REMARKS, AND Animadversions, On Mr. Keith's Two Sermons, Being his First after Ordiantion, Preached at the Parish Church of St. George's Butolphs-Lane, London, May the 12th. 1700. On St. LƲKE i. 6. Now Impartially compared with his former Writings, SETTING George Against Keith. And Endeavouring to Reconcile them, By shewing what he should have said upon the Subject.

By W. B. a Communicant of the Church of England.

LONDON, Printed for the AUTHOR; and Sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster, 1700.

Remarks and Animadversions on Mr. Keith's Two Sermons.

SINCE I understand that the late Reverend, tho' as yet not Right Reverend George Keith, has entered in­to the Church as Jackdaws into the Steeple to build, and hatch there; entering almost undesired by any: so for ought I know may dye unlamented: For I believe that the Church (as the Apostles did) will not go to Prayers for such an other to succeed, and supply in his place; I never heard that the present Church had, or used any such custom, tho' it was common among the Churches of God in the days of old. I am not insensible that that upstart Prelate, which whether out of fear, or trouble, or both, has done that Outwardly, which I have some reason to think he Inwardly detests, since this his Sermon was not a Recantation of his former Errors, which are manifestly extant in his former Scriblings, which as I un­derstand he has neither Cryed down in Church, nor Market, nor caused to be Burnt by the Hands of the Common Hang­man; but are left us still upon Record as Authentick: So that it makes me, and some others think, that his Judgment differs from his present Undertakings, having but clattered Gideons Rams-Horns and broken Pitchers together, so as to affright his Conscience, and baisting it for being Scittish, has made even an Ass of it, by causing the poor Jade to carry a Steeple which it formerly hated: and all this because Brown Bread is better than no White. All wise People do think that such an one should have given some Satisfaction to the Church in general, which he had forsaken, and formerly so abused; he might, and should then have told the People, that he came there to give satisfaction more than to receive any; and show­ed himself there not for Worth, or notorious Wickedness; but for Weakness, in not discerning and following all the Commands and Ordinances which are Truths. If he had gone on, and humbly craved a fair Construction, and favour­able Acception; First of his Offences past, that his readiness to acknowledge them might pass for one degree of Satisfaction, and his suddain Recantation for an other; so what was want­ing in Ripeness, should be supplied in Sincerity. But since none of this was heard to come from his Mouth, but only the [Page 3] choice of a good Text, which he so mangled and tore, that the sharpest Eye could not so discern as to know what it was amongst all the Tautologies, and Impertinent, or Nonsensical stuff, which by hard and long driving he forced from it; which made, it seems, some well-meaning Christians to get some in Commission to send an Hue-and-Cry aftert he forelorn Text, so as to overtake, arrest, and make the best of it; which I am assured was done for the Honour and Reputation of the New Convert, and the languishing Church which he pretends to be a Member of. But in my weak judgment, any that for­sakes his first or second Love, can, or will Never be true to his Third.

So having seen the Post-Boy, May the 14th. which pretended to give the Substance of the Sermons: And on May 16. meet­ing with an Advertisement, in which the now Holderforth re­payed not only the Post-Boy, but Mr. Brodford a Printer also in the currant Coin of Billingsgate; which made me the more curious to inquire after his Former Pieces; the Post-Boy, and his Initiating (which I judge should have been his Recantation) Sermons, not of some but all his former Errors and Mistakes, whether wilfully, or ignorantly committed. So having mu­stered so many as I could get together, I took the boldness upon me to compare them, and so Remark on the Sermons: Now since the Printer has left us Two Blank Pages, the reason of which, as I conjecture, is because the Post-Boy has supplied us with Matter which they should have contained, being as was observed such as did, and doth naturally flow from the New Prophet: but like the Bears young Ones (being now released from the Tautological I says) in time Licked into Shape and Form. For if you read the Post-Boy, with his opening of the Words, and compare them, they are the same; only some Ad­ditions are made, which the Printer has forgot to tell us of, as he did in the Farewel Farce: For pag. 6. he tells us by Tautolo­gies, as the Post-Man doth, That Hypocrites are righteous be­fore Men, tho' not righteous before God: and that walking signi­fies journying, and travelling forward; only by a little Licking, he has changed the Words, viz. (travelling forward) into that Phrase going forward, by progressive motion, which amounts to a Tautology. And pag. 8. by Ordinances are understood all the Ceremonial Precepts, &c. called in Heb. 9.1. Ordinances of Service pertaining to the Temple: Which Text, and denomina­tion, I suppose the Post-Boy having only left out, being no Textuary, or caring to meddle with Holy Things. Now the Observations he makes from the words thus opened are Three, from pag. 9. to 14. First, the State of the Jewish Church at [Page 4] that time to which the Text relates, was very corrupt, for some did not believe one Fundamental Doctrine; others put false glosses on the Scriptures, Matt. 15.3, 6, 7, 8, 9. Others had Practices corrupt, and contrary to what they taught: there were Sons of Belial, and Rebels, &c.

