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Six glaring perversions by Pedobaptist on Matthew 19:14

And now mark if you please, the glaring perversions with which this whole Pedobaptist “exposition” is crowded. I shall notice six only. It is here denied that Christ designs to illustrate the true Christian character by the disposition of children, and it is asserted that this might have been done by the dispositions and affections of doves, or lambs, as well as by those of children; thus the obvious truth is repudiated: it is maintained that Christ here teaches the church-membership of literal infants, by natural birth; that parents have a natural right to “transact” in religion for their children impose upon them the vows, and ordinance of baptism and that God will accept it as binding upon the children; that in the last day, when God shall make up his jewels, persons will be “owned” by him, because they were in their infancy “dedicated to the Holy Trinity in baptism;” that Christ takes it ill of those who refuse to receive infants into the church, and to baptize them; and that “for aught we know, infants have received the Holy Ghost as well as we,” and ought therefore to be baptized! What perversions! What falsifications of truth!

We have thus seen how the word of God is perverted in order to sustain this unauthorized rite, in the instances of the apostolic commission, the address of Peter on the day of pentecost, the instructions of Paul to the Corinthians, regarding social and domestic intercourse, and the blessing of children by our Lord Jesus Christ. Many, very many other examples equally striking, might be produced, but enough has been said to establish fully the proposition with which we set out. It is unquestionably true that the defense of infant baptism necessarily leads to most injurious perversions of the word of God. This is an evil, a most melancholy evil. It destroys all just principles of biblical interpretation; it covers the sacred oracles with impenetrable obscurity; it inculcates error, and withholds the truth from the cause and people of God; by it knowledge is abridged; faith is made weak; religion becomes less enlightened; and practical godliness is overwhelmed!

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 2- Infant Baptism is an evil because its defense leads to most injurious perversions of the Word of God

 

But notice its particular application

But notice its particular application. “Yet hath he made with ME an everlasting covenant.” Here lies the sweetness of it to me, as an individual.

                      “Oh how sweet to view the flowing

                               Of Christ’s soul-redeeming blood

                                                                  With divine assurance knowing

                                                                  That he made my peace with God.”

It is nought for me that he made peace for the world; I want to know whether he made peace for me: it is little that he hath made a covenant, I want to know whether he has made a covenant with me. David could put his hand upon his heart and say, “Yet hath he made a covenant with ME.” I fear I shall not be wrong in condemning the fashionable religion of the day, for it is a religion which belongs to the crowd; and not a personal one which is enjoyed by the individual. You will hear persons say, “Well, I believe the doctrine of justification; I think that men are justified through faith.” Yes, but are you justified by faith? “I believe,” says another “that we are sanctified by the Spirit.” Yes, all very well, but are you sanctified by the Spirit? Mark you, if ever you talk about personal piety very much, you will always be run down as extravagant. If you really say from your heart, “I know I am forgiven; I am certain that I am a pardoned sinner;”-and every Christian will at times be able to say it, and would always, were it not for his unbelief-if you say “I know in whom I have believed, I am confident that I have not a sin now recorded in the black roll; that I am free from sin as if I had never transgressed, through the pardoning blood of Jesus,” men will say it is extravagant. Well, it is a delightful extravagance, it is the extravagance of God’s Word, and I would to God more of us could indulge in that holy, blessed extravagance. For we may well be extravagant when we have an infinite sum to spend; we may well be lavish when we know we never can exhaust the treasure. Oh! How sweet it is to say, “Yet hath he made with ME an everlasting covenant. It is nought that you talk to me of my brother being saved. I am very glad that my friend should get to glory, and I shall rejoice to meet you all; but after all, the thing is, “Shall I be there?”

Shall I amongst them stand

To see his smiling face?”

Now, Christian, thou canst apply this personally. The covenant is made with thee. Man, open thine eyes; there is thy name in the covenant. What is it? It is some plain English name, perhaps. It never had an M.P. Nor an M.A. After it, nor a “Sir” before it. Never mind, that name is in the covenant. If you could take down your Father’s family Bible in heaven,- you would find your name put in the register. O blessed thought! My namepositively mine! Not another’s. So, then, these eyes shall see him, and not another’s for me. Rejoice, Christian; it is a personal covenant. “Yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

Matthew 19:14

One other passage ought to be considered, and its false glosses briefly exposed, since much confidence has of late, been expressed that it contains evident authority for infant baptism.

“Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14.)

Let us, in the first place, carefully examine this text, and ascertain its exact Sense.

The Savior was in the midst of a discourse of surpassing interest. His disciples were absorbed in their attention to his instructions. Suddenly there “were brought unto him little children.” The object of those who brought them, probably their parents, the evangelist fully states. It was, “That he should put his hands on them, and pray.”[35] This was a very familiar observance among the Jews. Great importance was attached by them, and justly, to the benedictions of holy men. To obtain them therefore, when practicable, had been common from the earliest times. (Genesis 48:14; Matthew 9:18;. Mark 16:18.) These parents fully believed that Jesus was a prophet of God, and they desired for their children his prayers and blessing. This was what they sought, and all that they sought. They however, encountered in their approach, a rebuke from the disciples! This occurred, not certainly, from any want of respect on the part of the disciples for their motives, and wishes, but evidently because they were impatient of the interruption. Their feelings were deeply enlisted in the topic before them, and they were not willing that their Master should, on any account, be diverted from it. But he, observing what they did, “was much displeased,” (Mark 10:14-16.) and immediately suspending his discourse, “Called the little children to him.” (Luke 18:16.) Thus he manifested his great love, patience, and condescension. What the Savior did for these children is now distinctly and fully stated: “He took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.” Meantime he compensated his disciples: for the interruption, by imparting one of the richest lessons to be found in all his teachings. It is contained in the very passage now in question: “Of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And he adds: “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall in no wise enter therein.”

By “the kingdom of heaven,” and “the kingdom of God,” here employed as convertible terms, our Savior refers to the Gospel, the true principles of which in the heart, alone can qualify any one for the holy brotherhood of the church upon earth. This fact needs only to be stated. But what are we to understand by the phrase, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven?” Is it not sufficiently explained by the other phrase, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God [the grace offered by Christ] as a little child, [in the spirit, and with the disposition of a little child] shall in no wise enter therein?” This appears to me most evident. He does not say that the kingdom of heaven, the church, belongs to little children, or is composed of these, and other such little children. Certainly not. This is plain from our present version, but in the original it is still more obvious. The word rendered “of such,” (toioutwn, not autwn) conveys the idea, as every scholar must see, of comparison, and does not therefore, signify identity, but likeness. The church therefore, is made up, not, as Pedobaptists tell us, of little children, but of those who by divine grace are made like little children. Only “such” can have a place there, as are spiritually, what little children are literally. Little children love their parents supremely: To fit you for a place in his visible church, you must love God supremely. Little children receive as true, and implicitly believe, whatever is declared by their parents: You must receive as true, and implicitly believe whatever is declared in his word, by God. Little children submit themselves to such provisions as are made for them by their parents: You must submit yourselves to such arrangements as are made for you by God. Little children obey the commandments of their parents: You must obey the commandments of God. In these and other respects, to qualify you for a place in the kingdom, or church of God, you must be like little children. You “receive the kingdom of God as a little child” when you cherish the same love, faith, submission, and obedience towards God, that little children do towards their parents.

Such is undoubtedly, the true, and full sense of the passage. How evangelical! How rich! Never, as has been said, did the Redeemer himself, teach a more important lesson. Let it be observed, however, that neither in the passage, nor in the context, nor anywhere else in this connection, is there an allusion of any kind even remotely to baptism. With these facts and expositions before us, we turn to the interpretations of our pedobaptist brethren. What are they? Mr. Henry shall again serve as an example of them all.[36] He speaks thus:

“Observe the faith of those who brought [these children to Christ. They were believing parents.] The children of believing parents belong to the kingdom of heaven, and are members of the visible church. Of such, not only of such in disposition, and affection, (that might have served for a reason why doves, or lambs should be brought to him,) but of such in age is the kingdom of heaven; to them pertain the privileges of visible church-membership as among the Jews of old.”

