such: but of the one of these you have evidence in nonage, not so of the other: the kingdome that the Jews by very nature were heirs of according to the promise was that of the Earthly Ca­naan, of which (and that as a type) they were apparent heirs by no other then very natural birth, and that so soon as ere they were born, and therfore full well within a while might they be signed.

But that which you take upon you so timely to sign persons as heirs to in bap­tism, is the Antitype or heavenly Canaan, which no creature is an apparent heir to according to the Gospel promise, upon meer natural birth of any parents, whe­ther Jew or Gentile, till he appear to us (unless he dy before he hath deserved exemption by actual transgression, and then Charity teaches us, to hope as well of all as of one) to be born by faith in Christ, which birth (if any infants were capable of it (as to us none are yet) because we cannot presume which have [Page 158] it, and which not, the workings of the spirit being so unknown to us, that there can be no conclusion made, we cannot by dispensation give right distinction: but as in the type they sign'd them well nigh as soon as they were born with that natural birth of Abraham, Isaac and Iacob after the flesh, upon which alone they were heirs by promise of that earthly Canaan, so we sign them so soon as they appear to be born with that birth of Christ by faith, by which they are heirs of the true Canaan, and thats all the baptism of new born babes can possibly be found any where in the word, this birth if it could be in any infant at all, at least can­not appear to be in one living infant above another, for either they dy before actual transgression hath barr'd them, and then though our hopes are the same of them all, yet are they past signing by baptism, or else they live and are seen to believe, or not believe, and so as they do, or not do they must without distinction, or respect to naturall descent, be signed or not signed alike.

Baptism therefore though a sign in its nature use and office to believing men and women; yet is never so much as a sign to that person to whom its dispensed in in­fancy.

But as for your signing it with the name of a seal, I should wonder much more at your ignorance, had not such a wonderful thing as ignorance been threatned to those wisemen, that teach Gods fear after mens precepts Isay 29. in that you make both your sacraments to be seals, for so runs your ordinary difinition con­cerning them viz. in oculis, incurrentia signa, et sigilla, considering how clear the Scripture is against you, for verily though you receive that denomination of a seal, together with all your vain conversion and worship, by tradition from your fathers, yet you never learn'd it from our fathers in the word, wherein shew me (if you can) from the beginning to the end (save in Rom. 4.11. where in ano­sense sense viz. not to strengthen a weak faith, but to honor great faith circum­cision was set (as Gods broad seal) to confirm Abraham in his fatherhood) any one of the four which you call Gods seals viz. either circumcision, or the passe­over, baptism or the supper is call'd a seal by God himself.


The formal term of a sign is no more to be found in Scripture to be given ei­ther to baptism or the supper, then the term of a seal, yet you grant it to be properly called a sign, and so why may it not be called a seal, though it be not so called in Scripture?


Though the expresse denomination of a sign be not given in Scripture to either baptism or supper, yet no lesse is sounded forth in sense and signification, but the other term of seal (as to these things) is not consonant to the rule of faith, for ve­rily as no other is exprest, so no more then one seal of the Gospel Covenant is so much as implied or hinted at in holy writ, and that one seal is no other then the holy spirit by which those that believe, are said to be sealed Eph. 1.13. Eph. 4.30. and howbeit God preacheth the Gospel to us outwardly by words, oaths, signes, and visible resemblances viz. baptism and the supper, and this in the ministration of men, who may minister to us all these, and set them close to our ears, and to our eyes, yet when he preaches it to us inwardly, so fully; and firmly as by seal, he preaches it himself alone, and though by a baptism, yet a better baptism then that of water, that is the holy spirit, which (though the sign may be set, first, to profest believers that are not so indeed, secondly, and this very vi­sibly and openly to the view of others, thirdly by men like our selves) yet first is never set to any but believers in truth, secondly, and that secretly and indiscer­nably to any but themselves that are seald, thirdly, by none but God himself, who onely sets that baptism close to the conscience within, which baptism no man under heaven can administer: what we set i. e. the sign may very easily be to a blank, our ministration being liable to mistake, but what Christ sets i. e. the [Page 159] seal that makes us most sure from himself, that cannot possibly be misplaced, for where and whensoever the spirit of God within is sent to bear witnesse, and cry Abba, i. e. father, there and then God is a father indeed: your own selves say that where the seal is, that soul is sure at that time, a real heir, and from that time forth say you also for ever, and so say I, if that soul continue for ever, cleaving to the Lord, not quenching, resisting, or so grieving that holy spirit, as to cause it to depart for ever (for if so thers another tale told you from several Scriptures, 1 Chron. 28.9. Heb. 6.4.5. Heb. 10 29.)

But if it be so as you say, that Gods seal seals up none but such as are both true heirs by faith at present, and must necessarily abide so for ever, then first here's an Argument (ad hominem) how ever, i. e. an evidence to you out of your own mouthes, that your baptism is none of Gods seal, s [...]th it is set by you not onely to 1000s that after it fall from him, but indeed to 1000s that never knew him their father, nor never will. I again therefore once more for all (that I may not trou­ble my self with them, when I meet them in other places) protest against these your expressions of circumcision and baptism by the name of seals, Gods seales of the Gospel Covenant &c. first as none of mine, wheresoever you are found fa­thering them on me, as p. 6.7.14. Secondly as none of Gods expressions, though (I know not how many times ore viz. p. you aver the ordi­nances to be Gods seals, and father that very phrase on God himself, who as he useth not such a phrase, when he speaks of those foolish things (as the world counts them 2 Cor. 1.) which he chuses as his outward witnesses, shews, signs and love tokens from himself to us, so he useth no such tools indeed as these Instrumen­tal signes are, when he ministreth himself, for these he appoints men to minister in; these are the instruments of the foolish sheapherds Zach. 11.15. even the out­ward instruments which God hath chosen for the under sheapheards to act by, he uses none of these I say as his own seal and inward witnesse, for thats no lesse then the holy spirit, which whattypes, shews and signes of the Gospel Covenant soever there have bin outwardly both before and since the Gospel begun, hath bin, is and ever shall be the onely earnest that God hath given, the only witnesse that him self hath us'd, the onely seal that he hath set in any age, whether before the law, or under the law, or under the Gospel, Psal. 51.11.12. Eph. 2 Cor. 5.5. Rom. 8.15.23.

