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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 1 

Job vi. 24, 25. 


J HERE would have been no need to tell the reader that the 
folloiwng" letters were written in the years 1 705^ 1 706 * ; but that, 
there having- been two editions of Mr. WalFs History^, he mig-ht 
see the reason why the first of these is made use of, and constantly 
referred to. 

And as these letters were originally designed for the private 
perusal of a friend, so it is not to be thought strange that they 
were not published sooner, but rather that they are published at 
all ; for the author, though he was urged to it pretty early, had no 
thought nor inclination, in the least, to have given the public this 
trouble. He hoped a more learned advocate woiild have been 
engaged in this controversy ^^ ; but it seems that g'entleman did not 
think it necessary, since Mr. Wall had not pretended to reply to his 
' Answer to Mr. Russen ;' and had also been convinced by him in 
private conversation, that he was mistaken in charging him with a 
misrepresentation of a passage out of Dr. Allix's '■ Remarks on the 
^ Ancient church of Piedmont,^ which he promised to rectify 
tog-ether with some other inadvertencies, in his second edition. 

It not being known therefore that a direct answer to Mr. WalFs 
book was designed by any other hand, the author's friends repre- 
sented to him how much the psedobaptists on all occasions boasted 
of that supposed unanswerable performance, which has indeed been 
hig-hly recommended and extolled by the most learned among- them, 
and by some in print. 

Mr. Reeves, speaking- of the history of Pelagius, says, '■ It is 
' treated of by Dr. Forbes, Dupin, and especially by the learned 
' Mr. Wall, in his excellent account of infant-baptism ; which last I 
' particularly recommend to the English reader'^'' 

» [Probably Mr. Gale ought to have c [Mr. J. Stennet seems to be the 

added 1 707 : since, in the beginning of person intended ; his ' Answer to Rus- 

letter VI, he makes mention of the union ' sen' was published in 1704. The Bod- 

with Scotland as completed . a transaction leian Library contains a copy of it, 

which did not take ])lace till that year.] formerly belonging to Dr. Wall, and filled 

'■ [The first edition appeared in 170-; : with his MS. remarks, the substance of 

the second, in 1707: the third, in 1720. which appears to have been afterwards 

Mr. Gale could not have seen this lust, as incorporated into his ' History.'] 

his work was published in the year d Apologies, vol. ii. p. 357, note. 



Dr. Stanhope, speaking- of the pretended Jewish baptism, says, ' It 
' is set in a very clear light by the late excellent labours of a worthy 
' and learned divine s' referring to Mr. Wall of infant-baptism, in the 


And above all, the whole clergy in Convocation have in a 
particular manner approved and commended the book, in the 
following- vote passed soon after the publication of it, to shew 
how very acceptable it was to them. 

Feb. 9, 1705-6. 'Ordered, That the thanks of this House be 
' o-iven to Mr. Wall, vicar of Shoreham in Kent, for the learned 
' and excellent book he hath lately written concerning infant-bap- 
'tism; and that Dr. B. and Mr. E.f do acquaint him with the 


Nay, Dr. Atterbury, the reputed author of ' The Proceedings in 
'the Convocation, A. D. 1705, faithfully represented,' says, 'The 
' history of infant-baptism was a book for which the author 
' deserved the thanks, not of the English clergy alone, but of all 
' Christian churchesZ.' 

These things, together with the importunity of the author's 
friends, did at length prevail with him to suffer the publication of 
the following reflections : to inform the public, that the anabap- 
tists, as they are called, notwithstanding the noise Mr. Wall's 
history has made, and the reputation it has gained, are still safe and 
untouched by him : and likewise to let these learned gentlemen 
know, that they have been much too hasty in their judgment, and 
that this history is not by far what they take it to be. 

The Catalogue of Authors added at the end of these letters, was 
drawn up with a design to have set down what editions are made 
use of, in order to prevent any mistake that might otherwise 
happen ; which is done with regard to the authors of greatest conse- 
quence in the dispute ; but all the books could not be conveniently 
come at just when the last sheet was to be printed ; and therefore 
the editions are not always noted, which the reader is desired to ex- 
cuse. The author however promises to be answerable for all his 
citations, which are none of them taken at second-hand; and if any 
are sought for in one edition, and not found, they may be met with 
in another. 

e Paraphrase, &c. on the Epistles, &c. Rochester, viz. Dr. Fr. Durant de Breval, 
vol. iv. p. 340. and Mr. Samuel Rhodes]. 

i The two proctors for the diocese [of « Page 35. [40. London, 1708.] 



Heats among Christiaus inconsistent with their profession, and a great 
dishonour to Christianity, p. 2. This reflection occasioned by a letter the 
author received, very unbecoming the character of his friend that sent it, 
ibid. The author endeavours to find au excuse for his friend, p. 3. We 
are generally more subject to passion in matters of religion than in other 
things, ibid. His friend's great respect to the Church of England, which 
he thinks to be the best constituted national Church in the world, some 
sort of excuse for him, ibid. We have no infallible judge on earth, p. 4. 
Nothing can excuse unreasonable excesses of any kind, ibid. Hard names, 
&c. no real prejudice to our cause, ibid. Mr. Wall's moderation only 
pretended, p. 5. The antipajdobaptists hearty friends to the present 
government, p. 6. Tliey who make the greatest outcries of the church's 
danger, known to be her greatest enemies, ibid. Persecution for religion, 
directly contrary to our Saviour's doctrine and example, p. 7. Arguments 
from Scripture, the proper means to convince men, p. 8. The antipsedo- 
baptists open to instruction, ibid. Mr. Wall's History not so formidable 
as is pretended, ibid. He is not much to be depended on, p. 9. His real 
aim and design was only to establish the baptism of infants ; as appears 
by considering his pretence from Justin Martyr, p. 10. Another from 
St. Cyprian, p. 11. Another from the Apostolical Constitutions, p. 13. 
He takes all occasions to blacken the antipa^dobaptists ; disguising his 
designs with pretences to moderation, p. 1 4 . This charge not inconsistent 
with charity, ibid. Learned men are best able to judge of matters, p. 15. 
Mr. Wall endeavours to possess his readers with an opinion of his learning, 
by several needless digressions : on tlie Decretal Epistles, ibid. On the 
history of Pelagianism, ibid. And in this, on the lawfulness of oaths and 
possessing of riches, p. 16. On the virginity of our Lord's mother, ibid. 
On the Soeinians, and the Tritheism they charge on the Fathers, ibid. 
This a subject too difficult for Mr. Wall, p. 17. His ridiculous reflection 
on Mr. Stennet noted, p. 18. Another artifice to gain reputation, by 
quarrelling with several of the greatest men for learning, «tc. ibid. : as 



archbishop Tillotson, p. i8 ; Bishop Burnet, ibid. ; Rigaltius, p. 19 ; 
Gregory Naziauzen, father and son, ibid.; St. Chrysostom, p. 20 ; Mr. Le 
Clerc, ibid. Difference in opinion no warrant to dispense with the rules 
of charity, p. 21. Moral virtues more acceptable to God than speculative 
notions, ibid. Mr. Le Clerc no Arian, Photiniau, or Socinian, p. 22. 
Mr. Wall also quarrels with Grotius, p. 24. The sense of a passage in 
St. Gregory set right, which Mr. Wall had misrepresented, p. 26. The 
sense of a canon of the Neocsesarean council rescued from the force 
Mr. Wall put upon it, p. 27. As also the words of Zonaras and Balsamon 
in relation thereto, p. 28. St. Austin and Pelagius speak of the end, not 
of the subjects of baptism, p. 29. He that takes so much liberty with 
such men, will take more, in all probability, with the antipjedobaptists, 
ibid. Mr. Wall has not acted the part of a faithful historian towards us, 
ibid. He several times, on no ground at all, takes for granted some things, 
merely because they favour his design, p. 30. And charges the antlpsedo- 
baptists with whatever he has heard any one among them to have believed 
or said, ibid. 


The private opinions of a few not justly inserted in the history of the 
whole body, p. 32. There are probably ill men among us, as well as 
among others, p. 33. Some of our author's invidious insinuations, p. 34. 
Our adversaries, instead of railing, should endeavour to convince us from 
revelation, or reason, or antiquity, ibid. If their reflections were ti'ue, our 
reputation cannot suffer much, p. 35. We are not guilty of the hated 
opinions Mr. Wall loads us with, ibid. Our separation easy to be justified, 
p. 36. Mr. Wall has not sufficiently shewn wherein the sin of schism 
consists, p. 37. He only explains it in general by division, separation, &c. 
ibid. The true notion of schism, ibid. It may either be lawful or unlaw- 
ful, p. 38. Who are schismatics, ibid. Not they who go out from a 
communion they were before joined with, but they who unnecessarily 
give or take the occasion ; or continue separate without just cause, ibid. 
It l)eing lawful in some cases, and unlawful in others to separate ; it is 
examined what will justify a separation, p. 39. Mr. Wall's distinction 
between fundamentals and non-fundamentals, thouo-h cood in itself, is 
msulhcient, unless he had determined what are fundamentals, and what 
not, ibid. A rule to know these, ibid. Christ alone can determine what 
is necessary ; and what he has not expressly made so, is not so, p. 40. It 
IS useful to distinguish between things necessary to salvation, and things 
only necessary to the constitution of a true Gospel church, ibid. This dis- 
tinction well grounded, because the qualifications of a Christian and of a 
church are very different, ibid. An error in what is essential to the 
constitution of a church only, a sufficient warrant to separate from a 
community in such error, p. 42. Which is also confirmed from some of 


Mr. Wall's own words, p. 42. Agreement in the fundamentals of religion, 
not a sufficient reason against separation, as Mr. Wall would urge it, ibid. 
Turned against himself, p. 44. Therefore his arguments tend to nothing 
so much as confusion, ibid. Though it should be allowed, that we ought 
to submit all things purely indifferent, to the determination of our 
superiors ; this would make but very little, if at all, in Mr. Wall's favour, 
p. 45. It does not follow, that persons who think they ought not to 
renounce communion for smaller matters, must therefore constantly con- 
form in those things, and neglect what they think is better, p. 46. If the 
ceremonies are not of so much consequence, as to justify the dissenters in 
their separation ; neither will they justify the church in so imnecessarily 
insisting on them, p. 47. These things, said to be indifferent in them- 
selves, by being the occasions of division, cease to be indifferent, and 
become imlawful, ibid. The dissenters are verily persuaded, the things for 
which they dissent are not so indifferent as they are pretended, p. 48. The 
Church's power of making laws for its own government, of no service to 
Mr. Wall, ibid. Things in themselves lawful may be so circumstantiated 
as to become unlawful, p. 49. As the case stands at present, the dissenters 
are obliged to dissent from the national Church, ibid. The uncharitable 
obstinacy of our adversaries, ibid. The separation of the antippedobaptists 
particularly defended, p. 50. Mr. Wall pretends, that though they are 
right, they have no ground to separate, p. 51. The antipa^dobaptists' 
notion stated, ibid. The time and manner of receiving baptism, so far as 
it relates to our present dispute, are fundamentals, ibid. That cannot be 
true baptism which differs from true baptism, p. 52. Our separation 
justified by the definition of a church, in the nineteenth article of the 
Church of England, p. 52, 53. We ought not to unite with persons 
unbaptlzed, p. 53. True baptism necessary to church membership, p. 54. 
The words of the institution, the best rule to judge what is true baptism, 
ibid. We refuse to communicate with the Church of England, for the 
same reason for which she refuses to communicate with persons unbaptized. 
]). 55. Mr. Wall's terms of union very partial and unreasonable, ibid. We 
are obliged to the Toleration for the general forbearance Mr. Wall boasts 
0^5 P- 55) 5^- ^^^'-^ desire to remain in the hands of her Majesty and 
parliament under God, who have hitherto so kindly secured us, p. 56. A 
fair proposal in order to establish unity among us, ibid. Mr. Wall a friend 
to persecutions for religion, ibid. The conclusion, p. 57. 


Another instance of Mr. Wall's unfairness, p. 58. The dispute between 
the English psedobaptists and us cast under two heads, p. 59. It is 
strange, things so clear should be capable of so much dispute, ibid. So 
far as the Scriptures are clear, our practice is allowed to be exactly 



agreeable therewith, p. 59. Therefore if we err, we are, however, on the 
safer side, p. 60. God has revealed his will with sufficient clearness in all 
material points, ibid. And he has not left it doubtful in what manner, or 
to what subjects, baptism should be administered, ibid. A frightful 
remark of Mr. Wall's noted, ibid. It is better not to pretend to baptize 
persons, than not to do it as Christ requires it should be done, p. 61. The 
Greek word for baptize always signifies to dip only into any manner of 
thing, ibid. So Lycophron, ibid. And Sophocles, p. 62. But more 
commonly it is used for dipping into liquids, ibid. So Homer, ibid. 
Metaphors include and borrow their beauties from the thing from whence 
they are taken, p. 63. Pindar and his Scholiast, p. 64. Eurijndes and 
his Scholiasts, p. 65. Ai-istophanes in many places, p. 66. The words in 
dispute fi-equcntly applied to the dyer's art, ibid. And they colour things 
by dipping them, ibid. Several passages wherein the word alludes to the 
art of dying, considered, p. 66, 67. The improper use of Avords in meta- 
phorical passages cannot be supposed to alter their signification, p. 68. 
Figurative forms of speech are only abbreviated similes, p. 69. It is no 
objection to say, if words are always literally understood, authors will be 
made to speak nonsense, ibid. Figurative sentences not literally true, as 
they stand ; but being defective, the sense must be supplied, p. 70. We 
shoidd distinguish between the sense of a phrase, as it includes some words 
not expressed ; and the sense of the particular words singly considered, 
just as they stand, ibid. Words have no more than one signification, 
p. 71. Words are alwaj's to be taken in their literal sense, ibid. The use 
of these observations in the present dispute, ibid. More instances from 
Aristophanes, p. 72. UXivat is to wash by dipping, p. 73. More instances 
from Aristotle, p. 74, 75. From Heraclides Ponticus, p. 76. From 
Herodotus, ibid. From Theocritus, p. 77. From Moschus, ibid. From 
Aratus, ibid. From Callimachus, p. 7 8. From Dionysius Halicarnassfeus, 
p. 79. From Strabo, p. 80. From Plutarch, p. 81. From Lucian, ibid. 
From the emperor Marcus Antoninus, p. 82. The metaphorical use of the 
word in dispute, when applied to the mind, considered and explained, ibid. 
Other instances, from Pollux, p. 84. From Themistius, ibid. That 
lexicographers and critics render the word by lavo, is no argument they 
ever understood it to mean less than to dip, ibid. 


Critics constantly affirm, the proper and genuine sense of ^aTrrlCa is 
immergo, &c. p. 86. So Vossius, Constantine, and Stephanus render it, 
ibid. A testimony from Casaubon, ibid. His poor evasion, p. 87. Another 
from Grotius, ibid. Another fi-om Dionysius Petavius, ibid. It is need- 
less to collect more, p. 88. Mr. Wall conscious, notwithstanding his 
pretence, that the opinions of learned men are against him, ibid. Whereas 


Mr. Wall appeals to the Scriptures for the sense of the word, it is shewn 
largely to be never there used in his sense, but the contrary, p. 89. Levit. 
xiv. 6. considered, ibid. That the word does not always necessarily signify 
to dip all over, is the most that can be inferred from it, ibid. Besides, 
here it means to dip all over, p. 90. Isai. xxi. 4, Ezek. xxiii. 15, Dan. iv. 33, 
and V. 21, considered, p. 91, &c. Hot climates very dewy, p. ()^. The 
Syriac version confirms our sense, ibid. Ecclus. xxxi. 26 ; 2 Mace. i. 21 ; 
Ecclus. xxiv. 26. considered, p. 94, «fec. The purification enjoined for 
touching that which is dead, to be performed by sprinkling, p. 95. 
Together with dipping, ibid. The Mahometans purify in such cases by 
washing all over, p. 97. Washing was the main part of the purification 
amonff the Jews, ibid. For which reason the Son of Sirach uses this word 
to intend the whole ceremony, ibid. Luke xi. 38. considered, p. 99- 
Mr. Wall pretends the Jews always washed their hands, by having water 
poured on them, ibid. Which is false, p. 100. The priests Avashed their 
hands and feet by dipping them, p. 10 1. Our Lord washed his disciples' 
feet so likewise, ibid. The authority of the rabbins not to be depended on, 
p. 102. Dr. Pococke allows, the Jews were obliged sometimes to wash 
by dipping, p. 103. And from thence accounts for the use of the word 
j3anTLCe(r6m, Mark vii. 4. ibid. Mr. Wall's next instance, which is Mark 
vli. 4, considered, p. 104. They that came from the market did wash by 
dipping, p. 106. Sects among the Jews who washed themselves frequentl}', 
p. 107. The words may refer to the things brought from the market^ 
p. 109. Heb. Ix. 10. and Matt. xxvi. 23. considered, p. no, &c. The 
sacramental Avashing being expressed by words Avhich signify any kind of 
washing, does not prove it may therefore be administered by any kind of 
washing, p. 112, 113. Words, like our ideas, have their genera and 
species, p. 113. Words of a more particular sense should explain the more 
general, and not the contrary, p. 114. 


To appeal to the Scriptures only for the sense of a Avord, very unreason- 
able, p. 116. It is notwithstanding proved from them, that the Greek 
word must always signify to dip, p. 117. What passages may be argued 
from, ibid. Luke xvi. 24. ibid. John xiii. 26. ibid. Eev. xlx. 13. p. 118. 
The vulgar copies have lost the true reading in the last, ibid. Metaphorical 
passages make for, not against my opinion, p. 1 1 9. Languages do not exactly 
answer to one another, p. 120. If the word lianriCco were otherwise ever 
so ambiguous, yet as it relates to baptism, it is sufficiently determined 
only and necessarily to mean to dip, p. 121. By the doctrine and practice 
of St. John, ibid. Of the holy apostles, ibid. Of the succeeding church 
for many centuries, which urged a trine immersion, p. 124. Learned men 
in general alloAV this mode of baptism, p. 125. Mr. Wall pretends, though 
the ancients did generally baptize by immersion, they likewise used 



affusion, or the like, p. 126. But tliis was not allowed in oonuiion cases 
ibid. Aspersion, how at first admitted, p. 127. It is unreasonable to 
ar<'-ue, that the general sense of a law is the same with the exceptions that 
are made to it, p. 128. The ancient church of the first centuries did not 
practise affusion, &g. p. 130. St. Cyprian's plea for aspersion very trifling, 
p. 131. All who were baptized in the apostles' times were baptized by 
immersion, p. 133. The clinical affusions do not appear to have been in- 
troduced till about two hundred and fifty years after Christ, p. 134. At 
which time, they very much doubted of their validity, p. 135. By the 
first patrons gi^anted to be presumptive, p. 136. All allow immersion was 
insisted on anciently as the only regular way, in all common cases at least, 
p. 138. A humble remark on the bishop of Salisbury's plea for changing 
the manner of administering the sacrament here in England, p 140. The 
clergy pretend they would gladly revive the ancient practice, but do not 
take the proper methods; and in reality obstruct its being revived, p. 140. 
/SaTTTw and jSaTrri'fw synonymous, p. 141. 


The other chief article in dispute between the baptists and their adver- 
saries, p. 142. They continually repeat the most trifling objections, though 
they have been fairly answered over and over, p. 143. "Wliich has made it 
necessary to say a great deal to what has been well enough answered 
already, and concerning things which are very plain of themselves, ibid. 
The late handling of this controversy has convinced the world, the baptists 
are not that unreasonable sect they were represented to be ; and it is not 
to be doubted but the reviving the dispute at present may go far to open 
jieople's eyes yet much more in their favour, ibid. It is pity some friendly 
measures are not taken to compose the difference, which is not so 
impracticable as some fancy, ibid. Mr. Wall's attempt, though the best in 
its kind, falls very short of answering the design of it, ibid. His scheme, 
ibid. He first allows it cannot be made appear from Scripture, that 
infants are to be baptized, ibid. And therefore recurs to these as the only 
expedients : i. To the practice of the Jewish church : 2. To the practice of 
the ancient Christians, p. 144. Some reflections which overturn all he 
says as to his main conclusion, though he should prove these two points 
ever so solidly, ]>. 145. From his concession, that it cannot be proved 
from Scripture, it unavoidably follows, that it is no institution of Christ, 
ibid. And to suppose it may be included in some of the more general 
expressions is only to beg the thing in dispute, p. 146. Unless he can 
shew us infant-baptism is so much as mentioned in Scripture, we shall not 
believe it is instituted there, p. 147. Our author makes the Scriptures the 
rule of language ; which he therefore ought with much more reason to 
make the only rule of his faith and practice, ibid. The baptism of infants 


is unlawful if Christ has not instituted it, p. 148. True protestants should 
adhere to the Scripture, as the only infallible guide in all religious contro- 
versies, p. 149. They who do otherwise, seem to be too near the church 
of Rome, as to the article of tradition at least, which is an inlet to all the 
rest, ibid. Our adversaries act very inconsistently in rejecting tradition, 
in their disputes with the Romanists, while they recur to it as their main 
refuge in the present dispute with us, ibid. That infant-baptism ought 
not to be pi-actised, is proved from our author's principles, compared with 
the articles of the church, ibid. It gives the Romanists a handle to 
weaken the reformation with too much advantage, p. 150. The articles of 
the church directly against traditions, p. 151. The Scriptures' silence as 
good an argument against psedobaptism as can be desired, p. 152. We 
find a strong tendency in our minds to depend upon the Scriptures only, 
ibid. We are obliged by any sort of law, &c. only to the particulars the 
said law expresses, ibid. This illustrated by instances, and by an un- 
doubted maxim from TertuUian, p. 153. Applied also to the j^resent 
dispute, and illustrated by more instances, ibid. Some build the eccle- 
siastical hierarchy mainly on that very foundation on which the baptizing 
of infants is opposed, p. 154. Mr. Wall sometimes argues in the same 
manner as the baptists do against pjedobaptism, p. 155. The objection, 
tliat Christ nowhere forbids us to baptize infants, answered, ibid. We are 
forbid to teach the traditions of men for commandments of God, p. 156. 
The psedobaptists' argument enervated by TertuUian, ibid. Though the 
Scri|iture's silence may sometimes, it does not always leave it so much as 
lawful to do what it does not mention, p. 157. 


That the Scripture does not leave infant-baptism so undetermined as some 
would pretend, is largely shewn from Matt, xxviii. 19, p. 1 60. All laws 
equally oblige in all particulars mentioned in them, ibid. This applied to 
our present dispute, p. 161. The commission necessarily obliges to teach 
all it intends should be baptized, ibid. Therefore infants cannot be 
included in that commission, ibid. The commission also requires, that all 
of whom it speaks should be first taught, and afterwards baptized, p. 163. 
The ridiculous objection of such as say, infants also are to be taught, 
answered, p. 164, 165. Some would evade its force, by confessing, this 
commission relates particularly to the adult, which is directly giving up 
the argument, p. 165. What the piedoba])tists urge from the words all 
nations, answered, p. 166. It is not said a// o/all nations, ibid. Illustrated 
by a parallel instance from Matt. iii. 5, 6. ibid. Mr. Dorrington censured, 
p. 167. It is proved, the commission most directly excludes infants, 
p. 168. What the ptedobaptists urge concerning the Greek word fiadijrfC- 
(raTf answered, iljid. Dr. Hammond censured for so grossly contradictino- 


himself in this point, p. i68. Men of the greatest learning disown the 
criticism of the pjedobaptists, p. 169. A passage from the bishop of Sarum, 
ibid. Another from Dr. Whitby, ibid. Ma6rjT(vfiv is constantly used to 
signify nothing less than to teach, &c. p. 170. The sense of the word 
proved from its etymology, p. 171. The primitive, and allits derivatives, 
include teaching, &c. ibid. No room for an antijjhrasis, which is now 
exploded by the best grammarians, ibid. The pretence from the termina- 
tion, that words in -fvco are to be interpreted by sum in Latin, is ground- 
less, p. 172. Plutarch uses the word to signify to teach, p. 173. Another 
instance from St. Ignatius, p. 17 4- Another from the same, ibid. Another 
fi-ora the same, ibid. Some from St. Clemens Alexandrinus, p. 175. One 
from St. Justin Martyr, p. 176. The meaning of ei? to wofia, ibid. Another 
instance from St. Justin, p. 1 77. The word iiaBriTevdv, even in its supposed 
neuter acceptation, notwithstanding the contrary pretences, always includes 
teaching, p. 178. Matt, xxvii. 57, considered, ibid. Instances wherein 
the word signifies to teach, &c. even when constructed with a dative case, 
from Plutarch, p. 179. From Origen, p. 180. From St. Irenaius, ex- 
pounded by a passage of Socrates, and from Clemens Alexandrinus, 
p. 180, 181. The true sense of the word further illustrated by synony- 
mous words, p. 181. Instances of TraiSevo) from Plutarch, ibid. From 
yElian, ibid. From Plato, ibid. Instances of aKovm, from Pindar, p. 182. 
From Diogenes Laertius, ibid. From Plutarch, ibid. An instance of 
StaKovo) from Plutarch, p. 183. A very remarkable instance of the sense of 
fiaOrjrdfiv, from Clemens Alexandrinus, ibid. Another from the same, 
p. 184. One from Origen, p. 185. Besides, if Avhat our adversaries 
advance were right, it can be of no advantage to them, because the word 
in the conmiission is allowed to be transitive, p. 186. Discipleship 
necessarily includes teaching, ibid. MadrjTevo) means to teach successfully, 
and therefore is indeed consequentially to make disciples, ibid. 


Dr. Hammond explains ixadrjTeva-aTf, IMatth. xxviii. 19. by John iv. i. 
without, if not contrary to all reason, p. 188. His unfairness noted, ibid. 
.V passage of the bishop of Sarum in fiivour of the antipfedobaptists' sense 
of the word, p. 189. Another from Mr. Le Clerc, ibid. What Mr. Wall 
urges fi-om the notion of a disciple, considered, p. 190. MaBrjTTjs is only 
said of such as are at least capable of being taught, ibid. Mr. Wall's 
groundless and unfeir attempt upon Acts xv. 10. to prove the conti'ary, 
examined, iliid. The words relate only to adult persons, p. 191. A 
disciple, in common discourse, ever signifies one that is taught, &c. ibid. 
So it docs likewise among the Latin authors ; from whom we borrow it, 
p. 192. Proved from the etymology of discipulus, ibid. By instances 
from Cicero, ibid. From Juvenal, ibid. From Terence, ibid. From 


Cornel. Nepos, p. i 9?!. All the world have had the same notion of a disciple, 
p. 193. Instances in the eastern languages, ibid. In the Anglo-Saxon, 
ibid. No instance that it is used otherwise in any Greek author, but many 
of the sense the antipfedobaptists plead for, ibid. One taken from John 
ix. 27, ibid. One from Acts xviii. 23, ibid. Another from Dionysius 
Halicarnassfeus, ibid. Illustrated also by synonymous words, ibid. 
Instances of dKpoarrjs, ibid. From Diogenes Laertius, ibid. From 
Plutarch, p. 194. An instance of aKpoaixepos from Plutarch, ibid. Of 
aKovcTTris from ^Elian, ibid. From Dionysius Halicai'nassseus, ibid. This 
illustrated by instances from Roman authors, ibid. From Cicero, ibid. 
The inference from all this in the present dispute, p. 195. A passage from 
Lucian, wherein he explains the phrase to make cliscijjles, ibid. Disciple 
and teacher used as correlates, p. 196. By Themistius, ibid. By Cicero, 
ibid. This applied to the present dispute, ibid. The most judicious have 
always allowed, that the word in the commission particularly signifies to 
teach and instruct, ibid. As Constantino, ibid. Stephens, p. 197. Leigh, 
ibid. Turretine, ibid. Episcopius, ibid. Limborch, p. 198. Cameron, 
ibid. Martin Bucer, ibid. Rigaltius, ibid. Erasmus, p. 199. Grotius, 
ibid. Lucas Brugensis, ibid. This proved to be the sense of the place 
from the several versions, p. 200. The Hebrew, ibid. Syi-iac, p. 201. 
Ai-abic, ibid. Persic, ibid. Ethiopic, ibid. Arias Montanus, ibid. 
Vulgar Latin, ibid. That of Sixtus V, ibid, Beza, ibid. Erasmus, 
p. 202. Castalio, ibid. The Italian, ibid. Spanish, ibid. French, ibid. 
Dutch, ibid. Danish, ibid. Saxon, ibid. Vulgar Greek, ibid. The 
Fathers of the primitive church always understood the word in the 
commission signified to teach, ibid. Thus Clemens Alexandrinus, ibid. 
Origen, ibid. St. Justin, p. 203. Eusebius, ibid. Apostolical Constitu- 
tions, p. 204. St. Clement, ibid. Epiphanius, ibid. St. Basil, ibid. 
Tertullian, ibid. Clarus, bishop of Mascula, p. 205. St. Hierome, il)id. 
Lastly, This is proved to be the true sense of the place by the authority 
of the sacred Scriptures themselves, p. 206. The practice of the apostles, 
ibid. Parallel places, ibid. The sum of the evidence, p. 207. From all 
it follows, that the commission obliges to teach all that are to be baptized ; 
and therefore that the Scriptures are not so silent concerning the baptizing 
of infants as the psedobaptists would have us think, ibid. So that if Mr. 
Wall should prove the Jews and Christians did baptize their children, we 
have still reason enough not to admit the practice, ibid. 


Mr. Wall's attempt founded on mistake, p. 208. His pretences from the 
Jews examined ; which he has collected from the learned men who best 
understood their writings, p. 209. Their authority of no weight ; the 
reasons they go ujion l»eing too weak, ibid. It is without sufficient ground 


that our author asserts, the Jews make it plain they baptized their prose- 
lytes before Christ's time, p. 209. His authorities too late, p. 2 1 o. Great 
alterations introduced in a short time, ibid. The passages produced by 
Mr. Wall do not so much as intimate that the Jews baptized proselytes in 
our Saviour's time, p. 211. There is no necessity to understand the words 
in Mr. Wall's sense, ibid. The Jews used to baptize for the pollution 
contracted in circumcision ; which may be the baptism spoken of in the 
Talmud, p. 211, 212. Some of the rabbins plainly shew us they neither 
knew nor allowed of any initiatory baptism, 212. They ridicule our bap- 
tism as a fanciful ceremony, as ajjpears from the ancient Nizzachon, which 
fixes the rise of the practice in Christ, and mentions it as an initiation 
])eculiar to Christians ; and opposes to it the Jewish circumcision only, 
il)id. It appears farther from Eab. Isaac, p. 213. So that the Jewish 
writings, if any thing, prove contrary to our author's opinion, p. 214. The 
authority of the rabbins very insignificant, and never to be depended on, 
ibid. Their ^vl■itings in general stuffed with very foolish, romantic tales, 
p. 215. Their fabulous and ridiculous way of accounting for Christ's 
power of miracles, fi'om Toldoth Jeschu, ibid. More instances of their 
ridiculous whimsies fi^om the Talmud, p. 218. Their foolish misapplication 
of Scripture, p. 219. Their impious representations of God, ibid. A 
fabulous account of the origin of Rome, p. 220. Another concerning 
R. Eliezer, in confirmation of their traditions, p. 221. The Pirke of 
Eliezer, ibid. Another reason why the rabbins are not to be relied on is, 
that they profess to follow their doctors in all they assert, though ever so 
absurd, ibid. They prefer their Talmud and traditions before the Scriptures 
themselves, p. 222. The character of the rabbins, ibid. Their excessive 
])ride, ibid. Their way of interpreting the Scx'iptures, p. 223. The 
Sanhedrim, though made up of their best men, consisted only of magicians, 
as themselves assert, &c. ibid. They have endeavoured to corrupt the 
Scriptures, ibid. All learned men give the same character of the Jews 
and their witings, p. 224. So Mr. Le Clerc, ibid. Mr. Du Pin, ibid. 
Mr. Dodwell, il)id. Scaliger, p. 225. Nauclerus, ibid. Buxtorf, ibid. 
Lightfoot, ibid. And the same character is given of them by Christ him- 
self too, who censures them more parti culai'ly on account of their washings, 
p. 226. Their traditions were many and mischievous, ibid. All these 
things applied to the present dispute, ibid. 


Arrian, from whom Mr. Wall next argues, too late to determine the 
matter, p. 228. He may perhaps only speak of the purifications for 
pollutions, ibid. The pagans frequently confounded the Jcavs and 
Christians together, as appears from Themistius, p. 228, 229. From 


Arrian himself, p. 231. From Liician, ibid. From Tacitu.s, ibid. From 
Suetonius, p. 232. And Rigaltius understands Arrian's words so too, ibid. 
As do also Petavius, Lipsius, and Barthius, ibid. Mr. Wall's argument 
from Gregory Nazianzen examined, p. 233. This Father lived too late to 
determine our dispute ; and does not speak of an initiatory baptism, ibid. 
The Scripture makes no mention of an initiatory baptism in use among the 
Jews, p. 234. Exod. xix. 10. makes nothing to the purpose, ibid. 
Maimonides, his rule of interpretation false, p. 236. The rabbins very 
bad interpreters, ibid. Sanctify does not necessarily imply tvashing, ibid. 
Nothing in the words which so much as intimates the body was to be 
washed, p. 237. There is no mention of an initiatory baptism in any 
authentic ancient history ; even though they had the fairest occasions, 
and ought not to have omitted it, if there had been any such usage, ibid. 
This illustrated by some instances from Josephus and Ganz, ibid, and 238. 
It is on many accounts very improbable that the Jews had any such 
ceremony, ibid. Proved from St. Paul's words, ibid. From Gregory 
Nazianzen, p. 239. From St. Peter, ibid. Several authors of reputation, 
and especially the ancients, do in effect deny they knew of any initiatory 
baptism among the Jews, ibid. Thus St. Barnabas, ibid. Justin Martyr, 
p. 240. TertuUian, p. 241. Origen, p. 242. St. Cyi'il of Jerusalem, ibid. 
Many writers say our baptism came instead (not of baptism among the 
Jews, but) of sacrifice ; as the Recognitions, p. 242, 243. Or of the 
washings for pollutions, as the Apostolical Constitutions pretended, p. 243. 
And Mr. Hill speaks to this purpose, ibid. Others more commonly say 
it succeeds in the place of circumcision, ibid. The conclusion from these 
observations, ibid. Though the Jews could be proved to have baptized 
their proselytes, this does no service to the cause of psedobaptism, \). 244. 
For, I. It does not appear that infants were admitted, il)id. 2. If the 
Jews had such a baptism as is pretended, it is no rule to Christians ; 
otherwise the Socinians, &c. have a good handle to lay aside the use of 
baptism, ibid. And there is no manner of analogy between the Je^vish 
and the Christian psedobaptism, p. 245. 3. We need only go back to the 
baptism of St. John ; which there is more reason to think was the 
pattern of Christ's than a Jewish ceremony, ibid. St. John, Christ, and 
his apostles baptized no infants, p. 246. A passage of Josephus to this 
purpose, ibid. Another fi-om Origen, p. 247. Another of St. Paul, ibid. 
4. At best this supposed baptism of the Jews is only a traditionary cei'e- 
mony from the rabbins, ibid. The quoting texts for it no proof of its 
divine institution, p. 248. The rabbins do not pretend to find an initia- 
tory baptism in the Scriptures, ibid. But confess it is only a tradition of 
their elders, ibid. This proved from the words of the Talmud, ibid. 
Which are explained by some rules of Maimonides, p. 249. Exod. xix. 10. 
cited only by way of accommodation, p. 250. It is therefore great pre- 
sumption to draw a i-abbinical tradition into a precedent for the Christian 


xviii CONTENTS. 

church, p. 251. These things applied to the pi-esent dispute, ibid. The 
conclusion, ibid. 


What is to be the particular business of the following letters, p. 253. 
The authority of the primitive Fathers more to be valued than Daille and 
some others suppose, ibid. It would be easy to defend the credit of the 
Fathers from the cavils of these men, ibid. They were, doubtless, faithful 
in the relations they were well qualified to give of affairs in their own 
churches and times, ibid. And so far their authority is of consequence, 
ibid. But yet this is not sufficient to ground Mr. Wall's attempt upon, 
though they should afford ever so many full citations, p. 254. They were 
sometimes in the wrong, ibid. The two only ways to prove infant -baptism 
are insufficient, even though the arguments our adversaries make use of be 
allowed all the force they are pretended to have, p. 255. It is probable, 
the earliest churches practised only what they received from the apostles, 
ibid. Mr. Wall takes no notice of St. Barnabas, because he makes against 
infant-baptism in several places, p. 256. The passages from St. Clement 
examined, p. 257. Mr. Wall's argument from them stated, ibid. The 
main point on which it turns a groundless mistake, viz. that baptism is 
necessary universally to all that shall be saved, p. 258. Baptism does not 
appear to have been designed to Avash away original sin, ibid. By this 
same argument it might as certainly be proved, that all the antipsedobap- 
tists now are for infant-baptism, p. 259. The passages from Hernias con- 
sidered, ibid. In the passages cited, this Father speaks only of adult 
persons, ibid. John iii. 5. considered, p. 261. Kingdom of God does not 
necessarily mean the kingdom of gloiy, p. 262 The words cannot be 
taken universally, p. 264. Tk has no relation to infants in any place of 
Scripture, ibid. And here relates only to the subjects of whom our Lord 
speaks, p. 265. "Who are only adult persons who have heard the w^ord 
preached, ibid. As appears, i . Because such only can be expected to comply 
with the institution, to whom only it is truly given, ibid. 2. Because such 
only can be saved by it, according to St. Peter, p. 266. Whose words 
the pa-dobaptists have never yet fairly interpreted, p. 267. Dr. Whitby's 
evasion considered, ibid. 3. The same form of speech usual, when infants 
are not included, p. 268. As they seem not to be in this place, by our 
Saviour's words in the context, p. 269. 4. The words under consideration 
cannot be true of infants, ibid. 5. Something in the words themselves 
limits them to adult persons, p. 270. What it is to be born of the Spirit, 
ibid. Dr. Whitby's judicious observations on the text, p. 271. Another 
passage of Hernias considered, ibid. He only describes visions, and 
therefore is not always to be taken literally, p. 272. He cannot mean, 
that persons in their separate state were or could be bajitized with material 
water, ibid. He says nothing however of infant-baptism ; but rather ex- 


eludes infants in this very passage, p. 273. Besides, to give up all our ad- 
versaries can reasonably desire here, it would only prove infants shall be 
baptized in their separate estate after death, which is nothing to our dis- 
pute, p. 274. Another passage of Hermas, ibid. That infants are 
esteemed of God, no argument they ought to be baptized, p. 274. This 
passage makes rather against infant-baptism, ibid. Hermas says several 
things inconsistent with it, p. 275. Matth. xix. 14. considered, ibid, it 
has no relation to baptism, p. 276. Dr. Whitby's improvement of the passage 
examined, ibid. It is probable the children were brought to be healed, 
ibid. It does not follow from these words, that they are fit to be dedicated 
to Christ by baptism, ibid. The bishop of Salisbury's assertion noted and 
disproved, p. 278. Conclusion, ibid. 


What Mr. Wall produces from the writings of the second century 
examined, p. 280. A passage in St. Justin considered, ibid. Which 
makes nothing for infant-baptism, p. 281. Neither does it speak of 
original sin as our author pretends, ibid. Mr. Wall has perverted the 
words, ibid. His translation of them unintelligible, ibid. 'Atto tov 
'Adcifx means from Adam, p. 282. Another misconstruction noted, 
ibid. The f)hrase explained by a passage in Dionysius Halicarnasscneus, 
ibid. And another in Thucydides, p. 283. Another passage from 
St. Justin considered, ibid. He does not call baptism circumcision, 
p. 284. He could not mean baptism by the spiritual circumcision he 
speaks of, ibid. What he understands by spiritual circumcision, ibid. 
Other writers of the primitive chiirch talk in the same manner, p 285. 
Colossians ii. 11,12. considered, p. 286. The Scripture nowhere calls 
baptism circumcision, ibid. The words in themselves are not capable of 
the sense our adversaries give them, p. 287. The ancients did not call 
baptism the circumcision without hands, as Mr. Wall pretends, p. 288. 
Mr. Wall's argument from the parallel betAveen circumcision and baptism 
shewn to be groundless, ibid. The principle on which it is founded, 
evidently false, p. 289. Some of the consequences of it ; as, that baptism 
nmst be administered only on the eighth day, ibid ; that females must 
not be baptized, ibid. As the apostles did not make circumcision their 
rule in relation to baptism ; so neither should we, p. 290. Another 
passage from St. Justin, ibid. It is not to be imagined he should forbear 
to mention infant-baptism, if it had been then practised, p. 291. Or 
however, he ought not to have spoken so as is inconsistent with that prac- 
tice, ibid. The passage is directly against infant-baptism, ibid. The 
reasons why Mr. Wall cites this passage ; though he confesses it makes 
nothing for infant-baptism, p. 292. The first reason makes against 
him, ibid. His next reason, that regeneration is put for baptism, ground- 
less, p. 293. St. Justin never understands regeneration so, il)id. Baptism 

b 2 


not regeueratiou, but the symbol of it, p. 293. The third reason contradicts 
his former assertion, p. 294. Another passage from St. Justin, ibid. 
Which Mr. Wall draws to his side by a very unfair translation, p. 295. 
'Ek TTaiboju signifies Jrom their childhood, ibid. Illustrated by instances 
from Cicero, ibid. From Laertius, ibid. From Plato, p. 486. From 
Plutarch, ibid. From Origen, ibid. From Theophilus Antiochenus, 
p. 296. From the Scriptures, ibid. Mr. Wall himself translates a passage 
of St. Basil thus on another occasion, ibid. The famous passage fi'om 
St. Irenseus considered, p. 297. It is not genuine, ibid. Cardinal Baro- 
nius obsei-ves, the latter part of the chapter contradicts the beginning, 
ibid. Petavius' answer to this proves nothing, p. 298. The author of the 
last part of the chapter attempts to confirm a manifest falsehood, by the 
authority of the ancients from St. John, which St. Irenseus could never 
have done, ibid. Mr. Dodwell's pretence, that St. John, etc. judged of our 
Lord's age by his countenance, too weak and groundless, p. 299. They could 
not but know the time of our Lord's birth more exactly, ibid. St. Irengeus 
could not think Christ arrived to near so much as his fortieth year ; the 
contrary being so evident from the censual rolls then in being, and from the 
disputes with the adversaries of the Christian religion, ibid. Nay, it 
appears from St. Iren?eus' own words, that he was not in so gross an error, 
p. 301. He fixes the time of the Lord's birth, ibid. The time of his 
passion computed ; from the time of Pontius Pilate's government, and 
Tiberius' reign, ibid. ; from the destruction of Jerusalem, &c. p. 302. 
Mr. Dodwell's attempt to excuse the extravagance of this spurious passage 
wholly useless, p. 304. Besides, the passage is taken only from a very 
bad translation, as learned men confess, viz. Scaliger, p. 304, 305. Du 
Pin, ibid. Mr. Dodwell, ibid. Dr. Grabe, ibid. This may also appear, 
by comparing it with the remaining fragments of the original, ibid. 
Again, the word regenerated in this passage does not mean baptized, 
p. 307. The Jews did not give rise to this way of speaking, ibid. The 
Scripture notion of regeneration, p. 308. John iii. 5. considered, ibid. 
The regeneration there mentioned consists in the operations of the Spirit, 
of which baptism is the sign and seal, p. 309. And this appears from our 
Lord's own words following, ibid. Titus iii. 5. considered, p. 31 1. That 
the ancients never mean baptism, but an internal change by regeneration, 
shewn from Clemens Alexandrinus, p. 3 1 3. Tertullian, ibid. Origen, p. 3 1 4. 
Clemens Romanus, p. 315. St. Barnabas, ibid. And St. Irenseus nowhere 
uses the word, as our author pretends he always does, p. 316. The infer- 
ence from these observations, p. 318. A contradiction of Mr. Wall's, ibid. 
Another exception to the passage cited from St. Irenasus is, that in/antes 
does not necessarily mean such young children as the pajdobaptists admit 
to l)aptism, p. 319. Omnis cetas does not always include infants, il.'id. 
As appears by an instance from St. Cyprian, ibid. The Recognitions, ibid. 
Dionysius of Alexandria, ibid. Nor does the enumeration of the several 


ages make it necessary to understand such infants as are not capable of 
reason, p. 320. Infancy, according to St. Irenaeus himself, reaches to ten 
years of age, ibid. As Mr. Dodwell also thinks, p. 321. The infei'euce, ibid. 
Persons under ten, capable of instruction and baptism, ibid. Recapitula- 
tion and conclusion, ibid. 


An argument against infant -baptism, drawn from Polyci'ates' letter to 
Victoi", p. 323. Tertullian no friend to infant -bapti sm ; which makes 
Mr. Wall begin his citations from him, with decrying his authority, p. 324. 
His general expressions no argument for pa?dobaptism, ibid. Tertullian's 
steady meaning is easy to be come at, without Mr. Wall's extravagant 
guesses, p. 325. Tertullian's mentioning infant-baptism, no argument it 
was practised in his time, but only that some were endeavouring to bring 
in the practice, ibid. Tertullian does not simply advise (as Mr. Wall pre- 
tends) to defer the baptizing of children, but argues against it, as a thing 
that ought not to be done, p. 326. The reading of the passage on which 
Mr. Wall grounds his supposition altogether impertinent and absurd, ibid. 
Tertullian's docti'ine concerning baptism inconsistent Avith pjedobaptism, 
p. 327. His exposition of i Cor. vii. 14. not in favour of psedobaptism, 
ibid. Not one author of the first three centui-ies who understands that 
text of baptism, ibid. Mr. Wall's endeavours to prove that ayios, &c. mean 
washed, &c. ineffectual, p. 328. The sense given by the bishop of Sarum 
and Dr. Whitby cannot be the true one, ibid. The best interpretation 
which can be made upon our author's own principles, is what he so much 
despises, viz. that by holiness is meant legitimacy, p. 329. This proved to 
be the true sense, ibid. Holy never signifies baptized, p. 330. When Mr. 
Wall comes to Origen, he cites some passages which are plain to his pur- 
pose, p. 331. But they are only taken from Latin translations, il)id. The 
passage some cite from the Greek remains of this Father, (as Mr. Wall 
himself confesses,) proves nothing, ibid. The Latin translations from 
whence the main citations are taken, are very corrupt and licentious, 
p. 332. Several learned men confess it, ibid. As Grotius, p. 333. 
Huetiu-i, ibid. Daille, iljid. Du Pin, ibid. Tarinus, j). 334. Which is 
also abundantly proved, by comparing the translation with the Greek 
fragments, as now extant, ibid. St. Hierome was not more faithful in his 
translations than liuffinus, ibid. It is very probable they took this liberty 
in all other things, as well as in those particularly for which Origen was 
questioned, p. 335- Ruffinus, notAvithstanding what Mr. Wall says to the 
contrary, took as much liberty with the Epistle to the Romans as he did 
with other books, ibid. He expressly says, he had added many things, 
p. 336. Besides, that commentary was very much interpolated before 
Ruffinus took it in hand, ibid. As to the passage taken out of the 
Homilies on Joshua, it is at best doubtful whether be speaks of infants in 


age, p. 337. In one part of these Homilies he has inserted, though it be 
not in the original, this passage particularly, which is the ground of the 
ptedobaptists' argument, ibid. In St. Cyprian's time infant-baptism was 
practised in Afi-ica ; and probably first took rise there, together with 
infant-communion, ibid. The Africans generally men of weak under- 
standing, ibid. The Greek church, probably, had not yet admitted the 
error, p. 338. The inference from the whole, ibid. A recapitulation, 
ibid. A reason why so much only of Mr. Wall's history as relates to the 
first centuries is examined, p. 346. How infant-baptism was at first 
brought in use, p. 347- Errors sprung up in the church very early, ibid. 
This of infant-baptism not brought in all at once, but by degrees, ibid. 
And was occasioned in some measure by their zeal, which was not always 
according to knowledge, as several other things were, ibid. A parallel 
betwixt this practice and the popish notion of transubstantiation, ibid. 
When John iii. 5. was understood to relate to infants, as well as others, no 
wonder infants were baptized, p. 348. Upon just such another mistake of 
our Saviour's words in John vi. 53. the earliest pajdobaptists admitted 
children to the Lord's supper, p. 349. Conclusion, ibid. 








Heats among Christians inconsistent with their profession, and a great dis- 
honour to Christianity — This reflection occasioned by a letter the author 
received, very unbecoming the character of his friend that sent it — The author 
endeavours to find an excuse for his friend — We are generally more subject 
to passion in matters of religion than in other things — His friend's great 
respect to the power of the Church of England, which he thinks to be the best 
constituted national church in the world, some sort of excuse for him — We have 
no infallible judge on earth — Nothing can excuse unreasonable excesses of any 
kind — Hard names, &c., no real prejudice to our cause — Mr. Wall's modera- 
tion only pretended — The antipsedobaptists hearty friends to the present 
government — Those who make the greatest outcries of the church's danger, 
known to be her greatest enemies — Persecution for religion directly contrary 
to our Saviour's doctrine and example — Arguments from Scripture the proper 
means to convince men — The antipsedobaptists open to instruction — Mr. Wall's 
history not so formidable as is pretended — He is not much to be depended on 
— His real aim and design was only to establish the baptism of infants ; as 
appears by considering his pretence from Justin Martyr — Another from 
St. Cyprian — Another from the Apostolical Constitutions — He takes all occa- 
sions to blacken the antipaedobaptists ; disguising his designs with pretences 
to moderation — This charge not inconsistent with charity — Learned men are 
best able to judge of matters — Mr. Wall endeavours to possess his readers with 
an opinion of his learning, by several needless digressions, on the Decretal 
Epistles : on the history of Pelagianism ; and, in this, on the lawfulness of 
oaths, and possessing riches : on the virginity of our Lord's mother : on the 
Socinians, and the tritheism they charge on the Fathers — This a subject too 
difficult for Mr. Wall — His ridiculous reflection on Mr. Stennett noted — 
Another artifice to gain reputation, by quarrelling with several of the greatest 
men for learning, &c. : as archbishop Tillotson, bishop Burnet, Rigaltius, 

2 Reflections on Mr. Wall'.% [letter i. 

Gregory Nazianzen, father and son, St. Chrysostom, Mr, Le Clerc — Difference 
in opinion no warrant to dispense with the rules of charity — Moral virtues 
more acceptable to God than speculative notions — Mr. Le Clerc no Arian, 
Photinian, or Socinian — Mr. Wall also quarrels with Grotius— The sense of 
a passage in St. Gregory set right, which Mr. Wall had misrepresented— The 
sense of a canon of the Neocsesarean council rescued from the force Mr. Wall 
put upon it : as also, the words of Zonaras and Balsamon, in relation thereto — 
St. Austin and Pelagius speak of the end, not of the subjects of baptism — He 
that takes so much liberty with such men, will take more, in all probability, 
with the antipaedobaptists — Mr. Wall has not acted the part of a faithful his- 
torian towards us — He several times, on no ground at all, takes for granted 
some things, merely because they favour his design — And charges the Anti- 
paedobaptists with whatever he has heard any one among them to have 
believed or said. 


One would think it impossible, when we consider the perfect 
charity and moderation which Christianity every where recom- 
mendsj to find its professors so overcome with bitterness and heat. 
It is a great reflection on our holy religion, and nothing- hardly can 
expose it to jest and banter more than these animosities and violent 
divisions, which reign among those who make the highest pretences 
of affection to it ; who after having magnified it to others, and 
endeavoured to convince them of its excellence and truth, so foully 
contradict its piety and goodness in their actions, which are so 
directly opposite to that divine Spirit which breathed it forth : 
which discovers they have no such great opinion of it themselves, 
and gives the enemies of our faith but too much colour to cry it 
down as an imposture, and an invention of state, to frighten chil- 
dren and fools into subjection and slavery. Rage and fury are 
inconsistent with Christianity ; and where these govern, that can 
find no place : . for, what agreement can there be between a perse- 
cuting temper and the peaceful Spirit of Christ our Lord ? What 
coimmmion hath light with darkness ? What concord hath Christ with 
Belial? &c. 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15. And accordingly it is to be observed, 
no party encom-ages this fiery zeal so much, as the most antichristian 
of all churches, viz. that of Rome. 

You will easily aj)prehend, sir, the occasion of these Reflections ; 
for, give me leave to tell you, nothing could be more unbecoming 
your character, either as a Christian or a learned man, than the 
letter you sent me. I should never have expected it from one 
of but tolerable sense and candour; and much less from you, who 
are a person of uncommon abilities and a liberal education. 

Hidory of Infaut-bajdhm. 3 

I cannot tell how to express the surjirise I was in, that you, of 
all my friends, should dip your pen so deep in gall, and treat us 
with so much seeming" ill-nature ; and I was the more concerned, 
because I could think of nothing which might excuse you. It is, 
indeed, what I never observed in you before, during our long ac- 
quaintance ; but this only increases the present wonder : and I 
cannot imagine what provocation you had to it now, unless, per- 
haps, something extraordinary had chafed you ; and turning your 
thoughts, in the commotion, upon the unhappy difference between 
us, you were betrayed into this warmth unawares. 

And it is our misfortune, indeed, that in matters of religion, 
where we should shew the least, we generally have the greatest 
passion : here our nature is more apt to take fire ; and we think it 
justifiable too, or rather our duty ; cheating ourselves with false 
pretences to a zeal for God and religion : for all things that are 
comprehended under that venerable name justly make a deep 
impression on our souls, and touch their most sensible part. From 
these considerations, I should be glad to frame an excuse for you ; 
and to give it the greater weight, I add further on your behalf, 
that not being a divine, you have not made it your business to 
examine the controversy thoroughly, but have taken it on trust 
from the clergy, as I fear they do too often from one another. 

This, I owTi, is but an indifferent plea ; yet I am willing it should 
pass with myself, for I would fain find something which might be 
stretched into an excuse for a person I so much esteem. And, in- 
deed, to one that knows you, it will not seem altogether unlikely that 
this was the cause. The deference and respect you pay to the Church 
of England, and its governors and customs, is undoubtedly very 
commendable, and no small argument of a devout mind : especially 
considei-ing how much you are persuaded that Christ has left many 
things, even all that are indifferent, in the church's power ; and 
that therefore all ought to obey, and entirely submit to that power 
and authority, with which it is thus by him invested. And as to the 
Church of England in particular, I know you look upon her to be, 
by far, the purest and best constituted national church in the world, 
and very conformable to the primitive pattern, both in respect to 
the holiness of her doctrines and the usefulness of her discipline, as 
established in the canons and constitutions of the church : and that 
she eminently enjoys what is made a distinguishing character by 
Christ himself, in that she preserves an extensive charity ; and is 
in her nature an utter stranger, let some of her pretended sons be 
what they will, to those tyrannical principles, which are the support 

B 2 

4 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter i. 

of her antichristian neighbours : and all the world owns, none can 
boast of a more learned clergy, to maintain the interest of our most 
holy religion. Now these things are, doubtless, enough to create 
a just veneration in you for the authority and judgment of such 
guides ; and therefore I do not wonder that you apply to them the 
apostle's awful charge, i Cor. iv. i, Let a man so account of them, as 
of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 

I am solicitous, you see, sir, to excuse the fault I think you have 
committed ; and have set down my thoughts just as they came to 
mind, that you may perceive, by their disorder, how much I am 
concerned. But after all, I must observe, that having no infallible 
judge on earth, we are not bhndly to prostitute our consciences to 
the dictates of any power whatever, but have an undisputed right 
to that liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

It is an unpleasing reflection, because it so much weakens the 
force of what I have been contriving in your excuse : but still I 
cannot forbear thinking, that nothing will by any means justify a 
rash unchristian conduct. Religion, which is the highest reason, 
can be no excuse for unreasonable excesses of any kind ; and there- 
fore whoever engages in the defence of a party with the usual vio- 
lence, you may be satisfied, and may take it for a general rule, has 
not his zeal from religion, but something which lies at bottom, of 
a quite contrary natm-e. And this your own experience must needs 
have confirmed to you. 

However, if through the misrepresentations of others, you are 
persuaded to think so ill of us, and believe you have treated us as 
well, or it may be better than we deserve ; I only beg you wovdd 
let me know the reasons on which this ill opinion of us is grounded, 
and I will promise impartially to consider them : and if they have 
any weight, I will ingenuously acknowledge it, and give up my 
cause. But till I can see something more conclusive than what 
Mr. Wall, or any else I have yet met with, have oflfered, I must 
desire you will allow me to continue my separation from the 
national church, and religiously adhere to that more despised one, 
of which, I hope, I shall never be ashamed or afraid to own myself 
a member. 

We are very little moved at the reflections and hard names you 
bestow on us, whatever force you may think there is in them. 
* Conceited sectaries' and ' obstinate heretics' are old calumnies. 
St. Paul himself did not escape them, and has taught us to confess, 
that after the way which some call heresy, so ivorship we the God of 
our fathers J Acts xxiv. 14. It is no real prejudice to our cause that 

History of Infant-baptism. 5 

it is ridiculed, and the conscientious professors of it vilified and 
abused. Christ and his whole doctrine, while he was on earth, and 
a long time after, was not better treated ; and his great example, 
we thank God, has encouraged us to endure all manner of re- 
proaches for his sake with patience : we know, and he bid us 
remember it in the times of trouble, that we who are servants are 
not greater than our Lord and Master. We can never forget with 
how much contempt he was treated, who with wonderful patience 
endured whatever the malice of devils and wicked men could invent; 
and it is our constant prayer, that, imitating his greatness of soul, 
we also may bless them tolio curse us, and pray for them %oho despite- 
fully %(,se lis. To suffer after him is no dishonour, but having his 
great example always before our eyes, we should rather rejoice, as 
he has encouraged us to do, when we are persecuted for his sake ; 
for he has assured us, and we humbly trust to him to see it per- 
formed, that if we are reviled for his sake, our reward shall be great 
in heaven. 

The main ground of difference between us, in my opinion, sir, 
is the case of baptism ; but how some men can improve this to 
justify their traducing us as dangerous enemies to the state, I am 
not clearsighted enough to discern. It is true, you do not charge 
us with this ; but yet give me leave here to observe, that a great 
many do, and propagate the opinion all they can : and the author 
you so much admire, by his inserting, among other things, the 
scandalous story of Mr. Hicks", which himself can scarce forbear 
confessing to be false, gives me reason to fear he is of the same 
mind too, though he endeavours to conceal it. And though he has 
pretty well imitated the moderation and candour he so much pre- 
tends to, he fully discovers, at some turns, that these are only pre- 
tences : witness his asserting'', that the forbearance the states of 
Holland allow, and which he mischievously insinuates is, ' outdone 
^ by another nation, is the most contrary to the nature and design 
' of Christianity, of any thing that could be devised.^ Witness also 
his quotation from Dr. Featlyc, who was certainly the most railing 
adversary in the world, and urged the words of the parable. Compel 
them to come in, as strongly as the hottest convertist in France. 
And Mr. Wall has such an esteem for the doctoi-^s principles, that 
in one short paragraph he cites him three times for ' setting forth 
^ the mischiefs of a toleration in any state,' without adding one 

« Part ii. p. ■216. [53.v] the second and the third.] 

h Part ii. p. 388. [of the first edition : <• Part ii. p. 213, 214. [6»8.] 

but the passage was omitted from both 

6 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter i, 

reason for it but the doctor's ipse dhvit : and says, ' the observation 
' the doctor made upon the first toleration that had ever been in 
' England, the experience of all times since following- has shewn to 
* be a just one/ Why did not our author at once set himself to 
justify more directly the French king's acting in relation to oiu' 
distressed protestant brethren, who so miserably groan under his 
most barbarous oppression ? For Dr. Featly's principles are evidently 
the same with those of the French convertists. 

It is therefore more than a presumption that our author's charity 
and moderation are still the very same as when he took so much 
care to perform his part wdth those who were endeavouring to 
plunder and root out the anabaptists in his neighbourhood. But 
whatever he may think of that matter now, there will come a time 
when it will be but an unj^leasing reflection to him. And though 
he, and others like him, may strive to blacken us, by their false 
reports and innuendos, we are at present happy in a gracious queen<^, 
who is not to be imposed on by these artifices against us : she is 
sensible we are as hearty as any of her subjects, and as ready, with 
the utmost hazard of our lives and fortunes, to support the crown 
and dignity she justly enjoys and so highly adorns. And if I know 
the antipsedobaptists, as I think I do, I speak from my conscience, 
and in God's presence, I am satisfied there are not truer friends to 
the government, that will do more for it, according to their abilities, 
in the three kingdoms. It is known they acknowledge her majesty's 
tenderness and care of the common interest very gratefully, and 
make her the best return a body of private men can do, by devoutly 
praying for her preservation in their public assemblies. 

But it seems we have the unhappiness to difixjr from the church 
in several things, which is handle enough for some persons to cry 
mightily against us. Perhaps they imagine, violent, noisy pretences 
to zeal for the church will recommend them to ecclesiastical prefer- 
ments, notwithstanding, in reality, the church is the least of their 
concern ; and after all, it may sadly be observed, that piety and 
true religion are almost quite lost in the midst of these zealous pre- 
tences ; for those who make the greatest stir about religion are too 
frequently found to have the least regard to it in their lives and 
actions ; just as the malecontents and nonjurors, who can certainly 
be no friends to England, raise the loudest outcries of the church's 
danger, when, at the same time, it is known they are the greatest 
enemies to it and its present establishment. How else could one 

fl [Anne.] 

History of Infani-baptism. 7 

of theme so impudently propose an union with the clerg-y of France ? 
A friend to that church can be no friend to this at home. Yet these 
are the men who begin the clamour^ to the g-reat disturbance of the 
cathohc church ; and then basely turn it upon us, by a common 
Jesuitical fig-ure, and cry, that we are the churches enemies, and 
design its ruin ; and all for no other reason, sir, but because we 
will not intermeddle ^vith it at all. A feint and amusement only, 
that they may unobserved and unsuspected betray her more effectu- 
ally : for if she is in danger, it is from them ; from whom, though 
we are thought her enemies, we unfeignedly pray God to deliver 
her. But she need not be apprehensive of what they can do, while 
her majesty is at her head, who has piously engaged to protect her, 
though not in the method of Rome, and of these her votaries, by 
crushing the innocent, and it may be, mistaken dissenters. Politics, 
perhaps, might persuade her to treat her avowed enemies with more 
severity, who dare question her title, and her supremacy in all eccle- 
siastical as w^ell as civil matters, throughout her realms ; which 
many of the clergy, contrary to their repeated most solemn oaths, 
j)ublicly do ; but she will never be brought to believe that God is, 
like the barbarous heathen daemons, to be delighted with the dread- 
ful pomp of human sacrifices, and huge draughts of the reeking 
blood of poor trembling wretches. 

It is strange any men should go to introduce dragoons and fagots 
into a system of Christian religion ; for what can be more directly 
contrary to our Saviour^s doctrine and example, than malice and 
oppression and massacres ? or more preposterous, than to send 
them to hell (for they damn all heretics thither) to save their souls ? 
While, on the other hand, charity and mutual forbearance, and to 
treat one another like brethren, are the blessed fruits and conse- 
quences of his most holy doctrines ; and whatever may be insinuated, 
these are the things our principles teach us. We desire to be his 
disciples, and therefore following his holy instructions, we resolve 
to love one another^; and if any creep in among us of a contrary 
temper, we heartily renounce both them and their practices. But 
enough of this. 

e [The allusion is evidently to the ' liberty to be allowed by them [the Ro- 

learned Henry Dodwell ; and jjrobably ' manists] as would suffice to reconcile 

to that piece of his, entitled ' An account ' our comniunions. And this I believe 

' of the fundamental principle of Popery ' will be an information very useful, and 

' as it is a distinct Connuunion,' &c., ' very acceptable to all hearty desirers of 

(8°. 1676 ; again, 40. 1688,) where, at 'the peace of Christendom ; that is, ii>- 

section 25, the author says ; — ' upon the ' deed, to all truly Christian spirits.'] 

' suppositions now mentioned, I do not f John xiii. 35. 
' see any reason to despair of so much 

8 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter i. 

Persons of more honour^ and better understanding and temper, 
pursue more commendable methods ; and as Christ hath committed 
to them the sword of the Spirit, ^ohich is the word of God, they employ 
that alone to defend his church and truth. And undoubtedly the 
most effectual way to suppress error is (and it is the only one Christ 
has provided) by arg-uments drawn from the Scriptures ; which are, 
in their own nature, most proper to convince the judgment, and 
work upon the affections too. This is the business and indispensable 
duty of every careful shepherd of Christy's flock, over the consciences 
of whom he has no power, but to teach, and knowing the terror of 
the Lord, to persuade men. 

But, you say, ' This has been always our pretence, and we have 
' constantly commended this method, because it is so gentle, and we 
' can easily put by the force of it ; for we seem resolved to take very 
* little notice of what is done in this kind ; or at least, obstinately 
' to cavil at it, though ever so unreasonably.^ But indeed, sir, you 
wrong us very much ; for if we are in error, we heartily desire to 
be convinced of it; and every one must acknowledge, we are not 
tied to our opinion by reputation and interest ; since it rather 
deprives us of those honours and valuable promotions in the state 
and church we might otherwise enjoy a share of. Though for my 
Dwn part, those advantages do not in the least tempt my utmost 
ambition, to make me, in disobedience to God and my conscience, 
deny what I know and believe to be right ; yet out of mere respect 
to truth, I shall ever think myself obliged to any man who kindly 
takes pains to undeceive me in a matter he thinks I am mistaken 
in, and shall always be open to instruction ; and as far as I can 
judge of our whole body, they are ready to embrace the truth, and 
renounce their errors, as soon as they shall be made appear to be 
such by authentic proofs. And this character Mr. Wall himself too 
allows us, among other things to the same effect, adding these 
words ; ' I take them generally to be cordial, open, and frank 
' expressers of their sentiments s.^ 

You call this also, ' the old cant, and hope we will no more make 
' use of it, till we have answered what is so learnedly written against 
' us by Mr. Wall ; who has, you think, most effectually ruined our 
' cause, in the judgment of all reasonable, considerate men.' But 
that you are mistaken in your opinion of his book, and that Mr. Wall 
has done our cause no prejudice, nor is the formidable adversary you 
represent him to be, is as clear to me as the contrary seems to you, 

Z Partii. p. 4 16. [688.] 

History of Infant-baj)tism. 9 

and perhaps you may be persuaded shortly to think so too. I con- 
fess I look on what he has done as the best defence of infant-baptism 
extant, and therefore it deserves an answer. And you may expect 
a complete one, by a very learned hand^i, which, it is likely, may go 
far toward putting" an end to the controversy ; but the person who 
undertakes it, is under such avocations, that I doubt it will be some 
time before it can be published. In the meanwhile, therefore, I 
will set myself to obey your commands, (for such I esteem the 
requests of my friends,) and the more willingly, that I may confirm 
you in the good opinion you are pleased to express of me : you think 
I have so much ingenuity, as to follow truth wherever I find it ; 
and since I persist in my former notion, you are willing to believe 
I have something which appears a reason to me, to offer in my 
defence ; and on this account, you shall be glad, you say, to know 
my sentiments of Mr. WalFs book ; which I will give you, without 
prejudice or heat, and I hope the consequence will be the continu- 
ance of your friendship. 

I esteem Mr. WalFs, I said, the best defence of infant-baptism 
I have seen ; and that for those reasons on which he recommends 
it himself in his preface. I believe, indeed, they are not all sound ; 
but he all the way endeavours to impose them on the reader with 
such an air as shall make them pass for such with many. Besides, 
it must be allowed he has, in some respects, argued to more ad- 
vantage than any before him, having reaped the benefit of their 
writings ; but with all his advantages, and though he stands on 
the shoulders of those who have gone before him, his size is not so 
gigantic that we need be afraid to engage him, and enter the dis- 
pute. But before I come to particulars, it may be proper to make 
some general remarks, which will be of service to us, when we con- 
sider the several arguments wherein bis strength lies. 

In the first place, sir, I must desire you to believe Mr. Wall is 
not every where to be depended on : he represents some things so 
unfairly, and others in so false a light, that he is not to be read 
without much caution and distrust. He wordd be thought, indeed, 
a mighty fair and impartial writer, and to this end endeavours to 
conceal the contrary bias he was under ; and he has done it so suc- 
cessfully too, that he has had the good fortune generally to gain 
the reputation he aimed at ; but how undeservedly, I will leave you, 
though so much his friend, to judge, by the following instances : 

h [Mr. Joseph Stennet, a learned inin- some account of him and his works, con- 
ister, author of the answer to David suit Crosby's History of the Baptists, vol. 
Russen's ' Fundamentals,' &c. 1704. For iv. p. i\<^i'i<i, also Ivimey's Baptists.] 

10 Beflectlous on Mr. Wall's [letter i. 

He tells us in the titlepage, his design is ' impartially to collect 
' all the passages in the writers of the first four centuries, as do 
' make either for or against infant-hap tism/ And afterwards he 
says ' he has produced all he has met with in the authors that wrote 
' in the first four centuries 1^/ and that he has done it in ' their o^vn 
' words, without omitting any that he knows of'^ within the limited 
time. He assures us of it again in another placets, in order to 
remove all doubts, and persuade you that he has not suffered a 
single instance to escape his diligence, especially in the earliest ages. 
But I am positive I could easily point out several passages, all cited 
from writers in the first three centuries, which he has taken no 
notice of, and each of them stronger in favour of antipsedohaptism 
than any he produces for the contrary, till St. Cyprian^s time. This 
is not the proper place, but if there is occasion, I intend to give you 
some hereafter, when they may more conveniently fall in ; at pre- 
sent, I shall only observe, he discovers his design, notwithstanding 
his pretences to impartiality, was to establish the baptism of infants, 
I had almost said per fas et nefas. For after a long quotation from 
Justin Martyr's first apology, which does not in the least touch on 
the baptism of infants, as Mr. Wall himself confesses, he makes the 
reader put the question*, ' To what purpose this is cited in a dis- 
course of infant-baptism 7' plainly intimating it did not directly 
serve his secret real design, the baptism of infants not being spoken 
of in it ; how^ever, to balance the matter, he says, it makes nothing 
against it neither, in which he is manifestly in the wrong. 

The martyr is there giving the emperor an account of the Christ- 
ian form of baptizing in general, as it was administered to all j and 
not, as Mr. Wall takes the freedom, without any ground, to suppose, 
to those only who were converted from heathenism, thereby intro- 
ducing two baptisms into the church, contrary to the express w^ords 
of St. Paulm, and making Justin most imprudently fall into what 
he was endeavouring to avoid, namely, the suspicion of ' dealing 
' unfairly,' by concealing something from the emperor's knowledge. 
But to fortify his conjecture he adds, the reason of the martyr's 
profound silence in the matter was, that ' he had no occasion to 
' speak of the case of infants.' 

A very disingenuous assertion ! as you cannot but think it, sir, 
if you call to mind the scandal Christians were commonly under, 
in those days, which St. Justin himself and all the apologists are 
so careful to remove ; I mean, their being taxed with murdering 

li Partii. J). I. [332.] i Introd. p. 2. [2.] k Part ii. p. 8. [338.] 

1 Part i. p. 15. [69] m Eph. iv. 5. 

History of Lifant-baptism. 11 

their children at their meeting's^ and feasting on their flesh. For 
this eakimny was industriously spread among the pagans, and the 
Christians cleared themselves very well; but without disparaging 
the arguments they employed, I mil ventm-e to say, the baptism of 
infants, if it had been in use among them, might have been urged 
with as much weight as any, and they would certainly have thought 
it as conclusive, and not have passed it over with a total neglect. 

On the whole, I infer, and I hope not without reason, this pas- 
sage of St. Justin is directly against infant-baptism ; and therefore, 
when Mr. Wall says, it is not directly for his purpose, that must 
imply, whatever he pretends, his aim was only to find out what 
might be most plausiljly offered for the opinion he had before enter- 
tained. I draw this inference not from this passage alone, but from 
several others also in his book, and from what I am going to add in 
the next place, which perhaps you may esteem the plainer proof. 

After our author has laboured" to establish the credit of St. 
Cyprian, and his testimonies for infant-baptism, supposing the 
reader sufficiently prepared to understand all that Father says of 
baptism, as including pajdobaptism too; he presents us with a 
citation out of his commonplace-book, as Mr. Wall terms it, where 
St. Cyprian, to shew the necessity of regeneration and baptism, (not 
or baptism, which would have answered Mr. WalFs end better,) uses 
the words of St. John, Except a man he horn^, &c., and then suddenly 
changing the person, because St. Cyprian quoted St. John, he sub- 
stitutes St. John-'s authority in the room of St. Cyprian's, and runs 
on as if he was only arguing from that sacred testimony, to fix the 
sense of those words in some particulars he had most occasion for, 
and which have really no difficulty in them. 

Thus having passed it on you, that St. Cyprian does sometimes 
speak in favour of infant-baptism, and then taking it for granted he 
does it here too ; he shifts authorities, after his singular method of 
improving things, and makes a descant on the words of St. John, in 
hopes to carry it with the credulous reader ; and at last concludes, 
that from these considerations we may see 2daml^ this is a good 
testimony for infant-baptism. 

And as he represents it, indeed, it seems to have some weight. 
But pray, sir, observe the fallacy : to persuade you that St. Cyprian 
means nothing but water-baptism, he unfairly cuts off" these words 
taken out of the same gospel. Except ye eat the flesJi and drink the 
blood of the Son of man, ye have no life in you? ; which immediately 
follow those cited by Mr. Wall, and make up this whole chapter. 

» Peart i. p.'57, 58. [91.] o John iii. 5. P John vi. 53. 

12 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter i. 

As if he foresaw they would lessen the testimony he was so fond of, 
and therefore^ in point of prudence, might be omitted : for it is clear 
from them, that by regenerate in the text, St. Cyprian did not under- 
stand baptism only, nor at all indeed, for that word seems plainly to 
refer to these words, John vi, ^2) > ^^^ ^^^o, that he pleads as 
strong-ly for the necessity of communicating- infants, as baptizing 

Mr. Wall therefore, being pressed afterwards i by Mr. Daille's 
argument from this passage, to prove infants were admitted, in 
St. Cyprian^s time, to the eueharist, would extricate himself, by 
owning, in express terms, when he thinks it has first had its effect 
in this place, that 'it would be but a very weak argument for 
' infant-baptism, were it not that he himself (viz. St. Cyprian) in 
' other places mentions infants by name, as contained under the 
' general rule that requires baptism •/ and with this confession of his 
disingenuity, he thinks to ward off the force of Mr. Daille^s argu- 
ment. But this does him no manner of kindness; for whatever 
may appear from other passages to have been St. Cyprian-'s judg- 
ment in the case, if this particular passage does not prove it, (as he 
confesses it does not,) a man of his pretended impartiality should 
not have insisted on it. Besides, whatever he would have us 
believe, he must needs perceive, those texts being joined together 
without any thing between them but a necessary copula, under the 
same head, and unavoidably ai:)plied to the same subject, the passage 
is either of no use to confirm infant-baptism, or else it may be as 
well urged for their being admitted to the awful sacrament of the 
Lord^s Supper. To save you the trouble of turning to the place, I 
will transcribe the whole chapter, which Mr. Wall did not think fit 
to do, that you may see whose reasons are best grounded. The 
general head of this chapter in St. Cyprian is, ' Except any one be 
' baptized and born again, he cannot come to the kingdom of Godf :' 
and the chapter itself runs thus : 

' In the Gospel according to St. John : Except any one is horn 
' again of water and of tie Spirit, he cannot enter into the Ungdom of 
' God. For that which is born of the flesh is flesh ; and that which is 
' horn of the Spirit is spirit. And again : Except ye eat the flesh of 
' the Son of man, and drink his hlood, ye have no Vfe in you:' 

** .''*'."• P- 355- [629.] 'potest introire inregnumDei. Quod enim. 

"■ Lib. iii. Testimonior. ad Quirin. cap. ' natum est de came, caro est : et quod na- 

25. 'Ad regnum Dei nisi baptizatus et 'turn est de Spiritu spiritus est. Item 

' renatus quis fuerit, pervenire non posse.' ' illic : Nisi ederitis carnem Filii hominis, 

' In Evangelio cata Joannem ; Nisi quis ' et biberitis sanguinem ejus, non kabebitis 

' renattis fuerit ex aqua et Spiritu, non ' vitam in vobis.' 

History of hif ant-baptism. 13 

This is the entire chapter, without any alteration, just as it is 
published by the learned bishop Fell. 

He has acted with the same artifice in relation to the Apostolical 
Constitutions, as they are called. For he produces words from the 
sixth book, direct indeed to his purpose; only they, like all the 
other boasted clear proofs, unluckily happen to be spurious, and 
foisted in, as many other things were, during- the fourth century, as 
he himself is forced to confess. And how he can make them of any 
authority then, I leave his own conscience to answer. He gives but 
an indifferent account of their collection into one body at first, nor 
dares deny their being frequently altered afterwards, and interpolated 
till about the fourth century. Monsieur Jurieu also questions their 
antiquity, and says, ' They are a work of the fourth age, and perhaps 
' the fifth \^ It is certain they have been considerably altered since 
Epiphanius^ time, who died in the fifth century ; for of the many 
passages he quotes from them, some are very different, others are 
contrary, and some not to be found, as they are read now. 

These circumstances, if Mr. Wall had been unprejudiced, would 
have sunk the authority of the Constitutions very low with him. 
And to shew I am not mistaken, in another place* he uses them 
meanly himself. He could not avoid owning they mentioned com- 
municating of infants, which made it not for his purpose they should 
be well thought of; and therefore he tacks about, and undervalues 
them to such a degree, that he thinks them not worth an answer. 
So plain is it, by his owti words and management, that he 
endeavours to persuade his readers, by straining a passage, which, 
according to his own confession, is not to his purpose. And what 
can we expect, sir, from such a writer ? I wish, for his own sake, he 
had considered a little sooner of what he afterwards says", ' That 
' any antipsedobaptist,^ I add, or psedobaptist either, ' who having 
' better means of knowledge, is convinced that any of these argu- 
' ments have really no force, and yet does urge them on the more 
' ignorant people, acts very disingenuously towards them, and is a 
' prevaricator in the things of God. For to use any argument with 

* an intent to deceive, hath in it (though there be no proposition 
' uttered that is false i7i terminis) the nature of a lie : which, as it is 

* base and unmanly in human affairs, so it is impious when it is 
' pretended to be for God; as Job says, ch. xiii. y.' 

How little Mr. Wall is to be relied on, appears further, if you 

^ Lett. Pastorale 9. an. 1686. 'Cette 'feme.' [Or, translated into English, 8vo. 

' compilation qu'on appelle lea Constitu- London, 1 689. page 1 94.] 
' tions Apostoliques, est un ouvrage du * Part ii. p. 360. [635.] 

' quatri^me sifecle, et peut ^tre du cinqui- " Part ii. p. 382. [657.] 

14 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter I. 

observe how industriously he takes all advantages to blacken us, and 
render us the objects of resentment and contempt, by many thing's 
which are carefully scattered through his whole book : that a man 
who sets himself to write with this temper and design will say any 
thing that favours his intention, a common knowledge of the world 
will acquaint us by infinite examples. When an author once makes 
it his business to expose and defame his adversary, he never fails to 
mention every thing that may discredit him : old stories, though 
ever so false and scandalous, are repeated anew ; all former wounds 
torn oj)en afresh, and raked into to the very bone j and those ani- 
mosities, which had been happily extinguished and effaced by a more 
charitable temper, or else considerably worn out by time, are again 
revived, and perhaps with new improvements of malice. He gives 
his own cause the most pleasing colours, and insinuates himself into 
your belief with specious pretences of argument, and an air of pro- 
bability and assurance ; for, as Tully observes, ' There is nothing so 
' absurd and incredible, but may be represented so as to look very 
' probable X.' 

But this is not all : there is another invention, and that is, to as- 
sume an appearance of impartiality and equanimity, and talk much 
of it ; and under this disguise, to insert such innuendos and expres- 
sions as will provoke the passion of hasty bigots against his anta- 
gonists. Thus to make them look like criminals and dangerous 
persons, it is pretended they are liable to the lash of the law, but are 
spared out of generosity and tenderness ; that their principles and 
main design are to overturn both church and state ; that they have 
some pernicious interest to carry on, some ambition or some passion 
to gratify ; and are a sort of obstinate hoidefeusy and heretics ; and 
to secm-e all, a great many scandalous falsehoods are officiously 
obtruded on the credulous, as diligently as if they were the funda- 
mental articles of the Christian faith. And if I can form any judg- 
ment, Mr. Wall has too near approached this method. 

You will be surprised, I know, sir, at so severe a charge from me, 
who have always so much talked of and admired charity, as the 
most amiable, darling attribute of the Almighty ; for God is love^ ; 
witness the amazing instance of it in his redeeming us from the 
curse by the sacrifice of his only- begotten Son. But you must not 
upbraid me with violating even the strictest rules of charity, which 
the doctrine and example of the blessed Jesus have taught us, and 
which I pray God I may always diligently study to observe. I am 

" Paradox, cap. i. ' Nihil est tam iticredibile, quod non dicendo fiat probabile.' 
y [Boute-feu, an incendiary, a sower of discord.] z i John iv. 8. 

Htstorij of Infant-baptism. 15 

very backward, and you must be sensible of it, to use so much as an 
ordinary liberty of censuring- the actions of others ; nothing" grates 
more upon my natural temper, than to tell unwelcome truths, and 
lay men^s faults before them. I much rather choose, which perhaps 
is the contrary extreme, to pass them by, for the most part, in 
silence ; and I would willingly have done so here, if I had not 
believed it would be a manifest prejudice to the truth ; for I saw 
what success his arts had Avith you, and therefore I thought it alto- 
gether seasonable to distinguish those thing's in our author which 
justly render all he says suspected; and when you find what full 
proof I can make of all I tax him with, I hope you will be satisfied 
I have done nothing- inconsistent with the noble principles of charity 
I profess and so much magnify; but, on the contrary, was even 
obliged by them to do you and our cause this piece of justice. In 
the meanwhile, if any thing really blameworthy or indecent has 
slipped from me, I heartily beg pardon of you and Mr. Wall, and 
shall be very sorry whenever I perceive it. 

It is g-enerally allowed, and justly, that men of the greatest 
learning- and penetration, who are duly furnished with proper 
materials, and have taken considerable pains to search out the truth, 
are best qualified to judge in any case, and are most to be depended 
on. We are naturally pretty much inclined to submit ourselves, in 
a good degree, to their resolutions. Mr. Wall was apprised of this, 
and that the far greater part of your church acknowledge (as 
abundance have done in my hearing) they practise infant-baptism 
more on the authority of the learned, venerable body of their clergy, 
than for any reason they see either in the Scriptures or in the 
nature of the thing. It very much concerned him, therefore, to 
preserve this esteem in the minds of the people ; lest, if it wore off, 
they should start from their lethargy, look about them, and bravely 
assume the liberty of judging for themselves, and refuse to be led 
any longer in shackles. 

I am apt to think this put Mr. Wall to the fruitless pains of 
introducing so many things, which are really nothing to the purpose, 
but only as they serve his ostentation, and to display his reading. 
Thus, for instance, of what use in a discourse of infant-baptism is a 
history of the false Decretal Epistles of the bishops of Rome^ ? when 
at the same time he allows, and we do not ask him to prove it, they 
are spurious, and forged by an ignorant Romanist, viz. all of them 
before Siricius, who came to the chair about 385. As superfluous to 
the full is his tedious and partial history of Pelagius, and the heresy 

z Part i. p. 175. [200.] 

16 Refections on Mr. Wall's [letter i. 

which takes its name from him, which reaches quite through that 
long nineteenth chapter, and fills near a hundred pages of his first 
part, which contains but three hundi'ed and sixty in all, including 
the title, preface, and introduction. 

He ofiers, it is true, to excuse the digression a, but I think very 
indifferently ; for whatever he may think of the matter, it neither 
illustrates nor enforces his arguments in the least; which would 
have been as clear and valid, though he had saved himself and his 
reader all that trouble ; but then he would not so well have gratified 
his ambition to be thought a man of more than ordinary learning 
and application, I wonder he did not, with the same excuse, draw 
in more such histories at every turn, which offered as fair, and might 
have done him as much service as these ; for I cannot see, how the 
sense of the other places can be apprehended better than those of 
St. Augustin, &c., unless he had taken the same j)ains largely to 
shew on what occasions they were spoken like^vise. 

But even in this digression, which was long enough in reason 
without it, it falls so luckily in his way, he must needs treat of the 
lawfulness of an oath, and possessing great riches without giving all 
to the poor ; both which, it is said, the Pelagians held were damn- 
able. This is perfect excursion, when a bare narration had sufficed, 
especially considering he was out upon the ramble already ; and that 
neither these things, nor what gave him occasion to mention them, 
have any relation to his subject. 

A little after, he launches out again, and will by no means allow 
the blessed Virgin to have been without sin, since he found the 
Pelagians made the belief of it a necessary article. But I must once 
more remark to you, all this is nothing but trifling; for whether she 
was the immaculate, adorable Virgin the papists idolatrously main- 
tain, or only the holy mother of our Lord, according to the Scrip- 
tures, how is the present controversy affected by it ? Infants may or 
may not have as much right as adult persons to Christian baptism, 
whichever of these opinions is true. 

But I am weary with following our author through things of this 
nature ; and therefore will only add, out of a multitude, one more of 
his sallies, because it is very long and very impertinent. It is in the 
second part, and employs no less than twenty pages, viz. from a 
hundred to the end of the chapter. He takes occasion there 
severely to scourge the Socinians, and all that he fancies favour 
them any way ; and, as always when he touches this point, which is 
pretty frequently, he discovers abundance of heat, and, I think, is 

a Preface, p. 9. 

Histori/ of Infant-bapthm . 17 

constantly transported even beyond the bounds of ci\dlity and g"ood 

Whether the Fathers held a numerical or only a speeilieal union 
in the Divine nature, has been warmly disputed by several consider- 
able men; and is a branch of one of the most celebrated and intricate 
controversies in divinity ; this might tempt Mr. Wall, perhaps, to 
think it a fair opportunity for him to shew his abilities in determin- 
ing- a matter of this nature. But it had been more to his honour, if 
he had used a little moderation, and not been altogether so dogma- 
tical, which has too much of the preceptor to please any but the 
ignorant, who are mightily taken with noise and confidence, which 
is always to such the best reason and the best eloquence. 

But yet I cannot see any great execution Mr. Wall has done : for 
though I am as far from Socinianism, or tritheism either, which he 
believes is charg-ed on the Fathers by Mr. Le Clerc, &c., and which 
I am persuaded they are perfectly clear of; though I am as far, I 
say, from these two extremes as any man living, yet I cannot help 
thinking, there are some difficulties too great for Mr. Wall to 
master, if we may be allowed to judge from the specimen he has 
given us of his skill. And it must be confessed, either through in- 
caution^, or whatever else may be fancied the reason, there are 
passages in the ancients which require a curious headpiece to excuse. 

After all, he could not expect to win much reputation by transient 
reflections on so copious a subject ; for at best, those short sketches 
can signify but very little : and therefore, since the matter is so very 
extensive, and very intricate too, I wish he had not meddled with it 
here ; for one cannot forbear inquiring, to what purpose ? and how 
it is brought into a discourse of this nature ? I do not see any other 
reason that could prompt him to it, than only an indiscreet ambition 
to magnify himself and his learning. It is this, perhaps, makes him 
run so much upon the Socinians in several places, who, by his leave, 
are not so despicable a sort of men as he would have us think ; wit- 
ness, besides other things, Crellius^ famous treatise. Be Uno Deo 
Patre : which, after all his ovations and triumphs, yet wants a sub- 
stantial answer; and I am glad to find so learned a man as Dr. 
Whitby of the same mind. Not l)ut that I am persuaded, all that 
is there so ingeniously and advantageously urged, might be eflectu- 
ally confuted to general satisfaction ; if the doctor, or some other 
learned hand, who is furnished, like him, with all necessary qualifi- 
cations, would in good earnest set about it. 

I mention these things, sir, to convince you Mr. WalVs digressions 

I'Partii. p. 115, 116. [43^, 435.] 

18 Refections on Mr. Wall's [letter i. 

are neither necessarily broug-ht in^ nor skilfully handled; which 
renders him the more inexcusable : for who can be prevailed on to 
think well of the conduct of that man, who, without any kind of 
necessity, takes such a world of pains to expose himself? And I 
believe, by this time, you are ready to grant it ; and that I have 
assigned the most probable reason of it. How ridiculous and mean 
must it then appear for him, of all men, to reflect so unjustly on 
Mr. Stennett, as if he had needlessly translated so many pages of 
French, only to shew his '^vein of fine language'^,'' of which he is a 
master ; when it is certain the whole passage was directly and very 
much to his purpose ? while this man^s own digressions are longer, 
and utterly foreig-n to the matter in hand. But he knew what kind 
of influence these methods would have on the people of his party, 
and has, without doubt, found his account in fitting his calculations 
to that meridian ; which brings to mind an observation of his own, 
' that there is a sort of 2)eople that take a malicious pleasure in 
' trying" how broad afironts the understandings of some men will 
' bear.^ 

Another thing our author so industriously improves to the same 
purpose must not be omitted : it is an ill-natured pleasure indeed 
he takes in arraigning- and censuring- very severely some of the 
greatest men for wit and learning that have appeared. Nobody can 
read him without observing, how liberal he is of his quarrelsome 
criticisms, and how free he makes with their characters, without any 
deference to their station : doubtless, designing* to place himself 
above them, and to be understood to be a person of much better 
apprehension ; or at least to have dived deeper into the knowledge 
of things. 

I am unwilling to bear too hard upon Mr. Wall, and therefore 
would not say he designed a reflection on that worthy man arch- 
bishop Tillotson, when he gives him an inferior title, barely styling 
him hisliop'^ ; whereas he never was a mere bishop in his life : it 
looks therefore as if he questioned his grace^s title to that high dig- 
nity he was so deservedly raised to, or else disallowed of the order 
of an archbishop ; though otherwise, indeed, I see no reason to think 
him an enemy to the ecclesiastical hierarchy. But my lord of 

c Part ii. p. 287. [of the first edition : once only, but twenty or thirty times, to- 

the passage referred to does not occur in wards archbishop Ussher ; who is quoted 

the second or third.] (I believe invariably) as ' bishop Ussher ;' 

d Part ii. p. 384. [Dr. Wall corrected although almost the whole of his learned 

this (surely unimportant) mistake, in his works were composed and published after 

third edition. Mr. Gale might have ob- he had obtained the Archbishopric of Ar- 

served, if it suited his views, that the magh.] 
same inaccuracy of expression is used, not 

History of Infant-haptism . 19 

Sarum is more apparently vilified. Mr. Wall does not name liim 
indeed, but every one knows who is ' the author of the late Ex- 
' position of the Thirty- nine Articles of the Church of England.^ 
And for the indecent treatment he has given to a man of his lord- 
ship^s character and high station in the church, I refer you to the 
place cited below e. 

Every man is at liberty to think as he can, and to defend his 
opinions upon occasion ; and, if it be necessary, handsomely to shew 
the mistakes he thinks any great man has been guilty of: but this 
should be done with all decorum to his parts and character, which is 
very much wanting in Mr. Wall, especially in the second chapter of 
his second part, where he professedly calls to account several 
learned moderns, who have, or seem to have, written in favour of 
antijisedobaptism ; as Ludovicus Vives, Curcellffius, Rigaltius, bishop 
Taylor, bishop Barlow, Bilius, Daille, &c. As to Rigaltius, he makes 
Dr. Fell, the zealous hisliop of Oxford, his precedent ; but his lord- 
ship^s being a little warm on this occasion, who at other times 
shews Rigaltius the ' respect which his great learning deserved,^ will 
in no wise justify Mr. Wall's being continually out of temper, as 
perhaps he expected it should ; for this may easily be pardoned in a 
man of his lordship's elevation towards one of an inferior rank. 

When he wants their authority, our author is full of veneration to 
the writers of antiquity ; and is mightily enraged at any one that 
ventures to say the least thing to their discredit ; for it is no less 
than blasphemy with him, and touches Christianity so home, that if 
pursued it would drive it out of the world. But afterwards, when 
they stand too much in his way, he is as rough with them as any, 
and gives them no more quarter than the rest of their enemies do. 
Thus Gregory Nazianzen, father and son, are but indifferently 
handled. The father^ is represented an ignorant man, and of very 
mean capacities ; and the sons is a trimmer, who, merely in com- 
plaisance to his ignorant father, persuades men, against his con- 
science, to neglect what he knows is their duty, and take the liberty 
to defer the baptism of their children to a more convenient time 
than he believed Christ and his church at first saw fit to appoint. 
An odd character of bishops of the Christian church, whose order 
enhances, and not (as Mr. Wall vainly imagines) in the least exte- 
nuates the crime ; for the priesthood, if any, and especially the 
Inshops, ought strictly to maintain the purity of our Lord's institu- 

e Part ii. p. 1 24. [This passage had been altered by the author in his second edition.] 
f Part ii. p. 372. [646.] S Part i. p. 82. [113.] and part ii. p. 61. [.^86.] 

C 2 

20 ReJIections on Mr. Wall's [letter i. 

tions^ and be, as the apostle says, in all respects, hlameless^. But 
Mr. Wall had rather they should appear such as he has described 
them, than make any fig-ure against him ; for so he finds their prac- 
tice and testimony to be, and has no other way to come off, but 
this^ and pretending they were singular' in this practice ; and yet 
unwarily, a few lines after, he confesses it was very common at that 
time for persons to defer their children's baptism till they were in 
danger of death. 

He is yet bolder Avith St. Chrysostom, and, I think, with less 
cause. That Father's way of arguing against circumcision, indeed, 
Avill hold as well against pEedobaptism ; but his desig-n does not 
seem to have been anything* that way ; and it being" not material to 
our purpose, I shall not examine it. For however this be, I am sure 
it savours too much of somewhat I do not care to name, to represent 
so great a man, and a bishop of the illustrious see of Constantinople, 
as a leaden-headed log-ician^, whom all the ancients justly admired 
for his masterly eloquence and exemplary piety. 

But of all he concerns himself with, he singles out the learned 
Grotius and Mr. Le Clere in chief; he carefully catches at all oppor- 
tunities to bring" these upon the stage. His memory never fails him 
for the latter, whom he hales in so unaccountably, as if one great 
reason of his writing this history was, that he might find opportu- 
nities to quarrel with a man of his figure in the world. Mr. Le 
Clerc, I believe, will never think it worth his while to take notice of 
our author's reflections ; for he has some time since published, in 
the third part of the Ars Critical, the reasons, in a letter to Mr. 
Limborch, why he neglects the calumnies of much more considerable 
men; and it would be well our author would do himself the kindness 
to read them. It concerns us to be acquainted \\dth Mr. Wall's 
sincerity, and therefore let us a little examine the case. 

You may observe he is angry with Mr. Le Clerc chiefly on these 
two accounts; because he endeavours with so ^foul a mouth "i' to 
vilify the Fathers and their writings; and the other is, his sus- 
pected heterodoxy concerning the blessed Trinity, and particularly 
the Deity of Christ. This is the common objection of all Mr. Le 
Clerc's enemies, for which they most bitterly exclaim against him, 

h I Tim. iii. 2. ni Part ii. p. 1 14, [43 ,] 1 1 7, [436,] &c. 

' Part ii. p. 59. and 61. [384 and 386.] and 343. [In the first passage, p. 433, 

k Part i. p. ill. [The expression here the expressions had been altered in the 

rather unfairly quoted, hatl been altered second edition. In the third passage, Dr. 

by the author in his second edition.] Wall substituted the words 'extravagant 

' [See Jo. Clerici Ai-s Critica, 3 torn. 8". ' author,' in the (Jm-d edition.] 
Amstelod.ami. 1699.] 

History of Infant-haptism. 21 

though very unjustly, and oftentimes in very bad lang-uag-e too. But 
it ought to be considered, whether a different sentiment, or sus- 
pending the judgment in so abstruse a point, is a sufficient warrant 
to dispense with the rules of charity and forbearance, which the 
great incarnate God so repeatedly enjoins, and has made the discri- 
minating badge of his disciples. It is dreadfvilly severe to damn 
men, because they cannot ' find out the Almighty to perfection/ for 
^ who then can be saved ?^ But, thanks be to God, the Scriptures 
give us better hopes, and at the same time assure us their condition 
is much the more dangerous, who so freely presume to judge their 
brethren ; For tlioti art inexcusahle, man, (says St. Paul, Rom. ii. i .) 
whosoever thou art, that judge st. 

Besides, such men, in effect, do nothing less than oppose them- 
selves to the merciful designs of our great Redeemer, and strive to 
frustrate his kind endeavour to make us like himself, while he wovild 
teach us those admirable virtues of meekness, love, and good-will, 
&c. And though he has been pleased to take so much more care to 
fix us right in the practice of these things, than in the speculations 
which disturb us ; yet an exact conformity in these weighty matters, 
which our Lord himself lays so much stress on, a spotless conversa- 
tion, a pious life in all godliness and honesty, are not protection 
powerful enough to secure men from the insults of these Furiosos j 
as if they thought all moral virtues were nothing, without being 
right in the notion of the Trinity ; and that this one speculation 
might compensate for the want of all other good qualities : and I 
believe, sir, you may have observed, with me, that many of these 
fiery zealots are none of the exactest men in their lives. But God 
grant they may in time consider that most charitable warning our 
gracious Lord has given them of their danger, beforehand assuring 
them. Not every one that sa'ith imto him, Lord ! Lord ! and in words 
only acknowledge his mighty power and attributes, shall enter into 
the kingdom of heaven ; hut he only that doeth the toill of his Father 
lohich is in heaven. 

But what considerably aggravates the crime in the present case 
is, that the charge is utterly false ; and it is strange, persons that 
pretend to justice and honour should exclaim against Mr. Le Clerc 
on such slender grounds, who must be acknowledged a man of great 
piety and learning. For the substance of all they urge, with any 
manner of probability, is, that his interpretations of several portions 
of Scripture destroy the fine glosses others have built upon them ; 
and that he has gone about to shew that the Fathers did not alto- 
gether understand this mystery in the present orthodox sense. 

22 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letteii i. 

Hence some angry men proceed to accuse him of Soeinianism^ some 
(for they are not agreed) of Arianism, and others again of Pho- 
tinianism ; but they all join to reproach him, though for no reason, 
as I can discover, but his refusing to strain any text which he 
believes in his conscience is not to the purpose, as men of no mean 
figure have done. A method which he rightly thinks only serves 
to expose the cause they pretend to vindicate. 

By the way, sir, I would not be thought to justify all his exposi- 
tions j some of them I receive, and thank him for ; but not all : and 
I know Mr. Le Clerc will not be offended at my dissenting. The 
question is not whether his interpretations are just or not ; he thinks 
they are, and has a right therefore to propose them, \vithout being 
stunned A^ith such hideous outcries of Socinianism, &c., especially 
since in several parts of his works he has cleared himself to the 
satisfaction of any impartial readers. I opened the third volume of 
his Ars Critlca, and the following places in his letter to his grace 
the present archbishop of Canterbury turned up. 

The letter was occasioned by some too severe reflections that had 
been cast on him by the learned Dr. Cave, and which the doctor 
himself knows are not very agreeable with the pure charitable spirit 
Avhich ennobled primitive Christianity. It is not our business to 
enter into the merits of their controversy ; any one who will take 
the pleasure to read the volume of letters I refer to, may perceive 
how much ]Mr. Le Clerc has been abused, and withal how able he 
is to defend himself. What is more immediately to our purpose is, 
that the doctor had suggested Mr. Le Clerc was either Arian or 
Photinian, he did not certainly know Avhich : but considering the 
wide difference between these two opinions, and that the Arians 
anathematized the Photinians, and were the most active in that 
council which deposed, and procured the banishment of, Photinus 
bishop of Sirmium in the year 351; it is strange, as Mr. Le Clerc 
observes, that any man should so express himself, as to make it 
plain he was a favourer of one of these parties, and yet leave it so 
hard to determine, that the doctor himself should not be able to 
guess which. For his satisfaction, Mr. Le Clerc assures him he is 
neither. But take in short what is sufficient to wipe offT the slander, 
in his own words : 

' "Whether Eusebius was an Ai'ian or no signifies little to me, 
' who am so far from being one, that I think them in a great error, 

n Epist. ii. p. 68. Parum mea interest, fidem meam ex solis Novi Testament! 

an Eusebius Arianus fuerit, necne, qui Tabulis pendere profiteer, non ex Eu- 

cum Ariania minime sentio, imo eos in sebii aliorumve Patrum scriptis. 
gravi errore versatos existimo ; et qui 

History of Infmit-haptlsm. 23 

' and declare^ my faith depends on the books of the New Testament 
' alone, and not on the writing's of Eusebius, or any other Father/ 
Two pages further he says", ' I neither approve the opinion of the 
' Arians, nor the Photinians^ way of interpreting those Scriptm'es 
' which speak of the divinity of Christ/ He assures us also, in the 
same letter, thatP ' neither of those opinions, viz. Arian or Socinian, 
' can be learned from his writing's/ 

In his Parrhasiana, disproving the calumnies of some German 
divines, a very rigid sort of people, he says in so many words q, 
' He is in nowise a Socinian/ And in another place""; 'If they 
' understand by it, the divinity of the Son, his distinction from the 
' Father, and the redemption of mankind, Mr. Le Clerc is more 
' convinced of these things than the most zealous Cocceian of 
' them all.' 

He has one passage in this chapter that strikes at the very root 
of Socinianism, which, you know, sir, is, that the doctrine of the 
Trinity is perfectly unintelligible ; hence they inferred it was a 
contradiction, and, in the next place, false : and because Mr. Le 
Clerc so handsomely removes all these pretences, I will transcribe 
the passage at large : 

* sNot that, according to Mr. Le Clerc's princij)les, we must 
' expect to have clear and complete ideas of all thing's revelation 

Epist. ii. p. 70. Nee Arianonim probo mais se contenter de eela, sans y rien 
sententiam, nee earn rationem, qua Pho- ajoilter. II y a dans les ehoses divinea 
tiniani Scripturse loca de Christi divuiitate des mystferes, que nous ne p^n^trerons 
interpretantur. jamais, et dont nous avons n^aninoins des 

p Page 71. Certe neutram liarura opi- preuves assurt^es dans la rtjvelation, et 

nionuni ex meis libellis haurire potuit. quelquefois meme dans la raison, conime 

1 Tom. i. p. 405. Mr. L. C. n'est nulle- Mr. L. C. I'a fait voir dans sa Pneumato- 
uient Socinien, &c. logie. Par exemple, les apotres parlent 

' Ibid. p. 435. Que si Ton entendoit du Messie, non seulement comme d'un 

par Ih, la Divinity du Fils, sa distinction liomme, mais encore dans les memes 

d'avec le Pfere, et la redemtion du genre ternies que de Dieu le Pfere, et ils lui 

humain ; Mr. L. C. en est plus convaincu attribuent la creation du monde ; ce qui 

que ne le sont les plus zelez Cocceiens. nous fait comprendre qu'ils ne I'ont nulle- 

^ Parrhasian. torn. i. p. 418. Ce n'est ment regarde conmie un simple homme, 

pas que, selon les principes de Mr. L. C. mais comme dtant uni a laDivinit<^, d'une 

nous devions avoir des id^es claires et manifere si dtroite, qu'on pent lui attribuer 

complettes de tous les objets que la r^ve- ce que Dieu a f;iit long-temps avant qu'il 

lation renferme, ni entendi-e parfaitement n%uit. Mais il n'y a personne qui puisse 

tout ce qu'elle nous dit. II est trfes-^loign^ d^finir la manifere de cette union et s'en 

de cette pens^e. II y a, selon lui comme forme une idde claire. Que faut-il done 

selon tous ceux qui n'ont pas perdu le faire ? Acquiescer dans I'id^e g(^n^rale et 

sens, une infinite de clioses dans Dieu et confuse, que nous en pouvons tirer de 

dans les ehoses divines, que nous ne com- TEcriture Sainte, et n'expliquer pas ce 

prenons point du tout, ou que nous n'en- que nous ne savons point, ou imposer aux 

tendons que tr^s imparfaitement. Mais autres la necessite de croire nos explica- 

il ne faut point confondre cette obscuritd tions particuliferes. La raison nous ap- 

avee ce qu'on appelle contradiction, qui prend que Dieu a crdd le monde du neant, 

ne se trouve point dans se qui est vrai. mais il n'y a personne qui puisse savoir 

II ne faut pas non plus s'imaginer d'en la manifcro de cette action divine, 
savoir plus, que ce qui nous a ete revels ; 

24 Reflections on Mr, Wall's [letter i. 

' contains, or perfectly to nnderstand all it says. He is far from 
' thinking' so ; and, witli all men in their senses, believes there is 
' an infinite number of things in God, and divine matters, which 
' we know nothing* at all of, or understand very imperfectly. But 
' we must not confound this obscui-ity with what we call contradic- 
' tion, which is not to be found in any thing that is true. Nor 
' should we suppose we know more than revelation has expressed, 
' but content ourselves with that, and not presume to make addi- 
' tions. There are mysteries in divine things we shall never be able 
' to penetrate ; of which notwithstanding we have certain proofs 
' from revelation, and sometimes even from reason, as Mr. Le Clerc 
' has shewn in his Pneumatology. For example : the apostles speak 
' of the Messiah, not only as of a man, but in the very same terms as 
' of God the Father, and ascribe to him the creation of the world : 
' whence it is plain they in no wise looked on him as a man only, 
' but as united to the Divinity in so close a manner, that we may 
' truly ascribe to him those things which were done by God long 
' before he was born. But no man can define the manner of this 
' union, and form a clear idea of it. What is to be done in this 
' case ? We should acquiesce in the general obscure idea we can 
' collect from Scripture, and not go about to explain what we do 
' not understand, nor impose a necessity of believing our particular 
' explications upon other men. Reason teaches us that God created 
' the world out of nothing, but nobody can comprehend the manner 
' of that divine action.^ 

This may suffice in behalf of Mr. Le Clerc, though more might 
be added from his writings : but I think nothing can be more plain 
and express than this. By which you may observe, sir, what a 
liberty our author takes : and I must confess, it is not Avithout some 
indignation I see all these learned gentlemen I have mentioned, 
together with others, so scornfully and inihandsomely treated. And 
when learning and piety, innocence, dignities and honours are thus 
vilified and trampled on, who can see it unconcerned, and withhold him- 
self from, speaking? Especially if we add to the rest his barbarous usage 
of the incomparable Grotius, a man who is scarce to be equalled in 
all his diflferent capacities, and whose singular abilities have safely 
placed him out of the reach of envy. 

Grotius falls under Dr. WalFs displeasure*, for being guilty, as 
he imagines, '■ of a foul imposture, when he went about to disprove 
' the ancient practice of infant- baptism' from St. Gregory Nazian- 
zen's fortieth oration, which is concerning baptism ; whence he 

t [Part i. 25. 112.] 

Histori/ of Infant-baptism. 9,5 

briskly observes, that ' a great stock of learning' does not always 
' cure that narrowness of soul, by which some people are inclined 
' to do any mean and foul thing, to fiivour a side, or set up 
' a party/ 

It is a high imputation you will say, sir, on so great a man ; but 
if Grotius is really so base, it must be acknowledged he is beyond 
excuse, and Mr. Wall has been very kind to him ; and his learning 
and station should not secure him from a harsher censure : and on 
the other hand, if it prove a bare allegation, and not true, let his 
impeacher look to that, and prepare to answer it as well as he can, 
before that just Judge, who loves righteousness, and sees to the 
bottom of our most secret designs. I am tempted to believe (and 
what he says in another place, viz. part ii. p. 2i, &c. [351, &c.] bears 
me out in it) that his own conscience tells him he wrongs Grotius. 
Perhaps he does it on purpose to have an opportunity to criticise on 
him, and let the world see how much he is an overmatch for him : 
but judge of his success by the sequel. 

The words of Grotius, which Mr. Wall particularly refers to, are 
these" : ' The sense" (viz. of a citation from Tertullian) ' is, let them 
' come to Christ to be taught, not to be baptized, till they can 
' understand the force of baptism. Nazianzeu, speaking of such as 
' died without baptism, instances in such as were not baptized, 
' hia vri-ni.6rr)Ta, by reason of their infancy. And the same Nazian- 
' zen himself, though a bishop^s son, and a long time trained up 
' under his father^s care, was not baj)tized till he came to age, as he 
' tells us in his ovni life." 

Grotius begins this annotation with observing, that the custom 
of baptizing infants was grounded on these words of our Saviour, 
among others ; Suffer little children to come unto me : and that it 
appears from St. Austin, St. Cyprian, &c., to have been practised by 
the ancient church ; but withal remarks from Tertullian, that the 
precise age it was to be administei'ed at in his time was undeter- 
mined, and left to eveiy one's discretion. And here immediately 
follow the words I have just now transcribed. 

Now can it be pretended from hence, that Grotius went ' about 
' here to disprove the ancient practice of infant-baptism •/ when it 
is plain he first pleads for its lawfulness and anticpiity, and even 

>i Aiinot. in Matth. xix. 14. Sensiis contigit 5ta vrrrrt6rr)7a [ob infantiam]. 

est, veniant ad Christum ut instituantur, Atque is ipse Nazianzenus, episcopi cum 

non ut baptizentur, nisi ])ost(juani vim essct filius, patris sub cura dlutissime 

baptismi iutellexerint. Naziaiizenus,ageiis educatus, baptizatus non fuit nisi cmii ex 

de iis qui sine baptismo decedunt, exeni- eplieliis exiisset, ut ipse in vita sua nos 

phira ponit in iis quibus baptismus non docet. [Grotii Op. ii. p. 183.] 

526 Rejections on Mr. Wall's [letter i, 

afterwards can mean no more than that it was not thoug-ht so indis- 
pensably necessary, but it might be deferred, if the parents pleased, 
to a more advanced ag-e ? And that they actually did so, he has 
put beyond all contradiction by the single instance of Nazianzen 
the elder, if he had brought no more. And Mr. Wall confesses this 
is all Grotius intended, when he says ; ' Grotius did not maintain 
' there was ever any church, or any time, in which infant-baptism 
' was not used.^ Pray observe how unfairly Mr. Wall deals with 
him. But Grotius had so expressly declared his opinion, that it 
was impossible he should be misunderstood ; for the general con- 
ekision he at last draws from all his arguments which oppose infant- 
baptism, is this " : ' But as all this shews the liberty, antiquity, and 
' difference of the custom, so it argues nothing at all for refusing- 
' baptism to infants whom the parents ofFer.^ How could Mr. Wall, 
after reading- this, say, ' he went about to disprove infant-baptism T 
If Mr. Wall understood the Greek as well as Grotius, and had but 
a small share of his penetration and sincerity, he would not have 
taken this occasion to cavil, notwithstanding- he finds so great a 
pleasure in it. 

' Whoever has an opinion of Grotius' sincerity ,■" Mr. Wall fancies, 
' must blush to read that passag-e in St. Gregory, together with his 
"^ annotations on Matth. xix. I4.'' But he is very much mistaken, 
sir ; for '■ an excuse may without any difficulty be made for him,'' 
and need not suppose ^ he took the quotation from somebody at 
' second-hand neither,' viz. by shewing that St. Gregory, by the 
phrase in dispute, at least might intend such children as chanced to 
miss of baptism through their parents' fault ; wdio being- allowed to 
suspend it, on account of their infancy, to a later season, perhaps 
abused this liberty, and sometimes put it off so long, that by one 
means or other the children died A\dthout it. Grotius mig-ht think 
it reasonable to understand him thus, from St. Gregory's way of 
expressing- himself; for ot ov'b\ eiah' kv hwayni tov hi^arrOai hia vrjTn- 
oT-qra, &c., cannot admit of the fallacious turn Mr. Wall g-ives it, 
but must be rendered, ' who are not in a capacity to receive it,' or 
^ cannot receive it, because of their infancy.' For I never yet ob- 
served, nor I believe better Grecians than Mr. Wall and myself, 
that ilvat kv hvvap.u sig-nifies ' to have in one's power :' and because 
I wovdd not rely on my own knowledge too much, I consulted 
Stephens, who was utterly ignorant also of this new construction ; 

* Annot. in Matth. xix. I4. Cpetenim afFeruut cur repudiandus sit baptismus in- 
ista, sicut libertatem, vetustatem, et con- fantium, quos parentes, &c., consecrandos 
suetudinis differentiain indicant, ita nihil offerunt. 

Hlstonj of Infant-haptimi. 27 

he has the Greek phrase exactly^ and translates it as I have done. 
And one woidd have thought, Epictetus^y celebrated distinction of 
' thing's which are, and are not in our own power/ might have taught 
Mr. Wall how that sense is to he expressed in Greek. Besides, 
Grotius was too able a man to commit so gross an error; and it 
seems more probable that he took St. Gregory right, if you consider 
(which Grotius must certainly know, and Mr. Wall confesses) that 
it was common at that time for people, for some reason or other, to 
let their children go without baptism many years : and even in the 
oration before us St. Gregory advises people to delay their children's 
baptism, ' till they are capable to hear and answer some of the holy 
' words,' as our author translates the passage. All which considera- 
tions make it almost necessary to understand the passage as Grotius 
did, who therefore cannot be thought guilty of such a base design 
as our author charges on him. And therefore, to use something 
better than his own logic, I will not say ' a great stock of learning,' 
but I find a great stock of assurance is not always an infallible sign 
that an author is not enslaved to ' that narrowness of soul, by which 
' some people are inclined to do any mean and foid thing, to favour 
' a side, or make a figure in a party.' 

