A VINDICATION OF THE Baptized Churches, From the Calumnies of Mr. MICHAEL HARRISON, Of Potters-Pury in Northampton-shire.

Being an Answer to his two Books, Intituled, Infant Baptism God's Ordinance.

By WILLIAM RƲSSEL, M.D. A Lover of Primitive Christianity.

‘None of old were wont to be Baptized, but in a grown Age, and such as desired it. Ludovic. Viv. de Civit. Dei. lib. 1. Cap. 27.

‘Baptizing of Children was not in use in Paul's time. Eras­smus on the Romans.

‘There [...] such thing as Sprinkling used in Baptism in the Apo [...]s time, nor many Ages after them. Mr. Mede on Titus 3.5.

The Baptism of Infants hath not been practised in England for about sixty Years, Infant Rantism being introduced in the room thereof: Why therefore should Mr. Harrison revive an Abdicated Controversie, and force his Discourse upon us about a Non-entity? For having laid aside the Command­ment of God, ye hold the Tradition, of men; making the Word of God of none effect, Mark 7.8, 13.

LONDON, Printed for the Author in the Year 1697.


Christian Reader,

OUr real Purpose and Design in present­ing this small Epistle to thy View and serious Consideration, is to satisfie all who patiently wait for the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, and all who have perused that scandalous Pamphlet set forth by Mr. Michael Harrison of Potters Pury: But especially to the satisfying of all poor Souls, who may be dissatisfyed, inhabiting in and about Sto­ny Stratford, Yardly, Gubbin, Potters Pury, Pauls-Pury, and elsewhere; and also to clear our selves from all those uncharitable Reflections and scandalous Aspersions which Mr. Harrison hath ungratefully given forth against us, who are falsly called Anabaptists: Therefore seeing the Cause of God lye at stake, and his Holy Truth [Page]defamed, can do no less than endeavour to clear our selves, and Vindicate our Lord and Master's Cause, owned by Us, and held forth in Holy Writ.

That we are no Disturbers of the Publick Peace, but endeavour to live in Love, and to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace, is very well known to some of you: And that we are not either envious or troublesome in Mat­ters of Religion, wherein we are obliged to ex­cel in Love and Virtue; which may evidently appear in our Carriage towards Mr. Harrison, when first he came into these parts; who more ready to Vindicate him, and to stop the Mouths of them that reproachfully defamed him, than we have been? But Mr. Harrison, Ahab like, 1 Kings 18.17. retorteth on us, as though we were the Troublers of Israel, when he at the same time is setting up his Posts by God's Posts, and Contemning our Lord and Saviour's own Ordi­nance and Appointment, and instead thereof sets up Will-worship and Humane Tradition, as the Common-Prayer-Book declares, they doubt not but that God favourably allows this Charitable Work of theirs, in bringing Infants to Holy Baptism. Do but Observe the Words, and how plainly they are laid down, then any Unpre­judiced Man may see, how Mr. Harrison Con­tradicts the Church of which he was a Minister so many Years. But what is that, and many more of his sayings, but to darken Counsel by Words without Knowledge, Job 38.2. But he hath Confidence enough, when he thinks to prove Infants Baptism to be God's Ordinance, in a Book of a Groat, whenas his Predecessors with [Page]all their Study and Pains could not do it with all their great Volumes.

But, Christian Reader, that thou mayest be in­formed of those Ignorant, or Wilful Abuses, Mr. Harrison throws upon us; and how he Contra­dicts himself, like Mr. Baxter, whose Arguments are his Proof, and his Reflections his Arrows, which he shoots furiously at his despised Neigh­bours, beyond the Rule of Christianity, yea, of Civility. But that thou mayest know, whether Mr. Harrison's Heart and Tougue goes toge­ther, consider these following Particulars.

First, That he asserts from the Pulpit and the Press in his Printed Book, that our Way of Baptizing over Head in Water, is not lawful, but a heinons sin; and after this Book was print­ed and published, Mr. Harrison confessed and declared in the presence of many, he did believe and allow our way of Baptizing to be lawful, and warrantable by the Word of God.

Secondly, Mr. Harrison declared in his own House in Potters-Pury, in the presence of us and many others, That God's Decree was before his Fore­knowledge: Herein we hope his Fallacy will plain­ly appear to the World, as it doth in many more of his Assertions which you may see, viz. when he saith, That God hath from all Eternity decreed a particular number of Mankind to be unavoidably dam­ned, and leaveth them without any Means of Mercy, or Hopes of Recovery: And further he adds, That Christ never dyed for them. But these things be­ing so Erroneous in the Eyes of most Christian People, he would fain cover his Opinion with applause, viz. That Christ dyed not for all alike, contrary to his former Assertions.

Thirdly, Mr. Harrison hath greatly defamed the Works of Mr. Henry Danvers, in his last Book; and since that same Book was Published, Mr. Harrison hath declared publickly, that he had never seen any Book of Mr. Danvers's Wri­tings; which is admirable, that he which pre­tends so much Honesty and Civility, should abuse a Man of so much Wisdom, Larning, Ho­nesty, Sobriety and Holy Conversation, though now deceased; and yet to confess he knew him not, nor his Writings, all which shews his Pre­judice against the Truth. And many more things he hath unjustly charged against us, but not be­ing willing to burthen the Impartial Reader, nor tire your Patience with Mr. Harrison's Book, which is so full of Contradiction to his own Confession at other times, and therefore we shall not particularize that which is so full of Errors, but shall commit the following Treatise to your Perusal: So, Christian Readers, Desiring your Christian Consideration, and wishing God may be pleased to give you a Discerning Spirit, to discern between Truth and Error, and to weigh all things herein by the Word of Truth, so wishing all good Success to your Holy Progress, and that ye may go on in Holiness, and be Happy here, and Eternally hereafter, is the Desire of us who are, and desire to remain

Servants to all in the Bond of the Gospel, George Boulton, John Brittain, jun. William Wright.


Courteous Reader,

IT is my unhappy Lot at this time to be engaged with Mr. Michael Harrison in this Controver­sie: Not spontaneously, but by the Importunity of others. The Cause I am engaged in is good; not only as it is Causa Dei, but also as it is in the just Defence of his people from those invidious Calumnies he hath thrown upon them. All Men esteem a Defensive War lawful, because it's to preserve themselves in their own just Rights. Mr. Harrison hath dealt by the Baptists as the French King hath by the Potentates and People of Europe, entered into a War against them who did him no Injury, but lived in Peace and Amity with him: And therefore their opposing force to force, in their own Defence, and for the maintaining the Liberties of Europe, cannot be otherwise than lawful. This is our Case: Mr. Harrison, after himself was become a Dissenter, could not be contented to enjoy the Liber­ty [Page]of his Conscience to Worship God (by the Favour of our Rulers, who have permitted him the quiet and peaceable Exercise of Religion) in his own way, but he must be disturbing his quiet and peaceable Neigh­bours; Preaching and Printing against them in such a shameful and unpresidented manner, that they were not able to be silent, but Necessitated to write in their own Defence. Whatever therefore is the Consequence of this Ʋndertaking, we are to be excused, and the blame must lye at his Door, he being the Aggressor.

After his first Book was published, Mr. Hercules Collins did write an Answer thereto, which was suffi­cient to have silenced him from any further prosecution thereof, together with that addition made by that emi­nently Learned Minister, Mr. Richard Claridge. But as if nothing had been done of this kind, he runs over his old Nine Arguments again, in his second Book, without giving a solid Answer to any thing that those Gentlemen had said. And for want of Truth, Reason and Argument to defend his own Position, he stuffs his Book with scurrilous and abusive Language, railing and reviling, ridiculing and reproaching both them and the whole Party: So that his Books can be esteemed by sober judicious Christians, no other than scandalous Libels.

And if this be the first Fruits of his Labour in print, it's adviseable he either stop here, or alter his Mode of Writing, for in both these Tracts he hath dipt his Pen in Gall and Vinegar; yea, in the Poyson of Asps.

That this is true, will appear, if we consider, That he is not contented only to accuse the Baptists in general (who, whatever he thinks, are no inconsiderable Par­ty) with Error, Heresie and Blasphemy in Points of Doctrine, but Ʋnchristian Carriages, fearful Curses; yea, with Murder it self; and that their Imployment [Page]hath been to Play with Rattles, ride on Hobby-horses, and wallow in their own Dung, with much more of this kind, which I have faithfully Collected from his two Books, and placed together at the entrance of my own, that the World may see what a Monster of a Man I have to deal with in this Ʋndertaking.

If therefore I have let drop any words, which may savour of great Indignation against such a procedure, I hope the Reader will make a Charitable Construction of it: For as the Apostle saith in another Case, He hath Compelled me.

Having thus given this brief Account, both of the Occasion, and Manner of Manageing this Ʋnderta­king, I shall commit it to thy serious and impartial Perusal and Consideration, Begging that the Father of Lights may assist thee therein, that (thro' his Bles­sing) it may be a Means of thy Illumination in the Truths of Christ; and (through his Grace) of the Salvation of thy precious Soul.


The EPISTLE of the Author to Mr. Michael Harrison, Teacher of a Presbyterian Congregation in Pot­ters-Pury in Northampton-shire.


YOur Person I know not, but I can with great facility discern your Spirit, and the Frame and Temper of your Mind, by your two Books; for it's discovered (almost) in every Para­graph thereof. I have endeavoured to shun following your Example, Quoad potest, with respect to the Nature of the thing, and (instead of Railing) to give you Scripture, Reason and Argument, for what I have said. But whe­ther after all (as to your self) I have not lost my la­bour, you are best able to resolve. For my own part, I have little hopes of such, who set themselves to oppose and contradict the Truths of God in such a way as you have done. However, I have (according to my power) endeavoured your Conviction; being exhorted by the Apostle, 2 Tim. 2.25. In Meekness to instruct those that op­pose themselves, if God peradventure will give them Repentance, to the acknowledging of the Truth. But, Dear Sir, remem­ber, that (in the Judgment of the Apostle) it's but a peradventure; be not therefore high minded, but fear: For, (as our Lord said to Paul) It's hard for thee to kick against the Pricks; to spurn against the Authority of Jesus Christ in his Word.

Sir, One Eminent Instance of your Wilfull Opposition to Truth, and the Conviction of your own Conscience, is, that you tell us about Aenon in John 3.23. And John also was baptizing in Aenon, near to Salim, because there was much water there; and they came and were baptized.

Now, Sir, You tell us it could not be supposed to be done by dipping, nay, almost impossible it should, because of the extream scarcity of Water, that there was not Water to dip such multitudes in. That at Aenon, where John was baptizing, there was not much water. [...] is but Oculus an Eye, a very little Fountain, now here you speak directly contrary to the very Letter of the Text: For the Holy Ghost saith, There was much water: And you say, There was not much water. Which must we be­lieve? This is a bold and daring Assertion.

Now Mr. H. Collins, in his Answer to your first Book, sufficiently confutes this Assertion of yours; not only from Scripture, but by the Authority of Learned Men, (who also were for Infant-sprinkling) as the Learned Lightfoot, Dr. Hammond, Erasmus, and that profound Cri­tick, Mr. Poole, who all testifie there was Pools of Water, many Waters, gushing Streams of Water, and that the Word so signifies both in the Greek and Syrian Langua­ges. Now if you had confessed your Error in your Se­cond Book, you had heard nothing from me about it.

But in your second Book you persist in your opposi­tion hereunto, for you say in page 33. Mr. Collins saith, I have contradicted the Scripture, in saying there was not much Water there: Which you are pleased to say is no contradiction; for notwithstanding the Scripture saith other­wise, yet you say, what I have said is true. And you bring the Evidence of the Learned Piscator (after all this) to contradict your self: The words are these, [...], videntur significare plures rivos, &c. That the words sig­nifie many Rivers, &c. If there was many Rivers, (as your Author saith) no Man can doubt but there was much water, and that it was a fit place to dip multitudes in. And why you brought this Testimony, unless to confute your self, I know not. The next Testimony you bring is Hierom, Aquae multae erant illic, there was much water there. But because that would have directly contradicted your self, you say, which Holybuse Englishes many Wa­ters. And you say the Town had its Name from some Fountains of Water springing there. And you further say, That Aenon come; from the Hebrew Word, [...] Gnajin, a Fountain. A Man would have thought all this had beeh a full Confutation of your self, and you had been hereby [...], self-condemned.

But after all this, you still oppose the Truth as well as your self, by saying it signifies an Eye, a little Foun­tain, sending forth but little water, in conformity to the Eye: There really was but little water, a Man might stop it with the Foot. What, can a Man stop many Rivers with his Foot? I hope you will blush at the reading of such silly Contradictions as these.

But yet (you say) there was much, that is, many Wa­ters; here Conscience began to check you, and forced another Confession from you, but immediately by your Ex­plication you contradict it again: For, you say, there was several little Holes, like Eves, gushing out Water. But in the next Words (you say) there was much water. Well, but how do you make that out? As a Bucket-full is compared with a Spoon-full. I was afraid those many Rivers would have dwindled to nothing.

But you confess, there was a Bucket full of water to fill those many Rivers, and to supply their constant course of flowing; and so (you say) comparatively there was much, and yet really but a little water. If this be not to write against the Light of your own Understanding, and to struggle with the Convictions of your own Conscience, I know not what is. We may see by this, what shift some Men will make to support an Error, when once they have espoused it. The Greek words in that Text are, [...], which Arias Montanus renders, Quia aquae multae erant illic, Because there was much water there; as our Translators have also done: And the Learned Leigh, in his Critioa Sacra, saith, [...], multus, much; and in approved Authors, as Thucyd, Homer, and others, it's used for things that are great, large, excelling, eminent, &c. Teste Budaeo. With the seventy Interpreters, there is nothing more usual than to render it thus; as Gen. 15.1. Exceed­ing great, Psalm 36.6. A great deep; 1 Kings 4.29. Exceed­ing much. And it's so taken Luke 16.10. where it's twice rendred much.

And seeing you have mentioned the Hebrew, give me leave also to set down the two Hebrew words that answer to it, viz. [...], Majim rabbim: Majim signifies Wa­ters, Fontes & Flumina, Fountains and Rivers; Rab. sig­nifies in the singular much, great, chief; and as Leigh saith, Multus magnus apponitur parvo & pauco; it signifies much and great, opposed to little and few: But here it's used [Page]in the plural Number, which encreases its signification: See Robertson's Hebrew Dictionary, and Leigh's Critica sacra: And as for the other word [...], Gnajin, an Eye, a Foun­tain, as it's rendred a Fountain in many other places of the Old Testament, so particularly in Gen. 16.7. it's twice so rendred in that one verse; And the Angel of the Lord found her by a Fountain of Water in the Wilderness, by the Fountain in the way to Shur: But if in this and many other places where the same Word occurs, we should understand it an Eye, instead of a Fountain, what strange work should we make in interpreting Scripture? such that would not become one who esteems himself a Master of Reason, and a Teacher in Israel.

But, Sir, I perceive your speaking of the Name of the Town, which was not at all to the purpose, was to lead us from the Truth of the thing, which was the Matter in Question; viz. That there was much Water, as the Ho­ly Spirit saith.

Before I pass this place, the last Words in John 3.23. are in Greek, [...], and were dipped. The Hebrew [...], vaitabelu, and were dipped. For as Baptizo signi­fies to dip, or plunge into the Water, and implieth the washing of their whole Bodies, even so the Hebrew Root Tabal (from whence is used this Word in the Text in the passive form vaitabelu) signifies, He dipped. The same that is used in 2 Kings 5.14. Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the Man of God. From hence you may observe, That when this word is rendred to wash, it signifies no other washing than what is performed by dipping and plunging the whole body under the Water: For in ver. 10. it's said by the Prophet, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and in ver. 14. according to that Command, He dipped himself in Jordan seven times.

And to let you see what Trifling you have been guilty of in both those Tracts, about the Meaning of this place, Had it been Sprinkling intended, it must have been from Rantizo in the Greek, to sprinkle; or from [...], Nazab in the Hebrew, he sprinkled; but neither of these are used in this place, but instead thereof its [...], Tabal, he dip­ped, from whence it's derived, which are as different both as to Letters and Signification, as any two Words can well be; for that Sprinkling is not Dipping, Rantizing is not Baptizing.

Besides, It's plain, from the reason given by the Holy Spirit in the Text, why John baptized in this place, i. e. because there was much water. But if he had not plunged them into the water, and overwhelmed them with it, (as the word signifies) but only sprinkled their Faces with a few drops thereof, this Reason had been without Foun­dation: For, as Cornelius a Lapide observes, A very little water would have served to have sprinkled thousands: But their manner of baptizing being to dip the whole Body under water, therefore much water was necessary thereunto, without which the Act of baptizing could not be performed. And as Erasmus saith upon the place, Aenon (in the Syrian Tongue) signifies gushing streams of Wa­ter, by reason whereof there was plenty of Water to bap­tize the People withall. And our Learned Critick, Mr. Matt. Poole, saith thus upon the place, It is from this ap­parent, that both Christ and John baptized by dipping the Body in Water, else they need not have sought places, where there had been great plenty of Waters.

I shall say no more to it, for this is more than suffi­cient to satisfie any rational Man about the meaning of this place: And, Sir, If you will not acknowledge such a wilfull Error as this, I shall despair of curing your infi­delity.

2ly. I desire you to observe, that the great stress you lay upon the word [...], Gnolam, Gen. 17. to prove that Covenant of Circumcision to be the Covenant of Grace, is because (you say) that word signifies eternal. Now if you your self did not doubt the truth of your own Assertion, what makes you say in your second Book, pag 17. The Covenant of Grace is immutable and eternal, there­fore Gnolam doth here signifie a perpetual Eternity. Sir, this is according to the common Proverb, To run round like a Horse in a Mill: For, First, You prove (as you say) the Covenant of Circumcision, Gen. 17. to be eternal, because Gnolam signifies eternal; and then you prove Gnolam to be eternal, because the Covenant is eternal. I pray Sir, shew us the Medium if you can: And 'till you do, it's nothing to your purpose; and yet the main pillar of your Discourse is founded upon this doubtful Interpre­tation of the Word Gnolam.

But, Sir, Suppose (as Mr. Collins hath already told you) that this word is not limited to a perpetual Eternity, but [Page]oftentimes signifies a much shorter space of Time, then all you have said from Gen. 17. is insignificant.

That it is so to be understood, I will give you the Opinion of divers Learned Men upon it, both Jews and Christians.

Leigh in his Critica sacra, saith, [...], Gnolam, Hebraeis, Non semper aternum est, ut neque Graecis [...], sed saepe secu­lum, atque etiam temporis spatium seculo brevius significat. This word Gnolam with the Hebrews doth not always signifie Eternity, as neither doth Aion with the Greeks, but it often signifies an Age, as also a shorter space of time than an Age.

The Learned observe two things that are diligently to be noted in the use of this word.

  • 1. That when it is affirmed of God, or other eternal things, then it designs an absolute Perpetuity and Eter­nity.
  • 2. That when it is affirmed of things mutable in their own Nature, it designs only a periodical, or circumscri­bed Perpetuity, according to the quality of the Sub­ject.

Of this latter signification we have divers Examples in the Holy Scripture, as Deut. 15.17. speaking there of the degenerate Slave, it's said, Then thou shalt take an Awl, and thrust through his Ear unto the Door, and he shall be thy Servant for ever; which can intend no longer than during his Life: And it's used in the same sence, 1 Sam. 27.12. where Achish King of Gath saith of David, Therefore he shall be my servant for ever: As also in 1 Sam. 1.22. Han­nah tells her Husband, that Samuel should go to Shiloh, and there abide for ever; which is explained in ver. 28. to be as long as he liveth: And in Exod. 12.14. speaking of the Passover, Ye shall keep it a feast by an Ordinance for ever: And yet your self must acknowledge, this Ever hath been at an end above 1600 years agoe; the Passover be­ing abolished by the Death of Christ, and in Exod. 31.16. the Sabbath is said to be a perpetual Covenant, and yet you do no think your self obliged to keep the Jewish Sabbath.

Now from hence we may fairly infer, That as those things before-mentioned are not to be observed, because they are abolished by the coming of Christ, so neither is the Covenant of Circumcision, Gen: 17. because the word [Page] Gnolam, everlasting, is added to the other as well as to that, and signifies no more than the time of the Jewish Oeconomy, which was to continue but 'till the time of Re­formation: They being temporary, and mutable, and sub­jected to the will of the Law-giver, 'till the Seed should come to whom the Promise was made, and then all that shadowy dispensation was done away.

Besides, Had you been a Master of the Hebrew Tongue, you might have known, that this in Gen. 17. cannot sig­nifie a perpetual Eternity, because the Characteristical Note thereof is there wanting. I will deliver my sence thereof in the Words of that Learned Rabbi, Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, who saith, [...], Gnolam non necessario significat aeternitatem, nisi ei conjungatur [...], vel [...], idque vel post illud ut Gnolam vagned, vel ante gnad gnolam. Mor. Ne­bochim, Part. 2. Cap. 28. Gnolam doth not necessarily signi­fie eternal, except gnad or gned be joyned with it, and that either after it, as gnolam vagned, or before it, as gnad gnolam. And he instances in Psalm 10.16. the Hebrew is, [...], Jehovab melech gnolam vagned, The Lord is King for ever and ever. Thus you may see, Sir, Those skilled in the Hebrew, know when it signifies Eternal, and when not; altho' you are ignorant of it: And because this is not added to it in Gen. 17. it doth not prove it to signifie so, and therefore not the New-Cove­nant, because that is eternal and immutable. And thus (you see) the main pillar upon which you build your Anti-christian Practice of Baby-Rantism, is fallen, like Dagon before the Ark of God. I pray consider it, take advice, change your Mind, and practice it no longer; for it hath no Scripture Authority for its Foundation.

But, Sir, I cannot close this Epistle, without making some further Observations.

1. Upon that Argument of yours, Part 1. page 44. which you have urged again in Part 2. page 26. viz.

That all Christ's Disciples ought to be baptized is not dark, Mat. 28.19. Infants are Disciples, therefore 'tis plain they ought to be baptized.

Sir, If I should deny the Minor, neither you, nor all the World are able to prove it. For Infants are not ca­pable to be made Disciples by the Ministry of Men, which is there intended in that Commission.

But you tell us, the Command is [...], [Page]which you render (as if you did not understand it) in this Tautologizing English, Go, disciple me all Nations, teaching them.

Now, because I would (if possible) explain this to your Understanding, I shall first give you the Opinion of the Learned upon this place, and then argue upon it.