So having removed the rubbish of rude expression, with which your last argu­ment was clouded, and not a little over loaded (as you delivered it) I come now to consider it nakedly as it lies substantially enough compriz'd in these expressions viz. ‘Vnder the Law circumcision was by Gods appointment dispensed to little in­fants, Ergo under the Gospel baptism must be to infants also, or else the Gospel Covenant is worse to the spiritual seed of Abraham now, then it was to his car­nall seed under the law.’

This is in short the plain sense and ordinary way of urging this argument.

By way of Answer to which let me be so bold first as to ask you this one questi­on viz. why you stand so st [...]fly to have baptism dispens'd so strictly after the man­ner of circumcision, and yet stray and vary your very selves from the fashion of that administration in a manner as much as any men in the world? for verily though the way of circumcision be that you stickle for, yet you stragle from it, and as to the very subject it self, vary from it as much as in any thing else; if that be rhe rule after which men must baptize (as you plead) why then do ye not baptize (for so they circumcised)

First onely males, and no females?

Secondly, all male servants upon the masters single faith, as well as male chil­dren on the fathers?

Thirdly, on the eighth day onely, and neither sooner nor later, nor one day be­fore it nor behind it?

[Page 160]Fourthly, by the hands of parents, fathers, Mrs. Mothers, as well as by the hands of the Pries [...]s onely?

Fifthly, any where viz: at home or abroad, in Inns or other places, as occa­sion is, but onely or for the most part in your great stone houses? for this is both the liberty and the bondage of your late directory, that baptism must be dis­pens'd by a Minister onely, not in any case by a private person, much lesse by a mother, or any woman.

Secondly, in the places of publique worship onely, not in private places or pri­vately.

Thirdly, on any day, not specifying [...]he eighth, so it be not unnecessarily delayed.

Fourthly, to any child whether male or female for ought you expresse to the contrary, if so be the parent be a believer.

Fifthly, to no man servant so far as I find on the masters belief, though a Chri­stian may chance to hire into his house an Indian or infidel: when as its most no­toriously known that thus it was then viz. that not the publique Priests onely in the publique places, but masters might and must circumcise all their male servants, fathers or mothers their male infants, on the eighth day onely, and that either at home (as Abraham in his house Gen. 17.) or any where else (as Zipporah at an Inn Exod.

O the prodigious proling that you Priests make from your own pattern! how crookedly close do you keep to your own coppy? there are about some seven seve­ral modifications of actions, in respect of which one may be said to differ from, or be like another, which for memories sake are coucht altogether in this verse of interrogatories.

Quis? quid? ubi? qualis? quando? quibus auxiliis? cu [...]?

In all which if inquisition be made, how far forth your baptism and circumcisi­on do agree or differ, though you contend or rather pretend them to be like one another in each, yet we shall find a deep disparity between them in no lesse then all.

First, if we ask (as de subjecto) this question quis? who is the true subject of circumcision, who of your baptism, yea even your own so circumcision-like baptism (much more that baptism which is rightly dispensed) how far is the one divers from the other? though this is one of the main things wherein you profess they must be alike, for that (as I shew'd before) did belong to males onely, this you dispense to females also; that to the natural infants of the Jews though the parents were known to be unbelievers (for Ioshua circumcised the seed of all those murmurers that were cut off for unbelief) this (as to no natural infants at all by right, no not to the Jews infants) so by your own confession, not to any infants whose parents are unbelievers, whereby you may see that as the law is changed, so there is a plain change also in the subjects of these two ordinances circumcision and baptism not onely as we, but as you your selves contend to have baptism dis­pensed, for as onely so all the male children of the Jews both might and must be circumcised though their parents were never such wicked unbelievers, but even your selves say the Jews seed are all cut off from baptism and the Gospel Church, because their parents are unbelievers; both all the Jews and their males might be circumcised though none of them believed, while that Covenant of circumcision stood, meerly as they were of the stock of believing Abraham, but might not be baptized when the Gospel Covenant began in Iohns Baptism upon that account, unlesse they now believed in their own persons though they were of the stock of Abraham still as much as ever, nor may to this day in your own opinions.

Secondly, if (as to the nature, matter and essential form or being of the Rites themselves) we ask the question quid? what circumcision was, and what your baptism? how far do they differ? the one being a cutting off the foreskin of the flesh, the other a wetting of the foreskin of the face onely with a few drops of water, no more iike it then chalke's like cheese.

[Page 161]Thirdly if, as to the place where, we ask the question ubi? where circumcision was dispensed, and where your selves say baptism ought to be? how greatly doth your manner of baptism differ from it? and how much more then ours? for cir­cumcision might be dispensed any where but in the Temple, where I find not they were to be brought at all till circumcised, as Christ himself Luke 2.21, 22. but your Rantism no where else by appointment but in your Temples; herein I say our baptism squares more with it than yours, who pretend so much to baptize after the manner of it, for all places are to us alike, where there is conveniency of water enough to baptize in, and therefore we must except the Font and Ba­son.

