« PreviousContinue »
ing Jews, who were superstitiously fond of circumcision, and prejudiced against baptism, as an injurious innovation, are by the apostle persuaded to submit themselves to it, Acts üi. 38, 39, assuring them that the same promise, viz. I will be a God te thee, and to thy feed after thee, is now as effectually lealed to them and their children by baptism, as it was in the former age by circumcision: And that the Gentiles, which are yet afar off, whenever God thall call them, shall equally enjoy the same privilege, both for themselves and for their children also.
We also find a commission given by Christ to the disciples, Mat. xxviii. 19, 20. To disciple all nations, babtizing them, &c. from which discipleship, infants ought not to be excluded, Acts xv. 10. Yea, we find, that as at the institution of circumcision, Abraham, the father and master of the family, was first circumcised in his own person, and then his whole houshold, Geo. xvii, 23, 24. answerably as soon as any person by converfion, or public profession of faith become a visible child of Abraham, that person was first baptized, and the whole houshold with him or her, Acts xvi. 15, 33. It is uarealopable to put us upon the proof, that there were infants in those houies ; it being more than probable that in such frequent baptizing of housholds belonging to believers, there were some infants, but if there were done, 'tis enough for us to prove from their foederal holiness, 1 Cor. vii. 14. And the extent of God's promises to them, Acts ii. 38, 39. if there had never been fo
many in fants in those housholds, they might and ought to have been baptized. How the true sense and scope of the two last mentioned scriptures are maintained and vindicated against Mr. Cary's corrupt glosses and interpretations, fee my Vindiciae Legis et Foederis, p. 90, 91. We do not lay the stress of infants baptism upon such strictures as the baptizings of the housholds of believers, or Christ's taking up in his arms, and blessing the little ones that were brought to him. These and many other such things found in the history of Chrif, and Aals of the apostles, have their use and service to fortify that doctrine. But if we can produce no example of any believer's infant baptized, the merit of the cause lies not in the matter of fa&, but covenant-right. For our adversaries themselves, if we go to matter of fact, will be hard put to it to produce us one in itaoce out of the New Testament of any child of a believing Christian whofe baptism was deferred, or by Christ or his apostles ordered to be deferred, until he attained the years of maturity, and made a personal profession of faith himself.
Thesis 7. The change of the token and seal of the covenant from
circmcision to baptism, will by no means infer the change or diverfity of the covenants, especially when the latter comes into the place, and serves to the same use and end with the former, as it is manifest baptism doth, from Col. ii. 11. 12. as hath been, I think, Jufficiently argued against Mr. Cary's glofjes and exceptions, pag.
100, 101. of my Vindiciae Legis et Foederis. The covenant is still the fame covenant of grace, though the external initiating sign be changed. For what is the substantial part of the covenant of grace now, but the same it was to Abraham and his feed before? Is not this our covenant of grace, Heb. viii. 10. “ I will be to " them a God, and they shall be to me a people ?” Aod in what words was Abraham's covenant expressed, Gen. xvii. 7. “ I will " establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy feed " after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to “ be a God up to thee, and to thy feed after thee.” This makes Abraham's covenant, sealed to him and his feed, as truly and properly the covenant of grace, as that which baptism now seals to believers and their feed. The rash ignorance of those that affirm, God may become a people's God in the way of a special interest, by virtue of the broken and abolished covenant of works, rather deserves sharp reprehension, and fad lamentation, than a confutation; which, nevertheless out of respect to my friend Mr. Cary, I have given it in its proper place in this rejoinder.
I hope by this time I have made it evident, that the detenders of infants baptism, as it is established upon God's covenant with Abraham; Gen xvii. have not so mistaken their ground, as Mr. Cary hath, by his endeavours to carry that covenant, as an Adam's covenant of works, through such a multitude of other errors and absurdities, as he draws along with it in his way of reasoning.
* * * * * *
* * * * *
* * *
A POSTSCRIPT to MR. CARY.
voking language, at least whilft I was busily employed in searching for reason and argument, (two scarce commodities) amongst heaps of vain and fulsome words : Nor will I now imifate your folly and rudeness, lest I become an offender, whilft I am to act the part of a reprover. When I read your title, Ajust VOL. IV.
and sober reply, and presently fell in among rude insults, filly vasions, and such inartificial discourses as follow, in your book, I began to challenge you in my thoughts for matching fuch bad tuff with fo fair and lovely a title : But a second thought quickiy corrected the former ; for I considered, no man living could justly forbid the marriage betwixt your book and its title, since there is not the least kindred, or relation, between them.
Had your answers been just, you would have observed the rules of a respondent, which you have not done ; and if they had been fober, you had never been so free in your reproaches, and sparing in your arguments, as you have been. Is this the man, of whom it is said, in the Epistle to his Solemn Cally That his lines are free from reflection and reproacb, towards those of the perfuafion he contends with? Is this my old friendly Deighbonr? It calls to my mind the Italian proverb, God keep us from our friends, and we will do what we can to keep ourselves from our enemies. And though you act the part of an enemy, , you shall be my friend, whether you will or not. If you will be my friend out of love, I will make you so by a good improve ment of your hatred.