“Parents are trustees of their children’s wills, are empowered by nature to transact for their benefit, and therefore Christ accepts their dedication of them as their [the children’s] act and deed, and will own these dedicated things in the day when he makes up his jewels. Therefore he takes it ill of those who forbid them, and [who] exclude those [children] whom he has received;”

“and who forbid water that they [infants] should be baptized, who if that promise be fulfilled (Isaiah 44:3) [I will pour out my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring] have received the Holy Ghost as well as we, for aught we know.” Look at this gloss! Ponder it! How preposterous! Dr. Clarke’s commentary is as follows:

Let every parent that fears God, bring up his children in that fear; and by baptism let each be dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Whatever is solemnly consecrated to God, abides under his protection and blessing.”[37]

These, and such like, are the Pedobaptist interpretations of the passage in question! They are published to the world, and received, and defended, as expressing its true sense! Is it surprising therefore, that a vail is thus thrown over the gospel, and its great truths withheld from the faith of the simple?

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 2- Infant Baptism is an evil because its defense leads to most injurious perversions of the Word of God

 

First, David rejoiced in the covenant, because it is divine in its origin

Now let us notice these words as they come. First, David rejoiced in the covenant, because it is divine in its origin. “Yet hath HE made with me an everlasting covenant.” O that great word HE. Who is that? It is not my odd-father or my odd mother who has made a covenant for me-none of that nonsense. It is not a covenant man has made for me, or with me; but yet hath HE made with me an everlasting covenant.” It is divine in its origin, not human. The covenant on which the Christian rests, is not the covenant of his infant sprinkling: he has altogether broken that scores of times, for he has not “renounced the pomps and vanities of this wicked world,” as he should have done, nor “all the lusts of the flesh.” Nor has he really become regenerate through those holy drops of water which a cassocked priest cast on his face. The covenant on which he rests and stands secure, is that covenant which God has made with him. “Yet hath HE made.” Stop, my soul. God, the everlasting father, has positively made a covenant with thee; yes, that God, who in the thickest darkness dwells and reigns for ever in his majesty alone; that God, who spake the world into existence by a word, who holds it, like an Atlas, upon his shoulders, who poises the destiny of all creation upon his finger; that God, stooping from his majesty, takes hold of thy hand and makes a covenant with thee. Oh! is it not a deed, the stupendous condescension of which might ravish our hearts for ever if we could really understand it? Oh! The depths! “HE hath made with me a covenant.” A king has not made a covenant with methat were somewhat: an emperor has not entered into a compact with me, but the Prince of the kings of the earth, the Shaddai, the Lord of all flesh, the Jehovah of ages, the everlasting Elohim. “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant.” O blessed thought! It is of divine origin.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

Pedobatist perversions upon 1 Corinthians 7:1-17

These were the perplexing circumstances under which they wrote to Paul for advice. He answered them in substance, that the old Jewish law regulating intercourse with gentiles, was not applicable to them, not only because the ceremonial dispensation to which it exclusively belonged had passed away, but also because in their case, (and the same was true of all other churches,) its observance was impracticable. Any attempts to enforce it, must have been attended with the most disastrous consequences. The Christians, unlike the Jews, lived, and must live, in the midst of unbelievers. Many of them were connected with their families, and were a part of them. With such persons they could not avoid contact, and association. If such separation was necessary to preserve their Christian purity, then to retain it they “must needs go out of the world.” But especially some of them were married to unbelievers, and if this abrogated Jewish law was to be enforced all such husbands and wives must part from each other. But this was not demanded by the gospel, and ought not to take place, unless the temper of the unbelieving party should render it necessary. “If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.” “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases; but God hath called us to peace.” Believers and unbelievers who are husband and wife, may lawfully, and ought to continue to dwell together. No such rule of ceremonial holiness, and uncleanness, obtains under the gospel as that which characterized the Mosaic economy. The marriage tie makes the parties, though it unite a believer with an unbeliever, holy to each other. The unbelieving husband is not unclean so that the believing wife may not lawfully dwell with him. The unbelieving wife is not unclean so that the believing husband may not lawfully dwell with her. Why then separate? Let them remain together. And for their continued union there is yet another most important reason. God may perhaps, bless the efforts of the believing, to the conversion and salvation of the unbelieving party.

