While we agree with the following writers as to the salvation of all infants who die before the age of conscious and willful transgression, we dissent from the seemingly Armenian tendency of the explanation, which they suggest. H. E. Robins, Harmony of Ethics with Theology: ?The judicial declaration of acquittal on the grounds of the death of Christ, which comes upon all men, into the benefits of which they are introduced by natural birth, is inchoate justification. It will become perfected justification through the new birth of the Holy Spirit, unless the working of this divine agent is resisted by the personal moral action of those who are lost? So William Ashmore, in Christian Review, 26:245-264. F. O. Dickey: ?As infants are members of the race, and as they are justified from the penalty against inherited sin by the mediation of Christ, so the race itself is justified from the same penalty and to the same extent as are they. Were the race to die in infancy it would be saved.? The truth in the above utterances seems to us, to be that Christ?s union with the race secures the objective reconciliation of the race to God. But subjective and personal reconciliation depends upon a moral union with Christ, which can be accomplished for the infant only by his own appropriation of Christ at death.
While, in the nature of things and by the express declarations of Scripture, we are precluded from extending this doctrine of regeneration at death to any who have committed personal sins. We are nevertheless warranted in the conclusion that, certain and great as is the guilt of original sin, no human soul is eternally condemned solely for this sin of nature. On the other hand, all those that have not consciously and willfully transgressed are made partakers of Christ?s salvation.
The advocates of a second probation, on the other hand, should logically hold that infants in the next world are in a state of sin and that at death they only enter upon a period of probation in which they may, or may not accept Christ. This is a doctrine much less comforting than that propounded above. See Prentiss, in Presb. Rev., July, 1883:548-580 ? ?Lyman Beecher and Charles Hodge first made current in this country the doctrine of the salvation of all who die in infancy. If this doctrine is accepted, then it follows that these partakers of original sin must be saved wholly through divine grace and power. In the child unborn there is the promise and potency of complete spiritual manhood. Salvation is possible entirely apart from the visible church and the means of grace to a full half of the race this life is not in any way a period of probation. The heathen, who have never even heard of the gospel, may be saved and that the providence of God includes in its scope both infants and heathen.?
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