Did They Dip?

CHAPTER IX.
SOME WITNESSES.

Of Mr. Praise-God Barebones, Dr. Whitsitt makes great use. He wrote, if indeed he is the author, two books, under the initials P. B., which appeared in 1642-3. Dr. Whitsitt claims that while he was not a Baptist, as some other writers supposed, he was very friendly to them. He says:

It is true that The Bapitist Encyclopaedia has blundered in claiming Mr. Barebone as a Baptist minister, yet it was not a very great blunder. There was some reason for this conclusion, for he was closely connected with the Baptists, having been a member of the Jessey Church prior to the year 1640. (P. 102).

Dr. Whitsitt further says that he was answered by R. B., whom he claims to be Richard Blunt, of which, however, there is no proof. After reading this eulogy of P. B., I turned to his book called "A Reply to the Frivolous and impertinent Ansvver of R. B., to the discourse of P. B.," and I did not find it friendly to the Baptists. It was altogether hostile. I can only give a few of his phrases: "Boaster," "liar," "bray a fool," "evil dealing," "willing to deceive," "he deals as the Divell dealt with the Lord, keeps back a mayne part, and so the shewing the mind to smother the truth and keep it in unrighteousness," etc., etc. These are only samples that are found all through this abusive writer. And yet this enemy is one of Dr. Whitsitt's principal witnesses.

I charged, through The Western Recorder, that Dr. Whitsitt copied from Dexter his quotation from P. B., as found in The Religious Herald, May 7, 1896. This is admitted, for in the book he uses an entirely different form of the quotation, as follows:

"But now very lately some are mightily taken as having found out a new defect in the Baptisme under the defection, which maketh such a nullitie of Baptisme in their conceit that it is none at all, and it is concerning the manner of Baptizing wherein they have espyed such default as it maketh an absolute nullity of all person's Baptisme but such as have been so Baptized according to their new discovery; and so partly as before in regard of the subject and partly in regard of so great default in the manner: They not only conclude as is before sayd a nullity of their present Baptisme, And so but addresse themselves to be Baptized a third time after the true way and manner they have found out, which they account a precious truth. The particular of their opinion and practice is to Dip, and that persons are to be Dipped, all and every part to be under the water, for if all the whole person be not under the water then they hold they are not Baptized with the Baptisme of Christ. As for sprinkling or pouring water on the face it is nothing at all as they account, and so measuring themselves by these new thoughts as unbaptized they addresse themselves to take it up after the manner of Dipping: but truly they want [lack] a Dipper that hath authority from heaven, as had John whom they please to call a Dipper, of whom it is sayd that it might be manifested his Baptisme was from heaven. A man can receive nothing, that is, lawful authority or power to Baptize, unlesse it be given from heaven, which I desire they would be pleased to mind and they will easily see their third baptism is from the earth and not from heaven, as John's was. And if this case be further considered it will appeare at the most to be but a defect in the manner and a coming short in the quantity of the Element. It is a wonderful thing that a nullity should thereof follow forthwith, of which more may be seen in the same case before. Againe that the substance of an Ordinance of so high a nature and great concernment should be founded in the criticknesse of a word and in the quantity of an element is no lesse marveilous, to say no more. Oh, but Baptismeisa is a Buriall as it is written, We are buried with him in Baptisme, etc., and we are raised up also to newness of life. This Buriall and resurrection only Dipping can import and hold forth . . . But inasmuch as this is a very new way, and the full growth of it and settling is not yet known, if it be to themselves, yet not to me and others: I will forbeare to say further to it." (Pp. 12, 13, 15).

The extract taken from Dexter had been terribly garbled. Sentences had been taken from different parts of the book and pieced together, and sometimes the sentences did not even stop with a comma. The exact form of the quotation as given above may be found in The Independent, Oct. 7, 1880. The article appeared as an editorial, and the author's name does not appear; but Dr. Whitsitt very closely follows the line of proof and quotations in that editorial and some dozen others which may be found in The Independent from June 24, 1880, to Dec. 13, I883. But this quotation does not sustain Dr. Whitsitt's contention, for P. B. was not discussing the newness of dipping, but a proper administrator and rebaptism. And he taunts his opponent in "A Reply, To the Reader," London, 1643, with:

"A man that had a minde to come to R. B. in his third Baptisme, before a yeare or two spent in the serious weighing of the matter, would find happily that R. B. had left his third Baptisme, and taken up a church."

