A TREATISE OF BAPTISME: Wherin is clearly proved the lawfulnesse and usefulnesse of Believers Baptisme; As also the sinfulnesse and vanity of Infants Baptisme. With many usefull Instructions, concerning the same matter.

Grounded upon Ephes. 4.5.

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptisme.



He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: But he that pervert­eth his wayes shall be known.

PSAL. 119.126, 127, 128.

It is time for thee, Lord, to work: they have made void thy Law. Therefore I love thy Commandements above gold, yea, above fine gold. Therefore, I esteem all thy Precepts concerning all things to be right: I hate every false way.

Printed in the Year, 1645.

To the Churches of JESUS CHRIST, in London, and elsewhere, in all places.

BEloved in the Lord: My hearts desire to the Fountain of grace is, that you may receive abundantly from thence a multiplica­tion of grace and peace, and a most rich enjoyment of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mi­stery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ: and that in every thing ye may be strengthened by him with all might, and enriched by him with all utterance, and with all knowledge, and replenished from him with that wisedome which is from above, and enabled by him to walk in ho­linesse, love, and unity, and to stand stedfast in the Truth as it is in Jesus: that in all things he may be glorified by you. Beloved, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (whose I am, and whom I serve, in whom also I am your Brother and Servant in the Faith and fellowship of the Gospell) having brought to my hand some understanding and enjoyment of the doctrine of Baptisme, and the usefulnesse thereof as it concernes Believers, unto whom onely he hath alloted it: I did account my self bound in duty to make you partakers of his grace given to me, by recommending the same to your consideration, as it is propounded in the following Treatise. And the rather I was willing to do so, because (although I have seen the precious labours of some of my dear bre­thren, to my edification, clearing the truth of the doctrine of Believers baptisme, and discovering the falsenesse of infants baptisme, in way of answer to such, or the arguments of such who pleaded so earnestly (though carnally) for the same) yet I have seen no Treatise positive­ly and directly declaring the doctrine of Believers baptism, with the End and use thereof unto them. I beseech the stronger Brethren not to account this undertaking arrogancie or presumption in me, who am the unworthiest amongst the Saints. I have writ it, and sent it espe­cially for the instruction and confirmation of the weaker: having con­fidence (through the Lord) that it will be of some such use and advan­tage to them. Some things in this Treatise do not so directly concern you my Brethren, as others, who upon severall grounds (though but Sandy) are otherwise minded: as will be manifest to such as reade [Page] with understanding. Neverthelesse such things will not be uselesse un­to you my Brethren. And so it may please the Lord that they may not be without fruit amongst those, among whom more especially they do concern: if the Lord in bringing this Treatise to their hands, bring it to their hearts also. It is their instruction that I desire. If any man think himself to be a Prophet or spirituall, let him acknowledge, that the things that I write unto you, are the Commandements of the Lord. But if any man will be ignorant, let him be ignorant. Brethren pray for me: Be mindfull of the Brethren amongst us: Study to advance the Kingdome of Christ in these parts: for there is a generall back­wardnesse to cast off humane traditions, and to close with the Lord Jesus in his pure Ordinances.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Your Brother in the love and service and riches of the Gospell; ROBERT GARNER.

A Treatise of BAPTISME: Wherein is clearly proved the lawfulnesse and usefulnesse of Believers Baptisme: As also the sinfulnesse and vanitie of Infants Baptism. With many usefull Instructions concerning the same matter. Grounded upon Ephes. 4 5. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.

WHich Scripture holdeth forth to us this truth: to wit, The Lord Jesus hath given and commanded One Baptism of water under the Gospell to be administred unto Believers onely.

In holding forth this truth, it is needfull to clear up these things: to wit,

1 First, by Baptisme in this Scripture, we are to understand the Baptism of water.

2 Secondly, This Baptisme of water is an Ordinance of the Lord Iesus.

3 Thirdly, This Ordinance of the Lord Iesus is properly and pe­culiarly belonging vnto Believers: Or, it is given and command­ed unto believers onely.

4 Fourthly, What is the end and use of baptisme unto believers. And this I shall shew by laying downe what are those Priviledges or benefits which the Lord Jesus gives to believers in this Ordinance.

5 Fifthly, What is the duty of believers, in and after their par­taking in this Ordinance.

6 Sixthly, Whom the Lord Iesus hath appointed to be the Dis­pencer or Administrator of this Ordinance unto believers.

These things (through the helpe of God) being cleared up will afford to us some vsefull instructions, as flowing from thence; and will serve for a Touchstone to make tryall of that which is commonly called Infants Baptisme.

What Instructions will naturally arise to us from these gene­rall heads, I shall annexe them thereunto as I goe forward.

The first thing to be cleared up is this: to wit, By baptisme in this scripture we are to understand the baptisme of water. There is indeed a threefold baptisme which we reade of in scripture. The baptisme of water, Acts 8.36. and 10.47. The baptisme of the holy Spirit or fire, Mat. 3.11. Mark. 1.8. And the baptisme of afflictions, Math. 20.23. Mark. 10.39. The first of these was ad­ministred to all believers we reade of in the Gospell. The second was given by Christ, more especially to some persons, either be­fore or after the administration of the baptisme of water, in what measure the Lord Christ was pleased to dispense the same. And this is called the gift or gifts of the holy Spirit. Acts. 10.45. and 19.5.6. The last of these is one time or other the portion of all such as will live godly in Christ Jesus: though indeed some by the appointment of God drinke deeper of the Cup, and are plun­ged lower and longer in afflictions then others are; yet so, as God alwayes proportioneth richer measures of grace and strength to greater measures of tryals and afflictions.

What hath beene spoken concerning this threefold baptisme may serve (as I conceive) to give some light to Heb. 6.2. Where mention is made of Baptismes: not one onely in the singular num­ber, but baptismes, in the plurall number. This by the way.

Now the main Scope or Argument of the Apostle in the fore­mentioned Scripture. (Ephes. 4.5.) will fully prove that the baptisme of water is chiefly and onely intended there. He gives this exhortation to the Saints, verse 3. endeavour to keepe the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He presseth this exhorta­tion from the consideration of certaine Unityes or Onenesses which were the common lot or portion of them all and so are of all such as walke in the paths of the Gospell. Saith he, you are all One body, and one spirit, and you are all called to one and the same hope: ye have all one Lord, and ye all professe one faith in the same Saviour: ye are all baptized with one and the same bap­tisme: you have all one God and Father, who is above you all, and through you all, and in you all in a way of grace and power. And therefore do you preserve an Onenesse of heart and Spirit a­mongst yourselves keep or preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Now this one baptisme which the Apostle makes use of whereby to strengthen his exhortation, must of [...] be [Page 3] one of those three baptismes above mentioned; but first, it was not the baptisme of the holy spirit or fire: for it is evident, all these believers were not baptized with the powring out of the gift or gifts of the holy spirit upon them: they did not all pro­phesie nor all spake with tongues: but he gave some Apostles, and some Prophets for the edifying of the Body, vers. 11.12.13. And secondly, it was not the baptisme of afflictions: for we do not reade of any notable afflictions which all the members of this body did for the present meet with. And therefore that exhor­tation could not be, or not so strongly pressed upon them from either of these baptismes. And therefore this One baptisme here mentioned, is without doubt the baptisme of water, wherewith all the members of that one body, upon profession of one faith, according to the commandement of that one Lord, were baptized.

And from this One baptisme of water, whereof they were all partakers, as also they were of many other Onenesses, he exhorts them to keepe or preserve the unity or Onenesse of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Instru­ction. That usefull Instruction which flowes from hence, is to teach all the Saints, who are under the profession of this one baptisme, ac­cording to the commandement of One Lord, upon the profession of one faith, to endeavour at all times,2 Cor. 13.11. by all meanes to keep or preserve the unity of the spirit, the onenesse of heart and minde, in the bond of peace.

Tryall. And this that I have said, may serve as the first Touchstone for the tryall of Infants baptisme, whereby the unwarrantablenesse and counterfeitnesse of the same will be discovered: for if this one baptisme ingage all (without exception) who are under the profession of it, to keep or preserve the unity of spirit in that Bo­dy whereof they are members; to walk in a gracious, amiable, wise, and peaceable manner in the Body: then surely Infants have no admittance by the Lord to this Ordinance. Doth the Lord any where lay such an ingagement as this is upon Infants? Or are they capable of such an ingagement as this is? Or doth the Apostle intend them in this Scripture? wherein he saith, ye are one body, and one spirit, and ye are called to one hope: ye have one Lord, one faith, and one Baptisme: therefore do ye keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Whereby it is evident that not Infants or Infants of believers, but believers [Page 4] onely have entrance and admittance to the Lord to this ordi­nance.