I have been mugag with myfelf, what might be the true cause of all your rage against my book; one while I thought it proceeded from want of discretion, that you were not able to distinguish betwixt an adversary in a controversy, and an adversary to the person ; but thought every blow that was given to your error, must needs be a mortal wound to your reputation. But, Sir, how close, and smart soever my discourfes against your er rors be, I am sure they are more full of civility, and respect to you, than such a reply as you have made deserves : And if, in cxposing your errors, your reputation be exposed, you most blame them for occafioning it, and not me.
Sometimes I thought it an effect of your policy, that when followed close, and hard put to it, you endeavoured an escape this way. Camero, speaking of this kind of subtilty in his adversaries, faith, Faciunt quod quarundum ferarúm ingenium eft, ut faetore et graveolentia, defefiae
jam viribus, acfractae, venatorem abigunt. Some cunning animals, as foxes, &c. when pursued at the heels, drive away both dogs and huntsmen with their intoJerable Itench. 'And Hierom, long ago, told Helvidius, his adversary, Arbitror te veritate convictum, ad maladieta converti ; being vanquished by truth, he betook himself to ill language. After the fame manner you act here, being no longer able to defend yourself by folid and fober ratiocination, you trust to your
faculty in crimination ; bad causes only drive men into such refuges.
lu a word, I am fatisfied that nothing but your extravagant zeal for your idolized opinion, could have thrown you into such di. fingenuous methods, and artifices, as these. The Ephesians were quiet enough, till their Diana began to totter. Your passionate outcries fignify to me, fomething is touched to the quick, which you are more foodly in love with than you ought. When one told Luther what hideous outcries his e nemies made against him, and how they reviled him in their books; I know by their roaring (faith he) that I have hit them right.
You tell me, in your reply, p. 24. That you perceive I have a mighty itch to find out your absurdities. I wish, Sir, you were no more troubled with the itch after them, than I am after the discovery of them. Had I affected such employments, I could easily have gathered three to one out of your book, more than I did ; and have represented those I gathered, much more odiously (and yet justjy) than I did: but friendship constrained me to handle them (because yours) as gently as I could.
I might have justlycharged you from what you say, p. 174, 175. of your Solemo Call, where you place all the believers on earth, without exception of any, under the covenant of works, as a miniftration of death and condemnation, and the severelt pepalcies of a dreadful curse: I might thereupon have justly charged you for presenting to the world such a monstrous sight as was never feen before, since the creation, viz, a whole church of condemned and corsed believers. This I might as well have charged upon your position, and done it no wrong.
I could tell you, from what you say, p. 76. of your reply, That God doth indeed, in the covenant of works, make over himSelf to finners, to be their God in a way of special interest ; but it being upon such hard terms, that it is utterly impoffible, that way, to attain unto life, &c. I could justly have told you, that these passages of yours drop pure nonsense upon the readers understanding; as if falvation were impoffible to be attained by the same covenant, wherein God becomes our God, and makes over himself by way of special io terest to us.
Had I had an itch to expose the burlesque, and ridiculous stuff which lies obvious enough in your book, I should then have told your reader, That according to your doctrine, how opposite and inconsistent soever the two covenants of works and grace are, yet the faine subjects, viz. believers, may, at
once, not only stand under them both, but that the same com mon feal, viz. circumcision, equally ratifies, and confirms them both : For you allow, in your Cail, p. 205. That it sealed the covenant of grace to believing Abraham, and yet was a feal of the covenant of works, yea, the very condition of that covenant, as you frequently affirm it to be. Vide p. 81. of your Reply, and Pallim.
I could as easily and justly have told you, That the most malicious Papift could scarcely have invented a more horrid reproach against our famous orthodox Protestant divines, than you (I dare not say maliciously, but) ignorantly have dope; when you charge fuch men, as Mr. Francis Roberts, Mr. Obadiah Sedgwick, and, indeed, all that affert the law, complexly taken, to be an obscurer covenant of grace; that they comprise perfect doing with the consequent curse for nonperformance, and believing in Chrift upto life and falvation, jo one and the same covenant: This is an intolerable abuse of yours, p. 5 of your Reply. They generally affert the law, jo that complex fenfe and latitude you take it, to be a true covenant of grace, though more obscurely administred ; and that the distinction of the covenants into old and new, is no parallel distioction with that of works and grace, or Christ's and Adam's covenant. Your public recaptation of the injury you have done the very Protestant cause herein, is your unquestionable duty, get scarce a due reparation of the injury.
Io a word, I cannot but look upon it as a discovery of your great weakness, That when you meet with such a difficulty as pofes your understanding, and you cannot possibly reconcile with your notion; as that of Panl's circumcifiog Timothy, and you affirming that the very act of circumcifion did, in its owo Dature, oblige all, oo whom it passed, to the perfect obfervation of the law for righteousness, you will rather chuse to leave the blessed apostle in a contradiction to his own doctripe, than to your vain notion : For what do you say, p. 95. of your Reply? That however the case flood, in that respect, this is certain, &c. It also argues weakness in you, to insist upon, aggravate, jeer, and reproach at that rate you do, p. 38. of your Reply, for the mistake, and mitplacing of one figure, viz. Gen. xii. for Gen. xvii. as if the merit of the whole cause depended on it. The like I may fay of your charging me with nonfenfe, for putting Gen. xvii
. 7, 8. for Gen. xvii. 9, 10, when yet yourself, p. 205. of your Call, tell us, That circumcision was appointed as a sign, or token of the covenant, Geg. xvii. 7, 8, 9. What pitiful trifles are these, to raise such a