Page images
PDF
EPUB

As to the endangering of health by immersion, I referred the reader to Sir John Floyer's History of Cold-bathing. Mr M. insinuates that I have misrepresented him. I only intimate to the reader, that Sir John gives a relation of several cures performed by cold-bathing : And I could easily fill up several pages with a catalogue of diseases for which he says it is useful, together with instances of cures performed by it. He asks, “Why I do not inform my reader in how

many cases Sir J. F. and Dr B. thought cold-bathing inconvenient and dan“ gerous ?” I could, indeed, soon acquaint the reader, that Sir John Floyer though it not proper to be used when persons were hot and sweating, nor after excessive eating or drinking; as also, that they should not stay in it too long, until they were chilled; and that if any danger came by it, it was usually in such cases : But this will do his cause no service, nor affect ours. I could also have cold my reader, that he thinks cold-bathing to be useful in Consumptions, Catarrhs, &c. the cases which Mr M. instances in ; who cites Dr Cheyne's Esay on Health, p. 108. where the Doctor says, “that Cold-bathing should never be “ used under a fit of a chronical distemper, with a quick pulse, or with a head

ach, or by chose that have weak lungs.” But why does he not acquaint his reader that the Doctor in the very fame paragraph, says,

" that cold-bathing “ is of great advantage to health-It proinotes perspiration, enlarges the circu

lation, and prevents the danger of catching cold.” So that every body will easily see, as all experience testifies, that there is no force in the argument, taken from the endangering of health by immersion. By this time the reader will be capable of judging whether Mr Gill is fairly answered or no, as Mr M. has exprefed in his title-page; though it would have been as well to have left it for another to have made the remark, and so took the advice of the wise man, Let another praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips': But before I conclude, I shall take liberty to ask Mr M. four or five questions.

1. Why does he not tell the world who that fervant of Christ is, whose words he uses ; he says, I am mistaken in saying that they are the words of Russen; but I still aver, that they are used by him ; but whether Rufen took them from his servant of Christ, or his servant of Christ from Rusen, I cannot tell; for that two men, without the knowledge of one another's words, should fall into the same odd, and aukward way of speaking, and commit the very same blunders, is not reasonable to suppose; but however, let him be who he will, Mr Stennett's reply to Rullen, which I have transcribed, fully detects the sin and folly of those indecent expressions. As to what Mr M. says, p. 44. “ that “ he is very willing that both Stennett and Russen should lie dormant;" I beVOL. II. LL

lieve

• Proverbs xxvij. 2.

lieve it, for as the latter will never be of any service to his cause, so the former would give a confiderable blow to it, was his book more diligently perused.

2. What does he mean by the word of the Lord, he so often mentions, when speaking of the sense of the Greek word ? Does he mean the original text of the New Testament? That uses a word in the account it gives of this ordinance, which, as has been made appear, always signifies to dip or plunge. Or, by the word of the Lord, does he mean our tranNation; which uses the word baptize, thereby leaving the sense of the Greek word undetermined, had not the circumstances, attending the accounts we have of the administration of this ordinance, sufficiently explained it; as will clearly appear to every one who considers them: Had this rendered it dip, as some other versions have done, none, one would think, would have been at a loss about the right mode of administering this ordinance ; though in Holland, where they use no other word but dipping to express baptism by, yet they nevertheless use sprinkling; nay, as I am informed, the minister when he only sprinkles or pours water upon the face of the infant, says, “ I dip thee in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the “ holy Ghost.” Such a force have prejudice and custom on the minds of men, that it puts them on doing what is contrary to the plain and manifest sense of words.

3. Why has he dropt his new.found name of Plungers, which he seemed to be so fond of in his former performance, and thought so exceeding proper for us, and revived the old name of Anabaptifts? which we cannot be, neither according to his principles, nor our own; not according to ours, because we deny pouring or sprinkling to be baptism ; not according to his, because he denies dipping or plunging to be baptism.

4. Why are Dr Owen's arguments for Infants-baptism published at the end of his book ? How impertinent is this? When the controversy between us, is not about the subjects, but the mode of baptism: Perhaps his bookseller did this, seeing Mr M. says nothing of them himself, nor recommends them to others; but if he thinks fit to shew his talent in this part of the controversy, he may expect attendance thereto, if what he shall offer deserves it.

5. Why has he not defended his wife reasons for mixt communion, and made fome learned strictures upon those arguments of mine, which he has been pleased to call frivolous, without making any further reply to them? He has very much disappointed many of his friends, who promised both me and themselves an answer, to that part of my book especially ; but perhaps a more elaborate performance may be expected from him, upon that subject, or some other learned hand. However, at present, I shall take my leave of him; but pot with Prov. xxvi. 4. which he has been alhamed to transcribe at length, left

his

his readers should compare the beginning and end of his book together; whereby they would discover, how much he deserves the character of a Gentleman, a Scho- Jar, or a Christian ; as also, how well this suits the whining infinuations, with which he begins his performance. I shall add no more, but conclude with the 'words of Job, Teach me, and I will hold my longue ; and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. How forcible are right words ? But what doth your arguing reprove ?

