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47“Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”

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47. Peter answered. Peter reasoneth from the thing to the sign; for, seeing that baptism is an addition or appurtenance of the spiritual grace, he which hath received the Spirit is also apt [fit] to receive baptism; and this is the (most) lawful order, that the minister admit those unto the receiving of the outward sign whom God hath testified to be his children by the mark and pledge of his Spirit; so that faith and doctrine are first. And whereas unlearned men infer thereupon that infants are not to be baptized, it is without all reason. I grant that those who are strangers from the Church must be taught before the sign of adoption be given them; but I say, that the children of the faithful which are born in the Church are from their mother’s womb of the household of the kingdom of God. Yea, the argument which they use preposterously against us do I turn back [retort] upon themselves; for, seeing that God hath adopted the children of the faithful before they be born, I conclude thereupon that they are not to be defrauded of the outward sign; otherwise men shall presume to take that from them which God hath granted them. As touching the manifest grace of the Spirit, there is no absurdity therein, if 720720     “Tempore,” in point of time. it follow after baptism in them.

And as this testimony maketh nothing for maintenance of their error, so it doth strongly refute the error of the Papists, who tie the grace of the Spirit to the signs, and think that the same is fet [fetched] from heaven with enchantments, 721721     “Eamque exorcismis non secus elici putant e coelo,” and think it can only be brought down from heaven by exorcisms. as those witches did think that they did pull down the moon with their charms. But forasmuch as Luke saith that these had the Holy Ghost given them who were not as yet baptized, he showeth that the Spirit is not included in baptism. Lastly, we must note that the apostles were content with water alone when as they did baptize, 722722     “Ad conferendum baptismum,” in giving baptism. and would to God this plainness had been retained amongst their posterity, and that they had not gathered here and there divers trifles, whereof baptism is filth in Popery. They think that the worthiness of baptism is adorned with oil, salt, spittle, wax-candles, whereas they are rather filthy pollutions which corrupt the pure and natural [genuine] institution of Christ.




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