OF THE SACRAMENTS IN …

OF THE SACRAMENTS IN GENERAL, In Pursuance of an EXPLICATION OF THE CATECHISM OF THE Church of England.

By GABRIEL TOWERSON, D. D. and Rector of Welwynne in Hartfordshire.

Imprimatur.

Ex Aedib. Lamb. Julii 24. 1685.

Jo. Battely RRmo P. D. Guil. Archiep. Cantuar. à Sacris Domesticis.

LONDON, Printed for Richard Chiswell, at the Rose and Crown in S. Paul's Church-Yard, MDCLXXXVI.

TO THE Right Reverend FATHER in GOD FRANCIS Lord Bishop of ELY, AND LORD ALMONER TO His Majesty.

My Lord,

THough I am almost ashamed to make my Address to your Lordship with so small a Treatise as this, yet ha­ving no more of it finished, and this little being the Foundation of the rest, I hope your Lordship will accept of it as some acknowledgement of those great Condescen­tions with which your Lordship hath been [Page]pleas'd to honour so mean a Person as my self.

I might indeed, if I had conceived it better so to do, have kept it by me, till it had grown more complete, and so have made it a more suitable Present to a Person of your Lordship's Character in the Church and in the Court: But I considered that what I now humbly offer to your Lordship and the Publick, must be my Measure in the following Tracts, and so may need the advice of others as well as my own thoughts to perfect it, and I may gain this ad­vantage by the separate Edition of it, to know from some of my Friends, what in it is weak or imperfect: In which if your Lordship will fur­ther vouchsafe your admonition, it will make what remains the more fit to be presented to your Lordship, by

Your Most Obliged, Most Obedient, and Most humble Servant, Gabriel Towerson.

THE CONTENTS OF THE FIRST PART.
Of the Signification of the Word SACRAMENT.

THE Word Sacrament, in the primitive notion of it, the name of the Military Oath; as well that, which came to be after­wards impos'd, as that which was at first voluntarily taken by the Souldiers. Which denomination it had both from the sacredness of an Oath in its own Nature, and from those Sacred Ceremonies, where­with that, and other Oaths were attended. The Word Sacrament, in the Christian sense of it, translated from thence into the Church, and applied to those Institutions of it, which now go under that name. As is made appear from the footing the former signification had gotten in the World; From the Scriptures, and the Ancient Christians re­presenting the Life and Institution of a Christian under the notion of a Military one; And, in fine; s [...]om the same Antients making use of that Word in the Military sense. Evidence of this last from ge­neral applications of it, and an account given thereupon of the par­ticular instances; which they gave of the likeness of the Christian Sacrament to the parely Military one. pag. 1.

The CONTENTS of the SECOND PART.
Of the Nature of a SACRAMENT.

A Sacrament shewn to be a Relative thing, more particularly such a Relative thing, as hath the relation of an outward, and visible sign of that, of which it is a Sacrament. That there­fore assign'd as the Genus of a Sacrament; and enquiry thereupon made after those essential attributes, which difference it from other out­ward and visible signs. Which is endeavour'd to be evinc'd from the several things to which a Sacrament relates, the manner of its rela­tion to each of them, and the foundation of that relation. The things, to which a Sacrament relates, shewn in the general to be Sa­cred, or Divine, more particularly, divine Graces, and humane Du­ties, that New Covenant, which connects them together, and that body of men, which is confederated by it. To the first of which a Sacra­ment [Page]relates in the nature of a sign, a means of conveyance, and a pledge; To the second in the nature of a simple sign, or declaration, and (by means of that Covenant, which it conciliates) as an Obliga­tion to them; To the third in the nature of such a sign, as serves also to give being to, or renew it; And to the fourth, and last in the na­ture of a Discriminative sign, or badge, and as a means of bringing particular men into it, or continuing them in it. The foundation of all these relations shewn to be the Institution of Christ, as that again, not so much as delivered by him, as applied to those elements, in which they are subjected, by a declaration of the purport of the In­stitution, and by doing such other things to them, as either the gene­ral precepts of Christianity, or the more particular precepts of the in­stitution oblige to the performance of. A brief recollection made of all the forementioned particulars, and the essential attributes of a Sacrament deduced from thence, and exemplified in several defini­tions of it. pag. 9.

The CONTENTS of the THIRD PART.
A farther Explication of the Nature of a SACRAMENT, with a resolution of several Questions belonging thereunto, or depending more immediately upon it.

THE Nature of a Sacrament brought again under considera­tion, and enquiry accordingly made concerning that inward and Spiritual Grace, to which it relates, the manner of its rela­tion to it, and the foundation of that relation. This last more particularly insisted upon, and as it was before resolv'd to be the Institution of Christ, so a more ample account given thereupon of that Institution of his, and of those Commands, and Promi­ses, whereof it doth consist. Those Commands again considered with reference to the sacramental Elements, before they put on that relation, or after they are invested with it. The former whereof are shewn in the general to enjoyn the setting them apart for that purpose, or Consecrating them, and enquiry thereupon made by whom they ought to be set apart, and whether their intention, or good disposition be requisite to give force unto it: The latter the Consecrators dispensing them as the Institutor thereof hath pre­scrib'd, and the peoples receiving them from them, with the Manner of it. Ʋpon occasion whereof Enquiry is made, concerning the necessity of Sacraments, and in what sort, or degree they ought to be ac­counted such. A like particular account given of the Promises of the Institution, which are shewn in the general to assure Christ's making what is done both by the Consecrators, and Receivers to be available for those ends, for which they were enjoyn'd; More par­ticularly his converting that into a Sacrament, which is by the for­mer set apart to be so (and which how it is done is, upon that account, enquir'd into) and, where the Receivers are rightly dispos'd, ac­companying [Page]the dispensation of the Sacramental Elements with the Dispensation of the Divine Graces. An application of the whole to the business in hand, and Enquiry accordingly made, how the former Commands, and Promises contribute toward the Found­ing a Sacramental Relation, and how also to the efficacy of the elements, after that Relation is produced in them. pag. 31.

The CONTENTS of the FOURTH PART.
Of the Jewish SACRAMENTS, and the Number of the Christian.

THE Doctrine of the Sacraments drawn down to particulars, and enquiry first made concerning the Jewish Sacraments, and then concerning the Christian ones. As to the former whereof is shewn first, that there were indeed such Sacraments among them, and evidence made thereof, from their enjoying the same Saving Graces, which our Sacraments pretend to convey, from their be­ing furnished alike with External Symbols to convey them, and those Symbols of God, and Christ's institution: Secondly, that those Sacraments of theirs were either the extraordinary ones they had in their passage from Aegypt to Canaan, as their Baptism in the Cloud, and in the Sea, and the Eucharist of Manna, and the Water of the Rock, or the ordinary ones of Circumcision, and the Passover; Thirdly, That, though they were of the same general nature with the Christian, yet they differ'd from them, both as to the manner of their representing the Divine Graces, which was not so clear, and as to the measure of conveyance of them, which was not so full, as in the Christian Sacraments. Those Christian Sacraments, in the next place, brought under consideration, and evidence made of Baptism, and the Lords Supper being the only true, and proper ones, or of general necessity to Sal­vation. p. 43.

ERRATA.

In the Text PAge 35. l. 24. for under read on. p. 51. l. 11. r. As appears. p. 55. l. 7. for wherewith r. wherein.

In the Margent. Pag. 2. l. 33. r. dimisit. p. 3. l. 7. praecedes. p. 16. l. 7. li. 5. p. 50. l. 3. cap. 3. p. 54. l. 3. 2 Tim. 1.1.6.

OF THE SACRAMENTS IN GENERAL.

PART I. Of the Signification of the Word SACRAMENT.

The Contents.

The Word Sacrament, in the primitive notion of it, the name of the Military Oath, as well that, which came to be afterwards impos'd, as that which was at first voluntarily taken by the Souldiers. Which de­nomination it had both from the sacredness of an Oath in its own Na­ture, and from those Sacred Ceremonies, wherewith that, and other Oaths were attended. The Word Sacrament, in the Christian sense of it, translated from thence into the Church, and applied to those Institutions of it, which now go under that name. As is made appear from the footing the former signification had gotten in the World; From the Scriptures, and the Ancient Christians representing the Life and Institution of a Christian under the notion of a Military one; And, in fine, from the same Antients making use of that Word in the Military sense. Evidence of this last from general ap­plications of it, and an account given thereupon of the particular in­stances, which they gave of the likeness of the Christian Sacrament to the purely Military one.

IF it shall please that God,Question. How ma­ny Sacra­ments hath Christ or­dained in his Church? Answer. Two only, as general­ly necessary to Salvati­on, that is to say, Bap­tism and the Supper of the Lord. by whom I have been carried on thus far, to continue to me the same Health, and Leisure, and Assistances, which I have met with in composing the three foregoing parts of this Explication, I will endeavour to inform my self, and then others concerning the Sacraments of our Religion, more particularly concerning those two, which (in the [Page 2]opinion of our Church) are the only either proper Art. of Rel. 25., or gene­rally necessary Catech. ubi supra. ones. Those, as they are the Argument of the fourth and last Part of our Churches Carechism; so being according­ly to be the matter of this fourth and last Part of my Explication of it,

I will begin, for that purpose, with the signification of the word Sacrament, and which, though it will not clear up to us the full Nature of the things intended by it, yet will serve to discover to us a considerable part thereof, and help toward the finding out of the other. Now the word Sacrament, in the Antient intendment of it, signified an Oath, and particularly that Oath, which Souldiers took to be faithful to their Generals, and to do all those other things which the duty of their place, or the Discipline of War required of them: With this only difference in point of time (which is wont either to contract, or enlarge the signification of words) that as that Oath was at first voluntarily taken by the Souldiers, so the word Sacrament was some time set to denote such voluntary ones in contra­distinction to those, which were afterwards impos'd. We have an illustrious proof of all this in a passage of Li­vy Hist. lib. 22. Milites tunc, quod nun­quam antea factum erat, jurejurando à Tribunis militum adacti, jussu Consulum conventuros, neque injussu abituros. Nam ad eam diem nil praeter Sacramentum fuerat, & ubi ad decuriatum, aut centuriatum con­venissent, suâ voluntate ipsi inter se equites decuriati, centuriati pedites conjurabant, sese fugae, atque formidinis ergô, non abitu­ros, neque ex ordine recessuros, nisi teli su­mendi, aut petendi, ant bostis feriendi, aut civis servandi caus [...]. Id ex voluntario inter ipsos foedere ad legitimam jurisjurandi ad­actionem translatum., which therefore I shall here subjoyn. Then first (even in the Consulship of L. Aemili­us Paulus, and Terentius Varro) were the Souldi­ers oblig'd by their Tribunes under an Oath to meet together at the command of their Confuls, and not to depart without their leave. For till that time there had been nothing but a Sacrament, and when they were met together by Tens, or by Hundreds, the Horsemen, who met by Tens, and the Foot­men, who met by Hundreds, did, of their own pro­per motion, take an Oath among themselves, that they would not depart out of fear, or cowardice, nor quit their ranks at any time, unless it were to take up their Weapon, to dart at, or strike the Enemy, or to save a Citizen. But that which proceeded at first from a voluntary Covenant among themselves, was by the Tribunes al­tered into a prescribed, and imposed Oath, and the Souldiers forc'd to take it from them. Where we have not only the word Sacrament set to denote a Souldier's Oath, but such an Oath, as was voluntarily taken by them, and had rather their own free consent, than the Command of their General to give being to it. But as we find by the same passage, that what was at first but voluntary, came afterwards to be imposed upon the Souldiers; so we find also that the word Sacrament came afterwards to signifie those imposed Oaths, as well as the former voluntary ones. For thus it is plain, Cicero De Officiis li. 1. M. Popillius Imperator tenebat provinciam, in cujus exercitu Catonis filius tiro militabat. Quum autem Popillio videretur unam dimittere Legionem, Catonis quoque filium, qui in eadem legione militabat, demisit. Sed quum amore pugnandi in exercitu remansisset, Cato ad Popillium scripsit, ut si eum pateretur in exercitu remanere secundo eum obligaret Militiae Sacramento, quia, priore amisso, jure pugnart cum hostibus non poterat. used it in the account he gives of Cato's writing to Popillius a General of the Romans, to list his Son anew, if he thought good to continue him in his Army; His words, as Tully recites them, being, that if Popillius, who had before dismiss'd the Legion, wherein he serv'd, thought good to suffer young Cato to abide in his Army, he should oblige, or bind him by a second military Sacrament, because the former being made void, he could not lawfully [Page 3]fight with the Enemy. Which passage plainly imports the military Sacrament to be of the Generals Imposing, yea so necessarily, that had not the General, in whom the right of making War was, given it to young Cato, he could not, in the opinion of his Father have struck a stroke against the Enemy. Thus the use of the word Sa­crament stood in the days immediately preceding our Saviour; And as the thing intended by it, even the Military Oath, was continued in the succeeding Ages, as is manifest from the frequent mention there is in Suetonius Suet. in Claud. c. 9. in Othone c. 8. & alibi passim., and others of the Souldiers swearing to their Generals, so it continu'd to be represented under the title of a Sacrament, even to late posterity. As appears, among other things, from Horace's telling— non ego perfidum Dixi Sacramentum, ibimus, ibimus Ʋtcunque procedes. Carm. li. 2. Od. 17. his Mecaenas, that he had not taken a perfidious Sa­crament, because (as it there follows) he was re­solv'd to follow him, where ever he led, which we knowDionys. Halicarnass. li. 11. [...]. to have been a great part of a Soul­diers Oath: From Juvenal's describing Souldi­ers Praemia nunc alia, atque alia emolumen­ta notemus Sacramentorum— Sat. 16. themselves under the title of Sacramen­ta; As in fine from the Antients describing Souldiers either departing, or being freed from their former service, by a departure, or free­dom from their Sacrament. Of which beside other proofsAmmianus Marcellinus li. 24. Refi­duos duos Tribunos Sacramento solvit, ut desides, & ignavos. Idem li. 26. Et Sere­nianus, olim Sacramento digressus, recinctus est., we have a Law of Theodo­sius, and Honorius, and which as it is under the title de Veteranis, or such as, by reason of their being superannuated, were dismiss'd from their former service, so expresseth the same Veteranes under the title of those who have ceasedCod. li. 12. tit. 47. l. 4. Nullus eorum qui Sacramen­tis inhaerere desierit, &c. to be entangled by their former Sacraments. Other instances I doubt not might be produced, if these were not enough, to shew the word Sacrament to have had for its most usual sense that of a military Oath. But I shall only add, that though it were set to denote also a piece of money left by each of the Litigants Varro de lingua Lat. in Court; Yet as that was in a thing less known, than the Oaths of Souldiers were, and so the less likely to have any influence upon the framing of that mode of Speech, which was afterwards so much in use among the Christians; so it had this in common with the Military Sacrament, that it was an Obligation upon the parties, that deposited it, to prosecute that suit which they had commenced.

But because whatever the usual sense of the word Sacrament might antiently be, yet it is certain that it did not receive that sense from the literal notation of it, but rather from something of Sacredness, wherewith those Oaths were attended: And because the discovery of that Sacredness may help yet more to discover the true nature of those Sacraments of ours, to which that name is now applied; there­fore enquire we in the next place what there was in them of Sacred to occasion that denomination of them. Now as Sacred is no­thing else than what tends to the honour of God, whether in its own nature, or by institution; so there were two things of that quality in those Oaths, whereof we speak, and from whence there­fore they may be suppos'd to have receiv'd that denomination. First their being in themselves an acknowledgment of Gods glorious [Page 4]Attributes, and particularly of his Knowledge, Truth, Justice, and Power; He who appeals to God as a Witness, and a Judge (as every man, that sweareth doth) implying his believing him to be a competent witness, and so both Knowing, and True, and one too, who both can, and will assert the cause of truth in the punish­ment of the party swearing, if he swear any other, than what he intends, or means. And in this sense as it was that Cicero De Offic. l. 3. Est. enim jusjurandum Affirmatio reli­giosa. Quod autem affir­matè, quasi Deo teste, pro­miseris, id tenen­dum est. en­titled an Oath a Religious Affirmation, because an Affirmation un­der the testimony of God; so I no way doubt it was in a great mea­sure, that Oaths came to have the name of Sacraments, and par­ticularly all Military ones. But besides that Sacredness which is in­trinsecal to all Oaths, and therefore also to those, whereof we are now discoursing; They had a further sacredness from those reli­gious Rites, wherewith they were attended, and which under the veil of sensible things, and such as were sometime contemptible enough, were intended to insinuate more valuable, and spiritual ones. Of this nature among the Romans was their laying their handsFalfus erit testis, vendet perjuria summâ Exiguâ, Cere­ris tangens a­ram (que) pedem (que) Juv. Sat. 14. upon the Altars of their Gods, or, which was yet more sacred than that, their taking a StoneFestus. Lapi­dem silicem te­nebant, juratu­ri per Jovem, haec verba di­centes; Sisciens fallo, tum me Diespiter, fal­vâ urbe, arce­que, bonis eji­ciat, uti ego hunc lapidem. into their hand, and then throwing it from them, withall praying, that if they falsified in the Oath they then took, Jupiter would throw them out of all, as they them­selves did that Stone from them: By the former whereof they de­sign'd to express the reverence they themselves bare even to things dedicated to them, as well as a belief of their Gods taking care to preserve them from all pollution; By the latter the quick appre­hension they had of the power of their Gods over them, and parti­cularly as to the spoiling them of their fortunes. And though I am not able to say, what were the particular rites of the Military Oath, at least among the Antient Romans; yet as there is reason enough to believe, that so signal an Oath was not without them, and which was upon the matter the foundation of all the Roman great­ness, so there is this farther reason to believe it, that the AntientsVulgat. Lat. in Eph. 5.32. & alibi. Tertull. de Animâ c. 20. ubi recitat d. l. ad Ephesios. made use of the word Sacramentum to express the Greek [...], and which as we know to have had a peculiar reference to those Rites, and Ceremonies, which were in use in the service of the Gods, so must consequently imply the like sense of that word, which was made use of to express it, and the like ceremoniousness of those Military Oaths, upon which it was impos'd. I may not forget to add, though appli'd by someIs. Casaub. Exercit. 16. c. 43. to another sense, that Herodian [...]. Herod. l. 8. brings in the Emperor Maximus representing the Military Oath as the Venerable mysterie of the Roman Em­pire. For as that is a farther evidence, that that Oath was not without its Sacred Rites, because mysteries properly so called were no other, than such; so I know nothing to take off the force of it, but a presumption of the word's [...] admitting a lower sense, and accordingly denoting no more than an Arcanum, or Secret of the Roman State, and by which the Founders thereof cunningly rais'd it to that greatness, to which it afterwards arriv'd. But how ill that notion agrees with the inten­tion of him, who so entitled the Military Oath, will need no other [Page 5]proof than his prompting the Souldiers in the words before to look upon the Gods, by whom they had sworn, as the Authors of their present peace. For what was this but to intimate, that it was the religious observation of their Oaths, which was the cause of their prosperity, and consequently, that if those Oaths were also the foundation, and prop of the Roman greatness, it was not so much by the politick imposition of them, as by the sacredness thereof, and by the religious observation of which the Gods were induc'd to bless them with that ample dominion, which they had attain'd? In this sense yet more agreeably to the receiv'd opinionCicero Orat. de Harusp. Resp. —Etenim quis est tam vecors, qui aut, cum suspexerit in coelum, deos esse non sentiat, &c. Aut, cum deos esse intellexerit, non intelligat eorum numine hoc totum Imperium esse natum, & auctum, & retentum? Quàm volûmus licet P. C. ipsi nos amemus, tamen nec nu­mero Hispanos, nec robore Gallos, nec calli­ditate Poenos, nec artibus Graecos, nec de­nique boc ipso ejus gentis, ac terrae dome­stico, nativoque sensu Italos ipsos, ac Latinos, sed pietate, ac religione, &c. omnes gentes, nationesque superavimus. of the Romans, because attributing their suc­cess, not so much to their own Wit, and Valour as to their religious veneration of the Gods, and those Gods as having a favourable regard to them because of it. If they look'd upon the Mi­litary Sacrament, and the Souldiers religious ob­servation of it as contributing more especially to the advancing of their greatness, it is the less to be wondred at, because it was more immediately by the Arms of their Souldiers, that the Ro­mans became masters of the World. The result of the premises is this; The word Sacrament, in its Original intendment, had the signification of a Military Oath, it had the signification of such a Military Oath, as was attended with Sacred Rites, and such as led men by sensible resemblances to things of a higher nature. But whether or no, and how far it is to be look'd upon as of the like signification, in the Christian intendment of it, doth not as yet appear, but will be worth our labour to enquire.

Now that the word Sacrament, in the Christian intendment of it, is to be look'd upon as of like signification to what it had before ac­quir'd, will appear if we consider first, what footing the former signification had gotten in the minds of men, before there was any appearance of the latter. For as considering the footing the former signification had gotten, we cannot but think that it would be apt to suggest it self, as oft as the word Sacrament was made use of; so neither therefore but that it would form a like conceit of the Christi­an Sacraments, and consequently, if that were such, an erroneous one. Which it being not to be thought, that they would give oc­casion to, who first appli'd the word to the Christian Sacraments; especially when they might have had other words to express their conception of them: It is but reasonable to think that they made use of it upon occasion of some likeness between the one and the other Sacraments, and consequently that they intended it a like signification with the other. I deny not indeed (which is the an­swer Mr. Calvin Instit. li. 4. cap. 14. Sect. 13. makes to this Argument in another instance) I deny not, I say, but that religion may, and doth very often strangely alter words from their pristin signification; I deny not far­ther (which is the instance he assigns) that the word fides, in the Christian use of it, is both a very apt, and pregnant proof of such a change. But as it doth not appear to me, that Religion did ever (unless in a long tract of time) so alter the known signification of words, as not to make them bear some analogy to the former signi­fication [Page 6]of them; so the Word, in which that Learned man in­stanceth, is not so transform'd by Christianity, but that we may as yet see upon it the impress of its old signification, and be thereby therefore induced to believe, that they, who first used it in a Chri­stian sense, took their measures from the former one. For, as the aforesaid persons name-sake (even John Calvin the Lawyer) hath observ'dLex. Juridic. in Verbo fides., the word fides, among the Latins, signified belief Virgil. Aeneid. li. 4. v. 12. Credo equidem, nec vana fides, genus esse deorum. Liv. Hist. li. 1. Haec ferme, Romulo regnante, domi, mili­tiaeque gesta: quorum nil absonum fidei di­vinae originis, divinitatisque post mortem creditae fuit, i. e. quâ creditus est natus fuisse ex Marte. Idem Liv. paulo post. Mirum quantum illi viro nuncianti haec fides fuerit., as well as veracity, or fidelity, and so was not at all remo­ved from one great sense of it in Christianity: And though it was more usually set to denote the other, yet if we may judge ought by the words fido, and confido, which are at least of the same linage with it, the word fides came to signifie veracity, and fidelity, not so much from any other reason, as because those vertues are the just object of mens trust, which is another, and no less usual signification of it in Christianity. Which notion I am the more confirmed in, because though Tully do in one placeDe Offic. li. 1. Ex quo (quanquam hoc videbitur fortasse cuipiam durius) tamen au­deamus imitari Stoicos, qui studiose inqui­runt unde verba sint ducta; credamusque quia fiat quod dictum est, appellatam fidem. represent it as having its name from fit quod dicitur, yet as he doth even there in­timate it to be a harsh etymology, and rather a piece of Stoical confidence, than a well ground­ed conjecture: So he himself elsewhereFides autem ut habeatur, duabus rebus effici potest, si existimabimur adepti con­junctam cum justitiâ prudentiam. Nam & iis fidem habemus, quos plus intelligere, quam nos arbitramur. Justis autem, & fidis hominibus, id est viris bonis, ita fides habe­tur, ut nulla sit in his fraudis, injuriaeque suspicio. De Offic. 2. useth the word Fides for that trust we repose in another upon the account of his wisdom, and justice. For ought therefore that doth as yet appear, there is not any reason to believe, but that Christianity had a respect, in it's words, to the Antient signi­fication of them; And consequently but that it had so in the use of the word Sacrament, and intended it a like signification with that, which it before had, and was now very prevalent in the world. But beside the footing that signification of it had gotten, and by which therefore we may reasonably imagine, that the first Christians gui­ded themselves in the use of the same word in Christianity, it is as certain that the same persons, led thereto by the language of the Scripture, did both conceive of, and represent the life, and institu­tion of a Christian under the notion of a Military one. For if so, it is yet more reasonable to think, that they made use of their Sacra­ment to express some of their own Institutions by. Now that the first Christians, led thereto by the language of the Scripture, did both conceive of, and represent the Christian state as a Military one, will soon appear if we look either into those Scriptures, or the An­tient Writers. Witness for the former, St. Paul's speaking in one1 Cor. 9.26. place of his fighting as one, that did not beat the air, and in an­other2 Tim. 4.7. of his having fought a good fight; his calling upon Timo­thy in a third1 Tim. 6.12. to fight the good fight of Faith, as, in fine, upon the generality of ChristiansEph. 6.11, &c. to prepare themselves for that fight, by putting on the whole Armour of God, which therefore he doth there reckon up, and prompts them to buckle on. For these, and other expressions of the like nature, show plainly enough, that even the Penmen of the New Testament had that opinion of a Christian [Page 7]State, and that accordingly they represented it under the notion of a military one. The like evidence there is of their opinion of it, who took upon them to hand down that doctrine, which they re­ceiv'd from the other: Witness Tertullian's representing the Chri­stians in general as the Militia of GodDe orat. c. 14., and affirming the Sta­tions, that were in use among them, to have had their original from the Military ones; His representing that Souldier, who refused to put on his Crown, as more the Souldier of God De coronâ c. 1., than of the Emperor; His afterwards describing the same personIbid. as one clad all in red with the hope of his own blood, shod with the preparation of the Gospel, girt with the sharper Word of God, armed Cap-a-pe out of the Apostle, and in a short time to be crowned with the Crown of Martyrdom, and to receive the donative of Christ in prison. For what are these but pregnant proofs of the likeness they conceived between a Christian, and a Military state, and consequently that, in agree­ment thereto, they spake of their own Sacraments in the same Military strain? Though if neither that will suffice, we have their own express applications of the word to warrant us, and accordingly either making the Sacraments a badge of their military state, or ar­guing from mens taking upon them the Sacraments of Christ's war­fare, the unlawfulness of obliging themselves by a humane one. For, agreeably to the former of these, we find the fore­quoted Tertullian affirmingVocati sumus ad militiam Dei vivi, jam tunc cum in Sacramenti verba respondimus. Ad Martyr. c. 3., that we were called even then to the Militia of God, when we answered to the words of the Sacrament, meaning that of Baptism; As Arnobius yet more plainlyAdv. Gentes li. 2. Quod ab dominis se servi cruciatibus affici, quibus statuerunt, malunt, solvi conjuges Matrimoniis, exhaere­dari à parentibus liberos, quam fidem num­pere Christianam, & salutaris militiae Sa­cramenta deponere., where he represents one, who denies the Faith, as one who deposits the Sacraments of the saving Mili­tia of God. For what was this but to say, that, in respect to that warfare, which Christianity commands us to take up, they call'd the principal institutions of it by the name of Sacraments, and consequently that they made use of the word in a sense analogous to that, in which it had been formerly taken? On the other side, when the forementioned Tertullian De Coronâ. c. 11. Etenim, ut ipsam cau­sam coronae mi­litaris aggre­diar, puto prius conquirendum, an in totum Christianis mi­litia conveniat. Quale est alio­quin de acci­dentibus retra­ctare, cum à praecedentibus culpa sit? Cre­dimusne humanum Sacramentum divino superinduci licere, & in alium Dominum respondere post Christum?, where he goes about to prove the unlawfulness of a Christians taking upon him a Military life, demands whether any man can think it lawful to super­induce a humane, or Military Sacrament upon a divine one, and to an­swer to another Master after Christ; What other can he be thought to mean, than that the divine, and humane Sacraments were of one, and the same general nature, that the divine Sacraments had there­fore the name of the humane ones impos'd upon them, and so the word Sacrament of like signification in them both. The only thing to be farther enquired into is how far this likeness of signification may be supposed to prevail in the divine or Christian intendment of it.

And here in the first place it is easie to observe, that the word Sacrament, in the Christian intendment of it, did equally imply the thing, to which it was attributed to lay an Obligation upon him, that took it, to intend those things, to which it related. For be­sides that otherwise it could have had little affinity with the Mili­tary Sacrament, the principal design whereof was to lay an Obli­gation [Page 8]upon those, that took it; The first time we find any men­tion made of a Christian Sacrament, we find mention also madePlin. Epist. li. 10. ep. 97. of the Christians obliging themselves by it, to the doing of those things, that are there remembred. It is no less easie to see, second­ly, by the account we before gave of the Symbolizing of our Sacra­ments with the Military one, and particularly by a passage before remembred out of Tertullian, that the same word, in the Christian sense of it, did equally imply the things, to which it was attributed, to lay an Obligation upon those, that took them, to intend that warfare, to which Christianity called them. I add thirdly, as no less evident from the premises, the same words implying the things, to which it was attributed, to oblige the party, that took them, to be faithful to their General Christ, and who was the Captain, as well as the Author of our Spiritual warfare. As is evident, among other things, from Tertullian's making the divine Sacrament to be accompanied with a profession of our obedience unto Christ our Master, and accordingly arguing from thence the unlawfulness of taking upon us the Military one, and so answering to another Ma­ster after him. I say Fourthly, that as the Military Sacrament did, among other things, oblige the party, that took it, to the avoiding of several things, which were inconsistent with the orderly management of an Army, and particularly to the avoiding of theft, and other such like injustices, as appears by the form of it in Gelli­us Noct. Attic. li. 16. c. 4., so the word Sacrament, in the Christian intendment of it, did equally imply that, to which it was attributed, to oblige the persons, that took it, not to commit Theft, or Robberies Plin. Ep. li. 10. ep. 97. Adfirmabant antem hanc fuisse summam vel culpae suae, vel erroris, quod essent soliti stato die ante lucem convenire, &c. seque Sacramento non in scelus aliquod obstringere, sed ne furta, ne latrocinia, ne adulteria committerent, ne fidem fallerent, ne depositum appellati negarent., or Adulteries, not to falsifie their trusts, or, when they were called upon to restore, to deny any thing that was committed to their cu­stody. I observe lastly, that as the Military Sa­crament was attended with religious rites, yea received both its denomination, and a great deal of its force from them; so the word Sacrament, in the Christian intendment of it, was meant to denote the like Religious Rites, and the Obligation of those, that took the Sacrament, by them. Which is so true, that in Tertullian first, and afterwards in other Christian Writers, the word Sacrament came especially to be ap­plied to the ritual part thereof, yea to such things, as had little of a Sacrament properly so called, beside the ceremonies thereof.

Of what use these Observations may be, will then more clearly appear, when I proceed (as I mean to do in the following Discourse) from the signification of the word Sacrament to the unfolding of the nature of the things intended by it. The only use I shall make of them at present, is, that if we will consider the nature of a Sacra­ment in its full latitude, we ought to consider it as well with re­spect to our selves, and those Obligations it lays upon us, as with relation to God, and Christ, and those Graces, which it was intended, on their part, to signifie, or convey to the worthy Receiver of it.

PART II. Of the Nature of a SACRAMENT.

The Contents.

A Sacrament shewn to be a Relative thing, more particularly such a Relative thing, as hath the relation of an outward, and visible sign of that, of which it is a Sacrament. That therefore assign'd as the Genus of a Sacrament, and enquiry thereupon made after those essential attributes, which difference it from other outward and visible signs. Which is endeavour'd to be evinc'd from the several things to which a Sacrament relates, the manner of its relation to each of them, and the foundation of that relation. The things, to which a Sacrament relates, shewn in the general to be Sacred, or Di­vine, more particularly, divine Graces, and humane Duties, that New Covenant, which connects them together, and that body of men, which is confederated by it. To the first of which a Sacrament relates in the nature of a sign, a means of conveyance, and a pledge; To the second in the nature of a simple sign, or declaration, and (by means of that Covenant, which it conciliates) as an Obligation to them; To the third in the nature of such a sign, as serves also to give being to, or renew it; And to the fourth, and last in the na­ture of a Discriminative sign, or badge, and as a means of bring­ing particular men into it, or continuing them in it. The foun­dation of all these relations shewn to be the Institution of Christ, as that again, not so much as delivered by him, as applied to those ele­ments, in which they are subjected, by a declaration of the purport of the Institution, and by doing such other things to them, as either the general precepts of Christianity, or the more particular precepts of the institution oblige to the performance of. A brief recollection made of all the forementioned particulars, and the essential attributes of a Sacra­ment deduced from thence, and exemplified in several definitions of it.

I Have hitherto entreated of the signification of the word Sacrament, Question. What meanest thou by this word Sacra­ment? Answer. I mean an outward, and visible sign of an inward, and spiritual Grace given unto us, ordain­ed by Christ himself as a means, whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof. I have shewn what they meant by it, who first made use of it, and what they also in­tended, who first applied it to those Christian In­stitutions, which are now commonly known by that name. But because no names are so expressive of the nature of things, as to bring men to a clear, and perfect under­standing of them: And because, though some names should be [Page 10]thought to be so expressive, yet we cannot well conceive so of this, by any thing that hath hitherto appeared concerning the significa­tion of it; Therefore to satisfie our selves yet more fully concern­ing the nature of the thing intended by it, we must take another course, and particularly by finding out under what head of things it ought to be placed, and what are the essential attributes thereof: Whereof the former among the Learned hath the name of its Genus, the latter of the specifical difference thereof.

It is the observation of the Judicious Hooker Eccl. Pol. li. 5. sect. 57., where he en­treats of the nature, and necessity of the Sacraments, that as no one part of religion hath been more diversly interpreted, or disputed of, so that diversity hath especially arisen from the mixedness of their na­tures, and from that variety of properties, which flow from it. Which therefore whilst they, who handled this Argument, have but imperfectly considered, they have not only taken up different notions of a Sacrament, but thought themselves obliged to com­bat those, who have assigned it other properties, than what they themselves had taken notice of. I find no reason to question the truth of that Observation of his, either as to the variety of mens conceits concerning a Sacrament, or that mixt nature of a Sacra­ment, to which he entitles the variety of the other. But neither the one, nor the other will hinder us from discovering, under what head of things to place it, which is that we are first of all to intend. For whether we consider a Sacrament, as to Christ, or to our selves, as a means in his hands to profit us, or in ours to de­clare our piety toward him; Whether again we consider it, in the hands of Christ, as a means whereby he signifies, and seals his own graces, or as a means whereby he conveys, as well as either signifies, or seals them; Yet still it will be found to be in the num­ber of relative things, or such, whose very being consists in the respect they bear unto another: Because, whatever it may be in it self, yet it is not considered as such, but with respect to that Grace of Christ, which it so signifies, or seals, or exhibits, or with respect to that piety, which it is intended on our part to declare. But so the Scriptures themselves will oblige us to consider a Sacrament, as is evident from what they teach concerning Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, which are, if not the only, yet the most undoubt­ed Sacraments of our Religion. For, agreeably thereto, they prompt us to consider the water of Baptism1 Pet. 3.21., not as putting away the filth of the Flesh (which is the proper consideration of water, as such) but as washing us from Act. 22.16. our sins, and purifying those consciences 1 Pet. 3.21., wherein they are; As, on the other fide, the Bread, and Wine of the Lord's Supper, not as intended to satisfie 1 Cor. 11.34. our hunger, but asMatt. 26.26, &c. the body, and blood of Christ, or rather the com­munication 1 Cor. 10.16. of it. For well may we look upon those things as relative ones, which we are not only forbidden to consider in their natural properties, but prompted to attribute to them the proper­ties of others, yea to consider in the same notion with them. I say secondly, that as a Sacrament is a relative thing, and that there­fore to be reputed as the remote Genus of it, so it is of the num­ber of those relative ones, which are signs, or representations of what they so relate unto. As is evident in part from what we [Page 11]were before taught concerning the water of Baptism, and will be yet more, when I come to shew the Analogy there is between the elements of each Sacrament, and that, to which they do relate. For if the water of Baptism, (though not to be considered as to any proper purification, yet) is to be considered under the notion of a Laver Tit. 3 5., and accordingly as washing Act. 22.16. those who are sprinkled with it, from their sins, then ought it to be look'd upon under the notion of a sign of that, to which it doth so relate. Because what­ever force the Baptismal water may have toward the doing away our sins, yet it cannot be supposed, because sin is no corporal spot, to wash us from them; And that term of washing therefore attri­buted to it upon the account of the Analogy there is between the property of water considered in its own nature, and that of the same water as consecrated into a Sacrament. Which will conse­quently make the water of Baptism, (and, by proportion thereto, the elements of other Sacraments) not only to have a relation to something of another nature, but also to be a sign, or representa­tion of it. I say nothing at present of a Sacrament's being a means of conveying something to us, as well as a sign of it, and a pledge to assure us of it, as well as either; Partly, because that, which hath the nature of a sign, may also be made use of as a means of con­veyance, and a pledge; And partly because the first intention of a Sacrament is to signifie that, of which it is so, and that therefore by which it comes to do so, more commodiously assigned as the Genus of it. And I shall only add, that forasmuch as a sign is no­thing else, than that, which offers it self to the senses, and that, of which it is a sign, to the understanding; Forasmuch therefore as it must be subjected in some sensible being, and (if it be also a formal sign, or that which represents the thing, of which it is so) in such a being, as is apparent to the eyes; Forasmuch lastly as Baptism, and the Lord's Supper (which are, at least, the most considerable Sacraments of our Religion) are subjected in such sensible, yea visible beings; It cannot but be deemed reasonable, for the more clear declaring of the nature of a Sacrament, to represent it (as our Catechism doth) as an outward, and visible one.

That therefore being to be looked upon as the Genus of a Sa­crament, or that general head of things, under which we are to conceive of it; Enquire we in the next place after the essential at­tributes thereof, and by which it will not only be more perfectly known what it is, but also be more clearly discriminated from those things, which are of the same general nature. Now as the essence of a relative thing consists in the relation it bears to another, and that relative thing therefore, whereof we speak, in the rela­tion which it bears to that, of which it is a sign; So the essential attributes of a Sacrament cannot therefore be better learned, than by the knowledge of those things, to which it doth relate, the man­ner of its relation to them, and the foundation of it.

I. In the general I observe, that that, to which a Sacrament re­lates, must be something Sacred, or Divine, as both the term of Sacrament, and the known nature of Baptism, and the Lord's Supper perswade. Which is the rather to be remarked, to distin­guish [Page 12]it from such signs, as relate to civil matters, and particularly from the purely military Sacrament. For though even that had a relation to God, as whose name it did invoke, and to whose truth, and justice it did appeal; yet it referr'd to God rather as a witness of what it affirmed, than as to the object of it. For the object of a Military Sacrament was no other than the being faithful to those Generals, under which the Souldiers, that took that Sacrament, were.

I observe more particularly, that as that may be termed Sacred, or Divine, which hath God either for its principle, or object, and accordingly flows from him to us, or passeth from as to him; so a Sacrament relates both to the one, and the other, and ought to be looked upon as such. That a Sacrament relates to that, which flows from God to us, is a thing neither denyed, nor forgotten by any, and is evident from what the Scriptures teach concerning Ba­ptism, and the Lord's Supper. Witness, for the former, their re­presenting Baptism as the laver Tit. 3.5. of Regeneration, which is a thing we must have from GodJoh. 3.5., and as a thing, by which we must obtain forgiveness of sins Act. 2.38., which is as undoubtedlyExpl. of the Lords Pr. forgive us, &c. an­other. For the latter, the same Scriptures requiring us to look upon the elements thereof, as that body of Christ, which was Luk. 22.19. gi­ven for us, and that blood which was shed for manyMatt. 26.28., for the forgiveness of sins. For as these, and the former benefits are such as manifestly come from God, so they are alike manifestly repre­sented as the consequents of the former Sacraments, and a Sacra­ment therefore, as such, to be looked upon as having a relation to that, which flows from God to us. The only difficulty, in my opinion, is to shew a Sacrament to relate equally to that, which passeth from us to God, and imports our duty, and service. But be­sides that the Antients apprehended no such difficulty in it, because giving it the title of a Sacrament, in respect of that Obligati­on See the prec. Disc., which it lays upon the Receivers of it; The Scriptures have said enough concerning Baptism, and the Lords Supper, to confirm us in the belief of this relation of them. Only because I would not too much anticipate my Discourse concerning those Sacraments, and, beside that, may have another occasion to speak more largely to this Argument, I will content my self at present with what St. Peter hath observ'd of Baptism1 Pet. 3.21., and which I have elsewhereExplic. of the Prel. Quest. and Answers, &c. gi­ven a more particular account of. For if, as that Apostle insinuates, and hath accordingly been more largely confirmed, the stipulation or answer of a good conscience toward God be a considerable part of Baptism; If it be so considerable a part of it, as to give it much of that savingness which it hath; Then must that Sacrament be thought (because the stipulation of a good Conscience is of that na­ture) to relate to something, that must come from us, as well as to those things, which flow from God to us. It is true indeed that our Church, where it sets it self to define a Sacrament, takes no notice of this object of it; Whether it were through a simple inadvertency, and from which our Church doth no where pretend it self to be free, or (which I rather think) that it might give so much the more particular an account of that other, and more con­siderable object of it, even that inward, and Spiritual Grace, which [Page 13]it was intended to signifie, and exhibit, and assure. For that our Church did not wholly forget this second object of a Sacrament (even that duty, and service of ours, which it doth equally signifie, and prompt us to declare) is evident from its before minding the Ca­techumen of his Baptismal vowPrelim. Quest. and Answ. of the Cat., and from the declaration it elsewhereOffice of Publ. Bapt. makes, that they who are to be baptized must also for their parts promise the renouncing of the Devil, and his works, and both Faith and Piety toward God: That, as it shews her to have looked upon Baptism as a federals rite, or ceremony, so that she equally believed it to relate to our duty, and service, as well as to those divine benefits, we receive from the Author of it. Let it remain therefore for an undoubted truth, and the acknowledged Doctrine of our Church, that a Sacrament relates as well to what is to pass from us to God, as to what is to come from God to us, and that accordingly it may be so far forth defined, such an outward, and visible sign, whereby we make a declaration of our piety to­ward God, as Mr. Calvin Instit. li. 4. c. 14. §. 1. hath very well observed.

I may not forget to add, for the farther clearing of this head, that as a Sacrament relates first, and chiefly to that, which passeth from God to us; so we are to conceive of that, to which it so re­lates, under the notion of a Grace given unto us, yea of an inward, and spiritual one. That we ought to conceive of it under the notion of a grace given unto us, is evident from those Texts, which I but now made use of to shew, that a Sacrament relates to that which passeth from God to us. For instancing in such things, as have the nature of benefits, and, so far forth therefore, are to be looked upon as Graces, or Favours, instancing moreover in such benefits, as are manifestly the issues of the Divine Goodness, yea which the Scripture expresly affirms to be given to us by him (for so it doth as to thatLuk. 22.19. Body of Christ, which is the foundation of them all) they must consequently oblige us to conceive of that, to which a Sa­crament relates, as a Grace given unto us. But neither will there be less evidence from thence, if those Texts be well considered, that that Grace, to which a Sacrament relates, is an inward and Spiritual one. For as our Church means no other by an inward and Spiritual Grace, than that which conduceth in an especial manner to the welfare of our inward man, or Spirit, (as is evident from its making the Body and Blood of Christ the inward, and Spiri­tual Grace of the Lords Supper, and which it cannot be in any other sense, than that it hath such an effect upon us) so the Texts before alledged attribute such Graces to the Sacraments, as are, in that sense at least, inward and Spiritual ones: Witness their attri­buting to them the Graces of regeneration, and forgiveness, which are as it were the formal causes of our welfare, and the grace of Christs Body, and Blood, which is the meritorious cause thereof, and under God, and by his acceptation, in the place of an Efficient also.

I observe farther, that as a Sacrament relates to such things, as have the nature of divine Graces, or humane duties; so those gra­ces, and duties being parts of the New Covenant, and receiving all their force from it, a Sacrament must consequently relate to that New Covenant, to which they do belong, and from which they receive all their force. Of which yet if there remain any doubt, it [Page 14]will not be difficult to clear it from what the Scripture assures us concerning Baptism, and the Lords Supper; St. Peter 1 Pet. 3.21. repre­senting the former under the notion of a Stipulation, or Contract, as our Saviour the Cup of the otherLuk. 22.20. Matt. 26.28. as the New Covenant in his Blood for the remission of those sins, for which it was shed. For that that is in truth the meaning of the words [...], and not (as we usually render it) the New Testament in it, is not only evident from the word [...] being alway so used by the Greek Transla­tours of the Old Testament, and whom the Writers of the New Testament generally follow, but from the opposition, which the Scriptures of both TestamentsJer. 3, 31. &c. Heb. 8.8, &c. make between the [...], and the [...] even whereHeb. 9.15-18. there is the greatest appearance of its being to be translated a Testament. For the [...] being cer­tainly a Covenant, and accordingly expressed by the Hebrews, by the word [...], which is never used in any other sense, it is but reasonable to believe, that that [...], which is opposed to it, is of the same nature: Because as it hath the same word to express it, and is therefore in reason to be looked upon as so far the same; so it would otherwise be different from the Old as to its general nature, as well as particular quality, which the sole men­tion of its newness forbids us to believe; Oppositions (like excepti­ons from a general rule) supposing an identity there, where no opposition is taken notice of. And indeed, though the word [...] may seem in one place to require a different rendering, even thereHeb. 9.17., where mention is made of its being of no force till he, by whom it was made, was dead; Yet as even that did not hinder our Translatours from rendering it a Covenant both in the forego­ingHeb. 8.9, &c., and followingHeb. 10.29. Chapters, so that place will not only admit of the notion of a Covenant, but be found (all things con­sidered) to require it of us. For with what sense first of all can our Saviour be said to be the Mediatour of the New Heb. 9.15. Testament, upon the sense of which expression the following periods do de­pend. And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, that, by means of death for the redemption of the Transgressions, that were under the first Testament, they, which are called, might receive the promise of an eternal inheritance. For shall we say that Christ may be stiled the Mediator of the New Testament, because interpo­sing himself between two persons, that concurr to the making of it? But as a Testament is the Act of one, and not of more, and therefore admitteth not of any such mediation; so the New Testa­ment is supposed to be the Act of Christ, and he therefore rather the Maker, than the Mediatour of it. Shall we then say, that Christ is the Mediator of the New Testament, because interposing be­tween the maker of that Testament, and those who are the Le­gatees in it? But by this means God the Father shall become the Testator, which, if death be required to make him such, he can by no means be. Shall we say lastly, that Christ may be looked upon as a Mediator of the New Testament, because by means of that Testament of his taking up the difference between God, and Man? But that is rather to make him a Mediator by a Testament, than of one, which Christ is here affirmed to be. So difficult will it be found to make any tolerable sense of those words, if we un­derstand [Page 15]them (as our Translators prompt us) of the Mediator of a Testament: Whereas, if we understand them of the Mediator of a Covenant, the sense will be clear, and plain; Because as there are two parties required to the making of a Covenant, and such who do, for the most part, need a Mediator to bring them to it; so God, and Man are manifestly the Parties of the New Cove­nant, and brought to enter into it by the mediation of Christ. If it be also said, as it is, that the Mediator of the New Covenant brings the Parties concerned to it by his death, it is no more than will be found to be agreeable to the Eastern mode of making Cove­nants, and particularly to the manner of making that Covenant, which was of old between God, and the Israelites. For as that Covenant (and indeed all the kindness that passed between them) was brought about by the mediation of SacrificesExo. 24.5., and the blood of those Sacrifices therefore stiled the blood of the Covenant Exo. 24.8., so Christ; by the blood Col. 1.19. of his Cross brought about this New Cove­nant between God, and us, and so, as the Author to the Hebrews speaks, became the Mediator of it. If it be said yet farther, that Christ became the Mediator of the New Covenant, that they, who were called might receive the promise of an eternal inheritance; That also will be found to be as agreeable to the notion of a Covenant, as it is to that of a Testament: Because, as an inheritance may pass by other means beside that of a Testament, so the Children of Israel came to the inheritance of the Land of Canaan by a Co­venantGen. 15.7, 8, 18. between God, and their Progenitor Abraham, yea by such a Covenant, as was conciliated by the mediationGen. 15.9. of a Sacrifice. That therefore being the sense of those words of the Apostle, and so, as I think, evinced to be by no contemptible proofs, it will be but reasonable to give a like sense to the following onesHeb. 9, 16, 17, 18., because but a proof of the former, if it may be made appear, that they are capable of it. Which that they are, will appear from the Translation I shall now subjoyn, and which, if it be duly con­sidered, will be found to be no forced one. For [...], &c. where a Covenant is, there must of necessity [even by that necessity which arose from the Antient mode of making Covenants] be the death of that Mediator, that made it. For a Co­venant becomes firm after those Mediators, that made it, are dead, for it is never of force, whilst he, who so makes it, lives. Whereupon neither the first Covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of Calves, and of Goats with water, and scarlet Wool, and Hyssop, and sprinkled both the Book, and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the Covenant Exo. 24.8., which God hath enjoyned unto you. That I render the words [...], the death of the Mediator, that makes the Covenant, is because the Apostle speaks in the verse before of him, who makes the Covenant, not as a Party, but as a Me­diator, and what is here said therefore of the Maker of a Cove­nant to be understood of such a Maker of it. That I render those words [...], for a Covenant becomes firm, after those Mediators, who made it, are dead, is be cause those words are [Page 16]intended as a confirmation of the former ones, and so in reason to be understood of the death of the same Mediators. In fine, that I render the words [...], for it is never of force, whilst he, who so makes it, lives, is because those words, as the former, are a continuation, and confirmation of the foregoing Argument, and so still to be understood with reference to the same Mediator. All which things I have laid together, not so much out of a desire of being thought the Author of a new Interpretation (from which no man is more averse, where there is not some kind of necessity for it) but to clear up an acknowledged, and im­portant truth, and which the Text, I have so long insisted upon, hath helped, more than any thing, to obscure. For as there is no­thing more certain from the Scripture, nor more attested to by our own Translators, than that the dispensation of the Gospel ought to be looked upon under the notion of a Covenant; As there is no­thing, in like manner, of more importance to us to know, and consider, because it will prompt us to the doing of our part in the Covenant, if we mean that God should do his; so, setting aside this Text of the Hebrews, there is not one, where this [...] is mentioned, which will not as commodiously, or more be inter­preted of a Covenant, than it can be thought to be of a Testament. Only, if some men swayed by their former prejudices, or by the La­tins giving the Codex of the Old, and New Law the title of the Old, and New Testament Tertull. de jejun. c. 11. Secundum utri­usque Testamenti paraturam. (though they also give them the more general title of Instrumenta Idem Apol. c. 19. Primam Instrumentis istis auctoritatem summa Antiquitas vindicat. Ib. c. 21. Sed quoniam edidimus antiquissi­mis Judaeorum Instrumentis sectam istam esse suffultam. Adv. Marc. li. 1. c. 13. Quantas autem foveas in ista vel maxime epistola [ad Romanos nempe] Marcion fecerit auferendo quae voluit, de nostri Instru­menti integritate parebit..) But if some men, I say, sway­ed by the one, or the other, think fit to con­tinue to the former Text, and some others the notion of a Testament; As I shall not contend with them about it, for the reverence I my self bear to the judgment of the Antients, so I shall ask, as is but reason, their acknowledging in like manner that the words [...] do equally import a new Co­venant, and particularly, where mention is made of the Cup of the Lord's Supper being the blood of that [...], or a [...] in it. Partly, because that old [...], to which it was opposed, had the na­ture of a Covenant, and could not, unless very improperly, be stiled a Testament; And partly, because it was not only sealed with blood, but that blood also stiled the blood of Exo. 24.8. the Covenant. For that is enough to perswade (especially, when we otherwise know, that the dispensation of the Gospel is undoubtedly a Co­venant) that our Saviour, when he represented the Cup of his Last Supper as the blood of the [...], meant the blood of the New Covenant, and consequently that that Sacrament, and the other have a relation to it.

I will conclude what I have to say concerning those things, to which a Sacrament relates, when I have taken notice of its relating to that body of men, with whom this New Covenant is made, as well as to the Covenant it self. For that it doth so, we have the former instances of Baptism, and the Lord's Supper to assure us, or rather what we learn from the Scriptures concerning them: St. Paul giving us to understand, that it is into that body, that we are [Page 17]baptized1 Cor. 12.13., as, in like manner, that though we be many, yet we be­come one bread, and that one body1 Cor. 10.17. by partaking of the bread of the other Sacrament.

II. It appearing from the premises, what those things are, to which a Sacrament relates, and the way therefore so far plained toward the discovery of the properties thereof, enquire we in the next place into the nature of that relation, which I have affirmed it to bear unto the other. For my more advantageous discovery whereof I will resume each of those things, to which it doth relate, and shew what kind of relation it beareth to them.

Now as the first of those things is an inward and Spiritual Grace, that is to say, such a one as conduceth in an especial manner to the welfare of our inward man, or spirit; so we shall find a Sa­crament, as to it, to have the nature of a sign, or visible represen­tation of it. A thing so acknowledged by all, by whom the Sa­craments are acknowledged in any measure, that it will hardly be worth our while to insist upon it. It may suffice here to say, that as a sign is so much of the Essence of a Sacrament, that it is the very Genus of it, and must therefore be supposed to be such, as to all those things to which it relates; so we shall find the Sacraments of Baptism, and the Lord's Supper to represent even to our eyes those inward and spiritual graces, which are attributed to them. For thus the water of Baptism doth by that cleansing quality, which is natural to it, and which, as such, is a representation of that spiritual Grace, which purgeth Heb. 9.14. the Conscience from dead works, which are, as it were, the filth 2 Cor. 7.1., and pollution of it. And thus too the Elements of the Lord's Supper do, as by other ways, and means, so by that which is done unto them; The breaking of the one serving to set forth the breaking of Christs body upon the Cross, as the pouring out of the other doth the shedding of his blood at those passages, which were made for it by the Nails, and Spear, that pierced him.

But beside that a Sacrament hath the relation of a sign to that inward, and spiritual Grace, which belongeth to it, it hath also the relation of such a sign, as is moreover an apt instrument to convey that grace, which is signified by it. I instance, for the proof hereof, in the Scriptures attributing such effects to Baptism and the Lord's Supper, as are the immediate issues of those gra­ces, which are signified by them. For if it attribute such effects to them, it must consequently intimate them to be the conveyers of those Graces, from whence they result, as which otherwise they could not be in a condition to produce. Now that the Scriptures attribute such effects to the Sacraments before remembred, as are the immediate issues of those graces, which are signified by them, will appear, as to Baptism, by their attributing to it a power of washing away Acts 22.16. the sins of men. For whether we understand thereby the washing away their guilt, or washing away the pol­lution of them, we shall still find it to be the immediate issue of an inward, and spiritual Grace; It being the blood of Jesus Christ (as the ScripturesExplic. of the Creed in the word Dead. every where declare) that washeth us from sin in the former sense, and the sanctifying Graces of God's spi­ritExpl. of the Creed, in the words, I believe in the Holy Ghost., which purifie us from it in the other. If therefore the Sa­crament [Page 18]of Baptism may be said so to wash, and purifie, it must be as it is an Instrument, whereby it conveys to us those graces, to which that purification doth belong. But so the same Scriptures do yet more expresly declare, as to that other Sacrament of our Re­ligion, even the Supper of the Lord; St. Paul telling us1 Cor. 10.16. of the bread of it, that it is the Communion, or Communication of Christ's body, as of the Cup that goes along with it, that it is the Communion of his blood. For what other can we well understand by that ex­pression of his, than that they are an instrument, whereby God con­veys, and we accordingly come to partake of that body, and blood of Christ, which is signified by them? This only would be added, for the clearer Explication of it, that when were present the Sacrament as an instrument, whereby God conveys to us that grace, which is signified by it, we do not mean thereby that it is a natural one, or such as contains that grace in it, as a Vessel doth liquor, or a cause its effect, but rather (as the Judicious Hookes Eccl. Pol. li. 5. sect. 57. speaks) as a moral instrument thereof; That is to say, as such a one, to the use whereof God hath made a promise of his grace, and which accordingly he will accompany with the exhibition of the other.

I deny not indeed but there are, who are otherwise perswaded, and who accordingly either attribute a greater efficacy to a Sacra­ment, or deny even that, which we have attributed to it. Of the former sort are they, who not contented to affirm that a Sa­crament is an instrument, whereby God conveys grace to the wor­thy receiver of it, do moreover represent it under the notion of a Physical one, yea of such a Physical one, as contains grace in it, as a cause doth its effect, and accordingly contributes by its own in­ternal force to the producing of it, as well as to the possessing us thereof. Even as a Chezil (for so theyHist. of Counc. of Trent li. 2. explain themselves) contributes to the formation of a Statue, or as a Hatchet to that Bed,Aquin. sum. Part. 3. Qu. 62. Art. 1. which is shaped by it. But as it appears by Aquinas Ibid., who was it may be the first framer of it, that that conceit had its original from the fear of making a Sacrament to be nothing but a bare sign of grace, contrary to the opinion of the Holy Fathers; so nothing more therefore can be necessary toward the overthrow­ing of it, than to shew the groundlesness of that fear, which the doctrine before deliver'd will sufficiently evince. For if it be but a moral instrument, whereby God conveys his own graces, it is certainly more than a sign, yea it may, in some sense, be said to be a cause, as well as the instrument thereof. For as they, who at­tribute to a Sacrament the efficacy of a cause, make it to be no far­ther a cause of grace, than that it produceth in the Soul a dispo­sitionHist. of Counc. of Trent li. 2. to receive it (by which means it is not so much the cause of grace, as of our receiving it) so such a kind of causality will be found to belong to it, though we make a Sacrament to be no other than a means whereby we attain it: Because it is so far forth by the force of a Sacrament, that grace comes to be in us, that without that we cannot ordinarily hope to attain it, nor fear to fail of it, where the other is duly receiv'd. The only diffe­rence as to this particular between the one, and the other opinion, is, that whereas the former makes a Sacrament to dispose us to [Page 19]the reception of Grace, as well as to convey it; The latter suppo­seth that disposition already produc'd, and consequently leaves no place for the former operation. In that respect yet more agreeably to the Doctrine of the Scriptures, because not only pre-requiring certain qualificationsAct. 8.36, 37. 1 Cor. 11.20. of those, that are to receive it, but assuring them, that if they come so qualifi'd, they shall not failMark. 16.16. Act. 2.38. of that grace, which the Sacrament was intended to convey; These and the like assertions, as they suppose the Soul to be before dispos'd, so leaving no place for any other causality in a Sacrament, than its ser­ving to us as a means of conveying that grace, which we are so disposed to receive. And indeed as it doth not appear by any thing that Schoolman hath alledg'd, that the Antients ever attributed any other causality to a Sacrament (for though St. Augustine, as he is quoted by him, affirms the power of God to work by a Sa­crament, yet he doth not affirm it to do so as by a Physical in­strument) As it appears farther, even from that Schoolman, that St. Bernard was of opinion, that Grace is no otherwise conveyed by a Sacrament, than a Canonry in his time was by a Book, or a Bi­shoprick by Ring; so there is no defect in the Instances of that Fa­ther, supposing a Book or a Ring to have been as much a means of conveying of those preferments, as we affirm a Sacrament to be of the divine Grace. For in that case the delivery of a Ring, or a Book, would not only have been a sign, whereby the delivery of those preferments was declar'd, as Aquinas argues in the place before, but a ceremony by which they were actually made over, and without which they could not have been Canonically invested in them. I conclude therefore, that if a Sacrament be an instru­ment of Grace, it is a moral one, and such as contributes no far­ther toward our partaking of it, than as it is a means to which God hath annex'd the promise of it, and which accordingly he will not fail (where the receiver is rightly dispos'd) to accompany with the exhibition of the other.

But because there are some, who are so far from owning a Sa­crament to be a physical instrument of grace, that they will not so much as allow it to be a moral one; And because such a conceit may tend as much to the depretiating of a Sacrament, as the other seems to tend to the overvaluing of it; Therefore consider we in the next place the pretensions of those, that entertain it, and the strength, or rather weakness of those pretensions. There are who have thought (and it were to be wish'd that many more did not, who do not perhaps speak it out) that a Sacrament, as to this particular is a bare sign of the Divine Grace, and accordingly in­tended by God, only to awaken mens minds to conceive it, and their hearts to the embracing of it. What induced them so to opine, I am not able to say, unless it were, on the one hand an universal acknowledgment of its being a sign; and a fear, on the other, lest if they made it any thing more, they should approach too near to those excesses, into which the former had cast them­selves. But as it is a very ill way of choosing opinions in Religion by the distance, which they bear to the excesses of other men; so the fondness of this cannot better be made appear, than by those glorious effects, which are attributed to a Sacrament, and which, in [Page 20]strictness of speech, are the proper, and immediate issues of that which is signified by it. For that which is only a sign being no way capable of producing such effects, nor therefore with any reason of having such effects attributed to it, we are in reason, where the thing will bear it, to conceive it under such a notion, as will make those effects yet more proper to it. Which we shall then, and then only do, when we make it such a sign, whereby (as was before said) God conveys to us that Grace, by which those effects are produc'd. Only as there are, who think all this may be salv'd, by making a Sacrament a seal, as well as a sign of Grace, or rather a seal of that New Covenant, by which we are intituled to it; so it may not therefore be amiss to examine that pretension also, and enquire into the validity thereof. What relation a Sacrament bears to the New Covenant, and how far the notion of a seal is compe­tible to it, shall be examin'd in another place, and I will not there­fore at present engage my self in that dispute. But I shall not stick to affirm, that how legitimate soever that notion of a Sacrament may be, yet it is no adequate one; As will appear in part from the insufficiency of those grounds upon which it is built, and in part also from the nature of that Covenant, whereof they speak, and of which they represent it as a seal. For the evidencing the former whereof we are to know, that as the ground upon which it is built is a passage of St. Paul Rom. 4.11., where he represents the Cir­cumcision of Abraham as a seal of that righteousness of faith, which he had yet being uncircumcis'd; so that Text, if it be well examin'd, will not be found to be a sufficient proof of that, for which it is alledg'd. For not to require those that urge that Text (which yet they seldom do) to make it appear that the Christian Sacraments are of the same nature with Circumcision, and consequently that what is said concerning Circumcision ought to be alike understood of the other; Neither is what is there affirm'd concerning Circum­cision affirm'd concerning Circumcision in the general, but only of the Circumcision of Abraham, neither is it affirmed concerning his, that it was a seal of that Covenant, to which it did more imme­diately relate, but of that righteousness, which he had before he enter'd into it. Things, which if duly consider'd, will render that testimony perfectly ineffectual, as to what it is designed to establish. For as if Abraham's case were different from that of other Cir­cumcised persons, what may have been to him a seal of the righte­ousness of Faith, may not yet have been such to them; so that Abraham's case was so far different from that of the generality of Circumcised persons, may appear from his having before had that righteousness of Faith, which the other, because Infants, could not be supposed to have had, or, at least, not till they had it by the sign of Circumcision. And indeed, whosoever shall consider what the Apostles design in that place is, even to shew that the righte­ousness of Faith is not annexed to Circumcision, because Abraham had it before he was Circumcised, must consequently believe that when he afterwards makes that Circumcision of his a seal of that righteousness in him, his meaning was only to say, that it was a testimony from God to him, and others, that he allowed of the former righteousness, as which if he had not done, he would not [Page 21]thus have entred with him into that other Covenant, of which Circumcision was a sign. By which way of arguing, what is here said concerning Circumcisions being a seal, must not be un­derstood of it, as it was in it self, and so in a notion common to all that receiv'd it, but with respect to that righteousness of Abra­ham's, which it followed after in time, and which it could not but be look'd upon as some Confirmation from God of, because a sign of that New Covenant which God then enter'd into with him. As for that New Covenant, or any righteousness of Faith accruing to Abraham by it; This St. Paul is so far from affirming his Circumci­sion to have been a seal of, that he may seem rather to intimate, that it had no such relation to it: Because affirming it to have been a seal of that righteousness, which he had before it, and which therefore he derived not from the Covenant of Circumcision, or was under any necessity of having it seal'd to him by the sign of it. I conclude therefore, that how true soever it may be, that a Chri­stian Sacrament is a seal of the New Covenant; Yet the Text be­fore mention'd conferrs not at all to the proving of it, and much less toward the shewing, that it hath no other relation than that of a seal either to that Covenant, or the graces of it. But beside that the single notion of a seal, how plausible soever it may ap­pear, hath no countenance from that Text, which is usually pro­duced for it; It will be found to have as little from the nature of that Covenant, of which it is represented as a seal. For that Co­venant importing as well the conferring of present benefits, as a promise of future ones, it must consequently if it be tranfacted by any visible ceremony, make use of that ceremony to convey those present benefits, as well as to ascertain the exhibition of fu­ture ones; The former whereof a seal being no way proper for, or at least not in the usual notion of it, we are in reason to give the respective Sacraments of that Covenant another, and a more effectual notion, even that of a means, whereby Christ, who is the Author of them, conveys his graces to mankind.

One only relation there is besides, which a Sacrament bears to the Divine Grace, even that of a pledge to assure us thereof (as our Catechism expresseth it) or (as the 25th Article of our Church hath it) a certain sure witness of it. A relation, which stands suf­ficiently confirm'd by the imperceptibleness of the Divine Grace in it self, and the aptness of a Sacrament to manifest its approaches to us. For as the imperceptibleness of the Divine Grace in it self makes it but necessary; for the comfort of mankind, to have its approaches manifested to them by some other ways, and means; so a Sacrament as before describ'd, is an apt means to notifie it to us, yea assure us of the approaches of it. Partly, because a means to which God hath annexed the exhibition of his grace, and partly because such a means, as is apparent to mens senses, and which therefore whilst they are so assured of, they can as little doubt of that Grace, which by the Decree of God is annexed to it.

Of the relation a Sacrament bears to the Divine Grace I have spoken hitherto, and shewn what kind, or kinds of relation it beareth to it; I come now, according to the method before laid down, to entreat of its relation to our selves, and of that piety, and [Page 22] service, which we owe to the giver of it. For the understanding whereof we are to know, that as a Sacrament is undoubtedly a sign of that, of which it is such, so if it hath a relation to our piety (as I have before shewn it to have, and as the very title of a Sacrament, in the Original notion of it, obligeth us to conceive) it must be look'd upon as such a sign, whereby we may make a declaration of that piety of ours, as was before observ'd out of Mr. Calvin. But so we do in Baptism, as by other ways, and means, so especially by our receipt of it, as a mark of our pre­sent acknowledgment of those Divine Persons, into whose names we are baptized, and a resolution for ever after to keep a good Conscience to them: In the Eucharist, by the grateful commemo­ration we there make of the death of Christ, by a declaration of our intimate union with those, who partake with us thereof, and a resolvedness to maintain it by all the offices of love, and kind­ness. Which things I do now only mention, because I must insist upon them more largely elsewhere, and whither it will be more proper to deferr the particular explication of them. Only as a Sa­crament appears to have receiv'd its Name from the obligation it layes upon us to the performance of religious duties; so I cannot forbear to add, that as it is a declaration of that piety we owe to God, so it is also an obligation to the continuance of it: Because (as I shall afterwards shew) it serves to conciliate, or renew that New Covenant, by which we are obliged to them.

From that second thing, to which a Sacrament relates, pass we to the third, even that New Covenant, in which both the former are founded, and to which I shall not stick to affirm: First, that a Sacrament hath the relation of a sign, because at once representing the concernments of each party, what God obligeth himself to conferr, and what we make profession of performing. But neither shall I stick to affirm, that it hath moreover the relation of such a sign, whereby the parties concern'd declare their consent to it, and so make that, which was before but in a disposition, to be­come a Covenant, or, at most, but in a weak, and tottering condi­tion, to become actually, and firmly such. Which if any man shall give the title of a Seal unto, I for my part shall not be at all displeas'd, because seals were sometimeNeh. 9.38. made use of, for the declaration of such a consent. But I have my self avoided to make use of the expression, because there may be some Ambiguity in it; And because they, who have lately employ'd it, seem to look upon it as a thing, which rather adds strength to mens faith concerning it, than to the Covenant it self, and much less doth either give be­ing to it, or renew it. Whereas Baptism, in my opinion, is that, which first strikes the Covenant between God, and man, and the Eucharist, that which continues, or renews it after it hath been shatter'd by our miscarriages; As is evident; as to the former, by its being the means ofMatt. 28.19. making Disciples, and the laver of our Tit. 3.5. new birth, and, as to the latter, by our Saviour's enti­tling it the New Covenant Luk. 22.20. in his blood, and remitting men to it for that remission of Matt. 26.28. sin, which had been made over to them by the other. This I take to be the true relation of a Sacrament to the New Covenant, and so I shall continue to do, till I come [Page 23]to be better enlightned in it. For which cause I shall only add, that as the consent, we now speak of, is in a Sacrament declar'd by both parties; so he, who administers it, is in that case in the place of God, and declares his consent to the Covenant; Be­cause doing what he doth by vertue of that CommissionMatt. 28.19., which empower'd the Apostles, and their Successors to Baptize all, that should offer themselves unto it, and made them the dispensers of that, and the other1 Cor. 4.1. mysteries of our Religion.

The fourth and last thing, to which I affirm'd a Sacrament to relate, is the body of Christ, even that mystical one, which is made up by those, that believe in him, and adore him. Now to this Body it relates, in the general, as a discriminative sign of the profession of it, and by which the several members thereof may both know, and be known by one another, and accordingly joyn in such acts, as God exacts of their body. For because God, who made men sociable Creatures, was willing they should wor­ship him in society also, as for other reasons, so to make him an apt returnExpl. of the fourth Com. Part 1. of praise for that blessing, which they receiv'd by God's disposing them to a sociable life; And because (as St. Augu­stine Aug. contr. Faust. Mani­chae. li. 19. c. 11. speaks) men cannot be associated into any Religious body, nor indeed into any other, but by a community of visible signs, and Sa­craments (of which, beside the thus confederating of men of all Religions, we have a proof in men's general inability to judge of the profession of their Associates by any other way, than by such outward notes, or characters) therefore, I say, God, and Christ, when they meant to erect a Christian body, gave it such signs, and notes also; Partly, to give beginning to it, and the several mem­bers of it, and partly to continue them in those joynt Offices, and services, which they requir'd the performance of. The former whereof is done by the Sacrament of Baptism, the latter by the Sacrament of the Eucharist. And how much these two Sacraments conferr toward the keeping up the profession of Christianity, will appear, on the one hand, from those miserable Christians, who live under the Turks, and, on the other, from those much more mise­rable persons the Quakers, who live among our selves. For as the poor Greeks, by reason of the ignorance of their Priests, and the unintelligibleness, as well as the hudling up of their Liturgies, have little other means beside those Sacraments, and other such symbo­lical rites to keep up the profession of Christianity among them (which yet, it may be, they are more tenacious of, than those who are better instructed among us, would be under the like circum­stances) so those much more miserable persons the Quakers, having thrown off the visible signs of Christianity, have upon the matter come to throw off Christianity it self, and whatsoever it obligeth us either to believe, or do in order to our obtaining the salvation promised by it. If they have made a shift to rear, or keep up so much as their own Profession, it was owing in the beginning to that Quaking, which gave denomination to them, and, since that, to their affected looks, and habits, and behaviour, which are, if I may so speak, the visible signs, or Sacraments thereof. And, if once they fall off from these, as we see they begin to do, we shall soon find their profession to fail together with it, and to be buried in [Page 24]the same grave. But to return to that more sacred body, of which I but now entreated, and to which as I affirm'd a Sacrament to have the relation of a general badge, or discriminative sign of the profession of it, so I must also to be a means of bringing particular men into it, or continuing them in the communion of it: It being into this body (as was before observ'd out of St. Paul) that all Chri­stians are baptiz'd, and so therefore first entred by that Sacrament; And in that body too that they continue by the receipt of the other Sacrament, because it is, by their partaking of the bread of it, that the same St. Paul affirms, that they become that one Bread, and Body. For being members of that body by the former Sacrament, they cannot otherwise be said to make it up by the partaking of the latter, than as that may serve to keep them within the com­munion of it.

III. An account being thus given of the things, to which a Sa­crament relates, together with the nature of that relation it bear­eth to them; It remains that I enquire what the foundation of that relation is, which is the only thing farther to be known toward the discovery of the properties of a Sacrament. For the under­standing whereof we are to know, that as the relation, whereof we speak, is of different sorts, to wit the relation of a sign, of a means of conveyance, and of a pledge (for such I have shewn a Sa­crament to be, as to that grace of God, to which it principally referrs) so it may have different foundations, agreeably to that diversity, which I have said to be in the nature of the relation. For, as a sign, it is founded in part in the resemblance, which it bears to the things signified by it (for so all signs of representation are) and in part also in the Institution of him, whose the Sacra­ment is: Because as the former resemblance is not so apparent, as by its own force to have suggested to us the things signified by it, so it could not without his institution, whose the Sacrament is, have laid any obligation upon us to consider it in that relation of it. I say not the same concerning that relation of a Sacrament, whereby it becomes a means of conveying to us the Divine grace, or a pledge to assure us thereof: Because each of these relations is founded simply, and only in the Institution of him, whose the Sa­crament is. For a Sacrament having no natural aptitude either to convey the Divine Grace to us, or to assure us, that if we receive that Sacrament, we shall receive the other also; It must conse­quently (if it become such a means, or pledge) become so by the Institution of him, by whom it is suggested to us. But because I have said nothing hitherto, whose that Institution is, by vertue of which a Sacrament puts on the forementioned relations; And be­cause it is alike certain, that whosoever's that Institution is, yet it produceth not those effects by its own immediate force, but by the intervention of some Act, or Acts of those, whom he hath in­trusted with the dispensation of them; Therefore, to satisfie our selves yet farther concerning the foundation of those relations, en­quire we in the next place whose that Institution is, upon which they are founded, and how that Institution ought to be appli'd to enable it to produce them.

As concerning the Person, whosethat Institution is, little needs to be said, considering what the Scripture hath said concerning Ba­ptism, and the Lord's Supper, which are the only clear Sacra­ments of our Religion. For Baptism, and the Lord's Supper be­ing apparently Christ's own Institutions, and so declared to be by those Scriptures, which give an account of them; Whatsoever hath the relation of a Sacrament, must have him for its Author, or (as our Church hath expressed it) be ordained by him. Be­sides, a Sacrament, as such, being both a conveyer, and a pledge of Grace, the dispensation whereof is entrusted unto ChristEph. 4, 7. —15, 16., ei­ther that, which pretends to be a Sacrament, must have him for its Author, or it must not be look'd upon under that relation. And thus far we find even those of Rome to go, because not only representing all the Sacraments of the New Law as instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, but pronouncing an Anathema alsoConc. Trid. Sess. 7. Can. 1. de Sacr. up­on those, that shall deny it.

It being therefore not at all to be doubted, whose that Institu­tion is, upon which the relations of a Sacrament are founded; enquire we in the next place how that institution ought to be ap­pli'd, to enable it to produce those relations. Which must be first by a declaration of the purport thereof, and secondly by doing those things to the elements, which either the general tenour of the Christian Religion, or the particular precepts of the Institution prompt us to the performance of. That I represent the first of these as one of those things, which makes the Institution of Christ to become effectual toward the producing of the former relations, or (as it is more commonly expressed) toward the consecration of those elements, which are to put them on, is partly upon the account of the necessity of such a declaration, and partly upon the account of the Commands of him, by whom the Sacraments were instituted. For a Sacrament being not so clear a representation of that, of which it is so, as by its own force to suggest it to the minds of those, for whom it was intended; Being much less so clear a re­presentation of it, as to invite those to reflect upon it, who are either slow of understanding, or otherwise indisposed to contem­plate it, such as are the generality of men; It cannot but be thought necessary, even upon that account, to call in the assistance of such words, as may declare to those, that are concern'd, for what ends, and purposes it was appointed. Otherwise men may either look upon the whole as a purely civil action, or (if the Person that administers it, and other such like circumstances prompt them to conceive of it, as a religious one) yet fancy to themselves such ends, and purposes, as are either different from, or contrary to the true intendment of it. Agreeable hereto is the command of the Author of our respective Sacraments, as is evident from what he enjoyns concerning Baptism and the Lord's Supper; His own express injunction concerning the former being, that his Disciples should baptize men in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which could not be done without a rehearsal of those names at least; As concerning the latter, that they should do what they had seen, and heard him do, as oft as that Sacra­ment was administred, and therefore also make a verbal declarati­on [Page 26]concerning it. For though that be not so clear from those words of our Saviour, Do this in remembrance of me, I mean as they lie in St. Luke Luk. 22.19.; yet will it be found to be so, if we take in the Comment of St. Paul 1 Cor. 11, 20. &c., where he gives a like account of the Institution of it. For representing what was then said, and done as a prescription for future1 Cor. 23.25, 26. Sacraments, as well as for that of Christ's own immediate consecration; Representing it moreover as such upon the account of what Christ then enjoyn'd concerning their doing the same things in remembrance of him, he must con­sequently (because he brings in our Saviour making a verbal de­claration concerning the purport of that Sacrament, and subjoyns the former injunction to it) be thought to represent it as our Sa­viour's mind, that they, who consecrated that Sacrament, should use the same declarations concerning it. But beside a declaration of the purport of the Institution, and which the Church hath gene­rally kept so close to, as to make that declaration by the very words Constit. Apost. li. 8. c. 12. of the Institution, it is no doubt alike necessary, if not more toward the producing of the former relations, to do those things to the Elements, which either the general tenour of Chri­stianity, or the particular precepts of the Institution prompt us to the performance of. For if Prayer be so generally necessary to­ward the procuring of any favour, that it becomes such as to the obtaining of common, and ordinary ones; If it be so far necessary toward them, as to become such even to the blessing of our ordinary repast1. Tim. 4.4.5., though that be not without a natu­ral aptitude to nourish, and sustain us; How much more may we think it to be necessary, as to the making of those elements, which are in no disposition to it, to become the conveyers of the Divine Grace to those, who are to partake of them. But so the perpetual practice of the Church will oblige us to believe, and act, as to the one, and other Sacrament, of our Religion. For though there be not any particular injunction concerning consecrating the water of Baptism, and I suppose because the ne­cessity thereof was sufficiently known by what the Scripture hath said concerning the general necessity thereof; Yet as we find Ana­nias admonishing St. Paul Act. 22.16. to wash away his sins by Baptism calling upon the name of the Lord, and which, no doubt, because he Baptiz'd him, the same Ananias went before him in; As we find farther by Justin Martyr Apolog. 2., that they, who were to be baptiz'd, were admonished to fast, and pray, the Brethren praying, and fast­ing for, and with them (for these are sufficient proofs, that some sort of Prayers did alway precede it) so we find by those, who have given a more particular account of the Offices of the Church, that the Priest did pray particularlyConstit. Apost. lib. 7. c. 43. Dionys. A­reop. Eccl. Hier. c. 2., that God would look down from Heaven, and sanctifie that water, wherein they were to be Bapti­zed by him. The case is yet more plain as to the Sacrament of the Eucharist, as shall be made appear, when I come to entreat purposely concerning it. And therefore I shall only add, that as the Institution of our respective Sacraments cannot obtain its effect, without doing those things to the Elements thereof, which the general tenour of Christianity obligeth us to perform, so much less without the doing of those things, which the particular precepts of [Page 27]the Institution oblige to the practice of. For the force of a Sacra­ment depending more immediately upon the Institution of him, whose the Sacrament is, it must consequently, as to the applica­tion of that Institution, depend more upon the doing of those things, which the particular precepts of the Institution oblige to the practice of, than upon those, which the more general, and therefore remoter precepts of Christianity oblige unto. The con­sequence whereof, as to the Eucharist, will be, among other things, a necessity of giving God thanks for those gracious boons, which that Sacrament was intended both to convey, and assure. The result of the premises is this; A Sacrament, as such, is a relative thing, it is so in an especial manner as to the Divine Grace, as which it signifies, and conveyes, and assures. But as those rela­tions thereof are founded, rather in the institution of the Author of it, than in the vertue of those elements, in which they are sub­jected; so in that again, not so much as delivered by our Saviour, as applied to the elements by a declaration of the purport of it, and by such other Acts as the general tenour of Christianity, or the particular precepts of the Institution oblige those, who are the dispensers of a Sacrament, to do to the elements thereof.