Alas this, and more has this self-same Demas said of the now established Church, without any Recantation, as appears from his former Books, viz. The Way cast up, pag. 36. I cannot, saith he, in the least acknowledge that ever any National Church can be a true Church of Christ (since they are a mixed and confused rabble of Godless Atheists) it were wished that this, and all others were true. But men should not make such preposterous haste to make National Churches by meer humane Laws and Power: bare humane Laws, Edicts, and Decrees will never do it; for indeed this hath been the ground and rise of all Persecutions, &c. For those that will have a National Church, will have all others to bow and joyn with them; and is always a Persecuting Church, (its her very Na­ture) so must always be exceeding Hypocritical, seeing she begetteth Thousands to be her Children, and Members by meer Will and Power of Man, which only makes Hypocrites. And for the Teachers, he further saith, pag. 40, 41, 42. That they have been generally, and for the most part, self-seeking, worldly-minded, and covetous men, who loved Pleasure and Riches more than God; and this the Magistrates did well know, and saw the best way to prevent, was to Bribe them with Augmentations, and Benefices. The Preachers of the Wal­denses were Lay-men most of them, and wrought with their Hands, as the Teachers of the Primitive Church did, and had no Stipends, or Salleries, but Preached freely. And Im­med. Rev. pag. 30, 31. Altho' the School-men and National Teachers Doctrine, who generally being men void of all sense or feeling of God, have in the blindness of their minds, and in the wisdom from below, which is carnal, earthly, and devilish, framed and invented this perverse Doctrine for their own gains and ends. And pag. 136. He tells us, That the Church is an Habitation for Ravenous Beasts and Owls, &c. And down must all the proud lording, lofty Clergy, with their many de­grees of Doctorship, Lordship, and Mastership. And assures us that it lay upon him from the Lord, and so bids all [Page 5] others To depart from these Teachers which cannot point to the knowledge of the living God: Nay, further, in his Rector Corrected, pag. 122, 123, 124. Is not the Popish Church thy Grandmother? who hath taught this destruction of Layick, and Clegy, Secular, and Spiritual; for these she only calleth Clergy, or Spiritual, who are either Priests, or Bishops, or Popes, or in some such order the rest Laicks or Secular, whereas as the Apostle calleth the whole Body of the People the Clergy, or In­heritance of the Lord; have they less then of the Spiritual, be­cause they are Mechanicks? And have ye (that call your selves the Clergy) more, because ye understand the Tongues, and walk in Long Robes, and love the chief Places in Assemblies, and are called Masters? Again, Are not such of the Man­made Ministry ambitious? Do they not affect great Titles? Or if it be a sin to affect them, is it not because they are vain, and sinful? Have not some of the Clergy (so called) greater Titles now, than the Rabbies had of Old? as, Your Grace, Your Holiness, Most Reverend Father in God, Right Reverend, &c.

Thus far George has been and is so possitive in the pre­sent State of our National Church, that it's as corrupt both in Doctrine and Manners, as ever the Jewish Church was in Zachariah's time.

Now comes Keith, and grants the same, making in pag. 13. only this Supposition, If they be such, we must not for­sake the Assembling our selves (as Zacharias did) publickly with them. Whenas George saith, We must depart from them: Which is an Even and Equal Match, One against One; namely George against Keith. But alas, to George's assistance comes without any blowing of his Horn, the Noysie Post-Man with his Tautologies, and Impertinent Quotations of Nonsense, and Texts of Scripture, as Isa. 29.13. and Nehem. 9.4, 5. which tells us that these, even almost a Regiment of Foot, viz. Jeshua and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Chenani, &c. stood upon the Stairs, &c.—Now Keith well knowing that two to one are odds at Foot-ball, so for Peace-saith, as the rude Post-Man had said, as appears in pag. 14, 15. setting down Isa. 29, 13. and Nehem. 9.4, & 5. only get­ting leave not to call over all the Muster-Roll, but to [Page 6] stop with an &c. at Bani, and to sleep in an whole Skin; he's content with Pottage thrice hot, provided he may but have so much Meat as he can take out of the Pot with his Flesh-Fork; he cares not whether out of Knowledge, Malice or Ignorance, if you call him Priest, as pag. 18. Tho' George saith, Its an odious and abominable Name; as Imed. Rev. p. 136. Now by rea­son of the Aftertoon Harangue, the Fray begins again between George and Keith, since the Rabbi hath said, p. 21. That the Church under the Old Testament was not carnal. Whenas George in the places before-cited, hath assured us, not only that under the Old Testament it was (but also all National Churches whatsoever both were, and are) carnal, and not to be joyned with. But I find by our Young Master's words, that since there were some among the Jews, who professed to have know­ledge of the Law and divine Mysteries, so gathered Disciples and Proselites to them, whom they taught apart; and for that were called Rabbies, as pag. 11. This as he hints there, he has a mind to do; Nay, further, since in p. 25. 26. he saith, That as in the Jewish Church there were great Faults both in the Rulers of it, and the People also, yet the true Prophets did not seperate from them, but reproved and represented them to the Government, which established the Church. By which is covertly hinted, that he being a true Prophet, designs fairly at some time or other, to represent the Errors and Miscarriages of all the Church to the Supream Governours; so that here's fair Warning; Have at ye Sirs, for he's resolued to stick to the Church, he'll en­deavour to have it cleansed. So in my judgment there's more danger of Keith than of George: But since George, the Post-Boy, and some others, have maliciously suggested and report­ed that Keith, as pag. 29. has put himself into the Priests Office for a Piece of Bread. Now to pass over the rest of the Fulsome and Impertinent Stuff, being weary of Remarking, I am at last resolved to take poor Keith's part, and endeavour if possible to reconcile them; for I am well informed, and as­sured, that he did not put himself into Orders for one piece of Bread, but for whole Loaves; Lumps of Money, or Steeple upon Steeple. George, I would and will not have my Friend Keith thus undervalued; and seeing you were formerly Friends and Brethren in Iniquity, being false Prophets, as Deut. 3. which taught the People to go astray, you now are punishable, as pag. 30. unless you make Satisfaction; for tho' you have a Tol­leration by our Laws, yet the Laws of God will not excuse you. So be sure that the next Oration you make to the People, to stick to the Text, and tell them as I have, or if I had time, sincerely for your and the Churches good, would have told what all the Commands and Ordi­nances are to be so observed, as to be Blameless.