The Learned Leigh, upon Mat. 28.19. saith, [...], Matheteusate, Go, and teach all Nations; or, Word for word from the Greek, Go make them Disciples, as it is expounded John 4.1. Discipulate (liceat mihi sic loqui gratia docendi) sive, Facite mihi Discipulos. Vide Bullinger. Significat et docere, ut Mat. 28.19. & simul etiam discipu­lum esse, ut Mat. 27.57. from hence you may see that it is not a bare speaking to them that is intended, but such a teaching of them by which they learned, and were made Disciples of Christ by the Apostle's Ministry. And as the word [...] is rendred by our Translators Disciple, and in the plural, Disciples, where it occurrs in the New Te­stament in all other places (so far as I have found) and particularly five times in this very Chapter, as I have shewed in my Epistle to the Inhabitants of Ashford, &c. concerning Baptism, why they have rendred it only Teach here in ver. 19. the Reader may easily guess. For you cannot but know, it signifies, as a Learned Critick hath it, Omnes eos qui doctrinam Christi sectabantur, Mat. 5.1. and as the Learned Grotius saith, Ita etiam usurpatur, Mat. 12.49. Luk. 6.13. Act. 11.26. multisque alijs in locis. It is taken for a Learner, or Scholar, who submitteth him­self to another to be taught; which can no way agree with little sucking Infants, so soon as they are born.

It is distinguished from [...], in ver. 20. Teaching them: For as it's another word, so it hath a different respect and signification: Matheteusate in Mat. 28.19. im­porting that the Apostles should teach and instruct the Gentiles, who were Strangers and Aliens in the Faith and Doctrine of the Gospel, that they might believe it, and become Disciples of Christ: But [...], ver. 20. Teaching them, vero docere significat eos, qui jam discipuli redditi sunt, & Magisterio nostro jam addicti. By which it's plain, that you have no reason to imagine that Infants can possibly be here intended (qua talis) because the first word intends such as were to be made Disciples by their Ministry; and the latter respects their being instructed in [Page]all those other Duties, this new Master of theirs, the Lord Jesus required of them, after they were first made Disciples and believed, and were baptized, that they might be made perfect and compleat in all the will of God.

How false therefore and incougruous is that rendring of the Words, Matheteusate panta ta ethne, Discipulize all Nations, as you have done, to say, Go, disciple me all Na­tions, teaching them, when the plain meaning is, That they were first by their Ministry to be made Disciples of Christ, and then to be baptized; as it follows in the Text. And not as you say, That when the Parents being taught, believe, they are discipled, and their Infants with them. For if that be the meaning of the Word Matheteusate, that such who are so taught as to believe, are discipled, their Infants not being capable to be so taught by the Mini­stry of the Apostles, as to believe, they cannot be Dis­ciples (in your own Understanding) from any meaning can be put upon these Words by you recited, Mat. 28.19.

But further, here is an express Command to baptize some Persons. That they were Believers we affirm, because it's said in that Parallel Text, Mark 16.15, 16. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved.

That any Infants can be intended by it, you must deny; because (you say) there is no express Command to baptize them. For, in Part 1. page 41. you put this Objection, But we have no express Command in the New Testament to baptize Infants. Your Answer is, I have shewn there needed none. And in page 37. you bring in this Objecti­on, If it be God's will Infants should be baptized, why is there no Command for it, as there was for their Cir­cumcision. Your answer is, There was no need of any particular mentioning of them. And further say, It had been absurd to have given a New Command for Children, and your saying that the general Command includes Children, and yet never tells us what it is, or where to be found, is a covering too narrow for you to escape this conse­quence. For if there be an express Command in Mat. 28.19. given by Christ to his Apostles, to baptize fome Persons or other, and there be no express Command (by your own Confession) in the New Testament to baptize Infants, then Infants are not at all intended in this great Commission. And I pray Sir, tell me how it is then an [Page]Ordinance of God, if it be no where commanded by him in his Word? For baptism is a part of instituted Wor­ship: And you ought to shew the Institution, or else for­bear practising it any more.

I will now shew you what Grounds we have from Scrip­ture for baptizing penitent Believers, that are adult Per­sons, able to give an account of their Faith. And be­cause Mr. Richard Baxter is an Author you so much esteem, I shall give you his Arguments from Scripture for proof thereof in his Book, called The second Disputation of Right to Sacraments, p. 149, 150. in these words upon this very Text, Mat. 28.19, 20. ‘This is not like some occasional mention of Baptism, but it is the very Commission it self of Christ to his Disciples, for Preaching and Baptizing, and purposely expresseth their several works, in their several Places and Orders.’

Their first Task is to make Disciples, which are by Mark called Believers.

The Second Work is to baptize them, whereto is annex'd the promise of their Salvation.

‘The Third Work is to teach them all other things, which are after to be learned in the School of Christ.’

‘To contemn this Order, is to contemn all Rules of Order, for where can we expect to find it if not here? I profess my Conscience is fully satisfied from this Text, that it is one sort of Faith, even saving, that must go before Baptism, the profession whereof the Minister must expect. Of which see what is to this purpose be­fore cited by Calvin and Piscator, which Words are men­tioned by him, p. 85. and are as follows, Calvin upon Mat. 3.6. saith, Therefore that Men may rightly offer themselves to Baptism, Confession of Sins is required, othewise the whole Action would be nothing else but Sport. And Piscator upon Mark 1.4. saith, It is called the Baptism of Repentance for Remission of Sins, because John preached the Remission of Sins to the Penitent Believers.’

‘Mr. Baxter further saith, p. 149. 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 Consequence.’

‘To prove this Assertion, he produces the several Ex­amples in Scripture, which (he saith) might afford us so many several Arguments, but I shall put them together.’ viz.

First, John, as I have shewed you, required the proses­sion of true Repentance, and that his Baptism was for the Remission of Sin.’

Secondly, When Christ layeth down the Apostolical Commission, the Nature and Order of the Apostles work is first to make them Disciples, and then to baptize them.’

‘That it was saving Faith that was required of the Jews, and professed by them (Acts 2.38.) is plain in the Text.’

‘The Samaritans believed, and had great Joy, and were baptized into the Name of Jesus Christ, Acts 8.12. whereby it appeareth, that the Understanding and Will were both changed. And they had the profession of sa­ving Faith, yea, even Simon himself, ver. 37.’

‘The Condition upon which the Eunnch must be bapti­zed was, If he believed with all his Heart, which he professed to do, and that was the Evidence Philip ex­pected.’

Paul was baptized after true Conversion, Acts 9.18. The Holy Ghost fell on the Gentiles before they were baptized, Acts 10.44.’

Lydia's Heart was opened before she was baptized, and she was one the Apostles judged faithful to the Lord, and offered to them the evidence of her Faith, Acts 16.30.’

‘The Example also of the Jaylor, is very full to the resolution of the Question in hand: He first asketh, What he shall do to be saved? The Apostle answereth him, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved and thy House: So that it was a saving Faith that is here men­tioned: He rejoiced and believed with all his House, and was baptized the same hour of the Night, or straightway.

Crispus the chief Ruler of the Synagogue believed on the Lord, with all his House, and many of the Corinthians bear­ing, believed and were baptized, Acts 18.8.’

Philip in Acts 8.37. is determining the Question, and giveth this in as the decision, If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest. And to say, that this is but De [Page]bene esse, meaning that it includes not the Negative, other­wise thou may'st not, is to make Philip to have delu­ded, and not decided or resolved.’

‘In a word, I know not of one Word in Scripture, that giveth us the least Intimation that ever Man was baptized without the Profession of a saving Faith.’

He also affirms positively, That we must not baptize any ‘without the profession of true Repentance, which he thus proves.’

Argu. 1. If John Baptist required the profession of true Repentance before he would baptize them, then so must we; but John did so, therefore the Consequence is clear.’

‘The Antecedent I prove (saith he) from mark 1.3, 4. he preached the Baptism of Repentance unto remission of Sins, and doubtless that Repentance which is to re­mission of Sins is true, special Repentance.’

Argu. 2. If Jesus Christ hath by Scripture Precept and Example, directed us to baptize those that profess true Repentance, and no other, then we must baptize them and no other; but the Antecedent is true, so there­fore is the consequent, which is fully made good from Mat. 4.17. Mark 1.15, 16. Acts 17.30. Luke 24.47. when Christs himself did, and sent forth his Disciples also to preach Repentance, to prepare them for Baptism, which afterwards followed, as Mat. 3.11. Mark 1.8. Luke 3.16. Acts 2.37, 38, 41.’

‘And in page 156. if according to the Institution, the Answer of a good Conscience must be joyned with Bap­tism, for the attaining of its end, then we must admit of none that profess not the answer of a good Consci­ence: But the former is certain from the Text, for Baptism is said to save, that is its appointed use, yet not the external washing, but the answer of a good Con­science doth it; therefore this is of a necessary injunction, and without it Baptism cannot attain its End. But it is to be administred and received only in order to the Attainment of its end, and therefore never in a way by which the End is apparently not attainable.’

Paul calleth all the Baptized Church of Corinth, justi­sied, none that profess not justifying Faith are called ju­stified; therefore none such should be baptized. I con­fess (saith he) tis sad, that good Men should be so un­faithful [Page]to the Truth, which is so preclous, and is not their own, and which they should do nothing against, but all they can for it.’ Divers other Testimonies might be added, besides these already recited, but these shall suf­fice at this time,

And Sir, If these do not plainly prove our practice of bap­tizing Persons upon profession of Faith; and also that In­fants cannot be the Subjects of Holy Baptism, as not being capable of performing the necessary pre-requisites thereto, I have no Skill in Polemicks.

I proceed therefore to what you say, Part 1. page 44.

Objection. The baptizing Persons before they know, oc­casions much gross Ignorance. To which you answer,

Christ is the Occasion of the Ruine and Damnation of thousands,

I reply. Dear Sir, Altho' you make bold to abuse the Bap­tists, and throw very Reproachful Scandals and Calumnies upon them, Methinks you might have spared their Lord and Master, and not have laid the Ruine and Damnation of thou­sands at his Door, Who came not into the World to condemn the World, but that the World through him might be saved: But I need not wonder at this in you, when divers of your party have charged Christ with being the greatest Sinner in the World, notwithstanding he did no sin, neither was Guile found in his Mouth. Sir, These are unsavoury Expressions, unbecoming the Pen of one who would fain be esteemed a Minister of Jesus Christ.

And now, Dear Sir, as a Close, I have some few things to speak to your self by way of Caution and Advice, which I wish may be received by you, as candidly as they are imparted by me.

In all your Discourses about Polemical Divinity, that you would observe these few short Rules, which may be of use to your self and others.

1. Be careful to avoid all invective Calumnies, Wrath, Bitterness and Reviling, against the Party with whom you contend: For that is so far from being a means to con­vince them, that it rather begets a Prejudice in them against what you shall say.

I know, every Person is naturally a Friend to what he supposeth to be a Truth, and wisheth that others were of his Mind, and it's both lawful and commendable to promote it, in a sober and judicious way: But surely it is an Ex­cess [Page]to propagate Truth, (a thing divine) by the Methods of Hell; as Anger, Biterness, Fraud, Reviling Reproaches, and throwing out Scandalous and Vile Invectives against your Antagonists. Sir, You have more Reason to believe your Adversaries are in the right, than your self: For, that they have both Precept and Precedent for their Pra­ctice in the Holy Scripture, but you have neither for your own. What need was there therefore of all those bitter Revilings you have poured out against us? Sir, We could use the Liberty of Lex talionis, (if we were minded to recriminate) in such instances against your Party, that would blacken you with a Witness; of which you could never acquit them by all the Artifices you could use: But we do not think it comports with Charity, to exas­perate your Enemies against you, and make you vile in their Eyes, notwithstanding you have so unchristianly dealt by us.

2. When any of your Christian Neighbours labour to convince you of some Truth you are yet ignorant of, do not scorn their Advice, nor trample upon the Truth for their sakes, because they are but mean in the Worlds Esteem; but remember that Apollo, altho' he was a Man mighty in the Scriptures, did not disdain that Aquila and Priscila, should expound unto him the way of God more perfectly, Acts 18.26. A Cardinal could once say upon the Words of a Shepherd, Unlearned Men take Heaven by force, whilst we with all our Learning are thrust down to Hell.

3. Let me entreat you to search the Scriptures, and see whether the things I have said be so or no; give your self to Fasting and Prayer, cry mightily to God to give you his Spirit, to open your Understanding, that you may under­stand the Scriptures.

Lastly, Give me leave to tell you, That it's not likely your People should think you in earnest, when in the Pul­pit you Press them to Meekness and Charity, when they find so much Railing and Reviling in your Books.

Truly Sir, If Ministers Books of Disputation were as full of Charity, as they require their People to be in their Sermons, our Disputes and Writings would be Excellent Expedients of improving Knowledge, and discovering Truth. And not as now perpetuating Controversies, and of wide­ning and imbittering them.

No Debates (saith one) have been managed with that bitterness, no Questions debated with that virulence, as the Theological. When will Divlnes be ashamed of sacri­ficing of their Charity to their Passions; that is, to the sensual and brutal part of our Natures? The Tartars ma­nage their Wars with less Cruelty than the Clergy: For (saith he) there is neither Measure nor End of our Reproaches and Infamations.

I beseech you Sir, consider these things, and if you are not satisfied about the Controversie depending, if you please to acquaint me with any particular doubt about it, so you do it in the spirit of Meekness, I shall endeavour to give you all reasonable satisfaction. For, in short, the best Expedient (I can think of) to promote Knowledge is, that we argue all our Religious Controversies with that Spirit of Charity and Tenderness, and of deference towards our Opposites, which the Gospel we preach to others more especially obiiges us to: Then may we ex­pect a Blessing from the Lord, in such Pious and Charl­table Procedures. I shall add no more, but subscribe my self, as in Duty bound,

A Sincere Lover of your Soul, W. R.

A VINDICATION OF THE Baptized Churches.

BEfore an Artificer can build a new House, in the room of an old one that is fallen down, he must first clear away all the Rubbish, that he may lay a new Foundation: That Rubbish of Railery and Abusive Language with which I perceive Mr. Michael Harrison hath lined his Mouth in his Pulpit, and has stuffed his Book in print, (for he tells us in his Epistle to his first Book, that he was first put upon preach­ing upon that Subject, and afterwards consented to the printing of it) I intend to remove, before I speak any thing to his Book.


IN the Epistle of his first Book he charges us with Erroneous Doctrines, that we are like pricking Briars and wounding Thorns. Those wild and Erroneous Doctrines broached by the Ana­baptists, [Page 2]have been a perpetual Vexation and Trouble. The confident repeated Challenges, the restless Insinuations of the Anabaptists. Their various Attempts to ensnare and draw away my Hearers to their own way. They are a sort of restless People, with great Indignation spurning at Infant-Baptism. They tempt you to be cruel to the Children of your own Bowels, setting them among Pagans and Infidels. They are the Enemy of Infants. The Doctrine of the Anabaptists makes all Infants to be of the visible Kingdom of Satan, and leaves us no well-grounded Hope of the Salvation of any dying in Infancy, and is therefore to be justly abhorred as false Doctrine. Then it seems by his Doctrine, that Baptism doth it self regenerate Infants in his Understanding, and translate them out of the Kingdom of the Devil, into the Kingdom of Christ. This is plain downright Popery, and abhorred by the Protestants as false Doctrine. (But he goes on with his Railery for want of Argument:) What barba­rous usage is this to poor Infants, the Anabap­tists perversely thrust them away from Christ and from his Church, set them among Pagans and Infidels, who are of the visible Kingdom of the Devil. (But in the same page he tells us,) That the Anabaptists do not assert the damnation of all Infants dying in Infancy, but on the direct contrary; they assert the certain Salvation of all Infants. (Why then doth he charge it upon them?) Poor Man! I pity him for his Ignorance in Divinity. We have many Inferionr Mechanicks in our City of Londou, that (blessed be God) understand the mind and meaning of the Spirit of God in the Holy Scriptures, better than he. [Page 3]And there is another unhappiness attends the poor man, he hath so lately changed his Religion from Episcopacy to Presbytery, that he is not well in­structed in the Presbyterian Doctrines, but began to write too soon, before he knew what they held, or what himself was talking of. I am ashamed to think that a man should print himself a Mi­nister of the Gospel, and should know so little of the Gospel Church-state, if all his Knowledge be suitable to what he writes in his two Books.

But he proceeds, Erroneous Doctrine. Weak Anabaptists. Their Children are ignorantly and bruitishly brought up, live and dye Pagans. It's a false and dangerous Doctrine. They wilfully shut their Eyes. They do it with much scorn and contempt. They are guilty of a plain breach of the sixth Commandment, Thou shalt not kill. Dipping Persons in water is a most heinous Sin, is a plain breach of the sixth Commandment, Thou shalt not kill. (Observe what Tautologies the poor man is guilty of;) Dipping in cold water tends to the taking away of Life, many have contracted such Distempers that have hastened their Deaths thereby, therefore the so doing is a great sin. But the contrary to this is true, that divers have recovered of their Diseases upon their being baptized; Ergo. Mr. Michael Harrison's assertion is a great untruth, great malice, and a great sin. And herein he imitates the Devil, who was a Lyar from the beginning, and is the false accuser of the Brethren. If this Charge be true, that we are guilty of Murder, why hath not he or some of his horrid lying Authors accused us to the Ma­gistrate, that Justice might have been executed upon us as murderers. But I am confident he doth [Page 4]not believe himself, but writes directly against his Knowledge and Conscience. I never had to do with such a scurrilous, foul mouthed Author in Divinity in all my life; and I am heartily sorry he hath (so foolishly) offered me this occasion, for it's very contrary to my Genius, to render railing for railing. All this Rubbish is in his first Book of a Groat price.

But in his 2d. Book, as he begins with a known untruth in the Frontispiece, Infant-Baptism God's Ordinance, when he knows it is not so much as mentioned in all the Holy Scripture, so he ex­ceeds all bounds in his railing and abusive Lan­guage in this 2d. part; For in the Title Page you have these Words, Anabaptists plea of An­tiquity a meer untruth. A Rebuke of their seve­ral Erroneous Opinions. An Answer to several Scandalous and Erroneous Papers put out by the Anabaptists, &c. In his Epistle, the Ana­baptists have been exeeeding troublesome to all our Reformers. Hardned the Churches Enemies, hindred the Reformation. Bitter Enemies to the Work of God. Have most maliciously charged me with preaching Popish Doctrine. Malicious Slander. Betrayed their Weakness and Ignorance. Are a People strangely alienated from the Spirit of the Gospel. They have an Hatred and Oppo­suition to all Christian Churches, and look on all others to be Pagans.

Then he falls upon abusing Mr. Collins, who hath (together with that faithful and eminently learned Minister of Christ, Mr. Claridge) sufficiently answer­ed his first Book. Which Answer (he saith) is so weak, it scarcely deserves any reply: And saith, He is a weak unthinking man; foul and unchristian [Page 5]Carriage; and then he quotes one Mence for his Author, (who I perceive was another railing Rab­shekah like himself) in a Letter sent to him; who speaks thus of Mr. Collins; The proud Author who was so impudent, He is the proudest, the Ignorantest, and the most abusive Person I ever met with. His pittiful Answer. A lying slanderous paper. His foolish answer to your Book. He hath an Ignorant, malicious and lying Crew that follow him. That all this was a Malicious slander. Malignant slan­ders. Nay, these Charges and slanders filled with a blind raging Zeal. Directly opposite to the Gospel. Pricking Briars and wounding Thorns. Clamorous and unruly Carriage. Scandalous pa­per. I tax their Errors. A numerous croud of Ana­baptists. Mr. Claridge's Love is a sect Love, such as is found among Papists, Quakers, nay, Mahumc­tans. His Understanding under a false Conduct. Fearing his Zeal for his new Religion had quite darkned the use of his Understanding. Mr. Col­lins's is a Heterodox Pamphlet, stuffed with Absur­dites and Mistakes He is a weak unthinking man. Stock of rash Confidence. Cruel to poor Babes. Arminian Anabaptists. Erroneous Opinions. They deny Original sin. Hold that Christ dyed for all, &c. in common with Papists, Socinians, Pelagians, Arminians, (I thought he had called us Arminians but even now; where is the congruity of his words? I perceive Passion destroys the use of his Reason) and other condemned Hereticks. And speaking to his own People, he saith, It's your duty to su­spect them, they are false and dangerous, it will be your duty to reject them. And speaking to the Baptists, he saith, You ignorantly oppose Christ, who will both oppose and expose your Errors. And [Page 6]then to his own People he saith, We see our dear Babes thrust out of the Church, and set amongst Pagans and Infidels, and the Charter of our Salvati­on torn in pieces, and set aside, as an old useless antiquated Covenant. Anabaptism is a new thing. Their Erronerous Opinions. The Anabaptists Pretence to Antiquity meer Forgery. False and dangerous Doctrine. The Anabaptists have re­vived several old condemned Heresies. They de­stroy the Ministry.

Reader, take notice, I am but now come to the first page of his Second Book, which begins with as manifest an Untruth as it is possible for the veriest miscreant under Heaven to ut­ter, which he is like to account for, when I have removed the rest of those excrementiti­ous and abusive speeches the man hath in his Book, which is a manifest Indication of that Corruption which is in his Heart.

