PRIMS Full-text transcription (HTML)


  • Dignity and Duty of Baptiſm.
  • The due Right of Infants to Baptiſm.
  • And their right above that of grown perſons by Baptiſm.
  • The degrading and deſtructive Principles and Practices of Baptiſm.

ARE Catechetically propounded, plainly Preached, and now Publiſhed as an An­tidote to the Baptiſm-Deſpiſing-Di­ctates of John Simpſon.

By Zachariah Crofton, Miniſter at Botolph Aldgate, London.


Edm. Calamy.

London, Printed by D.M. for J. Nuthal li­ving next door to the Dolphin in the Minories, 1658.

To the Right Worſhipful Richard Garforde, AND Robert Burdet, Eſquires. And the reſt of his Be­loved Pariſhioners, late Aſ­ſertors of his innocency, and Proteſtors againſt his groundleſs and furious Per­ſecutions.

Right Worſhipful and wel-beloved,

TO you of all men this Treatiſe oweth its De­dication, and from you muſt needs demand its Patronage: for that in order to your good in the Inſtruction and eſtabliſhment of you in the order of the Goſpel, and Ordi­nances of Jeſus Chriſt: it hath been preached once and again, and is now Printed: you can­not be inſenſible how you bap­tized Members of the Catholick Church were diſperſed, as Sheep without any Shepherd; nay by the Congregational Anabap­tiſtical principles and practiſes, and in order to their Schiſma­tical Church-gathering deſign, you were by Rude, Ruſt, Fooliſh-Wiſe, and Baptiſm-blaſpheming Simpſon, paganized and pro­claimed Dogs, aliens and ſtran­gers to the Common-wealth of Iſrael: when the zealous im­portunity of ſome among you, meeting in me with a real pity of your Pagan poſture, did en­gage me to take of you, as a Church of Jeſus Chriſt, the care and charge. I was conſtrained to lay again the Foundations theſe wicked men had razed, and to inform you in the firſt rudiments of Religion, and firſt ordinances of worſhip, that you might underſtand the dignity and duty of your Baptiſm, in which I finde ſuch dulneſs in common capacity, that the things you heard you muſt hear again, and indeed Read before many will receive them. I be­ing come among you, and (by Gods bleſſing on my Miniſtry) having reduced you into ſome order, convinced ſome perſons of their Rebaptized vanity, and Parents of the ſinfull neglect of their Infants intereſt in the Covenant: have met with vio­lent oppoſition, and malitious interruptions in the work of God: conſtraining me to preach unto you the Goſpel of Truth through much contentation; where­in yet through grace I have waxed bold. You are manifeſt Witneſſes that the Anabap­tiſts will Baptize with fire and fury, ſuch as they cannot Bap­tize with water in the way of their folly: By what clamours have they clouded my name (repreſenting me uncivil, whilſt for fear of the Law they durſt not render me prophane) how they have by falſe ſurmizes prejudiced preſent powers, by falſe accuſations, palpable per­jury, extrajudicial Proceſs, par­tial and prejudiced Judges (of their own picking) and impla­cable fury darkned my credit, weakned my Miniſtery, diſtur­bed my peace, and endeavour­ed〈◊〉ſtop my mouth, you and all the Churches of God can­not but know. The guilt and odium whereof you have ta­ken from your ſelves by your ſeaſonable Atteſtation to my Innocencie, and ſerious proteſt againſt their groundleſs cruel­ty, wherein I bleſs God I can rejoyce, It is the cauſe that makes the Martyr, and what is the cauſe of all that calamity they have to me created; Let the fretting of their ſpirits, when your Pulpit ſounded the Sacrament of Baſtiſm is to be adminiſtred; your Reverend at­tendance on that Ordinance is de­ſired: their railing ſpeeches on all occaſions uttered againſt In­fant Baptiſm, their invective Letters to me written, (which I keep as Monuments of their folly and malice) their often ſtrugling to ſet up Oats, Knowls, Lamb, Simpſon, to blaſpheme Gods Ordinances; and at laſt violent and unjuſt intruſion of John Simpſon into the Baptiſ­mal Seaſon of the Sabbath, to the excluding of that Ordi­nance, and vilifying the ſame in the ſight of the People, and that not only in its ſubjects, but in it ſelf, openly teaching bap­tiſm is no ground of Communion with the Church viſible; wit­neſs to all the world, if I ſuf­fer as an evil doer; Whoſe Ox or Aſs have I taken? what Law have I violated? whom did I injure in word or deed? How often have I ſought for compe­tent impartial Judges, that might convict me? and propo­ſed ways of Accommodation: admitted them, when ſought by my enemies, whoſe Return hath been we will have no peace, no agreement, no arbitration: nay, my enemies being Judges, the ground of their quarrel and enmity, is my endeavours to return you into order; and their cry is, He will not let Simpſon preach. So that be­cauſe I will not ſuffer that wo­man Jezabel to teach and ſeduce the Lords people, I muſt be load­ed with calumny, and followed with vexation: Well be it ſo, I will bleſs God for ſupporting, and wait on him for ſaving mercy; and pray that you may be more confident in the truths confirmed by my Sufferings, wherein you alſo have bon your ſhare. I cannot but ob­ſerve how Heretical Malice hath trampled on your digni­ties and gravities by Military inſolency, and vulgar rudeneſs, yet hath God hitherto given you hearts, to adhere to me and the truths by me witneſſed. Whilſt you have owned my Mi­niſtry; under ſo great a Fight of affliction, I cannot but hope you will do it ſtill, and be more confirmed in the vertue and value of your received Baptiſm, both which are here plainly and practically propounded to your view. Many eminent men have moſt fully debated the Controverſie, and defended your Infants Right to Baptiſm, but of their Labours, I obſerve the vulgar make little uſe; for Practical conviction of ſin, I find to be the beſt confutation of er­ror, and have therefore attem­pted it in the enſuing Treatiſe for its ſtile and method, ſuited to vulgar capacity; receive it as a token of my true affection to your Souls, and Gods holy Or­dinances, read it as the directi­on of your duty, learn by it to prize Baptiſm, as the high Pri­viledge of you and yours, and in doing and ſuffering, ſhew forth the vertue and value of the Covenant of God on your fleſh, living as Baptized into the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghoſt, to which end you may be aſſured as of the endea­vours, ſo the earneſt prayers of,

Your greatly reproached and perſecuted, but yet really innocent, and re­ſolvedly zealous Paſtor, Zach. Crofton.

To the READER.

Courteous Reader,

THou canſt not be ſuch a ſtranger in our Iſ­rael, as to be igno­rant of my ſufferings by the intruſion of John Simp­ſon into my Pulpit, and amongſt my People: I doubt not but thou mayeſt well with many other enquire the reaſon of my reſiſtance, the which is written in ſuch legible Characters, that juſt men and zealous Chriſtians cannot but Run and Read them; I have in a ſmall Book, called Right Re-entered, given the world ſome account, as to my own perſonal Reaſons, wherein had I been ſilent, can any that know John Simpſon, a man ſub­ject to ſuch windings and turn­ings, that he cannot to his own Proſelytes appear to be the ſame this year he was the laſt: A man under judicial**The Com­mittee for Plundred Mi­niſters. Parliamentary cenſure for his Er­rors: a man by the moſt ſage grave and pious**London Te­ſtimony to the truth, &c. Miniſters of his City (the place of his Reſidence) branded as a Sedu­cer from the Truth of Jeſus Chriſt; a man for Sedition (ſo owned by himſelf) im­priſoned, baniſhed, and afflicted, as an evil doer; a man of ſuch violence, com­motion, diviſion, confuſion, diſtraction, diſorder, that Bi­ſhopſgate and Aldgate muſt needs lament the day of his be­ing in the midſt of them. And yet enquire why ſhould Maſter Crofton ſo much withſtand John Simpſons preaching; but if he or all his Adherents were (as they never can be) able to acquit him from theſe Blots that muſt needs render him un­fit for Goſpel-work: yet Ma­ſter Crofton hath too too juſt cauſe to withſtand his Miniſtry, not only for his unjuſt intruſi­on, and diſ-ingenuous ſilence, under any propounded conve­niencie for the people, and ma­litious exerciſe of his pretended Miniſtery, to the meer humor­ing of an envious, prophane Faction, purſuing nothing but Confuſion and Diſorder, not having any Aſſembly of his own to engage him to it. But for thoſe Falſhoods, that in the name of the Lord he doth utter to the decrying of Gods holy Ordinances, and danger of mens Salvation; herein he is frequent, and of which I ſhoud (were it not that my weak peo­ple are apt to take boldneſs to ſit under his Miniſtry from my hearing him) make a full de­tection: Can any man think Miniſterial zeal, can in the leaſt admit an afternoons contradicti­on, of a forenoons Doctrine of Truth. I have before noted to the world, that he no ſooner violently entred my Church, and interrupted ſome of Gods Ordinances, but he preſently vilifying, thoſe he could not hinder, openly averred, that to learn a Catechiſm was not to worſhip God; you might as well take your children to the Market or Fair, and buy them Baubles, Rattles, and Hobby Horſes as Catechiſms. I well know that he did with moſt prophane im­pudence in the Pulpit at Great Al-hallows, and in my own Pulpit make a dreadfull appeal to God, Angels and Men, that he never Preached ſuch Do­ctrine; but I have offered, and do yet offer, if he will be con­victed before any competent Judges, to convince him by ſome of his late Proſelytes, and many others that heard him ſpeak it, and after moſt wicked­ly deny that he ſpake it; he muſt not think but we know the Serpentine wiſdom of Sedu­cers leads them to deny they ſpake the doctrine they divulge, if the time and other circum­ſtances will not defend them in it. And yet in the Sermon wherein he would deny this notion, he doth but Familiſtically Spiritu­alize, and runs into this aſſer­tion, which is yet Tantamount, That it is groſs ignorance to ſay, or think that the teaching of Ca­techitical heads of Religion is the way to bring any man to the knowledge of Chriſt. I confeſs this contempt of catechizing was in my ears, but a praeludi­um to the decrying of Infant Baptiſm, which engaged me to attend his Wedneſday Le­ctures for ſome few days, when he was from 1 Peter 3.21. Treating of Baptiſm, wherein I heard many abſurdities, falſe interpretations, and incongru­ous expreſſions uttered; but at length found him that pre­tends he had**His Book of Juſtifi­cation in the Epiſt. to the Reader. run over the bogs of Fa­miliſm, yet not to have been ſwallowed up in them, to have fallen up to the arm holes, if not over head and ears; for not only did he deſpiſe Poedo-Baptiſm by the contem­ptible terms of Baby-ſprinkling, cozening Infants, and the like; but proclaimed Water-Baptiſm, the very Ordinance it ſelf, to be nothing worth; and the ſpi­rit inward Grace, the anſwer of a good conſcience, to be all in all, even unto communion with the Church viſible; and this he did in a full Diſcourſe, half an hour long, directed to his own Pro­ſelytes, with many invectives a­gainſt ſuch as would not admit Communion with the unbaptized in fleſh; theſe nullifying noti­ons of Gods Ordinance, I could not bear, and reſolving they ſhould not corrupt on my ſtomack, or he have liberty to make a falſe appeal, to God, Angels and Men, in the denial of what he had delivered, or to complain, I dealt not fairly by him, publickly to render him erronious before I had charged him perſonally, I did on the day on which he preached it, being the 2. of September 1657. and aſſoon as Sermon was ended, repaire to my Study, and writ unto him this Letter follow­ing.

Mr. Simpſon,

I did this day with no little trouble hear your Diſcourſe, and pretermitting your incongruous, impertinent expreſ­ſions, and miſapplication of Scripture, with many Ordinance-degrading and Church-confounding ſpeeches, you laid down this inference, That Baptiſme is not the ground of communion with the Church, but real grace the anſwer of a good conſcience, by the Reſurrection of Chriſt from the dead: and there­fore you did declare, Though a man were altogether ignorant of the doctrin of Baptiſm, and had never paſſed un­der that outward Ordinance, you could own him as a member of the Church, and hold communion with him, and admit him to all the Ordi­nances of Jeſus Chriſt: and much to this purpoſe you delivered. Sir, When I conſider, the anſwer of a good conſcience is only known to God, I cannot believe God hath made it the Ground of com­munion with men, and outward Bap­tiſm to be the firſt Ordinance of God, to the Church and external Seal of the Covenant, and the very door of admiſ­ſion into the Church erected by Jeſus Chriſt, and reckon'd by the Apoſtle a­mong the〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; and ſo in all A­ges of the Church made the foundation of the Church Ordinances in foro Eccleſiae; I cannot conſervto communi­on with ſuch as are unbaptized, but muſt fear in this caſe, God may ſay to me as to them in Iſa. 44.7. For though outward baptiſm without inward Grace can carry no man to heaven, yet the Church cannot without palpable, profaneneſs admini­niſter other Ordinances of Communion to the unbaptized; I pray you tell me whe­ther you do not in vain preſs me to out­ward Baptiſm, when you tell me, I may live and die in Commmunion with the body of Chriſt all my dayes, and yet never know the Doctrine, nor paſſe under the Ordinance of water-Baptiſm? Is Baptiſm become an Adia­phoron? Theſe things I thus timely ſigni­fie to you to prevent miſtakes (deſiring your arguments for your poſi­tion (for that your Cited Scripture. Rom. 15.7. doth not conclude it) but is farre wide) to which I promiſe you a ſpeedy anſwer, unleſs they be convincing to

Zath. Crofton.

