A baptist makes the following statement on baptism:
Originally Posted by C. M. Sheffield:
Ed Walsh responds, quoting Puritan and Reformed Presbyterian minister Michael Harrison (1640-1729):
“There’s plenty of commands and examples in the Bible. Just not as many in the New Testament as in the Older.
In this way they deal with us at this day. “We challenge you,” they say, “to prove infant baptism to be God’s ordinance; bring us a plain text, and we will believe.”
Must we believe nothing but what we have totidem verbis, in just so many words in Scripture? Then how shall we prove the first day of the week to be the Christian Sabbath? That a woman may come to the Lord’s Table? That a Christian may be a magistrate?”
Once we realize that the sign of the Covenant has changed, but not the Covenant, there is an overabundance of proof that children are included in the visible church.
3. Those doctrines which were clearly revealed, and fully confirmed in the Old Testament, though little or nothing is said of them in the New Testament, and were never repealed, are yet to be owned, received and believed, as if much had been said of them in the New Testament; the whole of Scripture is God’s Word, and what need is there of proving the same thing twice, unless the Authority of the Old Testament is questioned? This is also evident in the lawfulness of a Christian Magistracy, in an oath before a Magistrate, and making war on a just occasion. There is so little said of these things in the New Testament, many of the Anabaptists have denied them; yet these being fully settled and confirmed by God in the Old Testament, are to be owned, though little is said of them in the New.
Now this is the case of infant baptism. The Question is not by what sign, but at what age, people are to be admitted into the visible Church? Now this was fully determined in the Old Testament. Infants at eight days old were to be admitted members of the visible Church. There is little said of it in the New Testament because there was no need of it; this truth having been once settled in the Old Testament has never been repealed.
4. Those doctrines which were once thoroughly settled in the Old Testament, and never called into question by any in the New, there was no occasion given to speak of them again.
We find, that what was but darkly hinted in the Old Testament, and much questioned in the New, is fully cleared; and much is said of it, as that glorious doctrine of justification by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. This was very darkly hinted in the Old Testament, and very much opposed by preachers of legalism in the New Testament. Therefore, much is said in the New Testament to clear it.
But an infant’s right to the covenant, or to Church-membership, there was much said of it in the Old Testament, and it was never denied or called in question by any in the Apostles days. They were settled, and had a peaceable possession of their privileges ever since Abraham’s time.
Had any in the Apostles days scrupled in an infants’ right, very much would have been said of it. The Jews, who tenaciously adhered to their old privileges, would never so silently have suffered their children to be cast out of covenant, without taking notice of it.
A doctrine may be very clear, the Scriptures brought to prove, and the argument then deduced clear and convincing; and yet it may remain dark to one that is incapable of discerning it. An object may be very obvious, and yet not well discerned, by reason the eye is clouded. How plain are the doctrines of the Trinity, the divine nature of Christ, justification by imputed righteousness, etc., and yet many are so blind as not to see these things?
So the matter in debate is this, viz. That the infants of believing parents have a right to baptism, is as clear to me as the other, yet many will not see it. The generality of Christians are but babes in knowledge, have but dark and confused apprehensions of the clearest truths in Religion, and must necessarily be much more at a loss in what does not have that clearness and perspicuity in it.
~Harrison, Michael; McMahon, C. Matthew. Infant Baptism God’s Ordinance. Puritan Publications. Kindle Edition.