And this remains now to be further proved in clearing up the two next particulars, to wit; The baptisme of water is an Ordi­nance of the Lord Jesus; which is one of them; And this Or­dinance of the Lord Jesus is properly and peculiarly belonging unto believers, which is the other of them; These two, I shall now prove joyntly [...] in the mouth of two clear and faithfull witnesses wherein this is established, and shall prevail a­gainst all gain-sayers. These two witnesses are; First, the com­mand of the Lord Jesus and of his servants from his mouth. Se­condly, the example of the Lord Jesus, and of the Saints in Scri­pture, who have walked before us in the pathes of the Gospell.

The first witnesse is the command of the Lord Jesus, and of his servants from his mouth. And who shall contradict his comman­dement, unto whom all power in heaven and earth is given? It is thus written, Matthew 28.18, 19, 20. And Jesus spake to his Disciples saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore and make Disciples all Nations, (for so the words are to be read) baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holy spirit: Teaching them to ob­se [...] all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Wherein ob­se [...]e this Order, to wit, first make Disciples, and then baptize them, and then teach them to observe all other things that I have commanded you. And let another Scripture witnesse to the truth of this interpretation, Ioh. 4.2. Jesus made and baptized more Disciples then Iohn. First he made Disciples, and then they were baptized. And the very same Commission of our Lord Jesus as it is expressed by Mark in the 16. chapt. vers. 15.16. Doth put the matter out of all doubt, and is sufficient to convince such (if the Lord please) as make, I know not what strange interpretations of that place of Matth. 28. And he said to them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospell to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized shall be saved. That is, such as are made believers through the power of God in the preaching of the Gospell, let them be baptized; and he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Thus we see Matthew and Mark explaining each other concerning the minde of the Lord Jesus in this Ordinance. Make them Disciples saith one, and then baptize them. Let them be believers saith another, and be baptized. And doubtlesse the [Page 5] Scripture fore-seeing what contradictions would afterward arise against this Ordinance of Christ (thus to be dispensed) through that self-love, carnall feare, pride and worldlinesse, which too much possesseth the hearts of many: and what oppositions would be raised against the Saints for the practise of it: did thus provide to clear up and confirm this truth to them whose hearts God doth perswade to receive in the love of it. To these Scri­ptures may be added divers others concerning the minde of the Lord Iesus in the mouths of his Servants, Acts. 2.38. Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ. Acts. 10.47, 48. Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized which have received the holy Spirit as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord. Acts. 22.16. And now why tarriest thou? (It is the command of the Lord Jesus by Ananias to Saul, after that he appeared to him in a way of grace.) Arise and be baptized. Thus we have the first witnesse speaking clearly, plainly, and fully to the matter,Joh. 15.14 without any Deceitfulnesse, Darknesse, or inticeing words of Mans Wisedome.

The second witnesse (agreeing with the former) is the exam­ple of the Lord Jesus, and of the Saints in Scripture, who have walked before us in the paths of the Gospel. We will set the Lord Jesus in the first place. Matthew Then commeth Ie­sus from Gallile to Iordan unto Iohn to be baptized of him: but Iohn forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and commest thou to me? And Iesus answering, said to him, suffer it to be so now: for thus it becommeth us to fulfill all righteous­nesse. Then he suffered him. The Lord Jesus is herein an example to believers in those or the like respects: first in his paines, He tra­vaileth from Gallile unto Iordan to be baptized. He is willing to take paines to fulfill his Fathers will. Secondly in his forward­nesse, and that is implyed in the word then. Then commeth Iesus. That is, when Iohn had entred upon the administration of bap­tisme: Then, when the worke was now in hand commeth Iesus. He doth not delay, but makes haste to fulfill the will of his Fa­ther. Thirdly in his humility. He cometh to Iohn. He disdaineth not, nor neglecteth the Ordinance of God, although to be admi­nistred to him by one much inferiour to himselfe. Fourthly in his holy and firme resolution. He breaks through all oppositions which did lye in his way to hinder him in his Obedience to his [Page 6] Fathers will. Iohn forbad him. But the Lord Iesus overcomes that opposition with this consideration, that it is an act of righteous­nesse, and therefore it behoveth or becommeth him to fulfill the same. To his example, we shall add the practise of the Saints in Scripture. Acts. 2.41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized. Acts. 8.12.13. But when they believed Philips preaching the things concerning the Kingdome of God, and the Name of Iesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and Wo­men. Then Simon himselfe believed also, and was baptized: And verses 36.37.38. of the same chapter, the Eunuch said, see here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answer­ed and said, I believe that Iesus Christ is the Sonne of God. Then they went into the water, both Philip and the Eunuch, and he baptized him. Acts 9.18. After that the Lord Iesus had appeared in a way of Grace to Saul, and had sent him to Anamas, It is said, He received sight forthwith, and arose and was baptized, Acts. 18.8. Many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were bap­tized. And we reade further of foure housholds of believers who were baptized, Lydia and her houshold, Acts 16.14, 15. The Iaylor and his houshold, vers. 33, 34. of the same Chapter. Cri­spus and his house, Acts 18.8. The houshold of Stephanas, 1 Cor. 1.16. Now if some shall yet continue to say, (as many have al­ready spoken upon their own imagination) that it is probable, there were Infants in the houshold of Lydia, as well as them of grown yeares, and therefore Infants were baptized as well as them. I give this twofold answer; to wit, First, there is but one baptisme of water: one in respect of that One Lord, who hath commanded it; and one in respect of that one subject, to wit, believers; such as make profession of one faith, upon whom one­ly that One Lord hath commanded it to be administred. And therefore we may boldly affirm, that upon the same ground Ly­dia was baptized, upon the same ground also her houshold was baptized; that was upon their diligent attention and subjection unto the Gospell which Paul preached. And how this will agree with Infants, let the wise judge. Secondly, it is much safer and more agreeable to the rule of heavenly wisedome, and godly equi­tie to interpret this one Scripture, wherein there is some seem­ing darknesse (and yet but seeming) by other clear Scriptures of the like nature, rather then to intangle and lose our selves, and [Page 7] wrong the Testimony of the Lord Iesus with our own imagina­tions. Let us then compare spirituall things with spirituall. Let us try the baptisme of Lydia and her houshold, by the baptisme of those other three housholds mentioned above. The Iaylor and his houshold who were baptized, were such to whom Paul and Silas did speak the word of the Lord, Acts 16.32. and such as believed and rejoyced in God, vers. 34. He rejoyced and belie­ved in God with all his house. And of Crispus and his houshold, it is said, Acts 18.8. Crispus believed on the Lord with all his house, and they were baptized. And the houshold of Stephanas whom Paul baptized, 1 Cor. 1.16. He witnesseth of them in the 16. chapter of this Epistle vers. 15. they were the first fruits of Achaia, and have addicted themselves to the ministery of the Saints. Now whether any of these Scriptures teach to us either directly or by way of consequence, the baptism of Infants; let the wise judge. And doubtlesse, Lydia and her houshold will speak as little for that baptisme: for such as were these housholds, such was Lydia and her houshold also.

1 Cor. 11.1. Thus we have the second witnesse agreeing with the former, (as the Lords witnesses alwayes do) speaking clearly, plainly, and fully to the matter also. And in the mouth of these two witnesses, we have the second and third general heads clearly and fully proved: to wit, Baptisme is an Ordinance of the Lord Iesus which he hath given and commanded, as properly and peculiar­ly belonging unto believers, disciples, or repentant ones. And this Testimony, which is from heaven, shall stand immoveable against the imaginary and counterfeit testimony of all gain-say­ers. If we receive the witnesse of men, the witnesse of God is greater.

That which I have said for the clearing and proving of these two generall heads,Instru­ction. is usefull to instruct us concerning the neces­sitie of believers baptisme; some say, it is of no necessitie: And they charge us that we put a greater necessity upon it then is meet. To such I may answer; Of what necessitie is any of Gods Ordinances? For what necessitie there is of others, the same ne­cessitie there is of this. And truly we put no greater necessitie upon it, then the Lord Iesus himself hath put upon it. Now I conceive, there is a threefold necessitie which the Lord hath put upon this, as upon other Ordinances. First it is of necessitie to obey the Lord in this as in all other Ordinances. Secondly it is [Page 8] of necessitie to shew forth the praise and honour of the Lord in this, as in all other Ordinances. Thirdly, it is of necessitie to seek the face, and strength, and blessing of Christ in this, as in all o­ther Ordinances. That the Lord Iesus hath commanded it to believers (and in that respect therefore it is necessary) I have al­ready proved: And that the Lord Iesus doth manifest his grace and strength to believers in it, I shall prove afterward, when I come to shew of what end and use baptisme is (through Christ) unto believers. I shall therefore request such persons to consi­der, that what necessitie the Lord Iesus hath put upon a Church relation, upon hearing the Word, prayer, breaking bread, and the like: the same necessitie he hath put upon the baptisme of believers also. I shall beseech such to take heed, that in charging us with folly, they charge not the Lord Iesus also, Others there are (whether through ignorance or malice; I leave to the Lord, and their own consciences) who endeavour to make this way of the Lord odious, and believers odious in the practice of it. But believers may answer such (as David did Michal when she re­proached him for dancing before the Ark:) It is before the Lord Jesus, who himself was baptized, and hath commanded all be­lievers to walk in this way; Therefore I will glory in this way, and account it a Crown to me: And I will yet be more vile then thus (as you account it vile) and I will be base in my own sight: And though you reproach me, yet of the Lord Iesus and of his servants, of them shall I bee had in honour. 2 Sam, 6.20.21, 22.