Though this letter was by a meſſen­ger ſent of purpoſe, delivered into his hand, diſingenious be never returned anſwer to it, either in publick or privat, but ſuffered theſe contemptible notions to abide on the ſpirit of the people, as it they were Goſpel truths. Having ob­ſerved his ſilence and reſolving to leave him without excuſe, I wrote unto him this ſecond Letter.

Sir, I did this day ſevenday ſignifie my diſſatisfaction in your Doctrine, and diſlike of that old Familiſtical noion you publiſhed, I demanded your reaſons but have received none. Sir, Think you not that it is your duty to convince gainſayers, or can I paſs in ſilence, Baptiſme-annilitating notions, I can­not, I will not. Sir, I once more de­mand your arguments, and that as you are a man of any ingenuity willig to give an account of your Doctrine.

Zach. Crofton.

This alſo he received, but paſſed it in ſilence, and never to this day, gave any the leaſt anſwer to defend or retract his error: If therefore I find him obſtinate after the firſt and ſecond admonition, I hope I ſhall not be blamed for rejecting him as an Heretick, and withſtanding him from filling my Peoples Heads with low thoughts of Gods Ordinances, and the high Priviledges of Grace, whoſe tongues can already ſpeak too deſpicably of them: God ha­ving in his Providence brought me to the Section of Baptiſm in my courſe of Catechizing, and given me a little breathing ſpace from the violent perſecu­tions of his Abettors, I thought it to be my duty to dictate to my people, the dignity of Bap­tiſm, and knowing that many heard his Error, who would not hear the correction of it I have committed it to the Preſs, and ſent it into publique view, ſub­mitting it and my oppoſition of the Seducer that occaſioned it, to thy Cenſure, deſiring thou mayeſt ſhake off prejudice, and read with ſeriouſneſs and ſobri­ety, whereby I doubt not but thou mayeſt finde profit; for which he prays, who ſeeth a Divine Stamp on every our­ward Goſpel-Ordinance.

Zach. Crofton.


Page 4. line 23. for a read as. p. 23. l. 22. r. not to. p. 24. l. 2 r. me. p. 56. l. 4. r. readily gives. p. 58.. l. 20. r. tribes, p. 87. l. 23. r. profane nations. p. 92. l. 11. r. anſwerably. p. 107. l. 23. r. in­veighing. p. 119. l. 19. r. juſtle out. p. 136. l. 7. r. weight. p. 149. l. 7. r. third. p. 186. l. 4. r. humane.

A SHORT CATECHISM, BRIEFLY Propounding, and plainly ſhewing the VERTUE AND Value of BAPTISM.

OR, The following TREATISE fitted to the weak capacity of ſuch People as deſire to be confirmed in the Nature and Neceſſity of BAPTISM, againſt the Contempt and Neglect thereof.

By Zachariah Crofton, Miniſter at Bo­tolph Algate, London.

London, Printed by D.M. for J. Nuthal living in the Minories, 1658


A Short CATECHISM, Briefly propounding, and plainly ſhewing the vertue and value of BAPTISM.

Q. WHat is your name?

Anſ. M.

Q. Who gave you this name?

A. My Pa­rents, the natural Authors of my be­ing, and Inſtruments of my Intereſt in the Covenant of God.

Q. When did they give you this name?

A. In my Baptiſm, when I was de­dicated to God, and by the waſhing2 of my body in pure water fitted for approach to him.

Q. What is Baptiſm?

A. It is a ſolemn and Religious ap­plication of water by the hand of a lawfull Miniſter to fit ſubjects to ſig­nifie the blood of Chriſt, and Seal theovenant of Grace.

Q. What is the outward ſign in Baptiſm?

A. Water, in oppoſition to all other elements; and pure water without any mixture or compoſition; for ſo Chriſt did appoint, and his appoint­ment doth ſtamp dignity on that de­ſpicable Element.

Q. What is the inward Grace in Baptiſm?

A. The blood of Jeſus Chriſt with its properties and effects, the remiſsi­on of ſin, and regeneration of the ſoul.

Q. Is Baptiſm only a ſign to repre­ſent theſe things to our minde?

A. No, but alſo a ſeal to ratifie them to our ſoul; and therefore a right unto the Promiſe is the ground of Baptiſm, and Baptiſm a reaſon of our Faith in the Promiſe to be plea­ded3 in Prayer for obtainment.

Q. What is the form of Baptiſm?

A. The Application of water, by Dipping, or Sprinkling; for the man­ner is of no moment, ſo it be done ſo­lemnly and religiouſly, as a ſacred Or­dinance by Divine Inſtitution, with Prayer to God, and a Dedication of the perſon baptized, unto the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghoſt.

Q. Who is to adminiſter Baptiſm?

A. A lawful, and none but a law­ful Miniſter; for Baptiſm is an act of Office and argument of Faith; there­fore to be applyed by authority; and then the Baptiſm of women, and pri­vate men is void and null.

Q. Who are fit ſubjects to be bap­tized?

A. Such, all ſuch, and only ſuch as are in Covenant with God; for the qualification that muſt guide the Church in applying Baptiſm, muſt be Intereſt in the Covenant; and theſe are two ſorts. 1. Infidels converted to the Faith. 2. The Infants of one or both Chriſtian Parents.

Q. By what muſt Infidels converted to the Faith be judged, within the Co­venant,4 and fit ſubjects to be bap­tized.

A. By making a profeſsion of ſa­ving faith, which may be done by men in the gall of bitterneſs, and bond of iniquity, not ſaving profeſſi­on of faith, importing ſincerity of grace, nor by a well ordered converſation; for Gods Miniſters muſt judge by a preſenviſible ſign, and they cannot ſearch the heart: And Plants are to be ſet in the Church before we look for fruit; Baptiſm is a Bond unto a­mendment of life.

Q. How can it be proved that the in­fants of Chriſtian Parents are with in the Covenant and to be baptized?

A. During the adminiſtration of Covenant in the times of the Old Teſtament, the natural iſſue of Gods people, before they acted their faith, even as ſoon as they were born, were within the Covenant. The form of the Promiſe is, I will be thy God, and the God of thy ſeed: Circumciſion the Seal of the righteouſneſs of faith, was ſet in their fleſh at eight days old. God claims the natural iſſue of his Covenant-people as his own, when5 he calls them out of Egyyt, Exod. 5.1. chargeth them with duty, Deut. 14.2. complaineth of Idolatay, Epheſ. 16.21. Chaſtiſeth their ſin, Amos 3.2. And Chriſt calls the Jews natural, the children of his Kingdom, and placeth in them the Right to the mercies he brought, whilſt the Gentiles were Dogs licking up the crums.

Q. But what is the intereſt of In­fants in the Old Teſtament to us under the new?

A. Very much; for whilſt we ſee they have been in Covenant, it will direct us to ſee a very clear reverſal and plain limitation of the Cove­nant before we part with ſuch a birth-right and priviledge; for common Juſtice will not ſuffer us without good warrant to change a Fee-farm to our ſelves and heirs, for a Leaſe for term of Life; and we need a clear reaſon to convert the Jews from the old Co­venant, whereby they begot an holy ſeed to God, unto a ſtraiter Cove­nant, that provides for the Parent, but leaves the child prophane, and eſtran­ged to God. The enemies of our Baptiſm, cry for an expreſs command6 to baptize Infants; but inſtead of ſhewing any, we think we have good reaſon to ſay, we as ſuch infants, have by a long Tenure an intereſt in the Covenant; ſhew us a clear Goſpel Writ of Ejection, if you think now to diſpoſſeſs us.

Q. But have you any good ground in the New Teſtament on which infants, as the natural iſſue of believing Pa­rents may claim an intereſt in the Cove­nant?

A. Yes, very much, when we con­ſider little ſucking Babes brought in arms to be received by the Lord Je­ſus to be bleſſed by him, to be decla­red members of the Kingdom of hea­ven, propounded as ſuch who ought to be received in his name, as his diſ­ciples, and not to be offended; all which are the bleſsings of the Cove­nant: and that the Apoſtle affirms of the Gentiles ingrafted in, as well as the Jews cut off, in Rom. 9. That if the firſt-fruits, then the whole lump is ho­ly; if the root, then the branches are holy; and the branches do partake of the fatneſs of the olive: we muſt caſt away our reaſons if we ſee not7 Infants intereſt in the Covenant.

Q. But have you not yet ſome plaier Scriptures to prove their title?

A. Yes, the Apoſtle doth expreſly ſay the Infants of one Chriſtian Pa­rent is holy, 1 Cor 7.14. of real holi­neſs none underſtand it; natural holi­nſs taking away the blot of baſtardy, ſuppoſing Faith eſſential to Marriage is too ridiculous to be received, and then it muſt needs mean a foederal ho­lineſs by the extent of the Covenant, and in the eſteem of the Church. And in Acts 2.38. the Apoſtle ſaith expreſly, The promiſe is to you, and to your children: This promiſe cannot be of extraordinary-Gifts, becauſe it is extended to all that ſhall be called; nor is it to children when culled, for that were not to them as children: the Holy Ghoſt doth not uſe to ſpeak non-ſenſe, and expreſs perſonal quali­fications by terms of relation, but tels the believer, his children as his children have a priviledge in the Co­venant above other mens children; ſo that it is plain ſuch Infants are within the Covenant, and accord­ing to their capacity to enjoy8 the Seals and Priviledges thereof.

Q. But they are not capable of being baptized, becauſe they can act nothing in the Ordiance, nor can they make a pro­feſsion of Faith, and Repentance.

A. Nor is ſuch capacity needfull; for profeſsion gives no right to Bap­tiſm, but as an evidence of Cove­nant Intereſt: and their right to the Covenant, manifeſted by their deſcent from ſuch Parents is as good a reaſon for their Baptiſm: and the ſubjects of the initiating Seal do not act any thing, as if God would thereby di­ctate, inability to action ſhall be no bar to Baptiſm.

Q. But thoſe we read of in Scri­pture that were baptized were at grown years.

A. So were thoſe who were firſt circumciſed; but that was occaſional and circumſtancial: The Church is founded in grown Trees, but is to be edified by infant branches.

Q. But there is no inſtitution for in­fant Baptiſm.

A. That Baptiſm is inſtituted, can­not be denied. Age or Infancy are on­ly directions to whom to apply it, and9 therein the qualification of Covenant Intereſt is according to Scripture the clear direction. Moreover Infants may be Diſciples, bearing on them the name of Chriſt, and are Members of Nations, and ſo the Inſtitution, di­recting the baptizing of Diſcipled Nations, is to them extended.

Q. But all you urge for infants bap­tiſm, is by way of inference and con­ſequence.

A. Scripture-Inference is Gods word, binding mans conſcience: it was the way of Chriſt his convincing the Sadduces of the Reſurrection, and of Pauls preaching at Athens, and is your only way to warrant womens Communion at the Lords Table, and ſhall it not be of force to Infants Bap­tiſm?

Q. What benefit do you receive by your Baptiſm?

A. Much, as I am baptized, and enjoy that Ordinance of God; and much as I was baptized in Infancy by the early enjoyment of it.

Q. What is your benefit received by the Ordinance it ſelf?

A. A fit qualification to draw10 nigh to God with confidence.

Q. What do you mean by drawing nigh to God?

A. Not only the poſſſſion of hea­venly Glory when I die, which I deny not, but ſuch may enjoy whom the providence of God cuts off before they can be baptized: Nor only the private and perſonal acts of the ſoul, which may be preſented (though not with much confidence) acceptably to God before a man can be baptized after his Converſion, he not living in contempt or wilful neglect of Bap­tiſm; but I mean an approach to God in the Aſſemblies of his people, to wor­ſhip before him, as a Member of his Church, and one of his peculiar peo­ple, to bear his name in the world, and of his Royal Prieſthood, to offer up acceptable Sacrifice, and enjoying all his Ordinances; all which I do in aſſurance, having my body waſhed with pure water.