The first Anabaptist in the World (saith this ignorant Trifler) being one Nicholas Stock, or Stork (or he knows not who) but however being a bold man, he tells us at all adventure, he was a blasphemous Heretick. And disgorged his malice against the baptizing of Infants. Pretended to Dreams and Visions, and also Converse with An­gels. And in the Carcass of this unclean Beast was bred a multitude of stinging Insects. Who most con­fidently uttered their heretical Blasphemies. That they would play with Rattles, ride on Hobbihorses, (or else a Hobbihorse saith so) and wallow in their own Dung. Preaching up vile Doctrines. Thundring out fearful Curses against all that would not obey. And in the space of a few years Germany was filled with Anabaptists. (Cer­tainly [Page 7]they were all inchanted that followed them, if they were such vile Miscrcants as you represent them.) They thunder'd against Magistracy and Ministry, turned all into uproar and confusion. Played strange wicked Pranks. Exceedingly hard­ned the Papists, hindred the Reformation, and grieved the Reformers. Mr. Danvers, a confident man, guilty of notorious Forgery. And yet Mr. H. Collins confidently transcribes from him. No­toriously false. The Anabaptists confidently cite, &c. And yet the Anabaptists have the Impudence. Their Infatuation is very great. But it's altoge­ther false. Thus they have most wickedly slander'd the Fathers. Detected the Forgeries. Strange For­geries. They thus slander and bely Antiquity. So confidently, &c. Thus Ignorance, Impudence, and a stock of vile Considence, makes men they neither care what they do or say. A false Witness. He confidently saith, They pervert the Sayings of learned godly men. Such stuff as this will serve to raise a dust, and hlind the eyes of an ignorant Reader. Notorious Forgeries and Slanders. The pitiful Condition of the seduced, thus deceived in the dark. Untruths in fact and history. So notori­ous and shameless. Notorious Untruths. Confi­dently transcribes and reports. Whether they be not of so stupendious a magnitude, as should have frighted the Conscience of a Turk or Pagan? So slandered by you. So many whole Books are falsified. Notorious Scandals. Can swallow such Camels as these. Notorious Forgers and Slanderers. So deliberately forge and slander. Such unmanly Scandals. Is not this a Scandal. To be so polluted. Greater Scaudals, more scandalous members. Brags and Boasts. Anabaptism is a meer Novel­ty. [Page 8]Its first Authors and Founders notorious Here­ticks and Blasphemers. An Imposture of Satan, to vex and pollute the Church. Weak Cavils. Fiery Zeal. Bitterness, Scorn, and Reproach. Igno­rantly or maliciously raises a dust to blind the Readers eyes. To this they confidently reply. Their Cavil is this. The Anabaptists have indu­striously thrown Snares and Stumbling-blocks in our way. It is notorious Wickedness. The Anabap­tists weakly urge. Run into strange Absurdities (if Mr. Harrison may but have the making of them.) The rotten Doctrine which the Anabaptists hold. Some of them have turned Ranters, Quakers, any thing, or rather nothing. The plain Truth is, the poor man has a weak Head. Extreamly ridicu­lous. In their ignorant Pride they fly in the face of the Spirit of God. An ignorant rash man. Con­founds the Anabaptists. Pervert those Words. They have made a great noise, and raised a great Dust, to blind and divert an unwary Reader. The Sophistry of the Anabaptists. (They were ignorant and weak-headed but now, and what, are they turned Sophisters already?) False Doctrine: I say again it's false Doctrine. False Doctrine. His Answer is nothing but a meer blind. The Anabap­tists confidently affirm, the right manner is dip­ping. Is fetched from what they fancy. To follow the natural Fancy of the Anabaptists. They hypocritically practice. Dipping cannot be ad­ministred without just scandal. They proudly dis­own Communion. Their Baptism is from a Rabble of blasphemous men. The Anabaptists are notoriously unsound. Unsound heterodox Opinions. They have revived several old condemned Heresies, and are extreamly rotten in some fundamental Truths. [Page 9]The Anabaptists have nourished many prodigious Errors. They are very erroneous. The Socinians have taught the Anabaptists. That the Anabap­tists hold more erroneously than the very Papists. Use slippery and equivocating Terms. This fancy of the Anabaptists. Now the Anabaptists are more erroneous than the Papists. Error the Anabaptists are guilty of. A false and dangerous Doctrine. This Doctrine is false. This is false Doctrine. Error of the Anabaptists. In this Doctrine, Papists, Socinians, Arminians, and Anabaptists, are all agreed. It's of mischievous and malignant Conse­quence. We boldly deny this monstrous and erro­neous Assertion. This rotten pillar. This Anabapti­stical Doctrine is but a lying Invention of their own, and is detested by all Protestant Churches. Error. Abominable Doctrine! False, dangerous, and uncomfortable Doctrine. Error of the Ana­baptists. Arminian Anabaptists. The grossness and foulness of it. Weak, ignorant Preachers, they have Pride and Confidence, and 'tis these igno­rant men that broach most of these Errors. I might tax the Anabaptists as guilty. Opposing their Errors. This stone is flung at the head of the gene­ral Anabaptists. Now which Party Mr. Collins is of, I know not; but (by what he saith) it seems to me not only rank Arminiamism, but a new way to Heaven, and Mountebank Divinity.

Thus you may see what frame of Spirit this man is of; it's in Vain for him to think he is in a bet­ter state for leaving Episcopacy and becoming a Pres­byter, whilst such corrupt Communications pro­ceeds out of his mouth: For as our Lord saith, Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh; it's an Indication therefore of a corrupt and unmorti­fied [Page 10]Heart; for which he ought to be deeply hum­bled. 'Tis contrary to all those Exhortations in the Gospel, to Meekness, Kindness, Tenderness, and Gharity. Our Lord, who is the Prince of Peace, whose Gospel is a Gospel of peace, whose People are peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreat­ed, hath himself set us a blessed Example, who when he was Reviled, Reviled not again; when he suf­ferred, he threatned not, but commited himself to him that Judgeth Righteously: Let us therefore labour to follow his Example, and then we may expect a Blessing in our Deed. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God, Jam. 1.20.

Let the Reader take notice, I have collected these harsh expressions out of Mr. Harrison's Books, page by page, as he may see by examining the same; beginning with the first, and ending with the last, and have been very exact therein, because I would not wrong him. My Reason was, partly, that you might see what Spirit he is of, and how unfairly he hath dealt by us; as also, to avoid being vex'd with them, in every paragraph where they occurr'd.


THE first thing he begins with, is the Co­venant of Circumcision; which he supposes to be the Covenant of Grace; and quotes Genes. 17.7. for proof thereof: and infers, That all Infants of Believers are in this Covenant, and therefore they have a right to Baptism. He spends the first eight Pages upon it, and seems to hug himself in the Thoughts of some great Success among his Hearers upon this his Undertaking.

But if I shall be so happy as to take from him the Foundation upon which all his Fabrick is built, He may then think he hath labour'd in vain, and spent his time for nought.

This therefore I shall first insist upon, it being the main Pillar he rests upon (in both his Tracts) to support that humane Invention of Baby baptism.

I shall first shew; That the Covenant mentioned in Genes. 17.7, 8, 9, 10, &c. the place cited by him, is not the Covenant of Grace, but the Co­venant of Circumcision.

2. That this Covenant was abolished by the Death of the Messiah.

3. That if that Covenant, Gen. 17.7. had been (as he saith) the Covenant of Grace; yet it had not therefore given the Infants of believing Parents a right to Baptism, without an Institution from God, requiring it to be done.

1. To prove therefore, That the Covenant mentioned Gen. 17.7, 8, 9, 10, &c. is the Cove­nant of Circumcision, we have nothing to do, but to read the Words as they are recorded. And I will establish my Covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their Generations, for an ever­lasting Covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abra­ham, thou shalt keep my Covenant therefore, thou and thy seed after thee in their Generations. This is my Covenant which ye shall keep between me and you and thy seed after thee: every man child among you shall he circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the Covenant be­twixt [Page 12]me and you. And ver. 13. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised; and my Covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting Covenant.

Notwithstanding the fulness and plainness of these Expressions, Mr. H. is pleased to tell us, this Covenant is the Covenant of Grace, as you may see in pag. 4, 5. lib. 1. Altho' I believe no man that is not prepossessed with Error, can ever find any thing like it, by the Words of God himself; for he saith positively, it is that of Circumcision.

I need not therefore insist much upon his ipse dixit, when it is directly contrary to the Word of God. But to make the matter beyond any reasonable Contradiction, I shall urge those very Arguments Mr. Collins hath so well advanced upon this Subject, in his Sandy Foundation of Infant Bap­tism shaken; in Answer to Mr. Mence and Mr. Harrison, which do yet remain unanswered, pag. 10, &c. ‘Mr. H. Collins, to prove that that Covenant God made with Abraham and his natural Seed, Gen. 17.7, 8, &c. was not the Covenant of Grace, he urges these following Arguments.’

Arg. 1. The Covenant of Grace extends unto all Nations, the Covenant of Circumci­sion was limited to one Nation; Ergo, the Covenant of Circumcision is not the Covenant of Grace: Both which he hath substantially proved, to which I refer you.’

Arg. 2. That Covenant which obligeth to keep the whole Law, is not the Covenant of Grace: But the Covenant of Circumcision obligeth to keep the whole Law; Ergo; the Covenant of Circumcision is not the Covenant [Page 13]of Grace. The major he shews to be undeni­able; and the minor he proves from Gal. 5.2, 3, 4. For I testify to every man that is circumcised, that he is a Debtor to do the whole Law, and that Christ shall profit him nothing, &c.’

Arg. 3. That Covenant which is abrogated and repeal'd, is not the Covenant of Grace: But the Covenant of Circumcision is abrogated and repealed; Ergo, the Covenant of Circum­cision is not the Covenant of Grace.

As for the minor, there are few in the World, but such as are Judaizing, will deny. And for the major, none do suppose the Covenant of Grace can be repealed, &c. Therefore the conscquence follows, that that Circumcision was not the Covenant of Grace. Now notwithstanding all this, and much more, which Mr. H. Collins hath spoken upon this subject, and that indeed with such clearness of Evidence, that Mr. H. will never be able to an­swer, yet in his second Book he russ over his old Arguments again in the former Book, and instead of giving any new solid Arguments, to take off the force of what Mr. H. C. had said, this is his An­swer in Part 2. Page. 15. The plain truth is, the poor man hath such a weak head, that he knows not what in the World to make of it. (He mis­took the man) It was himself, and not Mr. Col­lins, to whom these words ought to be applied: For it's manifest, that he knew not how to confute him, because he repeats the old Arguments he had used in his first Part. But I would not have Mr. Collins think the worse of himself for all his Railery against him, because the poor man hath not yet learned the common Civility and curteous Behaviour which every ingenuous man will shew [Page 14]to any one that is a stranger, especially if he put himself upon the trouble and charge to serve him for the good of his Soul, as Mr. Collins hath done: But some mens evil Nature will never depart from them, nor be mortified by them, let us do what we can. There are several other Arguments Mr. Collins hath also added, by which he hath un­deniably evinced this Covenant in Gen. 17.7, 8, &c. not to be the Covenant of Grace; as having only temporal Blessings promised in it. And because persons might be saved out of this Covenant, and many were saved who were never circumcised, nor in that Covenant. That many Absurdities fol­low the holding such an Opinion, and that it overthrows many fundamental Points of Religion, divers of which he there enumerates. Now I ap­peal to all ingenious men, whether it had not been Mr. H's business to have given some solid Answers to these Particulars? and whether Mr. H. Collins deserved such a Treatment from a man who calls himself a Minister of the Gospel. But to proceed,

2. I have undertaken to prove, That this Co­venant of Circumcifion, Gen. 17.7, 8, &c. was abolished by Christ. But upon Enquiry I find that Mr. M. H. Part 1. pag. 6. doth confess that Cir­cumcision is now abolished: His Words are these, Circumcision is now abolished by Christ; and cites for Probation thereof Eph. 2.15. Having abolished in his Flesh the Enmity, even the Law of Command­mandments, contained in Ordinances, for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making Peace. To this he adds, 1 Cor. 7.19. Circumcision is nothing, and Ʋncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping the commandments of God. Now upon this Concession I would willingly know of Mr. H. why he suppo­ses [Page 15]the Covenant of which he saith Circumcision was a Seal, is still remaining, when he confesses the Seal thereof is broken off, and taken away from it? If a Bond for the performance of a Covenant be once cancelled, the Covenant it self ceases to be obligatory any longer.

3. If that Covenant, Gen. 17.7, 8, &c. had been (as he saith) the Covenant of Grace, yet it had not therefore given the Infants of believing Parents a right to Baptism, without an Institution from God, requiring it to be done.

I prove it thus:

1. From Mr. H. own words, part 1. page 6, 7. We do not baptize persons as the Elect of God, or Infants as Infants of the Elect. And a little before speaking of persons being really in the Covenant of Grace, as united to Christ, living Branches, knit to Christ by a vital union; he adds, and thus only the Elect are in Covenant. The Co­venant thus considered is not the ground of Bap­tism; if we must baptize none but such as are vitally in Christ, then must we baptize none; and he gives this reason for it, because tho' we see the outward profession, we do not know who belong to the Election of Grace.

From all which its plain Mr. H. doth not think their being in the Covenant of Grace a sufficient ground to baptize any person, because he cannot possibly know that they are so. How then can he baptize any Infant upon the terms of that Covenant, Gen. 17. if it were (as he saith) the Covenant of Grace?

But saith he, those that are externally and visibly in Covenant, all that profess Christ, Tares and Wheat, wise Virgins and foolish: This (saith he) is the Ground of Baptism.

I answer, Had Mr. H. being speaking of the Members of a Nation, and also of the Members of the visible Church, and had distinguished the latter into these two sorts of Persons, i. e. such that were invisible members, and such that were only so by a bare profession, reason would that I should allow it: But when he is speaking of the Covenant of Grace, to tell us of Hypocrites and carnal Professors, who are devoid of true Grace, and that all such are to be accounted Believers in Covenant, and that all Infants of such believing Parents are in the Covenant of Grace, (as you may see in the Page before-mentioned) this is one of the greatest Paradoxes I ever met with. If the wicked, who are called Tares, are to be accounted Believers in Covenant, why shall they be cast into Hell-fire? Mat. 13.40, 41, 42. If the foolish Virgins in the Church are in the Covenant of Grace, why must they be shut out of Heaven? Mat. 25.11, 12.

Now that it was without reason for him thus to argue, I prove from his own Words, Because he doth assure us from the Testimony of Holy Scripture, that all Believers are in this Covenant. This (saith he in pag. 6.) is abundabtly evident from Rom. 4.11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Gal. 3.29. the Covenant was made with Abraham as a Believ­ers, and with all Believers as well as him. And that we may not mistake his meaning, he often calls it the Covenant of Grace made with Abra­ham, &c. Now that the Covenant in Gen. 17.7, 8, &c. is not the Covenant of Grace, I have already shown: But that there was a Covenant of Grace, in which Abraham was instated, (being a Believer in Christ, and a special Friend and [Page 17]Favourite of God) as the Father of the faithful, wherein all true Believers have a right and in­terest, as being in Christ, I readily allow: And moreover, That all true Believers in Christ, al­tho' under the former dispensation, they could not be admitted to Baptism, because it had been Will-Worship so to do, it not being then com­manded: Yet now they have a right to that Holy Ordinance, as the proper Subjects thereof; be­cause Christ hath not only commanded it, but made a gracious promise to them upon their Obe­dience thereunto, Mark 16.16. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved.

Now seeing Mr. H. further saith, in page 7. That Persons are to be baptized, as making a visible and credible profession of Religion, and that the Apostles did baptize such as did profess Repen­tance towards God, and Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 2.41.

I therefore infer upon him the unreasonable­ness of his former Assertion, That the Children of such as are only formal Hypocrites, are to be baptized, because their Parents make an outward profession of Christianity; (for which he quotes Ezek. 16.20, 21. which I desire may be read over; for I think he might have proved it as well from Gen. 1.1.) when according to his own Assertion all true Believers are in the Covenant of Grace, and so are the Elect of God in a true and proper sence, and the fit subjects of Baptism. And if he would himself (who is yet an unbaptized per­son) truly believe, and be baptized, and by a Gift from Christ did once become a Teacher in the true visible Church, he might then bap­tise penitent Believers, upon a foundation that [Page 18] himself acknowledges to be good and warrantable, from the practice of the Apostles: But for his baptizing Infants, as he hath no authority for it from the Word of God, so by his own Con­fession he hath no Foundation for it, as they are in Covenant, because he doth not know they are so.

But 2dly. He saith, page 7. That all Infants of such believing parents, (i. e. External and Visible Professors) are in the Covenant of Grace, and have as much a right to Baptism, the Now Seal of the Covenant, as the Infants of the Jews had to Circumcision, the then Seal of the Co­venant: And saith, This is the principal thing designed from this Text, meaning Gen. 17.7, &c. Well, if it be so, it shall be considered; but I pray who told him these things he hath so boldly asserted? For in the first place, If all Infants are not within the Covenant of Grace, how comes it about that all the Infants of such believing Parents, qua talis, are in that Covenant? Hath he not forgot what he wrote in the very Page before? That the Covenant of Grace is God's gracious Promise of delivering from a state of Sin and Death, and bringing into a state of Salvation by Jesus Christ, all that by faith fly to, and lay hold on him; and could it enter into his imagination, that little Infants can by faith fly to, and lay hold on Christ? And if they cannot, then it's plain this Gentleman hath been guilty of a Self-contradiction, from which he can no ways extricate himself. Mr. Collins had given him sufficient notice of it, by saying, surely the Gentle­man hath forgot himself, in the Definition of the Covenant of Grace; and hath sufficiently con­futed [Page 19]this Assertion; but I find it's (as yet) a Work he cares not to undertake, to recant his Errors, when he is detected for them.

But 2ly. How doth he know that Infants have as much a right to Baptism now, as the Infants of the Jews had to Circumcision? He gives us nei­ther Reason, Argument, nor Scripture, (in this place) to prove it; and therefore we must con­sider it our selves.

All the Answer I think needful to give, is this: Infants were commanded by God to be circumcised, Gen. 17.10. Every man-child among you shall be cir­cumcised. Ver. 12. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised. And the particular Direction is given, Ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin. Here, you see, is the Command of God, both for the Work it self, the Subject upon whom, and the time when it was to be performed: So that God's Command gave Infants then a right to Cir­cumcision.

Now let but Mr. H. shew us any such Command in all the Scriptures, for the baptizing of Infants, and we will thank him; for we never yet could find it in all the Book of God: And till he doth, we have no reason to believe what he so confidently asserts, to be true.

But 3ly. Mr. H. asserts, That Baptism is the now Seal of the Covenant. I know not how he will prove it; for I am sure it's an unscriptural Notion: For the Holy Scripture doth no where tell us, that Baptism is the seal of the Covenant, but hath plainly told us, that Christians were sealed with the holy Spirit; Ephes. 1.13, 14. After that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of Promise which is the earnest of our Inheritance: And I [Page 20]will rather believe the Apostle Paul than Mr. H. And this leads me to consider what he hath as­serted in his first Chapter, Part 1.


HAving in the former Chapter confuted those Arguments he hath brought from Gen. 17. to prove Infants Baptism, I come now to consider his five introductory Considerations, which he saith are very needful, for the right understanding the Controversy of Infant-baptism.

1. He saith, That a Doctrine or Practice may be proved to be of God two ways.

  • 1. By the express Words of Scripture.
  • 2. Or from evident Consequences drawn from Scripture.

As to the first: It is a great Truth: And thus we can prove our Practice of Believers Baptism with all the Perspicuity imaginable, as I shall make appear when I come to treat of that Subject: Therefore he must, from his own Rule, acknow­ledge that our Practice therein is of God. But I am sure he is conscious to himself, that the Pra­ctice of Infant-baptism cannot be proved by the express Words of Scripture; because he finds fault with us for urging them to it, in Page 10. where he brings us in, saying, bring us a plain Text, and we will believe it; and represents it as an un ­reasonable Demand.

But if his Passion hath not so far transported him, as to make him forget what Subject-matter he is treating of, he might have forborn those Reflecti­ons [Page 21]against us: For I do affirm, that Baptism is a part of Instituted Worship; and therefore whilst he pretends to practice Infant-baptism, he is obliged to shew us, where it is expresly commanded in the Word of God, or otherwise how does he know it is the Will of God that it should be pra­ctised at all? For all Instituted Worship hath its Foundation only in the Will of the Law-giver, as he hath revealed it unto us; and unless he hath found out some other Rule of Faith and Practice besides the Word of God, he is bound to submit him­self to the Authority thereof, in the Determination of this Controversy: To the Law, and to the Testi­mony; if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them, Isa. 8.20.

2. He endeavours to perswade us, That evident Consequences, drawn from Scripture, are suffi­cient.

I might deny this in the Point under Conside­ration; because Baptism is a part of Instituted Wor­ship: For altho' this may be true about specula­tive Points in Divinity, it is no necessary Conse­quence it must be so in positive Duties. But I will not insist upon it, but for Arguments sake allow it to be true: And therefore let him proceed as soon as he pleases, to prove the Baptism of Infants an Ordinance of God, by evident Confequences, drawn from Scripture, and I will allow it.

As for his second Observation, it is applicable to himself, and not to us, and therefore I shall leave it at his own door.

3. He saith, Those Doctrines which were clear­ly revealed, and fully consirmed in the Old Testa­ment, tho' little or nothing be said of them in the Now Testament, and were never repealed, are [Page 22] yet to be owned, received, and believed, as if much had been said of them in the New Testa­ment. And presently after he tells us, This is the case of Infant-baptism.

Well Sir, If you will prove that Infant bap­tism was clearly revealed, and fully confirmed to be an Ordinance of God, and our duty to practise it in Gospel-days, by the Scriptures of the Old Testament, I am contented. But pray be pleas­ed to shew us that revelation and confirmation, that we may be satisfied it is so: For I never read of Infants-baptism as yet in all the Old Te­stament, and I believe there is as little mention made of it in the New.

But 4ly. You say, those Doctrines which were once throughly settled in the Old Testament, and never called in question by any in the New, there was no occasion given to speak of them again.

If this be ad rem, there are then two things signified thereby:

  • 1. That there was no occasion given to speak of Infant baptism in the New Testament: And I am certain if there were, it was wholly omitted; for there is no mention made of it in the least.
  • 2. That it was a Doctrine throughly settled in the Old Testament. If this be true, Why doth he not prove it, by shewing us where it is so writ­ten? If he cannot, let him acknowledge his Mi­stake.

As for what he speaks in his fifth consideration, That Doctrine may be very clear, the Scriptures brought to prove, and the Argument thence de­duced clear and convincing; and yet it may remain dark to one that is uncapable of discerning it. This I allow to be true. And if there were no other In­stance [Page 23]to be given of it besides, Mr. Harrison himself may be given in evidence: For notwith­standing the express Evidence from Scripture, that multitudes of Believers were baptised by dip­ping in the Apostles days, (as I shall prove in due place) yet by reason of those Catarrachs of Igno­rance that have blinded the Eyes of his Mind, he is uncapable of discerning it; for in Pag. 48. he saith, It was never yet proved, that persons were then dipped. And on the contrary, a thing that is never mentioned at all in Scripture, viz. Infant­baptism, That, he saith, is as clear to him as the Doctrines of the Trinity; the Divine Na­ture of Christ; Justification by imputed Righte­ousness, &c.

Now this gives occasion to fear that he is yet but a natural man; because such a one perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned: And therefore He that is not as yet of the num­ber of the Illuminati; would do well to put himself into the number of the Catechumeni, that he might be instructed in the way of God more perfectly.

CHAP. IV. Being an Answer to what Mr. M. H. saith upon Acts 2.39. For the Promise is to you, and to your Children, &c.

I Shall endeavour to give you the true Scope of the place, and then return an Answer to Mr. H's Allegations.

The Apostle Peter having convinced the Jews, That the same Jesus whom they had crucified was both Lord and Christ, they being pricked in their Hearts, cryed out, Men and Brethren, what shall we do? Peter's Answer is, Repent, and be Baptised every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ, (This is the duty) for the remission of Sins; (that was the end proposed, and the thing they wanted): The promise follows in these words, And ye shall receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost: For the promise (i. e. of the Gift of the Holy Ghost) is to you, and to your Children, &c. By Children here is meant their posterity; who, if they did also perform those conditions of Repen­tance, Faith and Baptism, they also should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Moreover, there being Gentiles also his present Auditors, he adds, The promise is to all that are afar off, meaning the Gen­tiles: And to let them know he intended no other mathod for their children, than what he propo­sed unto them, he restrains it to Believers only; Even as many as the Lord our God shall call. If any should fancy that Baptism is intended in the pro­mise, and so apply it to little children, that can­not [Page 25]be; because Baptism is not a Promise, but a Command; and so there can be no Pretence for Infant baptism from this Promise.

And Mr. H. being aware of that, he hath found out a New Invention, for he tells us, 'tis the promise of God to Abraham, Gen. 17.7. which therefore contains a plain precept for the bapti­zing of Infants.