What Mr. Wall objects against Grotius, in relation to the Neo- 
csesarean council, may be easily answered likewise, by comparing, 
with but moderate attention, what he and they have wi'it. Ac- 
cording to our author's own representation of it, any one who goes 
about it with ever so good a will, must find it difficult to see wherein 
Grotius is to be blamed. As to the words of the council, Mr. Wall 
acknowledges they are so ambiguous in themselves, that they may 
be fairly understood in favour of either party. And as to the last 
clause, which is the principal ground of the controversy, he cannot 
deny but Balsamon, who was patriarch of Antioch, and Zonaras, 
who had been secretary to the emperor Alexis Comnenus, both of 
them Grecians and learned men, did understand it in the sense 
Grotius cites them to confirm : now upon these concessions, I defy 
Rivet, Marshall, and Mr. Wall himself, to fasten any thing upon 
Grotius like foul dealing in the matter. And pray mind, sir, how 
Mr. Wall, though he knows these three famous men were unexcep- 
tionable judges in the Greek tongue, and expounded the woi'ds in 
the sense he believes is not the true, forgetting what he had owned 
before, pleasantly affirms they do it contrary to the ' rules of critics ;' 
and ^ that any critic will observe,' the peculiar ' notation of the word 

y [See the Encheiridion of Epictetusj, chap, i and 2.] 

28 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter i. 

' tbLo^' determines his sense only to be true. Is it not very strang"e 
that it should be so plain and obvious for ' any critic^ to observe, 
and yet these three, and indeed all others but himself, who to be 
sure must be no critics of course, had not the wit to see it, no more 
than he had to avoid the absurdity of saying-, the words of the 
canon may be well enough understood either way, and yet that the 
nature and idiom of the Greek lang-uage shew they can be fairly 
luiderstood but in one sense, viz. his own. 

Though he would insinuate indeed, that ' the opinions of Balsa- 
' mon and Zonaras are but of little moment,' which by the way is a 
certain sign they are against him, I hope they will appear otherwise, 
and far superior to his detractions and criticisms. The words of 
Zonaras are such downrig^it mere antipajdobaptism, expressed so 
fully, without reserve, that I wonder Mr. Wall had the courage to 
insert them so largely. But his translation of them might have 
been more exact : for what he unintelligibly renders, I believe from 
the Latin translator whom he m.istakes, ' For,' says it, (viz. the 
canon,) ' every one's own choice is requisite that they do profess 
' themselves followers of Christ, and it appears by that baptism 
' which they receive with a willing mind,' (which words I cannot 
find have any sense,) should be Englished thus, (to vary from him 
as little as possible,) ' It says, in the profession of becoming fol- 
' lowers of Christ, every one's choice is required, and by this it 
' appears whether they come to holy baptism with a willing mind.' 
The truth of what I say Avill appear from the original, if you will 
please to compare it, which Mr. Wall has omitted, I suppose, that 
his sense might pass the better. 

Balsamon is as direct to the same purpose ; for, assigning another 
reason why the unborn child could not be thought baptized in the 
mother's baptism, besides this, ' that the woman has nothing com- 
' mon in the matter of baptism with the child in her womb ;' he 
adds, ' They' (viz. the Fathers of the council) ' say, every person's 
' own profession is necessary at baptism ; but now the child unborn, 
^ being void of all sense, cannot make the professions which are 
' to be made at baptism.' For thus I think the sense better ex- 
pressed, than as Mr. Wall has rendered the passage. 

It appears from the whole, that Grotius cited these passages very 
properly ; and they prove at least that ignorance and want of desire 
were a good reason against baptizing such as were not able to make 
and declare their choice : and both these commentators, expressing 
this so amply, have made it probable, that such children at that 
time were not, or however, according to tbem^ needed not be bap- 

History of Infant-baptism. 29 

tized^ especially if there was no apparent danger of their dying'. 
Any one who shall read over their comments with an unbiassed 
mind, will see the \\a-iters were as much for the liberty and indiffer- 
ence of psedobaptismj as either of the Gregorys and Tertullian is 
supposed to have been ; otherwise their arguing is unaccountably 
absurd. But I cannot tell how to think two such men, and accord- 
ing to their interpretation the whole council too, should make use 
of what Mr. Wall calls such leaden-headed logic. 

I own Balsamon, or perhaps somebody else, has subjoined, at the 
end of his comment, some words which allow children may be brought 
to baptism by sponsors : the place is a little obscure, and I cannot 
be positive of the perfect sense of it ; but it does not seem at all to 
do our author the service he is willing to believe it does. Karart- 
dei'Tai, in the latter clause, should not be translated so readily by 
promise ; for the profession required at baptism is expressed every 
where else in these citations by oixoXoyCa and oixoKoyelv. But let 
this be as it will ; if Balsamon does here countenance infant-baptism, 
it is no more than what I have shewn Grotius did too : and there- 
fore these words should not be urged against him, since they are 
consistent enough with the liberty and indifference he pleads for. 

Mr. Wall endeavours to strengthen his supposition, from the dis- 
pute between St. Austin and Pelagius. But this will do him no 
service, if you consider their dispute was not, whether infants should 
be baptized or no, but for what end they were baptized : and he 
should not have said, ' they do declare that they never read or 
' heard of any Christians that were against infant-baptism / but, 
which had been truer, that Pelagius did not contradict St. Austin, 
when he declared he never heard of any that denied baptism was 
given ' for remission of sins,^ as perhaps I may have occasion to 
shew hereafter. 

I beg leave now to apply what is said above more closely to my 
design -, by remarking, that a man who is so free with persons in 
such reputation, will take a much greater liberty, it is to be sus- 
pected, with the poor despised antipsedobaptists ; and I desire 
therefore you will be pleased to read him with diffidence and cir- 

Nor indeed has he by abundance acted the part of a credible his- 
torian towards us ; though he makes a show of treating us with 
extraordinary tenderness and respect. But it is all assumed and 
hollow, and may be easily seen through ; and he conveys his asper- 
sions the more securely by it, and with less suspicion stabs our 
reputation. He carefully affects to style us antipa?dobaptists quite 

30 Beflections on Mr. WalVs [letter i. 

through his book, because forsooth he would avoid casting- any 
reflections on us ; but he coukl not forbear discovering how uneasy 
he is at the restraint he laid on himself : and so, after he has painted 
anabaptism in no very pleasing colours, he as carefully lets you 
knowy, sir, we deserve that reproachful name, though, since we 
disown it, he has not given it us. 

I remember three several places, where he is so incautious as to 
confess he is in a very Availing humour to believe and suppose any 
thing, though upon no ground, so it does but favour his design : so 
when he finds Bilius had said, ' persons came later to baptism in the 
' primitive times than nowadays,^ which is most directly to deny 
infant-baptism was practised in the primitive church ; Mr. Wall is 
so hard put to it, he can only relieve himself by resolving ^ to 
' believe, if one were to look over Bilius^ writings, one should find 
' that this was not his settled opinion.^ He has the same dexterity 
in other places, where he says, ' All I believe this learned man would 
' say (for I have not the book),' &c., and ' so, for aught I know, do 
' all the rest of the eastern,' &c., a sign he is powerfully inclined to 
fancy what he pleases should be true. How often he uses this 
notable expedient, is not readily discovered ; but it is very reason- 
ably inferred, from these open confessions, he employs it where he 
is not so kind as to give us warning. 

He builds on this sort of arguments, when he would reproach us 
wdth something he has no other evidence for ; as may be seen by 
several passages in his account of ' the present state of the antipsedo- 
' baptists in England \ and of a piece with it is his so easily re- 
ceiving and officiously rej)orting every uncertain rumour that had 
reached his ears. If he has but heard that any one, or a few persons 
at most, who called themselves, or were called by others, anabaptists, 
have ever maintained or practised such things, as may enrage people 
against us, and expose us to the scorn and fury of the less thinking 
bigoted part of those from whom we dissent, he does not forget it. 
Thus he insinuates^, that we countenance, at least, and have among 
us, some who deny the human nature of our Lord Christ. This at 
best is spitefully enough represented : but I protest, for my part, 
I do not know there is so much as a single man in our body who 
dares impiously deny so great a fundamental of the Christian faith. 
We are sure such an one can be no Christian ; and if there be any 
such, we disown them all, and their pernicious heresy, which we are 
firmly persuaded aims at no less than the utter destruction of Christ- 

y Part ii. p. 99. [420.] z Part ii. p. 20. [349.] 

a Part ii. p. 223. [540.] 

Historij of Infant-baptism. 31 

ianity itself. As invidious is his relating" the scandalous story about 
Mr. Hicks : which, were it as true as it is false, has been equalled 
and outdone by some of our author^s communion ; and therefore 
notwithstanding- this, we may still be reckoned as loyal to the 
government as themselves. But since he is forced to confess that 
no more than ' two persons only appeared to have been guilty,' he 
ought in honour, and in respect to the oaths of those of his own 
party, to have left the scandal in the obscurity it deserves, &c. 

I am. Sir, 

Yours, &c. 



The private opinions of a few not justly inserted in the history of the whole 
body — There are probably ill men among us, as well as among others — Some 
of our author's invidious insinuations — Our adversaries, instead of railing, 
should endeavour to convince us from revelation, or reason, or antiquity — If 
their reflections were true, our reputation cannot suffer much — We are not 
guilty of the hated opinions Mr. Wall loads us with— Our se])aration easy to be 
justified — Mr. Wall has not sufficiently shewn wherein the sin of schism con- 
sists — He only explains it in general by division, separation, &c. — The true 
notion of schism — It may either be lawful or unlawful — Who are schismatics 
— Not they who go out from a communion they were before joined with, but 
those who unnecessarily give or take the occasion ; or continue separate with- 
out a just cause— It being lawful in some cases, and unlawful in others to 
separate, it is examined what will justify a separation — Mr. Wall's distinction 
between fundamentals and non-fundamentals, though good in itself, is in- 
sufficient, unless he had determined what are fundamentals and what are not — 
A rule to know these — Christ alone can determine what is necessary ; and 
what he has not expressly made so, is not so — It is useful to distinguish 
between things necessary to salvation, and things only necessary to the con- 
stitution of a true gospel-church — This distinction well-grounded, because the 
qualifications of a Christian and a church are very different — An error in what 
is essential to the constitution of a churcb only, a sufficient warrant to separate 
from a community in such error — Whicb is also confirmed from some of Mr. 
AVall's own words — Agreement in the fundamentals of religion not a sufficient 
reason against separation, as Mr. Wall would urge it— Turned against him- 
self—Therefore his arguments tend to nothing so much as confusion — Though 
it should be allowed, that we ought to submit all things purely indifferent to 
the determinations of our superiors ; this would make Jiut very little, if at all, 
in Mr. Wall's favour — It does not follow that persons, who think they ought 
not to renounce communion for smaller matters, must therefore constantly 
conform in those things, and neglect what they think is better — If the cere- 
monies are not of so mucb consequence, as to justify the dissenters in their 
separation ; neither will they justify the church in so unnecessarily insisting on 

32 Beflections on. Mr. Wall's [letter ii. 

them — These things, said to he indifferent in themselves, by being the occa- 
sions of divisions, cease to be indifferent, and become unlawful — The dissen- 
ters are verily persuaded the things for which they dissent, are not so in- 
different as is pretended — The Church's power of making laws for its own 
government, of no service to Mr. Wall — Things in themselves lawful may be so 
circumstantiated, as to become unlawful — As the case stands at present, the 
dissenters are obliged to dissent from the national church — The uncharitable 
obstinacy of our adversaries — The separation of the antip?edobaptists par- 
ticularly defended — Mr. Wall pretends that though they are right, they have 
no ground to separate — The antipsedobaptist notion stated — The time and 
manner of receiving baptism, so far as it relates to our present dispute, are 
fundamentals — That cannot be true baptism, which differs from true baptism 
— Our separation justified by the definition of a church, in the nineteenth 
article of the church of England — We ought not to unite with persons 
unbaptized — True baptism necessary to Church membership — The words of 
the institution the best rule by which to judge what is true baptism — We 
refuse to communicate with the church of England, for the same reason for 
which she refuses to communicate with persons she esteems unbaptized — Mr. 
Wall's terms of union very partial and unreasonable — We are obliged to the 
Toleration for the general forbearance Mr. Wall boasts of — And desire to remain 
in the hands of her Majesty and parliaments under God, who have hitherto so 
kindly secured us — A fair proposal, in order to establish unity among us— Mr. 
Wall a friend to persecutions for religion — The conclusion. 

What I have already said in my former^ instead of more, may 
serve for a specimen of Mr. WalFs moderation and ingenuity. What 
can be more unfair, than to represent and judge of a whole body by 
the odd, singular opinions of a few particular men in it ? Mr. Wall, 
and all men, would justly esteem him an abusive historian, who, 
reciting the doctrines of the Church of England, should charge her 
with the miserable absurdity of the Church of Rome, transubstan- 
tiation, only because bishop Bramhall says, 'No genuine son of the 
^ Church of England did ever deny the true real presence ;' or the 
gainful article of purgatory, because Mr. Dodwellt* has unaccount- 
ably asserted — and cited the Liturgies published by primate Ussher 
to prove — that the dead, not excepting ' the patriarchs, prophets, 
' apostles, martyrs, and even the blessed Virgin herself, are now in 
' slavery to the Devil f and adding in the next page, that by this 
slavery he does not mean they are liable to any punishments, but 
only certain molestations and disquietudes, from which they ' may 
' be relieved by the j)rayers of the livingc.^ Had Bellarmine been 

b Epistolary Discourse, p. 258. the persons spoken oi may he relieved, as 

c Epistolary Discourse, p. 259. [Mr. if such were his owti opinion. His words 

Dodwell, however, does not assert that are, 'some disquietudes, wherein they 

History of Infant-baptism. 33 

to argue this notion of a purgatory with Mr. Dodwell, he would 
have desired no greater concessions. 

That man would be justly blamed, who should pretend the Church 
of England teaches Christ^s sacrifice of himself was not expiatory 
for sin, or that the martyrs are capable of making the like ex- 
piation; because Mr. Dodwell in another place'" ventures at the ex- 
travagant assertion, that ' this power and virtue is common to 
^ Christ and his mystical body / speaking more particularly of the 
primitive martyrs making their blood almost equally effectual with 
Christ's to the purging away sin; and accounting them so many 
expiatory sacrifices for sin; directly contrary to the determination 
of the holy penman, that Christ, (Heb. ix. 26.) once in the end of 
the world hath appeared to put away sin by the sacr'ifee of himself. 
(Cap. X. 10.) Which was offered once for all. (Ver. 12.) Ojte sa- 
crifice for sin for ever. (Ver. 14.) For by one offering he hath per- 
fected for ever them that are sanctified. (Ver. 18.) And, There is no 
more offering for sin. 

It would be shameful injustice to make the church answerable 
for all the strange, nay sometimes blasphemous and atheistical 
fancies, and bad actions of her pretended sons. Too great a part of 
the clergy, it is notorious, are either open non-juring Jacobites, or 
secret, and therefore more mischievous, hig-hflyers ; entirely in the 
Pretender's interest, and as hearty friends to popish tyranny and 
superstition, as ever was the Laudean faction. What a number is 
there of them, who glory in being called high-church-men, and 
carefully keep up the distinction, notwithstanding the queen and 
parliament have often declared such to be dangerous enemies to 
church and state ! But to ascribe the disloyalties, corruptions, and 
pernicious doctrines of these men to the church, though they have 
had the fortune to worm themselves into some share of her dia-- 
nities, would be disingenuous, and every honest man would abhor it. 

Of the twelve our Lord had chosen, one was a devil ; and I shall 
never pretend no such have crept in among us, who, v/hether 
designedly or no, prejudice those they shelter with, and the 
Christian religion in general. Undoubtedly there are privately 
among us, as well as others, weak and ignorant, and perhaps too, 
some ill-meaning people, who are fond of peculiar conceits, and idle 
extravagant notions of their own framing. But this can be no fair 
objection to the whole body; for let any one shew me the com- 

' might be relieved by the prayers of the '' Dissertat. Cyprianic. xiii. § 36. Et vero 

' livinqj accordinr/ to the opinion of S. Jus- nominis ratio suadet potius ut sit virtus 

'tin Martyr.' Surely this is an imperfect lia2C Christo cum eiusdem my stico corporc 

and unfair quotation.] communis. 


34 Refleciions on Mr. If all's [letteh ii. 

munity whose individuals are all correct and sound, and not some of 
them singular and faulty ; which however are but as the wens and 
unnatural excrescences in the human body, which enter not into the 
description of the body, but at most are only counted accidental 
irregularities it is liable to. 

When Mr. Wall, therefore, in order to make us look the more 
monstrous, shuffles into his impartial account, as he calls it, of our 
present opinions, the freaks and persuasions he has heard a sing-le 
man, or a very few persons that have been in our party, maintain ; it 
looks very pitiful in him, and can impose only on such readers who 
are as willing to be deceived as he desired. And indeed such 
readers only can bear his many mischievous insinuations ; a sort of 
ornament he seems fond of. I cannot comprehend what could 
possibly be his design in his silly excuse for Mr. Baxter, who 
continued to charge us with a notorious falsehood, even after all 
proper care was taken to let him know it ; nor what occasion he 
had for his innuendo, when he briefly mentions our liberality to 
our poor; adding in an invidious parenthesis, that we attract the 
multitude by this artifice, and gain proselytes to strengthen our 
party. I wonder in my heart what he thinks it is that attracts 
the rich ; for unless there are such, the poor are not like to be 
provided for : is it that they seek opportunities to dispense of their 
good things to the necessitous and wretched? I am afraid this 
would be too great a commendation of them ; and Mr. Wall would 
not willingly be guilty of such a sujDposition ; he rather seems 
desirous to have it supposed they are acted only by an unquiet, 
factious spirit ; for what else can be his meaning in saying, ' They, 
' either out of peevishness, or else being over-persuaded by their 
' leaders, who find their account in continuing separate bodies, whereof 
' they may be heads, do refuse to join even in those things wherein 
' they agree in opinion with us^? 

Why also does he so often upbraid us with having had Jesuits 
found among us, and take the pains so industriously f to aggravate 
the thing, unless to make us thought a troublesome, factious party, 
and the tools of disaffected men to divide and weaken the protestant 
interest ? But such clamours only shew passion and distaste in our 
opposers, and are no demonstration they have either truth or justice 
on their side, and that we are in the error. If these zealous men 
woidd effectually ruin our cause, they should leave railing, and use 
their strength to convince us from Revelation, or the principles of 
reason, or the history of the primitive church, that we are the vile, 
e Part i. p. 96. [127.] f Part ii. p. 282. [562.] 

History of Infant-baptism. 35 

novel, and humorous sect they abusively pretend. We invite them 
to the trial, and are not apprehensive of being' worsted in the issue ; 
for we bottom our cause on the stable foundation of Scriptm*e, 
reason, and primitive practice. Does it not look as if they were 
conscious that they can do us no hurt from these topics, by their 
forsaking" these arguments, and endeavouring to oppress us by more 
popular arts ? as if they thought one of the most prevailing argu- 
ments against us is, publishing and persuading people to believe 
that our leaders are Romish priests, or persons who are their 
retainers, and do them service. And they usually ply us hard with 
these reflections. Nothing can be more exemplary in this kind, 
than the heroic exploits of Featly, Baxtei", and Russen, to mention 
no more. 

But as we have already, so we shall see further, as we proceed, 
that Mr.WalFs fidelity in relations of this nature, is not altogether 
so much to be trusted to, but we may fairly question the facts : 
besides, were these things true, our reputation cannot suffer much ; 
for every one must needs be sensible, it is impossible always to be 
aware of those busy intruders, who wear any shape, and choose to 
mix in societies they think dangerous to their designs, to breed cor- 
ruptions and disorders there, and then get themselves discovered, in 
order to lay the whole disgrace on the societies, and make them 
bear the scandal. And Mr. Wall might have considered, that even 
the national church has not been free from such maskers, who have 
found means to open themselves a way to her preferments and profits. 
I need bring* no other testimony sure of this, than a speech S made 
in parliament, February 9, 1640, by the great lord Falkland, a true 
friend of the church, according to the character given him by our 
late noble English Thucydides '', who was himself too as firm a 
patron of the church as by law established, as any in his time ; and 
that noble lord^s complaint, therefore, cannot be judged to come 
from envy or detraction. 

But lest all this should not be effectual to expose us so much as 
he coidd wish, to shew his real tenderness towards us, he loads us 
further with some of the most infamous and hated opinions, which 
the generality of Christians disown, and the warm and eager anathe- 
matize with the greatest fiuy. And this addition, perhaps, he thinks 
will weigh down our scale. 

If, indeed, the things he taxes us with were true, I would be 
silent on the point : but they are so notoriously false, that I admire 
any man, especially one of Mr. WalFs order, could persuade himself 
S Rushworth, vol. iv. p. 184. '' Lord Clarendon. 

D 2 

36 defections on Mr. IFaU's [letter ii. 

to accuse us of them, Sociuianism is one of the blackest heretical 
tenets^ with most people, that infests the Christian world ; it is 
commonly thoug-ht so derogatory to our Hedeemer^'s honour, and so 
inconsistent ^vith the fundamentals of Christianity, that all its 
abettors may be justly treated like infidels, and open enemies of God 
and religion. This, Mr. Wall knows, is much the more prevailing- 
temper, as well as it seems to be his o^^^l. And therefore, to expose 
us to a general contempt, and to draw this odium upon us, he takes 
care to inform you, that ' we have many Soeinians among usV 
insinuating as if we countenanced them ; and that 'the old heretics'^, 
' some of them denied him (viz. Christ) to be God; and others of 
' them denied him to be properly man : but these,^ says he, ' deny 
' both, and say, he is neither God nor properly man.^ 

It is strange any one should have the face so boldly to affirm 
this, when himself, and all that are acquainted with ub, know it to 
be utterly false. There are such, I know, in the Church of England, 
though she deservedly disclaims them ; and there may secretly be 
some with us ; and so in all parties : but they are so uncommon, or 
so concealed, that I do not know so much as one among us. And 
I need only appeal to our author himself, to justify us from his own 
calumny; for at another time, when he is not in quite so ill an 
humour, he confesses, that though we ' have some Soeinians who 
' creep in among us, yet I have not heard,^ says he, ' of any church 
' or congregation of them, that makes profession of that doctrine ; 
' but on the contrary, that they that profess it openly are rejected 
' from their communion'.^ And pray, what can we or any church 
in the world, do more to cleanse ourselves of that leprosy ? and yet 
he could suffer himself to accuse iis of holding those very opinions, 
he here owns we endeavour to root out. Can this, sir, and the 
other things I have been noting, flow from an honest, good mind ? 

I would omit other mistakes, &c. of Mr. Wall, as his charging 
Pelagianism, and holding the 'mortality of the soul,' upon us; 
which are very falsely imputed, in order to come to the grand 
question between us : but what he says of the non-necessity and 
unreasonableness of our separation must not be passed over without 
a reflection, it seeming to be designed to render us odious, by insi- 
nuating, how much our censorious quarrelsome spirit delights in 
fractions and divisions. 

The necessity and reasonableness of a separation from the esta- 
blished church, you know, sir, have been copiously treated by several 
eminent men; and I think it no hard matter to vindicate ours 
i Part ii. p. 222. [539.] k ibid. p. 265. [541.] 1 Ibid. p. 275. [555.] 

Historif of Infant-baptism. S7 

from the strongest objections raised against it : but this is not the 
place ; I shall therefore only make a short reply to what Mr. Wall 
urges^ because his representation of the thing may possibly too 
much have its designed effect, and do us a prejudice Avith yourself, 
sir, or others, into whose hands these letters may fall. 

Mr. Wall begins his last chapter"^, which he calls a dissuasive 
from separation, mth an account of the great sin and mischief of 
schism, which, he observes, all men allow to be of a very heinous 
nature; and he ought in charity therefore to suppose all men as 
solicitous to avoid the guilt of it as himself; and kindly in assisting 
them to from the torath which is to come, he should not only 
warn them of the evils it produces, which they are already convinced 
of, but plainly shew wherein the sin consists, that they may shun it 
the better. He has not done this distinctly enough, but constantly 
exclaims against schism, without ever gi\'ing the true notion of it, 
and proving particularly what it is, which was the business of the 
chapter. Had he cleared up this, and then convicted us of it, he 
had triumphed, and we would have immediately put an end to our 

Instead of this, he only explains it in general, by ' division, sepa- 
' ration, and breaking the unity ;' and, to make all separatists from 
himself as black as may be", would have this separation in general 
believed no better than what St. Paul calls heresy. And yet cer- 
tainly he would not have us understand all divisions, &c. are cul- 
pable schisms ; for he supposes it lawful to separate on account of 
;) difference in fundamentals, though even then (vs^hich looks like a 
contradiction) there is" a sin, he seems to say, in the separation. 
So that he leaves the thing very obscure, and, by some passages, 
seems to think he may lawfully separate from all who do not agree 
with him ; but they, on the other hand, cannot forsake him without 
a great sin. Hence you see, sir, how necessary it was to fix the right 
notion of schism, if our author had intended his dissuasive should 
have had any success. 

Briefly to supply this defect; though (rxinjxa, you know, sir, 
signifies literally a bare rent or division, yet in the ecclesiastical 
sense it either relates to the dissensions among the members of the 
same particular church, as i Cor. xi. i8, or more commonly, as also 
in our present dispute, it is used for a needless and unjust occa- 
sioning the body of Christ^s church, which is but one, to be torn 
into different communities. It is not so much the actual separating, 
as the unJTistly causing it, is the sin. Schism, in the large sense of 
™ Part ii. p. 382. [657.] " Ibid. p. 383. [658.] " Ibid. p. 399. 1. 4. [669, &c.] 

38 Reflections on Mr. IVall's [letter ii. 

the word, may be lawful or unlawful, as it is applied to one or the 
other party; for the division or separation is mutual, and relates 
equally to both sides that disagree. Now Mr. Wall uses the word 
indeterminately ; and, which renders what he says pei'plexed, con- 
founds the different meanings of it. 

That we may proceed more clearly, I intend by schismatics such 
as unnecessarily cause divisions, and by schism the great sin such 
are guilty of. In this sense only schism is to be condemned as un- 
lawful ; and thus St. Paul, by a periphrasis, calls schismatics not 
separatists barely, but such as cause divisionsv. This I take to be the 
peculiar and proper import of the word, as it has been, and is now 
used in the church. 

Hence it follows, that not so much they who go out from a com- 
munion they were joined with before, are the schismatics, as those 
who rashly and unjustly either give or take occasion so to separate. 
Thus if the church of Rome, by her idolatries and other corruptions, 
makes it just and necessary to divide from her, she commits the 
schism or separation, by rendering the terms of communion so 
unsafe and impracticable ; and not our forefathers, who wisely fol- 
lowed the apostle^s coimsel, to come out from among them^. 

In like manner, if any church through length of time, and the 
presumptions and mismanagement of her governors, degenerate into 
dangerous errors and corruptions, and a few persons observing it 
make proper application to have them redressed, and no care is 
taken upon it : those few wiser and more conscientious not only 
lawfully may, but are indispensably bound to renounce the commu- 
nion of such unreasonable bigots. The other side, though, as it 
generally happens, by far the majority, are the schismatics, in 
adhering so obstinately to their corruptions, which are incompatible 
with the purity of a church of Christ, and refusing to join with the 
others in a reformation of those abuses, and endeavouring to reduce 
themselves to a nearer conformity with the primitive church. 

The case will be much the same in regard to those who never 
were in union, if they continue separated upon insufficient grounds 
from a society, which, if compared, has more properties of a church 
than themselves. This is formal schism ; which, as I said, is being 
separate and divided, without just cause, from a true church. And 
this will make it difficult for several members the Church of England 
is troubled with, to clear themselves from the guilt of schism, in 
acknowledging that at Rome for a true church, and yet separating 
from her : if they are separated, and not, as many suspect, her real 

P Rom. xvi. 17. 12 Cor. vi. 17. 

History of Infant-baptism. 39 

friends^ and reconciled to her in their heart; though for desig'ns 
best known to themselves, they affect to appear otherwise, and so 
reproach her with schism underhand, in such manner as may not 
expose them to her censure. 

To return : by what has been said, the matter is brought to this 
issue, that those who unjustly give occasion to separate from the 
true church, and those who unjustly take it, with such also as con- 
tinue ununited without sufficient cause, are alone schismatics in the 
Scripture-sense, which is the right ; and are therefore fairly reckoned 
enemies of the cross and catholic church of Christ. 

But now, since it is lawful in some circumstances to renoimce 
communion, and sinful in others, it concerns us to examine what 
those circumstances are, which may make separation schismatical or 
not ; and indeed here the main difficulty lies. 

Mr. Wall offers to explain it, by distinguishing between funda- 
mental points, and such as are not of the foundation. ' An error in 
' the fundamentals of religion,^ he says'", ' does put a bar to our 
* communion mth those that teach it.^ But for mistakes in matters 
of less moment, he thinks we have St. PauFs direction and order to 
bear with one another, and receive one another into communion not- 
withstanding those differences; which indeed it must be allowed 
are not sufficient to warrant so desperate a remedy as separation. 
But this distinction, though good in itself, will however do little 
service in the case before us, because we are still to determine which 
are fundamentals, and which are not ; and I do not remember Mr. 
Wall has touched upon this ; nevertheless, I observe, he has made 
some articles so, which I, and thousands besides, can by no means 
grant him. I unill not single them out, because they signify little 
to our present dispute; but I mentioned the thing in gross, to 
shew how requisite it was for him to have taken some care to settle 
this matter. 

The subject is too large for me to handle it thoroughly : I shall 
therefore satisfy myself with laying down but one rule, which I 
believe will not be controverted, and perhaps might easily be shewn 
to be a very certain universal guide to direct us at all times to dis- 
tinguish things necessary and essential from useful only. Not all 
things plainly contained in the Scriptures, as some express them- 
selves too generally, but ' such alone as explicitly, or by very plain 
' consequence, so as all men, even the most ignorant and simple, by 
' fairly reading and considering, may discern them to be declared 

'Part ii. p. 385. [659. 'False doctrines in the fundamentals,' &c. are Dr. Wall's 

40 Refections on Mr. Wall's [letter ii. 

' necessary in the Scripture^ which is our only infallible guide on 
' earth ; are all the fundamental and necessary articles of the 
^ Christian church and faith/ To illustrate it by an example ; it is 
said directly, that after they had sung an hymn, they toent ont into the 
mount of Olives J and, in another place, that Saul teas consenting to 
Stephen's death : neither of which is a necessary article that will 
endanger a man's salvation who questions it, or is ignorant of it, or, 
if it could be supposed, should misunderstand it. But when the 
Lord says. This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true 
God, and Jesus Christ, tohoni thou hast sent ; and again. Unless ye eat 
my flesh, and drink my blood, ye have no part in me ; and, without 
faith it is impossible to please God : none can be so blind as not to see 
that these, and many other such passages, are points absolutely 
necessary to salvation under the Gospel. 

Our Lord, and he only, can teach us what things he indispen- 
sably requires of all to whom his Gospel is preached ; and we having 
no way to know his will but by searching the Scriptures, it cannot 
be questioned but their authority must be enough to determine the 
things, which really are and ought to be accounted necessary or not 
necessary by us ; for no power can alter what our Lord has there 

It will be convenient here, to distinguish between things neces- 
sary only to salvation, and those which are necessary to the rightful 
constitution of a true Gospel-church : for these are far from being 
one and the same. It would be needless to go about to shew that 
this distinction is well grounded ; but Mr. Wall seeming not ap- 
prised of it, or not to own it, I will venture to say something to 
confirm it. 

In order to this it may be observed, the qualifications which 
make a true Christian, and which constitute a true church, are 
different. The fundamentals of Christianity may be found in a single 
man, but a single man cannot have all the essentials of a church : 
and further, a body of men may be good Christians, orthodox in all 
fundamentals, and yet not able to form themselves into a church. 
It is necessary indeed that church-members be true Christians, and 
free from fundamental errors ; but this alone does not constitute 
them a church, which is not only a body of faithful men and women, 
but they must be united together in Christ's name, so as that 
among them may be orderly performed the several duties required 
in a Christian church. 

Thus the parliament for instance, and all our other civil societies, 
we will charitably suppose, are good Christians, that hold the truth 

History of Infant-haptism. 41 

in all godliness and honesty ; yet nobody sure can pretend, when 
they are assembled in their houses under their speakers, their sole 
heads as parliaments, they are then a rig-htly constituted church, 
where the ecclesiastical offices may be leg-ally executed. So that 
though persons may hold all the necessary articles of Christian 
relig-ion, by which they are, according to the new covenant in 
Christ's blood, entitled to salvation; yet on some other accounts 
they cannot be thought to constitute a true chvirch. 

The consequence therefore is unavoidable, that the fundamentals 
of Christian religion, and a Christian church, are not altogether the 
same; and I think it is proved also from the authority of the 
Church of Eng'land, which makes the due administration of the 
sacraments essential to the being of a true church, and yet charitably 
grants that of Rome to be in a salvable state ; though for some 
reasons their salvation cannot but be thought very hazardous, and 
must be so as hy fire. 

One of the necessary qualities of a true church is, the edification 
of the members, which is our Lord's great end in founding churches 
on earth. If therefore all other necessaries are retained, and by 
superstitiously adding some things, and presumptuously altering 
others, the conversion of sinners, and the edification of believers, is 
not promoted but hindered, that church cannot be counted a 
true one. 

Again : to mistake in the notion of a church, and deny there 
ought to be an order of persons lawfully ordained and set apart for 
the altar, to preach the pure word of God, and administer the sacra- 
ments, is an error we may fall into, without endangering our salva- 
tion, or the foundations of Christian religion. 

If the divine right of episcopacy be questioned, and the non- 
juring bishops rejected by the more judicious part of the Church of 
England, and the chimsera of uninterrupted succession given up, 
though we should suppose them in the wrong and Mr. Dodwell in 
the right, he was certainly miich too hasty in charging the present 
Church of England with schism and heresy too : for though those 
things should destroy the being of a true church, they do not 
endanger a man's salvation : so that I infer from the principles of 
these rigid highflyers, who disown the present constitution, and 
account themselves another church, different from that by law esta- 
blished, which they openly call schismatical and heretical, that all 
the essentials of a church are not necessary to salvation. But on the 
other hand, you are to observe, sir, though to be right in the essen- 
tials of a church is not a fundamental of religion ; yet to be right 

42 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter ii. 

in the fundamentals of religion, is a necessary article of a true 
church ; the fundamentals of a church including- the necessary 
articles of Christianity, but not vice versa. I speak of a particular 
visible churehj not of the universal invisible one, which, perhaps, 
has no other essentials than the necessary articles of the Christian 
religion ; for every true Christian is a member of the catholic 
church, though he should happen not to be in communion with any 
visible one. Is there not an apparent distinction now between 
things necessary to make a true Christian, and to make a true 
church ? The first must be in every member, but the others can be 
in the aggregate or body oi\\j. 

It was not enough then for Mr. Wall to say, in general, that a 
difference in fundamentals is a sufficient ground of separation, 
because it still remains a question, whether both kinds of funda- 
mentals justify it? and if not, which sort can do it? By the tenor 
of the chapter, he seems to mean the fundamentals of religion only, 
taking no notice of the others ; but it may be asked, whether an 
error in what relates to the fundamental constitution of a church 
only, will not warrant a separation from a church in such an error ? 
One would think this could not possibly be denied; for let the 
necessary qualifications, essential to the very being of a church, be 
what they will, if they are any of them wanting in a community, of 
consequence there can be no church ; and we not only may, but 
ought to withdraw ourselves from it ; for it is only schism to 
separate from a true church, and not from one so corrupted. 

For instance ; if a civil society, which we will suppose to be per- 
fectly right in all the fundamentals of religion, should at any time 
presume to call themselves a true church of Christ, and accordingly, 
without the proper qualifications, assume the sacred offices, and 
administer the holy sacraments ; I am no way obliged to unite with 
them, or if already united, to continue so ; but on the contrary, to 
come out from them, and disown their presumption. 

We see from hence it is commendable in us to separate from any 
body of men, though perfectly orthodox in the substantial articles 
of our most holy religion, merely on account of their errors in things 
which relate to the fundamental constitution of a church. And 
though Mr. Wall, as I said, does not mention this distinction, or 
perhaps may not be willing to admit it ; yet I have just recollected 
a passage, where, in effect, he acknowledges all I have said. After 
he has enumerated some (for I suppose he does not pretend them 
to be all) ' fundamental articles of our faith,^ on account of errors in 
which a separation is on all hands allowed lawful, he adds, ' But 

History of Infant-haptum. 43 

' there are, besides those that hold such doctrines pernicious to the 
' foundation, abiindance of Christians that hold the same faith in 
'■ all fundamental points, who do yet live in divisions and separation, 
^ disowning- and renouncing one another^s communion. It is pity 
' but these should be reduced to the unity which Christ's body 
' requires^/ 

In these words he plainly supposes a society may hold ' the same 
' faitV in all ' fundamental points,' as he g-rants at least some of the 
dissenters do, and yet not have power to constitute a true church ; 
for if they were so, they would be the same church and body of 
Christ, and no more divided than the particular bodies of the Church 
of England are ; but he denies this to the dissenters, by his blaming 
their conduct in the matter. 

By this passage also it appears our author can not only allow it 
lawful in some cases, but even urge it as a duty, to separate from a 
community which calls itself a church, and holds ^all the funda- 
' mental points of faith,' solely on account of some other things, in 
which he supposes it defective. Now, if this society is a true 
church, Mr. Wall will not pretend it is a duty to separate from such 
an one. By advising the members of that society, therefore, to 
leave it, and unite themselves to the Church of England, he implies, 
there are some other things necessary to the constitution of a true 
church, besides orthodoxy in fundamental articles of faith; and 
plainly enough asserts, that we ought every one to renounce such a 
communion, while destitute of those necessary things, whatever 
they be. 

If it is lawful then to separate from such Christians as we agree 
with in fundamentals of faith, it is strange our author should make 
this same agreement his only reason against a separation, as you see 
he does in the words cited, as well as in several other places. Since 
' they hold all the fundamental points/ he says, they ought to 
unite, and not separate ; and yet, those who ' hold all the funda- 
'■ mental points,' lawfully may, and are sometimes bound in duty to 
separate from one another. This looks like something of an ab- 
surdity, not easy to be reconciled, and which unwary men only can 
be guilty of. I believe it would puzzle you, sir, to guess his 
meaning, imless it be, that none may lawfully separate from the 
Church of England that hold the ' same faith in all ^ fundamental 
' points,' because he is of that church ; and the dissenters are obliged 
to leave their churches, whereof our author is not a member, though 
agreeing in the same faith in all fundamental points, and join 

8 Part ii. p. 386. [661.] 

44 JReflections on Mr. Wall's [letter ii. 

themselves to liis communion. But I am inclined to believe our 
autlioi' will have the mortification to see^ notwithstanding- the great 
authority he assumes^ that iew, if any^ will lay so much stress on 
his example, as merely on account of that, or any thing- he has 
written, so easily to forsake their own churches, and fondly join 
themselves to his. 

But, besides the fallacy of this arg-ument, it turns as strongly 
upon himself, and the church whereof he is a member ; for let us 
put the reverse, and say, (which is true,) the Church of England is 
separate from and disowns the dissenters, as well as the dissenters 
are separate from her : and if ag-reement in the fundamental articles 
of faith alone, according- to Mr. Wall, is sufficient to render separa- 
tion unlawful ; I ask, on this supposition, whether it is not as much 
the duty of the church, as of the dissenters, to end the separation by 
conforming- ? 

I cannot, I confess, see but both sides are equally affected with 
the argument ; for if it is incumbent on all in general to unite to 
those they agree with in the fundamentals of faith, without re- 
specting any thing else ; the obligation is as binding- on the church 
to conform to the dissenters, as it can be on the dissenters to conform 
to the church. 

And if so, to what purpose then does our author insist so much 
on this single topic, which, if it does any thing, is as full ag-ainst 
the church he undertakes to defend, as against any other that holds 
the same fundamentals in faith ? 

The reasoning of this chapter, therefore, (though I am far from 
thinking- it his design,) if justly pursued, would produce confusion 
and obstinacy rather than any thing- else. For it makes it necessary 
for the dissenters to alter their own constitution, and receive that of 
the Church of England ; which is obliged at the same time, and for 
the same reason, to quit her constitution, and receive that of the 
dissenters : and when this is done, the separation will continue still 
as wide as before, and they must change back again, and so g-o on 
in a constant round ; unless to fix the matter, one side shall sinfully 
resolve to adhere to their old form, in order to afford the other a 
possibility of knowing- and performing- their duty. But it would be 
endless to trace this winding- maze of numerous absurdities quite 
through. Mr. Wall indeed thinks there is a great disparity between 
the Church of England and the dissenters, and therefore the argu- 
ment does not oblige both alike. 

They agree, it is true, in all fundamentals of religion ; and the 
difference between them is, in his opinion, concerning- thing-s of far 

History of Infant-hapUsm. 45 

less moment^ and in wliich that church has signally the advantage, 
in that she is established by the civil authority of the land ; and 
therefore in all things of an indifferent nature ought to have the 
preference, and be obeyed : and the dissenters, not standing on the 
same foot, ought to submit all such things, and acquiesce in her de- 

Supposing this, and that nothing can be more just and reason- 
able than in things purely indifferent to be regulated by our 
superiors ; Mr. Wall must take this along with him as the conse- 
quence, that if any of the dissenting parties should become the 
national church by the civil power, they would have a right to the 
same privileges ; for what the magistrate's establishment gives to 
one, it cannot but give to another; and so what the Church of 
England is entitled to here, by her civil establishment, may be as 
justly claimed by the presbyterian churches in Scotland and those of 
the United Provinces, and by the Lutherans in Prussia, Sweden, and 
Denmark ; and if so, they must be supposed to want no essentials to 
the constitution of a true church of Christ. It will be as great a sin 
and schism, then, for any, even of the Church of England itself, to 
divide from their communion in those states, as it is for the 
dissenters to separate from the national church here. And this 
seems to place the nature and guilt of schism in nothing so much, 
as in the departing from any church established by the law of the 
land. And therefore our author says'; '■ The Church of England 
' would not approve of a schism that should be set up in any other 
church, though it were for the introducing of those ways of worship 
' which they have prescribed.' But we see how true this is, by their 
building churches, and sending their ministers abroad; and from 
my lord Clarendon's and Dr. Morley's>i refusing to communicate 

t Part ii. p. 394. [667.] ' resident there for our king ; but never 
u [Dr. Morley was bishop of Winches- ' went to the French presbyterian church 
ter, in the reign of king Charles the ' at Charenton, no more than I did after- 
Second. It will appear from his state- ' wards to that of Caen in Normandy, 
ment, that he did not decline to join the ' whilst I was there. 

French congregation at Charenton, (where ' For which being asked the reason, of 

the celebrated M. Claude was tlieir chief ' the chief pastor of the church, the 

minister,) because they were iircAe&taiiU, ' learned M. Bouchart, my answer was, 

as Mr. Gale seems to insinuate ; but be- ' that I forbore to come to their church ; 

cause they were presbi/tcrians, and that \tifst, because we had, at my lady Or- 

for weighty reasons ; which I here give ' niond's house, there, a congregation of 

in his own words, from page viii. of the ' our own, wherein we had not only 

preface to his ' Several Treatises written ' preaching, as they had, but a liturgy or 

' on several Occasions,' 4". London, 1683. 'solemn form of worshipping God by 

' When I vv-as in France, I did at Paris ' prayers, praises, and thanksgivings, which 

' assist Dr. Cozins, late bishop of Durham, '(as I imagined) they had not in their 

' in preaching to the English iirotestants ' churches. Secondly, Because though I 

' there at Sir Richard Brown's house, then ' understood their language when I read 


Befections on Mr. Wall's 

[letcer II. 

with the French protestants, under Monsieur Claude ; and my lord 
Scudamore^s withdrawing- from the church at Charenton. And the 
Commons, in a very memorable declaration they drew up in the 19th 
of James I, say, ' That if his majesty cannot by treaty procure the 
' peace and safety of his children abroad, and of the true professors 
' (in foreig-n parts) of the same relig-ion professed by the Church of 
' Eng-land, they woidd, to their utmost power, with their lives and 
' fortunes, assist him so, as that he may be able to do it with his 
' sword/ 

If there is no other reason why the dissenters should unite with 
the church, but her being- supported by law, for in all other respects 
they are supposed equal, the crime can be very little, if at all, less in 
the latter than in the former; and the schism must be at least 
almost equally sinful in both, since there is no essential ground, 
according- to the case supposed, on either side, to justify their 

^ ' Various ceremonies, forms, and methods of ordering ehurch- 
' matters y, particular collects or prayers, or clauses of prayers,' 
Mr, Wall thinks should not be esteemed by the dissenters a suffi- 
cient cause of separation. But he knows the imposing- these things 
is thoug-ht a sufficient reason, and strongly urg-ed as such too ; and 
though some can venture to g-o with him thus far, that upon the 
supposition these things do not evert the foundation, as he some- 
where phrases it, nor appear inconsistent with the fundamentals of 
the Christian church and religion, they are then, indeed, no good 
reason why any one should renounce the communion of those saints 
who are pleased with these ceremonies, &c., yet the same persons 
think it will not therefore follow that they must constantly conform 
to all those things, being verily persuaded they may have the liberty 
notwithstanding, commonly to exercise such ceremonies only, as 
they like better, and think are more for God's honour and the good 
of their souls. After this manner Mr. Wall in effect allows ^ they 
might still continue to be the same church ; for as long as they do 

it, yet I did not understand it when I 
heard it spoken, so well as, though the 
matter were never so good, to be at all 
edified by it. And thirdly, Because, if 
they did not favour and encourage, yet 
they did not, at least they had not 
hitherto condemned or reproved the 
scandalous and rebellious proceedings of 
their presbyterian brethren in England, 
against the king and against the church : 
which until they should do by some 
public act, or manifestation of their 

* judgments to the contrary, I could not 
' choose but think they approved, or at 
' least did not dislike, what our presbyte- 
' rians in England had done and were still 
' doing. And therefore I did forbear, for 
' the present, to join in communion with 
' them there at Caen, as T had done for- 
' merly, for the very same reasons, with 
' those at Charenton.] 

X Part ii. p. 392. [666.] 

y Ibid. p. 397. [670.] 

z Ibid. p. 396. [669.] 

Ilistorf/ of hifavt-haptism. 47 

not renounce one another's communion, but communicate together 
as should seem convenient^ they will scarcely be more different than 
cathedrals^ chapels, and parish-churches, whose forms differ very 
much in several particulars ; some choosing- the cathedral-worship, 
and others the parochial, and yet continuing to be the same church. 

Whether this would be granted or no, Mr. Wall cannot possibly 
deny, but that if those ceremonies, &c., are not of so much conse- 
quence as to justify a separation, and that therefore the dissenters 
are to blame in separating on their account ; for the same reason, 
any church, which unnecessarily insists on these things so stiffly, is 
full as accessary to the separation, and as guilty of it, and perhaps 
more guilty, than the dissenters themselves'^. 

For though she may think the ceremonies decent and useful, &c., 
yet being of an indifferent nature at best, they may either be used 
or laid aside, as shall be found most convenient ; and there is no 
more necessity from the things themselves, for the use than the 
disuse of them : wherefore rigidly to resolve to introduce them into 
the church, or maintain them there, is unnecessarily giving occasion 
to others not so well satisfied, to disown those things, and the church 
which imposes them. 

And thus the common pretence of their usefulness ceases ; and 
instead of it, they become prejudicial, by creating divisions, which 
alters the case quite, and renders them not merely indifferent, but 
unlawful ; for though they are indifferent in themselves, I hope our 
author mil not imagine it is an indifferent matter whether they 
prove an occasion of rending the body of Christ, nor question its 
being far better, and, to be plain, their indispensable duty too, 
rather to alter and wholly give up what themselves account so in- 
different, than by retaining them, to endanger and break the unity 

* ' Tliis, with all its consequences, and in all our deportment, to consult not 

though they bear so hard on such churches, only its lawfulness, but its decency and 

is fully allowed at several turns bj' the expediency, with regard to our brethren, 

warmest of our adversaries, who really against wliom we may sin, (as St. Paul 

ruin their own cause, and give up all the says, in the admirable state of this case, 

dissenters ask : thus one of them particu- i Cor. viii. lo.) andtuound their weak con- 

larly, who is usually very angry, says, sciences, and sin against Christ. Thus the 

' We may partake of other men's sins, by abuse even of an innocent liberty cannot 

' giving offence or scandalous example.' be justified by a good intention ; and we 

As men are members of society, they are liable to answer for the fall of those 

stand responsible not only for the positive to wliom we become a stmnbliitrj-Mork and 

legality of the actions, as considered in a rock of offence.^ Dr. Sacheverell's Ser- 

themselves, and their own natures, solely mon at the Assizes held at Derby, Aug. 

with respect to the subject-matter of 15, 1709. page 12. 

them ; but also for their relative conse- ' In giving offence by our actions, we 
quences, as they may affect the con- use our liberty for a cloak of malicious- 
sciences of others, to which we are bound ness ; and make what would be otherwise 
by the laws of charity to give no violation, innocent, culpable.' Ibid. p. 14. 
disturbance, or occasion of transgressing ; 

48 Refections on Mr. Wall's [lette"R ii. 

of the church, which they find is impossible to be preserved while 
they are retained. 

It is strange men can exclaim so bitterly against schism, (and 
God knows the sin is black enough,) and at the same time know 
in their consciences they prefer their humours and opinions about 
external indifferent matters, before the important concern of the 
peace and edification of the church. 

There are several public defences made, by which all men may see 
how far they can justify themselves, who disown the Church of 
England, even upon these trifling accounts, as they are thought; 
and on what grounds they think it cannot be their duty to yield to 
the national church in her imposing things which are really indif- 
ferent : but whether they are able to make a rational defence of 
themselves or no; uay, let us suppose that some cannot, and yet 
are resolved to continue their separation ; if such unreasonable mis- 
taken men, or what yovi will please to call them, are found among 
us, this will not lessen the churches guilt, in so tenaciously continu- 
ing to throw the needless occasions in their way. Besides, it is to 
be believed, all the churches, and the greatest part, if not every 
private man of the dissenters, are satisfied in their hearts, that the 
things they dissent for, are not so indiflerent as it is said, nor can 
be received without cornipting the purity of the Christian religion. 

This considerably enliances their fault, who in matters they con- 
fess to be indifferent, through no necessity, but from the motions of 
an arbitrary temper only, will bear so hard upon the consciences of 
such as cannot have the same opinion, and drive them to the despe- 
rate dilemma of conforming against their consciences, or breaking 
the unity of the church. A more Christian and becoming disposition 
in the governing party might have removed the whole difficulty, 
without any inconvenience at all, by kindly not insisting on those 
things which some of their weaker brethren could not digest, and 
which they themselves likewise are under no manner of necessity to 
adhere to. 

Every society has power, under the supreme authority, to frame 
by-laws for itself, to which all its members are bound, and may be 
obliged to submit. So the whole church, undoubtedly, and every 
particular part of it, may rightfully claim a power, as far as Christ 
the supreme Head permits, to make such orders and constitutions as 
they shall judge projDcr for governing their several bodies. And 
this is all that, with any face of reason, can be demanded. But this 
will be of little or no service in excusing the church, or condemning 
the dissenters, if we consider that this power is not unlimited : but 

History of Infant-baptism. 49 

as the laws of any corporation are null, when repng-nant to the 
general institutions of the nation ; so all prescriptions in the chiirch 
are of no force, and unlawful, when contrary to any which Jesus 
Christ, our great Legislator, has ordained ; or when she exceeds the 
lawful hounds of her power. And therefore, even those who can 
allow the church is possessed of a legislative power in matters purely 
indifferent, and are willing- to suppose that her members are obliged 
to comply with her; infer notwithstanding, that if those things, 
which are indifferent in themselves, are circumstantiated, as it often 
hapj)ens, so as to destroy any of our Lord^s precepts, we are dis- 
charged from obedience to our subordinate ecclesiastical governors^ 
and such her decrees are ipso facto void. 

Nay, they further assert, that though the church mig-ht lawfully 
exercise such power as is pleaded for in matters of liberty, yet as 
the case stands at present, the dissenters in England, some of them 
at least, are obliged to separate from the national church, who, as 
they think, by misusing her power, has rendered the terms of com- 
munion unlawful : or if the terms are not so themselves, yet they 
are apt to suppose she is as much to blame as the dissenters, if by 
arbitrary impositions she breaks in on fundamental laws, and exceeds 
her commission ; and by narrowing the gate, prevents many from 
entering into the church, to her own great injury, whose growth 
her governors are bound by all lawful means to advance. 

Peace and unity are strictly enjoined, and should be the particular 
care of those whom the Holy Ghost has made overseers of the flock ; 
and yet some men deliberately and with pleasure study inflexibly to 
maintain and impose those things, which they know by experience 
confound the unity they preach, and should preserve. It is a chief 
part of their office, with tenderness, to instruct and relieve the con- 
sciences of the peoj)le ; but they on the contrary oppress and perplex 
them, beyond what they are able to bear. Is this agreeable to 
charity, thus dehberately to constrain us to what they count a sin, 
and against which themselves pronounce damnation ? ' Divisions, 
' schisms, separations, and whatsoever breaks the unity of the 
' church,^ are placed, they say'', by St. Paul, in the ^ roll or catalogue 
' he gives of the sins which are certainly damning ; which they that 
'practise shall not inherit the kingdom of God,' Gal. v. 19, 20, 21. 
And notwithstanding this, they are so far from helping us to avoid 
the danger, that they wilfully lay the unnecessary stumblingljlocks 
before us, which they are assured will and do make us fall, in direct 

h Part ii. p. 383. [658.] 

50 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter ii. 

opposition to tlie apostle^s counsel and pattern^^ who says^ But when 
ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin 
af/ainst Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will 
eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. 

How vastly different from this tender regard and consideration of 
the infirmities of others^ and of how different an original^ is the 
inflexible temper of some nowadays, who rather than part mtli any 
thing" they have once received, will endanger the salvation of those 
who cannot subscribe to it, even though it should prove the eternal 
ruin of thousands ybr whom Christ died ! 

I have said more on this occasion than at first I intended ; but 
Mr. Wall had suppressed so many particulars, in his treating this 
head, that it was needful to supply them : for they are material, and 
give the case of our separation quite another aspect. I might here 
make several deductions from the observations I have made, and 
apply them to the condition of the church in England ; but I waive 
it, and only desire you to compare what I have wi'it with the last 
chapter in Mr. Wall, 

After he has declared the mischief and sin of divisions, &c., he 
addi'esses himself to the antipsedobaptists : and since I am obliged 
to follow him, let us briefly consider the point, sir, between the 
Church of England and them. And first, I must desire you always 
to remember, Mr. Wall argues on the supposition that we are right, 
and the other side in the error; and undertakes to shew, we have 
notwithstanding no sufiicient ground to separate : an attemjDt which 
appears too extravagant for any but a very partial man to engage in. 
Would you have thought it possible, sir, without this instance, that 
a person of sense and reading should assert, it is unlawful to separate 
from a church, which so freely presumes to innovate in the positive 
institutions of our Saviour, and impose her own alterations instead 
of them ? And that you may see this is really the ease, and judge 
better how Mr. Wall has acquitted himself in his undertaking, I will 
present you with our notion of the point. 

When our Lord sent out his disciples to preach, and instituted 
the holy ordinance of baptism, he commanded, that all persons 
should be first taught to believe in him, and then be admitted into 
his church and covenant, by being dipped into the water, iyi the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and, of the Holy Ghost. None 
therefore can be true members of the Christian church the apostles 
were then sent forth to gather, unless they are accordingly first 

c I Cor. viii. 9 ; Rom. xiv. 15 ; i Cor. viii. 12, 13. 

History of Ivfant-hapihm. 51 

taught, and afterwards regularly received, according to our Lord's 
direction, by dij)ping them into the water, and pronouncing that 
sacred form of w^ords he prescribed. 

Now our author supposes us in the right in all this ; and yet says 
it is not sufficient to justify our separation. The stress of what he 
urges lies in this position, that the difference is not about funda- 
mentals ; if it were, he acknowledges we ought to separate ; but the 
age or time of receiving baptism cannot be such. But whatever it 
may be in his opinion, it is a fundamental with us in the constitu- 
tion of a church : and if he can think the true subject, and the just 
manner of administering this ordinance, are not of its essence, 
but wholly indifferent, and what there is no need to be curious in ; 
I assure you we are of another mind, and have more reverence for 
our Lord's institutions, than to esteem the due performance of them 
so light a thing. It is of important consequence, we think, to retain 
his methods punctually, and not deviate in the least particular : for 
' it is highly suitable to the nature of things, to believe,'' as my lord 
bishop of Sarum judiciously observes d, ' That our Saviour, who has 
' instituted the sacrament, has also either instituted the form of it, 
' or given us such hints as to lead us very near it.' And therefore, 
if it were not in reality a fundamental, yet while we believe it is, it 
has the influence of one upon our consciences, and we have the same 
reason to separate. 

If the church has a greater latitude, I appeal to you, sir, which is 
most expedient and just; that she should close the rupture, by 
yielding to the tenderness of our consciences, and give up what she 
esteems so very indifferent ; or that we, who are not so at liberty, 
should act against our consciences, and comply with her ? 

But I will endeavour to prove, sir, that what we divide for is a 
fundamental j and, without the help of a supposition, that the esta- 
blished church is possibly in the error. To cut this short (for I 
would fain have done with this subject) I will not give the reasons 
our author uses here a particular examination ; they are sufficiently 
answered by the foregoing distinction, between fundamentals of 
religion, and fundamentals in the constitution of a true Christian 
church. All he attempts to prove is, that it is not a fundamental 
article of faith, without which none can be saved ; which is nothing 
to the purpose : for, as I shewed above, there are other causes which 
not only justify, but also necessitate a separation from a clnu'ch. 
Besides, he can never evince this negative from his own principles. 
He o-wns baptism itself is a fundamental ; and would be understood, 

'I Exposition of the Articles, p. 265. [on the twenty-fifth Article.] 

E 2 

52 Reflections on 3Ir. Wall's [letter ii. 

certainly, to mean true Christian baptism, and not every invention 
of heretics in ancient or modern times : he must comprehend, then, 
all that is essential to true baptism, or else it \vill be imperfect ; and 
if these supposed circumstances should be found to be of its essence, 
it will follow from himself, that these things are fundamentals, as 
being- essential to Avhat is allowed to be so. 

Baptism, I grant, is of great necessity ; and though I dare fix no 
limits to the infinite goodness and mercy of God, which I am i^onfi- 
dent he will give mighty proofs of, in great instances of kindness 
towards all sincere, though mistaken men ; however the gospel-rule 
is, according to the doctrine of the apostle, to repent, and be baptized, 
for the remission of sins. We should be very cautious therefore of 
making any change in these things, lest we deprive ourselves, 
through our presumption, of that title to pardon, without which 
there is no salvation. But Mr. Wall confesses this; and, I thinlc, it 
is as clear, that nothing can be Christian baptism which varies from 
Christ's institution. That only is baptism which he aj)pointed, and 
therefore that which differs from what he appointed differs from 
baptism; and to bring in alterations is to change the thing, and 
make it not the same, but another. This is self-evident, and beyond 
a question. 

The only pretence, I think, that can be devised, is, that our 
Lord's institution is not so strictly punctilious, and confined in the 
particular circumstances of it. But Mr. Wall can have no benefit 
from this evasion; because, as I said before, he supposes our opinion, 
in this case, is the true, and all he says is to proceed on this suppo- 
sition. But as baptism is an ordinance of Christ, it must of necessity 
be celebrated exactly as he appointed : and since to the very being 
of baptism a subject to whom it must be administered is necessary, 
and a mode of administering, without which it would be only a 
notion in the brain : these things, therefore, are as necessary as 
baptism itself. And hence it follows that the true subjects, which 
are professed believers only, and the true mode, which is only 
dip^ying into the water, are necessary to true baptism; and conse- 
quently a difference in these points is a difference in fundamentals, 
and so by Mr. Wall's concession a just cause of separation. 

It is superfluous, I think, to spend more time to shew these things 
are as proper fundamentals as baptism itself, and essential to it, 
without which it is impossible it should be baptism, and wherein its 
very nature consists. I will go on, therefore, to manifest how just 
and unavoidable our sej)aration is. 

I do not know what Mr. Wall's notion of a church may be ; but 

llidorij of hifant-haptimi. 53 

if he takes it from the Thirty-Nine Articles he subscribed to at his 
ordination^ it will be plain ; for the nineteenth Ai'ticle says, ' The 
' visible church of Christ is a cong-reg-ation of faithful men, in the 

' which the sacraments be duly administered, according to 

' Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite 
' to the same/ Now if baptism cannot be duly performed according 
to Christ^s ordinance, (as we believe, and Mr. Wall supposes it true,) 
bvit by dipping believers into the water on the profession of their 
faith; then that church, wliich administers it otherwise, cannot be 
such a church of Christ as the Article speaks of: and if so, it is 
hard to imagine why it should be unlawful to decline her commu- 
nion : for her baptism being wrong becomes no baptism ; and 
perhaps some may carry this so far as to question whether such a 
congregation is a visible chm-ch. For if, as I will prove hereafter, 
her baptism is not true, that is, if she have no baptism, (for Tertvil- 
lian's maxim wall hold good, ' They who are not dvily baptized are 
' certainly not baptized at all^,') though we do not assert so much, 
yet to some it will, it may be, seem a little probable, that she may 
perhaps have no bishops, presbyters, &c., no lawful ordinations ; and 
(if this should be allowed) neither of the sacraments can be duly 
administered. And then from these suppositions, and by the 
authority of the Article cited, the clergy of the Church of England 
in general teach us to infer, that such a congregation can be no more 
than a pretended church, and that we ought to separate from such 
an one. 

And if, as both sides agree, baptism is a necessary initiation into 
the Christian church ; and if none are baptized but believers dipped 
into the water, (which you remember, sir, Mr. Wall supposes;) then 
nothing can be more evident, than that such as are not so baptized 
are not rightly initiated, and have no title therefore to church-mem- 
bership, but should be disclaimed. 

Before I leave this head I beg leave to observe, how unhandsomely 
Mr. Wall acts, in supposing us right in our opinion, and yet pro- 
nouncing our separation unlawful ; and telling us, we ought to unite 
mth persons we are persuaded are not baptized. Would he follow 
such advice himself, and admit any into the church, if he believed 
they were without what he esteems baptism ? It must be an absurd 
thing, upon Mr. WalFs own principle, to receive persons to the 
holy eucharist before they have given themselves to Christ, and, 
according to his appointment, washed away their sins. This he will 

^ De Baptismo, cap. 15. page 230. Baptisnmiu, cum rite non habeant, sine dubio uoii 

54 Reflectmis on Mr. Wall's [letter it. 

think would be to abuse the sacred ordinance, and therefore the 
Church of England refuses to admit any to the communion, unless 
they are first not only baptized, but also confirmed ; as is resolved 
at the end of the Order of Confirmation f. 

I know Mr. Wall would say, he acknowledg-es baptism itself is a 
fundamental article, and therefore it has been inserted into some 
ancient creeds : but modes and circumstances are not so material, 
and for that reason should not be made a pretext for divisions. I 
have sufficiently answered this above ; but I add, Mr. Wall cannot 
imagine ' baptism in general,' (which in truth I do not know what 
to make of, nor how it can be administered, for to baptize with 
' baptism in general,' looks like a contradiction,) Mr. Wall, I say, 
cannot imagine, that baptism in general, without any regard to 
some conditions and circumstances, is any baptism at all. Nor can 
I believe, when he makes baptism necessary, he would be understood 
to mean, that some kind of baptism or other is necessary ; but that 
all modes, circumstances, and the like, are wholly indifferent, and at 
the discretion of every person or church either: for then the impious 
customs of the ancient heretics would be as authentic as the sacred 
form om- Lord commanded his disciples. But it has been universally 
allowed in the church from the beginning, and our author seems to 
insist on it too, that if the person baptized has an erroneous and not 
a true faith, according to the Scriptures, concerning God the 
Father, and Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost; and if the 
baptism is not administered in that only regular form of words 
which the institutor prescribed, in the name of the Holy and ever- 
blessed Trinity, that baptism is ij:! so facto null and vacated: nay, 
St. Cyprian, and the council Mr. Wall is so fond of at another time, 
make even the orthodoxy of the administrator necessary. From 
hence it appears, that he must be vmderstood to mean true baptism 
is necessary; which is what we say, and is therefore a sufficient 
cause of our separation; which thus, you see, our author himself 
unwarily justifies. 

Since he owns Christ's ^prescribing the words of the institution is 
the only sufficient authority to fix the form, I cannot but think we 
should strictly follow the same words of the institution, as the 
only rule we can be directed by in all things else relating to this 
ordinance : and then all other parts of baptism, especially the true 
subject and mode of administration, are as necessary as the true 
form of words; and if only that form is true which is there 

f [Mr. Gale ought to have represented the rubric fairly and fully, by adding its 
latter clause, ' or be ready and desirous to be confirmed.'] 

History of Infimt-h autism. 55 

prescribed^ then those only are the lawful subjects^ and that the 
right mode which is there likewise specified ; and these are there- 
fore of the foundation, as well as the form of words, and without 
either of these the baptism is invalid. 

In short, we refuse to communicate with the Church of England, 
for the same reason that she refuses to communicate with persons 
she cannot esteem baptized ; and therefore it must look very strange 
now, that any of her members should press us to act contrary to her 
rules and determinations, and join with such as we conclude are 
without baptism : and we should still be guilty of a worse pre- 
varication, if they prevailed on us to grant theu's to be a sufficient 
baptism, and at the same time keep our present opinion of our own. 
This would be acknowledging two baptisms, against the express 
declaration of the apostle, whose judgment we more willingly 
depend on, that there is only one Lord, one faith, one bajdisniE. 
And if Christ, as we are well assured, (and our author, you are to 
remember, supposes,) commanded only to baptize such as actually 
believed in him, according to the preaching of the disciples, then 
the baptism so given is alone the true one baptism, which is 
certainly necessary; and we are obliged and warranted by Divine 
authority to own that and no other. 

This is what I judged needful to say, in order to justify our 
separation, and demonstrate how very frivolous Mr. Wall's reason- 
ing about it is. But after he has laboured to prove our separation 
schismatical and sinful, (as if he believed the business was effectually 
done,) he is pleased to propose the terms of an union ; which are in 
sum, that the Chiu'ch of England shall kindly condescend to remain 
in all particular's just as she is, and the antiptedobaptists shall 
humbly submit themselves and their consciences to the power and 
persecutions of the angry party in the church : or if they retain 
their opinions concerning baptism, they shall be indulged in that, 
provided they will be careful to keep them to themselves. 

How impartial and feasible a proposal is here ! Could he, think 
you, forbear smiling at it himself, or in earnest expect it should be 
embraced ? He confesses the church may present antipsedobaptists, 
and has done it, while they were reputed her members, and were 
consequently in her power : and I can tell him, however he may 
smooth over the matter, they have taken the warning, and will not 
put it to the venture again ; and they think themselves highly 
obliged to the government for the protection it gives them. They 
will never be persuaded, on our author's terms especially, to rely 

f? Eph. iv. 5. 

56 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [lettee ii. 

on the favour of the ecclesiastics, and strip themselves of the 
inviolable security of that toleration our most gracious and pious 
Queen has so often and so solemnly declared ' she will maintain/ 

Thoug-h it should be granted the Church of England, like all 
other societies, has power over her own body ; yet she has certainly 
none over those who withdraw from her communion. It was a 
home reflection therefore on the wisdom and authority of the Queen 
and parliament, for our author to insinuate, that the ' Act of 
' toleration h cannot tie up the church^'s hands from any proceedings 
' against dissenters •/ who besides, by being out of her body, are 
merely, on that account, out of her power. It is notorious that this 
does tie up the hands of the ang-ry party ; and we are so extremely 
sensible of her Majesty's goodness in taking this method, that we 
beg her Majesty graciously to give us leave still to rely solely on 
herself and parliament, under God, for security; for all other we 
disown. As for ' the general forbearance which is now used^ ;' there 
are some who practise it only out of necessity, and because they 
cannot help it. But should the Toleration be once repealed, I fear 
this good temper would vanish like a vapour. For Mr. Wall cannot 
but remember the prosecution and excommunication he pronounced 
against Mrs. Hall of his parish. 

And doubtless he has not wholly forgot that he presented Mr. 
Joseph Brown his neighbour, for not bringing his children to be 
christened. I confess, he sometime afterwards asked that gentle- 
man^s pardon for what he had done ; who very readily forgave him : 
and I should, therefore, never have mentioned the thing, but that I 
have observed Mr. Wall is troubled with moderation and forbearance 
but very rarely, by sudden fits and starts, which are no sooner over 
than he finds himself as violent and inveterate as ever : or if he be 
now indeed changed, (as I should be heartily glad to be assured he 
is,) he may however very well think there are some of that same 
disposition still, who woidd never suffer us to be quiet. 

But had Mr. Wall been serious, he should have made a proposal 
more fair and equal on both sides, and proper to establish unity and 
concord on the principles of the first churches of Christians. In 
order to this, it would be requisite, and I think none can except 
against it, that some fit persons were chosen on both sides, to ex- 
amine the Scriptures impartially, and the Fathers of the first three 
centuries, who followed their great Master through sufferings, and 
whose writings are undoubtedly by far the best commentary on the 
sacred books ; and with these helps to collect from the word of God 
h Part ii. p. 410, 411. [682.] ' Ibid. p. 411. [683.] 

History of Infant-baptism. 57 

the true doctrine and discipline of the primitive cathohc church : 
and to what should be thus sincerely deduced^ every one should re- 
solve to conform^ without reserve. And I doubt not^ if an union 
were endeavoured on this expedient, it would be accomplished mvich 
more easily than is imagined. 

I just hint at this, to shew Mr. Wall might have chosen a more 
reasonable method than he did. But it is not likely he should come 
into it, because he seems of an imperious temper, and positive in his 
opinions, which he woidd force upon others and not bend himself. 
And for this I appeal, among" other things, to the several places 
where he complains of the mischiefs of the magistrates granting 
tolerations. Why did not he embellish his paragraphs with the 
famous examples of Judas, and Pilate, and the high priest, who as 
wisely cut off the ringleader of that sect which endeavoured to 
abolish the traditions of the elders ? For these things will be found 
to be of just the same kind, if the words of the king in the parable 
be true, Matt. xxv. 40, that what is done to his brethren he 
accounts as done to himself. But had not our author forgot that it 
is as indecent as it is unjust to talk thus ? For this is to reflect on 
the wisdom and lenity of the British government, and in efifect to 
magnify the French fashion of dragooning people, only for en- 
deavouring to preserve a conscience void of offence toward God 
and toward man. But sure our poor protestant brethren in 
France deserve rather to be pitied and relieved, than thus slily 
insulted and condemned : and God be thanked, they are, and will be 
kindly entertained with us, to the immortal honour of our gracious 
Queen, by whose pious liberality so many afflicted families are 
comfortably subsisted. And she has most kindly endeavoured to 
have the like toleration settled by other princes, her allies, abroad, 
which she has confirmed at home. So extensive is her goodness ! 
But it touches me very close, to see a man, whose function is to 
serve at the altar, and minister in the holy things of the gospel, of 
a complexion so repugnant to the meekness, love, and charitable 
forbearance which Christ so often, so strictly enjoined; and I am 
concerned that some of the leaders of the church do not know lohat 
manner of spirit they are of. 

Now, to conclude ; I hope I have made out, sir, what I took 
upon me to prove ; which was, that Mr. Wall is not a writer to re- 
pose a full confidence in : but has committed several mistakes, and 
must be read warily, and with suspicion. 

I am, &c. 

58 Mejlections on Mr. Wall's [letter hi. 


Another instance of Mr. Wall's unfairness — The dispute between the English pge- 
dobaptists and us cast under two heads — It is strange, things so clear should 
be capable of so much dispute — So far as the Scriptures are clear, our practice is 
allowed to be exactly agreeable therewith — Therefore if we err, we are, however, 
on the safer side — God has revealed his will with sufficient clearness, in all 
material points — And he has not left it doubtful in what manner, or to what 
subjects, baptism should be administered — A trifling remark of Mr. Wall's 
noted — It is better not to pretend to baptize persons, than not to do it as Christ 
requires it should be done — The Greek word for baj)tize always signifies to dip 
only in any manner of thing — So Lycophron — And Sophocles — But more 
commonly it is used for dipping into liquids — So Homer — Metaphors include 
and borrow their beauties from the thing from whence they are taken — Pindar 
and his scholiast — Euripides and his scholiasts — Aristophanes in many 
places — The words in dispute frequently applied to the dyer's art : and they 
colour things by dipping them — Several passages wherein the word alludes to 
the art of dying, considered — The improper use of words in metaphorical 
passages cannot be supposed to alter their signification — Figurative forms of 
speech are only abbreviated similes — It is no objection to say, if words are 
always literally understood, authors will be made to speak nonsense — 
Figurative sentences not literally true, as they stand ; but being defective, the 
sense must be supplied — We should distinguish between the sense of a phrase, 
as it includes some words not expressed ; and the sense of the particular words 
singly considered, just as they stand — Words have no more than one significa- 
tion — Words are always to be taken in their literal sense — The use of these 
observations in the present dispute — More instances from Aristophanes — 
liXivoi is to washby dipping — More instances from Aristotle — from Herachdes 
Ponticus — from Herodotus Halicarnassseus — from Theocritus — from Moschus 
— from Aratus — from Callimachus — from Dionysius Halicarnassseus — from 
Strabo — from Plutarch — from Lucian — from the emperor Marcus Antoninus 
— The metaphorical use of the word in dispute, when applied to the mind, con- 
sidered and explained — Other instances from Pollux — From Themistius — That 
lexicographers and critics render the word by lavo is no argument they ever 
understood it to mean less than to dip. 


By Mr. WalFs character, which I have given yon at large in my 
former, you may jndge of his temper and design : but there is one 
remarkable instance of his disingenuity not yet taken notice of, 
which must by no means be omitted : I mean his unfair pretences, 
and false assertions, concerning the word ^anTiCw. I designed to 
have mentioned this before, but considering it is a branch of our 
main dispute, and requires a particular examination, I deferred it, 
and will enter on it now. 

History of lufant-haptism. 59 

As the controversy stands between us and the English psedobap- 
tists, it may be cast under two heads : one relating- to the mode of 
baptism^ whether it is to be administered only by dipping ; and the 
other, (which must be handled more fully,) is, who are the true sub- 
jects of it, whether adult persons alone, or infants also. 

One would wonder a thing of this nature should be capable of so 
much dispute : for if it is not instituted, it ought not to be practised; 
and if it be instituted, it should seem impossible for any not to see 
it. But if there is indeed reasonable ground for these doubts, and a 
matter of such importance is involved in such inextricable dif- 
ficulties, as some pretend ; I think it reflects highly on the legisla- 
tor's conduct, who has ordained laws, on the performance of which 
our eternal salvation depends, and yet left the sense and construc- 
tion of them so perplexed and hard to be known. But we are well 
assured it is not so; and are more concerned for the honour and 
goodness of God, than to imagine, with our author and his party, 
that our blessed Savioue has not plainly enough told us what he 
expects from us : no, we are confident he has declared his will to us, 
in this and all other articles of like consequence, with all necessary 
evidence ; and what he has not taught us with a sufficient clearness, 
he never designed for the object of obedience. 

Our enemies allow, that as far as the Scriptures are clear in the 
present case, om- practice exactly agrees with them ; and they must 
confess too their own is very different from what the text declares 
to have been done in the ancient times. Thus they allow, nothing 
is more clearly set down in Holy Writ, than that those who be- 
lieved were to be, and actually were baptized, by being immersed 
or dipped into the water on the profession of their faith : and that 
our practice thus far punctually answers, is beyond contradiction : 
whence it follows, that the practice of the psedobaptists, where it 
differs from ours, is not conformable to something delivered in 
Scripture : and therefore on the whole, we do what the Scriptures 
expressly teach ; while they, at best, do but what is very obscurely, 
and perhaps not at all taught in them. That the apostles and the 
primitive church did dip when they baptized, is plain ; but that they 
used sprinkling or affiision likewise, is not : and that they baptized 
adult persons who declared their faith in our Redeemer, is clear; 
but that ever any infant was baptized by them, is again confessed 
on all hands not to be so evident. 

As far as we go, then, we have the Scriptures undoubtedly justi- 
fying us ; but where they leave us, we stop, not daring to venture 
beyond their direction, as thinking it safer to walk by their light. 

60 lieJleciiouH on Mr. Wall's [leiter in. 

than to wander in unknown paths. If this he a fault, (as I cannot 
tell how to think it one,) it is a fault however on the safer hand : 
for what can poor fallihle mankind do better, than where two 
thing's seem to clash, to follow that which is clear, rather than un- 
certain conjectures, or even the fairest probabilities ? which (to 
sujypose more than is true) is the most that can be urg-ed for our 

These considerations alone, if nothing else could l)e added, would 
render our case secure, and far the more eligible. But we have 
infinitely more to say in our behalf: for God has truly revealed his 
will with clearness, and not couched it in ambiguous terms and 
mysterious forms of speech, like the oracles of the heathens; he 
designed to be obeyed, and has spoke so as to be understood : 
and we cannot but think, to deduce a sense from the words which 
was not intended, is very difficult, and requires artifice and violence ; 
whereas the genuine meaning wants no such labour, but is natural 
and easy : and whatever sense, therefore, appears constrained, ought 
at least to l>e suspected as foreign from the true. 

For these as well as other reasons, sir, which I shall lay before 
you in the prosecution of this discourse, we cannot believe it is so 
doubtful in Scripture as many pretend, whether dip))ing only be 
baptism, and whether believers alone may lawfully ])e baptized. 
These are the chief questions in debate between the picdobaptists 
and us; which, if they can be amicably determined, Avill go I'ar 
towards putting an end to the separation. But Mr. WalPs manage- 
ment is not likely to have so good success ; the point must be 
treated with more temper and modesty, as well as strong(!r argu- 
ment, if it be really intended to gain us ; but neither his ar-guments, 
nor any other which yet have been produced, will prove what they 
are brought for, as I will now endeavour to shew : and ] will begin 
with the words ^a-mil^ui and [■idnro), for they are synonymous, as 
Mr. Wall himself likewise seems to allow; and therefore 1 shall 
promiscuously cite the instances wherein on<i or the other word 

Our author, to make us look very inflexible and cniel, begins 
what he says upon this head with this frightful remark, ' That we 
' are poss(!Ssed with an opinion of the absolute necessity of dip])ing 
' the ]^aj)tized person over head and ears into the watcsr, so far, as to 
' let any man, though ever so side, die unl)aptized, ratlu'r than 
' baptize him by allusion,^ &c. Which you are to imagine is a 
great piece of barl)arity, because in so doing it is supposed we choose 
to expose a person to the hazard of being chimncd, rather than 

His tori/ of Infant-baptism. Gl 

rtx^ede from onv fixed motliod. But Mr. Wall might have spared 
the refleetion, since himself allows the desire of baptism is suf- 
ficient where ha]>tism itself cannot be had ; so that the consequence 
of oiu' refusinw- to administer that ordinance in such a manner is not 
so terrible as he insimiates. 

Besides, we think it better to do thus, than to delude dying* men 
Avith false performances, and let them go out of the world, as pa?do- 
baptists do, without real baptism, or even a desire of it, which 
doubtless is much worse than what we are charged with. But to 
make a show of tenderness and compassion, such generous men as 
our author and his party have found out an expedient, rather than 
sutfcr persons to go into eternity, without being first baptized for 
the remission of their sins; — to baptize, i. e. dip them by affusion or 

But notwithstanding the inventions which ingenious men may be 
fond of, I am honestly for sitting down with the simplicity of the 
first Christians, and keeping to the good old way : the fine improve- 
ments introduced since are too curious and subtle for me to compre- 
hend thcui ; and I cannot see but '^the word baptize necessarily 
' includes dipping in its signification, and that Christ by com- 
' manding to baptize, has commanded to dip only-'.^ ]\[r. Wall 
indeed tells mc this 'is plainly a mistake/ but I ha^•c no great 
opinion of his judgment, and woidd not take his word; on the 
contrary, I hope to make it appear plainly to be an imavoidable 
truth, and no mistake. In order to this, I must desire you, sir, to 
consider how the word is used among the Greeks, by the particulars 
which follow : 

I have carefully observed it a considerable time, as it occurred in 
readini>- ; and assure nou 1 never found it once used to siii'nifv ' to 
' j)oiu- or sprinkle,' or any thing* less than dipping; and I may 
challenge any man to shew a single instance of it, except in some 
ecclesiastical writers of the latter corrupt times; who retaining the 
words of the institution, and altering the thing, do, in this case 
indeed, but no other, extend the word into a wider sense; but 
profane authors, who lay iinder no such bias, have made no such 
alteration. It is evident from them, the priniarv meaning is simply 
' to dip,' not only into water, l>ut any matter. 

Thus Lycophron, representing Cassandra prophesying" how Orestes 
slundd punish Clytemnestra for her parricide, says, 'The child, dis- 
' covering his father's murder, shall, with his own hand (^:Jav//et) 

« Part ii. p. M9. [536.] 

62 Refections on Mr. Wall's [letter hi. 

' thrust his sword into the viper^s body^;^ or, as the great ScaHger 
has more Kterally translated it, ' ■merget, shall plunge his sword into 
' the viper^s bowels/ that is, run her through. It cannot be pre- 
tended that this is a figiu*ative expression, for the sense of the word 
plainly appears to be natural and direct, and to contain no metaphor 
in it. 

Exactly the same phrase is that of Sophocles, {el^axj/as,) ' Thou 

' hast dipped, or thrust thy sword into the Grecian armyc/ and 

2ilonger I'evee, in this very sense, is common enough in the French 

tongue. Mr. Dryden likewise expresses the poet^s sense thus, in the 

7th ^Eneid, v. 638 : 

' Thus having said, her smould'ring torch, impress'd 
' With her full force, she plung'd into his breast.' 

I might multiply examples to this purpose; but /SaTrrt^'a) is more 
commonly used to signify ' to dip^ into liquids ; not from any ne- 
cessity in the word, but because liquids are most proper for this 
action, which also is mostly performed in them. It would be end- 
less to collect all the instances of this kind in authors, wdio fre- 
quently use the word in this sense, but never once to signify 
' washing^ in general, or ' sprinkling.^ Nay, I do not remember one 
passage, where all other senses are not necessarily excluded besides 
' dipping ;' as may be seen from these quotations. 

Homer, (for we mil begin with him as the most ancient, and 
trace it down to the latter period of the Grecian empire,) describing 
Ulysses with his companions putting* out Polyphemus^ eye with a 
burning brand, and what abundance of blood issued out and 
quenched the brand mth a loud hissing, illustrates it with this 
simile, ^As when a smith to harden a hatchet or massy poleaxe 
' (/3a7rret) dips them in cold water d.-" If any one can doubt what 
the word imports here, any blacksmith's boy will set him right by 
an ocular demonstration. And in his Batrachomyomachia, (if he be 
the author of that excellent ludicrous poem, and not Pigres, brother 
to Artemisia, as Plutarch is inclined to believe,) when one of the 
champions is slain on the bank of a lake, he says, ' He breathless 
' fell, and the lake was ting'd (f/Sa-rrrero) with blood e.' 

I the rather mention this, because if any place is brought to 
prove ^aTTTfe) and /3a7rrt^(o do not always signify ' to dip,' I fancy 

*• Cassandr. v. 1121. E(s airXiyxv^ ex^SfTjs avTSx^tp ISd^pei ^i(pos. 
*^ Ajace, V. 95. "E^a-^as iyxos e5 irphs 'Apyeiaiv arparo}. 
° 'ris S' 3t' avrip xtiA/cfi/j irfK^Kw jxiyav, -ql (TKenapvov, 

Elf vSari xl/vxpv QdiTTei, &c. Odyss. I. 392. 

^ V. 218. Ka55' e7r€(r' oiS' avivivcrti', ifidimro 8' aiuart Ai/Ui/rj. 

History of Infant-baptism. 63 

this will be one. But, whatever some may do, you understand the 
nature of languages too well, sir, to make it an exception ; and all 
who have made any observations of the use of words in their 
mother-tongue, must be sensible it is not against what I assert, but 
for it. The phrase, we must consider, is borrowed from the dyers, 
who colour things by dipping them in their dye ; and to this the 
poet plainly alludes : not that the lake was actually dipped in blood ; 
but so speedily stained, that to heighten our idea, he expresses it, 
with \hQ usual liberty of poets, by a word which signifies more than 
what is strictly true, which is the nature of all hyperboles. Thus 
the literal sense is, ' The lake was dipped in blood •' but the figure 
only means, it was coloured as highly as any thing that is dipped 
in blood. 

I am apt to think coo-Trep, waarej, &c., are to be understood here 
to qualify the seeming extravagance of the expression ; as also in all 
hyperboles, which I take to be so many elliptical phrases in which 
a word is wanting : now if we suppose the poet, as it is natural 
enough, suppresses some particle, and we supply it by inserting 
(oo-Trep, the sense will run very clear thus ; ' The lake was as if it had 
' been dipped in l)lood.^ Whether you will allow this criticism or 
not, you cannot but say, nothing could render the passage more 
expressive, or the sense more natural and easy. 

Every metaphor, you will remember, sir, includes the thing from 
whence it is borrowed, receives its whole force from it, and must 
have its sense determined by it. To give an instance from the fine 
language of Thucydides : Pericles, in an oration there, reminds the 
murmuring Athenians, that they ought to labour to support the 
dignity of the commonwealth, by maintaining the independent 
power and command they were all so proud off, ^ and either not fly 
' from dangers, or not pursue after honours.^ In the word (fyevyttv, 
to flu — and hi^K^w, to pursue — is an allusion to the fortune of a 
battle, where one side is worsted and flies, and the other pursues 
them : and thus understood, the words have a mighty emphasis in 
them ; but otherwise, no meaning at all, but are solecisms both in 
language and sense too. 

To speak but of one : li^Ktw signifies only to pursue, as a con- 
queror does a flying enemy : and when transferred to another case, 
it continues to signify the same thing, in some respect or other : sit 
is a shorter kind of simile, where several things are implied which 

f Lib. ii. cap. 63. Ttjj re iro\ea)s u^as -ynv rovs ttoVous, ii) fJ.r)8e rots ri/xas SiwKeif.^ 
ftKhs T^ Tifjioofieia) oLTrh rov Hpxeif (y^fp ^ Aristot. Poetic, cap. 22. T^ yap ev 

airavTes d7aA\€(r06} $or]6(7v, Koi fJ.T] <piv- fxtracpepeiu, rh 'Sfiotov deuipilv eari. 

64 Refections on Mi-. JFall's [letter hi. 

are not expressed ; at least the beauty of it lies in comparing the 
proper import of the word with what it is used to signify by the 
figure. Thus the eagerness and vigour with which a victorious 
pursues a routed army, is applied to that passion for glory which 
was so conspicuous in the Athenians. And to bring it closer to our 
purpose ; the effect being as it were the same, Homer, by putting 
the cause for the effect, describes the lakers being thoroughly stained, 
by a word which signifies a dyer's dipping a thing to colour it. 

From all this it appears, that the sense of ISdiTTta, even in this 
place, is to dip, and nothing else. I have insisted the larger on it 
here, because I do not know whether I shall care to take the same 
pains with all other metaphorical passages. If you find any which 
seem material, and I should let them go unobserved, examine them 
by what is here advanced, and I am persuaded the difficulties will 
presently vanish : if they do not, pray acquaint me with them, and 
I will consider them with all impartiality and attention. But to 

The next author I shall mention is Pindar; who upon his 
enemies' basely aspersing him, describes his contempt of their im- 
potent malice by this simile, which, as literally as I can render it in 
English, is thus ^ ; ' As when a net is cast into the sea, the cork 
' swims above; so (a/3a7T-rt(Tros) am not I sunk," viz. in their re- 
proaches. And by the way, this place confirms what I a little 
before advanced, that figures are but a short imperfect simile ; 
for a^aiTTiaTos here is full as metaphorical as that which I cited 
from Homer : (and Horace seems to imitate this of Pindar, lib. i. 

Epist, 3. 

Aspera multa 

Pertulit, adversis rerum immersabilis undis.) 

To <^eAAo?, the thing whence the simile is taken, being added, the 
sense is very clear; and the word, it is evident, intends that the 
cork, while the net sinks down into the sea, cannot itself be forced 
down, but will float above. This is so plain, that I think it neither 
wants nor can have an explanation : but the words of the ancient 
Greek scholiast on the place, tending so much to confirm my 
assertion, I will transcribe them : ' For like the cork of a net in the 
' sea, I swim, and {ov jSaTTTiCofjiai) am not sunk. ' As the cork, 
' though loaded with the tackle, does not sink, ov hvvei ; so I also 

h Pyth. II. 139. "At€ yap ilvciKiov irSvov e- 

Xoiffai 0a6v aKfvas krepas, d/Sci- 
■ktkttAs (Ifxi, (peWhs &is 
virep fpKos aK/xtts. 

Historij of Ivfant-bapiism. 65 

' am immersible (a/SaTrrtoTos) like it^ and not to be overwhelmed. 
' They rail at me, indeed/ says he : '■ but as when the net is cast, 
' and sunk under water, the cork remains {a^ai^TiaToi) immersible, 
' and swims on the surface on the sea, being- of a nature which 
' (d/3d7rrt(rTos) cannot sink ; in like manner cannot I (d/SaTTrto-ros) 
* sink or be overwhelmed in the calumnies and detractions of 
' others ; for I am of another nature, and as the cork is in a 
^ fishing-net/ 

Thus the scholiast, you see, sir, by his use of the word, leaves not 
the least room to imagine it ever signifies to sprhMe or pour, or any 
thing but to dip, or put under, or into. And it is veiy remarkable, 
that he seems to have thought no word more proper than this to 
express what you see plainly is his sense : but as often as he repeats 
the same thing, which he does ad nauseam, though it had been 
needful to vary the word, and avoid that unpleasantness of the 
repetition, he changes it but once, and then he has hvv^i instead of 
it j which you know, sir, signifies to sinl', though not so emphati- 
cally as /3a7jrt(fa) : witness Pollux in Onomast. 

In the next place, give me leave to cite Euripides. The Grecians 
had sacrificed Polyxena to the ghost of Achilles ; and after the 
solemnity, they permitted Hecuba to bury her daughter's body : in 
order to which, according to the known custom of her country on 
such occasions, she designs first to wash and purify the corpse : for 
which purpose she calls out to her servant ', ' Go, take the water-pot, 
' my good old maid, and {fid^aa) dip it in the sea, and bring it 
' hither,' &c., for the sea-waters were thought naturally more 
cleansing than others, as Didymusl^ and Eustathiusi tell us. 

BaTTrety Tiovrias aKos, the phrase the poet puts into Hecuba's 
mouth on this occasion, can have no ambiguity in it ; and the scho- 
liast renders it exceeding plain by the parallel phrases he mentions : 
thus TO e(f)aye tov aprov, is to eat bread ; and to cTrte tov o'lvov, to 
drink wine : and so ^anTnv -novTias aKos is, as we commonly say in 
English, to dip a pail of water. But if it will be more satisfaction 
to you, I will bring the decisive determination of a Grecian critic, 
whom Arsenius archbishop of Mouembasia thought fit to be ad- 
mitted, among other great ones, into his collection of Scholiasts 
upon Euripides. One of them says expressly on this place, ^omTi.iv'^ 

' Hecub. Act. 3. v. 609. tot. Dram. 

2u 5' 01) Aafiovaa ndxos, ap^aia Kdrpi, 

'Baipaa^ iveyuf 5eCpo ttovtios aA<is. 
^ Didym. ad Iliad, a. v. 314. <tvaei 5e rh v^wp tv]j BaXiffaris Ka6apTiK6v iariv. 
1 Eustath. ibid. p. 108. *H irdi/T&JS 61a rh (pixrei pvirriKhv ilvai rh r7ji SaAarroTjs vSai'K 
"1 BaTTTeii' iffrl rh x^Aa;/ rl els vScup, ^ eis tTsp6v ti vypdf. 


66 Reflectiotis on, Mr. Wall's [letter hi. 

signifies ' to let down, or put any thing- into water or any other 
' liquid/ He explains it by the very same word which is used by 
St. Luke, Acts ix. 35, and in his Gospel, ch. v. 4, 5, to express 
letting the net down into the sea : and so also by St. Mark, ch. 
ii. 4. Accordingly, either the same critic therefore, or some other 
from whom Arsenius takes it, observes a little before, that the 
' water was to be drawn out of the inmost parts of the sea^;^ having 
an eye, undoubtedly, to the meaning of the word, which must be to 
dip, or the remark is wholly groundless : for m any other sense 
there can be no occasion, nor indeed any room for it. 

Aristophanes uses the word several times : I have marked down 
fourteen, which I believe are all the places where it occurs; and 
they none of them in the least favour Mr. WalFs pretences, but, on 
the contrary, make very strongly for the opinion I advance. The 
Grecians very frequently apply the word, in all its various forms, to 
the dyer^s art; sometimes perhaps not very properly, but always 
so as to imply and refer only to its true natm-al signification, to cl'qi. 

Thus, 'dress not with costly clothes,' says this poet°, 'w^hich 
' {^aTTTwv) are dyed or dipped in the richest colours.' And so again 
in his comedy, entitled Peace P; and in his Lysistrataq. Aristotle 
likewise uses it so, when he says "■, ' All these things, by means of 
' heat and moisture, enter the pores of such things as are dipped 
' {(3aiTToiJ.€V(t)v) into them, which retain the colour they have taken, 
' when the moisture is dried away.' And at the end of the same 
chapter ^ ; ' The colour of things dipped or dyed (/SaTrro/xeVwi') is 
' changed by the foresaid causes.' And Plutarch, speaking of Ly- 
curgus' care to secure the commonwealth from all those arts which 
introduce or encourage luxury ; among the rest, says *, ' he forbade 
' to practise the art of dying, [8a(piK7]v,) or dipping into colours, 
* because it tended to effeminate the mind, by engaging and flat- 
' tering the senses.' 

But there is a great plenty of examples of this kind ", which it is 
needless to mention : and I believe there is no occasion to go about 
to persuade you, that workmen dye by dipping ; and for that reason 
have appropriated the word to their business. However, lest there 

^ "YSup ZriKovoTi, avh tov ffSordrov fit- ^airro^ievioi' TrSpovs, 'drav ano^TjpavOri, tos 

povs T7)s Qa\6.(Tin)s. air' iKeivwv ■)(p6as a.iro\afx^6.v€L. 

" Plut. Act. 2. Seen. 5. OiS" l/xariwi' s Xwi' 5?; ^airrofi^fcov ra xP'^^I^O'TCi, a\- 

^RTTTcSj' Sairdvais KOcrfJiTJffai TroiKiAofidp^uif. Xoiovrai Sia ras fipTj^cVos alTias. 

P Page 672, 674. t Apophth. Lacon. p. 405. T^v 5e 0a- 

1 Page 828. (piK^v, ws KoXaKiiav alcrdTfcrecits. 

r De Coloribus, cap. 4. 'Ael 70^ awh u Herodot. Polymn. p. 258. Ctes. In- 

irdvTut/ aiiTwv, a/xa tsU Te vypai koI rai Sep- dicis passim, &c. 
fx(f Twi> xpw/ut^Tcov crvvftfftdvTwv els tovs twv 

History of Infant-baptism. 67 

be any suspicion in you that it might perhaps be performed in some 
other manner, I will only desire you would please to consider dip- 
ping- is the only probable and convenient way ; and in every respect 
perfectly agreeable to the nature of the thing, as well as to that 
sense of the word, which is very considerable. We see it is the only 
way with iis ; and, which carries the parallel still further between 
the ancient Greeks and us, as they used /S^i-nro), we use the word 
dip, both among the workmen in the shop and in ordinary con- 
versation ; for what is more common than to talk of having such 
or such a thing dipped, meaning in the dyer^s copper, or in some 
colours ? So Mr. Milton has used it, in his beautiful description of 
the angel Raphael, Paradise Lost, b. v. 

The middle pair, [i. e. of his wings,] 

Girt Hke a starry zone his waist, and round 
Skirted his loins and thighs with downy gold, 
And colours dipped in heaven. 

Besides, it is observable that the Grecians made a difference 
between dye and other colouring matter : thus Plutarch'' distin- 
guishes between yjydi\xaTa and ^a\x[iaTa ; and Pollux y does the same ; 
^a\i\iaTa signifying only that sort of colouring into which any thing 
is dipped, according to the sense of the word, as I see Stephens^ 
also has remarked. And there is a passage in Seneca^ very clear to 
this purpose : ' Interest, quam diu macerata sit, crassius medica- 
' mentum an aquatius traxerit, ssepius mersa sit et excocta, an 
' semel tincta.^ ' There is a difference also, how long it lies in- 
' fused ; whether the dye be thick and gross, or waterish and faint ; 
' and whether it be dipped very often and boiled thoroughly, or 
' only once tinctured.^ And Phavorinust* and Pollux c use Kara- 
^diTTQiv, which on all hands is allowed most emphatically to signify 
clipping, phmging, immersiiig, as a synonymous word for jSaTtrav, and 
Xp(>>i>vv$, in English ' a dyer.^ 

This makes it necessary to suppose they dyed by dipping ; as well 
as another word used among them in these cases, viz. ^yj/etv to hoil: 
' They boil it in kettles,' says Aristotle''; — ^and when the flowers 
' are boiled long enough together, at length all becomes of a purple 
' colour.' And Hesychius and Pollux interpret the same word of 
dying. Now if they used to boil the things they dyed, undoubtedly 

'f De Diacernend. Amic. et Adulat. c Onomastic. lib. vii. cap. 23. 

p. 94. med. "^ Do Coloribus, cap. 5. "Eil/ujfnc eV rais 

y Onomast. lib. vii. cap. 23. X"''"^"'^ '^'^'^ r6re TtXivralov arravra 

z Ad voc. xp'^l^"" yivirai TropcpvpnuZj) roiv avdijov iKavcci avv- 

" Quaest. Natural, lib. i. cap. 3. p. 484. f\pri9evTajv. 
b Page 358. 

F 2 

68 Reflections on 3Ir. Wall's [letter hi. 

they first dipped or put them into the liquor. But enough 
of this. 

There are other passages^ somewhat akin to these^ which seem 
however to leave a little more room for the objections of our adver- 
saries ; where, though indeed the word is used, it appears by other 
circumstances that the wi'iter could not mean dip by it. We may 
see instances of this in Aristophanes ; as where he says, Magnes, an 
old comic of Athens, used the ' Lydian music, shaved the face, and 
' smeared it over [^a-moim'os) with tawny washes '^.^ He speaks of 
the homely entertainments of the ancient theatre, where the actors 
daubed themselves with lees of vane, and any odd colom-s, before 
^schyhis reformed it, and introduced the use of masks and visors. 
Aristophanes expresses this by ^a-nroixevos ^ar paxiiois ; not that he 
supposes they dipped their faces into the colour, but rather smeared 
the colour on their faces. He has also^ /Bairrbs opvts for a coloured 
bird, not implying it was dyed by art, but only denoting its natural 
colour l3y that epithet. In like manner Aristotle saysg, ^ If it is 
^ pressed, it dyes (/Sa-ret) and colours the hand ;' and Plutarch ^, 
' That wliich is black of itself, is not {^a-nrov) dyed or coloured by 
' art, but by nature,^ &c. 

But those persons who would dej)end upon these passages to 
prove that 0d-nT(o signifies something' else besides dipping, must 
consider, there is a manifest allusion in these and all such to the art 
of dying. And if the word is borrowed from thence, as none can 
be hardy enough to deny, they must allow it is used there impro- 
perly and metaphorically, and that its true primitive meaning only 
is still referred to, and implied. "^T:iat I said above upon the second 
citation from Homer, which is exactly the same phrase with these, 
may therefore equally serv^e to explain all such passages : and I 
desire you would carry it along with you, sir, in reading, to save me 
the trouble of repeating it. 

If in all allusive metaphorical expressions we suppose the sense of 
words to be altered, there will be the greatest confusion in languages 
imaginable, and much beyond that of Babel. All words had a 
determinate signification there, in themselves ; and the people were 
miraculously rendered incapable of understanding one another, not 
by the various significations of the same word, but, as it is generally 
believed, by new ones being instantly put into the mouths of those, 

c 'iTrn-cij, Act. I. Seen. 3. p. 300. Kai QAiffS/xevos Se, ^dirrft Kal afdi^ei T^y X^^P"- 
Xv^iCaiy, Kot i^Tji/i'C&if Koi ^aTTTd/xevos Pa- '1 QuEest. Rom. 26. p. 482, 483. Th Se 

rpaxeiois. a\n6xpovv ixiKav, ovx vT^h rtx^VS aWa 

f 'OpVI.6. p. 526. (pVtTil. ^O-TCtAv iffTl, &c. 

s Hist. Animal, lib. v. cap. 15. p. 645. 

History of Infant-ha^dism. 69 

who were made at the same time as suddenly to forget the old ones 
they had been always used to. 

We are by no means therefore to imagine words are of so vagrant 
and uncertain a meaning : the improper use of them does not change 
their sense ; otherwise there could be no improper use, no figures of 
speech, and no allusions ; for the sense, not the letters of a word, is 
the foundation of the allusion ; and if the natural sense is changed, 
and another substituted, words are used alike properly in all cases, 
and only for what they literally signify : and so losing in such cases 
their former signification, all metaphors, allusions, hyperboles, &e., 
are lost too. But the allusion being so plain in the ease before us, I 
insist ilpon it, that the word literally signifies only to dip, or 2'^^'i 
into, &c., and, as I noted before, wo-Tre/), or some such particle, is to 
be understood, to qualify the seeming extravagance of the ex- 
pression, which is a sort of abbreviated simile, where a great part is 
suppressed and concealed ; and only so much expressed as will hint 
the rest to the mind, and give it occasion to supply it. This 
observation wall, ^\T.thout much difficulty, be admitted by all who 
have any knowledge in, and made any observations about, the 
nature and use of languages ; and I shall elsewhere have occasion to 
cite some words from Plato, which considerably illustrate, or rather 
enforce it. 

It is very pertinent to this purpose what the scholiast says on a 
passage of Aristophanes i, which is literally thus ; ' Lest I dip you 
' (/3d\//co) into a Sardinian, i. e. a scarlet dye.^ The sense of it, says 
the scholiast, is, ' If you do not tell me the truth, I will beat you 
' till I make you all red Avitli blood i^.^ That is, (to fill up the sense 
of the poet from his scholiast,) ' I will beat you till you are be- 
' smeared over with blood, and as red as if I had dipped you in 
' scarlet.^ But the poet, to carry off" something of the littleness, 
which in a thought so low and familiar would otherwise too much 
have shewn itself, uses a more raised and vigorous expression here, 
instead of this long sentence, which would have been too tedious 
and flat. 

It is no objection to say, that if the word in such places signifies 
literally nothing but to dip, &c., the sense, if it must he supposed 
there can be any, \vill be absurd, as well as most grossly false. For 
indeed what can be more ridiculous, than for a man seriously to 
talk of dipping a lake or river, &c. in blood ? or of a lady's dipping 
her face in vermilion, when she adorns it with artificial colour ; 

> 'fii-Xapv. Act. I. Seen. 3. "li/o ;uV) ere fiw^oi fidixfxa crapStytaKov. 

k BouAeroi ovv 5r)\ovv (in il ju;j i^irots Ta.\r)6ls, /xaffTi^oiiy ere ipvOphv ttoitictuj tojj cujxaat. 

70 Beflections on Mr. Wall's [letter hi. 

whichj on the contrary, it is known must be more ai-tfully laid on. 
I readily grant, the words, as they stand in the passages referred 
to, are not literally true ; and if it could be imagined the authors 
intended they should be literally understood, they would appear 
very ridiculous, and deserve the utmost contempt : but it is plain 
their design is very different ; and their manner of expressing them- 
selves is veiy proper to their design, and agreeable enough to the 
nature of languages, and especially of that they wi-ote in. And it 
can be no very strange thing to meet with words in books, as well 
as in common conversation, which seem to be used in a sense not 
literally true j and all ironies and hyperboles, and in general all the 
tropes and figures of speech which rhetoric teaches, are instances of 
it : and this you, to be sure, sir, so perfectly understand, that I 
need not enlarge. But to illustrate it by one plain example in our 
own tongue ; be pleased only to observe it is common with us to 
say, such a fact or report ' stains a man^s reputation.'' Nevertheless 
this is not true in the letter, nor would we be understood as if it 
were, reputation not being capable of a literal stain ; we only mean 
to signify by this elliptical simile, (the word stain giving occasion 
to supply what is suppressed,) that as stains on linen, or any thing 
white, take from its beauty and clearness ; so ill reports, &c., lessen 
and impair the purity of a man^s reputation, and are to it what 
stains are to clean linen. And thus, notwithstanding this phrase 
be not true in the letter, yet the word stain does not in the least 
change, but retain its signification ; and the sense of the phrase is 
to be supplied, as the word stain directs, by filling up the similitude, 
as I have just now done, or else in that shorter manner I before 
shewed, when I spoke of Homer, by inserting ' as it were,' and then 
it ^vill run thus : ' This or the other thing does as it were stain a 
' man's reputation.' 

This is readily brought home to the case in hand. I proceed 
therefore to add further, that it may not be amiss to make a dis- 
tinction between the sense of a phrase, as it includes words not 
expressed ; and the sense of the particular words singly considered, 
just as they stand : for by this distinction, the same sentence may 
and may not be literally true at the same time. The literal sense of 
a word, I call the obvious natural sense it has by common consent 
and custom ; for words are merely arbitrary signs of ideas in our 
mind, and come to signify, properly and literally, this or that by 
agreement only, and therefore are to be regulated by nothing else. 

It is just the same with regard to particular phrases j for words 
ranged in such an order and construction express this or the other 

Histori/ of Infant-haptum. 71 

sense by mutual consent and use. Though the words therefore, as 
they stand, are used and joined together improperly ; yet the whole 
phrase is nevertheless literally understood to be true, if it signifies 
what it is constantly used to express, which is the case of all pro- 
verbial sentences and figurative constructions. The foregoing 
example in om- mother tongue, of staining a man's rejmtatlon, will 
make this plainer. That only which is expressed contains indeed 
the literal sense of the words ; but this making of itself no perfect 
sense, together with what is to be understood and supplied, is the 
literal and complete sense of the phrase : for though it is but par- 
tially expressed, yet the rest is necessarily implied and hinted to us ; 
the occasion, and common use, together with the words which are 
expressed, actually raising in our minds that part which, on these 
accounts, it was not so necessary to set down at large, and therefore 
might safely be omitted : and the idea which is thus necessarily 
raised in the mind is the direct natural, and consequently the literal 
sense of the phrase. 

I am inclined to believe in general, it is a mistake to suppose 
words have more than one signification; and that words or sentences 
are probably never to be understood, but in their literal sense. And 
though it be true, that sentences sometimes are not to be taken ac- 
cording to the letter of those words only which are expressed, yet 
those words can by no means be supposed to lose or alter their sense, 
and receive a new one ; but the true full sense, which is there 
elliptically expressed, is to be made up, as the literal sense of the 
words used, and common custom, &c. shall direct. 

But I have dwelt too long, perhaps, on these things, and mig-ht 
have spared my remarks to you, sir, who have read with so much 
penetration and care the works of that excellent philosopher, the 
late ingenious Mr. Locke, and what he has so judiciously written in 
the third book of his Essay on Human Understanding, concerning 
the nature and use of words and languages, by which you are 
undoubtedly raised above my remarks. But I judged it convenient 
to recall these things to your mind, though you might know them 
before ; and to acquaint you, that I believe these observations, fairly 
applied, will remove the imaginary difficulty of proving jSaTrrt^co 
signifies only to di2J or pnt itito,8cc. and that no single instance can 
be produced to the contrary. 

Before I dismiss this matter, I will render what I design, by 
distinguishing between the literal sense of the words, and the literal 
sense of the whole phrase, more obvious. I proposed to shew by it, 
that in reality these and all such passages, whatever may be fancied 

72 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter hi. 

to the contrary, are to be understood literally, and according to the 
strict proper sense of the words. For thoug-h taking the words as 
they stand, they cannot be true, nor indeed have any sense at all ; 
as to talk of dipping a thing that is not capable of being dij^ped, is 
nonsense : yet taking the same words to be, as common use has 
made them, an ellipsis ; it is but supplying the other words which 
are included, and the sense and construction become very easy ; and 
it appears the whole phrase, and every particular word, is to be 
understood literally. 

I think it plainly enough follows from all, that words, even in 
figurative constructions, are to be understood literally ; and that in 
these, and all such like passages, /SaTrro), fta-nTL^co, &c., signify 
nothing else but to dip, &e. However, if, notwithstanding all I 
have said, you should believe I have not wholly taken away the 
supposed difficulty, yet since these observations must be allowed 
applicable to the cases in dispute, and fairly explain and unravel the 
meaning of these and all such forms of speech in so easy and feasible 
a manner, it is an unavoidable inference ; 

1. That these instances, which sincerely I think as good as 
any that can be brought against its, have no force at all : for the 
easy rational account I have given of them will go far enough at 
least to render them so obscm*e and doubtful as to be no counter- 
proof; and I am persuaded every imjjartial antagonist mil own they 
carry the point much further, and are strongly on my side. And, 

2. That my assertion remains in full force, notwithstanding those 
instances which may be offered to the contrary ; and if so, then it is 
easy to see on which side the advantage lies : for these doubtful 
obscure passages, at most, are all the strength our adversaries have ; 
whereas we, on the contrary, have a greater number of such as are 
clear and infallible, where the word can only signify, to dip, which I 
shall now go on to prove. 

Aristophanes, for I have not yet done with him, though he may 
perhaps seem to give room for some men to cavil in one place or 
two, which nevertheless you see how fully we are able to account 
for, affords us convincing instances, that he thought the true signi- 
fication of the word was only to dip. In his hated comedy of The 
Clouds, designed, -with too much success, to expose and ridicule the 
great Socrates, the philosopher is supposed gravely to busy himself, 
in computing how many times the distance between two of its legs 
a flea sprung- at one leap ; and in order to measure the distance 
between the two leg-s, one of his pupils is made to describe him 
using this method : ' He first melts a piece of wax, and then taking 

Hhtory of Infant -baptism. 73 

* the flea^ he dipped {h-i^a^^v) two of its feet into it?/ &:c. The 
other part of this ridiculous experiment is nothing to our purpose, 
and therefore I orait it. 

Another passage you have in his play, entitled Peace, ' Bring me 
' hither the torch,^ says one, ' and I ■^\-ill dip it, e/^;3d\|/^(o^/ To 
understand this it will be necessary to observe the poet introduces 
some persons about to saciTfice to the goddess Peace ; and, among 
other ceremonies, he mentions this of the torch as one : now if you 
please to remember, sir, the ancient manner of piu'ifs"ing among 
the Grecians, by a hghted torch, you will grant it was performed by 
dipping the torch in water, and so sprinkling the persons or things 
concerned ; and it is to this effect the Greek scholiast explains it, as 
does Florent. Christianus in his note on this place, who was the 
leai-ned preceptor to Heniy r\". of France, and is honom-ed with a 
very handsome eulo2rv bv the admirable M. De Thoui. 

There is another passag-e in Aristophanes very strong to the same 
purpose, which however some perhaps may fancy favours the con- 
trary : it is in his Parliament of Women. ' Fii'st,' says he, ' thev 
' wash {.^d-Tovai) or dip the wool in warm water, according to old 
' custom ^.^ Here the word implies icashing, as Mr. Wall wovdd have 
it ; and no doubt if he knows of this place, he thinks it mightily for 
his purpose, and especially if he has but found that Smdas"^ and 
Phavoiinus^ interpret it by -nXxivova-i, which Pliuy on another 
occasion renders eluv.nt, i. e. tJiei/ wash out ; and Stephens° says it 
signified hivo, and is pecidiarly spoken of garments, &c. £is Aovco is of 
the body, and viraui of the hands and feet. These things may seem 
of great force, and please Mr. Wall, it may be, and a great many 
more ; but I beheve you imderstand this better, sii*, than to lay any 
stress upon it. ^Ir. Wall indeed finds ' the sacramental washing is 
' expressed bv words, which signify washing in the ordinary and 
' general sense?/ and therefore he infers, baptize is not to be hmited 
in its signification to dij) only ; much more then will he insist on 
this of Aristophanes, which in itself plainly speaks of washing, and 
is by the Greek lexicographers interpreted by a word which is 
always so used. But you must needs perceive, sir, instead of preju- 
dicing, this will be found greatly to confirm my cause; for in 

S Ktjpov ZiaTi]i,as, fira ttji- xLvWay \a$i:v, k Xlpwra fxiv yap T&pta 

'Ei-e$m^ev els rhv Ki)phv oiV^s toi xd5e. ^iirrovai Bepn'f koto, "rhv apxouov vofiov. 

