Samuel Rutherford on Infant Baptism (Part 2)
The following is Chapter 14 of The Covenant of Life Opened
Considerations of the Arguments from Gen. 17, Mark 10:15-16, Luke 18, Math. 19, & Rom. 11 for Infant Baptism.
If God be the God of Abraham and of his seed, Gen. 17. therefore every male child shall be entered in the Covenant, by the initial seal of Circumcision, and so women also who eat the Passover, which the uncircumcised might not do: and Peter was sent to the Circumcision, that is, to all the Jews men and women, and so the women is some way in the men, and they might be circumcised in them upon the same ground, because the same promise is made to fathers and to children, must infants be baptized, Acts 2:39. 1. This is the Lords own Argument, Gen. 17:7. there were multitudes of differences between Circumcision and Baptism as we grant, but in the substance nature and Theological essence, and in the formal effects they are the same. We grant that Christ revealed in Types, Sacrifices, to come, darkly offered may differ from Christ as clearly offered Preached without these already abolished shadows and who is now come. Yet he is the same Saviour to them who believed in him then and now, Act. 10:43. Act. 15:11. And we 2. argue not simply from the letter of the Covenant. I am your God. Ergo, be baptized, for one might reply. I am your God. Ergo, offer such beasts to me, it shall not follow, But I am your God, and the God of your seed offering to you the same Christ and righteousness that was offered to Abraham in the same Covenant: Ergo, all of you be baptized who are under the same Covenant. For,
1. Circumcision of the flesh was a seal of the Circumcision of the heart promised in the Covenant of Grace, Deut. 30.6. and of the cutting of the foreskin thereof, Jer. 4.4. Jer. 9.26. Ezech. 36,26,27. and baptism is the same, Col. 2.11,12. Tit. 3.5.
2. Circumcision is a seal of the righteousness of faith, Rom. 4.11. so is baptism, as 1 Pet. 3.21. Rom. 4.24.
3. Circumcision is a seal of the Covenant, and by a metonymic called the Covenant of God in the flesh, Gen. 17.7,13. so is baptism a solemn installing of all Samaria, Acts 8. in the Christian Covenant, and so Acts 2:39.
4. Circumcision is a solemn way of instituting any in the Church of Israel, so we are by one Spirit baptized into one body 1 Cor. 12. 12,13.
1. The command of Circumcising is as large as Covenanting, but that is with Abraham the father, and his seed, Acts 2.39. make the command of being Baptized, every one of you be Baptized, as large as the promise of the Christian Covenant, and call: For the promise is to you and to your children, and to as many as the Lord shall call.
2. The command supposes that all the Circumcised, the males of eight days old understand not the promise of the Covenant, the nature, use, signification, and end of the seal, and the command to be baptized, supposeth that the children to whom the Covenant promise is made do not understand the same as touching baptism and the Covenant promise, Acts 2.39.
3. If the positive command be generally that all these in Covenant should be marked with the initiatory seal of the Covenant: As Gen. 17:7-8. I am thy God, and the God of thy seed: Therefore old and young be Circumcised, then there was no other command in particular, to baptize old or young, but the institution of Baptism in place of Circumcision needful. As touching the application of it to persons, old or young, except the ground of external Covenanting stand as warranting to administrate the seal to all, so Covenanted; Yea, and if there be a positive command and warrant in the New Testament to tender the Seal of Baptism to none but to the aged, that can give an account of their faith, and do actually believe; then should there be an express command in the New Testament concerning Baptism as concerning the Lords Supper, that every one before they be Baptized, try and examine themselves whether they savingly believe or not, before they be Baptized, otherwise they receive their own damnation, as in the Lords Supper, for self judging and self examination, if actually believing and being internally in Covenant, as these in whose heart and inward part the Law of Grace must be ingraven, be the necessary condition required in all these to whom the Church can warrantably tender Baptism as the seal of the Covenant: And we require a positive command in the New Testament, see that ye Baptize none though they profess they be in Covenant, except such as can try and examine whether they savingly believe or not: and here Anabaptists must flee to the consequences of the Word and reasons drawn from the Covenant of Grace, as well as we, and an express command they cannot flee unto, nor is it in Old or New Testament: It should not move us, that Infants understand neither command nor seal, nor Covenant, for the Argument is against the Holy Ghost, and they are obliged to answer it; for Infants are as ignorant of the promises the special mysteries of the Gospel, as of Precepts of the Gospel. And yet the promises of the Covenant of Grace are expressly to Infants of the New Testaments Acts 2. 39. promise, , The Gospel promise made to Abraham, Gal. 3. 16. The Gospel and promise of righteousness of the Spirit of Life, Gal. 3.17,18,22,29. 23.28. Gal. 6.2. Rom. 184.108.40.206. Rom. 9.8. 1 Tim. 4.8. Heb. 4.1. Heb. 6:12, 15, Heb. 8:6, Heb. 9:14, 1 John 5.1, is made to your children of the New Testament, to your Infants, if they believe (say they) 1. Can Infants actually believe? 2. Is not the promise so made to Turks, if they believe?
But it were an easier way to Anabaptists to say, infants under the New Testament are externally in Covenant, where as Parents believe, and members of the Church are followed with Covenant mercy, only because they understand not, and the administration is more spiritual under the New Testament, and faith more urged, God requires not the dipping of Infants in Rivers (a ceremony more onerous, more, truly, in women with child, virgins, diseased persons, in winter, in cold countries, against the word, the second Command, the third, the fourth, the sixth, the seventh, then that it needs to be refuted) it being only a ceremony which they may well want. But now Infants of believers are casten out, for no fault, of the Covenant of Grace.
(2.) From Covenant mercy to the thousand Generation. Contrair to Gen. 17.7. Exod. 20. 5.