Afternoon Sermon.

LUKE i. 6. And they were both Righteous, walk­ing in all the Commandments and Ordinances of the Lord blameless.’

HAving in my foregoing Discourse in the Words of the Text, first shewn you what the True Faith and Church is, and where found; secondly, what that Righteous­ness is, which makes any Blameless. So 3dly, and lastly, I come now to declare what the Commands and Ordinances were, and are. The Commands (besides those 10 which are called the Moral Law, which our Lord and Saviour came to fulfil, as Matth. 5.17.) are not many, however, whosoever shall shall break one of the least Commandments, and shall teach Men so, he shall be the least, and guilty of the breach of the whole, James 2.10. Our Lord, the wise and good Lawgiver, to take the Scandal and Folly of the Old Law, which the Pha­risees had put upon it by their false glosses, the first of which he takes notice of, was that mentioned by St. Matthew 5.43. where he saith, It hath been said, thou shalt love thy Neighbour, and hate thine Enemy: And vers. 44. But I say unto you, love your Enemies: Which as St. John 13.34. tells us, our blessed Lord calls a New Commandment; which same Evangelist tells us in his 1 Epist. John 3.7. was a Message even from the begin­ning, as old as either the Law of Nature or Moses's: but as most of the Ancients conceive this Commandment of our Sa­viour's was termed New, being an Hebraism, it therefore must (as one of the Fathers saith) be accounted most excellent of all, or a rare, choise, and special one, unum prae (que) omnibus unum (i. e.) One above all others; and as Mr. Calvin Paraphra­sing upon it, saith, Christ would have us perpetually mindful of that, as if it were a Law newly enacted: For we (saith he) know that Laws at the first making of them are carefully looked into, and diligently observed; but by degrees wear out of Mens Memory, and in the end grows into disuse: And for that end Christ recommended this as a New Commandment, and being also propounded in a new Form. For in the Law it run thus, Love thy Neighbour as thy self; but in the Gospel, Love one another as I have loved you; that is in some case more than your selves. Now a Law may be said to be New, out of a double consideration, first, either in respect of the thing commanded, if it be such a thing as before never fell under any Law, which caused the Proverb, Novus Rex nova lex, New Lords, New Laws; because or for the most part new Gover­nours, [Page 8] or Rulers, bring in New Customs, proclaim New E­dicts, and settle New Orders in Church or State: Or second­ly, in respect of the New Act of Commanding: So an Old Statute when its revived, an Old Book reprinted, an Old Fa­shion laid aside for a long time and again taken up, may be called a New One. So that in both these respects the Com­mand may be said to be New. So to love our Enemies, is first, to wish and desire; and 2dly, to do well to them: for to think well of and towards another, to wish and desire their welfare is the Soul, and to do them that Good which is wished them is all the Body, of real and true Love, which must and will express it self variously according to the different conditions of its object, and the divers degres of its own power; for if the thing loved be very good, then Love is to put on the Garment of Gladness, and is delighted in it; if it be in very bad estate, and destitute of good, then Love is to turn into Pity to commisserate: If it be unable to help, then it stays in Desires and good Wishes: but if it has any power, it exerts it, and goes into Action to be Blameless. Now its manifest that the Pharisees, or they Pharasaically inclined, wholly ad­heared to the Traditions of the Elders, and the Opinions of their Doctors and Rabbies; for their Carriage was such, as shewed they thought themselves not only permitted, but com­manded to desire and do Evil to their Enemies, and all were such in their esteem, who were not Jews or Proselites: there­fore they denyed them common Offices of Civility; yea, would not so much as direct a Stranger in his Way, if he were out of their Religion; and besides, called them by most unci­vil Names, such as Dogs, &c. in paying them by Fraud or Violence: I could heartily wish that none of the Spawn were to be found now amongst us; but to my Shame be it spoken, such was I formerly, but now thanks be to God, I am washed and cleansed from such Pollutions; and for the future will endeavour to observe and keep this New Commandment to be Blameless, &c. The Substance then of that New Command, as I humbly conceive is in my thoughts (to love our Enemies) not that we should love any thing that is Evil to us, and tends to our Ruin as such; nor that we should not endeavour and take the best and likeliest Ways to free our selves from a bad estate; nor that we should not do and desire some Evil to Men, who may be our Enemies, provided that it be in order to a greater Good than its Depravation of to themselves, or others, and not inconsistent with their Happiness: but that we desire, and do as much as we can of good to them, who designs and does the worst Evils to us: For first, consider that tho' they [Page 9] are our Enemies, yet by their evil design we may often be the better for them, tho' they may intend no less than our ruin, as some did mine formerly, yet it often proves our Advance­ment; yea, the very Blow by which they would kill, often cures, so that the Sword becomes a Lancet; and the Enemy which designs to make Wounds, proves a Chirurgion, and heals them. True, this being besides their Intention, we per­haps may think they do not merit our Love or Thanks the more: but since they prove Instruments of Good to us, we should and must love the Cause, as Joseph did: Why should not we then as well love those that do us good against their Wills, as those that do it without any Will at all? tho' they have many evil Designs, and mischievous Devices against us, yet these do but make us more cautious and circumspect, more exact in what we say and do than otherwise we would be; which is a Spur to make us do our best, &c. Friends are often so blinded with Passion, that they can see nothing that is amiss in us; nay, if some had fewer Friends, and more Enemies, they had been much better then they are: Therefore we must love Enemies as we do Poysons that are mixt by a learned and careful Physitian, being made soveraign Medicines to cure our Diseases. 