THE COVENANTS Plea for INFANTS: OR, The Covenant of FREE GRACE, pleading the Divine Right of Christian Infants unto the Seale of holy Baptisme.

Against the Rusticke Sophistry, and wicked Cavillations of Sacrilegious Anabaptists:

Being the Summe of certaine Sermons had in the Parish-Church of Cranham, neere the City of Glou­cester, in Gloucester-shire, with the exceptions of certaine Anabaptists against the fore­said Sermons, and the Authors answers thereunto.

Very seasonable for weake consciences in these un­settled times of Schisme and Apostacie.

By THOMAS WYNELL Minister of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST.

OXFORD, Printed by Henry Hall for the Author. 1642.

TO MY MOST INDVLGENT mother the Famous VNIVERSITIE of OXFORD, all flourishing encrease of Divine Graces, and Commendable Literature be wished and multiplyed.

Men, Fathers, and Brethren,

I Have with a mourn­full eye, and a sad heart beheld the distracti­ons of these times, and seene the devill, that Mille-artifex, taking the opportunity (as alwaies he doth) to erect his throne upon our wofull [Page]miseries. They say Rome must packe out of England, so 'tis credibly repor­ted: and now the Envious-one la­bours to bring-in Amsterdam. The KINGS power, in causes Ecclesiasti­call, must be taken from the Pope, and reason good: and now the devil la­bours strongly to lay it upon the people; so that (if the devill can do it) Caesar must alwayes behold his Glory in Captivitie. Ceremonies must downe, and let them fall, if they and the Gospell may not stand toge­ther; but let not American novelties ponere obicem, to the Covenant of free Grace. Stand fast (yee Worthies) and acquit your selves like men; View over this Treatise (I beseech you) and (if it may not be to your dispa­ragement) vouchsafe it your Patro­nage. [Page]Nay more (if you thinke it may any way further the Protestant cause) joyne with me (I pray) in pre­senting it to the Honourable Court of PARLIAMENT. Nothing is herein (for ought I know) dissonant to the Orthodox faith. It is the first fruits of my labours that ever saw light, and I Dedicate it to my deare Mother, knowing that hereby I shall have an affectionate construction put upon all mine assertions. I pray let it not be thought ambition in me, that I sue unto you for Patronage, but accept all in favour, as I present all in love: What is amisse (I pray) correct, and what is right (I pray) allow. And thus (not to retard your more weigh­ty imployments) I commit you all to the good dispose of Israels Keeper [Page](who can do for you beyond what I can aske or thinke) and so I rest

Your most obedient sonne THOMAS WYNELL.

TO THE CHRISTIAN READER Grace, Mercie, Peace, Strength, Stability, and Settlednesse, with a blessed encrease of all heavenly gifts from the Sanctuary by Gods Ordinances of Grace, to the perfect edifica­tion of the Soule, &c.

Christian READER,

HE that puts himselfe in Print in mat­ters of Controversie, doth not onely bid battell to the opposite party, but also expose himselfe to the criticall censure of all beholders, and stan­ders by. And by how much any VVriter seekes the applause of men in publishing his workes, by so much the Righteous God makes him a looser. And that worke (mostly) is most prosperous, wherein least of fame, and most of conscience is sought and aimed at. This poore Treatise of mine, though meane for phrase, style, and artifice, yet needfull in these times of [Page]schisme, and heresie for the subject matter thereof, as that which may occasion my faithfull brethren (more able) to crush the insolencies of a dangerous faction, the daughter of the Separation, and the Mother of Libertinisme. As for my call to this imploy­ment, it is this, viz.

There were nere unto my dwelling a company of the Separation, who under tooke to erect a Church by entring into a Covenant, and these carried on their resolutions hand-smooth, untill they were grown into a great faction. And (as it is the property of that Schisme to speake at randome) they began to let flie against the Church assemblies of England, as false, Antichristian, and out of Gods way.

VVhereupon I began to enquire into the nature of their Covenant, and told them, that if it were a Covenant of first entrance into the true visible Church of Christ, then of necessity the parties so en­tring must have the seale of first entrance imprinted upon them, which (under the Gospell) is Baptisme. For if the Ministery which they leave be false in the very constitution thereof, then the Sacraments by them administred, must needs be nullities; and so now they having a lawfull ministery constituted and set in Christs way, they must begin all anew, Bap­tisme and all. Thus (by way of arguing) I spake unto [Page]diverse of them, which did so puzzle them, that not long after some of them fell upon this practice of sealing their covenant by Baptisme, renouncing their Baptisme in their infancy, as a nullity and an Idoll. and being demanded by the Magistrates of the City of Gloucester (before whom they were con­vented) who it was that advised them unto this practice, they nominated mee to be the first that put them upon it: whereas I was so farre from it, that I held that the dangerous Covenant of the Separa­tion would necessarily lead unto this. And more­over one Walter Coles of Painsewicke a Taylor (a man of good behaviour a long time, and well esteemed by the godly and best Christians) This man (I say) fell off first to the Separation, (where he had his bane.) And God having given him ano­ther child, he refused to have it baptized untill it could answer for it selfe. This matter fell into debate in Mr Wels his Congregation at Whaddon, Pa­stor to the Separation there, where the said Coles was a member. Now Mr Wels and the Church-officers of his division (foreseeing the ill conse­quence of this businesse) had resolved to determine against the said Walter: but this being perceived by the said Coles, he desired to goe out of the com­pany. [Page]And happy had it beene for him, if hee had returned to his former godly, and profitable courses of doing good. But he goes further, and turnes plaine Anabaptist. And so making a journey to London hee brings downe one Thomas Lambe a chandler (as it is reported) and one Clem: Writer a Factor in Blackwell-hall London (both Anabaptists) into this Countrey. And I being in London, these two travellors (by Walter Coles his directi­ons) came on the Lords-day to Cranham (where I did and doe serve in the worke of the Ministery) and there the said Lamb (being in a grey-suit) offers to preach in publike, but being disappointed by Gods good providence of his wicked purpose, he retires to a private house in Cranham abovesaid, and by Preaching there he subverted many And shortly af­ter in an extreame cold, and frosty time, in the night season, diverse men and women were rebap­tized in the great river of Severne in the City of Gloucester. And so at length returning from Lon­don, I found the face of things much altered, and many strangely leaning to the heresie of the Anabap­tists. And they put on the businesse with such pe­remptory boldnesse, as if all the world had beene unable to gain-say their practice, or refute their [Page]doctrine. VVhereupon to clear my selfe, and to satisfie others, I undertooke the controversie at Cranham, where they had left their poyson. And when I un­dertooke it, the Anabaptists from Gloucester, and Painswicke came to heare mee, and set upon mee in the open face of the Congregation, as soone as I came downe out of the Pulpit. I desired them to for­beare publique tumults, and to send in their excep­tions against what I had laid downe for Poedobap­tisme. And at first they sent mee in a paper with no hand to it: but this I rejected, and delivered back to them againe, because I knew no one of them would stand to it, when once the folly thereof was declared. At length I received about two sheetes of paper, and yet (though it came in the names of them all) there was but one hand unto the same, and this Champion doth so stoutly mannage the matter, that surely if his cause were suitable to his stomacke, nei­ther men nor Angels could stand before him. It is high time then for us to bestirre our selves, when con­demned heresies shall find such bold abettours, and that in the Land of light and truth. The Lord put it into the heats of our Parliament to settle a Govern­ment among us with speed, that out-facing impuden­cie may be called to an account, that truth and [Page]peace may dwell in our Land. And now (Gentle Reader) peruse the ensuing tractate, wherein if thou find any benefit, give God the glory, and af­ford mee thy help at the Throne of Grace. And so I have done, and do thou begin.

Thine in the Truth T.W.


PAg. 6. line 1. for Cor. read King. p. 8.l.7. for up; r. upon. p. 10. l. 21. r. Gods Covenant of Grace. p. 11. l. ult. adde, of Gods command, but because. p. 16. l. 31. for, their God, r. th [...] God. p. 36. l. 22. for under, r. of. p. 42. l. 16. dele not. p. 81. l. 4. let Petitio principii, be put in the Margin. Ib. for, disputationibus, r. disputations. Ib. l. 20 for well by, r. well as. p. 107. l. 14. for, profession in the, r. profession of faith in the. p. 110. l. 16. for, as whatsoever, r. as if whatsoever. p. 111. l. 20. dele or. p. 114. l. 17. dele saved and. p. 115. l. 22. for, certifie, r. rectisie. p. 116. for, to, r. of, p. 119. l. 6. [...]or, hearts. 6.1. heart, p. 122. l. 28. for, not, r. not the.


MATTH. 28.18, 19, 20.

All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Goe yee therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the Holy Ghost.

Teaching them to observe all whatsoever I have comman­ded you. And loe I am with you alwayes, even to the end of the world. AMEN.

THE monstrous brood of Anabaptists in former ages, and now in these our dayes, have made, and doe make this portion of Scripture their maine Fort, and stron­gest Barricado to beat back poore, help­lesse, and harmlesse infants from being consecrated into Gods peculiar by bap­tisme, though born of Christian parents. Now against these unjust oppressours, and sacrilegious theeves I am now come into the field, to maintaine the christian birth-right of infants, whose parents are sealed un­to God, and of His Family: And to set them into their own border, possession, and inheritance.

And because some of Satans troopers of late in mine ab­sence have made an in-rode into this Parish, and by perver­ting of this Scripture have carried away some, and stagge­red many others, therefore I have chosen to insist upon this Text, to let all men see how it makes nothing at all for the e­stablishing of their wicked purpose.

This whole Chapter contains the History of our Saviours resurrection, and a Rehearsall of what He did on earth be­tween the time of His triumphant resurrection, and His glorious Ascension.

The former we omit for brevities sake. In the latter, the Spirit of God relates how Christ (being risen from the dead, & by vertue of His resurrection possessed of all power and authority over all things and persons, in heaven and in earth) gave a command, and commission unto his Apostles to goe out among the Pagan-Gentiles, and plant the Gospell among them, and not confine themselves any longer within the precincts of Iudea. And why? Because all power is gi­ven unto Christ in heaven and in earth, which before was not given unto him. This is our Saviours preface, and it is a materiall passage, and the ground of our Saviours sending of His Apostles to plant the Gospell among the Pagan-Gen­tiles. Now all power and authority concerning the Church of God was conferred on Him for ministring the kingdome of heaven among Jewes, and Gentiles. And hence observe this point for your instruction.

Doct. Viz. That all power and authority concerning the Church of God was given unto Christ, and conferred on Him by vertue of His meritorious death, and triumphant resurrecti­on from the dead. Eph. 1.19, 23. Ps. 2.6, 9. compared with Acts 13.33. Heb. 2.9, 10. Luk. 24.46, 47.

Reason. And the reason is, because thereby Christ vanquished the enemies of our salvation, led captivity captive, received gifts for men, and became the head of the Church among Jewes and Gentiles.

Quest. But had not Christ this power from the beginning?

  • 1. He had it in the mind and decree of His Father; for we were chosen in Him, and He was still the head of His, the Church.
  • 2. He had it vertually in His sufficiency to vanquish ene­mies, and to deliver His chosen; for Hee was a lambe slaine from the beginning.
  • 3. Actually; and by way of execution among Iewes and Gentiles, without difference. He had it not, untill the time of His glorious resurrection. Acts 2.32, 36. For then was Hee declared to be the sonne of God, and the Jewes Messi­at. Rom. 1.4.

Now this point may be put to sundry good uses.

Vse 1 It may serve to pierce the hearts, and soules of all wicked men, and move them to repentance, and amend­ment of life. Acts 2.36, 37.

Vse 2 It may serve to deterre all Church-enemies from their furious, and vaine attempts against Christ, and His Gospell. Psal. 2.1, 8.

Vse 3 This should teach us to yeild divine honour, and wor­ship unto Christ. We are to set him up as the Lord of our faith, having His warrant for what wee doe in His wor­ship under the Gospell, making Him our King and Law­giver, and obey him in all things, that He shall say unto us, depending upon him alone for salvation, as our All-sufficient Saviour.

Vse 4 Let us then labour to be so qualified, and so to live, as that all this power of Christ may be improved for our ad­vantage. Now if we would bee so qualified, wee must see that wee are true members of Jesus Christ. And the truth of this may be discerned by our threefold onenesse with Christ. viz. 1. Of Spirit. 1 Cor. 6.17. 2. Of image, Gal. 4.19. 3. Of carriage. Gal. 2.20. Now if wee are thus one with Christ, Christ will be Alsufficient unto us against every evill, and for all good things of soule or body, in life and death that we shall stand in need of.

Vse 5 This consideration may lastly afford precious matter of [Page 4]substantiall, and lasting joy. Psal. 118.22, 23, 24. Ps. 149.2.

And let this suffice for the Preface. Wee are now to treat of Christs glorious Commission unto His Legates and Apo­stles. Wherein before we come unto the particular scanning of the whole text, we will premise two things in Generall, which will appositely reach the present controversy be­tween us, and the Anabaptists.

1. The first Generall is this, viz. That the Apostles, and first planters of the Gospell must no longer keep within the precincts, and borders of Iudea, but goe out among the Pa­gan-Gentiles, and instruct them in the Mystery of the Gos­pell, and so seale them also into Gods peculiar by baptisme.

2. The second Generall is this, viz. That the Apostles had a Commission from Christ to goe unto all Nations with­out limitaion, and were not to take up their setled residence in any one Nation, but to travell from Countrey to Coun­trey, their Commission was so large and ample. They were for Spaine, they were for Rome, for Italy, for Corinth, for Asia, for Macedonia, for Philippi, &c. And in this they had a peculiar Commission, which was to plant foundations where Christ was not named, to beare the Name of Christ before lewes and Gentiles, to be the immediate pen-men of the Holy Ghost, to deliver unto them the immediate will of God concerning faith and worship, and to confirme their doctrine by miracles, as part of their extraordinary Com­mission. Now let the Anabaptists shew us any such Com­mission among all the mopping apes of their Apostolicall instructers, by whose miraculous endowments, they hope to see all the world brought to the obedience of their faith.

Now this second observation we shall not speak of here in this treatise; for such was the impetuous madnesse of the Anabaptists at their first entrance into their new way, (for young beginners are most fiery) that I thought it prudence, to forbear the further prosecuting of this text: for their obje­ctions would have been so many, that in answering of them, I should have spent whole sermons, and so have deprived [Page 5]mine auditory of more necessary instructions; and therefore I resolved to deale with them by writing, and to publish my Sermon-notes (or at least the summe of them) upon this first Generall; this being the very hinge, upon which the controversy betwixt us, and the Anabaptists is turned.

The first Generall point then is this, viz. That the Apo­stles, and first planters of the Gospell, were no longer to keep within the borders, and precincts of Judea, but to goe out among the Pagan-Gentiles, and instruct them in the my­stery of the Gospell, and being so instructed to seale them in­to Gods peculiar by Baptisme.

Now as this point stands clearely upon the text, so other Scriptures suffrage with it, as Mark. 16.14, 18. Act. 10.34, 38. Act. 13.47, 48. And this primitive administration of the Gospell, unto the Pagan. Gentiles is called a bearing of Christs name before them. Act. 9.15. And an opening of a doore of faith unto the Gentiles. Act. 14.27. 1 Cor. 16.9. And here faith must be the doore of admittance.

But to make briefe way to the clearing of the truth, a­gainst the obstreperous clamours, and darkening cavillations of the Anabaptists, or opposers of paedo-baptisme, we are to consider, what the state of the Gentiles was in point of reli­gion, before the Gospell was preached among them by the Apostles, and first planters of Christs Kingdome, and then what their estate is now (where the Gospell is planted and they baptized) in point of Religion.

The state of the Pagan-Gentiles in point of religion, be­fore the Gospell was planted among them, may be presen­ted unto you in two Generalls. viz.

  • 1. They were without Christ, aliens from the Common­wealth of Israel, strangers from the Covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. Ephes. 2.12.
  • 2. They had their visible and Country-Idols, and they were carried away to dumbe Idols, even as they were led. 1 Cor. 12. 2. Rom. 1.18, 32. Psal. 115.2, 8. Thus the Sidoni­ans had their Astaroth, the Moabites their Chemosh, the [Page 6]children of Ammon their Milchom. 1. Cor. 11.33. The Phili­stines their Dagon. 1 Sam. 5.1, 2. The Ephesians their Diana. Act. 19. And the Athenians their Hotch potch.

This was their state in point of religion. And therefore is there any reason, that these should be baptized, before they were turned from their Idols, and called to faith in Christ, and repentance towards God? Surely none. And therefore Christ would that such should be first made Disciples, before they should be baptized into the name of the sacred Trinity. And the Apostles did so. For its expressely said, that many of the Corinthians hearing, beleeved, and were baptized. And there is good reason for this; for

First, its fit that meere aliens, and professed Idolaters, (Gods professed enemies) should manifest their faith and re­pentance, before they should be sealed into Gods peculiar by baptisme.

Secondly, none of their kindred were ever before in the state of Christianity, from whence they might claime right unto Gods seale of Admittance. But now a Church was to be raised of persons growne up to yeares, and so confession of faith must be the ground of their baptisme, their parents being not baptized before, and in the state of Christianity.

2 But secondly, the condition of the Gentiles where the Gospell is embraced, and they baptized into the Name of the holy Trinity, is not now the same in point of religion. For

  • 1. First, it cannot be said that such Gentiles are aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel, without Christ, stran­gers from the Covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.
  • 2. It cannot be said that such Gentiles have their Coun­trey-Idols, by which they are carried away, seeing they are turned from them. 1 Thess. 1.9.
  • 3. It must needs be acknowledged that such Gentiles are not farre off, but in Jesus Christ made nigh by the blood of Christ. Ephes. 2.13. having accesse unto the Father [Page 7]through Christ by the Spirit, verse 18.
  • 4. It must needs be acknowledged, that such Gentiles are no more strangers, and forreiners, but fellow-citizens with the Saints, and of the houshold of God, and are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himselfe being the chiefe corner-stone. Eph. 2.19, 20.
  • 5. It must needs be acknowledged, that such Gentiles are all baptized into Christs body. 1 Cor. 12, 13. Gal. 3.27, 28, 29. Now bring me any such Gentiles as these, among the Pagan-Gentiles, before the Gospell came among them, and was embraced by them. And therefore these things being consi­dered, who but a stupid dolt, and perverse wrangler, can hence conclude, that infants of Christian parents should bee debarred from the Sacrament of Baptisme in their infancy. And the reason is because their parents are not now found in the state of heathenish Paganisme, (as were those a­mong whom Christ sent His Apostles before they received Christ and His Gospell) but now they stand in Grace, and Covenant with God, as His peculiar people, holy, and be­loved.

Now, albeit it is a truth, that all children of baptized pa­rents are baptizable, and to be baptized, yet to prevent im­pertinencies, and all collaterall cavillations, I propound the question concerning paedo-baptisme in these termes, viz.

Whether children of holyest parents in purest Churches are to be baptized in their infancy?

The point between us and the compleat Anabaptists is simply concerning paedo-baptisme. If my controversy lay with the Semi-Anabaptists, I would lay my proposition in other termes, but the compleat Anabaptist doth hold, that no child in infancy is baptizable, let his parents be never so holy, and let the administration be never so pure.

Now we maintaine the affirmative of this question against the Anabaptists upon these grounds; viz.

Reason 1 First, because Infants of Christians are holy. 1 Cor. 7.14. cum Rom. 11.16. And à Spiritu Sancto recepto ad Baptismi ad­ministrationem [Page 8]is an invincible argument with St. Peter. Acts 10.47.

Can any man forbid water, that these should not be bap­tized, which have received the Holy Ghost, as well as wee?

Ob. I but, say our busy-Anabaptists, there was a visible manifestation of the holy Ghost in a miraculous manner, up-those that Peter speakes of there; but there is no manifestati­on of the Holy Ghost, upon Infants of Christian parents in their infancy, more then upon Infants of Turks and Pagans.

Sol. I answer, that there was a manifestation of the Holy Ghost, as well to the eye of sense, as to the eye of faith, but here to the eye of faith only. That was miraculous & extra or­dinary; this oraculous & ordinary. And a standing Oracle is as much to be credited; as a Miracle, if not more; For miracles are but secondary confirmations of divine faith, but Gods writ­ten Oracles are primary. Manifestations of holinesse may be fallacious, but Gods Oracles are certain, and can never de­ceive. And the singer of God hath written holinesse upon Infants of Christians, and Paul (Gods Embassadour) hath proclaimed it unto us. A writing, and a proclamation, that the heilish spite, and virulent tongues of clamouring Ana­baptists, shall never be able to obliterate or disanull by their bastard exposition of this sacred Oracle; forcing it to speak the strange language of a seduced Anabaptist, and not the heavenly language of the sacred Scriptures, a practise plain­ly diabolicall and hellish. But put case (oh monster) that God the Father, God the Sonne, and God the Holy Ghost should come unto thee, and say, these are holy children. Doest thou think Gods meaning were, that they are no ba­stards, but lawfully begotten? Surely, if that should be Gods meaning▪ He should not speak according to the usuall lan­guage of his owne written word. For tell me, where God termes children holy, for their being meer legitimates? Canst thou bring one text of Scripture, where children are said to be holy, unlesse it be in relation unto the holy Covenant un­der which they were borne? And if God should say that such [Page 9]children are holy, because of the holy Covenant, under which they were borne, (as children are said to be holy for that only reason in the Scripture.) Did not God in this say unto thee, I have set these children apart unto my selfe? Psal. 4.3. Did not God in so saying say unto thee, set them a part unto Me as My Portion. And how wouldest thou set them apart unto God, but by putting Gods seale upon them? Well, we need not suppose Gods speaking thus unto thee, for God doth so speak unto thee, and unto all men in this sacred Oracle. And on children of Christian parents it must stand, as an unchangeable Oracle, that they are holy.

Quest. But (say Anabaptists) that children of Christi­ans are holy, the text is expressely cleare; but what holinesse doth the Apostle meane?

Sol. I answer, that doubtlesse the Apostle meanes such holinesse as the Prophets in the old Testament doe meane, when they call the children of Gods Covenant-people the holy seed. Not holinesse by legitimation, as Bellarmine the Jesuite, and his disciples the Anabaptists dreame, but such holinesse as hath the promise of the kingdome of heaven. Mark. 10.13, 16. Matth. 19.13, 14, 15. Luk. 18.15, 16, 17.

Ob. I, but say Anabaptists, these were not children in propriety of speech, but young beginners in Christianity, and such as were little in their own eyes, as Matth. 18.1, 6.

Sol. The stories are not the same; For it's said in Mat. 18. that Christ called a little child, and set him in the middest of His disciples to teach them humility, and in the other pla­ces, that we have cited (Mark. 10. Matth. 19. Luk. 18.) that they brought children unto Christ that He should blesse them And to say that the words are not taken in propriety of speech in these texts, is just like their other stuffe: For

  • 1. In the places that we have quoted its said, that the children were brought unto Christ, not led and presented only, [...], apportabant, borne to Christ, as wee beare a burthen.
  • 2. They were such [...] as. St. Luke termes [...], chil­dren newly borne.
  • [Page 10]3. The disciples blamed those that brought them. And would they blame men for bringing young beginners in in Christianity, weake Christians, and such as were little in their owne eyes unto Christ?
  • 4. They very gesture of Christ proves them to be children in propriety of speech. For it is said that Christ tooke them up in his armes. And thus you see how these shuffling juglers will catch at any thing, and so can they alleage Scrip­ture, they care not how little it is to purpose; so they may puzzle others, and avoid the evidence of truth against them­selves.

Quaest. But put case (say they) we grant the places to be meant of Children in propriety of speech, how can you hence conclude, that they ought to be baptized?

Sol. Very well; for if the Kingdome of God, which is the proper inheritance of Saints, doth belong unto them, then the seale and cognizance thereof is theirs in all equity. But the end wherefore wee alleaged these Scriptures, is to prove that the holinesse attributed unto children by Paul, 1 Cor. 7.14. is the holinesse of Gods Kingdome, or the ho­linesse of Gods grace, under which these children were borne, as the children of the Covenant by birth, because borne of a parent in covenant. And infants are no where in Scripture phrased holy, but in relation to the holy Cove­nant, under which they were borne. And so from the cove­nant their title stands good to the initiall seale thereof, which under the Gospell is Baptisme.

Quaest. If the holinesse of the Covenant gives Infants right unto Baptisme, why then do you not administer the Lords supper unto them also.

Answ. Because the Lords Supper belongs onely unto such as can spiritually examine themselves, and discerne the Lords body, 1 Cor. 11.27, 28, 29.

Now the summe of all is this, viz. Children of Christian parents are holy (by vertue of Gods holy Covenant) in their infancie, and therefore to be Baptised in their in­fancie.

Or thus more largely, viz.

  • Whensoever persons appeare unto the Church (under the Gospell) to be holy, by vertue of Gods holy Covenant, then the Church is to baptize such persons.
  • But Infants of Christians, even in their infancie are per­sons that appeare unto the Church (under the Gospell) to be holy, by vertue of Gods holy Covenant. Ergo,
  • The Church under the Gospell is to Baptize infants of Christians in their infancie.

Quaest. But how do Infants of Christians appeare unto the Church under the Gospell to be holy; prove that (say they) and we have done.

Sol. I answer, that persons may appeare to be holy unto the Church (under the Gospell) two wayes, viz.

