With respect to the question of the manner in which elect infants dying in infancy are saved, Calvin, while presupposing their need and the Spirit's supply of regeneration (see note on section 18), makes no definite assertion concerning the presence or absence of faith in them. In the first place, then, it is a well-known doctrine, and one as to which all the pious are agreed – that the right consideration of signs does not lie merely in the outward ceremonies but depends chiefly on the promise and the spiritual mysteries, to typify which, the ceremonies themselves are appointed. Besides, as we have shown that Christ, in whom both of these reside, is the foundation of baptism, so must he also be the foundation of circumcision. 4. See, they say, how baptism is termed regeneration by the lips of our Lord himself, and on what pretext, therefore, with what consistency is baptism given to those who, it is perfectly obvious, are not at all capable of regeneration? Wherefore, if we would not maliciously obscure the kindness of God, let us present to him our infants, to whom he has assigned a place among his friends and family, that is, the members of the Church. Meanwhile, we are far from denying that he testified his kindness to them by carnal and earthly blessings; though we hold that by these the hope of spiritual promises was confirmed. This certainly must be understood of spiritual gifts, and if they follow baptism, I have gained all I contend for. Ought not our whole heart to be stirred up within us, as David's was (Ps. Chapter 18: Mosiah 1–3. Chapter 29. Equally ingenious is their cavil, that women should not be baptised if baptism is to be made conformable to circumcision. and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. This is a compressed facsimile or image-based PDF made from scans of the original book. Phil D. Sep 19, 2020; Translations and Manuscripts; Replies 8 Views … Thus the Lord, when he chose Abraham for himself, did not commence with circumcision, in the meanwhile concealing what he meant by that sign, but first announced that he intended to make a covenant with him, and, after his faith in the promise, made him partaker of the sacrament. 10 Second part of the chapter, stating the arguments of Anabaptists. I would not rashly affirm that they are endued with the same faith which we experience in ourselves, or have any knowledge at all resembling faith (this I would rather leave undecided); but I would somewhat curb the stolid arrogance of those men who, as with inflated cheeks, affirm or deny whatever suits them. If this cannot be said without extreme insult to Christ, by whom the infinite goodness of the Father has been more brightly and benignly than ever shed upon the earth, and declared to men, it must be confessed that it cannot be more confined, and less clearly manifested, than under the obscure shadows of the law. 15:46), we must wait the full time for baptism, which is spiritual. Having handled this subject fully when treating of the difference between the old and the hew dispensations, I now only glance at it. Then when they have grown up, they are thereby strongly urged to an earnest desire of serving God, who has received them as sons by the formal symbol of adoption, before, from nonage, they were able to recognise him as their Father. Worthy Christian Books » John Calvin » Institutes of the Christian Religion » Book 4,Chapter 15. The term “come” is used simply for “approach.” See the quibbles to which men are obliged to have recourse when they have hardened themselves against the truth! 1:4), a thing not possible to infant children. 4. In this manner, when he promised eternal blessedness to his servant Abraham, he, in order to place a manifest indication of favour before his eye, added the promise of possession of the land of Canaan. Such is the value of the promise given to the posterity of Abraham,--such the balance in which it is to be weighed. If the kingdom of heaven is theirs, why should they be denied the sign by which access, as it were, is opened to the Church, that being admitted into it they may be enrolled among the heirs of the heavenly kingdom? When he orders that little children shall be allowed to come to him, nothing is plainer than that mere infancy is meant. 1:39). But as in all his acts, so here also, enough of wisdom and righteousness shines forth to repress the slanders of the ungodly. His holy institution, from which we feel that our faith derives admirable consolation, deserves not to be called superfluous. To seal this grace, the sign of circumcision is added. Book 4, Chapter 11: Of the jurisdiction of the church and the abuses of it, as exemplified in the papacy. Shall we here have recourse to allegory? When the infinite goodness of God is thus displayed, it, in the first place, furnishes most ample materials for proclaiming his glory, and fills pious breasts with no ordinary joy, urging them more strongly to love their affectionate Parent, when they see that, on their account, he extends his care to their posterity. 1-3. PDOBAPTISM. No other conclusion can be drawn from a passage in Peter, on which they strongly found. It were much better with the early Christians to refer the number eight to the resurrection, which took place on the eighth day, and on which we know that newness of life depends, or to the whole course of the present life, during which, mortification ought to be in progress, only terminating when life itself terminates; although it would seem that God intended to provide for the tenderness of infancy by deferring circumcision to the eighth day, as the wound would have been more dangerous if inflicted immediately after birth. Divisions of this chapter, - I. For he says that in Christ we "are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ." 4. 3:10), would he not deserve to be scouted by all? We must consider, that in respect of the promise, the blessing of God still resides among them; And, as the apostle testifies, will never entirely depart from them, seeing that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom_11:29). Lib. 1-9. 9:7). I would not be understood as insinuating that baptism may be contemned with impunity. Book 4, Chapter 16, Part A.Paedobaptism. 7. But as it is plain that he admits those only who are prepared to celebrate the commemoration of his death, it follows that infants, whom he honoured with his embrace, remain in a distinct and peculiar position until they grow up, and yet are not aliens. Chapter 26: Alma 13–16. the promise of the paternal favour of God, of forgiveness of sins, and eternal life. , 2001 ) and incomprehensible to us no man, until renewed by living,. Them is, that they might not be the proper mode of it of from! Of a seal of the Christian Religion: Book 4, chapter,. 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