2dly, Tho' they are our Enemies, and do evil to us, yet there is some good in them; let us love them then for the sake of it, and imitate our Maker: its but just that we prosecute and destroy the Wickedness of any, but let us spare and save the Creature, for its God's Image. Physitians do never cut off any part of the Body, which is so corrupted, until there is no hopes of a Cure: And in the Body Politick, its certain that the relatives of an Offender are not involved in his Sufferings, where the offence is not very great: nor then unless it can be supposed that they were Partners with him; or it be necessary for the Publick, and greater Good, both to demonstrate a greater Severity against such Crimes, as thereby to terrify Men, and also to engage all Relations to concern themselves in one anothers well doing; like to this should our carriage be to those that hate us. Pray are there no hopes that the Evils may be removed from the Lives and Minds of the Person without their ruine? Try if there are: Nay, 'tis hard to say that any are so much our Enemies, that they will never be our Friends: God may and can turn their Hearts. 3dly, [...] must never do any Evil which will make it impossible for our Enemies to be happy; they are vital parts, which must in no wise be cut off, unless the case is very despe­rate. True, they are Men liable to Errors, but yet (as I was) capable of Information: they are God's Image, and our Flesh and Bone, let us not be angry with them if they have hitherto loitered, and comes to be hired at the Ninth Hour: Let us [Page 10] imitate our Lord and Master, and (as he has loved us) so love one another; and reward them as well for one Hour, as if they had laboured all the Day. Yet what if our Enemies be Infidels, evil and foolish, or no Christians, having put off common Civility and Humanity? verily the greater than is their Misery: but since they are not Devils, being as I was, capable of a recovery, the more compassionable are their case, therefore to be pittied; for its unnatural Cruelty, monstrous Inhumanity and hellish Malice, to hate and prosecute any in Misery; What if they be our Enemies? they are Friends to many others as good if not better than our selves; and can't we be satisfied with, and love that which is our particular Interest, if others receive Advantage by it: For if the Rain that overflows me, makes my Neighbours Field fruitful, I ought not to (and must not) dislike it: or if the Sun warms thousands by its heat, and scorches me, or the Season by which I suffer, favours many others, I am not to be displeased: we are all God's People, and Sheep of his Pasture, therefore we have the greatest engagement laid upon us to mutual Kindness and Good-will; nay, that Christian Virtue is more innocent, and doth less harm to both our selves and others; and as we find by sweet experience, ordinarily prevails upon others to lay aside all malicious thoughts: for we are naturally prone to imitate, as with the Froward to learn Frowardness, and with the Lo­ving Love; and further, there's no reason imaginable to hate one that loves us, because we only hate that which is evil to us; but if any Person love us, we can't think he doth us evil, since he designs and will do us good: so that if we hate such, we hate our own good. To conclude this Command, our re­turning Love for Hatred, quencheth the violence of it: for the common Observation is, if the Sun shine upon the Fire, it will put it out: so Love takes away the Heat and Fewel from those unnatural and consuming Fires, destroying both the Parent and Nurse of Enmity, viz. Hatred and Evil, which would have propagated and preserved it; yea, this is the firm Foundation of a lasting Peace, even that which passes our Understanding, obtaining an answer to all our Petitions, by forgiving as we would be forgiven; and as St. 1 John 3.22. saith, Then whatsoever we ask we shall receive of him, because we keep his Commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight: And these are his Commandments, to believe on Jesus Christ, and love one another, even our Enemies, as he gave us Commandment so as to be Blameless. The Second Commandment which our Saviour gave his Apostles, is mentioned by St. Mat. 28.18, 19, 20. All Power is given unto me in Heaven and Earth. Go ye therefore and teach (that is to make Disciples) all Nations, Bapti­zing them, &c. teaching them to observe all Things whatsoever I have com­manded [Page 11] you, &c. In which Words our Saviour first Asserts, and De­clares his own Commission, shewing his Apostles that what he did was not the result of his own private Judgment, but the Exercise of Authority which was given him of his Father; who had confirmed unto him a full Power of ordering, and disposing whatsoever belonged to the Church. But since in his own Person he must Ascend and leave them: he gave them their Deputation by sending the Holy Spirit the Comforter to be with, and Comfort them to the end of the World: And since they were Mortal, he gave them Power to Depute others to succeed them in them same Care, and to deliver down the same Power successively to the end of the World; it's then without doubt by that Promise that our Saviour intended some Benefits to the Church, which should be of no less continuance than it self: So the Apostles were to be the first Dispensers of those Benefits: Now the Benefits as appears from the Commission were these these, First, Teaching, Secondly, Baptising, and