Fourthly, if, as to the quality, special properties, uses, ends and offices of these two dispensations, the question be asked in quale quid? what were the spe­cial properties, purposes, uses, ends, and offices of these two several administra­tions? what things persons were specially obliged to by them? what was speci­ally signified to persons in them? and such like how little do these look each like the other? for circumcision tied men to the observation of a certain carnal, cum­bersome, costly service, Law, Priest-hood, in order to their inheriting the Earth­ly Canaan, which all are now clean changed and confiscate, but baptism, as di­spensed by us according to the word, binds to the observation of another Law, and the voice of another Lawgiver, High Priest, and Prophet Christ Iesus, whom Moses spake of, and God hath now raised up accordingly, and this in order to a future enjoiment of a heavenly inheritance typed out by the other; and as for your rantism it ties to neither this nor that, but to a certain service, and law of Ordinances, and Gospel, and Church posture, and priesthood of mans own making, which one knows not well what to make of, nor what part of speech to call it but a participle, for it takes part of the Law and part of the Gospel, and is neither perfectly, but patcht up out of both by the politick power of the Priesthood, so as it may make most for the peoples painted p [...]etie, and their own pay together, in order to their labor for their pains Mat. 15.9.

Again, Circumcision pointed as a type indeed at the circumcision of the heart but as a sign so it signified a promise of outward felicity in Canaan, and that Christ should come of Abraham after the flesh, &c. true baptism signifies the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and remission of sins by his being crucified, and such things as were no wayes resembled by the other, your rantism just no­thing.

Fiftly, if as to the time of those two services, the question be askt Quando? when circumcision, and when your baptism are by right to be dispensed? how miserably do you your selves misse of hitting right with it here too? though it be a main matter you intimate to us your imitation of circumcision in, circumcision being punctually to be performed on the eighth day, true baptism not till the day wherein persons appear to believe withall their heart, and so not in any infancy at all but the infancy of our faith, and even your rantism, though in infancy, as cir­cumcision was, yet on what day you please besides the 8th, sometimes after a fourt'night, or a moneth, and sometimes at the half year or years end.

Sixthly, if, as to the administrator, it be ask quibus auxiliis? by whose hands these ordinances are to be administred? how different are they? circumcision being dispensed by the Master, Father, or mother, but as for baptism (as you dispense it at least) none but men in holy orders are to administer it, in which you go not only besides the Gospel which records Ananias, and Philip dispen­sing baptism, who were but gifted disciples, and neither of them in any or­ders to the ministery, save that Philip was in office as a Deacon to look to the poor, by vertue of which Deaconship if you Presbyters judge (as the Bishops did before you) that Philip baptized, and not rather by his Discipleship, I deem you will dote at last as much as they; but also besides the Law you live by.

[Page 162]Seventhly, if (as to the account and warrant) it be demanded Cur? why they circumcised infants, and why you baptize them? how far do you fall short of the Jewes in this also? for they had express precept, and institution to circum­cise infants over and over again repeated in Moses Testament, besides the pre­sident of Abrahams own family the self same day wherein the command was gi­ven to circumcise all the males at eight daies old, whereas if that which we call the New Testament, be indeed the Register of Christs will there is, as is confest by the most ingenuous of your coat, witness Mr. Hunton at a publike dispute at Warbleton in Sussex, neither one-plain precept, nor so much as one president of such a matter as baptizing infants: God never appointed such a thing, neither, to speak in that figure in which God speaks of himself Ier. 19.5. came it at all into his mind.

So like are circumcision, your rule for baptism, and your baptism which you profess to act in by that rule of circumcision, that to say the truth your run out from your rule in every line you write after it, so that I much wonder that you a­bove all men should argue baptism comes in the room of circumcision, so that they are both as one, and the one must be ordered after the example of the other, who in your baptism come no nearer circumcision then so. For verily they meet one another very little nearer then in that general denomination of a sign or token of a Covenant, in which the Rainbow may be said to be like them both. That two things should be one thing, for so with you your Rantism and circumcision are, and yet be adequate well-nigh in nothing is riddle me whats this with a witness.

And by all this we may see how forcible your Argument is that is drawn from the Analogy of baptism with circumcision, which Argument your Dr. Featly saies may be truly called, in regard of the Anabaptists, Pons Asinorum, a bridge which these asses could never pass over, for to this day they could never, nor, quoth he, hereafter will be ever able to yield a reason, why the children of the faithful under the Gospel are not as capable of baptism, as they under the law of cir­cumcision p. 40. but by your leave, through whom that Doctor being dead yet speaketh, the Dialogy and discrepation that is between, not only your Rantism, as is above mentioned, but also the true baptism and circumcision, is such a reason to the contrary, as all the Classes of Clergy men combind together in one Synodicall Convention, will never be able clearly to refute as long as they breath.

As therefore to the Argument of yours which I am now in hand with, I come now directly to denie the consequence thereof, for it follows not in any wise that because circumcision was by Gods appointment dispensed to little infants there­fore baptism must be so now, and that not only for those manie reasons above spe­cified, but even for this also, because God did appoint that circumcision should be dispensed to infants under the Law; but did never appoint anie such thing as that baptism should be dispensed to infants under the Gospel, nor is there the least tit­tle in all the Testament of Christ tending to the manifestation of one crumb of commission for that matter.


What you jest is not Mat. 28.19. commission plain enough to baptism infants, where all nations are bid to be discipled and baptized?