Xubes, 1 49. Eccles. mj. 

h *e'p€ StJ, rh SaSiov t6S' iixPd\i/a> \a$a>v. "' Ad voc. BaTrrovci. 

Pax, 959. n Page 352. 

i [See Thuanus' History, book 1 1 7, at ° Ad voc. w\vvu. 

the year 1596. — Vol. v. p. 643. of the PPartii. p. 2:0. [537.] 
folio edition, London, 1733.] 

74 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter hi. 

washing", wool is and must be dipped and put into the water ; and 
that this is the sense of the word here, I appeal even to Suidas and 
Phavorinus, whose gloss I am very well pleased with. 

For though i:\vviii (from whence perhaps comes our English word 
plunge) does signify to wash, it is so far from excluding, that it 
necessarily implies dipping; and accordingly we see it is appropriated 
to clothes, &c., which are dipped into the water when they are 
washed. Homer has a verse very clear to this effect, where ■nkvv^iv 
is explained, etixar dyeaOat e? TTOTafxbv, ' to carry and put them into 
' the river '^ •/ and a little after •■, he describes their manner of wash- 
ing by a word which expresses the fullers^ custom, says Stephens, of 
treading things in the water ; areilSov, iirdTovv, says Pseudo-Didy- 
mus, iv (SodpoLai, ' they tread them in great stone basons,^ and they 
must certainly then be first put into the water ; agreeable with this, 
TiXvvTpia is a washerwoman, or laundress, in Pollux. It appears now 
plainly enough from all this, that if the word does signify to wash 
here, it is only ex consequenti, and means such a washing as implies 
dipping, and is performed by it ; and therefore this can be of no 
service to Mr. Wall, unless to convince him of his mistake. 

Besides these passages, Harpocrations has preserved a fragment 
of one of Aristophanes^ comedies, which are lost; the words are 
these : ' Wlien I have dipped, I will cite the stranger before the 
*^ judges f.' This passage would have been very obscure, and I do not 
know whether any thing would have given light to it, if Suidas had 
not attempted it; for I take this to be the passage he refers to, when 
he says, ' When I have dipped the oar^i,^ &c., which helps us to the 
sense of the word jSaxj/as in this place, though it does not clear up 
the whole ; or perhaps, says he, ' it may be a metaphor taken from 
' the dyers, who say, for instance, I will dip it, and make it a black."* 

Athenseus has preserved two other fragments of the same author, 
in which this word occurs ; one is, ' What a wretch am I, to be thus 
' dipped over head and ears {d-7Tel3d(f)di]) in brine like a pickled 
' herring ! ' I know nothing of the occasion of these words, and 
therefore can only say in general, the sense of the word dTrel3d(f)6rj 
seems apparent enough. The other fragment is more obscure, and 
I cannot determine the word by any circumstances to one side or 
the other, and for that reason I omit it. 

I will now bring you an instance or two from Aristotle, who 

1 Odyss. ^'. V. 58. NavToS'iKas ^^vrjv i^al(pvris. 

r Ibid. v. 92. 11 Ba\|/oj r^v Kwirrfv iirKfvcras, i\6i}v Trphs 

s Ad voc. NavToSiKas. rovs NavToSUas, tkc. [in voce ^aifos.J 

t Ex AaiTaMvcrii'. "'EOeXov fid^as irphs 

History of Infatd-baptism. 


abounds -wdtli them ; but a few may suffice. In his Treatise of the 
Soul, lib. iii. cap. 12;, he says, ' If a man dips {(^d^ete) any thing- into 
^ wax, as far as it is dipped, it is moved ".'' Here it is impossible to 
question the meaning- of the word, any more than in these following 
instances ; as where he says a certain sort of fish ' cannot bear any 
' great alterations, for example, to be put into (lid-nTovcnv) a colder 
' water in summery -/ and that the flux in elephants is cured, ' by 
' giving them warai water to drink, and hay dipped ((Sd-nTopT^s) in 
' honey to eat^.' Again, speaking of a kind of serpent bred in 
Africa, he says, those who are bit by it use for a remedy a certain 
' stone found in the sepulchre of one of their ancient kings, which 
' they put into {d-no^d\\ravi€s) the wine they drink ».■" In another 
place he mentions a pool of Sicily (of the same nature with the lake 
Agnano, near the Grotto del Cani, in the neighbourhood of Naples) 
' into which if birds and other animals are put, (dTTofiacpfj,) after 
' they are strangled, they immediately recoverb.^ He says also, ' It 
' is the custom of some nations, in order to harden their children, to 
' dip them (d-jro^aTrretz;) into cold water, soon after they are bornc.'' 
These passages are so very plain, they want no illustration. 

But there is another place in this author, and I remember no 
other in all his works, which may seem to have some difficulty 
in it, and therefore I Avill be so fair as to mention it. S2:)eaking 
of several strange narrations, he says, 'The Phoenicians, who 
' inhabit Cadiz, relate, that sailing beyond Hercules^ pillars, in 
' four days, with the wind at east, they came to a land unin- 
' habited, whose coast was full of sea-weeds, and is not laid under 
' water {iSa-nTLCeadai) at ebb ; but when the tide comes in, it is 
' wholly covered and overwhelmed''.^ BaTTTiCeadat being used here 
to signify the land was under water, by the waters coming in upon 
it, and not by its being put into the water, some perhaps may think 
it a considerable objection; but it will be found of no advantage to 
our adversaries, if it be observed, that it here necessarily and 

opvewv Kal Twv XomSiv ^((loiv oraf airo^acprj, 
■naAiv wa^ioi. [c. 29] 

■^ De Republic, lib. vii. c. 1 7. init. Aih 
■jrafjo. voWots icrrl rSiv ^apPapwu eOos rols 
/xfv els TroTOLfibv dno^dnrtiv to. yiyvS/xeva 
ypvxp^f, &C. 

'I De Mirabil. Ausciilt. Aeyovcn irepi 
^oiviKas Tovs KaroiKovvras to, rdSetpa 
Ka\ovixeva, €|a) TrAfovTas HpaKAeioov arirjXwv 
airrfKioiTri avt/xcfi r]/j.fpas rfrrapas, irapayi- 
vtcrdai its Tivas rdTtous ipiifxovs, Opvov Kal 
(pvKovs TrXiipeis, ovs orav jxiv &/j.ircoTis fj /li}] 
^aTTTi^ea-dai, (irav St irAriixfivpa, KaraK\v- 
(e<T0ai, &c. [c. 136.] 

X Et its K7]phv fidipete nr, fitXP^ rovrov 

y Hist. Animal, lib. viii. ch. 2. fin. Kal 
Ttts /UfTo^SoAas 5' ovx VTro/xevovai ras iVxu- 
pas, oloy Koi To7s depovcriv ear ^dnToocriv ea 

z Ibid. ch. ■26. Kal rhf x<^P'''ov f'j jUeAi 
fidirrovTfs, SiS6aa'iv iadietu, &c. 

" Ibid. ch. 29. 05 Koi Kiytrai &kos ilvai 
\ldos Tis, hy Kan^dvovaw anh rdtpov ^acri- 
\f<iis T(ev a.pxO'^<ioi', icai eV oXvifi airofiaipavTis, 

t> De Mirabil. Auscult. noii longe ab 
initio. Tlep\ 'ZiKeAiav Se (paaiv iivai liSaros 
(rv(,dTLoy, els t ra, treirviyixeva. rwv 

76 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [lettek hi. 

vmavoidably imjjorts to be imder water^ or to be overwhebned or 
covered with water ; which no way suits our English psedobaptists, 
but is very agreeable Avitli what the antipredobaptists^ and the whole 
Greek churchy (which one would imagine should understand the 
force of the word^) at this day continue to practise ; and this being 
the plain sense of this place^ it is natural enough to say, as it were, 
or in a manner, or some such expression is to be understood. 

Besides, the word ^a-nri^ca, perhaps, does not so necessarily express 
the action of putting under water, as in general a thing's being in 
that condition, no matter how it comes so, whether it is put into the 
water, or the water comes over it ; though indeed to put it into the 
water is the most natural way and the most common, and is there- 
fore usually and pretty constantly, but it may be not necessarily, 
implied. However that be, the place makes nothing at all for our 
adversaries ; and therefore, as they will not insist on it, I will dis- 
miss it, when I have desired you, if you believe there is any 
difficulty remaining, to consider it impartially, and examine it by 
the rules I laid down for understanding metaphorical, elliptical, &c. 
forms of speech. 

Heraclides Ponticus, a disciple of Aristotle^'s, may help us also in 
fixing the sense of the word ; for moralizing the fable of Mars' being 
taken in a net by Vulcan, he says, ' Neptune is ingeniously supposed 
' to deliver Mars from Vulcan, to signify, that when a piece of iron 
' is taken red-hot out of the fire, and put into the water, (/SaTrrt^e- 
' Tat.,) the heat is repelled and extinguished by the contrary nature 
' of the water^.' 

I should have quoted Herodotus before, but having somehow or 
other forgot him in his proper place, give me leave to transcribe a 
passage or two ou.t of him here. In the fourth book of his History, 
describing the customs of the Scythians ; ' Always,' says he, ' when 
' they conclude an alliance with any one, they ratify it in this man- 
' ner : they fill a large earthen vessel \^dth wine, and mingle into it 
' blood drawn from each i)arty, by making an incision in their flesh 
' with a sword ; into this they dip a scimitar, some arrows, a pole- 
' axe, and a javelin, and then with many horrid imprecations, they 
' who treat the league, and the chief persons of the company, drink 
' up the mixtm-e'.' In another place, speaking largely of the cus- 

e Allegor. p. 495. IlocreiSaiz/ 5' 6 puS/xe- i Melpomen. p. 154. "OpKia Se votsvi'Tai 

vos nap' 'li((>ai(TTOv rhv ''Apr), iriQavws. XKvdaiwSi,nphsTovsa.t>Tioie(jui'rai'isKv\iKa 

'ETreiSfyirep 4k ra>v fiavavaaiv Sidnupos & rov inydXrivKipaixivqvolvov iyxio-VTss,alna. av/x- 

(TiSripov fxvSpos e\KVff6e\s, vSan ^awTi^erai, /xlayovcri tSjv to. lipKta ranvofx^vuiv, rvipavres, 

Kal rh (pAoywSes vnh ttjs i5ias tpvffews vbari oniaTi ^ iiriraixovTis /aaxaipr] fffxiKphv rov 

KaTaa^ebiv auairavfTai. ffd/xaros' /col firura a.iro^a.<pavres es TT/f 

History of Infant-baptism. 77 

toms and antiquities of the ^Eg-yptians, he says^ ' Swine are counted 
' such unclean beasts among- them, that if an Egyptian does but 
' touch one in passing-, he runs to the river, and dips (e'/3av//e) himself 
' in it, with his clothes s/ 

Theocritus ^1 uses the word in the same manner, when he says, 
' Every morning-, instead of water, my maid shall dip me {jSaxj/at) a 
' cup of honey •/ that is, shall fill me a cup of honey. IJere (3d\l/ai, 
implies her dipping- the cup into some larg-e vessel of honey, and can 
sig-nify neither to was/i nor po?ir, &c., nor any thing- else but dip. 

As again, where he says, ^ the lad let down a mig-lity pitcher, and 
' made haste to dip it, {(3a\j/aL,) viz. in the water'.'' 

Moschus, cautioning" ag-ainst Cupid's treacheries and arrows, says, 
' They are deceitful all, and presents dipped {^i^a-nrai) in fire :' that 
is, as some nations usually dip their arrows in the rankest poisons, to 
render the w-ounds they g-ive incurable ; so Cupid's are, as it were, 
dipped in fire, to create pain and ang-uish. 

As near as I can remember, most of the instances which follow are 
plain and easy, like those immediately preceding- ; so that I shall 
but just mention them, (except when I come to Callimaclms,) and 
add no exposition. If this prove tiresome and insipid, you cannot 
censure me, since you have engaged me to give you so particular an 
account of the word, Avhich covdd not be done without being tire- 
some both to yourself and me. 

I do not know whether Aratus, in his Phsenomena, uses the word 
above three times. One is in describing the setting of the constel- 
lation Cepheus, in the latitude of about sixty-nine or seventy 
degrees, where he calls it, ' dipping, {fia-nTcav,) or plunging his upper 
' parts into the sea'^.' And the Latins frequently interpret the 
word, as Ovid does', by mergo in these cases. And again, giving 
that same rule for judging of the weather, which our Lord mentions. 
Matt. xvi. 2, Aratus says, 'But if the sun dips (/SavrTot) himself 
' wdthout a cloud into the western sea'",' &c. Lastly, repeating 

KvKiKa aKivcLKia, koX oiffTovs, Ka\ (Tayapiv, «• Euterpe, p. 68. '^Ti/ Se PdyxnzTioi fiiaphv 

KUu aK6vTwv. iiTiav Se Tavra troiiicriiiai, Kar- 'i]yt)VTai Bripiov dvai, koI rovru /^ev, ijv tis 
ei'X TTai TToAAot. ko} eTeira airoTrii/ovat aiiroi \f/avrTTi avriiv irapioov vhs, avrotffi lixaTioKri 
re 01 rh SpKniv ttokvuspoi, koI tUv eirofj.ivwv air' Siv e^a^e eoovThv, j3as eirl Thy iroTafx6v. 
oi TTKiiffTuu a^ioi. [lib. IV. c. 70.] [II. c. 47.] 

1' Ka\ rh ttot' updpov 

a TTois avQ' i/Saros rav KaXirtSa K7)pia 0d^ai. Idyll- V. I ■26. 

i "Hroi 6 Kovpns iiriixi TOTto TroAi/X'^i'Sea Kpdxrahv 
BciiJ/ai ^iTfiyd^ej/ox. Wyll. XIII. 46. 

k TO. fiiv th Ki(paK'i]v fjLixAa irdura 

EairTwi/ wKiavolo. V. 650. 

' Ante tamen quain summa dies spectacula sistat, 

Ensifer Orion sequore mersus erit. Fast. IV. 80. 

m Ei5' (5 fxiv a.i/((pf\os fidnrot p6uv iaireploio, &c. V. 858. 

78 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [LErfER iii. 

more prognostications of tlie weather^ ' If the crow dips [k^a^aTo) 
' his head into the river"/ &c. 

My opinion is confirmed also by Callimachus, in his hymns, when 
he says ' Ye Grecian waterwomen,'' (they furnished private houses 
with water, as some do among- us,) ' dip not your vessels in the 
' river Inachus to-dayo/ The hymn was made on the solemnizing 
the festival of washing the statue of Pallas ; which ceremony was 
performed by persons set apart for that purpose, in the river 
Inachus, a little before day ; from this river the inhabitants were 
usually supplied with water, which makes the poet, in veneration to 
the goddess, charge the water-women here not to dip their pitchers 
in the river on that day. This is clearly the sense, and therefore 
they who have translated it by lavate, ' wash,^ consonant with Mr. 
WalFs notion of the word, are grossly mistaken : and I wonder 
Theodoras Grsevius, who began, and his incomparable father, who 
completed, the late curious edition of this author, have left this fault 
untouched ; especially if they were timely enough possessed of that 
immense treasury, the illustrious baron Spanheim^s Remarks on 
Callimachus, who particularly corrects this error, with great solidity 
of argument. Politian too had rendered it very justly by tingite, 
' dip,^ and did not deserve the censure of that honourable critic, 
though indeed he has treated him with his usual decency and mild- 
ness; for as baron Spanheim himself notes, the old scholiast on 
Nicander, who has used the word just in the same manner as Calli- 
machus here does, interprets it byyejuite^ which signifies to fill ; and 
this must be done by dipping. This, if possible, is still more evident 
from the passage I just now cited from Theocritus, ' The boy let 
' down his mighty pitcher in haste to dip itP.^ And Aristophanes 
expresses the same sense, though on another occasion, thus ; ' With 
' pitchers fetch me water from the river q.^ And so Aristotle uses 
aXpeiv, on the like occasion, Qucest. Mechanic, c. 29. And Constantine 
observes from an epigram of Hermolaus, es vhara Kpcaaa-bv e^a\}/€, 
' He dipped his pitcher in the water.^ The mysterious Lycoj)hron 
affords us an instance parallel to this in Callimachus ; ' dipping 
' {(Sa.yf/avTa'i) with strange and foreign bucketsi' :' and Canterus 
renders the word here by t'lngentes, as Politian has done in Callima- 
chus, which is certainly the true and literal sense. And the Greek 

"nfjiovs f'/c Ke<pa\ris, &C. V. 951* 

° ^dfj.epoi' vSpo(p6pot fx)] ^dtTTfTe. In Lavacr. Pallad. v. 45. 

P "Htoi 6 Kovpos eVetx* Tfor^l TroAuxarSf'a KpaxTffhv 

Bdi/.ai i-Kiiy6piivos. Idyll. XIII. 46. 
n KdXiTiai t' eK iroTafxHv SpScrov dpare. Ran. Act. 5- Seen. 2. 

•" Kpu>(r(To7(TLV oOveloKTi fidipavras yduos. Cassandr, v. 1365. 

History of Infant-baptism. 79 

scholiast on Eurij)ides, who uses the word likewise exactly to the 
same purpose, in the place above cited, says expressly, as I there 
transcribed him% ' jSa-nreLV signifies to let or put down into water ;' 
and yet at the same time he interprets ^d\l/aaa, dipping, (Euripides' 
word,) by y i.\xi<ja(j a, filling ; which shews he understood it in that 
and other such places to sig-nify, to fill hy dipping. 

To this may be added what Aristotle says in his Mechanical 
Questions*, ' The bucket must be first let down, or dipped {I3d\}/ai), 
' and then be drawn up again,' viz. when it is full. When his 
excellency, therefore, corrects Politian, and renders the word here by 
Jiaurite, as Scaliger has done that in Lycophron by hatirientes ; he is 
not to be supposed to mean it does not signify to dip, in that place, 
but only that the Latin tingo does not so fully and properly express 
the poet's sense as haurio does ; and so though tingo, by a metalep- 
sis, is the true sense of jia-nTca, (for as Vossius remarks", ' Immersion 
' is before tinging, for things are tinged by it,') yet haurio is more 
proper when we speak of drawing or taking up water out of a river. 
Ovid uses it thus ; Fastor. lib. iv. 

' Et maiiibus puram fluminis liausit aquam.' 

' And with her hands she scooped the crystal flood.' 

In this passage it is obvious, that by ' manibus aquam haurire,' he 
must necessarily mean, ' to take up water in the hands, by dipping 
' them into it :' and so the phrase includes dipping, as imdoubtedly 
those great men designed it should, when they translated ^d-nToa by 
haurio, as the aptest Latin word, and exactly in the same sense as 
Ovid here uses it. 

A thing of this nature, and so evident, did not indeed need to 
have been so largely treated as it has already been : but the unac- 
countable tenacity of our antagonists, together with your commands, 
have made it necessary to be very particular, and therefore I must 
proceed to add some few instances more. 

Dionysius Halicarnassseus, describing the warm duel between 
Aruns and Brutus, has this expression''; 'One thrust his spear 
' {I3d\j/as) between the other's ribs, who at the same instant pushed 
' his into his enemy's belly.' In the life of Homer, which that 
excellent philologist Dr. Gale has provedy to have been written by 

s BoLTrTfiv irrrl tI x"'^^" '''' *'* I'So'p, ^ immersione fit. 
eh erepov tJ vyp6v. ^ Antiq. Rom. lib. v. p. 278. 'O jxlv (Is 

t Cap. 29 Ba.\pai yh.p 5e7, koI tovt' ixpu ras trAevpas 0d.fpas ttjc alxH-h") ^ Se tls Tas 

f\KV(Tai. XaySvas. 

u Etymolog. ad voc. Baptismus. Poste- y Prajfat. ad Opuscul. Mytliologic. 

rior est immersion tinctura, quia hrec 

80 Befiections on Mr. WaWs [letter hi. 

this Dionysius^ we have a very remarkable passage. The biographer 
is pointing out some of the innumerable beauties in Homer^'s incom- 
parable poems, and takes notice particularly of one in the sixteenth 
Iliad, V. '^'^'^, where Ajax is desci-ibed killing Cleobulus^: 'He strvick 
' him across the neck with his heavy sword : and the whole sword 
' became warm with the blood/ says the poet. By which is empha- 
tically expressed, how much the sword was dipped in (e/Sa-n-rtV^rj) , 
(as Pseudo-Didymus explains it,) and wet with blood. And Diony- 
sius^ words, for the sake of which I mention this, are these ^ : ' In 
' that phrase. Homer expresses himself wdth the greatest energy, 
' signifying, that the sword was so dipped {^aim^rQivToi) in blood, 
' that it was even heated by it."* 

Strabo is very plain in several instances : speaking of the lake near 
Agrigentum, a town on the south shore of Sicily, now called Ger- 
genti, he says, ' Things which otherwise will not swim do not sink 
' {[BaiTTi^eadai) in the water of this lake, but float like wood^.'' And 
there is a rivulet in the south parts of Cappadocia, he tells us, 
' whose waters are so buoyant, that if an arrow is thrown in, it will 
' hardly sink or be dij)ped (/3a7rTttecr^ai) into them^.^ Again, 
speaking of the daring attempt of Alexander at Phaselis, at the foot 
of Climax, a mountain in Lycia, between which and the sea the 
passage is very narrow, he observes, that at high-water, and espe- 
cially in winter, at which time Alexander was there, it is overflowed 
by the sea ; but notwithstanding, the king, imj^atient of delays, led 
on his army, and ' the soldiers marched a whole day through the 
water, dipped {^a-nTi^ofxivwv) up to the waist<i.^ In another place, 
ascribing the fabulous properties of the Asphaltites to the lake 
Sirbon, he says, ' the bitumen floats a-top, because of the nature of 
' that water, which admits no diving ; for if a man goes into it, he 
' cannot sink, or be dipped, {(SaiTTLCeaOai,) but is forcibly kept 
' above''.' Take one instance more from this avithor, who a little 
after, in the same book, mentions a sort of wild Arabs, whom he 
calls elephantophagi, or elephant- eaters; some of whom, among other 
artifices, he tells you they made use of to catch the elephant. 

Tlav 3' vne6epiu.dp6ri |.</>os al/xarL.- 

^ Vit. Homer, p. 297. ndv 5' inreQip- avrnvparrfi roaoviov, wcm /x^Ais ^aini- 

/xdvOrj ^l(pos aifian. Kal yap iv rovT(f irape- i^faQai. 

X^i fxei^ova ij.t.q)a<ra', ws ^ajr-rtcrBefTos ovrw '• Lib. xiv. p. 982. Kal oArji/ rriv ■'i)fx4pav 

Tov ^'i<povs clis re dep/uLavdrivai. if xihaai yevecrOac ttjv wopiiav avvefir), yue'xp' 

^ Lib. vi. p. 421. Oi/5e yap toIs a,KoKi</.i- 6/j.(pa\ov ^aiTTi{^r>ix4v(/)v. 
fiois /3o7rTiJ,'ecr0ai ffv/JL^aivfi, iji\wv Tpdirov ^ lAh. xvi. p. IJo8. EZt' iirnroXd^ovcra 

iiriwoKa^ovaiv. 5ia rrjv (pvaiv rod vSaros tjv i<pa/', /j.r]de 

c Lib. xii. p. 809. TiJ 5e KaOiem clkSv- koAv/x^ov Se7(rdat, yUTjSe Pairri(e(r6ai rhv 

TI.OV &,vw6sv eh rhv ^odpov, r] pia rod li^arus ifx^dvra, aK\' d^aipfaSai. 

History of Ttifaiit-haptism. 


' kill him with arrows dipped (^e/Sa/x/xei'ots) in the gall ot ser- 
' pentsf/ 

Plutarch; in his treatise concerning' the education of children, 
advises not to overtask them ; and adds : ' I have known some 
' fiithersj who, through excessive fondness, have not truly loved their 
' children at all. To make myself better understood by an instance : 
' being eager to have their children early admired, and excel in all 
' things, they lay burdens on them that bear no proportion to their 
' strength, and only serve to oppress and jade them. And when 
' they are thus fatigued, it is impossible their minds should improve : 
' for as plants thrive and flourish when they are moderately watered, 
' but wither and pine away if you drench them too much ; so the 
' mind, if moderately exercised with labours proportionable to its 
' abilities, grows more vigorous ; but too much toil (/3a7rrt{'erat) as it 
' were drowns and overwhelms its.' 

If this passage should seem to be a little obscure, I must refer 
you, sir, to what I have said before, which will effectually take away 
all the difficulty, and which I need not repeat. But I will give 
another instance from Plutarch, that shall be evident enough. 
Relating the stratagem of a Roman general a little before he died of 
his wound he says, that 'he set up a trophy, on which, having 
' dipped {(3aT!TL(ras) his hand in blood, he wrote this inscription 't,' 

I have almost tired myself, and will mention but two or three 
places more. Take one from Lucian; who describing the cruel, 
inhuman disposition of Timon, that monstrous Athenian, who bore 
a professed inconceivable hatred to human kind, makes him express 
himself thus : ' Should I see any one,' says he, ' in the midst of 
' raging flames, just ready to take hold on him ; and should he 
' earnestly beg me to put out the fire, I would pour on pitch and 
' oil : if a man were hurried down a rapid stream, and with oiit- 
' stretched hands cried to me for help, I would thrust him down 
' when sinking [fia-nTlCovra) ; he never should rise again'.' 

f Lib. xvi. p. 1 1 1 7. Tlves 8e koI rolevfxa- 
(Tiv avaipovtriy avTovs X°^V fii^a-fxixfvois 
Scpfuv oiffroli. 

» Page 15. "HSt) 5e rtvas eyia tl5ov nare- 
pas oTs Th Kiav <pi\eiv tov jU.7; (piKiiv aXrwv 
Karearyj. rl ovv icrrlvo ^ovKofxat Kiynv ; 'Iva 
rf wapaSilyfj.aTi (pccTeivdrepov Troiijiro) rhv 
\6yov. (TTTivZovTis yap tovs TraTSas eV ttckti 
Taxiov irpwT€vffat, Tr6vovs avTo7s inrep/^i- 
Tpovs eTTi^dWovati', ols airavocovTes ifj-Trl- 
TrTovat, Kol &\\oi}s PapwAfj-ivoi toIs kuko- 
iradfiais, oh SexovTat ttju ixaOrjo'ti' ivr}i'ioos. 


Sxnrep yap to (pyrh ro7s fitv /xfTplois vSaat 
Tp(<peTai, Tois Se ndWois Trvlyerai, rhv 
avrhv rp6iTov i^ivx'h '''o^s /liv <rufj.fji.fTpoti 
aC^fTai rrSvois, rots 5' vTrep^dWovcrt Panrl- 

•» Parall. Grsec. Eom. p. 545. Kal ds 
tI) alfxa TiV X^^P"' Panri(Tas, (ffTr](re Tp6- 
traiov fTTtypoApas, &c. 

i Luciaii, vol. i. p. 1 39. E( St rifa tSoifxt 
QVTTvpl Sia(p6iipS/xfvov, Kal ff^ivvvvai iKfrev- 
ovra, TrjTTj) Kal tAalcp Karaa^ivvvvai.' kuX 
ijv Tii/a Tov x^ 'A'Wfos 6 TTOTa/xhs wapacpepj], 6 


82 ReJIecfmis on Mr. Wall's [letter hi. 

The pious emperor Marcus Antoninus, in his admirable Meditations, 
uses the word whose sense we are settling, several times ; but I think 
always metaiihorically ; so that, indeed, it is not very fair to arg-ue 
from those passages. However, lest my adversaries should imagine 
they make against me, I will touch upon them. 

In the third book, he draws the character of such an one as he 
thinks may be reckoned a man of true merit ; and says, he ' is not 
^ to be corrupted with pleasures, nor broken by misfortunes ; 
' unmoved with calumnies and slanders ; a conqueror in that noble 
' strife of mastering and subduing the passions, and (,3e/3a/ix/xe'yoi') 
' dipped, as it were, in, or swallowed up with justice l*^ ;' that is, 
perfectly just ; as we say, persons given up to their pleasures and 
vices, are immersed in, or swallowed uj) with, ])lcasures or wicked- 
ness. So it is in i Tim. vi. 9. T/iej/ that will he rich fall into tempt- 
ation, and a snare, and into man^ foolish and hurtftd lusts, which 
drown men in destruction and perdition. Again the imperial moralist 
says, ' Such as the thoughts are which you are most ])ossessed with, 
' such will your mind be ; for the thoughts (/3d7rr€rat) dip or tinc- 
' ture the mind; [(id-nri) dip or tincture it therefore by accustoming 
' yourself to such thoughts as these V &e. In the sixth book, and 
I think the word occurs no oftener in all these noble meditations, 
the emperor says, ' Do not make the former emperors the pattern of 
' your actions, lest (/3a(^j/s) you are infected or stained'",^ or as it 
were dipped and dyed, viz, in mistakes or vices. The period is 
extremely elliptical, and stands in need of these or such sup])lemcnts 
to make out the sense in another language, wherein that defective 
form is not in use. 

I do not see any advantage our adversaries can possibly pretend 
to from these or any the like passages : that they are metaphorical 
none can question ; nor, in my opinion, can it be doubted but they 
necessarily allude to, and imply dipping ; for only in that sense of 
the word can the metaphor be justified, which, according to Cicero^s 
rule", is natural, and not too licentious. 

But to pass this, I would only note, that Plato, in his admirable 

5e, Ta.s xeTpas bp^yaiv, avriKa^irrOai SeTjTat, fidirrfTai yap vnh tG>v (pavTa<nwv r] ^vx'fl- 

wdf^v Kol rovTov inl KecpaXrjv ^aTni^ovra, Pdim ovv avryv, rfj ffwfx^'^f '^'^^ Toi.oi)ru>u 

ojs /ur; St kvoLKh-i/ai Svvr}9eiT]. (pavTaaiSiv, &C. 

k Section iv. p. i7- T^** iivOpanrou "' Sect. 30. p;ig. 52. "Opa /xt] airoKaiaa- 

&)(pavrov r]Sovciv,'&TpaiTov vrrh Travrhs ■rr6vov, paiOfjs, jUtj ^acpfjs. 

■ndaris v0peu>s avina^ov, Trdarjs avaiaOT)rov "Ad Horcnn. lib. iv. p. 57- Translatio- 

TTovrjplas, aOKrirriv &0\ou rov fxeyiffTnv, rov nem pudeiitem esse oportere, ut cum 

vnh fj-riSivhs ndOovs Kara^K-qOrivai, SiKaio- ratiorie in con.siinilem I'ein transeat, ne 

a-vf-ii fif^afxjxfvuv e»s fidOoi. .sine delectu teinere et cupide videatur in 

' Lib. V. sect. 16. p. 41. Ola tiu noWd- dissimilem transcurrisse. 
Kts <pavTaff6fii, Toiavrrj aoi larai -q dtdvoia' 

History of Infant-b(qdis?n. 


commentaries concerning" government, has pursued this metaphor 
very closely, and thereby shewn us the propriety of it, and how 
expressive it is ; for which reason I will transcribe him at large. 

' The dyers when they are about to dip a quantity of wool to make 
' it of a purple colovir, cull out the whitest of the fleece, and prepare 
' and work it with a world of trouble, that it may the better take 
' the grain ; and then they dip it (/3a7rroi;cn) . The dye of things 
' thus dipped is lasting and unchangeable, and cannot be fetched out 
' and tarnished, either by fair water, or any preparations for dis- 
' charging of colours. But things which are not dyed after this 
' manner, you know what they are ; no matter what dye they are 
' dipped in {l3diTTr]), they never look well ; without this preparation 
' they take but a nasty colour, and that is easily washed out too. 
' And thus in like manner our choosing soldiers, and instructing 
' them in music, and those exercises which consist in agility of body, 
' you must imagine our design is only to make them the better 
* receive the laAvs, which ai-e a kind of dye, that their tempers being 
' formed by a proper discipline may be fixed and unalterable by 
' terror, &c., and (/3a^?/i') their tincture may not be washed out by 
' any medicaments of the most powerfully expelling nature ; as 
' pleasure, which is stronger to this effect than any lye, as is Jike- 
' wise grief, fear, or desire, and the like°.^ 

The figure, you see, sir, is maintained quite through the passage, 
by applying the dyers^ terms to the things of the mind. I find 
Gataker also has transcribed this place a little more at large, 
together with several others from Seneca, &c., to the same effect, 
in his learned note on the words above cited, in the 4th section of 
Antoninus^ third book ; which if you think it needful you may be 
pleased to turn to, for they considerably illustrate my assertion. But 
give me leave to add another passage much like the preceding one 
of Plato, which just comes into my mind; it is part of Lysis' 
Epistle to Hipparchus, published by the learned Dr. Gale, in his 

° Plato de Republica, lib. iv. p. 637. E. 
Ot fiacpus eireiSai/ (3ov\r}6a>(n ffd.\pai epia, 
liicne (hat aKovpya, TvpSirov n\v iKhiyovTai 
fK Toffovroiv XP'i'M'*'''''"' M'""' <pV(TLV t)}u twi/ 
\fVKUv fTreira irpo-rrapaffKevd^ovffty ovK 
oMyri TTapaaicivy dfpaTreixravTts, Sttcoj Sf- 
l&jfTai oTi fj.a.Aia'Ta rh dfOos' koI outoi Btj 
j8ctirTou(TC Kal 6 p.iv h.v TovTcf rrp Tp6rcCji 
^a(prj SfvaoTTuihv yiyuirai rh ^a.(p4v. Koi r) 
irKvffis ovt' S.vev pvfxfxaTwv oire fitra pvfx- 
fiaToiv SvyaTai avruiv rh &vdos a,(paipe7(r6ai' 
a 8 hv fx7], olada oia yiyverai, fdv t«' ris 
aWa xp^fJi-aTa jSarrrrj, fdv re Ka\ ravra /xr) 
Trpoadepairtvcras' OJSa (e<^i)) iiri iKirKvra 

Kol yiKoia. TOiovrov rolvvv inrSAa^e Kara 
Si'ivafiiv 4pyd^fcr9ai Kal vi^o,s, 'Sre i^eXeyS- 
fiiOa Tovs cnpariciTas Kal iirai^evofxiv ,uou- 
(TMrj Kal yv/xvacTTLKr}' Kal /xriBey ol'ou &\\o 
yUTixavairOai, ■!) (inws rifxiv ciri KaWiara rohs 
vAfiovi ■KfiaOfVTis Of^oivTo, lirnrep ^a^iw' 
'iva StvcroTToihs avrccv r) S6^a yiyvoiro Kal 
irepl 3eiraji' Kal irepl rSiv dhkuiv 5ia "rh rr)v 
T€ (pvaif Kal t))v rpocpyv ^TnTrjBiiav (ffxv- 
Kfvai' Kal fjLi) avrwv iK-nKvvai T^t^v ^a(p)jv to. 
fivfx/jLaTa raCra, Sftva uvra (KK\v^eiv, 7) re 
?)5on/, iravrhs xaXaarpaiov 8eivoTfpa oiiaa 
rovTO Spav Kal Koi'iav, Xvvri, t€ Kal (pA^os, 
Kal iTridvfxla, navThs &Wov pvjxiJ.aToi. 

G 2 


Befledions on Mr. Wall's 

[letter III. 

Opuscula My tliologiea ; speaking- of Pythagoras^ method with his 
pupils^ ' As dyers/ says he, ' first cleanse and wash clothes which 
' are to be dyed, in some astringent, that so they may take a more 
' durable colour ; in like manner, that great man used to prepare 
( such as came to learn of himP,^ &c. Mentioning of these meta- 
phors gives me occasion to remember the words of Plutarch 
concerning Otho, whom Junius was soliciting Galba to nominate his 
successor in the empire; and though it is out of due order, as 
having dispatched Plutarch before, I ^vill mention them here, the 
word ^aTTTiCo) being used as figuratively as in the passage above ; 
' He was,' says Plutarch, ' over head and ears {^e^a-nTi<nxivov) in 
' debt'! ;' which is exactly our English phrase. 

Pollux, in the work he composed for the service of the emperor 
Commodus, to teach him to speak Greek correctly, puts jSairTL^ea-dat'^ 
for a ship's being sunk and totally immersed in the sea. 

I will add but one instance more, which shall be out of Themi- 
stius J who says, ' The pilot cannot tell but he may save one in the 
' voyage, that had better be drowned^' {(SaTtTLaai.,) sunk into 
the sea. 

Thus I put an end to my laborious task : you see, sir, how many 
examples I have produced, and I might easily enumerate as many 
more, from the authors I have named, and likewise from those I 
have wholly omitted; but I am wearied with heaping up dry 
sentences, only to get at the sense of a word, which I think 
sufficiently clear already, and altogether as plain of itself as any 
thing in the world can make it. Your expressly obliging me to 
this service is a very good excuse ; and yet I can hardly forbear 
thinking I had need say something more, but that I consider it was 
apparently necessary to do as I have done, since some persons so 
confidently pretend, and withal so very unreasonably, that ^a-nrC^ui 
does not always signify to diji ; and among the rest Mr. Wall is one. 
He takes the liberty to say ,' Mr. Walker has largely shewn from the 
' Greek authors, and lexicographers and critics, that besides the 
' signification inmiergo, they give it that of lavo in general.' 
Whereas you see^ sir, I have fully baffled all that is alleged from any 

P Pag. 737. KaQiitip yap oi $a^us irpo- 
(KKaOdpavTts effrvipay Tct ^d'pifxa tUv Ifxa- 
tIwv, '6irtiis aveKirKvTOV rdu ^a<pap dvairi- 
oivTi, Koi fxriSiiroKa yevrjaoix^yav e|iTo\oi'" 
rhv avrhv 6 Saifj.6fios TpSnov a.v))p irape- 
(TKeva^e tois <pi\ocFO({>ias ipaadiVTas, bnais 
fJ.r], tkc. 

q Moral, torn. iii. Galba, p. 1504. Ka\ 
TrevTaKtffXiyia>f iJ.vptdSccv o<p\r]ixa(rt /3c;8a- 


r Onomastic. lib. i. c. 9. Tct 5e -irddr) 
ovrais hv efrrots. x^'M'^C^"'^"'' (ra\eveiv, 
oodelcrdat, aTTci}6('i(r9ai, irapairvpeadai, crvyicKv- 
^effOat, KaTaavp^ffdat, i) KUTaSviirdai, fiairrl- 
^i(r6at, avarp€Trecr6ai, Ike. 

s Orat. iv. p. 133. Oi/re 6 KnySfpci^TTjy, 
el (Tdc^ei iv T(fi ttA^ tv KoX fia^Tlffai d/xn- 
vov iiv. 

History of Infant-baptism. 85 

passages in the Grecian writers : as to lexicographers and critics^ 
were it so material^ I could easily prove him to be very much mis- 
taken there also : the Greek lexicographers afford him no ground at 
all for his pretence ; and the most learned of the others, if they do 
interpret the word by lavo, do not mean, as he pretends, any wash- 
ing in general, but only such as is performed by cVipmng : for they 
may render it well enough by lavo, the general word, which compre- 
hends mergo the particular. 

I know it signifies to wash, as a consequence of dipping ; but so 
likewise it does to wet, colour, dye, brown, and to poison : it also sig- 
nifies to put on Christ, and to be buried with him, as the apostle 
himself teaches us. But what I have further to say I must leave to 

my next. 

I am, &c. 


Critics constantly affirm the proper and genuine sense of ^anTi^co is immergo, 
&c. — So Vossius, Constantine, and Stephanus render it — A testimony from 
Casaubon — His poor evasion — Another from Grotius — Another from Diony- 
sius Petavius — It is needless to collect more — Mr. Wall conscious, notwith- 
standing his pretence, that the opinions of learned men are against him — 
Whereas Mr. Wall appeals to the Scriptures for the sense of the word, it is 
shewn largely to be never there used in his sense, but the contrary — Lev. 
xiv. 6. considered — That the word does not always necessarily signify to dip all 
over, is the most that can be inferred from it ; besides, here it means to dip all 
over. Isa. xxi. 4; Ezek. xxiii, 15; Dan. iv. 33. and v. 21. considered — Hot 
climates very dewy — The Syriac version confirms our sense — Ecclus. xxxi. 26 ; 
2Macc. i. 21: Ecclus. xxxiv. 26. considered — The purification enjoined for 
touching that which is dead, to be performed by sprinkling — together with 
dipping — ^The Mahometans purify in such cases by washing all over — Washing 
was the main part of the purification among the Jews — For which reason the 
son of Sirach uses this word to intend the whole ceremony — Luke xi. 38. con- 
sidered — Mr. Wall pretends the Jews always washed their hands, by having 
water poured on them : which is false — The priests washed their hands and 
feet by dipping them — Our Lord washed his disciples' feet so hkewise — The 
authority of the rabbins not to be depended on — Dr. Pococke allows, the Jews 
were obliged sometimes to wash by dipping — And from thence accounts for the 
use of the word ^anTi^fcrdai, Mark vii. 4. — Mr. Wall's next instance, which is 
Mark vii. 4, considered — Those that came from the market did wash by 
dipping — Sects among the Jews who washed themselves frequently — The 
words may refer to the things brought from the market — Heb. ix. 10. and 
Matt. xxvi. 23. considered — The sacramental washing being expressed by 
words, which signify any kind of washing, does not prove it may therefore be 
administered by any kind of washing — Words, like our ideas, have their genera 
and species — Words of a more particular sense should explain the more 
general, and not the contrary. 

86 Reflections on Mr. If all's [letter iv. 


The proper and genuine sense of Pa-nri^u), the critics constantly 
affirm, is immergo, mergo, &c. Constantine almost always renders it 
sOj and Stephens never fails to do it, and explains it to signify to 
di/e, or wash hy dipping^; till in another period he inclines to shew 
a little favour to the authority of the church and her practice, and 
to that end indeed interprets it by lavo, abluo, &c. But he confirms 
this exposition by no examples, except two from Scripture, Mark 
vii. 4. and Luke xi. 28, which we shall examine by and by, and some 
from the later ecclesiastical writers. 

And yet, at the same time, he cannot forbear blaming such as use 
those words in relation to the Christian sacrament, and says 
expressly, ' That Tertullian rendered it more properly by mergitare, 
' on account of the trine immersion in baptism, retaining what the 
' grammarians call the frequentative termination^/ 

The great Vossius speaks exactly to the same pm-pose, and indeed 
almost in the same words ; for without ever taking the least notice 
of lavo, or the like, he expressly says^, ' Though fia-nToi and /SaTrrt'tco 
' are rendered by mergo or mergito, and tingo, yet they properly sig- 
' nify mergo and tingo only by a metalepsis,^ i. e. as tingo implies 
mergo ; and therefore he adds, ^ Tinging follows immersion, and is 
' done by it<^/ Also in his Treatise of Baptism, as well as here, he 
translates the Greek word by mergo, and says again that is its 
proper signification ; and, farther than this, that particularly when 
it relates to the Christian sacrament, it should of choice be ren- 
dered by mergito ; as you may see in his Btymologicon at the word 

Casaubon, no inconsiderable judge in matters of this nature, is 
very express in his note on Matt. iii. 6. which being so remarkable^ 
I will transcribe the whole passage : ' For the manner of baptizing,^ 
says he, ' was to plunge or dip them into the water, as even the word 
' fiaTTTiC^tv itself plainly enough shews ; which as it does not signify 
' bvvetv, to sink down and p)erish, neither certainly does it signif}'" 
' iiTfnoXdCtLV, {to swim or float a-top) ; these three words, kTimoXa^uv, 
' Pa7TTi(€iv, tvvuv, being very different. Hence it appears, that it 
' was not without reason that some have long since insisted on the 

a Ad voc. /SaTrr/^o), ut qu£e tingendi aut <^ Etymologic, in voc. Baptismus. Etsi 

ablueiidi gratia aqua3 immergimus. autem ffd-rrTw et tiavTi^w, tum mergo, vel 

'' Ad voc. ^airriCco. Tertullianus de viergito, tum tingo transferri soleant ; pro- 
Corona Militis, magis proprie interpreta- prie tamen mergo notant, et neraK-njirTiKus 
tus est mergitare, servata propter trinam tingo. 

immersionem, forma quam frequentati- d Ibid. Nam posterior est immersione 

vam grammatici vocant. tinctura, quia hsec immersione fit. 

History of Infant-haptism. 


' immersion of the whole body, in baptism^ for which they urge the 
' word /3a7Tn'tety. But their opinion is justly long- since exploded, 
' the force and energy of this sacred mystery not consisting in that 
^ circumstance*^/ A very poor evasion for so great a man, after he 
had granted so much : he allows baptism was administered by 
immersion, and that Christ, when he commanded to baptize, com- 
manded to immerse, or plunge, for that, he says, is the signification 
of the word : and now, after these concessions, he and all those who 
make so free with our Loud^s institutions, as to pretend it is not 
necessary to perform them just as he has directed, should consider 
how they will be able to answer it, and whether it does not look 
a little too much like mocking him, when they deviate from what 
they know to be his command. 

Grotius, than Avhom no man ever knew better, gives it on my 
side, in his Annotations on the same place. Matt. iii. 6. ' That this 
^ rite was wont to be performed by immersion, and not by perfusion, 
' appears both by the propriety of the word, and the places chosen 
<■ for its administration, John iii. 23, Acts viii. 38, and by the many 
' allusions of the apostles, which cannot be referred to sprinkling, 
' Rom. vi. 3, 4, Col. ii. 12. The custom of perfusion or aspersion 
' seems to have obtained some time after, in favour of such who 
' lying dangerously ill were desirous to dedicate themselves to 
^Christ: these were called clinics by other Christians. See 
' Cyprian^s Epistle to Magnus to this purpose. Nor should we 
' wonder that the old Latin Fathers use thigere for baptkare, seeing 
' the Latin word tingo does properly and generally signify the same 
*■ as mersare, to immerse ox plunge^' 

To the same purpose speaks the celebrated Dionysius Petavius, 
giving instances of the church's power to alter or impose : ' And 
' indeed,' says he, ' immersion is properly styled ^a7irto-/x6s, though 
^ at present we content ourselves with pouring water on the head. 

e Hie enim fuit baptizandi riUis, ut in 
aquas immergerentur : quod vel ipsa vox 
^airTi^fiv declarat satis ; quse ut non sig- 
nificat bvveiv, quod est fundum i^eterc cum 
sua pernicie, ita profecto non est eVcn-oAa- 
C^iv. DifFerunt enim hsec tria iirinoXd^^ii', 
/SaTTTifen'. Svfeiv. Unde intelligimus non 
esse abs re quod jampridem nonnulli dis- 
putarunt de toto corpora immergendo in 
cereuionia baptismi : vocem enim fiavrl- 
(iiv urgebant. Sed horum sententia 
merito est jampridem explosa, cum non 
in eo posita sit mysterii hujus vis et 

f Mersatione autem non perftisione 

agi solitum hunc ritum indicat et vocia 
proprietas, et loca ad eum rituui delecta, 
Job. iii. 23 ; Act. viii. 38 ; et allusiones 
multae apostolorum, quse ad adspersionem 
referri non possunt, Rom. vi. 3, 4 ; Col. 
ii. 12. Serius aliquanto videtur 
mos perfundendi sive aspergendi, in eorum 
gratiam qui in gravi morbo cubantes 
nomen dare Chris TO expetebant, quos 
casteri kAivikivs vocabant. Vide Epist. 
Cypriani ad Magnum. Quod autem tin- 
fjere pro laptizare usurpant Latini voteres 
mirum videri non debet, cum Latine tin- 
(jendi vox et proprie et plerumcjue idem 
valeat quod mersare. Pag. 103. 

88 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter iv. 

^ which in Greek is called Trep inverts s/ that \s>, perichysm, if I may so 
Anglicise, but not baptism. 

But why do I spend time in transcribing* these quotations, when 
there are such large collections already, which render this labour 
needless, and will make any modest person blush, to say in general, 
that critics and learned men allow of that pretended sense of the 
word ? Mr. Stennet, in his answer to Russen, a book Mr. Wall has 
seen, and I wish he had considered it more impartially, for then I 
am satisfied he would have laid by his design, and there would have 
been no occasion for these letters ; Mr. Stennet, I say, has furnished 
us with so many instances, both ancient and modern, of this nature, 
some of which are taken from the greatest men of the Church of 
England now Hving, or lately dead, that he makes the thing evi- 
dent almost to demonstration; so that I am in no fear of being 
contradicted by the learned, who acknowledge all I plead for in this 

And indeed you may be pleased to observe, sir, (though Mr. Wall 
ventures with such an air of assurance to affirm, 'it is plainly a 
' mistake li,^ to say, ' that baptize means only dip, and that it appears 
' to be so from the Greek writers and critics,^ &c.) that he is 
certainly under some apprehension on this point, by his passing over 
this part of the argument so willingly : and, which is something 
strange, and does not argue abundance of ingenuity, Mr. Wall, you 
may remember, produces the suffrages of several learned men, and 
pleads strongly himself for immersion, in the ninth chapter of his 
second part, where he confesses immersion is the more regular and 
convenient manner, and most agreeable to the example of Christ 
and the primitive church. But to qualify this concession, he adds 
indeed, that immersion is not so necessary to baptism, but it may be 
administered by affusion, &c., which looks to me like a contradiction 
of what he allowed before ; for nothing certainly should be done in 
this case, but what is most regular and agreeable to the practice of 
Christ and his apostles; nothing should be ordinarily practised 
now, which is not so well as what was ordinarily practised then. 

But to leave this : pray whence did Mr. Wall receive his know- 
ledge that baptism may be administered by pouring, &c. ? I have 
already largely, and, I think, beyond contradiction, proved, that 
with the Greek authors, and other learned men, the word is never 
used to signify pouring, but always dipping. But it seems our 

' Dogmat. Theologic. lib. ii. de Pceni- habeamus aquara capiti affundere, quod 
tentia, cap. i. § ii. Ac sane immer.sio Graece dicitur Trep/x^"'''^- 
proprie dicitur fiaTrTia/jihs, cum hodie satis h Part ii. pag. 219. [536, 537.] 

History of Infant-hajpUsm. 89 

author was aware of this,, and therefore tells us^ ' What the Greek 
' writers and critics, &c. say, is not much to the purpose ; for the 
' sense of a Scripture-word is not to be taken from them, but from 
' the use of it in Scripturei;^ from whence he pretends it may be 
plainly determined to signify to wash in general. But, notwith- 
standing he takes the liberty to assert this, I hope to prove he is in 
an error, and to fortify my proofs from the constant use of the word 
among the Greeks, with the authority of the Scripture too; and to 
shew it was thus only that the apostles and primitive Christians 
understood the word, and practised this sacred ordinance. 

In the Seventy^s translation of the Old Testament, and the Apo- 
crypha too, I can find but twenty-five places where the words occur; 
and in eighteen of them they do undoubtedly mean to dip, as you 
will allow, if you read over the verses cited below ^ ; for I do not 
think you are likely to make such a trifling remark on any passage, 
as Mr. Wall has on Levit. xiv. 6. He was endeavouring, if you re- 
member, to shew from the Old Testament, that the word does not 
necessarily signify to dip ; and quotes this place of Leviticus, than 
which nothing could be more directly against him, and observes 
thus : ' The word is l3d\{/eL, and the English dip, yet it cannot be 
' understood dipping all over ; for the blood of the bird in the bason 
' could not be enough to receive the living bird, and the cedar wood, 
' and the scarlet and the hyssop all into it^' Now supposing this 
to be true, how does it prove the word does not signify to dip ? The 
most he can infer from it, is only that it does not always necessarily 
mean to dip all over ; and he should have been so just to his readers, 
as not to have confounded this with dij)ping in general ; by this 
stratagem making such as are willing to believe it take this for a 
good plain objection, and (because it seems, as Mr. Wall represents 
the matter, not to mean that the living bird, &c., were dipped all 
over) to infer, the word in this place does not signify to dip at all. 
This, if any thing, must be his meaning here. But if he would not 
be so understood, it will be no easy thing to imagine what he can 
suppose the word does here signify. Undoubtedly lie cannot mean 
tliat the bird, &c., were poured or sprinkled, into the blood, or the 
like ; and yet, if he would not allow the word to signify to dip, he 
ought at least to have told us what is the signification of it, and not 
have left us wholly in the dark. 

i Part ii. p. 219, 110. [536, 537.] viii. i.s ; Job ix. 31 ; Psalm Ixviii. 23 ; 

1^ Exod. xii. 22: Lev. iv. 6, 17; ix. 9 ; .Tiulith xii. 7. 

xi. 32; xiv. 6, 16, 51 ; Numb. xix. 18; 'Part ii. p. 221. [The clause here 

Deut. xxxiii. 24 ; iii. 15 ; Ruth ii. animadverted on had been left out of his 

14 ; I Sam. xiv. 27 ; and 2 Kings v. 14 ; second edition by Dr. Wall.] 

90 R^':dion^ on Mr. JFaU'i [LzrrEa rv. 

Farther, to go on still with the supposition that the liviTtg bird, 
&o., eonld not be dipped all over ; this does not affect our dispute, 
sinc-e we readCy grant there may be such circumstances in some 
cases, which nec-essarily and manifestly shew the thing spoken of is 
not said to be dipped all over ; but it does not therefore follow that 
the word in that place does not signifr to dip, and I believe ^Ir. Wall 
will allow his pen is dipped in the ink, though it is not daubed all 
over, or toially Immersed. So that after all he says, it still remains 
that the word does signi^ to dip. 

Besides; I cannot see why it shoxdd be thought impossible for 
the Hving bird and the other things to be dipped all over. It is 
true, there appears some difficulty in it upon Mr. Wallas suppo- 
sition, but that is grounded on a very gross mistake ; for the order 
of purification in the case of leprosy was this ; to take a (juantity of 
water in an earthen bason, out of a fountain or running stream, 
which in the remotest times was always judged purest and most 
proper for their purific-ation ; over this vessel of fountain-water they 
killed the bird, so as to have the blood run into the water, and mix 
with it in the bason; and then the living bird, the hyssop, &c., 
were dljjped into this mixture, which might be capable of receiving 
them all, though the blood alone, as our author says, was not. And 
sinc-e the Seventy translate verses 6 and 51 in the same manner, viz. 
over running icater ; and Jonathan^'s Targum too translates both in 
the same words, viz. In hlood and In tcater, it is plain they understood 
the two Hebrew phrases to express the same thing. 

I might confirm this acc-ount of the thing by the testimonies of 
the Jewish doctors, if they were of any authority ; but as they are 
a very trifling sort of interpreters, of no credit, and never to be 
depended on, I reject them, and argue only from the reason of the 
thing, and the plain import of the words themselves, compared with 
ver. 51, where the dipping into the water, as well as into the blood, 
is mentioned, perhaps, more distinctly; but it is plain to demon- 
stration, from Heb. ix. 19. Tor Khen Mose^ had spjoken every precept 
to all the people according to the law, he took the hlood of calves and of 
goat-^, iclth icater, and scarlet icool, and hy>iSOjj, and sprinJded both the 
book, and all the jjeople. The utmost, I say, that could be inferred 
from this passage, is only that the word does not always necessarily 
imply a toto.1 imrnersflon, or dlppAng the whole thing spoken of all 
over ; which I readily allow : but then, sir, we should remember, it 
is not from any thing limiting the sense of /Sa^rtfou, but from some- 
thing limiting the extent of the action in the subject, which directs 
us to apply the full sense of the word to one particular tiling, or 

Wiitory of Tnfant-bapii^m. 91 

perhaps to one part of a thing only; for a STnecd<xhe does not 
affect the verb, but the thing spoken of. Thus, to use the familiar 
instance I mentioned before, we say, dip the pen. meaning only the 
nib of it, which we really dip into ink ; though the whole pen is not 
dipped all over, yet the part particularly referred to is, and the pen 
mav be truly said to be dipped ; ac-cording to that known rule, What 
is true of any one part, may be said of the whole c-omplexly, though 
not of every part of the whole separately. 

Of the twenty-five instances where the word is used in the Old 
Testament and Ap«xrypha, eighteen, you see, sir, are manifestly 
used to signify ti) dip. There would be no need to mention the 
other seven that remain, after what has been said, but that ^Ir. Wall 
insinuates, and would have it believed, that it mav be abundantlv 
proved from Scripture, that the word d'>es not always mean to dip. 
These plac-es which still remain, if there be any difficulty in them, 
mav be easilv ac-c-ounted for bv what I have alreadv said on some 
passa<>es parallel to them ; however, I must just mention them. 

The Seventv have translated Isaiah xsd. 4. verv looselv, and 
without any oc-c-asion use the word in dispute. The sense in the 
Hebrew runs thus : J/y heiirt ha-s wandered, 
me: but they have rendered it, : tt^«) ore 

t/ie. The sense is obvious to those who are acquainted with the 
style of the prophets, which abounds with frequent metaphors and 
allusions. I have accounted for this manner of speech already ™j 
and shewn, that takinsr it for a kind of simile, and supplying what 
is necessary to fill up the sense, it rather proves than makes any 
objection against what I plead for. Besides, as tre w r»l here 
cannot be understood to signrfr to iCtuA, pour, or ■ _, Ace, I 

suppose nobody will urge this plac-e against me. 

The instance in Ezekiel xxiii. 15 is manifestly an argument on 
my side, if you consider what I said above on those phrases which 
speak of dving : and it may be noted that -zttpa^^a here signifies 
dipped, as much as does the Hebrew word r"^**!-. which is 
translated by it : the original signifring what our English version 
here c-alls d^ed attire : and everv one must own "tZU signifies onlv 
fo dip. 

I do not know whether you will think Dan. iv. 2C, and v. 1 2, 
more intricate than the prec-eding instances : but because Mr. Wall 
has endeavoured to defend himself by it, I must take a little the 
more notice of it. The same word is used in both places, and 

- :.Sj. ic. 

92 Refledmis on Mr. Wall's [letter iv. 

on the same occasion, and therefore we may consider them as one 

The word here used in the original is ^112^'^, which in the 
Chaldee necessarily implies dipping ; witness Buxtorf, Castell, &c., 
and above all, the constant use of the word. It is by this word the 
Jerusalem Targum renders the Hebrew 71113, Levit. iv. 6, the only 
place where that imperfect version translates the Hebrew word; 
but had it been complete, we should probably have had more 

In other places where the word is used, though not to translate 
7I1I2, it is always in the same sense, signifying to immerse or 
drown; as Exod. xv. 4, in which place the Jerusalem Targum, 
Jonathan's Paraphrase, and that called Onkelos, the Syriac version, 
and the original of Moses, do all use IJ^IHIS or l??2t5 to signify 
immerse, plunge, or drown, as our version renders it : but I suppose 
it will not be questioned, otherwise I would attempt more largely 
to prove this word does always properly signify to dip. To this 
consideration, if it be added that the word by which the Seventy 
turn it into Greek, is also confessed on all hands to have primarily 
and generally this signification, there can be no difficulty to deter- 
mine the sense of the word in this place. For since the Greek 
word commonly and properly signifies to dip, and is put for a 
Chaldee one of undoubtedly the same meaning, it must be very 
natural to judge that to be the true sense, and what the writers 
here intended. 

It is indeed used here metaphorically, as it is five times in these 
two chapters on this same occasion; and therefore the Seventy 
render it once by Kon6.Cji(TBai, made to lie ; and twice, according to 
the vulgar editions, by avXiCecrOai, to lie all night, as verses 23. 25 ', 
though some copies, which seem to preserve the ancient true 
reading, with Theodoret, translate it literally in this last verse by 
l3a(pi]creTaL, shall he dipped ; as the Seventy also have thought fit to 
do, verse o^'i^, (the place which Mr. Wall quotes,) and chap. v. 31, 
retaining the metaphor. Hence it seems very clear, that both 
Daniel and his translators designed to express the great dew Nebu- 
chadnezzar should be exposed to, more emphatically, by saying, he 
should lie in dew, and be covered with it all over, as if he had been 
dipped : for that is so much like being dipped, as at most to differ 
no more than being in, and being put in ; so that the metaphor is 
very easy, and not in the least strained. 

The translators abundantly intimate, they thought this to be the 
true sense of the place, by varying, as they have, the word in their 

Ilistorj/ of Infant-haptism. 93 

version^ which, in the original is but one : they turn it Kona^^aQai, 
and avXiC((Tdai, to express his lying out in the open air ; and (SdiTTe- 
adai, to signify he should be as wet by it, as if he had been dipped 
in dew. But having said so much already, I will only add in passing, 
that the dews in the East are generally very large, as appears from 
several passages of Scripture, as well as from the accounts of tra- 
vellers into those parts. Therefore, in the story of Gideon^s fleece, 
you find, after it had been exposed to the open air all night, he 
pressed out of it a howl full of water, Judges vi. 38. And the holy 
Psalmist, setting forth the advantages of unity, compares it to the 
deio of Hermoji, and the dew that descended upon the mountains of 
Zlon, Psalm cxxxiii. 3. And philosophically speaking, the hottest 
climates and clearest skies naturally abound most with dew, which 
is also confirmed by constant experience. It is commonly known 
to be so in her Majesty^s leeward-islands in America ; where one 
season of the year, when they have no rains for a considerable time 
together, the fruits of the earth would be burnt up, were it not for 
the dews which fall plentifully in the night. That incomparable 
mathematician. Captain Halley, observed, when making some expe- 
riments in St. Helena, that the dews fell in such abundance, as to 
make his paper too wet to write on, and his glasses unfit for use 
without frequent wiping. And as to Africa in particular, where 
part of Nebuchadnezzar^s dominions lay, Pliny tells us, the nights 
there were very dewy. Egypt has little or no rain, but is fed by 
the overflomng of the Nile, and by constant nocturnal dews : and 
Nebuchadnezzar kept his court in a country of near the same lati- 
tude, and consequently of the like temperament. 

It appears from hence, how properly the sacred writer has, on 
this occasion, used a word so emphatical and expressive, and avoided 
one that would only have signified a moderate, gentle wetting ; for 
that had fallen short of the truth, and not expressed so fully as was 
necessary, the great quantity of dew by which he was made very 
wet. This shews also how faulty those versions are which take a 
word too weak, and that does not by far reach the full sense. 

The authors of the ancient and valuable Syriac version, who were 
of the neighl)ourhood of Bal^ylon, and well enough acquainted with 
the large dews in those parts, and endeavoured to give an exact 
literal translation, have shunned this error : it is worth our observing, 
that they render the word there by \scx^, which from the Hebrew 
V^^ io p)ut into any thing, as i Sam. xvii. 49, signifies to immerse, or 
dip ; but never once, that I know of, to wash, or sprinhle, or simply 
to wet. And in these verses the same word is always used in the 

94 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter iv. 

same sense; wliich makes it very plain liow those interpreters 
understood it, and that they thoug-ht that manner of expression 
very proper and suitable to the thing" intended. 

And now from all these considerations I think it is very plain 
what is the true sense of this place, and that it makes nothing 
ag'ainst me. For the interpretation I g-ive is g"rounded on the certain 
allowed general sense of the words, is very agreeable to the nature 
and common use of languages ; and withal, exactly conformable to 
the design of the writer ; and strongly countenanced by the original 
word, and the best translations : and nothing more than all this can 
be desired to justify any interpretation whatever. 

But after all, if notwithstanding what has been said, any can 
possibly judge this sense of the place which I have given, not so 
necessary as I pretend, the objection Mr. Wall raises from it is how- 
ever effectually enervated : for if it is in itself so uncertain and 
obscure, as to afford no necessaiy argument for my opinion ; he and 
all men must however grant they can draw no necessary conse- 
quence from it against me. For it will be allowed, that the words 
are at least capable of my exposition, without any absurdity or con- 
straint at all. I have now but one passage or two more to take 
notice of, from the Old Testament and Apocrypha. 

Ecclesiasticus xxxi. 30, but in the English it is ver. 26 : T/ie fur- 
nace proveth the edge (in the tempering, Iv ^a(}>fj) hij dipping. This 
is just like the first quotation from Homer ; and what I have said 
there may serve to illustrate this, especially if we add Didymus^ 
note on that place, that ' red-hot iron, by being dipped into cold 
' water, becomes very hard 'J. ^ 

The word is used again, 2 Mace. i. 21, to signify drawing toater, 
viz. by dipping a bucket, &c. And this use of it I have largely 
considered before, and therefore shall need add but one remark 
here, that it is necessary the word should signify to dip in this 
place, because the water is said to be at the bottom of a deep pit, 
ver. 19. Now it is certain the water could not be drawn up, as our 
translation reads it, without dijiping the vessel into it : so that the 
force of the word cannot be expressed more exactly than by our 
English phrase, to '■ dip a pail or bucket of water." 

But of all the texts which can be produced, some think Ecclesia- 
sticus xxxiv. 25 the most considerable by far ; and indeed they may 
give it a very plausible appearance. The words are in our transla- 
tion, He that loasheth himself after the touching of a dead hody, if he 

^ T6 0d\pai \puxP'P T^c Treirvpwfifyov fflSTjpou. l(TX"P^f y^P avrhv Troie?. 

History of Infant-bajjtism. 95 

touch it again, what availeth his washing ? BaTrrt^bVei'os is the word ; 
and it is here used to signify that washing- which the law enjoined 
upon all who had been defiled by touching a dead body. Now the 
manner of purification in such cases is thus described, Numb. xix. 
1 8, And a clean person shall take hijssop, and dip it (by the way, you 
may observe, the word here is jBaxf/et, and plainly signifies to dip, 
though j^erh^ps it was not dipped all over, no more than our author 
thinks the living bird, &c. were, in an instance we considered 
before) in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, &c., and tipon him 
that touched a hone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave. There are 
other passages to the same purpose, which either mention this 
sprinkling, or plainly enough allude to it, as ver. 9. And it (viz. 
the holy water) shall he kept for the congregation of the children of 
Israel, for a tvafer of separation. 

These and such like other places, which make spriukling neces- 
sary, may seem to put the matter beyond dispute ; and I remember 
the time, when I thought this a very formidable instance ; but I 
soon found and corrected my mistake : and I think it is exceeding 
clear, to any who are willing to see it, that a farther washing is 
necessary besides these sprinklings, and that this washing was the 
finishing of the ceremony. The defiled person was to be sj)rinkled 
with the holy water on the third and on the seventh day, only as 
preparatory to the great purification which was to be by washing 
the body and clothes on the seventh day, with which the unclean- 
ness ended. Thus Numb. xix. 19 it is said expressly. And the clean 
person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the 
seventh day : and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash 
his clothes, and hathe himself in water, and shall he clean at even. 

That the word here used in the Hebrew is "^TH, can be no 
objection; for besides that it is said, Levit. xv. 16, (though not in 
the same particular case,) Then he shall wash all his flesh in water, 
the word always includes dippiyig, and never signifies less. Thus it 
is used in the story of Naaman, 2 Kings v. more than once ; and is 
explained at last, by Naaman^s action related verse 14, and by the 
word 7212, which it is expressed by in the Hebrew, and which the 
Seventy have rendered there by j3aTTT[^etv : and all this evidently 
shews, that Naaman, the historian, and these translators, understood 
it to mean to loash by dipping. 

Some, indeed, are pleased to fancy the words which command 
bathing, are not spoken of the unclean person who had touched the 
dead, but of the priest officiating ; and they fortify this s\irmise by the 
seventh and eighth verses preceding, where the priest is expressly 

96 Reflections on Mr. IVall's [letter iv. 

commanded to wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water. But it 
does not follow^ because this place relates to the priest, that the 
other does so too ; nay rather, it is absiu-d it should, for it interrupts 
and confounds the sense of the place; besides, in the very next 
verse but one, viz. 21, it is ordered, that he who simnhleth the ivater 
of separation shall iimsh his clothes, &c., plainly intimating- that was 
not the design of the words almost immediately foreg-oing". Besides, 
it cannot be reasonably imagined, that the priest by barely purifying* 
the unclean, should need so much greater a washing and purification 
than the unclean himself. 

This also, I think, will further appear, by comparing this place 
with Levit. xi. 31, 32, which speaks of the same thing-, viz. of pollu- 
tion contracted by touching that which is dead ; and says, the thing- 
so polluted 7nust he put into water. And here it may be noted again 
by the way, that the Seventy have chosen /3a0j/(rerai, as the most 
proper word to comprehend the full sense of the Hebrew phrase 
fc^lV Q''?3!2, than which (the verb being- in the form they call 
hojjhal) no words can more strictly and emphatically signify, it shall 
be put into water ; and therefore it is very surprising to find that 
Dr. Pococke could possibly suflier himself, on another occasion, to 
translate these words □'^T2)l T^l^ t^''3,''iy, iiianns aqua perfuderiP , 
directly contrary to the true obvious sense. I will not pretend to 
guess what could move him to this, but I confess this rendering 
serves his turn best. This is not wholly foreign to the business in 
hand, though it may be misplaced, and therefore I have just hinted 
it. But to return. 

These two passages, I say, compared together, must be of consi- 
derable force, since it is plain from them, that all vessels (except 
earthen, which were to be broken, Levit. xi. o^'^^.) that had been pol- 
luted by the touch of a dead body, were not only to be sprinkled, as 
Numb. xix. 18, but they were also to be put into the water ^ Levit. 
xi. 33. 

Now since it cannot be thought the person touching the dead 
was less defiled than the vessels which touched the same, or were 
only in the tent with it, or that he wanted a less degree of purifi- 
cation ; it is very natural, and I think necessary, to understand 
Numb. xix. 19, to be spoken of the unclean ; who, I infer, therefore, 
was not only to be sprinkled on the third and seventh days, but was 
also to bathe, dip, and wash himself in water, as is plain too from 
Numb. xxxi. 31, &c. And if Dr. Pococke^s way of arguing from 
the Mahometans in such cases as this be good, the thing perhaps 

r Not. Miscellan. cap. 9. pag. 388. 

History of Infant-baptism. 97 

may be yet set in a stronger light : for it is beyond question, that 
they purify persons defiled by the dead, by immersion and washing 
all over; as I might shew from the Alcoran, if it were at hand, and 
several other writers. But instead of all, let this suffice, from the 
judicious Compendium of the Mahometan Religion, first published 
from the manuscript by the ingenious Mr. Reland of Utrecht : the 
author, speaking of that kind of purification by water which they 
called Gasl, in which, he says, the water must touch ' every hair of 
' the body, and the whole skin all over ;' tells us, ' this manner of 
' washing the whole body is necessary in order to purification after 
' circumcision, &c., and in case of pollution by the dead s/ 

And this, Strabo informs us^, was in use among the Babylonians; 
whether the Jews borrowed it from them, or they from the Jews. 
And indeed, to the Jews this was the chief part of the purification, 
and may alone be called simply the purification ; as the seventh day 
is called the day of purification, or cleansing. Numb. vi. 9, because 
the purification was completed on that day ; or principally, because 
then this washing or bathing-, which was the great as well as the 
concluding part of the purification, was performed ; from which, as 
the principal part, that day takes its denomination. And by this, 
which was the chief part, is the whole ceremony intended, Levit. 
xxii. 6, where it is said of the priests, particularly of Aaron and his 
sons, they shall not eat of the holy things, after contracting any 
uncleanness, unless they wash their flesh in water, i. e. purify them- 
selves regularly according to the law. In which case, the chief 
thing to be done was to wash their flesh in water. And Levit. xi. 
32, speaking of putting the vessels into water, it is said, so they shall 
he cleansed. 

It is the same in other cases ; as for instance, in that of leprosy, 
many things were required for several days, but the chief and most 
effectual on the eighth, which is therefore called the day of cleansing; 
and the oflferings are ordered to be brought for his cleansing, 
Levit. xiv. 23, as if the whole, or at least the main efficacy were 
ascribed to them. 

These considerations necessarily oblige us to believe bathing and 
washing the whole body in water was not only a necessary, but 
likewise a chief part of the purification. And after all this, certainly 
there can remain no difficulty in Ecclesiasticus xxxiv. 26. For hence 
it is very plain, Syracides by ^aiiriCp[K^vo<i in that place means 
lathed, dipped, and washed ; for you see the law required no less, and 
no less was practised by the Jews, in case of such pollution by the 

s Page 54. 1. I. ' Lib. xvi. p. 1081. 


98 Befections on Mr. Wall's [letter iv. 

dead. And it is easy to see the reason why he mentions, and more 
immediately refers to the bathing* only; viz. because, as I before 
noted, that was the chief part, upon which cleanness immediately 
followed, all the rest being" only necessary preparations. 

And so we may find in many instances. Lev. xv. and elsewhere, 
the washing only is expressed, though the holy water was likewise 
to be sprinkled; for it was kept for a water of separation, and a 
purification for sin. Numb. xix. 9, and viii. 7. And so the washing 
only is mentioned in this very case of pollution by a dead body, 
Levit. xxii. 6, as before noted. And Eleazar, Numb. xxxi. 23, 
orders all that abideth not the fire, ye shall make go through the 
water ; not adding, the water of separation was to be sprinkled on 
those things : though he there intimates it must be sprinkled on 
the things which were to pass through the fire ; and we are 
assured, from Numbers xix. 18, it was likewise to be sprinkled on 
the vessels of wood, &c., which could not bear the fire, but were to 
be washed, or put into the water, Levit. xi. 32. But besides, it is 
usual, in speaking of the whole, to mention a part only ; which may 
very Avell be thoug-ht the case in hand, seeing it is proved that 
dij^ping was to be one part of the ceremony ; and it is allowed by 
all, that the word does almost constantly, and I think always, sig- 
nify to dij), j)lunge, or put into. Which considerations render the 
synecdoche very easy ; for thus the word may be used to signify 
such a washing as includes d.'ipping, notwithstanding sprinkling be 
also one jjart of the purification : but then it does not so much 
exj)ress the sprinkling as the dipping, on account of which particu- 
larly the word is applied to this purification. 

Thus I have now revised all that can be urged Irom the Old Tes- 
tament, at least all that my own observations and Kircher^s industry 
have furnished me with ; and, notwithstanding Mr. Wall's needless 
appeal to Scripture, have discovered many undoubted instances 
there of the sense of the word, as used in direct opposition to what 
Mr. Wall asserts : while no one passage can be found to be on his 
side ; at best, he can urge but two or three, which are very doubtful 
and obscure ; and after all improvements on them, conclude 
nothing". For whatever real or imaginary difficulties may appear in 
them, you see, sir, I have fairly removed and accounted for them all. 

Let us now, if you please, turn over the New Testament ; and see 
what mighty proofs that affords in our adversaries^ favour. 

In these most venerable records, which are the unerring rule of 
our holy religion, the woi'd /SaTn-i^M is often used, but most com- 
monly concerning the baptism of John, or the Christian sacrament. 

History of Infant-baptism. 99 

which is the subject of our dispute : but it is often without any cir- 
cumstance which may determine how we must understand it : 
which, if it proves any thing- at all, shews the word is used in the 
common sense only, and according* to the general acceptation ; for 
else it had been necessary to have apprised us of the new and partir 
cular unusual sense; and nothing of this being- done, it seems 
reasonable to give it the same sig-nification in all those places as it 
has every where else. I think this is plain and undeniable ; but 
Mr. Wall believes he can prove, by other instances, that it does not 
every where else sig-nify to dip. 

To that purpose he mentions only four, which he calls ' plain in- 
' stances ;■* and to remove all imaginable difficulties, I will omit 
none he might possibly have added, except such as are plainly 
metaphorical, which therefore no man can justly argue from, and 
they may all be very easily accounted for by what I have said above. 

The first, and which he enlarges most upon, is St. Luke xi. 38, 
which our English reads thus : And lohen the Fharisee saw it, he 
marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. The original 
word, he notes, is e/SaiTTLo-Or} ; and comparing this place with St. 
Mark vii. 5, which speaks particularly of washing of hands, he 
infers, ' this is a plain instance, that they used the word to baptize 
' for any ordinary washing, whether there were dipping in the case 
' or not.^ 

To make this conclusion pass more securely, he had insinuated 
before, that ' their way of that washing was this : they had servants 
' to pour the water on their hands, 2 Kings iii. 11 ; who poured water 
' on the hands of Elijah, \. e. who waited on him as a servant".' 

He says no more to prove this custom, but thus slightly overpasses 
a point which deserved and unavoidably required greater examina- 
tion, considering the whole stress of his argument depends entirely 
upon it ; for if they washed their hands, as we usually do now, by 
dipping them into the water, nobody need be told his instance turns 
against him, and makes considerably for us. 

To shew then how little service this does him, give me leave to 
remark these things to you : in the first place, there is a vast 
distance of time between the period referred to in the Book of 
Kings and our Saviour's time ; and the words he cites, at most do 
but discover what was the custom near a thousand years before, and 
signify nothing to the time wlien the words, which are the ground 
of his inference, were spoken. 

And who does not know what great alterations might happen, or 

" Part ii. p. 220. [537.] 

il 2 

100 Rejiections on Mr. Wall's [letter iv. 

rather must have happened, in such a succession of years? The great 
revolutions in the states and kingdoms of the world sufficiently shew 
the power of time ; a multitude of examples of this kind may be 
found in all, and even in our own nation. But not to mention any 
of those customs, which once universally prevailed among* the 
ancient Britons, and are now quite worn out, I will instance in 
baptism itself, which all men know was used to be administered in 
England by dipping, till queen Elizabeth^s time : since which, that 
pure primitive manner is grown into a total disuse, within little more 
than one hundred years ; and sprinhl'mg , the most opposite to it 
imaginable, introduced in its stead. The matter of fact is notorious, 
or otherwise, I think, it might seem much more incredible, than to 
suppose a people who once washed their hands by having water 
pou^red on them, could possibly one thousand years afterwards, 
instead of this, wash them as we do now, by dipping them into the 
water : especially, considering how often they had been conquered, 
led into captivity and dispersed, and were even then actually under 
the Roman yoke ; for such revolutions always bring great changes 
in the customs and humours of a people along with them : and the 
Jews had actually so changed their language in Nehemiah^s days, 
that they did not understand the Scriptures in the Hebrew tongue. 
Add to this, that Christ himself has assured us, they were an obsti- 
nate, bigoted race of men, a stiff necked generation, as their prophets 
styled them ; and though they valued themselves extremely on their 
law, yet our Saviour assures us likewise, that they had introduced 
abundance of innovations in their religion, so far as to destroy its 
essence, and vacate the grand points of that very law they were so 
proud of; and that particularly in the washings it prescribed : and 
yet this is certainly much harder to conceive them capable of doing, 
than that they should make an alteration in the manner of washing 
their hands. But secondly, 

I observe the words do not prove what Mr. Wall cites them for : 
as our translation reads them, they appear, indeed, to countenance 
his supposition, that about Elijah^s time they might perhaps wash 
their hands after that manner ; but if you read the original, sir, you 
will allow the place might be altogether as well rendered, wlio poured 
out water for, not upon, the hands of Elijah ; the Hebrew particle vi? 
often signifying ybr, in this sense, as Psalm xxxii. 6, il^^t ~>)2^ for 
this cause shall every one that is godly pray unto thee, &cc. And thus 
it is used very frequently, as in all those numerous instances where 
it is joined with p ; so for example. Gen. ii. 24, p — 7^^, 'ivtuiv 
TovTov, according to the Seventy : and perhaps our Lord from them. 

History of Infant-hapfism. 101 

Matt. xix. 5, For tlus cause, say our translators, shall a man leave 

father and mother, &e. So again. Gen. xi. g, V2 — hv, ^i-a tovto ; for 

this cause, or, therefore is the name of it called Babel. And once 

more for all, Prov. xxviii. 21, Cn? — DC — 7X^ in our translation, 

for a jriece of breads that man will transgress. 

It is plain from these instances, without adding- any more, that 
the words naturally admit a different sense from what Mr. Wall 
would fix on them, and therefore can avail him nothing-. But, 

Lastly, if it is worth while to inquire what was the custom so 
long- ag-o, in a matter of this nature, it will with little search appear 
at least very probable, that their relig-ious washing- of their hands 
and feet was performed l^y dipping- them into the water. For when 
Moses received directions from God concerning- the utensils of the 
tabernacle, he was commanded, among- other things, to make a 
laver of brass, in which water was to be kept between the tabernacle 
of the congregation, and the altar, for the priests to wash their 
hands and feet before they entered the tabernacle, or when they 
approached the altar to offer ; so they shall wash their hands and their 
feet, that they die 7iot, Exod. xxx. 21. The word here used by the 
sacred penman in the original is "^TTS ; which, as I before noted, 
generally, and I think always, includes dipping in its signification ; 
and therefore too makes it at least probalile they were to wash their 
hands and feet by dipping them into the water. Had p2'' been 
used here, as in 2 Kings iii. 11, above cited, which signifies to pour, 
Mr. Wall would scarce have omitted this passage, but have thought 
it very convincing and strong on his side ; as now, I think, it must 
be allowed to be against him. 

The same word, we may observe, is used 2 Chron. iv. 6, about the 
vast brasen sea Solomon caused to be made, which held two 
hundred baths, that is, near one thousand barrels of water: the bulk 
of it argues the priests were to go into it ; the words express it also, 
the sea was for the priests to ivash in, 'y'2.- So again, in another 
instance, Exod. xxix. 4, concerning the consecration of the priests, 
which Jonathan renders 7ltO^ thoii shall dip them in forty measures of 
spring water. 

Farther ; that this was the way our Lord took when he waslied 
his disciples' feet, John xiii. 5, seems very certain, both from the 
propriety of the words, and the manner in which it is related : After 
that, he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the discip)les' 
feet, &c. We see the water was not poured on their feet, but into 
the bason, before he came to them, where their feet were to l)e 
washed. The book that goes under the name of the Apostolical 

102 Reflections on Mr. JFall's [letter iv. 

Constitutions relates the action thus : ' After that^ he poured water 
' into a bason, and as we sat, he came to us, and washed our feet, 
' and wi2:)ed them with a towel"/ The bason here is vlttttjp, which 
sig-nifies a vessel to wash in ; from whence it has its name, as the 
water they washed with was also from thence called vi/i/xa, viiTTpov, 
TTobovLTTTpov, OY yiipovntTpov, and the like; and so Eustathiusy upon 
Homer explains ■)(^ipvi^a to mean Hhe water which is poured out 
' for,^ not upon, ' the hands ;' by which their custom, as well as the 
sense of the words, is expressed. And to all this we may add, that 
Mark vii. 3, unless the?/ wash nvypJr], (up to the elbow or wrist,) must 
imply dipping. But, besides what our author had said himself to 
support his opinion, he refers us also, in his margin, to Dr. Pococke; 
who, he says, ' has larg-ely proved in his Notce Miscell. from Maimo- 
' nides and others, that this was the Jews^ way/ and then, not 
very fairly, adds a piece of a sentence, which would make any one 
think the doctor meant that the Jews never washed but by affusion, 
which seems not a fair way of dealing- mth the authority he cites in 
his defence ; or does he think none have read the doctor's writing-s 
but himself? 

That learned gentleman, I know, has taken a world of labour to 
explain several particulars relating" to the washing- of hands, accord- 
ing- to the sentiments of the Jewish doctors; and has shewn himself 
very well versed in the rabbinical writing-s, which he understood, 
perhaps, as well as ever Maimonides did. But really, sir, I should 
have honoured his parts and learning- much more, if he had trusted 
less to those fanciful authors the rabbins, whose commentaries are 
frivolous and impertinent ; and, in short, it is impossible to erect a 
firm building- on so uncertain a foundation. As for Maimonides, 
whose authority, Mr. Wall is careful to inform us, is used by 
Dr. Pococke in this affair, perhaps, to intimate that the matter is 
therefore g-rounded on unexceptionable evidence ; I confess, he was 
one of the g-reatest and most judicious that ever aj^peared among- the 
rabbins, but a true rabbin notwithstanding-, and perfectly besotted 
to the idle dreams in which their boasted knowledg-e chiefly consists; 
and consequently, even he cannot be much depended on : besides, he 
lived not above six hundred years ago, that is about one thousand 
one hundred after Christ^-, and therefore could know what was 
practised in our Saviour's time no better than many can now ; and 
yet he is by far the best authority of any Dr. Pococke makes use of. 

" Lib. iii. cap. 19. Eha $d\\fi vdcop ds Y Pag. 1401. Xcpvi^a 5f ra els x^'pos 

Thwinrrifia' Kol rifxojv auaKeifxevooi' iir(\Owr, vi^fia Karaxfd/J-fva. 
iTa.vr(i>v rifxwv ffixpt rovs TrdSw-, Ka\ rev z R. David Ganz. 

Kisiory of Infant-baptism. 103 

I would not be thought to shght the testimony of the rabbins 
thus, because they are against me in this point, or that I am so 
hampered with what the doctor says, that I can answer no other 
way but by lessening their credit ; for neither they nor the doctor 
are so much against me as Mr. Wall pretends : besides, they have 
not this character from me alone, but from all who are acquainted 
with them, even those persons that follow and depend on them so 
much, which is something strange. But I shall have occasion to 
say more of them in another place, where I may give some reasons 
for my opinion. 

But because our author refers, not so much to the rabbins them- 
selves as to Dr. Pococke, a man of very great reputation, especially 
for his skill in these things ; in deference to him I will take notice 
of a line or two in the chaj^ter Mr. Wall has cited ; which may dis- 
cover how much he abuses the doctor, who very fully grants all I 
need desire: for he allows jSa-nTi^ea-Qat signifies more than xepviTireiv, 
to wash the hands ; so that ^airTi^efyOai must signify more than barely 
any manner of washing them, and he can mean no less than to d'qo 
them : for his words are ; ' These things abundantly confirm what I 
' asserted in the beginning, viz. that 7lt5 (which answers to fia-mi- 
' (eadat in the Greek) signifies a farther degree of purification than 
' 7I0i, or x^pvLTiTeiv, yet not so as necessarily to imply an immersion 
' of the whole body ; for the greatest and most notorious unclean- 
' ness of the hands reached but to the pereJc, or the wrist, and was 
' cleansed by immersing or dipping them up so high^.^ 

How different is this from our author^s representation of the 
doctor's opinion, that the ' Jews do not wash their hands, but by 
' having water poured on them V Whereas, you see, the doctor says, 
he has been abundantly proving, that 7^t^ or jSarrTiC^o-OaL does 
signify more than simply to wash the hands ; and the following 
lines, wherein he explains what he means by more than yjEpvi-nreiv, 
shew clearly that he means to immerse or dip, as appears by the 
instance, and the express words he makes use of : and therefore also 
assigning the reason why pa-rrTLCeaOai, is used, Mark vii. 4, he recurs 
to this custom of dipping their hands into the water, from which 
alone, he thinks, the expression is to be justified ; intimating, or 
rather asserting, that the word is used there, and in the parallel 

a Not. Miscell. cap. 9. pag. 393. In liis totius corporis mersationem necessarioin- 

quae produximus est quod ea qua; initio digitare, cum vel gravissinia ac manifesta 

diximus abunde confirmet, esse scil. b2TD manuum immundities t^ percJc, seu ea 

(quod $aTrri(e(T9ai significat) ulteriorem qu;e ad bracliiale est junctui-a finiatur, ac 

purgatiouis gradum quam is qui per b'^^ manuum eousque mersatione tollatur, &c. 
aeu x^P*'^'""''^^'' intelligitur, nee tamen 


Rejtectmis on Mr. Wall's 

[lettee IV. 

places, with a particular regard to that practice. So Dr. Hammond 
understands him, and determines this to be the sense of the place 
too ; for he says, the word signifies the ' washing of any part, as the 
' hands here, by way of immersion in water, as that is opposed to 
' affusion or pouring water on them'\^ But Dr. Pococke^s words 
are these : 

' I will give you my opinion : for their common ordinary meals, 
' tliey were at liberty, either to immerse or dip their hands in a 
' spring, or a bason which held a certain quantity of water, or to 
' wash them in the manner I described, by pouring water on them. 
' Since then they might wash which of these ways they pleased, and 
' it is likely enough some who pretended to a more than ordinary 

' sanctity, &c. might choose that which was reckoned the chief; 

' it is not without great reason, that a word is used which should 
' comprehend both ways : for though ISa-nTL^ecrdai. does indeed prin- 
' cipally agree to the immersion, yet that it does not necessarily and 
' only signify that, I think is plain from Luke xi. 38'^.' I add these 
last words, because in them the doctor seems to declare against me, 
by instancing in the place under consideration, to prove that /SaTrn'^w 
does not always mean to dip. But, 

First, it is no good argument, but downright begging the 
question, to instance in the very case disputed. And secondly, the 
doctor having just before allowed that the Jews did wash by dip- 
ping as well as by affusion, and that the word does properly and 
principally signify such a washing as is performed by dipping, and 
withal accounting from these considerations for the use of it in 
Mark vii. 4. which is parallel to this in Luke xi. 38, — it appears not 
only reasonable but necessary to understand the doctor^s meaning to 
be, that the word does not necessarily and onhj signify to dip ; for so 
his sense is consistent with what he had said before, and is indeed 
all he intended to prove by it ; though at the same time, I must say 
again, even this is but begging the question. 

Thus much then may be fairly gathered from the doctor^s words ; 
that in Luke xi. 38. and Mark vii. 4, jSaTTTLC^aOai does naturally and 
principally signify to wash the hands by dipping; which is all I 

b Annot. on Mark vii. 4. 

c Not. Miscell. cap. 9. p. 397. Dicam 
quod sentio ; cibum ordinarium capturis 
liberum erat sive manus in aquarum justce 
mensurte conceptaciilum, vel fontem im- 
mergere, sive easdem eo quem descripsi- 

nius mode, aqua afFusa lavare : Cum 

ergo utram raallent harum lotionum ad- 
hibere possent, et satis probabile sit ex lis 

qui majorem sanctimoniaj speciem pras se 

ferrent, fiiisse qui earn quae gravissima 

putabatur observarent, non sine magna 
rations usurpatum videatur verbum quod 
utramque comprehenderet. Nam quam- 
vis ^avTi^icrdai ei revera, quae immersione 
fit, praecipue competat, non tamen de ea 
solum, vel necessario dici patere arbitror 
ex illo quod occurrit Luc. xi. 38. 

History of Infant-haptlsm. 105 

desire, and directly contrary to what Mr. Wall cites him for. He 
supposes, indeed, that it is used to comprehend the other way of 
washing" too ; but this is an arbitrary supposition, which seems to 
be made only to serve a turn : nor does he so much as go about to 
prove the word is ever once used so ; the only reason he has to think 
it, are the sayings of the rabbins. But I wonder a man of the 
doctor^s parts should (contrary to what he granted was the proper 
and general, and I add the constant use of the word) wrest and 
strain the sacred text, to make it comply with the senseless fancies 
of those chimerical men. 

In fine ; what the doctor says from the rabbins, we see, is of no 
great weight; and if it were ever so considerable, yet it makes 
nothing for Mr. Wall, but rather against him. For since it is 
beyond dispute, that the word properly and generally signifies to 
dip ; and that the Jews did, at least sometimes, wash by dipping; 
and that dipping also was thought a more perfect purification, which 
therefore, at least, some of the superstitious Pharisees very strictly 
adhered to : it is very natural, and even necessary, to believe the 
word means nothing less in the place before us ; especially if it be 
considered, it is a zealous Pharisee who is there speaking, who also, 
perhaps, looked for signs of the severest sanctity in a person who set 
up for a censor and reformer even of the sect of the Pharisees them- 
selves; who made such mighty pretences to, and had gained so 
great a reputation for holiness, &c. Add to all this, that if any heed 
is to be given to the words themselves, the plain letter of the holy 
text, which implies to dip, is on my side; while on the contrary, 
Mr. Wall produces no one thing to make it probable, in the least 
degree, that the Pharisee, or if you please St. Luke, did not mean 
to dip. 

But I have run too great a length on this passage; and will 
therefore endeavour to contract on those which remain. 

The next instance Mr. Wall makes use of is Mark vii. 4, which he 
brings as an undoubted proof for his purpose : and, as if it needed 
or was capable of no improvement, he only remarks, that ' what is 
* translated the loaslvmg of pots, &c. is in the original tlie baptizing of 
' pots, &c. And what is there said, when they come from market, 
' except they wash they eat not ; the words of St. Mark are, exce2)t 
' theij he Ijaptized, they eat notA.' Profound observations ! any man 
of a different disposition from Mr. Wall would have taken this for a 
very clear instance against him ; or to be sure no other man could 
have cited these words, biit he would at least have thought it neces- 

^ [Part ii. p. 220, of the first edition ; part ii. p. 537, of tho present.] 

106 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [lettee iv. 

saiy to say something' however, to shew which way they so 
strang-ely and wonderfully prove /SaTrrt^co does not signify to dip. I 
cannot but wonder what it is Mr. Wall means ; for, as to the vessels, 
if we know any thing of the matter, they were to be cleansed by 
putting- them into the water, at least if we may take the express 
word of God for it. Lev. xi. 32. And Dr. Hammond says, ' The 
' baptism of cups is putting- into water all over, rinsing them^,' 
And as to the persons, whether they washed by dipping, and whether 
they washed all over, or some part only, deserved to have been a little 
more enlarg-ed on : but why do I say a little more, when he has 
said nothing at all to it, but has taken it for granted, -without the 
least hesitation ? as if it was a self-evident first principle, that it is 
very direct and strong in his favour, notwithstanding he has allowed 
that the Jews did immerse the thing or person to be washed^. 

And here again our author refers you to his margin, to one line 
or not so much, which he has transcribed from Dr. Pococke, in these 
words ; ' They who washed at coming from the market did not dip 
' their whole bodies °/ which words Mr. Wall brings in with a very 
magisterial air in these terms, ' This was not dipping.^ But, by his 
and the doctor's leave, it is a mistake : for they, when they came 
from market, did wash by dipping ; and these dogmatical assertions 
will not be thought to go a great way to prove the contrary. 

The doctor, indeed, sets himself with all his might to justify his 
opinion ; and to that end calls in the whole body of rabbins to his 
assistance, such as it is, light and inconsiderable enough in reason; 
but never attempts, as I remember, to give one instance that the 
word is so used as he pretends : which, nevertheless, would have 
carried something more of solidity in it, than thus to build all on 
the authority of a thousand rabbins, who make reason and revelation 
the least part of the rule they speak by ; and yet these men only 
does the doctor oppose to the universal acceptation of the word, and 
the venerable authority of the sacred text. What respect can such 
persons have to that awful pillar and ground of the truth, who in- 
dustriously make it bend and yield to the silly whimsies of these 
men ? But against them and the doctor I produce Vatablus, a man 
so singularly versed in the rabbinical writings, that even the Jews 
themselves, as Monsieur de Thou tells us, greatly admired his 
lectures, and attended them when he was public Hebrew professor 
at Paris. Vatablus says, ^They washed themselves all over^.' And 

e Annot. in Mark vii. 4. second edition.] 

f Part ii. page 324. [Tliis expression, k Lavantes a foro totum corpus non 

with the entire clause which contained it, mersabant. Notse Misc. cap. 9. 
had been left out by Dr. Wall from his h Ad Marc. vii. 4. Se totos abluebant. 

Hliitorij (rf Itifant-haptism. 107 

to pass by others, I will only add the authority of the admirable 
Grotius, who oug-ht never to be named without a mark of honour ; 
he says on Mark vii. 4 : ^ They were more solicitous to cleanse 
' themselves from the defilement they had contracted in the market ; 
* and therefore they not only washed their hands, but immersed 
' their whole body'/ 

These authorities are vastly beyond Mr. WalFs quotation, and 
proportionably determine the thing- against him : but as consider- 
able as they are, I do not desire you should trust to these alone 
neither; for it will likewise appear that antiquity, and, above all, 
the sacred text itself, contradicts him also. 

That it was customary to purify themselves by washing the whole 
body, at least in some cases, is shewn before ; and the priests were 
particularly forbid to eat, unless they first washed their flesh in 
water. Lev. xxii. 6. And we have frequent mention among- the 
ancients of the ]iemerohaj)tist(2, who were so called from their prac- 
tice of washing- themselves in this manner every day; as in the 
Apostolical Constitutions'', where it is noted, that unless they are 
so washed, they eat not ; for without washing- they thought they 
could not be saved, according to that renunciation, transcribed by 
Cotelerius' from the Regius Codex, 181 8. They are inserted in the 
catalogue of Jewish sects by Hegesippus™ ; and Justin Martyr, 
mentioning- several sects also of the Jews, names these among- the 
rest, and calls them hajitista'^, from this sig-nification of the word : 
and these washings are what in the Constitutions" are intended by 
ftaTTTiaixaTcov KaOrjjxeptvwu daily tvaslilngs, as may be further confirmed 
by that account given us of one sect of the Jews by JosephusP, who 
lived in the apostolical times, and is of infinitely more credit, and 
more to be relied on, than all the rabbins ; he expressly mentions, 
more than once, their washing of their bodies. Tertullian too 
plainly intimates, the Jews used to wash their whole bodies, when 
he says, ' Though the Jews daily wash every part of their body, yet 
^ they are never clean.'' And Rabbi Benjamin, in his Itinerary'', 
mentions the Chuthites or Samaritans about Naplosa, formerly 
Sichem, between Gerizim and Ebal ; and says, they still wash their 
bodies every day. 

And what else but this washing of the whole body can be the 

' Majori cura se purgabant a fori con- m Euseb. Hist. Ecclos. lib. iv. caj). 22. 

tactu, quippe non manustantum lavando, fol. 41. 

sed et corpus mersaiido. " Dialog, cum Tryph. pag. 307. [sect. 

^ Lib. vi. cap. 6. O'lnvis Ka9' (Kaarrii' So. pag. 178. edit. Benedict.] 

V/J-fpav, iav /x-^j ^amiaoovTai ovk iffQwvaiv, <' Lib. vi. cap. iS. 

&c. i> Bell. Judaic. lib. ii. cap. 7. 

1 Ad Recogiiit. lin. i. pag. 499. 1 Page 19. 

108 Refections on Mr. Wall's [letter iv. 

meaning- of the sacred text; when it is so plain, and beyond all 
possible ambiguity, that the washing" of the hands is mentioned in 
the words immediately preceding-, and therefore cannot without 
great absurdity be again so formally repeated here? If indeed the 
words in the third verse expressed only a light washing of the 
hands, it might then be feasible enough to suppose, that in the 
fourth, St. Mark designed to signify their extraordinary care to 
wash them more thoroughly after they had been in the market. 
But it is not so; for the third verse, it is generally agreed, ex- 
presses the greatest and most solemn washing of the hands, whether 
TTvyiJifj signifies only to the wrist, as Dr. Pococke, Hammond, Whitby, 
&c. among our own countrymen, think from the rabbins ; or (which 
seem.s most agreeable to the use of the word) to the elbow, as Theo- 
phylact is commonly noted to explain it, and some of the best critics, 
as Drusius, Cappel, &c. 

Can any one possibly imagine now, that just after saying the 
Pharisees, aiid all the Jews, except they wash their hands, TTvyixfj [up to 
the wrist, or elbow ^ eat not, holding the tradition of the elders ; the 
holy evangelist should immediately add, not only that they always 
wash their hands before they eat, but also whe^i they come from the 
market, unless they wash their hands, they eat not ? This seems very 
miean and unnecessary, for it was fully comprehended in the words 
immediately foregoing, and does not heighten or explain them at all. 
But to return to the case in hand ; if we understand it to mean the 
washing of the whole body, the sense is pertinent, easy, and natural, 
and very regularly expressed too ; for it is methodical enough to ex- 
press their common piu'ification first, and then to add, that in case 
of greater pollution contracted at the market, they were not con- 
tent with barely this washing, or any thing short of washing the 
whole body. Albertus Bobovius, chief interpreter to the emperor 
Mahomet IV, has followed this order in a like case'', viz. in describing 

'■ [See ' A. Bobovii Tractatus de Turca- lated the Catechism of the Church of 

' rum Liturgia, &c. cum Notis Thomas England into Turkish, and made a ver- 

' Hyde, 40. Oxon. 1690.' page i. The sion of the entire Scripture into the same 

author, Albert Bobowski, was by birth a language, the manuscript of which was 

Pole : being taken prisoner by the Tar- (and perhaps is still) preserved in the uni- 

tars he was sold by them to the Turks, versity of Leyden. 

among wliom he remained for twenty His earnest wish was, to renounce the 

years ; adopted their religion, changed his errors of Islamism, and to finish his days 

name, and having at length obtained his in England, in the bosom of our Church, 

freedom, he cultivated both European and amongst whose members he had many 

Asiatic languages v/ith so much success, friends. But death overtook him before 

that he was promoted to the post of chief these desires of his heart could be accom- 

interpreter to the emperor. plished. He died at Constantinople in 

He studied and wrote much : composed 1675. The learned Dr. Hyde speaks of 

a Turkish Lexicon and Grammar : trans- him witli much affection and regret, in 

History of Infant-baptism. 109 

the Mahometan washing-s, wliicli they borrowed from the Jews : 
firsts he relates their ordinary histrations^ &c.^ the washing- of the 
face^ the hands, and feet, &c., before prayers ; and afterwards adds, 
that upon g-reater and extraordinary pollutions, they are obliged to 
wash the whole body. And here by the way, if Dr, Pocoeke''s method 
were good, we mig-ht improve this to our purpose, and shew, that in 
extraordinary defilements, such as this in St. Mark, the Jews did 
wash the Avhole body ; for thus the doctor frequently expounds the 
Jewish ceremonies, by recurring to the Mahometan. But I think 
we do not need such evidence. 

But before I conclude what I have to say on this, give me leave 
to observe to you, that all the versions in the Polyglot, except 
Montanus^ and the vulgar Latin, to wit, the Syriae, Arabic, 
Ethiopic, and Persic, unanimously understand the words in a sense 
quite different from what has been hitherto mentioned ; that is, they 
all take the meaning to be, not that the Jews washed themselves, or 
their hands, &c., when they came from the market ; but that the 
herbs for instance, and other thing's they bought there, were first to 
be washed before they could be eaten. Thus they translate the 
place, ' and what they buy in the market, unless it be washed, they 
' eat not.^ 

It mvist be owned, the Greek is capable of this sense ; and I 
wonder commentators have taken so little notice of it, especially 
since these four valuable versions so entirely agree in it ; for the 
Syi^ac and Ethiopic are allowed to have been made in or near the 
apostolic times, and questionless by such as understood the Jewish 
ceremonies very well, and perhaps were Jews themselves, as the 
greatest part of the Christian church at that time was. I cannot 
but pay very great respect to such ancient translations, and there- 
fore am willing to grant, this perhaps may be the true meaning. 

Robert Stephens, in an ancient manuscript from Italy, and the copy 
Beza presented to the university of Cambridge, read orav e\d<aaLv, 
' when they come ■/ and therefore our English translators have not 
put these words in the supplemental character ; but Grotius thinks 
they were conjecturally added in the Greek, by somebody who 
thought they were wanting ; and Lucas Brugensis says, they are 
inserted from some faulty Latin copies; the most and the best 
copies omit them, and learned men in general see no necessity of 
inserting them. But the authority of these ancient versions is, I 

the preface to hia curious and valuable while to extract the foregoing particu- 
tract, from which, on account of its consi- lars.] 
deraljlc rarity, I have thought it worth 

110 Reflections on Mr. IFaU's [letter iv. 

had like to have said, irresistible, and shews that undoubtedly they 
were not in the Autographa, and the earliest copies. 

In short, if the sense of the words is as these versions take it, they 
are directly ag-ainst Mr. Wall, for nobody will make a question how 
herbs are washed : and if this is not the sense, yet I think I have 
shewn plainly enough, that the Jews did sometimes, and more than 
probably in the present case, wash the whole body : or if after all 
neither of these senses will be allowed, supposing- the place does 
speak of washing the hands, even Dr. Pococke, Dr. Hammond, &c., 
allow, and urge it too, that it means to wash them by dijiping, 
which answers my end full as well as either of the other ways ; for 
if the word does but signify to dip, I ask no more ; let it relate to 
the whole body, or a part of it only, either way I gain my point. 

The next place our author cites will do him as little service as any 
of those we have already examined are found to do; it is in 
Heb. ix. lo, TVhich stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings 
and carnal ordinances, &c. Now of these divers washings, (/3a7n-t(T/uiots,) 
some, our author tells us, were by bathing, and others by sprinkling; 
and so takes it for granted that the word in this place signifies to 
wash in general, and any or all kinds of washing, and to sjjrinkle as 
well as to dip. 

But you may be pleased to observe, sir, this is grossly begging 
the question; for without any necessity, meeting with the word 
here, he supposes all the legal sprinklings are intended by it, as well 
as the bathings, and so learnedly demonstrates the thing ; and then 
draws his conclusion, that it siguifies to sprinkle. 

But the words, for aught he knows to the contrary, may speak 
of those washings only which were by bathing or dipping into 
water; and so Grotius and Dr. Whitby understand them. And 
therefore supjiosing the word principally to express d>ip])ing, and not 
always or necessarily (if at all) to imply any thing else, which can- 
not be denied me ; and there being nothing in this passage which 
makes it needful it should include sprinkling, it must seem very 
reasonable to suppose it means only the bathings : for there is not 
only no mention of sprinkling, &c., or allusion to it ; but the word 
being allowed generally and most properly to signify to dip, and 
here being no intimation that any thing else is intended, it is some- 
thing of an argument to prove sprinkling is not intended. 

While our author endeavours to shew this Greek word does some- 
times signify to sprinkle or tvash, he should certainly have made use 
of such instances wherein sprinkling is plainly meant ; which, never- 
theless, we see, sir, he has not done. 

History of Infan.t-baji.itum. Ill 

Our translators have rendered the place before us well enoug'h, one 
would have thought, so as to have given our author no reasonable 
ground of citing it to the purj)ose he does. But it seems there is no 
being safe from the cavils of some men, and therefore I think it 
might have been rendered something- more determinately, divers 
hatldngs or dippings. If it had been so rendered, I presume Mr, Wall 
would not have thought our translation did at all favour his pre- 
tence ; and yet the Greek is as expressly against him as that could 
have been ; for I still assert, the word does always, and here too, 
only signify dippings, bathings, &c., and unless he can assign a reason 
to the contrary, the allowed common settled sense of the word 
will be thought sufficient to ju.stify my assertion. And if it were 
nothing else, the bare possibility of this being the true sense will 
alone destroy all he says from the words, which can have no force, 
till it is made appear they are capable of his sense only, and no 
other ; for if they are equally capable in themselves of either sense, 
they can argue nothing either way. 

Our translators rendering the original so loosely, perhaps gave 
Mr. Wall occasion to imagine the Greek word is as general as the 
English; and therefore that the text, speaking of washings in 
general, might be supposed to comprehend all the washings of every 
kind ; (though by the way, it seems a little harsh to call sprinkling 
washing ;) but he is to prove, and not to suppose, that the Greek is 
of so large a signification. However, if we grant the sacred writer 
designed by the words all the Jewish pm-ifications, by sprinkling as 
well as by dipping ; it will no more follow, against the universal use 
of the word, that it here signifies to sprinkle, than that mucro, for 
instance, in Latin, signifies the hilt of a sword, because it is some- 
times put for a sword, but strictly signifies only the point of it. So 
here ; granting for once that sprinklings are included in the wi'iter^s 
design, yet the word only signifies dipping, and is put by a synec- 
doche a p)otiori, to signify all their purifications, this being one part 
of them : but it is no consequence, that therefore the word signifies 
each part singly, or that it belongs as properly to one part as 
another, or that it ever signifies any of the other parts, without or 
distinct from this of dipping ; which nevertheless, as absurd as it is, 
is our author's inference. Just as if, because Cicero, in one of his 
Letters 5, calls his wife and daughter charlssimoi animoi, some wonder- 
ful critic should thence pretend anima in Latin signifies hodij or 
matter, as well as mind or spirit. 

Though the tithing of mint, anise, and cummin. Matt, xxiii. 23, 

» Lib. xiv. Famil. Epist. 14. 

112 Rejlections on Mr. Wall's [letter iy. 

\)j a synecdoche, denotes the %vhole ceremonial law ; yet I suppose 
our author will not go about to say, yhvoaixov, the orig-inal word for 
mint, signifies sacrifice j and that avi-jOov anise, is as properly a burnt- 
offering, and Kvjxivov, which is rendered cummin, comprehends in its 
signification, the holy water of separation, or the legal sprinklings. 
In like manner circumcision is frequently put for the whole law, and 
so is sacrifice ; yet no man can be so inconsiderate as to urge from 
thence, and insist on such instances, to prove that either of these 
words signifies what the other does : and yet Mr. WalFs argument 
from this passag-e is, at best, no other ; for he supposes the words 
here are put for all the \vashings, or rather all the parts of the puri- 
fications by water ; and thence concludes, the word signifies one as 
well as the other, sjmnMing as well as dipping. And even this is 
grounded on a very false and precarious supposition, viz. that the 
original word is of as large an acceptation as the English word by 
which it is rendered : but the Greek is as much against him, as what 
I count the more literal and truer English, viz, divers bathings or 
dippings, would be ; for so it should be translated, which every one 
will say is quite opposite to his supposition ; for ' divers bathings or 
dippings^ undoubtedly are not some dippings and some sprin/dings. 
And this being agreeable to the true sense of the word, till I can 
see a good reason to the contrary, I must think this place means 
nothing' else. 

The last place Mr. Wall mentions is Matt. xxvi. 23 ; He that 
dippeth Ms hand with me in the dish, &c. ; and all the use he makes 
of it is only to observe the word does not here mean the dipping of 
the whole hand. But this is nothing to the purpose : for the 
question is not about the whole, or a part of the subject, but whether 
the Greek Avord signifies only to dip, or any thing else. And there- 
fore this is shufiling off' the question, and seeming to say something, 
when in reality he says nothing at all, but even by this tacitly 
allows all we demand. For all other considerations aside, if it be 
true that ^aini^di does only signify to dip, it is all we ask, and shall 
but desire our adversaries so far to acknowledge the truth, and our 
present dispute is at an end. 

There is another fancy of Mr. Wall's which is almost too trifling 
to be taken notice of; he pretended to establish the sense of the 
word from these two particrdars : 

I. The plain application of it in Scripture, to signify to wash, by 
sprinkling or pouring on water ; and this we have been examining. 
2. ' That the sacramental washing is often in Scripture expressed by 
'■ other words besides baptizing, which other words do signify wash- 

Hhiorij of Infant-hapl'diiR. 113 

' ing in the ordinaiy and general sensed/ The truth of this 
observation I shall not go about to question, I grant it is a plain 
ease ; but what is this to the business in hand ? He is to shew ^a-n- 
rt'Cw does signify any kind of washing, and to that purpose he tells 
you, the sacramental washing is expressed by words which signify 
to wash in general. And what of that ? Why here the force of this 
argument, if it has any, must lie : the word, which is sometimes used 
to express the sacramental washing, signifies any kind of washing in 
general ; therefore this sacrament may be administered by any kind 
of washing. And again, by another ' therefore," the word ^a-njlQn, 
especially when applied to this sacrament, must, if it agrees to the 
thing it is applied to, signify any manner of washing too. To dis- 
cover what admirable logic this is, let us invert his argument thus : 
^ttTrn'tw, it is plain, in all other instances, signifies to dip, and not 
one instance can be given where it ever signifies any thing else ; 
therefore the sacramental washing, which is very commonly and 
indeed most properly expressed by it, (for it is named baptism^ was 
and is to be administered by dipping only. And therefore, 

2. All the other words, whatever they are, which are applied to 
this sacrament, though it were pavTi((a itself, aye, or even (rfxiKprn 
KaTappaivw, must signify nothing less than to dip likewise. 

But the unhappiness of this way of arguing is, that it will equally 
prove contraries true, and the same thing to be true and false, so 
that nothing vdW be gained by it: and thus it falls out with 
Mr. Wall ; he proves by it that jSairTLCa) signifies to pour or sprin/cle, 
or any kind of washing ; and after the same manner I have proved 
that Aoyo), the word on which he grounds his argument, and all the 
other words which he will say signify to sprinkle , &c., do always and 
necessarily signify to dip, and only to dip. 

You see, therefore, this form of reasoning concludes equally on 
both sides, and consequently in reality it proves nothing at all. 

But if it be not a fault to treat so ridiculous a fancy more 
seriously, let me ask you, whether you can easily imagine that 
Mr. Wall is himself persuaded there is any thing in what he says ; 
for he must needs know well enough, that words, like our ideas, 
which they are the signs of, must have their genera and their 
species : ^some are of a very large comprehensive notation ; but the 
several things sucli words comprehend, have besides a more proper 
peculiixi- word to be distinguished by, which is not therefore of so 
large a signification. Take a familiar example : we compassionately 
say, such a man is a poor creature ; but would any one therefore 

f Part ii. p. 22 1. [537.] 


114 Beflections on Mr. TFall's [letter iv. 

imagine that the word ' man/ or ' that particular man/ and the 
word ' creature/ are synonymous terms, equally large and compre- 
hensive in their significations ? Could anybody be so absurd as to 
infer, that the word ' man^ signifies any created being, an angel, a 
horse, a worm, a stock, &c., because the generical word ' creature^ 
comprehends, and is equally applicable to all these ? Yet this is Mr. 
WalFs own argument to a tittle. 

