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Baptism is an ordinance of singular dignity

CHAPTER 18

INFANT BAPTISM IS AN EVIL BECAUSE IT PREVENTS THE SALUTARY IMPRESSION WHICH BAPTISM WAS DESIGNED

TO MAKE UPON THE MINDS BOTH OF THOSE WHO RECEIVE

IT AND THOSE WHO WITNESS ITS ADMINISTRATION

Impressions made by baptism; lessons it teaches; contrast; infant baptism turns them all aside.

BAPTISM, like all the other ordinances of religion, was designed to make a deep and salutary impression upon the heart, both of those who receive it, and those who witness its administration. It teaches important lessons, and holds up perpetually before the mind the most glorious truths of the gospel. But the sprinkling of a baby turns them all aside, and destroys every salutary result.

Baptism is an ordinance of singular dignity, and impressiveness, especially when considered in its various bearings, and relations. Give it, if you please, a moment’s thought. An intelligent and humble believer stands before you. He has been instructed in the gospel; he has embraced its truths; and deeply penitent under a sense of his guilt and condemnation, he has given himself to Christ, on whom by divine grace he has been enabled to rest his hopes, and confidence. He cherishes a holy assurance of pardon and acceptance. “Justified by faith, he has peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” His soul exults with gratitude and joy. He is “a new creature.” His will, his affections, his inclinations, his desires, his purposes, are all changed. He now presents himself, as is his privilege, and his duty, and in accordance with all his desires, that he may confess Christ before men, and be united with his people. With indescribable emotion he approaches the ordinance in which this confession is divinely appointed to be made. He is to be baptized but once in his life. He desires, therefore, to cherish in that hour especially, the spirit of ardent devotion, and full consecration, which so important a service demands. Christ died for his sins, was buffed, and rose again for his justification. He is now dead to sin, and according to his commandment, is about to be buried with Christ by baptism into death, and like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so he also, is to arise to walk in newness of life. How unspeakably solemn is that moment! With what fervor he renounces the world, the flesh, and the devil! How earnestly he scrutinizes his own heart, and reviews the reasons of the hope by which he is animated! How thrilling his vows to be the Lord’s; to devote himself to the glory of him “who hath called him out of darkness into his marvelous light!” How fervent his prayers for the divine grace and blessing! The act is performed. He retires. The scenes of that hour are indelibly engraven upon his soul. They can never be erased. The salutary practical results are as lasting as his earthly existence.

With this scene compare that of the sprinkling of a child. The little innocent, unconscious of all that is passing, is brought forward, bedizened; possibly, with ribbons and lace. Some forms are recited. Questions and answers are read from books. The wet finger of the minister is laid upon the forehead of the child, Startled by the nervous shock, it perhaps shrieks convulsively, and is hurried away from the altar! The spectacle is over. What have you looked upon? A lamentable desecration of an ordinance of Jesus Christ! Who is benefited? Who is impressed? Who is taught? And this is called baptism!

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 18- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it Prevents the Salutary Impression which Baptism was Designed to make upon the Minds both of those who Receive it and those who Witness its Administration

Christian union is not to be governed by feeling

But Christian union is not to be governed by feeling merely, however ardent that feeling may be. Like every other duty, it must be guided by fixed principles. And what are these principles? It may be sufficient to say, without descending to particulars, that they are all plainly and fully laid down in the gospel. “The word of God, the whole word of God, and nothing but the word of God,” is the grand “platform.” There is no other. This must be embraced, believed, loved, practiced, and all Christians will as naturally flow together as the waters of the whole earth will find their way into the ocean. A union upon any other principles would not be Christian union, but a conspiracy against true religion, offensive to God and injurious to his people.

Such is Christian union, in its nature, its obligations, and its principles. It is implanted in the renewed heart by the Holy Spirit; it is demanded by the gospel for the honor of truth, and for the extension of the kingdom of Christ among men; and governed exclusively by his holy word, it is practicable, natural, and easy. But infant baptism interposes and destroys it wholly, indeed, renders it impossible. It destroys Christian union by changing the laws of membership in his church, established by Christ; by receiving into that sacred body the unholy and profane; by admitting men without the ordinance ordained and enjoined as the initiatory rite; and by the corruptions which invariably attend the practice of infant baptism. Thus the lovers of Christ are thrown hopelessly asunder. While the barrier remains, the separation must continue.

