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Four causes, continually acting upon them all, have hitherto preserved them, in a great measure, from falling into the same destruction which has overwhelmed others

But is not this an overstatement of the case? Would not a laudable Christian charity draw a much brighter picture than the one I have now sketched? I am reminded that the Methodist church, the Presbyterian church, the Congregational church, and several other churches in this country, and in England, are, in their numerous divisions, highly evangelical. All these, with infant baptism, still hold and teach the great fundamental truths of the gospel. I am happy to concede that this is true. It is, however, the result of a peculiar condition of things, and cannot, therefore, discredit any argument which has been submitted on the subject. Four causes, continually acting upon them all, have hitherto preserved them, in a great measure, from falling into the same destruction which has overwhelmed others.

The first is the great Baptist principle, with which they are unceasingly in contact. In North America the Baptist churches contain a million of communicants. Four millions more, at least, are of their opinion, and under their influence. Nearly one-fourth, therefore, of all our population are strongly Baptistical. All these regard infant baptism, and infant church membership, as wholly unauthorized, and treat them as nonentities in religion. These Baptists are diffused in all the families of the land, high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, learned and unlearned. They are associated with their Pedobaptist brethren upon equal, and most intimate terms. As a consequence of this state of things, the influence of infant baptism is, to a very great extent, neutralized, and destroyed.

The second of these causes is the universal diffusion of the Bible. The word of God is now carefully studied, in Sabbath-schools, in Bible-classes, in families, and in the closet, not by scholars only, but also by all classes of our people, and it is probably better understood by them all, than it has ever been at any period since the days of the apostles. The masses are enlightened; they exercise their own judgment; and their religious opinions are approaching, consequently, much nearer the scriptural standard. In all the teachings of that holy book they find not one word to justify infant baptism.

Thousands, consequently, who have received the rite, refuse utterly, to act in accordance with it. They do not regard themselves as church members, or in any way privileged spiritually, because of their infant baptism. That, say they, was only a form. And indeed, so far has this conviction proceeded, that many, very many members, even of Pedobaptist churches, do not hesitate to avow their entire disbelief in the whole theory. Hence its wide-spread neglect throughout our whole land. In proportion as the Bible is understood, loved, and obeyed, does infant baptism, in all its relations and bearings, dwindle, and recede from public view.

The third cause is found in the character of our Pedobaptist ministry. The great body of them, and especially of those connected with the denominations I have named, are converted men. Their religion and good sense lead them involuntarily to discard, except in its forms, the puerilities of their distinguishing rite. They preach to all alike, and boldly declare to sinners of every class, that if they are saved at all, it must be alone by the grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord, whom they can approach only as penitent believers, and whose Spirit must renew and sanctify their hearts. Thus preaching the fundamental truths of the gospel, they falsify infant baptism, keep it out of sight, and avert in part its deleterious influence.

The fourth and last cause is the revivals of religion which have so long, and so extensively prevailed in our country. Of these, in common with our churches, theirs have largely, and happily partaken. These revivals call the thoughts of men directly to the corruptions of their own nature, to the light of the word of God, to the cross of the Redeemer, to regeneration by the Holy Ghost, and to pardon, justification, and salvation, through faith in Christ. True religion is thus everywhere spread abroad, and many, notwithstanding the errors of their standards, and other authorities, whose forms they still observe, are converted, and saved.

These, mainly, are the causes which in America, and the British dominions, have thus far averted from them, its natural and inherent evils, and preserved their churches from total overthrow. Take these away, and nothing can save them from utter disaster.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 7- Infant baptism is an evil because it despoils the Church of those peculiar qualities which are essential to the Church of Christ

The doctrine taught by pedobaptists would bring every child upon earth into the church as soon as it is born

Nor does the evil of infant baptism terminate even here. It blots out every vestige of the church itself, by wholly destroying its visibility! This proposition may seem startling. Let us give, it a candid investigation.

