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wills, the parents have means to use for the continuance of their grace, as well as for the beginning of it. 10. Therefore I cannot see but that if a believer should apostatize (whether any do so is not the question) and his infant not to be made another's child, he forfeiteth the benefits of the covenant to his infant. But if the propriety in the infant be transferred to another, it may alter the case. 11. And how dangerously parents may make partial forfeitures of the Spirit's assistance to their children, and operations on them, by their own sinful lives, and neglect of prayer, and of prudent and holy education, even in particular acts, I fear many believing parents never well considered. 12. Yet is not this forfeiture such as obligeth God to deny his Spirit; for he may do with his own, as a free benefactor, as he list; and may have mercy freely, beyond his promise, (though not against his Word) on whom he will have mercy. But I say that he that considereth the woful unfaithfulness and neglect of most parents, even the religious, in the great work of holy educating their children, may take the blame of their ungodliness on themselves, and not lay it on Christ or the Spirit who was in covenant with them as their sanctifier, seeing he promised but conditionally to give them the sanctifying heavenly influences of his life, light, and love, in their just use of his appointed means, according to their abilitiesc. 13. Also as soon as children come to a little use of reason, they stand conjunctly on their parents' wills and on their own. As their parents are bound to teach and rule them, so they are bound to learn of them and be ruled by them for their good. And though every sin of a parent or a child be not a total forfeiture of grace, yet both their no1 Mr. Whiston p. 53. 'As Abraham as a single person in the covenant was to accept of and perform the conditions of the covenant—so as a parent he had something of duty incumbent on him with reference to his (immediate) seed: and as his faithful performance of that duty incumbent on him in his single capacity, so his performing that duty incumbent on him as a parent in reference to his seed, was absolutely necessary in order to his enjoying the good promised, with reference to himself and his seed: proved Gen. xvii. 1. xviii. 19. He proveth that the promise is conditional, and that as to the continuance of the covenant state the conditions are 1. The parent's upright life. 2. His duty to his children well done. 3. The children's own duty as they are capable. table actual sins may justly be punished, with a denial of some further help of the Spirit which they grieve and quench. II. And now I may seasonably answer the former question, whether infants' baptismal saving grace maybe lost, of which I must for the most that is to be said refer the reader to Davenant (in Mr. Bedford's book) on this subject, and to Dr. Samuel Ward joined with it, (though Mr. Gataker's answers are very learned and considerable:) and to my small book called "My Judgment of Perseverance." Augustine who first rose up for the doctrine of perseverance, against its adversaries, carried it no higher than to all the elect as such, and not at all to all the sanctified; but oft affirmeth that some that were justified, sanctified, and love God, and are in a state of salvation, are not elect, and fall away; but since the reformation, great reasons have been brought to carry it further to all the truly sanctified; of which cause Zanchius was one of the first learned and zealous patrons, that with great diligence in long disputations maintained it. All that I have now to say is, that I had rather with Davenant believe that the fore-described infant state of salvation, which came by the parents, may be lost by the parents and the children, (though such a sanctified, renewed nature in holy habits of love as the adult have be never lost) than believe that no infants are in the covenant of grace and to be baptized. Object. But the child once in possession shall not be punished for the parents' sin.
Amw. 1. This point is not commonly well understood. I have by me a large disputation proving from the current of Scripture, a secondary original sin, besides that from Adam, and a secondary punishment ordinarily inflicted on children for their parents' sins, besides the common punishment of the world for the first sin. 2. But the thing in question is but a loss of that benefit which they received and hold only by another. It is not so properly called a punishment for another's sin, as a non-deliverance, or a noncontinuance of their deliverance, which they were to receive on the condition of another's duty. Object. But the church retaineth them as her members, and so their right is not lost by the fault or apostacy of the parents. Answ. 1. Lost it is one way or other, with multitudes of true Christians' children, who never shew any signs of grace, and prove sometimes the worst of men. And God breaketh not his covenant. 2. How doth the church keep the Greeks' children that are made Janizaries?3. No man stayeth in the church without title. If the church or any Christians take them as their own, that is another matter. I will not now stay to discuss the question, whether apostates' baptized infants be still church-members? But what I have said of their right before God, seemeth plain. 4. And mark, that on whomsoever you build an infant's right, you may as well say, that he may suffer for other men's default; for if you build it on the magistrate, the minister, the church, the godfathers, any of them may fail; they may deny him baptism itself; they may fail in his education: shall he suffer then for want of baptism, or good education when it is their faults? Whoever a child or a man is to receive a benefit by, the failing of that person may deprive him of that benefit. More objections I must pretermit, to avoid prolixity.
