A TREATISE Concernin …

A TREATISE Concerning the COVENANT and BAPTISM Dialogue-wise, between a BAPTIST & a POEDO-BAPTIST, Wherein is shewed, That Believers only are the Spirituall Seed of Abraham; Fully discovering The Fallacy of the Argument drawn from the Birth Priviledge. WITH Some Animadversions upon a Book Intituled Infant-Baptism from Heaven and not of men, Defending the Practise of Baptizing only Be­lievers against the Exceptions of M. Whiston.

By Edward Hutchinson.

[...] i. e. It is necessary first to believe, and after­wards to be signed with Baptism. Basil. l. 3. contra Eunom.

I beseech you regard not what this or that man says, but enquire all things of the Scripture.

Chrysost. 13. hom. 2 Cor.

If you be Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the Promise.

Gal. 3.29.

LONDON. Printed, for Francis Smith at the Elephant and Castle, near the Royall Exchange in Cornhil. 1676.

The Epistle DEDICATORY. To the spiritual seed of Abraham especially those of the Baptized Congregations.

BEloved for the fathers sake, first premising, that they are not all Israel, that are of Israel, I know there is drosse mingled with your sil­ver, chaff amongst your wheat, and the Ca­naanite is still in the land, and troubles you: but to you that are indeed the true seed of Abraham by faith in Jesus Christ, do I dedicate this Treatise. You beloved are of God, and have your fathers name written in your foreheads; you are the true Israe­lites, to whom pertaineth the Adoption, and the glory, the Covenants and Gospel promises, whose are the fathers, and for whom Christ came, who is over all God blessed for ever. You are a chosen gene­ration, a Royal priesthood, a holy nation, a pe­culiar people, walking in the steps of your father Abraham, hearkning to that great Prophet whom God hath raised up among your brethren, and have been baptized into the name of the father, son, and holy spirit. But the devil (that implacable enemy of souls) hath endeavoured to wreak his ma­lice upon you above all people, opening his floodgates to overwhelm you; the Archers have shot sorely at you, the plowers have made deep furrows upon your backs, yet you are still supported by the rock of Ages, and strengthned by an Everlasting Arm; they have [Page] laboured in vain, for the blessings of your father Abraham have prevailed above the blessings of your progenitors.

Your begining in these nations (of late years) was but small; yet when it pleased the Lord to dispel those clouds that overshaddowed us, and scatter some beams of the Gospel amongst us, he gave you so great an increase that Sion may say with admiration, who hath begotten me these! &c.

Nor is it lesse observable that whereas other Re­formations have been carryed on by the secular arm, and the Countenance and allowance of the Magi­strate, as in Luthers time by several German Prin­ces; the Protestant Reformation in England by King Edward, Q. Elizabeth, &c. The Presbyte­rian reformation, by a Parliament, Comittee of Estates, Assembly of Divines, besides the favour and assistance of great personages; you have had none of these to take you by the hand, but your pro­gresse was against the impetuous current of humane opposition, attended with such external discourage­ments as bespeak your embracing this despised truth, an effect of heart-sincerity, void of all mercenary con­siderations. Yea how active has the Accuser of the Brethren been to represent you in such frightful fi­gures, exposing you by that mischievous artifice to popular Odium, and the lash of Magistracy; in so much that the name of an Anabaptist was crime enough: which doubtlesse was a heavy obstacle in the way of many pious souls.

And what our dissenting brethren have to ans­wer, upon that account (who instead of taking up, have laid stumbling blocks in the way of Re­formation) [Page] will appear another day. Yet notwith­standing the strenuous oppositions of those great and learned ones, The mighty God of Jacob hath taken you by the hand, and said be strong.

Besides it has a considerable tendency to the ad­vancement of divine grace, if we consider the way and manner of the Reviving this costly truth. When the professors of these Nations had been a long time wearied with the yoke of superstitious ceremonies, traditions of men, and corrupt mixtures in the worship and service of God; it pleased the Lord to break these yokes, and by a very strong impulse of his spirit upon the hearts of his people, to convince them of the necessity of Reformation. Divers pi [...]us and very gracious people having often sought the Lord by fasting and prayer, that he would shew them the patern of his house, the goings out, and come­ings in thereof, &c. Resolved (by the grace of God) not to receive or practise any piece of posi­tive worship, which had not precept or Example from the word of God. Infant-Baptism coming of course under consideration, after long search and many debates it was found to have no footing in the Scriptures (the only rule and standard to try do­ctrines by) but on the contrary a meer innovation, yea the prophanation of an ordinance of God. And though it was purposed to be laid aside, yet what fears, tremblings, and temptations did attend them lest they should be mistaken, considering how many learned and Godly men were of an opposite perswasi­on: How gladly would they have had the rest of their brethren gone along with them? But when there was no hopes, they concluded that a Christi­ans [Page] faith must not stand in the wisdom of men, and that every one must give an account of him­self to God, and so resolved to practise according to their light: The great objection was, the want of an Administrator, which (as I have heard) was re­moved by sending certain messengers to Holland whence they were supplyed. So that this little cloud of Witnesses, hath the Lord by his grace so greatly encreased, that it is spread over our Horizon, though opposed and contradicted by men of all sorts.

And now friends I can safely bear you record, that it is not humour, conceitednesse or singularity (so often charged upon you) that makes you decline the BaptiZing your little ones: For I know they are as dear to you, as children are to any parents under heaven; your sighs and tears, those heart-breaking desires and pathetick wishes you send to the mercy-seat for them, is a sufficient testimony hereof, and your petitions, that Ishmael may live before God, that your children may be converted, that they may have an Interest in the new Covenant, that the law of God may be written in their hearts, that their sins may be pardoned, their natures sanctifyed, and their souls eternally saved And did you know that Baptism could contribute the least iota hereunto, how readily and zealously would you perform it? be­sides it is an easy service, that would bring you into the credit and esteem of differing professors, divers of your natural relations, &c. yea 'tis as safe, as ea­sy, nothing of self-denyal or the Cross attending it. And it is very remarkable that many have suf­fered for owning most (if not all other) points of faith and Christianity, yea divers have suffered e­ven [Page] unto death for denying, yet none (that ever I heard of) suffered for owning Infants-Baptism.

Yet though your children are dear to you, the word of the Lord, and the purity of his worship is far more dear, and hence you dare not adde to his words lest he reprove you, and you be found lyars. You dare not offer strange fire to the Lord, which he hath not commanded, nor prophane an Ordinance; you know that Baptism (being a part of instituted worship, not found in natures garden) has of it self no vertue, but what it receives from the iustitutor; For as one well observes moral laws are good, and therefore commanded: but positive worship is comman­ded, and therefore good. So that your adversaries clamour without ground, and the Lord will judge between us. And if it be questioned why I insist so much upon this subject? I answer, I was weary with forbearing when I saw your affliction, and be­held the reproaches, wherewith your opponents un­mercifully persecute you. But brethren as I have gone in and out among you these six and twenty years, so I have had opportunity to know those pious souls among you, whose Conversation is in Hea­ven, who live above the Clouds, who groan un­der the body of sin, and remains of corruption, I have known your manner of life, your faith, pa­tience, long-suffering, charity; I have also seen your dark side, and observ'd your infirmities (which your adversaries view through a multiplying glass;) But if there be any society or Community of people that differ from you, that have not their dark side, let them cast the first stone. Yet you dare not allow the least sin in you; your prayers and endeavours f [...] [Page] greater measures of mortification, and that you may be sanctified throughout, stand compleat in the whole will of God, and be filled with all the fruits of righ­teousnesse through Jesus Christ, are famous instan­ces that you are pressing after perfection.

I know you do not desire these Encomium's, but I have the example of the holy spirit, whose steps I humbly conceive I may follow. Rev. 2.2. where these Commendations are given of the Church, I know thy works, thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil; and for my names sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted, &c. It's true the Lord knows these things in another manner then we do, viz. by searching the heart; we by outward observation: yet so far as we know we judge.

And now what remains, but that you hold on your way, and grow stronger and stronger, being like that shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day; dayly purging your selves from all filthynesse of flesh and spirit, perfecting holyne [...] the fear of God, walking in the steps of your f [...] Abraham, and in a little time you shall he received into his bosome, where the weary are at rest, and the wicked cease from troubling. And so I commend you to God and the good word of his grace, which is able to make you stand, and give you an inheritance a­mong them that are sanctifyed, and remain

Your Soul-friend, E. H.

To the READER.

Reader,

IT is a truth too plain to need Demonstration, that the enemy of souls invaded the Church of Christ even in its very infancy, privily bringing in Damnable Heresies, 2 Pet. 2.1. That the Scar­let whore drew away the Kings of the Earth, peoples, and Multitudes, and Nations, and tongues after her, Rev. 17. and made them drunk with the wine of her Fornications. That the man of sin, that son of perdition, 2 Thes. 2. erected himself a Monarchy, and sate in the Temple of God, maintaining that station with power, and signes, and lying wonders. So spreading and epidemical were the Incantati­ons of that Glittering strumpet, that few escaped the temptations of her Golden cup. Now amongst those multitudes that wondred after the Beast, what kind entertainment could the ordinances of the meek and self denying Jesus have? whose kingdom is not of this world, John. 18.36. On the contrary, we find the whole Fabrick, and Oeco­nomy of Gospel worship shatter'd, subverted, and overthrown in most places where it was re­ceived; and the kingdom of darkness raised up­on its ruines. What fundamental truth, what practical duty of Christianity but was utterly exploded, or so metamorphos'd, that nothing of its original form and beauty was left? But when this Mystery of Iniquity came to be gradually re­vealed; when the voice from heaven said, come out of her my people, Rev. 18.4. when the woman was [Page] seen drunk with the bloud of the Saints, Rev. 17.6. How was she bewailed by those that dealt in her wares! How have those Locusts of the bottomless pit pester'd both sea and land to gain her prose­lites! making Reformation a hard task, pursuing it with bloud, persecution, and massacre. Yet, maugre all the powers of Hell, truth gets ground, and the Lord with the brightnesse of his coming, enlightens us more and more every day.

Yet still it is very observable, that when [by quadrating them with the word of God, the on­ly rule of faith and practise] any truths are reco­vered; or when those carnal and trashy superfici­alls that deform and disguise others, are flung a­way; Then some malevolent Agent of the grand Deceiver, improves his uttermost craft to ob­scure and represent it in the most hideous and a­verting forms, and fasten the blackest calumnies upon such as the Lord makes his Instruments of reformation. The son of God foretold this, Math. 5.11. All ages since have confirmed it. Our Martyrologies have recorded those worthies that resisted unto blood, those blessed souls under the Altar, that were slain for the word of God, and the Testimony which they held, to whom the white robes were given, Rev. 6.9, 11. whose blood will one day be avenged upon their Barbarous Assa­sinates.

The ordinance of Baptism [that great and ra­dical duty here contended for] hath been as grosly perverted, mangled, and abused as any Gospel Institution whatever, new matter, new form, nothing left but the bare name, and that [Page] too wrested, misinterpreted, and forced to fa­vour and bear symmetry with that Idle and fri­volous Poedo-rantism set up in its room.

Nor need we wonder at the stiff opposition and harsh usage the assertors of Believers Baptism have met with from time to time; the error they attaque being so necessary to the Antichristian Monarchy, that it is indeed the Basis upon which that pompous, proud superstructure moves, from whose Pinacle, the man of sin may cast an Imperious glance and say with Nebuchadnezar,

Vah Babylon, Babylon proprio te robore servo.

For, if a thorough reformation of this point be admitted; if Ministers teach first, then baptize such only as profess faith in the Lord Jesus, and newness of life evidenced by a holy conversation, (that being the only practise warrantable by, and exemplyfied in the word of God) It will in­evitably follow, that the Papal Monarchy (that great thing Catechrestically call'd a Church) must vanish, and the large Revenues, pomp, and gran­deur of its active Janizaries expire with it: since the matter of such a synagogue is the collective body of the nations; which because of its unbelief and prophanesse the word of God excludes out of the Church, till in Gods time and by his power gradually converted: it being evident from the mouth that errs not, that the greatest part of Mankind traverses the broad way to destruction, Math. 7.13.

Surely this one consideration has a more forci­ble rhetorick to keep up this pernicious practise, then all the juglings of its abettors, or the gaudy [Page] flourishes or specious Fulcrums its defenders pro­duce to illustrate and support it. It is one of the Popes political (and very necessary) maximes, [and I fear borrowed by many from him,] wan­ting that power by which the Gospel ministers acted, to principle the emissaries that manage his cause very ripely in school-sophistry, and such other subtile qualifications, that their learned craft, and seeming profoundness of wisdom and parts may amuse and captivate the generality of mankind. And indeed we find them too apt to be gaping after those ornaments, which the Apostle elegantly calls, [...], and well translated, the inticing words of mans wisdom; 1 Cor. 2.4. They are well versed in the perplexing Idle whimsies of Aristotle, Scotus &c. but meer dunces and fools in plain Scripture doctrines: their Heathen Philosophy and the Gospel being at as wide a distance, as the Earth is from the third Heaven. See Job. 5.12.13. and 32.9. 1 Cor. 1.19.

But what is most lamentable is, that ministers that are separatists from national corruption and prophaness, and (in the judgment of charity) in many things orthodox and pious, should be the forwardest opposers of so necessary a refor­mation; and not only so, but when they find the pretences upon which it was (with a ridiculous retinue) obtruded upon the world rotten and reeling, they must invent new supporters for it, viz. a Covenant right derivative from a believing parent &c. As if spiritual graces would admit of carnal propagations, or that a Christian doth al­ways [Page] beget a Christian, a divinity as novel as 'tis absurd. And with this modern auxiliary this o­therwise yeelding cause is reinforced.

In the judgment of some it may parhaps add to the credit of that fancy that so famous a man as Mr. Baxter is, should patronize it. But he is not the first Theological grandee that has been mi­staken. Performances of never so exalted a kind conferr not the priviledge of Infallible. 'Tis only the great Creator is unerring. A man may preach and write of the most seraphick verities, and yet know but in part; Mr Baxter is to be honoured as far as he has laid himself out to preach the Gos­pel, and improve his Talent for the Conversion of souls in this evil day; But when he forgets himself, and instead of promoting practical holy­ness, fills the nation with notions as uncertain as they are numberless, puzling such as arrive not to the subtilty of his distinction, creating more doubts then ever he'l be able to resolve, making Christianity a meer riddle which no man understands but he, and liable to as many forms and interpretations as his wavering mind: Then I humbly conceive he may be very safely left. [...], was a golden Aphorism of a heathen poet. Sure as peaceable as he would make us believe he is, that party or person that incurs his displeasure, must expect an unmerciful handling. He is so in­venom'd an Antagonist, that whoever encounters him has need of an Antidote. Nor is his reverend new Author Mr. Wills (to whom he is so liberal of his encomiums) much behind in this Excellen­cy: [Page] A strenuous satyrist that by the flashes of his Academick wit makes some blaze, little of solid heat or warmth.

As for Mr. Baxter it feems he has something prophetical in him, he says in his last book, he knows what can be said in answer, and what he'l reply, and the others rejoynder &c. Belike he knew by the same prophetick faculty the first year of his ministry when he fell into doubts about Infants Bap­tism, and suspended the practise some years, as he says, that the Anti-Poedobaptists would be out of the favour of the times, and so inconsiderable as he (scornfully) says they are, which scared the man to the other side: And to convince the world that he was re-proselyted in good earnest, perse­cutes them with all the obloquy and slaunder, a virulent peevish humor could dictate. So that, poor people! 'tis well their bones are whole from the furious artillery and crushing grasps of so mighty a Polyphemus.

It would [...]artle a man to see what a room he would take up, as if the whole world must be­come his pupill! How confident a dictator he is to universal mankind! such a reconciler, that he will not be stopt in his cariere till he brings us to Rome, as if the vast creation must be of his pa­rish! But I doubt the Pope will not be so tamely cog'd to resign up to Mr. Baxter his Regalia Pe­tri. Sure as nimble a Proteus as he is, hee'l find himself mistaken in these incongruous Topicks. We have the Bible in English (and in the origi­nal too) and for all he picks a quarrel with that (in his 20. Quaeries &c.) because (perhaps) too [Page] narrow to confine so boundless a wanderer, yet it shall be our Christian Directory, wee'l keep it preciously, and leave his rotten and su­perfluous notions to fill up the vacuums in the Stationers shops. That leaven hath so soured his whole lump, that for fear of sucking some poyson with his honey, we'l be Christians (as well as the Lord shall enable us) without him.

Hold, but he gives you his extremum vale, at the door of eternity: But is very angry that he is importuned to it from some supream transactions he is hatching in his study. Possibly his next er­rand may be to send us to Constantinople (nor is the scruple extravagant, considering what he has done already) to have a treaty of reconciliation with the Muphti, and make some part of Ma­homets creed (by his vast Authority) Orthodox. But being so successesse in Christendom, he may very well despair of that undertaking. But what's his farewel? why he begins with his old quarrel with Mr Tombes, rallying his defeated quibbles for a new Combat. But he is full of words, and will leade his reader such a dance, that he may sooner grow giddy, then finde the truth, or whereabouts he is; such a continuation of impertinent periphrases (though connext with his wonted Artifice) that Daedalus's Labyrinth may sooner be travers'd then the more numerous mazes and perplexities of Mr Baxter, and all to ecclips a Gospel truth.

His next project is, to take Col. Danvers to task; he thinks it beneath a man of his Talent to let him passe without fixing an Epithete upon [Page] him, as might craftily insinuate him no fit person to inform the world of that abuse in Religion. He thinks that worthy Gentleman encroaches upon the prerogative he himself made bold to seize upon, viZ. handling cases of Controversy: But he will not part so peaceably with the least ali­quantulum of it. A Souldier (so he calls him) must not enter the lists with this spiritual Warri­our; if he does, he'l fling Ink enough in's face; I have heard some say, that his Soldiership, and Mr. B's Chaplainship were contemporaries in the same service, and that the later was far more active. Therefore may not that Elogy bestow'd by Warlike Ajax upon his opponent, be ap­plicable to our Ʋlysses?

—Quantumque ego Marte feroci,
Inque acie valeo, tantum vaiet iste loquendo.

But let me tell him in his ear, that if he re-en­gage any deeper in this quarrel, and persist in his impenitent obstinacy, he'l receive as shamful a foyl as Mr. Tombes gave him. For our Souldier ha's truth of his side, and ability to manage it, nor does he want an acute and elegant pen, perhaps not inferior to the chaplain, for all his triumphs, and loud applauses of himself, and his attempts to engrosse as vast an opinion of his accomplish­ments, as the greatest University graduates (though he never, as they that know him say, was a student at any). 'Tis no miracle to find him a match able to encounter him at Quill-skirmishes in this age.

But as to our querulous master of Arts; Mr. [Page] Baxter dealt like a man of warr to set him in the Forlorn hope; thinking belike that his confident noise would affright us, or his scoffs jeer us, or his reverence (an epithete he forces upon his modesty) would cog us over to him, as his dexterous epistler inveigled Mr. Lamb and Mr. Allen. In pursuance to which stratagem, the man talks big, brags loudly, and like an Olympick gamester [so he calls himself, and very fitly, for whoever loses, he gets by his divinity games, and may in time learn the Ecclesiastical politici­ans push-pin Divinity] flings on all sides, traver­ses every ground, to get us at advantage, that so he may (Comically) insult, and flout us: for his language savours more of frothy scoffs, and Romantick drollery, then of sober, serious, or Christian. But [...].

He thinks he can scarce get over any Anti-Poedobaptist to his party: that indeed is the lucki­est conjecture I met with in him, and I am of that opinion too; for I hope they are a people of more reason and stedfastness in the truths they have learnt, then to be shaken, by so mimick and ayry a companion, that by the pedantry of his scoptick style seems fitter for stage-page­antry then serious contests of this kinde.

Besides the irreligious artifice, and (I may say) malicious insinuations, we meet with eve­ry where in his pamphlet, to render the person, parts, and principles, not only of his sober An­tagonist, but of all that own his way, ridiculous [Page] and hated, so to preingage his Reader to partiali­ty, and anticipate his judgment; is so notorious­ly disingenuous and dishonest, that I question not, but the Intelligent Reader will easily per­ceive, that the want of a good cause puts him up­on those shifts, to fill up a Book with such Sar­casm's instead of truth; as if he had been of the old Womans minde when she took that impious resolution, ‘Flectere si nequio superos, Acheronta movebo.’

But is this indeed the man of so clarify'd intel­lectualls? that puts a Remora in the progresse of truth, to obstruct such as would come over to its Communion? that brags of ransacking the publick library? that has his album calculum, &c. (others say, that Argenteis hastis pugnat) that has the forehead to charge Mr Danvers with pla­giarism? when he himself has not a single Argu­ment new, but a surtive collection (mostly, for 'tis but now and then he mentions an Au­thors name) from those that were formerly enga­ged in that controversy. So that his whole book (had it been worth the while) may be confron­ted with continued parallels; being only (in his own phrase) such trite and outworn things that they have been in effect trampled upon and confuted again and again. Is he not therefore himself that Aesops Crow, that struts so gaudily in other birds feathers?

I cannot but remark how he treads in his Epistlers steps, I mean Mr B's idle pamphlet, [Page] mis-call'd Plain Scripture proofs for Infant-Bap­tism, &c. who in plain English, amongst his other envious calumnies, represents the Ana­baptists, as guilty of Murther and Adultery, for an Imaginary practice he fathers upon them of dipping naked, or in transparent gar­ments, &c. So this Answerer pag. 258, &c. But methinks if ingenuous candor and modesty (altogether unpractic'd by him, though) so gracefull in all their possessors cannot perswade him to treat us civilly; the awful reverence of an All-wise God might keep him from such dar­ing criticisms upon the plain expressions of Scri­pture, and drawing so impious a consequence from premisses pronounced by the unerring crea­tor. For instance, it is said Act. 2.41, 42. They that gladly received the word ( [...]) were dipt, (so the word is English Luke 16.24. John. 13.26. Rev. 19.13. &c.) what then? why then they continued stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine, &c. But Mr Wills says they that are so dipt are Murtherers and Adulterers; a more favourable sence his invective won't bear. 'Tis pitty this wise demurrer had not lived in the Apostles days, that he may propose a more taking model for Christian Ordinances then the holy Ghost could inspire them with: I doubt his carnal and inju­rious canting would be answered as Symon Ma­gus in another case, thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter. Certainly, if sprinkling the face were the Lords choice, he could expresse himself by the word [...], being the proper term for [Page] sprinkling, (as 1. Pet. 1.2. Heb. 9.13.19.21. and 10.22. and many places of the O. T.) and so put the matter for ever out of doubt. Was not Christ himself so [ [...] that is in Eng­lish] dipt in Water? were not the converted Thousands we read of so dipt? And durst this au­dacious man fix such ignominies upon a practice that has so sacred a patern? the Lord rebuke him.

But, candid Reader, here thou hast them coun­ted out of that fort Royal they fancy so secure, viZ their modern pretences to a Covenant heredita­ry title to Baptism: The substance of what they can say in their own defence is examined and so­berly refuted: The vanity of their silly distincti­ons detected, and the Doctrine of the Covenant cleared, and made familiar to the conscientious peruser. And so the Lord (who will infallibly reckon with Mr B. and his confederate, unlesse they repent, for putting such blocks and remo­ra's in the way to his truth) set it home upon thy heart, and give thee a discerning spirit, to own him according to his directions in his word, not­withstanding the Ambushes and attaques of Satan, and his Engines, in despight of whom truth always stood, since the Nativity of time, and shall survive its utmost period and obse­quies.

Let it not defer thee from a serious weighing of the Arguments here offered, that some of them may be heretofore presented; that dimi­nishes not their force: Nil dictum est quod [Page] non est dictum prius. Yet this wrangler Mr W. would put us to the trouble of quoting e­very mans name that has the same sence or like words with us, to avoid his aspersion of plagiaries: A provident shift he has got to es­cape the edge of any Argument that gravells him. May not men often hit upon the same thing, from necessity of the Argument, or chance, not choice or designe? I am certain no man's more guilty in that particular then this Mr of Arts.

But there's need enough of pressing the same things again and again. When they produce new grounds for their practice (but I pre­sume this from the Covenant is the last shift) we'l addresse New Arguments to confront them; for the current of the Scripture will af­ford us variety of Mediums to quash their bold encroachments.

The subject of the Covenant (their cele­brated Sanctuary) hath not hitherto been so singly insisted upon as 'tis here; although it has been cleared sufficiently (one would think to candid Readers) by Mr Blackwood, Tombs, Laurence, Danvers, &c. whose acurate and learned works are enough to satisfy every one that would be found in the serious and im­partiall investigation of truth: And indeed leave such a reader without excuse.

This Treatise is chiefly calculated for the perusal of some sober friends that importu­ned the Author to write something upon this [Page] subject. And if truth hath any advancement by it, he hath his end. He is carelesse of popular applause or censure. He hath con­tributed his Mite for common information, and undeceiving the many souls that still hold fast those Dreggs and Remains of Po­pery.

T. D.

Ad Clerum sic Dictum, praecipue Triumviratum Novum.

COnquerar? an Sileam? Nova tollitis arma Ministri?
Christicolis cur non; pax sit habenda prius?
Oro, reformatae lucis
caesura.
aperite fenestras:
Tingere credentes Pagina sacra docet.
Totus ab asturâ Meretrice illuditur orbis?
Fallit imaginibus Bestia docta dolis?
Illecebris fucata suis obscaena triumphat
Roma? propinquantem nescit adulta necem.
Fulta Armis Regum caput altum in praelia tollit:
Aegra repercussis ictibus illa cadet.
Aegra cadet, certum est, Agni certamine: rumpet
Sulphurei ignivomas per Phlegetontis aquas.
Pars
R. B.
convicta [...] quondam concesserat; at nunc
Impedit egrediens introeuntis iter!
Haesit in ambiguum, vano Rantismate nollet
Spargere; at incerto convehit ore sonum!
Tempora mutantur, nos an mutamur in illis?
Sumere tot formas, quaeritur, unde licet?
B. mordet, duplex Vlatrat, garrulat alter;
His opibus tollit gens inimica Caput!
Fit simplex clangor triplici clamore: nec unquam
Causa patrocinio sustinuenda Novo est.
Sparsio parvorum Romanâ ab origine, fulcit
Papale Imperium: Castra cruenta Necis!
Lux Evangelii per binos emicat axes,
Occiduos inter lucifluos (que) sinus.
Bestia saeva perit, meretrix furibunda peribit,
Obruta flammiferis nam morietur aquis.
Sic raptim Pacis Ecclesiasticae studiosissimus.
T. D.

The PREFACE.

Courteous Reader,

THou must know I do not write this Treatise be­cause I think there are not Books enough extant upon this subject: But because I observe that old books (though never so excellent) are laid by, and seldom looked into, and nothing's relishable with this curious Age but what's contemporary with it self: be­sides many of the books already written are so large that ordinary persons cannot attain to the price; and some so intricate, and deliver'd in such a subli­mity of phrase, that they are beyond the capacity of divers godly and well meaning Christians. There­fore I have sent out this without the exteriour var­nish of humane blandishments, that I may recom­mend this truth to every mans conscience. Eloquence is nothing but Air, fashioned with an Articulate and distinct sound, and when suited to entice and enveigle carnall affections, may do much; but there is a peculiar Majesty and veneration, upon the brow of truth that will not be beholden to those ar­tificial braveryes: No ornaments render it more illustrious then its own native plainesse. The end of speech is to make our conceptions intelligible; and when our meaning is carried away by towring ex­pressions past the reach of a plain Reader, what is it but a gay piece of vanity, and affected pedantry?

I know the difference between the partyes repre­sented in this Dialogue, distracts the minds and troubles the hearts of many that are Godly. Now in this distraction every serious man cannot choose but [Page] heartily desire and wish for resolution. And in order to obtain that, the most likely way, is to exa­mine the pretensions and grounds on both hands. In prosecution of which I have selected the most plausi­ble Argument insisted upon by the Poedobaptists of this age (nay the only grand pretence upon which that baffled practise is supported) so that I may say, that all the Auxiliary considerations that contribute to its reinforcement, will fall in the fate, and live and dy with this Cardinal Thesis (drawn from the Covenant) in its favour.

Perhaps it may be said, that I make the Poedo­baptists speak what I please, not what they think, this must be said of course, else they lose their old wont. Nor shall I think it strange, if instead of solid Ans­wers they return their usual Oratory of calumny, and treat me with that severity so liberally dispenc'd to their opposites [especially by those writers who en­ter'd the lists for this cause of late years] for their cause requires it. To silence all clamors will be a task of impossibility, and I shall supersede any thoughts of the attempt, but for satisfaction to the tender-hearted and gratious Christian, I say further that I have endeavoured to cull out the strongest enforce­ments I could finde, and have declined nothing of mo­ment I met within their best Authors; if they think otherwise, let them produce their greatest strength, and lay it down in plain propositions (without that incumbrance and perplexity of words and wheeling phrases, as involve their meanings in puzling am­biguities) and I hope they will finde it fairly exami­ned.

The Argumentative part which I put into their [Page] Mouths, is such as was first taken from thence, and it is but a piece of Justice and restitution to return them thither. They are such as are famously known to be their principles, still the sence, often the very words of their most celebrated Authors.

The reason that I take no more notice of Mr Will's book is because Mr D. who hath already wor­thyly defended the Historical part, hath promised also to reckon with him as to the scriptural part, and I would not anticipate him, whose works will praise him in the gate, notwithstanding the disinge­nuous cavils and querulous janglings that fill up Mr Wills's invective Pampblet.

I hope our Opposites will not disallow the liberty they themselves take, of making use of some pious and learned men, that have trod the paths of this controversy before us of late years. I could wish that the voluminous and accurate Trea­tises of M. Tombs were epitomiZed for the infor­mation of the ordinary well meaning Christian, the Arguments of the Poedobaptists being there lear­nedly and solidly confuted, and perhaps to the con­viction of many of the learned ones, who (had not reputation interposed, having born a signal testimony to some excellent truths, which they fear might be called in question had they subscribed a Recantation of this) would possibly own as much

It is not arrived to the degree of Miracle that e­ven good men are loath to own themselves transgres­sors, and destroy the things they built. Pezelius re­ports, that when one from Frankford brought Cal­vins institutions to Luther, demanding his opinion of it; he replyes profecto non inepte hic Author [Page] dixit, indeed this Author hath not said foolishly, meaning that he had spoke right, yet recanted not his (opposite) Doctrine, but privately communicates his mistake to Melancthon, fearing that a publique conviction might discredit all his Doctrine. To con­clude, Reader I offer my conceptions of this bandied point to thy candid acceptation, and with this assu­rance that nothing but a zeal for Gospel reformation should invite me to expose my sentiments to this Cen­sorious age, and if they contribute ought to that end, I have my aim, And so I commend thee to the good spirit of truth, to lead thee into all truth, and remain

Thine in all Christian Respects, E. H.

A DIALOGUE Between A Baptist and a Poedobaptist.

Bap.

MY Dear Friend, I am glad to see thee, pray what News in the Countrey?

Poed.

O Sir! the Controversy about Baptism is again renewed, which I fear will occasion great differences amongst Profes­sors; whereas we did hope to live in love and peace together; but I see the point must farther be enquired into, and the people must have more satisfaction, before they will walk in commu­nion and fellowship together.

Bap.

Well; but what is your opinion, do you still hold Infant-Baptism?

Poed.

Yes, I am still of that opinion, but am willing to be inform'd, for I would not practise any thing that is not warranted from the Scrip­tures.

Bap.

You say well in that, but have you been at disputes where you might receive sa­tisfaction?

Poed.
[Page 2]

Yea, I have been at divers, but their Logical way of discourse does so obscure and hide the truth, that when the Dispute is done, we are no wiser then before; now Sir, is there no way to finde out truth but by Logick?

Bap.

My Friend, you must know, that there is a natural Logick, which all men have, except fools and Idiots, and it is nothing else but reason methodized: but as for School-Logick which men make a great flourish with, especially amongst women and illiterate persons, though by it also truth may be discovered, if men were ingenuous, and desired truth more then victory: but alas! it is miserably abused by men of corrupt minds, to the deceiving of the hearts of the simple; but seeing you have mentioned it, I shall give you the opinion of a Learned man about it: Nothing saith he, hath spoyled truth, more then the inventi­on of Logick, it hath found out so many distinctions, that it inwraps reason in a mist of doubts, tis rea­son drawn into too fine a thred, tying up truth in a twist of words; which being hard to unloose carry her away as a prisoner; 'tis a net to entangle her, or an art instructing you, how to tell a reasonable lie: like an overcurious workman, it hath sought to make truth so excellent, that it hath marred it. Vi­ves saith, he doubts not, the devil did invent it, It hath layd on so many Colours that the Counterfeit is more various then the pattern. It gives us so many likes, that we know not which is the same; nature it self makes every man a Logician; they that brought in the art have presented us with one that hath over­acted her; But I speak this of Logick at large, [Page 3] there may be an excellency found in the art, and it is good to retayn it, that we may make it de­fend us against it self, in matters of Religion, we must make faith the means to ascertain, for other matters simple nature is the best reason, and na­ked reason the best Logick.

Poed.

Sir I thank you for your opinion about Logick, and I think it were better, if our Mi­nisters did less use it and dispute after the same manner as they preach; which is, to lay down a proposition, and to prove it by Scripture, and reason; it would better satisfy the people; but we have gone a little out of our way, my great desire is to discourse with you about Infants-Baptism: and especially concerning the Cove­nant, made to Abraham, and to his seed; which if you can remove, I resolve to be of your opi­nion.

Bap.

Its true, the Covenant or promise made to Abraham, and to his seed, is the great hinge or Engine upon which the whole business of In­fants-Baptism moves; now if I prove that the In­fants of believing Gentiles are not the seed of Abraham, then Infant Church-member-ship, under the Gospel, and Baptism falls to the ground.

Poed.

True Sir, and therefore pray let me hear your arguments.

Bap.

First then, I argue thus. If none be the Children of Abraham, but those that do the works of Abraham: Then infants are not the seed of Abraham.

But the Antecedent is true, John 8.39. If ye [Page 4] were the Children of Abraham, ye would do the works of Abraham. So therefore is the consequent.

Poed.

But our Ministers tells us this is meant of the adult; and not of Infants.

Bap.

I know they do so, and they think they had better say something, then nothing, but I proceed.

The Second Argument.

If those that are Christs, are only Abrahams seed; then Infants are not Abrahams seed.

The Antecedent in true Gal. 3.3.19. Ergo, the consequent.

And if you say, Infants are Christs, I answer, some are so by Election, but the Apostle speaks of such as are Christs by calling, not Election: which is secret to us.

But 3dly. If none are blessed with Abraham but those that are of faith, then infants are not the seed of Abraham.

But the Antecedent is true, Gal. 3.9. so then they that are of faith, are blessed with faithfull Abraham.

Ergo the Consequent is true also.

4thly. If the Children of the flesh are not the Children of God, then infants are not now the seed of Abraham.

But the Antecedent is true. Rom. 9.8. they which are the children of flesh, these are not the children of God, But the children of the promise are counted for the seed: Ergo so is the conse­quent, I say, the children of the flesh may be the children of God by Election, but they are not so by calling, and so not counted for the seed; and if you still urge, as I know you will, that all these [Page 5] places are meant of the Adult only, then let us read the words as you would have us, and see what absurdity you will father upon the holy spirit.

First, from Gal. 3.9. They that are of faith, are blessed with faithful Abraham: and they also that are not of faith.

Secondly from Gal. 3.19. They that are Christs (viz. visibly) are Abrahams seed, and they that are not Christs, are Abrahams seed.

Thirdly, from Rom. 9.8. They which are the children of the flesh are not the children of God. (vi­sibly); and they that are the children of flesh are the children of God visibly.

So from John 8.39. They that do the works of Abraham are the children of God; and they that do not the works of Abraham are the children of God; so we must read the words, if these texts of Scri­pture be not exclusive.

Poed.

It is very true, if those texts be not ex­clusive, we must read the words, or at least un­derstand them, as you have, said; but then we should make the Scripture guilty of great absur­dity, and contradiction.

Poed.

But out ministers tells us, the promise is to you and your children, and them that are afar off: by which they understand believing Gentiles and their seed.

Bap

But what do you mean by promise? is it the promise and covenant of eternal life and sal­vation? or the promise of outward ordinances? If you say the first; then we ask you whether that promise be absolute or conditional? If absolute, [Page 6] then all the children of believers must needs be saved. If you say conditional, and faith and re­pentance, be the condition, then we are agreed: and the controversy is ended.

Poed.

No, we do not say that by promise in the 2d of the Acts, is meant the promise of eternal life and salvation, for that is not made, much less made good to any, upon the tearms of their parents faith; but upon their own personal be­lief, and obedience, but we mean the promise of outward ordinances, as to be baptized, &c.

Bap.