Thus, supposing" (SanTia-jjiois, Heb. ix. lo, does, as he would have 
it believed, signify any sort of washing, will it follow that the 
Jewish sprinklings, which he says are meant there, may be per- 
formed by any kind of washing; and that the words used in the 
law for sprinkle signify so too ? Or because kovco, the same word he 
argues from here, expresses the legal washings, will he say any kind 
of washing might be used at liberty ; and that it was enough to 
sprinkle those things which God directly commanded should be put 
into the water. Lev. xi. 32 ; or that ^511'^ □''!^2 signifies to wash in 
general, and to spr'mlde as well as any thing else, merely because the 
washings are expressed sometimes by a general word, which compre- 
hends all the kinds of them ? It is, I think, much more reasonable 
to say, that words, to which common use has appropriated a more 
particular sense, should be allowed to determine what any others 
have expressed more generally and at large ; the words of a more 
determinate sense giving a more particular and exact account of the 
matte]'. The general words may comprehend the particular, not 
wholly, but only as they also signify to wash ; for the latter mean 
something more than barely to wash, and restrain it to this or that 
manner of washing. If it is but washing, let it be dipping or 
pouring, or any thing else, it may well enough be expressed by the 
general word, though this or that particular mode of washing can 
only answer the import of the particular word. Thus, though all 
dipping is washing, and as such is contained imder the general word 
Aoj;co, which signifies simply to wash ; yet it does not therefore fol- 
low, that all washing is dipping, or that all washings may be 
expressed by the word which properly signifies to clip ; nor that, 
when two words are used concerning the same thing, as here Ao'jco 
and l3aTTT[((o, they are laohvvaixoi, and altogether of the same import, 
as our author would strangely infer. 

For thus Homer speaks of stars being ' washed in the sea",^ using 
the same word Mr. Wall here argues from ; and yet must be under- 
stood to mean their setting in the sea, according* to the known 

» Iliad. E. V. 6. 

Histori/ of Infant-hajjtism. 115 

expression of the poets. And therefore when Virgil is speaking- of 
the greater and lesser Bears^ and says^ They 

by fate's decree, 

Abhor to dive beneath the southern sea", 

tingo here, and Ivvdn in a thousand instances in the Grecian poets, 
must be interpreted to mean any manner of washing, and may as 
well signify to sprinkle, as to dip ox put into. 

I need not repeat the observations of logicians about their genera 
and species ; yet give me leave only to transcribe one canon from 
Aristotle y : ' The species includes the definition of the genus, and all 
' that is in it, but not vice versa' Dipping includes washing, but 
washing does not include dipping ; for there may be a washing by 
pouring, &c. Thus the Christian sacrament, which is to be admin- 
istered by dipping, which is one kind of washing, may very well be 
called by the general name {loashhig) ; but it will in no wise follow, 
that therefore this general word does comprehend all that is signi- 
fied by the more particular one, or serve properly to interpret it. 

Thus you see, sir, how little there is in what our author says, to 
make it plain that fiaTniCca does not necessarily and always signify 
to dip. 

I hope I have acted very uprightly in examining all his instances, 
and allowed every thing its due weight, in his behalf. Besides those 
he mentions, I have likewise considered all other instances that I 
could imagine might possibly be pleaded for him, which he took no 
notice of, without concealing any one. And no man, I fancy, will 
think there are others behind which may be urged with any colour 
on his side : for such metaphorical passages as Matt. xx. 22, Are ye 
able, &c. to he baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with ? and 
such like places, are so manifestly figurative and obscure, that they 
cannot be thought to furnish any argument either way, and therefore 
I pass them by. And what I have farther to add upon this matter 
I must refer to my next. I am. 


Yours, &c. 

" Perque duas in morem fluminis Arctos, 

Arctos Oceani metuentes sequore tingi. 

Georgic. I. 245. 

y Top. lib. iv. caj). i. AjjAoj' oiv oti to fifv ftST) fitre^n tuiv yefwv' ra Se yf'yri, rwv 
ilSuv oH. 

1 2 

116 Reflections on Mr. Jf all's [letter y 


To appeal to the Scriptui'es only for the sense of a word, very unreasonable — It 
is notwithstanding proved from them that the Greek word must always signify 
to dip — "What passages may be argued from — Luke xvi. 24 ; John xiii. 26 ; 
Rev. xix. 13 — The vulgar copies have lost the true reading in the last — Meta- 
phorical passages make for, not against my opinion — Languages do not exactly 
answer to one another — If the word (SaTrr/fw were otherwise ever so ambiguous, 
yet as it relates to baptism, it is sufficiently determined only and necessarily to 
mean to dip — by the doctrine and practice of St. John — of the holy apostles — 
of the succeeding church for many centuries, which urged a trine immersion — 
Learned men in general allow this mode of baptism — Mr. Wall pretends, though 
the ancients did generally baptize by immersion, they likewise used affusion, or 
the like — But this was not allowed in common cases — Aspersion, how at first 
admitted — It is unreasonable to argue that the general sense of a law is the same 
with the exceptions that are made to it — The ancient church of the first centuries 
did not practise affusion, &c. — St. Cyprian's plea for aspersion very trifling — 
All who were baptized in the apostles' times were baptized by immersion — The 
clinical affusions do not appear to have been introduced till about two hundred 
and fifty years after Christ : at which time they very much doubted of their 
validity — By the first patrons granted to be only presumptive — All allow im- 
mersion was insisted on anciently as the only regular way, in all common cases 
at least — What to be thought of those persons, who at the same time acknow- 
ledge this, and yet plead for what is so certainly and demonstrably false on all 
accounts — An humble remark on the bishop of Salisbury's plea for changing 
the manner of administering the sacrament here in England — The clergy pre- 
tend they would gladly revive the ancient practice, but they do not take the 
proper methods j and in reality obstruct its being revived^BaTrrco and /3a7r7iX'»> 


By what I have already said in my former^ I believe^ it suffici- 
ently appears^ that there is nothing' in the Scriptures which any way 
justifies Mr. Wall's supposition ; and that whatever he has produced 
is of no consequence at all : but that you may see^ sir^ how much 
reason we have to insist upon it that the word signifies only to dijy, 
I would add a farther reflection on this head before I dismiss it. 

Our author, that he may evade the force of all that might be said 
otherwise, appeals to the Scriptures concerning the word, and will 
be determined by them only in this question ; which is so unreason- 
able a fancy, that I admire any gentleman of understanding should 
be guilty of it. For the most accurate Greek writers, such as the 
poets, the grammarians, &c., can undoubtedly give us the true sense 
of a Gre^k word as well as the Scriptures themselves, and are as 

History of Ivfant-hcqMsm. 117 

much to be depended on in that respect : unless it be supposed the 
Scriptures have strangely altered and wholly changed the Greek 
tongue, and framed a language to themselves which would unavoid- 
ably render them very obscure and unintelligible, and so make them 
unfit for a rule of faith ; because this should be plain and evident to 
the utmost that the nature of the thing will admit, especially in the 
most essential points. And such an unaffected perspicuity illustri- 
ously adorns the sacred oracles, whatever Mr. Wall may imagine to 
the contrary. But if our author pleases, I will join issue with him 
here, and agree, that whatever shall be found to be the plain sense 
of /3a7rrifco in Scripture, that only shall pass for the sense of it in 
relation to the case before us, the sacrament of baptism. 

I have already gone through all those places which can be pro- 
duced from Scripture in favour of IMr. WalFs opinion, and abund- 
antly proved from the Old Testament, that the signification of the 
word is always to dip. Let us now make as strict a scrutiny through 
the New, and observe, since it is so plain Mr. WalFs sense is not 
favoured there, whether any thing appears in it for mine. 

Almost all the passages, whei-e the word is used in the New Tes- 
tament, relate to tlie sacrament of baptism, and therefore can be of 
no service in our inquiry; for the question is about the sense of it in 
those places. However, when it is accompanied with any circum- 
stances that may fix the sense, I shall think it fair enough to urge 
it on my side. All metaphorical passages also are out of doors, 
because of their ambiguousness and obscurity ; though, if they prove 
either way, they are against Mr. Wall : and those passages, which 
relate to the Jewish washings, having been already examined, I will 
not repeat them, but go on to give you all the instances that 
may be justly cited in tliis matter; and they are only these that 
follow, by which therefore the sense of the word must be con- 

I begin with Luke xvi. 24, which contains the rich Epicurean's 
prayer to Abraham in heaven, to send Lazarus that he may clip the 
tip of hu fincjer in tvater, and cool his tongue. The Greek is fidxf/ji. 
And it can never be qviestioned, without renouncing common sense, 
that it is well rendered in our translation by dip. Another instance, 
as full and clear as this, is John xiii. 26, He it is to whom I shall give 
a sop when I have dipped it ; and when he had dipped the sop, he gave 
it to Judas Iscariot. In the former part of the verse it is ^d\l/a<i ; 
but in the Alexandrine manuscript €ixjid\\ras, as it is also in the latter 
part of this verse, and in the parallel places. Matt. xxvi. 23 ; Mark 
xiv. 20. It can no more be (piestioned what is the meaning of these 

118 Refections 07i Mr. Wall's [letter y. 

words in the original, than what is the sense of the English word 
dip, by which they are so properly translated. 

It is trifling to enlarge on these, and therefore I go on. The ne^t 
is Kev. xix. 13, And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; 
and his name is called the Word of God. This expression is so mani- 
festly taken from the dyer^s art, that there can be no difficulty or 
uncertainty in it : for nothing can appear more natiu-al than to 
understand St. John as representing the person in his vision to have 
been clothed with a vesture which was dipped [or as it were dipped] 
in the blood of his enemies. But this I say only upon the suppo- 
sition, that the vulgar Greek copies retain the true primitive 
reading. There are several reasons indeed, to make us think the 
contrary, and that the word is changed ; particularly the authority 
of Origen, whose writings are older than any cojjies of the New 
Testament we can boast of; and therefore what he transcribed from 
ancienter copies must be more considerable than any we have. Now 
he, in his Commentary on St. John^s Gospel % cites these words from 
verse 11 to verse 16, inclusively, almost verbatim, as they are in our 
editions ; but reads eppavTiajxivov, sprinMed, instead of /3e/3aju/MeVoi>, 
dipped; which makes this passage nothing to our piirpose. However, 
I should not think this single authority of Origen sufficient to justify 
my altering the word ; but I have likewise observed that the Syriac 
and Ethiopic versions, which for their antiquity must be thought 
almost as valuable and authentic as the original itself, being made 
from primitive copies, in or very near the times of the apostles, and 
rendering the passage by words which signify to sprinkle, must 
greatly confirm Origen^s reading of the place, and very strongly 
argue, that he has preserved the same word which was in the auto- 
grapha. But besides, if the latter word stands, the sense is evidently 
what I assert. 

These are all the instances I know of in the New Testament, 
where the word is used according to the vulgar application of it : 
but there are some, where it is applied to baptism, that are con- 
siderably in my favour, and shall be taken notice of by and by. In 
the mean time you see, sir, our author^s rule of interpreting a 
Scripture-word by its use in Scripture is more to my advantage 
than his ; and certainly I have said enough now to satisfy any man 
in the world, who has the least pretence to common sense and 
reason, that the word ^anrt'Cw does always without exception signify 
only to dip. I have confirmed this at large from the writings of the 
Greek authors, i'rom the opinion of the best critics, and from the 

a Page 51. 


History of lufau t-baj}tism. 119 

constant use of it in the Scriptures themselves too ; and since all 
confess this to be its general and most proper signification, we 
should never, without manifest necessity, depart from it. I believe 
I have given sufficient reasons also, why metaphorical passages do 
not determine against me : for it no more follows from them that 
^a-nTiQji does not signify to dip, than that iynmergo does not signify 
so, because Lactantius for example uses that Latin word to signify 
being _J7^WM «^j b to wickedness : which phrase he borrowed perhaps 
from Origen, who uses the same exactly in his Commentary uj)on 
St. John^. Besides, this metaphorical use of the word is very 
frequent among the Fathers, as well as among the profane authors, 
as I observed before ; for thus Clemens Alexandrinus says, ' They 
* who through drunkenness are dipped in (/SaTrrt^o/^-ei^ot ets v-uvnv) or 
' overwhelmed with sleep d.-* The same sense Virgil thus emphati- 
cally expresses by a word which properly signifies to bury. 

Then- forces join 
To invade the town, o'erwhelmed Avith sleep and wine^. 

And Clemens in another place, which is very remarkable, says, 
^ And we who were once polluted with these things, are now washed 
and cleansed. But those who wash themselves in intemperance, 
' from sobriety and a decent behaviour, they immerse, {^a-uTiCovaL,) 
' dip into, or give themselves up to fornication, judging it good to 
' indulge themselves in pleasure and vices ^.' And Gregorius Thau- 
maturgus uses the word much after the same manner in this passage 
of his Panegyric upon Origen S; 'And reaching his hand to others, 
' he delivers all, drawing them out (viz. of the difficulties, &c.) in 
' which they are as it were immersed (/3a7TTt{'oju,ei'ovs) or over- 
' whelmed.^ We may meet with several such as these in Scripture 
also, as Mark x. 38. Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and he 
baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? Luke iii. 16. He 
shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. Acts i. 5. Ye 
shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence, i Cor. 
x. %. And were all baptized unto Moses, in the cloud and in the 
sea, &c. 

Can these or such like passages be thought sufficient to justify 

'' Lib. vii. de Vita Beata, p. 649. Vitiis < Strom, lib. iii. p. 473. Kal ^.ueZs )jXv 

immersi. aiTe\ovffd/u.i6a, ol iv rovrois yfyd/xefoi. 01 

'^ Pago 352. Tilt" Trdi'V vnh t/;? KaKias di (Is Tavrrji' airuXuviiVTSS riju aaeAyeiai', eK 

KaTal3i^anriafj.iVoov. pcixppocrvvris ih itupvi.av fia.vri<^oii(ri, rati 

'l Paidagog. lib. ii. p. 155. "tirvuh-]syap ijSovalT kuI ruh Tray^tn X"P'C"^^<»' Stty/xaii- 

Tiils, 6 f.iTj cji (Tocplav eypriyopm', a.\Ka vno ^uvTf<;. 

/.ifOrts fiawTi^ofifvus (Is uTrvov. S Page 72. "AWois opeywi' X'^'"/'" 5ia- 

e Invadunt iirbeni soiuno viiioque nc- crw^oiro wairep IBanTi^oixivovs b.vifx(lifxivti>s. 
X>idtam. JEn. ii. v. 265. 

] 20 Refiections on Mr. Wall's [letter y. 

any man in denying- the word signifies only to diji ? So far from 
thatj I am certain upon a fair examination it will evidently appear 
that the natural signification of the word is still the same even in 
these figures ; for the whole vig-our and energ-y of them depends 
upon it. To arg-ue it does not sig-nify to dip from these passag-es, 
would be just as ridiculous as if because Tiivta is used fig-uratively, 
Mark x. 37, therefore any one should pretend it does not sig-nify to 
dr'mJc ; or ag-ain, that (ivQiCai does not signify to s'mJc, overwhelm, or 
droion, because in that elliptical sentence, i Tim. vi. 9, which drown 
men in destruction and ^jerdition, as the words stand, it cannot be 
literally true : but though these words here, and all words some 
time or other, are thus metaphorically used, they have still one fixed 
constant sense annexed to them. 

There is another thing which perhaps may give some umbrage ; 
I mean, that possibly in some cases the Greek word cannot be so 
well rendered into English agreeably with our idiom, by any other 
word than to loet or xoash. But nobody can reasonably from hence 
infer that the Greek is of as general a signification as the English, 
by which it is rendered, and stands for any kind of wetting or 
washing. There are no two languages which so exactly answer as 
to have no particular word in the one, but the other is provided 
with a term which signifies neither more nor less, to translate it by. 
Few people of the same country couple the same complex ideas to 
the same word, as is evident by most controversies, which have no 
other original ; much more therefore may two several nations dif- 
ferent in manners and time, be su^iposed not to have equivalent 
words to express a complex idea XTUvaried. Thus navigo, in Latin, 
will be very often translated into English, go, better than by any 
other word we iise ; as, ' in Galliam aut Belgium navigare,^ to go to 
France or Holland. But it cannot be argued therefore, that navigo 
is of an indeterminate sense, and may equally mean to go either on 
foot or horseback, by coach or by water ; for it always necessarily 
signifies the last manner of going, and never any other. Again, 
suspicionem movere is literally to move suspicion ; and in more proper 
English, to give umhrage. But no man in his wits will go about to 
argue from hence, that movere signifies in general to give ; and that 
hicredes movere, which is to expel the heirs, may be translated, to give 
heirs : for though in both phrases movere means the same thing in 
itself, namely to move; yet it must be rendered into Eng-lish by 
words contrary to one another, viz. to give, and to expel. And the 
reason is, that the sense of it mvist be accommodated to the subject 
it is applied to, and understood accordingly. And though it strictly 

Hutor/j of Infant-hiqjt'wn. 121 

signifies to move, yet as it is joined with other words, it must be dif- 
ferently turned; for the same action produces different effects 
according to the subject it acts upon. Thus when mover e is joined 
with suspicionem, it signifies ' to move, give motion and action to 
' suspicions, to set things in a ferment, and cause them to work in 
' the mind/ But though the word here properly enough signifies to 
move, this sense cannot be better expressed in English than by the 
words I before made use of, viz. to give umbrage. But then, when these 
two words, karedes movere, are joined together, the same sense of the 
word expresses the same action and motion, which yet has a dif- 
ferent influence on the subject : for to move an heir is to pnt him 
aside out of the way, from the possession of his inheritance ; for 
these v/ords ab ImrecVitate seem to be implied. To conclude this 
matter : it is plain by these examples, and you know it would be 
easy to give a thousand more, that though the genius of our 
language may oblige us sometimes to render j3aTTTi((s), to wet, or 
wash, or cltje, &c., it is most absurd to infer that it therefore signifies 
any thing else besides or different from to dip ; whereas it appears 
to include dij), and means to wet, or wash, or d//e, &c., ohIj/ tjij 

If any particulars I have insisted on above should be thought too 
trifling to deserve arguing about, I am however to be excused ; for 
it must be considered, that Mr. Wall and others having' urged 
them against us, it was necessary on that account to give them an 

And if what I have said should not carry full conviction to any, 
so as to finish this part of the controversy, yet methinks it is the 
most reasonable thing in the world to allow, that though the word 
had been ever so ambiguous in itself, and extensive in its signifi- 
cation, yet as it relates to the sacrament of baptism, the sense is 
plainly enough determined in Scripture to be to dip, by several cir- 
cumstances ; and that the doctrine and practice of St. John, our 
Saviour himself, and his apostles, and the primitive church, are 
sufficient to ascertain how it must be understood and practised ; 
therefore let us hear how the Scripture confirms this particular in 
our l)ehalf. 

That St. John baptized by dipping is as plain as a thing can well 
be ; and were it not for the daring tempers of some men, it would 
be trifling, in such an excess of light, to attempt to prove it. But 
because I shall be allowed to say nothing without a demonstration, 
I refer you to John iii. 23, which will remain imanswcrable, until 
somebody, by a mighty stretch, can find some other turn than has 

122 Rejlections on Mr. Wall's [letter v. 

been yet thoiig-lit of", for the holy penman^s giving this as the 
reason of his baj)tizing in those parts^ Because there was WMch water. 
Dr. Whitby on the place says, ' In which their whole bodies might 
' be dipped ;' and adds, ' in this manner only was their baptism 
' performed/ If any other wetting would have served, this had 
been impertinent, and no reason at all ; for there is no habitable 
part of the world but would liave furnished water enough for that 

Again, Mark i. 5, And were all bajjtized of him in the river Jordan, 
confessing their sins. Which, I pray you, is most natural to suppose, 
that the river was poured or spriidiled on them, or they dipped into 
the river ? If it was not the first, it must be the last ; for nobody 
can bring himself to imagine they were poured or sprinkled on the 
river, or the river dipped into them. And Mr. Wall himself owns 
St. John baptized our Lord thus. And this shews what was his 
method in baptizing. What now can have a greater face of truth, 
than to think our blessed Saviour, when he appointed this ordinance 
of baptism, meant the same thing exactly, and understood and 
intended the word in the same sense that it was known generally 
and most properly to be used in, and which was fixed to it by the 
public practice of the person from whom he continued the ceremony ? 

When people had been used for some time to a religious baptism, 
which was performed by dipping, they could not possibly under- 
stand our Lord to mean any thing else ; and if he liad designed a 
different manner from that of St. John, he would doubtless, at 
least, have avoided a word which from St. John^s example, if it 
were nothing else, was liable to be restrained to dipping only. But 
since he has used the same woi'd, which, besides its natural import, 
was limited to this sense by the practice of St. John, in this very 
ceremony, and has given us no manner of caution against restraining 
it to this sense \ it follows, that we must in justice allow this alone 
to be what our Lord intended ]jy it ; and accordingly, which carries 
the thing much farther, the holy apostles, and the first Christians, 
it is plain understood it so. Their practice will surely be granted 
a very good commentary on Christ^s institution, and an unexception- 
able rule to guide us in setting this matter in its true light. 

Hardly any man of learning will deny the Christians of the first 
times used dipping, and that in obedience to our Saviour^s com- 
mission. Thus, when Philip baptized the eunuch, great treasurer 
to Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, it is said, Acts viii. 38, And 
they went doivn both into the water, Loth Philip and the eunuch, and 
he baptized him. I take this to be a plain case, notwithstanding 

ILidorij of Infaid-baplism. 1 23 

the little frivolous cavils that have formerly been made against it ; 
and the propriety of the words separately in themselves, and much 
more in this particular construction, necessitate us to understand 
them in the sense I maintain. 

Besides, there are likewise many allusions which the apostles 
make, that cannot possibly be understood of any thing- l)ut dip])ing 
into the water. Grotius noted this before; and undoubtedly the 
inference is very just. You may read him on Col. ii. 12, where those 
who had been baptized are said to be buried with him (viz. our Lord) 
in baptism, &c. Dr. Hammond, in his paraphrase of this verse, and of 
Rom. vi. 4, does expressly fix the justness of the allusion in the 
practice of immersing* and dipping persons into the water, which, 
he allows without any difficulty, was the way at that time. And 
Dr. Whitby says, ' It is expressly declared here, that we are buried 
' with Christ in baptism by being buried under water •' or, as he 
words it in his paraphrase, 'plunging us under the water/ which, 
as he intimates, represented ' the putting Christ's body under the 
' earth.' And indeed the apostle's words, Rom. vi. 3, 4, are so very 
clear to this purpose, that we need only open our eyes and read 
them, to be convinced; Know j/e not, says he, that so many of us as 
were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death ? There- 
fore we are buried with him by baptism into death ; that like as Christ 
was raised up from the dead by the (jlory (f the Father, even so we also 
should, walk in newness of life. 

The Apostolical Constitutions give the sense thus : ' Baptism is a 
' r(>presentation of Christ's death ; the water is that wherein we are 
' buried''.' And a little after, ' The immersion is the dying with 
'■ him ; and emersion, or coming up from under the water, represents 
' the resurrection.' And thereibre TertuUian likewise says', ' We 
' die symbolically in baptism:' upon which words Rigaltius remarks, 
' We are immersed as if we suffered death, and rise up out of the 
' water, as reviving again l^.' 

And it is worth while to transcribe a passage from St. Chry- 
sostom, where he says, ' To be dipped and plunged into the water, 
' and then to rise out of it again, is a symbol of our descent into the 
' grave, and of our ascent out of it : and therefore Paul calls baptism 
' a burial, when he says, we are therefore buried with him 1)}'^ 
' baptism into dcath^.' 

'' Lit), iii. oaj). 17. ToiVui' rb ^klv 0dw- ' De "Resurrectioiie, p. 354. Per simu- 

riiTf.La, ca lof Uai'uTov rod 'hjfroD SiS/i/.kvoi'. I;ic:niiii ciiim moriuuir in I*);ipti.sinatt3, &c. 
T^ Sf iiHu'p ui'tI Ta<[>ris. et paiili) ])ost : 7; k JVIorgiimir, (juasi inortoni siibcauniH. 

Karaovais, to auvatruOavf'if -q avaSutris, to EmergiiniiH, ut roviviHccntea. 
(yvvava(Trriva,i. • Hoiii. 40. in i Cor. torn. iii. page 514. 


ReJJeclions on Mr. Wall's 

[letter V, 

I argue further^ that this continued to be the practice of the pri- 
mitive Christians, and of many centuries tog-ether, St. Barnabas 
says in his Epistle, ' We descend into the water full of sins and 
' defilement, and come up oiit of it™/ &c. Tertullian almost 
constantly uses tinguere, mergitare, &e., which signify to dlj), and 
immerse, as properly as he could possibly express it : and in his 
treatise concerning baptism he has these words, which describe at 
the same time the custom of that age, and what they took to have 
been the practice of St. John, &c. ' It is all one,"" says he, 'whether 
' we are washed in the sea or in a pond, in a fountain or in a river, 
' in a standing or in a running water ; nor is there any difference 
' between those that John baptized in Jordan, and those that Peter 
^ baptized in the Tiber "^.^ In another place he says, ' Our hands are 
' clean enough, which, together with our whole body, we have once 
' washed in Christ".^ And Gregorius Thaumaturgus, speaking of 
the baptism of Christ, uses Kaiahv(Tov, plunge or dip, as a synonymous 
word for f36.TTTi.aov, dtp, plunge me into ' the river Jordan p/ 

Nay, so far were they from contenting themselves with any thing 
less than di2)ping, that it is notorious they very strenuously pleaded 
for and insisted on a trine immersion. Thus Dr. Beveridge, late 
bishop of St. Asaph, explains the forty- second of those canons that 
are ascribed to the apostles ; which rigidly enjoins, '■ If any bishop 
' or presbyter shall administer baptism only by one immersion into 
' the death of Christ, and not by three immersions, let him be 
' degraded'!.^ And Tertullian most expressly says, which evidently 
demonstrates what was the custom in his time, ' We are immersed 
' not once, but thrice, viz. unto each person as he is named J" :' or, 
as the rubric of the present Greek church expresses it, ' At each 
' compellation putting him (viz. the baptized person) down into the 
' water, and raising him up again. ^ St. Cyril of Jerusalem says very 
emphatically, ' plunge them down, fcaraSyere, thrice into the water, 
' and raise them up again^.'' Monnulus, bishop of Girba, in his 

T^ "yap fiaTrrl^iffOai Kal KaraSveaOai, elra 
avav^vfiv, Trjs els aSov Kara^danis tan 
(Tvjx^oKov, KoL TTjy (Keidfj/ o-i^SSov. oih Kal 
rdpov rh ySdn-Tirr^ia 6 IlaCAos Ka\f7 Xtydiv, 
(TvviT d<pr]iiiev ovv avT<p Std rov ^awrifffxaro? 
eh "rhv QdvaTov, 

'" Cap. xi. pag. 38. "Oti •^/xeis i.i.(v Kara- 
Paivo/xfv eis rb vScap yefjiovres a^apriwv Kcxi 
l>virov, Koi auaffalvofj.ev KapnocpopovvTes, &c. 

n Cap. 4. Ideoque nulla distinctio est, 
mari quis an stagno, flumine an fonte, lacu 
an alveo diluatur. Nee quicquani refert 
inter eos quos Joannes in Jordane, et quos 
Petrus in Tiberi tinxit. 

o De Orat. pag. 133. Ceterum satis 

miindse sunt manus, quas cum toto cor. 
pore in Christo semel lavimus. 

P In Theoplian. pag. 35. Kard^vaSv /ae 
Tois 'lopSduov pilOpots. 

'1 Ei'tjs iwiffKOTTOi, J) irpscr^uTei)os, /jlt) Tpla 
^aTTricpLaTa /xlas fivqaeoos ewiTeXearj, aWd 
€f ^diTTifffxa rb is rbv ddvarov rod Kvpiov 
SiSofxeyov, Kadaipeiadai. 

r Adversus Praxeam, cap. xxvi. ^ag. 
516. Nam nee semel, sed ter, ad singula 
nomina in Personas singulas tinguimur. 

s Catecliet. Mystagog. cap. ii. pag. ■232. 
Kal KaTfSvere els Tb vSwp, Kal irdXiv avedv- 

History of Iiifant-bajjtism. 


suffrage, which is the tenth in St. Cyprian's account of the council 
of Carthag-e, calls it haptismatis Triuitate, says the learned bishop of 
Oxford '^j ' because it was celebrated by a trine immersion/ 

Instead of more citations from the Fathers, g-ive me leave to men- 
tion some of our learned moderns, who upon very nice examination 
confirm this to have been the practice of the earliest times. And 
this I choose rather to do, because at the same time it shews, not 
only that I am right in my assertion, but also that the most learned 
and judicious critics acknowledge and confirm the truth of it, which 
is a double advantage. 

Dr. Beveridge, whom I named but now, at the beginning of his 
annotations on the fiftieth canon, and in his Vindication of the 
Canons against Daille, largely asserts the trine immei'sion. So does 
the learned Dionysivis Petavius, in these words : ' Their wonted 
' manner of administering this sacrament was to plunge the persons 
' baptized thrice into the water"," &c. And the celebrated Johan. 
Gerard. Vossius speaks to the same effect in his Etymoloyicon, at the 
word haptismus. Casaubon on Matt. iii. 6, says, ' The form of bap- 
' tizing was by plunging into the water^,' &c. The passage is 
quoted above at large. Episeopius, in his answer to Qitast. '^^, tells 
us, ' Those who were baptized by the ceremony of plunging into the 
' water, and rising out of it again, declared themselves to be as it 
' were dead"," &c. Mons. Jurieu assures us, in his Pastoral letters, 
that the ancients ' used to plunge persons into the water, calling on 
' the adorable Teinity.v." And in another place, ' Because baptism 
^ was then administered by immersion^," &c. And a little after, 
' He that was baptized was plunged into the water^." 

Mons. Le Clerc, whom you so deservedly honour for his great 
learning, says the same thing on Rom. vi. 4, ' The manner of bap- 
' tizing at that time, by plunging into the water those whom they 
' baptized, was an image of the burial of Jesus Christ".'' 

The learned antiquary, Mr. Archdeacon Nicholson, at present 
bishop of Carlisle, in his letter to sir William Dugdale, concerning 

t [See Cypriani Opera, edit. Fell. p. 


II De Poenitentia, lib. ii. cap. i. § ii. 
Ratio autem solita administrandi hujus 
sacramenti erat, ut ter in aquaui imnier- 
gerentur qui baptizabantur. 

^ Hie eriiiu fuit baptizandi ritua, ut in 
aquam immergerentur, &c. 

" Pag. 34. Nam ii qui liaptizabantur, 
ritu isto immersionis et emcrsioni.s testa- 
bantur se mortuorum instar esse, &c. 

y Let. V. an. 1686. pag. 36. On se con- 

tentoit de plonger les personnes dans I'eau, 
avec I'invocation de I'adorable Trinity. 

z Let. vi. an. 1686. pag. 42. Parce qu' 
alors le bateme se faisoit par immersion, 

a Celui qui <5toit batizd, dtoit plong^ 
dans I'eau. 

X La manibre que Ton avoit alors de 
baptizcr, en plongeant dans I'eau ceux 
que Ton baptizoit, dtoit comme une image 
de la sepulture de J^sus Christ. 

1^6 Rejlectiom on Mr. Wall's [letteu v. 

the font at Bridekirk in Cumberland^ as it is puljlished in the 
'additions to Mr. Camden's Britannia V takes notice, 'There is 
' fairly represented on the font a person in a long* sacerdotal habit 
* dipping a child into the water/ And presently remarks on it 
thns : ' Now, sir, I need not acquaint you that the sacrament of 
' baptism was anciently administered by plung-in^ into the water, 
' in the western as well as the eastern part of the church ; and that 
' the Gothic word A/VtllTg^ (Mark i. 8, and d^^nllg^N, 
' Luke iii. 7, 12.) the German word tfluffcn, the Danish word t)Obc, 
' and the Belgic tfCOpCH, do as clearly make out that practice as 
' the Greek word ^a-nTi((a.' 

I will give you Init one citation more, which is too remarkable to 
be omitted. It is Dr. Whitby's Annotation on Rom. vi. 4. ' It being 
' so expressly declared here, and Coloss. ii. 12, that we are buried with 
' Christ in baptism, by being buried under water : and the argument 
' to oblige us to a conformity to his death, by dying to sin, being 
' taken hence ; and this iminersion being religiously observed by all 
' Christians for thirteen centuries, and approved by our church, and the 
' change of it itnto sprinkling even without any allowance from the 
' author of this institution, or any license from any council of the 
' church, being that which the Romanist still urgcth to justify his 
' refusal of the cup to the laity; it were to be wished that this 
' custom might be again of general use.' What follows concerning 
aspersion being not to the purpose, I omit it. 

If you please you may see more instances of this nature in Mr. 
Stennet's Answer to Russen, and particularly those taken out of sir 
John Floyer; but these, I think, are enough to put it past doubt, 
that the apostles and primitive Christians did l)aptize only by 
immersion: and that this rite continued in the church for manv 

To evade the force of this, Mr. Wall is willing to compound the 
matter with us ; and allows, they did generally baptize by im- 
mersion : but then in some cases, as in danger of death, &c., he 
pretends they thought affusion or sprinkling sufficient ; and that in 
such cases it was actually permitted. In answer to this, I say : 

I. Supposing these exceptions to be well grounded, and that 
aspersion was suffered in cases of necessity ; yet even then it must 
follow, that according to the sentiments of the ancients, it was 
utterly unlawful to use aspersion in any common cases, or at all, 
but in such necessity : for they never thought themseh^es at liberty 

y Page 841. [or Gough's edition, iii. p. 183. Compare what is said on this subject, 
vol. i. p. 54, and p. 358 text and note.] 

JliHlorij of Infant-fjaptism. 127 

to administer this sacrament in what manner they would, as our 
author pleads ; and that to baptize, as he wall have it, is to wash in 
any manner : and it is still plain, that a general, and much more 
than a total disuse of immersion, is the greatest affront to those 
pious saints, and the whole primitive virgin church, that can he 
well offered ; and it must be no small presumption, to fancy Christ 
did not enjoin what they so strictly and universally practised. 

It is not to l)e imagined, the pious primitive Fathers, and the 
vv'hole church of that time, could be guilty of the absurd folly of 
tying themselves up so unnecessarily, and even contrary to what, 
according to Mr. Wall, they knew to be the sense of the word, and 
the design of Christ. This is not at all consistent with his pre- 
tended veneration for the Fathers, nor his building his darling 
pitdobaptism so entirely on this foundation. I cannot think they 
would commit such innovations so early : but if Christ had intended, 
and the word he expressed himself by had implied, that baptism 
might be regularly administered by one kind of washing as well as 
another, they would doubtless have ' stood fast in that liberty,'' lor 
some time at least ; whereas, even though Mr. WalFs supposition 
be true, that in some cases of necessity they did dispense with 
immersion, yet it is \>\uu\ they held diffping the only general regular 
way, which nothing but endangering a man's life could make 
them supersede. This appears from St. Cyprian, the earliest advo- 
cate for aspersion ; which nevertheless he pleads for only in extraor- 
dinary cases. 

And it seems at first to have been admitted upon this notion, that 
God will have m,ercy and not sacrijice ; which they understood to 
mean, that all positive institutions must give way to the eternal 
obligation of moral duties. So David, from the necessity of j^re- 
serving his and his followers' lives, made free with the shewbread, 
in opposition to the positive command; and our Saviour himself 
vindicates his disciples from the same principles, and from this 
example of David, Matt. xii. 

This foundation is certainly very good ; and they might from 
hence justify their forbearing to administer this sacrament at all, in 
such cases, where it is apparent it could not be administered with- 
out violating some unchangeable moral duty. But the ancients, 
who introduced sprinkling or affusion, seemed unwilling to carry 
the matter so far. In present danger of death they thought it 
necessary that all should be made partakers of the salutary illumi- 
nation, without which, they imagined, it would be impossible to 
obtain salvation ; and yet they feared, lest baptizing them according 

128 Reflections on 3fi\ Wall's [leti'ER v. 

to the institution mig-ht, considering- their weakness^ occasion their 
death, and so they should become g'uilty of murder. To avoid both 
inconveniences, they thought it best to divide the difficulty; and 
rather than dispense with the whole sacrament, to make this altera- 
tion in the manner of its administration only ; which after all was 
in reality no better than nullifying the whole : for if Christ com- 
manded only to (lip, as themselves vehemently urg-e, in all cases 
where it can be safely complied with, then nothing- but dipping- is 
obeying- the institution. But they thought it was better to retain 
some, thoug-h but a distant shadow, than to part with the whole 
ceremony ; in hopes God would indulge them in this change, which 
they were driven to by necessity, as they thoug-ht; and that he 
would annex all those spiritual advantag-es to it, which should have 
attended a more regular administration. At most, they only pre- 
tended affusion might serve, where immersion could not, as they 
imagined, take place so well. And this is formally to acknowledg-e, 
that, strictly, the institution required immersion only; as most 
naturally follows from their rigorous insisting on it in all ordinaiy 
cases, and allowing- affusion as an exception to the rule, upon some 
emerg-ence where the rule could not be so conveniently obeyed. 

Now, no serious reasonable man can be so much overseen, as to 
think it just to interpret a law by the exceptions that are made to 
it, any farther than to infer the exceptions are different from the 
law, and oj)posite to it, the true sense of which should be determined 
by the ordinary cases it is supposed only to respect. 

Though the thing is plain enoug-h in itself, yet having found by 
experience how unreasonably some men can cavil as to this point in 
particular, I thought there was need enough to dwell so long upon 
it, and make such frequent repetitions. On the same account, I 
must take the liberty to illustrate what I said in the last words by 
an example, which, if possible, may yet make it more plain what it 
is I mean. Your good sense and candour, sir, I am sensible would 
save me the trouble ; but you tell me my letters shall be shewn, aud 
I do not know who may be my readers : out of precaution therefore, 
if any of them should think the matter not sufficiently clear, I desire 
they would consider, whether because the Quakers, by a clause in 
some Acts, are excused from swearing-, they can think the desig-n of 
the law was to make it indifferent in all cases, whether any man in 
g'eneral took an oath, or only made the affirmation ; and that it 
should be at the liberty of every one to choose ? The Toleration Act 
binds all persons whatever, not to molest the protestant dissenters in 
the free exercise of religious worship according to the dictates of 

History of Infant-haptlsni. 129 

their consciences : but at the same time, by a clause purposely 
inserted, it pro\4des, that no ' papist or popish recusant whatsoever, 
' or any person that shall deny, in his preaching- or writing, the 
' doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, shall have any ease, benefit, or 
' advantage thereby/ Now, can it be imagined from hence, that 
the full sense and tenor of this act is, that those who are in power 
have liberty hereby given them, either to tolerate or disturb, as they 
please, persons dissenting from the established church ? 

I will compare these instances, to shew they are exactly parallel. 

1. The Fathers (on whose practice we are now chiefly arguing) 
for some centuries, made immersion necessary and indispensable in 
all ordinary cases. This is so undeniable, that our adversaries allow 
it ; and that, so far as the practice of the primitive Church is our 
rule, we are obliged, in all ordinary cases, to baptize by immersion. 
To this, in the instance given, answers the general tenor of the 
act, viz. that protestant dissenters shall be tolerated in the free 
exercise of religious worship according to their own way. 

2. The primitive Church, as it is supposed, has made an excep- 
tion to this her general practice, and allows of affusion, to those who 
are in present danger of death, instead of immersion. So the Act 
excepts, together with ' papists and popish recusants, all such as 
' shall deny, in preaching or writing, the doctrine of the Blessed 
' Trinity ;' to whom it means no protection. 

Since the cases then are so far parallel, I might conclude, it is as 
unreasonable to argue from the exception the ancient Church is sup- 
posed to have made in some cases of necessity, that they therefore 
thought themselves at full liberty always to administer this ordi- 
nance by any kind of washing, (which is Mr. WalFs argument,) as 
all the world knows it would be, because of that exception made in 
the act, to infer, that the design and true meaning of it is to oblige 
all persons to tolerate the dissenters, or disturb them, as they please. 

At the same rate it will argue further too, that if those who deny 
the Trinity, in whatever communion, are not to be tolerated, there- 
fore none is under any obligation to tolerate any of that communion, 
then the Church of England herself cannot so much as make any 
pretence to toleration neither : for there are some of the rankest 
Socinians in her bosom that ever appeared. See what strange work 
Mr. WalFs art of reasoning would make : but I will leave it to be 
studied and practised by himself only. As it would be nothing but 
bantering the Act, and the royal authority which gave it sanction, 
to argue upon it at this rate; so it must needs make that man 
appear very ridiculous, who can seriously pretend to argue, that 


130 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter v. 

because the ancient Church thought baptism might be administered 
by affusion in some cases^ therefore they thought it might as well 
be administered so in all. 

The ancient Church sufficiently intimates the strictness of the 
law required immersion^ and that she understood this to be the 
sense of Christ in this commission he gave to his apostles ; since 
they had no other authority to urge for making immersion so indis- 
pensable in ordinary cases. And as to that exception^ it is beyond 
all controversy^ they doubted the validity of it themselves ; and it is 
certain, there is no room for it in the commission, if the command 
to baptize cannot be obeyed without immersion, as they declare it 
cannot in ordinary cases. Nor does this same command allow 
aspersion, or direct to it : and we know of no exception made in the 
text, nor of any command besides this general one. 

The Church of England, and, if our author be right, which I must 
examine hereafter, the apostles, and primitive Christians too, always 
admitted infants to baptism, mthout requiring of them a personal 
profession of faith, siipposing them to be excepted when Christ com- 
manded to baptize those that believe. Now, if this should be granted 
to be true, would any man be so wild as to infer, that therefore it is 
indifferent, whether ant/ believe and make a profession of their faith 
before they are baptized ; and that Christ has left it entirely to the 
discretion of every one, whether he will require a public profession 
of faith from all he baptizes, or from none, or from soine only ? This 
is most exactly Mr. "WalFs way of arguing. 

But thus far I have gone upon the supposition that the apostles 
and primitive Church did use aspersion : in the next place, I say, 

1. This supposition is utterly false and gromidlessj on which 
account, there is still miich less, or rather no force at all in the 
objection. No man living, I am siire, can shew me any foundation 
for it in Scripture : Mr. Wall does not attempt it ; but only insinu- 
ates in general, that notwithstanding it is plain from the example of 
St. John^s baptizing Christ, &c., that ^they did in those hot 

* countries baptize ordinarily by immersion ; it does not follow, that 
' in cases of sickness, or other such extraordinary occasions, they never 

* baptized otherwise*!.^ So resolved he is to hold his opinion, that 
he dares make even the silence of Scripture an argument for him. 
He forgot, it is likely, his own rule to judge of the sense of a 
Scripture word by its use in Scripture ; for by the same reason that 
the Scripture is thought to be of sufficient authority to determine 
the sense of a word, it is much more of authority to determine what 

d Part ii. p. 219. [536.] 

History of Infant-bajitism. 131 

was the practice in relation to an ordinance of Christ; and we ought 
to acquiesce in the account it gives, and not rashly suppose what is 
not so much as in the least hinted at. 

To the words above cited our author immediately adds, ' Of this 
' I shall speak in the next chapter/ This filled me with expectation 
of something- which might have an appearance of probability at 
least ; but when I came to the place, nobody was ever disappointed 
more; for I met with little else but instances from the later 
centuries : Mr. Wall seems to have forgot his promise, and never 
goes about to prove that any were baptized in the apostolical times 
otherwise than by plunging. St. Cyprian, indeed, in his letter to 
Magnus, endeavours to justify asj^ersion by several passages in the 
Old Testament, after a very frivolous manner; and what but 
tenaciousness of an opinion could put any one on the extravagant 
method of determining the manner of administering a Christian 
sacrament by obscure passages in the prophets, and by words in the 
law, which manifestly relate nothing at all to the matter? Nay, 
which makes the thing still worse, from these passages alone he 
determines the matter, not only without, but directly contrary to the 
whole tenor of the New Testament. 

Observe here, that this conduct of St. Cyprian is a very plain 
confession, that there is nothing to favour his notion in the New 
Testament; and that the sense of the word in our Lord^s com- 
mission, and other places, is limited so as not to admit of j^our or 
sprmkle ; for otherwise Magnus could not have made a question 
concerning the validity of aspersion ; or if he had, the answer had 
been very ready and natural, without recourse to the mysterious 
types and allusions of the Law and the Prophets, viz. to have said. 
That the common practice of the apostles, &c. sufficiently justified 
that manner of administration, and more especially, that the general 
signification of the word used in the commission comprehended that 
manner as well as any other. 

It is matter of wonder to me, that St. Cyprian should so misapply 
those texts, and that the learned Dr. Beveridge should so easily give 
into the error, and venture to say, ' that St. Cyprian had largely 
' proved, and that from the Scriptures themselves too, that baptism 
' might be rightly administered by aspersion^.'' I will lay one of 
that Father^s proofs before you, sir, that you may judge of the force 
of his reasonings. 

He quotes Numb. xix. 13. Whosoever ioncheth the dead Jjody of any 
man that is dead, and pnrifieih not himself, defileth the tabernacle 

e In Canon. Apostol. 50. p. 40S. b. incd. 

K 2 

132 ReHecUons on Mr. TFall's [letteu v. 

of tJie Lord ; and that soul shall he cut off from Israel ; hecaiise the 
water of separatio7i was not sjirinJcled upon him. What man that ever 
lived, of a common imagination, nay or of the most luxm-iant fancy, 
could have supposed that these words have any respect to a Christ- 
ian sacrament, or infer from them that it should be administered by 
sprinkling- ? But I consider, warm zealous men often see with eyes 
very different from what other men see with, especially such as are 
mystically given ; for they make mysteries of every thing, and see 
every thing in their mysteries. So some great headpieces, of a most 
profound invention to be sure, have discovered both sacraments in 
the words of the spouse. Canticles vii, 2, Thy navel is like a round 
goblet, which toanteth not liquor : thy belly is like an heap of wheat set 
about with lilies. 

A gentleman, who is one of the zealous writers of our time, has 
improved this in a very surprising manner; and since he has 
ventured to publish it to the world himself, it can be no crime in me 
to transcribe the passage in a private letter to a friend : ' And by the 
by,"* says he, ' here is a great controversy solved, namely, between 
us and the anabaptists, who are against the baptizing of children 
because they are not come to years of understanding. Let it be 
remembered, from what is suggested to us here, that infants (ac- 
cording to the notion which prevailed in those days) receive 
nourishment by the navel, though they take not in any food by the 
mouth ; yea, though (according to the opinion of those times) they 
did not so much as use their mouths. So it is no good objection 
against baptizing infants, that they are ignorant and understand 
not what they do; and that they are not able to take in the 
spiritual nourishment after the ordinary way ; if it may be done 
(as it is said here) by the navel, by that federal knot or link which 
ties them fast to their Christian and believing parents : which, 
according to the best divines, is an unanswerable argument to 
prove the validity of infant-baptism; for they belong to the 
covenant as they are the offspring of the faithful ; and thence are 
pronounced holy by the apostle, i Cor. vii. 14. And here also we 
see further the congTuity of the expression here used by the wise 
man : for the use of the navel is not only to convey nutriment to 
the foetus, but to fasten the foetus to the mother; which denotes 
that intimate union and conjunction with the church of Christ, our 
common mother, that is made by the baptismal performance f."" 
Whatever the doctor may think of this fine invention, barely to 
repeat such chimseras is to confute them : and I believe we shall 

f Dr. Edwards' Exercitation on Canticles vii. 2. p. 136, 137. 

Histori/ of I )if ant-baptism. 133 

none of us think it worth while to take any further notice of this 
mighty ' solution of the controversy/ 

Though I have a great respect for the primitive Fathers^ and all 
learned men; yet their loose expositions and misapplications of 
Scripture are not to be endured. The citations of St. Cyprian^ beside 
the unfairness of them^ run counter to the history of the New Testa- 
ment^ and the primitive church ; for as to the apostles themselves, 
they declare that all who were baptized in their time were baptized 
by immersion. Nothing can be more express to this purpose than 
Rom. vi. 3, As many as were baptized, i. e. all, without exception, who 
were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death ; and this 
he calls, verse 4, being buried with him by baptism. So that it is as 
plain as words can make it, that so many as were baptized into 
Christ were buried with him by baptism ; and^^none, I believe, are 
hardy enough to deny that this means, they were plunged into the 
water in their baptism. Dr. Whitby, in his Annotations, judiciously 
observes on the place, that '^ the argument to oblige us to a con- 
' formity to his (Christ^s) death, by dying to sin, is taken from 
' hence, that we were buried with him in baptism, by being buried 
^ under waters.' Now as he, from this and other reasons, advises to 
restore the ancient manner of administering the sacrament among usj 
I infer from it also, that as the duty of conforming to Christ's death, 
by a death to sin, obliges all in general j so the argument to enforce 
it, and persuade to it, should extend to all in common; and the holy 
apostles, undoubtedly, accommodated their reasonings so as to be 
conclusive to all. And since the whole stress of St. Paul's argument 
lies in the propriety of the representation of Christ's death and 
burial, made in baptism ; his logic would not have reached to any 
who had been baj^tized by affusion, and the like. But as he seems 
plainly to design, from the consideration of their being buried with 
Christ by baptism, to persuade all in general to conform themselves 
to his death ; so it seems necessary to suppose from hence, that all 
were then, and, that the argument may not be rendered useless, 
should be now, buried with him by baptism, by being plunged into the 
water ; for on no other supposition can the apostle's words be con- 
sistent with good sense, or of any force to us now. 

It may be said, though the apostles and Christians of their time 
did not baptize except by immersion, yet their immediate successors 
in the whole church did, and allowed of affusion, at least in some 
cases. To this I answer : 

I . That though it were true, as it is far from being so, yet having 

g [Viz. on Romaua vi. 4.] 

134 Befections on Mr.JFall's [letter v. 

gained this point, that the apostles themselves, who were the 
master-builders of the true church under Christ, never authorized it, 
we are safe enough in resolving* not to vary from their unexception- 
able practice. We desire to be followers of them, even as they were 
followers of Christ ; and we prefer their authority to all their suc- 
cessors, in opposition to them : and therefore if Mr. Wall should be 
able to make out his assertion, that the whole church, after the 
apostles^ time, did allow of affusion, we may nevertheless think our- 
selves obliged to mthstand it as an ancient corruption; for error 
should not be privileged by age. But, 

2. The assertion is not true ; and Mr.WalFs way of proving it would 
make one think he knew it was not : for he never attempts to cite 
any instances till about two hundred and fifty years after Christ, 
which is one hundred and fifty after the apostles, according to his 
own computation ; that is, from the death of St. John, who lived till 
more than a hundred years after the birth of Christ. So that in all 
this space of time, he points us to nothing, from which it can be so 
much as suspected that baptism was administered by any other way 
than immersion. Dr. Beveridge^", I know, quotes Tertullian, who 
died about anno Dom. 220, but this is not early enough neither ; 
and besides, it is very plain to any one that reads the passage, that 
it does not speak of baptism : ' cujuslibet aquce' is an invincible bar 
against that sense ; which signifies any sort of water, in opposition 
to that of baptism, and not the water of baptism itself; for the sense 
lies manifestly thus : ' You are so far,^ says the Father, ' from being 
' fit to be admitted to baptism, that nobody would give even a 
' sprinkling of common water to a man of such fallacious and uncer- 
' tain penance.^ I find Bigaltius takes it much to this purpose too, 
and adds, that ' it is apparent trifling to understand these words of 
' aspersion in baptism : for Avherever he speaks of baptism, he uses 
' the Avords lavacrum, tingere, int'mgere, ahlui, mergitari, and hmnersio, 
' which do not at all signify aspersion'.^ This, if it be considered, is 
an argument that Tertullian knew of no custom in his time, of bap- 
tizing by aspersion, or any thing else but dipping. And the other 
Fathers deliver in as full evidence on our side. 

Afterwards, indeed, about the middle of the third century, I own 
there is mention made of this manner of administering, or, to speak 
more properly, of eluding the sacrament. Mr. Wall'' instances in 
the case of Novatian, near two hundred and fifty years after Christ; 

h In Apostol. Can. 50. lavacrum dicit, et tingere, et intingere, et 

' Splendide nugantur qui htec verba de ablui, et mergitari, et immersionem, quae 

baptismo per aspersionem accipiunt. Nam sane adspersionem minime significant. 

ubicunque de baptismo sermonem facit, k Part ii. p. 292. [571] 

History of Infant-ha]}tism. 135 

and confesses this is ^ the most ancient instance of that sort of bap- 
^ tism, that is now extant in records'/ This acknowledg-nient is 
pretty fair^ and in effect to own he has no reason to say this sacra- 
ment was administered by perfusion, &c., till about two himdred 
and fifty years after om* Saviour. But to have been truly impartial, 
he should have given notice, that even at that time, they much 
doubted of the validity of this mode, as evidently appears by the 
very passage Mr. Wall cites; which shews the judgment of that 
time was, that one who had been baptized by affusion in sickness on 
his bed, could not be lawfully admitted to any office in the church : 
which is the same thing as to say, he was not on a level \vith others 
who were baptized more regularly. Our author fetches the reason 
of this from a canon of the council of Neocsesarea, which however 
was not made till eighty years after, and therefore cannot be justly 
brought as any, much less the only reason of an opinion that 
prevailed so long before. On the contrary, it is clear, as Valesius 
notes, that '■ this baptism was thought imperfect for several reasons.^ 
Petavius says, ' Such were thought irregularly baptized, and were 
^ never admitted into holy orders '^^ / attributing it to their per- 

There is a remarkable passage relating to this matter, which an 
unbiassed writer ought not to have omitted ; but it shews the judg- 
ment of that time was not very agreeable to our author^s hyjiothesis. 
Cornelius, the sitting bishop of Rome, after mentioning Novatian's 
case, who had been baptized in his bed by perfusion, (for they 
feared he would instantly die, says the letter,) very frankly adds, by 
way of caution and distrust, '■ if such a one may be said to be bap- 
' tized" •' which intimates he made a question of it, and that he had 
no good opinion of that manner of administering the ordinance. 
And any one would think this was the reason why he afterwards 
says, ^ It was not thought lawful for any who was baj^tized in his 
' bed, because of sickness, by perfusion, to be admitted to any charge 
^ in the Church".^ And this is confirmed by the learned bishop of 
Oxford, when he says, ^ Novatian was obnoxious on two accounts : 
' first, because he had made a schism on account of the lapsi ; and 
' secondly, because, though he had water poured on him in bed, yet 
'■ he was not baptized P.' 

1 Part ii. p. 295. [574.] " 'Ewe! /xv; i^v -^v rhv eV K\ivrj 5ia vhaov 

m De Pcenitent. lib. ii. Ceip. i. § 11. TTtpixvOffTa, ih kKtipou th/o. yeuecOai, &c. 

Ea lege ut qui sic baptizati fuerant P In Cyprian. Epist. 69. p. 297. Duplici 

irregulares haberentur, nee unquam in nomine obnoxius videl:iatur Novatianua ; 

sacros ecclesire ordines admitterentur. jirinio, quod in causa lapsorum schisma 

" Euseb. Hist. Eccles. lib. vi. cap. 43. fecerit : secundo, quod in lecto perfusus, 

Elf 75 xph A67€iv tIv tolovtov (l\Ti(piva.i. non autem baptizatus fuerit. 

136 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter v. 

Constaiitine the emperor seems to have been unwilling' to trust to 
the validity of these clinical perfusions^ as we may gather from 
Eusebius^ account of his baptism. And the pious prince himself, in 
his speech to the bishops^ wherein he desires them to baptize him, 
tells them^ ' he had hoped to have been made partaker of the 
' salutary grace in the river Jordan •/ but a violent fit of sickness^ 
which he rightly apprehended would conclude his life^ made him 
look for that happiness now no longer. But notwithstanding the 
danger of the distemper^ which actually killed him in a few days, the 
historian assures usq, he was not baptized in his bed, but, as was 
usual, in the church, called Martyriiim Christi, in the ordinary way, 
by Eusebius bishop of Nicomedia ; and with great tranquillity of 
mind soon after expired. But can it be imagined, if perfusion or 
aspersion was at that time thought so well of, as it is now pretended, 
that in so dangerous a case, that good emperor, though an old man, 
should, without any care or tenderness, be baptized in that way they 
accounted the most inconvenient and unnecessary ? No, doubtless, 
the great respect the bishops had for him would have inclined them 
to persuade him to receive baptism in the safest way imaginable. 

I observed, that Cornelius, in the above-mentioned letter to the 
bishop of Antioch, adds, as the sole reason of their taking the 
liberty of baptizing by perfusion, their supposition that Novatian 
would quickly die, and not a direct permission in Scripture ; which 
is the same excuse St. Cyprian palliates this practice with : and 
though he pleads so much for it, he only pretends it was to be 
allowed of ^in case of urgent necessity"^/ hoping to come off with 
this fancy. 

But this way of baptizing was even then so rare and uncommon, 
that Magnus, though a ^ diligent inqviirer into religious matters, was 
j)erfectly ignorant of its having ever been usual or allowed in the 
Church ; and rather seems to take it for granted that this case had 
not occurred before : and therefore he only asks St. Cyprian's 
opinion abovit it, what he thought best to be done in it, since 
neither the practice of the church, nor the Scripture, afforded any 
rule. Accordingly, St. Cyprian answers only as from his own 
private opinion, which he seems to give as in a dubious point, as 
appears from his words, which Mr. Wall translates thus * : ' You 

Q Vit. Constant, lib. iv. cap. 62. videatur qui in infirmitate et languore 

r Cogente necessitate, [p. 186. edit. gratiam Dei consequuntnr, an habendi 

Fell.] sint legitimi Cliristiani, eo quod aqua 

^ Cyprian. Epist. 69. initio. salutari non loti sint, sed perfusi. Qua 

t Cyprian. Epist. 69. p. 297. Qu;esisti in parte nemini verecundia et modestia 

etiam, fill carissime, quid mild de illis nostra prtejudicat, quo minus unusquisque 

History of Infant-hapiism. 137 

' inquire also^ dear son, what I think of such as obtain the grace in 
^ time of their sickness and infirmity, whether they are to be 
^ accounted lawful Christians ; because they are not washed all over 
' with the water of salvation, but have only some of it poured on 
' them. In which matter, I would use so much modesty and 
^ humility, as not to prescribe so positively, but that every one 
^ should have the freedom of his own thoug-ht, and do as he thinks 
' best : I do, according" to the best of my mean capacity, judge thus,^ 
&c. This answer, sure, is far from determining as if the matter were 
notorious and certain : and the whole sum of all he says to the 
purpose is, that God may, in urgent necessity, dispense with the 
strictness of the law ; for he adds, when, as it were, he draws up the 
conclusion : ' In the sacraments of salvation, the shortest methods 
' of performance, under a pressing necessity, (not else by the way,) 
* do, by God^s gracious indulgence, confer the whole benefit"/ 

I think it is considerable, and well worth our notice, that Corne- 
lius and Magnus saw nothing in Scripture to abet this practice, nor 
understood our Lord^s institution, or any words or phrases, to be of 
a latitude to countenance it ; nor that clinical affVisions were ever 
used or favoured in the history of the apostles, or of their successors. 
If they had, they could not have questioned their validity : and 
St. Cyprian, so willing as he is to have the thing admitted, does not 
argue from any of these heads, which is particularly to be observed. 
For it is known he was a warm man, and a great friend of the power 
of the clergy; of a lively genius : and therefore certainly would never 
have neglected these mighty arguments, which are so directly to the 
purpose ; and have contented himself with only speaking doubtfully 
of the matter, and citing a text or two, to shew that aspersions 
were in use imder the law : and then, after all, refer it to the deter- 
mination of every one, who, he says, might lawfully think and act 
in the case as he should judge fit; which is placing the whole 
validity in the bishop^s determination. No, this is not like 
St. Cyprian at all ; he doubtless would have pleaded the practice of 
the apostles. With what a grace and energy might he have replied 
to Magnus, in the words he uses on another occasion : ' If we look 
' back to the head and origin of divine tradition, the errors which 
' are of human original will cease ; and from thence, the nature of the 
'■ celestial sacraments being well understood, whatever was obscured 

quod putat, sentiat, et quod scnserit, bus, necessitate cogente, et Deo indul- 

faciat. Nos, quantum concipit Medio- gentiam suam largiente, totum credenti- 

critas nostra, sestimamus, &c. [p. 185. edit. bus conferunt divina compendia, [p. 186. 

Fell] ed. Fell] 
" Page 298. In sacramentis salutari- 

1 38 Refiectiotis on Mr. Wall's [letter v. 

' with mists, and hid in clouds of darkness before, mil then appear 
^ in its true lig-ht^/ And a little after : ' Thus it becomes the priests 
' of God to do, who would keep the divine law. If the truth at any 
*■ time be shaken, or uncertain ; let us look back to the divine evan- 
' g-elic origin and apostolic tradition,'' &c. And further, he would 
not have failed briskly to urge our Saviour^s meaning-, and the large 
sense of the word /3a7rrt{'w, had he found them to be on his side. 
This had been sounding the matter to the bottom, and solving the 
thing at once, in the most direct way that could be thought of, and 
beyond any possible reply. But that he should wholly neglect this, 
and reason only from the sprinklings under the law, hunting out 
farfetched inferences, doubtful presumptions, very little or nothing 
to the purpose, and then leave the case so uncertain at last, is an 
argument to me, that neither Christ, nor the apostles, nor the 
church, were believed, even in St. C^^rian^s time, to have known or 
permitted these clinical affusions, &c. But I am the more confirmed 
in my inference, from this consideration, that the rest of the church, 
and all the Fathers that have lived in it, as well as St. Cyprian, till 
lately, have had the ingenuity to waive those other topics, and 
defend affusion, &c., alone by the hope of God^s indulgence toward 
them, in altering that circumstance only in a case of necessity ; and 
never dared attempt to justify it from Scripture, or the practice of 
Christ and his apostles, as now for some time has been done. For 
Mr. Wall cannot find an ancient writer who will pretend, with him, 
that baptism may be administered indifferently in any manner; much 
less any who argues from the signification of the Greek word, or 
any passage in the Christian canon, that affusion, or the like, is 
good or regular baptism : on the contrary, it appears they always 
insisted much upon immersion ; and in a very ancient council, held 
here in England, under Kenwulf king of the Mercians, anno 8i6y, 
it is expressly ordered, that baptism shall not be administered by 
sprinkling, but by dipping. But what need is there to urge this^ 
since our author allows that the opinion of the necessity of immer- 
sion, at least in ordinary cases, continued in most parts of the world, 
especially in England, for a long time; and still prevails in the 
Greek church, and, as he observes, wherever the pope has had no 

X Epist. 74. p. 317, 318. Nam si ad cej)ta Divina servantes ; ut si in aliquo 

divinEe traditionis caput et oi-iginem re- nutaverit et vacillaverit Veritas, ad origi- 

vertamur, cessat error humanus; et sa- nem dominicam et evangelicam, et apo- 

crameiitorum coelestium rationeperspecta, stolicain traditionem revertamur, &c. [p. 

quicquid sub caligine ac nube tene- 215. edit. Fell.] 

brarum obscurum latebat, in lucem veri- y [See Synodus Calcutliensis, cap. xi. 

tatis aperitur. Et paulo post : quod et apud Wilkins Concilia Mag. Brit. torn. i. 

nunc facere oportet Dei sacerdotes pne- p. 171 .] 

History of Infant-haptism. 139 

power ; seeming to attribute the alteration to the liberty which he 
took and taught ? 

By this, sir, I would satisfy you, that the church, even when it 
had admitted affusion, which it did only in necessity, never pre- 
tended, as Mr. Wall does, to ground it on the words of Christ, or on 
ecclesiastical practice : and this implies that they do in effect deny, 
against our author, that it could be defended from thence. So that 
we have the reason of the thing, and the testimony of all antiquity, 
as Petavius says ^, with the concurring authority of the whole church 
for many ages, against our author in this point. 

Thus I have made it plain, from the constant use of the word 
fiaTTTiCcti in the Greek authors, the Seventy, and the New Testament, 
and from the authority of the best critics and most learned men, that 
it always signifies only to dip, or phmge, %lq,., and likewise that 
St. John, our Saviour, the apostles, and the whole primitive church, 
constantly taught and practised accordingly ; and that afterwards, 
when the chiirch took the liberty to admit sprinkling or affusion, it 
was thought imperfect and irregular, and allowed in cases of 
necessity only, on a bare presumj^tion of God^s indulgence. To 
which I added, that the church never went about, till lately, to 
justify affusion, &c., by the doctrine, or by the practice of Christ, 
the apostles, and primitive times. From all this therefore it strongly 
follows, that baptism ought constantly to be administered by immer- 
sion or dipping only ; and that affusion, sprinkling, or the like, are 
groundless, unwarrantable, and very dangerous corruptions : and 
that it is as good sense to say a man is dipped, when only a drop or 
two of water falls on him, as to say he is baptized, when he is only 

Suffer me to put the question here : since the clergy allow, in 
general, dipping was the ancient manner, universally practised by 
St. John, by Christ, his apostles, and the whole church, for a long 
time together, and insisted on as the lawful and regular way, 
necessary in all common cases at least ; and that the primary sense 
of the Greek word is to dip : nay, since they have wished this 
custom might be again restored among us here in England, as it 
continued till about queen Elizabeth's time; why, after all these 
concessions, &c., do they pretend it is indifferent, and that baptism 
may be rightly administered any way ; presuming with Casaubon, 
' the force and energy of this sacrament is not placed in the 
' maiiner^' of its administration ? and why do they continue in the 

z Loco supra laudato. 
'"' In Matt. iii. 6. Cum non in eo posita sit mysterii hujus vis et ivfpyua. 

140 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter v. 

constant use and practice of aspersion^ &c., and defend it, in 
opposition to immersion? 

Here I am necessitated humbly to take notice of the excuse which 
the most judicious and learned bishop of Sarum has thought fit to 
make, for chang-ing" the manner of baptizing- by dipping into that 
of sprinlding. His lordship is pleased to observe on the twenty - 
seventh article, that the primitive way of administering' baptism, 
was ' to lead them into the water/ &c. ' and first lay them down 
^ in the water/ &c. 'then they raised them up again/ &c., which 
is a most express acknowledgment, that immersion was the true 
primitive manner; but yet afterwards, on the thirtieth article, 
page 346, he says, ' The danger of dipiping in cold climates may 
'^ be a very good reason for changing the form of baptism to 

* sprinhling.' This excuse is now become very common, and how- 
ever insufficient it may seem in itself, has gathered considerable 
force by being used by men of his lordship^s good sense and 
learning. But however great and honourable the patrons of a 
mistake may be, they are but men ; and the authority of Christ, and 
the respect and obedience we owe to his commands, should counter- 
balance all other considerations : and his lordship^s own words a 
little after, against communicating in one kind only, had been much 
more suitably applied to the sacrament of baptism, than those above 
cited, and are a full answer to them. It is with abundance of 
pleasure I learn from his lordship, that ' An institution of Christ^s 
' must not be altered or violated, upon the account of an inference 
'■ that is drawn to conclude it needless. He who instituted it knew 

* best what was most fitting and most reasonable; and we must 
' choose rather to acquiesce in his commands than in our own 
' reasonings^.^ Thus does his lordship admirably argue, with that 
force and solidity that eminently appears in all his lordship^s 

It is pretended the clergy would gladly revive the ancient 
practice, and desire, according to the dii'ection of the rubric, to 
baptize by dipping all that are willing to receive it in that manner, 
and able to bear it. But if this pretence be real, why do not they 
take proper methods (unless they think it a trifle not worth their 
care) to recover it, and put down sprinkling; to reform an error, 
which will but grow stronger, and increase by continuance? for 
when no other argument can be found, antiquity and custom will be 
pleaded. If the clergy would, according to their declared judgment 
in the case, heartily endeavour to recover the true primitive prac- 

b Page 3^7. 

History of Infant-baptism. 143 

1icOj I am well assured they could not possibly fail of success : for I 
know that many, and I believe the greatest part of the Church of 
England, take their opinion of aspersion from the authority and 
practice of the reverend clergy; it being observable, this is the 
main thing they urge in its defence. So that notwithstanding their 
pretences, it is to be feared the clergy are a great cause of the cor- 
ruption, and its continuance. And how they will ever be able to 
answer this to God or their own consciences, I know not, but heartily 
Avish they would take it timely into consideration. 

I do not know, sir, Avhether you vdll except against my taking 
the words (Bcltttco and ^airr i^oa for synonymous. Some have formerly 
made a wide difference between them, allowing the first indeed to 
signify what we contend for, but maintaining that jia-nTi((o, being a 
derivative with a termination which they call a diminutive, does not 
signify so much as /SaTrrco ; but I think it is plain from the instances 
already mentioned, that they are laobvpaixoL, exactly the same as to 
their signification ; though some (as Tertullian seems to have done 
when he rendered it by inergitare, and Vossius and Stephens) take it 
for a frequentative, which signifies more than the derivative, and 
not less; as in English, to dip over and over again. Besides, Mr. Wall 
seems to allow them to be synonymous, because he argues promiscu- 
ously from both. But I need not enlarge upon this ; for all who are 
any thing acquainted with the Greek tongue know the common 
criticism to be nothing but a ridiculous piece of pedantry. I will 
however subjoin a few instances in the margin c, to shew, derivatives 
in (w signify the same as their primitives ; which you may examine 

at your leisure. I am. 


Yours, &c. 


Th e other chief article in dispute between the baptists and their adversaries — 
They continually repeat the most trifling objections, though they have been 
fairly answered over and over ; which has made it necessary to say a great deal 
to what has been well enough answered already, and concerning things which 
are very plain of themselves — The late handling of this controversy has con- 
vinced the world, the baptists are not that unreasonable sect they were repre- 
sented to be ; and it is not to be doubted but the reviving the dispute at present 
may go far to open people's eyes yet much more in their favour — It is pity 
some friendly measures are not taken to compose the difference, which is not 
so impracticable as some fancy — Mr. Wall's attempt, though the best in its 

c BAi'tt', ;8Ai'(.a'. ©uo), Ova^w. Bop0op6a), ^op^uptCif. 'OpK^w, ipKi^w. 'AA67a>, a\€- 
yiC<''- Kavaxfti.'. Kafa^i <,'<«'• ''^Ow, fdi^w. "HOcd, Tj^if'") ct infinita alia. 

142 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vt. 

kind, falls very short of answering the design of it — His sclieme — He first 
allows it cannot be made appear from Scripture that infants are to be baptized ; 
and therefore recurs to these as the only expedients — i. To the practice of the 
Jewish church — 2. To the practice of the ancient Christians — Some reflections 
which overturn all he says as to his main conclusion, though he should prove 
these two points ever so solidly — From his concession, that it cannot be proved 
from Scripture, it unavoidably follows, that it is no institution of Christ — And 
to suppose it may be included in some of the more general expressions, is only 
to beg the thing in dispute — Unless he can shew us infant-baptism is so much 
as mentioned in Scripture, we shall not believe it is instituted there — Our 
author makes the Scriptures the rule of language; which he therefore ought 
with much more reason to make the only rule of his faith and practice — The 
baptism of infants is unlawful, if Christ has not instituted it — True protestants 
should adhere to the Scripture, as the only infallible guide in all religious con- 
troversies — They who do otherwise seem to be too near the church of Rome, as 
to the article of tradition at least; which is an inlet to all the rest — Our adver- 
saries act very inconsistently in rejecting tradition, in their disputes with the 
Romanists, while they recur to it as their main refuge in the present dispute 
with us — That infant-baptism ought not to be practised, is proved from our 
author's principles, compared with the Articles of the Church — It gives the 
Romanists a handle to weaken the reformation with too much advantage — The 
Articles of the Church directly against traditions — The Scripture's silence as 
good an argument against psedobaptism as can be desired — We find a strong 
tendency in our minds to depend upon the Scriptures only — We are obliged 
by any sort of law, &c., only to the particulars the said law expresses — This 
illustrated by instances, and by an undoubted maxim from Tertullian — 
Applied also to the present dispute, and illustrated by more instances- — Some 
build the ecclesiastical hierarchy mainly on that very foundation on which the 
baptizing of infants is opposed — Mr. Wall sometimes argues in the same manner 
as the baptists do against psedol)aptism — The objection, that Christ nowhere 
forbids us to baptize infants, answered — We are forbid to teach the traditions 
of men for commandments of God — The paedobaptist's argument enervated by 
Tertullian — Though the Scripture's silence may sometimes, it does not always, 
leave it so much as lawful to do what it does not mention. 


Now we have taken breath a little; if you please, sir, we will 
enter upon the other chief article in dispute between us and our 

If Mr. Wall, like some others, had arg-ued with a great deal of 
concern, that it is unlawful to dip those who are baptized, because 
it is a breach of the sixth commandment, and virtually to murder ; 
undoubtedly you would say this could not have deserved an answer, 
and yet it could not fairly have been passed by neither. 

Historij of Infant-baptism. 14'3 

Of the same kind exactly, or it may be more trifling", are the two 
main foundations of infant-baptism, I mean the celebrated argu- 
ments from original sin, and from circumcision ; which have been so 
often and fairly baffled, and yet are continually returned upon us as 
gravely, as if nothing had ever been said to them. 

Aud if I should be necessitated to make a formal answer to these 
and some other such pretences, you know where to lay the fault, 
though I design to avoid it all I can. 

We were once taken for a very strange sort of people, and accord- 
ingly were fui'iously attacked without any moderation ; but our 
adversaries at length thought fit to let the controversy drop, the 
effect of which has been only to persuade the world we are not that 
unreasonable, mischievous sect we were represented to be. And it 
has been made appear, that we have abundantly more to say for 
ourselves than was believed or expected. This has been the only 
consequence of the warm handling of this controversy not long since. 
And I do not doubt but the more it is canvassed, the more people^s 
eyes will be opened in our favour; and therefore I am not displeased 
some go about to revive the dispute again. 

I only wish a more impartial and learned examination of these 
matters might be seriously entered on ; for it is highly necessary 
points of this nature should be determined, if possible. And, I think, 
it lies on our adversaries, either to renounce their error, or else to 
justify themselves more solidly, by setting things in another light. 

I should be heartily glad if some amicable measures might be 
concerted, in order to compose the difference, and put an end to the 
dispute. Perhaps it is not a design altogether impracticable, and I 
am sure it would be very useful, if it should be managed in that 
becoming manner, in which we are convinced by a late glorious 
instance, I mean that of the Union ti, that the most nice and difficult 
points may be treated and adjusted with success. But it is observed, 
ecclesiastics are too often subject to the same passions with other 

In the meantime let us examine Mr. WalFs attempt, which I have 
owned is the most considerable of any thing I have seen of the 
kind : for he has amassed together the substance of all that can 
with any show of reason be insisted on : and thus he lays his 

He first very freely allows, (and indeed what unprejudiced man 
would venture to assert the contrary ?) that it cannot be made 

'' [The Uuloii of Scotland with England was brought to a conclusion in the year 



as; ^ies3r i$: ^B* 


*S-JHk>^ "-JWr 

J«[^ ^ 3!W>i..__i,^_ 

\\\Ci\\\\\\\W 1 will u\:ili' i) r<-llo>ii,Mi >m- (\\.>. w ln>li 1 (luuk will ti»lv»< 
oiV tho lo»\H' ol all lu- s;»\ s lo ostaMish his ;;tMirriil riMiiliri.Mi. vi«, 
thiU (Mwist <HU\U\\iUuUHl tv> t'npti.i> int'auts; oxru upon ( ho Mipiiosi- 
tivMi (hat ho |>n>vi\*j th«\><<* two pariuiihirs »nor sv> soh«ilv. 

Auvl tij"s(, \ oil nia\ ho ploasoil to ohsi>rV(> hi-; t'>M\oossioii. whioh \-. 
i\ \cv\ mihapjn vnio tor hiiu ; lor iihloi\l il vlo.'-. most (^tlool u.ilh rum 
tho 0UU>50 1>0 asstM'ts ; it hoin.>v an im.i\ oul.iMo oouf.0(|uon('(> lV(>m i(. 
mauij'iv all his <»thor altOMipts, that inlanl haptistu is no iiu.l il ut ion 
I't'l'hrist; mwl it' St>, thoujvh all (lu> Jo\\^. aiul hallua-. m (lu- \\orKl 
ha\o j>nU'tist\l anJ mainlaiiu-il il i-\ or Si> lahorivMu-K , wo^^hali noti 
think onrsoKos muU>r an\ ohhoalion on that aio>>nnt (o do so d'o ; 
Iwaiiso wo |M'v>t\\ss not (o ho tollowi'i-. ol ihoui, hiil ('IC'liiisI ali>nt\ 

St . ('\ priaii, tho ilarliuj^- author ot' our warnu'st ailvtasarios, aiul 
tho anoiiM\(t\st patron i>t" intant-haptism, has a \or\ itanarkahK^ 
}v»ssai;\^ to this otVoi"! . \\ liiv h is worth t lansorihiii;';. Ntuno in his 
tuui' iiiailo so tVt>t' witli llio otlior saoranu-ul, as to |irt'sumo (o usi> 
wator iMilv uistoaJ ot wiiio; tor w liu h loo il soouo. ihov pK-adoil 
n.ntii^uity. Ami iho l-allior answ(-rs thoui lhn^. : ' IT in thai satii 

• tioo w huh Christ iWlorovl, i\,H\i' Imu (Mirist is lo lu- lv>llo\\ I'll , I luai 
' oortamlv wo ouohl to »>hi>\ C'hrisl, aiul ilo what ho i ominaiuloil us 

• to do ; siiu'o ho savs in tho (iospol. -//' y«* (h H'htlt I (VmvUIHii i/OHt 

^ k(f^m\foiH i mN jifOH not nt^traHhy dti/ Jrif^mh. Ami thai (hrisl. 

'only is to Vo ol^ovod. «>vimi tho I'allu'r wilnossos iVom lioaxiMi, 

• sjjyiuo-. i'/iiit ^' Mj^ M\t(rtf 6oh, *h H'Axm J am uyU plmntti ; htiW ^t) 

• A(Ui. ^^ horotoro, if (^hrist onl\ is (<> l>o (Mir ."aiiilo, wo aro not (o 
'iVi^mlwhat sonio otliors hi'toro ns Ikim- ra^hU |>rosimiod lo do, 

• hut vMily what Christ, who is lu-t'oro all. liisi iM-aolisoii. \\ .> aro 

• not lo loUow I ho onsloms ot iiioii. but tho truth ot (iod ; lor (uui, 
' sjvakino- hx tho juophot Isaiah, says, lu rahi (fo thetf trors'/tijii mf, 

• ftsu'^tHtp /or ifiMirin(^fff^t* ivmwamfmt^ufn of men.' And a hiilo al'ior 
lu' ooiuhuh's, Il IS viM'x dan>>'oroiis Mo I'hanoo am ihiii;',' h\ liumau 
' traditions, tVvMii what il was at iiisl 1>\ ilixiiu- iusi u u( ion.' 

Hut U will hi' i'\|H\ iod I should niaki- onl (lu' vH'iiolusion 1 drow 
trom our author's oonoossion. I Ao nol dt'siro lo lake- an\ lhiii;v lor 
U'raiitod w liii'h I oan iinai^ino ina\ ho in iho loasl ilonhlod ol', o\oii 
In any man w lu» would ho tluuii4-lit roasonahlo. 

Mr. \\ all oont'ossos, all tlu' passaij-os in Soripluro rolali> lo t lu» 
baptism of' adult porsons, and i;i\ os this as a roason wli\ tiu- anlipa>- 
ilobaptists aro so suooossf'iil in tlioir puMio ilispiitat iiuis. • llavin;^ 
' plain plaoos ot' Sonptiiro," says ho, • \o produoo otMioi'rnini;' adiill- 
' haptism, aiul soxoral oxamplos oi' it ; (lio\ W(>rk iiiuoh on siuh (>!' 
' tho pooplo as had not niindi'd this lH>t"ori\ and had nol had a rii;-ht 

H.U.l , \0l . u. L 

146 Refections on Mr. Wall's [letter yi. 

' state of the question between the psedobaptists and the antipsedo- 
' baptists : wherein the former grant that in a nation newly 
' converted to Christianity^ (and such are all the cases mentioned in 
' the Seriptm-e^) the adult people must be baptized first, before their 
^ infants can be baptizedi/ But this he supposes is no proof that 
therefore their infants were not to be baptized at all. 

To this let us add what I cited before ^ ; where he allows, first, 
' that there is no particular direction given what they were to do in 
' reference to the childi-en of those that received the faith, [whether 
' they should be baptized or not] ^ :' and secondly, that 'among all 
' the persons that are recorded as baptized by the apostles, there is 
' no express mention of any infant/ And the consequence from the 
whole put together must be very strong", that even upon his own 
principles there is as little ground for infant-baptism in the Scrip- 
tures, as there is for any thing whatever of which that sacred rule is 
totally silent. 

Nay, on the contrary, and as he himself proposes the matter, the 
advantage lies considerably against him on om- side ; the great evi- 
dence and plainness of the truth, which renders it so obvious to every 
man, obliging liim to confess, that there are in the Scriptures many 
plain places and examples which make entirely for adult-baptism, 
while no single passag-e can be found there, which even he himself 
dares say makes plainly for the baptism of infants, who are not so 
much as once mentioned where baptism is spoken of. 

Now to say that in prosehH:ed nations the adult are first to be 
baptized ; and that all the cases in Scripture are of this kind ; and 
that therefore all the passages of Scriptru'e which speak of baptism 
are to be understood particularly of adult-baptism ; and farther, that 
there is no example nor dii-ection of any kind, that infants ever were 
or ought to be baptized : what is all this, but a full and explicit 
confession that the Seriptm-es are wholly silent in this matter, and 
know nothing of infant-baptism at all ? 

But because this would be gi-anting too much, our author, to 
moderate the force of it, supposes (and indeed it is at best but a 
supposition) in some general expressions infants are to be included, 
as in the commission. Matt, xx^dii. 19; and perhaps other passages 
elsewhere : and John iii. 5, which he reckons"^ the plainest argu- 
ment for infant -baptism, and, ■^dth the ancient p^dobaptists, the 
chief ground of it. But to aifirm infants are intended as well as 

i Part ii. page 276. [557.] within brackets are not in Dr. Wall.] 

It [Preface, near the beginning.] m Part ii. i^age 122. [443.] 

1 [T?he words which I have enclosed 

History of Infant-haj)tism. . 147 

adult in tliese and such like places^ is begging the question, and 
asserting the thing instead of proving it. 

It is true, Mr. Wall, to do him justice, has not done so ; but 
sparing the assertion, he would seem to propose it as a thing in 
itself a little doubtful, and therefore goes about to clear it up, from 
the practice of the Jews and primitive Christians ; which however 
we shall see hereafter make nothing for him. 

In the mean time, unless he can shew us, at least by good conse- 
quence, that infant-baptism is so much as mentioned in the 
Scriptm'es, we shall not believe it is instituted there, though we are 
told it ever so often. But whatever may be pretended at other 
times, thus much most plainly and necessarily follows from, or 
rather is the very sense of, our author^s words above cited, viz. that 
as to infant-baptism in particular, the Scriptures are wholly silent ; 
and all he pretends is, not that he sees it by any necessary inference, 
but only that j^^'ohably it may be comprehended in some of the more 
general passages ; that is, in short, they are fully resolved to find it 
somewhere ; but I think it much more ])rohable, that if it had been 
an institution of Christ, it would have been mentioned in some pas- 
sage of holy writ, as well as we see adult-baptism frequently is. 
However, we are not to take up with suppositions and bare 
assertions ; and therefore, if our antagonists would convince us they 
must not surmise, but plainly shew us that infant-baptism is indeed 
contained in the Scriptures ; for if it is not there, we regard no other 
authority, and therefore shall not think om'selves much concerned to 
account for oiu" rejecting it. 

I should not have insisted on this so long, but only that it shews 
Mr. Wall has ruined his whole design by what he lays down at first : 
for if infant-baptism cannot be found in Scripture, as he confesses ; 
then it ought not to be practised, especially in the stead, and to the 
excluding, of that which is plainly instituted in it. 

You may remember, sir, that our author would allow of no other 
way to determine the sense of the Greek word /SaTrn'Cw^ than by 
observing how it was used in the Scripture. So that when he fan- 
cies it may be serviceable to him, the Scripture must be the only 
rule even of language. It is the rule we know of our faith and 
practice, and was designed for that ; but not to be the standard of 
speech, which is continually altering, and depends upon custom. 
If Mr. Wall therefore will needs have us refer ourselves entirely to 
the Scriptures for the sense of a word, it is much more reason- 
able, I hope, to determine all controversies by them, that relate to 
the Christian religion, which is instituted by God, and contained in 

L 2 

1 48 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vi, 

those sacred books. If infant-baptism then is not to be found in 
Scripture^ no Christian is obliged to practise it. This inference is 
drawn wholly from Mr. WalFs own premises^ and therefore I take 
it for an unanswerable argument, at least ad hominem, as they 
call it. 

And farther, this topic proves not only that we are not obliged 
to practise the baptizing of infants ; but, on the contrary, that it is 
unlawful to do it. The case of the Jews was parallel; of whom 
Christ says. Matt. xv. 6, Thus have ye made the commandment of God 
of none effect by your tradition : and afterwards applies to them these 
words of the prophet. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for 
doctrines the commandments of men. For (as St. Mark vii. 8, adds) 
laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as 
the washing of pots and cups : and many other such like things ye do. 
Nay these words are much more severe upon the padobaptists now, 
than they were upon the Jews then ; for they had the command of 
God for washing of cups, &c., in some cases ; and this washing of 
cups, &c. did not jostle out any other religious duty : whereas the 
pasdobaptists have not the least countenance from God for infant- 
baptism at all; which has nevertheless, through the prevailing 
power of custom and interest, too generally, but it is to be hoped 
not past all probability of recovery, superseded the one primitive, 
true, apostolical baptism, of which only it is confessed the Scripture 
speaks, viz. that of adult persons upon profession of their faith : 
which is a thing very rarely seen or heard of now in the greatest 
part of the Christian world, their traditionary psedobaptism being 
substituted in its room. 

Methinks the gentlemen, our antagonists, whose authority and 
example, I must say, delude the people (who generally plead nothing 
else but the authority of their spiritual guides in defence of this 
practice) into this error, should more closely consider those awful 
words of St. Paul, Gal. i. 9, If any man preach any other Gospel unto 
you than that ye have received, let him he accursed. A dreadful sen- 
tence, and not pronounced in vain ! And Clu'ist himself has promised 
to confirm the sentence of his a2:)ostles, John xx. 33, Whose soever 
sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them ; and whose soever sins ye 
retain, they are retained. They would do well to consider, whether 
teaching a different, that is, another baptism from that which is so 
plainly taught in the Scriptures, does not fall under this anathema. 
For my part, I cannot but think the teaching and practising any 
thing not contained in Scripture, as a Commandment of God, 
especially if it sets aside something that is plainly to be found 

History of Infant-hapUsm. 149 

there, must, at least in some measure, seem to fall under the con- 
demnation in these words, unless where ignorance may be pleaded 
in excuse. 

Such as are true friends to the protestant cause ought always 
to have particrJar regard to that which is the chief corner-stone in 
its foundation ; which is, to have no other rule of faith, or judge of 
controversies, beside the sacred word of God. For if once we admit 
of any other, we directly give up our cause, and expose ourselves to 
all the impositions and inconveniences which are the inseparable 
attendants of popery. 

This our most reverend and wise reformers knew perfectly well, 
and therefore piously used all endeavours to have the Bible, as the 
best rule, published in the English tongue; but not without the 
violent and powerful opposition of the partisans of Rome, who 
knew it was the most effectual way to ruin their kingdom of dark- 
ness and superstition, in which they had such considerable interests. 
It has but an odd aspect then, for any here among us to offer to 
advance another rule besides the Scriptures, in matters of this kind; 
though perhaps they may not intend or see the ill consequences of 
it ; and I would hope and believe they do not : yet still, to imitate 
the actions of those who at first per fas et nefas opposed our glo- 
rious and happy reformation, seems at least to bespeak that those 
who do so are much in the same interest, as to the point of tradition 
at least. 

But all I will at present infer from it shall be only the incon- 
sistency of our antagonists^ principles, in rejecting tradition, and 
appealing to the Bible as the sole authority, when they dispute 
against the papists ; and in building at the same time the baptism 
of infants only on the pretended tradition of the church. That is, 
they will discard tradition when it is against them ; but if it will 
serve to support any particular doctrine or usage they are fond of, 
then it must be admitted. 

Oiu* author at his ordination, in the most solemn manner, de- 
clared upon oath his free and full assent to the Articles of the 
Church of England; and therefore I may take them for incon- 
testable principles with him, and indeed with the whole clergy of 
that church. Now the sixth article, you know, sir, declares, ^ That 
^ whatsoever is not read therein, (viz. in the holy Scriptures,) nor 
' may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it 
' should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or 
' necessary to salvation/ The words of the learned bishop of Sarum 

150 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vi. 

on this passage", which he indeed aims ag-ainst the church of Rome, 
are so appHcable to another church too, in reference to the point in 
controversy between her and us, that I shall take leave to transcribe 
some of them. ' If this is our rule,^ says his lordship, ' our entire 
' and only rule, then such doctrines as are not in it oug-ht to be 
' rejected; and any church that adds to the Christian religion, is 
^ erroneous for making such additions, &e. So all the additions of 
' the five sacraments, of the invocation of angels and saints, &c., 
' of the corporeal presence in the eucharist, &c., with a great many 
' more, are certainly errors, unless they can be proved from 
' Scripture/ 

And so likewise is psedobaptism, which Mr. Wall confesses cannot 
be proved from Scripture : and what the right reverend bishop 
adds is as true of this as of any of those errors he has mentioned ; 
of which he says, ' they are intolerable errors, if as the Scripture is 
' express in opposition to them, so they defile the worship of 
' Christians (I forbear to add, as his lordship does, with idolatry) . 
' But they become yet most intolerable, if they are imposed upon all 
' that are in that communion ; and if creeds or oaths, in which they 
' are affirmed, are required of all in their communion. Here is the 
' main ground of justifying our forming ourselves into a distinct 
' body from the E-oman church ; and therefore it is well to be 
' considered.^ 

His lordship very necessarily added these last words ; and it is 
great pity that matter is so little considered : for had it been 
more strictly observed, the reformation would have been long since 
carried to a much higher degree of perfection, and every evil work, 
and every thing which offends, taken away : whereas the want of 
adliering to Hhe main ground^ of the reformation has unhappily 
afibrded the Romish party an opportunity to give it some terrible 

They have often, and with great advantage, argued from infant- 
baptism ; which, they strongly assert, is only grounded on the tra- 
dition of the church; and therefore will always remain an unan- 
swerable argument for tradition, against all such as admit of that 
practice. To this the reformed divines have yet never made any 
solid answer; and those passages which Mr. Stennet, in answer 
to Russen, has translated from the ingenious Monsieur Bossuet, will 
be a standing- unanswerable objection to the ptEdobaptist protestants, 
and cannot be solved but by flinging up infant-baptism, or else by 
shewing it to be founded on Scripture, which nevertheless, it is 
" [See Burnet on the Articles, Art. vi. p. 78.] 

History of Infant-baptism. 151 

confessed^ cannot be done : and the anonymous answer to the bishop 
of Meaux ingenuously acknowledges^ that ^ the passages produced 
' do at most only prove^ that it is permitted, or rather that it is not 
' forbidden, to baptize infants/ 

And who now would imagine that protestants should so gene- 
rally, and that too after they have been often reminded of it by the 
most learned prelates, and others of the Romish communion, their 
adversaries, still continue to practise what is so well demonstrated 
to be erroneous, I may say unlawful ; especially since it gives the 
Homanists such a handle to pm-sue this example on their side in 
establishing what corruptions they please, and abrogating any of 
our Saviour's laws ? For their inference is undoubtedly very just, 
that if tradition and the church's authority be a sufficient ground 
for altering one sacrament, it must likewise be sufficient to justify 
any changes made in the other, though it be the denying the cup 
to the laity ; and it will be a sufficient warrant also to introduce as 
many other sacraments as they think fit to invent : and thus con- 
firmation, penance, extreme unction, ordination, and matrimony, are 
proved to be as properly and truly sacraments, as the two which 
Christ instituted, viz. baptism and the eucharist. 

But our prudent reformers, in order to deliver us efiectually, and 
prevent all after-attempts from the Romish church, made it a fun- 
damental article of their new constitution, which all the clergy at 
least are obliged indispensably to give their free assent to upon 
oath, that traditions, &c., are not to be admitted as a rule. 

The whole sixth article, it is plain, and more directly those words 
a little before transcribed, were intended, as my lord of Salisbury 
does yet more fully explain and apply them, against that dangerous 
error of the Romish church, which is, as it were, the foundation of 
all the rest. This article declares against setting up any other rule 
of faith, of any kind whatever, in competition with the canonical 
books of the Old and New Testament : and all who enter into orders 
do forswear any other. 

But how Mr. Wall, or any man who owns infant-baptism cannot 
be maintained but by the traditions of the church, and yet practises 
it ; I say, how any such person can excuse himself of prevarication, 
or something worse, is what I cannot divine. I believe if Mr. Wall 
was to attempt it, he would find the difficulty not easily sur- 
mounted. In the mean time I think it is plain enough, that even 
the articles of that very church our author defends, condemn and 
disallow his method, which nevertheless he thinks is the only one 
whereby he can hope to defend pa;dobaptism. 

152 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vi. 

But all this is only arguing- ad hominem ah absurdo. Suffer me 
now to offer some few observations^ wliieli naturally arise from tlie 
silence of the sacred Scriptures, and may serve to make out yet 
more fully, that this is so far from being a fit groundwork for Mr. 
Wall to build upon, that it is as good an argument against him as 
Can reasonably be desired. 

All Christians pay so high a veneration to the Scripture, that 
where they have the liberty to express their thoughts, they appeal 
to it as the only guide in all points of religion. All parties are so 
convinced of the sufficiency and authority of it, that they are con- 
cerned to found their opinions, though ever so mistaken, upon it, 
and never think them safe till some texts or other are brought to 
speak in their favour. Our experience may satisfy us, whatever 
reasonings and arguments are employed to support any thing, we 
are apt to raise scruples and doubts, if we do not see it confirmed by 
holy writ. 

And in the nature of the thing it must be so : for the Scriptures 
being the records of revealed religion, nothing can be our duty but 
what they enjoin ; and consequently, we are to take no notice of 
what is not expressed in them. 

All laws in general are understood to bind only in relation to the 
particulars severally specified in them. This is self-evident, and it 
is too absurd to be made so much as a supposition, that they are 
obligatory in cases they have no relation to, and which they do not 
so much as mention. An act which makes it treason to contrive 
the death of a king, does not at the same time make it equally 
capital to contrive the death of the meanest subject, but on the 
contrary, rather supposes the latter not to be equally capital. Had 
it mentioned beggars too, or been put in such general expressions 
as comprehended them, or all men, then the case would have been 
the same : but one case being mentioned and not the other, makes 
one criminal, and the other not ; one being against an express law, 
which has no relation to the other. 

All commissions, and warrants, &c., do as it were appropriate the 
duties or privileges they impose or grant, only to those persons and 
circumstances severally therein mentioned; and at the same time 
tacitly imply they are not to be construed as obliging any other 
persons, or even the same in other circumstances than those ex- 
pressed. For when any powers specify some particulars, they are 
understood to relate to those only, and to exclude all others. All 
grants and gifts, whether by the crown or any other authority, are 
made to this or the other particular person or family ; and the bare 

History of Infant-hajptlsm. 153 

mentioning' of them is a sufficient cutting" off all other pretences 
whatever. The commissioning- judg-es to try such and such causes, 
is not only not authorizing them to judge other causes, but a tacit 
forbidding them to do it : for though the commission gives a power 
to judge and determine, it is understood to be with this restriction, 
viz. only the things mentioned ; so far it gives power to go ; but it 
does not give, which is the same as to withhold or refuse, the power 
to go further. And accordingly it is accounted criminal, and a high 
contempt of the superior authority, to exceed the bounds of a com- 
mission, barely in doing what it does not mention. From all this I 
think it is more than sufficiently plain, that the silence of a law- 
giver, &c., in any case, is understood to be a prohibition against the 
said things he is silent in ; especially if some other particulars be 
expressed, and that omitted, for then it looks as if it were designed, 
and has therefore something more negative in it. 

It is a sure maxim of TertuUian, negat scriptura quod non notat ". 
A maxim so fatal to the causes which depend on tradition, that Le 
Prieure could not safely pass it by, without boldly accusing this 
ancient writer of heterodoxy. 

To apply this to our present dispute : since the Scripture, in all 
the places where it speaks of baptism, is confessed to speak only of 
adult persons, and never once to mention infants ; one would think 
it shovild be an unavoidable consequence, that therefore the adult 
only which are mentioned, and not infants which are not, should be 
looked upon as fit subjects of baptism. If adult-baptism only be 
mentioned in Scripture, then infant-baptism to be sure cannot be 
grounded upon that sacred law : and to draw a home inference, it 
must be unlawful to baj^tize infants under pretence of Divine 
authority, and as by commission from Christ, since it appears to be 
contrary to, or at least different from, his intention, which was, that 
adult persons should be baptized : and, as appears from the frequent 
mention of adult, and the total silence about infants, that this 
sacred ordinance should not be profaned, by admitting such unfit 
subjects to it. 

This negative conclusion must be as strong here as in all other 
such like cases. So the patent by which his Grace was created 
duke of Marlborough, and the settlements made for the suitable 
support of the said dignity, are an honourable acknowledg-ment of 
his invincible courage and wise conduct, and of his unshaken loyalty 
and faithfulness, and indefatigable industry in the service of his 

o De Monogam. p. 527. [of the edition by Priorius or Le Prieure, fol. Par. 1664.] 

154 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vi. 

Queen and country, and tlie whole protestant interest. The bare 
mentioning his Grace, together with his heirs, without mentioning- 
any other, appropriates this honour to his Grace's family only, and 
to his heir after him, who alone, of all the children, would be 
entitled to the honour, notmthstanding the rest are not expressly 
mentioned, and denied it : and the reason which excludes the rest, 
is only because they are not mentioned in the patent : and so exactly 
on the same account infants are not to be baptized, viz. because they 
are not mentioned in those clauses of our Scripture-patent which 
relate to the high privilege of baptism. Again, every man of but 
common sense will allow, that all obligations bind only those per- 
sons who are mentioned, and upon those conditions only which are 
expressed. If I am bound in a bond of ten thousand pounds for my 
friend's fidelity in any post, I shall not be accountable on any other 
pretence, as of his vmfitness for the place, or the like j nor is any 
other person answerable for his frauds, &c., no other condition being 
mentioned in the bond beside his fidelity, nor no other man made a 
joint security with me. 

Just for the same reason, to a tittle, we think baptism should not 
be administered to infants : for it is beyond dispute, that the only 
persons mentioned in the baptismal clauses of Scripture are the 
adult j and the only condition, faith and repentance. By all which, 
infants seem to have been as designedly excluded this sacrament as 
could well be. And though the inference in this particular case 
will be pinching, and therefore ungrateful enough to our author, he 
will nevertheless readily allow, in some cases which agree with his 
system, that negative arguments are not always invalid. 

On some occasions which might be pointed at, I know he would 
subscribe Dr. Whitby's general rule, that ' in matters of doctrine 
' the argument is always good : we read of no such doctrine in the 
' Scriptures, therefore it neither is nor can be any article of faith, 
^ because we have no other rule of faith besides the holy Scrip- 
^ turesP.' The doctor's reason makes the observation appear cer- 
tainly true, and therefore gives the cause of psedobaptism a more 
deadly wound. 

And indeed, it is mainly on this foundation the ecclesiastical 
hierarchy is at j^rescnt built : for the appointing officers in the 
church to administer the sacraments, for instance, our author him- 
self, and almost all Christians will allow, is a tacit prohibition that 
no other person presume to do it. In like manner the mentioning 

P Annot. in Matth. vi. 9. page 58. ft. 

Ilistory of Infant-baptism. 155 

the adult in the commission to baptize, and not infants also, is as 
strong- a prohibition not to baptize the latter. 

When we were last together, you may remember, sir, you took 
occasion to intimate, that probably Mr. Wall would not stick to 
reject this way of arguing, if any shordd urge it upon him. But I 
observe, when he writ his history, he had so good an opinion of it, 
as to use it himself. For when he has made the supposition that 
the Jews did baptize their proselytes, together with their children, 
and that our Lord transferred that practice from them into the 
Christian church, he adds, to clinch the nail he has been driving, 
and infer infants must now in like manner be baptized, ' If our 
' Saviour meant that the apostles should make any alteration in 
' that matter, and not baptize the infants, as had been usually 
' done, it is a wonder he did not say so^.^ Placing the stress of the 
matter in this, that the Scripture is wholly silent as to our Lord^s 
giving a direction to make any alteration in this point. 

He speaks much after the same manner, and in the same case 
too, when he allows, that notwithstanding what he had said, baptism 
' ought to be regulated by the practice of John, and of Christ him- 
^ self, — rather than by any preceding custom of the Jewish nation : 
^ if we had any good ground to believe that they did, in the case of 
' infants, differ, or alter any thing from the usual way : but we have 
' no kind of proof that they made any such alteration!".^ Here 
again he argues from the Scriptures^ silence, and therefore my 
inference will stand good against him, that indeed infants might be 
baptized if we had any good ground to believe that Christ and his 
apostles baptized any : but we have no kind of proof that they bap- 
tized any ; and if our Saviovir meant that the apostles should have 
done it, it is a wonder he did not say so. 

But certainly, as we had no power to baptize at all without his 
command, so neither have we power to baptize any but such as he 
commanded : and those you have already seen, sir, Mr. Wall himself 
allows to be the adult only, as far as the Scriptures can go to inform 
us of the matter. 

Against all this there is a miserable cavil, very common in the 
mouths of paedobaptists, which one wovild think men of the most 
ordinary capacities could not persuade themselves to use : viz. they 
observe, that Christ has nowhere forbid them to baptize infants, and 
therefore they infer they ought not to neglect it. This is so very 
trifling, that I do not know whether you will excuse me for taking 

q Introd. p. 15. [r^.] r Ibid. p. 18. [17.] 

156 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vi. 

notice of it. However, it is of such weight with some people, and 
our author himself has recourse to it so frequently, that it is neces- 
sary just to touch on it. 

The proposition is this : ' Christ has nowhere forbid us to baptize 
' our children.'' But, first, all that will follow from thence at best, 
is only that it is in itself, simply considered, lawful to sprinkle or 
dip children, when and how we please; but it can in no wise be 
inferred that we o%ight to do so : no, nor that it is lawful to do it as 
a religious ceremony, or a thing appointed by Christ : nor will it at 
all follow, that this may be boldly substituted in the place of what 
our Lord did ordain. Christ has not indeed forbid us to bathe our- 
selves every day, and therefore it is certainly lawful to do it : but if 
we do it as a part of divine worship, and impose it on others as 
such, we become inexcusably guilty of superstition, and the worst 
kind of tyranny. 

Mr. Wall himself has noted, out of Epiphauius, that it is one of 
Marcion^s errors to teach that such religious purification by baptism 
may lawfully be repeated. Many human inventions may doubtless 
be very lawfully practised as such, because they are not either di- 
rectly or indirectly prohibited in Scriptm-e ; but if they are imposed 
as divine institutions, the reason ceases, and they are no longer 
lawfid : for though they may not be particularly mentioned, yet 
Christ does expressly enough condemn them in that general censure 
of the Scribes and Pharisees, for teaching as doctrines the command- 
ments of men. And whatever may be ranked under the command- 
ments of men, and belong to that denomination, cannot plead the 
Scriptures" silence in their favom', but are here most directly and 
expressly condemned. 

So that though we should allow it lawful, merely in compliance 
with the customs of a country, to sprinkle children for their health, 
suppose, or on account of any other civil ceremony, because as such 
it is nowhere forbidden ; I see no inconvenience in it. But then 
this reason will not hold if they should urge it, as the psedobaptists 
do, as an ordinance of Christ ; for the Scriptm-e is not silent in this 
case, but on the contrar}", explicitly against such presumptions, as 
ascribing inventions to the Divine will. 

Tertullian, on another occasion, well exposes the weakness of this 
way of arguing. Some in his time pleaded for the lawfulness of 
wearing a military crown, which the Romans gave their soldiers 
who had distinguished themselves by some extraordinary action, and 
thought they might continue to wear it after their conversion to 
Christianity ; and if any found faidt, they presently recurred to our 

History of' ])if(int-h(ip( 157 

author's subterfug-e, that the Scriptures nowhere forhid them to do 
so. 'It is an easy matter/ says Tertullian, ' to demaiul where it, is 
' written we may not wear the crown? But tlieii too, where is it 
' written we may? For those who require tlieir adversaries to pro- 
' duee Scripture authority, conclude l)y it that th(Mr own <;iiiis(j 
' shoukl be supported by the same. If it is lawful tlKM-clbre to wear 
' the crown, because the Scripture nowhere forbids it ; it may with 
' equal force be retorted, that it is therefore not lawful be(;ause llu; 
' Scripture does nowhere command it. What then must be done in 
' this case? Must both be allowed, because neither is forbidden ? Or 
' must both be rejected, because neither is commanded? Yon will 
' say, perhaps, what is not prohibited is therefore allowed : no, it is 
' forbidden by not being" expressly allowed ».' 

If Tertullian's reasoning- here should not hold as to thing's in 
their own nature indifferent, he must however be blind iiid('(!d 1liat 
does not see how strong-ly it holds in all religious niatt(!rs, vv]ii(;li it 
may be pretended we ought, or ought not to do. In short, all that 
can be made of their arg-ument is, that as they have notliing- for 
their practice in the Scriptures, so there is nothing' against it; as 
much as to say. We have no reason to oppose the practice, and tliey 
have no reason to plead for it. But whether we have reason io 
oppose them, let all men judge; if they have no reason to urge lor 
their practice, their cause is bad enough ; for, as Mr. Locke some- 
where says, ' he that believes without having any reason for bc;- 
' lieving, may be in love with his own fancies ; but neither seeks 
' truth as he ought, nor pays the obedience due to his Maker.' 

It would be thought extravagant in any man to f)retend, sucli a 
clod in a certain field is the selfsame piece of earth which about six 
thousand years ago was Adam's body, because the Scripture does 
not say the contrary. As wild as this appears to be, it is however 
as just as the padobaptist's plea; and must be allowed s(^, for it is 
grounded on the same reason, viz. that the Scripture nowhere says 
the contrary. 

2. In the next place, you may please to observe, that though in 
some cases the Scripture's silence may leave the thing indiffc'rent to 
the freedom or opinion of every man, yet it is far from being ho 

8 Lib. de Corona, cap. i. p. lor. Pit Scrijitura, rr;que rctorfjiu;}jitiir, i<loo (ioto- 

facilo est Htatira exigere, ubi Bcriptum riari nori licere, quia S<;riptura iiori ju- 

Bit, ne coronemur? At enirn ubi scripturn beat. Quid faciet dinciplina? Utruniquo 

est, ut coronemur? ExpoHtulanteH enim rncipiet, quawi ricutrurn prohibitum HJt'^ 

Scriptune Patrocinium in parte diverwa. An utrumque rejiciet, quani neutrum 

pnfejudicant suai quoque Parti Scriptur;/; pr»;oeptum nit '< Hcd quod non jiroliibetur, 

Patrociniurn adeHwe debere. Nam si ideo ultro perminHum est. inimo proiiibetur 

dicetur coronari Jicere quia non prohibeat quod non ultro CHt penniHBum,' 

158 Reflections on 3Ir. Wall's [letter vi 

always. Thing-s in their own nature indifferent may be left so well 
enough ; but it is not an indifferent matter whether we obey Grod 
and Christ or not, and perform divine service according to his will 
and appointment. And therefore the Scripture's silence cannot be 
pleaded here with any reason at all. They do not forbid us, in so 
many words exj)ressly, to give the sacramental supper to a Turk ; 
but who will therefore infer he may? Why does not our author 
baptize persons after they are dead, to wash them from all sins com- 
mitted in their lifetime; since the Scripture does not expressly 
forbid him to baptize such ; nor any where declare persons so bap- 
tized shall not be perfectly cleansed and forgiven ? 

Again ; where does the Scripture tell us in terms the Roman is 
not the only true catholic church? that oral tradition may not 
entirely be dej)ended on ? that the doctrine of sacramental justifica- 
tion is a mischievous error? as the learned bishop of Salisbury 
nevertheless justly calls it ; and argues, as I have hitherto done, in 
direct contradiction to our author^s way, that ' since this is nowhere 
' mentioned in all the large discourses that are in the New Testa- 
* ment concerning justification, we have just reason to reject it^/ 
Pilgrimages, and all kinds of penance, &c,, stand upon the same 
bottom. But to give an instance something nearer to the matter in 
hand ; we are nowhere forbid to baptize our cattle, bells, tables, &c., 
but yet our author, I hope, would never infer that they ma?/, much 
less that they ouffAi to be baptized; for to administer the sacra- 
ments to visibly unfit subjects, is no better than an impious pro- 
fanation of them. 

Now from all this, instead of a great deal more which might 
easily be added, it clearly appears, if our author argues well, and the 
Scripture^s silence be a sufficient reason for a thing, that he ought 
in honour and conscience to return to Rome ; that is the least he 
can do. Nay, all the silly trumpery of Rome, the ancient as well 
as the modern, may be brought into play again by this one single 
topic ; which manifestly opens a door to all the inventions of every 
fanciful brain, which has but the luck to hit on such odd notions as 
the Scriptures do not expressly contradict. 

I suppose, sir, you may have seen, when you were at Padua, the 
sermon which good St. Anthony is said to have preached to a con- 
gregation of fishes, in one of his flaming fits of devotion ; and since 
the Scripture nowhere forbids to preach to fishes, to trees, to wild 
beasts, &c., but commands to preack the Gosjjel to every creature, 

z Exposition of Article xi. p. 125. 

History of Infcmt-haptism. 159 

which seems to have the like colour with that which the psedo- 
baptists urg-e for their tenet, why should we laugh at St. Anthony^s 
zeal ? For, according to our author^s rule, he was much in the right, 
and our author himself ought to follow his example. 

I intended to have dismissed this matter in fewer words, but it is 
insensibly grown under my pen. However, of the two extremes, I 
had rather allow myself to be too long, than too ohscitre. I am. 


Yours, &c. 


That the Scripture does not leave infant-baptism so undetermined as some 
would pretend, is largely shewn from Matt, xxviii. 19 — All laws equally oblige 
in all particulars mentioned in them — This applied to our i)resent dis])ute — 
The commission necessarily obliges to teach all it intends should be baptized — 
Therefore infants cannot be included in that commission — The commission 
also requires that all of whom it speaks should be first taught, and afterwards 
baptized — The ridiculous objection of such as say, infants also are to be taught, 
answered — Some would evade the force, by confessing this commission relates 
peculiarly to the adult : which is directly giving up the argument — What the 
psedobaptists urge from the words all nations, answered — It is not said all of 
all nations — Illustrated by a parallel instance from Matt. iii. 5, 6 — Mr. Dor- 
rington censured — It is proved, the commission most directly excludes infants 
— What the psedobaptists urge concerning the Greek word nadrjrevcraTf, an- 
swered — Dr. Hammond censured for so grossly contradicting himself in this 
point — Men of the greatest learning disown the criticism of the paedobaptists — 
A passage from the bishop of Sarum ; another from Dr. Whitby — MaOrjreveiv 
is constantly used to signify nothing less than to teach, &c. — The sense of the 
word proved from its etymology — The primitive and all its derivatives include 
teaching, &c. — No room for an antiphrasis, which is now exploded by the best 
grammarians — The pretence from the termination, that words in -ei'w are to be 
interpreted by sum in Latin, is groundless — Plutarch uses the word to signify 
to teach — Another instance from St. Ignatius : another from the same : another 
from the same — One from St. Clemens Alexandrinus ; one from St. Justin 
Martyr — The meaning of eh to ovofia — Another instance from St. Justin — The 
word (ladrjTfvfLv, even in its supposed neuter acceptation, notwithstanding the 
contrary pretences, always includes teacJdng — Matt, xxvii. 57, considered — 
Instances wherein the word signifies to teach, &c., even when constructed with 
a dative case ; from Plutarch ; from Origen ; from St. Ireuccus, expounded by 
a passage of Socrates ; and from Clemens Alexandrinus — The true sense of the 
word further illustrated by synonymous words — Instances of TratSeuw, from 
Plutarch; from ^Elian; from Plato — Instances of uKovui, from Pindar; from 
Diogenes Laertius ; from Plutarch — An instance of StaKouco, from Plutarch — 
A very remarkable instance of the sense of fxadrjTtveiv, from Clemens Alexan- 
drinus — Another from the same — One from Origen — Besides, if what our ad- 

160 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [lettek vii. 

versaries advance were right, it can be of no advantage to them, because the 
word in the commission is allowed to be transitive — Discipleship necessarily 
includes teaching — Ma6r}Tevu> means to teach successfully ; and therefore is 
indeed consequentially to make disciples. 