But P. B. did not think dipping was a new thing. In the quotation as given are found some dots. Those dots indicate the omission of a significant statement. P. B. there declares that dipping was not a new thing. He says:

"The Romanists, some of them, and some of the poor ignorant Welsh do use dipping."

And in A Reply he asks whether they learned dipping from the Romanists or the Welsh?

1. I do not regard this anonymous author, P. B., as of any weight. One of the officials of the British Museum wrote me: "The book is not considered here as of any particular value, only an ordinary controversial pamphlet." His name, Praise-God Barebones, is enough to condemn him. It is said his two brothers assumed the names, respectively, of "Christ came into the World to save Barebones" and "If Christ had not Died Thou hadst been Damned Barebones." I am surprised that any one would quote such an author as decisive on any point. Yet this man is one of Dr. Whitsitt's chief witnesses.

2. It is perfectly apparent that the words of. P. B. have been wofully misused. It leads us to suspect that all the authors that Dr. Whitsitt has quoted need further light thrown on them. Even as quoted by Dexter, P. B. does not sustain Dr. Whitsitt's theory; and the original is certainly against him.

3. "Praise-God Barebones" defended sprinkling, but he nowhere says dipping was a new thing. That it was practiced in the days of the apostles, that it was used in hot countries, that "the Romanists, some of them, and some of the poor ignorant Welsh do use dipping." He was a Pedobaptist, and believed in sprinkling, and so tried to refute the opinion of the Anabaptists on dipping; but he does not declare that dipping or a denial of infant baptism to be a new thing. "The new way of Baptizing," or as it is called here "the new dipping," because the act had been repeated, over and over again, in his book he declares to be rebaptizing, or denying the perpetuity of the Roman Catholic Ch119, 130. By Edward Barber. Printed in the yeare 1641."

I give a few extracts from Barber, and many more might be added:

"The thesis that Christ ordained dipping for those only that profess repentance and faith' is mentioned under four heads; viz.: '1. Proved by Scriptures. 2. By Arguments. 3. A Parallel betwixt circumcision and Dipping. 4. An Answere to some objections by P. B. Psal. 119. 130.'"

* I quote from the original, but a reprint may be had from the Baptist Book Concern, Louisville. Ky., for 10 cents.

"But the dipping of beleevers is that good old way of Christ, and infants is not." (P. 14). "But for infants' dipping there is no expresse description of the persons, condition, time, whereas true dipping, which is that one dipping Ephes. 4. 5., which is the dipping of repentance for remission of sinnes, Mark 1. 4. it is most evidently and faithfully set down for persons, conditions and times, viz.," etc. (P. 15).

"Thus for true dipping there is a certain time appointed as was for circumcision, Acts 8. 37. yea commanded, Acts 10. 48." (P. 16).

So that this covenant standeth between God and man, manifested by Holy Writ is: That as there is but one Lord; one Faith; and one Dipping, Eph. 4. 5. which is the Dipping of Repentance for Remission of sinnes, Mark 1. 4. so there is but one way of entrance into the Covenant under the Gospel," etc. (P. 18).

"Quest. 5. But what is the true ordinance of the dipping of Christ, and wherein doth it differ from childrens Dipping, which is the best way to show the truth; and what benefit doth Beleevers receive by it." (P. 19).

"Eighthly, that the Beleever may in that day roll away all the reproach of Egypt, or Antichristianisme, renouncing the marke of the Beast in our right hands, by holding or fighting for him, or in our forehead. Revel. 13. 14, by dipping of Infants, that false Constitution of Rome to beget grece, thus it is cleere: who are the true subjects of Dipping, And who are not." (P. 21).

"In short, all these holy ends that God aimed at in true dipping, are wholly made voide, and of no effect in the dipping of Infants, which the Lord Christ commanded not. Jere. 7.3. 1. Revel. 22. 18. Matth. 28. 19. 20. nor came into his heart." (P. 22).