Tryall. And further; This may serve as a second Touchstone or tryall of Infants Baptisme: For if the Lord Iesus hath given and com­manded this Ordinance of baptisme, as properly and peculiarly belonging unto believers, or disciples, as hath been proved by two witnesses; then this doth manifestly discover Infants bap­tisme not to be of God, but of men onely. Search and try if this One Lord do any where command Infants to be baptized: Or if he appoint baptisme to any, but upon profession of this One faith in their own persons onely. Or if you have any clear ex­ample in Scripture for Infants Baptisme, or the baptisme of any but believers onely. Mr. Marshall, in his Sermon upon baptisme, seemes to grant that none but the disciples of Christ should be baptized, but then he turneth aside from the truth, by affirming that Infants in Scripture are called Disciples. He alledgeth onely [Page 9] Acts 15.10. In the first verse it is said, There were false teachers came from Iudaea, and taught the brethren, Except ye be cir­cumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. Now saith Mr. Marshall, To be circumcised after the manner of Moses, is for infants to be circumcised as well as men. And these saith he, as well infants as men, are called Disciples, verse 10.

In answer to this, I shall shew the mistake of Mr. Marshall and others who follow him herein; from a twofold conside­ration.

First, These words (after the manner of Moses) respects not persons but things: to wit, the keeping of the Law of Moses an­nexed to circumcision. And so the words are thus to be under­stood: Certain men which came from Iudaea taught the Brethren, Except ye be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses, ye cannot be saved. And verses 5. and 24. will confirm this interpretation and this onely: where the same thing being repeated, it is thus said to wit, It is needfull for you to be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses, vers. 5. Ye must be circumcised and keep the Law, vers. 24. So that the manner of Moses, respect, not persons but things; to wit, the observation of the Law of Moses: which thing the false teachers required of the same persons at the same time, whom they commanded to be circumcised: which how it will agree with Infants, let the wise judge.

Secondly, the very same persons whom the false teachers com­manded to be circumcised, are such whom Iames in the 19. verse s ith, are turned to the Lord and such whom he with the Church writes unto to abstain from the pollution of Idols, and from for­nication, and from things strangled, and from bloud, verse 29. and such whom they call brethren, verse 25. and such who upon the reading of the Epistle rejoyced at the consolation; These and these onely are Peters Disciples, verse 10. And how these will agree with Infants which are Mr. Marshals disciples, let the wise judge. The Lord teach him likewise to judge rightly. I would hope that upon further consideration, he will be otherwise min­ded: especially, if the Lord teach him to consider what is writ­ten, Luk. 14.26, 27, 33. Whosoever doth not bear his crosse and come after me, cannot he my Disciple. I do therefore (upon re­newed consideration) bring back Infants baptisme to the fore­mentioned Touchstone, which is faithfull and precious, and we may trust to it: for it consists of two faithfull witnesses, where­in [Page 10] are no deceit: whereby it is evident that the baptisme of In­fants, is meerly and onely a device of man: seeing these two witnesses do agree in one, that the baptisme of water is properly and peculiarly belonging unto believers or disciples, upon pro­fession of knowledge, faith, repentance, and holinesse, in their owne persons onely. And therefore, as those two witnesses do require, justifie and commend the baptisme of believers: so they disallow and disapprove Infants baptisme.

I shall now proceed as the Lord gives strength, to shew what is the End and Use of baptisme unto Believers: and this I shall do by declaring what are those priviledges or benefits which the Lord Iesus gives to Believers in this Ordinance: (for all the Ordinances of Christ are (through Christ) gainfull to believers) And indeed here is the marrow of the matter.

First, One priviledge is this: to wit, Believers (in submitting to this Ordinance) have the name of the Father and of the Sonne, and of the holy Spirit called upon them therein. This is expresly commanded by our Saviour, Mat. 28.19. Make Disciples all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holy Spirit. And another scripture saith, They were baptized in the name of the Lord Iesus. And againe, He commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord. All which commeth to one and the same thing: for through the Lord Iesus, believers have a glorious interest in the Father, and in the holy Spirit. And this is expressed elsewhere, by being baptized into Christ. Rom. 6.3. Gal. 3.27. Now to be baptized into Christ, or into the Name of Christ, or in the Name of Christ, have one and the same sense and signification in Scrpture. The meaning of all is this: to wit, Let them be baptized in the Name of the Lord; that is, Let the Name of the Lord be called upon them in baptisme. Now his Name holds forth unto believers, especially two things: Authority, and Grace: as such know to whom the Lord giveth understanding. And to have his Name called upon them in baptisme, implyeth two things. First, the Lord declareth or promiseth to them, that he Calleth or Putteth his Name, that is, his Authority and his Grace, upon them in baptisme: for these words, Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the Holy Spirit, carry the force of a promise in them: for in that the Lord hath commanded his servants to baptize believers in his Name, to Put or Call his [Page 11] Name upon them in baptisme he saith Amen to it, he confirm­eth the word of his servants, he performeth what he promiseth to them; Agreeable to what he saith by Moses Numb. 6.27. They shall put my Name upon the Children of Israel, and I will blesse them. Now the summe of what the Lord promiseth, or saith Amen to, and which his servants declareth in his Name un­to believers in baptisme is this, to wit, The Lord is your Father, and Master, and Lord, requiring honour, and feare, and service, and Obedience from you: there is his Authoritie, And not onely so, but likewise promising loving kindnesse, mercy, truth, peace, blessing, strength, teaching, and preservation to you: there is his Grace. And indeed, as his Name alone is excellent in respect of Authority, so in respect of Grace also. The second thing which is implyed is this, to wit, Believers in baptisme do professe to put or call the Name of the Lord, that is, his Authority and Grace upon themselves: for in baptisme, there is, as it were, a promise on their parts; And it is as much as if they should open­ly declare before the Lord and his servants, thus we do now pro­fesse the Lord alone to be our Lord, our God, our Father, and our Master: and our selves to be his Children, his servants, his peo­ple and that we give up our selves wholly and onely to him, to serve him, to love him, to feare him, to honour him; there is an acknowledgment of his Authority: and not onely so, but like­wise to depend upon him, and to trust in him onely for mercy, righteousnesse, peace, blessing, strength, Wisdedome, preserva­tion, and all good things; there is an acknowledgment of his Grace. And thus, or to this purpose, believers are said to put on Christ in baptisme: as it is expressed by the Apostle, Gal. 3.27.

And thus as the Lord hath taught me, I have shewed you what it is for Disciple or Believers to be baptized in the Name of the Lord. And therein, I have briefly declared to you, one of those glorious priviledges which the Lord Jesus gives to Believers in baptisme. And indeed, such to whom the Lord gives a spirituall understanding, will acknowledge that this is a glorious pri­viledge.

Instru­ction. That which I have said for the clearing up of this priviledge, is usefull to instruct believers, who are under the obedience of this Ordinance as believers, to look upon their baptisme nei­ther as shamefull nor beggarly, but as honourable and precious through Christ, whose Name is called upon them in the same. [Page 12] Therefore be not ashamed of your baptisme, but own it conti­nually, and before all men, as an honourable and rich priviledge to you through the Lord Jesus.

And again, let Believers be instructed to walk answerably to this priviledge which the Lord Jesus gives them in their bap­tisme. Let them in all things and at all times, be subject to him as their Lord and Master: let them be subject to none other in the things of Christ, but Christ only; whose Authority only they have professed in baptism to be subject to. Let them in all their ways & relations, walk according to the Lord Christ, whose commande­ments they have professed to be subject to. Let them likewise look for all supply of Grace from the Lord Iesus, that in his grace and strength, they may serve him in all things, and at all times, that in all their conversation they may shew forth the praise and honour of their Lord and Master, whose Name is called up­on them.