Very well; if that be Peters meaning, that believers infants shall be admitted to out­ward ordinances, when others shall not: Then consider what a poor promise this is, and what a miserable comforter he is made by you, in making as if this were all his meaning, and all that he in­tends by this pretious word of promise. But you must know Peters business was to support the Jewes smitten down under a sence of sin and the guilt of Christs blood, which lay heavy upon them but if this be all he intended you, and your children shall be baptized, &c. then the plaister is not broad enough for the soar; for, pray con­sider and we will suppose Peter speaking thus to them: you have by wicked hands crucified the Lord of life, and wished his blood to be upon you and your children, but be of good comfort, believe and be baptized, and then you and your children shall stand under the title of the people of God, under right to outward ordinances, when others shall not, and not only you, but your children shall be baptised. But neither you nor [Page 7] they ever the sooner saved, as born of you, fur­ther then together with you they shall believe and obey the Gospel; 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 free­dome to partake of the ordinances, is to you, and your seed above other; but the promise of the in­heritance is as much to all others and their chil­dren, as to you and yours. What most comfort­less comfort is this, to men cast down under a sence of sin and guilt? what a pittiful plaister is here applied to men prick'd at the heart, and smarting under the direful apprehension of Gods wrath? besides what exquisite nonsence do you make the Apostle speak, if his words be taken in your sence, for they must run thus, viz. first by way of precept, repent and be baptized you and your children. 2ly, by way of encourage­ment, so the priviledge of being baptized shall belong to you and your children which unbelie­vers and their seed shall not enjoy. But the pro­mise of remission of sins, and salvation, is made no more to you then to them; But without doubt it must be otherwise: the promise, take it which way you will, either for the proffer of the pro­mise, or the thing promised, It must needs be of some more excellent matter than outward mem­bership, & ordinances, abstract from remission of sins and salvation: yea, 'tis most evident that the thing here promised is no less then remission of sins and salvation it self, for as no less is expressed in the very text remission of sins, and the holy spi­rit; [Page 8] which, elsewhere is called the earnest of in­heritance, So, unless you will divide the children from having a share alike with their parents in that promise, which in the self same sentence, term and sence, is promised alike to them both, so as to say, the word promise, is to be under­stood of remission of sins, and salvation, as in re­lation to the parents; but of an inferiour thing, viZ. a right to ordinances only, as in relation to the Infants only, which were great absurdity to utter, it must necessarily be meant of one kinde of mercy, to both parents and children: yea and upon the same termes too, and no other then those upon which its tendred to the parents, viz. personal repentance, and obedience, and so conse­quently of remission and salvation, and not of such a trivial title to external participation only as you talk of, which if it be, then, unless you assert that God hath promised salvation absolutly to all the natural seed of believers, upon those terms only, as they are their seed, which you dare not stand too, the promise, mean which you will, the bare proposal, or the salvation propoun­ded, or both; upon those terms, belongs of right, not only to believers and their posterity, but also to all men, and their posterity, without diffe­rence, when at years of capacity to neglect, or perform them; for the glad tidings of salvation are commanded to be preached to all, and proffe­red to every creature at years, to hear, and un­derstand; though not to infants on terms of their parents faith; so assuredly the terms being performed, the salvation so promised shall be [Page 9] enjoyed: there is no right by birth to salvation, or the promise of it in believers seed, more then in unbelievers; nor no priviledge to them more then to others, save the meer hopefulness of edu­cation, and advantage of instruction in the way and means of salvation; which may possibly be­fall believers children, more then others: though in case it happen (as sometime it doth) that the children of believers, have their breeding amongst unbelievers, and the children of unbelievers a­mongst believers, in that case these la [...]t have not only no less priviledge, as to the promise of sal­vation by bare birth, but a priviledge also by that breeding above the other.

That therefore, that the promise of the Gospel covenant in any sence 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; yea the contrary is evident from this place Acts. 2.38.39.

For, first neither were these parents believers as yet, when Peter said, the promise is to you, and your children; but only were pricked at the heart upon some measure of conviction; that the per­son whom they had crucified, was the Lord of life (which the devils believe & tremble at) & in order to begetting that saving faith, (which yet they had not) he spake these words of encouragement.

Secondly, doth Peter make the promise any otherwise to them and their children, then he doth to all others in the world, viz. on condition of their coming in at Gods call, 'tis sayd to you and your children, and them that are afar off; all man­ner [Page 10] of persons in all nations, and generations, as the Lord our God shall call, viz. as are prevailed with to come when God calls them; which to be the sence of this place, is further illustrated by that parallel place Heb. 9.15. they that are called, receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Thirdly, when the parents did believe, & were baptized; were any of their children baptized with them? which they must have been, had that promise been to the Infants, as well as to the pa­rents on that single account of being their seed, but that no Infants were then baptized, appears, be­cause the Scripture recording how many were baptized at that time, it concludes them under such a term, as excludes the Infant from that days work, while it says, as many, meaning no more (or else we are deceived in the 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 all like­lyhood have amounted to three times 3000. if all the Infants of those had been baptized also; so that I conclude, if they had Infants why did they not bring them? or at least send for them? here being so fit an opportunity, to baptize them; and so (for ever) to put the controversy out of doubt.

But fourthly, neither were there any more enchurched that day, but such as gladly received the word, and were thereupon baptized. For of these only (and not infants) its said they continu­ed together in the Apostles doctrine, in Fellowship, and in breaking of bread and prayers. But all their Infants must have been Enchurch'd also, if they had been baptized.

[Page 11]Fifthly, it crosseth the current of all other Scripture to put such a construction upon this, for that the promise of old, I mean the old pro­mise of the law, which was of the Earthly Cana­an, and but a Type of this, did pertain unto a fleshly holy seed, I grant. But that the new Co­venant or Gospel promise is made to any mans fleshly seed, that thereupon we may baptize them in token of it, I deny. For sure I am the Scripture holds out no other seed of Abraham to be heirs with him of the heavenly Canaan, but his spiritual seed, i. e. Believers that do his works. Nor doth it own any (but these) to have the right of mem­bership and Fellowship in his family i. e. the vi­sible Church. For if it should be granted, that the visible Church is Abrahams family, under the Gospel, as well as under the law: yet it is so altered from what it was, so different in its consti­tution, that it is even turned upside down, and in a manner nothing remains as then it was. For as the covenant is not the same, with that of the law, so neither is there the same Mediator, nor the same Priesthood, nor the same Law, nor the same Law-giver, nor the same promises: That being of an Earthly, this of an heavenly inheritance, nor the same holy seed, to which the promises are made: that being to the Typical seed, Isaac and his po­sterity, this to the true seed Christ and believers Nor the same ordinances, theirs being Circumci­sion and the Passe-over, ours Baptism and the sup­per. Nor the same subjects for those ordinances, those being (by nature) Jews or at least by pro­fession, and their Male seed only; ours Male and [Page 12] female: theirs, whether believing or not, ours only as believing. So that whatever can be said of the Covenant, the promise, the holy seed; is only this, they were Typical, ceremonial, abiding only to the time of 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 lex, fuit Templum, fuit sacerdotium, fuit sacrosanctum semen. There was indeed a holy land, a holy law, a holy Priesthood, a holy seed, But all these belonging to a first Covenant which was faulty, are now long since vanished before a better, and whatever was glorious hath now no glo­ry, by reason of a glory that excelleth. 2 Cor. 3.9, 10, 12, 13.

Poed. Sir, I thank you for your opinion of this text Act. 2.39. But though the children of be­lieving Gentiles have no right to the Covenant by vertue of their Parents faith yet may they not have a right by vertue of Abrahams faith?

Bap. In no wise; for the natural posterity of believing Gentiles, are so far from being heires apparent with Abraham, of Gospel promises and priviledges, that even Abrahams own natu­ral seed, (as such only) are not at all his seed, at this day, nor at all holy with the birth-holynesse they once had, nor entail'd as heirs of that hea­venly Canaan, without faith and Repentance in their own persons; and because this is the very root and knot in the state of this controversy, the unfolding of which will discover the whole mystery of your mistakes, all which arise origi­nally from your erring in it, for error minimus in [Page 13] principio, fit major in medio, maximus in fine. Give me leave therefore to enlarge a little upon this point.

First then let it be considered, that Abrahams own seed, even those that were heirs with him of the earthly Canaan, though born of his body now (as truly though more remotely) of his bo­dy who was the greatest believer in the world (Christ excepted) even these are not his seed in the Gospel account, nor heirs of the Gospel pro­mise; nor (as born of his body) to be admitted to Baptism and Church priviledges, which I make appear from Rom. 9.6.7.8. in which pray ob­serve how the Apostle denies Abrahams own Natural Children, the name of Abrahams seed, in the sense of the Gospel.

First he magnifies them exceedingly in the 4th. verse, and sets out their dignity and prehemi­nence above all people under the name of Isra­elites, to whom pertained the Adoption, and the glory, and the Covenants, i. e. both Testaments, the Type, and the Anti-type, unto whom per­tained, not only the giving of the law, but also the promises, and that not only of the Earthly Canaan, but of the Gospel Covenant in the first tender of it, not in respect of any right they had to it by birth (whether they received it or not) but as I said in respect of the first tenders of it, which appears because by speciall order and ap­pointment it was to be offered to them in the first place.

Nor was it carried to the Gentiles till the Jews had slighted it, in proof whereof the Scripture is [Page 14] very plain Math. 10.5, 6, 7. Christ forbids his Disciples to go to any of the Gentiles, or to any save the lost sheep of the House of Israel, yea they were Children at this time, whose Bread, (till they loathed it) was not to be given to dogs except a few crums of it.

Hence the Jews were first bid to the wedding Math. 22.3. but they would not come. So they are called the Children of the kingdom Math. 8.12. that were to be cast out because they would not receive the Gospel; for he came unto his own and his own received him not; yea Paul tells the Jews it was necessary the word of God should first be spoken unto them, Act. 13.46.

Notwithstanding all which glory and prehemi­nence of this people Israel who were the fathers also, and of whom (as concerning the flesh) Christ came. Paul, after he had shewed their high priviledges, comes with Alas! and great sorrow of heart, that he was forced to exclude them, (save a few with whom the Gospel took effect) even from the name of Israelites, and from standing Abrahams Children any longer. For, saith he, (as who should say, the more is the pitty) they are not all Israel, that are of Israel, that is all that are Israel after the flesh, are not Gospel Israelites, Abrahams seed are no longer counted his seed, but they that are Christs by faith, are counted for the seed; and that this is the meaning of the words is evident from them that follow. For, saith he, neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all Children; but in Isaac shall thy seed be called, that is, these which [Page 15] are the Childsen of the flesh, these are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

A clear illustration we have of this Gal. 3.7.9. where the Apostle urges this term, they which are of faith (that is, which believe) for none else are of faith, the same are the Children of Abraham, and are blessed with faithfull Abraham. He saith not, they which be of Abrahams flesh, for such are not accounted his Children as to the Gospel Covenant, much lesse doth he say or mean, that those which are born of the body's of them that be of faith are Abrahams children, and so to be signed, as his sons by Baptism, as his own fleshly seed were signed by Circumcision, as heirs with him of the old Canaan. As if because Abraham is the spiritual father of all that believe and walk in his steps, therefore he must be a father to all their natural posterity too, and be the spiritual father not of their persons only, but of their off­spring also.

But let me tell you he is not so much as a fa­ther to his own seed, in a Gospel sence, neither can these stand his children, nor the children of God, or heirs of the heavenly blessing and king­dom because they come out of his loins, 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 now gone, & there is no other way whereby the Jews themselves, much lesse any generations amongst the Gentils can be stil'd [Page 16] the children of God, or of Abraham, so as to expect the Gospel portion, but by believing in Christ Jesus, in their own persons, Gal. 3.26. ye are all the Children of God by faith in Iesus Christ; and if ye be Christs then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Another Scripture that proves that Abrahams own seed, in the old Covenant account are not his seed, in the account of the Gospel, so as there­upon to have right to ordinances is, John 8.33. to the 40. where Christ being cavilled at by the Jews, for promising freedom from sin, to which they were slaves and servants, notwithstanding the legal freedom they so much boasted of, disco­vers plainly, the cutting off the Jews from three things.

1. From the repute and denomination of Abra­hams children.

2. From any share in the spiritual blessings of the Gospel.

3. From any further right to Church-member­ship and ordinances.

First they alledge that they are Abrahams seed ver. 33. that they were not born of Fornication, ver. 39. (meaning as Ishmael was) but they had one father even God v. 41. To which Christ answers, not by denying of any of all this, for it was all true in that sense in which they meant it, yea they were Abrahams children, and Christ confesses it ver. 37. I know you are Abrahams seed, yea they were all the Children of God, by an outward and Typicall adoption of them unto himself. But Christ overthrows all, by telling them, that [Page 17] Abrahams children are accounted of otherwise now then formerly; not as coming out of his loyns, but doing his works, as being allyed to him, not so much after the flesh as after the faith. Whereupon not yet believing he denies them to be now Abrahams Children, in the true and substantiall sense, and that appears in this Hypothesis ver. 39. If ye were Abrahams children ye would do the works of Abraham. To which do but add the Minor; But ye do not the works of Abraham: And then the conclusion follows; 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 denies them to be Abrahams children in the sense of the New.

2ly. They say they are freemen, and were ne­ver in bondage: this Christ also grants: it was so indeed in the outward Typical sense, they were freemen and heirs of that earthly glory that was promised to Abraham in that old Canaan, but de­ny's them to be freemen as to the Gospel, with heavenly freedom of that Jerusalem which is a­bove, which is the mother of all believers Gal. 4.20. yea asserts that they were but servants, and in bondage to sin, which is the greatest slavery of all ver. 34. he that commits sin is the servant of sin. So that for all their sonships, in truth they were but servants. He grants their sonship and title to the old inheritance, but denies it to the new.

3ly. They boast or blesse themselves in their standing in the house or family of Abraham, that is the visible Church, as to the ordinances, pri­viledges, [Page 18] and rights whereof, who but them­selves had the title. For this indeed was their ad­vantage of old, that to them were committed the oracles of God To which Christ answers, 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 but servants in the Gospels. And being but servants, as Moses, and his house, the old Church were; they must anon be turn'd out of the house, and abide in the Church, that is Abrahams family no longer; that believers the true sons and heirs may come in, as in the 35. verse. And the servant (saith Christ) abideth not in the house for ever; but the son abideth for ever. If therefore the son make you free, and that he doth not for all your former freedom, unlesse you believe in him; then shall you be free indeed, even to the glory, oracles, and blessings of the spirituall house, the Gospel Church, which else, you must be cut off from.

And so indeed it came to passe within a while, for not believing and repenting, which are the only terms which give right to Gospel ordinan­ces and priviledges. So that these Jews though Natural branches still as much as ever (if being the fleshly seed of a believer could help them,) as to a standing there, were yet clean broke from the root Abraham, as he stands a root to all the faithful, because only 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) owned as his [Page 19] Children by believing, and as members of the true Church under the Gospel.

And this was declared by John the Baptist, and the rest of the first Ministers of the Gospel, who would not admit Jews as Jews (though Abra­hams own seed) unto Baptism, when they offered themselves upon the aforenamed terms without faith and repentance. See how the Pharisees, Sad­duces, and whole multitude of Abrahams seed come to be Baptized. Math. 3.7. Luke. 3.7. pretending and pleading that if Baptism were a Church priviledge, it must needs belong to them▪ who were the children of Abraham; But see how he rejects them, as having no part nor por­tion in this matter. O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? as if he should have said, what have you to do with the remission of sins and redemption from wrath, which I preach and baptize in token of, being (notwithstanding your priviledges) corrupt and sinful in your lives. Bring forth therefore, to the end you may be baptized, fruits answerable to a­mendment of life; and begin not to say, that we have Abraham to our father, we are the seed of an eminent believer, for God is able of these stones to raise up childeen to Abraham. i. e. God will without being beholden to you, raise a seed to Abraham rather then to want them, from a­mongst these stones; whether he means stones lite­rally, or the Gentiles, which were as stones in their eyes, it matters not.

But this we gather from it, that even at that very time, when the birth-priviledge and holy­nesse [Page 20] of a fleshly seed stood in full force, and un­repealed (as then it did) how much more since the abrogation thereof by faith, Abrahams seed could not, much less can the seed of believing Gentiles, now it is repeal'd, be admitted to Bap­tism without Repentance.

The Jews as impenitent and unbelieving as they were, stood uncast out of the Jewish Church, while the Church it self stood: But they could not passe out of that Church into the Gospel Church, nor from their right to circumcision, prove their right to Baptism; yet this they might have done, if what gave right of old to one of those ordinances, doth in like manner in right persons to the other.

So then seeing Abrahams own seed had no right to Baptism, as such, how can you expect it from your seed, who are not Abrahams seed: For Abraham hath but two seeds, as I know of (except Christ) the first is his seed after the flesh, and such were all those that were born of his bo­dy, as Ishmael, and his children by Keturah, and those that come of him, by Isaac and Jacob; which only were heirs with him of the land of Canaan (for Esau sold his birth-right.)

2. His seed after the faith, and they are all those that walk in his steps Rom. 4.12. and such that do his works John. 8. but to suppose that Abraham hath a third seed, and they are the chil­dren of believing Gentiles, is a fancy, for, non datur tertium semen Abrahae.

Two seeds of Abraham the Scripture mentions, but a third sort cannot be assign'd, The first are [Page 21] only these that descend from his loyns, 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, and 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.

Poed.

But were not the proselytes or strangers counted Abrahams seed, and circumcis'd upon that account?

Bap.

No: they were not Abrahams seed, and circumcis'd on that account; but from a positive instruction, & an expresse command from God, as they were the males in the family of one that was a Jew, at least by devotion, for which see Gen. 17.12.13. And he that is eight days old shall be cir­cumcis'd among you, every man child in your genera­tions, he that is born in the house, or bought with mony from any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with mony, must needs be circumcis'd; and in Exod. 12.48.49. it is called a law, When a stranger shall so­journ with thee, and will keep the passeover, let all his males be circumcis'd, and then let him eat the the Passeover, and he shall be as one that is born in the land, and for the stranger. And in Numb. 9.14. it is called an Ordinance. Ye shall have one Ordi­nance for him that is born in the land, and for the stranger. Shew but so much for Infants-Baptism, that it is called a law, an ordinance, or hath any [Page 22] institution for it, and the controversy is ended. So that you see the prosclites were circumcis'd by vertue of a law, as they were Males in the fami­ly, and not as Abrahams seed: for so they were not, nor heirs either of the temporal, or spiritu­al Canaan. In the temporal Canaan they had no inheritance, nor any right to the heavenly, unless they were true believers as Abraham was.

So that the sum of what hath been said is:

First the seed of believers, are not Abraham [...]s seed.

Secondly, that Abrahams seed are cut off from all the priviledges of the old Covenant, and are not all counted his seed, in the sence of the new.

Thirdly, that Abrahams natural seed have no right to the priviledges of the new Covenant, by vertue of Abrahams faith.

Fourthly, that seeing Abrahams own seed, his natural children, have no right to the Gospel-Covenant, or priviledges thereof, much lesse can the children of believing Gentiles lay any claim thereunto, either by vertue of Abraham [...]s faith, or the faith of their own parents.

And so I might here end this matter; but be­cause you shall have full measure, I will add a­nother testimony concerning the Covenant, and the little ground there is to baptize Infants, from that Scripture Gen. 17.7.

Know then that the Covenant of grace is to be considered, either of the promise of eternal life and salvation, made to all the elect in Christ, the which remains one and the same in all ages, though variously administred, in the times of the [Page 23] old and new Testament. Or else of the manner of its Administration, in which sence, its now (in respect of the old Testament administration) which was a distinct Covenant in it self (for the time being) called the new Covenant, and the other to have waxen old, and to vanish away, Heb. 8. last. Which cannot be said of the promise or Covenant of eternal life, that being an ever­lasting covenant, and over remains one and the same. Now its one thing to be in the Covenant of grace, i. e. to have a right to the promise, which is only proper to the elect: another thing, to be under the administration of the Covenant, which is common to the elect and reprobates, and depends meerly upon Gods appointment.

Now if the Covenant be understood in the first sence, of the promise of eternal life and salvati­on, made to the elect in Christ: that did never belong to all the children born of believing pa­ren [...]s, as might be instanced in Ishmael and Esau, &c. but only to such as are elected of them, Rom. 9.7.8.9. neither because they are the seed of Abra­ham, are they all children, &c. The Covenant of grace being first made between God and Christ, & all the elect in Christ. And therefore in Scripture it is cal'd the promise of eternal life which was made to the elect before the world began; who are there­fore called the heirs of promise, which promise had its first promulgation to Adam, in the garden of Eden. Where we have also the first discovery of the mystery of the two seeds.

Now the Covenant taken in this sence, is not the ground and reason of administring ordinances [Page 24] to any person whatever. But the law of instituti­on is the ground or reason of visible Administrati­ons. For the administration of ordinances belongs not to the substance of the Covenant; but to its administration as to the persons to whom they shall be administred, and that meerly on the law of institution, without any other consideration; and hence we finde, that from the first promulgati­on of the Covenant to Adam, until Gods re­newing of it to Abraham, there was no ordinance to be administred to Infants, though some Infants as well as grown persons, both of believers, and unbelievers might be comprehended in the Co­venant yet not to be circumcis'd, and so not to be baptiz'd for want of an institution

So the promise in Act. 2.39. is said to be to them a far off, in the present tense, while uncal­led, even to as many as shall be called; and yet, not to be baptized before calling, unlesse you will baptize Gentiles in professed Gentilism; and so the Jews, some not yet born, some not cal'd, have the Covenant of grace made to them, Rom. 11.27. For this is my Covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins; and yet they are not to be baptized till converted.

Nor can the Covenant, considered in its pure nature, be a ministers rule to administer Ordi­nances by, seeing it is unknown, who are in the Covenant, and who are not; but that which is their rule, must be something that is manifest.

Secondly, when it is said, that the Covenant of grace belongs to believers children, and that is the ground of their Baptism. If it be meant of [Page 25] its Administration, you have heard, that depends meerly on the law of institution, and hath varied in several ages according to the will of the law-giver. For during all that period of time, from Adam to Abraham, there was no Ordinance to be administred to Infants; but when God renew­ed the promise to Abraham, he instituted circum­cision, which ordinance belongs peculiarly to the old Testament administration, and was part of Moses law, which is now abrogated and done away: And this was the first ordinance that was administred to Infants and not to all Infants, but only to male Infants living in Abrahams family if they did live to the eight day, otherwise, they had no right to this ordinance; though many of them doubtlesse in the Covenant of grace and so saved: so we say of Infants in the days of the Gospel, many of them are in the Covenant of grace, and so saved, by vertue of the free pro­mise: But yet not to be baptised, if they do not live to the time of believing and repenting, the only time appointed for Baptism: so that the Ad­ministration of ordinances to Infants, depends upon an Institution, and not upon their being in Covenant.

And as to that place Gen. 17.7. I will be a God to thee, and to thy seed, that is, say you, the Co­venat was made with Abraham, as a believer, and so with all believers and their seed. To which I answer; The Covenant was not made with be­lievers, and their seed; but with Abraham and his seed. Now Abraham is to be considered under a double relation.

[Page 26]First, as the father of the Jews, his fleshly seed.

Secondly, as he is the father of his spiritual seed, both Jews, and Gentiles; Rom. 4.11.12. Now to both seeds, doth God promise to be a God, but in a different manner and respect.

First, he promises to be a God to his fleshly seed, in giving to them the land of Canaan for an inheritance, the promise of which is expresly called the Covenant made with Abraham, and his seed as on Gods part, Psal. 105.9.10.11.12. which Covenant he made with Abraham, saying, unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance, &c. See also 1 Chron. 16.16.17.18. and Neh. 9.8. This, I say, was the Covenant on Gods part. And their obedience to circumcisi­on is expresly called the Covenant on their parts, Gen. 17.10. This is my Covenant which ye shall keep between me and you; Every male shall be Cir­cumcis'd. So Act. 7.8. And he gave them the Co­venant of Circumcision, and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcis'd him the eight day. By which they stood engaged to keep all those other additi­onal ordinances which Moses gave them, when they were about to enter their promised inheri­tance as Gal. 5.3. I testify that whoever is Circum­cis'd is bound to keep the whole law.

Secondly, God promised to be a God to Abra­ham, and his spiritual seed; such as walk in his steps, that is believers, whether Jews or Gen­tiles, in giving unto them an eternal inheritance Heb. 9.15. incorruptible and undefiled, that fa­deth not away, purchased by the blood of Jesus, [Page 27] and reseved for them in heaven: of which the earthly inheritance in the land of Canaan was but a type.

So, there is a twofold seed of Abraham, a flesh­ly, and a spiritual, typed out by Ishmael, and Isaac: and a two-fold inheritance, an earthly and a heavenly. But the heavenly inheritance was not given to the fleshy seed, but only in Types offered to them, and confirmed to the spiritual seed, who are therefore called the heirs of pro­mise. Heb. 6.17. Neither was the Covenant made with Abraham, a pure Gospel Covenant, but a mixt Covenant, consisting partly of promi­ses of temporal blessings, of which Isaac, who is said to be born by promise, was the true and proper heir. And partly of promises of spiritu­al blessings, of an heavenly inheritance; and of these Jesus Christ was the true her; and Anti­typical Isaac: for as Ishmael, the child of the flesh had no right with Isaac, in the outward Ty­pical promise; so Isaac himself, by vertue of his fleshly descent, had no right nor Interest in the heavenly inheritance, and Gospel priviledges Rom. 9.7. any otherwise then he came to have an interest in Christ.

And therefore we find the Apostle in Gal. 3.16. expounding the word of promise (i. e.) I will be a God to thee, and thy seed; sheweth that the Gos-promises of Abrahams Covenant were not made to any ones fleshly seed, no, not with the meer fleshly seed of believing Abraham himself: but the promises did all run to Christ the inheriting seed to whom they were made; and when Christ [Page 28] was come they all center in him: see and consider the text. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made; he saith not to seeds, as of many but as of one, and to thy seed which is Christ; to Isaac in the type, but to Christ in the Antitype, and in him are all the promises yea and Amen.

Having thus followed the promises down a­long from Abraham to Christ, and found them all to center in him; let us now see, to whom they came forth again: And it is not to any ones fleshly seed whatever; but from Christ they all flow forth again to believers, and only to be­lievers, and that by vertue of their union with Christ; and therefore says the Apostle; If ye be Christs then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs ac­cording to the promise, for there is no other way to partake of the promise but by faith in Christ, Gal. 3.22. The Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by the faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe; where two things are observable; first, to whom the pro­mise is given, viz. to them that believe; second­ly, by what means, they come to partake of them,; and that is, by the faith of Christ: so in verse the 26. you are all the children of God, by faith in Jesus Christ; and if ye be Christs, (that is by faith) then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise: So then it seems all promises run to Christ, and from him flow forth again only to believers. Which being impartially considered, is a full answer to all Arguments drawn from the Covenants, and the promise made to Abraham, and certainly and [Page 29] unavoidably cuts off Infants Church membership in the days of the Gospel, unlesse the Poedobaptists can finde a new institution for it. But for a fur­ther illustration of this, and that you may see, that this is not my opinion alone, I shall present you with some select passages that the judicious and eminent divine, Dr Owen hath upon this sub­ject, it is in his Exercitations upon the Epistle to the Hebrews, tom. 1. p. 55. &c. to which the Reader is referred, & which by another hand may be short­ly improved; In the mean time take these few instances; Two Priviledges did God grant unto Abraham upon his separation to a special interest in the old promise and Covenant.

First, that according to the flesh, he should be the father of the Messiah; the promised seed, who was the very life of the Covenant, the fountain and cause of all the blessings contained in it. That this Priviledge was temporary, having a limited sea­son, time and end appointed unto it, the very nature of the thing it self doth demonstrate. For upon this actual exhibition in the flesh, it was to cease. In pursuit hereof, were his posterity separated from the rest of the world, and preserved a peculiar people, that through them the promised seed might be brought forth in the fulnesse of time, and be of them accor­ding unto the flesh, Rom. 9.8.

Secondly, together will this he had also another priviledge granted unto him, namely, that his saith whereby he was personally interested in the Cove­nant, should be the pattern of the faith of the Church in all generations, and that none should ever come to be a member of it, or a sharer in its blessings, [Page 30] but by the same faith that he had, fixed on the seed that was in the promise, to be brought forth from him in the world. On the account of this Privi­ledge, he became the father of all them that do be­lieve; for they that are of the faith, the same aere the children of Abraham Gal. 3.7. Rom. 4.11. as also heirs of the world; Rom. 4.13. in that all that should believe throughout the world, being thereby implanted into the Covenant made with him, should become his spiritual children.

Answerable unto this twofold end of the separati­on of Abraham, there was a double seed allo [...]ed un­to him. A seed according to the flesh, separated to the bringing forth of the Messiah, according to the flesh; and a seed according to the promise, that is, such as by faith have an Interest in the promise, or all the elect of God. Not that these two seeds were always subjectively divers; so that the seed se­parated to the bringing forth of the Messiah in the flesh, should neither in whole, or in part be also the seed according to the promise; or on the contrary, that the seed according to the promise, should none of it be his seed after the flesh. Our Apostle declares the contrary in the instancos of Isaac and Jacob, with the remnant of Israel that shall be saved, Chap. 9.10.11. But sometimes the same seed came under diverse considerations, being the seed of Abraham both according to the flesh and promise, and some­times the seed it self was divers, those according to the flesh being not of the promise, and so on the con­trary. Thus Isaac and Jacob were the seed of Abra­ham according unto the flesh, separated unto the bringing forth of the Messiah after the flesh, because [Page 31] they were his carnal Posterity, and they were also the seed of the promise, because by their own per­sonal faith they were Interessed in the Covenant of Abraham their father. Multitudes afterwards were of the carnal seed of Abraham, and of the num­ber of People separated to bring forth the Messiah in the flesh, and yet were not of the seed according to the promise, nor interested in the spiritual blessings of the Covenant, because they did not personally believe, as our Apostle declares Chap. 4. of his Epistle. And many afterwards, who were not of the carnal seed of Abraham, nor interested in the priviledge of bringing forth the Messiah in the flesh, were yet designed to be made his spiritual seed by Faith, that in them he might become heir of the world, and all Nations of the Earth be blessed in him. Now it is evident, that it is the second Priviledge and spiritual seed, wherein the Church to whom the Promises are made is founded, and whereof it doth consist, namely in them, who by faith are in­terested in the Covenant of Abraham, whether they be of the carnal seed or no.

And herein lay the great mistake of the Jews of old, wherein they are followed by their Posterity un­to this day. They thought no more was needful to in­terest them in the Covenant of Abraham, but that they were his seed according to the flesh, and they con­stantly pleaded the latter Priviledge, as the ground and reason of the former. It is true, they were the children of Abraham according to the flesh; but on that account, they can have no other Priviledge then Abraham had in the flesh himself. And this was, as we have shewed, that he should be set apart as [Page 32] a special Channel, through whose loins God would derive the promised seed into the world. In like man­ner were they separated to be a peculiar people as his Posterity, from among whom he should be so brought forth.

That this separation and priviledge were to cease, when the end of it was accomplished, and the Messi­ah exhibited, the very nature of the thing declares. For to what purpose should it be continued, when that was fully effected whereunto it was designed? but they would extend this priviledge, and mix it with the other, contending that because they were the chil­dren of Abraham according to the flesh, the whole blessing and Covenant of Abraham belonged unto them. But as our Saviour proved that in the latter sense they were not the children of Abraham, be­cause they did not the works of Abraham; so as our Apostle plainly demonstrates, Rom. 4.9.10.11. Chapters. Gal. 3.4. Chap. That those of them who had not the faith of Abraham, had no interest in his blessings and Covenant; seeing therefore that their other priviledge was come to an end with all the Carnal ordinances that attended it, by the actual coming of the Messiah whereunto they were subservi­ent, if they did not by faith in the promised seed at­tain an Interest in this of the spiritual blessing, it is evident that they could on no account be considered as actually sharers in the Covenant of God.

We have seen then that Abraham on the account of his faith and not of his separation according to the flesh, was the father of all that believe, and heir of the world. And in the Covenant made with him, as to that which concerns, not the bringing forth of [Page 33] the promised seed according to the flesh, but as unto faith therein; and in the work of redemption to be performed thereby, lyes the foundation of the Church in all ages. Wheresoever this Covenant is, and with whomsoever it is established, with them is the Church, unto whom all the promises and Priviledges of the Church do belong. Hence it was, that at the coming of the Messiah there was not one Church taken away, and another set up in the room thereof, but the Church continued the same in those that were the children of Abraham according to the faith. The Christan Church, is not another Church, but the very same, that was before the coming of Christ, having the same faith with it, and interested in the same Covenant.

It is true, the former Carnal Priviledges of Abraham and his Posterity expiring on the grounds before mentioned, the Ordinances of worship which were suited thereunto did necessarily cease also. And this cast the Jews into great perplexityes, and pro­ved the last tryal that God made of them. For where­as both these, namely the carnal and spiritual Pri­viledges of Abrahams Covenant, had been carried on together in a mixed way for many generations, coming now to be separated, and a tryal to be made (Mal. 3) who of the Jews had Interest in both, who in one only, those who had only the Carnal priviledge of being children of Abraham according to the flesh, contended for a share on that single account in the other also, that is in all the Promises annexed unto the Covenant. But the foundation of their plea was taken away, and the Church unto which the promises belong remained with them, that were heirs of [Page 34] Abrahams faith only.

It remains then, that the Church founded in the Covenant, and unto which all the promises did and do belong, abode at the coming of Christ, and doth abide ever since in and among those who are the children of Abraham by faith.

And a little further he saith, No individual per­son hath any interest in the promises, but by vertue of his membership with the Church, which is and al­ways was one and the same, with whomsoever it re­mains the promises are theirs: and that Not by ap­plication or Analogie, but directly and properly. The Church unto whom all the promises belong, are only those who are heirs of Abrahams Faith; belie­ving as he did, and thereby interested in the Cove­nant.

So far this learned man, whose words need no comment, nor need we draw any inference, but recite his bare words, which are both perspicu­ous and Orthodox; clearly and fully evidencing our position, That believers only are the children of Abraham, and none but such have an Interest in the Covenant made with him, which unavoidably ex­cludes infants from Gospel-Ordinances, untill they believe in their own persons: And then, and not before, they may lay a just claim, that they are Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the pro­mise. And if our opponents think Dr. O. inju­red (as they are apt to clamour to that purpose) for our improvement of his words to our advan­tage, he being for Poedobaptism; we say, that they are at liberty to reconcile his words to his practice if they can, to do which they have need [Page 35] of a considerable stock (but they are seldome un­furnisht) of artifice, and distinction, to help at this dead lift. The Dr. treating about the nature of the Covenant and promises made to Abraham, (and perhaps forgetting Infant-Baptism) opens and expounds them with such spirituality and Orthodoxy, as leaves no room for Infant Baptism, but excludes it beyond all possibility of reconci­liation; unless it can be proved, that they, viz. Infants are heirs of Abrahams faith, believing as he did; and that the promises are theirs, not by ap­plication or Analogie, but directly and properly, and by their own personal faith, which I despair ever to hear of; though Mr B. himself, that unparalleld distinguisher, should undertake it.

Poed.

But our Ministers tells us, that when the promises are said to be made to Christ, it is not meant of Christ personally, but of Christ mysti­cally, as in the 1 Cor. 12.12. and so its to be un­derstood of the visible Church, of which infants born of believing parents are a part.

Bap.

Its true these are your sayings: but, I must tell you, we must not be put off with fan­cies, and bare affirmations, but we expect solid proof from Scripture. And whereas you say, the promises are to be considered, as made to Christ mystically, that is, to the visible Church; the contrary appears in Gal. 3.16. where he affirms that Christ was the seed to whom the promises were made. And in vers. 19th. he saith; the law was added because of transgression, till the seed should come, to whom the promise was made: where it is observable that the law (i. e.) the [Page 36] Mosaical administration, is said to be before the seed was come, and was to have its period then. Now, if by Christ the seed be not understood per­sonally, but mystically, for the visible or invisible Church, (take which you will) then the law could not have been before the seed; for God had his Church in Abrahams family 400 years be­fore the law was, of which Christ was the head, and they his mystical body. And so by this inter­pretation, the seed should have been before the law, contrary to the Apostle who makes the law to have been before the seed, and to have its pe­riod, when the seed to whom the promise was made, was come; and now the promises running to Christ personally, God makes him over for a Covenant to the Elect, and all the promises in him. Isa. 42.6. So that in Christ he is our God, and in Christ, he takes us to be his people. In Christ, and a right to the promises; out of Christ, and strangers to the Covenants of promise, Eph. 2.12. So that it is evident, that the promises, respecting the eternal inheritance, and spiritual blessings were first made to Christ personally, and in him to his mystical body, the Church, who are united to him by faith.

Secondly, as to that Scripture 1 Cor. 12.12. ‘for as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body being ma­ny, are one body, so also is Christ: It rather seems to be meant of the invisible Church of true believers, then of the visible; for the Apostle there, calls none the body of Christ but such as [...]ad received the gifts of the spirit, and such, as by [Page 37] one spirit (as the concurring cause) had been bapti­Zed into one body, yea such who had received the spi­rit to profit withall, such, that had a real sympathy one with another, vers. the 26th. If one Member suf­fers all the members suffer with it, if one member be honoured, all the members rejoyce with it: All which cannot (in any tolerable sence) be applyed to the visible Church, amongst whom there are ma­ny hypocrites, that never received the spirit, nor by the spirit could sympathize one with another, &c. But however, it is most certain infants are not called the body of Christ, if it be meant of the visible Church indeed, by vertue of the grace of election, some of them may be members of his mystical body, the invisible Church, but not at all members of the visible, especially from this chapter; for it is said, if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; and the manifestation of the spirit is given to every one to profit with­all, which cannot be applicable to infants.

