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to which Mr. Cary (following Mr. Tombes) had wrested them.
These things premised, I Ihall only further add, that if Mr. Cary shall attempt a reply to my answer, and free his own the Jes from the gross absurdities with which I have loaded them, he must plainly and substantially prove against me,
(1.) That the Sinai law, according to its true scope and end, was promulgated by God for man's justification and happiness in the way of personal obedience; and that the Jews, that did accordingly endeavour after righteousness by the works of the law, did not mistake its true end and meaning; or if they did; and thereby made it what God never intended it to be, a covenant of works to themselves, that the Sinai law ought rather to be denominated from their mistake and abuse of it, than from its primary and proper use, and God's design in its promulgation.
(2.) He must prove against me, with like evidence of truth, that circumcision discovered no more of man's native corruption, nor any more of his remedy by Christ; nor sealed to any person whatsoever the righteousness of faith, than Adam's covenant in paradise did; and that it did in its own nature oblige all upon whom it paffed, to the same terms of obedience that Adam's covenant obliged him. And,
(3:) That there is not to be found in the new covenant any fuch act or duty of ours, as hath been described and limited as bove ; which is of a fufpending natute to the benefits thereini granted. And,
(4.) That the respective expositions he gives of the several texts to be explained and vindicated, are more congruous to the scope and grammar than mine are, and more agreeable to the current fenfe of orthodox expositors, and then he shall be sure to receive an answerable retütń from me; else it is but lan bour lost to write again.
Mr. PHILIP CAR Y's Solemn Call, dc.
HE book I have undertaken to animadvert briefly upon, bears the title of a folemn call, but I am not fo muck concerned with the folemnity, as I am with the authority of this call. Not how it is, but whose it is. If it be the call of God, it must be obeyed, though it be to part not only with the privileges, but lives of our dearest children, but then we had need to be very well affüred it is the call of God, else we are guilty at once of the highest folly; and bafest treacherý; to part with to rich an inheritance, conveyed by God's covenant with Abraham, to us believing Gentiles, and our feed, at Mr. Cary's call.
You direct your Solemn Call to all that would be owned as Chrif's faithful witnesses.
Here you are too obscure and general : do you mean; all that would be owned by you; or by Christ? If
you mean; that we must not expect to be owned by you till we rehounce infants baptism, you tell us no news, for you have long finice turned your back upon our ministry and assemblies : yet, methinks it is stranges that we who were lately owned as Christ's faithful witneffes under our late fufferings, must now be disowned by you, when we have liberty to amplify and confirm our teftimony in the peaceful improvement of our common liberty.
But if your meaning be, (as I strongly suspect it is) that we must not expect to be owned by Chrift, except we give up infants baptism; then, I say, it is the most uncharitable; as well as unwarrantable, and dangerous censure that ever dropt from the pen of a Tober Christian. It is certainly your great evil to lay Jalvation itself on such a point as the proper subject of baptism, and to make it articulus ftantis vel cadentis religionis; the very basis on which the whole Christian religion, and its profeffors falvation must stand. I hope the rest of your brethren are more charitable than yourself, but however it be, I do openly profess, that I ever have, and still do own you, and many more of your perfuafiori, for my brethren in Chrift, and am persuaded Chrift will own you too, notwithftanding your many errors and mistakes about the leffer and lower matters of religion. Nor need your cenfure much to affect us, as long as we are satisfied you have neither a faculty nor commiflion thus folemnly to pronounce it upon us.
But what is the condition upon which this dreadful sentence depends ? why, it is our attendance or non-attendarice to the primitive purity of the gospel-doctrine.
Sir, I hope we do attend it, and, in some respects; better than fome great pretenders to primitive purity, who have cast off not only the initiating sign of God's covenant, (this did not Abraham) but also that most comfortable and ancierit ordinatice VOL; VII.
of singing psalms ; and what other primitive ordinance of God may be cashiered next, who can tell ?
We have a witness in our bofom, that the defence of Christ's pure worship and institution hath cost us fomething and as for me, were I convinced by all that you have here said, or a. ny of your friends, that in baptizing the infants of believers, we did really depart from the primitive purity, I would renounce it, and turn Anabaptist the fame day.
But really, firs this discourse of yours hath very much convinced me of the weakness and sickliness of your cause, which is forced to feek a new foundation, and is here laid by you upon such a foundation as musi inevitably ruin it, if your party, as well as yourself, have but resolution enough to venture it thereupon.