some other Things which he had Commanded, as the Taking and Eat­ing of the Bread, and Drinking the Cup, which was to be a shewing of his Death to the end of the World: And the Exercising Censures against the Obstinate and Sinful, such as Elimas the Sorcerer, as Act 13. &c. Now These were either to end with the Apostles, or they were not, if they were then to end: The Church ever since their Deaths has been with­out such, which amounts only to this, that there has been no Church since their Decease. Or if they did not end with the Apostles, but have always been, and are still to be exercised unto the end of the World: then there ever must have been, and now must be fit Persons: Which like to the Apostles, must have a just Power to dispense these Benefits, or exercise these Offices; for no less can be conceived to have been intend­ed by Christ in his Promise, of being with his Church to the end. Now when the great Bishop of our Souls ordained his Apostles, it was according to the Tenor of his own Ordination, As my Father sent me so send I you, Luke 4.18. And said John 23.21, 22. Receive ye the Holy Ghost. The case is the fame in Matthias, Saul and Barnabas, as Acts 1.24. ond 13.2. and in those which the Church made Overseers or Bishops, as Act. 20.28. and Eph. 4.11. and we have no reason at all to doubt, but that the Spirit doth as truly, tho' not so visibly assist at the present Ordaining of Ministers, as then since the Church Prays for, and bids them receive the Holy Ghost for the Office and Work of a Priest in the Church of God, now committed to such by the Imposition of Hands. And since many say that the Gospel-Priesthood is left open to all that will enter it without any further Ceremony, than a geting up and Ride, or a jumping from the Shop-board to the Pulpit or Desk. Now to the sober Consideration of such, I Humbly recommend the en­suing Particulars, as First, Since St. Paul setting down the Nature of a Church, Stiles it the Body of Christ, where he means not a Similar Body, such as Fire, Air, and Water, where all the parts are alike, and perform the same Office: But a Body consisting of Diversity of Organs for several Faculties, and Operations, such a Body as is not one Mem­ber, but many knit together with Unity and Charity, as with a band of Health, as 1 Cor. 12. designed to Manifest that in the Church of Christ; it's as Monstrous and Impossible for all he Teachers or Governours, as for the Body to be all Tongue or Eye: And that it is as Preposterous, [Page 12] and Destructive for all Promiscuously to thrust themselves into the Mini­stry, when the Spirit moves as for the Members of a Mans Body to de­sert their Natural Scituation, and all to press into the same Place; nay, besides if according to some Mens Fancies, Abilities, be all that is re­quisite to make a Clergy-man or Teacher, then it's highly reasonable to make due inquiry into those, so as to be duly and truly informed of their Nature and Reality. Now what Abilities soever any can pretend unto must either be infused, or acquired: If any then assume the Office of a Teacher, meerly upon the pretence of infused Abilities, or extraor­dinary Gifts, then it's just with the Apostles to put them upon the pro­ving such by that sort of Testimony, which was ever required in such a Case, to shew them by working some Miracles: For if such bold Pre­tenders are to be Credited upon their own bare Word, how easily then will every confident Creature, only by rubbing their Forehead with Brass, pretending extraordinary Gifts and Abilities; so by a meer bel­lowing Cozen, the Silly and Ignorant; do belye the Holy Ghost, from whom all real Gifts come, and consequently destroy all Order in the Church, but we are commanded not to believe every Spirit, but to try them whether they be of God, since the Charge which is undertaken is no less than the cure of Souls: For the great Shepherd would not have his Sheep to wander up and down, (least they go astray and be lost) without any to feed them: You know what a strict Command he laid upon Peter to feed his Sheep and Lambs, and which he Faithfully Execu­ted, and Exhorted his fellow Elders or Ministers to do the like, as 1 Pet. 5 1, 2. Feed the Flock of God, which is among you, taking the over-sight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly: Not for filthy Lucre, but of a rea­dy Mind. Now if these who are so forward to take upon them the Mi­nisterial Office, would maturely revolve that it brings with it a charge of Souls, of which one Day they must give an Account, &c. This might perhaps not a little Cool their Heat, and the due Apprehension of the weightiness of the Burthen would allay the Presumption of their Abilities: Nor will it less deserve a serious Consideration, that if all have a right to the Ministry, then all have a right to be main­tained by it, as Saint Paul proves from the Law of Moses, instancing in the Ox and Labourer, the one not to be muzled, and the other worthy of his Hire: So arguing from common Equi­ty, that since Spirituals were Ministred unto them, it's no great matter if they reap their Temporals; since as he concludes those that Preach the Gospel must live by it: A double Portion both of respect and main­tainance being due to them, as 1 Tim. 5.19. to free them from the distra­cting Troubles of the World, enabling them to the oblidging Offices of Charity and Alms-Deeds, as to be not only apt to Teach, but given to Hospitality, which Consideration, if the Pluralists will not have regard to, it's hoped, and wished the Grand Council will, and make as good and wholsome Provision for Pluralities of Parsonages as are for Wives, and put a restraint upon the Overseers or Elders of the Church, to make them for the future more Provident, as not to admit more to be or­dained, than they are indeed bound (tho' are not yet willing to maintain) and that an Eye be had towards Personal Perfections, as well as Abilities, and