Imatges de pÓgina

believing in nothing but the human nature of Jesus Christ, and holding it unlawful to pray to him; wherein they surpass the impiety of Socinus himself. These hold a general assembly twice a year at Rhinsburg, where it is said they observe this order, that he that comes first distributes the communion to all the assistants; for they have no regard to the ordination of ministers.

Others of the Minnists are Arians; of which opinion one Galenus, now living in Amsterdam, is said to be the chief patron; and so these are by some called Galenists ; -and, generally speaking, the Minnists,

, though they do not all profess these opinions derogatory to our Saviour's divinity, yet do refuse the words Trinity, Person, &c. and such other words concerning the nature of God as are not in Scripture, but are used by the church to express the sense thereof.

The frst Socinians that were in Holland (for there were some few before the year I spoke of) had, as Socinus himself had, but a slender opinion of infant baptism, yet did not absolutely refuse it; for at the Synod of Dort, anno 1618 [1518], " was read the confession of the two brothers, John and Peter Geysteran, remonstrant ministers, and was rejected by all with detestation; for it appeared that they, under the name of Remonstrants, and under pretence of the five articles, did maintain the horrid and execrable blasphemies of Socinus and the Anabaptists.” So say the acts of the Synod * But all that their confession says of baptism,

. is, " That infants are baptized, not by any posivive command of God, but to avoid scandal;"and that “they value the baptism of the adults more than that of infants.”

In England there were now and then some Dutch men found of the Antipædobaptist opinion, ever since the time it had taken foot in Holland ; but none of the English nation are known to have embraced it in a long time after. Danvers, indeed, would find some of this


* Acta Synod. Dordrecht. Sess. 138,

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opinion in England even before those of Munster(1328]; he would persuade * that the Lollards held it; but they held nothing but what I mentioned before (ch. 6) That infants, dying unbaptized, may yet be saved, as I shewed then, and appears more fully by Fox t.

In the year 1533 [1433], 25th of Henry VIII. John Frith (who was martyred that year) wrote a short tract, which he calls a Déclaration of Baptism ; it is published with his other works, Lond. 1573); in it be takes notice of the Antipædobaptist opinion, as then lately risen in the world (it was about eleven years standing in Germany, and was but lately got into Holland ; for this was a year before the 'outrage and dispersion at Munster). What he says of it is this :-“ Now is there an opinion risen among certain, which affirm that children may not be baptized until they come unto a perfect age, and that because they have no faith; but verily, methinks, that they are far from the meekness of Christ and his Spirit, which, when children weré brought unto him, received them lovingly,” &c. And after a short discourse, he breaks off from that point thus : -“But this matter will I pass over ; for I trust the English (unto whom I write this) have no such opinions.” And that the English Lollards had been all along free from any such opinion, is evident from a very

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ancient tract of theirs, which they presented to the parliament, which is recited by one Dinmock, who writes an answer to it, and dedicates that answer to King Richard II. which must be about or before, the year 1990. This tract is brought to light from some ancient manuscripts at Cambridge, by the learned Dr. Allix, at the end of his Remarks on the History of the. Churches of the Albigenses. In it the Lollards, complaining of Popish abuşes, reckon this for one: The forbidding of marriage, and keeping men from women; from whence did follow effects worse than those of fornication itself committed with women; for, they say,

* Treat. part 2, c. 7, pag. 303, 304.
+ In Henry VII. pag. 608.

though" slaying of children ere they be christened be full sinful, yet Sodomy was worse.”

The convocation anno 1536 (1436) do take notice of the Antipædobapists' opinions, of which they must have heard from Holland and Germany (the Munster business having been two years before) and do pass some decrees against them; the rather, because some people in England began to speak very irreverently and mockingly about some of the ceremonies of baptism then

in use.



The lower house of convocation sent to the upper house a protestation, containing a catalogue of some errors and some profane sayings that began to be handed about among some people, craving the concurrence of the upper house in condemning them. Some of them are these :

17. “That it is as lawful to christen a child in a tub of water at home, or in a ditch by the way, as in a fontstone in the church."