(3.) From Covenant-prayers and Church-prayers: Contrair to 1 Sam. 12. Ps. 28.9. Ps. 67. 1,2. Ps. 103 4,5.
(4.) From the blessing of the Lords Covenant-presence, who dwells in the Nation, in the Kingdom, Ps. 135.21. Ps. 132. 13,14. Rev. 11.15. Isa. 19.25. Isa. 2. 1,2,3. 2 Cor. 6.16. I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and be their God, and they shall be my people. 18. And I will be a father to you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord God Almighty. Though this be spoken to all the Covenanted people of God, yet are Infants casten out of the bosom of a Covenant Father and God?
(5.) Infants are debarred from Covenant-calling and gathering in under the wings of Christ: Contrair to Matth. 28. 19,20. Matth. 23.37. Psal. 147.19.20. and excluded from Gods Covenant- choice: Contrair to Deut. 7.6,7,8,9. 13,14. Deut. 10.15. and left being heirs of wrath, a prey to Satan.
(6.) They are Excommunicated from Covenant-blessings earthly, and the Tabernacle- protection promised in the Old and New Testament: Contrair to Deut. 28.4. Lev. 26.6,7.8,9.
Psal. 220.127.116.11.26. Psal. 92.10. Psal. 112. 1,2,3. Ezech. 34.24,25,26. Ezech. 36.29.35,36,37. Ezech. 8.7,8. And in the New Testament. Matth. 6.27,28.33. 1 Tim. 4 8. Heb. 13. 5,6. which were nothing if our Heavenly Father provide bread, protection, safety, dwelling in the land, and our houses, to the fathers, but the children had no charter but to beggary, to the sword, to be devoured by wild beasts and the diseases of Egypt: And the Infants have nothing from the Covenant but what Infants of Amaleck, and Babylon, 1 Sam. 15. 1,2. Ps. 137.5. and of Sodom have, Gen. 19.
(7.) They are members of Satan, of the Kingdom of the Prince of darkness, not members of Christ’s Body, since there be but two Kings, two Gods, Satan, 2 Cor. 4.4. Eph. 2 1,2. Eph. 6.12. Matth. 12.29. and Christ the King and Head of his body. And it is known that Infants within the Visible Church, suffer incursions of Devils, dreadful diseases, death; and being without the Covenant, as Pagans; these evils must either be acts of revenging justice, and preparatory to the judgement of eternal fire, or blessed in Christ: But if the former, they are damned, if the latter, what blessing is there without Christ?
(8.) Being without the Covenant. 1. Infants cannot be chosen and predestinate in Christ to salvation, as Eph. 1.4. Rom. 9.11. nor given to Christ to be saved Covenant-ways, as John 17.2, John 6.39. nor loved from eternity, nor in time, as Arminians teach, and so must be carried in Christ to Heaven or Hell, or rather to a mid place, without God or providence, or decrees, or fore-knowledge, or counsel of God. 2. They being without the Gospel-Covenant, cannot be redeemed by Jesus Christ his Blood, but some other way: Contrair to Acts 4.12. 3. If Infants be born without sin, as Anabaptists teach, they die, and go either to Heaven, and so Christ took not on him their nature, and is not their Saviour: or they go to everlasting torment, and yet never sinned, which is repugnant to Divine Justice: Or to some third place of which the Scripture speaks not. And yet the word saith, Rev. 20. 12. that the dead small and great shall stand before God, and shall be judged. And the Scripture saith Infants are capable of punishment, and of being cut off, and the Parents punished in them, and they bear Covenant- wrath in their Parents: As is clear in the seed of Jeroboam, of Achab, of others, Ezod. 20. 5. Gen. 17.14. 4. Neither remission of sins, Justification, nor life eternall, nor Sonship, nor Adoption in Christs suffering death, and in the Blood of the everlasting Covenant, can belong to Infants if they be without the Covenant.
9. Nor can children be capable of being blessed of Christ, or of his laying on of hands. As Mark 10. if they be not under the N. Test. capable of Covenant grace: And it is to be minded, that Covenanting Parents, Luke 18.
1. Such as came to him to be cured of their diseases, and believed him to be the Messiah, the Son of David, as the blind call him, Mat. 20. and the woman of Canaan, Mat. 15. Luk 18.15. brought to him little Children, as Mat. 8.16. Mat. 9. 2. Luk. 4.40. they brought the sick.
2. The children were not diseased, nor possessed: And the Parents being desirous they might be blessed, as the event proved, it is clear they were not children of heathen, but members of the Visible Church.
3. Of such is the Kingdom of God, Luk. 18.16. we cannot think that his meaning is of such as such, is the Kingdom of God, as if all Infants of Jew and Heathen, belonged as subjects to the Visible Church, for then the Infants of all Heathen should be Covenanted members of the Visible Church, and yet their Parents are without the Visible Church, and when they grow to age, they should without any scandal be Excommunicate, which were monstrous, nor can the Invisible Kingdom of God be of such, as if all Infants, because Infants were saved. Nor,
4. Can the taking of them be a mere Emblem that such were blessed, for so, beside that Doves and Lambs, for meekness are capable of being taken in the arms of Christ and blessed, Christ bids them, in all times coming, be suffered to come, and not forbidden, v. 16. which saith he desired the whole specie of Infants of the Visible Church to be brought to him. Nor doth Christ make acts of Emblems ordinary, but he will have children at all time to come to him: forbid them not: He once cursed the fig tree, that was an Emblem: and did but once wash his Disciples feet, and that was an Emblem. And,
5. He could not mean, that only Infants predestinate to glory, should be suffered to come: For the saith indifferently suffer little children to come: Now he should then have given marks to discern predestinate children and suffer them. (2.) And receive them only as Disciples, in my Name, Mar. 6.36,37. (3.) He should have laid his hands upon some Infants, as predestinate to glory, and forbidden others to come. And the Parents should have known what children are predestinate to life, and should come, and what not.