  • 1. Sensitively, by their words and pious actions, and and this is the only way that the Anabaptists do know, for they are altogether led by sense: and thus Infants of Christians neither do, nor can appeare unto the Church (under the Gospell) to be holy.
  • 2. Oraculously, by vertue of a Divine Oracle, and thus children of Christians appeare unto the, Church (under the Gospel) to be holy. The Holy Ghost hath engraven this Oracle (1 Cor. 7.14.) upon such children. And such children do utter this Oracle in the circumcised eares of all understanding Christians, though Anabap­tists heare no such voyce. And let these suffice for our first ground.

Reason 2 Secondly, Infants of Christians are to be baptized in their infancie, because they are subjects capable of it. Now that they are subjects capable of this initiall seale in their infancie, appeares conspicuously by Gods expresse com­mand, that the infants of Jews, & their proselytes should be circumcised in their infancie. If they had not beene subject a capable of it, God would not have commanded it, but God did command it, and therefore they were subjects capable of it. And these infants were not therefore capable, because [Page 12]of Gods Covenant with Abraham, and their Fathers, which were sealed unto God by Circumcision, and in Covenant with him. For the Text saith not, Thou shalt keepe My com­mand therefore, but thou shalt keepe My Covenant there­fore, thou, and thy seed after thee, in their generations, Gen. 17.9. implying, that this command had reference to the Covenant, and was part of it. For here God is to be consi­dered, as God in covenant with His people, and all his commands are branches of His Covenant, all grounded upon His free grace in Jesus Christ, and therefore in the next verse, (viz. v. 10.) Hee calls Circumcision by the name of His Covenant, saying, This is my Covenant, which ye shall keepe betweene Mee and you, and thy seed after thee: every man-child among you shall be circumcised. And to put the matter out of all doubt, that Circumcision is called by the name of the Covenant, the Lord speakes expresly afterwards, say­ing, And My Covenant shall be in your flesh, v. 13. to teach us that the Covenant made infants capable of the seale, and not Gods meere Mandamus, as our abstracting Anabaptists play with notions. And so they will consider God here in His absolute prerogative, and not as in Covenant with this people. Whereas the Seale can be nothing, but a confirma­tion of the promises of Grace unto such as have the promi­ses made unto them. So then the promises of grace made these infants capable of having the promises confirmed unto them by Gods initiall seale. Now what seale should be au­thentique in Heaven, and seale up divine promises unto per­sons under the promises, or in covenant with God, that de­pended upon Gods institution. Now God instituted Cir­cumcision, and commanded it to be imprinted on the flesh of his people in covenant, as the proper subjects capable of the same. So that the command that the Anabaptists talke of so much, are the words of institution, it being Gods prero­gative incommunicable to institute Sacramentall signes; be­cause He onely can make them effectuall to supernaturall ends, and give the things signified thereby.

Now Circumcision did bind the circumcised to the obedience of the whole Law, Gal. 5.3. And this obliga­tion was laid on very Infants before they could have any knowledge of the Law.

And againe, Circumcision is a seale of the righteousnesse of faith in the Messias, Rom. 4.11. And this seale was im­printed on very infants, before they could have any actuall faith or knowledge of righteousnesse.

And unto this obedience and faith, the Covenant (under which they were borne) had bound them, though the ini­tiall seale had beene denyed them. Such an Anabaptisti­call wickednesse could not have put these infants into the condition of aliens. The Covenant it selfe would have bound them to faith and obedience. And the Covenant it selfe would have made them capable of Gods saving mercy, though the initiall seale had beene denyed them. Such an Anabaptisticall cruelty could not have blockt up heaven against them. Consider this you stout Champions for Hell, which do what in you lyes to make Gods Covenant of free grace void, and of none effect unto his people. And to stop the course of Gods mercy unto the soules of men.

Well, the being of infants in covenant under the Law made them capable of Circumcision, the initiall seale of the Covenant. To be in covenant then with God makes a man capable of the initiall seale in infancie, according to the mi­nistration of Christ, under which he is borne, i.e. whe­ther the ministration be of Christ to be exhibited in the flesh, or of Christ already exhibited in the flesh. The substance is the same. The Covenant is nothing but Christ ministred. Whether it be mans Saviour to come, that is ministred (as to the Jewes and their proselytes in types) or mans Saviour already come be ministred (as to Christians without types in cleare demonstrations) in the ordinances of Grace, yet it is the same Saviour Jesus Christ, The same yesterday, to day, and for ever, Heb. 13.9. (i.e.) In the Ordinances of Grace in times past, present and to [Page 14]come, nothing hath beene, is, or shall be ministred (for the eternall salvation of the soule) but Jesus Christ. The Cove­nant now and formerly with Jewes is the same, in relation to the eternall welfare of the soule. For,

  • 1. The foundation of the Covenant is the same, as Gods free eternall, and unchangeable love to his elect.
  • 2. The occasion of the covenant the same, as mans mi­sery by his fall in the loynes of Adam: of which this Co­venant of Grace is a pregnant, and mercifull remedy.
  • 3. The Author is the same, as God gracious, mercifull, flow to anger, pardoning iniquity, &c.
  • 4. The thing promised is the same, as Christ the Redee­mer, and Saviour of mankind.
  • 5. The spirituall eflicacie of the Ordinances the same, as the mortification of the flesh, and the renuing of the crea­ture to Gods Image in Jesus Christ.
  • 6. The subject's the same, as a people in Covenant with God to yeeld obedience to the faith.
  • 7. The end Cujus the same, as the glory of Gods mer­cy to His Elect, and the unexcuse of the Reprobate.
  • 8. Finally, the end Cui the same, as Good workes here in this life, and the immortality of the soule, and eternall blessednesse in the life to come.

Onely Gods manner of ministring Christ unto man for his eternall salvation is diverse, according to the diversitie of Christ state: viz. as not incarnate, and to come; or incar­nate and already come; and so the ministration is diverse in the Ordinances of Grace.

Before Christ was come in the flesh all the Ordinances of Grace directed the eyes of the faithfull unto Christ to be exhibited for their salvation & redemption. (And therefore all the Ordinances of grace must needs be typicall) And this did quiet their consciences, and filled their hearts with joy.

And since Christ is come, all the Ordinances of Grace, serve to confirme the faithfull in this point, and mi­nister Christ exhibited (in the flesh) unto us. And this causes [Page 15]us to rest in Him for Redemption, and salvation, and to ex­pect no other Saviour.

Now if Infants under the typicall ministration of Christ were capable of the initiall seale of this Covenant (because borne under this Covenant) in their very infancie, when they could declare no right they had unto it, but their birth; then Infants of Christians under the Gospel, borne under the same Covenant of Grace, are capable of the present initiall seale of this Covenant, though they can shew no right they have unto it, but their being born of such parents as are Chri­stians. The manifestation of faith is no more requisite to the administration of Baptisme unto such as are borne Christi­ans, than it was to the administration of Circumcision unto such as were born Jews. But as such as were made Jewes had Circumcision administred unto them, because they testified faith in the Messias, and such as were borne Jewes had it by birth, as children of parents in covenant. So such as are made Christians are to have Baptisme ministred unto them, upon the testimony of their faith, but such as are borne Christians are to have it by birth, as children of parents in Covenant with God, and of his houshold and family. For as it was a rule of old, that nemo circumcidendus quà Infans, or, quà adultus, but quatenus foederatus. So now, nemo baptizandus quà infans, or quà adultus, but quatenus foe­deratus. Now if infants of Christians appeare unto us to be foederati (as they do) then we are to administer baptisme un­to them in their infancie. Baptisme herein answering to Circumcision. And so the fond quaere of the Anabaptists is groundlesse. What (say they) shall we seale a blanke? But this question implies this blasphemie, namely, that Gods written Covenant is a blanke, for Gods covenant is written upon the children of parents in covenant, as Christian pa­rents are in covenant. And if so, then their infants are in co­venant, otherwise the parents are not in covenant. For though it follows not, children are in covenant with God, therefore their parents are in covenant with God, for [Page 16] Abraham was in covenant with God, but his father Terah was not: yet it follows undeniably, parents are in Covenant with God, therfore their Infants are in Covenant with God.

Now then the Infants of Christian parents have the Co­venant of Grace, written upon them by birth, because chil­dren of such parents. And because their being in Covenant in their infancy appeares unto the Church, therefore the Church is to baptize them in their infancy; for when persons appeare unto the Church to be in Gods Covenant of Grace, then the Church is to put the Covenant under seale unto them; and tis their due, and the Churches duty.

And so in the businesse of paedo-baptisme, wee are not to looke to the righteousnesse inherent in the parents, nor to the righteousnesse in the infant (for of neither of these can we have certaine, and infallible knowledge) but to the righteousnesse of the Covenant, or to the free grace of God in Christ, as Rom. 4.11. where Circumcision is cal­led, the seale of the righteousnesse of faith; And therefore the seale of imputative righteousnesse. And hence is the grosse mistake of our Anabaptists. They thinke that the effi­cacy of Baptisme is grounded on the practicall righteousnesse of the creature, manifested in words or works, (which stinkes of Popery all over) but orthodox Christians in the businesse of paedo-baptisme doe look to Gods Covenant of free Grace, and so present their children unto Gods mercy, and Fatherly love in Jesus Christ, our Righteousnesse, Cove­nant, and attonement.

And albeit our infants have no inherent righteousnesse manifested unto us by their words or actions▪ yet God hath righteousnesse to be imputed, by vertue of His Covenant of Grace (saying, I will be thy God, and the God of their seed in their generations) And therefore we dedicate our children unto God in their infancy by Baptisme.

Now our Popish Anabaptists cannot endure to heare of Circumcision, as if that should be to the Jewes before Christs incarnation, the same with baptisme unto Christians since. [Page 17]Oh they labour to cry downe this, as the grossest absurdity, that ever was uttered by the tongues of men. But this is no new thing, for the old heretiques heretofore did lead upstart punies in the right way, how to fasten themselves to their owne errors, and Popish pride.

But I pray what difference between these two, save in the outward ceremony? For was not Circumcision as sacra­ment of entrance into the true Church of God before Christs incarnation? And is not Baptisme the same unto us Christians since Christs Ascension.

Why doth the Apostle call baptized Christians, circum­cised Christians, and Baptisme by the name of Circumcision? Col. 2.11, 14.

Was not Circumcision a seale of the same justifying faith, as Baptisme is now unto us? Rom. 4.11.

And in a word, did not Circumcision signifie the mortifi­cation of the flesh, and the renewing of the mind, and so bind over the Jewes unto the obedience of Gods will? Rom. 2.28, 29. Gal. 3.21. And doth not Baptisme the same now? Rom. 6.3, 11. 1 Pet. 3.21.

Now shew us any substantiall difference between these two Sacraments; for if there bee no substantiall difference, then without controversy there is a substantiall union. You say, there is a wide difference, for the one was the cut­ting off of the fore-skin of the flesh, and the other is a wash­ing with water. So say we, but this difference is but ceremo­niall; but as an initiall seale, how differ they, or in any other spirituall effect necessary unto salvation? When we look up­on Sacraments, we doe not look upon them by halves, as you Anabaptists doe, and detaine our senses in the bodily part of them. We look upon the mysticall part of them, as they are of spirituall use to confirm the Covenant of Grace, and to further a man in the way to Heaven. And so circumcision was that unto the Jewes before Christs incarnation, as Bap­tisme is to Christians since.

Now to overthrow this, Anabaptists usually alleadge two things, viz.

First, they alleadge that Baptisme cannot be the same unto Christians since Christs incarnation, as Circumcision was un­to the Jewes before, and why? Because (say they) Circum­cision was to be administred unto Infants, on the eighth day, but Baptisme is not to bee administred unto Infants on the eight day.

Sol. This objection proves nothing against the point in hand, for the eighth day fell out to bee in such a time, wherein the Infants could make no sacramentall use of the Sacrament of Circumcision, and they were a blanke in their sense, as much as our Infants. Under the law they were to be kept from Circumcision untill the eight day for a ceremoni­all reason. Levit. 12.2, 3. And this makes nothing at all a­gainst what we have said, touching the substantiall identity of Circumcision and Baptisme. For things that doe differ circumstantially, may yet be altogether one in substance.

Secondly, they alleadge that under the law females were not circumcised, but under the Gospell they are baptized.

Sol. We answer, that this (neither) makes nothing against the point in hand, which is paedo-baptisme; for grant that the proportion holds between Circumcision and Baptisme, were it but in males, this were enough to refute their owne con­clusion. For this would inferre that the state of infancy doth not make persons uncapable of the initiall seale of the Co­venant of grace under the Gospell. But they oppose paedo-baptisme in males and females. But we answer that under the law the females were circumcised in the males, as the Church is circumcised in Christ. The males bearing the type of Christ upon their flesh, and the males and females in ma­trimoniall conjunction representing Christ and His Church. And unto this the Apostle alludes. Ephes. 5.22, 33. And now such a typicall discrimination of sexes being removed, Christ exhibited puts no difference in Baptisme between males and females. Gal. 3.27, 28. So then the argument stands good, that Infants are capable of Baptisme, because borne under the Covenant of Grace.

Reason 3 Thirdly, Infants of Christians are to be baptized in their infancy, because we have divine warrant for it. For the text here (Matth. 28.19.) imports, that all the children of the Christian Church are to be baptized. And Gods Covenant of grace with the parents, put under seale unto them by Bap­tisme, doth necessarily put the Infants of such parents under the same Covenant of grace; as the seed of such parents. For to grant, that baptized parents are put under the Covenant of grace by divine warrant, is to grant that the children of such parents are put under the same Covenant, by the same warrant. For the separating of Children from parents in Covenant is to dissolve that Covenant▪ which God made with Abraham in the promised seed, for the eternall salva­tion of Jewes and Gentiles. Now the very being of the pa­rents under the seale of this Covenant doth prove unanswe­rably, that their infants are in this Covenant. And if this proves the being of Infants in Covenant, then it proves un­answerably their right of having the Covenant put under seale unto them by divine warrant, and so (by necessary con­sequence) their divine right unto Baptisme. For by birth they are in the Covenant, because borne under the Cove­nant, as children of such parents. And admit the parents unto Baptisme upon the testimony of their faith, and that brings the children of such parents into the Church by birth; so then baptize the parents, and thereby of necessity you make the Infants of such parents baptizable by divine war­rant, and it cannot be avoyded.

Now that Matth. 28.19. doth warrant our baptizing of Infants whose parents are baptized, may thus be evinced and made good; viz.

  • All true members of the Christian Church are to be bapti­zed by Christs warrant in Matth. 28.19.
  • But all Infants of baptized parents are true members of the Christian Church. Ergo
  • All Infants of baptized parents are to bee baptized by Christs warrant in Matth. 28.19.

The Minor proposition I thus prove, viz.

  • That proposition whose contradictory is false, and absurd, is a true proposition.
  • But the contradictory of this Minor proposition is false, and absurd, ergo.
  • This Minor proposition is a true proposition.

Now the contradictory of this Minor proposition is this, viz. Some Infants of baptized parents are not true members of the Christian Church. But this proposition is false, and absurd, and as much as to say, as some Infants of baptized pa­rents are Aliens, Pagans, and Insidels.

Thus then I argue, viz.

  • Infants of baptized parents are either true members of the Christian Church, or else they are Aliens, Pagans, and Infidels; there is no medium, there is no neuter.
  • But Infants of baptized parents are not Aliens, Pagans, and Infidels. Ergo.
  • Infants of baptized parents are true members of the Christi­an Church.

And so by necessary consequence Christs Com­mission, Matth. 28.19. is a divine warrant, for the bapti­zing of Infants, whose parents are baptized. Now let the Anabaptists shew us any child, or infant of baptized parents, that is not a true member of the Christian Church, and prove him by the word of God to be no member of the Christian Church, and we will not baptize that child.

Again, to contrive my Syllogisme in another mood, which may as well accomplish my purpose, and prove that Christs Commission for baptizing, is for the baptizing of Infants whose parents are baptized, as well as for the baptizing of the alien upon the testimony of his faith in Christ.

Thus I argue, viz.

  • All true members of the Christian Church are to bee bapti­zed by vertue of Christs Commission in Matth. 28.19.
  • But some Infants of baptized parents, are true members of the Christian Church, Ergo.
  • Some Infants of Christian parents are to be baptized by ver­tue [Page 21]of Christs Commission in Matth. 28.19.

Now that some Infants of Christians are true members of the Christian Church may thus be proved; viz.

  • All true members of Christ in the Church are true members of the Christian Church.
  • But some Infants of baptized parents are true members of Christ in the Church, ergo.
  • Some Infants of baptized parents are true members of the Christian Church.

Now then if Christs Commission Mat. 28.19. be, that we should baptize all true members of the Christian Church; and that some Infants are true members of the Christian Church, then some Infants of Christian parents are to be baptized by vertue of Christs Commission. Mat. 28.19. And this proves that persons may be baptizable in their infancy, and ought to be baptized.

And as for what you instance from the practise of the A­postles, that will not serve your turne. For the Apostolicall Ministery lay, in gathering of a primitive Church from Ju­daisme and Paganisme. But instance in the practise of ordi­nary pastours in a Church gathered (as the Church of Co­rinth, or any other mentioned in the new Testament) and bring me thence but one instance, that any children (whose parents were baptized, and in the state of Christianity) were held back from baptisme, untill they could give an accompt of their faith in person, and then you will speak to the pre­sent condition of Gods Church in these times. But this you cannot doe, and therefore in drawing extraordinary instances into an ordinary canon, to binde all the Churches of God unto like practise, is to overthrow the nature of Gods Cove­nant of Grace, and to make that a personall Covenant (i. e. to terminate in the person baptized) which God hath made sociall, i. e. to beleevers and their seed jointly saying, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed in their generati­ons.

Now for this Commission in the 28. of Matth. verse 19, 20. Its a full, and univerfall Commission, belonging to all [Page 22]the Ministers of Christ under the Gospell, unto the worlds end. And of these Ministers, some are extraordinary, and to cease; and some are ordinary, and to continue. So then in this short Commission, here is somewhat Apostolicall, and peculiar to extraordinary Ministers, which cannot be apply­ed unto, nor expected from ordinary pastours in setled Chur­ches; As to plant foundations, to work miracles, as proofes of their immediate calling from God, to be led by an uner­ring spirit in delivering immediate oracles from Christ, as standing canons of divine faith, and worship, &c. And so their practise was extraordinary, and no such thing is to be expected from ordinary pastours, but to build upon the foun­dation, which the Apostles laid. Now the Apostles com­mitted the Churches gathered unto ordinary pastours and teachers, which must proceed in the work of the Mini­stery, where the Apostles left, for the edifying of the body of Christ, &c. And that this is such an universall Commissi­on (as we speak of) the Apostle Paul makes cleare, and puts it out of all doubt. Ephes. 4.8, 13. where he expoundes the meaning of this Commission. For whereas Christ in this text (here) saith All power is given unto Me, goe yee therefore and teach all Nations &c. Paul upon the same ground and occasion saith, when He ascended up on high (meaning Christ) He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men, &c. And He gave some Apostles, some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some pastours, and teachers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministery, for the edifying of the body of Christ, &c. For how long? Ʋntill the end of the world, saith Christ. Ʋntill we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Sonne of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ, sayes Paul. See then what confusion the Anabaptists doe speak, when they urge from this text Apostolicall imitation in ordinary pastours, without distinguishing of what is herein peculiar to extraordinary Ministers, and what is common to Apostles and ordinary pastours. This I thought good to speak, to prevent a mischiefe that might befall unstable soules (through [Page 23]the jugling fraud cunning craftinesse of the Anabaptists) for want of a right understanding of our Saviours mind in this text. For they will hence take occasion to cry up Christs Commission unto His Apostles in Matth. 28.19, 20. viz. of making men Disciples, before they could bee capable of Baptisme, putting no difference between those that are to be made Christians of Aliens, and those that are borne Christians of Christians; and also putting no difference be­tween the Apostolicall ministration and the Pastorall mini­stration, and so by a confused urging of the text in the strict letter, they seduce many an unstable soule unto their hereti­call practise of rebaptizing. Whereas could they but look upon this Commission, as an universall Commission, they would soone discerne the fraud of these men, and would not bee carried away by them. Christians then in these dayes should labour, to be men in knowledge, and not bee alwayes children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftinesse where­by they lye in waite to deceive. Ephes. 4.14. Seducers have a sleight, whereby they can deceive children i. e. men of little knowledge in divine mysteries, and of an unstable and wa­vering mind. These seducers can use the Scriptures, as the juglers use their dice. For as the jugler hath a sleight to make his dice to turne up what may serve his turne, to de­fraud such as he playes withall, so seducers have a sleight (when they deale with men of little knowledge and of a wavering minde) to make the Scriptures speak their owne language, for to winne men unto their party. And the me­taphor is here by the Apostle taken from the jugler, for hee saith, [...]. Men deceive novices and un­grounded Christians. But how? In the dice-playing of men. And so our Anabaptists meeting with Novices and ungroun­ded christians, will make this and other Scriptures speak their own principles and language, to deceive men and lead them into error. And therefore I thought good to acquaint you with the true meaning of this text, which the jugling Ana­baptists pervert to their own ends, and doe not make it [Page 24]speak the mind of Christ, but the language of their own se­duced and seducing hearts. and tis blasphemy to say that a­ny text of Scripture doth speak their hellish principles. Sim­ple ones may be carried away with their good words and faire speeches, but grounded Christians know, and see their juglings and method of deceiving well enough. The text warrants and commands the baptizing of all true members of the Christian Church. And therefore it warrants the bap­tizing of Infants of baptized parents: and this Inference can­not be avoyded. And so much for this third reason for pae­do baptisme.

Reason 4 Fourthly, we baptize Infants of baptized parents, because the Lord doth ordinarily make our baptizing of Infants effe­ctuall to the proper ends, whereunto true Baptisme is ap­pointed in the Gospell.

Now the ends are, to put on Christ. Gal. 3.27. To dye unto sinne, and to live unto God. Rom. 6.3, 4, 5. 1 Pet. 3.21. And God doth ordinarily make Baptisme effectuall unto these ends, in persons that were baptized in their infancy.

For among those that were baptized in their infancy wee have as humble, meek, and mortified Christians, (men and women) as any among the Anabaptists, to say no more. We have those that dye dayly unto sinne, and are vexed in soule to see the abominations of others. Againe wee have those that beare upon them the markes of the Lord Jesus. Their lives are holy and lovely. They are sound in the faith, grave in their behaviour, and ready unto every good work. They deny themselves, they advance free grace, they afflict their soules, and seek the peace of Hierusalem.

Ordinarily our ministery doth gaine them, and sweetly winne upon them, they grow in grace, and submit unto Gods word in all duties. And certainly God doth not ordi­narily work by a false ministery, and a false Sacrament. I say God doth not thus ordinarily by false and unlawfull meanes, though sometimes He brings light out of darknesse.

Now I challenge all the Brownists, and Anabaptists in the world to answer me this one thing, though nothing bee [Page 25]more rife with them, then to condemne our Ministers and Baptisme, as false and Antichristian.

Certainly God would not ordinarily give testimony to a false Ministery, and false Sacrament by making them effectu­all to the proper ends, whereunto the true Ministery and Sa­craments are appointed in the Gospell.

The Apostle Paul useth this very argument to prove his calling to be right, and from the Lord. 1 Cor. 9.1, 2. saying, Am I not an Apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not you my work in the Lord? If I bee not an Apostle to others, yet doubtlesse I am to you, for the seale of mine Apostleship, are yee in the Lord. 1 Cor. 4.15.

Reason 5 Fiftly, and lastly we baptize Infants of Christian parents, because it is the practise of other reformed Churches, which God hath blessed in that way with great increase of heavenly gifts.

Now if we should forbeare by virtue of a divine restraint, (as we pretend) then wee should lay iniquity upon whole kingdomes, and godly societies, as taking liberty where God hath put a restraint.

And how should we justifie our practise, and condemne theirs, by the word of God? For they would tell us, that we put restraint upon mens consciences, where God hath put none. And that we misinterprēt the 28. of Matth. verse 19. And that our inter pretation of the text is absurd and ridicu­lous, and that neither Christs Commission, nor the Apostles practise doth any way countenance our cause.

Againe, they would tell us that wee doe evade the evi­dence of 1 Cor. 7.14. against us, by a base and beggerly shift, plainly derogatory to the Majesty of the holy Scriptures, in saying that children of a beleever are said there to bee holy in opposition to bastardy, as if they were holy for no other more noble cause, but for their being meer legiti­mates: a notion too low for the Spirit of divine Oracles, a notion plainly ridiculous in the apprehension of every ordi­nary capacity, the Scriptures no where terming children ho­ly, but for the holy Covenants sake under which they were [Page 26]borne. Now for us to pretend Apostolicall imitation, and walking according to Christs primitive Commission, and yet to put off Apostolicall Authority with such a bastardly glosse, would give other Churches (which we oppose) just cause to think, that our way is rather a diabolicall delusion, then an ordinance of Christ, and that phantasticall humours doe rather sway with us, then conscience.

Againe, they would tell us that our way of rebaptizing hath been alwayes condemned, in all reformed Churches by the holiest and ablest Christians for an heresie, and that paedo-baptisme was never so condemned in any reformed Church, but practised and maintained an Ordinance of Jesus Christ under the Gospell, and that God ordinarily hath blessed it by making the same effectuall, to the comfort and sanctification of the baptized.

Furthermore they would tell us, that denying Baptisme unto Infants of baptized parents is grounded upon an hellish foundation, and is the inlet of many hatefull heresies, which have been alwayes found with the abettours of this practise, though at their first entrance into this trade, they have not been so vile and loathsome. Yet for the maintaining of this way (when opposed by the Churches and Ministers of Christ) they have been enforced to hold many grosse and palpable heresies, which our Anabaptists will be driven un­to, though as yet they deny not the doctrine of predestina­tion, orginall sinne in Infants, the morality of the Christian Sabbath, the Person of the Holy Ghost, &c. I say (though as yet they seem to be more tolerable) they must be driven unto these and many moe such abominations, or else they cannot hold up their trade.