For none in this Chapter are counted the body of Christ, but such as are usefull to the body, as an eye, an eare, or a foot, a hand, a head, &c. as vers. 21. the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee, nor the head to the feet I have no need of you. So that I draw these two conclusions.

First every member in a Chuch stands in need of the help of all the other members.

Secondly that every member in a Church must be usefull in his place to the rest of the mem­bers. But of what use are infants to the rest of the members in respect to edification?

Now this objection being answered, I hope [Page 38] you see plainly, that all the promises respecting spiritual blessings, and the eternal inheritance, were first made to Christ personally, and in him they are made over to his mistical body, the Church, who are united to him by faith, which being well weighed would put an end to the whole Controversy.

And in the next place you may see to what lit­tle purpose, the promise in Gen. 17.7. is brought to prove, that God made a Covenant of eternal life with believers and their Children.

The text speaks of a Covenant made with A­braham and his seed, it doth not say with all be­lievers and their seed, or all Church-members and their seed, neither doth it follow by any ne­cessary consequence, that because God made a Covenant with Abraham, and his seed, therefore he hath made a Covenant with believers and their seed; sure I am, the Apostle was of another mind, who when he expounds the Covenant Gen. 17.7. understands it to be made to Abraham, (as it contains Gospel blessings) not as a natural father but as the father of the faithfull, both Jews and Gentils, Rom. 4.11, 12. he received the sign ef Circumcision that he might be the father of all them that believe, and walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham, so Gal. 3.7. know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the chil­dren of Abraham; And these only are the seed to whom the Covenant was made (in respect to Gospel priviledges) and not to the natural seed either of Abraham, or of any other believers, as hath been evidently made appear before, and [Page 39] that beyond all Contradiction: And whoever af­firms otherwise preaches another Gospel then Paul knew, and incurrs that doom mentioned Gal. 1.8, 9.

Poed.

But we are told that as the Jews and their Children are broken off from the Covenant, so the Gentils and their Children are ingrafted in, in their room, according to Rom. 11.20. be­cause of unbelief they were broken off, and thou stan­dest by faith.

Bap.

in answer to which, I grant there was a time, when the Jews and their children were broken off, as the Apostle saith, but there are two things to be considered. First, why they were broken off. Secondly, from what they were broken off.

1. Why? Answ. It was not because they had not believing Parents; for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were the fathers of them all, and upon whose account they had right to the priviledges of the Covenant.

2. Not because they wanted title, for they were Abrahams seed, when they were broken off; but,

3. Because the terms of standing in the Church were now altered; and the Church it self remo­ved: For before the Gospel came they stood members of the old Church, though as much un­believers for many generations, as they were when they were broken off; and why did not their unbelief break them off before?

But now Abrahams Church state is at an end, and all the priviledges and immunities cease; [Page 40] the Jewish Church must give way to the Gospel Church; the Messiah being come, and about to build him a new house, into which none are (of right) to enter, but profest believers; and the Jews not believing now in that saviour who has the substance of the shadows, and which all their types pointed out, and whom all those ordinan­ces signified, yea for whose sake they did enjoy their ordinances, and to which end were com­mitted unto them the oracles of God, the giving of the law, and the promises; yea therefore was their seed counted holy, to point out, and keep them in memory of that holy child Jesus that was to come as the Anti-type of all these things: For the old house, or Jewish Church was not inten­ded to abide for ever, but to the time of reforma­tion; then the law must be changed, the priest­hood chang'd, the priviledges and ordinances chang'd, the seed chang'd, yea the Covenant chang'd, which they not believing, being willing to abide in the old house still, and to remain Churchmembers upon a meer fleshly and natural birth; still crying out, Abraham is our father, and we are his seed, and are free, and were ne­ver in bondage: and here it seems they are resol­ved to stand; wherefore they were broken off, and that whether they would or not, by reason of their unbelief, that is, because they would not believe that the old Covenant and all the pri­viledges thereof were ended, and the substance come, the Lord Jesus the Antitype of their types.

The second thing is, from what they were bro­ken off?

[Page 41]I answer, From all the glory they boasted so much of; as the Apostle sayes; thou art called a Jew, and makest thy boast of God, and trustest in the law; but all these things are now gone, yea the Typical Adoption, the glory, and the Cove­nants, the giving of the law, and the service of God and the promises; all their birth-priviled­ges, Church membership and ordinances; which continued but till the time of reformation; yea from that Covenant, which had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary, which is now all abolished, as you see Heb. 9.1.2.3.4. &c. And all because they did not be­lieve in him, who was the Antitype and substance of all their shadows; but were willing to abide in the old house still, and loath to lose their outward priviledges, their worldly sanctuary, their ordinances and Church membership upon the account of Abrahams faith, for it was indeed an easy service, a flesh pleasing religion, (if sal­vation could have been obtained by it) notwith­standing the bondage and laboriousness of some services, yet how willing would the carnal Jew have born all, if he might have been saved by the faith of another, rather then to lose all the righ­teousness of the law, and to count his circumci­sion, and Church membership as dung to winn Christ, as Paul did when converted, and be found in him only, not having his own righteousnesse which is of the law, but that which is by faith in Jesus Christ.

Thus you see why the Jews ars broken off, and from what. But they are not all broken off from [Page 42] the Gospel Covenant, for there is yet a remnant according to the election of grace, and as many of them as believe, and repent of their sins shall be admitted to the more easy, and more excellent priviledges of the Gospel Church membership and ordinances, and shall be a pillar in the Tem­ple of God, and shall go no more out.

Besides, we see many of the Jews have been converted, and shall be more generally in the la­ter days.

And if you say, May not the children of the Jews, be broken off from the Gospel Covenant? I answer.

They are no more broken off, then the chil­dren of the Gentiles; for those that dye in infan­cy, as many as belong to the election of grace shall be saved: if they live to years of discretion, and then believe they shall be saved, as soon as any children of believing gentiles.

But if the children of the Jews, be broken off from the Gospel Covenant, it is either because of their parents unbelief, or their own personal unbelief. If it be meerly their parents unbelief, then if any do believe in their own persons they cannot be admitted, because of their parents un­belief, for that which cuts them off, will keep them off; and so the parents unbelief keeps the children from the Gospel Covenant, and so, is the cause of their damnation, for causa causae, est causa causati. But where do we finde that chil­dren shall be damn'd for the sins of their parents; the Scripture saith, the soul that sins shall dye.

And if you say, the Jews unbelief doth not keep [Page 43] their children from the Covenant of grace, but only from the administrations of it, as Baptism, &c. I answer, that according to your principles, it a­mounts to the same thing, for you say out of the Church no salvation.

But if you say their parents unbelief keeps them out of the Church, only during their infancy, when they come to years, if they believe, they may be ad­mitted: Then it will follow that such children of the Jews, yea of all unbelievers that dye in in­fancy are in a miserable condition, their case is deplorable, for their parents (secundum te) can have no hopes of their salvation. Poor souls! had you lived a while longer, you had been in the Covenant of grace, and enjoy'd the priviledges thereof, but meerly because of your parents un­belief you are cut off while you are infants.

But if this be true, parents have cause to mourn to the breaking of their loynes, when their children dye. But David was of another mind, who when his child dyed, rejoyced though it dyed on the seventh day, the day before cir­cumsion, and that not without hopes of its good estate, as learned men conceive; for he said, I shall go to that, but that shall not return to me; which is not meant only of going to the grave, but to a state of happynesse, for our going barely to the grave, is no cause of comfort.

Poed.

But we are told, that Circumcision was a great priviledge, as the Apostle saith Rom. 3.1. What advantage is there of Circumcision? much e­very way; and therefore, to be broken off, was their misery.

Bap.
[Page 44]

Its true the Apostle propounds that question, what profit is there of Circumcision? his meaning is, that there was a time when they had advantage by circumcision, and the main was, that Christ should come of their flesh; of whom, as concerning the flesh Christ came. But this and all other advantages are ceased, and now it is a mercy rather then a misery, (though they thought otherwise) to be broken off from the Covenant of Circumcision; and that it is so I shall make ap­pear from these Arguments.

1. If standing in the Covenant of Circumcision, did keep up the expectation of Christ to come, and so deny him to be already come in the flesh, then their breaking off from that Covenant was a mercy not a misery.

But the Antecedent is true, Ergo, so is the con­sequence.

2. If while the Jew and his seed now stand in the Covenant of Circumcision, Christ did profit them nothing: then to be broken off from that Covenant is a mercy, not a misery.

But the Antecedent is true Gal. 5.2. If ye be circumcis'd Christ shall profit you nothing, (that is if you now continue in the old Covenant) Ergo, so is the consequent.

3. If while the Jew and his seed stand in the Covenant of Circumcision, they go about to esta­blish their own righteousnesse, and do not sub­mit to the righteousnesse of God: then to be bro­ken off from the covenant is a mercy not a misery.

But the antecedent is true, Rom. 10.3. &c. Ergo, so is the consequent.

[Page 45]4. If the standing in the Covenant of Circum­cision did oblige them to keep the whole Law, then their breaking off is a mercy, not a misery. But the Antecedent is true; Gal. 5.3. I testify, says Paul, that every one that is Circumcised is bound to keep the whole law.

Ergo, so is the consequent.

5. If while the Jews stand in the Covenant of Circumcision they cannot be justified in the sight of God; then to be broken off is a mercy not a misery.

But the Antecedent is true, Gal. 3.11. Ergo, so is the consequent.

Thus it appears that though the Jews thought it a misery to be broken off from the old Cove­nant from Circumcision and Church membership, from the priviledge of being Abrahams seed; yet it was indeed their mercy if they did believe and embrace the Gospel; for now they are deli­vered from all their yokes, and cruel bondage, yea, from the curse of the law; for Christ hath redeemed as many of them as believe from the curse of the law, being made a curse for them.

Obj. And if it be objected, then their unbelief was a mercy.

Answ. It doth not follow that because their breaking off was a mercy, therefore the means by which, was a mercy, for the death of Christ was a mercy, but the means of effecting it was not so; for they did it by wicked hands.

But had the Jewes believed, they would wil­lingly have broke off themselves, but because they did not, they were broken off, contrary to [Page 46] their own wills, (though for their good). For though it be not a mercy for any person to be broke off from any mercy God gives, during the time it is to be enjoyed; But if greater privi­ledges be offered, and they shall adhere to the worse, (and there being a period put to the for­mer) then 'tis their mercy rather then their misery to be forced out whether they will or no: as it is a mercy for a man to live in his own house, and enjoy the benefits and priviledges thereof; But if that house be like to fall upon his head, it is his mercy to be forced out of it, whether he will or not. So Lot would willingly have staid in Sodom, for the text saith he lingred, but God being mer­ciful unto him, forced him out, so the Jews would have staid longer in the old Covenant, but God being merciful unto them, took away all their priviledges, and concluded them all under sin, and made them all as well as Gentiles guil­ty before God, that he might have mercy upon all.

Poed.

But if Circumcision and all the Jews pri­viledges did hold out Christ to come in the flesh, then they should have been broken off as soon as Christ came, but they were not.

Bap.

Its true they were not broken off de facto, but de jure they were; but Christ was yet graci­ous to them, and tendred the Gospel first to them as you have heard, saying, he was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and a consi­derable time after the Apostles preach'd to the Jews, till they contradicting and blaspheming, Paul said; It was necessary the word of God [Page 47] should be first spoken unto them But seeing you put it from you, and so judge your selves unwor­thy of eternal life, loe, we turn to the Gentiles, whence we may observe.

1. How tender the Lord Jesus and his Apostles were to these people, and that because they had all the types of Christ coming in the flesh, and the shaddows of good things to come, and it was a great pitty that Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for, and that they which follow­ed after the law of righteousness have not obtain­ed the law of righteousness.

2ly. We may observe that they broke off them­selves, yet not all, the Apostle saith, 'tis but some of the branches are broken off, that is, some of Abrahams seed, for blindness is but in part hap'ned to Israel; And they also if they a­bide not in unbelief shall be grafted in again.

So then it is a great mistake to think that all Is­rael, and their seed are broken off from the Gos­pel Covenant, and the Gentiles and their seed come in their room, and so their children to en­joy Church priviledges, as membership and Bap­tism. For the Jews, that is the whole lump of Abrahams seed, are not broken off from the Gos­pel Covenant, but some only that abide in unbe­lief, but for others of them that do believe, they have still as great a priviledge, and as much a right to Gospel ordinances as any believing Gen­tils in the world. 'Tis true they are all broken off from the old Covenant, that could not give life, that made nothing perfect, which as you have heard is their mercy rather then misery, if they could believe it.

Poed.
[Page 48]

But me thinks, believers Children should have some priviledge above the children of hea­thens, or else they will lose some priviledge by the coming of Chrrst, and the Gospel dispensati­on will be less then that of the law.

Bap.

To which I answer,

1. That it must be prov'd that Baptism is any priviledge at all to infants, for we must under­stand that ordinances are the hard part of the Co­venant; and so, rather a burthen then a priviledg, without faith; they are part of Christs yoke, and though they be made easy to believers from their interest in Christ, and the hope of the recom­pence of reward, yet they are a burthen to the flesh, both in respect to the performance of them, and the consequences of them; yea rather a bur­then and a yoke then a mercy, and a priviledge, where there is no faith to make them easy. But,

2ly. If Circumcision were a priviledge, (though the Apostle calls it a yoke) it must be considered, whether our infants are capable of such priviledges by Baptism, as theirs were by Circumcision: for,

1. Circumcision did assure them that Christ should be born of their loyns.

2. It did inright them to the land of Canaan none of which we can expect.

3. By Circumcision you say they were accoun­ted Gods people, and this is the only thing you mean. But,

Is it so great a priviledge to have the name without the nature? the shadow without the substance? We use to count that a misery rather [Page 49] then a mercy: and Sardis is blamed for having a name to live and was dead. Is it any benefit for a man to be counted rich when he is poor: we see Naomies modesty is commended, who would not own the shadow without the substance; call me no more Naomi, but call me Marah.

But in the next place, you say infants unbap­tiz'd lose some priviledge: I say some things that were counted priviledges are lost, for it was a priviledge, that all the sons of the priests were born Priests, but it is not so now. But further; Its you your selves make your children lose a priviledge since the coming of Christ, and so make the new Covenant narrower then the old: And that because the faith of a believing parent, as you say, admits only your immediate children to Church membership and Baptism, but as to your childrens children, they have no benefit by your faith, no admittance to Ordinances upon your account; but it was otherwise of old; the Covenant of circumcision, and the priviledges of Church membership, was not only to the next generation flowing from Abraham, but to his seed after him in their generations, Gen. 17.7. and that not only to the third and fourth generati­on, but to Christs time, they enjoyed the privi­ledges of the Covenant by vertue of Abrahams faith. But now you have narrowed the Gospel dispensation, for you allow Baptism to none but your immediate seed, by vertue of the parents faith: your childrens children must come in up­on another account, their parents must be actual believers or else no admittance.

[Page 50]But what reason you have for so doing I know not, yea, I chalenge any man to give me a sub­stantial ground, why the faith of a believer may not now as well inright his childrens children to the 3d & 4th generation to Church-membership and Baptism, as the faith of Abraham did inright his seed in their generations to the priviledges of the old Covenant.

Will you say Abraham was a famous believer, and therefore had this priviledge above others? These are indeed your sayings; but must we be­lieve it therefore? where is it so said? or what necessary consequence is there from any Scripture, to enforce belief, that Abrahams personal faith shall inright him and his seed in their generations? But a believers faith in the days of the Gospel (though in some respect more excellent then that of Abraham) viz. in reference to the Messiah al­ready come, and Redemption compleated) shall inright only his immediate children such as are born of his loynes: so that you make the Gospel dispensation narrower then that of the law.

And whereas you say, if believers children are not baptized, they have no priviledge above the children of heathens. I answer, That had God so appointed, that believers children should have been baptized, and unbelievers children should not, you had ground then to consider it as a pri­viledge; but seeing there is no institution, you cannot say, they are denyed a priviledge: but if it be a priviledge, then (according to your pra­ctise) you run a great hazard of denying Baptism to such to whom it doth belong.

[Page 51]For if I should ask you, what sort of believers they are, whose children have a right to Baptism, here you would be at a losse, and must needs say, such only whom you count believers as your pra­ctise evidently proves: but it was not so of old, it was certainly known, what children had a right to Circumcision, and what had not: but if you do (as you do) baptize the children only of such parents as you count believers, then you may leave out many thousands of children that have as great a right to it as yours. For there are no persons called by the name of Christians, but do count themselves believers, yea doubtlesse there are many believers amongst them to whose children you deny Baptism, for,

Let it be considered how many sorts there are, who count themselves believers.

1. The Papists have their believers, and they are such, as own Christ to be the son of God, and believe all the Articles of the Church of Rome, &c. amongst whom surely God hath some peo­ple, for it is said, come out of her my people.

2. The Episcopalians have their believers, that is, such whom they count so, and they are such that believe that Christ is the son of God, that he dyed for sinners, and that whoever believes in him shall be saved, and so the whole nation own­ing and professing the faith of Christ, they bap­tize all their children, amongst whom there are many thousand real believers, and so their chil­dren have as much right to Baptism as yours.

3. The Presbyterians have their believers, and they are such (that is, so accounted) who own [Page 52] the faith of Christ, professe regeneration, and are morally righteous in their lives and conversa­tions.

4. The Independents have their believers, and they are such who own the faith of Christ, make a personal manifestation of their faith and repen­tance, and so are enchurcht and become mem­bers (by a Covenant) of some particular con­gregations.

Now pray tell me which of all these sorts of believers have right to have their children bapti­zed? If you say all of them, then you contra­dict your own practise, it being famously known, that some of you will baptize none but them of your own party. But if you say those children on­ly have right to Baptism, whose parents we count believers, then you run a hazard of denying Bap­tism to the children of diverse whose parents are as true believers as your selves, and so deny them the priviledges of the Covenant, and in as much as in you lyes occasion their damnation, as you use to tell the Baptist.

And if you say, so the Baptists themselves may keep persons from Baptism, to whom of right it doth belong, and so are equally guilty.

I answer, that cannot be, for our principles are, that no person hath right to Baptism, but he that desires it upon the profession of his faith and repentance: to such a person we do not deny it, unlesse his profession be contradicted by an unho­ly life. By all which it appears,

1. That you (practically) deny the priviledge of Baptism to many that have as real a right to it, as your selves.

[Page 53]2. That you count the children of diverse true believers to be in no better condition then hea­thens.

3. You do extreamly narrow the Gospel dis­pensation, (a fault you use, though unjustly, to charge the Baptists with) and so make the privi­ledges of the Gospel, lesse then the priviledges of the law; for whereas of old all the seed of Abra­ham, all his numerous posterity were circumcis'd, and that whether their parents believed, or not, there was no questioning of their faith, no enqui­ry into their conversations, &c. But now you, (practically) own no children to have right to Baptism, but those whose immediate parents have given some visible demonstration of their conversion, and manifested their faith and Re­pentance, who are so few, that were their num­ber reckoned up, it would not amount to one a­mongst a hundred of them that are true believers, in the world.

But further, if the children of believers only (as you say) have right to the Covenant and Baptism, and that of such believers as you count so; and so, their parents, only, have hope of their salvation; then what shall become of the children of unbelievers, yea of such, whom you count unbelievers? may not they make this ap­peal to their parents, and say? O wretched and miserable parents, that have brought forth so de­plorable an off spring; other children as soon as they are born are in the Covenant of grace, and by vertue of their parents faith, have aright to Church membership and baptism, wherein they [Page 54] are made children of God, heirs of Christ, and in­heritors of the kingdom of heaven. But wo and alas to us, that ever we were born of unbelie­ving parents, or at least of such that were never enchurcht, nor members of any Presbyterian or Independant congregation. We are unholy, un­clean, doggs that must not meddle with the chil­drens bread, without the pale of the Church, a­liens from the common weal of Israel, without hope and without God in the world. We must not be admitted to the priviledges of the Cove­nant of grace, though diverse of our parents are professed Christians, and believe Christ crucified, &c. yet because they have not made a personal manifestation of their faith and repentance, and so joyned to some Church diverse ministers will not admit us to Baptism.

But stay children, there is hope for you for all this: If you dye in infancy, as many of you, as belong to the election of grace shall be saved, though ye are not baptized, and if you live to years of discretion, and understanding, if then you believe in Christ and repent of your sins, and obey the Gospel, you shall be saved as soon as they, yea upon those terms, and none other, shall those that are Baptized in their infancy be saved if they live to years of understanding.

Poed.

Well Sir I see, it is a hard matter to prove that the infants of believers have a right to the Covenant, more then the infants of unbelie­vers, but yet methinks they should have right to the administration of the Covenant.

Bap.

In no wise; and that for the want of an [Page 55] institution, as you have heard, and it is answer enough to satisfy any that are willing to be sa­tisfy'd: for none ever had a right to the admini­strations of the Covenant any otherwise then by vertue of a law; had it been otherwise of old, then Enoch, Lot, Noah, and their seed had been circumcis'd; and Ishmael, Esau, and others had not been circumcis'd: now if the natural bran­ches, the seed of Abraham had not this priviledge to be circumcis'd by vertue of a right, but vertue of a law, how can you expect that your infants should have a right to the administrations of the Covenant by vertue of your faith? Besides you your selves deny one administration to your in­fants, but what reason you have for so doing I know not, seeing the same grace is signified in both. Will you say, because your children are not capable to examine themselves? then let them plead their own cause, and suppose they should make this Apostrophe to their parents?

O, our tender and indulgent parents, you have brought us into the visible Church as you say, and admitted us to Baptism and membership; but why must we not partake of the Lords supper, that soul strenghtning and soul-nourishing ordi­nance? you take care to feed our bodies dayly, and that in order to our growth, and have you no pitty to our souls? must they starve? the chil­dren of the Jews of old were admitted to the passeover, all the males were to appear thrice in a year, and very early partook of that Sacrament, and were instructed in the use and end of it, and have we lost this priviledge by this coming of [Page 56] Christ? besides the ancient Church did use it, for many years, and must we be kept from it till we be come of age? yea, and not then neither (not­withstanding our Baptism contrary to all Scrip­ture president) unless we make a personal mani­festation of our faith and repentance. Will you say, it is because we cannot examine our selves? We answer that Scripture concerns the Adult, not us. You might as well have kept us from Baptism, because we could not believe and re­pent; but surely the Apostle never intended that infants should examine themselves.

Besides you say we are clean, holy with a fe­deral holyness, innocent, in the Covenant of grace, Church members, that we have habituall faith, and without any sin (except original) there­fore there is no need of self-examination. Why then are we not admitted? will our parents faith serve to admit us to Baptism, and not to the sup­per? Who will unriddle this? surely we want some Alexander to cut this Gordian knot; for none will ever untie it.

But again; if infants have a right to the admi­nistration of the Covenant by vertue of the pa­rents faith, then if the parents turn Atheists, or Apostates, the children lose their right, and are cast out from the said priviledges. That it must be so appears, if we consider, Rom. 11.20. thou standest by faith; (that is, say you) thou standest in the Gospel Covenant, and hast right to ordi­nances by vertue of their own faith; and thy chil­dren by vertue of thine. Now this standing is not unalterable, a state which cannot be fallen from; [Page 57] but a changable state from which thou mayst fall, for the Apostle adds, be not high minded, but fear. Now if thou fallest by unbelief, and so casts out thy self, thy children must needs be cast out with thee; for ablatâ causâ tollitur effectus, take away the cause, and the effect ceaseth: thy personal and actual faith was the ground and cause of thy Childrens admittance, so then thy unbelief must dispriviledge them, for so it was with the Jews when they were cut off, how many thousands of their infants were cut off with them from mem­bership & ordinances, & remain so to this day by reason of their parents unbelief; And do you ex­pect a greater priviledge then the natural bran­ches: the Apostle lays them in an equal ballance Rom. 11.20, 21, 22. and what ground have you to expect better; the unbelief of their parents broke off their Children: By unbelief they were broken off, and thy standing is but conditional, if thou abide in his goodness, otherwise thou shalt be cut off. By which you see what absurdi­ties and contradictions to your own practise, your opinion leads to; if the father be cast out, the chil­dren must be cast out with him.

Thus you see that as the children of believers have no right to the Covenant of grace, more then the Children of unbelievers, by vertue of their parents faith; so, they have no right to the administration of the Covenant, for want of an institution, there being no precept nor presi­dent in the word of God for such a practise.

Poed.

But though there be no precept nor president for Infants-Baptism, yet our Mini­sters [Page 58] tells us, there is no weight in that Argument, for though we do not finde it written, that In­fants were baptized, (yet perhaps some were,) for a negative Argument don't conclude.

Bap.

Indeed Mr Wills says so, and Mr Sy­denham before him, and diverse of your Mini­sters, and here they cry, Victoria; this being their beloved Argument they so much boast of; but,

Quisquis amat ranam, ranam putat esse Dianam; but pray stay a while, and let us consider what veriety is in this position, a negative Argument don't conclude.

It's true in some cases, it doth not, but in the matter of positive worship, we have the opinion of diverse able and Godly men, who have told us, that what is not commanded in the worship of God, is forbidden, and that every affirmative com­mand of Christ includes a negative. But if it be true that a negative Argument concludes not in matters of Worship; then this had been a good plea for Nadab, and Abihu; Levit. 10. who were destroyed for offering strange fire which God had not commanded, they might have said; Lord, its true thou hast not commanded this strange fire, so thou, hast not forbid it, and a negative Argu­ment don't conclude.

So God commanded Abraham to circumcise the eighth day, but he did not forbid the 7th day, And a negative Argument don't conclude.

So in the passeover God commanded a Lamb, a male of the 1st year to be eaten; but he did not forbid an ewe, or a Ram of the 2d or 3d year, and [Page 59] a negative Argument don't conclude.

So, God smote ƲzZah for holding the Ark, but he might have said; Lord thou hast not for­bid me to support the Ark, when the Oxen did shake it and a negative Argument don't conclude.

So, when God threatens Idolatrous Israel, for causing their sons and daughters to passe through the fire to Molech, which the Lord commanded not, neither came it into his heart Jer. 32.35. Yet they might say, though he had not commanded it, so he had not forbidden it, and a negative Argu­ment don't conclude.

So, God hath not forbid Crucifixes, beads, Altars, praying to Saints, Images in Churches, pilgrimages, the Crosse in Baptism &c. and a Negative Argument don't conclude.

So God hath not forbid unbelievers children to be Baptized, nor the children of believers to communicate in the Lords supper; and a negative Argument don't conclude.

Lastly, Bells are not forbidden to be Bapti­zed, and a negative Argument don't conclude.

Poed.

But Mr. Wills saith that Bells are not sub­jectum capax, a subject capable.

Bap.

I answer wherein lyes their incapacity? Cannot a Minister sprinkle a little water upon a Bell, and use the words of Institution in as so­lemn a manner, as he does, when he Baptizes a child? Or are they uncapable for want of an In­stitution? We say the same of infants.

But if he say they are not capable of the uses and ends of Baptism as men are, I answer.

If God had pleased he could have made them [Page 60] (by an institution) capable of some sacred useful­ness, yea, capable of relative holiness, as well as Aarons bels, or the bels mention'd Zec. 14.20. up­on whom it was written, holyness to the Lord.

But its well known there are those in the world, who think themselves as wise as Mr. Wills that judge Bells capable subjects of Baptism, and have done so diverse ages.

Thus you see what absurdities follow from that position; But surely God is more jealous of his honour, and tender of his worsh [...], then to leave it to the pleasure of superstitious persons; And that God in all ages hath testified his [...]ke, yea abhorrency of will-worship, and th [...] because he hath not commanded it. See Jer. 7.3 [...]. They have built the high places unto Toph [...], which I com­manded them not, neither come it into my heart: See, what God never commanded, never came into his heart; and for this he threatens great judgments, in the following verses. So Ezek. 4.3.8. they have set their thresholds by my threshold, and their posts by my posts, wherefore I have consumed them by mine anger. But pray let us reason a lit­tle about it, and be serious in this matter. Do you think will worship is no sin? when the same person who is to perform the obedience, shall dare to appoint the laws? Implying a perempto­ry purpose of no further observance then may consist with the allowance of his own Judgment, whereas true obedience must be grounded on the Majesty of that power, that commands, not on the judgment of the subject or benefit of the pre­cept proposed. Divine laws require obedience, [Page 61] not so much from the quality of the things commanded, as from the Authority of him that insti­tutes them: We are all servants of God, and ser­vants are but living instruments, whose property is to be governed by the will of those, in whose possession they are. Will-worship and superstiti­on, well may they flatter God, they cannot please him. He that requires us to deny our selves in his service, doth therein teach us, that his commands stand rather in fear then in need of us; in fear of our boldness, lest we abuse them, not in need of our judgment to polish or alter them.

The conquest of an enemy against the Com­mand of his General, cost a Roman gentleman his life, though his own father were the Judge. Christ in Rom. Hom. 2.

And the killing of a Lyon contrary to the laws of the Kings hunting (though it were only to rescue the King himself) cost a poor Persian his head. Brisson. de Reg. Pers. lib. 1.

So the overwise industry of the Architect in bringing not the same but a fitter piece of timber, then he was commanded to the Romish Consu [...], was rewarded with nothing but a bundle of rodds. So jealous and displeas'd are even men themselves to have their own laws undervalued by the private judgments of those, who rather interpret then obey them.

And therefore we find that those men who e­rected the Fabricks of superstition and will-wor­ship, yet endeavoured to derive the original of them from some divine Revelations, And the Ro­man Captain Scipio, before the undertaking any [Page 62] business, would first enter the Capitoll, and pre­tend a consultation with the Gods. And generally in all the Roman sacrifices, the Minister or servant was to attend a command before he was to strike the beast that was offered.

Semper agatne? rogat, nec nisi jussus agit. Ovid.

Horrible then, and more then heathenish, is the impiety of those, who mixing humane inven­tions and appointments of their own with the in­stitutions of God, and imposing them as divine duties, with a necessity of obedience, do by that means take Christs divine prerogative out of his own hands, and so make themselves joynt Au­thors of his Sacraments; yea rather indeed the destroyers of them; For he that practises an Or­dinance otherwise then Christ hath instituted, doth not honour the Ordinance but an Idol of his own making.

This the Apostles durst not do; they tell us they declared unto them the Counsell of God; but nothing else. And Paul tells the Corinthians, he delivered nothing unto them, but what he had re­ceived from the Lord, 1 Cor. 11.23. and sure he did not receive Infants-Baptism from the Lord; for he never declares it unto them.

This therefore should be a boundary to Mini­sters, that they deliver nothing to the people, but what they have received from the Lord. That faith that was once delivered to the Saints must be preach'd and contended for, but nothing else: and if Ministers have not received Infants-Bap­tism from the Lord, and if they cannot prove that it was once delivered unto the Saints, it is not to [Page 63] be preached. It is sad to think how full our pul­pits are of vain traditions and humane mixtures; as if the all-wise God wanted the help of dim­ey'd man to mend his worship by mixing their Inventions with Gods institutions. But as to mixtures they are useful only for these two pur­poses; either to slacken and abate something that is excessive; or to supply something that is deficient: And so all heterogeneous mixtures do plainly intimate, either a vitiousnesse to be corre­cted, or a defect to be supplyed: Now it were great wickednesse to charge any of these upon the pure and perfect word of God, and by conse­quence to use deceit by adulterating of it; either by such glosses as diminish and take away the force of it, or by the addition of humane Tradi­tions as argue any defect. So that to stamp any thing (of but an humane original) with a divine character, and obtrude it upon the consciences of men; to take any dead child of ours, as the har­lot did, and lay in the bosome of the Scripture, and father it upon God; to build any Structure of ours in the road to Heaven, and so stop up the way; is one of the highest, and most daring pre­sumptions that the pride of man can aspire unto: To erect a throne in the consciences of his fellow creatures, and to counterfeit the great seal of heaven for the countenancing his own forgeries, is a sin most severely provided against by God, with special prohibitions and threatnings: se [...] Deut. [...]2.32. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it, thou shalt not add thereunto, nor diminish from it. So Deut. 18.20. The prophet [Page 64] that shall speak a word in my name, that I have not commanded, even that prophet shall dye. So Jer. 26.2. and Prov. 30.6. Adde not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou beest found a lyer.

And that will-worship is so great a sin, we have the testimony of that learned man M. Green­hill in his exposition upon EZekiel, where he hath these Observations, fit to be written with the the point of a Diamond, upon the heart of every Christian.

1. That men love to have somthing of their own in worship, they are not content with what the infinite wise God commands them, but will be adding. The second Commandement shews that man is prone to be medling, and making somthing in Worship till he marrs. Israel provoked God to anger with their In­ventions: Psal. 106.29.

2. God is not pleased with any thing in worship which is not his own. It is not the works of mens hands, nor their heads that are pleasing to him; that which pleases God must come from God, what he ap­points he approves, and nothing else.

3. That will-worship and mixtures of mans in­ventions with Gods pure ordinances, are the great Canons that batter Cities, and the Gunpowder that blows them up.

These bring the Lord of hosts to warr against them; it was the Calves that wounded Israel, and laid their Cities wast. Hos. 10.5. the Inhabitants of Samaria shall fear, because of the Calves of Bethaven.

4. That false worship doth grive God Ezek. 6.9. I am broken with their whorish heart, their su­perstitious [Page 65] and corrupt mixtures, did not simply displease God, but oppressed, afflicted, and broke his heart. Great injuries enter deep, and eat up the spi­rits of any they are done unto; and what greater wrong can be done to God then to set at nought his Counsels, forsake his worship, and impose that which he never commanded; yea it draws away the heart of men from God: and therefore they are said to go a whoring from God by their own inventions.

5. Will-worship is a work of darkness Ezek. 8.12. See what the Ancients of the house of Israel are doing in the dark.

6. Will-worship is that which God will not honour with his presence. Neither Christ nor the Angels will be present at it, as Ezek. 9.2. The six men in the vision that came into the Temple stood besides the brazen Altar; they had made a golden Altar, thinking that would please God better, but they would not come at it, but stood by the brazen Altar which was of Gods appointment. Haec ille.

Thus you see that will-worship is a horrible sin; and methinks you should examine whether Infant Baptism be not will-worship, as having no insti­tution: and if it be will-worship, it is not only e­vil in it self, but stands aggravated with this cir­cumstance, that it makes void the commande­ment of God; for will-worship doth usually op­pose some part of Gods true worship (as Infants-Baptism doth believers Baptism in these nations) as Christ told the Pharisees; you make void the Commandments of God by your Traditions.

Poed.

But these persons you mention in Eze­kiel, against whom God threatens such Judg­ments [Page 66] were Idolaters: And I hope you do not count Infant-Baptism Idolatry.

Bap.

That Infant-Baptism is will-worship and Superstition is evident. But whether it be Idola­try? I leave that to enquiry.

But I shall give you the Definition of Idolatry, as we have it from our Protestant Divines; which, say they, [...]s to worship a false God, or the true God in a false manner. And that appears from the Second Commandment, where all kinde of Idolatry is forbidden, as all sin is forbidden in the ten Commandements, though not in expresse words, yet in the meaning thereof; For it is a received Maxime, That all sins forbidden by the word, are reducible to the 10 Commandements, and fall under the prohibition of one of them, or other: For upon the two tables of the law, hang all the law and the prophets, Math. 22.40. Now it is plain, all sins are not contained in the letter of the Commandements; and therefore we must open the later by Synechdoche's, and Metonymies; Synechdoches do comprehend all sins of the like kinde, and all the degrees thereof: and Metony­mies do comprehend all causes, and means, and occasions thereof; so that for opening the 2d. Commandement, which forbids both making and the worshiping any image or similitude, it is re­quisite to consider in what sence or respect Ima­ges or similitudes are forbidden.

Images or similitudes then, are forbidden, not as Objects of worship, for all false objects of worship, are the false Gods forbidden in the first Commandement: but Images and similitudes [Page 67] are forbidden in the 2d Commandement, not as false objects or worship, wherein the worship of God is terminated; but as false means of wor­shiping the true God. The Golden Calf was not considered as the God of Israel, but as an Image of that Jehovah, which brought them out of Egipt; whence it is said that Aaron proclaimed a feast, not to the Calfe, but to Jehovah, whereof the Calfe was an Image: the Calfe then was not the God, but an Image of that God they worshipped, as that which resembled him, and put them in minde of him.

And then further, the Image forbidden in the 2d Commandement, is, not only a false means of worship devised by man; but a false manner also: and therefore when the Samaritan-strangers knew not the manner of worshiping God in the Calves of Jeroboam, it is said they knew not the manner of the God of the Country 2 King. 17.26. and one of the Priests was sent to teach them the manner of fear (or worship) of Jehovah; and so they feared Jehovah after the same manner that was in serving him after their own devising.

So that under this one kinde of false worship is forbidden by a Synechdoche not only all worship of God in carved, moulten, or painted Images (all bodily representations) of God; but all spi­ritual Images too, which are the Imaginations and inventions of man, whether they be ordained for worship, as the high places, and the devised feast of the eighth Month 2. Kin. 12.33. or whe­ther they be brought in, and used as helps and means of worship, as the strange fire of Nadab [Page 68] Lev. 10, and Davids new Cart to carry the Ark; he did not make a new Ark, but a new cart; which devise of his, there being no command for it, fell under the condemnation of the second Commandement. And so all Images and Imagi­nations of men, all forms and manner of worship, devised by man, and not ordained by God are forbidden as Idolatrous.

