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OR, Plain Scripture-proof AGAINST INFANT-BAPTISM,

I. By way of Anſwer to Mr. BAXTER's Arguments, and to the Exercitations of Mr. SIDENHAM, Teacher to a Church a Newcaſtle, concerning Infants Baptiſm: for which that their pretended Conſequences are from Conceſſions not to be granted, and from Scriptures as miſtaken, and abſolute­ly wreſted, is clearly diſcovered. With

II. Several Queſtions and Anſwers, poſitively holding out the minde of Chriſt in Baptizing of Believers onely; and that the MAGISTRATES may be induced more and more to encourage the preaching thereof in publike.

III. A DECLARATION written to the Election of grace, who for want of information are of contrary judgment.

Written by William Kaye, Miniſter of the Goſpel at Stokeſley.

And Jeſus being baptized, and praying. Luke 3.15.
And the eunuch ſaid, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip ſaid, If thou believeſt with all thine heart, thou mayeſt. And they went both down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he bapti­zed him. Acts 8 36, 37.
Read, and then judge: withhold not the truth in unrighteouſneſs. Rom. 1.18.

London, Printed by Ja. Courel, for Rich. Moon, at the ſeven ſtars in Paul's Church-yard, neer the great North-door. 1653.

To all the brethren of the MINISTERY within the Election of Grace, which unfeignedly deſire to preach Chriſt, and baptize in his Name, in Truth and Sincerity; Truth and Peace be multiplied.

IT's very well known, that though the ſtumbling-block which ſome have caſt in the way of Gods people (occaſioned through the falling away of ſome ſtars from the heaven, or fellowſhip of the Churches, is now ſo gloriouſly removed, that divers Saints are return'd to their firſt love; and thoſe that like Caleb and Joſhua (the faithful Churches, which ne­ver backſlided) have kept their garments of Goſpel-profeſſion adorned with ſuch meekneſs, truth, and moderation; ſo that they cannot ſhut out Chriſt, as though no Prophet could come out of Nazareth. And now though they may look home, and ſee ſome of their own plants ſo baptized into one body, 1 Cor. 12.14. and kept in ſuch union with Chriſt the Head, and his Body his Churches, as not to walk a ſtep, without a ſtep of their forerunner going before them, 1 Pet. 2.21. Heb. 9.20. And that their conſequences alſo will not uphold Pedo-baptiſm, though they ſhould be granted them; being like the Old Cove­nant on which they are grounded, waxen old, as ready to va­niſh away: Yet for all this, you know, that all (the Election of grace excepted) muſt needs veie the Proverb, Can the leo­pard change his ſpots? Jer. 1.23. And therefore they are ſo blinde, and cannot ſee; deaf, and cannot hear; and are ſo ſet on the lees of obſtinate Reſolution, that they Hate to be Refor­med, until their fleſhly confidence which they had in the Ser­vice-book (the Treaſure of ſome mens knowledge, and to which they ſtick) be crucified with an Order to the contrary: There­fore it is to no more purpoſe to ſpeak to ſuch, then to few a piece of New cloth upon an Old garment.

It's to you therefore, ye ſucceſſors of the noble Bereans, that will ſearch the Scriptures, and try the ſpirit whether it be of God or no, 1 Joh. 4 1 ye that prefer Conſcience before Cu­ſtom, and preach unto the people, Come out of Babylon; it's you that God hath ſtirred me up to perſwade; and Oh that you may be perſwaded to lay to heart, and to conſider, That in the buſineſs of Infant-ſprinkling, you do not onely contradict your own pretendedight:Sprinkling is not Ba­ptizing. for Sprinkling is not ſo much Ba­ptiſm, as the Picture is the man it repreſenteth, though we ſhould pretend, as we have been taught, that the childe ſhould by its G fathers and G mothers believe all the Articles of the Chriſtian faith. But for you to ſprinkle (as ſome of you pre­tend) onely the children of believers, and yet to ſprinkle the children of all your Pariſhioners, &c. doth declare, that you have not either preached the Goſpel within your Pariſhes,Chriſt truly preached, makes Pa­riſhes to be divided. &c. or that it hath not been powerfully received; for the true prea­ching of Chriſt will ſeparate your people to be called out of the world, to be gathered into the fellowſhip of the Church of Chriſt. Therefore as there is any love to Chriſts name, let us not, I beſeech you, withhold (though it were the tenure of all our eſtates) the truth in unrighteouſneſs, Rom. 1.18. For tell me, I pray, ought we to walk by the Glo-worm-light of Conſe­quences, or ſparkles of our own kindling? Iſa 50 11 (though the world be confederate, and comply with you) to uphold that darkneſs, againſt the known light, or command and example of the Word of God to the contrary? Or ſhall we exclude Biſhops Government, and Service-Book, and by conſequences contend for Infant-Baptiſm, the greateſt obſtacle to the reforming, ga­thering, and planting of Churches within your Pariſhes,Churches to be gathered within Pa­riſhes. that can be? for if we would not content our ſeverather with he fleece then the flok; if we wre acquainted with the myſteries of the Kingdom of heaven, we might clearly ſee, That as Biſhops Government was uſeful, to hold on a light of Profeſſion to ſuch as were altogether inhe darkneſs of Romiſh Babylon; and as the Presbterial Wais uſeful to reform Epiſcopacie,Epiſcopacy, Presbytery, and Inde­pendency, compared. in reſpect of Goernment, Traditions, and Ceremonies, as Independency reforms Presbytery in the point of gathering of Church-mem­bers; and all of them (as Davidifor the Temple) make prepa­rations for the moſt glorious Apoſtolical Government: ſo that out of all the materials of Truth therein diſcovered,he golden Candle••ick of Chriſtian profeſſion may be molde, to vaniſh out the ſmoke out of the Temple. Let us but then aboliſh Infant-Baptiſm out of the Church, and the work of Unity, Truth,The abo­liſhing of Infant-ſprinkling, in the union of all Chur­ches. and Peace, will be fully compleated. For let Presbyterians gather what they can, if they gather in Chriſts way, to make none of their Church but ſuch as they baptize, upon the profeſſion of faith, as believers: And if the Independents gather none into their Church, but ſuch as believe, and are then baptized; then they ſhall all be united, and centred upon one & the ſame foun­dation of Chriſtianity, in their obſervation of the Goſpel-Or­dinance of Baptiſm, with baptized Churches (commonly, though unjuſtly) called Anabaptiſts: ſo that as Chriſt in his wiſdom fore­ſees but one way, to baptize all nations; ſo this is the only way, to make all Churches out of all nations, to be one in the profeſ­ſion of faith and obedience. It's no marvel then, if Antichriſt ſtand ſo violently for Pedo-baptiſm; for as all darkneſs came in with it, ſo all light ſhall ſhine, as this darkneſs ſhall vaniſh away, in the adminiſtration of baptiing and governing of the Church of believers. And therefore though when darkneſs began to ap­pear after the times of the Apoſtles, the braſs and copper of In­fant-baptiſm being double gilt over with gliſtering pretences, paſſed, like Biſhops government, and other traditions, for currant Coyn; yet this being the time when every plant which our hea­venly Father hath not planted ſhall be rooted up, whereby the Saints may be reſtored to the primitive profeſſion of the Chur­ches in the time of the Apoſtles; Therefore the double-gilded conſequences which are or ſhall be produced, to make an Infant a baptized diſciple, can expect no better entertainment then Toittis the gray fryer found in Scotland,Book of Martyrs, p. 1451. Hen. 8. who endeavoured by conſequences to prove that the Pater-noſter might be ſaid to the Saints: which though he did gloſs over, pretending, in that we called aged men father, and that the Saints are in heaven, that therefore we may ſay, Our Father which art in heaven: and be­cauſe their names are holy, we might ſay, Hallowed be their names, &c. But for all his wit, the time of light being come, the Popiſh Church was upon this abſolutely divided, and the Fryer was much derided for his pains. The Lord make us ſeers and followers of his Truth; which, as ſoon as the Lord was pleaſed fully to reveal unto me, I was conſtrained to bear witneſs of it, as I was formerly acted to bear witneſs to the Truth in the time of Innovations, when too many were ſerving at the Altar; by which ſaid power, I was ſtirred up to declare at the firſt, I do not ſay, the firſt that declared, for Reformation: And now I am alſo conſtrained to uſe this plainneſs of ſpeaking (think of me as you pleaſe) wherein I beſeech you to conſider,See a Book intituled, the church Regiſter. that Mr. Spering and Mr. Barrow, &c. could not enjoy this liberty to gather Churches, as we may do. This is our day, ſhall we not ſee it? or ſhall we be dead-hearted, ſullen, or not willing to go about our Fathers buſineſs, except we were countenanced or backed out with common approbation? by which we may be thought rather to be driven to our work, then to be that people that ſhall be wil­ling, in the day of his power, to worſhip the Lord in the beauty of holineſs,Seed of Martyrs. Pſal. 110.4. Alas, conſider, may not our hearts bleed to ſee, that that ſeed which our Martyrs did ſow with their blood, which did but then peep out with the head, is now white already unto harveſt, and much of it almoſt loſt for gathering into Church-fellowſhip? We muſt not now think to feed all the flock with the pap-milk of ordinary principles; nor will Tradi­tions or Conſequences, which ſhall contradict the command and example of Chriſt and his Apoſtles, as a ſtrange voice, be poſſibly heard any longer. As we are therefore heirs apparent to all the light which hath ſhined, and have been ſpectators in the time of judgement, of the Lords overturning both of Church and State, becauſe his fore-propheſied time is now fulfilled,New hea­ven, New Earth. to have a New heaven, or a reformed Church, according to the very example of Chriſt and his Apoſtles; and a New Earth, or a people, through oppoſing the old earth, or world, are reformed from Popery,See Mr. Brightm. Expoſit. on 21 chap. of Revel. in part diſco­vering it. and af­fecting civil righteouſneſs; which I am able (though I have not here time) to make fully appear, without Allegorizing of the Scripture. Let then all that are Saints, in that the Lord is riſen ſtart fair, and ſee who can firſt run to the Sepulchre; let us ſee who will approve them­ſelves**Aurum igne proba­lum, is eſt, cujus fides, rebus ad­verſis splendet.〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, tryed gold in the fire, that patronize not a partial, but a perfected inward and outward Reformation; that as wax and ſeal, ſo our faith & obedience may be found indeed agre­able to the doctrine and example of Chriſt and his Apoſtles. The Lord raviſh your hearts with the love of this Truth, and remove all preju­dice, until you have read, and ſo may judge, whether I have fully and truely, as far as I have undertaken, anſwered theſe two men of parts, whoſe faces I never ſaw, and againſt whom (I bleſs God) I have not the leaſt prejudice or acrimony nor do deſire to put their light under a buſhel, as far as it appeareth to be light unto me: but onely, as I have been much provoked, deſired, and partly chalenged, I have uſed that liberty which Mr. S. hath done with Mr. T. &c. And therefore I deſire you my dear friends, to commune with your own hearts, and ſee, upon examination on both ſides, what ground you have for In­fant-baptiſm: And, until the Lord in mercy open your eyes, deſpiſe not the counſel of Doctor Gamaliel, to let this alone: for if this be of God. But I have my check; for there is not an If in this buſineſs, Chriſt-like to go about our Fathers buſineſs,No diffe­rence with the Chur­ches of Saints, but in Infant-ſprinkling. in ſubmitting to the Go­ſpel-Ordinance of Baptiſm: for, I hope, as ſoon as Truth ſhall be heard to ſpeak, prejudice being removed, and the moderation of ga­thered Churches, and their full compliance with all the Saints, except in the unwarranted tradition of ſprinkling, being made to appear, the Election of grace (and further we cannot expect) will receive ſatisfa­ction, to ſubmit to this ſo much deſpiſed Ordinance of the Lord Jeſus.