I do not at all found the relations of a Sacrament in such Act, or Acts, as are requir'd of those, that partake of it; Yea though without such Act, or Acts, they cannot partake of the Graces of it: Partly, because a Sacrament being an institution of Christ, it must rather depend upon his appointment, and the facts of those, who act in his behalf, than upon the disposition of such as are to partake of it; And partly, because a Sacrament, though not con­veying, or assuring the Divine Grace to any, but the worthy Re­ceivers of it, yet is as really and truly a Sacrament to those, who are otherwise dispos'd, as it is to the most worthy ones. As is evident among other things from St. Paul's affirming the unwor­thy receiver of the Eucharist to be guilty of the Body 1 Cor. 11.27., and Blood of Christ, and again to eat, and drink Damnation to himself, for not discerning 1 Cor. 11.29. the Lord's Body. For how come they to be guilty of the Body, and Blood of Christ by the meer reception of the elements, if those elements be not even to them a Sacrament of his Body, and Blood? Or how faulty for not discerning in them the Lord's Body, and Blood, if those elements, which they receive, have not the relation of a Sacrament to them? Neither will it avail to say, that such persons may become guilty of Christ's Body, and Blood, because receiving not as they ought, those elements, which are the signs of them. For as it will follow from thence, that those elements, which they receive, are so far, at least, a Sacra­ment of Christ's Body, and Blood, I mean as that is a sign of them; so there is reason enough to believe from the way the Apostle takes to prove the foremention'd charge, that those ele­ments were as really a Sacrament to them in all other respects, as they were in the notion of a sign: Because he founds that charge of his upon Christ's making those elements the Sacrament of his Body, and Blood1 Cor. 11.27., and which therefore he must suppose them to be as much to them, as they are to any person whatsoever. That which I conceive hath occasion'd men to be otherwise opinionated, [Page 28]was their conceiving of a Sacrament, not as a means fitted by Christ to convey, or assure the Divine Grace, and which accord­ingly, where it is duly receiv'd, actually doth so; but as a thing, which is not only in a disposition to it, but, where it is really a Sacrament, infallibly doth so to all, that partake of it. Which conceit, it may be, they were the more easily betray'd into by the Scriptures representing it rather as a thing, which actually san­ctifies, and saves, than as a thing, which is only fitted for it. But as there might be ground enough for such expressions, as those, whether upon the account of the persons, whom it is so said to sanctifie, and save, or upon the account of there being enough in a Sacrament to do it, where the parties, that partake of it, are duly qualified for it; so the Scripture hath sometimes so qualified its own assertions by making the due disposition of the party recei­ving it to be necessary to procure the other, that we cannot but look upon a Sacrament, rather as a thing fitted to produce such effects, than as actually, and infallibly producing them. And indeed, as there is therefore but reason to conceive so of a Sacrament, even as a means fitted by God, and Christ to produce those effects, which are attributed to it; so, by thus stating it, a way is opened to distinguish between the Efficacy of a Sacrament, and of the Receiver's faith, and accordingly to assign each its proper interest in the procuring of those Graces, which are attributed to it. For by this means we shall make a Sacrament, with that blessing of God, which attends it, to be the sole conferrer, and assurer of those Graces, which is but agreeable to it as an instrument in the hand of God; And the faith of the party receiving only the re­ceiver, and applier of the other, which is as agreeable to that hand of man. For as, if a Sacrament be a means fitted by God for the forementioned purposes, the conferring, and assuring of those Graces will belong to it, and that blessing of God, which doth accompany it; so nothing therefore will remain to the faith of the party receiving, but to receive, and apply what the other doth so conferr, and assure. I say, secondly, that as by this means a due distinction will be made between the efficacy of a Sacrament, and that of the receiver's faith; so a way will be opened in like manner (without detracting, in the least, from the efficacy of a Sacrament) to return an answer to what is advanc'd, on the one hand, for the opus operatum of all Sacraments, and, on the other, for making the elements of the Eucharist to be that very Body, and Blood of Christ, which it was intended to convey. For whereas it is pretendedVid. Chem­nit. Exam. Conc. Trid. Part. 2. in Can. 7, 8. de Sacram., in the behalf of the former, and accordingly al­ledged as a proof of it, that the efficacy of a Sacrament depends up­on the institution of God, and not upon the dignity of him, that administers it, or the faith of the receiver; I answer, that that is indeed true, and agreeable enough to our stating the nature of a Sacrament, but of no force at all to shew that opus operatum, whereof they speak. For as, if a Sacrament be a means fitted by Christ for the conferring of his Graces, the conferring of those Graces will belong wholly to it, and that blessing of God, which goes along with it; so if it be a means rather fitted for the con­ferring of them, than that, which actually, and infallibly doth, [Page 29]any otherwise than as it is receiv'd, and appli'd, as Christianity admonisheth, there will be a like necessity of the opus operantis, even of that faith, and repentance, which are requir'd in order to the reception of them. And it may not unfitly be illustrated by the natural quality of those elements, which are by Christ made use of for the Sacrament of his own Body, and Blood. For as of what force soever those elements may be either to sustain, or refresh us, yet they cannot be expected to do either, unless they be receiv'd, and well digested; so how well fitted soever by the Institution of God the same elements may be to conferr to higher purposes, yet there is as little reason to expect they should, unless they be applied by us, as he, who so instituted them, hath admonish'd. In like manner, whereas it is pretendedEsth. Com. in locum. from unworthy receivers of the Eucharist being guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ, that there­fore those elements, which they do so receive, are really that Bo­dy, and Blood, and accordingly are actually partook of; That also is taken away by what we have before said concerning the Eucharists being a means fitted by Christ for the conveying of them: Because, if it be only such, there will be place for that guilt, yea though that Body, and Blood of Christ be not in it, nor receiv'd by those, who are partakers of the other; In as much as he offers a sufficient affront to them, who receives those elements unwor­thily, which were by God, and Christ intended, and fitted for the conveying of them. I may not omit to add, if it were only for that hint, which the former observation affords us, that we shall, by thus stating the nature of a Sacrament, imprint also in the minds of men a just apprehension of that guilt, which ariseth from an unworthy reception of it For as, if it be fitted by Christ to con­vey, or assure the Divine Grace, it must make those, that partake unworthily thereof, guilty of an equal affront to that Grace, which it is so fitted to convey, or assure; so if it be not so fitted, the crime will still be the less, by how much the less relation it hath to that Grace, which is pretended to be violated by the unworthy reception of it. In fine, by stating the nature of a Sacrament, as is before describ'd, we shall make our account thereof agree so much the more exactly with that, which our own Catechism pre­sents us withall; That, though it represent a Sacrament as a means of Grace, and a pledge of it, yet representing it not as actually, and infallibly such, but only as ordained by God to be so, and which accordingly, in the event, may prove such, or not, as it shall be found to be receiv'd, and appli'd.

For the applying of all which to the business, that is now be­fore us, even the making up of that Definition, which we have been hitherto making way to, I cannot but admonish, that a Sacra­ment referring to so many several things, and referring to them also with so many different relations, it will be hard, or rather impos­sible to furnish out any one definition of it, which shall with any ex­actness answer to its several properties. For considering a Sacra­ment with respect to the Divine Grace, and to which of all others it seems more especially to relate; so it may, and ought to be de­fin'd to be such an outward, and visible sign thereof, as is moreover ordained, and fitted by Christ to be a means of conveying it to us, [Page 30]and a pledge to assure us thereof. Considering it again, with rela­tion to our own piety, and to which no doubt it was also intended to administer; so it will be such an outward and visible sign there­of, as is by Christ ordained, and fitted for us to make a declara­tion of it by, and an obligation to the continuance of it. Consi­dering it Thirdly, with relation to that New Covenant, by which the Divine Grace, and our piety are ty'd together; so it will be such an outward, and visible sign as is ordained, and fitted by the same Christ, for God, and Man to declare their consent unto it by, and either first enter into that Covenant by it, or to renew it. Considering it lastly, with respect to those, who are joyn'd together in the same Covenant, and so connected to Christ, and to one another; so it will be such an outward, and visible sign, as is by Christ ordained, and fitted for a general badge of their com­mon profession, and a means of bringing particular men into their Society, or continuing them in the Communion of it. Only if any man desire a more simple definition of it, and which though it will not answer to all the properties thereof, yet will at least an­swer the more especial ones; so it may not inconveniently be de­fin'd to be such an outward, and visible sign, as is ordained and fitted by Christ to signifie, and convey, and assure the Divine Grace to us, and, on our part, to declare the duty we owe to God, and Christ, and oblige our selves to the continual practice of it.

PART III. A farther Explication of the Nature of a Sacrament, with a resolution of several Questions belonging thereunto, or de­pending more immmediately upon it.

The Contents.

The Nature of a Saorament brought again under consideration, and en­quiry accordingly made concerning that inward and Spiritual Grace, to which it relates, the manner of its relation to it, and the founda­tion of that relation. This last more particularly insisted upon; and as it was before resolv'd to be the Institution of Christ, so a more ample account given thereupon of that Institution of his, and of those Com­mands, and Promises, whereof it doth consist. Those Commands again considered with reference to the sacramental Elements, before they put on that relation, or after they are invested with it. The for­mer whereof are shewn in the general to enjoyn the setting them a­part for that purpose, or Consecrating them, and enquiry thereupon made by whom they ought to be set apart, and whether their inten­tion, or good disposition be requisite to give force unto it: The latter the Consecrators dispensing them as the Institutor thereof hath prescrib'd, and the peoples receiving them from them, with the Manner of it. Ʋpon occasion whereof Enquiry is made, concerning the necessity of Sacraments, and in what sort, or degree they ought to be accounted such. A like particular account given of the Promises of the Institu­tion, which are shewn in the general to assure Christ's making what is done both by the Consecrators, and Receivers to be available for those ends, for which they were enjoyn'd; More particularly his convert­ing that into a Sacrament, which is by the former set apart to be so (and which how it is done is, upon that account, enquir'd into) and, where the receivers are rightly dispos'd, acompanying the dispensation of the Sacramental Elements with the Dispensation of the Divine Gra­ces. An application of the whole to the business in hand, and Enquiry accordingly made, how the former Commands, and Promises contri­bute toward the Founding a Sacramental Relation, and how also to the efficacy of the elements, after that Relation is produced in them.

NOW though from what hath been said it be compe­tently evident,Question. How many parts are there in a Sacrament? Answer. Two; the outward vi­sible sign, and the in­ward Spiri­tual Grace. what the Nature of a Sacrament is, and we thereby at liberty to go on to other considerations concerning it; Yet because there are some things in it, which may require a farther Ex­plication, and others, which depend more imme­diately upon the due understanding of it, I pur­pose to go over the definition of it again, or, at least, over so much of it, as may require a farther Explication, or Help toward the clearing of the other.

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In the general I observe, that as it appears by our own Cate­chism, and the definition before given, that a Sacrament consists of an outward, and visible Sign, and an inward Spiritual Grace; so that more general notion of it stands confirm'd to us by the suf­frage of Irenaeus Adv. haer. l. 4. c. 34., though by him delivered under another form: He representing the Eucharist, even after the Invocation of God hath past upon it, as consisting of two things, to wit, an Earthly, and a Heavenly one. And I shall only add, that they seem not to be over mindful of it, who make the Sign, or Earthly part of the Eucharist to vanish, as soon as the thing signified by it, or the Heavenly one approacheth: A Sign in the common understanding of it, together with that relation whereby it becomes so, and those accidents, wherein it is immediately founded, connoting the Sub­ject of them both, and therefore not with reason to be predicated of that Sacrament, which hath no such Subject to uphold them.

But because there is otherwise no great Controversie concerning the general notion of a Sacrament, nor yet so far, concerning that particular one I before gave, as to its being an outward, and vi­sible Sign of that, of which it is a Sacrament; Therefore pass we both from the one, and the other, to that Heavenly thing, to which it relates, the manner of its relation to it, and the foundation of that relation.

Now as the first of these hath been before defin'd to be an in­ward, and Spiritual Grace, as that again declar'd to be such a Grace, or favour of God, as conduceth in an especial manner to the wel­fare of our inward Man, or Spirit; so I must now add, for the far­ther Explication of it, that it is moreover such a Grace, as conduceth immediately to the welfare of it: Whether as purifying the soul from the filth of sin, and introducing the contrary affections, or as delivering it from that guilt, which the filth of sin had brought upon it. A notion, which stands confirm'd to us, not only by the Doctrine of our own Catechism, but by the account the Scri­pture gives us both of Baptism and the Eucharist, and the confes­ons of the Romanists themselves. Witness for the first, its decla­ring the inward, and Spiritual Grace of Baptism to be a death unto sin, and a new birth unto Righteousness, as the inward grace of the Eucharist to be the Body, and Blood of Christ, and by which (as it afterward follows) our Souls are strengthened, and refreshed, as our bodies are by the outward elements thereof; Witness, for the second, its representing Baptism as a thing, which sanctifies Eph. 5.26., and saves 1 Pet. 3.21., and both thatAct. 2.38., and the EucharistMatt. 26.28. as things, which tend to the remission of Sins; Witness, for the third, their great Schoolman Aquinas Sum. 3. Part. quaest. 60. Art. 2. representing a Sacrament as a sign of such a Sacred thing, as procures the sanctification of us. Which is the rather to be noted, because of the use it will hereafter be of toward the determining the Number of those things, which are to be accounted of as Sacraments of our Religion.

Concerning the relation a Sacrament bears to the object of it, and particularly to that Grace, to which it especially referrs, I have nothing to add, and shall not therefore bring it again under consi­deration. I shall only observe, from what hath been before said concerning it, that it is an instrument of Grace, as well as a pledge [Page 33]of it, that it is a moral instrument thereof, and not a physical one, that it is such a moral instrument thereof, as is rather apt to convey, or produce it, than that which actually, and infallibly doth; The actual conveying of that Grace depending upon the due disposition of the party receiving it, and who (as St. Paul speaks) if he be not rightly qualified for it, will rather reap Damnation by it, than either the Divine Graces, or the rewards of them. Which things I have this second time made mention of, not because they were not before sufficiently clear'd, but because they lay dispersedly in my former account of this relation, and so would have been less useful toward the forming a distinct conception of it.

That, which will especially require our second thoughts, is the foundation of that, and other the relations of a Sacrament; The which as I have affirm'd in the general to be the Institution of Christ, so the farther consideration of that Institution will both lead us to a more distinct knowledge of the nature of a Sacrament, and inform us concerning the necessity, and efficacy thereof. Now as there are two things, which that Institution doth manifestly im­port, that is to say a Command, and a Promise; so that Command again respects the elements of a Sacrament, either as being to put on that relation, or as actually invested with it. In the former of these regards it commands the setting them apart for that purpose, but more especially (because that is the principal design of a Sa­crament) for their becoming a means of conveying the Divine Graces to us. Which, as was before observ'd, it either prescribes particular rules for, or remits men for them to the general pre­cepts of Christianity, so far as they are applicable thereto. And I shall only add (because those rules were before declar'd) that, to make the elements put on the relation of a Sacrament, there is a necessity of applying that part of the Institution to them by the execution of those Commands, which it enjoyns: Because the set­ting them apart for that purpose is, by the Institution it self, put into the hands of men. But of what men, and how qualified, I have not as yet declar'd, and shall therefore now set my self to enquire.

And here in the first place it is easie to see, by what is deliver'd in the general concerning the power of remitting sins, or in parti­cular concerning the power of Baptism, that the Separation or Con­secration of the elements is the proper work of the Ministers of the Gospel, and ought accordingly to be left to them to perform: Because as both the one, and the other were by Christ committed to his Apostles, so none can therefore pretend to the power of either, but those who deriv'd it from them, which none but the Ministers of the Gospel have. It is no less easie to see secondly, that as the Separation, or Consecration of the elements is the pro­per work of the Ministers of the Gospel, even by the Institution of Christ; so it cannot therefore, ordinarily at least, be attempted without sin by others, because a deviation from his Institution. And thus far all, who acknowledge a Ministerial Function, are at an accord in this particular, and the farther prosecution thereof no way necessary to be intended. I say therefore thirdly, that as the Separation, or Consecration of the elements cannot, ordinarily at [Page 34]least, be attempted without sin by other than the Ministers of the Gospel; so there is reason enough to believe, even from thence, that those elements cannot ordinarily have the relation of a Sacra­ment by any others Consecration, than theirs. For beside that the Promise of Christ is not to be suppos'd to extend any farther, than those Commands, to which it is annexed, are observ'd; Nei­ther can we think he will vouchsafe his benediction to that Acti­on, which without any necessity at all varies from his own Insti­tution: This being to encourage men to go against his own Insti­tution, which no wise Institutor can be suppos'd to give way to. All therefore, that can be suppos'd to admit of a dispute in this affair, is, whether in extraordinary Cases (and where a lawful Mi­nister cannot be had) other Persons may take upon them to Con­secrate, and Administer it; And whether, if they do so, what they do is so far valid, as to make that, which they pretend to Consecrate, and Administer, to have the relation of a Sacrament. But as it would be consider'd whether it were not equally advi­sable for such Persons to let alone altogether the Consecration, and Administration thereof; Because Christ may as well supply to men the want of the Sacraments themselves, as the defects of those, who pretend to Consecrate, and Administer them: As it would be considered farther, whether it were not much more advisable to do so, because he, who omits the Consecration, or Administra­tion of a Sacrament, that belongs not properly to him, is certainly guilty of a far less error, than he who arrogates to himself that, which doth not appear to appertain unto him; so if a Sacrament so Consecrated, or Administred, be either lawful, or valid (as I will not be very forward to deny it, considering the AuthoritiesVid. Tert. de Bapt. c. 7. & quae anno­tavit Hooke­rus noster Eccl. Pol. l. 5. Sect. 62. it hath for it) it must become so by the either express, or tacit allowance of those, to whom the Administration of it is re­gularly committed. For the Institutor of a Sacrament, and by whom alone it can become such, having put into their hands the preparation of it, I see not how any thing can become such, which is not either mediately, or immediately set apart by their Autho­rity, and Ministry.

It appearing from the Premises, to whom the separation, or Consecration of the elements doth belong, and so far therefore also the producing of a sacramental relation in them; Enquire we in the next place how those persons ought to be farther qualified, to enable them to make that Separation, or Consecration; Which I shall not stick to affirm to be simply, and only by keeping, as to the outward work, to the Institution of our Saviour. For though much more may be requir'd of them, yea undoubtedly is, to make that Act of theirs available to their own welfare, and ac­ceptance; Even the intending what they are about, not only with a present mind, but with a sound, and religious one; Yet cannot the like be supposed to be requir'd, to make that Act of theirs available toward the Consecrating of those elements into a Sacra­ment: Partly because if such an intention were requir'd in those, that Consecrate, no man could have any tolerable assurance of his receiving a valid Sacrament, because having no such assurance of their intention; And partly, because that Act of theirs is a Mini­sterial [Page 35]Act, and must not therefore depend for its force, upon the personal intentions or qualifications of those, that exercise it, but upon that Authority, from which it proceeds, and upon its ser­ving the ends, and intentions of those principal Agents, to which it is appointed to minister. Which ends, and intentions if it can serve in this affair by an outward conformity to the rules of Christ's Institution, nothing more can be suppos'd to be requir'd either of it, or those, that exercise it, to give it that force, whereof we speak. That therefore would in the next place be enquir'd into, which accordingly I will now set my self to do.

For the clearing whereof we are first to know, that as of old the Priests under the Law were ordained Heb. 1.5. & Philo de special. l [...]g [...]. by God for men in things pertaining to God, partly to offer up to him, in their names, Gifts, and Sacrifices for sin, and partly to convey from God to them graces, and benefits; so we are, in like manner, to conceive of the Priests under the Gospel, as being not only the Ministers of God, and Christ, but appointed too, on the one hand, to dispense their mysteries 1 Cor. 4.1., and graces to the Church, and, on the other hand, to offer up the Churches Prayers, and Services to them. From whence as it will follow, that those principal Agents, to which they minister, are God, and Christ, on the one hand, and Christs Church, and People under the other; so that the end of the former is to convey, by their means, their own graces, and blessings, of the latter to offer up those Prayers, and other Ser­vices, which are due from the Church to them. Those therefore being the Principal Agents, to which the Evangelical Priesthood ministers, and those their respective ends, and intentions; the next thing to be enquir'd into is, which of those Principal Agents it is, to which the Evangelical Priesthood ministers in those acts which respect the Consecration of a Sacrament. Which I shall not stick to affirm, from what was before said concerning those Acts, to be the Church, and People of God. For that, which the Minister doth toward the Consecration of a Sacrament, being principally, at least, the offering up of Prayers and Praises, he must conse­quently (because those are the duties of the Church to God, and Christ) be thought to minister to the Church in them, and so have that for his Principal Agent. From whence as it will follow thirdly, that the end to which he is to serve, is the offering up, in the be­half of the Church, such Prayers, and Praises, as are by the Insti­tution of Christ impos'd upon it (because that is the end of the Church in all such Administrations); so he shall sufficiently serve that end, who shall only rehearse such Prayers and Praises, where­ever, or whatsoever his intention be: Because the Church may as well offer up its Prayers, and Praises by the voice of him, that intends them not, as by the voice of him, that doth. And I have been the more particular in the Explication of this affair, partly to make it farther evident, that the validity of a Sacrament depends not upon the intention of the Minister, but much more to shew from thence, that those acts, which are done by him toward the Consecration of the Sacramental elements, do not, by the either [Page 36]absence, or perverseness of his intention, cease to be religious, and so incapable of inducing God to consider of them, or give force unto them: Because as those Acts are rather the Churches, than his (the Minister being in this affair but the Instrument thereof) so his want of Intention, and Devotion, may be abundantly supply'd by the others, and those Acts thereby become both Religious and valid.

From that Command, which respects the elements, before they put on the relation of a Sacrament, pass we on to that Command, which considers them as invested with it; Which again we shall find to have a double reference. For it may either concern those, in special, who have so set apart, or Consecrated them, or both them (if they are also to be the receivers of them) and all others, for whose sanctification they are intended. Upon the former of these it enjoyns the dispensing, or bestowing of what they have so Consecrated, as that too in such a manner, and with such solem­nities, as the Institutor thereof hath prescrib'd. It enjoyns upon them farther, for their own souls health, to dispense them with a sutable intention, and devotion of soul; As without which what they do cannot otherwise be profitable to themselves. But it doth not so injoyn that intention, and devotion, that what they dispense, shall, for the want thereof, be in like manner unprofitable to others: Because, as we already suppose the elements to have put on the relation of a Sacrament, and so far therefore to be in a capacity to profit those, to whom they are dispens'd; so it is Christ, and not the Minister, who must dispense the Graces of the Sacrament, and the effect of that Sacrament therefore depend, not upon the Minister's intention, and purpose, but upon the intention, and purpose of Christ, whose Instrument, and Minister he is. As will appear yet more clearly, when I come to consider the Pro­mises of the Institution, the second thing, whereof I affirmed it to consist. Only, as that Command of it, which I am now entreat­ing of, doth as well respect those, for whose sanctification the Sa­craments were intended, as those who are the Consecraters, and Dispensers of them; so I must therefore admonish first of all, that as that part of the Institution of Christ enjoyns upon his Ministers the dispensation of the Sacraments, so it must consequently enjoyn the receipt, or use of them by all that are capable thereof, as without which the former injunction would be vain. I say, second­ly, that as it enjoyns upon all, that are capable thereof, the receipt, or use of the Sacraments; so it enjoyns their receipt, or use of them under the relation of Sacraments, and particularly (because that is the principal relation of a Sacrament) as a means appointed by Christ for the conveying of the Divine Graces. Which is so true as to those Sacraments, which are the only clear, and undoubted ones, and by which, if there be any such, the other are to be judg'd, that men are expresly call'd upon to be Baptiz'd Act. 2.38. for the remission of sins, and as expresly admonish'd by our Saviour to take the elements of the EucharistMatt. 26.26, &c. Luk. 22.19., as that Body which was given for them, and as that Blood, which was shed for them, and others, for the same remission of sins. From whence as it will follow, that those Sacraments are of necessary use, as which both the one, and [Page 37]the other injunction oblige us to believe; so they are also so neces­sary by vertue of the former, that they cannot be neglected with­out sin, and by the latter, if not the former, that men cannot hope for the graces of them, where those Sacraments are in like manner neglected. For beside that every neglect of a Command is, as such, a sin against the imposer of it, and must consequently not only despoil us of his favour, but expose us also to his Wrath, and Ven­geance; Beside that that neglect must be yet more sinful, and dan­gerous, which is a neglect of such a Command, as is enjoyn'd for the Subjects profit; He, who commands this, or that particular for such, or such an end, must thereby be presum'd to declare, that he will not give it in any other way, than that, which is prescribed by him: Because otherwise a gap would be open to the Violation of his Authority, which every wise Lawgiver must be suppos'd to provide against. Neither will it avail to say, that there are other means, beside Sacraments, for the attaining of the Divine Graces, and such as God hath promis'd to reward with the bestowing of them; Of which nature are our attendance to the word, and Prayer. For as it doth not appear, that these are any where represented as sufficient of themselves for that purpose, and therefore the Divine Graces not to be expected by them alone; so they can however be no farther represented as such, than as made use of by men out of a due regard to his Authority, and wisdom, by whom they are imposed on them: Which cannot be suppos'd to be there, where any one prescribed mean is neglected, because the same Authority, and Wisdom will lead to the observation of it. As little will it avail to say, that the Divine Graces have been sometime bestow'd with­out them, and the Sacraments therefore not to be accounted as ne­cessary to the attaining of them. For as the question is not now, Whether Sacraments are so necessary, that the graces thereof can, in no case, be hop'd for without them, but whether they can be hoped for, where the Sacraments are neglected; so that they are so far ne­cessary will need no other proof, than the enjoyning of Baptism to those, who may seem, if any, to have attain'd the graces thereof without it. For so we find St. Peter to have done as to Corne­lius Act. 10.48., and his company; Yea though Cornelius had before his Preaching, receiv'd a Divine approbation of his Prayers, and Alms, and, after that, that gift of the Holy Ghost, for the procuring whereof we find Baptism to have been especiallyAct. 2.38. ordain'd. For well may we look upon that Sacrament as so far necessary to obtain the Divine Graces, the use whereof was commanded even to those men, who had in a great measure before attain'd them. The only thing, that seems to me to admit of any doubt, is whe­ther Sacraments be so far necessary, that the Divine Graces cannot be had without them, or at least cannot with any assurance be expected by us. But as the single example of the Thief upon the Cross (to say nothing now of that of Cornelius) may suffice to perswade, that no Sacrament is so necessary, but that the Graces thereof may be had without it: As the benignity of the Divine nature, and those Graces God hath sometime given even to un­baptized persons, may serve in like manner to perswade men, that if that, or any other Sacrament be wanting without their fault, [Page 38]it shall be otherwise supplied to them; So I cannot forbear to say, that such persons have not the same Assurance with that, which Baptized persons have. Partly, because they have no promise to bottom their assurance on, and partly, because God, who may an­nex what conditions he pleaseth to his own favours, hath made those Sacraments, whereof we speak, the standing means of ob­taining them. I will conclude what I have to say concerning that part of the Institution, which enjoyns the receipt, or use of the Sacraments, when I have admonished in the third place, that it requires our coming to it with certain previous qualifications in or­der to our receiving the benefit thereof. Which is so notorious as to Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, and will hereafter be so large­ly insisted on, that I shall content my self with the bare mention of it. All that I at present aim at, is to give a general account of what it enjoyns, and which having now in some measure done, I shall proceed to consider of what it promiseth, which is the second thing whereof I affirmed the Institution of a Sacrament to consist.

For the clearing whereof we are first to know, that though those Promises, whereof we speak, are not always so express, as its Commands must be acknowledg'd to have been; Yet will it not be difficult for us to evince the being of such Promises, nor, after that, to shew what things it makes a promise of. For supposing, as we now may (because I have heretofore evinced it) that the Institution of Christ enjoyns the Administration, and use of the Sa­craments for the bringing about those gracious purposes, which they have no natural aptness to produce, and we must also suppose it to make a promise of Christ's making them effectual for those purposes, for which they were so enjoyned by him. Because otherwise those Commands of his would give hope of such things, as were not likely to accrue by the observation of them, and so (which is not to be suppos'd of the Commands of Christ) prove delusory ones. Only as he, who instituted those Sacraments for our benefit, cannot well be thought to omit any thing, which may encourage our expectation of it; so we find both him, and his Apostles sometime to make express promises of those things, which the Sacraments were intended to convey. For thus after our Sa­viour had commanded the Administration of the Sacrament of Ba­ptism to all, whom they could dispose to the reception of it, the more to encourage them to intend the doing of it, he makes a pro­mise of beingMatt. 28.19, 20. with them in it, and consequently that their ministry, at least, should not fail of its intended effect in the Consecration, and Administration of it. In like manner, after St. Peter had call'd upon those to be Baptiz'd, whom God had stirred up by his precedent Preaching, to enquire after the means of Salvation; He doth not only insinuate their obtaining remission of sins by it, by calling upon them to be Baptiz'd in order to it, but assure them also in express termsAct. 2.38., which he could not have done without a promise from Christ, that, if they were so Baptiz'd, they should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

It appearing from the Premises, that the Institution of Christ is not without its promises, and such too, as are sometime deli­ver'd in express terms; Enquire we in the next place what those [Page 39]promises are, or rather what things they make a promise of. Which, in the general, will be found to be, Christ's making what is done both by Minister, and People, in obedience to his Com­mands, to be a vailable to those ends, for which they were en­joyn'd. For neither otherwise could he have said, that he would be with the former in those Acts of theirs, and much less could St. Peter have assur'd to the latter the receiving of those Graces, which Baptism was intended to convey. But from thence it will follow more particularly, that the Institution of Christ makes a promise to the Minister, that he will convert that into a Sacrament, which is by him set apart to be so, and where the party, that is to receive it, is duly qualified for it, accompany his Dispensation of it with the Dispensation of the Divine Graces; To such of the People again, as receive the Sacrament as they ought, that they shall receive together with it, those Graces which it was intended to convey: Those being the ends, for which the former Acts were enjoyn'd, and the Promise of Christ therefore supposed to assure, that, if those Acts be perform'd, they shall become available for them. It will follow lastly, that, as there is a promise of the things before remembred, answerably to the several Acts, which the Com­manding part of the Institution enjoyns; so that Promise being the Promise of him, who hath power enough to accomplish it, and is of too much fidelity, and truth not to fulfill, what he may, it is as little to be doubted, but what he hath so promis'd he will not fail to accomplish, as often as what he enjoyns is perform'd. Which last particular I have the rather remark'd, because as the Commands of the Institution cannot make way for the blessings of a Sacrament, till they come to be fulfill'd by those, on whom they are impos'd; so neither can the promises thereof help us to them, till they come to be executed, and appli'd by him, whose those Promises are: A Promise, (because importing only a will to conferr a favour) requiring the reducing of that will to Act, in order to the availableness thereof.

An account being thus given of that Institution of Christ, which I have said to be the foundation of the relation of a Sacrament, it will not be difficult to shew first, how that, and each part thereof contribute to the founding of it. For as that Institution of Christ may be consider'd under a double notion, to wit either as simply such, or as executed, and appli'd; so the Institution of Christ, in the former notion of it, is the more remote foundation of it; in the latter the more near, and immediate. For it being by vertue of Christ's Command, as such, that the elements come to be set apart by men for the purpose of a Sacrament, and by vertue of his own Promise, that he himself gives them the relation of one; That Institution, which is made up of them, must, as such, be thought a remote foundation of it, because the foundation of those Acts, which are done by men, and Christ toward the producing of it. Again, it being more immediately by what is done by men, that the elements come to be so set apart, and by what is done, on the other side by Christ, that they come to have the relation of a Sacrament, the more near, and immediate foundation of it must be the same Institution not consider'd as such, but as executed, and [Page 40]appli'd by those, to whom it appertains. From whence as it will follow, that the Institution of Christ, and the several parts there­of contribute to the founding of this relation by that obedience, which is paid to its commands, and by that completion, which is given to its promises, because it is by those means that they are executed, and appli'd; so nothing more therefore can be requir'd toward the clearing of it, than to shew at once what those Com­mands and Promises import, because that will let us know what obedience is due to the one, and what completion, or fulfilling to the other.

Of the Commands of the Institution I have already sufficiently en­treated, and shall therefore need only briefly to recapitulate what I have said concerning them. Which, so far, as concerns our pre­sent purpose, may be done by saying, that they enjoyn in the general the Ministers setting apart the elements in order to their becoming a Sacrament, more particularly by imploring the blessing of God, and Christ upon them, or (as the Church hath us'd to express it) the sanctification of them. Which Commands, as they tend rather to prepare the elements to be a Sacrament, than to produce that relation in them (for he, who begs of another the doing of this, or that particular, shews the doing of that thing not to belong unto himself) so will make the Minister's compliance with, and execution of them to contribute no farther to the found­ing of that relation, than as that is, by the Institution of Christ, to make way for some other Act, or Acts, whereby that relation is to be produc'd.

From the Commands of the Institution therefore, and that ob­edience which is due to them, pass we to the Promises thereof, and of which also I have before given no contemptible account. For which cause I shall only observe here, that there is, among those Promises, a Promise from Christ to the Minister, that he will be with him in his ministration, and therefore also make what he doth, available for those ends, for which it was enjoyn'd; That he will consequently (because that is the end of his ministration in the Consecration of a Sacrament) make those elements to be a Sa­crament, which were by the Minister set apart to be so; But by what way, and means, as I have not as yet taken upon me to shew, so I know not whether I ought to be over positive in defi­ning. I shall only represent as a thing, which seems most probable to me, That as God sanctifies our ordinary repast by his own word1 Tim. 4.5., even by that word of command, by which he made the creatures to beGen. 1.3. &c. at first, and by which he doth as yet uphold Heb. 1.3. them, so when the elements of a Sacrament are before pre­par'd by Prayer, and such other means as Christ himself hath prescrib'd, the same God, or rather Christ, by his appointment, passeth his word of power upon them, and thereby commands them, not to become actually the conveyers of his Grace (for that re­quires another word of power, or rather his accompanying the Di­spensation of them with the Dispensation of his Grace) but to be in a readiness to be so. By which means (as was before said) they are fitted for that gracious purpose, and accordingly, if they prove not effectual for it, it is not, because they were not before [Page 41]ordained and fitted for it, but because the persons, to whom those Sacramental elements are dispens'd being not duly prepar'd for such a favour, He, who commanded the Sacramental elements to be in a readiness for it, doth not make use of them for it, nor accompany the Dispensation of them with the Dispensation of his Grace. This I take to be that Act, whereby the Institutor of the Christian Sacraments produceth in the elements thereof that Sacramental relation, whereof we speak; But as whatever the Act be, by which that relation is produc'd, most certain it is that it cannot be any Act of man, so it is evident from thence, and from the promises of the Institution, that it must be some Act of Christ in pursuance of them, and which whilst he doth so fulfill, he gives birth to that Sacramental relation, which the Act, or Acts of the Minister did only make way for, as that too by the sole force of Christ's Commands.

The elements being thus invested with the relation of a Sacra­ment, and so fitted, in particular, to convey the Divine Graces; It remains that the Minister dispense them to Gods People in that way and manner, which he hath prescrib'd, and that they ac­cordingly receive them with those qualifications, which are by the same Christ required of them. As without the former where­of there can be no hope of the Ministers approving himself unto Christ, nor can the people, without both, expect to reap that be­nefit by them, which they were so fitted to convey. For the vali­dity, and efficacy of Sacraments depending upon the good will of him, that instituted them, and not upon any vertue of their own, or the power of him that consecrates them, neither can men expect any benefit thereby, where there is not a due compliance with his Laws, by whom they were so instituted, and ordain'd. But as if those Laws be compli'd with, there can be no doubt of a happy issue, considering the Promises of Christ to the due Administration, and Reception of them; so that is enough to shew the efficacy thereof, where they are so administred, and receiv'd: There being no doubt of the efficacy of those things, which have the Promises of Christ to assure them, because no doubt at all of his fulfilling those Promises, and so giving efficacy to the other. And I shall only add, that as what is done by the Minister toward the producing of a Sa­cramental relation, doth rather make way for it, than actually pro­duce it; (this being the proper work of the Institutor of a Sacra­ment in pursuance of his own Promises:) So the like is to be said, as to the efficacy of the elements, after that relation is produced in them. For though those elements become not effectual for the ends, for which they were appointed, unless they be both dispensed, and re­ceived as they ought; yet doth that dispensation, and reception ra­ther make way for, than give them their respective efficacy; It be­ing God Tit. 3.5., or rather Christ, by his appointment (and not either the Minister, or our selves) which saveth us by the washing of regenera­tion, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, and the same ChristEph. 5.26., who sanctifieth, and cleanseth his Church, by the washing of water through the word. Which will consequently oblige us to look upon God, and Christ as the Authors of the efficacy of Sacraments, as well as of the Sacraments themselves, and accordingly depend upon them for it, and return them thanks, when we have obtained it.

PART IV. Of the Jewish SACRAMENTS, and the Num­ber of the Christian.

The Contents.

The Doctrine of the Sacraments drawn down to particulars, and enquiry first made concerning the Jewish Sacraments, and then concerning the Christian ones. As to the former whereof is shewn first, that there were indeed such Sacraments among them, and evidence made thereof, from their enjoying the same Saving Graces, which our Sacraments pretend to convey, from their being furnished alike with External Symbols to convey them, and those Symbols of God, and Christ's institution: Secondly, that those Sacraments of theirs were either the extraordinary ones they had in their passage from Aegypt to Canaan, as their Baptism in the Cloud, and in the Sea, and the Eucharist of Manna, and the Water of the Rock, or the ordi­nary ones of Circumcision, and the Passover; Thirdly, That, though they were of the same general nature with the Christian, yet they differ'd from them, both as to the manner of their representing the Divine Graces, which was not so clear, and as to the measure of conveyance of them, which was not so full, as in the Christian Sa­craments. Those Christian Sacraments, in the next place, brought under consideration, and evidence made of Baptism, and the Lord's Supper being the only true, and proper ones, or of general neces­sity to Salvation.

THE Nature of a Sacrament being thus explain'd, and a resolution given of such questions, as belong to it, or depend more immediately on it; It will be but time for us to descend to Particular ones, whether they be such, as preceded Christianity, and have the name of Jewish, or such as were en­joyn'd by it, and any therefore more properly be termed Christian. This only would be premis'd concerning the former Sacraments, that as we make them to have their birth before Christianity, so we must therefore suppose them not to have had [Page 44]the Author of it for their immediate Institutor, or, at least, not as God-Man, which is the notion, wherein Christianity considers him: He, to whom we give the title of Christ, becoming not God-Man, till long after the Institution of those Sacraments, and when in­deed they were to be abolished. Which will consequently oblige us to consider those Sacraments (if there were any such) rather as to those purposes, for which we have affirm'd all Sacraments to have been ordain'd, than as to the immediate ordainer of them; Or, if also as to the immediate ordainer of them, yet not in the same capacity, wherein Christianity considers him, but only as appoint­ed by God to be so, when the time of his Manifestation should appear.

Now there are three things to be enquir'd into, as concerning those Sacraments, which are to be the subject of our present con­sideration; First, Whether there were any such among the Jews, Secondly, What those Sacraments were, Thirdly, Wherein they differed from ours.

I. That there were such things, as Sacraments among the Jews, will appear if these three things be consider'd; First, that the same Graces, which Sacraments profess to convey, prevail'd among them, as well as us, Secondly, That they had external signs, or symbols to convey those Graces to them, Thirdly, that those ex­ternal signs, or symbols were instituted by God, and Christ.

Of the first of these I have given an account elsewhereExpl. of the Creed, in the words, Our Lord., and shall therefore referr my Reader thither, for his farther satisfaction. All I shall observe from thence is, that they partook of Christ, as well as we, and must therefore be suppos'd to have partaken of his Graces, which are the Graces all Sacraments were intended to convey.

But neither will there be less evidence concerning their being furnish'd with certain external sions, to convey from God to them the foremention'd graces. For St. Paul 1 Cor. 10.1, &c., where he affirms the Jews to have partaken of Christ, and his Graces, affirming in like manner that they did it, as by a Baptism on the one hand, so by eating, and drinking on the other, must consequently be supposed to affirm, that they did it by the means of such symbols, as our Sa­craments are, and therefore also, that they were not unfurnished with them. Other wise there could have been no place for giving the former means the name of Baptism, and much less for expres­sing the latter by the terms of eating, and drinking, or that drink­ing again by drinking of that Rock, which followed them. For as the foregoing mention of Baptism, which was one of the Christian Sacraments, could not but incline the Corinthians to interpret what followed concerning the Jews eating, and drinking, of a Sa­cramental one, especially, when it is also affirm'd that they partook of Christ by it; so much more, when they saw the Apostle expres­sing that drinking by drinking of that Rock, that followed them, or rather of the Water, that flowed from it. For that being manifest­ly an allusion to the Water, that flowed out of that Rock which was sometime smittenNumb. 20.11. by Moses, and by the drinking whereof the Jews were a long time sustained; Neither could the Corinthi­ans look upon that Rock, to which he alluded, as other than a [Page 45] figure of Christ; Nor therefore (considering their own Sacraments, as such, which did also convey what they were figures of) as other, than such a figure of Christ, as convey'd to the believing Jews Christ's graces, and benefits, which are the spiritual waters, that flow from him. Two things only there are, that may seem to preju­dice this notion, and which therefore it may not be amiss to con­sider; First, That the former Baptism is affirmed by St. Paul him­self1 Cor. 10.2. to have been a Baptism into Moses, and not into Christ, and his Graces; Secondly, That what is affirm'd to have been to the Jews spiritual meat, and drink, was also their constant temporal one, and which therefore if we affirm to have been a Sa­crament of Christ's graces, and benefits, must have made that Sa­crament to have been as ordinary, as their Meals: Which how the Jews should be always in a disposition for, is not easie to ima­gine, and therefore as difficult to believe the Institution of. As touching the former of these, even that Baptism's being stil'd a Baptism into Moses, it would not be easie to give an account, were it not that the Verses, which follow, perswade the design of the Apostle to have been to shew the Jews to have enjoyed the same Christian Graces with our selves: Because the Baptizing into Mo­ses seems most naturally to denote the baptizing into his Religion, as that may seem to have been distinguish'd from, and oppos'd to that of Christ; For so we know the Oeconomy of Moses is gene­rally taken by the ScripturesJoh. 1.17., and ought therefore, if there were nothing to hinder it, to be alike interpreted here. But as the same is not to be said, where the design of the Apostle is to shew, that the Jews partook with us of the same Graces, and Benefits; So nothing there fore can hinder our affixing a like sense to the for­mer Baptism, if we can give a tolerable account of its being said to be a Baptism into Moses. Which may be done by representing it as a Baptism into that Oeconomy of our Redemption, which prevailed under Moses, and of which he was the Minister of God unto the people, as well as of the Law. For thus the Baptism, which John administred, is represented asMatt. 21.25. his Baptism, even when it is intimated by our Saviour to have been a Baptism from Heaven, and so more the Baptism of that, than of the other. If therefore there lie any just exception against the being of these Jewish Sacraments, it must be upon the account of their suppo­sed Eucharist's being also their constant temporal food, and which it is not easie to imagin they should be always in a disposition for, or therefore believe it was ever intended by God as such. But as it ap­pears from the Acts of the ApostlesAct. 2.46., that our Eucharist was almost of the same ordinary usage at the first, which may take off in some measure from the force of that Objection; So nothing hin­ders us from believing, that that Meat, and Drink of the Jews being design'd for a temporal, as well as a Spiritual refreshment, it might be sometime, yea, for the most part, appointed only for the former (to wit, when the satisfying of their bodily necessities call'd for their regard) but at other times, though less frequently, appointed, and used for the latter, and accordingly accompanied with such Prayers, and Praises, as were proper for that considera­tion of it, and receiv'd with alike religious preparations, and dispo­sition. [Page 46]For even the elements of our Eucharist, though appoint­ed by Christ as the Sacrament of his Body, and Blood, yet are not always us'd as such; But only, when they are by God's Priests set apart for that purpose, and his spiritual Benediction, and Grace invo­ked on them.

I will conclude what I have to say concerning the Being of the former Sacraments, when I have added thereto their being ordain­ed by God, and Christ, for the gracious purposes before remembred. Of the former whereof as we cannot reasonably doubt, because nothing less than a Divine Institution could make them the con­veyers of Christ's Graces; so as little of the latter, if we consider what hath been elsewhereExpl. of the Creed, in the words, Our Lord. said concerning Christ's governing even then, and the Apostles exhorting the Corinthians, immediate­ly after1 Cor. 10.9., not to tempt Christ, as the Israelites did, and were destroy'd by Serpents for it. For as it is not to be imagin'd, how the Israelites could tempt Christ, unless they had been even then under his conduct; So if Christ had the conduct of them, there is as little doubt of his being the Institutor of their Sacraments, because that was a considerable part of it.

II. There being therefore no doubt of the Being of Sacraments among the Jews, which was the first thing we proposed to consi­der; Enquire we in the next place, what those their Sacraments were, and which we shall find to be either Extraordinary, or Or­dinary. Extraordinary those which were just before recited, even their being baptized in the Cloud, and in the Sea, and their par­taking of Manna, and of the Water of the Rock; Manna being no doubt the spiritual meat St. Paul speaks of, both because their then only repast, and the bread Exod. 16.4., that came down from Heaven; As the water of the Rock their spiritual Drink, and so yet more plainly declared by him. And I have the rather given to them the name of Extraordinary Sacraments, because as they had them only, during their passage through the Wilderness; so they had them too, when their ordinary Sacraments ceased, which is the proper season for ex­traordinary ones. As will appear if we can shew (what I shall by and by endeavour) that Circumcision, and the Passover were their ordinary ones; It being certain from the Book of Joshua Josh. 5.5., that, from the time of the Israelites going out of Aegypt, till their coming to Gilgal, none of the Israelites were circumcised, and as certain too from the same placeJosh. 5.10., that they had not till then any Passover; That, as it is the first time wherein the observation of it is mention'd after their coming out of Aegypt, so being the first time also, wherein they were in a capacity to observe it, be­cause not till then furnished, or at least not ordinarily, with that earthly Bread, wherewith their Passover was required to be ob­serv'd.

From those their Extraordinary Sacraments therefore pass we to their Ordinary ones, and which as I have already intimated to be Circumcision, and the Passover, so I must now manifest to be so, but it must be by other Arguments, than are commonly alledged for it. For as for what is alledged from St. Paul's representing the Circumcision of Abraham Tom. 4.11. as a Seal of that righteousness, which he had being yet uncircumcised, it seems to me to make nothing at [Page 47]all for it; Because (as was beforeSupra Part II. shewn) rather intended to denote God's approbation of his particular Righteousness, than any declaration of the nature of the thing it self. But as therefore I cannot see, what can be argued from thence toward proving Circumcision to have been a Sacrament; So I shall chuse rather to evince it from the Institution of it, as where, if any where, the design thereof is most clearly set down. Now the first thing observable from thence is, that Circumcision was a Sign, as our Sacraments are, and so far therefore of the nature of them. For this (saith God) shall be a sign, or token Gen. 17.10. of the Covenant be­tween me and you; That is to say, as was beforeGen. 17.7. express'd, be­tween God on the one hand, and Abraham, and his Seed on the other. It is alike observable, secondly, that as Circumcision was a sign, yea a sign of that Covenant, which God then propos'd between himself, and the foremention'd persons; So it was such a sign too, as was also of the Essence of it, and till the passing where­of it was not to be look'd upon as struck. Which I gather not only from its being stil'd a Covenant Gen. 17.10., as well as a sign of it, yea more often a Covenant, than the other, but from God's affirming it to be that Covenant, which ought to be keptIbid. between him, and them, and accordingly representing the neglecters of it, as those which had broken Gen. 17.14. his Covenant. From whence as it will follow, that it had a more intimate relation to the Covenant, than that of a bare sign, or token; So it must be either that, which was to strike the Covenant between them, and so make it actually such as to those persons that receiv'd it, or one of those things, which were to be observ'd after the Covenant was struck between them, and for which it was enter'd into. But as it appears from those words of God, which usher in the mention of this Covenant, that the thing so agreed upon was a matter of much more weight, even their walking before God, and being perfect; So we are there­fore in reason to resolve Circumcision to be that, which was to strike the Covenant between God, and them, and make it actual­ly such, as to those persons that receiv'd it. From whence as it will follow farther, because striking the Covenant between God, and them, that it ensur'd to those, that receiv'd it, the future Blessings of it, and so might not unreasonably be represented as a Seal or a Pledge of them; So that it put them into actual possession of such Blessings, as were presently to be bestow'd, if there were really any such, and accordingly was no less a means of conveying them. Which will consequently leave nothing more to enqui e, than whether that Covenant assur'd the same Blessings with the Christian, and whether any of those Blessings were to be imme­diately bestow'd by vertue of it. For if that Covenant assur'd the same Blessings with the Christian, then had the sign thereof rela­tion to the same inward Graces with ours, and so far forth there­fore agreed with them; And if any of those Blessings were to be immediately bestow'd, it was also a conveyer of them, and so yet more perfectly the same. Now that that Covenant, of which Cir­cumcision was a sign, assur'd the same Blessings with the Christian seems to me to be sufficiently evident from it's being affirmedGen. 17.7. to import, that God would be a God to Abraham, and to his Seed after [Page 48]him. For that implying at least, that he would be as gracious to him, as he was before, and consequently (because God dealt with him so before) that he would count his Faith to him for Righteous­ness, it must also be thought to import his assuring the same Bles­sings with the Christian Covenant, because that is the summ, and substance of them all. All therefore, that we have farther to shew, is, That some at least of those Blessings were, by vertue of the Co­venant it self, to be immediately bestow'd on those, who entred into it, which will be no hard matter to evince. For thus much at least it must be thought to import, that if the party to be Circum­cised receiv'd his Circumcision with that Faith, which God re­quired of him, that Faith of his should from that very instant be accounted to him for Righteousness: Because, the Covenant be­ing so far perform'd on his part, there must ensue a like completion on the part of God, as which otherwise he could not have been said to be punctual to, nor approv'd himself a God to the party in Covenant with him. And tho' we cannot make the like Infe­rence upon the part of Children, because there was nothing of Faith in them to procure them such an Imputation; Yet in as much as they were admitted into the same Covenant with their believing Parents, and, as they could bring nothing more toward the procuring the Blessings of it, than their external Circumcision, so they had nothing more required of them, It is but reasonable to believe, that they receiv'd the same Benefits by it, and had their Circumcision imputed to them for it. Such Evidence there is for Circumcision's being a Sacrament, yea of the same general nature with the Christian ones; And I no way doubt we ought to think the same of the Feast of the Passover, if not also of many of their other Sacrifices: Not, it may be, for any particular evidence there is from the Institution of it, or them, but from the relation they bore to Christ's Sacrifice upon the Cross, and the care it appears God took to convey the Benefits of Christ's Sacrifice by those extraor­dinary Sacraments, which he gave them in the Wilderness. For the Sacrifices before mention'd being equally signs of that of Christ, yea intended by God to remit menSee Expl. of the Creed, in the word, Dead. to him; It is but reason­able to believe, that God made the same use of them, and con­veyed Christ, and his Benefits by them. Otherwise their condition in the Land of Cana an would have been worse, than in the Wilder­ness, because as soon as they entred that, their extraordinary Sa­craments ceased.

III. Only as it is not to be thought, that those Sacraments, tho' the same in substance with ours, did yet agree with them in all other particulars, because belonging to a Dispensation, which was manifestly inferiour to the Christian; So there are two things, wherein they differ'd from ours, and by which they will appear to have fallen short of them: First, That they did not so clearly re­present the things they were intended to signifie, Secondly, That they did not convey, what they so signified, in so ample a manner. For beside that those significations of theirs were rather hinted, than plainly expressed, and much less so plainly express'd, as the designs of the Christian Sacraments; Those significations were not a little obscur'd by the concomitancy of others, and which they [Page 49]were equally obliged to intend. For thus Circumcision, because a sign of that Covenant, by which God did equally oblige him­self to possess Abraham, and his natural Seed of the Land of Ca­naan, was a sign of God's giving them that promised Land, as well as the righeousness of Faith, and that Heavenly Canaan, which belonged to it. And thus too the Passover was a sign of that People's Aegyptian Servitude, and God's delivering them from it, as well as Christ's delivering them from the slavery of Sin, and Satan, by the shedding of his Blood. By which means it is easie to see, that these latter, and more noble significations of them must have been yet more obscured to them, and so administer less Spiri­tual Consolation to them. This I take to be one signal difference between the Jewish Sacraments, and ours, and wherein therefore they must be thought to fall far short of what we now enjoy. But that it is not the only material difference between them, will appear if we consider the preference the Scripture gives to that Dispensa­tion, under which we are, above that of Moses, or Abraham; And that exuberance of Grace, which was poured out upon the em­bracers of the Christian Dispensation, and of which we find no footsteps under the other. For that is enough to shew, that though the Jewish Sacraments convey'd the same Spiritual Benefits; yet they did not do it in that proportion, wherein the Christian did, and so fell yet shorter of them. Which will not only oblige us to set so much the greater value upon our own Sacraments, but be the more curious in enquiring, what ought to be look'd upon as such, which is that I am in the next place to intend.

For the resolution whereof we are to know (what we need go no farther than our own HomiliesHom. of Com. Pray. and Sacram. for the understanding) that the word Sacrament may be taken either in a more lax and general, or in a more strict and particular acceptation. If we take it in the former of these, so the number of the Christian Sacraments will be found to be much greater, than even the Romanists themselves have made it: Because (as our Homily observes) in a general ac­ception the name of a Sacrament may, and hath been attributed to any thing, whereby an holy thing is signifi'd. Whence it is (as the same Homily goes on) that Ancient Writers have given that Name, not only to those Five, which have been added by the Papists, but also to divers, and sundry Ceremonies, as to Oyl, washing of Feet, and such like. But as the Question between us, and the Papists, even in their ownConc. Trid. Sess. 7. can. 1. way of stating it, is not what may in a more lax, and general sense be look'd upon as Sacraments, but what are strictly, and properly such, so that Question cannot better be voided, than by examining those things, which pretend to that dignity by the account we have before given of the Nature of a Sacrament.

Of Baptism, and the Lord's Supper I shall say nothing at pre­sent, partly because there is no Controversie at all concerning their being truly, and properly Sacraments, and partly because we have no other certain means of judging of the Nature of Sacraments, but by that, which is observable concerning them. Our business must therefore be to examin the other Five by them, and by what we have before observ'd, concerning the Nature of a Sacrament, from them.

To begin with Confirmation, because the first Religious Rite after Baptism, and because of all the Five best deserving the name of a Sacrament. A Rite, which as our Church receives, and en­joyns, so the more sober sort of Protestants allow to have been an Institution of the Apostles, and such as is of signal use to those, who were baptiz'd in their Infancy, by that examination, which is to precede it, and those solemn Prayers, that do attend it. But as the thing it self doth not appear to me to have been instituted by Christ, which, even by the Doctrine of the Trent CouncilIbid. is made a Character of a Sacrament, so there is yet less appearance of its having any outward sign, to which the blessings thereof may be supposed to have been annex'd, which is of the very Essence of a Sacrament: That, which was at first administred by a bare Im­position of hands, and afterwards by the addition of the Chrism, coming at length to be perform'd by the sole ceremony of Unction, as the practice of the Greek, and Latine Church declares. Of which variation what account can be given, but that the Church it self did at first look upon the Rites of Confirmation as arbitrary, and consequently not of the same nature with the signs of Baptism, and the Lord's Supper. For whatever additions, or variations came afterwards to be made in these, the Water of the one, and the Bread, and Wine in the other were ever preserved in them.

The next supposed Sacrament is that of Penance, or rather (be­cause the form thereof is by themselvesConc. Trid. Sess. 14. c. 13. made to consist in Ego absolvo te, &c.) the Sacrament of Absolution. An Institution, which we willingly acknowledge to be an Institution of Christ, and which our Church moreover confessethHom. of Com. Pray. and Sacr. to have the pro­mise of the forgiveness of sins. But differs from a Sacrament in this, that it hath not that promise annexed, and tyed to the usual visible sign thereof, even Imposition of hands. For for the use of any such visible sign in it we find no Command, and much less any declaration from Christ, that it should not be available, un­less it were convey'd by it, or made to depend upon the usage of it.

But it may be much more may be said for that, which they call the Sacrament of Extreme Ʋnction, because affirmed by the Coun­cil of Trent Sess. 14. can. 1. to have been instituted by our Lord, and pub­lished to the World by St. James. And I no way doubt, that when our Saviour sent forth his Disciples by two, and twoMark 6.7, &c., he gave them power to anoint sick persons, as well as to cast out un­clean Spirits, and, it may be too, commanded them, for that time, to make use of that particular ceremony toward the healing of them. I as little doubt, for the mention that is made of it in St. James James 5.14., that the same ceremony of Unction was continued in the Church, and perhaps prescrib'd by other Apostles, as well as by him, to the Governours of the Church. But it doth not appear to me to have been intended by Christ for perpetual use, and much less for those purposes, for which it is alledged. For if it were intended by Christ for perpetual use, how came the same Christ to pro­mise to those that believe, that if they only laid hands Mark 16.18. on the sick they should recover? How came he to give his Apostles power to cure diseases by the use of that only ceremony, as in the [Page 51]case of Publius Act. 28.8., by taking infirm people by the hand Act. 3.5., yea by their bareAct. 9.34. word? This being to give encouragement to the neglect of his own Commands, if the ceremony of Unction were to be look'd upon as such. Though granting that Ceremony to have been intended for perpetual use, what appearance is there of its having been intended for the purposes of a Sacrament, yea to procure, in an especial manner, the forgiveness of sins? For all that St. Mark says concerning the Apostles anointing with Oyl is, that they thereby healedMark 6.13. those they did so anoint; Yea it is, if not the only, yet the principal thing St. James assures to those, whom he enjoyn'd the use of it. As it appears by his ushering it in as an application to be made to sick persons, his pro­mising that that Prayer, which went along with it, should save the sick, and procure God's raising of them, in fine by his ex­horting men to confess their faults one to another, that they might be healed. For these things shew plainly, that if the healing of sick persons was not the only thing intended, yet it was at least the principal one. But so the Church it self appears to have un­derstood this ceremony, as is evident, among other things, from that Prayer, which did accompany it: That, as Cassander Consult. de Artic. Rel. &c. ubi de Unctione in­firm. agit. in­forms us, being, I anoint thee with the holy Oyl in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, imploring the mercy of that one Lord, and our God, that all the griefs and incommodities of thy body being driven away; there may be recovered in thee vertue [or strength] and health, that so being cured by the operation of this mysterie, and this Ʋnction of the Sacred Oyl, and our prayer, through the vertue of the Sacred Trinity, thou mayest deserve to receive thy antient, yea more robust health through our Lord. Which though it do not so direct­ly oppose the [...] of the Greeks, because design'd against Cor­poral See Ricdut Pres. State of the Greek Church c. 12., as well as Spiritual evils, yet doth perfectly overthrow the Extreme Ʋnction of the Papists, as which is so far from design­ing the recovery of the sick person, that it is not allow'd to be ad­ministred to any, who seem not perfectly desperate. One only pas­sage there is in St. James, which may seem to give this Ceremo­ny of anointing a higher, and a far better design; even his affirm­ing, that that prayer, which did accompany it, should procure for the sick person also, that if he had committed sins James 5.15., they should be forgiven him. But beside that St. James doth not attribute that forgiveness to the ceremony of Unction, but to the prayer that attended, or followed it; The design of the Elders visitation of the Sick being no doubt to procure as well their Spiritual, as Cor­poral health, it is not unreasonable to think, that that very Prayer, which they made over them, did not only aim at God's accompanying the former ceremony with the blessing, for which it was intended, but extend farther to the imploring for them all those spiritual blessings, which they wanted, and particularly perfect remission, and forgiveness. Which if it did, as is but rea­sonable to believe, that Oyl cannot be thought to have had any interest in it, and much less to have been especially intended as the Sacrament thereof. And indeed, as there are no footsteps in that Antiquity, which is truly primitive, of any such Unction of sick persons in order to their spiritual welfare; As there is men­tion [Page 52]moreover in it of another kind of treatment, and particularly of the Elders of the Church giving unto those,Dionys. Alex. apud Euseb. Eccl. Hist. li. 6. c. 44. item Conc. Nic. can. 13. that were under penance the Sacrament of Christ's Body, and Blood, as their last, and necessary Viaticum; So I see not what necessity there is of any such Sacrament as Extreme Ʋnction to confer upon sick per­sons the remission of sins, or other such like graces, as they may stand in need of; There being place, even in them, for the Absolution of the Church, and the Sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood. In fine, so far is that Ʋnction, of which St. James speaks, from being any standing Sacrament of our Religion, that it may seem to have been only an Appendage of that extraordi­nary gift of healing.1 Cor. 12.9., which was sometime deposited in the Church, and which therefore was to cease, when that, and other such like operations vanished. As appears in part from its being joyned in St. Mark Mark 6.13. with the casting out of Devils, but more from our Saviours ranking the laying on of hands upon the sick (which was but another way of administring it) withMark 16.17, 18. the same cast­ing out of Devils, speaking new tongues, and the taking up of Ser­pents. For if these be to be look'd upon as extraordinary gifts, there is equal reason to believe, the anointing, or laying on of hands upon the sick to have been of the same order. Sure I am Tertul­lian Tert. ad Scapnlam cap. 4. doth not only rank the gift of healing, even in his time, with the casting out of Devils, but makes mention of one Proculus a Christian administring this supposed Sacrament to Severus the Emperor, yea curing him by the Oyl of it.

From Extreme Ʋnction therefore pass we to that, which they call the Sacrament of Orders, and which is not only affirm'd by the Trent Council to be a trueSess. 13. Can. 3., and proper Sacrament, but as certainly to conferIb. cap. 3. grace, as the most undoubted Sacraments do. It is not my purpose, nor was it ever the purpose of the Church of England to detract in the least from the force of that, which they entitle the Sacrament of Orders. But that it hath not the nature of a true, and proper Sacrament, will appear in the first place from its not having by the Institution of Christ any ex­ternal sign, to which the grace thereof may be supposed to be an­nexed. For if it had, it must have been the external sign, or ceremony of breathing on the persons to be ordain'd; This being the only one, which our SaviourJoh. 20.22. made use of, when he con­ferr'd the power of Order upon his Apostles. But so far were the Apostles, or the succeeding Church from making use of that, that we find them, on the contrary, to have made use of Imposi­tion of Hands, yea to have entitled the grace of Orders 1 Tim. 4.14. 2 Tim. 1.6. in a more especial manner to it. Whether it were, that they took their pattern therein from the known usage of the Jews, and which we find our Saviour himself to have followed in other instances, or (which I rather think) that they were directed to it by that spirit of God, which guided them in all their actions, and to whose guidance, and instruction our Saviour had left them after his being taken from them. Sure I am there are no footsteps of that ex­ternal sign in the first Institution of it (as there was, in the In­stitution of Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, of their proper ones) nor any appearance from Scripture of any after command of Christ [Page 53]concerning it. But because the external sign of Ordination, though none of our Saviours Institution, yet is confessed by our selves to have had a legitimate one; Therefore enquire we in the second place, whether, after the manner of other Sacraments, it be a means of Grace, or (as the Romanists love to speak) have the power of conferring it. A thing, which seems to them sufficiently evident, not only from that form of wordsJoh. 20.22., wherewith by the prescript of Christ it hath been always attended, even receive ye the Holy Ghost, but from St. Paul's willing Timothy in one place1 Tim. 4.14. not to neglect that gift, or grace, which was given with it, and in another2 Tim. 1.6. to stir up that gift, or Grace of God, which was in him by the laying on of his hands. And thus much I willingly yield to the force of the foremention'd Texts, that the Holy Ghost ever was, and still is conferr'd upon those men, who are rightly ordain'd by the Governours of the Church. But in what measure, and to what purposes is the thing in question between us, and particularly whether it is conferr'd, as to its sanctifying, and sa­ving Graces, which I have shewn elsewhereSupra, Part 3. to be the proper graces of a Sacrament. Now what is there in any, or all the foremention'd Texts, to evince that, which they call the Sacra­ment of Orders to confer such graces upon the person Ordain'd? If we enquire, as to the first of themJoh. 20.22., even that Text which makes Orders to exhibit the Holy Ghost, the utmost that can be inferr'd from thence is such an exhibition of it, as may be requi­site for the party ordain'd to remit, or retain sins, as for whichJoh. 20.23., and which alone it is professed to be bestow'd. But so sure the person ordain'd may be qualifi'd to do, without the sanctifying graces of God's Spirit, even in the opinion of the Tridentine Fa­thers themselves: It being their opinionSess. 7. can. 12., as well as oursArt. of Rel. 26., that the personal qualifications of the Minister do neither add to, nor detract from the force of the Sacraments they dispense. But as therefore no such sanctifying graces can be suppos'd to be de­sign'd, though we make the Text to import such an exhibition of the Holy Ghost, as is requisite for the remitting, or retaining of sins; so much less, if nothing more were meant by Receive ye the Holy Ghost, than receive ye Authority from him so to do. Which that there was not is at least probable from his referring them to another timeAct. 1.4. &c. for the other powers of the Holy Ghost, yea bid­ding them not to expect them, till after his ascensionJoh. 16.7. into Heaven. For that supposeth them to have been as yet without those powers of the Holy Ghost, and consequently that Christ meant no more by Receive ye the Holy Ghost, than receive ye of his Authority, to whom the power of the Church is committed under me, as ye shall in due time of such abilities, and gifts, as may fit you for the exercise thereof. And if that were the sense, yea only sense of those words of Christ, which contain both the Exemplar, and Institution of Ordination, I know not why we should suppose that, which they call the Sacrament of Orders, to have a farther design in it self, than to communicate a Ghostly Authority to those, on whom it is bestow'd. But let us suppose, that something more was meant by these words, than Receive ye a Ghostly Authority, or, at least, that it was the intention of our [Page 54]Saviour (because of what we read1 Tim. 4.14. 2 Tim. 1.16. concerning Timothy) that something more should be afterwards intended by them, when no Apostolical Pentecost was to ensue, even the communicating of gifts and graces, as well as a Ghostly Authority. Yet even so it will not follow, that an exhibition of Sanctifying, and Saving Graces was intended, or that even Timothy receiv'd any such Gra­ces by it. For who knows not that there are Gratiae gratis datae, as well as Gratum facientes, yea that the wordRom. 12.6. 1 Cor. 1.7. 1 Cor. 12.4. 1 Cor. 12.9. 1 Cor. 12.28. 1 Cor. 12.30. [...], is as often, if not more often the title of the former? Who knows not, that those Gratiae gratis datae are more proper for the Ministerial Fun­ction, than the other can be suppos'd to be, yea that they may avail for those spiritual purposes, for which that Function was in­tended? In fine, who knows not, that God hath appointed other Sacraments for the conveying of his sanctifying Graces, and by the participation of which therefore they might be more reasonably expected? For these things being suppos'd, there will not only be no necessity of understanding St. Paul of the sanctifying Graces of God's Spirit, but not so much as any probable reason for it. Though granting thirdly, that there were also some sanctifying Graces attending it; Yet as we cannot for the reasons before men­tion'd understand any other sanctifying Graces, than what may serve more immediately for the discharge of the Ministerial Function, such as is a holy Zeal for the welfare of those Souls, which are committed to those that are of it, so we can much less (as our Homily Hom. of Com. Pray. and Sacram. instructs us) expect remission of sins by it, which is the undoubted fruit of Baptism, and the Lord's Supper. From all which put together it is evident, that if judgment be to be made of Sacraments by Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, Orders will hardly pass for one of them; As which varies so much from them both in the External Sign, and in the Graces, which are signified by it.

One only Institution remains of those, which have the name of Sacraments, and which if they, who so entitled it, would un­derstand only in a general sense, they would not find our Church dissenting from them, because affirmingThe form of Solemn. of Matrim. God to have consecra­ted the State of Matrimony into such an excellent mystery, that in it is signified, and represented the Spiritual Marriage, and Ʋnity, that is betwixt Christ and his Church. But to make it a true, and proper Sacrament of the Evangelical Law, as the Council of Trent Sess. 24. can. 1. doth, is extremely unreasonable, and neither hinted by St. Paul in that placeEph. 5.25. &c., from whence they pretend to infer it, nor, any farther than a simple representation reacheth, agreeable with those things, whichhave the name of Sacraments either with us, or among themselves. For neither was that, which they call a Sa­crament of the Evangelical Law, instituted by Christ, but by God, nay St. Paul in the place before quoted founds all the Sacramen­tality thereof in those passagesEph. 5.30, 31. which are represented by Mo­ses Gen. 2.23, 24., as declaring the Identity of Man, and Wife, and the ne­cessity that ariseth thereupon of their adhering to one another, even to the abandoning of all other relations for it. It hath no certain external sign, as other Sacraments have, to confer that grace, which is supposed to belong to it; It hath no other promise of Grace belonging to it, than may be supposed to belong to any [Page 55]state of life, which a Man shall set himself to, with a due respect to the Commands of God, and use with that care, and sobriety, that becomes him. It hath much less any promise of the forgive­ness of sins, and an Universal Holiness, as Baptism, and the Lord's Supper undoubtedly have. And if it hath not, nothing can ob­lige us to look upon it as a true, and proper Sacrament, or in­deed but in the same degree, wherewith their other Sacraments are. For they, though not perfectly such, have yet some more near resemblance to those, which they pretend to rival.

But because it may be demanded, how, if there be but two strict, and proper Sacraments, several other things should come to have the same name, and honour, and particularly how the Church of Rome should at length advance them to the number of Seven (this seeming to be some prejudice against our assert­ing only two) I answer first by reason of their general cognation with them, and which we know, in other things, to procure the same name to things, that are of a very disserent nature. Whence it is, that (as was before observ'd out of one of our ownHom. of Com. Pray. and Sacram. Ho­milies) not only those five, which we but now mention'd, have obtain'd the name of Sacraments, but whatsoever, in a manner, hath been made use of to signine a holy thing. Which is so true, that Tertullian in one placeDe Ani­mâ cap. 9. gives the name of Sacrament to Dreams, and Visions, and in othersDe pudic. c. 9. & adv. Marcion. li. 5. c. 4. to Parables, and Allegories. For if even Dreams, and Parables come to have the name of Sa­craments by reason of their representing things of a higher nature; How much more such Religious Institutions, as were transacted by the same visible solemnities as Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, as to be sure the Institutions before remembred were? For though, it may be, they had not the ceremonies now in use, or at least had not that number of them, wherewith they are now encum­ber'd, yet wanted they not some, or other, which was of the same symbolical nature, and particularly Imposition of hands. For that, as we learn from the Scripture, they made use of in Confir­mation Act. 8.17., in the gift of healing Act. 28.8., Orders 1 Tim. 4.14., and Absoluti­on 1 Tim. 5.22.; And that too, as we learn from Grotius Annot in Consult. Cas­sand. ad Art. 9., they made use of toward those, who entered into Marriage, and still do in the Eastern parts. But beside that general, and external cognati­on, which is between Sacraments, and Sacramentals (for so I shall for the future entitle those things, which are not strict, and pro­per ones) there is also, as to some of the latter, a more particu­lar, and intimate cognation, but especially as to those, which are before remembred, and are by the Papists advanc'd into true, and proper Sacraments. For setting aside that, which they call the Sacrament of Marriage, and which hath, even among them, ra­ther the name, than nature of one; There is none of the other four, which tend not to the conferring of some Divine Grace, or Benefit, as well as to the signification of it. For thus Confir­mation tends to procure a farther addition of God's sanctifying Graces, and so to strengthen, and perfect the person, that of­ers himself unto it; And thus the Oyl of Ʋnction, as us'd of Old, toward the procuring of the Grace of health, and the removal of the sick persons guilt so far, as was necessary for the procuring [Page 56]of the other. Thus Absolution tends to the procuring of the for­giveness of the Penitent, and Ordination, for the person or­dain'd, of a spiritual, and ghostly Authority, if not also of such spiritual gifts, as are necessary for the exercise thereof. By which means as they approach yet nearer to the nature of true, and proper Sacraments, so it is the less to be wonder'd at, that they should obtain the name of Sacraments, yea have the reputa­tion of such in a more eminent manner, than other Sacramentals had: Especially if we consider thirdly, that those five suppo­sed Sacraments are upon the matter the only noted Acts, that are administred by the Church, or, at least, that are attended with such Rites, and Ceremonies. For so it is yet less difficult to believe, that they might not only come by degrees to be rank­ed with Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, but together with them to be accounted, if not the only, yet at least the pri­mary ones. Which Peter Lombard Sentent. li. 4. Distinct. 2. taking notice of, made the Number of Christian Sacraments to be neither more, nor less than seven, and the Church of Rome, sway'd by him, did afterwards Authoritatively confirm. This I take to have been the true Original of that number, to which the Sacraments are now advanc'd, and not either any cogent arguments for the be­ing of so many, or indeed any firm belief, even in that Church it self, that they ought all to be look'd upon as true, and proper ones. And I am yet more confirm'd in that belief by the silence there wasConsult. Cassandri ad Art. 13. before Peter Lombard of any certain, and deter­minate number, and by the Authority of two of the greatest Fa­thers of the Latin Church: St. Ambrose in his tract de Sacramen­tis, and in another de iis qui mysteriis initiantur, mentioning only Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, and St. Augustine not only resolvingEpist. 118. ad Januar. the Sacraments to be numero paucissima, and mentioning none but those, but affirming elsewhereDe Doctr. Christ. li. 3. cap. 9., that our Lord, and the Apostolical discipline had delivered some few; such as is the Sacrament of Baptism, and the celebration of Christ's Body, and Blood. For that is enough to shew, that though the Fathers might sometime mention the other Institutions under the notion of Sacraments, yet they look'd upon Baptism, and the Lord's Supper as the only true, and proper ones, or, at least, were not over confident of the being so of the other. If the Church of Rome hath since arriv'd at a greater confidence, it will concern her, rather than us to give an account of it; But however not so far concern us, as to remove us from an opi­nion, which seems to us to be built upon solid, and substan­tial grounds. For either she hath arriv'd at that confidence by the means before declar'd, and then her Authority will be ve­ry incompetent; Or she hath arriv'd at it by some other means, which we are not acquainted with, and which therefore we cannot be suppos'd to be influenced by till she shall be pleased to declare them.

I have insisted thus long upon the Number of the Christian Sacraments, not because I was obliged to it by my more im­mediate task (for our Catechism contents it self to declare, that there are two only as generally necessary to Salvation) but be­cause [Page 57]our Church affirms elsewhereArt. of Rel. 25. and Homily of Com. Pr. and Sacram., that there are but two strict, and proper ones, and because the joyning of others with them in the same rank, and order of Sacraments may help in time to bring them into less repute; It being natural for men, where there are several means tending to the same end, either to adhere to some of them to the utter rejecting of the other, or to use those others with less preparation, and respect. And whether this be not the case of the Eucharist, where that, which they call the Sacrament of Penance is so much in vogue, may be judg'd of by the little care they take to fit themselves for the one, where they have obtain'd, as they easily may, the absolution of the other. And I shall only add, that if our Church did not distinguish in the present Catechism between proper, and improper Sacraments, it was not, as I conceive, because she had departed from her own Articles, and Homilies, but because, being to instruct those, who were no proper Auditors of higher matters, she contented her self to let them know, what was sufficient for their purpose, that there were but two, that were generally necessary to Salvation, even Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.

Now that there are no more than these, that are generally ne­cessary to Salvation, (which is all, that remains for me to demonstrate) will appear if we reflect upon those, which have been added to them by the Papists, and ranked in the same order with them. For who can think Marriage to be such, who believe, as the Papists do, that it is unlawful to the whole Order of Priesthood, yea who know that there are not a few, who live not long enough to desire, or need it, or are otherwise sufficiently fortified by God against any necessity of espousing it? Who can believe Orders to be such, when there ever was, and ever will be a greater number of those, who are to be instructed, than there was, or ever will be of those, who are to instruct them? In fine, who can believe the Ʋnction of the sick to be such, when it appears by the for­mer discourse to have had no other design, than the recovery of them from their infirmities? For well may that be look'd upon, as not generally necessary to Salvation, which appears not to have been intended to minister at all unto it. If there­fore there be any of the five of that necessity, it must be Con­firmation, and Absolution, but which how useful soever they may be, and are so esteemed by our selves, yet will not be found to be any more than such. I alledge as to the former of these the no precept there appears concerning it, which is one of those things, which induce a necessity to Salvation; And I al­ledge too (which is another) the no appearance there is of any tendency in it to procure some blessings, for which no other means are appointed. For the Eucharist having for its end the confirming and strengthning of our Graces, which is all that Confirmation, as now in use, professeth to intend; neither can there be any necessity of the means to oblige us to the use of the latter, or endanger our Salvation by the omission of it. [Page 58]In fine, I alledge, what is with me of no small moment, the no mention there is in Justin Martyr Apol. 2. [...], &c. of it, even where he takes notice of their bringing the New Baptized person to the Assembly of the Faithful, and to a Com­munion with them in their Prayers, and Eucharist. For though that Father doth not obscurely intimate, that they had a particu­lar regard in their Prayers to the welfare of the new Baptized person, as well as to the more general welfare of the other; Yet he takes no notice at all of any Im­position of hands upon him, or any other ceremony, that may be supposed to be analogous to it. Which in all probability he would have done, (especially when he mention'd the Kiss of Peace, as well as both the other Sacraments) if either the Church had then us'd the Sacrament of Confirmation, or he look'd upon it as a Sacrament of the same general necessity with the other. Which things I have said, not in the least to detract from the use of Confirmation (for I think this very passage of Justin Martyr doth sufficiently warrant the more material part of it, even prayer over the new Baptized person) but to shew that the Church did not then look upon it as a Sacrament, or, at least, not as such a one, as was ge­nerally necessary for Salvation, as our Catechism hath taught us to speak.