"6. If the dipping of Infants be God's Ordinance, Christ was not so faithfull over his House a sonne, as Moses a servant was; For Moses made and set out all things, according to the patterne, Heb. 8. 5. but if Christ received any patterne for dipping infants, he hath left no rule for it, by precept, or example."(P. 23).

"But the dipping of Infants was never heard of in all the Institutions of Christ, or preachings of the Apostles," etc. (P. 30).

The book nowhere intimates that there were ever any Baptists who practiced sprinkling, or that the immersion of believers was a new thing. Dr. Whitsitt makes the following quotation from Barber:

Beloved Reader, it may seem strange that in these times when such abundance of Knowledge of the Gospell is professed in the World, that there should notwithstanding be generally such ignorance, especially in and amopping of repentance for remission of sinnes, Mark 1. 4. it is most evidently and faithfully set down for persons, conditions and times, viz.," etc. (P. 15).

"Thus for true dipping there is a certain time appointed as was for circumcision, Acts 8. 37. yea commanded, Acts 10. 48." (P. 16).

So that this covenant standeth between God and man, manifested by Holy Writ is: That as there is but one Lord; one Faith; and one Dipping, Eph. 4. 5. which is the Dipping of Repentance for Remission of sinnes, Mark 1. 4. so there is but one way of entrance into the Covenant under the Gospel," etc. (P. 18).

"Quest. 5. But what is the true ordinance of the dipping of Christ, and wherein doth it differ from childrens Dipping, which is the best way to show the truth; and what benefit doth Beleevers receive by it." (P. 19).

"Eighthly, that the Beleever may in that day roll away all the reproach of Egypt, or Antichristianisme, renouncing the marke of the Beast in our right hands, by holding or fighting for him, or in our forehead. Revel. 13. 14, by dipping of Infants, that false Constitution of Rome to beget grece, thus it is cleere: who are the true subjects of Dipping, And who are not." (P. 21).

"In short, all these holy ends that God aimed at in true dipping, are wholly made voide, and of no effect in the dipping of Infants, which the Lord Christ commanded not. Jere. 7.3. 1. Revel. 22. 18. Matth. 28. 19. 20. nor came into his heart." (P. 22).

"6. If the dipping of Infants be God's Ordinance, Christ was not so faithfull over his House a sonne, as Moses a servant was; For Moses made and set out all things, according to the patterne, Heb. 8. 5. but if Christ received any patterne for dipping infants, he hath left no rule for it, by precept, or example."(P. 23).

"But the dipping of Infants was never heard of in all the Institutions of Christ, or preachings of the Apostles," etc. (P. 30).

The book nowhere intimates that there were ever any Baptists who practiced sprinkling, or that the immersion of believers was a new thing. Dr. Whitsitt makes the following quotation from Barber:

Beloved Reader, it may seem strange that in these times when such abundance of Knowledge of the Gospell is professed in the World, that there should notwithstanding be generally such ignorance, especially in and amongst those that professe themselves Ministers thereof, of that glorious principle True Baptisme or Dipping, Ephe. 4, 5, Instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ, which all that look for life and salvation by him ought to be partakers of; it being that onely which was received by the Apostles and Primitive Churches, and for a long time unviolably kept and practiced by the Ministerie of the Gospel in the planting of the first Churches, and that the Lord should raise up mee a poore Tradesman to devulge this glorious Truth, to the World's Censuring. (Pp. 112, 113). ,

Even if Barber had said that believers' immersion was a new thing in England that would not have made it so. Prof. Vedder makes answer to this point:

"But a thing is not necessarily true because Barber says it; he was—as he frankly confesses, and his treatise attests it—an unlearned man, and was not acquainted with the history or literature of his own people. We positively know that he was not the first to 'devulge this glorious truth."'

But I can reply more directly in two ways:

1. The word devulge does not mean to make known a thing for the first time. It does not mean that Barber was a discoverer. The word means only to publish a thing, according to Webster, and it may or may not have been known before. Henry Denne, who was baptized in 1643, and had been since that date a preacher, was sent on a special mission, by the Baptist Church at Fenstanton, October 28, 1653, and it is said of him:

"On that day he was chosen and ordained, by imposition of hands, a messenger to divulge the Gospel of Jesus Christ." (Adam Taylor's History General Baptists, Vol. I., p. 150).

