Abbildungen der Seite

it, that none of the ceremonial washings were performed by fprinkling; and indeed, to talk of washing by fprinkling, deferves rather to be laughed at, than to have a ferious anfwer; it being no more reconcilable to good fenfe, than it is to the juft propriety of language, or univerfal cuftoms of nations. From the whole it appears, that Maimonides was not mistaken in his obfervation; and that the word in Hebrews ix. 10. properly fignifies bathings or dippings. And now,

Thirdly, We are come, as he fays, to that great text, 1 Cor. x. 2. which he directs to, as the poor man and woman's Lexicon; and it is pity but that they should know how to make use of it. Here the children of Ifrael are faid to be baptized in the cloud, and in the fea. But fince the word is here ufed in a figurative fenfe, it is not very fair in our antagonists to urge us with it, nor, indeed, any other place where it is fo ufed; yet we are not afraid of engaging with them in the confideration of thofe places, and particularly this; wherein there is enough to juftify the apoftle in the ufe of the word, and at the fame time fecure its fenfe on our fide. When we confider, that the cloud in which they are faid to be baptized, paffed over them, fo that they were covered therewith; and if it let down, at the fame time, a fhower of rain upon them, it makes it ftill look more like a baptifm; which alfo is aptly refembled by their paffage through the fea, the waters ftanding up on both fides, fo that they feemed to be buried in them. Which things being confidered, juftifies the apoftle, I fay, in the use of the word, which ftrictly and properly fignifies dipping or plunging. Words, when used in a figurative fenfe, though what is expreffed by them is not literally true; yet the literal fenfe is not loft thereby: For instance, in the word dip. When a perfon has been in a large fhower of rain, fo that his clothes and body are exceeding wet, we often say of such an one, he is finely dipt; the meaning of which is, that he is as wet as if he had been dipt all over in a brook or river. So likewife of a perfon that has just looked into a book, controversy, art, or science; we fay, that he has just dipt into it; whereby we mean, that he has arrived but to a fmall acquaintance with, or knowledge in thofe things. Now would it not be a vain thing for a man, from hence, to attempt to prove, that the word dip is not to be understood in its native, common, and literal fenfe, in which we moftly ufe it. This obfervation will ferve to vindicate my way of accounting for the ufe of the word in the prefent text, as well as for Barlw, in Dan. iv. 33. In fine, from the whole, we may well conclude that Baptifm ought to be performed by immerfion, plunging, or dipping in water, according to the practice of John, Chrift, and his apoftles, the nature and end of the ordinance, and the true and native fignification of the word; which mode of baptizing has been used in all ages of the world, and I doubt not but will be, notwithftanding all oppofition made against it.


As to the endangering of health by immerfion, I referred the reader to Sir John Floyer's Hiftory of Cold-bathing. Mr M. infinuates that I have mifreprefented him. I only intimate to the reader, that Sir John gives a relation of feveral cures performed by cold-bathing: And I could eafily fill up feveral pages with a catalogue of difeafes for which he fays it is ufeful, together with inftances of cures performed by it. He afks, "Why I do not inform my reader in how 66 many cafes Sir J. F. and Dr B. thought cold-bathing inconvenient and dan

gerous?" I could, indeed, foon acquaint the reader, that Sir John Floyer thought it not proper to be used when perfons were hot and fweating, nor after exceffive eating or drinking; as alfo, that they fhould not ftay in it too long, until they were chilled; and that if any danger came by it, it was usually in fuch cases: But this will do his caufe no fervice, nor affect ours. I could also have told my reader, that he thinks cold-bathing to be useful in Consumptions, Catarrhs, &c. the cafes which Mr M. inftances in; who cites Dr Cheyne's Elay on Health, p. 108. where the Doctor fays, "that Cold-bathing fhould never be "used under a fit of a chronical diftemper, with a quick pulse, or with a head"ach, or by thofe that have weak lungs." But why does he not acquaint his reader that the Doctor in the very fame paragraph, fays, "that cold-bathing “is of great advantage to health-It promotes perfpiration, enlarges the circu"lation, and prevents the danger of catching cold." So that every body will eafily fee, as all experience teftifies, that there is no force in the argument, taken from the endangering of health by immerfion. By this time the reader will be capable of judging whether Mr Gill is fairly anfwered or no, as Mr M. has expreffed in his title-page; though it would have been as well to have left it for another to have made the remark, and fo took the advice of the wife man, Let another praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a ftranger, and not thine own lips': But before I conclude, I fhall take liberty to afk Mr M. four or five questions.