Q. Is then Baptiſm the neceſſary qua­lification for approach to God?

A. Yes, it is ſo neceſſary that the unbaptized, may not appear in the Aſſemblies of his people. The way of11 Chriſt his appearance in his Church as the Meſsiah was prepared by Bap­tiſm; therefore John the promiſed Elias, is called John the Baptiſt. Bap­tiſm prepared Chriſt for his work of Mediatorſhip; he neither prayed (that we read of) nor was tempted, nor preached, nor received the Teſti­mony from heaven till he was bapti­zed; and if the head were thus ſan­ctified, much more muſt the mem­bers: moreover Circumciſion did ſanctifie ſuch as might come nigh to the Sanctuary, and Baptiſm hath ſuc­ceeded in the room, ſignifies and ſeals the ſame Grace, and in all things ſerve to the ſame end in the Chriſti­an Church, that Circumciſion did to the Jews.

Q. What is the uſe of Baptiſm, that it ſhould ſo qualifie with confidence in acceſs to God?

A. By Baptiſm I am viſibly intereſt­ed in Jeſus Chriſt, Gal. 3.27. incor­porated into his Church 1 Cor. 12.13. made a member of the houſhold of Faith, and Commonealth of Iſ­rael, conſecrated unto God, Eph. 5.26. having holineſs ſtamped on my fleſh,12 being ſanctified by the waſhing of water by the word: And in Covenant with God, having the ſeal of the pro­miſe, whereby God is become mine, and I am dedicated to be his in faith and obedience, to God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghoſt: All which are clear grounds of Faith, to be improved un­to my encouragement in approach unto God.

Q. Are all that are baptized parta­kers of theſe priviledges?

A. All that are baptized enjoy theſe Priviledges Viſibly and Sacra­mentally in the judgement of the Church, by whoſe juſt cenſure they may be deprived of them, but not Savingly and Sincerely; for to ſome the inward Grace is withheld from Gods outward Ordinance according to Gods holy purpoſe: And many not acting Faith to claim, loſe the Privi­ledges ſealed. Baptiſm is in its nature and efficacy the ſame to all, but by reaſon of the incapacity of ſome it is not always a like effectual.

Q. What principles or practices are to be condemned as contrary to this uſe of Baptiſm?


A. Many, as 1. Such as dictate to the unbaptized a liberty of acceſs to God; teaching that Baptiſm is not the ground of Communion with the Church viſible, but real Grace, the anſwer of a good conſcience, and thereon do tender all the Ordinances to the unbaptized, which is directly oppoſite to this uſe of the Ordinance, and inverts the Ordinance of the Go­ſpel, giving God cauſe to complain, as once in Iſrael, Ezek. 44.7. Ye have defiled my Sanctuary by admitting into my Sanctuary the unbaptized in fleſh and in ſpirit.

Q. Who are further to be condemned as contrary to this conſecrating nature of Baptiſm?

A. Such as diſown their Baptiſm, in drawing nigh to God, as do ſome Familiſts, who deny all outward Or­dinances and pretend to ſerve God al­together in Spirit, as if divided man could draw nigh to God; or the Lord would not be adored by the body he hath redeemed, or true Grace could admit a contempt of any divine Or­dinance: Or the Anaebaptiſts who are ſo irrational as to renounce their Bap­tiſm,14 becauſe received in Infancy, as if a corruption in circumſtance (if this were one) had deſtroyed the eſſence of the Ordinance; but indeed they do it out of ignorance, or obſtinacy, deming Gods Inſtitution Superſtiti­on, and ſo run into the ſin of Sacri­ledge.

Q. Is the denial of Infants Baptiſm the ſin of Sacriledge?

A. Whilſt it robs God of the chil­dren to him begotten, the Church of Members to her born, believing Pa­rents of a ground of Faith, and reaſon of hope, and the Infants of their un­doubted Intereſt in the Covenant, I cannot but deem it ſacriledg.

Q. Who elſe are to be blamed as re­pugnant to this conſecrating nature of Baptiſm?

A. Such as diſregard Baptiſm in its application to others, as do Parents, who paſs over their childrens Baptiſm as a Civil Complement, and meer Formality to pleaſe Friends, but never compoſe themſelves to it as an act of Religion, and Ordinance of God; pray not for a bleſsing on it, nor praiſe God for the bleſsing of it; nor in­ſtruct15 their baptized children in the benefit and uſe of it: and people who attend with ſome ſhew of reverence on other Ordinances, but rudely ruſh out of the Congregation when Baptiſm is adminiſtred, as if it were ſome idle action; and as if the ſanctifying of a ſoul to God, the ſealing of the Cove­nant, and admiſſion of a Member into the Church were of no uſe to them, nor worth their attendance.

Q. Who elſe are to be blamed, as contrary to the nature of Bapiiſm?

A. Such as diſeſteem their own Baptiſm, neither improving it againſt ſin, nor arguing to themſelves the du­ty or dignity of their Baptiſm, ſo as to make Baptiſm an Engagement againſt ſin to holineſs and encourage­ment of their Spirits in holy duties.

Q. Who alſo are to be blamed as con­trary to the conſecrating nature of Bap­tiſm?

A. Such as deny the Baptized the liberty of acceſs to God in the Aſ­ſemblies of his people, as do the Inde­pendents who gather Churches out of Churches rightly conſtituted, and call the Baptized into Church way, as16 if they were out, and preſcribe a Co­venant of their own, whereby to ad­mit Church members, & affect to diſtin­guiſh themſelves from others Bapti­zed, by the term of Saints, Brethren, Church, and the like, and deny to communicate with them, as if Baptiſm did not incorporate into Chriſt his Body, and prepare for communion with him in his Ordinances.

Q. To what courſe of life doth your Baptiſm bind you?

A. To depart from all iniquity, to devote my ſelf wholly to the Faith and Service of one God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghoſt, to whom I am dedi­cated, and all my days to demean my ſelf as a member of Chriſt his Church, one in Covenant with God, on whom holineſs is ſtamped, and that is ſanctified for approaches to him.

Q. You ſpake of ſome benefit you reaped by your being Baptized in Infan­cy; Is the early enjoyment of this Ordi­nance of any advantage?

A. Yes, vey much in many things to be preferred before Baptiſm of grown perſons wherein it is more pro­fitable.


Q. What is the firſt benefit of In­fant Baptiſm?

A. Infant Baptiſm expreſſeth clear­ly the ſin of nature, and engageth againſt it: in that we are waſhed, it is evident we are unclean, but being ſo ſoon baptized, doth witneſs our very nature is defiled; for infancy did ne­ver admit us to be ſtained with perſo­nal guilt as are men at years; and ſo Infant Baptiſm is an unanſwerable ar­gument of our inbred corruption a­gainſt which we are bound to fight, being baptized before it had ſpread it ſelf into actual ſin.

Q. What is the ſecond benefit of In­fant Baptiſm?

A. It explaineth the method, and or­der of tranſmitting the Covenant, and affecteth us with the benefit of Relation to a believing Parent. That we are baptized ſpeaks us in Covenant; but that we are ſo ſoon baptized before we have in our ſelves any qualificati­on for it, ſhews us as branches, we partake of the fatneſs of the olive, and are of the ſame kinde with our Parents: God hath graciouſly be­come the God of the Believer and18 his Seed, and made grace to run through natures channel, otherwiſe we had never enjoyed this Privi­ledge.

Q. What is a third benefit of Infant Baptiſm?

A. It enlargeth the bounds, and eſta­bliſheth the being of the Church. Bap­tiſm is the band of union, and Ordi­nance of ingrafting into the Church: But Infant Baptiſm doth ſcatter the holy ſeed, and ſend forth ſprouting branches, which ſucceeding into the room of old periſhing ſtocks, doth not only increaſe the number of the Chur­ches Members, but defend it from the waſting annihilating breaches of time.

Q. What is the fourth benefit of Baptiſm?

A. It exciteth Repentance, repreſent­ing ſin in its Root and Original, the pravity of nature; and its graci­ous object, the God of our Fathers, and the God of our youth, againſt whom we have offended.

Q. What is the fifth benefit of In­fant Baptiſm?

A. It enforceth Faith, not only in19 the ſealing, but alſo the extending of the Covenant to the ſeed of Belie­vers, a ground of Parental Prayer for Poſterity, and an early ſeizure of our ſouls, before Satan could poſſeſs us, or our own corrupt nature could betray us unto him.

Q. What is the ſixth benefit of In­fant Baptiſm?

A. It engageth duty; Parents to Chriſtian education and inſtruction of thoſe, who by their Authority are dedicated to the ſervice of the true God, children to the obedience of the God of their Father, and of their youth, who extended to them the Co­venant, and ſo ſoon ſet the ſeal of it in their fleſh.

Q. What is the ſeventh benefit of In­fant Baptiſm?

A. It encourageth under death; the knowledge of the Covenant, extended unto Believers and their ſeed, hath prepared young children unto Martyr­dom, and intereſt in the Covenant can be the only ground of hope to the Parents under the death of their In­fants, who are born the children of wrath, but by Baptiſm are put into20 the ark of ſalvation; ſuch as let go this muſt chear themſelves by a dream of childrens immunity from all guilt, and ſo cannot be damned: Or a Po­piſh Limbus Infantum, or ſome unuſu­al way of comfort the Scripture doth not warrant.

Q. May not theſe benefits redound to ſuch as are baptized in grown years?

A. No, in no wiſe, for ſuch ſee not the extent of the Covenant to Belie­vers and their ſeed, nor the ſervice­ableneſs of Relation natural in buſi­neſſes of ſalvation, nor do they enjoy the ſame; and therefore it is our great happineſs, that we are not only Bap­tized, but Baptized in Infancy, under all the advantages that either Ordi­nance or ſeaſon can afford us.


THE VIRTUE and VALUE OF BAPTISME, Delivered in a Summary Sermon at the cloſe of the Cate­chetical Conſiderations of the Doctrine of Baptiſm, at Botolphs Aldgate, LONDON.

TEXT. Heb. 10. ver. 22.(the laſt words) And our bodies waſhed with pure water.

THE Author of this Epiſtle intending a Confirmation of the Chriſtianized Jews in the Faith they had rceived, and ad­miniſtration2 of the Goſpel to whichhey were ſubjected, doth aſſerteſus Chrſt to be the true Meſſiah,oth in reſpect of Perſon, ase is God-Man-Mediator, andis Offices, as Prophet, Prieſt and King, and oppoſeth him unto allhoſe Levitical Rites whereby he was typified, plainly declaring that the appearance of the Subſtance put a period to all thoſe Shadowie Ceremonies whereby they had wor­ſhipped God; and neceſſitated a­nother manner of adminiſtration of Gods Covenant and Worſhip, fit to ſhew that the Meſſiah was come, and no longer to be expected. Which having by clear Demonſtra­tions confirmed in the 19 verſe of this chapter, he enters upon the Application of this Doctrine, which he manageth by,

1. Stating the principle proved, as granted and agreed on, v. 19, 20, 21.

32. Special Inference of Du­ty, v. 22.

In the Inference we are to note three things,

1. The Duty Inferred, Let us draw near.

2. The Dictated Qualificati­ons of ſuch as muſt draw near, and they are two, The heart ſprinkled from an evil conſcience, the body waſhed with pure water.

3. The directed manner of drawing nigh to God, With a true heart, in the full aſſurance of Faith.

I intend not a full Conſidera­tion and therefore ſhall not in­ſiſt on a full Comment upon the whole verſe, but confine my ſelf only to the words pro­pounded; and we ſee they are the Dictated quality of ſuch as are required to draw nigh to God upon the account of the4 High Prieſt, and liberty of en­tance into the Holy place; and therefore is to be Grammatically Read,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, we ſprinkled and waſhed, let us draw neer, &c. and herein there is among Ex­poſitors no difference: but the difficulty is in the Interpreta­tion of the words; many of our modern Expoſitors differ­ing from the Antients in the ſame, the laſt underſtanding the Sacrament of Baptiſme to be the qualification here ſpo­ken of; the former, Externall Sanctty, by way of alluſion unto Baptiſme: the difference is not much, for if all Externall Sanctity be here intended, then Baptiſme, and if the order of Sanctity be to be obſerved, that firſt, as it where External San­ctity muſt begin, yet my judge­ment5 leads me to the interpre­tation of the Antients, and ſuch later Expoſitors as fol­low their ſteps; and ſo I under­ſtand by the body waſhed with pure water, the Perſon Baptized or qualified by due ſubjection to the Sacrament of Baptiſme, and hereunto I am guided 1. by the oppoſition of it, to the heart ſprinkled, which intends the reall Sanctification of the whole Man; and is ſo interpreted in the 9 ch. 14. v. whilſt the waſhing of the body ſignified Externall Sanctification, alwayes in uſe a­mong the Jewes, and is ſo uſed by the Apoſtle, Eph. 5.26. Sanctified by the waſhing of water; as Expoſitors do agree. So the oppoſition in this Text ſeems to me, to diſtinguiſh the inward grace, and outward ſigne in dictating the Goſpell6 order of acceſs to God, to be by Baptiſme of water on the body and blood, or Grace on the heart: and is the ſame with that in 1 Peter 3.21. Baptiſme that now is, ſaves us, not the waſhing of water, but the anſwer of a good Conſcience.