Finally, they would produce many learned authours, that have condemned our practice, and refuted our tenents, which to this day are not answered, by any of the contrary party. Now for us to make so pitifull a schisme from all the Churches of God, and not to refute those that have written against us, would argue rather obstinate folly, then consci­ence and zeale.

And so much for this first Generall.

THE COVENANTS Plea for INFANTS, vindicated.

Anabaptist. A Briefe answer unto Mr WYNNNELS arguments, and reasons that hee delive­red in publique, for to prove the lawful­nesse of Infants Baptisme, with propositi­ons annexed.

Answer. A full reply to your answer, vindicating the argu­ments, and reasons for paedo-baptisme, against your frivolous exceptions, with an answer to your annexed propositions.

Anabaptist. First you argue from the difference of state and time of the Pagan. Gentiles in the Apostles times, and us now under the Gospell. For you say that they were such as had their severall country Idols, and that they were strangers to the Common­wealth of Israel, and without God in the world. For answer [Page 28]unto this. First we grant, that this was the generall state and condition of the Pagan-Gentiles: but there were many particu­lar persons, as Cornelius and others is the Acts, who were men truly fearing God, and such as were called out of the state of Paganisme unto the profession of the Gospell, and therefore they were not all under Paganisme, and yet we doe not find that any of the seed of those persons were baptized, but only such that did heare the word and beleeve. Act. 10. latter end.

Answer. Well. If this were their state in generall, that is as much as I require. And for particular extraordinary instances, they cannot infringe the truth of an ordinary and generall canon. However, to the point. Shew one example that any of the seed of Cornelius, or of any Jew or Gentile converted to Christianity were baptized, when they were able to answer for themselves and not before and then (and not before then) the cause is yours. Iohn Baptist baptized a world of people. And from Iohn Baptist to the end of the Acts, was about forty yeares: But shew that any one of the posterity of those John baptized, or of those the Disciples baptized (who were more then those Iohn baptized, Jo. 4.12.) I say, give one example of any one such baptized, when growne up; and then you speak to the purpose. Else give over calling for examples.

Anabaptist. Againe further. Admit we grant you that this were the con­dition of them all in particular, as well as in generall, yet this would make nothing for your purpose. For wee Gentiles are all Generally as bad in our naturall condition as they were, and we are such as know not God, nay are open and professed enemies to God, as well the seed of beleevers as other stand therefore seeing our condition by nature is the same with the Pagan-Gentiles, I know no reason why we (so long as we remaine in our naturall condition) should have greater priviledges then they, unlesse [Page 29]the holy Ghost had any where given commission for is in Scrip­ture. And therefore untill you can prove a difference between them and us by nature, you in effect as good as say nothing.

Answer. Here (as a man more then confident of his cause) you seem to grant your antagonist more then is required. Here you have found out an argument, which in your opinion is more then demonstrative. And oh how happy is your Church in having so mettalsome a champion, that is able to say some­thing, that your Apostolicall fraternity be not troden down of the Idolatrous paedo-baptists. But, however your words may passe in your Church, as oracles: yet wee (the maintai­ners of Gods Covenant) judge your assertion in all this prattle to be but an aspersion. And either make your charge good, or else we will look upon you as an agent for the devill, and not for Christ. Prove that all the children of be­leeving parents are open and professed enemies to God. Shew where the Scripture so termes Infants of Christian parents, seeing such are borne Christians, and called [...], Saints. I Cor. 7.14. You shew your selfe to be an open and professed enemy to the holy seed, in casting so soule a re­proach upon persons, that God hath so highly honoured. And as much may be said of the Infants of the Jewes, name­ly that they were borne in originall sinne, yet the Scripture termes them no where open and professed enemies to God, though you say the promises made unto them were but tem­porary. Nor did this estate debarre them from being sealed into Gods peculiar in their infancy, by the seale of His holy and eternall Covenant. Now if you say that infants in their infancy, must not be baptized because they cannot under­stand the meaning of that mysticall Ordinance, nor have saith to apply the promises therein held forth; by the same reason the Infants of the Jewes should not have been circum­cised, for circumcision had in it the same essentiall mystery with Baptisme, though held forth in a type. And so your ar­gument [Page 30]blames God Himselfe for preposterous dealing, in prescribing the seale of the righteousnesse of faith to be im­printed on persons, before they manifested, or could mani­fest any faith at all by profession, or practise. And circumci­sion was a seale of the same righteousnesse of faith, which we Christians build our eternall salvation upon, and that is faith in Jesus Christ. Rom. 4. and Rom. 5.

Ob. But there was a speciall command for circumcision in the time of infancy.

Sol. But your reason (I say) blames God for that com­mand, because Infants of Jewes were as much in the state of nature, as Infants of Christians. So then the same reason that you alleadge to blame us for our practise, doth blame God for His command. Againe, we answer that there was such a command for the circumcising of such Infants in their in­fancy, whose parents were under Gods seale, but no such command for Infants, whose parents were not. Profession of faith was needfull unto such whose parents were not un­der Gods foederall seale. And so Abraham (in whom the Church of the Jewes began) had saith before hee had the seale; for being uncircumcised (or before circumcision) hee had the righteousnesse of faith. Rom 4.11. But no such thing afterward required of Abrahams seed, but the contrary com­manded, namely, that his seed should be circumcised in their infancy. So for baptisme under the Gospell: For such, whose parents are not under the seale of Gods Covenant, are not to be baptized, but first to manifest the righteousnesse of faith. And here (as in Abraham) the righteousnesse of faith must goe before the initiall seale, but when parents (as Abraham) are once under the seale of Gods Covenant, their seed (as the seed of Abraham) are to bee sealed unto God in their infancy by vertue of their Christian birth-right; for by birth they are under Gods Covenant, and that Cove­nant under which they were borne is to bee put under seale and ratified unto them, as joint confederates with their pa­rents, and of Gods peculiar people with them. For the ex­presse [Page 31]words of the Covenant are I WILL BEE THY GOD, AND THE GOD OF THY SEED. And there­fore when God doth put the initiall seale upon the parents. He doth enright the seed of such parents unto the Covenant and initiall seale thereof in their infancy, as the Lord hath clearely resolved the case when He put His Covenant under seale with Abraham. And therefore you Anabaptists are de­stroyers of Gods Covenant, and will have it to terminate in the party baptized, and not to extend to his or her seed, as their Christian jointure by birth. So then the Covenant that God makes with us Christians is not, I will be thy God and the God of thy Seed jointly. But I will be thy God, and not the God of the seed, untill they manifest faith in practice and profession, and then I will be the God of thy seed also. And so this Covenant will be no priviledge unto children of Christian parents at all, for the children of Turkes shall bee received by Baptisme, when they testify faith in christ, and and repentance towards God. And so Gods Covenant of Grace must alwayes terminate in the party baptized, and goe no further. And is not this mad Divinity, that the children shall be excluded, when God hath joyned parents and chil­dren as joint-partakers of the same Covenant, and inheri­tance? And are not you herein the devills attournies sent of purpose to wrangle children of Christian parents out of the spirituall inheritance, unto which they are borne as Christi­ans by birth? The Lord plead the cause of His Covenant a­gainst these perverse disputers, maintaine the inheritance of our seed and of-spring against the cursed machinations of these sacrilegious theeves and robbers, which steale from God, from us, and from our children. But you call for a dif­ference beteeen us Christians, and the Pagan-Gentiles by na­ture, & unles this be shewed nothing, in effect is spoken against you, or for us. By nature, that is, by naturall generation, this (I beleeve) is your meaning, a notion indeed high enough for Anabaptists, who look upon all Gods ordinances like sensu­all beasts. But upon that naturall generation of procreation [Page 32]of seed you may behold the Covenant of Grace established, and set up, had you any sparke of spirituall discerning in you. for so did St. Paul. Ephes. 2.3, 4. &c. And had you learned the language of the Scriptures, you might truly say that the children of Christians are Christians by nature, and not sin­ners of the Pagans; as the Apostle speakes of the Jewes, say­ing; we are Jewes by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles. Gal. 2.15. Here Jewes by nature, and sinners of the Gentiles are opposite members. But how were they Jewes by nature? Surely, as St. Peter speaks, because they were the children of the Prophets, and of the Covenant, because borne under the holy Covenant. Act. 3.25. And how were not the Jewes sinners of the Gentiles? Surely Divines (whom you may seem sooner to refute then understand) tell us, that such as were borne Jewes had not their sinnes imputed unto them, otherwise they were borne in originall sinne as well as the Gentiles, but the holy Covenant of Grace was establisht up­on them, which Covenant was appointed as a remedy to fre e them from originall corruption, and to restore them to Gods favour. But this is a kind of language which you Ana­baptists haply doe not understand. For had you any know­ledge this way you would not reason so wildly, and turne Gods Covenant out of doores; by putting no difference by nature between such as are born Christians in the Church, un­der the holy Covenant; and such as are born Pagans, out of the Church, & strangers from the covenant. And therefore seeing by nature there is so wide a difference between such as are born Christians, and such as are born Pagans, you in effect as good as say nothing. For God bath engraven His Cove­nant upon the Infants of Christians, and made this knowne unto his Church, and therefore the Infants of Christians are to have the priviledge of Baptisme in their infancy. But God hath not engraven His Covenant upon children of Pagans, therefore they are not to have it, untill they testify faith and repentance. And this covenant written upon children of Christians in their infancy, is the Commission that the Holy [Page 33]Ghost hath given in Scripture for baptizing Infants of Chri­stians in their infancy. 1 Cor. 7.14. And now I pray put your heads all together, and let me heare what you can say against this. But goe on.

Anabaptist. Againe further. This argument of yours is but from hu­mane conception, and doth tend to the overthrow of a divine in­stitution, which may not, nor ought not to be: unles you can prove where and when the holy Ghost hath or doth expresly lay down, or give commission for the alteration of that expresse institu­tion that Christ gave unto His Disciples, to teach and instruct all Nations to observe and follow the rule that they left them. And therefore the alteration of times, and state is not sufficient to alter a divine institution, untill it be altered by divine Au­thority, by which it was at first commanded. As for instance, Suppose the King should establish a Law, and an Act of Par­liament, for the practising of any particular action, in the Land, and the cause may be removed, for which this Law was established, yet this Act doth still remaine in force to be pra­ctised, untill the Author thereof doth disanull it by proclama­tion or alteration. So in like manner, Christ hath established an Institution for Baptisme, and confirmed it by the Apostles practice, according to their commission; and therefore, untill Christ doth disanull this Institution, or alter it, wee may not, nor dare not to alter it, upon paine of open rebellion against the King of Heaven; let the time alter never so much; that is not a ground sufficient to alter an Institution. And this for an­swer unto your first, and chiefest Argument. Now to passe by many groundlesse, and sensuall arguments, which are not worth answering, because they savour of nothing but censu­ring; we desire to come to your chiefest reasons, wherefore In­fants should be Baptized.


  • No Argument that is truly deducted from the Scriptures of God, is from humane conception.
  • [Page 34]But this Argument of mine, against which you except, is truly deducted from the Scriptures of God: Ergo,
  • This Argument of mine, against which you except, is not from humane conception.

And then againe thus, viz.

  • No Argument that is deducted from the Scriptures of God can overthrow a divine Institution.
  • But this Argument of mine, against which yee except, is truly deducted from the Scriptures of God: Ergo,
  • This Argument of mine, against which you except, cannot overthrow a divine Institution.

Now let mee but prove the Minor Proposition, and you are overthrowne irrecoverably, though you seeme to be armed with Law and Gospell against us. Well, the point that I have to make good is this: namely, that the Argu­ment I here used, was truly deducted from the Scriptures of God. And to make this good, the very rehearsall of what I said will be enough, without any more adoe. The summe of what I said was, that the state of the Pagan Gentiles be­fore the Apostles planted the Gospell among them, was not the same in point of religion, as is the state of the Christian- Gentiles, where the Gospell is embraced, and they bapti­zed. Now I represented the state of the Pagan-Gentiles unto you in two particulars. 1. I told you that (before the Gospell came among the Pagan-Gentiles) they were with­out Christ, being aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. Ephes. 2.12. And I am sure this is no humane conceipt unlesse the Oracles of God are hu­mane conceipts. 2. I said againe, that before the Gospell came among the Pagan-Gentiles, they were carried away to dumbe Idols, even as they were led. 1 Cor. 12.2. Neither is this any humane conceipt. Then finally the Gentiles where the Gospell is planted, are not of this condition in point of [Page 35]religion, but in covenant with God, and of Gods family and houshold, as you may see in any Sermon-notes prefixed.

If this Argument doth overthrow the sense that you give of Matth 28.19. then you doe not give the right sense of the text. For no argument truly deducted from the Scrip­ture, can overthrow the true meaning of any Scripture. And so if your manner of baptizing (which you would have to be warranted by that of our Saviour Matth. 28.19.) will not stand with the nature of Gods covenant of Grace, among the Gentiles, where the Gospell is planted: then Christ meanes not your way of baptizing in Churches, where the Gospell is planted. So then this argument of mine tends not to the overthrowing of any institution of Christ in Mat. 28.19. but layes a ground for the refuting of your wrong interpretation of the text, the true meaning of which text you may after­wards see in due place. For (it should seem) this is the keep­ing of your song, and afterwards iterated againe and againe. And for me to run over the same things againe and againe, would argue me to be as void of mater, as you are of reason. But, I pray, one thing more. What are those sensuall and groundlesse arguments of mine, that you so sleightly passe over, as not worth the answering? I termed Anabaptists in­deed a monstrous broode, sacrilegious theeves, Bellarmines Disciples &c. Doe these savour of nothing but censuring? Are these the sensuall and groundlesse arguments you mean? But I argued that the promises of God made unto the Jewes in the Messias, were spirituall and eternall promises. Mat. 23.32. Act. 3.25, 26. Heb. 11.16. And this you passe by untouched, not because the argument is sensuall and ground­lesse, but because you cannot answer it. Moreover I told you that circumcision was the seale of the righteousnesse of faith, and that this seale was imprinted on very Infants in their in­fancy. And is this a groundlesse and sensuall argument, not worth the answering? Alas, alas, you cannot answer it. And therefore for ought you have said, or can say, my doctrine must stand good, and the gates of hell cannot prevaile against [Page 36]it. View it over againe, and consider it more punctually. And then haply you will either beHodson, an Ambaptist in the city of Glocester growne as light to the head since he was new baptized, as he was light in the heart be­fore. Hodson-peevish, or of a­nother mind. And now having made so manly an encounter, let us see whether your valour will endure the brunt of the battell. Let us heare your killing exceptions against my rea­sons, that I had for paedo-baptisme.

Reason 1 The first reason for paedo- baptisme.

Anabaptist. Because you say that children are holy, therefore they may be baptized, 1 Cor. 7.14. Now we would know what holinesse you meane.

Answer. I did not say that children are holy, that's too generall; but that children of Christian parents are holy. And wee therefore say so because the Apostle Paul the pen-man of the Holy Ghost speaks it. And so when you aske me, what I meane by holinesse in this discourse, you demand with­all what the Apostle meanes by it; for I only relate his words. The meaning then of the Apostle is the same, as was the meaning of the Prophets, when they said that the Iewish Infants were holy, because borne under an holy Covenant. Iewes by nature, and not sinners under the Gentiles. So the meaning of the Apostle is, that the children of Christians are holy, i. e. Christians by nature and birth, not sinners of the Pagans, unto which Pagans God hath not committed His Oracles, nor put them under His seale. But goe on, and we will follow you.

Anabaptist. If you say an inward holinesse, then grace must come suc­cessively from parents. And so by this rule wee shall make our parents the authors and conveighers of grace, and so mightily wrong the Lord Jesus Christ. For there is nothing doth make [Page 37]us truly holy but grace, for by nature wee are all filthy and corrupt from top to toe; and by this ground we draw grace from our parents loynes, which to affirme is most grosse and false, and no lesse then high blasphemy against the Spirit of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Answer. What holinesse we meane you may see in our answer im­mediately going before. But if we should say that it was in­ward holinesse, How doth that inferre that grace must come successively from parents? Seeing parents and children doe not derive inward holinesse and grace from one another. but as joint-confederates they both derive and draw holinesse from the Covenant of Grace under which they both are. For the expresse words of the Covenant, are. I will be thy God and the God of thy seed, jointly, as co-partners in the same Cove­nant. And therefore you erre not knowing the Scriptures, nor the nature of the Covenant. The Sadduces endeavouring to overthrow the doctrine of the Resurrection, drew an ar­gument (ab absurdo) wherein there were more words then matter (like the arguments of you and your brethren of the separation) Matth. 22.23, 28. thinking to puzzle their an­swerer with multitude of words, seeing they wanted weight of argument. So you use many words, and sport your selves with your owne fancies. But as Christ answered the Saddu­ces, that they did erre, because they neither knew the Scrip­tures, nor the power of God. So say I to you, that you there­fore erre, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the Nature of Gods Covenant of free Grace with His people: And who wrongs Christ think you? You or I? You in making the grace of God of lesse extent by the comming of Christ, in set­ting Moses above Christ? For Moses allowed Infants of Gods Covenant people the initiall seale in their infancy, but Christ denies it unto them, if your Divinity will hold. Or I in setting Christ above Moses, both for clearenesse and extent of grace? Now if Moses in his typicall ministration af­ford [Page 38]unto the Infants of Gods Covenant-people the initiall seale, and Christ denies it in His Gospell-ministration, then surely the shadow is to bee preferred before the substance. And herein you shew your selfe to bee as stout an advocate for the obstinate Jewes, agaist Christ, as if from them you had received thirty peeces of silver to betray Him. But what high blasphemy against the Spirit of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ have you found out spray you? Oh this, namely, that children shoul [...] draw grace from their parents loines [...] But who a [...]irmes this, you or [...]? If [...], then the Apostle affirmes it, for [...]d only said, that children of Christian parents are holy, and so saies the A [...]ostle? An [...] is the Apostle an high blasphe­mer in saying so? But goe on, I pray, I know you love not to be interrupted in so weighty a case of conscience, as this is.

Anabaptist. Againe, if this be true then the unbelieving wife is made holy too, and shee may be baptized as well as the children, al­though shee be an infidell which is agaist your owne affirma­tion.

Answer. Tis true; that children of Christian parents are holy (if that be your meaning) and upon this ground are to bee baptized, as is said in my Sermon-notes. But how doth it hence fol­low, that the unbeleeving wife (though holy to the beleev­ing husband) is therefore as well to be baptized, as the chil­dren of the beleeving parent? For the Covenant is, I will be thy God and the God of thy seed; not I will be thy God and the God of thy wife though an infidell. It's one thing to be under an holy use, another thing to be under an holy conditi­tion. The beleeving party is said to have a sanctified use of the infidell, but the infidell is not said to be holy, as the chil­dren are. For such children are not said to bee sactified unto the parents, but holy in themselves, by reason of the holy Covenant under which they were borne, as children of [Page 39]a parent in Covenant with God, and joint-confederates. In the originall the unbeleeving party is said to bee holy not to, but in the beleeving party. Not that one of them ab­solutely considered were sanctified in another, for wee are sanctified only in the Lord Jesus Christ; but as con­sidered in the relation of husband and wife in lawfull ma­trimony, so the infidell party is sanctified in the beleeving party for conjugall society, and for raising up of an holy seed unto God. And if you can but look into the originall, and consider the scope of the place, you cannot but suffrage with me. But goe on.

Anabaptist. But you say it is such an holinesse as hath the promises of the Kingdome of heaven. If so, then thus we affirme, that all those to whom the promises of the Kingdome of heaven are made un­to, shall have it made good unto them, and so consequently all the children of one beleeving parent at least, shall also goe to heaven by this rule.

Answer. This we say that all the children of one beleeving parent shall goe to heaven for ought you or I know. We are in cha­rity so to judge, so to hope. You can say no more for such as professe themselves to bee beleevers, then that you hope the best. So may, so must we hope of such children. Could wee tell which were which, and did wee know that such a child neither had grace, nor ever should have grace, but were a reprobate, we must not baptize that child. But sith that is morethen wee know, or can know: Therefore we stand bound to baptize all children of Christians, least wee should deny to elect children the scale of the Cove­nant.

Answer. But we affirme, that the Apostle doth not speak of such an ho­linesse [Page 40]in that place, but of such an holinesse as is opposite to uncleannesse. For the Apostle doth answer an objection as some of the believing Corinthians might make concerning their pre­sent condition; as, whether they might live with their wives now, they being converted, and their wives infidels. Now the Apostle doth answer them, that they might live together; for conversion doth not disanull matrimony If so, then your chil­dren were unclean, but now they are holy. That is, they are your children, being lawfully descended and borne of your loines, and so are your children and being so borne are accounted holy in the Apostles estimation.

Answer. And we affirme the same with you, that children of Chri­stian parents are holy, as holinesse is oposite to uncleannesse. and Pagans are said to be uncircumcised and uncleane) which is of larger extent then bodily uncleannesse. But I conceive your meaning is, that children of Christian parents are holy, that is, they are no bastards, but lawfully begotten, and so holinesse here shall be opposite to adul [...]ery, fornication, and bodily uncleannesse only. And so Lawb your founder in his directions to you expounds the place. But aske that asse [...]ow he can make good his exposition. And his letter will answer you, that you must take it upon his word, or else he knowes not what to say to you. And I beleeve you had this deep Divinity from that letter, for that letter beares date Feb. 11. Anno 1641. And your papers beare date March. 22. Anno 1641. So that allowing a considerable time for the coming of his letter from London to you; you might have time e­nough to make use of your instructions. And so as your Re­ligion is grounded upon Scripture perverted, so it must bee maintained by Scripture perverted: perversenesse being the foundation of your Church, perversnesse must bee your weapon of defence. But in this exposition both you and your master seem to affirme a strange paradox, namely, that [Page 41]children borne of unbeleeving parents are all bastards, which may overthrow all succession in Kingdomes, and inheritan­ces, and by this Divinity all the primitive Christians were bastards, because borne in Paganisme. And Abraham the Fa­ther of the faithfull was a bastard too, because his Father was an Idolater. But I pray how doth your reason prove your assertion? You say in effect that children of one beleev­ing parent are not bastards, but legitimates, and that this is meant by the holinesse the Apostle here attributes to chil­dren. And why? Because (say you) that the Apostle doth here answer an objection as some of the beleeving Corin­thians might make concerning their present condition, whe­ther they might live with their wives now, they being con­verted, and their wives infidels. You say the Apostles an­swer to this is, that they might live together, because con­version doth not disanull matrimony. Well, this reason con­futes your owne assertion, for it implies that infidels may live together in matrimony; how then can the children of such be bastards? Must not then their children lawfully de­seend and be borne of their loines? Thus you speak contra­diction. And where find you any such language as yours, in the Scriptures? What authours have you consulted for the meaning of that text. viz. 1 Cor. 7.14. Paraus tells us that such children are not uncleane, but holy i. e. saies he, not Pa­gans, but Christians. Tremelius saith, that the children are said to be holy, because they are partakers of the holinesse of God in the Church (ex foedere) by the Covenant. Beza saies the children are holy. i. e. In promissione censeantur, &c. they are judged to be in the promise, because unto eve­ry beleever it's said, I will be thy God and the God of thy seed. Peter Martyr thus. This holinesse is beleeved to bee, that these children doe appertaine to the Church of Christ. Cal­vin ut sancti in in Ecclesia reputentur. i. e. That they might be reputed Saints in the Church. And you confesse that such children are holy in the Apostles estimation; And if the Apo­stle esteemes them holy, then God judgeth them to bee holy, [Page 42]and for holy children of Gods Covenant-people wee must take them to bee, according to the constant phrase of the Scripture. For where faith is, there Christ is, where Christ is, there the holy Covenant is, but faith is with the beleeving parent, therefore Christ and the holy Covenant is with him also, and the Covenant is, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed. Therefore the holinesse of children (that the Apostle here speaks of) must needs be holines peculiar to the children of faithfull parents. But holinesse of children by legitimation is not peculiar unto children of beleeving parents. For a­mong the civill heathens, and Pagans, have not men their own wives, and women their own husbands? Are not these joined together in lawfull matrimony? And are not the children that issue from men and women so joined, their own children lawfully descended, and borne of their loines? And are not such children so begotten of persons in wedlock therefore holy, because lawfully descended, and borne of their loines? If to bee meere legitimates bee to bee holy, then the Apostle doth predicate no peculiar thing of the children of Christians, more then may be said of the children of Pagans, begotten and borne in wedlock. Then the Apostle need not to have said that now they are holy, seeing one of you is a beleever, for they were holy before, if legitimation would make them holy. But let Pareus, Tremelius, Beza, Peter Martyr and Calvin hold their peace, and let us a little heare what your worthy Founder Th. Lamb saies for the true meaning of the Apostle, in this text. viz. 1 Cor. 7.14. Thus saith he. As for the 7 Cor. 14. I say that the holinesse of the children did not arise from that one parent was a beleever (as our opposites say) but from this that the unbeleever was sancti­fied by or to the beleever, which could not have been if they had not been lawfully married before, therefore the holinesse of the children spoken of here, can be no other but that which is opposed to bastardy. Here this wise man maintains the contradictory of your opposites conclusion. He saies that the holines of the children doth not arise from that one parent was a beleever. [Page 43]But how proves be this? Surely testimonium dicentis is full en [...]ugh, he being a man of such an infallible a spirit, that a bare [I say] must serve your turne. But whence then doth this holinesse arise? From this (saies he) that the unbeleever was sanctified to or by the beleever. Very good! because the unbeleever was sanctified to the beleever, therefore the children of such were holy. And why was the unbeliever sanctified to the believer? Was it not because hee was a be­leever, and so made pure by faith, and then unto the pure all things are pure. Tit. 1.15. Now then, because hee was a be­liever, therefore the infidell was sanctified to him for con­jugall societie, and because the infidell was sanctified to the beleever for conjugall societie, therefore the children of such were holy, and so by necessary consequence because one of the parents was a beleever, therefore the children were holy. Faith made the conjugall societie holy, the holy con­jugall society made the children holy, and therefore faith made the children holy.