And yet more. Must the believing husband or wife separate from the unbelieving, for the reasons alleged? Then it will follow that, for the very same reasons, the believing parent must also separate from his own children, since they also are not believers! Indeed, not a member of the church, if separation from all unbelievers is necessary to preserve his Christian purity, must touch his own children, eat with them, or associate with them. The believing parent occupies, in this respect, precisely the same relation to his child that he does to his unbelieving wife. Must he separate from his wife? He must also separate from his child. But you do not, said Paul, consider your children unclean to you, but holy. You do not, you must not, humanity forbids that you should, consider their touch polluting. They are sanctified, holy, clean, to you. So also the unbelieving wife is sanctified, holy, clean to you. You must not separate from your child. Therefore you must not separate from your wife. “The unbelieving husband is sanctified to[29] the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified to the husband, else were your children unclean [to you], but now they are holy” to you. Therefore the unbelieving wife is holy to you. In the same way that the child is holy to the believing parent, the unbelieving husband is holy to the believing wife, and the unbelieving wife is holy to the believing husband. You may lawfully remain with your children. You may therefore lawfully remain with each other. Throw aside these absurd notions about the old Jewish law of ceremonial purity. Dwell together in the conjugal relation. “As God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all the churches.”

Is not this a true exposition of the sense of the apostle? It is self-evident. Some few of the more learned pedobaptist divines have seen and confessed it. Dressier, for example, says:

According to Paul a holy pedigree is nothing in religion. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision availeth any thing, but keeping the commandment of God. The passage 1 Corinthians 7:13-14, [that now before us] does not support any such view. He says, if the Christians would flee from every unbeliever, regarding him as unclean, they must flee from their own children, and hold them as unclean, for they were among the unbelievers. Otherwise your children would be unclean, for they are not Christians by birth merely. But now are they holy, i.e., you are not to consider yourselves polluted by them.”[30]

Such is the lesson, in response to their inquiry, taught by Paul to his brethren the Corinthians. How beautiful! How important! How simple! How easy to be understood! Not the remotest reference is made in it in any way, to infant baptism. Yet it is declared to be “one of its best supports!” Accordingly our brethren have chiefly predicated upon it this declaration in the Westminster Confession of Faith

Not only those that do actually profess faith in and obedience unto Christ, but also the infants of one or both believing parents are to be baptized.”[31]

Commenting upon the passage,

“Else were your children unclean, but now are they holy,”

Mr. Henry says:

“That is, they would be heathen, out of the pale of the church, and covenant of God. They would not be of the holy seed.”

“The children born to Christians, though married to unbelievers, are not part of the world, but of the church.”[32]

On the same passage Dr. Clarke remarks:

“If this kind of relative sanctification were not allowed, the children of these persons could not be received into the Christian church, nor enjoy any rights or privileges as Christians; but the church of God never scrupled to admit such children as members.”

Dr. Miller, after admitting all that we have just seen, still says that Paul

pronounces under the direction of the Holy Spirit, that in all such cases, when the unbeliever is willing to live with the believer, they ought to continue to live together, that their connection is so sanctified by the character of the believing companion that their children are holy, that is, in covenant with God; members of that church with which the believing parent is in virtue of his profession united; in one word, that the infidel party is so far, and in such a sense, consecrated by the believing party, that their children shall be reckoned to belong to the sacred family with which the latter is connected, and shall be regarded and treated as members of the church of God.”[33]

These are specimens of the havoc made of the sense of the word of God for the sake of infant baptism.

Look at the perversions here committed.