Poed.

But Sir if your way be true, is it not strange, that so many learned men should be of a contrary opinion?

Bap.

No, it is not more strange then that there are so many learned men against the Protestant Religion; and especially against your practise of baptizing the children of believers only, and upon those grounds you do it; for the whole Christian world (as its called) of learned men are against your grounds of baptizing Infants, for they administer Baptism for the taking away of Original sin, and to confer grace, and that not restrained to such believers Infants, as you do it, but to the Infants of all persons in the nations where they live: so that your opinion is a very novelty.

2. But Secondly, it is not strange if you con­sider what Christ saith, Math. 11.25. I thank thee O father, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, &c. Even so because it see­med good in thy sight. There is the reason given, it is, beneplacitum, his good pleasure.

3. And Thirdly, I answer; we have not been without the testimony of learned men, not only in this, but in former ages; for it is well known [Page 69] that Infant-Baptism was very early opposed, and for any thing I know as soon as it was born, for no Antiquity mentions Infant-Baptism to have any peaceable being in the world any long time before it was opposed; and if it be said it was not opposed at the beginning as soon as we heard of it in the world. It may be so, for Christ saith, while the servants slept the evil ones sow'd tares; and surely it was a sleepy time amongst Christi­ans when it came in, but when they begun to a­wake, they opposed it.

Besides all this, we have the testimony of some of your own party, whose tongues and pens God hath (at least) so over-ruled, that they have born a famous testimony for our practise.

First Doctor Taylor saith, This indeed is true Baptism, when it is both in the Symbol, and in the mistery; whatsoever is lesse then this, is but the Sym­b [...]l only and a meer ceremony, an opus operatum, a dead letter, an empty shadow, an instrument without an agent to manage it.

2ly, Baptism is never propounded, mentioned, or enjoyn'd as a means of remission of sins, or of eternal life, but something of duty, choice and sanctity is joyn'd with it, in order to the production of the end so mentioned.

3ly, They that baptize children make Baptism to be wholy an outward duty, a work of the law, a car­nal ordinance, it makes us adhere to the letter, with­out regard of the spirit, and to relinquish the myste­riousnesse, the substance, the spirituality of the Gos­pel, which Argument is of so much the more conside­ration, because under the spiritual Covenant, or the [Page 70] Gospel of grace. If the mystery goes not before the Symbol (which it doth, when the Symboles are con­signations of grace, as the Sacraments are) yet it always accompanies it, but never follows in order of time; and is cleare in the perpetual Analogy of holy Scripture.

4. That the words mentioned in St. Peters ser­mon Acts. 2. which are the only Records of the pro­mises) are interpreted upon a weak mistake: the pro­mise belongs to you and your children, therefore In­fants are actually receptive of it in that capacity: That is the Argument, but the reason of it is not yet discovered nor ever will, for (to you and your children) is to you, and your posterity, to you; and your children when they are of the same capacity, in which you are, receptive of the promise, but he that whenever the word children is exprest, understands Infants, must needs believe that in all Israel there were no men but all were Infants, &c.

5. From the action of Christ blessing infants, to infer, that they were Baptized, proves nothing so much, as that there is want of better Arguments: for the conclusion would with more probability be de­rived thus—Christ blessed Children, and so dismis­sed them, but baptized them not: Therefore Infants are not to be baptized. But let this be as weake as its enemy; yet that Christ did not Baptize them, is an Argument sufficient that he hath other ways of bring­ing them to heaven then by Baptism. And we are sure God hath not commanded infants to be baptized, so we are sure God will do them no injustice, nor damn them for what they cannot help, viz. if the parents baptize them not.

[Page 71] Many theusand ways there are by which God can bring any reasonable soul to himself; but nothing is so unreasonable, because he hath tyed all men of years of discretion to this way, therefore we of our own heads shall carry Infants to him that way with [...]ut his direction: The conceit is po [...]r and low, and the acti­on consequent to it bold and venturous. Let him do what he pleases with infants, we must not.

Then Mr. Baxter saith, if there can be no exam­ple given in Scripture of any one that was baptized without the profession of a saving faith, nor any pre­cept for so doing; then must we not baptize any with­out it: But the Antecedent is true: therefore so is the Consequent.

2. Christ hath instituted no Baptism but what is to be a sign of present Regeneration; but to men that professe not a justifying faith, it cannot be admini­stred as a sign of present Regeneration; therefore he hath instituted no Baptism to be administred to such.

3. If it be the appointed use of all Christian Bap­tism to solemnize our Mariage with Christ, or to seal and confirm our union with him; then must we baptize none that profess not justifying faith; but the Antecedent and consequent are evident, Gal. 3.27.28.29.

Doctor Hammond saith, that all men were in­structed in the fundamentalls of faith anciently be­fore they were permitted to be baptized.

The Lord Brookes saith; That the analogy which Baptism now hath with Circumcision in the old law, is a fine rational Argument to illustrate a point well proved before: But I somewhat doubt, whether it [Page 72] be proof enough for that which some would prove by it, since (besides the vast difference in the ordinance) the persons to be Circumcised are stated by a positive law, so express, that it leaves no place for scruple: But it is far otherwise in Baptism, where all the De­signation of persons fit to be partakers, for ought I know are such as believe, &c.

Poed.

But Mr. Wills, and others say, that Do­ctor Taylor did but personate an Anabaptist, he himself was for Infants Baptism, only he gave some weak Arguments to please the Baptists.

Bap.

Its true Mr. Wills and others say so: But must it needs be as they suppose? Does it follow infallibly that the Doctor does prevaricate in his first book? is it not possible that he might be un­der some measure of conviction, and so receded from the opinion he was once perswaded of, and fell from that truth he so strenuously contended for? The Galatians once received the Gospel, but were so foolish as to fall from it. Besides how frequently do we find divers of the fathers contra­dict themselves, and to build again the things that they destroyd? But we need not go so far: Mr. Baxter himself is a famous instance: How often do's Mr. Baxter contradict Mr. Baxter? and is it impossible Doctor Taylor should do so.

But you'l say he wrote another book, wherein he submitted to the Judgment of the Church in the matter of Baptism. Its very like he did, and perhaps he was of the opinion of a Popish-priest who told me; There was indeed no Scripture for baptizing infants, but yet it ought to be done, be­cause the Church commanded it. He spake what many think.

[Page 73]But suppose the Doctor did, as you say, only personate an Anabaptist, and make use of some weak Arguments to please them. Then,

1. I wonder Mr. Wills or some other have not answered the Doctors weak Arguments all this while; for none that ever I heard of durst enter the lists with the Doctor in the matter: And to say, he did it by his contrary practise, is a frivo­lous answer.

2. But secondly, grant all to be true that you would have, and that the Doctor was not against baptizing infants (which we grant) nor Mr. Baxter, nor Doctor Hammond, &c. Yet we make use of their Arguments to a very good pur­pose, viz. to set off the wisdom, goodnesse, and power of God, who as he hath the hearts of all men in his hands; so also their tongues, and can, when he pleases, make use of them to bear wit­ness to, and proclaim that truth, they neither owned, nor practised; as in the case of the High-priest, who prophecied, that it was expedient, one should die for the people: so we say, God hath o­ver-ruled the tongues and pens of Doctor Taylor, Mr. Baxter &c. and made them to bear so fa­mous a Testimony to his truth, and strike so dead­ly a wound to Infants Baptism, that whoever shall go about to heal it, will prove themselves phisitians of no value.

Poed.

But pray Sir what do you say to Rom. 11.16. If the first fruit be holy, the lump is holy; and if the root be holy, so are the branches. From whence, we are told, this inference may be drawn, that as Abraham (considered as a root was holy, so [Page 74] were his children and so to be Circumcised. So Believers being holy, their Children are so, and so to be Baptized.

Bap.

There hath been enough said to shew the fallacy of this consequence: But that you may have no cause to complain, I shall speak further to it; first, then you must know, that the Apo­stles purpose is to shew what Abraham was here­tofore, a holy root to his natural seed; but you will not say, he is so now; and that his children after the flesh are still holy, for they are cut off: And that he is not a holy root to the Infants of believing Gentiles, and that they are none of his branches, is abundantly proved: but if you say he is a holy root to believers, his spiritual seed, and they are holy; then we are agreed. For sure­ly the Apostle intends nothing else, but that as Abraham was a two-fold father, so he had a two-fold seed; so he is a two-fold root, and hath two sorts of branches.

His first sort of branches were holy with a ty­pical ceremonial holyness; his second sort are ho­ly by believing as he did, and walking in his steps. But to pursue your consequence a little further; that a believer (considered as a root) being holy, so his seed is holy, as of old it was with Abraham.

Then you must prove, that what was promised to Abraham, and what was his priviledge; just so it is with believers and their seed, and herein we expect plain Scripture proof, and not forced consequences, and groundlesse non sequiturs.

But Secondly; If the natural seed of believers [Page 75] be holy, what kinde of holynesse is it? surely you do not mean moral holynesse which is oppo­sed to sin, and that they have some inward qua­lity, inherent habit, or principle of grace in them, more then unbelievers infants.

Secondly, you do not mean negative holy­nesse, for there is as much also of that in unbelie­vers infants as in yours. But,

Thirdly, perhaps you mean a Covenant ho­lynesse; but what kinde of holynesse that is, we could never yet learn from you.

But if believers natural seed be holy, with a Covenant holynesse, as Abrahams were; then you must baptise all their childrens children in their several generations (as you have heard) whether their parents believe or not; as it was of old: Abrahams branches, yea all his bran­ches were holy to the 3d, and 4th, yea the 10th. generation, and so must yours be, and so to be baptized; If the Grandfather or great-grandfa­ther were, or further removed: he was the root and his posterity are the branches, as well as his immediate infants, and so to be baptized. And if you say 'tis hard to finde whether their progeni­tors were believers so far remote; then 'tis but going a step higher to Noah; and his faith will serve to Baptise the whole world, for Noah consi­dered as a believer is as well a root as Abraham.

But that there is no kinde of holynesse in the natural seed of believers more then in the seed of unbelievers now under the Gospel appears from these Arguments.

1. If there be no persons in the dayes of the [Page 76] Gospel, to be accounted common or unclean, that is unholy (by nature) more then others; then there are no persons to be accounted clean or holy (by nature) more then others: but the antecedent is true, Act. 10.28. God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or un­clean: Ergo so is the consequent.

But they that baptise Infants break the com­mand of God to Peter, by counting the children of unbelievers common and unclean, and the chil­dren of believers clean or holy.

But if the children of believers be holy with any kinde of holynesse above others: Then the children of unbelievers are unholy, with some kinde of unholinesse more then others, and so to be accounted common and unclean.

But this is not so, for believers children are by nature children of wrath as well as others, as your selves confesse. Therefore, call nothing, no men, or species of men, common or unclean; for in every nation, he that fears God and works righ­teousnesse shall be accepted. Observe, divine acceptation comes in upon the account of actual and personal righteousnesse; no persons nor their seed are now accepted for the holynesse of ano­ther (rather then others.)

2ly, If God be now no respecter of persons, then there is no birth holynesse, and so no pecu­liar priviledges belongs to believers natural seed by Gods appointment, more then to the seed of unbelievers: but the first is true Act. 10. I per­ceive saith Peter, that God is no respecter of per­sons: therefore, so is the latter.

[Page 77]And that Peter meant this of birth holynesse, and natural priviledges is evident, because he mentions this as the result of his vision, where he was forbid to count any man common or unclean that is, more then others by nature, for God is no respecter of persons. Its true all men are (by nature) common and unclean, in oppositi­on to moral cleaness, and Gospel-holiness: but no sort of persons are by nature clean, or holy, with any kinde of ceremonial, dedicative, or Covenant holynesse above others. But,

3. If there be a Covenant holynesse now, in the days of the Gospel, flowing from the root to the branches; then God would rather have continued his Church in the posterity of belie­vers (as of old); but he hath not done so; there­fore there is no such holynesse.

We read in the Second of the Acts. of 3000. baptized, and afterwards 5000. The greatest part of which were believers, and the 7 Churches of Asia; and (as you say) their children holy, with a Covenant holynesse: It is strange then the Church was not continued in their posterity: but it was not, for I suppose it is hard, if not impossi­ble to finde any one of their off-spring a member of any true Church in the world.

So the Church of Rome, once a true Church: But you do not count the present Church so. why? they had believing parents, who were in Covenant, and their seed holy, yet God did not think fit to continue them a true Church any long time; But hath rather raised his Church out of the posterity of unbelievers, and longer continued [Page 78] them. As in this nation; our progenitors were all Idolaters as the Brittains, Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans; The off-spring of some of whom we are: yet God hath continued his Church amongst us a very considerable time. But if we boast of our Covenant holyness and birth priviledges, God may soon unchurch us, and raise up Church members out of stones, as John the Baptist told the Pharisees.

4ly. There is no such Covenant holyness under the Gospel; because that holynesse was a Typical Ceremonial holynesse, such as was in beasts, birds, Garments, oyl, the Altar, temple, yea in the whole land, and therefore called Emanuels land, and no other kind of holyness was in the seed: (let Pedo-Baptists say what they will) all which holyness is now abolished and done away, and that appears thus.

If all uncleaness, and unholyness that was in some beasts, birds, garments, oyl, Altars, Tem­ples, and men &c. be now abolished and done away; then all that cleaness and holyness that was in some beasts, birds, garments, men &c. is also abolished, and done away: But the Antecedent is true Act. 10. as appears by Peters vision; what God hath cleansed, call not thou common or unclean, Ergo, so is the Consequent.

And that there was an uncleaness, commoness, and unholyness in some men, as well as in beasts, birds &c. is evident: For it was not lawfull for a Jew to eat with him that was a Gentile. But now it is not so—If an unbeliever invite thee to a feast, if thou beest disposed thou maiest go. 1 Cor. 10.25.

[Page 79]And that all this Typical, dedicative denomi­native holyness is now abolished appears further;

Because that holyness that sanctifyed the Jews land, City, Temple &c. was Ceremonial only, and so abolished; but that holyness which sancti­fyed the seed was the same and no other, that sanctifyed the land: therefore that holyness which sanctifyed the seed is now abolished.

And if it be said, that the holyness of the seed was not typical and Ceremonial, I prove it thus.

1. If all things under the law were but a fi­gure, and shaddow of good things to come; then the holyness of the seed was but a figure and shadow of good things to come; And so a type.

But the Antecedent is true, as we find in the 9th. and 10th. Chapters of the Hebrews; where all things under the law, all the priviledges of the old Covenant, all the perquisites, dependances and appurtenances are called by such names, as make them evidently appear to be Typical: as first they are called a figure Heb. 9.9. which was a figure for the time then present. So verse 24. For Christ is not entred into the holy place made with hands, which are the figures of the true.

They are called a patern Heb. 9.23. It was ne­cessary that the paterns of the things in the hea­vens &c.

3. They are called a shaddow Heb. 10.1. for the law having a shaddow of good things to come, and not the very Image of the things.

So then the holyness of the seed being a depen­dance, an appurtenance, a priviledge of the law, or old Covenant was but a figure, patern, sha­dow; [Page 80] and so Typical, and abolished.

And if you say, if the holyness of the seed was a Type; what did it tipify? I answer:

1. First it typifyed the holyness of Christ who is called the holy child Jesus.

2. It was a type of the holyness of all Abra­hams spiritual seed under the Gospel, true be­lievers, who are made holy by believing in Christ.

Poed.

But we have heard that when the Jews were broken off, their natural Children were broken off with them; so when the Gentiles are grafted in, their Children are grafted in with them.

Bap.

You have heard that the children of the unbelieving Jews was not so broken off from the Gospel Church and covenant, and excluded with their parents unbelief, for if any of the children of the unbelieving Jews when they come to years (and children when at years are the seed of their parents, I hope) if I say, those unbelieving Jews children do believe the promise is so made to them, that their parents unbelief cannot exclude them: but if when at years they do not believe, the promise is so made to believers and their seed, as that the parents faith, avails no further then to the ingrafting of himself; but he cannot at all entitle his natural seed, by his single faith to the Gospel Covenant or ordinances: For if it be otherwise, then the natural seed of those thou­sands of Jews that were converted in the primi­tive times, have a birth priviledge, and are holy to this day, upon which they may claim admit­tance [Page 81] unto baptism as well as any; for they may plead as you do and say. Baptism is our right, we are the posterity of those believing Jews mentio­ned Act. 2. And if the first fruits be holy, so [...]s the lump, & if the root be holy, so are the branches. Now we are the lump of these holy first fruits; and the branches of the holy root; yet for all this I believe you would not Baptize them, unlesse they did be­lieve in their own persons. By which you do no lesse then grant what we contend for: 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. So that the Jews were broken off by unbelief; and thou and thine (O believing Gentile) must stand by faith. Yet not thy seed by thy faith, but thou, thy self, by thine, and they by their own faith. Faith is that by which (thou standing, and not thy seed) hast right to stand in the Church, and not they. But if thy seed have faith, and thou hast none, they have right to stand in the Church, and thou shalt be kept out. By which it appears, that the root may be holy (in a Gospel sence) and not the branches, and the branches may be holy, and not the root: so that your consequence from Rom. 11.16. if the root be holy, so are the branches, is false, and the whole Argument vain and empty.

And if you still say (for nothing will satisfy some persons) that the natural seed may be coun­ted holy, with a denominative, and dedicative holynesse: I answer.

1. That then the first born of every creature both of man & beast is still to be called and coun­ted [Page 82] holy; for these were sanctifyed and holy by dedication as well as the seed. Sanctify unto me all the first born of every creature both of man and beast, they are still to be called and counted holy, for these were sanctifyed, and holy by dedication as well as the seed. See Exod. 13.2. Sanctify un­to me all the first born, whatsoever openeth the womb, amongst the children of Israel, both of man and beast, it is mine. So that you may as well dedi­cate the first born still, and count them holyer then the rest, yea and that with better warrant then you can count the seed of believers, only, holy, because (as you say) you dedicate them to God; there being an in [...]titution for the first, but none for the last; For God no where saith, that believers shall sanctify all their natural seed, whatsoever openeth the womb, for it is mine.

2ly. If the seed be to be accounted holy with a dedicative holynesse, then you may as well count all things holy which were dedicated of old, as Temples, Altars, Tables, Garments, Tapers, Candlesticks, yea the very windows, Fonts, Rails, Copes, Surplices, &c. But this you deny, and have laboured hard both by pen and pulpit to make these holy things unholy: Though those that own this dedicative holynesse still have more to say for Infant-Baptism, then you who disown it in all things else but in the natural seed.

But pray Sirs let me ask you a few questions.

1. Si aliquando, quare non nunc? If so once, why not now? If under the law, why not under the Gospel? The same question you put to us when we deny any birth holynesse in your fleshly [Page 83] seed. So we say concerning Temples, Altars, Garments, &c. Si aliquando, quare non nunc? If so of old, why not now?

2ly, Si aliquid, quare non quicquid? If any thing holy with a dedicative ceremonial holy­nesse, why not every thing? yea, quare non aequa­liter? (if you will Judaize) why not in every thing alike, as it was of old? but I may expect an answer ad Gracas Calendas.

Poed.

But Sir may not Infants be capable of the main and principal end of Baptism, which our Ministers tells us is the washing away our sins by the blood of Christ? If so, why may they not then be baptized?

Bap.

There are not wanting learned men that are of another opinion, and say that the blood of Christ is not the main thing signified in Baptism, but that Baptism is a signe of our Regeneration; and that is the principal end of Baptism. And herein I will give you the opinion of Judicious and learned Mr. Mede upon that text Tit. 3.5. By the washing of Water and renewing of the holy Ghost, and shall beg the Readers patience to read his entire sence upon that text. He saith thus.

The words, as it is easy to conceive, upon the first hearing are spoken of Baptism, of which I intend not by this choice to make any full or accurate [...]racta­tion; but only to acquaint you with my thoughts con­cerning two particulars therein: one, from what propriety, analogy, or use of water, the washing therewith was instituted for a signe of new birth, according as it is here called [...] the washing of Regeneration. The other, what is [Page 84] the Countertype or thing which the water figureth in this Sacrament.

I will begin with the last first, because the knowledge thereof must be supposed for the explication and more distinct understanding of the other. In every Sacrament as ye well know, there is the outward Symbol or signe, res terrena, and the signatum fi­gured and represented thereby, res Caelestis. In this of Baptism the signe, or res terrena, is wash­ing with water: the question is what is the signatum, the i [...]visible and celestial thing, which answers thereunto. In our Catechetical explications of this mystery, it is wont to be affirmed to be the blood of Christ; that as water w [...]sheth away the filth of the body, so the blood of Christ cleanseth us from the guilt and pollution of sin. And there is no question but the bloud of Christ is the fountain of all the grace and good communicated to us, either in this or any other Sacrament, or mistery of the Gospel. But that this should be the [...], the counter part, or thing figured by the water in Baptism I believe not, because the Scripture, which must be our guide, and direction in this case, makes it another thing, to wit, the spirit or holy Ghost; this to be that, whereby the soul is cleansed and renewed within, as the body with water is without; so sayth our Saviour to Nicodemus in John. 3. Except a man be born of water, and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. And the Apostle in the words I have read, parallels the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the holy Ghost, as Type and Countertype. God (saith he) hath saved us (that is brought us into the state of salvation) by the washing of regeneration, and [Page 85] the renewing of the holy Ghost: Where none, I trow, will deny that he speaks of Baptism. The same was represented by that vision at our Saviours baptism, of the holy Ghosts descending upon him, as he came out of the water, in the similitude of a dove: For I suppose, that in that Baptism of his, the Mi­stery of all our Baptisms was visibly acted; and that God says to every one, truly baptiZed, as he said to him, (in a proportionable sense) thou art my son, in whom I am well pleased.

And how pliable the Analogy of water is to typifie the spirit, will appear by the figuring of the spirit thereby in other places of Scripture; as in that of Isay, I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and flouds upon the dry ground: I will pour my spi­rit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine off­spring, where the later expounds the former: Also by the discourse of our Saviour with the samaritan woman, John 4.14. Whosoever (saith he) drink­eth of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up to everlasting life: By that also, John 7.37. where on the last day of the great feast, Jesus stood and said, If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture saith (that is, as the Scripture is wont to expresse it, for otherwise there is no such place of Scripture to be found in all the Bible) out of his belly shall flow rivers of li­ving water. But this (saith the Evangelist) he spake of the spirit, which they that believe on him should receive. Nor did the fathers or ancient Church, as far as I can find suppose any other corre­lative [Page 86] to the element in baptism, but this; of this the speak often, of the bloud of Christ they are altoge­ther silent in their explications of this mistery: ma­ny are the allusions, they seek ou [...] for the illustration thereof, and some perhaps forced, but this of the wa­ter, signifying, or having any relation to the bloud of Christ, never comes amongst them, which were impossible, if they had not supposed some other thing figured by the water, then it; which barred them from falling on that conce [...]t.

The like silence is to be observed in our Liturgy, where the holy Ghost is more [...]en once paralleld with the water in baptism, washing and regeneration at­tributed thereunto; but no such notion of the bloud of Christ; and that the opinion thereof [...] nove [...], may be gathered, because some [...] Divines make it peculiar and proper to the, [...] Cal [...]in.

Whatsoever it be, it hath no [...] in Scrip­ture, and we must n [...] of our own heads assign signi­fications to Sacramental types without some warrant thence. For whereas some conceive those two expres­sions of [...] or sprinkling of the bloud of Christ, and of our being washed from our sins in (or by) his bloud, do intimate some such matter, they are surely mistaken; for those expressions have refe­rence not to the water of Baptism in the new Testa­ment, but to the rise [...] manner of sacrificing in the old; where the Altar was wont to be sprinkled with the bloud of the sacrifices, which were offered, and that which was unclean paris [...]ed with the same bloud: Whence is that elegant a [...]course of S. Paul, (Heb. 9.) comparing the sacrifice of the law, with that of Christ upon the Crosse, as much the better. [Page 87] And that whereas in the law, [...], Almost all things are pu­rified with bloud, so much more the bloud of Christ, who offered himself without spot to God, cleanseth our consciences from dead works: but that this washing, that is, cleansing by the bloud of Christ, should have reference to baptism, where is that to be found? I s [...]ppose they will not alledge the water and bloud, which came out of our Saviours side, when they pierced him; for that is taken to signify the two Sacraments ordained by Christ, that of bloud, the Eucharist; of water, baptism; and not both to be referred to baptism: I add, because perhaps some mens fancies are corrupted therewith, that there was no such thing as sprinkling, or [...] used in bap­tism in the Apostles times, nor many ages after them; and that therefore it is no way probable, that [...] in Peter should have any re­ference to the laver of baptism.

Let this then be our conclusion; thht the bloud of Christ concurrs in the mistery of baptism, by way of efficacy and merit, but not as the thing there figured; which the Scripture tells us not to be the bloud of Christ, but the spirit.

And so I come to my other Quaere, from what pro­perty or use of water, the washing therewith is a Sa­crament of our new birth, for so it is here called the washing of Regeneration; & our Saviour says to Ni­codemus, except a man be born of water, and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. For in every Sacrament there some Analogy between what is outwardly done, and what is thereby signified: therefore in this. But what should it be? [Page 88] It is a thing of some moment, and yet in the tractats of this mist [...]ry, but little or seldom enquired after; and therefore deserves the more consideration. I an­swer, this [...]alogy between the washing with water, and regeneration lies in that custome of washing in­fants from the pollutions of the womb, when they are first born, for this is the first office done unto them when they come out of the womb, if they purpose to nourish and bring them up. As therefore in our na­tural birth, the body is washt with water from the pol­lutions wherewith it com [...]s into the world: so in our second birth from above the soul is purified by the spi­rit from the guilt and p [...]tion of sin, to begin a new life to God-ward.

The Analogy you see is apt and proper, if that be true of the Custome [...]hereof there is no cause to make question; for the use at present, any man, I think, knows how to inform himself. For that of elder times, I can produce two pregnant and notable testimonies; one of the Jews and people of God; ano­ther of the Gentiles. The first you shall finde in the 16. Chapter of Ezekiel, where God describes the poor and forlorn condition of Jerusalem, when he first took her to himself, under the parable of an ex­posed Infant; As for thy Nativity, (saith he) in the day thou wast born, thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water, to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swadled at all, no eye pitied thee, none to do any of these things unto thee, to have compassion on thee; but thou wast cast out in open field, to the loath­ing of thy person in the day that thou wast born. Here you may learn what was wont to be done unto [Page 89] infants at their nativity, by that which was not done to Israel, till God himself to [...]k pitty on her, cutting of the Navel string, washing, salting, swadling: upon this place, S. Hierome takes notice (but scarce any body else, that I can yet finde) that our Saviour, where speaking of Baptism he says, Except a man be born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God; alludes to the custome here mentioned of washing Infants at their Nati­vity.

The other testimony (and that most pertinent to the application we make) I finde in a story related by Plutarch, in his Questiones Romanae, not far from the beginning, in this manner.

Among the Greeks, if one that were living were reported to be dead and funeral obsequies performed for him, if afterwards he returned alive, he was of all men abominated, as a prophane aad unlucky per­son; No man would come into his company, and (which was the highest degree of calamity) they ex­cluded him from their Temples, and the sacrifices of their Gods: it chanced that one Aristinus being fallen into the like disaster, and not knowing which way to expiate himself therefrom, sent to the Oracle at Delphos to Apollo, beseeching him to shew him the means whereby he might be freed and discharged thereof; Pythia gave him this Answer.

[...]. What women do, when one in childbed lyes, That do again, so maist thou sacrifice.

Aristinus rightly apprehending what the Oracle meant, offered himself to women, as one newly brought [Page 90] forth to be washed again with water; from which Example it grew a custome among the Greeks, when the like misfortune befell any man, after this man­ner to expiate them; they called them Hysteropot­mi, or Postliminio nati: How well doth this befit the mystery of Baptism? where those who were dead to God through sin are like Hysteropotmi, regene­rate and born again by water, and the holy Ghost.

These two passages discover sufficiently the Ana­logy of the washing with water in Baptism, to re­generation or new birth; according as the text, I have chosen for the Scope of my discourse, exppesseth it; namely, that washing with water is a signe of spiritual Infancy; for as much as Infants are wont to be washed, when they came first into the world.

Hence the Jews before John the Baptist came a­mongst them, were wont by this rite to initiate such, as they made Proselytes, (to wit) as becoming In­fants again, and entring into a new life and being, which before they had not. That, which here I have affirmed, will be yet more evident, if we consider those other rites anciently added and used in the ce­lebration of this mystery, which had the self same end we speak of; to wit, to signify spiritual Infancy. I will name them, and so conclude; as th [...]t of giving the new baptized milk and hony, ad infantandum, as Tertullian speaks, ad infantiae significationem, so S. Hierome; because the like was used to Infants New born; according to that in the 7th. of Isay. of Immanuels infancy; A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse evil and choose good. Secondly, that of Salt, as is implyed in that of [Page 91] Ezekiel, thou wast not washed with water, nor salted with salt: That of putting on the white gar­ment, to resemble swadling: all these were ancient­ly (especially the first) used in the Sacrament of our spiritual birth, out of reference to that which was done to Infants at their natural birth; who then can doubt but the principal rite of washing with water, the only one ordained by our blessed Saviour, was chosen for the same reason? to be the element of our Initiation; and that those who brought in the other, did so conceive of this; and from thence derived those imitations.

Thus for Mr Mede. From whom we learn these truths.

1. That it not lawful to assigne significations to sacramental Types (of our own heads) with­out warrant from the Scriptures.

2. That in every Sacrament there is the signe, and the thing signified, res terrena, & res caelestis.

3. That in Baptism there is an Invisible and cae­lestial thing signified.

4. That though the blood of Christ is the foun­tain and cause of all that grace and good we re­ceive in Baptism, yet it is not the thing signified by the water in Baptism; but the spirit cleansing the soul from sin in the work of Regeneration, according to Tit. 3.5.

5. That in the Baptism of Christ the mistery of all our Baptism was visibly acted.

6. That God says to every one (truly Bapti­zed (as he said to Christ (in a proportionable sence) thou art my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.

[Page 92]7. That there is a plain Analogy between wa­ter and the spirit, confirmed by divers Scrip­tures: But not so, between the water in Bap­tism, and the blood of Christ.

8. That the Fathers and primitive Church did not suppose any other correlative to the wa­ter in Baptism, but the spirit, though they did allude to Christs blood for illustration thereof.

9. That in our Liturgy the water in Baptism, is made to signifie the holy spirit in our Regene­ration: But not the Blood of Christ.

10. That there was no such thing as [...] or sprinkling used in the Apostles times, nor ma­ny ages after.

11. That the Analogy between washing with water in Baptism, and Regeneration, appears from the custome of washing infants from the pollutions of the womb, when first born, accord­ing to the practice of Jews and Gentiles.

12. That the Fathers and ancient Church did use to give the new baptized Milk and honey, and put white garments on them, to signify their spi­ritual birth, out of reference to that which was done to infants at their natural birth.

From all which you see that baptism is not so much a sign of purging our sins by the bloud of Christ; though that concurs by way of merit and efficacy, but is not the thing there signifi'd or figu­red: & then to what purpose are infants baptized?

Thus you see how this learned man (ere he was aware) hath spoyl'd Infant-Baptism: for if baptism be a symbol of regeneration (as un­doubtedly it is) then unless you say (and that [Page 93] from Scripture grounds) that your infants are regenerated, or seem so to be, baptism doth not at all belong to them.

And it will no ways help you to say, that the Baptists do baptize some persons that are not re­generated; for it is enough to warrant our pra­ctise, if they profess so to be; and give us those Scripture characters, i.e. actuall faith, and Re­pentance.

Poed.

But pray Sir what think you of the Co­venant made to Abraham and his natural seed, what kind of Covenant was it?

Bap.

I confess there are various opinions about it; some say it was a Covenant of grace; others, a Covenant of works, others, a mixt Covenant: But surely that Covenant made with Abraham, and his natural seed called the Covenant of Cir­cumcision, or Covenant of the Law was not the Covenant of Eternal life and salvation, which was made with all the elect in Christ upon the condition of faith: but a distinct Cove­nant of it self concerning the worship and service of God, and so may be called a Covenant of works, rather then a Covenant of grace; though there was also grace in it, as there was in all the Covenants that God ever made with men—yet we say, it was a distinct Covenant, and therefore called the old Covenant, and the Covenant of grace the new Covenant.

And if you say the Covenant of grace was the same in all ages under various administrations, we confess it, and say that the Covenant of grace was made to Adam after the fall, to the Patri­archs, [Page 94] and to Abraham, before the Covenant of Circumcision was mentioned, and is the same to us now. But, as ours, its called new, (or re­newed) yet it doth not follow, but this Cove­nant of Circumcision was a distinct Covenant still; for Abraham and all believers in that age, were in the Covenant of grace before this Cove­nant was made; and would have been so, if the Covenant of Circumcision had never been. And if you demand then, why the Covenant of works is called the old Covenant, and the Covenant of grace, the new?

1. I answer, because of its priority, it being the first Covenant God made with man before the fall, as Protestant Divines say; that God made a Covenant of works with Adam, concern­ing perfect obedience, which he had then power to perform. And some think God renewed this Covenant of works after the fall, as appears by the sacrifices that Adam, Abel, &c. offered; and from that Scripture, if thou dost well, shalt not thou be accepted; if not, sin lyes at the door. And afterwards this Covenant of works or Cove­nant concerning worship is renewed to Abraham, and his posterity.

2. It is called the old Covenant in respect to its deteriority, it being a Covenant found fault with, as the Scripture saith.

3. In respect to its decaying and perishing na­ture; it was not durable or lasting, as the Apo­stle saith, that which decayeh and waxeth old is rea­dy to perish, meaning this Covenant.—And the Covenant of grace is called the new Covenant.

[Page 95]First, because of its meliority, or bitterness, it is more excellent, as the new heavens and the new earth that God will make will be more ex­cellent then the old.

2. In opposition to the old, as appears Heb. 8.8. when God says he will make a new Covenant, he adds, not according to the Covenant, when I brought your fathers out of Egipt, which was by virtue of the Covenant made with Abraham.

3. In respect to its perpetuity and duration, it is the everlasting Covenant: the Covenant made with Abraham and his natural seed is vanished and done away, but this remains, as the Apostle says: if that which was done away was glorious, how much more that which remains. That which was done away was the old Covenant, or Covenant made with Abraham, and his natural seed with all the priviledges of it. And that which remains is the new Covenant, or promise of eternal life made in Jesus to all believers.

4. It is called the new Covenant, as to us, be­cause renewed in a more Gospel and glorious manner. So that we are indeed still under the same Covenant of grace made with Adam and all the partriarchs: but not under the same Covenant of works made with Abraham and his natural seed.

But further, that you may know what the Co­venant made with Abraham was, take the opi­nion of a late learned Author

The old Covenant (saith he) was a political Co­venant made with the Jews, as Princes compacts are with their people when they first set up Government: God promises them his protection, and that he would [Page 96] lead them to a fruitful land, overcome all their ene­mies, &c. with the like blessings. And they promise they will be ruled by him, &c. To this purpose did God in sundry ways appear to them, To Moses, to their elders, to them all in the cloud and fire, and then causes a Tabernacle to be made for him; which was a keeping house amongst them, where the sacri­fices and offerings were his provisions, and the Priests his servants that lived on him. And unto that Ta­bernacle and Ark, might they repair for counsel and Judgment. This people then, being under a Theocracy, which Samuel does in two places ex­presly signify (at least unto the time of Saul) so that the Church and Common-wealth of the Jews were but one. It is no wonder if Religion be made their laws and so required of them together with other po­litical Ordinances and statutes for their happinesse and publick peace as a nation.

And though in their ceremonial offerings and Priests appointmens there was a remembrance still of sin; yet had they Types of Christ, of remedying mer­cy, and of the glory to come.

Their sacrifices as I have said serve to the main­tenance of this house, the Tabernacle and Temple which he was pleased to keep up amongst them for a time, God indeed making use of these, for Types and representations of other things, that is to say spiritual, and so the law being a Paedagogy under a temporal dispensation, leading men to Christ. So far my Author.

But God hath quite pulled down this house, brake up house-keeping as we say, and turned the servants, Infants and all out of doors Rom. 11. [Page 97] The natural branches are broken off—and Heb. 8.13. That which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish. And saith the Apostle, if that which was done away was glorious &c. what was that but this old house with all the priviledges of it?

But now God hath built him a new house into which he hath admitted none as his houshold ser­vants but believers or such as profess so to be. And these two houses are mentioned Heb. 3.2, 3, 4. where one is called Moses his house, and the other Christs house: As Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was accounted worthy of more honour then Moses; in as much as he that hath buil­ded the house, hath more honour, then the house. Moses was faithful as a servant but Christ as a son over his own house, whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence &c. where the servants are al­so described, they are belivers, not infants, hence they are also called living stones, and a spiritual house 1 Pet. 2.3.

