Believers Baptism from Heaven,

and of Divine Institution.

Infants Baptism from Earth,

and Human Invention

Proved from the Commission of

Christ, the great Law-giver

to the Gospel-Church.

With a Brief, yet sufficient Answer

to Thomas Wall's Book, called,

Baptism Anatomized,

Together with a brief Answer to a part of Mr. Daniel William's Catechism, in his Book unto Youth.

By Hercules Collins, a Servant

of the Servants of Christ.

Luke 7.29, 30. - And the Publicans justified God being baptized with the Baptism of John. But the Pharisees, and the Expounders of the Law, rejected the Counsel of God against themselves, in not being baptized with the Baptism of John.

London, Printed for the Author, and sold by J. Hancock, in Castle-Alley near the Royal Exchange, 1691




Chap. 1. An Introduction,


Chap. 2. Contains the Doctrines,


Chap. 3. That Baptism is Dipping,


Chap. 4. Shewing Believers only are the proper Subjects of Baptism,


Chap. 5. Answer to Objections,


Chap. 6. Natural Inferences,


Chap. 7. A recital of those Scriptures speaking of Baptism,


Chap. 8. Of great Sufferings undergone, for maintaining Believers, and denying Infants-Baptism,


Chap. 9. The Book epitomized, in comparing Believers-Baptism and Infant-Baptism together,


Chap. 10. The Miscarriage of the German Anabaptists, (falsly so called) examined, and the Reproach from thence reflected upon that way, removed,


Chap. 11. A brief, but sufficient Answer to Tho. Wall's Book, called Baptism Anatomiz'd,


Chap. 12. A brief Answer to a part of Mr. D. Williams his Catechism, in his Book unto Youth,



In Page 108, 114, 115. for John Wall, read Thomas Wall.


Courteous Reader;

My desire is, that Thou would'st spend one Hour or Two seriously to read this small Book; first of all begging of God it may be sanctified to thy Soul. Read it without prejudice or partiality; and as one that is willing to receive the Truth, and entring into another World, be like the Noble Bereans, search the Scriptures to see whether these Things be so or no: Take nothing from Man, tho never so Learned and Holy, upon trust, without trial. With what confidence may a Man die when he hath, Thus saith the Lord, for his Faith and Practice? This is all from him that wisheth your Soul's welfare,




From St. Mark 16. 16.

He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved.


It was God's Command unto the Prophet Ezekiel, to shew his People the Form of his House, with the goings in thereof, &c1. Know therefore, ye Servants of the Lord, as Circumcision was the Door into the Jewish Church, which was National; so Baptism is the Door into the Gospel-Church, which is Congregational. Hence St. Luke saith, They that gladly received the Apostles Words, were baptized, and added unto the Church in number about three thousand Souls, Acts 2. 41.

The Ancients call Baptism*, the Gate of the Sacraments, because by it we enter into the Church, and have Communion with Saints.

In the Jewish Church they became Members, as they were the fleshly, or natural Seed of Abraham; but now Members of the Gospel-Church, as the spiritual Seed of Abraham. Now we must not reckon from Abraham unto Christ, but from Christ to Abraham: If we are Christ's, then are we Abraham's Seed, Gal. 3.29. not Christ's because we are Abraham's, or our Parents Believers.

Under the Old Testament, Persons became Members of the Church by Generation; under the New by Regeneration, or at least a Profession of it. Hence we read, Persons were first Converted, then Baptized, after added unto the Church, Acts 2. 41.2

My Intent is, to display this Sacrament in its Apostolick Primitive Purity, free from the Adulterations of Men, a Sin which God charged upon the Learned Jews, that they made void the Commands of God by their Traditions. O that none of the Learned among the Gentiles, especially those of the Reformed Churches, may be chargeable with setting up Mens Inventions in the room of Christ's Institutions.


This Text, He that believeth, and is Baptized, is a great part of the Commission, which is the Foundation and Warrant for all Gospel-Ministers Preaching and Baptizing unto the end of the World.

It's worth our noting; Here is first Faith, then Baptism. Therefore to baptize before there be any appearance of Faith, is directly contrary unto this unerring standing Rule, and doth reflect upon our Lord and Lawgiver3, as if he spoke rashly and inconsiderately, putting that first which should be last, and that last which should be first. And so in the parallel Text, Mat. 28. 18. there is first Teaching before baptizing, not first baptized, but taught first.

From this part of our Lord's Commission, we collect these Truths.

Doct 1. It's the unalterable Will of Jesus Christ, who is King and Law-giver to his Gospel-Church, that all Persons believe before they are baptized.

Doct. 2. It's the indispensable Duty of all true Believers to be Baptized.

I call it an indispensable Duty, because I know no Place where our Lord hath left this to the Liberty of Believers to do it, or leave it undone, as best pleaseth them.

Therefore if this be your Lord and Saviour's Will, Believers, pray obey him. In your Prayers you desire you may be enabled to do his Will on Earth as it is in Heaven: This is one part of his Divine Will; Your Redeemer was willing to be baptized in Blood for your Salvation, and will not you be baptized in Water, in obedience to his Commission? Moreover, Christ calls it, a fulfilling of all Righteousness4. I am perswaded, should God have commanded some great Thing, as was once said to Naaman the Syrian5, it would have been done by many in the Reformed Churches before now: How much rather, when he only saith, Go, wash and be clean? Or, as Ananias unto St. Paul, Arise, and wash away thy Sins, viz. Sacramentally and Symbolically, as it is in the Lord's Supper. Take heed, my Friends, you are not guilty of Contempt, looking upon Christ's Ordinances as mean low and little things; for nothing is mean that hath Christ's Authority stamp'd upon it, tho it were the blowing of Rams-horns round the Walls of Jericho6: Making an Altar of Earth, or rough Stone7; taking the Blood of the Trespass-Offering, putting it on the Lap of the High-Priest's right Ear, the Thumb of the right Hand, the great Toe of the right Foot8, having on it a Divine Stamp, is an Argument sufficient for our Obedience.

St. Paul, a very learned Man9; the Eunuch who was Lord Treasurer under Candace Queen of Ethiopia, Crispus a chief Ruler, Constantine and Theodosius great Emperors, our Lord, the only Potentate, accounted it so honourable a thing, as to practise it, when about thirty Years of Age, and led us the way, as well by his Example as Commission. Nothing sure can be more obliging Believers unto Obedience, than their Saviour's Precept and Precedent.


What Bapism is.

First, Negatively; It's not sprinkling, dropping, or pouring of Water10. Sprinkling is known to be Rantising, not Baptising, or Baptism. Baptism is an external washing, plunging or dipping a profest Believer, in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Which I thus demonstrate.

1. From the Scripture-acceptation of the Word; the word Baptize in the New Testament, is taken from the word Dip in the Old, as the Learned do know11: Where 'tis said, Joseph's Coat was dipt in Blood12. The Priest's Finger dipt in Blood13. Asher's Foot dipt in Oil14, The Priests Feet dipt in Jordan15. Naaman wash'd or dipt seven times in the same River16; with many more places of Scripture. Moreover, 'tis worth our noting, the word translated Dip, concerning the Sop Judas had17: And where it's said, Christ's Vesture was dipt in Blood18, it is from the same Original word Baptism is, that our Translators might (had they pleased) have rendred the word Baptizing, Dipping, being from the same Theme Bapto, as Baptism is.

We are much to be governed by the Common and Vulgar acceptation of words, as they were used and understood among all Nations. God so inspired the Prophets and Apostles, to deliver his Mind always in such words, as were understood among the vulgar and ordinary People, or else they would have been Barbarians unto them. We cannot understand each other in Discourse, but this way; I call for a Book, it's readily given me, because every one knows what it is we call a Book: So if Tabal were used among the Hebrews for Dip, in the common Acceptation; and the Learned Hebrews, by the Order of Ptolomy King of Egypt, did translate that word Baptizo, which was commonly accepted for Dip among the Grecians; and we also translate Baptizo, Dip; none but an Enthusiast will object against the common acceptation of words.

This puts me in mind of a Discourse between Bishop Usher and Mr. Hanserd Knowllys, about the propriety of the word Baptizo; the Bishop said it signified to sprinkle as well as dip. Mr. Knowllys said, it signified only to dip, there being other words in the Greek for sprinkling and pouring19. To end this Controversy, those who could produce the best and most Authors for their Sense, should carry it: the Bishop, after some search, found Two for his Opinion; Mr. Knowllys brings Seventy for his Two, namely, the Septuagint; and so the Controversy ended.

The Writings of the most Learned of the contrary Mind, do confess, that the Original Word from whence Baptism is taken, signifieth properly to dip. Leigh's Critica Sacra, saith, The native signification of the Word, is, to dip into, or plunge under Water, as the Dyer dips his Cloth in his Fats. The Book of Canons saith, You shall dip, &c. So the Dutch translate the Word*, In those Days came John the Dipper; and when Jesus was dipt, he came out of the Water20. Calvin saith, We see what Fashion the Ancients had to Administer Baptism, for they plunged the whole Body into Water.

2. The end of the Ordinance sheweth Baptism to be dipping; which is to hold forth unto a Believer, the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ; as the Apostle saith, Rom. 6. 4. We are buried with him in Baptism. Although there be no manner of similitude and likeness between Chrift's Death and Burial, with sprinkling a little Water on the Face, yet burying in the Water is as lively a Similitude and Likeness of Jesus Christ's Death, as the breaking Bread, and pouring out the Wine is at the Lord's Table: So that they lose one great End of this Ordinance, who Rantize instead of Baptize; for no Man accounts him buried, who hath only Earth cast on his Face, but he who is in the Heart of the Earth, and covered with the same.

3. John the beloved Disciple, gives this as the Reason why John the Baptist baptized in Enon, because there was much Water there21, the place was commodious for that Ordinance: Hence our our blessed Saviour came from Galilee to Jordan, to be baptized of him there22; which if Sprinkling would have done, there had been no need of much Water nor Rivers.

4. That Baptism is Dipping, appears from Scripture-Metaphors explaining it: Our Lord's Sufferings are called a Baptism23, because his Pains were not only upon one part of his Body, but his whole Soul and Body was baptized and plunged into Sorrows. Thus one that is Baptized, is plunged under Water24, to shew how Christ was Baptized and plunged into Sorrows for Man's sake. Great Measures of the Spirit are also discovered, by Persons being said to be Baptized with the Spirit25; for where the word Baptism is used, whether it be joined with Suffering, with the Spirit, or with Water, it always holds forth a great quantity, either of Sufferings, of the Spirit, or Water.

5. Hence in the 5th place, The vast height of Waters which stood above the Church in the Red Sea, like a high Wail, is called, A Baptism unto Moses, in the Cloud, and in the Sea26, because encompassed with it; for the Ordinance of Baptism was not then in force; but Circumcision therefore cannot be meant Gods Ordinance of Baptism, but sheweth the great Care God had of his Church, that as he fed them miraculously, and gave them Water out of a Rock in the Wilderness; so he did not leave them in the Red Sea, but incompass'd them about by his Divine Providence, with Water and the Cloud, as Persons are encompassed with that Element when Baptized27.

Hence in the 6th place. Baptism is explained by the Metaphor of a Garment; which the Apostle refers unto, when he calls Baptism, a putting on Christ28. As the Servant, by his Lord's Livery, declares whose he is; so the long white Robe of Baptism sheweth us to be the Servants of the Lord Jesus.

(7.) Baptism is not only, called a Washing, by Ananias and Peter, (Acts 22. 16. 1 Pet.3.21. Tit. 3. 5.) but the washing of the Soul in Regeneration, is held forth in this Symbol and Sign, by the Apostle Paul, when he speaks of the washing of Regeneration unto Titus. Now we know, every Faculty of the Soul is washed in the Blood of Christ; and every Faculty sanctified by the Holy Spirit, not a part of the Faculties, but all the Faculties; therefore wisely set forth by Baptism, wherein not only a part, but the whole Body is wash'd and cleansed in Water29.

(8.) This is further cleared from the practice of the most pure Apostolick Times. 'Tis said of our most blessed Lord Jesus30, That he went up out of the Water; which in common sense signifies, He first went down, not only to the Water, but into the Water, and came up out of the Water. Of Philip and the Eunuch 'tis said, They went down both, not only to the Water, but into the Water, and came up out of the Water31: if Sprinkling would have done, they need only go to and come from it; but they knew the Commission could not be answered, unless they went down into the Water32. Thus you see the Places where the Apostles Baptized, were in Rivers, and where was much Water: You see their Act and Posture, they went down into the Water; you see their End was, to exhibit and shew forth Christ's Death, Burial, and Resurection.

If any should ask, Why Sprinkling will not do as well as Dipping?

I answer, (1.) Because that is another thing than Christ hath commanded; and 'tis high presumption to change God's Ordinances33. Tho there was no more virtue in the Waters of Jordan, than of Damascus; yet Naaman must keep to God's Appointment. (2.) In so doing, we lose the End of the Ordinance, which as aforesaid, is to shew forth the Death and Resurrection of Christ. (3.) We must keep the Ordinances as they were delivered unto us34; as Moses was to make all things according to the Pattern shewed him in the Mount. (4.) God is a Jealous God, and stands upon small things in Matters of Worship: Had Moses and Aaron but lifted up a Tool upon the Altar of ruff Stone to beautify it, they would have polluted it, because contrary to the Command35. (5.) This hath no likeness to the holy Examples of Christ and his Apostles.


Shewing that professing Believers, and them only, are the proper Subjects of Baptism.

Which I demonstrate;

First, From Gospel-Precept: Our text saith, He that believeth, and is baptized36. The parallel Text, Mat. 28. is worthy of consideration by way of Division. The Commission is, Go; the Subjects spoken to, are, his Apostles; the Matter of it is, to teach, and baptize; the Extent of it is, into all the World, not only in hot Countries, but in Cold. The Order in this Commission is, first to teach37, then after taught and discipellized, to baptize them. Therefore to baptize them, before taught, is quite contrary to the Command38. The words of Institution, in whose Name it is to be done, is the glorious Trinity, in the Name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; this must be some great thing which is done by so great Authority. Unto this is annexed a glorious Promise of Divine Presence, not only to the End of that Age, but the End of the World*; and to put us out of all doubt about it, 'tis back'd with an Asseveration, Amen, so it shall be. Finally, here is a Note of Observation, [Lo] our Lord would not have so great a Commission and Promise disregarded; therefore saith he, Lo, that is, observe what I have said: wherever you find the word Lo, Mark, or Behold, you will always find something very considerable it relates unto in the Context. Now in pursuance of this Commission, Peter exhorted the Murderers of Christ, when they were convicted, and cried out, What shall we do? he saith, Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ, for the Remission of Sins, and ye shall receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

2ly, This appears from Gospel-Precedent and Example; the Apostles in pursuance of their Commission, baptize none else but such. Hence John the Baptist tells the Pharisees and Sadduces which came to his Baptism, they must first bring forth Fruit meet for, or to amendment of Life, and not to think the old Argument for Circumcision, [that Abraham was their Father] would give them a right to Gospel-Ordinances39. It's not the Faith of Parents gives Children a right to the Seals of the New Covenant, but a personal Faith; hence Philip would not baptize the Eunuch, but upon profession of Faith. In a word, all the Primitive Churches were constituted and planted upon this Foundation-Principle40, as these Scriptures show in the Margent41, viz. the Church at Jerusalem, Samaria, Cesaria, Philippi, Coloss, Corinth, Rome, Galatia, Ephesus, &c. To conclude, If the Churches of Christ were so planted and constituted in the Primitive Times, they ought to be so still, unless any can shew where Christ hath since that altered the Constitution of his Churches.