Honesty of Descent, as well as Probity of Manners, and not to make Priests of the lowest for Interest or Favour. Thirdly, Nothing will serve some, but they must and will be Teachers, and through either an [Page 13] Envious Faction, or a Mistaken Zeal, they will detain that which is due, or be Fingering the hallowed Censor, and the Holy Fire. I leave such to the Consideration of their Ancestors, viz. Corah, Dathan, Abiram, and Ʋzziah; First for Instruction, and then for Afrightment, for di­verse Inconveniences have befallen: And consequently will unavoidably attend both Church and State by this, as First, They let some Presump­tuous of their Abilities, to take upon them to become Teachers, has proved, and will again make even Preaching it self; which many in this Age account the All of Religion, to become Weak and Contemptable, by being exposed to all the Incongruities, Follies, Dotages, and Impo­sters of the Ignorant, and Confident, of the Crafty and Deceitful, ma­king the Scripture it self our only Rule, to be Hourly liable to such Freakish and Will Expositions, as will make it most unlike it self, and least able to be that, which it was designed, viz. a compleat Rule of Faith, and Conversation, Truth, and Holiness. And that there is more than a possibility of what I speak, those have sufficiently informed us, who have Expounded the Scripture as their Humours and Wills would have it speak; by Commenting Upon the Laws and Commands, till they left in them no Obligation; making God's Word speak according to their Interest or Passions, and so expose Religion to perpetual Cor­ruptions. And Secondly such doings will have but little influence upon the Peace, and safety of the State to God: For when every one hath a liberty to teach what, and whom he pleaseth: We may conclude from the Natural Pride of Men, that each will desire to raise a Sect, and be­come Head of a Party, over whose Consciences when they have once got a competent Power, it will not be long till they have both their Per­sons, and Fortunes at their Devotion; then their gathered Churches will be soon train'd into an Army: There being no fitter Materials of New Troops, than new Proselites, who being imployed in the first warmth and briskness of their Zeal, will not stick at any attempt tending to the advancement of their Way, and to the Removal of whatsoever obstructs their Design: And tho' the pretence of all this be Conscience, and Zeal for the Lord, the removal of Abuses, and the publick Welfare: Yet every Malecontent will help to the increase of the Cry: So that all the Sons of Ambition, Coveteousness, Envy, and Revenge will emp­ty themselves into the Faction; and those who least care for Religion, will then make it their pretext to ruin that which is Established, and therewith the State: The sad Truth of which Observation, dear bought Experience hath and now doth every where attest, &c.

The Third Command or Ordinance, which the great Apostle places before the last mentioned in Heb. 6.2. The Doctrine of Baptisms, which is an initial Principle, and fundamental Point of Christian Reli­gion: And since, as Mr. Dell saith, p. 2. There are, and have been, many which have, and do maintain divers Errors and Opinions, even for some long time; some now taking such Opinions up only upon trust, and without consulting or advising with the Learned, entertains them as sure and certain: Now to free those from their former mistakes, and consequently from their Errors; I know of no other way than wholly to forsake these Doctrines, sucked in with their Mothers Milk, which are turned to natural Food and Nourishment, and totally adhere to the Pure and Unerring Word of God, and not bring Hearts to it preposest with Doctrines and Opinions learned of their Grannums, but to come with Hearts and Consciences free, and not pre-ingaged, in all [Page 14] Meekness, Uprightness, and Simplicity of Heart, to hear what the Ho­ly Jesus, with his faithful and true Witnesses, viz. the Apostles have, and do say, touching the Point, and so receive and believe that alone, tho' never so differing from the Opinions and Doctrines of some, nay, of many: Tho' such are and may be offended at it; yet I have chose rather to build on the clear Word, tho' alone, than on any blind Con­jectures, tho' magnified and embraced by many. Thus far Mr. Dell to p. 5. So as he further saith, In my inquiry, meeting with that place in Heb. 6.2. where the Apostle speaks of the Doctrine not only of Baptism, but Baptisms in the plural number, which made me think and conclude, that there belongs to every adult Christian, more than one Baptism; and what these then were, being such necessary, principal and fundamental Points: I thought it my bounden Duty to enquire out, and with Mr. Dell, p. 8, 9. have gathered, and so concludes, that they are two distinct Baptisms; the first by Water, to initiate and make us Members; the other by the Spirit, to strengthen and confirm, so as to make us Children, and if Children, as St. Paul argues, Rom. 8.17. then Heirs of God, and joynt Heirs with Christ, &c. The first called Water-Baptism, from St. John; the other being Fire-Baptism, from Christ, or his holy Spirit; both which are confirmed by St. August. contra. liter. Petil. 2. c. 39. where he saith, Alium fuisse Johannis Bap­tismum alium Christi: And both absolutely necessary to the Salvation of the Adult (tho' by reason of a dark and dim Glass, Mr. Dell could, or at least would but see the one) for as our Saviour argues about other things, and this also; so may I withal observe, the one ought to be done, and the other not to be left undone: John 3.5. