Home > Covenant Theology > The Covenants-Chapter 9k- The Teachings of the Covenant

The Covenants-Chapter 9k- The Teachings of the Covenant

And now, in the second place, determine if you can, how these promises apply to the literal seed of believers. The connection with this covenant, claimed for them, on the ground that they are the children of believers, is not less preposterous than that advocated for their parents. It assumes that the covenant established a spiritual relation between Abraham, and his infant offspring; and that it establishes now, the same relation between every believer and his infant offspring! Need I say that this whole category is a mistake, from beginning to end? It is certain that no spiritual relation not before existing, was established by this covenant, between Abraham and his infant seed. He was made the father, not of all the redeemed, as some have imagined, but “of all them that believe,” of whatever nation. Infants are redeemed; but infants do not believe. To his own descendants he was “the father of circumcision.” He was the spiritual father, so far as we know, of no one, assuredly not of his own infant seed, unless the absurdity can be admitted that spiritual qualities (that is, that religion) may be propagated by natural generation. The covenant therefore established no new spiritual relations between even Abraham and his infant seed. Much less does it establish now, any such relations between believers and their infant seed. “The blessing of Abraham has indeed, come upon the Gentiles,” but in no such acceptations as these. That blessing consists not in creating any spiritual relations between believers and their infant offspring, but for themselves, in having their faith counted to them for righteousness, as Abraham’s faith was counted to him for righteousness. As to their children, if they die in infancy, they are, and ever have been, and ever will be saved, by the merits and righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ, independently of parentage, or ordinances, of any character whatever. If they grow up to maturity, they are blessed in being taught by Christian parents the way of life and salvation through Jesus Christ. The covenant with Abraham, for him, and his seed, is not therefore, equally a covenant with every other believer, for him, and his seed. To presume consequently, that the infant seed of believers, because they are such, are entitled without repentance, and faith, to the ordinances of the gospel, and to membership in the visible church, is a derogation of the covenants, a violation of the analogy of the Old and New Testaments, in opposition to the word of God, and destructive to all the best interests of religion.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

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