I HOPE, sir, I may venture to say, that what was urged in my 
last amounts to little less than a demonstration, that it is the worst 
logic in the world to arg-ue, as the paedobaptists do, from the sup- 
posed silence of the Scidptures ; which I have shewn plainly enough 
is not only no argument for infant-baptism, but on the contrary, 
concludes as strongly against it as any reasonable man can desire an 
argument should do. And this is the first of those considerations, 
which I pretend do utterly ruin our author^s design, even though he 
should prove (as we shall hereafter see he does not) that the Jews 
did use to baptize their proselytes together with their children, and 
that the Christians soon after the apostolic times did so too ; for you 
will allow me, that arguments from Scripture are of far more force 
than both these. 

But in the next place I add another consideration, of much 
greater weight still ; namely, that the Scripture does not leave this 
matter so undetermined as the psedobaptists would fain persuade 
themselves, but that it directly disallows of infant-baptism, and 
admits of no other but that of adidt persons. I once intended to 
have made out this, in an exact and particular examination of all 
those passages of Scripture which have or might have been pleaded 
on either side : but I find I am like to be tedious enough without 
it ; and therefore I shall think it is sufficient to do it from Matt. 
xxviii. 19, which is indeed the main ground and foundation of the 
ordinance, and the sole authority and rule, even for the holy apostles 
themselves, in this matter. If I am pretty large on this, you will 
excuse me, because it is instead of all the rest. 

To proceed then with plain and clear evidence. I desire you to 
consider, that if any law or commission, &c., does enjoin, and parti- 
cularly mention two or more things to be done; the said law, &c., 
does equally oblige to the performance of each of those things, and 
render one as necessary and indispensable as the other, unless there 
be some particular exception to the contrary. Thus the judges, for 
instance, are empowered and obhged to try and to give judgment 
in such and such causes : if they only hear them, tliey do not dis- 
charge their duty, but are equally obliged to determine and give 
sentence according to law. For the authority which obliges to one, 
is equal in its obligation with respect to the other. 

History of hif ant-baptism. 161 

This notion was the ground of that dissatisfaction in the time of 
king Charles I. concerning- the business of Rochelle^j for all people 
thought those forces had been sent to the assistance of the town, 
and therefore that they were equally obliged, both to go thither, 
and to assist the besieged : but when the matter unluckily mis- 
carried, they began to think the commanders were excused from 
assisting the distressed by contrary private instructions. And what 
mightily confirms the supposition is, that, as Leti remarks b, ' they 
' might with very little danger have relieved the place ;' and with- 
out such instructions they would, as they were required, have acted 
with more vigour and prudence. 

But, however the truth be, this serves to illustrate my general 
rule, which I suppose will not be disputed : and then this particular 
branch of it must be also allowed me, viz. that since the commission 
to baptize mentions teaching as well as baptizing, without making 
any distinction, or saying any thing of one, which is not said of the 
other ; therefore this commission does equally oblige both to teach 
and to baptize. And upon this principle I will shew you, that the 
commission under consideration cannot comprehend infants. In 
order to which I observe, i . That the words do necessarily oblige to 
teach all whom they intend should be baptized. And, 2. That this 
teaching must always as necessarily precede their being baptized. 
Both which articles do very plainly exclude infants, because they 
are not capable of being taught at all. 

I. As to the first thing, that the institution does indispensably 
enjoin, that all who are to be baptized must likewise be taught ; this 
is evident, if you observe, that the command, in both its parts, is 
equally and universally applied to all those subjects which are men- 
tioned therein, and are denoted by that comprehensive phrase, all 
nations. For there is no manner of distinction or difference made 
between some and others of this aggregate. This will more cer- 
tainly appear, if we resolve the proposition logically. The only 
subjects spoken of are all nations : the things said of these subjects 
are, that they must be taught, and that they must be baptized. 
Now both these being said of the same subjects, we may form the 
words into these two propositions, for they are virtually two, viz. 
feacA all nations, and baptize all nations. The steps I take are easy 

a [Rochelle, the stronghold of the riod, one of the pamphlets of the day re- 
French protestants, after a protracted commends itself to notice as being ' print- 
and arduous siege, was taken by Lewis ' ed in the year and month wherein 
XIII. in 1637. 80 much interest was ' Rochelle was lost ! '] 
excited in this country in favour of the h Ceremonial, part iv. lib. 5. p. 41 1. 
besieged, that besides other demonstra- Che potcvano con poco raschio soccorer 
tiona noticed by the historians of the pe- la piazza. 


162 Befections on Mr. Wall's [letter vii. 

and sure^ according to the method in use among- mathematicians, 
than which nothing can be more plain and conchisive ; and there- 
fore I may well enough call it a demonstration, that the very same 
persons, whoever they be, who are meant in the commission by all 
nations, and commanded to be baptized, are all equally commanded 
to be taught likewise. And so far are the words from intimating 
any thing to the contrary, and from distinguishing betAveen some 
who are to be taught, and others who are not ; that they are rather 
so ordered, as to render it scarce possible for any man even but to 
surmise that those two words teach and baptize do not both of them 
relate exactly to all the same persons, and to whatever is meant in 
the commission by all nations. 

Let us take it for granted now, that those to whom the com- 
mission is given are bound to teach all nations, as well as to baptize 
all nations ; and this will be the consequence of it, that infants can- 
not be included in this commission. For, if it requires the subjects 
spoken of should be taught as well as baptized, then they must be 
all capable of teaching as well as of baptism : for the Scriptures, 
doubtless, are not so unreasonable as to command us to do that to 
any subject, which it is not capable of receiving. This would not 
consist with the highest justice and goodness and wisdom, Avith 
which we believe all our Lord^s institutions are given. 

How then can the psedobaptists persuade themselves to fancy, 
contrary to the express words of the Scripture, that some only are 
to be taught, whilst others may be as well baptized without any 
instruction at all ? 

They tell us, the v/ord here translated teach has another very dif- 
ferent, and more proper sense ; but how weak this pretence is, I shall 
discover by and by. In the mean time this objection tacitly allows 
that both words do relate precisely to the same subjects ; which is 
no less than yielding up the dispute : and I desire no greater ad- 
vantage ; for I hope to prove in the sequel, beyond all contradiction, 
that the Greek word does necessarily and properly signify to teach or 
instruct, and never means to ■mahe disciples, but in that manner. I 
will take it for granted then here ; and at present only reply against 
their teaching of some, and not others, that there is no ground for 
it in the words, the institution being universal in both its parts, 
teaching and haptizlng : and as there is no exception nor difference of 
persons made, so we must allow of none; such a fancy being as 
strongly guarded against as can possibly be, by expressing the sub- 
jects of baptism but once -, to make it necessary that both the words 
should relate only to the same individuals exactly. 

Ilistofy of I af ant -baptism. 163 

All this makes it plain that infants cannot be comprehended, but 
are rather designedly excluded f for if infants might be baptized, 
then some might be baptized, who neither do, nor are obliged to 
believe in Christ, and whom we are not, nor cannot be bound to 
persviade and teach : which is directly contrary to the express words 
of the institution ; for that, as is above demonstrated, commands to 
teach all whom it commands to baptize ; and therefore either both 
are commanded to be done to infants, or neither. This short con- 
clusion necessarily arises from the commission, that if it does not 
speak of and enjoin teaching infants, it does not enjoin baptizing 
them : for if the term all nations comprehends infants, then they 
must be taught too, which is absurd ; and if it cannot comprehend 
infants, then they must not be baptized : one of these things is un- 
avoidable. The inference I draw is, that they are not to be baptized; 
because I suppose no man mil imagine the Scriptures require us to 
preach the Gospel to infants, unless he is arrived to the good 
St. Anthony^s exalted pitch of religious phrensy, and can think we 
should preach to fishes, wild beasts, trees, &c. 

2. But in the second place I am to shew that the commission 
requires all who are therein commanded to be baptized should be 
first taught and instructed in- the principles of the Christian religion. 
If this can be made out, the psedobaptists are efl^ectually cut off from 
all their pretences and evasions of any kind ; for then undoubtedly, 
not infants, but the adult only, are to be baptized. 

I have often enough repeated it already, and it is so plain that I 
think nobody can deny it, that what this commission says of any 
one person, it says equally of all ; because it speaks only in general, 
of all, without diiference or exception. From whence it follows, that 
the same things are to be done to all, and that too in the same 
order. Since then it leaves no room in the least for any distinctions, 
but speaks indifi^erently and universally of all, what it enjoins on one 
it equally enjoins on all ; and there remains only one of these two 
extremes to be chosen ; either that teaching must always, or that it 
must never, precede baptism. 

The psedobaptists are equally averse from both these : but they 
must necessarily choose one; and either allow, that they ought 
always to teach persons before they baptize them ; or else, that they 
may always, in all cases, baptize before they teach them. I know, 
they had rather say, that some are to be taught first, and others 
are to be baptized first. But that cannot be admitted, becavise the 
Scripture allows no ground for any such distinction, but speaks in 
the same manner of all in general : and if it makes it necessary that 

M 3 

164? Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vii. 

teaching or baptism should be first administered to some, it makes 
it as necessary it should be so to all. 

Which then of the two remaining extremes is to be adhered to, 
it will not be very difficult to determine. Nobody dares say, that 
none are to be taught before they are baptized : this would shock 
every rational inquirer, it is so gross and palpable an error, as might 
be sheTVTi from the nature of the thing, and the order observed in 
the commission, &c. And Christ certainly intended to be understood 
that his ministers should teach the Jews and heathens, and all adult 
persons, before they were baptized ; which can only be implied in 
the order of the words, where teaching is first mentioned. And 
accordingly St, Hierome, a,s he is cited and translated by Mr. Wall 
himself, says on these very words, ' 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. ^ The same 
sense is put upon the commission by others of the more ancient 
Fathers, as I shall have occasion to shew hereafter. But our au- 
thor adds, ' St. Hierome here commenting on the commission given 
' by our Saviour to the apostles, of carrying the Gospel to the nations 
' that were heathens, explains the method they were to use ; viz, 
' first, to teach those nations the Christian religion, and then to 
' baptize them ; which all pcedobaptists grant to be the method that 
' ought ever to be used^." 

I need not insist then any longer on this, our antagonists readily 
allowing, that at least the adult, and all such as are capable of being 
taught, cannot be regularly ba2:)tized without it. And therefore, too, 
in the Catechism of the Church of England, we are told, that of 
persons to be baptized are required, ' repentance, whereby they for- 
' sake sin ; and faith, whereby they steadfastly believe the promises 
' of God,^ &c., making these the necessary conditions of regularly 
administering baptism : that is, as they mean, to the adult. 

We see therefore, that the paedobaptists themselves will not pre- 
tend they must never teach any before they baptize them ; but on 
the contrary, make it necessary, at least in some cases, to teach 
first : but if it must be so in some cases, then, as I have before 
demonstrated, it must be so in all. 

Having reduced the matter to this dilemma, and withal it being 
necessarily and freely allowed me, that the last part cannot be true ; 
it evidently follow^s that we are obliged to baptize only such as have 

= Part ii. page 4. [334.] 

History of Infant-baptum. 165 

been first taught^ and do, according' to the tenor of the Scriptures, 
profess a true faith and repentance. 

Though the foregoing reasoning is not long, it may be useful 
perhaps to contract it here, and give the whole force of it in a 
shorter compass, that the evidence and certainty of its parts may be 
more easily discerned. 

Either all must be taught before baptism, or none, or some only. 
But there is no ground to say some only, because the commission 
makes no distinction between what is to be done to some, and not 
to others. Neither can it be said that none are to be taught first; 
for this shuts out even the adult, Avhich is against the opinion of our 
antagonists. It can only remain then, as a necessary conclusion, 
that all in general are to be taught before they can be admitted to 
baptism. And, by another consequence as strong as the former, 
infants cannot be of that number, and must not be baptized before 
they are taught. 

To evade the force of all this, it has been answered, and I must 
needs say ridiculously enough, that infants are to be taught likewise, 
viz. when they come to age, and are capable of it ; so that though 
the commission does require all who are baptized to be taught also, 
yet that does not exclude infants. 

But, in the first place, I have just now shewn, that all must be 
taught before they can be regularly baptized ; and this unavoidably 
excludes infants. 

2. Supposing the commission could allow of this comment, then 
it may run thus : ' Go teach all nations, even infants too when they 
' are grown up,^ &c., i. e. when they cease to be infants. This shift 
can be of no service to them : for if the term all nations only means 
adult persons, and infants when grown up, the question will be at 
an end, and we are agreed. It is a pretty odd distinction indeed ; 
but they shall have it, if they please ; and we will allow that 
infants when they are grown up (that is, to speak in our own way, 
and as we think more properly, when they are come out of that 
ignorant state, and are no longer infants, but adult persons) may be 
baptized. And if this will reconcile us, let both parties, instead of 
disturbing each other, unite henceforward in a common opposition 
of those enemies to the sacraments of our most holy religion, who 
dare wholly cashier and reject the ordinance. 

Some again, with as little judgment and consideration, endeavour- 
ing to avoid the force of what I say, do in reality give me all I 
plead for. They frankly confess this commission relates peculiarly 
to the adult ; and therefore think it is no wonder it is expressed so 

1(>() /frfhrfioiis on Mr. U'nirs [i^etter vii. 

as to 1>'' :i[*i>lii'al>l(' to thom oulv. 'This is insiuuntod moiv than oiiee 
by ^Ir. Wall himsolt"'' ; which I adiuiro at. Did not ho see it is all 
(h,> antipuHlohaptisls dosiivd ? tliat instead o( invalidating- what they 
iu'i»v, it was g-r.intini;- tluMii iIumv argument ? For we pi'esently re- 
lun>, that ir this eoiuinissioii relates to adult persons, as they eon- 
tl\ss, then it authorizes to bapti/.e only sueh : from whence it is easy 
and natural to inter, that no other baptism is to be allowed oi. If 
this commission does not enjoin iut'aut -baptism, we challengt^ them 
to shew us any other that does : and it is with the hig-hest ivasou 
we assert then^ is no ivmmission or authority for it in Scripture. 

Hut these aiv tritles. A more material objeotion is still behind; 
nainely, tliat the term in the conmiission being; all nations, intaut^, 
as beii»g a part ot' the nations, must equally Iv inchided with the 
rt^t : and aiv then^foiv to be aotvuntixl as pr^^per subjects of bap- 
tism as pei'sons of a more advnniwl ag\\ At iirst sig:lit this seems 
to OJUTV something; plausible in it : but a little thought will 
pivsently disiwer how snjx^riicial it is. 

For, in the largyst extent of the phras^\ as taken to signit\- every 
individual of t^ich spev'ies. all unbelievers, and prot^me blasphemers. 
Kuh among: the »Tews aiivl heathei\s, aj\> cvmiprohendevl too : so like- 
wise «re all atheists, and the vilest deb;\uehees : add to these, all 
svuxn^iitious, olvjtinato idolaters ; togt>ther with mere naturals, and 
r:n ing: madmen, ^e., lor the^^ are all parts of the mitiomi as truly 
as intants. l^ut none of our adversaries will say, these uiigrht 
thervforx? all. v>r aiiy of them, be baptized. 

In^idt^. von mav tJike notice, sir. that om Lorvi does not sav the 
\\ hole i\ation. or every jx'rsv^n of every nation, or all of all nations, 
which woxild have m:v:;^ '^ ;^ .r:-," very ditferent from what it is; 
but onlv invletiuitelv . .: Searee a vonnirster. who has 

\vin^,n his loirie. bnt is ac\n"air;ted with the distinction between 
. ai\d .* . .• and there is visiWy a wide 

ditfeteniv Wtweer. *. as the holy penman expresses it. and 

mff <. ;v* our ant55g>^nists w~ould tain understand it. 

And, itt sh«.yrt. the j>lain mesmin^ of our Lord can be only this, that 
as Wfv>Te they had prosaehed vuily to the Jews. nv>w ttev should 
preach the same Gvvsjvl to all other nations, and baptize them : 
that is, stieh of them as were eapdaJte of baptism, and would 
nwive it. 

Thus, ioT example, in a parallel iustanee of the same nature, 
St, John is said to ha\^ baptbg^ *// /mj^, irW •// fie fny^Mi nmmd 
and yet we find in the following verses, that he 
i XVt a. j*^ $;«, j;;>^ ^S*©. ^ji, 655-] < il»w. SL ^6. 

History of hifuiii-bajjtism. 167 

rebuked the Pharisees and Sadduceesj and g-ave them to know, 
that such as broug-ht not forth fni'its meet for repentance could 
not be admitted. Besides, (which reaches exactly the case in hand,) 
I observed it is added, ver. 6, that they confess their sins : which 
makes it plain that infants were not baptized by him, for they 
could make no such confession ; and yet of all he there baptized in 
general, it is said, namely of Jerusalem, and all Judaa, &c., that 
the// ivere baptized of him. in Jordan confessing their sins. Which by the 
way is, I think, a pretty plain demonstration, that St. John, our 
Lord's forerunner, did not admit infants to his baptism. 

Now from all this it is evident, both that all Judaa, &c., in this 
place, and all nations, in the commission, can only mean such as 
were caj^able and willing- to receive the faith, and did resolve to 
endeavour to walk worthy/ of the vocation wherewith theij loere called. 
It is wholly upon the comprehensiveness of this phrase that our 
adversaries g-round all their hopes to find infant-baptism instituted 
in this commission. This our author confesses, when he says, that 
' it aflbrds this argument for pa^dobaptism ; infants are part of the 
^ nations, and so to be baptized by this commission^' But I have 
utterly taken away this pretence, and proved there is no real g*round 
from the commission to think infants ought to be baptized. And 
the best argument for it is so very precarious, that I cannot but 
wonder at iNIr. Dorrington'sS preposterous attempt to make use of 
this text, to prove from it, that infants as well as others ought to be 

But that author affects wonders ; and his whole book is one, in 
which he undertakes to prove infant-baptism from Scripture ; which 
is as much as to say, the Scripture positively asserts what it does 
not speak one word of. Mr. Wall has acted more modestly, and 
very ing-enuously owns, all that can be found in the Scriptures is 
too obscure to build upon, and so ^\asely declines the combat with 
that weapon. And if the rector of Wittresham had better consider- 
ed the matter, it is likely he would have laid by his design, rather 
than have exposed himself so much by the publication of this book. 

^liat is said above concludes at least thus much, that there is 
nothing in the commission which can be tolerably urged to prove 
that infants are included in it. But this is not all : I have likewise 

f Part ii. p. ,^78. [651.] forth these censures from Mr. Gale, is 

s [See ' A Vindication of the Christian chapter third of part the second, page 

' Church, in the baptizing of Infants, 1 26*, &c. ' \\'Tierein is explained and 

' drawTi from tlie Holy Scriptures. T>y ' improved, to the justifying the baptizing 

' Theophilus Dorrington, Kector of Wit- ' of infants, the te.\t in Matthew xxviii. 

' treshani in Kent.' Svo. London, 1701. — ' 19.'] 
The portion of this woi'k which called 

168 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vii. 

been arg-uiug"^ that the commission necessarily and directly excludes 
infants j and this I am chiefly concerned here to make good. What 
we urg-e to this purpose is principally from the word teack ; for, as 
Mr. Wall propounds our argument, ' Infants are such a part of the 
' nations as are not capable of being taught, and so not to be bap- 
' tized^ •/ because the commission does as much command to teach, 
as to baptize all nations ; and if there be any difierence, rather more 
strongly ; for it is to be noted, that the subject all nations is im- 
mediately joined with ieac/i, so that there cannot possibly be any 
evasion. This must needs be a powerful argument to all men that 
duly consider it, and it highly concerns all psedobaptists to get clear 
of it as well as they can. 

But the word leacA which makes the difficulty, after a great deal 
of hammering, they> at length conclude, does not truly express the 
sense of the original ; and therefore they fall foul on the translation, 
and tell us, the true sense in which it oug'ht to be rendered is, dis- 
ciple or proselj/ie, instead of teack all nations. Now, say they, thoiigh 
infants are not capable of being taught, yet they may be proselyted. 
But I think this criticism has nothing in it. 

If indeed the Greek word does signify barely to disciple, by bap- 
tizing suj^pose, or any other way, without including to teach, all our 
argument from this place unavoidably falls to the ground. And 
that it does signify so, is very freqviently asserted by the divines of 
the church of England, and among the rest, by Dr. Hammond'^, 
from whom our author takes it, as he has done most of his best 

I name Dr. Hammond in particular, because there is something 
in his conduct upon this point which deserves especial notice ; for 
though he is certainly a considerable man, yet his opinion will 
weigh but veiy little on one side or the other in this case, because 
he grossly contradicts himself, and by turns equally countenances 
and rejects both. When he is bent upon destroying all that may 
be thought to prejudice the cause of infant-baptism, then he says 
the word does not signify to teach ^ but to receive into discipleship, 
by baptism as the ceremony, mthout supposing any preceding 
instruction : and yet notwithstanding he is so positive here, in his 
Paraphrase and Annotation he strenuously asserts the direct con- 
fa Part ii. p. 378. [651.] pretation of the Greek word /ua07)Teua>, 
1 [Mr. Gale here uses the plural they : namely, not simply to teach, but to make 
in explanation of which term it may be disciples : see his work, part 2. chap. iii. 
well to mention, that Mr. Dorrington, the sect. 3. p. 132*, &c.] 
publication of whose ti'eatise on baptism k Six Queries, p. 196. 
preceded Dr. Wall's, gives the same inter- ' Ibid. 

History of Infant -baptism. 169 

traiy, and thus paraphrases the words^ ' teach all nations the Chris- 
' tian doctrine^ and persuade them to embrace it^ and to live accord- 
' ing- to it/ And in the note he has more to the same purpose. In 
his Dissertations on Episcopacy he runs the words thus : ' Call to 
' discipleship, or instruct all nations in the faith and discipline ; 
' certify all of the resurrection of Christy and by preaching the 
' Gospel in all parts, gather disciples; and those you have so 
* gathered, baptize and teach "^.^ 

So plainly does this learned man contradict himself: upon which 
this remark is obvious ; that when the doctor^s mind was not im- 
mediately under the power of prejudices, (which were as strong in 
him sometimes as in other men,) and when he had no interest to 
serve, he could see and acknowledge the truth, which the dust his 
prejudices raised hindered him from seeing at other times. 

But farther, this answer is utterly false ; and is accordingly dis- 
owned by men of the greatest learning, as Cameron", Grotius", 
RigaltiusP, with others whom I shall mention hereafter. Add to 
these the right reverend and learned bishop of Sarum, who in his 
judicious Exposition of the Articles says thus : ' By the first teach- 
' ing or making of disciples, that must go before baptism, is to be 
' meant the convincing the world that Jesus is the Christ, the true 
' Messias, anointed of God with a fulness of grace, and of the Spirit 
' without measure, and sent to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the 
' world. And when any were brought to acknowledge this, then 
' they were to baptize them, to initiate them to this religion, &c., 
' and then they led them into the water, and with no other gar- 
' ments but what might cover nature, they at first laid them down 
' in the water, as a man is laid in a grave, and then they said these 
' words, / baptize, or wash thee in the name of the Father, Son, and 
' lloli/ Ghost : then they raised them up again, and clean garments 
' were put on themq,^ &c. In this account of the method the 
apostles and first Christians pursued, his lordship has given almost 
as exact a description of our practice to this day, as if he had de- 
signed to express it. 

Dr. Whitby likewise, somewhat more largely, with his usual mo- 
desty and candour, corrects this mistake. ' MaOrjTeveiv/ says he, 
' here is to preach the Gospel to all nations, and to engage them to 

■" Dissert. 3. cap. iv. § i. Ad discipu- gate, congregatoa PaTTTl^ovTH et 5i5d- 

latum vocate, vel disciplina et fide im- crKovres. 

buite gentesomnea, re.surrectionemChristi " In loc. o In loc. 

omnibus testatam facite, et evangelic per p In Cyprian. Epist. 64. 

omnes oras enunciato discipulos congre- n Page 300. [on the 27th Article.] 


Mejiections on Mr. Wall's 

[letter VII. 

' believe it^ in order to their profession of that faith by baptism f/ 
— This he goes on to confirm, and then adds, ' I desire any one to 
' tell me, how the apostles could \ia6r\r^xj^w, make a disciple of an 
' heathen or mibelieving Jew, without being fjLaOrjTol, or teachers of 
^ them ; whether they were not sent to preach to those that coidd 
* hear, and to teach them to whom they preached, that Jesus was the 
' Christ, and only baptize them when they did believe this? This is so 
' absolutely necessary in the nature of the thing, until a Christian 
' church among the heathens or the Jews was founded, and so ex- 
' pressly said by Justin Martyr ^ to have been the practice in the first 
' ages of the church, that to deny what is confirmed by such evidence 
' of reason and church-history, would be to prejudice a cause, which 
' in my poor judgment needs not this interpretation of the word 
' IJLa9r]Tev(Lv ; nor needs it to be asserted, that infants are made dis- 
' ciples, any more than that they are made believers by baptism*^, &c. 

I do not see how it is possible to make any rejAy to this, and 
therefore I might be excused from adding any thing more : but 
because the stress of our argument from the commission lies chiefly 
in this word, and our adversaries generally make it their main re- 
source, I will the more studiously proceed to shew, beyond question ; 
I. From the sense of the Greek word; 2. From the authority of 
several versions ; 3. From the opinions of the Fathers ; and lastly. 
From the Scriptures themselves, and the practice of the apostles ; 
that iJLadr]T€vaaT€ does always, and particularly in the place under 
consideration, signify to teach or instruct, and to make disciples only 
by so doing. 

I. I begin first with shewing, that ixa0r]Teviiv is constantly used to 
signify nothing less than to teach and instruct. This seems to me 
so incontestably evident on all accounts, that I am really not a little 
amazed to find it contradicted by men so considerable for learning 
and good sense. 

If we do but try all the methods which are used in finding out 
the true sense of a word, we can never fail of perceiving how cer- 
tainly this is the sense of the word before us. And if any one can 

r In loc. 

s Apol ii. p. 93. E. "Oo-oi h.v TruffO&ffi 
Kal Tri(rT€vovcTii' dKridi] ravra ra ixp" rjfx.wi' 
StSa<TK6fj.eva Kal \ey6/.i€va di'ai, koI ^lovv 
ovTCiJS SvvaaOai vTnaxvivTai.ivx^'^S''-^ "^^ tai 
atTi7i/, (Sic. eneiTa 6.yovTai v(p' 7iiJ.aiv ivQa 
vSccp iffr), Kal TpSirov avayivvTcraos 'bv Kal 
r]iJ.(is avTol aviyfuvfidij/xev, avaytvvoDvrai. 
[Apol. i. sect. 61. p. 71. in edit. Bene- 

t [Mr. Gale does not complete the sen- 

tence, which goes on thus ; ' but only that 
' they are and ought to be admitted into 
' the Christian church and kingdom of 
' God, and into the new covenant by bap- 
' tism, if they be children of believing 
' parents.' Dr. ^Vliitby likewise imme- 
diately subjoins a dissertation on the fore- 
going note, to remove an impression that 
his words might possibly be construed 
into a disapproval of infant-baptism.] 

History of Infant-haptum. 171 

make the experiment, and after examination deny it signifies to teach ; 
he may as well, if he pleases, open his eyes, and turning to the 
sun when it shines out, deny there is any sun at all, or affirm it is 

As to the origination of the word, if any thing may be inferred 
from thence; (and surely it must rather bear some agreement in 
signification with its primitive, than contradict it ; it having always 
been thought one good way to know the sense of a word, to inquire 
into its etymology ;) its origination, I say, leaves not the least room 
for our antagonists to surmise as they do, but concludes against them 
as strongly as any thing of this nature can do, and makes it neces- 
sary to understand it to signify to teach, instruct, or the like. 

No man doubts but [kavQav^iv, the theme, signifies properly 
d'lscere, docere, to learn, to teach or instruct ; and it may be observed, 
that all words derived from it do ever retain some marks of this 
signification ; thus fxaO-qixa a document, instruction, or that which is 
taught or learned; \i.o.dr]To<i, teachable, or apt to learn; [xadrjTidd), I 
desire to learn. And so in its compounds, aixaOijs, unlearned; 
dprijua^rjs, one that lately began to learn ; avToixadr}<i, one that learned 
of himself, without the help of a master; dKtyofxaOrjs, one that 
learned but little; and Tiokvixa9i]s, one that has learned much. 
^ AvaixavOdvoi I learn again. KaTaixavOdvca I learn thoroughly or, 
exactly. ^vixixavOdveiv, to learn together ; from whence (rviJiiJia9r]Tr]s, 
a school-fellow, ov fellow -learner. And so in like manner of all the 

Since then the primitive signifies to learn, &c., and all its 
derivatives and compounds retain the like sense; why must only 
lj.a9r]Tr]^- and jj-adriTevo) be excepted? And where is their ingenuity, 
who so irregularly, and contrary to the analogy of the Greek 
tongue, arbitrarily pretend that these words have no relation to 
teaching, &c., only because this fancy serves their purpose some- 
thing better ? whereas an impartial jvidge would, from this observa- 
tion alone, conclude fxaSriTiviiv must needs signify to teach, or 
to he taught, or to cause to be taught, or some such thing, which 
should include teaching-. 

I suppose nobody will any more recur to the antiquated invention 
which some grammarians have long been proud of; I mean the an- 
tiphrasis, which is now exploded by the best and most learned 
philologists, as a mere cover for the ignorance of those who use it. 
I need not refer you to the Spanish Minerva; for to be sure you 
remember well enough the sixteenth chapter of the fourth book, 
where Sanctius solidly exposes the mistake those grammarians com- 

172 Beflections 07i Mr. Wall's [letter vii. 

mitted, who, when they knew no better, imagined words were 
sometimes used in a contrary sense to the primitive from whence 
they were derived. Luais in Latin is a common instance in every 
body's mouth ; but the more accurate and judicious now no longer 
say it is derived ' a lucendo, quia minime luceat ;' but rather, because 
of the great and almost continual illummations in the groves, occa- 
sioned by sacrifices, &c., as say Vossius" and Perizonius^, to name no 
more. And if this antiphrasis be, as Vossius expresses it, but ' a 
' silly whim of the grammarians ^Z who are oftentimes none of the 
ablest critics, then iJLa6r]T7]s and ixa6r]T€vco, as they are derived from 
lxav6av€LV, to learn, &c., must likewise bear some congruity in their 
signification, and not be applicable to such as are not capable of 
learning or being taught. 

But some argue from the termination, and pretend, that verbs in 
-tv(3i are to be interpreted by sum in Latin ; and so ixa6r]Ti]s signifying 
a disciple only, ixaOrjTevo} might be rendered sum discipulus. It is easy 
to see how trifling this is ; and that were it true, it could be of no 
use to our adversaries ; for ixadi]Ti]s we assert means such a disciple 
only as is tauglit ; and then ixaO-qjeveiv will signify, according to 
their own way, to be such disciples. But besides, the criticism is 
utterly false, as might be made appear from innumerable examples : 
thus KcAewci) signifies /?^^eo, ;{c» command, as well as kcAco, from whence 
it is formed ; and so (Sovkevo), to co^msel, &c., from (3ovX.a). The like 
may be observed of pevco, from whence pew forms some of its tenses, 
so perfectly synonymous are the two words ; as are also crew, o-w, and 
(T€V(o ; \e(M and x^ «^w ; 7tA.^w, ttAcvw ; irvio), Ttvivw ; and this may be 
seen too in yQafriAevw, ayopevco, r]yeixovev(o, ^oz^evw, OepaTrevb), akriO€V(o, 
(TTpaT€V()}, yopevoi, dpr]<TKevco, eTTOTrreww, TrpoclyrjTevco, fxai'rtvM, and 
Ttaihivdi, an instance in the very case, beside multitudes which I 
pass by, none of which can admit of the sense pretended. 

Ui:)on all this, I think, I may safely conclvide, according to the 
analogy of derivations in the Greek tongue, as well as in all other 
languages, that as disciple in English is made of the Latin dis- 
cipulus, which comes from discere, to learn; and as hihaa-KaKos, a 
tutor, teacher, m,aster, from htbda-Knv, to teach, because such a master 
hihdaKei, does teach; but Kvpios, a master, or governor, from xSpos full 
}}oioer and authority, because masters and governors are supposed kv- 
pos ex^etv, to have such potoer : so fxaOr]T'f]s d-nb tov 'ip^adov comes from 
jxavOdv^Lv, to learn or teach, because [xadrjrai, or disciples, learn or are 
taught : and hence [j.a6r]T€V(a is the proj^er word to signify the action 

" Partit. Orator, p. 339. ^ Etymolog. ad vocem Luciis. Inane 

'■' In Sanctii Minerva, p. 931. grammaticorum commentura, &c. 

History of Infant-haptism. 173 

of teaching-, whereby persons are to be made such disciples, or if 
you please of discijiling or making disciples by teaching. But let this 
suffice concerning the origination of the word, and the assistance it 
yields to find out the true sense of it. 

What I am going to add in the next place will perhaps be 
thought less liable to exception than arguing upon etymologies, 
which with some men is but trifling : I will therefore prove what I 
have affirmed, by the use of the word in Greek authors, which 
must be allowed to carry weight in it. 

Of all the passages wherein I have observed it to occur, I do not 
know nor believe there is one, but does necessarily include and 
signify teaching, or at least may admit it : and nothing any where 
gives reasonable ground so much as to surmise the contrary ; so 
far is it from being as our adversaries pretend : and if they should 
be able to produce one instance where, by some strange chance, or a 
violent catachresis, it does signify to disciple, and exclude teaching', 
which I am persuaded they will never be able to do, that will be far 
short of a sufficient reason to say the word signifies so elsewhere ; 
much less that it is the proper signification in which it is always or 
commonly used : and yet our adversaries, some of them at least, are 
very fond of the thought, and would fain persuade us to believe it 

But the evidence on our side, that the Greek word includes 
teaching, &c. is plain from these following instances. 

Plutarch, in the account he gives of the life of Isocrates, says, 
that when he taught rhetoric at Athens, Hyperides, Isseus, and 
Demosthenes came to him, and made him this offer; that since 
they could not give him a thousand drachms, his usual fee, they 
would not expect to be taught the whole art, but would pay him 
two hundred drachms, for a fifth part of it only. By the way 
observe, their sole aim was to learn or he taught. To their pro- 
posal Isocrates returns this answer^; ^We do not use, Demo- 
' sthenes, to divide our art ; but as good fish are sold entire, so if you 
' have a mind to learn, or to he taught (ixaOr^Teveiv) , I will instruct 
' you in the whole art.' This instance can need no improvement ; 
for you have nothing to do but to read the passage, in order to see 
that all they apply to Isocrates for was his instruction j and that 
therefore in his answer he speaks of nothing else. 

And that this is the sense of the word in the language of the 

" Vit. decern Elietor. p. 1539. '^'"' ^^ KaKovs IxOvs <i\ovs iruiXovfxiv, ovtw Kayw 
aTToKpivacrdai ws ov re/iiaxiCoMfj ^ Atj^J- aoi, ei ^ovXoto fxa6r)Tevety, 6\6K\r)pou dwo- 
(rdevfs, T^iv irpayfiaTfiav Sxnrep Se tovs Swvo/xai r^v rfxy-qv. 

174 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vii. 

primitive churchy methinks should be exceeding plain to all who are 
not utter strangers to those useful pieces of antiquity which still re- 
main; for they furnish us uath instances in abundance,, and very 
clear to the pui-pose. Thus the holy martjT St. Ignatius^ giving 
some instructions to the Ephesians, with his usual profoimd 
humility and meekness, adds, ^Not that I take upon me to direct 
' you, as if I were any body : for though I am bound for his name, 
^ I am not yet perfect in Christ Jesus ; nay, I am as it were but 
' now beginning {fxad-qTeveaOai) to learn, or to be instructed ; and I 
' speak to you as fellow-disciples with me>V &c. If there could 
have been other^^ase any doubt what the word might signify here, 
avvbibaaKaXLTais immediately following in the last sentence, would 
have made it certain; for to say he speaks to them as fellow- 
learners, because he did but then begin ^a9r]T€veado.i, must render it 
yet more necessary to understand the word there to mean to learn, 
or be taught or instructed, &c. 

Besides, he uses the same word again exactly thus a little after, 
where he directs the Ephesian Christians how to behave them- 
selves even towards unbelievers and strangers to the faith; and 
advises them to pray for all men : for, says he, ' there is some hope 
' they may repent, and obtain the mercy of God : let them be in- 
' structed [ixadrjTevQrivai) by your good works. When they are 
' angry, be you kind and forgiving^,'' &c. And again, in that ad- 
mirable Epistle to the Romans, so worthy of a Christian bishop, 
wherein he exj^resses an ardent and impatient desire to suffer 
martyrdom for Christ ; among other things he most earnestly en- 
treats them not to deprive him, through their mistimed kindnesses, 
of that glorious crown, by using their interest to prevent the death 
he was then going to suffer by wild beasts in the amphitheatre at 
Rome. More, says the illustrious Saint, you cannot do for me, than 
to suffer me to be sacrificed to God. And a little after : ' Ye 
' have never envied [me in] any thing ; ye have taug-ht others ; I 
*■ would therefore that those things also should be confirmed by 
* your practice, which you have prescribed in teaching [[xadr]- 
' T€vovTts) : only pray for me that I may be so strengthened ^vithin 

y Epist. ad Ephes. cap. 3. Ou biarda- instead we read SfjioSovKois, felloio-ser- 

cro/xai vixiv, is icv ti' ei yap koI SiSi/j-ai ev rants.] 

rcS dv6/j.aTi [auTov], ovnw airiipruTiJiai ii> z Epist. ad Ephes. cap. 10. KaX vntp 

'Irjaov Xpiar^' fvv yap apxv" ^X"^ "'""i' M''" ''''^^ &\\a}V 5e audptiiroov aSiaKeiTrrws irpoa- 

6riT(ve(T0ai, Kal irpocrKaKui vjjuv uis crvvhiha- fV)(e(T6e' fan yap ec avToti iXirls fxera- 

aKaX'iTais fiov, ike. [The word avvbiSa- roias, 'Ifa @iov Tvxooffr — iincrTpi-^aTe oiiv 

(TKaXirais does not occur in either of avTovs[Ka,v sktoip epywv v/x7v]iJ.a6i^Tev9riyaf 

Coteleriiis' editions, 1698 or 1724, from vphs ras opyas avruv vfieh ■!rpai7i:, tkc. 
which Mr. Gale professes to quote : but 

History of Infant-baptism. 


^ and without, as not only to be called a Christian, but also to be 
' found one a,-" 

These instances, without adding- any more, mig-ht very well 
suffice to shew that ixadriTeveiv sig-nifies to teach, &c. But to 
convince you that this is not only a casual, but the constant sense 
of the word, I must take the liberty to add several instances more. 

Clemens Alexandrinus discoursing of the use of philosophy in 
theological studies, against such as would have the Greek learning 
altogether useless ; after he has said a great deal to that purpose, 
he observes that even the philosophy they were such enemies to 
borrowed many things from the Scriptures ; and adds, that ' the 
' things so borrowed in part are true, and are grounded sometimes 
' upon bare conjectures, and sometimes on necessary reasons. If 
' they do learn {}xaQr\T^vQivTti) ' that is, borrow, ' something from 
^ the Hebrew philosophy, let them acknowledge '\\j^' 

Again, shewing how philosophy tends to bring men to the 
knowledge of the true religion, by engaging all impartial inquirers 
' to converse not only Avith the Greeks, but with the barbarians 
' too,^ (as the Jews and Christians were then called,) ^ and by these 
^ common ways of improving their knowledge they are brought to 
^ the faith ; and then having laid the foundation of the truth, they 
' are better enabled to go on in the search after it. And hence it is 
' that being taught (fxadrjTevadiJLfvoL) or instructed in the faith, they 
' approve of it ; and by pursuing after knowledge, they vigorously 
' pursue salvation^.' It is plainly impossible in these instances to 
put any other sense on the word in dispute than what I contend for. 

Another passage of this author I cannot omit, it being if possible 
more plain and cogent than the former : ' Those men,^ says he, 
' that are transformed into angels, are first instructed {ixadr]TevovTat) 
' by them a thousand years, and so raised to perfection : and then 
' the teachers were translated to archangels ; and the learners in 
' their stead instructed {fxaOifTivovcnv) or taught those who were to be 
' changed from men to angels.'^* Here nadr]T€V€Lv is most apparently 

a Epist. ad Eomanos, cap. 3. OuSeVoTe 
f^adKavare \_iv'\ ovSffi' &Wovs eSiSd^arf 
iyu> 56 6f\a>, 'Iva KaKtlva Pe'lSaia ^, fi /xadr}- 
revovTes evTeWicrdi' ix6vov Siiva/u-iv aiTilaQi 
HOI i(Jwdeu Tf Kcu e|a)0et', ha fxi] fj.di'oy Kiyw, 
aWb. Kol deAw, &c. 

[Cotelerius has not the words enclosed 
within lirackets, and instead of 7rpae?s 
reads rairfivScppovei. The clauses also are 
irregularly and incorrectly mixed up 

b Stromat. lib. i. p. 320. 'E/c ix4pov$ 
roivvv & KfKAricpacrty, oAtjO^ jUeV' (rroxa- 

(TTiKuis 5e Kol ToTs Tuv K/iywv apdyKais 
iaaai. /jLaOriTivdivres ovv KaTa\r]TTTiKCiis 

•^ Stromat. lib. vi. jj. 691. ''Enftra ovx 
KWrjffi fj.6vov, aWd Koi Pap0apois dfiiKri- 
arai'Te?, inl t^i/ ttIcttiv e/c avvUffKTifffws 
Koivijs (h (Tvnaw iSlav 6.ynvTai' irapaSf^d- 
/xivoi Si rhv OfiJLfKiov rrjs aXriOeias Sv^a/xiv 
Trpo(T\afj.^ixvov(n irpo'Uvai (irl Trju (rjT-r^crtv 
KavOti'Si ayanwm /xtv iJ.adr)Tev(rdfj.(vot, yvoi- 
(reui 5f opiyvwfJLivoi (TireiSovffiv tis awrri- 

d Clem. Alexandr. Eclog. p. 809. a. Oi 

176 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vii. 

interpreted by St. Clement himself to mean hihadKnv as it relates to 
the angels^ and ixavOdveiv as it relates to the persons that were 
taught ; which renders the instance perfectly unexceptionable. 

To the same effect Justin Martyr too uses this word in his Apo- 
logy to the Roman senate : ' If we were to kill one another, we 
' should be the causes, as far as in us lay, that no more persons 
' should be brought into the world, and taught [jiaOi^Tivdrivai) or in- 
' structed in the Christian religion, and of putting an end to human 
' kind*^.^ And again, in his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, he tells 
him, that as God, for the sake of those seventy thousand who had 
not bowed the knee to Baal, forbore to pour oiit his anger upon the 
whole body ; ' So now in like manner,^ says St. Justin, ' God has 
' not, or does not pour down his judgments, as knowing that some 
' every day are taught to believe (ixad-qTevoixivovs) in the name of his 
' Christ, and do forsake their erroneous ways^.' 

It is a difficulty to translate the word here by any one in English, 
which will sufficiently express the sense of the original. This pas- 
sage may be thought therefore to make rather against me than for 
me, especially if it should be asserted that the phrase [xadriTevew (h 
TO ovofxa Tov XpLarov here, is the same in sense with ^aiTTL(eiv eh to 
ovofjLa TOV XpiaTov. For to this purpose our antagonists talk, when 
they pretend ixa6i]Teveiv in the commission is explained by the fol- 
lowing words, and means by ha/pt'izing them, &c. But I know, sir, 
you are not liable to be imposed on by such fancies : for to proselyte 
to Christ or to discijde to Christ, though it be not the meaning of 
the word, may indeed be good sense enough ; but ' to proselyte into 
' the name of Christ,'' is a phrase I believe never used : besides, no 
man will ever be able to find an instance where jxadriTeveLv is put for 
and signifies fia-nTi(eiv. 

But if the word be here used in the sense our antagonists assert, 
it should be rendered discipled in the name of Christ : and this, 
though a very odd, obscure sort of phrase, may be admitted, if it be 
understood to include teaching, and means to disciple only by that; 
which will not be allowed : and yet to disciple in the name of Christ, 
without teaching, is nonsense, and can have no meaning at all ; for 
ets TO ovop-a, in the name, intends into the belief, as Dr. Whitby 

7^p e'l avOpconcov els ayy4\ovs fxeTaffrdi'Tes Oege /U^) yivvr]6r\vai riva, Koi /uaSrjrei'fiTjJ'a' 

X^^ia errj /xaOrirfvovrat virh tSiv ayyihaiv, ds to. 6(7a SiSdy/xaTa, 7) Ka\ |U7; eivat rh av- 

els Te\€i6TT]Ta airoKaOicrrd^ivoL. ilra, ol Qpoiireiov yivos, 'icrov i(p' ^/^t*", qXtiol iffS- 

fjiv SiSctlavTes iJuraTlQevrai els apxayyf- fj.e6a. 

Mktjv f^ovaiav ol fiadSvres Sf, tovs f| f P. 258. Thv aiirhy rpSirov, Ka\ vvv 

avOpwiTuiv aiiOis fJnOiffrafxevovs els ayyeXovs ovStTrco r/jr Kplffiv i-nijveyKev t) eirayei, yivd- 

lxadf)Tevov(nv. (tkojv tri KaO' rj/iiepav rivas fj-aQiqrevofxevovs 

e Apolog. I. aut melius 2. p. 43. Ei tls rh ovofxa tov Xpiarov ahrov, koI anoXel- 

oiiv 7rci"T€S kavTovs (povevffo/xfv, rod Kal nuvras rr/i/ dSbv rrjs Tr\dvr]S, 

History (f Infant-baptism. 177 

paraphrases Mattli. xxviii. 19, and the most learned interpreters 
generally agree. And to be baptized in the narne of Christy is ex- 
plained K-om. vi. 3. h/j being baptized into C/irist, a.nd into Ms death ; 
and Gal iii. 27. by putting on Christ: all which must needs imply a 
profession of faith in Christy and his death, into which they were 
baptized, as all the ancients understood it. Upon which account, 
baptism was called in the Greek church acfipayh rr/s Trtcrrecos ; and in 
the Latin church sigiUumJidei, ^ the seal of faith." 

The substance of all this Mr. Wall himself likewise allows, when 
he insinuates that some among- us who baptize only in the name of 
the Lord Jesus are probably Socinians ; and ' it is not for the use 
' of those," says he, ' that have a mind to obliterate the belief of the 
' Trinity, to baptize their proselytes into the faith and name of if^." 
From which words it seems plain enoug-h, that Mr. Wall by di to 
orofxa understands into the faith ; now, to initiate or disciple into or 
to the faith of Christ such as at the same time either do not or 
caiuiot know any thing' of Christ, is an absurdity of the first rank. 

It follows then, that the true sense of the word is no other than 
what I have given it : and if you will still have it rendered dlscipled 
to the name of Christ, that can however only mean in better English, 
instructed in and brought over to the faith of Christ ; which is the 
sense I contend for. Besides, it may be further observed, that St. 
Justin is here speaking particularly of adult persons, who of Jews 
became Christians ; which must be by believing in Christ, and ' for- 
' saking their errors," as he expresses it. And of the same persons 
again, a little after, he says, ' They received the gifts of the Spirit as 
'■ every one was worthy, being enlightened by the name of Christ." 

If (poiTL^ofxevos is here j^retended to mean baptized, as Mr. Wall 
says it sometimes signified in the more distant centuries of the 
church, but I think not so early as St. Justin"s time ; it will be 
thereby yet plainer, that ixaOrjreveLv a little before could not intend 
the same, but something else, viz. to instruct, upon which this bap- 
tism followed; the passage would otherwise be a gross tautology. 

But if that word only denotes the enlightening of the mind, 
which seems most likely ; it will still argue, that ixaOi-jTeveiv which 
precedes it, must signify to instruct, because the mind cannot be 
enlightened but by instruction. And if we only observe, that the 
persons spoken of are, as I said, adult, such as, it is granted on all 
hands, cannot become Christians \vithout faith in Christ, which 
must come by hearing ; this consideration alone is enough to deter- 
mine, that the sense of the word in this place is as I have rendered 

h Partii. p. 222. [539.] 

178 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vii. 

it ; because it is applied to such as undoubtedly were actually in- 
structed, and prevailed on to believe, and could not be initiated, dis- 
cipled, or what you will please to call it, without such instruction. 
This I suppose is now sufficiently plain, and therefore I proceed to 
another instance from the same Father. 

A few lines after, he tells his antagonist, that the Jews honour 
God and his Christ ^vith their lips only ; ' but we,' says he, ' having 
' been instructed {iJ.€fxa6r]Tev[j,evoL) or taug-ht in all truth, honour 
' them in our actions and knowledge, and in our whole minds, even 
' unto death'.' M.^ixaOr]T€vnivoi is so strictly connected to akrfitias in 
this passage, that translate it into English by what word you please, 
it must of necessity imply learning, teacJiing, or the like ; for no one 
can be discipled, &c. to or h^ the truth any other way. 

But I need not repeat instances of this kind ; for the more learned 
and judicious will allow, that when the word is used ' transitively,' 
as the grammarians speak, it does always signify as I contend : but 
when it is used in a neuter or intransitive sense, as it is often be- 
lieved to be, they think it does not signify to teach, &c. I do not 
indeed remember that Mr. Wall any where makes this distinction ; 
though I know some of the psedobaptists do : but he chooses to as- 
sert, with a dogmatical air, as if it was one of the plainest things 
in the world, that the word ' signifies much like what we say in 
' English to enter any one's name, as a scholar, disciple, or prose- 
' lyte"",' &c., and this he never goes about to prove, or give the least 
reason for, but only shews how that interpretation of the word 
makes for his j^urpose ; as if that was reason enough, and all men 
were obliged to submit to his determination. 

But it will appear that he is altogether mistaken in this criticism, 
by shewing that even this artful distinction of some men which was 
just now mentioned, can be of no use ; because the word, even in 
this neuter signification, does always mean and include teaching. 

At present I remember but one passage which is cited on this 
occasion by those of the contrary opinion, and that is Matt, xxvii. 57, 
where it is said of Joseph of Arimathsea, kixaOriTivcre, or as Beza's 
copy at Cambridge reads it, iixaOriTevdrj t<2 Irjaov, which our transla- 
tion renders, was Jesus' disciple. This is supposed to be a plain 
instance that the word signifies simply to he a disciple ; and there- 
fore Constantine^ cites only this place to confirm the neuter signifi- 
cation he puts upon the word, in opposition to teach ; the transitive 
sense he had before mentioned. 

i Dialog, cum Tryphon. p. 258. 'H|U€7s f/.a0rirevfj.epoi, Ttfiajfiev. 
Se, Koi iv epyois, Koi ■yvoKTU, Kal KapS'ta, •' Part ii. p. 378. [651.] 

/J-^XP^ davdrov ol iK TracTjs rfjs dArjOfi'aj fxi- 1 In Lexic. ad voc. 

History of Lif ant-baptism. 179 

To this I answer ; it is plainly a mistake to suppose the word is 
ever used as a neuter, or intransitively. Its being* frequently con- 
strued with a dative case perhaps might occasion the mistake ; for 
I observe Stephens'^i, Busby", &c., note, that when it is joined with 
a dative, it signifies to be a disciple ; but of all the instances of this 
construction I do not know one which Avill sufficiently confirm this 

As for that produced by Constantine, from Matt, xxvii. 57, it is 
very short of the point : for why may not it as well be rendered, 
had been instructed, taught, &c., by Christ ? or, was brovght over to 
Jesus, as well as was Jesus' disciple ? For this will express the sense 
of the place, as well at least as the vulgar translation ; and with this 
advantage too, that the words I use are much more agreeable to the 
origination and primary sense of the Greek word, which ought to be 
considered. Besides, it is plain that Joseph, who was a Jew, could 
not become a disciple of Christ but by being taught and convinced 
that he was the true Messiah who was to come : and the very import 
and design of the words is manifestly to signify that Joseph did be- 
lieve in Jesus ; and therefore I cannot see any reason to suppose the 
word has a new sense here, when that which it is so generally used 
in is so proper. 

To make it yet clearer what the word means in this construction, 
I will present you with several other instances, which I believe will 
oblige you to understand it in my sense. 

Plutarch in the life of Antiphon the orator, says, ' he was taught 
' {y.aQr\riv(Tai) by his father, who professed oratory",^ &c. It is ob- 
servable, that Plutarch has himself explained the force of the word 
here, by these words which immediately follow : ' and having learned 
'■ the art of pleading, he gave himself to the piiblic' And in the 
life of Isocrates he tells us, ' Theopompus of Scio, Ephorus of Cuma, 
' Asclepiades the writer of tragedies, and Theodectes of Phaselis, 
' were all educated (ejLia^?/reK(re) or taught or instructed by, or 
' brought up under him^.^ 

Again, he says of ^Eschines, that ' according to some he had never 
' been taught (//a^/jreCo-at) by any master, but by writing in the 
' courts became acquainted with the forms and manner of pro- 

' ceedingH.^ 

■" Thesaur. Grsec. ad voc. 8' ain!^ K(xi @e6Tro/xnos 6 XFor, Koi ''Ecpopos 6 

" Gram. Grsec. p. 162. Ki/^aTo?, /cal'AcrKATjTriaSrjs (iTaTpa^oiSoi^^era 

o Vit. decern Rhetor, [cap. I.] p. 1530. crvyypdtpai, koI @eoSeKT7}i 6 ^aaiXir-qs, &c. 

MofljyTeutras Se T^ narpl (■^1/ 7ap crot^KTTTjy, '1 Ibid. p. 1545. [cap. vi.] Oi 5t ilirov 

&C.,) Hoi dvva/xiu \/>yu>v KTriaafXifos, &c., /x7)5c /xaO-qniicrui Tial rhv Alax'^vriv, a\\' (k 

l)>p(xr)(Ti fxiv iroKiTeveaOixi. t^s apdiivai, Iv ro7s SiKaa- 

P Ibid. p. 1539. [cap. iv] 'EfxaOriTfvae Trjplois rJre Sidyovra. 

N 2 

180 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter \ai. 

In these and all other such like passages, the word is manifestly 
used to signify to be educated or instructed hy such and such masters : 
or as Plutarch expresses the same thing in another place, sj^eaking 
of ^schines, ^he learned to read of his father^/ So that if (xvv is 
omitted in the other places hy an ellipsis, (as it is very usual,) the 
full construction will he just the same with this. Or if this prepo- 
sition should not be inserted, Origen, who was not only a great phi- 
losopher and divine, but a great master of language too, plainly 
shews us, that these forms are certainly elliptical, and that the 
dative case is not governed by the verb, but a preposition, some- 
times expressed, but commonly indeed to be understood. 

The passage from whence I gather this is a good instance against 
Stephens, Constantine, &c., that the Greek word in disj^ute, even in 
this construction, has no other sense than that which I give it. 
Origen^s words are these, in answer to a question put by himself, 
namely, when the Jews, who believed in Christ, learned of the Fa- 
ther ; because the Lord had said, John vi. 45, Every man therefore 
that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me : 
Origen answers as a third person, but yet agreeably enough to what 
was known to be his own opinion, ' The words must not be under- 
' stood as though any one had seen the Father, for only he who is 
' with the Father has seen him ; Ijut to import, that the souls of 
' some, before they came into the body and were born into the world, 
' {ixeixadrjTeviJievaL irapa. r(5 Uarpl,) were taught by the Father, and 
' heard him ^,' &c., in that state of their preexistence. 

Here Origen uses ixaOrjTsveiv for the same thing which in the text 
is expressed by fxavdavew ; which puts it out of all doubt that the 
sense is as I have translated it : and it cannot be obscure, because 
he is speaking of such as were prepared before their birth, by heai-ing 
the Father. Ferrarius therefore, without any difficulty, renders it 
' edoctse apud Patrem,' exactly in the sense I maintain. 

Therefore by Origen^'s supplying the construction by 'napa, it 
appears that the phrase would have been defective without it, and 
that it must have been understood : or else vno, which Irenajus has 
used to express the same sense. For example, speaking of St. Poly- 
carp, he says, '■ he was not only instructed {ixaOriTevOeU v-nb a-no- 
' oTo'Acoi') by the apostles and acquainted with many of those who had 
' seen the Lord ; but was also constituted by the apostles bishop of 
' the church of Smyrna in Asia\^ Though vtto be here joined with 

1 Vit. decern Rhetor, p. 1544. [cap. vi.] Kapiros 5e ou fxifov virh a'jro(TT6\a>v /j.aOriT€v- 

Kai 6TI TTois &>v iSiSaaKi ypd/j./j.ara abv T'f 6eh, Kol avvavaarpacpe).! TroAAo?? roTs rhv 

irarpi. 'S.pKnhv (wpaic6air, aWa Koi virh a.rTocn6\wv 

r Comment, in Johan. p. 293. KaracnaOeh t-U rr)v ^Kariav iv rfj <V S/u/'pi/jj 

" Apud Euseb. lib. iv. cap. 14. rioAtj- iKKAr/aia iAoKoivos. 

IL'istory of Lifant-Baptum. 181 

tlie genitive, it does not alter the i)hrase ; for it is used promiscu- 
ously with a g-enitive or dative, without any difference in the sense ; 
just as Origen, in the place above cited, and in the following words, 
shews us irapa is likewise. Thus Socrates Scholasticus, speaking of 
Eunomius the heretic, has this remarkable passage ; ' that being 
' Aetius' secretary, he was taught or led by him into [vii avT<^ -nai- 
' bevOeh) the heresy ♦^,^ which he afterwards gave name to. This 
passage is the more observable, because it serves to shew how jxaOr]- 
TevOeh is to be understood in St. Irena^us : for it is plain the sense 
in both places is the same; and therefore TTULbevOeh, which every 
body knows signifies instructed, taugld, or the like, strongly eon- 
firms my interpretation of ij.a6r]Tev0eU in the other place. And be- 
sides, it is there capable of no other sense ; and the Glossarium La- 
tino-Gnecum annexed to Dr. Grabe^s edition of St. Irenseus renders 
the word by edoctus, taught, instnicted, &c. C. Nepos expresses this 
sense by enuUtus, when, speaking of Alcibiades, he says, 'he was 
' taught by Socrates'^ •' and so in other places. 

We have another instance much of the same nature with that of 
Socrates, in Clemens Alexandrinus, which is parallel to what was 
cited from Origen, and may therefore serve to expound it. ' For we 
' are taught of God, who are taught of the Son of God wisdom which 
' is truly divine".'' What Origen expressed by [i.aQr]T^\)6\xivai irapa 
TM UaTfA, St. Clement here expresses by 7rat5euo'juei'ot -napa t<5 Tt(p 
Tuu &eov, for both speak of being taught of God. 

And since I have begun, I will further illustrate the sense of the 
word under consideration by more examples of other words, which 
are synonymous to it, and used exactly to express the same thing. 

Plutarch, speaking of Lysias, says, ' he was taught (TratSeuo'/xeyos) 
* or studied inider Tisias and Nicias of Syracuse)'. " Here he uses 
■naibevoi} directly in the same sense, as in the instances above cited 
you may see he at other times uses pLa6r}T€v(o. So iElian says of 
Persaius, 'AvTiyovov eTratSeyre, ' he taught Antigonus.'' And again, a 
little after, ' Lysis, a disciple of Pythagoras, instructed Epaminon- 

Plato, in one of his dialogues, makes Socrates say. Carry your sons 
with you ; for in hopes of gaining them, they will be the more 
easily persuaded to teach us". 

* Hist. Eccl. lib. ii cap. 35. fin. KvvS- .^.] nai5(v/ifj.fvosjrapa Tkti'o koI NiKi'a roiy 

fxios raxvypoi.(pu'> &i> iKfivuv., Kal vtt' axtiifi 'S.vpaKovcnois. 
irai^ivOth r^v aiptTiic)}v Kf^LV. ' -^lian. Var. Histor. Ill), ill. cap. 17. 

u Vit. Alcibiad p. 74. Aiiiris 5« & yi/ciipt/xns rov Tlv6ay6pou, koI aii- 

X Stromat. lil). i. p. 3l<S. 0«uSi5a«TO£ rhs 'EiranfivcvvSav i^eiraiS^vaf. 
yhp rifxeis, Upa tivrcos ypafx/xara irapa rf " Eiitliydeni. p. njo, D. "laws Se StKfap 

tup rod &fov TraiSivS/uKvoi. &f/>ijifv uvrtns tovs <tovs vUTs- i(piffjLivoi yap 

y De Vit. deceiu lihetor. p. 1536. [cap. iKtiviJiv oiS' '6ti koI rifias TratStvaovaiv. 

182 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter vii. 

In all these places vaLbevew is used just as jjLaOqTeveiv is iu others, 
which I have mentioned before. From whence it is but reasonable 
to infer, that both these words, in these and such like cases, signify 
one and the same thing-, namely, to instruct, or teac/i, or the like. 

Another synonymous word, by which the sense of iJ.adr]T€V(o may 
be illustrated, is d/cowco, which is frequently enough used for to learn 
in the New Testament, as well as among profane writers. Pindar 
has a passage very pertinent to this effect, though the word is meta- 
phorically applied in it : ' For Salamis can produce as brave soldiers,'' 
says the poet, ' as any in the world ; Hector learned (a/covcrei^) the 
' truth of this from Ajax before the walls of Troy^/ The ancient 
scholiast interprets aKovaev by ixavOavtiv in this place : and it is very 
plain the metaphor is taken from the schools, where pupils hear and 
are taught by tutors appointed to that purpose. And this word is 
often used to express this sense. 

Diogenes Laertius says of Anaximenes, that ' he was educated or 
' taught by [i'jK.ovaiv) Anaximander : others say, he studied under 
' [aKova-ai) Parmenidesc.'' Of Socrates, in his Life, he says, that 
' when according to some {a.Kovaa'i) he had been instructed by, or 
' studied under Anaxagoras, and also by Damon, as Alexander in his 
' Treatise of Succession affirms; after his condemnation, he heard 
' (Sny/coDcrez') or studied under Archelaus the Naturalist^'.' And 
again, of Xenocrates he says, that 'he heard, [i]kov(T€v,) that is, 
' studied under Plato almost from his infancy ^.^ And so in many 
other places. 

Plutarch commending the natural propensity to virtue, of Dion 
the Syracusian Brutus, says, that notwithstanding he had lived in 
the corrupt court of Dionysius the famous tyrant, upon hearing 
Plato talk, though very young, he was so enamoured \vith philosophy, 
that '^ he resolved to find opportunities to see that great philosopher, 
' and be instructed [aKoxxrai) or taught by him ^' And again, when 
comparing Pelopidas and Epaminondas together, ' They seem both,'' 
says he, ' to have been equally made for all kind of virtues, except 
' that Pelopidas delighted most to exercise his body, and Epami- 
' nondas by learning to exercise his mind : they spent therefore all 
' their leisure hours, one in hunting-, wrestling, and the like, and the 

t> Ka\ txav Tivas aWa. koI Ad/j.uii'os, uis ^AAe^di'Spos eV 

'a SaAa^i'y 76 dpfi^iai SiaSoxafs, fiiTa rriv iKeivou KaTa^lK-qv Sir,- 

fpooTa fxaxarav Kovaev 'Apxe\dou rod <pv(TiKov. 

Awards. 'Zv Tpoia /uai' 'EKTwp e Vit. Xeiiocrat. OSto.t tV veuv Tlhd- 

MavTos 6.Kiwae:v. Pindar. Nem. ii. 18. tcdj/os iiKovirev. 

c In ejus vit. lib. ii. ' hvai,Lfi(vqs Ei/pv- f In Vit. Dion. p. 1756. 'Ea-novSaa-f, 

(Trpdrov Mt\ri<Tios iJKOvffiv 'Ava^i/,idvr<pov. Kal eirpd^aTo iroiriffd/xn'os axoK7}v, avrhu 

fvtot 5e Kal Xlap/xeplSou (paalv aKovaai axniv. ivTv^e^v DAaTcuri Kal aKovaat. 
t' Lib. ii. 'AKovcras Se 'Aya^aydpov, Kara 

History of Infant-baptism. 


^ other in learning", (a/cowwy,) or being instrvicted in something-, and 
^ in philosophical dis]iutations°/ 

Thus too he uses the compound Staxovo), when he remarks out of 
Stesimbrotus the historian, ' that Themistocles was instructed (8ta- 
' Kovaai) or taught by Anaxagorash/ Thus in the life of Cicero he 
says, ' when he came to Athens, he heard,^ that is, ^ was instructed 
' by or studied under (StT^Koucre) Antiochus of Scallona, with whose 
' voluble eloquence he was extremely pleased, but did not approve 
'■ of the new opinions he had started'/ Now in all these cases it is 
plain the words are used exactly in the same sense as ixadrjTevM, 
which they therefore interpret in the places before cited, and are 
a very home argument that ixaOi-jTevu) in all such places necessarily 
implies hearing and learning in one party, and teaching in another. 

Notwithstanding this is sufficiently demonstrated in what I have 
already said, I cannot forbear adding one more illustrious instance, 
which I remember I have read in Clemens Alexandrinus, where he 
is shewing that the Jewish philosophy is much the oldest of any 
other, and that the Grecian was borrowed from it : he cites a passage 
out of Democritus, where he boasts of his learning and of his 
travels : which he intimates gave him the advantage of informing 
himself of many things from wise men in all parts of the world, 
and from the Egyi^tians in particular, with whom he says 
he had conversed eighty years. After this citation Clement adds, 
' He travelled into Babylon, Persia, and Egypt, learning (ixadrjTevoDv) 
' of the magi and priests. Pythagoras assures us, that Zoroaster 
' was one of the Persian magi : and those who are of the sect of 
' Prodicus boast they have some hidden mystical books of that 
' great man. Alexander, in his Treatise of Pythagorean Symbols, 
' says, Pythagoras was taught (juia^rjreuo-ai,) or instructed by Nazara- 
' tus the Assyrian, and that besides these, he heard {aKrjKoivai) or 
' learned of the Druids and Brachmans'^.^ 

In this passage, the word in dispute, [j.a9i]Tev(a, is twice used only 

S In Pelopid. p. 509. "^Hcrai/ Se kuI irphs 
iraffav apeT^v iret^uKdrey oixoloos, Tr\7]i> ort 
T^ yvfxvd.^€a9ai fiaWov tx^'pe TleXoirlSa';, 
rcli 5e fxavOdvav, 'EiraiJ.eivwv5as' Kol Tas 
Siarpi^as 4v t^ (rxo\a^€iv, 6 /nev, irepl ira- 
AaicTTpai Kol KvvT)y€(Tia, 6 Tie, aKOvwv tl koX 
(pLKo(Tfict>ihv, e7r()ie?To. 

•» Vit. Tliemistocl. p. 704. KaiVoi Sttj- 
aifi^poTos ^ Ava^ay6pov re biaKovaai rhv 06- 
IxiffTOKKia (prjai. 

' Vit. Ciceron. p. 1580. ''AepiKd/jLevos 
5' (Is 'Adrjvas 'Avridxov rov 'AcTKaKcephuv 
SirjKovae, rfj fiev evpoia tuiv \6yuiv avTov 
Kol X'^P''''* KijKov/xfvos, a 5' 4u to7s Sdyfiaaiv 

iveocrept^ev ovk ^Traiuoiv. 

k Stromat. lib. i. p. 304. 'E7r7)A0f yap 
BaPuKcofa. Te Kal HepiriSa ical AlyuirTov, 
Tois T€ ixdyoLS KoX Tols Upivai fjLaOrjTfvcmv. 
ZcopodirTp7]v 5e rbif Mayov rhv Tlfpffi]!/ b 
X\vSay6pa.s i^i^Kwaiv. Bi^Kovs airoKpi/tpovs 
t' avSphs TovSe ui rrjr npoSlKov fxtrtovTes 
a'lpi(nv avxoiKTi KeKTijaOai. 'A\fE,avSpos 8e 
e'f T(2 irepl IludayopiKuiv SuyU/SdAoJi', Na(,a- 
pa.T(f) Tw 'A<Tffvpi(fi /xaflrjTtDfrai Iffropfl rbv 
llvdaydpav — aKiTKOfvai n -rrphs rovrois Fo- 
XariSiv Kal Bpaxf^dfwv rhv TlvdayApav ^ov\f- 

184 Reflectiovs on Mr. JFall's [letter vii. 

to signify to learn, just in the same sense as aKovoi is, immediately 
after in the last sentence, in which likewise the words re Trpos tovtois 
are to be observed, for they connect the sense of the last clause with 
that of the foregoing- : for to say, besides these he heard, or was tmicjht, 
by such or such also, necessarily imports that he had been said be- 
fore to have heard or heen taught by others. And you may remember 
that Clement is there professedly shewing from whence the Greeks 
had learned their philosophy ; for this makes it more necessary to 
understand the passage as I have translated it, it being so very 
agreeable to his design, but otherwise making nothing to the 

Now, sir, from all I have hitherto said, I am persuaded you will 
think it is abundantly evident, that jxadriTevd) does always, even in 
the pretended neuter acceptation, signify to instruct, teach, or the 
like, and that our adversaries have not the least ground to surmise 
it is ever so much as once used in any case, so as not to include 
teaching. After the instances already given and the considerable 
illustration of them by parallel passages, wherein -naihivia and aKovisi, 
being used to the same sense, interpret \iaB-\]rivui in the other places : 
I say, after all this I should not need to recite more instances, 
but that you intimate it will be very acceptable ; and therefore to 
the rest I add these two or three that follow. 

Clemens Alexaudrinus, speaking advantageously of philosophy 
against those who exploded it, from some premises he has before 
been arguing on, infers thus : ' Wherefore it is no absurdity to say, 
^ that philosophy was given by Divine providence, as a forerunner 
' to prepare and lead us on to that perfection which is in Christ, if 
' it is not ashamed, but learns {fia6i]Tevovaa) to advance from barba- 
' rous wisdom to the truth '.^ Again, commending the holy Scrip- 
tures to the Greeks, he has these words, which I transcribe at large, 
because that will give the more force to the instance ; ' The word 
' which enlightens us is more to be valued than gold or precious 
' stones, and more desirable than honey or the honeycomb : for how 
' should that but be extremely desirable, which quickens and invi- 
' gorates a mind that is buried in darkness, and sharpens the sight 
' of the understanding ? For as, if there were no sun, notwith- 
' standing the other stars, all would be night ; so if Ave had not been 
' enlightened by the word, we should not have differed from the 
' fowls which are wont to be fattened in the dark, and nourished for 

1 Stromat. lib. vi. p. 690. Ovk arorrov TeAei'oxnj', ^v /u?J iTraiffxvvqTai yvwad 0ap- 
Se Kal rrif (piKoaocpiav eK tyjs Oiias irfjoi'oias ^dpy /j-aByji eiiovaa ipiKoiTO(pla npoKdirretv us 
dtS67daiy TTpoiraiSivuvaay its ttjc Sia XptaTuv aKijdeiay. 

History of Infant-haptism. 185 

^ death. Let us therefore receive the light, and learn of {fme-qTiv- 
' (joifxev) or be instructed by the Lord"!/ 

As remarkable and plain are several passages in Origen for 
example^ where he is explaining Matt. xiii. 52. ' By scride there 
' may be understood one that is instructed in (jueua^r/rev/aeVos) that 
' knowledge which is according to the letter of the law".'' And a 
little after ; ' So this passage also may be expounded tropologically, 
' Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, to signify that the 
'■ scribesj that is_, those who rest in the bare letter^ if they repent, 
' may be instructed (jua^Tjrei^w/'rat) in the spiritual doctrine which, 
' by Christ Jesus, is the quickening word, and is called the kingdom 
' of heaven^.' And in the same sense the word several times occurs 
in this and the next page ; to which I will add but one instance 
more from this Father, taken out of the books he writ against Celsus. 
Lashing the pride and arrogance of that virident adversary of Christ- 
ian religion, who boasted he was thoroughly acquainted with that 
institution, he says, ' This is just as if any one who has travelled 
' into Egypt, where the wise men, according to the learning of that 
' country, reason profoundly among themselves about many things 
' which they account sacred ; but the common people amuse them- 
' selves with some fables which they have heard, and the reason 
' of which they do not comprehend : — it is, I say, just as if such a 
' one shall fancy he understands all the wisdom of the Egyptians 
' when he is taught [jxaOriTevaas) only by the empty chat of the vul- 
' gar, without having ever been admitted to the conversation of the 
' priests, or been instru^cted by them in the Egyptian mysteries P.' 
This passage is the fitter to conclude with, because it is very plain 
from the design of it, that the word in dispute must here signify to 
teach ; and Origen himself explains it so, by ixaQ^v, in the last clause, 

I" Protreptic. p. 70. TXvkvs 6 \6yos 6 rels, Tovrecmv, oi rtfi yfiafi-fiari \pi\i^ irpo<r- 

(pwTLcrai rt/xus, unep ■)(pv(Tiov Kai \idov rifxiov avaTrav6fJLivoi, /xeTavoovvTts airb tt/s roi- 

■TruOiLvds iariv inrep /jLeKi Kai Krjpiov. Xlais avTTjs ivSoxv^ lu.aBrjTevoi'Tai rfj Sia 'ItjcoS 

yap ov Trudiii'hs 6 ruv ev (TK6r(i Karopwpvy- Xpicrrov tov i/xtpvxov \6yov irvev/xaTiKf Si- 

piivov voiiv, dvfpyri iroirjfTCjuej'oj, Kai to. (poocr- SaaKaKia, KaXovfj.4vr] PaaiKiia ovpavwv. 

(pupa rfjs ^uxv^ airo^vfas op.ij.aTa ; Ka\ yap [Comin. torn. x. Op. vol. iii. p. 458. edit. 

uiffTtip rjKiuxi fjLT] ovTos €v(Ka Twv 6iK\(t;v aa- Benedictin.] 

Tpiiii/ j/v^ &!/ ■^r TO, iravTa, ovrois el ju?; rhv V Orig. contra Cels. lib. i. p. II. AoKet 

\6yov tyvw/xiv, Kai rovrtp Kar-qvydad-qp-fv, Se pLoi roiovrdv ri ■jreiroirjKfi'ai, ojj «!f tis tt? 

oiiShvavTciiu aiTevop.evaii' 6pvldwvi\inr6ixi6a, Alyvirrcf f7ri5rj;UT)(7aj, efda 01' Aiyu-miwy 

if aKSrei -rviaivip.evoL, Kai Qavdjw rpicpSpL^voi. ao(pol, Kara to Trdrpta ypdp.p.ara, iroKXa <pi- 

Xaip-qaoofXiP rb (pws, 'Iva xoipiio'ajjuei' rhv \oao<pov(Ti irepl rwv Trap' avTois vevop.tcrp.ei'a'i/ 

&e6v. Xwprfawfxev rh (pis, Kai /.iaBiqTevooo- deioDV, ol 5e IStwrai fxvOuvs rivds aKOvaavrts 

pL^v TCfi Kvpicf), wv Toi/5 hSyovs ouK fTTiffravTai, p-iya tir' 

" Comment, in Matth. p. 218. 'H ypap.- avroTs (ppovovcnv (^ero iravTa to. Alyvm Iwy 

fiaTivs TTos 6 i.ifp.ad7)Tevp(toi rrj Kara, rh iyvoDKfvai tois ISiwrais ainSiv p.a6r]riiiaas, 

ypdppa Toi) v^ixov SiSaaKaAia, &c. Kai pLV^fvl rSiv Up^uiv^as, p-qb' dn6 

"Comment, in Matth. p. 219. Ou/o) Tifos aurwi' ra Aiyuirriwv a.ir6ppT]Ta p.a6(vv. 

5e Kai rpoTTuKuyriafis rh ptravoeht, ViyyiKe [Sect. xii. Op. toin. i. p. 330. edit. Bene- 

yap 7) Paffi\eia ruy ovpavwVf '/^' 01 ypap.p.a- diet.] 

186 Eeflections on Mr. Wall's [lettee "v^i. 

which is most apparently used to signify exactly what before he had 
expressed by /ia^?;revcras. 

All this largely shews that the Greek word ixadrjTevM does, as I 
asserted, always signify io teach or the like ; and that those unsuit- 
able phrases, to he disciples or to make disciples, if they can ever be 
admitted, mu^st always be understood to include teaching, for it is 
this certainly the word principally imports : and therefore the pre- 
tended intransitive acceptation of it can be of no service, nor is sup- 
ported by any one precedent. 

But besides I observe, that though the thing I oppose could be de- 
fended and all I have been saying had no force, it can nevertheless be 
no advantage to our adversaries in the present case ; because however 
the word is used in some other places, yet in the commission it is 
undoubtedly used transitively, expressing an action which is to affect 
and terminate in the subjects mentioned, viz. all nations ; and thus 
to teacli, instruct, &c. all nations, is good sense ; but to he disciples all 
nations, is nonsense, and cannot be the meaning of infinite wisdom. 
The construction with an accusative is also a demonstration that the 
word is here transitive and not neuter; though besides it neither 
can, nor I believe will be denied, and therefore I need not insist 
longer upon it. 

But further I add, that discipleship necessarily includes teaching ; 
and therefore though the word could be here rendered to he a disciple, 
yet our antagonists would not be able to avoid the difficulty we 
press them with; it being enough for us, that however they will strain 
and torture, the word teaching is still necessarily included in it. 

On this account also, to render the word make disciples, which is 
much more sensible and proj^er, can do no manner of hurt to us, nor 
kindness to our adversaries. Perhaps there may be some colour for 
this notion of the word in the nature of things ; and it is true, there 
does seem to be something peculiar in the word ; for it means not 
simply to teach, but to teach so as to prevail, to hring over to an opinion, 
and actually to fix and settle principles in the persons taught ; and 
this indeed is consequentially making disciples ; but then the word 
does not primarily signify to make discipjles, but only to teach success- 
fully, and so as to prevail. Though the terms are almost reciprocal, 
and teaching successfully is making discijiles ; and making disciples, 
teaching successfully: yet you may observe this difference, that 
teaching is the cause ; and being made disciples the effect produced 
by that cause, and following upon it. And therefore, though to 
make discijiles were supposed in effect to signify the same thing I 
plead for, yet I would choose rather to lay that phrase aside, because 

History of Infant-haptism. 187 

it is not the immediate import of the word ; and besides, we find by 
experience, the interests and prejudices of some men can make it 
liable to ambiguity; which, on the contrary, the pi'imary and 
immediate sense is wholly free from. If it be rendered teach, as you 
see in all the instances I have g-iven it unavoidably sig-nifies, it can 
lose nothing of its sense ; for dlscipleship will follow if that be to be 
included ; but if it be rendered make disciples, our adversaries take 
an advantage, and attempt to argue us out of the principal signifi- 
cation, pretending it means to make disciples in general, not only by 
teacJiing, but even without it too. 

Thus Dr. Hammond, in his Answer to the Query about Infant- 
Baptism, argues q. That the word in the commission does signify 
simj)ly to make disciples of all nations ; and he would have the words 
immediately following to explain and determine the manner how 
this was to be done, namely, by baptizing them ; " making this form 
' of baptism,^ says he, 'their ceremony of receiving them/ he does 
not mean of receiving them into church-communion, but into 
discipleship, that is, appointing this form of baptism alone to be 
that which makes them disciples ; which, whatever it be else, I am 
sure is no good divinity. 

Besides, the doctor never g*oes about to shew the word is ever once 
used so : whereas I have largely shewn it cannot be so understood ; 
which I doubt not will weigh more with you, sir, than the doctor^s 
bare assertion : and if any you shew these letters to, out of deference 
to the doctor^s learning, shall insist upon his interpretation of the 
word, I challenge them to shew any instances, or the least tolerable 
reason to imagine that iiadriTevM and l3aTTTL((a are in any deg-ree 
synonymous, or ever put to signify one and the same thing, or that 
one ever so explains the other, as it is pretended to do in the com- 
mission ; nay, or that fxadrjT^voi) can once signify in any passage to 
make disciples in general, exclusively of teaching. If they will make 
either of these particulars appear, I will not only alter my present 
ojiinion, but always gratefully acknowledge myself very much 
obliged to them for the favour. I am. 


Yours, &c. 


Dr. Hammond explains fjiadrjTfvaare, Matt, xxviii. 19, by John iv. i, without, if 

not contrary to, all reason — His unfairness noted — A passage of the bishop of 

Sarum in favour of the antipjpdobaiitists' sense of the word : another from 

Mr. Le Clerc — What Mr. Wall urges from the notion of a disciple, considered 

1 Six Queries, pages 196, 197. 

] 88 Reflections on Mr. IFall's [letter viii. 

— y\.ndriTi]i is only said of such as are at least capable of being taught — Mr. 
Wall's groundless and unfair attempt upon Acts xv. lo, to prove the contrary, 
examined— The words relate only to adult persons — A disciple, in commoa 
discourse, ever signifies one that is taught, &c. ; so it does likewise among the 
Latin authors, from whom we borrow it — Proved from the etymology of 
discipulus — By instances from Cicero; from Juvenal; from Terence; from 
Cornel. Nepos — All the world have had the same notion of a disciple — 
Instances in the eastern languages — In the Anglo-Saxon — No instance that it 
is used otherwise in any Greek author; but many of the sense the antipaedo- 
baptists plead for — One taken from John ix. 27 : one from Acts xviii. 23 : 
another from Dionysius Halicarnassseus. Illustrated also by synonymous 
words — Instances of aKpoarrjs ; from Diogenes Laertius ; from Plutarch — An 
instance of uKpoaixevos from Plutarch — Of aKovarrjs from iElian ; from Diony- 
sius HalicarnassEeus — This illustrated by instances from Roman authors ; from 
Cicero — The inference from all this in the present dispute — A passage from 
Lucian ; wherein he explains the phrase ' to make disciples' — Disciple and 
teacher used as correlates ; by Themistius ; by Cicero — This applied to the 
present dispute — The most judicious have always allowed, that the word in the 
commission particularly signifies to teach and instruct; as Constantine, 
Ste])hens, Leigh, Turreline, Episcopius, Limborch, Cameron, Martin Bucer, 
Rigaltius, Erasmus, Grotius, Lucas Brugensis — This proved to be the sense 
of the place from the several versions; the Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic, Persic, 
Ethiopic, Arias Montanus, Vulgar Latin — That of Sixtus V; Beza, Erasmus, 
Castalio ; the Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, Danish, Saxon, Vulgar Greek, 
— The Fathers of the primitive Church always understood the word in the com- 
mission signified to teach : thus Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, St. Justin, 
Eusebius — Apostolical Constitutions ; St. Clement, Epi{)hanius, St. Basil, Ter- 
tuUian, Clarus bishop of Mascula, St. Hierome — Lastly, this is proved to be 
the true sense of the place by the authority of the sacred Scriptures themselves 
— The practice of the apostles — Parallel places — The sum of the evidence — 
From all it follows, that the commission obliges to teach all that are to be bap- 
tized : and therefore that the Scriptures are not so silent concerning the 
baptizing of infants as the paedobaptists would have us think — So that if Mr. 
Wall should prove the Jews and Christians did baptize their children, we have 
still reason enough not to admit the practice. 


Though I concluded my last with a challeiig"ej I do not expect it 
should be accepted. Dr. Hammond, I am persuaded, was conscious 
that no instance of that kind could be produced ; and therefore he 
waives it, and only makes an unaccountable reference to what he 
calls a parallel phrase, John iv. i, Tke Pharisees had heard that Jesus 
made and baptized more discijdes than John. 

But why must this place above all others be sing-led out for a 
parallel ? Can we imagine the doctor did not know it would have 
been much more to the purpose to have cited proper instances which 
are truly parallel, instead of one which is not so ? It is to be feared 
the doctor^s prejudices interposed in this case : for, as I observed 

History of Infant-haptlsm. 189 

before, when lie has another desig-n to serve, he readily allows the 
natural sense of /xa^r/revo-are (and in the commission particularly) is 
to teach. So he g-ives it in his paraphrase, and continually in his 
notes on the place ; and says, ' in other places, when the commission 
' of preaching and gathering- disciples is g-iven to the apostles :' 
plainly allowing this place to be one where it is g-iven. He 
expressly interprets the word so when he says, ' for so the words as 
' they are repeated by St. Mark must necessarily signify. Go into all 
' the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature ; to those of the 
' synagogue first, and then to others also. Thus St. Luke hath set 
'' it dowii most distinctly, ch. xxiv. 47, that repentance arid remission 
' of sins should he preached to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem' 

Ag-ain, he allows that St. Peter only repeats this very commission, 
when he says. Acts x. 42, He commanded %is to preach unto the people, 
ke. Now does not the doctor seem in all this to contradict himself, 
and pull doAvn at one time what at another he so zealously esta- 
blished ? And therefore his suffrag-e in this case signifies little. Had 
he not been strongly biassed, he would doubtless have attempted to 
explain the commission by no other parallel passages but those he 
has cited in his Annotations. 

I know there are several beside the doctor, who give the word the 
same sense ; as bishop Nicholson^*, Dr. Featly'', and indeed most 
psedobaptists, who attempt to arg-ue from the commission. But of 
all who translate it thus, the most considerable, I at present 
remember, are the right reverend bishop of Salisbury, and the 
learned Mr. Le Clerc ; who nevertheless both of them confirm my 
assertion. His lordship expressly says, that ' by the first teaching' 
' or making of disciples, that must go before baptism, is to be meant 
' the convincing the world'^,^ &e. And thoug-h Mr. Wall is so 
angry \vith Mr. Le Clerc at other times, (like the gnat on the bulFs 
horn in the Arabian fables^,) I fancy he was better pleased Math 
him, when he found that learned g-entleman asserted ixaOrjreveLv sig- 
nifies to make disciples; and imagined it was giving in to his 
opinion. But the French version of the New Testament, which 
Mr. Le Clerc afterwards published with remarks, soon put our 
author out of humour again, by letting him see that rendering the 
word so could do him no service : for there he renders it in the 
iQXt,faites des disciples, 'make disciples;^ and in his remark on it 
says, ' This is the proper signification of the word jxaOijTeveLv, and 
' not to teach^ :' but then he adds immediately, to prevent all 

a On the Catechism. ^ Dipper Dipped, p. 59. c Exposition of the Articles, p. 300. 
'^ Lockiuanni Fab. '' O'est le propre sens du verb matheeteucin, et non cnsdgner. 

190 Hejlections on Mr. Wall's [letter viii. 

mistake, and in contradiction to the common criticism, that ' it is 
' nevertheless very true, that disciples are not made but by teach- 
' ingf/ That is as if he had said, jxa6r]Tiv^iv does indeed mean and 
include teaching ; but the full sense of it is not so properly expressed 
by teach, because it signifies something- more than simply to teach, 
viz. as I said before, to convince, to teach so as to prevail, and bring 
over to an opinion ; which is in effect to make disciples. So that the 
word still necessarily includes teaching. And I hardly remember any 
considerable man that ventures to assert the contrary. 

Mr. Wall, to make the cavil seem the more reasonable, endeavours 
to shew from the notion of a disciple, that persons may be made 
disciples without being taught, nay, or without so much as being in 
a capacity of receiving instruction ; and infers, since the word, which 
signifies to make discijdes, does not necessarily include teaching, it 
may refer to persons not capable of being" taught ; and so he thinks 
the commission may be easily understood to extend to infants as 
well as adult persons. 

But this is sufficiently confuted by the large evidence I have given 
above of the import of the Greek word, that it does necessarily 
include teaching as well in the commission, as in all other places 
where it occurs. And in the next place I will add, that ixadriTi}s, or 
disci^ile., is only said of such as are capable of being taught, and 
properly belongs to them only in this respect. 

All our author says to the contrary, and which I can think it so 
much as possible any man should be persuaded by, is expressed in 
these words : ' St. Peter, speaking against the imposing of circum- 
' cision on the heathen converts and their children, words it thus, to 
' put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples : whereas it was infants 
' especially on whom this yoke was attempted to be puts,^ Acts xv. lo. 

Mr. Wall delivers nothing on this occasion which is likely to de- 
ceive the most ignorant, unless it be this passage, wherein he makes 
so bold with the Scripture, that perhaps such as are too credulous, 
and not given to examine matters as they ought, may take it for a 
clear Scripture-proof of the thing. But you, sir, I am satisfied, will 
see through our author^'s fallacious misapplication of the text he 
cites. And how disingenuous is it to insinuate, with as much 
assurance as if it were plainly expressed, that the holy apostle is 
speaking against imposing circumcision on the heathen converts and 
their children ? And how much worse is it to assert downright, that 
' it was infants especially, on whom this yoke was attempted to be 

f Quoiqu'il soit vrai que Ton ne fait des disciples, qu'en les enseignant. 
Z Part ii. page 378. [651.] 

History of Infant-haptism, 191 

' put ?^ Any man who reads the passage, even though he be entirely 
in Mr. WalFs interest too, cannot but see this assertion is grossly 
false, and that infants are nowhere mentioned ; nor is any thing 
said which can be applied to them in the whole chapter. 

The brethren, ver, i, on whom this attempt was made, are said to 
be taught that mthout being circumcised they could not be saved. 
This cannot include infants. Again, ver. 5, speaking only of those 
who were converted, the Pharisees said it was needful to circumcise 
them. And St. James, in ver. 19, very plainly shews us that he did 
not understand the question to relate at all to infants, but only to 
the adult ; for he confines his determination to them alone : Where- 
fore, says he, my sentence is, that we trouhle not them, who from among 
the Gentiles are turned to God. And sure none will say infants can 
turn from a false religion to God. But the whole scope of the place, 
the injunctions of that venerable council of the apostles, their letter, 
and all the circumstances, do very evidently conspire to shew their 
consultation related not to infants, but only to the adult. Nay, 
St. Peter, in the words immediately preceding the verse our author 
cites, says of the persons who are the subject of the dispute, that 
God had ' purified their hearts by faith :' from whence it is plain 
the persons he spoke of were actual believers ; and consequently by 
Ijm6i]tQ)v, in the following words, the holy apostle intends only the 
converts, exclusively of their infants, if they had any. This you see, 
sir, is so very clear, that nothing but prepossession could incline any 
man to assert, it was infants especially on whom this ^yoke was 
' attempted to be put ;' in hopes he might hence conclude that 
infants are here called disciples, and by consequence must be capable 
of being made so. 

It is a great dishonour and disservice to religion, that any who are 
teachers of it, and appointed to guide the people, should endeavour 
to support their fancies and opinions by a fallacy. Nothing, I think, 
can be more disingenuously urged, or be a more palpable aff'ront to 
the common sense of mankind, than to affirm jua^rjrr/s may be applied 
to infants and persons not capable of being taught ; for every body 
constantly uses the word, and always understands it to mean one 
that is taught or learns. In common discourse it is ever so : and 
ask a countryman what he means by the word scholar, he will tell 
you he means one that goes to school to learn. And if you ask what 
he means by disciple, he will tell you, such a man^s disciple is one 
that holds his opinions, and thinks his way best. And you will find 
the coimtryman Umderstands his mother-tongue better than some 
others seem to do ; and if he uses more honest simplicity, he uses 

192 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter viii. 

more reason too in explaining his meanings than the bias of interest 
and parties will suffer some men of letters to do : and if the matter 
were to be referred, all the world would prefer the good plain sense 
of the countryman. Now common use, which fixes the sense of 
words, is an undoubted proof of their signification. 

Besides, we may argue not only from the use of the word dhciple 
among ourselves, but likewise from the use of it among the Latin 
authors, from whom we have borrowed it. Now it is plain, cUs- 
cipulus is formed from discere, to learn. If the name then is 
imposed on persons for that reason, viz. qiiia discunt, it can be 
applied to none but such in whom the reason is to be found; 
otherwise it would be given not only without, but even contrary to 
the reason of it. But the Latins always used it, according to its 
etymology, to signify one that was taught [qui discit, says Stephens, 
one that learns) ; and Cicero promiscuously uses discipulus and discens, 
a learner, as synonymous words. 

In that strange relation concerning Diodotus the Stoic philoso- 
pher, he says, that even after he was blind, ' though it seems almost 
' impossible to be done without the use of sight, yet he taught geo- 
' metry, directing his scholars, [discentihis,) or pupils, or disciples, 
' by words, whence and whither, and what lines they should draw*^.' 
What he here means by discens is in other places expressed by dis- 
cipnlus. Thus in a letter to Papirius, he says, ' Hirtius and Dola- 
' bella are my scholars, or disciples, [discijmli,) or students in 
' oratory, and my masters in feasting'.' The same opposition of 
master and scholar Juvenal makes ; when lashing those who instil 
their own covetous principles into their children, he says, ' Take my 
' word for it, the scholar will outgo the master^.' Old Simo in 
Terence uses dlscipnlus in the same sense ; speaking to Davus, by 
whom he supposes Pamphilus was tutored and advised ; ' Why do 
' not you mind your pupil, {dlscijmli,) and give him better instruc- 
'tions'?' Nepos, in the Life of Epaminondas, remarks, that 'he 
' did not discharge his tutor, till he had gone far beyond his 
' fellow-scholars {condiscipidos) in learning ; by which it was easy to 
' foresee he would excel as much in other things"^.' 

li Cic. Qusest. Tuscul. lib. v. cap. ^q. • Andria, Act. 3. Seen. i. 19. Si. Num 

Turn quod sine oculis fieri posse vix immemor es discipuli ? 

videtur, geometric munustuebatiu', verbis ™ Pag. 138. Neque prins eum a se 

prsecipiens discentibus, unde, quo, qiiara- dimiserit, quam in doctrinis tanto ante- 

que lineam scriberent. cesserit condiscipulos, ut facile intelligi 

' Epist. Famil. lib. ix. Epist. 16. Hir- posset, pari mode .superaturum omnes in 

tium ego, et Dolabellam dicendi discipu- caeteris artibua. 
I03 habeo, ccenandi magistros. 

^ Meliorem prajsto magistro 

Discipulum. Satyr, xiv. 211. 

Kistory of Infant-haptism. 193 

From these instances, instead of infinite others which might be 
produced, it is plain, that those from whom we borrow the word 
disciple, meant l)y it one that is taught, or that learns. And the 
same notion of a disciple all the world have had as well as the 
Romans : therefore in the Hebrew (and other eastern languag-es to 
the same effect) a disciple is '^''TDt'H, from '^'^T^Sn in hiphiJ, which 
signifies to make to learn, or to teach : and "VO? from "yy^ in pihel, 
which signifies the same thing : and so likewise in the Anglo-Saxon, 
Leojining-cnilit is a disciple, or scholar, from leojiiiiTan, to learn. 
It is therefore one of the most unreasonable things that can be, to 
insist upon any other contrary sense, which besides is not coun- 
tenanced even by the common use of the word among ourselves. 

Our author takes his argument for the sense he gives the word, 
from the Scriptures : but neither in that sacred book, nor any one 
Greek author, is [xaOrjTrjs ever once used as he pretends. The place 
he pai-ticularly cites has been examined already, and turned against 
him : and he is opposed also by many others. John ix. 27. says the 
man who was born blind. Wherefore would ye hear it again ? will ye 
also he his disciples / that is, will ye also believe in him, and submit 
yourselves to his instruction, and become his followers? Again, 
Acts xviii. 23. He went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in 
order, strengthening all the disciples. Doubtless all the disciples then 
were capable of being confirmed in the faith they had all received ; 
for it is plain, no other are here acknowledged for disciples, but such 
as believed ; for all the disciples were strengthened. 

And so in all other instances the word is only applied to adult 
persons, who were actually taught, agreeably to the sense it is used 
in by other authors. So Theopompus the historian is called by 
Dionysius Halicarnassseus ' the most famous of Isocrates' scholars or 
' disciples",' {ixadrjTun',) that is, of all who were brought up or 
instructed by Isocrates. And it is frequent to meet with llAdrcoi'os 
jxaO-qr^s, "'ApicrTOTeAovs, Sw/cparofv juafJjjrr/?, and the like, to signify 
such as were instructed by Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, &c. ; and it 
may be illustrated further by those words which are used as 
synonymous to it. Thus Diogenes Laertius, in the life of Strato 
Lampsacenus, observing that there had been eight noted men of 
that name, says, ' the first was Isocrates' hearer or scholar {aKpoarrii) ; 
[ the second, this person whose life I am writing; the third was a 
' physician, a disciple (fxaOriTrjs) of Erasistratus'',' &c. It is to be 

^ Epist. ad Pompeium de Pnecipuis o Lib. v. Tlpu>ros'l(ToKpa.Tovi aKpoar-qs. 

Historic, cap. 6. 'E.Tri<pavi<Tra,jo\ irdi'Twu Sevrepos, avThs oZtos. Tpiros, fiadT]Tris 
^iTOKpdTovs txaSiirSiv yfu6fj.€vos. ' 'EpaffttTTpiiTov, &c. 


194 Befections on Mr. Wall's [letter viii. 

noted here, that aKpoaTijs and fxadr)T7]s are promiscuously used to 
mean the same thing : now as the former necessarily implies actual 
instruction, ixaOqTT]^ must do so too. 

Indeed what is meant by ixa0r)Ti]s in some places, we find com- 
monly enoug-h expressed by aKpoari]s, anovarris, &c., in others ; which 
being" therefore parallel passag-es, are justly brought to explain one 
another : for which reason I will give you a few instances. 

Plutarch, speaking of Lycurgus, says, that ' he first studied 
' philosophy, being a hearer, {aKpoari]?,) scholar, or disciple, of 
' Plato the philosopher P. ^ Again, speaking of Hyperidas, he says, 
' he had been a hearer or disciple (a/cpoar?;s) of Plato the philoso- 
' pher; together with Lyciu'gus and Isocrates*^.^ Sometimes he 
expresses the same thing by aKpowixevo^, as in the life of Isocrates, 
' he was a disciple or hearer [aKpodfjisvos) of Prodicus the Chian, and 
' of Gorgias the LeontineV &c- And sometimes again we meet 
with aKovaTTjs, to the same efi^ect : thus ^lian says, ' Zoilus of 
' Amphipolis, who wi'ote against Homer and Plato and others, was 
' a disciple or hearer (aKova-Trjs) of Polycrates the Athenian^.^ So 
Dionysius Halicarnassseus calls Cephisodorus the Athenian ' a true 
' and proper disciple or hearer (aKono-T?/?) of Isocrates'.'' To which 
perfectly agrees that parallel phrase of the same author, in a letter 
to Pompey concerning Plato ; where, excusing himself for his free 
censure of that great philosopher, he recounts several who had 
taken the same liberty before him : ' the first of whom,^ says he, 
' was his own scholar or disciple, (jua^rjrTjs,) Aristotle u,^ &c. There 
is no other difierence in these phrases, but that /xa^jjrr;? in one is 
expressed by aKova-ri^s in the other ; which plainly shews the words 
to be synonymous in all such cases. 

And so likewise the Roman authors, who are constant imitators 
of the Greeks, have the same expression. Cicero, the great master 
of Roman eloquence, having mentioned Theophrastus, adds, ' For 
' Strato, who was his disciple, scholar, or hearer {auditor), though a 
' man of excellent parts ^,' &c. And elsewhere, discoursing of the 
chief good, and mentioning Critolaus, he says, ' Diodorus his 
' disciple (auditor) carried the notion further, and thought besides 

P Vit. decern Rhetor, p. 1545. 'A/cpo- 'Aix(f>nro\iTrjs, o koI eh"Ofj.7ipov ypaxpas, /co» 

arrjs Se yevS/xfvos nXaTcofos rov <piKo(T6(pov, eh TlAaTccva, Kol els &\\ovs, Vlo\vKpd,Tovs 

TO, irpooTa i(pi\o(T6(priaev. fxeu aKovarrfs eyeveTo. 

Q Ibid. p. 1559. 'AKpoaTi]s Se UAaToouos * De Isocrat. Judic. cap. 18. pag. 163. 

yevd/xefos rov (piKo(r6(pov^ ajxa AvKOiipyov, TfTjcrtcoTaros aKoucTTjs iyivero. 
&c. u P<ig- 203. npwrov jxei', 6 yv7)auliiTaTos 

r Vit. decern Rhetor, p. 1538. 'AKpou>- aitrov fj.adi]rr)s'Api(TT0TeA7]s,S<.c. 
fxevos IXpoUKov T€ Tov X'wv, Kal Fopylov Tov X Academic. Quasst. lib. i. cap. 9. Nam 

Aeovrluov. Strato, ejus auditor, quanquam fuit acri 

s Var. Hist. lib. xi. cap. 10. ZoS'CKos 6 ingenio, &c. 

History of Infant-haptism. 195 

' virtue^ there should be freedom from all painy/ In another place 
he has put auditor and cliscipulus together, and plainly means the 
same thing- by them. ^ Heraclides Pontieus/ says he, '■ a learned 
' man, hearer and disciple of Plato, writes, that the mother of 
' Phalaris dreamed she saw the images of the gods^,^ &c. 

\i sufficiently appears then from hence, that ixa6i]T7]<;, or a 
discijile, does undoubtedly mean a hearer or learner ; and so to make 
disciples must imj)ly to teach them, or to make them hearers, viz. 
by reading lectures, and instructing them, or the like. 

Perhaps it may not be amiss to observe here, how well this agrees 
with some words of Cicero concerning Dion the Sicilian ; of whom, 
as we noted before, Plutarch says, that he was very desirous to hear 
{aKov(jai) or be instructed by Plato. As Cornelius Nepos also ex- 
presses it, ^ He was extremely desirous {atidiendi) of hearing him^.' 
But Cicero in one place calls him Plato's disciple ; ' Dion, who was 
' of Plato's school, when his son was killed by a fall from the top of 
' a house, not only gave no signs of grief, but calmly went on with 
' what he happened to be doing at the time, without any commotion; 
' by which this great man and disciple of Plato shewed how others, 
' who would be thought wise, should behave themselves".' In 
another place, speaking of the same person, he says, ' Who was it 
' that enriched Dion of Syracuse with all kind of learning ? Was it 
' not Plato ? &c. Did Plato instruct Dion in any other arts^ ?' &e. 
In the former passage he calls Dion ' Plato's disciple ;' and in the 
latter, he explains what he meant by it, and says, he was instructed 
by Plato : as if both expressions amounted to one and the same 
tiling; and that to call any one Plato's disciple, was just the same 
as to say, he was taught by Plato. 

Thus Lucian also, who perhaps understood the propriety of the 
Greek as well as any man, has expounded it. Anacharsis was come 
from Scythia to Greece to learn of Solon, &c. the wisdom and 
manners of the Grecians, and the art of government, as he himself 
says ; and Lucian introduces him saying to Solon, ' You cannot be 

y De Finib. Bon. et Mai. lib. v. cap. 5. modo non doluit, sed etiam in eo, quod 

Diodoru.s, ejus auditor, adjungit ad hone- turn forte agebat, constanter perstitit ; 

statem, vacuitatem doloris. quo facto judicavitet vir sapien.s et Plato- 

'■ De Divinatione, lib. i. cap. 23. Ma- nis discipulu.s, quid cceteros, qui sapientes 

trem Phalaridis scribit Pontieus Heracli- haberi volunt, facere oporteat. [Ciceron. 

des, doctus vir, auditor, et discipulus Pla- Op. fol. Hamburgi, 1618. torn. iv. p. 315. 

tonis, visam esse videre in somniis siinu- 1. 50.] 

lacra deorum, &c. '^ De Oratore, lib. iii. p. 131 a. [cap. 

* Vit. X. Dion. cap. 2. p. 98, 99. Dion 34.] Quis Dionem Syracusium doctrinis 

ejus audiendi cupiditate flagraret. omnibus expolivit? non Plato f&c. Aliisne 

'' De Consol. p. 567. a. Dion certe, qui igiturartibus hunc Dionem instituit Plato, 

e Platonis schola defluxit, cum ejus filius &c. 
in atrium e tecto delapsus interisset, non 

O 2 

196 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter viii. 

' more willing' to teach [bihAcTKidv) rae, and make me your disciple^ 
' {yLa9r]Ti]v TToiovixevoi,) than I shall be, with pleasure, to hear you 
' discourse of laws and government ^/ Here it is necessarily 
imported, that to make a disciple is to teach ; and that it is the 
office of a disciple or scholar to hear and learn. And therefore too 
we sometimes find fxady^ri]^ and bibdaKaXos, a teacher or waster, used 
as correlates ; and as such, opposed to each other : so Thernistius, 
in a speech to the senate, says, ' Though I am not capable of saying 
^ any thing worthy of this audience, but what I have before learned 
' from you ; yet I have strangely ventured to take upon me the part 
' of a master, instead of that of a disciple ^Z Evidently importing, 
that ij,adr]Ti]s is a learner or a hearer, a.Kpoa.Tr}';, as the same author 
elsewhere expresses it^. Cicero likewise, using the same kind of 
opposition, says, ' Pansetius the master or teacher (doctor) of Posido- 
' nius, but the scholar or disciple [discipulus) of Antipater, degene- 
' rated indeed from the Stoics, or the chief men of that sects^ . 

Now the terms of a relation, according to the logicians, you know, 
sir, mutually imply and relate to each other; and therefore as 
master implies a scholar to whom he is master, so scholar implies a 
master to whom he is scholar; and the ground of these relations 
is teaching in the master and learning in the scholar; which 
therefore either term of the relation does always necessarily import. 

By this time I have certainly carried it beyond all possibility of 
doubting, that jwa(?r/r^s and [xadtiTevco do ever include teaching in 
their sig*nification. And to all I have still this to add, that notwith- 
standing some of the peedobaptists generally build so much upon 
this common criticism, and think their cause sufficiently secured by 
it, the most judicious and learned men have always asserted, that 
the word does (at least in the commission) signify to teach and 
instruct. I do not desire you should take this on my word, and 
therefore I will produce some instances of it ; for in matters of this 
nature I trust nobody myself, nor wovJd have any body trust me. 

I need not repeat what I have before noted from the bishop of 
Salisbury h, and Dr. Whitby i, nor how much even Dr. Hammond'^ 
has been shewn to acknowledge the true meaning of the word : but 
I will go on to observe, that Constantine, though he thinks the 

^ De Gymnas. p. -276. "da-re ovk hf ^ Orat. ii. p. 53. 

(pOdvois diSdcTKuji' fxf, Kal fiaOrir-riv TToiovfif- s De Diviuatione, lib. i. cap. 3. Sed a 

vos, iis '^yuye j/Se'cos inaKovoifii nepl Stoicis, vel priucipibus ejus disciplinae, 

■KoAneias ti koI vofxajv 5ic|t(^j/Toy. Posidonii doctor, discipulus An tipatri, de- 

e Orat. xiii. p. 398. "Clare Kal vvv, ov^eu generavit Paiuetius, 6vC. 

ixWo einiiv Se^iws f] h Trap' u/My ejxaQov pi)- h Supra, ja. 169, 

fj.a.ra, avrl ixaQr)rov afx^i(rfir)rw SiSdcTKaXos i Supra, f). 169. 

iJvai. ^ Sujira, p. 168, 189. 


Hidovy of Infani-baptmn. 197 

word sometimes means to he or to make disciples ; yet he says^ that 
it sig'iiifies doceo^, btbdaKo), to teach, as the primary and more g-enuine 
sense; and for this he cites the commission^ Matth. xxviii. 19, as 
a plain undoubted instance; and so before him does Henry 
Stephens "1; for when he says the word signifies doceo, to teach, 
without any hesitation he confirms it by this commission^ as sup- 
posing it to be an unexceptionable instance to that purpose. 
And Leigh" from these does just the same thing. 

That profound Calvinist divine^ Monsieur Turretine, says^ infants 
' are no more capable of actual faith, than they are of that instruc- 
' tion with which the adult are to be taught and made disciples of 
' Christ, Matth. xxviii. 19".^ And in another place, he says, 
' Christ, sending his apostles to gather a church, supposes the 
' necessity of a precedaneous instruction and knowledge of his 
' doctrines; Matth. xxviii. 19, Go teach all nations, haptizing themv.' 
And so he goes on, by other passages likewise, to confirm this 
method of making church members. I know this same gentleman, 
treating of infant-baptism in another place, denies again that the 
word means to teach"^ ; but how these contradictions can be reconciled, 
let the reader judge : those who will give themselves the liberty 
to think, will doubtless see it would be nothing but the prejudice of 
education that made him deny what he had at least twice before as- 
serted in the same system. 

Episcopius, the judicious R-emonstrant, establishing the divine 
authority of water-baptism, has, among the rest, this remarkable 
passage to our purpose : ' Perhaps you will object, that ixaO-qrev'jare 
' does not signify properly to teach, but to mahe disciples. Be it so ; 
' yet they could not make disciples but by teaching them, and by 
"^teaching them those things which belonged to the Christian 
' religion : for disciple and doctor, or teacher, are relatives. Therefore 
' St. Mark xvi. 15, does not use ixadr^Tevew, but ktipvtt(lv, i. e. to 
'preach or teach. Besides, fxa6r}T£v(iv, or the Hebrew 172'7r'\' does 
' not in this place signify barely to teach, but to teach so as to gain 
' disciples D''l''?2^n 'V &c. 

1 Lexic. ad voc. nitionis doctrinse prrecodanete. Matt. 

"1 Thesaur. ad voc. xxviii. 1 9. lie docete omnes. 

" Critica Sacra, ad voc. in margin. q Institut. Thoolog. partiii. p. 46.!. § 4. 

o Institut. Theolog. par. ii. p. 640. § 9. [Wliere, it ought to be added, Turretine 

[Locus XV. Qufftst. 14.] Cnju.s non magis has an express inquiry and dissertation 

capaces sunt, quam illius institutionis, qua (Quasstio 20.) on the jioint of infants' bap- 

docentur adulti, et discipuli Christi fiunt, tisni, and determines against tlie anabap- 

Matt. xxviii. 19. tists, chiefly on the ground of tliis very 

P Ibid. par. iii. p. 3. § 8. Christus mit- command of Christ.] 

tens apostolos ad eccleaige collectionem r Eeepons. ad Quast. 37. p. 35, 36. 

supponit necessitatem institutionis etcog- Dices : fiaO-rir fv a- uTf non .significat propria 

198 Reflections on Mr. iFall's [letter viii. 

Mr. Limborch answering' the same objection with Episcopius, and 
with the same design, says, ' i . They could not make disciples but by 
' teaching". 2. By this instruction the disciples were broug-ht over 
' to the faith before they were baptized, Mark xvi. 15, 16^.' And 
ag-ain elsewhere he says, ' Hence also our Lord commanded, that 
* men should first be taught and brought over to the faith, and 
' after that be baptized, Matth. xxviii. 19 ; Mark xvi. 15, 16^' 

Cameron on the place says, ' ixadi-jTiveiv sig-nifies simply StSao-Kciv, 
' to teac/i ; but here, to teacli what relates to religion^.' The famous 
Martin Bucer allows the sense which the antipsedobaptists contend 
for, and does not in the least attempt to evade it ; for to the 
arg-ument which we draw from the commission, he only says, ' The 
' anabaptists think they arg-ue very strong-ly ag"ainst infant-baptism 
' from this place. But I have answered their objection above, 
' chap. iii. And till they can find a place where they are com- 
' manded to baptize none but those that are taug'ht, this text will 
' be of no advantage to their opinion''.^ So that Bucer acknow- 
ledges here the word does mean to teach ; and fancies infant-baptism 
cannot hence be proved unlawful, for no other reason, but because 
it is not said expressly, baptize such only as are taught. But how 
weak and trifling this is, every one that reads it must see. He re- 
fers indeed to chap. iii. for a fuller answer ; but all he says there is, 
that the commission speaks only of adult persons, and that it is no 
wonder therefore it should put teaching before baptizing. 

Bigaltius argues professedly from this sense of the words, in his 
note on St. Cyprian^s sixty-fourth epistle. The passage is worth 
reading, but too large to l>e here transcribed, and therefore I can 
give you but a taste of it : '■ This may be gathered," says he, ' from 
' what has been said above, where the words of our Lord are exceed- 
' ing clear, who commands to teach before they baptizeY." 

docete, sed discipulos docete. Esto iiiquaru. * Ibid. cap. 68. sect. 2. Hinc et Domi- 

At discipulos facere non poterant nisi nus prius homines doceri et ad fidem suam 

docerent, etquatenus docerent ea, quje ad perdiici, dein baptizari jubet, Matth. 

religionem Christi pertinebant. JJiscqni- xxviii. 19 ; Marc. xvi. 15, 16. 

lus eniin et doctor saint relata : unde " Quin simpliciter /xadriTeveiv est 5i5a- 

Marcus, cap. xvi. 15, non utitur verbo a-Keiv, docere ; sed docere ea quce pertinent 

Ha9riTfv(iv sed verbo KH)pvTrnv, id est j>j*(e- ad religionem. 

dicare, sive docere. Deinde fiaOrir^uiiu x Enarrat. in 4. Evangel, in loc. p. 204. 
sive HebraBura Tn'jn non significat hoc Anabaptistse infantium baptismum for- 
loco simpliciter docere tantum, sed docere tissinie oppugnare sibi videntur. Sed his 
ita ut diticipidos, sive Dn'n'jn, consequa- responsiim snpra est, cap. 3. Sane dum 
ris, &c. [Apud Episcopii Opera, torn. i. non liabent locum, quo prcBcipitur, tan- 
part. 2.] turn doctos baptizare, nihil roboris suae 

s Institut. lib. V. cap. 67. § 7. i. Non sententite hinc adferent. 

poterant discipulos facere, nisi docendo. y Cyprian, p. 280. not. a. Hoc neces- 

2. Per institutionem illam discipuli ad sario colligi videtur ex antedictis, ubi 

fidem adducebantur, antequam baptiza- apertissima sunt verba Domini, jubentis 

rentur, Marc. xvi. 15, 16. docere, priusquam tingere. 

