art.: Baptism; Kendrick, in Christian Rev., April, 1863 Curtis, Progress of Baptist Principles, 96; Wayland, Principles and Practices of Baptists, 125; Cunningham, lect. on Baptism, in Croall Lectures for 1886.
(b) Infant baptism is expressly contradicted:
First, by the Scriptural prerequisites of faith and repentance, as signs of regeneration. In the great commission, Matthew speaks of baptizing disciples and Mark of baptizing believers but infants are neither of these. Secondly, by the Scriptural symbolism of the ordinance. As we should not bury a person before his death, so we should not symbolically bury a person by baptism until he has in spirit died to sin. Thirdly, by the Scriptural constitution of the church. The church is a company of persons whose union with one another presupposes and expresses a previous conscious and voluntary union of each with Jesus Christ. But of this conscious and voluntary union with Christ, infants are not capable. Fourthly, by the Scriptural prerequisites for participation in the Lord?s Supper. Participation in the Lord?s Supper is the right only of those who can discern the Lord?s body ( <461129>1 Corinthians 11:29). No reason can be assigned for restricting to intelligent communicants the ordinance of the Supper, which would not equally restrict to intelligent believers the ordinance of Baptism.
Infant baptism has accordingly led in the Greek Church to infant communion. This course seems logically consistent. If baptism is administered to unconscious babes, they should participate in the Lord?s Supper also. But if confirmation or any intelligent profession of faith is thought necessary before communion, why should not such confirmation or profession be thought necessary before baptism? On Jonathan Edwards and the Halfway Covenant, see New Englander, Sept. 1884:601-614; G. L. Walker, Aspects of Religious Life of New England, 61-82; Dexter,
Congregationalism, 487, note ? ?It has been often intimated that President Edwards opposed and destroyed the Halfway Covenant. He did oppose Stoddardism, or the doctrine that the Lord?s Supper is a converting ordinance and that unconverted men, because they are such should be encouraged to partake of it.? The tendency of his system was adverse to it but for all that appears in his published writings, he could have approved and administered that form of the Hallway Covenant then current among the churches. John Fiske says of Jonathan Edwards?s preaching: ?The prominence he gave to spiritual conversion, or what was called ?change of heart,? brought about the overthrow of the doctrine of
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