And that none but such are of this houshold ap­pears, in that Christ the great Master of this house is compared to a king travelling into a far Coun­try, who called his servants, (all his servants) and delivered unto them his goods, that is, Cer­tain Talents to improve Math. 25.14, 15. which cannot be supposed to be delivered to infants while they want the use of reason; for these [...]a­lents are presently to be improv'd and laid out, not laid up.

So again Christ is compared to a house-keeper who made a great supper, and invited his guests, but they were not infants, because the first that were [Page 98] invited made excuses. The next are compeld to come in, which supposes an unwillingness in the parties, and that they were persons capable to consent or deny. The summe of all is, that the old house the Jewish Church, with all the appurte­nances and priviledges of it, is pulled down, and a new one built, into which infants are not ad­mitted, because not invited nor appointed by any law. They were of the houshold of old, but it was by a positive law; shew us the like now, or you say nothing. Sure I am there is no instituti­on that makes infants now fellow Citizens with the Saints, and of the houshold of God: Neither are they so to be accounted till they believe, and are able to do service in the house.

And if you say, that amongst men, infants are counted of the houshold though they can do no service; I answer; that comparison does not run upon four feet, it doth not follow, that, because we count our infants of our family, therefore they are to be accounted members of Gods family, the Gospel Church, unless God by any instituti­on had made them so. The houshold of God is called the houshold of faith; do good unto all, especially the houshold of faith; or a house con­sisting of believers: now, unless you prove your infants to be believers they are not of this house: For all the servants here must be believers either really, or Historically and professedly, which infants cannot be. And it will not help you to say the Church was (or may be) called the hou­should of faith synecdochically, from the greatest part; for it is evident all the materialls of the first [Page 99] Churches were adult persons, and professed be­lievers as appears by the narrative we have in the Acts of the Apostles, the direction of all the E­pistles, and divers Scriptures. Besides it may so happen that the infants may be the greatest part of a Congregation, and then where is your hou­shold of faith?

Poed.

But Mr. Wills tells us, that Mr. Baxter saith; That Infant Church membership did take place as an ordinance of God, before Circumcision was enjoyned, or the Ceremonial law instituted, and why then should it cease with it? It was no part of the typical administration, but a moral institution of God even from the beginning of the world. God e­ver made a distinction between the seed of the faith­ful and the seed of the wicked, as visibly belonging to several kingdomes of God, and of Satan. Mal. 2.15. Therefore they are called a holy seed. Wills pag. 54.

Bap.

Here is vox & praeterea nihil. 'Tis true Mr. Baxter saith so; but if it be warrant enough for Mr. Wills to believe it, it is not for me. It is strange, of what authority some mens words are when they have got the estimation of Orthodox and pious; and we have no great cause to won­der at the implicite faith of the Church of Rome, when an ipse dixit, from an English oracle com­mands such credit, and vassals us to their raw and undigested dictates. But let us examine this as­sertion.

He saith, that Infant Church-membership did take place as an ordinance of God, before Circum­cision &c. But where is that ordinance? why are [Page 100] we not directed to some place of Scripture where we may find it? Did God make Mr. Baxter of his Cabinet Councel, and reveal it to him, and no body else? Or in what Ancient father did he find it? Did any one ever say so before him?

2. He saith, that it was no part of the typical Administration, but a moral institution of God &c.

I answer; there hath been enough said to prove the fallacy and novelty of this position. Therefore I referr you to what hath been written. But he saith, it is a moral institution.—We still de­mand, where we shall find that institution, or else wee'l say, Mr. Baxter is wise above what is written.

3. He saith God ever made a distinction between the seed of the faithful, and the seed of the wicked. —But what distinction? Did God single them out, and separate them by any visible sign or character before the law of Circumcision? It is evidently known he did not.—Or did God di­stinguish them by his providential care of them, or provision for them more then others? The Scripture is silent as to this also.—Or did God love them with a saving love more then the chil­dren of unbelievers? This seems to be his mean­ing, because of his next words—as visibly be­longing to several kingdoms, of God, and Satan.

But is it so? Did all the children of believers from Adam to Abraham belong to the kingdom of God? and all the children of unbelievers be­long to the kingdom of the Devil? If it be Mr. Baxters Divinity, or M. Wills charity, it shall be none of mine. But he thinks to salve all with the [Page 101] word [visibly] But pray when the sons of God took the Daughters of men, and all flesh had cor­cupted its ways, to what kingdom did they be­long? Did not the seed of believers grow pro­phane and wicked, and the seed of unbelievers pious and Godly? as appears in divers, even A­braham himself, whose father was an Idolater, as is probably supposed (he himself being bred up in Idolatry) But Mr. Baxter hath some Scripture for his warrant, and it is Mal. 2.15.—that he might seek a godly seed—But he that can find in­fants Church-membership in this text, and that the seed of believers did always belong visibly to the kingdom of God, and all others to the king­dom of the Devil—erit mihi magnus Apollo.

What though God says, he that s [...]ught a godly feed, therefore let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth; implying that children born in lawful wedlock are this Godly seed? Let none, whether believer or unbeliever—unless you hold, that children of unbelivers may not be a godly seed.

But these are such Non sequiturs, that it is in vain to spend further time about them.

So that the Morality of Infants Church-mem­bership is a very fancy. And that which Mr. Bax­ter drives at, can never be prov'd, viz. that there was a lineal successive conveyance of grace from the parent to the child: If so, it is strange that all flesh should so soon have corrupted its ways, that God saw cause to bring the flood upon the world of ungodly.

Surely had there been any such Covenant ho­lyness [Page 102] as the Poedo-Baptists dream of, before the flood; there would have been some godly socie­ty, some greater number of believers, to have been preserv'd besides Noah and his Family, who were not all godly neither; there was a Cham a­mong them, which would not have been if there were such a conveyance of grace and Covenant holyness from the Father to the son.

So that notwithstanding what hath been said, Infant Church-membership came in with the law of Circumcision, and went out and was re­pealed with it, as hath been abundantly proved For when there was a change of the Priesthood, there was a change of the law, which must needs include Circumcision with all the appurtenances and pri­viledges belonging to it.

Poed.

But what think you of that principle that some told, that Infants are Church-mem­bers before they are baptized? so Mr. Wills pag. 27. saith.

The first and chief end of Baptism is to be the in­itiating sign and seal of Gods Covenant, and favour to us in Christ, and not to give an entrance or ad­mission into the Church. Ʋnless persons are to be re­puted members of the Church, they are not to be bap­tized: For Baptism in its own nature is the seal of our being already ingrafted into Christ, and con­sequently into the Church. For which he Quotes Dr. Ames. And pag. 45. We deny saith he, that Bap­tism doth give Formality, or make a man a member of a visible Church, though that Orthodox Divines have frequently termed Baptism, the Sacrament of our initiation into the Church, and have ascribed [Page 103] our admission or entrance into it, thereunto pag. 46. To which I answer.

Bap.

It seems then, that Mr. Wills is wiser then his orthodox Divines.

2. If Baptism be a sign of our being already in Christ, and so members of the Church before they are Baptized; Then I hope our children may be in Christ, & reputed members of the Church, though they are not Baptized. And then what need is there of these clamours against the Baptists for keeping their children out of the Church, and (in as much as in them lyes) hindring their salvation, when they are in Christ, and members of his Church before Baptism, by vertue of their pa­rents faith? And if you say, we deny them a pri­viledge that is due to them; We say, we do not: Our great desire is they should be Baptized, and do instruct them in the principles of Christianity for that end; that as soon as they are capable to improve the priviledge they may have it. And as for the Circumstance of time your selves say, that is not materal, w [...]e [...]her it be done on the 8th. 10th. or 20th. day, and why may not the Baptists deferr it to the 20th. year, there being as much warrant in Scriptures for the one as for the other, though indeed no positive rule for either, only the time of believing is the most certain time assigned for Baptism.

3. But thirdly Mr Wills spoiles all he has said, and contradicts himself pag. 229. where he saith, that as Circumcision gave entrance into the Church of the Jews, so are believers and their seed by Bap­tism entred into the Gospel Church. And it will not [Page 104] help him to say, that Infants by vertue of their pa­rents faith are only members of the universal visible Church (as he calls it) before Baptism, but not of any particular Church: For he himself saith, that he that is a member of the universal Church, may at any time claim his priviledge in any particular Church.

What confusion is here! sometimes Baptism gives not admittance into the Church, but they are members of the Church before as pag. 27, 28. And then again that believers and their seed are by Baptism admitted into particular Church­es; at another place that Baptism only admits them into the Universal visible Church. I think Mr Wills has little hopes to reconcile the Baptist [...] and the Poedo-Baptists, seeing he is not reconciled to himself.

But as to the principle you mention that persons may be Church members before they are Baptized: Its true Mr Wills makes a great stir against Mr Paul and others, whom he calls rigid Anabaptists because they cannot see any ground to admit persons to the supper before Baptism. And there­fore labours hard to prove that which he confesses Orthodox divines are against, yet he would be singular, and force this novelty upon the world, which himself & but few others have of late con­tended for. But what would the man have? sup­pose a Turk or a Jew should be converted, would he admit them to the supper before Baptism? and so own them Church members, whether ever they were baptised or not? God strictly commanded of old, that no uncircumcised person should eate [Page 105] the passeover: And what rule have you that un­baptized persons should be admitted to the sup­per? But he tells us this is the opinion only of some rigid Anabaptist, and thinks there to shel­ter himself. Indeed Mr Iessey, and some other good men were of that opinion, that some per­sons might be admitted to the supper who were not yet convinced, but that their Infant-Baptism was true Baptism. But why must all others be counted rigid Anabaptists because they cannot see with other mens eyes? But this is one of the many scurrilous reflections in Mr Wills's Book, to supply the scarcity of Argument. I could tell him of some rigid Independents, and rigid Presby­terians too, who are so far from having Commu­nion with the Baptists, that they would pluck up such Tares (so they account them) out of the [...]ield of the world, and that before the harvest, contrary to the expresse words of our Saviour. Let both grow together till the harvest: And the reason is very cogent; lest plucking up the tares, you pluck up the wheat also. But Mr Wills makes a­mends for this and tells us, that some of the Bap­tists are godly, liberal men, of holy and pious con­versations and such whom he could have com­munion with; but this is Joabs curtesy, who sa­lutes Abner friendly, but smote him under the fifth ribb. And I may say Meliora sunt amici vulnera, quàm inimici oscula. The many hard speeches, and uncomely reflections, the so often mentioning the miscariages of the people in Germany he calls by that denomination shew what gall his pen was dipt in. But for all these things I say, The Lord for­give him.

Paedo.
[Page 106]

Sir I thank you for this discourse and the pains you have taken in order to my satisfaction. I confesse I finde my self more convinc'd then I was; and do think you are of the surest side, it being most certain that believers were and ought to be baptized; but whether any Infants were or ought, is very uncertain. And surely it is safest (in controverted matters) to adhere to that side that is most certain. Besides there are two things that I am much stumbled at.

The First, is the great ignorance of the mem­bers of the Paedo-baptist congregations in this matter: Not one amongst many, is able to prove Infant-Baptism, or to answer your Arguments, but are forced to referr the matter to their mini­sters: whereas, hardly any amongst you, but are able to give a satisfactory reason of their hope in this thing; and can presently prove believers Baptism from Scripture precept and example. As of old if a heathen had demanded of any Jew the reason and Ground of his circumcision, he could presently turn to the 17th. of Genesis, and there prove it from a positive command of God. But if a heathen should ask us, why we baptize our In­fants, we that are but ordinary persons know not how to satisfy him; we cannot direct him to any Scripture where it is written: Which is strange, that a Gospel ordinance should be left so dark and intricate, and the ordinance of circumcision under the law, be so plain and obvious that eve­ry child of any reason could presently shew the ground of it. This makes me suspect the truth of it; because the Apostle says he used great [Page 107] plainesse of speech, and not as Moses who put a vail upon his face, &c. surely Gospel Ordinan­ces should be so plain, especially as to the sub­jects, that he that runs may read them.

2ly. The next thing that offends me is the great difference amongst Ministers, about the ground of Infant-Baptism, as if they knew not where to fasten it, what basis to build it upon, some (as Mr Danvers observes) draw it from the Univer­sality of grace, and the necessity of Baptism to salvation, as Cyprian and others.

Some from the faith of the Church; some from a supposed seminal faith that may be in the child.

Some from the faith of the parents; others from the faith of the sureties; some (if the im­mediate parents be not Godly) think the faith of the Grand-father, or great-Grand-father may serve.

Some upon the account of Covenant holynesse, or the promise made to Abraham and his seed; others, if both, or one of the parents be a mem­ber of a gathered Church. Some think they are born members of the visible Church by vertue of their parents faith, and so may be baptized.

Besides this there is a great difference about baptizing of bastards: some think if the father repent, the child may be baptized; others think otherwise, because a Bastard was not to enter into the Congregation to the 10th. generation; and so about the children of excommunicate per­sons, &c. All which makes us fear that we are out of the way, and our leaders have caused us to err seeing they cannot agree, upon what ground [Page 108] to baptise our Infants. Its true Mr Wills pretends to answer this, but very weakly: he tells us the baptists differ amongst themselves about the ground of their practise; but sure I am there is no such material difference as there's amongst us.

You are all agreed that the profession of faith and Repentance is the ground of Baptism, and if some desire a larger confession then others, and signes of grace, I think it is no great error, but rather an evidence of zeal to God, and good to the parties soul. But what is this to those materi­al and essential differences before mentioned?

These things will put me upon further search, and I hope what you have said will be of advan­tage to me. In the mean time I take leave and bid you farewell.

Errata.

P. 64. l. 16. r. marrs all, p. 95. l. 1. r. betternesse. In the letter to Mr Will's 5. l. 3. r. Magisterially. p. 9. l. 11. for heat r. heart. Mis-spellings and mis-pointings correct as you meet them.

FINIS.

Concerning Ʋnity.

OUr Opponents cry out for Unity, and would fain lay the cause of that hateful Word [Division] at our doors, and methinks they might well forbear making such a noise, unless they assign us what kind of the several sorts of Unity they mean; and propound some Medi­ums to make the same practicable. And I may say, What Unity? so long as that imperious, reflecting, and condemning Spirit remains in them. Some forbidding of their Members to hear our Ministers, or to read their Books; rather allowing them liberty to joyn with the Multitude, than to appear in our Societies. But if I may spell out their meaning, it seems to be this.

That all the Anti-paedo-Baptists should break up their Societies, and joyn with them, and own their Ministers for their Pastors, suffer them quietly to Baptize Infants, &c. and so sin against their Consci­ences; it appearing to them to be gross Superstiti­on, and the Prophanation of an Ordinance. But should they tell you, they judge there is as good, if not better grounds that you should joyn with them, and own the Baptism of Believers (the only Scrip­ture Baptism) I know not where a Moderator or Um­pire would be found to determine this matter. And how can Two walk together, except they be a­greed?

[Page]So that the Unity of the Verity is not surely the thing they hope for; for though it be greatly desira­ble, yet very hard to obtain, because one man thinks this to be truth, and another that, according to the several Lights they have received. And if it be the Unity of Authority they intend, that the Magi­strate should set down some Uniform practice, and command all manner of persons to comply thereun­to; this looks like divers of them. But were there such a practice attempted and yielded unto, it might make many Hypocrites in the highest degree of Hy­pocrisie; but be far from that spiritual Unity they talk of.

Nor can an Unity of perswasion be hoped for, see­ing both in Press and Pulpit, and other wayes, both Parties have endeavoured to perswade one another, but to little or no Effect.

Nor can it be an Unity of Necessity, now in Times of common danger; for Tyes of necessity u­sually bind no longer than one Side hath need of a­nother.

Nor can any Unity of Covenant do it, for that is forced in many places; and I fear too many say, as the Heathen did, Juravi Lingua, mentem injuratam gero, I swore with my tongue, but not with my heart.

Seeing then we cannot find out what kind of Uni­ty is intended, it is best for both parties to continue in the Societies to whom they belong, till God shall convince them otherwise, provided they do not put out their light, and sin against their Consciences, nor neglect any opportunity, better to inform their Judgments.

But there is one kind of Unity yet behind, and that [Page] is the unity of Affections; and if you mean this, I am willing to joyn issue with you, and in this I can­not but blame the whole generation of Professors, who are greatly faulty in this matter.

For my own part, I know the shadows of the ever­lasting Evening are upon me, and am every day wal­king upon the Banks of Eternity, and do hope er'e long to enter into those sacred Mansions, where all the Saints are of one mind, where we shall possess, not dispute our Unity; wherefore I shall leave my Testimony for the unity of Charity and Affection a­mongst all that are Godly, though of different per­swasions; and shall enforee it from these Considera­tions.

1. From the work of Regeneration, which some of all differing Professors can experience. Indeed while in a state of unregeneration, nothing is to be expe­cted but Jars and Contentions, for all Division comes from sin, Scelera dissident. It is so in the na­tural body, one affection struggles in the Soul for mastery; Ambition fights with malice, and Pride with Covetousness: the head plots against the heart, and the heart swells against the head. Reason and Appetite, Will and Passion, Soul and Body set the whole frame of Nature into a continual Combustion, one Faculty moves contrary to the Government or Attraction of another, and so as in a confluence of contrary Streams and Winds, the World is turned into a maze of Contentions.

But when once we become Christians, and are made conformable to Christ, it presently maketh of two one; and so worketh peace: It slayeth the ha­tred and war in the Members of Christ against one another; it reduceth to that primitive harmony, and [Page] uniform Spirituality. Yea Conversion layes an ob­ligation upon Christians to love one another: If we love him that Begat, we cannot but love him that is Begotten.

2. Because all things else agree: The beams of the Sun, though divided and distinct from one another, have yet an unity in the same nature of light, because all partake of one Native and Original splendor. The limbs of a Tree, though all several, and spreading di­vers wayes, yet have an unity in the same Fruit; be­cause all are incorporated into one Stock and Root. The streams of a River, though running divers wayes, do yet all agree in the unity of sweetness and clear­ness, because all issuing from the same pure Fountain. Why then should not Christians, though of different Perswasions, agree in the unity of Love and Affe­ction?

3 Because by Division, Discord, and Rebellion the A­postate Angels lost their Heavenly Habitation, and are for ever plunged into easeless and remediless Tor­ments. The Devil was Created an Angel of Light, and stood a while in Unity and Harmony until he began to Jar, and enter into Division, and to chuse to be an absolute Nature of himself; and would sepa­rate and break himself off from Unity, by which he became viler than the vilest of Gods Creatures: And so it is possible, for persons by leaving the principles of Harmony, Unity, and Love, to fall from the most glorious state of profession, into endless misery and perdition.

The excellency of the unity of Charity appears fur­ther from those Notae quietis, or letters of rest natu­rally imprinted upon the whole Series of Created Be­ings; for if we survey the particulars of this stately [Page] Fabrick, we shall find the image of peace and love impressed and imprinted, as the Conservatory prin­ciple of their Natures, stampt at first by the Divine Creator, when out (of a confused Chaos) it pleased the Eternal parent, or Radical principle of all things (being not willing that so large a space should be E­ternally bereft of his gracious influence, or his bounty any longer frustrated, from Communicating Happi­ness to so many millions of Creatures as might act upon this Stage) to effect this Creation; for when by his powerful Word he applyed himself to Create this sensible World, out of so great disorder and con­fusion; he effects it with so much symmetry and pro­portion, that Nature seems to lose it self in the Har­mony of such a Being. And as the Crown and per­fection of all doth so imprint peace and unity in it, that to attempt the Extirpation of these from the U­niverse, were to endeavour the reduction of this stately Engine into its Original Chaos and Confu­sion.

Besides we find when the great Creator began to make a division in this sensible World, it was only of such things as were directly contrary and opposite to one another, as light and darkness, Gen. 1.4. And God divided the light from the darkness, and God saw that it was good; shewing us that it was never inten­ded there should be any division in the World, but between light and darkness; things directly and es­sentially contrary.

Therefore in the next Division (which was the Work of the Second day) that was between the Wa­ters and the Waters, things of the same kind and na­ture, and that work had no Blessing annexed to it, be­cause it was the first breach of Unity; which num­ber, [Page] some say is branded with infamy, Numerus Bi­narius infamosus est, quia primus ausus est discedere ab unitate, because it was the first that durst depart from unity. And though there be a kind of war between the Elements, yet some are of Opinion, that it is more imaginary than real; for we find sometimes they will forget their Natural stations and properties, and (to avoid vacuum) will mutually pass into the room of one another; yea, not only lovingly to mix, but to dwell with one another peaceably; as fire and water will sometime dwell together; as we see in Tempests Of Thunder, Rain, and Hail; and also in Spirit of Wine, and other things.

But especially things of the same Tribe and Kind do most earnestly affect one another (from an Innate principle of Union) as Water and Salt do mutually embrace each other.

And as the harmonious assent of things amongst themselves is admirable, so the Heavens with the Lower Region is no less wonderful; for in the whole frame of Nature, there is such an admirable mix­ture, that all the design is to maintain a Friendly U­nion and concatenation between themselves; desiring only to gratifie the Supream Ruler, and benefit each other: Nature ordering and disposing all things to be carryed about in a most uniform Circulation.

And now is it not strange, when the whole Creati­on, doth, as it were, study peace and amity, man should continue and practice the contrary? And those that should be lead by the Spirit into Unity and Love, should be sent to the meanest Creatures to learn their Lessons of peace and concord?

Lastly, We may consider the Evils that Discord brings upon the Outward man; it was discord, division, [Page] and contention that brought, and still brings those Bodily maladies, sicknesses, aches, paines, and weak­ness upon the Bodies of Men; and at last death it self. For how came those things into the World, but from the rebellious strivings and contentions of the Body with the Soul: For as long as Adams mind was subject unto God, and stood in Harmony and Union with him, the inferior powers of the Soul were obe­dient unto Reason, and the Body unto the Soul, and this Union prevents all infirmities and sicknesses; but he no sooner Rebels against God, and breaks himself off from this Union, and enters into Division, but he presently finds Contention raging within him; for now those inferior powers, will be no longer subject unto Reason; but the rebellious pride of the Carnal appetite is such, that the Body ceaseth to be any longer subject to the Soul; upon which strivings and contentions enter, and from thence all manner of Diseases and Distempers upon the Body: for death, and all corporeal infirmities are but the immediate effects of the disobedience of the Body to the Soul; and man is entred into Contrariety, not only with himself, but others also, and hath a property and prin­ciple of Contradiction, whereby he opposes, quarrels, divides from, and contends with others. And is so far departed from the unity and harmonious agree­ment that should be in the minds of men, especially Christians, that now there ariseth passion, anger, and envy; which so disturbs, torments, and disquiets the mind (because others are not like us) that from thence follow in a great measure, diseases, infirmities, and bodily distempers; because the Soul departs from Harmony, and is in continual vexation and anxiety; so that the Humors of the Body are disquieted, and [Page] the radical moisture destroyed. Persons that are of a Cholerick Temper, are more subject to Diseases, than those of a more quiet and s [...]rene disposition; their passion inflames the inward parts, and disor­ders the whole frame of Nature, and envious men are subject to Consumptive distempers.

Invidus alterius rebus macrescit Opimis) because his mind is full of dissatisfaction and disquietness, being departed from Unity. And Solomon tells us, The bloody-minded man shall not live out half his dayes: And we know those Anchorets and Monks that have reti­red from the World into Dens and Caves of the Earth, that they might live a contemplative Life, and be free from all manner of discord, contention, and division, have lived to an exceeding Old Age, and free from those distempers, and Bodily Infirmities that others meet with; the unity, agreement, and harmony of their minds much conducing to their bo­dily health. So it's said of Moses, that he was an hundred and twenty years old when he dyed; his Eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated, Deut. 34.7. we know of what quiet, serene, and meek Spirit he was of, Numb. 12.3. Now the man Moses was very meek above all the men which were upon the face of the Earth; so that the quietness of his mind did very much contribute to the sanity of his Body. And if Men and Women would more follow the Counsel of the Physitian of their Souls, who bids us live in peace, unity, and love; they would not (perhaps) so often want a Physitian for their Bodies.

FINIS.

Some Short Questions and An­swers for the Younger Sort.

Quest. WEre not the Children of Believers Church-Members before Abraham's time?

Answ. No, the Scripture makes no mention of any such thing; neither was there any visible sign or mark appointed by God to distinguish them from the Children of Unbelievers.

Quest. Was there no successive conveyance of Grace from believing Parents to their Children?

Answ. No, because the Children of Believers prov'd as wicked as others; insomuch as all flesh had corrupted its wayes, and God brought the flood up­on the World of Ungodly.

Quest. What then became of the Children that Dyed from Adam to Abraham?

Answ. Those that belonged to the Election of Grace were Saved, though in no outward Covenant, nor signed by any Visible Ordinance.

Quest. Why then did God make a Covenant with A­braham and his Seed, and distinguish them from all Na­tions?

Answ. Because he had a design that the Messiah should come of his Loins, and therefore his Males only are commanded to be Circumcised, to signifie that Christ should be a Man-child, and should shed his Blood for the sins of Believers.

[Page]Quest. What other Ends were there of Circumci­sion?

Answ. To distinguish them from other Nations, with whom they were not to Marry, lest the Suc­cession should be Interrupted, and so the Messiah not come of Abrahams Loynes.

Quest. What advantage had they of Circumcision be­sides?

Answ. They were counted the Visible people of God for a time, had the Laws of God committed to them, and the Land of Canaan, and divers Earthly Blessings bestowed upon them.

Quest. But had any other People any right to Eter­nal Life and Salvation?

Answ. Yea; It being evident that God had di­vers of his people amongst the Gentiles who belon­ged to the Election of Grace, as Job, and his Three Friends, and others, which appears by Bildad's ap­peal to the Ancients, Job 8.8, 10. For enquire I pray thee of the Former Age, and prepare thy self to the search of their Fathers; and vers. 10. shall not they teach thee, &c.

Quest. But how came it to pass that the Jews became the People of God, and not others?

Answ. By vertue of a Grant from God to Abra­ham, who freely made a promise to be a God to him, and his Seed after him.

Quest. Was this promise made to Abraham because he was better than others, or before, or after he Be­lieved?

Answ. No, It was freely of Grace, for God sound him an Idolater, and these Promises were made to him before he Believed; for we hear nothing of his Faith till Gen. 15.6.

[Page]Quest. Were his Children then Partakers of those Priviledges, meerly by being descended from his Loynes?

Answ. Yea; we find no other Reason rendred.

Quest. But we hear Abraham was a Believer, and received the sign of Circumcision as a token of the righte­ousness he had by Faith: Is it necessary then that his Children have the like Faith?

Answ. 'Tis true Abraham Believed after the Pro­mise, and was Circumcised; but it was not Com­manded that his Children should Believe in order to Circumcision.

Quest. But as Abraham was a Believer before his Children had a right to Circumcision, so should it not be known that every Father in Israel were a Believer, be­fore his Child were admitted to Circumcision?

Answ. No: for all were required to Circumcise their Children, whether the Parent Believed, or not.

Quest. Were none to be Circumcised but those that Descended from Abraham?

Answ. Yea, all that were born in his House, or bought with money.

Quest. But was it not required that those Servants in Abraham's House should profess Faith before they and their Children were Circumcised?

Answ. No, It was not commanded to be done upon any condition of Faith, in the Parent or Child that was a Servant.

Quest. Were Abrahams Children Circumcised by vertue of any right they had to the Covenant of Grace a­bove others?

Answ. No; for some of Noah's Children, &c. had a Right to the Covenant of Grace, yet not Circum­cised; [Page] and Esau and Ishmael &c. had no right to the Covenant of Grace, and yet Circumcised,

Quest. Were not Infants Church-Members in A­braham's time?

Answ. Yea; the Church and the Common-wealth being all one, they must needs be Members.

Quest. When did their Membership cease?

Answ. When Christ came and had suffered; when the Priesthood was changed, when the Law of Cir­cumcision ceased, when the natural branches were broken off, the old House removed, and a new one built.

Quest. Are not the Infants of the Gentiles Church-members now in the dayes of the Gospel?

Answ. No, there being no Institution or Command for it; besides the Church and the Common-wealth are now divided, and God hath not taken in any one Nation, or sort of people distinct from others to be his Church; but Believers only out of every Kindred, Tongue, and Nation.

Quest. Have not then the Infants of Believing Gen­tiles less priviledg than the Jews had?

Answ No; For Circumcision had been no privi­ledg nor duty, had there been no Institution for it: Neither is Baptism a priviledge or duty to any, but to those to whom it is Commanded. But the priviledges of the Children of Believing Gentiles are greater than the Jews; because the Messiah being come, which is the sum and substance of all their sha­dows, of Circumcision, of Membership, and all their Typical Ordinances: So that as soon as Infants are capable of Understanding, they are to be brought up in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord, i. e. the Lord Jesus, the Anti-Type of all their Types; who is [Page] to be made known unto them, as being already come, and hath suffered for all that Believe in him. Whereas the Jews could but inform their Children, that Christ would come, and suffer for the sins of men.

Quest. Have not those that had a right to the privi­ledges of the Old Covenant, a right to the priviledges of the new, by vertue of their former right?

Answ. No; for then the Jews had a right to Bap­tism without any profession of Faith and Repentance. Besides the Apostle saith, Heb, 13.10. We have an Altar whereof they have no right to eat that serve the Taber­nacle: And so we say, we have a Baptism, that In­fants have no right to, as they had to Circumcision; because there is no Institution for it.

Quest. But may not the Children of the Gentiles be counted Abraham's Seed?

Answ. No; For Abraham hath but two Seeds, the natural Jew, and professed Believers amongst Jews and Gentiles: a third Seed cannot be assigned him.

Quest. But may not Infants be counted Christs Seed?

Answ. No; for Christ left no natural Issue, (who shall declare his Generation) shewing us that he did not intend to build his Church of Natural Children (as of Old) not of dead, but of living Stones. Besides Believers Children are Children of Wrath by nature as well as others, and therefore not to be accounted Christs Seed, or to be Baptized, while so consi­dered.

Quest. Is not Baptism an Ordinance of the New Testament, and must it not be proved by a New-Testa­ment Institution?

Answ. Yea.

[Page]Quest. Where is your Institution then for Infant Baptism?

Answ. It is urged to be Gen. 17.7. I will be a God to thee and to thy Seed.

Quest. Is there any thing concerning Baptism in this Scripture?

Answ. No, But we draw this Consequence, that as God promised to be God to Abraham and his Seed; so he will be a God to every Believer and his Seed.

Quest. Did God in these words promise to save Abra­ham and all his Natural Seed?

Answ. No, But the meaning is, that he and his Seed should be the Visible Church; and enjoy the Or­dinances, which no other people should.

Quest. And does this promise belong to believing Gentiles, and their natural Seed, that they only shall be the visible Church of God, and their Children only enjoy the Ordinances of God successively from their Pa­rents?

Answ. No; for then these Absurdities would fol­low.

1. That God has not been as good as his promise, for the Church has not been continued in the posteri­ty of Believers since Christs time, but often passed out of their Race into the Posterity of Unbelie­vers.

2. That then, since the first promulgation of the Gospel, there is no such need of Preaching to the Heathen, in as much as these being not of the Posteri­ty of Believers, they are not to be of the Visible Church, nor enjoy the Ordinances: So that it is a fal­lacy to hold that God hath promised to be a God to Believers and their Natural Seed, as he did to Abra­ham [Page] and his Seed; to continue his Church only in the Posterity of them that first received the Gospel. But he is still gathering his Church out of the posterity of Unbelievers, and therefore before the end of the World the Angel is said to Preach the Everlasting Gospel to every Nation, Kindred, and Tongue, and People, who are not of the posterity of Belie­vers.

Quest. Why do the Paedo-baptists Baptize their In­fants?

Answ. Because (they say) they are in the Cove­nant of Grace.

Quest. How do they know that?

Answ. Because both, or one of the Parents, are in the Covenant of Grace.

Quest. How does that appear?

Answ. Because they profess so to be. Then if the Parent be an Hypocrite, the Child is not rightly Bap­tized.

Quest. From what Ground do the Baptists Baptize Persons?

Answ. Because they make a Profession of Faith and Repentance; which is warrant enough from the Scripture.

Quest. But how if they be Hypocrites, are they rightly Baptized?

Answ. Yea; because it is not necessary for them to know that the Person is in the Covenant of Grace; but that he professes himself a Disciple of Christ; for which they have Scripture-president, and many Ex­amples.

POSTSCRIPT.

SOon after I had finished this Treatise, Mr. Bax­ter's Book came to my Hands: And in regard of his long silence, some great matter was ex­pected: but after my perusal of it, I find no News at all. The first part of his Book (even 180 pages) is nothing else but a Collection of certain Old Letters that past between him and Mr. Tombs long since: In which, whether he hath dealt Candidly with Mr. Tombs I know not, the contrary is justly feared; if the Reader take notice of those Pieces, Scrips, and Parcels of Letters from Mr. Tombes, but his own Written at large.

As to the matter contained in those Letters, I find it to be nothing but what hath been Answered long since; and it would amount to no other than Super­fluity, and Tautology to Answer over again. The tru­est Verdict I can give of it, is, that it is (like most of his other Controversies) a lump of Logical Superflu­ity, a System of Syllogistical Vanity, wherein the Man manages his War like some Fresh man that is newly Ma­triculated into the Faculty of Logicking in Mood and Figure, that delights to hear himself Syllogize out every Syllable; and so comes out with a huge heap of Hypothe­ticals, arguing at a vast difference from the business of Baptism, and sometimetimes Ex Suppositis non Sup­ponendis too, as if he should fetch Infant baptism from far, since 'tis so dark in Scripture (as he has confessed it is) that he cannot have it nigh at hand; proving in a [Page] great Circumference of Consequence upon Consequence, Syllogism upon Syllogism; thus, if this, then that; if this, then that; but this, therefore that; when very of­ten neither this, nor that, is true: So that like a Tree, his Book runs out into so many smaller Boughs, and Twigs, and layes it self out at large into such a train of Trivi­als, so many littles to the purpose; that he will find him­self great store of small business that shall throw away so much of his precious time to read his Book.

The next thing I take notice of in his Book is his Answer to Mr. Danvers his Collections, &c. wherein the Reader will find so much Gall and Vinegar, such a proud, austere, magisterial Spirit; such scurrilous, unchristian Language, that it makes me amased, and to question, whether this be Mr. Baxter or his Coadju­tor Mr. Wills. But it seems they are both agreed in their unsavory Dialect. Is this the man that Wrote so much for Love and Unity? and would make the World believe that he is made up of nothing but Charity? Suppose Mr. Danvers should be mistaken in some of his Collections; had it nbt been better to have shewed him his mistakes in a Mild, Christian, and Brotherly way? And if you say the offence was pub­lique, and therefore deserved a publique reproof. Grant that also, yet what need these peevish, bitter, and angry reflections? Hath Mr. Baxter forgot that Scrip­ture, Gal. 6.1. If any man be overtaken in a fault, ye that are spiritual, restore such a one in the Spirit of meekness: He contemptuously calls him (Maj. Danvers a Souldier) but why a Souldier? I confess an Officer ought to be a Soldier, but he was a Collonel as well as Mr. B. was a Chaplain, and Mr. B. knows 'tis not civil, nor do Souldiers love to be retrograded, no more than Chaplains. Would he think it kindly done, if he [Page] were dwindled from a Chaplain in Folio to a puny Curate in duodecimo, I doubt his ambitious Humor would rather be Pope, but I suppose he means, that he was so once, and perhaps it was when M. Bax­ter was Chaplain; and surely it is the Chaplain's work with all mildness and gentleness to convince his Officers of any error. But it's like in those dayes he used better Language, and accomodated himself to the humors of his Officers, or else Fama mendax. But perhaps hee'll tell us, he looks upon Mr. Danvers as a rigid Anabaptist; whom (with the Independents) he condemns and censures as ignorant silly persons, &c. in his usual Civility, not deserving the least grain of his Charity.

But what does the man mean? do they separate from the Church of Rome? so do's Mr. Baxter. Do they separate from the Church of England? so did Mr. Baxter (as constituted by Episcopacy) but what he does now is a hard question. But I shall leave Mr. Danvers to vindicate himself.

Another thing notable, is his 56 Articles of Faith, that he supposes the Anabaptists and others must hold, if they deny his Popish Positions in his Christian Di­rectory, &c. It were no hard matter to Father many grosser absurdities upon Mr. Baxter, were his raw and undigested Notions, and erroneous principles noted, that have past his Pen (at several times) for above these Twenty years. But leaving his other mistakes, it will be no Injury to tell you, that one Article of Mr. Baxter's Faith is; That all the Children, all the numerous posterity of Ʋnbelievers, yea of such Ʋnbe­lievers whose immediate Parents or Parent, were not Enchurcht, are all in the Kingdom of the Devil, and necessarily damned. Seeing he holds that the Children [Page] of Believers only are the Subjects of Baptism, being born within the Covenant of Grace, Children of God, Heirs of Christ, and inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven. But if Mr. Baxter in these Fifty six Articles (nay in most of his late Writings) hath not more gratified the Pa­pists, and contributed to their Cause, more than any English Protestant Divine ever did, yea at once, (as much as in him lyes) thrown away the Protestant Cause, and as far as his Credit goes, spoiled all, that our Famous Champions have done, I am much mi­staken; having hereby lai'd such stumbling blocks in the way of ordinary Christians, far beyond the most crafty Jesuite that ever hath been amongst us.

