The Works of the Westminster Divines on Baptism

 

Order of Contents

Catechisms  2
Sermons  2
Administration of  2
Infant Baptism  5
Efficacy of Baptism in Infants  1

Children of Adherents  2
Roman Catholic Baptism  1
Anabaptists  3

 

 

 

Catechisms

Palmer, Herbert – The Sacraments, Questions 6-10, in An Endeavor of Making the principles of Christian religion, namely the Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Sacraments plain and easy, 1644

Twisse, William – The First Catechism Touching the Sacraments, pp. 6-8, in A Brief Catechetical Exposition of Christian Doctrine. Divided into Four Catechisms, comprising the doctrine of the 1. Two Sacraments. 2. Lord’s Prayer. 3. Ten Commandments. 4. And the Creed, 1632

 

 

Sermons

Lightfoot, John – ‘Matt 28:19, Baptize All Nations’, 1655, in Works, vol. 6, pp. 391-411

Lightfoot, John – ‘1 Cor. 10:2, Baptism’, in Works, 1660, in Works, vol. 6, pp. 412-416

 

 

On the Administration of Baptism

Henderson, Alexander – The Order of Baptism, 1641, 3 paragraphs, being pp. 18-20 of The Government and Order of the Church of Scotland

Rutherford, Samuel – Baptizing, 1642, 3 paragraphs, being the 5th Article of Chapter 20 of A Peaceable and Temperate Plea for Paul’s Presbytery in Scotland

 

 

On Infant Baptism

Cawdrey, Daniel – A Sober Answer to a Serious Question Propounded by Mr. Giles Firmin, minister: Whether the ministers of England are bound by the Word of God to baptize the children of all such parents which say they believe in Jesus Christ.  Which may serve also as an appendix to the diatribe with Mr. Hooker, concerning the baptism of infants, 1652, 30 pages, the book is incomplete: the end is missing.

Marshall, Stephen – A Sermon of the Baptizing of Infants, on 1 Peter 3:21, no date

Marshall, Stephen – A Defense of Infant Baptism in Answer to Two Treatises, 1646

Baillie, Robert – Anabaptism, the true fountain of Independency, Brownism, Antinomianism, Familism, and most of the other errors (which for the time do trouble the Church of England) unsealed.  Also the questions of paedobaptism and dipping handled from Scripture. In a second part of the Dissuasive from the Errors of the Time ToC

Carter, William – The Covenant of God with Abraham, Opened. Wherein 1. The duty of infant-baptism is cleared. 2. Something added concerning the Sabbath, and the nature and increase of the kingdom of Christ. Together with a short discourse concerning the manifestations of God unto his people in the Last Days. Wherein is showed the manner of the Spirit’s work therein to be in the use of ordinary gifts, not by extraordinary revelations, 1654, 86 pages

 

 

The Efficacy of Baptism in Infants

Burges, Cornelius – Baptismal Regeneration of Elect Infants professed by the Church of England, according to the Scriptures, the primitive Church, the present reformed churches, and many particular divines apart  ToC  Buy

Burges’ ‘main assertion’ is that ‘baptismal regeneration [is] ordinarily communicated to elect infants’ by the Holy Spirit at the time of baptism, though it is not necessarily connected with it.

 

 

On the Baptism of the Children of Adherents

An adherent is a person who is a non-communicant member of the visible Church.  That is, the person is baptized, is part of the universal visible Church (thought not necessarily under the governance of a particular local church), has some measure of a profession of faith, but he or she does not partake of the Lord’s Supper (either voluntarily or involuntarily).  The question is: Is such a person externally in Covenant with God?  If they are, then their children are as well, and they should receive the sign and seal of being externally in Covenant with God: Baptism.  For more on this topic, see The Baptism of the Children of Adherents.

Cawdrey, Daniel – A Sober Answer to a Serious Question Propounded by Mr. Giles Firmin, minister: Whether the ministers of England are bound by the Word of God to baptize the children of all such parents which say they believe in Jesus Christ.  Which may serve also as an appendix to the diatribe with Mr. Hooker, concerning the baptism of infants, 1652, 30 pages, the book is incomplete: the end is missing.

While Cawdrey is responding to a very loaded question, he answers with a very qualified Yes.

Rutherford, Samuel – ‘On the Baptism of the Children of Adherents’  PDF 1642, 29 pages, being ch. 12 of his A Peaceable and Temperate Plea for Paul’s Presbytery in Scotland.  An updated, easier to read edition.  

To see how Rutherford interprets 1 Cor. 7:14, and hence Westminster Confession 28.4, see the 9th Argument, 4th Objection.

Rutherford, Samuel – On the Baptism of the Children of Adherents, Part 2  1644, 16 pages, being the 2nd Part, Chapter 4, Section 6 of The Due Right of Presbyteries, pp. 256-66, with a 3 page extended outline 

Rutherford further argues against the Independent John Cotton.

 

 

Roman Catholic Baptism is Valid

Samuel Rutherford – The Due Right of Presbyteries, or a Peaceable Plea for the Government of the Church of Scotland, pp. 237-41, 1644, in pp. 23-29 of The Reformed Churches and Roman Catholic Baptism – An Anthology of Principle Texts, by the Peru Mission

 

 

On the Anabaptists

‘Anabaptist’ means ‘re-baptizer’.  They did not believe in the validity of Roman Catholic baptism or infant baptism, so they rebaptized converts to their sect.  They were also radical and extreme on many other points as well, often being seen as disruptive of civil order.

Byfield, Richard – Temple-Defilers Defiled, wherein a true visible Church of Christ is described. The evils and pernicious errors, especially appertaining to schism, anabaptism, and libertinism, that infest our Church, are discovered. And directions to preserve from the sin and punishment of temple-defiling, delivered in two sermons, Feb. 20 & 27, 1644, out of 1 Cor. 3:17 ToC

Baillie, Robert – Anabaptism, the true fountain of Independency, Brownism, Antinomianism, Familism, and most of the other errors (which for the time do trouble the Church of England) unsealed.  Also the questions of paedobaptism and dipping handled from Scripture. In a second part of the Dissuasive from the Errors of the Time ToC

Featley, Daniel – The Dippers Dipped, or, The Anabaptists Ducked and Plunged over Head and Ears, also a large and full discourse of their 1. Origin, 2. Several Sorts, 3. Peculiar Errors, 4. High attempts against the state, 5. Capital Punishments, 1647

 

 

 

Related Pages

Baptism

Infant Baptism

The Baptism of the Children of Adherents

Baptismal Regeneration

All of the Works of the Westminster Divines on Covenant Theology

All of the Writings of the Westminster Divines Online

All of the Writings of the Westminster Divines Online by Topic