Is Infant Baptism Morally Wrong?
The Christian Repository, 1889
1st. It is administered on the plea of the parents' faith. When there are sponsors (God-parents) the infant is asked, “Do you believe?” The sponsor answers, “I do.”
But it is untrue. One person can not believe for another. It is only the child of a believing parent that the Presbyterian baptizes—on the faith of the parent. But it is untrue that a parent can believe, but for himself, or communicate faith to his child; therefore, the plea and the practice are morally wrong.
2nd. Infants are baptized on the plea that it introduces the child, or in some way entitles it to God's Kingdom. Hence the quotation in its support, "Suffer little children," etc.
But it is untrue that infants unbaptized are lost, on the intimation (and perversion of Christ's words to sustain) that God will reject an infant who dies unbaptized is an impeachment of His justice, wisdom and goodness and therefore, the ceremony which is based on such a plea is morally wrong.
3d. It is advocated and administered on the plea of admitting the infant into the church. But the church, or visible organization of Christ's disciples, is by divine prescript constituted by actual profession of faith in Him—a voluntary communion of saints. But the infant is confessedly not n believer, not regenerated, not a professor, not a voluntary agent, not an actual member till he or she can believe or act for himself or herself. Therefore, infant baptism enforces fictitious and involuntary church membership against the law of Christ, and is morally wrong.
4th. It is performed on the plea of the child's faith in the future based on God's covenant promise to the baptized. But God has not linked his covenant promise to an act in which the child has no choice, and it is untrue that there is no covenant promise to an unbaptized infant, or that it has not the access to Christ, as the baptized one. To say that the God of all grace has made such a distinction between infants because of baptism is to impeach His veracity. Infant baptism is, therefore, morally wrong.
5th. It is performed on the plea that It is necessary to the child's religious education. But the Christian or parent is bound to this by his renewed nature, by God's Spirit, by parental solicitude. But to make his duty rest on the child's baptism is to set aside a moral obligation and make it to originate or grow out of a ceremony. Therefore it is morally wrong.
6th. To administer Infant baptism on the ground of infant church membership declares that the baptized infant is truly a church member and a communicant. But the child is not truly a church member, and is not admitted to communion till he voluntarily seeks admission for himself. Therefore there is no such thing as infant church membership, and infant baptism for such a purpose-, is morally wrong.
[From Samuel H. Ford, editor, The Christian Repository January, 1889, p. 239; via Google Books on-line documents. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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