He tells us he will Write no more, but he hath a mighty Faith that will believe him. I am of Mr. Bagshaw's mind, who told him some time since, when Mr. Baxter told him he would not answer him; Mr. Bagshaw replyes, I know you will not keep your word, for your pride will put you upon Writing, and your guilt will necessitate you to do it; just in as unbecoming a manner as you have done: for an ill Cause must be maintained by Calumny.

And then in a lusory way tells us, That if these Children will after this baul, and cry, and wrangle, and foul the House (a savory Metaphor!) he is not bound to rock the Cradle, and to make them clean.

From whence may it not follow (1.) That Mr. Baxter owns the Anabaptists as his Children; but whether instead of an indulgent Nurse he has not pro­ved a cruel Step-mother, let the World judge.

2. That the Anabaptists are soul, (sweetly spoken!) and all the paines he hath taken in his Writings these Twenty years has been to clean them. But whether he hath not cast more dirt and filth upon them, and [Page] made them fouler than ever he found them, is easie to be determined by any that reads his plain Scripture-proof, &c.

The next thing I observe is, How strenuonsly he strives to have the Fathers on his side; and fearing he should lose the Argument from Antiquity, we see how the sleepy Lyon's roused, and roars like a Son of Thunder, fearing the Old worn-out cause of In­fant-Baptism should be routed, and never rally a­gain; But he must know we are not so fond of the Fathers from the Third Century, that being as Tul­ly sayes, Omissis fontibus consectari rivulos, we believe Infant-Baptism is ancient, and so are other Errors more antient; but from the beginning it was not [...]o.

But that which confirms me against this Fallacy of Infant-Baptism, is, that the first that mention it, do also mention the Erroneous Grounds upon which it was practised, viz. for the washing away Original Sin; for the conferring of Grace, and absolute necessity thereof to Salvation, &c. But let Mr. Baxter shew us if he can, that any of the Fathers speaks of Infant-Baptism as to be performed upon the grounds he and others in this Land have practiced it, i. e. the Childs being in the Covenant of Grace by vertue of both or one of the Parents personally manifesting his Faith and Repentance, and being an Enchurched Member of some Congregation, &c. Here I dare say, Mr. Baxter has none of the Fathets of his side, now his Orthodox Fathers are Heterodox; but is it not strange, that if Infant-Baptism were an Apostolical Tradition as divers affirmed, and some still dream, that the Apostles had not delivered the true grounds upon which it should be practiced as well as the pra­ctice [Page] it self. Or did these Holy Fathers only keep the subject, and so soon lose the grounds. So that I must give this short but true Character of Mr. Bax­ter and his late Book that he hath written, neither with that gravity that became his Age, with that So­briety that became his profession, nor with that mo­desty that became any tolerable Education. And since he so much forgets himself, I must tell him that that Gentleman Mr. Danvers, whom he so insolently despi­ses, is (to say no more) his Superior, a person of known worth, piety, and integrity, and one whom God hath chosen to bear witness to his truth, at that very time when he a Learned Scribe is shaken with every wind, and scruples not to change his Judge­ment for and against things, as the stream of out­ward success doth guide and influence them. I shall now conclude with Mr. Baxter's Opini­on of the Anabaptists, when his heat is over; he saith thus [in his last Book,] There two sorts of Ana­baptists amongst us, the one are sober Godly Christi­ans, who when they are Re-baptized, to satisfie their Consciences, live amongst us in Christian love and peace. And I shall be ashamed, if I love not them as heartily, and own them not as peacably as any of them shall do ei­ther me, or better men than I, that differ from them.

The other sort hold it unlawful to hold Communion with such as are not of their mind and way, and are Schismatically Troublesome and Ʋnquiet, in labouring to encrease their party.

I hope all the pious Anabaptists do virtually, though not actually devote their Children to God, and Consent to their Covenant-relation, while they vehemently plead against it; for surely they have so much natural Affecti­on, that if they did think that God would be a God, in a [Page] special Covenant with their Children, and pardon their Original Sin, and give them right to future Life, upon the Parents dedication and consent, they would un­doubtedly accept the gift and be thankful: And I be­lieve most of them would say, I would do all that God entrusteth me to do, that my Child may be a Child of God, and accept any Mercy from him, as far as God doth authorize me so to do, page 188, 199.

Indeed my Judgement was and is, that the point of Infant-Baptism hath its considerable difficulties, which may occasion Wise and Good men to doubt, or to be mista­ken in it, page 219.

Therefore I never took the point of it to have such weight, as that all that differed from me in it, must be denyed either love, liberty, or communion. If I know my own heart, I do as heartily love a sober Godly man that is against Infant-Baptism, as I do such men that differ from me in other Controversies: and much better than one of my own Judgement who hath less Piety and Sobriety.

Nor do I think there is so much Malignity in the bare Opinion which denyeth Infant Baptism, as that all the Anabaptists miscarriages should arise from the na­ture of that Opinion. Ibid.

I know that in the Ancient Churches men were left at Liberty, both when t [...] would be Baptized themselves, and when their Children should be Baptized, and though Infant-baptism was without any Original since the Apo­stles, yet it was not a forced thing. And were it in my power, it should be so still, I would not deny Christian-love, nor Church communion, nor publique Encourage­ments to any pious peaceable man for being an Anabaptist. I am not therefore half so Zealous to turn men from Anabaptistry, as I am to perswade both them and others to live together with mutual forbearance in Love and [Page] Church-communion, notwithstanding such differences, page 221. I make no question but many of them are far better men than I, and knowing my self lyable to Error, &c. I am far more offended at their Separation than their Opinion, page 228.

I know not by any Scripture or Reason that Re-bapti­zing is so hainous a sin as should warrant us to contemn at our Brethren, page 233.

By which you see Mr. Baxter is not so much of­fended with the Anabaptists, as their Separation. To which we say; Let Mr. Baxter by his Elaborate Sy­stems, and subtil Distinctions, first convince the P [...]e­do-Baptists of their error herein, as the Independants, and others, and especially his Friend Mr. Wills; who though he hath Written so much for Infant-Baptism, yet ('tis well known) he is a wide Separatist. May not the Church of Rome cry out against Mr. Baxter for his Separation? Might not the Church of Eng­land do so formerly? And may they not still, (yea Mr. Baxter also) cry out against Mr. Wills and his party? and say they are Rigid Independents and Se­paratists? What means then all this Out-cry against the Antipaedo Baptists? unless they would have us believe that they are such Universal Dictators as have Authority over Faith, and are Infallibly inspired to propound Rules for all others, that when they Se­parate we must; and where they have Communion, so must we?

Now if Mr. Baxter will vouchsafe to do Two Things:

1. Tell us of what Church he is of.

2. Prove that Church to be rightly Constituted ac­cording to the Primitive Pattern: We will not then Separate from him. In the mean time we judge it [Page] our duty, whereunto we have already attained, to Walk by the same Rule. And if any be otherwise-minded, we hope the Lord will in time reveal it un­to them. Amen.

FINIS.

ANIMADVERSIONS Upon a Late Book, Intituled, INFANT-BAPTISM From HEAVEN and not of MEN, In Answer to Mr. Henry Danvers his Treatise of BAPTISM.

WHEREIN Believers Baptism in Opposition to Infants (pretended) Baptism, is further Vindicated and Con­firmed: And, that Believers only are the Spiritual Seed of Abraham, is also further Evidenced, against the Exceptions of Mr. Joseph Wh [...]ston.

By E. H.

Non adeo perdite confidens sum, ut ausim aliqu [...]d affirmare, quod Sacra Scriptura silentio praeterit. Theodoret. i. e.

I am not so desperately confident, that I dare affirm any thing which the Holy Scripture doth pass by in silence.

Grace doth not run in a Blood, neither is the love of God Tyed or Entailed upon any Linage of Men: Caryl on Job, cap. 5.

The Preface to the READER

Courteous Reader:

THe Delay of the Fore-going Treatise in the Printer's hands gave me Opportu­nity to peruse, and briefly to Anim­advert upon Mr. Whiston's Book, wherein I find a promising Title, and very little more: To Trace him in all his Meandrous Digressi­ons would be an Argument I want other Busi­ness: The main strength of his Objections is in the said Treatise fully Enervated; and I do not think my self concerned to pursue him, when he insists upon matters besides the Que­stion in Debate: His Exceptions touching the matter of Antiquity, are substantially an­swered by Mr. Danvers, yet shall be briefly glanced upon here.

I shall not now Dispute whether it be Ge­nerously done by Mr. Whiston to assail with so much Violence, one that's already beset with such clamarous Adversaries as Mr. Baxter, and Mr. Wills: But he gives the Curious some occasion to question, that either (he thinks) they want Relief, being very near a Defeat; or have not so singular a Talent as himself to set off a bad Cause.

[Page]For my part I cannot conjecture what his design is, unless by making up a Triumvirate of Champions, he thinks to carry the Cause by Clamour, and so share of the Applause their admiring Votaries are liberal enough of. But as his Book needs little more Confutation than to be perused, so the infirmity of his Reasoning, serves to illustrate, not foil the Truth he invades.

Our Adversaries themselves are forced to confess that most of those great Fathers (the generality of Christians are so fond of) have been of Corrupt Principles, and tainted with Superstitious conceits, and unsound Noti­ons; and that there are but very few of them to be found throughly Orthodox, though of great Learning, Zeal, and Industry; which is an Item to us not to lean upon the Authority of man, though never so Celebrated by A­ges and Nations, but to have recourse to the Word of truth left for our Instruction, and to seek our Warrant for Religious Duties there.

This consideration satisfies me, That this Triumviri (however acted by confidence, or self-conceit,) may be out of the way, and that their Dictates are no farther to be received, than they agree with the Word of God. The perplexing Systems spun out of mans own [Page] brain, nice subtil Distinctions, and long-winded periods, may be taking with such as are firmly Espoused to a Party right or wrong, or such as think him Conqueror that has most words: but the sober enquiring Soul, that seeks Truth, not Victory, will easily perceive the Vanity and Error of such a procedure.

Error cannot be disputed against, without giving it its name, and its Abettors cannot be reproved, nor admonished but in words acco­modated to their mistakes, which indeed is not Railing, but plain-dealing; and which I hope is Apology enough for me, if any Ex­pressions should seem to be of too acute an Edge: The Scripture commands us to reprove Errors sharply, or ( [...]) cuttingly, Tit. 1.13. I love the Godly Paedo-Baptist as one that I know my Master Christ loveth, but having such a Call to Witness to, and Contend for his Truth. I will (as he shall ena­ble me) do it without daubing on the one, and unnecessary sharpness on the other hand. I know how to distinguish between such as by a mistaken Zeal utter provoking rash words; and such as in pursuance to their Duty con­tend earnestly for the Faith once delivered to the Saints: And that Believers Baptism is such an Ordinance as Christ delivered to his Saints, I never heard doubted: And that [Page] Infant (pretended) Baptism is not such, is our work to manifest.

After all the Clutter our Antagonists kept to find some Evidence for the practice of Paedo-Baptism in Fathers, Councils, &c. (the Scripture as they fully own being silent about it) they are glad to run for refuge at last to their new Invention of a Covenant they imagine to be made with the Carnal Seed of Believers, Gen. 17.7. which they say In­titles them to be Baptized, but to no other Ordinance under the New Testament (a most pittiful Paradox) and being ashamed to own the mistaken absurd Mediums, its old and most celebrated Patrons have Insisted upon for its Support in Old Times, they have Cen­ter'd in a more plausible pretence for it, viz. the aforesaid Covenant, which is their only Reserve at present. And I cannot but ad­mire that Men of any Reason should cry up Antiquity, Antiquity, at the Rate they do, when at the same Instant they reject the Grounds and Reasons the Ancients used for the same. And is it fair to derive the pra­ctice from Antiquity, and add Reasons of their Own, when the Old Reasons are found to be indeed Irrational. We know Infant-Baptism has been of an Early Birth, (viz. in the Third or Fourth Century) to save the [Page] Child's Soul, and upon a mistake that it might be Damned without it; But Infant-Baptism upon the modern ground of a Hereditary Covenant, is new, and altogether unknown to the Ancient Paedo-Baptists, as by other hands is clearly made good. And how plausible this New Argument is, in the following Pages is examined.

And before I come to a particular Survey of this present Ʋndertakers Book, I would tender to his Christian consideration, hoping him to be a man that Fears God, Whether it be so consistent with his Profession, in so Taun­ting and proud a manner, to scorn and re­proach his Opponent, whereas a meeker way would be (not only his Duty, but) more grace­ful?

2. Whether it be consistent with the Word of Truth to go about to impose his bare Ipse dixit's upon the World, without any material proof from the Scripture?

3. Whether it be consonant to the plainness of the Gospel, to confound rather than In­struct the ordinary plain Reader with such a variety of needless impertinent Distinctions, Hypotheticals, Tedious and rambling Cir­cumlocutions, Preambles, and dark misera­ble shiftings, to find a Covert for his I ado­rantism in the Word of God?

[Page] 4. Whether it be Ingenuous or Honest to supply the want of Argument with such phra­ses as these, proceeding from Immodesty to Impudence. Warning his Reader to be wary of crediting any of his (viz. Mr. Dan­ver's) perswasion, can any man think he had any true actual Fear of God before his Eyes. Down-right Falsities, Forgeries, meer Cheats, &c. though not the least Tittle of them proved to be justly chargeable upon Mr. Danvers.

And to all which, I think (as it is the pro­duct of an Ʋnruly provoking Spirit, actuated by prejudice, and its ireful concomitants) the best return will be silence. Let him consi­der Gal. 6.1. Mat. 5.5.

We shall not Insist upon his uncomely carri­age throughout the whole Book, we leave it to his cooler consideration, and the Reader's Observation, and shall present you with a brief account of his Book, and then Select what wants our Reply, and leave all to the judgment of the Reader.

The Book consists of Two parts; 1. An at­tempt to weaken the Humane Authority urged by Mr. Danvers for Illustration of Believers Baptism, in opposition to Infants Baptism. 2. To Confute him in the Doctri­nal part.

[Page]About the first he spends 24 pages; his Objections are some scraps of what Mr. B. and Mr. W. have more at large urged, and al­ready Answered by Mr. D. of which neverthe­less I shall anon take a brief View.

From p. 25. to 71. he goes about to disprove that Believers Baptism is only Christ's Bap­tism. 2. To prove that the silence of the Scripture about Infant-Baptism tends more to its establishment than overthrow. 3. To vindicate Tradition, as he defines it. viz. the Discoveries made by the Church Doctrinal­ly and Practically from the Apostles time to us, as a subordinate means whereby we come to know, and are more fully confir­med what's contained in the Doctrine of the Apostles. 4. From page 71. to 129. he consi­ders the Arguments from the Covenant, and Faederal Holiness. 5. From page 129. to the end, He endeavours to prove the Validity of Baptism, as Administred by Sprinkling. Of which in Order.

ANIMADVERSIONS UPON Mr. Whiston's Book, &c.

HE Intitles his Book, Infant Baptism from Heaven and not of Men: This indeed may raise the Expectation of such as have not Read Mr. Baxter's Plain Scripture proof. I began to think he had lighted upon some Rarity, else he would not Front his Book with such a Title, nor trouble the World especially at this juncture, when such men of Noise are already Engaged against us. But Empty Casks give the greatest sound, and pregnant Moun­tains bring forth a Mouse. From Heaven? and has he been there then, and searcht the Records, and was of the Cabinet Counsel of the Almighty? what if we doubt it? we have but his bare word for it. He must pardon me if I say Infant-Baptism from (Rome or) beneath; for if it had been of Heavens making, the Scriptures (and the Records, and Histories of the purest Primitive times) would not be so silent about it, as the most Learned Paedo-baptists confess, and particu­larly Mr. B. our keenest Adversary is forced to own they are. But the Author is cunning, and would De­coy the Reader by a specious Title, so the Vintners gaudy sign often Trapans to a costly (though un­wholsome) Entertainment. The plain Scripture­proof man himself confesses Infants baptism has its con­siderable [Page 3] difficulties; the Ingenious Papist counts it a Miracle to have it proved by Scripture. Most of the Lear­ned Paedo-baptists have recourse to Tradition for help, and how come they to miss of this mans Invention all this while? This Apollo, this Oepidus, this Alex­ander which you will, might have done good service to unriddle the Aenigma, or cut that knot, the un­folding of which cost so much Debate. Had he brought that from Heaven sooner, (which was ever there) he had saved many Learned men the labour of their Elaborate Systems pro and con. But this Au­thor has as dexterous and nimble a way of confuting all Antiquity, as the Junior Sophister in Oxford used with Bellarmine, when he writ in the end of his Works, Bellamine thou liest; therefore I will make bold to tell him that he stamps his uncertain Conje­ctures with a Divine Character, and fathers his Forgeries and contrivances upon Heaven; which is a during piece of Confidence, to say no more. So that I shall say of him, and from just ground, as the Poet of Pigmalion, extreamly doting upon the fair Image he made, Operis (que) sui concepit amorem, &c.

He tells us, Mr. Danv [...]rs his Book is all Forgery, which he leaves to the Readers Observation, wishing him to have a care of crediting any of his perswasion. But if this be not Inconsistent with the Laws of Ingenuity, Equity, and the Generositie of a Scholastick Educati­on, I know not what is. Had he been as nimble to attacque the Cause we maintain, as we find him a keen Satyrist against the person he Opposes, who ne­ver gave him the least Provocation, it would be more honest and taking. But instead of a fair un­prejudiced Examination of our Arguments, he laies [Page 4] bout him terribly, and deals his strokes unmerciful­ly, charges the whole with Forgery, Falshood, and what not? without vouchsafing to tell us wherein those Forgeries and Falshoods lye. [But stay Sir, as lo [...]ty a conceit as you have of your self, wee'll not believe you upon your bare word. Have you hit upon that pernicious Kn [...]k [...] assassinating mens cre­dit at a breath? It seems you [...]corn to be [...]uch a petty Chapman [...]s Mr. Ws. (who comes to Particulars, but) you would knock us down by whole Sale. You l [...]ve the [...]ader to his own observation. And is that all? as if he had stood gaping till you become his Monit [...], could not the Reader make his Observati­ons without th [...] impertin [...]t memento?]

Be wary of crediting any of his perswasion.] In this I would app [...]al to Mr. Whiston's Conscience, or any [...]of commo [...] genuity, whether it be just and [...] for him to charge the who [...]e party of Anti­p [...]ed [...] baptists at this rate, although Collonel Danvers, (as 'tis possible a Learned man may) had been mista­ken in some things among so numerous a Tract of Quotations? of which he has made no significant discovery neither.) Would he think it fair dealing, if we should improve the particular errors or miscarri­ages of Paedo Baptists to the scandal of all under that denomination? particularly the apparent Injustice, and unchristian Dealings of Mr. B. and Mr. Ws. in their late conspiracy, wrongfully to impeach us, and the truth we profess; and their malicious Contri­vances in prosecution thereof, fully detected by ano­ther hand.

And whether we have not just ground to conclude his Infant-baptism is not from Heaven, not only from the weakness of his Arguments, but from his manner [Page 5] of Arguing also? the Apostles way being to convince in meekness, and confute in terms full of Love, and void of all Opprobrious and Canting Railery. The Scripture tells us, that the wisdom that is from Above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easie to be in­treated, full of mercy and good Works, without partia­lity, and without Hypocrisie, James 3.17. Whereas he accosts us in so haughty and domineering an Equi­page, as he thinks will crush and disable us from any farther Encounters with so dreadful a Gigas as he takes himself to be. Exposing us to the scorn and odium of the whole World, as if we had not felt enough of its unkindness, till he comes to open the mouth of Calumny wider, and make our Enemies b [...]l louder. But these things we hope our Lord God, whom we desire to serve, will give us patience to en­dure for his Name and Truths sake.

But to put the better face upon the matter, he pre­tends to give some instances of Mr. Ds. his unfaith­fulness in his Quotations, and of a great many picks out two (with singular judgment) which he thinks [...]e can toss to the purpose, and mak [...]s his Reader sport to see how ridiculous he would make them. But to check his triumphant Insultings, we shall joyn issue with him in the fair Tryal of those particulars he im­peaches.

1. He charges Collonel Danvers for unfaithfulness in affirming that the Magdeburgs say in the place he cites, That in the first Century, they find they baptized only the Adult or Aged, &c. whereas the Word only is not there. This Exception Mr. Ws. made, and is answered by Mr. D. in p. 31, 32. of his Reply, and I con­ceive it is no part of ingenuity in Mr. Whiston to be inculcating that which he could not be ignorant was [Page 6] so justly replyed to already. But

What if Mr. D. has been in the right, and the falshood be laid at Mr. Whistons door? is not Mr. Whiston then the unfaithful man? and that it is so, the Reader is desired to consider, that what we de­sire to prove from the Magdeburgs is matter of Fact, viz. whether Infants were Baptized in that Age, which in plain terms they tell us they read no Exam­ple of, Exempla annotata non leguntur; and that the Adult of Jew and Gentile were Baptized, as is exem­plified Acts 2.8, 10, 16, 19, &c. and is not this Equi­valent with what he alleges, viz. that they Baptized only the Adult, finding examples for the one, and not for the other; any man in his sences may see that there is no more difference between them, than there is between two six pences and a shilling. We confess the Mageburgs were for Infant-Baptism, and that they cite Origen and Cyprian as Authors, that it was an Apostolical Tradition, in these words, Sed Origines & Cyprianus & alii Patres Authores sunt Apostolorum etiam tempore baptizatos esse; Constat enim hoc ex Apostolorum Scriptis quod Infantes a Baptismo non excludant, nam dum Circumcisionis locum Baptismum supplere Paulus docet, Col. 2. A [...]que Infantes atque Adultos ad Baptismum admittendos ju­dicat; that is, Origen and Cyprian, and other Fa­thers, tell us, that in the Apostles time some were Bap­tized; for this is evident from the Apostles Writings, that they did not exclude Infants from Baptism, and where Paul teaches, Col. 2. that Baptism succeeds in the place of Circumcision, he declares that Infants as well as the Adult are to be admitted to Baptism.

The Reader is desired to note how Craftily Mr. Whiston stops in his Quotation at the words Constat [Page 7] ex Apostolorum Scriptis, i. e. it is evident from the Apostles Writings, to make the Reader believe they mean it (that Infants were Baptized,) whereas it re­lates to the following part of the sentence, viz. (Quod Infantes a baptismo non excludant, that they did not exclude Infants from Baptism, rendring himself guilty of what he unjustly accuses Mr. D. But to the Quotation:

Wherein we have Three Things urged by them as Arguments for their practice; First the Testimony of Origen and Cyprian Secondly, Arguments from Infants non-exclusion from Baptism Scriptures. Thirdly, an Inference to prove it lawful as succeeding Cir­cumcision.

1. The Testimony of Origen and Cyprian, this I shall say little to, being substantially enervated by Mr. Danvers already in his Rejoynder, where it is made out, (1.) that Origen and Cyprian say no such thing; (2.) that if they had, its no great matter; the Books being from just grounds judged spurious: (3.) that if the Books were genuine, their Testimonies in the Third Century is not sufficient to prove matter of Fact the First Age.

2. The Arguments from Infants non Exclusion being Mr. Whiston's dear Argument so oft repeated, and made such a flourish withall, and filling a good part of his Book, our Answer shall be refered to the place where he urges it.

3. The Inference from Circumcision; this Mr. Whi­ston in express terms tells us, is not made any ground of Infant Baptism by them in these words, We plead not for Infants Baptism, meerly from the Analogy it bears to Circumcision (and is angry they should be charged with it, (though his practice contradicts [Page 8] the expression very often, as well as the Mageburgs thereby) therefore I shall not spend time to disprove that which he owns not. The Second Instance he gives of Mr. Ds. unfaithfulness, is, page 7. Mr. D. sayes thus: As to Baptism in the Second Century, they say Cent. 2. cap. 6. p. 109. that it doth not appear by any approved Author that there was any Varia­tion or Mutation from the former, Which Mr. Whi­ston is angry for, and sayes, Mr. D. would make people believe he spake this of the subject of baptism, whereas it is of the Rites and Ceremonies.

I have Examined what Mr. Danvers sayes, and that Century, and I find that he mentions neither sub­ject nor rite, but only cites their words, and applies it as fairly; their words are, Simplicem bapti [...]andi for­mam fuisse retentam ex eo apparet, quod in proba­tis anteribus nulla insignis reporitur variatio aut mutatio annotata. It is apparent that the simple (or old) form of baptizing was kept (viz. in the Second Age) because no remarkable Variati­on or Mutation is noted by any approved Au­thor, and that this comprehends both the subject and way of Administration of the first Age, is evident to such as are not critically contumacious and blind; and it is very probable, yea certain, that had the Magdeburg's found any Example for Infant-Baptism in this Age more than in the former, they would not fail to mention it; and though they say, Nec usquam legiter Infantes hoc saeculo remotos esse, that we read not of Infants being excluded in this Age, we may as tru­ly say, Nec usq [...]amlegitur Infantes hoc saeculo baptizari; We read of no Infants baptized in this Age: So that it is a sure Argument the thing was not in being, be­cause no mention is made of it, as practiced or not [Page 9] practiced. I have read the Story of the Jew, which he upbraids Collonel D for over-looking, who like to dye, was upon his earnest request baptized (as they call it) by his fellow Travellers, by flinging Sand upon him, there being no possibility of having Water there. But what advantage this makes for Mr. Whiston, we know not, let him make the best of it; if he had thought it so much for his purpose, why did not he mention it? but he choses rather to make the Rea­der believe there is something in it for his advan­tage, when indeed it signifies nothing for him.

The Second thing he remarks, is the impertinency of his proofs, and of which he gives Five Instances, how proper we are no [...] to enquire. But first, Is it not unjust for Mr. Whiston to charge his Adversary with that Crime whereof he himself is notoriously guilty; as I could instance if I would be impertinent, and for a taste will begg the Readers pardon to re­mark one. Is it to Mr. Whiston's purpose, or does the Argument he manages require it, that he should publish in print (first part of his Infant-Baptism) that he is a Batchelor, &c. is the World concerned in the changes of his state? or does he think that by the Charms of his Wit and Oratory, some great Co­metissa will fall in Love with him? Is not that as impertinent a Proclamation as the Ecclesiastical Po­litician's publishing his dull and lazy distemper? I would not have said this, but to shew how he that's so nimble to fall upon others in print, should take care first to amend himself.

And as to his Exceptions under this head, they are indeed so frivolous and insignificant, that it is in vain to spend time to refute that which any Reader may do in the very perusing; for what does he more [Page 10] than pick up some scripshere and there, pickeering at a part as the preamble (or that that makes way) to the main thing, wherein all the force is put, and to which these passages he snatches up may be only Circumstantial. So that Mr. Whiston beats the Ayre, and fights manfully with a Figment of his own brain. For,

1. The piece of the Waldensian Confession, which he sayes is not to our purpose, is but an Introduction to the 7th. Article in the same page, which sayes, That by baptism we are received into the Holy Congregation of the people of God, declaring openly our Faith, &c. which our Answerer takes no notice of.

That of Vignier is pertinently enough brought, wherein the Waldenses reject all Doctrines which have not their foundation in Scripture, and all Ceremonies and Romish Traditions; because the Baptism of In­fants at that time was practiced from that ground. And that he gives [...] testimonial of them, that they denyed Infants Baptism in totidem Verbis; See what he sayes, (viz. Nicholas Vignier in his Book called la Ʋraye Histoire de l' Eglise, p. 354. upon the year 1136. speaking of the Waldenses and some of their principal Barbs, where he hath these words, Et qu'ils condamnoient le Baptesme de Petits Enfans alle­guans que le Baptesme n'aportoient qu' a ceux qui ont foi. i. e. And they condemned the Baptizing of little In­fants, alledging that Baptism belongs to none but those that have Faith.

As to the agreement between the Donatists and Novations; it is also properly enough applyed, for all Mr. Whiston's hast, as the following words of Mr. Ds. make out, viz. they held, That none ought to be received into Churches, but such as were visibly true Be­lievers, [Page 11] and read Saints, &c. The way of being received into the Church, Mr. W. knows to be Bap­tism, but he overlooks this also.

As to the Three other Particulars out of the Wal­densian Confessions, p. 282, 283, 284. 1 Ed. he Ex­cepts against, as not to our purpose, let the same re­turn serve them as before.

That out of Thuanus from Dr. Ʋsher, viz. that the Beringarians held that Baptism did not profit Children to Salvation is a proper and suitable Argument of their denying Infant-Baptism, it being elsewhere e­videnced (and which Mr. Whiston nor his Associates never Answered) that that was the only ground of its administration, viz. that it Saved the Child's Soul.

3. As to his Charge of Mr. Ds. perverting Au­thors sayings, viz. Paedo-baptists in general, it is alrea­dy fully cleared by himself in his Rejoynder to Mr. Ws. and to him the Reader is referred. 2. Mr. Whi­ston would have us shew, wherein lyes the inconsistency of their words with their practice; which is also fully done. But me thinks it might be a properer task for themselves to reconcile their Contradictions, which they are loudly called to do, if they can; and so either yield up the Cause, or remove the stumbling blocks they themselves lay in our way.

4. He says, Some of Mr. Ds. Authorities are against himself, and instances Mr. Baxter, (we confess he is sometimes against us to the purpose, but sometimes he is also kind enough, and gave us Twenty good Arguments improved by Mr. Tombs in his Felo de Se.) But for the rest 'tis but meer prattle. Chryso­stom is instanced, to shew the Erroneous ground upon which Infant-Baptism was practiced, viz. to take [Page 12] away Original Sin; and if it be a proof for Mr. Whiston, let him take it, I'll give him another proof too if that will please him out of his Friend A [...]stin; 23 Epist. ad Bonif. Nec illud te moveat, quod quidam non ea fide ad Baptismum precipiendum parvulos ferunt, ut gratia spirituali ad vitam regenerentur Aeternam, sed quod eos putant hoc remedio temporalem retinere, ac recipere sanitatem, non enim propterea illi non regene­rantur, quia non ab illis hac intentione offeruntur, cele­brantur enim per eos necessaria Ministeria. But he must excuse me if I leave him the pleasure of Transla­ting it, seeing he may perhaps do it to most advan­tage.

That Peter Bruis and Henricus denyed Infants Baptism, we have good ground to believe from ma­ny substantial Reasons offered by Mr. D. and if we reject the testimony of Papists (in whose hands most of our ancient Writings have been for some Centu­ries, which we are well enough satisfied to do) in this, why not in other things?

That Cluniacensis (owned to be a very learned man) disputed with Peter Bruis, and Henry, is evi­dent; he layes down their Position to be this:

Nos vero tempus congruum fidei expectamus, & ho­minem postquam Deum suum cognoscere, & in eum credere paratus est, non ut nobis imponitis, Rebaptiza­mus sed Baptizamus, quia nunquam baptizatus dicen­dus est, qui baptismo quo lavantur peccata, locus non est. i. e. We wait for the fit season of Faith, and when a man knows his God, and believes in him, we baptize him, not rebaptize as you charge us; for he cannot be said to be ever baptized, that is not washt with the baptism that washeth away sins. And then makes this pathetick declamation against them, enumera­ting [Page 13] the Absurdities he fancies that follow their Opi­nion; he saith thus: Itane desipuere praeterita saecula, & tot millibus parvulorum per mille & eo amplius annos illusiorum baptisma tribuerent, &c. which I thus English.

And have past Ages been so foolish, and have given but a mock-baptism to so many thousand Little ones, for this thousand years and more, and from Christs time to ours have made them not real, but fantastick (or imagi­nary) Christians? Was the whole World so blinded and involved in so huge a mist of darkness hitherto, that it m [...]st wait for you at length to open its eyes, and to di­spel so tedious a Night, that after so many Fathers, Martyrs, Popes, and Princes of the Ʋniversal Church­es, it must chuse Peter Bruis and Henry his Lackey as the last Apostles to correct its long error? What hath all the World perished till the coming of these New Re­formers of our Age, and have all things been managed by the Sons of Light and Truth in darkness and falshood, that whereas all of any Age or Rank having been bapti­zed in Infancy, and received their Christian name then, and in convenient time have been preferred in divers de­grees in the Church, no Bishop of the Bishops, no Priest, no Deacon, no Clerk, no Monk, not one as I may say of those innumerable numbers, will be a Christian? for whosoever is not baptized with the Baptism of Christ, hath not Christ, nor can he be of the Clergy, People, or Church And if it be so, what manifest absurdities will follow. For whereas all France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and all Europe for almost three hundred or four hundred years, have none baptized but in Infancy, they have therefore no Christian, if no Christian, then no Church; if no Church, no Christ; and if no Christ, then certainly they are damned. Our Fathers therefore [Page 14] have perished, because they could not be baptized with Christs baptism in their Infancy; And we that live shall also perish, unless after Christs Baptism we be Bap­tized with Henries Baptism also. And innumerable of the Saints shall be pluck'd down from Heaven to the Infernal Seats, whom though baptized in Infancy, their life by its Holiness, the World by its testimony, and Di­vinity by Miracles have made famous; they must be made the Collegues of Devils, who were the Compa­nions of Angels; and they that through their pious La­bours are arrived to Eternal life, will suddenly be flung into everlasting death. Our Holy dayes shall be turned to mourning, our Sabbaths into shame, and our Honour into nothing. Who can bear these? who can hear it? who would not shut his ears, and with all those they la­bour to damn, would not rise against these Arch He­reticks? But come unto me, and repent of so great a Prodigie. You scorn and deride that one should be Saved by the Faith of another, denying it with great Mockery among the Rusticks and unlearned Multitude. A brutish and impious Heresie. Petrus Cluniacensis, contra Paetro brusianos haeret. p. 1124. Edit Paris 1614.

As to those late Authors, he sayes, whose testimo­nies deserve no credit, as to the first Ages, viz. Willi­frid, Strabo, Boemus, Lud. Vives. I conceive howe­ver they are to be believed as soon as Mr. Whiston. And he that leans so much upon Origen and Cyprian, (though those Books Father'd upon them are judged spurious) to prove matter of Fact in the First Age, though they lived in the Third Century, should clear himself, before he falls foul upon o­thers.

And Lastly, Since he declines all Humane Autho­rity [Page 15] as of no weight, so do we, and proceed to examine the Scripture grounds, which we desire only to ad­here to, and own it to be our Principle to receive no Article of Faith, however entertain'd or cry'd up by Nations, Fathers, &c. that is not made Authentick by the Written Word of God.

And whether Mr. Danvers (the Exceptions here made, being so few, and of so little weight) deserves so severe a Castigation as this Author is pleased to give him, let the World judge.

And therefore we go on to try the opposition he makes as to the Doctrinal part. And first we af­firm:

That Believers Baptism is only Christs Baptism; which Mr. Danvers proved by the order laid down in the Commission, Matth. 28.19. to which Mr. Whiston makes this demur; That this Commission doth not exclude Infants from Baptism, supposing their Baptism elsewhere in Scripture warranted.

That this is a very sorry Evasion, will appear, if you consider that this is the solemn Institution and Commission given to the Apostles, impowring them to Preach the Gospel, and Baptize; and to charge it with darkness and imperfection (as Mr. Whiston doth,) is to reflect upon the Law giver; and for us to observe any Order, but what is here laid down, is to go beyond our Commission, and be wise above what is written. Which is not only our Opinion, but the great Basil's own words upon the place, [...], &c. i e. But we think it necessary to have recourse to the order prescribed by the Lord, viz. first to Teach, then Baptize, page 636. de Baptismo.

[Page 16]2. It has been else where sufficiently proved that Infants (because Unbelievers till Converted, Eph. 2.3. and so uncapable of the qualification pre-re­quired here) are excluded.

3. If it should be urged that Infants have Faith (as several Learned Paedo-baptists affirm, though not so fortunate as to agree what kind of Faith, some being for a Seminal, some a Federal, some an Imputative Faith, &c. verifying the Proverb; Tot capita, tot sensus,) then we may conclude that there's no such thing as Regeneration; for if we be Believers from the Womb, where is there any room for the New Birth? and if that be once admitted, the whole scope and frame of the Gospel is subverted; for it would be an absurd Errand to call such to Believe, who are Believers by a Birth-priviledg, and in a state of Re­generation as soon as Born. But common Experi­ence confutes this Childish fancy. And for that di­stinction (some of them make) of Faith in actu primo, or Potential Faith not yet grown up to actual, were it admitted (for which there is no Reason, the Max­im being just and safe, Ʋbi lex non distinguit, non est distinguendum; Where the Law distinguishes not, we must not distinguish,) yet it would not serve the turn, since Unbelievers Children may be as truly said to have Faith in Actu primo, or potentially, as Believers Children, they proving frequently Converts, and precious Saints, whilst Believers Children often run the broad way of Wickedness. Besides if Children had such a Faith, and that the distinction were (as it is not) good, it would not be enough, because no Faith but an actual personal Faith qualifies for Bap­tism.