No one would fail to know that the word meant in this passage simply to proclaim.

2. The thing that Barber was to divulge, and his whole treaty shows it, was not dipping, but believers' baptism. He had been imprisoned for denying infant baptism and his release gave him an opportunity for affirming believers' baptism. His words are:

By Edward Barber, Citizen, and Merckant- Taylor of London; late Prisoner, for denying the sprinkling of Infants, and requiring tithes now under the Gospel to be Gods Ordinance."

There is not a word in this entire book which could by any possible construction be forced to mean that immersion was a new thing. Indeed, in the very passage that Dr. Whitsitt quotes Barber claims:

"Instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ, which all that look for life and Salvation by him ought to be partakers of, it being that onely which was received by the Apostles and Primitive Churches, and for a long time unviolably kept and practiced by the ministerie of the Gospel in the planting of the first Churches."

But what about Barber himself? Crosby declares that he was baptized long before 1641, and thus we have another witness to immersion before 1641. Crosby says:

"Mr. Edward Barber, a gentleman of great learning, was first a minister in the established church, and embraced the principles of the Baptists, long before the breaking out of the civil wars. He was the means of convincing many that infant baptism had no foundation in Scripture, and soon gathered a numerous congregation."(Vol. III., p. 3).

A very scholarly Baptist of those times was A. R., 1642, who wrote two books on the Vanity and Childishness of Infants Baptisme. The first book was against infant baptism as held in the Episcopal Church and the second as held by Dissenters. A. R. readily refers to the Greek language. In the first part, in the beginning, there is a discussion of dipping. There is no intimation that it is a new thing. Indeed, every argument presented by A. R. might be profitably used by a Baptist author of today. But Dr. Whitsitt makes a characteristic mistake. He says:

The work of A. R., which comes under notice in this place, is entitled: The Second Part of the Vanity and Childishness of Infants Baptisme, London, 1642. On Page 29 of this Second Part Dr. Dexter has found the following quotation, which demonstrates that A. R. did not take immersion for granted. (p. 119).

Dr. Whitsitt here copies Dexter, mistake and all, and without any apparent effort to verify the passage. There is no such quotation in "the second part" of A. R.'s book. This so-called quotation is found in the first part. This goes to show that Drs. Dexter and Whitsitt are not accurate, and that they cannot be depended upon. But as a matter of fact words have been placed in this quotation which change the meaning of the author.

Dr. Whitsitt's version, 1896:

If any shall thinke it strange and unlikely that all the godliest Divines and best churches should be thus deceived on this point of baptisme for so many yeares together [i. e., as never before to know that true baptism is dipping and dipping alone true baptism); let them consider that all Cristendome (except here and there one, or some few, Or no considerable number) was swallowed up in grosse Popery for many hundred yeares before Luther's time, which was not until about 100 yeares agone. (Dexter, True Story, p. 49).

A. R.'s Words, 1642:

And if any shall think it strange and unlikely that all the godliest Divines and best churches should be thus deceived on this point of baptism for so many yeares together, let him consider that all Christendome (except here and there one, or some few, or no considerable number) was swallowed up in grosse Popery for many hundred yeares before Luther's time, which was not until about 100 yeares agone.

You will notice that the words have been added: ["i. e., as never before to know that true baptism is dipping and dipping alone true baptism."] There is not a word about dipping in this quotation from A. R. nor for pages near it. The author has been made to say things he did not say. A. R. is singularly clear on dipping, but he did not have dipping under discussion at this time. This is manufactured testimony.

A. R. met with a very bitter opponent by the name of William Cooke; Although he called his book a "Learned and Full Answer to a Treatise Intitled; the Vanity of ChiIdish Baptisme" it is very certain he knew little of the Baptists and that he was a very bitter enemy, I give in full his third and fourth reasons against dipping as practiced by the Baptists:

"Thirdly, this dousing over head, and under water that A. R. pleads for, as essential to baptisme, seems directly against the Sixth Commandment, and exposeth the person baptized to the danger of death. For first, suppose the party be fit for baptism (as they account) in the sharpe Winter as now beleeving, professing, &c. He must immediately be taken to the river (as his tenet seems to hold) and there plunged in over head and eares, though he came forth covered with yce. But if he escaped perishing with cold; how can he escape being choaked and stiffled with the water, to signifie his buriall: and, thirdly, be taken up, as this Disputer seems to reason? But whatsoever be the danger of freezing, or suffocation; it seems this he holds the onely baptisme, and must not therefore be swerved from."