2. By the occaſion, which ſeemes to me to have been the preventing anſwer of an ob­jection, that might well be propounded by the Jewes thus;You have put a period to all holy Rites, and laid all the Adminiſtrations of the Covenant according to Moſes in the duſt, and tell us poſitively that they which ſerve the Tabernacle muſt not eat at your Altar, (Heb. 13.10. ) nor enjoy with you the Priviledges of Grace; we well know God is a Holy God, and will be ſan­ctified in ſuch as approach un­to him; and the uncircumci­ſed in heart or in fleſh may not come nigh unto him, Ezek 44.9. nor enter into his Sanctuary; what order or out­ward ordinance of Sanctifica­tion is then preſcribed in our approaches to God?To which the Apoſtle anſwereth, in ſtead of Circumciſion of heart and fleſh under the old, you muſt according to the direction of the New Covenant and the Goſpell worſhip, draw near to God with an heart ſprinkled from an evil Conſcience, and a bo­dy waſhed with pure water, which will be to you a ground of full aſſurance, which all the Cere­monies of the Law could not Create unto you. So that the words ſeem not to me to be at all ſtrained: but of their own8 ſelves by a genuine Interpre­tation, thus to ſpeak, that the outward ſigne and inward Grace of Baptiſme are the onely qua­lifications of ſuch as will in full aſſurance of Faith draw nigh to God in Goſpell adminiſtra­tions, and the priviledges of the new Covenant; and in this ſenſe and expoſition I ſtand not alone, for Aretius ſaith expreſſely, Corpora Noſtra de­bent eſſe abluta aqua pura, hoc eſt, Baptiſme Chriſti debemus eſſe initiati: Our bodies waſhed with pure water, that is, we ought to be initiated by the Baptiſme of Chriſts appointment. And Paraeus ſaith Intelligimus nos intus ſan­guine & ſpiritu Chriſti purgari, foris quod Baptiſmo ablui corpo­ribus: ad Sacramentum enim Baptiſmi Apoſtolus reſpicere vi­detur: Par. in Loc. We under­ſtand9 an inward ſprinkling of the Conſcience with the Blood and Spirit of Chriſt, and an outward waſhing the body by Baptiſme; for the Apoſtle lookes on Baptiſme.

The words thus explained, do plainly preſent to our ob­ſervation, and conſideration, this point of Doctrine.

Doctr. Baptiſme, or waſhing of the Body with pure water, is a ſpecial qualification that fits us for confident approach to God.

In the proſecution of this Doctrine, I ſhall explaine, confirme, and apply it with all convenient brevity.

In the explication we are to enquire what is Baptiſme?

2. What 'tis to approach to God with confidence?

For the firſt, I ſhall not ſtand upon the acceptations of the10 word Baptiſme, nor trouble you with the various ſenſes in which 'tis uſed: but taking it in its vulgar acceptation, as it denominates a Goſpell or­dinance and eminent piece of Gods worſhip, you may re­ceive of it this deſcription.

Baptiſme is a Solemn and Re­ligious application of water, by a lawfull Miniſter to a fit Sub­ject; to the ſignifying of the Blood of Chriſt, and its clean­ſiing property, and the Sealing of the Covenant of Grace.

In this deſcription I will not trouble you with a logicall di­ſtribution of it, into its parts: but propound theſe concluſi­ons as helpfull to your under­ſtanding of it.

Concluſion 1. Water is the outward ſign and matter of Bap­tiſme;11 water and no other Ele­ment; pure water without Po­piſh mixture, or Compoſition with oyle, creame, ſpittle, or the like; for this and this only Element the Lord appointed, and his appoint­ment ſtamps on the uſe of it, Dignity and Authority, and juſtly checks the curioſity of ſuch as are ſubject to contemne the ſimplicity of the Element, and advance the dignity of the Ordinance by their own dull, but daring inventions: and yet water being an Ele­ment, cooling heat, quench­ing thirſt, of common uſe, and eaſie purchaſe, and cleanſing all filthineſs; doth fitly repre­ſent unto our minds the cooling and refreſhing efficacy, the plenty and eaſie purchaſe, to­gether with the purifying pro­perty12 of the Blood of Chriſt.

Concluſ. 2. A ſolemne and Religious application of the wa­ter muſt be the form of Bap­tiſme; That water be applied to the Subject is the eſſentiall act of Baptiſme, the manner of its application, by dipping or ſprinkling, is to be guided by diſcretion and conveniency; though we deny not dipping to have been uſed in the Pri­mitive Churches, in the hot Eaſtern Countries, where with ſafety and conveniency it might be uſed; and we grant (all other things concurring) dipping to be a lawfull application of the water, yet it is not eſſentially and indiſpenſably neceſſary, as the Anabaptiſts do too zealouſ­ly contend: but it is both law­full and ſufficient that the wa­ter be poured or ſprinkled on13 the Subject which hath been the allowed practiſe of the Church; and the word Baptize, ſignify­ing any kind of waſhing, by ſprinkling, pouring on, or dip­ping: and the meaſure, or quan­tity of water being no more eſſentiall to Baptiſme then of Bread and Wine to the Lords Supper, will allow it; and the Holy Ghoſt mentioneth the blood of Chriſt as Cleanſing by ſprinkling 1 Pet. 1.2. by way of alluſion to this act in Baptiſme, as the analogie thereof: and it is more then probable that Baptiſme in hou­ſes, as was that of the Jaylors, Act. 16.33. was Adminiſtred by ſprinkling or pouring on, not by dipping; and the weak­neſs of Children, and coldneſs of our climate is a juſt Rea­ſon for this manner of Appli­cation;14 ſo that either of theſe may be uſed without contenti­on.

Water what way ſoever, muſt be Solemnly and religiouſly ap­plyed in the holy form, and with the holy Rites which God hath appointed; for every com­mon waſhing or application is not Baptiſme: but water con­ſecrated by the word of inſti­tution and prayer; and as an act of worſhip to God, and ar­gument of faith applied in the name (that is by the appoint­ment, and to the dedication of the perſon Baptized to faith in, and holy profeſſion) of Father Son and Holy Ghoſt; is the Sacrament of Baptiſm; ſo that as the Apoſtle doth well check the horrid prophaneneſs of ſuch as deemed the common eating of bread, and drinking of wine15 to be the Lords Supper, by de­claring The Cup of bleſſing which we bleſſe is the Com­munion of the blood of Chriſt, and the Bread which we break is the Communion of the bo­dy of Chriſt, 1 Cor. 10.16. thereby pointing unto the ſo­lemne and Religious Rites which muſt diſtinguiſh the Lords Sup­per from common eating and drinking; ſo the Solemne and Religious Application of water diſtinguiſheth the Sacrament of Baptiſme from all other com­mon waſhing.

Concluſ. 3. Baptiſme muſt be adminiſtred by a lawfull Miniſter; this water may not be applied by every or any pri­vate hand; the Lord Jeſus hath joyned it in Commiſſion with teaching and diſcipling, ſo that ſuch only that have the Au­thority16 of the one have the Authority of the other; Bap­tiſme is on all hands agreed on to be an act of office and Autho­rity, and not to be given by men out of office; it is a Seale which muſt be ſtamped (not by a childiſh impreſſion: but) with Power and Authority, to make it valid, a ground of faith, pleadable in prayer; ſo that the Baptiſme of women and private Perſons (on what pretended neceſſity ſoever it be) is wick­ed and prophane; nay in my judgement is void and null, and not to be ſalved with a quod fieri non debuit factum valet, that unlawfull things are valid when paſt and done; though I cannot with the Donatiſts grant that the efficacy of the Ordinance depends on the dig­nity of the Adminiſtrator, yet17 I cannot but believe that the Authority of the inſtitutor is eſſentiall to every Goſpell Or­dinance to the Church, and muſt be found in every Admi­niſtrator; Ordained Miniſters muſt give us Sacraments, I and preach the Word too if we will not be cheated of Salvati­on, and content our ſelves with mock Ordinances; my muddy brains could never yet conceive the God of Order to make Office and Authority eſſentiall to politicall tranſactions in Kingdomes and Common­wealths, and yet to leave his Church in ſuch confuſion, that the great Affaires of Salvation ſhall be diſpenced by every common hand; as if his care were more for the world then the Church, which if it be, I will never go to the Houſe of18 God to behold the beauty of his Holineſs, which ſhines more brightly in the wide Wilder­neſs.

Concluſ. 4. Baptiſme muſt be adminiſtred unto fit ſub­jects: all Subjects ſute not the Ordinance; Creatures inſenſi­ble and irrationall are incapa­ble of the Grace of God, and theſe holy Adminiſtrations thereof; the baptizing of Bels, Churches, Fonts, &c. is a piece of Conſecration, neither pre­ſcribed nor allowed in the New Teſtament; but to be damned as prophane and ſuperſtitious; they muſt be the ſubjects of Life and Reaſon that will lie in the leaſt Capacity of Grace and Holineſs; and ſuch are the Sons of men.

Sons of men are Subjects capable of Grace and Holi­neſſe:19 but the ſpeciall diſpen­ſations thereof in the Cove­nant of Grace, and its Seales, calls for ſpeciall qualifications; and therefore Baptiſme may not be given to men as men, and meerely the ſons of Adam, no, they muſt firſt be the ſeed of Abraham, Gen. 17.13. for the Covenant of God muſt be in their fleſh, and by Preaching they muſt be diſcipled into the Chriſtian Church, and ſee that the Promiſe is to them and to their Children before they be Baptized Act. 2.38, 39. for Baptiſme muſt be the Seale of the Righteouſneſs of faith, which we have being not yet Baptized, Rom. 4.11. ſo that the fit Subjects for Baptiſme muſt be not only men, but Faederati, ſuch as Covenant with God, to whom the Promiſe may be20 judged to belong: they muſt be made Chriſtians, and lay hold on the Covenant of God, and then be Baptiſed; I could drive out of your common diſ­courſe an ordinary terme rela­ting to Baptiſme (viz ſuch a one is Chriſtned) if I did not hope you well underſtand it: Baptiſme may Chriſtianum di­cere, declare and pronounce a man a Chriſtian: but it doth not Chriſtianum facere, make a Chriſtian; if your Children be not made Chriſtans by the ex­tent of the Covenant to believ­ers and their ſeed, bring them not to me to be Baptized; moſt curſedly prophane was the cru­elty of the Spaniſh Papiſts in America, who with whips and ſcourges drave the unchriſtani­zed untaught Indians to the Fonts to be Baptized; for that21 Baptiſme belongs to none but Chriſts diſciples, and Covenant People.

