페이지 이미지

fannot perceive how the Divine Prescience of human Actions can be dirputed without blaspheming and denying the Perfections of þis Nature. He who made all Things certainly sees all the Effects that can result from their various Mixtures and Combinations. He who made the Heart of Man discovers its Motions, Actions, and Consequences.

“ Duit and Opposition are no Arguments.' Very true, but he is more likely to wear the Duit he has rais’d upon himself, than to brush it off. I am your constant Reader and Customer,

M. N.

Upon the Mode of Baptism. SIR,

May 21. 1739. IN the Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. VII. January, Marcus gives his

Thoughts concerning the Impropriety of Sprinkling for Baptism, which he concludes can be administred only by Immersion; supported by Reasons drawn from Scripture, Antiquity, Decrees of Councils, Rubrick of the Church of England, and the genuine Import of the Word itself. March following he is oppos’d with hard Words and weak Arguments, by a Writer that assumes the Name and Character of Philaleibesi, Who is repaid his ill Manners by T. B. l'ol. VIII. March. He is. follow'd in June by 9. L./ who not taking any notice of Philalethes's Fáults accuses 7. B. of using him with Pertness and Contempt, and represents T. B. as ignorant and full of himself. In Vol. IX. p. 10, 11. Marcus bravely resolv'd to facrifice every Innovation to Truth, resumes the Debate, and having in few words fhewn the Vanity of 1. L's Observations, and increased his own Strengtk, he wishes some more learned Disputants engaged in the Controversy, and leaves it. In p. 113, 114: J. L. (Learned and Judicious enough to be sure) undertakes to reply to him. At his first setting out [ A] he pays a just respect to M.'s Candor and Ingenuity, with which and his good Christian Temper, he seems abundantly well pleas'd : But does he not inlinuate, p. 114. (B) that notwithstanding this Candor and Ingenuity he is yet one of those that imagine 'emjelves wiser and more knowing than any body else ; and D. for all his good Christian Temper, he had rather wrangle about Baptism, than seek the Virtues, or perform the Duties it obliges to.

I suppose M.'s and other Readers concluded from what J. L. says, Vol. VIII. p. 285. B. his Design in that Piece' was to evince that Baptizo, as used in Scripture, signifies to pour or sprinkle, as well as dip or immerse; here he tells us, It was only to Thew, That the virtue, force and. energy of this Sacrament is not placed in Dipping, p.113. B. If this was his’ Delign, he ought to have told in what it is placed : I am perswaded he dares not pretend that it was placed in Sprinkling or Pouring, any more than in * Immersion, or that they are any more essential to Baptism than

* I use the word Immersion rather than Dip, because I think the Idea that is usually affix'd to Dip is not extersive enough for the word Baprize, which may be properly wled if a Child be taken up and put into Water, or be laid down in a Vesel, and Water put on, so as to cover it; or if a person go into Water, or lay himself, or be laid by anocher in it. Now we should use the word Dip only in the first Case, whereas Iminerfe, I Conceive equally with Baptize, includes 'em all.

it: And if so, according to him, all Three are needless, as to any concern we have in the virtue, &c. of this Sacrament.

What he says about Pouring on Water is meer Grimace and Shuffling, lince 'ris not, that I can find, ever used ; The Minister's dipping his Fingers in Water, bringing 'em over the Child's Face, and then letting the Water fall on it, cannot with any propriety be call'd Pouring : However, it 7. L. can make appear that Pouring is Baptijm, I'll readily agree with him that Sprinklir.g is too; but this he can't do

Neither has ne succeeded in his Attempt C. to Thew, that the N. T. Writers use the word Baptize in any other Sense than Dip or Immersex in any of his Instances, Vol VIII. p. 285. One would think so sagacious à Writer should know, that Words, when used metaphorically, are so far: from losing or changing theię proper and native Meaning, that the allusion thereto is the ground of the force and beauty of the Metaphor; and it's easy to few, that in every place he had cited there is a manifett állu.' sion to Immerhon. And he may with equal Reason imagine, the Jews were not obliged to cut off the Flesh of the Foreskin, because Circumcision is applied to the Heart, and said to be made without Hands : Or. that Chriftians need not drink in the Lord's Supper, because Jesus by. that Word meant his own and his Disciples Sufferings ; as that Baptism may be administred without Immerhon, because 'tis used to denote the Dispenfation of the Holy Ghoit. Tho' every Jewish application of Water was not by Immersion, yet is it not at all plain to good Eyes, that the Sprinkling, Numb. viii. 5, 6, 7, is one of the divers Baptisras, Heb. ix.10. It's mention'd particularly and distinctly three Verses below, and is included in the carnal Ordinances; there being Immersions enough under the Law of themselves to be called Divers. .

F The frequent Observations he speaks af, as to the improbability or impoflibility of immersing the Three Thousand, Ais ii. 41. have been frequently shewn to be trifling, and shall once again: Be it considered, There was no want of Conveniencies for Bathing at Jerusalem, there were 12 Apostles and 70 Disciples, these had not 37 apiece to their Shares, or if the 12 were excused, the reit had not quite 43 apiece; and a Man of ordinary. Strength might immerse as many, without need of going out of the Water to reft liim.