To conclude therefore,Jeſus Chriſt could not in wiſdome have exclu­ded chil­dren by name, more then in com­manding to baptize be­lievers onely. concerning this great matter in controver­ſie, which fills the ears of the whole Country with the report, and is ſo much ſcandalized, belyed, and oppoſed, by the profane and igno­rant, this I have to hint unto you, That if Jeſus Chriſt himſelf ſhould come again, and were to reveal himſelf concerning the baptizing of believers onely, he could not in wiſdom exclude children by nome, they being already excluded by Chriſt, in commanding to baptize a taught diſciple: for without mentioning of the female, in comman­ding the male to be circumciſed, the female was expreſly prohibited. For it is, I ſay, againſt the wiſdom of Chriſt, to command to baptize thoſe that are caught, and thereby are diſcipled, and then to ſay. But baptize not an Infant; ſeeing in wiſdom all men know, that a childe cannot be taught or profeſs the faith of the Goſpel. And beſides, God hath made man judge of Baptiſm, not to proceed as he pleaſeth, but according to the expreſs Rule and Commiſſion which God hath ap­pointed him. And therefore it is not in man, in favour to the world, and in oppoſition to the Saints of the moſt High, to raiſe Conſequen­ces, Allegations, and Reaſonings, to interpret and wreſt the expreſs commiſſion and command of Chriſt to the contrary: but Man if he will be faithful to his Commiſſion, without gainſaying, he muſt ba­ptize none but thoſe that are taught. And therefore it being found, that a childe cannot be taught unleſs man will preſumptuouſly (after due information) break the commandment, he cannot meddle with children, until they be called to the profeſſion of the faith of the Go­ſpel. And yet though the ſun of Truth ſhine never ſo clearly, though there be no Truth more fully diſcovered, by expreſs command, and many thouſand examples of baptized diſciples;None but a Saint will receive any truth, but as it is com­manded by man, or re­ceived by cuſtom. yet in regard none but the election of Grace can faithfully receive any Truth, but as it is commanded by Authority, or received by Cuſtom or common Ap­probation, in regard the Election of Grace themſelves are like a ſeeing man in a dark dungeon which cannot ſee, till the light of ſeeing be revealed unto them, in taking off their objection or ſcruples to the contrary; I humbly therefore refer you to the enſuing Treatiſe, to judge as the Lord ſhall teach you. And as for the Shining Stars, men of parts &c. that ſhall abet againſt the light of Chriſt, to up­hold the tradition of Antichriſt the Tayl of the Beaſt (which they will not have diſcovered) ſhall draw them,The tayl of the beast ſtrikes down the ſtars. and caſt them to the earth: for the ſeventh Vial being in part poured out Rev. 17.1. the ſmoak muſt vaniſh out of the Temple, Rev. 15. ult. Kick not then againſt this prick leſt ye fight againſt God in his diſcoveries; but let us contend for the faith, and ſubmit to the Old truth this ſtep of Chriſt and Chriſtian profeſſion, that it may not ſeem ſtrange in our days, which Chriſt in imitation of himſelf hath ſaid to all ſucceeding ages,**Matth. 3. expounded, with appli­cation to all Chriſtians. Thus that is, according to the example that I your Lord and Maſter was baptized; it becometh us; that is, as it was mine, ſo it is all Chriſtians duty to be baptized to fulfil all righteouſneſs. That grace therefore, that calleth out of Babylon, that takes away the envy of Judah and Jeruſalem by which the Saints are baptized into one ſpi­rit, be with your ſpirits now and evermore. Amen. Amen.

Written by your fellow labourer in the Goſpel, Will. Kaye.

A Word, by the way, to the preſum­ptuous Scandalizers and Perſecutors of the gathered Churches, or of all that are called out of Babylon.

THough the**Prov. 29.27. Proverb be verified, The upright in the way is an abomination to the wic­ked, for which cauſe, they hate, ſcorn, and per­ſecute all that profeſs Holineſs; and though thoſe**Acts 9.2, 3, 4, 5. perſecuting ſpirits are as nigh unto ſalvation, as ſome, that are civilly righteous; Yet at This time God hath only ſtirred me up, to hint thus much unto you, as the Mo­nument of your Remembrance; That if a viſible Reforma­tion ſhall not follow the gentle Correction wherewith England hath been lately ſummoned, ſo that all viſible evils,**Levit. 26.23, 24. Iſa. 1.26. droſs and tin, ſhall not be removed, to the puniſhment of thoſe that do evil, and for the praiſe of thoſe that do well; God ſhall ſo renew his Controverſie against You, for your prophaneſs, ſcandali­Zing, and plowing furrows upon the backs of the Saints, that you ſhall once more experience, that the ſame God which puniſh­ed your Prelatical forefathers, that perſecuted the most emi­nent Chriſtians, and hated to be reformed; who led the blinde into the ditch, whereby they, with thouſand of families (their confederates) ſmarted for it,Dan. 2.34, 35. Shall alſo cauſe a little Stone to he cut out without hands, which ſhall ſmite the Image upon his feet, even your great Diana, which ſhall be broken all to pieces, and the little ſtone ſhall become a great mountain. If I ſhould not have told you this, I ſhould have been guilty of the blood of ſome of you:Ezek. 3.17, 18, 19. Ezek. 2.5. Whether you will hear, or whe­ther you will forbear, yet ſhall you know, that there hath been a Prophet amongſt you. And to as many of you as are of the Election of Grace,Rev. 18.4. God will call, Come out of her, my people, and be ye ſeparate, ſaith the Lord Almighty. Until this work of ſaving grace be manifested in you,Phil. 1.28. you are the objects of the Saints pity, and**Tim. 2.26, 27. evidences of their ſalvation; and ſuch inſtruments as Satan hath**Tim. 2.26, 27. ca­ptivated, by which you are acted to oppoſe no profeſsion but that which upholdeth the power of Godlineſs, and is the down­fal of Antichrist. In meekneſs alſo I deſire to inſtruct you, that you may not kick againſt this prick of Goſpel-information, but be forewarned to flee from the wrath to come; which, Chorazin-like, in ſlighting the means of Goſpel-information, hath been, and may be occaſioned.


An ANSWER TO Mr. BAXTER's ARGUMENTS in his Book intituled Plain Scripture-proof for Infants Chruch-memberſhip and Baptiſm.

FOr the orderly proceeding in the diſcovery there­of, I ſhall endeavour to ſhew,

  • 1. That Mr. Baxters title to his book is imper­tinent.
  • 2. His expoſition of Chriſts commiſſion, is er­roneous.
  • 3. His Arguments, whereby he would prove in­fant-baptiſm, are groundleſs.
  • 4. And that he hath contradicted himſelf, in ſpeaking evil of the Ordinance of Baptiſm.

1. That the Title of his book, Plain Scripture-proof for Infant-baptiſm, &c. is impertinent, Mr. Baxter cannot but very well (I ſuppoſe) know, that Mr. Rogers, Art. 27. confeſſeth that the Church of England doth not pretend any plain or expreſs Scripture-proof for Infant-baptiſm; and that he himſelf hath produced nothing but conſequences, which he hath hammered out up­on the Anvil of Logical Arguments; and that he hath left it ſo myſterious2 and difficult, that it is not made ſo plain, that he that runs may read; or that he can tell us, in all the Scripture, in what chapter and verſe we may finde any thing, plainly or expreſly ſpoken for Infant-baptiſm: though on the con­trary, we have plain Scripture-proof, or the command and example of Chriſt and his Apoſtles, for the baptiſm of believers onely. Neither hath Mr. B. for all his diſtinctions, diſpelled the darkneſs, or opened the difficulty, con­cerning infants ſprinkling, which hath brought in all the ſmoke into the Tem­ple: And therefore I cannot imagine why Mr. B. ſhould three hundred four­ty and ſix times print his Title, Plain Scripture-proof, &c. except he had ſome deſigne to ſatisfie the gazing multitude, to ſacrifice to his net, as the Atheni­ans were moved, upon the inſcription upon the Altar, to proſtrate themſelves to ſuperſtition: And therefore this title, Plain Scripture-proof, &c. proves like blue and yellow flowers, making a greater flouriſh, then they are any way advantageous to the reaper. For the true diſcovery thereof, let us ſee what Divinity may be found in Mr. Baxter's expoſition of Chriſts commiſſion for Baptiſm.

Mr. B. chap. 1. pag. 1.Matth. 28.Go ye therefore, and diſciple unto me all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghoſt, &c.

Anſw. That, as a Scholar, he hath ingenuouſly acknowledged the origi­nal, Go ye therefore and diſciple unto me, that is, Go and teach, I do agree with him; and ſo I ſhall, if with the like ingenuity he appear in the interpreta­tion of the words, thus rightly tranſlated unto us.

Mr. B. p. 4.Before I come to argue, I will tell you what is meant by a diſciple. A diſciple may be taken in the larger ſence, as thoſe that are actually believers; and then to the making of a diſciple, ſome things may concur effective, and ſome things condi­tionaliter.

Anſw. If Mr. B. had gone the plain way to worke, as his title ſo often proclaimeth, then he would have lightned one candle by another, the firſt being lightned from the fire of the Altar; I mean, he would have explained the Scripture, or commiſſion of Baptiſm, by ſome other Scripture: but fail­ing herein, he hath ſupplyed the want with Logical diſtinctions, a ſtrange voice which the ſheep cannot hear; and therefore, as not acquainted with conditionaliter, and effective, they cannot give the right hand of fellowſhip to Mr. B's (as being none of Chriſts) diſciple: and therefore while I had thought to have returned an anſwer to thoſe diſtinctions, Mr. B. having re­conciled himſelf, in telling us what diſciple he will pitch upon in his next cha­pter, there you may expect a further diſcovery.