I was in hopes I might have finished what was needful to be said upon Gen. 17. before, but I see Mr. H. builds his whole Superstructure upon it, and therefore I must say something further to it: Notwithstanding Mr. H. Collins hath suf­ficiently confuted what he saith, but it seems he hath not yet attained to that discretion, to know when he is fully answered.

1. Therefore I shall shew, that Canaan-Land, with those External Blessings that accompanied them in the possession thereof, is the great pro­mise in that place by him cited, Gen. 17.

2. I do affirm, and I think the proof I have given for it already may be sufficient satisfaction to any reasonable man, that the Covenant in Gen. 17. is that of Circumcision, and not the Covenant of Grace, and then his Interpretation of this pro­mise, Acts 2.39. is wholly groundless.

As touching the first, whoever will please to read Gen. 17. will find, beside the Promise of a numerous Off-spring, that of Canaan particularly exprest, ver. 8. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the Land wherein thou art a stranger, all the Land of Canaan, for an everlast­ing possession, and I will be their God.

I will give you the Words of a late Learned Protestant upon the place; he tells us, ‘That [Page 26] this Covenant is said to be an everlasting Co­venant, in the same sence as Canaan is said to to be an everlasting possession; there is there­fore no more reason to conclude from this term, that the Covenant of Circumcision was directly and properly a covenant of spiritual and eternal blessings, than there is to affirm, that the Land of Canaan, and the good things thereof, were a spiritual and eternal Inheri­tance:’ And God's promising to be their God, denotes only his engaging himself to make good the promises contained in that Covenant.

As for his pretended Reasons, they vanish of themselves, because they are built upon a false Notion, that the covenant of circumcision is the Covenant of Grace, which I have already disproved: And he may as well affirm, that all Believers, and their Children, have a promise in Acts 2.39. to possess the Land of Canaan, whether they be Jews or Gentiles, as to tell us, That promise the Apostle here speaks of, must be that promise to which he saith, Circumcision was the Seal un­der the former dispensation. I am troubled to think, that Mr. Harrison should trifle thus about sacred things, and endeavour to deceive his Rea­der, by perswading him, that the covenant of circumcision is yet in being under the Gospel; a thing so contrary to the tenor of the Gospel, and the express Words of Holy Scripture. The whole Fabrick of the Jewish Church-state being pulled down, and a New Church-state erected in the room thereof, it is not the House of God, erected by the Mosaical Law, but the House of Christ, erected by the Son himself, Heb. 3.6. opposed to, and in contradistinction from that [Page 27]former one under the Law, which all that were circumcised were obliged to observe: For the Apostle saith, If any man he circumcised, he is a debtor to the whole Law.

But in his next Paragraph he entangles him­self with a difficulty (I suppose) he will not be able to free himself from: For he saith, in page 21. This promise the Apostle speaks of, was that promise or covenant of which Baptism was the Seal. And in the words following he tells us, that Circumcision and Baptism are Seals of the same covenant. Now whereas I have already proved, that the covenant of Circumcision was not the covenant of Grace, I think I need not prove that Baptism is a duty belonging to the New Co­venant; because all acknowledge it so to be: And as certain I am, that the Apostle Paul oppo­ses the Law of Works to the Law of Faith, It is of Faith, that it might be of Grace; and circum­cision obliging to keep the whole Law, which co­venant being now abolished, he saith, If ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. And he gives this reason for it, Whosoever of you are ju­stified by the law, ye are fallen from Grace: And that this respects the covenant of circumcision, with its adjuncts, is plain from Gal. 5.1. where the Apostle exhorts them To stand fast in that liber­ty wherewith Christ hath made them free, and not to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage; which he explains in the following verses to be meant of the covenant of circumcision: So that Mr. H. may see what a Labyrinth he is in, out of which I suppose it will not be easie for him to extricate himself.

The late Learned Dr. Neh. Coxe, in his Ex­cellent [Page 28] Discourse of the Covenants, hath given us the true ground of these perplexities that the Learn­ed have fallen into, which I shall transcribe, for the sake of those who have not his Book to in­form them, nor are likely to obtain, because it's out of print.

Sect. 6. pag. 12. Now as it is evident from what hath been already said, that all soederal trans­actions of God with men, flow only from his good pleasure, and the counsel of his Will, so upon that ground it is certainly to be con­cluded, that our knowledge and understand­ing of them, must wholly depend upon Divine Revelation. None can pretend acquaintance with the secret of God, but as he hath pleas­ed to reveal it in his Word; this light must guide all our inquiries after it, and our Sen­timents of things of this nature must be strictly governed by this Rule; seeing the nature of them is such, as transcends the common princi­ples of reason or natural Light, inasmuch as they owe their original to the free acts of the Divine Will and Wisdom, which are unac­countable, 'till revealed by God himself; and therefore it becomes us to captivate all our thoughts of them to the obedience of Faith, as knowing that Learning and strength of Parts (tho' of excellent use in their place) not guid­ed by Scripture light in these Inquiries, can on­ly form an Ingenious Error, and lose a man in the Labyrinth of his own Imagination, and un­certain Guesses; seeing the single advantage of those assistances (in this case trusted to, and stretched beyond their line) can reach no far­ther than to enable him, cum ratione errare, [Page 29]and so to wander from truth in a path seem­ing more smooth, tho' no less dangerous than others light upon.’

‘And therefore in these things lyes the spring of most mistakes, and corruption of Doctrine and Practise in matters of Religion; men do easily find out, and agree in the true Dictates of the Law of Nature, but in things pertaining to the covenants of God, how various are their Sentiments? Yea, many great, Learned and good men, have been divided in their Judgments a­bout some things of great importance to the Faith and Edification of the Church: And some one Error admitted about the nature of God's soederal transactions with men, doth strangely perplex the whole System, or Body of Divinity, and entangle our Interpretation of innumera­ble Texts of Scripture, and by this means Jars and Contentions have been perpetuated in the Church, to the great grief and hindrance of all, the offence of the weak, and greater scan­dal of the blind World; and all this hath been much occasioned thro' the want of a due and humble attention to that Revelation of Truth which God hath given us in the Holy Scrip­tures, and endeavouring to collect the mind of God from thence, without prepossession of Judgment, (which is a greater occasion of these mistakes than men are generally aware of) and careful avoiding the undue mixture or con­fusion of things natural, with those that are purely of a soederal nature.’

Now I would earnestly beg of Mr. H. both for his own good, and the good of the people he stands related to, that he would be pleased [Page 30]to consider seriously what this Learned Man hath said; and by laying aside all pre-conceived Preju­dices and pre-possession of Judgment, would ap­ply himself to an humble inquiry after the mind of God, as revealed in his Word, and not trust to his Learning, nor lean to his own understanding in the matters of Divine Truths, but labour to satisfie his conscience from the Revelation of God in his Holy Word, that thus it is written, and therefore I believe.

And to apply it to the present case, if Mr. H. can shew us where is written, that Infants ought to be baptized by any appointment of God, or where its written that any one Infant was bapti­zed; or where its charged as a sin upon any one to neglect carrying them to be baptized; or where any Minister is blamed for not teaching them to bring their Children to Baptism, or for not baptizing them when they were brought; or in­deed, if there be any thing said about it, directly or indirectly, to enjoyn the practise thereof, or any the least mention made of it, in all the Book of God, we will grant him the cause: But I perceive himself is satisfied there is no such thing, and therefore he is pleased to ridicule us for demanding of him to shew us where it is commanded in the Scripture. But let him know, that all instituted Worship hath no foundation, but the Divine Will requiring it, and therefore his pre­tence to evade the Objection is vain.

But however, seeing he thinks he is so excel­lent at consequences, and that he can do mighty things that way, let Mr. H. (if he can) prove by consequence, or any other way, that Infant­baptism is God's Ordinance: But I perceive he [Page 31]cannot do it; for he hath written two Books al­ready, and not one Argument in either of them that concludes the thing in Question. And to tell you my Thoughts upon it, I am of Opinion, if he should write a hundred Books, it will be still the same; for he hath run over nine Arguments twice to no purpose: For there is nothing of the Point in question inferr'd in any of them. And I know the Reason: It is not simply for want of Parts, and Learning, but for want of Matter; for that which is not, cannot be proved to be; but Infant-baptism is not an Ordinance of God, and therefore it cannot be proved so to be. And whereas he doth allow he cannot shew us a Com­mand for it, by abusing us for but demanding it of him; I am sure his Attempt to prove that to be an Ordinance of God by Consequence only, when he hath granted there is no express Com­mand, is too great a Task for him ever to perform: And if he would take my Advice, I would not have him so much as attempt it any more, because it's im [...]ossible to be done.

But why doth Mr. H. tell us, Baptism is a Seal of the New Covenant? If it be, his Arguments are all out of doors; for a Seal is not to be set to a Blank, as it must be if applied to Infants. Besides, he is mistaken in the whole of his Position; for Circumcision is only said to be a seal of the Righ­teousness of Faith, to Abraham, and not to the rest of his Posterity, Rom. 4.9. Faith is reckoned to Abraham for Righteousness. And in the 10th. Verse he tells us, it was before he was circum­cised: But in Ver. 11. he received the sign of Circumcision, a seal of the Righteousness of the Faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised, that [Page 32]he might be the Father of all them that believe, tho' they be not circumcised, that Righteousness might be imputed unto them also. This is the only Text that I find the Word is used in, as applied to Circumcision; and here it is restrained to Abraham only, and not applied to any other Per­son whatsoever. I do think therefore, it was an unwary Expression of Mr. H. to make Circumci­sion a Seal of the Covenant of Grace under the Law, to all circumcised Infants, when it's applied by Paul to Abraham only, and not to any one of his Posterity: Nor could it be, because it was to him as a Seal of that Promise, that he should be the Father of all Believers; which could not be true of Individuals, nor of any other but himself, it being commanded to them for other Ends.

As for his calling Baptism a Seal of the New Covenant, I must say the same of it as of the other: For, 1. It is no where called so in all the Holy Scripture, and therefore no metaphorical Use to be made of it.

2. The Holy Scriptures do tell us [...] other thing that is the Seal of the New and everlast­ing Covenant, wherewith Believers are sealed under the Gospel, and that is the Holy Spirit, 2 Cor. 1.21, 22. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Ephes. 1.13. After ye be­lieved, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of Pro­mise: Ephes. 4.30. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of Re­demption. The Learned Dr. Cox, upon these words, Rom. 4.11. saith, ‘It is Genitivus Speciei, as when we read the City of Jerusalem for the [Page 33]City Jerusalem, and the like: For we read not, saith he, that any other Ordinance (No, not Baptism) is so called in Scripture; but in the New Testament, the sealing of Believers is attributed to the Holy Ghost.—For it is not possible to conceive that Circumcision should be a Seal of the Righteousness of Faith, &c. to one that never had Faith: And it is equally absurd to say, that Circumcision was a Seal unto all its Subjects of the Righteous­ness of Faith, which they had while uncircum­cised, as to affirm, that it was the Seal of a pa­ternal relation to all Believers, unto every one that received it.’ And I hope this Gentleman will allow me to say, that it's more absurd now under the Gospel, wherein all the Children of the Covenant are to be taught of God, and all of them to know God, that any should affirm, that Bap­tism is a Seal to Infants who have no Faith at all, neither in Habit nor in Act; espeeially seeing it's no where called so in the Holy Scriptures. If men, [...]ough the Lightness and Vanity of their Minds, must needs play with metaphorical Ex­pressions in Scripture, yet I know not how they should have a liberty to impose words upon us, as Mr. H. doth, which are not at any time, nor in any place, so much as mentioned. This is our Case; Mr. H. will have Baptism called the Seal of the Covenant, we will not allow it him, because it's no where so called in Scripture. But suppose we should, it would ruine his beloved Cause; for then it could be administred to none but such who are true Believers.

But before Mr. H. goes any further, he propo­ses this Question, Who we are to understand by [Page 34]the Children in the Text? viz. Acts. 2 39. His Answer is, No doubt but they are the very same which in Gen. 17 are called Seed. The Reason he gives for it is, from the Etymology of the Greek word there used: The Word (saith he) is [...], used for little sucking Babes, Matt. 21.18. and 1 Cor. 7.14.

How he came to give us this sence of the Word, so contrary to the Scope of the place, I know not: [...], in the singular, is rendred thus by a late famous Grecian, A Child, an Off-spring, and in the plural a numerous Off-spring. In the 2d. Epistle of John, Ver. 1. he uses the same Words, as in Acts 2.39. [...], The elder unto the elect Lady and her Children: Here it's rendred Children, as it is in Acts. 2.39. but not little sucking Babes: For you have their Character given in Ver. 4. I re­joyced greatly, that I found of thy Children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Fa­ther: And he writes to her and them in the plural, to look-to themselves, and to [...] false Teachers &c. And in the last Verse [...] saith, The Children of thy Elect Sister greet thee. Now these things can no ways agree with Mr. H's little sucking Babes: And he hath every whit as much Reason to give this sence of the word here, as in Acts 2.39. it being the same Word. But let us examine his other two Texts.

In Matt. 21.18. Now in the morning as he return­ned into the City, he hungred. This I am sure hath neither the word nor thing he intends: But I sup­pose he intended the 15th. Verse; And when the chief Priests and Scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the Children crying in the Temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David, they were sore [Page 35]displeased: The word that is here translated Chil­dren, is not the same word as in Acts 2.39. [...], but it is [...]; and if we may believe our Lexi­cographers, they tell us, that in this very Text Matt. 21.15. it signifies a Boy, or young Maid; sometimes a Son, and sometimes a Servant: And we have an Instance in Mark 5.39, 40, 41, 42. of a young Maid of 12 years of Age, where the same word is rendred Damsel: And straight-way the Dam­sel arose and walked, for she was of the Age of twelve years: Now had not her Age been recorded, no doubt but Mr. H. would have insisted upon it, that she was a little sucking Child, because it's said in ver. 23. my little daughter. But to proceed, they also tell us it's taken for a Maid-servant, a Bond­woman, as [...] is rendred Gal 4.22, 30. speak­ing of Hagar, after the birth of Ishmael; Cast out the Bond-woman and her son: Now in this place it's impossible to prove Hagar a little sucking have, and therefore I suppose he will not attempt it. I hope the Reader will observe, how I came to b [...]d to the use of this word by Mr. H. But the Reason why he quoted it, I know not; un­less he took it for granted, because he found Chil­dren in the English Bible, it must needs be the same word in Greek; which he may now find to be a mistake. But I shall proceed to consider his other Text, 1 Cor. 7.14.

In 1 Cor. 7.14. the word is, [...], your Children; nor will this Text do him any Service, to prove what he brings it for; because it's often used for persons of grown years; John 1.12. [...], the Sons of God: He cannot suppose these to be little sucking Babes, for that they had actual­ly received Christ, and believed on his Name. [Page 36]The learned Leigh, in his Critiea Sacra, saith, [...], liberi, often: And besides what he saith upon John. 1.12. He cites the use of it in Eph. 6.1. [...]: It is used there in the plural Number, such as are begotten and born of them; and being of the Neuter Gender doth include both Sexes, Males and Females, Sons and Daughters, which agrees with those words, Asts. 2.17. Your Sons and your Daughters shall prophesie: Colos. 3.20. Ex­tenditur ad Filios, & Filias imò ad Nepotes: It is extended to their Sons and Daughters; yea, as One hath it, Nepotes vocant omnes posteros, They call all their posterity by that name. But not in­tending to use polixity in the handling of it, take the plain words of my fore-named Author: It is a general word, which in Scripture and other wri­ters is used to set forth all sorts of Children, of what sex, of what age, of what degree soever they be.

To this I shall only add this brief Observation, That those Exhortations spoken of in Eph. 6.1. and Colos. 3.20. where it is written, Ch [...]ren obey your Parents in the Lord, &c. must be intended such Children of grown years that were Members of the visible Church of Christ by Repentance, Faith, and Baptism; because 'tis such the Apostle directs his Epistles unto, Eph. 1.1. To the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: And in Col. 1.2. To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ, which are at Coloss: Now these words cannot possi­bly be applied to little sucking Babes, unto whom Mr. H. would have the use of the Word restrain­ed.

Nay further, where the Apostle John uses the word [...], Filioli, little Children, (which is [Page 37]the Diminutive of [...]) no less than eight times in his first Epistle, as 1 John 2.1, 12, 28. and 3.4, 7, 18. and 4.4. and 5.21. yet in none of those places doth he intend little sucking Babes; for there are such things required of them which such Infants are not able to perform; for in Chap. 2.1. They are exhorted not to sin, &c. Ver. 18. They had heard that Antichrist should come: Ver. 28. They are exhorted to abide in Christ, Chap. 3.7. Little Children, let no man deceive you, Ver. 18. not to Love in word and tongue, but in deed and in truth, Ver. 4, and 5. he tells them they knew that Christ was manifested to take away their Sins. Ye have overcome, &c. 5.21. little Children, keep your selves from Idols. Now it's evident to the meanest Capacity, that little sucking Children can­not do all these things here spoken of, and there­fore are not at all intended in any of those places. Now had Mr. H found the word [...] in Asts 2.39. as he did the word [...], how would he have swaggered with it? But the Apostle Peter knew bet­ter how to express the Mind of God in that place than Mr. H. doth to understand it, Prejudice hav­ing blinded his Eyes.

For his other Reason that he gives, that it is a Repetition of the grand Promise, Gen. 17.7. I have answered that already, and therefore I had thought to have said no more to that; but finding him to return again to it in page 26. I shall endea­vour fully to clear the Point before I leave it.

His Words are these; Now to return to Acts 2.39. The promise is to you, and to your Children. I will conclude (saith he) in the words of Holy Mr. Rutherford, Break (saith he) the Text into an hundred pieces, and blood it as men please, this is [Page 38]the genuine Thesis, which cannot be neglected, viz. That those to whom the promise of the Covenant belongs, those should be baptised: But the promise of the Covenant is to you, and to your Children; therefore you and your Children ought to be bap­tised. Mr. H. doth not insist upon it; however I shall give this Answer thereunto.

If Mr. Rutherford intended such of their Chil­dren that were the called of God by Repentance, Faith, and Baptism, then the gift of the Holy Spi­rit belonged to them as well as to their Parents: But if he doth not, it is a heap of words without Reason or Truth, or any proper Signification: For here is (by him) neither Promise, nor Covenant, nor any thing plainly exprest: For the Hebrew word [...] Berith, is thus rendred, a Covenant, or mutual Paction; so called from the Choice made of the Persons and Conditions in a Covenant. Ro­bertson's second Gate.

And as the learned Leigh in his Critica sacra saith, Berith is Fadus pactum, and quotes Ainsworth and Buxtorf for his Authority; Quod [...]us est, ut Aben Ezra scribit, mutuus consensus duorum super aliquare: That a Covenant, as Aben Ezra writes, is a mutual Consent of two upon any matter. And he further saith, it signifieth both [...], a Compact or Covenant made between parties, as Aquila translateth it, and [...], a Testiment or disposition of ones last Will, as the word is us­ed by the Apostle, Heb. 9.15. And the learned Dr. Coxe, in his discourse of the Covenants, pag. 5. saith, Covenant relation to God, and interest in him, doth not immediately result from the pro­posal of a Covenant, and terms of Covenant rela­tion to man, but it is by restipulation that he actu­ally [Page 39]enters into Covenant with God, and becomes an interressed party in the Covenant, it is a mu­tual Consent of the parties in Covenant, that states and compleats a Covenant-relation; and this is called an avouching of the Lord to be their God, by consent to the terms of a Covenant pro­posed to them: It includes mutual ingage­ment. But what Rutherford saith, is not at all agreeable to the nature of Man's entring into Covenant with God under the Gospel, because the Subjects he speaks of, viz. Little Infants, are not capable of understanding, much less of giving themselves up to God in baptism, in the way of a Covenant Engagement: And I remember a saying of Mr. Richard Baxter, in a Sermon I heard him preach some years agoe, which is as follows; ‘It was the practice of the Church generally for the first five hundred years not to admit any to Baptism, but such that did first make a publick profession of their Faith before the Church: But for as much as the Church hath alter'd the time of Baptism, and doth administer it to such that are not capable to make such a profession of their Faith, were I a Pastor of a particular Congregation, I would admit none to the Lord's Supper, but such who should first make a publick profession of their Faith before the Church; for we ought to a­vouch the Lord to be our God.’ Now by what Mr. Harrison saith in his Book concerning Mr. Baxter, I take him to be of that sort of Presbite­rians which are called Baxterians: And if he will abide by the sentence of his Master, then In­fants can make no restipulation, and so not be actually in the Covenant: For they cannot avouch [Page 40]the Lord to be their God, and consequently can have no right to Baptism by vertue of the Cove­nant, if they are not actually in it.

But further, Mr. H. saith, If this displease, we will stand by Mr. Stephens his Syllogistical Frame upon the Text, viz. That they who have a right to be baptized by the word of Promise, they also have a right to be baptized by the word of Command: But the Infants of Believ­ing Parents have a right to be baptized by the word of promise, therefore they have a right by the word of Command.

Who this Mr. Stephens is, I neither know, nor care; but this I know, that his Argument is no­thing to the purpose he brings it for.

For, 1. He doth not toll us what this word of promise is. Nor, 2. Where it is written. And therefore we are at as great a loss as before. But if there be any consistence betwixt Mr. H. and him, it is in Acts 2.39. and if he reads the Text but once more without Mr. Stephens his Spectacles, he will not find any promise there, that Infants shall be baptized.

I may with far better Authority argue thus,

If there be no Command in all the Scripture, that Infants should be baptized, nor any pro­mise of any blessing to them in being baptized, then they have no right to be baptized: But there is no Command in all the Scripture that Infants should be baptized, nor any Promise of any blessing to them in being baptized: Ergo, They have no right to be baptized. The major is undeniable, the minor is proved from that universal silence throughout the whole Book of God, there [...]ot being the least word spoken [Page 41]concerning it, either directly or indirectly of any such command or promise. And yet for all this, Mr. H. according to his usual way of ludere sacra, trifling and fooling with Holy Things, saith, He hath now answered our desire, here is both a word of Command and a word of Pro­mise; But it is in his Friend Stephens his Argument, and not in the Holy Scripture. But seeing, he hath promised he will stand by Mr. Stephens his Syllogistical Frame, we have reason to conclude he values it above any thing that can be said to the contrary, tho' never so plain evidence be given him from the Holy Scriptures. But if it were not the gain of filthy lucre that incited him thereto, perhaps he might as well change his mind about that, as he hath done about some other things, when he left a small Benefice under Episcopacy, to get a better Livelyhood under the form of Presbytery.

I have said enough to this of the Covenant to satisfie any man that is willing to receive satisfaction, either from Scripture or the reason of the thing: But if neither of those will pre­vail, we must leave such to stand and fall to their own Masters. For all the benefit we can expect from the best of means where it is will­fully rejected, is, that they will still persevere in their old practises, contradicting and blas­pheming the way of the Gospel, as the Jews did in opposition to the Apostles Doctrine, to their own Destruction.