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a Man be Born of Water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God: And 1 Pet. 3.20, 21. Eight Souls were saved by Water, the like Figure whereunto even Baptism doth now save us, &c. And since that the Learned and Eloquent Apollos, be­ing, as St. Paul tells us, Acts 18.25. instructed in the way of the Lord; spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the Baptism of John: Some of which things was undoubtedly Water-Baptism, and consequently the Lord's, as well as John's: Nay further, when St. Paul, Acts 19.3, 4. found certain Disciples which had only been Bap­tized with John's Baptism, he Baptized them with the Holy Ghost, by laying his hands upon them, as verse 6. Now this with Mr. Dell, p. 13. I must confess, being a second Baptism, was not, as the Anabaptists fondly think, a Renewing, or Dipping them in Water, but only a lay­ing his hands upon them, that the Holy Spirit might come to em­power them. I think Mr. Dell, p. 14. has made an Objection, and drawn a Conclusion from it, which no wise Man either did, or could, ever make, or draw, viz. That John's Doctrine was the same with Christ, therefore his Baptism the same: True, tho' the Doctrines were the same, yet this forced con­clusion could not follow, That their Baptisms were: And p. 16. he saith, That John's Baptism was brought in besides the rite and manner of the Law, and so a sign of a great Change to follow: It's but a mistake which proceeded either from Wilfulness or Ignorance; for John's Baptism was brought in, not besides, but according to the rite and manner of the Law, for the Jews admitted all their Proselites by it, and their Children also were washed, as well as circumcised; neither was it a Sign, that it should be changed, or left off, till the End; for only the intolerable and burden­some Cerimonies of the Law; such as Circumcision, &c. were to be abolished: For John's Baptism, as he tells us, p. 17. is, tho' Weak, and Imperfect, yet very Ho­nourable; was Evangelical as well as Legal, being from Heaven, Luke 3.2. John [Page 15] 1.6, 33. so that God was, and is, the Author of this, as well as the other, for [...] Publicans which received this Baptism, are said to Justifie God, when as the Phari­sees and Lawyers that refused it, did then reject against themselves, that is to their own hurt, the Counsel of God, Luke 7.29, 30. I wish there were none such now; nay, Christ himself, who was Born under the Law, and so Circumcised, to fulfil it; was subject to this Divine Institution, of being Baptized with Water, as Mat. 3.13. not that he had any Sins to report of himself, but for us to imitate him in it, & for our Sins that he might fulfill all Righteousness, Mat. 3.15. and tho' Jesus Baptized not himself, but his Disciples more than John's, as John 4.1, 2. true our Lord the chief Bishop of our Souls (as our chief Bishops now) Baptized none: It did not become him, neither doth it them, he had greater Work to do, so have they: He left it to his Apostles which were Subordinate, so do our Bishops to the Subordinate Curates, as a thing still needful to be done: No wonder then, if the great Apostle in such a large Circuit or Diocess, as from Jerusalem to Illiricum, Acts 15.9. Baptized no more than two or three Believing Families; since he had a greater Work to do than lay that Foundation, which was laid by Subordinate Ministers. So as (he saith) Heb. 6.1. & 2. therefore leaving the Principles of the Doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto Per­fection, not laying again the Foundation of Repentance, Faith, the Doctrine of Bap­tisms, &c. Now tho' Water-Baptism gives not the, yet it initiates into the Church, and makes Members in order to be Baptized by the Spirit, to become Children, as Acts 19. and tho' it doth not give Kepentance, and Remission to be Happy; yet it's in order to these: Infants indeed having never committed any actual Sins, have no need of Repentance, only of Remission for their Originnl Sin, which is done a­way by the Blood of Christ, which the Water represents. So that if they Dye in their Infancy, they are undoubtedly Happy: So that contrary to Mr. Dell's Ipse dixit, in pages 26. 29. and 28. Water-Baptism both was, and is absolutely necessary, and to continue till the end, so to make Infants dying before they commit actual Sins; and also the Adult, which is Born again of Water as well as of the Spirit; yea, of both, to make I say, such Eternally Happy, as the Lord himself has assured us, John 3.5. so to pass by his empty and frivilous Objections; where in the 3d. he has shew­ed himself a Pharisee, p. 29, 30. I'll only take notice of the Weak and Impertinent Answers he makes to the 5th, &c. That it is meant of Material Water, is Manifest from the Coplative and with the Ensuing Verse. That which is Born of the Flesh is Flesh, to which the Water-Baptism belongeth, but that which is Born of the Spirit is Spirit, which is not improperly call'd a Second Baptism or New Birth, by the Spi­rit in the Adult: But he further Objects, p. 34. Saying, Then upon the same ground Material Fire, in Matth. 3.11. as well as Material Water is meant in the fore­cited Text, which is absurd. To which I Answer, To be Baptized with the Holy Ghost and with Fire, as Matth. 3.11. Being an Hebraism, denotes only the Efficacy cy of the Holy Spirit, since at Penticost, the holy Spirit appeared unto them in shape of Cloven Tongues, like as of Fire, as Acts 2.3. So Infants which have committed no actual Sin, by being washed or baptized with Water, are like to the eight Souls in Noah's Ark, saved, as it appears from 1 Pet. 3.20, 21. and p. 36. he saith, That our Soviour, in that Commission, bid them not Baptize or Dip them in cold Water, as John did, but into the Name of God. And p. 38. That tho' their Lord had given them a Form, yet was not since as we ever heard, or read of, any where else used by the Apostles; and that St. Paul baptizing but two or three Families, yet establish­ed many Churches, whose Members were never washed at all by Water. And p. 42. probably most Apostles did the like; Seeing that Christ's Baptism included John's, and was sufficient without it; and that there's but one Baptism, from Eph. 4.20.