6. The Text evidences that the Disciples had a prejudice and a carnal one, at infants, thinking, they understood nothing of Christ and of the Kingdom of Grace. The Disciples rebuked these that brought them: as Anabaptists do. And Christ rebukes them and instates infants of beleeving Parents as members of the Visible Church.
7. Nor was it extraordinary, when Christ said suffer little children to come, but he would have the spece instated members of such a Kingdom. Ergo. some of the kind must be saved and examples must be verified (saith Mr. Cobbet judiciously) in some particulars.
8. Of such is the Kingdome of God, of such in Covenant relation is the Kingdome of God, of such subjects. For if Christs reason be, of such for humilitie, meekness, want of malice, and invy, as 1 Pet. 2. 1,2,3. Math. 18. Psal. 131. 1, 2. is the Kingdome of God: he must mean by the Kingdome of God, the Kingdome of Glory and the triumphing Church, this sense is refused by Anabaptists. 2. The Infants of Pagans and of all men, by nature, within and without the Church are as well marked resemblances of converts, as they. And we must say that Christ would have taken in his arms, and blessed all the Pagan Infants, and when they grow to age they should be for no fault, but for age only. Excommunicate from the blessing, for Pagan Infants as well resemble humility and harmlesseness (if only the personall qualifications of converts, and heart converts, not the Covenant and Church holiness of visible Professours, be here meant) as Infants within the Visible Church.
9. There was no other designe and purpose in Christ, in that emphatick expression, forbid them not to come Math. 19.14. Luke 18. 16. to me their Saviour, as well as the Saviour of the aged, but to hold forth the common interest of the whole spece of infants () within the Visible Church, their Covenant interest in Christ, for there is no imaginable reason, but the conceit of want of understanding (the prejudice of Anabaptists only) why the Disciples should have aimed to debar them or any poor sinners from accesse to the Saviour of sinners.
10. Christ took them in his armes, layed his hands on them, blessed them. Now this was a personall reall favour bestowed upon infants, had infants been meer symbolick and doctrinall resemblances of the humilitie of reall converts, and the young ones as much without the Covenant as Pagans, and as uncapable of Covenant grace and Covenant seals, because void of actuall faith now under the new Gospel administration, as horses or beasts, let the opposites of their Baptisme show what sort of blessing it was, that Christ bestowed upon them, if it be not: 1. Of more value then Jacobs blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh, or at least as reall, and certain,
Christ the Lord from heaven must as Soveraigne, who had power to curse the fig tree and it withered, by his Soveraigne power have blessed, in them, the whole race of infants in the Visible Church, and declared them Covenanted Church members under the New Testament in this eminent act of blessing the children and in commanding that all such might have free accesse to him as King, since the young ones were Subjects of the Kingdome of God, as well as the aged, and expressely forbids, that in time to come, they be hindered to come to him, Mark 10.14. Luk. 18.16. Math. 19.14. and three Evangelists are three sufficient witnesss.
(2.) Christ the Lord is the Supreme and Soveraigne Lord of blessing and cursing: for in him all the Nations of the earth, and with them, young ones a considerable part of the Covenanted Nations, must be blessed, (3.) If Isaac blessed Jacob, and he must be blessed, Gen. 27. 29. 33. and Jacob blessed the twelve Tribes, Gen. 49. 28. and Moses the man of God blessed Israel, before his death, Deut. 33. 1,2. &c. with Covenant blessings, and they were really blessed, Christ must as really with Covenant blessings, have, in this blessed the whole race of infants of Covenanting parents, except Anabaptists say that it was some complementall salutation, for the fashion that Christ bestowed upon infants, when the Evangelists say, he blessed them, Math. 19.13. Mark 10.16. 4. by the glosse of the Adversaries. Christ blessed them symbolick and doctrinall resemblances of the humilitie and docility of reall converts, and they were blessed as meer signes, as the Elements in the Sacraments are blessed, or as new made crucifixes are blessed and dedicated to divine worship, as resemblances of Christ crucified; and as Popish Images are symbolicallie blessed, a strange devise are rather a strong delusion.
4. If Christ prayed for infants as Matthew sayeth the mothers or parents sought that of him, Math. 19 13. his prayers must be grounded upon the word of the Covenant, and what could he seek for infants peace in these, but Covenant mercies and salvation: for Christ was not to work a miracle upon them, and he satisfied the desires of these, who brought them on their armes, and therefore could not go on their feet nor give a confession of their faith, they were born as the man sick of the palsie, Math. 9.2.
(5.) Now as Christ is always hard in his prayes, Joh. 11.42. so his blessing he bestowed upon them (though Anabaptists will have them without Christ and the Covenant and under the curse of God) must either be a blessing of the Covenant of Grace, or of the Covenant of Works, for a third sort of blessing the Scripture knows not: Moses takes all blessings up in these two, Deut. 27. 12,15,16. Deut. 28. 2,3,15,16. Deut 30.19. I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, and so doeth Paul, Gal. 3.10,13,14. Heb. 6,7,8,14,15. But Christ could not bestow the Law blessing of Works upon these infants, for they had not fulfilled the Law in their persons, nor can infants or any flesh be justified by the Law, Rom. 3.20.therefore must Christ have bestowed upon them the blessing of the Covenant of Grace, Gal. 3.14. Heb. 6.14. let it be the blessing of remission and life, or reall right to the Kingdome of God, its a blessing of the Covenant.