[Page 17]But he sayes, Supposing their Baptism else-where warranted in Scripture.] But why is not that Scrip­ture produced? 'tis much talk'd of, but we can never see it: which makes us conclude, that men that are so nimble to press Scriptures into their service, that not a whit be friend their Cause, if they could hit up­on any such plain Text, would be brisk enough to bring it forth. But alas! if they had their Warrant from Scripture, they would not take such pains to prove that the silence of the Scripture is such an Argu­ment to evince the lawfulness of their practice [a very mad and wild way of reasoning] nor run to the be­ginning of the World, to find some protection for it among the Jewish Rites. Gospel Ordinances must be evidenced by Gospel Authority. What institu­tion of the New Testament but is plainly to be pro­ved by New-Testament Scripture? Must Baptism alone (though so plainly, yea in words at length, both as to subject and form of Administration there instituted) be beholden to Circumcision, Gen. 17.7. for its Original? though as different and remote from it as the Gospel is from the Law; If so, Why are not the Baptized Infants now admitted to the priviledges the Circumcised were of old? viz. to be Members of the Church now, as they were then of the Common-wealth; to come to the Supper, as they to the Passeover, &c. this Riddle we desire may be unfolded.

But he goes on in the same Tune, and tells us, that as here is no express mention of Infants (that's well granted) so no word, phrase, or clause, that can be rati­onally interpreted to exclude them.]

No more is there any word, phrase, or clause ex­cluding Ʋnbelievers Children, nay which is more, not so much as a word, phrase, or clause that (litterally) [Page 18] excludes Bells, Church walls, Standards, &c. from Baptism; and if there be ground enough for this Au­thor to Baptize them, let him take the Honor of the Employment.

He sayes, Christ may have given this Commission on­ly with reference to the Adult▪ (that we believe and contend for; and 'tis now happily granted us,) and may have sufficiently declared his will concerning the Baptism of Infants in other parts of his Word, that's the thing he should prove, and that other part of his Word; if he knows it, he should direct us to, and so end the Controversie. We have read the Bible over and over, and an find no such thing we guess what he drives at, and believe hee'll settle at last in the Old shift of Gen. 17.7. But when he comes there, we are prepared to encounter him.

He saies page 28. 'Tis not necessary that o [...]r Lord Christ should expresly declare his whole mind in any part of his Word, no not in the Commission it self, for the ad­ministration of them. He would do well to forbear charging Christ with Mental Reservations in his Di­rections and Commissions to his APOSTLES. We think our selves concerned to obey that part of his will he is pleased to reveal to us, and that he exacts our Obedience no futher. And if Mr. Whiston durst do things in presumption, that they are that pa [...]t of his Will he reveals not, so taking upon him to pry into the Arcana of God, we will not be of his Confederacy, nor Abettors to so desperate a piece of Arrogance. Hee'll find himself puzled to answer that Question, Who hath required these things at your hands?

He proceeds, and would make us believe, that the Commission, Mat. 28.19. is so intricate and insuffici­ent, [Page 19] that nothing of the principal things therein inclu­ded, can be made out by it; and the better to make the Reader out of conceit with it, propounds five or six Questions, whether to puzzle, or give us work or shew his dex [...]erity in qui [...]bling, is not much to the matter. It is [...] discretion of Foxes to raise a dust, that in the Ob [...]curity [...] makes, they may make an unobserved retreat [...]o their Hole, from the Horts­man's pursuit. Our Author has learnt that policy; his meaning is involved in a Labyrinth of Ob [...]curities, and inextricable Meanders.

1. He tells us, if we will believe him, That it is not determinable by the Commission, Whether the Nati­ons were to be Discipled by Teaching or Baptizing. That this is an idle Criticism will appear to any Body that understands the meaning of the Verb [...], which is to make Disciples by Teaching, (for Bap­tism cannot make one a Scholar,) and [...], the participle of the present-tense [...]olds forth, that immediatly upon their being made Disciples by the Word, they are to be added to the Church by Bap­tism; which is the interpretation that's exemplified by the Apostles, Acts 2.41.

2. Who among the Nations to whom the Gospel is preached, ought to be accounted Disciples, and as such the proper subjects of Baptism? This he proposes as a knotty point, but as Aenigmatical as he would make it, we evidence the Justice of our practice by this Dilemma. Either Christ sent them to Baptize all the World whether they will be Baptized or not, or such only as receive their Doctrine: The former Mr. Whiston will not, nor dares not avouch; therefore the latter answers his Question. Besides the Scrip­ture plainly Resolves it, (and that he cannot say of [Page 20] his Infant Baptism for the dear sake of which, he makes this clutter,) when it tells us, That they were such as gladly received the Word, Act. 2.41. and such as professed they believed with all their hearts, Act, 8 37. &c.

3. Whether the Nations were to be Baptized as Dis­cipled, or as men? the Resolution of the former may be enough for this also; the Text saies, ( [...],) Baptizing, but who? why certainly it must be ( [...] ▪) Disciples, understood in the Verb [...], which exactly agrees with the Apostles pra­ctice, (the best Comment upon the Text) And if you refer the Pronoun [...], to [...], (which is false Syntax too, unless you run for refuge to the fi­gure Synthesis, which is, Oratio congrua sensu non voce) and so conclude that all the Nation whether Disci­pled or not, are baptizable; 'tis evident you pervert the meaning of Christ, and would make up a Syna­gogue of Heathens, instead of a Christian Church.

4. What the manner of Baptism is, whether to be administred by Dipping or Sprinkling? this he saies is not determinable by the Commission.

But we affirm, and he cannot deny, that the Word properly and natively signifies to dip, or plunge under water; never to sprinkle; and therefore conclude it the safest way to keep to the proper meaning of the VVord. If Sprinkling had been Christs way, he wanted not a fit expression for it: And if he and his party durst play the Critticks upon his words, and commit a Rape upon his very expressions, we durst not joyn with them in it.

5. Whether only Males, or both Males and Females ought to be Baptized [...], being the Masculine gender?

He might as well raise this scruple, whether Females are concerned in most Christian Duties, because the [Page 21] words of the Text are addrest to the Male kind, the Masculine as the most worthy, comprehending the other Gender. Is a Woman excluded from the du­ty of Self-examination, because the Pronoun [...] is in the Masculine Gender, 1 Cor. 11.28. or from the duty to abide in the Calling whereunto she is called, be­cause [...], (1 Cor. 7.20.) is so? Doth not the Article [...] respect both Man and Woman, [...], they two shall be made one flesh. And why we cannot be allowed the same liberty here, I know not.

Having raised this mist, he thinks in the Obscuri­ty he has made about the Commission, he might bring in Infant Sprinkling, that it may lurk there too, tel­ling us that since these Particulars are as difficultly to be made out by the Commission, as Infant-Baptism, he may have recourse to other Revelations to evidence it.

Answ. He might have had that liberty without ma­king so Critical an Invasion upon this grand Commissi­on. (2.) We t [...]ke it as an instance of the unlikelihood of his producing any other Revelation, because he tampers with the Commission at that rate, and spins out time, never coming to any such Revelation, wearying the Reader, with such a Circuit and Maze of words, that he forgets the beginning, before he comes to the end. But (3ly.)

Let him from other Scriptures or Revelations make out, That Infant-Baptism is warranted in this Com­mission as clearly and undeniably as we can Evi­dence, that those only ought to be Baptized (in pursu­ance of it) as gladly receive the word, Females, as well as Males (being the thing he would make us believe are so indemonstrable by it) and we shall submit un­to it; In the mean time, let him not take it ill, if we take no more notice of him, then of a man under a [Page 22] great and radical mistake, though he may perhaps ex­pect as much Reverence as Delphos.

He saies, p. 32. The very not mentioning Infants, does strongly imply his will they should be Baptized.

That's a Consequence I never heard before; and proves the Baptism of a Turks Child, or of Bell [...], as well as the Baptism he pleads for. But why so? be­cause Mr. Whiston takes it for granted, that Infants were Church-members under the Law, and this Commis­sion▪ nor no other Text in Scripture doth not repeal those priviledges. Is that it? why then, let us examine whe­ther this be sound Doctrine.

And that it is not so, will [...]ppear from Acts 21.21. where you have plain Scripture-proof, that Infant-Church membership is repealed. The words are; And they are informed of thee, that tho [...] teachest all the Jews, which are among the Gentiles, to forsake Moses, saying, that they o [...]ght not to Circumcise their Children, neither to walk after the Customes.

These words were spoken by the Elders of the Church at Jerusalem to Paul; in which are these things to be considered.

1. A Report of a certain new Doctrine, that Paul had Preached among the Jews.

2. The Doctrine it self, that they ought to forsake Moses, &c.

Concerning the first, we are to examine, Whether Paul did Preach such a Doctrine or no? 2. Whe­ther the Doctrine he Preach [...]d were true?

For the first, it is evident that Paul did preach so, that they must forsake Moses, and not Circumcise their Children, &c. otherwise he need not have consented to purifie himself, and so far to Judaize, contrary to the Gospel, and his own light; his denial only, of [Page 23] the matter of Fact, would have been a sufficient Confutation of such a Rumor: But he denies it not (that would be to forsake his Gospel-Ministry) but in a peaceable condescension, complies to purifie himself, that he may appear to be no Contemner of the Law, that removing their prejudice, he may have opportunity to preach Christ the Anti-type of all their Typical Administrations.

2. That also is undoubted, that the Gospel-Do­ctrine he preached, viz. that the Jews and all others ought to forsake M [...]ses, &c. is true, and suitable to the Gospel dispensation. It Mr. Whiston denies it, he is more Jew than Christian

The next doubt is, What is meant by forsaking of Moses? To which I Answer.

1. To forsake him as a Prophet, or Minister of the Gospel Church, God having now raised up another Prophet, whom we must Hear in all things relating to the matter and manner of Worship in the House of God: For though Moses was faithful in his House, as a Servant, yet he must give way to Christ, the Great Prophet, Heb, 3. and no longer give Laws, or prescribe Rules about the matter or manner of Wor­ship; yea nothing as to the Subject, Time, or Place, is to be received from him; but in all things we must be instructed by that Prophet that God hath raised up from amongst our Brethren: this is the substance of Paul's Doctrine.

2. Not to Circumcise their Children, is to forsake Moses, as the Text particularly makes out; because Circumcision was a Law or Doctrine they had learn't from Moses; for though Circumcision was first gi­ven to Abraham, yet it is called Moses Law, John 7.22. Moses therefore gave unto you Circumcision, &c. [Page 24] But you must forsake this Law or Doctrine of Mo­ses, and not Circumcise your Children any more. This sounds very Harsh, and was very grievous and offensive to them, that it caused such Fear in the El­ders, that some Trouble and Hazard to his Person would follow; which was the ground of that Com­pliance in purifying themselves, to pacifie the Jews for the present; they being so exceeding zealous for the Law, and especially for Circumcising their Children, that Opposition was Death, or severe Punishment. Now had Paul told them, their Children should be Baptized, and that Baptism was come into the room of Circumcision, &c. in all likelihood it would have quieted them. But seeing there is no mention of any such thing, that He preached such Doctrine amongst them (which without Controversie would have been mentioned, had he done so) it plainly appears that Paul knew no such thing, neither had he any Com­mission to preach such Doctrine, as the Baptizing of Infants amongst them.

And this further is confirmed, if we consider the de­termination of the First Council, who were met a­bout this very Doctrine of Circumcising Children, &c. that the Jews were still so zealous for, and knew not how to bear the Abrogation of it, (though they did believe in Christ,) and they would have enjoyn'd it upon the Gentiles, as necessary to Salvation, Acts 15. Now if it were a duty to Baptize Children in­stead of Circumcising of them, then the Apostles were unfaithful in not telling them of it, especially at this time, when there was so fair an opportunity to quiet their Consciences, and to put the matter out of doubt, and for ever to cashier the Doctrine of Cir­cumcision, which we see the Jewish Teachers were [Page 25] afterwards endeavouring to promote. But in re­gard the Apostles mention no such thing as Baptizing of Infants in their debates in this Council, nor in their Letters they sent to the Churches, it is evident they received no such Commission from Christ. And how any man can Believe otherwise, and not reflect imprudence, yea horrible unfaithfulness upon the Apo­stles, I cannot imagine.

The next to be considered in this Text is, that the Jews are also forbidden to walk after the custom, that is after the manner, for so the word [...] is rendred, Acts 15.1. unless ye be Circumcised after the manner of Moses, &c.) So that this word Custom, or Man­ner of Moses, prohibits not only all Observation of the Law of Moses, bvt also all walking after the same way and manner, as the Ordinances of the Law were administred in. Here is not only an Injunction of non-conformity to the Law, but to the manner of it also. They are not only forbidden to Circumcise their Children, but also to walk after the Custom or Manner of Circumcision; and therefore not to Bap­tize their Children. Paul might have said, indeed to Circumcise your Children was the Custom and Man­ner of Old; but as for the Baptizing them, we have no such custom, nor the Churches of God.

And hence it is clear, that Infants Church-mem­bership is repealed, and consequently have no right to Baptism. For,

If Infants (as our Modern Paedo-Baptists alledge) were virtually Commanded to be Baptized in the Com­mand for Circumcision; and that Infant-Circumcision, and Infant-Baptism were both Instituted together (as they that bring the later from Gen. 17.7. must needs hold;) then they are both uncommanded again, in these [Page 26] very words, Acts 21.21, where God by the mouth of Paul forbad them to Circumcise their Children any longer, and to walk after the Old Customs. I say again, if Infant-Baptism was commanded in the Com­mand for Circumcision of Infants, then by Analogie (for Contrariorum, contraria est ratio,) Infant-Baptism must needs be abrogated, and remanded, in the abro­gation and remanding of Circumcision. And though I do not believe, that the precept to Circumcise In­fants, was so much as a Virtual or Consequential Command to Baptize them; yet it is an Argument ad hominem at least; and I hope the Paedo-baptists will be very willing to receive the same measure they give; and rest satisfied in this, that the Countermand to Cir­cumcise Infants is a Consequential and Virtual Coun­termand to Baptize them. By all which it appears, that Infant-Church membership is repealed, because the same Law that gave being to it, is repealed. And whether this be not as plain (yea plainer) Scripture-proof, as any Mr. B. hath in his Book so Intituled, is left to the judgement of the Considerate and Impar­tial Reader.

Now he comes to it, and promises to direct us where those other Revelations of Gods will are, that Infants should be Baptized: And reading on very at­tentively, and going with patience through his pre­ambular Extravagancies, and wide fetches, he brings me at last to the saying of Peter to the Jews, The pro­mise is to you and your Children; and the words of Paul to a Gentile, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be Saved, and thy House: Which put together, is his other Revelation (he brags so much of) for Infant-Baptism.

[Page 27] Answ. Now we are to encounter with all his strength at once; therefore let us try the force of this mighty Argument. And,

1. If he can spell such a meaning out of it, 'tis more than we can do; and if he had a mind to be un­derstood, he should express himself in more familiar terms. As what this promise was. (2.) Whether ab­solute, or conditional. (3.) How Extensive? But since he hath left us in the dark, let us a little examine it.

1. What this promise is? And we say, that it must be either of some Temporal Blessing, or the Holy Spirit, as Ephes. 1.13. in this World; or Life and Salvation hereafter. The two first Mr. Whiston will not pretend to, because they have no reference to his Baptism. It is the last then, viz. the promise of Life and Salvation, he insists upon, as p. 34. And then the words of Peter will run thus; the promise (of Life and Salvation (is to you (Jews) and your Children, and to as many as are afar off, which all agree to be the Gentiles, and as many as the Lord your God shall call, (i [...]definitely without distinction, whether Jew or Gentile.)

Now this promise so paraphrased, is either Abso­lute, or Conditional: If absolute, then all Jews, Gen­tiles, and their Children are Saved, whether they Be­lieve or not: If you understand it conditionally, viz. that they first profess Faith in the Messiah, and receive him as their Saviour; then we are agreed.

And if you say, It is Conditional to the Adult, not their Seed: I answer, Then it must be absolute to the Seed; if so, then all their Seed must needs be Saved. And then, How come so many of them to be so vile and wicked? if you say 'tis only to some; then it must [Page 28] follow, that some Believers Children ought only to be Baptized, viz. the Elect; but 'tis impossible to assign which are Elect, and which non Elect; there­fore uncertain from that ground, which ought, and which ought not to be Baptized. And if you say, the Covenant of Grace (or promise of Life and Salva­tion) be made to Believers Seed only, and consequently they only have right to Baptism: then it will follow, that the Church is not to be raised out of the Posteri­ty of Unbelievers, which is absurd; for the Gospel is to be Preached to gather in the Elect, viz. such as are in the Covenant of Grace: But if the Children of Believers only are in the Covenant of Grace, then to what purpose is the Gospel preached to the Poste­rity of Unbelievers, unless it be to harden them? for suppose a Nation of Indians, whose Parents were all Heathens, and who therefore (according to your O­pinion) with their present Children, are not in the Covenant of Grace, Will you Preach to them? If you do, I ask you to what purpose? you'll say, To bring them into the Covenant of Grace. Then it seems there are two wayes to come into the Cove­nant of Grace; one by being the Natural Child of a Believer; the other by Actual Faith. But this is ridi­culous, for there is no being in the Covenant of Grace, but by Election on Gods part; and actual Faith on Mans part.

And if you still say, That Believers Infants only are in the visible Covenant of Grace, and all the Seed of Unbelievers excluded; then I demand, Whether you do not make two Covenants of Grace, Visible, and Invisible? But if you deny that (for 'tis hard to know where to find you) and say your Children are Visi­bly in the Covenant of Grace, when others are not. I [Page 29] Answer; you delude us very often with the word (Visible) for sometimes your Infants are, sometimes they are not in the Covenant (visibly;) so that this term is as ambiguous and mystical as words of Cabal. 2. But if you mean by Visibly, that they are plainly and manifestly obvious to the view of all persons that are capable of seeing in the Covenant, then we de­ny your Visibility. And if you mean, by Visible, that they are in the Covenant, as far as you can judg, since you know nothing to the contrary: We say the same of Unbelievers Infants; for they may be in the Covenant for any thing we know, nothing appearing in their Infancy to the contrary; and, Praesumere unum quem (que) bonum, nisi constet de malo; is your own Rule.

3. If by (Visibly) you understand outwardly, or in the outward part of the Covenant, which is Bap­tism; we answer, That Baptism is no more the out­ward part of the Covenant, than the Purse that con­tains money is the outward part of the money; or the Conduit the outward part of the Water; or Aarons Pot that held the Manna, the outward part of the Manna▪ &c. For Baptism is a Symbol of Regenera­tion, viz. Faith, Repentance, Self-denial, &c. and to affirm, that it is the outward part of the Covenant, is a very Fancy, and meer Chimaera.

So that you see what a Heap of irregular Jarrings and Absurdities follow the Assertion, that the Belie­vers Carnal Seed, as such, are to inherit this pro­mise.

And now I am come to the next consideration, which is, The extensiveness of this promise; and this is determined in the Text, it is (to all that are afar off) equal to the Posterity of Abraham; which spoils the [Page 30] pretence from the Birth priviledge. But what puts the matter out of doubt, is the next phrase, (Even as many as the Lord your God shall call;) which expounds the former, and proves that calling (or Regenerati­on) is the condition of the promise, and that only such as are called of Jew Gentile, and their Children, are Inheritors of it, according to Gal. 3.29,

As to that expression, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be Saved, and thy House. Is it Mr. Whi­ston's meaning, that all in the House, Servants, Chil­dren, &c. are Saved, though Unconverted, by the Faith of the Master? (but that's a conclusion, he durst not stand by:) Or is that promise of Salvation given to him, and his Houshold, upon the condition of his and the Housholds Faith individually? If this latter be his sense, we joyn with him in it; but re­nounce the former as absurd, and unsound: For if it were allowed, then one may be Saved by the Faith of another (a Fancy exploded by all Protestants) and so it were enough to Save all England, if every Master of a Family had been a Believer. I would ask Mr. W. if taking himself to be a Believer, he would Baptize his Servant, and believe him Saved, though an Unbeliever, upon that ground? If it be his Religion, his practise shall not be my example.

Besides, if the Covenant promise, they so vehe­mently affirm to belong to Believers Children only, must be limited to them, and extend no further; how come Servants that are not so concerned in the Birth-priviledg, nor the Seed of Believers, to be pleaded for by this man, to have a right to Baptism and Sal­vation upon the Masters Faith? We grant they have as much right to it, as the Children (that is none at all till Converted) for the Text saies, Thou and thy [Page 31] House, (and I presume the Servant is one of the House. So that a Believers Servant has as much right to be Baptized, as the Believers Child, though the Servant cannot pretend to be the Issue of Faith­ful Parents: And if so, What's the Reason they Bap­tize not their Servants, they having the same Title with their Children to it. And indeed if they will grant, that the Master, or Chief Man's Faith, is e­nough to intitle all his Family, or those under his Government to Baptism and Salvation; then if the King of Spaine, or the Pope, or Great Turk be Con­verted, 'tis enough to Warrant our Paedo-Baptists to Baptize not only all in their great Courts, but all that Inhabit their Territories also; their Subjects being their Servants. And how pure such a Doctrine is, that would force so gross an absurdity upon the Scrip­tures, let the World judge.

So that I humbly conceive it is very evident, that neither the one nor the other Scripture, jointly, or se­verally holds forth the promise of Salvation, or a right to Baptism to any one, upon any other account, than the Condition of personal Faith. And that Mr. Whi­ston's confident boast of other Revelations is an emp­ty flourish.

He saies, p. 35. It was very rational, yea necessary, the Commission should be exprest in the Order it is, be­cause those to whom the Apostles were sent, were in a state of darkness, and ignorance, wholly estranged from God and his wayes.

That's a certain truth, which we oppose not; but is there not the same necessity still? Are not the Na­tions in a state of darkness, ignorance, and wholly estranged from God now, as well as then, till Con­verted? Are not the Infants you Sprinkle, Children [Page 32] of Wrath as well as others? And therefore is it not as necessary that the preaching of the Gospel should be antecedent to Baptism now, as (they confess) it was then? For my part I know no difference be­tween a Heathen and an Ʋnbeliever; they are both alike distant from God, and both equally capable of his converting Grace. And this serves for an An­swer to this, as well as the two following Considera­tions, being of the same purport.

He affirms, page 37. That the promise of Salvati­on, and Covenant of Grace, in which the promise is con­tained, is still extended to the Houses or Families of Believers, as such. To which I say, as before, that his sayings would be more regarded, if he would con­descend to prove them. But however, if he means it conditionally, viz. if they believe, they may be Bap­tized, and Saved, we grant it: But if he intends it positively, that the Master's Faith is enough to Inti­tle the whole Family to Salvation, the Covenant of Grace and Baptism, without their personal Faith, we absolutely deny it; and he has not yet proved it, nor indeed is he able to do it.

He goes on, still harping upon the same string, and tells us, page 38. That if Mr. Danvers could have produced any one Scripture, wherein the Apostles did ex­clude Infants, or in their practice did refuse to Baptize them, he had said something to his purpose.

'Tis an unpleasant task to be answering to the very same thing so often; that when this Protaeus varies his word, but not his sense, to make the Reader be­lieve it is a new Argument, shall we be obliged to be as impertinent in replying, as he is in inhauncing the bulk of his Book by such trifling Repetitions? Have we not over and over again, told him, (his own par­ty [Page 33] with open mouth, affirming the same thing) that for every positive part of Gods Worship, there is need of Scripture-precept, or example to warrant it? And is not our practice of Baptizing Believers confirmed by both, as all parties confess? Whereas Mr. Baxter (and others) own that Infant-Baptism has no express mention in Scripture, nor in the Records and Histories of the Church. More proofs, p. 279. &c.

2. Have we not again and again affirmed, (and which is no other than pure Protestant Doctrine; Witness Dr. Owen in his answer to Mr. Parker, page 345. where he calls what Mr. W. here urges a capti­ous and sophistical Tale, by which ten thousand things may be made lawful. And a little further saies, that eve­ry thing (esteemed as any part of Divine Worship) is forbidden, that is not commanded.) That the affirmative Command includes the Negative; and so the com­mand to Baptize Believers, and the constant practice of the Apostolical primitive times to Baptize only such, is enough to warrant the exclusion of Infants from that Ordinance; so that the Scripture indeed excludes them, in as much as it doth not include them: and the command of Baptizing persons upon a pro­fession of Faith, excludes such as cannot, or will not make such a profession. But he would have us tell him, Where or when the Apostles refused to Baptize a­ny? But it were more proper for him, to give us some instance when any were brought or offered to them to be Baptized, for we read of none refused, because none offered; and certainly had it been the practice to Baptize Infants, we should have some instance of it in some part of the New-Testament. We never yet found in Scripture that the Apostles refused to Baptize the Children of Unbelievers, shall [Page 34] we therefore conclude they were Baptized. But we read, Mark 10.14. (the Text so often produced for Infant-Baptism, but a pregnant place against it) that the Disciples rebuked such as brought Children to Christ, which surely they would not have done, had it been the practice to Baptize them. Besides the Text saies, they brought them only to be touched by our Saviour, and he blest, not Baptiz'd them; and certain­ly, if any Infants had a right to be Baptized, those Infants had it; for Christ says, of such is the Kingdom of Heaven; he knew if they were of the Elect, and therefore it would be no Hazard to baptize them, had he allowed it. But this Text indeed informs us, that our Children may be blest, and be of the Kingdom of Heaven, by the application of Gods Free Grace with­out Baptism; which is only a Duty to such as it is commanded to, viz. such as are capable of Faith and Repentance. But,

3. Will Mr. Whiston indeed adventure to practice any thing that is not litterally and syllabicably for­bidden in Scripture (not allowing any Negative consequences?) If so, then the children of Heathens, or Turks, &c. being not, in so many words, forbid­den to be baptized, will give him employment e­nough. And hundreds of the ridiculous inventions of Romish Impostors are not forbidden by name and cir­cumstance, (being indeed not known any more than Infant-baptism in those times:) Will he therefore hold them lawful? and this is the consequence of his Doctrine, utterly exploded by the most Orthodox Protestants.

He proceeds page 40. and would have us believe, That Infants are capable of the ends and uses of Bap­tism, whereof he mentions two: 1. To seal, confirm, [Page 35] and ratifie the Covenant, with the promise thereof, un­to those with whom it is establish'd. 2. To give those a solemn admission into the Visible Church, who have an antecedent right thereto: and this he takes for granted (which is begging upon begging) concluding, He will not spend time in the proof of that, which no Body can or will deny.

Now he has made quick work on't; but should not he have known our minds before so confident a publication of our assent to his Dictate?

And since that's all, we do here publickly enter our dissent; and lay down this as our belief; That Infants (till they grow up and are converted) are not capable of the ends and uses of Baptism, which are; to witness Repentance and Regeneration already wrought, to represent the Death, Burial, and Resur­rection of Christ, the washing away our sins by the blood of Christ, our union with, and putting on Christ, our entrance into, and right to partake of all the priviledges in the Visible Church. And as to what Mr. Whiston says, since he only beggs, That the Covenant and Promises are establish'd with Infants, and therefore have an Antecedent right to Church member­ship; We reject it, as unproved, and un-scriptural. And he is at liberty to make good his, and disprove our assertion if he can: Which I shall expect, ad Ca­lendas Graecas.

He tells us, page 4.6. That John did not discharge the Jews from any priviledg they afore had, only rectifies a mistake they lay [...]nder.

Here he had done honestly if he had acquainted us what their mistake was, since he knows John's mind so well: but alas, he fore-saw that that would spoil his aim; therefore that the Reader may not be at a [Page 36] loss altogether, I have Transcribed it from Dr. Ow­en's Exercit before-mentioned; and I dare say, the Doctor knows their mistake as well as our Answerer; he (I mean the Doctor) calls it a woful and fatal mistake, page 55, 56. For they would entail Gospel-Priviledges upon the old Faederal right, and would share of the blessings belonging only to Believers, up­on the carnal consideration of being Abrahams natu­ral Posterity; They thought (saies this Judicious Di­vine) no more was needful to interest them in the Cove­nant of Abraham, but that they were Abraham's Seed according to the flesh, pleading the later priviledg as the ground of the former: But on that account they could have no other priviledg then Abraham had in the flesh himself, viz. that God would derive the promised Seed (the Messiah) through his Loins into the World. And is not this to a tittle, the mistake of our Paedo-bap­tists, who plead for Infant-baptism from the very same ground of the Birth priviledg, and entailing Church-Ordinances upon the same Faederal Right they did?

I cannot but note an expression he hath, page. 38. viz. Because we know not the time when Infant-baptism was instituted, we may therefore say it is from Heaven, and not of men.

Now I perceive the reason why he bestows so glo­rious a Title upon his Book. But shall we conclude that the Tares the Enemy sowed, while the Watch­men slept, were from Heaven, and not of men, since the drousie Watch-men cannot calculate the time they were sown to a minute? Learned Ʋsher gives Malone the Jesuite an answer to this purpose, when he maintained, that the Mass was of Divine institu­tion, because Protestants could not exactly find [...] [Page 37] its Nativity, or when the fooleries that attend it, had their Original. Must we receive every error, when we cannot assign the critical minute of its broaching? Suppose I know not the time when Mr. Whiston was born, shall I therefore conclude him not to be a man, nor of men, but dropt from Heaven, &c? Is it not e­nough, if we can tell the time when Infant-baptism was not in the Church? and that Mr. Baxter has (very kindly) done for us, when he saies, that it has no express mention in the Records or Histories of the Church, for the first (and purest) Centuries. And if this be the ground of his mock-title, I shall conclude it to be (like Mr. Bs. plain Scripture-proof) of a com­plexion that cannot blush.

As to what he saith about Tradition, being nothing of weight, and upon which he leans not much, I shall pass it by, only note that Dr. Owen defines Tradition, pag. 20. Exercit. on the Heb. Tom. 1. to be a general uninterrupted Fame conveyed and confirmed by particular Instances, Records, and Testimonies in all ages. And no other Tradition, the Doctor saies, is of any weight. And how far short of making out his Infant sprinkling, by Tradition so understood this Author hath been, is sufficiently demonstrated already. And so I pro­ceed.

He saith page 75. It is their Covenant-interest that we contend for principally, and design the proof of from the Covenant at first established with Abraham; and a­gain, we plead not for Infant Baptism from the Analo­gy it bears with or to Circumcision, but from the Com­mand obliging Abraham's Seed in their Generations to keep the token of the Covenant.

This is somewhat odd, he pleads not for Circum­cision, but from the token of the Covenant, which in ano­ther [Page 38] place he calls Circumcision; which is in plain English that he pleads, and pleads not, from Circum­cision: So that I know not how to come at him. This is a new way of distinction, to distinguish Circumcisi­on from Circumcision; he would seem to leave that baffled argument of some of the Ancients, and yet he cannot but be at it again.

We acknowledg there was a Command obliging Abraham's Seed in their Generations to be Circumci­sed, (which he means by the token of the Covenant,) but that administration came to its period at the co­ming of Christ; and therefore the command of being Circumcised is not in force now. Nor have we any new Command that Believers and their Seed must be baptized in their Generations; besides the term Generations is frequently used to signifie a certain and limited time, the burning of the Kidnies, and the bur­ning of the Fat of Beasts to be Sacrificed, is said to be a perpetual Statute in their Generations, Lev. 3.17. So the Offerings made by fire, Lev. 6.18. The Feast of Booths. Lev. 23.41. which nevertheless have their period with the Law. So where God promises to be a God to Abraham and his carnal Seed in their Generations, it is meant during the Legal administra­tion; not but that if Abraham be understood as a Spiritual Father, God will be a God to him, and his Seed, viz. (such as did believe as he did) without li­mitation, for ever. Whereas if he be understood as a Political and Natural Parent, the Covenant then must needs be understood (to make any thing for them) absolute and everlasting; but that were ab­surd, for the Natural Seed of Abraham, viz. the Un­believing Jews have broke the Covenant, and are now cut off, which they could not have been, if that Positi­on were true.

[Page 39]But that the Covenant was not absolute (as it respected the Temporal ot Spiritual Seed of Abra­ham,) I evince thus: If (while the Church of the Jews was in being) God denies himself to be their God, and disowns them as his people, because of their transgression, then the promise was Conditional, not absolute, but the Antecedent is true, Hos. 1.9. Exod. 19.5, 6. Jer. 23.14.

But if you lay so much stress upon that expression, that God should be a God to you and your Seed, what account will it amount unto? for you can ap­ply nothing of the Promise to them, but the bare outward act of Baptizing (or rather Rantizing?) but what of favour or Spiritual saving-mercy is that? or what advantage is it? since the Children that dye Unbaptized, are as capable of Salvation, as those you Baptize. For it is the Protestant Doctrine, not to ascribe Salvation Opere operato, and therefore Bap­tism confers not Grace, nor Saves the dying Soul, un­less in conjunction with Faith, which applies the blood of Christ.

The Covenant made to Abraham and his Spiritual Seed, respects Salvable Mercies, Grace here, and Glory hereafter; but Baptism of Infants can confer neither, therefore it is not the Covenant made with Abraham.

Nor need we yield to that Opinion that would force us to acknowledg no Covenant but what is mutual, because this Covenant consists of Free Do­nation, and so rather a Testament than Covenant, as Ames Mar. Divinity, lib. 1. cap. 23. affirms. And the word [...] is Translated [...] in this place by the 70; and in all places of the Old Testament, except Isai. 28.15. where they render it [...] faedus vel [Page 40] pactum inter partes, a Covenant betwixt parties, as Leigh in his Critica sacra. And that [...] is Englisht a Testament, see Matth. 26.28. Mark 14.14. Heb. 9.15, 17. 1 Cor. 11.25. Luke 22.20. So that the properest expression is, to call it the Te­stament of Grace; and this name is most agreeable to the nature of the thing, for God doth hereby dis­pose, convey, and bestow all that Grace which may fit all his Heirs for his Eternal Glory.

By vertue of this Testament, or Covenant of Grace was the Land of Canaan promised to Abraham for his Natural Posterity; which Typified the Hea­venly Canaan, which his Spiritual Seed should enjoy, upon the exhibition of the Messiah; and which is indeed the chief Blessing: Not but that some of his natural Seed too should enjoy the later, provided they be his Spiritual Seed by Faith, as well as his Na­tural Seed by Generation: See Jer. 32.40. Heb. 8.8, 9, 10, 11, 12. and 10.16, 17. Jer. 31.23. and that same condition of Faith is still required of the Seed of Believers, and without it they have no interest in Christian Ordinances; which Mr. W. takes no notice of, but concludes in contradiction to what he said before, That as Abraham and his Seed were Circum­cised, Believers and their Seed must be Baptized; the main thing in doubt betwixt us, and for which he offers no proof.

But he goes on page 77. If the Covenant Believers are now under, be the same with that establisht with A­braham and his Seed, and that as such: that Circum­cision was the sign, token, or seal of the Covenant, and Baptism doth now succeed in the place, room, and use of Circumc [...]sion; then Infants ought to be Baptized, as of old they were Circumcised: (observe his frequent con­tradictions, [Page 41] just now he renounced what here he con­cludes: But if these, or any of these things be not so, but are meer m [...]stakes on our parts, I must confess we have no sure footing for Infant-Baptism in the Covenant, as at first established with Abraham and his Seed in their Generation.

This is indeed the grand Fabrick whereby Infant-Baptism has been of late Years supported; which if we can demolish, the Super structure must needs fall, as now ingeniously acknowledged. Nor need we employ any greater strength against it, then what Dr▪ Owen lends us, Exercit. 6. page 55. &c. quoted be­fore: where he solidly confutes the Plea from the Birth-priviledg, to Christian Ordinances. And there­fore to produce Dr. Owen against Mr. Whiston, is a sufficient Confutation, if we had said no more. And this being the Radical Thesis, to which the other Con­siderations, he wastes his paper and time about, are only subservient as Attendants, (that the number and equipage of the retinue might bespeak its grandeur and port.) If we should take no notice of any thing he saies further, but apply our Arguments only to that, it were enough, since if this be once com [...]ted, the rest of his Book is cashier'd of course.

Which piece of Service the Doctor has excellently done to our hands, proving undeniably that Abraham has but two Seeds, the natural Jew, and actual pro­fessing Believers; and that such only as are Heirs of Abraham's Faith, have right to Gospel priviledges, the old Faederal right being insufficient to entitle the Jews thereto; therefore let Mr. Whiston either convince the Doctor if this be an error, or be convinced by him, in case it be a truth: Or let him reconcile that Exerci­tation to the practice of Baptizing Infants upon a Fae­deral [Page 42] Right, or tell us plainly, in what third capacity the Infant seed of Believers now are the children of Abraham, since they are not his natural Seed (as all must own) nor (as the Doctor well words it in the case of the Jews) can they, wanting personal Faith, be counted his Spiritual Seed?

But however a little to examine this foundation-principle, three Things are to be offered to our En­quiry: 1. Whether the Covenant Believers are now un­der, be the same establisht with Abraham and his Seed. 2. Whether Circumcision be the sign, token, or seal of that Covenant. 3. Whether Baptism doth succeed in the place, use, and room of Circumcision.

To the first I say as before, that the Covenant must be considered in a two-fold respect; 1. In respect to Spiritual Blessings, Grace here, and Glory hereafter; so it is and was the same to Abraham's Spiritual Seed in and through all Generations from him to us, viz. such as Believed as he did. 2. In respect to Temporal blessings, and so it was peculiar to his Natural and Spiritual Seed, during the Old Testa­ment-dispensation, and Typical administrations; and in that respect it is not the same, Believers being now under the former, not the later.