M. B. chap. 3. p. 3.By Diſciple, I mean as in the text, thoſe that are de jure, or incompleatly Diſciples.

Anſw. If this be the Diſciple you pitch upon, out of the great choice that you afforded us, Its ſtrange that Chriſt that is moſt glorious in all his works, and in whom the Saints are compleat, ſhould command to baptize an incompleat Diſciple; truly, M. B. it were well you had found ſome other3 maſter for him, and not Chriſt; As if Chriſt ſhould ſay, Go and make incom­pleat Diſciples, which indeed is no leſs then an implicite contradiction, all being compleat in Chriſt, Col. 2.10. And I wonder M. B. ſhould think a Child an incompleat Diſciple, if he will walk by his own pretended light, in that p. 132. he ſaith, that indirectly, and remotely, the diſcipling of the parent is the diſcipling of the ſeed, and yet the ſeed for all this, though upon his ac­count it be twice diſcipled, yet it is ſtill incompleat, and will be ſo for all M. B. can do, though he had his deſire that Children ſhould be cofirmed, that is (to ſpeak plain Engliſh) Biſhopped, p. 120. And therefore M. B's diſtinction may ſuit with the Poets fiction, which by caſting of ſtones cre­ated Diſciples, which at firſt were in compleat or rude, but afterwards, were more compleated: and therefore it would too much ſavour of partiality, to admit of his Logical diſtinctions, ſeeing in ſtead of expounding, we find the text by M. B. ſo confounded, and overvailed with blind and imperti­nent diſtinctions; for indeed to tell you the naked truth, baptiſme doth not make a Diſciple, or a believer, though believing Diſciples ſo called by grace, ought to be baptized, that is buried, or covered over, or humbled to God in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and holy Ghoſt: ſo that to be a Diſciple, and baptized, are two diſtinct things, though both are united, or married together in the ſame Goſpel-Ordinance; and therefore M. B. ought not to imagine, as the blind world conceiteth, that baptiſme maketh a Diſciple or believer, or as they ſay, a Chriſtian; for to be a believer, and Diſciple, is to be a Chriſtian, who as a Chriſtian, he cannot be ſo adjudged, except he be baptized: And therefore all the courſe that M. B. taketh, in ſprinkling or pouring water upon the face of the Child, will not do the feat. Neither can that which M. B. ſaith p. 14. be approved of, that the matter of a Diſciple in a natural way is nothing, but our being, be granted him, for if by nature, or as we have a natural being, we are Diſciples, then the worke is done to our hand, and Chriſt might have ſaved his Diſciples a great deal of labour in commanding them, firſt to diſciple, by teaching; and then to baptize: And if by nature, or our being, we have that miracu­lous priviledge, why are we called by nature the Children of diſobedience? ſo that for any thing I can find, as none of M. B's diſtinctions are proved by Scripture, he cannot prove that his incompleat diſciple, either in matter, or forme, is the taught Diſciple, that is commanded by Chriſt to be bap­tized. And therefore I would not have troubled my ſelf any further, but that I find M. B. ſo averſe againſt the way of diſcipling according to the ex­preſs command of Chriſt in his text, which he pretendeth to explain unto us, as like the envious man, he denies his own diſcipling, ſaying, He was diſcipled by education, p 133. whereby he puts out both of his own eyes, whereby we might loſe one of our eyes, or he might have a ſandy founda­tion, to raiſe an argument againſt diſcipling by teaching: therefore I have this further to tell him, If education made him a Diſciple, then baptiſme did not: and queſtionleſs, if he were well educated, he heard the word, and was Timothy like taught the Scriptures of a Child, which through the Spririt of grace are able to make us wiſe unto ſalvation: and though a4 work of grace cannot be diſcovered, yet all education, and knowledge, and waiting, are little enough; or it is but the means that God hath appointed for diſcipling, and yet with M. B's leave, whatſoever he thinks, yet we judge in the rule of truth, that to attain to common knowledge of the out­ward profeſſion of Chriſt, doth not make a Diſciple, except the day-ſtar hath ſo riſen in his heart, and his judgement be ſo brought unto victory, that he, as is propheſied, Pſal. 110.4. be willing as well as able, in the day of power to ſubmit, as called, or deſire as the Eunuch did in his own perſon to be bap­tized: till this work be wrought, we judge one is not (as before baptiſm they ought to be) fully diſcipled: for ſuch a diſcipling as M. B. ſpeaketh of, unto which he had attained by education, ſuits with or may ſhake hands with his incompleat Diſciple; And therefore if the Diſciples of John, being igno­rant of the holy Ghoſt, were diſcipled again, and rebaptized, for any thing I can ſee, the work through diſaffection is not ſo compleat, but that Priſ­cilla and Aquila may ſchoole great Apollo, and moſt may learn to be Diſci­ples; ſeeing the incompleat Diſciple, which M. B. ſpeaketh of in his in­terpretation, or rather prevarication of the commiſſion of Chriſt, cannot be approved of. And here M. B. giving over his text, I mean, ſpeaking no more of it then of the firſt words, Go and diſciple, he not as I expected proceeding to baptize them, therefore in regard our difference lieth very much concerning the right uſe of the element of water, which by ſprinkling, &c. is not obſerved; that I may therefore ſhew the mind of Chriſt, it being my deſire to give ſatisfaction to my Neighbours, &c. where M. B. left off, I ſhall therefore proceed to interpret the Text, [And baptizing them] that is, firſt diſciple by teaching, and baptize them, that is, do not pour or ſprinkle a little water in the face of the Child, or partially dip in the head with the heels upwards, for this is not to baptize, nor is the Child the Diſciple that is to be baptized, but the Text tells you whom you muſt baptize; that is, baptize thoſe that are by teaching firſt diſcipled, ſo that their bodies may be buried, or covered over, and humbled upon the acknowledgement of faith and obedience, or upon the pronouncing, I baptize thee in the name of the Father, &c. in the loweſt element of water proſtrated, Abraham-like, before the preſence of his Infinite grace and glory. Thus Chriſt himſelf being baptized, and praying, was proſtrated with loweſt ſubjection: and therefore its no marvell M. B. was ſilent in ſpeaking of baptiſme, for indeed this contradicting practice in ſprinkling or pouring water upon the face of the Child, would not give liberty to make a handſome interpretation, with application to a Child, concerning bapti­zing, or the right uſe of water in baptiſme. To leave then the interpre­tation of which M. B. was ſilent, let us return to ſee his Arguments, which from his unwarranted diſtinctions he indeavours to make his incompleat Diſciple to be baptized.

Mr. B. chap. 3. p. 15.I come now to my firſt Argument, which from my Text is this:
  • All that are Chriſts diſciples, ordinarily ought to be baptized.
  • But ſome Infants are Chriſts diſciples:
  • 5Therefore ſome Infants ordinarily ought to be baptized.

Anſw. If Mr. B. had kept to his text, he would not have made this Argu­ment; the minor whereof I deny, that Infants are Chriſts diſciples, until, as the text ſayth, they be by teaching made diſciples. And yet Mr. Baxter ſo laboureth to make children diſciples, that when the text faileth, he is reſolved it ſeems, by Logical Fallacies, and wreſted Scriptures, to try what can be done; and therefore thus further argueth:

  • Thoſe on whoſe necks the falſe teachers would have layd this yoke, were diſci­ples.
  • But ſome of thoſe were Infants on whoſe necks they would have layd this yoke:
  • Therefore ſome Infants are diſciples.

Anſw. That the fallacie in the minor Propoſition may appear, the light that ſhineth Acts 15.1. compared with verſe 10. will fully diſcover, that falſe teachers did endeavour to pervert the brethren to be circumciſed, Act. 15.10. which ſaid brethren were called diſciples, not by Circumciſion: And there­fore, that falſe teachers would have had the diſciples, which from Baptiſm were called diſciples, to have been circumciſed, this proves nothing to make children diſciples. If therefore they that pin their faith on Mr. B's ſleeve, will not wilfully cloſe their eyes, they may ſee, that Mr. Baxter, in ſtead of producing Scripture to prove a childe a diſciple, it proves to be the bre­thren which had been baptized, which were called diſciples, whom falſe bre­thren would have ſeduced to be circumciſed, Act. 15.1, 10. upon which at­tempt, or the tampering of the falſe teachers, with the brethren which were diſciples, Mr. B. catcheth hold of a ſhadow, or wreſted conſequence, to make a child a diſciple. As if a Preacher were ſeduced, as ſome diſciples were, to be circumciſed; therefore all that are circumciſed muſt be Preachers, or diſci­ples. And that the fallacy may now clearly be diſcovered, take this Argument:

  • Thoſe that the brethren would have converted, are Jewiſh Rabbies, and Popiſh Prieſts.
  • But the Brethren would have Children converted:
  • Ergo, ſome children are Jewiſh Rabbies and Popiſh Prieſts.

Therefore, my dear friends that know not Logick, and yet have boaſted of Mr. Baxter's Arguments, you may ſee, if you pleaſe, that as there is a fallacie a dictu ſimpliciter, ad dictum ſecundum quid, in this Argument, where­by children ſeem to be proved Rabbies, and Popiſh Prieſts: ſo the like fal­lacie is in Mr. B's Argument, whereby he would, from falſe teachers attem­pting to circumciſe Chriſtians, which are called diſciples, conclude from thence that children may be called diſciples. And now, behold the Scri­ptures fulfilled; He taketh the wiſe in their own craftineſs, Job 5.13. in that thoſe that are of contrary judgement, would not, till of late, grant that none but a diſciple ſhould be baptized: and now not being able to prove their children diſciples, nay, not ſo much as an incompleat diſciple, muſt therefore, if they will make conſcience to ſubmit to the command of Chriſt, let their children & themſelves ſtay until they bed iſcipled, that ſo they may be baptized; and ſo the controverſie may be ended, and, according to the intention of Chriſt, all Chriſtians may be united, in the Goſpel-profeſſion of the Ordinance of Baptiſm.

6And yet Mr. B. to back out or ſtrengthen his Argument, produceth ſeve­ral Reaſons, to prove a childe a diſciple.

Mr. B. . Becauſe children are partakers of Gods protection.

To which I anſwer, That God, as God of providence, to children and all creatures, making his ſun to ſhine on the evil and on the good, doth not make children and all creatures diſciples, whoſe duties is to learn to know and follow the ſaid God which is ſo good and merciful, in learning to know God, and following of God, and in not being protected by God, are called diſciples, Matth. 16.24.

2. Mr. B. ſayth,Children are devoted to learning, therefore they may be diſci­ples.

Anſw. Though children be devoted to learning, and may learn, yet I hope Mr. B. would not have them to commence before their time; nor upon this account, while they are a learning, and the ſeeds of a diſciple ſown in them, reap the corn, before it be grown up, and white unto the harveſt.

Mr. B. p. 18.If Infants be not Diſciples, it is becauſe they are not capable, or becauſe God will not ſhew them mercy: but neither of theſe can be the cauſe.

Anſw. To aske the reaſon of God thus in point of ſalvation, why haſt haſt thou made me ſo? is liable to that reproof, which upon the like account Paul ſaid, What art thou O man, that that thou replieſt againſt God? hath not Chriſt already told Mr. B. That he that will be his Diſciple, muſt deny himſelf, take up his Croſs and follow him? Mat. 16.14. muſt not every thing be as God hath determined by his will, and not as the thing is capable? for ſo a poor man is capable to be rich, and a ſick man to be healthfull, and yet while poor and ſick, they are not ſaid to be rich and healthfull: but to an­ſwer Mr. B. datur tertium, a Child cannot be a Diſciple, becauſe it is an implicite contradiction, as to ſay a wiſe fool, for a Diſciple is not a Child, nor a Child a Diſciple: and beſides, that Diſciple which is to be baptized, muſt not be hid or ſecret, but man muſt ſo ſee and judge of him, as from full ſatisfaction proceed to baptize him, when by teaching the party is diſcipled; and therefore God in his wiſedome, that giveth every thing its name, doth not approve of calling a Child a Diſciple, neither can bap­tiſme make a Child or any man a Diſciple: how would Mr. B. then make a Child a Diſciple, but becauſe by grace as any is taught to profeſs to follow Chriſt, and is ſo diſcipled as a Diſciple, and as a believer, we do baptize them? Thus having anſwered Mr. B. firſt Argument, and reaſons whereby he would have proved a Child a Diſciple, his enterprize failing to prove a Child a Diſciple, to make work for Poedo-baptiſme, he produceth this his ſecond Argument.

Mr. B. 2 Argu. chap. 4. p. 23.My ſecond Argument, and therefore the cheife I make uſe of, is this.
  • All that ought to be admitted viſible Church-members, ordinarily ought to be baptized.
  • But ſome Infants ought to be admitted viſible Church-members:
  • Therefore ſome Infants ordinarily ought to be baptized.

7Anſw. Of this ſecond Argument, Mr. B. giveth this ſuperlative encomium, that this is his chief: but believe me, if he could have made his firſt Argu­ment good, whereby a Child might have been diſcipled, he then had had commiſſion for what he had ſaid; and therefore he failing to make his in­compleat diſciple to be baptized, he would now ſee what he can do to make a conſequence from his firſt Argument, whereof this ſecond is but a ſhadow: for if Children be not Diſciples, they can be no members of the Church viſi­ble: but they are not Diſciples; for indeed, to be a diſciple, a member of a viſible Church, differeth no more, then that a man that intendeth to liſt him­ſelf to be a Souldier, and is approved of, onely wanteth an opportunity to have his admiſſion or approbation: ſo a Diſciple, as ſoon as he declares him­ſelf, and is willing to yeild himſelf up to ſerve God with his Saints, is made a viſible Church-member: but that this work of wonder did ever appear in Infants, that they were ever heard thus to declare their good affection to the government of Chriſts church, I never yet heard; and as ſoon as I hear them, I will ſubmit to Mr. B's. Arguments, and ſay, that thoſe Children thus decla­ring themſelves for Chriſt and his Church, muſt needs be admitted viſible Church-members: but till this appear viſibly, I deſire Mr. B. would content to forbear to intrude them, ſince Chriſts commiſſion will not give leave for ſuch to be baptized, in his name, that know not Chriſt, or yet have not named him; and yet Mr. B. to prove his ſecond Argument, forgetting his promiſe, that he would not meddle with other mens Arguments, hath ſcraped up all the thred­bar'd impertinent conſequences, that any before had pretended, to have blocked up the mouth of the Cannon, or to make the worke more tedious to gain-ſay or oppoſe him: while therefore I was intending to have lighted a Candle to have diſcovered, or rather diſpelled this great cloud of darkneſs, Providence ſo ordered it, that a book, intituled A Chriſtian, ſober, and plaine Exercitation on two grand practical controverſies of this time, Baptiſme and ſinging of Pſalmes, writen by C. Sidenham teacher to a Church of Chriſt in New-caſtle, being brought unto me, and I finding upon peruſal thereof, that it treated as ſufficiently of all Mr. Baxters conſequences, and with no leſs advantage to his cauſe; and in that Mr. Sidenham with his party, hath as powerfull an influence to ſtop an ear; Therefore I thought that I might bear better teſtimony to the truth, to, anſwer Mr. Baxter, in Mr. Sidenhams booke: in which way I take no more liberty then he hath done with the right worthy and Apoſtolical Mr. Tombes. And yet before I proceed, ac­cording to my promiſe, I deſire to hint ſomething to Mr. Baxter, upon the fourth particular, which I firſt mentioned.