CHAP. V. Shewing that the right manner how Baptism ought to be administred, is by Dipping, Plunging, or Overwhelming the whole Body of the Person baptized under Water: And that it is not by sprinkling, or otherwise applying Water to the Person baptized, as Mr. Harrison saith.

MR. H. tells us, The Anabaptists confidently affirm, the right manner is dipping the whole body under water, and (say they) if not so performed, is no baptism at all.

Answ. There are many who do thus affirm, and that truly; but that the Anabaptists do so, I know not, for I do not know of any Anabaptist in the World. If he means those that do baptize believers upon profession of Faith, they cannot be called Anabaptists, because they do not baptize any who were before baptized; and I hope he is so good a Master of the Word himself uses, as to know the Etymology thereof: For the word Ana signifies again, and we do not baptize any that were baptized before. And indeed it's neither like a Man, much less a Scholar, to beg the Question, but to prove it. Besides, he knows we deny sprinkling to be Baptism, and till he hath proved himself, or any of those he sprinkles to be baptized, he hath no reason to call us Anabaptists.

Now for dipping in Baptism (saith he) they plead.

  • 1. That the Greek Word signifies to Dip.
  • 2. The manner of baptizing in the primitive times was by dipping.
  • 3. John's baptizing at Aenon.
  • 4. The word Burial, being buried in Bap­tism.

Answer. A man would suppose that this plea were good, but it seems not pleasing to Mr. Harrison. For,

1. He saith, we say the word baptizing in Greek signifies to be Dipped: They say, to bap­tize in English is to dip: And what doth he say to that? And so there is the English of English. This is a meer Quibble, for baptize is from baptizo, and is not originally an English Word, and by his good favour there is (if he will have it so) other English for it, viz. to dip or plunge, &c. and whether he will or no, we believe that to be the signification of the word, and doubt not to make it appear.

Mr. H. Well, (saith he) but let us enquire what these words, [...], signifie in the Original Language: [...] comes indeed from [...], to dip or plunge.

Answ. I wish Mr. H. would do by himself in this, as he saith he will do by Mr. Stephens his Syllogistical Frame, stand by it: For if the word [...] signifies to dip or plunge, how comes its derivatives to signifie otherwise? Bapto is the Theme or Root from whence all the other are derived, and the Branches certainly are of the same nature with the Root. What wise man expects Apples to grow upon an Oak, or Grapes from Thorns, or Figs from Thistles? And it's as strange to think, that the genuine and proper [Page 44]derivatives of Bapto, to dip or plunge, should signifie to sprinkle or scatter.

But in the very next words he saith, But it is seldom or never used for dipping in the New Testament.

Answ. It's a wonder that the Evangelists and Apostles, who were divinely inspired, should feldom or never use a word in its right signi­fication. Pray let Mr. H. either retract this unwary assertion, or else acquit himself from blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, if he knows how. It's a dangerous thing to charge the Ho­ly Pen-men at this rate: But seeing he saith, it's seldom or never so used in the New-Testa­ment, it implies that it's so used by other Au­thors; Why doth he not tell us who they are? that we may apply to them for the right use of words, and not any longer be deceived by the Pen-men of the Scripture. Doth he not see what a Trifler he is about divine things, and what horrid consequences do attend such a frothy way of arguing? Can he believe him­self? I do not think it possible.

But, saith he, though it be derived of a word that signifies to dip, it does not follow it sig­nifies so.

Answ. [...], Baptizo, is the word he in­tends, or nothing; for himself puts that down, and that must be the it he means; and tells us, it's never rendred to dip in all the New Te­stament. Nay, further, (he saith) it's not yet proved that it ever signifies dipping in all the New Testament. Now seeing he hath mentio­ned the Learned Leigh, in his Critica Sacra, and prefaced it with these words, Instar omnia, in [Page 45]the stead of all, I will examine his Author; These are his Words, [...], Baptizo, the word Baptize, (notwithstanding what he cites out of Dr. Featly) he declares to be derived from [...], Bapto, Tingo, to dip or plunge into the Water, and signifieth primarily such a kind of washing as is used in Bucks, where Linnen is plunged and dipt. Now if Mr. H. doth not know how they use to order their Linnen when they wash Bucks, let him ask the good women in the Countrey, and they will inform him, that they do not sprinkle a little water only upon their Cloaths, but cover them all over with it. And again, saith the Learned Leigh, the native and proper signification of it is, to dip into Water, or to plunge under Wa­ter; and quotes several Places in the New Te­stament where it's so used; as John 3.22, 23. Mat. 3.16. Acts 8.38. Again, for the word [...], Baptisma, he saith it is dipping into Water, and [...], Baptismos, Mersionem sig­nificat in aquam: It signifies to be drowned, or overwhelmed in the Water. He further saith, That it appeareth from the Notation and Ety­mology of the word it self, what was the cu­stom of administring Baptism in the beginning, whereas we now have rather Rantism (that is, Sprinkling) in the stead of Baptism: Wherefore he further tells us, that we might not be deceived by a fallacious use of some latter Authors, as if less than dipping the whole Body under Wa­ter were intended, when they use the word wash, or washing, in the stead of baptizing; Neque vero [...], significat lavare, nisi à conse­quenti: Nam propriè declarat tingendi causâ im­mergere: [Page 46]Neither indeed doth the word Baptizein signifie to wash, except only by consequence.

For it properly declares they are to be plung­ed under water, as things are that they may be dyed. Again, Siquidem proprie baptismos est im­mersio, intinctio; Baptismos is properly a dipping, a dying. And Lastly, He saith, [...], Intin­gor, Dipt; For which he quotes Rev. 19.13. He hath his Vesture dipt in blood: And concludes thus, it is taken from the Dyers Vatt, and is a dying, or giving a fresh colour, and not a bare washing only, whence cometh Baptism. So that you may see how fairly he is confuted out of his own Author.

We will now examine another of his Authors, Schrevelius, as published with many additions by the Famous Linguist Mr. William Robertson, En­tuled Cornelij Schrevelij, Lexicon manuale Graco-Latinum, copiosissime Adauctum. [...], Bapto, Intingo, Mergo, Lavo, hine [...], Baptizo, idem Baptismos & Baptisma, &c. all which signifie to dye, to dip or plunge, but not one word of sprinkling so much as mentioned: And there was was a very good reason fet it, because he tells us there is another word in the Greek to sig­nifie that by; I shall give it you from the same Author, [...], Rantizo, Aspergo, to sprinkle, [...], Rantismos, Aspersio, Sprinkling; and Rantisma the same. So that you may see the words are as different in the Greek as they are in se­veral other Languages, and are as discernable as they are in English: And every English Rea­der knows there is a vast difference in the Action signified by dipping, and that signified by sprink­ling. Sprinkling is not Dipping, nor [...] [Page 47]is not [...]; and seeing the Spirit of God uses two Words to signifie two different actions, it would be great presumption in us to confound them. Alstedius in his Lexicon Theologicum, saith, [...], tantum significat immergere, non lavare, nisi ex consequenti; that Baptizein signifies on­ly to dip, plunge, or drown, and not to wash, except by consequence. Besides, as I have no­ted in my Epistle concerning Baptism, that this sence is so well understood, however it comes about that Mr. H. is so great a stranger to it, that every School-boy in the Greek Grammar can tell you, that [...] is there rendred mergo, immergo, to dip, to plunge or overwhelm, and that all its Derivatives are used in the same sence.

I could give you multitudes of Instances to prove, that the right way of baptizing is by dipping. Mr. John Gosnold in his excellent Trea­tise of the Doctrine of Baptisms, saith, The word [...], Baptizo, in its proper and na­tive signification is to dip: This (saith he) the Learned in all Ages, and all Lexicous or Dictionaries do acknowledge; nor can we find by the most diligent search, that 'tis otherwise accepted by any Author whatsoever, excepting some very few of late.

He hath there given us divers Instances from men of good Authority for Learning (as he saith) in all Nations, some of them I shall re­cite.

Hugo Grotius, as Learned a man as any our latter Age hath afforded, saith, the word signifies to dip under water. Bishop Ʋsher, in his Body of Divinity, saith the same: As also Dr. Ames, [Page 48]in his Marrow of Divinity, Book 1. Chap. 40. As also Mr. Perkins.

Ball's Catechism hath it, washed by dipping. Mr. Leigh in his Critica sacra on the New Te­stament, the last and best of this kind, saith, The native and proper signification of the Verb is to dip into water, or to plunge under Water, and of the substantive dipping into Water: So also Wilson's Dictionary. The Dutch Transla­tion, according to their Language, reads for John the Baptist, John the Dipper, and for he bap­tized them, he dipped them: And the Com­mon-Prayer Book prescribes Dipping as the best way for the manner of the performance of this Ordinance, and always places it first, The Priest shall dip, &c.

So likewise Daniel Rogers, a famous English Writer, in his Treatise of the two Sacraments, &c. Part 1. Chap. 5. hath these Words, It ought to be the Churches part to cleave to the Insti­tution, which is dipping; especially it not being left arbitrary by our Church, to the discretion of the Minister, but required to dip, or dive: That he betrays the Church, whose Officer he is, to a disorder'd Error, if he cleave not to the Institution, which is to dip.

And this (saith he) I so aver, as thinking it exceeding material to the Ordinance, and no slight thing; yea, which Antiquity constantly, and without exceeption of Countries, hot or cold, witnesses unto; and especially the constant word of the Holy Ghost, first and last appro­veth, as a Learned Critick upon Mat. 3.11. hath noted, to wit Causabon. And he further saith, I doubt not but contrary to our Churches inten­tion, [Page 49]this Error having once crept in, is main­tained still by the carnal ease of such, as looking more at themselves than at God, stretch the Li­berty of the Church in this case deeper and fur­ther than either the Church her self would, or the solemness of this Sacrament may well and safely admit. I speak this, (saith he) as desiring such as it concerns, in their places, to look to their Duty in this behalf. Afterward he further saith, I confess my self unconvinced by Demonstration of Scripture, for Infants sprinkling. Thus you see here is a Cloud of Witnesses to prove that baptizing was, and ought to be, by dipping or plunging the whole Body under Water. And I am perswaded, there was not one of these but understood the Etymology of the Greek word Baptizo, as well as Mr. Harrison; and yet they all agree, that Dipping is the right manner of baptizing.

But Mr. H. is pleased to tell us, as tho' our Translators had never rendred the Word to dip, or that it signified dipping in all the New Testa­ment, pag. 29.

Answ. I will prove, that in divers places, where there was nothing of the stress of the Controversy depending, they have so rendred it, as I have given a plain and full Account in my Epistle con­cerning Baptism, to which I refer you; as Rev. 19.13. Matt. 26.23. Luke 16.24. John 13.26. it's translated dipt, dippeth, dip, dipped, as you will see by reading the places cited.

Now seeing he also tells us, to sprinkle, is a certain known sense of the Word, and that it signifies to baptize by sprinkling, page 29.

I answer, in the words of the learned Mr. Gos­nold, [Page 50]the Translators themselves never once in all the New Testament renderd it by sprinkling: There is another word for that, which they constantly translate to sprinkle, to wit, [...], Rantizo.

And the Translators do in effect render the word Baptizo as we do; for they translate it washing, Mark 7.4, 8. Luke 11.38. and Heb. 9.10. washed; which all know cannot be done by sprinkling, but must be by dipping or plun­ging, so much of it as is washed, into the Water: And where it is spoken of Persons, it can signify no less than the whole body being dipt thereir. And that this was the Practice in the first times of the Gospel, I will alledge two or three Testi­monies, and so pass on.

On Matt. 3.6. were baptized in Jordan: The Assemblies Annotations read it, dipping in Jordan: And Diodate saith, they were plunged in water. In Ver. 16. And Jesus when he was baptized, &c. Cajetan saith, Christ was baptized not by sprink­ling, but by dipping into the Water: And Lu­cas Brugensis upon the same place saith, The Party baptized went into the Water, as deep as his Thighs or Navel, the rest of his Body was dipt, not sprinkled.

Upon Acts 8.38, 39. And he baptized him, &c. The Assemblies Annotations saith, They were wont to dip the whole body: And Piscator on the place saith, The ancient manner of Baptism was, that the whole Body was dipt into the Water.

Mr. Mede, a great Antiquary, in his Diatribae, on Titus 3.5. saith, That there was no such thing as sprinkling used in Baptism, in the Apostles time, nor many Ages after them.

Calvin also upon John 3.22, 23. saith, From [Page 51]this place you may gather, that John and Christ administred Baptism by plunging the whole Body into the Water; and confesses, That the Church hath assumed this Liberty to her self of sprink­ling.

I might add many other Testimonies to prove this Truth, but I am tired with writing; and these I have already alledged are more than suffi­cient.

Now a man would think it were highly reason­able, that Mr. H. should give us some plain Evi­dence for his Rantism, or Sprinkling, to be Bap­tism, when I have given my self so much Trouble to satisfy his Curiosity: But he puts us off with a sham Pretence, without any Scripture Testimo­ny, either from the English Translation, or from the Greek.

His Pretence is this, That in 1 Cor. 10.2. it signifies to baptize by sprinkling; for all the World knows a Cloud doth but sprinkle.

Observe, I pray, how this Man deals with us: Doth the Text by him quoted, say, They were baptized by sprinling? Surely, No: There is not one word of sprinkling so much as mentioned.

In the next Page he abuses his Reader more, for there he tells him, that the Word Baptizo doth signify sprinkling; but then his Heart failing him in the Proof, he adds, or to baptize by sprinkling, 1 Cor. 10.2. They were all (Insants as well as grown Persons) baptized by the Cloud.

There are two great Abuses he puts upon his unwary Reader: 1. He falsifies the Text; for in­stead of being baptized unto Moses in the Cloud, and in the Sea, he saith, by the Cloud. Doth [Page 52]he think the Apostle Paul, who was divinely in­spired, did not know how to use an apt word to express his meaning by, but he must be behold­ing to such a one as he to mend it for him? Had Mr. H. the like Advantage against us, we might have expected to have been sufficiently abused by his virulent Pen; but he shall see (by the Grace of God) that we have other wise learned Christ.

But 2dly. He tells us, They were all (Infants as well as grown Persons) baptized.

Who told him so? He is a bold Man, to ven­ture upon adding to the Word of God. Let us read the words, and then you will see there is not the least mention of Infants in the Text: But his Design was, to prove Infants the Sub­jects, as well as sprinkling the manner of Baptism. 1 Cor. 10.1, 2, 3, 4. Moreover, Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our Fathers were under the Cloud, and all passed through the Sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the Cloud, and in the Sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ: But with many of them God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the Wil­derness.

Now let us see if we can (by Gods Assistance) find out the Mind of the Spirit in these words:

1. The Subjects are described, to wit, the Fa­thers: All our Fathers.

2. They are said to eat spiritual Meat, and drink spiritual Drink, to drink of Chirst, the Rock of Ages.

3. That from hence it will manifestly appear, That all the Persons said to be Baptised unto Mo­ses, &c. were true Beleivers; because none can eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his Blood, but such that are united to him by Faith; John 6.32, 33, 34, 35, 36. I shall only recite part of the words, you may read the rest at your leisure; And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of Life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that be­lieveth on me shall never thirst, &c. See also from Ver. 47. to Ver. 59. So that it appears from hence, That it was only the Believers in Christ, among that mixt multitude, that were the Persons intended.

But 4ly. With many of them God was not well pleased, for they were overthrown in the Wilder­ness: Now let us examine who those were whose Carkasses fell in the Wilderness: In Numb. 14.22. Because all those Men which have seen my glory, and my Miracles which I did in Egypt, and in the Wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkned to my voice, surely they shall not see the land, &c. V. 29. Your Carkasses shall fall in this Wilderness, and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, &c. save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun: Here you see who they were whose Carkasses fell in the Wilderness, who are called Fathers, viz. The men among them from Twenty years old and upward; they sinned, they murmered, they tempted Christ, &c. and their Carkasses fell in the Wilderness: From whence the Apostle cautions these Saints at Corinth to be warned by their Example, V. 12. Wherefore let him that thinketh he stands, take heed least he fall.

But, saith Mr. H. Infants as well as grown Persons.

I pray therefore see what is written from the mouth of God, Numb. 14.31, 32. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised: But as for you, your Carkasses they shall fall in this Wilderness.

From whence I infer, That if Baptism were here caken for an Ordinance administred by Mo­ses, the Subjects of it, as expressed by the Apostle, were Fathers; and from that of Numbers, where we are told what they were, They are called men, and said to be twenty years old and upward. So that you may see Mr. H. makes strange work in his Interpretation of Scripture, for he turns Men into Infants.

But 2ly. If it must be so taken as an Ordinance, then Believers in Christ are the only Subjects of it: For they drank of that Spiritual Rock that fol­lowed them, and that Rock was Christ.

But, saith Mr. H. They were Baptised by sprink­ling, for they were all Baptised by the Cloud; and a Cloud doth but sprinkle, or pour out water, not Dip.

What he means by a Cloud dipping, I know not; but when he hath falsified the Text, by put­ting in by, in the room of in, he had a mind to accommodate it to his own Fancy.

But why Mr. H. fancies that they were sprink­led by the Cloud, I cannot tell, except it be that he prefers his own Imaginations before the written Word. I would ask this Gentleman a few Questi­ons:

1. How he knows there was Water in this Cloud?

If he shall say, that all Clouds have Water in them, that I must deny: Besides other Reasons that might perhaps be assigned, I shall offer this in Evidence, That in the Epistle of Jude, ver. 12. we read of Clouds without Water, and how doth he know but this might be such a Cloud?

2ly. If this Cloud had Water in it, How will he be able to prove, that it dropped upon the Children of Israel, whilst they were passing through the Sea? For I am sure the Scripture saith not one word of it.

3ly. If he will but consider the account that is given of this Cloud in Numb. 14.14. Exod. 13.21.22. whether he will not find that this which is called the Pillar of a Cloud, was not the Token of God's Presence, as a Guide to them by day, as the Pillar of Fire was by night? And whether this was not a miraculous manifestation of God's Favour to them, and not a common natural cloud? see Exod. 14.21, 29. Chap. 15.8. Psalm 106.9. Now these places assure us they went thro' the midst of the Sea, as on dry Land, and the Wa­ters were a Wall unto them, on the right hand and on the left: Pray how had it been dry Land, if it had rained upon them all the time they passed thro'? Compare but this with Psalm 105.39. He spread a Cloud for a Covering, &c.

4ly. Seeing the word in 1 Cor. 10.2. is [...], whether it being here used in the passive form, it may not properly be read thus, They were all overwhelmed unto Moses in the Cloud, and in the Sea, as they must needs be when the Cloud covered them, and the Waters were a [Page 56]Wall unto them, on the right hand and on the left: So that the main design of the Apostle, among other Mercies of God bestowed upon that People, is to commemorate that great and won­derful deliverance at the Red Sea, and then to shew us what an ungrateful People they were, thus to sin against him, and to cause him for their sins to destroy them in the Wilderness. And if this be the Scope of the place, (as I believe it is) that so we might be warned by their fall, to avoid falling into Apostacy against God, as they did; and had our translators so rendred the word, as it imports in our English Tongue, no Man would ever have dreamt of an Ordinance of Bap­tism from this Text.

If notwithstanding all that I have said upon the Text, Mr. H. will still insist upon it, that it was a Baptism, and that by sprinkling, I shall op­pose thereto the Dutch Translators, to shew him their Opinion to the contrary; who being Pres­byterians, their words may possibly have the great­er force upon his Understanding: They read it thus, Ende alle in Mosen gedoopt Zin, And they were all dipt unto Moses: So that you may see the Learned Men in Holland, of his own perswa­sion, do directly contradict what he saith.

I will only offer one Consideration more, and so pass it, viz. That by the same Argument that in the word all their Infants were included, their Cattle were included also; for they all passed un­der the Cloud, and thro' the Sea, as well as their Little Ones; for it is written Exod, 10.26. Our Cattle also shall go with us, there shall not a hoof be lest behind: And altho' the Papists are for bap­tizing of Bells, I hope Mr. H. will not be also [Page 57]for baptizing of Cattle, even the Beasts of the field: But let him avoid the consequence if he can, in case it be not restrained to the Fathers, as in the Text.

The next thing Mr. H. insists upon, is, That there are three sorts of Baptism, that of Water, that of the Spirit, and that of Afflictions; to which I concede: And whereas he saith, it's ex­pressed by one Greek Word, I do also agree; but that those three (as he saith) are but one Bap­tism, that I deny: He is the first that I ever knew affirm it.

But pray Sir consider what you say; Is Water the Spirit and Fire. Is Affliction the Spirit, or Water Affliction, or Fire Water? Take it which way you will, I believe you will find it attended with difficulties. Indeed Sir it's one of the most in­tricate Metaphors that you have yet sported your self with in your whole Book; and if you under­stand it no better than I do, you might have for­bore to acquaint the World with the conceited fineness of the thought.

But, Sir, I suppose I may have the same liber­ty to give you my thoughts, as you had to impart yours.

The Text you have brought to prove that these three Baptisms are but one, and exprest by one word, is Eph. 4.5. One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism: How this proves that those three Baptisms are but one Baptism, I see not. Sir, you are very unhappy in one thing, to lay down Assertions, and when you come to prove it, you urge such Texts that do not conclude the thing in Question; but altho' this doth not prove three to be one, and so afford us a new sort of Trinity, [Page 58]I will not be so ungentile as not to give you my thoughts upon the Text, before I pass it.

There is a threefold Baptism spoken of in the New Testament, viz. That of Water, that of Affliction, and that of the Spirit; and yet the Apostle here speaks after this manner, one Bap­tism, as there is one Lord, one God, &c. Now my thoughts are these, That it is Water-bap­tism only that is here intended. And my Rea­son is this, because, to speak properly, there is no other real baptism; for the other two are figurative and metaphorical.

But besides, The Apostle is there speaking of those Believers as incorporated into one body, and as having been called into one hope of their calling, having Christ for their one Lord, and one Faith to unite them to this one Lord, and one Baptism to make them visible Members of this one body, the Church, which Mr. H. owns to be an initiating Ordinance; and God as their one common Father, to supply all their wants; and that these Persons that were members of this Church, were baptized with water upon believing, you may see Acts 19. beginning. And this seems to me the most probable sense of those words, One Baptism.

Now that it is a real Baptism, is evident: For as the word signifies to dip, plunge, or over­whelm them in the water, and as it signifies the Burial and Resurrection of Christ, so in re­spect of the thing done it's a real act; for that every person, who is truly baptized, (as I have shewed above) is plunged into the water, and also raised up again out of the water, the thing is really performed: But that of Affliction is only [Page 59]metaphorical, alluding to this of water, as like­wise also that of the Spirit and of Fire.

But perhaps Mr. H. may imagine that to be the Baptism of Affliction which is not, and there­fore let us hear what he saith about it. As to the Baptism of Affliction, saith he, some soffer more, some less; some suffer lighter crosses, as Mocks, &c. some loss of goods and liberty, others Death; when he hath said this, he then delivers his Opinion about it in these words: Now he that suffers least for Christ in a Christian man­ner, doth as truly partake of the Baptism of Afflictions as he that suffers most. Now sup­pose I deny this, (as I must) how doth he prove it? why he quotes no Text here, but in the foregoing page, Mark 10.39. Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of, and with the baptism that I am baptized withall shall ye be baptized. That this is the Baptism of Affliction I own.