The doctrine taught by pedobaptists would bring every child upon earth into the church as soon as it is born! We will suppose, for the sake of the illustration, that from this hour, the gospel is known in every land, and these principles universally prevail. What would be the practical effect? Evidently that in one generation the whole world would be in the church! The Presbyterians would baptize all the children of believing parents; the Episcopalians would baptize “upon the faith of the church,” all those for whom sponsors could be secured; and the Methodists, and others, would baptize the remainder! Not a living being would be out of the church! What now is the condition of things? The church is the world; and the world is the church! They are identical! Either there is no church; or there is no world! If the world is not the church, and we know that it is not, then there is no visible church of God upon earth! Its visibility is destroyed; and is destroyed by infant baptism. What do we now see? The spirituality of the church is gone! The purity of the church is gone! The visibility of the church is gone! The church itself is gone! It is despoiled of those peculiar qualities which are essential to the church of Christ. If there is no other than a Pedobaptist church, then there is no true visible church of Christ upon earth! But is not this an overstatement of the case? Would not a laudable Christian charity draw a much brighter picture than the one I have now sketched? I am reminded that the Methodist church, the Presbyterian church, the Congregational church, and several other churches in this country, and in England, are, in their numerous divisions, highly evangelical. All these, with infant baptism, still hold and teach the great fundamental truths of the gospel. I am happy to concede that this is true. It is, however, the result of a peculiar condition of things, and cannot, therefore, discredit any argument which has been submitted on the subject. Four causes, continually acting upon them all, have hitherto preserved them, in a great measure, from falling into the same destruction which has overwhelmed others.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 7- Infant baptism is an evil because it despoils the Church of those peculiar qualities which are essential to the Church of Christ

It not only excludes spirituality and purity from the church, but it introduces corruptions of the most destructive character

But the evil influence in the connection in which I now speak of it, is not negative merely, it is positive, and overwhelming. It not only excludes spirituality and purity from the church, but it introduces corruptions of the most destructive character.

How it corrupts the church in her membership is sufficiently apparent. Its corrupting influence upon her doctrines has been seen in previous chapters. I will here recapitulate. It perverts the word of God to bring it apparently into its support; it engrafts Judaism upon the gospel of Christ; its principles contradict the doctrine of justification by faith; they are in conflict with the work of the Spirit in regeneration; and they falsify the doctrine of universal depravity. What fearful destruction it has thus wrought in all that is revered and holy! What now must be her general temper, and disposition? Will she be as designed by Jesus Christ, and represented by his apostles,

A glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but holy, and without blemish?” (Ephesians 5:27.)

Will she “crucify the flesh, with its affections and lusts?” Will she “live in the Spirit, and walk in the Spirit,” bringing forth the fruits of “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, temperance?” Will she not rather be guided by ambition, pride, and vainglory, relying for her advancement upon measures of mere worldly policy? Will she not prefer a learned, or an eloquent, to a converted ministry? Will she not be ready to embrace any false doctrines, or unscriptural practices, which may be found congenial with her unsanctified nature, and suited to her purposes of dominion, and power? With such a spirit infant baptism has always been found inspiring the church. Nor is this less true of Protestantism than it is of Popery. Whence originated the Neology of Lutheranism, the Puseyism of Episcopacy, and the Unitarianism and Universalism of Calvinism? Had these churches adhered to the laws of membership established by Christ Jesus, and admitted, or retained in their communion, none but the truly converted, could these miserable dogmas ever have covered them with shame and misery? They are all, therefore, the legitimate offspring of infant baptism. Its advocates have “sown the wind,” and as a natural consequence, “they have reaped the whirlwind.”

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 7- Infant baptism is an evil because it despoils the Church of those peculiar qualities which are essential to the Church of Christ

Does it not, to the extent that it prevails, throw the whole population of the country into the church?

December 25, 2020 Leave a comment

We are now prepared to inquire into the effect produced upon the character of the church by infant baptism. It sets aside all the laws of membership enacted by Christ for her preservation and glory; it proceeds upon others of its own creation, and substitution; it brings into the body, not the spiritual and pure only, but also all classes of men; and it thus impresses upon it such a character as effectually destroys its claims to be regarded as the true visible church of Christ. It is thenceforth necessarily carnal and unholy. It is not the church of Christ.