4. That Mr. B. hath contradicted himſelf in ſpeaking evill of the Ordi­nance of Baptiſme, as by his two Arguments will appear, is to be diſco­vered.

Mr. Baxter chap. 12. p. 134. his firſt Argument.
  • That which is a plain breach of the ſixth commandment, is no Ordinance of Jeſus Chriſt, but a moſt hainous ſin.
  • But the ordinary practice of dipping the head in cold water, is a breach of the ſixth commandment.
  • Ergo, it is a moſt hainous ſin.

8Anſw. It is impoſſible that an effectually called Child of God, can raiſe this Argument, without check of conſcience or contradiction, he approving of the way of baptiſme in Braſill, and yet in his Argument contradicts the ſame practiſe of Chriſt, upon the pretence of the cold climate, and cuſtome of the Country. Alas, Alas, this needs no anſwer: for hereby the Scripture is experienced, their onongues ſhall make them fall, or at leaſt Mr. B. I hope is aſhamed, or may be aſhamed of this cavilling ſcandalous Argument, in ma­king a Chriſtians ſubmiſſion to the Ordinance of Chriſt a hainous ſin, and in telling us it is good for nothing but to diſpatch men out of the world, and to ripen Church-yards, theſe be his words. What if he had lived in the time of circumciſion? he that can diſpence to prevaricate Chriſts command in bap­tiſme, by pouring a little water, or ſprinkling a Childs face with two or three drops of water, certainly, if acted with the ſame Spirit, he would have thought the ripple of a pin, or a drop or two of blood to be ſpilt, to have been ſuffici­ent to have anſwered the command in circumciſion.

Mr. Baxter 2 Argument.

  • If it be a breach of the ſeventh commandment, Thou ſhalt not commit Adultery, ordinarily to baptize naked, then it is an intolerable wickedneſs, and not Gods command.
  • But it is a breach of the ſeventh command to baptize naked:
  • Therefore it is an intolerable wickedneſs, and not Gods command.

Anſw. I am aſhamed to name Mr. Baxters lightneſs in mentioning (upon ſuppoſition onely) the Maids of Bewdley, though we have no ex­ample for being baptized naked, nor any thing againſt it: and therefore as an indifferent thing, a Saint may as well be baptized naked, as Saints pro­pheſied naked; yet it is well known that Garments with decency are ap­proved of. And will Mr. Baxter argue againſt an Ordinance, becauſe ſome probable evill may enſue? why then doth he adminiſter the Lords Supper, ſeeing probably ſo adminiſtred, many eat and drink their own damnation, not diſcerning the Lords Body? or why doth he allow of marriage, meat, drink, and apparell, ſeeing abuſe hath been found in them? why doth he therefore upon uncertain conjectures, ſpeak evill of the way of God, in the adminiſtration of baptiſme? may he not be aſhamed thus to contra­dict himſelf? what is Chriſts command to be obſerved in a hot Country, and not in a cold? when were any killed with any one of the diſeaſes that he hath reckoned? though to ſome thereof baptiſme hath been a preſent remedy.

In regard therefore Mr. Baxter hath ſo preſumptuouſly, ſhameleſly, ſcandalouſly, and malignantly ſpoken evill againſt the expreſs command of Chriſt, and that very way which Chriſt had ſubmitted unto, when he like the Eunuch went down and came out of the water after he was bap­tized, I can ſay no more, but without any acrimony declare my Chriſtian judgement as by the fruits doth appear, that ſo many Scriptures are fulfil­led in Mr. Baxters ſelf-expreſſions, that herein he hath like the troubled Sea caſt not onely mire and dirt on the face of the Saints, but hath calumniated the Ordinances of Jeſus Chriſt, ſo that in theſe two Arguments9 the ſmoak in the Temple hath blinded his eyes: and as he is looked upon by the common people, and cried up in defending this practice of popery, the taile of the beaſt hath ſtrucken him as a ſtarre to the earth, or brought him to a compliance or friendſhip with the world, where I leave him to God that can raiſe him, not doubting but if he were further diſcipled, then by education, he will ſee that all that he hath ſpoken againſt the Ordinance, and renowned Mr. Tombes, as hay and ſtubble ſhall ſuffer burning. How­ever, I leave all men to judge, how unjuſtly he hath alledged a Child to be a Diſciple, and therefore leaving Mr. Baxter, I do friendly betake my ſelf to anſwer Mr. Sidenham.

An Anſwer to Mr. Sidenham's Book, INTITULED, A Chriſtian, Sober, and Plain Exercita­tion, on two grand Practical Con­troverſies of theſe Times; Infant-Baptiſm, & Singing of Pſalms.

Mr. S. chap. 1. page 1.BEfore I enter into the main Queſtions handled in this Diſcourſe, firſt, let this be conſidered, that there is nothing in all the New Teſtament againſt baptizing of Infants, noany hinfrom any expreſs word dropping from Chriſt nor his Apoſtles, nor any phraſe, though never ſo much ſtrained, doth forbid ſuch an act.

Anſwer. If you will underſtand nothing in Scripture to be expreſly againſt any thing, except it do by name ex­cludet, then Ships, Bells, and unbelieving Gentiles, &c. are not expreſly prohibited to be baptized: for this is repugnant to the wiſdom of God and man, to expreſs the prohibiting of any thing by name, when the ſame thing, as not ſpoken unto in another thing, is excluded: and therefore when Chriſt bade Thomas put his finger into his ſide, Peter and John, they not being10 Thomas which was ſpoken unto, without naming of them, were expreſly by Chriſts word prohibited: And ſo the female, though never named, was ex­preſly prohibited, when the male was commanded to be circumciſed. Upon the ſame account, Infants (though not named) are expreſly prohibited to be bap­tized, or to partake of the Lords Supper, though thereby the Church is made one body, 1 Cor. 10.26. in that none, but thoſe that have faith, and examine themſelves, are commanded to receive the Ordinances, Matth. 28.19. Mark 16.16. Acts 8.36, 37. 1 Cor. 11.28. And therefore, as by confeſſion of thoſe that are of contrary judgement, there is expreſs Scripture to keep Children from the Lords ſupper; ſo we have expreſs Scripture to keep them from Baptiſm, until they ſhall, according to the command of Chriſt, be diſcipled, by teach­ing, and ſhall profeſs the faith in the Goſpel.

Mr. S. endeavouring, pag. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. ſhewing by divers Reaſons, why Con­ſequences are to be approved of; to this I anſwer.

Anſw. We do allow of Conſequences, provided they be not (as in caſe of Baptiſm) brought in to contradict an expreſs command or example of Chriſt and his Apoſtles to the contrary. And yet though Mr. S's Conſequences be ſuch as oppoſe the expreſs command of Chriſt, as not to deny his Plea, for information, and tryal of the Truth, I ſhall not deny to anſwer them.

Mr. S. chap. 2. pag. 9.The firſt great thing in this controverſie, is, to conſider the nature of this covenant, which is the firſt foundation of the priviledge of believers, and their ſeed; and as it was firſt made to Abraham and his ſeed, both Jews and Gentiles. And if we finde the ſame Covenant reaching Gentile believers and their children, as Abraham and his, we cannot be denyed the new external ſigne and ſeal of the ſaid Covenant.

Anſw. That the nature of the Covenant ſhould be the foundation-privi­ledge of beleivers and their ſeed, though I ſhould, as others have, grant him; yet how juſtly upon triall I conceive it will appear, that the Covenant which Mr. S. and Mr. B. looketh at, if it be truly according to its nature diſcovered, they will come ſhort of their expectations: for it appears unto me, that the Covenant only relates to temporall promiſes, in which it had ſo large extent, that all the Nation claimed it: yea circumciſion was a meanes whereby every one was made of the Nation, or endenized, Exod. 12.48. ſo that the Nation claimed it as their diſtinguiſhing fleſhly character, Gen. 17.11. being their en­tayl to an earthly inheritance: for the diſcovery whereof, and that we may ſee the true riſe and motive cauſe of the inſtitution of this covenant whereof cir­cumciſion is a ſigne, which Mr. S. I ſuppoſe would have to be the foundation of the priviledge of believers; thus it appeareth, Gen. 15.1. that God telling Abraham upon his complaint of being childleſs, and asking God what he would give him, God ſaid, he would multiply his ſeed as the Starres of Heaven for number, ver. 5. which Abraham believing, it was imputed unto him for righ­teouſneſs, ver. 6. upon which ſame day God made a Covenant with Abraham, ver. 18. ſo that Gen. 17.12. God relates again the ſame covenant with Abra­ham, that his ſeed, & all that ſhould relate to Abraham, ſhould poſſeſs the land of Egypt, & to the great river Euphrates, & therefore as a ſigne & token of this temporall Covenant, God ordained circumciſion as his token thereof betwixt11 God and his people, Gen. 17.11. and however Mr. S. and Mr. B. &c. have wreſted the Scripue, as I ſhall by and by ſhew, in making this temporall Co­venant a Covenant of grace, and as relating unto the admiſſion into the Church, yet I hope fully and clearly to prove the contrary: for as though the Lord would undeceive and ſatisfie the Jews, why he tooke away the firſt old Covenant, on which Mr. S. and Mr. B. &c. like the Jews do too much dote, he declareth himſelf, Heb. 8.7. ſaying, that if the firſt Covenant had been good, that is, if it had related to the good of their ſouls, then there had been found no place for the ſecond, ver. 7. So that the covenant which was taken away, was the covenant of temporal promiſes, as the contents to Heb. 8. calls it, whereof circumciſion was the ſigne, Gen. 17.11. for the cauſe that God alleadgeth, why he tooke away the old Covenant, is fully and plainly de­clared, Exod. 6.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. by which it doth appear, that that Co­venant of which circumciſion was a token, was aboliſhed in all intents and purpoſes: and the new Covenant, not made according to the old Covenant, is onely eſtabliſhed, Heb. 8.9, 10. and therefore the old Covenant which is aboliſhed, upon which Mr. S. would build a foundation, is fallen to the ground: and how then ſhall his doctrine for which he hath no foundation, to make the ſeed of believers Church-members by vertue of the Covenant of which circumciſion was a token, be able to ſtand, ſeeing it is ſo abſolutely condemned and taken away. M. S's and M. B's conſequence for circumciſion cannot be admitted of, that Children upon that pretence ſhould have bap­tiſme, of which Mr. S. is much miſtaken, in that he calleth baptiſme the new externall ſigne, and ſeal of the Covenant, he having no Scripture to prove what he ſaith, neither can he prove that baptiſme is a ſeal at all; neither is there any ſuch thing in the covenant, to be ſigned or ſealed, he as conceiteth: Yet,

Mr. Sidenham p. 10.Saith, Firſt and chiefly we affirm, this (meaning circumciſion) was the ſame in ſubſtance with the Covenant adminiſtred under the Goſpel, ſince Chriſts coming in the fleſh and ſpirit. Secondly, It was founded on pure grace.

Anſw. Firſt then, and chiefly, I anſwer, that here is a confounding of things that differ, circumciſion being called a Covenant, but figuratively, Gen. 17.10. It being in its own Nature the token of the Covenant, Gen. 17.11. ſo that Mr. Sidenham ſaying, that circumciſion is the ſame in ſub­ſtance with the Covenant in the Goſpel, is partly miſtaken, as alſo in com­paring circumciſion with baptiſme; he being not able to finde any proof in Scripture, that baptiſme is either Covenant, or Seal. Secondly, And that circumciſion is not the ſame in ſubſtance with the Covenant under the Goſpel, Heb. 8 expreſly declareth, that when the Covenant whereof cir­cumciſion is a token, and the new Covenant, are compared, that the new Covenant is eſtabliſhed upon better promiſes, Heb 8.6. then a temporall inheritance. And yet Mr. Sidenham would have the beſt of promiſes in cir­cumciſion, as in the next place doth appear, in that he ſaith, that cir­cumciſion was founded on pure grace, and that it was a pure Covenant of grace, Gal. 3.16, 17, 18, 19, 29.