1. Why does he not tell the world who that fervant of Chrift is, whofe words he ufes; he says, I am miftaken in faying that they are the words of Ruffen; but I still aver, that they are used by him; but whether Ruffen took them from his fervant of Chrift, or his fervant of Chrift from Ruffen, I cannot tell; for that two men, without the knowledge of one another's words, fhould fall into the fame odd, and aukward way of speaking, and commit the very fame blunders, is not reasonable to fuppofe; but however, let him be who he will, Mr Stennett's reply to Russen, which I have transcribed, fully detects the fin and folly of those indecent expreffions. As to what Mr M. fays, p. 44. " that "he is very willing that both Stennett and Ruffen fhould lie dormant;" I beVOL. II. LL lieve

• Proverbs xxvii. 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 fpeaking of the fenfe of the Greek word? Does he mean the original text of the New Teftament? That ufes a word in the account it gives of this ordinance, which, as has been made appear, always fignifies to dip or plunge. Or, by the word of the Lord, does he mean our tranflation; which uses the word baptize, thereby leaving the fenfe of the Greek word undetermined, had not the circumftances, attending the accounts we have of the administration of this ordinance, fufficiently explained it; as will clearly appear to every one who confiders them: Had this rendered it dip, as fome other verfions have done, none, one would think, would have been at a lofs about the right mode of adminif tering this ordinance; though in Holland, where they ufe no other word but dipping to exprefs baptifm by, yet they nevertheless ufe fprinkling; nay, as I am informed, the minifter when he only fprinkles or pours water upon the face of the infant, fays, "I dip thee in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the holy Ghoft." 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 manifeft fenfe of words.


3. Why has he dropt his new found name of Plungers, which he seemed to be fo fond of in his former performance, and thought fo 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 baptifm; not according to his, because he denies dipping or plunging to be baptism.

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

5. Why has he not defended his wife reafons for mixt communion, and made fome learned ftrictures 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 fubject, or fome other learned hand. However, at prefent, I fhall take my leave of him; but not with Prov. xxvi. 4. which he has been ashamed to transcribe at length, left

[ocr errors]

his readers fhould compare the beginning and end of his book together; whereby they would discover, how much he deferves the character of a Gentleman, a Scholar, or a Chriftian; as alfo, how well this fuits the whining infinuations, with which he begins his performance. I fhall add no more, but conclude with the words of Job, Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. How forcible are right words? But what doth your arguing reprove?





Being an ANSWER to a Pamphlet, intitled,

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

Printed at BOSTON in NEW ENGLAND, 1746.



The Introduction, obferving the Author, Title, method and occafion of writing the Pamphlet under confideration.

MANY being converted under the miniftry of the word in New-England, and enlightened into the ordinance of believers baptifm, whereby the churches of the Baptist persuasion at Boston and in that country have been much increased, has alarmed the pædobaptift minifters of that colony; who have applied to one Mr Dickenson, a country minifter, who, as my correfpondent informs me, has wrote with fome fuccefs 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 fubject; which has been printed in feveral places,


LL 2


and feveral 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 tranfmitted to me, with a request to take fome 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 it is according to his mind, and is instituted and appointed by him, it must be notified somewhere or other in his word; wherefore the fcriptures must be fearched into, to fee whether it is fo, or no: and upon the most diligent fearch that can be made, it will be found that there is not the leaft mention of it in them; that there is no precept enjoining it, or directing to the obfervation of it; nor any inftance, example, or precedent encouraging such a practice; nor any thing there said or done, that gives any reafon to believe it is the will of God that fuch a rite fhould be obferved; wherefore it will appear to be entirely an human invention, and as fuch to be rejected. The title-page of this work promises an Illustration and Confirmation of the faid divine right; but if there is no fuch 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 fucceeded in this undertaking, will be the subject of our following inquiry.

The writer of the pamphlet under confideration has chofe to put his thoughts together on this fubject, in the form of a dialogue between a minifter and one of his parishioners, or neighbours. Every man, that engages in a controversy, may write in what form and method he will; but a by-ftander will be ready to conclude, that fuch a way of writing is chofe, that he may have the opportunity of making his antagonist speak what he pleases; and indeed he would have acted a very unwife part, had he put arguments and objections into his mouth, which he thought he could not give any tolerable answer to; but, inasmuch as he allows the perfon the conference is held with, to be not only a man of piety and ingenuity, but of confiderable reading, he ought to have reprefented him throughout as answering to fuch a character; whereas, whatever piety is fhewn in this debate, there is very little ingenuity difcovered; fince, for the most part, he is introduced as admitting the weak reafonings of the minifter, at once, without any further controverfy; 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 trifling manner; and, generally speaking, what he offers is only to lead on to the next thing that prefents itself in this difpute: Had he been a man of confiderable reading, or had he read Mr Stennett, and fome others of the Antipædobaptist authors, as is faid he had, which had occafioned his doubt about his baptifm, he would have known what answers and objections to have made to the minister's rea


« ZurückWeiter »