We must now enquire what this hath a prin­cipal respect unto, for there is something more than common intended in these words: In Luke 12.50. our Saviour saith, I have a Baptism to be baptized withall, and how am I strained till it be accomplished? Now this can be no other than that Death and bitter Agony he was to undergo for our sins, that he might bring us to Glory: And by his prediction to his Disciples in Mark 10.39. he foretold their deaths also for his sake: Now as a Person that is baptized in wa­ter is overwhelmed therewith, even so that bitter Agony our Lord endured in the Garden, and upon the Cross, when his Soul was exceeding sor­rowful, even unto death, before wicked men had so much as laid their hands upon him, it pleased the [Page 60]Lord so to bruise him, and put him to grief, that his sweat was as it were drops, or clotters of blood falling down to the ground. And when he was upon the Cross, how did he cry out by reason of that sorrow that overwhelm'd his Soul, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me! And what great torture some of the blessed Martyrs have endured is not unknown. This therefore I take to be meaning of those words.

I will close this in the words of a Learned Protestant Writer, J. G. I shall (saith he) say no more of this Baptism, but only leave this Note, That every suffering is not the Baptism of suffering, but only great and deep sufferings unto blood and death. Hence the Ancients call it the Baptism of Blood, in opposition to a lesser degree or measure of suffering, being dip­ped and plunged into afflictions: So Wilson's Dictionary. And still this carries the significati­on of the Word with it.

Some conceive this phrase to be borrowed from such places in the Old Testament as these, Psal. 42.7. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy water spouts, all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me: Psal. 69.1, 2. Save me, O God, for the waters are come in unto my Soul! I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing, I am come into deep wa­ters, where the floods overflow me: Psal. 88.7. Thy wrath lyeth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves, Selah: Ezekiel 26.19. For thus saith the Lord God, when I shall make thee a desolate City, like the Cities that are not in­habited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee.

In the next place Mr. H. proceeds to speak [Page 61]of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and of Fire, for which he cites Mat. 3.11. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

Now I perceive Mr. H. is as much mistaken in the true Notion about this Baptism as he is in the other two; and indeed 'tis common for one Error to follow another at the heels. What need therefore have Christians in gene­ral, and more especially those that are Ministers, who are Guides to others, to be very cautious of admitting any thing for truth, but what they have good Authority for from the Word of God. The Lord pour out of his Spirit, to give us more light, and to make us all sincere.

I find by his citing these Texts in Isa. 52.15. Ezek. 36.25. and Heb. 10.22. that it is his Opinon, That Regeneration wrought in the Soul by the Spirit, is the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and of Fire: For, (saith he) the giving of the Spirit is expressed by sprinkling.

Now for my part, I am quite of another mind; for as I do not believe that any were baptized with that Baptism from the beginning of the World to the coming of the Messiah, so nei­ther do I think that any have been baptized with it, since the miraculous Gifts of the Spirit did cease after the Apostle's days.

And to make it appear, that it's more than only the sanctifying Graces of the Spirit, I might recite the Opinions of divers learned Men, I shall content my self with what is already pre­pared to my Hand by a Learned Pen, whose Words are these, That this Phrase hath a further meaning in it; see Wilson's Dictionary: Also the Learned Cameron and Dr. Hammond on this place, [Page 62] viz. Mat. 3.11. who both refer, and that rightly, this for the further opening of it, unto Acts 2.3, 4. There appeared unto them cloven Tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other Tongues, as the Spirit gave them ut­terance: So that this Baptism of Fire hath clearly reference unto, and was fulfilled in this extra­ordinary appearance of the Spirit like as of fire. That this was the Baptism of the Spirit promised, Mat. 3. and Luke 3. appears further by Acts 1.4, 5. The Apostles being assembled toge­ther, Christ commanded them that they should not depart from Hierusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which (saith he) ye have heard of me: For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence: Which was accordingly fulfilled, Acts 2. See also Acts 11.15, 16. the Case of Cornelius, as reported by Peter; As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as on us at the beginning: (viz. in Acts 2. before-mentioned) Then remembred I the Word of the Lord, how that he said, John in­deed baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

This Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire, is first called a pouring out of the Spirit in the Old, as in Joel 2.28, 29. and the Baptism thereof in the New Testament, Acts 2. as borrowing its phrase from the Baptism of Water, Mat. 3.11. still carrying the signification of the word with it; both terms, to wit, a pouring forth of the Spirit and Baptism, in opposition to a sprinkling or dropping of the Spirit, in the or­dinary measures thereof.

Moreover, The account we have of it Acts 2.2. proves it, And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of à rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting: And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them, and they were all fil­led with the Holy Ghost, &c.

From whence I observe the resemblance it had to the Baptism of Water: For, 1. They were filled with it. 2. It sat upon each of them. 3. The House was filled therewith: So that it was not only about them, but it covered or over­whelm'd them, even as the water doth in Bap­tism. 4. All that were baptized with this Bap­tism had the Gift of Tongues. 5. It is to be observed, that the Spirit was not thus given be­fore: For they were all amazed at it, and said one to another, what meaneth this? Ver. 12. and this did agree with that promise of our Savi­our, John 7.37, &c. This spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

From hence I infer, It could not be the or­dinary Gifts of the Spirit, with the sanctifying Graces thereof, for this the Apostle had before his death; but such an eminent pouring forth, which is called the Baptism of the Spirit, by which they received the Gift of Tongues and Prophesie; by which they were endued with power from on high, to execute their Masters Commission, Mat. 28.19, 20. & Mark 16.15. To go into all the World, and preach the Gospel to every Creature: This they did not receive till that wonderful pouring of it out upon the day [Page 64]of Pentecost, Acts 2. it was a Gift reserved till that time, to put a Glory upon the Messiah, in the presence of those who had been his Mur­derers.

By this time I hope Mr. H. is satisfied of his Ignorance about points of such Importance as these are: I wish with all my Soul that he were a Man of that meekness of Spirit which he ought to be, so as to be willing to learn the truth as it is in Jesus; but I very much doubt it, because he hath took no more notice of what Mr. Collins had told him, but to persist in his Errors after he was detected so manifestly, both by Scrip­ture and strength of solid arguing: And par­cularly in the case of John's baptizing at Aenon, near to Salem, because there was much water. And notwithstanding he was so sharply rebu­ked for contradicting the Spirit of God, yet he goes on with a confidence not befitting a sincere Christian, much less one that takes upon him to be a Guide to others. I shall not there­fore trouble the Reader with his foolish Repe­titions, having given a sufficient Answer to all that he hath said, or can say about it, but shall now take him to task for his abusive Language and scurrilous Reflections upon those who are better than himself. And altho' he seems to glory in that which should have been his shame, (and will be, if ever God please to open the Eyes of his Understanding, so as to bring him to the knowledge of the truth) by putting of it in the front of his Book, yet I have chosen that last, as being to me an unpleasant and strange Work.

CHAP. VI. Being an Account of what is contained in his first Chapter, pag. 11. concerning his Ca­lumnies against the Baptists.

HIs first Chapter is a piece of shameful, scan­dalous Railery, not fit to be committed to the Press; but remembring the Saying of the wise Man, Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit, I have thought fit to give some Answer, altho' I expect nothing but unsuitable returns from Mr. H. for my kind­ness, but it may thro' the blessing of God be of use to others.

Anabaptism (saith he) is but of yesterday, and all the Antiquity it can lay claim to is not two hundred years; the first Anabaptist in the World being one Nicholas Stock, or Stork, a German, and a blasphemous Heretick, who about the Year 1521. or 1522. began to disgorge his malice against the baptizing of Infants, and that dipping was the only way of baptizing.

Now suppose this should not be true, how finely were the World fitted with such an Author? That it is not true, I thus prove:

1. That there were Persons in the World of our Perswasion more than 1600 Years agoe, I have already proved: John, who dipped our Sa­viour, and many others; that this Holy Prophet was a blasphemous Heretick, will be hard [Page 66]for him to prove. Christ himself commanded Believers to be baptized, and his Apostles pra­ctised it in Obedience thereunto: I hope these were not also blasphemous Hereticks.

2. I can prove, and that by an Imperial Edict that was issued forth against them by that name, That in the time of Theodosius and Honorius, Anno 413. they were in that called Anabaptists, in­tending thereby such who maintained the same Opinions with the Baptists in this Age, and this is above 1200 years agoe. See the Bloody Theater, &c.

The same Author gives an account of divers of them, that in every Age have been in the same pro­fession of Baptism as we are, and who have suf­fered for that cause in every Century, from the time of Christ until now.

That you may have a small Tast of their cruel usage, I will give you the words of one Edict against them in the Reign of the Emperour Charles the fifth, Anno 1535. ‘That all those who had been baptized in their Infancy, if they should after­wards be baptized again upon their profession of Repentance and Faith, that you punish them with cruel deaths, &c. I hope this is enough to stop this clamour against us.

But if I were minded to give him Lex talionis, I might tell him that Presbytery hath no more ancient date than about the time he mentions, for I take Calvin to be the first Founder of their Sect. He ought therefore to blot out Stock, (if there ever was such a Man) and put in Cal­vin, that bloody Persecutor, who burnt Serve­tus alive, meerly for some difference in Opinion about matters of Religion; and yet this is the Man you reverence and adore.

But he hath not done with him yet; for, saith he, in the Carkass of this unclean Beast was bred a multitude of stinging Insects, such as Muncer, Mat­thias, Kniperdoling, John of Leyden, Michael Ser­vetus, John Hut, David George, Socinus, &c. I may very fairly deny some of these Men to be admitted; for (among others) I never yet knew Socinus to be reckoned an Anabaptist, (as he calls them.)

Now because John of Leyden is the man that at every turn our Enemies take occasion to up­braid us with, I shall take this occasion to give you the true History of that Action, as I find it recorded in that famous History, written by Tileman Jan Van Braght, Printed at Amsterdam, Anno 1685. Entituled, The Bloody Theatre, or The Martyrs Mirrour of the Baptists Perswasion, &c. Wherein is contained an Historical De­scription (collected out of divers Authentick Chronicles, Memoirs and Testimonies) of those Holy Martyrs of the Baptists Perswasion, that have suffered for the Cause of Baptism in par­ticular, or for the Testimony of Christ in gene­ral, in every Century, from the time of Christ until now: As also, concerning Holy Baptism it self; with an account of those that have been found in the Faith and Practice thereof, from the beginning of the Gospel unto this Age. So that here is a constant Succession of those of our Perswasion proved from Authentick Testimo­nies, which no other Protestants can produce for themselves, and the practice of their Church­es, wherein they differ from us. And for Pres­bytery, themselves know it is but of yesterday, [Page 68] Calvin being the first Founder of it, who lived but in the last Century.

He reports the matter thus, That those de­structive and wicked practices that were acted at Munster, about the Year 1534. cannot (ac­cording to truth) be charged upon the Baptists, because they themselves were innocent, and thro' fear did fly from those ravenous birds of Prey, leaving their Goods behind them, and hid them­selves in Rocks and Hollow Trees, and were necessitated to keep themselves conceal'd in Holes and private Places during that time: But it must be charged upon the Score of some Lutheran Ministers, &c.

The truth therefore of the matter, as we find it in the Writings of divers credible Authors, stands thus:

Anno 1532. One Bernard Rotman, a Lutheran Preacher at Munster, in the Church of St. Maurice, began to preach against the Popish Doctrines; which the Papists being informed of, they pre­vailed with him for a Summ of Money to de­part.

But having repented himself thereof, after some Months he returned again, and having gi­ven Notice before-hand to divers principal In­habitants of the City of Munster, he had a Pulpit erected for him in the Portal of the Church, and fought also to have the Church opened for the greater promoting of his Doctrine; and withal told them, if it were not granted, he would procure it to be done by force, &c.

Now John of Leyden had no hand at all in any of these Disturbances, neither as the Be­ginner nor Promoter thereof; for as yet he had not been at Munster.

But upon the 14th. of February, 1533. (which was the year following) John of Leyden came thither, a strange, selfish and opinionative Man; who altho' he might stand up for Believers Bap­tism, this we are sure of, he differ'd in almost all other points with those of the Baptist Per­swasion: And after several Disputations he tells us, that among other things Bernard Rotman taught John of Leyden this Opinion, That it is lawful for Men not only to defend, but also to propagate their Religion by Force and Arms. In the end, the fore-named Persons with other Lutherans, (some of which agreed with John of Leyden in the point of Baptism) plot­ted together to make a full Reformation in Re­ligion by force, and to make their beginning in Munster.

And when he hath told us of their opposition they made against the Bishop of Munster, and the Papists with him, and how they were subdu'd by the Munsterians, he concludes thus;

This is indeed that Tragedy which was acted at Munster, which was not contrived and ma­naged by those called Anabaptists; but the first rise of it must be charged upon the Lutherans, and in particular Bernard Rotman and his Allies.

But had the Lutherans succeeded in their de­signed Reformation, they would not have been ashamed thereof, but would have much gloried in the Action, and not have given the Honour of it to the Anabaptists; whereupon was for­merly made this following Verse in Dutch, which I have rendred into English.

If that a Reformation had
Succeeded by this Fact,
No Anabaptist should have had
The Honour of this Act:
But Luther, or some other Man,
Whom Rotman had ador'd,
Must then have been advanc'd on high,
And crowned as a Lord.

The like Account may be seen in a Treatise, Entituled, The profundity of Innocence; Printed at Haerlem, Anno 1631. Also in the annexed Histo­ry of the Martyrs, before the Introduction, with the divers Attestations of Bernard Rotman, Godfrey Stralensis, Rullius, and others, the De­fenders of Lutheranism at Munster; which being found written under their own hands, pre­sently after this Action, were printed and pub­lished, &c.

I could say more about it, but this may suffice, to convince Mr. H. how shamefully he hath abused us in this matter; and therefore I may spare my pains to return answers to all his particu­lar abusive Reflections.

Having done with the Story of John of Ley­den, I come now to consider what he saith of the rest of them, whose Names he hath affixt; They (saith he) fancying themselves inspired from above, most confidently uttered their He­retical blasphemi [...]; which were,

  • 1. That no Infant ought to be baptized.
  • 2. None were rightly baptized but such as were dipped.

These two plain and undeniable Truths this [Page 71]Man hath the confidence to call Heretical Blas­phemies: You may guess by this, what a lati­tude he allows himself in the exercise of Billings­gate Rhetorick.

Pray Sir consider; Suppose these two were Errors, yet they could not be Heresies, nor Blas­phemies: For if they are so, you have declared your self for Communion with Hereticks and Blasphemers: For in Part 2. page 50. speaking of the particular Baptists, you say, you can bear with them, (in these two points) and give them the right hand of Fellowship, as Brethren, if they have no other Errors: Let them but be like-minded to me, and the Peace and Quiet of the Church will never be interrupted by ei­ther of us. Now the Apostle saith, Titus 3.10, 11. Him that is an Heretick, after the first and second admonition, reject: For he that is such, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned in him­self: And of Hymeneus and Alexander, (he saith) whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme, 1 Tim. 1.20. But if Mr. H. be contrary to himself, it's no wonder to find him so to the blessed Apostle.

3ly. Mr. H. saith, That Magistrates were not to be suffered in the Church; No Christian ought be a Magistrate.

Answ. I know not what he means by Magi­strates in the Church, nor himself neither; there is no such thing in Rerum Natura: But suppose some Christians have scrupled the lawfulness thereof, and were willing to deny themselves therein, is this Heresie and Blasphemy?

4ly. That it was Unlawful to take an Oath.

Answ. Suppose it were so, that some of them [Page 72]did scruple it, he doth not shew his Loyalty to King Willam, by charging it as a blasphemous Heresie; for by Act of Parliament it's made law­ful for the People called Quakers, to give their Testimony without an Oath.

5. That there ought to be no difference be­tween the Clergy and Laity; that every one that hath Gifts might preach, and administer the Sacraments.

Answ. I fancy this Gentleman doth not know whence the word Clergy is derived; if he doth, he hath shewed his profound ignorance in this Assertion: I shall therefore inform him in what sence it's used in the New Testament, 1 Pet. 5.3. [...] is rendred by our Translators He­ritage; and that we may understand the true intent and meaning of the Apostle therein, read but the 1, 2, and 3. verses together, and you will find that he is speaking to the Elders or Mi­nisters, and that he is speaking of the Flock of God, over which he had made them Overseers; and that he applies the word [...], Clergy, or Heritage, to the People distinct from their Mi­nisters.

As to the second, That every one that hath Gifts may preach: I answer, If he means every one that hath received Gifts from God, to fit him for that work, it's certainly true: And if he or any other take upon them to preach without a Gift from God to qualifie them for that work, they certainly run before they are sent: For all Humane Authority, without Di­vine Ability, can never qualifie any for that Undertaking. But is this a blasphemous He­resie?

6ly. That there is no Original Sin.

Answ. If there be any sin in the World, it must have a beginning: If there be a second, there must be a first. Either he knows not what he talks of, or else I affirm there were no such Men in the World, neither of our perswasion or any other.

7. That Man hath Free-Will.

Answ. This Position was never denyed by any Mortal, either Heathen, Jew or Christian, that I know of: All Men agree, that Wicked Mens Wills are free to do evil, and the Wills of those who are regenerated and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, are free to do good: To will is present with me, Rom. 7.18.

8ly. That the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are not three distinct Persons, and in Nature and Essence one God: They made every Saint equal with Christ: That Christ is not God.

Answ. I believe this to be a false Accusation, and shall return it to the Father of Lyes, from whence it came.

9ly. They denyed that the Souls of the Godly or Wicked went to Heaven or Hell 'till the day of Judgment.

Answ. If there were any such, it shewed them to be Men of Weak Judgment, but not to be blasphemous Hereticks.

10ly. That the visible Church consists of those which are perfect, and of them only.

Answ. He would have done well to have proved his Assertion; and 'till he doth, I must return it upon him as a false accusation, pick'd up from some of our Lying Adversaries.

11ly. That Universities, Schools, and Humane Arts, ought not to be.

Answ. As he hath worded it, I do not be­lieve it to be true: For how they would have got a Livelyhood without being Tradesmen, and exercised in Humane Arts, I know not. And the former I believe to be as true as the latter, for 'tis the abuse of things, and not the use of them, that are to be complained of.

12ly. The Anabaptists, called Liberi Fratres, denyed the Scriptures to be the Word of God, and Singing of Psalms.

Answ. This is certainly a false accusation; for our Brethren have in all Ages made that the ground of their Separation from the false Church­es, that they did not walk according to the Will of God, prescribed in the Holy Scrip­tures, but set up the Inventions of Men in the room thereof. As for that of Singing of Psalms, they never denyed the practice of it, accord­ing to the Word of God, but they did, and still do deny the use of singing in Rhime, by a pre­stinted limited form, of all the people together, Saints and Sinners, because they have no Au­thority for it from the Word of God.

13ly. That a Man was not tyed to one Wife, therefore their Fairy King, John Becold, had fif­teen together.

Answ. Let this go as a false Accusation from whence it came; for by John Becold, he saith in the next page, was meant John of Leyden, and I am as well assured as I can be of a thing of this nature, that it's utterly false.

14ly. That none were to be owned as Chri­stians, or Churches of Christ, but themselves only,

Answ. If by Christians he means nominally so, they always allowed all to be such that pro­fessed the Christian Name; but if he means real Christians, they never owned any to be such, but what were so truly in the Judgment of Charity: And if by Churches he means, true constituted Churches, according to Christ's ap­pointment, then they could not believe any to be so besides themselves, unless they had at the same time believed themselves not to be so. But notwithstanding this, they have and do believe, that many persons are in the Love and Favour of God, and in a State of Salvation, whilst they hold the Head Christ Jesus, altho' they differ from them in some of the external parts of Worship.

15. That we must become as little Children, in Childish Actions; therefore they would play with Rattles, ride on Hobby-horses, and wallow in their own dung, in imitation of Children.

Answ. Can any serious Christian believe such an ill told Story as this? or can they think that Mr. H. believes himself? Certainly his Hearers must blush at such Folly as this in their Teacher, to utter such Nonsensical, unheard of Untruths, unless they have wholly given up their Reason to the conduct of a blind Guide, and pin their Faith (as the Romanists do) upon their Priests Sleeve. I hope the people of Potters Pury have more wit, than to give credit to such foolish and improbable stories as these are. But to deal plain­ly with you, I believe Mr. H. had got a Rattle in his Head, which hath made him so trouble­some among his Neighbours: And perhaps his playing with Rattles when he was young, hath hindred him from a serious Application of him­self [Page 76]to any thing but ratling and confused Noi­ses ever since, and from thence concludes others to be like himself.

But, 2dly. (saith he) They rid on Hobby-Horses: I know not but he might ride on a Hobby-Horse from his late Parochial Church to Potters-Pury, which might occasion him to think of a Hobby-Horse ever since. But to be serious, I rather take him by a figure in Rhetorick, to be a Hobby-Horse himself, than a solid grave Chri­stian, (not to say a Minister) that he should talk at this Hobby-Horse rate; if I may be al­lowed to use such a figure in speaking, accord­ing to his Example.

But, 3dly. (he saith.) They did wallow in their own Dung, in imitation of Children: It would tempt a Man to think, that either his Mother or Nurse were but ordinary House-wives, to suffer him so to wallow in his own Excrements, that all the Water in their Countrey could ne­ver wash it off; but that it should penetrate thro' the pores of his Skin, and get such en­trance into the secret recesses of his Heart and interior parts, and remain there till he wrote these two Treatises against the Baptists, and then vo­mit it forth against them in such a violent and unpresidented manner, as to infect all the people that come near him with the stence thereof; and then to charge his innocent Neighbours for having stinking breaths, when it's only the in­fection of the ambient air, occasioned by the breaking of his own Gall, and vomiting it forth against the Baptists. And for his Story, I must do by that as by the rest of his Lyes and Slan­ders against us, return them upon himself and his Lying Authors.

16. That Luther, and the Protestant Ministers, were worse than the Pope, Carnal Preachers, &c. with much more of the like kind.

Answ. He would have done well to have told us where these People lived, in what Book and page we might have found it: But to take all he saith upon his own ipse dixit, is more cre­dit than I will give to any Priest upon Earth, without other Evidence. I will sooner believe a Gentleman that writes about Divinity, than a Parson; because our Law hath provided, that no Man shall be a Witness in a cause wherein himself hath either profit or loss; and I doubt Mr. Harrison's Sallary tempts him to prevaricate at this egregious rate, either to gain or keep Proselites. But I need not wonder at this, for we read of such in the Scripture, of whom it's said, Their God is their Belly, their Glory is in their shame, they mind earthly things: And we find by woful Experience, too much of this verified in some of the Priests of our day.

But, (saith he) I would not have all these things charged upon our English Anabaptists.