6. The faith of the parents that brought them is holden forth, Math. 19. 13. Then were little children brought unto him, that he might lay his hands on them and pray: then had they faith in Christ, that his praying and blessing should be availeable to infants, its a conjecture that they came with a may be, or as Mr. Cobbet well sayeth, a faith grounded upon a possibilitie of Election separated from the Covenant, that is secret, and the Covenant revealed, and so this, not election abstracted from that, can be the ground of faith, Deut. 29. 29. and when Christ saith, Math. 18. 4,10. that little ones Angels behold the face of his Father, and the Holy Ghost saith, Heb. 1.13. that Angels are Minstring Spirits, . For these that shall by heritage or lot injoy salvation. Its clear infants have their share of salvation, and by Covenant it must be. As also the blessed seed is promised to Adam before he have a child, and to his seed: To Seth, Japhet, Isaac, Jacob, Abraham, when Cainan, Cham, Ishmael, Esau, Abrahams Idolatrous house, to David, when his brethren are refused, and to these as heads of Generations, when contrare Generations, and the houses of Cainan, Cham, Ishmael, are rejected: Hence the house of Israel, the seed of Israel, the seed of Jacob, and there shall be added to the Gentiles, Isa. 49. who shall bring in to the Church their sons and their daughters upon their shoulders, 22. Isa. 54.1. Sing O barren&c; for more are the children of the desolate then of the maried wife saith the Lord, Isa. 60.4. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see, all they gather themselves about, they shall come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy sons shall be nourished at thy side. Israel marying and Israel according to the flesh is the holy seed, Neh. 7.61. Neh. 9.2. the holy seed have mingled with the heathen. 1 Chron. 16.13. O ye seed of Israel his servants, ye children of Jacob whom he hath chosen, be mindful of his Covenant.
And this holiness by external Covenanting is extended to the Gentiles, 1 Cor. 7.14. But now are your children holy; and its holiness the Jews to be called in, Rom. 11.16. If the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are also the branches. So it is prophecied, Isa. 61.9. Their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their off-spring among the people: All that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed that the Lord hath blessed. 6. But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord, (holy by Covenant as was Aarons house, because in Covenant visibly with God) men shall call you the Ministers of our God: Ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles; and in their glory shall ye boast your selves. Isa. 62.2. Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord hath named. v. 12. And they shall call them the holy people, the Redeemed of the Lord: And thou shalt be called, Sought out. A City not forsaken. Isa. 65.22. As the dayes of a tree, are the dayes of my people: and mine Elect (by called) shall long injoy the work of their hands. Sure he Prophesies of a visibly Covenanted people under the New Testament: For he adds, v. 23. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth in trouble: for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their off-spring with them.
Now to any Godly Reader, there is here. 1. a Prophesie to be fulfilled of the Gentiles brought in, as is clear, Isai. 61. 1,2,3,4. Christ, Luke 4. applyes that Text to himself. And 9. Their seed shall be known among the Gentiles. Isa. 62.2. The Gentiles shall see thy Righteousness. And for Chapter 65. 1,2,3,4. Paul expounds it of the in- coming of the Gentiles, Rom. 9.24.26. Rom. 10.20. Eph. 2.12.13. Rom. 15.20.
(2.) He speaks of a Visible Church and of their seed, known among the Gentiles, all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed, Isa. 61.9. But they did not see the white stone (the seal of their election) and a new Name which none can read but he that receives it, Rev. 2.17. And they see them a seed and off spring of the Covenanted people of God. Isa. 62.12. They shall call them the holy people: then they must judge them a Visible Church. But a Church of such as are predestinate to glory, they cannot see them to be.
(3.) Isai. 55. They are a Visible Church 21. They shall build houses and inhabite them —22. They shall not build and another inhabite, They shall not plant and another eat. And the reason is, 23— (foreign) Because they are (they shall be, its a Prophesie under the New Testament) the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their off-spring with them. Jer. 23.22. As the Host of Heaven cannot be numbred, neither the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the seed of David, What seed? The visible seed: And the Levits that Minister unto me, will I multiply: He alludes to the promise made to Abraham, of multiplying his seed, Gen. 13.15. Gen. 15.5. Gen. 2.17. And this promise made to Abraham (saith Calvin) belongs to them all, and he would have them not to doubt of the restitution of the people to their own Land. Now the people and Levits, and house of David were never so multiplied in the Jews, after the deliverance from Babylon, and therefore must be extended to the New Testament. And if God establish Davids seed for ever, Psal. 89.4. And the seed of his people shall possesse the gates of their enemies, Gen. 24.60. And if he powre his Spirit upon the seed of Jacob, Isai. 44.3. and Circumcise the heart of the seed of his people, Deut. 30.6. and put his words in the mouth of the seed of his people, and their seeds seed for ever, Isai. 59.21. And the seed of the righteous be blessed on earth, Psal. 37.26. not simply because they are a seed (for the whole seed of man should be blessed, if so) but because they are the seed of his servants, Psal. 69.36. of the Jews, Esther 6.13. the Children of his Servants, Psal. 102.28. See Jer. 31.35,35.37. Isa. 6.13. because the seed of Abraham, and in the Covenant made with Abraham, Exod. 2.24, 2 Kings 13.23. Psal. 105.8,9. Psal. 111.5.9. Gen. 17.2,7,9. Lev. 26.42,45. Ezek. 16.60. Luke 1.72. Exod. 6.4. Deut. 8.18, &c. Then must the Covenant be established under the New Testament with the Visible seed; and if there were an abridging and contracting of this favour to the Elect only, it would have been shewed, and the Charter of reservation and exception must have been penned in the Old or New Testament. 2. Otherwise the seed of all Gentiles called in to Christ by the Preached Gospel, must be visibly cursed of God, cut off from the people of God, separated from the Lord, from the Congregation of his people, not to the tenth Generation only as the Ammonite, the Moabite, the Bastard, Deut. 23.1,2,3. and Excommunicated out of the Camp as unclean, nor should Christians marry or Covenant with them: As Deut. 23.14. Lev. 13.43,44,45,46. Deut. 7.1,2,3. Exod. 34.15,16. 1 King. 11. 2. Ezra 9.2,12. Nehem. 13.23. Judg. 3.6,7. Judg. 42. 3. Except there be some middle between a cursed and a blessed seed, a seed in the Church, and in Covenant, and the seed of the Serpent, of Heathen, without the Covenant. 2. A middle between the Kingdom of darkness, of Satan, and the Kingdom of God of his dear Son: Contrair to Eph. 2.2,3,4. Acts 26.18. Col. 1.13,14. 1 Pet. 2.9,10. Eph. 5.8. which is unknown to Scripture. Yea the Covenant is made to Christ and his seed, Gal. 3.16. and the same blessings of Abraham, comes on us Gentiles, Gal. 3.13,14. But he and all his seed were blessed and in grace by the external call of the Covenant. Ezek. 16. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Deut. 7,7,8. Rom. 10.23. I will call them my people that were not my people, and her beloved which was not beloved. And this external calling is of Grace and so Grace, no merit, as well as predestination to life is grace or for grace. For whosoever are called, not because Elect, but because freely loved of such a God and without merit called, Father and Son, they are in a state of grace: But so are all within the Visible Church. If any object, by Christs coming all the Nations old and young are not become the Nations of the Lord and of his Christ, but only true Believers, even by our Doctrine.