3ly, This Ordinance cannot concern Infants, but Believers; because it's a testification of the Remission of Sins, and Salvation, to the worthy Receiver and Subject of it; else why doth Peter promise remission of Sin, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost to such?42 And why did our Lord join Faith, Baptism, and Salvation all in one Verse43, but that the Ordinance should be a Pledg to the Believer of those great things? We collect as much from Acts 22. 16. where Ananias exhorted Paul, to arise, and be baptized, and wash away his Sins; that is, put that Duty in practice which will be a Confirmation of thy Justification; so we understand Peter44, The like Figure, whereunto Baptism doth now save us, viz. As the Ark was the instrumental way of God's saving Noah by his Grace45, so Faith in Christ's Death and Resurrection, is the way God saves our Souls, this being confirmed unto us in the Figure of Baptism46, as well as at the Lord's Table. But what have Infants to do with this, who are not capable to take in the Comfort exhibited and held forth in it? This is Meat for strong Men? not Babes.

4ly, Believers only must be the Subjects of this Ordinance, because it holds forth a Covenant the Subject makes actually with God. Hence saith the Apostle, Rom. 6.3. Know you not, as many as were baptized into Christ, were baptized into his Death? as if he should say, In that Ordinance you did covenant and promise to die unto Sin, and live a new Life; Therefore, saith he, how can you that are dead to Sin, live any longer therein? And this you have profess'd in your Baptism, as in the words of the Institution, the whole Trinity gives it self unto the Believer: So he dedicates himself voluntarily to the Service of the whole Trinity, Father, Son, and Spirit. In all Covenants of this Nature, there is required, the Information of the Judgment, Consent of the Will, it must be an Act of Choice: As the Eunuch said, See, here is Water, what hinders me to be baptized? But none of these things are agreeable to an Infant: and as they are not able to enter into Covenant themselves, if others do it for them47, 'tis not only Unscriptural, but Anti-scriptural. Can Persons covenant to keep others from Sin, when they find it too hard a work to keep themselves?

5ly, Baptism is a lively representation of Regeneration, therefore can only affect Believers. The Apostle alludes unto Baptism, when he speaks of the washing of Regeneration, Titus 3. 5. His meaning is, that the Ordinance is a lively Badg, Symbol, and Sign of Regeneration, and the New Birth. The Apostle to the Colossians, Ch. 2.12. tells them, That their Baptism did exhibit and shew forth their being dead, and risen with Christ through that Faith, which was of that Omnipotent Operation, which raised Christ from the Dead; but no Signs of Regeneration appear in Infants at Baptism: that is untruly said, in the Common-Prayer Book, after the Child is sprinkled, Forasmuch as this Child is regenerated and born again, which just before was acknowledged to be a Child of Wrath, and an Heir of Hell48. We say, tho God hath promised his Presence in all his Appointments; yet we also say, Persons are not to be Baptized, that they may be Regenerated, but to hold forth and signify Regeneration, therefore Baptism can no ways affect little Infants.


Contains the Answer of Objections.

Objection 1.

Few Learned Men own this way of Baptizing, only a few mechanick poor illiterate Persons.

I Answer.

The Apostle saith, Not many wise Men after the Flesh are called, 1 Cor. 1. 24, 29. Christ did not ordinarily make use of the learned Rabbies among the Jews to preach the Gospel, but rather those who were counted illiterate and ignorant, that no Flesh might glory in his Presence: God gets the more praise by making use of Babes and Sucklings49. Christ thanks the Father, that Divine Things were hid from the Wise and Prudent, such as the World so accounted, and revealed unto Babes50, because they would render the Glory unto God, while the worldly wise Men would take it to themselves. 2. Those who have the most humane Literature are no Rule, but God's Word: we must fellow Paul no further than he follows Christ. 3. The Holy Scriptures account no Man truly Wise and Learned, but those taught of God, and that keep his Commands, Psal. 111. 10. The Learned Pharisees, and Expounders of the Law, rejected the Counsel of God against themselves, in not being Baptized. 4. Are there no Learned of this Practice? What think you of St. Augustine, Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, Jerom, Ambrose, Chyrsostom, Constantine, Theodosius, Paul, and as the Crown of all, our Lord Jesus?51 were all these Illiterate and Ignorant?

Object. 2.

The Children of Believers are in the Covenant, therefore ought to have the Seal of the Covenant, Baptism.52

I Answer.

There is but two ways of being in the Covenant53, Absolutely, or Conditionally. No Believer dare say, all his Infant-Seed are in the Covenant of Grace absolutely, for then they must all be saved; but we see Abraham had an Ishmael, Isaac an Esau, David an Absalom, Samuel sons of Belial &c. so that they cannot be baptized under that Consideration. Or, 2. Persons are in the Covenant of Grace Conditionally, viz. in case they Believe and Repent. Now under this Consideration, the Children of Unbelievers have the same Interest in the Covenant, and Sign of the Covenant. And Children of Believers have a right no other way, to the one or other; the promise of Remission, and Gift of the Holy Ghost, is made, as well to the Gentiles, which are afar off, as to the natural Seed of Abraham, if they have the same Qualifications, Acts 2.37. albeit Heathens by Nature, and these are oft-times made the Subjects of Grace, when Believers Children are left. Hence a wicked Ahaz, hath a good Hezekiah; ungodly Abia, a good Asa; wicked Ammon, a good Josiah; idolatrous Jeroboam, a good Abijah. But were all the Children of Believers in the Covenant of Grace, it follows not that therefore they ought to be baptized, no more than they may come to the Lord's Supper, because they want the Qualification required in that Duty. And whereas it is further urged, from the 2d of the Acts, the Promise is to you and your Children54. The scope of that place seems to be this; When the Jews were pricked at their Heart for their Crucifying Christ, upon Peter's Sermon, they cry out, Men and Brethren, what shall we do? The Apostle exhorts them what to do, viz. Repent, and be Baptized; and for their Comfort subjoins, that the Promise of Remission of Sins, also of the Holy Ghost, was like to be their Portion, and their Childrens also, if they did the same; tho they once called for Christ's Blood upon their Heads, and their Children, yet now if you and your Children believe in that Christ you have Crucified, those Promises are to the one and to the other, yea, to all afar off, the poor Gentiles; for since the partition Wall is broken down, Jew, Greek, Barbarian, Scythian, Bond, Free, Male, Female55, all one by Faith in Christ; For we are all the Children of God by Faith in Christ Jesus, Gal. 3.

Object. 3.

The Infant-Seed of Abraham was Circumcised; therefore the Infant-Seed of Believers may be Baptized.

I Answer.

Abraham had a plain Injunction and Command for the former; Believers have none for the latter56. In Matters of Worship, we must keep to the Institution, as Moses did to the Pattern shew'd him in the Mount. Tho Lot was a Believer, his Children were not to have the sign of Circumcision, because limited unto Abraham's Seed and Family, also to such a Sex, and such a Day. So hath God limited Baptism to Penitent Believers; therefore let us keep to the Institution, and not be wise above what is written57; and take not up with a dark Consequence in the rejection of a plain Command, being not so satisfying to the true Reason of a Man, nor his Conscience. Those that argue for their Infant-Seeds Baptism from Circumcision being entail'd unto Abraham's Seed may as well argue and say, the Priesthood was by a Covenant entail'd on the Tribe of Levi and his Seed, therefore the Ministry is entail'd upon Gospel-Preachers and their Seed: As this cannot be warranted, no more can the other.

Object. 4.

Whole Families were Baptized: Ergo, Infants.

I Answer.

It's said indeed, Acts 16. 33. The Jaylor and all his were baptized58; well they might, seeing they all believed, vers. 34. So Crispus the chief Ruler believed in God, with all his House, Acts. 18.8. And many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized. And for Lydia and her Houshold, those they Baptized, those they comforted, ver. 40. But Infants could not take in that, nor the comfort of that spiritual Appellation or Relation of Brethren, as the Apostle calls them in Lydia's Houshold.

2. The word [all] doth not always intend every Individual in a Family. In 1 Sam. 1. 21. 'tis said, Elkanah and all his House went up to the yearly Sacrifice to Jerusalem. Yet in the 22d it is said, Hannah and the Child Samuel stay'd at Home. So Augustus Cesar is said to Tax all the World, Luke 2. 1. which was no more of the World, than that little part where the Roman Empire stretched. Should there be Infants in any of these Families, no charitable Person can think the Apostle would act contrary to his Commission, to baptize ignorant Infants, instead of understanding Believers59.

Object. 5.

Circumcision was a Seal of the New Covenant to Believers and their Seed under the Law, so is Baptism to the Seed of Christian Parents under the Gospel.

I Answer.

This Objection is grounded upon Rom. 4. 11. where 'tis said, Abraham received the Sign of Circumcision, a Seal of the Righteousness of his Faith60. First, Consider, it's not said, Circumcision was a Seal of the New Covenant to Abraham and his Seed, that is begg'd in the Objection; the Text saith, It was a Token of the Righteousness of Abraham's Faith. But it could not be a Seal of Faith to an Infant which had none. The scope of the Apostle in this Chapter is to shew, that Abraham himself was not justified by Works, no not by Circumcision, but by Faith, which he had long before he was Circumcised. The reason of his Circumcision was, to be a Seal and Confirmation to him, that he by his Faith should be a Father of many Nations; and that the poor Gentiles should be accepted of God by Faith, without the Works of the Law, though not circumcised, seeing Abraham's Faith was imputed to him for Righteousness, not when Circumcised, but Uncircumcised. This being the scope of this Place, a Man had need have a great deal of skill to prove Pedo-Baptism from it.

Object. 6.

Christ said, Suffer little Children to come unto me, &c.

I Answer.

For what were those Children brought to Christ? not to be Baptized, for he Baptized none61; 'tis enough for the Lord to command his Servants to do it. These Children were brought to Christ, probably to be touch'd by him to the healing some Diseases, Luke 18. and he put his Hands upon them, and prayed, Mat. 19. 13. Not to Baptize them62; for we cannot imagine our Lord would act contrary to his own Commission, which was, to Baptize them who were first taught and did believe.

Again, because Christ saith, Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven. Some infer, they may be baptized, having a right unto the greater, much more to the lesser. We say, this is a non sequitur: It does not follow Persons may, by Election, have a right to the Kingdom of Glory, yet no right to Gospel-Ordinances, because under no Obligation to it by any Precept or Promise, and wanting those Qualifications which the Gospel requires. By the same Argument Infants may be brought to the Eucharist, or Table of the Lord, because, what fits them for the one, fits them for the other.

Object. 7.

If the first Fruit be Holy, the Lump is also Holy; if the Root be Holy, so are the Branches. Hence some would infer a Derivative-Holiness from the Parent to the Children, therefore to be baptized.

I Answer.

This Objection is raised from Rom. 11. 16. The scope of the Apostle in this place is to shew, That Abraham, Father of the Faithful, is the Root; not as a Natural, but Spiritual Father: And if we boast our selves of being Branches of this Root, we must have the Faith of our Father Abraham; for the grafting in here does not consist in outward Ordinances, but in saving Grace; not in the Visible, but Invisible Church by Faith.

Mark, none can be called Father of the Faithful, but Abraham only: No particular Believer, which is but a Branch of this Root, can infer they are a Holy Root to their Posterity63, because Abraham is called the Father of the Faithful, for Abraham is a Spiritual Father, but we are accounted Natural.

In this Chapter, the whole Body of Believers are compared unto the Olive-tree, each Believer to a Branch, which partakes of the Root and Fatness of the Olive-Tree; which Root and Fatness is Christ, the grafting in is by Faith into the Invisible Church, which was first among the Jews, therfore called, the Olive Tree out of Abraham the Root; who is here said to hear them: for Abraham stood in a double Capacity64, one as a Natural Father to the Jews, the other as a Spiritual Father to the Gentiles. According to the former Capacity, some are called Branches according to Nature; but in the latter, the Gentiles are called wild Olive-Trees by Nature, yet grafted in by Faith, this being the Scope.

He must be a Man of great Learning, that will undertake to prove Infant-Baptism from this Scripture. Must the Child be necessarily Holy, and in Covenant, because the Father is? Must the Child be Baptized because the Father is Good? this hath no Warrant from God's Word, which is our Rule.

Object. 8.

Many godly learned Men are for Pedo or Infant-Baptism65.

I Answer

With Sir Walter Rawleigh from Vadianus, we pass over many gross Errors by the Authority of great Men. Are there not many in the Roman Communion who are very Learned? The Pharisees and Lawyers were Learned Men, who rejected the Counsel of God against themselves in not being Baptized, Luke 7. 30. Say not as they once said, Have any of the Rulers believed on him?

Godly Men are not to be imitated in their Errors, but their Virtues. Elias was a good Man66, yet called for Fire from Heaven. We must not do so. Luther was sound in Justification by Faith in Christ, yet was not to be imitated in Consubstantiation, &c. Asa and Jehoshaphat were good Men, yet both out in not removing the High Places, 1 King. 15. 4. That which is called the Reformed Religion, had better deserved that Name, had they shut out that Relique of Antichrist, Infant-Baptism.

Object. 9.

Infant-Baptism is no where forbidden67.

I Answer.

Where-ever Christ commands the Baptizing Believers, there is an implicit prohibition of all others not so qualified. Nadab and Abihu had no prohibition from using strange Fire, yet destroyed for not using that Fire upon the Altar which was commanded, and using that which the Lord commanded not. By this way of arguing, we may bring in the Baptizing of Bells, as the Book of Martyrs tells us of them that did it, and an hundred more Ceremonies of Rome.

Object. 10.

Those the Apostles Baptized, were converted from Paganism, Heathenism, whose Parents never believed in Christ, as ours, but were Heathens.

I Answer.

There is no more reason to baptize the Child of a Believer, than the Child of an Unbeliever as such68; and there's the same reason to baptize the Child of an Infidel, if it believes, as the Child of a Believer, upon his or her personal Faith: The worthiness or unworthiness of the Parent, does not affect the Children, so as to make them fitter or unfitter for Gospel-Ordinances, if they bring forth Fruit meet for Repentance; tho their Parents were Idolaters, they are proper Subjects of Gospel-Ordinances; and if the Parents are never so Holy, unless the Children have personal actual Faith, they are not to meddle with God's most holy Things.

Whereas you say, they were Heathens the Apostles baptized; we say, they were Christians, Believers. Was the Lord Jesus an Heathen? The Ennuch, a Worshipper of the true God; and Cornelius's Prayers and Alms came up before God for a Memorial; but whatever they were before Faith, Heathens or Infidels, the Apostles baptized them, not until they believed, and became Christians. 'Tis most likely those who baptize Infants, baptize Heathens; for we are all the Children of Wrath by Nature, Eph. 2. 3. It is you plead for Baptizing Heathens, we plead for Baptizing Believers and Christians.

Object. 11.

There is no express command for Womens receiving the Lord's Supper, yet there may be good Consequences to prove it lawful; so of Infant Baptism.

I Answer.