Then follows the fourth reason which Dr. Whitsitt partly quotes; but he omits matters which are necessary to a complete understanding of this fourth reason. I will place side by side the original and Dr. Whitsitt's version.

William Cooke's words, 1644 :

Fourthly, will not this their new manner of dipping be found also against the Seventh Commandment in the Decalogue? For I would know with these new. dippers, whether the parties to be dowsed and dipped, may be baptized in a garment or no? If they may, then happily the garment may keep, the water from some part of the body, and then they are not rightly baptized; for the whole man, say they, must be dipped. Againe, I would aske what warrant they have for dipping, or baptizing garments, more than the Papists have for baptizing Bells? Therefore belike the parties must be naked, and multitudes present as at John's baptisme, and the parties men and women of ripe yeares, as being able to make confession of their faith and repentance: yet though they both sinne against the Sixth Commandment, indangering life, and against all common honestie and civilitie, and Christian modestie required in the Seventh Commandment, they must have this way observed, because they fancie it the onely baptisme. Shall we thinke this way the baptisme of John, Christ and his Apostles?" (Pp. 21, 292).

Dr. Whitsitt's version, 1896:

Fourthly, will not this their manner of dipping be found also against the Seventh Commandment in the Decalogue? For I would know with these new dippers whether the parties to be dowsed and dipped may be baptized in a garment or no? If they may then happily the garment may keep the water from some part of the body, and then they are not rightly baptized; for the whole man, say they, must be dipped. Againe, I would aske what warrant they have for dipping or baptizing garments, more than the Paptists have for baptizing Bells? Therefore belike the parties must be naked and multitudes present as at John's baptisme, and the parties men and women of ripe yeares, as being able to make a confession of their faith and repentance,"etc. (Pp. 21, 22).

And this is the witness? An enemy, a man who must sustain his position by slander, and manifestly betrays ignorance. If his information had been equal to his knowledge his testimony would have been conclusive. Any one would know that these slanderous statements are justified by no facts. And even this witness does not sustain Dr. Whitsitt. He says nothing about 1641, and while he calls dipping new he likewise makes the assertion that the Scriptures teach sprinkling. This is the only date he mentions. Does he mean that dipping is "new," since it was not taught in the Scriptures? And then dipping might have been "new" to him, and with his knowledge of the Baptists it may have been practiced among them for a long time. He manifestly was ignorant of their rites and ceremonies.

The Baptists in 1641 had a resolute and violent opponent in the person of Daniel Featley. He was born in 1582, and died in 1645. He was long the determined opponent of the Baptists. In 1642 he held a discussion with four Baptists in Southwark. His account of the discussion is to be found in "The Dippers Dipt; or, the Anabaptists Duckt and Plunged Over Head and Ears at a Disputation at Southwark." I have examined the first three and the sixth editions of this work. He was so bitter that he declared: "I could hardly dip my pen in any thing but gall." He nowhere intimates that the Baptists or dipping were novelties. In the Epistle Dedicatory, Featly says:

 

"Now, of all Hereticks and Schismaticks, the Anabaptist in three regards ought to bee most carefully looked ' into, and severely punished, if not utterly extermmated and banished out of the Church and Kingdom."

His reasons are as follows:

 

"First. In regard of their affinity with many other damnable Heretiques, both Ancient and Later, for they are allyed unto, and may claim kindred with."

And then he gives a catalogue of all manner of heretics:

 

"Secondly. In regard of their audacious attempts upon Church and State, and their insolent acts committed in the face of the Sun, and in the eye of the high Court of Parliament."