History of Infant-haptism. 199 

Erasmus in his Annotation on Matth. xxvii. 57, cites the com- 
mission as an instance in which the word is used transitively^ and 
signifies to teach; and according-ly translates it docete, teach all 
nations. And in his paraphrase on the words, he takes it altogether 
in that sense. 

The incomparable Grotius explains the Greek word by a passage 
he quotes from the Constitutions ascribed to St. Clement ; without 
naming the place indeed, but you may find the words exactly as he 
has transcribed them, lib. vii. cap. 40, ' All ungodliness and impiety/ 
says he, ' must be first removed, and the contrary principles of true 
' holiness introduced, and so they must be baptized^.^ In the An- 
notation on the verse following the commission, concerning which 
the dispute is, he remarks, that there are two sorts of teaching : 
the one more imperfect, by way of initiation into the first prin- 
ciples ; the other more complete, by a fuller and more accurate in- 
' struction : and ' the former,'' says he, ' seems to be the import of 
' the word ixadr]Tev€u> : for it means to initiate as it were into the 
' doctrines, and this is to precede baptism ; the fuller instruction is 
^ signified by bibdcrKetv, and is here placed after baptism'^.'' 

To these I wall add but one authority more, namely, that of 
Lucas Bi-ugensis, who in his note on verse 19, says, ' he commands 
* them to teach b/ And afterwards, in the note on verse 20, he has 
these words : AibdaKovTes'] ' The evangelist,'' says he, ' uses another 
' word in the verse above, where we read ^a6r]TevaaT€ : the difference 
' between them seems to be this, that ixaOrjTevetv signifies to teach 
^ those who are yet utter strangers to the doctrine, and not under 
' your tutorage, so as to make them disciples ; but btUaKeiv means 
' to teach such as are already l)ecome disciples, and give themselves 
' up to your instructions. And this difference suits very well with 
' the place : for Christ commanded first to teach the nations which 
' are strangers to God and the truth ; and afterwards, when they 
' have submitted themselves to the truth, to teach them those 
' precepts and rules of life which are worthy God and the truth 
' they profess c. " The order here observed, says St. Hierome, is ex- 

z In loc. Sensum explicat scriptor velut in discipUna'm, initiare, et baptismo 

Constitutionum quae Clementi adscribun- pKeponitur: posterior verbo SiSairKejj/, 

tur, Ae? vfiui TTpArepov Traaau aaf^fiai' quod hie post bajjtisinura locatur. 
i^fk6vTas dir' clvtSiv, tSts rrji/ iva4$itav b In 4, Evangel. Jubet eos docere. 

avTols iyKara^dWeffOai, Kal rod l3awrio-fj.a- [Lucas Brugensis wrote doceri ; but Mr. 

Tos a^iwffai. Gale translates as if it were docere.] 

a Grot, in Matt, xxviii. 20. Cum du- e AiSdffKoirfs] Alia est vox Grseca 

plex sit docendi ratio, alia per niodum versu superiori, ubi legitur fiaOri- 

ftcrayicyrji rwv aToiXtiovfj-fvcov ^ alia per Teufrare : discrinien hoc esse vidctur, quod 

moduni 5i5a(r/coA.^as, prior supra videtur /xae-nrevtif sit, docere eoK qui a doctrina et 

indicari verbo fiadajTwav ; id enini est marjistcrio (no sunt alieni itiib ut rcddas 

200 Reflections on 3Ir. Wall's [leiter viii. 

' cellent : he commands the apostles, first to teach all nations ; and 
' after that, to dip them with the sacrament of faith ; and then, to 
^ shew them how they must behave themselves after their faith and 
' baptism/' Before baptism, they are to be taug-ht the truth of the 
' Gospel, especially matters of faith ; but after baptism, they are to 
' be instructed in the Christian morals, and what concerns their 

* practice/ 

It would be eas}^ to bring' several other authorities ; but these I 
think sufficient to shew that some of the best judg-es acknowledge 
my sense of the word. And now, in the next place : 

3. I am to confirm this to be the meaning- of it in the com- 
mission, by the several versions which have been made : for of all I 
have yet seen, and am capable of finding the sense of, not one 
renders it otherwise. Mr. Wall, on this very occasion, takes the 
liberty positively to assert, that St. Matthew wrote his Gospel in 
Hebrew ; though it has been shewn to be very improbable, (or at 
least exceeding doubtful,) by men of great reputation, and therefore 
is a notion not fit to ground an argument upon. All the use he 
makes of this remark is to insinuate, that probably the word which 
St. Matthew originally used might better bear to be rendered, 
and more properly signify, only to proselyte, or enter as a disciple, 
without implying to teach, as the Greek word by which it is trans- 
lated does. His words are these : ' The common language of the 
^ Jews, (in which language it was that St. Matthew wrote this 
' Gospel,) as it does not admit of this phrase, aii infant is taught, or 
' instructed ; so it very well allows of this other, such or such an 

* ivfant is entered a disciple, or made a p)'>'Oselyte to such a profession 
' or religion*^.' 

Though it is very doubtful, at least, whether St. Matthew wrote 
in Hebre\\^ or not ; yet, supposing he did, our adversaries can have no 
help from thence at all : for, 

1. It is very likely the ancient translator of that Gospel into 
Greek, whoever he was, (some think it was St. Matthew himself,) 
understood the force of the original word at least as well as our 
author can do, who does not know what the word was. But, 

2. We cannot guess what word was used in the supposed Hebrew 

discipulos : SiSdaKeiv vero, docere jam, dis- 'jussit apostolis, ut primum docerent 

cipulos redditos,et mayisterio tuo addictos ' universasgentes,deinde fidei intingerent 

tanquavi,p7-ace2^torem: quod discrimenloco ' Sacramento, et post fidera ac baptisma 

optime congruit. Jubet enim Jesus, prius ' quse essent observanda praeciperent.' 

ut gentes a Deo et veritate aliense verita- Ante baptismura docenda est Veritas 

tern doceantur : deinde postquam veritati evangelica, docenda sunt ea potissimum 

colla subdiderint, doceantur praecepta quae sunt fidei, post baptismum ea quae 

vitse Deo ac veritate dignse. ' Ordo sunt morum. 

' pulcherrimus,' inquit Hieronymus, <1 Part ii. p. 378. [651.] 

History of Infant-baptism. 201 

orig-inal, better tlian from the Hebrew and other Oriental versions 
which are now extant ; and these make strongly ag-ainst Mr. Wall. 
The Hebrew copy^ printed at Paris 1584, reads 1"rQTn; and that 
published by Hutterus reads 11^27 from ll^h, whose sig-nification 
no man questions to be didicit, docuit, lie learned, he taught, or the 
like. In kal it signifies learn, Jerem. x. 2 ; in jjihel, teach, as Psalm 
xciv. 12. The Syriac version likewise reads it o^Yi^L, exactly in 

the same sense, and from the same root ^ia2^, erndlvit, he taught, or 
instructed. The Arabian translator, using just the same word, reads 
LiX^Xj, which signifies properly to teach, as Acts xix. 20; Matt. 
xiii. 52. The Persic, indeed, I know nothing of; but Mr. Sam. 
Clerk, of Merton college, Oxon, in the Polyglot, translates the 
place, docete, teach ; and therefore it is to be presumed that version 
also favours our cause as much as the others undoubtedly do. The 
Ethiopic is most express; for I do not know that (7Dy<^ is ever 
once used to signify any thing else but teach, learn, &c. Wemmers^, 
in his Lexicon, and Ludolphus after him^ and Castellus, render it by 
teach, but never give the least intimation that it is any where used 
in a sense which can favour our adversaries ; and I think I may be 
positive, no man can produce an instance from the Scriptures where 
it does not mean properly to teach, learn, 8ic., except only from the 
Old Testament, where indeed it sometimes signifies to prey, or 
plunder ; a sense which can do our antagonists no service : but the 
Lexicons furnish us Avith instances enough of its proper sense ; to 
which might be added Matth. xi. i. and i Cor. xv. 2, 3; Gal. i. 
8, 9, and, to the best of my knowledge, all other places where the 
word occurs, at least in the New Testament. It may be further 
noted, that this Ethiopic word bears considerable affinity in sense 
and is the same in orthography with the Arabic ^^-«j which is 
rendered peritus fuit, ' he was skilled,'' or ' learned,' in the Cata- 
logue drawn up by the admirable Bochart, and afterwards enlarged 
by Ludolphusf, to shew the agreement of the Ethiopic with other 
eastern languages. 

Hence it is plain, all the Oriental versions we know of understand 
and render the commission so as to make naO-qrevcraTe signify to 
teach. To these we may add Arias Montanus, the Vulgar Latin, and 
that corrected by command of Sixtus V., Beza's version, and that of 

e [See Jacob! Wemmers' Lexicon M- 1669.] 

thiopicum, 4to. Romse, 16.^8. * [See this, as a preliminary disserta- 

Jobi Ludolphi Lex. ^thiop. 4to. Lond. tion, attached to iiiw Ethiopic Grammar, 

1661. — fol. Francofurti, 1699. Edm. Cas- fol. Frankfort, 1699.] 
telli Lexicon Heptaglotton, fol. Londini, 

202 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter viii. 

Erasmus^ which render it by docete ; and Castalio^s_, which has it 
doctum, teach. The old Italian version reads insegnate, to teach ; and 
Diodati renders it ammaestrate , in the same sense. A Spanish 
edition at hand has ensennad ; the French^ printed at Lyons, renders 
the word by enseigner ; and that which was made by the gentlemen 
of Geneva, by mstruiser, all signifying* properly and literally to 
teach: as likewise do the Dutch version, which reads leert, the 
Danish i^tXtX, and the Saxon edition, published by Junius, lo&pa'S. 
And the late version into the vulgar or modern Greek, made for the 
use of the Greek church, renders it 8t8af ere, the same word which in 
Matt, xxviii. 20, (the verse next to that which has the word in dis- 
pute,) our adversaries say, signifies literally and properly to teach. 
And I think all our English translations likewise do constantly 
render the commission, teach all nations, &c., which must appear to 
be the true sense of the place : for the admirable and exact agree- 
ment of so many, and perhaps all, translations, and the judgment 
of so many learned gentlemen employed in making them, is very 
considerable, and will certainly be allowed a great argument in the 
case, strongly to confirm our sense, as expressed in the common 
English version, to be the true, and the most conformable to the 

3. In the third place I am to shew you that the Fathers of the 
primitive church also understood the words in the same sense. 
Clemens Alexandrinus reads the place thus : ^ Go about and preach, 
' (KTjpvcrcrere,) and such as shall believe, baptize in the name of the 
' Father, and of the Son, and of the Holt/ Ghosts.' So Origen like- 
\vise takes it in this passage*^ : ' The apostles therefore left Israel, 
' and obeyed our Saviour^s command. Teach all nations j and. You 
' shall he %mto me witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judcea, &c. 
' They did therefore as they were commanded in Jerusalem and 
' Judaea; but when the Jews rejected the word, for a 2yrophet has no 
' honour in his own countri/, then they turned to the Gentiles.^ It is 
plain Origen speaks of the apostles'* preaching, and cites the words 
in dispute. Matt, xxviii. 19, as the commission Christ gave them to 
do so. Again, mentioning the completion of several of our Lord^s 
prophecies, among the rest he places this : ' We every day,' says he, 

S Epitom. p. 800 C. Uipiidvres K-npixr- t6- "Eaeade fioi /xapTvpes ey re 'Upov(ra\7j/ji, 

cere, Kal tovs irtfrrevovTas PanTiCfTf fls Kal TroVp rfj 'lovSaia, Ka\ Sa^uape/a, &c. 

uvofxa Tlarphs, Kal Tlov, Kal aylov Tlvtv- TrewoiriKacri fj.ev oiiv rb irpoanTayixivov eV 

^■aTos. rrj 'lov^aia, Koi 'Upov(ra\7i/x. aW' eVfi 

li Comment, in Matt. p. 225. Kal oi irpocpiiTrts iv -rfj lUairaTpi^L rifxTjv ovk ^x^i, 

aTrAffToAoi 5ia tovto KareAnrof tuv 'IffparjA, fx7} irapaSf^a/'oov 'lovSaicov rhv \6yov, arr- 

iiroiriaav ?e t^ Trpoa-TiTay/xevov vnh rov e\-nXv6aaiv els to. idvr]. [Op. fol. Eothom. 

^aiTrjpos' MaBriTivffaTe iravra ra %dv7), Kal 1668. torn. i. 225.] 

History of Tnfant-bcqdism. 203 

' see the fulfilling' of those things our Lord long- since foretold, as 
' that the Gospel shall be preached in all the world, and that the 
' disciples going- forth should preach the word to all nations'/ &c. 
In another place he takes notice of the wisdom of Divine providence 
in facilitating the work of the apostles, by bringing so great a part 
of the world under the Roman emperor^s jurisdiction : ' that it might 
' not be rendered/ says he, ' too difficult for the apostles to execute 
' the commands their Lord had given them to go and teach all 
' nations. It is certain that Jesus was born in the reign of 
' Augustus, a prince, who as it were prepared the way for him, by 
' reducing so many kingdoms into one. For had all different states 
' remained distinct, under separate independent governors, it might 
' have been a considerable obstruction to the spreading of the doc- 
' trine of Jesus through all the worldJ/ It is plain that Origen in 
this passage cites and understands the commission in dispute, only 
in the sense we contend for ; teach all nations, being- explained in 
the last clause by ' spreading the doctrine of Jesus through all the 




The exposition of faith attributed to St. Justin has this passage : 
' Our Lord Jesus Christ, being about to return into heaven after his 
' resurrection from the dead, gives his apostles a charge concerning 
' teaching the nations, and the doctrine of baptism, in these words ; 
' Go teach^,' &c. And the same Father, in his treatise entitled ' A 
' Dialogue with Trypho the Jew,' speaking of teaching and con- 
verting the nations, and alluding to the commission. Matt, xxviii. 
19, says, ' Wlien Christ came and sent forth his disciples, he 
^ instructed (iixaOriTivaev) or taught them, i. e. the nations^.' 

Eusebius says, ' The apostles went out and preached to the nations 
' with the power and authority of Christ, who had said unto them, 
' Go teach all nations in my name^'^.' By which it is plain he under- 
stood these words meant to preach the Gospel. 

i Contra Celsum, lib. ii. p. 84. KaJ ael 'It)(roD SiSatr/caAiac els Trcia-au r^v oiKOvfievriv 

upwvTei trKripovfXfva to, flp7)tx.4va vir' avrov to, iroWas iluai PacriXftas. &C. 

Trp]u -yivriTai. rh K7]pvxdr}i'a.t rh fhayyiKiov k Expos. Fidei, p. 37(1 A. 'O Kvpws 

TovTO (V oAcf! rcji Kdanoj' Koi Trop^vdeuTa? fjixwv 'IrjcoCs Xpt(TThs, /xera. ttjj/ (K viKpwv 

avTov Tovs fj.a67]Ta.s fh ira.v7a. ra tQvr] rhv avaaracnv, rT)v iv oiipavoiis dvoSov Troieladai 

\6you avTov KarriyyeXKevai. /xeWuiu, Kol t7)v rwv iQvwv /jLaOrirciav, koI 

i Contra Celsum, lib. ii. p. 79. "iva /x?; r^y toC ^aTnlfffxaTos hihaxhv rolis aTro(Tr6- 

— Xa^eTTWTepoi' y^f-qrat tois airoirrSKuis \ous eVai'Sei/ire, \4yoi>i>, iropfvdei/Tes jxaQr]- 

ToO 'ItjitoC "rh Troifjo'ai (jTrep irpoffeTa^ev au- Teuaare, &c. 

rots 6 'irjaovs, (Ittwu. Uopivd^vns fxadri- 1 Paye 272. 'O Xpiarhs ovtos e\6wu, 

Tfixrare iravra to. idvT}. koI cracpes yc-, on Sia twv ixaOriTiov avToii, iriix^^/as ifxaOriTfvcTfV 

Kara Tijv AvyovffTov ^acnhdav i5 'iTjrroCs aurovs. 

yty 4 vv-qrai, rod {'Iv oi/'tccs ovo^dcro^) ufiaXi- '" Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. cap. 5. 'Eirl 5e 

ffavTos Sia fiias /SatrtAei'os rovs ttoWovs rHv rfj rov Kr)pvyfx.aros SiSao-KaKia ttiv els aii/j.- 

€7ri 777?. -^v 5' av e/xTrdSiov rov vefiriOrivai Trjv naura ra tdvr) arakafiivoiv nopeiav avv 


Reflections oh Mr. Wall's 

[letter VIII. 

The Apostolical Constitutions^ whicli are of considerable antiquity, 
though not so ancient as it is pretended, may serve to shew us like- 
wise that the more impartial ancients of the time in which they 
were composed, if we should allow them to be psedobajotists, act 
more ing-enuously than some moderns, and confess the words in dis- 
pute are to be understood in the antipsedobaptist^s sense, as appears 
beyond contradiction from these words : ' All ungodliness and 
' impiety must be first removed, and the contrary principles of true 
^ holiness introduced, and so they must be baptized. For our Lord 
' commanded, saying". Teach first all nations : and after that he adds, 
' And baptize them in the name^^,' &c. Whoever is the author of the 
Homilies ascribed to St. Clement, (perhaps it is the interpolator,) 
says exactly the same thing- in these words, which are supposed to 
be spoken by St. Peter : ' ° When our Lord sent us to the ig-norant 
' Gentiles, to baptize them for the remission of sins, he commanded 
' us first to teach them.^ 

Epiphanius too paraphrases the words thus: 'Teach all nations; 
' that is, convert and turn the nations from their corruptions to the 
' truth P.^ And to the same purpose St. Basil says, as he is trans- 
lated by Mr. Wall himself, ' They must be first instructed, and then 
' admitted to baptism"^.'' This author indeed speaks more fully here 
to this effect, than Mr. Wall has cited him. 

The sense of the Latin Fathers in this case is evidently the same, 
from their translating the place constantly docete, teach. Tertullian 
in his treatise of Baptism reads the words, ' Go teach [docete) the 
' stations' &c. To this he adds, John iii. 5, Tjxcept a man he horn 
again of water and the Sjiirit, &c. And from both concludes, that 
' faith and the necessity of baptism are very closely joined together; 
^therefore all who believed were baptized. So St. Paul when he 
' believed was baptized''.^ And a little after he says, ' First they 
' were to preach, and after that to baptized' In another place, on 

OUvd/.Lei TOV }ipl(TT<IV (p'^iCai'TOS O.VTo7s, Xlo- 

pevddfTfs IxadrfTilaan -navra th iQvi) h' tij5 
6v6/xari /J.OV, A.C. 

*i Lib. vii. cap. 40. O'utoo Set «■£•! v/j.p.s 
vpSTfpov Trarrav CLtri^nav i^iK/wras ot' av- 
Toov, t6t€ t)}v (vrrdfieiav avTo7s iyica.ral3d\~ 

yap Kal 6 Ki'pios v/,iwv nvrws riix7v Trcpp'i'e- 
tre:', etwwi' lAadriTfvcrare Trp^repop 'iravra. rk 
fOvrj' KP.\ t6ti= €-n->)yaye rh, Kal ^airTiaare 
avTov'i eh rh uvojjLa tov Tlarphs, Kal rov 
TioD, Kal TOV ayiov Tii^n'iiiiaro';. 

o Clementin. Horn. xvii. cap. 7. Els to, 
auadrj %Ovr) auorniWoov ri^uSs, fia-mi^eiv 
avTovs 6JJ acpecriv afxapTiSiv, eVereiAoTo Vfuv 
TrpSrepov SiSd^ai avTovs. 

P Epiphan. aclvers. Hseres. lib. i. p. 50. 
Ma9r)TevtraTe ra edprj, Tovriari, fx€Ta.^d,\- 
Xire TO. iOfrj dir^ KaKias els a\7jd(iav. 

1 De Baptismo, lib. i. cap. 2. p. 643 D. 
Au Trpairoi' fj.a6r)Tfv6rji'ai Trp Kupiw, Kal 
TtSre Karc^iMtlTjvai rov ayiov BaTrria/j-aros. 

r Cap. xiii. Ite, inquit, docete nationes, 
tinguc7ites eas, &c. Huic legi collata de- 
finitio ilia : nisi quis renatu.s fuerit, &c. 
obstrinxit fidem ad baptismi necessita- 
tem. Itaque omnes exinde credentes tin- 
guebantur. Tunc et Paulus ubi credidit, 
tinctus est. 

s Cap. xiv. Nam et prius est prtedi- 
care, posterius tinguere. 

History of Infant-haptism. 


occasion of this commission^ he says^ '^ The apostles were appointed 
' doctors or teachers of the nations ^^ But nothing can be more clear 
than the following" words of the same Father ; when our Lord was 
' g'oing' to his Father after his resurrection,, he commanded the 
f eleven to g-o and teach [docere] the nations, which were to be bap- 
' tized in the name, &c. The apostles, therefore, (who, as their 
' name sig-nifies, were sent,) having by the authority of the prophecy 
' in the Psalms elected Matthias by lot for a twelfth in Judas^ room, 
' and received the promised power of the Holy Spirit, to enable them 
' to work miracles and speak with tongues ; first preached faith in 
Christ, then constituted churches in Juda?a ; and afterwards went 
' out into all the world, and published the same faith among the 
' nations"/ 

The confessor Clarus, bishop of Mascula in Numidia, referring to 
the commission. Matt, xxviii. 1 9, says, ' they after the apostles bap- 
' tized the faith of believers " f that is, they baptized, according to 
the commission and practice of the apostles, such as believed, upon 
the profession of their faith. 

To these I will only add St. Hierome, and I have done with this 
head. He, commenting on the V\^ords of the commission, says, ''The 
' order here observed is excellent : for he commands the apostles, 
' first to teach all nations, and after that to dip them with the sa- 
' crament of faith ; and then to shew them how they must behave 
' themselves after their faith and baptism y.^ And Mr. Wall has 
transcribed words to the same effect from this place of St. Hierome, 
which he thus translates ; ' They first teach all the nations, then 
' when they are taught they baptize them with water ; for it can- 
' not be that the body should receive the sacrament of baptism, 
' unless the soul have before received the true faith^.^ This passage, 
it seems, had been made use of against j)sedobaptism ; and Mr. Wall 
undertakes to answer the argument raised from it, by insinuating 

* Prsescript. Haeretic. cap. viii. Natio- 
nibus destinati doctores apostoli, &c. 

" Tertull. de Prasscript. Haeretic. cap. 
XX. Undecim digrediens ad Patrem post 
resurrectionem, jussit ire et docere na- 
tione.s, intinguendas in Patrem, &c. Sta- 
tim igitur apostoli (quos lifec appellatio 
missos interpretatiir) assumpto per sortem 
duodecimo Mattliia in locum Judaj, ex 
auctoritate prophetiae, quae est in Psalmo 
David, consecuti promissam vim Spiritus 
Sancti ad virtutes et eloquium, primo per 
Judaeam contestata fide in Jesum Chri- 
stum, et ecclesiis institutis, dehinc in or- 
bem profecti, eandem doctrinam ejusdem 

fidei nationibus promulgaveruut, &c. 

" Cyprian, de Concil. Carthag. Suf- 
frag. Ixxix. 'Credentium fidcm bapti- 
' zantes.' 

y In Matth. xxviii. 19. Ordo prseci- 
puus, jussit apostolos ut primum docerent 
universas gentes, deinde fidei intinge- 
rent sacrameuto, et post fidem ac bap* 
tisma qua) essent observanda pncciperent. 

z Ibid. Primum docent omnes gentes, 
deinde doctas intingunt aqua : non enim 
potest fieri ut corpus recipiat baptismi 
sacramentum, nisi ante anima fidei susce- 
perit veritatera. 

k'06 Refections on Mr. Wall's [letter viii. 

that the commission, and the comment of St. Jerome, relate only to 
adult persons. But this is so far from lessening, that it rather adds 
to its strength; for if this commission does not relate to infant- 
baptism, and therefore not authorize it, the dispute is at an end, 
unless they can shew us some other that does command it ; which all 
men know cannot be done. 

4. Having proved our sense to be the same in which the Fathers 
of the primitive church always understood the commission ; I am 
now, in the last place, to confirm it to be the true, by what is 
infinitely of more weight than anything urged before, I mean, by 
the authority or the sacred Scriptures themselves. 

And here we might largely consider the history of the practice of 
the apostles in this matter; for they undoubtedly acted in perfect 
conformity to the directions and will of their great Master, and 
therefore their practice is justly accounted the best comment upon 
our Saviour's words and institutions. Now they, it is plain, (if the 
Scriptures give us a good account of the matter,) constantly taught 
first, and baptized afterwards ; at least, it is on all hands allowed, 
they took this method with the Gentiles, to whom they were sent 
by this commission ; by which it is evident how they to whom it was 
immediately given understood it, and that they thought it obliged 
them to proceed in that manner. And this precedaneous teaching 
and faith were necessary, not only to render the persons willing to 
be baptized, as some fancy, but likewise fit to receive the salutary 
grace; and therefore St. Philip % even after the eunuch had disco- 
vered his willingness, and asked for baptism, requires a hearty 
faith, as a necessary condition even in persons ever so willing- 
If thou believest with all thine heart, thou may est he Itaj^tized ; and not 
else, though you desire it ever so much. 

But the instances of this kind are too numerous to be all repeated, 
and withal so very easy and obvious, that it is needless to do it : 
for all the passages in Scripture, which any way relate to the apo- 
stles' practice in the matter, are of this kind. Of St. Paul and Bar- 
nabas, when they came to Derbe, it is said, ' they had preached the 
' Gospel to that city, and had taught many^.' The word in the ori- 
ginal, here rendered taught, is the same with that in the commission ; 
which makes this passage the more considerable, in that it shews the 
practice of the apostles, and at the same time determines the sense 
of that Greek word to be as we contend. 

But the parallel places to the commission. Matt, xxviii. 19, put the 
sense of it beyond dispute ; for St. Mark expresses it thus ; Go ye 

a Acts viii. 37. '>Actsxiv2i. 

Hldorij of Lifant-haptism. 207 

into all the toorld, and preach the Gospel to every creature^. Sic. St. 
Luke, with reference to the same thing", says. That repentance and 
remission of sins should he preached in his name among all nations'^. 
And St. Peter himself, who received the commission immediately 
from the month of our Lord, assures us this was his sacred meaning" ; 
for He commanded us, says he, to preach unto the peojde^, 8ig., all 
which sets the matter in the clearest light imaginable. And there- 
fore, I think, I may safely conclude from the whole, that it is fully 
demonstrated to he one of the plainest things in the world that 
IxaOrjTivui sig-nifies properly to teach, and that this is the sense of it 
particularly in the commission, Matt, xxviii. 19. And therefore our 
adversaries, when they cavil at this sense, do at best but trifle and 
contradict the constant use of the Greek word, and common sense 
of mankind ; the unanimous agreement of the several versions, the 
joint authority of the primitive saints, the judgment of the most 
learned men, and the clear meaning and declarations of the spirit of 
God in the Holy Scriptures. 

The argviment I advanced then remains in its full force, and un- 
answered ; namely, that since this commission empowers to baptize 
only such as it first commands to be taught, there is no warrant for 
baptizing" infants contained in it ; but on the contrary, infants are ef- 
fectually excluded, such conditions being made necessary as they are 
not capable of. And therefore, well might I conclude as I did, that 
the Scriptures do not leave the matter so doubtful as our adversaries 
pretend. This very much alters the ease from what Mr. Wall repre- 
sents it to be ; and shews his scheme is not well laid, so material an 
error being- discovered in his very foundation. 

I designed to have added some other considerations to the same 
purpose; but what I have insisted on at large, especially the sense 
of Matth. xxviii. 19, which is in itself so considerable a part of the 
dispute, and so essential to the determination of it, does plainly de- 
monstrate that the Scriptures are not silent, but do sufficiently de- 
clare the baptism of infants to be no Divine institution, and that the 
commission to baptize was not intended to include infants, but pur- 
posely excludes them. Shoxdd our author therefore be able to prove 
ever so solidly that the Jews and primitive Christians did use to 
baptize their proselytes together with their infant children, we 
should notwithstanding have very good grounds to reject the practice. 
And this is the first thing I undertook to make out. What I have 
so largely and particularly said concerning some Greek words does, 

c Mark xvi. 15. •• Luke xxiv. 47. « Acts x. 42. 

208 Refections on Mr. IVall's [LErrER ix. 

I confess,, look like pedantry and affectation ; but the tenaciousness 
of our adversaries, who are not satisfied with a few instances, toge- 
ther with your commands, sir, are my excuse. 

I am. 

Yours, &c. 


Mr. Wall's attempt founded on mistake — His pretences from the Jews examined ; 
which he has collected from the learned men who best understood their 
writings — Their authority of no weight ; the reasons they go upon being too 
weak — It is without sufficient ground that our author asserts, the Jews make 
it plain they baptized their proselytes before Christ's time — His authorities too 
late — Great alterations introduced in a short time — The passages produced by 
Mr. Wall do not so much as intimate that the Jews baptized proselytes in our 
Saviour's time — There is no necessity to understand the words in Mr. Wall's 
sense — The Jews used to baptize for the pollution contracted in circumcision^ 
which may be the baptism spoken of in the Talmud — Some of the rabbins 
plainly shew us they neither knew nor allowed of any initiatory baptism — They 
ridicule our baptism as a fanciful ceremony, as appears from the ancient Nizza- 
chon, which fixes the rise of the practice in Christ; and mentions it as an ini- 
tiation peculiar to Christians ; and opposes to it the Jewish circumcision 
only — It appears further from rabbi Isaac — So that the Jewish writings, if any 
thing, prove contrary to our author's opinion — The authority of the rabbins 
very insignificant, and never to be depended on — Their writings in general 
stuffed with very foolish romantic tales — Their fabulous and ridiculous way of 
accounting for Christ's power of miracles, from Toldoth Jeschu — More instances 
of their ridiculous whimsies, from the Talmud — Their foolish misapplication of 
Scripture — Their impious representations of God — A fabulous account of the 
origin of Rome — Another concerning R. Eliezer, in confirmation of their tra- 
ditions — The Pirke of Ehezer — Another reason why the rabbins are not to be 
relied on is, that they profess to follow their doctors in all they assert, though 
ever so absurd — They prefer their Talmud and traditions before the Scriptures 
themselves — The character of the rabbins — Their excessive pride — Their way 
of interpreting the Scriptures — The Sanhedrim, though made up of their best 
men, consisted only of magicians, as themselves assert, &c. — They have endea- 
voured to corrupt the Scriptures — All learned men give the same character of 
the Jews and their writings — So Mr. Le Clerc, Mr. Du Pin, Mr. Dodwell, 
Scaliger, Nauclerus, Buxtorf, Lightfoot — And the same character is given of 
them by Christ himself too, who censures them more particularly on account 
of their washings — Their traditions were many and mischievous — All these 
things applied to the present dispute. 

In my last I made it appear that Mr. Wall is gviilty of an error 
in the very groundwork of his system, which of itself utterly sub- 
verts the whole. For what is built on an error, that is, on a nullity 
has no real foundation, and must sink of course; and I hope to 

Ristory of Infant-ba2)tism. 209 

satisfy you in the sequel, that every part of his scheme and all his 
arguments stand on the same foot, and are as ill supported. For to 
say the Jews did initiate their proselytes and their infants by bap- 
tism, and that the apostles and primitive church baptized the infants 
of believing parents, are mistakes ; and the arguments brought to 
prove these two points are no better. 

First, we will examine what our author says as to the practice of 
the Jews ; and we shall soon see he comes very short of proving that 
they did in our Saviour^s time, and before, initiate proselytes by 
baptism. His testimonies from the Jewdsh writings, he says, are 
taken from the most learned and judicious authors, who best under- 
stood that sort of learning : so that we may expect in Mr. Wall the 
united strength of our ablest adversaries all brought. 

It is considerable, I confess, that so many learned men favour the 
opinion : but it will appear from the reasons they give for it that 
they were too credulous, and entertained it too easily ; which lessens 
their authority very much. Mr. Wall intimates that he is not 
very capable of searching into the rabbinical writings himself: 
but he and all men are able to judge whether the arguments 
urged from them are sufficient to justify the psedobaptist doctrine. 

Our author argues first from the Jews themselves ; who, he says, 
make it ' fully to appear that the custom of the Jews before our Sa- 
' viour^s time was to baptize as well as circumcise any proselyte a,' 
&c. But this is too hastily affirmed. Several instances I know are 
and may be produced, which are express ; but it does not therefore 
follow, that the matter must be so clear and evident : on the con- 
trary, it seems a doubtful case at best, even from those very passages 
they cite, (if they are supposed to be the best,) whether this custom 
be so ancient as it is pretended ; for though they plainly speak of 
their baptism, they do not prove it was practised in Christ^s time, 
much less before it. 

I think Mr. Wall cites only the two Talmuds, Maimonides, and 
Rabbi Solomon, to confirm his assertion. Now several of the 
greatest rabbins, as Serira Gaon, Jehuda Ben-Levi, the author of 
Meor Enajim, Abraham Ben-David, Rab. Minchas, Isaac Abra- 
vanel^, &c. ; and from these the most learned Christian wi-iters say, 
the ancientest part of the Talmud, namely that which is called the 
Mischna, was not compiled till about one hundred and fifty years after 
the destruction of Jerusalem. Buxtorf says, 'The Jerusalem Talmud 
' was compiled by Rab. Jochanan, two hundred and thirty years 

a Introduction, p. 3. [2.] i» Vid. E. D. Ganz, in Tzemach David, ad an. 978. Mil- 
len. 4. 


210 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter ix. 

' after Christ*^ -.' but the Gemara^ which is the far g-reatest part of 
the Babylonic Talmud, was not made till five hundred years after 
Christ, nor till three hundred and eleven after the Mischna, accord- 
ing- to Abraham Ben-David and Ganz^. Maimonides lived not till 
above one thousand one hundred years after Christ. Their own 
chronologist places the birth of our Lord an. 37616, and the time of 
Maimonides about 4927^, that is, one thousand one hundi-ed and 
sixty-six years after; and Rabbi Solomon lived much about the 
same time ; or according' to Ganz S, but sixty years sooner. 

Now, sir, can any reasonable man take the reports of authors who 
wrote so long- after the times they speak of, for a sufficient proof of 
what was done so long- before they were born ? Had they cited any 
others who lived in, or so near the time of our Saviour, as to know 
what was then practised, the case would have been different, and we 
must have had recourse to the authors they mentioned : but since 
they have not done this, I think I may say Maimonides, though a 
g-reat man, could know and relate what was done one thousand one 
hundred years before he was born, no better than any other man 
can now. And therefore such authorities in this case may justly be 
rejected : for every one knows how little men, who write at such a 
distance from the times they speak of, are to be depended on, any 
further than they produce some more ancient and authentic testi- 
monies of one kind or other, in confirmation of what they say. 

The Mischna, or text of the Talmud, though much the ancientest 
authority produced, is not wholly clear of this exception. And if 
the sense of the places transcribed be fairly represented, at most it 
carries the matter no higher than to one hundred and fifty years after 
the destruction of Jerusalem, (which happened anno Christi 70,) 
that is, two hundred and ten years after Christ. But will it follow, 
that because this book mentions the Jews baptizing- their proselytes, 
therefore they used to do so above two hundred years before it was 
written ? We are convinced by many examples what two hundred 
years can do in such cases. In the very case of baptism among our- 
selves in England, the manner of dij32nng, in about one qviarter part 
of the time, was totally disused, and sprinkling substituted in its 
stead, and urged as the most suitable way, and as lawful as the 
other which was more ancient ; and all this not only without, as Dr. 
Whitby notes, but likewise contrary to, the allowance of the Institu- 
tor, the approbation of the established church, and that express de- 
termination of the council held under Kenwolfe, which I mentioned 

c Abbreviatur. p. 242. <• Tzemach David, ad an. 260. Millen. 5. 

6 Ganz, Tzemach David, lib. ii. f Ibid. lib. i. g Tzemach David, lib. i. ad an. 4865. 

History of Infant-baptism. 211 

before h. And where is the necessity to supj^ose the fanciful Jews 
more constant and uniform in religious matteife, than ourselves ? 
Their frequent and sudden relapses into idolatry under their judges 
and kings are instances of a different temper. 

But not to insist upon this : the passages cited by Mr. Wall are 
so far from proving, that not one of them does so much as assert or 
intimate, that the baptism of proselytes was in use in our Saviour^s 
time : how then could he pretend it was so plain a case ? The first 
citation he reads thus : ' When a proselyte is received, he must be 
' circumcised; and when he is circumcised, they baptize him in the 
' presence of two wise men," &c. But what of this? It shews 
indeed what was the method when this was written ; but from what 
words is it to be collected, that the same custom had been observed 
for two hundi'ed years before ? which was the thing to be proved. 

Besides, there is no necessity to understand the words in Mr. 
WalFs sense : and if it should be argued that they do not speak 
of an initiatory baptism, but only a purification from the blood 
of circumcision, with which the patient is supposed to be defiled ; I 
do not see which way our author would be able to defend his con- 
struction. The commentaries on the Mischna, which are consider- 
ably later, perhaps may be allowed in some measure to favour our 
author; but the Mischna itself may very well mean another thing. 
For, as Maimonides notes, ' the style of it is short, and capable 
' of diverse senses'." That the Jews, on account of several kinds 
of pollution, used to purify themselves by washing, cannot be 
questioned; the diverse washings mentioned in the Epistle to the 
Hebrews'^ make it incontestable. And it is plain enough, that 
upon some such notion they were washed after the sore of circum- 
cision was healed, as are also the Mahometans' to this day from 
them. And this pollution seems to have been contracted from 
the blood of circumcision ; for thus the Chaldee paraphrase, which 
goes under the name of Jonathan's, interprets the words Ezek. xvi. 6. 
of the blood of circumcision, from which ver. 9, God says, he 
washed and cleansed them : and the Jews in their second benedic- 
tion'" after circumcision apply the words in the same manner. 
And therefore it is observable, even all natural-born Jews were 
washed with this baptism, except only females, as Dr. Hyde" like- 
wise notes, who not being circumcised, were not washed till they 

^ Page 138. et Compeiid. Thcol, Moliaui. per llcland. 

i Porta Mosis, p. 78, 79. p. 59. 

k Chap. ix. 10. '" Vid. I>uxtorf. Synag. Judaic, p. ico. 

' Boboviu.s de Turcarum Liturgia, p. 23. " In Not. 39. ad Bobov. Tract, p. 22. a. 

P 2 

212 Beflections on Mr. Wall's [letter ix. 

had contracted pollution some other way : and this plainly inti- 
mates that there was a Laptism thought necessary on account of 
circumcision^ or some pollution contracted thereby ; otherwise per- 
sons who had been circumcised would not have been obliged to a 
baptism^ from which others who could not be circumcised were 

Why then may not the Talmud be understood to mean only this 
washing- for pollution by circumcision ? This was to be done as soon 
as the cure of the sore was accomplished, and so was that spoken of 
in the Talmud ; they are the same therefore in respect to time, and 
I do not understand how a person could be washed with two dif- 
ferent washings at one and the same time. 

Further, the antiquity, &c. of the practice is rendered dubious by 
the disagreement of the rabbins. Some plainly assert it ; and others 
as plainly intimate they neither knew nor allowed of such an 
initiatory ceremony. There is no need to be large in the proof of 
this; and therefore I shall instance but in one author or two. 

They who have read their writings against the Christians must 
have observed they ridicule the sacrament of baptism as an unac- 
countable and fanciful ceremony. The anonymous author of the 
ancientest Nizzachon frequently touches upon it with his usual gall, 
and would expose it as very absurd and foolish ; which to me is a 
clear argument he did not apprehend that our baptism was borrowed 
from the Jews : nay, he argues against it in one place, where he 
says, ' It is nowhere commanded to plunge persons or proselytes 
' into the water. Why therefore does Jesus command to do so"?' 
The author must needs be understood to speak here of the baptism 
of proselytes : for he could not have said in general of all other bap- 
tisms, ' they are nowhere commanded.' In another place, attempting 
to shew the insignificancy and uselessness of our sacred institution, 
he says, ' From what sin or uncleanness does this baptism purify ? 
' What sin or pollution is there in infant children, that ye baptize 
' themP?' His opposing our baptism so eagerly must import they 
had no such thing in use among them. The whole page indeed is 
to our purpose, but there are two or three words I cannot well pass 
by : the rabbin had said, that Christians ought to be circumcised in 
imitation of Christ and the apostles, as well as baptized in imitation 
of them ; to which, in the name of the Christians, he makes this 
objection, ' That Christ came to renew the law, and that he had laid 

o Pag. 53. Q'TDi D-i« ]i ■[OTcn'7 71N p Ibid. pag. 192. no nnVn^D yoM? 

nils'? ^b "n^ry m no'? 'd obiyn ana: n'j on© ]T!cp tV oi : nnn nt^oiTOi «TDn 

History of Infant-baptism. 218 

' aside or abolished circumcision^ but instituted baptism"^/ The 
rabbin^s blasphemous answer to this shall not be repeated, as making 
nothing- to the point : only we may observe, the objection places the 
rise and validity of baptism in Christ's institution; and the Jew 
does not, in contradiction, say it was borrowed from them ; or that, 
since it had been a practice under their dispensation, there was as 
much reason to abolish that as circumcision, or the like : for a 
cavilling, quarrelsome Jew might have said a hundred such idle 
things on this occasion, if he had understood that Christ adopted 
the ceremony from them. 

Perhaps some may think these citations from the ancient Nizza- 
chon do not prove, that the author of it knew of no such baptism 
among the Jews as he found practised by the Christians ; therefore 
I will add, that he expressly fixes the rise of the practice in Christ 
and St. John his forerunner ; for he makes these trifling reflections 
on John's baptism, and the words in Matth. iii. 5, 6. ' But what 
' signified all this ? Who gave John power and authority to insti- 
' tute this baptism ? Upon what law could he ground the fancy ? 
' neither on the old nor the new^.' Had it been a custom among 
themselves, it would have been easy to see from whence St. John 
derived it ; and the rabbin would not have failed to put us in mind 
how much we were beholden to them for the substantial ceremonies 
of our religion ; and that we copied our rite of initiation from their 

In another place, upon the story of the young man who asked our 
Lord, what he must do to inherit eternal life, Mark x. 17, &c., this 
same writer observes, that Christ ' does not command him to be 
* baptized s,"" nor take any notice of that novel invention, ' but only 
' inculcates to him the old commandments.' By which opposition 
of old commandments to baptism, he plainly signifies, that he took 
the baptism of Christ to be a new institution of his own, and some- 
thing singular too, or at least not used by themselves; else he 
would not have been so much disturbed at it, and argued against it 
so frequently. He mentions baptism also as the initiation peculiar 
to Christians, and opposes to it circumcision only, as the initiation 
of proselytes to Judaism. The passage is longer than I am willing 
to transcribe, and therefore I refer you to the book itself*. 

The sense however is much the same with what rabbi Isaac has 
expressed in these words ; ' They have abrogated circumcision, and 

<i Id. Ibid, mmn dn ©Tmi wn ic .nujTni Nbi n''3ioipi «V hn^jo 

.nVaiDn nvsi n'^^nn dn 211-1 « Pag. 221. n'^'iia n-in-i ~\b itDN «■? 

>■ Ibid. pag. 195. nvs 'o'j no'? "jD b2i ^b nva nvjioi;: miso xbt^ 

min nr«3 :nVaTDn n«i mmy'; \zr\vb t Page 247, 243, and 251. 

214 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter ix. 

' substituted baptism in its stead ; as they have likewise done with 
' the sabbath, instead of which they observe the first day of the 
' week"/ 

This is exceeding" plain ; for as they kept a new day instead of 
the ancient one, so he says they have ' in like manner^ substituted 
a new ceremony of initiation instead of the old one : nay, in the 
very next words he complains, the Christians ' have abolished the 
' whole law, and all the divine precepts which the law makes 
' necessary, except only some things in relation to incest,^ &c. Here 
he enumerates some of the moral precepts, but does not mention 
baptism at all; which therefore I argue was, in this author^s 
judgment, no institution of Moses, nor practised by the Jews 
before Christ; because he asserts the Christians had abolished all 
rites besides those excepted, in the number of which he has not 
placed baptism. 

And when some Christians had objected to the Jews, that they 
only circumcised the males, without using any initiatory ceremony 
for females, whereas the Christians by baptism initiate both sexes : 
if the Jews had used baptism, they mig-ht have replied, they did as 
much as the Christians : and vet the author of Nizzachon " does not 
make the least mention of it, but turns off the objection another 

What has been said makes it, I think, very clear, 

1 . That the passages Mr. Wall cites from the text of the Talmud 
may only speak of baptism for purification, and not of baptism for 

2. That none of the Jewish writing's, produced by him, do assert 
or imply, that proselytes were in, or so much as near Christ^s time, 
usually initiated by baptism ; which however was what our author 
should have proved : but on the contrary, 

3. Some of the rabbins manifestly speak of that Christian cere- 
mony as an invention of St. John and our Saviour ; and afl[irm it 
expressly to be altog-ether new, and not g-rounded upon any law. 
From all which I may safely conclude, that the said Jewish writings 
are very far from proving what our author, and the g-entlemen he 
transcribes, have undertaken to establish. For, in short, if any 
thing' is to be collected from them, it is the contrary to that 
opinion : none of them say, as our author does, that the Jews 
' before and in our Saviour's time,' used to baptize their proselytes ; 

« Cliissnk Emunah, pag. 401. I'^oa &c. ';nm:U3 mnyn p n:?;? nbii 
I'jcn ■jDl n'nnn lom n^api nVD m^JO [This treatise is subjoined to the Niz- 
Dva vnnn nTiaTCJi n3©n nv nriMtt'' zachon quoted above.] 
-miJDn 'j'td ^^^1 pi pc^-in x Page 251. med. 

History of Infant -baptism,. 215 

but some, as I have shewn you, directly assert that this initiatory 
ceremony was not practised till St. John's and Christ's appearance, 
whom they make to be the first authors of it : so that it could not 
be borrowed from the Jews. And as for any later practices of this 
bewildered people, they can be of no use to illustrate our Lord's 
design in the institution. And indeed, it is at best a very odd 
attempt, to put so violent an interpretation on our Lord's words, 
merely from the authority of the rabbins. 

But in answer to Mr. Wall's arguing" from the JcAvish writings, I 
have this further to say ; that if the rabbins had universally asserted 
in so many words, that ' the Jews always did use to initiate their 
' proselytes by baptism ;' and that ' St. John and Jesus Christ 
' borrowed the ceremony from them ;' I should nevertheless think it 
the greatest folly and madness in the world to believe it on their sole 
authority. All who are acquainted with the Jews know it is not 
without very good reason that I say this ; for they are a despicable, 
ignorant, and whimsical sort of writers, whose credit is at the lowest 
ebb imaginable. 

Though this character of them is notorious enough ; yet because 
our adversaries mention the rabbins so much in this dispute, and 
Dr. Hammond y calls their authority, (not over-prudently,) Hhe true 
' basis of infant-baptism ;' I think myself obliged to confirm what I 
here advance; being under a kind of promise likewise to assign 
some of the reasons which prove the rabbins and their writings are 
of no weight, and that their testimony cannot be relied on by any 
who love the truth, and take a prudent care not to be imposed on 
in their search after it. 

I . In pursuance of this, sir, I will first give you a taste of their 
writings, whereby you may judge what romantic authors they are. 
All their books, and almost every page in them, are so full of pas- 
sages which demonstrate this, that I am at a loss where to begin, 
and what to single out ; for to mention all of this kind, it would be to 
transcribe their whole books: but I will only present a specimen, which 
shall convince you what gallimaufries make up their compositions. 
That detestable libel, entitled Toldoth Jescliu, is filled with nothing 
else but the grossest falsehoods and blasphemies, and all asserted 
with as much assurance, and under such ]n-etences of seriousness and 
honesty, as if they were certain truths. It would be criminal barely 
to repeat words so extravagantly impious, wherewith they slander- 
ously abuse and affront the Lord of life ; and therefore if you desire 
to know more particularly what that base author writes, I refer you 

y Six Queries, p. 195, margin. 

216 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter ix. 

to the book itself, rather than blot my paper with the repetition of 
many things it contains. 

Some however of the less shocking- I will venture to mention : the 
many and prodigious miracles our Lord wrought were too apparent 
and certain to be denied ; and therefore these authors would, with 
their fathers, evade the force of them, by attributing them to 
enchantments, and the power of devils. The relation is very long ; 
however I will begin it, because it may shew what heed is to be 
given to their traditions; and what reason Christians have to 
regard those writers, who can thus traduce the most innocent and 
unspotted life that ever was in history, and obstinately disown the 
most apparent operations of a divine power. ' David, the king,^ ^^^J 
say, ' in digging the foundation, found a stone laid over the mouth 
' of a pit, on which was inscribed the proper name of God : this he 
* caused to be taken up, and placed in the holy of holies. And the 
' wise men, fearing lest some over-curious young men might learn 
' this name, and by the power of it cause great disturbances in the 
' world, made, by their mag-ic art, two brasen lions, which they set 
' at the door of the holy of holies, one on the right hand, and the 
' other on the left ; that if any should enter in, and learn this secret 
' name, the lions, as he came out again, should, by roaring, strike him 
' with such terror and confusion, as to cause him entirely to forget the 
' name he had learned. Now the rumour being spread, that Jesus, 

' &c. he left the upper Galilee, and came privately to Jerusa- 

' lem, and entering into the temple, learned the holy letters, and 
' writ the incomprehensible name on a parchment ; and first utter- 
' ing the name as a charm that he might not feel any pain, he cut a 
' gash in his flesh, and put into it the parchment which contained 
' the mysterious name ; and then immediately pronouncing the name 

' again, the flesh was perfectly healed up as at first. As he came 

' out, the brasen lions set up their roar, and frightened the name 
' quite out of his mind. Upon which, he went immediately mthout 
' the city ; and, opening the flesh, took out the hidden parchment, 
' and by these means again learned the powerful name. After this, 
' he went into Bethlehem of Judaea, the place of his nativity, and 
' began to cry with a loud voice, and say, &c., I am born of a pure 
' virgin, &c. I am the Son of God, and the prophet Esaias prophe- 
' sied of me, saying. Behold a virgin shall conceive, &c. I made even 
' myself; and the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all things, 
' were made by me. Upon this, some ask him, saying, Shew us by 
' some sign or wonder that thou art God. To whom he answered, 
' saying, Bring hither a dead body, and I will raise it to life. With 

History of Infant-baptism. 217 

* that^ they fell to dig-g-ing" up a grave with all expedition ; and 
' finding nothing but dry bones^ they told him^ We have found here 
' only the bones. Well, bring them here into the midst, says he. 
' And when they had brought them, he fitted every bone to its 
' place, covered them with skin and flesh and nerves ; and the body 
' became alive, and arose, and stood on its feet : and the whole com- 

' pany saw the wonder, and was amazed. Bring hither a leper, 

' says he, and I will heal him. And when they had brought one to 
' him, he in like manner healed him by the incomprehensible name : 
' which when they that were with him saw, they fell down before 
' him, and worshipped him, saying. Thou art indeed the Son of God.' 
With what amazing impudence and blasphemy is this absurd fable 
related ! The whole libel is of a piece with this, and a remarkable 
instance of rabbinical honesty and good sense ; which should never 
be forgotten. The same libel continues thus : 

' One of the wase men proposed to the rest, if it may be thought 
fit, let one of us also learn the name, and thereby be enabled to do 
these wonders as well as he, and perhaps by these means we may 
take him. The sanhedrim approved of the advice, and decreed, 
that whosoever should learn the name, and thereby discover and 
expose Jesus, he should receive a double reward in the other world. 
Then one of the wise men, whose name was Judas, stood up, and 

said, I will learn it.^ And then they add the following story : 

Jesus said. Does not Esaias prophesy of me ? and my great fore- 
father David likewise says of me. The Lord said unto my Lord, &c. j 
and again, Thou art my Son, this day &c. And now I will ascend 
to my Father who is in heaven, and I will sit at his right hand ; 
and this I will do before your faces; but thou, Judas, shalt never 
come there. Then Jesus immediately pronouncing the mighty 
name, a sudden wind arose and carried him into the air, where he 
remained between heaven and earth. Judas in like manner pro- 
nouncing the name, was also carried up, and so they both flew 
about in the air, to the great amazement of all the spectators. But 
Judas, again pronouncing the name, falls on Jesus, designing to 
cast him down headlong ; while Jesus also pronouncing the name, 
endeavoured to cast down Judas, and thus they continued strug- 
gling together. But when Judas saw he could not prevail against 
Jesus, he urined, and sprinkled it upon him; by which being 
rendered unclean, they both fell down to the earth together, and 
were deprived of the power of the incomprehensible name, till 
they had washed themselves.' 
If you please, you may see more still of their nonsense, and 

218 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter ix. 

intolerable blasphemous reflections on the blessed Jesus, collected 
by Vorstius in his observations on D. Ganz^s Chronolog-y, at p. 257, 

Though these writers do not always vomit out the same malice as 
when they treat this subject, yet they ever fall into the same 
deliriums of a rambling' fancy, and scorn to be confined, so much as 
even to probability and decorum. I will make out this even from 
their Talmud itself, for which they have all so great a veneration. 
It is a medley, a hotchpotch of the most ridiculous and senseless 
fictions, and a vast collection of fooleries ; and you will see I do not 
wrong it, when you look over the following instances. 

' yAs the wise men were once sitting in the gate, two lads passed 
' by them ; one, according to the custom, kept his head covered, but 
* the other uncovered his head. Of him that had uncovered his 
' head, R. Eliezer said, he was a bastard. R. Joshua said, he was 
' the son of a woman set apart for uncleanness. But R. Akiba said, 
' he was both a bastard and the son of an unclean woman. The 
' rest of the mse men say to R. Akiba, How comes it to pass, that 
' you contradict your companions ? He answered, I will confirm 
' what I have said, and presently goes to the mother of the lad, 
' whom he found in the market selling pulse ; he says to her, 
' Daughter, if you will satisfy me in the thing I shall ask you, I will 
' make you to enter into eternal life^ Says she. Swear to me. 
' Whereupon R. Akiba did swear with his lips, but not in his 
' heart a/ &c. And after this, he put the question to her, which she 
answered, proving the person to be illegitimate, &c. 

Such tales as these, which the greatest rabbins so gravely employ 
themselves in, would not pass with old women and children in a 
winter evening. Besides, you may observe their integrity here; 
R. Akiba is represented swearing falsely, in contempt of the Deca- 
logue, though at other times he is called the glory of the law^, 
and was so nicely conscientious of keeping the tradition of the 
elders, that when he was in prison, and wanted water to drink, he 
chose rather to wash his hands with what he had, than drink it to 
satisfy his thirst, saying, ' I had better die with thirst, than trans- 
' gress the traditions of the elders^.^ And yet this zealot made 
nothing of perjury; which is all one as to say, the traditions of the 
elders are more to be regarded than the law of God. 

And what arrogance and blasphemy is it for the vile wretch to 
assume to himself the power of admitting into heaven, and distri- 

y Massechet Challa. ^ c'jn- ''n'? "jw^ici '3« a uVa "^Toaoi vnDca yauji 


History of Infant-haptism. 219 

buting" rewards there, when this, we know, is solely the prerogative 
of the Eternal King- ! and blessed be his name that it is so ! 

The Talmudical treatise they call Banhedrim has the following 
insipid passage : ' Our rabbins tell us, that Jesus had five disciples, 
' Mathai, Nakai, Nezer, Boni, and Thoda. When Mathai was 
' brovTg-ht into court, he argued. Should Mathai be put to death, 
' seeing it is written (TIO Mathai), When shall I come and ai^pear 
' before God ? But they answered him. Ought not Mathai to die, 
' when it is written (TlO Mathai), When shall he die, and his name 
' jjerish ? 

' Afterwards they brought in Nakai, and he pleaded. Shall Nakai 
' be put to death, though it be written. The innocent (i. e. "'pi) and 
' righteous slay thou not ? But they answered him. Should not Nakai 
' die, when it is said, /« the secret places doth he murder the innocent? 


' After him they brought in Nezer, who said, Shall Nezer be put 
' to death, when it is written (1!JD Nezer), A hraneh shall grow out 
' cif his roots ? To whom they answered. Shall not Nezer be put to 
' death, seeing it is written. Thou art cast out of thy grave like an 
' ahominahle branch?' (i. e. in Hebrew, "^!J2 Nezer). 

' Next they brought Boni, and he argued. Shall Boni die, when 
' it is said, Israel is my son i^'yi), my frsthorn ? But they answered, 
' Shall not Boni die, when it is written, I will slay thy son ("T3^), 
' even thy firstborn. 

' Last of all they bring Thoda, who pleaded. Shall Thoda be put 
^ to death, when it is written, A psahn of praise (rniJlT') ? To 
* which they answered. Shall not Thoda be put to death, seeing it is 
^ written. Whoso offers praise (or niiri/) glorifies me?' 

In one place the Talmud says, ' There are three watches in the 
' night ; in every one of which the holy and ever-blessed One roars 
' out for grief like a lion, and says. Woe is me that I have made 
' desolate my house, and burnt my temple, and that I have made 
' my children captive to the heathen'' '/ Surely none but madmen 
would dare to make such grossly wicked representations of the in- 
finite majesty of God. 

In the said tract the great God is a little after described howling 
in the same manner again : sometimes he is represented praying ; 
sometimes weeping, &c. in this one book called Berachoth, which 
treats of prayer and thanksgiving. And for an essay of their pliilo- 

d Berachoth, fol. 3. a. nnnffio ;i3'7U? n.s 'n^'jjm 'bD^n nw 'nD"i©i ^n^a nx 

mcv iTDTTDi -TDirio "^D 'jiM nb^'^n ^^x^ .D'^yn moiN ^'n": ':3 

220 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter ix. 

sopliy and divinity, let this suffice : ' When God calls to mind the 
' troubles of his children among- the Gentiles, it makes him drop 
^ two tears into the ocean, the sound of which is heard from one end 
' of the world to the other; and this is the cause of earthquakes^/ 

I will transcribe one passage more concerning God^s weeping, 
though it be pretty long", and very foolish : but it shews how g-ross 
the understandings of these men are. ' Just as the enemies went 
' into the sanctuary, and burnt it with fire, the blessed God said, 

' Now I shall have no habitation upon earth, &c. Then God 

' mourned and lamented, saying, Woe is me ! what have I done ? I 
' did suffer my Schechina to dwell in the world, because of the 
' Jews ; but now they have sinned, and I am returned to my ancient 

' habitation, I shall become the scorn of the nations, &c. 

' While he was breathing out his complaints, Metatron came, and 
' prostrating himself on his face, cried, O thou Lord of the whole 
' world, I will lament and mourn; but weep not thou. To whom 
' the ever-blessed God made answer. If thou dost not allow me to 

' weep here, I Avill give myself wholly up to my grief. God 

^ came down ; his holy angels and Jeremiah the prophet going be- 

* fore him : when he came to his temple, he said. This doubtless is 
' my house, into which my enemies have entered, and have done 
' what they pleased. Then he began to grieve and lament : Woe is 
' me, that my house is destroyed ! O my children ! where are you ? 
' O my priests ! where are you ? O my friends ! where are you ? What 
' shall I do for you ? I warned you, but you would not repent. Then 

* turning to Jeremiah, he said V &c. 

I believe you are sufficiently tired with this stuff; but I must de- 
sire you to read one example or two more, from the great abundance 
of which the Talmud and Commentaries, &c. are made up. ' God 

* kissed our master Moses on the mouth ; and when he perceived it 
' took away his breath, and that he was dead, he fell a weepings.^ 
The foundation and origin of Rome is thus storied in the Talmud ; 
' At that time when Solomon married Pharaoh^s daughter, the 
' angel Gabriel descended and fixed a reed in the sea, which drew up 
' the mud, upon which was built that great city Rome'i.'' This 
fable is more at large set down in the Midrasli Rabba Cantic. ch. i. 
ver. 6. Buxtorf has translated the place in his Talmudical Lexicon, 

e Berachoth, 6i. a. iDTi nipniB ni-'ca inoc: Vc:! \^V1^^ ncob] nnpn ip©: 

D'jiyn mm« j'l lyai □'met'' V33 hn .nnn nipn n'm no np'ii?n 

rmcj Gb^^p^ "jn^n d^'j mym »rnr imo ^ Sanhedrim, fol. 21 b. nuj:© nynji 

.«mj ivm 1D1D Ti'i oViyn F|iDn nap \*y:"i 'j^nij t\» nriD na n« nc'juj 

f In Echa Eabbati, fol. 55b. Vnj "Jis n^as v"?!-! ^itn^© n'^ym D'a 

s Midrasch, Debarim Eabba, prope fin. .'Oil 3 -a 

History of Infant-haptism. 221 

at the word XTT^, where he has also collected several other passages 
which relate to this matter, from the Talmuds and Midraschim : all 
which does most abundantly shew the great ignorance of these whim- 
sical historians ; and that they are no more to be relied on than the 
Popish Legends and Lives of their Saints, 

Among other things which I am unwilling to pass by, is that 
strange story of R. Eliezer, which I will endeavour to abbreviate 
what I can. After Eliezer had done several strange things to prove 
the true tradition was in him, it follows, ' If I am possessed of the 
' tradition,^ says he, ' let the neighbouring river testify it. And im- 
' mediately the river turned its current the contrary way'.' But his 
adversaries not being satisfied with this, he says again : ^ If I hold 
' the truth, then let the walls of this school bear witness of it : and 
^ immediately the walls began to lean as if they would fall. Upon 
' which R. Joshua cried out, and said to the walls. If the disciples 
' of the wise men dispute among themselves concerning tradition, 
' what is that to you, that you begin to move ? At this, in respect 
' to Joshua, the walls were withheld from falling quite down : and 

' in honour to Eliezer they remain leaning to this day. R. Na- 

' than, by chance, met with Elias, and asked him what God did at 
^ that time, when the rabbins were so hotly engaged concerning tra- 
' dition ? Elias answered. Why truly, he laughed, and said. My 
' children have conquered me, my children have conquered me,' &c. 
Thus they approve themselves to be what our Saviour calls them, 
blind guides who lead the blind, &c. 

The magnified Pirke of R. Eliezer, which are adorned with the 
highest encomiums of divine, holij, &c., are in like manner nothing 
else but a collection of the same kind of ridiculous senseless stories as 
those which compose the Talmud. In one place, for instance, reck- 
oning up seven miraculous things, the fourth is this : ' That from 
' the creation, no man had ever been sick, but men were taken with 
' a sudden sneezing, and so sneezed out their souls at their noses, 
' till our father JacobV&c. : and so all the rest of that admired 
treatise is nothing else but such like silly whimsies, raked together 
without any judgment or design. 

Another thing I would observe to you, in order to shew how little 
the rabbins are to be trusted in any thing they say, is the great re- 
spect and veneration they express for their whimsical doctors, and 
all their traditions, which they pul^licly profess to follow, let them 
be ever so absurd. Thus R. Solomon Jarchi, on Deut. xvii. ii, de- 
termines that the wise men must be submitted to, even ' though 
» Bava Metzia, fol. 59 a. k Cap. 52. 

222 Reflections on Mr. JFall's [lettee ix. 

' they should say the right hand is the left, and the left the right' ;' 
and therefore it is a law in the Talmud, that ' whosoever refuses to 
' obey the ^vise men shall be put to death "^Z And the great Akiba, 
as it is noted above, was so zealous for this, that he chose rather to 
die of thirst, than not wash his hands according to the traditions of 
the elders, with that small portion of water which was allowed him 
in prison. And in the same place there is this sentence : ' Whoso- 
' ever despises the words of the wise men shall be cast into hell"/ 
for according to E,. Ezechiah, an author of great use and authority 
among the Jews, ' he that contradicts his teacher, does as bad as if 
' he contradicted God himself"/ 

Nor are they content with all this, but carry the matter to a more 
impious extreme, and even prefer the Talmud and the impertinences 
of their doctors before the Scriptures themselves. Therefore they 
compare the text of the Bil^le to water, but the text of the Talmud 
to wineP; intimating the Mischna does as much excel the Scrip- 
tures, as wine does water. And accordingly R. Schem Tof asserts, 
that ' nothing is greater than the most holy Talmud^.' And the Tal- 
mudists have the vanity (or impudence shall I say ?) to assert that 
even ' God himself, of the twelve hours of the day, spends three in 
' the study of the law, and all the other nine in studying the Tal- 
' mud*".' To such an extravagant degree of phrensy and pride are 
these wise men arrived. 

From the whole it appears, that the Talmud, &c. of the Jews are 
a sort of writings full of senseless, scandalous falsehoods, and there- 
fore can be of no credit or authority at all. 

2. In the second place it may not be amiss to say some things re- 
lating to the character of these rabbins. 

From what I have already said, it is plain they have always been 
exceeding bigotted to their wise men, their Scribes and Pharisees ; 
especially the members of their Sanhedrim, whose assertions they 
are ever ready to submit to mth entire resignation and blind obedi- 
ence ; which has prepared them to receive the grossest absurdities 
and falsehoods, and to swallow all the dreams of the rabbins for un- 
exceptionable truth and matter of fact. 

And to this may be added their excessive pride and arrogance, for 
they think nobody has any sense but themselves. Thus R. Schimeon 

' 'jNDt? Ninm ]'0' "7? "[b lOTM iVe« ° In Chaskuni, fol. 94 b. bt p'?inn 

m Tractat. Erubira. fol. 21b. liirn Vs P Tract. Sopherim, cap 15. 

.nn'o 3"n anciD ^-\i-\ bs q Mizbeach Hazzahab, cap. 5. iiobrin 
n Erubim, fol. 2f b. bs i'vb'ori Vavr .udq n^ya'? j'n \UTpnn 

.nnmi n«i:J3 ]M': casn '12t r Tract. Schabbath. 

History of Infant-hajitism. 223 

says, ' There are but few wise men ; if there are two, it must be I 
' and my son^/ Maimonides, without naming- the place indeed, 
cites this from the Talmud*, Tract. Suecah. fol. 45 b. 

They were likewise much given to their eabalistical art, and that 
part of it they called Gematria, whereby they made words signify 
the same as any others they pleased to name, if the letters of one 
did but make the same number with the letters of the other ; and 
they thought there was no need of any arguments but this numeri- 
cal likeness to confirm the sense they gave a word ; so because Gen. 
xi. I. it is said the whole earth was of one language, in Hebrew, 
n^^5 nEDiL^ which letters make the number 794, which by some 
mistake was taken to be the number of iDlpH \1Lv" also; hence 
they would infer that the text means that the whole earth spoke at 
that time the Jwly language, as it is called, viz. the Hebrew. And 
when Ahasuerus says to Haman, Esth. iii. 11, The silver is given thee, 
the ipeople also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee ; by the 
silver they understand the king threatened him with the gallows he 
was afterwards hanged on, because r]D^ makes just the same num- 
ber as Y'V) viz. i6oj and by the same rule not a passage in Scrip- 
ture but may be made to say any thing, and indeed a thousand dif- 
ferent things together. 

The Sanhedrim, which was composed of their greatest and best 
men, consisted of a parcel of magicians and fortunetellers or conjurers / 
for the Talmud itself says expressly that a man is not received into 
that ' august assembly,^ unless he be ' well skilled in the black art, 
' and speaks seventy languages '',''&c.; a glorious qualification indeed 
for directors in religion ! 

Another charge I would lay against them is, their corrupting 
and altering the sacred Scriptures themselves, out of which they 
have attempted to erase some passages that did not please them. I 
will but just give a quotation from St. Justin Martyr to this purpose ;^ 
in his dispute with Trypho the Jew, he says thus : ' All those places 

* of Scripture, which are manifestly contrary to their senseless con- 

* ceits, they would evade by denying they are so written y.' And 
again a little after, ' As for your rabbins, I have no credit for them, 
' who have the confidence to reject the translation made by the 

* seventy elders under Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, and 

s C'JCTD NO ":::"io cm n^'jr 'di 'n^m y Pag. 294 B. "A 70^ o.v SiappriSr]i> iv 

.en '"^l ':t* en rdis ypa(t>ah (palpovTat 4\fyxovTa ahruv 

* Porta Mosis, p. 104 t^v avAriTov koI (plKavTOf yviiifj.r)v, ravra 

'> Chaskuni, ad Gen. xi. i. toXhSkti Kfydv /x)) u'urw yfypi<p8at. [Sect. 

" Menacoth, fol. 65 a. D'D\E3 ''jya 68.] 

224 Refections on Mr. Wall's [letteb, ix. 

' set themselves up for interpreters. And I would have you under- 
' standi that they have wholly taken out and disown many passages 
' of Scripture which are in this translation^ from whence it is plainly 
' proved to have been foretold^ that this crucified person was both 
' God and man, and that he should be crucified and put to death =^/ 

Amongst other places thus perfidiously obliterated by them, he 
instances in Jer. xi. 19, But I was like a lamh,%LQ., which verse 
however he remarks was then remaining in some copies in their 
synagogues, and had been then but lately struck out of any ; and 
I think it is in all the Hebrew copies, and other translations now 
extant, as well as in that of the Seventy. 

3. I am sensible I have treated the rabbins pretty roughly; but 
am satisfied all I have said of them is exactly true : and since with- 
out blushing they oifer such broad affronts to the common sense of 
all mankind, and venture to treat the divine Majesty both in the 
person of the Father and of the Son so blasphemously, they deserve 
no favour. 

Besides, I am justified in this by the judgment and practice of all 
learned men. 

Mr. Le Clerc, in this present ease in dispute, expresses the doubt- 
fulness and insufiiciency of the authority of the rabbins, by saying, 
' The Jews, if we may venture to believe the rabbins, received no 
' proselytes but by baptism a/ &c. More generally in another place 
he says, ' The Jews seem to claim the privilege of cashiering their 
' reason, and advance Avithout any shame all the foolish whimsies in 
^ the world and would yet pass for men of very good sense ''.^ 
And to the same purpose he frequently speaks on other occasions, 

Mons. du Pin, when he would give a treatise he is speaking of, the 
worst character he can, says, ' It was writ by somebody who was 
' wholly besotted with the dreaming- enthusiasms of the rabbins and 
' cabalists'^.' Mr. Dodwell, sj^eaking of the use of the Jewish writ- 
ings, says, ' Considering the fabulousness and suspiciousness of these 
' rabbinical records in any thing historical, I should be much better 
^ satisfied with any information from those more certainly ancient 

z Pag. 297 B. 'AAA' ohyX toIs SiSaaKd- Se/wi'i'Tai ftSfVai, u/uSs jBouAo/uai. [Sect. 71-] 
\ois vnwvjrtiOonai, fXT] ffvvTi6eifj.fvois Ka\ci>s " In Not. Gal), ad Matth. iii. 6. Les 

i^riyeTrrOai to. virh t6l>v naph UroAiixaicf) Tw Juifs, si nous en croyons les rabbins, ne 

AiyvTTTLwv yfi'o/j.fvcf) PaaiAil i^ZofxriKoura recevoient, &c. 

irpea0uT(pa!V. 'AAA' aurol e^rtyeladai nti- ^ Bibliothfeque Choisie, torn. xiii. p. 

puvrar Kal on iroAKas ypa(pas liXiov irepi- 405. C'est Ik un privilege des Juifs, de 

elAof a-Kh Tuv 4^riyria4wv roiv yfytvrjixivaiv ne faire presque aucun usage de leur rai- 

VTih Twv Trapa riTo\ yeyti/rifj.ii'wv .rpscr- son, de d^biter, sane honte, toutes sortes 

^vrepwi/, 6| wv Siapprid-nv oItos avrhs 6 arav- de reveries, et de passer ndanmoins pour 

pcodus, Zti Qeus, Kal &vQptD-Kos, koI aravpov- habiles gens. 
IxfvoT, Kal awoOvficrKcov KfKrtpvyfjihoi awo- ^ Hist. Eccles. vol. i. p. 155 b. 

Hist on/ of Lifauf -baptism. 


' authors, which are extant in other tong-ues, such as Philo and 
' Josejihus, &c., and indeed shall not credit the rabbins any further 
' than as they agree with such better attested monuments, or with 
' the nature of things attested by them^i/ 

Scalig-er says of K,. Ascher, who dwelt then at Amsterdam, that 
' he was an ingenious man for a JeW^/ And a little after, ' It is 
' very seldom that a Jew who turns Christian is good for any 
' thing ; they are always bad^/ Nauelerus says of the Talmud that 
' though it be full of the most palpable lies, and contrary to all the 
' laws of God, the Scriptures, and the light of nature, yet it is en- 
' joined under pain of death that no one presume to deny any one 
' thing written therein?/ 

I have the testimony also of two unexceptionable judges in this 
matter ; I mean the great Buxtorf, and our own incomparable 
Lightfoot ; than whom none ever better understood nor were more 
universally acquainted with the rabbins and their writings. 

Buxtorf, after he has mentioned all the fine things which can be 
said to recommend the use and study of the Talmud, adds these 
words : ' Thus you see, reader, with what impudence and impiety 
' this obstinate and blind people extol and magnify their Talmud, 
' and the authors of it : and can it seem strang-e that these neglect 
* the law of God, to follow the traditions of their fathers ^ ?' 

But Dr. Lightfoot's words are, if possible, fuller yet than any, 
and may serve for a compendium of all I have been hitherto saying". 
' There are some,' says the doctor, ' who believe the holy Bible was 
' pointed by the wise men of Tiberias. I do not wonder at the im- 
' pudence of the Jews who invented the story ; but I wonder at 
' the credulity of Christians who applaud it. Recollect, I beseech 
' you, the names of the rabbins of Tiberias, from the first situation 
' of the university there, to the time that it expired ; and what, at 

d Lettfir of Advice, &c. i. p. 33. 

e Scaligerana, p. 218. Qui estoit hon- 
neste honime pour un Juif. 

f Ibid. p. 2 1 8, 21 g. Earo Judseus ali- 
quis Christiaiius factua, fuit bonus, sem- 
per sunt nequam. 

S Gener. 14. Licet planus est inextri- 
cabilibus mendaciis, et contra omnem 
divinani legem, sacram ScripturiB sc. et 
naturae legem conscriptus, sub pcena 
tamen capitis edictum est, nequis neget 
qviicquam eorum quae in eo dicuntur. 
[This quotation out of Nauelerus must 
have been taken somewhere at second- 
hand. The author's own words at this 
place (loosely) cited are : * Circa hasc 
' tempnra [A.D. 400] conipoiiitur Thal- 
' mud Judiuorum, id est Judaica doctrina, 


' a duobus Rabinis, s. Rabina et Rabasse ; 
' liber major decern bibliis, in quo sunt 
' inextricabilia niendacia contra omnem 
' legem divinam, natune, ac Scripturam. 
' Videntes enim legem suam in dies 
' deficere, et fidem Christianam proficere 
' in toto orbe, hos duos instigarunt rabbi- 
' nos, prohibentes, sub jKuna mortis, ne- 
' quis aliquid negaret de hisqurein eo con- 
' tinentur. ' See Jo. Naucleri Chronica, 
fol. Cvlonia', 1579. vol. ii. Cenerat. 14. 

P- 553-] 

h Abbreviat. &c. p. 241. Vides, lector, 
obstinatissinuE et obcaecatissimae gentis, 
de suo Talmud et ejus compilatoribus, 
imj)udentissma et impia clogia. An ergo 
niirum, quod T)ei verbum relicpierunt, et 
patrum traditiones secuti sunt ? 

226 Reflections on 3fr. Wall's [letter ix. 

' length, do you find, but a kind of men mad with Pharisaism, be- 
' mtching- with traditions, and bewitched, blind, g-uileful, doting", 
' they must pardon me if I say, magical and monstrous ? Men how 
' unfit, how unable, how foolish, for the undertaking" so divine a 
' work ! Read over the Jerusalem Talmud, and see there how 
' E,. Judah, R. Chaninah, &c., and the rest of the grand doctors 
' among the rabbins of Tiberias behave themselves ; how earnestly 
' they do nothing; how childishly they handle serious matters; 
* how much of sophistry, froth, poison, smoke, nothing at all, there 
' is in their disputes ! And if you can believe the Bible was pointed 
' in such a school, believe also all that the Talmudists write i/ 

4. But above all, this appears from the divine authority of the 
Son of God himself, and his disciples ; who often give us the worst 
character of the rabbins and governors of the Jews that it is 
possible to conceive. St. John calls the Pharisees, &c., that came 
to his baptism, a generation of vipers, Matt. iii. 7, and our Lord 
himself says of them, chap. xii. 34, generation of vipers, Jiow can 
ye, being evil, speak good things ? and detects several of theii" enor- 
mities in the woes he pronounces against them. Matt, xxiii. and 
chap. xxi. 31, which represents them to be worse than the most 
profligate part of mankind, and such whose testimony would signify 
nothing in any case. 

The protomartyr Stephen, Actsvii. 51, speaking to them, says. 

Ye stiflnecked i/e do always resist the Holy Ghost, &c. But not 

to multiply instances of this nature, which every body is well 
acquainted with, I will add but one more, which reaches expressly 
the thing in dispute, and proves their traditions concerning wash- 
ings made void the law. Mark vii. 8, &c. Laying aside the com- 
mandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots 
and cups : and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto 
them. Full well he reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep 

your own tradition Making the word of God of none efl'ect through 

your tradition, which ye have delivered. And our Lord conchides his 
censure vdih these words. They he blind leaders of the blind. Matt. 
XV. 14. All which, if there be any thing sacred and awful, and that 
deserves our most serious regard, in our Saviour^s words, must at 
least signify, that they are a dangerous sort of men, and rather to 
be shunned than followed : for he has expressly commanded us to 
beware of their leaven. 

Since then the Jews and their writings are so much to be dis- 
trusted, and are so scandalous and fallacious ; can what they say be 

i Vol. ii. p. 7.^ 

History of Infant-baptism. 227 

called with any prudence^ '■ the true basis of infant-baptism l^ T To 
conclude : what is built upon this basis is a rabbinical tradition, and 
one of those washings which our Lord condemns ; but not a Christ- 
ian baptism. 

I am, Sir, 

Yours, &c. 


Abrian, from whom Mr. Wall next argues, too late to determine the matter — 
He may perhaps only speak of the purifications for pollutions — The Pagans 
frequently confounded the Jews and Christians together, as appears from 
Themistius ; from Arrian himself; from Lucian ; from Tacitus; from Sue- 
tonius — And Rigaltius understands Arrian's words so too — As do also Peta- 
vius, Lipsius, and Barthius — Mr. Wall's argument from Gregory Nazianzen, 
examined— This Father lived too late to determine our dispute ; and does not 
speak of an initiatory baptism — The Scripture makes no mention of any 
initiatory baptism in use among the Jews — Exod. xix. lo makes nothing to the 
purpose — Maimonides, his rule of interpretation false — The rabbins very bad 
interpreters — Sanctify does not necessarily imply washing — Nothing in the 
words which so much as intimates the body was to be washed — There is no 
mention of an initiatory baptism in any authentic ancient history; even though 
they had the fairest occasions, and ought not to have omitted it, if there had been 
any such usage — This illustrated by some instances from Josephus and Ganz 
— It is on many accounts very improbable that the Jews had any such cere- 
mony—Proved from St. Paul's words; from Gregory Nazianzen; from St, 
Peter — Several authors of reputation, and especially the ancients, do in effect 
deny they knew of any initiatory baptism among the Jews — Thus St. Barnabas, 
Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, St. Cyril of Jerusalem — Many writers say 
our baptism came instead (not of baptism among the Jews, but) of sacrifices ; 
as the Recognitions — Or of the washings for pollutions, as the Apostolical Con- 
stitutions pretend — And Mr. Hill speaks to this purpose — Others more com- 
monly say, it succeeds in the place of circumcision — The conclusion from these 
observations — Though the Jews could be proved to have baptized their prose- 
lytes, this does no service to that cause of pscdobaptism. — For, i. It does not 
appear that infants were so admitted. — 2. If the Jews had such a baptism as 
is pretended, it is no rule to Christians ; otherwise the Socinians, &c., have a 
good handle to lay aside the use of baptism — And there is no manner of ana- 
logy between the pretended Jewish and the Christian paedobaptism — 3. We 
need only go back to the baptism of St. John ; which there is more reason to 
think was the pattern of Christ's than a Jewish ceremony — St. John, Christ 
and his apostles, baptized no infants — A passage of Jose])hus to this purpose 
— Another from Origen — Another of St. Paul — 4. At best this sui)posed bap- 
tism of the Jews is only a traditionary ceremony from the rabljins — Their 
quoting texts for it no proof of its divine institution — The rabbins do not pre- 
tend to find an initiatory baptism in the Scriptures ; but confess it is only a 

k Dr. Hammond's Six Queries, page 195, margin. 

2^8 Refections on Mr. JFall's [letteti x. 

tradition of their elders — This proved from the words of the Tahnud — Which 
are explained by some rules of Maimonides — Exod. xix. lo. cited only by way 
of accommodation — It is therefore great presumption to draw a rabbinical 
tradition into a precedent for the Christian church — These things applied to 
the present dispute — The Conclusion. 

Having shewn that the citations from the Jewish writers prove 
nothing- at all, and do our adversaries no service ; I proceed now to 
Mr. WalFs other arguments, which are brought to prove, that the 
Jews before, and at our Saviour^s time, were wont to initiate prose- 
lytes and their children by baptism. 

He insists upon some words of Arrian, the philosopher of Nico- 

I . But first, this philosopher lived not till about one hundred and 
fifty years after Christ*^, and therefore at best will not prove that 
custom to have been more ancient ; for he only speaks of his own 
time, without any reference to the past. 

3. Or secondly, he may, for what appears to the contrary, allude 
not to any initiatory washing", but to the frequent purifications for 
leg-al pollutions j and the hemerohaptistcR, or, as Justin Martyrt* calls 
them, the ^anTiaToi, have their denomination from this, and from 
their teaching, says the Renunciation cited by Cotelerius, ' That no 
' man could be saved unless he was washed daily";^ and not because 
they were daily initiated. And Eusebius'' tells us, from Heg-esij^pus, 
that one sect of the Jews, who were very zealous for these washings, 
were called peculiarly by his name. It may seem more probable too 
that Arrian alludes to this sect and these washings, if we call to 
mind that rule of the Talmud mentioned by Dr. Lig-htfoot, if I 
remember well, '■ That a woman baptized or washed, though for 
' uncleanness only, does nevertheless thereby become a complete 
' proselytess or Jewess^.'' The Talmud itself therefore determines, 
that washing" for uncleanness does constitute a complete Jew; which 
is the utmost that Arrian says, and therefore it is not necessary to 
understand him of any other washing". But, 

3. It was common for the Pag-an writers to confound the Jews 
and Christians together; for Christ himself and his apostles being- 

" Euseb. Chron. p. 213. (juiQy\va.i, ear /u?; Koff kKa.(STi\v rj/xepavBairTi- 

^ Dialog, cum Tryph. p. 307. [sect. 80. C^rai. 

edit. Benedict.] <i Hist. Eccles. lib. iv. cap. 22. 

" Codic. Regio 1818. ad Recognit. Cle- " Jebamoth, fol. 45 b. 
ment. p. ^gg b. MtJ SvuaaBat &v9punrov 

History of Infant-haptism. 229 

Jews by birth^ and sent primarily to preach to that people^ and the 
first churches consisting- of Jews for the most part, the heathen, who 
were not well enoug-h acquainted with these thing's, might easily 
suppose the Christians were only a sect of the Jews, that made a 
separation from their ancient governors upon account of some 
particular opinions among themselves. Festus plainly takes it so 
when he tells king Agrippa, that PauFs accusers had only certain 
questions against him of their oion superstition, and of one Jesus, tohick 
was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. Acts xxv. 19. And else- 
where in the Scrij)tures the apostles are often spoken of as Jews ; 
nay, sometimes the Christians are argued to be Jews, in the best 
and truest sense ; He is not a Jew which is one outwardly, &c., hnt he 
is a Jew which is one inwardly, Rom. ii. 28. And if ye he Christ's, then 
are ye Abraham's seed, &c. Gal. iii. 39. 

This is apparent also from many passages in the Greek and Latin 
authors. Themistius, citing some words from the Old Testament, 
calls it, 'the Law of the Assyrians f/ and in several other places he 
gives it the same names. And somewhere, as Petavius notes ^i, he 
calls it Syrian, which will be construed nothing less than calling 
the Jews, Assyrians and Syrians, from the country they dwelt in ; 
and yet, at another time, by Syrians, he means the Christians, 
namely, in his Oration to the Emperor Jovian, where he extols the 
emperor^s generosity and justice in permitting every one to follow 
what religion he thought best. ' For,'' says he, ' the Syrians 
\ perform divine worship in one manner, the Greeks in another, and 
' the Egyptians in a way different from both : nay, and the Syrians 
' themselves do not agree in all things ; no one believes exactly as 
' his neighbour, but this believes one thing, and that anotherV &c. 
Here he manifestly has his eye upon the quarrels and disputes which 
then disturbed the Church of Christ, and made too great a noise not 
to be observed by the enemies of our holy profession ; especially by 
so great a man as Themistius, who artfully improves this opportu- 
nity to insinuate how very uncertain the Christians were in their 
belief, thereby to possess the emperor with an ill opinion of them, 
to whom he was known to be very much inclined. 

Thus Themistius, then, by the same word Syrians, means both 
Jews and Christians, whom he does not sufllciently distinguish from 
one another : for the Christians as well as the Jews appeared first in 

f Orat. V. p. 141. A(i7^ T^'Aero-up/ij), &C. koX ohV avrovs 2i5pous 6fxoia>s, aW' ^5tj 

g Orat. vii. Init. et Orat. ix. p. 201. KaTaK(pndTt(TTai fls fitKpa.- (h ya)) ovSeh 

Ad Orat. xii. p. 035 • rw wfAas to, aura uirei'Ar)0ei/ aKpi^iis, a\\' 

' Page 2S2. "AAAois 2,vpovs eOf'Aei iroAi- 6 /xii/, toSI, 6 Se, roSl. [Orat. xii. prope f.] 

rev((r0at, oAAcoj 'EAAi^cos, aAAujs AlyuTriovi ' 

230 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter x. 

Syria^ and about those parts of Asia which were g-enerally counted 
the chief nursery of that relig-ion : and therefore Lucian saySj ^From 
' the several cities in Asia came some who were sent from the 
' pubhc body of the Christians'^/ &c. And it is very probable this 
may be one occasion of their confounding- Christians and Jews 
tog-ether : therefore Le Prieur says, ' Every body knows that the 
' church was at first g-athered at Jerusalem, and consisted of Jews ; 
' and from hence it is that in profane writers you hardly find any 
' diflPerence made between Jews and Christians'^ 

Galilee, the Uj)per and the Lower, was mostly inhabited by Jews, 
at least one part of it entirely, tog-ether vA'ith a larg-e portion of the 
other called Galilee of the Gentiles, Matt. iv. 15, of which Strabo is 
imderstood to say, ' That it was inhabited by a mixture of Eg-ypt- 
' ians, Arabians, and Phoenicians "i/ Galila?ans therefore could at 
first mean only Jews of Galilee, or Galilaean Jews ; and according-ly 
St. Peter is by his speech discovered to be a Galilaean, Mark xiv. 70, 
that is, a native Jew of Galilee : and so in that known blasphemy 
of Julian the Apostate, when dying he cried out, ' Galilaean, thou 
' hast conquered me"/ it is the same thing as if he had said, 'Thou 
' Galila-an Jew / for he means Christ, who was a Jew, and dwelt in 
Nazareth in Galilee. For in these and such like places, the name 
seems to signify one sort of the Jews in particular, as if they were 
something different from others who were not of that country. 

I know these words may sometimes be only used to express the 
country : as a Greek may mean one born or bred in Greece ; a 
Roman, a freeman of Rome ; and a Turk, one born in Turkey. But 
if they have any reference to the religion or j^rofession, or some 
quality and disjDosition of a person ; then they always mean that 
relig-ion, &c. which was most famous in that place at the time : and 
thus a Chaldajan signifies an astrologer ; a wild Arab, a robber ; and 
a Greek, in Scripture, is one that jiract'ised the idolatries of Greece : 
and the word Jeio, with us, an instance pretty near the case in hand, 
does not always signify one born in Judsea, or of Jewish parents, 
but one who professes to live according to the law of the Jews, 
which doubtless is the sense Mr. Wall gives it in the passage of 
Arrian : and so does Galilaean often signify that particular sort of 
the Jews. Thus St. Paul, though born at Tarsus in Cilicia, and 
educated at Jerusalem, and consequently no Galilaean by birth 
or habitation, is notwithstanding called a Galilaean by Lucian"; 

k De Morte Peregrin, p. 567. " Theodor. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. cajj. 25. 

1 In Tertiillian. fol 320. NifiKVKas, raKiAatf. 

"' Geograph. lib. xvi. p. 11 03. " Pliilopatr. p. 770. 

History of Ivfant-haptum. 231 

sig'iiifying', that he was a Jew of the sect who had embraced the 
new doctrines of Christianity ; Galilteans comprehending" originally 
none but the Jews, for they only of that country adhered to Jesus. 

But then it is wrong", and a confounding" of matters, to call the 
Christians in g'eneral by that name, which should be attributed to 
none but Jews ; Arrian therefore, whom Mr. Wall arg-ues from in 
this case, has committed this mistake, when he says, ' that through 
' a mad sort of humour, and the prevalency of a custom among" them, 
' the Gralilaeans have learnt to despise the power and severity of 
' magistrates?.^ By Galilaeans here, he cannot be understood to 
mean any but the Christians, whose courage and firmness of mind 
in persecution was very well known to their adversaries, and was 
falsely ascribed by them to perverseness and obstinacy. As you 
may see the emperor Marcus Antoninus censures them, when repre- 
senting a mind duly prepared to live or die in whatever manner one 
may be called to it, he says, ' This indifference, or willingness to 
' submit to one^s lot, should spring from a discreet and well-weighed 
' judgment of things ; not as it is with the Christians, from stulj- 
' bornness, but from serious consideration, and a serenity of mind, 
^ which may persuade others to imitate your example 1.' 

What I cited from Arrian, who is Mr. WalFs own author, shews, 
that he called the Christians by a name which belong-ed only to the 
Jews ; for I beKeve Mr. Wall cannot find a place where Galilaean 
signifies any but Jews, unless it be this of Arrian, and such others. 
It follows then that Arrian does confound the Jews and Christians 
together; and therefore he may be understood to speak of the 
Christians under the name Jews, in the passage Mr. Wall refers to ; 
for he may as well call the Christians Jews as Galilseans, since the 
Galilieans, as I have often repeated it, and particularly those from 
whom the Christians are called so, were only Jews. 

I think it is a very plain case, that Lucian took the Christians at 
least for a sect of the Jews ; when speaking of the impostor he calls 
Peregrinus, he says, ' At which time he learned the admired wisdom 
' of the Christians, by conversing with their priests and scribes'".' 
What priests and scribes were among the Christians? Lucian 
mistakes the matter, and thinks the Christian religion was taught 
by the Jewish priests, &c. When Tacitus in his account of the 

P III Epictet. lib. iv. cap. 7. p. 400. afxtuoos, koI (TfixvSis, nai lixTTt -cal &\\uv 

Etra inrh /xavias fXiv Suvarai tis ovtu Stare- Tr(7a'ai, arpayciiSais 

drjvai irphi ravra, Kol virh eOuvs 01 TaAi- r De Morte Peregrin, p. £,65. "Oreirtp 

\a7ot. Kol rr)v QavixauT^v (Tatpiav riiv Xpimiavicv 

1 Lib. ix. i? 3. Tc) 5e eVoijUoi' tovto, 'iva i^eixad^. Trepi tV naAcKiTTiVr;f Tins lepfvcri 

arrh ISikTjs Kpitrews fpxrjTut, /x'Jj Kara xpiAriv Kal ypa/ avrwi/ (rvyytvipuvos. 
irapara^iv I ws oi XpicTTiavol, aWa KiKoyi- 


Hefledions on Mr. Wall's 

[letter X. 

Jews says, that ' those who came over to them are circumcised s ;' 
and that among the very first principles, they are taught ' to despise 
' and slight their parents and children, and brethren;^ it is very 
probable he alludes to that passage of our Saviour, If any man come 
to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and unfe, and children, and 
brethren, and sisters — he cannot be my disciple, Luke xiv. 26. 

But the common instance cited from Suetonius is, if possible, 
more plain. '■ Claudius,^ says he, ' expelled the Jews out of Rome, 
' iipon account of the continual disturbances they made there by 
' the instigation of Christ ^^ But Christ was the leader and head 
of the Christians only, and not of the Jews. Suetonius therefore, 
when he said Jews, meant, or at least included the Christians. And 
so likewise in the passage Mr. Wall, and before him Dr. Hammond, 
cites from Arrian, that philosopher may refer only to the Christians, 
notwithstanding he calls them Jews. Rigaltius, without any 
manner of hesitation, understands him so : ' Even the Stoics,'' says 
he, '■ knew that the faithful,^ that is, the Christians, ^ were made 
'■ such completely by their baptism. For thus Arrian expressly 
' saysii,'' &e., and here he transcribes the very words. The learned 
Petavius is also of this opinion >'. Lipsius takes the place in the 
same sense, and compares it with the words of Suetonius above 
cited; and says, 'For who were baptized but the Christians y ?^ And 
Barthius says upon it, ' Baptism was not the distinguishing sign of 
' a Jew, but of a Christian '.' 

And it is certain, that supposing the Jews did baptize, yet cir- 
cumcision was the great badge of a Jew; and so necessary, that 
they are often called from it in Scripture the circumcision, emphati- 
cally. Arrian therefore could not be well understood to say, the 
proselytes became complete Jews by being baptized, since circum- 
cision was the more known and essential ceremony with them. 
Petavius^ indeed imagines the passage in Arrian is corrupted, and 
that instead of ripr)ixevov, we should read ireptrip-qixivov ; and so makes 
the place speak of baptism and circumcision too. But the criticism 
is too bold and licentious, without the authority of any copy, and 

s Historiar. lib. v. prope ab init. Trans- 
gref?si in morem eorum, idem usurpant : 

nee quidqiiam prius imbuuutur quam, 

parentes, liberos, fratres, vilia habere. 

t In Claud, cap. 25. Judteoa impulsore 
Cliresto assidue tumultuantes Roma ex- 

u In Tertul. de Baptismo, p. 229. lit. 
g. Fideles perfici baptismo, sciebant etiam 
Stoici. Sic enim disertissime Arrianus 

Epict. ii. 9, &c. 

" Not. in Themist. Orat. xii. p. 635. 

y Ad Annal. Tacit, lib. xv. 

z Ad Ivutilii Itinerarium. Sane Ju- 
daji signaculum non erat bai:)tizatum esse, 
sed Christiani. 

^ Not. ad Themist. Orat. xii. p. 635. 
[See the notes of various editors on the 
passage, collected by Schweighseuser, in 
vol. ii. of his edition of Ejiictetus.] 

Historj/ of Infant-baptism. 233 

grounded only on Petavius'' fancy ; and therefore I see no reason to 
admit it. But if by Jews he meant converts to Christianity, wlio at 
first were chiefly Jews, the expression is well enoug-h, for they were 
always received into the body of Christians by baptism : and not 
before, but after this ceremony, they were accounted complete 
Christians ; which is all very suitable to Arrian^s words : ' that after 
' baptism, and the public profession, they were accounted, and really 
' were true Jews,^ or rather Christians '\ And if this be the sense 
of the passage, then Arrian does not prove what our adversaries cite 
him for. 

The next argument Mr. Wall recurs to, in order to establish the 
true ' basis of infant-baptism,^ is a passage in Gregory Nazianzen : 
where that Father undertakes to reckon up all the various sorts of 
baptism he knew of, and considers the reasons of them. ' Moses 
' baptized, but that was in water only. And before that in the 
' cloud, and in the sea. But this was all typical, as also St. Paul 
^ understands it. The sea typified the water ; the cloud the Spirit ; 
' the manna in the wilderness signified the bread of life ; and the 
' water they there drank, the didne cup. John also baptized, yet 
' not in water barely as the Jews did, but likewise to repentance*-',' 
&c. In the following words he adds the baptism of Christ, the 
baptism of the Spirit, and the baptism of blood. But this part I 
need not transcribe, because Mr. Wall grounds his argument on the 
first words only; which, he thinks, prove that the Jews did un- 
doubtedly initiate their proselytes by baptism, since they themselves 
were also at first so initiated. 

But here I must first make the common remark which affects all 
Mr. WalFs arguments, namely, that the authority he uses is of 
much too late a date : for St. Gregory lived but about the latter 
end of the fourth century, which is not early enough to give an 
infallible certainty of what was done in Christ's time, and much less 
in that of Moses. Besides, St. Gregory does not speak of an ini- 
tiatory baptism, but only of the legal washings for uncleanness. 
And this is so obvious, that one would wonder how any man could 
pretend to understand him otherwise. For since he goes to enume- 
rate all the kinds of baptism ; and the divers toashings mentioned in 
the scripture were so very notorious, and could not possibly be 
forgot ; it is unaccountable how any one can persuade himself, that 

'' Epictet. Dissert, lib. ii. cap. 9. "O-rav erf;?, aAA' iv uSarr koI irpo tovtov eV ve- 

S' at'ttAa/Sj; rb -jraOos ih toO ^trl3a/J.iJ.4vuv Kal <pif^1l Kol fV OaKaaaii. Torri/ccis St tuvto 

ripTjfxfvov, T^Tt Kol ia-Ti Tw uvriKol liahurai ifv, iLs koI FlurAo) So/itt' i) daKaaaa tov 

'lovSahs. v5aros, &c. 

c Orat. xxxix. p. 634. 'E^imiai Muiii- 

234) Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter x. 

St. Greg-oiy would entirely pass over these common washing's, which 
were so well known, and speak of some other strange baptism not 
mentioned in Scripture, nor by any author of credit. 

It cannot be fairly denied that the words may very naturally be 
understood of those legal washings, and that there is no one cii'cum- 
stance in them which in the least insinuates they mean any thing 
else ; and therefore it is a pitiful begging of the question, to say, 
they refer to any such baptism as our adversaries maintain : on the 
contrary, I take this, and all such passages, to make against them ; 
for thoug"h St. Gregory sets himself to reckon up all the baptisms 
he knew of, and mentions several, yet he never takes the least 
notice of a baptism to initiate Jews or proselytes : which must 
import thus much, viz. that St. Gregory knew no such initiatory 

And now, sir, I think I may say, these are all the arguments 
Mr. Wall employs to establish his position, that the Jews at our 
Saviour's time initiated their proselytes by baptism. He cites 
indeed Cyprian and Basil, and might perhaps have added several 
others to as much purpose ; but what they say amounts to no more 
than what was said by St. Gregory, and may receive the same 
answer. And from hence it is sufficiently evident Mr. Wall has said 
nothing' which rises to any probable proof that this ' main basis of 
' infant baptism' is true. For I leave you to judge whether every 
pretence to this has not been sufficiently refuted. 

To prove neg-atives is always difficult, and sometimes impossible ; 
and therefore I might be excused from any farther trouble on this 
head. However, since it may be of use to confirm my notion of this 
matter, I will endeavour to make out, as far as it shall seem needful, 
these following observations : 

I. I observe the Scripture makes no mention of any such baptism ; 
and yet one cannot tell how to think it should be silent, if either 
God had appointed the practice, or if it had been used on any other 
foundation before those sacred books were written : for freqvient 
occasions would have offered to take notice of this, as well as of 
several other institutions of God, or traditions of their elders ; and 
without doubt it would have been touched on, had there been any 
such thing in use. Mr. Wall, I know, puts us in mind, that the 
rabbins cite Exod. xix. lo, to prove that the Jews themselves were 
initiated, upon the gi\ang of the law, by baptism. 

But in answer to this it may be noted, that they did not by this 
washing enter into covenant with God, for that they had done 
before by circumcision, which was the seal of the covenant ; and 

Histori/ of Infant-laptism. 235 

therefore the washing- here mentioned was no more an initia- 
tory baptism than the washings of the priests and Levites, pre- 
paratory to their several ministrations^ and those appointed for 
polhitions^ which all persons were strictly to perform before they 
entered the congreg-ation of the Lord to worship. The sanctifieation 
and washing therefore, mentioned in the words referred to, seem to 
mean only such kind of purification as Vv^as common in all eases of 
approaching- to God, and was to be repeated as often as snch ap- 
proaches were made. Though indeed something* extraordinary 
might be enjoined on this uncommon, and wonderful appearance of 
God, in such amazing majesty and glory. 

That the purification was of this nature only, may seem more 
probable, if we observe, that one j)art of it was to consist in their 
not coining at their wives, verse 15, and the eastern nations always 
thought this polluted, and rendered them unfit to enter the temple, 
as Herodotus d, Strabo*^, &c., assure us. And Ahimelech, when 
David required the shew-bread of him, makes this condition, that 
tJie youmj men have Jcept themselves at least from women, i Sam. 
xxi. 4. And more generally it appears from Gen. xxxv. 2, that 
this was but a purification necessary in order to perform any reli- 
g-ious worship ; for Jacob, being abou.t to build an altar to the 
Lord, orders all his household to be clean, and change their garments : 
which is exactly the same thing" mtli that expressed, Exod. xix. 10. 
Of the same nature likewise is that obligation laid on the Israelites 
by Moses and Eleazar, after their destroying the Midianites, that 
whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any 
slain, should 7; «;•//}' themselves, &e.^ and ye shall wash your clothes on 
the seventh day, and ye shall be clean. Numb. xxxi. 19, 24. And so 
Joshua, ch. iii. 5, commands the Israelites to sanctify themselves, 
that is, according to Mr. WalFs notion of the word, to wash them- 
selves, for to-morrow the Lord will do wonders among yon; which 
implies these sanctifications were usual in such extraordinary eases. 
And thus among the heathens, those who came to consult the oracle 
of Trophonius were to wash themselves in the river Hercyna f. And 
the priests at Delphos washed themselves before they went to the 
temple S. 

So that we see this is only a common purification, always used to 
(jiialify persons to appear before God; and therefore Mr. Wall, or 
the ral)l)ins he cites, have no reason to pretend the sanctifieation and 
washing mentioned Exod. xix. 10, signifies any thing else. 

<l Lib. ii. p. 71. ^ Pausan lib. xix. p. 60.^ 

^ Lib. xvi. p. lo.Si. s Euri|>. in Jove, ver.'^. 96. 

236 Heflect'wns on Mr. Wall's [letter x. 

But besides all this, I do not perceive the necessity of supposing- 
the words respect the washing" of the body, which is neither ex- 
pressed nor implied. As to the authority of the rabbins, who, our 
author informs us from Selden, do generally favour his fancy, I have 
already shewn they are not to be depended on. The rule Mai- 
monides has accommodated our author with, ' That wheresoever in 
' the law the washing of the body or garments is mentioned, it 
' means still the washing of the whole body,^ I think serves but to 
manifest the confidence of the rabbins, and our author^s credulity. 
For, without inquiring into the reason of the rule, Mr. Wall takes 
it solely upon trust, as a maxim of interpretation. But why should 
the rules, which the rabbins arbitrarily lay down, be urged in oppo- 
sition to the plain letter and propriety of the original text ? 

The most that can be said for these interpreters in the present 
case is, that they must be supposed to understand the idiom and 
phrases of the Hebrew tongue, and therefore may be qualified, by 
their observations and knowledge of that kind, to direct us in 
finding out the sense of the Old Testament. But the vanity of this 
argument in their favour appears by what I have said above. And 
our great English rabbin, Dr. Lig-htfoot, was so far from enter- 
taining such an opinion of them, that he judged them unfit to point 
the Bible ^^, much more to make standing rules for the interpretation 
of it. Without having any regard therefore to these guides, it may 
easily be proved, that there is nothing which does import the washing 
of the body. For, 

I. □nil^Tp is only a general word, enjoining something to be 
done through the whole term of the time mentioned ; and therefore 
Munster and Vatablus, two great judges, besides others, say, it 
signifies here to prepare, as the Targums of Onkelos and Ben Uziel 
likewise appear to have understood it, by rendering it pii?2"m. 
And why should it mean to wash here, any more than in Levit. xxi. 
23, or XX. 7, where God commands. Sanctify i/otirselves therefore, and 
he ye liohj, ke. ? Nay, if it should be allowed to signify the Israelites 
were to sanctify themselves on this great occasion by all the ways 
in general which they at any time used, and consequently by bathing 
for pollutions, yet what has this to do Avith a standing initiatory 
baptism ? And why must a command, on so singular and extraordi- 
nary an occasion, be drawn into a precedent, and made a rule for 
ordinary cases ? But, 

3. Neither does this washing" seem to be intended; because, 
though there is particular mention of washing their clothes, there 

h [See above, page 225.] 

IListory of Infanf-hapthm. S37 

is none of washing- their bodies too ; and yet no man can imagine 
why either should be particularly mentioned, if both had been 
included in the word to sanctify ; nor if neither were comprehended 
in the word, that the washing- of the body was meant, thoug-h the 
washing- of the g-arments only is expressed. Por, whence should 
they g-ather this ? The word in the Hebrew for wash, is only proper 
to washing of clothes, to which it is applied, and cannot be used to 
signify the washing- of the body. The washing of the body cannot 
be included under washing- of the clothes, because these are not 
only two very different thing's, but are also as distinctly and parti- 
cularly expressed, when both are intended. Thus, Levit. xv. 5, 
Whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in 
water, &c. And again, ver. 13, He shall numtjer to himself seven days 
for his cleansing, and, loash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running 
tvater, &c. And Levit. xiv. 8, it is said very distinctly, as of thing's 
independent of one another. He that is to be cleansed shall wash his 
clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself, &c., and so very 
frequently elsewhere. 

If the rule of Maimonides, that the washing of the g-arments 
means the washing- of the body too, were g-ood, then the washing of 
the body would not be so particularly expressed ; whereas you see, 
sir, that always when the washing of the body is intended, it is as 
plainly expressed, and that by a different word too, viz. J^H"! ; and 
that even in conjunction with that other washing of the clothes 
which is constantly signified by 023. This is all I think needful 
to confirm my first observation, viz. That the Scripture makes no 
mention of any baptism whereby the Jews and their proselytes 
were initiated. 

3. In the next place I observe, that there is no instance or men- 
tion of this baptism, in any other authentic ancient history. I 
must take this for granted, till such an one is produced ; and that 
it has not yet been done, is a great presumption that none can be 
found. Nay, it may be proved as well as a negative can be, that 
there was no such practice; because in the accounts of the pros- 
elytism of some, when the historians had the fairest occasion in the 
world to take notice of it, they have mentioned circumcision without 
so much as glancing at this pretended baptism. Thus Josei)hus 
informs us, that Hyreanus, after having subdued the Idumu^'ans, 
made and initiated them Jews by circumcision only ; for had any 
thing else been as necessary, Hyreanus wotdd have performed it, 
and the judicious historian would not have forgot to mention it ; 
but since he has not left the least intimation of it, I reckon we 

238 Reflections on Mr. IFall's [letter x. 

have the double authority, viz. of Hyrcanus who was hig-li priest, 
and of Josephus, on our side. The historian's own words run thus : 
' Hyrcanus also took Adora and Marissa; and having* subdued all 
' Idumsea, he g-ave the inhabitants Xescve to eontinvie in that country, 
' on condition they would be circumcised, and observe the laws and 
' customs of the Jews. They, therefore, unwilling" to be expelled 
' their native country, received circumcision, and led their lives 
' according" to the manner of the Jews^.' And in another place he 
tells us, that Aristobulus, son of the above-named Hyrcanus, caused 
the Iturseans to be made proselytes hy circumcision, and says 
nothing of baptism. ' He oblig-ed them that would stay in the land 
' to be circumcised, and live according to the laws and customs of 
' the Jews'^.' And Philo, another considerable author, is in like 
manner wholly silent of this baptism. To be sure, if there had been 
any thing" in these or such like authors, we should have heard of it 
over and over; but their silence, even when they are professedly 
g'iving' an account of the customs and antiquities of the Jews, is a 
very weighty consideration, and oug-ht to go a great way toward 
demonstrating, that no such thing either was, or ought to be 

An instance of this nature I remember likewise in Ganz, one of 
the best historians among the rabbins : at the year 3670, he says, 
' Many g'reat and powerful cities became the allies of Alexander, the 
' brother of Aristobulus, and were circumcised :' and never mentions 
any other part of the initiation. 

3. But thirdly, I observe, that what our adversaries pretend, is 
very improbable, upon several other accounts. For instance, Avhen 
St. Paul says, the Israelites ivere all baj^tized nnto Moses in the cloud, 
and ill the sea ;. he seems very plainly to intimate there was no 
other baptizing unto Moses but this : why else should he call this 
the baptizing" unto Moses ? It would have been much more natural to 
refer to that more familiar initiatory baptism which our adversaries 
plead for, if the apostles had known of it, than to this figurative one. 
And then to make this parallel to oxir baptism, is very improper, if 
they had used another which resembled ours. The fathers of the 
Jews, then, were baptized unto Moses; but how? If you will 

i Antiquit. Judaic, lib. xiii. C. 17. p. ccWiqv rov ^iov Sialrav viTeiu.iii>av rriv avrrju 

450 E. 'TpKaths Sf KOL TTjs 'iSov/iaias 'liwOatnis Tton^aaadat. [Cap. ix. sect. I. 

aipeT TTtiAeis "ASupa Kal Mapiaaav. Kal edit. Hudson.] 

anavras rohi 'iSov/xaiuvs uirox^'pions ttoitj- k Antiquitat. Judaic, lib. xiii. cap. 19. 

craixivos, iiTfTpeipcV avToli fxiviiv iv TJ? p. 455 C. ' Ava-yKaaas t6 rovs ivoiKuvvras 

Xsif-a, ft IT € p IT 4 IV re to alSuIa Koi rots ti fiuvKnvTai /juveiv iv rfj X'^P^ ■nip.Tfjj.vt- 

'loi/Sai'oij v6fxois xp7jadai 6(\utit'. nl 8t TrAdcp <T0ai, Kal Kara ruvs 'looSalu,v v6p.uvs Cv^- 

rrjs irarpiov yrjs Kal ryji/ nepiropnp Kal r-rjv [Cap. xi. sect. 3. edit. Hudson.] 

Histor// of Infant-haptism. 239 

believe the apostle, by being- baptized in the cloud, and in the sea. 
This was their baptism unto Moses, St. Paul says ; and can our ad- 
versaries venture to say, This was not their baptism, but another ? 

Greg-ory Nazianzen, in the very passag-e cited by Mr. Wall, which 
I transcribed above something- more larg-ely than he had done, with- 
out taking- notice of any other l)aptism from whence ours was 
derived, or to which it mig-ht be compared, only shews how this, 
mentioned by the apostle as the type, might be explained in these 
words, the sea typified the vmter, the cloud the Spirit. Now, his 
noting- no such likeness in any other Jewash baptism, makes the 
passag-e an argument rather against Mr. Wall ; and implies, that 
he thought this baptism alone corresponded with ours. 

In another place, the apostle Peter makes our baptism to be the 
antitype of the ark in lohichfew were saved hij water ; for so we like- 
wise are saved by the water of baptism. But is it not strang-e the 
sacred writers should point out these allusions, and yet never in the 
least hint at the ancient ceremony from whence our baptism, it is 
pretended, was immediately borrowed? Nothing" surely can look 
more improbable. 

4. Several authors of reputation, especially the ancients, do in 
efl'ect deny they knew of any initiatory baptism among- the Jews, 
which was the original of ours. This observation is grounded on 
abundance of passages. 

The apostle Barnabas, in that catholic epistle, (if indeed it be 
his,) whereof we have the greatest part still remaining- in the 
orig-inal, thoug-h he is wholly employed about the Jewish rites, &c., 
has not one word concerning the baptism our paxlobaptists contend 
for ; which, being- the same as to externals with one of our holy 
sacraments, could not, had this holy man known it, have been 
passed by at such a time. Nay more, in one place he applies him- 
self to find out some preludes of our Christian baptism; and yet 
even there, where it would have been so natural and necessary, we 
meet with no footsteps of it. ' Let us see,' says he, ^ whether God 
' took care to manifest any thing beforehand concerning- water and 
'■ the cross k/ W^ho woiild not expect here to have that baptism 
itself mentioned which was the forerunner and type of ours, and 
from wlience it was immediately taken, if there had been any such? 
As a type of the cross, he mentions the brasen serpent in the 
wilderness ; and does not forget the posture in which Moses stood 
when the Israelites and Amalekites were engaged, Exod. xvii. 8, &c. 