Answ. They are become the Kingdoms of the Lord, not only because they are truly converted, but because they are the chosen of God in the Office house of Christ, and Christ reigns over them by the Scepter of his Word whom he is to convert. And external Covenanting with God is of it self free Grace and a singular favor bestowed of God, Psal. 147.19,20. Deut. 5.1,2. Mat. 21.42,43. Luke 14.16.21.
2. It is free Grace that God will have hypocrites and real infidels to beget children to him that are internally in Covenant with him; and fills up the number of the Elect by Reprobate Parents who are instrumental to the in-coming in the world, and into the Visible Church, of many Heirs of Glory: and in so doing there is a Church right communicated from Reprobate Parents to their Children, that are Heirs of Glory.
3. External Covenanting goes before internall Covenanting, as the means before the end, and the cause before the effect: for faith comes by hearing of a sent Preacher, Rom. 10.14. and the Preaching of the Gospel is a saving means of begeting a new heart, and of a new spirit: Hence 1. All must be first externaly in Covenant, before they can be internally and really in Covenant. 2. God is a God simply to some, and no more but a God to them in regard of outward Church priviledges, as the Word, Seals, Protection, Peace, Hedge of Discipline, his planting and watering by a Ministry. But he is, to speak so, more then a God to others, Hos. 2.19. I will betroth thee unto me for ever, yea I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, in judgement, and in loving kindness, and in mercy. Now the Lord is joyned to back sliding Israel, in an external marriage Covenant: But Jer. 3.14. not in righteousness, in loving kindness and mercy, in reference to the rotten party. In regard of which he saith, v. 2. Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband. Zech. 8.7. Thus saith the Lord, I will save my people from the East Countrey, and from the West Countrey. 8. And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness. Then he is not to all a God in truth and righteousness, fulfilling the first and substantiall promise of ingraving the Law in the heart, not that he keeps not Covenant even to external confederats, to wit, the conditionall Covenant, for if they should believe they should be saved; but he promised not a new heart, and faith to them. 3. Because he is a God external to the Elect, and that of free Grace, therefore he is a God in truth and righteousness, to ingrave his Law in their heart. But external confederation is not the adequate cause, for then he should give a new heart to all, with whom he externaly Covenants, but the adequate cause is confederation external tali modo, out of his discriminating love and free grace he is a God to some. 4. He is a God to his Elect that he may ingrave his Law in their heart and inward parts; so that the promising to be a God tali modo, is the cause, and the ingraving of a new heart is the effect. Jer. 31.33. Jer. 32.38. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. That is the cause. 39. I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may sour me for ever; for the good of them and of their children after them. See the same order, Ezech. 11. 19, 20. though the words ly not in that order there and here. And Heb. 8. 10. 5. God is not then a God to any, because they have a clean heart, and the Law ingraven therein, for then they should be in Covenant, before they be in Covenant; And so this is true (because he is our God in truth and righteousness, therefore we believe) but this is not true (because we believe, therefore he is our God) except we argue from the effect to the cause.