Paul teaches, as they contend, that the offspring of parents one of whom is a believer, are born members of the church with which the believing parent is connected; that they are born in covenant with God; that as such they are entitled to “enjoy the right and privileges of Christians;” and that were it not so their children “would be heathens!” Here are four palpable perversions. None of these propositions are true in themselves; they are not sustained at all in the word of God; and especially they are not found in the instructions of Paul to the Corinthians. But a still greater perversion of this passage, if possible, remains to be mentioned. Paul told the Corinthians that as they did not consider their children ceremonially unclean or unholy to them, but holy, and they therefore took care of them; so the unbelieving party in marriage, since she bore the same relation to the believing party with the child, was not to be considered by the other ceremonially unclean, or unholy, but holy, and they should therefore remain together. No, no, Paul! Respond our Pedobaptist brethren, this is not what you mean! You mean that the holiness of the children is spiritual, that it is “ecclesiastical,” and more, you mean that this holiness is produced by hereditary transmission, so that the children are born in the covenant and church of God, and, since as such they are entitled to “enjoy the privileges and rights of Christians,” they are to be baptized! Thus boldly do they contradict the apostle himself, and greatly also to his injury; since if their interpretation is true they make Paul speak nonsense, and bring him into collision with himself, and other portions of divine truth. Are the terms unclean, sanctified, and holy to be understood in a spiritual, or an ecclesiastical sense? They so maintain. It is certain that these words are used in the same sense in their application to both parent and child. It follows thus, that if the child is to be baptized because that relationship makes it holy, as certainly is the unbelieving husband, or wife, to be baptized because by the same relationship he, or she, is sanctified. He who is sanctified is holy, and the sanctified have the same right to baptism with the holy?[34] If then you baptize the child upon the faith of its mother, you must, to be consistent, baptize the unbelieving husband upon the faith of his wife, since if the child is holy, so also is the unbelieving father sanctified. But it is certain Paul teaches no such doctrine. Paul was wise. We have reason to lament that so much cannot be said of very many of his professed interpreters.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 2- Infant Baptism is an evil because its defense leads to most injurious perversions of the Word of God

 

David had confidence in the covenant

II. But secondly: David had confidence in the covenant. Oh! How sweet it is to look from the dullness of earth to the brilliancy of heaven! How glorious it is to leap from the ever tempest-tossed bark of this world, and stand upon the terra firma of the covenant! So did David. Having done with his “Although,” he then puts in a blessed “yet.” Oh! It is a “yet,” with jewels set: “He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

1 Corinthians 7:1-17

Having thus disposed of “the chief scripture ground upon which it is placed,” and found that no allusion whatever is made in it to infant baptism, we now turn to the other passage, which is, “one of its best supports.” This “is St. Paul’s statement that the children of a believing parent are in a certain sense holy.” In what sense are they holy? To comprehend the whole matter perfectly, let us turn to the sacred record, and together with its context, read carefully the entire passage, “Now concerning the things where of ye wrote unto me,” says Paul, and proceeding, he gave various instructions to the Corinthians regarding marriage, and domestic duties. Among other things he says:

Let not the wife depart from her husband; but if she depart let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband; and let not the husband put away his wife.” “If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean, but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart let him depart. A brother, or a sister, is not in bondage in such cases; but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or what knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all the churches.” (1 Corinthians 7:1-17.)

We will here pause if you please, until we have ascertained definitely, the true sense of this interesting portion of divine truth. Paul is without doubt, instructing the Corinthians regarding their conjugal, domestic, and social relations. This fact no one can rationally question. On these topics they needed to be enlightened, since they were evidently disposed to go astray. By some means, probably the instructions of Judaizing teachers among them, the church had, it seems, become agitated with the question whether the old Jewish law which required Israel to regard all gentiles as unclean, and their touch polluting, which in a word prohibited all familiar intercourse with them, ought not to govern Christians in their relations with unbelievers. Should not the church regard all who are not members as unclean to them in the same sense that gentiles were formerly looked upon as unclean to Jews? To this opinion the brethren of Corinth appear to have strongly inclined. They soon saw, however, that such a rule of intercourse if adopted among them, must be attended with the gravest consequences. It would not only sever their social and domestic relations, but would actually break up and destroy their families, since some of them were married to unbelievers, from whom of course, they must instantly separate. That this was the true state of the case, and the actual question submitted by them to the apostle, is so plain, from his answer alone, that it is confessed by some of the Pedobaptist commentators and divines themselves. Even Henry, for instance, could not avoid seeing it. He says:

They thought that (the unconverted members of their families) would be common, or unclean, in the same sense as heathens in general were styled in the apostle vision.”[27]

Dr. Miller, notwithstanding his prejudices, is still more full. He says:

