Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

which he is cited; but he says something from whence the other does draw it as a consequence; and then sets down that consequence, as if it were the author's own words ; or,

5. Quotations absolutely false.

First, Out of such books as are now discovered to be no true works of the authors whose name they bear, but forgeries of later years.

So there are quotations for infant baptism, taken out of the decretal epistles, which have been set out under the name of the most ancient bishops of Rome (730); but were, as I shewed before *, really forged long after that time. As for the spurious quotations that are of any tolerable credit for antiquity, I gave before some account of them f.

Secondly, Many that are produced are nothing to

the purpose.

As when the Antipædobaptists do fill their collections of this nature with passages out of the ancient fathers, that relate to the baptizing of adult persons. ** There is no Pædobaptist, but does grant that there are innumerable such places; for, in the first 300 or 400 years of Christianity (in which space of time it was that the greatest part of the Heathen world, being coue verted, came into the church) the baptisms of grown persons converted were more in number than the baptisms of the children of Christians; as it must needs be, since the apostles, at their death, left the world in such a state, as that there was probably a hundred Heathens left for one Christian, even in the Roman empire, where they spent most of their pains; but, at the end of 300 or 400 years, there were probably ten Christians for one Heathen. Now, in that space of time, there are recorded a greạt many sermons and other discourses, persuading people to come in and be baptized ; and in those discourses they instruct them in what is necessary thereto, as that they must first understand and believe the principles of the Chris

* Part i, ch. 1.

+ Part 1, ch. 23.

$

tian religion, and resolve to forsake their wicked courses and idolatrous worships; and commonly when they are upon this theme, they speak of baptism just as the Church of England does in the Catechism, that there is required of persons to be baptized, repentance and faith.

There are also extant many sermons made to the persons newly baptized, putting them in mind of their vow and covenant; and it is common for the Antipædobaptists to cite some passages out of such discourses, which, taken by them-' selves, look as if those authors were against infant baptism, and allowed it only to grown persons; but the contrary appears in that the same authors, in other places, when they speak of the case of infants, do shew their opinion and practice to have been otherwise; and that they looked upon that as a particular and excepted case ; for this sort of qıtotations is often made out of Chrysostom, Gregory Nazianzen, and even St. Austin bimself.

In short, they have in this matter dealt with those ancient authors just as they did lately with Mr. Baxter, who, being busy in writing something in defence of lofant Baptism, heard the hawkers cry under bis window *Baxter's Arguments for Believers' Baptism; being a pamphlet of collections taken out of some of Mr. Baxter's Works, wherein he, speaking of the terms of the baptismal covenant, had shewn the necessity of a justifying faith in order to baptism, though, in the same books, he had declared he spoke in reference to adult persons only. On which occasion Mr. Baxter says, “ The inen that cile authors at this rate, eite me against myself with the like confidence.”

Indeed, Mr. Tombs wrote a piece against Mr. Baxter, called Felo de se, or The Self-Destroyer; in which he endeavoured to shew, that though Mr. Baxter intended these proofs of the necessity of faith, only in the case of adult persons, yet “bis arguments prove more; and that the middle terms of his arguments do

* Baxter's More Proofs for Infant Baptism, page 414

4

QUOTATIONS IMPERTINENT. CH. 1. beat down his own tenet of infant baptism.” If the Antipædobaptists had dealt only thus in their quotations out of the antients; and had declared their purpose to be, to improve these sayings of the fathers to confute the opinion and practice of the said fathers themselves, none could deny them the liberty of making their best of such a course ; and they ..ay, if they think fit, indict the fathers of being felones de se; but it is common with them to cite such passages as evidences that the authors were against infant baptism; or that there was no baptism of infants practised in those ages or those churches, hecause they find such passages concerning the baptizing of grown persons, and concerning the qualifications required in them.

Such places as these I have left out, inasmuch as they only prove that there were frequent baptisms of adult persons in those times, which nobody denies ; yet I shall here set down for instance two of them, which do in appearance, the most of any that I have met with, make for the purpose of the Antipædobaptists.