But to return: Calvin on Matth. 19.14. We hence gather that the grace of Christ is extended to Infant age, for whole mankind had perished. Beza, Infants are also comprehended in the free Covenant. Pareus, its unlawful to debarre these from baptism and the Church, whom Christ bids come to him, &c. Obj. But Christ commands not they be baptized. Answ. Nor doth Christ in this place command the Parents to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord: Nor speak the Evangelists of any Parentall duty; shall we from that conclude, it was not Christs mind that the Parents take care of the fourth & fifth Command? Pareus saith, it was neither time nor place. Mat. 28.19. he bids baptize all. 3. He who prayed for them, blessed them, laid his hands upon them, invited them to bring Infants to him (of all which Infants were as uncapable, as of the use and ends of Baptism and of actuall confession of sin and of beleeving) judged they ought be Baptized. 4. Its never to be found where any are Baptized, but the Head of the Family is Baptized: And when we read that houses were Baptized, 1 Cor. 1.16. Acts 16.33. There is no more ground to say Infants are not Baptized, then to say when the Lord saith to Abraham, Gen. 12.2. I will blesse thee, and make thy name great. And 22.17. in blessing I will blesse thee. And when the Lord saith, Isai. 19.25. blessed by Ægypt my people; he should mean, he would blesse Abraham, not his seed, and that he minds to blesse the aged of Ægypt, and of Assyria, but not their seed and infants, because they understand not what a blessing of God means; and yet the fruit of the womb and the seed are said to be blessed, Psal. 37.26. Deut. 7.13. and God so intreated to blesse Israel, and to blesse Davids house, Psal. 28.9. Psal. 67.1. Deut. 26.16. 2 Sam. 7.29. the meaning should not be that God would blesse the young Infants and Children in Israel and in Davids house:
And when Jacob is said to provide for his own house, Gen. 30.30. And the believer to provide for his Family, 1 Tim. 5. 8. the meaning should be that they should provide for the aged of the house, who understood what provision is, but should not provide for the young ones, who can not know what it is to be hungry to morrow. To say young ones are not capable of Baptism, is to begge the Question. For (1.) all Israel were Baptized in the Sea and in the Cloud, old and young, 1 Cor. 10.1,3. (2.) All Israel old and young are capable of the blessing Covenanted, Psal. 28.9. Psal. 67. 1,2. and so of the seal: Anabaptists grant (as they must) if Infants be in Covenant they ought to receive the Seal of the Covenant. Lastly, how is it that by baptized houses, must be meant only these come to age who can actually believe?
The Jews, Rom. 11.16. are holy root and branch first fruit and lump, fathers and children, and the Jews shall he brought in again. Why? The Generation to come in is holy, for the Covenant made with their fathers. Well say Anabaptists, but notwithstanding of the federall holiness you talk of, Rom. 11 16. that gives not right to the casten off to be Baptized, and admitted to Church priviledges; for the casten off are no Church, and have no Church priviledge, your federall holiness then must be a dream?
Ans. But these to come in, and to be re-ingrafted are holy, intentionally, in the decree of God, because of their beloved fathers, and when God shall call them, the same Covenant made with Abraham gives them right; and these branches not in being, and the unborn Generation are only intentionally holy by this federall holiness, and they shall be actually holy, when they shall be born, but it followeth not, but the present Generation not broken off through unbeleef, as Paul and others called by the name of election, Rom. 11.7. have right, because of their fathers. For God hath not cast off his people, whom he hath fore-known. For I am an Israelite (saith Paul, v. 1,2.) of the seed of Abraham, and there are thousands of Jews now hid, as in Elias his time, who bowed not their knee to Baal; but the body of them, the great bulk is fallen away and cut off. Hence the Jews are holy federally, and not holy, beloved of the fathers federally, and not beloved federally, holy and keep Church- right to Baptism, and Ordinances, in regard of the sounder and invisible part: And not holy federally nor having any Church right to Baptism, in regard of the wilfuly broken off body, that crucified Christ and stand to their fathers bloody deed, these have no more Church-part nor portion to Ordinances, then Simon Magus, Acts 8. notwithstanding of their carnall discent from Abraham.
And when God made the Covenant with Abraham, Gen. 17. and renewed the same, Deut. 29. he made it with these who were not there standing, v. 14,15. not with you only, &c, but virtually, radically with us Gentiles, who were not then born, as touching the substantialls, for Priest-hood, Law-service, Types, Sacrifices, Circumcision, yea Baptism, the Lords Supper, Pastors, Teachers, Elders to rule, Deacons, were all accidents, to the substance of the Covenant, to wit, to believe in Christ and to obtain righteousness and life by Christ: As the same way to the same City hath other hedges, way-marks, bridges, this year which it had not 500. years agoe. And look as a father that knowes he shall beget so many hundreth sons who shall all be Kings, and have the same royall inheritance, writeth a Charter intituling them all, before they be born to the same inheritance: They have all virtuall and radicall right, ere they be born, with the first heir; And when they are born, he makes not another Covenant with them. So Deut. 29.14,15. he sayeth not, He shall make another Covenant with these when they shall be born: but I make a Covenant with you, and with these that are not here, not born. Hence by way of excellency he calleth it the Covenant, the Covenant of the Lord, Jer. 22.9. Deut. 4.23. Josh 23.11. My Covenant, saith the Lord, Gen. 17.7, 9,10. Exod. 19.5. Psal. 50.16. His Covenant, Psal. 105.8. He remembered his Covenant for ever, Psal. 111. 5. He will remember his Covenant for ever, 5.9. His Covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, 2 King. 13. 23. When Hazael King of Syria oppressed Israel, in their saddest afflictions, Levit. 26. 42,43. The Scripture is called the Book of the Covenant, Exod. 24. 7. 2 King. 23. 4. 2 Chron. 34. 30, 21. The Question is easily determined, it can be the Book of no Covenant, but of that made with Abraham, the oath $$$ Jacob, 1 Chron. 16. 16,17. Psal. 105.9. Jer. 11.5. Dan. 9. Luke 1.73. Heb. 6. 15,17. and to the fathers, the ever lasting Covenant, Gen. 9.16. Gen. 17. 9,13. which relates to Adam also, Levit. 24.8. 2 Sam. 23.5. made unto David, 1 Chro. 16.17. Psal. 105.10. Isa. 61. 8. Heb. 13.20. which cannot be, if there be so many Covenants, as some speak of: the new Covenant, and the better Covenant, Heb. 8. 8,13. Heb 12. 20. Jer. 3. 81. Heb. 7.22. which newness and excellency is all expounded of the Mediator now God, the Word made Flesh, Heb. 7.c.8.c.9.