But it may be much more may be said for Absolution, than Confirmation, and so no doubt there may, if we consider Absolution as comprehending within the compass of it the whole power of the Priest in remitting sins. For comprehending within it, in that sense, the Administration of Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, because the most effectual means the Church hath for absolving offenders from their guilt, so far as those Sacraments, or the Priests Administration of them is necessary to Salvation (which no doubt they generally are) so far also his Absolution must be look'd upon as such. But so to con­sider Absolution is to make it the same with Baptism, and the Lord's Supper, and not (as it is here propos'd) a distinct Sa­crament from them. If therefore we will speak pertinently either to our own Catechism, or the present Controversie, we must consider Absolution as abstracting from those Sacraments; which if we do, we shall find it to consist either in declaring the word of reconciliation to Offenders, or praying to God for their Pardon, or pronouncing them absolved from their guilt, or loosing them from the Censures of the Church.

If we consider Absolution in the first of these senses, to wit as importing the declaration of the word of reconciliation to Offen­ders; so we shall not stick to affirm, that it is generally necessary to Salvation, but then we must say withall, that it is no Sacrament, nor esteemed by the Papists themselves to be so.

If we consider it in the second sense, to wit, as denoting the Priest's praying for the Pardon of Offenders (and in which form, as Bishop Ʋsher Answ. to the Jesuits Chall. p. 125. &c. observes, Absolution was antient­ly wont to be made) so it will be found to have a respect to that Community, over which he presides, or to particular per­sons in it. In the former of these regards it is no doubt as ne­cessary to Salvation, as it is for the Priest to celebrate, or the people to joyn with him in the publick worship of God, of which such prayers as those are a necessary part. But as there is no presumption of that Offices being a Sacrament, so it is not the Absolution our Adversaries intend; That, which they profess to advance, being the Absolution of particular persons, after a confession made by them of their particular offences. And yet even here too they make a distinction, be­cause professing to restrain that Confession, and Absolution to such sins only, as are mortal. But who taught them to distinguish in this affair between Mortal, and Venial? Or what is there in those words of Christ, which convey the power of remitting sins, which can be thought to restrain it to the former? What have they to ground the general necessity of such a Confession upon, but especially as to that form of Ab­solution, whereof we speak? For in praying for the pardon of Offenders the Priest is not to be considered as a Judge, but as a person appointed to mediate between God, and his People, and whom that charity, which belongs to him as such, will oblige him to look upon as penitent, if he knows them not to be otherwise, especially if they beg his prayers for their own particular pardon. And indeed neither is this the Abso­lution the Papists contend for, nay they declareConc. Trid. Sess. 14. cap. 3. those very Prayers, which go along with their own, not to be of the Es­sence of it. Which will oblige us to pass on to

A third sort of Absolution, even pronouncing offending per­sons to be loosed from their offences. A thing, which though of signal use, and comfort to men of afflicted minds, and which no doubt such persons ought to seek, when they can­not otherwise satisfie themselves, yet cannot be look'd upon as generally necessary to Salvation; Partly, because none but de­sponding persons can be supposed to stand in need of it, and partly because such an Absolution, as that, supposeth men to be already loosed from their offences, and consequently not to want any thing, but the sense thereof. Which though it may be an infelicity, yet is no sin in it self, nor can prove so to him, in whom it is, unless it do otherwise take him off from the due performance of his duty. Though, even in that case, such an Absolution will be necessary, rather to prevent future offences, than to procure the forgiveness of former ones. And I shall only add, that I conceive that form of Absolution to be such, which occurrs in our Visitation of the Sick; Partly, because it is ordered by our Church to be ap­plied to men of troubled minds, and partly because it prompts [Page 60]the Priest to beg of God the forgiveness of the sick persons offences, before it allows him to say I absolve thee from all thy sins; That supposing the forgiveness of God to precede in this affair, and consequently that the Priest rather declares the per­son already absolved, than absolves him himself from the band of his offences.

The fourth sort of Absolution is that, which looseth men from the censures of the Church, and which I shall not stick to affirm to be generally necessary to the loosing of those, who have been before bound, even from the band of their offences before God: Partly, because God hath promis'd to bind that in Heaven, which the Governours of the Church shall right­fully bind on Earth; And partly, because the Censures of the Church consisting especially in restraining men from its saving Offices, and particularly from the Sacrament of the Eu­charist, till men are loosed from those Censures, they must be depriv'd of the ordinary means, whereby God hath appointed to transmit the pardon of offences. But as the question is not, Whether Absolution may be necessary in a particular case, or to particular persons, but whether it be generally so; So we cannot look upon this Absolution as generally necessary to Salvation, unless it were such to fall under those Censures, from which this Absolution frees. The result of the Premises is this; The Church of God is indeed invested with a power of Absolution, and such, as exerts it self in several Acts, an­swerably to the needs of those, with whom it hath to do: But as it is not invested with any such power of Absolution, as doth actually free the Offender from his guilt, the doing of that pertaining only unto God; As it is not therefore invest­ed with any other power of Absolution, than what may serve to declare the pardon of God, or help toward the procuring of it; So what it doth toward either of these (unless it be in Baptism, or the Lord's Supper) is either no Sacrament at all, and so falls not under this enquiry, or is no generally necessary one. And indeed, however the Church of Rome may seem to advance another Absolution, even that which actually loo­seth the sinner from his guilt; Though she moreover represent that Absolution of her's, as generally necessary to the Salvation of those who are under any mortal sin; yet is there no ap­pearance of any such Absolution, nor indeed of the necessity of any, but what is before describ'd. As is evident, as to the former of these, from that very Text, on which it is found­ed, even a promise of loosing that in Heaven, which shall be loosed on Earth. For if there must be a loosing in Heaven, after that on Earth, that on Earth cannot be look'd upon as actually freeing the Sinner from his guilt, but only as prepara­tory to it; With this only advantage (which might very well occasion the so entitling it) that that loosing shall certainly be followed by a more effectual, and heavenly one. So little rea­son is there to believe, that there is any Absolution among [Page 61]men, but what is purely preparatory to the Absolution of God; And we shall find there is as little reason to seek out any other modes of it, than those, which were before de­scrib'd: As will appear if we consider, who they are, that are to be loosed, and who as they are either such, as are with­in the Communion of the Church, or such as are excluded from it, so, if they be of the former sort, have either done nothing to deserve an exclusion, or have committed such offen­ces, as are worthy of it. If the persons we speak of be such Members of the Church, as have not done any thing to deserve an exclusion from it; So there cannot lye any en­gagement upon them to confess their sins to a Priest, or seek any other Absolution, than by the Sacrament of the Eucha­rist, or other the like ordinary methods of the Church: The Communion, in which they are, and which they have not done any thing to deprive themselves of, giving them a title to that Sacrament, or any other priviledge of their Religion. But then if they be such, as do really deserve to be excluded, till they have given sufficient testimonies of their repentance; Either they ought to be excluded, and afterwards loosed as Excommunicate persons, or, if they be thought fit to be con­tinued in the Church, be look'd upon as Members of it, and allowed the common Absolutions of it: It being a kind of con­tradiction in adjecto to continue men in the Communion of the Church, and yet deny them the common priviledges there­of. All therefore, that remains to be accounted for, is the Absolution of those, who have been shut out of the Church; But concerning which as there is no great difference between us, and the Church of Rome, so we deny not but that it may require a peculiar form of words, and such as may signi­fie to the persons concern'd, and the Members of the Church the act of the Officers thereof in it. But that the Essence of Absolution consisteth in it, doth not appear to us, nor can indeed be reasonably affirm'd; Partly, because the very re­storing Excommunicated persons to the Communion of the Church will as effectually vacate its former Censures, as any ex­press declaration can do; And partly, because Excommunication consisting in a deprivation from those methods of Salvation, which God hath deposited in the Church, the only effectual release of it must lye in a re-admission to them, and parti­cularly to the Sacrament of the Eucharist. But so the Antient Church appears to have understood it, as is evident both from her language, and practice; She not only expressing this Ab­solution, bySee Ʋsh­er's Answer to the Jesuites Challenge. pag. 132. bringing men to the Communion, reconciling them to it, or restoring it to them, but taking care above all things, that no Excommunicated person generally should go out of the WorldDionys. Alex. apud Euseb. Eccl. Hist. li. 6. c. 44. item Conc. Nic. can. 13. without partaking of the Eucharist. For what other account can be given of that both language, and practice of hers, than that she conceiv'd the Absolution of Excommunicated persons to lye in a re-admission to the com­mon [Page 62]methods of Salvation, and consequently that they were rather loos'd by the use of those methods, than by any judicial sentence? This however is certain (which is enough for our present purpose) that Absolution in this sense cannot be look'd upon as generally necessary, because the peculiar refuge of such, as have been shut out of the Church. And if that be the case of Absolution, as well as of the other supposed Sacraments; Baptism and the Lord's Supper will continue to be the only ones, that are of that necessity to Salvation.

THE CATECHISM OF THE Church of England. PART IV.

Question.

HOW many Sacraments hath Christ ordained in his Church?

Answer.

Two only, as generally necessary to Salvation: that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.

Question.

What meanest thou by this word Sacrament?

Answer.

I mean an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and as a pledge to assure us thereof.

Question.

How many parts are there in a Sacrament?

Answer.

Two: the outward visible sign, and the inward spiritual grace.

Question.

What is the outward visible sign, or form in Baptism?

Answer.

Water: wherein the person is baptized, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost.

Question.

What is the inward and spiritual grace?

Answer.

A death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness: for, be­ing by nature born in sin, and the children of wrath, we are hereby made the children of grace.

Question.

What is required of persons to be baptized?

Answer.

Repentance, whereby they forsake sin, and Faith, whereby they stedfastly believe the promises of God made to them in that Sacrament.

Question.

Why then are Infants baptized, when by reason of their tender age they cannot perform them?

Answer.

Because they promise them both by their Sureties: which pro­mise when they come to age, themselves are bound to perform.

Question.

Why was the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper ordained?

Answer.

For the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits which we receive thereby.

Question.

What is the outward part or sign of the Lord's Supper?

Answer.

Bread and Wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be re­ceived?

Question.

What is the inward part or thing signified?

Answer.

The body and blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper.

Question.

What are the benefits whereof we are partakers thereby?

Answer.

The strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the body and blood of Christ, as our bodies are by the bread and wine.

Question.

What is required of them who come to the Lord's Supper?

Answer.

To examine themselves, whether they repent them truly of their former sins, stedfastly purposing to lead a new life; have a lively faith in God's mercy through Christ; with a thankful remembrance of his death, and be in charity with all men.

OF THE SACRAMENT OF …

OF THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM, In Pursuance of an EXPLICATION OF THE CATECHISM OF THE Church of England.

BY GABRIEL TOWERSON, D.D. and Rector of Welwynne in Hartfordshire.

Imprimatur.

Ex Aedib. Lamb. Apr. 10. 1686.

Jo. Battely RRmo P. ac Dno Dno Wilhelmo Archiep. Cantuar. à Sacris Domesticis.

LONDON, Printed for Richard Chiswell, at the Rose and Crown in S. Paul's Church-Yard. MDCLXXXVII.

TO THE Right Reverend FATHER in GOD FRANCIS Lord Bishop of ELY, AND LORD ALMONER TO His Majesty.

My Lord,

YOUR Lordship's favourable ac­ceptance of my Discourse of the Sacraments in General, with the desire I have, if it may be, to put an end to the whole, hath prompted me to make the more hast to pre­sent your Lordship, and the World with this of Baptism in particular.

Two things there are in it, which I thought my self most concern'd to clear, and which therefore I have employ'd all requisite diligence on, the Doctrine of Original Sin, and Infant-Baptism: [Page]The former being in my opinion the foundation of Christianity, the latter of our interest in it. For if there be no such thing as Original Sin, I do not see but some per­sons heretofore might, and may here after live with such exactness, as not at all to stand in need of a Saviour. And I see as little, if In­fant-Baptism be null, what interest any of us can have in him, according to the ordinary dispensation of the Gospel, who have for the most part been baptized in our Infancy, or at least have been baptized by those that were.

Throughout the whole Treatise I have en­deavour'd to retrive the antient notion of Bap­tism, to shew what advantages are annexed to it; and what duties it either involves, or obligeth to. To either of which if I have given any light, or strength, I shall hope I have done some small service to the Church, and which your Lordship in particular will take in good part from

Your Lordship's Most Obliged, Most Obedient, and Most humble Servant, GABRIEL TOWERSON.

THE CONTENTS OF THE FIRST PART.
Of the Rite of Baptism among the Heathen and the Jews.

THe Heathen themselves not without the knowledge of another World, and of the insufficiency of natural Religion to bring them to the happiness thereof. Occasion taken by them from thence to enquire after other ways of obtaining it, and by the Devil to suggest the mysteries of their respective Deities as the only proper means of compassing it. Those mysteries every where initiated into by the Rite of Baptism; partly through Men's consciousness of their past sins, and which they judged it but meet they should be some way purged from, and partly through the policy of the Devil, who thereby thought to procure the greater venera­tion to them: That as it was a Rite, which was in use among God's own people, so naturally apt to represent to Mens minds their passing from a sinful to a holy Estate. Of what Service the Heathens use of this Rite is toward the commendation of the Christians Baptism, and a transition from thence to the use of it among the Jews. Which is not only prov'd at large out of the Jewish Writings, and several particulars of that Baptism remark'd, but that usage far­ther confirm'd by several concurring proofs; such as is in particu­lar the no appearance there is otherwise of any initiation of the Jewish Women, the Baptizing of the whole Nation in the Cloud, and in the Sea, and a remarkable allusion to it in our Saviour's Discourse to Nicodemus. The silence of the Old Testament concerning that Rite shewn to be of no force, because though it take notice of the first Jews being under the Cloud, and passing through the Red Sea, yet it takes no notice at all of their being Baptized in them, or of their Eating, and Drinking that spiritual Repast whereof S. Paul speaketh. The Baptism of Christians copied by our Saviour from that of the Jews, and may therefore, (where it ap­pears not, that he hath made an alteration) receive an elucida­tion from it. pag. 1.

The Contents of the Second Part.
Of the Baptism of the Christians, and the Institution of it.

THe Institution of the Christian Baptism more antient, than the Command for it in S. Matthew 28.19. though not as to the generality of the World, nor it may be as to the like ex­plicit Profession of the Trinity. As is made appear from Christ, or his Disciples baptizing in Judea, not long after his own Baptism by S. John. Enquiry thereupon made, whether it were not yet more an­tient, yea as antient as Christ's execution of his Prophetical Office. Which is rendred probable from our Saviours making Disciples be­fore, and the equal reason there appears to have been for his making them after the same manner with those of Judea; From Christ's representing to Nicodemus the necessity of being born again of wa­ter, and the spirit, which is shewn at large to be meant of a true and proper Baptism; As, in fine, from Christ's telling S. Peter, when he ask'd the washing of his Hands, and Head, as well as Feet, that he, who had been washed, needeth not save to wash his feet. An answer to the supposed silence of the Scripture concern­ing so early a Baptism, and that shewn to be neither a perfect si­lence, nor an unaccountable one. p. 9.

The Contents of the Third Part.
Of the outward visible Sign of Baptism.

THe outward visible Sign of the Christian Baptism shewn to be the Element of Water, and enquiry thereupon made wherein it was intended as a Sign; Which is shewn, in the general, to be as to the cleansing quality thereof, more particularly as to the use it was put to toward new born Infants, and that application of it which was first in use, even by an immersion, or plunging the Party bap­tized in it. Occasion taken from thence to enquire farther, how it ought to be applyed, more especially whether by an immersion, or by that, or an aspersion, or effusion. Evidence made of an immersion being the only legitimate Rite of Baptism, save where necessity doth otherwise require; And enquiry thereupon made, whether necessity may justifie the Application of it by an Aspersion, or Effusion, and, if it may, whether the case of Infants be to be look'd upon as such a necessity. What is to be thought of those additions, which were antiently made, or continue as yet in being in the outward solem­nities of Baptism. Where the sign of the Cross in Baptism is more particularly considered, and answer made to those Exceptions that [Page]are made against it as a Ceremony, as an addition of Men to the In­stitution of Christ, and as a supposed Relique of Popery, or giving too much countenance to the Papists abuses of it. p. 17.

A Digression concerning Original Sign, by way of Pre­paration to the following Discourses. The Contents.

OF the ground of the present Digression concerning Original Sin, and enquiry thereupon made, what Original Sin is. Which is shewn in the General to be such a corruption of the Nature of every Man, that is naturally engendered of the off-spring of Adam, whereby it becomes averse from every thing, that is good, and incli­nable to every thing, that is evil. The nature of that corruption more particularly enquir'd into, and shewn by probable Arguments to be no other, than a Privation of a Supernatural Grace. That there is such a thing, as we have before described, evidenced at large from the Scripture, and that evidence farther strengthned by the ex­perience we have of its effects, and the acknowledgments of the wiser Heathen. Enquiry next made from whence it had its beginning, which is shewn to have been not from any evil Spirit, or Daemon, the pravity of matter, or the evil habits the Soul contracted in a praeexistent state, but from the pravity of our first Parents. This last at large confirm'd out of the Doctrine of the Scripture, and followed by some light reflections upon the means, by which it is con­veyed. A more just account from the Scripture of its being truly, and properly a sin, partly from its having the title of a sin, but more especially from its being represented as such, upon the account of our Obligation to the contrary. A consideration of those Objecti­ons, which are commonly made against the Doctrine of Original Sin; Which are shewn either not to be of that force, whereof they are esteem'd, or however not to be a sufficient bar to what the Scripture hath declar'd concerning it. p. 33.

The Contents of the Fourth Part.
Of the things signified by Baptism on the part of God, or its inward and spiritual Grace.

THE things signified by Baptism are either more general, or par­ticular: More general, as that Covenant of Grace, which pas­eth between God, and Man, and that body of Men, which enter in­to Covenant with him; More particular, what the same God doth, by vertue of that Covenant, oblige himself to bestow upon the Bap­tized, [Page]and what those Baptized ones do on their part undertake to perform. These latter ones proposed to be considered, and entrance made with the consideration of what God obligeth himself to bestow upon the Baptized, called by the Church, An inward, and spiri­tual Grace. Which inward, and spiritual Grace is shewn to be of two sorts, to wit, such as tend more immediately to our spiritual, and eternal welfare, or such as only qualifie us for those Graces, that do so. To the former sort are reckon'd that inward, and spiritual Grace, which tends to free us from the guilt of sin, called by the Church forgiveness of sin; That which tends to free us from the pollution of sin, called by our Catechism A death unto it; And that, which tends to introduce the contrary purity, and hath the name of a New birth unto righteousness. To the latter sort is reckoned our union to that Body, of which Christ Jesus is the Head, and by means whereof he dispenseth the former Graces to us. Each of these resum'd, and considered in their order, and shewn to be, what they are usually stil'd, the inward, and spiritual Graces of Baptism, or the things signified by the outward visible Sign thereof. p. 65

The Contents of the Fifth Part.
Of Forgiveness of sin by Baptism.

OF the relation of the sign of Baptism to its inward, and spiritual Grace, and particularly to Forgiveness of sin; Which is either that of a means fitted by God to convey it, or of a pledge to assure the Baptized person of it. The former of these relations more par­ticularly considered, as that too with respect to Forgiveness of Sin in the general, or the Forgiveness of all Sin whatsoever, and Ori­ginal Sin in particular. As to the former whereof is alledged first the Scriptures calling upon Men to be Baptiz'd for the remission, or forgiveness of sin, Secondly the Church's making that Forgiveness a part of her Belief, and Doctrine, Thirdly the agreeing opinions or practices of those, who were either unsound members of it, or Sepa­ratists from it, And Fourthly the Calumnies of its enemies. The like evidence made of the latter from the Scripture's proposing Bap­tism, and its Forgiveness as a remedy against the greatest guilts, and in special against that wrath, which we are Children of by Na­ture. From the premises is shewn, that the sign of Baptism is a pledge to assure the Baptized of Forgiveness, as well as a means fitted by God for the conveying of it. p. 71

The Contents of the sixth Part.
Of Mortification of sin, and Regeneration by Baptism.

OF the relation of the sign of Baptism to such inward, and spiri­tual Graces, as tend to free us from the pollution of sin, or in­troduce the contrary purity; And that relation shewn to be no less than that of a means, whereby they are convey'd. This evidenced as to the former, even our death unto sin (which is also explain'd) from such Texts of Scripture, as make mention of our being bap­tiz'd into it, and buried by Baptism in it, or from such as describe us as cleansed by the washing of it. The like evidenc'd from the same Scripture concerning the latter, even our new birth unto righte­ousness; As that again farther clear'd as to this particular by the consentient Doctrine, and practice of the Church, by the opinion the Jews had of that Baptism, which was a Type, and exemplar of ours, and the expressions of the Heathen concerning it. The Doctrine of the Church more largely insisted upon, and exemplified from Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and S. Cyprian. p. 77

The Contents of the Seventh Part.
Of our Union to the Church by Baptism.

OF the relation of the sign of Baptism to our Ʋnion to the Church, and that relation shewn to be no less than that of a means, whereby that Ʋnion is made. This evidenc'd in the first place from the declarations of the Scripture, more particularly from its affir­ming all Christians to be baptiz'd into that Body, as those, who were first baptiz'd after the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, to have been thereby added to their company, and made par­takers with the rest in the Apostles Doctrine, and fellowship, in breaking of Bread, and in Prayers. The like evidence of the same Union to the Church by Baptism from the declarations of the Church it self, and the consequences of that Ʋnion shewn to be such, as to make that also to be accounted one of the inward, and spiritual Graces of that Baptism, by which it is made. p. 85

The Contents of the Eighth Part.
Of the Profession that is made by the Baptized Person.

THE things signified by Baptism on the part of the baptized brought under consideration, and shewn from several former dis­courses (which are also pointed to) to be an Abrenunciation of sin, a present belief of the Doctrine of Christianity, and particularly of the Trinity, and a resolution for the time to come to continue in that belief, and act agreeably to its Laws. Our resolution of acting agreeably to the Laws of Christianity more particularly consider'd, and the Profession thereof shewn by several Arguments to be the intendment of the Christian Baptism. What the mea­sure of that conformity is, which we profess to pay to the Laws of Christianity, and what are the consequences of the Violation of that Profession. p. 89

The Contents of the Ninth Part.
Of the right Administration of Baptism.

AFter a short account of the Foundation of the Baptismal relati­on, and reference made to those places from which a larger one may be fetch'd; Enquiry is made touching the right Administration of Baptism, as therein again, First, Whether Baptism ought expresly to be made in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Second­ly whether Schismaticks, and Hereticks are valid Administratours of it, Thirdly, to what, and what kind of persons it ought to be administred, Fourthly, Whether it may be repeated. The two first of these spoken to here, and first, Whether Baptism ought to be ex­presly administred in the form propos'd. Which is not only shewn to be under obligation from the express words of the Institution, but answer made to those Texts, which seem to intimate it to be enough to baptize in the name of the Lord Jesus only. The Baptism of Schismaticks, and Hereticks more largely shewn to be valid, unless where they baptize into a counterfeit Faith, and the several obje­ctions against it answer'd. p. 95

The Contents of the Tenth Part.
Of the Baptism of those of riper Years.

TO what, and what kind of persons Baptism ought to be admi­nistred; Which, as to those of riper years, is shewn to be unto all, that come duly qualified for it. What those qualifications are, upon that account enquir'd into, and Repentance, and Faith shewn from the Scripture, as well as from our own Catechism to be they. That Repentance, and Faith more particularly considered, the de­finitions given of them by our Church explain'd, and established. The former whereof is effected, by shewing what Repentance doth presuppose, what it imports, and to what it doth naturally dispose us: The latter by shewing what those promises are, which by the Ca­techism are made the object of our Faith, or Belief, what that Belief of them doth presuppose, what is meant by a stedfast Belief of them, and what evidence there is of that being the Faith, or Belief requir'd to the receiving of Baptism. p. 103

The Contents of the Eleventh Part.
Of the Baptism of Infants.

WHat ground Infant-Baptism hath in Scripture, and particular­ly in what it suggests concerning Christ's commanding his Dis­ciples to suffer little Children to come unto him. S. Paul's giving the Children of the faithful the title of Holy, and the Circumcisi­on of Infants. The concurrence of Antiquity therein with the Doctrine of the Scripture, and that concurrence fartherstrengthned by the Pelagians so freely admitting of what was urg'd against them from thence. A brief account of that remission, and regeneration, which Infants acquire by Baptism, and a more large consideration of the Objections, that are made against it; More particularly of what is urg'd against the Regeneration of Infants in Baptism, or their ability to answer what is prerequir'd to it on the part of persons to be baptiz'd, or is to be performed by them in the reception of it. Where the Regeneration of Infants is more largely considered, and what is promis'd for them by others shewn to be both reasonable, and sufficient. p. 111

The Contents of the Twelfth Part.
Whether Baptism may be repeated.

WHat the true state of the present question is, and that it is not founded in any suppos'd illegitimateness of the former Bap­tism, but upon supposition of the baptized persons either not having before had, or forfeited the regeneration of it, or fallen off from that Religion, to which it doth belong. Whereupon enquiry is made, whether if such persons repent and return, they ought to be baptiz'd anew, or received into the Church without. What there is to per­swade the repeating of Baptism, and what the Church hath alledg'd against it. The Churches arguments from Eph. 4.4. and John 13.10. proposed, but wav'd. The Churches opinion more firmly established in the no direction there is in Scripture for re-baptiza­tion in those cases, but rather the contrary, and in the no neces­sity there is of it. The Arguments for rebaptization answer'd. p. 131

ERRATA

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In the Margent. Pag. 3. l. 14. [...]. ibid. l. 27. [...]. p. 23. l. 44. for Sacramentum, r. incrementa. p. 83. l. pmult. [...].

OF THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM.

PART I. Of the Rite of Baptism among the HEATHEN, and the JEWS.

The Contents.

The Heathen themselves not without the knowledge of another World, and of the insufficiency of natural Religion to bring them to the hap­piness thereof. Occasion taken by them from thence to enquire after other ways of obtaining it, and by the Devil to suggest the mysteries of their respective Deities as the only proper means of com­passing it. Those mysteries every where initiated into by the Rite of Baptism; partly through Men's consciousness of their past sins, and which they judged it but meet they should be some way purged from, and partly through the policy of the Devil, who thereby thought to procure the greater veneration to them: That as it was a Rite, which was in use among God's own people, so naturally apt to represent to Mens minds their passing from a sinful to a holy Estate. Of what Service the Heathens use of this Rite is toward the commendation of the Christians Baptism, and a transition from thence to the use of it among the Jews. Which is not only prov'd at large out of the Jewish Writings, and several particulars of that Baptism remark'd, but [Page 2]that usage farther confirm'd by several concurring proofs; such as is in particular the no appearance there is otherwise of any initiation of the Jewish Women, the Baptizing of the whole Nation in the Cloud, and in the Sea, and a remarkable allusion to it in our Saviour's Discourse to Nicodemus. The silence of the Old Testament con­cerning that Rite shewn to be of no force, because though it take notice of the first Jews being under the Cloud, and passing through the Red Sea, yet it takes no notice at all of their being Baptized in them, or of their Eating, and Drinking that spiritual Repast where­of S. Paul speaketh. The Baptism of Christians copied by our Sa­viour from that of the Jews, and may therefore, (where it ap­pears not, that he hath made an alteration) receive an elucidation from it.

THOUGH the Baptism of Christians be my pro­per business, and ought accordingly to be made the subject matter of my Discourse; yet I think it not amiss to premise something concerning the use of the like Rite among the Heathen, and (which is of much more consideration) among the people of the Jews: Partly because Christianity may seem to have borrowed her Baptism from the Baptism of the latter, and we therefore may borrow some light from it toward the clearing of our own; And partly because it may appear both from the one, and the others Baptism, that Christianity hath laid no other imposition on us, than what the general reason of Man­kind, or a more early Tradition prompted others to the imbra­cing of.

For the understanding whereof we are to know, that as the Heathen themselves were not without a presension of another World, wherein the Souls of Men should be treated according to their demeanour here; So they alike saw, or at least suspected, that they could not expect a happy futurity by a bare compliance with those rules, which natural Religion suggested to them: Part­ly, because they saw but too well that they could never arrive at a perfect compliance with them, by which means they should al­ways stand in need of the divine favour, and forgiveness; And partly, because they knew it to be in the power of their offended Deities to prescribe what ways and means they thought good for Men's obtaining a reconciliation with them. This therefore be­ing the general, and indeed natural sense of Mankind, and not a little quickned at the first by what they might learn from God's own people concerning the Sacrifices, and other Rites, whereby he appointed them to atone him; Men began to look out every where for proper means to obtain the favour of their Gods; and the Devil, who was willing by all means to precipitate them into de­struction, did either by himself, or his Agents suggest such, as might gratifie those their hopes, but withal not only no way profit them, but debauch their minds so much the more. Only lest too gross a deceit should come to be discern'd, he took care, among other things, that what he suggested should be concealed from the ge­nerality of Men, and indeed even from those, who were desirous [Page 3]to understand them, till they had approv'd themselves by a long expectation, and the undergoing of all those things, which were preparatory to them. From hence it was, that the mysteries of the several Heathen Deities came to have their beginning, and name; Those of the Mother of the Gods in Samothracia, and of Hecate in many places. Hence those famous ones of Ceres and Pro­serpina at Eleusis in Attica, of Bacchus in Boeotia, and of Mithras in Asia. In fine, hence those of Orpheus almost all over Greece, and of Isis in Aegypt, and many other places: TheyCicero de leg. lib. 2. Mihi autem cum mul­ta eximia, di­vinaque viden­tur Athenae tuae peperisse, at­que in vitam hominum attulisse, tum nihil melius illis mysteriis, quibus ex agresti immanique vita exculti ad humanitatem, & mi­tigati sumus, initiaque, ut appellantur, ita revera principia vitae cognovimus, neque solum cum laetitia vivendi rationem accepimus, sed etiam cum spe meliore moriendi., who were not without a due esteem of piety, and vertue making the end of those mysteries to have been the procuring to those that were initiated into them a possibility of living happily in the other World, whilst nothing but extremest miseries attended the neglecters of them.

Sophocles— [...]
[...]
[...]
[...].

But because mysteries of this nature were not to be communica­ted to all, no nor yet to any before they were purged from their past sins; Therefore care was taken first of all (as we learn from Clemens Alexandrinus Strom. lib. 5. p. 424. [...], &c.) that they should pass through certain purgati­ons, or washings, and which though (as Ter­tullian De Baptismo. c. 5. speaks) perform'd viduis aquis, that is to say, with such, as had not the incuba­tion of God's Spirit, yet were, as he after­wardsIbid. Certe ludis Apollinaribus, & Eleu­siniis tinguntur, idque se in regenerationem, & impunitatem perjuriorum suorum agere prae­sumunt. affirms, both administred, and re­ceiv'd as effectual Symbols of a new Birth, and a freedom from the punishment of their of­ences. It was thus in particular, that Men were initiated into the mysteries of Eleusis, even the lesser ones, and such as were prepa­ratory to the greater, and he who initiated them into them entitled [...] Hesvch. [...]. or the Waterer. It was thus, as we learn from Tertul­lian De Bapt. c. 5. Nam & sacris quibusdam per lavacrum initiantur Isidis alicujus, & Mithrae., that they initiated Men into the rites of Mithras, and so too into those of Isis: The Chief Priest of that Goddess (as Apuleius Milesi. 11. citat. à Seldene de success. ad leg. Haebr. c. 26. describes his own initiation) leading the party, that was to be initiated, in the Company of that Religious band to the next Bath. Where having first delivered him to the usual washing, and ask'd pardon of the Goddess, he sprinkled him all about, and bringing him back to the Temple, after two parts of the day were spent, plac'd him before the feet of the Goddess.

How this way of initiation by Baptism came to prevail so ge­nerally, is hard to say, and I will not therefore be over positive in defining. That, which seems to me to be the most probable, is, that those mysteries, to which this way of initiation belonged, [Page 4]came all out of the same forge, even the contrivance of the Devil, and his dependants, to whom, though ignorantly, the Heathen offered1 Cor. 10.20. Sacrifice; That he suggested such an initiation to them, partly in imitation of those Baptisms, or washings, which God had appointed among his own people, and partly as a Symbol, which did most naturally represent to their minds their passing from a sinful to a holy Estate: Sin, by reason of the odiousness thereof, com­ing to have both the esteem, and name of Pollution, and that there­fore, which professed to do it away, best represented by that Element, which was most proper to purge away the natural one; In fine, that they, to whom that form of initiation was propos'd, being thereby possess'd with a good opinion of the sacredness of those mysteries, to which it led, and a hope of its also purging them from their former guilt, greedily embraced it, and made it as sacred in their own esteem, as it seemed to be in the design of those, that instituted it. Which moreover they were more easi­ly persuaded into, because they found it much more easie thus to wash away their Sins, than to purge their ConscienceHeb. 9.14. from dead works by repentance, and amendment. By these degrees, I suppose, it was, that Baptism came, even among the Heathen; to be the general form of initiating them into their respective myste­ries; And had those mysteries been as sacred, as their initiation in­to them was specious, it might have serv'd to them for a perpetual monument of that inward, and far better purity, which it becomes all those to put on, who hope for approbation from the Divine Ma­jesty. But as that initiation of their's had for its Institutor some false God, or other, or rather some Evil Spirit, who acted the part of one; As it was moreover an Introduction into abominable mysteries, as well as into unprofitable ones; Witness in particu­lar those so much talk'd of mysteries of Eleusis Arnob. adv. Gent. li. 5. & Clem. Alex. [...] p. 10., and which I will favour chast Ears in concealing: so I have insisted on it for no other reason, than to shew, how willing the Devil was to pro­cure credit to his mysteries by it, and how easily Men were pre­vailed upon by the speciousness thereof to engage themselves in the pursuit of them. Which, though it were no commendation to those mysteries, to which it was apply'd, yet is a sufficient one of the Rite it self, and will add yet more lustre to that Baptism of ours, which leads to a Religion, that is as spotless as it self.

From the Baptism of the Heathen pass we to that of the Jews, and so much the rather, because if such a Baptism can be prov'd, it will not only be a farther commendation to our own, but it may be also give light to it: He, who came not to destroy the Law, and the Prophets, but to fulfill them (as Christ himself declar'dMat. 5.17. in the very entrance upon his Ministry) being likely enough to have had a regard to their Baptism also, and to have copied out his own Baptism by it. And indeed if any credit may be given to the most Authentick writings the Jews now have, and to oneMaimoni­des. of the most sober Rabbins, which that Nation hath ever pro­duc'd, there will be no reason to doubt of the Jews having, even from Antient times, the same way of initiating Men into their Re­ligion, which Christianity doth now prescribe. For from their Writings it hath been observ'd, (and the express words of their [Page 5]respective Authors alledgedSeld. de Jure Nat. & Gent. li. 2. c. 2. &c. Ham. in his Quaer. concern. Inf. Baptism. for it) that the Males of the native Jews were of Old initiated into that Religion by Baptism, or washing of the whole body, as well as by Circumcision, and an Oblation, and the Females by Baptism, if not also by an Oblation; That the Males of their Proselytes of Justice (sutably to the Males of those native Jews, into whose Religion they were admitted) were initiated by Baptism, and an Oblation, as well as by Cir­cumcision, and the Females by Baptism, and an Oblation; That the Baptism of Proselytes was to be perform'd in a natural recep­tacle of Waters, as in a River, a Pool, or a Fountain, and the whole body washed in it; That there were three Men appointed to preside over their Baptism, and who, as the Baptised persons stood in the water, were to lean over them, and twice explain to them some of the more weighty, and lighter precepts of the Law; That where the Proselyte was a Female, she should be encom­passed with other Women to preserve her from being seen by the Triumviri, and they to depart, when she was to come out of the water; That this Baptism being rightly perform'd was not to be repeated, and that in what condition Proselytes were baptiz'd, that is to say, whether in a servile or free condition, (for that was then to be profess'd) in that they were to abide; That, from the time of their being thus proselyted, they were for the main accoun­ted of as Jews, and had the title of such, that they were accoun­ted of as persons new born, yea so far, that after that time they were not to own any of their former Relations; In fine, that that new birth was look'd upon as so singular, that it gave occasion to their Cabalistical Doctors to teach, that the old Soul of the Pro­selyte vanished, and a new one succeeded in its place. For all these particulars have been observ'd concerning that Baptism whereof we speak, and the Baptism it self not only made as antient as Moses, but deduced by them from that command of GodExod. 19.10., whereby Moses was enjoyn'd to sanctifie the Israelites, and cause them to wash their Cloaths, against the time that God declar'd from Mount Sinai that legal Covenant, which they were then to enter into.

Whether the Jewish Writers might not somewhat overlash in making their Baptism so very ancient, or err in assigning the former Command as the Original thereof, is a thing I mean not to dispute, and much less will I concern my self so far in it, as to vindicate them against all opposers. But as it is hard to believe, they would attribute so great an antiquity to that, which was not at least somewhat antienter than our Saviour's time, which is all we are concerned to assert; So it will be much more hard to detract altogether from their testimony, if it hath any concurring proofs, and be otherwise fairly defensible against the adversaries thereof. Now that the testimony of the Jewish Writers is not without some concurring proofs, and such as will at least add to the probability thereof, will appear if we consider first, that though Circumcision both was, and was intended as a means of initia­ting the Jews, yet it was such a form of initiation, as was competible only to the Males. By which means, if there had been no other form of initiation, all of the Female Sex, who were undoubtedly as much in Covenant with God, as those of the other, must have [Page 6]been debar'd of any visible Sacrament to assure them of their in­terest in it. Which though it be not so great an inconvenience, as to enforce altogether the use of somewhat beside Circumcisi­on, because the Females might be initiated in their Fathers, yet will make it reasonable enough to believe, that God, with whom there is no respect of Sexes, appointed some form of initiation, by which they might be alike admitted. I say Secondly, that as Cir­cumcision was not competible to those of the Female Sex, and not unlikely therefore that there might be some other ceremony for their initiation; So it is apparent from S. Paul 1 Cor. 10.2., that how­ever God might deal with the Jews before, or after, yet all of them, in their passage from Aegypt unto Canaan, were baptized into Moses in the Cloud, and in the Sea. For being so, it is not difficult to believe, that the same form of initiation might afterwards have force in those, who were not capable of Circumcision, yea even in them, that were capable of it, after the Rite of Circumcision was over, if it were only to put them in mind, of that delive­rance they receiv'd by it: Especially, when their Eucharistical Manna, though thence forward not enjoyn'd to be us'd, because it ceased from among them, was yet laid up in the Ark of GodExod. 16.32, &c. to put them in mind of God's nourishing them by it. I say Thirdly, that though Baptism might not be enjoyned at the first, or at least enjoyn'd only for the use of those, who were not capable of Circumcision, yet it might by the advice of their Governors, and the approbation of those Prophets whom God raised up among them, be afterwards added to Circumcision, both upon the ac­count of their Fore-fathers being commanded to sanctifie them­selves, and wash their Cloaths when they appear'd before God at Mount Sinai, and as a farther declaration to them of the im­purity of their Nature, and of that pure, and holy estate, which they entred into. For if their Fore-fathers were, even by the command of God, to sanctifie themselves with washings toward their entring into Covenant with God at Mount Sinai, what should hinder such of their posterity, as presided over that Na­tion, to make an addition of the like Baptism? Especially, when all was little enough to admonish them of their own natural im­purity, and of the necessity that lay upon them of purging them­selves from it. I observe Fourthly, that though there be not any ex­press mention in the Scripture of that Baptism whereof we speak, nor indeed of any like it beside that of John the Baptist, which being immediately from Heaven ought not to be drawn into example; yet is it sufficiently intimated by our Saviour, where, upon Nicodemus's wondring how a Man could be born of Water, and the Spirit, he with equal wonder demandedJoh. 3.10., Art thou a Master of Israel, and knowest not these things? For as that is a sufficient indication, that the notion our Saviour advanc'd was no stranger to the Israelites, and therefore neither such a Baptism, as was the subject of it; So it became yet more clear by the Jewish Writers representing the Baptism of a Proselyte as giving a new birth unto him: That as it is the same in effect with the product of Christ's Baptism, so making it yet more reasonable to believe, that our Saviour had an eye to it, when he wondred so much at Nicodemus for stumbling [Page 7]at that property in his. All which put together, because tending toward the same thing, will make it yet more reasonable to believe, that the Jewish Writers spake not at adventure, when they repre­sented the Rite of Baptism as a Rite of their own Nation, and by which both themselves, and their Proselytes had been of old initi­ated, no less than by the Rite of Circumcision. If there be any thing to hinder the admission of it, it must be the silence of the Old Testament concerning it, or at least concerning the Institution of it. But as we find no great mention, even of Circumcision it self after the five Books of Moses, and may therefore the less wonder at the no mention of Baptism, especially if, as it might be, institu­ted, after his time; As we find as little mention, even where it might have been more reasonably expected, of the first Jews being bapti­zed into Moses in the Cloud, and in the Sea, or of their Eating, and Drinking that spiritual repast, whereof S. Paul speaketh1 Cor. 10.3, 4.: So there is as little reason therefore to wonder at its silence con­cerning this Rite, especially considering, what is notorious enough from thence, that God from time to time rais'd up Prophets among them. For their Authority, and Preaching might suffice to con­stitute, or confirm a matter of greater moment, than the Rite of Baptism, as added to Circumcision, can be supposed to have been.

There being therefore no great doubt to be made of a Baptism among the Jews antecedent to that of John the Baptist, and our Saviour, it will not be difficult to believe first, that our Saviour had an eye to it, when he appointed the same Rite to initiate Men in­to his Religion: Partly because it was his avowed Profession, that he came rather to reform, than destroy their former Oeconomy; and partly because he might the more reasonably hope to bring them over to that faith, which it was an initiation into. It will be as easie to believe, Secondly, upon the score of the same con­descension, and compliance, that Christ departed as little as might be from their manner of Administration of it, or from the ends, which it was appointed for among them; such a compliance being equally necessary to carry on his design of bringing them over to his Religion. The consequence whereof will be thirdly, that where it doth not very plainly appear that Christianity hath made an altera­tion in it, we interpret the Baptism thereof conformably to that of the Jews, from whence it appears to have been transcrib'd. How much more then, where there are any fair hints in Christianity of its symbolizing with the Doctrine of the other? The result of which will be fourthly, our having recourse upon occasion to the Baptism of the Jews for the better clearing, or establishing the Do­ctrine of our own. Which as I shall therefore not fail to do as often as their Writings shall furnish matter for it; so having said thus much concerning their Baptism, and that of the Heathen, I will pass on to the Baptism of the Christians, and confine my self yet more strictly to the consideration of it.

PART II. Of the Baptism of the Christians, and the Institution of it.

The Contents.

The Institution of the Christian Baptism more antient, than the Com­mand for it in S. Matthew Matt. 28.19., though not as to the genera­lity of the World, nor it may be as to the like explicit Profession of the Trinity. As is made appear from Christ, or his Disciples baptizing in Judea, not long after his own Baptism by S. John. Enquiry thereupon made, whether it were not yet more antient, yea as antient as Christ's execution of his Prophetical Office. Which is rendred probable from our Saviours making Disciples before, and the equal reason there appears to have been for his making them after the same manner with those of Judea; From Christ's re­presenting to Nicodemus the necessity of being born again of wa­ter, and the spirit, which is shewn at large to be meant of a true, and proper Baptism; As, in fine, from Christ's telling S. Peter, when he ask'd the washing of his Hands, and Head, as well as Feet, that he, who had been washed, needeth not save to wash his feet. An answer to the supposed silence of the Scripture concerning so early a Baptism, and that shewn to be neither a perfect silense, nor an unaccountable one.

NOW the first thing to be enquired after is the Institution of it, and so much the rather, because though there is no doubt as to the thing it self, yet there is as to the first beginning of it. For there are, who have thought this Sacrament to have been first instituted by our Saviour imme­diately before his Ascension, and when he gave command to his DisciplesMatt. 28.19. to go, and teach, or disciple all Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the [Page 10]Holy Ghost. And I willingly grant (because our Saviour was sent only Matt. 15.24. to the lost sheep of the House of Israel) that that was the first institution of it, as to that more general extent it was to have in the World, and it may be too as to that clear, and explicit pro­fession of the Trinity, into the Names of which our Saviour after­wards commanded to baptize: Because such Doctrines as that were to be poured into the Disciples by degrees, and according as they should be able to receive them. But that the Sacrament it self had a more early Institution, will appear from the mention there is of our Saviour's baptizing long before, or at least of his Dis­ciples doing it by his Commission, and Appointment.

For the clearing whereof we are to know, that whatsoever he may be thought to have done, before he first passed into Judaea after his own Baptism by John the Baptist, yet there heJoh. 3.22., or his Disciples Joh. 4.2. baptized; yea to so great a number, that John's Disci­plesJoh. 3.26. affirmed to their Master, that all men came to him, and it; and news was afterwards brought to the Pharisees Joh. 4.1., that he made, and baptized more Disciples, than John himself. Into what profession is not difficult to conjecture from our Saviour's being said to make Joh. 4.1. Disciples by it, and from the Baptist's affirm­ming in allowance of our Saviour's Baptism, that he that believed on the SonJoh. 3.36., should have everlasting Life, but he, that believed not the Son, should not see life, but, on the contrary, have the wrath of God abiding on him. For what could that assertion have signi­fied toward the legitimating of our Saviour's Baptism, especially when John himself admonish'd Men by his to believe on him, that should come after him Acts 19.4., that is, on Christ Jesus? Were it not, that our Saviour, or his Disciples did expresly baptize Men into the belief of him, and of that August Authority, and saving power, which was vested in him as the Messiah. Which makes me wonder so much the more, that Tertullian De Bapt. c. 11. should make that Baptism of the Disciples but of the same nature with that of John, but above all at his asking, how Christ could be supposed to baptize into him­self, when he at that time made it his business to conceal who, and what he was. For as John the Baptist was not wantingJoh. 1.29, &c. to discover what he was; so our Saviour was so far from being re­serv'd as to that particular, that the very first of those Disciples, that came to him, did both acknowledge himJoh. 41.45. as the Messiah immediately, and represent him as such to other Men.

But let us rise yet higher, than Christ's baptizing in Judaea, though that be not far remov'd from his first setting up for Dis­ciples, because whilst John was yetJoh. 3.22, 23. baptizing, which is the time, from whence the ScriptureAct. 1.22. — 10.37. makes our Saviour's preaching to commence. Not that there are any express proofs before that time of his baptizing any Disciples, but that it may be some probable proofs may offer themselves for it, and such as we cannot rea­sonably refuse. Of which nature I reckon first his making Dis­ciples before that time, and particularly those Disciples, whom he made use of to baptize in the Land of Jury. For if our Saviour made Disciples before, why not after the same manner, wherein he made those of Judaea? He had to induce him to it the custom, that then prevail'd among the Jews, of making Disciples by that [Page 11]solemnity, as appears both by their so admitting Proselytes, and the Baptism of his Forerunner. He had to induce him to it the greater likelihood there was thereby of inviting others to the same Baptism, than if those, who were the first, and chief, and more­over made use of by himself to baptize, had not first been baptiz'd themselves: Because so there could have been no pretence to refuse the Baptism he propos'd, whereas otherwise they might have re­jected it as a thing unnecessary to be had, or scrupled it as pro­ceeding from incompetent Administrators of it. In fine, he had to induce him to it that, which prevail'd with himselfMatt. 3.15. to re­ceive the Baptism of John, even their fulfilling all righteousness, who were not only the first of his Disciples, but ordained by himself to be a pattern unto others. Which inducements as they are of no small force to persuade his baptizing from the beginning, because but suitable to his own proceedings, or the common reason­ings of Mankind; so will no doubt be accounted such, if there be not equal probabilities to the contrary, as which are the only things, that can take off the edge of them. Now what is there of that nature, that can perswade Christ's omission of Baptism, unless it be either the Scripture's silence, which shall be afterwards considered, or his willingness thereby to intimate, that he had not so tied his own Graces to an external Rite, but that he could, and would upon occasion conferr them without it? But beside that there was a like fear thereby of Men's neglecting his appointments up­on a presumption of their receiving his Graces as the Apostles did; This may seem to have been too early a season for such an inti­mation, because before Men were well confirm'd in his Authority, or ability to conferr them, even by the ordinary solemnities. For if they were not as yet well confirm'd in that, how should they dream of a greater power, yea not rather be thereby tem­pted to question altogether his Authority, because departing so far even from the example of John the Baptist, whom all MenMatt. 21.26. accounted as a Prophet?

But beside that our Saviour made Disciples before, and may therefore not improbably be thought to have made them after the same manner; We find yet farther, that before he baptiz'd those of Judaea, he represented the solemnity of Baptism as a thing ne­cessary to enter Men into that Kingdom of God, to which he in­vited them: Our Saviour not only telling Nicodemus, that except a Man were born again Joh. 3.3., he could not see the Kingdom of God, but yet more plainly, that except he were born again of Water Joh. 3.5., and of the Spirit, he could not possibly enter into it. For how could Christ represent that as necessary, which he himself had not afford­ed to his first, and chiefest Disciples, nor, for ought that doth ap­pear, ever after did? For if he did, he would certainly have done it before he made use of them to baptize others; Partly because they were the first Disciples he had, and partly because so they would have been more apparently qualified to have administred the same Baptism unto others. If therefore Christ represented Bap­tism as necessary, even before his baptizing in Judaea, it is not un­reasonable to think he had both instituted, and administred it before: Especially, when the Disciples he before had cannot well [Page 12]be thought to have had it afterwards, as in reason they must have had it, if it were so necessary as our Saviour affirm'd it. And possibly neither would they, who are otherwise perswaded, have in the least suspected the force of this argument, had it not been for an opinion of theirs, that our Saviour spake not in this place of Baptism, but of Men's being born again of that spirit of God, which hath the same cleansing quality with water: So ma­king that speech of our Saviour to be that, which the Rhetori­cians call an [...], and consequently resolvable into a watery, or cleansing Spirit, as Virgil's pateris libamus & auro, is into pate­ris aureis, or golden Dishes. Even as they suppose the ScriptureMatt. 3.11. meant when it affirm'd, that Christ should baptize with the Holy Ghost, and with fire, that is to say, with that Holy Ghost, which hath the purifying, and warming qualities of that Element. I will not now say, though I might, that that figure might have been more allowable here, if that speech of Christ could have been so fairly resolv'd into a watery Spirit, as pateris & auro may be into pateris aureis; Which that it cannot be, is sufficiently evi­dent from Gold's being the proper Material of those Dishes, where­of the Poet speaks, which water to be sure is not of the other. But neither will I any more than say, that Christ's baptizing with the Holy Ghost, and with fire doth not make at all for this figure, be­cause it is certain that at the day of Pentecost, which was the most notorious descent of the Holy Ghost, and particularly referr'd to by that BaptismAct. 1.5., Christ baptized his Disciples with a mate­rial fire, as well as that. But I say, which is more material, that there is great reason to understand our Saviour here of that Baptism by water, which we have affirmed his words to import. For so first (as Mr. Hooker Eccl. Pol. li. 5. §. 59. did long since observe) the Letter of the Text perswades, and which we are not lightly to depart from, un­less we will make the Scripture a very uncertain Rule, and in­deed to prove any thing, which wanton wits would have it. So secondly (as the same Hooker Ibid. observes) the Antients Justin Mar­tyr. Apol. 2. p. 94. Tertul. de Bapt. c. 13. Cyprian Epist. 73. with­out exception understood it, yea heTertul. ubi supra., who makes the Baptism now under consideration, even the Baptism of Christ before his Ascension, to be but of the same nature with S. John's. So third­ly, we have cause to understand Christ here, because expressing what he here intended by a new birth from water, which is the propertyTit. 3.5. of that Baptism, he afterwards commanded the Apo­stles to administer. In fine, so several circumstances both of the Text, and Context perswade, and some too, that are not so ordi­narily taken notice of. Of which nature I reckon as none of the least that, which gave occasion to them, even Nicodemus's coming to Jesus by night Joh. 3.2., and there, and then acknowledging to him, that he was a teacher come from God, and that he himself was induced to believe it by the miracles our Saviour wrought. For that secret confession of his being not only not agreeable to that more publick oneMatt. 10.32., which our Saviour requir'd, but (as ap­pears by the answer he return'd to it) intimated by him to be insufficient, because letting him know, that except he was born again of water, and the spirit, he could not enter into the King­dom of God; Nothing can be more agreeable to our Saviour's [Page 13]mind, than to understand those Words of his of Men's making a more publick confession of him in order to their Salvation, if the Words can with any reason be thought to admit of it. Which that they may is evident from hence, that, whatever our Saviour now understood by them, the like expressionTit. 3.5. became afterwards an usual periphrasis of Baptism, which was a publick confession of our Saviour. I say secondly, that as the oc­casion of the words doth naturally lead to such a sense, as will make them import a more publick Confession of our Saviour; So it will consequently prompt us to understand them of such a new Birth, as is perform'd by Water, and the Spirit, rather than of that, which is perform'd by the Spirit alone: That, as it is a Birth, which manifests it self to the Eyes of others, which this cannot be supposed to do, so being a Birth therefore, which may publickly declare our Confession of him, by whose appointment we are born again. Agreeable hereto thirdly, is the sense of the words themselves, if those Jews, of whom Nicode­mus was sometime a Ruler, may be listned to in this affair; They not only affirming their own Proselytes to have been admitted by Baptism, but that Baptism also represented as a thing, which gave them a new birth, yea so far, as to make them put off their old relations by it. For what then can be more reasonable, than to think, that our Saviour, when he spake to a Jew, spake the same Language with them, and consequently, that, as he spake of being born of Water, as well as the Spirit, he meant a like Baptism by it. Especially, when it is observa­ble, fourthly, that our Saviour ask'd Nicodemus, not without some amazement,Joh. 3.10., Art thou a Master in Israel, and knowest not these things? For what was this, but to intimate yet more, that the new Birth, whereof he spake, was no stranger to themselves, and consequently, because he spake of being born of Water, that he meant a Baptism by it? Add hereunto, fifthly; our Saviour's affirming himself in the former Discourse to have spoken of earthly Joh. 3.12. things, and (as one would think) therefore of such a Birth, which though influenced by God's Spirit, yet had something of earthly, as that is oppos'd to heavenly, adhering to it: As, in fine, the Evangelist's subjoyning to this Discourse of a new Birth by Water the mention of our Saviour'sJoh. 3.22. pas­sing into Judaea, and there baptizing; There being not a fairer account either of that connexion, or our Saviour's proceedings, than that, agreeably to what he had said concerning the ne­cessity of Men's being so born again, he went into Judaea, and baptized, and so made way for their entrance into God's Kingdom. Such evidence there is of our Saviour's meaning a proper Baptism, when he spake of the necessity of Men's being born again of water, and of the Spirit; And if our Saviour meant such a Baptism, there is as little doubt of his having before both instituted, and administred it, yea even from the time of his setting up for Disciples; There being not the least ap­pearance of Christ's baptizing those first Disciples afterwards, which yet he must have done, considering the necessity thereof, if they had not been baptiz'd before.

I will conclude what I have to say concerning the earliness of our Saviour's Baptism, when I have added from a passage of Christ to S. Peter the farther probability there is of his, and the other Apostles having receiv'd it, and therefore, if they did so, of their having receiv'd it from the beginning of their Dis­cipleship: That I mean, whereupon S. Peter's begging of Christ to wash not only his feet, but his hands, and his head, if (as our Saviour had told him) he could have no part in him, unless he wash'd him, Christ is said to have made answerJoh. 13.10., that he, that had been wash'd, even by a more general washing, needed not save to wash his feet. For as our Saviour intimates by that expression, that he, and the rest had passed under the former washing, and consequently did not need such a general washing a second time; so he may not improbably be thought to have meant the washing of Baptism, and which though in it self an outward purification, yet was attended with an in­ward, and spiritua lone: Partly, because it is certain that our Saviour had before this time madeuse of the Baptism of Water to purifie Men unto himself, and may therefore be well enough supposed to allude unto it; And partly, because that Baptism, or washing will be more directly opposed to that, which our Saviour now intended, and which though design'd by him to signifie a more spiritual purgation, even that of the affections, or acti­ons, yet was performed by him by an outward washing. For why then should we not think, that the Apostles had that more general washing of Baptism? Especially when we know that about this time Christ administred to them the Sacrament of the Eucha­rist, and which as it is in order of nature after that of Baptism, and may therefore not unreasonably be thought to have been preceded by theirs, so is an evidence that Christ meant, in some measure at least, to conduct them by the same Rites, and Ceremonies, wherewith he intended to bring other Men unto himself.

One only thing there is, which can any way prejudice the former Discourse, even the silence there is in the New Testament of any Baptism by Christ before that in Judaea, yea the silence there is of it in that very Evangelist, who takes such particular notice of the other. And surely such a silence would have been of no small force, if it had been either a perfect silence, or an unaccountable one. But as that story cannot be look'd upon as perfectly silent, which affords so many probable proofs of what it is pretended to be silent in; so there may be reason enough given of its ascending no higher in its account of Christ's admi­nistration of Baptism, than that, which was performed by him in Judaea: Partly, because the Author of it had before acquainted his Readers with Christ's representing it as generally necessaryJoh. 3.5. to Salvation, and from which, and the following practice of our Saviour in making Disciples, Men might reasonably enough collect his having so made the former ones; And partly, because he knew, that what was defective in his account of our Saviour's Baptism, might be abundantly supplied to posterity (to whom he, and the other Evangelists principally wrote) by what those other Evan­gelists [Page 15] Matt. 28.19. Mark 16.15, 16. had said concerning Christ's giving command to his Apostles of baptizing all Nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. For that, together with his own account of our Saviour's Baptism, was enough to let them know (and therefore enough for their own purpose) that as Christ himself initiated Men by Baptism, yea represented it as necessary to Salvation, so it was his absolute will, and pleasure, that those, to whom his Apostles, and their Successors publi­shed his Gospel, should be initiated by the same means, if they meant to enter into the Kingdom of God.

PART III. Of the outward visible Sign of Baptism.

The Contents.

The outward visible Sign of the Christian Baptism shewn to be the Element of Water, and enquiry thereupon made wherein it was inten­ded as a Sign; Which is shewn, in the general, to be as to the clean­sing quality thereof, more particularly as to the use it was put to toward new-born Infants, and that application of it which was first in use, even by an immersion, or plunging the Party baptized in it. Occasion taken from thence to enquire farther, how it ought to be applyed, more especially whether by an immersion, or by that, or an aspersion, or effusion. Evidence made of an immersion being the only legitimate Rite of Baptism, save where necessity doth otherwise require; And enquiry thereupon made, whether necessity may justifie the Application of it by an Aspersion, or Effusion, and, if it may, whe­ther the case of Infants be to be look'd upon as such a necessity What is to be thought of those additions, which were antiently made, or continue as yet in being in the outward solemnities of Baptism. Where the sign of the Cross in Baptism is more particularly consi­dered, and answer made to those Exceptions that are made against it as a Ceremony, as an addition of Men to the Institution of Christ, and as a supposed Relique of Popery, or giving too much countenance to the Papists abuses of it.

BUT because whatever doubt there may be of the first Institution of the Christian Baptism,Question. What is the outward visible sign or form in Baptism? Answer. Water, wherein the person is baptiz'd in the name of the Father, &c. yet there neither is, nor can be any doubt of our Saviour's instituting it then, when he was about to take his leave of his Disciples; Therefore pass we on to the Sacrament it self, which (agree­ably to the procedure of our own Catechism, and the method before observed, when I entreated of the nature of a Sacrament in the general) I will consider, [Page 18]

  • I. As to its outward and visible Sign.
  • II. As to its inward and Spiritual Grace, or the thing signifi­ed by it.
  • III. As to that relation, which its outward, and visible Sign bears to its inward, and Spiritual Grace.
  • IV. As to the Foundation of that Relation. For as the nature of the Sacrament of Baptism will be found to lie within these four, so I no way doubt we shall be able to reduce to one, or other of these generals whatsoever is any way necessary to be known concerning it.

Now there are four things to be enquir'd concerning the first of these, even the outward and visible sign of Baptism. First, what that outward and visible sign is. Secondly, wherein it was in­tended as a sign. Thirdly, how it ought to be applied. Fourth­ly, what is to be thought of those additions, which were ancient­ly made, or continue as yet in being in the outward solemnities of Baptism.

1. As touching the outward, and visible sign of Baptism, there is no doubt it is the Element of Water, as is evident from the native signification of the word Baptism, which signifies an im­mersion, or dipping into some liquid thing, from the matter of those Baptisms, which were in use among the Jews, and which our Saviour (because making use of the same word to express his own Baptism by) is in reason to be suppos'd to have so far conform'd it to, but more especially from the account we have of the Admi­nistration of it, both whilst our Saviour continu'd here, and after his Ascension into Heaven. For thus after S. John had saidJoh. 3.22., that our Saviour, presently after his entring upon his Prophetick Office, came into the Land of Judaea, and there baptized, he im­mediately subjoyn'dJoh. 3.23., that John the Baptist also was then bap­tizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there. For as it is evident from thence, as well as from other placesMatt. 3.6. —13., that the Baptism of John was a Baptism by Water; so the Evan­gelist mentioning John the Baptist as practising the same thing with our Saviour, shews the Baptism of our Saviour to have been so far like it, and consequently to have had Water for the Instrument thereof. The same is yet more evident as to the practice of our Saviour's Disciples, after his more general CommandMatt. 28.19. of Baptism, and his own Ascension into Heaven. For thus we find Philip and the Eunuch going down into a certain water Act. 8.38., by which they pass'd in order to the Baptism of the latter; As that too, after the Eu­nuch had admonished himAct. 8.36., See here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized? And thus too we find S. Peter Act. 10.47, 48., before he gave order for Cornelius, and his companies being baptized in the name of the Lord, demanding of those of the Circumcision, that came with him, whether any Man could forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which had receiv'd the Holy Ghost, as well as themselves; Thereby intimating, or rather expresly declaring, that our Savi­our's Baptism was, as to the outward, and visible sign, the same with that of John the Baptist, and other the Baptisms of the Jews.

2. Water therefore being no doubt the outward and visible sign of Baptism, and so declared to be by the manner of its Admini­stration; The next thing to be enquir'd into is, wherein it was intended as a sign, which will appear to have been in these three particulars: First in respect of that cleansing quality, which is na­tural to it, secondly in respect of that use which it was put to about new-born Infants, thirdly in respect of that manner of Ap­plication of it, which was first us'd, and no doubt generally intend­ed, I mean the dipping of the Party baptized in it.

That the Water of Baptism was intended as a sign in respect of the first of these, will need no other proof, than Ananias's ad­monishing Paul to arise and be baptized, and wash Act. 22.16. away his sins, calling upon the name of the Lord. For it appearing, on the one hand, that the Baptism, to which Paul was invited, even the Chri­stian one, was a Baptism by Water, and, on the other hand, that it was at least ordained for the remission Act. 2.38. of sins, and so the putting away their guilt; Nothing can be more reasonable, than to think, that when Ananias subjoyn'd to the precept of being bap­tiz'd that of washing away his sins, he meant his washing them away by Baptism, and consequently that the Water of Baptism was both a sign of something relating to the putting away of his sins, and a sign too in particular in respect of that cleansing quality, which is natural to it, because that Baptism, to which it belongs, is de­scrib'd as washing away the other.

But beside that Water was intended as a sign in respect of that cleansing quality, which is natural to it; There is equal reason to believe, that it was also intended as such in respect of the use it was then put to about new-born Infants, even the washing away of those impurities, which they contracted from the Womb. We have (as Mr. Mede did long since observeDisc. on Tit. 3.5.) an allusion to this custome in the description, which God gives of the poor and forlorn condition of Jerusalem, when he first took her unto him­self, under the parable of an exposed Infant. For as for thy Nati­vity, saith he,Eze. 16.4. in the day that thou wast born, thy Navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee, thou wast not salted at all, nor swadled at all: Thereby intimating what was then done to Infants in their Nativity, and particularly the wa­shing them from their impurities. And how generally receiv'd this custom was, even among the Heathen, may appear (as the same Mr. Mede Ʋbi supra. hath observed) from what was done to the [...], or [...], who were personsHesych. in utramque vo­cem., to whom the Rites of Burial had been perform'd as dead, but did afterwards appear again in the World. For as these were look'd upon as born anewPlutarch Quaest. Rom. statim ab ini­tio. [...]—. into the World, so like new-born Infants they were to be wash'd with Water before they could be admitted to the conversation of Men, or allowed to enter into the Temples of their Gods. But so that the Water of Baptism was intended for a sign, is evident from its being stil'd the laver Tit. 3.5. of regeneration, [Page 20]or a new Birth, and from the addition, that was made to it in after times of giving milk Tertul. de Coronâ c. 3. Inde [nempe post immersi­onem] suscepti, lactis & mellis concordiam praegustamus. and hony to the new-baptized persons, as that too to declare their Infancy Idem adv. Marcion. li. 1. c. 14. Sedille quidem usque nunc nec aquam reprobavit cre­atoris qua suos abluit, nec ole­um quo suos un­cuit, nec mellis & lactis socie­tatem, quo suos infantat, &c.. For this evidently shews this second Birth to relate to the first, and consequently, that the Element of Water, and the Regeneration by it, though bor­rowed more immediately from the Baptism of the Jews, yet was intended by our Saviour (as I no way doubt it was also by the Jews) as of like use with that, which was apply'd to new­born Infants, and to represent alike washing away of natural pol­lutions.

One other particular there is, wherein I have said the Wa­ter of Baptism to have been intended as a sign, and that is in re­spect of that manner of application, which was sometime us'd, I mean the dipping, or plunging the party baptized in it. A sig­nification, which S. Paul will not suffer those to forget, who have been acquainted with his Epistles. For with reference to that manner of Baptizing we find him affirmingRom. 6.4., that we are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead, by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life; And againRom. 6.5., that if we have been plan­ted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the like­ness of his resurrection. To the same purpose, or rather yet more clearly, doth that Apostle discourse, where he tells usCol. 2.12., that as we are buried with Christ in Baptism, so we do therein rise also with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the Dead. For what is this but to say, that as the de­sign of Baptism was to oblige Men to conform so far to Christ's Death, and Resurrection, as to die unto Sin, and live again unto Righteousness, so it was perform'd by the ceremony of immersi­on, that the person immers'd might by that very ceremony, which was no obscure image of a Sepulture, be minded of the precedent death, as in like manner, by his coming again out of the Water, of his rising from that death to life, after the example of the In­stituter thereof? For which cause, as hath been elsewhereExpl. of the Creed, in the words, And Buried. ob­serv'd, the Antient Church added to the Rite of immersion the dipping of the party three several times to represent the three days Christ continued in the Grave (for that we find to have been the intention of some) and made the Eve of Easter one of the solemn times of the Administration of it.

3. The third thing to be enquir'd concerning the outward visible sign of Baptism is, how it ought to be apply'd, where again these two things would be considered. First, whe­ther it ought to be applyed by an immersion, or by that, or an aspersion, or effusion. Secondly, whether it ought to be ap­plyed by a threefold immersion, or aspersion, answerably to the names into which we are baptiz'd, or either by that, or a single one.

The former of these is, it may be, a more material question, than it is commonly deem'd by us, who have been accustomed to baptize by a bare effusion, or sprinkling of water upon the party. For in things, which depend for their force, upon the meer will, and pleasure of him, who instituted them, there ought, no doubt, [Page 21]great regard to be had to the commands of him, who did so; As without which there is no reason to presume, we shall receive the benefit of that ceremony, to which he hath been pleased to annex it. Now, what the command of Christ was in this par­ticular, cannot well be doubted of by those who shall consider first the words of ChristMatt. 28.19. concerning it, and the practice of those times, whether in the Baptism of John, or of our Saviour. For the words of Christ are, that they should Baptize, or Dip those, whom they made Disciples to him (for so, no doubt, the word [...] properly signifies) and, which is more, and not without its weight, that they should baptize them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Thereby inti­mating such a washing, as should receive the party baptized with­in the very body of that Water, which they were to baptize him with. Though, if there could be any doubt concerning the sig­nification of the words in themselves, yet would that doubt be re­mov'd by considering the practice of those times, whether in the Baptism of John or of our Saviour. For such as was the practice of those times in Baptizing, such in reason are we to think our Sa­viour's command to have been concerning it, especially, when the words themselves incline that way; There being not otherwise any means either for those, or future times to discover his intention concerning it. Now what the practice of those times was as to this particular, will need no other proof than their resorting to Rivers, and other such like receptacles of waters for the perfor­mance of that ceremony, as that too because there was much Water there. For so the Scripture doth not only affirm concerning the Baptism of John Matt. 3.5.6.13. John 3.23., but both intimate concerning that, which our Saviour administred in Judaea (because making John's Bap­tism, and his to be so far forth of the same sortJoh. 3.22, 23.) and expres­ly affirm concerning the Baptism of the Eunuch, which is the on­ly Christian Baptism the Scripture is any thing particular in the description of: The words of S. Luke Act. 8.38. being, that both Philip and the Eunuch went down into a certain water which they met with in their journey, in order to the baptizing of the latter. For what need would there have been either of the Baptist's resorting to great confluxes of Water, or of Philip, and the Eunuch's go­ing down into this, were it not that the Baptism both of the one, and the other was to be performed by an immersion? A very little Water, as we know it doth with us, sufficing for an effusion, or sprinkling. But beside the words of our Blessed Saviour, and the concurrent practice of those times, wherein this Sacrament was instituted; It is in my opinion of no less consideration, that the thing signified by the Sacrament of Baptism, cannot other­wise be well represented, than by an immersion, or at least by some more general way of purification, than that of effusion, or sprinkling. For though the pouring, or sprinkling of a little Water upon the Face may suffice to represent an internal wash­ing, which seems to be the general end of Christ's making use of the Sacrament of Baptism; yet can it not be thought to represent such an entire washing, as that of new-born Infants was, and as Baptism may seem to have been intended for, because represen­ted [Page 22]as the laver Tit. 3.5. of our regeneration: That, though it do re­quire an immersion, yet requiring such a general washing at least, as may extend to the whole Body; As other than which cannot answer its type, nor yet that general, though internal purga­tion, which Baptism was intended to represent. The same is to be said yet more upon the account of our conforming to the Death, and Resurrection of Christ, which we learn from S. Paul to have been the design of Baptism to signifie. For, though that might, and was well enough represented by the baptized persons being buried in Baptism, and then rising out of it; yet can it not be said to be so, or at least but very imperfectly by the bare pour­ing out, or sprinkling the Baptismal Water on him. But there­fore as there is so much the more reason to represent the Rite of immersion, as the only legitimate Rite of Baptism, because the only one, that can answer the ends of its Institution, and those things, which were to be signified by it; so especially if (as is well known, and undoubtedly of great force) the general pra­ctice of the Primitive Church was agreeable thereto, and the pra­ctice of the Greek Church to this very day. For who can think either the one, or the other would have been so tenacious of so troublesome a Rite, were it not that they were well assured, as they of the Primitive Church might very well be, of its being the only instituted, and legitimate one.

How to take off the force of these Arguments altogether, is a thing I mean not to consider; Partly, because our ChurchSee the Rubrick in the Office of Baptism be­fore the words, I baptize thee, &c. seems to persuade such an immersion, and partly, because I cannot but think the forementioned Arguments to be so far of force, as to evince the necessity thereof, where there is not some greater ne­cessity to occasion an alteration of it. For what benefit can Men ordinarily expect from that, which depends for its force upon the will of him, that instituted it, where there is not such a compliance at least with it, and the Commands of the Instituter, as may an­swer those ends, for which he appointed it? And indeed, what­ever may have been done to Infants, which I no way doubt were more or less baptized from the beginning, the first mention we find of Aspersion in the Baptism of the Elder sort, was in the case of the Clinici, or Men who receiv'd Baptism upon their sick Beds; and that Baptism represented by S. Cyprian Epist. ad Magn. 76. In Sacramentis salutari [...]s, necessitate co­gente, & Deo indulgentiam suam largiente, totum credenti­bus conserunt Divina com­pendia. as legitimate upon the account of the necessity, that compel'd it, and the presum­ption there was of God's gracious acceptation thereof because of it. By which means the lawfulness of any other Baptism, than by an immersion, will be found to lie in the necessity there may sometime be of another manner of Administration of it; and we therefore only enquire, whether the necessity of the party to be baptiz'd can justifie such an alteration, and what is to be look'd upon as such a necessity. And indeed though that Magnus, to whom S. Cyprian directed the forementioned Letter, seemed to question the lawfulness of such a Baptism, and that Father, as his manner is, spake but modestly concerning it; yet there is not otherwise any appearance of the Antient Churches disapproving the Baptism of the Clinicks, because they were not loti, but per­fusi, as S. Cyprian expresseth it. For even he himself doth there in­timate, [Page 23]that theyAut si ali­quis existimat eos nihil conse­cutos, eo quod aquâ salutari tantum perfusi sunt, &c. non decipiantur, ut si incommodum languoris eva­serint, & con­valuerint, bap­tizentur. Si autem baptiza­ri non possunt, qui jam Bap­tismo Ecclesi­astico sanctifi­cati sunt, cur in fide suâ, & Domini indul­gentiâ scanda­lizentur? Cypr. ubi supra., who liked not the Baptism of the Clinicks, did not yet care to baptize them again. He adds farther, that they who had been so baptiz'd, were known to have been delivered thereby from that unclean spirit, which before possess'd them Denique & rebus ipsis ex­perimur, ut ne­cessitate urgen­le, in aegritudi­ne baptizati, & gratiam consecuti, ca­reant immundo spiritu, quo antea moveban­tur, & lauda­biles ac proba­biles in Eccle­siâ vivant, plus­que per dies singulos in aug­mentum coelestis gratiae per fidei Sacramentum proficiant. Cypr. ibid., and after their recovery, gave as good proof, as any, by their holy liv­ing, of their being sanctified by that Baptism. In fine, that they, who differ'd from him, as to the rebaptization of Hereticks, (which was the sounder part of the Church in that particular) did, with­out any difference, admit those, who had been baptiz'd by Hereticks Et tantus ho­nor habeatur haereticis, ut inde venientes non interrogen­tur, utrumne loti sint, an per­fusi, utrumne Clinici sint, an Peripatetici. Cypr. ibid., neither were scrupulous in enquiring, whether they were wash'd or sprink­led, Clinicks or Peripateticks. Which passages alone are a sufficient proof, that the generality of the Church look'd upon sprinkling as enough, where there was any just necessity to constrain it. But so (to omit other proofs) we may be satisfied even by that Canon Cod. Eccl. Ʋniv. can. 57. cum not. Just., which was made against some of the foremention'd Clinicks; The utmost, that Canon pretended to do against them, being the hindring them from being promoted to the Priesthood, as that too, not because of any unlawfulness in the manner of their Baptism, but because there was sometime a presumption, that that Baptism proceeded rather from necessity, than choice, or that they had (as Tertullian De Poenit. cap. 8. speaks) deferr'd the receiving of it, that they might in the mean time indulge to their sins, as nothing doubting, but their future Baptism would wipe off all. There being therefore no doubt to be made (so far as the judgment, or practice of the Church can warrant us) that necessity doth justifie a bare Aspersion in Baptism; Enquire we, for our farther confirmation in it, what there was in the Scripture to induce them to it, or establish us in the be­lief of it. Which I conceive to be their understanding from thence1 Pet. 3.21., that though Baptism was the thing, that sav'd, yet it was not so much by its washing away the filth of the flesh, as from that answer of a good Conscience, which it did involve; That, though the external washing was also necessary in its kind, and, where it might be had, in those circumstances also, wherein it was insti­tuted, yet since God had declar'dMatt. 12.7., That he would have mercy, and not sacrifice, there was reason enough to believe, that he re­quir'd no farther a compliance in this particular, than was con­sistent with the safety of Mens lives to afford; especially, when what was wanting in the application of the outward visible sign might be made up by the form of words, wherewith it was ad­ministred, and Men admonished thereby of those significations of Baptism, which the visible solemnities thereof did not suggest. For, the several ends of Baptism being thus secur'd, there was still the less reason to be scrupulous about the means, or think God would be rigorous in exacting them. But so they might be yet more assur'd (as it appears St. Cyprian Ubi supra. was) by what the Pro­phet Ezekiel Ezek. 36.25. brings in God as speaking concerning the times of the Messiah; Even that he would sprinkle clean Water upon them, and they should be clean from all their filthiness, and from their Idols. For as it appears from what followsEzek. 36.26, 27., even that God would give the persons there spoken of a new heart, and a new Spirit, take away their stony heart from them, and put his own spirit within them, that this whole passage was spoken more particularly with [Page 24]reference to the times of the Messiah, Maimonides himselfExplic. Tract. Sanb. c. 10. a pud Po­cock. Port. Mosis, p. 160.1. so applying this, and the like passages; So we cannot therefore bet­ter interpret the sprinkling of clean Water upon them in order to it, than of the Water of Baptism, and which the Spirit of God expressing by the term of sprinkling of Water shews it to have foreseen a necessity of its being so administred oftentimes, and his own allowance of it. All which things whosoever shall consi­der, will, I doubt not, see reason enough to think, that necessity may justifie an Aspersion in Baptism, and nothing more therefore left to enquire upon this Head, than what may be look'd upon as such a necessity, which will bring the question yet nearer to our selves. Now as there can be no doubt of sickness being such, and particularly such a sickness, as fastens Men to their Beds; So we shall therefore have nothing more to consider of, than the case of Infants, and to whom as Baptism is generally administred, so it is also perform'd by an effusion, or sprinkling. With what necessity, is the thing we are to enquire, and so much the rather because the Greek Church useth immersion, or dipping to this ve­ry day, and the Muscovitish Church after its example. For if the coldness of any Clime may be thought to make that Rite dan­gerous to such tender Bodies, one would think they of the latter should find it to be such, and therefore see a necessity of chang­ing it. For the clearing whereof we are to know, that as they, who use the Rite of immersion, even in warmer Countries, are so sensible of the tenderness of Infant Bodies, that they make use of warm Water to baptize them; So the Muscovites making use of it without any danger (if yet they always do so) will not make it cease to be such to Infants of other Countries: There be­ing, as every one knows, no small difference between the Bodies of Infants, as well as those of Men, and to some of whom there­fore, and in some Countries that may be exceeding dangerous, which Infants of other Countries find no such inconvenience by. And indeed as such an Immersion of Infants, especially in these Northern parts, cannot generally be thought to be without its ha­zard, how warily and carefully soever managed; As it may be yet more hazardous to weaker Infants, and whom, as it would not be thought fit to deny Baptism to, so as little, to do any thing to send them out of the World; so I am apt enough to believe upon second thoughts (for I have elsewhere Expl. of the Creed, in the Words, And Bu­ried. spoken more harshly con­cerning it) that that Rite came to be disused here after a sufficient proof of the inconveniencies thereof; Because (as Erasmus notesVid. Pamel. in not. ad Cypr. epist. ad Mag­num.) it was in use among us, even in his time, and the Liturgies, that have been in force since, not excepting the present one, seem rather to perswade the use of it. For our Fore fathers being so strangely tenacious of that Rite, and both they, and their posterity not with­out a venerable opinion of it, it cannot well be thought they should come at length so generally to disuse it, but that they found by experience, that it was not without its hazard, and so more pru­dently omitted. However it be, our Church hath acquitted it self from all blame, because manifestly licensingSee the Rubr. of Bapt. before the Words, I baptize thee, &c. the sprink­ling of Infants with respect to the weakness of their State; And I have the more carefully noted both that, and the ground of our [Page 25]practice, the better to defend our selves from a retort of the Ro­manists, when we charge them with Sacrilege in the matter of the Eucharist for taking away the Cup from the Laity. For why not (as they sometime answer) as well as change the Rite of Im­mersion in Baptism into that of sprinkling? Especially, when a great part of the Symbolicalness of that Sacrament lies in the manner of the application of its sign. Which Answer of theirs were not in my opinion easie to be repel'd, were it not, that we have that necessity to justifie our practice, which they cannot pretend for their own.