7. L. [G] gives not the whole History of Paul's Baptism, he omits that in Aēts xxii. 14, 15, 16. Whether he was Baprized at any distance from his Lodgings is uncertain ; but it can no more be concluded he was Baptized in the House, becaufe the Text does not say he went out, than that Ananias return'd not to his own Home, because that is unmention de It's certain he arose to be Baptized, which was needless if Water was orly. sprinkled or poured on him; the Clinicks are a witness of it, which he must not except against. But how it could appear to him, or others, that “ there was not the leait hint of their going out of the House in the “ Case of the Jailor's Baptism,” AEts xvi. 30, 34. is what I can give no. account of; perhaps 7. Li will in his next, when he has reviewed the Pasiage. It appears to me,from this and other Blunders in his and PhilaleBhes's Pieces, that these Writers and theirf Asistants do not read enough of the Scriptures, or enough consider what they do read, to judge in this Matter. That about the Year 300 some were said to be Baptized who had Water


[ocr errors]

only sprinkled or poured on 'em in Bed, I allow; and if 9. L. be acquainted with the History of those Times he can't but know, that the validity thereof was much question'd, and it was greatly doubted if the virtue, force and energy of the Sacrament attended those Aspersions, 66 and it was not fair in hiin to suppress this. Before that time, and on as good grounds, the Sign of the Cross was used, which I suppose he and Pbil. fejedl, for I take 'em to be not Font, but Balon Sprinklers.

As for Forbes, Gerard, &c. I shall say nothing to them, he only asks his fellow if he be a Thief; I shall only defire him to consider, which are most guilty of Strife and Wrangling, such as would be content with what is clear, plain and evident, or such as contend for what is, at best, dark and doubtful. That Dipping or Immersion is Baptism be owns; but that Sprinkling or Pouring is so he has no where prov'd: And Mr. Meden whose Judgment he seems, Vol. VIII. p. 285. A. B. to have a great vaJue for, tells us, in Diatribe, on Tit. ii. 5. there was no such thing as Rantismos, or Sprinkling; us'd by the Apostles, or a long time after.

If Marcus desires to see what may be said in this Matter by more learued Disputants, he may in Wall's Hiftory of Infant Baptism, and Gale's Reflections thereon. The Applauses of particular Persons, and the Thanks of the Clergy in Convocation, are sufficient Indications of the Capacity of the first; and I suppose the Baptists will not pretend to produce a greater Advocate on their Side than the other. And he may find a good Account given of such Disputing as Pbilalethes's and 7. L's in Rees's Av{wer to Walker's Defence of Infant Baptism. And I intreat him to examine the Grounds on which he concludes Infants the proper Subjects of Baptism, with the fame Resolution, Freedom, and Impartiality as those for Sprinkling, and I don't doubt but it will produce a Change in his present Sentiments, or something which may induce me to alter mine, if he thall please to publish the relult of his Enquiries.



Upon the Mode of Baptism. Mr. Urban, [N the Controversy between your Ingenious Correspondents, about the

Mode of Baptifm, I find that what is cited from me * by the one, Mag. Vol. IX. p.11. refpecting the Testimony of Bugenhagius, the other can see no foundation for, 15. p. 113. because the Title of the German Book referr'd to is not mention'd: And adds, “ Nor do Adams or Secken. dorf, so far as he could fee, say any thing of it; tho' one wrote his Life, and the other says a great many things of him.” Poor Reasoning! Who ever wrote the Life of a Man that contain'd even every material Act thereof? and what difficulty could attend the search after a Book, when the Year in which it was publish d is mention'd, tho’the Title is not? It cannot be suppos'd that the Author wrote many Books in the same Year.

This late Author, says J. L. 16.p.114. seems quite miltaken in saying “ Bugenhagius succeeded Luther in the Miniltry at Wittemberg. Adams says,

Suffectus eff ix locum Simonis Berkii, alias Henii. It's not at all pro“ bable, that Bugenhagius should neither have heard or seen a Minister {prinkle or pour Water on the Head or Face of an Infani wrapped in

“Swad. * Hift. Eng. Voli I. Pref. fa 22,

* Swadling Cloaths. Nor does this late Author's ingenious Suppofition, « that be meant among Protestants, mend the matter ; as if the Protestants “ of that time did no such thing. All that this proves is, the misfor. « tune of our imagining we are wiser or more knowing than any body “ else. This, I think, is enough to thew, that it is a novel and groundleis “Opinion, that dipping is of the essence of Christian Baptism."