Answ. We have no cause to thank him for that, because he knows that all their Neighbours among whom they live could easily confute him. But if he could do it, it's evident he would not spare us, after he hath poured out all the Ma­lice that Earth and Hell could furnish him with against us.

He further tells us, That in the Space of a few years Germany was filled with Anabap­tists.

Answ. I am sure, if they were such an Er­roneous Wicked People as he pretends then [Page 78]to be, they must be under the greatest Enchant­ment that ever Mortals were, for such multi­tudes to follow them as he speaks of: For none but such who had first abandoned Scripture and Reason, with all the Notions that serious Christi­ans ever had about Religion, could ever fall in with such Notorious and Nonsensical Practices as he talks of.

To conclude, (saith he) What shall we say to the Anabaptists, that dip and re-baptize them­selves? The first Anabaptist in Germany did so, and one Smith an English Man, that was a Mem­ber of Mr. Ainsworth's Congregation did so, be­cause they had none to do it for them, there being no Anabaptists before them.

Answ. If his Story about Fact be no truer than his reason he gives for it, I am sure 'tis all false, and a meer slander: But let us consider the matter distinctly.

1. Who baptized John the Baptist, who was the first Baptizer? Did he baptize himself? or was he baptized by another? If he was not baptized at all, then an unbaptized Person, did in the beginning of this Ordinance baptize multitudes: If he was baptized, it must be by himself, or some unbap­tized Person; so that if such a thing were done, it were not such a grievous Crime as he pre­tends.

But to proceed, If this be true, that there were none in England before Smith, what was the Rea­son that Mr. Harrison should tells us a story so contradictory to this, in page the 3d. of his 2d. part, That two Ships laden with Anabaptists escaped to England, where they have nested ever since, endeavouring to propagate Anabaptism.

Now observe, This story is told by him as acted presently upon the business of Munster, &c. Now if this Man was in Holland in Mr. Ainsworth's time, I am sure there was many Churches of Baptists in that Countrey, and that they had been before they were a state, as the Lords of Holland have testified in their Approbation of that famous Book, Entituled, The Bloody Theater, and in their Lordships Letter therein to the Lords of Switzerland, &c. And if Smith lived in England, then certainly some one of those two Ship Loads of Anabaptists he talks of, or their Successors, were in being; so that he needed not to have baptized himself for want of an Ad­ministrator: I must therefore return him this for answer, that such an improbable self-con­tradicting Story is not to be credited.

As to what he saith against the Honourable Collonel Danvers, I do affirm that neither Mr. Baxter, whose hand was not only against every Man that stood in his way, (altho' never so worthy) of whom the Learned and Judicious Dr. Owen, (whose Books Mr. Baxter was not worthy to carry after him) who had been Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, and lived and dyed a Zea­lous and Honest Independant, yet this most Cour­teous and Civil Gentleman could not escape the virulency of Mr. Baxter's Pen, as you may see in Vindiciae Anti-Baxterianae, lately published, with divers others whom he hath also abused: But, (as hath long been observed of that Man) there was in his writings no consistence, but Baxter wrote against Richard, and Richard against Bax­ter, and therefore what he hath said against Col­lonel Danvers, is not to be valued of a Rush; [Page 80]for those Testimonies he hath given, will stand good to the shame and reproach of all the Bax­terians in the World. But I will not trouble my self to answer a Man that will never be answered, but refer him to the Collonel's own answer to Mr. Baxter, at the end of his History of Christianity, where he hath fully confuted all Mr. Baxter's ridiculous and caufeless Cla­mours.

CHAP. VII. Being an Answer to those Errors which Mr. H. saith we are guilty of.

THere are six things which Mr. Harrison charges upon us, as condemned Heresies and Errors; which are as follows;

  • 1. The Anabaptists are very Erroneous in the Doctrine of Original Sin.
  • 2. That Christ dyed alike for all Men, and that all Persons in the World are by the death of Christ put into a capacity of Salvation.
  • 3. That God affords all Men universal and sufficient Grace, and consequently a power of Free-Will, to be saved if they will.
  • 4. That a Person truly justified and sancti­fied, and so a Branch in Christ, united to him, may yet fall away and be eternally damned.
  • 5. They disown all Ministers, Christians, and Churches of Christ, to be any Ministers, Church­es, or Christians at all, but only such as are gathered in their way, that is, by Dip­ping.
  • [Page 81]6. Their employing many weak, ignorant Men, to preach, that have Pride and Confidence e­nough to think themselves fit to teach others, who have yet more need to be taught themselves the very first Principles of Religion.

As to his first Charge, That we are very Er­roneous in the Doctrine of Original Sin, and that we plainly deny Original Sin; and for evidence quotes the Confession of Faith published almost forty years ago, and reprinted Anno 1691. and refers us to Articles the 2d. and 10th. I shall set down the whole Articles, that the Reader may see we do own Original Sin, notwithstand­ing his Clamour to the contrary.

Article 2d. That God in the beginning made Man upright, and put him into a state and condition of Glory, without the least mixture of misery, from which he by transgression fell, and so came into a miserable and mortal Estate, subject unto the first Death, Gen. 1.31. Eccles. 7.29. Gen. 2.17. and 3.17, 18, 19.

Article 10th. That all Children dying in In­fancy, having not actually transgressed against the Law of God in their Persons, are only sub­ject to the first death, which comes upon them by the sin of the first Adam, and not that any one of them (dying in that estate) shall suffer for Adam's sin eternal punishment in Hell, (which is the second death) for to such be­longs the Kingdom of Heaven, 1 Cor. 15.22. Mat. 19.14. Not daring to conclude with that uncharitable Opinion of others, who tho' they plead much for the bringing of Children into the Visible Church here on Earth by Baptism, yet nevertheless by their Doctrine, that Christ [Page 82]dyed but for some, shut a great part of them out of the Kingdom of Heaven for ever.

The great Quarrel he hath against this, is, because we will not allow their scriptureless and uncharitable Notion, that Infants of a span long are yelling in Hell, and that God made poor little innocent Babes on purpose to damn them; as some of the Calvinists affirm.

Now the reason why we reject this Doctrine, is, because it's no where so written in the Holy Scriptures: But we own Original Sin, as truly and fully as any Calvinist whatsoever.

But we must be falsly accused, only because we reject his blind and ignorant Notion about it, and will not send little sucking Babes to Hell by whole-sale, as he doth. The good Women that are his Hearers, can't choose but be mightily comforted with this News, (from the Pulpit and Press) and think it worth all the Money they or their Husbands give him for preaching, to hear him tell them, Beloved, If your Children dye in their Infancy, unless they are elected, I can assure you they shall go to Hell, and be punished there to all Eternity, for that they could never help: God hath so ordered it by his Se­cret Decree, unknown to me and all the World. Do you think God ever sent him of this Mes­sage? Especially when he tells you in his Book, he knows not who belongs to the Election of Grace.

Now Mr. H. might have been truly inform'd of this matter, if he had minded what Mr. Col­lins told him in page 35. of his Book, in answer to Mr. Mence and him, That one of the first Arguments of the Church of Rome for Infant-Baptism, [Page 83]is, which (I suppose) is Mr. Harrison's also, (if he knows what he is talking of) that it washes away Original Sin: We can, saith Mr. H. Collins, tell you of a better way of washing away Original Sin, namely, by the imputation of Christ's Righteousness to Infants dying in In­fancy. Add to this what Mr. Claridge saith, in his Epistle to the same Book; And here I would inform all the Readers of Mr. Mence's Book, that whereas he charges Mr. Collins for main­taining Infant-damning Doctrine, it is altogether a mistake; for Mr. Collins is rather inclined to think, That all dying Infants are saved by the imputed Righteousness of Christ.

Notwithstanding all this, and much more that hath been said before upon this Subject, he still goes on in his confident way of writing, and saith, he will prove, That all by Birth or Na­ture, are by the sin of Adam liable to the con­demnation of Hell by plain Scripture.

He is a bold man at asserting, but he common­ly fails in his Proof. Let us now examine those Scriptures he alledges for probation of this con­fident assertion, Gen. 2.17. In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely dye: Now this was the threatning, but in Gen. 3.17, 18, 19. we have the Sentence denounced against Adam, by God himself, which serves to explain the former threatning to be only the first Death, with its Concomitants; Cursed is the ground for thy sake, in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy Life: Thorns also and Thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the Herb of the field: In the sweat of thy Face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast [Page 84]thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return: Here you see, that what is called Death in the threatning, is called returning to the Ground, and unto Dust, in the Sentence, but not one word of punishment in Hell so much as intimated therein. As for the other Texts he mentions, they are no proofs of what he brings them for, and therefore I shall pass them, and proceed to his three Arguments.

Argu. 1. If Children need Regeneration and a Second Birth, before they can go to Heaven, then they are liable to Eternal as well as Tem­poral Death: But Children do need Regenera­tion, therefore, &c. John 3.3, 5. Except a man be born again, &c. Now it's plain Nicodemus understood our Saviour in this sence, by his answer; viz. not of Children newly born, but of adult Persons; for he saith, How can a man be born when he is old? But to answer directly to his Argument, I deny his Minor, and say, they do not need Regeneration and a second Birth, in the Sence there intended, before they can go to Heaven; and if they did, they were in a bad Case indeed, for they are not capable either of Repentance or Faith, both which are comprehended in those words, Except a Man be born again. Thus you see, when he should have brought a Text to have proved Infants must be born again, this only proves that a Person of grown years, a Man, must be born again.

Let him not imagine that I feign an Inter­pretation of my own, for Mr. Firmin, a great Pedo-baptist, saith, They must be regenerate, they must have Faith, &c. They who are re­generated [Page 85]have Faith and Repentance; all saved Infants are regenerated, therefore they have Faith and Repentance; they must be born of Water and of the Spirit, according to John 3.6. else there is no Heaven for them.

Now that God does cleanse dying Infants from all Impurity, and fits them for Heaven, I readi­ly grant: But this Regeneration they talk of from this Text, and apply to Infants, I posi­tively deny: And certain I am, if he had read those Quotations upon that Argument given by Mr. Claridge, he might have been sensible of this his Error before he had wrote this his 2d. part. Whether Infants have Faith or no, is a Question (saith Dr. Taylor) to be disputed by Persons that care not how much they say, and how little they prove; (which is the very case of Mr. Harrison) when he hath denyed them to have either personal and actual, or habitual Faith; he concludes thus, This strange Inven­tion is absolutely without Art, without Scrip­ture, Reason or Authority; but the men are to be excused, unless there were a better. And again, we desire (saith he) no more advantage in the World, (against such men) than that they are constrained to answer without Reve­lation, against Reason, Common-sence, and all the Experience in the World: Dr. Taylor's Liberty of Prophecy, page 240, 242.

Mr. H's 2d. Argum. is this, If Infants are not liable to the damnation of Hell for Adam's sin, then they may be saved without Christ, by vertue of the Covenant of Works: But, &c. This is a strange Assertion: What, can Infants be saved by Works, that are wholly uncapable to [Page 86]Perform any? this is meer trifling. But I shall deny the Consequence of his Major: For, If Infants by virtue of Adam's sin must return to the dust, and cannot raise themselves to life again, but must have remained in that state for ever, un­less Christ had come in the flesh, dyed and rose again, and by vertue of his Resurrection raised them again by his mighty Power, then it had been impossible for them to have been saved: So that it's a Non-sequitor; for altho' they are not condemned to eternal Punishment in Hell, yet there is a necessity for them to be saved by Christ, if ever they get to Heaven. But besides this, they stand in need of Christ to purifie their Natures from Original Corruption, as I have shewed above.

His 3d. Argu. is this, Such as are by Nature Children of Wrath, are liable to the Condem­nation of Hell; but all are so, therefore Infants; Eph. 2.1, 2, 3.

Answ. In this he hath dealt very unfairly, and neither like a Gentleman, nor a Scholar, for his Argument is not in due form.

For, 1. Infants are no where expressed but in the Conclusion.

2. He hath put the word all into the Minor, tho' he hath not told us what all he means: And in the major it's only such as are, &c.

I suppose he would have framed a Categori­cal Syilogism, if he had known how, and then it should have run thus,

All such as are by Nature Children of Wrath, are liable to the Condemnation of Hell.

All Infants are by Nature Children of Wrath, Ergo, All Infants are liable to the Condemna­tion [Page 87]of Hell; which is the thing I suppose he meant: And then I deny his minor Proposition, and let him prove it if he can.

As for his Text he brings for probation there­of, I deny that Infants are either expressed or intended therein: For the design of the Apostle in that place, is to set before them what a mi­serable condition they had been in before Con­version, by their own personal transgressions, viz. Dead in trespasses and sins, who in times past walked according to the course of this world, accord­ing to the prince of the power of the Air, the Spi­rit that now worketh in the Children of Disobedience: Among whom also we all had our Conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfiling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind, and were by nature, (i. e. by the corrupt and fleshly Inclinations that were within us) Children of wrath even as others: Meaning thereby other Gentiles, who were still in an unregenerate Estate, wallowing in their Iniquities.

So that as Infants are not here exprest, nei­ther can they be intended, as being free from all personal transgressions, and not capable to transact those Evils there spoken of.

I shall now offer some Reasons, why I do not believe that any Infants dying in their Infancy shall be tormented for ever in Hell-fire.

1. Because there is no such thing exprest ei­ther in the Threatning or Sentence, Gen. 2.17. Gen. 3.17, 18, 19. as I have already shewed.

2. Because God himself hath disclaimed such an Opinion as Erroneous, and declared the con­trary, Ezek. 18.2, 3, 4, 20.

1. Hear what the first Founder of your Sect, [Page 88]from whence you have your denomination, viz. John Calvin saith upon this Subject, speaking of all others besides the Elect; so many Nations of Men, together with their Infants, were in­volved without remedy in eternal punishment, by the fall of Adam, for no imaginable rea­son, but that so it seemed good in the sight of God; Calvin's Instit. l. 3. cap. 23. Sect. 7.

2. Hear what God saith in the fore-men­tioned place, The soul that sinneth shall dye; the Son shall not bear the iniquity of the Father; this must intend eternal punishment, for as to temporal punishment Children do often suffer for their Fathers faults, and we all suffer for the fault of Adam, both temporal Miseries and Death it self. But whereas these People of Israel had such a blind Notion as that of Mr. H. That the Fathers had eaten sowre grapes, and the Childrens Teeth were set on edge; God tells them, As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this Proverb in Israel, for the Son shall not bear the Fathers iniquity; the soul that sinneth, it shall dye.

3. Because the Lord (who best knew) hath declared, that Infants belong to the Kingdom of Heaven, Mat. 19.14.

4. I will add to these the Opinion of the Learned Poole, that he would rather believe that all Infants dying in their Infancy were elected, than conclude that any of them were damned; and his reason was, because as no man knew the contrary, so they ought not to affirm what they did not know. But I suppose Mr. Poole must be a blasphemous Heretick in Mr. H's Opinion, as well as the poor Anabaptists: But it's our [Page 89]mercy he is not to be our Judge in the Great Day.

The 2d. Heresie, or Error, this man of might charges us with, is,

2. That Christ dyed alike for all men, and that all Persons in the World, &c.

This doth necessarily divide it self into two General Parts:

  • 1. That Christ dyed alike for all men.
  • 2. That all Persons in the World are by the Death of Christ put into a Capacity of Sal­vation.

I shall answer to both of them distinctly.

1. That Christ dyed for all men: I do (with the Pen-men of the Holy Scripture) affirm, and that it's a great and fundamental Truth, this appears from these following positive as­sertions, 1 Tim. 2.6. He gave himself a ransom for all: 2 Cor. 5.14, 15. He dyed for all: Heb. 2.9. He tasted death for every man: 1 Tim. 4.10. Who is the Saviour of all men: 1 John 2.2. He is a propi­tiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world: So that to deny this, is to deny the very express words of Scripture. And therefore Mr. Harrison being aware of this, hath owned it to be true in some sence; but not content with this, he puts in the word (alike,) thinking to puzzle us with that, and lays down some Arguments to prove he did not dye for all (alike,) and thinks we are obliged to prove it.

I answer, It's an Unscriptural term, a man of Straw of his own setting up; for in all our Con­fessions of Faith that I remember to have been published, there is not the word (alike) to be [Page 90]found in any of them. As for that last he re­fers to, printed 1691. the words are these, Ar­ticle 3. That Christ freely gave himself a ran­som for all, tasting death for every man, a pro­pitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole World. So that the word (alike) is not by them inserted: And it being a term of Art of his own Coyning, I return it to the mint from whence it came.

The Question therefore betwixt us is this, not whether Christ dyed for all men, for that he owns, but, whether all persons in the World are by the death of Christ put into a capacity of Sal­vation? This he denyes, and we affirm.

Article 4. Of the aforesaid Confession of the Baptists, they have these express words, No man shall eternally suffer in Hell, (that is, the second death) for want of Christ that dyed for them, but as the Scripture saith, for denying the Lord that bought them, 2 Pet. 2.1. or because they believe not in the Name of the only begotten Son of God, John 3.18. Unbelief therefore being the cause why the just and righteous God will condemn the Children of Men, it follows against all contradiction, that all men at one time or other are put into such a capacity, as that (through the Grace of God) they may be eter­nally saved.

1. The Scriptures of Truth do affirm this, in as plain words as a matter of this kind can well be exprest, John 3.14, 15, 16, 17. here is set down the design of God in the Gift of Christ for the World: 1. Negatively, that they should not perish, that God sent not his Son to con­demn the World. 2. Affirmatively; That who­soever [Page 91]believeth in him, should have eternal life, and everlasting life, and that the World through him might be saved: And in 1 Tim. 2.4. speak­ing of God our Saviour, he saith, who will have all men to be saved; and in ver. 6. how God hath demonstrated this good will of his to all men, by asserting that Christ gave himself a ransom for all; and in the same Epistle, Chap. 4.10. who is the Saviour of all men. Now this must be understood of his putting men into a ca­pacity of Salvation by the death of his Son, as having afforded all men thereby a Sufficiency of means to obtain it, otherwise it is not true; for it's manifest, that eventially all men are not saved, which (by the way) proves that God did not absolutely, but conditionally will their Salvation, by putting them into a capacity to obtain it through Christ.

I know that all this stir about, and opposi­tion against the Death of Christ being sufficient for all and every man, is founded upon that false Notion which some have of late licked up from the Stoicks Doctrine of Fate, That God hath so determined the Actions of all men, by an absolute Decree, that there can nothing come to pass in the world without it; and that he hath made the greatest number of Men on purpose to damn them; and that their sins foreseen were not the cause of his Decree, but his Decree the cause both of their Sin and Punishment: And that God did not intend any of these should enjoy any saving benefit by the death of his Son; and from thence it is they have formed this fancy in their own Imaginations, Christum mortuum pro solis electis, that Christ dyed only for the Elect.

Now this Opinion of theirs hath been Ana­themized above 1200 years ago, as I find it re­corded by a very Learned Author, in these words-Synodus Arelatensis habita circa annum 490. Ana­thema illi qui dixerit quod Christus non pro omnibus mortuus sit, nec omnes homines salvos esse velit.

Besides, I suppose Mr. Harrison hath qualifi­ed himself by Law for a Presbyterian Teacher, and then he hath subscribed to the 39 Articles of the Church of England: The 31st. Article there­of is, The offering of Christ once made is a perfect Redemption, Propitiation and Satisfacti­on, for all the sins of the whole World, both ori­ginal and actual.

And agreeable to this, Bishop Ʋsher saith, We may safely conclude, that the Lamb of God of­fering himself a Sacrifice for the sins of the whole World, intended by giving sufficient satisfacti­on to God's Justice, to make the Nature of man which he assumed a sit Object for mercy, and to prepare a Medicine for the sins of the whole World, which should be denyed to none that intended to take the benefit of it. And he also assigns the reason, why all are not saved, notwith­standing this purchase, in these Words; But all do not obtain actual remission, because most of­fenders do not take out and plead their pardon as they ought to do. Why doth not Mr. H. quarrel with, and rail at the Church of England, and her Doctors and Bishops, have not they given him as much cause as the Baptists? But alas! he knows full well, they esteem such a one as he below their Anger.

All the Arguments he brings to prove his po­sition, being founded upon that word (alike,) [Page 93]they all vanish like smoak before the Wind: For suppose that were granted which he labours so much to prove, viz. That Christ did not (in some sence) dye alike for all: I do not see how that would in the least hurt the cause we contend for, i. e. That he dyed with an In­tention to save all, if they repent and believe; and that he hath afforded a sufficiency of means to all: Let them allow this, and I will not con­tend about the other.

3. The third Error of the Anabaptists, saith he, (and why not of some of the most Learned and Eminent Doctors of the Church of England) is this, That God affords all men universal and sufficient Grace, and consequently a power of Free-will, to be saved if they will.

The former part of this Charge I own, accord­ing to the 4th. Article of our Confession, in the Words by him cited: All Men are at one time or other put into such a capacity, as that (through the Grace of God) they may be eternally saved. And he rails bitterly at us, for saying, that if any perish, it is not for want of the means of Grace, but for the non-improvement of the Grace of God freely offered through Christ. And in this Doctrine, saith he, Papists, Socinians, Armi­nians and Anabaptists are all agreed. Is it not as true in this Doctrine also, that there is but one only true God, and one Lord Jesus Christ, in which Papists, Socinians, Arminians, Baptists and Presbyterians are all agreed? Doth their agree­ment make it a false Doctrine? Surely no.

As for his two Reasons, I shall speak to them in their order:

1. For his instance of the Pagan Heathen [Page 94]World, he saith, many of them have never heard of Christ, &c. And therefore concludes, they have no sufficient Grace, nor means of Salvation: Now (saith he) of these we boldly deny this Monstrous and Erroneous Assertion.

Answ. But as monstrous as it is in his Eyes, what if I sorce him to acknowledge his reaso­ning from it to be wholly groundless, from his own Principle, viz. That some persons may be saved by Christ, without a particular knowledge of him, or an explicite Faith in him; then some of these Hea­thens may be saved by Christ, and may have a suffi­ciency of means for their Salvation, notwithstand­ing his contrary Assertion. That he holds such an Opinion, I prove thus, because he asserts, That all Elect Infants dying in Infancy are saved: Now this must be by Christ, altho' they are no more capable to know him, and believe in him, than those Heathens he speaks of. What he says about their incapacity, because they have no Preachers to instruct them, &c. those sayings relates to such as have the Gospel among them, upon whom those Duties are enforced, and do not relate to Heathens that lye under an in­vincible Ignorance, no more than they do to little Infants: For, as Dr. Tho. Goodwin saith, in his Aggravations of Sin, &c. Positive Laws come to be in force only where they are pro­mulgated. God doth not exact impossible things from his Creatures, and then punish them be­cause they do not obey him therein, for it is an act of high Injustice; shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right?

