Home > Baptism > One other instance on record, of infant salvation, is worthy of our attention

One other instance on record, of infant salvation, is worthy of our attention

One other instance on record, of infant salvation, is worthy of our attention. The murder of all the children of Bethlehem and its vicinity, by the jealous Herod, perpetrated in the hope that thereby he might succeed in destroying Messiah, was a horrible tragedy. It was foreseen, and predicted by an ancient prophet, in language full of mingled pathos and encouragement:

A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping. Rachel weeping for her children, refused to be comforted, because they were not. Thus saith the Lord: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears.” “They shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.” (Jeremiah 31:15-17.)

Is the design of this passage difficult to perceive? Does it refer merely to the captivity in Babylon, under which the Hebrews were then suffering? Is the Mother of Israel represented as weeping in her tenderness, only over the woes of her children in a distant land, writhing under the oppressions of their masters? Does God comfort her merely with the assurance that they shall yet return from their bondage, and inhabit, in peace and prosperity, the fields and the cities of Judea? Whatever may have been the primary sense of the prophecy, inspiration itself has given it a still higher, and more exalted meaning. The evangelist Matthew furnishes the interpretation. He says:

Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men; was exceeding wroth, and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under.” “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning. Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” (Matthew 2:16-18.)

This cruel act of Herod, therefore, was in the mind of the prophet. Of the children slain by him, consequently, it was more especially said, They shall escape from the enemy; there is hope for them; they shall possess their land! For these reasons their bereaved parents were exhorted to “ refrain their voice from weeping, and their eyes from tears.” But how was it possible to fulfill such promises? These children were all dead! They remained in their graves. Literally, these promises could never be fulfilled. The prophecy must therefore necessarily refer to another life. It evidently teaches the three following facts:

First, that all these slain children should be delivered from the great enemy, eternal death;

Secondly, that there was hope for them, since they were all redeemed by Christ, that they should enjoy eternal life; and

Thirdly, that they should possess the heavenly land, of which the earthly Canaan was a type.

These are the grounds upon which our Heavenly Father offers comfort to their parents, and exhorts them to subdue their sorrows. Their children had been foully murdered. The jealousy of the king had, with bloody and relentless violence, torn them from their bosoms. By this means, however, they had gone speedily, and safely, to eternal life. I have selected and laid before you these instances of infant salvation recorded in the word of God, and have drawn them from the children of the good and the pious, such as David; from the children of the idolatrous and wicked, such as Jeroboam; and from the children of all classes, such as were the bereaved parents “in Bethlehem, and all the coasts thereof,” in order to prove to you that all infants are saved, without any regard to the character of their parents, or the circumstances under which they were removed from the present life.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 9- Infant baptism is an evil because it subverts the true doctrine of infant salvation

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