That verie Scripture which is commonly conceived by you, and consequently urged as Christs commission to baptize infants, so plainly comm [...]ssionates the very contrarie, that if some self interest or other had not besotted you besides the true sence of the spirit in that place, you could not be so abominably absurd as to argue infants baptism from it as you do, for to say nothing here, as anon hap­pily I shall, of the contradictorie doings that is among your prime pen-men and [Page 163] patrons of infant-sprinkling in their verdicts about this place, some ventring to draw it in to the vindicating of that foppery, some, seeing they cannot thus maintain it, willing enough to let it ly dead, supposing themselves pretty well apaied from this place, if they can but barely evade the receiving of bangs from it; and therefore will not be too busie with it themselves, but are content to assert no more then this from it, that it is no prohibition of infants baptism.

Of this sort is Dr. Holmes, who p 7. of his Animadversions, disclaimes it to be Christs commission to the Apostles, and Dr Featley, who, howbeit he is so bold as to mention it as Christs command for baptizing of infants, and to argue from it as such p. 39. yet in answer to Mr Cornwell, asserting infant baptism to be a­gainst Christs commission Mat. 28.19. Mark 16.15, 16. professes, that there is no mention at all of infants in either of those texts, much less a prohi­bition to baptize them p. 62. among those that assault us from this place Dr Featley and Mr Marshall are the Chrieftanes and this is the common way of argumentation from it, viz.

All nations are to be baptized.

But children are of the Nations.

E [...]go, &c.

To this purpose your approved Dr Featley argues, but as falsly as a man can likely do: whose Syllogism is this p. 39. viz.

That which extends to all Nations belongs to children as well as men, for chil­dern are a great part if not the half of all nations.

But Christs command of baptizing extends to all nations, Mat. 28.19. Mark 16.15.16.

Ergo Christs command of baptizing belongeth to children and they ought to be baptized as well as men.

On this wise also Mr Marshall reasons in his answer to Mr. Tombes p. 214. by way of repetition of what he more largely delivered in his Sermon, viz. ‘In every nation the children make a great part of that Nation, and they are alwaies included under every administration, whether promises, or threat­nings, priviledges, or burdens, mercies, or judgements, unless they be ex­cepted.’

Much after the same sort also doth Mr. Blake express himself, p. 20. of his birth priviledge concerning Mat. 28.19. viz. ‘The words there comprize infants, they are no more excluded then men at years, serving to make up a Nation as well as parents, the infants of any nation make a part of the nation.’

But who would think such goodly geer as this should manifest it self to the whole world, as a fruit of the most serious meditations of men so eminently po­lemical as they by the Clergy are esteemed to be in their several Tracts in this point, and that it should pass without the least item of correction for it, from any one of their brethren, who rather seem all to consent to, then contradict them? However I shall make as serious Examen of it as I can.

First, then is it so Sirs, that what ever administration extends to all nations belongs to infants therein, as well as men, so that they are no more excluded, from it, then men at years? how is it then that preaching the Gospel, and pray­er with laying on of hands for confirmation, for the spirit, which D [...] Holmes dotes was dispensed to these infants that were brought to Christ, and therfore much more baptism in infancy, and as a proof thereo [...] brings testimony that it was ne­ver used in the primitive times to be dispensed till past infancy▪ how is it (I say) that these, and also fellowship in the supper are by your very selves denyed to be­long to infants in infancy? what is the reason that you exclude infants here? are not these priviledges belonging to men, why then (if yours and Mr Marshalls as­sertion [Page 164] be true) not to infants as well as men? are they not mercies, admini­strations, merciful administrations of God, extended to all nations? yea is not preaching an administration to every creature that extends not to infants? and yet (saving Mr Marshals cunning insertion of this clause (unlesse they be excepted) whereby to salve his proposition, from default of falsity, though thereby he ren­ders it plainly uslesse to his purpose) are infants any where by name excepted from any one of these administrations, any more then they are from baptism it self? yea is it not an administration of God extending to all nations that persons should work, or else not eat, in which infants are not included, for then must they starve, and yet no where at all excepted? yea he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be damned; Christ is the Author of e­ternall salvation to all them that obey him; Christ shall come in flaming fire, taking vengeance on all them that know not God, and obey not the Gospell; he that confesseth me before men, him will I confesse before my father which is in heaven; he that denieth me shall be denied; whosoever is ashamed of me and of my words of him will I be ashamed; he that denieth not himself, and taketh not up his crosse dayly and followeth me; and hateth not his father and mother, and his own life, and all that he hath, cannot be my disciple; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he saith unto you, and whosoever heareth not his voice shall be cut off from among his people: if any man love not the Lord Iesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha, repent and be baptized, and an hundred such like, are not these Gods Gospel-administrations of duties, promises, threatnings, priviledges, burdens, mercies, judgements extended to all nations, from which infants are not excepted? and yet do these include and comprize infants as much as men at years? or are infants excluded by expresse exception from any of these, any more then from that one amongst the rest viz. the duty and ordinance of bap­tism? how then dare you aver so peremptorily, so universally that every admi­nistration that extendeth to all nations, belongeth to infants as well as men? yea (that I may shame and silence you in this out of your own sayings) some of you, namely Mr. Marshal perceiving that if you grant that Infants did eat the passeover it will follow from that to their eating the supper, as well as from their circumcision of old to the baptism of them now, do assert that infants did not eat the passeover, yet was not the passeover an administration to the nation of I­srael, from which infants were never excepted? and if so, how then can your o­ther sayings be true, that every administration that extendeth to the nations, be­longs to infants as well as to persons at years, unlesse they be somewhere excep­ted?