Infant baptism is therefore an offense against Christ; an offense against the peace and harmony of his people; an offense against the souls of men. And who is responsible for this monstrous evil? Those, of course, who introduced it, and who still adhere to its practice. For all its calamities they must account to God, and to men. We solemnly declare ourselves innocent of its enormities. We never can approve it. We never can believe in the principles upon which it is maintained. Were we, therefore, to unite for the sake of union, or from any other motive, with pedobaptists, it would not be Christian union. It would be a sin against God. It would be a combination against the truth and purity of religion. While infant baptism continues, Christian union is utterly impracticable.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 17- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it is the Great Barrier to Christian Union

Nature of Christian union; the principles upon which it is maintained; incompatible with infant baptism

CHAPTER 17

INFANT BAPTISM IS AN EVIL BECAUSE IT IS THE

GREAT BARRIER TO CHRISTIAN UNION

Nature of Christian union; its importance; the principles upon which it is maintained; incompatible with infant baptism.

CHRISTIAN union, and infant baptism, never can exist together. Between the millions of Baptists and pedobaptists this rite interposes a barrier which is, and must forever remain impassable. But Christian union is imperative upon us all. Whatever prevents it is an evil. Infant baptism prevents it. Therefore infant baptism is an evil.

It is in the very nature of true religion to produce, and perpetuate Christian union. God is one; his religion is one; and his people are one. All who love Christ are guided by the same gospel; are partakers of the same Spirit; have in view the same great ends; and are heirs of the same immortal inheritance. How can they be otherwise than united? In asserting these scriptural propositions, I am not unmindful of the fact that diversities of sentiment on nearly every subject, will exist. They arise inevitably, from the differences in natural capacity, in acquired knowledge, and the modes of thought, of different minds. These, however, will always refer to minor considerations, and therefore be unimportant in their nature, extent, and influence. They will be such as intelligent and holy men may indulge without offense, without alienation of affection, and without detriment to the most perfect Christian union. Nor is the requisition met when all who compose one particular church, or denomination, are in harmony. Christian union embraces all Christians throughout the whole universe. All who are one with Christ, and governed by his word, are inevitably one with each other. The law of gravitation in the natural world, does not more certainly attract to its center the objects within its range, than does the religion of Christ bring into unity all those who are within the circle of its influence. It knows no names, or distinctions. It is complete. It is universal.

Christian union, I have said, is imperative upon us all. Our Savior himself commands it, as an object to be sought, with unremitted earnestness. He deemed it also of such importance as to receive a place in that memorable last prayer offered by him in behalf of his ministers and people.

“I pray,” said he, “that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou has sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me.” (John 17.)

Christian union among all the people of God is therefore essential to the glory of the Redeemer, to the honor of his truth, to the spread of the gospel among the nations, and to elicit and confirm the faith of believers, Well then did an apostle thus admonish us:

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment.” (2 Corinthians 1:10.)

How imperative! Dare any of us disregard this injunction?

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 17- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it is the Great Barrier to Christian Union

Infant baptism injures the credit of religion because it is a well-arranged sectarian device

It is irrational; it is without authority; it throws suspicion upon all religion; its purposes are sectarian.

THE honor of religion is dear to every true Christian. To cherish and to love it, is both his duty, and his interest. He can never see it tarnished, but with deep pain. The gospel is consistent both with itself, and with reason. It is to be proposed to men of the world. Their salvation depends upon their believing, embracing, and obeying it. They are not always ignorant of its truths. The utmost care should be exercised that they be not repelled from its teachings. They are capable of reasoning on religious subjects. What you attempt to teach them must correspond with the divine word. Otherwise Christianity will, in their minds, be discredited, and your approaches will be resisted. To honor the cause of Christ, therefore, and to gain men to truth and salvation, such must be your faith, and your practice, that none may be able to point to them, and say, this is irrational; this is without authority; this is suspicious in its character; this is a sectarian device. You must be above reproach. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” But infant baptism does not honor, it inevitably injures the credit of religion, with intelligent reflecting men of the world.