Tryall. Again, This priviledge which Believers have in baptisme through Christ, may serve as a third Touchstone of Infants Bap­tisme: for I thus conclude. Baptisme may lawfully be admini­stred to none but unto such onely, whom the Lord hath made meet to be partakers of such a priviledge, as to have his Name called upon them in Baptisme. And who are these? But first such as know the Lord; such as know the Father, and the Sonne, and the Holy Spirit: such as know the Authority and Grace of the Lord Iesus: such as know what the Lord declareth and promi­seth to them, and what they promise or professe before the Lord and his people in baptisme: as I have above shewed. Secondly, such whom the Lord hath inabled in some measure, to walk an­swerably to such a priviledge, and such a profession, as the Lord puts upon them, and they take upon themselves in baptisme: from thenceforth to walk as the servants of the Lord, whose Name therein is called upon them, being subject in all things to him, and depending for all things upon him onely. Now then the baptism of Infants being wisely and sincerely applyed to this Touchstone, it will evidently appear, to all discerning, humble spirits, not to be of God, but of men onely: for hath the Lord made them to be meet partakers of this Ordinance? Do they know the Lord? Do they not want this necessary thing? How then shall his name bee called upon them? How shall his Authority and Grace be declared to them in Baptisme, [Page 13] and they promise and professe before the Lord and his people, from thenceforth to be subject unto him, and depend upon him, seeing they do not know him? Do not therefore such as com­mand and practise Infants baptisme goe a direct contrary course from the mind of the Lord Jesus? I leave it to the consideration of the wise.

And heare I may take occasion to deale with such in a word or two, who plead so earnestly for the baptisme of the Infants of believers, upon this ground because they are holy: to wit, say they, with a foederall holynesse, by vertue of their Parent or Pa­rents being believers: which holynesse, say they, gives them a Right to baptisme. Their alone ground is from the Apostles words, 1. Cor. 7.14. else were your children uncleane, but now are they holy.

I might answer, first that not such a holynesse, neither any other but a naturall holynesse, contrary to a naturall uncleanesse, is there intended by the Apostle, as will evidently appeare to such to whom the Lord gives a discerning Spirit.

Secondly, I might say, the Apostle speaks not the last word concerning baptisme, (neither was it to his purpose) in that Chapter.

But Thirdly, if I grant to them (seeing they are so earnest upon it) that the Infants of believers are foederally holy, yet this will be no advantage to them concerning the baptisme of these Infants: seeing, I may affirme from the Lord Iesus, according to cleare scripture, that no holynesse whatsoever can admit any to baptisme but a professed holynesse, or knowledge, or faith, or re­pentance in their owne persons onely. Yea, I may boldly affirm, that if the Lord should witnesse from heaven to our knowledge, that such an Infant of such Parents was an elect vessell, one or­dained to eternall life, an heire with the Lord Jesus of the King­dome of glory (which is more then a foederall holinesse) yet it was in no wise warrantable or lawfull to baptize such a one, till afterwards in time, the Lord did teach him to know himselfe, and he did professe and declare himselfe to believe in the Lord Jesus. And this likewise may in part give satisfaction to such who plead for Infants baptism from those words of our Saviour: Of such is the Kingdome of God. I conclude therefore, that it is necessary that all such doe know the Lord, and know their duty and ingagement, and priviledge, who are to be baptized in the [Page 14] Name of the Lord. And so much for this Touchstone and this priviledge.

A Second priviledge which believers have by Christ in their baptisme is this, to wit, by baptisme they do enter into the fel­lowship of his Body, that is his Church, with all the priviledges and liberties of the same. Baptisme is that onely orderly entrance which God hath appointed for believers into the fellowship of the Church of Christ. 1. Cor. 12.13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body, whether we be Iewes or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drinke into one Spirit. In which words we have these two things proved, to wit, first that believers baptisme is their entrance in­to one particular Body, Church, or Congregation of Christ. By one Spirit (speaking of Believers) we are all baptized into one Body. That is, We that are Members in particular, diversely gif­ted and fitted, by that one & the self-same Spirit, are all baptized into one body or fellowship, for the mutuall profit and benefit of each member, according to the proportion of grace given, and divided to us by that one Spirit.

And secondly, as Believers by baptisme do orderly enter into the Body or Congregation of Christ, so likewise into all the pri­viledges of that body. And that is expressed in the latter clause of this verse, and in the verses following. In this verse (saith He) We have been all made to drink into one spirit. That is, We as Mem­bers of One body, are all made to drink into one spirituall bene­fit, or into one spirituall Communion, which believers have from Christ in his Supper; According to that 1 Cor. 10.16. The Cup of blessing which he blesse, is it not the communion of the bloud of Christs? And in the verses following of the 12. Chapter, He mentioneth other priviledges of the Body, which all the Members thereof do share in, saith he, they are all helpfull to each other, and do all take care of each other: they suffer and re­joyce one with another. And as this Scripture holds forth this priviledge which believers have in baptisme. So doth that like­wise in Act. 41.42. Then they that gladly received his Word were baptized; and the same, day there were added about 3000. soules. Where it is clear, that the entrance of all these believers, into the union and fellowship of the body, was by baptism: they were added by baptisme or in baptisme. And so we are to under­stand. Acts 2.47. and 5.14. and 12.24. For God hath appointed [Page 15] but one way, for the joyning or adding of believers unto his Bo­dy. Which sometimes is called an adding to his Church, and sometimes an adding to the Lord; both which commeth to one and the same thing: for to be added to the Church of the Lord, or the body of the Lord, is to be added to the Lord himself, in a mysticall externall union. And the same Scripture likewise de­clareth, that as they entred by baptisme into the union and fel­lowship of the body; so likewise unto the enjoyment of all the priviledges of the body. For so it followes; And they continued stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Instru­ction. Hence I may take occasion to instruct believers, who have en­tred into the Lords body in the Lords way, that they endeavour to walk closely with the body in all love, helpfulnesse, careful­nesse, tendernesse, and usefulnesse, as becommeth the Members of Christs body.

Secondly, hence I may take occasion to satisfie such (if the Lord please) as are opposites unto believers baptisme, and their entrance into the Church by baptisme, and contend much for their entrance into a Church-estate by Covenant or Contract, without baptisme. Indeed there ought to be a sweet and firm consent, harmony, agreement or contract, both in judgement and affection, according to the Lord, amongst all those who are one body in the Lord; and as it is unquestionable: so it is a de­sirable, a good, and pleasant thing: and I shall plead for it as much as any. But that such a consent or covenant amongst per­sons, is an entrance according to Christ, into the body of Christ, without this one baptisme, upon profession of this one faith, in this one Lord Jesus, is not clear to me from the Lawes and Sta­tutes of this Law-giver. That Scripture, Esay 56.4. and 6. ver­ses, so much alledged for that purpose by men of that way (whom in other things I much esteem) where the Lord saith to the Eu­nuches, and the sonnes of the stranger that serve him, and keep­eth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of his Cove­nant, that he will give them a glorious setled Name in His house, &c. Where they understand an entering into a Church-estate by Covenant onely. I say, I conceive, this Scripture (which is indeed a Gospell-Scripture) will without any violation admit of other interpretations, more spirituall, and more sweetly a­greeing to the Gospell of Christ, then their interpretation is. [Page 16] Why may we not say, without wrong to this or any other Scri­pture, that by taking hold of the Covenant here, may be under­stood in part, believers obedience to Christ in baptisme? For whatsoever Christ commandeth to his servants, may in a true sense, according to the Scripture, be called his Covenant. But if we come up to the spiritualnesse of this Scripture, I conceive, that by Covenant in this place, we are to understand Christ himself. For as I said, this Scripture is a Gospel-scripture. There­fore by Sabbath here, we are to understand the Lord Iesus only, who alone is the Sabbath or Rest of Believers under the Gospel. And to keep this Sabbath from polluting it, is to believe in him onely unto righteousnesse. For to do any work, I mean to seek righteousnes, or peace, or reconciliation with God by any work, is to pollute this Sabbath or this Rest; by whom alone, such as believe in him, do and shall enjoy a glorious, an everlasting rest. So likewise by Covenant here, we are to understand Christ him­self; and so he is called in the same Prophet. Esay 42.6. I will give thee (speaking of Christ) for a Covenant of the people, for a light to the Gentiles. And chapter 49.8. I will preserve thee, and give thee for a Covenant of the people. Therefore, to take hold of his Covenant, is to believe in Christ onely, to embrace him, to cleave close to him, to obey him in all things, and to make open profession, or confession of him. And to such indeed the Lord will give a glorious and everlasting Name, which shall not be cut off, even a Name in his house, better then of Sons and Daughters. And this I conceive to be the speciall meaning of the Holy Spirit in this Scripture; which is in no wise pertinent and proper for them, to bear them out in their Church-cove­nant, and their entrance into the Church by it only. Thus much I conceived necessary to speak by the way.