Infant baptism, I have said, necessarily leads to this melancholy result. Let this proposition be further considered. Does it not, to the extent that it prevails, throw the whole population of the country into the church? This fact no man will deny. Is it not also true, that great multitudes of these baptized children grow up to maturity in the church, worldly, sensual, wicked men? They are all members, and some of them ministers, and other officers, in the church! If, as we have seen, the character of an association as a body, is necessarily that of the individuals of which it is composed, then it follows with certainty, that infant baptism must soon despoil the church of its spirituality and purity, and render it carnal and unholy, since it is by this rite, filled with members, officers, and ministers, who are not themselves spiritual and pure, but carnal, unholy, and worldly. The church is what the members are of which it is composed.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 7- Infant baptism is an evil because it despoils the Church of those peculiar qualities which are essential to the Church of Christ

What I shall say in the following discourse, will much depend upon the sense of the word commandments

December 23, 2020 3 comments

BAPTISM: A DIVINE COMMANDMENT

Being about to administer the Ordinance of Baptism, before we

enter upon the administration of it, I shall drop a few words

on the occasion, from a passage of scripture you will find in

1 JOHN 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his

commandments, and his commandments are not grievous.

What I shall say in the following discourse, will much depend upon the sense of the word commandments; by which are meant, not the ten commandments, or the commandments of the moral law delivered by Moses to the children of Israel; which, though they are the commands of God, and to be observed by Christians under the present dispensation; since we are not without law to God, but under the law to Christ (1 Cor. 9:21); and are to be kept from a principle of love to God, for the end of the commandment is charity, or love, out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned (1 Tim. 1:5); yet there commands are not easy of observation, through the weakness of the flesh, or corruption of nature; nor can they be perfectly kept by any of Adams fallen race; for there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not (Eccl. 7:20); and he that offends in one point is guilty of all (Jam. 2:10); and is exposed to the curse and condemnation of the law, which runs in this tenor, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them (Gal. 3:10); hence this law in general is called a fiery law, the letter which kills, and the ministration of condemnation and death, which make it terrible to offenders; however, it may be delighted in by believers in Christ after the inward man: nor are the commandments of the ceremonial law intended, which being many and numerous, were burdensome; especially to carnal men, who were frequently ready to say concerning them, What a weariness is it? One of its precepts, circumcision, is called a yoke, which, says the apostle Peter, neither our fathers nor we were able to bear (Acts 15:10); because it bound persons to keep the whole law, which they could not do; and the whole is said to be a yoke of bondage (Gal. 5:1), and consequently its command-ments grievous; besides this law was abrogated before the apostle John wrote this epistle, and its commandments were not to be kept; Christ had abolished this law of commandments contained in ordinances; and there is now a dis-annulling of the whole of it, because of its weakness and unprofitableness (Eph. 2:15; Heb. 7:18); rather the commandments of faith and love the apostle speaks of in chapter 3:23 may be designed; And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment: there were exhortations, injunctions and commands of Christ to his disciples, which were to be kept by them, and were not grievous. Ye believe in God, says he (John 14:1), believe also in me; and again, A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you (John 8:34); but inasmuch as Christ, as lawgiver in his church, has appointed some special and peculiar laws and ordinances to be observed, and which he calls his commandments, he that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me (John 14:21); very agreeably to our text; and after he had given his apostles a commission to preach and baptize, he adds, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you (Matthew 28:20); and whereas, among these commandments and ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s supper are the chief and principal, I choose to understand the text of them;[1] and since we are about to administer the first of these at this time, I shall confine my discourse chiefly to that, and shall attempt the following things.

I. To shew that baptism, water-baptism, is a command of God and Christ, or a divine command.

II. That being a divine command, it ought to be kept and observed.

III. The encouragement to keep it; it is the love of God, and it is a commandment not grievous.

John Gill – Baptism: A Divine Commandment to be Observed, Being A Sermon Preached At Barbican, October 9, 1765 At The Baptism Of The Reverend Mr. Robert Carmichael, Minister Of The Gospel In Edinburgh.

Baptism is the outward form in which this membership is given and assumed

December 18, 2020 Leave a comment

In accordance with these facts, and corroborating their truth, the laws of membership enacted by our Lord Jesus Christ, are fixed with the greatest possible plainness and particularity. Baptism is the outward form in which this membership is given and assumed. This ordinance is essential to admission into the visible church, and of that church all who receive it are members. Paul so teaches us when he says:

As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27.)

