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ing Jews, who were superstitiously fond of circumcision, srad prejudiced against baptism, as an injurious innovation, are by the apostle persuaded to submit themselves to it, Acts u. 38, 39, assuring them that the fame promise, viz. 1 will be a God to tbtt, and to thy seed after thee, is now as effectually sealed to then 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 shall 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, babtizingthem, 6c 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, Gen. xvii, 23, 24. anfwerably as soon as any person by conversion, or public profession of faith become a visible child ef Abraham, that person was first baptized, and the whole houshold with him or her, Acts xvi. 15, 33. It is unreasonable to put us upon the proof, that there were infants in those houses; it being more than probable that in such frequent baptizing of housholds belonging to believers, there were some infants; but if there were none, '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 so many infants in thole housholds, they might and ought to have been baptized. How the true fense and scope of the two last mentioned scriptures are maintained and vindicated against Mr. Cary's corrupt glosses and interpretations, see my Vindiciae Legis et loederis, 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 Christ, and Afls 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 fact, but covenant^right For our adversaries themielves, if we go to matter of fact, will be hard ;-ut to it to produce.us one instance out of the New Tests tnent of any child of a believing Christian whose baptiim was deferred, or by Christ or his apostles ordered to be deferred, until he attained the years of maturity, and made a personal prosession of faith himself.
Thesis 7, The change of the token andseal of the covenant fa®
tifcmcijion to baptism, wi/lsy no means infer the change or diversity of the covenants, especially when the latter comes into the place, and serves to the fame use and end "with the former, as it is manifed baptism doth, from Col. ii. 11.12. as hath been, I think, Jujsiciently argued against Mr. Cary's glosses 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 fame 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 tpme a people I" And 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 unto thee,-and to thy feed after thee." This makes Abraham's covenant, sealed to him and his seed, as truly and properly the covenant of grace, as that which baptism now seals to believers and their feed. The rash ignorance of these 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 defenders 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.
I Resolved not to disturb my mind with your passionate provoking language, at least whilst I was busily employed in searching for reason and argument, (two scarce commodities) amongst heaps of vain and fulsome words: Nor will I now imitate your folly and rudeness, lest I become an offender, whilst I am to act the part of a reprover. When I read your title, A just Vol. IV. T t
andsober reply, and presently fell in among rude insults, filly e» vasions, and luch inartificial discourses as follow, in your book, 1 began to challenge you in my thoughts for matching such bad stuff with so fair and lovely a title: But a second thought quickiy corrected the former; for 1 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 sober, you had never been in free in your reproaches, and sparing in your arguments, as you have been. Is this the man, of whom it is (aid, in the Epistle to his Solemn Callt That his tines are free from refletlion and reproach, towards those of the persuasion he contends -with? Is this my old friendly neighbour? It calls to my mind the Italian proverb, God keep us from our friends, and we will do what we can to keep our/elves 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 improvement of your hatred.
I have been musing with myself, 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 discourses against your errors be, I am sore they are more full of civility, and respect to you, than such a reply as you have made deserves: And if, in exposing your errors, your reputation be exposed, you must blame them for occasioning it, and not me.
Sometimes I thought if an effect of your policy, that when followed close, and hard put to it, yOu endeavoured an elcape this way. Camero, speaking of this kind of sobtilty in his adversaries, faith, Faciunt quod quarundumfer arum ingenium est, as faetoreetgraveolentia, defetlaejam v'vribus, aqfratlae, venatorem abigunt. Some cunning animals, as foxes, isc. when pursued at the heels, drive away both dogs and huntsmen with their intolerable stench. And Hierqm, long ago, told Helvidius, his adversary, Arbitror ie veritate convitlum, ad maladicla eonvertit being vanquished by truth, he betook himself to ill language. After the same manner you act'here, being no longer able to defend yourself by solid and sober ratiocination, you trust to your faculty in crimination; bad causes only drive wen into such refuges.
Iu a word, I am fatisfied that nothing but your extravagant zeal for your idolized opinion, could have thrown you into such disingenuous methods, and artifices, as theie. The Ephefians were quiet enough, till their Diana began to totter. Your passionate outcries signify to me, something is touched to the quick, which you are more fondly in love with than you ought. When one told Luther what hideous outcries his enemies made against him, and how they reviled him in their books; / know by their roaring (faith he) that I have hit them
You tell me, in your reply, p, 24. That you perceive I have a mighty itch to findout 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 asfected 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 (aud yet jusljy) than I did: but friendship constrained me to handle them (because yours) as gently as I could.
I might have jusllycharged you from what you fay, p. 174, 175. of your Solemn Call, where you place all the believers on earth, without exception of any, under the covenant of works, as a ministration of death and condemnation, and the fevered penalties of a dreadful curse: I might thereupon have justly charged you for presenting to the world such a monstrous fight as was never seen before, since the creation, viz. a whole church, of condemned and cursed believers. This I might as well have charged upon your position, and done it no wrong.
I could tell you, from what you fay, p. 76. of your reply, That God doth indeed, in the covenant of .works, make over himself to sinners, to be their God in a way of special interest; but it being upon such hard terms, that it is utterly impossible, that 'way, to attain unto Use, &c. I could justly have told you, that these pasfages of yours drop pure nonsense upon the readers understanding; as if falvation were impossible to be attained by the fame covenant, wherein God becomes our God, and makes over himself,by way of special interest 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 fame subjects, viz. believers, may, at
V once, not only stand under them both, but that the seme conw
moo leal, viz. circumcision, equally ratifies, and confirms them both: For you allow, in your Call, p. 705. That it sealed the covenant of grace to believing Abraham, and yet was a seal of the covenant oj -works, yea, the very condition of that covenant, as yon frequently affiim it to be. Vide p. S1. of your Reply, and Passim.
I could as easily and justly have told you, That the most malicious Papist could scarcely have invented a more horrid reproach against our famous orthodox Protestant divines, than you (I dare not fay maliciously, but) ignorantly have done; when you charge such men, as Mr. Francis Roberts, Mr. Obadiah Sedgwick, and, indeed, all that assert 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 Christ unto life and falvation, in one and the same covenant: This is an intolerable abuse of yours, p. 5 of your Reply. They generally assert the law, in that complex sense and latitude you take it, to be a true covenant of grace, though more obfeutely administred; and that the distinction of the covenants into old and new, is no parallel distinction with that of works and grace, or Christ's and Adam's covenant. Your public recantation of the injury you have done the very Protestant cause herein, is your unquestionable duty, yet scarce a due reparation of the injury.
In a word, I cannot but look upon it as a discovery of your great weakness, That when you meet with such a difficulty as poses your understanding, and you cannot possibly reconcile with your notion; as that of Paul's circumcising Timothy, and you affirming that the very act of circumcision did, in its own nature, oblige al), on whom it passed, to the perfect observation of the law for righteousness, you will rather chuse to leave the blessed apostle in a contradiction to his own doctrine, than to your vain notion: For what do yon fay, p. 9c. of your Reply? That however the case stood, in that refpeil, this is certain, isc. 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 misplacing 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 nonsense, 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, Gea. xvii. 7, 8, o. What pitiful trifles are these, to raise such 3