Under this second heading Featley says:

 

"They preach, and print, and practise their Hereticall impieties openly, and hold their Conventicles weekly in our chief Cities, and Suburbs thereof, and there prophesie by turnes; and (that I may use the phrase of Tertullian) aedificantur in ruinam, they build one another in the faith of their Sect, to the ruine of their souls; they flock in great multitudes to their Jordans, and both Sexes enter into the River, and are dipt after their manner, with a kind of spell containing the head of their erroneous Tenets, and their eugageing themselves in their Scismaticall Covenants, and (if I may so speake) combination of separation. And as they defile our Rivers with their impure washings, and our Pulpits with their false Prophecies, and Phanaticall Enthusiasmes, so the Presses sweat and groane under the load of their blasphemies. For they print not only Anabaptisme, from whence they take their name; but many other most damnable doctrines, tending to carnall liberty, Familisme, and a medley and hodge-podge of all Religions.

"Thirdly. In regard to the peculiar malignity this heresie hath to magistracy," etc.

He then proceeds to say that "with these Hereticks I enter into Lists in the ensuing Tractate." He then proceeds to tell us that he has known these "new upstart sectaries" for twenty years near his own home. His words are:

 

"As Solinus writeth, that in Sardinia where there is a venemous serpent called Solifuga, (whose biting is present death) there is also at hand a fountain, in which they who wash themselves after they are bit, are presently, cured. This venemous serpent (vere Solifuga) flying from, and shunning the light of Gods Word, is the Anabaptist, who in these later times first shewed his shining head and speckled skin, and thrust out his sting near the place of my residence for more than twenty yeers."

Here we have the explicit testimony of Featley that the Baptists were dippers as far back as 1620. Prof. Vedder very truthfully says:

"These words of Dr. Featley are specially significant. He professes to speak of Baptists from personal knowlege, and though he was bitterly prejudiced, there is no reason why he should exaggerate in such a particular. Since he wrote in 1644, his 'twenty years,' however carelessly he used the phrase, evidently carry the date of immersion far back of 1641."

There is also a conclusive passage in The Preface to the Reader. By leaving off some sentences Dr. Whitsitt makes Featley give a date to the introduction of immersion in England which Featley does not give. Featley begins with the Anabaptists in Germany in the time of Stock; that he was a blockhead and kindled a fire out of the chips from this block, that this fire was in England in the time of Elizabeth and other sovereigns, and that lately it has burned very brightly. This is a very different thing from what Dr. Whitsitt makes Featley say. I give the two versions in parallel columns.

Featley's words, 1644:

Of whom we may say, as Irenaeus sometime spake of the Heretick Ebon, the Father of the Ebonites, his name in the Hebrew signifyeth silly, or simple, and such God wat was he: So we may say, the name of the father of the Anabaptists signifieth in English a senselesse piece of wood or block and a very blockhead was he: Yet out of this block were cut those chips that kindled such a fire in Germany, Halsatia, and Suevia that could not be fully quenched, no not with the bloud of 150,000. of them killed in war, or put to death in severall places by Magistrates.

This fire in the reigns of Q. Elizabeth and K. James and our gracious Sovereign, till now, was covered in England under the ashes; or if it brake out at any time, by the care of the Ecclesiasticall and Civil Maglistrate, it was soon put out. But of late since the unhappy distractions which our sins have brought upon us, the Temporall Sword being other ways employed, and the Spirituall locked up fast in the scabberd, this sect, amon others, hath so far Presumed upon the Patience of the State that it hath held weekly Conventicles, re-bapitized hundreds of men and women together in the twilight in Rivilets, and some arms of the Thames and elsewhere, dipping them over head and ears. It hath printed divers pamphlets in defense of their heresie, yea and challenged some of our Preachers to disputation. Now although my bent hath been hitherto against the most dangerous enemy of our Church and State, the Jesuit, to extinguish such balls of wildfire as they have cast in the bosome of our Church, yet seeing this strange fire kindled in the neighbouring parishes, and many Nadabs and Abihu's offering it on God's Altar, l thought it my duty to cast the waters of Siloam upon it to extinguish it.

Dr. Whitsitt's version, 1896:

 

 

 

 

 

 

But of late, he says, since the unhappy distractions which our sins have brought upon us, the Temporall Sword being, other ways employed and the Spirituall locked up fast in the Scabbard, this sect among others hath so far presumed upon the patience of the State that it hath held weekly Conventicles rebaptized hundreds of men and women together in the twilight, in Rivelets and some arms of the Thames and Elsewhere, dipping them over head and ears.