Having thus said enough concerning the applying of the outward sign of Baptism, whether by an Immersion, or Aspersion, which was the first thing I had to consider; Enquire we in the next place how often that application ought to be made, that is to say whether as many times as there are persons in the God-head, into which we baptize, or once for all into the three. The ground of which question is not only that distinct profession of the Tri­nity, which Baptism was intended to declare, but the appearance there is of the Churches using a threefold immersion from the beginning. For, not to mention any other proofs, Tertullian, who flourished within an hundred years after the last of the Apo­stles, doth not only mention the threefold immersion, as a thing in use in his time, but as a thing which was derived to them fromTert. de Coronâ, c. 3. Ergo quaeramus, an & Traditio nisi scripta non debeat recipi. Plant nega­bimus recipiendam, si nulla exempla praejudicent aliarum observationum, quas sine ullius scripturae in­strumento, solius traditionis titulo, & exinde con­suetudinis Patrocinio vindicamus. Denique, ut à Baptismo ingrediar, Aquam adituri ibidem, sed & aliquanto prius in Ecclesiâ sub Antistitis manu contestamur, nos renunciare Diabolo, & pompae, & angelis ejus. Dehinc ter mergitamur, amplius aliquid respondentes, quàm Dominus in Evan­gelio determinavit. Item adv. Praxeam c. 26. Tradition, and which, conside­ring the time wherein he liv'd, cannot well fall short of an Apostolical one. And thus much certainly ought to be allow'd to this, and other testimonies, that in or near the Apostolical Age, the more fully to ex­press that distinction of persons, into the Faith of which Christ commanded to baptize, Men were with the command, or allowance of those who presided in the Church, plunged into the Baptismal Water at the mention of each per­son's name. But as that threefold immersion cannot be collected from the command of Christ, because simply enjoyning to bap­tize into the Faith of the Trinity, and which one immersion may declare as well as a threefold one; As there is as little appea­rance of such a threefold immersion from the account we have in the Scripture of the administration of it: So it is but reasonable to think, that as ancient as it was, yet it was postnate to the single one, and had its rise from some Men's beginning to call the Doctrine of the Trinity in question (as we find by Tertullian they did very early) and, the better to colour their own errour, as well as to overthrow the other, admonishing Men from S. Paul, that Baptism was peculiarly intended to baptize Men into Christ's death. For beside that they, who consider the primitive face of Christianity, will need no other proof than that to perswade them to believe, that the more simple any Rite is, so much the more ancient it ought to be thought to be; That Apostolick Canon [...], &c. [...]. Can. 50., [Page 26]which commands the deposing of him, who should not use a three­fold immersion, but a single one, doth not so much as preferr the threefold immersion to the single one simply, and absolutely consi­dered, but as opposed to that single one, which was made use of to baptize Men into the death of our Lord, and not into the Faith of the Trinity. Thereby not only not condemning the single im­mersion considered in it self, but also intimating the triple one to have been rather instituted at first to obviate that heretical opini­on. And if this were the rise of the triple Immersion, as is pro­bable enough from the premises; The single one, abstracting from any command of the Church to the contrary, will at least be as lawful as that, and nothing therefore left to us to enquire, but what is to be thought of those additions, which were anciently made, or continue as yet in being in the outward solemnities of Baptism.

4. As touching the additions, which were anciently made in this particular, and concerning which they, who desire an account, may meet with an ample one in Dr. Cave's Primitive Christianity Part 1. c. 10.; They were either such, as they thought more peculiarly warranted to them by an Apostolical Tradition, of which nature till better information I must needs think the triple Immersion to have been, or such as were brought into the Church by those, who presided in it, the more effectually to declare the intention of that Sacrament, to which they were added by it. Which they thought they might most assuredly do, if they made use of such farther Rites, as did represent yet more to their senses what that Sacrament was intended to declare. And indeed, as that way of Instruction was in part warranted by the Sacraments themselves, because professing by sensible things to teach Men Spiritual ones; As it became yet more necessary by the grosness of the Vulgar sort, and that infinity of Ceremonies, to which they had been before accustomed: So that, which afterwards made them faulty, was either the exceeding multitude thereof (and which experience assures us doth rather obscure, yea overwhelm the thing signi­fied by them, than help toward the declaration of it) or their advancing by degrees into the same repute, or necessity with the signs of Christ's own Institution. Which is so true, that they came in fine to be represented, as means, and conveyers of Grace, as well as significative thereof; Thereby making them Sacraments, rather than appendages of such; and which whosoever goes a­bout to do, must necessarily usurp the place of God, and Christ, as to whom alone it doth belong (because the only givers of Spiritual Graces) to make any ceremony the conveyer of them. But as that Church, whose Catechism I explain, hath been so far from multiplying Rites in Baptism, that she hath contented her self with one single one, even the Sign of the Cross; So she hath so explain'd her own meaning in it, both in that form of wordsIn the Of­fice of Bapt., wherewith she appointeth it to be made, and in a CanonCan. 30. devised expresly for that purpose, that it will not be easie for considerate Men to believe, that she represents it as a Sacrament, or indeed that she may not require the conformity of her Children to it. Only, because they, who separate from [Page 27]the Church, have made the injunction of that Ceremony one of the particular reasons of their separation, and occasion may well be taken from thence to shew the ground both of that, and others, which are as yet retained in the Church of England, I will set my self to consider the exceptions, that have been made against it, and return a particular answer to them.

Now there are three sorts of charges, which are brought against this Ceremony, and which therefore it will be necessary to con­sider; Its being a Ceremony, and so Iess agreeable to a spiritual, and substantial Religion; Its being an addition to the Instituti­on of Christ, and therefore implying something of imperfecti­on in that; As lastly, its being a relique of Popery, or giving too much countenance to the errors of it.

The first of these is certainly one of the most unreasonable charges, that were ever advanced against our Church by the Ad­versaries thereof. As will appear if we consider the nature of those, for whose edification that, and the like Ceremonies were intended, The use such things are of to procure respect to those Institutions, to which they are annexed, And the nature of that Religion, with whose Offices they are intermixed.

That I alledge as one ground of this, and the like Ceremo­nies the very nature of those Men, for whose edification they were intended, is their being composed of Flesh, as well as Spi­rit, and consequently the need they stand in of such sensible helps to awaken their understandings to consider, and their affections to embrace what they were designed to represent. For being so fram'd, it is not easie to believe, that, if there were not some­what in all actions of moment to affect Men's sense, they would intend them as they ought, or be duly affected with them. Of which yet if any doubt be made, we have the constant practice of the World to justifie it, because rarely, if ever, suffering that, which was such (though there wanted not words to express their meaning) to pass without some visible solemnities. Thus, as Mr. Hooker Eccl. Pol. li. 4. §. 1. did long since observe, Abraham proceeded with his Servant, because not only obliging him to take a Wife for his Son out of his Kindred, but to accompany that Oath of his, with the putting of his HandGen. 24. 2-9. under his Master's Thigh. And thus too Israel made Joseph swearGen. 47.29., that he would not bury him in Egypt: Both of them, as is not unlikely, from some re­ceived custom of that time, because as they sayVatabl. in Gen. 24.2., yet obser­ved in some of the Eastern parts, and as a token of the homage the Party swearing ow'd to those to whom they swore, and of their readiness to execute it in the thing sworn to by them. In like manner, as the same Mr. Hooker Ʋbi supra. hath also observ'd, it was an Ancient manner in Israel concerning redeeming, and exchang­ing, for the Man, who refus'd to redeem, to pluck off his Shoe, andRuth 4.7. give it to him, that would; As among the Romans, when they made any Man Free, not only to declare before the Ma­gistrate, that they intended to make him such, but to strike him on the Cheek, to turn him round, and have his Hair shav'd off, the Magistrate, after that, touching him with a White Rod, and bestowing a Cap, and a White Garment on him. Of which, and [Page 28]infinite other instances, that might be produced, what account can be given, but that Men have generally thought such solem­nities but requisite to imprint the things, to which they were an­nexed, upon the minds of those, that were concern'd, and pro­cure a due estimate thereof? But so it appears, that they them­selves were in a great measure perswaded, who shew'd themselves the greatest Enemies of the Ceremonies of the Church; Because obliging those, that took their solemn League, and Covenant, to swear to the Contents thereof with their hands lift up to the most High God, as is expressed in the very entrance of it. For why that Ceremony of lifting up of the hands, especially in a Covenant, that was intended to beat down the supposed superstition of the Church of England, were it not that they themselves found it in a man­ner necessary to awaken the minds of Men to intend the Religi­on of it?

But beside that humane nature doth, by the very contexture of it, require such kind of solemnities to awaken their minds, and af­fections; It is not a little to be considered of what use they are to procure respect to those Institutions, to which they have been at any time annexed. For may not Men observe that usefulness in the so­lemnities of all civil affairs, and particularly in those solemnities, which are observ'd in Courts of Judicature? Doth not the very raising high of those Benches, on which the Judges sit, admonish Men of their Superiority over them? Do not those Robes, where­by they are differenced from other Men, draw the Eyes of the Vulgar to them, yea mind them of that greater difference there is between the Judges, and themselves, as to that power, wherewith they are also invested? Have not the same persons therefore (what­ever clamour hath been rais'd against things of that nature) kept up them, and the like solemnities among them? Have they not done it in those very instances, which have been scrupled at in the Church? For how superstitious a thing in a Bishop, or other Clergy Man hath the use of that Cap been, which these earthly Gods the Judges, and when they are about their great Master's work, do not only not scruple at, but diligently retain? As know­ing, that such marks of distinction do naturally lead Men to consi­der those persons, or things, to which they are apply'd, as of a peculiar nature, and accordingly, if they deserve it, to respect them. And if such be the usefulness of external solemnities in other matters, why should they be excluded from our Religion? Nay, why should they not (considering the momentousness there­of be rather applied to it?

Especially if we consider thirdly the nature of that Religion, with whose Offices they are intermixed by us. For though that do more peculiarly call us to the intending of spiritual things; Though it do loudly proclaim the abrogation of the Ceremonial Law of Moses, and not obscurely condemn the substituting of any the like burdensome one: Yet as it no where condemns such a number of Ceremonies, as may serve the better to lead Men to the contemplation, and regard of spiritual things, so it gives a sufficient countenance to them by the Sacraments I am now up­on, and by those other usances, which were in vogue with the [Page 29]first Professors of it. For how can that Religion be look'd upon as an enemy to Ceremonies, which requires Men to be initiated into it by the water, and immersion of Baptism? Yea to keep up their interest in it by partaking of the Bread, and Wine of the Eucharist, those signs of our Saviour's Crucified Body, and of the spiritual benefits we reap by it? And though we do not find that our Saviour instituted any other Ceremonies, or at least not with a design of giving them the same lasting obligation; Yet as we find our Saviour giving command to his Disciples, when he first sent them out to Preach, to shake off the dust of their Feet Mark 6.11. against those that would not hear them, as a testimony of their contempt of God's word, and of their own resolution not to have to do with them in the like kind, which was a kind of Excom­munication of them; So we find that Paul, and Barnabas (though under no obligation from the former command, because but a temporary one) shook off the dust of their feet Acts 13.51. against those Jews of Antioch, that rejected, and expelled them, as the same S. Paul after that, when the Jews of Corinth opposed themselves, and blasphem'd, shaking his raiment at themActs 18.6., as a testimony of his rejecting them, in like manner, and leaving them to go un­to the Gentiles. For what was this but to declare by a significant Ceremony, that as they had rejected the Counsel of God toward themselves, so God had rejected them in like manner, neither would that his Ministers should make the like proposals to them? The same is yet more to be said upon the account of Imposition of hands, and which, though from no Command of Christ, was either used, or approved by the Apostles themselves, both in the Ordination of Ministers2 Tim. 1.6., and receiving penitent Sinners to Ab­solution1 Tim. 5.22., and pardon. For these being noted Acts of that Re­ligion, which we profess, and yet by the allowance of the Apo­stles themselves transacted by the Ceremony of Imposition of Hands, make it evident, that our Religion doth rather commend, than reject such visible solemnities, where they are sparingly, and discreetly apply'd.

That first charge against the sign of the Cross being thus wip'd off, even that which pretends to discard it upon the account of its being a Ceremony; Let us see, whether it be likely to suf­fer any more by the pretence of its being an addition of Men to the Institution of Christ, yea to one, that is not without visible solem­nities of his own appointment: Such additions seeming to imply the imperfection of that, to which they are made, and which there is the less reason to believe in the present affair, because care hath been taken by our Saviour as to the outward form of its Ad­ministration, as well as to more material things. And surely so such Additions might very well be thought to do, if either they were represented as of the Essence of the Sacrament, or our Saviour had professed to prescribe, or direct the whole form of the Administration of it. But as it is notorious enough, that the Church of England doth not represent the sign of the Cross as pertaining to the Essence of the Sacrament, because administring it after Baptism first given, yea after the mention of the Mi­nister's receiving the baptized person into the Congregation of Christ's [Page 30]flock; So our Saviour is so far from prescribing the whole external form of its Administration, that he hath left us to the general te­nour of his Doctrine, and the directions of our own reason, even for those things that are more material, yea for such as are dire­ctedSee the Directory in the Admini­stration of Baptism. by those very Men, who cry out against us for adding to Christ's Institution. For where, I beseech you, is there any prescription of other words concerning Baptism, than what is imply'd in that short belief, into which he commands to Baptize? Where to admonish all, that are present, to look back to their own Baptism, and to repent of the violations of the Covenant they made with God in it? Where any directions for requiring the Parent of the Child to bring him up in the nurture of the Lord, yea to require the Parents solemn promise for the perfor­mance of it? Nay where, which is of all others the most ma­terial, any Prayer to Almighty God for the sanctifying of the Wa­ter he is going to make use of, and which I no way doubt is necessary to the Consecration of it? All, that the Institution of Baptism represents to us, being the baptizing those, that offer themselves to it, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Now if our Saviour hath not professed to prescribe, even as to the things before directed, but left Men to the general conduct of his Doctrine, and the guidance of their own reason; What appearance is there as to his prescribing af­ter what external form, and order, all these things were to be done, and which if he hath not, there is no doubt the Gover­nours of the Church may order, as they shall see fit, yea do so without any fear of being thought to charge his Institutions with imperfection? They being not to be thought to do so, who pre­scribe rules concerning those things, which the Institutions of Christ profess not to give perfect directions in. The only thing, which hath occasion'd Men's misapprehensions first, and then their passing so severe a Censure upon humane prescriptions in this kind, is an hasty opinion they have taken up of Christ's being as parti­cular in directing the external management of sacred Duties, as Moses appears to have been as to the services of the Law. For which yet they have had no other pretence, than a misapplied Text of the Author to the Hebrews Heb. 3.2., even Christ's being as faith­ful in that house of God, which was committed to his charge, as Moses was in his. But beside that there appear not any such par­ticular directions from God to our Saviour, as there were some­time given to Moses, and our Saviour therefore not to be look'd upon as unfaithful, for not reaching out such particular directions to us; Besides that, if our Saviour did not furnish such particu­lar directions, yet he hath furnished his Church with a far grea­ter portion of his Spirit, and which may serve to it as a guide to fit those Services for its respective members; Beside lastly that the Services he enjoyn'd, because to be exercised among people of seve­ral Nations, and humours, were not capable, as to circumstances, of such strict limitations, as that, which was to be exercised in one single Nation only: There is nothing more evident to those, that read the Scriptures, than that Christ hath given no such par­ticular directions, and all Arguments from Christ's fidelity therefore [Page 31]of no more avail in this affair, than those, which the Papists are wont to draw from the wisdom and goodness of God, toward the proving of an Infallible Guide. For as no wise Man will be per­swaded by such Arguments against the Testimony of his own senses, which assure him of the errours of those, whom they would have to be Infallible; So no considering Man will be per­swaded by the other into a belief of those particular directions, which are not any where to be seen, nor which they themselves, who maintain those directions, have yet been able to shew. For when they have said all they can toward the evincing of their Conclusion, the utmost they are able to prove is, that Christ hath given some general directions concerning the Administration of religious Offices, and which as it doth not prejudge the giving of more particular ones, so doth much less make them to reflect any imperfection upon the Institution of Christ, because pretend­ing not to concern it self about them.

One other Charge there is, which is more peculiar to the sign of the Cross, and that is its being a relique of Popery, or giving too much countenance to the Papists abuses of it. But as they, who advance the former of these, make Popery much more Antient, than it is for the advantage of Protestantism to allow; It being certain from Tertullian De Coronâ cap. 3., that this Ceremony was in use in his time in almost all the actions they set about: So our Church hath taken care to prevent in its own Members all misapplicati­ons of it, or the giving the least encouragement to those, that are made of it by others; Partly by confining the use of it to the Administration of Baptism, and partly by representing it as only a token of Men's being not ashamed to own the Faith, and reproaches of him, who suffered upon it. Which is certainly a more proper course to discountenance Popery, than it can be thought to be to remove the use of it altogether: Because at the same time we disavow the errors of that, we shew by our Practice our allowance of the Ceremony it self, and, together therewith, our accordance with the Primitive Church, which is the only plausible thing the Papists have to boulster up their own cause, or reproach us with the neglect of.

A DIGRESSION CONCERNING Original Sin By way of PREPARATION To the Following DISCOURSES.

The Contents.

Of the ground of the present Digression concerning Original Sin, and enquiry thereupon made, what Original Sin is. Which is shewn in the General to be such a corruption of the Nature of every Man, that is naturally engendered of the off-spring of Adam, where­by it becomes averse from every thing, that is good, and inclinable to every thing, that is evil. The nature of that corruption more particularly enquir'd into, and shewn by probable Arguments to be no other, than a Privation of a Supernatural Grace. That there is such a thing, as we have before described, evidenced at large from the Scripture, and that evidence farther strengthned by the experi­ence we have of its effects, and the acknowledgments of the wiser Heathen. Enquiry next made from whence it had its beginning, which is shewn to have been not from any evil Spirit, or Daemon, the pravity of matter, or the evil habits the Soul contracted in a praeexistent state, but from the pravity of our first Parents. This [Page 34]last at large confirm'd out of the Doctrine of the Scripture, and followed by some light reflections upon the means, by which it is conveyed. A more just account from the Scripture of its being truly, and properly a sin, partly from its having the title of a sin, but more especially from its being represented as such, upon the ac­count of our Obligation to the contrary. A consideration of those Objections, which are commonly made against the Doctrine of O­riginal Sin; Which are shewn either not to be of that force, whereof they are esteem'd, or however not to be a sufficient bar to what the Scripture hath declar'd concerning it.

AN account being thus given of the outward vi­sible Sign of Baptism,Question. What is the inward, and spiritu­al Grace? Answer. A death unto Sin, and a new birth unto Righteous­ness. For being by nature born in Sin, and the Chil­dren of wrath, we are hereby made the Children of Grace. which is the first of those things I proposed to entreat of; Reason would, (as well as the method before laid down), that I should consider the things signified by it: Which, on the part of God, and Christ, are an inward and Spiritual Grace, as, on the part of the baptized, an Abrenunciation of their former sins, and a reso­lution to believe, and act, as Christianity obligeth them to do. But because both the one, and the other of these suppose the baptized persons to have been before in a sinful Estate, and our Catechism in particular to have been born in it, and by that, as well as by the sins they afterward contracted, to be made the Children of wrath; Therefore it will be but necessary for us to premise something con­cerning that sinful Estate, as which Baptism both presupposeth, and professeth to provide a remedy for.

Now as that sinful State, whereof we speak, is best known by the name of Original Sin, and will therefore most commodiously be described by it; So I will make it my business to enquire What that is, and what appearance of the being of it, from whence it had its beginning, and by what means it is conveyed, whether, as it hath for the most part the name of a Sin, so it be truly, and proper­ly such, and what is to be said to the Objections, that are made a­gainst it.

I. To begin with the first of these, even what Original Sin is, and which, in the general, may be defin'd to be such a Corruption of the nature of every Man, that is naturally ingendred of the off­spring of Adam, whereby it becomes averse from every thing, that is good, and inclin'd to every thing, that is evil. I call it a Corrup­tion of nature to distinguish it from nature considered in it self, and as it was in the first formation of it: Partly, because Nature being, as such, the work of God, cannot be supposed to be corrupt; And partly because the Scripture assures us, that whatsoever it now is, God made it uprightEccl. 7.29., and so free from all corruptions whatsoever. But so also do I entitle it the Corruption of the Na­ture of every Man, that is naturally ingendred of the off-spring of Adam: Partly, because the Scripture, where it entreats of it, represents all Men as under the Contagion of it, and partly to exempt our Lord, and Saviour from it, who was ingendred after another manner, and whom the same Scripture assures to have [Page 35]been free 2 Cor. 5.21. from all sin, yea to have been so Luk. 1.35. from his Birth. I call it lastly such a Corruption of humane Nature, whereby it is averse from every thing, that is good, and inclin'd to every thing, that is evil. Which I do upon the account of the Scripture's representing it as a sinful Psa. 51.5. one, and which, as such, will make those in whom it is, averse from good, as well as inclinable to evil, yea averse from all, that is good, and inclinable to all evil: Because good, yea all good is opposite to such an estate, and evil, yea all evil connatural to it. If they, in whom that corruption of nature doth as yet abide, be not always actually prevail'd upon to reject that good, from which we have affirm'd them to be so averse, or to pursue that evil, to which we have affirm'd them to be inclinable, it is not because they want any averseness for the one, or inclination to the other, but for some other collateral considerations: Such as is, for ex­ample, the reputation, or advantage, that may accrue to them from the espousing of any thing, that is good, or the omission of any thing, that is evil. For all good, and all evil being of one uniform nature, because becoming good or evil by the confor­mity they bear to the divine Laws, or by their deviation from them; where there is an inclination to any thing, that is good, there must be an inclination to all, that is of the same nature; as on the other side where an averseness from any thing, that is evil, an averseness for all that, which is alike a transgression of the Divine Laws. But as therefore nothing can hinder us from re­presenting natural corruption as making Men averse from all that is good, and inclinable to every thing that is evil; So neither can any thing oblige us to extend the force of it so far, as to make it to determine them in all their actions, and accordingly to carry them to an actual rejection of all, that is good, or a pursuance of all, that is evil: Partly because Men may, and often do act con­trary to their natural aversions, or inclinations, where there is hope of temporal advantage, or fear of any temporal evil; And part­ly, because we do not only find few natural Men proceeding to the extremity of Impiety, but find also great variety among them in the omission of good Actions, or the commission of those that are evil. Of which variety what account could be given, when the Corruption of Nature is, and must be equal, because all Men were alike in, and are alike descended from Adam, were it not that even that Corruption leaves place for the performance of many good, and the avoiding of many things, that are evil? For to ascribe that variety either wholly, or principally to the different degrees of God's restraining Grace, is not only to speak without all Authority, that I know of, but to take away all diversity be­tween the evil demerits of natural Men, and, together therewith, all different degrees of punishment; yea to make the Corruption of Nature the only proper ground of punishment. For as, if there be nothing but God's restraining Grace to take off natural Men from falling into the worst of sins, the greatest actual sinner cannot deserve more punishment, than he who offends in a far less degree; Because all demerit ariseth from the pravity of the will, which is not more or less for the meer absence, or presence of God's restraining Grace: So the greatest actual sinner cannot be­come [Page 36]obnoxious to punishment upon the score of any other Cor­ruption than that of Nature; That as it makes all his actual sins to be necessary, and therefore in reason to bear the whole blame, and punishment, so receiving no new aggravation from the want of that restraining Grace, which might have withheld the party from them, in as much as that want (if it be a fault) is no less the result of his natural corruption, than his actual offences are. But therefore also as we cannot look upon natural corruption as determining Men to all their actual errours, without taking away all diversity between the demerits of natural Men, yea making natural Corruption the only proper ground of their punishment; so they, who do so, will be found to contradict the declarations of the Scripture, as well as the allowed practice of the World. For why, if there be no difference between the demerits of natural Men, should those, that are in Authority, mete out different punish­ments to them according to the different degrees, or kinds of those offences, which they commit? Nay, why should the Scrip­ture affirm, that it shall be more tolerable for some sinnersMatt. 11.22, 24., than for others at the great day of judgment? That, as it is a judgment of righteousness, so being consequently to mete out equal punish­ments to all sinners, if there be but an equality in their demerits. Again, if natural Corruption be upon the matter the only pro­per ground of punishment, as it must of necessity be, if it be the unavoidable cause of actual sins; How comes the Scripture to declare, that God will reward every Man according to his worksRom. 2.6., yea the wickedRom. 2.8. according to his works, as well as the righte­ous according to theirs? For if natural Corruption be the only proper ground of punishment, the works of Men in propriety of Speech can have no concernment in it, and much less (as the Scripture declares) be the principal object of judgment, and therefore of that punishment, which it shall award. The utmost in my opinion, that can be said in this particular, is that as Men by the Corruption of their Nature are averse from every thing, that is good, so that averseness will indispose those, in whom that Corruption abides, to all good actions whatsoever, and infallibly take them off from them, where either some work of God upon their minds doth not thrust them on to them, or the comeliness, or profitableness thereof shall not more strongly impel them to the practice of them. The former whereof will make the consent of such persons even to those good actions, which they perform, incomplete, and imperfect, and indeed a consent to them rather as expedient, than good; whence it is that our ChurchArt. 13. repre­sents them as having the nature of sins: The latter cause them to neglect all such, as are not in a manner thrust upon them by God, or have not one of the former motives to incite them to the pra­ctice of them, yea present to their minds, when they ought to make use of them. Which will occasion such persons for the most part to neglect all good actions, where there is not place for seri­ous thoughts, as in cases of surprise, or where they have not been habituated to the practice of vertue, or to the consideration of the comeliness or profitableness thereof. But as where there is place for serious thoughts, there may be place also for the former mo­tives [Page 37]to impel Men to the practice of that, from which they are otherwise sufficiently averse; So it is not unlikely that the minds of those, who have been before habituated to the practice, or contemplation of Vertue, may be thrust on by the former motives to pursue many things, that are good, yea acquit themselves singu­larly in them. Of which yet if any doubt be made, we have the laudable example of several Heathens to convince us thereof, and who, because Heathen, cannot be supposed to be free from the power of natural Corruption, or to be thrust on by other motives, than the former, to the doing of such actions, from which they are naturally so averse. In like manner, As Men by the Cor­ruption of their Nature are inclin'd to every thing that is evil, as well as averse from every thing that is good; So that inclination will dispose those, in whom it is, to an allowance of all evil acti­ons, and infallibly betray them into them, where God's restrain­ing Grace doth not withhold them, or the indecency, or dangerous consequences of the other do not alike keep them back. The former whereof will make their abstaining even from those evil actions, which they avoid, to be but an imperfect abstinence from them, and indeed an abstinence from them rather as inexpedient, than evil; The latter cause them to fall into all such, from which they are not restrain'd by God, or by a present, and intense con­sideration of the indecency, or danger of them. Which will occa­sion such persons for the most part to fall into all evil actions, where there is not room for serious thoughts, as in cases of sur­prise, or where they have not been habituated to the avoiding of vice, or the consideration of the indecency, or dangerousness thereof. But as, where there is room for serious thoughts, there may also be place for the former reasons to take them off from the practice of that, to which they are otherwise sufficiently inclin'd; So it is not unlikely, that the minds of those, who have been before habituated to the avoiding of Vice, or the consideration of the indecency, or dangerousness thereof, may be taken off by the former reasons from the pursuit of evil things, yea acquit them­selves singularly in it. As is farther evident from the resistance, that hath been made by several Heathens to all the temptations of sin, and who, because Heathen, cannot be suppos'd either to have been free from natural Corruption, or to have been taken off by other means, than the former, from the doing of those evil actions, to which they were so strongly inclin'd.

But because what we have hitherto said concerning the Corrup­tion of our Nature doth rather tend to shew what effects it hath upon us, than what that Corruption is; And because that word, whereby we have chosen to express it, is but a Metaphorical one, and will therefore serve yet less clearly to declare the thing in­tended by it; Therefore it may seem but reasonable to enquire yet farther, what it is, and wherein it doth consist, as without which we shall discourse but imperfectly concerning it. Now as that question cannot otherwise be solv'd, than by the knowledge of that Estate, of which it is affirm'd to be a Corruption; So I shall therefore enquire again what that Estate was, and then what relation this Corruption beareth to it. As touching that estate, [Page 38]wherein God did at first create our Nature, most certain it is first (for so Solomon Eccl. 7.29. affirms it to be) that it was an estate of up­rightness, that is to say such an estate as fitted Man for the obedi­ence of all those Laws, which God had obliged him to perform. That, as it is the most usual signification of the word we render upright, and accordingly rendred by the Chaldee Paraphrast right, and innocent before God, so best answering the account before gi­ven concerning the depravation of humane Nature, and particu­larly in those of the Female Sex. For Solomon speaking in the 26th verse of the deceitfulness of that Sex, and of the influence that deceitfulness of theirs would have upon sinful Men; Affir­ming afterwards because representing the event of his search as con­trary to the desires of his Soul, that though he could find one Man among a thousand of a better temper, yet he could not find One such Woman among them all; He must consequently, when he comes to say that he found only that God made Man upright, be thought to mean such an uprightness, as was opposite to that general de­pravation, whereof he before complain'd. There being therefore no doubt to be made that God created our Nature in a state of uprightness, even in such a one as fitted Man for the obedience of all those Laws, which he was obliged to comply with; En­quire we in the second place wherein that state of uprightness con­sisted, but which we shall not find to be of so easie a resolution, as the former: Because there is some presumption of its consisting in a right disposition of our natural faculties; And there is some presumption of its consisting in a supernatural Grace over-ruling, and directing those natural faculties to those pious purposes, for which they were chiefly design'd. We have to persuade the for­mer of these the natural ability of the understanding to discern the invisible things of God by the things, which he hath made, and the natural propension of the Will to embrace that, which is good, and therefore also the chiefest good, where that is clear­ly apprehended, and where there is no depravation in the Will (as to be sure there was not at first) to draw it to lesser ones. In fine, we have to perswade it the power the superiour faculties of the Soul have even now over the Inferiour ones, and which we may well believe in that state of Innocency to have been of sufficient force to keep them within those bounds, which God, and Nature had set them. This, I say, we have to perswade that uprightness, wherein our first Parents were Created, to have con­sisted in a right disposition of their natural faculties; And we are not without reason on the other hand to perswade the same up­rightness of Nature to have consisted in its being over-ruled, and directed by a supernatural Grace: Because without such a super­natural Grace our first Parents could not have come to the know­ledge of God, but by the knowledge of Created Beings, and the excellencies thereof, and (what that knowledge would have pro­duc'd) a love, and affection for them. Which would not only have made God to be lov'd after his Creatures, who as being the first, and chiefest good ought to have the precedency thereof, but endangered also the diminution of our affections to him by the pre­possession of them by the other. To which of these two rea­sonings [Page 39]to give the preeminency is hard to say, and I will not therefore be over positive in determining concerning the force of them, nor therefore, whether Original Righteousness were a right disposition of our natural faculties, or a supernatural Grace over­ruling, and directing them. But as how equal soever those rea­sonings may be in themselves, yet nothing will hinder our incli­ning rather to the one, than the other, if the Scripture, which is the best judge of things of that nature, seem to favour such an in­clination; So I must needs say that the ScriptureGen. 1.28, &c. Gen. 2.19, &c. seems to favour those reasonings, which makes Original Righteousness to be a Supernatural Grace: Because not only representing Adam as imbued from the very first with the knowledge of God, which yet he could not be without a revelation from him, but as more­over freely conversing with God, and receiving both Laws, and priviledges from him. For as it appears from thence, that God did immediately shine upon his mind, and so far forth therefore influenced him by a supernatural Grace, so it is not unlikely that he, who so shone upon his mind, did as immediately influence his will, and affections, and so dispose him to a compliance with those Laws he impos'd upon him: That, as it was but agreeable to the immediate illumination of his understanding, so becoming yet more necessary by the different inclinations of his Flesh, and Spirit, and which the presence of a Supernatural Grace may seem but requi­site to bring to a due compliance with each other, and with those Laws, which God had impos'd upon them both. And I shall only add, that if that uprightness, wherein our Nature was at first Created, were no other than a Supernatural Grace, as is at least highly probable from the former reasonings, and the declarati­ons of the Scripture; We shall need to assign no other relation of that Corruption of Nature, whereof we speak, than that of a simple privation of the other. For if the desires of the Flesh could so far prevail even under a supernatural Grace, as to carry our first Parents to the eating of that fruit, which God had so severely forbidden them; The simple privation of that supernatural Grace may well suffice to give birth to all our evil inclinations, and con­sequently pass for a sufficient account of that Corruption of our Nature, whereby, as I said before, we become inclinable to Evil, as well as averse from Good, and which what evidence we have of the being of, is in the next place to be enquir'd.

II. Now as we cannot certainly better inform our selves con­cerning the present state of our Nature, than from him who, as he was the Author of it, so is intimately present to it; So I will therefore begin with that account, which he hath given us of it, and which we shall find to bear an ample Testimony to that Corruption, whereof we speak. For the evidencing whereof I will shew First, that it affirmeth all Men whatsoever to be under sin, yea under a perpetual course of it. Secondly, that it affirm­eth them to be so from the time they begin to be in a capacity to offend. Thirdly, that they are so from a principle bred in them, and derived to them from their birth.

1. That all Men are under sin S. Paul doth so fully declare, that we shall need no other Testimony than his to evince it; More [Page 40]particularly, where he affirmeth that both Jews and Gentiles Rom. 3.9. are all under sin; That though the former may seem of all others to have been most free from it, yet the LawRom. 3.19. had not stuck to affirm, that there was none Rom. 3.10, &c. righteous, even among them, no not one; That there was none that understood, none that sought after God; That they were all gone out of the way, they were altogether become un­profitable, that there was none, that did good, no not one; In fine, that all the World must therebyRom. 3.19. be look'd upon as guilty before God, because, as he afterwardRom. 3.23. speaks, all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. But so the same Scripture did long before declare, with an addition of all Men's being under a per­petual course of sin, as well as in some measure tainted with it; It being not only the voice of God concerning that part of Man­kind, that liv'd before the flood, that every imagination Gen. 6.5. of the thought of their heart was only evil continually, but alike intimated by him concerning that part, which was to follow, even to the end of the World. For affirming, as he dothGen. 8.21., that he would not any more drown the World, because the imagination of Man's heart is evil from his youth, he both supposeth that Mankind would again give occasion to it by their evil imaginations (as without which otherwise there could be no occasion for God's suspending it) and that Mankind would do so also in every individual, and Generation of it: The former, because he speaks of the imaginati­ons of Mankind in the general, and which are therefore to be ex­tended to all the individuals of it; The latter, because if any Ge­neration of Men were likely to be free from those imaginations, there would so far forth have been no need of his declaring, that he would not drown the World, because no ground for bringing it on the Inhabitants thereof. But therefore, as we have reason to believe from the places before recited, that the World always was, and will be under sin, yea under a constant course of it; So we shall be yet more confirmed in it, if we compare the latter place with the former, as the likeness, that is between them, will ob­lige us to do: There being not a more apt sense of that latter Speech of God, than that he would not again drown the Earth, because he knew the imaginations of Men would be as evil as they had before been, and he therefore, if he were dispos'd to take that vengeance, to bring a flood often upon it, to the no profit of those, that inhabited it, as well as to the defacing of the Earth it self. Which will make the condition of Man to be so sinful, that it cannot be otherwise, unless by some powerful means delive­red from it.

2. But so also may we inferr from thence, which was the second thing to be prov'd, that all Men are under sin from the time they begin to be in a capacity to offend: That, as it affirms the ima­gination of Men's heart to be evil, so to be evil from their Youth, and, as I should therefore think, from the time they begin to be in a capacity to be guilty of it. Not that that Age, to which we are wont to give the denomination of Youth, is the first wherein Mankind begins to be in a capacity to offend (for there is but too much evidence of that in the riper years of Childhood) but that we cannot well understand that Text of any other youthful Pe­riode, [Page 41]than that wherein Mankind begins to be in a capacity to reason, and consequently also to offend: Partly, because the word we render Youth is sometime us'd even for infancyJudges 13.7. Exod. 2.6., and ought not therefore without manifest reason to be removed too far from it; But more especially because it is the manifest design of God in the place we speak of to aggravate the evil of Men's imagina­tions from the earliness thereof, and that earliness therefore to be carried as high, as the capacity Men are in to imagine evil will suffer the doing of it.

3. Now as nothing therefore can be wanting toward the proof of Original Corruption, than that they, who are so universally, and so early under sin, are so also from an inward principle, and such an inward principle too, as was derived to them from their birth; so we shall not it may be need any other proof of that, than their being so universally, and early under the other: The former of these perswading Men's being under sin from some inward prin­ciple, the latter from such an inward principle, as is deriv'd to them from their Birth. That I make Men's being so universally under sin, an argument of their being so from some inward prin­ciple, is because as so general an effect must be supposed to have some general Cause, so no external Cause, how general soever, can be supposed to produce it without the assistance of the other. As will appear if we consider the force of example, and which as it is the most general, and the most effectual external Cause, that can be assign'd, so is that, into which they who deny the Corrup­tion of Nature, are wont to resolve the universality of sin. For neither first is even Example of so great force, as infallibly, and universally to draw Men to the imitation of it; For some Men are Vertuous, even when they have an ill example before them, and others as Vitious, where they have a good. Neither secondly hath it any force, but what it receives from Men's aptness to imi­tate those, with whom they converse. Which as it will make it necessary for us to have recourse to an inward principle, even for those effects, which are produc'd by the mediation of example, so make our very aptness to imitate the evil examples of others, a branch of that inward principle, which we affirm to be the cause of so universal an impiety. Only because we are yet upon Scri­pture proofs, and which the more express they are, so much the more convictive; Therefore I shall yet more particularly endea­vour to evince from thence, that as all Men are under sin, so they are so by an innate principle. But so S. Paul gives us clearly enough to understand, because both asserting such a principle, and that all actual sins are the issues of it: The former, where he represents even the Man, who was under the conviction of the Law (and who therefore might be suppos'd to be most free from the contagion of sin) as Carnal, yea sold under it Rom. 7.14., as one, who had sin dwelling in him (for so he affirms no less than twiceRom. 7.17. Rom. 7.20,) and as one too, who had a law in his members Rom. 7.23, that warred against the law of his mind, or (as he afterwards entitles it) a law of sin; The latter, where he represents that carnality, and sinful captivity, under which the Jew was, as the cause of his doing what he would not Rom. 7.15., and omitting what he would, That sin, which dwelt in him, [Page 42]as doing all the evil Rom. 17.20. he committed, And that law, that was in his members, as warring against the law of his mind Rom. 17.23., and bringing him into Captivity unto the law of sin. For what more could be said on the one hand to shew the thing S. Paul there speaks of to be an inward evil principle, and which, because even in those, who were under the Law, is much more to be supposed in the Gentiles? Or what more on the other to shew that evil principle to be the parent of our actual sins, yea that which gives being to them all. And I know nothing to take off the force of it, but a supposition of St. Paul's speaking in that place of Evil habits, and which as they must be confessed to be of the same pernicious efficacy with Original Corruption, so to have been for the most part the con­dition both of Jew, and Gentile, before they came to be overtaken by the Gospel. But how first supposing the Apostle to have spo­ken only of evil habits (for nothing hinders us from assigning them a part in that Body of sin) How first, I say, doth that agree with the account he before gave concerning sins entring in Rom. 5.12. by Adam, and our being constituted Rom. 5.19. sinners by him. For though Original Corruption may come from him, yet evil habits can be only from our selves, and consequently those sins, that flow from them? How secondly supposing none but evil habits to be here intended, can we make that Body, or law of sin, whereof S. Paul speaks, to be the portion of all, that are under an obligation to Baptism, as that Apostle plainly supposeth, when he makes the design of BaptismRom. 6.6. to be the destruction of it? For to say no­thing at present concerning the case of Infants, because the best evidence of their Obligation to Baptism is the Corruption of their Nature, and that Obligation therefore rather to be prov'd from Natural Corruption, than Natural Corruption from it; Neither can it be deny'd, even from the CommandmentMat. 28.19., that our Sa­viour gave concerning Baptism, that all adult persons are under an Obligation to it, nor therefore but that they carry about them that body of sin, which Baptism was intended for the destruction of. But so all adult persons cannot be supposed to do, if that body of sin be no other, than evil habits; Because it must be sometime after that maturity of theirs before they can come to those evil habits, or therefore to be under an Obligation to that Sacrament which is to destroy it. In fine, how supposing none but evil ha­bits to be intended by that body, or law of sin, whereof the Apo­stle speaks, can we give an account of so holy, and just a Law, as that of Moses is, stirring Rom. 7.9. Concupiscence in those, that are un­der it, and not rather hindring it from coming to effect. For as nothing hinders the proposing of that Law before such persons come to any evil habits, and therefore also before there is any thing in them to stir them up to such a Concupiscence; So nothing can hin­der that Law, when duly proposed to them, from preventing all such Concupiscence, as it was the design of the Lawgiver to for­bid: Because as the persons we speak of must be supposed to be without any contrariety in their Nature to the matter of that Law, which is propos'd; So they must also be suppos'd to be in that state, wherein God had set them, and (because God cannot be thought to place Men in any other estate, than that of uprightness) in such [Page 43]a state, as will make them willing to listen to the divine Laws, and receive their directions from them. By which means the divine Laws shall rather keep Men's Concupiscence from coming to ef­fect, than give any occasion for the stirring of it. I conclude therefore from that, as well as the former arguments, that the evil principle spoken of by S. Paul cannot be evil habits, and consequently nothing more left to us to demonstrate, than that it is derived to us, from our Birth, or rather from our Con­ception in the Womb, which is all, that is affirmed concerning Original Corruption. Now that that evil principle, whereof we speak, is derived to us from our Birth, will become at least probable from what was before said concerning the earliness of Men's being under sin, yea their being so, as the Scripture in­structs us, even from their Youth. For as it is hard to believe, that all Men should be so early under sin, if it were not from some inward principle, that was antecedent to that Age (For what should otherwise hinder some of them at least from preserving their in­tegrity for some time, especially supposing, (as that tender Age maketh it reasonable to suppose) a more peculiar watchfulness of the Divine Providence over it?) So it will be much more hard to believe, supposing that evil principle to be antecedent to their Youth, that it should not be derived to them from their Concepti­on, and Birth: The Ages preceding that being not in a capacity to produce in themselves such an evil principle, and therefore to be suppos'd to have had it transmitted to them together with their Nature, and so also by the same means, and from the same time, in which that their Nature was. And indeed, as even the ten­derest age falls under death, and not unreasonably therefore con­cluded to be some way, or other under sin, if (as S. Paul Rom. 5.12. speaks) death enter'd by it, and so pass'd upon all Men, for that all have sinned; So there want not some places of Scripture, which do yet more directly evince, that the first beginnings of our Nature are tainted with that, of which we speak. Of this sort I reckon that of Job Job 14.4., which is so commonly apply'd to this affair, even his demanding of God, with reference to himselfJob 1, &c., and all other Men, who could bring a clean thing out of an unclean? and thereby therefore inti­mating that it was not to be done. For as it is manifest from his alledging that the better to countenance his own expostulation con­cerning God's bringing him into judgment, tha by the unavoidable uncleanness there intimated must be meant a sinful one, as which alone could either dispose him to such actions, as could be a pro­per matter for judgment, or be alledged in bar to a severe one: So it is alike manifest from Job's asking, who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean, that Men are not only so unclean in their Na­ture, but that they become so by those evil principles, out of which they are brought, and so also from the time that they were sepa­rated from them. Of the same Nature is that of our Saviour, where he asserts the necessity of Men's being born again of water, and the Spirit, upon the account of their being before but flesh Joh. 3.6., because born of flesh. For as we cannot well understand our Sa­viour of any other flesh, than flesh corrupted, or rather of the whole Nature, that is so; Partly because of the opposition, that is there [Page 44]madeIbid. between a fleshly, and spiritual temper, and partly be­cause that is the most usual notion of it in the NewRom. 7.18, 25. Gal. 5.19, 24. Testa­ment: So neither therefore but conclude all Men to become such flesh by those fleshly persons, from whom they are born, and so also from the time that they receive their being from them. But of all the Texts of Scripture, which are commonly alledged in this affair (even the earliness of that evil principle, wherewith we have said all Men to be imbued) there is certainly none of greater force, than the profession, that David makesPsal. 51.5., that he was shapen, or born in iniquity, and conceiv'd by his Mother in sin; That, if it entreat of the Corruption of humane Nature, making it as early as the first beginnings of it, because speaking as mani­festly of its ConceptionHam. Annot. in lo­cum., and Birth. And indeed as we have no reason to believe from any thing the Scripture hath said con­cerning David, or his Parents, that what he spake of his own for­mation was to be understood of that alone; so we have much less reason to believe, that he intended any other thing by the sin, and iniquity thereof, than that Original Corruption, whereof we speak. For beside that the letter of the Text is most agreeable to that notion, and not therefore without manifest reason to be diverted to another; Beside that that sense is put upon it by the most emi­nent Fathers Voss. Pelag. Hist. l. 2. Part. 1. Thes. 1. of the Church, and the Doctrine contained in it confirm'd by the concordant Ibid. Thes. 6. testimonies of them all; Beside that that sense hath the suffrage of one of the most learnedHam. ubi. supra. of the Jewish Writers, as the thing it self the consentient belief of all the rest; Aben Ezra resolving the meaning of the Psalmist to be, that in the hour of his Nativity the evil figment was planted in his heart, even that Concupiscence (as he afterward interprets him­self) by which he was drawn into sin: Beside all these, I say, it is no less agreeable to the scope of the whole Psalm, and particu­larly to the care he takes in the Verse before to condemn him­self for his offences, and so justifie the severity of God, if he should think good to take vengeance of them. For what could be more sutable to that, than to lay open, together with his actual sins, that polluted Fountain from whence they came, and so shew himself to be vile upon more accounts, than one, and God to have as many reasons to chastise him? And I shall only add, that as that sense cannot therefore be fairly refus'd, because conformable to the design of the Psalmist, as well as to the letter of the Text it self, and to the interpretation of the Antients, as well as either; So they seem to me to add no small confirmation to it, who can find no other means to elude it, than by making the words of the same sence with that hyperbolical expression of the same Author, where he affirmsPsal. 58.3., that the wicked are estranged from the Womb, and that as soon as they are born, they go astray speaking lies. For as it cannot be deny'd that there is a very wide difference between Men's being conceived, and born in sin, and their going astray from their Mother's Womb, and their own birth; This latter expression importing that iniquity, which follows after it, whereas the for­mer denotes the condition of the Conception, and Birth it self: So it is evident from what the Psalmist adds in the place alledged concerning the wicked's speaking lies, that he there entreats of [Page 45] actual sins, which as no Man denies to require a more mature Age for the perpetration of, so make it necessary to allow an Hy­perbole in it; Whereas the place we insist upon hath not the least umbrage of actual sins, and is therefore under no necessity of be­ing interpreted conformably to it.

But because it can hardly be imagin'd, but if there be such a thing as Original sin, it will produce sutable effects in those, in whom it is; And because it can as little be thought, but that those effects will lye open to the observation of all, that shall take the pains to reflect upon them; Therefore enquire we in the next place, whether that Original Sin, whereof we speak, doth not discover it self by sutable effects, and so add yet farther strength to what the Scripture hath affirm'd concerning it. A thing not to be doubted of, if we reflect upon the behaviour of Children, as soon as they come to have any use of reason. For do not some of those, as the Psalmist speaksIbid., go astray from their Mo­thers Womb, speaking lies? Do not others discover in their acti­ons as much of malice, and revenge? Are not a third sort as re­fractory to the commands of their Superiours? Doth not a fourth equally pride it self in all its supposed excellencies? Now from whence, I beseech you, proceeds all this untowardness of behavi­our, but from as untoward a principle, and such a one too, as is interwoven with their very Being, and derived to them with it? For shall we say from the force of Example? But experience assures us of the contrary, because visible in such Children, as have no such examples before them, and who moreover do not want a severe education to prevent, or correct it. Shall we then say from some previous habits? But the same experience assures us of the con­trary, because it is antecedent to any evil habits, and therefore not imputable to them. Shall we say lastly (and more than that we cannot say) that it proceeds from their natural temperament? But as I no way doubt, and shall not therefore stick to confess, that the Corruption of our Nature runs out that way, which our natural temperament leads it; So I see no necessity to grant, that that natural temperament hath any other interest in our un­towardness, than by inclining our natural Corruption to that par­ticular evil, to which we are carried. For to make it any other way the cause of that untowardness is to charge it upon God, be­cause he must be confess'd to be the Author of all that is purely natural in us. Only if it be said, that that natural temperament may incline Children, before they have any free use of reason, to those untowardnesses, whereof we speak, and so at length by the means of those untowardnesses produce such an habitual inclinati­on to them, that their more free reason, when they come to it, shall not be able to surmount it; I answer, that that indeed might well enough be granted, if we had no reason to believe, that God would so watch over them by his providence, as to hinder their natural temperament from having such an influence upon them. But as we have reason enough to believe, from the love God bears to his own Workmanship, as well as to Piety, and Vertue, that he would not be wanting in that particular to the estate of Chil­dren, if it were no other than such as he himself had plac'd them [Page 46]in; So we must therefore believe also, that that temperament of theirs is not the cause of their miscarriages, but somewhat else that is not from God, and which, because not from him, he doth not think himself under any necessity to provide against.

And indeed though some, who call themselves Christians, have notwithstanding the former evidences, oppos'd themselves against that, which we have offered as the Original cause thereof; Yet have the more sober Heathen, though ignorant of the occasion of it, both acknowledg'd, and lamented it, and so furnish'd us with a farther argument for the belief of it. For thus (as Dr. Jack­son Coll. of his Works Book 10. Ch. 8. did long since observe) we find one of them affirming that the nature of Man is prone to lust, and another, that nature cannot separate just from unjust. Thus a third (as the forementioned Au­thor remarks) that to Man of all the creatures is sorrow given for a portion, to him luxury in innumerable fashions, and in every Limb; To him alone ambition, and avarice, to him alone an unmea­surable desire of living; In fine, that whilst it is given to other creatures, yea the most savage ones, to live peaceably, and orderly together, Man is naturally an enemy to those of his own stock. To the same purpose are those, which are quoted by Grotius De jure Becti ac. Pac. li. 2. c. 20. sect. 19. & in Annot. intocum., if they are not also yet more worthy of our remark; Such as are, that among the other incommodities of mortal nature there is the darkness of Men's minds, and not only a necessity of erring, but a love of errours; That we have all sinned, some in weightier instances, others in lighter, some of set purpose and design, others it may be carried away by other Men's wickedness; That we do not only offend, but we shall offend to the end of our lives, and although some one may have so purg'd his mind, that nothing shall any more disturb, or deceive him, yet he comes to innocency by offending; That this evil disposition is so na­tural to Men, that, if every one be to be punished, that hath it, no Man shall be free from punishment; That there is therefore a necessity upon those, who are entrusted with the power of Chastisement, to wink at some errours; He, who punisheth Men, as if they could be free from all sin, exceeding the measure of that correction, which is according to nature, or (as another hath expressed it) shewing him­self injurious to the common infirmity of Men, and forgetful of that infirmity, which is humane, and universal. For as it is evident from these, and the like passages, that they, from whom they fell, had the same opinion of the State of Nature, which Christianity obli­geth us to take up; So that opinion of theirs cannot but add to the confirmation of our own, and to the belief of that depravation, which it is the design of this Discourse to evince: Because not taken up either in whole, or in part from prejudices imbib'd from Books, but from the experience they had of its effects, and which as they themselves could not but feel, and acknowledge, so we have no reason to question, because conscious of the like effects of it in our selves.

III. There being therefore no doubt to be made, but that there is such a thing as Original Sin, because sufficiently attested by the Doctrine of the Scripture, and our own, and other Men's expe­rience; It cannot but be thought reasonable to enquire, from whence it had its beginning, and so much the rather because both [Page 47]Scripture, and reason assure us, that it cannot be thought to have had its Original from God. Now there are but four things, from whence it can be supposed to proceed, and within the conside­ration whereof therefore this Enquiry of ours will necessarily be bounded; some evil Daemon, or Spirit, which concurrs with God to our production, or the natural pravity of that matter, which God makes use of in order to it; Some evil habits, which Souls contracted, before they were sent into their present bodies, or some pravity in those from whom they first descended, and which is trans­mitted from them to particular souls, and persons. The first of these opinions is attended with this great inconvenience among many others, that it chargeth God either with malignity, or im­potency; With malignity, if willingly suffering any evil spirit to mix it self in his productions; With impotency, if not able to hinder it, though he would. The second, as it is alike injurious to the power of God, because subjecting that power of his to the indisposition of the matter, so it makes Original Sin to be natural, and unavoidable, and consequently also those actual sins, that slow from it. By which means it not only renders all our endeavours against them useless, but casts a blemish upon those divine Laws, which pretend to forbid them, and upon those divine judgments, which pretend to punish them. For neither can God without great unreasonableness forbid what is not to be avoided, nor pu­nish it without the imputation of injustice. But it may be though Original Sin had not its beginning either from some evil spirit, or the pravity of the matter, which are the two first opinions, which pretend to give an account of it; yet it might, as is suggested in the third, arise from such evil habits, as Men's souls contracted before their descent into this World, and into those bodies, where­with they are invested. That indeed might yet more reasonably be believ'd, that I say not also (abstracting from the Authority of the Scripture) much more reasonably, than the account, that is given of it from Adam, if there were but equal reason to be­lieve, that Men's Souls had any separate existence antecedently to their conception in the Womb. But as that is a thing for which there is not any solid ground either in reason, or Scripture, and the supposition of it therefore the meer issue of fancy, and con­jecture; So it is sufficiently confuted by the ignorance Men's Souls are under of any such previous estate. For why, if Men's Souls had any such previous existence, should they not be conscious of it, and of the things, that were performed by them in it? Nay, why should not God take care to fix such a remembrance in them, that so what was wanting in their former estate might be sup­ply'd by them in their following one? For as it is not easie to sup­pose, that the corruptible body should so far stupefie the Soul, as to hinder it from emerging in time out of sleep, in which it may seem to have been cast, and accordingly from calling to mind what had been before transacted within it; Because though the Body may be some hindrance to the faculties of the Soul, yet it doth not hinder them from coming in time to exert their proper opera­tions: So it is much less easie to suppose, that God should not how­ever bring to it's memory its past State, and Actions, by which it [Page 48]offended against him; Partly to make it sensible of its former guilt, and God's choosing to punish it by thrusting it into a Body, and partly to make it so much the more careful to break off from those sins, by which it had before offended him; These, as they are the only imaginable ends, why God should thrust an offending Soul into such a Body, so being perfectly lost to that Soul, in which there is no consciousness of it's former state, and of those enormities, which were contracted in it. I conclude therefore, that whatever may be said as to this particular concerning Original Sin, yet it did not take its rise from the evil acts, or habits of the Soul in any praexistent estate, and nothing therefore left to us to resolve it into, but the depravedness of those, from whom we all de­scended, and from whom it is transmitted to particular Souls, and Persons.

I deny not indeed, that even this Account is not without its difficulties, and such as it will be hard, if not impossible perfect­ly to assoile. I deny not farther, that those difficulties are much enhanc'd by the ignorance we are under concerning the Original of humane Souls, and which whilst we continue under, it will not be easie for us to shew, how that depravedness of Nature should pass from them to us. But as those difficulties are no ways comparable to the difficulties of two of the former, even those, which resolve Original Sin into the malignity of some evil spirit, or the pravity of matter; So they can much less be thought to be of force against the testimony of the Scripture, if that (as I shall afterwards shew) favour its arising from the pravity of our first Parents: Partly because the thing in question is a matter of fact, and therefore to be determin'd rather by testimony, than the force of reason, and partly because the testimony of Scripture is the most Authentick one, as being no other than the testimony of God. Now that there wants not sufficient evidence from thence, that that Original Sin, whereof we speak, ariseth from the pra­vity of those, from whom we first descended, will appear if these three things can be made out; First, that the sin of all mankind enter'd in by Adam; Secondly, that it enter'd in by Adam not meerly as the first that committed it, or tempted other Men by his ill example to do the like, but as more, or less the cause of all their sins by his own; Thirdly that he became the cause of all their sins through his, by depraving thereby his own Nature, and then communicating that depravation to those, that descended from him.

That the Sin of all Mankind enter'd in by Adam, will need no other proof, than that known Text of S. Paul Rom. 5.12., even that by one Man sin enter'd into the World, and death by sin, and so death passed through unto all Men, for that all have sinned. For as we cannot well interpret the word sin of any other, than the sin of all Men, because there is nothing in the Text to limit it to any particular Man's, so much less, when S. Paul doth afterwards affirm, that that death, which enter'd in by it, passed thorough un­to all Men, for that, or because all had sinned by the means of him; That as it makes death to pass upon all Men with respect to their several sins, and consequently their several sins to be the [Page 49]immediate door by which it enters, so making those several sins therefore to be included in that sin, which he before affirmed to be the cause of that death, and, together with it, to have enter'd in by Adam.

But because among those at least, by whom the Scripture is acknowledg'd, the question is not so much, whether all sin enter'd by Adam, but after what manner it enter'd by him; And because, till that be known, we cannot speak with any certainty concern­ing the derivation of the corruptness of our Natures from that of our first Parents or Parent; Therefore pass we on to shew, according to the method before laid down, that as the sin of all Mankind enter'd in by Adam, so it enter'd in by him, not (as some have vainly deem'd) meerly as one, who first committed it, or tempted others by his example to do the like, but as one also, yea especially, who by the malignant influence of his sin was more or less the cause of all those sins, that followed it. That the sin of all Mankind enter'd not in by Adam either meerly, or principally as one, who first committed it, will need no other proof than his being not the first committer of sin even in this sublu­nary World, but that Serpent, who tempted our first Parents to it. For as he, and his fellow Angels sinned before them in those glo­rious seats, in which they were first bestow'd; So he sinned al­so before them here by that temptation, which he suggested to them, and without which they had not fallen from their inte­grity. Which as it is an evidence of sin's not entring in by Adam in that sense, and consequently that that was not the sense intended by S. Paul; So is the more to be considered, because S. John at­tributes this entrance of sin to the Devil 1. Joh. 3.8., yea makes all the committers of sin to be therefore of him. But besides that Adam was not the first of those that sinned, and we therefore not so to understand S. Paul, when describing sin as entring by him; Nei­ther was he the first of humane kind that sinned, which will be a yet farther prejudice to the former surmise. For (as we learn from the story of the FallGen. 3.6., yea from this very Apostle else­where)1 Tim. 2.14. Adam was not deceiv'd, that is to say, was not the first that was so, but the Woman being deceiv'd was in the trans­gression. Which what is it but to say, that sin did not enter in by Adam in that sense, and consequently that that was not the sense intended by the Apostle in it? Only if it be said (and more than that cannot be said in it) that we are not so to understand S. Paul, when describing sin as entring by Adam, as not also to suppose him to connote the Partner both of his Bed, and of his transgression; As I will not be forward to deny the suggestion altogether, because believing them both to have contributed to the production of our transgressions, as well as Nature, so I cannot forbear to say upon the account of that which follows, that we ought to consider Adam as the more especial instrument in it. Because S. Paul not only represents himRom. 5.14. in particular as the Type, or Figure of him, that was to come, but both describes him all along under the notion of one Man Rom. 12.15, 16. &c., yea makes a great part of the likeness, that was between him and Christ to consist in it. Which could by no means have been proper, if he had meant no other by sin's [Page 50]entring in by Adam, than entring in by him as one of the first com­mitters of it. For in this sense Eve must necessarily have had the preeminence, because not only offending before her Husband, but tempting even him to do the same. From that first sense there­fore pass we to the second, and which indeed is both more anti­ent, and plausible, than the former. For as it is as old as that Pelagius Vid. Voss. Hist. Pelag. li. 2. parte 2. Thes. 1., who first call'd Original Sin in question, so it allows the sin of Adam to have had an influence upon other Men's sins, as well as to have given beginning to the being of it. But that it hath as little solidity, or pertinency to the words, whereunto it is apply'd, will appear if we reflect upon the sequel of S. Paul's Dis­course, or the subject matter of that, which is offered as the in­terpretation of it. For is there any reason to think (without which that interpretation can be of no avail) that Adam by his sin tempted all his posterity to offend? Nay, is there not rea­son enough to believe, that that example of his contributed little to Men's following sins, yea contributed nothing at all to many of them? For how many Men have there been, to whom the knowledge of his sin never reach'd? How many are there yet, who are under the same ignorance, or may hereafter be? And must not these therefore be look'd upon as exempted from the influence of his ill example, and consequently, if their sins entred in by Adam, be acknowledg'd to have entred some other way? And though the same be not to be said of those, to whom the Scri­ptures have come, because those are not without the knowledge of his sin, nor incapable of being influenc'd by his example; Yet is there as little reason to think, that that example of his contri­butes much to their sins, or indeed ever did to theirs, who lived nearer to him, and so were more likely to have been inflicted by him. For beside that a sin so chastis'd, as that was, was not ve­ry likely to draw their thoughts towards it, and therefore as little likely to tempt them to the imitation of it; Beside that many of them might have no actual consideration of it, as no doubt many now have not, even when they offend in the like kind; They might have been influenc'd, and no doubt were by other sins of his, as much, or more than by his first transgression, or by the ill examples of those, that were nearer to them, rather than by any of his. In fine they might have been, and no doubt often were influenced by the baits of pleasure, or profit, and thereby drawn aside from their integrity; These having been as apt to influence them, as the example of that sin, by which their several offences are suppos'd to have entred into the World. And I shall only add, that as that sense cannot therefore be reasonably impos'd, if we regard, as no doubt we ought, the subject matter of it; So we shall find as little encouragement for it from the sequel of his Discourse, whose words are now under consideration. For beside that he himself may seem sufficiently to obviate it by af­firming presently afterRom. 5.14., that there were many of those, that sinned, that did not, nor well could sin after the similitude of Adam's transgression, because knowing nothing at all of any such positive law, as he transgress'd; It is the main design of his Dis­course to compare the good, that Christ brought by his obedi­ence, [Page 51]with the hurt which that type of his did by his transgression. Which comparison had been but a frigid one, if all the hurt, that Adam did us, was by the force of his ill example: Because it is certain that Christ's obedience was of a much more efficacious in­fluence in the kind of it, as well as in the degree, and would there­fore rather have been vilified, than any way illustrated, or com­mended by the comparison, if the malign influence of Adam's sin had reach'd no farther, than that of an example. I conclude therefore, that what ever was meant by sin's entring in by Adam, yet something more was meant by it, than its entring by him either as the first committer of it, or as one, who by his ill ex­ample tempted others to do the like. And indeed as the instance but now alledg'd, even the likeness, that is between Adam's sin, and Christ's obedience, makes it but reasonable to look upon all sin as entring also by Adam, as more, or less the cause of it, so it stands yet more confirm'd by what S. Paul affirms in the ninteenth verse, especially as it lies in the Original: The purport thereof being, that Men are constituted sinners by his disobedience, yea that they are so constituted sinners by it, as Men are constituted righteous by the obedience of Christ. For though the words [...] may in themselves be capable of a softer sense, and accordingly signifie no more, than Men's being reputed, and us'd as sinners upon the account of that transgression, which Adam committed; Yet I see not how that sense can be thought to fit them here, or indeed any other than that of constituting, or making Men sinners: Partly because their being constituted sinners by Adam's disobedience is rendred by S. Paul Rom. 5.18, 19. as the reason of their condemnation by it, and ought therefore to be distingui­shed from it; And partly because they are said to be constituted sinners by Adam's disobedience, as they, who belong to Christ, are constituted righteous by his obedience. For the obedience of Christ procuring Men's being really righteous, as well as their being reputed such, yea procuring their being really righteous in some measure, that they may be so accounted of, and us'd; What can be more reasonable than to think, that that disobedi­ence of Adam, which is affirmed to be like it, is of the same causality, and accordingly constitutes, or makes Men sinners, as well as accounted of as such.

One only thing remains towards the clearing of the matter in hand, even the derivation of the corruptness of our Nature from that of our first Parent, or Parents; And that is, that as all sin entred in by Adam as more, or less the cause of it by his own, so he became the cause of it by his own by thereby depraving his own Nature first, and then communicating that depravation to those, that descended from him. Of the former whereof as there cannot well be any doubt, considering the hainousness of that sin, which he committed (That as it could not but occasion the withdrawing of the Divine Grace from Adam, so neither but draw after it the depravation of his Nature, as which receiv'd all its rectitude from the other) so there will be as little doubt of the latter, if we compare what S. Paul here saith concerning Adam's being the cause of all our sins by his own, with what he [Page 52]afterward saithRom. 7.17-20. concerning Men's falling into actual sin by ver­tue of an evil principle, that dwelleth in them. For if all actual sin proceed immediately from such an evil principle, that evil principle must be also from Adam, as without which otherwise he could not be the cause of our sins by his own, nor constitute us sinners by it.

IV. I will not be over positive in defining by what means this evil principle is convey'd, because I am not well assur'd how our very Nature is. It shall suffice me to represent (what may tend in some measure toward the clearing of it) That Original sin, cleav­ing to our nature from the first beginnings of it, must consequent­ly be conveyed to us by the same general means, by which our nature is, even by natural generation, yea that the Scripture teach­eth us so to reason, where it affirms Men to be conceiv'd in sin Psal. 51.5., to become flesh by being born Joh. 3.6. of flesh, and unclean Job 14.4.1. by being brought out of those Parents, that are so; That, though the more particular means, by which Original Sin is convey'd, cannot with any certainty be assign'd, because it is alike uncertain, whether those Souls, in which it is most reasonable to place it, be either traduced, or immediately created, yet there would not be any uncertainty as to this particular, if we believ'd the Souls of Men to be traduc'd, as several of the AntientsVid. Vossi. Hist. P [...]lag. Lib. 2. Parte 3. Thes. 1., and not a few of the Mo­derns have believ'd (For so it would not only not be difficult to apprehend the particular means of the others conveyance, but al­most impossible to overlook them, because making it to pass to­gether with those Souls, to which it adheres, and diffuse it self from thence to those Bodies, to which they are united) That, though the traduction of Souls be not without its difficulties, and such as I shall not be so vain as to attempt the solution of, yet it is in that particular but of the same condition with the immediate Creation of them, that I say not also less exceptionable, as to the business of Original Sin; In fine, That, as it hath nothing from Scripture to prejudice the belief of it, as appears by the solutions, which have been long sinceHotham's Introd. to the Trent. Philoso­phy. given to the Objections from it; So it seems to me much more agreeable to that account, which it gives of the Creation, and indeed to the Nature of a Parent. For what can be more clear from the Story of the Creation, than that God designed once for all to Create all the Beings, which he intended, leaving them, and particularly Man, to carry on the Succession by those productive principles, which he had planted in them? For if so, what should hinder us from believing, but that Men produce their like after the same manner, that other Creatures do, and by the same Divine Benediction, and concur­ence. Sure I am, as they will otherwise fall short of the powers of inferiour beings, as well as be an anomalie in the Creation, so they will be but very imperfectly in the condition of Parents, because contributing only to that part, which is the least consi­derable in their Posterity. Only as I list not to contend about any thing, of which I my self am not more strongly persuaded; So I shall leave it to those, whom the immediate creation of Souls better pleaseth, to make their advantage of it, and satisfie them­selves [Page 53]from it concerning the means of Original Sin's conveyance. Which if they do, they shall do more, than the great S. Augustin could after all his travails in this Argument; Because professing that he could not find either by reading or praying, or reasoning Ep. 157. ad Optatum., how Original Sin could be defended with the opinion of the Creati­on of Souls.

V. I may not dismiss the Argument that is now before us, or indeed so much as attend to the consideration of those Objections, that are made against it, before I have also enquir'd, whether that, which hath the name of Original Sin, be truly, and properly such, and not rather so stiled in respect of that first sin, from which it proceeded, or in respect of those sins, to which it leads. For beside that that Church, whose Catechism I have chosen to ex­plain, leads us to the consideration of it, because both there, and elsewhereArt. of Relig. 6. affirming it to have the nature of a Sin, to make us the Children of Wrath, and to deserve God's Wrath and Dam­nation; The resolution of it is of no small moment toward the right stating of our duty, and the valuableness of that remedy, which Christianity hath provided for it. For neither otherwise can we look upon Original Sin as any proper matter for our Re­pentance, whatsoever it may be for our lamentation, nor upon Baptism as bringing any other pardon to Infants, than that of the Sin of their first Parents, and which they who look upon Origi­nal Sin as rather our unhappiness, than fault, are generally as far from charging them with. This only would be premis'd for the better understanding of it, that by Sin is not meant any actual trans­gression of a Law (for no Man was ever so absurd, as to affirm that concerning Original Sin) but that which is contrary to a Law in the nature of an evil habit, and both imports an absence of that Righteousness, which ought to be in us, and an inclination to those evils, from which we ought to be averse; This, as it is no less the transgression of a Law, than any actual sin is, so making the person, in whom it is, as obnoxious to punishment, and conse­quently to be look'd upon as yet more properly a sin. Now that that, which we call Original Sin, is really such in this latter no­tion, will appear if these two things be considered; First, that the Scripture gives it the title of sin, Secondly, that it represents it as such upon the account of our being obliged by the Law of God to have in us a contrary temper. That the Scripture gives that, whereof we speak, the title of sin, is evident from those Texts, which we before made use of to prove the being of it; More particularly from thatPsa. 91.5., which represents David as conceiv'd, and born in sin, and thoseRom. 7.17-20., which represent us all as having sin dwelling in us. For these having been before shewn to speak of Original Sin make it evident that the Scripture gives it the title of Sin, because in the former places representing it under that notion. And though I will not from that only Topick conclude it to be properly such, because the Scripture makes use of figurative expressions, as well as proper, yea doth so in this very particular whereof we speak (for thus it sometimes gives the title of sin to that, which is intended only as the punishment thereof) yet as [Page 54]we may lawfully inferr from thence, that there is more cause to believe Original Sin to be properly, than figuratively such, till the contrary thereof be made appear, The proper sense being other­wise to be preferr'd before the figurative; So that there can be no place for the figurative sense, if that, which is there represen­ted as a sin, be elsewhere represented as such upon the supposi­tion of our being obliged to have in us the contrary temper. Which that it is will appear from such Texts, as do more immediate­ly affirm it, or such as affirm those things, from which it may by good consequence be deduced. Of the former sort I reckon that, which is immediately subjoyn'd by David to the mention of his being conceiv'd in sin, and brought forth in iniquity Psa. 51 6.. Behold thou requirest truth in the inward parts, and shalt, or rather hast made me to understand wisdom secretly. For as we cannot but look upon what is there said concerning God's requiring truth in the inward parts as spoken with relation to that sin, whereof he be­fore complains, and to the mention whereof he subjoyns the men­tion of the other; So neither (considering it to have been his in­tent to aggravate his sinfulness before God) but look upon it as also his intent to aggravate the sinfulness of his frame by that piety which God required of him. Which suppos'd, Original Sin will not only be found to be so entituled by the Scripture, but to have had that name bestowed upon it upon the account of Men's ob­ligation to the contrary, and consequently to be truely and pro­perly such. And though there be not it may be many more Texts of that nature, or which therefore can be thought so directly to affirm, that it becometh the sin of those, in whom it is, up­on the account of their obligation to the contrary; Yet will it not be difficult to find others, which do as clearly assert those things, from which it may by good consequence be deduced. Such as are those which make Original Sin to be a proper matter for con­fession, yea to induce a guilt upon the person, in whom it is. But so the Prophet David doth plainly suppose in that very Psalm, which we but now made use of; Because not only confessing Psa. 51.5. the sinfulness of his Nature together with that of his external a­ctions, but begging of God, immediately after that confession of his, that he would purge him Psa. 51.7. with Hyssop from it. For as we have no reason to exclude that from the matter of the desir'd pur­gation, which immediately precedes the Prayer that is put up for it; So much less reason to doubt, after that Prayer for the pur­gation of it, of its inducing a guilt upon the person, in whom it is: The use of Hyssop in the Old Law (as appears by several placesExo. 12.22. Lev. 14.6. in it, and a consentient Text in the Epistle to the He­brews Heb. 9.19. &c.) being to sprinkle the Blood of the Sacrifices upon those, who were any way obnoxious to its censures, and so deliver them from the severity thereof. For what other then could the Psalmist mean by that Prayer of his, than that God would purge him from that, and his other sins by the blood of an expiatory Sacrifice? Or so meaning be thought to intimate more clearly, than that that, from which he desir'd to be purg'd, stood in need of such a Sa­crifice, and consequently was no more without its guilt, than his actual transgressions were. Only, if that notion may not be [Page 55]thought to be of sufficient clearness to build so important a Con­clusion on, it will not be difficult to strengthen it yet more by the word the Hebrew makes us of for purge, and those Prayers, which the Psalmist subjoyneth to it; By the former because literally [...] signifying a purification from sin, by the latter, because importing it to be his desirePsal. 51.7, 8, 9., that God would wash him from it, that he would cause those bones, that had been broken by it, to rejoyce, and in fine, that he would hide his face from his sins, and blot out all his iniquities: These, as they are known and usual expressions for the remission of sins, and consequently importing the guilt of those, to whom they are apply'd, and their purification from it, so with this farther reason to be so taken here, because the Psalmist after­wards begsPsal. 51.10., that God would purifie him from the filth of them, and renew a right spirit within him.

VI. Now though from what hath been said it be competently evident, that the Doctrine of Original Sin is not without good Authority to warrant it, yet because that Doctrine hath been im­pugned by the Pelagians of Old, and since that by the followers of Socinus, therefore it may not be amiss for the farther clearing of it to consider their Objections against it, and either return a direct, and satisfactory answer to them, or at least shew, that they ought not however to be admitted as a bar against what the Scri­pture hath said concerning it. To begin with those Objections which respect the being of it, or rather tend to shew that it hath no being in the World; Which are either such, as consider it as a simple corruption of humane Nature, or such as do also consider it as a sinful one. Of the former sort are those, which represent it as a thing unconceivable, how it should come into humane Na­ture, which the better to persuade, they alledge plausible reasons against all those means, whereby it may be suppos'd to find ad­mittance. For these being destroy'd, they think they may law­fully inferr, that there is indeed no such depravation upon humane Nature. Of what force those reasons are will be then more sea­sonable to enquire, when I consider what is objected against the fountain of Original Corruption, or the means by which it is con­vey'd. At present it may suffice to say, that of what force soever they may be thought to be, yet they are not of sufficient force to destroy the being of Original Corruption, which is the thing for which they are here alledg'd; Partly, because many things may be, yea be assur'd to us, of the original, or conveyance whereof we our selves are perfectly ignorant (for who doubts of the being of humane Souls, though he neither knows, nor well can, whe­ther they be traduc'd, or infus'd) and partly because the testimo­ny of Scripture, with the experience we have of its effects, is a much more forcible argument of the being of it, than all the for­mer reasons are of the other: These being direct, and immediate proofs of its existence, whereas the other are only indirect, and mediate. From such objections therefore as consider Original Sin as a simple Corruption of humane Nature, pass we to those, which consider it also as sinful, and which indeed seem most hardly to press upon it: Such as are, that all sin is the transgression of a [Page 56]Law, which Original Sin seems not to be; That it requires the consent of the will of him, in whom it is, which cannot well be affirm'd of that; As in fine, that the Scripture it self may seem to make that, which we call Original Sin, rather the Parent of Sin, than sin it self, because making sin to ariseJames 1.13, &c. from the con­ception, and parturition of it. As to what is objected from the forementioned Scripture, it is either nothing at all to the purpose, or very much against the purpose of those, that alledge it: Partly because by the sin there spoken of can be meant no other, than actual sin, and nothing therefore to be concluded from thence, but that all actual sin is the product of Men's Lust, and partly because that Text makes even actual sins to be the product of Men's Lust, yea of such a lust as draweth them aside, and enticeth them. For who can well think the Parent of such Children to be of a better Nature, than the Children themselves, especially when she is de­scribed as giving birth to them by false, and deceitful Arts? Such Arts as those reflecting no great honour upon the Mother, but on the contrary making her to be altogether as criminal, as the other. If therefore they, who impugn Original Sin as such, would do it with any advantage, it must not be by Arguments drawn from Scripture, which will rather hurt, than profit them, but by Arguments drawn from reason, and particularly by such as re­present Original Sin as no transgression of a Law, and therefore no sin properly so call'd, or as a thing which hath not the con­sent of the will of him, in whom it is, and therefore yet farther re­moved from it. As concerning the former of these, even that which represents Original Sin as no transgression of a Law, I answer that they, who so speak, must deny it to be such, either because it is no Act, or because there is no Law, which it can be suppos'd to be a transgression of. If the former of these be their meaning, I willingly grant what they alledge, but I say withall, that it will not from thence follow, that it is no sin at all. For if Men are obliged by the divine Law to a pious, and in­nocent temper, as well as not to swerve from it in their actions, the want of that happy temper, or the having a contrary one will be as much the transgression of a Law, as the want of the same piety in their actions. Which will consequently devolve the whole force of that Objection upon the supposition of there being no such Law of God, which requires the former temper, or which there­fore Original Sin can be thought to be a transgression of. But as I have already made it appear in some measure, that there is in truth such a Law, as requires a pious, and innocent temper, so I shall now endeavour to strengthen it by some more particular proofs, and by answering those exceptions, that are made a­gainst it.