Quest. But how can the faith of the parent make the children holy?

Answ. Surely, not by infusing of sanctifying grace into the children, but by putting the parent into Christ. Now faith puts the parent into Christ, and Christ puts the parent so put into Him, into the Covenant of grace, and the Co­venant of grace is I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed, and hence is it that the children of such parents are holy, namely because of the holy Covenant. And therefore the holinesse spoken off here may be and is somewhat else, then that which is opposed to bastardy, namely the holinesse of the Covenant, which the saith of the parent puts him into for himse [...]fe and his seed. For (Goodman-Cocks-combe) how can the children of those be bastards that are lawfully married? But you acknowledge that the parents of the holy children here spoken off were lawfully married before (you meane) while in the state of infidels. And therefore it must be the holinesse of the Covenant of grace, which the faith [Page 44]of the parent put himselfe, and his children under. But you say in the last paragraph of your letter to your Disciples, that Infants were in the Covenant legally, but not Evangelically; and that when the law ceased, this being in Covenant ceased with it. But for so saying, you deserve a pillory, not a Pul­pit. You might be better imployed in looking to your Sope or Candles, then in filling mens heads with such hellish no­tions. If this be your care and diligence that you shew for your Disciples (as you say in your foresaid letter) you may sit still. The devill himselfe can shew such care, and diligence fast e­nough. But how prove you, that childrens being in Covenant with their parents is now ceased under the Gospell? You say so. And your [I say] must stand as an Oracle with such as are willing to be seduced by you. And personall faith (in your sense) is no more requisite to the being of Infants in Covenant with their parents under the Gospell, then under the law. For it's the same Covenant of free grace in Jesus Christ now, as then.

And thus (for ought I see) your master and you are in hot emulation, who shall excell in speaking of non▪sense. And yet you are so confident of the truth of your cause, that had you a 1000. lives, you would lay them all downe for the confirmation of the same. Stout words! But should you lay downe that one you have for it, it would bee judged rather madnes, then martyrdome, and you not a Martyr, but a mad­man in so doing. And truly if you can say no more for your cause, give over writing, and take Physick. Talke no more of your conscience, but see your folly. Now say on.

Anabaptist. For we have examples in Scripture, where children that are borne of two parents that were lawfully yoked together, were called to bee holy and a godly seed by birth. As for instance, Mal. 2. Ezra. Levit. and other examples.

Answer. The meer being of the two parents lawfully yoked toge­ther, is not sufficient to denominate the children of such pa­rents holy by birth, but their being within the holy Cove­nant. The Covenant under which the parents are, is the cause, why the children of such are holy by birth, and so cal­led by the Spirit of God in the Scripture, and for that reason only. And those very instances (where you find them in the old Testament) where children are said to be holy, will cut the throat of your owne cause; for you cannot shew, that the Scripture doth so much as once call the children of the Gen­tiles and Pagans an holy seed, as is doth the children of the Church. The holy Covenant of God (I say) under which the parent or parents is or are, is the onely cause why the Scriptures terme children holy. And I challenge you to bring me one instance where children of parents are said to be holy for any other reason.

Anabaptist. Againe, we doe not find any warrant in Scripture for to give the seales of the Covenant of grace upon imputed holinesse, but upon personall holinesse and confession, Acts 16. Mat. 3. Mark. 1. For the signe of circumcision was not given by vertue of any imputed holinesse in the child, that it did draw from the pa­rents, but by vertue of Gods Commission unto Abraham that he gave him for to circumcise his seed, and so ought the seale of Baptisme to be given by vertue of Christs Commission, and not by vertue of any holinesse that is imputed unto the child.

Answer. By imputed holinesse I conceive your meaning, to be im­putative righteousnesse; And by personall holinesse inherent righteousnesse, or holinesse in a mans personall practice and confession. And by seales, the initiall seales of Gods Cove­nant. Now I finde the initiall seale of the Covenant of grace [Page 46]to be given upon the ground of imputative righteousnesse, for the righteousnesse of faith is imputative righteousnesse: but I find it to be administred upon this ground, and therefore upon the ground of imputative righteousnesse. And circum­cision unto the Infants of the Jewes, was a seale of righte­ousnesse, but not of righteousnesse in their personall practice and confession, and therefore of imputative righteousnesse. And thus I have brought unto your hand what you could not finde. And then for your instances Act. 16. Matth. 3. Mark. 1. they will not serve to help you. For the matter in contro­versie is, whether children of parents already in the state of Christianity bee to bee baptized in their infancy or no? And now you bring instances of such, whose parents were not in the state of Christianity, which is a quite contrary case. But prove by Scripture that the children of the first▪baptized were denied Baptisme, untill they could give account of their faith, or else you speak not to the point, seeing chil­dren borne of Christian parents are Christians by birth, but such as you instance in were not. And is this faire dealing think you? And what talke you of an imputed holinesse in a child, that it should draw from it parents? What imputed holinesse is it you meane? Imputative righteousnesse? Doe you think that imputative righteousnesse is in us? How differs it then from inherent righteousnesse? The words imply a contradiction. And had you ever been rightly grounded in the principles of our Religion, you would never have ven­ted so absurd a passage. For the children doe not draw holi­nesse from their parents in Covenant, but as companions in Covenant with their parents are primitively holy, as well as their parents, by vertue of the same Covenant. For the ex­presse words of the Covenant are, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed. Here the Covenant puts parents and chil­dren both in equall relation unto God. But here you renew your old quarrell against the Covenant of grace, like an old trotting horse, let never so skilfull a rider use his best art to bring him into a better pace, yet the carrion will fall into his [Page 47]old joulting trot againe, so you tell us againe that circumci­sion was not administred unto Abrahams seed, by vertue of a­ny holinesse imputed unto Infants by the Covenant, but by vertue of Gods command. This is your meaning, however your expressions be. And we answer againe, that because they were an holy seed, that therefore the Lord commanded them to be circumcised. For the Covenant in order of nature must goe before the confirmation and seale thereof. So that the ground of Gods commanding Abrahams seed to be cir­cumcised, was their being in the holy, i. e. a seed set apart unto God from other nations. And therefore the Lord doth not barely command Abraham to circumcise his males, but He brings it in with a THEREFORE, to shew that the Covenant having made them an holy seed, therefore they wereto have the initiall seale imprinted on those holy persons. For marke the words (Gen. 17.7, 12.) of the Covenant. I will establish my Covenant between Me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting Covenant to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And will give unto thee and thy seed after thee the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God, verse 7, 8. And hereupon God said unto Abraham, thou shalt circumcise thy males therefore. Not barely thou shalt circumcise thy males, but thou shalt circumcise thy males therefore. i. e. Because of the foregoeing Cove­nant in the 7. and 8. verses. This inference we have verse 9. in these words, viz. Thou shalt keep my Covenant there­fore, thou and thy seed after thee in their generations. And then whereas they might have asked the Lord what that Covenant was which He would have them to keep. The Lord answers in the to▪ verse. after this manner; viz. This is My Covenant which yee shall keep between Me and you, and thy seed after thee, every man-child shall bee circumcised, &c. Here circumcision is called by the name of the Covenant, be­cause the Covenant is the ground of it. And circumcision did [Page 48]but put the covenant under seale, in which Covenant those children were before by birth, being borne of parents with whom God had stricken Covenant. And so this lame shift will not serve your turne. And to conclude, as little to the purpose is it, which you say concerning Baptisme; for you say, that Baptisme is not to be given by vertue of holinesse imputed to the child, but by vertue of Christs Commission, as if holinesse imputed unto a child by vertue of an holy Co­venant were not Christs Commission. The nations which Christ sent His Apostles unto, were not said to bee holy, and therefore by teaching they must make them holy, before they baptize them. But the children of those holy ones were holy by birth, and so called by God himself, and therefore to be put under the initiall seale of Gods holy Covenant, as their right and priviledge by nature and birth.

Anabaptist. Againe, the Apostle doth not so much as any way make men­tion of baptisme in that place. viz. 1 Cor. 7.14. and there­fore your reason is groundlesse from this place for Baptisme of Infants.

Answer. How groundlesse this exception is, he that hath but halfe an eye may see. As if to be holy by vertue of Gods holy Covenant, were not a sufficient reason to argue a mans right unto the initiall seale of this holy Covenant according to the ministration of the covenant under which he is born, & doth live. Now the initiall seale of the Covenants ministration under the Gospell is Baptisme; but children borne of Chri­stian parents under the Gospell are holy by vertue of Gods holy Covenant, and therefore children borne of such parents have right unto Baptisme. The Covenant of God is engra­ven upon them by birth, and therefore the initiall seale is their present priviledge. And so the place proves it. And the reason is substantiall. And it proves you to bee sacrilegious [Page 49]theeves and robbers, for denying Infants baptisme in their infancy. And by Gods help i'le maintaine this charge against you before the dreadfull tribunall of the Lord Jesus Christ at the last day. And in the interim I shall endeavour to preserve as many as I can from being seduced by your faire preten­ces.

Anabaptist. Againe, you parallell this place with Rom. 11.16. where you say, that is the root be holy, so are the branches. Now this root if you take it in the litterall sense as it is spoken, then it is meant of Abraham only, and he was the root, and the beleeving Jewes the branches, and therefore Abraham is called the Father of the faithfull, and in this sense beleevers are his seed and branches. But if you take it in a more spirituall sense, then it may be meant of Christ being the root, and all beleevers are His members. But we conceive to be chiefly meant of Abraham the root, and beleevers the branches, and so will this make nothing to the purpose, neither is it the same with the other place in Corin­thians, 1 Epist. cap. 7. verse 14.

Answer. If I paralled Rom. 11.16, and 1 Cor. 7.14. (to prove that the children of parents in Covenant are holy by vertue of Gods holy Covenant) I shall not draw my lines awry. Seeing the expresse words of the Covenant are, I will bee thy God, and the God of thy seed. And both places prove, that both pa­rents and children are holy by vertue of Gods holy Covenant with them. And so both places are coincident to prove the same thing, though there may be some circumstantiall diffe­rences. The place then in Rom. 11.16. makes much for my purpose. For my purpose was to prove that as the children of the Jewes were holy, by vertue of the holy Covenant with their parents, so also are the children of the Gentiles holy, by vertue of the same holy Covenant with their pa­rents; (an argument never too often to be inculcated.) And [Page 50]now having spoken of that text of 1 Cor. 7.14. already in our former discourse, we will say some what for the sense and meaning of Rom. 11.16. which text must needs bee under­stood and meant of Abraham and his branches only. Now the question is, who are meant by Abrahams branches. Well, the point there to prove is, that as Abrahams children among the Jewes were partakers of the priuiledges of the Cove­nant, so among the Gentiles, children engrafted into Abra­ham are partakers of the Covenant as well as the naturall branches of Abraham, the Jewes. And hence I inferred, that as the Jewes receiving the faith of Abraham were circumci­sed, so Gentiles receiving the faith of Abraham are to be baptized. And as the Jewes that were not internally and in­herently godly (as long as they did not renounce Abrahams faith) had a right to circumcision, so the children of the Gentiles receiving the faith of Abraham were by Baptisme (as Jewes by circumcision) to bee admitted into the enjoyment of the priviledges of the Christian Church. Peter tels the Jewes that the promise is unto them and their children. Acts 2.39. Now the promise was not made to their seed, because they did beleeve, but the seed did beleeve because they were under the promise. viz. I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed. If this must be restrained thus; viz. I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed too, when thy seed shall beleeve, then no more is promised to this seed, then to the seed of the Gentiles for when the seed of any Gentile should make prosession of his faith in the Messias, he was to be circumcised, as well as the seed of Abraham. But more was due by this promise to the seed of Abraham, then to the seed of a Gentile: therefore the seed of Abraham was under the promise in a peculiar manner, and not the seed of a Gen­tile uncircumcised: yea among the Jewes a parent who was orthodoxall in judgement, albeit he shewed no proofe of ju­stifying faith in his life, yet he was put under the Covenant for him and his seed. And the children of such had as much right to circumcision, as the children of David. So then ex­ternall [Page 51]subjection to the doctrine of faith doth entitle the parent, and his seed to the right of the externall benefit of the Covenant. The summe is, that as Jewes were born Jewes, so the seale of circumcision was their due, not to put them under the Covenant, but to seale up the Covenant under which they were borne. So (say I) Christians children are borne Christians, and a right to the Covenant is not given them by Baptisme, but that right which they had by birth is put under seale. The very Covenant under which a Christian Infant is born, stands good unto him, and bindes him to faith & obedience, and so albeit Anabaptists (like so many enraged devills, doe what in them lies to cancell the hand-writing of Almighty God by withholding Gods owne seale from In­fants of Christian parents, upon whom Hee hath engraven His Covenant, and written His promises of grace and mercy, by virtue of their being born of such parents. A wickednesse so heinous, so horrible, so full of impiety and hellish cruelty, that I want a parallel, I want words to expresse it unto my reader) yet Gods Covenant (I say) stands good, unto them. Now the Lord make you to understand what I have writ­ten, and give you a sight of your wickednesse. And thus you have my first reason vindicated. Which is, that Infants of Christians are Christians borne, and therefore are to be bap­tized in their infancy.

The second Reason.

Anabaptist. Againe your second reason is, that children are capable of Baptisine, and your ground is from circumcision. Because chil­dren were circumcised, therefore they may be baptized in their infancy.

Answer. If children because borne under the Covenant before Christs incarnation, were therefore capable of the initiall [Page 52]seale (even by the sentence of Almighty God) because born under that Covenant, then children of Christians borne un­der the same Covenant of grace since Christs incarnation are capable of the initiall seale, and 'tis their due by virtue of their Christian birth-right. Now that the Covenant before Christ with the Jewes, and since Christ with the Christians is the same Covenant (namely. A Covenant which con­cernes mans deliverance from misery by sinne, and mans resti­tution unto happinesse by Jesus Christ) we have shewed be­fore, we will now instance only in three things. Viz.

  • 1. The Covenant of God with the Jewes before Christ caused the godly in Covenant to seek for immortality after death in heaven, as their country and abiding city for ever. Heb. 11.13, 14, 15, 16. Acts 26.6, 7, 8.
  • 2. All the ministrations of Gods Covenant with the Iewes tended to the debasement of nature, and to the ad­vancement of Gods free grace in the whole work of mans Redemption, though in types.
  • 3. All the promises that God made to the Iewes looked towards Iesus Christ, as the only Mediatour in whom all Gods promises are yea and Amen. 2 Cor. 1.20. cum Heb. 13.8. and Gen. 3.15. Christ was the subject of Moses, and the Prophets writings. Job. 1.45. And the Iewes were justified in the sight of God by the same righteousnesse of faith, as we Gentiles are justified by. Rom. 4.3.13. And this justification hath essentiall connexion with eternall salvation. Rom. 5.9, 10. And is not our Covenant the same for substance, reduci­ble to these three heads.

Quest. Why then is the Covenant said to bee a better Covenant, and established upon better promises? Heb. 8.6.

Ans. It's better only in regard of the ministration, and permanency, of which wee shall bee necessitated to speak more fully afterwards in due place.

Now if the Covenant be the same, and the manifestation of this Covenant upon persons unto the Church bee the Churches warrant to minister the initiall seale unto them; [Page 53]then if the Covenant manifested by God (unto the Church) to be upon Infants of persons in Covenant under the law was their warrant to administer the initiall seale that there God did appoint to be used, then the like manifestation is a war­rant for us to administer the initiall seale unto Infants, under the Gospell, whose parents are in Covenant. But let's consi­der your exceptions against this reason.

Anabaptist. But we deny the sufficiency of this reason to prove Infants Baptisme, and that upon this ground. 1. They differ in the in­stitution. 2. In the signes. 3. In the subjects.

1. They differ in the Institution: for the Institution of circum­cision was that infants should be circumcised, even all Abrahams lineall seed as well the seed of the bond woman, as the free; but the Institution of Baptisme is, that they should first be taught, and they that did beleeve the word might, and ought to be baptized, and not else, as we finde in all the Scripture: and therefore every ordinance must be practised upon its owne institution, and not how we please. Now the Lord would sure have made some men­tion of childrens Baptisme, if they had been the subjects of Bap­tisme, and therefore from Christs owne charge and Commission to His Disciples, Matth. 28, we are bound as strictly to observe Christs rule for Baptisme, as the Jewes were to observe the or­der of circumcision.

Secondly, they differ in the signes, ut infra.

Answer. How doe Circumcision and Baptisme differ in the institu­tion? seeing both of them are of divine institution, annexed to the Covenant of free grace, and the initiall seales thereof proper to the ministrations of Christ; for they both seale Christ unto Gods Covenant people, the one seales Christ to come, the other seales Christ already come; but both seale Christ. But to your meaning, I answer that for the instituti­on of circumcision; Abraham by the institution was not to [Page 54]bee circumcised till hee gave testimony of his faith in the Messias, but then his seed was to be circumcised in their in­fancy, before they could give any other proofe of their faith, then their being borne of parents in Covenant. And their being borne of parents in Covenant gave them right to the initiall seale, as wee have shewed before. So the Gentiles were not to be baptized (as Abraham not to be circumcised) till they did shew forth proofes of their faith. But when the parent ba entred himselfe, his children were to be baptized (as Abrahams seed were to be circumcised) before they could shew any more proofe of faith, then their being borne of pa­rents in Covenant. Christ indeed (Matth. 28.19.) gave charge, that whom His Apostles had taught, they should bee baptized; but that none should bee baptized but such as were first taught, that's your additionall, and of that you neither doe, nor can make proofe. You were answered suf­ficiently, that in raising a Church among Pagans, faith must be the doore of admittance. This was the Apostles case. But when beleeving Pagans were baptized, I desire proofe that their seed must bring a verdict of their beleeving, ere they could be baptized. Divines tell us, that Heb. 6.2. where the Apostle speakes of Baptismes, and imposition of hands: By imposition of hands the Apostle meanes a practice then in use, that such children as were baptized should after make profession of their faith, and so be admitted by imposition of hands to the Lords Supper. Now you will have profession of faith goe before, and afford such as are borne Christians no more priviledge, then meere Pagans borne out of the Church. You say that by Christs charge and Commission Matth. 28. we are bound as strictly to observe Christs rule for Baptisme, as the Jewes to observe the order of circumci­sion. Right. And therefore as Abraham was not, and no Proselyte was to be circumcised till he gave testimony of his faith, so no Alien, no Pagan, is to bee baptized till hee shew forth his faith. But as the seed of Abraham and the seed of any circumcised Proselyte were to be circumcised while In­fants, [Page 55]so the seed of baptized Pagans (while young) are to be baptized; Baptisme herein answering circumcision.

Anabaptist. Secondly, they differ in the signes, for the signe of circumci­sion was the cutting off of the fore-skin of their flesh, and that was a mark in their flesh for ever; and so the parties that were circumcised (I meane the Infants that were circumcised) could make use of the signe afterward, as well as at the present. But the signe of Baptisme is water, and so it must bee a signe to the party baptized in the present act thereof, or not at all. Now we know, that Infants cannot discerne the signe in the present act, and so consequently not at all, and so the signe is given in vaine.

Answer. What though they differ in the signes, yet they accord in the thing signified, and they both put the Covenant of grace under seale, unto the children of the Church. You reason like carnall Atheists, as if all the benefit of Sacraments lay in what is obvious to our senses. A perpetuall mark in the flesh which the circumcised (though circumcised in infancy) could after make use of. But when? When they came to years of discretion? But what if they dyed before, as many of them did? What use then could they ever make of this marke? But what marke or signe in the flesh meane you? A sacramen­tall marke or signe? Then verily a sealing signe. But what did this marke or signe in the flesh, seale unto the lineall seed of Abraham? Redemption by Christ, or the temporall in­heritance of the land of Canaan? You say the temporall in­heritance of the land of Canaan. If so, then all Abrahams lineall seed circumcised must be possessed of the land of Ca­naan, or else God must bee unfaithfull. But Abrahams seed for the space of 440 yeares were kept out of Canaan af­ter circumcision was instituted and practiced. And so by this your Divinity all this while God was a lier, and failed of His promise. And must this sacramentall signe of circumcision seale the land of Canaan unto all Abrahams lineall seed? [Page 56]Why then was Ismael and his posterity excluded? What became of Abrahams, lineall seed by Keturah? The fonnes of Jacob became 12. tribes, and the land of Canaan, was divi­ded unto them only. And yet not to all these neither. For two tribes and a halfe were setled on this side Iordan. Fye! Fye! What mad stuffe is this?

Truly hee that hath any knowledge in Divine Mysteries may see evidently, that either you read the Scriptures with­out observation, or conclude that you maintaine untruths a­gainst your owne knowledge and consciences. And then you come with another flim flam. You tell me, that water in Bap­tisme must be a signe to the party baptized in the present act, or not at all. That is, as you expound it in the case of Infants, that the party baptized must discern the signe in the present act, or else that that signe is given in vaine. And this Divinity is as spirituall as your Religion. This argues that the efficacy of Gods ordinances of grace depends upon the act of the crea­ture. In this you may shake hands with Rome, and exclude grace, and set up works. Here is much spoken of the act of man, but not a word of the Act of God in His ordinances of grace. But how doth this conclude Baptisme to be in vaine unto an Infant? You say the Infant discernes not the signe in the present act of administration. Thus you seem to argue.

Such as discerne not the sacramentall signe in the present act of administration, have the sacramentall signe given in vaine.

But Infants of Christians doe not discerne the sacramen­tall signe in Baptisme in the present action of administration; Ergo.

Infants of Christians have the sacramentall signe of Bap­tisme given in vaine.

This argument proves, that the sacramentall signe of cir­cumcision was given to the Jewish Infants in vaine also, for they could not discerne that signe as a Sacrament, for though they had bodily feeling of the cutting off of their flesh, yet they could not in the present act of administration discerne [Page 57]the signe, as sacramentall, and so our Infants have bodily feel­ing of the water too. And so your quarrell is against God, as well as against us. But as such as were borne Jewes were to have the initiall seale of the present ministration imprinted on them in their infancy to seale up the Covenant (under which they were borne) unto them, though they could have no such discerning as you seem to require in the pre­sent act of administration; so such as are borne Christians are to have the intiall seale of the present ministration imprinted on them in their infancy, to seale up the Covenant (under which they are borne) unto them, though they can have no such discerning as you require, and yet the ordinance effectu­all unto them too. I thought that Baptisme had been a conti­nuall act of Gods mercy and grace, and that the saving effica­cy and benefits thereof had not depended upon the Act of the receiver, but upon the operative mercy of God, and Merits of Christ. But it seems your Divinity shewes me a new way. But why must Infants of Christians discerne the signe of wa­ter in Baptisme, in the present act? What? Because water leaves no impression upon the body, but shortly after the act is over, the body is as dry as if it had not been washed at all? And when the child is come to yeares hee findes no visible mark upon his body, to assure him that he is sealed into Gods peculiar? Oh! Is this it? I pray what mark is there left upon your flesh, since you were washed in Severne, though you were duckt over head and eares? Is a mark in the flesh, and a sensitive discerning of the signe, the excellencies of circum­cision and Baptisme? When the Iewes came to yeares of dis­cerning. God called not for the circumcision of their flesh, but for the circumcision of their hearts. It was the mark of circumcision upon the heart that God looked upon, for many had the mark of the flesh, which were as bad as Ethio­pians. So for us Christians when wee are come to yeares of discretion, its the mark of the Spirit, and of the blood of Christ upon the heart, that God calls for, and looks upon. For a man may have the signe of water, and discerne the signe [Page 58]in the very act with the eye of his flesh, and yet be a vile A­nabaptist, deny originall sinne in Infants, deny the Christian Sabbath, and set up the Iewish, deny Christs taking flesh of the Virgin MARY, deny the power of the Magistrate, and a 1000 such like abominations; and a man be baptized in his infancy, and want your discerning; and yet when hee is come to yeares of discretion, he may be an holy and morti­fied Christian, sound in judgement, regular in all his practi­ces, and sincere in all his aimes. And therefore this your rot­ten stuffe will not serve to make a sorry garment for to co­ver your shame. But you have a third thing to alleadge, I pray speak on, that we may consider that also.

Anabaptist. Thirdly, they differ in the subjects, for the subjects of circum­cision were all Abrahams lineall seed according to the flesh, and strangers bought with his money too. And why? Because God had promised Abraham a temporall inheritance, for him and for all his lineall seed as they were borne, and circumcision was the signe thereof. But the subjects of Baptisme, as are set forth to us by Commission are only beleevers, and none else as wee finde; and therefore we may not dare to cast off the Commission of Christ, and practice of the Apostles, for to set up inventions of our owne, as an ordinance of Christ, where we have neither precept nor president for it in all the book of God. Againe, ut infra.