Who will say there's no Command for Women's communicating, so long as that stands upon Record, 1 Cor. 11. 8. But let a Man examine himself, and so let him eat? 69 The Learned do know the original word signifieth Man or Woman. The Apostle saith, There's one Mediator between God and Man70; the word signifieth Man or Woman, Male or Female, all one in Christ71; it is the same word with the former in the Orginal.

Moreover, we read of Women who believed and were Baptized, Acts 8. 12. so are fitly qualified for the Lord's Table. We have also an Example of Women's communicating: in Act 1.13,14. we read, Mary, and other Women, with the rest of the Disciples, were altogether. And in Act. 2.44. it's said, all that believed were together; and in ver. 42. these continued stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine, and in Fellowship, and in breaking of Bread, and in Prayer. So that here is a Command and an Example for Womens communicating, tho none for Infants Baptism, therefore the Objection is false and weak.

Object. 12.

Infants are Disciples, therefore they may be Baptized.

I Answer.

This Objection being grounded on Act. 15.10,11. we shall shew the Occasion and Scope of it, and see whether it can prove Infants Disciples, or that they ought to be Baptized.

Some having asserted, who came from Judea, Unless a Man was Circumcised, he could not be saved. Then the Church of Antioch determined, that Paul and Barnabas, with certain of the Church, should go to Jerusalem, to the Apostles and Elders, concerning this Question: which when they came together to consider this Matter, Peter rose up, and said, Why tempt you God, to put a Yoke upon the Necks of the Disciples, which neither our Fathers nor we were able to bear?72 The Meaning of the Apostle is, Why should we impose the Yoke of Circumcision upon the Necks of the Disciples? viz. Believing Gentiles, which are by no Law obliged unto it; this is to bring us unto that Bondage God hath delivered us from. Now how this doth prove Infants Disciples, and so ought to be Baptized, I leave to all Judicious Considerers.

Object. 13.

Circumcision nor Uncircumcision avails any thing, but a New Creature. We fear Persons lay too much stress upon Circumstantials, not minding the Power of Godliness.

I Answer.

Those who lay too much stress upon Circumstantials,'tis doubtless their Evil: But can any lay more stress upon it, than our Saviour, who though unspotted, yet would not live without it, and calls it Righteousness?73 The laying the stress of our Happiness upon Christ, should not hinder but further Obedience; and always doth, where the Faith is of the right Kind.

And whereas the Apostle saith, Circumcision avails not any thing; it did avail something, when God threatned Moses with Death for not circumcising his Son, Exod. 4. And when God said, Whoever was not Circumcised, should be cut off from among the People, Gen. 17. 14,

The Apostle never intended to undermine Gospel-Commands, by saying, Circumcision nor Uncircumcision avails any thing; for in 1 Cor. 7. 19. he adds, but the keeping the Commands of God. What tho Circumcision is nothing, because abolished; is Believers Baptism nothing, which is a standing Ordinance?

What tho some Jews might lay more stress upon Circumcision, than upon the Lord Jesus for Salvation? which might be the principal Cause of the Apostle's thus speaking: I hope Persons have more charity than to conclude, we lay more stress upon Baptism than our Lord's Merits.

Object. 14.

If Children may not be Baptized under the Gospel, their Priviledg is less than under the Law.

I Answer.

The Priviledg under the Law, and under the Gospel, is the same to Infants as to the Covenant of Grace; and as for Circumcision, it was indeed a Priviledg to the Jews in comparison of the Heathens, but called a Yoke in comparison of them under the Gospel74.

We grant, it's a great Mercy for Children to have Godly Parents, having the advantage of a good Education, Prayer, and good Examples. But what benefit can Infants have from Baptism, when God never appointed it for them, nor made any Promise to them in it? but most glorious ones are made to such as believe and are baptized, namely, Remission of Sins, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Eternal Salvation, Mark 16. 16.

Object. 15.

The Children of Believers are Holy, therefore they ought to be Baptized.

I Answer.

By explaining the Scripture upon which the Objection is grounded, 1 Cor.7. 14. The Apostle is here giving an answer to a Case of Conscience; that is, Whether it were lawful for the believing Husband or Wife, to leave or depart from the unbelieving Wife or Husband? The Apostle in the Negative answers, By no means; for these Reasons. First, Now your Children are Holy, viz. lawfully begotten in Wedlock; but if the Husband leaves the Wife, or Wife the Husband75, every one will count your Children unclean, that is, Bastards, therefore don't part, but live together, because the unbelieving Husband is sanctified or set apart by God's Ordinance to the use of the Wife, and the Wife to the use of the Husband, in a matrimonial way, 1 Cor. 7. 14.

This is not an inherent spiritual, nor a federal Holiness, as some would beg, and therefore argue for Baptism; this Holiness is a legitimate Holiness: And there can be no more concluded, because these Children are said to be Holy, therefore to be baptized, than the Baptizing Zacharias's Bells or Pots in the Lord's House, because they are said to be Holy, Zach. 14. 20.

Object 16.

A11 Nations are to be Baptized; Infants are a part of the Nation, Ergo, Infants may be baptized.

I Answer.

The Lord Jesus Christ saith, Mat. 28. 19, 20, Go ye therefore and teach all Nations, Baptizing them, &c.76 Never intending any should be baptized but what were first taught. 'Tis as if a King should give a Commission to an Herauld, to proclaim throughout his Dominions, who ever in the Nation, Male or Female, would go to School and learn the Greek Tongue, should have a Wedg of Gold; Doth this follow that every one in the Nation should have a Wedg of Gold, because a part of the Nation? No, not unless they do learn the Greek Tongue. So in like manner, no more in the Nations are to be baptized, than what are first taught and learn Christ77.

Christ did no more intend that every one in the Nation should be baptized, than the Prophet Haggai did, that every individual in the Nations of the World would desire our Lord's coming, because, he saith, the Desire of all Nations should come, Hag. 2. 7. which is only the Believers in all Nations.

God did not intend Infants had robbed him, when he said, Ye have robbed me, even this whole Nation, they being not capable of it: No more are Infants of Baptism tho a part of the Nation, being not first taught and made Disciples, according to the Commission.

Object. 17.

Men of Years were first Circumcised, afterwards Infants: So in the Gospel, Baptism was first administred unto Men and Women, but afterwards Infants were Baptized.

I Answer.

You say well, Men and Women were baptized first; Infants were never baptized, by virtue of a Commission from Christ, tho Believers were; and it was about three hundred Years after Christ before any Infant was Sprinkled78. Christ's Commission was to baptize Believers: now unless any can show where this was abrogated, and a new Commission for Baptizing Infants given, this remains, and will to the end of the World.

Indeed Abraham was Circumcised when he was old, as a Seal of the Righteousness of his Faith, to assure him he should be a Father of many Nations, a Spiritual Father unto Believers, Jews, and Gentiles: And after this God, commanded him to Circumcise his natural Seed; and when any can shew us as plain a Command for Believers to Baptize their Infant-Seed, as Abraham had to Circumcise his, the Controversy shall end.

Object. 18.

Infant-Baptism is an Apostolical Tradition; and though the Scripture be silent in the Case, the uninterrupted Tradition and Usage of the Church makes up that Defect79.

I Answer,

With Dr. Taylor, “Tradition, saith he, must by all means supply the place of Scripture; and there is pretended a Tradition Apostolical, that Infants were Baptized: But at this, saith he, we are not much moved, for we who rely upon the written Word of God as sufficient to establish all true Religion, do not value the Allegation of Tradition”80.

The pretended Proof for Infant-Baptism, being an Apostolical Tradition, from Dionysis the Areopagite, Justin Martyr's Responses, Origen's Homilies, Cyprian in an Epistle to one Fidas a Priest, have been examined, refuted, and found fabulous and forged. Danvers on Baptism, pag. 133, to 150.

It is very improbable that Infant-Baptism should be an Apostolical Tradition, when decreed by several Councils in the 4th Century, the Council of Carthage, of Neocesarea and Laodicea, &c. they did hold forth the necessity of Confession and Profession, before Baptism.

In short, It is against the Reason of a Man to conclude this an Apostolica1 Tradition, because this were to make the Apostles act beyond their Commission, which were to Baptize only Believers.

Object. 19.

Infants were once Church-Members, and that Law was never abrogated, neither do we find they were cut off.

I Answer.

John the Baptist abrogated this sufficiently, when he told the Pharisees and Sadduces, it was a vain Plea to say, Abraham was their Father; that was a good Argument for Infant-Church-membership under the Law by Circumcision, but signified nothing to Church-membership under the Gospel by Baptism, now the Dispensation is alter'd: If any bring not forth good Fruit in his own Person, the Ax being laid to the Root of the Tree, it is to be hewn down and cast into Eternal fire. The Apostle Paul, in Rom. 11. 20. ends this Controversy plain enough, where he asserts, the natural Branches were broken off by Unbelief; and if they come to believe, they may be grafted in again; but until then, they remain broken off, and that Law of Infant-Church membership is as plainly abrogated under the Gospel81, as the Passover and Circumcision, &c. which all grant is void, tho not so formally done as once commanded, there being no need; the Substance being come, necessarily Shadows cease.

Object. 20.

In Mat.3.11. John Baptist said, I Baptize you with Water unto Repentance: And in the 6th Verse, - Were Baptized of John in Jordan, confessing their Sins. Here, say some, is Baptism before Confession or Repentance, in the order of words: therefore we being Baptized in our Infancy, if we repent, and confess our Sins afterward, 'tis sufficient, and we need not be Baptized again.

I Answer.

1. If you were only sprinkled in Infancy, you were never yet Baptized.

2. 'Tis said, they were Baptized in Jordan, confessing their Sins; but I never heard of an Infant confess Sin in the Act of Baptism, as these did. I will gladly Baptize any Souls that shall truly confess themselves Sinners in the very Act and Administration of that Ordinance, to the Glory of the Messiah, who came to save Sinners.

3. Tho the Text says, I Baptize you unto Repentance, none dare say that John Baptized them before they did manifest Repentance; because when many of the Pharisees and Sadduces came unto John's Baptism, he said, O Generation of Vipers, bring forth Fruit meet for Repentance, and think not to say, you have Abraham to your Father.

4. John's Baptism is called, the Baptism of Repentance, Mark 1.482. Can any other be the meaning than this, that John was appointed of God to demand Repentance from dead Works, of all that were Baptized, and Faith also in him that was to come? Acts 19. and upon this John did preach unto them the Remission of Sin. I think it never did enter into any Man's Heart, that John did first Baptize, before he examined them of Repentance and Faith in the Messiah to come.

5. To Baptize unto Repentance, the sense can be nothing else than my Baptism, being the Baptism of Repentance: I Baptize them, for my Baptism is the Baptism of Repentance; I must see something of that, else I have no Commission to Baptize.

6. Penitent Souls may well be said to be Baptized unto Repentance, because 'tis an every day's Work, after his Baptism, to amend and reform83. However John's words may be placed, the scope of the Place sheweth, they must repent before they were baptized, because, when the Pharisees and Sadduces came to his Baptism, that is, to be baptized, said he, O Generation of Vipers, bring forth first Fruits meet for Repentance; or unto or according to the nature of true Repentance, and then I will baptize you, and not without it.

Object. 21.

Water-Baptism is John's Baptism. Paul was not sent to Baptize: We have the Substance, we need not the Shadow; we are baptized with the Spirit, we need not that of Water.

I Answer.

Cornelius and his Houshold were baptized with the Holy Ghost, to that degree, as they spake with Tongues, Acts 10. yet thought it not beneath them to submit to Christ's blessed Ordinance of Water-Baptism. I know not but this Scripture may be an everlasting Testimony against some which pretend to the Spirit, who have it in that degree, as now Cornelius and his Houshold: Where the Spirit is, there is Obedience to the Command84.

I marvel any who pretend to great degrees of the Spirit, should call God's Ordinances Shadows and Shells: Is it a Command of Christ, and a Shadow? did Christ ever call it so? Thou may'st as well say, all other Ordinances are Shadows, as Prayer, Preaching, &c. And where wilt thou run? is it a Command? hath it a Divine Stamp? if so, dispute not Christ's Authority. Are you wiser than he who subjected himself to it? or can you think you have more of the Spirit, than him who had it without measure, and yet was was baptized in Water?

Whereas it is Objected, Christ sent not *Paul to Baptize, but to Preach, Paul did baptize several: either he did it by Commission, or Presumption; surely not by the latter, therefore the former. His meaning is, that Baptism was not his first and principal Work; he was sent to preach, and Baptism fell in as a part of his Preaching-Office85. This is cleared by our Lord's Word, who said, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, not but he came also to be a Light to the Gentiles; he was first to preach to them, hence called, the Minister of the Circumcision.

And whereas Water-Baptism is called John's Baptism, I query the Baptism of John, Was it from Heaven, or of Men? If from Heaven, as it was, (for God sent him to Baptize) then let all keep silent. I know no difference between John's Baptism, and that Christ gave his Apostles, but that the former Baptized in the Name of Christ to come, the latter in his Name being come. Whereas some urge, John said, He must decrease, Christ increase. This hath no reference to the ceasing of Gospel-Ordinances, but unto the Splendor and Glory of Christ in the World, above what John's was in Holiness and Miracles; for John did no Miracle, John 10. 41.

Object. 22.

There are no fit Administrators; therefore, for the present, Sacraments and Church-Ordinances cease.

I Answer.

When Christ gave Commission on to Preach, he gave Power in the same to Baptize, Mat.28. How comes this to pass, that those very Persons which thus object, do Preach, which requires as great Ability and Sanctity to the due performance of the one as of the other.

I know some object that Commission (Mat. 28.) lasted no longer than to the end of that Age.

To which I Answer, Then Preaching ended too: Christ commands his Disciples to teach all Nations all things which he commanded them; Now Christ's Commands were, Holiness, Repentance, and Faith; was this to be no longer than to the end of that Age? was Christ's Promise of his Presence but to the end of that Age? this would be uncomfortable Doctrine, The Promise is, I will be with you to the end of the World; the Learned know it's the same original Word as in Matth. 13. 39,40. where it is said, The Harvest is the end of the World: As the Tares are gathered together, and burnt in the Fire, so shall it be in the end of the World. All conclude, (I think) or ought, that this hath respect to the final end of all things; this being the same word in Mat. 2886. We conclude, teaching the Gospel, baptizing them which are taught, and the gracious Presence of Christ, is to remain in his Church till the World's end, that is, till the final end of all things87. Moreover, Paul asserts, Ephes. 3. 21. that Christ will have a Church, and glory in the Churches throughout all Ages, World without end. From whence I argue, if God have a Church in all Ages, he must have Ordinances there, because no Church of Christ can be constituted without them: If there be Ordinances in the Church in all Ages, there must be some to administer them, or else they would be insignificant.

But that he hath fit Adminisrators in the Church, and will have, Paul asserts, in Ephes. 4. 12 13. He gave some Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, some Pastors and Teachers, (For what end?) for the perfecting of the Saints, for the Work of the Ministry, for the edifying the Body of Christ, (How long?) till we all come to the Unity of the Faith, and of the Knowledg of the Son of God, unto a perfect Man, unto the measure of the Fulness of Christ.