[blocks in formation]

A brief Illustration and Confirmation of the Divine Right of Infant-Baptism.

[blocks in formation]

The Introduction, observing the Author, Title, method and occasion of

writing the Pamphlet under consideration.

MANY being converted under the ministry of the word in New-England,

and enlightened into the ordinance of believers baptism, whereby the churches of the Baptist persuasion at Boston and in that country have been much increased, has alarmed the pædobaptist ministers of that colony ; who have applied to one Mr Dickenson, a country minister, who, as my correspondent informs me, has wrote with some success against the Arminians, to write in favour of infant sprinkling; which application he thought fit to attend unto, and accordingly wrote a pamphlet on that subject; which has been printed in several places,

and

L L 2

and several thousands have been published, and great pains have been taken to spread them about, in order to hinder the growth of the Baptist interest. This performance has been transmitted to me, with a request to take some notice of it by way of reply, which I have undertook to do.

The running title of the pamphlet, is The Divine Right of Infant-Baptism; but if it is of divine right, it is of God; and if it is of God, if iç is according to his mind, and is instituted and appointed by him, it must be notified somewhere or other in his word ; wherefore che scriptures must be searched into, to see whether it is so, or no: and upon the most diligent search that can be made, it will be found that there is not the least mention of it in them; that there is no precept enjoining it, or directing to the observation of it; nor any instance, example, or precedent encouraging such a practice ; nor any thing there said or done, that gives any reason to believe it is the will of God that such a rite should be observed; wherefore it will appear to be entirely an human invention, and as such to be rejected. The title-page of this work promises an Illustration and Confirmation of the said divine right; but if there is no such thing, as it is certain there is not, the author must have a very difficult task to illustrate and confirm it; how far he has succeeded in this undertaking, will be the subject of our following inquiry.

The writer of the pamphlet under consideration has chose to put his thoughts together on this subject, in the form of a dialogue between a minister and one of his pariskioners, or neighbours. Every man, that engages in a controversy, may write in what form and method he will; but a by-stander will be ready to conclude, that such a way of writing is chose, that he may have the opportunity of making his antagonist speak what he pleases; and indeed he would have acted a very unwise part, had he put arguments and objections into his mouth, which he thought he could not give any colerable answer to; but, inasmuch as he allows the person the conference is held with, to be not only a man of piety and ingenuity, but of confiderable reading, he ought to have represented him throughout as answering to such a character ; whereas, whatever piety is shewn in this debate, there is very little ingenuity discovered; since, for the most part, he is in. troduced as admitting the weak reasonings of the minifter, at once, without any further controversy; or if he is allowed to attempt a defence of the cause and principles he was going over to, he is made to do it in a very mean and triding manner; and, generally speaking, what he offers is only to lead on to the next thing that presents itself in this dispute: Had he been a man of considerable reading, or had he read Mr Stennett, and some others of the Antipædobaptist authors, as is said he had, which had occasioned his doubt about his baptism, he would have known what answers and objections to have made to the minister's rea

sonings,

sonings, and what arguments to have used in favour of adult-baptism, and against infant-sprinkliny. What I complain of is, that he has not made his friend to act in character, or to answer the account he is pleased to give of him: However he has a double end in all this management; on the one hand, by representing his antagonist as a man of ingenuity and considerable reading, he would be thought to have done a very great exploic in convincing and silencing such a man, and reducing him to the acknowledgment of the truth; and, on the other hand, by niaking him talk so weakly, and so easily yielding to his arguments, he has acted a wise part, and taken carę noč to suffer him to say such things, as he was not able to answer; and which, as before observed, seems to be the view of writing in this dialogue-way.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

THE minifter, in order to frighten his parishioner out of his principle of

adult-baptism, he was inclined to, suggests terrible consequences that would follow upon it; as his renouncing his baptism in his infancy; vacating the covenant between God and him, he was brought into thereby ; renouncing all other ordinances of the gospel, as the ministry of the Word, and the facrament of the Lord's-Supper ; that upon this principle, Christ, for many ages, muft have forsaken his church, and not made good his promise of his presence in this ordinance; and that there could be no such thing as baptism in the world now, neither among Pædobaptists, nor Antipædobaptifts.

ist, The first dreadful consequence following upon a man's espousing the principle of believers baptism, is a renunciation of his baptism; not of the ordinance of baptism, that he cannot be said to reject and renounce; for when he embraces the principle of adult-baptism, and acts up to it, he receives the true baptifm, which the word of God warrants and directs unco, as will be feen hereafter : But it seems it is a renunciation of his baptism in his infancy ; and what of that.? it should be proved first, that that is baptism, and that it is good and valid, before it can be charged as an evil to renounce it; it is right to renounce that which has no warrant or foundation in the word of God: Buc what aggravates this supposed evil is, that in it a person in his early infancy is dedicated to God the Father, Son, and boly Ghoft; it may be asked, by whom is the person in his infancy dedicated to God, when baptism is said to be admi-, nistered to him ? Not by himself, for he is ignorant of the whole transaction ; it must be either by the minifter, or his parents : The parents indeed desire

the

« PreviousContinue »