Answer. For the subjects of circumcision and Baptisme I know no substantiall difference, for persons, as in Covenant with God are the proper subjects of them both. Now men are brought into Gods Covenant either by instruction, or borne under this holy Covenant as the seed of persons in Covenant with God. Thus Abraham and his Proselytes became the subjects of Circumcision by profession of their faith in the Messias. But the seed of circumcised Abraham, and of the circumcised [Page 59]Proselytes were such by birth, as children of parents in Co­venant. So when the Apostles in primitive times planted foundations of the Christian faith among the Pagans. These Pagans were made subjects capable of Baptisme by instructi­on; but the seed of these baptized Pagans were capable of Baptisme by birth, as joint heires with their parents of the same holy Covenant, and that Covenant (under which they were borne) was to bee put under seale unto them. So then as Abrahams seed, and the Proselites seed, were to be cir­cumcised, when and while Infants, for Christians children are to be baptized when and while Infants; such Infants being not Infidels, ergo beleevers, as afterward you shall see in due place. And so the baptizing of Christian Infants is no inven­tion of man, but grounded on the Covenant of God with pa­rents and their children. And this the book of God warrants every where. And whereas you say, that the promise to A­braham and all his lineall seed was of a temporall inheritance, and that circumcision was a signe of that: That is false, if you meane only or chiefly of a temporall inheritance (the tempo­rall inheritance was theirs, not as temporall neither, but as ty­picall) for 1. Circumcision was a signe and seale of the righ­teousnesse of faith in the Messias. 2. The Proselytes with their children were circumcised, to whom right unto that temporall inheritance of the land of Canaan did not apper­taine. 3. Neither did it belong unto all Abrahams lineall seed, as before we have shewed.

And so all this is, as it is unsound, so fallacious and absurd.

Anabaptist. Againe, the Infants might be more capable of circumcision in their infancy, then when they were of riper age, because they here to be only patients in the act, be they great, bee they small, there was not any act required in them as we finde, but only to receive the signe upon them. But in Baptisme they must bee a­gents acting faith in the action. Againe, ut infra.

Answer. Abraham and the Proselytes who were to be first received into the Covenant, were to be agents acting faith in the A­ction of administring Circumcision, as well as Pagans at their first receiving into the Church were to be agents acting faith in the Action of administring Baptisme unto them. And as no such thing was required of the seed of circumcised Abraham, nor of the seed of the circumcised Proselytes, but circumcisi­on was administred unto them in their infancy, as the holy seed, being borne of such parents: so no such thing is to bee required of the children of baptized parents, but as holy by birth (being borne of such parents) are to be baptized in their infancy, because in their infancy God hath made them holy, and declared so much unto us. The Covenant (under which children are borne) makes them capable of the initiall seale according to the ministration under which they are borne, whether of a Saviour to come, or of a Saviour already come.

Anabaptist. Againe there is difference in the persons, for there were none but males circumcised, but wee have example of male and fe­male baptized. Further, &c. ut infra.

Answer. This is no argument at all against paedo-baptisme, for males were circumcised in their infancy, and the Covenant with the Jewes and us Christians is the same spirituall and eternall Covenant, binding to divine faith, and obedience assuring us, and them of eternall happinesse through Gods mercy in the merits of Jesus Christ. Now if Male Infants had the seale of such an inheritance and Covenant upon such spirituall grounds in Such a Saviour, binding the circumcised Infant to divine faith & universall obedience (though he could discern none of these matters) then Male-Infants of Christians (be­ing borne under the same holy Covenant of grace) are sub­jects [Page 61]capable of the initiall seale thereof, as children of pa­rents in Covenant with God, and of the holy seed by birth. So then (to exclude females) grant males to bee capable of Baptisme upon the ground of circumcision, is to con­clude against your owne principle. But all Israelites (fe­males as well as the males) stood in Gods acceptation for circumcised, as appears in the story of Sampson, who seeing a woman of the daughters of the Philistines in Timnath, fell in love with her, and spake to his Father and Mother to get her for him to wife. Then his Father, and his Mother said unto him. Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines. Judges 14.1, 2, 3. Now if the women of Israel had been reputed un­circumcised, then as good for Sampson to chuse one as well as the other, as good a woman of the daughters of the Phili­stines, as a woman of the daughters of his brethren. What cause then had his Father and his Mother to blame him for his choice? As good one uncircumcised woman as another. More of this is to be seen in our Sermon-notes, to which as yet I have received no answer. But I beleeve that this concerning females is none of your maine foundations, you build your Religion upon.

Anabaptist. Further they differ in the time, for they were to bee circum­tised the eighth day, but we have no set time for Baptisme, but when they doe beleeve, then they are to be baptized. And there­fore if you rightly consider these things and the maine differen­ces hereof, I think there is no reasonable man that understands himselfe and the Scripture, will goe about to parallell circum­cision with Baptisme in respect of the practising of it.

Answer. We shewed you out of Levit. 12.2, 3. that there was a speciall reason why the man-childe should not be circumci­sed till the eighth day. And this reason you passe by un­touched, because you couldnot answer it: And I finde no such reason why baptisme now should be forborne untill any set time. Now if circumcision had beene forborne untill the eighth day, because till then infants could not, and then they could beleeve, this were to the purpose. But I see you faulter in all things. You say much, and prove nothing. If you aske Physitians why in time of the Law infants were not to be circumcised till the eighth day? They will tell you, that untill the seventh day (being a criticall day, and so a dangerous day) were past, no wound was to be made in the flesh of a tender infant. But you say, that under the Gos­pell when persons beleeve, then they are to be baptized. But I say, that Infants of Christians in their infancie are not Insi­dels, but Saints, and of the holy seed, and therefore beleevers; and so are to be baptized in their infancy, unlesse you can shew where the Scripture calls the Infants of Gods people in Covenant Ʋnbeleevers; And therefore if you rightly con­sider these things, and the substantiall agreement betweene Circumcision and Baptisme; I thinke there is no reasonable man that understands himselfe and the Scripture, but will judge your exceptions to be frivolous, and that this Argu­ment stands firme; which is, that Baptisme is unto us, as Cir­cumcision was to the Jewes. Col. 2.11. The Covenant the same, the ends and significations the same for substance. In­fants were admittable there, Ergo here; else children in worse case since Christ, than before.

Reason 3 The third Reason.

Anabaptist. Thirdly, you seeme to draw a reason from divine Authori­ty [Page 63]for Infants baptisme, and you seeme to prove it out of Mat. 28.19. But here give us leave to tell you plainly, that you are foulely mistaken, and you wrest the Text: For Christ bids them goe and teach all Nations, and them that are taught must be baptized. For Christ doth not say, goe, and teach all Nati­ons, and so baptize all the Nation; but goe teach them. Now you know there is great difference betweene preaching to a people, and teaching of a people; for you may preach to a thousand people, and it may be not above two or three of all those taught. And therefore Christ bids teach them first, and then baptize them. But however, &c. ut infra.

Answer. My third Argument for Paedo-baptisme from Mat. 28.19. runs thus. The Commandement of baptizing is universall to the whole Church, but Infants of Christian parents are mem­bers of the Church, and therefore the command of baptizing is to be extended unto them, as before we have amply decla­ted. Now if Infants of such parents be not members of the Church, then so dying they cannot be saved; sithence none can be saved, but by Christ, and Christ came to save his Church onely: Ephes. 5.26. Wherein now (I pray) am I so fouly mistaken, and wherein doe I wrest the Text? Christ saith indeed, that such as are taught must be baptized, but Christ saith not, that none must be baptized but such as are taught. Prove that, or let this Text alone. The Text saith, baptize all in the Church, therefore Infants of baptized pa­rents, unlesse you can shew a place that exempts them. Christ doth not say, goe teach all Nations, and so baptize all the Nation: Neither did I, nor will, unlesse the whole Nati­on shall embrace the doctrine of Christ. And then the whole Nation must be baptized, and their seed after them in their infancy, as Christians by birth.

Ob. But the baptized must believe and repent. Acts 2. Matth. 3. &c.

Sol. Those Texts must bee restrained to the persons in [Page 64]hand. So 1 Thess. 3. He that labours not must not eate: i.e. men that can labour. Children though they cannot labour, yet must eate. Infants must have meate, though they know not what belongs to meate. In Painswick, children that know not what they doe, are taken Tenants by a rod or pen, by the custome of the Manour. This stands good, bindes the Lord of the Manour, and bindes the childe to Courts, and Orders, and Priviledges of the Manour. Paul challenges priviledges of Romans by birth, and children of baptized parents challenge baptisme by birth, as individuall associates with their parents in covenant. As for your descant about preaching and teaching, its a frogge of your owne slime; and were a man as sicke of body, as you are of fancies, it were high time to send to the Clerke or Sexton to tole the bell. The word [...], Matth. 28.20. shewes what Christ meanes by [...], v. 19. and Mar. 16.15. where the same commission is rehearsed, the word ΚΗΡΥΞΑΤΕ, i.e. preachthe Gospell, doth the same. The Church of Gentiles was to be raised by men and women of yeares, and when they came in, they brought in their children by course with them, as Abraham and his Proselytes did theirs. Were we disposed to shift as you doe, we might say, that in Mat. 28. they were to be made Disciples by baptizing first; because it is said in the next verse (v. 20.) [...], teaching them. And againe, it is not said, goe make disciples and baptize them, but make disciples baptizing them; to intimate, that by baptizing them they made them disciples. Chiefly con­sidering that Mar. 1.4. it's said, that John (in whom bap­tisme was first instituted) did baptize in the wildernesse, and then preach; as though he did baptize first, and then preach. Besides, to exelude such children from being disciples is harsh, sith they were borne under the Covenant, and Chri­stians by birth; and to be disciples, and to be Christians are synonymaes, Acts 11.26.

Anabaptist. But however, if this answer will not serve to confute your seeming reason, yet here is another will (I thinke) which is this; You confesse unto us that the word in the originall is Matathu­sita, that is, goe make disciples, and baptize them. Now you know who are disciples, they that believe, and these by your owne confession must be baptized, and none else from that place, nor else-where as we finde; and therefore you are much decei­ved in this reason. Againe, &c. ut infra.

Answer. If it were but a seeming reason, you should doe well to shew where the fallacie thereof lies. the word in the ori­ginall doth not unloose the joynts of my Argument: But what your monster Matathusita may doe, I know not. but for you to say that children of baptized parents are nop belie­vers, is harsh, (as we have said before) because they are borne under the Covenant, and so by birth are not infidels; therefore believers. I say that such children by birth are ei­ther believers or insidels; but not infidels, therefore belie­vers: And therefore you are much deceived in this excepti­on. And who are to come into the Church upon confessi­on, and who by birth, we have shewed you. And to raze the foundation of Paedo-baptisme that we have laid, you must have better workemen and better engines. And for you to cry out against a seeming reason, and to conclude a falleris upon so poore a ground, argues rather a rash head, than de­liberate reason.

Anabaptist. Againe, you doe plainly deserve, Mt Wynnell, to have the same scandalous terme cast upon your selfe, as you cast upon us; which was, that we were Juglers; but I submit unto any rea­sonable Judgo, whether this is not plaine jugling for you to turne your tongue and Text to your owne purpose, and preach [Page 66]that confusion, and wrest the Scripture. Nay further, &c. ut infra.

Answer. I said indeed that Anabaptists were Juglers, and this you take to your selves, and so now I know where to have you, and what to call you, though formerly you have declined the name. And for what I have herein done, I have done in love to my Nation, and doe commit the same to the view of all my brethren, and doe submit unto their censure, promi­sing to rectifie whatsoever is herein amisse, if any just blame may be found out. And I shall desire you also to maintaine Gods covenant of free grace, and to submit unto your law­full governours, which you Anabaptists refuse to doe.

Anabaptist. Nay further, you affirmed diverse times over, that conside­ring the estate and condition of the Pagan Gentiles that they were in, you said that there was no reason in the world why any of those should be baptized, without confession of Christ and the Gospel; and yet here you bring a groundlesse argument, that all the whole Nation should be baptized, where the disci­ples did preach the Gospel; yet before you affirmed, that there was no reason in the world why any of these should be baptized, before they had confessed Christ, and beleeved the Gospel. Now if this be not grosse confusion, I know not wat is. Againe, &c. ut infra.


What I said before, I will rehearse over and over againe, if that will serve your turne. And that is, that there is no reason why the Pagan-Gentiles should be baptized, untill they had given testimony of their faith in Christ; but I said, that the children of those so baptized, are holy by birth, and so are to have the Covenant put under seale by baptisme in their infancy. This is all I said, and so I spake distinctly, with­out [Page 67]confusion. The point that I insisted on was, that chil­dren borne of Christian parents are to be baptized in their in­fancy, and therefore you bring a groundlesse accusation, and make me the Author of your owne forgeries. And that I spake no such thing as this aspersion doth import, is cleare by this: viz. A near neighbour of mine (after the Sermon, against which you have brought these exceptions) came to me, and told me that you apprehended, I meant that the whole Nati­on was to be baptized upon the very bringing of the Gospell among them. I answered, I intended no such thing, but that such as were to be baptized of the Pagans, where the Apo­stles came to lay the first foundations, must give testimony of their faith, and that the children of baptized parents onely were to be baptized: And this answer was immediately re­turned unto you. But either you have forgotten, or you con­ceive that slandering may helpe your cause, when you want better arguments. And my hearers at that time, who with­out passion tooke my Sermon-notes, can note you for a slan­derer. but haply you learned that tricke of your brethren of the separation before you left them.

Anabaptist. Againe, we may casily see this overthrowne by other Scrip­tures, as Mar. 16.15, 16. There the Disciples are comman­ded to preach the Gospell to every creature; that is, reasonable creatures, and he that did beleeve was to be baptized: Now it were a strange folly in us to thinke, that Christ would so strictly charge his Disciples to preach to every creature before baptisme, if the preaching to the Nation would bring all the rest to have right to baptisme. Then the Disciples did bestow labour in vaine by this rule. Againe, &c. ut infra.

Answer. You now sight with your own shadow, and that is a strange folly indeed. And what is it that may be so easily overthrowne by other Scriptures? your owne fancy and forge­ry? [Page 68]downe with it enough, it shall have no countenance from me. But had I said as you affirme, how would that helpe your cause, or wound ours? It would have argued my weaknesse, (unlesse the whole Nation had received the Gos­pell) but not have established the grand principle of your sacrilegious religion, which is Anti-paedo-baptisme. As for that of Mar. 16.16. we shall still grant, that as such as were to be made Jewes, were first to be taught the Covenant, and then to enjoy the Seale; but such as were borne Jewes were first to be sealed, and then taught afterwards: so here Chri­stians-made must first be taught, and then be sealed; but Chri­stians-borne of those made-Christians are first to be sealed by baptisme, and afterward taught; for this Scripture doth barre children no more from baptisme, than it doth from heaven. Thus out of the Text you argue, viz.

  • He that beleeveth and is baptized shall be saved,
  • But infants doe not beleeve. Ergo
  • Infants are not to be baptized.

Thus I argue, viz.

  • He that beleeves not shall be damned, as it followeth in the Text.
  • But (say you) Infants beleeve not, Ergo
  • Infants shall be damned

Answer this and you answer you selves. Now some of your side say for answer, thus; viz. He that is of years and believes not shall not be saved, and so say I; he that is of yeares and believes not is not to be baptized. And this is all that I require, namely, that made-Christians must first te­stifie their faith before baptisme▪ but borne-Christians not so.

Anabaptist. Againe, if this Commission had been from divine authority, [Page 69]then the Apostles had not dared to omit the practice thereof: but we have not any example of one person in all the Scripture that was baptized, but what had the Gospell first preached un­to him, and did beleeve it. Againe further you say, &c. ut infra.

Answer. The non-practice of the Apostles doth not argue the non-divinity of our warrant for paedo-baptisme, from Matth. 28.19. For the businesse of the Apostles lay in planting of foundations, and in erecting of Churches, consisting of per­sons of yeares. And the Apostles baptized but a poore few of the multitudes that were converted by their ministry. 1 Cor. 1.13, 17. Now if these words Mat. 28.19. must be urged in the strict letter, then it had beene a sinne for the A­postle, not to baptize such as by his preaching he conver­ted; but this is no sinne, for then he would not have thanked God, that he baptized none of the Corinthians, but Crispus and Gaius, 1 Cor. 1.14. And yet Paul did beget the Corin­thians in Jesus Christ by his preaching. 1 Cor. 4.15. Or he made them Disciples, but baptized very few of them; and therefore the text cannot be urged in the strict letter. A­gaine, to dispute negatively from the Scripture in a matter of fact, (viz. we doe not reade that the Apostles, or any else baptized any Infants, therefore there were none baptized by any of them) is a kinde of arguing fit for fooles, not for schooles; and yet this is the onely Divinity of your Church. Upon this ground I argue upon more probable reason: We doe not reade in the story of the Church, from the Baptist to the end of the Acts, that the Apostles, or any others, did bap­tize a childe of any Christian, when he was growne up to yeares, but the baptized Christians being millions, had many children in that great tract of time, and baptized they were. Now we reade not, that it was done in their growth on pro­fession of their faith, and therefore in thei [...] infancie. Wee reade of aboundance that were converted from Jews and Pa­gans, [Page 70]who on profession of their faith were baptized, but we reade no such thing of the children of any baptized Jew or Gentile, but that such children were holy by birth. This shewes a maine difference between them and their children; viz. That such parents became children of the Church by instruction, but the children of such baptized parents were holy, and the children of the Church by birth.

Anabaptist. Againe, further you say that this Commission was partly circumstantiall, as for to goe from Nation to Nation. Wee would know how you can prove it so? by what Scripture? or where ever Christ did say so. For Christ gave this Commission in particular to his Disciples, and they were to goe unto all Na­tions to preach the Gospell, and so they did fulfill the Commis­sion that Christ gave them. And as they were to doe this, so they were to teach all Nations to observe the like rules of them, as they had from Christ: For Christ bid them to teach the Na­tions to observe whatsoever he commanded them. So they were to leave the like Commission with every Nation as they did teach. Now we see Christ commanded the Disciples to teach and make them Disciples, before they should baptize them, and so the Disciples were to teach all Nations to follow the same rule; and so the Apostle doth exhort to follow their rule and example as they left us.

Answer. Thomas Lambe your deare brother, and messenger of Jesus Christ, put apart to preach the Gospell-grace, (as he stiles himselfe in his letter to you, his brethren, and prisoners of Jesus Christ) was (as he writes in that letter) to goe to Nor­wich in February last, Anno 1641. about the Lords worke, as he had beene with you about the like worke. Now the substance of this worthy instruments commission is the Lords worke, in erecting Churches, and planting new foundations, [Page 71]but his going to Norwich, and comming to Gloucester, and Painswicke, and Cranham, is but a circumstance of this mans commission, as things concerning time and place about acti­ons, may be termed circumstances of such actions, without any text of Scripture to warrant the expression. I told you that Christs Commission in Mat. 28.19, 20. was a full Com­mission, to all Christs Ministers under the Gospell, extraordi­nary and ordinary; and that this Commission was, that the Word should be preached, and that the Sacraments should be administred; and that ordinary Pastours and Teachers in se [...]led Congregations did execute this Commission fully, though they went not from Nation to Nation, and from place to place. Now if such a circumstance may be dispen­sed withall, without violation of the Commission, then the Commission of Christ there given, bindes not all Ministers in every circumstance: For wee told you, that this being a full Commission to all the Ministers of Jesus Christ, to direct them in the worke of the Ministry: and the Mini­sters of Jesus Christ being partly extraordinary, and partly ordinary, therefore in this Commission here must be some­thing peculiar unto the Apostles (being extraordinary Mini­sters) which did not, nay, could not be found in ordinary Pa­stours and Teachers. Now ordinary Pastours must preach and baptize, as well as the Apostles. What then is peculiar to Apostles (as being extraordinary Ministers) in this Commissi­on? I answer, that it's peculiar to Apostles here (being pen­men of the Holy Ghost, inspired immediately by the Holy Ghost) to plant foundations, to deliver binding rules of faith and worship immediately from God unto the Churches, which before were not given unto the sonnes of men: By their preaching and working of miracles they were to con­vince Jewes and Gentiles, that Christ (the sonne of the Vir­gin Mary, which the Jewes did crucifie) was the true Mes­sias and Saviour of mankinde, the onely begotten sonne of God; And such as did embrace the doctrine and faith of Christ, they must baptize: And many were called unto the [Page 72]obedience of the faith, by the doctrine and miracles of the Apostles, and these did fulfill their ministery, when they had planted these foundations, and delivered the full ca­non of the Gospell unto the Churches, and so being thus planted, they did deliver over the Churches unto ordinary pastours and teachers, as holy companies in Covenant with God, whereas before they were Idolaters, and Pagans, and murtherers. Now I hope you expect not new canons of sa­cred Scriptures, you doe not expect that ordinary Ministers should work miracles The practise of the Apostles is not then to be followed in things of extraordinary priviledge, but in matters of ordinary faith and mortality. Now ordinary pa­stours finde parents in the state of Christianity, in Covenant with God, and under His seale, and therefore they doe and must baptize their children in their infancy. The strict urging of Apostolicall imitation is wicked and plaine confusion; something is here peculiar to extraordinary Ministers.

Anabaptist. Nay further you grant us, that Baptisme hath its Commis­sion from this text. Why then wee would know where and when Christ gave any Commission to alter it. If any, I pray shew it us. If none, how dare you or any man to alter and change the Commission and Commands of Christ.

Answer. I told you that Baptisme was here mentioned occasional­ly, and that it was instituted long before in John the Baptist. Neither did Apostles now begin to receive a Commission to preach and baptize, for they had received this Commission before, and they did preach and baptize. But now they had a Commission to goe unto all nations, whereas before Christs resurrection, they were to keep within the precincts of Judea. And for an alteration of the commission (by baptizing Infants of Christians) we acknowledge none, neither can you prove it an alteration, but distinguish of what is peculiar to Apostles [Page 73]in this generall Commission, and of what is common to Apostles and ordinary pastours, and you are answered. I say, in this short summe of words, we have the Apo­stolicall ministery and the pastorall ministery included. The Apostolicall ministery being extraordinary and to bee but for a time is ceased, and no ordinary Ministers are to ex­ercise such a ministery as the Apostles did, by vertue of their peculiar function, neither doe we, nor can wee expect any such Ministers, because we ought not to expect any new ca­non of holy Scripture, nor an alteration of the present Litur­gy. Heb. 8.6. The canon of the sacred Scripture is full, and the present Liturgy is to continue unto the worlds end. And therefore it's absurd and impious for you to utter such confu­sion (to use your owne phrase) and urge the Apostolicall Commission upon ordinary pastours in the strict letter. And you run it over againe and againe, and still you have the Apo­stles Commission and practice up; whereas if you look upon their Commission and practice as extraordinary and Aposto­licall, both are peculiar unto them, and to cease with them. And (as I said before) Apostles are not to be followed by us in things of extraordinary priviledge, but in matters of ordi­nary faith and morality. And so however your peevish rea­sonings may lead your selves into a fooles paradise, yet they shall never drive us from the wayes of Christ.

Anabaptist. Nay further those to whom Christ gave this Commission un­to, He said He would be with them unto the end of the world, but wee know that the Disciples lived not to the end of the world. And therefore the Commission doth still last to the end of the world. Thus for your third reason.

Answer. The Commission indeed may be meant of a succession of persons in the ministeriall function, unto the worlds end. But yet it cannot be denyed, but that somewhat in this generall [Page 74]Commission is Apostolicall, as to plant foundations▪ and to have an immediate Commission from God for to be the pen­men of the sacred canon. Ministers doe not now deliver a new canon of divine faith and worship, nor doe they prove their calling by miracles. They teach the Church of Saints on­ly that which is left them by Apostles and Prophets Ordinary Ministers preach and baptize, and God is with them, and also will be with their survivers in that holy function unto the worlds end. And thus my third reason is good, and stand it will against the strongest assaults of Satan and his wicked in­struments.

Reason 4 The fourth Reason.

Anabaptist. Fourthly you reason from the fruites and effects of Bap­tisme, saying, that God did ordinarily blesse this Baptisme unto Infants. But truly S, wee cannot but wonder at your folly in rendring such a reason as this. Well. Seeing you have rendred it, we desire to answer it. You say &c. ut infra.

Answer. To see impudency in the face of an Anabaptist, is a thing that I no more wonder at, then to see fishes in the water, or flying fowles upon the wing. And to clamour where you can­not answer, is an old trick, that haply you learned of Can (that great Cabalist for schisme) while you were of the separation, before you came to this perfection of impiety. Were I to deale with reasonable men. I should wonder to see them so bereft of all reason, as to sentence that argument folly, which the wisest in the schoole of Reason judge to bee demonstra­tive. And that is an argument drawne from the effect. Thus I argued; we baptize children in their infancy, because God doth ordinarily make our baptizing of Infants effectuall, to the ends whereunto true Baptisme is appointed in the Gos­pell. Now the ends whereunto true Baptisme is appointed [Page 75]in the Gospell, are to put on Christ, to dye unto sinne and to live unto God. And certainly God would not ordinarily give testimony to a false Sacrament, by making it effectuall to the ends whereunto a true Sacrament is appointed. If this be fol­ly, then you doe well in excepting against it, but if truth, then you have verily the old proverb, viz. That a fooles bolt is soone shot. But let us heare your answer for refutation hereof.

Anabaptist. You say it is effectuall, but we would know wherein it doth ap­peare, for we find generally all children to be as vile, and as wick­ed, when they are come to any bignesse, as any wicked men. For there is not any evill almost, but they doe shew it in their tougues or actions. And this they doe &c. ut infra.