In order to the former whereof we are to know, that as the Law we speak of must be supposed to have been given to Adam, as that too not only in his private, but publick capacity, and as he may be thought to have been the representative of all Man­kind (there being no other Law, which can be suppos'd to con­cern us, before we come to be in a capacity to apprehend, and obey it) so I shall endeavour to make it appear first, that there [Page 57]was such a Law given to Adam, and then that it was given to him not only in his private, but publick capacity, and as he may be thought to have been the representative of all Mankind. Now that there was a Law given to Adam, requiring a pious, and in­nocent temper, as well as the preserving that piety and innocency in his actions, will need no other proof than God's creating him in it, and the love he may be supposed to bear unto it. For as we cannot think God would have ever intrusted such a Jewel with Adam, if it had not been his intention that he should preserve, and exercise it; so much less, when the holiness of the divine Nature persuades his love to it, as well as the declarations of his word. For what were this, but to make God indifferent, what became of his most excellent gifts, which no wise person, and much less so hearty a lover of them can be supposed to be? If therefore there can be any doubt concerning the Law we speak of, it must be as to its having been given to Adam in his publick capacity, and as he may be suppos'd to have been the representative of all Man­kind. Which I shall endeavour to evince first by shewing what I mean by his publick capacity, secondly by shewing that Adam was set in such a capacity, and thirdly that the Law we speak of was given to him as considered in it. By the publick capacity of Adam I mean such a one, whereby as he was design'd to be the Father of all Mankind, so God made him a kind of Trustee for it; In order thereunto both giving him what he did for their be­nefit, as well as his own, and obliging him for their sakes, as well as his own, to see to the preservation of it, and act agreeably to it. Which if he did, his Posterity as well as himself should have the benefit thereof, and God's favour together with it, but if not, forfeit together with him what God had so bestow'd upon him, and incurr the penalty of his displeasure. Now that Adam was set in such a capacity (which is the second thing to be demonstra­ted) will appear from the Scriptures making him the cause of all Men's death by his offence, and disobedience. For the effects of another disobedience being not otherwise chargeable upon any Man, than as that other may be suppos'd to be appointed to act for him; If the effects of Adam's disobedience were to fall upon all his Posterity, he also must be supposed to have been appointed to act for them, and consequently to have been set in that pub­lick capacity, whereof I speak. Which will leave nothing more for us to shew upon this Head, than that that Law, which re­quires a pious and innocent temper was given to Adam in that capacity. But as we can as little doubt of that, if his contracting a contrary temper was as fatal to his Posterity, as to himself; So that it was, will need no other proof than his producing the like temper in them, and that temper's proving as deadly to them. The former whereof is evident from what I before said to shew, that Original Sin had its beginning from Adam, the latter from S. Paul'sRom. 7.24. calling it a Body of Death, or a Body that brings it: The Genitive Case Grot. in loc. among the Hebrews, and Hellenists, being usually set for such Adjectives, as betoken a causality in them; Even as the Savour of Death is us'd for a deadly one, or that which [Page 58]bringeth death, and the Tree of Life for a life-giving one, or that which was apt to produce, or continue it.

I deny not indeed (that I may now pass to those Exceptions that are commonly made against it) that it may seem hard to conceive how Adam should be set in such a capacity, as to involve all man­kind in happiness, or misery, according as he either continued in, or fell from that integrity, wherein God created him. I deny not therefore, but that it is equally hard to conceive how God should give him such a Law, the observation, or transgression whereof on his part should redound to the account of his Poste­rity. But as every thing, that is hard to be conceiv'd, is not therefore to be deny'd, if it be otherwise strengthen'd with suf­ficient proofs; So it would be consider'd also, whether it be not much more hard to conceive, how God should otherwise involve Infants, and Children in those calamities, into which they often fall, especially in National Judgments: It being certainly more agreeable to the divine Justice, to conceive those to have some way, or other offended, and consequently thereto to have fallen under the displeasure of it, than to conceive them to suffer it with­out any offence at all. For why then should we not think, espe­cially when the Scripture hath led the way, that God oblig'd them in Adam to a pious, and innocent temper, and which they losing in him, they became obnoxious with him to the same sad effects of his displeasure? And though it be true, that there is this great imparity between the cases, that the effect of God's displeasure upon occasion of Original Sin is made to reach to eternal misery, as well as to a temporal one, whereas the case we before instanc'd in concerns only a temporal punishment: Yet as they do thus far agree, that a punishment is inflicted, where there is no actual sin to deserve it, which is sufficiently irreconcileable with the under­standing we otherwise have of the divine Justice; So that great imparity may be much abated by considering, that God hath pro­vided a Plaster as large as the Sore, (even by giving his Son to dye for all Mankind) and appointed the Sacrament of Baptism to convey the benefit of it. For as the consequents of Original Sin will be thereby taken off from so many Infants at least, as are admitted to that Sacrament, so that mercy of his to those, and the assurance we have from the Scripture of his giving his Son to dye for all may perswade us to believe, that though he hath not reveal'd the particular way to us, yet he hath some other way to convey the benefit of that death to those, who are not admitted to the other.

But it will be said it may be (which is a no less prejudice against the being of Original Sin) that all sin, to make it truly such, must have the consent of the will of those, in whom it is, as well as be the transgression of a Law. A thing by no means to be affirm'd concerning that, which we call Original Sin, because not only con­tracted before we had a being, and therefore also before we had so much as the faculty of willing, but moreover conveyed to us, when we had neither reason to apprehend it, nor any power in our wills either to admit, or reject it. And indeed how altogether to take [Page 59]off the force of that Objection is beyond my capacity to appre­hend, or satisfie the understandings of other Men: Because as I cannot see how any thing can be a sin, which hath not also the consent of the will of those, in whom it is, so I am as little able to conceive how Original Sin should have the consent of ours, ei­ther when it was first contracted, or when it was transmitted to us. But as I am far less able to conceive how Infants, and Chil­dren should come to be so severely dealt with without any offence at all, or therefore without having some way, or other consented to one; So I think first, that that difficulty may well be laid in the ballance against the other, yea alledged as a bar to the supposed force of it. For why should my inability to apprehend how Infants, and Children could consent to Original Sin, prevail with me to deny the being of it, when a far greater inability to apprehend how the same persons should come to be so severely dealt withal without it, doth not prevail with me to deny that severe usage of them? Neither will it avail to say (which is other­wise considerable enough) that we have for the belief of this last the testimony of our Senses, which is not to be alledged as to the other. For the question is not now whether the severe usage of Infants, and Children may not more reasonably be believ'd, than their Original Sin, upon the account of the greater evidence there may be of it; But whether we can any more deny the Ori­ginal Sin of Infants, and Children upon the account of our inabi­lity to apprehend, how they should consent unto it, than we can deny the severe usage of the same persons upon the account of our inability to apprehend, how they should come to be so dealt with without the other. Which that we cannot is evident from hence, that we are equally at a loss in our apprehensions about the one, and the other, that I say not also more at a loss about the latter, than about the former. And indeed, as we find it necessary to believe many things notwithstanding our inability to apprehend how they should come to pass, and ought not therefore to deny the being of any one thing upon the sole account of that inabili­ty; So our apprehensions are so short as to the modes of those things, of the being whereof we are most assured, that it will hardly be deemed reasonable to insist upon the suggestions of them, against the affirmations of the Scripture: Partly because of the Authority of him, from whom it proceeded, and partly because we cannot so easily fail in our apprehension concerning the due sense of the affirmations of it, as in the deductions of our own rea­son concerning the things affirmed; Nothing more being required to the understanding of the one, than a due consideration of the signification of the words, wherein they are expressed; whereas to the right ordering of the other, there is requir'd a due under­standing of the Nature of those things about which we reason, which is both a matter of far greater difficulty, and in many cases impossible to be attain'd. Whatever difficulty therefore there may be in apprehending how Original Sin could have the consent of those, in whom it is supposed to be, and consequently how it should be truly and properly a sin; Yet ought not that to be a bar against our belief of it, if the Scripture hath represented it as such, and [Page 60]which whether it hath, or no, I shall leave to be judg'd by what I have before observ'd from it.

From such Objections, as are level'd more immediately against the being of Original Sin, pass we to those which impugne the derivation of it from Adam, and from whom we have affirmed it to proceed. Which Objections again do either tend to shew, that it had its Original from something else, or that it cannot be sup­pos'd to have its Original from Adam. An opinion hath prevail'd of late years, that that, which we call Original Sin, took its rise from the sins of particular Souls in some praexistent estate, and from those evil habits, which they contracted by them. And certainly the opinion were reasonable enough to be embrac'd, if the praeex­istence of Souls were but as well prov'd, as it is speciously con­triv'd. For, that suppos'd, it would be no hard matter to give an account of the rise of that Corruption, which is in us, nor yet of God's afflicting those on whom no other blame appears: That corruption, as it is no other than what particular Souls have them­selves contracted, so making them as obnoxious to the vengeance of God, as any after sins can be supposed to do. But do they, who advance this hypothesis, think the plausibleness thereof a sufficient ground to build it on? Or are problems in Divinity no other way to be determin'd, than those of Astronomy, or other such con­jectural Arts are? I had thought that for the resolution of these we ought rather to have had recourse to that word of God, which was design'd to give us an understanding of them, to have examin'd the several assertions of it, and acquiesced in them, how difficult soever to be apprehended. I had thought that we ought to have done so much more, where the Scripture professeth to deliver its opinion, and doth not only not wave the thing in question, but speaks to it. Which that it doth in the present case will need no other proof than the account it gives of the Original of Mankind, and then of the Original of Evil. For as it professeth to speak of Adam not only as created by God, but as appointed by himGen. 1.28. to give being by the way of natural Generation to all, that after him should replenish the Earth (which how he should be thought to do, if he were only to be a means of furnishing them with a Body, who had the better part of their being before, is past my under­standing to imagine) so it professeth to speak of the same Adam as one by whom sin, and death Rom. 5.12. 1 Cor. 15.21, 22. enter'd into the World, as well as the persons of those, on whom it seizeth. And can there then be any place for a precarious hypothesis about the Original of Mankind, or the evils of it? Can there be place for advancing that hypothesis not only beside, but against the determinations of the Scripture? Do not all such hypotheses proceed upon the uncer­tainty of the matter, about which they are conversant? Do they not come in as a relief to the understandings of Men, where they cannot be satisfied any other way? But how then can there be place for such a one, where the Scripture hath determin'd? How can there be any place even for the most specious, and plausible? For as that cannot be suppos'd to be uncertain, which the Scripture hath determin'd; So no plausibility whatsoever can come in com­petition with the determinations of God, such as those of the Scri­pture [Page 61]are. But such it seems is the restlesness of some Men's minds, that if they cannot satisfie their scruples from what the Scripture hath advanced, they will be setting up other Hypotheses to do it by. Wherein yet they are for the most part so unlucky, as to ad­vance such things themselves, as have nothing at all of probability in them. For who can think it any way probable, that, if mens Souls had an existence antecedent to their conception in the Womb, they should not in the least be conscious of it, nor of any of those things, which were transacted by them in it? Is it (as one hath observ'd, who seems to have been the first broacher of it in this latter Age) is it, I say, for want of opportunity of being remind­ed of their former transactions, as it happens to many, who rise confident that they slept without dreaming, and yet before they go to bed again recover a whole series of representations by some­thing that occurr'd to them in the day? But who can think, when the Souls of Men must be supposed to carry in them the same evil tendencies, and inclinations, that they should never light up­on any one thing, which might bring back to their minds what they had formerly transacted, or but so much as that they had a being antecedent to their present one? For whoever was so for­getful of his dreams, as not to remember he was sometime in a dreaming condition, yea that he actually dreamed in it? Is it se­condly (as the same Learned Man goes on) by a desuetude of thinking of their former actions, and whereby it sometimes comes to pass, as he there observes, that what we have earnestly me­ditated, labour'd for, and pen'd down with our own hands, when we were at School, becomes so lost to our memories, that if we did not see our own handwriting to it, we should not acknow­ledge it to be our own? But doth this come home to the present case? Doth it persuade such a forgetfulness in the Souls of Men, as not only not to remember their particular actions, but not so much as that they were in a condition to act any thing, or acted any thing under it? For though a Man may forget the particu­lar exercise he did at School, yet can any Man (though he slept an Age, and never so much as dream'd in all that time of being at School, or any other thing, be supposed, if he awoke in his right wits, to forget he was sometime in such a place, and performed some exercises in it? Is it lastly by means of some distemper, that happens to the Soul by coming into an earthly Body, and by which the foremention'd person conceives the Soul may suffer in its me­mory, as we see it sometime doth in its present state by casualties, and diseases, yea so far as to make the person forget his own name? But though the Soul should be supposed to fall into such a forget­fulness by entring into a body (as we see it is a long time before it comes to exercise its respective faculties) yet is there any reason to think it should continue in it after it hath gotten above the in­firmities of the other, yea so far as to reason with that clearness, wherewith this Author doth in many things, and with great plau­sibility in all others? For though Men may happen to be so strick­en by a disease, as to forget even their own names, yea have un­doubtedly suffered in that nature; yet is there no evidence from story that I know of, or indeed presumption for the supposition [Page 62]of it, that though the parties did again recover the free use of their faculties, yet they were unable to look back to their pristine state, or call to mind any of the passages thereof. So much more spe­cious, than strong are the reasons that Author alledgeth to shew the Soul to be in a natural incapacity to call to mind its pristin state, and actions. And yet if they prov'd what they intended, they would hardly make it credible, that it should be without all know­ledge of them: God, who thrusts it down into its present state by reason of its former errours, being likely enough to bring them to its mind, though it should be otherwise ignorant of them. Other­wise he should neither make it sensible of its own guilt, and his choosing thus to punish it, which is one supposed end of his thrust­ing it down, nor careful to break off from it, which is another. And I shall only add, that as we cannot therefore be in any great danger from those Objections, which pretend to derive Original sin from another principle; So shall we not now be much incom­moded by the force of those Objections, which profess more di­rectly to impugn the derivation of it from Adam. For as those Objections are principally founded upon the incompetency of Adam to involve all mankind in the guilt of his transgression, so I have not only made it appear already, that Adam was no way incom­petent for that purpose, because appointed by God as the repre­sentative of all mankind, but said enough, though not to answer, yet to silence what is objected against it from the supposed want of our consent to his transgression. Which will leave nothing more for us to do, than to consider what is objected against the means, we have before assign'd of the conveying of that Original Sin where­of we speak. But as I have not been positive in assigning the particular means of its conveyance, and must therefore be the less concern'd to answer what is objected against them; So I shall oppose to all those Objections the assurance we have from the Scripture of our having it in us from our Conception, and Birth, yea contracting it from those fleshly, and unclean persons, from whom we are descended: That, as it is enough to shew that it is conveyed to us by the same general means, by which our very nature is, so making it at least probable that it passeth from them to us together with our Souls, and from thence diffuseth it self unto our Bodies. And how far a probability so founded ought to prevail against all the Arguments, which are oppos'd to the tra­duction of Souls, especially when the Scripture seems to favour that traduction also, will be no hard matter for him to judge, who shall consider on the one hand the shortness of our own reason­ings, and on the other what difficulties attend the Creation, and Infusion, as well as the traduction of Souls. For as those very difficulties will oblige us to sit down after all with a probable assent in this affair, so the shortness of our own reasonings to guide that assent rather by probable testimonies of Scripture, than by probable arguments from Reason: Because as we are more assur'd of the truth of those testimonies, than we can be of the truth of any of those arguments, which we ground our selves upon in this affair; So we cannot so easily fail in our apprehensions concerning [Page 63]the other; Nothing more being requir'd toward the apprehending the force of the former, than the due consideration of the sense of the words, wherein they are expressed, whereas to the appre­hending of the force of the latter we must have a clear knowledge of the nature of those things, about which they are conversant, which is certainly a matter of far greater difficulty, and wherein therefore we may more easily mistake. Only if what is said in this particular may not be thought to be satisfactory, because rather a bar to what is objected against the traduction of Souls (and consequently of Original Sin) than any direct answer to it; I shall desire those, who are dissatisfi'd with it, to give such an answer, as they themselves demand to what is objected by the other party against the immediate Creation, and infusion of them: It seeming not so easie to imagine (that I may not now press them with any other inconveniencies) that God should create a Soul on purpose to infuse it into such incestuous conceptions, as he himself cannot but be thought to abhor. For my self, as I can with equal ease digest the traduction of Souls with all its inconvenien­cies, or rather acquiesce in that evidence, which the Doctrine of the Scripture, and the simple nature of a generation do seem to suggest; So I shall hardly think it reasonable to quit it, till they, who assert the Creation of Souls, free it from the former incon­venience, and other such difficulties, wherewith it is alike encum­bred. For till that be done, the traduction of Souls will not on­ly be of greater probability, but serve more clearly to declare how that corruption, which our first Parents contracted, passed from them unto their Children, and so on to succeding Generations.

PART IV. Of the things signified by Baptism on the part of God, or its inward and spiritual Grace.

The Contents.

The things signified by Baptism are either more general, or particu­lar: More general, as that Covenant of Grace, which passeth be­tween God, and Man, and that body of Men, which enter into Covenant with him; More particular, what the same God doth, by vertue of that Covenant, oblige himself to bestow upon the Bap­tized, and what those Baptized ones do on their part undertake to perform. These latter ones proposed to be considered, and en­trance made with the consideration of what God obligeth himself to bestow upon the Baptized, called by the Church, An inward, and spiritual Grace. Which inward, and spiritual Grace is shewn to be of two sorts, to wit, such as tend more immediately to our spiri­tual, and eternal welfare, or such as only qualifie us for those Graces, that do so. To the former sort are reckon'd that inward, and spi­ritual Grace, which tends to free us from the guilt of sin, called by the Church forgiveness of sin; That which tends to free us from the pollution of sin, called by our Catechism A death unto it; And that, which tends to introduce the contrary purity, and hath the name of a New birth unto righteousness. To the latter sort is reckoned our union to that Body, of which Christ Jesus is the Head, and by means whereof he dispenseth the former Graces to us. Each of these resum'd, and considered in their order, and shewn [Page 66]to be, what they are usually stil'd, the inward, and spiritual Graces of Baptism, or the things signified by the outward visible Sign thereof.

BUT to return to that, from which I have di­verted, even the things signified by the outward visible sign of Baptism, which are either more general, or particular: More general, as that Covenant of Grace, which passeth between God, and Man, and that Body of Men, which enter into Covenant with him; More particular, what the same God doth by vertue of that Covenant oblige him­self to bestow upon the Baptized, and what those Baptized ones do on their part make profession of. Of those more general things I have given some account alreadyOf the Sa­craments in general, Part 2., and shall have occasion, as I go, to add yet farther light to them; I will therefore proceed forthwith to the consideration of the more particular ones, such as are on the part of God an inward and Spiritual Grace, and on the part of the Baptiz'd an abrenuntiation of their former sins, and a resolution to believe, and act, as Christianity obligeth them to do.

Now the inward and Spiritual Grace of Baptism is of two sorts, to wit, such as tend more immediately to our spiritual, and eternal welfare, or such as only qualifie us for those Graces, that do so. Of the former sort again is that inward and Spiritual Grace, which tends to free us from the guilt of sin, best known by the name of forgiveness, or that which tends to free us from the pollution of sin, called by our Catechism a death unto it, or lastly that which tends to introduce the contrary purity, and hath the name of a new birth unto Righteousness. Of the latter sort is our union to that body, of which Christ Jesus is the head, and by means of which he dispenseth the former Graces to us. For that each of these is signified on the part of God by the outward visible sign of Baptism, and consequently is a part of its inward and Spiritual Grace, will appear if we descend to particulars, which therefore I will now set my self to do.

To begin with those inward, and Spiritual Graces, which tend more immediately to our spiritual, and eternal welfare; Among which as I assign'd the first place to forgiveness of sin, so I shall make it my business to shew first, that that is a Grace which is signified by the outward visible sign of Baptism, and Secondly give a more particular account of the nature of that forgiveness, which I have said to be signified by the other.

That forgiveness of sin is a Grace signified by the outward vi­sible sign of Baptism, will appear if these two things can be made out; First, that the outward visible sign of Baptism hath a rela­tion to the forgiveness of sin, and Secondly that it hath the rela­tion of a sign unto it. For if the outward visible sign of Baptism hath the relation of a sign to the forgiveness of sin, Forgiveness of sin, as being its correlatum, must be look'd upon as signified by it. That the outward visible sign of Baptism hath a relation to the forgiveness of sin, S. Peter will not suffer us to doubt, because ad­monishingAct. 2.38. [Page 67]the Jews to be baptiz'd for the remission of sins; And as little doubt can there well be of its having the relation of a sign unto it, which is the only thing we are at present to consider: Partly, because Baptism hath been beforeOf the Sa­craments in general, Part 2. shewn to have been intended by God as a sign of many things, and why then not as a sign of that forgiveness, to which I have shewn it equally to relate, and partly because it is propos'd to us as washing away Acts 22.16. the sins of those, that are sprinkled with it. For as if the Wa­ter of Baptism be to be considered as washing away Men's sins, it must be upon the account of its being a sign of that inward Grace thereof, that doth so, as which alone can be a just foundation of attributing such a property to it (for neither can the Water of Baptism put away Men's sins, but by means of that Grace, which it conveys, nor with any propriety even so be said to wash them away, but upon the account of the likeness there is between its own natural property, and that of the divine Grace, which will make the Water of Baptism a sign, or representation of it) So if the Water of Baptism be to be considered as washing away Men's sins, it will equally lead us to believe, that it ought to be consi­dered in particular as a sign of that forgiveness, whereof we speak: Partly, because that forgiveness is an undoubted correlatum of Bap­tism, and partly because the term of washing away Men's sins is most frequently made use of to denote the forgiveness of sins, and that outward sign therefore, to which such a washing is attributed, intended as a sign of the forgiveness of them. I conclude there­fore that whatever else may be thought to be excluded from the signification of the Water of Baptism, yet it hath the relation of a sign to the forgiveness of sin, and that forgiveness therefore to be look'd upon as one of the Graces signified by it. And I shall only add, that this was always so acknowledg'd in the Church, that even the Pelagians themselves, though they deny'd all sin in Infants, and consequently left no place for the forgiveness of sin in them, yet did allow of their being Baptiz'd for the remission of sins according to the rule of the Ʋniversal Church, and the tenour of the Gospel, as appears from the words of Pelagius himselfVid. Voss. Hist. Pelag. li. 2. part. 2. Thes. 4., and those of his Scholar Coelestius.

There being therefore no doubt to be made, that forgiveness of sin is one of those inward, and Spiritual Graces, which are sig­nified by Baptism, it may not be amiss for the farther clearing of that Grace, to say somewhat concerning the nature of it, both as to those sins it pretends to assoile, and the measure of its forgive­ness. But because I have elsewhereExpl. of the Creed. Art. of The for­giveness of sins. given no contemptible ac­count thereof, and shall have occasion to resume it, when I come to shew what farther relation the outward visible sign of Baptism bears to this, and its other inward Graces; I shall content my self to observe at present, that as that forgiveness, which is signified by it, hath a relation to all our past sins, so it relates in particu­lar to Original Sin, and consequently tends alike to the cancel­ling of its Obligation. Witness not only the Churches applying this sign of it to Infants, as that too, as was before noted for the remission of sins, but S. Paul's making that quickningEphes. 2.1, which we have by Baptism, to save us as well from that wrath, which [Page 68]we were the Children of by Nature, as from our own vain con­versation, and the punishment thereof. For other sense than that as the generality of the Latins Vid. Voss. Pelag. Hist. li. 2. part. 1. Thes. 2. did not put upon the Apostles words, so neither is there indeed any necessity for, or all things con­sidered any probability of: Partly because the Apostle might in­tend to aggravate the sinfulness of Men's former estate from their natural, as well as contracted pollutions (even as David aggrava­ted hisPsal. 51.5. where he deplores his Adultery, and Murther) and partly because there is sufficient evidence from other Texts of Men's being sinful by their birth, as well as practice, and which as S. Paul's Children of wrath by Nature is more strictly agreeable to, so is therefore more reasonable to be interpreted of. And I have insi­sted so much the longer both upon this particular, and the Text I have made use of to confirm it, because as Original Sin is one main ground of Baptism, and accordingly in this very Catechism of ours represented by our Church as such, so she may seem to make use of that very Text to evidence the being of Original Sin, and the efficacy of Baptism toward the removing of it: Her words being, that as we are by nature born in sin, and the Children of wrath, so we are by Baptism made the Children of Grace.

From the Grace of forgiveness of sin pass we to that, which tends to free us from its pollution, entitled by our Church a death unto it. A grace, which as the corruption of our Nature makes necessary to be had, so cannot in the least be doubted to be sig­nified by the outward sign of Baptism: It being not only the affirmation of S. Paul that all true Christians are dead Rom. 6.2. to sin, but that they are buried by Baptism Rom. 6.4, into it, that they are by that means planted together into the likeness Rom. 6.5, of Christ's death, and that their Old Man, even the Body of sin, is crucified Rom. 6.6. with Christ in it. For as that, and other such like TextsCol. 2.12. of Scri­pture are a sufficient proof of Baptism's having a relation to our death unto sin, as well as unto the death of Christ; So they prove in like manner, that it had the relation of a sign unto it, and con­sequently make the former death to be one of the Graces signified by it: Because not only describing the Rite of Baptism under the notion of a death, and Burial, which it cannot be said to be, but as it is an image of one, but representing it as a planting of the Baptized person into the likeness of that death of Christ, which is the exemplar of the other. For what is this but to say, that it was intended as a sign, or representation of them both, and both the one, and the other therefore to be look'd upon as signified by it. The same is to be said upon the account of those Texts of Scripture, which represent the Water of Baptism as washing Acts 22.16. away the sins of Men, or (if that expression may not be thought to be full enough, because referring also to the forgiveness of them) as sanctifying, and cleansing Eph. 5.26, 27. the Church, to the end it may be holy, and without blemish. For as that shews the Water of Bap­tism to have a relation to that grace, which tends to free the Church from sinful blemishes, so it shews in like manner, that it was intended as a sign of it, and of that inward cleansing, which belongs to it: There being not otherwise any reason why the free­ing of the Church from sin by means of the Baptismal water should [Page 69]have the name of cleansing, but upon the account of the analogy there is between the natural property thereof, and the property of that Grace, to which it relates.

One only Grace remains of those, which tend more immediate­ly to our spiritual welfare, even that which our Catechism entitles a new birth unto righteousness. Concerning which I shall again shew (because that will be enough to prove, that it is a Grace signified by it) that the Water of Baptism hath a relation to it, and then that it hath the relation of a sign. I alledge for the for­mer of these S. Paul's entitling it the laver of regeneration Tit. 3.5., as our Saviour's affirmingJoh. 3.5. before him, that we are born again of that, as well as of the Spirit; For the latter what hath been before shewn in the general concerning its having been intended as a sign of the things, to which it relates. For if the Water of Bap­tism were intended as a sign of those things, to which it relates, it must consequently have bin intended as a sign of our new birth, because by the former Texts as manifestly relating to it. But so we shall be yet more fully perswaded, if it carry in it a represen­tation of that new birth, to which it doth relate. Which that it doth will need no other proof, than its being an apt representation of that spiritual purity, which the Soul puts on at its first con­version, and wherein indeed its new birthEph. 4.24. consists. For so it is in part by that cleansing quality, which is natural to it, and which induceth a purity in those bodies, to which it is applied; But especially by the use that was formerly made of it toward the washing of new-born Infants from those impurities, which they contracted from the Womb: This last serving to set forth the first beginnings of our spiritual purity, as well as the former doth that purity it self. And I shall only add, that as a resurrection from the Dead is also a kind of new Birth, and accordingly so re­presented by the Scriptures themselves (witness their entituling our Saviour upon the account of his Resurrection the first-begotten Col. 1.18. from the dead, yea making that Resurrection of his to be a completionActs 13.33. of that signal prediction of GodPsal. 2.7. Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee) So the same Scriptures do not only represent our new birth unto Righteousness under the noti­on of a Resurrection, but sufficiently intimate that whether Birth or Resurrection to be a Grace signified by it: Because not only admonishing us to look upon our selves as alive unto God by Bap­tismRom. 6.11., as well as dead unto sin in it, but as risen Col. 2 12. with Christ therein through the faith of the operation of him, who raised him from the dead. For how come Men by reason of their being alive unto God through Baptism to be affirmed to have risen with Christ in it, but upon the account of that Baptism of theirs being a representation of that new life, or birth, which we have by the means of it, as well as of the Resurrection of our Saviour?

I will conclude what I have to say concerning the inward, and Spiritual Grace of Baptism, when I have taken notice of that, which though it do not immediately tend to our spiritual, and eternal welfare, yet qualifies us for those Graces, that do; Even our union to that Body, of which Christ Jesus is the Head, and by means of which he dispenseth the other graces to us. For that [Page 70]that is also signified by the outward visible sign of Baptism, will appear if we consider that visible sign as having a relation to it, and then as having the relation of a sign. Of the former where­of as S. Paul will not suffer us to doubt, because affirming all1 Cor. 12.13. whether Jews or Gentiles to be baptiz'd into that body; So there will be as little doubt of the other from the general design of its institution, and from what S. Paul intimates in the former place concerning it: That expression of being baptized into the body of Christ importing our being receiv'd by Baptism within it, as the body of the Baptized is within those waters, wherein he is im­mersed. Which will consequently make that Rite a true, and proper sign of Our Union to Christ's Body, and that union therefore a thing signified by it.

Such are the things, which are by Baptism signified on the part of God, and Christ, or (that I may speak in the language of our Church) the inward, and spiritual Graces thereof. It remains that I also shew the things signified by it on the part of the Baptized, even an Abrenunciation of their former sins, and a resolution to believe, and act, as Christianity obligeth them to do. But because both the one, and the other of these will be more clearly under­stood, if they be handled apart, and whatsoever is to be known concerning each of them laid as near together as may be; There­fore having begun to entreat of the inward and spiritual Grace of Baptism, I will continue my Discourse concerning it, and ac­cordingly go on to enquire what farther relation the outward visi­ble sign of Baptism hath to its inward and Spiritual Grace, or Graces, and first of all to Forgiveness of sin.

PART V. Of Forgiveness of sin by Baptism.

The Contents.

Of the relation of the sign of Baptism to its inward, and spiritual Grace, and particularly to Forgiveness of sin; Which is either that of a means fitted by God to convey it, or of a pledge to assure the Baptized person of it. The former of these relations more par­ticularly considered, as that too with respect to Forgiveness of Sin in the general, or the Forgiveness of all Sin whatsoever, and Ori­ginal Sin in particular. As to the former whereof is alledged first the Scriptures calling upon Men to be Baptiz'd for the remission, or forgiveness of sin, Secondly the Church's making that Forgiveness a part of her Belief, and Doctrine, Thirdly the agreeing opinions or practices of those, who were either unsound members of it, or Separatists from it, And Fourthly the Calumnies of its enemies. The like evidence made of the latter from the Scripture's proposing Baptism, and its Forgiveness as a remedy against the greatest guilts, and in special against that wrath, which we are Children of by Na­ture. From the premises is shewn, that the sign of Baptism is a pledge to assure the Baptized of Forgiveness, as well as a means fitted by God for the conveying of it.

NOW as the outward visible sign of Baptism hath, beside that of a sign, the relation of a means fit­ted by God to convey the inward, and spiritual Grace, and of a pledge to assure the Baptized per­son of it; So being now to entreat of its rela­tion to that of the Forgiveness of sins, we must therefore consider it under each of them, and first as a means fitted by God for the conveying of it.

In the handling whereof I will proceed in this method; First, I will shew that it hath indeed such a relation to Forgiveness in the [Page 72]general, Secondly, that it hath such a relation to the Forgiveness of all sins whatsoever, and particularly of Original.

That the outward visible sign of Baptism hath such a relation to Forgiveness in the general, will appear from the ensuing Topicks.

  • I. From the plain, and undoubted Doctrine of the Scri­pture.
  • II. From the consentient Doctrine, and Belief of the Church.
  • III. From the whether practices, or opinions of the unsound members of it, or Separatists from it.
  • IV. From the Calumnies of the open Enemies thereof.

I. What the Doctrine of the Scripture is in this affair cannot be unknown to any, who have reflected upon what S. Peter said to those Jews, who demanded of him, and his fellow Apostles what they should do to avert the guilt they had contracted, and what Ananias said to Paul, who was remitted to him upon the same ac­count. For to the former S. Peter made answer among other things that they should be baptiz'dActs 2.38. for the remission of sins; Which shews what Baptism was intended for, and what therefore, if they were duly qualified, they might certainly expect from it: To the latter Ananias, that he should arise, and be baptized, Acts 22, 16. and wash away his sins. Which effect as it cannot be thought-to referr to any thing but the preceding Baptism, and therefore neither but make that Baptism the proper means of accomplishing it; So can much less be thought to exclude, or rather not principally to intend the washing away the guilt of them: Partly because (as was be­fore observ'd) that is the most usual sense of washing away sins, and partly because most agreeable to the disconsolate condition Paul was then in, as well as to the foregoing declaration of S. Peter.

II. To the Doctrine of the Scripture subjoyn we the consenti­ent Doctrine, and belief of the Church, as which though it cannot add to the Authority of the other, yet will no doubt conferr much to the clearing of its sense, and of that Doctrine, which we have deduced from it. Now what evidence there is of such a consent will need no other proof than the Doctrine of her Creed Creed in the Commu­nion-serv., and the use she made of the simple Baptism of Infants to establish against the Pelagians the being of that Original Sin they call'd in question. For how otherwise could the Church call upon Men to declare, that they believ'd one Baptism for the remission of sins? Yea, though she thought it otherwise necessary to inculcate Baptism, as well as remission, and the single administration of it, as well as either. For beside that both the one, and the other might have been declar'd by themselves, as well as in the tenour, wherein they are now exhibited; Had it not been a thing otherwise certain that remission of sins was an effect of Baptism, to have subjoyn'd it to Baptism, as it is now, would have been a means to render it uncertain, and consequently all the hopes of a Christian toge­ther with it. Again, if there had been any the least doubt in the [Page 73]Church concerning this relation of Baptism, I mean as a means to convey remission of sins to the Baptized party; How could she have made use of the simple Baptism Voss. Hist. Velag. li. 2. Part. 2. An­tithes. 4. of Infants to establish against the Pelagians the being of that Original sin, which they call'd in question? For that Argument of hers proceeding upon the supposition of remission of sins by Baptism, as that again upon the supposition of something to be remitted in the party baptized, which in Infants could be no other than that Original Sin, which she asserted; If Baptism had not been certainly intended for the remission of sins, that argument of hers had been of no force, yea rather weakned, than any way strengthened that Original Sin, which she maintain'd: Especially, when it was a like certain, and accordingly reply'd by the Pelagians, Voss. ibid. Thes. 4. that Baptism had other uses, and for which it might be suppos'd to have been conferr'd up­on Infants, though they had nothing at all of sinful in them.

III. But beside the suffrage of the Church of God, which both publish'd this Doctrine in her Creed, and argued others from it; It is farther to be observ'd, that those, who were none of the soundest members of it, nor indeed as yet perfect ones, confirm'd it by their opinions, and practices, as they also did in some mea­sure, who yet separated from it in this affair. Witness, for the former, their deferring their Baptism to their death beds; Whether (as the Fathers Tertul. de Poenitent. c. 8. sometime charg'd them) that they might sin so much the more securely in the mean time, or (as I rather think for the most part) because they were not well assur'd of the like efficacious means for the forgiveness of them. For which soever of these two were the occasion of that delay, manifest it is even from thence, that they had a high opinion of the forgiveness of sin by Baptism, but much more from the hazard they ran of going out of the World without it, and the contrariety of that their delay to the practice of the first ChristiansActs 2.41., as well as to the sentimentsCod. Eccl. Ʋniv. can. 57. of their own times concerning it. It being not to be thought, that Men of ordinary prudence would run up­on so great an irregularity, as well as danger, unless they also be­liev'd, that if they hapned to obtain Baptism, they should obtain together with it so plentiful a forgiveness, as would make ample amends for the other. And though we cannot so reasonably ex­pect the like evidence from Hereticks, and much less from those, whose business was in a great measure to depretiate the value of Baptism, as it is certain the Pelagians was; Yet as even they (as was beforeExpl. of Bapt. Part 4. observ'd) allow'd the Baptizing of Infants into the same rule of Faith with those of riper years, and consequent­ly into remission of sins; So they denyed not, as to Men of riper yearsVoss. Hist. Pelag. li. 2. Part. 2. Thes. 4., that Baptism was efficacious toward it, and that as they were baptiz'd into the belief of remission of sins, so they receiv'd that remission by it.

IV. In fine, so notorious as well as prevalent was the Doctrine of forgiveness of sin by Baptism, that the adversaries of the Church, and of Christianity took occasion from thence to calumniate them for it, and made that Doctrine of theirs one of their greatest crimes. [Page 74]Of which, to omit others, we have a remarkable proof in Ju­lian Orat. cui tit. [...] p. 53., who makes Constantius, or rather Christianity in him, thus to bespeak the World. Whosoever is a corrupter of Women, or a Murtherer, or impure, or abominable, let him come with con­fidence. For having wash'd him with this water, I will make him pre­sently clean; And though he be afterward guilty of the like crimes, yet I will take care to cleanse him from them, if he will but smite his breast, and knock his head. The former part whereof is a mani­fest allusion to Baptism, and its effects, the latter to the peniten­tial discipline of the Church. And it ought the rather to be taken notice of, because as it bears witness to that forgiveness of sin by Baptism, which hath been hitherto our design to advance, so it will contribute in part toward the proving, what comes next in order, even

That the outward visible sign of Baptism hath that relation, whereof we speak, to the forgiveness of all sins whatsoever, and particularly of Original Sin: There being little doubt as to the for­merof these, if (as Christianity is there made to speak) adultery, and murther were wash'd away by the waters of it. But so that Christianity it self taught, as well as was affirmed by this its ad­versary to do, is not only evident from what hath been elsewhere saidExpl. of the Creed. Art. The forgiveness of sins. concerning its tendering forgiveness of sins indefinitely, and particularly in the laver of Baptism, but from the quality of those criminals, whom it invited to forgiveness by it. For thus we find it to have done those Jews Acts 2.38., whom it before charg'dActs 2.23. with the murther of our Lord, and him in particularActs 22.16., who else­where1 Tim. 1.13. confesseth himself to have been a blasphemer, a persecu­ter, and injurious, yea was intent upon that execrable employment at the time he was first invited to forgiveness. But therefore as I cannot either conceive, or allow of any other abatement in this forgiveness, than that which is to be made upon account of the sin against the Holy Ghost, and which what it is, hath been else­whereExpl. of the Creed. Art. The forgiveness, &c. declar'd; So I shall need only to take notice of the re­ference it hath to that Original Sin, which is the unhappy parent of all the rest. Not that there can be any great doubt as to the pardon of that, where it appears that the most heinous actual sins are pardoned, but because Baptism hath been thought by our Church See the Office of Bapt. and the Cate­chism. to have a more peculiar reference to it, and because if it can be prov'd to have such a reference to its forgiveness, it will be of signal use to shew the necessity of baptizing Infants, in whom that sin doth alike predominate. Now though it be hard to find any one Text of Scripture, where that forgiveness, whereof we speak, is expresly attributed to Baptism; Yet will it not be difficult to deduce it from thatEph. 2.1. &c., which I have before shewn to entreat of our becoming the children of wrath by nature, as well as by the wickedness of our conversations. For opposing to the corruption, or rather deadness, which accrues by both, the quickning we have together with Christ, and which quickning he else­whereCol. 2.12. as expresly affirms to be accomplished in us by Baptism; Affirming moreover that quickning to bring salvation Eph. 2.5-8., and peace Eph. 2.14-17., and reconciliationEph. 2.16. (for so he discourseth of it in the following Verses of that Chapter) he must consequently make [Page 75]that quickning, and the means of it to tend to the forgiveness of both, and particularly of natural corruption: Because as that quickning is by him oppos'd to both, so it must in this particular be look'd upon as more peculiarly opposed to the latter, because that is more peculiarly affirm'd to make Men the Children of wrath, and ven­geance.

Such evidence there is of the outward visible sign of Baptism being a means fitted by God to convey that forgiveness, whereof we speak; And we shall need no other proof than that of its being also a pledge to assure the baptized person of it. For since God cannot be suppos'd to fit any thing for an end, which he doth not on his part intend to accomplish by it; He, who knows him­self to partake of that, which is fitted by God to convey forgive­ness of sin, may know alike, and be assur'd as to the part of God of his receiving that forgiveness, as well as the outward means of its conveyance. For which cause in my Discourse of its other in­ward, and spiritual Graces I shall take notice only of that out­ward, and visible sign as a means fitted by God to convey them, because its being also a pledge may be easily deduced from it.

PART VI. Of Mortification of sin, and Regeneration by Baptism.

The Contents.

Of the relation of the sign of Baptism to such inward, and spiritual Graces, as tend to free us from the pollution of sin, or introduce the contrary purity; And that relation shewn to be no less than that of a means, whereby they are convey'd. This evidenced as to the former, even our death unto sin (which is also explain'd) from such Texts of Scripture, as make mention of our being baptiz'd into it, and buried by Baptism in it, or from such as describe us as cleansed by the washing of it. The like evidenc'd from the same Scripture concerning the latter, even our new birth unto righte­ousness; As that again farther clear'd as to this particular by the consentient Doctrine, and practice of the Church, by the opinion the Jews had of that Baptism, which was a Type, and exemplar of ours, and the expressions of the Heathen concerning it. The Doctrine of the Church more largely insisted upon, and exemplified from Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and S. Cyprian.

I Have considered the sign of Baptism hitherto in its relation to Forgiveness, that Grace, which tends to free men from their guilt, and is for that purpose convey'd by Baptism to us; I come now to consider it in its relation to those, which either tend to free them from the pollution of sin, best known by the name of a Death unto it, or to in­troduce the contrary righteousness, and is call'd a new birth unto it. Where again I shall shew in each of them, that as the out­ward work of Baptism hath the relation of a sign unto them, so it hath equally the relation of a means fitted by God to convey them, and where it is duly receiv'd, doth not fail to introduce them.

To begin (as is but meet) with that, which hath the name of a Death unto sin, because sin must be first subdu'd, before the con­trary quality can be introduc'd; Where first I will enquire what we are to understand by it, and then what evidence there is of the sign of Baptism's being fitted to convey it.

For the better understanding the former whereof we are to know, that as Men by the corruption of their nature are inclined unto sin, and yet more by the irregularity of their conversations, so those inclinations are to the persons in whom they are, as a principle of life to a living Creature, and accordingly do both dis­pose them to act sutably thereto, and make them brisk, and vigo­rous in it. Now as it cannot well be expected, that where such inclinations prevail, Men should pursue those things, which piety, and vertue prompt them to, so it was the business of Philosophy first, and afterwards of Religion, if not wholly to destroy those inclinations, yet at least to subdue them in such sort, that they should be in a manner dead, and the persons, in whom they were, so far forth dead also; They neither finding in themselves the like inclinations to actual sin, nor hurried on by them, when they did. How little able Philosophy was to contribute to so blessed an ef­fect is not my business to shew, nor indeed will there be any need of it, after what I have elsewhereExpl. of the Crced. Art. I believe in the Holy Ghost. said concerning the necessity of the divine Grace in order to it. But as Christianity doth every where pretend to the doing of it, and (which is more) both re­presents that effect under the name of a death unto sin, and com­pares Men's thus dying with that natural death, which our Savi­our underwent, so it may the more reasonably pretend to the pro­ducing of it, because it also pretends to furnish Men with the power of his Grace, to which such an effect cannot be suppos'd to be disproportionate. The only thing in question as to our present con­cernment is, whether as the outward work of Baptism hath un­doubtedly the relation of a sign unto it, so it hath also the re­lation of a means fitted by God for the conveying of it, and what evidence there is of that relation.

Now there are two sorts of Texts, which bear witness to this relation, as well as to its having that more confessed relation of a sign. Whereof the former entreat of this Grace under the title of a death unto sin, the latter of a cleansing from it. Of the former sort I reckon that well known place to the Romans, where S. Paul doth not only suppose all true ChristiansRom. 6.2. to be dead to sin, and accordingly argue from it the unfitness of their living any longer therein, but affirm all, that are baptized into Jesus Christ Rom. 6.3., to be baptized into that death, yea to be buried by Baptism Rom. 6.4, into it; to be planted together Rom. 6.5, by that means in the likeness of Christs death, and to have their old Man Rom. 6.6., or the body of sin crucified with him. For shall we say that S. Paul meant no more by all this, than that the design of Baptism, and the several parts of it was to represent to us the necessity of our dying, and being buried as to sin, and that accordingly all, that are baptized into Christ, make profession of their resolution so to do, but not that they are indeed buried by Baptism as to that particular. But beside that we are not lightly to depart from the propriety of the Scripture phrase [Page 79]which must be acknowledg'd rather to favour a real death, than the bare signification of it; That Apostle doth moreover affirm those, whom he before describ'd as dead, to be freed Rom. 7.18. from sin, yea so farRom. 7.18. as to have passed over into another service, even that of righteousness, and to have obeyed from the heart Rom. 7.17. that form of Doctrine, into which they had been delivered. Which suppos'd (as it may, because the direct affirmation of S. Paul) will make that death, whereof we speak, to be a death in reality, as well as in figure, and accordingly (because Men are affirmed to be bapti­zed into it) shew that Baptism to be a means of conveying it, as well as a representation of it. Agreeable hereto, or rather yet more express is that of the same Apostle to the Colossians Col. 2.11. though va­rying a little from the other, as to the manner of expression. For having affirmed them through Christ to have put off the body of the sins of the flesh by a circumcision not made with hands, and con­sequently by a spiritual one, he yet adds (lest any should fancy that spiritual Circumcision to accrue to them without some cere­monial one) in the Circumcision of Christ, even that Baptism, which, conformably to the circumcision of the Jews, he had ap­pointed for their entrance into his Religion by, and wherein he accordingly affirms, as he did in the former place, that they were not only buried with him, but had risen together with him by the faith of the operation of God, who raised him from the dead. From whence as it is clear, that the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh (which is but another expression for a death unto them) is though accomplished by a spiritual Grace, yet by such a one, as is conveyed to us by Baptism, so it becomes yet more clear by what he adds concerning Men's rising with him in the same Bap­tism, even to a life contrary to what they had before deposited, through the faith of the operation of God. For as we cannot con­ceive of that rising with Christ as other than a real one, because there would not otherwise have needed such a faith, as that, to bring it about; So neither therefore but think the like of that death, which it presupposeth, and consequently that that Baptism, to which it is annex'd, is a means of conveying it, as well as a re­presentation of it. But so we may be yet more convinc'd by such Texts of Scripture, as speak of this death unto sin under the no­tion of a cleansing from it. Of which nature is that so often al­ledged oneEph. 5.26, 27. concerning Christ's sanctifying, and cleansing his Church with the washing of water by the word. For as it appears from what is afterwards subjoyn'd as the end of that cleansing, even that the Church might not have any spot, or wrinkle, but that it should be holy, and without blemish; As it appears, I say, from thence, that the Apostle speaks in the verse before concerning a cleansing from the filth of sin, which is but another expression for the put­ting off the body of sin, or a death unto it; So it appears in like manner from S. Paul's attributing that cleansing to the washing of water, that the outward sign of Baptism is by the appointment, and provision of God, a means of conveying that spiritual Grace, by which that cleansing is more immediately effected, and that death unto sin procur'd.

From that death unto sin therefore pass we to our new birth unto righteousness, that other inward, and spiritual Grace of Baptism, and the complement of the former. A Grace of whose convey­ance by Baptism we can much less doubt, if we consider the lan­guage of the Scripture concerning it, or the Doctrine, as well as practice of the Church; The opinion the Jews had of that, which seems to have been its type, and exemplar, or the expressions even of the Heathen concerning it.

For what less can the Scripture be thought to mean, when it af­firms us to be born of the water Joh. 3.5. of it, as well as of the spirit, yea so, as to be as truly spirit Joh. 3.6., as that, which is born of the flesh, is flesh? What less can it be thought to mean, when it enti­tles it the laver of Tit. 3.5. Regeneration, and which is more, affirms us to be saved by it, as well as by the renewing of the Holy Ghost? What less, when it requires us to look upon our selves as alive Rom. 6.11. unto God by it, as well as buried Rom. 6.4. by it into the former death, or (as the same Apostle elsewhere expresseth it) as risen with Christ in it Col. 2.12. through the faith of the operation of God, who raised him from the dead? In fine, what less when it affirms us to be sancti­fied with the washing Eph. 5.26. of it, as well as it elsewhere doth by the influences of God's Spirit. For these expressions shew plainly enough, that Baptism hath its share in the producing of this new birth, as well as the efficacy of God's Spirit; And consequently that it is at least the conveyer of that Grace, by which it is more immediately produc'd.

And indeed as, if men would come without prejudice, they would soon see enough in those expressions to convince them of as much as I have deduced from them; So they might see yet more (if they pass'd so far) in the doctrine, and language of the Church, to confirm them in that Interpretation of them. For who ever even of the first, and purest times spake in a lower strain concerning Bap­tism? who ever made less of it, than of a means, by which we are regenerated? I appeal for a proof hereof to their so unanimously See Part 2. understanding of Baptism what our Saviour spake to Nicode­mus concerning the necessity of men's being born again of water, and of the spirit. For as all men whatsoever interpret that of our new birth unto righteousness, and, so far, as the spirit of God is con­cerned in it, of the means, by which it is produc'd; So they must therefore believe, that if the Antients understood it of Baptism, they allotted that its share in it, and consequently made it at least a conveyer of that Grace, by which this new birth is produc'd. I appeal farther to the particular declarations of some of the most eminent among them, and which whosoever shall seriously consi­der, will wonder how it should come to fall back to a naked, and ineffectual sign. For Justin Martyr Apolog. 2. p. 93, 94. speaking concerning those, who had prepar'd themselves for Baptism, affirms them to be brought by the brethren to a place, where water is, and there to be regenera­ted after that way of regeneration, wherewith they themselves were. Which what it was, and of how great force he afterwards shews, by affirming them thereunto to be wash'd in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as that too conformably to what our Saviour spake concerning the necessity of men's being born again, To what the Pro­phet [Page 81]Isaiah meant, when he said, Wash you, make you clean, put away wickednesses from your souls; And in fine, to procure their delive­rance from that, whether natural, or habitual corruptions they were under the power of. For these things shew plainly enough, that as he spake of the Baptismal regeneration, so he spake of it too as a thing, which procur'd, as well as figur'd the internal regenera­tion of them. To the same purpose doth Tertullian discourse, and particularly in his Tract de Baptismo; Witness his calling it, in the very beginning thereof, that happy Sacrament of our water, where­with being wash'd from the faults of our present blindness, we are freed into eternal life; His affirming presently after, that we the lesser fishes, according to that [...], or greater one Jesus Christ, are born in the water, neither can continue safe, unless we abide in it; That we ought not to wonder, if the waters of Baptism give life, when that Element was the first, that brought forth any living creature; That, as the Spi­rit of God moved at the beginning upon the face of waters, so the same spirit of God, after the invocation of his name, doth descend from Heaven upon those of Baptism, and having sanctified them from him­self gives them a power of sanctifying others. For these and the like passages shew as plainly, that that Authour look'd upon the out­ward sign of Baptism as contributing in its place to the producti­on of our new birth, or sanctification, as well as to the represen­tation of it. But of all the Antient Fathers, that have entreated of this affair, or indeed of that Sacrament, which we are now upon the consideration of, there is no one, who hath spoken more, or more to the purpose than S. Cyprian, or whose words therefore will be more fit to consider. Only, that I may not multiply testimo­nies without necessity, I will content my self with one single one, but which indeed for the fulness thereof will serve instead of ma­ny, and be moreover as clear a testimony of our dying unto sin by Baptism, as of our regeneration by it. For when (saith heEpist. ad Donat.) I lay in darkness, and under the obscurity of the Night; When un­certain and doubtful I floated on the Sea of this tossing World, ig­norant of my own life, and as great a stranger to truth, I thought it exceeding difficult, as the manners of Men then were, that any one should be born again, as the divine mercy had promis'd, and that being animated to a new life by the laver of salutary water, he should put off that which he was before, and whilst the frame of his body con­tinu'd the same, become a new Man in his heart, and mind. For how (said I) is it possible, that that should be suddenly put off, which ei­ther being natural is now grown hard by the natural situation of the matter, or contracted by a long custom hath been improv'd by old Age, &c. To these, and the like purposes I often discours'd with my self; For as I was at that time entangled with many errours of my former life, which I did not then think it was possible for me to put off; So I willingly gave obedience to those vices, that stuck to me, and through a despair of better things, I favour'd my evils, as though they had been my proper, and domestick ones. But after that through the assistance of this generating water the blemishes of my former life were wash'd off, and my mind thus purged had a light from above poured into it; Af­ter that the second birth had chang'd me into a new Man through the force of that spirit, or breath, which I suck'd in from above; Then [Page 82]those things, which were before doubtful, became exceeding certain, and manifest; things; which were before shut, were then laid open, and dark things made light. Then that, which before seemed difficult, appear'd to help, rather than hinder, and that, which sometime was thought impossible, as possible to be done. So that it was not difficult to discern, that that was earthly, which being carnally born did before live obnoxious to faults, and that that began to be God's, which the Holy Ghost now animated. You your self verily know, and will as readi­ly acknowledge with me, what was either taken from, or bestow'd up­on us by that death of crimes, and life of vertues. Which as it is an illustrious testimony of the force of Baptism in this particular, and with what reason we have affirm'd it to be a means of pro­curing the former death, and birth; So I have the more willingly taken notice of it, because it comes so near even in its expression to what our Catechism hath represented as the inward and spiritual Grace thereof: There being no great difference between a death of crimes, and life of vertues, which is the expression of that Father, and a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness, which is the other's. And I shall only add, that as the Doctrine of the Church must therefore be thought to bear sufficient testimony to Baptism's being a means of our regeneration; So its practice is in this particular answerable to its Doctrine, and though in another way proclaims the same thing. Witness what hath been elsewhere observ'd concerning its giving Milk, and Hony See Part 3. to the new Bap­tized person, as to an Infant new-born, its requiring him present­ly after Baptism to sayExpl. of the Lord's Prayer in the words Our Fa he [...]. De vitâ B. Martini c. 1. Necdum tamen regeneratus in Christo agebat quendam bonis operibus Bap­tismatis candi­da [...]um. Our Father, &c. as a testimony of his Son-ship by it; And in fine its making use of the word regenera­ted to signifie Baptized: As is evident for the Greek Writers from what was but now quoted out of Justin Martyr, and from Sul­pit [...]us Severus among the Latins. Which things put together make it yet more clear, that whatever it may be now accounted, yet the Church of God ever look'd upon the Sacrament of Baptism as a mean of our internal regeneration.

And indeed as it is hard to believe, that it ought to be otherwise esteem'd, considering what hath been alledg'd either from Scri­pture, or the declarations of the Church; So it will appear to be yet harder, if we consider the opinion of the Jews concerning that, which may seem to have been both it's Type, and exemplar. For as I have made it appear beforePart 1., that even they were not with­out their Baptism, and such a one, as was moreover intended for the same general ends, for which both their Circumcision was, and our Baptism is; So I have made it appear alsoIbid., that the per­sons so baptiz'd among them were accounted as persons new-born, yea so far, that after that time they were not to own any of their former relations; In fine, that that new birth was look'd upon as so singular, that it gave occasion to their Cabalistical Doctors to teach, that the old soul of the Baptized Proselyte vanished, and a new one succeeded in its place. For if this was the condition of that Type of Christian Baptism, how much more of the Antitype there­of? Especially when it is farther probable (as hath been alsoPart 2. noted from the discourse of our Saviour to Nicodemus) that he both [Page 83]alluded in it to that Baptism of theirs, and intimated the conformi­ty of his own Baptism to it in that particular.

And though after so full an evidence of this relation of Bap­tism to regeneration it may seem hardly worth our while to alledge the expressions of the Heathen concerning it; Yet I cannot for­bear, for the conformity thereof to the pre­sent argument, to take notice of one remar­kable one of Lucian Lucian. Philopatr. p. 999. [...]., who brings in one Triepho thus discoursing after his scoffing man­ner. But when (saith he) that Galilean ligh­ted upon me, who had a bald Pate, a great Nose, who ascended up to the third Heaven, and there learn'd the most excellent things (mean­ing, as is suppos'd S. Paul) he renewed us by water, made us to tread in the footsteps of the blessed, and deliver'd us from the Regions of the ungodly. In which passage under the title of renewing men by water he personates the Christian Doctrine concerning their be­ing regenerated, or renewed by Baptism, and accordingly makes it the subject of his reproach.

PART VII. Of our Ʋnion to the Church by Baptism.

The Contents.

Of the relation of the sign of Baptism to our Ʋnion to the Church, and that relation shewn to be no less than that of a means, whereby that Ʋnion is made. This evidenc'd in the first place from the decla­rations of the Scripture, more particularly from its affirming all Chri­stians to be baptiz'd into that Body, as those, who were first bap­tiz'd after the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, to have been thereby added to their company, and made partakers with the rest in the Apostles Doctrine, and fellowship, in breaking of Bread, and in Prayers. The like evidence of the same Union to the Church by Baptism from the declarations of the Church it self, and the consequences of that Ʋnion shewn to be such, as to make that also to be accounted one of the inward, and spiritual Graces of that Baptism, by which it is made.

HAving thus given an account of such inward, and spiritual Graces of Baptism, as tend more imme­diately to our spiritual, and eternal welfare; It remains that I say somewhat of that, which though of no such immediate tendency, yet is not without all, because qualifying us for the reception of the other: That Ʋnion I mean, which we thereby obtain to Christ's mystical body the Church, and by which we, who were before Aliens from it, as well as from God, and Christ, become members of the Church, and parta­kers of the several priviledges thereof. Which Ʋnion if any Man scruple to reckon among the inward, and spiritual Graces of Bap­tism properly so call'd, I will not contend with him about it; Pro­vided he also allow of it as a thing signified by it on the part of God, and Christ, and as moreover a Grace, and favour to the per­son, [Page 86]on whom it is bestow'd. For as that is all I ask at present concerning the Union now in question; So what I farther mean by it's being an inward, and spiritual Grace shall be clear'd in the process of this Discourse, and receive that establishment, which it requires. In order whereunto I will shew the outward and visible sign of Baptism to be a means, whereby that Union is made, and then point out the consequences of that Union.

That the outward visible sign of Baptism is in the nature of a means, whereby we are united to the Church, will appear if we re­flect upon what the Scripture hath said concerning it; or the agree­ing declarations of the Church it self. For what else (to begin with the former) can S. Paul 1 Cor. 12.13. be thought to mean, where he affirms all whether Jews, or Gentiles, or of what ever other outward dif­ferences, to have been baptiz'd by one spirit into one body? For as it is plain from the foregoing1 Cor. 12.12. verse, or verses, that S. Paul en­treats of Christ's Body the Church, and consequently that the bap­tizing here spoken of must be meant of our Baptizing into it; So it is alike plain from what it was designed to prove, as well as from the natural force of the expression, that it was set to denote also our being united to it thereby. For as we cannot impose a more na­tural sense upon Baptized into that body, than our being receiv'd by Baptism into it, as the Baptized person is within the water, and consequently some way united to it; So much less if we consider what it was intended to prove, even1 Cor. 12.12. that Christians, how many soever, are but that one body. For how doth their being baptiz'd into it prove them to be that one Body, but that that vi­sible sign, by which they are so, unites them to one another, and to the whole? A meer sign of Union, though it may shew what the partakers thereof ought to be, yet being no just proof of what they are, and much less (as S. Paul seems to argue) that they are so by the means of it. And indeed, as it will therefore be hard to make the sign here spoken of to be any thing less than a means of our Union to the Church; So especially, if we consider what is elsewhere said concerning those, who first after the descent of the Holy Ghost, were baptized in the name of Christ: S. Luke not only affirming of those new baptiz'd ones, that they were added to Acts 2.41. the Apostles, and their other company, (which he afterwards expressethActs 2.47. by added to the Church) but that they were partakersActs 2.42. with the rest in the Apostles Doctrine, and fel­lowship, and in breaking of bread, and in Prayers. For this shews their having an interest in all the priviledges of that Body, and therefore much more their being united to it. But so it appears that the Antient Church esteemed of it, whose determination is of the more force, because it is only about the supposed means of Union to its own Body; Justin Martyr, after he had spoken of the baptizing of such as offer'd themselves to the Christian Church (which he himself expresseth, when so baptiz'd, by [...], or conjoyned with themselves) affirming that they were imme­diately brought where the brethren were assembled, there to partake with them of the common Prayers, that were then offer'd up, of the kiss of peace, and of the Lord's Supper. Which last particu­lar I have the more confidently represented the new baptized per­sons [Page 87]as then admitted to, because the same Father doth not only make no distinction between them, and the other brethren in it, though he subjoyns the business of the Eucharist to the former Prayers, and kiss of peace, but affirms the same Eucharist pre­sently after to be lawful to none to partake of, but those that be­liev'd their Doctrine, receiv'd the laver of regeneration, and liv'd as Christ delivered. For as he intimates there by the admission of those that believ'd, and were baptiz'd, if they were also such as liv'd as Christ deliver'd, which the new baptized were in reason to be accounted, till they had given proof to the contrary; So there is reason to believe from the use of Excommunication in the Church, that that addition of living as Christ deliver'd was not made to bar the new baptized from it, till they gave farther proof of such a life, but to intimate the exclusion of those, who, after they had been admitted to it, liv'd otherwise, than Christianity prescrib'd: So making the persons excluded the unbaptiz'd, or ill li­ving Christians, and consequently the contrary thereto admitted. I deny not indeed, that the Rite of Confirmation did very antiently come between the receiving of Baptism, and the Eucharist. I deny not farther, because of what was beforeExpl. of the Sacrament in general. Part 4. quoted from Justin Martyr concerning the particular Prayer that was made for the new baptized person, that the substance thereof was then in use, even prayer for grace for him to live as he had but now profess'd. But as the design of Confirmation appears to have been to procure for the new baptiz'd a more plentiful effusion of God's Graces, which is no intimation at all of his having been before no perfect Christi­an, or not perfectly united to the Church, so Baptism may for all that be look'd upon as the means of our Union to the Church, which is all, that I have taken upon me to assert. For the far­ther evidencing whereof I will in the next place alledge a passage of Tertullian De Bapt: c. 6., which will, though not so directly, prove the same thing; That I mean where he saith, that when the profes­sion of our faith, and sponsion of our salvation are pledged under the three witnesses before spoken of, there is necessarily added thereto the mention of the Church, because where those three are, even the Fa­ther, Son, and Holy Ghost, there is also the Church, which is the body of the Three. For as it is evident from thence, that Men were even from his time baptiz'd expresly into the belief of the Church, as well as into the belief of the Trinity; So it will not be diffi­cult to inferr, that they were also baptiz'd into the unity thereof, and made members of the Church by it: Because as he affirms the Trinity to become Sponsors of our Salvation in Baptism, as well as either Witnesses, or objects of our Profession; So he affirms those Sponsors to be as it were embodyed in the Church, and con­sequently to exert their saving influences within it, which sup­poseth Men's being united to it by Baptism in order to their par­taking of the salutariness of the other. And indeed, though in that form, which our Saviour prescrib'dMatt. 28.19. for Baptism, there is mention only of baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, yet inasmuch as he prescrib'd that very form for the making of Disciples Ibid. by, he must consequently be suppos'd to propose it for the aggregating them to that body, which he [Page 88]had already begun to frame, and making them alike members of it.

There being therefore no doubt to be made of the outward vi­sible sign of Baptism being a means of our Ʋnion to Christ's my­stical body the Church, it may not be amiss (if it were only to manifest the great advantages thereof, as to that particular) to shew the consequences of that Ʋnion. Which we shall find in the general to be a right to all those priviledges, which Christ hath purchas'd for it; More particularly to the partaking of its Sacred Offices, and in, and through the means of them of those inward, and spiritual Graces, which those Sacred Offices were intended to procure, or convey. For every member of a Society being by that membership of his entituled to all the priviledges, that be­long to it as such; He, who becomes a member of Christ's Body, the Church (as every Man, who is united to it by Bap­tism, doth) must in his proportion be entituled to all those pri­viledges, which Christ hath purchas'd for it, and particularly to the priviledge of partaking of its sacred Offices, and in, and by the means of them, of those inward and spiritual Graces, which those sacred Offices were intended to procure, or convey. Which how great a commendation it is of our Ʋnion to that Body, and consequently of that Baptism, by which it was made, will need no other proof than the Scripture's assuring us that Christ is the Sa­viour Eph. 5.23. of that Body, and the promises it makes to those PrayersMatt. 18.19, 20., that are made by it, and to that EucharistMatt. 26.26, &c., which is admini­stred in it; The purport of those promises being no other, than the granting what is asked by it, and particularly all those bene­fits, which Christ's Body and Blood were intended for the pro­curing of. And if these be, as no doubt they are, the consequen­ces of our union to the Church by Baptism, yea so far (as I have elsewhereExpl. the Creed, Art. of The for­giveness sins. shewn) that they are not ordinarily to be attained out of it; That very Union may not improperly be stil'd one of its inward and spiritual Graces, because leading to those, that are most strictly such, and indeed the only ordinary means of ob­taining them.

PART VIII. Of the Profession that is made by the Baptized person.

The Contents.

The things signified by Baptism on the part of the baptized brought under consideration, and shewn from several former discourses (which are also pointed to) to be an Abrenunciation of sin, a present be­lief of the Doctrine of Christianity, and particularly of the Tri­nity, and a resolution for the time to come to continue in that belief, and act agreeably to its Laws. Our resolution of acting agreeably to the Laws of Christianity more particularly consider'd, and the Profession thereof shewn by several Arguments to be the intendment of the Christian Baptism. What the measure of that conformity is, which we profess to pay to the Laws of Christianity, and what are the consequences of the Violation of that Profes­sion.

HAving thus consider'd the things signified by Baptism on the part of God, and Christ, best known by the name of its inward, and spiritual Graces; It remains that I give the like account of the things signified by it on the part of the baptiz'd, or the things the baptized person maketh Profession of by it. Which, as was before ob­serv'd, are an Abrenunciation of sin, a present belief of the Doctrine of Christianity, and a resolution for the time to come to continue in that belief, and act agreeably to its Laws.

That something is signified by Baptism on the part of the bap­tized, as well as on the part of God, and Christ, is evident from what was before saidOf the Sa­crament in general, Part 2. concerning the nature of a Sacrament in the general, and Baptism'sIbid. relating as well to something to be perform'd by the baptiz'd, as to those divine Graces, or priviledges which we expect from the other.

That the things before mentioned are the things thus signified by it, hath also been elsewhereExpl. of the Apostles Creed. declar'd, and so, that it would not be difficult for a diligent Reader to satisfie himself from thence. But because what I have said concerning them lies dispersedly in my former Discourses, and would therefore require more pains, than I ought to impose upon my Reader, to find it out, and ap­ply it to the present Argument; I will here, though very briefly, consider them anew, and if not (which would be too tedious) repeat all that I have said concerning them, yet point him as I go, to the particular places, from whence they may be fetch'd.

That Abrenunciation of sin is one of the things signified by Bap­tism is not only evident from the manner of administring it in the Primitive times, and which together with the form of their A­brenunciation, and our own are set down in my account of the Preliminary questions, and answers of the Catechism, but also from the general tenour of that Religion, which Baptism is an initiati­on into; That requiring the renouncing of all sin, and wicked­ness, and therefore supposing the baptized person to do so, when he takes that Religion upon him. For which cause as an express Abrenunciation was heretofore requir'd, and continues so to be to this very day; So it was signified, as by other Rites, and parti­cularly by the baptized persons putting off his cloaths in order to his Baptism, as putting off together with them the Old Man, and his deeds, so by the Rite of Baptism it self: He, who submits to that, implying thereby his looking upon sin as a Moral impurity, and which therefore for the future he would not have any thing to do with.

The second thing signified by Baptism on the part of the bap­tized is his present belief of the Doctrine of Christianity, more es­pecially of the Doctrine of the Trinity. As is evident from that Baptism's being commanded by our Saviour to be made in, or into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. For to be baptiz'd into the name of those persons importing the owning of those persons as our Masters Expl. of the Creed. Art. I believe in the Holy Ghost., and our selves as the Disciples of them; To be so baptized moreover importing the own­ing of those persons as alike Ibid. Masters of us, and consequently, because the Father cannot be own'd in any lower relation, as par­takers of the same divine Nature, and Authority; Lastly, to be so baptiz'd importing the owning of them in particular by a belief of the Christian Doctrine, that being the most signal instance of that Discipleship, we receive by it; The belief of the Doctrine of Christianity, and of the Trinity in particular must be look'd upon as signified by Baptism on the part of the baptized, and those baptized ones consequently as making profession of that belief by it. For which cause as the rule of Faith, or the Creed Introd. concerning Catechising, &c. was given to those to learn, who were willing to be initiated into Christianity, so they were particularly interrogatedExpl. of the Prel. Quest. and Answers. as to their belief of the Articles thereof, and then, and not till then baptiz'd into it, and the priviledges thereof.

The third and last thing signified on the part of the baptized is a resolution for the time to come to continue in the belief of Christi­anity, and act agreeably to its Laws. Both which will receive a [Page 91]sufficient confirmation from S. Peter's affirming Baptism to be the Answer, or stipulation of a good conscience toward God, and from what I have elsewhereIbid. said concerning it. For as it is evi­dent from thence, that Baptism signifies on the part of the bap­tized a stipulation, or promise of somewhat to be done by him; So it will not be difficult to inferr from thence, that it signifies also a stipulation, or promise to continue in that belief of Christi­anity, into which he is baptiz'd, and act agreeably to its laws. As will appear, whether we consider that stipulation as having a good conscience toward God for the object of it (in which sense I should think S. Peter ought to be understood) or, as I find many others to do, as proceeding from such a conscience. For a good con­science having a due regard to the several parts of that Religion, which it makes profession to espouse; He, who with relation to Christianity stipulates from a good conscience, or makes that good conscience the object of his stipulation, must consequently be thought to stipulate, or make a promise of answering the several parts of it, and therefore also (because they are parts of Christi­anity) of continuing in its Faith, and acting agreeably to its Laws. And hence, (as was beforeExpl. of the Sa­crament in general, Part 1. observ'd) this, and the other In­stitution of our Religion had of old the name of Sacraments, as importing a Vow, or promise to Christ of believing in him, or obeying him. And hence also, that the Antients arguedIbid. the unlawfulness of superinducing an humane, or military Sacrament up­on a divine one, and answering to another Master after Christ. Which we shall the less need to wonder at, if we remember that that Bap­tism, whereof we speak, was copyed from the Baptism of the Jews Expl. of Baptism, Part 1., and particularly from that of John the Baptist. For con­cerning the former of these it hath been observ'dIbid., that those three men, that presided over it, lean'd over the baptized persons as they stood in the water, and twice explain'd to them some of the more weighty, and lighter precepts of their Law. For what reason think we, but to let them know, that they were baptiz'd into the obe­dience of the one, and the other, and that they accounted that Bap­tism of their's as a Profession of it? And though we do not find the like affirm'd concerning the Baptism of John the Baptist, which because an extraordinary one, and immediately from Hea­ven, I have distinguished from the other; Yet, which will come all to one, we find it entituled the Baptism of Repentance Mark 1.4. Acts 13.14., and (which is more) that Baptist enjoining upon those Publicans Luk. 3.12, &c., who came to be baptized by him, to exact no more than was ap­pointed them, as upon those Souldiers, that came upon the like er­rand, to do violence to no man, to accuse no man falsly, and to be content with their wages: Such affirmations as these being pregnant proofs, that a resolution of living piously, and vertuously was a thing signified on the part of the baptized, and that their taking upon them the former Baptisms was a profession of it. Now if that Profession were the intendment of the former Baptisms, and particularly of that of John the Baptist, why not also of the Bap­tism of Christ? Especially, when John's Baptism of Repentance was to prepare men for the Kingdom of Christ, and to which there­fore we may suppose a stricter piety to belong, and they, who were [Page 92]baptiz'd into that Kingdom, plung'd more deeply into the Pro­fession of the other. I will conclude this affair, when I have ad­ded, that it appears from the Institution of Baptism, that the de­sign, and end of it was to make DisciplesMatt. 28.19. unto Christ. For it appearing from other words of his, that they, and they alone can be his Disciples, who take up their Cross Luk. 14.27., and follow him, for­sake all Luk. 14.33. for him, and in fine abide Joh. 8.31. in his words; If the de­sign, and end of Baptism were to make men Disciples unto Christ, it must consequently oblige those, who take it upon them, to take upon them also the performance of the other, as to which that Discipleship obligeth them.

Now though therefore there can be no great doubt concerning the baptized person's making profession of acting agreeably to the Laws of Christ, yet there may be as to the measure of that con­formity to them, to which his Baptismal Profession obligeth him; That imperfect state, wherein we are, and the baptized person's being from the beginningExpl. of the Lords Prayer in the words, Our Father, &c. taught to pray for the forgiveness of his Trespasses seeming to require an abatement of it; And because too I have more than once oblig'd my self to enquire, what keeping of God's holy Will, and Commandments, is incumbent upon us from our Baptismal Profession, and that Christianity, which it enters us into; Therefore for the farther clearing this part of our Baptismal Profession, as well as for the answering my own obligations, I will now set my self to enquire, what the measure of that conformity is, which we profess to pay to the Laws of Christ, and what are the consequence of the violation of that Profession.

As concerning the former of these I shall not doubt to affirm it to be adaequate for the matter of it to the several species of those Laws, which Christianity obligeth us to; S. Paul having expresly told usTit. 2.11, 12., that that Grace, which bringeth salvation, teacheth men to deny all ungodly, and worldly lusts, and to live righteously, godlily and soberly in the present World. I shall not stick to affirm, Secondly, that that Conformity, which we make profession of, ought to answer so far as we can carry it, the several particularities of the Christian Laws, as well as the several species thereof: Less than that being not to be suppos'd to be the Profession of those, who make profession of a good Conscience toward God; A good Conscience, as such, prompting him in whom it is to conform so far as he can to every particular of his Law, to whom he pro­fesseth an obedience. But neither Thirdly shall I stick to affirm, that that conformity, which we make profession of, ought to be so entire, and full, as not to be interrupted at any time by a wil­ful violation of any Law, or a violation of them in scandalous in­stances; Such as those are, concerning which S. Paul hath af­firm'dGal. 5.21., that they, which do such things, shall not inherit the King­dom of God: He answering not the divine law, so far as he can, who proceeds to either of those, because the Grace of Baptism, with a moderate care, must be suppos'd to be of sufficient force to preserve men both from the one, and the other. Such I take to be the Conformity, which Christianity obligeth us to, and which consequently the baptized person must be suppos'd to make pro­fession of. And I would to God, that as all Christians make pro­fession [Page 93]of such a one, so their lives, and conversations were more answerable to it, than the experience both of our selves and others assures us it is. But as the contrary thereof is too apparent to need any farther proof, so I think it therefore but reasonable, for the better awaking of those baptized ones, to set before them in the next place the consequences of the violation of their profession.

Whereof the first, that I shall assign, is, that so far as they de­part from that Profession of theirs, so far forth they sin against that very Baptism of theirs, which was intended for their recove­ry from sin, and against that saving Religion, into which it ad­mits them: That Baptism, which enjoyns upon them the making profession of a good Conscience, enjoyning consequently the an­swering that profession by a sutable piety, as without which that Profession would be but an hypocritical one. From whence as it will follow, that there will be little reason to believe, that they shall enjoy the benefits of Baptism, who answer not the Profes­on of it; So much less if we consider what that was, that made their Profession to be of any avail at the first, even the presump­tion it gave, that the person, that made it, would (as occasion offer'd it self) give sutable demonstrations of it. For if that pre­sumption were the thing, which made the Profession of a good Conscience to be of any avail at the first; Those demonstrations failing, those benefits must be suppos'd to fail, which were colla­ted upon the presumption of them. But from thence it will follow Thirdly, that they, who answer not their former profession, can much less promise to themselves farther spiritual blessings here, or an interest in the other World; They, who could not be ad­mitted to the first priviledges of Baptism but upon a presumption of their future piety, being much less likely to be admitted to the participation of others, after that presumption appeareth to be null. It will follow Lastly, that they who answer not the Profession of Baptism by a piety sutable to it, must consequently fail altogether of the benefits thereof, if that Christianity, into which it entred them, had not provided them of a remedy against the violations of their Profession. Which, though it will not make the case of those violators desperate, yet will shew it to be so dangerous, as to oblige all, who have a care of their Salvation, to prevent what they may such violations of it, or endeavour to repair them af­terwards by a speedy, and severe repentance, and a more fixed, and setled piety: Lest, as it may some time happen, they be cut off before they can make use of the remedy propos'd, or by reason of their former violations have not the grace given them to do it.

PART IX. Of the right Administration of Baptism.

The Contents.

After a short account of the Foundation of the Baptismal relation, and reference made to those places from which a larger one may be fetch'd; Enquiry is made touching the right Administration of Bap­tism, as therein again First, Whether Baptism ought expresly to be made in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Secondly whether Schismaticks, and Hereticks are valid Administratours of it, Thirdly, to what, and what kind of persons it ought to be admi­nistred, Fourthly, Whether it may be repeated. The two first of these spoken to here, and first, Whether Baptism ought to be expresly administred in the form propos'd. Which is not only shewn to be under obligation from the express words of the Institution, but an­swer made to those Texts, which seem to intimate it to be enough to baptize in the name of the Lord Jesus only. The Baptism of Schismaticks, and Hereticks more largely shewn to be valid, unless where they baptize into a counterfeit Faith, and the several obje­ctions against it answer'd.

I Have hitherto entreated of the outward visible sign of Baptism, of its inward and spiritual Grace, or the things signified by it, and the farther rela­tion that outward sign beareth to them. It fol­llows that I entreat of the foundation of that relati­on, the Fourth thing propos'd to be consider'd.

Now as the Foundation of that relation hath been shewnExpl. of the Sacrament in general, Part 2. to be no other, than the Institution of Christ, as that again not so much as deliver'd by him, as appli'd to that water in which it is subjected; So I have in the same discourse saidIbid. Part 2, 3. so much concerning the Institution of this, and the application of that Institution to the outward visible sign thereof, that I shall need to [Page 96]say the less here. It may suffice briefly to observe from thence, that what the Minister hath prepar'd the water of Baptism by a declaration of the end of its Institution, and by imploring the Holy Spirit on it, Christ, who hath promised to be with him in that ministration of his, gives it the relation of the Sacrament of Bap­tism, and consequently makes it apt to convey the several graces thereof to those, who are to partake of it. Which will leave lit­tle more for us to consider, as to the Sacrament of Baptism, than the right Administration of it, or what may without any violence be reduced to it.

Now there are Four things, which are especially to be enquir'd in order to the clearing of that, which is now before us.

  • I. Whether Baptism ought expresly to be administer'd in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
  • II. Whether Schismaticks, and Hereticks are valid Admini­stratours of it.
  • III. To what, and what kind of persons it ought to be ad­ministred.
  • IV. Whether it may be repeated.