All the denominations around us receive, and act upon this truth. At the baptism of a child in the Episcopal church, the minister says: “We receive this child into the congregation of Christ’s flock.”[85] The Methodist minister says when a child is baptized, it is done that: “He [this child] being delivered from thy [God’s] wrath, may be received into the ark of Christ’s church.”[86] And the Presbyterian says: “Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament,” “whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted into the visible church, and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord’s.”[87] The laws of baptism, therefore, are confessedly included in the laws of membership, Let these laws, as enacted by Messiah, now be indicated. “Teach,” said he, and “baptize” the instructed. “Preach the gospel,” and “him that believeth” the gospel “baptize.” In all your administrations let the fact be remembered, that

My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:26.)

The kingdom, and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.” (Daniel 7:27.)

The language of the New Covenant describes truly, without doubt, the character of those who are in that covenant, and such only are legitimately, church members.

I will,” says God, “put my laws into their mind, and write them in their heart; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; and they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” (Hebrews 8:6.)

By the laws of Christ, therefore, only those are to be admitted into the church who have been taught, who believe, who are not of this world, who are saints, in whose mind and heart the law of God is incorporated, and who know the Lord as their God. This character is required of them also by their relations to Jehovah. The church of God offer him acceptable worship, but this can be done by no others than those described;

for God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (Romans 8:2-6.)

It is also demanded by their relations to mankind.

Ye are the salt of the earth. But if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-17.)

These are some of the laws of membership in his church as fixed by Christ himself. How definite! How precise in all things! They describe, with the utmost clearness, the spiritual, and the pure. None others can enter his church, since it is his purpose to perpetuate in the body these holy qualities. The execution of these laws is confided to his ministers and people. If they swerve from their duty, the result is lost. The strictest obedience on their part, is consequently commanded, and enforced by the most solemn sanctions. He who fails in his fidelity, no matter who he is, or what may be his official position, sins against God, by disregarding his solemn injunctions; sins against the church, by corrupting and degrading it; sins against the world, because he removes and extinguishes the light by which it is to be guided to salvation; and sins against his own soul, covering himself with crime, and condemnation.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 7- Infant baptism is an evil because it despoils the Church of those peculiar qualities which are essential to the Church of Christ

Baptism – A Divine Commandment To Be observed- Preface

December 16, 2020 Leave a comment

BAPTISM:

A DIVINE COMMANDMENT TO BE OBSERVED

Being A Sermon Preached At Barbican, October 9,

1765 At The Baptism Of The Reverend Mr. Robert Carmichael,

Minister Of The Gospel In Edinburgh.

THE PREFACE

The following discourse was not designed for the press; had it, the subject of it would have been a little more enlarged upon; and, perhaps, might have appeared in a little better dress; but as the publication of it is become necessary, I chose to let it go just as it was delivered, as nearly in the very words and expressions, as my memory could assist me; the sense, I am sure, is no where departed from; that it might not be said, that any thing that was spoken is concealed, changed, or altered. The warmest solicitations of my friends would never have prevailed upon me to have made it public, being unwilling to renew the controversy about baptism unnecessarily; and being determined only to write in self-defense, when attacked, or whenever the controversy is renewed by others; for I am very sensible, that the argument on both sides is greatly exhausted, and scarce any thing new can be expected, that is serious and pertinent: but the rude attack upon the sermon in two letters in a news-paper, determined me at once to send it out into the world, as being a sufficient confutation of itself, without any remarks at all, of the lies and falsehoods, calumnies, cavils and impertinencies, with which the letters abound; whereby it will appear to every reader, how fairly that writer charges me with railing against my brethren, and the whole Christian world; and how injuriously he represents me, as treating all that differ from me as fools, unlearned, ignorant of the scriptures, and unclean. It is hard we cannot practice what we believe, and speak in vindication of our practice, without being abused, vilified and insulted in a public news-paper; is this treating us as brethren, as the writer of the letters, in a canting way, affects to call us? And how does this answer to the false character of Candidus, he assumes? I shall not let myself down so low, nor do I think it fitting and decent to go into, and carry on a religious controversy in a newspaper, and especially with so worthless a writer, and without a name. This base and cowardly way of writing, is like the Indians’ manner of fighting; who set up an hideous yell, pop off their guns behind bushes and hedges, and then run away and hide themselves in the thickets. However, if the publication of this discourse should be of any service to relieve or strengthen the minds of any, with respect to their duty in the observance of the ordinance of baptism, I am content to bear the indignities of men, and shall reckon it an over-balance to all their reproaches and insults.