'' Cap. [I. T^i]rr;(Tuip.iV 5f ei ■^/UfAijO'c t&3 Kvp'iio irpuipavfpuKrai irtpl rov vSaros, Kal rov 

240 Refections on Mr. Jf^all's [letteb, x. 

Whe7i he let down Ids hands the Amalekites prevailed, and when he held 
up his hands Israel pjrevailed, verse 1 1 ; which was to sig-nify, says 
St. Barnabas, Hhat except they trust in him, they cannot be saved'.'' 
I think it cannot be doubted, but St. Barnabas would have taken 
the same method in reg-ard to baptism, and have mentioned the 
original of it among- the Jews, if he had been acquainted with it ; 
whereas he only cites some passag-es of the prophets, which he 
applies to baptism, after he had said, ' As for baptism, it is written 
' to the people of Israel, that they shall not receive that baptism 
' which brings to forg-iveness of sins, but shall institute to them- 
^ selves others "^.^ He means, as Menard is of opinion, their frequent 
superstitious washings. And these being the only vicarious bap- 
tisms he speaks of, it is probable he knew no other, in whose stead 
ours was at first instituted, and is at present continued. 

Justin Martyr, in his long disj)ute with Trypho the Jew, 
mentions perhaps all their other rites, and their leg-al washings, but 
is utterly silent as to this initiatory baj)tism ; and there are some 
passages which seem to argue he was ignorant of it. In one place 
he says thus, ' As therefore circumcision began in Abraham, and the 
f sabbath and sacrifices, and oblations and holy days, were first 
' instituted by Moses, all which we have proved were appointed 
' because of the hardness of the people^s hearts : so they ought all 
^ now to cease, according to the will of the Father, in him that was 
' born of the virgin, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, 

' and of the stock of David, even Jesus Christ the Son of God. ■ 

' And we who through him find access to God do not receive the 
' circumcision of the flesh, but that spiritual one which Enoch and 
' such like observed : and this we receive by baptism through the 
' mercy of God, and all are permitted to receive it this way".^ It 
is observable here that the martyr asserts, all the ceremonials of 
Moses were to end in Christ ; baptism itself therefore, if it had been 
in use before, must have ceased likewise under the Gospel : but as 
this is contrary to the institution of our Lord, and the universal 

1 Cap. 12. ' Otl oil ^vvavrai a<ti6rjvat, iav l3ou\riv, eh rhv Sia ttjs airh rov yevovs rod 

fx^ eV avT(ji eKniawai. 'A/3poa/x Koi (pvXrjs 'lovSa, icui AaySlS irapOi- 

"1 Cap. 1 1, rifp! jjiXu Tov vSaros, y4ypa- vou yivvriOiuTa Tthv rov QeoC XpirrTSu. 

TTTOi eiri rhv 'Itrpar/A, ttcos t^ l3drrTiafj.a rb Kal y/J-f^i, oi Slo. tuvtov Trpoax^pr^a'ai'Tes rep 

ipepov fis &(p(iTiv auapTiwv ov /UTJ TrpoaSi^uv- ©eoS, oi) rainriv rrif Kara crdpKa TrapeAajSo- 

Taf aAA' eauro^s oikii5oix7](Tov(ti. jxtv ir€piTO/j.r]V, dWa irfiv/xaTiKrii^, Vji' 'Ei'aJX 

" Dialog, cum Tryph. pag. 261 B. 'Cls Kal 01 Ofj.0101 ecpi;Aa|a^" -^juels 5e, Sia rov 

oiu dwh 'Afipaa/x fjp^aTo 7repiTO;U7), Kal dwh fiairriffnaros avrriv, infLSij a/xapTuiKol iye- 

Maiffews aa.&^arov Kal duffiai Kal iTpo(r<po- y6piip.iv, 5ia rh eKfos rb napa rov @eov, 

pal Kal eopral, Kal d/rtdeixl^v 5ia rb crK\7]po- eXd^ofjLei', Kal ■naa-iv f<perbv ofioiws Xa/iifid- 

KapStuv rov \aov vfiwu ravra Siarerd-x^at^ veiy. [Sect. 43. edit. Benedict.] 
ovTojs travo'aa'Oat eS;t Kara ri]v rov Tlarpbs 

History of Infant-baptism. 241 

knowledg'e and practice of the Christian Churchy it is certain the 
holy martyr had no notion of any such baptism. 

This seems a little more evident from the last part of the words^ 
wherein he opposes our new circumcision, and our new way of 
receiving" it^ to their circumcision of the flesh : and as before he 
asserted, that began from Abraham, and was to end in Christ ; his 
opposition here cannot mean less than that our baptism was a new 
thing- which began in Christ, that is, with his new dispensation. 

In another place, when the Jew acknowledged it was not 
necessary to observe the whole law at all times, because it was 
impossible, for instance, to kill the passover when the city and 
temple were destroyed ; St. Justin 2>uts him upon assigning" what 
was necessary in his opinion : to which the Jew answers, ' To keep 
' holy the sabbaths, to be circumcised, to observe the new moons, 
' and to be baptized or washed/ (if he had stopped here, this would 
have been thought a great argument for Mr. Wall ; but he adds,) 
' when one has touched and been defiled by any of those things 
' Moses has mentioned".^ The baptism the Jew speaks of here is 
confined by the last words to piir'f cations iox pollution ; and since 
he mentions no other, it must be natural to suppose he allowed of 
no other : for St. Justin putting him to instance in things which 
might and ought to be observed, he would certainly have named 
baptism iox proselytism, if there had been any, as well as circumcision, 
because it was as easy to be observed. 

I remember one passage particularly in Tertullian, which is very 
cogent and plain to shew this initiatory baptism is a mere fable. 
Even in his time some -svdcked people, as he calls them, were 
arrived to that degree of boldness as to deny the necessity and use- 
fulness of baptism, because they found faith alone had been 
sufficient to save some; and they seem to have objected that 
Abraham, &c., were saved by faith without baptism : to these he 
answers, ' Though salvation was to be had by a bare faith before 
* our Lord^s coming, yet when the objects of our faith were multi- 
^ plied, and we are to believe in his birth and passion and resur- 
' rection, then there is an addition made to the sacrament, to wit 
' the seal of baptism, which is the clothing as it were of faith, which 
' before was bare or naked P. ^ Nothing can be plainer than that 

° Page 264 C. Kaxerco?, t^ o-aS/Sar/- aionem et resurrectionem : at ubi fides 
ftii/ Xc'ya', Kol Th TTipLritivfcrBat, Kal rh ra aucta est credendi in nativitatem, passio- 
(fji/xriva 0vAda(Teif, Kal rh ^airri^iadat aipd- nem, resurrectionenique ejus, addita est 
fievov Tii/os Siv amjyiipfVTaL uirh MoxTfois. ampliatio Sacramento, obsignatio bap- 
Sect. 46.] tismi, vestimentum quodaramodo fidei, 

P De Baptisrao, p. 229D. Fuerit salus quae retro erat nuda. [cap. 13.] 
retro per fidem nudam ante Domini pas- 


242 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter x. 

Tertullian here makes baptism to be a new ordinance^ not used till 
the Christian dispensation ; for baptism, he says, was then instituted, 
when we were to believe in Christ : and till then faith was naked 
and not covered with this clothing- ; that is, they were to believe, 
but were not baptized. Several other passages might be added from 
this Father, as where he opposes the Christian baptism to the 
Jewish washings for pollution, not for initiation^. But this one is 
so clear that it may serve for all. 

Origen also is very plain; for speaking of the notion of the 
Pharisees, that none could baptize beside Christ, or Elias, or that 
prophet, he says, in opposition to Heracleon, who had allowed it, 
that ' he cannot prove any prophet did ever baptize'',^ neither Moses, 
nor any after him till John, whom the Pharisees reproved : from 
whence it seems evident that Origen did not know of any initiatoiy 
baptism among* the Jews. 

To these I add an illustrious instance from the writing's of 
St. Cyril of Jerusalem ^j who answering" this question, why the 
grace was communicated by water rather than by any thing- else ? 
observes, *^that the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. Gen. 
' i. 2 : that the coming out of Egypt was through the sea, Exod. 
' xiv. 21 : that Aaron was first washed, and afterwards installed 
' high priest, Exod. xxix. 4 ; that the brasen laver, which was to be 
' placed between the tabernacle and the altar, Exod. xxx. 18, was a 
' symbol of baptism •' but he never gives the least intimation of any 
initiatory baptism which gave rise to it, though he had so fair an 
occasion to mention it, if such a rite had been in use. Were the 
same question proposed to Mr. Wall, instead of mentioning all those 
other things, we may be sure he would answer directly, that it 
having- been a ceremony with the Jews from the time of Moses to 
initiate all persons by baptism, Christ was willing to continue the 
same mode of initiation in his church : and if our author's suppo- 
sition were true, this would have been the proper answer to the 
question : nor is it to be imagined that St. Cyril would have omitted 
it, had he known or believed such a baptism. On the contrary, the 
following words seem to give us very strong presumptions to think 
he dated the beginning of that ceremony from St. John only. 

Besides, it is said to come instead (not of a Jewish initiation, but) 

q De Baptismo, p. 230 B. Ceterum yap e'xfi 5er|a^ nva tS>v Trpo<pr)Ta!u jSottt/'- 

Israel Judseus quotidie lavat, quia quo- (ravra. [Comm. torn. vi. sect. 13. apud 

tidie inquinatur. Quod ne in nobis quo- Origen. Op. torn. iv. p. i^^. edit. Bene- 

que factitaretur, propterea de uno lavacro diet.] 
definitum est, &c. [cap. 15.] s Catechetic. iii. p. 17. 

>■ Comment, in Joan. p. 1 1 7 B. Ov 

History of Infant-baptism. SiS 

of several other thing's ; which is not at all consistent with its being" 
borrowed from the Jewish initiation, for then it could only be said 
to succeed that. The author of the Recog-nitions says, it was at 
first instituted at the cessation of sacrifices, in their stead; his 
words are, 'Lest they should think when sacrifices were ceased, there 
' could be no more remission of sins, he instituted a baptism by 
'■ water ; in which, by calling" on his name, they should be absolved 
' from all their sins*/ 

There is likewise a very remarkable passag-e in the Constitvitions, 
where the Christian baptism is said to be instead of a Jewish : and 
if the following explication had not been added, this place, no doubt, 
would have been frequently turned upon us ; but these words have 
secured it on our side : ' Baptism, sacrifice, the priesthood, and 
' their local worshij), he has chang-ed ; and instead of the daily wash- 
' ings under the law, he has g-iven us one only baptism into his 
' death"/ &c. 

Mr. Hill, a presbyter of the diocese of Bath and Wells, if he be 
of any authority with you, asserts the same thing : ' For to the 
' Levitical washings answers our baptism ; to their sacrifices, the 
' sacrifice of Christ ^,^ &c. And those who say it succeeds in the 
Christian church in the place of circumcision in the Jewish, by this 
virtually confess the Jews had no such baptism ; for if there was 
such a rite among them, and our Lord took this ordinance from it, 
they ought to say our baptism succeeds to that, and not to circum- 
cision. These same persons, it is true, at other times, derive it from 
the Jewish baptism too ; which plainly discovers their great preju- 
dices and partiality, and how inconsistent they are with themselves. 

But as to the Fathers, they seem in general never to have given 
into such an opinion, nor afforded our author the least intimation to 
build upon. I know they mention baptism unto Moses, and Jewish 
baptism ; but in these places, as you have in some degree seen, they 
always mean the baptism of the cloud and the sea, or some such ty- 
pical one, or else the Jewish washings for purification : this must be 
very plain to any honest reader of their writings, and therefore I 
think it the less needful to insist more upon it. 

Now to draw up the force and conclusion of these observations in 

t Lib. i. cap. 39. Et ne forte putarent, p.vov, %v fiSvov ^ovs ^airnfffia, rb f is rbv 

ce.ssantibus hostiis, remissionem sibi Tion aiirov ddvarov, &c. 

fieri peccatorum, baptiama eis per aquam x Di.ssert. do I'rcsbyteratu, lib. iv. 

statuit ; in quo ab omnibus peccatis, iiivo- cap. 3. § 3. Siquidem lotionibus Leviticis 

cato ejus nomine, solvercntur. nostrum lavacrum, istorum sacrificiis 

« Lib. vi. cap. 23. Th ^airrKTixa, tV Chri.sti victima ex adverse respon- 

Bvfflav, T^v Upa}<Tvvr)v, r7]v roTriKrjv Karpfi- dent. 
ai', fTfpws fJLfTiiroir](TiV aurl /j.ff Kadrjixf- 

U 2 

244 Refiections on Mr. JFall's [letter x. 

short. If, as I have made out to you, there is no command in 
Scripture, nor instance in that nor any other authentic writing, of 
the Christian baptism^s being* derived from the Jews, but several 
considerable authors do, in effect, deny it, and place it in the stead, 
not of a Jewish initiatory baptism, but of something else : and if 
none of the more ancient writers in their discourses on the Jewish 
ceremonies do ever once mention this baptism of proselytes ; nor, 
when treating expressly on the Christian sacrament, ever intimate 
they thought it was derived from any such original : then all this, 
I think, must prove, as fully as a negative can be proved, that there 
was no such practice among the Jews so anciently as is pretended. 

And if, after all, any should continue to believe or assert the Jews 
did, from Moses to our Saviour^s time, and so down, receive their 
proselytes by baptism, notmthstanding what I have urged to the 
contrary ; yet on several other accounts, there is a great deal of 
reason to say, this custom of the Jews, though ever so true, can do 
no service to the cause of psedobaptisra. For, 

1 . It does not in the least appear that infants were so admitted ; 
and Mr. Wall does not offer the least colour of an argument to make 
it probable ; but only cites a passage or two from the rabbins, whose 
authority I have proved to be of no great weight. But, 

2. Even supposing proselytes and their infants were usually ini- 
tiated by baptism; will it therefore follow the Christian baptism 
must be exactly the same, and administered to the same persons ? 
By no means. How dangerovis and pernicious this consequence is, 
appears from the handle it gives the Socinians, Quakers, and Liber- 
tines, to explode the use of this sacrament altogether among the off- 
spring of Christian parents. For if the Jewish method in their sup- 
posed baptism must be the rule of ours, then none are to be baptized 
but those who turn from a different religion to the Christian : the 
first converts, and their children born before their baptism, are to be 
baptized, but none of their posterity born after their baptism; for this, 
our author says, was the practice of the synagogue, and ' our Saviour 
' gave no direction for any alterations >'.■* 

Mr. Wall takes notice of this difficulty ^ ; but I think he says no- 
thing to evade the force of it, and only notes, that both sides allow 
the necessity of this sacrament, and therefore we need not concern 
ourselves with this part of the pretended Jemsh custom. But by 
Mr. WalFs leave, it does affect the dispute between us ; for it is a 
common rule of disputation, ' That which proves too much, proves 
' nothing at all." And if a necessaiy consequence of more than is 

y Introd. page 17. [16.] z Ibid. 

H'l story of Infant-baptism. 245 

true follows from any premises^ it is a certain sign those premises 
are not true ; and if not true, they are to be rejected. This now is 
the case of the particular before us. For if the Jewish baptism was 
never administered to any but the first converts, and must be the 
rule to us of our practice ; then we must not baptize those who are 
bom of Christian parents, neither infants nor adult. 

So that the premises upon which our adversaries build, and which 
they call ' the main basis of infant-baptism,' tend to throw this sa- 
crament out of the church ; which is undoubtedly a very mid and 
erroneous extreme. For in short, let the Socinians and others say 
what they please, the Scriptures assure us, baptism was instituted 
by Christ, and was, and ought to be, administered, /or the forgiveness 
of sins ; and therefore men ought to be veiy careful how they ne- 
glect that ordinance. And since the psedobaptists acknowledge this, 
they ought in prudence, and for the honour of God and of his sacra- 
ments, to lay aside those principles which are so destructive of the 
Christian economy. 

Besides, according to the principles of the psedobaptists themselves, 
there is no manner of analogy between this pretended Jewish and 
the Christian psedobaptism ; for the Jews, they suppose, baptized 
the parents together with the infants born to them, before their ac- 
tual proselytism; but on the contrary, those born to Christian 
parents before their conversion to Christianity are accounted an un- 
holy seed, and not capable of baptism ; as Dr. Whitby^, and most 
psedobaptists, are of opinion. And again on the other hand, the Jews 
never baptized the children born of proselytes after their proselytism*^; 
but on the contrary, the children of Christian parents, they pretend, 
should all be baj)tized, thoiigh born after their parents' conversion. 
In both cases running directly ojiposite to the pattern, which they 
tell us Christ ' took as he found it, giving no direction for any 
' alteration^.' 

Again, though the Jews should be allowed to have baptized the 
infant children of proselytes, it no more follows we must do so too, 
than that we ought to admit them to the other sacrament, because 
the Jews caused their infant cliildren to eat of the paschal lamb ; 
which is supposed to be a type of Christ, and of the supper he insti- 
tuted, or borrowed from thence ; nay, it woidd follow more strongly, 
that since infants were admitted to the shadow or type, they should 
now also be admitted to the antitype, which however our antagonists 
will not pretend. 

3. In the third place, whatever might be the practice of the Jews, 

a Annot. in i Cor. vii. 14. b Wall's Introd. p. \^. [11.] "^ Ibid. p. 17. uied. [16.] 

246 Reflectmis on Mr. Wall's [letter x, 

we need only go back to St, John^s baptism^ which there is more 
reason to think was the pattern of Christ's than a Jewish ceremony, 
because he was our Saviour's immediate forerunner. And this our 
author confesses, when he says, ' The baptism indeed of the nations 
' by the apostles ought to be regulated by the practice of John and of 
' Christ himself — rather than by any preceding custom of the 
* Jewish nation ; if we had any good ground to believe that they did 
' in the case of infants differ, or alter any thing from the usual way"^/ 

If the practice then of St. John and Christ himself is sufficient, 
and the best rule we can go by, as far as it is plain, let us for the 
future allow no inventions of the Jews to be made an argument in 
the controversy ; for the practice of St. John and our Lord is abun- 
dantly plain from much better than rabbinical authority. The sense 
of the commission Christ gave his disciples, Matth.xxviii. 19, 1 have 
already proved does effectually exclude infants ; and what St. John 
acted is manifest, if we dare trust St. Matthew's account of the 
matter; who tells us indeed, that John baptized Jerusalem and all 
Judcea, and, all the region round ahout Jordan, but at the same time 
assures us, that as many as he baptized confessed their sins, Matth. 
iii. 5, 6. And therefore, as we cannot say some confessed their sins, 
in that evangelical sense, and yet were not baptized ; so neither may 
any pretend some were baptized, who yet did not and could not con- 
fess their sins. For your further satisfaction, you may look back to 
what is said about this in a former letter. 

Eusebius transcribes a passage from Josephus very clear to this pur- 
pose, wherein the historian says thus of St. John, and his practice 
in relation to baptism; ' He was a good man, and persuaded the Jews 
' to righteousness, commanding them to deal justly with one another, 
' and piously towards God, and so come to baptism. For baptism 
' would be acceptable to him, when used, not for purging away some 
' particular offences, but for purifying the body in general, the soul 
' being- before purified by righteousness^.' Josephus in these words, 
and Eusebius by transcribing them, do both assure us this was St. 
John's method. And, by the way, give me leave to observe, that 
St. John's initiatory baptism is here remarkably opposed to the Jew- 
ish washings for particular offences, viz. their legal uncleannesses ; 
which is as much as to say, the baptism of St. John was a new thing", 
and not like the other baptisms in use among them, that were ad- 

^ Introd, p. 18. [17.] Tifffica (jvvUvai. ovtw yap S^ Kal rrjv pdirrt- 

^ Hist. Euseb. lib. i. cap. il. 'AyaOhv aiv arroheKTrtv avrw cpaviladai' fXT] fir\ rivSiv 

&uSpa Kal Tols 'louSaiois K^K^vovTa ap€Tr]v a/xaprdSwi' Trapanr\afi y^poiixivaiv, aW e<J) 

eVacTKiVai, Kal to. nphs a\\r)\uvs SiKaiotriV?; ayvtia tov ffw/xaros, are Stj Kal rrjs v/'UX')* 

Kal TTpbs rhv Qihv eucre/Seia xP'^/^fwS; ^ot- ^iKaioavvg,'rjb. 

Histori/ of Infant-baptu7n. 


ministered for particular offences only ; whereas his was at once to 
purge from all. 

As to St. John^s practice, Origen, one of the most learned of the 
ancients, says expressly on the passage ; ' We ought necessarily to 
' observe, that both St. Matthew and St. Mark say, that upon con- 
' fessing their sins, all Jerusalem, and all Judsea, and all the region 

* round about Jordan, or all the country of Judaea, and all the inha- 

* bitants of Jerusalem, were baptized. Bvit St. Matthew brings in 
' the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to be baptized, but not con- 
' fessing their sins ; and for this reason they are called a generation 
' o/" vipers^.' And a little after, he adds, ' The Pharisees and Saddu- 
' cees were different from those who confessed their sins?.^ Plainly 
intimating, that all those who were before said to be baptized, were 
also said to confess their sins. 

Besides, St. Johns's baptism was the baptism of repentance : so St. 
Paul teaches the Ephesians, Acts xix. 4, Jo/m verily baptized with the 
baptism of repentance, and therefore St. John himself refuses to bap- 
tize the Pharisees, &c., directing them to bring forth fruits meet for 
repeniance, Matth. iii. 8. Now, that can never be a baptism of re- 
pentance which is given to those who do not repent. St. John 
therefore could no more administer this baptism to infants who 
could not, than to the Pharisees who would not repent. If you 
consider this impartially, sir, I am persuaded you will see reason to 
believe St. John baptized only adult persons : from whence it will 
follow, that since his practice is allowed to be our precedent, we are 
boimd to do the same. 

4. But in the last place, to fix the matter entirely, this custom of 
the Jews to initiate all proselytes and their children by baptism, 
allowing the fact to be ever so certain, was at best only a tradition- 
ary ceremony from the rabbins ; and though our author thinks fit 
to correct Mr. Stennet for saying so, yet that gentleman''s short ar- 
gument, that 'no such initiation is commanded in the law of God'',' 
will overbear all he has there said about it. 

To suppose the tradition of their elders of any authority to prove 
the divine institution of that ceremony, is very weak and trifling ; 

f In Johan. p. Ii8 D. "En Se koX rov- 
ru avayKolov r)/ TrapaBfadai, on afj.(puTe- 
pot fiev, '6 T6 MutOcuos, Kol 6 MdpKoi i^o/xo- 
Xoyovfiivovs rots afxaprias avrwv (paff). ^air- 
rl^fffdai, nacrav 'lepoa6\viJ.a, Kal ir'aaav t?)z/ 
'louSai'ai', Kal iracrav rri'' vepixoipov rov '\u>p- 
SdvoVj'fj TTcirrav t7)V 'lovdalav X'^P"-'', l^"-^ tovs 
'lepoffoXvjxWa^ irdvTa'i' b St ViaTQaios eicra- 
yei fj.(v ipxofJL^vovs eVl rh ^dnTKTua tuvs 
i'apKTaiojs, Koi 2oS5ouKaiour, ov /uV f^o/xo- 

Xoyovixtvovs rds a/xaprias avTwv Sidirep fl- 
Khs Kal TovTO ii/Koyof tlvai aXriov Tov aKT)- 
Koevai avTovs yivvT]/j.aTa e'x'Si'coj'. [Comm. 
lib. vi. sect. 14. — Op. torn. iv. p. 127. 
edit. Benedict.] 

S Pag. 119 D. 'Ertpots ovffiv irapa 
TOVS i^o/xoKoyovfifvovs ras a/napTlas avriiv. 
[Sect. xiv. toni.iv. p. 128 A. edit. Bene- 

I> Intiod. p. 28. [26.] 

248 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter x. 

and Mr. Wall would be far from allowing- all the consequences of 
such a supposition. 

But he says, ' They quoted texts in the law of God for what they 
didi.'' And what then ? Is it therefore a divine institution, be- 
cause they pretend this or the other text favours it ? And will our 
author himself acqiiiesce in all they bring Scripture to vouch ? They 
may cite the whole Bible, though not a word in it makes for them; 
and yet, according to Mr. Wall, the thing is well enough proved, as 
long as they cite so good aiithority. 

But I am inclined to think, the Jews were not so much out in the 
texts they cite, as our author is, in imagining they grounded their 
baptism of proselytes on them. I have already shewn the Scriptures 
mention no such baptism of proselytes, and that therefore it was 
only a tradition : the rabbins themselves tacitly confess this, in ar- 
guing from the legal washings ; and expressly in that very deter- 
mination of the dispute between rabbi Eliezer and rabbi Joshua, 
which our antagonists constantly quote, in these words : ' But the 
' wise men pronounced, that till he were both circumcised and bap- 
' tized, he was not a proselyte ^.^ For this makes it appear they de- 
rived the practice only from the authority of their elders. 

That this is a just inference from the words cannot be ques- 
tioned, if we observe, that the Jews make a common distinction 
between the pollutions and purifications expressed in the law, and 
those which are not expressed there, but have their obligation from 
the authority and constitutions of the rabbins. Thus the great 
Maimonides says, ' The uncleannesses I have expounded are all from 
' the law, and are therefore called pollutions which depend on the 
' words of the law : but there are, besides these, several other pol- 
' lutions, which are decreed to be so by the authority of the rabbins 
' only ; and are therefore called pollutions grounded on the determi- 
' nations of the rabbins K' 

In other passages of the same preface he carefully preserves this 
distinction, and frequently notes, that this or the other ' pollution 
' arises from the determinations of the doctors •/ and ' this is unclean 
' only because the scribes have decreed so,^ &c. 

The same observation holds good likewise in other cases besides 
this of pollutions : but I instance in this, because it seems homo- 
geneal to the matter in dispute ; and in the Talmud, you see, the 
baptism or purification of proselytes is bottomed on the authority of 
the wise men; for since it is plain the Jews have added many 

' Introd. [p. 26.] k Talmud. Jebamoth. cap. 4. ' Prsefat. in Seder. Taharoth. 

History of Infant-baptism. 249 

things to those determined in the law, and particularly in the 
matter of washings, and since we find no footsteps of any such 
baptism in the Scriptures, it is natural to believe it was instituted 
only by the rabbins, and that when the Talmud attributes it to the 
wise men, it means so. 

Maimonides expressly assures us, this is the proper design and 
meaning of that Talmudical phrase : for shewing the sanction of 
each constitution in the Talmud, he distributes them into five 
classes. ' The first contains those things which were received fx'om 
' Moses, and have some foundation, and may be concluded from the 
' sacred text, &c. The second class comprehends those things which 
' are denominated Constitutions of Moses from Sinai, but cannot be 
' proved or collected by any argument from the Scriptures, &c. 
' The third comprehends those which are drawn from argumentation 
' only, and which are disputed ; in which cases, the opinion of the 

' majority takes place,'' &c. And these things, he says, are 

known in the Talmud by these distinguishing phrases, 'iV^. says 
' thus, for this reason; and N, says thus, for this reason. 

' But if any one should think these things, which admit of dis- 
' pute, were received by tradition from Moses, and that the dispute 
' arose from forgetfulness or mistake, so that one side is right, but 
' the other either mistook the sense, or forg-ot some part, or else did 

' not learn of his doctor all he ought to have learned this is very 

' unhandsome and absurd, and for want of knowing things, and the 
' foundations of them, mightily detracts from the reputation of those 
' men who have delivered to us the traditions. It is therefore 

' altogether false, and arises from and their not distinguishing 

' between those things which are received by tradition, and those 
' which are only inferences from them. But whatever else thou 
' doubtest of, lay down this as a certain rule, that whenever thou 
' findest a difference between the disciples of Shammai and the 

' disciples of Hillel neither what one nor the other asserts 

' was derived by tradition from Moses, nor spoken from Mount 
' Sinai n\' 

And therefore since R. Eliezer and R. Joshua do controvert the 
baptism of proselytes, it cannot be thought a tradition from Moses, 
but only an inference of the later rabbins, drawn from some other 
principles, and not capable of being proved from the Scriptures, 
neither expressly nor by consequence ; for this Maimonides notes as 
the property of the first class only. 

* The fourth class,^ he says, ' contains the decrees and determi- 

n> Prnefat. in Seder Zeraim. 

250 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [lettee x. 

' nations of the prophets and wise men which they call consti- 

' tutions. That thou shalt not eat the flesh of a bird with milk, 

' is a constitution of our doctors, to keep men at a greater distance 

* from transgression ; for whereas the law only prohibited the flesh 
' of some beasts, the wise men, to keep us at a greater distance 
' from that which the law makes unlawful, forbid also birds,^ &c. — 
And this kind of constitutions, when they are of general use, he 
determines out of the Talmud, that even Elias himself, to whom 
they refer all things, has not power to alter or abolish in any one 
single point. 

' But the fifth and last class,^ he says, ' is of those things which 
' may be of use to men, in order to the observation of the precepts 

' of the law. Of this sort of constitutions there are very many 

^ in the Talmud and Mischna and some are the constitutions of 

' particular wise men ; as when it is said Hillel determined, or our 
' master Gamaliel determined, or K,. John the son of ZacchEeus 

* determined, &c. Others again are constitutions of the whole 

' body ; as when it is said, it was agreed in Usa ; the wise men 

* pronounced ; or it is a constitution of the wise men.'' Aud 
of this nature exactly is the case of baptizing proselytes; for 
the Talmud ushers in the tradition thus : ' The wise men pro- 

* nounced,'' &c. 

Hence you see, sir, the baptism of proselytes is built on this last 
authority, which is the lowest of all. And if Maimonides under- 
stood the sense of their own Talmud, which I believe no man ever 
did better ; then the Talmud founds this baptism not on the law, 
nor on any tradition from Moses, but only on the judgments and 
determinations of their rabbins; which reduces the main basis of 
infant-baptism to nothing else but a mere rabbinical tradition. 

They cite indeed Exod. xix. lo, as Mr. Wall objects ; but I have 
before shewn", it does not prove the thing Mr. Wall thinks it is 
cited for. Besides, it seems plainly to have been cited only by way 
of accommodation, not that they believed there was any argument 
in it : and this method was usual with the Jews. For, what Dr. 
Pococke says concerning their custom of washing their hands, is 
very applicable to the present case : ' Though they endeavour to 
' find some foundation in the law for this rite, and refer to those 
' words. Lev. xv. ii, (or in our case, Exod. xix. lo,) this is but an 
' insufficient kind of proof, and they themselves confess it is only 
' derived from the authoi'ity of their doctors °' 

" Page 234, &c. vis enim ritum istum aliquo modo in lege 

o Not. Miscell. cap.ix. p. 385. Quam- fundari volunt, et ad verba ista x"? vm 

History of Infant-baptism. 251 

If then this be the state of the case ; supposing this baptism had 
been practised in our Saviour^s time, it is g-reat presumption in our 
adversaries to draw it into a precedent for the Christian church, and 
to corrupt the pure institutions of Christ with the fancies of the 
rabbins : especially after our Lord has strictly cautioned us, as well 
as his disciples, to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. 

For it is to be observed, the traditions our Lord condemns were 
such particularly as related to washings : which shews, that cor- 
ruptions had crept into those things ; and therefore it is jDrobable, 
if there was any such baptism, it was introduced vnth. these in- 
ventions. And our Lord, by condemning their traditions, certainly 
intended, neither that, nor any part of them should be continued 
without his particular injunction ; nor would his disciples have ven- 
tured to retain it on any pretence whatever. And it is very strange 
that any, but especially so many learned and judicious men among 
the psedobaptists, should so easily persuade themselves to follow this 
unwarrantable method, notwithstanding Christ so clearly disallows 
it, and they know at the same time what a faithless sort of men the 
rabbins are, on whom they depend. 

Thus I have proved from many considerations that the arguments 
of our adversaries do not make it appear to have been the custom of 
the Jews at our Saviour^s time to baptize proselytes and their 
children. I have also added several arguments which do with great 
probability evince the contrary. I have likewise shewn, that even 
supposing the fact could be demonstrated, it is no rule to us in the 
administration of a Christian sacrament, as being only a tradition of 
their elders, and not grounded on Scriptm-e, nor derived from 
Moses. And this cuts off one great part of the pretended evidence 
for infant-baptism, and effectually everts what they call the ' main 
' basis' of it. The other kind of evidence Mr. Wall produces, viz. 
the authority of the Fathers, is next to be considered. In the mean 
time, I am, 

Sir, &c. 

D'na FiTQiri et manus suas non laverit, minime valida et 122'\'\'0 abii "iVh^iD non 
Levit. XV. 1 1, referant, non est hoc tanien aliunde quam a docloribus profcctum fa- 
aliud quam nd'71''2 ndstddn Probatio tentur, &c. 

252 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter xi. 


What is to be the particular business of the following letters — The authority 
of the primitive Fathers more to be valued than Daille and some others sup- 
pose — It would be easy to defend the credit of the Fathers from the cavils of 
these men — They were, doubtless, faithful in the relations they were well qua- 
lified to give of attairs in their own churches and times — And so far their 
authority is of consequence — But yet this is not sufficient to ground Mr. Wall's 
attempt upon, though they should afford ever so many full citations — They 
were sometimes in the wrong — The two only ways to prove infant-baptism are 
insufficient, even though the arguments our adversaries make use of be allowed 
all the force they are pretended to have — It is probable the earliest churches 
practised only what they received from the apostles — Mr. Wall takes no notice 
of St. Barnabas, because he makes against infant-baptism in sevei'al places — 
The passages from St. Clement examined — Mr. Wall's argument from them 
stated — The main point on which it turns, a groundless mistake, viz. that bap- 
tism is necessary universally to all that shall be saved — Baptism does not 
appear to have been designed to wash away original sin — By this same argu- 
ment, it might as certainly be proved, that all the antipaedobapiists now are for 
infant-baptism — The passages from Hermas considered — In the passages cited, 
this Father speaks only of adult persons — John iii. 5. considered — Kingdom 
of God does not necessarily mean the kingdom of glory — The words cannot be 
taken universally — Tiyhas no relation to infants in any place of Scripture — And 
here relates only to the subjects of whom our Lord speaks — Who are only 
adult persons who have heard the word preached — ^As appears, i. Because 
such only can be expected to comply with the institution, to whom only it is 
truly given — 2. Because such only can be saved by it, according to St. Peter — 
Whose words the paedobaptists have never yet fairly interpreted — Dr. Whitby's 
evasion considered — 3. The same form of speech usual, when infants are not 
included ; as they seem not to be in this place by our Saviour's words in the 
context — 4. The words under consideration cannot be true of infants — 5. 
Something in the words themselves limits them to adult persons — What it is 
to be born of the Spirit — Dr. Whitby's judicious observations on the te.\t — 
Another passage of Hermas considered — He only describes visions, and there- 
fore is not always to be taken literally — He cannot mean, that persons in their 
separate state were or could be baptized with material water — He says nothing 
however of infant-baptism ; but rather excludes infants in this very passage — 
Besides, to give up all our adversaries can reasonably desire here, it would only 
prove infants shall be baptized in their separate estate after death, which is 
nothing to our dispute — Another passage of Hermas — That infants are 
esteemed of God, no argument they ought to be baptized — This passage makes 
rather against infant-baptism — Hermas says several things inconsistent with it 
— Matt. xix. 14. considered — It has no relation to baptism — Dr. Whitby's im- 
provement of the passage examined — It is probable the children were brought 
to be healed — It does not follow from these words, that they are fit to be dedi- 
cated to Christ by baptism — The bishop of Salisbury's assertion noted, and 
disproved — Conclusion. 

History of Infant-haptmn. 253 

You may remember, sir, that Mr. Wall allows there are but two 
ways to establish the credit and divine authority of infant-baptism : 
viz. to ascertain the practice of the Jews in Christ^s time; and of 
the primitive church immediately after. 

The practice of the Jews, in relation to this point, was the sub- 
ject of my last letter : all I have further to add is, to shew, that it 
does not appear that the Christians of the first ag-es did practise 
infant-baptism, and that the writing's of the Fathers of those times 
do not countenance it in the least. And when this is done, Mr. 
WalFs concession gives up the cause, and the patrons of infant- 
baptism should honestly renounce their error, or else produce some 
better arg'uments on their side. 

To all that is usually built on the credit of the Fathers, some take 
the shortest way, and answer by rejecting their authority ; and 
Daille, who has observed no moderation towards those g-ood men in 
another case, has lent such disputants a helping" hand to destroy 
their reputation. It is an ill return for the g-reat lessons and 
examples of piety they have given us, and for their having been so 
instrumental in transmitting- to us the knowledge of our most holy 
religion. And there is yet a greater evil attends this method ; for 
all the abuses and affronts put upon the Fathers of the first cen- 
turies do in the end reflect on Christianity itself, which those great 
men have handed down, and which therefore must needs be, in some 
degree, of but doubtful authority if it depends on insufficient testi- 

It would not be diflicult to defend the writings of the Fathers 
from the reproaches cast on them by these men, and by Daille their 
oracle, notwithstanding he has taken such pains in the matter, and 
pushed it with all the vigour he could. But it is a nice subject, and 
much too copious to be treated here at large. I shall therefore only 
say, that in many cases, the rejecting the authority of the Fathers 
is a very wild extreme ; which men are driven to, only because they 
have nothing better to say for themselves, and cannot brook to see 
their opinions contradicted in their writings. 

That the Fathers of the first churches were honest faithful men, 
and every way capable to ac(inaint us with the true postui'C of affairs 
in their own churches and times, and therefore are to be depended 
on as far as they relate facts within their proper cognizance, must 
be allowed on all hands ; and I do not see how their greatest 
enemies can have the face to deny this : and Mr. Wall pretends to 
make no further use of their authority in the present dispute, than 

254 Refections on Mi'. Wall's [letter xi, 

to shew what was the opinion or practice of the churches where they 
presided^ and of the times when they wi'ote. 

However, Mr. WalFs argument from the Fathers turns upon a 
supposition which cannot easily he granted him; viz. that the pri- 
mitive church beheved and practised nothing hut what they had 
received from the apostles themselves. For what can he mean by 
endeavouring to prove, the church of the first three centuries prac- 
tised infant-baptism? unless at the same time he imagines their 
practice a sufiicient argument of its divine institution. And if our 
author had ventured to lay down this principle so formally as I have 
expressed it, every one, though ever so little acquainted with 
ecclesiastical history, would have been able to judge of the weakness 
of it. 

But, without any reflection on the honour and fidelity of the 
Fathers, their testimonies cannot support infant-baptism, though 
they should afford our author ever so many and full citations ; for if 
the Fathers only prove fact in the church, and not right, and the 
church was not wholly pure from innovations ; how does this prove 
the baptism of infants was no innovation, but an institution of 
Christ ? And yet this is the thing our author should have done, 
though he takes no notice of it. 

It is irksome to remember the instances of human frailty which 
even the most ancient church was liable to ; they were men subject 
to like passions with us, and therefore no wonder they were some- 
times in the wrong ; and their zeal for God^s honour was not always 
according to knowledge ; which, though it might keep them from 
losing' the chief thing our Lord had commanded, might however 
expose them to the inconvenieney of superadding several things he 
never authorized. The apostles undoubtedly kept close to his 
directions in all things, \vithout deviation either in defect or excess; 
for they had the immediate assistance, in a most extraordinary 
manner, of the Sj^irit of God ; ' But that the Christians of the very 
' next age made several additions,^ Tertullian confesses in his book 
de Corona^. And Eusebius, from Hegesippus, notes that ' the church 

' continued all the apostles^ times a pure virgin undefiled But 

' when those holy men were dead then errors began to arise 

' through the mistakes of other teachers'^.' And therefore in the 

^ Rigaltius in Cyprian. Epist. Ixiv. fJ-^XP'- ''''>''' Tt^re xpo^^" ■""opSeVoj Kadapa koI 

p. "2 79 b. At Christianos sevi proxime aSid.(popas e/j.en'fi' ri iKKKricriti.- Tls Se 

sequentis addidisse pluscula, fatetur Ter- 6 Uphs rwv a.iroaT6\wv x"P^'> SiOKpopov el- 

tullianua libro de Corona, [p. 158. edit. \r}<t>ii rov ^lov t(\us rriviKavra Trjs 

Fell.] adiov TrAavTjs ttjii apxh" f^a/j.^avev r] rrvcna,- 

^ Hist. Eccles, lib. iii. cap. 32. 'Cls &pa cts Sia t?js tui' erfpoSi8aaKa.\a>v aTroTrjs. 

History of Infant-baptism. ^55 

present dispute between us and the psedobaptists, thoug-h our 
author should prove with all imag-inable evidence that the churches 
did, immediately after the apostles, practise infant-baptism ; it will 
be no proof that infant-baptism was instituted by Christ, or prac- 
tised by his apostles ; because it remains a very material question, 
whether it was derived from them, or only began with some other 
thing's after their death ? And this objection our author has taken 
no care to g-uard against, though we may suppose he could not be 
ig-norant that the primitive churches were liable to innovations, and 
did actually admit several. 

Though this might be very justly insisted on against our adver- 
saries, yet I will give them all the advantages they can desire : and 
therefore I will grant it is however probable, that what all or most 
of the earliest churches practised immediately after the apostles^ 
times, had been appointed or practised by the apostles themselves, 
and was derived from them ; for it is hardly to be imagined, that 
any considerable body of those ancient Christians, and much less 
that the whole or a great part of the church, should so soon deviate 
from the customs and injunctions of their venerable founders, whose 
authority they held so sacred. And besides, new opinions or 
practices, we see, are usually introduced by degrees, and not at once, 
nor without opposition ; therefore in regard to baptism in particular, 
a thing of such universal concern and daily practice, I allow it to be 
very probable that the primitive churches kept to the apostles'* 
pattern. But then I desire it may also be considered, that this, 
though ever so probable, cannot be fairly made equivalent to the 
autliority of the Scriptures : so that, if it can be proved from the 
Scriptures to be but likewise so much as probable, that the apostles 
did not baptize infants (which, I think, I have already shewn) ; that 
other probability, drawn from the writings of the Fathers, ought 
not to be urged against us. However, I am to suppose here, (as 
indeed I verily believe,) that the primitive church maintained, in 
this case, an exact conformity to the practice of the apostles, which, 
doubtless, entirely agreed with Christ's institution; and I might 
venture to put the whole matter upon this issue. Nay further, since 
Mr. Wall is desirous to have it thought impossible'^ the church should 
so early be ignorant of, or vary from, the practice of the apostles in 
so notorious an affair as that of baptism, I will for once grant him 
that too; so that now the whole question is reduced to this, 
Whether it can be proved from the authentic pieces of the primitive 
Fathers, that the church used infant-baptism in those earliest times? 

= Part i. p. 21. [50.] 

256 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter xi. 

And if this cannot be proved, then upon our author^s own principles, 
that practice is nowhere grounded on so much as one small pro- 
bability. But let us see how Mr. Wall has acquitted himself in his 

No other reason that I know of can be given why he does 
not begin with St. Barnabas, but that instead of favouring the 
baj)tism of infants, his epistle contains at least a passage or two 
utterly inconsistent with it; however, had our author been true 
to his promise, he should no more have omitted these passages 
against, than any others he thinks for his purpose. In one 
place St. Barnabas, explaining what was meant by the milk and 
honey which used to be given to the new-baptized, says thus ; 
' Because, as the child is nourished first with honey, and then with 
^ milk ; so we, being strengthened and kept alive ^\dth the belief of 
' his promises and the word, shall live and have dominion over the 
' earth d.-* Which words necessarily signify, 

1. That the milk and honey was given to every one who was 
baptized ; as might be largely proved. And, 

2. That the word of God, and faith in his promises, were the 
spiritual food with which all those new-born babes in Christianity 
were nourished and fed ; from whence it must unavoidably follow, 
that according to St. Barnabas, all persons who were admitted to 
baptism in his time were caj)able of feeding on the word and 
promises of God by faith, and infants doubtless could not be of this 
number. This he expressly tells us was the design of those symbols, 
and therefore it must needs apj)ear very improj^er and absurd to use 
the sign where the thing signified cannot take place; and to 
suppose St. Barnabas guilty of this, is to suppose him capable of an 
absurdity. The same holy writer, speaking in another j)lace of all 
who were baptized, has this charitable assertion, ' That we go down 
' into the water full of sins and pollution ; but come up again 
' bringing forth fruit in our hearts, and having the fear and hope 
' which is in Jesus in our spirit e.-" Though these words are not to 
be so interpreted that every one who is baptized is infallibly 
renewed; yet they cannot mean less than that it is to be hoped in, 
charity they all rise up out of the water of baptism, having in their 
hearts ' the fear and hope which is in Jesus. ^ Barnabas plainly 
meant so ; and therefore since infants are not capable of this, of 

^ Cap. vi. "Oti rrpu^TovThiratdloi' ixfXiTi, e Cap. xi. fin. "On r//ue?y ixkv icara^ai- 

eWa ydhaKTi ^ojoirontTai. Ovtoo Kal ri/xels vo/j.^u els rh v5wp yf/xovrts a,j.LapTiuiv koI 

Trj TricTTet ttjs iTtayyeXias Ka\ to? \6yu) ^oio- px'nrov, koI ava^aivofxiv KapirotpopovvTis if 

irowv/ievoi, ^rjcrofxiv, KaraKvpuvoyTis Trjs rfj KapSia rhv (p6^ov Koi r-qv eKiriSa, eis rhv 

Histor)/ of Infant-baptism. 257 

consequence he knew nothing- of their baptism, nor thought them 
fit for it. 

Mr. Wall, however, does not g-o about to argue from this Father; 
but begins his collection with two passages foreign to this purpose 
in St. Clement^s First Epistle to the Corinthians, which, according 
to himself, only prove the infection of Adam^s sin on all his 
posterity. And neither of the passages is plain even to prove this : 
for, in the first, St. Clement is exhorting the Corinthians to humility, 
among other things, from the examples of Abraham, Job, and 
Moses, who, though such great things were said of them, yet spoke 
very meanly of themselves ; but St. Clement says nothing of 
original sin, nor seems to have had the least thought of it. The 
other passage, as every one who reads it will see, has likewise no 
relation to original sin; the words indeed may be strained to 
that sense, but there is no plain mention of it, nor any circum- 
stance which makes it necessary to understand them so. On the 
contrary, since St. Clement subjoins this inference from all he had 
been saying, immediately after the words Mr. Wall has cited ; 
' Wherefore, having received all these things from him, we ought 
' on all occasions to give him thanks f;^ we must needs think he had 
not been speaking of original sin, for that we cannot receive from 
God, who is not the author of sin : nor are we bound to give thanks 
to God for it ; for this would be great impiety. 

Besides, supposing St. Clement does speak of original sin, what is 
that to infant-baptism ? The force of this is altogether invisible to 
me, nor can I possibly unravel our avithor's meaning in it, unless it 
be this : St. Clement asserts original sin is propagated to all the 
posterity of Adam : no man can be saved from it but by Christ, 
and no man can be saved by Christ unless he be baptized ; there- 
fore none can be saved from original sin unless they are baptized •: 
but God intended all, as well infants as others, should be saved 
from original sin ; and therefore God designed all, as well infants 
as others, should be baptized. 

I think I have done our author all the justice in the world, in 
this representation of his argument, which I have stated to the best 
advantage I could, and yet it is easy to see how weak and incon- 
clusive it is : for the words he had cited, according to his own 
pretence, only prove that St. Clement believed the notion of original 
sin ; but the other links of the chain are wholly our author^s. 

f Cap. 38. fin. Tavra ovv navra t| avrov exui'Tes, ocpeiAofjLiv Kara iravra ei'xa/}iTTe?j' 

^58 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter xi. 

2. If these arbitrary suppositions were all really St. Clement^s, 
they would then only shew what was St. Clement's opinion in this 
ease : whereas our author is to shew what was the practice of the 
church of that time, and not the sentiments of one single man only; 
for he himself confesses, that ' the testimony of any of the Fathers 
' is not so much to he regarded as it speaks their own sense, as it is 
' for that it g-ives us an evidence of what was then believed, taught, 
' or practised in the church?.' 

3. The main point, upon which the whole argument turns, is 
nothiug but a groundless and uncharitable error. If none can be 
saved but such as are baptized into Christ, then all the Gentile 
world, whose ignorance God was pleased to wink at, must be irre- 
coverably lost : and it might with as much reason l>e argued, that 
even all mankind, from the creation to Christ's death, for above four 
thousand years, without excepting Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, 
David, and all the holy prophets, must also be for ever lost, for 
want of baptism which was not then instituted, as that children 
cannot be saved Avithout baptism, which was not instituted for 
them. So dreadful are the consequences of that wild notion, which 
is directly contrary to the doctrine of Christ himself, who more than 
once said, Tki/ sins be forgiven thee, &c., to persons not baptized. But 
our author is guilty of another mistake, which likewise flows from 
the former, Adz. that baptism is to cleanse from original sin, and that 
original sin cannot be forgiven without it. But baptism, we may 
answer, was not so much intended for the remission of original, as 
of actual sins : for, i. The Scripture only teaches us to expect the 
remission of our actual sins upon our baptism. 2. We see infants 
who are sprinkled are as much, and as early inclined to vice ; 
and others, though ever so regularly baptized, are liable to the 
same inconveniences, entailed by Adam's sin on his posterity, as 
well as tlie rest of mankind, though not in the same degree : 
whereas, had baptism been designed entirely to wash away the 
effects and consequences of orig-inal sin, then all who are baptized 
should be as perfectly free from those things as Adam was in 
innocence ; for what else does the remission of sin mean, but being 
cleared from the imputation of guilt, and delivered from the curse 
and punishment of it ? And since we are convinced by the expe- 
rience of one thousand seven hundred years, we must either say 
baptism is a vain, imj)otent ceremony, which God forbid ! or else 
grant that it was never designed to purge us from all the conse- 

sr Part i. \i.ii. [51.] 

History of Infant-baptism, 259 

quences of original sin ; it being" impossible at the same time both 
to be absolutely free from them^ and to suffer them. 

The pa?dobaj)tists are at a loss to determine what else children 
should be baptized for ; who cannot be baptized for the remission of 
actual sins, because they have none : and since baptism is for the 
remission of some sin, rather than alter their practice they pretend 
it must be for original sin, but I have shewn it does not appear to 
cleanse from that ; and if then children are not baptized for actual 
nor original sin, it necessarily follows that they are not to be 
baptized at all. 

There is this fui-ther absurdity in the argument, from the 
primitive Churches owning original sin : that if, because they 
believed this, it must be inferred they l)elieved that all persons, 
infants not excepted, were to be baptized, and that they did actually 
baptize them on that ground only ; then it may as well follow, that 
even all the antipsedobaptists in England, who do also firmly 
believe and profess the same notion of original sin, do likewise 
acknowledge and practise the baptism of infants too : for it no more 
follows that St. Clement, &c., were anciently for infant-baptism, 
than that the modern antipaedobaptists are so now ; since these own 
the doctrine of original sin as well as the others. 

Mr. Wall passes, in the next place, to St. Hermas, who maintain- 
ing the necessity of water- baptism to the salvation of believers, iises 
some expressions from whence our author gathers, that he and the 
church of that time practised infant-baptism. The force of the first 
passage he mentions depends entirely iipon this sentence, ' The 
' tower is represented to be built upon the water, because your life 
' is saved, and shall be saved by water. ^ And from this he woidd 
infer, that none of any age or condition can be saved without bap- 
tism; and if the church thought so, it cannot indeed be doubted, 
but the tenderness of the first Christians prevailed on them to bap- 
tize their children : this is Mr. WalFs meaning, though he has not 
given it so distinctly. But, i . It may be noted, here is no plain in- 
timation in St. Hermas, that none could be saved who were not 
baptized, though he seems to make it necessary in some cases. 2. 
He is speaking of building the church triumphant out of the church 
militant, which indeed is built on the water of baptism ; but still he 
nowhere supposes, that none can be saved who are not members of 
the church militant on earth, or that all ages, any more than all 
conditions, are fit to be admitted into fellowship. 3. Tbe stones of 
which he is building the visionary fabric, are only adult persons ; 
whence it is clear his words can have no relation to infants ; and 

s 3 

260 Hefections on Mr. Wall's [letter xi. 

therefore if they were to be fitted into the structure, it must be by 
some other means. All the stones, not only those which were em- 
ployed in the building-, but which were rejected too, are thus 
enumerated by him according to their different kind : ' Some were 
' bright square stones ; some were drawn out of the deep ; others were 
' taken off from the g-round ; and of these some were rejected, and 
'^ some were fitted into the building" ; some were cut out and cast at 
' a distance from the tower. There were likewise many other stones 
' lying about the building, which were not made use of; some of which 
' were very roug-h, others were cracked, others were white and round, 
' not proper for building the tower. Besides these, I saw likewise 
' other stones, which were cast at a distance from the tower, and 
' fell into the way, but did not continue there, but were rolled 
' off into a desert place. Others fell into the fire, and were iDurnt. 
' Others again falling by the water, endeavoured to roll into it, but 
' could notl^^ Now, if in all this variety infants are not compre- 
hended, then I think it must be allowed that what St. Hennas says 
of these stones, or the building" they compiled, cannot be fairly ap- 
plied to infants. And, if we may judge of his meaning by his 
explication, it is past all doubt that infants are entirely excluded. 
For by those bright square stones laid in the foundation, he means 
the apostles and bishops, and doctors and ministers' : by those taken 
out of the deep, are signified ' those who are already fallen asleep, 
' and have suffered for the name of the Lord. They which lie on 
' the ground and are not polished are those which God has 
' approved ; because they have eiitered the law of the Lord, and 
' directed their way according* to his commandments. But they 
' which are brought, and put into the building- of the tower, are the 
' young in faith, and the faithful "^.^ By those that were rejected 
and laid by the tower, are represented ' such as having- sinned 
' are willing to repent ^ :' by those that are cut out and east at a 
distance, are meant ' the children of iniquity, who believed only 
' hypocritically, and their wickedness is not dej)arted from tliem>".^ 
The rugged stones are ' they that have known the truth, but have 
' not continued in it, nor been joined to the saints".^ The cracked 
stones are Hhey who keep discord in their hearts against one 
' another".^ The short stones are ' they who have believed indeed, 
' but still retain much of their wickedness?.^ The white and rovmd 
stones are ' such as have faith, but have also the riches of this 
' present world R.' The stones which are rolled out of the way into 

^ Lib. i. Vis. 3. cap. 2. fin. i Ibid. cap. 5. k Ibid. ' Ibid, 

m Ibid. cap. 6. " Ibid. o Ibid. ' P Ibid. 1 Ibid. 

Histori/ of hifant-bapUsm. 261 

desert places signify ' such as have believed^ but through doubting 
' have forsaken the true way^^ Those which fell into the fire are 
' they who have for ever departed from the living God ; nor lias it 
' any more entered into their hearts to repent, because of their 
' lusts s/ They that could not roll into the water are 'such as have 
' heard the word, and were willing to be baptized in the name of 
' the Lord ; but when they considered what holiness the truth re- 
' quired, they have drawn back, and walked again according to their 
' own wicked lusts'/ Thus it is evident, all the stones, which 
St. Hermas here speaks of, represent only adult persons, and par- 
ticularly such of them as have heard and believed; and therefore 
what he says of these should not be wrested and referred to any 

And as he is only speaking of such persons as have believed or 
heard the word preached, it must be to such only he is to be un- 
derstood to make baptism necessary. And therefore our author 
should not have asserted from this j^lace that St. Hermas believed, 
' Baptism with water is appointed the sacrament of salvation 
' to such as are saved" j^ but only 'to such as believe or have heard 
' the word preached.^ And to such indeed we readily grant baptism 
is to be administered, in order to their salvation, according to the 
terms of the Gospel ; but it will not follow that infants too ought 
to be baptized, nor that the primitive church thought so. 

Our author has as little ground to assert, that his inference ^vill 
more plainly appear to be agreeable to St. Hermas^ meaning, from 
the next passage he recites ^ : for what has been already observed on 
the other may be applied to this. It is a vision much like the 
former ; and the substance and design of it are exactly the same, 
viz. under the emblem of a tower to represent the building of the 
church mth such stones as only signify adult persons. 

Mr. Wall makes two observations on the words he recites. 
First, he would from hence fix the sense of John iii. 5. For 
St. Hermas having said, ' Before any one receives the name of 
' the Son of God, he is liable to death ; but when he receives the 
' seal, he is freed from death, and delivered to life; now that seal is 
' water,^ &c. ; and using other expressions to signify the necessity 
of this seal to salvation ; Mr. Wall undertakes to tell us, either 
that this passage proves the words in St. John mean, that none can 
be saved without baptism; or that the words in St. John prove 
these in St. Hermas mean so. He has left it a little doubtful 
which he intends; but one he certainly means, or he means nothing : 

»■ Lib. i. Vis. 3. cap. 7. s ibid. t ibid. " Part i. p. 3. [30.] ^ ibid. 

262 Reflections on Mr. If all's [letter xi. 

for as to tlie present controversy, what would it signify to know the 
sense of either of those writers, if it is not supposed to affect our 
cause ? But our author, we may see, understands both St. John 
and St. Hernias to say, that baptism is necessary to the salvation 
of all without exception ; and by comj^aring* the two passages he 
must mean, that one proves and confirms this to be the sense of the 
other. And by putting us in mind that St. John wrote his Gospel 
after St. Hermas had wrote this book, he seems to import that 
St. John is to be supposed to coj)y those words from St. Hernias : 
but other people who consider that St. John repeats them as the 
words of Christ, who was crucified above thirty-five years before 
St. Hermas wrote, will believe St. John had no respect to this 
passage of St. Hermas, and only relates what he had heard and seen 
with his ei/es, &e., and therefore the two places are not the same as 
Mr. Wall would insinuate. 

St. Hermas^ expressions can refer only to adult persons, to whom 
the word may and ought to be preached; for upon the necessity 
he has been speaking of, he says, ' for which reason to these also 
' was this seal preached,'' &c. Whoever are understood in these 
words, he makes preaching to them full as necessary as their being 

Our Saviour's words, as recorded by St. John, have nothing in 
them which can at all favour the baptism of infants : but because 
Mr. Wall here and elsewhere as well as other psedobaptists, argues 
from them, I will take this occasion to examine them a little. 

It is very readily allowed him, that tls here, as avdpMiios, i Cor. 
xi. 28, does mean anj/ one, or if he please evert/ one ; and therefore 
we will render the original of St. John thus, with the utmost exten- 
sion, Mxcept every one be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot 
enter the kingdom of God. 

By kingdom of God, our author supposes must be meant, ' the 
' kingdom of glory hereafter in heavenX / and backs it with a very 
indifferent observation of St. Austin, viz. that its being said, ver. 3, 
cannot see the kingdom of God, instead of what is afterwards ex- 
pressed by cannot enter, &,c., clearly shews the words do not mean 
the church ; ' for one that is not baptized may see the church. It is 
^ therefore plainly meant of the kingdom of glory.' 

But how frivolous and unfair is this ! for Mr. Wall cannot but 
know, that the word see, in this and many such places, is no more 
to be understood of a physical sight by means of the bodily eye, 
than it is in Matt. v. 8, where it is said of the pure in heart that 

y Part ii. p. 124. [444, 445.] 

History of Infant-haptism. 263 

they shall see God, whom yet 710 man hath seen nor can see^ with bodily 
eyes ; but it shall be in a manner vastly more glorious and Monder- 
ful, and more suitable to his infinite perfections and nature. The in- 
stances of this metaphorical use of the word are too numerous to 
leave our author any excuse. 

But all the ancients do understand by kingdom of God, in this 
text, Hhe kingdom of g-lory^/ says our author. Yet this may not 
be the true sense, if they do; for the ancients were fallible, and 
often gave sufficient proof of it by the strange interpretations they 
made : their opinions are not to be urged as always true, but only 
to shew us what was the opinion and practice of the times they 
lived in. And our author does not go about to prove his assertion ; 
but cites, in a scornful way, the right reverend expositor of the 
Thirty-Nine Articles, as acknowledging the truth of it, though he 
attempts to give the words another turn. But his lordship asserts 
only, 'that very early some doctrines arose upon baptism, that we 
' camiot be determined by. The words of our Saviour to Nicode- 
' mns were expounded so^,'' &c. And after infant-baptism came to 
some head, then indeed this was much insisted on; and the au- 
thorities Mr. Wall makes use of, in reference to this text, are, I 
think, all too late, and of those centuries wherein psedobaptism and 
many other abuses are known to have prevailed. If he had cited the 
writers of the first three centuries, it had been considerable ; but 
what is it to me how St. Austin, Fulgentius, Gregory, Driedo, 
Lombard, Ales, and the rest of the schoolmen, determine in the 
matter ? 

Mr. Wall has not offered to confute those words of his lordship, 
wherein he is pleased to let us into the ground of his sense of this 
text. By the kingdom of God, may well be understood the church 
or dispensation of the Messias, when, as his lordship unanswerably 
argues, ' that is the sense in which the kingdom of God does stand, 
' almost universally through the whole Gospel^.' Now into this 
kingdom we allow that persons can regularly enter no other way 
but by baptism. And upon this sense of the phrase Dr. Whitby 
argues, ' that no man is indeed a member of Christ^s kingdom, who 
' is not truly regenerate :' which he strengthens mth these words 
of Christ, John viii. 31, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my 
disciples indeed. But if this interpretation be true, our author tells 
you the antipaedobaptists gain notliing by it, ' since the only way, 
' at least the only known and ordinary way, to the kingdom of 

z I Tim. vi. 16. a part ii. ii. 124. [445.] 

•> [On Art. xxvii. p. 303. in edit. 1699.] >^ PHgcjoi. 

264 Reflections on Mr. JFall's [letter xi. 

' glory is by being of Christ's church ^.' As if a person had no 
more to do, but to get into the church by baptism, and he would l)e 
safe enough ; for no more can be needful to make him safe but to 
get into the on!// way. And, as if a man, on the other hand, though 
ever so innocent and exact in all things else, could nevertheless 
have no salvation, only for want of a ceremony he is utterly a 
stranger to, or cannot attain. I do not know where our author 
learned this charitable divinity ; for I am sure neither the Scriptures 
nor the light of nature teach any such dreadful doctrines. 

However, taking his sense of the place, what wall our adversaries 
gain by it? No less they pretend than the whole matter in dis- 
pute : for then they imagine the argument will be very plain. The 
stress of it lies in the comprehensiveness of the particle rts, which 
they suppose necessaril}^ includes all ; than which nothing in the 
world can be more false. For rts is not an universal, but an inde- 
finite ; and therefore should not be understood universally. But if, 
because it is indefinite, it must therefore here comprehend all, for 
want of limitation, then it may as well be said to take in the whole 
animal creation, nay and towns and cities too : for we find rts so far 
from being appropriated to signify the species of men only, that it is 
frequently enough used for brute beasts, and inanimate things : and 
since Mr. Wall will doubtless exclude them from being intended, 
for the very same reasons we shall insist upon excluding of infants. 

There is nothing in the particle rt? which necessarily determines 
us to apply these words to infants. "Ai'^pwTros, i Cor. xi. 28, is 
synonymous with rts, ver. 34, of the same chapter ; and yet infants 
cannot be thought to be included in it there, and there is no more 
reason they should in the place under consideration. Again, Mark 
xi. 25, Forgive, if ye have ought against any, &c. ; and chap. viii. 26, 
nor tell it to any in the town. And so, as far as I remember, in all 
other places of Scripture where it occurs, it plainly has no relation 
to infants at all, nor can possibly be applied to them. And there- 
fore, notwithstanding its indefinite meaning, there are at least very 
many cases, among which we justly place John iii. 5, in which the 
particle is not capable of such a lax and general acceptation ; nay, 
there are several instances where it is directly opposed to words of 
so comprehensive a sense. Thucydides says, ^ that the Athenians 
' falling on [riaXv, a small party,) not many of the Syracusians, and 
' killing some, [rivas^ erected a trophy, and returned back'^.^ And 

d Part ii. p. 125. [446.] 7ro\Ao?s-, koX arroKTili/avTis re rtva?, Kal 

e Bell. Peloponnesiac. lib. vi. cap. 94. Tpuncuuy arria-avTes a.i'ex<'>pil<^^'' f'"'' ^as 
Kai Tuv ^upaKovfficev TrepiTVX(^fTfs rtaly ov vavs. 

History of Infant-baptism. ^ZQo 

is same sentence, the particle is used to express but sotne of the 

Jew mentioned before ; for they killed not all the few they fell on, 

ut some of them only. And why then should any from the force 

of this word argue, that all without exception must be baptized, or 

they cannot be saved ? 

If it be said, that thoug-h rh does not signify all, yet since it 
means anj/ one, or more, indefinitely, in all such forms of speech as 
this before us, it does not come short of an universal ; for the pro- 
position here being negative, it denies any can be saved without 
being baptized ; which makes our Saviour^s words amount to this 
universal negative, that none but those who are born again can enter 
into the kingdom of God. 

To this I answer, that it proceeds wholly on that false suppo- 
sition, that Tis necessarily intends any one so universally, as to 
extend to all men, women, and children. I do not know of any one 
instance where the particle is so used : on the contrary, I have g-iven 
some, and could easily have added many more, where it undoubtedly 
does not extend so far. And yet unless it does in John iii. 5, they 
cannot infer that our Saviour^s negative affects all of them, but 
only the subjects spoken of in the place ; for at most, it is only 
said, none of those can be saved without baptism, but it cannot from 
thence be concluded that none beside those will be admitted without 
this condition. 

But, to cut off all manner of subterfuges, let us consider a little 
who are the subjects of whom Christ speaks, for this will be the 
only way to fix our Lord^s meaning. He says, Exce])t any one, &c. 
Any one what ? If our Lord speaks of beings in general, then it 
means any one being; if he speaks of angels, he means any one 
angel; if he speaks of mankind, as our adversaries take it, then 
indeed he means any one of that species : but if he speaks of men 
only, he intends any one man ; if he speaks of women only, any one 
woman ; if of children only, any one child, &c. ; and if our Lord 
speaks only of adult persons, who have heard the word of God 
preached, then ris in the text can mean only any one such adult 
hearer. And so our Saviour's meaning might be expressed thus : 
' Except any one who is come to the use of his reason, and has heard 
' the word of God preached, be born again of water and the Spirit, he 
' cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' And this we assert is the 
only genuine meaning of our Lord's words ; which we also think 
appears evidently from these following considerations : 

I . Because such only can be expected to comj)ly with the insti- 
tution, which indeed cannot oblige any others, for all laws oblige 

^66 Rejlect'wus on 3Ir. Wall's [letter xi. 

those only to whom they are given, and cannot be said to be g-iven 
to those who cannot possibly know them, which is a direct contra- 
diction ; for to give a law, is to make it known to those for whom 
it is designed ; and therefore, while they cannot know it, the law is 
not given to them, nor can they be obliged by it. Hence Gratian, 
' Laws are made when they are promulgated f/ And thus St. Paul 
argues expressly, that tkose that have sinned without law shall perish 
without laio, hut as many as have sinned in the law shall he judged hy 
the law, Rom. ii. ii. And again. We know that what things soever 
the laio saith, it saith to them that are under the law, ch. iii. 19, inti- 
mating, that the law obliged the Jews only to wdiom it was known, 
but not those Gentiles who were invincibly ignorant of it. And 
again, ch. iv. 15, he assures us that every thing is indifferent, till 
prohibited or enjoined by some law ; and therefore, where no law is, 
there is no transgression. Now as this was argued to the Jews, to 
whom the law was made known, from which the Gentiles were 
excused, because they could not come at the knowledge of it ; so in 
relation to the law of Christ, they, whether infants or adult persons, 
who cannot come to the knowledge of it, are not obliged to keej) it, 
neither shall they be judged by it : for the great Legislator himself 
has said it. If I had not come and spolcen unto them, they had not had 
sin, John xvi. 33 ; but to these Christ never yet came nor spoke. 
As before Christ appeared, none were bound to believe and live 
according to his peculiar doctrines ; so now they who are ignorant, 
are not obliged to do so till he is made known to them. For the 
reason is the same now, with those who cannot believe in him 
because they have not heard, as with those who could not then, 
because he was not come, and in equity they are full as excusable. 
For as St. Paul says, E,om. x. 14, How shall they believe in him of 
whom they have not heard ? 

3. As only they who have heard, and are capable of under- 
standing, can ever be willing to submit themselves to this ordinance 
of baptism, so neither can any others be saved by it ; for St. Peter, 
purposely to obviate this mistake of supposing the bare external 
washing would suffice, tells us, the whole efficacy of baptism lies in 
this, that it is done in obedience to our Lord^s will, and as eno-ao-inff 
ourselves to continue in that obedience : and so indeed baptism mil 
undoubtedly save tis, not as it is the putting away the Jilth of the 
flesh, hut as it is the answer of a good conscience toward God. But 
since the saving efficacy does not consist in the external washing ; 
infants, who are capable only of that, cannot be saved by baptism, 

f Leges instituuntur cum proinulgantur. 

History of Infant-baptism. 267 

nor reap any benefit by it : and we cannot suppose that Christ^s 
words are contrary to these^ which yet they must be^ if he meant 
that no children could enter into the king-dom of heaven unless they 
were baptized ; for then it may be said of them^ contrary to St. 
Peter, that the external washing- does save them. The bishop of 
Salisbvny speaks well to this passag-e^ in his Exposition of the 
Articles^ P^S"© ?P?)' 

These words of St. Peter are an impregnable fortress of anti- 
pspdobaptism, and all the attempts of our adversaries ag-ainst them 
hitherto have been unsuccessful, and will probably ever be so. Dr. 
Hammond? trifles upon them most eg^-eg-iously, and svipposes all 
grown persons should receive baptism with a g-ood conscience, but 
infants may receive it without any conscience at all, notwith- 
standing* this text makes conscience so necessary to the saving- 
virtue of it. 

Dr. Whitby, thoug-h directly opposing" our argument from the 
words, did not think Dr. Hammond's pretences worth mentioning" ; 
but only observes, that St. Paul says as much of circumcision as St. 
Peter does here of baptism, viz. that the true circumcision before God 
is not the oiiticard circumcision of the Jtesh, but the internal circutn- 
cision of the heart and spirit, Rom. ii. 29. ' But will any one hence 
' argue,^ says the doctor, ' that the Jewish infants for want of this 
' were not to be admitted into covenant with God by circumcision ? 
' And yet the arg"ument is plainly parallel.^ But with submission 
to the doctor, I am of opinion the cases are not at all jDarallel. For 
the baptism which saves is expressly described and limited to be, 
1. Not the putting away the filth of the fiesh : but, 2. The ansioer of a 
good conscience. Whereas St. Paul's words do not import that the 
only circumcision which saved was, i. Not the circumcision of the 
flesh : but, 2. The circmncision of the heart and spirit. Or however, 
there is certainly this difi^erence, that St. Paul does not speak of 
circumcision while it continued in force, as under the dispensation 
of Moses ; but only says that now, under this new dispensation of 
Jesus Christ, the only available circumcision is that of the heart : 
and it will be allowed that the outward circumcision is now of no 
use at all ; for in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, 
nor uncircumcision, but faith which toorketh by love. Gal. v. 6, and 
vi. 15. St. Paul therefore is arguing against the necessity of ex- 
ternal circumcision, and beating" down the ])artition-wall of a Jewish 
rite ; which cannot be said of St. Peter in relation to ba])tism. But 
if the arguing"s of the two apostles are supposed to be parallel, then 

g Six Queries, p. 198, 199. 

268 Refections on Mr. IFall's [letter xi. 

St. Peter must be understood to mean, that persons need not be 
baptized with the outward baptism, if they do but keep the 
righteousness of the Gospel; and to plead for the uselessness of 
baptism -, as St. Paul does of circumcision : whereas St. Paul does not 
deny but external circumcision might in some cases be sufficient 
under the old law, and therefore infants were then capable of that 
ceremony; though now, under the Gospel which requires circum- 
cision of the heart, they are altogether unfit to be admitted to bap- 
tism, because altogether incapable of that internal circumcision, or of 
making that answer of a good conscience. 

3. Another thing from whence it may appear infants are not 
intended, is, that this manner of speech is usual in Scripture, even 
when it is certain the things said cannot be required of infants, nor 
indeed of any but those who have heard the word preached. Thus 
John vi. ^'^, with the same solemnity of asseveration our Lord 
says. Verily, verilj/, I say tinto you, Except ye eat the fesh of tit e Son 
of man, and drinic his blood, ye have no Ife in you. If we understand 
this of the sacramental suj)per, and take it as extensively as our 
adversaries do John iii. 5, then it absolutely denies that any who 
have never received the communion, whether infants or others, can 
be saved, or have eternal life, that is, enter into the kingdom of 
glory : or if we expound the words metaphorically, to signify be- 
lieving in the Son of man, (which, I think, none can doubt to be 
the sense of them, after what Dr. Whitby has said with his usual 
solidity,) it is still as certain, by an interpretation of this latitude, 
that none who do not actually believe can be saved. For as in one 
passage Christ makes it an indispensable condition of entering into 
the kingdom, to be dorn again ; so here he makes it altogether as 
indispensable to eat Ids fesh, that is, to believe ; and both in the 
same latitude. But since all will see it reasonable and necessary 
to except infants in one case, it is as reasonable to do so in the 

The same may be argued from those other words of our Saviour 
after his resurrection, Mark xvi. 1 6, He that helieveth and is baptized 
shall be saved ; but he that belleveth not shall he damned. If these 
words must be extended to all, and applied to every one, then no 
one person, no not any infant, can be saved without faith. And 
this would make the Scriptures contradictor}^ ; for according to the 
arguing of our antagonists, it is declared here that no infant, even 
though baptized, can ever be saved, because it is impossible for him 
to understand and believe ; which is directly opposite to their sense 
of John iii. 5. If it can be fancied that, if infants are but baptized 

History of Infmit-baptism. 269 

here^ it will be enoiig-li, because tbey may liave more complete 
capacities in the next life^ and then they will believe; I will only 
answer^ that the same may equally be said of all mankind, for all 
will at the resurrection believe and own that Jesus is the Christ, and 
imdoubtedly they will be very sorry for their former infidelity and 
disobedience ; but this belief shall then have no other effect than it 
has now on the devils, to make them tremble : for the faith that is 
saving' must take place while we are here, and work by love. 

You must needs have observed many passages of this nature; and 
it would be endless to mention all. There are two, I remember, in 
the very same chapter with the words lander consideration, which 
being- so near may serve to shew us the bent of our Lord^s 
discourse at that time, and to whom it referred ; for he, who could 
speak no contradictions, says, verse i8. He that believeth not' is con- 
demned alreadij, hecmise he hath not believed in the name of the only- 
begotten Son of God. The words, verse 5, cannot be thought more 
extensive than these, and both refer to the same subjects : but if in 
one place he means that infants may be saved by baptism, and yet 
presently after asserts none can be saved without believing in him, 
though they are baptized ; how can this be made consistent ? for 
this second condition is what infants are incapable of. He must 
therefore be understood in both places to speak of persons capable 
both of believing and being baptized. 

In fine; if we understand this in such like places with due 
regard to God's justice and equity, we shall truly say, they relate 
only to adult persons who have heard the Gospel preached; for 
such, unless they believe and are baptized, cannot be saved. And 
therefore I must confess I think those persons are greatly to blame, 
who either oppose and abolish the use of baptism, or change it for 
what is not baptism : but God, who is merciful, knows their hearts. 
And we have great reason to hope, others shall be saved without 
either faith or baptism. Those who did not know their Master's 
will when they might have known it, were to be beaten with few 
stripes ; those then who could not know it shall doubtless receive 
no stripes at all, because they are, in that respect, guilty of no fault : 
and none of the damned shall have that excuse, to plead they could 
not possibly escape, and are damned of necessity, merely for want 
of knowledge, which they had not the means to attain : for this 
would be a most unworthy reflection on the best and kindest of 

4. Another thing which shews infants are not referred to in 
John iii. 5, is, that what is there said cannot be true of them. For 

270 Refedmis on Mr. JValPs [letter xi. 

as we are sure the holy angels, thoug-h not baptized with water, 
shall enter into the kingdom ; and therefore we say the words do 
not relate to them : so we may reasonably suppose all infants shall, 
whether baptized or not, enter into the kingdom of g'lory; and 
therefore the words under consideration cannot relate to them 
neither. If there be any mercy in God, in him who is goodness 
itself, which the greatest impiety dares not doubt of; then all 
infants, who could never offend him, shall assuredly be saved. But 
if this be true, the sense our adversaries give of the words under 
consideration cannot be true ; for then millions of infants shall not 
be saved. The only way to avoid so uncharitable an inference will 
be, to say the words do not concern infant-baptism at all. God our 
Saviour cannot ordain such unreasonable laws, nor infinite mercy 
make the happiness of any of his creatures to depend upon condi- 
tions that were impossible for them to perform. And Christ 
himself, our great Lawgiver and Oracle, has declared of infants in 
particular, that of such is the kingdom of heaven., Mark x. 14, even 
of unbaptized infants, for such were those he spoke of. 

5. In the last place : there is something in the words themselves 
which does expressly limit them only to adult persons; for they 
require, that the subjects spoken of should be born of the Spirit, as 
well as of water. Which, not to enter into a long discourse upon it, 
certainly means, as the bishop of Salisbury has expressed it, ' that 
' except he were inwardly changed by a secret power called the 
' Spirit, that should transform his nature, he could not enter into the 
' kingdom of heaven^.^ For this sense is drawn from plain passages 
of Scripture. Our Lord himself, even in the next verse, explains it. 
He that is Lorn of the jiesh is jlesh ; that is, lives after the motions 
of the flesh : but he that is horn of the Spirit is spirit ; that is, strives 
to live according to the motions of the Spirit. So those who 
received Christ, and believed on his name, are said to be born, not of 
blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the toill of man, but of God, 
John i. 13. And again, Whosoever is horn of God doth not commit 
sin ; and it is from that very principle that he cannot sin because he 
is born of God, 1 John iii. 9. And St. Paul expounds this matter 
somewhat largely, Rom. viii, where he sufficiently shews, that to be 
born of the flesh, is to be so subject to it as to mind the things of the 
flesh ; and to be horn of the Spirit, is to be filled with such holy 
principles and inclinations as to mind the things of the Spirit, 

If then to be horn of the Spiirit signifies to be so influenced and 
wrought upon as to mind the things of the S2:)irit, or live after 

h Article xxvii. p. 301. 

History of Infant-baptism. 271 

the motions of the Spirit, as all judicious divanes and critics, 
Scalig-er, Grotius, Le Clerc, &c., and even Dr. Hammond too, will 
allow ; and infants cannot possibly be so born of the Spirit : then 
that text, which requires the subjects it speaks of should be horn of 
the Spirit cannot speak of infants. 

To evade this, Mr. Wall insinuates, that because it is and must 
be allowed that the Holy Spirit, ^ besides his office of converting the 
' heart, does seal and apply pardon of sin, and other promises of the 
' covenant / this is to be taken for all that is meant in the text by 
horn of the Spirit. But as this is not confirmed by any text of 
Scripture, I leave you to judg-e whether it answers the force of the 
phrase : and I will conclude what I have said on this text with Dr. 
Whitby ^s judicious observations upon it'. 

1. ' Infants must be excepted from this necessity, as being 
' incapable of knomng, and therefore of transgressing this com- 
' mand,' &c. 

2. ' They also are to be excepted who want that baptism they 
' desire, not out of contempt, but of necessity, as dying before they 
' can procure it : thus though the infant, who died before the 
' eighth day, died without the sign of the covenant, the Jews never 
' thought fit to circumcise them before that day ; and since it is not 
' the washing of the body, but the stipulation of a good conscience, 
' that renders baptism saving, i Pet. iii. 21, it cannot be purely the 
' want, but the contempt of that, which must condemn us.^ And, 

3. ' Whatever ignorance of the precept, or mistake about the 
' nature of it, renders not men incapable of baptism by the Holy 
' Ghost, can never render them incapable of the salvation promised 
' to the baptized.^ 

The next observation our author makes from St. Hermas^ words 
is grounded particularly on this, that St. Hermas represents the 
patriarchs and holy men before Christ as having need to be bap- 
tized, and actually being so in the life they are now in ; for his 
words are these : ' It was necessary for them to come up by water, 
' that they might be at rest ; for they could not otherwise enter into 
' the kingdom of God, than by putting off the mortality of their 
' former life ; they thei-efore, after they were dead, were sealed with 
' the seal of the Son of God,' &c. From whence Mr. Wall infers, that 
if ba})tism was in St. Hermas' opinion so necessary to the salvation 
of these just men, as that they could not be saved without it, and 
therefore were baptized after their death in that separate state ; then 
he must needs have thought it as necessary for all other persons, 

' [See Wliitby's Annotations on Julm iii. 5.] 

272 Beflections on Mr. If all's [letter xi. 

and infants among- the rest : and therefore the church of that time 
practised the baptism of infants. 

But what wild sort of log-ie is this ! for there is no manner of 
connexion between the propositions. Suppose St. Hermas did think 
those persons were baptized in their separate state; it does not 
therefore follow, that he thoug-ht infants must be baptized in this : 
nor, if he did think so, that the church of that time practised paedo- 
baptism ; for St. Hermas g-ives not the least hint of that : and yet 
Mr. Wall pretends only to cite the Fathers in this dispute, as they 
relate, not to their own private opinions, but to the practice of the 
whole church. So that his way of arguing here has no tendency to 
the proposition he ought to prove ; which, to say the best of it, is 
g-rouuded on obscure uncertain parables, and very distant licentious 
inferences from them. 

But to answer more distinctly. 

1. St. Hermas is only describing- a vision, to represent the build- 
ing up of the church ; and therefore every particular cannot be fairly 
understood in the letter ; according- to the known rule, ' Similitudes 
' do not run on all foiu'.^ Thus our Saviour''s parable of the ten 
virg-ins with their lamps is not to be understood, that ten virgins, 
five wise and five foolish, shall g-o forth to meet him at his second 
coming; the first five being well provided with oil, and having their 
lamps trimmed at the alarm : and the others being surprised, with 
their lamps unlighted and having no oil, and that they shall attempt 
to buy some, or the like. And though our Lord is pleased to repre- 
sent his care and patience towards us under the notion of the dresser 
of a vineyard, Luke xiii. 6, &c., no man can imagine he will literally 
dress and prune us, bvit only that he does in us what is equivalent 
to dressing and pruning to a vine. 

Now these not being true histories, but only figurative represent- 
ations of something, I wonder Mr. Wall should use them otherwise. 
He knows the books he argues from are nothing but visions ; and 
therefore, though it be ever so express that the patriarchs were 
baptized, it is no more to be understood in the letter, than the 
other things I have mentioned : they were baptized, that is, in 
vision only, not in deed. Or, if our author^'s way of arguing be 
just, it equally follows, that in the other world we must all be 
transformed into stones, and compose a lofty pile of building*. But 
as this inference will not be allowed, so neither ought the other. 

2. Besides, St. Hermas cannot be thought to mean those just 
persons were really baptized with material water; because, in the 
separate state the} are in, their bodies being consumed, and that of 

Histor/f of Infant-baptism. 273 

them which remains alive being" only spirit^ they are utterly 
incapable of real baptism : for it is altog-ether inconceivable that 
spirits can be immersed in water. And as stones were not the 
persons^ but only represented them ; so their baptism was only a 
representation of something else. The passage therefore can do 
our author no manner of service ; for it is only of material baptism 
we are disputing^ not a visionary, nor a mystical one. 

3. Though St. Hermas should be allowed to plead for the 
necessity of baj^tism to those just men, yet this has no relation to 
infant-baptism ; nor does St. Hermas give any g"round to imagine 
he had infants in his thoughts ; he speaks only of adult persons, who 
had committed actual sins, from which he might suppose they 
needed to be washed. But it is no consequence, that it must be as 
necessary to others that are not adult ; no more than because it is 
useful to men, it must therefore be so to angels. Nay, on the con- 
trary, he seems very plainly to exclude infants from being capable 
of receiving any benefit by baptism : for in this very passage he 
intimates they were to be baptized for something done in their 
former life, which he calls ' the mortality of their former life ;' and 
he cannot be understood to mean any thing but the offences they 
had committed in that life. Infants therefore having no such 
mortality of a former life to account for, were not represented by 
St. Hermas to have been baptized : and since he makes baptism 
necessary to the patriarchs, &c. only on that account, it cannot 
possibly be applied to the case of infants. 

It may be added also, that St. Hermas here makes it equally 
necessary to ^take up the name of the Son of God"^.^ And he like- 
Avise asserts, that ' it will avail nothing to take up the name of the 
' Son of God, unless thou shalt also receive their (viz. the virgins^) 
' garments from them'.^ Now the names of these virgins, he says, 
are ' faith, abstinence, power, patience, &c. ; whoever bears these 
' names, and the name of the Son of God, shall enter into the king- 
' dom'".'' I suppose the least Mr. Wall understands by ' taking the 
' name of the Son of God' is, to be baptized ; and then it is plain, 
St. Hermas declares baptism without /aiM, abstinence, &c., will avail 
nothing, or is of no use at all : from whence it is manifest, not only 
that this passage cannot be improved for infant-baptism ; but also, 
that it yields a good argument against it : for if baptism signify 

k Lib. iii. Simil. 9. cap. 12. portant hsec nomina, et nomen Filii Dei, 

' Ibid. cap. 13. in regnum Dei poterunt intrare. 

"» Ibid. cap. 15. Quicunque itaque 


274 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter xi. 

nothing" without those virtues^ then to be sure St. Hermas did not 
think it of any use to infants^ who have them not. 

4. But in the last place_, if St. Hermas should be thought to make 
baptism necessary to the salvation of infants ; yet since he finds an 
expedient for the patriarchs^ &c.^ who lived before Christy to be 
baptized in their separate state, why may not we suppose he thought 
infants oug-ht not to be baptized till they come into that separate 
state too ? The patriarchs were supposed to receive baptism there, 
because they could not know and believe in Jesus here ; and the 
same reason holds exactly as to infants. So that, after all, if our 
author^s citation proves any thing in favour of infant-baptism, it is 
only that they shall be baptized in the other world : but be this as 
it will, it is sufficient that they are not to be baptized here, which is 
all we insist on. 

Mr. Wall cites another passage from St. Hermas '^, which I had 
some time since noted as an instance ag-ainst j^aedobaptism. It is 
strange that the same words should be cited to such contrary 
purposes. They are thus translated ; ' All infants are valued by the 
' Lord, and esteemed the first of all.^ It is very dubious Avhat 
infants are here meant, whether infants in age, or infants in Christ- 
ianity ; and what renders it so doubtful is a sentence at the 
beginning" of this chapter : ' such as have believed like sincere 
' children^ (it is infantes in the Latin). And siuce he here speaks 
of such infants as believed, he may perhaps afterwards too mean 
only such. Dr. Wake seems to have understood the passage so, by 
his supplying" the word such ; and the words our author cites refer 
to S7(c/i infants as were spoken of before. 

But if they should refer to infants in ag-e, as perhaps they may ; 
yet even then I do not see how they can be strained to signify that 
infants ought to be baptized. For here is no mention of baptism at 
all : and therefore, unless our author can demonstrate for a general 
principle, that all persons wdiom God esteems ought to be baptized, 
it will be very difficult for any one to imagine how baptism can be 
deduced from hence. No man can see any necessary connection 
between God's love and baptism; and the Scriptures nowhere 
furnish Mr. Wall with this piece of divinity. The holy angels are 
certainly highly esteemed and favoured by him; but nobody 
pretends they oiight therefore to be baptized. In like manner. 
Almighty God may have a great esteem for infants, and love them 
according to his infinite mercy and compassion, without requiring- 

« Part i. p. 6. [33.] 

History of Infant-haptism. 275 

of them the ceremony of being* baptized. At least, since St. Hermas 
nowhere confirms this supposition, that all whom God esteems 
ought to be baptized ; it must pass only for our author's own con- 
jecture, which renders the argument from this place invalid; for 
since both the premises are not St. Hernias', it is plain the con- 
clusion is not his. 

On the contrary, it is very natural to conclude from the words, 
that this Father neither held the necessity of infant-baptism, nor 
practised it ; for he says ' All infants,' without exception, as if they 
were all upon the same level, and therefore, baptized or unbaptized, 
it matters not ; ^ All are valued by the Lord, and esteemed the 
' first of all,' merely as they are infants, and therefore, ' innocent".' 
And nowhere throug-hout his wi-itings has he left the least intima- 
tion that he ever once thought of the baptizing" them. If he had 
known any thing of incorporating" children into the church, it is 
strange in his representations of the several materials of which the 
church was built, that he should never give infants one place, but 
constantly neglect them ; especially considering how exceeding nice 
and particular he is, and that he frequently had the fittest occasions 
in the world to introduce them. But besides this total silence in 
such cases, which is very considerable, this Father has several 
expressions which are as inconsistent with the notion of infant-bap- 
tism, as any thing can be. For instance, to mention but one, 
chap. xxxi. he says, ' And I say unto you all, whoever have received 
' this seal, keep simplicity, and remember not affronts P,' &c. Now 
this instruction is given with the utmost latitude, doubly enforced 
both by an universal collective all, and then an universal distribu-- 
tive whoever ; than which nothing- can be more extensive. But the 
things mentioned there not falling within the power and cognizance 
of infants, it follows they cannot be intended, and that St. Hermas 
did not think them to be of their number who had, or ought to have, 
received the seal. It is not possible any inference should be more 
direct and necessary. 

But to return back to Mr, Wall's management of the other 
citation. He supposes, i. Christ's words, Matth.xix. 14, Suffer little 
cliildren, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the king- 
dom of heaven, are a plain argument for infant-baptism. And, 3. 
that the words of St. Hermas are of the same import. 

As to the words of our Lord, which Mr. Wall (willi many other 

o Lib. iii. cap. 31. [Simil.ix.] habete, neque ofteusarum meiuores estote, 

P Dico aiitem omnibus vobis, quicun- &c. 
que sigillum hoc accepisti.s, simplicitatcm 

T 2 

276 Refections on 3Ir. Wall's [letter xi. 

psedobaptists) so much perveiis, if any thing- is plain concerning" 
them, it is, that they have no relation to baptism at all, nor to any 
thing- necessarily connected with it. You know the story in the 
Gospel, and the circumstances of it ; but what is there, I beseech 
you, in the whole matter, which can make our adversaries fasten on 
this place ? It can only be the mention of children ; and they might 
as well have cited all the passages in Scripture where children are 

But Mr. Wall does not reason from the words in Matt. xix. 14, 
but only cites them, as if they were very plain to his purpose ; and 
therefore we are to seek in other authors for the argument. Dr. 
Hammond'! himself reckons this among- the more imperfect ways of 
proving the point, and therefore our author should not so easily have 
taken it for granted. But Dr. Whitby is pleased to improve the 
passage to the utmost advantage j and he being in general so very 
fair and sincere a writer, and comprehending the whole substance 
of what can be urged from the place, I will examine what he 
has said. 

His first and second observations; namely. That they were 
infants in age who were brought to Christ ; and that they were 
brought by such as believed Christ to be a prophet sent from God ; 
— may be allowed : but the third thing, viz. That they were not 
brought to be healed of any diseases, cannot be easily granted : for 
though it is not expressly said they were, yet, since it was the 
Lord^s custom frequently to heal by laying on his hands, it is pro- 
bable enough this was the design of those who broug'ht them to him, 
though it is only said they brought them to have his hands laid on 
them. The imposition of his hands could not well be the ultimate 
end, but only the intermediate, in order to something else ; which 
might be healing, for what appears, but cannot be supposed to be 
their being baptized. Or if Christ did not lay his hands on them 
to heal them, it was perhaps, as Origen puts it, * They believed that 
' no evil spirit could enter, nor any other misfortune befall those 
' infants or children whom Christ had once touched, by reason of 
' some virtue that was thereby communicated to them. And since 
' the evil powers are continually lying in wait to corrupt men^s 
' minds from the beginning; I am of opinion, that they who 
' brought the children to Christ, seeing his mighty power, brought 
' them to him, that by laying his hands on them, &c., by means of 
' the touch (8ta ■rr\'s a<^y\i) every evil might be expelled'",^ &c. 

There is therefore no necessity to suppose so readily, that they 
<l Six Queries, p. 105. r In Matth. p. 373 B. 

History of Infant-haptlsm. 277 

were brought to receive spiritual blessings; for^ what spiritual 
blessings could they receive ? Not remission of sins, says the doctor; 
for the Jews did not think them guilty of any ; and we never find 
hands were laid on any for that purj)ose. But it was, says he, ' to 
' obtain for them some spiritual blessing appertaining to the king- 
' dom of God/ What spiritual blessing this could be, or on what 
grounds it is asserted, I see not ; and the doctor gives no reason for 
it. But he puts another supposition borrowed from Dr. Lightfoot, 
that Christ laid his hands on them, ' to own them as belonging to 
' his kingdom.'' But this could not be the meaning of it, both 
because we nowhere find this ceremony used for this purpose ; and 
he had just before declared, of such is the h'mgclom of heaven, before 
he took them in his arms, and laid his hands on them. The laying on 
of his hands therefore must be for some other end. 

Besides, if they were capable of spiritual blessings, as undoubtedly 
they are of being saved by Christ, what is all this to infant-baptism? 
Will it follow, that because they may be happy hereafter, they must 
be baptized here ? Many infants shall, and all may, be saved with- 
out being baptized. And there is a great deal to this purpose 
comprehended in our Saviour^s saying, of such, speaking even of 
unbaptized infants, is the kingdom of heaven. 

The fourth observation the doctor is pleased to make is particu- 
larly on these words, for of such is the kingdom of heaven : from 
whence he thinks it may reasonably be collected, ' that there is 
' something in little children why they should not be hindered from 
' coming to him, besides their being emblems of himiility;'' and 
this he supposes can be nothing ' but the fitness of them to be early 
' dedicated to the service of God, and to enter into covenant 
' with him by the rites appointed by him for that end.^ But though 
it will be readily allowed that infants are capable of receiving the 
kingdom, it can in no wise follow, that this means nothing else but 
their fitness to enter into covenant. This is directly begging the 
question. If by kingdom of heaven were meant the church of Christ, 
there might indeed be some greater colour for the doctor^s way of 
arguing : but if it means only the kingdom of glory, as it plainly 
does, then the doctor^s argument is grounded on a mistake ; for 
though infants are subjects of the kingdom of glory, it will not 
on that account appear necessary for them to be baptized, in order 
to qualify them for that glory : on the contrary, it rather follows, 
since as infants they are subjects of that kingdom, they have no 
need of this ceremony to give them a right which they have 

278 Refectiom on Mr. JFall's [letter xi. 

The rig'lit reverend bishop of Salisbury says^ that ' whatever these 
^ words may sig-nify mystically, the literal meaning- of them is, that 
' little children may be admitted into the dispensation of the 
' Messias ; and by consequence, that they may be baptized''/ Thus 
his lordship seems to make it a plain case ; biit I cannot perceive 
how the words have any relation to children's being received into 
that dispensation at all. T/ie Mngclom of heaven can in no wise mean 
so here, though it be true, as his lordship says, this is the sense of 
the words almost universally through the whole Gospel : for 
St. Mark has preserved some of our Lord's words on that occasion, 
which make it necessary to understand thereby the hingdom of glory: 
thus chap. X. 15, our Lord says. Whosoever shall not receive the king- 
dom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein ; that is, into 
glory ; for into the church the g-reatest villains may be admitted, if 
they conceal their wickedness ; so that he must mean, they shall not 
enter into his glorious kingdom. Besides, if the kingdom did mean 
the church, how does it appear infants were to be admitted into it 
by baptism ? Baptism is the only way of admitting- adult persons, 
but is nowhere prescribed to infants. I should rather imagine from 
the words, that if infants are to be admitted at all by any ceremony, 
it must be only by laying on of hands, and by prayer ; for neither 
our Lord's words nor his actions give us room to think of any 

And if this way of arguing be good, it may equally be m-ged 
that infants ought to be communicated too ; for if, because of such 
is the kingdom of heaven, they may therefore be admitted into the 
dispensation of the Messiah, and consequently have a right to the 
privileges and sacraments of it, they must have a right to the sup- 
per as well as to baptism. But his lordship, and our adversaries, do 
refuse them one ; and we beg- leave to refuse them the other for the 
very same reasons, viz. because they are not capable of it, nor of the 
conditions which the church of England itself confesses are required 
of persons to be baptized, \iz. faith and repentance. 

Since then there is nothing in Christ's words for the practice of the 
psedobaptists ; the passage of St. Hermas, which our author com- 
pares with these words of Christ, cannot be thought to prove, by 
any supposed affinity between them, that St. Hermas, or the 
church of that time, knew any thing of infant-baptism. Besides, 
I have not only shewn the arguments from the wi'itings of the 
Fathers hitherto have no reference to it ; but also, as far as things 
of this nature can be shewn, that all of them to this time, namely, 

s Articles, p. 307. 

History of Infmit-baptism. 279 

for about a hundred years after Chrisfs birth^ believed nothing* at 
all of it, for what they say is very inconsistent with that practice. 
In my next, I will also examine what is said from St. Justin and 
others, in the order in which Mr. Wall has placed them. 

I am. Sir, 

Yours, &c. 


What Mr. Wall produces from the writings of the second century examined — 
A passage in St. Justin considered — It makes nothing for infant-baptism — 
Neither does it speak of original sin, as our author pretends — Mr. Wall has 
perverted the words — His translation of them unintelligible — 'A7r6 roO 'ASa/x 
means from Adam — Another misconstruction noted — The phrase explained by 
a passage in Dionysius Halicarnassseus ; and another in Thucydides — Another 
passage from St. Justin considered — He does not call baptism circumcision — 
He could not mean baptism by the spiritual circumcision he speaks of — What 
he understands by spiritual circumcision — Other writers of the primitive 
church talk in the same manner — Coloss. ii. ii, 12. considered — The Scrip- 
ture nowhere calls baptism circumcision — The words in themselves are not 
cajiable of the sense our adversaries give them — The ancients did not call bap- 
tism the circumcision without hands, as Mr. Wall pretends— Mr. Wall's argu- 
ment from the parallel between circumcision and baptism, shewn to be 
groundless — The principle on which it is founded, evidently false — Some of 
the consequences of it : as that baptism must be administered only on the 
eighth day ; that females must not be baptized — As the apostles did not make 
circumcision their rule in relation to baptism, so neither should we — Another 
passage from St. Justin — It is not to be imagined he should forbear to 
mention infant-baptism, if it had been then practised — Or however, he ought 
not to have spoken so as is inconsistent with that practice — The passage is 
directly against infant-baptism — The reason why Mr. Wall cites this passage, 
though he confesses it makes nothing for infant-baptism — The first reason 
makes against him — His next reason, that regeneration is put for baptism, 
groundless — St. Justin never understands regeneration so — Baptism not re- 
generation, but the symbol of it — The third reason contradicts his former 
assertion — Another passage from St. Justin — Which Mr. Wall draws to his 
side by a very unfair translation — 'Ek Traibav signifies from their childhood — 
Illustrated by instances from Cicero ; from Laertius ; from Plato ; from 
Plutarch ; from Origen ; from 'I'heophilus Antiochenus ; from the Scriptures 
— Mr. Wall himself translates a passage of St. Basil thus on another occasion 
— The famous passage from St. Irena'us considered — It is not genuine — 
Cardinal Baronius observes, the latter part of the chapter contradicts the 
beginning — Petavius' answer to tliis jiroves nothing — The author of the last 
part of the chapter attempts to confirm a manifest falsehood, by the authority 
of the ancients from St. John, which St. Irenseus could never have done — 
Mr. Dodwell's pretence, that St. John, &c., judged of our Lord's age by his 
countenance, too weak and groundless — Tliey could not but know the time 

280 Refiectlons on Mr. WalVs [letter xii. 

of our Lord's birth more exactly — St. Irenseus could not think Christ arrived 
to near so much as his fortieth year : the contrary being so evident from the 
censual rolls then in being, and from the disputes with the adversaries of the 
Christian religion — Nay, it appears from St. Irenaeus' own words, that he was 
not in so gross an error — He fixes the time of the Lord's birth^ — The time of 
his passion computed; from the destruction of Jerusalem ; from the time of 
Pontius Pilate's government, and Tiberius' reign — Mr. Dodwell's attempt to 
excuse the extravagance of this spurious passage, wholly useless — Besides, the 
passage is taken only from a very bad translation ; as learned men confess : 
viz. Scaliger ; Du Pin ; Mr. Dodwell ; Dr. Grabe — This may also appear by 
comparing it with the remaining fragments of the original — Again, the word 
regenerated in this passage does not mean baptized — The Jews did not give 
rise to this way of speaking — The Scripture notion of regeneration — John iii- 
5. considered— The regeneration there mentioned consists in the operations of 
the Spirit, of which baptism is the sign and seal — And this appears from our 
Lord's own words following — Titus iii. 5. considered — That the ancients never 
mean baptism, but an internal change, by regeneration, shewn from Clemens 
Alexandrinus, Tertullian, Origen, Clemens Romanus, St. Barnabas ; and St. 
Irenaeus nowhere uses the word, as our author pretends he always does — The 
inference from these observations — A contradiction of Mr. Wall's — Another 
exception to the passage cited from St. Irenaeus is, that infantes does not ne- 
cessarily mean such young children as the paedobaptists admit to baptism — 
Omnis cetas does not always include infants, as appears by an instance from 
St. Cyprian ; Recognitions ; Dionysius of Alexandria — Nor does the enumera- 
tion of the several ages make it necessary to understand such infants as are not 
capable of reason — Infancy, according to St. Irenaeus himself, reaches to ten 
years of age; as Mr. Dodwell also thinks — The inference — Persons under ten 
capable of instruction and baptism — Recapitulation and conclusion. 

The first century of Christianity I have already despatched, and 
am now to examine the second. 

Mr. Wall begins with St. Justin the Martyr, who lived about 
anno Christi 140; but the pieces he cites of this Father were all 
writ after 150, so that he passes over half the second century with- 
out any attempt upon it, and therefore I conclude that at least for 
one hundred and fifty years after Christ infant-baptism was not 
known in the world, or however, that our adversaries are not able 
to prove it was. 

The first passage our author cites is out of the Dialogue with 
Trypho the Jew, which he says is 'only to shew, that in these 
' times so very near the apostles, they spake of original sin affecting 
' all mankind descended of Adam ; and understood that besides the 
' actual sins of each particular person, there is in our nature itself, 
' since the fall, something that needs redemption and forgiveness by 

Hutory of Infant-Baptism. 281 

' the merits of Christ »/ But this does not concern the baptizing- of 
infants, and therefore Mr. Wall adds of his own^ ' And that is 
' ordinarily [to be] applied to every particular person by baptism / 
which sig-nilies nothing-, unless he can shew it is St. Justin^s asser- 
tion. He is to prove, that St. Justin and the church in his time 
thoug-ht so, and not to suppose they did ; nor is it sufficient to say 
the Scripture teaches it, for the question here immediately is, not 
what the Scriptures teach^ but what St. Justin teaches ; though by 
the way the Scripture no more teaches that ovir Saviour^s merits are 
to be applied to any persons by baptism, than it does that his 
merits must be apj^lied by faith or by the supper in which the cup 
is the new covenant in his blood. St. Justin^s expressions therefore 
are of no force, unless he had gone upon our author^s principle 
which he does not appear to have done. 

All that can be urg-ed from his mentioning- original sin, I have 
fully answered before b. Besides, it is much to be questioned, 
whether St. Justin, and most of the ancients of the first centuries, 
believed the notion. Mr. Wall has very much perverted the words 
of this passage, to make them speak to his purpose, and given such 
a translation of them as no schoolboy would have made. Whether 
he did it out of ignorance or inadvertency, I shall not determine. 

The place, I think, should be rendered thus : ' As also, neither 
' did he submit to be born and crucified, as being vinder any 
' necessity to do it ; but he did this for mankind, which from (not 
' bf) Adam was fallen under death and the guile of the serpent, by 
' their own act and deed, every one having done wickedly*^.' This 
makes the passage rather opposite to the doctrine of original sin, 
than in favour of it. Mr. WalFs ti-anslation is hardly intelligible ; 
' But he did this for mankind, which by Adam was fallen under 
' death, and the guile of the serpent, beside the particular cause 
' which each man had of sinning.^ 

But you see, as I have rendered it, the sense is very natural and 
easy. And that St. Justin meant as I undei'stand him, appears from 
the words immediately following those already transcribed ; ' For 
' God willing that all angels and men should be free agents, and 
' that their actions should be determined by their own free choice 

' that if they did what was pleasing to him, they might be 

' kept incorruptible and free from punishment ; but if they did 

* Part i. p. 13. [40.] inrep Tov ytvovs rod ruu avOpdiitaiv, ft airh 

^ Page 257, &c. Tou 'ASojU i/irh Odvarov Kal Tr\a,vrjv tV tov 

c Dialog, cum Tryph. pp. 315, 316. 6(pfoos iire-n-TWKei, irapa ttjv iBiav ahiav fKa- 

' flcrtrfp ovSi tov yei/i/riOrjuat avTov koX (nav- (Ttov avTuiv irovripiv(rafi.syoi . [Sect. 88. edit. 

puBrjvai, ws eVSfTjs tovtwu, vni^nvtv, d\A,' Benedict.] 

282 Refections on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

' wickedly^ lie mig-ht punish every one according' to his pleasure '^ 
Now to say here^ that every man was designed by God to stand 
upon his own bottom^ and to connect this by the illative particle 
for to another sentence wherein he says all fell in Adam, is so 
g-reat an absurdity, that we cannot, with any good manners, 
suppose St. Justin to be guilty of it : for nothing can be more 
contradictory than to say all are sinners, in or by Adam, and 
yet that none are sinners but by their own free choice and action. 

Besides, it is necessary to understand St. Justin as I have done, 
even from the propriety of the phrase he makes use of. That 
ano Tov ''Abaix means frotn Adam, and not, as our author renders 
it, bj/ Adam, might be proved from an infinite number of instances ; 
but I need only mention Rom. v. 14, where we find exactly the 
same phrase, in the very same sense too, which makes it not 
improbable that St. Justin had his eye upon this very place, 
and alludes to it. Death reigned from Adam, that is, in St. Justin^s 
words, ' Mankind from Adam was fallen under death,' &c. But 
the sense Mr. Wall would put upon a-no is several times in this 
chapter expressed by 8ta; thus ver. 9, We shall he saved from wrath 
through him i^i avrov), and ver. 10, We were reconciled to God hy 
(8ta) the death of his Son, and ver. 11, [hC ov) By whom we have 
now received the atonement ; and in the next verse it is said not 
airo, but hi kvos avOpwuov, By one man sin entered into the world, 
&c., by which it is evident, that ar,o tov 'A8a/x and 8ta rov ^Abaix 
mean difierent things. 

As to the other misconstruction of St. Justin's words, which 
I think Mr. Wall has made, it is not only very considerable, in 
that it makes St. Justin speak inconsistently, and so as not to be 
understood, but it is plain also to all who have any tolerable skill 
in the Greek, that irapa, which Mr. Wall here renders heside, ought 
to be rendered for, hy, because of, &c. Thus that common phrase^ 
Trap 0, signifies for which reason, or the like ; so Dionysius Hali- 
carnassaeus says^^. Trap' o,' for which reason also the things mentioned 
' in the epilogue are called exclamations.' In his Boman Antiquities, 
he has the very phrase of St. Justin ; and the occasion will convince 
you that it must be understood as I have translated it. Siccius 
Dentatus, an experienced commander, accompanied Romilius the 
consul, with a band of eight hundred veterans, against the ^qui. 

d Dialog, cum Tryph. p.316 A. ^ovK6- Koi a<p6dpTovs Kal a.TL/j.oopvTovs avrovs rri- 

fievos yap Tovrovs iu 4\ev6fpa irpoaipfan, prjcraf eai/ Se irovripivffwvTaL, ws aurrjJ So/ce? 

Kol avrf^ovcTtovs yevofifvovs, tovs re ayy4- inaaTov KoXa^nv. [ibid.] 
Xovs Kol TOVS av9pu>irovs, 6 Qehs Tvpdmiv * Ars Rhetoric, cap. x. § 1 8. ITop' o koI 

'6ffa 'inaaTov evtSvi/d/xaiffe SwacrOai irately, eTrtcpciivrifj.aTa KaXovai ra iv ln-i\6yoiS \fy6- 

iirolrjCTiV el fj.ef to evapeara avrtp alpolvro, fxeva. 

History of Infant-haptism. 283 

In this expedition^ Romilius, in order to sacrifice this great man to 
his ambition and envy, sends him with his veterans to attack the 
enemy, under such disadvantag-es as they must necessarily have been 
all cut to pieces. Siccius undertakes the attempt, but leads his men, 
unkno^vn to the g-eneral, another way, and so falling- upon the 
enemy unexpectedly, while the two armies were engtiged, gave them 
a total overthrow. Siccius at his return to Rome relates the whole 
story to the tribune and people, with the consults desig*n upon 
them, ^ and that it was by his o^vn valour and conduct {r.apa rrjv 
' Ihiav apeT7]v, says Dionysius) and of those who were with him, 
' whom the consul had designed for destruction, that the enemy^s 
' camp was taken V &c. It is plain here, from the circumstances of 
the story, that irapa ti]1' Ihiav means bi/ their own, in opposition to 
another's ; and so too it should in St. Justin signify by their own fault, 
in opposition to another's. There is another instance to the same pur- 
pose in Thucydides, where the sense is much the same as in St. Justin, 
though the expression is something varied. Pericles is setting forth 
the inconveniences of the divided state, and consequently the weak- 
ness of the Peloponnesians : ' Some indeed,' says he, ' are for prose- 
' cuting their revenge with the utmost application, but others are 
' fearful lest they prejudice their own particular affairs : and when, 
' after a thousand delays, they are at last got together, they can 
' bestow but a very little time on the common good ; for they 
' have none to spare from their own particular concerns. And every 
' one fancies the j)ublic will suffer nothing by his neglect {-napa t7]v 
' kavTov aix€\siavS) .' This is exactly as St. Justin says, all men are 
' fallen under death irapa ti]i> ibCav ahiav, ' by their own particular 
' fault.' 

The next passage of St. Justin which our author uses is in the 
same dialogue, where he meets with some expressions, from whence 
he ventures to infer, though very unfairly, that St. Justin thought 
baptism was to Christians instead of circumcision, and therefore like 
that ought to be administered to infants. The holy martyr, arguing- 
against the ceremonies of the law, takes occasion to oppose to the 
carnal circumcision that which is spiritual : ' And this we, being 
' sinners, through God^s mercy have received,' says he, 'by baptism ; 
' and every one is permitted to receive it in the same way.' But if 

^ Dionys. Halicarnass. Antiq. Koni. 141. Kal yap ol fier ws fxaKiffra Tifiicp-fi- 

lib. X. p. 641. Kal lirt ■Kapar^v ISiav ap^TT^v aaadat riva ^ovKovrai, ol 5e, is ifjKKna ra. 

KoX rSiv (Txjv auT<fi irpfafivTfpoov oKTaKocrlwv oiKila (pB^Tpai. Xp6vioi re ^vvi6vTfs, iv 

avSpwv, ohs anoOafov/jevovs a.TTi(jTii\av ol ^pax^^ M-if fiopiw OKuiroval ti twi' kolvSiv, 

viraToi o T€ X'^p'^l ^ ''''^v hlKavSjv (\r}(p6r], rif 5e nAiiovi to. oik€?o irpaffaovcTi. Kal (Ka- 

&c. [cap. 47. J aros uu irapa T7;r eouToD a/xeKf lav olferat 

S De Bell. Peloponnesiac. lib. i. cap. /SAai/zeir, &c. 

84 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

Mr. WalFs conclusion from hence is fair, I do not know what is 
other ^ase. For, 

1 . What can be more evident than that he does not say baptism 
is the Christian circumcision, but only that Christians receive the 
spiritual circumcision, whatever it is, by baptism ? which is far from 
saying- baptism itself is it. By baptism we receive the remission of 
our sins ; but how absurd would it be therefore to say, remission of 
sins is nothing else but baptism ? What we receive is not the in- 
strument or medium by which we receive it. We receive all things 
by the mercy of God in Christ ; and yet those thing's are not that 
divine perfection we call the mercy of God, but only the effects and 
consequences of it. In like manner, we are not to abuse St, Justin 
and his words so much as to fancy he meant, that the spiritual cir- 
cumcision he says we receive by baptism, is baptism itself. Nay, 

2. He plainly shews he meant no such thing' : for the circumcision 
which he opposes to the Jewish in the flesh, he expressly says is that 
' which Enoch, and those like him, observed ;' and yet he says, we 
have received the same by baptism. No man sure can really think 
he means only baptism by all this ; for when, where, and by whom, 
was Enoch baptized ? 

And the martyr often talks directly contraiy to our author^s gloss ; 
of which I "^\nll produce some instances, to let you see how much 
Mr. Wall misrepresents him. Thus he distinguishes between bap- 
tism and the Christian circumcision, when he explains. Wash i/ou, 
mal-e you clean, put aioay the evil of your doings, Isaiah i. i6, and says, 
' God commands you to wash with this laver, and to be circumcised 
' wdth the true circumcision h.^ The true circumcision answers here 
directly to the putting" atvay the evil of their doings, and not to their 
washing. As washing and putting away the evil, &c., are two dif- 
ferent things ; so bajdism, which according to St. Justin answers to 
one, and circmncision, which answers to the other, must be different 
likewise : and what the true circimacision consists in, the foUomng 
words of Isaiah teach us, cease to do evil, ver. 17, learn to do well, 
seek Judgment, relieve the oppressed, &c. And if all this is included 
in the true circumcision, according to St. Justin, how can any one 
say he took baptism to be that circumcision ? and which he after- 
wards calls our circumcision'^ ? 