I. The ground of the first of these, even whether Baptism ought expresly to be administred in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is not any the least doubt of those be­ing the express words of the Institution, or of their not admitting, consider'd in themselves, of any variation from it, but the accounts we have from the Scripture of the administration of that Sacrament either by the hands, or at the command of the Apostles, and other such inspired men: Those seeming to intimate it to be enough to baptize in the name of the Lord Jesus, as comprehending within it an acknowledgement of the other two persons, and indeed of all other the substantial Articles of his Faith, in whose name we are so baptiz'd. For thus when those Jews, to whom S. Peter Preach'd on the day of Pentecost, were wrought upon so far, as to ask what they ought to do in order to their Salvation; S. Peter's answer wasActs 2.38. that they should be baptiz'd in the name of the Lord Jesus: Which accordingly we may believe to have been done by those, that gladly receiv'd the word, because it is afterwardsActs 2.41. said of them, that they were baptiz'd, that is, as one would think, in that, and that only name, which had been prescrib'd. Thus again it is saidActs 8.16. of those, who had been baptiz'd by Philip at Samaria, that they were baptiz'd in the name of the Lord Jesus, without any the least hint of their being baptized in any other name: As in like mannerActs 10.47., that S. Peter gave order for the baptizing of Cornelius, and his com­pany, after that the Holy Ghost had by his preaching descended upon them. In fine thus we find, that the Disciples of Ephesus Acts 19.5. were, who it seems till that time had not only no gifts of the Ho­ly Ghost upon them, but not so much as any knowledge, whe­ther there were any Holy Ghost, or no. Which place is the more to be stood upon, because those Disciples having before so little knowledge of a Holy Ghost, one would think he that told the story of their taking upon them the Christian Baptism at the hear­ing [Page 97]of what was said to them by S. Paul, should have express'd that Baptism of theirs by their being baptiz'd into the belief of the Trinity, and particularly of that Holy Ghost, which they seem before to have been ignorant of. But as we are not lightly to think, nor indeed without an irrefragable reason, that those first Disciples of Christ made use of, or countenanc'd any other form of Baptism, than what their Master had so clearly, and expresly pre­scrib'd; So there is nothing of any such moment in the places before alledg'd to persuade their making use of, or giving coun­tenance to any other. On the contrary the Text last mention'd, if taken in all its parts, seems rather to persuade those Disciples having been baptiz'd in the very words of the Institution, than only in the name of the Lord Jesus. For S. Paul asking, as by way of wonderment, unto what they had been before baptiz'd, if they had not (as they said) so much as heard of any Holy Ghost, seems to intimate that all, that then receiv'd the Christian Baptism, could not but know from the very form of it, that there was such a thing as a Holy Ghost. Neither will it avail to say, as was before objected, that if that had been S. Paul's intention, or the certain form of Baptism, S. Luke, who tells the story, should in reason have express'd it by their being baptiz'd into the Trinity, and particularly into the name of him, whom they were before so ignorant of. Because S. Luke's business was not so much to give an account of the form of their Baptism, as to acquaint us, that whereas before they had been only baptiz'd into John's Baptism, upon their understanding from S. Paul, that John himself directed those, that came to it, to believe on him that should come after him, that is on Christ Jesus, they were then expresly baptiz'd into the Baptism of Christ, or (as S. Luke there expresseth it) into the name of Jesus Christ: So opposing the baptizing into the name of Jesus Christ not to the baptizing in any other form, and particularly into the name of all the three persons, but to the Baptism of John on­ly, and as the name of Jesus Christ might discriminate their pre­sent Baptism from it. And though it be true, that the like is not to be said as to the foregoing Texts, because there is no oppositi­on in them between the Baptism of John, and that of Christ. Yet may a fair account be given, without supposing that to have been the form of Baptism, of the Scriptures expressing those primitive Baptisms by baptizing into the name of Jesus only; Because our Sa­viour was the immediate Author of that Religion, into which those Baptisms were made, and the baptizing into his name therefore no improper expression of a baptizing into the whole of it, and into every part, and particle thereof. I will con­clude this affair, when I have added that as it appears from Justin Martyr [...]. Apolog. 2. p. 94. one of the Antientest Writers the Church hath, that Baptism was in his time administred in the name of the three persons; So all, that have mentioned the Creed, have represented it as a thing given to those, who were to be baptized, and into which therefore we are to think, that if men were not minutely, and particularly baptiz'd, yet they were at least into the capital Articles thereof.

II. It appearing from the premises, that Baptism ought expresly to be administred in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is the first of those things we pro­posed to consider; Pass we on to enquire, who are valid Admi­nistrators of it, or rather whether Schismaticks, and Hereticks are. A question which will best be voided by considering the force of those Arguments, which the condemners of their Baptism have produc'd, and particularly which S. Cyprian their chiefest Cham­pion hath. Now those are, that Schismaticks and Hereticks, are by that their Schism, and Heresie deprived of the Spirit of God themselves, and cannot therefore be supposedQuis autem potest dare quod ipse non habeat? aut quomodo potest spiritalia. agere, qui ipse amiserit spiritum Sanctum? Ad Januarium. Ep. 70. to conferr it upon others. That Schismaticks, and Hereticks, as such, are out of the Church, and conse­quently can neither themselves enjoy any pri­viledges that belong Nam cum dicimus, Credis in vitam aeternam, & remissionem peccatorum per Sanctam Eccle­siam, intelligimus remissionem peccatorum non nisi in Ecclesiâ dari, apud Haereticos autem ubi Ecclesia non sit, non posse peccata dimitti. Cypr. ubi supra, & alibi passim. to it, nor be instru­mental toward the procuring of them for others; That by their Schism and Heresie they are sinners Sed & Baptizato quam precem potest facere sacerdos sacrilegus, & peccator? Cum scrip­tum sit, Deus peccatorem non audit, sed qui eum coluerit, & voluntatem ejus fecerit, illum audit. Cypr. Ib. before God, and whom therefore we cannot suppose that God will hear for other per­sons; In fine, that Hereticks in particular deprave that Faith Vid. Cypr. ad Jubaian. Ep. 73., into which Baptism is requir'd to be made, and consequently must be suppos'd to baptize into a false, and counterfeit one. But how little force there is in these Ar­guments, as to the invalidating the Baptism of Schismaticks, or Hereticks, will appear upon a more narrow inspection into them.

For be it first that Schismaticks and Hereticks are by that Schism, or Heresie of theirs deprived of the Spirit of God themselves; Be it that they cannot therefore be suppos'd to conferr it upon others: Yet will it not from thence follow, but they may be valid Admi­nistratours of Baptism, and they, who receive it from them, re­ceive the Spirit of God with it. Because that Spirit of God, which goes along with Baptism, is not conferred by them, but by him, whose Institution Baptism is, and consequently no way depend­ing upon their having the Spirit of God themselves. All, that the Minister confers on his part toward the procuring of that Spirit, is to prepare that Baptismal Water, which it is by the Institution of Christ to accompany, and to administer it, when so prepar'd, to those who are to be baptized with it. Which if the Minister doth according to the Institution of Christ, there is no doubt the Spirit of God will follow of course, whether he, who administers Baptism, partake of that Spirit, or no. Other­wise a sinful Minister would be as invalid an Administrator of Baptism, as the most Schismatical, or Heretical one.

But it may be there is more of weight in Schismaticks, and Here­ticks being out of the Church, and as such in no condition either of enjoying in themselves those priviledges, that belong to it, or be­ing instrumental toward the procuring of them for others. And so no doubt there would, if they were fully, and perfectly out of [Page 99]the Church, nor retain'd in any measure to it. But how first, if Schismaticks, and Hereticks were fully, and perfectly out of the Church, could S. Cyprian Ad Quin­tum, Ep. 70. himself allow the receiving of such without a new Baptism, who had after their Baptism in the Church fallen into Schism, or Heresie? These, as they were no less Schis­maticks, and Hereticks than those, that were baptiz'd by Here­ticks, and consequently alike out of the Church; So being, if to be receiv'd again, to be receiv'd after the same manner, that is to say by a new Baptism. Neither will it avail to say (as that Father Ibid. pleads for himself) that those, who have been bap­tiz'd in the Church, are to be look'd upon as wandring sheep, and as such, when they return, to be receiv'd into the Fold, whereas the other are wholly aliens, and profane. For if Schismaticks, and Hereticks be fully, and perfectly out of the Church, those also, what ever they before were, must cease to be look'd upon as Sheep, and consequently, if admitted, be admitted as aliens, and profane, as well as those, who were baptiz'd out of the Church. And in­deed as it appears by the same Father Ad Quin­tum, Ep. 71., that those who oppos'd him, and the Bishops that took part with him, argued the validi­ty of the Baptism of Hereticks from the Churches receiving those without a new one, who had fallen after her Baptism into Schism or Heresie; So if we will allow the Baptism of the latter, we must allow the Baptism of the former, or find out some other reason to overthrow it. For if the rightly baptized Schismatick, or Here­tick were a Sheep, though a wandring one, notwithstanding his Schism, or Heresie; The Schismatick, or Heretick, whom that wandring Sheep ran after, might as well be a Pastor, though a wandring one too, and consequently be in a condition, following the order of the Institution, to bring new Sheep to the great Shep­herd, and Bishop of our Souls. That, which I suppose occasi­on'd that Father's mistake (for so I hope I may now have leave to call it, because the Church of God hath generally done so since) but that I say, which occasion'd S. Cyprian's mistake, was his not distinguishing between being fully, and perfectly out of the Church (which I should think none but Apostates can be, if they also are) and being only partly, and imperfectly so, as Schismaticks, and Hereticks are. For as Schismaticks, and Hereticks must be sup­pos'd to retain so far to the Church, as they do not separate from it in Communion, or belief; So it is but a just piece of cha­rity to think that Christ who knows men's infirmities, and pre­judices, will not invalidate such acts of theirs, as are purely cha­ritable ones, and wherein moreover they consent with the Church of God (whatever they may do as to other things) and with his his own blessed Institution. I deny not indeed, but that to be even so out of the Church, as Schismaticks, and Hereticks are, is a very dangerous thing, and doth without a special mercy of God make them liable to Damnation. But as I do not therefore think, that we ought to look upon it as a desperate one; So there may be so much of honest simplicity of mind even in them, and a rea­diness to embrace the truth, whensoever they are convinced of it, that Christ, who laid down his life for the worst of men, may so far at least consider them, as to give his blessing to those acts of [Page 100]theirs, which are both charitable in themselves, and manag'd with a just consent to his own institution, and the practice too of that Church, from which in other things they have departed.

And this answer, with a little variation, will furnish one to that objection, which represents Schismaticks and Hereticks as sinners before God, and whom therefore we cannot suppose God will hear for the person to be baptiz'd. For though I grant that such per­sons are sinners before God, yea that whatever they do by way of separation from the Church, is to be look'd upon as of the same nature, and consequently that their very baptizing also may be; Yet as I do not think that every thing, that is sinfully done, is therefore invalid (for so for ought I know many true Church­mens good actions also might be) So Christ may hear even such persons, when they act agreeably to his own Institution, both for the regard he bears to that, and for that honest simplicity, and good meaning, which is, if not in them that administer Baptism, yet in those that joyn with them, and whose Minister I have before saidExpl. of the Sacram. in gen. Part 3 the Consecratour to be in that affair.

One only Objection remains on the part of Hereticks, and that is their depraving that Faith, into which Baptism is requir'd to be made, and consequently thereto, as is suppos'd, baptizing in­to a false, and counterfeit one. And I no way doubt that, if He­reticks baptize into a false, and counterfeit Faith, their Baptism is null, because contrary to that Institution, which gives validity to all. Upon which account we must look upon the Baptism of those persons as null, who have baptiz'd in any other form, than in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Of which sort was that of the Hereticks spoken of by Irenaeus Adv. Haeres. li. 1. c. 18., who instead of bap­tizing according to the form of the institution, did baptize their Disciples into the name of the unknown Father of all things, into truth the Mother of all things, into him that descended into Jesus for the union, and redemption, and communion of powers. To which others it seems added certain Hebrew names, the better to amuse those, that were initiated by them. The like may reasonably enough be thought of the Baptism of many other of the Antient Hereticks, although we have not it may be so certain grounds from Antiqui­ty for their depraving the very form of Baptism. For being, as appears from their tenents, Christians in name, rather than in reality, and beside that advancing such uncouth, and monstrous ones, it is not easie to think they should have such a regard to Christ, or his Institution, as to keep to that form, which he prescrib'd. Which suppos'd, there is not the least difficulty in giving an ac­count of those 46 [...] and 47 [...], &c.. Canons of the Apostles, which do so far reprobate the Baptism of Hereticks, as to require a rei­teration of it. For if the Hereticks there intended were such as are before described (as is not unreasonable to believe even from the words of the Canons themselves) there is no doubt their Bap­tism was, and ought to be look'd upon as null, because deviating [Page 101]from that Institution, which gives validity to all. But because it appears from a passage of S. Augustine Caeterum quis nescit non esse Baptismum Christi, si verba Evangelica, quibus symbolum constut, illic defuerint? Sed facilius inveniun­tur haeretici, qui omnino non baptizant, quam qui illis verbis non baptizant. De Bapt. con­tra Donat. li. 6. c. 25., that whatever the antienter Hereticks did, yet later ones, or at least for the most part, kept to the words of the Institution; There­fore we must go on to enquire, whether Hereticks may not however, be presum'd to baptize into a false, and counterfeit Faith, even that which they themselves advance, and consequently give such a Baptism as is null, and void. And to speak my mind freely, though with submis­sion to better judgments, I conceive such Hereticks may be pre­sum'd to do it, who advance a Heresie, that directly, and ma­nifestly contradicts the Faith of Baptism, and particularly the Faith of the Holy Trinity. Which I do in part upon the Au­thority of the Nicene CouncilCan. 19., and in part also upon the Authority of Reason. For though there be not the least pre­sumption, that the followers of Paulus Samosatenus made use of any other form of Baptism, than the Catholicks did; Though there be some presumption on the contrary, that they made use of the very same form, because though they deny'd a Trinity of Persons, yet they asserted one, and the same God to be rightly entitled by the names of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; Yet did the Nicene Council notwithstanding, (be­cause of their direct, and manifest denial of the Trinity, and their affirming Christ to be a meer Man) so far disallow their Baptism, as to require the reiteration of it. As indeed why should it not, when those Paulianists did so directly and manifestly con­tradict the sense of that form, whereby they pretended to pro­ceed? That direct, and manifest contradiction of theirs proclam­ing to the World, that though they baptiz'd in the same form of words with the Orthodox, yet in a perfectly different sense, and consequently departed alike from that Institution, which was to give force to it. I say not the same of the Baptism of the Arians, where they made use of the same form of words, which the Institution pre­scrib'd, as it is certain that manyDe Arianis, qui propriâ sua lege utuntur, ut baptizentur placuit. Si ad Ecclesiam aliqui de hac haeresi venerint, interrogent eos sidei nostrae sacerdotes symbolum. Et si perviderint in Patre, Filio, & Spiritu sancto eos baptizatos, manus eis tantum imponatur, ut accipiant spiri­tum sanctum, &c. Concil. Arel. c. 8. of them did; Partly because the Church receiv'd those, that had been so baptized by them without any new Baptism; And partly because neither so directly, and manifestly contradicting the Doctrine of the Trinity by their own, nor varying from the prescribed form, as some other of them did, they may be reasonably presum'd to have left the form by them us'd to its proper sense, whatever that was, and to what he, who prescrib'd it, did intend it. Which suppos'd, what should hinder Christ from giving force to that Baptism which is so administred by them? These, as they do not at all vary from the Institution of Christ, so in this particular, even in the application of the Baptismal water to the Baptized parties, acting not in their own, or in their peoples names, but in the name of Christ, and who therefore may the rather be supposed to give force and vertue to it. The result of the premises is this. [Page 102]A Heretick is indeed oblig'd to baptize into the truly Christian Faith, neither can any man otherwise promise force from that act of his. But if he baptize into that faith (as he may even whilst he continues such) his Baptism is valid, neither can any man doubt of a blessing from it, who comes prepared for it, and, when he comes to know in what company he hath been engag'd, renounceth that, and their Heresie, and both submits himself to the discipline of the Church, and keeps to the communion of it.

PART X. Of the Baptism of those of riper Years.

The Contents.

To what, and what kind of persons Baptism ought to be admini­stred; Which, as to those of riper years, is shewn to be unto all, that come duly qualified for it. What those qualifications are, up­on that account enquir'd into, and Repentance, and Faith shewn from the Sripture, as well as from our own Catechism to be they. That Repentance, and Faith more particularly considered, the definiti­ons given of them by our Church explain'd, and established. The former whereof is effected, by shewing what Repentance doth pre­suppose, what it imports, and to what it doth naturally dispose us: The latter by shewing what those promises are, which by the Cate­chism are made the object of our Faith, or Belief, what that Belief of them doth presuppose, what is meant by a stedfast Belief of them, and what evidence there is of that being the Faith, or Belief re­quir'd to the receiving of Baptism.

III. BEing now to enquire,Question. What is required of persons to be haptized? Answer. Repentance whereby they forsake Sin, and Faith, whereby they sted­fastly be­lieve the promises made to them in that Sa­crament. according to the me­thod before laid down, to what, and what kind of persons the Sacrament of Baptism ought to be administred, for my more ad­vantageous resolution thereof I will consi­der it first as to those of riper years, and then as to Infants, and Children.

That I give the precedency to those of riper years, though such Baptisms as those are little known among us, is because there is no doubt Baptism began with them, and could not indeed have found any other entrance into the World; The Baptism of In­fants, in the opinion of those, who do most strongly assert it, de­pending upon the Baptism of their Parents, or of those, who are in the place of them. Of whom, if some had not been bap­tiz'd in their riper years, those Infants, that claimed by them, [Page 104]could not with reason have pretended to it. Of those of riper years therefore I mean first to entreat, and shew to what, and what kind of persons among them the Sacrament of Baptism ought to be ad­ministred.

Now as it is clear from our Saviour's injunctionMatt. 28.19. of discipling, and baptizing all Nations, that none of what condition soever are to be excluded from it, who are qualified, as Christianity re­quires, for the receiving of it; So the only thing therefore farther necessary to be enquir'd into on this Head, is how men ought to be qualified for it, or (as our Catechism expresseth it) what is re­quired of them. For supposing those praerequisites of Baptism, he who enjoyns the discipling, and baptizing all Nations, must conse­quently be suppos'd to enjoyn the administring of it to all such, in whom those praerequisites are.

Now there are two things again, as our Catechism instructs us, which are requir'd of all those, that are to be baptized; Repen­tance, whereby they forsake sin, and Faith, whereby they stedfast­ly believe the promises made to them in that Sacrament. And for these two things at least it hath the astipulation of the Scripture, and I may add also of that Profession, which is made by the bapti­zed person in Baptism, and which having before establish'd, I may now the more securely argue from. Witness, for the Scripture, S. Peter'sActs 2.38. enjoyning those Jews, (who demanded of him, and the rest, what they ought to do in order to their salvation) to re­pent, and so be baptiz'd in the name of the Lord Jesus; And Phi­lip's replying upon the Eunuch, who ask'd what did hinder him to be baptiz'd, that if he believ'd Acts 8.37. with all his heart, he might: There­by more than intimating that, if he did not, he could not be bap­tiz'd at all, though all other things concurred to the receiving of it. And indeed, what less can be suppos'd to be requir'd of such persons, when (as was beforeExpl. of Bapt. Part 8. observ'd) the baptized person makes Profession in his Baptism of renouncing all sin, and wickedness, and of a belief in that Jesus, into whose Religion he is admitted? That Profession of his supposing Repentance, and Faith to have been before in him, as without which otherwise he could not there make a sincere Profession of renouncing sin, or of believing in the name of the Lord Jesus. But so (that I may add that by the way) the Antient Church appears to have requir'd, before she admitted, men to the participation of Baptism; Justin Martyr, where he professeth to give a sincere account of her doings in this affair, telling those he wrote his Apology to, that such as were persuaded, and believ'd that the things taught and said by the Christians were true [...], Apol. 2. p. 93. and moreover took upon them so to live, were taught to pray, and ask of God with fasting the forgiveness of their former sins, and then, and not till then brought by them to the place of Baptism, and there rege­nerated after the same manner with themselves. Which is so clear a proof of the Antients believing Repentance, and Faith to be prerequisites of Baptism, that nothing need to be added to it.

For the clearing of the first of which we are to know, that though Repentance, in strict speech, be nothing else than a sorrow of mind for those sins we stand guilty of before God; Yet as even so it pre­supposeth a right apprehension of those sins, as without which we could never be brought to a due sorrow for them, so taking Repentance (as our Catechism, and the Scripture also sometime doth) as one of the two prerequisites of Baptism (For S. Paul in one placeActs 20.21. makes that Repentance, and Faith the sum of his Preaching to the Jews, and Greeks, and in anotherHeb. 6.1. the foun­dation of our Christianity) it will be found to imply in it what­soever that sorrow for sin doth naturally dispose men to, as well as that sorrow it self: The same S. Paul elsewhere professing that he shewed both to the Jews, and Gentiles, that they should turn unto God, as well as Repent; and do works meet for Repentance, as well as either. To attain therefore a due understanding of this Repen­tance, as well as to clear that definition of it, which our Catechism hath given us, it will be necessary for us to enquire what this Re­pentance doth presuppose, what it imports, and to what it doth dis­pose us.

That, which Repentance doth most manifestly presuppose, is a right apprehension of that sin, about which it is to be conversant; And may be fetch'd in part from the dictates of our own reason, but more especially from the declarations of Christianity concern­ing it. Such as are, that sin is the transgression of a Law, and particularly of that of God, and that, as such, it justly exposeth us to his wrath, and indignation: Partly, as it is a violation of his Authority, to whom we are naturally subject, and partly as an equal affront to his goodness, who gives us our being, and all things else, and who therefore ought more diligently to have been attended to. In fine, that it hath for its wages Death both tempo­ral, and eternal, and under each of which, without the mercy of God in Christ, the sinner must necessarily fall. For as these are known in part, from the dictates of our own reason to be the pro­perties of that sin, whereof we speak; So they are much more known to be so from the Doctrine of Christianity, and consequent­ly to be known by us toward a right apprehension of that, which ought to be the matter of our sorrow.

But from hence it will be easie to collect, what that sorrow for sin doth import, which is requir'd of all those, that take upon them the Profession of Christianity. Even that it importeth such a sorrow of mind, as hath a regard to the violation of God's Autho­rity and Goodness by it, as well as to the evils which are like to arise to it from our selves; Our sorrow being in reason to be suited to that, which is most considerable in the object of it. And in­deed, as otherwise it will be rather a sorrow for punishment, than sin, because sin, as such, is a transgression of God's Law, and consequently our sorrow for it to have a more especial regard to the affront, that is offer'd him thereby; So it will much less deserve those titles, which are given it by the Scripture of being a sorrow, or repentance toward Acts 20.21. God (for so it is sometime stil'd) and a sorrow 2 Cor. 7.9. according to God, or a Godly one, as it also is: That being neither toward God, nor according to God, which hath not a [Page 106]regard to that affront, which is offer'd to him by sin, as well as to the evils, which are like to accrue unto our selves.

But because even such a sorrow will not qualifie us for Baptism, unless we add thereto what the same sorrow doth naturally dis­pose us to; Therefore to make out more fully the true nature of Repentance, as well as to clear our Churches definition of it, I will proceed to that, and shew what those things are. Of which nature I reckon first an ingenuous confession of sin, and earnest prayer to God for the pardon of it; Sorrow for sin, when considered only with reference to its appendant punishment, being likely enough to dispose us so to confess, and ask pardon of it, if it were only to unburthen our selves, and free our selves by that, and prayer from the punishment we have deserv'd. How much more then, when consider'd as a sorrow for that affront, which we have by means of our sin offer'd to God's both Authority, and Goodness? He, to whom such an affront is matter of sorrow, being likely enough to be thereby dispos'd so far to acknowledge that Authority, and goodness, as to own them upon the postfact by confession, and prayer for pardon: He who confesseth, and asketh pardon of God, acknowledging that God had, and hath an Authority to command, and punish him, as he, who doth the latter, that God is of equal goodness, as of whom otherwise it would be in vain for him to ask pardon for his offences. Whence it was, that when the Church proceeded by strict, and safe measures, she not only taught those, that offer'd themselves to Baptism, to ask of God with fasting the for­giveness of their forepast offences, but (as we learn from Justin Martyr Ʋbi supra. added her own prayers, and fasts to theirs, so the bet­ter to encourage, and give force unto the others. I reckon of the same nature secondly, a resolution to forsake sin, and pursue the con­trary vertues. Which I do not only upon the Authority of the foremention'd Father, who reckons thatLoco prius citato. also as a prerequisite to Baptism, but as it is a thing, to which sorrow for sin, doth alike naturally dispose us; He, to whom sin is so irksome, need­ing no other motive, than that irksomeness, to oblige him to for­sake it, and pay a more perfect submission to that Authority, and goodness of God, which he hath before so shamefully violated. I reckon thirdly, as a thing, to which sorrow for sin doth equally dispose us, a present forsaking of those sins, which we are under a temptation to commit, as well as a resolution to do so for the time to come; There being the same force in a due sorrow for sin to dispose men to that, as there is to a resolution of afterward for­saking it. For which cause the Antient Church did not only refuse such persons Baptism, as were of any unlawful Profession Introd. concern. Ca­tech. &c., till they actually abandon'd it, but made proofIbid. also for a con­siderable time of the resolutions of others, and, till they had given her such proofs, did not admit them to it. They finding no doubt by manifold experience, that many that offer'd themselves to Bap­tism, made little Conscience afterward of avoiding those sins, which they had before so solemnly resolv'd against, and made publick pro­fession of abandoning. And though it do not appear, that the Apo­stles themselves took this course, they baptizing men immediately upon the bare profession of their Repentance, and a resolution after­ward [Page 107]to bring forth fruits meet for it: Yet as the reason of that possibly might be, either because of that exuberance of Grace, which was then bestow'd upon their new Converts, or because, by means of their Ambulatory life, they could not well deferr the Baptism of those, that offer'd themselves, till they had made some conside­rable trial of them (which will exempt such Churches from their example, where there is no such exuberance of Grace, and where moreover they have setled Pastors to intend the affairs of them) So we cannot think the Apostles would have ever given Baptism to such persons, as should before that Baptism of theirs have fallen into those sins, which they erewhile made profession of abandoning: Sorrow for sin, where it is hearty, and real, no doubt disposing men as well to a present forsaking of it, as it doth to a resolution concerning it. Which will make the Repentance pre-required to Baptism to be (as our Catechism expresseth it) a Repentance, whereby as occasion offers, we actually forsake sin, as well as resolve for the future to abandon it.

An account being thus given of the first thing pre-requir'd to Bap­tism; and our Churches definition of it both explain'd, and esta­blished; Pass we on to that, which is alike pre-required to it, even that Faith, whereby we stedfastly believe the promises made to us in that Sacrament. Where again I will enquire,

  • I. What those promises are, which we are so to believe.
  • II. What that belief of them doth pre-suppose.
  • III. What is meant by a stedfast belief of those promises.
  • IV. What evidence there is of that being the Faith, or be­lief, which is pre-requir'd by Christianity to the receiving of that Sacrament.

I. Now though that Catechism, which I have chosen to ex­plain, give no other account of those Promises, than that they are such as are made to us in that Sacrament; Yet is it not difficult to collect from thence, and from what is before said concerning the Parts of a Sacrament, that the Catechism means no other pro­mises, than those which make a tender of its inward, and spiritual Graces. For a Sacrament being before divided into an outward, and visible sign, and an inward, and spiritual Grace as the only proper parts of it; And the outward, and visible sign being in like manner represented in it as no farther of value, than as condu­cing to possess us of the other: No other promises can be suppos'd to be intended here, than such as make a tender of those inward, and spiritual Graces, as which indeed are the only things consider­able in it. Which will consequently make the promises here intend­ed to be those, which make a tender for the present of remission of sins, and sanctification, and in the end, of everlasting life.

II. Those therefore being the promises, which are to be the ob­ject of the Catechumens Faith, and which accordingly he is stedfast­ly to believe; It will not be difficult to shew, what that belief of them pre-supposeth, which is the second thing to be enquir'd into. For that belief of them must at least pre-suppose a belief of all [Page 108]that, which is necessary to bring us to the belief of the other. More particularly it pre-supposeth, as to our selves, that we believe our selves to be naturally under a state of sin, and death, as without which there could be no place for that sanctification, and remissi­on, which is promised in Baptism; And that we are yet farther off from any title to Everlasting life, as which if we had, there would have been no need of a Promise in Baptism of it. It pre­supposeth again as to Christ, in whom all the promises of God are Yea, and Amen, a like stedfast belief that there was such a person as Jesus Christ, and that he was appointed by God to convey such graces to us; That, agreeably to the predictions of the Scripture, and the will of God concerning him, he took upon him our nature, and suffer'd in it to purchase those Graces, and that he ever since intends the exhibiting of what he hath so purchas'd; The belief of these, and the like Articles of our Faith being as manifestly presuppos'd to the belief of those Promises, which in this place we are required to intend.

III. That which will it may be more concern us to enquire, is what our Catechism means by a stedfast belief of them. For my more orderly resolution whereof I will enquire first what it means by belief, and then by a stedfast one.

Now by belief may be meant either a simple assent of the mind, and in which fense there is no doubt it is oftentimes taken in Chri­stian Writers; Or there may be meant also a belief with affiance, and such as beside the assent of the mind, or understanding to them, doth also connote a trust in them, or in God because of them. By vertue of which (as I have elsewhere discours'dExpl. of the Decal. Com. 1. Part 3. concern­ing the grace of trust) the heart, or will is prompted to desire, as well as assent to the matter of the divine promises, and acquiesce in those for the obtaining of it. And indeed if we may judge any thing by our Homilies, (to which the ArticlesArt. 11. of our Church do also particularly referr us in the point of justifying Faith) this latter belief must be here intended; Because a belief, which hath for its end the remission of sins in Baptism, and con­sequently a justifying one. For the right, and true Christian Faith (saith one of ourHomily of Salvation. Part 3. Homilies) is not only to believe that the Holy Scripture, and all the forecited Articles of our Faith, are true, but also to have a sure trust, and confidence in God's merciful promises to be saved from everlasting damnation by Christ. And it is not only, saith anotherHom. of Faith., the common belief of the Articles of our Faith, but it is also a sure trust, and confidence of the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and a stedfast hope of all good things to be re­ceiv'd at God's hands. In fine, saith the sameIbid. Homily, the very sure, lively Christian faith is not only to believe all things of God, which are contained in holy Scripture, but also to have an earnest trust, and confidence in God, &c. Which suppos'd (as we may, because we can have no more Authentick interpretation of it) to be the sense of the belief here intended, it will not be difficult to shew, what our Catechism means by a stedfast one.

For considering the belief of these Promises as an Assent of the mind to them, so a stedfast belief will imply that, which is free [Page 109]from all doubts, and which the mind of man gives to those Pro­mises without any the least fear of there being any Collusion in them; Which the mind of man may well give, considering whose those Promises are, and that they have both God, and Christ for the Authors of them. On the other side, if we consider the belief intended as including in it also an affiance, or trust, and by ver­tue of which the heart, or will is prompted to desire, as well as believe the matter of those Promises, and acquiesce in those Pro­mises for the attaining of it; So this stedfast belief will also imply such a one, as is firmly rooted in the heart, or will, and can no more be rooted out of it by the force of temptations, than the other by doubts, or scruples. And indeed, as I do not see how any other belief, than that, can answer such glorious promises as are made to us in the Sacrament of Baptism; so I see as little reason to doubt,

IV. What evidence there is of that being the Faith, or belief, which is pre-requir'd by Christianity to the receiving of it. For though S. Luke may seem to intimate by the account he gives of the Baptism of the Samaritans Acts 8.12., that they were baptiz'd upon a simple belief of what Philip preach'd concerning the things of the Kingdom of God; Yet he doth much more clearly intimate after­ward, that Christianity requir'd another sort of belief, and such as was accompani'd with an adherence of the will unto them: He making it the condition of the Eunuch's Baptism afterward, that he should believe with all his heart Acts 8.37.; Which is an expression, that in the language of the Scripture referrs rather to the will, and af­fections, than to the understanding, but however cannot well be thought not to include them there, where the believing with all the heart is requir'd. And indeed, as I do not see, considering the Doctrine of our First Reformers, why this notion of Faith should be so exploded, as it seems to me lately to have been; As I do much less see why men should so boyle at that Justification, which was wont to be attributed in an especial manner to it: So, if I live to finish the work I am now upon, I will in a Comment upon the Epistle to the Philippians (which I have almost gather'd sufficient materials for) endeavour to clear both the one, and the other, that men may neither take occasion from thence to discard good works as unnecessary, nor yet stay themselves upon any other, than the promises of Christ, and on which the holiest men upon earth, when they have been approaching near God's tribunal, have found themselves oblig'd to cast themselves. In the mean time a little to repress the youthful heats of those, who can hard­ly forbear smiling at such antiquated notions, I will set before them the advice, which was order'd to be given to sick persons, when good works to be sure were not without their just repute. It is among the Interrogatories, which are saidField of the Church, Append. to the 3d. Book p. 303. to have been prescrib'd by Anselme Archbishop of Canterbury, and particularly after that, which prompts the Priest to ask, Dost thou believe, that thou canst not be sav'd, but by the death of Christ, and the sick per­sons Answer, that he did so. Go too therefore (as the Priest was taught to proceed) and whilst thy soul remaineth in thee, place thy [Page 110]confidence in this death alone, and in no other thing, commit thy self wholly to it, cover thy self wholly with it, immerse, fix, and wrap thy self wholly in it. And if the Lord God will judge thee, say, I put the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between me, and thy judgment, otherwise I contend not with thee. And if he say that thou art a sinner, say, Lord I put the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between me, and my sins. If he say to thee thou hast deserv'd damnation, say, Lord, I put the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between me, and my evil deserts, and I offer the same death for that merit, which I ought to have had, and have not. If he continue as yet to say, that he is angry with thee, say, Lord, I oppose the death of our Lord Jesus Christ between me, and thy displeasure. Words, which shew what kind of Faith was sometime thought to be a justifying one, and what stress was laid upon it, before ever Fanaticism, or any thing of that nature was heard of in the World.

PART XI. Of the Baptism of Infants.

The Contents.

What ground Infant-Baptism hath in Scripture, and particularly in what it suggests concerning Christ's commanding his Disciples to suffer little Children to come unto him. S. Paul's giving the Children of the faithful the title of Holy, and the Circumcision of Infants. The concurrence of Antiquity therein with the Doctrine of the Scripture, and that concurrence farther strengthned by the Pelagians so freely admitting of what was urg'd against them from thence. A brief account of that remission, and regeneration, which Infants acquire by Baptism, and a more large consideration of the Objections, that are made against it; More particularly of what is urg'd against the Regeneration of Infants in Baptism, or their abi­lity to answer what is prerequir'd to it on the part of persons to be baptiz'd, or is to be performed by them in the reception of it. Where the Regeneration of Infants is more largely considered, and what is promis'd for them by others shewn to be both reasonable, and sufficient.

FRom the Baptism of those of riper years,Question. Why then are Infants baptized, when by reason of their tender age they cannot per­form them? Answer. Because they pre­ntise them both by their sureties, which promise, when they come to age, themselves are bound to perform. pass we to that of Infants, or Children, the only Bap­tism upon the matter now celebrated, and there­fore so much the more carefully to be clear'd and establish'd. In order whereunto I will enquire,

  • I. What ground it hath in Scripture.
  • II. What countenance from Antiquity.
  • III. What Infants acquire by it.
  • IV. What the principal objections against it are, and how they are to be solv'd.

I. Now as it is plain to me both from Tertullian'sDe Baptismo c. 18. [...] Dominus, Nolite illos prohibere [...] Veniant ergo, dum adolescunt, [...] quo veniant docentur. [...] Christum nosse potueri [...]. arguing against that Text, and the Apostolical [...]. li. 6. c. 15. Constitutions alledging it, that the Antient Church grounded the Baptism of Infants upon Christ'sMark 10.13. &c. command­ing his Disciples to suffer little Children to come unto him, and blessing those, that came; So I am yet more confirmed in it by the unprofitable pains Tertullian took to take off the force of that Text, or rather the pitiful evasion he made use of in order to it. For had not the Church laid great stress upon that passage of the Scripture, why did not he, as the World hath since learn'd to do, wholly omit the mention of it, as a Text no way pertinent to the business of Infant-Baptism? Or, if he thought good to take notice of it, why did he not turn the force of it another way, and say, as others have, that nothing more was intended by it, than to let men know they must put on the property of little Children, if they meant to enter into Christ's Kingdom? For either of these certainly had been more proper, than what we find him to alledge in these words, as to the delaying of the Baptism of Infants. The Lord indeed saith, Forbid not Children to come unto me. Let them come therefore, when they are grown, let them come when they may learn, and when they may be taught whither they are to come. Let them be made Christians, when they may be able to know Christ. For what is this to the purpose of our Saviour, who check'd his Dis­ciples for hindering those from coming to him, who were brought to him before they were in a condition to learn, who in all proba­bility were brought to him in their Parents arms, and were both taken by him into his own, and blessed by him even then? For if the Disciples were check'd for going about to hinder such Children, his meaning was that they should suffer such to come unto him, and not keep them back from coming, till they ceased to be such. But of such force it seems was that Text then thought, that some re­ply however must be made to it; Or the deference men had for the Church, that urged it, would have spoil'd his device of de­laying the Baptism of them, till they came of years. Which will make it so much the more reasonable to enquire, what there is in the Text it self, which might justifie the confidence of the one, or give occasion to the impertinent answer of the other.

For the better discovery whereof we are to know, that when certain persons not named, but it seems who look'd upon our Savi­our as a man of God, brought their Children to Christ, that he might touch them, that is to say, as our Saviour expounded their meaning, that he might lay his hands upon them, and bless them; His Disciples, whether as looking upon it as no way beseeming their Master to con­cern himself about Children,Aret. in locum. Primum rem Christo in­dignam judicare videntar; nam judicio, & ratione carent, Christum non intelligunt. De­inde majorasunt, quae agat; adsunt enim turbae, quas docere debet. Major hic fructue, major etiam & dignitas, & labor. or that he had greater business then in hand, even the instructing of the Elder sort, rebuked those that brought them for that their suppos'd [Page 113]unseasonable desire, and offer. But as our Saviour who better understoodAret. ubi supra. Sed expendi debet Christi officium, qui pro omnium salute natus est in hunc mundum. Deinde infantes etiam ad foedus dei pertinent; Nam Abraamo dixit, Ero & tui, & seminis tui post te, Deus. Et quia una est ratio salutis, unum ostium, una janua, debuit etiam infantum haberi ratio. his own salutary office, and Childrens pertaining to the Covenant, did with as much, or more displeasure rebuke them for that their rebuke, and signified it both by his countenance, and voice; So he charged them, that they should by no means hinder Children from coming unto himAretius iterum. Est enim ratio cur arcendi a Christo non sint: Quia talium est regnum coelorum, hoc est, sunt haeredes vitae aeternae; ergo à Chri­sto, qui janua est ad vitam, non debent arceris Deinde cum talium sit regnum dei, ergo horum magis est, ad quorum similitudinem alii, ut ac­cipiant, iidem redire debent., because the Kingdom of God belong'd to such as they: Thereby intimating, that even those Children had a right unto it, and were not therefore to be hindred from coming to him, who was the way, or ra­ther the gate into it. For if the Kingdom of God belong'd to such as they, much more to those Children, to whom elder persons ought to become like, that they might be in a capacity of obtaining it. As indeed otherwise, what force is there in the reason alledg'd for the suffering, and no way forbid­ding young Children to come unto him? For they, who have in purpose of heart what the other have only naturally, may both be invited to tend toward, and be possess'd of the Kingdom of Heaven, though the other be no way brought to Christ, nor receive any blessing from him. In as much as their humility, and innocency is the result of God's spirit, and of their own will, and conse­quently more likely to be acceptable, whereas the other's is only the result of their constitution, and age. And I cannot therefore but think, that the true reason of our Saviour's making use of the word [...], or such, instead of [...], or these (for of such, saith our Saviour, is the Kingdom of heaven) was not in the least to exclude Children from having a right to the Kingdom of Heaven, as who alone were directly, and immediately concern'd in the present Argument; But to let the World know at the same timeAret. in Matt. 19.13, &c. Nec juvat quod aliqui hic urgent [...], & non [...], talium, & non horum. Nam communem osten­dit modum justificationis, &c. Amplius igitur aliquid dicere voluit, & bos pueros vitae haeredes esse, & ad illorum similitudinem nobis etiam redeundum esse., that elder men ought to put on the properties of Children to make them partakers of it. As he after­wardMark 10.15. more expresly signifies, when he tells them, that whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little Child, he shall not enter therein. Which suppos'd a way is opened for the inferring of that Baptism of Infants, which, this passage both now, and of old was made use of to evince. For it appearing from the premises, that Infants have a right to the King­dom of Heaven, and upon, and by vertue of that right to be brought to Christ also; They must consequently have a right also to those means, which are by the same Christ appointed to put them into the possession of his Kingdom. Which Baptism certain­ly being, and so, that, ordinarily at least, none can enter into that Kingdom withoutJoh. 3.5. being born again by it, it cannot without injustice be withheld from those Children, to whom the other doth appertain. Neither will it avail to say, though the Objection be not to be despis'd, that by this rule our Saviour should either him­self have baptiz'd, or order'd his Disciples to baptize those Chil­dren, [Page 114]that were now brought unto him for his blessing. For be­side that one Argument will not solve another, and much less hin­der the matter thereof from being true, or conclusive; There might be reason enough, though the premises be allow'd, for our Saviour's not baptizing, or requiring his Disciples to baptize those Children, who were now brought unto him for his blessing: Partly, upon the account of the incompetency of those, that brought them, and who being not Disciples themselves, but as is probable, of the multitude Mark 10.1. Matt. 19.2. that followed him, could not claim from our Savi­our, nor he so regularly bestow Baptism upon their Children; And partly to let the World see, that he was not ti'd to any methods himself in the dispensing of the graces of that Kingdom. For that our Saviour, by that blessing which he gave them, gave those Chil­dren rem Sacramenti, or the Graces of Baptism, and so shew'd yet more the title Children have to it, cannot well be doubted of by any, who shall consider how zealous he was for their being brought to him, as that too upon the account of the title they had to the Kingdom of Heaven. For considering that zeal of his, and the ground of it, what can be more reasonable than to think, that our Saviour agreeably thereto did by his blessing conferr upon them that Evangelical regeneration, which was to fit them for the King­dom of Heaven, and without which considering the impurity of their nature, and the necessity of being thus born anew, they could not regularly obtain it. And I have been the more particular in deducing, and pressing the present argument; Partly because led thereto by the meer force of the Text it self, and the Authority of the Church that imployed it, till by accident I fell upon those things I have before quoted out of Aretius; And partly because I think it a better service to the Church of God to strengthen one old Argument, than devise many new ones: Such a course pro­curing the more respect to the Church's both opinion, and practice, as shewing it to proceed upon substantial Arguments, and such as in themselves are not lightly to be refus'd.

My second Argument for the Baptism of Infants shall be taken from that holiness, which S. Paul 1 Cor. 7.14. attributes to the Children of Christian Parents (yea where only one of them is such) upon the account of their descent from them. For S. Paul having before persuaded the believing party to continue with the unbelieving one, supposing that unbelieving one to be as willing to continue with the believer, as a motive to the doing of it alledgeth, that the unbelieving party is sanctified by the believing, and proves that san­ctification again by the holiness of the Children, that come from them, as which otherwise those Children could not have in them, but the contrary. Now I demand what that holiness is, which S. Paul supposeth to be the property of those, who come from such a sanctified couple, that is to say, whether an inward holiness, or an outward one? If they, who would avoid the force of this Text as to the Baptism of Infants, say an inward holiness, they say more than we desire, or can with truth be affirmed, because though Ori­ginal Sin be traduc'd from the Parents, yet inward holiness is not, as being the product of the Spirit of God, and his instrument Baptism. But if they do however attribute such a holiness to those [Page 115]Children, they say enough to evince, that Baptism ought not to be deny'd to them. For who (as S. Peter spakeActs 10.47. upon another occasion) can forbid the water of Baptism to those, who have receiv'd the Holy Ghost, as to be sure all, that are internally holy, have? It remains therefore, that if the Children of such matches be not internally holy, they are externally so, and that external holiness therefore, if it may be, to be investigated by us. Now I demand First, what external holiness can be imagin'd in those Children, but such by which they come to belong to God in a more peculiar manner, than the Children of other matches do? This being the nature of all things, that are externally holy, whether by the voluntary consecration of men, or the Institution, or choice of God. I demand secondly, supposing those Children to be­long more to God, than the Children of other matches, whether by their thus becoming the peculiar property of God, they may not be suppos'd to be more dear to him, than the Children of other matches are? Every one naturally having an affection to such, as belong to him, suitably to that nearness, wherein they belong to him. I demand Thirdly, supposing the Children of such matches to be more dear to God than the Children of others, whether we are not to think he will take a more particular care of them, than of others? The care of any person being always suitable to the af­fection he bears to those, who are the object of his care. I de­mand Fourthly, whether, supposing such a particular care of the Children of such matches, he will not take a more particular care of them as to their eternal welfare, than he doth of the Children of other men; All other care, without this, being of little value to the party cared for, and, beside that (as experience shews) equally extended by God to the Children of other matches, as well as to the descendants of Christians. I demand Fifthly, sup­posing such a particular care as to their eternal welfare, whether he will not also allow them more means toward the compassing of it, than he can be suppos'd to allow to the Children of other Pa­rents? All care, where it is reasonable, and just, employing suta­ble means to bring that care of its unto effect. Now what pe­culiar means doth, or can God allow to the Children of Christian Parents, as to the procuring of their eternal welfare, supposing them to die before they come of years, as the generality of them do, unless it be the Sacrament of Baptism? For as these, no more than other Children, are capable of the benefits of the Gospel by the graces of Faith, and Repentance; So they have no other way therefore, save the Sacrament of Baptism, either to be deliver'd from the guilt of Original Sin, or enstated in Christs heavenly Kingdom. I conclude therefore, that the Children of Christian Pa­rents, or of either of them being holy, they do by that holiness of theirs acquire a right to a greater holiness, I mean the holiness of Baptism. And indeed however Tertullian could in his bookCap. 18. De Baptismo argue the delay of Infants Baptism, as that too up­on their no need of it, or not being qualified for it; Yet as he could see enough elsewhere to make him believe, that every soul is reckoned in Adam, till he be anew enrolled in Christ by the receit [Page 116]of the Sacrament of BaptismDe animâ c. 39. Hinc enim & Apo­stolus ex sanctificato alterutro sexu sanctos pro­creari ait, tam ex seminis praerogativâ, quam ex institutionis disciplinâ. Caeterum, inquit, immundi nascerentur, quasi designatos tamen san­ctitati, ac per hoc etiam saluti intelligi volens fidelium filios, ut hujus spei pignore matrimoniis, quae retinenda censuerat, patrocinaretur. Alio­quin meminerat Dominicae de finitionis, Nisi quis nascetur ex aquâ, & spiritu, non ibit in regnum Dei, id est, non erit sanctus. Ita omnis anima eousque in Adam censetur, donec in Christo recen­seatur, &c., so he could see enough too in the Text I am now upon, to make him acknowledge, that the Chil­dren of theDe animâ c. 39. Hinc enim & Apo­stolus ex sanctificato alterutro sexu sanctos pro­creari ait, tam ex seminis praerogativâ, quam ex institutionis disciplinâ. Caeterum, inquit, immundi nascerentur, quasi designatos tamen san­ctitati, ac per hoc etiam saluti intelligi volens fidelium filios, ut hujus spei pignore matrimoniis, quae retinenda censuerat, patrocinaretur. Alio­quin meminerat Dominicae de finitionis, Nisi quis nascetur ex aquâ, & spiritu, non ibit in regnum Dei, id est, non erit sanctus. Ita omnis anima eousque in Adam censetur, donec in Christo recen­seatur, &c. faithful are holy by the pre­rogative of their seed, as well as by the disci­pline of their Institution, and by that holi­ness of theirs design'd, or mark'd out for a better holiness, and so for salvation. Which as it is the holiness, that I have been all along enforcing, and endeavouring to evince from thence Children's right unto another; So of what force it is toward the inferring of it, will need no other light, than that, which we have from Tertullian. For with what face can any man deny them the holiness of Baptism, who are design'd, or mark'd out for it by the prerogative of their birth, and (as it may happen, and often doth) can no other way attain that holiness, or that salvation, which is consequent upon it? But be­cause some men have advanc'd another, and a more improper ho­liness, even that by which Children become the issue of a lawful marriage, and not of an unlawful mixture; And because too they have in part advanc'd that holiness upon the difficulty of compre­hending, how the unbeliever can otherwise be sanctified by the be­liever, than by making the match between them two to be lawful; Therefore I will both set my self to shew, that the unbeliever may be otherwise sanctified by the believer, than by making him, or her to be a lawful match to the believer, and that the holiness, which S. Paul attributes to the Children of such a match, cannot be understood of such a holiness, whereby they become a lawful, or legitimate Issue. And I alledge for the former of these the un­believing Husband's, for instance, being so sanctified by the believ­ing Wife, as not only to become a lawful Husband to her, but a Christian one, and so, as to entitle the Issue of them both to the common priviledges of Christianity. Which is brought about by the unbelieving Husband's becoming one flesh, not any longer with an unbelieving Wife, but with a believing, and Christian one, and from whom that sanctification is derived to him. Even as the same S. Paul affirms1 Cor. 6.16. him, that converseth with an Harlot, to become one flesh with that Harlot, with whom he doth so converse, and so receive pollution from her. Neither will it avail to say (as possibly it may be) that the believing Wife is as much one flesh with the unbelieving Husband, as the unbelieving Husband is with her, and may therefore be as unclean by him, as he can be sup­pos'd to be sanctified by her. For neither first is the believing Wife as much one flesh with the unbelieving Husband, as the unbeliev­ing Husband is with her, unless it be as to the use of, or power over one another's Bodies: Partly, because, where there is so great an inequality in the match, the denomination is in reason to be taken from the better party, which to be sure the believer is; And partly, because that consent of mind from which this union pro­ceeds, and by which it is to be upheld, is more entire, and full up­on the part of the unbelieving Husband, than it is upon the part of the believing Wife. For whilst she consents to dwell with [Page 117]him meerly as the Partner of her Bed, and conformably to the of­fices of such a one, of which she gave a sufficient proof by aban­doning him as to his Religion, and continues to do the like by the continuance of that abandoning; The unbelieving Husband, on the other side, by being (as S. Paul expresseth it)1 Cor. 7.12, 13. [...]. well pleased to live with her notwithstanding, consents in some mea­sure to dwell with her as a Christian, and gives no contemptible indication of a farther consent with her in that Religion: There be­ing otherwise no great likelihood of his continuing his Complacen­cy, as well as cohabitation to her, who had abandon'd him as to his. But therefore as the believing Wife is not so much one with the unbelieving Husband, as he is with her, and cannot therefore be so likely to be polluted by him, as he is to be sanctified by her; So she becomes yet less likely to be polluted by him, because com­municating with him in such Act, or Acts, as are not only lawful in themselves, but moreover the indispensible duties of that marri­age, which she had contracted, and which, whilst he is thus pleas'd to dwell with her, she is by our Apostle himself obliged to main­tain. And indeed as from such a match there is more reason to expect sanctification to the unbeliever, than there is of any fear of pollution to the other; So there will be yet less doubt of it, if we consider the sanctification here spoken of, not as an inward, but an outward one, and such an outward one too, by which the party sanctified attains only the priviledge of being accounted of as a Christian Husband, and accordingly of conveying to those Children, that descend from them both a right to the Sacrament of Baptism. For what less can be expected from a merciful God, where the unbeliever, though continuing such, yet takes pleasure notwith­standing that in his Christian Consort? And she, on the other side, though abominating his Infidelity, yet in compliance with that marriage, wherein Christianity found her, cohabits with him not­withstanding, and no doubt both doth, and will employ all her kindness, and endeavours to gain him to a farther approbation both of her, and of the Religion she hath espous'd? Which suppos'd, a way will be open to give a clearer account of the thing intended, and withal of the force it is of to persuade the believing Wifes con­tinuing with the unbelieving Husband, if he (as is suppos'd in the present case) is as willing to dwell with her: The force thereof lying in this, that the believing Wife should in that case be so far from being polluted by the converse of the unbelieving Husband (which was no doubt these Corinthians fear, when they put this case to S. Paul) that on the contrary the unbelieving Husband should be so far sanctified by her, as to be to her in the place of a Christian one, and enjoy all the priviledges of such; The un­believing Husband by becoming one flesh with the believing Wife becoming so far Christian also, and so accounted of both by God, and the Church. Of which they had this undeniable proof, that the Children of those matches were not look'd upon as unclean, or heathen (which they must have been in part, if the unbeliever had not been some way sanctified, as well as the believer) but accoun­ted of as so far holy, or Christian, as to be admitted to those pri­viledges, to which the Children of Christian Parents were, and [Page 118]particularly to that Baptism, by which a better holiness is convey'd. This I take to be a fair, and clear account of the Apostle's words, and particularly of that holiness, which he attributes to those Chil­dren, that descend from the forementioned Parents. And I am yet more confirmed in it by the fondness of that notion, which hath been set up to supplant it, and by which the Children of such match­es become the issue of a lawful marriage, and not of an unlawful mixture. For beside that they, who advance this notion, make the words Else were your Children unclean, &c. to referr rather to the precept of the believer's cohabiting with the unbeliever, than to the unbeliever's being sanctified by the believer, to which last yet it apparently referrs, and is assign'd by S. Paul as a proof of; They suppose that in this notion of theirs, which there is not the least ground for, and which indeed this very place doth sufficiently con­fute. For who ever said, or could say that the marriages of the Heathen were unlawful, which yet they must have been, if there needed the cohabitation of the faithful to make them lawful, and the Children that were born of them to be legitimate? Nay who seeth not that S. Paul supposeth those marriages to be lawful, when he requires the believing party to cohabit with the unbeliever? For otherwise no doubt he would rather have advis'd to break off all commerce with the Infidel, or proceed to a new contract. Both which yet he is so far from, that he seems to me not very willing to allow of a perfect breach, even when the unbeliever doth depart from the believer. For though he saith1 Cor. 7.15. that a brother, or sister is not in bondage in such a case, and may therefore, if they please, look upon themselves as loos'd from the unbeliever; Yet he tells themIbid. withall that God hath called us to peace, and therefore, (as I understand him) that breaches of that nature would be avoid­ed as much as might be; And he tells them too1 Cor. 7.16., that if they would not be over forward to make use of that liberty, which the unbeliever gave them by deserting them, there might be hopes of the unbelieving Wife, or Husband being wrought upon by the believer's patience, and forbearance, and reconcil'd both to them, and their Religion. However as there is no pretence from this place of the believer's making the marriage between the unbelie­ver and themselves to be a lawful one, as which was so before; Nor therefore for making the holiness of their Children to be no other than a civil one, and by which they only became a legitimate issue; So there is the more reason still to understand the holiness of that match, and the issues of it, as one that entitles them to the outward priviledges of Christianity, and by which the unbelie­ving whether Husband, or Wife, comes to be accounted of as a Chri­stian one, and the Children of both parties as having a right to that Sacrament, by which all are to be initiated into Christianity, and partake of its Regeneration and Remission.

My third and last argument for the baptizing of the Infants, or Children of Christian Parents shall be taken from the Cir­cumcision of those Infants, or Children, which descended from the posterity of Abraham, and after which I do not see what doubt can be well made of the other: Partly, upon the account of the Ana­logy there is between Circumcision, and Baptism, and partly upon [Page 119]account of the Children of Christian Parents having as good a right to the blessings exhibited in them, as the Children of those, who were of the posterity of Abraham. For supposing (as was beforeExpl. of the Sacram. in general. Part 4. shewn, and may hereafterAnsw. to the object. against Infant-Baptism. be farther clear'd) that Circumci­sion relates to the same spiritual blessings with Baptism, and parti­cularly to the righteousness of Faith; And supposing farther that the Children of Christian Parents have as good a right to those blessings, and that righteousness, as the Children of those, that were of the posterity of Abraham; By the same reason that the Chil­dren of these were intitled to that Circumcision, which was intend­ed to exhibit those blessings, and that righteousness among them, the Children of the other shall be admitted to that Baptism, which was intended to exhibit them among us: Those Children, which have an equal right to the blessings exhibited, having an equal right to those means, which were intended for the exhibition of them. Now that the Children of Christian Parents have as good a right to the former blessings, and righteousness, as the Children of the Posterity of Abraham, will appear from those Parents of theirs being equally the Children Rom. 4.11. of Abraham with those, that were of his posterity. For being equally his Children, they must consequently be suppos'd to give their Children as good a right to the former blessings, and the means that was intended to exhibit them among us, as the posterity of Abraham did their Children to the like blessings, and that means which among them was intended for the exhibition of them.

II. The Baptism of Infants being thus made out from the Scri­pture, and by such passages thereof also, as cannot be easily avoid­ed; Pass we on to enquire, what countenance it hath from Anti­quity, as which if it be any thing considerable, will the more firm­ly establish it. Where the first, that I shall take notice of, is a passage of Justin Martyr, I do not mean what is commonly quoted out of his Questions, and Answers, ad Orthodoxos Quaest. 56., it being questionable enoughVid. Coci Censur. quorund. Script. in Script. Just. Martyr. whether that Book were his, or at least as we now have it, but what may be found in his second Apology Pag. 62. [...]., and concerning which there is not any the least controver­sie in the Church. In which Apology speak­ing of the excellency of the Christian Law above that of any humane ones, in setting bounds to the carnal desires of men he hath these words. And there are many men, and women of sixty, and seventy years of Age, who having from their Childhood been discipled unto Christ, have all their time continued uncorrupt, or Virgins; And I boast that I can shew such among all sorts of men. For why should we also speak of that innumerable mul­titude of men, who have chang'd from intemperance, and so have learnt these things? For Christ called not the just, or temperate to repentance, but the ungodly, and intemperate, and unjust. Which words to an un­biast Reader cannot well signifie less, than Childrens being then baptiz'd into Christianity; That Father not only making mention of certain persons, who had from their childhood been discipled unto [Page 120]Christ, which we know from our SaviourMatt. 28.19. to have been effected by Baptism, and continu'd too all their time uncorrupt, or Virgins (which yet is a competent proof of their being baptiz'd, when Chil­dren) but opposing them to such persons as had chang'd from in­temperance, and rather learnt that purity afterward, than been discipled into it at the very first: That opposition of his making it yet more evident, that he meant such persons as were discipled to Christ from their very childhood, and before they were in a capa­city of learning him, and his doctrine by instruction. To this of Justin Martyr subjoyn we another of Irenaeus, which is yet more clear for the Baptism of Infants. For Christ (saith that Father Omnes enim venit per semetipsum salvare: Omnes, inquam, qui per eum renascuntur in Deum, infantes, & parvulos, & pueros, & juvenes, & seniores. Ideo per omnem venit aetatem, & infantibus infans factus, sanctificans infantes, & in parvulis parvulus sanctificans hanc ipsam habentes aetatem. Adv. haeres. li. 2. c. 39.) came to save all per­sons by himself; All I say, who by him are born again to God, Infants, and little ones, and Children, and Young Men, and Old. Therefore he came in every Age, and was made an Infant to Infants, sanctifying In­fants, and a little one among little ones, sanctifying those of that age, &c. Where we have him not only affirming Christ to have come to save Infants, as well as others, yea to have been made an Infant himself to sanctifie them, which shews them in his opinion to have had a general right to the blessings of Christianity, but speaking of several of them as born again unto God by Christ, which is as much as to say baptiz'd: That as it is the way, by which all are to be so born, even by the Doctrine ofJoh. 3.5. our Saviour, so the way too, by which the Antients apprehended it to be effected. For thus where Justin Martyr intreats of the Baptism of those of his time, he tells usApolog. 2. p. 93.4. that they, who were to partake of it, were brought by the Christians to a place where water was, and there re­generated after that manner of regeneration, wherewith they them­selves had been. And to the same purpose also this very Irenaeus Adv. haeres li. 1. c. 18., because not only attributing the same regeneration to it, but repre­senting it as the Doctrine of the Gnosticks, as to that Baptism which they set up against our Saviour's, that it was necessary for those, who had received perfect knowledge, to be so regenerated into that vertue, or power, which is above all things. Which passage, with the former one, makes it yet more manifest that Irenaeus meant by such Infants, as were born again by Christ unto God, such as had been regenerated by Baptism, and consequently that the Baptism of such was no stranger in his days. I think I shall not need to insist upon the days of Tertullian, because what the practice of that time was is evident from his disputing against Infant Baptism, or at least advising to delay it: There being no place for such a dispute, or advice, if the thing it self had not been then in use, and in use too (as he himself intimates) in obedience to that precept of our Saviour, which enjoyn'd the suffering little Children to come unto him in order to their partaking of his blessing, and Kingdom. And indeed as Origen, who liv'd not long after him, doth not only assert the same practice of Infant Baptism, but affirmIn Rom. 16. the Church to have receiv'd it as a Tradition from the Apostles; So Tertullian's Scholar, and great admirer S. Cyprian Epist. 59. gives such an ample testi­mony to it, that I know not what need to be added to it. For [Page 121]one Fidus having question'd him concerning the cause of Infants, who he thought ought not to be baptiz'd till the eighth day ac­cording to the law of Circumcision, S. Cyprian in a Council of sixty six Bishops made this following Answer to his demand; That he, and the whole Council that was with him, had quite other thoughts of that affair, they universally judging that the mercy, and grace of God was to be deny'd to none, that was born of men. And again, that if remission of sins were upon the faith of the parties given to the greatest Offenders, neither was any of them debar'd from Baptism, and grace, how much less ought a new-born Infant to be debarred of it, who had no other sin to answer for, but what he drew from Adam, and who came so much the more easily to receive pardon of sin, because it was not his own proper sins, but those of others, that were to be for­given him? For which cause the opinion of the Council was, that no one ought to be debar'd by them from Baptism, and the Grace of God, and that, if that were to be observ'd, and retain'd as to all per­sons whatsoever, it was much more to be observ'd, and retain'd as to Infants, and new-born persons, whose very tears wherewith they enter'd the World, seemed more to deserve it both from them, and the di­vine mercy. I omit for brevity sake the many testimonies of S. Au­gustine to the same purpose, and his affirmingAug. Serm. 10. de verbis Apost. in particular, that the Church always had it, always retain'd it, and receiv'd it from the faith of it's predecessors; And shall content my self, as to this par­ticular, with his, and the Church's pressing the Pelagians Vossi. Histor. Pelag. li. 2. part. 1 Thes. 5. with the practice of Infant Baptism, and those Pelagians, how much so­ever straitned by it, yet choosing rather to evade the force of it, than to deny in any measure the truth of the thing alledg'd: It being not to be thought, that, if there had been any the least sus­picion of the Antiquity of Infant Baptism, or indeed of its being derived to the Church from the Apostles, either the Catholicks would have so confidently alledged it against the Pelagians, or the Pelagians so easily, and without any the least opposition have admitted it.

III. Now as if we allow Infants to be capable of Baptism, we must consequently allow them the graces of that Sacrament, be­cause Baptism was intended to convey them; So I must needs say, I do not see why (supposing Original sin, which hath been before sufficiently establish'd) we should scruple to attribute to them the graces of that Sacrament, and particularly remission, and regenera­tion. For if Infants are naturally under the guilt of Original sin, there is so far forth place for, and a necessity of remission; And if the same Infants are naturally under the pollution of it, or (as our Catechism expresseth it) are by nature born in sin, and the chil­dren of wrath, they are alike capable by Baptism of being regene­rated, or made the children of grace. Not that there is, or can be even in baptiz'd Infants any actual perception of, or adhesion to that, which is spiritually good, but a disposition to both, and by vertue whereof the soul is fitted, and inclin'd to each, when years, and opportunity invite: As the same soul is to reason, and will, when it arrives at years of maturity, by vertue of those natural faculties, that are from the beginning in it. Which is a sort of [Page 122]regeneration, that is most sutable to the state of Infancy, and be­yond which therefore, whilst they continue in that state, we are not reasonably to expect; But is withal as true a regeneration as that, which is wrought in those of riper years, and by which the souls of the parties regenerated actually perceive, and cleave to that good, which the other is only disposed to: That actual percep­tion, and adhesion being not so much any part of their regeneration, or new birth, as the effects, or issues of it.

IV. But because how clear soever Infant Baptism may thus far seem, yet it cannot be deny'd to be encumbred with many, and great difficulties, or at least such as appear so to men of prejudi­ced minds; Therefore it will be but necessary, before I leave this head, to select such of them as seem to be most pressing, and return a satisfactory Answer to them: Whether they be such as re­late to the grounds, on which I have endeavour'd to establish it, or such as strike more directly at the thing it self.

That, which is most to be consider'd of the former sort, is thatSee Jer. Tayl. Liberty of Proph. Sect. 18. num. 13. which pretends to evacuate the Argument from the Circumci­sing of the Infants of Abraham's posterity to the Baptizing of the Children of Christians. Which it endeavours in part from Cir­cumcisions being but a Type, or figure of Baptism, and so either proving nothing at all without some express to signifie such a thing to be its purpose, or after the nature of such things, directing us rather to a spiritual childhood in order to Baptism, than shewing a natural childhood to be a due subject of it; And in part also from Circumcisions being not in all things a rule to the Christians Baptism, and particularly not in the persons, that are to be baptized (Women as well as Men being confessedly the subject of the lat­ter) nor in the time of their receiving of it. For if Circumcision be a sufficient direction for the baptizing of Infants, why not also a like direction for the confining of it to the Males? And if it were to be a direction as to the baptizing of Infants, why not al­so as to the baptizing of them upon the eighth day (which was the day of administring Circumcision) as that Fidus, whom S. Cy­prian answer'd, seemed to be persuaded, and accordingly argued it from the like administration of Circumcision.

As to what is objected concerning Circumcision's being but a type of Baptism, and so either proving nothing at all without some express to signifie such to be its purpose, which is not pre­tended in the present case, or if proving any thing as to the matter of childhood, yet directing rather to a spiritual, than a natural one; I answer that as I see not why Circumcision should be look'd up­on as only a type of Baptism, nor indeed as any type at all, un­less it be in a general sense, and as a thing that is like unto an­other may be look'd upon as a type of that, to which it is so, in which sense I my self have also us'd the word, and allow it so to be, so we do not at all argue from Circumcision, as it may be sup­posed to be a type of Baptism, but as a sign of the same righte­ousness of Faith, of which Baptism is, and of the same gracious Covenant, that assures it. And in this sense as nothing hinders us to argue from Circumcision's being bestowed upon Infants then, [Page 123]that that which is a sign of the same righteousness of faith under the Gospel is in reason to be extended to the same persons; So there is this in particular to enforce it, that Christian Parents would otherwise fall short, in the account of God, of the priviledges of the natural descendants of Abraham. Of which what account can be given, when Abraham, from whom they both claim, is de­clared to be the Father of them both, yea is said by S. Paul to have receiv'd the sign of Circumcision, not only as a seal, or assurance to himself of that righteousness of faith, which he before had, but a seal, or an assurance also of his being to the same purposes a Fa­therRom. 4.11. of those that believe, though they be not circumcised, as well as a Father of those that were.

There is as little reason to be stagger'd by what is alledged in the second instance, that if Circumcision be a sufficient direction for the baptizing of Infants, it may as well be a direction for the confining of it to the Males, and for the confining of it too to the eighth day after the Infants birth. Because first the Sacrament of Baptism hath nothing in it to confine it to the Males, as Cir­cumcision had, but on the contrary is equally fitted to be admini­stred to both Sexes. And secondly because it appears from what was before saidPart 1. concerning the Rite of Baptism among the Jews, that the want of Circumcision was afterwards suppli'd to the Fe­males by Baptism, and they thereby even in their Infancy initiated into the same Covenant with the other. For this shews yet more, how little reason there is to argue from Circumcisions being con­fin'd to the Males, that therefore Baptism ought to be so; Or ra­ther how much more reason there is to extend it both to Male, and Female, and so to all of the same Infant estate. If there­fore there be any thing to hinder our arguing from Circumcision in this particular, it must be its not being pretended by our selves to be a direction as to the day of its administration, as well as to the persons, to whom it ought to be administred. But beside that there is a vast difference between the persons, to whom any Sa­crament is to be given, and the precise day, on which it is to be so, and therefore not the like reason for Circumcision's directing as to this, as there is for its directing as to the other; What Circum­cision directs as to the case of Infants is more a favour, than a com­mand, whereas what is directed as to the precise day is rather a command, than a favour. Now it being a rul'd case, That Fa­vours are rather to be enlarg'd, than restrain'd, especially under a Dispensation, which is so manifestly gracious, as that of the Gos­pel is, there may be reason enough for our interpreting what is said concerning the Circumcision of Infants to the equal, or rather greater benefit of Infants now, and consequently that Sacrament, which came in place of it, to be rather hastned, than deferred to a day, to which possibly they may not arrive, but however to be given them as soon, as a convenient opportunity presents it self. Add hereunto the difference there is between Circumcision, and Baptism as to the trouble, or danger, which may attend the admini­stration of them to such tender bodies, as those of Infants are. For there being a greater trouble, and danger to Infants from the Rite [Page 124]of Circumcision, than there is from the Rite of Baptism; There might be greater reason for the deferring of that to the eighth day, than there is for the deferring of this. And what is there­fore, as to that particular, directed concerning Circumcision, not to be drawn into example in the matter of Baptism, though other more material, and more advantagious circumstances are.

But leaving what is commonly urg'd against the Argument from the Circumcising of Infants, because, as I suppose, sufficiently as­soil'd by the foregoing discourse. Let us take a view of such Ob­jections as strike more directly at Infant Baptism, or at least of the more material ones. Such as I take to be first the want of an ex­press command, or direction for the administring of Baptism to In­fants; Secondly, their being incapable of that regeneration, which is the great intent and end of Baptism, or giving no su­table indications of it afterwards; Thirdly, their being as inca­pable of answering what is prerequired to it on the part of the persons to be baptized, or is to be performed by them in the recei­ving of it.

That which seems to stick much with the Adversaries of Infant Baptism, and is accordingly urg'd at all turns against the Friends, or Asserters of it, is the want of an express command, or direction for the administring of Baptism to them. Which objection seems to be the more reasonable, because Baptism, as well as other Sacra­ments, receiving all its force from Institution, they may seem to have no right to, or benefit by it, who appear not by the insti­tution of that Sacrament to be intitled to it, but rather, by the qualifications which it requires, to be excluded from it. And pos­bly more might be of the opinion of the Objecters, if there had not been before an express Law for admitting Infants to that righte­ousness of Faith, of which Baptism is a sign, and a means of con­veyance, and for admitting them too by such an outward sign, as that of Baptism is. But such an express law having been before given by God, and that law as notorious as any law in either Te­stament, there was no reasonSee Stil­lingfleet's Ire­nicum. Part 1. cap. 1. §. 3. for God to give any such express law for the so administring of Baptism, or for us to expect it from him: It being easie to collect from the Analogy there is between the two Sacraments, and the great graciousness of the present dis­pensation, that what was communicated to the Children of Abra­ham's posterity by the sign of Circumcision, which was then the standing way of administring it, was alike intended for the Chil­dren of those, who were to as good, or better purpose the Chil­dren of the same Abraham, and intended too to be transmitted to them by their particular Sacrament, and to which (as was before observ'd) the great graces of the Gospel were annex'd by our Sa­viourJoh. 3.5. himself. Which Argumentation is so much the more reasonable, because it appears by what was but now suggested, that our Saviour, whose Institution Baptism was, gave a suffici­ent indication of his own kindness to that tender estate, yea of his owning those, that were of it, to have a right to that King­dom of Heaven, to which Baptism by his own appointment was intended to admit men.

The next great Objection against the Baptism of Infants is their suppos'd incapacity of that regeneration, which is the great end, and intent of Baptism, or giving no suitable indications of it, when they begin to be in a natural capacity to exert it. The former whereof the Anabaptists argue from the Scripture's speaking of it1 Pet. 1.23. as produced by the word of truth, and other such rational means; As the latter by the little appearance there is of it in many of those, that are baptiz'd, after they arrive at the years of discre­tion: Especially where, as it often happens in the Dominion of the Turks, they are taken away from their Parents, before they come to be of any years, and bred up in the Mahumetan Religi­on. For under this they are so far from giving any indications of a Christian regeneration, that our Religion hath no greater, or more implacable enemies, than they.

As to what is argu'd toward the proof of Infants incapacity of regeneration from the Scriptures speaking of it as produc'd by the word of truth, and other such rational ways of procedure, I must needs say I do not see why it should be alledg'd in this par­ticular, unless it any where intimated, that there was no other way of producing it, no not in the Souls of Infants. For the Scripture speaking to, and of men converted from Judaism, or Hea­thenism to Christianity, and consequently brought to it in a ratio­nal way; What is spoken of their regeneration, is not to be drawn into example here, unless the same Scripture did any where inti­mate that there was no other way of regeneration than that, or it could not be otherwise produced. Which beside the affront it offers to the omnipotency of God's spirit, and which even in men must be supposed to have the chiefest stroke, will need no other confutation, than Gods creating man at first after his own image without any concurrence of his, and producing in our Saviour, even in his conception, that perfect holiness, which was in him. For why may not God produce in an Infant that imperfect regenerati­on, whereof we speak, as well as he did that more perfect Righ­teousness, and true Holiness, wherewith our first Parents were created, or that more excellent, as well as more durable one, which he did in our Saviour from the very beginning, and which the Scripture it self attributes to the Holy Ghost's overshadowing his Mother's Womb? But it may be, though Infants are not inca­pable of regeneration, and so far forth cannot with reason be de­barr'd the Sacrament of it; Yet there is evidence enough upon the postfact, that no such thing is collated in their Baptism, and that Baptism of theirs therefore not to be look'd upon as a legitimate one. For if the regeneration we speak of were collated in the Baptism of Infants, it would, (because all Infants are alike qua­lifi'd for that Sacrament) be collated in some measure upon all of them, which yet the future behaviour of many of them doth render justly questionable: Many of them being untoward enough, when they first come of years, though advantaged by a sutable edu­cation, and others (as was before said) taken away early from their Christian Parents, and both educated in a contrary Religion, and made zealous Proselytes of it. Which things how they should be consi­stent [Page 126]with that regeneration, whereof we speak, is at least very difficult to apprehend. And possibly these two things have stuck more with considering men than most of the other Arguments that have been brought against Infant Baptism, and have per­haps given as much trouble to all those, who have duly consi­der'd them. But whether they are in truth of that force, which they seem to be of, may well be doubted by those, who shall con­sider this regeneration as the state of Infants requires, or at least makes it reasonable enough to do; I mean as a weak, and im­perfect thing, and rather as the seed of a more strong, and per­fect regeneration, than a thoroughly form'd, and well setled one. For so if we conceive of it, we shall find no great difficulty to apprehend first, that where there is not only nothing of a Chri­stian education to excite, and improve it, but a contrary one from the very beginning, and such a one in particular as Christian Children have from the Turks; So, I say, it will not be difficult to apprehend, but it may be perfectly overwhelm'd, and choak­ed by it: As that seed in the Parable was, that was sown among Thorns, or as that may be suppos'd to be, that is covered over with rubbish, and hindred by it from sprouting forth. And though I cannot say the same of the regeneration of such per­sons, as have afterwards had a Christian, and it may be a careful education to excite it (for here one would think it should every where more forcibly exert it self) yet this I may, which will be of equal force, that in that case it may equally fail for want of those persons exciting it, in whom that seed is sown, or of their answering by their care, and endeavour that education, which is made use of in order to it. For Baptism (as hath been often said) being in the nature of a stipulation, or Contract, where somewhat is to be perform'd by the party Baptized, as soon as he is in a capacity to do it, as well as by him, with whom the contract is made; No wonder if, when the baptized person comes to be in a capacity to perform his part, and doth not, he with whom the Contract is made, do first withdraw his blessing from that, which he hath before sown in him, and afterward the seed it self. For in either of these cases we cannot expect such indica­tions, or effects of the Baptismal regeneration, as otherwise we might, and as do actually shew themselves in many of those, who have been made partakers of it. It may be enough that God hath furnish'd such persons with a regeneration, which during their minority will qualifie them for, and secure them to his King­dom, and a regeneration too which, if well improv'd, will grow into a more complete, and effectual one, and in fine bring them to a due holiness, and unto God. If the baptized persons will, when they are in a capacity to do better, neglect to excite it, or will oppose it, they must thank themselves, if they miscarry, and not lay the blame upon any failure on Christ's part, and much less deny his having conferred it on them.

The third, and last great Objection against the Baptism of In­fants is their being incapable of answering what is prerequired to it on the part of the persons that are to be baptized, or is to be [Page 127]performed by them in the receiving of it. Which incapacity they argue, as to the former of these, from the Scripture's pre-requi­ring Faith, and Repentance to it, as the latter from that sti­pulation, which Baptism involves, and which Infants are equally incapacitated to make.

The Answer, which our Catechism makes to these difficulties, or at least to the former, is, that they promise them both by their sure­ties, which promise, when they come to Age, themselves are bound to perform. And possibly this Answer might be better digested than it is, if the minds of those, who argue against Infant-Baptism, were more free, and unprejudic'd, than they commonly appear to be. Because first what is urg'd against Infant-Baptism upon the account of its being a stipulation, or Contract is equally of force against the Circumcision of Infants, because that was equally a Covenant, or rather a sign of it, and a means of entring into it. Which not­withstanding, the Infants of Abraham's posterity were by the Com­mand of God himself admitted to it, and thereupon reckon'd as in Covenant with him. Now if the Infants of Abraham's poste­rity were by the Command of God admitted into Covenant with him; What should hinder the Infants of Christians from Cove­nanting in like manner with him, and so far forth from being ad­mitted to the participation of that Sacrament, which is a sign of the same gracious Covenant, and a means of entring into it? Again Secondly, though Infants cannot in strictness Covenant with God, because neither having reason enough to apprehend the terms of it, nor will to determine themselves to the performance of them; Yet as they may by favour be admitted to a partnership in a Covenant, and where God, or Christ is the person, with whom they contract, obliged when they come of years to answer their part in it, so by the same favour of him, with whom they contract, what is done to them, or for them, may be interpreted as a promise on their part for the performance of it. By which means though they should not be capable of a strict, and proper stipulation, yet they may of that, which is interpretatively such. The only farther doubt in this affair is, whether God accepts of such a stipulation, which his accepting of it under the Covenant of Circumcision, and from the Children of Abraham's natural posterity will easily remove. For the Covenant of Baptism being no way inferior in it self to (or rather but the same Covenant in a different dress with) the Covenant of Circumcision, nor the Children of Abraham's spiritual seed inferior to those of the natural one; What was accepted of under the Covenant of Circumcision, and from the Children of Abraham's natural seed may as reasonably be presum'd to be accep­ted of under Baptism, and from the Children of his spiritual. How much more, when (as was before shewn) his Son, and our Savi­our ChristMark 10.14. hath commanded Children to be brought to him for his benediction, and grace, and his Apostle and our great Instru­cter S. Paul declar'd the Children of Christians to be holy, yea where but one of the Parents is so? Thus we may rationally an­swer what is objected against the stipulation of Infants, and con­sequently against their taking upon them what is requir'd of them [Page 128]in the receiving of Baptism; Which will leave nothing to us to make answer to, but their supposed incapacity for that faith, and re­pentance, which seem to be pre-required to it, and which one would think they, that are to be baptiz'd, should bring with them in some measure, as well as make a promise of. But beside that those TextsMark 16.15, 16. Acts 2.38. Acts 8.37., which speak of these prerequisites, do all mani­festly relate to adult persons, and such as are brought to Baptism by the preaching of the Gospel, and therefore not lightly to be urg'd in the case of Infants; There are these three substantial rea­sons to make a difference between Infants, and Men as to this par­ticular. First, that Infants are not admitted to Baptism, and the graces of it upon the account of any right in themselves, but of the right of their Parents. Secondly, that they are admitted for the present to a lesser portion of the Divine graces, than adult per­sons are, and such as are rather the seeds of them, than any through­ly form'd, or well setled ones. Thirdly, that what right they re­ceive by their Baptism to future, and more perfect priviledges, de­pends for their actually attaining them upon their exhibiting that faith, and repentance, which at the time of their Baptism they only made a promise of. For if (as is alledged in the first reason) Infants are not admitted to Baptism and the Graces of it, upon the account of any right in themselves, but of the right of their Pa­rents; What should hinder the Church from lending Accommodat­illis mater Ecclesia alio­rum pedes ut veniant, alio­rum cor ut cre­dant, aliorum linguam ut fa­ceantur, ut quoniam quod aegri sunt alio peccante prae­gravantur, sic cum hi sani sunt alio pro eis con­fitente salven­tur. Aug. de Verb Apost. Serm. 10., or Infants from borrowing from it the feet of other men, that they may come, the heart of others that they [...] believe, the tongue of others that they may confess, that because, in that they were sick, they were pres­sed down by anothers sin, they may, when they are made whole, be saved by the confession of another? If again (as is alledged in the second reason, and prov'd before in the matter of regeneration) Infants are admitted for the present to a lesser portion of the divine Graces, than adult persons are, and such as are rather the seeds of them, than any throughly form'd, or well setled one; Who can think but that a like difference ought to be between them as to the pre­requisites of their Baptism, and that therefore not to be urg'd as to the case of Infants, which was prerequired of the other? In fine, if (as is alledged in the third reason) what right Infants re­ceive by their Baptism to future, and more perfect priviledges, depends for their attaining of them, upon their exhibiting that Faith, and Repentance, which at the time of their Baptism they only made a promise of; It may be time enough, when that right is to be actuated, to exhibit that Faith, and Repentance, and so make way for it, as they, who are of years, do. Otherwise more shall be suppos'd to be requir'd of Infants, than is of adult per­sons themselves; Because that Faith and Repentance is not requir'd of the latter, till the full priviledges of Baptism are to be bestow'd upon them. And I shall only add, that if care were taken that the Faith, and Repentance of those, who were baptiz'd in their Infancy, were as well enquir'd into, and prov'd as their knowledge in the Catechism is, before they were allow'd to be confirm'd; The Church would not only better discharge the trust, that is reposed in her as concerning those persons, whose Faith and Repen­tance [Page 129]were not before prov'd, nor could be, but more effectually stop the mouths of the Anabaptists, than all the Arguments she, or her Sons offer for Infant Baptism, will ever be able to do. For so she would make it appear, that though she contented her self in their Baptism with the promise that was made for them, or rather with that tacit stipulation, which their very Baptism involves; Yet she was as mindful, when they came of years, to oblige them to the performance of it, and to give due proofs in their own persons of all those things, which Baptism in adult persons doth either pre-suppose, or oblige to the perfor­mance of.