There is still another proof from Featley that the Baptists dipped and that dipping was the practice of the Anabaptists on the Continent and in England from the time of Henry VIII. Featley was answering a tract, which we quote in another place, written by A. R. The title of this book was the Vanity of Childrens Baptisme, in which the author declares dipping to be the only act of baptism. Featley does not deny that this was the way the Anabaptists performed this act nor does he say that it was a new thing, but rather affirms what the author says and goes on to declare that the Anabaptists always dipped. You will remember that A. R. wrote in the year 1642, and here is the answer that Featley makes to this English Baptist:

"At Zurick after many disputations between Zuinglius and the Anabaptists, the Senate made an Act, that if any presumed to rebaptize those that were baptized before, they should be drowned.

At Vienna many Anabaptists were so tyed together in chains, that one drew the other after him into the river, wherein they were all suffocated. (Vide Supra, p. 61).

"Here you may see the hand of God in punishing these sectaries some way answerable to their sin according to the observation of the wise man (Gastius, p. 18), quo quis peccat eo puniatur, they who drew others into the whirl-pool of errour, by constraint draw one another into the river to be drowned; and they who prophaned baptisme by a second dipping, rue it by a third immersion. But the punishment of these Catabaptists we leave to them that have the Legislative power in their hands, who though by present connivence they may seem to give them line: yet, no doubt, it is that they more entangle themselves and more easily bee caught. For my part, I seek not the confusion of their persons, but the confusion of their errours, two whereof A. R. undertaketh strenuously to defend." (P. 73).

The two "errours" which A. R. "strenuously defended" were immersion and believers' baptism. Featley declares that these were the common errors of the Anabaptists in England and elsewhere. Featley in another place, after quoting the law as given above, says:

 

"Let the punishment bear upon it the print of the sin: for as these sectaries drew one another into their errors, so also into the gulfe; and as they drowned men spiritually by re-baptizing, and so prophaning the holy sacrament, so also they were drowned corporally. In the year of our Lord, 1539, two Anabaptists were burned beyond Southwark, in Newington; and a little before them, five Dutch Anabaptists were burned in Smithfield." (P. 57).

Here is a direct admission that the Anabaptists of England, as early as 1539, were dippers.

Dr. Featley quotes the article on dipping, which is given elsewhere, from the Confession of 1644 and then says:

"This Article is wholly sowred with the new leaven of Anabaptisme: I say new leaven, for it cannot be proved that any of the antient Anabaptists maintained any such position, there being three wayes of baptizing, either by dipping, or washing, or sprinkling, to which the Scriptures alludeth in sundry places: the Sacrament is rightly administered by any of the three; and whatsoever is here alleged for dipping, we approve of, so farre as it excludeth not the other two." (P. 182).

Dr. Whitsitt quotes this passage with evident delight.

Unhappily for Dr. Whitsitt, and "happily for us," the passage is perfectly clear when we consult Featley, and know exactly what he did say. It is very evident from this passage that there were two classes of Anabaptists, the "antient" and the "new." Featley divided the Anabaptists into three classes, two ancient and one "new." He says:

"The first broached their Doctrine about the year 250, which was this: That all those who had been baptized by Novatus, or any other hereticks, ought to be rebaptized by the orthodox Pastors of the Church.

"The second broached theirs about the year 380, which was this: That none were rightly baplized but those that held with Donatus, and consequently, that all others who had received Baptisme in the Catholic Church, by any other save those of his party, ought to be rebaptized.

"The third broached theirs in the year 1525, which was this: That Baptisme ought to be administered by none, but such as can give a good account of their Faith; and in case any have been baptized in their Infancy, that they ought to be rebaptized after they come to years of discression, before they are to be admitted to the Church of Christ." (P. 28).

Now it is clear that Featley regards the "new as dating back to 1525, or 126 years before 1641. And in giving an account of the tenets of these Anabaptists since the Reformation he says the first tenet, which is "peculiar to their sect," is "that none are rightly baptized but those who are dipped."(P. 36).

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Chapter 10 - Other Witnesses