And it appears to me very probable, that they intend to fight us upon the new ground you
have here chosen and marked out for them, by the high encomiums they give your book in their epistles to it, wherein they tell us, your notions are of so rare a nature, that you are not beholden to any other for them; and it is a wonder if you should, for I think it never entered into any føber Christian's head before you, that Abraham's covenant, Gen. xvii. was the
same with Adam's covenant made in paradife ; or that. Mofes, Abraham, and all the elect of God in those days were absolutely under the very rigour and tyranny of the covenant of works, and at the fame time under the covenant of grace; and all the blessings and privileges thereof; with many other such rare notions, of which it is, pity but you fhould have the sole propriety,
I am particularly concerned to detect your dangerous mistakes, both in love to your own soul, and care of my people'sg amongst whom you have dispersed them ; though I foresce by M. E's epistle to your book, what measure I am like to have for my plain and faithful dealing with you; for if that gentleman, upon a mere surmise and prefumption that one or other would oppose your book, dare adventure to call your unknown answerer, before he ever put pen to paper, a man-pleaser, a quarreller at reformation, and rank him with the Papists, which opposed the faithful for their non-conformity to their inventions; what muft I expect from such rafh cenfurers, for my sober, plain, and rational confutation of your errors?
As to the controversy betwixt us, you truly say in your title page, and many parts of your book, and your brethren comprobate it in their epistles, that the main arguments made ale of by the Peedo-baptifts, for the support of their practice,
are taken from the covenant of God with Abraham, Gen. xvii. You call this the very hinge of the controversy; and therefore if you can but prove this to be the very same covenant of works with that made with Adam in paradise, we shall then see what improvements you will quickly make of it.
Ay, fir, you are sensible of the advantage, no less than a com. plete victory you shall obtain by it; and therefore being a : more hardy and adventurous man than others, put desperately upon it, (which never any before you durst attempt) to prove Abraham's covenant, which stands fo much in the way of your cause, to be a mere covenant of works, and therefore now abolished.
My proper province is to discover here, that part of the foundation (I mean Abraham's covenant) whence our divines, with great strength and evidence, deduce the right of believers infants to baptism now. Next, to 'evince the absurdity of your affertions and arguments you bring to destroy it : And, lastly, to reflect briefly upon the answers you give in the beginning of your book, to those several texts of scripture pleaded by the learned and judicious divines you oppose, for the justification of infants baptifm.
(1.) Those that plead God's covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. as a fcripture-foundation for baptizing believers infants under the gospel, proceed generally upon these four grounds or principles.
(1.) That God's covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. was the same covenant for substance we Gentile believers are now under ; and they substantially prove it from Lukę i. from the 54th to the 14th verse ; which place evidently shews the fameness of the covenant of grace they were, and we are now un. der ; and from Matth. xxi. 41, 43. the same vineyard and kingdom the Jews then had, is now let out to us Gentiles ; and from Rom. xi. that the Gentile Christians are grafted into the same olive-tree, from which the Jews were broken off for their unbelief; and that the blessing of Abraham cometh now upon the Gentiles, Gal. iii. 8, 14, 16. And in a word, that the partition-wall betwixt them and us is now pulled down ; and that we, through faith, are let into the self-fame covenant, and all the privileges they then enjoyed, Eph. ii. 13.
(2.) They affert and prove, That in Abraham's covenant the infant-feed were taken in with their parents, and that in token thereof, they were to have the sign of the covenant applied to them, Cen. xvii. 9.
(3.) They affirm and prove, That the promise of God to Ag braham and his feed, with the privileges thereof to his children, do, for the substance of them, descend to believers now, and their feed, Acts ïi. 38, 39. and though the external sign, viz circumcifion, be changed, yet bapt¡fm takes its place un. der the gospel, Col. ii. 11, 12.
(4.) They constantly affirm, that none of those grants or privileges made to the infant-seed of Abraham's family, were ever repealed or revoked by Christ or his apostles, and there fore believers children are now in the rightful possession of them; and thắt therefore there needed no new command of promife: In Abraham's covenant we find our duty to Ggn our children with the sign of the covenant; and in Abraham's promise we find God's gracious grant to our children, as well as his; especially since the apostle directs us, in this very respect, to the covenant of God with Abraham, Acts ii. 38, 39
These, sir, are the principles on which we lay (as you fay), great stress, and which to this day you have never been able to Thake down; here therefore you attempt a new method to do ity by proving this covenant is' now abolished ; and this is your method, in which you promife yourself great succeess: Three things you pretend to prove ;
(1.) That the Sinai covenant, Exod. xx.
' Abraham's covenant, Gen. xvii. are no gospel:
come to hook in the Mosaic covenant into this controversy, is not very evident, unless you think it were eafy for you to prove that to be a covenant of works; and then Abraham's covenant, Gen. xvii. being an Old Testament covenant, were the more easily proved to be of the fame nature. I am obliged to examine your three positions above noted, and if I evidence to the world the fallity of them, the cause you manage is so far loft, and the right of belivers infants to baptism stands firm 'upon its old and süre foundation. I begin therefore with your
1. Position. That the covenant made with Ifrael, on mount Sinai, is the very fame covenant of works made with Adam in innocency, p. 122. and divers other places of your book, the very: fame.
Now, if I prove that this assertion of yours doth naturally and regularly draw many false and absurd consequents upon