Baptiſme belongs to all Chriſts Diſciples and Gods Co­venant People, ſo that none of them may without ſin, nay ſacriledg be barred from Bap­tiſme; and theſe are reſolved into two ranks, and known by two names in the Church (viz) Infidells converted to the faith, and the Infants of one or both Chriſtian Parents: Theſe two are the orders into which Gods faederates have been Ranked, ever ſince Gods Co­venant was eſtabliſhed, and his Church was eſtated in Abra­ham, Iſaac and Jacob, and their ſeed: as to the firſt of them, they are on all hands conſen­ted to as fit and proper Sub­jects, onely our over-pious age22 hath ſtarted the quaery, How and when they muſt be judged converted to the faith? which I muſt needs reſolve to be by a profeſſion of ſaving faith, not the ſaving Profeſſion of faith, and poſſeſſion of ſincere Grace which the Congregating Ana­baptiſts call for; ſincere grace and ſaving Profeſſion muſt be the ſoules care, and ground of joy: but cannot be the ſigne that ſhall guide the Church in giving the Sacrament of Bap­tiſme; aſſoon as they profeſſed to believe, Philip Preaching the things of God, and the name of Jeſus Chriſt, they were Bapti­zed both men and women, Act. 8.12. Philip required no more of the Eunuch in v. 37. and when I hear Peter declared Si­mon the Sorcerer to be after his Baptiſme in the Gall of bitter­neſs,23 and bond of iniquity, as v. 23. I perceive they in whoſe company he was Baptized yield­ed no more; and when I re­member Annànias and Saphi­ra, Demas, and other Baptized Perſons proved hypocrites and reprobates; I cannot believe they poſſeſſed ſincere Grace, or made a ſaving Profeſſion, though they profeſſed ſaving Faith; I cannot yet turn Ar­minian and believe true Grace, may be finally and totally loſt, and a man may be a child of God to day, and a child of the Devill to morrow; I have not faith enough to believe that when God made me a Mini­ſter, he made me a God, and endowed me with the pro­perty of to ſearching the heart: nor have I wit enough to conceive that God making me a24 Steward of his Miſteries, pre­ſcribes to my as my guide the qualification of ſubjects, which lies beyond my knowledg. I believe the groſſe enormities of many baptized Saints (as they call themſelves) hath con­vinced them, that true Grace is not within their ſight, but they may and have baptized hypocrites: why then do they call for that qualification God hath not directed and they can not diſcern? God hath made the tongue the trumpet of the heart, and I can better hope men will not play the hy­pocrite and make that utter an uncertain ſound, then I can know the ſincerity of their Grace.

Though Infidels converted to the Faith be generally re­ſolved within the Covenant,25 yet ſince the dayes of Baltha­zar Pacimontanus, (who pre­tending to have derived his fan­cy from Luther, conſtrained Luther to write againſt him in the year of our Lord, 1527.) The Right of Infants to the Covenant of God, and con­ſequently their capacity for Baptiſme hath been called in queſtion, and of late yeares hath met with moſt high and violent (though irrational and unſcripturall oppoſition) where­in I cannot but admire at the erroneous induſtry of the An­tipaedobaptiſts, to curtail Gods Covenant, cut off their ſeed from the priviledges of Grace, and caſt away their own rea­ſons, blinding their eyes againſt plaine demonſtrations of Scrip­ture, and the Antient enjoy­ments of the Church; where­in26 we muſt ſee better warrant before we ſtrike hands with them, and be of their unchari­table beliefe; for if I know any thing of the method of Gods Covenant, or in the leaſt how to Reaſon from Scrip­tures, It is as cleare as the Sun that the Infants of believing Parents, Gods Covenant Peo­ple, whilſt Infants, and as their naturall ſeed are Gods faede­rates, and within his Cove­nant, and ſo fit Subjects of Baptiſme.

In politicall and all civill tranſactions of men, we find all the world over that Cove­nants made from or to parents, do uſually include children as their children, ſo that by that very relation, without any new formall contract, they claime Priviledges, and ſtand bound27 to duty; and when I conſider Gods way of dealing to be according to mans capacity and humane method, I have no ground on which to ima­gine that he hath inverted the order, and cut off Relation in the conveighing of the privi­ledges of Grace, and conſtitu­ting a peculiar People to him­ſelfe; for Gods ſpeciall diſpen­ſations do ordinarily run in the ſame Channell, though not with the ſame Latitude that his Ge­nerall Providences do: and then when God after the manner of men aſſumes to himſelfe a King­dom, without doubt he con­fers Honours on and looks for Loyalty from his ſubjects, and their ſeed or off-ſpring, who as their ſeed are born heires of ſuch Honour and duty.

Further in all the tranſacti­ons28 of God with man ever ſince he had a being, the Covenant hath extended to his ſeed, as his ſeed, without any perſonall qualification, all that know a­ny thing of Gods dealing with Adam, know the Covenant of works was made to him for himſelfe, and his ſeed as they were his naturall ſeed, he re­ceived priviledges for himſelfe and them, and ſo he loſt them, and by one mans diſobedience we were all made ſinners; if this were Gods method in the Co­venant of works, we muſt have good reaſons to make us be­lieve it is altered in the extent and Adminiſtration of the Co­venant of Grace: but not to ſtand on Generall equity and demonſtrations, the Scripture doth by plain and clear inſtan­ces in both Old and New Te­ſtament29 evidence the children of men under the Covenant of Grace, to be alſo in Co­venant as they are their natu­rall iſſue; There is nothing plainer in Scripture then that when the Covenant of Grace was eſtabliſhed in Abraham, Iſaac and Jacob, it was extend­ed to their naturall ſeed; their children, as their children even in infancy, and before they at­tained to any Perſonall quali­fications were in Covenant, and the children of God; This is expreſſed in the very form of the Covenant, Gen. 17.7. I will be a God unto thee, and to thy ſeed after thee: This is evidenced by Circumciſion, the Seale of the Covenant ſet in their fleſh on this very ground, and that at eight dayes old, whilſt infants, unable to30 any perſonall acts of Abrahams faith, and it muſt needs be moſt groſſe ignorance to ſay that Circumſion Sealed to the naturall iſſue of Abraham, I­ſaac and Jacob the land of Ca­naan and Promiſe thereof, but not the Covenant of Grace, whilſt the matter ſealed, and very ground on which every man child muſt be Circumci­ſed, is expreſſely declared to be, I will be thy God, and the God of thy ſeed: whilſt the Holy Ghoſt tells us Circumciſion was the ſeale of the Righteouſ­neſs of faith, which is the Co­venant of Grace, Rom. 4.11. and Circumciſion was ſet on the fleſh of the Profelyted Gen­tiles, who never claimed nor poſſeſſed by the vertue there­of, any portion of Canaan the land of Promiſe; ſo that if31 this were the onely matter Sea­led by Circumciſion, it did to them. Seale a blank, and they had by it no benefit; again, God doth lay an eminent claime to the naturall iſſue of the Jewes, in their very Apo­ſtaſies from him, when he calls them out of Egypt, he doth it with an eſpecial claime, let my People go, Exod. 5.1. when he chargeth them with duty, he enforceth it with relation, ye are the children of the Lord your God, Deut. 14.1. when he chides their abominable Idolatry, he aggravates it by the ſacriledg, owning his own title, Thou haſt taken thy ſons and thy daugh­ters which thou haſt born unto me, and ſacrificed, &c. Thou haſt ſlain my Children, and de­livered them to cauſe them to paſſe through the fire; for32 them in Ezek. 16.20, 21. When he chaſtiſeth them, he comes to them as a Father, Ye children of Iſrael you onely have I known as mine, therefore I will viſit you for your iniquities, Amos. 3.1, 2. and when he comes to deliver them from af­flictions, their ſins provoke to continue; the Covenant made with Abraham, Iſaac and Jacob is the onely cogent reaſon there­unto; this is pleaded as the preva­lent argument and ground of faith in prayer, Exod. 32.14. Iſa. 64.9. And affectionate­ly reſented by the Lord, Levit. 26.42. Ezekiel 16.59, 60. I might deal with thee as thou haſt done when thou didſt deſpiſe the Oath in breaking the Cove­nant, nevertheleſſe I will re­memember my Covenant made with thee in the dayes of thy33 youth: when I conſider this carriadge of God toward Iſrael according to the fleſh, I cannot without blaſphemy but think God to be more juſt then to lay ſuch a ſpeciall claime under the ſeries of his diſpenſa­tion towards Iſrael, if by his Covenant with their Fathers he had not a cleare and unqueſti­onable title to the poſterity: and it is to me a moſt ſenſeleſſe and dull evaſion, to ſay that Iſra­el were Gods People by right of Creation as wool, and hempe, and flax are his, whilſt he him­ſelfe tells us, he had choſen them to be a precious People unto him­ſelfe, above all people that are upon the earth, Deut. 14.2. and you onely have I known above all the families of the earth. Amos 3.2. Where doth God ſay of any Nation they34 are my people Iſrael excepted, and is not the tranſmiſſion of the Covenant to the Gentiles, that which makes them who were not a People, to be the People of the living God? and unto this it may further be ad­ded that our Saviour in the ve­ry rejection of the Jewes, when he declares them to be of their father the devill denieth them not to be the children of Abra­ham (John 8) nay, declareth them to be Children in the Right to the Grace he brought into the world, in compariſon of whom the Gentiles are cal­led dogs, Mat. 15.26. Nay, and ownes them as children of the Kingdome of Heaven, Mat. 8.11. And St. Paul lament­ing the rejection of his Kinſ­folke, aggravates their preſent miſeries by their paſt mercies,35 reckoning up their priviledges Adoption, Glory, Covenants, Oracles, the giving of the Law, the Service of God, the Promi­ſes, the Fathers, and the coming of Christ concerning the fleſh, (but not a word of Canaan, the great dreamed of Priviledge in Anabaptiſt view) and de­termines theſe belonged not to Iſrael heires of Abrahams faith, but to Iſrael his kinſ­folk according to the fleſh, even the naturall iſſue of Abraham Iſaac and Jacob.

By all this, and much more that hath been ſaid by others, and might be by me, it is more then manifeſt, that during the diſpenſations of the Covenant under the Law, and to the Jewes the children of Gods Covenant People, even as their children and without perſonall acts of36 faith were in Covenant with God, and ſubjects capable of the initia­ting Seale thereof; and me thinks under the Goſpell if (as un­doubtedly it is) the Covenant be ſubſtantially the ſame, though miniſterially different: men ſhould have more reaſon then to releaſe ſuch a priviledge without a very plain and clear reverſall in the New Teſtament, and limitation of the Cove­nant to adult and actuall be­lievers, which my dimme ſight could never yet read, nor dull brain conceive: and more ju­ſtice to themſelves and Poſte­ſterity then, if it be at their choice, to change a Fee-farm to themſelves and heires for ever, for a Leaſe for a terme of life, and meere perſonall title; ſure I am my little honeſty would act me with ſuch fooliſh ſelfe37 love: more regard to the re­jected Jew, who are yet the be­loved of God according to E­lection for the Fathers ſake, Rom. 11.28. And in hope to be Re-implanted into the Olive from which they were cut off; can we with any confidence court them to a new Covenant with ſtraiter termes? ſhall we not earneſtly emulate and high­ly provoke them to receive the Goſpell, by bidding them to their loſſe? will not ingenuity engage them thus to retort? why you perſwade me to turn Chriſtian? as I am a Jew I beget Children to the Lord, and bring forth an Holy ſeed; the Priviledges of the Cove­nant is entailed on me, and on my Naturall iſſue, and there­fore the Covenant of God is ſet on the fleſh of my child38 aſſoon as born; whereas if I turne Chriſtian, I bring forth children of wrath, and beget children to the God of the world. I have indeed a Perſo­nall right to the Covenant, and am provided for during my own life, but my children are turned into the wide world, to ſink or ſwim, & ſhift for them­ſelves, without any ſpeciall Di­vine Protection; is not a poor pittance with perpetuity bet­ter then more large enjoyments with ſo ſhort a tenure? never tell me of a better Teſta­ment on ſuch tickle termes:O the hopes the hopes of England to convert the late in­let Jewes their new inhabitants! by ſuch narrow and Honourable treaty, and tenders of Grace and Salvation.

Laſtly, Me thinks men calling39 themſelves Saints ſhould have more Religion then to reſtrain the Grace God hath extended to themſelves and feed; and cur­taile the Covenant that by the New Teſtament is conferred on the Believer and his iſſue naturall, even as his child in infancy, and before he acts any Perſonall faith: when I conſider little infants ſucking the breſts, and brought in armes, not able to go, received by our Lord Jeſus Chriſt by him bleſſed and pronouneed with o­thers of the like kind to be of the Kingdome of Heaven, and propounded not onely as exam­ples of meekneſs and humility, but as objects of charity and ob­ſervation, not to be offnded, but awfully received becauſe Chriſts name is placed on them, and they are made his diſciples, ſo as that40 the receiving ſuch a little child muſt be deemed the receiving of Chriſt; and the offending one of theſe little ones, a dolor more dangerous then a mil­ſtone hanged about his neck and being caſt into the Sea; Matth. 18.2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Mark. 10.14. Luk. 18.16. And when I conſider the Apoſtles poſition of the latitude of Sanctity, not onely to the Jewes the naturall branches, but the Chriſtianized Gentiles accidentall branches, wilde by nature, but ingrafted in, and partaking of the fatneſs of the Olive, plainly affirming of both, if the firſt fruits were holy ſo is the whole lump, if the root be holy ſo is the branches, Rom. 11.16. And I here by the way obſerve that from theſe priviledges the naturall branch­es41 were, and accidentally may be cut off.