We mean not of a formall exception, but a vertuall exception, an exception in effect at least infants must have, or else be supposed as included under every administration that is given to the nations, and thus infants are excepted from all those last mentioned precepts, promises, threats &c. forasmuch as it is most notoriously known they are not capable to do the things upon the performance, or non-performance of which those mercies and Iudgements are promised and threatned, for they cannot hear Christs voice, nor know, nor love, nor obey him, nor deny themselves, nor hate their lives, nor confesse him, nor deny him, and whereas tis said that if any will not work let him not eat, infants must necessa­rily be understood to be excepted there, though not by name, because they can­not work, and so (unlesse excepted) must perish by Gods appointment for want of food; so concerning eating at the supper, Infants are excepted, not expressely, yet implicitly, and in effect in those words, let a man examine himself, and so let him eat, because theres that required in order to eating there viz. self ex­amination, discerning the Lords body and blood which infants cannot do.


Tis very true, they are excepted from all these as you say implicitly, and in e­ffect, though not expressely, but then (let it be considered) is there not as fair, and as clear an exception of them from baptism, as from any of these, or in par­ticular as from that service of the supper? in as much as theres that required in order to baptisme which infants can no more do, then they can do whats requir­ed to the supper? viz. to believe with all the heart, Act. 8.37. and to be dis­cipled i, e, to be taught, and to learn the Gospel Mat. 28.19. If any should ask this question, what hinders why I may not eat the supper? you would answer thus, if thou examinest thy self thou maiest eat of that bread, and drink of that cup: so when the Eunuch enquired of Philip, what hinders why I may not be baptized? he answers him in the very same viz. if thou believest with all thy heart thou maiest: for whoever shall say these answers viz. let a man examine himself, and so he may eat, let a man believe with all his heart, so he may be baptized, or if thou examinest thy self thou mayest eat, or if thou believest with all thy heart thou maiest be baptized, are not the self same in sense and signifi­fication, shall never go for a wise man more with me, and whoever shall say that the phrase of Philip to the Eunuchs question, what hinders why I may not? viz. if thou believest with all thy heart thou mayest be baitized, is as not exceptive of infants from baptism, as that phrase of Paul, let a man examine himself, and so let him eat, is exceptive of infants from the supper, can seem no other to me then one, whose reason is basely captivated to some carnal interest or other, yea the word [...] Act. 8.37. doth ful as much (if not more) imply an unlawfulnesse of their admission to baptism, that believe not with all the heart as the word [...] 1 Cor. 11.28. doth imply an unlawfulnesse of their admission to the supper, who do not first examine themselves, what ever exception therefore ye can find in the word of infants from the supper, the self same will I find of infants from baptism, and what ever ground of admission to baptism you shall find there for them, the same will I bring for their admission to the supper.


Those places where its said if thou believest thou mayest, he that believeth and is baptized, repent and be baptized, go teach and baptize, imply onely an unlawfulness of baptizing persons at years without instruction, belief, and re­pentance, and are phrases that relate to such onely, and not to infants, who may notwithstanding any thing to the contrary there exhibited, be baptized without any of these.


So you use to say still indeed of these Scriptures, that they speak of persons at age and not in non-age, and so say I too, but I wonder then where are the Scrip­tures that speak of infants baptism? if all the places of Scripture that speak of baptism at all, speak onely of the baptism of adult ones and so you are fain to confesse they do when we come to examine them one after another, yea I remem­ber that at two publique disputes, when we have put you to assign what Scripture infant baptism is commanded in Mat. 28.19. hath bin nominated as your war­rant, out of which when it hath been plainly proved that Christ commands no more in that place to be baptized, then such whom he commands also first to be instructed, reply hath been made to this purpose viz. that Christ there requires that such as are capable of instruction should be instructed first, but that hinders not why infants may not be baptized before instruction) but if so I say I wonder still where that place is that warrants it that infants may be baptized at all, [...]ith you are fain to confesse that that phrase go teach and baptize, yea even you your selves sometimes, who just before assigned it as the warrant for infant baptism, that it speaks onely of persons capable to be taught, and not of infants.

As you say therefore that these places speak of the baptism of men and women [Page 166] onely that are capable [...]o learn, believe and repent, and not exclusivly of infants, because they are not capable to do those things, who yet may be bap [...]ized for all that, so I say of these words, let a man examine himself, and so let him eat, they imply an unlawfulnesse in men and women only to eat the supper without self-ex­amination, but not in infants, who being not capable to examine themselves, may (any thing to the contrary there notwithstanding) be admitted to the supper with­out it: tis men and women onely, and not children who upon non-examination of themselves are excepted.

As you argue therefore that every administration to an Nation includes infants, as well as men, unlesse the be excepted, and therefore they must be baptized: I conclude the same from those premises, concerning their right to other ordinan­ces viz. therefore they must be preacht to, therefore they must eat the supper, two administrations given to all nations, from which infants are no more excep­ted then from baptism. As therefore you take it for an implicit exception of infants from the supper, in that they cannot perform what is required in that place to the receiving of it, i. e. not examine themselves, nor discern the Lords body, though by name they are not excepted, so (if you be not partial) your own consciences will compel you to take it for at least as implicit an excep­tion of infants from baptism, in that they are no way capable to perform those things which are required of persons in order to their admission to baptism in other places viz. nor to believe with all the heart, nor to confesse sin, nor amend their lives, nor repent, nor call on the name of the Lord, all which were required of adult ones that come to baptism, as we see Mat. 3. Act. 2. Act. 8. Act. 22. and also in the Rubrick where it being askt what is required of persons to be bap­tized? answer is made thus, viz. repentance whereby they forsake sin: and faith whereby they stedfastly believe the promises of God made to them in that sacra­ment, though by name they be not excepted in any of these places.

