Imatges de pÓgina

saying Suffer little children to come to me (though he gave no order to haptize them) did baptize even newborn infants; and, as if they were transacting so ne secuJar bargain with God Alınighty, brought sponsors and bondsmen to be bound for them, that when they were grown up they should not depart from the Christian faith; which custon Tertullian did not like ; for · What need is there,' says he,' that the godfathers should be brought into danger?' &c. fand so he recites at large the place of Tertullian, which I produced above *, and then proceeds) :- Alost men thinking this opinion of Tertullian unsafe, were of St. Cyprian's mind, That even newborn children ought to be inade partakers of the laver of salvation; which was also pitched upon in the deeree of this synod, and so the doubt was taken away.”

In bis Annotations [150] on the other place of St. Cypriau t, he passes this ceasure upon the practice of those times : – “ They gave the sign of faith to a persou before he was capable of faith itself: they made the sign without the thing, to stand instead of the thing itself.”

The zealous Bishop of Oxford, who since wrote Annotations on the gaine father's works, and who generally treats Rigaltius with that respect which his great learning deserves .; yet, on this account, spares not to say, “ That he has in this matter acted the part, not of an annotator on Șt. Cyprian, but a prevaricator with him; and what he says, here is no other sort of stuff than what some fanatic of the Anabaptist crew would have said."

Indeed, it is a wonder that since he knew that which he would insinuate (that there was no baptisın of infants, in the apostles time) to be contrary to the sentiments of all the learned men in the world, he should so take it for granted on the ordinary pretences, without taking notice of what they say in answer; and that he should conclude, that, in the next century of years, which passed from the apostles' to Tertullian's time, it

* Part 1, ch. 4.

+ Lib. de Lapsis.

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This annotator is also partial in the account he gives of the writers of this century [100]; in that he mentions Tertullian, who wrote at the latter end of it, and gives his opinion against the ordinary practice of Pædo, baptism, without taking any notice of Irenæus, who wrote in the middle of it, and speaks of infants as being ordinarily baptized or regenerated ; or of Origen [67] who was contemporary with Tertullian, and wrote but a little after him; and who having travelled in all the noted churches then in the world [110] speaks of their baptism both as being generally practised, and also appointed by the apostles.

It is plain that the place on which he there comments, does shew that the baptism of infants was then looked on as undoubted, and not (as he would represent) that “ the doubt about it was then taken away, or solved [150]; for Fidus, who doubted whether they might be baptized before the eighth day, and St. Cyprian and his fellow-bishops, who resolved that doubt, had both of them taķen it for undoubted, that they are to be baptized in infancy t.

This partiality shewn by him for the Antipædobaptists side, makes one have the less opinion of his fidelity, in that alteration which he has made in their fa


* See the place, part 1, ch. 4.
+ See the place, part 1, ch. 6,

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vour, in the text of Tertullian's book of Baptism, in his edition thereof, which does much alter the sense, and of which I gave an account when I recited the place t. I, though I knew it was otherwise in Pamelius's edition, and that Pamelius testifies his edition to agree with Gaigneus's (who first published this book of Tertullian) in that place, yet was of opinion that so learned a man would not have altered the words without some good authority from the manuscripts ; and I set them down accordingly: but since he quotes no manuscripts to confirm that alteration ; and besides, shews himself otherwise to have such a bias, I do now think it were proper for learned men to examine better how much credit is to be given to that amendment, which makes Tertullian advise the delay of baptism absolutely, which, in the first, and some following editions, was expressed, except in case of necessity. P.S. And I find already that Mr. Stennet, a learned Antipædobaptist, is convinced that no credit is to be given to it; - for he quotes the place as it stood in the former editions : - Quid enim necesse, si non tam necesse, sponsores, &c. 'For what need is there, except

in case of necessity, that godfathers,' &c. in his answer to Mr. Russen, ch. 4, page 76.

There were no need of mentioning Bishop Taylor among these, were it not for some importunate Antipædobaptists, who cite him in this controversy against his will. He, in the times of the rebellion in England (when the Parliamentarians, though divided among themselves into several sects, did all join in oppressing those of the church of England) wrote a treatise, called The Liberty of Prophecying;” in which he pleaded that they, how earnest soever they were in maintaining the truth of their opinions, yet ought to grant a toleration to those that differed from them; because many other opinions had at least a probability, such as might well sway the conscience of a great many honest in. quirers after truth.

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Among the rest he undertook * to shew how much might be said for two sorts of Dissenters, the Antipædobaptists and the Papists, saying thus: “These two are the most troublesome, and the most disliked ; and by an account of these we may make a judgment what may be done towards others, whose errors are not apprehended of so deep malignity.'

In his plea for the Avtipædobaptists, though he there declares himselt well satisfied with the princi, ples of Pædobaptism, of which he gives a summary account; and says, " That he takes the other opinion to be an error; yet, under pretence of reciting what may be said for that error, he draws up so elaborate a system of arguments against ivfant baptism, and sets them forth to the utmost, by such advantage of style, that he is judged to have said more for the Antipædos baptists than they were ever before able to say for themselves; and Dr. Hammond † says, “ It is the most diligent collection, and the most exact scheme of the arguments against infant baptism that he had ever met with; and I that he has therein in such manner represented the arguments for and against it, that the laiter have seemed to many to be successful and victoriuus."

It is generally supposed that he did this with a politic intention (commonly practised by those of the church of Rome) to divide the adversaries of the church of England among themselves; and to that end put arguments into the mouths of one sect, in order to puzzle the others. A sort of prevaricating in the things of God, which few Protestants or sincere Christians will account justifiable on any account whatever; therefore, Dr. Hammond, who was too great a lover of sincerity to approve of such a method, quickly wrote an answer to this piece, solving each objection particularly s.

+ Six Queries on Infant Baptism, $49.

* Sect. 17, 18. * Ibid. § 139.

§ Ibid.

Afterward, Bishop Taylor himself, having premised that he was sorry if any one had been so weak as to be misled by such mean objections; and that he counted it great charity and condescension in Dr. Hammond to bestow an answer on them, wrote also his own answers to his own objections, and inserted them in a later edition of the said treatise; and in another treatise, called “The Consideration of the Church in baptizing the Children of Believers.' He does also, in his “Great Exemplar," and in his Ductor Dubitantium*, expressly declare his opinion, and affirm, that “it is necessary that infants be baptized ;" and reckons “ infant baptism, and the keeping the Lord's Day, among those things that are confirmed by this rule.”

Whatsoever the Catholic church has kept in all ages bygone, may rightly be believed to have de. scended from the apostles ; "which," he says, “is a good rule for rituals (among which he reckons baptism) though not for matter of doctrine." The reason of which distinction he had given before: t“ Because there is no doctrine so delivered but what is in Scripture ; indeed, some practices and rituals are ; - because the public exercises and usages of the church being united and notorious, public and acted, might make the rule evident as the light.

Notwithstanding all which, it is a common thing with the Antipædobaptists to cite the passages in that treatise of “ The Liberiy of Prophecy” that make for them, as if they had been spoken by the author from his own judgment, and had never been answered by hiin.

There is not much said either in the objections or answers about this point of antiquity; they being chiefly taken from Scripture. What he has is mostly from Grotius.

He objects, I“ That all arguments from tradition

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* Lib. 2, c. 3, R. 14, n. 41 ; also R. 18, n. 1. + Rule 14, n. 38.

* N. 25.

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