Let Men take heed how they put a slight upon the Ordinances of God in crying up the Spirit, with a secret Design to decry the Holy Scriptures; crying up the Power of Godliness in Word, to undermine the Form of Godliness; cry up Faith, and Justification by Faith, to lessen Repentance and a holy Life; crying out against the Error of all Churches, and under that pretence, leave the true Church, and the Communion of Saints, until at last they have lost the Church in the Wilderness, the ready way to lose themselves too, if Grace prevent not, which I desire may.


Contains the Use.

1. If it be their Duty, who believe, to be Baptized: then I infer, those who are not capable of this Grace of Faith, are under no Divine Obligation, nor their Parents neither, to Baptize them, 'tis only a piece of Will-worship, which God never required, Col. 2. 23.

If any reckon themselves obliged to Baptize, or be Baptized, from Mens Authority, let such baptize in their Name of whom they have this Authority, and not join the Name of Christ with humane Inventions.

Infant-Baptism was hardly heard of till about three hundred Years after Christ88. Augustine was the first that preached it necessary, in his heat against Pelagius Bishop of Rome, who denied Original Sin, which Augustine supposed to be taken a way in Baptism about the 5th Century; it was confirmed and decreed by the Pope and his Council, in the Milevetan Council, a Province in Africa89.

2. Is Faith to precede Baptism? Then how irregular do they act, who baptize first, before the Subject hath any Grace, and know not whether ever they will? Our Lord knew how he placed his words, when he said, Believe, and be baptized; and for Persons to act contrary, reflects upon the Wisdom of Christ, as though they knew it were better to Baptize first, whatever the Lord said to the contrary.

3. Is Faith to precede Baptism? Then we infer, those who are in this practice, are very unjustly called Anabaptists, Rebaptizers90. We know but of one Baptism, Ephes. 4. and that is Believers, having the Broad-Seal, and Stamp of Divine Authority upon it: how in derision are such called Catabaptists, as if they were against Baptism, because they plead for Christ's Institution against Mens Inventions?

4. Is Faith to precede Baptism? Then we infer, they are greatly Heterodox who assert, that Baptism works Regeneration by the very *Act; altho we doubt not of the concurrence of the Holy Spirit to strengthen and comfort God's People in the Way of their Duty: But to say the very Act works it, is not allowable, forasmuch as Regeneration is required before it; and this Sacrament is a Sign and Signification of Regeneration, therefore called by the Apostle, the washing of Regeneration, Tit. 3.5.

Death to Sin, and Sanctification, is figured out in this Ordinance, when Persons are buried with Christ in Baptism, Rom. 6. 4.

5. Are Persons to believe before Baptism?91 Then an actual personal Faith is to precede this Ordinance; 'tis not the Faith of the Church, nor an imputative Faith of the Parents in Covenant, nor the Faith of the Gossips or Sureties, can be a sufficient Argument for any Minister to Baptize, but a profession of their own Faith, as Philip required of the Eunuch, Act.8.37. And whereas some assert, Infants have Faith; what they may have, is not known by any Sign appears in them: And for personal and actual Faith they have none, which the Commission requires as prerequisite to Baptism92. And for any to assert Infants have Faith, or any other inspired Habit, may we not say with Dr. Taylor, such are constrained to answer this without Revelation against Reason, common Sense, and all the Experience in the World? no greater Advantage can be desired against such a Position.

6. Is faith to be professed before we are Baptized? Then we infer, those that have sufferred in defence of this Doctrine, had a good Foundation for what they did.

The Waldensian Christians93 suffered Imprisonment, confiscation of Goods, and some Death. Many, in Germany, Holland, Flanders, Vienna, Mentz, the Palatinate, for their opposing Pedo-Baptism, and asserting Belielvers.

II. Let all Believers be exhorted to obey Christ, who yet lie short of their Duty; the King or Subject, Pastor or People, Learned or Illiterate: for the King of Kings hath done it, the great Shepheard of the Sheep, and he who is only wise.

If any Object, I was Baptized in my Infancy. I Answer,

As one saith of Marriage, It's not the Bed that maketh Marriage, for then Fornication is Marriage, but it's a lawful Consent by Covenant. So I say of Baptism, It's not a little Water sprinkled upon the Face makes Baptism, but also Consent and Subjection to Christ's Command.

When thou wast an Infant, thou gavest no Consent94, but rather Dissent, by crying when the Water was scatter'd upon thy Face; thou hadst no Faith, no Love, no active Obedience; thy Judgment not informed, thy Will and Affections not inclined, but wholly passive in the thing, like a Stock or Stone, so that thou art not yet Baptized, because there wanted then the very Essence of the Ordinance, which is right Matter and Form: as for Matter, an ignorant Infant was the Subject, in the room of an understanding Believer95: For the Form, Sprinkling instead of Dipping, so that thy Infant-Baptifm is a meer non entity, and nothing.

The Church of the Rome confesseth, she changed Dipping into Sprinkling. Cyprian is the first who pleads for Baptizing the Sick by Sprinkling, and for Sprinkling new Converts in the Prison-House: By degrees they brought it in for Sick Children, then for all Children96.

Rome's first and great Argument, by which Infant-Baptism was brought in97, was their imagining it took away Original-Sin: Upon which they made this Canon in the Milevetan Council.

It to our Will, That all who affirm young Children have Everlasting Life, which are not Baptised, to the taking away of Original Sin, shall be Anathemized.98

So in the Fifth Council at Carthage99.

We will, That whosovever denieth that little Children by Baptism are not freed from Perdition, and eternally saved, that they be accursed.

This was first confirmed by Pope Innocentius and Augustine, with Seventy Bishops: Had the Pope and Council decreed, that the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness unto Children, took away Original Sin, in the room of their Infant-Baptism, it had been much sounder Doctrine.


First; Sincere Obedience to the Precepts, gives you a right to the Promises annexed, which is, Remission of Sin, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Divine Presence for ever.

2dly, By this Gate you enter into the Enjoyment of all Church-Priviledges100, which are very great and many. Hence Holy David preferr'd one Day in God's Courts, more than a thousand in an ungodly King's Palace. The Communion of Saints is a blessed Thing; but you cannot have this orderly, without first being Baptized101; the three thousand converted Jews were Baptized before added to the Church: And in breaking Bread, Christ Himself was Baptized before he preached and broke Bread with his Disciples.

3dly, Sincere Acts of Obedience102, increase Peace in the Soul like a River; yea, the Peace of God, which passeth all Understanding. We have heard of some which have died uncomfortably, for not obeying Christ in this Ordinance according to their Light.

Finally; By this Act you will obey a most glorious Precept, follow a most glorious Precedent, have a right to most glorious Promises, enter into a most glorious Communion; and to conclude, you will put in practice an Ordinance, which will be a Pledg unto you, of Sins Remission, your free Justification, and your Soul's Salvation: a Reward more than enough for our poor Obedience.


Contains plain Scriptures for Believers-Baptism, which satisfieth the Conscience better than far-fetch'd Consequences.

Matth. 3. 13. Then cometh Jesus to John to be Baptized. Vers. 15. And Jesus said, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfil all Righteousness. Vers. 16. And Jesus, when he was Baptized, went up straight-way out of the Water.

Acts 2. 38 Repent, and be Baptized every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Acts 8. 12. They were Baptized, both Men and Women.

Acts 8. 36. And the Eunuch said, See, here is Water, what doth hinder me to be Baptized? Vers. 37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine Heart, thou mayeft.

Acts 10. 47. Can any forbid Water, that these should not be Baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we. Vers. 48. And he commanded them to be Baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.

Acts 22. 16. And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be Baptized, and wash away thy Sins.

Acts 9. 18. And he arose, and was Baptized.

Mat. 28. 19. Go, teach all Nations, Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Acts. 2. 41. Then they that gladly received his Word, were Baptized.

Mark 16. 16. He that believeth, and is Baptized, shall be saved.

Mat. 21. 25. The Baptism of John, whence was it? from Heaven, or of Men? If we say, From Heaven; he wi1l say unto us, Why did ye not believe him?

Luke 20. 6. But if we say of Men, all the People will stone us.

Acts 18. 8. And Crispus the chief Ruler of the Synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his House: and many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed, and were Baptized.

Rom. 6.4. We are buried with him by Baptism.

Luke 7.29. The Publicans justified God, being Baptized. Vers. 30. But the Pharisees, and Lawyers, rejected the Counsel of God against themselves, not being Baptized.

John 4. 1. Jesus made and baptized more Disciples than John.

Gal. 3.27. As many as have been Baptized to Christ, have put on Christ.

Eph.4. 5. One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism.

1 Pet. 3. 21. The like Figure whereunto Baptism doth save us.

Acts 16. 33. And he took them the same hour of the Night, and washed their Stripes; and was Baptized, he and all his, straightway; Vers. 34. He believing in God with all his House.

John 3. 23. John was Baptizing in Enon, near Salim, because there was much Water there.

Heb. 6. 1,2. Of the Doctrine of Baptisms, (called God's Oracle) a Principle of the Doctrine of Christ, and a Foundational Principle. Heb. 5.14.

John 3. 22. After these things came Jesus and his Disciples into the Land of Judea, and there he tarried and Baptized.

Luke 3. 21. Jesus being Baptized, the Heavens were opened. Vers. 23. Jesus himself being about thirty Years of Age.

1 Cor. 12. 13. By one Spirit are we all Baptized into one Body.


Contains an Account of the People of God, called Anabaptists; their great Sufferings, for maintaining Believers-Baptism in opposition unto Infant-Baptism.

In the 4th. Lateran Council, Canons were made to banish the Anabaptists for Hereticks.

Theodosius and Honorius made and published the following Edict, in the Year 413. viz. That the Person rebaptized, as well as the Administrator, should be punished with Death. One Albanus, a zealous Minister, was put to death, with others, upon the said Edict.

At Zurick it was decreed, If any presumed to Baptize any that were Baptized in Infancy, they should be drowned. And that at Vienna, many for Baptizing such, were so tied together in Chains, that they drew the other after him in the River.

At Roplesteim, the Lords of that Place decreed, That such should be burned with an hot Iron, and bear the base Brand of those Lords in whose Lands they had offended.

And that through Germany, Alsatia and Sweeden, many hundreds of this Sect, who (as they word it) defiled their first Baptism with a Second, were the third time Baptized in their own Blood. Dr. Featly out of Gassius, pag. 68, 182.

Heribertus, Lisonius, and Stephanus, with eleven more Christians, were burnt at Orleans in France, for opposing Childrens Baptism.

At Goslar, in the Time of Henry the Third, several were put to Death for opposing Infant Baptism.

Gerardus burnt, for opposing the Romish Church in this Point.

By the Decree of Alfonus, five Men and three Women were burnt at Troys in Campagn, Anno 1200.

Nineteen Persons condemned and burnt in the Bishopric of Tholouse.

Four Monks which were converted from the Romish Religion, were by Pope John the 22d burnt, for opposing Infant-Baptism.

At Cremor in Austria, many of the Waldenses were burnt, for opposing Pedobaptism.

A pious Woman in Flanders, named Peronne, was bunt in the profession of this Faith, with many more.

The first Edict of Zurick, 1525. five Years after Zwinglius began the Reformation, after their own departure from Rome, commands all sorts to Baptize their Children, and to forbear Rebaptization, upon the penalty of Pecuniary Mulcts and Imprisonments103. The second Edict extended to Banishment, Confiscation, and Death; this was five Years after, in 1530. Many starved and died in prison.

The Duke of Newburgh, Anno 1653, banished all the Anabaptists out of his Country, who thereupon disperse themselves into the Dukedom of Cleave and Brandenburgh.

An Abstract of the bloody Edict of the Emperor, Charles the 5th of Spain, made June 1535. against the Anabaptists, or Waldensian Christians; and the execution thereof in the Seventeen Provinces, viz.

Commanding all Persons to renounce those Perswasions and Practices, and refrain the publishing the same, by Preaching, or otherwise, upon penalty of forfeiture of Life and Goods, without Mercy: The Men to be burnt, the Women to be drowned. And all that that Conceal, Harbour, and do not in their Places prosecute the Law against them, to suffer the same Penalty. And that those that discover them, to have the third part of their Estates; forbidding all Mediation or Intercession, upon severe Punishment.

Many hundreds suffered Death upon this Edict, and what his Son Philip made in 1556.

Thus you see Christ's Words made good, His People shall suffer for Righteousness sake.

See this Chapter much enlarged, in Danvers on Baptism.


Contains the Epitome of this Book, in a Comparison of Believers-Baptism and Infant-Baptism together.



God hath promised in the Text, That all who believe, and are Baptized, shall be saved, Mark 16.16.

God hath not promised all Infants that are Baptized, shall be saved.

There is a lively Similitude between Christ's Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Believers being buried in Baptism, Rom. 6.4.

But there is no Similitude between Christ's Death, Burial, Resurrection, and Infants sprinkled on the Face.

Believers Baptized, are converted, and shall never come into Condemnation, John 5.24.

But Infants Baptized are not converted, and may come into Condemnation.

Believers Baptized, love God, and keep his Commandments, John 14. 15.

But Infants Baptized, do not love God, and keep his Commandments,

It's Christ's Command, that Teaching, Repenting, and Believing, should precede and go before Baptism, Matth. 28. 18, 19.

Therefore Infant Baptism must be of Men, because it's before Teaching, Repenting, and Believing.

Those who baptize Believers, baptize Christians.

But those who baptize Infants, bapttze Heathens; because all are Children of Wrath by Nature before born gain, Ephes. 3.2.

In Believers Baptism, there are no Contradictions attend the practice of it.

But Infant-Baptism hath manifold Contradictions, by asserting that Baptism is a Symbol of present Regeneration, yet apply it to an ignorant Infant: Also that it figures out Christ's Death, Burial, and Resurrection, yet do nothing but sprinkle, or pour Water on the Face; They separate from Rome as the false Church, yet own their Baptism, the Foundation-Stone; They own the Doctrine of Perseverance in Grace, and no failing from it, baptizing the Children of Believers as in the Covenant of Grace, yet afterwards teach their Conversion, and in case of Unbelief, reject them as Reprobates.

Believers Baptized come lawfully and immediately to the Lord's Supper, Acts 2.41,42.

But Infants Baptized, come not to the Lord's Supper immediately or lawfully.

Believers Baptism is a sign of Regeneration, unto them, Tit 3.5.

But the Baptism of Infants cannot be a sign of Regeneration to them.

Believers Baptism hath a Command, Mat. 28. 18,19.

Infant-Baptism hath no Command.

Believers Baptism confirms unto them Justification, Remission, and Salvation, Acts 2. Chap. 22. 16. Mark 16. 16.

But Infants have none of those confirmed to them in their Baptism.

We have many Examples for Believers Baptism, Acts 8. Chap. 10. Ch. 16.18.

But we have not one Example for the baptizing of an Infant.

Christ was faithful in all his House; and St Pau1 delivered the whole Counsel of God, and so Believers Baptism is a part of God's Counsel, Luke 7.

But Infant-Baptism is no part of God's Counsel, appears, because Christ nor his Apostles never delivered any such thing.

Believers Baptism hath been gloriously sealed in the Holy Ghost's coming upon Christ in the likeness of a Dove, when he was coming up out of the Water, Mat. 3. 16.

Infant Baptism never was sealed by God.

In Believers Baptism the Person baptized acts Faith, Acts 8. 37.