Laſtly, When I conſider the Apoſtles clear and ſerious re­ſolve to the caſe of Conſcience propounded by the Corinthi­ans concerning their children born of an Infidel (not adulte­rous parent) elſe were your chil­dren unclean, but now are they holy, 1 Cor. 7.14. The Ana­baptiſt will not let us under­ſtand in this place Real holineſs, nor do we deſire it; and until that they have made it to ap­pear that Faith is eſſential to Marriage (which will put mar­riage in a good tendency to a Sacrament, and pleaſe the Church of Rome) it is too ri­diculous to underſtand a natu­ral holineſſe, I mean Legiti­timacie and acquittance from the blot of Baſtardie, and42 then I am conſtrained to under­ſtand a Foederal holineſs in the extent of the Covenant and eſteem of the Church. Theſe things, I ſay, conſidered, I muſt pluck up my reaſon by the very root if I do not by unde­nyable conſequence conſtraine my conſcience to believe and preach this point of Doctrine, (viz) In New-Teſtament times under the Goſpel-adminiſtrati­on of the Covenant of Grace, the natural iſſue, or infants of believing parents are in cove­nant with God, and under the promiſes of ſalvation. And when I look upon Peters en­couragement to the converting Jews to believe and be baptized, for the promiſe is to you and to your children, even to all that are a far off, as many as the Lord our God ſhall call, Act 2.38, 39.


I muſt renounce my Gram­mar and little skill in reading plain Engliſh, with the leaſt of underſtanding, if I do not read, Believing Jews and their chil­dren, and alſo believing Gen­tiles and their children, have that intereſt in the Promiſe that may be to them a Ground of Faith, and confer on them a Right to Baptiſm. And the A­nabaptiſt gloſſe that the pro­miſe was of extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghſt (for theſe are not extended to all that are a far off when God doth call them, nor created they any right to Baptiſm, for many time they follow this Sacra­ment) or that children, when called to the faith of the Parent, ſhould have the right to the Promiſe (for that is to them as called, nor as children. 44And my mind is very foggie, I am much out if this terme of Relation do not dictate a Priviledge and Propriety by virtue of relation which chil­dren of ſuch parents as children ſhould enjoy, above what chil­dren of other parents did or could enjoy) is too ſhort a Feſcue to make me read other­wiſe.

Thus then it doth fully and plainly appear, that under Old and New Teſtament admini­ſtrations of the Covenant of Grace, the infants of believ­ing parents are Foederati with­in the Covenant, and ſo fit and proper ſubjects of baptiſm to be baptized. Nor is their in­capacity of making a vocal pro­feſſion of Faith any bar to their baptiſm, for profeſſion ſim­ply creates no right to baptiſm,45 I never read the divil was bap­tized, and I believe the Dip­ping Saints will not now bap­tize him; Yet he really believ­ed, and more then once pro­feſſed, That Jeſus Chriſt was the Son of God. Profeſſion as an evidence of Covenant-intereſt, was the Churches guide to baptiſm, and the Scripture giving another de­monſtration of Covenant-in­tereſt, viz Deſcent from be­lieving parents; that is alſo regarded, and the one to be no bar to the other, but both in their place gives due directi­on who are foederates, and to be baptized.

Nor is the Argument of any more force becauſe the Scripture mentioneth vocal profeſſion and baptiſm upon it, but paſ­ſeth the other in ſilence; for46 occaſional and circumſtantial actions are no binding prece­dents, or univerſal direction to the Church of God. The Church is founded in grown perſons, whoſe Covenant-in­tereſt can be known no other­wiſe but by vocal profeſſion, but it may be edified by infant Branches, who by a courſe of nature partake of the fatneſſe of the Olive, having the birth­right of the Covenant. Thus it was with Abraham and his iſſue, and ſo with us. 2. Where the general nature of the Co­venant, with a long and par­ticular exerciſe thereof doth dictate, there needs no parti­cular explcite directions. God in his wiſdome deſigning our right underſtanding and ratio­nal improvement of the Cove­nant, and our reverend eſteem47 of the old Teſtament, in its uſe and neceſſity to the Chriſtian Church, repreſenting unto us the order of the adminiſtration of the Covenant and Circum­ciſion, refers us thither for di­rection concerning baptiſm; and we muſt needs in reaſon ſee that the change of a meer Rite or Ceremony under the continuation of the ſubſtance and ſame Covenant will never admit a change of the ſubjects to be ſealed.

Laſt of all, Infants inability to action is no bar to their bap­tiſm, becauſe it voids not their intereſt in the Covenant: and the Sacrament is ſuch wherein they are to be meerly Paſſive. When I obſerve God to have appointed the initiating Seal of initiating grace to be ſuch where men of the greateſt48 activity are altogether Paſſive; he ſeemes to me to ſuggeſt theſe ſhall not act in their ad­miſſion into the Church, and receiving of my Covenant; that inability to action may be no bar or hindrance to ſuch as have no leſſe intereſt in the Co­venant; and only Covenant-intereſt ſhall make capable of the Seal.

Let not any Antipaedobaptiſt think to amaze us by crying, Why, Sir, on this ground in­fants may have a right to the Lords Supper, for we ſay ſo too; they have jus ad rem, though not jus in re, their right is not denyed, though pre­ſent incapacity hinders their injoyment.

Theſe things conſidered, we muſt tell the Anabaptiſt, That49 infants right to the Covenant, and enjoyment of the initiating Seale, having been continued throughout the old world un­der the Law without the leaſt controule, and alſo under the Goſpell for more then 1600 yeares, without any Generall interruption or the leaſt di­ſturbance, untill within this 200 yeares; we muſt find bet­ter warrant to diveſt us of it, before we part with it; and our antiquity (on ſo clear a title) in the enjoyment, me thinks ſhould be no meane ar­gument to ingenuity; for we ſay in this caſe as Jephthah to the King of Ammon, Judges 11.26. When Iſrael dwelt in Heſhbon and her towns, in Aro­er & her towns, and in all the Ci­ties of Arnon, three hundred years why did ye not then recover50 them in that ſpace? ſo whilſt infant right to the Covenant, and initiating Seale dwelt in Judea and her towns, in Aſia and her towns, and in all the Cities of the Church of God, and the borders thereof 2000 yeares, why did you not reco­ver them in that ſpace? ſurely now you may deſpair of ever doing it; how much ſoever you diſturb our peace, we will ne­ver part with this priviledge.

Concluſ. 5. The ſignifying of the blood of Chriſt with its ef­fects, and the ſealing of the Covenant of Grace is the end of Baptiſme; Baptiſme is both a ſigne and Seale to excite our thoughts, and affect our mind with the blood of Jeſus, & aſſure our hearts of a right unto the Priviledges of the Covenant, ſo as to argue them to our ſoule as51 grounds of faith on which we are to urge God in Prayer: herein it agreeth with other Sacraments, and in ſpeciall cir­cumciſion, into whoſe place and end it hath ſucceeded, in that it is a ſign and Seale of the righteouſneſs of faith, Rom. 4.11. And ſo the analogy be­tween water in all its proper­ties, and the blood of Chriſt doth clearly hold, and the Scripture doth plainly attribute Remiſſion, Sanctification Re­generation and Salvation to the outward ſigne or act of Baptiſme, as the Graces to be brought to our minds, and made ſure to our Soules there­by; Mark 16.16. Acts 2.38. Eph. 5.26. Titus 3.3. 1 Pet. 3.21. And it is not on­ly a Seale from God to us as a ground of faith: but alſo from52 us to God as a reaſon of duty; our ſubjection to it is an actu­all confaederation with God, that we will be called by his Name, live as his ſervants in all obedience to his will; ſo that hereby we are bound to believe in Chriſt, and forſake, nay fight againſt ſin, this the Apoſtle dictates when he demands of the Corinthians, directing them to joynt advancement of Chriſt, into whoſe name were ye Bap­tized? 1 Cor. 1.13. And Pe­ter aggravates the Apoſtaſie of Chriſtians, nay non-proficiency in Grace with this, They have forgot they were waſhed from their old ſins, 2 Pet. 1.9. Bap­tiſme will be a monument of perfidy againſt profane Chriſti­ans to all Eternity, and aggra­vate their miſery: ſo that al­though Baptiſme doe not con­veigh53 Grace opere operato, by the meere work, or by any Phyſicall natural power that is in it ſelfe, yet it is a morall inſtrument by contemplation to be rationally improved to the affecting of our hearts with our own uncleanneſs and the blood of Chriſt Gods mercy to us, and our duty to him: nor is it nudum ſignum a meer ſign to excite our thoughts, but alſo a Reall Seale, Gods ho­ly Ordinance, Creating to all Baptiſed a Right to the Cove­nant, by rationall acts of faith to be argued, to their own joy and duty, and pleaded to God in Prayer; ſo that theſe privi­ledges being not poſſeſſed by all Baptized, ſprings not from any defects in the Ordinance, but neglect in the ſubjects: if men will not claime by a conferred title and viſible Seale, they de­ſervedly54 loſe their intereſt.

Here note that I have not wit enough to conceive that the end of the Sacrament makes againſt infant Baptiſme, for infants are capable of Right though not of claime and poſ­ſeſſion, and Baptiſme is given as a ground, not effect of Chri­ſtian claime; I ſee noe reaſon why infants may not be Sealed in the cradle as well as Crown­ed in the mothers belly; nor is there any force in the confae­deration of the Baptized un­leſſe it muſt needs be actively and cannot be paſſively done; I conceive parentall power in dedication to God, and the Soveraign nature of the Co­venant impoſing on the party Sealed, the condition to be by him performed as well as ſealing the comforts to be enjoyed, doth55 fully enforce the confaederation of ſuch as are at the preſent non-agents; It will be a hard matter to make me believe that Gods condeſcenſion hath loſt his authority any more in the Covenant of Grace then in the Covennat of Works; or that in­fants are not as capable of con­faederation by Baptiſme, as they were by Circumciſion.

I have done with the firſt thing to ſhew you what Bap­time is, and now come to the ſecond to ſhew what is here meant by confident approach:

Approach to God is the act of a Baptized ſoule, and it is done either by the perception of faith which is the evidence of things not ſeen, and ſubſtance of things hoped for: Heb. 11.1. This is that perſonall and pri­vate act of the ſoule whereby56 it ſeeth and ſaluteth God at a di­ſtance with ſighs and groans which cannot be uttered, and receives an aſſent unto truth ap­prehended, which is or cannot be expreſſed, and hereby we deny not the Baptiſed, in extraordi­nary cauſes where the body cannot be waſhed by pure wa­ter; as in an Indian Countrey remote from the Church, or in the Church under a limitted order and ſeaſon of Baptiſing, as it was in ſome Churches in primitive times, when they Baptized but twice in a year, may draw nigh to God; no doubt but the Catechumeni, ſuch as learned their Cate­chiſme in order unto Baptiſme, had ſweet communion with God alone whilſt they wanted Communion with the Church, otherwiſe they had never57 been able to endure Martyr­dome.

Or by the poſſeſſion of Glory, when the Soule departing out of the body returnes to God who gave it, and is received in­to Abrahams boſome, or eter­nall bliſſe in the preſence of God for ever; and this I deny not may be, and doubt not is enjoyed by many unbaptiſed; I can neither with ſome Ana­baptiſts grant that all that dye in infancy, and before ſtained with actuall guilt are certainly ſaved; I ſee no warrant for it: nor yet with the Papiſts do I think all that die unbaptized are damned; I believe Bap­tiſme is neceſſary by reaſon of Gods command, and as the ordinary Ark or meanes of Sal­vation, and ſo the ſinfull con­tempt or neglect of it to be58 damnable (though I will not de­termine God will charge it on the helpeleſſe infant) yet I ſee not its neceſſity to be ſo abſo­lute that providence ſuperce­ding the Ordinance by unſea­ſonable death ſets the ſoule under inevitable condemnati­on; I have confidence to meet many an uncircumciſed Iſrael­ite in Heaven, who died before the eighth day of his age; and if in any, in this caſe God will have mercy and not Sacri­fice.

Or by the preſentation of du­ty: and performance of publick devoire in the Tabernacle of the Lord, going up with his Scribes, worſhiping in his San­ctuary, and in the Aſſemblies of his People in all the parts of Gods Worſhip; this is an ap­pearing before God in Zion,59 and a drawing nigh unto him in his Holy place, not to be admit­ted to the uncircumciſed among the Jews, nor unbaptized among Chriſtians; this unto me ſeems to be the drawing nigh intend­ed in the Text, and is that I intend in the Doctrine (viz) That the Leviticall Rites be­ing aboliſhed, and the way of acceſs to God is now by Goſpell Ordinances: they that will uſe them muſt begin at Baptiſme, and firſt have their bodies waſhed with pure Water, and be thereby made members of the body or Church of Chriſt, and be conſecrated unto God; without which ſuch as have the charge of Gods Holy things muſt keep them from intermedling with them.

