baptism as only an ancient example of the effort to bring in the kingdom of God by externals, the protest against which brought Jesus to the cross. Our modern methods of salvation by sociology and education and legislation are under the same indictment, as crucifying the Son of God afresh and putting him to open shame.
Prof. Moses Stuart urged that the form of baptism was immaterial but that the temper of heart was the thing of moment. Francis Wayland, then a student of his, asked: ?If such is the case, with what propriety can baptism be administered to those who cannot be supposed to exercise any temper of heart at all and with whom the form must be everything?? ? Bushnell, in his Christian Nurture,-90-223, elaborates the third theory of organic connection of the child with its parents. Per contra, see Bunsen, Hippolytus and his Times, 179, 211; Curtis, Progress of Baptist Principles, 262. Hezekiah?s son Manasseh was not godly and it would be rash to say that all the drunkard?s children are presumptively drunkards.
(e) The lack of agreement among Pedobaptists as to the warrant for infant baptism and as to the relation of baptized infants to the church, together with the manifest decline of the practice itself, are arguments against it.
The propriety of infant baptism is variously argued, says Dr. Bushnell, upon the ground of ?natural innocence, inherited depravity and federal holiness. Because of the infant?s own character, the parent?s piety and the church?s faith, for the reason that the child is an heir of salvation already and in order to make it such, no settled opinion on infant baptism and on Christian nurture has ever been attained to.?
Quot homines, tot sententie. The belated traveler in a thunderstorm prayed for a little more light and less noise. Bushnell, Christian Nurture, 9-89, denies original sin, denies that hereditary connection can make a child guilty. But he seems to teach transmitted righteousness or that hereditary connection can make a child holy. He disparages ?sensible experiences? and calls them ?explosive conversions.? But, because we do not know the time of conversion, shall we say that there never was a time when the child experienced God?s grace? See Bibliotheca Sacra, 1872:665. Bushnell said: ?I don?t know what right we have to say that a child can?t be born again before he is born the first time.? Did not John the Baptist preach Christ before he was born? ( <420115>Luke 1:15, 41, 44). The answer to Bushnell is simply this: regeneration is through the truth and an unborn child cannot know the truth. To disjoin regeneration from the truth is to make it a matter of external manipulation in which the soul is merely passive and the whole process irrational. There is a secret work
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