Home > Baptism > Dr. Miller. Augustine, and Pelagius, say infant baptism was an apostolic tradition

Dr. Miller. Augustine, and Pelagius, say infant baptism was an apostolic tradition

These men flourished four hundred years after Christ. The word of God says not a word about infant baptism. This however does not disconcert Dr. Miller. Augustine, and Pelagius, say it was an apostolic tradition. And this he says, is “an argument of irresistible force, in favor of the divine authority of infant baptism,” and by which every one “not fast bound in the fetters of invincible prejudice,” must be convinced. But these Fathers also declared that infant communion was an apostolic tradition. This Dr. Miller does not regard as of any importance. Their testimony makes infant baptism scriptural; but it has no such effect upon infant communion! Was Dr. Miller dreaming when he uttered this logic?

Richard Watson says:

“The antiquity of infant baptism,” taken together with the other arguments, establish this practice of the church upon the strongest basis of scripture authority!” In another place he says: “That a practice which can be traced up to the very first periods of the church, and has been till very modern times, its uncontradicted practice, should have a lower authority than apostolic usage, may be pronounced impossible.”[13]

To these I will add the declaration of Mr. Hodges. He says:

“Were there no other testimony but that of Irenaeus alone, it seems to me, every unbiased and conscientious man must hold himself bound to continue infant baptism, were the scriptures even silent on the subject.”[14]

By these and such like arguments, our Pedobaptist brethren essay to prove infant baptism scriptural, not by the scriptures, but by the Fathers. “It is a plain case,” say they, “that there is no express precept respecting infant baptism in our sacred writings;” yet we are assured that the traditions of early times, vouched by the Fathers, “establish the divine authority of infant baptism with irresistible force.” The Fathers say it was practiced in the time of the apostles, and “it was impossible that they should be mistaken!” It is not in the scriptures, but it is undeniably scriptural! And these men who so contradict themselves, and abuse common sense, are Protestants, who proclaim that “The word of God is a perfect rule of faith and practice,” and who clamorously join in the cry, “The Bible, the Bible alone, is the religion of Protestants.” Yet totally aside from the Bible, and by tradition exclusively, they hold infant baptism. Thus they renounce, in this case at least, their professed Protestant principles, and return to the old and exploded dogmatism of Popery. Their position is utterly inconsistent, and cannot be main-tained. They are in truth, compelled either to reject all the traditions, as they do all the teachings of the Fathers, which are not sustained by the word of God, and thus become Baptists; or, as in this instance, they must receive them all irrespective of their biblical character, and thus become avowed Roman Catholics. However this may be, by the confession that the Bible does not in itself teach it, they have surrendered the argument to us, and made the truth still more sure, that Infant baptism is unsupported by the word of God.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 1- Infant Baptism is an evil because its practice is unsupported by the Word of God

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