Tryall. Againe, This that I have said concerning this priviledge which believers have in baptisme, through Christ, may serve as a fourth Touchstone for the tryall of Infants baptisme, whereby it is discovered not to be of God, but of men onely. For if all bap­tized persons according to the Scripture, were baptized into one body, to wit, the Church of God, and all the priviledges thereof, as hath been cleerly proved, from the 1. Cor. 12.13, and Acts. 2.41, 42. (And doubtlesse, there is but one and the same rule for all the Churches of Christ to walke by) Then surely the un­lawfvllnesse of Infants baptisme is hence also proved. Are they [Page 17] meet subjects to be joyned or added to the Lords body, who neither knew the Lord, nor his body, nor the priviledges of the same? Are they meet to be added unto the body in baptisme, who are no wayes meet to partake in the priviledges and liber­ties of the body? Who are no wayes meet to walk with the body in doctrine, in fellowship, in breaking of bread, in prayers, and in other liberties? And surely according to the scripture, those who are added unto the body, are added unto the present partaking and enjoyment, of all the priviledges of the body. Are they meet to be added to the body, who are no wayes usefull, helpfull, and profitable unto the body? Such who cannot care for the body, nor suffer with it, nor rejoyce with it, nor per­form any office of love or duty to the body? Surely, the body of Christ, according to the scripture, is not made up of such une­quall, unusefull, unhelpfull, unprofitable Members. Hath the most wise God made all the Members of the naturall body pro­portionable and usefull? And hath he not made the mysticall body, the Church of Christ glorious, in the proportion and use­fulnesse of all the members? I speak not now concerning the sal­vation of Infants: for that Infants dying in their infancie may belong to the Election of Grace, and be saved, even the Infants of believers, and unbelievers, of Turkes, and Indians, who can deny it? But the wise will understand what I say. I leave the use of this Touchstone to their consideration. And so much for this Touchstone and this priviledge.

Thirdly, Another priviledge is this; to wit, Believers in bap­tisme, through the faith of the operation of God, have fellowship with Christ, in his death and resurrection: by the power of which the strength of the body of sinne is more subdued, and they are more enabled to walk in newnesse of life. Rom. 6.3 4, 5. Know ye not (saith the Apostle) that so many of us as were bap­tized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptisme into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead, by the glory of the Father: even so also we should walk in newnesse of life. And agreeable to this is, Col. 2.12. Buried with him in baptisme, wherein al­so you are risen with him, through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. In which two Scri­ptures, acccording to the matter in hand, I pray you take notice with me of these four things: to wit;

First, that in or by baptisme, beleevers have a great ingage­ment lyeth upon them, to walk like such as are dead to sinne, to the world, and to all humane traditions whatsoever in point of worship, and to live to God in holinesse, and righteousnesse, and spirituall worship, according to Christ in all things. Seeing that in baptisme they professe themselves to be dead with Christ, and to live with him, they ought from thenceforth, and from that time to be more diligent to live accordingly. Thus the Apostle expressely speaketh, Rom. 6.6. Where having relation to Be­lievers burying and rising with Christ in baptisme, in the 4, and 5. verses: He saith in this verse, that henceforth we should not serve sinne. Minde that expression (Henceforth.) And to to this purpose is that exhortation to the same believers (and in­deed concernes all professing or confessing Christ) Let not sin therefore reign in your mortall body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. And as they have a great ingagement upon them from thenceforth not to be subject to sinne and the lusts therof: so likewise not to be subject to any human traditions in point of worship: you may understand some difference betwixt what I call sin, and what I call humane traditions in point of worship, though these are sinfull also. I say, Believers baptisme ingageth them from that time, or from thenceforth, to cast off all these things. Thus the Apostle reasoneth, Coloss. 2.20. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ, that is, seeing ye are dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to Ordinances, after the Commandements and Doctrines of men. Where he layeth down this conclusion, that they are dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, that is, from all those things which were but Types and shadows of the Lord Jesus: And he proves this from their profession in Baptisme, verse 12. (for unto that it is most evident he hath rela­tion) ye are buried with him in Baptisme: And from this con­clusion he presseth this exhortation by way of reasoning; Why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to the Ordinances, &c. It is a dishonourable thing, and altogether unanswerable, for such as have the Name of Christ called upon them in Bap­tisme, and therein professe themselves to be buried with Christ, from thenceforth to serve any sinne in the lusts of it, or to be sub­ject to Types and shadowes of Christ, or any Ordinances which are after the commandements and doctrines of men. Whereas [Page 19] on the contrary, it is an honourable and a glorious thing for be­lievers to walk up to that engagement, which the Lord Jesus hath laid upon them, and they have taken upon themselves in that Ordinance.

Secondly, by baptisme, believers have a great ingagement lyeth upon them to seeke after, and set their affections upon things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Col 3.1.2. If ye then be risen with Christ, that is, Seeing then ye are risen with Christ, set your affections upon things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. He here also layeth downe this conclusion that they are risen with Christ; for so much the words imply. And this he proves like­wise (as he did the former concerning their being dead with Christ) from their profession in baptisme, vers. 12. of the second chapter: (for unto that it is most evident he hath relation) Buri­ed with him in baptisme, wherein also, you are risen with him, through the faith of the operation of God, and from this conclusi­on, he presseth this exhortation upon them. Seek after, and set your affection upon those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. As if he should say, seeing ye professe your selves to be risen with him, you must ascend up with him also in your affection, setting your mind upon those things which are above. It is a dishonourable and an unanswer­able thing for believers who professe themselves to be risen with Christ in baptism, to set their affection upon things on the earth. Whereas on the other side, it is a glorious, and an answerable thing for such to set their mind, their joy and delight upon things which are above: to live and converse with the Lord Je­sus, in the bosome of his Father.

Thirdly, the Lord puts forth a glorious power to Be­lievers in baptisme, giving in unto their hearts (in what pro­portion he pleaseth) the power of the death and resurre­ction of JESVS CHRIST, acting faith in them to receive the same, whereby they are in some measure enabled to perform that which their baptisme doth engage them unto: Rom. 6.4. We are buried with him by baptisme into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father: even so we also should walke in newnesse of life. This Scripture hath much in it for the comfort of believers; Wherein this is layd downe for a certaine truth, to wit, that like as Christ was [Page 20] raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father: even so (marke that expression, even so) we also should walke in new­nesse of life; that is, like as the glory of the Father was put forth in raysing his Sonne from the dead: even so, the glory of the Fa­ther is put forth unto believers in baptisme, crucifying the pow­er of sin in them, and raysing up their heart and minde as it were into heaven to sit with Christ, to walke with him in a holy and heavenly conversation, to live a new life, which the Scripture, calleth a newnesse of life. And therefore those words; even so we also should walke in newnesse of life, doth not onely hold forth what is our duty, but what is our priviledge also, for they carry the force of a promise in them, and are to be thus understood, to wit, even so we also through the glory of the Father acted in us in our baptisme, shall walke in newnesse of life. And so it will a­gree with the 5 and 6 verses of the same chapter. For as we are planted together with him in the likenesse of his death, we shalbe also planted together in the likenesse of his resurrection. And this is a greeable to that other place, Col. 2, 12. Buried with him in baptisme, wherein also, you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. Wherein, I observe, that the same operation of God which was put forth in raysing Christ from the dead, is put forth unto be­lievers, in baptisme (in such proportion as the Lord pleaseth) acting faith in them, through which they rise with Christ, or pertake with him in the power of his resurrection, in a glorious measure. And this is so cleare a truth, that Peter is bold to say, (speaking unto believers) Baptisme doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is the baptisme of believers must not be looked up­on with a fleshly and carnall eye, as a washing of the flesh: but with a holy and spirituall eye, as a holy and pretious Ordinance of Iesus Christ: in which Ordinance, he puts forth the power of his resurrection unto believers, through faith saving them more richly then before, from the power of an inward pollution or filthynesse, even a filthy polluted conscience with the accusati­ons of it: and working in them more abundantly an enlightned, holy, good conscience: which answers or speakes good to them towards God. And whether that Scripture in Heb. 10.22. may not agree much to this purpose, I leave to the considera­tion [Page 21] of the wise. Neither doe believers enjoy this fruit and be­nefit in the present administration of baptisme onely: but this grace and power of Christ in baptism, hath an influence into af­ter times also, even so long as they continue in the estate of mortality.

The 4th. and last thing considerable to my purpose in the two Scriptures above named, is this; to wit, Baptisme thus consi­dered, is part of that compleatnesse which believers have in the Lord Iesus. Col. 2.10. Where the Apostle speaking to believers, he saith. And ye are compleat in him. If ye ask in what manner, or in what respects? he tells us in all respects, as it appeares in the following verses of this chap. and the beginning of the next. And amongst the rest this is one; ye are buried with him in Baptisme, wherein also, yeare risen with him. And to the same purpose is that, Rom. 6.5. Believers in baptisme are planted to­gether with Christ (mark that expression, planted together with him) in the likenesse of his death, and in the likenesse of his resurrection also. And surely, herein is the compleatnesse of a be­liever, to be planted together, and grow together, and live toge­ther with the Lord Jesus. And therefore such do in part come short of their compleatnesse in Christ, who do yet come short of being baptized as believers in the Name of Christ.