Let Mr. H. take care to ensure his own Sal­vation, and not trouble himself with those Se­crets [Page 95]which belong only to God: Who made him (I pray) a Judge of Heathens, that he pre­sumes to sentence them thus by whole-sale to the torments of Hell fire? For the Lord our God is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his Works: He is the God of the Spirits of all flesh: And he hath sent his Son to dye for them all, which bespeaks his great Love towards them; from whence we have reason to hope bet­ter things, than that he made so many thousand millions of Souls on purpose to damn them, as the Calvinists say. And this leads me to the Second Reason, for he triumphs over us in this saying, Thus this rotten Pillar of universal Grace is overthrown.

His 2d. is this, He denyes that God hath af­forded every person in the Visible Church suf­ficient Grace for their Conversion. To make it out, he insists upon three things necessary, in order to Conversion.

1. That a Person sit under the Ministry of the Word faithfully preached: Multitudes (saith he) in the visible Church do not enjoy a faith­ful Ministry, some none at all; others, only such as are sent in Judgment, that dawb with untempered Mortar, &c.

Answ. What visible Church must this be that he speaks of? What, a Church and have no Preacher, and others Churches that have Preach­ers sent to them in Judgment only? This can­not be the Church of Christ, but the Synagogue of Satan: For, Christ hath promised to be with his Church (by his Spirit) alway, even to the end of the World. But will he charge all this upon God? I know that when some Persons [Page 96]have sinned away all their Mercies, and the Grace offer'd them, then he doth sometimes give them up to strong Delusions, to believe Lyes, as is the case of the Papists and others; but he charges the fault upon themselves, because they did not receive the love of the Truth, that they might be saved, but took pleasure in Unrighteousness: It would therefore be horrid wickedness for any that professes Christianity, to charge God with being the cause of this, when he hath declared their Destruction is of themselves.

2. He saith, They cannot be converted, except their Consciences be awakened, and stirr'd un­der the Ministry of the Word, &c. Persons may sit under the best Ministry, and yet never be thus convinced. Now that we may know where he hath a Mind to lay the blame, he insinuates it in saying, this Conviction is only from the Holy Spirit, who bloweth where he listeth.

Answ. A [...]ho' I acknowledge that no Man is converted without the Operation of the Holy Spirit, yet I am far from thinking, that the rea­son why they are not converted, is because the Holy Spirit doth not operate with the Word; but it is because they resist the motions and strive­ings thereof. God's Spirit did strive with the Old World, but they resisted it, and perished by the Flood: And as Stephen saith, Acts 7. 51. Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost, as your Fa­thers did, so do ye: Now Stephen was better skilled in these matters than Mr. H. for he justifies God, and charges it upon them, as being a stiff­necked and obstinate People, uncircumcised in Heart and Ears.

But, 3ly. saith he, There must be a divine [Page 97]powerful drawing of the Soul to Christ by the Spirit, which he calls an irresistible power; which he also saith, is not afforded to all that sit un­der the Gospel-Ministry, and they cannot come to Christ without it.

Answ. That the Divine Power is in it self ir­resistable, I grant, but that is not here the Questi­on: But whether that power be exerted in an irresistable way? which was the thing he should have proved, if he had spoken ad rem, but that he seldom does: And I have already proved, that the Spirit, in its Operations upon the Souls of Men, hath often been resisted. However, the Man crys [...]ictory; and saith, This Anabaptisti­cal Doctrine of Universal Grace, is but a lying Invention of their own, &c. which I will put up among the rest of his Railery, for it deserves no better Treatment.

As for what he says, that Free-will is the con­sequence of our Opinion; I may truly [...]y, by a figure in Rhetorick, that he is a profound man for drawing of Consequences. But to the point in Hand:

The Words in the 4th. Article of our Con­fession, which he refers to, are these; ‘Unbelief therefore being the cause, why the just and righteous God will condemn the Children of Men, it follows against all contradiction, that all Men, at one time or other, are put into such a capacity, as that (through the Grace of God) they may be eternally sa­ved, John 1.7. Acts 17.30. Mark 6.6. Heb. 3. 10, 18, 19. 1 John 5.10. John 3.17.’

Now there is not one word of Free-will in those words, as quoted by himself, nor yet in the [Page 98]whole Articles in that Confession, so that he quarrels with his own shaddow, and not with us; for we say, through the Grace of God.

But suppose we had let fall such Words as his Friend Mr. Baxter hath used about Free-will, in his Call to the Ʋnconverted: Oh! what a noise would he have made about our Ears. His Words are these: 1. In his Presace, ‘And for the point of Free-will, which you harp so long upon, Divines are not so much disagreed about it as you imagine, Augustine as well as Pelagius, Calvin as well as Arminius, the Dominicans as well as the Jesuites, all do generally maintain that Man hath Free-will.’ No man of Brains denyeth that a Man hath a Will that is naturally free; it's free [...]m Violence, and it's a Self-determining principle: ‘In page 31. We are commanded to tell you, what thoughts of Kindness God hath towards you, and how happy, how certainly and unspeakably happy you may be, if you will, page 32. I do here in the Name of the Lord of Life, proclaim to you all that hear me this day, to the worst of you, to the greatest, to the oldest Sinner, that you may have Mercy and Salvation, if you will but turn; there is Mercy in God, there is sufficiency in the Satisfaction of Christ, the promise is free, and full, and universal; you may have Life, if you will but turn; page 90. If nothing will serve turn, but Men will yet refuse to turn, we are next to consider who it's long of, if they be damned: And this brings me to the last Doctrine; which is, That if after all this Men will not turn, it is not long of God that they are condemned, but of them­selves, even of their own Wilfulness: They [Page 99]dye, because they will dye; that is, because they will not turn; if you will go to Hell, what Remedy? God here acquits himself of your Blood, it shall not lye on him if you be lost; pag. 102. But you seem to intimate all this while, that Man hath Free-will; his Answer is, The Dispute about Free-will is beyond your Capaci­ty, I shall therefore now trouble you with no more than this about it; your Will is natu­rally a free, that is, a self-determining Facul­ty, but it is vitiously inclined, and backward to do good; but that is the wickedness of it, which deserveth the punishment; your dis­ability is your very unwillingness it self, which excuseth not your sin, but maketh it the gre [...] ­er; page 44. And think not to exte [...]ate I by saying, that it was only for his Elect, for it was thy sin, and the sin of all the World that lay upon our Redeemer; and his Sacri­fice and Satisfaction is sufficient for all, and the fruits of it are offered to one as well as another: But it is true, that it was never the in­tent of his Mind to pardon and save any, that would not by Faith and Repentance be con­verted. And in the next page he saith, If there be any man that cannot reconcile this truth with the Doctrine of Predestination, or the actual damnation of the Wicked, that's his own Ignorance, he hath no pretence left to deny or question therefore the truth of the point in hand, for this is confirmed by the Oath of God, (Ezek. 33.11.) and there­fore must not be distorted, to reduce it to other points, but doubtful points must rather be reduced to it, and certain Truths must [Page 100]be believed to agree with it, tho' our shal­low Brains do hardly discern the Agreement.’ Thus far Mr. Baxter, and now let him rail at him if he pieases, for we have given him no occasion; but Mr. Baxter hath assigned the ig­norance of Mr. Harrison to be the cause.

But, (saith Mr. H.) The Fourth Error the Anabaptists hold, is, That a Person truly justified and sanctified, and so a branch in Christ, uni­ted to him, may yet fall away, and be eternally damned, and cites part of the 18th. Artitle of the fore-mentioned Confession.

Answ. I will therefore deal impartially, and recite the whole Article, with the Scri [...] at large, and then the World will see, that his peevi [...]hness against us is without any just cause: Article 18th. That such who are true Believ­ers, even Branches in Christ the Vine, (and that in his Account, whom he exhorts to abide in him, John 15.1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I am the true vine, and my Father is the Husbandman, every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, be purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit: Now ye are clean, through the word which I have spoken unto you, abide in me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of it self, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me: I am the vine, ye are the branches, he that abi­deth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye can do nothing;) or such who have Charity out of a pure heart, and of a good Conscience, and of Faith unfeigned, 1 Tim. 1.5. Now the end of the Commandment is Charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good Conscience, and of Faith unfeigned; may nevertheless for want of Watch­fulness [Page 101]swerve and turn aside from the same, v. 6, 7. From which some having swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling, desiring to be Teachers of the Law, understanding neither what they say, nor what they affirm; and become as withered branch­es, cast into the fire and burned, John 15. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned: But such who add unto their faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, &c. 2 Pet. 1.5, 6, 7. Such shall never fall: Ver. 8, 9, 10. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall nei­ther be barren, nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ: But he that lacketh these things, is blind, and cannot see afar off; and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins: Wherefore the rather Brethren, give diligence to make your Calling and Election sure; for if ye do those things, ye shall never fall. 'Tis impossible for all the false Christs, and false Prophets that are, and are to come, to deceive such, for they are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. 1.5.

I have often wished, that all Creeds had been delivered only in the Words of Holy Scripture, that it might have prevented those vain Janglings which the World hath been filled with about them; and herein I have my Hearts desire in this Article: For the Reader may observe, that it is delivered in the plain, positive and express words of Scripture: And yet, Behold! the fury of this Man's unbridled passion: For, he hath no sooner recited the Words of the Ar­ticle, but he crys out, Abominable Doctrine! false, dangerous, and uncomfortable Doctrine! doth [Page 102]this man pretend to be a Gospel-minister, and yet dare thus let fly his Rage and Malice against Christ himself, and his Blessed Apostles? Oh! what a pass is this World come to?

I shall say no more to such horrid Trifling as this, for all he says against us, is a stone flung at the head, (not of the general Anabaptists, as he saith) but at the head of Christ, and his Am­bassadours: I pray God give him Repentance for it, that he may recover himself out of the snare of the Devil, who leads him captive at his Will.

He proceeds in his false Accusations against us, and saith, that the fifth Error of the Ana­baptists is, They disown all Ministers, Christians, and Churches of Christ, to be any Ministers, Churches or Christians at all, but only such as are gathered in their way, that is, by dipping: And for this he quotes part of the 11th. Article, which is misprinted in his Book the 14th. Ar­ticle.

I must be forced to recite the whole Article, because of his false Representation of it; but that is a small thing in his Eyes, to belye the Bap­tists, and abuse them, for his Book is full of such Railery.

Article 11th. of our Confession of Faith, ‘That the right and only way of gathering Churches, (according to Christ's appointment, Mat. 28. 19, 23.) is first to teach, or preach the Go­spel (Mark 16.15, 16.) to the Sons and Daughters of Men, and then to baptize (that is, to dip) in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or in the Name of the Lord Je­sus Christ, such only of them as profess Re­pentance [Page 103]towards God, and Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, Acts 2.38. Acts 8.12. Acts 18.8. And as for all such who preach not this Doctrine, but instead thereof, that Scriptureless thing of Sprinkling of Infants, (falsly called Baptism) whereby the pure Word of God is made of noue effect, and the New-Testament way of bringing in Members into the Church, by Regeneration, cast out, when as the Bond-woman and her Son, that is to say, the Old Testament-way of bringing in Children into the Church by Generation, is cast out, as saith the Scripture, Gal. 4.22, 23, 24, 30. Mat. 3.8, 9. All such we utterly deny, forasmuch as we are commanded to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of Dark­ness, but rather to reprove them, Eph. 5.11.’ This is the Article he quarrels with, and by the Grace of God we will abide by it, as the true Way and Order of planting a right Gospel-Church.

Now pray Observe, how this Man doth abuse us.

1. In that here is nothing spoken of in this Article, but the right way of gathering Church­es, according to Christ's appointment, and we only deny them to be a true Visible Church, who do not thus admit Members by Regenera­tion, but by Generation only; and we have great reason so to do, because they have only Humane Invention for their Foundation, and not the Au­thority of God's Word; as I have already shewed in this Treatise, to which I refer you.

2. He tells his People, that we are you see no Churches, no Ministers, no Christians, &c. [Page 104]whereas there is nothing of Ministers intended in this Article, as all may see that read it; but that of Ministers, under the Name of Elders, or Pastors, is contained in the 15th. Article: But he that writes in haste, may repent at lei­sure.

3. He saith, We do by that make them no Christians: I must confess I know not what his People are, but I hope they are men of greater Charity and Moderation than their Priest, or else I am sure they are not well qualified Chri­stians. But how can he think so from that Ar­ticle? when the design thereof is, to shew who are orderly Members of a true visible Church, and do therein declare, that every one before they are admitted to baptism, are to be true penitent Believers; and he knows 'tis our avowed prin­ciple not to admit any other, but such only that (in the judgment of Charity) are so. What sorts of Persons he accounts Christians, I know not; but I do account such to be so, that are true penitent Believers, and I hope there are many such in the World, altho' they do not agree with us about some of the external modes of Worship; but this seems to be done on purpose, to exasperate the Spirits of his People against us, but I hope they will not be so unwise, as to mind what such a Clamorous Pen saith against us, without better evidence.

Having cleared our selves from this Abuse, I think it highly reasonable, to know who it is he owns for Churches and Ministers; for those that are rightly constituted according to the Primi­tive Pattern he is against; so that it must be some others.

Now in Part 1. page 6. Mr. H. saith, Who­ever will be a Member of the Christian Church, must be baptized.

2. He tells us, That Persons being knit to Christ, by a vital union, as they are living branches in him, and the Elect of God, is not a ground for Baptism, and yet he confesses that thus only the Elect are in Covenant.

3. When he comes to give us an account, who are in the visible Covenant, (which in his Language is visible Church-members) he saith, page 7. Thus all who profess Christ, Tares and Wheat, Wise Virgins and Foolish, this is the ground of Baptism. He is much mistaken about the Parable of the Tares, in Mat. 13. to apply it to Visible Church-members; for our Lord doth not say, the Field is the Church, but the field is the World: The good Seed are the Chil­dren of the Kingdom, (i. e. the Church) and the Tares are the Children of the Wicked One, (i. e. the Devil); the Harvest is the end of this World, and the Reapers are the Angels, &c. Now had I been to plead against some of the cursed persecuting Tyrants of the World, or against those bloody persecuting Principles and Practices of your Old Friend, John Calvin, I would have used this Text for an Argument a­gainst them, as genuine and proper, but it hath no relation to the visible Church; for the Tares are the Rabble of the wicked, out of the visible Church, and such who shall be damned [...]ternally, for the Angels shall cast them into a Furnace of fire, &c. But however, it seems they will serve Mr. H. to make Church-members of; for he saith in the words following, They are to be [Page 106]accounted Believers in Covenant, and their Chil­dren to be baptized, and that all Infants of such believing Parents are in the Covenant of Grace, and yet in the same page he saith, We do not baptize persons as the Elect of God, or Infants, as the Infants of the Elect, for we do not know who belong to the Election of Grace: But self-contradictions are common with him.

I shall make some few Remarks upon it, and so proceed to what I intend.

1. That if all the unconverted Hypocrites, a­mong all that profess the Christian Name, be but baptized, they are Believers in the Covenant of Grace; then by his own Principle they must all be saved, for they can never fall totally and finally.

2. That if all the Infants of such are in the Covenant of Grace, then they also must needs be saved by his Doctrine. It's an easie way to bring Persons into the Covenant of Grace, if sprinkling a little cold Water on their Faces will do it.

3. That notwithstanding all this, (it seems) he doth not know that any one, either of his Church-members, or their Infants, are in the Covenant of Grace, neither doth he baptize them as such; for he plainly confesses, he doth not know who belongs to the Election of Grace: Then it's as plain, that he is not sure, that any of his Members, or their Infants, shall be saved, and then they are at charge to maintan him to very little purpose. Nay further, he doth not know, (by this confused way of arguing) that any of those Churches, Ministers, or Christians, that belong to those visible Churches he talks of, are in any more hopes of Salvation, than [Page 107]those Heathens he speaks of in another place, whom he (with Calvin of old) condemns to the pit of Hell, for no other imaginable Reason than the Decree of God, built only upon this Supposition, because God will have it so: But God will not entrust these rasn Men to be Judges of the World, For he hath committed all Judgment to the Son; otherwise the poor Anabaptists would be under bad Circumstances.

I now proceed to prosecute my Design, to dis­cover who it is that he intends by Ministers. By Ministers he must needs intend those that were before described to be Members, viz. Either his carnal Professors, or Infants born of them: Infants he cannot mean, because they are not capable. If you would therefore be satisfied, he hath told you, it is all the Ministers that profess Christ, besides those of our way: For there lyes the Antithesis: For he saith, we disown them all so to be, but our selves, and he owns them, or else he hath no reason to be angry with us. I hope we are not to understand, that he is dis­pleased with us for disowning them whom he disowns.

To be short, The Membership and Ministry of the Presbyterians, Episcopal and Romish Church, are all built upon the same foundation, which will appear if you ask but a few Questions.

1 Que. Whether the Presbyterians do not own the Church of England to be a true Church? Their Answer must be, Yes, because we received our Baptism from them, and never repeated it, and therefore they must be a true Church, or else our Baptism is no true Baptism.

2 Que. Whether the Presbyterians do not [Page 108]own the Bishops, and their Clergy, to be true Ministers? They must tell you, Yes; because we received our Ordination from the Bishops, and therefore if they are not true Ministers, we have no pretence so to be, for we never repeated our Ordination, which I suppose (among others) is also the case of Mr. Harrison.

3 Que. When the Episcopal Ministers have been asked, Whether the Church of Rome be a true Church? They have often given this An­swer, Yes: For if the Church of Rome be not a true Church, we can't (say they) be true Mem­bers; for we received our Baptism from the Church of Rome, and never repeated it; there­fore the Church of Rome must be a true Church.

4 Que. If you ask them also this Question, Whether the Prelates of the Pope of Rome be true Ministers? They answer, Yes: For we received our Ordination from them, and never repeated it; therefore they must be true Ministers.

Besides, If any Man that is a Priest of the Church of Rome, become a Proselite to the Church of England, upon recanting of his Popish Errors he is admitted to the Ministry, without re-or­dination.

Moreover, They have all three professed the same Principles and Spirit of Persecution, against those that differ from them in matters of Re­ligion, as is manifest to all the World.

Thus I think I have made good my Position; and also shewn, That the Mother of Harlots, and her two Daughters, spoken of in the Revelations, are built upon the same Foundation, as to their Membership and Ministry, and are acted by the same Spirit of Persecution. These are the marks [Page 109]of false Churches, and not of the true Spouse and Wife of Christ; and this hath exactly ful­filled that prediction, Rev. 16.19. as to the for­mer part of it; The great City was divided into three parts; and I hope the latter is beginning to be fullfilled; and the Cities of the Nations (i. e. Na­tional-Churches) fell, and great Babylon (i. e. Rome) came in remembrance before God: For thanks be to God, the Earth hath holpen the Woman, (i. e. the true Church) and we have now by the Favour of our Rulers, the Liberty of our Religion given us by Law.

The sixth Error he charges us with, is employ­ing many weak, ignorant Men, to preach, that have Pride and Confidence enough to think themselves fit to teach others, who have yet more need to be taught themselves the very first Principles of Religion.

Answ. Here is not five whole Lines, and yet all this opprobrious Language, weak, ignorant, proud and confident: But why did not this Man of profound Learning and Parts, (in his own Conceit) tell us of some of those many that he mentions, who have need to be taught the very first Principles of Religion; and tell us how they may attain to greater perfection in Knowledge. I dare say, they must not come to learn of him; for I hope we have no Teacher of our way, but understands the six Principles of Christ's Doctrine, Heb. 6.1, 2. better than he doth, or else they are very ignorant. It's our care to instruct e­very one, before they are baptized, into the know­ledge of those things, and by these two Treatises it's manifest, that Mr. Harrison is more ignorant about the true Baptism, and the gathering of a true [Page 110]Gospel-Church than any of our Teachers can possibly be, for they own and contend for both; but he sets himself to oppose both Christ and his Apostles therein. But, saith he, it's these ig­norant Men, that manage two Callings, the Ministry and a private Trade, that broach most of these Errors.

I answer, Did not the Apostles follow their Callings, after they were ordained? divers of them were Fisher-men, and followed that employment, after they were Apostles: And the great Apo­stle Paul wrought at the Trade of a Tent-ma­ker, that he might make the Gospel without charge: And in Acts 20.34, &c. he makes this solemn Appeal to an Assembly of Ministers; Yea, you your selves know, that these hands have ministred un­to my necessities, and to them that were with me: I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, it is more blessed to give than to receive: And Paul you know was brought up a Scholar, and was certainly a more Learned and Excellent Man than Mr. Harrison, and yet he did not disdain to join labour with his Mi­nistry. And it's certainly most commendable, for any Minister of Christ that hath ability of Body, to labour with his hands in an honest Em­ployment, according to the Apostle's Example; but if he be uncapable, the Church ought to maintain him; for the Labourer is worthy of his Hire, and the Work-man of his Meat: But such that are Loiterers, and not Labourers, who seek the Fleece more than the Flock, if they have any thing, it's more than they deserve.

As for what he saith about ability for the Work [Page 111]of the Ministry, had he but considered who he had been writing to, he might have sav'd him­self the labour, he knowing what is said upon that Subject in the 15th. and 16th. Articles of our Confession of Faith, which I am certain he knows not how to mend, nor well to imitate; and if I thought I could prevail with him, I would (as a Friend) desire him to read our Confes­sion of Faith, iterum atque iterum, and compare it with the Holy Scriptures, and he would learn more true Divinity from it, then he ever did in the University, if ever he was of any.

As for his Negation about a Ministers Qua­lifications, I do not concede thereto; for he saith, Parts and Gifts do not make a Man a Minister. Now let us hear what the Scripture saith, Eph. 4.8. He gave gifts unto men, ver. 11. And he gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evan­gelists and some Pastors and Teachers, &c. Rom. 12. 6, 7, 8. Having then gifts differing, &c. 1 Cor. 12.7, 8, 9, 10, 11. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal: For to one is given by the Spirit the word of Wisdom, to another &c. But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will: But what are these Gifts given for? the Apostle Peter resolves the Question, 1 Pet. 4.10, 11. As every man hath received the Gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold Grace of God: If any man speak, let him speak as the Oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability that God giveth, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever, Amen. From these and divers other places of [Page 112]Holy Scripture, it doth appear that the Spirit is able to fit men for the Work of the Mini­stry, without Humane Learning; but all the Hu­mane Learning in the World will not fit any man for that Work, without the Gifts of the Spirit: For we have always sound, that the most Learned Men in Arts and Sciences, have com­monly introduced the greatest Errors into the Church.

As for what you say about Ordination, it respects settled Ministers, as Pastors of Churches, &c. But it's as true, from the very Qualifications laid down in Timothy and Titus, concerning Elders or Pastors, that it's both lawful, and a Duty, for unordained men to preach, if they are fitted for that work: For how else should the Churches know, when they choose them to that Office, that they are fit to teach, and able by sound Doctrine to exhort and convince Gain-sayers, if they had never been exercised before in that Work? Thus I have answered all that is ne­cessary to be spoken to in Mr. Harrison's two Treatises, and that it may be blessed to all those good Ends and Purposes for which it is intend­ed, is the Hearty Prayer of him, who subscribes himself

A sincere Lover of your Souls, W. R.

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