4. Finally, infant baptism, as practiced among us, is a well-arranged sectarian device.

It appeals not to the judgment, but to the feelings; not to reason, but to prejudice in favor of an old and venerable custom. It wears very much the appearance of an essay to take undue advantage of all the parties concerned. You receive the babes into the church! You then have certainly such a hold upon the parents as commits them to that particular denomination of which their cherished loved ones are thus made members. If the children go, the parents will follow them. Thus both are secured. But how? Not by reason; not by the force of religion; but by a mere sectarian fiction! The whole proceeding seems to argue a consciousness that religion will not bear the test of examination! Otherwise why do they impose what implies a profession of it, upon these children, before they are capable of exercising their reason? Why not allow all parties an opportunity to study the Bible before their dogmas are forced upon their acceptance? Why hurry parents and children into the church in violent haste, as if they could not otherwise be saved? Can men of the world, can any class of men, believe that an intelligent, a holy, a reasonable religion, a religion that addresses the judgment and the heart, can be propagated, and honored, by means like these? They cannot. Infant baptism among us is a sectarian device, and as such unworthy of the religion of Christ.

From all these facts and considerations it is most evident that infant baptism injures the credit of religion with reflecting and unprejudiced men of the world, and is therefore a great evil. They must see that it is irrational in itself, that it is wholly without authority from the word of God; they must be led by it to suspect, in all its other departments, the integrity of religion; and they will thus be tempted to regard as compatible with its morals, and honor, any sectarian trap, or management which may swell the numbers of an ecclesiastical party. Need we be surprised, therefore, that among persons of this class, so strong a tendency to skepticism should prevail; that they should feel inclined to repel the gospel of Christ; and that they should so often want confidence in the ministers of religion? Infant baptism is inimical to the honor and prevalence of the gospel of Christ. With regard to it, therefore, we may with emphasis repeat the divine admonition: “Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare ye the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people.”

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 16- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it injures the credit of religion with reflecting men of the world

Infant baptism injures the credit of religion by casting suspicion upon the whole subject

It is irrational; it is without authority; it throws suspicion upon all religion; its purposes are sectarian.

THE honor of religion is dear to every true Christian. To cherish and to love it, is both his duty, and his interest. He can never see it tarnished, but with deep pain. The gospel is consistent both with itself, and with reason. It is to be proposed to men of the world. Their salvation depends upon their believing, embracing, and obeying it. They are not always ignorant of its truths. The utmost care should be exercised that they be not repelled from its teachings. They are capable of reasoning on religious subjects. What you attempt to teach them must correspond with the divine word. Otherwise Christianity will, in their minds, be discredited, and your approaches will be resisted. To honor the cause of Christ, therefore, and to gain men to truth and salvation, such must be your faith, and your practice, that none may be able to point to them, and say, this is irrational; this is without authority; this is suspicious in its character; this is a sectarian device. You must be above reproach. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” But infant baptism does not honor, it inevitably injures the credit of religion, with intelligent reflecting men of the world.

3. Infant baptism, in the third place, injures the credit of religion by casting suspicion upon the whole subject.

Religion must be set forth and practiced in a plain, candid, open, ingenuous, honest manner. If I find a man equivocating, and double dealing with me on one subject, I suspect he may on another; and if I detect him so acting in several instances, I withdraw my confidence from him entirely. So it is in religion. Men must not be trifled with, nor deceived by its professors, and teachers. But infant baptism is inconsistent both with scripture and reason. Yet, in this country, its advocates vehemently maintain that religion in all its parts, is reasonable, and that they are governed in their whole faith, and obedience, exclusively by the word of God! What must be the effect upon the mind of a discriminating hearer? Will he conclude that these Pedobaptists are sincere, but ignorant? This may be true of many, but cannot be true of all. He will certainly reason in his own heart thus: This, I know, is irrational, and unauthorized. I know not how many other like things Christians may teach and practice. If one irrational and unauthorized principle be advocated, why not another? And if two, why not twenty? Suspicion is awakened, and men of the world are repelled by it from religion. Thus infant baptism casts suspicion upon the whole of the religion of Christ.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 16- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it injures the credit of religion with reflecting men of the world

Infant baptism injures the credit of religion because it is practiced without any authority whatever

It is irrational; it is without authority; it throws suspicion upon all religion; its purposes are sectarian.

