Imatges de pÓgina
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tism. Mr. Walker shew's that he has abused every one of them, by affixing to some of them words that they never said; by adding to others, by altering and mistranslating others, and by curtajling the words of the rest. But what a trouble is this, to go upon such a man's errand from book to book, search the chapters (which he commonly names wrong) recites the words first as he quotes them, and then as they really are in the book! This cost Mr. Walker three large chapters*; and what would have it have been to answer the whole book, which is all of a piece! this is the book that is so much handed about among the Antipædobaptists of England.

But to go on to mention some more learned men of England that have wished for the restoration of the custom of dipping such infants as are in health. Sir Norton Knatchbull says thus : -7" With leave be it spoken, I am still of opinion that it would be more for the honour of the church, and for the peace and secu, rity of religion, if the old custom could conveniently be restored." Yet he there declares himself fully satisfied with the lawfulness of the other way, so far as that no body ought to doubt of its being true and full baptism. For avoiding the danger of cold, he thinks it advisable to restore another ancient custom also, of baptizing only at certain times of the year, except such infants as are like to die. But infants were, as I shewed before $, by that ancient custom excepted from any obligation to stay till those times; and Easter is in our climate no very warm season; and there is nothing commoner than for infants to die suddenly:

Mr. Walker has taken the most pains (I may say) of any man in the world, to shew. that baptism by pouring, or sprinkling, is true baptism, and valid; and that baptism so given ought not to be reiterated; and that all ages of the church have been of that opinion; and that the Antipædobaptists have no reason to separate on that account. And yet in the same book, he does

* Ch, 11, 12, 13, † Annot. on 1 Pet. iii. 20. Pt. 1. ch. 17,

in several places declare, that he thinks the other way more advisable for the ordinary use. In one of the chapters (ch. 11) which I mentioned, where he is vindicating the words of Mr. Dan. Rogers from the force which Mr. Danvers had put on them, and where he confesses of Mr. Rogers thus much:-“ Mr. Rogers was for retrieving the use of dipping, as witnessed to by antiquity, approved by Scripture, required by the church (as then it was, except in case of weakness) and symbolical with the things signified in baptism;" He adds bis own opinion in these words :-“Which I could wish as well and as heartily as he, in order to making of peace in the church, if that would do it." And in the next paragraph, “If I may speak my thoughts, I believe the ministers of the nation would be glad if the people would desire, or be but willing to have their infants dipped, after the ancient manner both in this and in other churches, and bring them to baptism in such a condition as that they might be totally dipped, without fear of being destroyed." And in the conclu- . sion of that book (pag. 293) he thus bespeaks the An. tipædobaptists :-"And as some learned persons, who have defended the lawfulness of sprinkling, have yet in some respects preferred dipping before it, so, though I blame your holding an indispensable necessity of it, | &c. yet, in order to the peace of the church by your reunion with it, and the saving of your souls, by rescuing you from under the guilt of schism, I could wish the practice of it retrieved into use again, so far as possibly might be consistent with decency of baptizing, and safety to the baptized.” He speaks often to the saine purpose in his Modest Plea.

Dr. lowerson, in his Explication of the Catechism, having recited the arguments for inimersion, says, “ How to take off the force of these arguments altogether, I mean not to consider, partly because our church seems to persuade such an immersion; and partly because I cannot but think the forementioned

* Of Baptism, p. 20, 21, 22.

arguments to be so far of force, as to evince the necessity thereof, where there is not some greater necessity to occasion an alteration of it. Dr. Whitby says,

*" It were to be wished that this custom (of immersion] might be again of general use; and aspersion only permitted, as of old, in case of the Clinici, and in present danger of death.”

These (and possibly many more) have openly declared their thoughts concerning the present custom; and abundance of others have so largely and industriously proved that a total immersion was, as Dr. Cave says, " the almost constant and universal custom of the primitive times,” that they have sufficiently intiinated their inclinations to be for it now; so that no man in this nation, who is dissatisfied with the other way, or does wish, or is but willing, that his child should be baptized by dipping, need in the least to doubt, but that any minister in this church would, ac. cording to the present direction of the Rubric, readily comply with his desire, and, as Mr. Walker says, be

glad of it.