J. G

John Gill – Baptism: A Divine Commandment to be Observed, Being A Sermon Preached At Barbican, October 9, 1765 At The Baptism Of The Reverend Mr. Robert Carmichael, Minister Of The Gospel In Edinburgh.

THE true visible church of our Lord Jesus Christ upon earth, is necessarily spiritual, and pure

December 11, 2020 Leave a comment

Qualities essential to the church; how destroyed by infant baptism; examples drawn from Protestantism in its various forms; recovery of the church hopeless.

THE true visible church of our Lord Jesus Christ upon earth, is necessarily spiritual, and pure. If deprived of these qualities, it is evidently no longer his church. Its form, and organization, may still be retained; it may be great, and powerful, and honored; but it is a mere worldly corporation. It is not the church of Christ.

Do you inquire what I mean by spirituality, and purity? By spirituality I mean, that disposition of mind implanted by the Holy Ghost, by which men are inclined to love, delight in, and attend to the things of the Spirit of God. Those who are spiritual seek spiritual blessings, engage in spiritual exercises, pursue spiritual objects, are influenced by spiritual motives, and experience spiritual joys. Paul describes their character in terms, as clear as they are comprehensive.

They that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally-minded is death, but to be spiritually-minded is life, and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5- 8.)

Such is spirituality. And purity is a fixed habit of abhorrence of whatever holiness forbids, whether in the heart or in the life. It is the disposition that discovers itself by a cautious fear of all that leads to sin, and by perseverance in prayer, devotion, and the service of God. Where these two qualities exist, all the others that distinguish true Christians, will ever be present. A congregation of such will be

living stones, built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5.)

All those from whom they are absent, are carnal and unholy. And can men of this class legitimately compose Christ’s church upon earth? The supposition is preposterous. Spirituality, and purity, must distinguish those who are entitled to a place in the sanctuary of God.

Of this character were all those who formed the church in its original organization. The King in Zion intended and required that the holiness of his church should be preserved, and perpetuated. But how can this be done? Its accomplishment demands evidently, the strictest regard to appropriate laws of membership. That the required character cannot otherwise be attained must, to every thinking man, be perfectly obvious. Who does not know that the character of any association, among men, is determined, and ever must be determined, by its laws of membership? These laws decide the qualifications of the individuals of whom the association is composed. The aggregate is made up of the individuals. The character of the individuals will inevitably be the character of the association. This truth is self-evident.

That would not be a Temperance society, however vehemently it might demand the name, which should receive, and retain, large numbers of men who continue in the daily use of ardent spirits as a beverage.

A Literary society would not remain such, in any proper sense, when filled up with uneducated men, who neither study, nor intend to study literature. Nor would a Medical society deserve the name, if composed mostly of planters, merchants, and lawyers, who designed to give no special attention to medicine. If the specific character of the association is preserved and perpetuated, those only must be admitted to membership, and retained in the body, who are qualified by the necessary acquirements, and disposed to prosecute the objects had in view in its formation. These great truths are especially applicable to the church of Christ. Her spirituality and purity as a body, can be preserved and perpetuated no otherwise than by admitting to membership, and retaining in communion, those individuals only who are spiritual and pure.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 7- Infant baptism is an evil because it despoils the Church of those peculiar qualities which are essential to the Church of Christ

Baptism: A Divine Commandment to be Observed

BAPTISM: A DIVINE

COMMANDMENT

TO BE

OBSERVED

Being A Sermon Preached At Barbican, October 9,

1765 At The Baptism Of The Reverend Mr. Robert Carmichael,

Minister Of The Gospel In Edinburgh.

By John Gill

Thou hast given a standard to them that fear thee;

that it may be displayed because of the truth

Psalm 60:4

John Gill – Baptism: A Divine Commandment to be Observed, Being A Sermon Preached At Barbican, October 9, 1765 At The Baptism Of The Reverend Mr. Robert Carmichael, Minister Of The Gospel In Edinburgh.

But has any portion of the Protestant Pedobaptist world fully renounced the old Popish dogma which teaches that infants are regenerated in baptism? pt2

December 4, 2020 7 comments

The present Bishop of Exeter thus states the doctrine of his church:

The grace of God so certainly attends this ceremony of baptism, that regeneration and baptism are contemporaneous, and the terms are convertible, and may be used interchangeably.”[81]

And did not Mr. Wesley express himself in similar terms? He says:

By baptism we who are by nature the children of wrath, are made the children of God. And this regeneration which our church in so many places ascribes to baptism, is more than barely being admitted into the church, though commonly connected therewith.”

