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• to those that are to be baptized, concerning the CHAP.I. * Holy Trinity,' &c. If you on that text could in Year after

the apo one hour discourse of all the doctrinal points ; stles. what need is there to continue such discourses for ' forty days? But if you did recapitulate all that you used to preach in the whole Lent,' &c.

There is also another passage toward the end of the epistle, where he thus expostulates with the said bishop; • Do we divide the church, who but a few • months ago, about Whitsuntide, (when the sun • being eclipsed, people thought the day of judg* ment was coming,) did present forty persons of • both sexes, and several ages, to your presbyters to • be baptized ? And yet we had five presbyters then • in the monastery, who might have done it by their : own right; but they would do nothing to anger

you. Or do not you rather divide the church, who • ordered your presbyters at Bethlehem, that they • should not give baptism to our candidates at • Easter, whom we therefore sent to Diospolis to bishop Dionysius to be baptized 9 ?'

Here is indeed a plain account of adult persons baptized in those times; and that they used to be catechised all the Lent before their baptism. But he that shall conclude from hence, that they only were baptized, and then shall quote the place and set it down as St. Hierome's words, (that in the eastern churches they only were admitted to baptism,] is by no means to be trusted with the quoting of authors.

V. Fifthly, some of the quotations brought in this case are absolutely false : and neither the


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9 [Ibid. sect. 42.]

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CHAP. I. words cited, nor any like them, are at all to be Year after found in the books mentioned.

So Danvers in his said treatise cites St. Hilary 254. for three several sayings. The first whereof is found

in the book mentioned : the second is not; but there is a sentence to the same purpose in another book. These two are not so material as to need reciting here. The third (which is very material, if it were true) is, that St. Hilary should say, 'that all the

eastern churches did only baptize the adult. The book he seems to refer to, is St. Hilary's second book de Trinitate ; for that only is mentioned. But neither there (nor, as I am very confident, any where else) does St. Hilary say any such thing.

Both these last quotations out of St. Hierome and Hilary are amended in a postscript by Danvers : and for eastern he says, we must read western.

But this mends not the matter, but makes it worse : for there is no such thing said of either of them. Indeed if either Hierome or Hilary, or any other author of those times, had said that it was the custom either of the eastern church, or western church, or any church at all, to baptiže only the adult; and the places where they said so could be produced; it would be a quotation more for the purpose of the antipædobaptists than any they have yet brought.

And for Mr. Danvers (after that Mr. Baxter and r Part. i. cent. 4. [in the Abstract of the History of Baptism throughout all ages,' prefixed to his treatise.]

$ Postscript to the Baptist's Answer to Wills's Appeal against Danvers.

+ [See Baxter's 'More Proofs of Infants,' &c. 1675: the second part of which is/ a confutation of the strange forgeries of Mr. H. Danvers. Sce'also Wills' Infant Baptism asserted,' &c.

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Mr. Wills had so publicly challenged him for a CHAP. I. forger of quotations; and Wills had put in an Year after appeal to his own party against him) to amend in a P. S. to the answer to the said appeal these quotations by putting 'western' for 'eastern,' as if the authors had really said so of one of them: this, if joined with a great many other instances in the said book, was the boldest attempt upon the belief of a reader that ever I knew made.

It would have been a very tedious thing both to me and the reader, to recite all such quotations, and then to shew the falseness or mistake of them. But instead of doing that, I do declare that all that I have seen that seemed to be to the purpose I have searched ; and the search after such as have proved false, spurious, &c. has cost me as much pains as the collecting of these true ones. And of those that I have so seen or searched, I have left out none in this collection that make for or against the baptism of infants, but such as are (and, I think, plainly) of some of the five sorts before mentioned. And if any one that meets with any other which I have not met with, will be so kind as to inforın me of it, by word or letter, I will (if I live 'to see any more editions of this mean work) add it to the rest; and that indifferently, as I said, whether it make for or against pædobaptism: provided it be genuine, and to the purpose, and out of authors within the time limited.

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• in answer to H. Danvers, with a full detection of his misrepresentation,' &c. 8vo. 1675.)



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The Opinions of Modern learned Men, concerning the

Ancient Practice or omission of Pædobaptism.

§. 1. AS for what later authors have said conYear after cerning the practice of these primitive times; it

would be a voluminous work to collect all their opinions or verdicts. Neither would it answer so much pains, to have the account of the modern writers, as to what they judge may be collected from the ancient writings, when we ourselves have the writings themselves to recur to.

Yet it may be worth the while to spend a few words on that matter in general.

1. And first, it is notorious, that almost all the learned men in the world that have occasion to mention this matter, do conclude from what they read, that it has been the general practice of the Christian church from the beginning, to baptize infants. To name any particulars were endless and frivolous.

2. Some few (as it happens in all matters) are of a different opinion concerning the ancient practice. And they are of two sorts.

Some have thought that there was a time in the Christian church when no infants were baptized. but that pædobaptism was brought in after a certain term of years.

Others, that baptism of infants was practised from the beginning, but not universally; but that some Christians would baptize their infant children, and others would not. And that it was counted indifferent.

Of the first sort, viz. of those that have thought

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that there was a time when no baptism of infants CHAP, 11. was used, I know of none (beside Mr. Tombes him-Year after self) but Walafridus Straboo and Ludovicus Vives : stles. unless we are to add to them Curcellæus and Rigaltius.

II. Strabo has some favour shewed him, when 750. he is reckoned among learned men.

He lived in a very ignorant age; and for those times might pass for a learned man. He had read St. Austin's book of Confessions, and finding it mentioned there that St. Austin was baptized when he was of man's age, he seems to have concluded from thence, that it was in old time the general use for Christians to defer their children's baptism till they were grown up: though he might with a little more advertency have found, by the same book, that St. Austin's father was a heathen when St. Austin was born, and for many years after; and did not turn Christian, nor was baptized himself, till a little before he died.

Of that instance of St. Austin, and some others, I shall speak in the next chapter. Strabo's words are these : * Libro de exordiis et incrementis rerum * ecclesiasticarum,' cap. 26.

• It is to be noted, that in the primitive times the grace of baptism was wont to be given to those

only who were arrived to that maturity of body • and mind, that they could know and understand

u (Walafridus Strabo was a Benedictine monk, of the famous abbey of Fulda in Germany, and afterwards dean of St. Gallen. He died in or about the year 849, leaving behind him several pieces both in prose and poetry, which have come down to our times.)

* [This work was published at Mayence, in the year 1549, and is reprinted in the Bibliotheca Patrum, tom. xv. Lyons edition.]


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