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                            A letter of Mr. Mitchell 

    Concerning Goodm: Scotts children viz that of 18 & yt of 16 yeers of age (for

    touching that of 12 yr is noe Question as being clearly in minority) I concurr

    with your apprehension viz. That being according to their years & capasity

    of competent knowledge & blameless life, & willing to submitt to discipline they

    are to be Baptized   ffor:

    1  Though I dare not peremptorily conclude that wch some have gathered from

    Exod 30. 12-16 viz that all under 20 years old are Ecclesiastically in mino

    -rity, yet neither would I Reject it, for it is very considerable: but mē thinks

    that place in Gall 4: 1. 2 seemes to Intimate that while they are not

    sui Juris[21] but under the government, Disposal & appointment of their parents

    they are reputed as in minority.

    2 When God takes in the parents he takes in all their children that doe no[t][22]

    obicem ponere,[23] or not reject the covenant but according to their capacity doe

    imbrace it: we have noe reason to doubt but there were children of diverse age

    in the houses of Liddeah & ye Jaylour (& some in the latter of capable of being

    spoaken to & instructed Acts 16 32.) But they being (such of them as were

    near growne) willing to goe along wth their parents in the same profession &

    ingagement were baptized with them: Soe Exod 12 48.

    3  Either the persons in Question are of age, or not of age, if not they ar[e]

    without scruple to be baptized on parent’s account as in minority: If the[y]

    be of age & soe can be accounted in the understanding to hold forth ye qualificati

    ons above mentioned according to the Synods 5th proposition,[24] I se noe rea

    son to scruple their being Baptized upon their own account.

    4  It may be considered whether this parent & these children were not

    [at least de Jure[25]) of the visible church before Even from their infancy &

    they are not now Subjects of election out of the church so members so to be


    5  ffavores sunt ampliandi[26] is a maxime that the frame & spirit of the gos

    -pell seems to approve & hold forth in reference to such cases as these: If we

    should reject such hopefull, willing & teachable children as these are; And (as

    it were) tell them they have noe part in the lord, & leave them out of the pa[rt]

    of the visible church; methinks our hearts would tell us that Jesus Christ would

    not doe soe if he were heer administring, or ordering his disciples to administer

    as sometimes he was

    S C I have given you my sudden & present apprehensions, wch I should have chosen

    to have bin excused from did not love & respect command me to say somewhat

    to your letter: make not too much up of the hasty lines, I write to noe more

    But yourself & mr  Shepard. wth affectionate greetings, & wellwishes to you both

    & to mrs Phillips in hast I take leave & Remayne

                                         Yours in all due Respects

                                         Jonathan Mitchell

    Cambridg January 18.



    [21] “In their own right.”

    [22] MS damage affects the ends of several lines on this page; conjectures for missing letters are provided in brackets.

    [23] “Put an obstacle.”

    [24] The Answer of the Elders and Other Messengers of the Churches, Assembled at Boston in the Year 1662, Prop. V: “Church-members who were admitted in minority, understanding the Doctrine of Faith, and publickly professing their assent thereto; not scandalous in life, and solemnly owning the Covenant before the Church, wherein they give up themselves and their Children to the Lord, and subject themselves to the Government of Christ in the Church, their Children are to be Baptized.”

    [25] “By right.”

    [26] “Extend the favor.”