And we would remember that Rom. 11. Paul proves 1. God hath not casten off the Jewes wholly. 1. Arg. Because I Paul am a Jew, and he hath not casten me off: Ergo in one the Covenant may stand. 2. From his unchangeableness, God hath foreknown them. 3. From the example of the Church in the dayes of Elias. By way of preoccupation, it is true many are fallen off: but as then seven thousand were in Israel who bowed not their knee to Baal, so now; Because the election of grace doth not fall now, or then. Then saith he, not of works. He reconceals that he saith with what before, by a preoccupation: And have all the Jews fallen short of righteousness? and he answers, All are not fallen short. The election, that is, the elected have obtained righteousness, the rest not. 2. To make way to exhort the Gentiles to walk worthy of the place and room of the Jews. He speaks some more of the doctrine of Reprobation, as he spake, Ch. 9. of eternal predestination, and of 2. The casting out of the Jews, and of their blinding and hardening. They have fallen in Gods decree, not that they may utterly fall. 2. That the Gentiles may be provoked by their fall.
Hence by diverse Arguments he proves that the Jews shall be brought in again to Christ 1. From four ends of the Jews fall v. 11. (2.) To provoke them to come in, v. 11. (3.) That some may be saved. 4. For the riches of the worlds salvation. Whence the magnifying of Pauls Ministry, v. 13, 14. 2. Arg. From the great fruit; If their fall be the riches of the world, their incoming again must be the resurrection from the grave of the buried unbelieving world, v. 15.
3. Arg. They must be brought in. These who are holy separated from the world for the Covenant-call of God, must be brought in again: But so is Israel. The Assumption he proves by parts. 1. The masse and root of Israel is holy, the Fathers were the Covenanted visible stock, line, root, as all the Old Testment sayeth: then the posterity, the first fruits, the branches partly born, partly to be born, must be holy Covenant-wayes: The tree, root and branches are holy and of the same nature; Therefore the branches have right to Christ, to the Covenant, to Baptisme and the seals. Hence Anabaptists, without all reason, say that he speaks not of federall and external holiness, but of reall, internall and true holiness, only of the invisible body predestinated to life: for though invisible holiness cannot be excluded, except we exclude the holiness of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who were without doubt a part of the root: yet he must be taken to speak of that holiness of the Covenant and Church, as made visible and of the visible collective body of the Jews, not of only reall and invisible holiness. 1. Because this was true in the dayes of Elias, If the root be holy the branches are holy; And it is a New Testament-Truth of perpeall verity, If the Fathers be holy so must the Sons. The Fathers have Church-right to Circumcision, to Baptism, to the Passeover, and to the Lords Supper, so have the Children: but it is most false of the invisible mysticall body and root only, and of reall and internall holiness; For neither in Old or New Testament is it true, If the Fathers be predestinated to life, justified and sanctified and saved, so must the Children be. Ishmael, Esau, Absalom, and all the world of Hypocrites called from their prophaneness Sodom and Gomorah, Isai. 1. 10. uncircumcised in heart, as Egypt, Moab and Ammon. Jerem. 9.26. as the Philistines, Amos 9.7. Then should that (2.) Distinction of Jewes in the heart, and inward, and of Jews in the flesh, Rom. 2. 28. and of the children of the flesh, that are not of the spiritual seed, and of the children of the promise, Rom. 9.7.8. and of the persecuting children of the bond woman not justified by faith, and of the children of the promise, Gal. 4.23,24. &c. fall to the ground. Yea 3. If by the root and the lump be understood only Believers and chosen to life the whole Israel, which is as the sand of the sea, should be saved, whereas the Word of God saith, a remnant only shall be saved, LXX. Tecla. A part taken out shal be saved, Rom. 9.27. Isai. 10. 22,23. Hos. 1.10. 4. By the branches must be meant all the visible body of the Jews, old and young. Now if Anabaptists give us a Visible Church of the Jewes of all reall believers, even the branches and Infants, (which shall hardly! be proven by the Scripture) these infants at least being visible Believers may lawfuly be baptized, being both internally and visible, and externaly in Covenant. For this Scripture is expresly expounded by them of reall and inherent holiness, and so Infants must be reall Believers and in Covenant. Ergo they must be baptized: What can be replied is not imaginable: but they have not actuall faith, and possibly that is not known to the Church. But this Scripture saith that the branches and root both are holy. 2. It shall be new Divinity, that none are to be baptized but such as are under the actuall exercise of their faith, a thing that cannot be discerned by the Church, in these that are come to age. 5. Here shall also be this new Divinity, that predestination to life and glory must be propagated and derived from the lump to the first fruits, from the root and parents to the branches and children.