It appears that among the Corinthians to whom the apostle wrote, there were many cases of professing Christians being united by the marriage tie with pagans; the former being perhaps converted after marriage, or being so unwise as after conversion deliberately to form this unequal and unhappy connection. What was to be deemed of such marriages seems to have been the grave question submitted to this inspired teacher.”[28]

Upon this point therefore, we are certainly right.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 2- Infant Baptism is an evil because its defense leads to most injurious perversions of the Word of God

 

O thou who art tried in thy children-that prayer can remove thy troubles

But furthermore, recollect this, O thou who art tried in thy children-that prayer can remove thy troubles. There is not a pious father or mother here, who is suffering in the family, but may have that trial taken away yet. Faith is as omnipotent as God himself, for it moves the arm which leads the stars along. Have you prayed long for your children without a result? And have ye said, “I will cease to pray, for the more I wrestle, the worse they seem to grow, and the more am I tried?” Oh! Say not so, thou weary watcher. Though the promise tarrieth, it will come. Still sow the seed, and when thou sowest it, drop a tear with each grain thou puttest into the earth. Oh, steep thy seeds in the tears of anxiety, and they cannot rot under the clods, if they have been baptized in so vivifying a mixture. And what though thou didst without seeing thy sons the heirs of light? They shall be converted even after thy death; and though thy bones shall be put in the grave, and thy son may stand and curse thy memory for an hour, he shall not forget it in the cooler moments of his recollection, when he shall meditate alone. Then he shall think of thy prayers thy tears, thy groans; he shall remember thine advice-it shall rise up and if he live in sin, still thy words shall sound as one long voice from the realm of spirits, and either affright him in the midst of his revelry, or charm him heavenward, like angel’s whispers, saying, “Follow on to glory, where thy parent is who once did pray for thee.” So the Christian may say, “Although my house be not so with God now, it may be yet.” therefore will I still wait, for there be mighty instances of conversion. Think of John Newton. He even became a slaver, yet was brought back. Hope on; never despair; faint heart never winneth the souls of men, but firm faith winneth all things; therefore watch unto prayer. “What I say unto you, I say unto all, watch.” There is your trouble, a small cup filled from the same sea of tribulation as was the Psalmist’s when he sung, “Although my house be not so with God.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855

 

A fifth perversion of Acts 2:39 by Pedobaptist

The fifth perversion of this passage, and the last I shall mention, is the claim that Peter means by “the promise,” that infants are to be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and be taken into the church. “An Israelite” is represented as inquiring, If I “come over to Christ,” and unite with this gospel church of yours, “What must be done with my children? Must they be thrown out, or taken in with me?” To this they represent the passage as answering “Taken in, says Peter, by all means; for the promise, that great promise of God’s being to you a God, is as much to you and your children now, as ever it was.” How manifest a perversion is here! Strangely are good men blinded, so blinded by infant baptism, that they it seems, really believe that Peter teaches what they represent in the passage!

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 2- Infant Baptism is an evil because its defense leads to most injurious perversions of the Word of God

 

What must I say to any of those who are thus tried and distressing in estate and family?

Before we leave this point: What must I say to any of those who are thus tried and distressing in estate and family? First, let me say to you my brethren, it is necessary that you should have an “although” in your lot, because if you had not, you know what you would do; you would build a very downy nest on earth, and there you would lie down in sleep; so God puts a thorn in your nest in order that you may sing. It is said by the old writers, that the nightingale never sang so sweetly as when she sat among thorns, since say they, the thorns prick her breast, and remind her of her song. So it may be with you. Ye, like the larks, would sleep in your nest did not some trouble pass by and affright you; then you stretch your wings, and carolling the mating song, rise to greet the sun. Trials are sent to wean you from the world; bitters are put into your drink, that ye may learn to live upon the dew of heaven: the food of earth is mingled with gall, that ye may only seek for true bread in the manna which droppeth from the sky. Your soul without trouble would be as the sea if it were without tide or motion, it would become foul and obnoxious. As Coleridge describes the sea after a wondrous calm, so would the soul breed contagion and death.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “David’s Dying Song,” A sermon delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 15th, 1855