Your cui signatum ei signum nisi obstet &c. your thredbare Argument viz. to whom the thing signified belongs to them the sign, unlesse there be some impe­diment or in capacity to perform what is required in order to the receiving of the sign, if it had one farthing worth of force in it to give infants accesse to baptism, would equally avail to give them accesse to the supper, if we were minded in good earnest to plead their right to both, in evidence of which I shall argue upon you with your own Argument, thus

To whom the thing signified belongs, to them the sign also belongs, unlesse there be some exception or incapacity to perform what is required to the receiving of the sign.

But the thing signified in the supper which is the same thats signified in bap­tism viz. Christ and his benefits belongs to infants, and theres no more excepti­on of them from it, then from baptism, nor more incapacity in them to perform that which is required to the supper, then there is in them to perform whats re­quired to baptism.

Ergo if they may receive the outward sign of baptism, they may receive the outward sign of the supper also.

But in truth as they are no more capable of one of these signs then the other, so are they in very dead both uncapable of, and plainly enough alike excepted from both.

Secondly, is it so Sirs, that infants being a great part (if not the Major part) of all nations must therefore be baptized, because its said baptize all Nations, unless they bad been excepted, then I answer again, if you mean thus, viz. unless they had been some way or other (at least vertually or implicitly excepted) then infants are most manifestly and clearly excepted in this very text it self, Mat. 28.19. if there were no other in all the Scripture to exclude them: for first though that be Christs commission and direction to his disciples whom to baptize, yet theres no mention [Page 167] at all of children, nor yet in Mark 16.15.16. where the same will of Christ is declared in other terms, concerning the baptism of such as are convert­ed to the faith by preaching, and this D Featley himself more then confesses, for he urges it with earnestness p. 62. in these words, viz. there is no mention of children in either of these texts, and if so that theres no mention at all then they are not implied, as both Mr. Marshal and himself (to the contradiction of him­self) affirms they are in the word Nations, for for children to be both implied, and included in that word Nations, and yet neither to be mentioned, nor meant therein at all, are inconsistent, and such a bo-peep as is impossible, and if they be not so much as implied, and mentioned in the commission they must needs be un­derstood to be excepted and excluded.

Secondly, as there is no mention of children, so there is such a plain limitati­on, and restriction of baptism to such persons, as infants in infancy are not capa­ble to be viz. Disciples of Christ, aliàs persons so taught and instructed by the ministration of men, as to believe the Gospel, that they are more then purblind, who discern not infants (for they are uncapable to learn by the teachings of men) to be in that place excepted: for it is said go ye and teach all nations [...], i. e. not [...] the Nations, but [...] understood in the verb [...], or if [...] the nations, as by the figure Synthesis, which is oratto congrua sensu non voce, I grant it may, yet not the Nations by the lump, but [...] persons in the Nations, that are indo­ctrinated and instructed, as infants cannot be, i. e. them that you have taught, and that have learnt, and are become disciples by your teaching: it is as plain as the light, that not any more of the Nations are here bid to be baptized, than those, even those very individuals, that are first bid to be taught, or made disci­ples by mans ministery: for the Pronoun [them] that is put after the participle [baptized] can possibly have no other substantive then [those persons in those na­tions] who ever they are, that are both capable subjects of teaching, and also actually instructed, and discipled; it is most evident that teaching of persons is here commanded before the baptizing them.


The order of words, by which teaching is here set before baptizing proves nothing, for in Mark 1.4. that order is inverted, and baptizing set before preaching, thus, viz. Iohn did baptize, and preach the baptism of repentance.


So saies Dr. Holmes indeed p. 7. and tis also a common saying among you all but I tell yod if you were not minded more to pervert, then to preach the Gospel, you could not be ignorant, that that inversion Mark 1.4. is such, as altars not the sense so, but that tis in sense, and signification the very same as we contend for out of Mat. 28.19. viz. that preaching is to go before baptizing, for though it be said there Iohn did baptize and preach the baptism of repentance, it must necessarily be understood thus, viz. that he preached baptism to persons be­fore he practised it to them; for you cannot be so silly sure as to imagin that Iohn first baptized persons when they came to him, before he opened his Mouth to tell them wherefore; yet I know one that being in a streit, did not stick to strein him­self out by such a simple saying as that, but for all that, if that honest man who said thus (I forbear to name him least I shame him) were as true a Minister of the Gospel, as he supposes himself to be, and should go forth with his Gospel to a Nation as ignorant of the truth of baptisme as himself, and offer but such a small matter as his rantism, much more so worthy, so weighty and burdensome a business to the flesh as the true baptism is, viz. to overwhelm them in water, without declaring to them first for what end, and purpose, either he would shew himself an Egregious and Arrant simpleton in once conceiving they would, or [Page 168] they themselves but senseless Animals, if they should so suddenly submit to him.

Moreover its apparent to any, but such as are resolved to shift off truth as long as they can, that the same passage of Mark 1.4. as tis recorded Mat. 3.1.5. Luke 3.3.7. shewes that Iohn first came preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins, and then and thereupon people came out to him and were bap­tized of him in Iordan confessing their sins.

Out of that place therefore Mat. 28.19. which is so usually assigned by your selves, as the main Scripture, in which Christ commands infant baptism, though upon examination it is oft asserted to be a place that neither mentions at all, nor once meddles with infants, and that by the self same persons that so as­sign it, I argue thus in disproof of them who assign it, as Christ precept for in­fants baptisme, and in proof that its a plain prohibition of such a thing, viz.