12Anſw. That it may truly and clearly appear, Firſt, that the Scriptures he produceth, witneſs againſt him; And ſecondly, that he hath not rightly applied them, let us obſerve,

1. That that which he alleadgeth Gal. 3.16. that the promiſes were not made to Abrahams ſeeds, as of many, but as of one, to thy feed, which is Chriſt: though we take this for Chriſt myſticall, as Mr. Sidenham would have it, yet here is nothing relating to circumciſion, in which, if we mind, it is ſaid, the promiſes were made not to the ſeeds, which was of Hagar and ſtrangers, as well as of Iſaac, which promiſe had reſpect to circumciſion: therefore thoſe promiſes being excluded, which had reſpect to the ſeeds of many, there is nothing of circumciſion ſpoken in the 16. ver. but of the promiſe which relates to Gen. 22.16, 17, 18. and that ver. 17. ſpeaketh nothing of circumciſion: there are three things mentioned in the ſaid verſe, Covenant, Law, and Promiſe, the firſt two whereof, the Covenant, and Law, are onely named, as that they could not, or cannot diſannull the Pro­miſe, which is made, as I have proved before, unto Abraham, Gen. 22.16, 17, 18. and unto Abrahams ſeed, which are the children of God, by grace and faith, called to walk in the ſteps of Abraham, Rom. 4.11, 12. as I ſhall preſently more fully declare: therefore in that God made a gracious pro­miſe to Abraham, becauſe Abraham did believe in God when he ſhould have ſacrificed his ſonne Iſaac, therefore this promiſe hath reſpect to Gen. 22.18. for you ſee this is not called a Covenant, but a promiſe, which was made to Abraham, ver. 16, 17. and therefore that all that is ſpoken by the Apoſtle, ver. 18. as is above mentioned, as the verſes are alledged by Mr. Sidenham, Gal. 3.16, 17, 18, 19. doth not hold forth any thing to make Mr. Sidenhams pretence, that circumciſion is founded on pure grace, or to be a Covenant of pure grace, is fully diſcovered: And therefore,

2. That in the next place, I may make it appear, that Mr. S. hath not rightly apprehended theſe Scriptures, in calling circumciſion from thence a Covenant of pure grace; This I ſay, To be founded on pure grace, or that God of his pure grace or good will was pleaſed to look on Abraham ſo as to give him a temporal promiſe, or a ſeed according to the fleſh, is not to be de­nied; yet this makes not the gift to be pure grace: as if God in his pure grace give the wicked meat, drink and cloathing, doth not prove that their meat, drink, and clothing is pure grace. Therefore however circumciſion, the ſigne of temporal mercies, was given on Gods part of his pure grace, it makes not the Covenant to be pure grace, which, as I ſaid, in the contents of the 8. chap. to the Hebrews, is called a Covenant of temporall promiſes: for all ſpirituall promiſes which were made to Abraham, were not by vertue of cir­cumciſion, but in that, as the Apoſtle ſaith, Gal. 3.8. God foreſeeing that he would juſtifie the Heathen through faith, preached the Goſpel unto A­braham, ſaying, In thee ſhall all Nations be bleſſed: which words are expreſly mentioned, Gen 22.18. and cannot be found Gen. 17. circumciſion relating to Nations that ſhould come of Abrahams ſeed, in which temporall promiſe the Gentiles had no Intereſt, but as they ſubmitted to the Jews; There­fore its clear enough, or the Sun cannot ſhine more clearly, then that13 the ſeed of Abraham, being believers, or walking in the ſteps of Abraham, Gal. 3.7, 9. Rom. 4.12. circumciſion the token of a temporall covenant, did not hold forth this ſpirituall mercy, which God upon Abrahams ſacri­ficing of his Sonne, promiſed Abraham, even to bleſs all Nations in him, as hath been at large diſcovered. And therefore that which Mr. Sidenham ſaith, that the Apoſtle uſeth the ſame expreſſion in Heb. 8.10. where he ſpeaketh of the new Covenant, which was, as Mr. Sidenham pretendeth, uſed Gen. 17. I will be thy God, and the God of thy ſeed; In this he may ſee how partially he is blaſted to favour his own imagination. For firſt, God doth not onely ſay, as in Gen. 17. I will be a God unto thee, and thy ſeed after thee, but in the new Covenant he ſaith not onely, that He will be a God unto them, and they ſhall be a people unto him: but to ſhew that this new covenant is upon better promiſes, God ſheweth that he will work a work of grace, even to write his Lawes in their hearts, &c. this God never promiſed in circumciſion: and that God in circumciſion did onely (it relating to all the world) promiſe no more, then to be a God in providence unto them, or to make good his promiſe or covenant to give them the pro­miſed Land, read Levit. 26.44, 45. 2 King. 13.22, 23. and there you ſhall fully be informed: and therefore you may ſee, that circumciſion is no covenant of pure grace, or equivalent with that new covenant under the Goſpel, Heb. 8. which is ſaid to be eſtabliſhed upon better promiſes, ver. 7. which could not be, if Mr. Sidenham might have liberty to exalt it above meaſure, and plead a falſe title, or uphold that which by Chriſt and his Church hath been totally taken away, Heb. 8. Act. 15. And fur­ther, I muſt tell Mr. Sidenham, which it may be may ſeem to him ſtrange, that God having made man judge of baptiſme, whereby man muſt look at what is viſibly revealed, and not contradict his commiſſion upon the uncertain conſequences of ſecret pretences, therefore the old covenant, as altogether made void and impertinent, is not onely waved, but alſo the gracious new covenant which is in force, except it ſhould be revealed or manifeſted, ſo that through diſcipling and profeſſion of faith, we could judge of it, (ſecret things belonging unto God) were no ground or conſe­quence of baptiſme, nor to proceed upon the promiſe, Act. 2.38. untill that time that they ſhould be called.

Mr. S. chap. 3. p. 16.The next thing which must have its place of conſideration, is that queſtion of A­braham's ſeed, with whom the promiſe was made: and on this bangs all the main weight on both ſides. And if we make Infant believers to be in Covenant, as A­braham's ſeed, the controverſie will be at an end. There is a carnal and a ſpiri­tual ſeed, under the New Testament, as our oppoſites muſt acknowledge.

Anſw. The firſt great thing (as Mr. S. is pleaſed to call it) the nature of the Covenant, his foundation being thrown down, I cannot ſee how the door of hope, in this third chapter, can have a hinge to hang upon: neither can your oppoſites, in your ſenſe, acknowledge your diſtinction, if by ſpiritual ſeed you underſtand the children of believers, before they be, by being cal­led, and made actual believers, made Abraham's ſeed, in walking in the14 ſteps of Abraham, Rom. 4.12, 16. Therefore as the promiſe was made to A­braham, both the ſeed and the promiſe muſt be diſtinguiſhed. As Abraham had a natural ſeed, it was either that which he had of Hagar, called the ſeed according to the fleſh; or of Sarah, called the ſeed according to the promiſe, be­cauſe God gave it by promiſe: both which ſeeds ſpoken of, Gal. 4.23. are both of them to be accounted the ſeed according to the Law, Rom. 4.16. and ſo the promiſe made unto them upon this account, was the Covenant of which Circumciſion was a ſigne; that is to ſay, temporal promiſes, Gen. 17. as I have before fully proved.

2. But Abraham hath alſo a ſeed of faith, Rom. 4.16. that is, all believers, both of the Circumciſion, and of the Gentiles, Rom. 4.12. which as they walk in the ſteps of Abraham, are the ſeed of Abraham; he is their father, Rom. 4.12, 16. Gal. 3.6, 7, 8, 9. compared with Pſal. 22.23, 30. And therefore if in this ſenſe Mr. S. underſtand a ſpiritual ſeed, which the Scripture calleth a ſeed of faith, Rom. 4.16. I ſhall grant him: but if he imagine that the ſeed of faith came by Circumciſion, or that it is, as he ſaith, Infant-belie­vers, then I deny it: for I do affirm, that the ſeed of faith came by the pro­miſe and oath which God made to Abraham, upon the attempting of ſacrifi­cing of his ſon Iſaac, whereby Abraham to be father to the ſeed of faith, both thoſe that are circumciſed, and of the Gentiles, was then promiſed, Gen. 22.16, 17, 18. compared with Gal. 3.6, 7, 8, 9. Heb. 6.13, 14. So that Mr. S. and I do not ſo much differ about Abraham's ſeed in a ſpiritual relation, which properly called, is Abrahams ſeed by faith, Rom. 4.16. as we differ, that he would make a ſpiritual ſeed by Circumciſion, and in Infants, which till they be believers, are not ſo called: ſo that Infant-believers as conſidered to be Infants, were not in covenant, as M.S. pretendeth, further then in that co­venant whereof circumciſion was a ſigne, whereby onely the Infants of Jews, or ſuch as were made Jews by circumciſion, had as Abrahams ſeed the tempo­rall promiſes, made good unto them, of Canaan, &c. ſo that here again Mr. S. ſtumbles upon circumciſion: neither had I ſaid this, but that Mr. S. will not let us be quiet. But, which is worſe, with reflection upon circumciſion, and to get a conſequence to maintain the dotage of popery, &c. whereby they hold Chil­dren damned if they be not baptized; Mr. S. thus far further advanceth his cauſe with hay and ſtubble, ſaying, p. 21. there is a ſecret diſtinction and veine of election, carried through the adminiſtration, which takes hold of ſome, and not of others; as if the election or promiſe were made, it ſhould not be effectuall, without that adminiſtration: but bleſſed be God, he hath not produced any Scripture, to ſow this piece of old cloth on the new garment of the Goſpel: of which I thought to have made a farther diſcovery, but that circumciſion being again brought upon the ſtage, I am called to anſwer in that.

Mr. Sidenham p. 14.Saith, Let us come to circumciſion the ſeal of the covenant.

Anſw. That the vail of fleſh, which through circumciſion hangs over M. S's eyes, may be removed, that he may look above circumciſion, the Scripture may inform him that circumciſion is not a ſeal of the covenant, but it is onely15 a Token of the Covenant, Gen. 17.11. and though it is called a ſeal of the righteouſneſs of Abraham, Gen. 15.6. compared with Rom. 4.11. yet this makes not circumciſion a ſeal of the covenant; and if it were, it could not ſeal more then is in the covenant, that is, temporall mer­cies: and as it was the ſeal of Abrahams righteouſneſs, which he had before circumciſion, and not given by circumciſion, Rom. 4.10. with whom the covenant was firſt made. To this I anſwer, that circumciſion as a ſeal relating to Abraham, holds forth Gods approbation of Abraham: as ſigns and miracles did confirm the approbation of the faith of the Apoſtles, Mark 16.17. and the converſion of the people is the ſeal or approbation of the Miniſtery, 1 Cor. 9.2. that therefore every ones faith muſt be ſo con­firmed, God not beginning an adminiſtration, or not making an originall covenant with them, but doing for Abrahams ſake, or chuſing theſe A­poſtles to be choſen witneſſes, is neither conſonant to Scripture, or reaſon: ſo that the Scripture in the old Teſtament never ſpeaks more, then that circumciſion is a ſigne of the covenant made in the fleſh, Gen. 17.11. and as it relates with reſpect of a particular application to Abraham, it was the ſeal of his righteouſneſs, which, as I proved before, was not by means of circumciſion: and though we do diſclaim Abraham to be our Father by cir­cumciſion, in that thereby he was but a Father of ſome Nations, all being Jews, or made Jews by circumciſion, Exod. 12.48. Gen. 17.15. yet we do own Abraham as to the example of faith, as Mr. Sidenham rightly ſtates it, to be our Father, from the Oath and Promiſe God made to Abra­ham, Gen. 22.16, 17, 18. compared with Gal. 3.6, 7, 8, 9. Rom. 4.12, 16.

Now that Abraham was a believer before, Gen. 17. ſo that God did bleſs Abraham, and that circumciſion did ſeal his Faith he had though not as the Apoſtle ſaith by circumciſion, Rom. 4.11. I do grant: but that God gave Abraham in circumciſion, more then Abraham begged of God, Gen. 15.3, 48. or that God did give Abraham more then an inheritance of which circumciſion was a token, Gen. 17.4, 11. this I defend: and that there­fore circumciſion was not an adminiſtration to make Church-members, I deſire (this being ſo much miſtaken) to produce theſe reaſons to the contrary.

