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In regard to the persons to be baptized

1. Infant baptism leads its advocates into rebellion against the authority of Christ in regard to the persons to be baptized.

These are described definitely, in the apostolic commission. When last the voice of Messiah was heard upon earth, it was in the utterance of the command, Go, and make disciples, not among the Jews only, but among all nations. Teach them the gospel, and those who believe it baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. This duty imposed upon them is obligatory upon all their successors in the ministry “unto the end of the world.” But infant baptism has introduced a condition of things that renders rebellion inevitable. In Pedobaptist countries, such as Italy and Spain, an instance of compliance with the command of Christ has not occurred in a thousand years. In those lands, or among Pedobaptists anywhere, who can “make disciples, and baptize them?” All the people have been baptized in their infancy. There are, it is true, among them many unbelievers; multitudes who are still “in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity;” they ought to hear and believe the gospel; but they have all been baptized! They are all in the church! Shall we exhort them as Peter, in his day, did those of the same character, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you?” This would be inappropriate. They have “every one” of them been baptized without repentance! Have any of them, a rare event, been instructed, and obtained faith? May we then say to them, as Philip did to an interesting convert, “If thou believest with all thy heart thou mayest be baptized?” No; they have all been baptized without faith! And if any zealous preacher of righteousness should undertake to baptize one of these baptized infidels, after his conversion, he would subject himself to the disgrace and the civil penalties of being an Anabaptist. The Savior requires that men shall first believe, and then be baptized. But the order he established is now reversed. The impenitent and unbelieving, as well as the holy and faithful, all have long ago been baptized. Thus infant baptism subverts the authority of Christ. It baptizes exclusively UNBELIEVERS, AND BELIEVERS! In proportion as it prevails the apostolic commission is contemned and violated. This remark may be illustrated by referring to a fact in the history of our fathers. In England, until after the restoration of the Stuarts, there was not in the established church, even a liturgy for the baptism of adult persons. During the Commonwealth, the citizens had enjoyed under Cromwell, a liberty of conscience before wholly unknown. With the Bible in their hands, great numbers of the people became Baptists. Their children were of course not baptized. After the return of the monarchy, these were compelled to submit to the ordinance, and for this purpose the liturgy was remodeled, and an “office” inserted, then for the first time, for adults. Dr. Wall narrates these events thus:

“It was by reason of this [the prevalence of the Baptist] opinion in those times, that the Convocation that set presently after the restoration of Charles II., when they made a new book of Common Prayer, found it necessary to add to it an office for the baptism of those who, having been born in those times, had not yet been baptized, whereof there were many that were now grown too old to be baptized as infants, and ought to make profession of their own faith. They gave in the preface to the said book an account of the occasion which made this necessary then, though not formerly, in these words, “Together with an office for the baptism of such as are of riper years.” Which, although not so necessary when the former book was compiled, yet by the growth of Anabaptism, through the licentiousness [freedom of conscience] of the times, is now become necessary.”[126]

From the period, therefore, that Popery took possession of Britain in the seventh century, up to the reign of the second Charles, no believers, unless in secret, were ever baptized in all that realm! Thus completely and effectually, as to the persons appointed to receive this ordinance, does infant baptism lead to rebellion against the divine law, and subvert the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ!

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 10- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it leads its advocates into rebellion against the authority of Christ

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