If Christ there commissionates and commands his Disciples to baptize none but the very same persons whom he commands them also first to teach, and make disciples by teaching, then that place is a plain prohibition, and not at all a precept to baptize infants; for men cannot teach or disciple in­fants.

But Christ there commissionates and commands his disciples to baptize none but such as he also commands them first to teach, and make disciples by teach­ing.

Ergo, that place is a plain prohibition, and not at all a precept to baptize infants.

The Minor, which onely you can rationally require proof of, is so clear, that the blindest of you may see it in the text it self, where the Pronoun them, that is governed by the participle baptizing, can possibly relate to no other sub­stantive, but to the self same persons that are immediately before commanded to be taught, or made disciples, and whether you will have the substantive to [ [...]] to be [ [...]] understood in the verb [...] (as when it serves your turn, so far as to furnish your selves by comparing this place with Act. 15.10. with matter of proof (prate I should say) for infants discipleship, you will needs have it, for upon this account Mr. Cotton, Mr. Baxter and ma­ny more seem to proceed) or [ [...]] by the figure Synthesis (as some of you will rather have it) tis much at a pass, yea not a strawes worth of advantage to you, take it which way you will, for still it will amount to this, that whe­ther you make [ [...]] to agree with [ [...]] or [ [...]] the nations, tis not the nations in gross (as Dr. Holmes also tells you p. 7.) for then all must be bap­tized (saith he and truly too) if the word Nations, universally taken, doth there note the subjects of baptism) but tis the Nations with restriction, the na­tions discipled, i. e. so many in all Nations as are first made disciples by teaching, and not more, that there are commanded to be baptized: and this Mr. Cotton, and Mr. Baxter, and Dr. Featley, and Dr. Holmes, and wellnigh all your champions are well aware cannot be denyed, and therefore rather then assert such a thing, viz. that any more are here bid to be baptized, then such as are first bid to be discipled, they chuse to take so hard a province upon them, as to proceed to the promotion of their cause by way of proof that infants are disciples.


In Christs precept teaching doth not go before but follow baptizing Mat. 28.20. teaching them to observe all things. &c.


So Dr. Featley fiddles this ore indeed p. 39. for these are his very words; to which I reply, who denies that in Christs precept preaching follows baptizing? but what of that? doth it follow, and is that the Drs. meaning trow, that ther­fore [Page 169] it doth not go before it? me thinks the man should not be so senslesse, nor do I think he was so senslesse as to think so, but the ground he stumbles at is the new found meaning of the word [...], of which I shall be occasioned to say more anon, onely here it shall suffice to say thus much viz. as tis clear theres a teaching to follow baptizing in Christs precept, so tis as clear that there's a teaching to go before, of all persons to whomsoever baptism is dispensed, a teach­ing a priori, and a teaching a posteriori, the first in order to discipleship and bap­tism, the other after baptism in order to perfection, baptism is by precept to be im­mediately after the first, and the other is to be by precept so immediately after bap­tism, that infants being uncapable of both the one and of the other, viz. of being taught just before baptism and presently after baptism, are thereby universally excepted from it, yea these two teachings, neither of which is to be used to infants, are to come by precept so neer together, that there's no room for infants bap­tism to come in between them.


They are not so much excepted by the words [TEACH] v. 19. and [TEACH­ING] ver. 20. but they are as much concluded to be the subject of baptism under the word [All nations] because they are a great part, if not the half of all nati­ons (as Dr. Featley) and serve to make up a nation as well as their parents (as Mr. Blake) and in every nation make a great part of that nation as well as their parents, as Mr. Marshal urgeth.


As if the precept for baptizing did extend it self to all persons in every nation without any limitation, or restriction, or any praevious preparation to it save one­ly barely being of the nations, Nec mediante doctrinà, nec disciplinâ: but is it so Sirs, then let me ask you, are not the infants of Turks, Pagans, Tartars, In­dians, Jews, unbelievers a part, yea a far greater part, and do they not serve much more to make up the number in nations, then the Infants of believers? why then (if that be the ground you will needs go upon) must not these be baptized as well as the other? yea surely if this be a good argument to prove any ones right to baptism from this place, because he is of the nations, then stark natural fools, as well as infants, yea very profest profane ones, open enemies against the name of Christ, as Turks and Pagans, being a great part of all Nations, have as good right to baptism as any of those you rantize, or we our selves baptize either, for shame therefore forgo such rude kind of ratiocination.

This therefore that all Nations are bid to be baptized, cannot make Mat. 28. 19. to be a precept for baptizing infants, though they be of the Nations, unlesse they were capable to be taught, which because they are not, that place com­manding no more to be baptized, then the same whom it commands also to be taught, and that not onely before but immediatly after baptism, is a plain prohi­bition of infant-baptism.

A second way wherein tis argued by you that theres command in Mat. 28.19. for the baptizing of infants, is from their being disciples, which weak twig, see­ing your selves as it were sinking in your cause, you all catch at: yea I meet with none of you almost, but in one place or other of your writings I find your fortify­ing your selves in that foolish practise by this childish consideration, thus doth Dr. Featly, Dr. Holmes, Mr. Marshal, Mr. Bayly, Mr. Blake, Mr. Baxter, Mr. Cook, Mr. Cotton, among all which Mr. Cotton being the most formal and Syllogistical in his argument from this place, & beginning his book with it (as Mr. Baxter also doth, with whom I may chance to deal more then I will do in this place before I have done) Ile begin with him and in him, and after him, speak to you all sooner or later (as occasion is) about this particular.

Thus then he reasons from thence.

Such as be disciples they are to be baptized.

[Page 170] But the children of the faithful are disciples.