Thus much concerning the explication of the third priviledge which believers have in baptism; Wherein I have been the lar­ger, that so I might (as the Lord hath helped me, and not with­out much comfortable experience, through Christ) cleare up the minde of God in it, partly for the instruction, consolation and incouragement of believers; partly to be an Apologie for them; and partly to be another Touchstone or tryall of Infants baptisme.

First, partly for the instruction and incouragement of belie­vers, who are under the injoyment of this Ordinance upon pro­fession of faith in their owne persons. Much hath been spoken to this purpose in the explication of this priviledge, as those that are spirituall may understand.

Exhor­tation. I shall presse this forward upon my selfe and them, with a word of exhortation; I beseech you in the Lord that you receive not this Ordinance of CHRIST in vaine. En­deavour to walk up to that ingagement which lyeth upon you by baptisme. Let not any sin therefore reigne in your Mortall [Page 22] bodyes, that you should obey it in the Lusts thereof. Be not you subiect to Ordinances, after the commandements and doctrines of men. Be not ye in bondage to the rudiments of the world, to such things that are but shadowes of the Lord Jesus: for ye are buried with him in Baptisme. Endeavour to walk in newnesse of life, in a holy and heavenly conversation at all times. Walk like such as are risen with Christ. Do you ascend up with him into heaven in your affection. Set your affection upon things which are above, and not on things on the earth. Walk answerable to your profession, that this Ordnance of the Lord Jesus be not just­ly blamed. And for your incouragement, be assured, you shall have a renewed supply of strength from the Lord Jesus. The glo­ry of the Father, the operation of God shall be put forth; as need is on your behalf. Therefore, act faith daily in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is so richly made over to you in this Ordinance, not for present use onely, but for future profit and benefit also, during the time of your sojourning in this pre­sent world. Account your selves in all things to be compleat in Christ, and that your Baptisme in his Name as Believers, is part of that compleatnesse which you have in him. Endeavour in the strength of Christ to walk answerable to these priviledges, that the Name of the Lord Jesus may be exalted by you.

Apolo­gie. Secondly, The explication of the former priviledge, is partly to be an Apologie for baptized Believers (reproachfully called Anabaptists, truly called Christians) against all those hard spee­ches, and grievous accusations, which ungodly men, and many who are accounted religious also, do falsly speak and charge a­gainst them: and that not privately onely, but in publike also, How are they accused before authority! How are they openly charged to be movers of sedition, troublers of the State, and such as the Land cannot bear! Yea some are not ashamed to say, and that openly, that they are sensuall persons, walking after the lusts of the flesh, and many such like things as these are. Surely, if such men did know what an ingagement lyeth upon Believers in baptisme, to cast off the service and obedience of sinfull lusts, and to walk in newnesse of life, having their conversation as becommeth Saints: As also what strength they receive from the death and resurrection of Christ in baptisme, which hath an in­fluence into their whole life; I say, if they did rightly know the pretiousnesse of Believers baptisme in these and other respects: [Page 23] they would be so far frō speaking against them, that they would speak for them, & would say to thē, we wil go with you, & walk with you: for we have heard that God is with you. Truly, I will not deny but some who take this profession upon them, do hold forth and maintain some things very erronious. As free-will, and power in corrupt nature to come to Christ: As also a falling a­way from Christ, after they have once received him, or believed in him; with other opinions also very dangerous. But there are but few so erronious who are under this profession; Neither dare the Churches of Christ under this profession, hold communion with them: For we utterly disclaim these opinions. Neither will I deny but that some who are under this profession, do walk scan­dalously, loosely, sinfully, and altogether unanswerably to such a profession. But we abhor their practises, and disclaim fellow­ship with them who walk so; yet not mentioning such things without grief. But if Iudas prove a Traitor, let not the eleven Apostles be so accounted. If Ananias and Saphyra prove dissem­blers and lye to the holy Spirit, let not the rest of the Church (who were of one minde and heart in the Lord) be accounted dissemblers. If some branches in the Vine prove fruitlesse, let not all the branches be thought such. If some Professors make shipwrack of that faith which they once professed, let not all Professors be judged to be such. Thus much for this Apologie.

Tryall. Thirdly, the Explication of this third Priviledge, may serve partly to be as a fifth Touchstone of Infants baptisme: whereby the unlawfulnesse and vanity thereof will be further discovered. For according to this priviledge of baptisme through Christ, I make this conclusion, to wit; Baptisme may lawfully be admi­nistred to none, but such whom the Lord Jesus hath made meet to be partakers of such a priviledge in baptisme, to have fellow­ship with him in baptisme, through faith, in his death and resur­rection: that they may walk answerably in some measure to such a profession, and such an ingagement as they take upon them­selves in baptisme: having their conversation from thenceforth more holy and heavenly, as becommeth such who professe them­selves to be buried and risen with Christ in baptisme. Let then the baptisme of Infants be skilfully and sincerely tried by this Touchstone. Are Infants made meet to have fellowship with Christ in his death and resurrection, in this or any other Ordi­nance? Do they know Christ, or believe in him? Do they [Page 24] know any thing concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? How then shall they have fellowship with Christ in this or any other Ordinance, who neither know CHRIST, nor believe in him? Are any persons meet to have fellowship with Christ in any Ordinance, but such as know him and be­lieve in him? I may therefore firmly conclude, that as the know­ledge of Christ, and faith in him, are necessary to a worthy par­taking in the Lords Supper, and a fellowship with Christ in that Ordinance: So also they are necessary to a worthy and warrant­able receiving of baptisme, and a fellowship with Christ in that Ordinance. And further, are Infants made meet to have such an ingagement laid upon them, as baptisme layeth upon all those who are under the profession of it according to Christ? From thenceforth and from that time, to shew forth Christs death and resurrection? To walk like such as have professed themselves to be dead, and risen with Christ in Baptisme? Doth not this Touchstone (with all the former) cleerly discover Infants bap­tisme, to be onely a device and commandement of men? Thus much concerning this Touchstone, which I leave to the consi­deration of the wise. And so much concerning this Privi­ledge.

The fourth priviledge (which is the last I shall name) which the Lord Jesus gives to Believers in this Ordinance, is this; to wit, In this Ordinance, the Lord Jesus by his Spirit acting in a believers heart, doth more richly seal up or confirm to him the free and full remission of all his sinnes, through the bloud of Christ. And therefore, observe it; Not onely the Name of the Father, and of the Sonne, but of the holy Spirit also, is called up­on believers in this Ordinance. And this is the proper grace or work of the holy Spirit, to witnesse or confirm to us (by acting faith in us, more assuredly to believe) the remission of all our sins by Jesus Christ. In baptisme, as well as in the Lords Sup­per (although in another manner) the pretious death and re­surrection of Christ, is mystically, yet clearly set forth before believers. And the Spirit of God acting faith in them, in this Ordinance, doth not onely clear up to them more sweetly, the pretiousnesse of the death of Christ, but also confirm to them more richly, their interest in the same: to wit, the remission of all their sinnes, and their peace with the Father, through Jesus Christ. Hitherto, I conceive, tends that of Peter to his perplexed [Page 25] hearers, Acts 2.38. Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the Name of Iesus Christ, for the remission of sinnes. He doth not say, neither dare I say that baptisme is a remedy to remit sinnes: for then I should run into the mistake of such, who pleading for their Infants baptisme, do say: Baptisme is a remedy to take a­way that sinne, which they as the sons of Adam have conveyed to them. But this Scripture, I conceive, holds forth to us espe­cially two things. First, that repentance and remission of sins are preached & given only in the Name or through the Name of Iesus Christ. There is sufficiency of grace and strength in the Lord Jesus, and in him onely, to give you repentance and remission of sinnes. And so it will agree with what is written by Luke, 24.47. And that repentance and remission of sinnes should be preached in his Name among all Nations, beginning at Ierusalem. Secondly, that the Lord Iesus doth in baptisme confirm or witnesse unto Belie­vers, in some comfortable measure, the forgivenesse of their sins in his Name. And therefore he commands them to be baptized, partly for this end, that in baptisme he may confirm to them in some measure, by his Spirit, acting faith in them, the remission of their sinnes. For when a Believer is baptized in the Name of Christ, and the Spirit of God acts faith in him in his baptisme, then is his heart more sweetly assured, that through this Name all his sins are remitted, and he is at peace with God. And to this purpose, I conceive, we are to understand that Scripture, Acts 22.16. Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the Name of the Lord. Not that baptisme doth wash away sinnes: for it is the bloud of Christ onely, received by us through the faith of the operation of God, that washeth or cleanseth us from all sinnes. But thus; Be baptized, and in thy baptisme call on the Name of the Lord: that is, act faith in the Lord Iesus, in whose Name thou art baptized, that through faith in his Name in this Ordinance, thy heart may be further confirmed in this assurance, that all thy sinnes are washed away in his pretious bloud. And to this purpose, I conceive, we are to understand, Mark. 1.4. and Luk. 3.3. concerning Iohns baptisme: Only Iohns baptisme did point at Christ yet to come, and that which Christ after gave in Commission, did hold forth Christ already come. And this priviledge or benefit, believers have doubtlesse found in baptisme. Hence it is, that the Eunuch after he was baptized, went on his way rejoycing, Acts 8.39. He had found something [Page 26] of Christ in this Ordinance, which gave him occasion of rejoy­cing. It was not a uselesse, but a gainefull Ordinance through Christ to him. And so it was said of the Iaylor and all his house after they were baptized: He rejoyced, believing in God with all his house. Some increase of faith, and some witnesse of the Love of Christ, they had found ministred to them by the Spi­rit in this Ordinance. And as it was given to our Lord Iesus straightway after his baptisme to see heaven opened, and to heare the love of the Father witnessed from heaven to him by the holy Spirit: Even so, the like mercie, in a lesse measure, is given to believers in and after their baptisme. Neither is this fruit onely to be found in the present administra­tion of baptisme: but in respect of this benefit (amongst others) baptisme hath an influence into the whole life of a believer. And truly, the grace of God is very observable in this respect: for by baptisme or straight way upon it, believers are called out to wrestle with Satan, as it were in the open feild: they are set as a But for Satan and the world to shoot against; and therefore they had need be Armed with the strength and love of Christ, given into their hearts by the holy Spirit in this Ordinance. Thus much concerning the explication of this priviledge.