Basil, contra Eunomium, lib. 3. [270.] Πιστεύσαι γαρ δει πρότερον είτα τω βαπτίσματι επισφρα

γίσαθαι. .

· For one must believe first, and then be sealed with baptism.'

Hieronym. in Matt. xxviji. [278.] “ Primum docent omnes gentes, deinde doctas intinguunt aquâ ; non enim potest fieri ut corpus recipiat baptismi sacramentum, nisi antè anima susceperit fidei veritatem."

They first teach all the nations, then when they are taught they baptize them with water ; for it cannot be that the body should receive the sacrament of baptism, unless the soul have before received the true faith.

[ocr errors]

St. Hierom here, commenting on the commission given by our Saviour to the apostles * of carrying the gospel to the nations that were Heathen, explains the method they were to use, viz. first, To teach those nations the Christian religion, and then to baptize them; wbich all Pædobaptists grant to be the method that ought ever to be used ; for if there be any nation of Indians to be converted now-a-days, they use the same ; and yet when they have converted and baptized the parents, they do also, at the parents desire, baptize wliat children they have ; and it is of such Heathen people or nations that St. Hierom here speaks that their minds must be instructed before their bodies be baptized.

St. Basil is there proving against the heretic Eunomius, the divinity of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, by this argument, that we are baptized in the name of them as well as of the Father; and, consequently, are to believe in them; for that baptism supposes faith in that Deity in whose name the baptism is; and apply, ing this to the case of one that learns the faith of the Christians, shews that he must be taught to believe in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (viz. that each of these persons is God) or else ought not to be baptized with those words ; and that, consequently, the Eunomnians did in effect renounce their baptism by renouncing this faith. As there was no dispute between the Catholics and Eunomnians about infant baptism, – so St. Basil will

appear to any one that reads him, not to have had any thought, pro or contra, at that place about it.

It happens very unluckily, for the purpose of those that produce these sayings, that both of these fathers are known by other passages to have owned infant baptism; as I have shewn plainly in the First Part of this work t:

Thirdly, Some quotations that are brought, are wrested and altered by those that bring them to an

[ocr errors]

Matt. xxviii. 19.

+ Chap. xii, xv, xix.

6

QUOTATIONS ALTERET, &c. CH. 1. other 'sense than that which they carry in the authors themselves.

As for example [154]: - Danvers * cites, out of Eusebius t, that Dionysius Alexandrinus, writing 10 Sextus, Bishop of Rome, testifies, " That it was their custom to baptize upon profession of faith ; and that one, who had been baptized by heretics, not upon profession of faith, did desire to be so baptized, accounting his former for no baptism.”

This, as it is here by Mr. Danvers brought in and worded, would seem to be an instance of a man that, having been baptized in infancy, desired now to be baptized again; but that which Dionysius does there write, is in these words, and no other 3:

“ The man being present when some were baptized, and hearing the interrogatories and answers, came to me weeping, and falling down at my feet, confessed and declared that the baptism wherewith he had been baptized by the heretics, was not tisis (or this sort of) baptism, nor had any likeness to this of ours; but was full of impieties and blasphemies. He said he was sore troubled in conscience, and durst not presume to lift up

his eyes to God, for that he was baptized with those profane words and ceremonies.”

Now, this is clearly the case of a man that had been baptized by the Valentinians, or some such heretics, who, as Irenæus tells us S, did not baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; but with strange and profane forms of words which he there recites, and some of which I do hereafter || recite. All which is nothing relating to the case of infant baptism; and he that compares the words will observe how foully they are quoted.

Fourthly, Some quotations are yet more unfair; as, when the author cited does not say that for which he is cited; but he says something from whence the other.

[ocr errors]

* Treatise of Baptism, p. 50, second edit. + Pr. E. lib. 7, c.

# Apud Eusebium loc. citat, & Lib. 1, c. 18.

|| Chap. 5,

« AnteriorContinua »