As for the danger of the infants catching cold by dipping, Sir John Floyer has in a late book, I endeavoured to shew by reasons taken from the nature of our bodies, froin the rules of inedicine, from modern experience, and from ancient history, that washing, or dipping infants in cold water, is, generally speaking, not only safe, but very useful ; and that though no such religious rite as baptism had been instituted, yet reason and experience would have directed people to use cold bathing, both of themselves and their children; and that it has in all former ages so directed them : for (besides that the Jews by God's law, used it on many occasions, and the Christians made it the far most usual way of their baptism) he shews that all civilized nations, the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, &c. made frequent use of it, and gave great commenda

* Comment on Rom. vi. + Primitive Christianity, part. 1, ch. 10, # Of Cold Baths.

tions of it; and that Nature itself has taught this custom to many barbarous nations ; – the old Germans, Highlanders, Irish, Japanese, Tartars, and even the Sainoieds, who live in the coldest climate that is inhabited. : This learned physician gives a catalogue of diseases, for which it is good ; some of them, for which it is the best remedy that is known.' And he says, he cannot advise his countrymen to any better method for preservation of health than the cold regimen ; to dip all their children in baptism ; to wash them osten afterward, till three quarters of a year old ; to inure thein to cold air, drinking of water, few clothes ; to use them when boys, to bathing in rivers; when men, to cool baths, &c.

He prognosticates that the old modes in physic and religion will in time prevail, when people have had more experience in cold baths; and that the approbation of physicians would bring in the old use of immersion in baptisin. If it do so, one half of the dispute (which has caused a schism) between the Pædobaptists and Antipædobaptists will be over. There are more of the first who are brought by the arguments of the other to doubt of the validity of their baptism, for that they were not dipt at the receiving it, than there are for that they received it in infancy. Neither was there ever an Antipædobaptist in England, as I shewed in the last chapter, till this custom of sprinkling children, instead of dipping them in the ordinary baptisms, had for some time prevailed.

What has been said of this custom of pouring, or sprinkling water in the ordinary use of baptisın, is to be understood only in reference to these Western parts of Europe ; for it is used ordinarily nowhere else. The Greek Church, in all the branches of it, does still use inmersion; and they hardly count a child, except in case of sickness, well baptized without it; and so do all other Christians in the world, except the Lalins. That which I hinted before, is a rule that does not fail in any particular that I know of, viz. —

all those nations of Christians, that do now, or formerly did submit to the authority of the Bishop of Rome, do ordinarily baptize their infants, by pouring or sprinkling; and though the English received not this custoin till atter the decay of Popery, yet they have since received it from such neighbouring nations as had began it in the times of the Pope's power. But all other Christians in the world, who never owned the Pope's usurped power, do, and ever did, dip their infants in the ordinary use.

And if we take the division of the world from the three main parts of it; all the Christians in Asia, all in Africa, and about one third part of Europe, are of the last sort : in which third part of Europe are comprehended the Christians of Grecia, Thracia, Servia, Bulgaria, Rascia, Walachia, Moldavia, Russia, Nigra, &c. and even the Muscovites, who, if coldness of the country will excuse, might plead for a dispensation with the most reason of any. Dr. Crull gives this account of them : * “ The priest takes the child, stark naked, into his arms, and dips him three times into the water, &c. the water is never warmed over the fire, though the cold be ever so excessive ; but they put it sometimes in a warm place to take off a little of the cold.” If they warmed it more, I do not see where were the hurt. The Latins that staid behind at the Council of Florence, do determine fit to be indifferent whether baptism be administered in warm, or in cold water [1339]; and an Archbishop of Samos, who has wrote the History of that island, says, at p. 45, that they use hot (or warm) water.

We have no reason to think that the Muscovites do submit to this as to a hardship put upon them by the Christian religion; for they commonly, when they come sweating out of a hot stove, do suddenly throw themselves into cold water, and think it medicinal so to do, as the said doctor relates. And the neighbour nations

* State of Muscovy, vol. 1, c. 11. + Cap. de Unione Jacobinorum & Armenorum.

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