Instru­ction. Hence believers may be instructed, to act faith dayly in the Lord Iesus, in this Ordinance: and to expect a renewed power of the Spirit of God inabling them in the faith to looke often upon Christ therein. As also witnessing afresh to their hearts in such actings of faith, the remission of all their sinnes through him, in whose Name they are baptized; for baptisme is not one­ly usefull to believers in the present administration of it, but for future times also. The comfort and benefit of it, through the power of the holy Spirit (whose Name is called upon them therein) hath an influence into the whole life of a believer. Therefore let believers account their baptisme to be of great use and comfort to them through Christ, by the operation of the ho­ly Spirit in them therein.

Tryall.Againe, the clearing up of this priviledge, may serve as a fixth Touchstone for the tryall of Infants baptisme, whereby the unlawfulnesse thereof will be further discovered. I lay downe this conclusion: to wit, Baptisme may be lawfully admini­stred to none but to such whom the Lord Iesus hath made meet in some measure to be partakers of such a priviledge in baptisme; [Page 27] to have the remission of their sinnes, through the Name of Christ, confirmed or witnessed to their hearts, by the power of the holy Spirit, whose Name is called upon them in this Ordi­nance. Are Infants meet to have repentance and remission of sinnes preached to them through the Name of Christ? and to be baptized in his Name for the remission of sinnes? are they meet to have remission of sinnes, through Christ, witnessed to their heart in baptisme, by the holy Spirit, who neither know their sinnes, nor know Christ, nor know the holy Spirit, in his grati­ous and comfortable operation? Therefore the baptisme of In­fants is not of God: for I affirm (as I said before) that baptism can lawfully be administred to none but such whom the Lord Jesus hath made meet in some measure to receive remission of sinnes in baptisme; I meane to have the remission of sinnes, through the Name of Christ, witnessed and confirmed to their hearts, in some comfortable measure, by the holy Spirit, work­ing gratiously in them in that Ordinance. And Surely at the least, it is needfull that they know their sinnes, and know Christ, and know the holy Spririt, and know his operations, when he puts forth his grace and power in them. Now how these things will agree to Infants, I leave to the Iudgement of the Wise.

Thus much concerning the priviledges or benefits which the Lord Iesus gives in a gratious and meet proportion, unto belie­vers in their baptisme.

What I have said concerning these priviledges (which are the sum of the fourth generall head which I propounded in the beginning of this Treatise) may serve partly for instruction to such as desire to know what is the end, and use, and profit of baptisme unto believers: which is a thing to be considered; and partly to blame such who (yeilding to ignorant and carnall reasonings) do account believers baptisme to be a burden; and (say they) Christ hath taken away all burthens from believers under the Gospel. That Christ hath taken away believers burthens, is a holy and sweet conclusion: but that believers baptisme is a bur­then, it is a carnall excuse, or a sinfull Inference drawne from that conclusion. We have not so learned Christ. We account his yoke easie, and his burthen light. I now proceed to cleare up the fifth generall head, to wit, What is the duty, or what ought to be the carriage of believers in and after this Ordinance. This I [Page 28] shall be brief in. It is recorded of the Lord Jesus that in or upon his baptisme, he prayed, Luke. 3.21. And the same counsell was given to Saul concerning his baptisme. Acts 22.16. Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sinnes, calling on the Name of the Lord that is, praying to the Lord, and acting faith in the Lord in this Ordinance. What their duty is after this Ordinance in the whole course of their life, I have before shewed, in declaring what Ingagements lyeth upon believers by their baptisme.

What I have spoken concerning this head, is usefull to direct believers in their duty, both how to enter upon the Ordi­nance, and how to behave themselves after it according to Christ.

This likewise may serve for a Seventh Touchstone of Infants baptisme, whereby the unlawfulnesse thereof is further discover­ed. I lay downe this conclusion: to wit, Baptisme can lawfully be administred to none, but such whom the Lord hath made meet to pray to him, and call upon his Name, in or upon the administration thereof: and whom the Lord also hath fitted in some measure to walk answerable to those Ingagements which baptisme requireth of us, from the very time that we are under the profession of it. But how these things will agree with In­fants, I leave to the Iudgment of the Wise.

The last generall head to be cleared up is this, to wit, Whom the Lord Iesus hath appointed to be the Dispenser or Admini­strator of baptisme to believers. The Scripture teacheth us, that whom the Lord Iesus hath authorized and appointed to preach the Gospell, them also in the very same Commission, and accord­ing to the same time, he hath authorized and appointed to bap­tize such as believe the things concerning the Kingdome of God, and the Name of Iesus Christ. Mat. 28.19. Mark. 16.15.16. Acts. 8 12. and as it follweth in the verses of the same Chapter.

If it be objected that the administration of baptisme to be­lievers was tyed to Apostles onely;

I Answer. First, It is eviedent, Disciples did baptize before A­postles were chosen. Iohn. When the Disciples of Christ were there baptizing, it is said, Iohn was not yet cast into prison. Now by comparing Mat. 4.12 with Math. 10.2.3 4. We shall finde that it was some-while after Iohn was cast into prison, before the Lord Jesus called the Twelve, under the denominaton of Apostles.

Secondly, after Apostles were chosen, yet Disciples did bap­tize who were no Apostles: as is evident by Philips baptizing of the Eunuch, Acts 8.3.8. and Ananias baptizing of Saul, Acts, 9.10. compared with the 17. and 18. verses of the same chapter.

Thirdly, the commssion to preach and baptize given by Christ to his servants, was not given to them only or simply un­der the denomination of Apostles, but Disciples. Math. 28. verse 16. compared with 19. And thus the promise of Christ to be with his servants in the dispensation of these Ordinances, hath an In­fluence into all times, even to the end of the world.

Fourthly, The Scripture declares that the speciall or chief businesse which Apostles are called to, is to preach the Gospel. 1 Cor. 1.17. Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel, that is; The speciall or chief work which Christ called me to do, was not to baptize but to preach the Gospel. From whence we learn, that Apostles are not chiefly tyed unto the ad­ministration of baptisme, neither is the administration of bap­time tyed onely unto them.

Fifthly, The things of Christ were committed by the Apostles, according to the will of Christ to faithfull men, who should be able to teach the same to others also. 2 Tim. 2.2. And doubtlesse, those who have a calling to teach them to others, have a calling to dispence them to others also.

If any shall object, that for along time under the raign of An­tichrist, the holy and pure administration of baptisme according to Christ was lost, so that believers have it not by way of sucessi­on from baptized persons, and therefore their practise herein may seem faulty.

I answer. First, Was not also the Ordinance of preaching the Word, in the simplcity and purity of it according to Christ, lost for a long time under the raign of Antichrist? And yet what wise and humble man will refuse to heare the Gospel preached in simplcity, and in a holy order, from such whom God hath gifted and called to dispence the same? And surely, those whom God doth call to preach the Gospel, those he also calleth to baptize believers.