THE honor of religion is dear to every true Christian. To cherish and to love it, is both his duty, and his interest. He can never see it tarnished, but with deep pain. The gospel is consistent both with itself, and with reason. It is to be proposed to men of the world. Their salvation depends upon their believing, embracing, and obeying it. They are not always ignorant of its truths. The utmost care should be exercised that they be not repelled from its teachings. They are capable of reasoning on religious subjects. What you attempt to teach them must correspond with the divine word. Otherwise Christianity will, in their minds, be discredited, and your approaches will be resisted. To honor the cause of Christ, therefore, and to gain men to truth and salvation, such must be your faith, and your practice, that none may be able to point to them, and say, this is irrational; this is without authority; this is suspicious in its character; this is a sectarian device. You must be above reproach. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” But infant baptism does not honor, it inevitably injures the credit of religion, with intelligent reflecting men of the world.

2. Infant baptism, in the second place, injures the credit of religion, because it is practiced without any authority whatever.

The Bible contains not one passage in its support. This fact has been before sufficiently demonstrated. No man, however carefully he studies the sacred record, can find one there. And do you place at the very threshold of religion an irrational institution, unauthorized by God, and hurtful to men? And do you demand compliance with it as an essential part of the divine service? What must be the impression thus made upon intelligent men of the world? The credit of religion inevitably suffers.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 16- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it injures the credit of religion with reflecting men of the world

Infant baptism injures the credit of religion because it is really in itself irrational

CHAPTER 16

INFANT BAPTISM IS AN EVIL BECAUSE IT INJURES

THE CREDIT OF RELIGION WITH REFLECTING

MEN OF THE WORLD

It is irrational; it is without authority; it throws suspicion upon all religion; its purposes are sectarian.

THE honor of religion is dear to every true Christian. To cherish and to love it, is both his duty, and his interest. He can never see it tarnished, but with deep pain. The gospel is consistent both with itself, and with reason. It is to be proposed to men of the world. Their salvation depends upon their believing, embracing, and obeying it. They are not always ignorant of its truths. The utmost care should be exercised that they be not repelled from its teachings. They are capable of reasoning on religious subjects. What you attempt to teach them must correspond with the divine word. Otherwise Christianity will, in their minds, be discredited, and your approaches will be resisted. To honor the cause of Christ, therefore, and to gain men to truth and salvation, such must be your faith, and your practice, that none may be able to point to them, and say, this is irrational; this is without authority; this is suspicious in its character; this is a sectarian device. You must be above reproach. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” But infant baptism does not honor, it inevitably injures the credit of religion, with intelligent reflecting men of the world.

1. It does so, in the first place, because it is really in itself irrational.

You bring forward a child to be sprinkled. An intelligent man will naturally inquire your reasons. He asks for the rationale of the practice. Do you tell him that thereby it is cleansed from original sin; or that it receives all the benefits of the death of Christ; or that it is regenerated, and fitted for heaven? He solicits your proofs. You can give him none that deserve the name. With his Bible in his hand, and his eyes open to behold the objects around him, does he believe your teaching? It is impossible. He does not. He cannot. He may not answer you. He may believe you honest, and sincere. But he does not assent. The baptism of a little infant! What sense or reason is there in it? He perceives none. There is none. It commemorates nothing, It signifies nothing. What good does it accomplish? None for the child; none for the parents; none for the church; none for religion; none for the world; none in any respect whatever. What reasonable man can believe that the child, or any other human being, is the better for it, either in this life, or in the next? It in reality confers no privileges, or advantages, temporal, or spiritual. It is, in truth, utterly irrational, and in the estimation of intelligent, thinking, unprejudiced worldly men, must detract painfully from the credit of religion

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 16- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it injures the credit of religion with reflecting men of the world

How does infant baptism prevent men from embracing the fundamental doctrines of the gospel?