1. Becauſe they did not circumciſe in the Temple, or by a Prieſt, but a woman, Exod. 4.25. and others did circumciſe, Joſh. 5.3.

2. A ſtranger by circumciſion, was not ſaid to be of the Church, but as one of the Nation, Exod. 12.48, and if any refuſed to be circumciſed, they were not to be excommunicated out of the Church, but to be cut off out of the Nation, Gen. 17.14. and that the Church is not the Nation, Reaſon the ſeventh proves.

3. The Female was not circumciſed, and yet Hanna and other Wo­men were of the Church: and if in the Man the Woman might be ad­mitted into the Church, why might not the Woman in the Man be bap­tized, and receive the Lords Supper? ſince they would have baptiſm to ſucceed circumciſion,

4. Becauſe God ſaid, that the Covenant of which circumciſion was a16 ſigne, Gen. 17.11. was a covenant in the fleſh, Gen. 17.13. and God did never promiſe more then a temporall inheritance in that covenant, Gen. 15.3.18. compared with Gen. 17.3, 4, 5, 8.

5. In the caſe of Dinah marrying with Sichem, all that was deſired of him, was this, that they ſhould be one people, if Sichem, &c. would be circumciſed: which was done without any change of religion, Gen. 34.22, 24. and though it might be ſuppoſed (as we do with our children) they would endeavour to learn them, and make them ſubmit to their Religion; yet all this endeavouring, like the paines that we take in the nurture and admonition of our Children, did not admit or make them viſible Church-members, but onely made preparation for their admiſſion: as the next reaſon will fully clear it.

6. Becauſe to the Jews God ſaid, Gather my Saints together unto me, thoſe that have made a covenant with me, by ſacifice. Pſal. 50.5. and Zeph. 3.9. its propheſied both of Jews and Chriſtians, that they ſhould ſerve God with one conſent; Therefore Children not ſacrificing, whereby there might be a viſi­ble appearance of Faith and Repentance, and they not being willing or knowing to ſerve God with one conſent, could not be of the viſible gathered Church, or they were not viſible Church-members: for to make a viſible Church member, there muſt be ſomething appearing in the party that is to be admitted, ſo as to give his conſent: but in a Child we have or ſee no­thing, that repreſents the face of a Church-member.

7. Children by circumciſion were not made Church-members, becauſe after they had been circumciſed, they were preſented unto the Lord in the Temple: and our Saviour did no more for them, when they were brought unto him, then bleſs them, by praying for them, Mat. 19.

8. God was ſaid to have a Church in the Wilderneſs, Act. 7.38. and yet for forty yeers together they were not circumciſed: and therefore circum­ciſion made not a Church, if baptiſm, as Mr. Sidenham ſaith, doth not make one; for ſo he ſaith, pag. 166. Baptiſme doth not forme a Church.

9. Becauſe the Gentiles had a Church, as Mr. Baxter hath notably proved by Job, &c. and Abraham was of the Church before, and yet the Gentiles were never circumciſed, and Abraham had not been circumciſed, but that God made circumciſion a ſigne of the covenant, which was to give him a ſeed by Sarah, and to make him a Father, and Sarah a Mother of divers Nations, Gen. 17.6, 16. for as all Nations whether Jews or Gentiles, are bleſſed in Abra­ham, this was not by circumciſion, but by oath and promiſe made to Abraham, Gen. 22. 6, 17, 18. as the Apoſtle, Gal. 3.9. compared with Heb. 6.13, 14. fully declareth: and therefore we do not look at circumciſion, that it did admit unto the Church, or that baptiſm ſhould ſucceed it, circumciſion re­lating to temporal promiſes.

10. Becauſe theſe words in the covenant whereof circumciſion is a ſigne, I will be thy God, and o thy ſeed after thee, were onely ſpoken of God, that he might manifeſt himſelf to be a God in providence, to make his temporal promiſe good to Abraham, and ſuch ſtrangers that ſhould ſojourne with him: God excepting againſt none in circumciſion, as he doth in point of17 ſalvation: and therefore God expreſly declared his meaning, that in reſpect of the covenant whereof circumciſion was a ſigne, he was their God to make good his promiſe to give them the Land of Canaan, Levit. 26.44, 45. and in that he condemned and tooke away this circumciſion, making a new covenant, not according to the old covenant, declares that the old cove­nant had no ſpiritual promiſes, Heb. 8.6, 7, 8, 9.

11. That Mr. Sidenham and Mr. Baxter making circumciſion to bring Children into the Church, is but from their own wreſted conſequences, for there is no ſuch Scripture that ſaith, Circumciſion makes a Child a member of the Church, neither is there any Scripture that can prove circumciſion a covenant of pure grace, or that baptiſm doth ſucceed it, upon which they ground their concluſion or conſequence.

12. If baptiſm ſhould ſucceed circumciſion, then it could not be ſaid, that baptiſm is the like figure of Noahs Ark, 1 Pet. 1.21. in which there was no Children, nor did any enter into it, but ſuch as believed the word preached unto them.

13. They were debtors to the Law, not by covenant or contract (the Law being made four hundred and forty yeers after circumciſion, Gal. 3.17. ) and therefore they were debtors to the Law by conſequence, as a thing that followed, and was after impoſed upon the people; ſo that they were not circumciſed upon that account.

14. They were twice circumciſed. The firſt time, in token they ſhould inherit the promiſed Land. And the ſecond time, as being come to poſſeſs it, Joſhua 5.2. therefore circumciſion did not make them Church-mem­bers.

The great thing then which Mr. Sidenham pag. 9. ſpeaketh of in this con­troverſie, the nature of the covenant being fully and plainly diſcovered, its too apparent that he hath been too much diſcipled by the Jewiſh rabbies, in making the Covenant by their traditions and doctrine, greater then ever God intended it, whereby the promiſe and oath God made to Abraham, whereby he is the Father of the faithful, hath been over-looked; Therefore Mr. Sidenham failing to make good his hinge and maine weight, in thinking to make all promiſes to Abraham as Father to the faithful, to be held out in circumciſion, and that it was a ſeal of the covenant, and baptiſm a ſeal of the new covenant, in all which his errors and miſtakes have been plainly diſcovered: yet I would not have Mr. Sidenham or any of his judgement, to think, that I have denied him that which may be ſome have, or he hath expected to have granted him (as I ſhould readily have done, if it had been Gods truth) in relation to the covenant whereof circumciſion was the ſigne: as though, if Mr. Sidenhams and Mr. Baxters conſequences were granted him, he could thereby prove his infant-baptiſm; for this I ſay, that though he were certain that a Child were in the new covenant of the Goſpel, yet no viſible fruit of holineſs, of profeſſion, of faith, coverſation, and willing deſire of baptiſm being made to appear, ſecret things belong­ing unto God, and we being commanded as any ſhall be diſcipled to bap­tize them; its not in Mr. Sidenham, &c. to gainſay Chriſts will and power,18 to make the admiſſion into the Church, according as he fancieth by any pre­tended pretences, conſequences, or precedents, or to admit a Child, or ig­norant perſon, not being by Chriſt tolerated, ſeeing according to his own pretended light, he did not regulate circumciſion to a former adminiſtra­tion, neither is there any Scripture to prove that baptiſm ſucceedeth cir­cumciſion, but both by command and example the Scripture doth prove the contrary; therefore in the ſimplicity of the Goſpel, except Mr. S. will flee from Scripture, and juſtifie the falling away from the faith, ſo that in this point of Infant-baptiſm, he ſhould comply with the tradition of Popery, he hath hitherto produced nothing to uphold his controverſie in this great thing, foundation and hinge, which I have anſwered. To proceed then.

Mr. S. p. 22.Infants, if believers, were never cast out of the viſible Church of Christ, of which they were once in.

Anſw. According to that maxime, Omnis privatio implicat habitum, you know that every diſpoſſeſſion implieth a poſſeſſion: Infants cannot therefore be caſt out of the Church, before he can prove them admitted: and if Mr. S. or any man living can tell us by what viſible adminiſtration, Chil­dren were admitted viſible Church-members before the time of Abraham, or in the Gentiles Church, or by what Scripture they are ſaid to be admited members by cirumciſion; I ſhall admire him and them, and acknowledge their diſcovery, deſiring him till then not to conclude, that we do caſt them out, or deny them any thing, that can be conſcientiouſly granted them.

Mr. S. chap. 4. p. 30.In that Mr. Sidenham doth make a twofold diſtinction, of being in cove­nant, in relation to the election of grace: and ſecondly, to be in cove­nant, in facie viſibilis eccleſiae;

Anſw. To this I anſwer, firſt, that onely the elect are in covenant of ſaving faith, which is called as he ſaith, by Divines, intentionally in cove­nant, as God intending onely to ſave them. I agree: onely this may be ob­ſerved, 1. That the election of Grace is not by the Covenant whereof Cir­cumciſion is a ſigne. 2. That if upon this account, that is, Predeſtination, we ſhould look on children, then children of believers, as well as believers, Papiſts, Turks, and Infidels, may be in the Election, even before they be called; and yet this will give no liberty to children, until their ſecret electi­on be made viſibly appearing, through a gracious call, Act. 2.38.

2. In that Mr. S. tells us that there is a being in Covenant in facie viſibilis Eccleſiae, in the face of a viſible Church; I confeſs, that a viſible Church ſhould have a race, ſo that they may ſee, hear, and ſpeak with one another, to yeeld up themſelves to ſerve God with one conſent, Zeph. 3.9. but how he will make Infants in ſwadling-clouts ſuch viſible members, I know not. For want of ſuch a face of the Church, Mr. S. I ſuppoſe excludes Infants from the Lords Supper, though he confeſſeth that thereby the Church is made one body, pag. 169. and ſo doth the Apoſtle, 1 Cor. 10.17.

And I do abſolutely deny that ever there was any ſuch Covenant, by ver­tue of which God ſaid a childe ſhould be counted a member of the viſible19 Church. Therefore Mr. S's Scriptures to prove that by Covenant children were brought into the Church, are to be examined.

1. As to that place, Rom. 9.4. which Mr. S. produceth;

I anſwer, that it onely holds forth the ſeveral priviledges belonging to the Jews, but doth not hint ſo much as one word, that by Circumciſion chil­dren were brought in facie viſibilis Eccleſiae, or made members of the viſible Church.

2. To that place, Deut. 29.10, 12, 13, 14.

I anſwer, It is not at all proved that Circumciſion did at all relate to Re­ligion, but that God ſaid that he would make them a people, as he promi­ſed, Gen. 17.6, 16. to make Abraham a father of many nations, and ſo Sarah ſhould be a mother of many nations, as I have proved before of which Covenant Circumciſion was the ſigne.

3. To that place, Joh. 15.2. and Job. 1.11. I cannot ſee the leaſt conje­cture of a Covenant.

4. To the laſt place, Pſal. 50.5. Gather my ſaints together, that is, make a viſible Church; This I acknowledge: but that any children were gathered, the next words tell him who they be that God would have gathered, even ſuch as have made a covenant with ſacrifice: not ſuch as are of the covenant whereof circumciſion is but a ſigne, but ſuch as have made a covenant with me (ſaith God) in ſacrifice: ſo that we finde no ſhadow of proof in the places pro­duced by M.S. that children are of the viſible Church. To another relation.

Mr. S. chap. 5. page 35. endeavours to open that place, Acts 2.39. For the promiſe is made unto you and your children, &c.