Answer. In the amplification of this reason I told you that among us (that were baptized in infancy) we have as humble, and as meek and mortified men and women, as any among the Anabaptists, to say no more. We have those that dye dayly unto sinne, and are vexed in soule to see the abominations of others. Againe wee have those that beare upon them the marks of the Lord Jesus. Their lives are holy and lovely. They are sound in the faith, grave in their behavior, and rea­dy unto all good works. They deny themselves. They ad­vance free grace. They afflict their souldes, and seek the peace of Hierusalem. And hereof (I say) we (through Gods bles­sing) have not a few; and all these baptized in their infancy. And whereas you say, that all children generally are as vile & as wicked, when they are come to any bignesse, as any wick­ed men. I must tell you, that this your charge is unjust, wick­ed, and slanderous, for many children of godly parents among us (that were baptized in their infancy) doe manifest the gracious fruits of their incorporation into Christ by Bap­tisme, as soone as they come to any bignesse. And their spee­ches [Page 76]and actions (considering the immaturity of their age, and the corruption and frailty of mans nature) are (for the corruption and frailty of mans nature) are (for the generall tenour thereof,) gracious and lovely, though at some times, and in some particulars (being provoked and stirred) they are erroneous, and not justifiable.

Anabaptist. And this they dee still remaine untill the word of God doth work upon them, and new mould them, so that it is the word that doth change them, and not Baptisme, For wee finde, &c. ut infra.

Answer. Mortification, and rising to newnesse of life, are attribu­ted to Baptisme Rom, 6.3, 4, 5. And salvation by Jesus Christ his resurrection is attributed to Baptisme, 1 Pet. 3.21. And therefore for you to exclude Baptisme from having any stroak in the change of man from nature to grace is not to speak ac­cording to the language of the Scriptures of God. Christ doth sanctisie and cleanse His Church with the washing of water by the word. Ephes. 5.26. Here the Apostle doth joyn Baptisme, and the word as joint-instruments in mans sanctifi­cation, and therefore you are led by an anti-Apostolicall spirit in excluding Baptisme. But now you have forgotten God in your discourse, for I said, that God doth ordinarily make our baptizing of Infants effectuall to the ends whereunto true Baptisme is appointed. And now you say, that it is not bap­tisme that changeth the baptized, but the word. Well, God ordinarily by His word changeth and new mouldeth the bap­tized in their infancy, and so God by His word ordinarily makes baptisme effectuall unto persons that were baptized in their infancy. And this is that which wee would have. And thus you see that while you had forgotten God in His ordinances of grace, you forgot what you were about. And why make you such an opposition between the word prea­ched and the Sacraments, seeing both are the word of God? [Page 77]The word preached is the word audible, and the Sacraments are the word visible, both the word of God to the fitting of His elect for Heaven. Wee baptize with water, that's our duty: but it's Christ that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. We catechise and preach, but it's God that makes His word effe­ctuall to the ends whereunto it's appointed. God must bee look't upon in all His ordinances, as a wise worker that makes them all helpful unto one another, and one must not exclude another. The Infants of the Jewes were circumcised in their infancy, but that Sacrament became a long time afterward effectually by the instruction of their teachers. Shall we now for this cause exclude circumcision as ineffectuall, because God made it not effectuall unto them until a long time after by the instructions of their instructours? Answer this and the pro­portion will hold in paedo-baptisme. It's wild divinity to say, that an ordinance is not to bee used, unlesse it take effect presently.

Anabaptist. For wee finde them to shew forth as bad fruites after their Baptisme, as the vilest creatures that bee, so that, if wee should judge of their Baptisme by their fruits before they come to understand the word of God, wee may justly say, that their Baptisme was abominable by its evill fruits. I say, if we should judge any thing of the effect of their Baptisme, then this wee may judge of it. But wee will bee sparing in our censures, al­though from your affirmation we might justly conclude so. Yet, I say, we will be sparing in that, and impute those evill fruits and effects (that are in children after Baptisme) unto their cor­rupted nature, and their Baptisme to bee ineffectuall by its fruits. And therefore by all this well considered, we may see it is the word that makes the change in the children and others. and not their baptisme. Thus we plainly see, that it is the word that makes them fit for Baptisme, and not their parentage.

Answer. We find not all baptized children of Christian parents as bad as this your wicked charge doth import. Nay there are creatures worse then the worst of them, and therefore you are a false accuser and unjust slanderer, and you cannot make it good. But you have forgotten the businesse in hand again, I told you that God did ordinarily make our baptizing of In­fants effectuall to the ends, whereunto true Baptisme is ap­pointed in the Gospell. And this the Lord may doe, though the most of those that we baptize in their infancy prove vi­tious in their conversation, and but few of them religious; as long as the Lord doth it ordinarily, i. e. by ordinary meanes and usually, as by His word and ordinances in His Church, for what else can you understand by the word [ordi­narily?] I say, as long as the Lord doth thus ordinarily make our baptizing of Infants effectuall to the proper ends of true Baptisme, appointed in the Gospell, though but to a few of the baptized, our argument stands good. And you can no more conclude from the vitiousnesse of the baptized in in­fancy, that that practice of baptizing Infants is abominable, then you may from the vitiousnesse of the Jewes, that their circumcision in their infancy was abominable, because there were but few of them, unto whom God ordinarily made it effectuall to the proper ends, whereunto it was appointed in the word, for among them there were but few that did be­leive in the Messias, & yield obedience unto Gods holy Law in heart and life. And now how just your conclusion is from my premises, let all men see. And no wonder that you make my premises speak what you please. And should we judge of your Baptisme by your fruits, i. e. by your doctrine and te­nents, (for that is the true meaning of Matth. 7.16. as you may see clearely evinced by the verse immediately going be­fore.) I say, should a man judge of the Baptisme of Anabap­tists by their doctrine and tenents, he could not but conclude, [Page 79]that your Baptisme is a most abominable and execrable thing (though you are adulti before you are adulti before you are baptized.) For Ana­baptists deny originall sinne in Infants, and hold a bundle of heresies, as you may see in Osianders Enchiridion of contro­versies with Anabaptists. And the most strict in your religion are the most vile, and God doth not ordinarily make your Baptisme effectuall to the proper ends, whereunto true Bap­tisme is appointed in the Gospell. And whereas you say that we may see, that it is the word that makes children and o­thers fit for Baptisme, and not their parentage, I think herein you say you know not what, in making an opposition be­tween the word and parentage, if by parentage, you meane Christian parentage, if not, you speak not to the point in hand. We say that the word fits all for Baptisme. The word of instruction in the Covenant makes the alien fit for Baptisme, and the word of the Covenant makes children of baptized parents fit for Baptisme, as the word of instruction made A­braham and his Proselytes fit for circumcision, but the word of the Covenant made their children fit for circumcision in their infancy. Gen. 17.9.

Anabaptist. Againe, God suffered the Patriarches to live in the sinne of malignity for a time, through their ignorance, yet God did blesse them, and passe it by, but this is no warrant for us to sinne wilfully against the light, nor ignorantly for want of seeking light. Againe &c. ut infra.

Answer. But how comes this in? How doth this batter my reason and assertion? Oh! I cry you mercy. I apprehended not your meaning at the first. Your meaning is, that the Church of Christ hath sinned in baptizing Infants of Christian parents, and that God passed it by, because they did it ignorantly, for want of light. But now since Lambe your Founder, and you hid Disciples have brought it into, and set it up in the Coun­trey, [Page 80] viz. that none must be baptized untill they give testi­mony of their faith and repentance. All (though hitherto they have baptized children in their infancy) must hence­forth forbeare that practice, if not, they sinne wilfully agianst the true light that you have brought, or at least ignorantly, if they will not seek unto your light for direction. And so my argument is not worth a straw, for albeit God hath hitherto made our baptizing of Infants effectuall to the proper ends, whereunto true Baptisme is appointed in the Gospell▪ be­cause wee did it ignorantly before this light came into the countrey, but now you (as a new Apostle) can tell us, that God will doe so no longer. If this bee not your meaning. I know not how this story can argue against this fourth reason of mine. And most probable, this is your meaning, for it suits well with your former blasphemies; for when you fell upon this course of rebaptizing, you were wont to say usually to your old acquaintance, that we are bound to blesse God for the comming of this light amongst us. However if this bee your meaning (as I am confident it is) yet in this you are de­ceived, for the devill did set up this light heretofore in the countrey. And God did put it out againe, And so yours must out too, as soone as it hath led as many wanderers into the bogges, as God hath appointed it unto.

Anabaptist. Againe you condemne many grosse things, that have been practiced in the Church of England, as the ceremonies, and the admitting of drunkards and uncleane persons, and such like to Sacraments. This you know was not right, as appears by your confession and practise. Now God hath suffered this a long time, and what, shall wee therefore say that God approved of these things? Nay; if you will, so it is: But wee will not con­clude so. For our lives we dare not. Why then the case is all one, and therefore this is no ground at all.

Answer. They say that a professed begger is never out of his way; And there is a kind of reasoning which wee call beggery in Schooles, and then it's used Petitio principij in disputationibus, when the opponent is drawne so drye of arguments, that un­lesse the answerer grant him some absurd principles, hee can maintaine the opposite part no longer. And so I thinke you have almost run your selfe out of breath, and now unlesse I will acknowledge, that the baptizing of Infants is a grosse practise in the Church of England, you can say no more a­gainst this reason. The baptizing of Infants in the Church of England must have no more warrant from the word of God, then the admitting of drunkards to the Lords table. But if I will not grant you this ex favore, you cannot prove it. And surely should I grant you this, I should bee a man of as little conscience, as you are of reason. It's one thing for God to suffer things in a Church, and another thing to make an ordi­nance effectuall by His ordinary concurrency. And the godly (in all reformed Churches) that have bewailed the things you mention, have still defended as well by practiced paedo-baptisme, and now to this day doe still the same. As for the ceremonies I dare not conclude, that their use is a grosse and sinfull practice, but leave them to every mans conscience to use or not to use, as God shall give liberty or put restraint.

Anabaptist. Further you bring us the example of wise and learned men which doe hold for Infants Baptisme. We answer, that possible it is for wise and learned men (as any are upon the earth) for to be blind and ignorant, concerning some things in the worship and service of God. As for instance. Apollos. Act. 18.24. He was an eloquent man and mighty in the Scripture, and yet this man was deceived about the same point of Baptisme, for he only knew the Baptisme of John, and we see Aquila and Priscilla a couple of private persons did teach and instruct this wise man in the perfect way of the Lord. And so also Nicodemus Ioh. 3. [Page 82] he was a Ruler among the Jewes, and when Christ said he must be borne againe, he thought he must have gone into his mothers wombe againe; see where this were wisedome in this man. And of Balaam, he was counted a wise man and a Prophet, and yet his Asse could see that which he could not; for his Asse percei­ved the Angell of the Lord in the way, when he went to curse the people, when Balaam himselfe could not see him. And so diverse other examples in Scripture we have to the same pur­pose, and therefore this argument is no good argument.

Answer. If it be possible for wise and learned men to be blinde, and ignorant concerning some things in the worship and service of God, then it's very probable that fooles, and unlearned men may be blinde, and ignorant concerning some things, in the worship and service of God much more. But your mea­ning is, that you have a priviledge of not erring: That in­deed is a thing that your Church holds. And why say you that Apollos was deceived about the same point of baptisme? and that Aquila and Priscilla, a couple of private persons, did instruct him in the perfect way of the Lord? Was it paedo-baptisme that Apollos was deceived about? If not, how the same point of baptisme? For the point in controversie betweene you and us is paedo-baptisme: And what meane you in saying, that Apollos was instructed in the perfect way of the Lord by Aquila and Priscilla, a couple of private persons? That your way of baptizing is the perfect way of the Lord, and that Ministers must be instructed by you (being private persons) in this point? And for Nicodemus you doe well to wonder where his wisdome was, when he talked so carnally of regeneration, as if hee were to returne unto the state of infants-unborne, before he could be truely regenera­ted: as we wonder where your wisedome was, when you talked so carnally of baptisme, as if you (Christians by birth, and baptized in your infancie) must returne into the state of Pagans and Infidels, and so come into the Church by confes­sion, [Page 83]before you could be truely baptized. And what talke you of Balaam, that went to curse the people of God, and of his Asse that saw the Angell of the Lord in his way? It must be granted, that you are the people of God, and that I am Balaam that curse you, because I preach against you. But are you mine Asse that see the Angell of the Lord, viz. your baptisme in my way? Surely they are silly fooles that will ride upon Asses, where Horses are so plentifull. I have many good books to enforme me, and many grave Ministers, learned and godly to advise withall, if need were. And I must tell you, that I am so farre from scrupling about paedo-baptisme, that I see the impression of the Holy Ghost upon it. But to what purpose all this is alleadged by you (here in this place) I know not. it shewes onely that men may erre, and so may you. And now let all men see your folly in charg­ing me of folly for rendring of this reason.

Reason 5 The fift and last Reason.

Anabaptist. Also you bring the practise of true Churches against us, but this argument is as weake as the others. For we have exam­ples in Scripture of true Churches that have beene deceived in some things, and held grosse things and great disorders, and yet true Churches too; as the seven Churches of Asia, most of which held grosse things, and so the Church of Corinth, with others. Therefore we see it possible and practicall for true Churches to be out.

Answer. Your meaning is, that all other true Churches (as you call them) are out in this point of baptisme, and that you onely are right. This is a very compendious and pithy refutation of the argument drawne from the example of other true Churches. But looke upon this argument in my Sermon-notes, and you shall finde that the matter will not be so ea­sily [Page 84]put off, as you seeme to intimate. For in this last reason I said, that we baptize children of Christian parents, because it's the practice of other reformed Churches, which God hath blessed in that way, with great increase of heavenly gifts. Now if we should forbeare baptizing of infants, by vertue of a divine restraint, then we should lay iniquitie up­on whole Kingdomes, and godly societies, where Paedo-baptisme is practised: And this would make a mighty divi­sion, rent, and schisme betweene us and other true Churches, with whom we should endeavour to hold communion and fellowship as companies of Saints, that stand as immediately under Christ, as our selves. Now you will say, that

  • In sinne we are not to hold communion with other Churches,
  • But to hold communion with other Churches in the practice of Paedo-baptisme, is to hold communion with other Churches in sinne. Ergo
  • We are not to hold communion with other Churches in the practice of Paedo-baptisme.

Prove (say they) that baptizing of infants is a sinne. We prove it thus, say you.

  • To baptize those that are not baptizable is a sinne.
  • But infants of baptized parents are not baptizable. Ergo
  • To baptize infants of baptized parents is a sinne.

Well, you will prove the assumption thus: viz.

  • Onely beleevers are baptizable.
  • But infants of Christians are not beleevers. Ergo
  • Infants of Christians are not baptizable.

They now will tell you that the minor proposition is false, for the Scripture doth no where terme persons unbeleevers, for the habit of unbeliefe negatively, but for the habit of un­beliefe positively. And to be a beleever (in your sense) is re­quisite unto baptisme for a made-Christian, but not for a [Page 85]borne-Christian. And to say, that infants of Christians are not beleevers is absurd: And therefore however you may seeme to passe over this argument as a sleight thing, you shall sinde there was more weight in it, than ever you can answer. But you say well (however) in saying that this argument of mine is as weake as the others, I beleeve it indeed: and so as the others doe stand upon such a foundation, as you cannot undermine, so let this. And now let all men see how well your boasting, and your answering doe agree together, for you have boasted up and downe that you have answered all mine arguments, and I thinke all as well as any. But let us now proceed, and consider your miscellance rhapsodie, that followes in your papers.

Anabaptist. Againe, there is as much controversie among you Mini­sters, concerning who should be baptized, as it is betweene you and us. For you, and Mr Cape [...], and Mr Marshall, and diverse others of the best Ministers doe hold, that all the children with­in the Nation should be baptized: and the Ministers of New-England, and other reformed Churches doe hold, that none should be baptized but the children of beleevers, who are judg­ed to be beleevers at least. Now here is as much difference a­mong you, as between you and us: And therefore we may just­ly say, goe and reconcile your selves, and you may doe the bet­ter with us. For if we should yeeld unto you, we cannot tell to which of you to turne unto; whether to you that hold all to be baptized, or those that hold some to be baptized. But the truth is, unlesse you give us better grounds then any yet we see, we shall turne to neither of you, with Gods helpe to strengthen us.

Answer. We all agree in the point of Paedo-baptisme, namely, that children of beleevers are to be baptized in their infancie, and so in this point the difference is not so wide, as betweene you and us. Herein you lay a false imputation upon us, a thing [Page 86]too frequent in you, and that which your conscience can well dispense withall, as appeares by your usuall practice: and whether you turne to us, or New-England, you must turne from your owne way. Our agreement is such, that we are all one in the point of Paedo-baptisme against you. We (in this Land) hold, that children of all baptized parents are baptizable in their infancie, by vertue of the Covenant of Grace, under which such children were borne, as children of all circumcised parents were circumcisable in their infancie, by vertue of the same Covenant of Grace, under which they were borne; and this is the opinion and practice of all re­formed Churches that I know, as the French, Scottish, Dutch, High and Low, &c. But what they doe in New-England, I know not. The Records of their Church orders and tenents are not in print. But they which say they follow New-Eng­land way, will not baptize all children of beleevers neither, except they be in their Covenant. Except beleevers enter into their Covenant, they shall have no commons with them at the Lords table, neither shall their children be baptized by them. But their warrant for this practice we desire to see, for we think it unjust and impious, that persons under Gods Co­venant of Grace, should be deprived of gods seales, which he hath inseparably annexed unto that Covenant. And more­over, for them to deny baptisme unto children of baptized parents, I see no reason, though such parents are vitious in their lives, as long as such parents remaine within the Church, and are orthodox all in the faith. I am sure that the children of the Jewes (whose parents were profane in life) were not kept backe from the Sacrament of circumcision, for that cause; And the reason is, because that Covenant was the Covenant of Grace, and not of Workes. There are two Covenants that God hath made with men, viz. the Covenant of Workes, and the Covenant of Grace. And of these Covenants there were two heads, namely, the first Adam, and the second Adam: With the first Adam God did strike a Covenant of Workes; and Adam the head of this [Page 87]body in Covenant did transgresse, and so destroyed the Co­venant, and thereby deprived himselfe, and all his mem­bers of the priviledges thereof, and so death entred upon all m [...]n, in that all had sinned in their Head. With the se­cond Adam, viz. Christ, God did strike a Covenant of Grace; and Christ the head of his body in this Covenant re­maines just, and the justifier of his members; and therefore his members cannot be deprived of the priviledges of this Covenant, for the default of immediate parents. Now for th [...]se men in this way (as they say) of New-England, to put a stop unto the Covenant of Grace; in denying baptisme un­to children of baptized parents, I see no warrant. For first, This practice destroyes the nature of this Covenant. For the parents by their miscarriage have broken the Covenant of Workes, but not the Covenant of Grace; this remaines en­tire in Christ, who is the head of the children borne under this Covenant. And these children, though by naturall ge­neration they are the off-spring of such wicked parents, yet by reason of the Covenant under which they were borne, they are the children of the Covenant. This practice then is a presumption of an higher nature than these men are aware off: And albeit their intent be a reformation, yet the meanes is diabolicall. Secondly, This practice doth vertually accuse Christ the Head, as a violater of this Covenant of Grace; for as long as the Head remaines just, and the justifier of his members, his members are not to be debarred of their privi­ledges whereof under the Gospell Baptisme is the first. And the vitious carriage of immediate parents, can no more ex­clude a childe from Baptisme now, than could formerly the vitious carriage of Jewish parents, exclude their children from the priviledge of Circumcision. Now some (to evade this) say, that the Church of the Jewes was a Nationall Chruch, but the Church of England is not so. But this is but a meere shift to evade what they cannot answer, for Proselytes who were not of that Nation, were to have their children circumcised, and circumcision was enjoyned and [Page 88]practised before the Jewes were a Nationall Church, even when and while they were a Family-Church. But to the point, I say that the Church of the Jewes was a Nationall Church in some things after a peculiar manner; as First, God had tyed himselfe to remaine with that Nation by his Ordinances of grace, untill Shiloh came. Secondly, that Na­tion was once a yeare (in the representative body thereof) to meet at one common place, (viz. at Hierusalem) about the worship of God by divine appointment. Now God hath not tyed himselfe to the Church of England for any set terme of time; nor is there by divine appointment any set place of worship for the whole Nation to meet in once a yeare, about the worship of God. But thirdly, the Church of the Jewes was a Nationall Church, because the whole Nation had received the Doctrine and Covenant of grace, and in this sense I hope England is a Nationall Church. And if in this sense the Church of England be a Nationall Church, that's as much as I require. But surely these men have some other meaning (when they say that the Church of the Jewes was a Nationall Church, and the Church of England is not) than as yet they dare to utter, (though among them you shall seldome finde a man tongue-tyed.) Their meaning is, that the whole Nation of the Jewes pell-mell, were by course to be admitted to the priviledges of that typicall ministration, and so the children of vitious parents too, because of that Nation; but under the Gospell since Christ, onely the chil­dren of godly parents are to be sealed into Gods peculiar by baptisme, and others are not; and here they would bring in their Covenant as the forme of the Church: But the chil­dren of the Jewes were not circumcised because of that Na­tion, but because of gods Covenant with that Nation. And so our children are not to be baptized because of such a Na­tion, but because of Gods Covenant with such a Nation; and the children of all baptized parents are borne under Gods Covenant of grace, and whether their parents be vitious or [Page 89]religious in life, the childes title stands good to the Cove­nant. The religious lives of his parents (being workes) doe not entitle him to the Covenant and initiall seale thereof. And the vitious life of parents baptized (being workes) can­not make voyde the childes title to the Covenant and initiall seale thereof. For his title unto the Covenant and initiall seale thereof lies in Christ, who remaines just, and the justi­fier of his members; and the elect seed may passe through the loynes of vitious parents, and often doe, whereas godly parents may have reprobates to their children. If then these men have any thing to object against Christ, as a violater of the Covenant of Grace, let them say on, and they shall bee answered; but if nothing, how dare they deny the initiall seale of this Covenant unto the children of this Covenant. Now many honest-hearted Christians carried away with the faire shew of these men, doe not see the high iniquity of this practice. 3. The practice of debarring infants of baptized parents from baptisme, for the loose lives of their parents is no better than high sacriledge: For such children being not Pagans, borne out of the Church, but Christians, borne with­in the Church, and of the holy seed; borne (I say) under the Covenant of Grace, are therefore to have (as their birth­right) that Covenant under which they were borne, put un­der seale unto them For the miscarriage of the parents can­not deprive the children of their portion in Gods Covenant of Grace; seeing workes are not the ground of that right of theirs, but Gods free grace in Christ: and the childe hath as primitive a right unto this Covenant as the parent. For the words of the Covenant are, I will be they God, and the God of thy seed after thee in their generations. And therefore, how­ever vitious parents are to bee kept backe from the Lords Supper for their reformation, yet their infants cannot be kept backe from Baptisme, and so put a stop unto the Cove­nant of Grace, where God puts none. Fourthly and lastly, as this is a new way, so it's grounded upon new-Divinity, which none of the orthodox Divines in the Church of Eng­land [Page 90]were ever principled in, in the Schooles of the Pro­phets; for if that the personall sinne of the immediate parent be a barre against insants baptisme, then there are more sins imputed besides the first sinne of Adam; but there is no other sinne imputed, but onely the first sinne of Adam. And thus you see that I am as great an adversary against those whose practises doe any way oppugne the nature of the Co­venant of Grace, as I am against you. For my purpose is to maintaine the quarrell of Gods Covenant against all oppo­sers, as 'tis my duty and office, and I hope my Brethren and Fathers in the Universities and in the Countrey, will assoord me their pious ayde and assistance. And that all good Chri­stians will beseech God at the Throne of Grace, to carry on His owne worke in me, and in all that shall endeavour to hold forth the Truth of God unto His people, that godly hearts and tender consciences may not bee mis-led by the good words and faire speeches of Satans agents. And for you that are carried away into this way of re-baptizing, the Lord give you to see where you are. And for those of the Separation, the Lord shew them wherein they doe exceed, for their wayes are not right before the Lord, nor justifiable by His Word. And now for you to say that you will turne neither to us, nor to those of New-England, unlesse you see better grounds; We must tell you, that you must bring bet­ter exceptions against the grounds that wee have laid for Paedo-baptisme, or else we must conclude that you blas­pheme the Name of God, in desiring his helpe for to strengthen you in your way.

Anabaptist Againe, you alleadge the qualisications of some men that hold against as, which (you say) are as good as any of the Anabap­tists, and as loving is one another as any of the other side: But this we confesse may be. But Sir, this doth ill appeare some­times, for there be some of your coate that are ready to bite and devoure one another, for a small triste many times, and [Page 91]that good men too, for which they are too blame.

Answer. To what end I alleaged the qualifications of good men, you may see in my fourth reason; and what doth all this prove? But that good men, yea Ministers sometimes have their failings, for which (you say well) they are too blame. But what? This is one of your expletives, to fill up your pa­per, and to make your answerer work.

Anabaptist. Nay you said further, that they were as humble as the prou­dest Anabaptist of them all. Now S [...], you did well to compare the best of your selves to the worst of them, For wee ac­count him that is proudest, to bee the worst man of them. And you compare your humble men with our proud men, but we passe by this, and take it only to be your mistake in the heat of your expressions and not any way to bee the meaning of your in­tentions.

Answer. If I said any such thing, I was mightily overseen indeed, for Anabaptists are all so proud, as if each particular strove for the supremacy. And I was much mistaken in you also, for I thought you had been truly burthened in conscience, and would only have alleadged such things, as might have ten­ded to the satisfaction of conscience about paedo-baptisme, but now I see nothing but scorning, and sleighting of what you cannot [...]fell. I pray pardon me this mistake too. But it should seem, that this merry passage is none of the arguments you build your faith upon, but passe it by as a null, and judge it a mistake in the heat of expressions, as wee judge of your baptizing in Severne to bee a null, and mistake in the heat of your fiery zeale, and therefore you chose so cold a season, and so great a river to allay it.

