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of his future faith and repentance, without which she could not consider him regenerate.
** The truth is, that the Church knows nothing of the saving efficacy of baptismnothing of regeneration-nothing of other Gospel blessings-apart from, or irrespectively of, faith and repentance, professed or promised. In the case of adults, she judges baptism to be rightly received,' (Article xxvii.,) when they profess • Repentance, whereby they forsake sin, and faith, whereby they steadfastly believe the promises of God made to them in that Sacrament.' (Catechism.) And in the case of infants, she judges baptism to be rightly received,' when they promise them both (faith and repentance) by their sureties, which promise, when they come of age, themselves are bound to perform. (Catechism.) Hence, in administering baptism to infants, she addresses, not the sponsors, but the infant through the sponsors : • This infant must also faithfully, for his part, promise by you that are his sureties, (until he come of age to take it upon himself,) that he will renounce the Devil and all his works, and constantly believe God's Holy Word, and obediently keep His commandments;' and it is only on her obtaining suitable answers to the questions she puts to the child through the sponsors, that she declares him . regenerate.' Now, as in the case of adults, the Church, which cannot read the heart, pronounces them regenerate, confessedly on the charitable supposition that the faith and repentance professed are sincere; in like manner, when infants are concerned, she declares them also * regenerate,' on the same charitable supposition that the faith and repentance promised on their behalf will be fulfilled. The two cases are parallel. In either case, if the Church could forsee that the faith and repentance professed or promised have not, and never will have, any existence in the hearts of the candidates for baptism, far from declaring them regenerate,' she would at once reject them as aliens and strangers,' for the reason already stated-namely, that “it were absurd to extend the seal beyond the covenant,' and because the Church has not, and cannot have, any blessing, save for those whom she deems to be her true children.
“ This, it appears to me, ought to satisfy us that the regeneration of every baptised infant, without exception, is no doctrine of our Church, but that she is to be understood as speaking in the judgement, not of certainty, but of charity, when she ascribes to each of them this inestimable blessing.
“ The Church cannot, so to speak, blow hot and cold in the same breath; she cannot be at variance with herself; she cannot, in the case of adult baptism, speak hypothetically, and absolutely in that of infant baptism; she cannot pronounce the adult * regenerate' in the judgement of charity, and the infant • regenerate' in the judgement of certainty. She cannot make two kinds of baptisms, when the Holy Scriptures assure us there is but one baptism.' (Ephes. iv. 5.) She cannot have a baptism requiring faith and repentance, and a baptism dispensing with both; she cannot have a baptism not necessarily conveying grace, and a baptism necessarily conveying grace. Surely, these are contradictions in terms, and those who profess to be her true members, and to be anxious of her reputation, ought to desire to see her consistent with herself and with the Holy Scriptures.
“ This is also the view taken of Infant Baptism by Bishop Davenant. He says*As in the Baptism of Adults, previous faith is required, according to that declaration of our Saviour, He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark xvi. 16); so, from those who are baptised in infancy, subsequent faith is required; which, if they do not exhibit afterward, they retain only the outward sanctification of baptism—the internal effect of sanctification they have not. Whence, says Augustine, (Quæst. ex. N. Test., qu. 59,) · He who imagines Baptism to consist in the carnal form, is not spiritual ; neither can he obtain the celestial gift, who trusts that he can be changed by water, not by faith.' We have a strong and perspicuous reason for this-viz., because the substance of the sacraments is Christ himself-all the virtue and vitality of them are from Christ; but, indeed, Christ is not approached by unbelievers ; for men of this kind, whilst they receive the sacraments, because their hearts are dry and their minds barren, they indeed lick the rock, but suck thence neither honey nor oil,' as Cyprian somewhere says. By way of profit, let us learn not to confide with Papists in the opus operatum; but enquire further, whether we possess all the other things, with which the inward effects of baptism are not secured.' (Allport's Davenant on Colossians ïi. 12.)