Confidence is the adjunct quality of this act of approach60 to God, and ſtands oppoſite uno the tremblings and deſpon­dency of the uncircumciſed Gen­tiles who could expect no other but rejection and diſpleaſure in their approach to God; for that they were aliens and ſtrangers to the Common-wealth of Iſ­rael, without God and with­out hope in the world, Eph. 2.11, 12. Poſitively forbidden approach to God and the uſe of his Holy thing, Ezek. 44.9. And to the terrors of the cir­cumciſed Jewes, who though admitted into Gods preſence, were yet kept at a diſtance, and might not enter the Holy of Ho­lies in their own Perſons: but by their High Prieſt, but now ſuch was the priviledges of Be­lievers, and the advantage of Baptiſme, that the Baptized might not onely enter the ſan­ctuary61 whence the uncircumci­ſed were excluded, but alſo the Holy of Holies, not made with hands, but eternall in the Heavens: ſo that they who by Baptiſm have their body waſhed in the outward ſign, and their hearts ſprinkled from an evill Conſcience, the inward Grace of this Ordinance, are required to ſhake off all feares and doubts, and to encourage them­ſelves to the enjoyment of all Ordinances, and diſcharges of all duties whereby they may walke with God and hold com­munion with him: for that they are the perſons ſo qualified as that the Church muſt not one­ly admit them to outward acts of Worſhip, but alſo a liberty of inward adoration (by the neareſt approach they can poſ­ſibly make to God) is their62 priviledge to them is given full aſſurance of ready acceptance, for the way is open to, the Holi­eſt, the Vale is rent, the High Prieſt gone before, and the li­berty left Common to all ſuch (though none but ſuch) as ha­ving their hearts ſprinkled from an evill conſcience, and their bodies waſhed with pure water do draw nigh to the ſame; both theſe are neceſſary qualificati­ons: for, an approach to God without an heart ſprinkled muſt needs be diffident, and full of doubts, and without a body waſhed, dreadfull and full of horrour.

The Text and doctrine you have had explained, and you ſee the point of doctrine plainely aſſerting, That Baptiſme or the body waſhed with pure water is the eſpecial qualification that60 muſt fit us for an approach to God.

The next thing to be done is to prove the doctrine, and it is in it ſelfe a truth ſo plaine that none that underſtand any thing of the method of Goſpell worſhip, and the neceſſitie of outward acts and bodie quali­fications in approaches to an holy God, but do ſubſcribe un­to the truth of it; indeed the late ſpiritual Chymiſts who have by our late overlarge liber­ty of conſcience, (I mean ſinful toleration,) had the boldneſs to blaſpheme all Gods holy Ordi­nances, and under a pretence of ſpirituality, to nullifie all outward acts of worſhipnd qualifications to duty, have de­nied it: and the late Intruder into this place, hath openly de­cried the neceſſity of this qua­lification64 in acceſs to God, offer­ing the liberty of Church Com­munion and the priviledges of the Covenant to ſuch as never paſſed under water Baptiſme, as if the order of the Goſpell were now inverted; and Gods Ordinances not capable of pro­fanation, or the anſwer of a good conſcience, reall grace, were obvious to every eye that hath the charge of holy things, and is a Steward of the Miſte­ries of Salvation; I ſhall there­fore briefly enforce this plain and Generally acknowledged truth with theſe commonly known obſervations as, the rea­ſons thereof.

Reaſ. 1. Baptiſme prepared the way of the Meſſiah, or Chriſt his appearance in and approach to the Church: the qualification that fits the Church for Chriſt56 his approah to her, fits the Church for approach to Chriſt or God; for theſe are recipro­call, the one goes not without a return of the other, and the ſame qualification muſt be in both; for that holy Majeſty is preſent, Holineſſe is in the Aſ­ſembly of the Saints, when God comes to his people as well as in Heaven where his Peo­ple come to him: and all that will walk in this conſuming fire and meet this Meſſiah, and be made fit to enjoy him, muſt not onely have the heart ſprinkled but alſo the body waſhed with pure water; Baptiſme is the Sanctification of the People, di­rected to prepare them for Gods appearence in Mount Si­on: the voice of the Grand Herald crying in the wilderneſs prepare ye the way of the Lord,66 make his paths ſtrait, Mat. 3. Repent and be Baptiſed: The Mace of Majeſty borne by the Meſſenger of the Meſſiah to ſtrike awe in, and require ſub­jection from the expectants of his coming, was, the Baptiſme of amendment of life: The le­velling Engine that pulled down and made plain all mountainy and proud hearts that withſtood the coming of Chriſt in his firſt appearance, was Baptiſme, inſomuch that the Scribes and Phariſees who rejected the counſell of God againſt them­ſelves not being Baptized, are all along branded as enemies, who would not have Chriſt reign over them: in a word, the promiſed and propheſied Elias, who was to come before the Lord to prepare his way, is from his preparative work76 (which is plainly declared to have been Preaching and Bapti­zing) denominated John the Baptiſt, and the way of the Lord thus prepared is proclaim­ed as a ground of Confidence to the Church; Iſa. So that if the way of the Meſ­ſiah his appearance muſt be the way of the Churches approach to him: as it is evident it muſt in that Baptiſme, did not onely precede, but alſo followes his appearance, for John the Bap­tiſt did not onely prepare for his coming, but ever ſince his aſcenſion his Miniſters do go teach and Baptize into the name of Father, Sonne and Holy Ghoſt; Baptiſme hath ever been the Diſcipling forme, method of matriculation in his Schoole, and incorporation in­to his body, and ſolemne con­ſecration68 unto communion with him of all ſuch as were afarre off, but are now made nigh, even the people of the living God; their Baptiſme is the qualification that fits for a con­fident approach to God, with­out which we cannot be aſſured of acceptance.

Reaſ. 2. Baptiſme prepared Jeſus Chriſt unto the work of Mediatorſhip: The way of acceſs to God is the ſame for the people as Prieſt; for the Head as Members; for the Church as for Chriſt: the Me­diatour as Man muſt manifeſt himſelfe Holy in all things; not onely in an immunity from all poſitive acts of ſin, but alſo a po­ſitive performance of all duty, he becomes in all things obedi­ent unto the Father; lives in Communion with the Church,69 and is conforme to all holy Or­dinances; proclaiming himſelfe a Member of the Church be­fore he propoſe himſelfe a Me­diator for or to the Church; he is Baptized becauſe it thus became him to fulfill all Righ­teouſneſs, by his ſubjection to Ordinances, and thereby ſuiting himſelfe for his worke: he doth not only ſhew but ſan­ctifie them to be the way of acceſs to the Father; for he as our High Prieſt hath left open the ſame way of approach, and as the Captain hath marched in the ſame ſteps of ſalvation in which we are to follow him, and we ſhall find him Baptized, and ſo immediately entring on the exerciſe of his Mediator­ſhip: when (and not till then) he was Baptized, he is ſolemnly in­augurated into his office, coming70 out of the water the Spirit came viſibly on him, and the voice was heard, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleaſed, hear him. We never read of his praying preaching and com­bate with the Divel till he was Baptized, and no ſooner was he Baptized, but, as conſecrated to God, he Prayed, Luk. 3.21. as confirmed to the Combate, he was led immediately into the wilderneſſe to be tempted. Mar. 1 12. And as one now completely fitted to tranſact the buſineſs of mans ſalvation, he preached the Kingdom of God, Mat. 4. By all which the Mediator doth plainly dictate, That acts of ho­lineſſe muſt move in order, be­ginning at Baptiſm: and that Baptiſm doth fit men to prayer, for temptation and all publick acts of Religion; and if any71 will in confidence of acceptance follow the Mediator, they muſt have their body firſt waſhed with pure water, and be by Baptiſme thereunto prepared.

Reaſ. 3. Circumciſion was the qualification of confident aproach to God under the old Covenant: And therefore Baptiſm having ſucceeded into the place, ſtand­ing in the ſtead, & ſerving to the end for which Circumciſion ſerv­ed, muſt be ſo under the new Co­venant. The adminiſtration of the Covenant may be altered, but the Covenant it ſelf abides ſubſtancially, the ſame to the Church of God both in the Old and New Teſtament. Sa­craments are permanent and inſeparable adjuncts to the Co­venant as grounds of Faith: and however the different admini­ſtration may cauſe a change94 in the Rite and outward Cere­mony, in the matter applyed, or form of application, yet is there no change in their uſe and ſignification: but what was of old ſignified by the Seals of the Covenant, the ſame is now ſignified by ſuch as have ſucceeded into their place; thus the Lords Supper ſupplyeth the room of the Paſſeover, and Baptiſm the room of Circum­ciſion; ſo that whatever Cir­cumciſion did confer on its ſub­jects, the ſame priviledges are by Baptiſm conferred on its ſubjects. And Circumciſion was to the Jews the door of ad­miſſion into the Church, the Ceremony of Conſecration to ſuch as approach to the Lord: and the Character of diſtinction on the people of the living God, and ſo the qualification that was73 unto them the ground of con­fidence in approach to God; hence Circumciſion and Ʋncir­cumciſion are the diſtinguiſhing terms between the Jewes (the only people related unto God) and the Gentiles (that were afar off, without God, and without hope in the world, Rom. 2.26. Eph. 2.11, 12.) and the approach of the uncircumciſed unto the Sanctuary of God, is declared to be a polluting and profaning of Gods Sanctuary, Ezek. 44 7, 9. therefore ſuch are forbidden the leaſt approach to God; they may not enter the Sanctuary nor obſerve the Lords Paſſeover, Exod. 12.48. Nay, the uncircumciſed muſt be cut off from the Lord people, Gen. 17.14. And if a ſtranger will come nigh to God and have a place in his Sanctuary,74 he muſt firſt lay hold on the Covenant of God and be Cir­cumciſed; ſo that by Circum­ciſion Jews were acknowledged and Gentiles proſelyted mem­bers of the Church, entituled to the Covenant, and entruſted with the liberty of acceſſe to God in his Sanctuary.

That Baptiſm is the Ordi­dinance under the New Teſta­ment anſwering unto Circum­ciſion in the Old, can any that obſerve the order of Goſpel, the ceſſation of Circumciſion, the regular ſucceſſion of Baptiſm into its place, believe ſome ini­tial Seal eſſential to Goſpel ad­miniſtration, and ſee none eſta­bliſhed if Baptiſme be excluded? and find Baptiſm in all things fully ſignificant of what was ſignified by Circumciſion, deny that Baptiſm is ſucceeded into75 the room, ſerves to the end that Circumciſion did; and ſo confers the ſame priviledge of confidence, and is Eſſentially neceſſary to ſuch as approach to God in acts of worſhip. Unto ſuch I would in ſhort ſay, Dd Circumciſion incorporate into the Church? are we not all Baptized into one Body, 1 Cor. 12.13? did Circumci­ſion put the name of God on any? do not as many as are Baptized put on Jeſus Chriſt, Gal. 3.27? Was Circumciſion a ſign of Regeneration, cal­led the Circumciſion of the heart? Are not the Baptized buryed with Chriſt in baptiſm? Doth not the Apoſtle in this very reſpect note the agreement of theſe two diſtinct, but not different Seals, Col. 2.11, 12? Did not Circumciſion ſeal the76 Covenant of Grace, I will be your God? is it not therefore cal­led the Seal of the righteouſneſs by Faith, Rom 4 11? Is not the propriety to the promiſe of Grace, Remiſſion and Salvati­on the very ground entituling and encouraging to Baptiſme as the Seal thereof, Act. 2.38, 39? And is not this agree­ment ſufficient to demonſtrate, that Baptiſm is now what Cir­cumciſion was of old to the Church? What if in ſome things theſe two Seals do differ, is the difference ſo eſſential as to deny the ſucceſſion of the one to the other? It is true, the one was by blood, the other by water; the one is to male and femal, both ſexes, the other to males only; the one limitted to the eighth day, the other left at liberty: but do theſe or the77 like hinder either the one or other from being ordinances of Incorporation to the Church, Conſecration to God, or Con­firmation to our confidence in drawing nigh to God? Will not the differences be found as many and great between the Paſſeover and the Lords Sup­per, yet the ſucceſſion of the one to the other will not be de­nyed? Circumſtantial diffe­rences do ſhew they are not the ſame in ſubſtance and matter, but they muſt be eſſential diſa­greements that ſhall deny a ſuc­ceſſion unto the ſame uſe and end. And if Baptiſm be not the Ordinance that ſupplyeth the room of Circumciſion, what doth? How is it called? when and where was it inſtitted? and who were ever conſecrated by it ſo as to have the boldneſs78 of acceſſe to God? Or is the Church defective under the New Teſtament as to an initiating Seal, ſo that the holy things of God lie common, no viſible badge of holineſſe is now to de­ſcribe them that may with freedome uſe them.

