Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 6, 1643. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1767-1830.
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DIE Lunæ, 19 die Februarii.
L. Viscount Say & Seale.
Complaint against Mr. Baldwin, Minister of Hempstead.
The Letter was read, being "an Information of divers erroneous Points delivered in a Sermon lately at Hempsteed, by one Mr. Baldwin; and the Sermon being ended, the said Baldwin sat himself down in the Pulpit, to see who would answer his Opinions; and nobody undertaking to answer him, he stood up, and made a Challenge to maintain his Opinions against any on that Day Fortnight afterwards; whereupon a Tumult was likely to be. The Assembly presents these Things to their Lordships Consideration; and this being against the Covenant, they offer it to their Lordships Consideration, whether it be not fit to send down some able Minister to preach at Hempsteed that Day upon which he appointed them to answer him, whereby the People may be settled in their Opinions, and Tumults prevented."
Baldwin to be attached.
Assembly of Divines to send a Minister to supply his Place.
Upon Information this (fn. 1) Day received of great Disorders committed by one Baldwin (pretending to be a Preacher), in the Church of Hempsteed, in the County of Hertford, tending to Sedition: It is Ordered, by the Lords in Parliament assembled, That the Assembly of Divines be requested (fn. 2) to send some able Preacher to preach in that Church, upon Thursday the last (fn. 1) of this Instant February; and truly to inform the People of the Integrity and Care of both Houses of Parliament, for settling of Matters of Religion, according to the Word of God, and of the Endeavours of the Assembly to attain that End; and that, for the future, some grave, learned, and discreet Ministers be requested to perform that Lecture, till further Order can be taken; and that (fn. 1) the Churchwardens of Hempsted do take Care that none but such as are known to be Ministers in Orders be permitted to preach at any Time there."
Settling the Doctrine of the Church.
Forrett and Phillips.
Upon reading the Petition of David Forrett, Major of a Regiment in the Scotts Army; shewing, "That there is a Cause set down to be heard in this House in April next, between him and Fabian Phillips; his Desire is, that either a shorter Day may be appointed for hearing the said Cause, or else, if the said Cause should be heard in his Absence, when he (fn. 1) is in the Scottish Army, doing the Duty of his Place, that he might receive no Prejudice in his Absence:" Hereupon this House Ordered, That, if the said Cause be heard when the said Forrett is absent in the Scottish Army, he shall receive no Prejudice by his said Absence.
Erroneous Opinions delivered by Mr. Baldwin, in Hatfield Church.
2. That God's Grace is free, and that He doth not bestow it upon us for any Goodness in us foreseen; and that there are no Conditions to be performed on our Parts. The Text of Scripture produced for the Proof thereof, was 2 Pet. i. 3. According to His Divine Power, He hath given unto us all Things that pertain unto Life and Godliness; and therefore that Virtue, Knowledge, Patience, Brotherly Kindness, &c. are only Additaments without our Endeavours.
6. That Baptism is not to be administered to Infants, because it is not a Seal of the Covenant of Grace: His Reason was, because it succeeded Circumcision, which he proved was not a Seal of the Covenant, because administered to Ismaell and Esau, both graceless.
8. That the Synagogues of the Jews were useful, but our Churches are as idolatrous as the Temple of Diana, and not to be made Use of; and therefore he excused his coming to the Church, saying it was by Co-action, as Paule came to Mars-Hill.
9. That Catechising is Papistical, brought in (he said) by one of the Popes, but he could not say who; only put down the questioning the Minister in the Pulpit, to the which he gave the Congregation free Liberty.
"Rob't Winchester Cler.
Rich'd Wilkinson Cler.
Complaint against him, for these Opinions, to the Assembly of Divines.
We whose Names are subscribed, coming on this present Thursday, being the 15th Day of February Instant, to hear a Sermon at Hempsted, in Hertfordshire, in the ordinary Course of the Lecture there; we heard one Mr. Baldwin, who having formerly preached there (as we are informed) to like Purpose, amongst other Things which we conceived Heterodox, inveighed much against Baptizing of Infants, as a Carnal Ordinance, and that all that maintained and practised it deny Christ's coming in the Flesh, and are of Antichristian Spirits; and promised, on the same Day Fortnight, to prove that we are free from National Bondage, which he thought more fit to be insisted on, because we are like to be engaged at this Time in a State-religion, and to be commanded to serve God in One Way, or to use One Way of Worship; and, in the Close of his Sermon, challenged any in the Congregation to make Use of their Privilege, which is (as he said) freely to bring their Allegations against any Thing that he had taught; and, if no Man objected, he should presume that they were taken for Truths, and no Man able to reply; whereupon we were inforced to oppose those Errors instantly upon the Close of his Sermon. But, Satisfaction not being given, and the People seeming to be much distracted, he the said Mr. Baldwin made a further Challenge, to answer him to any of those Points, especially that of baptizing Infants, the Fourteenth Day after, which will be the last of this present February.
Sir, we are in some Streight; we partly doubt whether it be fit to entertain such a Challenge yea or nay, and desire your Advice in it, and (if you think it convenient to be requested) the Sense of the Assembly also, and that with all convenient Speed. Thus, committing you and your Endeavours in the Public Service to the Blessing of God, we humbly rest