Thus the Reverend Mr. Lewis of Margate, in his History, after the recital of the mad Rebellion of a frantick People in Germany, says, This is sufficient to thew, that Infant Baptism had been the Custom and Practice of all the Christian Churches from the very beginning. And J. L. has found enough to shew, that it is a novel and groundless Opinion, that Dipping is of the essence of Christian Baptism. Great Discoveries ! But to justify my own Citation, I am not convinc'd of any Mistake at all refpecting Bugenhagius's Succession to Luther by J.L.'s Reasoning; for, according to Adams, if Bugenhagius did fucceed Henfius in Denmark, that is not a Proof that he did not succeed Lutber at Wittemberg, with whom he was a Fellow in the Ministry, as appears by the Article Hofman in Mr. Bayle's Crit. Hift. Diet. And the Learned Dr. Duveil in his Exposition of the Afts, p. 286. exprefly affirms, That he was both a Fellow and Succeffor in the Ministry of Luther at Wittemberg. Supposing then, not granting, a Mistake, How does the Fact related appear not at all probable? They are, according to Duveil, Bugenhagius's own Words, and both Ipuanus and Zanchy witness that he was a very learned, pious, and moderate Man, and consequently as much, if not more to be credited, than 7. L. who, tho' he has said nothing to the purpose, yet tells us, he has faid enough to Thew, that Dipping, as an Effence of Christian Baptism, is a novel and groundless Opinion, which gives him a fair Title to the fole Property of the Misfortune he mentions, inasmuch as I appealed to those who were wiser and more knowing than myself, telling them in my Preface to the Reader, Vol. I. That I should hold myself obliged to them, who should be pleased to represent my Mistakes, promising to amend them.

It does not belong to my Province to enter the Lists with Gentlemen who are pleased to controvert the Mode or Subject of Baptism, 1 fhall in the Preface to my next Volume Thew, That both the Principles and Practices of the English Baptifs are jullified even by the most Learned of the Pædobaptists themselves ; and but just observe here, that both Scapula and Stephens, two as great Masters of the Greek Tongue as most we have, do tells us in their Lexicons, that Barlize from Banten, signifies Mergo, Immergo, &c. And Mr. Leigh in his Critica Sacra says, the native and proper Signification of the Word is, to dip into the Water, &c. and allo lays, some would have it fignify Washing ; which Sense Erasmus oppos d, affirming, that it was not otherwise to than by Consequence ; for the proper Signification was such a dipping or plunging as Dyers use for dying of Cloih. The learned and pious Mr. Joseph Mede affirms, there was no such thing as Sprinkling or Rantism used in Baptism in the Apottles Days, nor many Ages after. He had spoken more properly if he had said, there was no Rantism used in the Apoitles Days, but Baptism, since he well knew they are two distinct different Acts. It cannot be Baptism at all if it be only Rantism: Immersion or Dipping being the very Thing, not ati


[ocr errors]

Accident, but an Effential fo absolutely necessary that it cannot be the Act or Ordinance without it: Therefore Dipping is essential to Baptism.

Your humble Servant, Horslydown in Southwark, Sept. 4. 1739.

Tho. Crosby.

Upon the Death of Christ. S ÍR, [N 2 pretended Defence of Revelation I have lately read, that the Death

of Christ was a common Event, that it happen'd in the ordinary Course of Things, and could not have been prevented without a Miracle. This, Sir, if true, I should have thought would have come with a much better Grace out of the Mouth of one who was running down Revelation, than of one who was pretending to defend it; since nothing can be more directly contrary to the whole Tenor of it. The Account there given us of the Death of Christ, and of the antecedent Causes of it is, I think, in brief this : That God made Man upright, but that they soon revolted from their Creator, and fought out to themselves many

wicked Inventions; and that God, out of Love to the Creatures he had made, gave them a Promise of a Saviour immediately upon their Fall. That God, according to his Promise, fent forth this Saviour in the Fulness of Time; who, after having liv'd a sorrowful Life, died an accursed Death, in order to be the Author of eternal Salvation to all who, to the end of the World, should unfeignedly believe in him, and comply with the Terms of the GospelCovenant. This is the Account Revelation gives of the Death of Christ the Son of God, who also was God. And from this Account, I think, it is demonstratively evident, that it was an uncommon and extraordinary Event, that it was wisely order'd by the Providence of an all-feeing God, and that God could as easily have prevented it without a Miracle, as have permitted it without one. As to God's making his own Glory the End of all his Actions, he would have as effectually promoted that by the final Destruction of Mankind, as by their eternal Salvation. It was therefore as much out of Love to a loft World, as out of a Concern for his own Glory, that God sent his Son into it to take the human Nature upon him, and in that Nature to suffer and die, without which the Salvation of Mankind could never have been accomplish'd, in a Way consistent with the Perfections of God.

Revelation, I think, stands not in need of any such Defenders, and I wish it had no more such : As it has stood the Telt of so many Ages already, I have good reason to believe (as well as heartily wilh) that it will be believ'd and practis'd by some to the End of the World.

Whilft others, therefore, under pretence of Defending it, do all they can to undermine it, let you and I, Mr. Urban, highly prize it, and be convinc'd not only of the Expediency and Usefulness of it, but also of the Necessity of it for our Sálvation'; for which, if either the Light of Nature, or the Law of Mojes, or both together, would have been sufficient, we may reasonably conclude it would never have been given. And since we are deliver'd from the burdensome Rites and Ceremonies of tke Jeruil Law. let us firmly believe, and endeavour to practise that


« 이전계속 »