In another place he says, ' Let a man be a Sc}i:hian or a Persian, 
' if he receive the knowledge of God and his Christ, and observe the 

li Dialog, p. 235 D. S.o\}<ya.<jQi oZv, koI irfpiTeixv€(T6aiTT]v a.KriOiv^yireptTOfj.^t'. [sect, 
pvv KaOapol yfvecrde, Kal a.<p(\(ffde ras novrj- 18.] 
pias airh Twv ^vx'^v vfiSiv. ws Se KovaacrQai i Dialog, p. 236 C. [sect. 19.] 

V/JUV TOVTO Tt) KoVTphv KfXiVil f) Qihs, KOl 

History of Infant-hapthm. 285 

' eternal rules of justice, lie is circumcised with an excellent and 
' useful circumcision'^/ &c. And in the very next page before that 
which our author takes his citation from, we have this description of 
the true circumcision. ' The precept of circumcision, which com- 
^ mands to circumcise infants on the eighth day, was but a type of 

* that true circumcision with which we are circumcised from error 
' and wickedness, by him who rose from the dead the first day of the 
' week; Jesus Christ our Lord'/ And again, ^ He (viz. Joshua) is 
' said in the second circumcision to circumcise the people with 
' knives of stone, (Josh. v. 2, &c.) which signifies this circumcision 
' wherewith Jesus Christ has circumcised us, from the worshipping 
' of stones and idols. — We are circumcised from the deceitfulness of 
' this world with knives of stone, that is, by the word of our Lord 
' Jesus. — By knives of stone Ave are to understand the doctrine of 
' Christ; by which so many of the uncircumcised, who were once 
' deceived, are now circumcised with the circumcision of the 
' heart m/&e. And in the next page, ^ Happy are we who are cir- 
' cumcised with knives of stone in this second circumcision : — But 

* our circumcision, which is the second, and takes place after yours, 
' is performed with sharp stones ; that is, by the doctrines of the 
' chief corner-stone preached by the apostles, who was cut out 
' without hands, and has circumcised us from idolatry and all 
^ manner of evil. Whose hearts are so circumcised from all wicked- 
' ness",^ &c. 

And whatever may be pretended, the primitive church generally 
talk after the same manner ; Irena^us uses almost the same words, 
and tells us, ^ The circumcision in the flesh prefigured the circum- 
^ cision of the heart".' And Origen, without any mention of bap- 
tism, says, ' He who lays aside his false notions and evil imagina- 
' tions, circumcises the foreskin of his heart P.' There is a great deal 
more to this purpose in the same place, which I will not transcribe. 
Tertullian, in like manner, without giving the least intimation that 

•* Dialog, p. 246 A. [sect. 28.] pwQilaa, Sia XiOoii/ aKporSfxitiv, rovT^trri, Stct, 

1 Ibid. p. 260 C. 'H 5e ivroAri tTjs irepi- rwv x6yo>v rSiv 5ia a.TT0(Tr6\wv rov aKpoyoovi- 

T0/J.7JS, Kikivovaa rij oySorj rjfxfpa (k Travrbs aiov \l9ov, koI tov avtv xe'pii'' rij.i)6iPT0s,ir€- 

irepne/xvetv ra yevvw/j.iva, tvttos ijv rrjs oAtj- pinfxvei rifxw aTr6 re (l5wAo\aTpeias Kal nd- 

Btvrjs TTfpiTOfJLrjs ^v TTipi(Tfx'f)0rifj.iv airb TrjS aris arrAcos KUKias. 'Civ al KapSiai ovtcus, tkc. 

irXdvvs Kol vovrjplas Sid tov dnb viKpuv dva- [sect. 1 14.] 

(TTavTos xp fxiS. raiv cra^^drciiv vi-'-^Pf 'Irj^ov o Advers. Hteres. lib. iv. cap. 30. p. 

Xpiirrov TOV Kvpiov ii/xan'. [sect. 41.] 319 a. Secundum carnem circunicisio 

Da Ibid. p. 341 A. [sect. 113.] circumcisionem prtefigurabat spiritalem. 

" Ibid. p. 342 A. MoKopioi oSu r)iuLf7s V Honiil. v. in Hierein. p. 86 D. 'O 

ol TrepiTyUTjiJeVres impivais /uoxaip"'' t^v dTroTidfiJ.fvos tt^v ipfvSoSu^iav, irfpniTfiriTai 

SevTfpai' TrepiTo/j.'fji'. — 7]/j.oiiv 5e -q TrepiTo/x'^, Trjr dKpo^vffriau rrjs KapSlar avTov, &.C. 

rjTij 5iVTtpadpi6fia>,iJ.iTdT^vufj.fTepat'<pavi- [Sect. 15. edit. Benedict.] 

286 BeJJections on Mr. Wail's [letter xii. 

baptism is the Christian circumcision, which succeeds in the stead 
of that in the flesh, says, 'As therefore the carnal circumcision, 
' which was but for a time, was given for a sign to a stubborn and 
' rebellious people ; so the spiritual is given for the salvation of the 
' obedient, as the j)ropliet Jeremiah says, Circitmcise yourselves to the 
' Lord, and take away the foreskins of your hearts'^/ chap. iv. 4. And 
so Laetantius says, ' And the Lord said to Jesus or Joshua, ' Make 
' thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the 
' second time ; foreshewing there was to be another circumcision, not 
' of the flesh, as was the first, which the Jews still practise : but of 
' the heart and spirit, which is given by Christ the true Jesus r/ 
You see, sir, he exj^ressly says the second circumcision ' is not of the 
' flesh ;' but baptism is plunging the flesh into water, and is there- 
fore of the flesh, and cannot be the second circumcision. There is 
no colour of reason therefore for any to pretend that the ancients, 
and particularly St. Justin, ever imagined baptism succeeds to us 
instead of circumcision. 

But here our author, after his usual method, compares St. Justine's 
words with a place of Scripture, which is as wrongly applied as the 
rest. ' It (the passage of St. Justin) is to the same sense,'' says our 
author, ' as is that saying of St. Paul, where he calls baptism, with 
' the putting o^ the body of the sins of the flesh, which attends it, 
' the circumcision of Christ^,^ And here he cites Coloss. ii, 11, 12. 
But it is a great mistake to say, St. Paul, by circumcision here, 
means baptism. For, 

I. The Scriptures nowhere call baptism circumcision, nor aflPord 
us any ground to imagine so ; and to say that baptism is intended 
by it here, is saying a thing at pleasure, and ofiering as great 
violence to the words as can well be imagined. For something 
very different from the washing of the body in water is frequently 
in Scripture called circumcision, and opposed to the legal circum- 
cision of the Jews ; and the Scriptures speak of no circumcision, but 
either that under the law in the flesh, or the spiritual in the 
heart, &c. Even the proj)hets under the Jewish economy men- 
tion this circumcision, as well as the writers of the New Testa- 

q Ad vers. Judaeos, p. 186 A. Sicut dixit Dominus ad Jesum ; fac tibi cultel- 

ergo circumcisio carnalis, qua; temporalis los petrinos nimis acutos, &c. Secundam 

erat, tributa est iu signum populo contu- circumcisionem futuram esse dixit, non 

maci, ita spiritalis data est in salutem carnis ; sicut fuit prima, qua etiam nunc 

populo obaudienti, dicente propheta Hie- Jud«i utuntur ; sed cordis, ac spiritus, 

remia ; innovate vobis novitatem, &c. quani tradidit Christus, qui verus Jesus 

[cap 4-] fuit. [cap. 17.] 

r De vera Sapientia, lib. iv. p. 405. Et s Part i. p. 13. [40.] 

Hutory of Infant-baptism. 287 

Now it' baptism is never called circumcision in Scripture; but 
something- else^ viz. purity of hearty &e.^ is frequently so called; how 
natural and necessary does it appear to understand the circumcision, 
Coloss. ii. II, to mean, not baptism, but purity of heart, &c. ? For 
the analogy of Scripture has always been thoug-ht the chief rule of 
interpretation, and I think our adversaries can fortify their exposition 
by no arg"ument from reason, nor so much as one single text of 
Scripture. But, 

2. In the next place, the words themselves efTectually exclude that 
acceptation; for they so particularly characterize the circumcision 
there spoken of, that it cannot be questioned what is meant by it ; 
and I am amazed to see that men of so much sense and learning as 
many of the psedobaptists are, can (notwithstanding all the care St. 
Paul has taken to be understood) mistake his meaning. The circum- 
cision Christians are to regard, he says, is made without hands j now 
baptism is not made without hands, and therefore cannot be this cir- 
cumcision, unless he resolves all into the Quaker^s internal baptism 
only. This circimacision is opposed to the Jewish in this respect, 
particularly, that theirs was made with hands, and this without ; but 
if he meant baptism, it can no more be said to be made A\dthout 
hands than the Jews^ circumcision in the flesh ; and therefore the 
Christian circumcision here intended must have this difference from 
the Jewish, that it cannot be anything external or relating to the 
flesh, any further than it is, as St. Paul afterwards says, Jjij putting 
off the body of the sins of the flesh ; and serves to explain yet more 
particularly wherein this circumcision made without hands consists, 
viz. in such internal operations of God's holy Spirit on the mind of 
man, whereby the heart is purified from inward filth and evil inclina- 
tions. This is sometimes expressed by putting olf the old man, and 
putting on the new, Ephes. iv. 22, and Coloss. iii. 9, 10 ; and this, you 
know, is the circumcision St. Paul commonly opposes to the Jewish; 
as Gal. vi. 15, where arguing against the laws being then in force, 
he says. Neither ciretimcision availeth any thing nor uncircumcision, but 
a new creature. And again, Rom. ii. 29, Circtimcision is that of the 
heart, in the spirit. Since then St. Paul so plainly specifies the cir- 
cumcision here meant, and characterises it by such marks as agree 
only to the internal one of the heart ; and withal constantly opposes 
this circumcision of the heart to the Jewish, and never mentions 
a third : what can incline any man, contrary to the analogy of 
Scripture, the particular signs expressed in the words, and without 
any necessity, to impose this strange sense on this single place of 
St. Paul ? 

S88 Refections on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

The circumcision here called Christian must be either wholly 
internal or wholly external^ or partly both. It cannot be partly 
internal and partly external^ (which our author pretty plainly 
asserts,) because, if it consists of these two parts, one whereof may 
be performed without hands and the other not, it cannot be called 
circumcision without hands; for, in order to make it complete, 
another part is necessary which must be performed with hands, and 
what is true of any one part cannot be denied of the whole ; and 
therefore if the Christian circumcision does but partly consist of 
what must be performed with hands, it is not a cii'cumcision without 
hands, which is directly contrary to St. PauFs assertion. And our 
adversaries will grant, this circumcision cannot be wholly extepi'nal : 
it remains therefore that it must be a circumcision wholly internal, 
and consequently it cannot be baptism. 

Here Mr. Wall tells us, the ancients were wont to call baptism 
the circumcision done without hands. By this information doubt- 
less he hopes to persuade some that St. Paul calls it so too, because 
the inward part was performed without hands. Does Mr. Wall 
mean, that for this reason the outward part was called circumcision 
without hands ? If he does not mean so, he trifles, for it is of the 
outward ceremony we are disputing ; and if he does mean so, we 
have a greater deference for St. Paul than to think he talks at such 
a rate, and a more honourable opinion of the ancients than to 
suppose they could be so grossly absurd as to say, the external 
ceremony of baptism was performed without hands. The passages 
of the ancients our author refers to I have consulted particularly, 
and I am sure they say no such thing. 

Besides, if they, and even St. Paul too, did commonly speak of 
baptism as Mr. Wall pretends, how does this affect infant-baptism ? 
Which way can he contrive an inference to prove from thence that 
infants are to be baptized ? It must be thus : if baptism succeeds to 
us instead of circumcision, then it follows, as infants were ordered 
under the law to receive the Jewish circumcision, so now, though it 
be not ordered, they must be circumcised under the gospel, with 
the Christian circumcision ; that is, they must be baptized. I have 
proposed the argument very fairly ; and yet you may observe, sir, 
how plainly it points us to the solution which is contained in it. 
For there is this difference however, that infants were ordered to be 
circumcised under Moses ; but were not ordered to be circumcised, 
that is, baptized, under Christ : therefore I answer, under Moses 
they ought to be circumcised, because it was expressly ordered ; but 
under Christ, they are not to be baptized, because it is not ordered. 

Hutory of Infmit-baptism. 289 

So great a difference in the two institutions should be thought 
enough to justify so necessary a difference in the practice. For the 
parallel between circumcision and baptism failing in this particular, 
the argument drawn from it, which cannot extend beyond the 
parallel it is founded on, must also fail. 

But farther : the principle upon which the psedobaptists go in 
arguing from this topic must be this; that what was done and 
observed in respect to circumcision under the law, must be done and 
observed now in respect to baptism under the Gospel. If any plain 
intimation could be found, that infants particularly are to be 
initiated now by bapti,sm, as formerly they were by circumcision, 
the dis2>ute would be at an end, and we need go no farther back : 
but since there is no such particular instruction, the whole must at 
last depend upon the general principle mentioned. 

Now if this be false, as no man that reads it can deny but it is, 
then all that is built upon it must of course fall to the ground. 

Some of the consequences of this principle are these : 

I . Circumcision was to be performed on the eighth day precisely ; 
it was not to be deferred longer upon any pretence, nor to be 
administered before, though in the utmost danger of death : accord- 
ingly, the Jews suffered their children to die uncircumcised rather 
than do it before the time. Baptism therefore, by this rule, must 
be always administered on the eighth day precisely, and neither 
before nor after on any account whatever. And yet this is contrary 
to the opinion and practice of the psedobaptists. 

3. But what more immediately affects our present dispute is to 
observe, that the females were not to be circumcised, and therefore 
now they are not to be baptized ; for those only who were to be 
circumcised then are the subjects of baptism now : and this is not 
only the principle our antagonists go upon, but their very argument 
too. And therefore, if it proves infants are proper subjects from the 
analogy, it equally proves the male infants only are proper subjects. 
If one was to follow the argument in every particular, what con- 
fused work would it make ! 

In a word, then, it undoubtedly follows, that whatever principle 
leads to such wild, extravagant conclusions, is absurd, and ought to 
be disowned. 

But now, if Mr. Wall and the paedobaptists will grant, that we 
are not to judge from the subjects of circumcision precisely to those 
of baptism, they give up their own argument ; or if they will stand 
by this argument, they must deny baptism to females. Biit I know 


290 Beflections on Mr. Wall's [letteii xii. 

they will depart from the rule in these cases, and we claim the 
same allowance to depart from it in the other too. 

But they will tell us, the apostles varied in these and such like 
particulars, which is warrant enough for them to do so too : they 
baptized not males only, but females also, men and women. All 
this is very true ; and the apostles varied also in another particular, 
viz. that whereas infants were used to be circumcised, they admitted 
none but the adult to baptism. And hence we infer, that they did 
not make circumcision their pattern in any thing relating to bap- 
tism : why then should our adversaries plead for any agreement 
between these two symbols, only in this circumstance? For they 
allow the apostles observed no agreement between them in any 
other particular. And does it not at last from all plainly appear, 
that it is with the greatest reason we assert the Scripture and 
ancient Christians do not pretend to run a parallel between circum- 
cision and baptism ; and that, if they had in some respects, it could 
not be concluded from thence that infants are to be baptized ? All 
the objections and pretences about circumcision therefore must be 
manifestly invalid ; and I am persuaded, if the clergy themselves 
were to consider the matter more deliberately, they would be 
ashamed of all they have urged from this head. 

Let us proceed now to our author^s next citation from St. Justin, 
tvhich is that part of the first Apology, wherein the martyr gives 
the Eoman emperor an account of the Christian initiation by bap- 
tism. It is too long to be transcribed : you may read it in St. 
Justin himself, or in Mr. Wall's history ; for it is a noble piece of 
antiquity, and indeed so is the whole Apology. If this made for 
paedobaptism, it would be very considerable, and do a great deal 
more than has been yet done in the argument of antiquity : but 
Mr. Wall himself confesses it does not prove infants are to be 
baptized, and therefore supposes his readers will wonder what he 
means by producing it here ; in answer to which he tells us, he does 
not produce it for that purpose. St. Justin introduces the account 
he gives of baptism thus : ' lest," says he, ' if I should leave out this, 
' I might seem to deal unfairly in some part of my Apology." If he 
was so cautious then, not to seem unfair, in hiding any thing from 
the powers before whom he pleaded ; it is strange he shoidd entirely 
omit, without the least intimation, so important an article as the 
custom of baptizing infants, if it had been practised at that time. 

The heathens were apt enough to charge the Christians with 
using infants very barbarously : it concerned St. Justin therefore 

History of Infant-baptism. 291 

not to give any umbrage^ by seeming" to avoid the mentioning of 
them. So careful an apologist would certainly have taken occasion 
to mention them^ and describe the Christians'' treatment of them 
very exactly^ in order to remove all suspicions from the emperor's 
mind. When they were reported to murder infants^ or make some 
impious use of their blood, what could possibly fortify the suspicion 
more, than that so great a man as St. Justin slioidd, in a public and 
formal apology, decline saying any thing at all of what they did to 
them ? It was altogether necessary therefore for St. Justin, at least, 
to have taken some notice of infants, if they had used any ceremony 
about them ; and therefore it is wrong in Mr. Wall to say, ' He had 
' no occasion to speak of the case of infants ^' 

But supposing he had not, must he therefore describe baptism in 
such a manner as cannot be at all applicable to the case of infants, 
as he has done? This would have been directly deceiving the 
emperor, who certainly understood St. Justin's account to be full 
and true of baptism in general, and never imagined the Christians 
baptized otherwise. But Mr. Wall supposes the Christian church at 
that time had two baptisms, as the Church of England has at 
present, namely, one of adult persons, here described by St. Justin, 
and another of infants different from that. And therefore he inti- 
mates, that what St. Justin says here might agree to adult persons, 
but cannot be applied to the case of infants. 

A man that will take this liberty may say any thing with as 
much reason. It is true, indeed, what St. Justin says can only be 
applied to adult-baptism : but that the martyr should prevaricate 
with the emperor, and not speak of baptism in general as ad- 
ministered to all, but only in some cases, is unworthy his sincerity, 
and altogether an unreasonable conjecture : for St. Justin, I am 
sure, affords him no ground for this distinction ; who, with primitive 
candour and simplicity, gives an impartial full account of the ad- 
ministration of baptism in general, and so as to reach all cases. 
Upon these considerations, I think, it must be plain to any im- 
partial judge, that if this passage of St. Justin does not make for 
infant-baptism, but relates only to the adult, by Mr. Wall's own 
confession, then it must make strongly against it : for had there 
been such a thing as infant-baptism at that time, how easy had it 
been for St. Justin, and how necessary, to have said, not only ' they 
' who are persuaded and do l)elieve,' &c., but also to have added, 
' together with their infant children, are baptized?' 

But there is another thing, even in the words, which directly 

* Part i. p. 16. [43.] 

U 2 

292 Befledions on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

opposes infant-baptism ; the words I particularly refer to our author 
translates thus : ' And we have been taught by the apostles this 
' reason for this thing ; because we, being ignorant of our first birth, 
' were generated by necessity, &c., that we should not continue 
' children of that necessity and ignorance, but of will (or choice) 
' and knowledge ; and should obtain forgiveness of the sins in 
' which we have lived, by water,^ &c. Nothing can be plainer than 
that the new birth, together with the remission of sins to be ob- 
tained by water, is here said to depend not upon any necessity, or 
the wiM of another, as our being born into this world did ; but, on 
the contrary, on our own wills, or free choice and knowledge ; for 
the opposition lies here; we were at first generated without our 
knowledge or choice ; but we must be regenerated, and obtain the 
remission of our sins by water, with our own knowledge and choice. 
And this shews that infants, who are not capable of that knowledge 
and choice, are consequently not capable of this baptism : if they 
are to be baptized, it must be without their choice, as much as 
their first generation was : which destroys St. Justin's opposition, 
and therefore must be thought inconsistent with his notion of the 

Or however, supposing this were not so plain, we are at least 
upon equal terms with Mr. Wall as to this passage, since he con- 
fesses it does not make for infant-baptism. One would be apt to 
think therefore it was impertinently cited ; but our author tells us, 
he produces it upon these three accounts : 

I . ' Because this is the most ancient and best account of the way 
' of baptizing, next the Scripture,' &c., and he notes that many 
Christians of those times had lived 'in the apostles' days;' intimating, 
their way was the more likely to be the same with that of the 
apostles : and if so, our author must allow, that those who come 
nearest in practice to this account of St. Justin are to be accounted 
most in the right, and to administer the ordinance in the greatest 
purity. Now it is plain to any who read St. Justin's words, especially 
when they are compared with what he says in other places, that 
baptism was at that time administered by dipping ; the consequence 
of which is, that not those who sprinkle or pour, but those who dip, 
retain the true apostolic way. 

In the next place, St. Justin here mentions only adult persons, 
and elsewhere plainly excludes infants from being then baptized in 
the church ; and says, that adult persons only can or ought to be 
baptized : and therefore again, not those who admit infants, but 
those who admit adult persons only, who actually believe, &c., agree 

History of Infant-baptism. 293 

exactly with St. Justin and the Christian church of* his time, and 
consequently with the apostles too. Thus, from this first note of 
Mr. Wall, it follows that the antipsedobaptists here in Eng-land, who 
dip the adult only, are in the rig-ht; and that the psedobaptists, 
whom he goes about to defend, are as wide of the truth in these 
points, as being* directly contrary to it can make them. 

2. The second (and perhaps the chief) reason for Mr. WalFs 
citing this passage is, ' because^ he fancies ^ it shews that the Christ- 
' ians of these times used the word regeneration for baptism.^ This 
remark is providently laid down against a proper time : for you will 
find our author has occasion afterwards to prove this assertion. But 
this passage of St. Justin is far from doing him that service he 
intends ; for though he talks of their being regenerated, and joins 
it pretty closely with their being baptized, yet he does not say 
baptism is regeneration : but only intimates that they received, or 
completed, or confirmed, &c., that regeneration by baptism : and as 
he is speakiug only of adult persons, he must doubtless mean some 
further regeneration than bare washing*. The passage, I confess, is 
a little obscurely expressed ; but however, in this sense only it is 
agreeable with St. Justin^s doctrine, as an example or two may 
satisfy you. 

In his Dialogue with Trypho he says, ' Christ is become the 
' head of another people, who are regenerated by him by water, 
' faith, and the tree ",^ &c. As Mr. Wall argues, regenerated here 
must signify bajjtized ; and then the passage runs thus, which were 
' baptized of him by water, faith, and the tree,^ that is, the cross. 
But when did our Saviour baptize by water, &c. ? And what sense 
is there in that expression, baptize by faith ? %lq.', regenerated plainly 
means something else, which, he says, was done by Christ; and 
therefore he cannot intend baptism, which is not administered by 
Christ personally: or if baptism is said to be administered by Christ, 
as it is done by his command, and by his disciples, as John iv. i, 2, 
yet we are said here to be regenerated by or through water, as a 
symbol, not as the thing itself; for it is not said in water. 

Besides, the regeneration is placed in faith, and in the cross, as 
w^ell as in water; and yet faith, strictly speaking, is not regeneration, 
but only a means of it ; and so likewise is baptism, &c. And the 
cross, or Christ's suff'erings, or what else may be thought is here 
intended by it, cannot be our regeneration, but only a means of it. 

We have another plain instance to this purpose in this very 

•> Page 367 D. 'Apx^ "■'^'^"'^'^'^01' Tfouj v^aTos, /cot Tr/o-reajj, (cal |i^Aoy, &c. [Sect. 
•Vfjoviv rov]6iVTus vn aiiTov St 138.] 

294 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

Apology^ and but a little after the words Mr. Wall transcribes ; 
where, speaking of the sacred supper, the martyr says, ' Of which it 
' is not lawful for any to partake, but such as believe the things we 
' teach, and are baptized for the remission of their sins, and regene- 
' ration^,'' &c. This manifestly shews that St. Justin thought bap- 
tism was for regeneration, just as it is for the remission of sins ; but 
as baptism is not the remission of sins, so neither is it regeneration. 
That the martv^r says, v~\p afpiaews, but ets avayivvrfcnv, is no ob- 
jection; for vTT^p acpeaecos is doubtless the same in sense with 
St. Peter's eh acpeaiv, Acts ii. 38, and therefore it is all one as if St. 
Justin, who was indeed not xery exact in his language, had said ei? 
acpecTLf. It appears then from hence, St. Justin only thought that 
we, somehow or other, obtained or sealed, &c., our regeneration by 
baptism, as a mean or sign, &c., just as we also obtain remission of 
sins thereby, but not that baptism is remission of sins or regenera- 
tion : and therefore he is to be thus only understood, and not as 
om- author would fain understand him. 

3. The thii'd thing for which Mr. Wall cites this passage of St. 
Justin is, ' because,' says he, ' we see by it that they understood 
' that rule of oui' Sa\aour, Except a man &c., of water-baptism, and 
' concluded from it that without such baptism no person could come 
' to heaven.' But how strangely does Mr. Wall treat his readers ? 
One while he would have us believe St. Justin speaks here only of 
adult persons converted fi-om heathenism ; but now you are, all on a 
sudden, to suppose he means infants as well as adult : for Mr. T\ all's 
design in this note is, to have us believe that St. Justin asserts, no 
person, whether adult or infant, can be saved without baptism. But 
upon Mr. Wall's own concession (and it is also too manifest to be 
lenied), the martsa- intends no such thing, but only that all adult 
persons who hear the word preached and believe, for of such only he 
speaks, ought to be baptized in order to their being made partakers 
of the kingdom. 

The next citation Mr. Wall produces out of this Father is taken 
from the same Apology with the former, and he translates it thus : 
' Several persons among us of sixty and seventy years old, of both 
f sexes, who were discipled to Christ in their childhood, do continue 
' uncoiTupted.' His argument from these words is this, that many 
were discipled to Christ in their childhood, and therefore childi-en 
maybe discipled; and the word used by St. Matthew, ch. xxviii. 19, 
which is the same as is used here, does not mean to teach., but to 

^ Page 97 D. 'Hs oi/Sej/i iXKqo ncracrx^^'' vsrep a(pf(rfu,s a/xapriSn/, kuI tis avay^vvifffiv 
e|of iariy, if; tcS iriaT^vovTi aATjSi} eivai to. \ovTpov, &c. [ApoJog. i. sect. 66. edit. 
SfSiSayfj.ii'a v(p' ri/j.a>v, Kal Xov(jaf.i4vtf rb Benedict.] 

History of Inf ant-baptism. 295 

disciple in such manner as children are capable of. Nay, if it ]}e 
true that St. Justin wrote this but one hundred years after St. 
Matthew, and that some infants had been baptized seventy years 
before he wrote, it follows that infants were baptized within the 
apostolic age, and even while most of the apostles were yet living*. 
Wliich is a formidable argument indeed : but I beg you, sir, to 
observe the whole force of it depends upon our author^s misrepre- 
sentation of the words, which is beyond excuse. 

As to ixaOrjTevui, I have largely proved from its use in Greek 
authors, from the sense in which the Fathers understood the com- 
mission, from most if not all the versions, and from the consent of 
several of the most learned critics, that it necessarily includes teach- 
ing in its signification. The whole stress of what our author 
advances to the contrary from these words of St. Jvistin lies in the 
sense of the phrase Ik iraidoov ; which Mr. Wall, that the passage 
might serve his turn, has unfairly rendered ' in their childhood.'' To 
convance therefore the most prejudiced, I shall shew the disingenuity 
of our author''s version more largely than so obvious a matter 
requires ; for every body knows well enough that e/c -naibcov signifies 
not in but from their childhood ; just as it is said of St. Timothy, 
that from a child, or from his infancy, as it strictly signifies^ he had 
known the holy Scripturesy : not that it can be thought he understood 
them in his infancy, but only from his infancy he had been training 
up in the knowledge of them. 

So Cicero speaks of being ^brought up in good learning (jy^r 
' omnem pneritiam) from one^s tenderest infancy z."" And in another 
place, speaking of Diodotus the Stoic, he says, ' under whom I 
' studied [a pnero) from a ehild".^ Instances of this kind are com- 
mon; but I must confine myself to the Greek writers. Laertius 
says of Xenocrates the Dull, of Chalcedon, ' that he studied under 
' Plato (fK viov) from his infaneyb/ Socrates says of the daemon 
which attended him, ' By some divine direction a certain daemon has 
' continued to attend me, beginning from my infancy (e/c -naihos)^ ;' 
and so Ficinus translates it, a prima p)ueritia. And thus also 
Plutarch says of Cato Minor, that he was observed {Ik -naiUox)) even 
' from his childhood, in his voice, and countenance, and in his play, 
' to be of an inflexible, morose, and obstinate disposition''.' 

To add some Fathers of the Christian church too : Origen saySj 
' They who are called to do the works of the kingdom of God (e\ 

y^Tim. iii. 15. b Lib. iv. in Vita ejus. [Op. toni. i. 

z Ad Herenn. lib. iii. p. 46 b. p. 230. ed. Meibomii.] 

» Academ. Quaast. lib. iv. cap. 34. p. c Platon. Theag. p. 93. 

302 b. d In ejus Vit. p. 1393. 

296 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

' TtaihMV, Kol TrpwTTjs 7/AtKtas) from their childhood and earliest days, 
' are those whom the householder hii-ed early in the morning- e/ 
Matt. XX. I, &e. And a little after, in the same pag-e, 'They who 
' have been faithful (ex -nathMv) from their childhood, who have 
' laboured, and with pains have kept a check upon the extravagan- 
' cies of youth, think much that they should receive no g-reater 
' reward than others, who were idle as to relig-ion till they grew old, 
' and have received and done the works of faith but a little time.' 

And Theophilus Antiochenus says, that Epicurus and the Stoics 
taught incest and defilements with mankind, and had filled the 
libraries with those impure doctrines, 'that persons might (Ik -naChMv 
' ixavdaveiv) from their childhood learn and be educated to such 
' unlawful conversation f.' In the Pa?dagogue, St. Clemens Alexan- 
drinus defines paedagogy to be ' a good institution in -vartue from the 
' childhoodg'' (ck Tiaihoav). 

And to add yet some instances from Scripture, Samuel tells the 
Israelites he had loalhed before them (Ik vt6Tr]Toi) from his childhood, 
unto that day^. And Job, xxxi. i8, / have guided her from mij 
mother's womb. The royal prophet. Psalm Ixxi. 5, Thou art my trust 
{Ik viOTrjTos iJiov) from my youth. And again, ver. 17, God, thou 
hast taught me {Ik veoT-qros [jlov) from my youth. And the young man 
whom Christ had directed to keep the commandments makes him 
this answer. Master, all these have I observed (e/c veorTyro? \xov) from 
my youth, Mark x. 20. 

After all this I need make no fm-ther comment, for no mortal can 
doubt but the passage in St. Justin ought to have been rendered 
thus : ' Several persons among us of sixty or seventy years of age, of 
' both sexes, who had been trained up in the Christian religion, or 
' instructed in Christ, from their childhood, do continue' &c. And 
this is exactly as Mr. Wall himself too has rendered the same phrase, 
when he A\'as on another matter, and did not think it weakened his 
argument ; it is in a passage taken out of St. Basil's Exhortation to 
Baptism, which our author cites and translates, part i. p. 100. [131.] 
thus : ' When you have been (eK vrj-niov) from a child catechised in 
' the word, are you not yet acquainted with the truth?' As in this 
place St. Basil, by our author's own confession, speaks to such as 
had been ' catechised from their childhood;' so St. Justin, in the 
other, speaks of such as had been ' instructed from their childhood.' 
And therefore our author has dealt here a little unfairly Avith St. 

e In Matt. p. 406 C. [Comm. torn. xv. S Lib. i. cap. 5. p. 87 B. 

sect. 36. edit. Benedict.] '' i Sam. xii. 2. 

f Ad Antolyc. lib. iii. p. 120D. 

Hutor^ of Infant-bajjtism. 297 

Justin ; and it is plain that these words, with the other passages he 
cites from that Father, are really nothing- to his purpose. 

I should now, sir, shew you that St. Justin is so far from saying 
any thing in fayour of infant-baptism, that he frequently enough 
uses expressions and reasonings which declare he belieyed nothing 
of the matter. But, as I am to answer Mr. Wall, my business is 
only to confute his arguments, which I hope you think I haye fairly 
done hitherto. 

Next follows St. Irenaeus, in oiu* author's quotations, and here we 
are to attack the strongest hold of our adyersaries. But, by the 
way, let us obserye that Mr. Wall confesses, ' this is the first express 
' mention that we have met with of infants baptized.^ Xow this 
being wrote by his own confession about one hundred and eighty 
years after Christ, all that has been cited before that time cannot 
signify much ; and the baptism of infants does not appear to haye 
been practised, at best, tiU about the latter end of the second 
centux}". Xor haye the psedobaptists yet proved it was practised 
then, for this passage from Irenaeus no more proves it than you see 
the other eai'lier citations have done. 

It is time, many people have thought this passage plain and full 
to the pui'pose, for what, say they, can be more express than these 
words, ' He came to save all persons by himself ; all I mean, who by 
' him are regenerated unto God, infants and little ones, and children, 
' and youths, and elder persons ?' For as infants are expressly 
mentioned here, and said to be saved bv Christ by beinjj reo-enerated 
unto God by him ; this they say must be thought an unexception- 
able instance, that infant-baptism was spoken of as a thing 
commonly practised in St. Irenaeus' time. 

But to give this passage the weight they pretend it has, they 
ought to have proved that St. Irenaeus does certainly say thus, which 
is very doubtful upon two accounts, i . It is questioned whether 
the passage be genuine, or rather it seems to be undeniably spm-ious. 
Cardinal Baronius^ observed this above one hundred years ago; 
and, I think, the reasons he gives have never been answered yet. 

I . He notes, that the latter part of the chapter, from whence the 
words ai"e taken, contradicts the beginning ; for to say Christ was 
bai")tized at about 30, and to enumerate three passovers after that, 
in the last of which he sufiered, is as plain an argument that Christ 
suffered about ^'^ as can be desired ; and yet, in the latter part of 
the same chapter, it is pretended Christ lived till above 50. If St. 
Irenaeus was guilty of so palpable a contradiction, he must have 

^ Annal. Ecclesiast. An. 34. 

298 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

been strangely inconsiderate, and not to be trusted in any case ; and 
then his testimony, though ever so fvill, is justly contemned. But 
since both sides agree the holy Father could not fall into so gross a 
blunder, I infer, with the cardinal, the latter part of this chapter is 
not his. 

Casauboni quarrels with Baronius upon this occasion, but says 
nothing to defend the passage. And what Petavius^ has offered 
against him, which is the most I have seen, amounts to nothing, if 
duly considered. He owns all the Cardinal urges; for indeed 
St. Irenseus is express as to the time of our Lord^s baptism, and the 
three passovers mentioned which were after his baptism : but 
because St. Irenaeus does not particularly say, the first of these three 
did commence with the next after his baptism, therefore Petavius 
imagines St. Irenaeus thought there were several passovers between 
his baptism and the first of these three which are mentioned. But 
since he does not attempt to prove this, it is too wdld and fanciful a 
conjecture to pass, and founded purely on Petavius' imagination. 
And the only reason Petavius has to imagine this, he himself tells 
us is, because ^otherwise St. Irenaeus contradicts himself ^ :' which 
is very pleasant indeed. For this is the Cardinal's assertion, and 
Petavius should not have supposed the contrary, and then argued 
from his supposition, for that is only begging the question. In 
short, Petavius allows the whole force of the Cardinal's argument, 
that the beginning and end of this chapter are contradictory, unless 
it can be proved to be probable, that these three passovers are not 
the three immediately following upon our Lord's baptism, which I 
do not see how any man will ever be able to do. 
^ 2. Another reason the annalist gives to render this place of 
Irenaeus suspected is, that the author of the last part of the chapter 
would confirm so manifest a falsehood by the authority of the 
ancients, who he pretends received it immediately from St. John 
himself and other apostles ; for Baronius thinks the fancy is too 
notoriously false and ridiculous (as likewise all men will allow it is) 
to be contained in the Scriptures, or afiirmed by any of the ancients 
Irenaeus could refer to, and more especially by St. John and other 
apostles, who could not be mistaken in a matter which even we at 
this time know so well. 

Mr. Dodwellm, not with any apparent design upon this argument 
of the Cardinal's, but in answer to some others, who make a differ- 

i Exercitat. i6. ad An. 34. num. 142. Paris. 1622. torn. ii. part 2. p. 146, in the 

k Aniniadv. in Epiplian. Hteres. 51. chapter headed ' De anno et die dominicte 

1 Alioqui constare ipse sibi non potest. ' passionis — diatriba altera.' 

[See Petavius' edition of Epiphaniua, fol. m Dissertat. in Irenieum, i. § 45. p. 81, 82. 

History of hif ant-baptism. 299 

ent use of the passage^ would have us believe that St. John^ &c., 
from whom Pseudo-Irenseus j^retends to have derived his opinion^ 
only judg-ed by his countenance,, that our Lord was arrived to the 
beg-inning-^ at least, of old age ; which, St. Irenseus, according to the 
division of ages in his time, understood to be toward fifty years. 
But if the Fathers are capable of such gross errors in fact, all Mr. 
Dodwell says so learnedly in that dissertation will signify nothing ; 
because, notwithstanding his distinction, if by reasoning, or any 
other way, they mistake and assert what is in fact false, their testi- 
mony cannot be relied on even as to facts ; the point Mr. Dodwell 
so strenuously labours to carry. And how unlikely is it that 
St. John and the apostles should content themselves with barely 
guessing at our Saviour^s age by his looks ; when nothing was more 
easy than to know it more exactly, and upon better grounds ? Nay, 
they could not but know it ; for doubtless they had often heard, and 
as often related, the wonderful manner of his birth, with the strange 
events that attended it. The time of Augustus^ taxing the whole 
world, and Herod''s barbarous massacre of the children, &c., were 
fresh in their memory : and what is more common or natural, than 
for people to inquire how long ago such or such a thing they are 
told of was done ? And that they should not have this curiosity in 
so important a concern as the birth, &c. of Christ, is altogether 

It is not to be supposed therefore, that St. Irenaeus received, or 
says he received, so false an account of our Lord^s age from the apo- 
stles : and consequently that part of the chapter, as it now stands, 
is none of his. 

3. To the reasons of Baronius it may be added, that St. Irenaeus 
could not but know better than to think Christ arrived so much as 
near the fortieth year, much less the fiftieth. The apostles certainly 
knew the time of our Lord^s meritorious passion, for they were dis- 
consolate eyewitnesses of it. And the time of his birth they could 
no more be ignorant of, than any true Englishman can forget the 
happy period when his late glorious Majesty"^ bravely rescued three 
nations from popery and arbitrary power, and secured the throne to 
our present most gracious Queen, whose succession is the greatest 
blessing that has followed upon that generous attempt ; in that it 
makes all firm and lasting during her sacred Majesty's life at least : 
which may God of his infinite goodness lengthen out by a numeroiis 
addition of happy years, and at last reward her steady piety and 
j ustice with an inconceivably happier eternity ! 

11 [William Til. at the revolution in 1688.] 


300 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

If then the apostles knew the time of our Lord^s birth, and the 
time of his death, of consequence they knew how old he was at that 
time. And they with whom they immediately conversed had 
undoubtedly often heard them relate the whole, and could not but 
know then the precise times when he was born, and when he died. 
Thus we find two of the disciples, as they were going- to Emmaus, 
Luke xxiv. 14, talking together of all these things which had happe^ied; 
and afterwards, ver. 21, noting to the supposed stranger the parti- 
cular time they were done. 

Now St. Irenseus himself tells us he had seen and learned many 
things fi'om some who had conversed with the apostles. There is a 
very remarkable fragment of his epistle to Florinus to this purpose, 
preserved by Eusebius, which runs thus : ' I saw you when I was a 
' young man in the Lower Asia with Polycarp, making a notable 

figure in the emperor^s court, and endeavouring to gain his esteem; 

for I remember what was done then, better than what has been 
' done in later times, (for what we learn in our youth grows up with 
' our mind, and sinks deeply into it.) So that I could describe the 
' place where the blessed Polycarp sat and discoursed, his going out 
' and coming in, his manner of life, and his person ; his discourses 

* to the people, and the familiar converse he said he had with 
' St. John and others who had seen the Lord; and how he rehearsed 
' their discourses, and what he had heard them who had been eye- 

* witnesses of the word of life relate of our Lord, and of his miracles 

* and doctrines, in all exactly agreeing with the Scriptures. And 
' these things, which then by the g-oodness of God were oifered to 
' me, I heard diligently, and committed them to memory, not in 

* paper, but in my heart. And by the grace of God, I do continu- 
' ally run them over in my mind distinctly^.'' 

In an age so nigh the apostles, persons who had the advantage 
which St. Irenseus, by his own words, appears to have had, cannot 
possibly be supposed to have been ignorant of our Lord^s age ; for 
it is observable in the passage just now translated, that St. Irenaus 
had taken such particular notice of Polycarp, that he remembered 
even the very place he sat in, and all the most minute circumstances; 
and very diligently heard the accounts he g-ave of his conversation 
with the apostles, and of the many things he had heard them 
relate of the Lord and his doctrines. And as the Father attended 
to all these things with the utmost eagerness, so he had treasured 
them up in his memory with the greatest care and fidelity. And is 
it to be imagined that persons, so zealous and so nice in their 

o Euseb. Histor. Eccles. lib. v. cap. 20. 

History of Lifant-haptism. 301 

observations, should not keep a tolerable account of the ag-e, that is, 
the birth and passion of their adored Redeemer ? 

Besides, as it mig-ht easily be, so it was eomnaonly known from 
the censual rolls of Augustus, both at what time and in what place 
our Lord was bom. Justin Martyr, in his Apology to the emperor, 
appeals to these rolls ; and Tertidlian, speaking of them as things 
sufficiently known, calls them ' faithful witnesses of the birth of 
' Christ P/ And, in the beginning- of Christianity, before and after 
St. Irenffius, in the disputes with their adversaries, the Christians 
were wont to prove from the prophets when Christ was to appear ; 
which occasioned them to observe and mark the time of the Lord^s 
birth, and likewise the time of his passion, as we see Tertullian, 
Clemens Alexandrinus, &c. have done : and in defending the truth 
of facts it is very usual, and indeed can hardly be avoided, to men- 
tion, among other circumstances, the time and place, &c., with some 
care, though not with the utmost exactness. So the Scripture notes 
our Lord was about thirty when he was baptized, and the like : now 
St. Irenseus must be sujiposed to have seen and read several of those 
discourses, and could not but be informed from them in some 
tolerable measure of the Lord^s age ; nay, he would certainly have 
considered them in particular, the better to confute the heretics he 
wrote against, upon such an occasion ; and not negligently have 
exposed himself to the scorn of his adversaries, who would doubtless 
have used all diligence to shew how grossly he argued, and how 
much he was mistaken, if he had set down things at random, and 
made a false computation. 

4. St. Irengeus^ own words prove he was not guilty of so great 
an error as this spurious passage would fasten upon him. For in 
another place, where he is not so much concerned to be exact, he 
justly places the Lord^s birth q about the forty-first year of Augus- 
tus : now if Christ lived but forty years from thence, he could not 
be crucified in the reign of Tiberius, nor under Pontius Pilate ; for 
Tiberius died thirty-seven years after the birth of Christ, and Pilate 
was removed from his government of Judaea at least a year before ; 
for he was made governor in the twelfth of Tiljerius ^, and continued 
but ten years s ; so that he was displaced one year before Tiberius 
died, and consequently in the thirty-sixth year from the birth of 
Christ ; and certainly St. Irenseus, who was ae([uainted with times 

P In Marcionem, lil). iv. cap. 7. [p. 417 gesimum annum Augusti imperii, &c. 

C] Testem fidelissimum dominicje nativi- >■ Euseb. Chronic, p. •202. [or p. i88. 

tatis, &c. edit. Scaliger. fol. IjUgd. Bat. 1606.] 

■i Lib. iii. cap. 25. Natus est enim * Joseph. Antiquitat. Judaic, lib. xviii. 

Dominu.s noster circa prinium ot quadra- cap. 5. 

302 Reflections on 3Ir. Wall's [letter xii. 

more remote, could not but know this from Josephus, whom he had 

It is not to be imagined, the time of acting that bloody tragedy 
on the Lord of life could be so soon and so much forgotten by his 
most zealous adorers, and those who professed to worship him as 
God*. Or, however, they must needs remember the precise time of 
so famous an event as the Destruction of Jerusalem ; when every 
body knows it happened under Vespasian; and in Irenseus" days 
they could not but know it was in that emperor^s second year ; nay 
further, that it was on the first of September, and on the seventh 
day of the week too, as well as we do now ; for St. Irengeus wrote 
but about one hundred years after it, and was an old man too when 
he wrote. Now from these things nothing was easier than to com- 
pute the time of the passion. 

From the passion to the destruction of Jerusalem, it was generally 
allowed by the primitive Fathers, were about forty or forty-two 
years, as is plain from Eusebius'^, Clemens Alexandrinus", Origen>, 
&c. And Phlegon, who wrote a little before St. Irenseus was born, 
as he is cited by Origen^, says expressly, Hhat about forty years 
' from the fifteenth of Tiberius, (in which St. Luke says our Lord 
' was baptized, being thirty years of age,) the city and temple of 
' Jerusalem were destroyed.^ St. Irenseus then cannot be supposed 
ignorant of this, no more than Mr. Wall can be thoiight not to know 
the time when the reformation began in England ; or that it was 
under Henry VIII ; or how long it is since that king^s reign. 

But if St. Irenseus knew our Lord^s passion was about forty 
years before the destruction of Jerusalem, he could not make Christ 
to have lived above thirty-one years, or thereabout. For it is plain 
from the best histories, and from the observations of eclipses, that 
Augustus died fourteen years after the birth of Christ ; after which 
Tiberius reigned twenty-three years, and consequently died anno 37. 
Thence Caligula reigned about three years and a half, and therefore 
died anno 41. Claudius succeeded for about thirteen years and a 
half, and died anno 54. Nero reigned about fourteen years, and 
therefore died anno 68. Galba reigned about seven months, and 
therefore died about anno 69. Otho three months, and died like- 
wise anno 69. Vitellius reigned but eight months, and died about 

t Plin. lib. X. Epist. 103,134. Et apud y Orig. adv. Celsum, lib. iv. p. 174. 

Euseb. Chronic, p. 209. [or p. 195. edit. [Sect. xxii. in edit. Benedict.] 

1606.] z Tractat. xxix. in Matth. p. 138, 139. 

u Euseb. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. cap. 7. [Op. torn. iii. p. 859. (sect. 40.) edit. Bene- 

Et Chronic, p. 206. [p. 192. edit. 1606. J diet.] 

X Strom, lib. i. p. 340 B. 

History of Infant-baptism. 303 

the beg'inning' of 70. Vespasian succeecled him ; in whose second 
year the city was destroyed ; that is^ about the year 7 1 : but if our 
Lord suffered forty years before that, by subtracting- forty from 
seventy-one, you have thirty-one, about which age he was crucified. 

There may indeed be some variations in computing- these pe- 
riods ; but it is impossible to find any ground, especially for those 
so near the times we speak of, to reckon Christ was near fifty when 
he died. 

Clemens Alexandrinus a calculates very much after this manner, 
with but little difference. And to suppose St. Irenseus ignorant of 
these necessary steps, which were then so very easy to be known, 
viz. about sixty or at most seventy years after the events, is as 
absurd a supposition as can well be, and makes this Father a most 
negligent writer. Josephus alone, whom he had read, or Phlegon, 
who wrote but in Adrian^s time, could have furnished him with 
particidars sufficient to judg-e of the Lord^s age at his passion, as 
appears by the following series extracted from Josephus : 

Yrs. m. d. 

Augustus^ reigned 57 o o 

Tiberiusc 20 5 3 

Caligula^ 3 8 o 

Claudius e 13 8 30 

Nerof 13 o 8 

Galba? o 7 7 

Otholi 032 

Vitelliusi 085 

And Titus •« destroyed Jerusalem in the ) 

• I 2 o o 

second year of his father Vespasian J 

The total is iii 4 24 

Now St. Irenseus, as I have before noted, places the birth of 
Christ in the forty-first of Augustus; therefore taking forty-one 
from one hundred and eleven, there will remain seventy for the 
time between the birth of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem ; 
and then supposing this destruction, according to the common 
account, to have been about forty years after the passion, Christ 
must have suffered at near thirty years of age. Or, to give the 
matter shorter, the Scriptures assure us Christ suffered under 
Pontius Pilate; now he governed Judaja no longer than Tiberius 

a Strom, lib. i. p. 339 B. &c. 340, seqq. f Ibid. lib. v. cap. 6. 

•» Antiq. lib. xviii. cap. 3. s: Ibid. '■ Ibid. cap. 8. 

c Ibid. cap. 8. i Ibid. cap. 13. 

d Ibid. lib. xix. cap. 2. k Ibid. lib. vii. cap. 18. 

6 De I3ello Judaic, lib. ii. cap. 1 1 . 

304 Rejiections on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

reig-ned, and not so long-; and Tiberius, according' to Josephus, 
reig-ned twenty years ; to which if we add the fourteen years Christ 
lived under Augustus, they amount to no more than thirty-four 
years, if Christ had Kved as long as Tiberius did. Or ag-ain, if 
Tiberius reigned but twenty years, and Christ was about thirty in 
Tiberius^ fifteenth, as St. Luke assures us, then he could not be 
above four or five and thirty at most when he died : but as he died 
under Pilate, who was dismissed the g-overnment a year sooner, so 
Christ must have died a year younger. So that it was not possible 
for St. Irenseus, which way soever he went to work, to stretch the 
time of our Lord^s life upon earth to near forty, much less fifty 
years, as the author of the latter part of the chapter, out of which 
the psedobaptists cite the words they build on, has inconsiderately 

Mr. Dodwell, it is true, has endeavoured to make the opinion, of 
Christ^s being" toAvard fifty years old, the more excusable, and likely 
to have been St. Irenajus^, by shewing', that he was nearer forty 
than is generally believed 1; but if his calculation be ever so exact, 
it can signify nothing in the present case, because he agrees with 
us, that the time of the passion was the nineteenth of Tiberius, and 
only sets the time of his birth something" backwarder than we do ; 
which is not to be allowed in this case, because St. Irenseus himself 
has detennined the time of his birth to the forty-first of Aug"ustus ; 
from which to the nineteenth of Tiberius is but thirty-three years, 
according to Mr. Dodwell himself. 

From all this therefore I think it must necessarily follow, that 
St. Irenseus cannot be reasonably thought the author of this part of 
that chapter; for it cannot fairly be imagined that a man of his 
learning and integ"rity was either incapable of making" the necessary 
computations, or so intolerably careless as to neg"lect them, especially 
when he was j)rofessedly treating the matter, and did not speak of 
it by the by. 

2. But in the second place it is doubtful whether St. Irenseus 
said as our adversaries understand the passage now; because we 
have not his own words, but only a translation of them, which may 
g"ive them a quite dififerent face from what they had in the original : 
and therefore, if the words be allowed to have any weight at all, it 
can be but very little. And translators very often took a great 
latitude, as several among the ancients have complained. 

But as to this translation of St. Irenseus in particular, it is a very 
scandalous one, and altogether unworthy the original. And this all 

' Dissert, i. in Irenaeum, sect. 46. p. 82, &c. 

History of Infant-baptum. 305 

learned men confess^ since it has been known to be a translation : 
the g-reat Scaliger says, 'the translator was an ass, and had even 
less learning- than Ruffinusi":^ and yet one would think no man 
could abuse his orig-inal more than it is known Ruffinus was won^ 
to do. Monsieur Du Pin calls it a barbaroxis version" : and a little 
after says, ' the version of the five books concerning the heresies, 
' thoug-h barbarous — and full of faults,^ &c. And in a note he has 
added he says, '■ It was certainly composed by a man who under- 
' stood neither language as he ought" / that is, neither the Greek 
in which St. Irenseus wrote, nor the Latin, into which he pretended 
to translate. The learned Mr. Dodwell calls it ' a foolish transla- 

* tionP ;' and the author of it, '■ a barbarous, ixnskilful translator,^ 
who, he says, has several times ' mistaken one word for another, so 

* as even to alter the sense very much from what the author 
' intended q :' and he gives several instances of it. 

Dr. Grabe, the learned editor of this Father, in the prolegomena 
he has prefixed to the late edition, reckons it but a bad translation ; 
and says, they who fancy St. Irenseus to have been the translator as 
well as the author, ' make that great man unacquainted with his 
' own thoughts, or else they must say he has expressed them very 
' awkwardly '".•' 

But besides the judgment of learned men, the badness of the 
version may be seen by comparing it with those fragments of the 
Greek which are still preserved. 

In one place ^ where the original and the version disagree. 
Dr. Grabe thinks the copy the translator made use of was corrupt : 
which however could not well be so early as the doctor (without any 
ground) supposes the translation to be made, namely, in St. Irenaeus' 
time, or soon after. I should rather impute the variation to the 
translator's ignorance or carelessness ; especially since we have other 
undoubted instances how unequal he was to the work he under- 

In another place*, the doctor thinks some words, which had been 
noted in the margin, are now crept into the text itself: and else- 
where he very frequently finds fault with the translation. In the 
twenty-fifth chapter of the third book, instead of tioiqaavTO'i tov 
&eov 6iT€p e/3., the interpreter seems to have read, not without very 

m Scaligerana, p. 213. L'interprfete o Page 71. letter K. 

d'lren^e est bien asrie, il est plus indocte P Dissert, v. sect. 4, 

encore que Ruffin. q Ibid. sect. 5. 

" Hist. Eccles. p. 67, 68 ; [or, p. 60 of r Sect. 2. § 3. 

the second edition of the first volume, fol. s Lib. iii. cap. 21. note a. p. 250. 

1693.] t Ad lib. iii. cap, 19. note b. p. 245. 


306 Befledions on 3Ir. Wall's [letter xii. 

great neg'lig'ence to be sure, Trotj/crovras tovto oirep ((BovX^to ; entirely 
pei'verting- the autlior^s sense, as the doctor has noted". 

Ag-ain, St. Irenseus had said, ' For since by a tree we lost it, (viz. 
' the word of God,) by a tree we have received it ag-ain^ ■/ [but the 
translator falsely renders it, I/?/ a tree it was again made manifest unto 
all,'] ' shewing the height, and length, and breadth, and deptV [this 
last word is omitted in the translation] 'which is in it; for'' [the trans- 
lator turns it a7id, and adds, as some of the ancients have said] ' by a 
' divine^ [this word the translator omits] ' stretching out of the hands, 
' he gathered two people under one head, even the Father •/ [the 
translator renders it, two people under one God ; and then adds, of 
his own, two hands, because there were ttoo people scattered to the ends 
of the earth ; hut one middle head] ' for God is one, who is over all, 
' and through all, and in all.^ The translation is diflPerent in this 
last clause too : for it runs, ' for one God is over all, through all, and 
' in us all.^ In this one short passage, you see, there is abundance 
of liberty taken, and that several times the sense is changed. 

In another place, to give but one instance more, the translator has 
altered the sense of the Greek very much. St. Irenseus reckons up 
the four covenants God had made with men in this manner : ' One 
' after the flood of Noah, in the bow ; the second, that of Abraham, 
' in the sign of circumcision ; the third, the giving of the law by 
' Moses; and the fourth, that of the Gospel, by our Lord Jesus 
' Christy.^ But the translator reckons them up thus : ' One with 
' Adam before the flood ; the second with Noah after the flood ; the 
' third, the giving of the Law under Moses ; the fourth renews the 
' man, and comprehends all in it, which is by the Gospel, giving 
' men wings, and raising them up into the heavenly kingdom.^ One 
woidd think this could not be pretended to be a translation of 
St. Irenseus' sense, it is so different from it. But you may see what 
strange work has been made with this book, and how much the 
translator, through ignorance, negligence, and too much liberty, has 
corrupted and abused this great man's work. And can any body, 
after all this, be satisfied barely from such a transaction, that he 
has, in any case, the true sense of St. Irenseus, without any altera- 
tion ? And much less should any ground an argument upon it. It 
must appear therefore very doubtful, at least, whether St. Irenseus 
ever spoke as the present translation makes him do : for I have 
shewn, I think more than probably, that this part of the chapter 
could not be St. Irenseus' ; and that if it was, yet we can have no 

" Page 255. note b. " Lib. v. cap. 17. p. 426. 

y Lib. iii. cap. 11, p. 223. 

History of Infant-baptism. 307 

reason to depend on the translator. And therefore Mr. Wall should 
have secured the passage from these exceptions, if he intended to do 
his cause any service with it : for if St. Irenseus did not write those 
words, or to that purpose exactly, whatever may be proved from 
them signifies nothing". 

Nay, if Mr. Wall had proved beyond contradiction, that the Latin 
translation of the passage he cites does punctually agree with what 
was in the Greek original written by St. Irenseus himself; yet it 
would still have been liable to the following weighty exceptions, 
which effectually take oif the force of the argument the psedobaptists 
raise from it : it depending entirely on these two suppositions, that 
by regenerated is meant hapt'izecl, and by infants such as we now call 
infants in age, and but new-horn : for it is very plain, that if the 
passage does not speak of infants, or if it does not speak of bap- 
tizing them, it proves nothing. 

I. In the first place then, there is no reason to think the word 
regenerated here means baptized. Mr. Wall indeed tells us^, that 
such as are at all acquainted with the books of those ages cannot 
doubt but the word regeneration, in the usual phrase of those times, 
signified baptism : but one would think by this assertion, that our 
author is not much acquainted with the books of those times him- 
self; and that he had never read them, when he says, the ancient 
Christians ' never use the word regenerate or born again, but that 
' they mean or denote by it baptism^ ;' for nothing can be more 
apparently false, as I shall shew. 

But first, we must observe our author begins this matter some- 
thing higher : and as he pretends to have found baptism practised 
by the Jews in and before Christ^s time ; so he likewise tells us, 
they called that baptism, regeneration^ ; and from them Christ him- 
self and all Christians borrowed not only the thing, but also that 
way of speaking of it. 

But I have proved, as plainly as it can be expected such a thing 
should be proved, that the Jews had no such initiatory baptism; and 
consequently, they could not call it by that name. Or however, if 
it should be allowed they had such a baptism, I believe they 
nowhere call it regeneration, whatever Mr. Wall pretends. I am 
sure there is nothing like it in the passages he cites. Indeed, pros- 
elytes were thought new men, and the Talmud and Maimonides, as 
our author quotes them, say, ' they were like children new-born :' 
but the same is said of a slave that is made free too, even in the 
same words of Maimonides ; and yet slaves were not made free by 

z Part i. p. i8. [45.] a Introd. p. 22. [20.] b Ibid. p. 21. [19.] 

X 2 

308 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

this pretended initiatory baptism. So that thong"!! proselytes were 
accounted as children new-born^ because they were now in a differ- 
ent state from what they were in before ; yet where is it said^ or so 
much as intimated, that baptism was called or thought a regenera- 
tion ? It does not follow, because they are said to be as new-born 
babes, that they were said likewise to he new-born ; nor, if they 
were said to be new-born, that they meant nothing but baptism by 
that new birth. Why should not circumcision, or offering sacrifice, 
be the regeneration, as well as baptism ? Or indeed, why should we 
say, either of them were called regeneration, when the passage our 
author goes upon intimates no such thing ? 

And how trifling must it be from these fancies to go about to 
explain what the Scriptures mean by the new birth, and the new 
creature ? Nay, if all the rabbins did assert what our author 
pretends to say from them ; is it becoming a Christian divine to 
forsake the Scriptures to follow the rabbins ? By this new creation 
the Scriptures, it is plain, mean tlie reneioing of the mind, Rom. xii. 2, 
and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, Tit. iii. 5. It is strange it should 
ever come into any one's head to give so perverse a turn to the 
words. If any man he in Christ he is a new creatnre ; as to say, they 
mean he is haptizecl : but surely nobody will think St. Paul could 
talk at this poor rate. It is more natural to understand them, as he 
perhaps more j^lainly runs the same argument, Coloss. iii. 9, 10, to 
intend, that such as were in Christ, and risen with him, (verse i,) 
were become new creatures, by putting off the old man with his 
deeds, and putting on the new man, which is renewed in knoivledge, after 
the image of him that created him. And beside this, the Scriptures 
know of no other regeneration that we are here capable of. 

Though this is undoubtedly the true Scrijjture notion of regene- 
ration, as appears from the places where the word regenerate, &c., is 
used, or regeneration spoken of; yet Mr. Wall is pleased to call it, 
with some seeming contempt, the '■ modern notion,' and he appro- 
priates it to '■ some late English writers \ and the reason is plain -, 
for if it should once come to be thought as ancient as the Scriptures 
and earliest ^vl'itings, it might go very near to spoil the best argu- 
ment for paedobaptism our adversaries can find in all antiquity, 
which is this of St. Irenaeus. But however they may dread the 
consequences, it is certain regeneration meant this spiritual birth, 
and nothing short of a real personal change. 

Of all the passages in Scripture where regenerate, &c., is used, I do 
not remember any are disputed but these two, viz. the words of our 
Lord, John iii. 5, and those of St. Paul, Tit. iii. 5. And these 

History of Iiifant-baptism. 309 

indeed are by our author cited as instances to confirm his sense : but 
what ground he has, beside a strong imagination, I do not see. The 
words of our Saviour are a little obscure, since the prevailing of 
infant-baptism ; for baptism being never administered but to per- 
sons supposed to be regenerated^ of which it was the sign, &c., there- 
fore all that were baptized were spoken of as regenerated ; and then 
infants being baptized, they must be taken to be regenerated too, 
and so baptism and regeneration come to be taken, by some people, 
for the same thing. And indeed, upon this notion it was pretty 
easy to mistake our Saviour^s words : but this mistake may be as 
easily seen ; for our Lord does not say, born of mater alone, but horn 
of water and the Spirit. He does not speak of two new births, one 
by water and one by the Spirit ; but only of one, which was to be 
of water and the Spirit in conjunction. And thus then, without 
going any farther, it appears, that though we may charitably hope, 
and say, all who are regularly baptized are regenerated, yet the 
baptizing in water is not the regenerating ; because that other part, 
viz. of the Spirit, is at least equally required to regeneration : and 
therefore baptism with water is not regeneration. 

But we may ask further, whether the new birth Christ speaks of 
does peculiarly consist in the external administration by water only, 
or in the internal operations of the Sj^irit only, or in both together? 
Now that both water and the Spirit are necessary in the case our 
Lord is speaking of, is plain from the words themselves : and that 
the regeneration really consists but in one, and the other is only 
used as a means, or the like, is, I think, full as plain. 

For, as to the external administration of baptism by water ; it is 
ever in the Scriptures spoken of as a symbol only, and representation 
of something else of a more excellent nature. This is so evident to 
all who read the Scriptures, that I need not go about to prove it : 
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death'^. And the 
very name of sacrament, even according to the notion given of it in 
the Articles of the Church of England, imports as much*^. 

Now if to this it be added, that baptism is nowhere called regene- 
ration, but that the internal change of the mind, &c., frequently is : 
that baptism is not obtained by means of the Spirit ; but on the 
contrary, the Spirit was wont to be obtained in the use of baptism : 
methinks it should be plain enough, that the regeneration our Lord 
spoke of was spiritual, to be signified and obtained, or the like, by 
the symbol of baptism in water. 

But besides, our Lord^'s own words put the matter out of doubt : 

c [Romans vi. 4.] fl Article xxv. 

310 Reflections on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

for continuing- his discourse on the same new birth^ he appropriates 
it wholly to the Spirit^ and speaks only of being born of the Spirit; 
for it is that only he opposes to the former fleshly birth, in the 
words next immediately following", ver. 6, which shews that was the 
only birth he meant before ; for how incoherent would he else have 
been ! When he had told Nicodemus of a certain new birth, which 
puzzled his understanding", to run from that, and talk of quite an- 
other thing", could not but have made him more confused ; whereas 
Christ g-oes about to take off the amazement. Marvel not, says he, 
that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again, ver. 7, and shews him, 
it is no wonder if he does not understand how it can be, since even 
in natural causes, the wind for instance, he is forced to confess his 
ig-norance. And this makes it evident, that Christ speaks of spi- 
ritual reg-eneration, and no other : for had he by horn again meant 
baptism, that could not have been so hard to be understood, nor 
have g-iven our Saviour occasion to say, Marvel not, &c. And espe- 
cially, if it had been the practice of the Jews to baptize their 
proselytes, and call that baptism regeneration, as it is pretended ; 
how is it possible Nicodemus should not understand a common 
phrase of his mother tongue ? Christ indeed wonders, that he, being 
a ruler of Israel, should not better apprehend what was said : but 
our adversaries are quite mistaken, when they think the Lord 
wonders why Nicodemus did not understand the regeneration he 
s]3ake of; for Christ endeavours to convince him, that this was 
indeed above his conception : and it is after this that Nicodemus 
says. How can these things be ? and that the Lord answers. Art thou 
a master of Israel, and hnowest not these things ? To know here does 
not mean to conijyr^iend, or understand the nature of the thing ; but 
to he convinced, and to believe, as the same thing is expressed, ver. 1 2, 
/ have told you earthly things, and ye believe not. So that our Lord 
wonders that Nicodemus, being a teacher in Israel, should not know 
and believe, notwithstanding the prophets had so plainly taught it, 
that there was an internal renovation of the mind, which all persons, 
as well the Jews themselves as the heathens, stood in need of, and 
were to receive especially under the dispensation of the Messias. 

Very remarkable here are the words of the incomparable Grotius : 
' Christ discovers a new thing to Nicodemus : that now something 
' greater than Jvidaism was required of all that should be saved ^.^ 
And doubtless our Lord taught him here the same doctrine which 
St. Paul taught afterwards. Gal. vi. 15, that in Christ Jesus neither 

e In Johan. iii. 3. Rem novam Nicodemo legis doctori Christus indicat, posthac ad 
salutem pariendam majus aliquid Judaismo requiri. 

History of Infant-haptism. 311 

circtimcision availeth any thing, &c., hut a neto creature : for Grotius 
justly reckons these passages are parallel. And this clearly seems 
to have been the common stunibling-bloek which Nicodemus could 
not surmount, viz. That the law should be counted so imperfect and 
insufficient. "WTiat has been said, I hope, proves our Sa\aour, John 
iii. 5, means only being born of the Spirit, by or in the use of bap- 
tism with water, as the external symbol and seal of such regene- 

The other passage. Tit. iii. 5, has no manner of difficiTlty in it : 
nor can I guess what could incline any man to cite it as an instance, 
that regeneration means baptism, when it e^ddently means the 
contrary. By tke toashing of regeneration, I allow, is meant baptism; 
that is, by the whole phi'ase : but to say by regeneration is meant 
baptism too, is absurd and groundless enough. On another 
occasion *^, our author cites this very place, and argues that Xovrpbv, 
the toashing, sig'nifies baptism; and makes Xovrpov and ^a-TLa-jxhs 
synonymous terms: for, XeXovfj-tvoi, he says, means haptized ; and 
thence he infers, because Xovrpov signifies any kind of washing, 
therefore baptism may be administered by any kind of washing. 
But here he will have the word regeneration mean baptism, because 
this is most for his purpose now : so that take our author altogether, 
and both words mean baptism ; and then the place may be rendered, 
the hajitisni of liaptism instead of the washing of regeneration. 

A^Tiich of the two words would any man think more particularly 
and properly here signified baptism ? That which does express some 
washing, or that which has no such sense ? Every one would pitch 
on Kovrpov, the washing, rather than regeneration ; for Xovrpbv is 
made the genus, to signify washing or baptism in general, and 
regeneration is added as the difference to distinguish it from all other 
washings, and limit the assertion to signify, that God saves us by 
the Christian baptism only, or that washing which is the washing of 
regeneration, and of the renewing of the Holy Ghost. 

But we may see our author has offered a great violence to the 
words, if we observe the use of the phrase here occurring ; for thus 
we meet with the Ijaptisrn of repentance several times in the Scrip- 
tiu-e, to signify that baptism which follows upon, is accompanied 
\a\}a., and is a sign of repentance, as Mark i. 4 ; Acts xiii. 24, and 
xix. 4. And thus St. Justin, probably alluding to this place in 
Titus, uses 8ia rov kovrpov ttjs ixeTavoias koL ttjs ywocreco? tov ©eoOS, to 
signify the washing or ' baptism of repentance, and the knowledge 

f Part ii. p. 221. [537.] 
e Dialog, cum Tryph. p. 231 B. C. [sect. xiv. edit. Benedict.] 

312 Reflections on Mr. WalVs [letter xii. 

* of God '^ and therefore 8ta tov XovTpov TraXtyyev^a-ias koI avanaivdi- 
aeois Tlvevixaros 'Aytov, exactly the same form of speech, means, by 
the washing- or Ijaptlsm of regeneration, and of the reneunng of the 
Holy Ghost. And as nobody can be so wild as to imagine, that 
because St. Justin says, the washing of repentance, therefore repent- 
ance signifies baptism; so in like manner, it is as absurd to say, 
that when St. Paul speaks of the washing of regeneration, regenera- 
tion means baptism ; for the case is as exactly parallel as can be 

I would add one remark more, viz. that St. ParJ calls this the 
washing (not only of regeneration, but also) of the renewing of the 
Holy Ghost. Every one, who understands the Greek tongue, must 
needs confess this is the right construction of the place : and it is 
thus the Ethiopic translator has rendered it ; and the Arabic too, 
notwithstanding the author of the Latin translation of the Arabic 
published in Dr. Walton^s Polyglot gives it a different but a wrong- 
turn, which the Arabic ^^^^i\ not admit : for the inseparable pre- 
position here, as in the Ethiopic, translated by, is joined only to 
. washing ; and all the rest is, as the grammarians style it, in statu 
constrncto, and therefore ought to be rendered, as he that added the 
Latin translation to the Ethiopic has likewise done, by the tvashing 
of regeneration, and of the renovation of the Holy Ghost. And then if 
washing" refers to the renovation of the Holy Ghost, as well as to 
regeneration, it must follow, that the renewing of the Holy Ghost means 
baptism as much as regeneration does : that is, not at all : for as the 
inference wall be allowed to be manifestly absurd in one case, so it is 
in the other. And therefore I now draw this general conclusion, in 
opposition to our author, that the Scriptures never call baptism 

As to his other pretence, ' that regeneration, in the usual phrase 
' of that time, (viz. in which St. Irenseus lived,) signifies baptism^ •/ 
and that the ancients ' never use the word regenerate or born again, 
' but that they mean or denote by it baptism i :' it is, I think, one 
of the most groundless assertions I ever met with; for, on the 
contrary, nothing is more common than to take this word in a 
quite different sense; and I do not believe it is ever so much 
as once used in the ancientest times for baptism : at least not till 
their zeal for infant-baptism betrayed them into that absurdity, 
which was not near the time of St. Irenaeus. 

I have shewTi you how St. Justin uses the word regeneration, and 
that he cannot be understood to mean baptism by it : and it is very 

h Part i. p. i8. [45.] i Introd. p. 22. [20.] 

Histort/ of Infant-baptism. 


easy to prove as much of the other Fatliers. Clemens Alexandrinus 
relates from Alexander Polyhistor, that the Indian Braehmans eat 
no living creatures, nor drink any wine; that some of them eat 
every day as we do, and others only every third day : and he adds, 
that ' they do not fear death, nor esteem life, because they reckon 
' death is but another birth l^' {TraXiyyeviaiav) . Orig-en uses it to 
mean the resurrection ; when speaking of the apostles he says, ' In 
' the regeneration (TraXiyyevea-iq) they shall sit upon twelve 
' thrones^' And again, on the same occasion, he says, ' Those 
' who followed our Saviour shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging 
' the twelve tribes of Israel : and this power they shall receive 
' in the resurrection of the dead. For this is the regeneration, it 
' being a kind of new generation"!,^ &c. And this mode of speech 
is borrowed from the Scriptures themselves. Matt. xix. 28, and 
was used also by the Jews_, as Grotius has shewn from Josephus 
and Philo". 

But to come nearer the case in hand : Tertullian undoubtedly speaks 
of something internal, when he says, alluding to the Decalogue, 
that ' we are born in the same number of months, as we are 
'regenerated by precepts o.^ Clemens Alexandrinus relating how 
St. John restored to the church that young man, who, after he had 
been educated in the Christian religion, and baptized, became a 
captain of a band of robbers, and commending his great repentance 
says, he gave ' a great example of true repentance, and an ex- 
' traordinary instance of regenerationP -' that is, of conversion ; for 
nothing can be here understood by reg-eneration but an internal 
change of mind. In another passage the same St. Clement says, 
* The Father of all things receives those that fly to him ; and hav- 
' ing regenerated them {avay^vvqaai) in the Spirit, to the adoption 
' of sons, he knows them to be of a good disposition ; and them only 
' he loves, and helps and defends ; and for this cause he calls them 
' childrenq.^ Here avay(.vv{\'ya<i Fli'evjuart, I hope, cannot be thought 

k Stromat. lib. iii. p. 45 1 B. Karat^po- 
vovai 5e koX izap' oliShf ri-yovvTai rh 
(rjv TrddovraL yap ilvai iraXiyyeveaiat'. 
[Dr. Wall has noticed, in his 'Defence,' 
the singular translation which Mr. Gale 
gives of these words.] 

1 In Matth. p. 354 E. Ol Kal KadedovvTai 
01 ev Trj ■na.Xiyyiveala iirl i0' dpSvovs. 
[Comm. torn. xiv. sect. 15. ed. Bened.] 

m Comment, in Matth. p. 391 C. Ol 
roivvv a.Ko\ov6^(ravTes tw SoiTTjpi Ka6e- 
SovfTai eVl SciSeKa Op6vuvs, Kpivourts ras 
i^ <pv\as rov 'lcrpa}]\, Kal TaiiTr]v Krixpovrai 
"rijv f^ovaiaf eV rfj avacTTacTd twv ViKpHov 
avTT) yap ecmc f] iraAiyyevecrla Kaiv{\ ris 

ytvecris oZcra. [Comm. tom. xv. sect. 22.] 

n Not. in Matth. xix. 28. 

° De Anima, p. 292 C. Ut tanto tem- 
poris numero nascamur, quanto disci- 
plinre numero renascimur. [cap. 37.] 

P Apud Euseb. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii. 
cap. 23. AiSovs /jL^yairapaSfiy/iia fj-^Tavoias 
a\7]Bivi]S, Kal fx4ya yvoopta/xa waAiyy^vtcrlas, 

q Paedagog. lib. i. p. 90 B. Ovrca Kal 
Toiv '6\aiv 6 riaTTjp Toi/s (Is avrhv KaraTre(pev- 
y6Tas vpoa'urai' Kal avayivpiiaas XlvtvuaTi 
tis Vio0i(riap,fiinovsoi5(i'' Kal ((>t\f7 rovrovs 
(xSvov^, Kal ^orjdel^ Kal inr(' Kal Sia 
TovTOV [sic] ovofxa^ii TraiSiov. 


Reflections on Mr. Jf all's 

[letter XII. 

to mean baptized^ especially since it is said, that those who are so 
regenerated are ?/-7riot. Those words also of this Father are very 
remarkable to this purpose, where he says, ' To instruct and 
* enlighten the understanding-, is called also by the heathen philoso- 
' phers [avay^vvriaai) to regenerate'' .' 

The particle also in this period plainly imports, that the same 
way of speaking was in use among the Christians too : but the 
following words make it more evident, where he cites St. Paul as 
meaning the same thing, when he says, i Cor. iv. 15, For in Christ 
Jesus I have begotten t/ow through the Gospel. To which he might also 
have added. Gal. iv. 19, Mi/ little children, of whom I travail in birth 
again, until Christ be formed in you : which plainly shews the 
Christian birth consists in Christ^s being formed in them. And St. 
Clement is so far from leaving any room to imagine baptism was 
called regeneration, that he expressly says it is ' the sign of regenera- 
^ tions •' and sure it cannot be the sign, and the thing signified too. 
And afterwards he calls regeneration ^ a new spiritual generation*.^ 
The whole passage is too long to be transcribed ; but I \vill give you 
another which is much shorter, and very express : ^ An adulteress 
'■ lives indeed to sin, but she is dead to the commands ; but she that 
' repents, being as it were regenerated (auayevvriOe'LCTa) by a change of 
' manners, has the regeneration (TraAtyyeyeo-tai-) of life : she is dead 
' to the former adulteries, and is entered again into life, being re- 
' generated {yevvrjOeLo-ris) by repentance".'' Nay, it may be yet 
farther observed, that instead of calling baptism generation or 
regeneration, he directly on the contrary calls it ' death, and the end 
^ofthe old life ^.^ 

In the same manner likewise Origen talks of regeneration ; in one 
passage particularly he is very plain : and because his words, I 
think, unravel the whole difficulty, and may lead into the reason of 
other more obscure places, I will transcribe the passage at large. 
' The washing with water is a symbol of a pure mind, cleansed from 
' all filthiness of evil : and to one who gives himself up to God, it is 
' in itself, by the power of the invocation of the adorable Trinity, 
' the beginning and fountain of Divine gifts. — This the history of 

r Stromat. lib. v. p. 552 C. 'End /col 
Trapa rots Papfidpois <pi\oa6(pois, rh KaTr)XV- 
aai T6 Koi (pwTiaai avay^vvrjcrai Kiyirai. 

s Eclog. p. 801. col. 2 D. 

t Ibid. p. 802. col. I B. 

" Stromat. lib. ii. p. 425 A. 'H yap rot 
vopvivaaaa /xev rfj ajxapTia., airidaviP 5e 
TO(S ivroXais. 7] fie fi^ravo-qaaaa, olov ava- 
yevvr]di7(ra Kara T^jf ini(TTpo(p-i]v tov ^iov, 

TraXiyyevecriav e^^' O^V^- rfOvrjKvlas fxfv 
T7)s TTOpfjjs T77S iraXaia!, eh fiiov Se irapeK- 
6ovff7)s avQis TTJs KaTo, T?V fj.erdvoiai' yivvrj- 
6el(rT]s. [See Dr. Wall's remark upon the 
incorrect translation of this passage, in 
his ' Defence.'] 

X Eclog. p. 800 a. C. Qdvaros koI reAos 
AeyeTai roii TraAaiOV /Siou t^ /SoTTTicr/Lta. 

History of Injmit-haptism. 315 

^ the Acts of the Apostles greatly confirms ; since it is related^ that 
' the Spirit did then evidently come upon those who were baptized, 
' the water preparing- the way for him, in such as came to it as they 
' ought, insomuch that Simon the magician, amazed at the sight, 
^ would have obtained of Peter the same grace, and desired to 
' purchase the most righteous thing mth the mammon of uiu-ight- 
' eousness. And it is farther to be observed, that the baptism of 
' John was inferior to the baptism of Jesus, given by his disciples : 
' those therefore who in the Acts were baptized with the baptism of 
' John, and had not heard whether there were any Holy Ghost, 

* were baptized again by the apostle. For the baptism of regenera- 
' tion was not given by John, but by Jesus, by the hands of his 
' disciples ; and it is called the laver of regeneration, the perform- 
' ance of it being accompanied with the renewing of the Spirit, 
' which being from Grod, is now also preferred above the water, but 

* is not always ingenerated together with the watery/ 

St. Clemens Romanus can mean nothing but internal regeneration 
and conversion, when he says, ' Noah being found faithful, preached 
' regeneration {iiakiyy^vi(Tiav) to the world^.^ And it is strange 
what could be in Junius^ mind to urge that by regeneration was to 
be understood in this place the resurrection : for Noah was indeed a 
preacher of repentance, but we do not find his main business was to 
preach the resurrection ; nor is St. Clement here speaking of the 
resurrection. To these I will only add a passage of St. Barnabas, 
which is very remarkable ; ^ Since therefore he has renewed us by 

* the remission of our sins, he has given us another form, that we 
' should have our souls like the soul of a child ; even as he himself 
' has formed us**.^ Most directly shewing, that the Christian new 
formation or regeneration is by the Spirit. 

And now could any body, sir, that had read these passages, fairly 
pretend the ancients by regeneration always mean haptlsm? If Mr. 
Wall had not read these books, he ought not so readily to have 
made the assertion : and if he has read them, what excuse can be 
framed for him ? For it is apparent from these instances, to which 
many more might have been added, that the most ancient Fathers 
by regeneration mean something spiritual and internal, and very dif- 
ferent from baptism. And the same might be very easily proved too, 

y In Johan. p. 124, 125. [Comm. tom. iriarhs eupsOels, 5ia ttJs MiTovpylas avrov 

vi. sect. 17. ed. Benedict. The original TraAiyyeueaiav K('>cr^(f> ^Kvpu^f, &c. 

■words of the hist chiuse are ; Ylu^v- » Epist. cap. vi. p. 18. 'ETrei odf ai'a- 

fxaros rov ko.) vvv inKptpnufvov^ iirdSyi irfpl Kaivlaas iv ttj (/.(pfffti rwv auapriwv, 

®eov iarif. eirdvw tov liSaTos, aW' ov iraai (Trolrjrrev vixcis &\KovTi'inou, ws naiSiou ex^'" 

jU€Ta T^ vSdJp iyyivoij.fuov.^ t^v xf/vxh''^ ^^ S;'' '<»^ auaTr\affaofj.4vos avrhs 

■^ Epist. I. ad Corinth, cap. 9. Ndie ■^(Uar. 

316 Rejiections on Mr. JFall's [letter xii. 

from his admired St. Austin himself, but it is needless. Instead of 
it we will examine the other position he lays down, to prove that re- 
generated, in the words he cites from St. Irenseus, means haptized, and 
this will quickly be found to be as groundless as the other. 

He says, ' Irenseus has used this word so in all other places of his 
' book, that he has ever observed'^.^ But if our author has not 
observed the several passages where it is used otherwise, I cannot 
help it : however, the argument depends not so much upon his 
observation, as upon the truth of the thing itself. But if he had 
pleased, one would think he might have observed, that St. Irenseus 
nowhere uses the word so, (at least, I am most inclined to think so,) 
because the instance he cites is so far from proving what he pro- 
duces it for, that it well enough proves the direct contrary : and 
therefore I am surprised that the learned Dr. Grabe should refer to 
it also with the same design as our author. For to go no farther 
than the words Mr. Wall has transcribed, there is not the least 
reason to say St. Irenseus means baptism by regeneration. ' ^\^ien 
' he gave his disciples the commission of regenerating unto God, he 
' said unto them. Go and teach' &cc. But why must we conclude 
from these words that St. Irenseus means by regenerating, baj)- 
tizing ? Is it not as good sense, and very agreeable wnith our 
Savdour's design in the commission, by regenerating to understand 
teaching, instructing, enlightening the mind, and converting the nations 
to God ? This doubtless was their chief business, though they were 
likewise to baptize all they had so converted. And therefore it is 
very arbitrary to restrain the word regenerate from signifying what 
was the main design of the commission, and to limit it, even con- 
trary to its proper signification and general use, only to the less 

But the next words of Irenseus make it appear more clearly, that 
he meant an internal regeneration by the Spirit. '■ For God 
' promised to pour him out upon his servants and handmaids in the 
' latter days, that they might prophesy ; wherefore he descended 
'■ upon the Son of God, when he became the Son of man, accustom- 
' ing himself in him to dwell with mankind, and to rest in men, 
' and to dwell in the creature of God, working in them the will of 
' the Father, and of old making them new in Chrisf.^ It is plain 
from hence that the regeneration or renewing St. Irenseus speaks of 

b Part i. p. 19. [45.] cum ipso assuescens habitare in genere 

c Lib. iii. cap. 19. p. 243 b. Hunc humano, et requiescere iu hominibus, et 

enim promisit per projihetas efFundere in habitare in plasmate Dei, voluntatem 

novissimis temporibus super servos et Patris operans in ipsis, et renovans eos a 

aucillas, ut prophetent: unde et inFilium vetustate in novitatem Christi. 
Dei, Filium hominis factum, descendit, 

History of Infant-baptism. 317 

is to be wrong-ht by the Spirit-'s indwelling". And a little after, 
speaking- of our becoming one in Christ, he says, ' Our bodies re- 
' ceive that unity which is to immortality, by the laver ; but our 
' souls by the Spirit^l :' shewing- again, that he argues here chiefly 
upon that which is spiritual, and sufficiently implying, the regenera- 
tion he had before spoken of was such. The other passage which 
Dr. Grabe refers to® is, I think, likewise directly to the contrary 
sense ; the words are these : ' Because this kind are subjected to 
' Satan, to the denying of the baptism of regeneration to God, and 
^ the destruction of the whole faith f^, &c. Now even here he does 
not say ' that baptism which is regeneration,^ no more than the 
phrase, ' the baptism of repentance,^ means ' the baptism which is 
' rej^entance :' and if it will not follow from this phrase that repent- 
ance means baptism, then it \vill not follow in the other that re- 
generation means baptism. But it will be yet more clear that 
regeneration does not mean baptism, by what Irenseus adds ; ' But 
' they say it (viz. what they called redemption) is necessary, &c., 
' that they may be regenerated unto that power which is above alls.'' 
Now this being said of those who deny baptism, the word regenerated 
cannot mean baptized : and a little after again it is said, ' Baptism 
^ indeed was of Jesus for the remission of sins, but the redemption 
' is of Christ that came upon him to perfection h ■' which sufficiently 
distinguishes baptism from redemption, which ' is necessary that 
' they may be regenerated,^ for it is opposed to it. 

St. Irenseus does not very often use the word regenerate; but where 
he does, I am pretty well assured it never means baptize: and though 
it is not impossible but I may have passed by some passage, or 
mistaken the sense somewhere, yet I have taken so much care, that 
I think I may very well venture to assert, there is not one place in 
all Irenaevis^ books, in which it plainly means baptism, or may 
not at least full as well mean something else; and that there are 
instances in which it cannot mean baptism, is beyond dispute. In 
one place he says, ' How shall they leave the generation of death, if 
' they do not receive the regeneration which is by faith, believing in 
* the new generation given by God in that wonderful unexpected 

*• Ibid. p. 244 a. Corpora eniiri nostra Q(:<jlv viro^tPKriTai rh fldos tovto inrh rov 

per lavacrum illaiii, quw est ad incorrup- ^arafci. 

tionem, uiiitatem acceperunt ; anima; S Il)id. Atyovffi 5e avr^v avajKalav 

autera per Spiritum. tlvat — 'Iva ds rijv virip irdvTa Sivafitv Siaiv 

« In IrensBum, lib. ii. cap. 39. p. 161. avayiyivvriixivot. 
not. I. h Ibid. p. 89. Th iJLfv yap $dirTifffj.a rov 

f Lib. i. cap. 18. p. 88. Kal '6ri fxtv els <paivofj.evuv 'l-qaov, a.<piatuis ajxapTioiv, r^v 

e^a.pv7](Tiv Tov 0anTl(Tfj.aTos ttjs tls Qehv Se airoKinpujaiv rov if aurai Xptaruv KartA- 

avaytvvi\<Teo)S, koX irdcrrfs t'Jjs irifTTeaiv 0.116- Qdvros its reXiiwcrtv. 

318 Refectio7is on Mr. Wall's [letter xii. 

' manner in sign of salvation, which was of the virgin by faith^ T 
The regeneration hy faith here is elsewhere"^ said to be by the later. 
Now as regeneration is diiFerent from the faith bi/ iphich it is in one 
place; so it is also different from the laver or baptism bi/ ichich, 
it is in the other. But I need add no more, to shew jou how much 
om- author is out in saying St. Irenaeus has used regenerate for bap- 
tize in all other places of his book ; since he uses it so in no part of 
his wi'itings, and sometimes so as plainly not to mean baptism ; and 
therefore it is not true that it always means baptism in this book ; 
unless Mr. Wall means in the second book particularly, out of which 
the citation is taken, and then indeed his assertion cannot be 
denied ; for the word is used in no other place of that book at all. 

Since then the Scriptui-es, the primitive Fathers, and among the 
rest St. Irenaeus himself, by regeneration never mean baptism, it is 
highly unreasonable to pretend it means so in this single place j or if 
there should be some instances where it does sometimes signify bap- 
tism, there are many more, or at least some, where it plainly signi- 
fies quite another thing : and therefore, why must it needs mean 
baptism in this passage ? If it does not mean baptism always, then 
perhaps it may not in this place neither. 

One reason Mr. Wall gives for sapng it must mean baptism in 
this place is, that here is express mention of infants who ' are not 
' capable of regeneration in any other sense of the word, than as it 
'■ signifies baptism'.' But this is only begging the question. Be- 
sides, Mr. Wall contradicts it himself, when he goes about to shew 
that infants may be regenerated of the Spirit, according to our Lord's 
riile, as well as of water ; and tells us, ' that God by his Spirit does, 
' at the time of baptism, seal and apply to the infant that is there 
' dedicated to him, the promises of the covenant of which he is ca- 
^ pable, viz. adoption, pardon of sin, translation fi'om the state of na- 
' ture to that of grace, &c., on which accotmt the infant is said to be 
' regenerated of (or by) the Spirit"'.' There is another regeneration 
then besides baptism, mentioned by our Lord himself, of which our 

■ Lib. iv. cap. 59. p. 358 a. Quomodo but the Benedictine editor (see his edition, 

autem relinquet mortis generationem, si fol. Paris, 1720. lib. iv. cap. 33. sect. 4.) 

non in novam generationem naire et ino- considers Grabe to have been completely 

pinate a Deo, in signum autem salutis, mistaken, and the sentence to be entire, 

datam, quae est ex virgine per fidem, [ere- See Dr. Wall's remarks on the passage in 

dens earn recipiat quae est per fidem] re- his ' Defence.'] 

generationem? [The words enclosed k Lib. v. cap. 15. p. 423 b. Eam quae 

within brackets do not occur La the text. est per lavacrum regenerationem, &c. 

Dr. G-rabe conjectured that something to 1 Part i. p. 20. [49.] 

that purport had been lost from the con- m Part i. p. 148. [175] and part ii. 

text: 'Hie unum atque alterum verbum p. 126. [448.] 
' excidit, ac Irenjeus ita forte scripsit :' 

Hisfori/ of Infant-baptism. 319 

author tells us infants are capable ; and why might not this be the 
regeneration meant by St. Irenseus without baptism? And how came 
Mr. Wall to be so overseen as to say there is no other regeneration 
of which they are capable ? 

2. But this passage of St. Irenseus^ though it had been genuine 
and well translated^ would have been liable to a second exception, 
viz. that the word infantes does not necessarily signify here such new- 
bom or young children as are not capable of reason ; but may very 
well mean only such as can know and believe, and make a profession 
of their faith. I will not go about to prove that this word and 
several others of much the same sense, are often applied to grown 
and even to aged persons, to express their being but young or weak 
in Christianity, which Mr. "Wall and every body allows ; because 
the chapter, as it now stands, speaks of their natural not their Christ- 
ian age : but however it will not follow that infantes means only 
such cliildren as are wholly incapable of knowing and believing the 
necessary principles of the Christian religion, which is the supposi- 
tion of our adversaries ; for the term infant is of a larger extent. 

Indeed if it meant only a sucking child, or one of two or three 
months or years, or the like, our author might have something to 
plead ; but if it means all persons till twenty-one years of age, as in 
cm- English law, he could form no argument from it, though it were 
said infants were to be baptized. The whole business between us is 
reduced therefore to this, namely, to determine the period of infancy; 
and what must be meant by the word in the passage under consideration. 

If it be urged that St. Irenaeus says Christ sanctified {pmnemcEta- 
tem) every several age, as Mr. Wall renders it ; and consequently that 
he means the youngest infants too, who must be comprehended in 
so large an expression : it may be noted that St. C\-prian uses the 
same phrase, yet so as infants cannot be comprehended, when he 
says, ' The word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, came to all ; and 
' gathering both the learned and unlearned, he gave the precepts of 
' salvation to both sexes, and [omni (stati) to every several age".^ 
So when the author of the Recognitions says, ' Therefore let {omnis 
' atas) ever\" several age, both sexes, and all conditions hasten to re- 
^ pentance°/ &c. undoubtedly he did not mean such infants too, as 
were not capable of repentance. I -uill add one instance more, in the 
words of Dionysius the great bishop of Alexandria p, who in a letter 

" De Orat. Domin. p. 107. Xam cum o Lib. x. cap. 45. Itaque festinet ad 

Dei sermo Dominus noster Jesus Christus poenitentiam omnis setas, omnis sexus, 

omnibus venerit, et colligens doctos, pari- omnisque conditio, kc. 

ter et indoctos, omni sexui atque atati p Euseb. Prsefat. in lib. vii. Hist, 

prsecepta salutis ediderit, &c. [p. 151- edit. Eccles. 

320 Refections on 3Ir. Wall's [letter xii. 

to Dometms and Didymus says thus ; ' It is needless to mention the 
' names of the many martyrs among us who were unknown to you; 
^ but know this, that men and women, young" men and old men, 
' young women and old women, soldiers and private persons, all 
' sorts, and {jiacra rjkiKia) all ages, some gaining the \dctory by 
' scourges and fire, and others by the sword, have obtained their 
' crowns q/ Now as it is incontestable that this phrase cannot include 
the youngest infants in these instances, so it need not be extended 
to such in the words of St. Irenseus. 

Nor does the enumeration of the several ages make it necessary to 
understand such infants by the word : we must consider how far 
each of those ages extends, at what period they begin, and at what 
they conclude. Now that infancy was not confined to the narrow 
Hmits in which we commonly use the word, is, I think, past doubt. 
Origen has a remarkable passage to this effect : though he does not 
make use of this particular word, yet the words he does use are equally 
expressive of the tenderest age. ' Those,"" says he, ' who from their 
' childhood and first age are called to do the works of the kingdom 
' of Godr,^ &c. And St. Irenseus himself in his Epistle to Florinus 
uses TTpcoTT] rjAiKLa, though it be properly enough said even of new-born 
infants, in so large a sense as to reach that age, in which he could 
hear and understand the teachings of St. Polycarp, so as to remember 
them perfectly well in his old age : from whence it appears that 
the Jirst of those ages, into which they divided man^s life, was not 
shut up in very narrow bounds. 

Feuardentius has noted from Philo, that Hippocrates limits in- 
fancy to seven years ; but Danet, from the Greek and Latin A^a-iters, 
extends it to fourteen* : and this seems to be nearest St. Irenteus' 
mind, and may be collected from his own words. Juvenes extends to 
between thirty and forty. Semores between forty and fifty, in the 
latter part of this very chapter, from whence the psedobaptists 
argue. And as he has thus assigned ten years to each of the last 
two stages, nothing can be more probable than that the first three 
were of the same length : upon this com]3utation therefore infancy 
will reach to ten years of age ; pamdi will include all from thence 
to twenty, andjo?/eri from twenty to thirty. This is the more con- 

q Euseb. Hist. Eccles. lib. vii. cap. 1 1 . koX -nvphs, ol Se Sia (nS^ipov rhv aywva vikt]- 

s. 18. Tovs 5e rjufrdpovs ttoAXovs re ovras cravres, tovs (TTfcpafovs aTrtiKrjipaffi. 

Kal aypwTas ii/xii', ireptaahi' dfo/j-aa-r] Kara- r In Matth. p. 406 C. Tovs ixiv etc 

Kiynv irXriv XcTTe on 'dv(^pes Kal ywaiKis, Trai^wv, Kal Tcpdiry]^ T]\iKias KXriOivras eirl 

Kal veoL Kal yepovres, Kal KdpaL Kal Trpea^v- rh ipyd^iaOai ra, rrjs PacriAeias tov Qiov 

TiSes, Kal (TTpariwrai koX iSiwrai, Kal irav f pyo, &c. [Comm. torn. xvi. sect. 36. 1 

y4vos Kal iracra TjXtKia, ol fjiv 5ia fiaariyaip ^ Diction. Antiq. Eom. et Graec. p. 51. 

History of Infant-haptism. 321 

firmed, because it agrees with St. Iren^eus^ saying-, he saw Florinus 
when he was jiuer {Trais-) ; for, as the time is laboriously calculated 
by the accurate Mr. Dodwell, he was then about twenty-five, which 
falls in very well with that computation which makes the limits of 
the age St. Irenasus c^iW^s, pueros, to be from twenty to thirty. !Mr, 
Dodwell, who is of the same opinion in this case, xery learnedly 
illustrates the matter, and after him, 1 must not attempt it ; and 
therefore I refer you to his learned dissertations^. 

If then infantes, in the language of St. Irenseus, means not only 
such as we now commonly call infants, of a few months, but also 
any under ten years of age ; what advantage can the paedobaptists 
gain by citing this passage ? They should prove the youngest infants, 
who have not the least use of reason, are to be baptized : whereas 
this place of St. Irenaeus at most proves only that persons may be 
bajDtized under ten years of age. Now we only insist that persons 
cannot be baptized till they actually know, or at least profess to 
know and believe the first principles of the Christian religion : they 
who make such a profession, thoug*h ever so young, ought to be 
baptized. And when the pa?dobaptists pretend to oppose us, by 
citing passages in which the words have a larger acceptation than 
they commonly have at present, it is all trifling, and can make 
nothing to the purpose, unless the woi'ds were taken in the same 
limited sense in the passage cited, as they are in the cj^uestion. 

As soon as persons are capable of being taught what the apostles 
requii'ed of those they baptized, so soon they may be made fit for 
and received to baptism ; for there is no other set time when they 
must be received but this, viz. when they believe. And that children 
under ten are caj)able of this, none can doubt who understand any 
thing of the power of education. Common experience shews us 
how far that age can go in many things, especially if improved by 
a good education. If you know any of Mr. Locke's acquaintance, 
they \\\\\ tell you many strange truths of the effects of bis method 
on several who have had the happiness to be brought up in it. 
And pray, why should not that age be thought as capable of the 
plain easy principles of Christianity as of any thing else? St. Austin^ 
himself allows, as our author notes'', that at seven years childx-en 
might be able to make the necessary responses. And I have knov\^l 
some admitted at about fourteen, and heard of some much younger ; 
and it is only for want of due care that there are not many more such 
instances : so that at most all that can be said from this passage 

f In Irenjeuin, Dissertat. iii. § 6, &c. " Lib. i. de Aniina, cap. lo. 

^ Parti, p. iS8, [212] and 288, [304.] 


322 Refections on Mr. Wall's [letter xiii. 

amounts but to this ; That some infants^ that is^ some under ten 
years of ag-e^ may be admitted to baptism ; which makes nothing- 
against our opinion, for such also may believe. But if it be consi- 
dered, I. How doubtful it is whether the passag-e be genuine; 
•2. Whether it be well translated; 3. Whether it speaks of bap- 
tizing- ; and lastly, that it is plain jt does not necessarily speak of 
infants so young : it must be allowed that this famous citation, 
after all the noise it has made, cannot be sufficient for any reason- 
able man to lay a stress upon it. And yet this is by far the most 
considerable our adversaries can produce so early, I have now 
made it appear, that for two hundred years after Christ, nothing* 
can be argued with any force for paedobaptism ; for St. Irenaeus lived 
to about anno 190. And the next author Mr. Wall argues from is 
Tertullian, who did not write till about the beginning- of the third 
century. What he says shall be referred to the following letter. 

I am, Sir, 

Yours, &c. 


An argument against infant-baptism, drawn from Polycrates' letter to Victor — 
Tertullian no friend to infant-baptism ; which makes Mr. Wall begin his 
citations from him with decrying his authority — His general expressions no 
argument for paedobaptism — Tertullian's steady meaning easy to be come at, 
without Mr. Wall's extravagant guesses — Tertullian's mentioning infant-bap- 
tism no argument it was practised in his time ; but only that some were endea- 
vouring to bring in the practice — Tertullian does not simply advise (as Mr. 
Wall pretends) to defer the baptizing of children, but argues against il as a 
thing that ought not to be done — The reading of the passage, on which Mr. 
AVall grounds his supposition, altogether impertinent and absurd— Tertullian's 
doctrine concerning baptism inconsistent with pasdobaptisra — His exposition of 
I Cor. vii. 14. not in favour of baptism — Not one author cited of the first three 
centuries, who understands that text of baptism — Mr. "Wall's endeavours to 
to prove that ayios, &c., means toashed, &c., ineffectual— The sense given by 
the bishop of Sarum and by Dr. Whitby cannot be the true one — The best 
interpretation which can ])e made upon our author's own principles, is that he 
so much despises, viz. that by holiness is meant legitimacy — This proved to be 
the true sense — Holy never signifies baptize — When Mr. Wall comes to Origen, 
he cites some passages which are plain to his purpose — But they are only 
taken from Latin translations — The passage some cite from the Greek remains 
of this Father (as Mr. Wall himself confesses) proves nothing — The Latin 
translations from whence the main citations are taken are very corrupt and 
licentious — Several learned men confess it — As Grotius, Huetius, Daille, Du 
Pin, Tarinus — Which is also abundantly proved by comparing the trans- 
lation with the Greek fragments, as now extant — St. Hierome was not more 

History of Infant-haptism. 3^3 

faithful in his translations than Ruffinus — It is very probable they took this 
liberty in all other things, as well as in those particularly for which Origen was 
questioned — Ruffinus, notwithstanding what Mr. Wall says to the contrary, 
took as much liberty with the Epistle to the Romans as he did with other 
books — He expressly says he had added many things — Besides, that comment- 
ary was very much interpolated before Ruffinus took it in hand — As to the 
passage taken out of the Homilies on Joshua, it is at best doubtful whether he 
speaks of infants in age — In one part of these Homilies he has inserted, though 
it be not in the original, this passage particularly, which is the ground of the 
pcedobaptists' argument — In St. Cyprian's time infant-baptism was practised 
in Africa; and probably first took rise there, together with infant-communion 
— The Africans, generally men of weak understanding — The Greek church, 
probably, had not yet admitted the error — The inference from the whole — A 
recapitulation— A reason why so much only of Mr. Wall's history as relates to 
the first centuries, is examined — How infant-baptism was at first brought in 
use — Errors sprung up in the church very early — This of infant-baptism not 
brought in all at once, but by degrees : and was occasioned in some measure 
by their zeal, which was not always according to knowledge, as several other 
things were — A parallel betwixt this practice and the popish notion of transub- 
stantiation — When John iii. 5. was imderstood to relate to infants, as well as 
others, no wonder infants were baptized — Upon just such another mistake of 
our Saviour's words in John vi. 53, the earliest psedobaptists admitted 
children to the Lord's supper — Conclusion, 

Before I examine what our author urg-es from TertulHan, I will 
give you an argument against infant-baptism which naturally falls 
in about this time : it is^ for aught I know^ wholly new, and per- 
haps may not be unacceptable ; if it be, you may easily pass it over^ 
for it is but short. 

I take it from the letter Polycrates writ to Victor concerning" 
Easter, wherein he says thus : ' I Polycrates, the meanest of you all, 
' according to the tradition of my kinsmen, some of whom also I 
' follow ; for seven of my relations were bishops, and I am the 
' eighth, and they always celebrated the feast, when the people 
'■ removed the leaven : I, therefore, brethren, who am sixty-five 
'^ years old in the Lorda,^&c. Now from these words I gather, i. 
That this bishop was descended of Christian parents ; than which 
nothing can seem more probable, since he himself assures us there 
had been so many bishops in the family, and it is likely his father 

a Euseb. Hist. Eccles. lib. v. cap. 24. s. Se o-'/loos- koj. ncivTOTe rriv 7]fx4pav riyayov 

5. ■'Eti Se /c«7a) b ixiKpdrepos irdvraji/ vixSiv ol avyyevels fJ-ov, orav 6 \ahs ijpvuf t)}v 

Uo\vKpd.Tris, Kara irapaSocriv ruv (Tvyyt-vSiv (T^utjc- e'-ydi olv, oSeA^ol, f^-qKovTa Trevre erv] 

/uoy, ois Kal irapriKoKovOricra Tialv avruv e^'^'' **' Kupioj, &c. 
(TTTa fiiy ^aau cri;77ei'€?s fj.ov imffKotroi, iyii 

Y 2 

324 Rejiections on Mr. irall's [letter xiii. 

was one. Mr. Dodwell, speaking* of hereditary priesthood, says, 
' The priesthood came by inheritance to Scopelianus, an orator in 
' Asia, as Philostratus testifies ; and in like manner perhaps Poly- 
' crates was eig-hth bishop of the same family in Asia^/ 

2. Poly crates says he was sixty-five years old in the Lord; which 
plainly distingnishes between his natural ag-e, and his ag-e in the 
Lord : several instances of this way of speaking are to be met with 
in the New Testament. All which put together, I think, shcAvs 
that though Polycrates was born of Christian parents, he was not 
baptized in his infancy ; but, according to the use of the church of 
that time, when he was able to answer for himself. I think there is 
no need to prove any part of this ; and therefore I leave the argu- 
ment with you as it is, and proceed now to Tertullian. 

Mr. AY all begins with lessening Tertullian's reputation, and 
accuses him of having fallen into ' great and monstrous errors."* Is 
all this severitv against Tertullian, because his books afford several 
arguments against psedobaptism ? Mr. Wall says, ' Tertullian has 
' spoke so in this matter of infant-baptism, as that it is hard to 
' reconcile the several passages with one another^ :' which is pretty 
strange too ; for our author cites but one place where this Father 
speaks of it at all, and there he speaks against it : and I do not see 
any need to reconcile this AA-ith other passages which do not speak 
of 'it. 

But it seems Tertullian, in some places, speaks of the necessity of 
baptism in such general terms, as to reckon ' those that die unbap- 
' tized as lost men :' and from thence our author concludes, that to 
be sure Tertullian, and the church of that time, thought children 
ought to be baptized. The answer is short and easj^ ; for he does, 
in as general terms, say, ' They who come to be baptized do, at the 
' place and time of baptism, and before, in the church, renounce the 
' J)e\i\'^,' &c. And he frequently says full as much of the necessity 
of faith as he does of baptism ; in imitation of the Scriptures, which 
say, that noiv God hath commanded all men every where to repent^ 
Acts xA'ii. 30. And that he iinll have all men to be saved, and to come 
to the knowledge of the truth, i Tim. ii. 4. Again, Without faith it is 
impossible to please God, Heb. xi. 6. Follow peace tcith all men, and 
holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord, Heb. xii. 14. Ter- 

^ De jure Laic. Sacerdot. p. 220. ^ [Part i. p. 55.] 
Sacerdotium Scopeliano rhetori in Asia ^ De Corona, p. ic2 A. Aquam adituri, 
haereditarium fuisse testis est Pliilostra- ibidem, sed et aliquanto prius in ecclesia 
tus, quo etiam exemplo fortasse Polycra- sub antistitis manu contestamur nos ra- 
tes iu eadem Asia octavus ejusdem fami- nunciare Diabolo. [Cap. 3.] 
Use gessit inter Christianos episcopatum. 

Hktori/ of Infaut-hajptisrii. 325 

tullian cannot possibly express himself more universally than these 
holy writers have here done, and yet nobody imagines infants are 
included; and therefore such expressions afford no more reason to 
say, Tertullian any vrhere countenances the baptism of infants, than 
when he says, ^ This command is given to all. Seek, and ye shall 
' finde/ 

After !Mr. Wall has cited several passages which he thinks a little 
inconsistent with one another, he pretends to guess at what might 
be 'his steady meaning (if he had anyf^;) for that is very doubtful 
in our author^s opinion. But indeed I think it is easy to see that 
Tertullian thought baptism was necessary to all such as had heard 
of Christ, and of its institution ; and that such could not be saved if 
they refused to own his authority; but he says no such thing of 
others, who were incapable of knowing or doing the Divine ^^'ill. 
And therefore he excuses the patriarchs expressly from that 
necessity g, because it was not possible they shoidd practise what 
was then not instituted, or believe Jesus was the Messiah, when he 
was not yet come : the same thing in effect he says of infants too, 
where he opposes their being baptized till they are capable of know- 
ing and desiring to come to Christ. 

But our adversaries argue, since Tertullian mentions infant-bap- 
tism, it must have been known and practised in his time ; and 
though he opposes it, his private opinion signifies nothing : for it is 
the practice of the church, and not the opinion of one doctor, which 
is to be regarded. To this we may return ; — 

1 . That Tertullian, as is plain fi'om many other places, speaks so 
of baptism, as is utterly inconsistent with psedobaptism ; and the 
passage particularly here referred to, if it were a little doubtful, 
might be cleared up by them. 

2. That it at most only proves, there were some persons at that 
time, who among many other wild notions were about to introduce 
this of the necessity of baptism to the salvation of infants ; and 
not, as Mr. Wall pretends, that it was the opinion of the church, or 
that they practised infant -baptism. 

Had it been the settled practice and judgment of the church, and 
what they thought was supported l)y the authority and tradition of 
the apostles, &c., it cannot be imagined that Tertullian should 
venture to oppose it ; or if he did, that he should employ no more 

^ De Prsescript. ad Haeretic. p. 205 D. f Part i. p. 28. [60.] 

Omnibus dictum sit, Quserite etinvenietis, % De Baptismo, cap. 13. p. 229 D. 

&c. [cap. 9.] 

236 Reflections on Mr. IFall's [letter xiii. 

pains to excuse what seemed to contradict the doctrine and practice 
of the apostles and the whole church. 

But, says Mr. Wall, it is plain Tertullian only pleaded for 
deferring the baptism of infants when there was no immediate 
danger of death, because in some (which he takes to be the truer) 
copies, it is said, ' For Avhat need is there unless in cases of 
' necessity/ &c., implying-, that in cases of danger they ought 
indeed to be baptized without delay : but the tautology of these 
words seems very impertinent, as if Tertullian had argued thus ; 
either there is some necessity, or there is no necessity; if there is no 
necessity, then what necessity is there ? For the passage, as Mr. 
Wall would read it, will run exactly thus : ' What necessity is there 
' unless there be a necessity ?■* Pamelius, upon whose authority our 
author builds, confesses he has it only from Gagnseus, whose single 
judgment is not sufficient. E-igaltius notes s, that ' copies differ,' 
and says that the old Paris edition, meaning that of Gagna}us, (but 
without adding any other that does so too,) foolishly repeats the 
word necesse. And Grotius*^, observing the same variety, confesses 
he ' cannot see what tolerable sense those words can have ;' and 
therefore he leaves them out as spurious. And till better authorities 
can be produced to confirm that reading, we shall think the repeti- 
tion too silly for Tertullian, and therefore reject it. 

It is frivolous to say Tertullian is as much against the baptism of 
all unmarried persons, &c., as of infants ; as Mr. Wall does from 
bishop Felli. He advises such, indeed, as are in any danger of sin- 
ning-, to delay their being bajrtized; but he plainly opposes the 
baptism of infants upon quite different topics, namely, because they 
are incapable of that sacrament, and because they have no need of it, 
and it ought not to be administered to them. He makes it there- 
fore useless and unlawful to baptize infants ; but does not intimate 
so of unmarried persons, &c. 

How unfit infants are for baptism, he shews in other places ; as 
when he says, ' The soul is sanctified not by washing, but by the 
' answer of a good conscience^ ;' as St. Peter says, i Epist. ch. iii. 21, 
to which place Tertullian probably alludes. And again, to omit 
abundance more which might be cited, arguing about the use and 
necessity of repentance, he says, ' baptism is the seal of faith ; which 
' faith is begun and adorned by the faith of repentance. We are 

S In the first edition, anno 1634. [I i In Cyprian, Epist. 64. 

do not find any such remark in that '^ De Resurrection, cap. 48. p- 355 B. 

edition ; namely, folio, Paris. 1634] Anima non lavatione sed responsione 

li In Matth. xix. 14. sancitur. 

Kistorij of Infard-bajitisiii. 3S7 

' not therefore washed that we may leave sinning', but because we 
' have ah-eady done it, and are already purified in our hearts'/ Are 
these the words of a man who thought baptism might be given to 
infants ? Are infants already purified in heart ? Have they left 
sinning ? And are they therefore washed ? Have they any such faith 
as TertuUian here speaks of ? And yet he says, baptism is the seal 
of this sort of faith particularly; and therefore doubtless he thought 
the seal could not be regularly applied where this faith was wanting. 
But our adversaries do not much heed what Tertullian says, he being- 
so much against them ; though if he is thought to speak any thing 
in their favour, he is a good authority enough. And therefore Mr. 
Wall was unwilling- to slip the occasion of noting from Tertullian^s 
exposition of i Cor. vii. 14, that those words are by him understood 
of baptism, and the holiness there spoken of, is haptlsmal holiness. 
But what advantage he proposed to himself by this I cannot g-uess ; 
for he allows Tertullian paraphrases holi/ by designed for holiness, and 
therefore only meant at most that they were designed to be baptized 
in time, which is opposite to the sense the modern paedobaptists 
plead for. 

Besides, I do not see Tertullian g*ives any intimation that he 
understood this passage to relate to baptism at all; on the con- 
trary, he says, they are ' holy by the prerogative of that seed, and 
' the instruction in their education ™,' but not a word of baptism : 
nay he, as plainly as words can express, refers to the cleanness or 
holiness of birth, and understands St. Paul so too, when he repeats 
his sense thus, ' of either parent sanctified, the children are born 
' holy.' I hope you do not think he meant they were born bap- 
tized ; and again he adds, ' otherwise they would be born unclean •/ 
which passages Mr. Wall has not rightly translated, as you may see 
by comparing his English with the Latin.