5. Its against the whole current of the Text, that Paul spake abstractly of the only invisible body really sanctified, and not of the visible body. For 1. The body invisible is an elect seed that cannot fall away; But the body that here he speaks of are such, of which a part are hardned and blinded, and under the spirit of slumber, and a part elect and chosen. 7. The election have obtained, the rest are hardned, and of such a body, compared with the body in the time of Elias, of which multitudes fell away, slew the Prophets, digged down the Altars, and a good number were believers, that bowed not their knee to Baal, and so is the body now, saith, Paul, 1,2,3,4,5. , which is a mixt body. 3. He speaks of the body that is fallen and stumbled, v. 11. and these whom he preaches unto, to provoke them to a holy emulation, to come in to Christ, by the incoming of the Gentiles, v. 13, 14. which is sure a visible body, and which shall be ingrafted in again, v. 23. which includes a visible body of diverse generations. 4. Yea he must speak of a Nationall election and external calling, as Deut. 7. 7,8,9. Deut. 10.15. Psal. 132.13. Isai. 41. 2. Not of a personal election of some certain persons who fell, were blinded, rejected fully and totally in their persons, and received in and ingrafted as sound believers again: for the Scripture speaks of no such boating in and out, but of a huge numerous body of which some fell, some stand and includes diverse generations. 5. The collective visible body of Jews and Gentiles are such as Paul preacheth unto, v. 13,14. such as are ingrafted in in the room of the Jews, and ingrafted into the Olive of the visible Body, and partake of the fatness Of Ordinances, Baptism, Covenant- comforts, promises. Now if any say that this proves not that Infants are ingrafted, then must they say that Infants of the Jews before Christ partaked of no fatness of the Covenant, Circumcision, Blessings, Presence, Protection. 2. That they were not broken off with their fathers, and so that they now stand. 3. That the Infants of the Jews are not holy branches, as the root is holy, as v. 16. and that none but the fathers, shall be ingrafted in, and only 4. The aged and the baptized actuall believers of the Gentiles are the ingrafted ones, not their Infants, they are all Heathen and Pagans, as well as the casten off Jewes. 5. That the Jewes ingraffing in again shall be to their great hurt, so as God was long agoe their God, but shall no more in time coming be their God, then of the Pagans and the lately cut off fathers: Nor can the Adversaries say that Jewish Infants were broken off through unbelief, because they are capable neither of belief nor of unbelief to them. Then they remain in the Olive tree, members of the Church as before, and God must be still their God, when the fathers are cut off, vers. 17. And again, when the fathers shall be reingrafted and they made Christians, the Infants shall be out of Christ, and have no more Covenant right or Church-right to Baptisme, then the Infants of Egyptians and Philistines had to Circumcision.
Obj. Shall not, by this means, all the Infants of all the Gentiles be ingrafted in, and baptized? Answ. The Text warrants us to say it only of the Children of the ingrafted and called Gentiles, that they have right to baptism.
Obj. This Text is spoken of these that have hereditary Covenant-right, from their natural Father Abraham. We Gentiles have not that natural relation to Abraham, nor are we his natural sons, nor branches?
Answ. Its false, that the Jews by birth as birth, had hereditary right to Church- privileges, they had right by such a birth from Abraham taken in out of free-love to Covenant fellowship with God, and his children are natural, that is, kindly. 2. First branches and sprigs, before us Gentiles, to believing Abraham, but we believing are made Abrahams by proportion, and are secondary and so wild branches. 2. Abraham is not the Physical, but a Moral root. For the Covenant was made with Abraham, not as a believing Father, but as a believing Head of Children, of Servants, and strangers under him, as the Covenant is laid as an Heavenly depositum, upon Zacheus, in relation not to his children only, but to his house, Luke 19. For when he is made a son of Abraham, salvation, that is, the Covenant of Life comes to him and to his house: and so to Cornelius, Acts, 10. and to the Jailer, Acts 16. and to their houses, and the same way I distinguish seeds.
Q. How can the Jews that are come in, be federally holy for their fathers? Since now it is about fifteen hundredth years since their fathers were broken off from Church and Covenant: May not all the world Jews and Gentiles be federally holy branches, by the same reason, because the Covenant was made with, and Preached unto Adam a believing root and father in Paradise? So it would appear once in the Covenant of Grace, and all the seed to the coming of CHRIST, are federally holy, as well as they.
Answ. This is as great a difficulty to the Adversaries (and insuperable) as to us, for the Jews unborn by their way, are no more holy in their branches and off-spring then Turks and Indians, and their children, until they grow to age and actually believe, and so are the Infants of Americans, and such as worship the Sun, or Satan, that way holy. And so the branches of the Jews have no holiness from the root, nor are they beloved for the fathers, as vers. 28. 2. All the Jews leave not off to be members of the Invisible Church; For Paul saith Rom. 11. 25. blindness in part is happened to Israel to a part of Israel: For howbeit, the visible masse and body of the Jews rejected Christ and wrath be come upon them to the out most, 1 Thes. 2.16. yet that is not said universally of all the Jews, 14 . Yea Paul wrote to the Jews the Epistle to the Hebrews. James to the twelve Tribes scattered abroad, Jam. 1.1. and Peter, 1 Pet. 1.1. and John to the Jews: I judge, not in a visible body, and these are not broken off the Olive, and do, though not in a Visible Church way, derive Covenant right to the branches that shall be ingrafted in. But many Nations descended of Adam have universally rejected Christ, and know not the Name of Christ the blessed seed.
Q. May we not say that the root is Christ as mystical Head, from whom we partake of the sap of grace and life and fatness.
Answ. The intent of Paul is to prove that the Jews cut off, because of their unbelief, shall be ingrafted in again, in the Lords own time, because, of the holiness of the Covenant, that was in the root, and in the first fruits Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is true, their Covenant-holiness is not the adequate cause, why they shall be ingrafted in really into Christ, for so all the carnal children, who had this relative holiness must be really ingrafted in Christ, but it is with the Lords free love, both the cause of their personal, and of their Church ingrafting, and the continued deriving of that relative holiness being a continued free favor in its kind, is the Lords love in the same kind to root and branches, otherwise it should not bear truth, which, is said, v. 28. which expones this, ver. 28. that they are beloved for the fathers, not as if they were predestinate to life, because Abraham was so chosen, but because of the Fathers Covenant holiness, which was holiness from Christ not as root and head, through influence of saving grace, but as a politick head which yet is, what we say. For because Christ is holy as root, head and Redeemer, the Jews once his Church Visible and to be so again, the branches are not really holy by faith, because all of them were not in Christ: But if all Jews and Gentiles, and also Infants who are Jews and Gentiles and parts of the body be baptized into the visible body, so are Infants. See more of this in Mr. Cotton, Mr. Black, Mr. Cobbet, Mr. Rich. Baxter, who have closed the dispute learnedly.