Moſt rude and ridiculous is that objected bar to this ſuc­ceſſion that ſome Antipaedo bap­tiſts have urged and talked of among you, viz. Circumciſion was a National priviledg, and only ſealed the promiſe of Ca­naan to the children of Iſrael. If ſo, how then came it to be uſed before Iſrael was a Nati­on? and how came it to be uſed after the land was poſſeſſed and the promiſe accompliſhed? Why doth Moſes mention the Covenant of Grace, I will be your God, as the ground and79 reaſon of Circumciſion? To what doth the Circumciſion of heart ſo frequently mentioned in Scripture allude? it is often joyned with the Circumciſion of fleſh; What was the benefit of Circumciſion to the proſe­lyted Gentiles? We never read that by the virtue of it they de­manded, or the Jews divided to them any portion of the Land of Canaan. And it will be an hard matter to make me believe it did to them Seal a Blank, for that I find it in Scri­pture called, A laying hold on the Covenant of God; and the Uncircumciſion are declared ſtrangers to the Covenant, and without God, and without hope in the world. Why doth the Apoſtle define Circumci­ſion to be the Seal of the righ­teouſneſſe of Faith? I find80 this phraſe to denominate the Covenant of Grace and its Spi­ritual priviledges; but that it ever denominated Canaan, or any National priviledges, I am yet to be informed. And the limitation of it unto the perſo­nal faith of Abraham is ſo in­conſiſtent to the ſcope of the Text, abſurde in it ſelf, and ſmells ſo much of Popiſh Bel­larmine, that I cannot but avoid (I had almoſt ſaid ab­hor) it. But laſtly, I would Quaery whether the adverſaries of Circumciſion ſealing the Covenant of Grace, did ever yet obſerve adjuncts ſeparable from a Covenant to bear the name of a Covenant? or did ever yet diſcern that the Land of Canaan was an appendant on the Covenant, but not of the eſſence of the Covenant, which81 if they well ſtudy, I doubt not but they will correct their ig­norance and the errors thence ariſing, and ſo with us con­clude, That Circumciſion ſealed Spiritual priviledges to the Jews as Baptiſm doth to Chri­ſtians; and Baptiſm ſucceeding to its uſe and ends, muſt have the ſame ſubjects, and is now the ſpecial ground of confident approach to God.

Reaſ. 4. The nature and or­der of Baptiſm doth diſpoſe unto a confident approach to God: Baptiſm is a Seal and the firſt Seal to the Covenant of Grace and Salvation, and ſo is a ground of Faith, and an en­couragement in acceſſe to God. But in the Nature of Baptiſm three things do diſpoſe unto confidence in approach to the Lord:

821. It is an Ordinance of Conjunction to the Church.

2. Conſecration to God.

3. Confoederation with God. And every one of theſe are Reaſons of boldneſſe in Acceſs and aſſurance of Acceptance.

1. Baptiſm is an Ordinance of coojuuction to the Church. The Church is Chriſts Body, and every individual Chriſtian is the members thereof, unit­ed by Baptiſm as by Nerves and Sinews: None but the Church may come nigh unto God, in Zion every one muſt appear before God: Chriſt is only converſant with his Spouſe, if the Gentiles will draw nigh to the God of Jacob, they muſt joyn themſelves to Iſrael the people of the Lord: and all believers that will come nigh to God, muſt be added to the Church; all the promiſes of83 God are made to the Church; and all the adminiſtrations of the Covenant are in and to the Church; Ex Eccleſia nul­la Salus, out of the Church no Salvation. They that will come nigh to God as his children, muſt be the daughters of Sion, of the houſhold of Faith, and Commonwealth of Iſrael. To be caſt out of the Church, is to be debarred all priviledges of grace, & delivered over to Satan: for that relation to the Church is the only reaſon of every indi­vidual believers claim of pro­miſes and priviledges, & ground of confidence in all worſhip un­to God; and this relation is conferred by Baptiſm, 1 Cor. 12.13. We are all Baptized in­to one Body, whether we be Jews or Greeks, bond or free. Baptiſm is the only badg of di­ſtinction to the Lords people;84 the very door of admiſſion in­to the houſhold of Faith; the very method of matriculation to Chriſt, his Diſciples; and manner of adding to the Church ſuch as ſhall be ſaved, Act. 2.41. In a word, Baptiſm is the band of union to all Gods ſer­vants, binding them to a con­ſtant adherencie to his Name, and joynt attendance on his Worſhip, and is the bar of di­viſion from all others that are yet ſtrangers to the Covenant; ſo as that until baptized they may not communicate of the holy things of God with the Church, nor come nigh with them to the Lord. In the Pri­mitive times of the Church the Catechumeniſts, who were pre­paring for Baptiſm, not having been yet Baptized, were ſent from Church Communion and85 holy priviledges with the pro­fane and paenitentiaries by the cry of Sacra Sacris, holy things for holy men: but when by Baptiſme they were incorpora­ted into the Church then they continued in prayer, breaking of bread and every act of Worſhip to God with confidence: ſo that till the Church appear our mother we ſee no warrant to call God Father, his children are no vagrants in the high way and hedges, and when begotten by uncorruptible ſeed of the Word were by Baptiſme, placed in the lap, and laid to the breſts of the Church, then as her chil­dren we claim all the Priviledg­es of the Covenant and come to the throne of Grace with confidence; nor may any with­out a forfeiture of Baptiſme be judicially exacted by the86 Church deny our relation and liberty of acceſſe to God; I ne­ver yet could conceive any warrantable reaſon to deny the liberty of acceſſe to the Lords table to ſuch Baptized ſoules whoſe horrid profaneneſs and obſtinate ſpirits did not make them obnoxious to the cenſures of the Church in order to their excommunications and diſmem­bring from the body, and cer­tainly Circumciſion did not more firmly incorporate un­to the Church under the Law, and conferre a liberty of ap­proach unto the Sanctuary, then Baptiſme doth under the Goſ­pell.

2. Baptiſme is an Ordinance of Conſecration unto God, God is a God of Holineſs and will be ſanctified in ſuch as come unto him; none may appear87 before him in their prophane­neſſe; the Maſſe of Mankind is ſo prophaned with ſin that men in common may not ap­pear before God, ſuch as ſhall adore him muſt be adorned for him, and if they will hold com­munion with him they muſt be conſecrated to him; God never comes nigh to Iſrael but he firſt calls to have the people Sanctified, nor comes the Meſſiah before his Meſſenger had prepared his way; Iſrael the onely Nation that holds communion with and comes to God are called an holy Na­tion becauſe conecrated by Circumciſion; hence Circumci­ſion is the terme and title of a Sanctified people, but uncir­cumciſion the title and terme that denominates the propha­nations that might not come88 nigh to God: It is Gods com­mand that ſuch as were not firſt ſanctified by Circumciſion muſt not touch the Paſſeover, and it is given in charge to the keep­ers of the Sanctuary that the uncircumciſed enter not into it to pollute it; unhallowed things much leſſe unhallowed perſons, might not come nigh to God under the Law; the holineſſe of God is the ſame under the Goſpell, and therefore ſuch as will come nigh unto him moſt be conſecrated, for he will have acceptable Sacrifice to be offer­ed by a choſen Generation, a Roy­all Prieſthood, an holy Nation; 1 Pet. 2.5.9. Men muſt be brought out of the high wayes and hedges and in his houſe be cloathed with a wedding gar­ment, that with any confidence willex pect a welcome to his89 wedding Super, Mat. 22. And the only Ordinance of Conſe­cration to God is Baptiſme: This is the badg of diſtinction and bar of diviſion between the holy and prophane; if the Lord Jeſus will preſent his Church to God he Sanctifieth it by the waſhing of water through the Word. Epheſ. 5.26. And if ever we will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven we muſt be born of the water and ſpirit: by Baptiſme we are purified from the corrup­tions that are in the world through luſt, and ſolemnly dedi­cated unto the name of Father Son and Holy Ghoſt, hereby we are ſeparated from the world and added to the Church; and the Baptized continue to­gether in the Apoſtles doctrine in prayer and breaking of bread, and all acts of worſhip, ſo that60 being thus conſecrated, called out of the maſſe of mankind and conſtituted a peculiar and holy people to the Lord: Let us draw nigh in full aſſurance having our bodies waſhed with pure water.

3. Baptiſme is an Ordinance of Confaederation with God; two cannot walke together ex­cept they be agreed; God is a conſuming fire to man if he condeſcend not a Covenant, as a ſhreene to prevent its ſcorch­ing heat; I will be your God and ye ſhall be my people is the onely argument of encourage­ment to Abraham to walk with God and aſſurance of Believers acceptance with God; guilty man cannot come nigh offended God without ſome aſſurance that wrath is appeaſed and God Reconciled: none ſince Adams91 fall can come nigh to God as a Creator, and Redemption muſt be tranſmitted by a Cove­nant, and the Adminiſtrations of the Covenant muſt be the onely pledge of aſſurance and encouragement unto acceſs to God; the Covenant of God with Levi is the onely liberty of the Prieſts entrance in the Sanctum Sanctorum, the Cove­nant of Mediatorſhip is the con­fidence of Jeſus Chriſt, his inter­ceſſion, and the Covenant of Circumciſion the Iſraelites title to the Paſſeover and freedom of the Sanctuary, and the Covenant of Baptiſme Chriſti­ans Right to the Lords Table and freedome of drawing nigh to God; the Baptized do con­faederate with God, you have heard, before that they muſt be faederati, in Covenant that are92 ſubjects of Baptiſme, the pro­miſe is to you, is the ground and reaſon why any is Baptized; Baptiſme is the mutuall act of ſealing the Covenant be­tween God and the ſoule, by this outward ſign and pledge God aſſureth us he will be our God, pardon our ſin, ſubdue our Corruption by the blood of Chriſt, and we anſwerable ſtipulate with God, that we will accept him to be our God in Chriſt, we will be called by his name and become his ſer­vants; ſo that Baptiſme is an ar­gument pleadable in prayer for the remiſſion of ſin and Sancti­fication, and an engagement unto duty againſt all impiety to be urged under all temptati­on; as it is a Sacrament it is a reciprocall bond between God and the ſoule: when Paul93 would check the Corinthians ſchiſme he doth it by this quaery, were ye Baptized into the name of Paul? importing you are to call your ſelves by his name with whom you con­faederated in Baptiſme: ſo that the Baptized being Gods faede­rates, the Covenant being in their fleſh, they muſt needs be qualified with confidence to come nigh to God, having ſuch a ground of faith where­upon to claime the promiſes as is the Seales of the Covenant; the moſt encouraging argu­ment that ever Gods people urged in acceſs to God is, Lord remember thy Covenant; we are thy people.

We ſee then, that if we will be guided in our drawing nigh, God by the way of Chriſt, his appearance to his Church,94 or approach to his Father as a Mediator, or if we obſerve the ſucceſſion of Baptiſme to Cir­cumciſion, or nature of Bap­tiſme as an Ordinance of con­faederation with God, conſe­cration to God, conjunction to the Church of God, we muſt needs be convinced that Bap­tiſme or the body waſhed with pure water is an eſpeciall quali­fication that fits us for acceſſe to God. And now we proceed to the application of the Do­ctrine.

The firſt uſe then that we ſhould make of this point is of information, and that teach­eth us this Leſſon, Baptiſme is an Ordinance of exceeding dig­n••y and abſolute neceſſity to be purſued and highly prized by the people of God that will draw nigh unto him, for it is95 the eſpeciall qualification that fits us with confidence to draw nigh unto him, as it is an Or­dinance of God, it is the object of reverence and eſteem and indiſpenſably neceſſary by rea­ſon of Divine command, noto be ſleighted by ſuch as prfeſſe ſubjection to him: but of much more value when conſidered as the Ordinance of incorporati­on into Chriſts body, matricu­lation into the houſhold of faith, and conſecration unto an holy God, and ſo it doth not onely call for affection, eſteem honour and reverence: but al­ſo it preſents it ſelfe unto our reaſon, and impoſeth it ſelfe on our conſcience as uſefull and in­diſpenſably neceſſary