“ Strange enough that Archbishop Cranmer should be quoted by some writers as maintaining baptismal regeneration in its most absolute sense. I have heard of a certain kind of spectacles, which possess the singular property of discovering nothing but what the wearers of them desire to see; I suppose the persons in question must have them on when they studied his writings. It is true, none held more strongly than our Reformer, that baptism is connected with every gospel grace and privilege. He makes it, indeed, to be the cluster of all Christian blessings; but is it apart from, and irrespective of, the faith of the recipient? In his sermon on baptism, he makes its salutary efficacy to depend on the fulfilment of the promises made in that ordi. nance : « These be the promises which we make when we are baptised; and of this mind must all they be which shall have any fruit by baptism. He makes also a clear distinction between those who are born again in baptism, and those who are not: • These new affections and spiritual motions are in the souls of such as are born again by baptism, but they be unknown to worldly men, and such as be not led by the Spirit of God.' And does he for a moment lead us to suppose that • the sacraments, and not faith, are the proper instruments of gospel gifts and graces?' No man is more opposed to such a heresy : • All these things doth baptism work in us when toe believe in Christ. And therefore Christ saith, He that will believe and be baptised shall be saved, but he that will not believe shall be damned.' Wherefore, good children, learn diligently, I pray you, the fruit and operation of baptism; for it worketh forgiveness of sins, it delivereth from death and the power of the Devil, it giveth salvation and everlasting life to all them that believe, as the words of Christ's promise doth evidently witness. * * * * * * * •If a man ask you, how can water bring to pass so great things ? ye shall answer, Verily, the water worketh not these things, but the WORD of God which is joined to the water, and FAITH which doth believe the Word of God; for, without the Word of God, water is water, and not baptism; but when the Word of the living God is joined to the water, then it is baptism, and water of wonderful wholesomeness, and the bath of regeneration through the Holy Ghost.' And let it be observed that our venerable Reformer affirms all this, without any reserve whatever, on behalf of Infant Baptism. Indeed, he must have been chiefly speaking of Infant Baptism ; for, in his time, adult Baptism was rarescarcely known in the Church—and was but the exception to the general rule. (Anglican Fathers, No. 1, pp. 7, 11, 13.)
“His sermon on baptism may be considered as a commentary on the baptismal services. In it, we may observe, he does not for a moment suppose the benefits of baptism to be attainable, either by adults or by infants, until they beliere. All these things,' he says, doth baptism work in us when we believe,' and not before. Now, as thousands and tens of thousands of baptised infants, when arrived at the age of reason, live and die without faith, it follows that he could not in the public baptism of infants' ascribe to them, any more than to adults in the ministration of baptism to such as are of riper years, the saving effects of baptism, except in the spirit of that charity which believeth all things, and hopeth all things.'
“We may now understand why it is that, in Holy Scripture, and in our formalaries, baptism is connected with every Christian grace and privilege. It is not that the inward grace always accompanies the outward sign, and is inseparable from it. • For, though God tieth us to means, yet not himself. There is no necessity that we should limit the working of God's Spirit to the Sacraments more than to the Word. But Gospel blessings are connected with baptism; because the sacred writers, and our Reformers, in the true spirit of Christian charity, always supposed faith and repentance to be present in every baptised person (and faith and repentance it is, and not baptism, which render us fit recipients of grace, and therefore meet for holy baptism); and because, in baptism, as our Church teaches us, the promises of forgiveness of sin and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed.' (Article xxvii.) It is said of Abraham that he * received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised.' (Rom. iv. 11.) Substitute, here, the words baptism'
and unbaptised' for circumcision' anduncircumcised,' and you will have the truth of the matter, as regards the connexion between the ordinance and the thing signified. “We must know that sacraments properly do not give us any right unto God and His Christ, but only seal up and confirm that right and interest which already we have in God's covenant and promise. God promised to Adam life ; and then He gave him the tree of life to be a pledge of His promise. It was not the tree of life that gave Adam life, but the promise. Adam might have lived by the promise without the tree; but the tree could do him no good without the promise. Thus, God promiseth Christ and his benefits to the faithful and to their seed, and then He gives us baptism to seal those promises. It is not baptism that saves us, but the promises. It is not the water that purgeth our sins, but the blood of the Covenant.' -- (Usher's Sum and Substance of Christian Religion, p. 397.)
"We must also remember that, in the eyes of the Church, no person is regenerated until he has received the sign and seal of the Covenant, which is baptism. As a contract is not valid until it be signed and sealed; in the same manner, our admission into the Covenant is not confirmed, until it has received the sign and seal of holy baptism. When God affords the means, we are bound to wait upon Him for a blessing in them and by them. A wilful disregard or neglect of the ordinance would at once prove a person an unbeliever, and, therefore, not entitled to the blessing. If any be not baptised,' observes Bishop Jewell, but lacketh the mark of God's fold, we cannot discern him to be of the flock. If any take not the seal of regeneration, we cannot say he is born the child of God. The Church can only know us to be Christians by our admission into her bosom, and our credible profession of the Gospel.
“Nothing can be clearer, nothing more decisive than the language of our Church, as showing that the connexion which exists between Baptism and the benefits of redemption, depends, not on the Ordinance itself, but upon the faith and repentance of the recipients. She considers the adult as .TRULY repenting and coming to God by faith,' and then, and not till then, pronounces him.regenerate.' In the same manner, she considers the infant as “FAITHFULLY for his part promising (faith and repentance) by his sureties," and then, and only then, declares him also to be “regeDerate.' (See Office for Adult and Infant Baptism.) But the question is simply this: Is é regeneration with the Holy Spirit' a covenant blessing or is it not? If it be a covenant blessing, of which there can be no doubt, it is for the opponents to show, that any are ever made partakers of God's covenant, and considered meet for its blessings, except through faith and repentance. We may safely leave the matter to this short issue.
