Infant Baptism - God's Ordinance, The Danger of the Doctrine of the Anabaptists.
The fifth chapter of Master Harrison's Infant Baptism moves to look at the outworking of the doctrine of the Anabaptists. The Chapter being entitled Showing that the Doctrine of the Anabaptists, in excluding Infants from Baptism, and shutting them out of the visible Church, makes all Infants to be of the visible Kingdom of Satan, and so leaves us no well-grounded hope of the salvation of any dying in infancy; and is therefore to be justly abhorred as false Doctrine.
We have set out here the two arguments presented in support of this censure.
Editor's Note: Again the writer has edited the original work and updated the spelling, grammar and language and it is sincerely hoped that such revisions have not detracted from the intent or meaning.
That doctrine that makes all Infants to be of the visible Kingdom of the Devil, is false doctrine.
But to deny Infants baptism, is to deny them to be of the visible Church of Christ; and if they are not visibly in the Church of Christ, they are visibly out of it, and of the Kingdom of the Devil; there is no third or middle state on Earth between the visible Kingdom of Christ, which is his Church, and the Kingdom of the Devil; and all men and women, and Infants too, are visible members of the one or the other. If any know of any middle state, let them show it; Christ and Satan share the whole world between them; and if Infants are not visibly in the Kingdom of Christ, they are visibly in the Kingdom of the Devil; the consequence is unavoidable: what barbarous usage is this to our poor Infants!
Christ commands us to bring them to him, and tells us, of such is the kingdom of God; and the Anabaptists perversely thrust them away from Christ, and from the Church of Christ, set them among pagans and infidels, who are of the visible Kingdom of the Devil.
That doctrine that leaves us no well-grounded hope of the salvation of any Infants dying in infancy, is certainly false
Doctrine: But the Anabaptists in denying Infant Baptism to the seed of believers, leave us no well-grounded hope of the salvation of any such dying in Infancy. I do not say, that the Anabaptists do positively assert the damnation of all Infants dying in Infancy, for they do the direct contrary, assert the certain salvation of all Infants, even Turks, Pagans, and Jews.
But I say, they leave us no well-grounded hope of the salvation of any such; for if Infants ought not to be baptized, then are they out of the visible Church; all who belong to the visible Church, have a right to baptism; therefore in denying Infants baptism, they throw them out of the visible Church: And let him show, that can tell how, what grounds there are to hope, or expect, the Salvation of any out of the visible Church.
I grant a person may want the engaging sign, and yet have a right to Church membership, yea, to salvation; so an elect Infant dying unbaptized is saved; though it have not the sign, yet it had a right to it. Now without a promise we can neither believe nor hope, Rom. 15:4, 13. Eph. 1:18. Eph. 4:4. Col. 1:5, 23, 27. Heb. 6:18, 19.
Again, such as God intends to save, he adds to the Church, Acts 2:47. 'It is the visible Church there spoken of; and such who are not so added, or have not a right to be so added, let them show, that can, what ground there is to hope for their Salvation. And thus all well-grounded hope of the Salvation of any Infant dying in Infancy, is taken away by the Anabaptists.
For thus they argue from Mat. 28:18, 19. None but those who are taught, are disciples; Infants cannot be taught, therefore are not disciples; and that this is the only way to make Church-members; and may we not on the same ground say, they cannot be saved because they cannot believe? Mark 16:16. He that believes not, shall be damned. I appeal to all unbiassed persons, whether there is not on their own bottom, the same reason to say, they are incapable of salvation, as of baptism; but there is great reason to believe and hope for the salvation of some Infants; for as we have showed they are in the Covenant of Grace, Gen. 17:7. Acts 2:39. Deut. 29:10, 11, 12, 13. they are to be joined in standing Church-ordinances, 2 Chron. 20:13. Joel 2:16. From all which, and much more might be said, it's evident some Infants are saved, though the Anabaptists by their erroneous doctrine take away all well-grounded hope of the Salvation of any Infants dying in Infancy.