Is it asked, How does infant baptism prevent men from embracing the fundamental doctrines of the gospel? Preach as they are revealed in the word of God, the doctrines of universal and total depravity, the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, justification by faith, and other doctrines of this class, and press them upon those who have been taught to believe the baptismal doctrines of the Standards. They will gaze in your face with a look of self-confident incredulity. If they answer you at all, it will be in language like this: “We believe that children are born in the church, and covenant of grace, or that their original sin was washed away in baptism. In either case, they are consequently holy. We are all, therefore, originally pure. No one can be holy and depraved at the same time. Those, at least, who are baptized in childhood are not depraved. We were baptized in childhood. Your doctrine of depravity we do not believe!” But the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, they surely will not deny! You see before you a company of men “without God, and without hope in the world.” You affectionately warn them that, if they would be saved, they “must be born again”, “born of the Holy Ghost.” Do they believe your message? They have studied their catechisms too well. We, they answer, were baptized in our infancy, and in that ordinance we were then, and there, “born again of water, and of the Holy Ghost.” Why do you tell us, who have been long ago “born again of the Holy Ghost,” that we must yet be born again of the Holy Ghost? Are people twice born again? They pronounce your teaching nonsense! They profess that they believe in the regenerating efficacy of the Holy Spirit, but they confine it to the medium of baptism! They adhere to the catechisms. In the form in which the doctrine is revealed in the Bible, they do not believe it. And regarding justification by faith, what are their impressions? They are confident that in their baptism, in infancy, they “were cleansed from the defilements of original sin,” and had “conferred upon them all the benefits of the death of Christ.” They must then, have been accepted of God, and of course, justified! Men are justified but once. They have no idea that they are again to be justified. Infant baptism has encased them all in a covering of steel. You cannot approach them. They are impervious to truth! Why, say they to their Pedobaptist teachers, what do you mean? We were brought up in the church. We have never forfeited our birthright. “We are not sinners of the gentiles.” “We are Abraham’s seed,” “the children of the covenant.” They are confirmed in sin and deception! Infant baptism has been their ruin. These, alas! are no fancy pictures. They are realities which are daily occurring all around us. These deceived men boldly tell you that if you taught them the truth concerning baptism, you now teach them falsely; and if you now teach them the truth, you then taught them falsely! What can you answer them? Their declaration is true. You have betrayed them! You cannot justify yourself. Infant baptism has closed their hearts against the gospel.

Thus does infant baptism destroy the power of the church to combat error, and prove itself a most lamentable evil. By adopting it she takes away her own purity, and places herself in a position in which she can do nothing effectually, either to reform herself, or to remove the errors of her sister churches. This is shown conclusively, by the history and results of the Reformation; by the present attitude of Lutheranism, Episcopacy, and Calvinism; by the inconsistencies of even evangelical Episcopalians, Methodists, and Presbyterians; and by the influence of the rite upon the minds of unrenewed men. Such a church ceases necessarily, to be an effective instrumentality for the destruction of sin among men. She cannot teach the nations the gospel. She cannot enlighten the world. She cannot subdue the hearts of men to the reign of truth. She can never bring a rebellious universe under the dominion of Messiah. She has lost forever, the locks of her strength.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 15- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it enfeebles the power of the Church to combat error

The method of argument here sketched has ever been, and is now, a favorite resort of both Papists and Protestants

Among Episcopalians, confirmation, and orders, are among the most striking abuses. Our Presbyterian and Methodist brethren declaim against them eloquently. They pronounce them unauthorized in the Bible, and injurious to religion. Their verdict is true. But while they learnedly discuss, and clearly prove these propositions, their Episcopal brother hears them unperturbed. He knows that he is armed with a weapon they cannot resist; it is the argumentum ad hominem. Our authority, he calmly responds, for confirmation and orders, is the same with yours for infant baptism! Are these corruptions, and injurious to religion, because they have no direct scripture warrant? Then so is infant baptism a corruption and injurious to religion, for the same reason. With what consistency can you practice one, and condemn the others? They dare not contradict him. They are necessarily silent.

Among Methodists, a very painful corruption is the baptism of “seekers,” and their reception to their communion. And who are these “seekers?” They are persons who desire to be saved, and manifest feeling on the subject of religion, but who professedly, have not a living faith in Christ, nor any well-grounded hope of eternal life. Against. this practice Presbyterians of all classes protest. They pronounce it a gross error, palpably unscriptural, and not to be countenanced! Their Methodist brother is not at all disconcerted. He tells them plainly, and tells them truly, that, The baptism of seekers is, to say the least, as lawful as the baptism of infants. It is, in truth, attended with prospects even more encouraging, since these seekers may soon be rejoicing in hope, but of infants no such expectation is reasonable. The scriptures favor one as much as they do the other. His assailants cannot answer him. They are silent. He is thenceforth uninterrupted.

