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There is no express precept, or rule, given in the New Testament for the baptism of infants.
Bishop Burnett's Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles. Among all the persons recorded as baptized by the apostles, there is no express mention of any children being baptized.. .
Dr. Wall. It cannot be proved, by the sacred scripture, that infant baptism was instituted by Christ, or begun by the first Christians after the apostles.
Luther. In A. R.'s Vanity of Infant Baptism.
If there can be no example given in Scripture of any one that was baptized without the profession of a saving faith, nor any precept for so doing; then must we not baptize any without it. But the antecedent is true; therefore, so is the consequent. In a word, I know of no one word in scripture, that giveth us the least intimation, that ever man was baptized without the profession of a saving faith, or that giveth the least encouragement to baptize any upon another's faith.
Mr. Baxter's Disputation of Right to Sacraments. Calvin, in his fourth book of Institutes, chap. xvi. confessetb, that it is nowhere expressly mentioned by the Evangelists, that any one child was by the apostles baptized.
Paul does not seem, in Rom. v. 14. to treat about infants. It was pot yet the custom for infants to be baptized.
Erasmus, Annot. ad Rom. v. 14. The baptism of infants may be named a tradition; because it is pot expressly delivered in scripture, that the apostles did not baptize infants, nor is any express precept there found, that they should do so.
.. Mr. Leigh's Body of Divinity. The traditions of the whole catholic church confirm us in many of our doctrines, which, though they may be gathered out of scripture, yet are not laid down there in so many words: such as infant baptism, and of episcopal authority above presbyters.
Dr. Freeman's Preservative against Popery. It is plain, that he (Peter, Acts ïi. 38.) requires their repentance antecedently to baptism, as necessary to qualify them for the right and due reception thereof. And there is no example of baptism recorded in the Scriptures, where any were baptized, but such as appeared to have a saving interest in Christ.
Mr. T. Boston's Works. The scriptures are not clear, that infant baptism was an apostolic practice. We have not in scripture either precept or example of children baptized.
Mr. Crosby's History of Baptism. It has been a very ancient asage in the Church, derived, as there is all the reason to think, from the apostolical times, that the chil. dren of believing parents should receive the benefit of Christian baptism. Origen makes this to be a part of apostolical tradition : Pro hoc, &c. : For this, the church received it as a tradition, viz. to give baptism to infants. Orig. Hom. in Rom. vi. The writings of Clemens, Ignatius, Polycarp, and such other early Christian writers, are so short, that one cannot expect to find every Christian usage therein : but I think that Pædo-Baptism could hardly be so generally used in the second and third century, unless it bad been a custom in former ages, nay, from the beginning of Christianity. For if it had been a custom, which was gradually grown up, some of those ancient writers would, somewbere or other in their works, bave opposed it. There is not, indeed, any thing in the holy scriptures, which does in express terms command it.
Dr. Nicholls on Infant Baptisi. The baptism of infants, and the sprinkling of water in baptism, instead of immersing the whole body, must be exterminated from the church, according to their principle, i. e. that nothing can be lawfully performed, much less required, in the affairs of religion, which is not either commanded by God in the scripture, or at least recommended by a laudable example.
Bishop Sanderson. Whether baptism shall be administered to infants, or not, is not down in express words, but left to be gathered by analogy and consequences.
That which seems to stick much with the adversaries of infant baptism, and is accordingly urged at all times against the friends or assertors of it, is, the want of an express command, or direction, for the administering of baptism to them. Which objection seems to be the more reasonable, because baptism, as well as other sacraments, receiving all its force from institution, they may seem to have no right to or benefit by it, who appear not by the institution of the sacrament to be entitled to it, but rather, by the qualifications it requires, to be excluded from it.
As to the seed of the church, the children of Christians, at wha age, under what circumstances, in what mode, or whether they were baptized at all, are particulars which the New Testament does not mention. We may safely conclude, whatever St. Paul might do, who baptized households among the Gentiles, yet the other apostles, and the church at Jerusalem, did not baptize infants,
At wbat age the children of Christians should be baptized; whether in infancy, or to stay till the age of reason, is not so clearly delivered, but that it admits of a dispute, that has considerable perplexities in it.