PART XII. Whether Baptism may be repeated.

The Contents.

What the true state of the present question is, and that it is not foun­ded in any suppos'd illegitimateness of the former Baptism, but up­on supposition of the baptized persons either not having before had, or forfeited the regeneration of it, or fallen off from that Religion, to which it doth belong. Whereupon enquiry is made, whether if such persons repent and return, they ought to be baptiz'd anew, or received into the Church without. What there is to perswade the repeating of Baptism, and what the Church hath alledg'd against it. The Churches arguments from Eph. 4.4. and Joh. 13.10. proposed, but wav'd. The Churches opinion more firmly establi­shed in the no direction there is in Scripture for rebaptization in those cases, but rather the contrary, and in the no necessity there is of it. The Arguments for rebaptization answer'd.

IV. THE fourth, and last question relating to the right Administration of Baptism is whether it may be repeated. Which question is not found­ed in any suppos'd illegitimacy of the former Baptism (for that is here taken for granted to have been good, and valid) but upon sup­position of the baptized persons either having not before receiv'd, or forfeited the regeneration he acquir'd by it, or fallen off altogether from that Religion, into which he was baptized. In which cases, supposing the person to repent of his former either impiety, or Apostasie, it is enquir'd whether he may be baptiz'd anew, or receiv'd into the Communion of the faithful without it.

Now though, if Men would abide by the Doctrine of the Church, this question would be of easie resolution; S. Cyprian Epist. 71. Ad Quintum. Nos autem di­cimus eos, qui inde veniunt, non rebaptizari apud nos, sed baptizari. Ne­que enim acci­piunt illic ali­quid, ubi nihil est, sed veniunt ad nos, ut hîc accipiant, ubi gratia, & veritas omnis est, quia & gratia & ve­ritas una est. himself, who was so fierce for the rebaptizing of those, who had been baptiz'd by Hereticks, yet advancing not that Assertion of his upon a belief of Baptism's being to be repeated, provided it were a legitimate one, but on supposition of the former Baptisms be­ing no true, and genuine one; Yet will it not be of so easie a re­solution, if that Authority be laid aside, and the thing in question weigh'd rather by Arguments, than suffrages. For what do they differ in effect from Heathen, or Insidels, who either never before had, or have fallen quite off from the regeneration, or faith of Baptism? And if they differ not at all from them, why should they not, if they repent, and return, be received as Heathen, or Infidels, I mean by the Sacrament of Baptism? Especially, when in the ordinary dispensation of God the graces of the Sacrament are annexed to the Sacrament, nor can be expected without it. For, that suppos'd, why should not these men, being to begin their Christianity a-new, come a second time under that Sacrament, which is to enter beginners into it, and give them the regenera­tion, and remission of it?

Of what force these Objections are, shall be afterward consi­dered; The only reason of my present mention of them is to shew, that the question is not without its difficulty, and that if we will satisfie our understandings so, as to be able to satisfie others, we must enquire into the grounds of the Churches opinion, as well as be satisfied, that the Church hath been so persuaded. Which we shall find the more reason for, because one principal Text, which hath been alledged, seems not to come up to it, nor indeed to have any relation to that affair; That I mean, which suggests one Bap­tism Eph. 4.5. as well as one Lord, and one Faith in him. For the design of the Apostle in that place being to perswade the Ephesians to uni­ty, and peace among themselves, as that too, among other things by there being one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism, cannot so rea­sonably be thought to mean any other, than that they all had one common Lord, to whom they related, one common Faith in that Lord, and one common Baptism, or mode of initiating into it: That unity, as it best agrees with that one hope of their calling, by which they are also prest, because declared to be one Eph 4.4., in which they were all called; So most naturally, and most immediately enfor­cing that agreement with one another, for the inculcating where­of they are all suggested. I say not the same, nor can of that unity of Baptism, which imports only a single administration of it to one, and the same person; That unity, though it may ob­lige the person to stick close to his Religion, and to the profession he hath made of it in that one Baptism of his, yet perswading not any adhesion to, or unity with other Baptized persons, than as they may be suppos'd to partake in common with him in it. But it may be there is more force in what is alledged from our Saviour, where he saithJoh. 13.10., that he, that is washed, even by a more general washing, needeth not save to wash his feet. And so no doubt there is, if by the former washing be meant the washing of Baptism, as some of the Antients conceiv'd, and as I have elsewherePart 2. made it pro­bable. [Page 133]But there is this exception against it, as to the thing we are now about, that it seems to suppose the more general purity procured by it to abide, and mens affections, or actions only to have some pollution in them. Whereas those, concerning whose re­baptization we intreat, either never had, or have forfeited their baptismal regeneration, or fallen off altogether from that Religion to which it belongs.

Now that, which in my opinion ought to have the first place in our thoughts is the no direction there is in Scripture for the re­petition of Baptism, where the like Apostasie, or impiety hath happened, but rather a direction to a contrary course. And I in­stance for the proof thereof in Simon Peter, after he had deny'd, and forsworn his Master; And in Simon Magus, after he had pro­ceeded to so great a degree of impiety, as to offer the Apostles mo­ney for the gift of the Holy Ghost. For to the former of these, even S. Peter, we find no other washing directed, save thatLuk. 22.61. of pe­nitential tears; Nay we find him admonishedLuk. 22.22., as well as li­censed after that conversion of his to set himself to the strengthning of his brethren. Which in all probability he would not have been without a foregoing Baptism, if our Saviour had meant for the future, that nothing but a new Baptism should be able to convert such Apostates to himself: His passing over so great an Aposta­sie in a prime disciple of his upon his bare repentance being apt to encourage other men to presume of the same unto themselves. Neither will it avail to say, that this instance will not reach the case, because it doth not appear, that S. Peter was baptiz'd before. For supposing that he were not, which yet (as was heretoforePart 2. observ'd) in all probability he was, the case of the Rebap­tizers will not be render'd better, but rather so much the worse for it. For if he was not baptiz'd before, there was the more reason he should be baptized now, if nothing but a new Baptism generally can wash away Apostasie. The instance of Simon Ma­gus is yet more clear, and unexceptionable, where the regenera­tion of Baptism hath not been before receiv'd, or forfeited after the receiving of it. For that Simon Magus either never receiv'd, or had now lost the Baptismal regeneration, is evident from the words of S. Peter to him; That holy man not only cursing himActs 8.20. for his offer of money, but telling him in express terms, that he had neither lot, nor part in the matter Acts 8.21. of Christianity, and that his heart was not right in the sight of God, in fine that he per­ceiv'd, that he was in the gall of bitterness Acts 8.23., and in the bond of iniquity. Which notwithstanding, the same S. Peter directed him onlyActs 8.22. to repent of that his wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of his heart might be forgiven him. Which how could S. Peter have done, especially in so notorious a case, if a second Baptism had been necessary to wash away that sinful estate, which the former Baptism had not purg'd, or at least which had retur­ned after it.

My second Argument against the repetition of Baptism is the no necessity of it in either of the foremention'd instances. As will appear whether we consider it as a means of obliging us to that piety, which our Religion requires, or as a means of conveying the [Page 134]graces of it. For in the former notion it is as really, and effectu­ally an obligation to a Christian life in an unsincere person, or one who afterwards apostatizeth, as if it had been never so hear­tily intended; The obligation thereof arising not from the secret sentiments of the person, that is baptized, or his constancy to his profession, but from the nature of the thing it self, and the Institution of God, that prescrib'd it. Provided therefore we take upon us the Sacrament it self, we tie our selves by it without remedy, neither can there therefore be any need of our obliging our selves by it a second time, unless he, who instituted it, should require it of us. It is true indeed so far as we have departed from it whether by Apostasie, or impiety, so far it will concern us to own it again to our Lord, and Master, by our repentance of the breaches of it, and a repetition of the same vows unto him; And it will concern us too, if the Church requires it, to satisfie that also, that we do so repent, and will amend. But as both the one, and the other may be done without the re­petition of our Baptism, so a frank acknowledgment with our mouths, together with the receit of the Lord's Supper, may very well serve for those purposes, because serving a like to de­clare them. But it may be, the principal difficulty in this affair lies in what concerns Baptism as a means of conveying the graces of it, and particularly our regeneration, and new birth. And I must confess I was for some time at a loss what to think in it, till I consider'd that the Sacrament of Baptism was not ei­ther a physical cause, or conveyer of Grace, that we should think the grace of it could not be in the receiver of Baptism, unless it were either presently produced in him, or conveyed to him, but a moral instrument thereof, or a means to which God hath an­nexed the promise of it. For such a one by the favour of that God, who hath annexed the promise of his Grace unto it, may operate at a distance, as well as in presence, and accordingly may convey it to the receiver of Baptism, as well after his Baptism, as together with it, yea convey it after the baptized person hath lost it, as well as it did at first. Which suppos'd, the only re­maining difficulty will be, whether we may reasonably expect it from God, supposing the baptized person to return, and repent. A thing, which they have little reason to question, who believe God to allow a second Baptism upon it, and we shall have far less, if we reflect upon the former instances of Peter, and Simon Magus. For if God will allow of the remedy of a second Bap­tism upon repentance, why not also allow the first Baptism to be the means of conveying his graces, and our health, and sound­ness? Especially, when the breaches of it come to be acknow­ledged, and the vow thereof renewed. And if God accepted of S. Peter upon his bare repentance, and directed Simon Magus to no other remedy, than that, and prayer; We may as well sup­pose, that if he accept us at all, he will accept us upon that, and our old Baptism, and so make that co-operate to the respective graces of it.

These I take to be sufficient Arguments against the repetiti­on of Baptism, and the more, because they also suggest as satisfa­ctory [Page 135]answers to what hath been before alledged for it. For neither can they be look'd upon as Heathen, and consequently as standing in need of a new Baptism, who however they may have renounc'd the old, whether by their Impiety, or Apostasie, yet ever were, and ever will be under the obligation of it. And much less after their repentance, and return can they be thought to want it toward the producing of that regeneration, which they are without: Their former Baptism, through the favour of him who annex'd the promise of regeneration to that Sacrament, being as effectual for that purpose, as any new Baptism whatsoe­ver. Baptism is indeed generally necessary to regeneration, it is so necessary that no man living can promise it to himself without it; But if it be of as much value, as necessity, it may, and no doubt will induce him, who is the dispenser of his own graces, to confer it upon a former, as well as upon any new administrati­on of it.

FINIS.
OF THE SACRAMENT OF …

OF THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.

For a Conclusion of an EXPLICATION OF THE CATECHISM OF THE Church of England.

By GABRIEL TOWERSON, D. D.

IMPRIMATUR

Liber cui Titulus, [Of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, &c. By Dr. Gabriel Towerson.] H. Maurice RRmo in Christo P. D. Wilhelmo Archiep. Cant. à Sacris.

Octob. 24. 1687.

LONDON, Printed for Richard Chiswell, at the Rose and Crown in S. Paul's Church-Yard. MDCLXXXVIII.

TO THE Right Reverend FATHER in GOD FRANCIS Lord Bishop of ELY.

My Lord,

I Am now at an end of a long, and laborious Work, begun and car­ried on in the more prosperous times of our Church, but finish­ed with no less Zeal for that Re­ligion, which she professeth, and with an equal, if not greater regard to Your Lordship, who to your own immortal Honour, and the satis­faction of all good Men, have so firmly adhered to it.

The Argument, that is now before me, hath (I doubt not) been handled by much bet­ter Pens, and, if I may judge by those few Treatises which I have seen, in a way worthy of the Age we live in, and of that Religion, which we have the honour to profess. But whether any one Man hath spoken to the several parts thereof, which is my proper Business, is [Page]more than I my self have observed, or receiv'd any intimation of from other Men. However, I have been so fearful of transcribing the Con­ceptions of others, that I have avoided to look into many things, which I my self might have profited by; As conceiving that a Man's own natural thoughts, how slight soever, may be more useful, and acceptable, than a repetition of far better ones of other Men. If, whilst I too eagerly pursue my own thoughts, I some­time happen to stumble, they, who consider the honesty of my Design, will, I hope, be more ready to pity, and pardon, than any way in­sult over my Infirmities. Which hopes I am the more confirmed in, because I have all along had the Scripture in my Eye, and particularly those parts thereof, which give an account of the Institution of this Sacrament, and by which, if by any thing, we must attain a due under­standing of it.

If what I have offer'd upon this, and the other parts of our Churches Catechism, may be so useful to its Members, as to furnish them with a General Idea of the Doctrines it contains, and sufficient Arguments to confirm them, I shall think my Pains to have been as profitably be­stow'd, as a Man of my Circumstances was ca­pable of employing them: That, which in my poor Opinion hath been the great Bane of the Church of England, being the necessity the Members thereof have been under of laying the foundation of their Knowledge in foreign Sy­stemes, which have not only much alienated their [Page]Affections from the Religion profess'd among us, but so prejudic'd their Minds against it, as to make them proof against the greatest Convicti­ons, which the best of our Writers have been able to offer to them. Which therefore if these my Labours may serve in any measure to pre­vent, I have as much as I desire; But however, shall rest satisfi'd in this, that I have done the best service I could to the Church of England, and have therefore little left me to do, save to pray for the Prosperity thereof, which is, and shall be the daily employment of

Your Lordship's Most Obliged, Most Obedient, and Most Humble Servant, GABRIEL TOWERSON.

THE CONTENTS OF THE EXPLICATION OF THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.

The Contents of the First Part.
Of the general Grounds of our Saviour's instituting another Sacrament after Baptism, and of his choice of that of the Lord's Supper in particular.

ENquiry first made into the ground of our Saviour's institu­ting another Sacrament after Baptism; And that shewn to be, the Sacrament of Baptism's leaving place for the entring in of new, and gross Errours, and which being not so consi­stent with the Vow thereof, made it so much the more difficult to believe, that there was any remedy to be had from the Graces of that Sacrament, because forfeited by the violation of its Vow. The want of an undoubted remedy from thence the occasion of providing a new, and, because the former was apparent to our Senses, of a like outward, and visible one. The ground of our Saviour's choice of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper in particular shewn at large to have been a like usance among the Jews in their more solemn Festivals. Pag. 157.

The Contents of the Second Part.
Of the Names antiently given to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, with the Reasons of the Imposition of them.

THE Lord's Supper antiently one of the Names of this Sacrament, and Evidence made from 1 Cor. 11.20. that S. Paul gave that Name to it, and not to those Agapae, or Love-feasts, that accompanied it. The reason of that Name it's being a Feast, though a spiritual one, instituted at Supper-time, and instituted by our Lord. The Eucha­rist another Name of it, and of like Antiquity with the former, which it receiv'd from those Thanksgivings, which were antiently made over it, whether for the Fruits of the Earth, or the Blessing of our Redemption. Breaking of Bread a third Name of the same Sa­crament; One Species thereof, and one noted Circumstance about it being by an usual Hebraism set to denote the whole. Enquiry next made into such Names, or Titles of it, as are most insisted on by the Romanists; such as that of The Body of Christ, an Oblation, or Sacrifice, and the Mass. The first whereof this Sacrament is shewn to have had from the intimate relation there is between it and the Body of Christ, which it conveys; The second from its containing in it a Thanksgiving for, or Commemoration of Christ's Sacri­fice of himself upon the Cross; The third from that solemn dismis­sion, which was given to those that attended at it, after that Ser­vice was finished. pag. 163.

The Contents of the Third Part.
Of the Institution of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

THE Story of the Institution first set down out of the Evange­lists, and St. Paul, and animadverted upon in the several parts of it. Where, after an account of the time of it, the consequents where­of are also declar'd, entrance is made with the consideration of the Bread, and both the quality of that Bread, and Christ's taking it, explain'd. This followed by a more ample declaration of Christ's blessing it, and that Blessing both shewn to have the Bread for its object, and to consist in making it useful for the purposes of a Sacra­ment, or rather in Christ's addressing himself to his Father to make it such. That address of his thereupon carefully enquir'd into, and (because it appears from St. Luke, and St. Paul to have been by Thanksgiving) enquiry also made what benefits he so gave thanks for, what use that Thanksgiving was of toward the procuring of the blessing desir'd, and whether it did not also contain some express re­quest [Page]to God for the granting of it. Of Christ's breaking the Bread, its signification, and momentousness, as also of his giving it to his Disciples, and requiring them to take, and eat of it. The words, This is my body, next taken into consideration, and more particu­larly, and minutely explain'd. Where is shewn at large that by the word This must be meant This Bread, and that there is nothing in the gender of the word [...] to hinder it; That by body must be meant that body, which Christ now carried about him, and was shortly after to suffer in, and that the sigurativeness of the proposition lies in the word is. Ʋpon occasion whereof is also shewn; that that word is oftentime figuratively taken; that it ought to be so taken here, and that accordingly it imports the Bread to be a sign, and a memorial, and a means of partaking of Christ's body. This part of the Institution concluded with an explication of the words, which is given, or broken for you, and a more ample one of Christ's commanding his Disciples to do this in remembrance of him. Where the precept, Do this, is shewn to refer to what Christ had before done, or enjoyned them to do; And they enjoyn'd so to do, to renew in themselves a grateful remembrance of Christ's death, or prompt other Men to the like remembrance of it. That part of the Institu­tion, which respects the Cup, more succinctly handled, and enquiry made, among other things, into the declaration, which our Saviour makes concerning its being his Blood of the New Testa­ment, or the New Testament in it. Where is shewn, What that is, which our Saviour affirms to be so, what is meant by his Blood of the New Testament, or The New Testament in it, and how the Cup, or rather the Wine of it was that Blood of his, or the New Testament in it. pag. 173.

The Contents of the Fourth Part.
Of the outward Part, or Sign of the Lord's Supper.

BRead and Wine ordinarily the outward Part, or Sign of the Lord's Supper, and the Heresie of the Aquarii upon that account enquir'd into, and censur'd. The kind of Bread and Wine enjoin'd, in the next place examin'd, and a more particular Enquiry thereupon, Whether the Wine ought to be mix'd with Water, and what was the Ground of the Antients Practice in this Affair. The same Elements consider'd again with respect to Christ's Body and Blood, whether as to the Ʋsage that Body, and Blood of his receiv'd, when he was subjected unto Death; or as to the Benefit, that was intended, and accru'd to us by them. In the former of which Notions they become a Sign of Christ's Body and Blood, by what is done to them before they come to be administred, and by the separate administration of them. In the latter, by the use they are of to nourish, and refresh us. Of the Ob­ligation the Faithful are under to receive the Sacrament in both kinds, and a resolution of those Arguments, that are commonly alleg'd to justifie the Romish Churches depriving them of the Cup. pag. 197.

The Contents of the Fifth Part.
Of the inward Part of the Lord's Supper, or the thing signified by it.

THE inward Part of the Lord's Supper, or the thing signified by it, is either what is signified on the part of God, and Christ, or on the part of the Receiver of it. The former of these brought under Consideration, and shewn to be the Body and Blood of Christ, not as they were at, or before the Institution of this Sacrament, or as they now are, but as they were at the time of his Crucifixion, as moreover then offered up unto God, and offer'd up to him also as a propitiatory Sacrifice for the Sins of the World. The Consequences of that As­sertion briefly noted, both as to the presence of that Body, and Blood in the Sacrament, and our perception of them. The things signi­fied on the part of the Receiver in the next place consider'd, and these shewn to be, First, a thankful Remembrance of the Body, and Blood of Christ consider'd as before described. Secondly, our Com­munion with those, who partake with us of that Body, and Blood. Thirdly, a Resolution to live, and act as becomes those, that are par­takers of them. The two latter of these more particularly insisted on, and that Communion, and Resolution not only shewn from the Scri­pture to be signified on the part of the Receiver, but confirmed by the Doctrine, and Practice of the Antient Church. pag. 213.

The Contents of the sixth Part.
What farther relation the Sign of the Lord's Supper hath to the Body, and Blood of Christ.

THE outward Part, or Sign of this Sacrament consider'd with a more particular regard to the Body, and Blood of Christ, and Enquiry accordingly made, what farther relation it beareth to it. That it is a Means, whereby we receive the same, as well as a Sign thereof, shewn from the Doctrine of our Church, and that Do­ctrine confirm'd by Saint Paul's entitling it the Communion of Christ's Body, and Blood, and by his affirming Men to be made to drink into one Spirit by partaking of the Cup of it. Enquiry next made, what kind of Means this Sign of the Lord's Supper is, how it conveys to us the Body, and Blood of Christ, and how we receive them by it. To each of which Answer is made from the Doctrine of our Church, and that Answer farther con­firm'd by the Doctrine of the Scripture. The sum of which is, that this Sign of the Lord's Supper is, so far forth, a Mean spiritual, and heavenly; That it conveys the Body, and Blood of Christ to [Page]us, by prompting us to reflect, as the Institution requires, upon that Body, and Blood of his, and by prompting God, who hath annex'd them to the due use of the Sign, to bestow that Body, and Blood upon us; In fine, that we receive them by the Sign thereof, when we take occasion from thence to reflect upon that Body, and Blood of Christ, which it was intended to represent, and particu­larly with Faith in them. What Benefits we receive by Christ's Body, and Blood, in the next place enquir'd, and as they are re­solv'd by our Catechism to be the strengthening, and refreshing of the Soul, so Enquiry thereupon made what is meant by the strengthening, and refreshing of the Soul, what Evidence there is of Christ's Body and Blood being intended for it, and how they effect it. The Sign of the Lord's Supper a Pledge to assure us of Christ's Body, and Blood, as well as a Means, whereby we receive them. pag. 219.

The Contents of the Seventh Part.
Of Transubstantiation.

THE Doctrine of Transubstantiation briefly deduc'd from the Coun­cil of Trent, and digested into four capital Assertions. Whereof the first is, that the whole substance of the Bread is chang'd into the substance of Christ's Body, and the whole substance of the Wine into the substance of his Blood. The grounds of this Assertion examin'd both as to the possibility, and actual being of such a change. What is alledg [...]d for the former of these from the substantial changes mention'd in the Scripture of no force in this particular, because there is no appearance of the actual existing of those things, into which the change was made at the instant the other were chang'd into them. As little force shewn to be in the words, This is my Body, and, This is my Blood, to prove the actual change of the Sacramental Elements, whether we consider the word This in the former words as denoting the Bread, and Wine, or The thing I now give you. That supposed change farther impugned by such Scriptures, as represent the Bread of the Eucharist as remaining after Consecration, by the concurrent Testimony of Sense, and the Doctrine of the Antient Fathers. Enquiry next made into that Assertion, which imports, that the substances of the Sacramental Ele­ments are so chang'd, as to retain nothing of what they were before, save only the Species thereof. Where is shewn, that if nothing of their respective Substances remain, there must be an annihilation, rather than a change, and that there is as little ground for the re­maining of the Species without them, either from the nature of those Species, the words of Consecration, or the Testimony of Sense. That the true Body, and true Blood of Christ, together with his Soul, and Divinity, are under the Species of the Sacramental Ele­ments, a third Capital Assertion in this Matter, but hath as little ground in the words of Consecration, as either of the former. First, [Page]because those words relate not to Christ's glorified Body, and Blood, which are the things affirmed to be contain'd under the Species of the Sacramental Elements, but to Christ's Body, as broken, and to his Blood as shed at his Crucifixion. Secondly, because however they may import the being of that Body, and Blood in the Eucharist, yet they specifie nothing as to the modus of it, and much less inti­mate any thing concerning their being under the Species thereof. That that Body, and Blood (which is the fourth Capital Assertion in this Matter) are truly, really, and substantially under the Sacra­mental Species, shewn to be as groundless; and Evidence made of the contrary by such Arguments from Sense, and Reason, as are moreover confirmed to us by the Authority of Revelation. Some brief Reflections in the close upon the Worship of Christ in the Sa­crament, and more large ones upon what the Romanists advance concerning the real eating of him in it. Where is shewn that that, which they call a real eating, is a very improper one, that it is however of no necessity, or use toward our spiritual nourishment by him, and not only no way confirm'd by the discourse of our Sa­viour in the sixth of St. John's Gospel, but abundantly confuted by it. pag. 227.

The Contents of the Eighth Part.
Of Consubstantiation.

AN account of that Doctrine, which is by us called Consubstantia­tion, out of the Augustan Confession, and Gerhard; And as it is founded by him, and other the Lutheran Doctors in the letter of the words, This is my Body, and, This is my Blood, so Enquiry there­upon made first, whether those words ought to be taken in the literal sense; Secondly, whether, if so taken, Consubstantiation can be inferred from them. That the former words ought to be taken in the literal sense is endeavour'd by the Lutherans to be prov'd by ge­neral, and special Arguments, and those Arguments therefore pro­pos'd, and answer'd. What is alledg'd in the general concerning the literal sense of Scripture being for the most part to be preferr'd before the figurative, willingly allow'd; But that no exception ought to be made, unless where the Scripture it self obligeth us to depart from the literal sense, shewn to be neither true in it self, nor per­tinent to the present Texts, because there is enough in the words, that follow them, to oblige us to preferr the figurative sense before it. The Lutherans special Arguments next brought under Consideration, and First that, which is drawn from the supposed newness, and strangeness of the Christian Sacraments at the first, and which consequently requir'd, that they should be deliver'd in proper, and literal Expressions, as without which otherwise there could have been no certain knowledge of them. Where is shewn, that the Christian Sacraments were neither such new, and strange things at the first [Page]Institution of them, as is pretended (There having been the like under the Old Testament) nor under any necessity, if they had been such, of being delivered in literal, and proper Expressions, because figurative Expressions, with a Key to open them, might have suffi­ciently declar'd the nature of them. What is urg'd in the second place from the nature of a Testament, under the form of which this Sacrament is thought from Luke 22.20. to have been insti­tuted, shewn to be of as little force; Partly, because it is justly questionable, whether what we there render Testament, ought not rather to be render'd a Covenant; and partly because even Civil Testaments are shewn to admit of figurative Expressions. A short Answer made to what is alledg'd in the third, and fourth place from the Majesty of him, that instituted this Sacrament, and from the supposed Conformity there is between the several Evange­lists, and St. Paul in their accounts of the words in question; And a more full one to what is offer'd in the fifth place to shew the ab­surdity of a figurative Sense from the no place there is for it either in the Subject, Predicate, or Copula. The Copula, or the word [Is] thereupon made choice of to place the Figure in, and answer made to what is objected against it from the Rules of Logick, and from the Scripture. That the literal Sense is not, as is pretended in the sixth Argument, the only one that can quiet the Mind, or secure the Conscience, briefly shewn; And Enquiry next made, whe­ther though the literal Sense of the words should be allow'd, consub­stantiation could be inferred from them. Which that it cannot, is made appear from there being nothing in the word [...], or This, to denote that complexum quid, which Consubstantiation advanceth. p. 249.

The Contents of the Ninth Part.
Of the foundation of that relation, which is between the outward and inward parts of the Lord's Supper.

THE foundation of that relation, which is between the outward, and inward parts of this Sacrament, shewn from some former Discourses, to be the Institution of Christ, not so much as delivered by him, as applied to those Elements, that are to put it on, by the Minister's executing the Commands of it, and Christ's fulfilling the Promises thereof. What is the foundation of this relation, on the part of the former, the subject of the present Enquiry, and his pronouncing the words, Hoc est corpus meum, and, Hic est calix, &c. shewn not to be it, from the insufficiency of those grounds, on which it is built. What is urg'd in the behalf of those words more particularly considered, and evidence made, that as there wants not in the Prayers, and Praises of the Communion-Of­fice, that which may tend to the founding of this Relation, so that the words, Hoc est corpus meum, &c. neither now have, nor, when Christ himself used them, had in them the power of produ­cing [Page]it. What the true foundation of this relation is, or what that is, which consecrates those Elements, which are to put it on, en­deavour'd to be made out from some former Discourses; And those Elements accordingly considered, either as being to become a Sign of Christ's Body, and Blood, or as being to become also a Means of Communicating that Body, and Blood to us, and a Pledge to assure us thereof. The former of these relations brought about by a declaration of those Purposes, for which the Ele­ments are intended, whether in the words of the Institution, or any other; The latter by Thanksgiving, and Prayer. The useful­ness of this Resolution to compromise the Quarrels, that have arisen in this Argument upon occasion of what the Antients have said on the one hand for attributing the Power of Consecration to the Prayers, and Thanksgivings of the Priest, and, on the other hand, to the words of the Institution; Those Quarrels being easily to be accommodated by attributing that Power to the Institution rather as applied, than as delivered, and as applied also by Prayer, and Thanksgiving, more than by the rehearsal of it. pag. 261.

The Contents of the Tenth Part.
Of the right Administration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

ENtrance made with enquiring, How this Sacrament ought to be ad­ministred, and therein again whether that Bread, wherewith it is celebrated, ought to be broken, and whether he, who administers this Sacrament, is obliged by the words of the Institution, or otherwise to make an offering unto God of Christ's Body, and Blood, as well as make a tender of the Sacrament thereof to Men. That the Bread of the Sacrament ought to be broken, as that too for the better repre­sentation of the breaking of Christ's Body, asserted against the Luthe­rans, and their Arguments against it produc'd, and answered. Whether he, who administers this Sacrament, is obliged by the words of the Insti­tution or otherwise, to make an offering to God of Christ's Body, and Blood, in the next place enquir'd into, and after a declaration of the Doctrine of the Council of Trent in this Affair, consideration had of those grounds, upon which the Fathers of that Council establish it. The words, Do this in remembrance of me, more particularly ani­madverted upon, and shewn not to denote such an Offering, whether they be consider'd, as referring to the several things before spoken of, and particularly to what Christ himself had done or enjoyn'd the Apostles to do, or as referring only to that Body, and Blood, which immediately precede them. In which last Consideration of them is made appear, that the word [...], may as well, and more naturally signifie make; That there is nothing in the present Argument to de­termine it to the notion of Sacrificing, or, if there were, that it must import rather a Commemorative, than Expiatory one. What [Page]is alledg'd by the same Council from Christ's Melchizedekian Priest­hood, &c. more briefly consider'd, and answer'd; And that Sacrifice, which the Council advanceth, shewn in the close, to be inconsistent with it self, contrary to the present state of our Lord, and Saviour, and more derogatory to that Sacrifice, which Christ made of himself upon the Cross. The whole concluded with enquiring, To whom this Sacrament ought to be administred, and particularly, whether it either ought, or may lawfully be administred to Infants. Where the Arguments of Bishop Taylor, for the lawfulness of Communicating Infants are produc'd, and answered, and particularly what he al­ledgeth from Infants being admitted to Baptism, though they are no more qualified for it, than they are for the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. pag. 267

The Contents of the Eleventh Part.
How the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper ought to be receiv'd.

THE receit of this Sacrament suppos'd by the present Question, and that therefore first established against the Doctrine of those, who make the supposed Sacrifice thereof to be of use to them, who par­take not Sacramentally of it. Enquiry next made, How we ought to prepare our selves for it, how to demean our selves at the celebration of it, and in what Posture to receive it. The preparation taken notice of by our Catechism the Examination of our selves, whether we truly repent us of our sins, stedfastly purposing to lead a new Life, &c. and the both necessity, and means of that Examination accordingly declar'd. The examination of our Repentance more particularly in­sisted upon, and that shewn to be most advantageously made by enqui­ring how we have gain'd upon those sins, which we profess to repent of, and particularly upon our most prevailing ones, which how they are to be discover'd, is therefore enquir'd into, and the marks, where­by they are to be known, assigned, and explain'd. A transition from thence to the examination of the stedfastness of our Purposes to lead a new Life, of our Faith in God through Christ, our remembrance of his Death, and Charity; Where the necessity of that Examination is evinced, and the Means whereby we may come to know whether we have those Qualifications in us, discover'd, and declar'd. How we ought to demean our selves at the celebration of this Sacrament in the next place enquir'd into, and that shewn to be by intending that Service, wherewith it is celebrated, and suiting our Affections to the several parts of it. The whole concluded with enquiring, in what posture of Body this Sacrament ought to be receiv'd; Where is shewn, first, that the Antients, so far as we can judge by their Wri­tings, receiv'd in a posture of Adoration, and particularly, in the po­sture of standing; Secondly, that several of the Reformed Churches receive in that, or the like posture, and that those, that do not, do [Page]not condemn those that do; Thirdly, that there is nothing in the Example of Christ, and his Disciples at the first Celebration of this Supper, to oblige us to receive it sitting, nor yet in what is alledg'd from the suitableness of that Posture to a Feast, and consequently to the present one: This, as it is a Feast of a different nature from com­mon ones, and therefore not to receive Laws from them, so the re­ceit thereof intended to express the grateful resentment we have of the great Blessing of our Redemption, and stir up other Men to the like resentment of it; Neither of which can so advantageously be done, as by receiving the Symbols of this Sacrament in such a po­sture of Body, as shews the regard we have for him, who is the Au­thor of it. pag. 289.

ERRATA

In the Text. PAge 158. line 36. r. they had. p. 160. l. antep. from of old. p. 174. l. 26. a Transubstantiation. ib. l. 34. too. p. 190. l. 1. for hardly r. barely. p. 202. l. 38. after Saviour add in S Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Paul. p. 231. l. 45. r. opinion. p. 234. l. 4. for Blood r. what. ib. l. 5. for what r. Blood. p. 241. l. 12. r. corporally. p. 242. l. 46. for door r. doer. p. 247. l. 21, 22. for [...]e receive him with Faith r. when we receive it by Faith. p. 265. l. 29. r. interlaced. p. 272. l. 19. after manner add with Christ. ib. l. 22. r. which follows. p. 287. l. 25. for their r. the. p. 296. l. 2. after he add thereby. p. 301. l. 37. r. had had.

In the Margent. Page 195. lin. 4. Sacraments. p. 242. l. 1. for 17. r. 7.

OF THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.

PART I. Of the general Grounds of our Saviour's instituting another Sacrament after Baptism, and of his choice of that of the Lord's Supper in particular.

The Contents.

Enquiry first made into the ground of our Saviour's instituting ano­ther Sacrament after Baptism; And that shewn to be, the Sacrament of Baptism's leaving place for the entring in of new, and gross Er­rours, and which being not so consistent with the Vow thereof, made it so much the more difficult to believe, that there was any remedy to be had from the Graces of that Sacrament, because forfeited by the violation of its Vow. The want of an undoubted remedy from thence the occasion of providing a new, and, because the former was apparent to our Senses, of a like outward, and visible one. The ground of our Saviour's choice of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper in particular shewn at large to have been a like usance among the Jews in their more solemn Festivals.

BEING now to enter upon the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, the only Sacrament beside Baptism, that our Church allows, or indeed that Christianity knows, I think it but necessary to premise some­thing concerning the general grounds of our Saviour's instituting another Sacrament after Baptism, and of his choice of the Lord's Supper in particular; Concerning the names, that were antiently given to that Sacrament; And con­cerning [Page 158]the Institution of it: Each of these being of use toward the discovery of the nature of that, which I am now upon the investi­gation of.

That which seems to me to have been the general ground of our Saviour's instituting another Sacrament after Baptism, is that first Sacrament's leaving place for the entring in of new, and gross Errors, and consequently a kind of necessity, on the part of Christ, of new sensible means, and assurances of that Grace, which is to re­move them, and a like necessity, on our part, of such new declarati­ons of our renouncing our former Errors, and giving up our selves to his Service. For though Baptism (as was beforeExpl. of Bapt. Part 6. observ'd) profess to mortifie our Corruptions, and regenerate our Natures; Though it do it in such a measure as to make us Conquerours over the former, and change the latter for the main into pious, and holy: Yet as it leaves placeExpl. of the Lord's Prayer, in the words, Forgive us, &c. in the best of Men for new Errours to enter in, and which accordingly they are enjoyn'd to ask daily the forgiveness of; so it is equally apparent from the expe­rience of the World, and from the care the Scripture2 Cor. 2.6. Gal. 6.2. takes for the restoring of lapsed men, that Baptism doth not so reform mens Natures, but that through the prevalency of temptations, or their own carelesness they may fall into great and scandalous Errours, and such as cannot therefore be suppos'd to be consistent with that Holiness, which in Baptism they made profession of. Now as in such a case it is easie to see, that men would have been apt to de­spond, if they had had nothing but their Baptism to trust to, because having by the breach of their Baptismal Vow forfeited their title to the Graces of it: So it seem'd therefore little less than necessary to have some new Remedy assign'd them, and such as should be as apparent to their sense, as their former was, as which otherwise could not have been so satisfactory to them. For by the same reason that it came to be thought needful to make use of sen­sible means to convey, or assure to mankind God's Pardon, and Grace upon their first conversion to Christianity; By the same, or a greater Reason it must be judg'd to be so to make use of the like sensible means to convey, or assure the same Grace, and Pardon, after men have in any measure forfeited the interest they have in the other. By the same reason again that it came to be thought needful to exact of us sensible declarations of our renouncing the Errours of our unconverted estate, and giving up our selves to Christ's service; By the same, or a greater Reason must it be judg'd to be so to exact of us the like sensible declarations, after we have by our disobedience departed from, and prevaricated the for­mer ones. It is true indeed Christ might, if he had so pleas'd (For no man dreams of any absolute necessity of either) have convey'd, and assur'd to us the divine Pardon, and Grace by the sole Ministry of his Word; And he might too have receiv'd us to both upon the like verbal declarations from our selves: But as he might as well have done both upon our first conversion to Christianity, and yet chose rather to do it by the mediation of Baptism; So if there were any reason for the former (as to be sure Christ doth not act without one) there is equal reason for the latter, and an equal necessity consequently of his instituting another Sacrament after [Page 159]Baptism to supply those defects, which Baptism could not so well provide for. Sure I am, whilst the Precepts of Christianity were yet fresh in the minds of men, and they therefore as sensible of the least violations of them; such was their opinion of the ne­cessity of another Sacrament after Baptism, that they pass'd imme­diately from thatJustin Martyr, Apol. 2. to the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and (which is more) were so intent upon it, that no day pass'd them without the receit of it, but however no day, wherein there was an opportunity of assembling themselves for the publick Worship of God, and celebrating the other parts of it.

But because the former defects might have been provided for by other Sacraments, and those defects therefore no proper ground of Christ's choice of this particular one; Therefore it will be requisite for us to find out some other ground of it, and which, all things consider'd, cannot better be fix'd, than in an usage of the Jews, and which being so, might with their better liking be converted by him into a Sacrament, and more readily receiv'd and embrac'd.

From Paulus Fagius we have it, as I find it both in himself Annot. in Deut. 8.10., and in Cassander Liturgic. in initio., that in the more solemn Feasts of the Jews the Father of the Family presently after his sitting down with his Guests took a Cup full of Wine in his right hand, praying over it in these words, Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, King of the World, who createst the Fruit of the Vine. Which said, he first of all tasted of it himself, and then reach'd it out to all, that sate with him. Presently after he took a Loaf of Bread, and holding it with both his hands consecrated it in these words, Blessed be thou O Lord our God, who bringest Food out of the Earth. Which said, he brake it, and after he had eaten a piece of it himself, gave the like to each that sate with him. Thus that Learned Man informs us, that the Fa­ther of the Family did at their sitting down at their more solemn Feasts; As after the Feast was over, that he, or some other per­son, to whom he committed it, taking a second time a Cup full of Wine into both his hands, prayed, Let us bless him, who hath fed us of his own, and by whose goodness we live: Passing on from thence to other Blessings, and Prayers, and particularly to bless God for the Food, which he had afforded to them all, and for all the Benefits bestow'd either on their Fathers, or themselves, and to pray unto him in like manner for the state of their Nation, for the restoring of Jerusalem, for the coming of Elias, and the Messiah, and particularly for their Domesticks, and Kindred. After which the same person began as before, Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, King of the World, who createst the Fruit of the Vine, and thereupon again drank a little of the Wine himself, and then gave it in order to his Guests.

Now as it is easie to guess by the likeness there is between our Sacrament, and this Usance, that our Sacrament, or rather the Author thereof took his Pattern from thence, if that Usance be ancienter than the Sacrament it self; So there is just ground to believe it was, both from what we find in St. Luke's account of Christ's celebration of the Passover, and this Sacrament, and from the manner wherewith this Sacrament was celebrated in the first Ages of Christianity. For St. Luke in his account of the former [Page 160]Solemnities takes notice of our Saviour's taking a Cup, giving thanks over it, and distributing it among his DisciplesLuke 22.17, 18. with this farther Remark, that he said he would not drink any more of the fruit of the vine (the particular title here us'd) until the king­dom of God should come. And the Ancients in their mention of the celebration of the Lord's Supper, speak of the Symbols thereof as alike intended for memorials of their thankfulness to God for the Blessings of this World, as well as for the Blessing of their Redempti­on. For thus Justin Martyr first affirms the Bread of the Eucharist to have been given by our Saviour to usDial. cum. Tryph. pag. 260. [...]., that we might at the same time give thanks to God for having made the World with all things in it, for the sake of Man, and for delivering us from the evil, in which we sometime were, by him, whom he made passible for us. As Ire­naeus Adv. haeres. lib. 4. c. 32. Sed & suis discipulis dans consilium primitias deo offerre ex suis creaturis non quasi indigenti, sed ut ipsi nec infructuosi, nec ingrati sint, eum, qui ex creatura panis est, accepit, & gratias egit, dicens, Hoc est corpus meum. Et calicem simi­liter, qui est ex ea creatura, quae est secun­dum nos, suum sanguinem confessus est, & novi Testamenti novam docuit oblationem, quam Ecclesia ab Apostolis accipiens in universo mundo offert deo, ei qui alimenta nobis praestat, pri­mitias suorum munerum in novo Testamento. in like manner, that Christ gi­ving his Disciples counsel to offer to God the First-fruits of his Creatures, not as to one, that wanted them, but that they themselves might not be ungrateful, or unfruitful, he took Bread, and gave thanks, saying, This is my Body. And the Cup in like manner, which is of that Creature, which is accord­ing to us, he confessed to be his Blood, and taught a new oblation of the New Testament. Which Oblation the Church receiving from the Apostles, offers in all the World to God, even to him who gives us Food, the First-fruits of his Gifts in the New Testament. Agreeable hereto is that of Origen, though not so clearly express'd as the former passages were. For these Reasons, saith heContr. Cels. lib. 8. p. 399. [...]., Let Celsus, who knows not God, pay the testimonies of his thanks to Devils, even for the Benefits of this World. But we being desirous to please the maker of the Ʋniverse, eat even those Loaves, which are offered with Thanksgiving, and Prayer over the things bestow'd upon us, being now made by Prayer a certain Holy Body, and one which sanctifies those, who use it with a good inten­tion: Plainly intimating by the opposition he there makes between Celsus's paying the testimonies of his thanks to Devils for the Be­nefits of this World, and our eating of the Eucharistical Bread with respect to the maker of the Ʋniverse, that the Christians of old ate of it with regard to the Creation of the World, and the Benefits thereof, as well as with respect to the redemption of it by the Body of his Son. Now from whence, I pray, considering the no intima­tion there is of any such thing in the Institution of Christ, or Saint Paul's rehearsal of it; from whence, I say, that regard to the Crea­tion of the World, and the Benefits thereof, but from those Thanks­givings, which from old descended to them from the Jews, to­gether with the Institution of Christ? And which being so will prove the Usance before remembred not to have been the Usance [Page 161]of the latter Jews only, but of those, who were as old as our Sa­viour's time, and that Passover, which he celebrated among them. Add hereunto, what is apparent from the Ancient Liturgies of the Church, the Prayers of the Eucharist descending to such In­tercessions for all sorts of men, as the Prayers of the Jews over their Eucharist appear to have done. For these are a yet farther proof of the Antiquity of that Jewish Service, and that our Savi­our copied his own Institution by it.

What use these Observations may be of, will be more fit to de­clare elsewhere, neither shall I therefore at this time set my self to the investigation of it. At present I desire only it may be remem­bred, that in this Exemplar of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper both the one, and the other Element thereof were consecrated with Thanksgivings, and the Bread of it, though consecrated in the mass or lump, was yet carefully broken off from it in order to a di­stribution of it; That as the Cup, as well as the Bread had a place in that Eucharist, so it was alike distributed among the Communi­cants, yea distributed at the end, as well as at the beginning of that Solemnity; In fine, that the Ancient Fathers look'd upon our Eucharist as in part of the same nature with it, and accordingly both represented it as an Eucharist for the Fruits of the Earth, and professed to eat of the Bread of it, after it was become the Body of Christ, as a testimony of their thankfulness to God for the other.

PART II. Of the Names antiently given to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, with the Reasons of the Im­position of them.

The Contents.

The Lord's Supper antiently one of the Names of this Sacrament, and Evidence made from 1 Cor. 11.20. that S. Paul gave that Name to it, and not to those Agapae, or Love-feasts, that accompanied it. The reason of that Name it's being a Feast, though a spiritual one, in­stituted at Supper-time, and instituted by our Lord. The Eucha­rist another Name of it, and of like Antiquity with the former, which it receiv'd from those Thanksgivings, which were antiently made over it, whether for the Fruits of the Earth, or the Blessing of our Redemption. Breaking of Bread a third Name of the same Sa­crament; One Species thereof, and one noted Circumstance about it being by an usual Hebraism set to denote the whole. Enquiry next made into such Names, or Titles of it, as are most insisted on by the Romanists; such as that of The Body of Christ, an Oblation, or Sacrifice, and the Mass. The first whereof this Sacrament is shewn to have had from the intimate relation there is between it and the Body of Christ, which it conveys; The second from it's containing in it a Thanksgiving for, or Commemoration of Christs Sacri­fice of himself upon the Cross; The third from that solemn dismis­sion, which was given to those that attended at it, after that Ser­vice was finished.

THAT, which comes next in order to be consi­der'd, is the Names antiently given to the Sacra­ment of the Lord's Supper, with the Reasons of the Imposition of them. Both which I will the more accurately consider, because Names being intended for the declaration of those things, which they are set to denote, some light may accrue from thence toward the discovery of the nature of that, which we are upon the investigation of.

Now the first Name I shall take notice of is that of the Lord's Supper, because a name given to it by our selves, and by the rest of [Page 164]the Reformed also. But with what regret of the Romanists, Baro­nius'sAnnal. Eccl. Ad. Ann. Christ. 34. Num. 45. charging the Reformed with the abuse of it, and Maldo­nate'sNot. in Mat. 26.26. affirming it to be done without any Authority from Scri­pture, or Antient Authors, doth sufficiently declare. How much Maldonate was out in what he said as to Antient Authors, I refer my self to Isaac Casaubon Exercit. 16. s. 32., who hath said enough to wipe off that ca­lumny. It shall suffice me to establish that title of the Lord's Sup­per from the Authority of St. Paul, where he tells his Corinthians 1 Cor. 11.20. that what they did, when they came together, was not to eat the Lord's Supper. For though that, which he reproves in them, even1 Cor. 11.21. every one's taking before other his own Supper, pertained not to the nature, or substance of the Sacrament, and so may seem to refer the title of the Lord's Supper, rather to those Agapae, or Love-feasts, that then accompany'd it, than to the Sacrament it self; Yet will it not from thence follow, but that we may, and ought to understand St. Paul there of the Sacrament of the Lord's Sup­per, and the Corinthians violating it by that means.

That we may understand St. Paul there of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and the Corinthians violating it by taking before other their own Supper, is probable first from what St. Paul affirms, both here1 Cor. 11.10. and elsewhere1 Cor. 3.4. concerning their divisions, and from the proof they gave of it in their taking before other their own Supper. For being divided into several factions, and such as were each of them under their peculiar head, it is not unlikely but they, who took before other their own Supper, took before other in their respective par­ties the sacred Mysteries also, and so did yet more nearly offend against the sanctity of that Sacrament, and gave occasion to St. Paul to tell them, that that was not to eat of it. But let us suppose that that was not the fault of the Corinthians, but only their taking before other their own supper only; Yet will not that hinder but St. Paul might tell them, that that was not to eat the Lord's Supper, yea though he un­derstood only the Sacrament thereof. Because, secondly, those Agapae, or Love-feasts (if it be lawful so to call the Feasts of these Corinthi­ans) being joyned with the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, did by that very conjunction of theirs cast a blemish upon that Sacrament, wherewith they were so conjoyn'd. And what then should hinder St. Paul from telling them, that that was not to eat the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, but rather contrary to it, because by that near con­junction of their's offering a particular affront to it? Which reason will be yet more valuable, if we consider, Thirdly, That the principal end of these Men's coming together in the Church, yea to those very Agapae in it, was to celebrate the Sacrament, and other such exercises of piety, and devotion. For being so, what was found to be contrary to that end was so much the more necessary to be taken notice of, and they, who were guilty of it (as they ought to be) reproached with it.

But why stand I so long to prove that we may understand St. Paul in that place of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, yea though what is said concerning it relate more immediately to the abuse of their Aga­pae? For there wants not reason enough to believe, that we ought to understand St. Paul of it, as well as have liberty to do so. Partly, because that title belongs not at all to those Love-feasts, as being not instituted by Christ, but taken up, as is probable, in imitation [Page 165]of the Jews, who celebrated their Eucharist at Feasts, or in imi­tation of our Saviour's celebrating his at the Feast of the Passover; But more especially because St. Paul presseth the Corinthians there with the first institution of the Eucharist1 Cor. 11.23., and calls upon them to reflect upon, and consider it. For to what purpose all that, un­less that were the Lord's Supper he spake of before, and which he affirm'd their practice to be contrary to the due eating of? And I shall only add, that as that notion of the Lord's Supper is the more reasonable to be embraced here, because St. Paul but just be­fore1 Cor. 10.21. represented this Sacrament as the Table of the Lord; So there was reason enough for the imposition of that name upon it, whe­ther we do consider it as a Feast, a Supper-feast, or a Supper-feast of the Lord: Because intended as a Communion of that Body, and Blood, by which we are to be nourished to eternal life, instituted at first at Supper time, and both instituted by, and intended for a Comme­moration of our Lord.

Next to the name of the Lord's Supper, reckon we that of the Eucharist, or Thanksgiving, for so the word Eucharist imports. A name thought to have been given to it in the time of the Wri­tel of the New Testament, but however following close after it. For thus they are wont to interpret what we find in St. Paul 1 Cor. 14.16, 17., where he disputes against praying in an unknown tongue. Else when thou shalt bless with the Spirit, how shall he that occupi­eth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy Eucharist, or giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks, or celebratest the Eucharist well, but the other is not edified. Where we have not only the words [...], and [...], which are made use of to denote what our Saviour did to the Elements of this Sacrament, but an intimation of that Amen, which we shall understand afterwards from Justin Martyr to be return'd to the office of it. However that be, most certain it is that this name of Eucharist followed presently upon those times, as appears by the familiar use of it in Ignatius's Epistles. For thus he tells us in one placeEp. ad Smyrn. pag. 5. ed Voss., That certain hereticks abstain'd from the Eucharist, and prayer, because they confess'd not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ. And presently afterib. pag. 6., Let that Eucharist be accounted firm, which is under the Bishop, or to whom he shall commit it. As without whom (as it follows) it is not lawful to Baptize, or celebrate a Love-feast, but only what he shall ap­prove. In fine (saith the same Ignatius elsewhereEp. ad Phil. pag. 40.) endeavour therefore to use one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one Cup for the union of his Blood. Agreeable hereto, that I may not now descend any lower, was the lan­guage of Justin Martyr's time, as may appear from these follow­ing testimonies; Where he doth not only shew this to have been the name of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, but acquaints us with the reasons of their so denominating it. After prayers (saith he)Apol. 2. pag. 97. are done, we salute one another. Then is offer'd to him, who presides over the Brethren, Bread, and a cup of Water and Wine. Which he taking, sendeth forth praise, and glory to the Father of the Ʋniverse, through the name of the Son, and Holy Ghost, and maketh a large Thanksgiving unto God, for that we have been made worthy of [Page 166]these things by him. Having thus completed the prayers, and Thanks­giving, all the people present signifie their Assent to it by an Amen, which in the Hebrew Tongue is as much as, So be it. After that the President hath thus given thanks, and the people answer'd Amen, they, who among us are called Deacons, give to every one, that is present, of that Bread, and Wine, and Water, over which thanks hath been given, and carry it to those that are absent. And this Food (saith he) is among us called the Eucharist, to wit because of the Thanks­givings before remembred. To the like purpose doth the same Father discourse elsewhereDial. cum Tryph. Jud. pag. 259, &c., speaking still of the same Sacra­ment of the Lord's Supper. And that offering of fine flowre, which was delivered to be offered for those, that were cleansed from the Le­prosy, was a type of the Bread of the Eucharist, which Jesus Christ our Lord commanded us to celebrate in remembrance of that passion, which he suffered for those, that are cleansed in their Souls from all the wickedness of Men; That we might at the same time give thanks, or keep an Eucharist to God both for his having made the World, and all things in it for the sake of man, and for his having delivered us from that wickedness, in which we sometime were, and having perfectly dissolv'd Principalities and Powers, by him, who was made passible accor­ding to his will. From which places it is evident, that as the Sa­crament of the Lord's Supper had at that time the title of the Eu­charist, or Thanksgiving, so it receiv'd its name from those Thanks­givings, which were us'd over the Elements thereof, and which what they were I shall in another place have a more fit occasion to enquire. All I desire to observe at present is, that the Sacra­ment of the Lord's Supper receiving one of its most noted names from those Thanksgivings, that were us'd over the Elements thereof, we are in reason to think that those Thanksgivings contribute in a great measure to that saving nature, and efficacy they put on.

I may not forget to add, because that seems as antient as any, that the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was also known by the name of breaking of Bread; Not only the Syriack version, but rea­son also obliging us so to understand St. Luke, where he tells us that the first Converts of the ApostlesActs 2.42. continued stedfast in the Apostles doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of Bread, and in prayer; As again of the Disciples of Ephesus Acts 20.7., that they came together on the first day of the week to break Bread. For what other breaking of Bread can we understand there, where it is joyn'd with the Apostles Doctrine, and fellowship, and prayers, and moreover made the special business of the Assemblies of that day, which was from the beginning set apart for the honour, and service of Al­mighty God? Agreeable hereto was the language of Ignatius's time, as appears by this following testimony: He describing thoseep. ad Ephes. pag. 29., who communicate with the Bishop, and his Presbytery in the ex­ercises of Religion, as breaking that one Bread, which is the medicine of immortality, an antidote against death, and a means of living in Jesus Christ for ever. And it had no doubt its original from the Hebrews manner of speaking, who (as I have elsewhereExpl. of the Lord's Prayer, in the words, Give us this day out daily Bread. shewn) under the title of Bread comprehended the whole of their enter­tainments, and from the breaking of the Bread of the Eucharist's [Page 167]being one special ceremony about it, and intended (as St. Paul remarks)1 Cor. 11.24. to signifie the Breaking of Christ's body. After which, if any Man can think fit to make use of such like passages to justifie a Communion in one kind, he may as well hope to shew, that even the Feasts of the Hebrews (for of such I have shew'nExpl. of the Lord's Prayer ubi supra. the word Bread to be us'd) were dry entertainments, or that the [...] of the Greeks were only drinking ones.

But because it cannot be deny'd that the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper had other kind of names of old, and such as may seem to be of a higher strain, than any I have as yet assign'd; And be­cause Cardinal Baronius Annal. Eccl. ad Ann. 34. n. 48. &c. hath insisted much on them to justify from thence the Doctrine of his Church concerning it; There­fore I will instance in three, on which he seems to lay the greatest stress, I mean those of the Body of Christ, an Oblation, or Sacrifice, and the Mass.

That the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper had antiently the name of the Body of Christ, several places are alledged out of Tertullian, and two in particular out of his book de Oratione, cap. ult. Similiter & stationum di [...]bus non putant plerique sacrificiorum orationibus interveniendum, quod statio solvenda sit accepto corpore Domini. Ergo devo­tum deo, obsequium Eucharistia resolvit, an magis deo obligat? Nonne solennior erit statio tua, si ad aram dei steteris? Ac­cepto corpore Domini, & reservato, utrumque salunm est, & participatio sacri­ficii & executio officii. which cannot be otherwise understood. And God forbid, that any should deny that name to the element, which Christ himself hath declar'd to be his Body. But as the question is not, Whether the outward element either is, or hath been called by the name of Christ's Body, but in what sense we are to under­stand it either to be, or to be so called: so what Tertullian meant, is evident from what he saith upon that argu­ment against Marcion, who made our Saviour's natural body to have been a phantastical one Therefore (saith heAdv. Marc. lib. 4. c. 40. Professus ita­que se concupiscentiû concupisse edere Pascha ut suum (indignum enim ut quid alienum concupisceret Deus) acceptum panem, & distributum discipulis corpus illum suum fecit, hoc est corpus meum dicendo, id est figura corporis mei. Figura autem non suisset, nisi veritatis esset corpus. Caeterum vacua res, quod est phantasma, figuram capere non posset.) professing himself with desire to have desir'd to eat that Passover as his own (for it were unworthy that God should desire that, which is another's) he made that Bread, which he took, and distribu­ted to his disciples, to be his own Body, saying, This is my Body, that is, the Figure of my Body. Now it could not have been a figure, unless the body were of truth. But an empty thing, such as a phantasm is, could not be capable of any figure. Now can any Man think after this, that Tertullian, when he call'd the Eucharist the Body of Christ, understood it to be such in propriety of speech? Or that they do other than transubstantiate his, and the Church's meaning, who make such an inference from his words? His, I say, who made the words, This is my Body, to signifie, This is the figure of my Body, and argued against Marcion from that very figure, the rea­lity of that Body, of which it was one. How much more proper had it been for Tertullian, if he had so understood this title of the Eucharist, or our Saviour's words, to have prest him with the Eu­charist's being in truth, and in the sense of the Church his true and substantial body, and therefore also, because the same with that, which was given for us, that that was a true, and substantial one? or rather, how much more proper had it been for that Father not at all to have argued from Christ's body there? Lest Marcion seeing [Page 168]no true, and substantial body of a Man in it, he should have been more confirm'd in his opinion of Christ's having had only an imagi­nary one? But as it appears from hence, that Tertullian had not so gross a conceit of that August Title, which was given to the Sa­crament of the Lord's Supper; So that Title had, no doubt, its original from the intimate relation there is between the sign, and the thing signified by it: It being not unusual, or improper to give unto the sign the name of the thing signified, but especially to such a sign as is also a conveyer of those Blessings it declares. For thus Baronius himself observes out of St. Augustine De peccat. merit. lib. 1. c. 24. Optimè Punici Christiani Baptismum ipsum nihil aliud quàm salutem, & Sacramentum cor­poris Christi nihil aliud quàm vitam vo­cant., That the Carthaginian Christians called Bap­tism it self health, or salvation, and the Sa­crament of the body of Christ, life. Which they could not be in any other sense, than as the means of the conveyance of them, or (as St. Paul expresseth it concerning the Sacrament of the Lord's Sup­per) the Communion, or Communication of them. For from whence (as the same St. Augustine Ʋnde nisi ex antiquâ, ut existimo, & Apostolicâ traditione, quâ Ecclesiae Christi insitum tenent praeter Baptismum, & partici­pationem dominicae mensae non solum non ad regnum Dei, sed nee ad salutem, & vitam aeternam posse quenquaem hominum perve­nire. goes on) those titles of Salvation, and Life, but from an antient and Apostolical Tradition in the Church, That no Man can come to salvation, and eternal life with­out the participation of those Sacraments; any more than he can do to the kingdom of God?

But because the foremention'd Baronius tells us that the Sacrament, whereof we speak, had also the name of an Oblation, or Sacrifice, as that too because of the offering there made for sin, or an expiatory one; Therefore it will be necessary for us to go on to enquire into that name, and so much the rather, be­cause the same Author is so copious in his Quotations concerning it. And I readily grant that this Sacrament is frequently so call'd by the Antients, but that it was call'd so for the reason alledg'd, is utterly deny'd, neither can there be produc'd any convincing proof of it. The utmost, that is said by those, who are the most antient, is, that it is an Eucharistical oblation, as that too for the blessings of this World, and particularly for the fruits of the earth, as well as for the blessing of our Redemption. And to that purpose, and no other are the sayings before quoted out of Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus, and Origen. Which how they agree with their designs, who represent this Sacrament as an expiatory Oblation, or Sacrifice, I shall leave to all indifferent Men to judge. And though it be true, that some of those, who followed, spake in another strain, and represented it also as an oblation for the benefit of the Offerers, and others, as well as an Eucharistical oblation for benefits receiv'd; yet it is evident from Mr. Mede, Disc. on Mal. 1.11. cap. 9. that the Antients meant no more by that Ob­lation, or Sacrifice, than a Commemorative one, by that sacred rite of Bread and Wine representing to God, and the Father, the expiatory Sacrifice of his Son upon the Cross, and as it were putting him in mind of it, that so he would for the sake of that Son, and the valuableness of his sacrifice be propitious to them, and to all those, whom they recom­mended to his grace, and favour. And indeed as it is not difficult to conceive, that they, who meant no more, when they call'd the Eucharist the body of Christ, than its being a figure, and a memorial, [Page 169]and a means of its conveyance, meant no more, when they entituled it a sacrifice, than a Commemoration of that great one, which Christ made of himself upon the Cross; So it is evident that St. Cyprian, (with whose authority Baronius begins his proofs) meant no more, than such a Commemorative Sacrifice. For in that very EpistleAd Caecil. de sacr. Dom. Cal. Ʋt calix, qui in commemoratione ejus offertur, mixtus vino offeratur.—Et quia passionis ejus men­tionem facimus in sacrificiis omnibus (passio est enim Domini sacrificium, quod offerimus) nihil aliud, quam quod ille fecit, facere de­bemus:— Quotlescunque ergo calicem in commemorationem Domini, & passionis e­jus offerimus, id quod constat Dominum fecisse, saciamus. Epist. 63. which he seems so much to stand upon, St. Cyprian affirms, That the cup of that Sacra­ment is offer'd in commemoration of our Lord, and that, because we make mention of his passion in all sacrifices (For the passion of the Lord is the sacrifice, that we offer) we ought to do no other thing, than what he himself did; And again, Therefore as often as we offer the cup for a com­memoration of the Lord, and his passion, let us do that, which it is manifest that the Lord did. I will conclude this affair with the words of Peter Lombard Lib. 4. Dist. 12. G., because they not only shew the former notion to have been the sense of the Antients in this particular, but make it evident also that that of an expiatory Sacrifice is but a novelty in the Church of Rome it self. After these things, saith he, it is enquir'd, whether what the Priest doth be properly call'd a Sacrifice, or Offering, and whether Christ be every day offer'd, or only once. To this it may be said in short, that that, which is offer'd, and consecrated by the Priest, is called a Sacrifice, and Oblation; Because it is the Memorial, and Representation of the true Sacrifice, and the Holy Offering that was made upon the Cross. And Christ died once upon the Cross, and was there offered in himself. But he is every day offered in the Sacrament, because in the Sacrament a remembrance is made of that, which was once done. Whereupon St. Augustine: We are assur'd that Christ rising from the dead doth not now die any more, &c. Yet lest we should forget what was once done, it is every year done in our memory, to wit, as often as the Paschal Feast is celebrated. Is Christ then so often kill'd? But only an anniversary Remembrance repre­sents what was heretofore done, and so causeth us to be mov'd, as if we saw the Lord upon the Cross. This, and more doth that Author alledge out of St. Augustine and Ambrose, which shews what notion they, as well as he, had of this Sacrament's being also a Sacrifice. And if they, who insist so much upon its having been intituled a Sacrifice, will content themselves with this, and the former sense, we will allow that they have the Fathers on their side, but other­wise to have no title to them in this affair.

I shall not need to say much concerning the name Missa, or Mass, though that hath for a long time been appropriated to the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper: Partly, because antiently it was common to other services with it, and nothing therefore, that is singular, to be inferr'd therefrom toward the clearing of the nature of this; And partly, because it had its Original, not (as Baronius would have it) from the Hebrew, or Chaldee word Missah, which he saith is us'dDeut. 16.10. for that Free-will Offering, which the Israelites offer'd to God in gratitude for the Fruits of the earth, but from the dismission of those, who pertain'd to the same service, after that service was finish'd. For thus we read in Antient AuthorsVid. Justel. in notis ad Cod. Eccl. univ. can. 123. of the Missa Catechumenorum, as well as of the Missa Fidelium, of the Mass of [Page 170]those, who were not suffer'd to be present at the Lord's Supper, as well as of those, who were invited, and admitted to it. If in tract of time the word Missa, or Mass came to be restrain'd to the service of the Lord's Supper, it was in all probability because as the disci­pline of the Catechumens wore outCave's Primit. Christ. Part 1. cap. 9., so their Mass, or Service wore out also, and thereby nothing left to give that title to, but that, which was of old entitled the Mass of the Faithful; Or be­cause the Mass of the faithful was the more eminent part of the Chri­stian service, and so in time came to appropriate to it self that name. And though Baronius out of Reuchlin (for I find by Polydore Virgil De in­vent. rerum lib. 3. c. 11., that he was the first Author of that fancy) derive the word Missa, or Mass from the Hebrew, or Chaldee word Missah, which, as they say, signifies a free-will Offering in the place but now quoted; yet is there in truth no ground for such a conceit, if either the due signification of that word, or the text it self be more nearly consi­der'd. Because the word Missah neither in that place, nor in any other signifies a free-will Offering, but only sufficientia vid. Grot. in Deut. 16.10. & Lexicogr. or quantum sufficit, and is in that particular place set only to denote that, which might suffice, according to their respective abilities, for such a Nib­dath Jadeka, or free-will Offering of their hand, as the Israelites were then oblig'd to celebrate the Feast of weeks with. Whence it is, that the same word is in the Chaldee Paraphrase frequently made use of to render the Hebrew Dai, or sufficient, and the Septuagint express it here by [...], according as thy hand shall be able. But therefore as that account of the word Missa, or Mass must be look'd upon as a very idle one, and only agreeable to those dawning times, wherein it first appear'd; So there is still the more reason to believe what Polydore Virgil ubi supra., and after him many others have suggested, that it had its original from the dismission, that was gi­ven to those, who pertained to any service, after that service was finished. Which may the more reasonably be believ'd, because Ite, Missa est, is the conclusion of the Mass even now, and which, considering the place it hath in this service, as well as the word Ite, to which it is joyn'd, cannot be thought to denote any other thing, than that the Deacon doth by those words of his, Missam, or Missionem facere, give leave to the people to depart, and so justifie yet more the account we have before given of the title of that service. For when it is evident from the story of the Church, and particularly from Dionysius the Areopagite Eccl. Hierarch. c. 3. [...]., that the Catechumens, and others were formally dismist the congrega­tion upon the finishing their respective service; When it is farther evident from the present Canon of the Mass, that the faithful were alike dismist after that their service was over, and not only so, but by these very words, Ite, Missa est, Depart you, for you have now a dismission, or free leave to do so: What can be more clear, than that the word Missa, or Mass, had its original from that dismission, and that the several services of the Church, and this of the faithful in particular had that name, because they, who pertained to it, and attended on it, were at the end thereof solemnly dismist, and sent away to their own home? Only if any be fond of that Rabbinical [Page 171]notion, which makes it to import a voluntary oblation, because of the near cognation it may seem to have to that sacrifice, which they are willing to advance; Let them in God's name enjoy it, pro­vided they look upon it as only an Eucharistical one (of which na­ture the Missah in Deuteronomy was) or a commemoration of that vo­luntary oblation, which Christ made of himself upon the Cross. For whatever may be said against that Etymology of the word, no­thing can be said from Antiquity against the supposed sense of it; Because all Antiquity acknowledg'd that, which hath the title of the Mass, to be either an Eucharistical, or commemorative Oblation.

PART III. Of the Institution of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

The Contents.

The Story of the Institution first set down out of the Evangelists, and St. Paul, and animadverted upon in the several parts of it. Where, after an account of the time of it, the consequents where­of are also declar'd, entrance is made with the consideration of the Bread, and both the quality of that Bread, and Christ's taking it, explain'd. This followed by a more ample declaration of Christ's blessing it, and that Blessing both shewn to have the Bread for its object, and to consist in making it useful for the purposes of a Sacra­ment, or rather in Christ's addressing himself to his Father to make it such. That address of his thereupon carefully enquir'd into, and (because it appears from St. Luke, and St. Paul to have been by Thanksgiving) enquiry also made what benefits he so gave thanks for, what use that Thanksgiving was of toward the procuring of the blessing desir'd, and whether it did not also contain some express re­quest to God for the granting of it. Of Christ's breaking the Bread, its signification, and momentousness, as also of his giving it to his Disciples, and requiring them to take, and eat of it. The words, This is my body, next taken into consideration, and more particu­larly, and minutely explain'd. Where is shewn at large that by the word This must be meant This Bread, and that there is nothing in the gender of the word [...] to hinder it; That by body must be meant that body, which Christ now carried about him, and was shortly after to suffer in, and that the figurativeness of the proposition lies in the word is. Ʋpon occasion whereof is also shewn, that that word is oftentime figuratively taken; that it ought to be so taken here, and that accordingly it imports the Bread to be a sign, and a memorial, and a means of partaking of Christ's body. This part of the Institution concluded with an explication of the words, [Page 174] which is given, or broken for you, and a more ample one of Christ's commanding his Disciples to do this in remembrance of him. Where the precept, Do this, is shewn to refer to what Christ had before done, or enjoyned them to do; And they enjoyn'd so to do, to renew in themselves a grateful remembrance of Christ's death, or prompt other Men to the like remembrance of it. That part of the Institu­tion, which respects the Cup, more succinctly handled, and enquiry made, among other things, into the declaration, which our Saviour makes concerning its being his Blood of the New Testa­ment, or the New Testament in it. Where is shewn, What that is, which our Saviour affirms to be so, what is meant by his Blood of the New Testament, or The New Testament in it, and how the Cup, or rather the Wine of it was that Blood of his, or the New Testament in it.

IT is very observable,Question. Why was the Sacra­ment of the Lord's Supper or­dain'd? Answer. For the continual remem­brance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits we receive thereby. and was accordingly long since taken notice of by Isaac Casaubon Exercit. 16. s. 28., That when Baronius was to give an account of the In­stitution of this Sacrament, which three Evange­lists, and St. Paul had carefully describ'd, instead of producing the words of those Scriptures, as he often doth upon less occasions, and bestowing (as was but reasonable) a just Commentary upon them, he slub­bers it over with this imperfect storyBaron. Annal. Eccl. ad Ann. Christi 34. num. 45. shall I say, or rather with this perverse interpretation of it. In which Supper (speaking of that of the Paschal Lamb) that ineffable Sacrament was instituted, whereby Transubstantiation was made of Bread, and Wine into the Flesh, and Blood of Christ, into the very body of Christ entire under both species. Then also the Apostles, when the Lord commanded them to do the very same thing in remembrance of him, were made Priests, and that very sacrifice, which they should offer, was ordain'd. A Man would have thought that, whatever interpretation he had afterwards made of it, one, who pretended to be an Historian, should at least have given a more particular, and perfect account of that whole action, and, as near to as might be in the words of some of those Holy Men, that had transmitted it to posterity. And so no doubt this Historian would have done, if there had not been somewhat in the words of the Institution, to which the practice of his Church had made a non obstante to be necessary. But as he saw but too well how ill the practice of his Church answer'd what was then done, and enjoyn'd by our Saviour; so he therefore chose rather to give that imperfect, as well as insincere account of it, and endeavour to supply what was wanting by an account of those names, which were antiently given to this Sacrament, with the declarations of the Antient Fathers concerning them. God be thanked we of the Church of England are under no such necessity of either slightly passing over, or any way perverting the Story of this Holy Sa­crament. And therefore being now by the order of my discourse to entreat of the Institution of it, I will set down the Story there­of in the words of those, that first deliver'd it, and bound my Ob­servations by them.

Mat. 26.Mark 14.Luke 22.1 Cor. 11.
26. And as they were eat­ing, Jesus took Bread, and bles­sed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, Eat, This is my body.22. And as they did eat, Je­sus took Bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, Eat, This is my body.19. And he took Bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body, which is given for you, This do in re­membrance of me.23. For I have received of the Lord that, which also I de­livered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night, in which he was be­trayed, took Bread:
   24. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take; Eat, This is my body, which is broken for you; This do in re­membrance of me.
27. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it.23. And he took the cup, and when he had gi­ven thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.20. Likewise also the cup af­ter Supper, say­ing,25. After the same manner al­so he took the cup, when he had supped, saying,
28. For this is my blood of the New Testa­ment, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.24. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the New Testa­ment, which is shed for many.This cup is the New Testa­ment in my blood, which is shed for you.This cup is the New Testa­ment in my blood. This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in re­membrance of me
29. But I say unto you, I will not drink hence­forth of this fruit of the vine, until that day, when I drink it new with you in my Father's king­dom.25. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, un­til that day I drink it new in the kingdom of God.  

Now the first thing I shall take notice of in the History of this Sacrament is the Time of the Institution of it. Which we learn from St. Paul to have been the same night, in which he was betray'd, from the context of the several Evangelists, at the Celebration of the Feast of the Passover, or rather toward the close of it; It being whilst they were yet eating, that two of them affirm, that he took the Bread of it, and bless'd, and brake, and gave it, but so near the conclusion of that Feast, that St. Luke, and St. Paul tell us, that it was after Supper before he took the Cup, and gave thanks over it, and gave it to his Disciples. And though I do not pretend to affirm, neither do I know any sober Man that doth, that there is any obligation upon us for celebrating it after Supper, or any other Meal: Our Saviour's celebrating it then being in compliance with those Jews, whose Institution he now transcrib'd, and reform'd, and probably also to intimate its succeeding to that solemnity: Tho I acknowledg it to have been an antient usageTert. de Cor. cap.3. in the Church to celebrate it at their Meetings before day, and, where it was not so soon, yet beforeAug. Epist. 119. ad Janu. their eating of any thing else, as that too out of respect to that Sacrament; Yet I see as little reason to grant, that there is any more of religion in receiving it fasting, than what the custom of the Church, or the Laws of decency give it: It being not otherwise to be thought, that our Saviour would have institu­ted it at Supper time, or rather presently after it; And much less, that St. Paul would have given it in command to the Corinthians 1 Cor. 11.34., that if any Man hungred, he should eat at home before he came to the participation of it, and of those Agapae, that attended it.

From the Time of the Institution pass we to the Institution it self, and the several things done, and said in it.

Where the first thing I am to take notice of is Christ's taking Bread, to wit into his hands, and probably from off that table, on which it was plac'd; Agreeably to that usance of the Jews, which he fram'd his own Eucharist by, and where (as was beforePart 1. observ'd) the Fa­ther of the Family held it in both his hands, whil'st he us'd the words of Consecration, or Blessing over it. However, he so took it, to be sure, as to separate it from what other Bread then was upon the Table, as which the word took, in the most simple notion of it, will oblige us to believe; This importing the choice of some particular Bread from out the rest, and leaving the other to the ordinary uses of it. Now the Bread, which our Saviour thus took, was either some whole Loaf of Bread, answerably to the former usance, or at least some larger, but entire piece of one, as appears by the breaking of it into several pieces answerably to the several persons, that were to partake of it. And it was also, agreeably to the time when it was made use of, unleavened Bread, as the Latines have truly observ'd against the Greeks; It being upon the first day of the feast of unleavened Bread, as three of the EvangelistsMat. 26.17. Mark 14.12. Luke 22.7. have observ'd, that that Passover, which immediately preceded this Sacrament, was celebrated, and consequently that this Sacrament also was. But why it should be so far urged against the Greeks, as to make it the matter of a quar­rel, is a very unaccountable thing, unless there were somewhat ei­ther in the words, or in the rites of the Institution, which directed to the use of unleavened Bread only. For leavened, or unleavened [Page 177]matters not after the taking away of that Law, which made the dif­ference; And much less, where the present Law requires only1 Cor. 5.8. the laying aside of the leaven of malice, and wickedness, and keeping our Passover feast with the unleavened Bread of sincerity, and truth.

It followeth in the Story, And Jesus took Bread, and blessed (as St. Matthew, and St. Mark deliver it) or (as St. Luke, and St. Paul after him) gave thanks. A thing, which will require a more accurate consideration, because of the momentousness there­of; It being to that Blessing, or Thanksgiving probably that we are to assign that both change in it, and effects of it, which are after­wards attributed to it. That therefore we may the better understand this whether Blessing, or Thanksgiving, we will consider the words apart, and first Christ's being said to bless, or bless it, even the Bread.