Anſw. In the pretended opening of which Scripture, Mr. S. indeed hath ſo over-veyled the ſame, and ſhut it up in Logical Diſtinctions, Critical Queſtions, and Wreſted Applications, that I may ſay of this Scripture, as the parents ſaid of their ſon, It ſo clearly ſhineth, that it is able to anſwer for it ſelf. Theſe be the words: Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of the Lord Jeſus Chriſt: for the promiſe is made unto you, and to your chil­dren, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God ſhall call. Now the promiſe here, which Mr. S. omitted, as the antecedent to be related, was to receive the holy Ghoſt, by ſuch as did repent and were baptized, and who are here ſaid to repent, to be baptized, & to receive the holy Ghoſt: but ſuch of them, and of their children, and them that are afar off, and of their children, with this reſtriction, even to as many, and no more, then the Lord our God ſhall call. So that here is a plain reſtriction, and application to whom this promiſe is made, even to as many as the Lord our God ſhall call. And there­fore no heart could deſire a more full and plain expreſſion of the minde of God. And therefore Mr. S. hath not opened, but ſhut up, or turned the ſtream of thoſe gracious expreſſions of Scripture. And yet upon concluſion, after a great deal of diſcourſe, this chapter conſiſting of almoſt a ſheet of paper, he concludes, that however this Scripture holds forth the promiſe of believers of the Goſpel, both Jews and Gentiles, and their children: which is true, if the laſt words, wherein all the main buſineſs depends, be applied, whereby we may ſee to whom this promiſe is made, even to as many as the Lord our God ſhall call.

20Mr. S. chap. 6. pag. 45. having hitherto endeavoured to plead his own cauſe, by the ſtrongeſt Arguments which by conſequence he could produce, now endeavouring to throw down our foundation in this ſixth chapter, he tells us, that our great plea from Mat. 3.8, 9. is made vain.

Theſe be Mr. S's words:

That we may ſtill take off the Objections, let us view that place ſo much ſtood on, Matth. 3.8, 9. When John ſaw many of the Phariſees and Sadduces come to his Baptiſm, he ſayth, O generation of vipers, who hath forewarned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth fruits meet for repentance. And think not to ſay that you have Abraham to your father: for I ſay that God is able of theſe ſtones to raiſe up children unto Abraham. From this text they gather, The pretence of being Abrahams children could not give them a right to Baptiſm. And if John denyed Abraham's ſeed upon that account, much more would he the adopted children.

That this is no ſuch ominous place against Infant-baptiſm, conſider who they were he ſpake unto, the Phariſees and Sadduces, men of age, and degenerate from Abrahams faith, perſons that lived in their own works and righteouſneſs: there­fore he calls them a generation of vipers, which was not as they were Abrahams children, but as they walked not in Abrahams ſteps, and were quite degenerate.

Anſw. To which I anſwer, that the plea is not vain (as Mr. S. in the con­tents of his chapter pretendeth) that is by us made from Matth. 3.8, 9. though to obſcure the light that therein ſhineth, or for Mr. S. to light his candle, or gloſs, or interpretation, to darken the ſun-light of expreſs Scripture, is la­bour in vain, in that,

1. I ſay, that Matth. 3.8, 9. in the general, is directly againſt Infant-ba­ptiſm, in that none but ſuch as have faith and repentance muſt think to be baptized, is as clear a place as can be deſired or pleaded for.

2. That the pretence or conſequence from Circumciſion, from this of Mat. 3.8, 9. Think not to ſay you have Abraham to your father, is alſo condemned, it appears that John did not judge them to have any benefit or priviledge as being Abrahams ſeed according to the Law, Rom. 4.16. whereby Abraham was their father by circumciſion, Gen. 17.5, 16. And therefore John apprehending the Phariſees and Sadduces (as Mr. S. &c. do) to ſtile themſelves, through this pretended priviledge from Abraham, without looking home for faith and repentance, which every childe of Abraham ſhould have, which calls Abra­ham father by faith, as onely they that believe ought to do, Gal. 3.7. there­fore, to undeceive the Phariſees and Sadduces, and to unbottom them, and to throw down their ſandy foundation, that John in the ſimplicity of the Goſpel might be downright with them, (though it's true, that Mr. S. ſayth, that he did not call them a generation of vipers, as they were Abrahams ſeed, yet) that they might not through fleſhly confidence make their plea, or reſt upon this account, that they might be baptized, being but Abrahams ſeed according to Law, and not by faith, he tells them (to undeceive them) ſaying, Think not to ſay that you have Abraham to your father, as that you ſhould think upon this account, that I ſhould baptize you; therefore John, without as much as taking notice (which he would have done, if there had been cauſe) of any21 legal priviledge they had by Abraham to plead for Baptiſm, onely exhorts them to faith and repentance, by which they are the children of Abraham by faith, Rom. 4.12, 16. Gal. 3.7. which John makes the ground of his admittance unto Baptiſm: unto which Goſpel-ordinance, none but a taught diſciple, by the expreſs and plain words of Chriſt, ought to be admitted. And therefore our plea, that the pretence of being Abrahams children by Law, or Circum­ciſion, could not give a right to Baptiſm, as hath been before often proved, is very warrantable: ſo that John did not deſire to diſpoſſeſs them, or que­ſtion them as the Legal ſeed, or children of Abraham; but onely let them know, that they ought not to have ſo much as a thought to get Baptiſm, though they ſhould think to ſay, We have Abraham to our father: which in other reſpects, it was both lawful for them to think, profeſs, and affirm, that they were Abrahams children according to the Law, but yet not to plead it as a conſequence for Baptiſm, much leſs for their childrens. And, but that I ſtrive not to take advantage upon every occaſion, it's an eaſie thing to prove by the words of Chriſt, in that he did approve of the Phariſees to ſit in Mo­ſes chayr, and of their doctrine; andn that they (as the word Phariſee ſigni­fieth) did expound the Scripture; and that the Sadduces were ſtrict living men, that gave much to the poor, though they (admitting of nothing but the letter of the Scripture) denyed the reſurrection: yet, as Authors teſti­fie, they were the beſt of the Jewiſh Church, and did uphold circumciſion, though, as many that pretend to the Church, they ſtood for traditions, and had their failings, and, through unbelief in Chriſt, were a generation of vipers: yet that they were quite cut off, and degenerated from Abrahams ſeed by the Law, he cannot prove, as may appear by Chriſt, Joh. 8.37, 39. And therefore John not approving of them upon this account, as being A­braham's ſeed according to the Law, makes it clear, that John did object both againſt them for their evil lives, and for pretending that they ſhould have Baptiſm, from the pretence that Abraham is their father according to the Law, as before ſaid. Therefore we ſtand to our plea, that Matth. 3.8, 9. is not onely againſt Infants baptiſm in the general, but alſo againſt the very conſequence which (from Circumciſion, whereby Abraham is a father accor­ding to the Law) is pretended, to uphold the ſame. And therefore children were not baptized by John, as though, as Mr. S. ſayth, p. 47. they were neg­lected by John, as though he could not have got time to attend to baptize them; but, John did not baptize them, becauſe they were not Abraham's ſeed according to the faith, Rom. 4.12, 16. Gal. 3.7, 9. that is, they were not actually believers, otherwiſe John would not have been guilty of ſuch partiality and injuſtice; for John refuſed none but ſuch, and all ſuch whatſoever, as in whom there was not the appearance of the fruits of faith and repentance, Acts 15.1, 2, 3, 4. And ſeeing, by Mr. S. children were not baptized by John, and yet all Judea and Jeruſalem, and all the regions round about Jordane, came to Johns Baptiſm, Mat. 3.5. I hope he may be perſwaded that countrie and houſholds may be baptized, and yet children, ignorant, and profane, according to Chriſts command, may juſtly be debarred of the ſaid Goſpel-Ordinance.

Mr. S. ch. 7. p. 49. 1 Cor. 7.14. Elſe were your children unclean, but now are they holy.

22Anſw. All that are of Mr. S's judgement, are ſo partial, and do ſo appa­rently contradict themſelves in the application of holineſs, as pretending it relates unto childrens Baptiſm; in that, as they pretend to bring children into the Church, in that they ſay they are holy; ſo on the contrary, they excommunicate them out of the Church, from being partakers or members of the Body or Church in the Lords Supper, becauſe they want ſaith and holineſs, which is required in all communicants. Therefore I care the leſs to trouble my ſelf or others in further anſwering this wrangling conſe­quence: for they themſelves ſhew ſufficiently, that it is not relative holi­neſs, as being appropriated to God, as the veſſels in the temple, 1 Sam. 21.5. but, it is the holineſs of converſation; which we nor they cannot ſee in a childe; the ground, with faith, of admiſſion into an Ordinance: which rule as they walk by in admiſſion unto the Supper; ſo, by the ſame rule they ought to walk, in the admiſſion into the Ordinance of Baptiſm. And there­fore Mr. T. is not (as Mr. S. ſayth) too critical, to enquire whether children holy inherently, imputatively, or inviſibly: for unleſs there be a manifeſta­tion of holineſs, as the fruit of the inward grace, we ſee not a diſciple: and therefore man being judge of Baptiſm, cannot, by the rule or commiſſion of Chriſt, judge a childe to be baptized. And therefore as Fryer Toiis conſe­quence, That becauſe Angels were holy, we may pray, Hallowed be thy name: ſo Mr. S. pretending children are holy, ergo we may baptize them, is equally to be condemned.

Mr. S. chap. 8 & 9.In which he endeavours, from the cutting off the Jews, and ingraffing in of the Gentiles, to relate to a viſible Church-memberſhip, in anſwering Mr. Tombs eight Arguments to the contrary.

To which I anſwer, That, without any partiality, I cannot ſee but that Mr. T's eight arguments are ſo unanſwered by Mr. S. that it were to eclipſe Mr. T's light, and to take upon me an unneceſſary task, to anſwer Mr. S. Mr. Tombs's eight Arguments ſhining more glorious, through the oppoſition made againſt them. That I may therefore onely hint ſomething that may further diſcover the myſtery of cutting off and graffing in, &c. I conceive it cannot be underſtood of viſible Church-memberſhip, which is but a conſe­quence and effect of Preaching; but hereby God hath declared, in a more general way, his total withdrawing away of his preſence, as denying the Jews, and affording of the Gentiles the means of ſalvation. So that we may underſtand root and branch, as root and ruſh or branch is explained, Iſai. 9.14. And therefore as Paul, Acts 13.46. ſayth, It was neceſſary that the word of God ſhould firſt have been ſpoken unto you: but ſeeing you put it from you, and judge your ſelves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles; thus, there was a cutting off, and ingraffing in; rejecting the Jews, and affording of the Gentiles of the means of ſalvation.

To proceed, Mr. S. chap. 10. pag. 88. ſheweth the harmony of Matth. 19. with Mark 10. and Luke 18. concerning the bringing of Infants to Chriſt, and his acts towards them.

Anſw. Not to occaſion diſcord to ſuch a harmony, the ground of Mr. 23Philipus conſequence, which I though (thought many are not of that opi­nion) the ſtrongeſt conſequence that is pretended for Infant-baptiſm; there­fore that Mr. S. &c. may ſee, that we do deſire to declare, that we are ſo acted with the Spirit of Chriſt and his Apoſtles, to follow his ſteps, 1 Pet. 2.21. who is our forerunner, Heb. 9.20. in every thing; whereby the reign of Chriſt, in raiſing men up in the ſpirit of the Apoſtles and Prophets, Rev. 20. may be made viſible: that we may profeſs to imitate Chriſt, (Miracles ex­cepted) in all things, in that Chriſt in all things: was the great ſervant of God in obeying, Iſai. 42.1. Therefore, I humbly conceive, they are not to be judged, that are made willing to imitate Chriſt, as in praying for a bleſ­ſing for meat and drink, and to bleſs the elements of bread and wine in the Lords Supper, if they alſo ſhall in imitation of Chriſt bleſs children, by pray­ing for them: yet in this we have not the leaſt ground at all for the Goſpel-ordinance of baptiſm; though herein our Hannab-like love and care of children, to ſeek God for them, and that they may be brought up in the nur­ture and admonition of the Lord, is diſcovered.

Mr. S. chap. 11. pag. 103. wherein the method of God in the Old Teſta­ment, of a adminiſtring Ordinances in families, and baptizing houſholds, in the New Teſtament, how far it contributes to Infants baptiſm.