" It will greatly strengthen the view we have taken of the subject, if we consider that the second writers of the Epistles, when addressing themselves, generally, to the Churches, always speak in the same spirit of charity-of that charity which believeth all things, and hopeth all things' (1 Cor. xiii. 7); though, when alluding to individuals, they frequently make exceptions. Then they are afraid of them; 'they stand in doubt of them ;' lest they have bestowed upon them labour in vain ;' then 'fear lest they shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented. (Gal. iv. 11, 20; 2 Cor. xii. 21.) When the Apostle,' says Bishop Davenant, calls all baptised persons saints, he speaks according to the rule of charity, which directs us to presume good of every one, unless the contrary be shown. * * * * * * The Apostles always, when they descend to particular men or Churches, presume every Christian to be elect, sanctified, justified, and in the way of being glorified, until he himself shall have proved himself to be wicked or an apostate. So Paul, writing to the Corinthians, affirms indiscriminately concerning them: Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified.' (1 Cor. vi. 11.) For, as in those things which relate to faith, we must speak and think according to Scripture, which is a certain and infallible rule; so, in other things which relate to charity, it is sufficient to think and to speak according to the probability of appearances.' (Allport's Davenant, vol. i., p. 22.) It is after this model, that all the services of our Church are conceived and written.
“ There is nothing, in what has been said, to prevent a faithful parent, who believes the promises of God for himself and for his seed, and who places them on his and their behalf in earnest prayer, from holding, with our Church, that every child of his that is baptised, is regenerate ; for he has God's faithfulness, and the warrant of his Word, for his confidence in this respect. With this limitation, we may approve of the answer of the bishops to the Puritans, who, in 1661-1662, objected to parts of the baptismal office, affirming that They could not say in faith that every child that is baptised is regenerate. The prelates replied : “Seeing that God's Sacraments have their effect where the receiver doth not, ponere obicem,' put a bar against them, (which children cannot do) we may say in faith, of every child that is baptised, that it is regenerated by God's Holy Spirit. (Anglican Fathers, vol. i. p. 345.) This is true in its application to the children of believers. The case, however, is very different when the parties presenting have not faith in God, nor any reverence for his ordinance; and when, instead of 'stedfastly believing,' as the Church requires them to do, the promises of God made to them in that Sacrament,' they are, as too often happens, wholly ignorant of them, or despise, or neglect them. It is difficult to conceive that, then, the Sacrament, per se, conveys regeneration; that there is no 'bar' to its efficacy. Faith, which receives the benefit of it on behalf of the child, being absent in the parents and sponsors, there is no reci. pient—no power to draw down the blessing. The prayers of the Church, meeting with no response from them, fall blunted on the ears of God. Their heart being far from him, in vain they worship him.' (Matt. xv. 8, 9.) What! does He make no difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not?' (Mal. iji. 18.) Will he equally reward faith and unbelief, repentance and impenitency, truthfulness and hypocrisy ? Surely, those who contend for the regeneration of the infant in baptism, under these circumstances, strangely misapprehend the very first principles of the Gospel. They forget that the promises of God are made only to believers and their seed, and not to unbelievers and their seed; and that all the virtue and vitality of the Sacraments are from Christ,' and that * Christ is not approached by unbelievers.' They forget that the Church contemplates none but faithful' parents and faithful' sponsors, and that, if she could discern the impenitency and unbelief of the parties, she would be bound to reject them and their children. Surely, then, in the case of these, at least, we may conclude, in the words of Archbishop Usher, We may rather deem and judge that baptism is not actually effectual to justify and sanctify, until the party do believe and embrace the promises.' (Sum and Substance of Christian Religion, p. 393.)