For the better understanding of which word we are to know, that though to bless simply considered may as well refer to God, as to the thing, over which that Blessing is made; Yet we are in reason to understand it here, as relating to the Bread, as our Translators in the story of St. Matthew plainly do, because adding the word it to blessed: And Jesus took Bread, and blessed it. And my reason is first, because blessed being a transitive verb, it is by the common rules of construction to refer to that noun substantive, that immedi­ately preceded it, even the Bread, and not to any remoter one, or to one that is not express'd. How much more then if those verbs, which follow, even brake, and gave do also refer to it, as they, who make Hoc est corpus meum the words of Consecration, must necessarily allow? For what can be more congruous than to believe, when the verb blessed is a transitive one, that it referrs to the same noun substantive, even Bread, to which the foregoing verb took, and the following ones brake, and gave do? But that, which is no doubt of much more force in this affair, and will more determine the verb blessed to Bread, is the use of the same word in St. Paul 1 Cor. 10.16., when applied to the Cup of the Sacrament, as it seems to be to the Bread here. For by the same reason that the Cup is there affirmed to be blessed by those, that administred it, and not only so, but intimated to be call'd the Cup of Blessing for that reason; by the same reason are we to understand the word blessed here to relate to the Bread of it, and that our Saviour really blessed it, as well as blessed God, or gave thanks to God over it. And thus far we have the accord of the Council of Trent it selfSess. 13. cap. 1. Ita enim Majores nostri omnes, &c. apertissimè professi sunt hoc tam admirabi'e Sacramentum in ultimâ coenâ Redemptorem nostrum instituisse, cum post panis, & vini benedictionem se suumque ipsius corpus illis praebere, ac suum sang uintem disertis, ac perspicuis verbis testatus est., because applying the Blessing here spoken of to the Bread, yea affirming our Lord Jesus Christ to have blessed the Wine as well, as that.

Bread therefore being the thing, which our Saviour is said to have blessed, enquire we in the next place what is meant by his blessing it. Which must be learn'd in part from the nature of that Blessing, wherewith it was blessed by him, and in part also from the interest, which our Saviour had in the bestow­ing of it. Now what the nature of that Blessing was, wherewith the Bread was blessed by him, will appear, if we consider for what end it was appointed by him, who so took, and blessed it. Which we learn from the Institution it self, and from St. Paul's Comment [Page 178]upon it, to be in an especial manner for the communion of his Body. For the design of the divine Blessing being to make the thing bles­sed to be useful for that end, for which it was appointed; If the Communion of the Body of Christ was the end, for which the Bread of the Lord's Supper was appointed, the Blessing, where­with it was blessed, must consequently consist in its usefulness for that end, or ends, for which it was so appointed by him. Which will leave nothing more to us to account for, than the interest, which our Saviour had in bestowing that Blessing on it. Now, what that is may appear from the word [...], or giving of Thanks, which St. Luke, and St. Paul make use of to express the same thing, as St. Mark, and St. Matthew also do to express the Blessing of the Cup. For the word [...], or giving of Thanks importing him, to whom it is attributed, to address himself unto another, Our Saviour must be suppos'd to have acted in the blessing of that Bread, not as one, who conferr'd that Blessing upon it himself, but as one, who address'd himself to another for the be­stowing of it, even to him, to whom he gave Thanks. Which Particular may the more easily be believ'd, because when he only bless'd the five Loaves, and two Fishes, to give Nourishment to that five thousand Men, whom he meant to refresh, he look'd up to Heaven Luke 9.16. at the very instant of it, which shews from whence he look'd for the bestowing of it, even from his Father, that was there. The result of the Premisses is this: Our Saviour being now about to appoint the Bread of the Lord's Supper for a Communion of his Body, and other such sacramental Purposes, address'd him­self to the Father (from whom every good and perfect Gift co­meth) to make the Bread, which he now took, useful for those Purposes, or (that I may speak in the language of St. Matthew, and St. Mark) to bless it for them. With what kind of Address, or Addresses, will best be learn'd by that word, which St. Luke, and St. Paul made use of to express that action of his, even the word [...], or giving of Thanks, and which therefore I am in the next place to explain.

Now as the word [...] doth undoubtedly signifie giving Thanks, and is accordingly so us'd both by profane, and sacred Au­thors; As it must farther signifie in this place (because our Saviour in this particular instance could have no other to give Thanks to) his giving Thanks to his Father, and ours; So nothing more there­fore will be requir'd toward the understanding of it, than to shew

  • 1. What Benefits he so gave Thanks for.
  • 2. What Use that Thanksgiving was of toward the procu­ring of the Blessing desir'd.
  • 3. Whether it did not also contain in it some express Re­quest to God for the granting of that Blessing to it.

1. What Benefits our Saviour gave Thanks for is not express'd either by the Evangelists, or St. Paul, and must therefore be learn'd by what they have express'd, and particularly concerning the great End of the Institution of this, and the other Element of this Sa­crament. Which if we guide our selves by, we shall find this [Page 179]Thanksgiving of our Saviour to have been for the giving of him to die for the Redemption of sinful Man, and other the like ends of his Death. For requiring his Disciples afterwards to do what he had done for the remembrance of him, and particularly of the breaking of his Body for them, he must consequently be supposed to have given Thanks to God for giving him for those gracious Purposes, as which was the chief design of the whole, and which could not be remembred, as it ought, without such a Thanksgiving for it. I think it as reasonable to conclude, secondly, that our Saviour gave Thanks also for directing himself (who spake, and did what he did by Authority from the Father) to this Element of Bread for the Communion of his Body to his Disciples, and Followers: This, as it was by the Institution it self to be a means of the Communion of his Body, and so much the more comfortable one too, because it was also manifest to their Senses; So being a like object of thank­fulness to him, who had espous'd his Disciples interest as his own, and to those Disciples that were to be profited by it, and conse­quently not to be thought to have been forgotten by him. These two great Benefits I think, and I suppose not without reason, to have been the Benefits our Saviour gave Thanks for, and possibly also such Benefits as were preparatory to our Saviour's Death, and par­ticularly his Conception, and Birth. But other Benefits than those I know no ground to believe, and much less the creation of this, and other the Fruits of the Earth, and dispensing them to us by his Providence. As because there is not the least ground in the In­stitution for such a Thanksgiving unto God; So because this, and the other Element of the Lord's Supper were appointed not for cor­poral, but spiritual sustenance, and to which therefore our Savi­our's Thankssgiving, and ours may seem more properly to referr, and because too there is appearance enough from what was before said from St. Luke Luke 22.17. concerning our Saviour's taking a Cup of Wine, giving Thanks, and distributing it among his Disciples immediately before the Institution of this Sacrament, that he sa­tisfied the Jewish Eucharist before, even that, which had for its end the giving Thanks to God for earthly Benefits, and parti­cularly for the means of our Repast. If the Antients (as it ap­pears they didPart 1.) represented this Sacrament as an Eucha­rist for the Fruits of the Earth, as well as for the Blessing of our Redemption, and accordingly premis'd such kind of Thanksgi­vings for it; I am apt to think it proceeded at first from its being accompanied, or rather immediately preceded (as that, which our Saviour first celebrated, was) by the Eucharist of the Jews; And, when that Eucharist was laid aside, from a Willingness in the Christians, that followed them, to conform their own Eucharist so far to that of the Jews, so the better to gain them to their Reli­gion, or oblige them to keep closely to it. Till at length what was done only out of compliance with the Jews, came to be look'd up­on as a necessary part of the Christian Eucharist, and Men thought themselves obliged to give Thanks to God in it for the Fruits of the Earth, as well as for the Blessing of our Redemption. Which Opinion the Antients were the more easily perswaded into, because Christianity1 Tim. 4.4., as well as Judaism taught them, before their se­veral [Page 180]Repasts, to give God Thanks for the Matter of them, and so sanctifie the Use thereof unto themselves. For that might tempt them farther to believe, that our Saviour premis'd such a Thanks­giving to his Eucharist, and consequently thereto that we ought to do the like. If any Man can give a fairer account of the Antients both Opinion and Practice, I, who profess my self to have a just regard for them, will be glad to receive it, and (which is more) will be as willing to acknowledge my own Errour in the former one. But till I see such an account, I shall rest satisfied in this, and so much the more willingly, because they, who urge such like Testimonies of the Antients to establish the Sacrifice of the Mass, insist as little upon this sort of Thanksgivings, as any of the Reformed do.

2. But to return to that, from which I have diverted, even to that Eucharist, or Thanksgiving, which our Saviour us'd over the Bread of it. Where the next thing to be enquir'd into is, what Use that Thanksgiving may be supposed to be of to procure the blessing of the Bread. For if our Saviour blessed the Bread by the Thankssgiving, which he made over it, or rather address'd himself to God by Thanksgiving for the blessing of it; That Thanksgi­ving must be suppos'd to be of some use to procure the Divine Bles­sing on it. For the clearing of which Difficulty they, who alledge, as some do, that the word [...], or Thanksgiving is set to de­note Prayer, as well as that, and so far forth may be of sufficient force to procure the Divine Blessing (For what is there, that can be suppos'd to be deny'd to Prayer, and particularly to the Prayer of him, in whom God was well pleased?) such Men, I say, al­ledge that, which may perhaps be true, and which I shall by and by endeavour to confirm. But withall they say that, which will not reach the Difficulty, nor give any good account of two Evan­gelists, and St. Paul's expressing this Address of Christ to his Fa­ther by [...], or giving of thanks. For whatever else that word may be thought to include in it, manifest it is, first, that Thanksgi­ving is the primary notion of it, and that therefore in it self con­sider'd of a peculiar use toward the procuring of the Divine Blessing, as which otherwise would not have been employ'd to denote the whole Act. As manifest it is, secondly, that the BlessingsGrot. in Mat. 26.26. of the Jews before, and after their Meals were generally Thanksgivings, and particularly that Blessing was, wherewith the Jews Eucharist was begun, and clos'd. It is manifest, thirdly, that Thanksgivings have always had a great part in the consecrating of our Eucharist, and is deny'd by no Man, that I know of, that will allow Prayer to have any part in it. Which suppos'd, the Question will still return, what use they may be supposed to be of toward the procuring of the Divine Blessing, and which we must find out some other way to resolve. In order whereunto I will consider these Thanksgivings first as to what is common to them with all others, and then as to what is peculiar to them, as preparatory to our partaking of what we so give Thanks for. That, which the Thanksgivings of the Eucharist have common to them with all others, is, that they con­tain that in them, which I have elsewhereExpl. of the Lord's Prayer. Discourse 2. Introd. shewn makes Prayer it self to be so acceptable, even an acknowledgment of our dependance upon God: He, who thanks God for the Benefits re­membred [Page 181]in it, or for this sensible conveyance of them, as much acknowledging his dependance upon God, as he, who sues to him for those Benefits, or any other. And well may that be thought to be of use toward the procuring of the Divine Blessing, which is as much an acknowledgment of our dependance upon him, as any Prayer whatsoever. Of such use are the Thanksgivings of the Eucharist toward the procuring of the Divine Blessing on it, when consider'd as to that, which is common to them with all others. How much more, when consider'd as to that, which is peculiar to them as preparatory to our partaking of what we so give Thanks for? To give Thanks by way of preparation to the partaking of any Benefit implying an apprehension in him, that gives it, of the necessity of the Divine Blessing to make it useful to him, and con­sequently thereto a Desire of, and Prayer to God for the bestowing of it. By which means the Thanksgivings of the Eucharist, and particularly those, which our Saviour made over the Bread of it, will be though not express, yet tacit Prayers to God for his Bles­sing on it, and consequently of yet more force to procure that Bles­sing for it, and for those, that are to partake of it. Only because the Blessings mention'd in the Scripture were oftentimesGen. 17.28. Num. 6.23. Pray­ers to God for his Blessing, and it is hard to believe that, when our Saviour design'd the Blessing of the Eucharist, he should not seek to God for it by an express Prayer, as well as by Thanksgivings, and tacit ones, I think it but just to enquire,

3. Whether our Saviour's Thanksgiving did not also contain in it some express Request to God for the granting of that Blessing, which he desir'd. For the clearing whereof we are to know, that as it is not unusual for that word, which signifies only one noted part of a thing, to be set to denote the other also (For thus, as was before observ'd, the Bread of this Sacrament, and the breaking of the Bread is set to denote the Wine, as well as the Bread, and all that is done to both of them, as well as the breaking of one Element thereof) so St. Paul 1 Tim. 4.4, 5., where he entreats of a like Argument to that, which we are now upon, because of the means whereby the Creatures of God are sanctified, or blessed to us, makes use of the word [...], or Thanksgiving, to denote [...], or Prayer, as well as Thanksgiving; and again of the word [...], or Prayer, to signifie Thanksgiving, as well as that. Otherwise to alledge, as St. Paul doth, that the Creatures are sanctified by the Word of God, and Prayer, could be no proof of the lawfulness of receiving the Creatures with Thanksgiving, which is that he design'd to prove by it: Because it is certain that [...], or Prayer, in strict speech is not [...], or Thanksgiving, nor [...], or Thanksgiving, [...], or Prayer. But therefore as nothing hinders, but that our Savi­our's [...], or Thanksgiving might contain in it as express a Prayer to God to grant the Blessing he desir'd; So there are many reasons to perswade us that it did, and that Christ sought this Blessing by Prayer, as well as by Thanksgivings. Of which na­ture in particular was the momentousness of that Blessing, which he now sought, and which may seem no way unworthy of an ex­press Prayer to the Father for it; The same Christ's also employ­ing such Prayers on less weighty occasions, as well as upon more [Page 182]momentous ones; But above all, Christ's requiring us in the Cele­bration of this Sacrament to do as he did before us, and St. Paul's pressing the Corinthians to conform to his Pattern, and content our selves with the imitation of it: It being hard to believe that, when Christ so often call'd upon his Disciples to sue to God upon all oc­casions, and to ask Mat. 7.7., and seek, and knock, whensoever they stood in need of his assistance, they should be under no obligation to crave his Blessing, when the Bread, and Wine in the Sacrament were to become the Communion of his Body, and Blood. Under which ob­ligation yet they must in no wise have been, if Christ, whom they are requir'd to imitate, offer'd no Supplications to his Father to pro­cure from him the working of so great a change in the outward Elements. I take no notice here, because I may have a more proper place for it, of the Antients sending up Prayers, as well as Thanks­givings, when they set themselves to the blessing of this Sacra­ment. And shall only add, That though Prayers, as well as Thanks­givings had a place in this Affair, yet the latter might be both more particularly inculcated, and more often mentioned, because more ap­parently agreeable to that thankful Remembrance of Christ's death, which this Sacrament was in an especial manner ordained for.

The next thing, that our Saviour did, and we are accordingly to take notice of, was the breaking of the Bread; For so it follows in the Story, And Jesus took Bread, and blessed, and brake it, even the Bread: Not only our own Translation obliging us so to understand the several Evangelists, and St. Paul, by its supply­ing the word it, but the coherence of these words with the for­mer, and (which is more) the express Authority of Saint Paul 1 Cor. 10.16. elsewhere; He there describing this part of the Sacrament un­der the title of the Bread, which we break, and so shewing Bread to be the subject of it. Now this Bread our Saviour brake partly in conformity to what was done to that of the Jewish Eucharist, and partly that he might the better serve his own purposes in this. For so careful were the Jews in the breaking of their Eucharistical Bread, that whereas those thicker LoavesCassand. Liturgic. in initio., which they made use of, could not conveniently be broken in pieces, he, who blessed the Bread did, before that Benediction of his, cut one part almost from the remaining piece, but so, that it still stuck to it, and after that Benediction of his, brake it off, and when he had again cut lesser Particles out of that, took one himself, and gave the rest un­to his Guests. In conformity to which Custom as it is reasonable to believe, that our Saviour in part proceeded, when he brake that Bread, which he had before blessed; So more especially, that he might the better serve his own Purposes in it, even the distri­bution of it to his Disciples, and the representation of the breaking of his Body upon the Cross. The former whereof St. Paul plainly intimates where he asks, The Bread whith we break, is it not the Communion of the Body of Christ? The latter, when in his rehearsal of the words of the Institution he brings in our Saviour saying, This is my Body which is broken for you: There being not otherwise any reason, why he should attribute the term of breaking to Christ's Body, but that the breaking of the Bread, which was a Figure of it, was intended to represent that violence, which was offer'd to [Page 183]his crucified one. And though it be true that none of the Evan­gelists give any such hint of this Mystery of the breaking of the Bread, because affirming only This is my Body, as St. Matthew, and St. Mark do, or This is my Body, which is given for you, as St. Luke; Yet as they all say enough to shew, that this Sacrament of Bread and Wine was intended for a Representation of our Sa­viour's Passion, and the violence that was then offer'd to his cruci­fied Body; so they do thereby sufficiently intimate, that the break­ing of the Bread was intended as a Representation of it: There being nothing in the Bread to represent this to us, but only the breaking of it. This however is evident, that our Saviour brake that Bread, which he before took, and blessed. And that Rite of breaking was afterwards look'd upon as so considerable, that it gave Name to the Sacrament it self, and the whole of it from that one Rite, entituled, The breaking of Bread.

Our Saviour having thus taken, and blessed and broken Bread (for thus far to be sure we have Bread, whatever we have beside) he proceeds to give it to his Disciples; For so the three Evangelists assure us: Not that the Original of those Evangelists hath any thing in it to express the thing given, but that it speaks of his gi­ving somewhat to them, and which, considering the connexion of this Act of Christ with the former ones, cannot reasonably be un­derstood of any other than the Bread, which he had before taken, and blessed, and broken. And though St. Paul take no notice of this Gift of our Saviour's in the rehearsal he makes of this his In­stitution; Yet he sufficiently intimates it, when he brings him in saying, Take, Eat, This is my Body, &c. His willing them to take, and eat, implying his parting with it, that they might partake of it. This however is manifest from the Evangelists, that what our Saviour before took, and blessed, and brake, he gave to his Disci­ples, and I suppose to each of the Disciples in particular, and by reaching it forth unto them; The former being the manner of that Eucharist, by which he fram'd his own, Both the one, and the other the Ancient Practice of the Church, whether by the Hands of him that blessed it, or of those Deacons that ministred to him.

I will not spend time in animadverting upon the words Take, Eat, which he us'd with the giving of the Bread. It may suffice to say as to the former of these, that as it is, and always was the manner of Guests to take or receive into their hands, or in some plate, which they held in them, what was given to them by another; so the Antients knew no other taking, or receiving of this Bread, than that, which was performed by them. As little need to be said concerning that eating, which our Saviour subjoin'd to the Command of taking, or receiving what he gave them; Unless there could be any doubt of that's being Bread, which was now to be eat­en by them. For as what it is to eat Bread is sufficiently known, even after we have put it into our mouths to chew it there, and trans­mit it from thence into our Stomachs for the nourishment of our Bodies; So that it was Bread, which they were commanded to eat, St. Paul plainly shews in the words1 Cor. 11.26, 27., which he subjoins to the In­stitution of this Sacrament: He affirming the worthy Receiver of the Eucharist to eat Bread, as well as the most unworthy one.

To go on therefore to those words, which our Saviour subjoyn'd to his Precept of taking, and eating, even those most noted ones, This is my Body. Words, which the wanton Wits of Men have transform'd into many shapes, and those too no less monstrous, than what they design'd to inferr from them. Whereas if they were consider'd without any sinister Affections, they would (as Aretius long since observ'dCom. in Mat. 26.26. Quomodo autem verae sint propositiones illae, Panis est corpus Christi, Vinum est sanguis Christi, anxie disputatum est, Res tamen sint affectibus simpli­cem habet intellectum. Verae sunt ut aliae sacra­mentales loquutiones, Agnus est transitus, Cir­cumcisio est foedus, sacrificia sunt remissio pec­catorum, Baptismus est ablutio peccatorum. In quibus nemo est tam stupidus, ut nodos sibi quaerat. Sed ut symbola sacramentalia hae res nominatae accipiuntur. Ita judicandum de his propositionibus etiam puto. have receiv'd a plain and simple Ʋn­derstanding, and which Men would other­wise no more have bogled at, than at other Speeches of the like nature. For this is my Body, and This is my Blood, are true, as other sacramental Speeches are. A Lamb is the Passover, Circumcision is a Covenant, Sacrifices are the remission of Sins, and Baptism the washing away of them. In which no Man is so stupid, as to seek to entangle himself, or go about to create Scru­ples to other Men. For these things are taken as sacramental Symbols, and so I suppose we ought to judge of the former Propositions also. Only because there is no one particle in the words, This is my Body, which hath not, among prejudiced Men, ministred matter for Dispute, I will be so much the more minute in my Explication of them, and first of the word, This. This is my Body.

Now that, which unprejudiced Men would undoubtedly think to be intended by the word This, was the Bread before spoken of, and which our Saviour is said to have taken, blessed, broken, and given to his Disciples with a design they should take, and eat of it: Partly, because that was the thing manifestly intended all along, and there­fore by the common Rules of Construction to be understood also here; And partly, because the demonstrative Particle This, must by the natural importance of it, be thought to point out some­thing certain, and apparent to them, which hitherto nothing but the Bread of the Sacrament was. Thus, I say, unprejudiced Men would be apt to think of the word This, though they had nothing to direct them, but the words of the Institution. How much more then, if they should reflect upon what St. Paul 1 Cor. 11.26, 27. sub­joyneth to, and inferreth from them in the account he gives us of that Affair. For as often (saith he) as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, ye do shew forth the Lord's Death till he come. And again, Wherefore whosoever shall eat this Bread, and drink this Cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body, and Blood of the Lord. For it appearing from the words of the Institution, that the word This, referrs to that, which was given them to eat, which St. Paul affirmeth to be Bread, it must consequently be thought to denote not this Being, or Substance in common, or individuum vagum, or the like, but this Bread, as St. Paul doth twice express it. Con­formable hereto, whether the Romanists will, or no, is their own Opinion of the Bread's being transubstantiated by the words, Hoc est corpus meum, and that Transubstantiation not effected, till the last Syllable of meum is pronounc'd. For if that Transubstantiation be not effected till then, it must be Bread before the pronunciation of it, and the word This therefore denote no other than that Bread, [Page 185]which our Saviour before took, and blessed and brake, and gave unto them. But is it then possible that so many wise Men should be otherwise perswaded without very great reason to the contra­ry? And neither are they, as they surmise, because the word, which we render This, is both in the Greek, and the Latin of a different Gender from the word, which signifies Bread, and is in­deed of the same Gender with that Body, which it is afterwards affirm'd to be, even the Neuter one. As if on purpose to let us know, that the word This was intended to signifie no other, than This is my Body even now, or was in an Instant to be transubstan­tiated into it. But is there then no other account to be given of the word This being in the Neuter Gender, when the Bread, which we suppose it to referr to, is of the Masculine? Nay, is there not an easie, and obvious one, if Men will take the pains to find it out? For is it so strange, that the word, which we render This, should be of the Neuter Gender, even when it is intended to represent a thing of another, especially in inanimate Beings? Nay, is it at all strange to have the word This to conform rather to the Gender of that, which is predicated of it, than of that thing, which it is set to denote? There is in one single Text of Genesis an instance of each of these, and many instances elsewhere of the latter of them. For whereGen. 28.17. [...]. Jacob is brought in saying, How wonderful is this place? This is no other than the House of God, and this is the Gate of Heaven; Though the word, which we render Place, be of the Masculine Gender, and the This, that is joyned with it, consequently of the same, yet when the Seventy come to translate This is no other, than the House of God, they make use of the Neuter [...] to express it, as again when to render, And this is the Gate of Heaven, they make use of the Fe­minine [...] to express it, answerably to the Gender of the word [...], or Gate, which is predicated of it. In like manner the same Septuagint, where they give an account of what Adam said con­cerning the Woman, when she was first brought to him, even This is Gen. 2.23. [...] Bone of my Bone, and Flesh of my Flesh, she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man; Though they speak of her before, and after in the Feminine Gender, they make use of the Neuter [...] to express her, though one would think that should be less an­swerable to the subject matter of what he spake. In fine, when the same Septuagint would describe to us Moses his ConceitExod. 16.15. con­cerning the Manna before spoken of, and which they themselves entreat of under the Neuter Gender; To the Israelites asking [...]; or What is this? they bring in Moses answering, [...], This is the Bread, which the Lord hath given you: Making the Particle This to answer rather to that Bread, which was predicated of it, than either to the Israelites Question concern­ing it, or the thing it was intended to denote. After this manner did the Greeks express themselves, when they never dream'd of any such Mystery; And our Crackanthorp Defens. Eccles. Angl. contra Spalat. c. 72., though aliud agens, hath produc'd two like instances for the Latines, out of those two great [Page 186]Masters of Language, Lactantius Instit. lib. 4. c. 40., and Cicero Orat. pro Cluent.: The for­mer whereof, after those words, Sola igitur Catholica Ecclesia est, quae verum cultum retinet, which shew what it is, whereof he en­treats, hath these no less remarkable words, Hic est fons veritatis, hoc est domicilium fidei, hoc templum Dei, &c. The latter, where he entreats of the Law, or Laws, Hoc enim vinculum est hujus digni­tatis, quâ fruimur in republicâ, hoc fundamentum libertatis, hic fons aequitatis. So that for ought that doth appear, it is both usual, and elegant to conform the Pronoun This rather to the Gender of that thing, which is predicated of it, than to the Gender of that, which it is intended to denote. And if so, [...], and Hoc est corpus meum, may without any violence to the known Rules of Speech, yea with propriety enough, import This Bread is my Body, which was the thing to be demonstrated by us.

The subject of the Proposition being thus found out, and shewn to be no other than the Bread which our Saviour gave; The next thing to be explain'd is the predicate thereof, or that which is af­firmed of it, This is my Body. For the better understanding where­of, I will enquire what our Saviour meant by his Body, and then what he meant by is, or how the Bread before spoken of was, and is the Body of Christ.

In the accounts which I have seen in some of our own Church concerning these words is my Body, I do not only find the words is and my Body commonly joyn'd together in their explanation of them, but I find it affirm'd also (where they enquire whether the predication be proper, or figurative) that it is indifferent whether we place the Figure in the word is, or in the words my Bo­dy. I must needs say, I do not think it so indifferent a thing, as they seem willing to believe, whether we have a regard to the words my Body, as they lie in the Text, or whether we have a re­gard to the consequents of a figurative interpretation of them. For (that I may speak my mind freely, and clearly, as every honest Man ought to do in a matter of so great importance) I do not see how those words, my Body, can be otherwise than literally under­stood, even for that Body, which he was now about to offer upon the Cross, and presently after did offer up upon it for the Salvation of Mankind. For how could our Saviour, though he were never so dispos'd to describe that Body, how, I say, could he more clearly, and plainly describe it, than by that Body, which was, or was shortly to be given, or broken for them? Especially, when he immediately calls upon them to do, what he had now taught them, in remembrance of himself? For do this, saith he, in remem­brance of me. For was the Bread, which he affirms to be his Body, however blessed or broken, the thing that was given for them, or their salvation, and not rather that Body, which he now carried about him, and was shortly after to suffer in? Nay, doth not our Saviour's subjoyning to This is my Body, which is given, or broken for you, This do in remembrance of me, farther shew, that he meant that Body which was shortly to be given, or crucified for them? It being the Lord's Death, as St. Paul himself inter­prets it1 Cor. 11.26. that they were to shew forth thereby, and conse­quently that they were to do what they were now taught in re­membrance [Page 187]of him, and that. And indeed, as I do not therefore see, how we can honestly understand those words my Body of any other, than that Body, which he now carried about him, and was shortly after to offer; So I am farther confirm'd in it by the evil consequences of a figurative interpretation of them, which are these two especially. First, that we shall thereby leave no clear account in them, nor indeed in any of the words of the Institution, of the thing signified by the Sacrament, and which all Men ac­knowledge to be the Crucified Body of Christ; And secondly, that we shall give more countenance, than we are willing to do, to that propitiatory Sacrifice, which the Romanists advance in this affair. For if by the words my Body be meant the memorial of Christ's Body, I do not see why we should not in like manner at­tribute to that memorial (as the Romanists do,) its being given, or broken for us, and for our Salvation, and consequently make it a propitiatory Sacrifice for us. Let it therefore be allow'd, or at least till we see better reason to the contrary, that as by the word This we ought to understand This Bread, even the Bread, which our Saviour gave to his Disciples, so we ought in like manner to under­stand by the words my Body my Crucified one, that which I now carry about me, and am shortly after to offer up. Which will con­sequently leave nothing more to enquire, than what our Saviour meant by the word [Is], and how the Bread before spoken was, and is that Body of Christ.

And here I look for no other, than that those, with whom we have to do, should triumph wonderfully, as supposing they have in part at least gain'd their purpose; The Romanists by allowing in this Sacrament the crucified Body of Christ, the Lutherans by our allowing of that, and of the Bread. But with how little reason will appear, if, together with us, they will enquire into the word [Is], and how that, whereof our Saviour spake, was, and is that Body of Christ. For the better understanding whereof I will shew

  • 1. That the word [Is] is oftentimes taken figuratively.
  • 2. That it ought to be so taken here.
  • 3. What it imports in that figurative interpretation of it.

1. That the word [Is] is many times figuratively taken, is evident from what is said concerning the seven Kine, and seven Ears Gen. 41.26, 27. [...] in Pharaoh's dream be­ing seven Years, and the Bones in the Vision of Ezekiel Ezek. 37.11. [...] being the whole House of Israel; And (that I may not now name any more) concerning the Sower, that sowed the good seed in a Parable of our Saviour, being Mat. 13.37. [...], &c. the Son of Man, the Field the World, the good Seed the Children of the Kingdom, and the like: These things, as they are link'd together by the words [Is] and [Are] ac­cording to their respective number, as This, and my Body are; So by all Men understood not literally, but figuratively, and such as rather signified, and represented the things they are said to be, than were in propriety of nature such. Which suppos'd, the same word here may be taken in the like sense, and we therefore under no ne­cessity [Page 188]of allowing the Transubstantiation of the Bread into the Body of Christ, or the Consubstantiation of the Body of Christ with it.

2. But it may be though the word [Is] may sometime be taken figuratively, yet there is no reason for taking it so here, or at least no necessity for it; Therefore enquire we in the next place, whe­ther it ought to be so taken here, or rather (because I have already undertaken to demonstrate it) endeavour to shew that it ought. Which I shall make it my business to evince First, from the impossibi­lity of the Proposition's being true, if it be taken in the literal sense; Secondly, from the sutableness of the figurative sense to the nature of that, which is the subject matter of it; Thirdly, from the fitness of the word [Is] to express it.

That the Proposition cannot be true, if the word [Is] be taken in the literal sense, is evident from a known rule of Logick, and Rea­son, even that two disparates, such as Bread, and a humane Body are, cannot properly be predicated of one another. For neither can Bread, continuing such, be a humane Body, any more than it can be a Stone, or a Serpent, or any thing else; Or than a Mouse can be a Lion, or Elephant, or the like. Which is so true, and con­fess'd, that they, who stand for the proper, and literal signification of the words, do not only some of them acknowledg it in express terms, but indeed also both Romanists, and Lutherans offer a greater violence to them, for the avoiding of such an absurdity: The one by denying the word This to signifie This Bread, though that (as was before said) were the only thing before spoken of, and the thing too, that was given to the Disciples to eat, upon the pro­nouncing of it; The other, by representing the sense of it as being rather in this, or under this Bread is my Body, than This is my body, as the words import.

But beside that the Proposition cannot be true, if the word [Is] be taken in the literal sense, and therefore of necessity to have a figurative one assigned to it; The figurative sense is extremely sutable to the na­ture of that, which is the subject matter of it. For what is it (as was before observ'd) that our Saviour affirmed to be his Body, but that Bread, which he had before taken, and blessed, and broken? As that too not considered in its own natural being, or use, but as a Sacrament, or sacred sign of something else, and particularly of the Body of Christ? Now what sense, where there is any doubt of the meaning of a Propo­sition concerning that, can be more sutable to it, than a figurative one? What more easy, or more adapted to the nature of it? And if there be none, what more reasonable to be pitch'd upon, or in­deed more necessary to be affixed to it? The sense of words being no doubt to be fitted to the nature of those things, which they are em­ployed by the speaker thereof to denote.

But that, which will put the thing in controversie yet more out of doubt, at least among unprejudiced Men, is the fitness of the word [Is] to express that figurative sense, which we have affixed to it. For be it that the word [Is] denotes essence, or being, which is the utmost that can be made of it, by those, who are for the pro­per signification of it, and the other words; Yet is not that essence, or being to be adapted to the nature of that, to which it is affixt? [Page 189]Now wherein consists the essence, or being of such a relative thing, as a sacred sign, but in the relation which it bears to the thing signified, and consequently in its signifying that, which it is ap­pointed to mark out? And if the essence, or being of a sign con­sists in the relation, which it bears to the thing signified, may it not, as such, be said to be that thing, which it is intended to sig­nifie? For who, if ask'd concerning this, or that Picture (as, for instance, the Picture of Alexander, or Julius Caesar) would describe it by a piece of Paper, or Cloath, or Wood, so, and so Painted, but as such, or such a person, who did such admirable things in the World? Nay who is there that, when he sees this, or that Picture, though he knows them to be but inanimate things, doth so much as ask, What it is, but Who? So naturally, and almost necessarily do Men take the very being of such a thing to consist in its relation to the person it represents, and accordingly do as naturally express themselves in that manner concerning it. And if that be the case as to other signs, why not in like manner as to this Sacred sign of Christ's Body, the Bread? Especially if (as I shall by and by shew) it hath a yet nearer relation to it. In order whereunto I will now proceed to shew,

3. What the word [Is] imports in that figurative sense, where­of we speak. And here in the first place it is easie to observe, that the word [Is] imports that, to which it is attributed; even the Bread of the Sacrament, to be a sign of that Body of Christ, which it is affirmed to be. Which I do not only affirm upon account of the notion that all Men have of it, but upon account of the like­ness there is between the Bread broken, and the Mortifying of our Saviour's Body, and upon account also of the same Body's being affirmed by St. Paul in his History of the Institution to be broken for us: There being otherwise no ground for that expression as to the Body of Christ, but that the breaking of the Bread was inten­ded to signifie, or represent the injury, that was offer'd to Christ's Body, and consequently that that Bread was so far forth intended as a sign of it. Which is no more, than the Romanists themselves, and particularly Estius, have said in this affair, and therefore I shall not need to insist upon it. I say, secondly, that as the word [Is] imports that, to which it is attributed, to be a sign of Christ's Body, so also to be such a sign in particular, as was intended to bring Christ's Body, and the Crucifixion of it to our own Minds, or the Minds of others, or, in a word, to be a memorial of it: The for­mer being evident from our Saviour's enjoyning his Disciples, pre­sently upon these words, to do what he had now taught them in remembrance of himself; The latter from St. Paul's telling his Co­rinthians, that as often as they ate that bread, and drank that cup, they did shew the Lord's death till he came. I say, thirdly, and lastly, that the word [Is] doth likewise import that, to which it is attri­buted, to be a means of our partaking of the Body of Christ, as well as a sign, or a memorial of it. Which we shall the less need to doubt, when St. Paul 1 Cor. 10.16. doth in express terms represent the Bread, which is broken in the Sacrament, as the Communion, or Communication of the Body of Christ, and the Cup of Blessing, which is blessed in it, as the Communion of his Blood. Now if a sign, even [Page 190]where it is hardly such, may be said to be that, which it signifies; How much more such a sign, as is also by the Institution of Christ a means of its conveyance, and of which whosoever doth worthily partake, shall as verily partake together with it of the Body of Christ, and of the Benefits that accrue to us thereby?

I may not forget to add what St. Luke, and St. Paul have added to the words This is my Body, even This is my Body, which is given for you, as the former; which is broken for you, as the latter: Both to the same purpose, though in different expressions, even to mark out to us more clearly how we are to consider that Body, that is to say, as a crucified one; The giving of Christ, or his Body being sometime express'd by giving him for our sins,Gal. 1.4. and at other times by giving him Tit. 2.10. to redeem us from them, which we know by the same Scripture to have been compassed by his death. As indeed under what other notion can we conceive the giving of his Body, when it is not only consider'd apart from his Blood, but that Blood afterward affirm'd to be shed for the remission of sins, and accordingly so requir'd to be consider'd here. The expression of St. Paul, which is broken for you, is yet more clear, because more manifestly pointing out the violence, that was offer'd to Christ's Body; With this farther advantage, as was before said, that it doth not obscurely intimate the breaking of the Bread to have been in­tended to represent what was done unto his Body, and under what notion we are to consider it. Though, to put it farther out of doubt, St. Paul, after his account of the History of the Instituti­on, affirms both the one, and the other Element of this Sacrament to relate to our Saviour's Death, and consequently to respect his Body as mortist'd, as well as his Blood as shed: He relling his Corinthians, that he that did eat that Bread, as well as he, that drank that Cup, did thereby shew forth the Lord's Death till he came. Only if it be en­quir'd why our Saviour should even then represent his Body as bro­ken, or given, when it was not to be so till the day after the Institu­tion of this Sacrament; I answer partly, because it was very shortly to be so, but more especially because he intended what he now en­joyn'd as a prescription for the time after his Death, as his willing his Disciples to do this in remembrance of him doth manifestly imply: That importing the thing to be remembred to be past, and gone, as which otherwise could not be capable of being remembred.

It follows both in St. Luke, and St. Paul, Do this, and Do this in remembrance of me. Words, which the Romish Church hath pick'd strange matters out of, even no less (as was before observ'd out of Ba­ronius) than the Priesthood of the A postles, as which was collated upon them by these words, and the Sacrifice of the Mass. For then also (saith that Author) the Apostles, when the Lord commanded them to do the very same thing in remembrance of him, were made Priests, and that very Sa­crifice, which they should offer, was ordain'd. By what Alchymie the Apo­stles Priesthood, and the Sacrifice of the Mass are endeavour'd to be ex­tracted out of these words, must be consider'd in another place, where such kind of questions will be more fit to be debated. At present it may suffice to say, that as it doth not appear from the Institution, that our Saviour made any other Offering of his Body in the Symbol of Bread, than what he did to his Disciples, nor indeed how he could, [Page 191]unless he meant both to prevent, and vacate the future Offer­ing of himself upon the Cross, by which yet (as the Author to the Hebrews Heb. 10.14. instructs us) he perfected for ever them, that are sanctified; So it can much less therefore appear, how the do­ing what Christ had before done, or taught them to do, could make the Apostles Priests, or the Celebration of this Sacrament to be a Sacrifice. All, that can be fairly deduced from the words Do this, and Do this in remembrance of me, is, that they should for the future take Bread, bless it, and break it, and, when they had done so, both eat of it themselves, and give it to others to eat of in remembrance of him, and of his Death. Or, if we should think that the words Do this ought to have a nearer Antecedent, that they should take, and eat what had been before taken, and blessed, and broken, and given to them by the Consecrator of it in remem­brance of him: That, as it is the thing, and the only thing just before enjoyn'd upon the Disciples (For what he saith concerning the thing given them being his Body doth rather point out what regard they ought to have in the eating of it, to that Body, of which it was a Symbol, than any new injunction, or precept concerning it) so it is the thing, and the only thing therefore, which he imme­diately referr'd to, when he said, This do in remembrance of me. Which St. Paul doth yet more clearly insinuate, when im­mediately after the History of the Institution, and which he clo­seth in each Element with This Do in remembrance of me, he adds, as by way of explication of that passage, For as often as ye eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. This I take to be a clear, and natural account of what Christ en­joyn'd the Disciples to do, and not any intimation at all either of the Apostles Priesthood, or of the Sacrifice of the Mass. And what he adds concerning their doing what he now enjoyn'd them in re­membrance of him, agrees as well to it, because (as appears from the words but now quoted) they were to eat of that Bread, as well as drink of that Cup with reference to him, and to his Death, or (as St. Paul expresseth it) to shew it forth. Which will consequently leave nothing more to be consider'd upon this Head, than what our Saviour means by in remembrance of him. Do this in remembrance of me.

Now as there cannot well be any doubt concerning the Object of this Remembrance, partly because Christ doth here repre­sent himself as the Object of it, and partly because he represents himself throughout this whole Sacrament as giving himself to Death for us, and consequently he to be consider'd as such in our remem­brance of him: So I shall therefore need only to enquire what that remembrance of him doth import, and how the thing enjoyned to be done serves to the exciting of it.

Now there are two things again, which the word [...], or remembrance signifies, and which we shall find upon enquiry that it signifies also here; The recalling that to our own mind, which is the Object of it, or recalling it to the mind of others: The former of these, as it is the most simple, and obvious notion of the word, so no doubt principally intended here, if Christ's giving his Body to death for us be the thing, wherein we are to remember him, be­cause we are requir'd to take, and eat the Bread exhibited to us as [Page 192]a Symbol thereof. But therefore as we are to understand by doing what we do in remembrance of him, and of his Death, or (as the Greek [...]. would perhaps be more commodiously rendred) for the remembrance of him, of our celebrating this Holy Sacrament, so the better to recall him, and his Death to our own Minds; So it is alike evident from what St. Paul subjoins as a kind of Comment upon these words, that we ought to do the same thing to recall it to the Minds of others, and prompt them to reflect upon it: St. Paul declaring thereupon, that as often as we eat that Bread, and drink that Cup, we do shew forth, or declare, or preach his Death till he come. Only, as it is not to be thought, that our Sa­viour would have instituted this Sacrament simply to bring the thing signified by it to our own, or others Minds, but to stir up in them, and us affections sutable to the thing remembred; So we are con­sequently to think (because the thing signified by it was Christ's giving his Body to Death for us, and for our Salvation) that it was design'd to stir up us, and other Men to remember his Death, and the benefits thereof with a thankful Mind, with a Mind sensible of so great a favour, and ready to express that sense of its by all the ways it can possibly devise. This I take to be that [...], or re­membrance, for which our Saviour requir'd his Disciples to do, as he himself had before directed, and enjoyn'd them. And how well fitted that whole Ceremony is to excite such a remembrance in us, and others, will appear if we consider that remembrance either as a simple re­membrance of Christ's Death, and the Benefits thereof, or as also a grateful one. For it serves to the former of these by the represen­tation it makes to our Eyes of the violence, that was offer'd to his Crucified Body, and by the known Laws, and ends of the Institu­tion of it. And it serves in like manner to the latter of them by representing that Death of his to our Eyes, not in bloody, and cruel Rites (as the ill usage of some of the Heathen Deities were some­time represented) but in the innocent, and useful, and comforta­ble Elements of Bread, and Wine, and which whilst the Partakers thereof reflect upon, they cannot but at the same time read in them the both usefulness, and comfortableness, as to themselves, of that Body, and Blood, which they were intended to represent, and be thereby excited to a joyful, and thankful remembrance of them both, and of the benefits, that accrue to them thereby.

An account being thus given of the Bread of this Sacrament, and of all that was said, or done about it; It remains that I entreat of the other Element thereof represented to us by the three Evan­gelists, and St. Paul, under the name of the Cup. Whether it were that they could not otherwise well express what they were first to mention, even our Saviour's taking it, and giving it to his Disci­ples (because liquid things cannot well be taken by our selves, or convey'd to others but by a Cup) or by an usual Metonymy of the continent for the thing contained in it, set to denote the Wine, wherewith it was replenished; This Cup (as we shall afterwards understand) being given them to drink of, and (as appears from what our Saviour subjoins in the close of St. Matthew's, and St. Mark's account of this matter) of the Fruit of the Vine, or Wine. Now this Cup, as he had done before with the Bread, he in like [Page 193]manner [...]. Luke 22.20. 1 Cor. 11.25., after he had supp'd, took into his Hand, or Hands, as the fashion was in the Eucharistical Cup of the Jews, but however so took (as was before observed concerning the Bread) as to separate it from what other Wine then was upon the Table, and appropriated it to his own purposes.

The Cup being thus taken by our Saviour into his Hands, and held by him there till he gave it to his Disciples, Two of the Evangelists tell us he gave thanks over it, and (as appears by what was said before in the matter of the Bread, and by St. Paul's else­where1 Cor. 10.16. entitling it the Cup of blessing, which we bless) by that Thanksgiving and Prayer blessed it, or rather recommended it to the Father to be blessed by him, and made useful for those purposes, for which it was design'd, and particularly for the Communion of his Blood. Which Blessing there is no doubt the Father granted thereupon, and fitted it for that, for which it was so separated, and recommended to him: As because he readily promis'd the like, or a greater Blessing to the BlessingNum. 6.23, &c. of the Jewish Priests, and may therefore be presum'd as ready to grant this to the Blessing of his well beloved Son; So because our Saviour, when he gave this Cup to his Disciples, told them even then, that it was his Blood of the New Testament, and St. Paul, that being blessed by such as him­self, it was the Communion of Christ's Blood, which it could not have been in either instance without the Blessing of the Father.

Our Saviour having thus taken, and given thanks over the Cup, or blessed it, gave it to his Disciples, saying, Drink ye all of it. But whether (as was said before in the matter of the Bread) he gave it into each of his Disciples Hands, or to him only, that sat next to him, and by him to be handed to the next, is not material, neither will I therefore concern my self about it. Sure it is, that, by the words accompanying that Gift, he signified it to be his Mind, that they should all drink of it, and St. Mark in particular tells us, that they all drank of it. Upon the strength of what Motive, is in the next place to be enquir'd, but which we shall not need to go farther than St. Matthew for, or at least not for the general notion of it. For this (saith he in our Saviour's name) is my Blood of the New Testa­ment, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. The thing, which I now offer you, is my Blood of the New Testament, and it is upon that account I both invite, and oblige you all to drink of it. And if it was, even when he offer'd it to them to drink, his Blood of the New Testament, one would think it should need no new Blessing, or Consecration to make it such, and much less, that those words, by which he declar'd it to be so, should be that blessing, or Consecration it self. But be that as it will at present (for the fuller discussion of these things belongs to another place) most certain it is from the other Evangelists, and from St. Paul, that our Saviour when he gave the Cup to the Disciples, made use of these, or the like words, upon what occasion soever they were employed by him. And as certain it is from the Controversies now on foot, that the words consider'd in themselves will require an explication, to which therefore I shall now address my self; In order thereunto (as I did before in the matter of the Bread) enquiring what the subject of this Proposition is, what the thing predicated of it, and what the [Page 194]importance of the word [Is], which is made use of to joyn them together.

And here in the first place it is easy to see, that whatever difficul­ties the word [...], or This may be encumbred with, when set to denote the Bread, because of a different Gender from it both in the Greek and the Latin, yet it is encumbred with no such difficulties here: Because even in St. Matthew, and St. Mark, where it hath no Substantive affixed to it, it is of the same Gender with the [...], or Cup before spoken of, and which they were al­so commanded to drink of, as well as with the [...], or the Blood that follows it. It is alike easy to see, secondly, that what­ever pretence may be made for the word [...], or This in the for­mer Proposition having respect to some individuum vagum, yet there is not the like pretence here: Because though St. Matthew, and St. Mark add no Substantive to it, yet St. Luke, and St. Paul, in their History of the Institution, add [...] to it, and so shew This Cup, even the Cup before spoken of, to be the thing where­of our Saviour spake. And indeed, as the rules of Construction require us so to understand it, even where the [...], or Cup is not express'd, and much more where This is my Blood is assign'd as a motive to the Disciples drinking of the Cup (For how could it otherwise be any motive to it, if that Cup were not the Blood here spoken of?) So our Saviour's commanding his Disciples to drink of that Cup in order to their partaking of his Blood, and his af­terwards describing it by the title of the Fruit of the Vine, shews the [...], or Cup to be set to denote the liquor, that was con­tained in it, and particularly the Blood of the Grape. Which is a proof that figurative expressions are no such strangers to the Do­ctrine of a Sacrament, because one is of necessity to be allow'd in the subject of this important Proposition, and is accordingly allow'd by the Romanists themselves.

The subject of the present Proposition being thus found out, and shewn to be no other than the Cup before spoken of, or rather the Wine of it; Let us in the next place take a view of the thing affir­med of it, and wherein indeed there is some variety even between those, who give an Historical account of this affair: St. Matthew, and St. Mark representing the Cup here spoken of as Christ's Blood of the New Testament, or Covenant, which was shed for many for the remission of fins; but St. Luke, and St. Paul as the New Testament, or Covenant, in his Blood, which was shed for them. For which cause I will consider the thing here affirmed under each of these notions, and first as Christ's Blood of the New Testament, or Cove­nant, which I conceive to be the clearest, and most proper decla­ration of it. Because it appears even by that St. Paul, who makes use of the other expression, that the Blood of Christ is the princi­pal thing signified by it, even in that very Chapter, where he en­titles it the New Testament in his Blood. For not only doth he be­fore1 Cor. 10.16. entitle the Cup the Communion of his Blood, as he doth the Bread in the same verse the Communion of his Body, but, immediately after the words of the Institution, declare him, who eateth that Bread, and drinketh that Cup with due preparation, to shew forth the Lord's Death till he come, as [Page 195]him, who eateth, and drinketh unworthily, to be guilty of his Body, and Bloody.

The Blood of Christ therefore being the thing principally signi­fied, and consequently the principal thing predicated of the Cup, by the one, and the other, reason would that we should enquire what our Saviour meant by it, that is to say, whether that Blood, which now ran in his Veins, and was shortly after to be shed, or only a memorial of it. A Question, which will soon be voided not only by what I have before said concerning the Notion of Christ's Body, but by the Adjuncts of that very Blood, whereof we speak: The Blood of the New Testament, or Covenant (as appears by a Text of the Author to the Hebrews Heb. 9.14, &c., and by what I have elsewhereExpl. of the Sacrament in general, Part 2. discours'd upon it) being no other than that Blood, which the Mediator of it shed at his Death, (For that Author tells us, that neither that, nor any other Testament, or Covenant can be firm without it) And the Blood, that was shed for remission of Sins, the very same: It being by means of the same Death, that the Redemption of Sins against the First Testament, or Covenant is procur'd, which is but another Name for the Remission of them. And I shall only add, for the better explanation of those words, even the Blood of the New Testament, or Covenant, that as of old God would not enter, nor did enter into the First Covenant with the Israelites, till he was aton'd, and they sprinkled by the Blood of their Sacrifices; So neither would he enter into the New, till he was first aton'd, and we sprinkled by the Blood of the Sacrifice of his Son, and that Blood therefore, conformably to what was said of the Blood of the First Covenant, stiled the Blood of the New.

There will be no great difficulty, after what I have said of the Blood of the New Testament, or Covenant, as to the meaning of that New Testament, or Covenant in Christ's Blood, which St. Luke and St. Paul bring in our Saviour as affirming the Cup to be: Be­cause thereby must consequently be meant that New Covenant, which was brought about by the Bloud of his Cross, even that, by which the same Saint Paul elsewhereCol. 1.20. tells us, that Christ made Peace between us, and God. Which will consequently leave nothing more to us to enquire into upon this Head, than the im­portance of that [is], which joyns the subject, and the foregoing predicates together, and how the Cup of this Sacrament was, and is his Blood of the New Testament, or Covenant, and how the New Testament, or Covenant in his Blood.

For the understanding whereof though it may suffice to remit my Reader to what I before said upon the account of the Bread's being Christ's Body; because that mutatis mutandis may be ap­ply'd to the Particle [Is] here; Yet I shall add ex abundanti, that there cannot well be any doubt of its being taken figuratively here, either in the one, or the other predication concerning it: Because the Cup of this Sacrament cannot literally, and properly be both his Blood of the New Testament, or Covenant, and the New Testa­ment, or Covenant in it, which yet in some, or other of the Sacred Writers it is affirm'd to be. Which, as it will make it so much the more reasonable to allow of that figurative Sense here, which we have attributed to the same Particle Is in This is my Body; So [Page 196]consequently make it reasonable to understand by This is my Blood of the New Testament, which answers directly to the other, This is a Sign, and a Memorial, and a Means of its conveyance, as well as the Bread is of my Body. And indeed, as the Cup, or rather the Wine of it may well pass for a Sign of that Blood, as for other Reasons, so for that effusion, which is attributed to it; So that it is both a Memorial, and a Means of its conveyance, is evi­dent from St. Paul's bringing in our Saviour subjoining the words, Do this, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me, to the Story of the Cup, and elsewhere representing the same Cup as the Com­munion of his Blood.

This I take to be a fair account of the Particle [Is], as it is made use of to connect the Cup, and Christ's Blood of the New Te­scament, or Covenant. And it will be no less easie to give as clear an account of it, as it is made use of to connect the same Cup, and the New Testament, or Covenant in his Blood: That Cup re­presenting to us God's exhibiting together with it Christ's Blood, and the Merits of it, and our receiving that Blood, and the Merits of it with that thankfulness, which doth become us, and a Mind re­solv'd to walk worthy of those Benefits we receive by it.

I will conclude this long Discourse concerning the Institution of this Sacrament, when I have lightly animadverted upon that, which St. Matthew, and St. Mark bring in our Saviour subjoining to all he had said concerning the Elements thereof; To wit, that he would not any more drink of this Fruit of the Vine (for so St. Matthew expresseth it) until he should drink it new with them in his Father's Kingdom. For though it should be granted, what Grotius con­tends for out of St. Luke, that these words were spoken just be­fore the Institution of this Sacrament, and only plac'd here upon the account of Christ's being again to speak of the Cup; Yet thus much must be granted to St. Matthew, and St. Mark's placing it here, that it was the Fruit of the Vine, that our Saviour gave them, and they accordingly drank of, even in this Sacrament of the Lord's Supper: There being no more reason (nor so much nei­ther, considering that that is the immediate Antecedent) to deny this Fruit of the Vine's referring to what our Saviour gave his Disciples, and they all drank of, than there would be to deny its relating to that Cup, which he took into his hands, and blessed. Which if we should, there would be no proof either here, or elsewhere of the Fruit of the Vine's being one of the Symbols of this Sacrament.

PART IV. Of the outward Part, or Sign of the Lord's Supper.

The Contents.

Bread and Wine ordinarily the outward Part, or Sign of the Lord's Supper, and the Heresie of the Aquarii upon that account enquir'd into, and censur'd. The kind of Bread and Wine enjoin'd, in the next place examin'd, and a more particular Enquiry thereupon, Whether the Wine ought to be mix'd with Water, and what was the Ground of the Antients Practice in this Affair. The same Elements consider'd again with respect to Christ's Body and Blood, whether as to the Ʋsage that Body, and Blood of his receiv'd, when he was subjected unto Death; or as to the Benefit, that was intended, and accru'd to us by them. In the former of which Notions they become a Sign of Christ's Body and Blood, by what is done to them before they come to be administred, and by the separate administration of them. In the latter, by the use they are of to nourish, and refresh us. Of the Ob­ligation the Faithful are under to receive the Sacrament in both kinds, and a resolution of those Arguments, that are commonly alledg'd to justifie the Romish Churches depriving them of the Cup.

THE way being thus plain'd to the Consideration of the present Sacrament, and, if I mistake not, such a Foundation also laid, as may support a better Fabrick, than I am likely to superstruct upon it, I will now pass on to a more particular handling of it in the method before observ'd in the Sacrament of Baptism, as well as in the Sacra­ments in general. In order whereunto I will enquire,

  • I. What is the outward Part, or Sign of the Lord's Supper?
  • II. What is the inward Part, or thing signified by it?
  • III. What farther relation, beside that of a Sign, the out­ward part, or Sign hath to the inward part, or thing signified?
  • IV. What is the Foundation of those Relations?
  • [Page 198]V. How, and to whom this Sacrament ought to be admi­nistred?
  • VI. How it ought to be receiv'd?

I I. That, which comes first to be enquir'd, is, what is the out­ward part,Question. What is the out­ward part, or Sign of the Lord's Supper? Answer. Bread, and Wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be re­ceiv'd. or Sign of the Lord's Supper, which our Catechism de­clares to be Bread and Wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be receiv'd. For my more advantageous handling of which Answer, I will again enquire,

  • 1. What Evidence there is of Bread and Wine being the out­ward part, or Sign of the Lord's Supper?
  • 2. What kind of Bread and Wine we ought to make use of in it?
  • 3. Wherein the Bread and Wine were intended as a Sign?
  • 4. What Evidence there is of Christ's commanding us to re­ceive them?

1. That Bread, and Wine are the outward part, or Sign of the Lord's Supper is so evident from the Story of the Institution, and the account I have already given of it, that it would be but lost labour to go about to prove it. It may suffice here to add, that as Bread, and Wine, were the Matter of that Jewish Eucharist, which in all probability was the Pattern of the Christian one; So the Practice of the Church of God hath been always conformable to it, neither have any Persons willingly varied from it, I will not say that have not been branded for Hereticks, but that have not also been look'd upon as either stupidly ignorant, or blotches of the Church, rather than any part of it. Of which nature were those Aquarii mention'd by St. Augustin De haeres. c. 6. Ed. Dan., and before him written against by St. Cyprian Ad Caecil. Ep. 63., that offer'd Water in the Cup of the Sacrament instead of that, which all the Church doth. Whether that they con­demn'd the Creation of God, as several of the ancient Hereticks did, and accordingly abstain'd wholly from Wine, as well as from some other things; Or (as I rather think for the most part) by way of exercise upon, and mortification of themselves, of which sort of Abstinences out of the Sacrament there are frequent Instan­ces in the Antient Christians: Little considering that Obedience is much better than such Sacrifices, though they were otherwise of far greater worth, than they will be found upon examination to be. For if St. Paul 1 Tim. 5.23. could admonish Timothy, even for his Sto­mach's sake, and his often Infirmities, not to drink any longer Water, but to use a little Wine; I doubt he would not have heard with any patience of his, or other Men's abstaining wholly from the Cup of the Sacrament, or using Water instead of it out of a Principle of mortification and self-denial. I do not say the same as to the out­ward part, or Sign of the Lord's Supper, where one of those Ele­ments is not to be had, or at least not without much difficulty, as to be sure in many places the Wine of the Sacrament is not. For as I find by Cassander Liturg. c. 14., that the Armenians in India, where Wine is not to be had, do beforehand steep dried Grapes in Water, and the next day press out the Juice of them for the use of the Sa­crament; So I do not see, but where neither the one, nor the other [Page 199]is to be had, Men may lawfully make use of other generous Li­quors for the same purpose: I do not say only upon the account of Necessity, to which all positive Laws must yield, but because (as I shall afterwards shew) they are equally fitted to represent to us those things, for which the Fruit of the Vine was here ordain'd. Only let not Men make a Necessity where there is none, nor think themselves excus'd in the use of other Liquors, where the Fruit of the Vine, though not the Product of their own Countrey, yet may well enough be had from abroad. For where our Saviour hath annex'd a Blessing to the use of such, and such Creatures, I do not see how we can expect it without, where we have not a just Ne­cessity to excuse it, how convenient soever those other Creatures are, which we substitute in the room of them.

2. But because question may be made, what kind of Bread, and Wine we ought to make use of in this Sacrament, as well as whe­ther Bread, and Wine be the ordinary Matter, or Sign of it; There­fore I shall admonish, as to the former of these, that I see little reason to doubt, but that the Bread of the place we live in may suffice, provided it be of the better, and more nutritive sort, or at least as good as we are in a capacity to provide. For our Sa­viour having not prescrib'd any thing as to the Grane, whereof it is to be made, and all sorts of Bread being in their Nature suffi­ciently fitted for those Sacramental Purposes, to which they are to be appli'd, it is a needless superstition to be sollicitous about the kind of it, or indeed about any thing else of that nature, farther than the Laws of Decency, or the general Nature of the Sacra­ment may seem to exact of us. The same is to be said, and for the same reasons as to the kind of the Wine, though the Wines of Pa­lestine were generally Red Psal. 75.8. Prov. 23.31. Isa. 27.2. 63.2. (for which cause it is not impro­bable that they were stiled the Bloud Deut. 32.14. of the Grape) and those therefore the most apt to represent the Blood of our Saviour. For whatever the Colour thereof may be, they may serve by the Li­quidness thereof, and the pouring of them from one Vessel to another, to denote the shedding of his Blood, which is all that the Institution obligeth us to reflect upon. Upon which account I shall in this place confine my self to enquire, whether it ought to be mix'd with Water, or no, as which seems to me to be the only material Enquiry in this Affair.

And here indeed they, who think it enough to make use of pure Wine, may seem to be hardly press'd, whether we do consider the Antiquity of the contrary Usance, or the Reason, which is al­ledged for it: For it appears from Justin Martyr Apol. 2. p. 97. to have been carefully practis'd in his time; And it appears too not only to have been pleaded for by St. Cyprian Ad Caecil. Ep. 63. (even where he disputes against the foremention'd Aquarii) but to such a degree also, as to re­present the Sacrament as imperfect without it: The mixture of Wine and Water being, as he saithQuando autem in ca­lice aqua vino miscetur; Christo populus adunatur, & credentium plebs ei in quem credidit, copulatur, & conjungitur. Quae copu­latio; & conjunctio aquae, & vini sic miscetur in calice domini, ut commixtio illa non possit ab invicem sepa­rari— Nam si vinum tantùm quis offerat, sanguis Christi incipit esse sine nobis; si vero aqua sit sola, plebs in­cipit esse sine Christo. Quando autem utrumque miscetur, & adunatione confusâ sibi invicem copulatur, tunc Sa­cramentum spiritale, & coeleste perficitur., intended to signifie the con­junction [Page 200]of Christ and his People, and that we can therefore in the sanctifying of the Lord's Cup no more offer Wine alone, than we may presume to offer Water only. These things to those, that have a re­gard to Antiquity, cannot but appear very considerable, and I must needs say, they weigh so much with me, as to believe, that the Wine of the Sacrament might have been from the beginning dilu­ted with Water, yea that that very Wine might, which our Sa­viour consecrated into it. But this rather with respect to the Cu­stom of the Eastern Country, and the generousness of their Wines (which might be but needful to be temper'd, where the same Liquor was to be the Entertainment of their Love-Feasts, as well as the Matter of a Sacrament) than out of any regard to the Sa­crament it self, or that particular Mystery in it, which St. Cyprian thought to be intended: Because there is not any the least hint either in the Evangelists, or St. Paul, of such a mixture, or My­stery, but rather an intimation of Christ's employing only the Fruit of the Vine, and his having a regard to the sole Properties thereof, and of that Blood of his, which he shed for our Redemption. If there were from the beginning any Mystery in such a mixture, it may most probably be thought to have been intended to make so much the more lively a Representation to us of that Blood, which it was designed to remember, and which we learn from St. John Joh. 19.34. to have issued from his side attended with Water, and accord­ingly particularly remarked by him. Upon which account though I cannot press a mixture of Wine, and Water as necessary, yet nei­ther can I condemn it, or those Churches, which upon that reason think fit to retain it, and enjoin on their respective Members the due observation of it.

3. But because there neither is, nor can well be a more material Enquiry, than wherein the Bread, and Wine of this Sacrament were intended as a Sign; Therefore it may not be amiss to pass on to the resolution of it, and employ all requisite diligence in it. For my more orderly performance whereof I will consider those Elements of Bread, and Wine, with respect to Christ's Body and Blood, whe­ther as to the usage that Body, and Bloud of his receiv'd, when he was subjected to Death for us, or as to the Benefit, that was in­tended, and accrued to us by them.

If we consider the Elements of Bread and Wine with respect to Christ's Body, and Blood, as to the usage they receiv'd, when he was subjected to Death for us; So we shall find them again to be a Sign of that Body, and Blood, by what is done to them before they come to be administred, or by the separate administration of them, when they are. For in the former of these Notions the Bread manifestly became a Sign of Christ's Body by our Saviour's breaking of it; For which cause (as was before observ'd) St. Paul in his rehearsal of the Institution, attributes that breaking to Christ's Body, and describes its crucifixion by it. And not improbably the Wine of the Sacrament became a Sign of Christ's Blood by its being poured out of some other Vessel into that Cup, which he took, and blessed, and gave to his Disciples; There being not otherwise any thing in it to represent the shedding of Christ's Blood, which it appears by the several Evangelists, that our Saviour had [Page 201]a particular respect unto. Neither will it suffice to say (though it be true enough) that we do not read either in the Evangelists, or St. Paul, of our Saviour's before pouring the Wine of the Sacra­ment out of some other Vessel into that Cup, which he made use of for that purpose, and consequently cannot with equal assurance make the Wine to be a Sign of Christ's Blood by any such effusion of it. For whether we read of it, or no, such an Effusion must of necessity precede (the use of a Cup being not to keep Wine in, but to drink out of, after it hath receiv'd it by effusion from another) and that effusion therefore, and the particular mention there is of the effusion of that Blood, which is acknowledg'd to be signified by the Wine, no unreasonable intimation of that Effusion's being one of those things, wherein the Wine of the Sacrament was intended as a Sign or Representation of the other. By these means the Bread, and Wine become a Sign of Christ's Body, and Blood, as to what is done to them before they come to be administred. And we shall find them in like manner to be a Sign of the same Body, and Blood, by the separate administration of them, when they are. For as our Saviour's Body, and Blood were parted by Death, and accord­ingly requir'd to be consider'd, the one as broken, and mortifi'd, the other as shed, or poured out of it; So our Saviour did not only ap­point divers Symbols to represent them, but administred them apart, and by themselves, and (if there be any force in Do this in remembrance of me) commanded them to be so administred after­wards. By which means they become, even by that separate ad­ministration, a yet more perfect, and lively Representation of Christ's Body, and Blood, as to the usage they receiv'd, when he, whose they were, was subjected to Death for us.

But because the Body, and Blood of Christ are consider'd in this Sacrament as to the Benefit, that was intended, and accru'd to us by them, as well as to the usage they receiv'd (For This is my Body, which is given, or broken for you, say St. Luke, and St. Paul, and This is my Blood of the New Testament, or the New Testament in it, which is shed for you, say all the Evangelists upon this Argument) Therefore enquire we wherein the Elements of Bread, and Wine, are a sign of his Body, and Blood, as to that Benefit, they were so intended, and given for. Which will soon appear if we consider what the proper use of those Elements is, what we are requir'd to do with them, and what is elsewhere said concerning that Body, and Blood, when consider'd with respect to our welfare, and advantage; These several things making it evident, that they become a sign of Christ's Body, and Blood, by the use they are of to nourish, and refresh us. For as we cannot lightly think, but that when our Saviour made choice of such things, as those, to represent the use­fulness of his Body, and Blood to us, he made choice of them for that purpose with respect to their proper usefulness, as which is both most notorious in them, and most apt to affect the Mind of him, to whom they are suggested; So much less can we think otherwise of them, when he moreover requires us to eat of the one, and drink of the other, which are the ways by which we are to receive that nourishment, and refreshment, which we have said them to be so useful for. Otherwise any thing else might have [Page 202]been as proper for the purpose, as Bread, and Wine; Or if God, who may no doubt make use of what Methods he pleaseth, thought good however to make choice of Bread, and Wine, to represent Christ's Body, and Blood, yet he might have contented himself to have enjoyn'd upon us the casting our Eyes upon them, and not, as we find he doth, prompted us to eat, and drink of them, as that too in remembrance of him, and them. For what need would there be of eating, and drinking those Elements in remembrance of his Body, and Blood, or indeed what aptness in so doing, to call them to our own Minds, or the Minds of others? were it not that there were somewhat in them to represent the usefulness of Christs Body, and Blood, which was not to be drawn from them, or so sensibly perceiv'd in them, as by eating, and drinking of them. This I take to be a competent evidence of Bread, and Wine's becoming a sign by the use they are of to nourish, and refresh us; But I am yet more convinced of it by what is elsewhere said concerning Christ's Body, and Blood, when consider'd (as they are here) as to our Benefit, and advantage. Even that his Flesh, or Body was food [...]. indeed, and his Blood drink indeed Joh. 6.55., and that accordingly except his Disciples ate that Flesh of his, and drank his Blood,Joh. 6.53. they could have no life in them, but if they didJoh. 6.54. they should have eternal Life; In fine, that the fleshJoh. 6.51., which he should give for the life of the World, was in the nature of Bread to them, and so represented by him throughout that whole Discourse. For if Christ's Body, and Blood be in the nature of Food, and drink to us; If they be so far such, that we are requir'd to eat, and drink of them, and so also, that we cannot promise our selves life with­out them: That Bread, and Wine, which in the present Sacra­ment are appointed to signifie, and represent them, cannot be thought by any more proper way to be a Sign, or Representation of them, than by their usefulness as Bread, and Drink to nourish, and refresh our Bodies, to maintain them in their present beings, and fill them with joy, and gladness.

4. The fourth thing to be enquir'd as concerning the Bread, and Wine of this Sacrament is, what evidence there is of Christ's com­manding us to receive them. A question, which one would think might soon be voided by the words of the Institution it self; Take, Eat, This is my Body being the voice of our Saviour concerning the Bread, and Drink ye all of it, and This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me, being the words of the same Jesus in St. Matthew, and St. Paul concerning the Cup, which one would think to be sufficient expresses of Christ's command concerning it. But as no­thing is enough to those, who are prejudic'd against any Doctrine, as it is apparent that the Church of Rome was against the use of the Cup, when this business came to be debated in the Council of Trent; So that Council did not only determine, that whole, and entire Christ is contained under either species, and particularly under the species of Bread Sess. 13. cap. 3., but that the faithful are not oblig'd by any com­mand of the Lord to receive both species Sess. 21. cap. 1., and that accordingly, if any shall say that all, and singular the faithful people of Christ are oblig'd to take both species, either by vertue of any command from God, or as of necessity to Salvation ib. Can. 1., he ought to be anathematiz'd for [Page 203]it, or rather hath already incurr'd it. For which cause it will be necessary for us to shew, that the faithful are obliged by the Com­mand of Christ to receive the Cup, and then answer the princi­pal reasons, that are brought against it.

And here in the first place I would gladly know, whether there be, or ever were any command from Christ for the receiving of the Cup, whether by the Apostles at first, or the Priest that conse­crates now, whatsoever become of simple Laymen, or the Priests, that do not officiate, and are therefore so far forth reckoned in the number of the other. The ground of which question is, because the Council of Trent doth not say, that there is no command from Christ for the faithful's receiving the Cup, but that the faithful are not bound by any command of his to the taking of both species; and again, that if any shall say that all the faithful ought to take both species by vertue of any command of God, let him be Anathema. For possibly (for ought that doth appear from the words of that Coun­cil) there may have been a Command from Christ for all the faith­ful's receiving the Cup, but which it is in the power of the Church (as we are not ignorant of the asserted plenitude thereof) to cassate, or dispense with it. And possibly too there is no command for any either Lay, or Clergies receiving either the Cup, or the Bread, and so, if the Church pleaseth, we may, and ought to bid Farewel to the Sacrament it self, as well as to the Cup of it. For that I make no unreasonable supposition here, is evident from Fisher the Jesuite'sSee his Answer in White's Reply on Point 7. pag. 473. questioning, whether Christ gave any precept at all in the matter of the Cup, and his distinguishing between precept, and institution, which will avail as well against the Bread, as a­gainst the Cup. Which things being not first decided, it will in­deed be to no great purpose to argue with them about the faithful's obligation to receive the Cup, or for them to put us upon the proof of it; Because the true Question may perhaps be, whether there be any Command at all for any sort of Mens receiving the Cup, or indeed the Sacrament it self in any part of it. Which if it be, both Clergy, and Laity are under the same Condition, and the Question ought to be, Whether the whole matter of the Eucharist were not matter of Advice even to the Apostles themselves, rather than any thing of a Command. But as we cannot but think, that Take, Eat, and Drink ye all of this, are express Commands to some Persons, or other, because they run in the same form with Tell it to the Church, and Obey those that have the Rule over you, upon which kind of Texts all Ecclesiastical Authority is founded; so we shall therefore take it for granted, that the matter of the Cup is a Precept, and accordingly go on to enquire, for whom this Precept was intended, and to whom it was directed by our Saviour.

Now as if this Precept was intended for any, to be sure it was intended for our Saviour's Disciples, because the Persons to whom it was immediately given; So it must consequently be intended for them, either in their personal capacity, and so, that it was to reach no farther than themselves, or as they were the Representa­tives of others also. If the Romanists say the former, they do not only alter the state of the Question, and make the future both Laity and Clergy in the same Condition as to this particular, but [Page 204]make it as indifferent too, as to any thing of a Command from Christ, whether the future Clergy, or Laity partake of the Sa­crament at all, even in the Bread of it. Which how unreasonable it is, may appear from St. Paul's pressing the Corinthians with the Institution of Christ in the matter of the Eucharist, and particu­larly with the Precept, Take, Eat, and Do this in remembrance of me. For by that it should seem that what was enjoin'd upon the Disciples, at least as to the Element of Bread, was enjoin'd upon them, as the Representatives of others also. And if the Bread was so, why not also the Cup, that went along with it, and concern­ing which the words of our Saviour in S. Matthew are as express, Drink ye all of this, and St. Mark tells us, that he alike gave them, and they all drank of it? And I know of nothing, that can look like the shadow of an Objection against this way of reasoning, unless it be what some have vainly objected, that St. Paul doth not deli­ver it as a Precept from Christ, that the Apostles, and after them others should drink of it, but that, when they did drink of it, or as often as they did, they should do it in remembrance of him, as if there were nothing absolute concerning the Cup. But as the contrary is plain enough from St. Matthew, who brings in our Sa­viour enjoining them to drink all of it, and as it happens too with­out the addition of doing what they did in remembrance of him, lest any should satisfie themselves with so vain a subterfuge; So there was reason enough for St. Paul, after his accurate rehearsal of the whole Institution of the Bread, and of our Saviour's Com­mand concerning it, to content himself with saying, Do this, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me: Partly, because this form of Speech, or Command was enough to confute, and discounte­nance that unworthy partaking of the Lord's Supper, which was so rife among the Corinthians, and for the discountenancing where­of this account of Christ's Institution was given; But especially, because that [...], or in like manner the Cup, wherewith St. Paul ushers in that part of the Institution, which respected it, did sufficiently imply Christ's doing alike to, and enjoining alike concerning the Cup, as he had before affirm'd him to have done to, or concerning the Bread, so far as the different nature of the Elements did permit. Otherwise we must suppose St. Paul to have thought the blessing of the Cup as indifferent a thing, as the Ro­manists make the use of it to be, which yet it is evident from this Epistle, that he did not: He representing that Blessing as a thing of so great concernment, as to give denomination to the Cup 1 Cor. 10.16., and not only so, but intimating it to be of like use to make it to become the Communion of Christ's Blood.

The Cup therefore, or rather the Command concerning the use of it being manifestly intended for the Disciples of Christ, not in their personal capacity only, but as they were also Representatives of others; Enquire we in the next place, whether it was intended for them as Representatives of all the faithful whatsoever, or as Representatives of the Clergy only, and particularly of such of them, as were to consecrate the Bread, and it. A Question, which one would think might easily be answered by considering that, when the Sacrament was first instituted, the Disciples had no hand [Page 205]at all in the Consecration of the one, or the other Element, but he, by whom it was instituted. For our Saviour making no use of their Assistance in consecrating the Cup, or Bread, they are to be look'd upon rather as Lay-men, than Clergy-men as to any thing they were then enjoin'd; Unless the thing enjoin'd could be other­wise made appear to be proper to Clergy-men as such. Even as it is apparent that the Romanists themselves look upon such of their own Clergy, as do not consecrate the Eucharist, and accordingly withhold the Cup from them, as well as from the meanest Lay-man. Now what is there in the receit of the Cup, that we should think it to be proper to the Clergy? What in the Command of Christ concern­ing it to intimate any such thing? what in the reason of the thing enjoin'd to perswade it? For as there is no difference, so far as we can see, between Take, Eat the Bread, and drink ye all of the Cup, that we should think one to respect the Clergy, any more than the other; So one would think the reason assign'd by our Saviour in St. Matthew for their drinking all of it, even because it was his Blood of the New Testament, which was shed for many for the remis­sion of Sins, should concern the Laity, as well as the Clergy that consecrate, and consequently that Precept also, which it was in­tended to enforce. Unless we should think, or indeed could, that the Laity, and fuch of the Clergy, as do not consecrate, have no interest in Christ's Blood, or the Benefits thereof, or at least that they were no way oblig'd with due thankfulness to remember it. But beside that our Saviour's Disciples had no interest in con­secrating that Eucharist, which he celebrated with them, and were therefore so far forth to be look'd upon rather as Lay-men, than Clergy-men, and consequently Representers of those, that were such, where there was nothing enjoin'd upon them, that was not manifestly peculiar to them as Priests; St. Paul, where he repeats the same Institution of Christ, doth not only make no difference be­tween Priest and People as to this particular, but rather suppose the Cup to be common to all, and accordingly both warns all to beware of such an unworthy receiving of it, as they had been be­fore guilty of, and exhorts them as indifferently, after they had well examin'd themselves, to drink of the Cup, as to eat of the Bread: Thereby farther intimating, that they were all alike con­cern'd in the thing it self, I mean as to the receit of it. So that, for ought that hitherto doth appear, we must not only look upon the receit of the Cup as a thing under Command, but under such a Command too, as respects People, as well as Priest, yea as well as that very Priest that consecrates it, and the other Element. Which will consequently leave nothing more to enquire upon this head, than whether as the receit of the Cup, even by the Faithful, be a thing under Command, so those Faithful are under the obli­gation of it, and bound by it to the receiving of the Cup.

Now though a Command, as such, doth naturally oblige, and consequently they, that are under it, are obliged by it, and to that, which is the matter of it; Yet because question may seem to have been made by the Council of Trent rather concerning Men's being bound by any Precept of Christ to receive the Cup, than concerning the Precept it self, therefore I will set my self more [Page 206]particularly to the resolution thereof, and, together with that, of those Objections that are made against it. In order thereunto as­serting, first, that if there be such a Command, as we have before evinc'd, they, for whom that Command was intended, are gene­rally obliged by it to that, which is the matter of it: This being no more, than what the very nature of a Command enforceth, and the Credit of the Author of it perswades. For as it is of the na­ture of a Command to oblige, and consequently they, that are under it, generally obliged by it, as without which otherwise that Command would not have its end; So it is not for the Credit of him, that gave it, either to prescribe that, which cannot general­ly be observed, or not to hold those, that can, to the obligation of it: This opening a way to the contempt of his Authority, and not only to reject this, or that particular Command, but all. From whence as it will follow, that it must be only as to some Persons, and some Cases, that the Precept of the Cup must be thought not to oblige, if indeed it do not; So that alone being granted, the de­priving of whole Towns, and Provinces, and Kingdoms of the Cup, will admit of no Excuse, which will be enough to justifie us for separating from the Church of Rome in this Affair, and to con­demn the Church of Rome for usurping so much upon the World against a Divine Institution, and Command: Only to dispense with a Law, as to the Major part, being rather to destroy, than dispense with it; How much more then to hinder the Major part from the observance of it by contrary Decrees, and by Anathema's upon those, who shall not acquiesce in them? But because all we have hitherto said tends only to shew, that the generality of Chri­stians are oblig'd to the receit of the Cup, which is an intimation, unless we proceed farther, that some Persons, and in some Cases, may be exempted from the Obligation; And because the Church of Rome pretends that she is not without reasons to shew, that there is no Obligation upon all, and singular the Faithful, to receive it; Therefore I will now proceed to consider the reasons of that Pre­tence, and shew whether, or no, and how far they ought to be ad­mitted.

And first it is pretended that there are some Countries in the World, which are not furnished with Wine, nor can, it may be, with any Conveniency furnish themselves from other places, or at all for publick, and general Communions. And I will not deny but such places there may be, and that they cannot therefore (be­cause no one can be ty'd to that which is impossible) be oblig'd either to celebrate, or receive the Eucharist in it. But as this signifies nothing to the defence of those, who forbid it where it may be had, and is therefore very frivolously alledged in the pre­sent Case; So I shall upon the