Quest, Xliv. Doth baptism always oblige us at the present, and give grace at the present? And is the grace which is not given till long after, given by baptism; or an effect of baptism?Answ. I add this case for two reasons, 1. To open their pernicious error who think that a covenant or promise made by us to God, only for a future, distant duty (as to repent and believe before we die,) is all that is essential to our baptismal covenanting. 2. To open the ordinary saying of many divines, who say, that baptism worketh not always at the present, but sometimes only long afterward. The truth I think may be thus expressed. 1. It is not baptism, if there be not the profession of a present belief, a present consent, and a present dedition, or resignation, or dedication of the person to God, by the adult for themselves, and by parents for their infants. He that only saith, ' I promise to believe, repent, and obey only at twenty or thirty years of age, ' is not morally baptized; for it is another covenant of his own which he would make, which God accepteth not. 2. It is not only a future, but a present relation to God, as his own, his subjects, his children by redemption, to which the baptized person doth consent. 3. It is a present correlation and not a future only, to which God consenteth on his part, to be their Father, Saviour, and Sanctifier, their Owner peculiarly, their Ruler graciously, and their chief Benefactor, and Felicity, and End. 4. It is not only a future but a present remission of sin, and adoption and right to temporal and eternal mercies, which God giveth to true consenters by his covenant and baptism. 5. But those mercies which we are not at that present capable of, are not to be given at the present, but afterward when we are capable; as the particular assistances of the Spirit, necessary upon all future particular occasions, &c.; the pardon of future sins; actual glorification, &,c d. 6. And the duties which are to be performed only for the future, we must promise at present to perform only for the future, in their season, to our lives' end. Therefore we cannot promise that infants shall believe, obey or love God, till they are naturally capable of doing it. 7. If any hypocrite do not indeed repent, believe, or consent when he is baptized, or baptizeth his child, he so far faileth in the covenant professed; and so much of baptism is undone; and God doth not enter into the present covenant-relations to him, as being incapable thereofe. 8. If this person afterwards repent and believe, it is a doing of the same thing which was omitted in baptism, and a making of the same covenant; but not as a part of his baptism itself, which is long past. 9. Nor is he hereupon to be re-baptized; because the external part was done before, and is not to be done twice; but the internal part which was omitted, is now to be done, not as a part of baptism (old or new); but as a part of penitence, for his omission. Object. If covenanting be a part of baptism, then this person, whose covenant is never a part of his baptism, doth live and die unbaptized.
Answ, As baptism signifieth only the external ordinance, heart-covenanting is no part of it, but the profession of it is; and if there was no profession of faith made, by word or sign, the person is unbaptized. But as baptism signifieth the internal part with the external, so he will be no baptized person while he liveth; that is, one that in baptism did truly consent, and receive the spiritual relations to God; but he will have the same thing in another way of God's appointment. 10. When this person is after sanctified, it is by God's performance of the same covenant in specie, which baptism is made to seal, that God doth pardon, justify and adopt him; but this is not by his past baptism as a cause, but by after grace and absolution. The same covenant doth it but not baptism; because indeed the covenant or promise saith, 'Whenever thou believest and repentest, I will forgive thee;' but baptism saith, 'Because thou now believest, I do forgive thee, and wash away thy sinand maketh present application. 11. So if an infant or adult person live without grace, and at age be ungodly, his baptismal covenant is violated; and his after conversion (or faith and repentance) is neither the fulfilling of God's covenant, nor of his baptism neither. The reason is, because though pardon and adoption be given by that conditional covenant of grace which baptism sealeth, yet so is not that first grace of faith and repentance which is the condition of pardon and adoption, and the title to baptism itself. Else infidels should have right to baptism, and thereby to faith and repentance. But these are only the free gifts of God to the elect, and the fulfilling of some absolute predictions concerning the calling of the elect, and the fulfilling of God's will or covenant to Christ the Mediator, that " He shall see the travail of his soul and be satisfied," and possess those that are given him by the Father. 12. But when the condition of the covenant is at first performed by the parent for the infant, and this covenant never broken on this child's behalf, (notwithstanding sinsof infirmity,) in this case the first actual faith and repen