of Christian excellence must be subjects of God?s special concern and care.?
To these remarks of Dr. Kendrick we would add, that Jesus? words seem to us to intimate more than special concern and care. While these words seem intended to exclude all idea that infants are saved by their natural holiness, or without application to them of the blessings of his atonement, they also seem to us to include infants among the number of those who have the right to these blessings. In other words, Christ?s concern and care go so far as to choose infants to eternal life and to make them subjects of the kingdom of heaven. (Cf. <401814>Matthew 18:14 ? ?it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that one of those little ones should perish? ? those whom Christ has received here, he will not reject hereafter. Of course this is said to infants, as infants. To those, therefore, who die before coming to moral consciousness, Christ?s words assure salvation. Personal transgression, however, involves the necessity, before death, of a personal repentance and faith, in order to salvation.
(d) The descriptions of God?s merciful provision as co-extensive with the ruin of the fall also lead us to believe that those who die in infancy receive salvation through Christ as certainly as they inherit sin from Adam.
<430316> John 3:16 ? ?For God so loved the world? ? includes infants. <450514> Romans 5:14 ? ?death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam?s transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come? = there is an application to infants of the life in Christ, as there was an application to them of the death in Adam; 19-21 ? ?For as through the one man?s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous. And the law came in besides that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace did abound more exceedingly: that, as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.? As without personal act of theirs infants inherited corruption from Adam, so without personal act of theirs salvation is provided for them in Christ.
Hovey, Bib. Eschatology, 170, 171 ? ?Though the sacred writers say nothing in respect to the future condition of those who die in infancy, one can scarcely err in deriving from this silence a favorable conclusion. That no prophet or apostle, that no devout father or mother, should have expressed any solicitude as to those who die before they are able to discern good from evil is surprising, unless such solicitude was prevented by the Spirit of God. There are no instances of prayer for children taken
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