All this is but an Ipse Dixit, without any Reason or Proof; the contrary [...]th manifestly appear in every particular, for all which the Apostles baptized were by the same Form in the Name of the Lord Jesus, &c. as Acts 19.5. Nor as we read did they ever Lay their Hands upon any Member as to be Baptized by the Spirit, but what were either before or after Baptized with Water, as Acts 10.43, 44. ‘Can any forbid Wa­ter that these should not be Baptized which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we; and he commanded them to be Baptized in the Name of the Lord.’ So that you may understand that the Baptizing by the Spirit was not sufficient; but the Baptism of the Water must be added. True, St. Paul tells us. Ephes. 1.5. That there's but one Baptism. Answ. No more there is but one Man, but he consists of two necessary parts, viz. Flesh and Spirit: so is Baptism said to be one, where our Saviour explains it thus in John 3.6. saying, ‘That which is born of the Flesh is Flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.’ Therefore to be Christians let us take the Apostles ad­vice to 2 Cor. 7.1. Having therefore these Promises by Water and the Spirit to be [Page 16] found Members and Children, viz. Sons and Daughters, let us cleanse our selves from all filthiness of the Flesh and Spirit, perfecting Holiness in the Fear of God. And since as St. Peter, Acts 2.39. assures us, That the Promise is to, us, and also to our Chil­dren, and to all that are afar off, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call. And since there are others which differing with (and dissenting from) our Church, do pre­tend to observe and walk in all the Commandments and Ordinances of the Lord, so as be thought at least blameless; which alas I find being seduced with popular Examples, have unwarily imbibed a groundless Prejudice against all the Children of Christian Parents; which as I humbly conceive has been caused by not knowing, or want of Ephod, and Terephim among them, so not understanding the Scriptures which they have been apt to wrest, but yet I hope not to their Childrens, tho' it to their own hurt: And that which they have grounded their Error on, is on Mat. 28.19. and some others, which mentions Teaching before Baptizing; and that we have no possitive Command for Initia­ing Infants as under the Law; and that we have neither Precept nor a Primitive Presi­dent for so doing.—To which I Answer, That in that Commission, Christ had a more peculiar regard to the Persons to whom the Apostles were sent, which were ignorant Superstitions and prophane, therefore he mentions such Qualifications antecedant to Baptism: for it was not fit that such should be admitted to a Covenant of Grace, and Reconciliation with God, till they with Abraham were converted and reclaimed, and understood the Covenant, and then (as he was Circumcised) they to be Baptized. In short, the matter was this; The Adult were first to be made Disciples by a saving Faith, the case of the Children was distinct to be considered afterwards; when their Parents were not only Converted, but well grounded, or settled; and then also the Church judged it safest to take Proxies or Sureties, viz. some Old, and steady Converts, lest the Parents Apostatizing, as they often did, and so the Children being under their Tuition, its presumed that they would have the same Principles and Perswasion of the Parents Apostatized; then the Proxies took care and trained them up in the Christian Faith: And thus Infants, as to the Covenant and Privileges, are accounted in the state and right with their Parents. Therefore as the Children of Unbelievers upon this ac­count may in some cases be said to be partakers of their Parents Infidelity, since they are like to be brought up in it; and for that Reason they are denyed Baptism; other­wise they are capable, and may be admitted where there is sufficient Satisfaction given to the Church, that they shall be educated in the Christian Religion; for it would be preposterous to admit such into a Religion which they were never likely to be instructed in afterwards. Now when Circumcision was thrown off, which was not at the first, then in all probability began the Jews to Start the case of Infants admission, who by Circum­cision were admitted, but that being abolished, their privilege would be lo [...]: And these Absurdities would have naturally followed; as Frst, That Infants under the New Covenant were in a far worse condition than those under the Old; for they were entred. Secondly, That the Priviledges under the Gospel were to Infants straiter and narrower than those under the Law, which would be abominable. 3dly, If it was God's Will that Infants under the Gospel should be reckoned as out of his Covenant, which before were in it, then it must follow that our Saviour was forgetful, and unfaithful to his Church, in that he never acquainted her with this alteration, which is also both base and ab­surd; Nay, and this might justly raise Clamours and Complaints in the Jewish Chil­dren, so as to hinder the bringing in of their Parents. Indeed I must confess that Be­lieving and Repentance in the Adult, are absolutely necessary, where Infidelity and Iniquity are found, as in Abraham; yet this doth not prove that the Infants of Belie­vers were, and are to be excluded, because they cannot actually believe; yea, they are rather to be included and baptized, as Isaac was Circumcised: for the Scripture in­timates that the Innocency of harmless Babes (whose Original Guilt is done away by Christ) who have not by actual Transgression offended: such innocency is as pleasing to God, and as agreeable a Qualification for the admission of such to a Covenant of Grace and Mercy, by sealing it with the not Intollerable, but Easie Seal of Baptism, as either the Faith of an Actual Believer, or the Repentance of the Penitent; this may be illu­strated by Examples, which I shall own omit. What if Infanss do not as under the Law understand the Covenant, verily that is no bar: for if we were but as wise in Spirituals as in Temporals, we find it in no wise disagreeable to Reason that Infants are bound in Covenants to the future Performance of Conditions which they at present know nothing of, nor can be capable of performing till they come to Age. This is com­mon in Wills, in settling Estates on Infant-Heirs, having Guardians, &c. But you'll say the Covenant is not the same.—Answ. It's the same in Substance, tho' not in the Accidents. True, it differs in this; The first being in Works, had Circumcision for its Seal: The last of Grace, which has Baptism for its. Acts 2.39. For the Promises is to us and our Children, which that we may embrace, God grant for Christ's sake: Amen.


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