There are difficulties in this controversy, wbich may puzzle the
Mr. Henry. minds of well-meaning Christians.
Mr. Lawson, who was one of the people called Quakers, bas
produced Zuinglius and Melancthon, as expressing themselves to the same effect. He also tells us, the Oxford Divines, in a convocation held in the year 1647, acknowledged, that without the consentaneous judgment of the universal cburch, they should be at a loss, when they are called upon for proof in the point of infant baptism.
If the very baptism of infants itself be so dark in the scripture, that the controversy is thereby become so hard as we find it; then, to prove not only their baptism, but a new distiuct end of their baptism, will be a hard task indeed,
Baptism by ablution, or aspersion, was not known in the first century of the church, when immersion was only used; and it is said, it continued so till St. Gregory's time.
Picart. The ceremony of sprinkling began to be used, instead of immersion, about the time of Pope Gregory, in the sixth century.
Beveridge on the 50th Apostolical Canon. The danger of dipping, in cold climates, may be a very good reason for changing the form of baptism to sprinkling.
Bishop Burnett's Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles. To those who hold that we may go no farther than scripture, for doctrine or discipline, it may be very easy to err in this point now in hand; (i. e, infant baptism) since the seripture seems not to have clearly determined this particular,
Lord Brooke. As to the baptism of infants, it is a mere human tradition; for which neither precept nor practice is to be found in all the scripture,
Robert Barclay. I do not find, in any part of the holy scriptures, either precept or example for the practice of spriokling infants. If any such proofs, or plain declaration, could be produced in support of sprinkling infants, it would have been long ere now produced by those who have continued the practice of that ceremony. The present advocates for it would not be reduced to the necessity of presumptive arguments, and uncertain consequences; such as the supposition, that there were children in the housebold of Lydia, the gaoler of Philippi, and Stephanius. The sprinkling of infants is utterly des titute of any proof of divine institution. Samuel Fothergillo
The practice of sprinkling infants, under the name of baption, hath neither precept nor precedent in the New Testament. For want of real instances, mere suppositions are offered in support of it; because it is said, in the case of Lydia, that she was baptized, and her bousehold; and by the apostle, “I baptized also the house hold of Stephanus ;" it is supposed, there miglit be infants, or little children, in those households; from whence it is inferred that such were baptized.
Joseph Phipps's Dissertat. on Bapt.
Ipfant baptism, or sprinkling infants, this they (the Quakers) utterly deny, as a thing by men imposed, and never by God or Christ instituted; neither is there any scripture precept or precedent for it. Indeed, how should there, since it was not taken up, por innovated, for above two hundred years after Cbrist died. Yet we grant the baptism of those that were adults, or come to age, and had faith to entitle them to it. This was the baptism of John.
Elizabeth Bathurst's Testimony and Writings.
Sprinkling of infants is a case unprecedented in the primitive church; an irreptitious custom, sprung up in the night of apostacy, after the falling away from the primitive order. Those who adopt the practice of sprinkling infants, bave no command from Christ, nor example among the apostles, nor the primitive Christians, for so doing.
Thomas Lawson's Baptismalogia.
As for the baptism of infants, it ought not to be retained in the church, there being neither precept nor example for it in the scrip
Richard Claridge's Life and Posthumous Works.
As to dipping or sprinkling infants or young children, we find no precept or precedent in scripture for the practice thereof. What great hypocrisy and insincerity are these persons chargeable with, in the sight of God, angels, and men, in their not practising that baptism they have pleaded for from the practice of the apostles; but, instead thereof, rbantism, or sprinkling of infants, to make them thereby members of Christ, and of his church militant, who are neither capable of teaching, nor of confession of faith. If these men believe what they themselves write, argue, and urge on this subject, for the necessity of baptizing only believers, when taught; by what authority do they, in practice, so easily dispense with this, and evade, and change it into their rhantizing, or sprinkling and crossing infants in the face; and yet so demurely profess and tell the people, the holy scripture is their only rule of faith and practice, when they can, contrary to their own demure pretences, practise unscriptural traditions, both human and popish ?
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The Rector examined.-George Whitehead.
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