By water then as a means, the water of baptism, we are regenerated and born again, whence it is called by the apostle, “the washing of regeneration.”

In all ages the outward baptism is a means of the inward. Herein we receive a title to and an earnest of the kingdom, that cannot be moved. In the ordinary way, there is no other way of entering into the church, or into heaven.” “If infants are guilty of original sin, then they are proper subjects of baptism, seeing in the ordinary way, they cannot be saved unless this be washed away in baptism.”[82]

Mr. Henry, Prof. Hodge, and others of their class, teach, as we saw in the last chapter, doctrines essentially the same. Mr. Ainsworth says:

Thus to whom God giveth the sign and the seal of righteousness by faith, and of regeneration, they [the infants] have faith and regeneration; for God giveth no lying sign; he sealeth no vain or false covenants.”

If we cannot justly object against God’s work in nature, but do believe that our infants are reasonable creatures, and are born not brute beasts, but men, though actually they can manifest no reason, or understanding more than beasts, then neither can we object to God’s work in grace, but are to believe that our infants are sanctified creatures, and are born believers, not infidels, though actually they can manifest no faith, or sanctification.”[83]

But Calvin himself ought to be heard in behalf of his followers. He says:

We agree that sacraments are not empty figures, but do truly supply whatever they represent; that the efficacy of the Spirit is present in baptism to cleanse and regenerate us.”[84]

With the divines of Zurich, he had however, in this matter, one sad difficulty, which is more than intimated in the Westminster Confession. In “The Argument,” drawn up in 1549, Calvin says:

We diligently teach that God does not put forth his power without distinction to all who receive the sacraments, but only to the elect.”

If then the child is not one of the elect, it is not regenerated in baptism. If it is elect, it is certainly regenerated in baptism.

A volume might be filled with similar passages, but further proof is deemed useless. The Catechisms, and standard writers, even more conclusively than the Confessions of Faith, demonstrate, as you must plainly see, all that I have alleged. The fact is now placed beyond question that, whatever they may avow, or maintain at other times, whenever this ordinance is in question they all connect infant baptism and regeneration. With the Lutherans infants are born again by baptism; with Episcopalians baptism and regeneration are contemporaneous, and the terms are convertible; with the Methodists baptism is the means by which their infants are regenerated and born again; and with Presbyterians, since God gives no lying signs, nor seals, infants of believers are believers, and if they are elect infants, they are regenerated, sanctified, adopted, have conferred upon them, in a word, “all the benefits of the death of Christ,” “The denial of this tends,” in the language of the bishops, “to Anabaptism, and the contempt of this holy sacrament as nothing worthy, or material whether it be administered to children, or no.” They all teach, therefore, that we are regenerated exclusively by the Holy Spirit of God; and they also teach that we are regenerated by baptism! These propositions are the opposites of each other. They cannot both be true. But the doctrine of regeneration by the Holy Spirit is true. Therefore the doctrine of infant baptism is not true.

I am here again met, however, with the declaration, that the best and most pious of all these classes utterly deny that they believe at all, as charged, in baptismal regeneration. To this disclaimer I have already replied in such terms as I think appropriate. I have said that their positions are irreconcilably at variance. I have myself often heard them assure these same baptized children when grown up, who had been regenerated in their infancy, that they must yet be regenerated or they could not be saved! The attitude in which they are thus placed is most perplexing, and pitiable.They solemnly declare to the world that they do not believe the very dogmas that in their books they solemnly declare that they do believe! They repudiate them, adhere to them! In this dilemma they have involved themselves. I lament it sincerely, and trust that they may yet see their inconsistencies, and embrace the whole “truth as it is in Jesus.”

In these facts and considerations we have revealed another of the evils of infant baptism. It withdraws the mind from truth, and places it upon a fiction. It seduces men from the reality to the mere forms of religion. It attributes to an ordinance, which since it is despoiled of its form, and applied to unlawful subjects, is no ordinance of Jesus, a work which the Holy Ghost only can do. It is utterly subversive of the fundamental doctrine of the work of regeneration by the Spirit of God. It is a most deplorable evil

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 6- Infant baptism is an evil because it is in direct conflict with the doctrine of regeneration by the Holy Spirit