Anabaptist. Further you demand of us, where we can bring any example of any Church gathered, that did deny Infants Baptisme. But we will quickly answer you that we have no example of any Church gathered or ungathered, that did baptize their Infants. And so your question is frivolous, and as you said to us, wee re­turne the like to you; where the Holy Ghost hath no tongue, wee will have no eare.

Answer. You say, no Church gathered or ungathered doth baptize Infants, but ere now you speak of reformed Churches, and here no Church baptizeth Infants. Your meaning is, that Baptisme is the forme of a Church, and so no Baptisme, no Church, and Baptisme of Infants is no Baptisme; as though you were members of no Church, till you were baptized. If of no Church, then no members of Christ, and so dying not to be saved, but haply I mistake your meaning. You confesse that you can bring no example of any gathered Church in the new Testament that did deny Baptisme unto Infants, whose parents were baptized, and in the state of Christiani­ty. Neither doth the Holy Ghost any where in the new Te­stament either expressely, or by necessary deduction deny Baptisme unto such children. And therefore Anabaptists in denying Baptisme unto children of baptized parents are not therein led by the Spirit of God. The Holy Ghost speakes expressely, that children even of one beleeving parent are Saints. 1 Cor. 7.14. and no such thing was predicated of any Gentiles children, before faith in Christ put that honour upon them, and yet many, yea most of them borne in wed­lock. And Lamb your Master doth acknowledge the married spoken off, 1 Cor. 7.14. to bee married, nay lawfully mar­ried before faith came to make either their marriage or chil­dren holy. Look upon his letter, and you shall find, that either [Page 93]he speakes that, or plaine non-sense. But I have had speech with your Master already about his judgement upon this text, and I think that (if your Master will be but ingenous) we are agreed. But you his Disciple have gotten another trick to put the Holy Ghost to silence here, in this text. (As the proverbe is, seldome comes a better, a bad Master, and a worse Scholler.) You talke of Childrens being holy in the Apostles estimation. Happily you have gotten that old Po­pith shift, that the Papists are wont to have against Pauls writings. They say that all Pauls writing is not to be taken for the holy Canon, because Paul saith, not the Lord but I, not I but the Lord. And in that you said that children were holy in the Apostles estimation, I suppose you rested upon that rotten prop of Popery. And so you will have the Holy Ghost to have no tongue where you will have no eare; for the Holy Ghost speakes as well by necessary deductions, as in expresse words, and the Holy Ghost hath a tongue in the true sense of the Scripture, as well as in the expresse letter. But you have said enough, you confesse you have no example in the new Testament, where Baptisme was ever denied unto Infants of baptized parents, neither have you any Command or Commission from Christ our only Monarch, and Law gi­ver for denying of Baptisme, unto Infants of baptized pa­rents. And therefore you doe not derive your power from Christ the King of the Church, but from the devill in so do­ing

Thus I argue from this ground.

  • Such as deny Baptisme unto persons, to whom Christ denies it not, are from the devill, and not from Christ.
  • But Anabaptists deny Baptisme unto persons to whom Christ denies it not. Ergo
  • Anabaptists are from the devill, and not from Christ.

The assumption may thus be proved irrefragably.

  • Infants of baptized parents are persons to whom Christ denies not Baptisme.
  • [Page 94]But Anabaptists deny Baptisme unto Infants of baptized parents, Ergo.
  • Anabaptists deny Baptisme to persons to whom Christ denies it not.

Now bring forth any Commission from Christ, where Baptisme is denied unto Infants of baptized parents. If you can bring no such thing forth (as indeed you cannot) then let all men know, that you are from the devill, and not from Christ, in denying Baptisme unto such Infants. And so you set up the devill, and not Christ in that practise. For Christ hath no proviso in His Commission for Baptisme, wherein the Infants of baptized parents are denied. Shew us any place in the new Testament where Christ saith either expressely or by true deduction, you shall not baptized parents. See then whom you serve, and whence you derive your power: even from the devill. Now take the same wea­pons and sight against us, and argue thus against us. Viz.

  • Such as administer Baptisme unto persons, to whom Christ denies it, are from the devill and not from Christ.
  • But Ministers of the Church of England administer Bap­tisme to persons unto whom Christ denies it, Ergo
  • Ministers of the Church of England are from the devill, and not from Christ.

Wee will deny your minor proposition, and you will prove it thus; viz.

  • Infants of baptized parents are persons, unto whom Christ denies Baptisme.
  • But Ministers of the Church of England administer Bap­tisme unto Infants of baptized parents; Ergo
  • Ministers of the Church of England administer Baptisme unto persons that Christ denie it unto.

Now the major proposition of the this later Syllogisme is [Page 65]false, and it cannot possibly be made good by the Scripture. Make that good, and the day is yours, I say, make this good, viz. That Christ in His Gospell doth any where deny Bap­tisme unto Infants of baptized parents, and then we will ac­knowledge that you have your power (of debarring Infants of baptized parents) from Christ; the which untill you doe we will look upon you, as persons that have your Commis­sion from the devill, and not from Christ. And wee in bapti­zing Infants of baptized parents are in the way of Christ, and have our Commission from Him, and He will defend us from your virulent rage, and blesse our ministery.

Anabaptist. Next you seem to say something concerning the Covenant, and you bring us the example of the Church of the Ephesians, which were Jewes and Gentiles converted, and brought out of the miserable estate that they were in before, and now be­ing converted they were engrafted into Christ, not before, but now being in a new condition; yet those priviledges that are there spoken to the Church of the Ephesians, which were all con­verts; I say you make these priviledges and benefits that they were partakers of, to belong to the whole nation of Pagan, Jew, and Gentile in their naturall condition, which is most grosse wresting of the text, and much prejudice to the priviledge of the Gospell. And likewise that place 1 Cor. 12. concerning being baptized into one spirit, which priviledge you attribute to all before conversion, which was only peculiar to the converts of the Church of Conrinth, and therefore pray take heed how you wrest the Scripture to accomplish your owne humours.

Answer. I said in opposition to the state of the Pagan Gentiles, that the condition of the Gentiles, where the Gospell is imbra­ced, and they baptized, is not now the same in point of religi­on, for now in Jesus Christ wee who were sometimes farre off are made nigh &c. Ephes. 2.13.22. And by one spirit [Page 96]are we all baptized into one body whether wee be Jewes or Gentiles. 1 Cor. 12.13. And whether this bee not faithfull dealing with the Scripture, let the texts by your selfe alleadg­ed judge. Did I at all make any mention of persons in their naturall condition, or say that the priviledges of the Gospell did belong to the whole nation before conversion? Fye! Fye! Is this faire dealing? I spake no more, nay not so much, as is expressely written in the texts alleadged. But somewhat your venemous tongues must utter, and if you cannot wound our cause, you wil traduce our persons. Our question was about paedo-baptisme, and we conveighed and contrived the mat­ter in these termes; viz. whether children of holiest parents even in purest Churches are to bee baptized in their infancy? And we propounded the question of purpose in these termes, that we might come directly to the point. And therefore all that you say in this cavill is rather ad personam, then adrem. The like false aspersion you east upon me before, and there you are answered. And so to answer here were but to answer you in your folly. And now what humour you are here led by let the reader judge.

Anabaptist. Further, you would know whether the Covenant be not soci­all; we answer, that it's sociall in respect of the durance or con­tinuance of it. As thus, that it is to all generations unto the end of the world, or else, woe unto us, if wee are left without a Covenant or Promise. For if the Promise had ceased, then what hopes had there been for us, the force of the Promise con­cerning what God is and will be to his people doth still last unto the end. But the seales, &c. ut infra.

Answer. The Covenant of Grace that God hath made with His people is this, viz. I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed. This Promise is to parents and children jointly, as compani­ons and fellow-sharers of the same blessings promised, and [Page 97]because parents, and children are joined together, as fellow­heires of the same mercy, therefore we termed the Covenant sociall; and you confesse that the force of the Promise, con­cerning what God is, and will bee to His people, doth last still, unto the end of the world, and that this Covenant in re­spect of it's durance or continuance is sociall, even to all ge­nerations. Very good. Then as Abraham, and his Prose­lytes had their children in Covenant, put under the initiall seale in their infancy, so are Christians to have their children put under the initiall seale in their infancy, ut socij promissio­niscum parentibus. And in this I confesse you goe beyond your Master, though yet you doe not come off clearely in the businesse; but goe on, let us heare your restriction.

Anabaptist. But the seales and peculiar priviledges belong only to belee­vers. Gal. 3.22. Rom. 4.13, 14. with Rom. 9. compared with Gal. 3. and Gal. 4. and so in this respect the peculiar benefits; and priviledges of the Covenant are personall, and unto belee­vers. For, &c. ut infra.

Answer. You meane that the saving benefits of this Covenant, and the inward Grace signified, and assured by the outward seales doe belong only to beleevers, and true converts indued with renuing grace in Christ, their mysticall head. And so it was under the Law likewise, for Israel was as the sand of the Sea, yet a remnant saved, and many are called, but few are chosen. Few were indued with saving grace of the multi­tude that were put under the seale of the Covenant. And the Law was nothing but Christ vailed, as the Gospell is Moses unvailed. The Covenant is the same, which is, that the seed of the woman shall break the Serpents head. Gen. 3.15. And that Covenant (being made on occasion of mans fall in A­dam) did concerne mans deliverance from thraldome under sinne, and mans restitution unto happinesse by Christ, the [Page 98]seed of the woman. And now were your availe to establish your purpose, then God did very ill in commanding children to be sealed in their infancy, seeing then they could exercise no faith, nor manifest the same unto others, and yet were to receive a type of Christ upon their flesh. But you seeme to bring a reason to confirme what you here say; let us heare it I pray, that we may consider it, what weight there is in it.

Anabaptist. For the Covenant is now established upon better promises, Heb 8.6. and to better subjects; for then it was to all lineally, though unbeleevers might have the signe of Circumcision, but the promise of the Gospell is onely to beleevers, as I finde.

Answer. The Apostle doth not say, that our Covenant is better than that which God made with Adam after his fall, Gen. 3.15. nor better than that which God made with Abraham, Gen. 17. but better than the Covenant that God made with the Jewes in the day, when he tooke them by the hand to leade them out of Egypt, Heb. 8.9. And why better than that? Because established upon better promises. Upon what promises was Gods Covenant with the Jewes established, when he delivered them out of Egypt? Upon the promises of the peoples obedience, Exod. 19.3, 8. But in this Cove­nant they continued not, but soone brake it, and so God re­garded them not. This Covenant was yet needfull, that man might hereby see his owne inability, and his great need of a Saviour, to satisfie for his sinne; and to repaire mans nature by changing his heart and minde, and so freely to justifie his person; and this is the Covenant established upon better promises. Heb. 8.10, 11, 12. The people would obey God immediately, and they would heare God immediately in­structing them in his Law. They thought they could have done all readily without the helpe and mediation of ano­ther. [Page 99]But they were soon wofully convinced of their pride, and soone saw they the necessity of a Saviour, and so they chose Moses a type of Christ, Exod. 20.18, 19. And so God by the hand of Moses gave them a threefold law, as in the hand of a Mediatour; for the two tables of the law which God (vivâ voce) delivered unto the people on Mount Sinai, Moses brake on the occasion of the peoples Idolatry, Exod. 32. Which tables, albeit they contained the perfect rule of righteousnesse, yet in that the people entred into Covenant with God, immediately before they had chosen Moses to be their Mediatour; and every one stood in his owne person, immediately receiving the law, and promising legall obedi­ence unto the same, as the ground of their right unto Gods favours; and the people having broken their promise by Idolatry, therefore these tables must needs be broken to pie­ces, as the peoples personall Covenant; and other two ta­bles of Gods law must be procured, wherein the people were not to appeare in their owne persons, but in the person of their Mediatour; and this Covenant must be established upon Gods promises of free grace in Christ, whereof Moses was a type: and this you may see, Exod. 34.1, 7. And this is the same Covenant with that of the Apostle for substance. Heb. 8.6, 11. Now then (I say) Moses being set up as a Me­diatour betweene God and this people, God by him (as in the hand of a Mediatour) gave unto the Israelites a threefold law, shadowing forth the threefold office of Christ, and ser­ving thereunto: Here is the Morall Law for a Prophet the Leviticall Law for a Priest, and the Judiciall Law for a King. And so under Moses Christ was administred in types and sha­dowes, but the same Christ then administred as now, and ef­fectuall to the Regeneration, Justification, Sanctification, Edi­fication, and Salvation of Gods Elect then as now. And thus you see, how while you alleadge the Scripture by piece-meale, as the Devill doth, your selves are taken in the Devils snares, even while you goe about to entangle others: And your Religion will not stand with the true interpretation of [Page 100]Gods holy Word. And you cannot maintaine your way, un­lesse you overthrow fundamentals. And this is the just judg­ment of God upon you, that while you neglect the light of the Sanctuary, you should be given over to beleeve the mud­die sophismes of the Devils factours. The Covenant of God for substance is now the same as it was unto the Jewes.

Quest. What then doth the Apostle meane by the Cove­nants, being better now under the Gospell, if it was the same Covenant for substance under the Law?

Sol. View but the place, and the Epistle to the Hebrewes throughly, and you shall then see, that nothing else can be meant, but a better Ministration or Liturgie, for the text runs thus: viz. But now hath he obtained a more excellent Li­turgie or Ministry, by how much also He is the Mediatour of a better Covenant, which was established upon better pro­mises. Heb. 8.6. A better Covenant established on better promises. Now shew what these better promises are, and you have what the Apostle meanes by the better Covenant, whereof Christ is now Mediatour. Now these better are; I will put my lawes into their mindes, and write them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me from the least to the greatest, for I will be mercifull to their unrighteousnesse, and their sinnes, and their iniquities will I remember no more. Heb. 8.10. 11, 12.

1. The Old Covenant had the Law written in tables of stone, but the New hath the Law written in the hearts of the worshippers: i.e. Moses did minister the Law unto the Jewes written in tables of stone, thus did the type; but Christ the anti-type doth minister Gods Lawes unto Christians, written in the fleshly tables of the heart. Moses could mi­nister the letter of Gods Law unto the people, but Moses could not change the heart, and renew the minde of his peo­ple, but Christ by his Ministers can change the heart, and re­new the minde of his worshippers. And its Christs peculiar [Page 101]prerogative both under the Law, and under the Gospell, that whatsoever persons formerly under the Law, have beene re­newed by grace; and what persons soever have beene re­newed, or shall be renewed under the Gospell; have, are, and shall be renewed by Christ, and in Christ. This Epistle to the Hebrewes was written by the Apostle unto the Jewes, and the end of the Apostle in writing this Epistle, was to take off the Jewes from resting on the workes of the Law, and Liturgie or Ministration of Moses for salvation and eter­nall life, and to divert their mindes unto Jesus Christ the Prince of life, and to the ministration of Christs bloud and spirit under the Gospell, or New Testament, or Covenant. And that the difference betweene the old Covenant under Moses the type, and the new Covenant under Christ the truth and anti-type, lyes not in the thing ministred for mans eternall salvation, but in the ministration of Christ to come, and already come, is cleare by that of Paul to the Corinthi­ans, 2 Cor. 3.2, 18. Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, knowne, and read of all men. Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ, ministred by us, written not with inke, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of our selves to thinke any thing as of our selves, but our suffici­ency is of God. Who also hath made us able Ministers, not of the letter, but of the spirit: (for the letter killeth, but the spi­rit giveth life.) But if the ministration of death written, and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the mi­nistration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the mini­stration of righteousnesse exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious, had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glori­ous, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then [Page 102]we have such hope, we use great plainnesse of speech. And not as Moses, which put a vayle over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly looke to the end of that which is abo­lished. But their mindes are blinded: for untill this day re­maineth the same vayle untaken away, in the reading of the Old Testament: which vayle is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vayle is upon their heart. Neverthelesse when it (i.e. their heart) shall turne to the Lord, the vayle shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spi­rit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all with open face, beholding as in a glasse the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. And then, Chap. 4.1. he comes with this inference, viz Therefore seeing we have this Ministry, &c. So then the difference lyes in the ministrati­on, and not in the substance of the Covenant. Gods Cove­nant of grace with man is nothing, but Christ for salvation, Christ in type, and Christ in person: Christ in type before His Incarnation, and Christ in person since. Here Christ is said to be the Mediatour of a better Covenant. And in the former chapter, Heb. 7.22. He is said to be made a Surety of a better Testament. This better Covenant comming in place did disanull the former. Heb. 7.18. Now what did it disa­null? Surely nothing but the Typicall and Mosaicall Litur­gie, or Ministration. And what did disanull this typicall mi­nistration? Surely nothing but the body of Christ offered up unto God once for all. Heb. 10.1, 10. Reade the 9. chap. of Heb. In a word, the whole redounds to this much, the Sa­crifices which they offered up yeare by yeare continually under the Law, could not make the commers thereunto per­fect, as pertaining to the Conscience. Heb. 10.1, 2. Nay, could not so much as make him that did the service perfect. Heb. 9.9. But the sacrifice of Christs body once for all, makes the commers thereunto perfect, as pertaining to the consci­ence. Heb. 9.14. And therefore Christ is the Mediatour of [...] better Covenant, than Moses was. But the people to [Page 103]whom Paul writes this Epistle, and the end wherefore he wrote it, are alwayes to be remembred; and that will give a great deale of light unto what is herein written.

Ob. If this be the meaning of the text, then here is no­thing in peculiar attributed to this ministration under the Gospell; for under the Law the Elect were converted, and had their hearts changed, and renewed by Christ, and in Christ.

Sol. Right. They had so▪ Grant but this, and grant my conclusion, and so establish the contradictory of your owne. For if Christ made the ordinances of Grace effectuall to the conversion of Gods Elect under the Law, and doth the same under the Gospell▪ then that and this is the same Covenant of Grace for substance; and so the difference must needs lye in the administration onely. But Pauls controversie lay with the Jewes, and mine lyes with the Anabaptists, both adver­saries to Christ and his Gospell. The conversion of the Jews under the Law is not to be ascribed unto those typicall sacri­fices, but unto Christ, which they did typifie: but the con­version of Gods Elect under the Gospell, is to be ascribed unto the sacrifice of Christ, the Captaine of our Salvation, as the proper cause thereof. The Law said, Christ is to be sa­crificed; the Gospell sayes, Christ is sacrificed for us: And they both bespake the same Christ for the spirituall benefit of the worshippers; yet the Gospell-ministration is to have the prerogative, for now our High-priest is more excellent. Now we have a clearer manifestation of Gods love for eve­ry necessity of the soule. Now we have a Throne of Grace to goe to, every where. Now wee have free accesse unto God, without bringing our sacrifices unto others, who must (as types) offer them unto God for us.

2. The old Covenant (in the sacrifices thereof) did a­gaine call to remembrance the sinnes of the worshippers e­very yeare, and so could not make the commers thereunto perfect, as pertaining to the conscience. Heb. 10.3, 4. The new Covenant (in the sacrifice thereof) doth wrap up the [Page 104]sinnes of the commers thereunto in perpetuall oblivion, and makes the worshippers perfect, as pertaining to the consci­ence. Heb. 10.12, 18. Heb. 7.24, 28. Heb. 9.14, 15. And so now every worshipper hath boldnesse to enter into the Ho­liest by this one sacrifice, and to draw neare unto God. Heb. 10.19, 22. And for this cause the typicall ministration must needs be inferiour, and the Gospell ministration more excel­lent, sublime, and anagogicall. Let these things be but seriously considered, and they will affoord you a great deale of light in reading that glorious Epistle of Paul to the Hebrewes. And in a word, grant me that Gods Elect under the Law were sa­ved by Gods free grace in jesus Christ, in those sacrifices ty­pified, as (if there be any sparke of ingenuity left in you) you must needs acknowledge, and you shall grant that Co­venant, and this under the Gospell, to be all one for substance; and so the difference betweene that and this to lye in the mi­nistration onely. But how say you that this Gospell-Cove­nant is established to better subjects? I pray, how better subjects? you say beleevers. But did God seale his Cove­nant under the Law to unbeleevers? How prove you that? To children in their infancy, therefore to unbeleevers. The inference is unsound, neither can you bring one text of Scrip­ture where it's said, that Infants of Jewes in Covenant were unbeleevers: And therefore let all men see how well your Divinity agrees with the language of Scripture. If the Scripture termes infants of the Jewes the holy seed, then they are not to be termed unbeleevers; and therefore you speake wickedly, and more than you can justifie. Turne your Bible over, and by finding nothing for your purpose, you shall see that you have said nothing to the purpose. That unbeleevers might have the signe of Circumcision under the Law! Oh abominable blasphemy! And the promises under the Gospell doe no more belong to beleevers, than they did to beleevers under the Law. They did and doe belong to Gods people in Covenant. And infants of baptized parents are under the promise, and in Govenant.

Well, thus you argue: viz.

  • The promise of the Gospell is onely to beleevers.
  • But infants of Christians are not beleevers. Ergo
  • The promise of the Gospel is not to infants of Christians.

This Syllogisme may well be termed a Solacisme: But it may well passe in the Schoole of Anabaptists, for to speake non-sence overthrowes not the principles of their Religion. But we have shewed you before, That infants of Christians are not Insidels, Ergo beleevers. And you say afterwards, that infants are saved by the Election, and therefore (say I) the promise of the Gospell belongs unto them. But haply you had forgotten what you said here; as indeed, he that will lye, had need have a good memory, otherwise a fluent tongue will quickly discover a knaves heart. And now give me leave to put in my plea for our poore infants.

Thus I argue for them: viz.

  • All the Elect have right to the promise of the Gospell.
  • But some infants of Christians are Elect, Ergo
  • Some infants of Christians have right to the promise of the Gospell.

And then againe, thus: viz.

  • Such as have right to the promise of the Gospell, have right unto the initiall seale of the Gospell.
  • But some infants of Christians have right to the promises of the Gospell, Ergo
  • Some infants of Christians have right unto the initiall seale of the Gospell.

Quest. Why then doe you baptize all Infants of Chri­stians, seeing you confesse that the promise of the Gospell be­longs only to the elect?

Answ. And why doe you baptize any at all, though they [Page 106]give testimony of faith by practice and confession, seeing you confesse, that the promise belongs only to Gods elect? For if the certaine knowledge of a persons election must bee the ground of baptizing unto us, then you shall never baptize any, but every particular person must baptize himselfe: For no man by ordinary grace can have certaine knowledge of another mans election. But you will say, that albeit wee know, that there bee many reprobates borne within the Church, and many hypocrites may make a shew of faith by profession (and not have it in truth) yet when they come one and one unto us by profession of faith, we have a chari­table perswasion that this and that man so professing is of Gods election. And so say wee, that albeit wee know doctri­nally, that diverse Infants borne within the Church are repro­bates, yet as they come to us one and one upon the evidence of Gods Covenant engraven upon them by birth, wee have a charitable perswasion that this and that Infant is of Gods election.

Quest. Why then doe you not baptize the Infants of those that are without the Church, as Turks and Insidels, if a charitable perswasion of Gods election be warrant enough for you?

Sol. We answer, that such Infants are not borne under the Covenant, neither are their parents under the seale of Baptisine, and the Scripture no where termes such Infants holy, as it doth every where the children of the Church. And this is a direct answer unto A. R. in the 6. page of his childish book, entituled the vanity of childish Baptisme. The Adoption belongs to the children of the Church, and not to the children of aliens. And therefore this prophane Asse speaks wickedly in his † most ferious thoughts What (sayes he) if it be a warrantable ground for us to administer Baptisme to all Infants, because that some particular Infants are elected, by the same reason it will follow, that Baptisme may lawfully be administred to every man and woman in the world because a­mong them also wee may judge that some are elected. page 6. [Page 107]These stout words of his doe as well beare before them a pro­fessed quarrell against God for Circumcision, as against us for Baptisme. Why might not such an hellish blasphemer say unto God. What? If it be a warrantable ground for us, to administer circumcision to all Male-Infants of Jewes, because some particular Infants of them are elected, then by the same reason it will follow, that circumcision may lawfully bee ad­ministred unto every Male in the world, because among them also we may judge that some are elected; why then doest thou not command circumcision to be administred unto them also? Surely to this God would say, thus; viz. If any among other nations in the world, doe belong unto Mine election, they shall become Proselytes unto the Church, and come in by profession in the Messias, but when these Proselytes are put under my seale, their Infants shall be circumcised in their in­fancy, though most of them be reprobates. And so say wee, if there be any of Gods elect among the aliens, they shall be­come Proselytes to the Christian Church, and so be baptized upon the confession of their faith in Christ, but for the In­fants of those Christian Proselytes, they shall all bee baptized in their infancy, as the children of the Covenant, though most of them may be reprobates, election and reprobation be­ing not the ground of our ministration or not ministration, but the Covenant under which persons are borne. And thus you may see how wildly this Asse doth reason, and yet what a great shew doth he make of his Greek. But if he be the Au­thour of this pamphlet, that some report to be, then to my knowledge, he is not overstored either with Greek or Latin. And surely had he ever come to the passive voice of verbes in the Greek Grammar, and learned to decline [...] with his breeches downe about his heeles, and a good sharp paeda­gogue doing justice upon his posteriors, he would ever after have taken heed, of playing such prankes as hee hath in his childish treatise, wherein few things concerne our present businesse; and in this tractate you may have matter sufficient to answer the Anabaptists, about the point of paedo baptisme, [Page 108]and to seale up their lips too. But let us proceed. Say on, what else you have to alleadge.