But in Infant-Baptism the Infant acts no Faith.

In Believers Baptism, the Subject baptized hath the Answer of a good Conscience, 1 Pet. 3. 16.

But Infants have no answer of a good Conscience in Baptism.

A Man might comfortably die, as many have done in Mentz, Holland, Germany, and the Palatinate, for asserting Believers Baptism, because it hath God's Word for its Foundation.

But how can any die for Infant-Baptism, when it wants the Broad Seal of God's Word for the Authority?

The Publicans glorified God, in being baptized with John's Baptism, because it was the Counsel of God, Luke 7.

But God is not glorified in Infants Baptism, because none of God's Counsel.

The Pharisees and Lawyers rejected the Counsel of God against themselves, in not being baptized with the Baptism of John, Luke 3.

But to reject Infant Baptism, cannot be against any Person, because it is none of the Counsel of God.

In Believers Baptism there is a glorious Harmony with the Commission, Mar. 16. 16.

But there is no harmony with the Commission in Infant-Baptism, nor with their own Profession, which is, that Faith and Repentance is required in Persons to be baptized, yet confess that Children, unto whom they apply it, have neither. Again, that it is a demonstration of a Spiritual Marriage between God and the Believer, yet assign it unto Subjects as uncapable of it, as a Stock or Stone. Moreover, that the Baptismal Covenant enters into the Visible Church, yet deny Church-Members the Lord's Supper.

Believer Baptism requireth much Water, as according to God's Word, John 3.

But Infant-Baptism needs but a little, therefore it is not according to God's Word.

It's without all doubt, Believers were baptized.

But the baptizing Infants at the best is doubtful.

To baptize Believers, is to keep the Ordinances as they were delivered, 1 Cor. 11.2.

But it was never delivered as an Ordinance of Christ to sprinkle Infants.

To baptize Believers, is no change of God's Ordinance.

But to baptize Infants, is to change God's Ordinance in the Subject and Manner.

Such as are baptized on their own Faith, shall never perish, John 10. 28.

But such as are baptized on anothers Faith, may perish.

Believers are baptized as an Act of their Judgment, Choice, Will and Affection; so worship God in Spirit and Truth, John 4. 24.

Infants cannot worship God in that Act, in Spirit and Truth, because not an Act of Jugment and Choice, Will and Affection.

All those who baptize Infants, do confess Believers were baptized.

But all who baptize Believers, do deny that Infants were baptized.

Believers know and remember when they were baptized.

Infants know not, remember not any thing of their Baptism.

All Believers baptized, are in the Covenant of Grace.

All Infants baptized, are not in the Covenant of Grace.

Believers Baptism is from Heaven, and the Counsel of God, Mat. 21. 25.

Infants Baptism is from Earth, and the Counsel of Men.

Believers baptized are not the Children of Wrath, John 3. 36.

But Infants baptized may be Children of Wrath.

To baptize Believers, is to act according to the Pattern and Command of Christ.

But to baptize Infants, is to act with out a Pattern or Command.

All Believers baptized, receive Remission of Sins, Acts 2.

But all Infants baptized, do not receive Remission of Sins.

In Believers Baptism, the Person subjects in Acts of Obedience.

But in Infants Baptism, the Infant puts forth no Act of Obedience.

Believers Baptism hath no Absurdities attending it.

But infants Baptism hath many, namely, that Persons may have Regeneration & Grace before Vocation; and that Persons may be visible Church-Members before Conversion. Moreover, that Persons may be baptized by another's Faith.

Also making a National Gospel-Church instead of a Congregational; and bringing in a carnal fleshly Seed into Christ's Church, in the room of a Spiritual Seed.

Believers rejoice and shew their full Consent when they are baptized, Acts 8.

But Infants weep when baptized, as they did dissent.

Believers Baptism hath the plain Word of God.

Infant-Baptism bath nothing but humane Consequence.

All the World may affirm, Believers were baptized by the Apostles.

But all the World cannot affirm any Infants were baptized by the Apostles.

All Believers baptized, are spiritual believing Stones, fit to be laid in God's House, 1 Pet. 2.5.

But all Infants baptized, are not living Stones fit for God's House.

Believers baptized may repel Satan, as Christ did, saying, It is written, Luke 4.

But you cannot repel Satan, saying, It is written, Infants were baptized, for it is not written.

God will not say unto Believers baptized, Who hath required these things at your Hands? because it is his own Command.

But God may say to those who baptize Infants, Who hath required these things at your Hands? because God commanded it not.

Believers Baptism must stand as long as God's Word doth stand, Mat. 5. 18.

But Infant-Baptism must fall, because it hath not the Word of God to support it.

To baptize Believers, is to have respect unto God's Command, the only way not to he ashamed, Psal. 119.6.

But to baptize Infants, without a Divine Command, is the way to be made ashamed, because no respect to God's Command.

The most Holy, the most Wise, the most Learned Person that ever was in the World, submitted unto Believers-Baptism, Mat. 3. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.

But the most Holy, the most Wise, the most Learned, never was subjected unto Infant Baptism.

Persons baptized, believe, repent, examine themselves, make Judgment of things, love one another, take up Christ's Cross, Watch and Pray, and have the same care of each others Souls; these are fit Members of a Gospel-Church.

But Infants baptized, cannot repent or believe, examine themselves, make no Judgment of things, nor take up Christs Cross, Watch nor Pray, love not, nor watch not over one another, can-not be Members of a Gospel-Church.

Believers Baptism hath Antiquity to plead, being as old as John Baptist, Christ, and his Apostles.

Infant-Baptism hath started up several hundred Years since Christ and his Apostles.

Believers ought to be baptized, who have an inherent Holiness wrought by the Holy Spirit.

But Infants ought not to be baptized, who are only legitimately Holy, as all born in Wedlock are; and is the Holiness mentioned 1 Cor.7. 14.

Believers Baptism hath many glorious Promises annexed unto it, Acts 2. 38, 39.

Infant Baptism hath not one Promse.

In Believers Baptism all the holy Ends of it are preserved, as to be a sign of present Regeneration, dying to Sin, burying, rising with Christ, Answer of a good Conscience; a mutual Stipulation and Contract between God and the Party.

But in Infant-Baptism all these are frustrated, and being applied to an Infant, are but Mock-shows, and altogether insignificant.

In Believers Baptism, by Dipping, the Manner and true Administration is preserved, the Usage of the Primitive Times retained, and the Ends of it manifest.

But Infant-Sprinkling, is an inverting the Order and Manner, and contrary to the Usage of the Apostolick Times, and End of the Ordinance; and a telling a Lie in the Name of the Lord, saying, I Baptize, when he doth but Rantize.

Believers Baptism introduceth no Error nor false Doctrine into the World.

But Infant-Baptism doth introduce many Errors, in that it was to take away Original Sin, work Grace and Regeneration, effect Salvation by the Work done; that it was an Apostolical Tradition; that Children have Faith, and are Disciples of Christ; that all Children of Believers are in the Covenant, defiling and polluting the Church with fa1se Matter, and confounding the Church and the World together; introducing many hainous Traditions and Inventions of Antichrist together with it, as Gossips or Sureties, Bishoping or Confirmation, Chrism, Exorcism, Consignation. Lastly, It hath made a great deal of Contention in the Church of Christ, and stirred up much Hatred.

Believers baptized are taught of God, and made his Disciples, Matth. 28. 18. Acts 15. 10.

Infants baptized are not taught of God, nor made Disciples of Christ.

If none ought to forbid the Baptism of Water unto those who had been baptized with the Holy Ghost, Acts 10. 44, 45, 46, 47, 48.

Then such are greatly Heterodox and unsound, who slight and contemn Water-Baptism, under pretence of being baptized with the Holy Ghost.

Christ submitted unto Water-Baptism, and ate the Supper with his Disciples, who had the Holy Spirit without measure.

Then that Argument is of Flesh, and not Spirit, of Man, and not God, that rejects Water-Baptism, and the Supper, as carnal, under an ungrounded imagination of the Baptism of the Spirit.

Water-Baptism is to continue unto the End of the World, and the Sacrament of the Supper unto the second coming of Christ, 1 Cor. 11.26. Mat. 28. 19, 20.

Then for any to neglect those Ordinances under an imagination those Commands ceased at the end of the Apostles Age, are under a delusion.

If Christ will have Glory in the Churches throughout all Ages, World without end, then he must have a Church and Ordinances administred, which is the Essence of a Church-Constitution, and so cannot want Administrators, because Christ hath given Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the Work of the Ministry, edifying of the Body of Christ: How long? till we all come to the Unity of the Faith, and of the Knowledg of the Son of God, unto a perfect Man, unto the measure of the Stature of the Fulness of God, Ephes 3. 21. Chap. 4. 11, 12.

If so, then the Church-State did not end with the Apostles, neither can Ordinances cease for want of Administrators.


Contains an Enquiry into the Carriages of the German Anabaptists (falsly so called) in Luther's Time, and the Reproach from thence reflected upon that Way removed.

The Matter of Fact which hath caused such a Noise in the World about the aforesaid Persons, in the Year 1520, is as follows.

There was a Conspiracy of Husbandmen against the Bishop and Canons; which began from two Rusticks, hence called, the Clowns and Rustick War. The principal Article was, That they should shake off every Yoke, for their Exactions and Oppressions were very great; some did pay more Rent yearly to their Lords, than their Farms were worth. And albeit the Boors pleaded first for their Civil Liberties, yet after cried up for Gospel-Liberty, as appears from Luther's Admonition and Reprehension of them, for using the Sword to obtain it. It may be supposed, many of them knew very little of the Gospel, though others might; but both Papists and Protestants conspired against the Cruelty of their Lords.

Hence you have John of Leyden's words; “Some are called Princes, but are indeed Tyrants; they care not for you, they take your Goods, and spend them wickedly in Pride and Riot: And for light Causes make Wars, which destroy all the Poor have left. In the place of Widows and Orphans, they maintain the Bishop of Rome's Authority, and Wickedness of the Clergy. Where Youth should be brought up in Learning, and the Poor relieved, they establish the Merchandize of Massing, and other Abominations. Think you God will suffer these any longer? we ought rather to die, than to allow their Wickedness, and suffer the Doctrine of the Gospel to be taken from us”.

Luther confess'd much of this to be true; and largely admonished Magistrates to their Duty, tho he reproved them who Made the Insurrection.

Philip Landgrave of Hesse, did confess the things they were accused of were true, and many things ought to be amended, yet said, It was not lawful to rise Against their Prince, unto whom God had given the Sword. But we know, Oppression, as Solomon says, makes a wise Man mad, especially when Civil and Spiritual Liberties are invaded.

How few good People condemned the Undertaking of the Duke of Monmouth, when he came to deliver us from Popery and Slavery?

Very few good People but rejoice in our present Condition, tho won by the Sword. The Switzers, their Neighbours, had done the like before, and succeeded: And had Geneva miscarried, or any of the famous Men among the Cantons, they and their Religion might have fallen under as much Obloquy. And had the Church of England miscarried in the bringing in our present King, (whom God cause long to reign) no People would have been under greater Reproach in the World, by some fort of Men, though done to preserve their Civil and Ecclesiastical Liberties out of the Hands of Papists.

The things the Munsterians demanded, were,

1. To have 1iberty to chuse such Preachers as might preach God's Word, without mixture of Mens Traditions.

2. Pay no Tithes but of Corn only, and the same to be distributed according to the discretion of good Men.

3. They refuse not to obey a Magistrate, knowing that he is ordained of God, but cannot endure to be kept in Bonds, unless it be shewed reasonable in Scripture.

4. Eased of these Oppressions, because some did pay more Rent yearly unto their Lords than their Farms were worth.

5.That those things which were not a particular Man's Property, might be free, for Building, Firing, Hunting, Fishing, &c.

The Papists to this day do reflect upon the whole Reformation of Calvin, Luther, Zuinglius, &c. upon as good grounds as the Protestants have since reflected upon the Baptists, because several of their Perswasion were concern'd in that Attempt for Freedom; as 'tis well known many good Men, of most Perswasions, of the Church of England, Presbyterian, Independents, Baptists, were zealously concerned in the D. of Monmouth's Time, and many fell, as thousands of those did in Westphalia. But know, Victory is no Argument of the best Cause, nor best Men, nor a Defeat an Argument of a bave Cause, and bad Men; for God's own Church and People have fled often before the Heathens and Infidels. Love nor Hatred is known by External Providences, Eccles. 9. Many times it fares with the Wicked as the Godly, and with the Godly as the Wicked, in outward things, as Divine Wisdom pleaseth. No better Men in the World, than some which fell in the Duke's Cause in the West, yet by the hands of one of the most debauched Armies that ever was in the World: And if we think to know these things, they are too wonderful for us, as they were for David, Psal. 73. 16.

And as to those horrible Things which are said to have been in the City of Munster in Westphalia, from the Year 1532, to 1536. by John of Leyden in Holland, and Matthias Gnipperdoling; it is manifest, from several Authors, that the first stir in that City was about the Protestant Reformation, the Synod siding with Mr. Rotomon, and others of the Ministers who were for the Reformation, against the Papists, and their Bishops and Canons. John of Leyden, To. Matthias, and To. Becold came after this Insurrection began.

John of Leyden by Arguments had made Mr. Rotomon, who was for Pedobaptism, a Proselyte for Believers-Baptism, and died in that Cause in Munster. He by Preaching brought over a great part of the City to own this Principle. He sent Letters to the Landgrave, and a Book of his Doctrine; which Luther opposed, and he opposed Luther as he did the Bp. of Rome: And it was no wonder Luther opposed him, who died in the practice of Pedobaptifim.

And whereas 'tis reported, that monstrous Wickedness was committed in the latter part of the Siege, before they were overcome. We have good ground to question the Truth thereof; First, Because Sleiden in his Comment, who represents the Matter as unhandsom as he could, doth confess Mr. Munzer did preach against open crying Sins, as Murder, Adultery, blaspheming God's Name, the Body chastened and made lean with Fasting, simple Apparel, Countenance grave, speak seldom, get much out of Company, think oft of God, what he is, what Care he has over us, whether Christ died for our Sins, whether our Religion be better than the Turks. Moreover, to ask of God a Sign whereby he may testify his Care for us, and that we be in the true Religion; and though he shew no Token for Good quickly, yet must we nevertheless proceed in Prayer, yea, expostulate with God, seeing the Scripture promiseth, he will grant what we ask. These good things may make us doubt, whether some other Principles and Practices he writes of, which are contrary to those things, were true.

Moreover, we have good reason to question these Reports, if we consider further that those things were either written by malicious Papists, who said as bad of Luther and Calvin, representing them no less Monsters; who asserted that Luther and his Followers taught, that Mary the Mother of Christ had more Sons, & that the youngest, James an Apostle, died for us, and not Christ himself. Or these things were written by some disaffected Protestants, who were willing to take up and improve such Reports, to blast, not only the Parties Reputation, but their Principle also. And one thing which caused this People, called Anabaptists, to be misrepresented, was, their Community of Goods which they alway had at Munster, which was no other than the old Waldenses did, and their Disciples do to this day, in Poland, Hungary, Transylvania, and many parts of Germany, living in Colledges, casting all into one Common Stock, done by them, both from Conveniency, and having respect unto the Example of the Apostles and Primitive Christians, as it is written in Acts 4. 32, 34, 35. And though we do not believe Christians are now under that Obligation, yet I cannot have a hard thought of any that should so do, acting from the same Primitive Spirit: And it would be very unchristian to conclude, that such allow a Community of Women, because they had their Stock and Goods in common, as I fear some have uncharitably asserted, from this innocent Apostolical Primitive Practice.

