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Distinctive Principles of Baptists
By J. M. Pendleton, D. D. *

A Review in the Baptist Quarterly Review, 1883
by J. R. Baumes, Editor.

      BRIEFLY noting the many doctrines in which there is substantial agreement with other denominations, the author shows why Baptists hold that the baptism of unconscious infants is not Scriptural, and insist that believers are the only proper subjects for baptism and Church membership. The account given of John's baptism and of the personal ministry of Christ affords no justification of infant baptism. Neither in the commission given by the Savior to his apostles nor in the records of baptism by the apostles is found any thing that warrants the baptism of those who are too young to repent and believe. Appeal to the inspired record shows that in the households whose baptisms are mentioned there were none too young to "fear God," as did Cornelius "with his house," or to be "comforted," as were those of Lydia's house, or to believe in God, as did the "jailer with all his household" and also Crispus and Stephanus with their households. This disposes of the household argument of which so much has been made.

      Passages of the New Testament supposed by some Pedo-baptists to refer to infant baptism are reviewed, and it is made equally apparent that they give no support to it.

      The positions taken by Baptists, and the arguments by which they fortify themselves in regard to the mode, conditions, and intent of baptism; the administration of the Lord's Supper and Church independence, are clearly and forcibly stated. It is a book that ought to be in every household.

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* The book was published by the American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1882. From Google Books.



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