Anabaptist. Againe, their being under the Covenant is not sufficient to give them the seale of Baptisme. For if so, then those Jewes in the second of the Acts, who were within the Covenant, might have been baptized all and wholly. But wee finde there, that though the Apostles preach't unto the Nation of the Jewes, yet none were baptized, but they that received the word gladly verse 41. So then we see, that their being within the Covenant (nor the Apostles preaching unto them) could give them the seale of Baptisme, but it was their receiving and beleeving of the word. And so likewise of the Gentiles, the Promise of the Covenant did belong unto the Gentiles too, as well as to the Jewes, yet I find not one example in all the book of God, where Jew or Gentile was baptized, but only upon their confession of Christ, and beleeving the Gospell. So that suppose wee grant you, as much as you desire, which is, that we are under the Co­venant, yet this is not sufficient to give us proper right unto the seales and priviledges of the Covenant, untill wee come to be­leeve and confesse Jesus Christ.

Answer. To be under the Covenant so, as to acknowledge Jesus Christ (the sonne of the Virgin Mary) to be the Messias and Saviour of the world, was sufficient to give men right unto the Sacrament of Baptisme. But the Iewes did not so, they denied the Holy One, and killed the Prince of life Acts 3.14.15. They look't upon Him, as one accursed, and hanged Him on a tree. And in this they renounced the Covenant, and did depose themselves, and their children from the title they had. Matth. 27.25. Those Jewes were borne under the Covenant, and so accordingly were circumcised, but now in renounceing Christ, they did renounce the Covenant they had title to by birth, and so were not to have the new ap­pointed [Page 109]seale of Baptisme, till they should receive Christ Je­sus. The old ministration (as it looked towards the Messias to come) was now out of date, and to be done away, for the Messias was come. And a new seale of entrance was set up, which might assure them that He was Lord and Christ whom they put to death. Acts 2.36, 37. They were now to ac­knowledge, that this was the Christ, and so to bee baptized into His Name. A Saviour they did look for, and now this is He. So then this fetch will not serve your turne. It proves firmly what is required of such as are to be made Christians, but it will not reach unto born Christians. That which is here spoken concerning examples, is but a repetition of what you said before, and there you are answered.

Anabaptist. Againe, you demand further of the Anabaptists, where their Commission is to baptize. As for the word [Anabaptists] we disclaime the sense of it, but as it is a slanderous reproach that is cast upon us for the cause of Christ, we therein rejoice in it. But to answer your demand thus; you would know where our Commission is, we answer from the Commission of Christ. Mat. 28.19 Where Christ bids His Disciples to teach all nations, to observe whatsoever Hee commanded them. Now Hee com­manded to teach them before Baptisme, and so the Disciples were to teach all nations to follow the like rule.

Answer. I demanded whence you had your calling, or Ordination to baptize at all. Neither can you by the word of God justifie your practice of preaching, and administring the Sacraments, for you have neither extraordinary calling immediately from God (as had John the Baptist, and the Apostles) nor ordinary (from any Presbytery) unto that weighty function, which the ablest and holiest servants of God have been afraid to venture upon. And for you to take your turnes, and goe on in course, as if it were a businesse for every Pedlar, and Tay­lour, [Page 110]lour, and Felt-monger to meddle with, argues clearely that you were never men of Gods sending, but have your Commission from the devill, and not from Christ (as we have no­ted before.) And now you tell me a tale of a Tub, that you derive your Commission from Matth. 28.19. where you say, that Christ bids His Disciples to teach all nations to ob­serve whatsoever He commanded them. Where you would lay this foundation, namely, that if a man be a Disciple, then he may teach and baptize, and so the Ministeriall function shall be no peculiar function. But if you look back upon the 16 verse of that chapter you shall sinde, that the Disciples unto which Christ gave this Commission, were the eleven Apostles, called there by the name of the eleven Disciples. And therefore you belie the Lord, and pervert His word. And then you shuffle in your owne confusions and glosses, as whatsoever the Apostles did in their ministration, all succee­ding Churches, and Ministers must doe, which is most false and impious. For (as we have shewed before) there were some things belonging to the Apostolicall ministration, that succeeding Churches must not look for like. And whereas you intimate, that the Apostles were to teach all nations to follow their practice, in teaching the persons to be baptized, before they admit them to Baptisine, herein you utter strange confusion. For all that you can conclude from the 20. verse, of Matth. 28. (which is, teaching them to ob­serve whatsoever I command you) redoundes only to this. viz. Teach them to observe whatsoever I command you to teach them: but not to this, viz. Teach them to observe whatsoever I have commanded you to doe in your extraor­dinary and Apostolicall ministration, that command them to doe in their ordinary, and pastorall ministration. And yet your strict urging of the letter will necessarily redound to this, and so every ordinary Minister must plant foundations, have an unerring spirit, deliver a new canon of divine faith, and worship, and confirme their doctrine by miracles. And thus you see, how for want of distinguishing you bring your [Page 111]selves into straights, and puzzle the simple, which cannot di­scerne the depths of Satan in you. And whereas you intimate that the cause of Anabaptists is the cause of Christ, you therein speak blasphemy. for your cause is the cause of the divell, and not the cause of Christ. And you corrupt and adul­terate every text of Scripture that you alleadge for the main­tenance of your tenents, which is not a note of Christs Disci­ples, but a character of the devills factours.

Anabaptist. Further you affirmed in your first Sermon, that whatsoever was set up as an ordinance, in the worship of God, must have its warrant from Christ; so say we, and close with you, but the baptizing of Infants, hath no expresse warrant from Christ, therefore may not be set up, as an ordinance.

Answer. Your whole trade lies in shifting, and shuffling; and I think you as well understand what I said, as your A. R. under­stands Greek, But as that Grammarlesse Asse would wipe off a just aspersion, that is cast upon you, as if no Scholler would countenance your cause, or makes a great flourish with his Greek, and yet scarce ever learned his Greek Alphabet, so you make a great flourish with your Commission and war­rant, as if in the name of Christ you would convent the whole world before your tribunall, and every truth (that Ministers doe utter) must speak the language of an Anabaptist. What if I affirmed, that whatsoever was to bee set up as an ordi­nance in the worship of God, must have its warrant from Christ? Doth this warrant your inference. viz. Baptizing of Infants hath no expresse warrant from Christ, therefore no warrant from Christ at all. Your speech implies, as if you could not deny, but that there is warrant from Christ for bap­tizing of Infants of Christians, but you would shift off the matter by calling for an expresse warrant. I thought that a generall proposition had been enough to warrant its particu­lars. [Page 112]As; every man is a reasonable creature, ergò an Anabap­tist is a reasonable creature. But haply though the An­tecedent be true, yet the consequent will not hold. So like­wise, all the children of the Church are baptized, or to bee baptized, ergò Infants of baptized parents are baptized, or to be baptized. This consequence will hold with all reasonable men, but not with Anabaptists, ergo Anabaptists are no rea­sonable men. And thus in all your discourses you doe nothing but toye and bassle. However I think your disputations to be as good, as your preaching, and farre more warrantable. I said that in that all power is given unto Christ by vertue of His glorious resurrection, therefore wee are to set Him up as the Lord of our faith, and as our King and Law-giver, and so yeeld unto Him divine worship and honour, obeying Him in all things that Hee shall say unto us. And all this is wholesome and good, but how well this doth warrant your inference, let all men judge.

Anabaptist. If you aske, what become of Infants in the state of infancy, if they dye before Baptisme, which is a question, that many doe aske, and therefore we thought good to answer it, thus; That we must commend them to Gods free election, and extraor­dinary meanes of salvation. For a child is not capable of the or­dinary dinary meanes, as the world, and Sacraments. Now the Apo­stle saith, that faith comes by hearing, and an Infant is not ca­pable of hearing, so as to understand the word, and so conse­quently not of faith wrought by the ordinary meanes, and with­out faith wee cannot please God; neither can wee bee saved. So then by the ordinary meanes that God hath appointed to bring men to salvation, we cannot judge Infants by this meanes to be saved. But children are, and may bee saved, and therefore wee leave them to Gods extraordinary meanes, to bring them to heaven.

Answer. Here you look upon me, as a man confuted in all his te­nents, [Page 113]and standing almost mute, and having but a question or two, to propound unto his antagonist, even ready to sub­scribe unto the contradictories of his owne conclusions. You have sate in Commission upon me, and found matters very foule on my side. By sound evidences of Scripture, and de­monstrative reasons, you have answered all my arguments, and more you would if I had alleadged them. And now to prevent future scruples, that might arise in my conscience, and to confirme me in your expresse way of pious sacriledge, you assoile another doubt, which might deterre weak consci­ences from your Apostolicall practice. The question (which here you unanswerably resolve, and which many have pro­pounded unto you) is, what becomes of Infants that dye un­baptized? And here you answer, that wee must commend such Infants to Gods free election, and extraordinary meanes of salvation. And your reason for this is very pregnant, namely because such children are not capable of the ordinary meanes. Well, you say, that such children are saved by Gods free ele­ction, as the cause. And for the meanes they are extraordi­nary. But what those extraordinary meanes are, wee are as farre to seek, as if you had said nothing. I thought they had been saved by Christ and the spirit of grace, as the internall ordinary meanes of salvation, appointed of the Father for the salvation of His elect. But (I pray) are such Infants as you speak off, saved by regeneration, or without regeneration? If without regeneration such Infants are saved, and goe to heaven, then flesh and blood may enter into the Kingdome of heaven, persons without regenerating grace, and so persons in their natural estate may be glorified, among the Saints in light. If by regeneration, then children are capable of regeneration in their infancy, and often are regenerated in their infancie, for they often die in their infancie, and goe to heaven, by your owne confession. Now if they are capable of regenera­tion in their infancie, then they are capable of Baptisme (the seale of regeneration) in their infancie. And hence I forme this enthymeme, viz.

  • Children of baptized parents are regenerable in their infan­cie. Ergo
  • Children of baptized parents are baptizable in their infancies.

The consequence is sound, the antecedent may be thus evinced, viz.

  • Such children in their infancie are oftentimes regenerated, Ergo
  • Such children in their infancie are regenerable.

Now let us compact, what you say, and what we say (tou­ching this point) together, and contrive both into one en­tire Syllogisme, and so meet as friends in the same conclusi­on, thus; viz.

  • Such as goe to heaven and are saved, are regenerated say we.
  • But elect Infants that die unbaptized goe to heaven, and are saved, say you, Ergo
  • You as well as we must say that elect Infants which die unbap­tized, are saved and regenerated.

And this confutes your owne conclusion, for regeneration is the ordinary meanes of salvation, and elect Infants that die unbaptized are saved by regeneration. And hence, thus I inferre the contradictory of your conclusion, viz.

  • Regeneration is the ordinary meanes of salvation.
  • But elect Infants that die unbaptized are saved by regenera­tion, Ergo
  • Elect Infants that die unbaptized are saved by the ordinary meanes of salvation.

And this refutes you, and like a rod of iron dashes in peeces the earthen vessell of your chamption A. R. page 2.7. where­in in he seems to scoffe at our thanksgiving for baptismall rege­neration of Infants, whereas wee may without blushing give God thanks for the regeneration of an Infant-christian after baptisme, as for the regeneration of an alien after Bap­tisme, that comes in upon the testimony of his faith. For charity is the ground of our thanksgiving here, and there. And for his exception drawne from the calling of our Mini­sters, [Page 115]that was needlesse, for if Infants are not capable of Baptisme, then let the Ministers calling bee never so right, their baptizing of infants must be a nullity, and they should sinne in baptizing of them. And so his discourse concerning dipping and sprinkling is also needlesse, for if children were dipped in their infancie, yet their Baptisme must needs be in­valide, because Infants. And so the Asse might have saved a great deale of labour, and kept to the point of paedo-bap­tisme, for the Anabaptists doe simply oppose paedo-baptisme. not as ministred by such persons, nor as administred in such a manner, for they hold paedo-baptisme to be simply unlawfull in it selfe. As for the controversie of the calling of Ministers, you may read Bradshaw against Johnson, and the Authour of the book entituled the unreasonablenesse of the separation, a very precious book wherein Bradshaw deceased is vindi­cated against the calumnies of Can the Brownist. Also two worthy treatises of famous Mr Ball deceased, And lately Ru­therford a famous and learned Scot, and many moe which are not answered by any of the contrary partie. And therefore for A. R. to speak at randome, without refutation of these Authors, argues his purpose rather to calumniate, then to e­disie and certifie conscience. But to leave this senselesse mon­ster, either to repentance, or to the judgement of the great day, I return to you againe. I tell you that all your redarguti­ons are rather confirmations, then refutations unto me. And what misery is this; All the ablest Ministers in the land, are of my judgement about this point of paedo-baptisme, that the Prophecie of Clem. Writer the Factour might be fulfilled, say­ing, that it's thought that Ministers should be the last men, in the Church of England, unto whom God would reveale this your light. And his reason is a very materiall one, because (said he) they know this light, but doe hide it from the people, and will not hold it forth unto them. But to proceed. A child (say you) is not capable of the ordinary meanes of salvation. as the word and Sacraments. I answer, that a child indeed is not capable of Baptismall entrance into the Church by in­struction, [Page 116]but what? Therefore not at all. I deny that con­sequence, for there is another way of baptismall entrance in­to the Church, and that is by birth as a Christian-borne, be­cause borne of baptized parents: and of this baptismall en­trance a childe is capable. Thus you seeme to argue: viz.

  • The Word and Sacraments are the onely ordinary meanes to salvation.
  • But elect infants are not capable of the Word and Sacra­ments, Ergo
  • Elect infants are not capable of the ordinary meanes of sal­vation.

This is your naturall sophistry, and both propositions are unsound, and liable to just exception. But to the major, we say, that the Word and Sacraments are not the onely ordi­nary meanes of salvation; for there is Christ and the Spirit of Grace, which are ordinary meanes of salvation also. And elect infants that die unbaptized, are saved by Christ, and the Spirit of Grace. There are internall-ordinary means of salvation, as well as externall-ordinary means of salvation. And therefore, though your Logicke hath made fooles of your selves, yet it cannot make fooles of us. Thus we argue against your Paralogisme and wicked fallacy, and we chal­lenge you to answer us: viz.

  • Christ and the Spirit of Grace are ordinary meanes of sal­vation.
  • But elect infants that die unbaptized are saved by Christ and the Spirit of Grace, Ergo
  • Elect infants that die unbaptized, the saved by ordinary meanes of salvation.

Let elect infants die unbaptized, yet they are saved by Christ and the Spirit of Grace, and so (by necessary conse­quence) by ordinary meanes of salvation. There is no falla­cy, [Page 117]nor sophistry in this Syllogisme, and both propositions are undenyable; and we need no such shifts to maintaine Gods truthes as you have, to put a colour upon your heresies. And this takes away your thicke covering, whereby you went about to darken knowledge.

Againe you say, that an elect infant can have no faith wrought by the ordinary means: And this assertion is groun­del too, upon a false supposition; for the outward ordinary meanes of faith are not the onely ordinary meanes of faith. An elect infant may have faith by Christ, the Author of faith; and by the Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of faith; and Christ and the Spirit are ordinary meanes of faith. And of availe too, when the outward are wanting. But the outward are of no availe, where these are wanting. And that an elect infant that dies unbaptized hath faith, may thus be evinced. You say, That without faith we cannot please God, then such as please God have faith. Thus I argue then: viz.

  • Such as please God, have faith.
  • But elect infants that die unbaptized, do please God, Ergò
  • Elect infants that die unbaptized, have faith.

The proposition (I suppose) you will not gain-say; the assumption haply you require me to make good. Thus then I prove it: viz.

  • Such as goe to heaven, and are saved, doe please God.
  • But elect infants (say you) that die unbaptized, goe to
  • Heaven, and are saved, Ergò
  • Elect infants that die unbaptized (say I) do please God.

But haply you doe not so much deny their having of faith, as their having of faith by ordinary meanes. That then I thus evince: viz.

  • Christ and the Spirit of Grace are ordinary meanes of faith.
  • [Page 118]But elect infants that die unbaptized have faith by Christ and the Spirit of Grace, Ergò
  • Elect infants that die unbaptized have faith, by ordinary meanes of faith.

And thus you see, that all is trash on your side, and meere jugling, and you can as well maintaine your cause, as your title to the Crowne of England.

Anabaptist. And thus we have runne over your chiefest arguments, at briefe as we could. We desire you would not take it offensively from us, that we have beene so tedious in writing unto you, for we could have beene larger in many things, but that we were fearefull of tediousnesse. And if there be any thing, wherein we are mistaken, we desire information, and we desire to submit to the judgement of judicious and reasonable men, whether your reasons be not answered. If you can overthrow clearely (by the Word of God) these answers, we will cry peccavi; if you cannot, we expect according to your former promises, that you should cry peccavi.

Answer. You have runne over my arguments indeed, but you have not refuted any one of them. They all stand unmoveable as Mount Zion, and the glory of the Lord is upon them. And as for your tediousnesse, thats not so offensive unto me, as your absurd reasonings. And for your mistakes, I have shew­ed them unto you for your information. And if you will submit to judicious and reasonable men, so will I; And for this cause I have published this Treatise. And whether I have dealt unfaithfully with Gods holy Word, either in my Sermons, or in this mine Answer to your Objections, I leave to the censure of the godly learned. And if you, or any of your side, can say any thing more, that is materiall against the point of Paedo-baptisme, I shall (by Gods helpe) give you [Page 119]such satisfaction, whereby you (through Gods blessing) shall be able to see, that they were from the Devill, and not from Christ, that led you into this way of re-baptizing.

Anabaptist. And thus we desire the Lord to adde his blessing to our weake endeavours, as to perswade your hearts to embrace every truth of Jesus Christ, that as yet you oppose; and so likewise for our selves. And thus we commend all to the disposing of Almigh­ty God, in whom we rest.

Answer. Your meaning is (perhaps) that I doe oppose the way of the Anabaptists, and stand for Paedo-baptisme, and that here­in I oppose a truth of Christ Jesus. If your meaning be this, your prayer is impious, and a taking of Gods Name in vaine. And you pray unto God to blesse your wicked endeavours, in going about to perswade my heart, to embrace not a truth, but a lye. This proves evidently, that God is patient, and that the Devill is impudent. And is this the good stuffe that you would have to be read before the whole Congre­gation at Cranham, as you desire in your Postscript? Your desire is more then granted, you desired to have it as publike as Cranham, and I have made it as publike as England. Its now in a faire way to be read at London, at Yorke, at Exce­ter, at Bristoll, at Gloucester, at Worcester, and where not, as God shall direct it. And I hope my brethren will make it knowne to more Congregations than Cranham, for the in­formation of Gods people in the truth. I hope that was your end in desiring leave to have it read to the whole Con­gregation at Cranham, and not revenge on me for keeping wavering soules of that Congregation, from running into Severne after you.

But now to your three Questions, which you subjoyne as an appendix to your exceptions.

1. You demand What expresse warrant we have in Scrip­ture [Page 120]for the baptizing of Infants? Unto this we say, that the question savours more of curiosity, than of conscience. But seeing you may make bold (as you say) to propound this question unto me, and desire me to answer you punctually by the Scripture, or not at all. I make bold to urge you with one argument, and desire you to answer me, either by Scrip­ture, or Right reason. Thus I argue in expresse answer to your demand and quaere.

  • All persons knowne to be under the Covenant of Grace, are to have the Covenant put under the initiall seale unto them by expresse warrant of Scripture.
  • But all infants of Christians are knowne to be under the Co­venant of Grace, Ergo
  • All infants of Christians are to have the Covenant of Grace put under the initiall seale unto them by expresse war­rant of Scripture.

Deny this Syllogisme, or deny either proposition if you can. The major (I presume) you will not deny: The mi­nor is as undenyable. But, if Lambes blasphemy must passe for orthodox with you, that you will contradict. Thus therefore I make it good:

  • If all Christian parents are under the Covenant of Grace, then all infants of Christian parents are under the Co­venant of Grace.
  • But all Christian parents are under the Covenant of Grace, Ergo
  • All Infants of Christian parents are under the Covenant of Grace.

Haply you will deny the sequell of the major propositi­on, but therein you will but shew your ignorance, and irra­tionall stupiditie: For sequela ab indivisis est valida. Thus then I make it good; viz.

  • If the Covenant of Grace joynes parents and children toge­ther, as inseparable and immediate companions; then if all Christian parents are under the Covenant of Grace, all Infants of Christian parents are under the Covenant of Grace, all Infants of Christian parents are under the Covenant of Grace also.
  • But the Covenant of Grace joynes parents and children to­gether, as inseparable and immediate companions; saying, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed. Ergo
  • If all Christian parents are under the Covenant of Grace, then all infants of Christian parents are under the Cove­nant of Grace also.

And now answer, or give over your fooleries, nay sacrile­gious practices, and impious dissolution of Gods holy Cove­nant with his people, and their seed. A wickednesse haply not so well seene of you, whom subtile heads seduce with good words, and faire speeches, the very method of the De­vils agents: Rom. 16.17, 18. And thus we have shaken your triumphall argument, with which you have mis-led many an honest heart, the more is the pity: And it may be just with God to scourge this Nation for our too much conni­vence at you. High offences deserve sharper censures. And to forbeare correction, is to dishonour Gods image in Supe­riours, and to throw downe Authority for Sedition to tram­ple upon. If your way must stand, adieu Religion; and let us all turne Atheists. And so much for answer to your first quaere.

2. Your second question is, What Infants doe receive in Baptisme? Which question (as propounded by an Anabap­tist) implyes this blasphemy: viz. That Infants receive no benefit by baptisme. But unto this quaere we say, that In­fants of Christians, by baptisme have the Covenant put un­der seale unto them, as their native priviledge. The Cove­nant under which they were borne, makes them holy by birth. And Baptisme under the Gospell is the initiall seale of that holy Covenant. A seale by divine institution annexed [Page 122]unto that holy Covenant. And unto this determination we desire either your brotherly subscription, or rationall dissen­tion from the same.

3. Your third and last is, Why, and to what end we bap­tize Infants? And this is answered already, as in all our dis­course, so in our answers to your two former questions. But further we say, 1. That infants of Christians are part of Gods portion and inheritance, and therefore we will not let them lie in the cursed condition of aliens, but seale them in­to Gods peculiar. For it were sacriledge to make those common, and uncleane, which God hath set apart unto himselfe as holy. 2. For the childrens good we consecrate them unto Gods care, by baptizing them into the name of the sacred Trinity. God the Father is now their father, and they are his children: God the Sonne is their Saviour, and they are his members: God the Holy Ghost is their San­ctifier, and they are his Temple.

Ob. But you say, that the Covenant made them such be­fore.

Sol. True, and baptisme is nothing but a putting of the Covenant under seale unto them.

Ob. But you baptize all without difference; if you bap­tized onely the elect, the matter were more tolerable.

Sol. Though diverse borne within the Church are re­probates, yet as they come one and one unto us, we cannot say, that this or that childe is a reprobate: Hee may be an elect vessell for ought we know. And the adaequate end of baptisme administred, is not salvation of the baptized. The glory of God is the principall end, namely the glory of Gods singular mercy in the salvation of his elect; and the glory of Gods Justice in the unexcuse of the reprobate, as all outward ministrations in the Church serve for the glory of Gods mercy and justice. We put them all under the initiall seale of the Gospell, that they may be made subject to the Gospell, and be judged by the Gospell. For the secret of election and reprobation we leave that unto God. Their being borne [Page 123]under the holy Covenant, is sufficient to warrant our mini­stration. And to know who are elect, and who are repro­bates, is no more needfull to the ministration of baptisme, than it was to the ministration of circumcision among the Jewes; that being the initiall seale of the same holy Cove­nant unto them, as baptisme is now unto us. For they by circumcision were incorporated into Christ to come, by that type of Christ upon their flesh, and we by baptisme are in­corporated into Christ already come. And by our being washed with water in baptisme, we are assured that Christ hath shed his bloud to wash away our sinnes, and to make us cleane in Gods sight, and that that Jesus the Sonne of the Virgin Mary, which the Jewes put to death under Pon­tius Pilate, (and hanged him on a tree) was the very Christ, and that we doe depend on him alone for Salvation, and doe looke for no other Saviour. And now because you boast of a new light, which God in former ages hath not held forth to his Church, haply by this light you may an­swer Saint Augustines argument against re-baptizing Do­natists, which none of your side could ever answer hitherto to this day. You say wee have no true baptisme in our Church, because our baptisme is administred alwayes to per­sons in their infancy. If no Baptisme, then no Church, saith Saint Augustine, &c. But to apply his argument to our Church against you Donatists. If there be no Baptisme in our Church, then no Church; if no Church, then whence had you your Church and Baptisme. Shew us your Com­mission to set up a new Church, and Baptisme new. I won­der that your A. R. a man so throughly versed in the Fathers (as he would make his reader beleive. page 2.) had not un­tyed this knot. To say that Christ the head may be without a body for some time in this world, is Arminianisme. For if the Church, and with it Baptisme was lost, then for that time Christ had no body in this world. And to say that the Church was lost here, and not shew that you have derived your Commission else-where, is to speake absurdly, and to [Page 124]deale wickedly. Shew out of Gods Word your Commissi­on then, I say not to baptize beleevers, and persons growne up, but to baptize at all: Which Commission untill you pro­duce, I shall conclude that you are rather infatuated by the Devill, than inspired by the Holy Ghost. And now if you can reply any thing materiall, you shall (by Gods helpe) be answered. But for your giddy foole­ries and idle non-sense, I shall throw it aside among my waste papers.


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