To conclude; Suppose it should be granted there were some foolish Virgins in Germany, under this Denomination of Anabaptists, it is no more than what Christ hath told us will be. Have not the Churches in all Ages had their Achan's, Corah's, Dathan's, Abiram's, their Diotrephaes? But is it good Logick to say, Judas had a Devil, therefore all the Apostles had Devils? Hath there not been always some bad in the most pure Churches of Christ? For any to say there are no good Men, nor good Principles in the Communion of the Church of England, because some of that Communion are Executed almost every Sessions, as they confess themselves to be at Tiburn, this would be unjust and uncharitable: And it argueth weakness for any to run upon Extreams, because of others Errors. As some of the Ministers in Holland, the Followers of Meno Symonis, and Theodoricus, upon the Munster Report, have refuted the bearing Arms, Offensive or Defensive; or taking any Oaths, or bearing any Rule, Office, or Government in the Common-Wealth, left they should seem to abet such Principles: It is good to keep the golden Mean between both Extreams.

Now let us all labour to put on Charity, the Bond of Perfection; think no Evil, nor speak Evil of no Man; Judg not, that ye be not judged: Why dost thou judg thy Brother, or set at naught thy Brother? We shall all stand before the Judgment-Seat of Christ. Let that great Instance of Despair in John Child never be forgotten; that which lay with the most weight upon his Conscience, before he hang'd himself, was, the Sin for his Writing and Speaking against this very People, as may be seen in that Book of his Despair. And those Scriptures were of great weight upon his Soul; He that offends one of these little Ones which believe in me, it were better a Mill-stone were hanged about his Neck, and he cast into the midst of the Sea. O, said he, I have touched the Apple of God's Eye: and, says he, this deserves a tearing in pieces, to sit and speak against thy Brother, and slander thy own Mother's Son, Psal. 50.

Let all the People of God have such Thoughts, speak such Words, use such Carriages one toward another, and one of another, as we may have no occasion to repent of, when every secret Thing shall be brought into Judgment.


Containing a brief but sufficient Answer to John Wall's# Book, called Baptism Anatomized, that he may never more boast, as formerly, that none have answered him.

I Query, 1. Whether this Man doth not act against the Light of Conscience, Experience, and Holy Scripture, when he asserts indefinitely, The Infants of Believers have, by the free Gift of God in the Covenant of Grace, a right to Remission of Sins, and so a right to Baptism? Come and stand before the Bar of God's Word, and make answer, Had Cain, Ishmael, Esau, Absolom, Samuel's Sons of Belial, all Children of Believers, a right to Remission of Sins?

Query 2. Whether there is not good ground given unto Persons to believe, (in reading a great part of this Book, from pag. 25,to 41,& 168.) that he is of Origen's Opinion, The whole World may be saved at last, and then why not the Devils too? For (saith he, pag. 168.) if all Infants sinned in Adam's Loins, when Adam was restored, they were restored in his Loins; and when born, they were born in a Gospel Covenant. In Pag. 26. God freely forgave Adam and his Posterity in him, their Sin. Now we know the whole World is Adam's Children, then the whole World is in the Covenant of Grace, and so the whole must be baptized; and if in the Covenant of Grace, for any thing I see, the whole World may be saved. Abundance of these Assertions he hath in his Book. But behold, it is a Babel, a Book of Confusion; for though he tells us, when the Parents believe, pag. 27, 28. their Baptism is a sign of the Remission of Sin to their Infants as to themselves, and that their Infants are in the Covenant of Grace with them, it being made to Adam and his Posterity. Yet Cain, Ishmael, Esau, he asserts were cast out of this Covenant of Grace when grown up, and have no Remission of Sins. What, have Believers Infants Remission sealed unto them, yet no Remission? Will Men tell a Lie in the Name of the Lord, to tell us, that Baptism is a sign of Remission of Sin, and yet to tell us, this very Person may be damned? Are not these Self-contradictions, and holy Scripture contradictions, which saith, Whom God justifieth and pardoneth, them he glorifieth? Rom. 8. 30. In my Book this is more fully answered, pag. 29.

Query 3. Whether his Language favours not more of Ashdod than Canaan? and whether it be not full of hard Speeches against those which John Child paid dearly for, and of whom Christ saith, It were better a Millstone were tied about his Neck, and he cast into the midst of the Sea? For in his Preface, he accounts the Ministers of Christ, Ministers of Satan transform'd, to deceive the Souls of the Simple. And in pag. 3. falsly saith, if not maliciously, The Anabaptists deny Infants to be redeemed with Christ's Blood, p. 31. And p. 55. he saith, The Anabaptists hold, Christ hath no Lambs in his Fold, but all Sheep, because we will not own Pedobaptism. And pag.65. What a wicked Principle are those Men of that deny Infants the sign of Remission of Sins, and that we make an Idol of Baptism, is his Assertion. And because we assert, Christ was baptized about thirty Years of Age, as our Example; Behold, saith he, what windings and turnings, by any cover of vain deceit, Men lie in wait to deceive, by turning away from the Truth, and turning unto Fables. And further saith, pag. 10. We hypocritically plead for that we practise not. Whether this Man's Discourse favours as being under the Power of a divine, or diabolical Spirit, is left to the Godly to judg; and whether any heed ought to be taken of such a Person's Writing.

In pag. 139. he asserts, We damn the Infants of all God's People of old by our Doctrine. And enviously addeth, pag. 171. The Anabaptists are not only erroneous in their Faith, and there polluted, but also garnished with shame to Nature, in pag. 169. calling our Faith, a Carnal Faith. I think, were he a Spiritual Man, he could not have such carnal Language. O, how far is this poor Man from imitating our Lord, When he was reviled, he reviled not again: But this Man reviles when no occasion is given him. But he hath not yet spit all his Venom, for in pag. 71. he saith, The Anabaptists Doctrine is not of God, but a Point of their natural Faith. And further saith, These Men are sensual, having not the Spirit, calling us Beasts; pag. 111. And that we make Falshood our Refuge. And pag. 117. saith, Christ hath preserved the Infant-Seed of Believers from the Curse of Anabaptistry, whereby so many Errors are dispersed, Scriptures wrested, & Souls perverted to their own destruction. Pag. 143. he asserts the Doctrine upon which Anabaptistry is built, is a Soul destroying Doctrine; and that we have belied the Lord's Ministers, although we repeated nothing but their own Words, and that, saith he, to uphold our Errors, pag. 116. And cries out, pag. 66. as well he might, if true, The Anabaptists reckon their own Children dying in Infancy, by their own judgment lost, and perish to Eternity.

Pray consider, Is not this Man's Doctrine agreeable with the Church of Rome's and the Council of Carthage, who decre'd, If any asserted Baptism did not take away Original Sin, they should be Anathematized? Is this reasoning like a Man, or Christian? Because we dare not in Conscience give the Sacrament of Baptism to our Infants, must they be damned therefore? We can tell you a better way of washing away of Original Sin, namely, by the Impuation of Christs Righteousness, to Infants dying in Infancy.

My Prayer shall be, John Wall#, for thee, that thou mayest not run the hazard of thy Soul (as John Child did) so thou mayest but reproach the Innocent People of God. But as if all this were not yet enough, he asserts, Our Baptism is not from Heaven, but Will-worship, and so to be abhorred of all Christians: for, saith he, they received their Baptism from one Mr. Smith, who baptized himself, pag. 106, 107, 108. one who was cast out of a Church, and endeavoured to deprive the Church of Christ of the use of the Bible.

O full of all Subtilty, and all Mischief! Enemy of Righteousness, (for the Ordinance is so called) when wilt thou cease to pervert the right Ways of the Lord?104 How many Leaves hast thou spent in thy Book, in asserting and maintaining a Lie, and to call Filth upon the holy Ways of the Lord? Could not the Ordinance of Christ, which was lost in the Apostacy, be revived, (as the Feast of Tabernacles was, tho lost a great while) unless in such a filthy way as you failsy assert, viz. that the English Baptists received their Baptism from Mr. John Smith? It is absolutely untrue, it being well known, by some yet alive, how false this Assertion is; and if J. W. will but give a meeting to any of us, and bring whom he pleaseth with him, we shall sufficiently shew the Falsity of what is affirmed by him in this Matter, and in many other things he hath unchristianly asserted.

Mark, his second Query is, What is the End of Baptism? Pag. 22. saith he, John, sirnamed the Baptist, hath shewed the End in the Sign, why Water-Baptism was ordained; namely, it was ordained, that Christ should be made manifest to Israel; and for the washing away of Sins, Remission of Sins; and that Christ the Lamb of God is now come, according to the Gospel-Promise, Gen. 3. 15.

We answer, All these things are very good Ends in the Sign, to an understanding Believer who can take the comfort of it. But what comfort can an ignorant Infant take in Christ's being manifested in the Sign, or of Christ being come, or of the Pardon and Remission of Sin? these things are Meat for strong Men, not for Babes: answered more fully, pag. 23, 24.

In pag. 4. of his Preface, he saith, We ground our Doctrine on Nature, and plead a right to Gospel Ordinances by the Act of Man.

We answer, We never understood that we grounded our Doctrine upon Nature, but upon the Will of God revealed in the Gospel: And for our pleading for a right to Gospel-Ordinances by Mens Actions; if you will call Repentance and Faith Mens Actions, you may in some good sense; for though God give Faith, 'tis not God's Act to believe, but Man's; though God give Repentance, it is not God's Act to repent, but Man's: And if Persons are offended because we require what Christ requires as prerequisite to Baptism; if that be to be vile, we must be still so.

He would insinuate, pag. 3. that in Baptism a Person is wholly passive, because he is so in the Baptism of the Spirit and of Afflictions. But shall we believe God or Man? Christ saith, He must be active in the Grace of Faith and Repentance. Paul must be active, and arise to the Ordinance. Christ was active in going into Jordan, and coming up; so the Eunuch went down into the Water, as an Act of his Judgment, Will, and Affection; both Soul and Body is active in this Ordinance: How then is Man wholly passive in Baptism?

In the last Page of his Preface he nicknames the Interest of God, calling them Anabaptists, or Rebaptizers; yet, saith he, it is no Nickname. Which indeed must be; 1. because we own but one Baptism, Ephes. 4. 5. 2. Persons in Infancy are not Baptized but Rantized, therefore 'tis no Rebaptizing. 3. Should it be said Children were Dipped, yet it was no proper Gospel-Baptism, because it wanted a proper Subject; it was an ignorant Infant, instead of an understanding Believer. 4. If John was called John the Baptist, because he baptized Persons upon profession of Repentance, and Faith in him who was to come after him; why may not those be so called that follow his Practice, tho they have no extraordinary Commission as he had? What is more common, than to call them by the same Name of those whose Principle and Practice they approve of; and that innocently enough, as Calvinists from Calvin, Lutherans from Luther? so we own the word of Baptists, because we are in the same Faith and Practice with John the Baptist, Christ's Harbinger. So that it plainly appears, 'tis a Nickname, and a Name of Reproach cast upon those of this Perswasion. Turn to Page 64 and 65 for a fuller Answer.

Page 4, 5. he will have Baptism to be a pouring of Water upon the Face, because 'tis said, God will pour out of his Spirit upon his. By way of answer, he is to know, pouring was the most proper word could be used for the Holy Spirit's proceeding, because it is Above, with God in Heaven, and we upon Earth below; but the Element of Water is beneath us, for Men go down into the Sea. So accordingly it was practised in the Apostles Time, they went down into the Water; which if it had not been to be dipp'd in it, they need to have gone only unto it: therefore, how vain is that he asserts, John baptized standing at the brink of the River Jordan, pag.8. This is to contradict the Word of God, which saith plainly; Philip and the Eunuch went both down into the Water (not to the brink of it) and came up out of the Water.

In pag. 4,& 5. his great Ordinance, by which he thinks to do the most Execution, is from 1 Cor. 10. 1, 2. where it is said, A11 our Fathers were baptized unto Moses in the Cloud, and in the Sea.

Answer, 1. Consider, it is said, the Fathers, not the Children, were baptized. 2. If you will have it the Children also, then you must include there, Beasts and Cattel, for the Cloud poured Water upon them all. 3. Where-ever the word Baptism is used, whether it be applied to the Spirit, to Sufferings, or to Water, it always sheweth some large measure of all. So here they were baptized in the Cloud, and in the Sea; not properly baptized, for that Ordinance was not in use then, but the scope of that place is, the Apostle thought fit to borrow that word Baptize, for to show God's gracious protection of them in the Red-Sea; as in the Wilderness he fed them with Manna from Heaven, and gave them Water out of a Rock: So he left them not in the Red-Sea, but encompassed them about in safety, by his Divine Providence, with Water on each side of them, and the Cloud over them, as Persons are encompassed with that Element when baptized. Again, for the true understanding of the Word, we must have recourse to the common Acceptation of it, and not imagine the Spirit of God doth contradict the common Acceptation of Words among Men. When the Prophets wrote by Inspiration, and the Apostles, they always used such words as were vulgar, and commonly accepted amongst Men; so that the common acceptation of the Hebrew word Tabal among the Hebrews, and Baptizo among the Greeks, always signifying to dip, there being other words to signify sprinkle or pour. How then can pouring Rain from the Cloud be called Baptism? as John Wall# would needs have it, though he beg for it, because it can never be proved; see my Book pag. 16, 17.

And is he not full of audacity or boldness to tell the World, in pag. 8. That there is not one word that any by John or Philip were dipped, when the very word properly sigifieth dipping? Hence the Dutch call John the Dooper. And our Translators might as well have rendred baptizo, dip, in all the places where it is, as to render Judas sopt, dipp'd; and Christ's Vesture dipp'd in Blood, being all from the same Original Word.

And whereas he tells the World, pag. 16, 17, Though the Scripture say, they baptized in AEnon, because there was much Water. He saith, It would not be enough to dip half the Body in. 1. I suppose he never was there to see it, but speaks by an implicit Faith. 2. Common sense directs us to believe there was need of much Water to the due performance of that Ordinance, or else the Holy Spirit would not have mentioned it as commodious for that Work, because much Water there; a little Water will sprinkle hundreds, but much Water is necessary unto the due performance of this Ordinance of Baptism, because it must be so done, as to figure out the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ. Now I would fain know, how sprinkling, or pouring Water upon the Face doth figure out Christ's Death, Burial, and Resurrection? Rom. 6. 1, 2, 4.

In pag. 9. how disingenuously doth he deal with Coloss 2.12. We are buried with Christ in Baptism. To follow their natural Fancy, saith he, the Person buried, is wholly passive, and must be taken in Arms, laid upon the Water, then Water cast upon him, till covered, as Earth is upon the Dead.

Answer, This way of discourse is a kind of trifling with God's Word. You are to know, Similitudes do not run upon all four, as we say, but respect must alway be had to the chief intent and design of a Metaphor, which in this Text is to hold forth the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ, for our Justification; and also holds forth our Death to Sin, and Resurrection to a new Life. This being the prime scope of the Apostle, his way of discourse is nothing but to evade the strength of the Argument.