Anſw. Though I acknowledge, as Mr. S. hath declared, that Abraham and his houſe was circumciſed, and might alleadge that Abraham had no children in his houſe, Iſhmael being thirteen yeers old, and Iſaac as yet un­born, when Abraham was circumciſed; yet this needeth not to be alleadged, for Mr. S. cannot prove that Abraham was brought into the Church, he be­ing in the Church before: and Iſrael his ſon, if he were called to offer, or bring his offering unto the altar, was alſo a viſible member of the Church, Pſal. 50.5. And beſides, Circumciſion being but the ſigne of a temporal covenant, Gen. 17.8, 11. as I have before fully proved, therefore I ſee no ground, from Abraham's houſhold being circumciſed, to be a preſident or method (as you call it) for bringing of children which cannot profeſs; ſee­ing, upon profeſſion, Chriſt hath ordained all to be called to the Ordinance of Baptiſm. And that, which puts all out of doubt, the Scripture it ſelclearly removes this ſcruple or ſuppoſition, in that when whole houſholds were baptized, as in Acts 10. Cornelius and all his houſe feared God: and of the Jayler and his houſhold that was baptized, it is ſaid, that he and all his houſe heard the word of God: Acts 16.32. was baptized, ver. 33. believing in God with all his houſe, verſ. 34. And when Paul baptized the houſhold of Stephanus, 1 Cor. 1.16. it's ſaid in the ſame Epiſtle, chap. 16. verſ. 15. that the houſhold of Stephanus addicted themſelves to the miniſtery of the Saints: ſo that there is a conſtant method to the contrary. If there then had been a childe in Lydia's houſe, ſhe going to hear, not knowing of Baptiſm (a thouſand families not having little children, as either not being married, barren, or ancient) I conceive the like would have been mentioned. And therefore I do not ſay, as Mr. S. ſaith, chap. 6. pag 47 that children were neglected: for if it had been the will of God, the Apoſtles would have readily baptized them, and would not have neglected their duty; nor would the holy Ghoſt24 ſo fully have declared the excluſion of children; or nominated, that all in the houſe believed, &c. when houſholds were baptized.

Mr. S. chap. 12. pag. 109. in which Circumciſion and Baptiſm are com­pared.

To which I anſwer: Mr. S. having pleaſed himſelf to roul over the ſame ſtone, (I may ſay, a ſtone of offence) in tumbling it back again, we being ful­ly troubled with it, chap. 1.2, 3. So that Mr. S. I ſuppoſe, will not finde it uſeful for his building: therefore I much admire, that he would compare Baptiſm and Circumciſion, and yet make them both look ſo like themſelves, as that, pag. 114. the one (he ſayth) cutting away ſin, as with a knife; and the other waſhing it away with water. In which words of Mr. S. there ap­peareth ſo much ſmoke in the temple, in this blinde Popiſh doctrine, as that I need not further confute it. And yet it is ſo precious in his eyes, as that the darkneſs of Uncharitableneſs hath ſo far poſſeſſed his ſpirit, (as I am con­ſtrained to ſay) that he further hath judged his brethren, ſaying, That if they did with more ſobriety weigh ſuch conſiderations, they would not with ſuch fooliſh contempt write and ſpeak of Infant baptiſm.

To which words of Mr. S. in ſoberneſs, plainneſs, and in the ſimplicity of the Goſpel, I ſay unto him, Brother, firſt take out the moat out of your own eyes, which makes you imagine you ſee your brethren want ſobriety and wiſdom, in that they cannot with you ſee that knife and water that cutteth off and waſheth away ſin. Who is moſt inconſiderate, I pray you? It is the blood of Chriſt, and not that of Circumciſion, which is the fountain; and not of water, that is ſet up for ſin and for uncleanneſs, Zch. 13.1. Did not Popery hold forth this doctrine, in teaching that Original ſin is waſhed away in Baptiſm? Certainly upon ſecond thoughts, I hope Mr. S. will not con­demn his deſpiſed brethren of fooliſh contempt, it upon this account, as Po­pery hath corrupted and perverted the Ordinance, they deny your doctrine concerning Baptiſm and Circumciſion, being thus by you made enemies to the croſs of Chriſt: and therefore there neither wants wiſdom nor ſobriety in thoſe, that upon this account do zealouſly oppoſe the aſcribing of Juſti­fication to Circumciſion and Infants baptiſm; ſeeing Circumciſion did never cut off ſin, and that Infant baptiſm is repugnant to the command of Chriſt in the Scripture. And though I am tyred, to meet again with Circumciſion, which was ſo ſilenced by the firſt General Aſſembly, Acts 15. as methinks it ſhould not be received by us that ſucced them;

To anſwer further: That Circumciſion, as Mr. S. pretendeth, hath no correſpondency with Baptiſm, we may obſerve,

1. That Baptiſm is upon profeſſion and prayer: but Circumciſion with­out any prayer or profeſſion was inſtituted.

2. Baptiſm hath relation to the Church called out of the world: but Cir­cumciſion was onely the token of an entayl of inheritage, in which the world were gathered, or made a nation, Exod. 12.48.

3. Baptiſm brought in both men and women into the Church: but Cir­cumciſion had no relation to the female. And therefore I know not in what Baptiſm and Circumciſion may juſtly be compared.

25Mr. S. chap. 13. pag. 116. tells us, that Col. 2.11, 12. is a famous place holding forth correſpondencie betwixt Circumciſion and Baptiſm.

To which I anſwer. You ſee Circumciſion hath got upon the ſtage again, to plead its correſpondencie betwixt it and Baptiſm, from Col. 2.11, 12. from which you cannot expect any great applaudet, firſt, in that M. S. confeſſeth that ſome Divines are of contrary judgement. And if all be not, they may ſee cauſe of better information, if they conſider, that it is circumciſion made without hands which precedeth, verſ. 11. which Baptiſm cannot ſucceed, v. 12. And therefore this place which Mr. S. produceth, cannot be famous, except thereby, that Mr. S. produceth a place, whereby he is caſt with his own wit­neſs. But I haſten.

Mr. S. chap. 14. pag. 122.In which is a clear explication of Matth. 28.19. with Mark 16.15, 16. where­in their Arguments from the first inſtitution are opened and confuted.

Anſw. Mr. Baxter's Arguments, and explanation of the commiſſion of Chriſt, Go and diſciple unto me, and baptize, is I hope ſo fully anſwered, that all the miſts, ſcruples, wrangling, and criticiſms, whereby Mr. S. hath en­deavoured to over-veil the commiſſion of Chriſt, are there ſo anſwered, that it will further appear, that Mr. S. is either under deluſion, or doth prevari­cate the command of Chriſt, in that he would have the expreſs and moſt plain words of Chriſt, Go teach and baptize, to mean ſprinkle an untaught diſciple: An implicite contradiction to the Goſpel-Ordinance, as in Mr. S. next chapter will more appear.

Mr. S. chap. 5. pag. 130. In which the ſignification, or what it is to be ba­ptized, is diſcovered.

Anſw. That you may ſee what Mr. S. hath done in this buſineſs, and how little his Humane authority, which pag. 131. li. 1. he ſayth, are the beſt guides in this caſe: It cannot be denyed, but that after Mr. S produced Scapula, Paſor, and Grotius, to ſhew their judgement of Baptiſm, out of his ingenuity he confeſſeth (which is all which we deſire to be granted) that thoſe Authors, in the ſtricteſt ſenſe, acknowledge, and do interpret baptiſm for immerſion, that is, to be covered all over, or, as the Scripture ſaith, to be buried in baptiſm, Rom. 6.4. Now behold how Truth prevaileth! when Mr. S. ſet himſelf, and all his learning, to finde ſome ſcruple or doubt againſt the known received practice of Chriſt and his Apoſtles in baptiſm, to try the teſt, and to ſee how it may be judged by man; his own witneſſes, Budeus, Scapula, and Grotius, confeſs, that in the ſtricteſt ſenſe, baptizing is to be un­derſtood as we would have it. Yet notwithſtanding, Mr. S. doth with this Ordinance, as the Heathens (as Joſephus tells us) did with Chriſt, in that they would not acknowledge him to be God, becauſe the Synod and com­mon people had not ſeen him before his reſurrection. For, to deny the right uſe of water in baptiſm, Mr. S. flees to the Oracle of the Athenians. Owonderful! how gropes he, or ſtumbleth for light on the noon-day! or how hardly would he admit of Baptiſm? In that he ſaith the Athenians baptized pots or cups; what then? do you think them ſo ſlovenly, that they would onely ſprinkle their pots and cups, which are uſually put into, or waſhed all26 over in the water? Alas, Mr. S. alas, this running under the fig-tree for ſhelter, diſcovers Eve's nakedneſs. Truely, theſe critical fancies, and wreſt­ed allegations, will not hold water. You are deceived, if you think to blinde a ſeeing eye from beholding the right uſe of the element of water; into which Chriſt deſcended, was buried, and for this cauſe they choſe Jordano, for that there was much water there, to be the place for baptiſm. And there­fore though at the beginning of the Chapter, p. 130. and in the laſt lines but two, you have promiſed to clear up the miſt; yet indeed you have done nothing leſs. But it's no matter; the ſun of Truth can ſhine thorow your darkneſs, which cannot comprehend it. And that which makes me humbled, is this, that I ſee you do much endeavour to put a veyl upon the Word; ſo that p. 134. you ſay, Let us view (your veyl being caſt over) the Scriptures which they bring for maintaining of this ſignification, that is, to be covered over in baptiſm, Matth. 3.13. Act. 8.36, 37, 38. What think you, Mr. S. have not thoſe Scriptures ſatisfied you againſt ſprinkling, or pouring water on the face of a childe? Not to trouble you how much Mr. S. ſtrives to evade with his diſtinction, ab & ex, that Chriſt came not out of the water: as though Philip was not baptized as Chriſt, whom he confeſſeth to have come out of the water. Oh lamentable cavilling! what would he do? would he with his ab or ex deny the gonig into the water? or what would Mr. S. mean, ſay­ing, p. 135. that Philip was as much in the water as the Eunuch? what, was Philip buried in the water as much as the eunuch? Lord make us truely humbled. How gladly would man uphold his ſandy foundation! or how loth is a lofty ſpirit to become humbled! Cannot a man baptize, or put ano­ther man into the water, but he muſt go as much into the water as the party that he baptizeth? How Mr. S. ſhould be able to anſwer to the third place, where it is ſaid, John was baptizing in Enon, neer Salim, becauſe there was much water there, in regard his ſprinkling ceremony ſpeaks his contradiction, I ſhall not ſpend time to no purpoſe, to anſwer more then I have ſaid, to what he can alleadge againſt the baptizing becauſe of much water; ſeeing that as Reaſon Janus-like hath two faces, ſome men have a face to object againſt any thing.

Mr. S. pag. 138.The last pretence commonly urged for this dipping, is from the analogie it hath with Christs burial: Rom. 6.4. Col. 2.12. Buried with him in baptiſm. Hence they ſay it is moſt clear, we must be dipt under water, elſe it will not repreſent a burial. In this they put all their confidence.

Anſw. Our confidence is in God and his Truth; and therefore we ſhall be ready to anſwer, if you can, more ſeriouſly then before, object any thing from Scripture to prove the contrary practice: And therefore let us hear what Mr. S. hath to ſay, pag. 138. in theſe words:

Plunging the whole body in water, doth not repreſent burial: for the cuſtom of the Jews was, to cut out a place like a cave, or den, out of a rock, to lay their dead bodies: and, as it is obſerved by a man of great learning and diligence, Thus when we ſleep in our houſes we may be ſaid to be buried, having ſomething over our heads.

Anſw. In that Mr. S. hath acknowledged, that to be covered over head,27 repreſents burial; or to be buried in baptiſm, is to have the water covering us; in this he hath, whether he intended or no, juſtified our proceeding, and condemned his own ſprinkling buſineſs or ceremony. To what Mr. S. ſayth further in this particular.

Mr. S. pag. 139. relates,Secondly, the maner of burying in Europe, is not by plunging the body in a pit of dust, but by casting dirt or dung on the perſon: ſo that the pouring out water on the face of an infant, as a paſſive ſubject, ſeems more to anſwer the ſimilitude of bu­rying, then the caſting into the water, wherein there is ſome motion of the party himſelf, contributing to his baptiſm.

Anſw. In that Chriſt went into the water, and prayed in the water; and that in imitation of Chriſt it is ſaid, Act. 22.16. be baptized calling upon the Name of the Lord; the myſtery of a burial is held forth, not ſo much from paſſive deadneſs, as in being ſeparated and covered in the water, whereby deadneſs in that act is declared. And this Mr. S. pag. 138. <