As Abraham is considered under the notion of a double Father-hood, so there must be a double Son-ship to answer that Relation; the Jews were his Sons in one capacity, namely a Carnal Generation, of which they were wont to bragg, as appears by the reproof John gave them, Mat. 3.9. Think not to say within your selves, we have Abraham to our Father; and in the other capacity all Believers, whether Jew or Gentile are his children: This is evidenced Rom. 9.6, 7, 8. They are not all Israel that are of Israel; they [Page 43] which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God, &c. and v. 7. shews us, that their Car­nal Generation gives not the true notion of Son-ship.

The Jew as a Natural Son of Abraham may pretend to Baptism, and New-Testament-Ordinances by a priority in respect of the Offer, Rom. 3.1, 2. Therefore Christ commanded his Apostles, not to go into the wayes of the Gentiles, &c. but to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, and Preach the Gospel to them, Mat. 10.5, 6, 7. See Rom. 2.10. to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile; and this gave occasion to the Speech of Peter, Acts 2.39. The promise is to you and your Children, viz. primarily; and to the Gentiles also but secondarily, which they of the Circumcision were a­stonisht at, Acts 10.45. The Gentiles are called afar off, suitable to Eph. 2.13. Ye (Gentiles) who some­times were afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Now as it was the preheminence of the Jews to have the Gospel first Preached to them, so we find their carnal prerogative stand them in no stead, Luke 3.8. where they are informed that Gospel-Ordinances are not bottom'd upon Carnal Generation, or privi­ledges; but true Holiness manifested by the fruit it brings forth, viz. Fruits meet for Repentance: He came to his own, but they received him not; and there­fore as many as received him, whether Jew or Gentile, to them he gave power to become the Sons of God; and to receive him, is to believe in his Name.

Men are now admitted to Ordinances upon other considerations than legal denominations of clean or unclean, viz. fearing God, and working righteous­ness, which is not generated or conveyed by Birth, but by the New birth, and the Spirit of the living God. [Page 44] Therefore if the Natural Seed of Abraham could not pretend a right to New-Testament Ordinances by that Title, much less the Adopted Seed, by any such way of Natural Generation. And if their Birth-right could not serve them, how can our Birth-right serve us?

And this may serve as an Answer to the first par­ticular; that the Covenant as it respected Life and Salvation to Believers, is one and the same now as then. But as it respects external administrations, and the qualification of Church-members it is not the same; the legal, typical, faederal right vanisht, and Faith is now the only qualification.

The second, Whether Circumcision be the token, sign, or seal of the Covennnt? This needs but a short Reply, for we find it to be called the token of the Cove­nant, Gen. 17.11. And the Apostle, Rom. 4.11. calls it the sign of Circumcision, a Seal of the righteousness of Faith, &c. intimating by distinguishing between a Sign and a Seal, that Circumcision was to all a Sign, but to Abraham alone a Seal of the righteousness of Faith. And we find Circmucision never called a Seal, but where it speaks of Abraham, which intimates that it was only a Seal to him. And this is sutable to what Chrysostome, Theophilact, and others (quoted upon the place by a very judicious pen) viz. It was called a Seal of the righteousness of Faith, because it was given to Abraham as a Seal and testimony of that righteousness which he had acquired by Faith: Now this seems to be the priviledg of Abraham alone, and not to be transferred to others, as if Circumcision, in whom ever it was, were a testimony of D [...]vine righteousness: for as it was the priviledg of Abraham, that he should be the father of all the faithful, as well circumcised, us uncir­cumcised, [Page 45] and being already the father of all uncircumci­sed, having faith in uncircumcision, he received first the sign of Circumcision, that he might be the father of the Circumcised. Now because he had this priviledg in re­spect of the righteousness which he had acquired by faith, therefore the sign of Circumcision was to him a Seal of the righteousness of Faith, but to the rest of the Jews it was a Sign they were Abraham's Seed, but not a Seal of the righteousness of Faith; [...] all the Iews also were not the Fathers of many Nations. And Ierom up­on Gal. 3. saith, Because Christ was to spring from the Seed of Abraham, and many Ages were to pass from A­braham to Christ; the wise God, lest the Seed of beloved Abraham should be mingled with other Nations, and should by degrees be joyned more familiarly, distinguisht the flock of Israel by a certain mark or Circumcision; then for 40 Years together in the wilderness none were Circumcised, because they were out of the danger of such mixtures, being alone; but as soon as they were past the banks of Jordan, Circumcision prevented the error of mingling with others; whereas it is written that they were Circumcised that second time by Joshua, it signifies that Circumcision ceased in the Wilderness, which was rationally used in Egypt.

3. Whether Baptism doth succeed in the room, place, and use of Circumcision?

To answer this doubt, let us consider the great difference between Circumcision, and Baptism. Cir­cumcision was a legal Ordinance appointed to the Jewish Males Reprobate as well as Elect, by a posi­tive command to distinguish them from the rest of the World, as a Token of the Covenant God made with Abraham, viz. that the Messiah should come of his Loins according to the Flesh. But

[Page 46]Baptism is an Evangelical Ordinance, whereby Jew or Gentile, Male or Female, upon a profession of Faith and Repentance is baptized in Water, in token of Regeneration, and to signifie the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the Messiah already come, and so added to the Visible Church, and admitted to all the priviledges thereof▪ which being not the Office of Circumcision, Baptism cannot be said to succeed in its room, place, and use.

The consideration of the great difference in their institution illustrates this also; for when Christ in­stituted Baptism, he saies, Go teach, and baptize; and in the administration, they confessed and were bapti­zed, Believed and were Baptized; not a word of In­fants. And in the Precept of Circumcision, not a word of Teaching, or Faith; but of Infants the command expresly notes the time, age, and sex. The Levitical and Typical Holiness in Abraham's Houshold, whe­ther natural or adopted, included not Regeneration, nor heart cleanness, which is our holiness; land, fruit, and trees were holy, in a typical consideration, when Circumcision was predicated of Trees as well as Men, Lev. 9.23. And for us to affirm that Trees ought to be now baptized as they were then reputed to be Circumcised, is a wild way of reasoning.

And therefore since things become Ordinances to us by vertue of a word of institution, and no such word is found to make out that Baptism succeeds Circumcision in its room, place, and use, we think it safe to be sober, and advance no further than the Scripture guides. And to make Circumcision institu­tive of Baptism, is to send us to School to the Law, and that Old first vanishing Covenant, as it is stiled, Heb. 8. as if the Law-giver in the New-Testament had [Page 47] not by a positive institution establisht his Ordinances there, nor left us any Warrant for our Gospel-Duties, without that retrogression to Moses, and assimilating them to the Paedagogy and similitude of Types.

So that these things being found meer mistakes on Mr. Whiston's side, we may conclude (in his own words, that they have no sure footing in the Covenant for the baptizing of Infants.

He saith, page 81. The Covenant Gen. 17.7. was made with Abraham in both capacities, viz. as a Natu­ral, and Spiritual Father. What then? This is a meer Ignoratio Elenchi, and Mr. W. has a peculiar Talent to prove that which is not deny'd. But to this I have spoke before.

He argues, page 89. thus: If Jacob and Esau in their Infant-state, were heirs of the World, through the righteousness of Faith, when they had no personal faith, then the Infant-seed of Believers may be so too. But — Ergo — the Text he grounds upon is Heb. 11.9. dwelling in Tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same Promise.

The vanity of which consequence will appear, if you consider,

1. That there is nothing in that Text to counte­nance his assertion: We grant Isaac and Jacob were heirs of the same Promise, as well in respect of Gods Covenant with their Father Abraham and his Seed, as their own personal faith, when they came to years; but that it should follow, that all the Carnal Seed of Believers should be so too, is that that needs proof, and we deny.

2. I humbly conceive, That to be heirs of the world through the righteousness of faith, and yet [Page 48] have no personal faith, as he words it, is meer con­tradiction and non sense.

3. The promise to which Isaac and Jacob were heirs, is, That the Messiah should come of their Loins, according to the Flesh, and how that (being already fulfilled) can be applicable to the children of believers, I cannot tell, nor Mr. Whiston neither: Therefore his Syllogism is vain and empty.

He proceeds pag. 93. To demand, Whether there be any Original Sin? If so, how came any Infants to be saved, unless through the righteousness of faith? viz. Gods non imputation of guilt to them, &c. Now, says he, if they are capable of the righteousness of faith, why may they not have that righteousness sealed to them by an outward and visible sign?

To wave many things that may be said to shew the childishness of the Quaere, we say, The same reason may be urged for Ʋnbelievers children; for if they be capable of the grace and mercy of Christ, in order to their salvation, viz. non imputing sin, and imputing the righteousness of Christ to them as well as the children of Believers; then (at your rate of reaso­ning) they have as good right to the outward visible Sign. If you deny the former, you impeach the free grace of Christ, and have little of Christian Charity. If you grant it, your Position's overthrown.

In pag. 101. he tells us (if we'll believe him) That Circumcision was administred to the Adult, consi­dered as believers.

Here I confess, I do not understand, what he means by Believers. I thought the term [Believer] had not been used to have been appropriated to any per­son, but in respect to Christ; viz. Such as had some knowledge of, and believed in, the Messiah to come, [Page 49] or already come: Otherwise sueh of the Ethnicks, who believe a Deity, but not a Redeemer, must needs be saved. I am sure the Jews are accounted Ʋnbe­lievers to this day, because they reject Christ, which could not be, if their admission to Circumcision and to be Members of the Commonwealth and the Church of Old, had been upon the account of faith. So that there is no truth in this position; for it doth not ap­pear that the Proselytes, or any others, were infor­med of the Messiah, before they were circumcised; or that they gave any testimony of their belief in him: but only that they owned the God of Israel to be the true God, and were willing to be joyned to that Common-wealth. And Mr. W. knows, that that is not sufficient now, there must be saith in Christ, else no believer.

But what would he conclude from hence? Sup­pose the Adult that were circumcised, were eonsider­ed as Believers; if he say, So all the Adult that are baptized, are to be so considered (which is the most natural inference that can be drawn hence) we are a­greed.

But I perceive the pains he takes here, is to make way for that absurd Position he is now coming to (and which I conceive he is the Protoplast of) pag. 116. That Circumcision was administred to the Jewish in­fants, considered as the seed of Believers. By the way, I wonder the man will trouble himself so much about Circumcision, when he professes so gravely, pag. 75. That he pleads not for Baptism from any Analogy with it. Which would make one suspect, that he is apt to forget himself, or that he thinks we'll believe any thing; so soon as he pronounces his Magisterial, Thus I say it, &c. But let's hear how he proves [Page 50] it; Why (says he) because the Adult that were cir­cumcised, were considered as the seed of Believers. A worthy proof indeed, but 'tis all we are like to have. He takes it for granted (it seems) that the Adult were circumcised as Believers, and grounds his Argument upon it as his Medium. But Logicians will tell him, that such a way of Argumentation is but a silly Petitio Principii; or begging the question. But in order to a further and more particular satisfa­ction I offer these Considerations.

1. That the Congregrative Body of the People, or Jewish Males, were Circumcised in their Infancy; pursuant to the Command of God, being else to be cut off from his people, Gen. 17.14. and therefore this Argument being grounded upon a false Hypothe­sis will vanish. Besides it is a non-sequitur: for will it follow, That if the Adult were circumcised upon their own faith (which is but begg'd too) there­fore Infants were circumcised upon the faith of o­thers?

2. All that the Scripture mentions to be circumci­sed at Age, are, 1. Those that were at years at its first Institution. 2. The Proselytes that were made from time to time. 3. The Jews in Joshuah's time circumcised after 40 years discontinuance of it in the Wilderness.

Now as to the first, We find no other qualificati­on required, to entitle them to Circumcision, but to be Jews, or Abraham's natural Seed; nor any men­tion made, that Belief was a condition sine qua non; nor any excluded for want of it. Yea Ishmael was Circumcised though not in the Covenant, when 13 years of age, for God said, verse 21. My Covenant will I establish with Isaac; which phrase is brought [Page 51] by an Antithesis to Ishmael, excluding him, though born of Abrahams body: and we find the numerous Family of Abraham circumcised immediately, without any examination of their Faith. And whether Mr. Whiston or the Scripture be to be the sooner believed, is easie to be determined.

2. As to Proselites, he says he remembers not any particular instance of any such that were circumcised; but concludes some were Circumcised, and that as Be­lievers, because they kept the Passeover to the Lord, Exod. 12.48. which indeed proves that strangers, when Circumcised, may keep the Passeover; but not any thing to his purpose. For if all that kept the Passeover be Believers, how come the Jews that kept (and do still keep) it, to be rejected by Christs Law for their Unbelief? Or is the Faith he pleads they had, some other Faith, not sufficient in Gospel-dayes? if so, then that Faith that's insufficient for their admission to Christ, is not sufficient to intitle them to Gospel-Ordinances ordained by Christ. But what do's Mr. Whiston think of the 10 Tribes in Jero­boam's dayes, when they fell to Idolatry, and Wor­shipped the Calves for 200 Years? Were there no Proselytes all that time? if so, were they (when Cir­cumcised) considered as Believers? Or were the Sechemites (after the Rape of Dinah) Believers when Circumcised, Gen. 34? Were the Servants bought with money Believers? or those Proselytes the Pharises compassed Sea and Land to gain? Christ says, they made them two-fold more the Children of H [...]ll. But this is a fine new Toy, and let Mr. W. take the credit of its first promulgation.

3. Those that were Circumcised in Joshua's time, 5 chap. of whose Faith we find no Enquiry; they [Page 52] were Circumcised, because God commanded them so to be, and if they were to be excluded upon the want of Faith, 'tis certain that among such a multitude, there were many Unbelievers. We read of an A­chan in the 7 chap. that was stoned, and the 36. that were smitten at Ai for the accursed thing, though Circumcised a little before; and numbers of them fell in Rebellion against the Lord afterwards. So that upon the whole, the Scripture tells us of no qualifi­cation that intitled to Circumcision, save to be a na­tural Jew, or such as were Proselyted, or bought with money: And to invent others is point blank arro­gance.

So that our conclusion is firm, viz. that to be the flesh­ly Seed of a Jew, or bought with his money, was e­nough to qualifie for Circumcision; no profession of Faith being pre-required of either, Gen. 17.12. And he that is eight dayes old shall be Circumcised, &c. not he that believes, or is a Believers Child, &c. And what advantage the extravagant round-abouts (in which Mr. Whiston so abounds) has got him, I cannot yet perceive. I am sure it convinces me that he is in extream poverty of argument, when he is forced to have recourse to such Forreign and Remote Projects to uphold his tottering cause.

As to the trouble he is in about the promises made to Abraham, Whether they belong to the Covenant of works, nature, or grace, or no Covenant at all, conclu­ding thus; If our Author will help us out here, he shall have hearty thanks for his pains.

To which I say, that I doubt Mr. W. dissembles e­gregiously, for I cannot conjecture how he can be so ignorant. But the perplexity he involves himself in, is a needless impertinent one; and whoever goes to [Page 53] pluck him out, is as idle as himself. But yet if he be really at a loss, and to deserve his thanks (if it be not a complement) I shall adventure to direct him, where he may learn what the promise made to Abra­ham was, and how to be understood in relation to both Natural and Spiritual Seed. Let him turn to Dr. Owen's, 6 Exercit. on the Hebrews, page 55, 56. &c. where he will be informed, the Doctor exactly agreeing with us, and fully speaking our sense in that point, and therefore quoted by me at large in my Treatise. And I hope Mr. Whiston cannot suspect the partiality of the Informer.

And for his interpretation of Gal. 3.29. [...], if ye be of Christ; or appertain to Christ, were it admitted, it is no disadvantage to us, it being the same in sense with our Vulgar Translations: And if Believers Children, as he says, be of Christ, it must be in respect of Calling, or Election, the former is not to be alledged; and the later may be true for ought we know, but that's no ground for any Gospel-admini­strations which are dispensable only according to ap­pearance; and since no Faith or Signs of Election ap­pears, and that de non apparentibus, & de non existenti­bus eadem est ratio, we, according to Scripture-war­rant and example, suspend our Baptizing them, till they can give some evidence of their right to it; and if a supposing them to be Elect be a good ground to baptize, then the children of Unbelievers have a good plea, because some of them are Elect.

As to what he offers in order to remove the absur­dities charged by Mr. Danver's upon the practice of baptizing Infants, and his essay to vindicate the pra­ctice of Sprinkling for Dipping, they are fully and clearly, as to the substance of them, already so bla [...]led [Page 54] by Mr. D. himself, that I shall pass them; and shall only conclude that consideration with the words of Dr. Martin Luther in his Book de Baptismo Tom. 1. p. 71, 72. speaking of the signification of the word, Baptizmus Graecum est, latine potest verti mersio, cum imm [...]rgimus aliquid in Aqua, ut totum tegatur Aqua. Et quamvis ille mos jam aboleverit, apud pleros (que) debe­bant tamen prorsus immergi, & statim retrahi. — Et sane si spectes quid Baptismus significet, idem requiri vi­debis; that is, Baptism is a Greek word, and may be in­terpreted an Over-whelming, when we plunge any thing into the Water, that it may be covered all over. And al­though that custome is now out of use with many, yet they ought truly to be dipt, and presently lifted up again. And certainly if you consider the nature of the thing, you will see that to be necessary; which being the true significa­tion of the word, we find cause rather to adhere to it, than follow Mr. Whiston's unscriptural Di­ctates.

As to what he closes withall, that our practice of Dipping is a breacb of the Sixth and Seventh Comman­dements. Let the same return serve his impious insinu­ation, as is given to Mr. B. and Mr. W. after whose Copies he writes.

And so I shall conclude with an admonition to Mr. Whiston to more Christian moderation; and if he thinks himself concerned to appear farther in ths Con­troversie, that he lay aside all passion and heat, as in­consistent with a Gospel-frame of Spirit, and tending to the extirpation of that Charity and Mutual For­bearance our Lord Jesus expects from us. And let him lay down his Thesis distinctly, and set down his Arguments syllogistically, or in a form more intelligi­ble to all persons, which he will; and directly to the [Page 55] matter in debate: and not to trouble us, nor the world with extraneous and needless rambles, leaving the Cardinal pretence unessay'd: (as he hath done) save at a very great distance, and with such timorousness and collateral approaches, as would make one think he has no great confidence in the attempt, however he would carry it in tongue, and confidence. And I can assure him, that if there be any escape or undue reflection in what I have offered, which may tend to the breach of Peace or Charity, I allow not my self in it, and will be willing to receive an admonition if of­fered in meekness.

I would further advertise Mr. Whiston not to make Mr. Baxter, nor Mr. Ws. his pattern in dealing with us, whose pens run at so licentious a rate, that the most unspotted innocence is not armor enough against their virulence. As for the first, no pencil can pourtray him better than his own pen: A man of quarrel, some­times friend, and sometimes foe, to most perswasi­ons; to reject whose poyson is to provoke his sting; And to slight his Dictates, how incongruous soever to truth, and inconsistent among themselves, is to under­go the severe Discilpine of his lashing pen. Man-kind (it seems) must gape for his Oraculous Dictates, and must believe him as his present Sentiments actuate him, or else take what comes after.

Nor need we express Mr. Ws. in a more averting Character than that he squires [...]t after him; and should we apeal to Mr. Whiston, or any sober man of his per­swasion, we doubt not but we may have so much e­quity as to disallow his late dealing with us. Figuring and Traducing us in his invective reflections upon the person of Collonel Danvers, as if we had been such dangerous persons, &c. in these phrases, — When [Page 56] their hands are tyed from fighting, — Exploits done in the time of his Collonelship,— &c. And what is that but to exasperate the world against us, and expose us to the frowns of Authority as much as he can? how does this poysonous insinuation consist with his pre­tences of respect? This looks like Juda's kiss. Would he think it fair if we should use the engine of Repercussion here? doth it not rather (in his own O­ratory) discover the ebullition of a temporizing, was­pish spirit? But he loves us Brethren, and desires not our shame.] He is as courteous as lightning, that spares the Scabbard, but destroys the blade. After he has re­presented us as such mishapen Bug bears, and wound­ded us with his keenest Railery, he would lick over the place he bit, and make us believe it is all stark love and kindness. Well, he hath shot his Bolt, tells us, our Do­ctrine is ominous, not fit for any Age of the Church, with a fixation of black characters upon it, leading to blasphe­my, and immorality; and yet all this, is not to desire our shame. He may by the same artifice knock a man down, and laugh upon him, and tell him, he does him good service. He must pardon us if we be coy, to so rude a kind of Courtship.

Therefore upon the whole, if Mr. Whiston perse­veres in that Intemperate angry frame he began withall, in Imitation of the other two, I shall not think my self obliged to divert my self from more grateful studies to vye tongue with him; knowing that what­ever he says, or what hard measure he may give me, Truth will remain always answerless and unconque­red.

FINIS.

POSTSCRIPT TO THE READER.

Courteous Reader,

IT is now humbly submitted to thine impartial judg­ment, Whether our practice of Baptizing Believers so fully made out by the Scriptures, the Suffrage of Learned men in every Age of the Church since Christ, owned by our Severest Adversaries to be a Scriptural Baptism, exemplified by the practice of all Antiquity, de­serves such sharp Rebukes as our present Opponents dis­pence to us? And whether that cause we maintain, though under so sacred a Patronage, deserves to be so persecuted, as it is by them, and delineated in such frightful Characters? since on all sides the baptizing of the Adult is granted? but Infant-baptism by one side only, and upon such uncertain grounds too, every distin­ction or denomination of Paedo-baptists, administring it upon a different pretence, some upon a mistake, that it takes away sin, and saves the Child's Soul; some affir­ming the Infant to have Faith; some upon the Parents, some upon the Pro-parents, or Gossip's, some upon A­braham's, some upon the Churches Faith: a very un­certain sound! whilst opposed on the other side with such a dint of Reason both from Scripture-Authority, and pri­mitive Antiquity.

[Page]And suppose you had been called to decide a matter in controversie betwixt two, and find that what one af­firms is granted on both sides, but what the other main­tains granted by one only, and rationally opposed by the other, would you not judge his cause best, and most safe, that's allowed by both? And such is our present case. A Queen of England demanded of the Protestant Prelates, whether the Church of Rome was a true Church, and if Salvation may be had in it? They answered in the affirmative. The Queen replies, that since both sides grant, there may be Salvation in the Church of Rome; and but one only, that there may be Salvation obtainable in the Church of England; therefore it was the safest way to remain on that side that both agreed Salvation may be had in. And though we plead not for the inference as then applyed, yet it holds well in other cases. For if one should ask, whether Adult or Infant-baptism be a true Scriptural Baptism? both sides are agreed that Adult baptism is so, and one side only holds Infants baptism to be lawful. May not the Querist safely and certainly conclude, that side that hath the suffrage of both to be sa­fest. And therefore we hope upon a serious weighing this Consideration, we may have the Justice and Equity of an open Ear, from any denomination of the Christian Religion; and that understanding the reason of our con­sciencious dissent from the practice of Infant-baptism, they would not condemn us for affirming what the Scripture in­vincibly makes out, the suffrage of Antiquity ratifies, and they themselves own. Farewell.

A BUCKET of WATER To Quench the FIRE: Or a Letter to Mr. Obed. Will's concerning the Contention between Him and Mr. Danvers.

SIR,

STanders by see more than Gamesters; and the present heat and passion you are in, in your Contest with Mr. Dan­ver's hath occasioned these cooling conside­rations, and if they may prevail to bring you to your self, I have my end. It's true you, have added in the end of your Book, A perswasive to Ʋnity, and to say the truth, you have done excellent well, and have used many Powerful and Cogent Arguments to prevail with Christians to love one another; yea, and you have given us your Opinion of Mr Danver's, that he may be a good man; and that you have a very charitable Opini­on of the Anabaptists. But to see you spoil all again by your frequent scurrilous Re­flections, and dirt you cast upon them in di­vers places of your Book, as if you would tell the World, that you did not intend any [Page] Ʋnity with them, or mean as you say: But either to keep up an interest in the affecti­ons of some of them, or to quit your self from the Odium of a down-right Railer; there­fore you first break their head, and then give them a plaister: But do you think they are all Spirit and not Flesh, that you thus pro­voke them, and stir up the remains of Cor­ruption in them; Did you really intend as You say, to be at Ʋnity with them, and re­duce them to the truth, from which you suppose they have erred, you would have used more moderation. And had you wrote a Letter to Mr. Danvers in a Brotherly way, and shewed him his mistakes in some of his Collections, and desired an amicable treat­ment, how likely would it have been to have produced an acknowledgment, and if occasion had been, a retractation. But Mr. Danvers has little reason to think that you intended his Conviction (as a Brother,) but to defame his person, and to disgrace the whole party, and that you sought Vi­ctory more than Truth, so the course you take may increase the Malady, never heal it; exasperate, but never unite dissenters: I could wish your discourse of Ʋnity had been printed by it self, it might then per­haps have done some good, but as joyned to [Page] your Book, it is a plain contradiction, and not like to produce any advantage, unless to discover your Hypocrisie.

The character that is given of You (by them that know you) is, that you are a per­son of a friendly Nature, debonair and cour­teous to all, given to loquacity, and rather inclin'd to levity than morosity; so that the Gall and Wormwood in your Book, breeds strange admirations in some, and makes them doubt whether it be yours or no. I have heard of a man that beholding a Cat, said, It's pitty so much Cruelty should lodge under so mild a countenance.

But perhaps You'll tell us, there was need of a sharp reproof, and you thought that the best way to convince him; if it were your end (which is much doubted) it has not, nor is it likely to be very succesful. Mr. Baxter has been thundring against the Anabaptists these twenty Years, (as of late your self and Mr. Whiston) with the greatest severity, rage, and fury imaginable, loading them with many false and unjust censures, as the Hea­thens used the Christian, the Papist the Pro­testants, they the Presbyterians, and so for­ward: And the name Heretick passes for Orthodox amongst you all, but if you did really intend Mr. Danvers his conviction, [Page] and the good of his Soul; then learn some Directions from a late Learned Author (one of your own party.)

1. Saith he, He that reproves another, must be careful that himself be faultless and blame­less, as much as may be; The Snuffers of the Sanctuary were of pure Gold: and it behoves that man that will be a Snuffer to correct o­thers, to be very upright himself, and circum­spect in all things; and then he may admonish with the greater Authority and Advantage.

2. A man must be blameless in reference to that sin he reproves especially, else in healing his Brother, he doth stab himself; if thou re­provest Heresie, Pride, Prevarication in others, and art guilty thy self, thou dost but like Da­vid in Nathan's Parable, pronounce the sen­tence of thine own Condemnation.

3. As he must take heed himself to be fault­less, so he must be sure his Brother be faulty, for otherwise it is not to reprove him, but to reproach him; and instead of doing a Chri­stian duty, he commits a Devilish Sin, and becomes an Accuser of the Brethren, instead of a reprover of them; so that the fault must not be a conjecture, or imagination, or jealousie, or rumor, [and then how Mr. Baxter will clear himself, I know not.] But Sir, If your Brothers fault must not be a conjecture or [Page] imagination only, how can you and your party so reprove the Anabaptists for Here­sie, Error, &c. and so majestically condemn the whole party, and proudly trample up­on all their Arguments, (as if the Word of God had come to you only,) and that there was nothing (as you use to say) in all their assertions; and that all their Mediums are such trite and out-worn things that have been trampled upon, and confuted again and again. It seems there are others besides the Pope that sit in Peters Chair, & would tell the World they are as infallible as he. But you must give us better proof of your In­fallibility before we believe you, and con­clude the Anabaptists mistaken in their prin­ciples and assertions.

4. He that reproves must be sincere in his ends, and take heed that his aims and intentions be right and honest, and that he do not mingle any wild-fire of Pride and vain-glory, and of an ambitious Humor of contradicting and controlling others. This heat must be holy heat, a fire of the Sanctuary purely, for Gods Glory, and the Salvation of thy Brothers Soul.

5. He must reprove Compassionately, with the deepest sense of his own failings and mis­carriages. Bernard said of himself, That he [Page] never saw another man sin, but he was di­strustful, and jealous of his own Heart, ille heri, tu hodie, & ego cras; he was faulty yester­day, thou to day, and I may be so to morrow.

6. He must reprove Charitably, with the greatest love to mens persons, even then when he shews the greatest zeal against their sins, for it is one thing to be angry with the Sins, another with the Persons.

Therefore we should consult our Brothers credit, and esteem, and honor, while we stab his sin, and not in healing a wound in his Conscience or Conversation, to leave a scar of reproach upon his person, and a brand of shame and ignominy upon his Name; that were to do the work of an Enemy un­der the Vizard of a Friend.

7. He must reprove meekly, not in rage, passion, and bitterness, but in meekness and sweetness of Spirit; This is the Apostles rule, Gal. 6.1. 2 Tim. 2.25. Take heed of carry­ing your teeth in your tongues, take soft Words to convince Gain-sayers, and gentle reproofs, and solid Reasons to reduce Of­fenders. But whether Mr. Wills has at all consulted these Rules, (or Mr. Baxter before him, and Mr. Whiston since,) or whether there has been any thing of tenderness to their Opponents names and persons, any [Page] thing of compassion, charity, meekness, whether any serious examination of the ab­solute certainty and verity of their own O­pinion, lest themselves should be mistaken (as Mr. Baxter confesses it is easie for Wise and Good men to be mistaken in it, the point is so dark and dubious) or whether they have enquired into the sincerity of their ends, whether their heat has been an holy heat, & purely for Gods Glory, and the Salvation of their Brothers Soul: all this is now left at the Bar of the Readers Judge­ment, and will shortly be brought before a greater and more impartial Tribunal. And truly Sir, I must tell you, that your dirty Language, your extream slighting and con­temning your Opponents, loading them with Scandals and Reproaches, sometimes char­ging them with ignorance and insufficiency; proudly and vainly boasting, and tramp­ling over them in your own conceit, has (not a little) spoil'd your cause, and given the A­nabaptists a great advantage against you in the Consciences of sober and pious Christi­ans. I have heard my self some persons of Quality and Piety to say, alas what diffe­rence is there between Mr. Danvers, and Mr. Will's their Books! the later is stuffed with ride, rage, and passion, the first [Page] with meekness, tenderness, and humility.

And I suppose were the Books searcht that have been Written of late Years on the sub­ject of Baptism, as Mr. Baxter, Sydenham, Cragg, Wills, and Whiston, &c. on the one part, and Mr. Tombes, Blackwood, Byfield, Den, Danvers, Patient, Norcot, &c. on the o­ther part, it would seem to be discovered by what Spirit they Wrote; and men would see in the first party a proud, magisterial, scurrilous, abusive, and scornful Spirit; in the other a more humble, gracious, meek, and charitable temper. If any Question it, the Books are Extant, and the matter may soon be brought to an issue; but Sir, you have out-done them all, not only in shoot­ing your invenomed Arrows against the whole party, but especially against Mr. Dan­vers, as appears by your Appeal to the Bap­tist Churches against him; it seems you have arraigned, condemned, and executed him already, and have said implicitely (though audaciously) as Paul to the Church of Co­rinth, 1 Cor. 5.3, 4, 5. for though I am ab­sent in the Body, yet have judged him alrea­dy, that that he be delivered to Satan.

But stay a while Sir, and give Wiser men leave to search out the matter; Will nothing serve your turn but present Repentance, or [Page] Excommunication? What Scripture-rule have you taken to convince him? or must he Repent before any Conviction hath past up­on him? Surely Illumination is the first work, and the same Organ, that is for Wee­ping, is for Seeing; but a man must see first, as Zach. 12. They shall look, and then mourn. But Sir, there are as Wise men as your self, (and none of his party neither,) that judge that what Mr. Danver's has Writ, was in the simplicity and sincerity of his heart, accor­ding to his knowledg, and as he apprehen­ded the meaning of those Ancients he has quoted, and that he had no intention to pre­varicate (as you charge him with) or abuse the Fathers, to patronize his Opinion. If o­therwise, you may think him, non compos mentis, considering he could not be igno­rant of the prejudice and sedulity of the Opponents, who might have advantage e­nough against him, from the Libraries in the Universities, and else-where. It's true in­deed some of his Friends wish he had not concerned himself with the Arguments from the Fathers, they say, they can spare it you ve­ry well; & are content with Father Paul, Fa­ther Peter, and the rest of those Scripture-Fathers; what can be drawn from the three First Centuries, is rather for than against [Page] them. And in regard the mystery of Ini­quity began to work in the Apostles dayes, and the Apostacy soon came on, they do not value the following Centuries, though others think the most part of his Collections justifiable, were the matter brought before impartial and indifferent Judges. And though you have so concerned your self, and serued your Wits to maintain Infant-Baptism, and some of you, as Mr. B. and Mr. Whiston, &c. by such strange absurdities, and ridiculous Mediums, altogether un­known to the Fathers, yet wise men judge, you have been all this while bringing Brick and Mortar towards the repairing of Babel, which else perhaps would have fallen long since; for they do not think, that the more immediate Ministers and Factors for Baby­lon, would have been able to have brought a stone at this day, had not you and others stept in, and took the Anti-christian party by the hand, and said, Be strong; and in this matter, have say'd as the Adversaries of Ju­dah and Benjamin, Ezra 4.2. Let us build with you, for we seek your God, as ye do; so we Baptize Infants as ye do, and though we differ in some Circumstances, touching the ground of their Baptism, yet we all agree in the subject, and so you have proved the [Page] greatest Enemies to Reformation; though it is strange that men who have Covenanted to reform Religion according to the Word of God, and have pretended to cast out all the dirt of Romish Superstitions and Traditi­ons of men in the Worship of God, should be the greatest upholders of that Babylonish Building.

But what shall we say? The Carpenter en­courageth the Goldsmith, Isai. 41.7. and it seems Gods time is not yet come, when Ba­bylon the Great shall be thrown as a Mill­stone into the Sea, and rise no more. But Sir, in the mean time, what way is there left, but for Christians diligently to search the Scrip­tures, to pray for the Holy Spirit, (the pro­mise of the Father) and wherein they differ, modestly to examine the Opinions of one another, and where God reveals more light, to endeavour to convince their Brethren, with a spirit of meekness, concealing the In­firmities, and covering the Imperfections of one another: But those thunder-claps that came from you of late, make your Enemies to rejoyce, and your Friends mourn, and standers by cannot hold their peace, but like Craesus his dumb Son, are compelled to speak, when they see the point of Infant-Baptism so provoke and enrage your Spirits [Page] against a people, who practice the contrary, according to that light and knowledg they have received; and profess, they would be convinced, did they see any solid Arguments from the Scriptures: in the mean time, it seems they must be exposed to all the ca­lumnies and reproaches a numerous and prevailing party of their Opponents can cast upon them.

But (Brethren) is not the Devil our com­mon Enemy? and surely could we unite a­mongst our selves, his Kingdom should soon be divided; and then, and not till then, shall we see Satan fall like Lightning, and what glorious times might we then expect?

I desire these Lines may be received in the same Spirit, and for the same end, for which they were Written, which was not to in­crease our Divisions, but to allay them; for the effecting of which, we shall still pray, and till God removes from us every thing that offends, and supplants every Plant that his own right hand hath not planted. Sir, I Rest

Your Soul-Friend, T. B.

BOOKS Treating about the Subject of Baptism, Printed for, and Sold by Fran­cis Smith at the Elephant and Castle near the Royal Exchange in Cornhill.

A Treatise of BAPTISM, wherein that of Believers, and that of Infants, is exami­ned by the Scriptures, with the History of both out of Antiquity, making it appear that In­fant-baptism was not practised for near 300 Years after Christ, nor enjoyned as necessary, till 400 Years after Christ, &c. With the History of Chri­stianity amongst the Ancient Brittains and Waldensi­ans, &c. By H. D.

Innocency and Truth vindicated; or, a Sober Re­ply to Mr. Ws. Answer; wherein the Authorities and Antiquities for Believers, and against Infant-Baptism, are defended; and the mis-representations and For­geries he boasts of, are returned upon himself. With a brief Answer to Mr. Blinman's Essay; by the same Author.

A Second Reply in Defence of the Treatise of Bap­tism, wherein Mr. Baxter's More Proofs, are found no Proof, in two parts; the First defending the An­tiquities against his charge of Forgery. The Second, justifying the charge of Slander, Contradiction, and Popery, against his Writings: As also an Admonition to Mr. B. by the same Author; and some Reflections by Mr. Tombs upon Mr. B's. More Proofs.

[Page]With a Rejoynder to Mr. W. his Vindiciae, and an Answer to his Appeal; by the same Author. Together with the Baptists Answer to the said Appeal.

The Book-seller further signifies to the Impartial. Reader, desiring information into that Principle of Baptizing Believers, that he can furnish him with

The Learned Treatises of Mr. John Tombs.

The Works of Mr. Samuel Fisher, in Folio.

A Pious and Learned Piece, by Henry Lawrence, Esq

A judicious Piece, by Mr. Christopher Blackwood, Intituled the Storming of Antichrist, &c.

ERRATA.

Candid Reader, Literal Escapes and Mis-pointings are left to thine Ingenuity to Correct or Pardon; the most material Errors, correct thus: Last page of the Preface, line 20. after endeavours, read to remove the absurdities charged upon their practice and. p. 3. l. 9. r. never. p. 8. l. 2. dele thereby. l. 29. r. legitur. p. 12. l. 29. r. lotus. p. 13. l. 4. r. illusorium. p. 18. l. 2. for there r. that. p. 19. l. 1. r. included. p. 22. l. 10. dele not. There should be a spiritus asper over some Greek words, which thou wilt note.

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