Whereas in pag. 10. he saith, The Person baptizeth part of himself, because he goeth into the Water.

We answer, That is false, because he doth not lay himself down in the Water, but that is done by the Administrator, he lays him along, as one buried under the Water, his whole Body, not the upper part only, to figure out Christ's lying in the Grave: for as the Persons stands upright in the Water, that is not Baptism, but when laid along under the Water, by the Administrator, using the words of Institution, I baptize thee in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, this is Baptism.

In pag. 14. he saith, The Person is not baptized, but his Cloaths.

Those things are not becoming Modesty to discourse of; Let that vain Man know, we do not baptize the Cloaths in the Name of the Blessed Trinity, but the Person; and should we baptize otherwise I fear this poor Man would be the first would reproach the Interest of Christ upon that account.

Whereas he chargeth B. K. pag. 80. with the whole Assembly of Baptized Believers, that they were forced to try their Wits, for want of those literal words, Remember you keep holy the First Day.

Ansrw. Our Arguments for observing the First Day, do greatly satisfy our Consences, being grounded upon the Word of God. Also our Arguments against Pedobaptism, and for Believers Baptism also, being proved from the same Divine Revelation. But alas, how are Men put at their Wits end, to find Arguments for Pedobaptism? or else they would never prefer a dark Consequence before a plain Command, which is beneath the Reason of a Man; nor run to the Law to prove a Gospel-Ordinance, and reject God's Institution, and set up Man's Invention. Could he say as much for Pedohaptism, as we can for the Lord's Day, the Controversy would not have held so long. Could he give us such Examples of Infant-Baptism, as we can for our religious observing that Day, we shall give him thanks.

And whereas in pag. 104. he quarrels, because we do not Baptize always upon the First Day. We do not judg we are confin'd to that Day. The Lord's Supper, Christ himself did institute it, and practise it with his Apostles, on another Day than the First Day of the Week.

Although we do grant it is very commendable to do such Work on such Days, when retired from our Labour, yet we do not think we are confin'd to that Day; for in the late Persecution, the Churches of Christ, some of them, did find it very convenient to break Bread upon a Week-Day, yet we alway think it best on the First, when it may be. And as for Baptism, we do not find the Apostles tarried for the Revolution of the First Day, but as occasion offered they did it upon any Day.

Page 69. he insists upon the order of words, Mat. 3. I baptize to Repentance. See this answered in my Book, P. 54, 55, 56.

That is a false Argument he so largely insisted on, pag. 44. If Persons have a right to Remission of Sin, they have a right to the Sign, Baptism. This Argument I have handled in p. 36.

Infants are not called Disciples, as he supposeth pag. 43. from Acts 15. 10. and upon his Request, we will shew him a Command and Example for Womens communicating at the Lord's Table, p. 42, 43.

For answer to pag. 21. where it's asserted, That many of the 3000 whom the Apostles batized in Acts 2. 39. were Children, seing the Pardon of Sin was by the Apostle Peter applied to their Children. O horrible perverter of the Word of God! these Children whom he speaks of were no more (as yet). baptized, than the Gentiles, which were afar off uncalled. 2. Suppose some of their Children were baptized, it must be believing Children, not Infants; my Child is my Child, though thirty or forty Years old, for you cannot think the Apostle would go beyond his Commission, to baptize an ignorant Infant in the room of an understanding Believer. O how sophistically doth this Man reason! see pag. 29, 30, 31. of this Book.

Lastly; I refer you to Mr. Cary's Solemn Call, which clears up the Covenant made with Israel at Mount Sinai, Exod. 19. 20, and that in the Land of Moab, Deut. 29. as also the Covenant of Circumcision made with Abraham, Gen. 17. are plainly proved to be three several Editions of the Covenant of Works: Though Mr. Wall will have it to be a Covenant of Grace in Christ. And though he spends many Leaves of his Book about it, 'tis as far from being proved, as Believers-Baptism is a Sign to the Infant of the Remission of Sins, and being in the Covenant of Grace, which yet is confest, a few Years after, he is neither in the Covenant of Grace, nor yet one Sin pardoned. These are some of this poor Man's Self-contradictions; is he not Felo de se, a Self-destroyer?

Whereas he saith, pag. 117. Mr. Ainsworth's Book called, A Censure upon a Dialogue of the Anabaptist, was never answered, That in Abraham's Seed all Nations should be blessed: This Grace Abraham's Infant Seed had; this Grace Christ gave to little Children. See your self and Mr. Ainsworth both answered, in pag. 37, 38. and p. 34, 35.


A brief Answer to a part of Mr. Daniel Williams's Catechism, in his Book of the Vanity of Childhood and Youth.

In pag. 131. he propounds these Questions; What if a Child will not agree, but refuse to agree to the Covenant to which his Infant-Baptism engaged him?

Himself makes this astonishing Answer.

1. It's a rejecting Christ our Saviour, and a renouncing the Blessings of the Gospel.

2. It's the Damning Sin.

3. It's the Heart of all Sin.

4. It's Rebellion continued against my Maker.

5. It's Ingratitude and Perjury to my Redeemer.

6. It's gross Injustice to my Parents.

7. It's an Affront to all the Godly.

8. Its self-killing Cruelty to my own Soul.

Here are hard and dreadful Words to make up the defect of weak Arguments;

for then some Persons want Arguments (#) to perswade into an Error, they do use some terrible Words and Ways to fright People therinto.

Pray, Sir, shew your Hearers where you have Divine Authority for your Assertions, or else there is no ground to be concerned at all about it, though laid down in a formidable way. Though I know 'tis the Duty of Parents to pray for their Children, give them moderate Correction, good Education, and good Examples; yet God never made it the Duty of any Parent to dedicate their Child in Baptism, nor the Duty of any Child to Engage and Covenant with God in their Infant-State, being altogether uncapable; therefore the not heeding it, cannot be any Sin, much less a damning Sin: and if so be Persons do then ingage against the Custom of this World, as you say they do, then they must engage against Infant-Baptism, being a worldly Custom.

I shall speak briefly to all these Particulars.

1. Not to agree, or to refuse to agree to the Covenant made in Infant-Baptism, is no Sin, because, Where there if no Law, saith the Apostle John, there is no Transgression. Now if this Gentleman can shew us any Law of God for Parents to dedicate their Children in Baptism, or Children to Covenant with God in Baptism, I will give him the Cause; but if this cannot be done, I think he can do no less than make a publick Recantation of his Assertions, to undeceive those whom he in ignorant Zeal may have deceived.

2. It's no Rebellion against our Maker; because Rebellion is interpreted in the holy Writ, to be a wilful breach of God's Law and Command; as you may see in Numb. 20. 24. Ye rebelled against my Word, Chap. 27.14. Ye rebelled against the Command of the Lord; so Deut. 1. 26. Now then let this never be more called Rebellion, except it can be proved to be against the Command of the Lord.

3. It can be no Ingratitude nor Perjury to my Redeemer. 1. No Ingratitude, because to own a thing he never appointed, and is the ready way to thrust out his own Appointment, will never be accounted by Christ Ingratitude. 2. Neither can it be Perjury. Mr. Pool on 1 Tim. 1. saith, Perjury, is a false Swearing, or swearing to an untrue thing.

Now I suppose this is not Mr. William's meaning by Perjury; for the Propositions were true, if any, which were promised in Infant-Baptism: But I suppose he means the Covenant the Child made in Baptism, against being governed by Satan and the Flesh, taking up this World's Goods as my Portion, and against the Customs of the Men of the World as my Guide, when grown up, and found walking in the Ways of the Devil, the Flesh, and the World, contrary to God's Command and his own Vow: This I supose he calls Perjury to the Redeemer. But let it be considered, a Man must first make a Vow, or take an Oath, before he can be said to break it, and be perjur'd. Now if the Child never made any Vow or Covenant in Baptism, it being impossible, how then can he be said to break Covenant, and be guilty of Perjury to his Redeemer?

4. It cannot be Injustice, much less gross Injustice to my Parents: because what is accounted Injustice to my Parents, the Word of God makes it appear to be so some-where or other: but the Word of God doth not any where call that Child an unjust Child, that doth not own its dedicating by its Parents in Baptism, or that they made any Covenant with God then.

5. It cannot be an Affront to all the Godly; because there are thousands that deny the thing; and I am bold to say it, were the Holy Apostles alive now, they would not have been affronted for any to deny their Parents dedicating Children in Baptism, or Children denying they made any Covenant then, because it's a thing God never revealed.

6. It cannot be a rejecting of Christ, as he saith; because there are thousands which own Christ, and accept him for King, Priest and Prophet, who deny Infants Baptism, and look upon it as nothing but an Invention of Men. And it's very severe to say, that those many thousands who now deny and disown their Parents baptizing them in Infancy, that they do reject Christ their Saviour, or the Blessings of the Gospel.

7. It cannot be a Self-killing Cruelty to my own Soul, nor a damning Sin, not to agree to, or refuse the Covenant made in Infant-Baptism, though I do not refuse to be the Lord's, and in sincerity care to know, love, believe, obey, and worship him, and serve him all my Days, and depend upon him, through Christ, for all Happiness; yet this I do not, because my Parents or Sureties did covenant or promise I should do it, nor because I my self made any such Covenant in my Infancy, for as much as it is all unscriptural, and without a Divine Rule, therefore cannot be Self-killing, nor Cruelty to my own Soul, nor a damning Sin, as this Gentleman saith: for the damning Sin is, final Impenitence and Unbelief; Mark. 16. 16. He that believeth not, shall be damned. Persons may believe the Covenant God hath made, and be saved; and though they deny the Covenant in Infant-Baptism, they cannot he damned. I do not believe in time in Christ, because either I my self did in Infancy covenant so to do, or because my Parents or Sureties covenanted for me; but I deny it, because an human Invention.

Yet I believe and obey from more solid Considerations.

(1.) Because I am commanded to it by God, I John 3. 23.

(2.) Because his great Love constrains me, 2 Cor. 5. 14.

(3.) Because of those glorious Promises made to believing and obedient Souls, 2 Cor. 6. 17, 18. Chap. 7.1.

(4.) I am obliged unto it from the Law of Creation, Psal. 95. 6.

(5.) Without Faith and Obedience I am in danger of losing my Soul.

Therefore for Mr. Williams to tell the World, It is a damning Sin, not to agree to, or refuse the Covenant made in Infancy, is a new Doctrine, which hath no footing in the unerring Rule of the Word of God.

If you will see the damning Sin, read Mr. Pool's Synopsis, on John 3. 18. He that believes not the Doctrine of Christ, and doth not, upon the Terms of the Gospel, receive him for his Saviour, is already condemned for his obstinate Infidelity, which is the certain Cause of Damnation. And further, The not believing in the only Son of God, who is able to save to the utmost all that regularly trust in him, is such a contempt of the merciful, alsufficient, sole Means of Salvation, that 'tis absolutely necessary, and most just, that all those who refuse to be saved by him, should perish by themselves.

Thus you see what the damning Sin is, Therefore Mr. William's Gospel and Doctrine is to be looked upon as New in this Thing, and not agreeing to the old Gospel, to assert, That it is a damning Sin, the Heart of all Sin, a rejecting Christ our Saviour, a renoucing the Blessings of the Gospel, Rebellion against my Maker, Ingratitude and Perjury to my Redeemer, gross Injustice to my Parents, an Affront to all the Godly, and a self-killing Cruelty to my own Saul, not to agree, or refuse to agree to that Covenant made in Baptism in Infancy; though there be not one word in all the Holy Scripture to warrant that Practice or Principle.

8. If refusing to agree to the Covenant to which my Baby-Baptism engaged me, be the Heart of all Sin; then I for my part, and many thousands more, must be guilty of all Sin; for it is the Heart of all Sin, saith this Gentleman. For my own part I do profess, that I do not observe any Gospel-Duty, neither believe nor repent, by virtue of any Covenant my Parents made, or was made by my self in my Baby-Sprinkling, because God did never require such a Covenant of my Parents, nor of my Self, who was wholly uncapable of such a thing in Infancy.

But the Reason why I desire to observe the Terms of the Gospel, is, because it's God's Requirements and Command, That we believe on the Name of the only begotten Son of God, 1 John. 23. And since I believed, I have made that Covenant with God in Baptism, which you say, pag. 131. was made in Infancy, which I never remember, nor can I believe it is true, viz. I have engaged against being governed by Satan or the Flesh as my Rulers, and against taking up this World's Goods as my Portion, and against the Customs of the Men of the World as my Guide; therefore I reject that Baptism, because a Custom of the World. Now should I refuse to agree to this Covenant which I made after I believed, then I were a great Sinner indeed, because one of my own making: But if I keep this Covenant, tho I refuse to agree to that Covenant made in my Infant-Baptism, I am a great Sinner, (saith Mr. Williams) for it's the Heart of all Sin. If the Heart of all Sin, then of Murder, Adultery, Sabbath-breaking, Incest, Heresy, Drunkenness Idolatry, Sorcery, Lying, Covetousness, Railing, Robbery, Buggery, Extortion, Envy, Witchcraft, Contention, Gluttony, Rebellion, Perjury, Ingratitude, Injustice, an Affront to the Godly, Self-killing; In a word, saith Mr. Williams, it's a damning Sin. Now it's high time for the poor Baptists to cry, Lord, have Mercy upon us, for this Gentleman damns us all at once. But this is our Comfort, he shall not be our Judg, nor that Doctrine he hath delivered, but both he and we must be tried by another Gospel, and another Doctrine than he preacheth upon this Subject.

And whereas he calls Baptism in Infancy, a Seal of the Covenant, pag. 130. Pray, Sir, what did it seal to the Infant then? did it seal the Love of God, pardon of Sin, Reconciliation or Adoption, Justification or Remission? If so, as you grant, by referring to Acts 2. 39 then, Sir, if they are justified, and their Sins remitted, then they must be glorified, saith the Apostle, Rom. 8. 30. Whom he justified, them he glorified. I suppose you may be for final Perseverance: if so, then not an Infant of these can miscarry.

But if you say these things may be sealed in Infancy, and yet be never enjoyed for want of actual Faith. How then! is a Person pardoned, and not pardoned; justified, and not justified; in Covenant, and not in Covenant? these are Contradictions with a witness. What! is the Covenant sealed, and nothing in the Covenant enjoyed? doth God seal to a Blank? Men are more wife than so to do; for there is always something antecedent to the Seal. When a Covenant is sealed among Men, something is sealed unto them; so when God seals, 'tis not to a Blank, but it's his Covenant of Grace sealed: After you believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise, Ephes. 1. 13. Mark, 'tis not before they believed, but after they believed they were sealed. Therefore Infant-Baptism is no Seal of the Covenant of Grace, for they do not believe. But after Persons believe, then the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are Seals of the Covenant of Grace, but not before.

And whereas Mr. Williams asserts, pag. 130. Believers and their Infant-Seed are in the Covenant.

We reply; This Word Covenant is an unintelligible word, for not one in an Hundred, if one in a Thousand, knows what is meant by it.

I know but two ways of being in the Covenant of Grace, either Absolutely, or Conditionally.

1. No Believers dare say, all their Children are Absolutely in the Covenant of Grace, because there is no falling away from it: But behold, how many of God's People have their Children die, of whom they have little hope?