Secondly, we finde that when the book of the law of God, and the pure and holy administration of all Gods Ordinances was lost, under the Idolatrous reigne of Manasseh, (which was [Page 30] long) the servants of God in Iosiah his reigne finding the same, and understanding the minde of God therein: they did not now lay aside the book of the Law and the Ordinances of God, conceiting that they must looke for another Moses (by whom the Law was first given) from whole hands they should againe receive the Law, and the Ordinances appointed in it: but with­out delay, they read the booke, set themselves to seek God, re­news the Covenant which was found in the book, keepes the Passeover, purgeth out all Idolatry, and reformes all things which concerned the worship of God; as we may read at large 2. Kings. 22 and 23. chapters. And in Nehemiah 8.1. We find the Children of Israel, after their returne from Captivity, being gathered together with one consent, they require Ezra to bring forth the book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. They look not now for a new Moses to give the Law againe to them: but they look at the Lord, and look at his Law which he had commanded to all Israel, and their onely care was now to understand the mind of God in it; and therefore they require Ezra to read it and to give the sence of it. And it is observable, amongst other things, They found it written in the Law, that the children of Israel should dwel in Boothes, verse 14. Which Ordinance of God from the dayes of Ioshua to that time had been neglected of them: but they now understanding the will of God in it, presently set themselves to the practise of it. They do not lay aside the book of the Law, and continue in the neglect of what was written therein, say­ing, these things belonged to our fore-fathers, or may concern future generations: but they look at the Law of God, and all things written therein as concerning themselves also. And surely it is a thing not blame-worthy, but commendable in be­lievers (finding the Law of Christ, and the things he hath there­in commanded to all Israel) speedily without delay, to set them­selves to put the same in practise.

And for believers in some cases to be baptized by an unbelie­ver, the Scripture is not with out warrant in this also. Iohn Bap­tist an unbaptized person, be baptized others. Yea the Lord Jesus came from Galile to Jordan, to be baptized of Iohn. The Sonne of God came to be baptized of Iohn, a mean person, an unbaptized person, And as it was in the first administration of baptisme, so also in the first recovery of the pure administration [Page 31] of baptisme out of the darknesse of superstition, Believers may warrantably receive the Ordinance of Baptisme from an un­baptized person, whom they shall with one consent chuse to this work, being one gifted, and blamelesse; especially if he hath instructed them in this and other things, concerning the Kingdome of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ.

And if some shall say, The Church is in the Wildernesse, and therefore all the Ordinances of God do lye as it were lost, be­ing hidden from us, untill the recovery of the Church out of that estate. Their opinion being grounded chiefly upon Revel. 12.6.14.

I shall propound by way of answer, what I conceive, in a few words. Her wildernesse condition, doth not figure out or denote her darknesse, hiddennesse, or not appearing, or the losse of her Ordinances during that space of time, to wit, a thousand two hundred and threescore dayes: but it teacheth us chiefly, a certain middle state or condition, wherein the Church was to continue for such a season, somewhat like that of the Israelites wandring in the Wildernesse, after their deliverance from the face of that Serpent, or red Dragon Pharaoh, untill their en­trance into the Land of Canaan: for I conceive the allusion is chiefly, if not wholly taken from the dealings of God with Is­rael in those times. This wildernesse condition therefore of the woman, is some middle state which God hath appointed to her, and prepared for her to continue in, untill the time be ex­pired when she shall enter into Canaan, all oppositions being troden under foot. And concerning this matter, there are two or three things in this Scripture, worthy of our consideration.Rev. 1 [...]

First, that during her condition in the wildernesse she is called the Woman, or the Church: That Name or Relation is neither lost nor hidden: but agreeing herein to the estate of the Is­raelites in the Wildernesse, being called the Church in the Wildernesse, and enjoying many pretious Ordinances and pri­viledges of the Church of God; and yet not come up to that Glory and rest which was before them.

Secondly, God appointed this Wildernesse condition, this Middle State to her, partly for safety, that in that condition, during that time, she might be preserved from the face of the Serpent, verse 14. Even as God sent Israel into the Wildernesse to preserve them from the rage of Pharaoh, that red Dragon, [Page 32] untill such time as the promised Land was to be given to them: So God appointed such a wildernesse, (as it were a wandring, unsetled, wayfaring, travailing) condition to the Church for such a time, that she might be preserved from the overwhelm­ing power of the red Dragon, untill she come unto that glo­rious, setled, peacefull condition of rest, which shall ere-long be given to her.

Thirdly, God doth graciously provide that the Church shall be fed and nourished during her wildernesse condition: verses. 6.14. even as he did graciously provide for Israel in the wil­dernesse.

Fourthly, During her wildernesse condition, shee hath ma­ny faithfull children, children of the youth, stout warriers, like Arrowes in the hand of a mighty man, who maintaine the truth and honour of the Lord Jesus against such as joyne themselves unto superstitious and erronious practises. These are called the remnant of her seed, which keepe the commandements of God, and have the Testimony of Jesus Christ. vers. 17. I desire that this may be well noted, that during her wildernesse condition, shee hath a seed, a remnant who keepe the commandements of God, and have the Testimony of Jesus Christ. And who can warrantably say that these commandements of God are not the Ordinances of God, and the Ordinance of believers baptisme a­mongst other Ordinances? And who therefore can say upon good ground, that during her wildernesse condition the Testi­mony of Christ is lost, and the commandements and Ordinan­ces of Christ are lost? seeing this remnant of her seed do keepe the commandements of God, and have the Testimony of Jesus Christ: that is, they practise his commandements, and hold forth his Testimony. And thus they maintain the truth and ho­nour of the Lord Jesus, against such as joyne themselves unto su­perstitious practises: even as the valiant ones of Israel did of old (during their wildernesse estates) mantaine the Lords honour a­gainst those who made them a God of their own Ear-rings, and gave honour to it. Exod.

Fifthly, during her wildernesse condition, the woman and the remnant of her seed, meets with much warfare and with many oppositions from the Dragon, for keeping the commande­ments of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ. vers. 17. yet these oppositions are not so directly from the Dragon mentioned [Page 33] in this chapter, as from the Beast mentioned in the next, who hath the Dragons power and venome in him, but yet would seem to be very devout: even as Israel in the wildernesse, after their deliverance from the Rage of the red Dragon, did meet with many oppositions and many troubles: and not onely from such as were more manifest enemies, but from such also as would seem to be very zealous. Numb. 5.

Sixthly, the holy Spirit makes no mention in this Scripture of the not appearing of the Church, nor the losse of her Ordi­nances: neither will it agree to the condition of the Church of Israel in the wildernesse, from whence (as I said) I conceive the allusion to be chiefly taken.

Wherefore I see no reason why such a conclusion should be received: to wit, that the Church is lost, and her Ordinances are lost, and therefore that we can neither know, nor do any thing untill the consummation of that time of the churches being in the wildernesse. Surely such an opinion doth arise, and is main­tained from the policie of Satan, and not from the teaching of the holy Spirit. Other things might have been spoken by way of answer to that objection, but what I have said (I conceive) may suffice.

Thus much concerning the explication and clearing the last generall head. What I have said concerning this head is usefull thus farr: to wit, As well to confirme and establish the hearts of the Saints who are under the practise of this truth, that they through the Lords help, may stand stedfast herein against all the wiles of Satan, unto the prayse of God: As also to give satisfacti­on (if the Lord please) to such who seeme to make scruple at such like things as these, to hold them off from the practise of this baptisme, which they are convinced to be a truth of Christ. But let such take heed of dallying with the truths of the Lord Jesus.

And thus as the Lord hath helped me, I have cleared up those six generall heads, which I propounded in my entrance into this matter: As also have layd downe in brief what usefull instrustions are to be learned from each of them.

To conclude: It was not my purpose to answer all argu­ments particulerly, which are alledged by many for the mantai­nance of Infants baptisme. seeing that is profitablely and sweet­ly done by others of the Lords witnesses. But what I intended [Page 34] and propounded, I have (through the Lords help) in some com­fortable measure performed. Being fally perswaded that what I have written is the mind of Christ, and may serve to convince all gainsayings, and overthrow all arguments whatsoever, which are alledged for infants baptisme: and to satisfie all such, who have not a prejudice against the truth, and preferre other things above the truth.

I do therefore exhort all such who professe to love the truth, and say they desire to know and obey the truth: that they lay a­side all prejudice, wordly respects, self-ends, carnall reasonings, and questions about words, which are not to edification: and speedily, without delay, to give up themselves to the obedience of the truth in this and all other things. And let them consider what the Lord Jesus saith, Iohn 14.21. He that hath my com­mandements, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest my selfe to him.


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