The doctrine of “hereditary claims to the covenant of grace,” is an appalling abuse among Presbyterians, and Calvinists generally. Other Pedobaptists pronounce it an absurdity, and wholly incredible. Dare they openly assail it? If they do, they are quietly reminded that their theory of infant baptism is as scriptural as any other. Thus they are all put to flight each by the other. Every denomination is so enfeebled that it cannot combat error in any other. The invariable and effectual answer to every argument is, “Physician, heal thyself.”

Let no one consider these views of the subject as of small importance. The method of argument here sketched has ever been, and is now, a favorite resort of both Papists and Protestants. It was employed by Cardinal du Perron in his reply to the first King James; by John Ainsworth against Henry Ainsworth; by Fisher the Jesuit against Archbishop Laud; and by Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux, against De La Roque of Rouen. Bossuet’s object was to defend the withholding of the cup from the laity in the Lord’s supper, upon the authority of the church, and he urged that infant baptism, both as to subjects and mode, was maintained not by scripture, but by church authority only, with which, nevertheless, the reformed complied. Why, then, he asked, should they refuse compliance in the other case?”[162] De La Roque was dumb. Dr. Whitby employs this argument with special force against the English pedobaptist dissenters. When, after pleading for some condescensions in their behalf, he says:

“And on the other hand, if, notwithstanding the evidences produced that baptism by immersion is suitable to the institution both of our Lord and of his apostles, and was by them ordained to represent our burial with Christ, and so our dying unto sin, and our conformity to his resurrection by newness of life, as the apostle clearly maintains is the meaning of that rite, (Romans 6:3-6.) if, I say, notwithstanding this, all our dissenters do agree to sprinkle the baptized infant; why may they not submit to the significant ceremonies imposed by our church? For since it is as lawful to add to Christ’s institutions a significant ceremony which he or his apostles instituted, as to use another in its stead which they never did institute, what reason can they have to do the latter, and refuse submission to the former? And why should not the peace, and union of the church, be as prevailing with them to perform the one, as is their mercy to the infant’s body to neglect the other?”[163]

Thus infant baptism is used as the grand plea for compliance with the ceremonies both of the church of Rome, and of the church of England. It is their chief prop to support these hierarchies, the appeal to which they resort for countenance. And so triumphant is this appeal, that no pedobaptist ever has been able to stand before it.[164] They must all either submit, be silent, or renounce infant baptism. While they retain this unauthorized rite, they have no power to resist error on the part of others.

Nor are they untrammeled even in their efforts to bring the unconverted to Christ. Infant baptism tends to close the hearts of sinners, and does close the hearts of thousands, against those great doctrines of the gospel, the reception and belief of which, are essential to their salvation.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 15- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it enfeebles the power of the Church to combat error

It may be objected, however, that these facts and considerations are too sweeping: consider Protestant Paedobaptist

It may be objected, however, that these facts and considerations are too sweeping, and are not applicable to the evangelical Pedobaptist denominations among us. Let us, then, descend to more of particularity, and trace in the minutiae of society, and among the best classes, the influence of infant baptism in destroying the power of the church successfully to combat error.

Indulgences, auricular confessions, priestly celibacy, purgatory, and similar doctrines and practices of the Papacy, are revolting abuses. They are theological monstrosities which ought to be banished from the world. But what Protestant Pedobaptist has power to reach them? He may show them to be destitute of any countenance from the word of God. His arguments may be logical, and conclusive. But what has he accomplished? His Popish brother effectually puts down all his essays by a single question: Where do you get your infant baptism? He tells him in the face of the sun, and he tells him truly, that the Bible gives just as much support to the Papal rites which he condemns, as it does to the Protestant rite which he approves and practises. They all rest upon the same ground, and must stand or fall together. No man can consistently receive one, and reject the others. They must, for the same reasons, be all received, or all rejected. This appeal to his own principles comes with resistless power. He is silenced, and silenced forever. Infant baptism has wholly incapacitated him successfully to combat the errors of Popery.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 15- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it enfeebles the power of the Church to combat error