“But even with regard to the children of believers, the result may disappoint expectation. The judgement of faith may not always prove the judgement of cer. tainty; for faith may be exercised in an unscriptural manner. Por example: if a Christian should forget that, though the grace of covenant be sealed up to his children in baptism, on the ground of their parent's faith, they cannot have the fruition of it save through their own individual faith and repentance; if, I say, forgetting this, he should neglect to employ the means appointed of God to secure these inestimable blessings for his children, if there should be on his part a deficiency of earnest prayer, Christian instruction, fatherly reproof, and holy example, what then would be his faith in his children's safety, but enthusiasm and proud presumption? God's promises are bound up with the means of his own appointment: they are inseparable from them. Thou meetest those that remember Thee in Thy ways.' '(Isaiah lxiv. 5.) God gave to St. Paul • all them that sailed with him ;' there was to be no loss of any man's life;' and yet, as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship,' Paul said to the Centurion, 'Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.' (Acts xxvü. 22, 24, 31.) The children of Eli and David are fearful examples that the means cannot be neglected by believing parents with impunity. (1 Samuel iii. 13; 1 Kings i, 6.) On the other hand, if a Christian parent, in the holy and diligent use of these, should seem to be disappointed of his hope; if his children should, for a time, turn aside from the right path, and fill his heart with death and sorrow; though they should be as scourges in his sides,' and as thorns in his eyes,' let him not despair. Humbly relying on God's faithfulness, let him not cease to plead the promises on their behalf; let him continue to .reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all long-suffering and to walk before them in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord
blameless,' and he may get discern that his labour has not been in vain in the Lord.' It was the saying of a Christian bishop to the mother of Augustine, when applying to him for advice and consolation under similar circumstances, . Madam, the child of so many prayers cannot be lost.'
"But when we speak of faith and repentance, professed or promised, as pre-requisites to a right receiving' of baptism in infants and adults, we must not be misunderstood. We do not speak of faith and repentance as if they possessed a claim of right or merit to the grace signed and sealed in baptism: no; but simply as involving a meetness for it that is to say, as preparing the heart for the reception and enjoyment of God's favour and mercy. Repentance and faith, far from deserving grace, are them. selves gifts of grace (Acts v. 31; xi. 18; 2 Timothy ii. 25; Ephesians i. 19; ii. 8; 2 Peter i. 1), and, to speak with Bishop Davenant, are included in an habitual principle of grace. His language is— But with respect to infants, because they are sinners, not by a proper act, but by hereditary habit, it is sufficient that they have mortification and faith, not exerting itself by a proper act, but included in an habitual principle of grace.'-(Allport's Davenant, vol. i. p. 448.)
" It is neither the present or future faith of infants, nor the faith and repentance of their natural parents or pro-parents, nor of their godfathers or godmothers, that can entitle them to so excellent a benefit of God; but the alone merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who works in them through and by his own ordinance and insti. tution. With this explanation, I do not object to the following statement, put forth by the bishops, already alluded to, in their controversy with the Puritans, however I may regret its incompleteness. They said— The effect of children's baptism depends neither upon their own present actual faith and repentance (which the Catechism says expressly they cannot perform), nor upon the faith and repentance of their natural parents or pro-parents, or of their godfathers and godmothers, but upon the ordinance and institution of Christ.'-(Anglican Fathers, vol. i. p. 346.)
“Let it, however, be observed, that the bishops, far from dispensing, in this passage, with faith and repentance, recognise their presence in the child—their presence in the promises made for him by his sponsors. They only say he could not perform them' at the time; and this we do not dispute.
“ In the private baptism of infants' the Church pronounces the child regenerate without sponsions. The reason is evident: the Church does not expect him to live; and God, in this case, is supposed to supply the defect of faith by his sanctifying Spirit, which can do all things on our part which faith should do.' (Usher.) But if the child which is after this sort baptised, do after this live,' the Church declares ' it is expedient that it be brought into the Church' (Rubric); and then he is made to promise faith and repentance; after which, the declaration of his being regenerated is repeated and confirmed. A striking proof that the Church deems repentance and faith to be necessary to those infants whom God has appointed to live, in order to their having the saving benefits of baptism estated upon them.
“ Tuis is the view which, after many years' thoughtful study of the sybject, I have been constrained to take of baptismal regeneration. My endeavour has been to make it consistent, not with systems, but with Scripture. I have steered a middle course between those who deify the ordinance of baptism on the one hand, and those who empty it of all life and power on the other. It is always, through faith, an effectual seal to all who are heirs of the Covenant of Grace. We have the Word and oath of God as our warrant for the assertion (Heb. vi. 13–30; compared with 1 Peter iii. 21, 22.) Avoiding the points' which have divided, and still divide, the Church of God, I have argued the subject on ground common to all parties—the ground of CHRISTIAN FAITHFULNESS. Observing that, in Scripture, it is written as with a sun-beam, that the covenanted mercies of God-and 'regeneration with the Holy Spirit is one of the most precious of those covenanted mercies—are restricted to believers and their seed, I could not extend them to unbelievers and their seed, remaining such. As in the eye of the Church, the children of believers are reckoned amongst the faithful; by the same rule, she considers the children of unbelievers to be unbelievers. The seed is accounted of the same nature with the stock. There is a oneness between the root and the branches. A regenerated unbeliever-an un