2. From the seventh to the fourteenth year, the age of partial responsibility, in which intelligent consciousness of the consequences of actions is not assumed to exist, but may be proved in individual instances.
3. From the fourteenth to the twenty-first year is the age of discretion. This is the age in which the person is responsible for criminal action, may choose a guardian, make a will, marry with consent of parents, make business contracts not wholly void. This person is not yet permitted fully to assume the free man?s position in the State. The church however is not bound by these hard and fast rules. Wherever it has evidence of conversion and of Christian character, it may admit to baptism and church membership, even at a very tender age.
(c) The rise of infant baptism in the history of the church is due to sacramental conceptions of Christianity, so that all arguments in its favor from the writings of the first three centuries are equally arguments for baptismal regeneration.
Neander?s view may be found in Kitto, Cyclopedia, 1:287 ? ?Infant baptism was established neither by Christ nor by his apostles. Even in later times Tertullian opposed it, the North African church holding to the old practice.? The newly discovered Teaching of the Apostles, which Bryennios puts at A. D.140-100 and Lightfoot at A. D. 80-110, seems to know nothing of infant baptism.
Professor A. H. Newman, in Bap. Rev., Jan. 1884 ? ?Infant baptism has always gone hand in hand with State churches. It is difficult to conceive how an ecclesiastical establishment could be maintained without infant baptism or its equivalent. We should think, if the facts did not show us so plainly the contrary, that the doctrine ofjustification by faith alone would displace infant baptism. But no. The establishment must be maintained. The rejection of infant baptism implies insistence upon a baptism of believers. Only the baptized are properly members of the church. Even adults would not all receive baptism on professed faith, unless they were actually compelled to do so. Infant baptism must therefore be retained as the necessary concomitant of a State church.
?But what becomes of the justification by faith? Baptism, if it symbolizes anything, symbolizes regeneration. It would be ridiculous to make the symbol to forerun the fact by a series of years. Luther saw the difficulty but he was sufficient for the emergency. ?Yes,? said he, ?justification is by faith alone. No outward rite, apart from faith, has any efficacy.? Why, it was against opera operata that he was laying out all his strength. Yet
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