I think it may probably be concluded from their expressions, that the ordinary way of baptizing at this time in England, whether in the church or out of it, was by putting the child into the water. · 18. " That the water in the font-stone is only a thing conjured.”

10. “That the hallowed oil is no better than the Bishop of Rome's grease or butter.”

63. " That the holy water is more savoury to make sauce with than other water, because it is mixed with salt, which is also a very good medicine for a horse with a galled back; and if there be put an onion thereto, it is a good sauce for a gibbet of inutton."

But there is none of all these foolish sayings that refects any thing on infant baptism; yet the king and convocation [1436] (apprehensive, I suppose, of what might be) setting forth several articles about religion, to be diligently preached for keeping people steady in in it, have these about baptism :

* Puller's Church History, lib. 5, § 4.


1. " That the sacrament of baptism was instituted and ordained in the New Testament by our Saviour Jesus Christ, as a thing necessary for the attaining of everlasting life, according to the saying of Christ. Nisi quis renatus fuerit, &c. Unless one be born of water," &c.

2. “That it is offered unto all men, as well infants as such as have the use of reason, that by baptism they shall have remission of sins," &c.

3. “ That the promise of grace and everlasting life, which promise is adjoined to the sacrament of baptism, pertaineth not only to such as have the use of reason, but also to infants, &c. ... they are made thereby the very sons and children of God; insomuch as children dying in their infancy, shall undoubtedly be saved thereby; otherwise not.

4. “ Infants must needs be christened, because they be born in original sin; which sin must needs be remitted; which cannot be done but by the grace of baptism, whereby they receive the Holy Ghost, wnich exercises his grace and efficacy in them, and cleanses and purifies then, from sin by his most secret virtue and operation." : 5.“ That they ought to repute and take all the Anabaptists and Pelagians' opinions contrary to the premises, and every other man's opinion agreeable, unto the said Anabaptists and Pelagians' opinions in this behalf, for detestable heresies, and utterly to be. condemned.,"

These precautions shew, if there were at this time in England no doctrines held by any against infant baptisin, yet that they feared lest such should be brought over bither; and two years after, anno 1538 [1438] Fuller * recites out of Stow; That“ four Anabaptists, three men and one woman, all Dutch, bore faggots at Paul's Cross; and that three days after, a man and woman of their sect was burnt in Smithfield;" and says,

* Fuller's Church History, lib. 5, $ 5.


the name of this sect first appears in our English Chronicles.”

But Fox had spoke of some two or three years before; for, taking notice of the influence that Queen Anne Boleyn had over Henry VIII. he observes, * that

during her time, we read of no great persecution, nor any abjuration to have been in the Church of England, save only that the registers of London make mention of certain Dutchmen counted for Anabaptists, of whom ten were put to death in sundry places of the realm, anno 1535 (1435); the other ten repented, and were saved.” This inust have been the year before the said convocation.

The Bishop of Salisbury (History of the Reformation, part 1, lib. 3, p. 195) mentions these; but not under the name of Anabaptists ; he says, that in May this year (1535) “ Nineteen Hollanders were accused of some heretical opinions:"--- Denying Christ to be both

. 'God and man, or that he took flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary; or that the sacraments had any effect on

those that received them:-“ in which opinions fourteen of them remained obstinate, and were burnt by pairs in several places.” Here is nothing peculiarly about infant baptism; but the circumstance of time, May 1535, leads one to think, that there were some of them that were to have made a part in the insurrection at Amsterdam ; for the author of an English pamphlet, written 1647, called A short History of the Anabaptists (who has made a good collection out of Sleidan, Ilortensius, &c.) says, “That many Dutchmen from several parts, who had been appointed to assist John Geles in the surprize of Amsterdam before-mentioned, hearing the ill success, fled into England in two ships." Now, that insurrection was in this very month ;

” and that author reckons those two ship-loads to be the first seminary of Dutch Antipædobaptists in England; but however that was, there were no English among them.

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* Martyrol. pag. 956, ed. 2.

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