Or, 2. they are in the Covenant of Grace conditionally; that is to say, If they repent, and believe. Upon this Condition, and on these Terms, the Children of Unbelievers are in the Covenant of Grace also, and have the same right to the Seals of the Covenant as the Children of Believers have; and there are none to have the Seals, or Signs of the Covenant, but those whom God hath ordained and appointed should have them, which are those who repent, and actually believe. For, mark, though Lot was a holy Man, yet he had no such priviledg to Circumcise his Infant-Seed, because it was limited unto Abraham and his Seed; and the Male Sex, and the eighth Day, appointed by a special Command. Even so, Baptism is limited by a special Command of God to Actual Believers.



Preface, Page 3. line 3, 4. read, two or three hours.

In the Book.

Pag. 35. Marg. r. Gen. 17. P. 41. 1. 14, r. fit or unfit. P. 55. Marg. l.6. for Christ, r. John. P. 69. 1.4. r. Church of Rome. P. 90. Col. 1. l.1. f. Persons, r. Believers. P. 95. 1.15. r. Bishop of Munster. P. 100. l.2. f. have, r. had. P. 118. l. 25, 26. r. the word Baptist.

This text was transcribed from scanned TIF files downloaded from Early English Books Online (EEBO - and accessed through the University of Sydney Library. The original book is from the Congregational Library (London, England). Reel position: Wing / 1809:09. Date: 1691.

Note: In the original text, the Scripture citation were marginal references. The position of these citations as footnotes in this text were assigned by the transcriber and any inaccuracy in their positioning is his alone.

Acknowledgement: I would like to thank Dr James M. Renihan of The Institute for Reformed Baptist Studies ( for his assistance in rendering the Greek and Hebrew present in the original text.

Transcription by Mr Mark Smith, A Reformed Baptist's Disk (, © 2016.




#.Page numbers refer to pages in the original text, not to this transcription.

1.. Ezek. 43.11.

*.Janua Sacramentorum. As Listing is the solemn engaging Sign into an Army, so is Baptism into the Church. Mr Baxter. Baptism is a sign of entring into the Church. Urinus. Baptism is the solemn admission of the Party into the visible Church. Assemb. Catechism

2.. Baptism is a Foundation-Principle of Church-Constitution, Heb. 6.1,2. But the Foundation-Principle of Salvation, is Faith in Christ.

3.. Obedience is to be grounded upon the Majesty of the Commander, not the Judgement of the Subject. The Architect was rewarded with a bundle of Rods, for bringing, as he thought, a fitter piece of Timber than was commanded by the Roman Consul. And it cost a Roman Gentleman his Life, his own Father being the Judg, tho conquering an Enemy, being done contrary to his General's Command. Remember Nadab and Abihu.

4.. Mat. 3.15.

5.. 2 Kings 5.13.

6.. Josh. 6.13.

7.. Exod. 20. 24, 25.

8.. Levit. 8. 24.

9.. Acts 9. 18.

10.. Not ra,ntizw, but ba,ptizw, Mat. 28. 18, 19, 20.

11.. The Hebrew word Tabal, lbt Dip. The Septuagint translate it ba,ptizw, as Dr Hammond notes on John 13. 10.

12.. Gen. 37. 31.

13.. Levit. 4. 6.

14.. Deut. 33. 24.

15.. Josh. 3. 15.

16.. 2 Kings 5. 14.

17.. John 13. 26.

18.. Rev. 19. 13. Luke 16. 24.

19.. 'Tis observable, lu,w to wash,ce,w to pour, ra,ntizw to sprinkle, are never taken or used for Dip or Baptize, not ba,ptizw,,, simply taken for Washing, by sprinkling or pouring. Danvers on Baptism, p. 206.

*.. Baptw

20.. Ende doc Jesus ghe Doope was quam hystersont vanden Water.

21.. John 3. 23.

22.. From Galilee to Jordan where John baptized, is about thirty or forty miles.

23.. Luke 15. 50. (should be Luke 12:50. Ed)

24.. No such thing as sprinkling or Rantizing used in the Apostles Days, nor many Ages after. Mede's Diatribe.

25.. Acts 1. 5.

26.. 1 Cor. 10. 2, 3.

27.. Baptism signifieth properly plunging in Water, or washing by dipping. Dr Taylor's Rule of Conscience.

28.. Gal. 3. 27.

29.. Austin and Paulinus, in the 7th Century, in England, Baptized great Multitudes in the River Trent and Swale. Hence saith Mr. Fox, there was no use of Fonts then. w Acts and Monuments, 9 Edit. Vol. 1. p. 132.

30.. Mat. 3. 15, 16, 17.

31.. Acts 8. 36, 40.

32.. The Minister is to dip in Water, as the meetest Act, the word ba,ptizw notes it. Rogers on the Sacrament.

33.. Isa. 24. 5.

34.. 1 Cor. 11. 2.

35.. 'Tis a known Maxim, to practice any thing in the Worship of God, as an Ordinance of his, without an Institution, ought to be esteemed Will-worship & Idolatry. And that there is a necessity for Scripture-Authority to warrant every Ordinance and Practice in Divine Worship, is owned by Luther, Austin, Calvin, Basil, Theoph. Tertul, Mr. Ball; and in the 6th Article of the Church of England; also Bellarmine.

36.. Erasinus saith, 'Tis no where in the Apostles Writings Infants were baptized.

37.. Maqhteusate

38.. We meet with no Example in Scripture for baptizing Infants. Magd. Hist. Cent. 1. L. 2. p. 196.

*.. aivwno/j

39.. As Isaac was brought forth by the Word of Promise, so must we be born of the Word of God, which only makes Baptism powerful and effectual. Magd. Cent. 5. p. 363.

40.. Heb. 6. 1, 2.

41.. Acts 2. 41. Chap. 8. 12. Chap. 16. 14. Coloss. 2. 10 (should be Col. 2:12, Ed.). Acts 18. 8. Rom. 6. 4. Gal. 3. 26 (should be Gal. 3:27, Ed.). Acts 19. 1, 2, 3. Ephes. 4.4 (should be Eph. 4:4-5, Ed.).

42.. Acts 2. 38.

43.. Mark 16. 16.

44.. Baptism is never enjoined as a Means of Remission of Sins and Eternal Life, but something of Duty, Choice, and Sanctity, is joined with it, in order to the production of the End so mentioned. Dr. Taylor.

45.. 1 Pet. 3. 20.

46.. Baptism is our Marriage-Ring, Military Pressmony, our ingrafting into Christ, our Badg and Cognizance, our Ship, our Ark, our Red Sea, our putting on Christ. Dan Rogers.

47.. Gossops and Sureties are no where found in Holy Scripture, but in the Pope's Decree, and Common-Prayer Book. Which the Parliament in K. Edward the 6th's time, confessed, There was no other difference between that and the Mass-Book, only a few things left out, but that one was in Latin, the other in English. Fox's Acts & Mon. Edit. 9. Vol.2. Book 9. p. 14, 15.

48.. Saith the Papist to the Prelat, You prove that Sacraments convey Grace in the very Act, as we assert; for just before Baptism, the Child was an Heir of Hell, and Child of Wrath, but being baptized, it is Regenerated and born again, as your Common-Prayer Book saith.

49.. Psal. 8. 2.

50.. Mat. 11.27. (should be Mat. 11:25, Ed)

51.. See Danvers on Baptism, p.60, 61, 62, 63. Many of those born to Christian Parents.

52.. They say, the Fœdarati were to be the Signati.

53.. Let it be proved, the Infant-Seed of Believers are in Covenant; then, 2ly, if so, that they ought to be baptized. Female Children under the Law, had a legal or federal Holiness, yet not to be Circumcised.

54.. The word Children there, is really the Posterity of the Jews, and not particularly their Infant Children; my Child is my Child, tho 40 or 50 Years old.

55.. Col. 3. 11.

56.. Infant-Baptism neither hath Precept nor Example in God's Word, is confess'd by Luther, Erasmus, Zwinglius, Melancthon, Bucer, Calvin, Chochler, Stuphilus, Rogers, Mr. Baxter. Danvers on Baptism, p. 90, 91.

57.. Whoever practises an Institution otherwise than was appointed by the great Law-giver, does not honour the Ordinance, but an Idol of his own making.

58.. Whereas some say, No doubt the Jailor had Children. It may be very much questioned, seeing it hath been observed, some Years ago, that for very many Years together not one Child was born to the Jayl-keeper in all the Country of Essex.

59.. To carry a poor ignorant Infant to the Ordinance of Baptism, is as much as if you should carry it to hear a Sermon; and no more significant than to instruct a Stock or Stone, or shew some godly thing to a blind Man.

60.. Some unto whom the Covenant of Grace did not belong, received the Sign of Circumcision, as Ishmael. God said, the Covenant should not be established with him, but Isaac. So Esau, and all the Strangers in Abraham's House, or bought with Mony in Israel, that were Circumcised, of whom it may as well be doubted whether the New Covenant-Promise did belong to them; therefore they mistake to say Circumcision was a Seal of the New -Covenant to Abraham's Seed, seeing some of them had it that were out of the Covenant by the express Word of God. Gen. 4.19, 20, 21, 25. Gal 4.29.

61.. Yet Christ may be said to baptize, when his Servants do it by his Commission.

62.. Consider, here is not a word of Baptism in this Scripture. Also the Greek word signifieth a Child capable of teaching, for 'tis the same word, where 'tis said, Timothy knew from a Child the Holy Scriptures, that is, since he was a Boy, not an Infant. So Piscator maintains it.

63.. See Mr. Cary of Baptism.

64.. God was a God unto Abraham and his Natural Seed, in giving them a literal Canaan: unto his Spiritual Seed a God, in giving them a Spiritual Canaan.

65.. Many Learned Men are against Infant-Baptism, the Donatists, Novations, Waldenses, Albigeneses, Ancient Britains, Christ and his Apostles. Humanum est errare.

66.. Luke 9.

67.. Is it lawful because not forbidden? It is therefore not lawful, because the Scripture doth not command it. Every Affirmative Command of Christ includes a Negative. Tertullian.

68.. Christianity is not hereditary, as the Son of a Freeman is free; for Isaac had an Esau, and Samuel Sons of Belial.

69.. ;anqropoj the Common Gender.

70.. 1 Tim. 2. 5.

71.. Gal. 3. 28.

72.. Acts 15. 10. This proves not Infants Disciples, neither that they ought to be baptized.

73.. Tho Circumcision be nothing, which is abolished; is Baptism nothing, which is called Righteousness, and the Counsel of God?

74.. Why should this be esteemed the loss of a Priviledg, more than not enjoying literally a holy Land, a holy City, Temple, or Succession of a High Priest and Priesthood by Generation?

75.. The Greek Preposition evn, is well translated by the Geneva.

76.. Maqhteusate Disciple all Nations; but that must be first by Preaching and Instructing them in the Principles of the Christian Faith. And addeth, I cannot be of their mind who think, that Persons may be baptized before taught. Pool's Synopsis on Mat. 28.

77.. A dreadful piece of Infant Baptism appeared, when the Heads of 6000 Infants were found murdered, and buried in a Warren near a Monastry. So superstitiously zealous were some in the 7th Century for Infant-Baptism, that a dead Child was taken from the Grave and Christened, its Father's Name given unto it.

78.. Danvers on Baptism, p. 204.

79.. Tho this Tradition be not written in ant Apostolical Book, yet it is of no less Authority with us than the Scripture. Bellarmine.

80.. Tradition ought to be proved by more than one Evidence, viz. Origen, whom all other Ages have condemned of Errors. Dr. Taylor. And whose Works are so spurious, that he that reads them, knows not whether he reads Origen or Ruffinus. Erasm.

81.. Who can show any Instance where Infants were accounted Members of the Church under the Gospel?

82.. John's Baptism is called, The Baptism of Repentance for Remission of Sins, because Christ preached Remission of Sins to the Penitent Believer. Piscator on Mark 1. 4.

83.. Should I say, Sir Walter Rawleigh was beheaded in Palace-Yard, and made an excellent Speech, none would understand that he spoke after he was dead, because Beheaded is first, and Speech after, &c. So tho John say I, baptized to Repentance, it could not be he baptized first, because he required Repentance and Faith, according to Christ's Commission, as necessary to Baptism.

84.. Acts 10. 44, to 48.

*.. Bullinger in his House-book faith, of 1 Cor. 1. 17. 'Tis not sightly to be understood, as if Paul was not sent to baptize at all, but that Teaching should go before Baptism, for the Lord commanded both Teaching, and Administring Sacraments.

85.. None are fit for Gospel-Ordinances, until they have the Spirit of God. Doth Cornelius and his House submit to Water-Baptism, after Baptized eminently with the Spirit? then that can be no Argument, we are Baptized, with the Spirit, and need no Water.

86.. Aivwno/j

87.. If Baptism ended in the Apostles Age, then preaching of Repentance, Faith, and Holiness ceased also, because all in the same Commission. Yea, the promise of Christ's presence must cease also in the end of that Age: a more uncomfortable Doctrine cannot be.

88.. Baptism of Infants, was not practised for near 300 Years after Christ; nor enjoined, as necessary, till 400 Years after Christ. Magdeburgh Hist. Cent. 5. p. 835

89.. Danvers on Baptism, p. 105, 106, 107, 108, 109.

90.. Persons Baptized in Infancy, are to be Baptized after they believe, which is not to be esteemed Rebaptism, but right Baptism, as Peter Bruce the great Waldensian Martyr.

*.. Some call it Opus operatum.

91.. Grotius saith, in his Annotations upon Matth. 19. The Synod of Neocesarea decreed, a Woman with Child might be Baptized, because it reached not the Fruit of the Womb, forasmuch as in Baptism each one's free choice is shewed.

92.. See Dr, Du Veil, on Acts 8.

93.. Danvers on Baptism, p. 113, 114.

94.. Mr. Baxter saith, Entring Covenant with God, is the essential point of Baptism; without it, it is not Baptism. Children cannot Covenant; Sureties neither by the Law of God, nor Nature ought not; Parents by the Canon Law must not.

95.. Dr. Barlow saith, In the Primitive Times, Persons were first Catecumini, then Illuminati or Baptizati. If Matter and Form be wanting, the Essence of the (Ordinance) is (wanting).

96.. Danvers, p. 204, 205, 206. Magd. Cent. 3. C. 6. p.126.

97.. Novatians and Dontatists against Infant-Baptism.

98.. Too many are very tenacious of this Argument now.

99.. Fifth Council of Carthage, in the Year 416.

100.. This is Janus Sacramentorum, say the Ancients.

101.. Faith the Foundation-Principle of Salvation; but Baptism the Foundation-Principle of Church-Constitution.

102.. One Act of sincere Obedience is more to God than if we could give him many Worlds. Psal. 50. 8, 14.

103.. In Edw, 4. and Hen. 8. many of those burnt under the Name of Lollards. Hence we read Mr. Fox of Lollards Tower.

#. Should be Thomas Wall. See the Errata on the Table of Contents page (Ed).

#. Should be Thomas Wall. See Errata on the Table of Contents page (Ed).

104.. Mat. 3. 15. (this reference is to Acts 13:10, Ed)

#. Should be Thomas Wall. See the Errata on the Table of Contents page (Ed).

#. The original text is illegible at the point (Ed.)