Ergo the children of the faithfull are to be baptized.

The former proposition is clearly exprest in the text (saith he) make disciples and baptize them, therefore all disciples are to be baptized, but had he conclu­ded according to mood and figure, or the tenor of this text, or had he not been both blinded, and minded to go besides the sense of the spirit in this place, he would have said therefore all that are first made disciples by instruction are to be bapti­zed, and then he had mard all his proceedings concerning infants.

As for the second proposition which is the assertion of you all viz. That infants are disciples, Mr. Cotton toward the proof of it so miserably misapplies 2. pieces of Isaiah, that he rather proves himself thereby to be yet but an infant in discipleship, and Gospel understanding then proves infants to be disciples from thence.

The first place is Isa. 54.13. whereby its said, by way of promise to the Church of the New Ierusa [...]em, when once it shall be established a praise in all the Earth (as it is not yet, nor ever shall be till Christs second appearing) when God shall wipe away all tears from her eies, and secure her for ever from all fu­ture sufferings, and oppressions, That all her children shall be taught of God, and great shall be the peace of her children: from this place, which is meant of all the Saints, and that immediate teaching which they shall once have, he argues thus, to all the naturall infants of believing parents in the Church now, viz. if they be taught of God, then are they disciples, for that is the meaning of the word disciples.

Disciples are taught or learned of God.

His second place is Isay. 65.20. where its said there shall be no more thence­forth an infant of daies &c. in which place, what ere the meaning is, it matters not a rush as to his purpose, so long as its spoken of a time that is yet to come. Now here is such a messe of mistakes as may well make a wise man amaz'd, and and make him muse whether the pen-man of this proof of that Minor, that infants are disciples, and consequently to be baptized according to Mat. 28.19. were well awake, or asleep when he set it down, concerning it Ile propound four things to be well examined of you all,

First whether he be not egregiously mistaken in the persons to whom those pro­mises are made, which if they be all infants of the faithful, considered as in their minority, then is there a mighty mist before my eyes, for really by the best improvement I can make of my understanding, I can possibly ken no such matter, nor that it is any other then the Saints, and faithful ones themselves; even all of them, and not any of their children after the flesh, but as they prove faithfull, and do become Saints in their own persons as well as their parents.

Secondly whether he be not grossely mistaken about the time wherein these pro­mises are to be fulfilled, in fuller evidence of both which consider, first as to the first Scripture, who ever they are that are there expressed by the term [thy chil­dren] they are all and every of them without exception partakers of the Lords teach­ing, and of all the other priviledges there promised, for its said, All thy children shall be taught of the Lord &c. at that time therefore wherein this shall be ful­filled this promise shall be performed to every individual of those kind of persons, to whom its made, not one excepted, which shews that it is meant onely of the Saints, for they are the Churches children, and not their natural seed, and of that time onely when the New Ierusalem, which is not yet, shall come down from God out of heaven, for so shall it then be with all the faithful that shall inhabit that City of the Lord, whose people are said also to be all righteous, Is. 60.21. but this is not performed to all the children of the faithfull now, neither are they all taught of God, with that effectual teaching there promised, as is evident, in that many of them in time prove reprobates, when wicked mens children prove e­lect.

[Page 171]Secondly, It is expresly shewed in the 17 v. who are the persons whose porti­on and heritage these priviledges are, for this (saith he) is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.

As for the second place, so far is it from speaking of infants in infancy, that it rather shewes that there shall be no infant of daies, i. e. that shall dy an in­fant, nor old man that hath not filled his daies in that time, but the very child shall dy an hundred years old, i. e. he shall be counted as dying young, or a child that lives but an hundred years, so long lived shall they be in those daies, yea as the daies of a tree shall be the daies of my people (saith God) and mine elect shall long enjoy the works of their hands.

And as to the time when these things shall be, tis not now, but in the reign of Christ, when the New Ierusalem shall be built with Saphirs, and all precious stones, and when the Lord shall make the New Heavens and the New Earth, which is not yet in being, but is looked for of all the Saints at the com­ming of Christ, and the redemption of Israel (as Peter saith) according to his promise, which appears plainly by comparing Isa. 65. 17—66.22 with 2. Pet. 3.13, 14. and also by the last text of the two, which Mr. Cotton abuses, viz. Isa. 65. v. 20 which saith this shall be from thenceforth, i. e. from the time of Gods creating that new heavens and new earth.

Thirdly, Whether he doth not most palpably depart from the matter he took first in hand to prove unto another thing, which is no more to his purpose, then if he had said bo to a goose; yea he runs clear away from the Scripture he began upon and never returns to it more, as if he were affraid to come near it, scarce ere so much as facing about, or looking behind him: for what he ought to have clear­ed (but surely he thought he could not, and therefore was not minded to meddle with it) was this, viz. that in order to being the subjects of the baptism there injoined infants are disciples, in such a sense as is there spoken of viz. made so by the Ministery of the word, and teaching; for saith Christ go teach all nati­ons baptizing them, but his is not to the same, not ad idem, but ad aliud quod­dam, a certain other thing, which if he did prove (as he doth not) it could in no wise prove what he brings it in proof of, viz. that infants of the faithful, up­on the account of some uncouth, unheard of, strange, secret sort of teaching and learning, which these infants have from God, above any other, may be tru­ly said to be disciples, and thereupon to be baptized.

And this though it be not spoken so broadly by any as by Mr. Cotton, who makes it his business so far as to wrest and pervert certain Scriptures into the proof of it, insomuch that some of his fellow fighters for infant-baptism are ashamed on't and disclaim it, (witness Mr. Bayly p. 145. where, speaki